June 9, 2010

r.i.p. tinyblog 2001-2010

I wrote here in the tinyblog for about seven years starting back when having a personal blog was a pretty novel thing. I wrote some stuff that not even my mother would be interested, but I did write some pretty good stories at times, both fictional and non-fictional. So, I thought I'd put together a "best-of" so anyone who's interested can see some of my favorite stuff without needing to comb through hundreds of old entries.

tinyblog history

Sadly I did not archive the first blogger version of the tinyblog design, but it featured a photo of Buddhist teacher Thrangu Rinpoche.

Then, for a long time I used this "cowboy looking at a rainbow" design.

This is what it looked like for most of its natural history, before I got all simple and XHTML on it. I took the photos of young Aidan with a real film camera, and he became the tinyblog logo for many years.

Some people wonder why I call it the tinyblog. Because it's tiny.

true stories


A couple of stories from when I lived with a young boy named Sam and a young girl named Rowan. One where Rowan explains how to be grown up, and another where Sam explains how I should determine his preferences.

A heartbreaking story about my one-time neighbor and his mentally ill wife.

A three part story about how I saw the movie What's New Pussycat with some porn actors, and then had a couple of strange experiences afterwards wandering around Seattle late at night. (Part II) (Part III)

A story about how a guy found redemption.

An amazing true story about how my Buddhist teacher exposed a CIA plot to infiltrate student groups in the mid 60's.

Another Buddhist story, a longer photo article that I gave its own page on tinyplace, about when my little sister went into a three year Buddhist retreat. I still love this story myself.

The first year I went to burning man I photodocumented my experience. Boring right? Well, some of the photos and stories are actually really spectacular!

Also photodocumented the process of making honey with my mom in 2005... go through the pictures one by one and they tell the story in captions.

And the last of the true stories and one of my all-time favorites about a time I drank with homeless kids in Freeway park and heard some words of wisdom.

fictional stories

I loved writing little microfiction, or sudden fiction on the tinyblog and wrote stories about:

A vegan and a homeless guy.

A guy who chuckles at a childhood memory after being shot.

A skinny kid, told in three acts with dialog only.

And last, but not least, a modern fairytale about two beans.


This is a "found", aka. "ripped off" poem I wrote interviewing Aidan, the original tinyblog boy, at about the time the masthead photo was taken. I love it.

This is where most of the pieces I used to do at poetry slams live, including actual mp3's of me performing them.

Then (thankfully very short) poems, respectively, about apostrophes, the end, autumn haikus, sledding, limes, and the very next moment.

Also, a tabular poem my sister wrote about abandoning all the girls' names she had now that she was going to become a nun.

And last, in 2004 I made a cool Christmas card with little sketches, and some of my favorite poems I've ever written. (Note: it's a 400k pdf, it's pretty!)

wierd stuff, surveys, parties and abandoned things

Before evite and facebook, it was super cool to make a custom web page for your party. I did this several times and the invites are pretty cool. Ben's Invention Party, a kissing party that never happened, an early bonfire party where I introduced my overexplaining FAQ style,

I made a fan page for a girl who said she really wanted a fan page. Jessetastic, you are still awesome! I will always maintain your fan page!

A blog that a friend and I were going to do where people finish a story exquisite corpse style called The Launching Point.

Back in the early aughts, when people were sending all these email surveys like "What kind of ice cream do you like, etc. etc." so I made a survey with the questions that I really wanted to know about people (at the time) and posted a page with the questions and some of my favorite responses. Feel free to email me the survey if you'd like to do it! If you have some funny answers I'll even add them to the page.

July 21, 2008

hey, i'm not the guy you're in love with

Moving to my new house has me in a damn strange state of mind. Most of the bars by my house have a weird, generic yuppie clientele. I walk by, look in, and nothing entices me to go in and see if I can strike up a conversation. My North Seattle friends (the few of them) are faraway. It was a long, strange weekend where I missed a lot of people, and ran into a lot of people I didn't expect to see.

By Sunday, wandering the Fremont Sunday Market and seeing all the same stuff that's always there, I was in quite a weird mood. I hopped a bus downtown to check out the Batman: Dark Knight movie at the Cinerama, thinking that perhaps it would cheer me up.

It did, a little. You know, honestly those seats at Cinerama are of the most uncomfortable kind. Kind of lame for a deluxe movie theater. By the time I left, my back was in knots from having no way to comfortably sit for the whole movie.

I walked out, hungry and in a daze with a small bowl in my pocket to smoke. I wanted a little company for it. So, I went to what's known as 'the stage'... a tiered platform at Westlake Center where the homeless kids hang out. I kind of plopped myself down on one of the steps and people-watched and let everyone sitting there check me out.

Before long, a well-groomed guy with a goatee and nice jeans showed up and started chatting everyone up. He was the only black guy among them, so of course he went by the moniker "whitey". He obviously had a job and a place, but had been among this crowd before and still hung out with them.

Everyone seemed to know him. I watched him greet everyone and trade barbs, and then he said he was bored and wanted to go drink. He called out one of the girls in the group (Heather) and asked if she wanted to come drink with him. She coolly decided to.

Something about Whitey seemed right, so I stepped up to him and said if they wouldn't mind my company for a moment, I'd buy the first round. He nodded, and started to make his goodbyes and arrangements with the denizens of the stage.

We talked for a moment while people were getting their shit together. There had been some promotion in Westlake center for a new shampoo, with some big clear-walled trailer parked on the wide brick surface of the beach, and it was about wrapping up. There was a cute gay guy in a tight striped shirt trying to get rid of the last of the samples so they could leave, begging the homeless kids to take them off their hands so he could leave and go out on some date he had planned.

Whitey said something to me about it being a little strange that I was willing to go to such great lengths just to hang out (ie. buying a round) but I looked at him and said, "It's not a great length really. It's only about this far." and I held up my thumb and forefinger a couple of inches apart. "Sometimes," I said, "I really need to drink with strangers."

"Hm." he said, and that seemed to satisfy his curiosity.

Other people ended up coming with us, and there was a beer-buying strategy discussion that ended with Whitey and I getting beer. I bought a couple of PBR King-Can six packs and we all headed off to Freeway Park. Evidently this is the safe place for homeless kids to drink, and indeed it was quite a little party on Sunday evening.

Our group settled into a choice spot, my bowl was smoked, and many King-Cans were cracked. We were settled by a big cement fountain, at the bottom of two stairways, and it was a fairly secluded and peaceful location with a view of some nice tall buildings.

There were a few different groups in the park, and people came and left our group from time to time. One of the guys went by "Frantic" and it turned out that he didn't even know the meaning of the word. I gave a rough definition and then looked up the exact definition on my iPhone, which duly impressed them. Nobody gave me a hard time for it, or made me feel out of place, even though I was dressed pretty nice.

Whitey himself was quite a character. I guessed correctly that he had been a former homeless person and meth head himself, and that he had rose to his current situation by getting up mornings under a bridge and hauling his ass to the day-labor place every morning.

He seemed to consider himself a bit of a street preacher to this kids, and clearly imagined them to be his flock in some way. We was well-spoken, prideful, actually kinda wise, and proud of his income and situation. He only had a room, but talked about how important a goal it was to him to get a place of his own at some point so he could cook breakfast naked in his kitchen if he wished. Having wanted that once myself and finally attained it I totally understood him. Even though I rarely do any actual naked cooking... it's just too chilly most of the time.

I looked up at him, and I had a realization, even as I spoke it aloud, "Know why I wanted to hang out, Whitey? Because there's this guy I know, that I really love, but I'm having some serious struggles with. I guess I kind of thought that this would help me work it out."

He really did look like the guy, and have the same air of lordly wisdom and arrogance, and addict history behind him. He looked me in the eye.

"Hey, I'm not the guy you're in love with," he said, simply.

I laughed my ass off. "I know, and I'm not trying to make you him. But it helps me somehow."

That seemed to satisfy him some, and he did talk about it again later. He said, "If this guy is anything like me, you just need to get together with him and drink, and what's going on between the two of you will naturally come out."

A small group of us went to subway, and I tried not to insult anyone, but I discretely said to a couple of them, "Hey, do you need to be fed?"

I spent probably $30 the whole night on beer and sandwiches, and I would say it was a pretty awesome use of my entertainment dollar. The core group of four of us or so felt happy and well fed as we went back and drank the last of our beers in the park as it got dark.

At one point, Whitey and someone went on a beer run. I gave him a few bucks in cash, and when he left, I just faded off and took a bus home.

July 12, 2007

dream warrior

Wow. Writing down my last dream worked.

I took a nap this morning after getting up and watering the garden, and slipped into one of the most amazing lucid dreams I have ever had. I have had lucid dreams occasionally my whole life, and when I hit lucidity, the first thing I think to do is often to fly. I love lucidity in dreams but I often try so hard to change the fabric of the dream that I wake up. This time I was able to keep it on the downlow and play in the dream and basically see it to its conclusion.

So, who knows how dreams really begin, but I became aware of it when I was traveling with my friend Vicki (name changed to protect the not-so-innocent). We were traveling through some kind of modern airport or travel station. We were just waiting around idly talking, and at some point we pulled out our bags and repacked them a little.

When my sister was here and we went to Portland I packed a bunch of her stuff in my bag, and there was a sleeping bag of hers in my bag as I repacked it. I don't remember exactly how we got to our destination but it turned out to be Burning Man! Vicki had never been before and she was going for her first time with me. Next thing I remember we were picking out a site for her tent. It was near some railroad tracks and totally was in a more temperate setting with grass, but it was totally Burning Man anyway.

Vicki left for a little while once we got the tent set up and I realized I hadn't really planned on coming to Burning Man. I knew I'd be fine, but I just had brought plain clothing and didn't have ANY costumes or even food. I was like, "What was I thinking?! Now I'm going to have to take the bus into Empire and buy all of my food there." There really is a store in Empire, and it's more than a convenience store but a little less than a grocery store. I was a little dismayed but I knew I'd work it out.

I also realized our tent location wasn't the greatest. It was right on a major thoroughfare and lots of people were walking by. It was a very screeny tent with some kind of cupola at the top. It started raining a little and it was starting to drip right into the tent. Vicki came back and we started to get comfortable and I set aside my concerns for a moment. After a little nap, however, I told her about the impending trip we were going to need to take and my sudden bout of practical thinking.

That was pretty much the end of the Burning Man portion of the event, however, and I don't remember any transportation, but we ended up in some kind of very pretty, very modern city like Vancouver or Dubai or something. It had lovely glass skyscrapers mixed with some other kinds of modern, well-built buildings. We were basically just here to enjoy ourselves and, I think, to find a coffee shop.

While we were in the cement stairwell of some building it suddenly occurred to me that I was dreaming. I felt happy and excited at the opportunity to have a lucid dream. I was curious how my dream version of Vicki would respond, and was pretty sure now that I knew she was kind of an automaton that she would not be able to really acknowledge her unreality.

I told Vicki and thought she'd be interested (like she would in real life) or give some kind of witty comeback. I teased her about being a construct of my mind, but she was already clearly an Automaton and not able to respond meaningfully about her own lack of independent existence.
I wanted to stay asleep so I didn't do anything too tricky, just went along with her, looking around at the vivid and complex surroundings... noticing only some faint spots of blurriness, but basically just as real as real life.

Eventually we got to our destination: some kind of strange café. The café was located in the bottom floor of a large business-like office building. Basically in a kind of jutting-out portion of the building and it had its own high raised ceiling with a huge skylight. It was pretty, and was set up as just 3 or 4 huge long tables and huge long couches. Lots of people were sitting at the tables, but no one had coffee. They were just sort of discussing and hanging out.

Right as we got there, there was some big restructuring of chairs and couches, and two massive couches were laid out facing each other with a small coffee table in between. A few people sat at them, including me, and one end. There were a few people on the long couch and I thought about socializing with them, but the atmosphere really was sort of stolid and boring, and the effort of doing something so mundane finally struck me as silly and I knew I needed to go.

"Fuck this," I said, "I'm gonna go fly now. You'll see me as I pass over the the ceiling."

I ran outside and thought, "am I going to be able to do this?"

I reached for the sky and sort of leapt like I do, and up I went. I could sense that my control wasn't totally pixel perfect, but it was enough to fly straight over the building like I'd said once I gained altitude. I thought I'd be able to see them and the skylight, but the building had a bunch of different skylights, and although I flew right over the center of the building I wasn't able to see for sure that I'd flown over that skylight.

The city was very detailed and shiny and movie/videogame like in its interestingness and vivid colors and shapes. It was like a Spiderman movie set in Portland or Vancouver or something. I was so glad it didn't stop the dream to go ahead and flaunt the rules of reality and be totally aware of myself and my actions like this. I felt the tremendous freedom, joy and privilege of being able to fly like this and experience it.

I flew over rooftops and did some experimentation, but the flying seemed to take more and more effort as time went on. It first I just was able to control my direction less and less well, and finally really wasn't able to maintain altitude. I remember I tried a little exercise where I looked up above me and saw a mass of electrical or telephone wires and tried leaping off one roof and having enough control to weave my way in between them and land on a higher roof. I did get up to the higher roof but totally blew the tightly controlled movements. So, I contented myself to just explore by walking on the roof.

It was some kind of terra cotta tiled roof, several stories up. It had round thick clean tiles. It was a fairly sharp angle like a house roof, but with some additional little cupolas and spires. I had a very good view of the rest of the city from here and saw it stretching out before me.
I marveled then at this world before me, that I had created somehow, but that I never would have imagined consciously. It didn't SEEM like it came from me and here I was exploring it just like if I was doing it with my real body. I looked around at the colors and shapes, feeling all the similarities with differences between it and my normal waking experience.
I don't recall any smells or sounds or other senses really, but a vivid visual sense for sure. I noticed that there was a little bit of glitchiness to it, however. If I looked right at things they had visual consistency but anything I wasn't looking directly at could easily shift and change. Also, I saw sort of shimmering blurry spots in my vision. I could tell my brain just couldn't make as consistent a reality as waking life could. I was so delighted and amazed, and I thought, "Can I really doubt that the waking work is any less of a dream than this?" and I felt a great sureness that it was so.

It seemed like people did come up here, for some kind of utility maintenance and maybe for other reasons as well. There were some kinds of signs up on walls and such. One was some kind of sign with a portrait of a person… a cartoonish individual who looked like some kind of bearded samurai pirate with a big curly white wig. It was very strange and looked like some video game character. Like… I don't know, Dr. Robotnik or something. I didn't really give it too terribly much thought, but did notice that he looked a little ominous.

There were a few other signs. One was some kind of chrome utility plaque with black writing engraved on it. I had heard that if you're not sure you're in a dream to read a sign, then turn away for a moment and read it again. If it remains static then you're probably not in a dream.
So, I read the sign sort of, and tried to read it again. I realized I hadn't really got what it said the first time, so I tried several more times to read it. It seemed like it was changing subtly every time but I never looked at it long enough to comprehend its real message. Finally when I looked at it the fourth or fifth time I recognized its message. I can't remember it exactly but its gist was:

"Message #5: You have exhausted the entertainment value of this sign for today. Please move along."

"Ok, ha ha ha, Daniel's brain, I get it," I thought, and I did indeed move on and start to think about my next move.

Before I could really start to explore further, something happened that I was SO NOT EXPECTING. I started to walk over the crest of the roof when someone appeared at the bottom of the roof. I immediately recognized him as the villainous person in the poster. It occurred to me that it was probably some kind of wanted poster or something and I was surprised that it didn't recognize the importance of him in the dream when I saw the sign. It was just another sign.

And now here he was trying to kill me. His deadly intent was immediately apparent and I realized he was some kind of master assassin and was going to waste absolutely no time in trying to kill me as swiftly and efficiently as possible.

Even though he was clearly armed to the teeth, I felt very prepared and a great deal of confidence in engaging him in mortal combat. I had a moment where I wondered how hard I should try to avoid killing him in order to keep my vow of non-killing. But, some kind of instinct took over. Even though I had almost no fear, since I knew my life was not really at stake, I knew I should fight confidently and that it was okay in terms of my vow. This person was an aspect of me, or just part of some drama that needed to be played out.

When he saw me, he immediately ran towards me at full speed, only pausing to level his gun at me. It was some kind of arrow or harpoon gun that didn't seem to involve combustion. He fired at me and I ducked around the other side of the rooftop and got low, waiting to spring upon him when he crested it.

I did defend myself as cunningly and cool headedly as I could imagine. As soon as he came in sight I grabbed hold of his gun or one of its projectiles and shoved it smoothly into his body, probably the shoulder. He barely registered the damage. He pulled out a katana from its scabbard and pulled back for his strike. However, before he could even pull back, I grabbed his hand and without hesitation used it to plunge the entire length of the katana into his chest, wounding him mortally.

I stepped back a bit and he made his final move, again immediately. He pulled some large dagger from his coat and whipped it at me with great precision. It spun end over end perfectly towards me in sort of matrixy time.

Some part in me wanted to see what was going to happen and did not stop the dagger, was just waiting to see what happened. I was of slightly mixed feeling and moved half-heartedly out of the way, but I just had the feeling that I should be at the mercy of the internal logic of my dream. Nowhere in any of this did I feel any fear or hesitation, only a feeling of joy that I was getting to experience this.

What happened next is not totally clear. I was not 100% sure of the outcome, and I did feel the scene blank out a little. I did not experience getting struck and I sort of felt like I might have been able to dodge the dagger and I might not have.

Then I saw what I can only describe as a "game over" screen from a video game. I saw a black background, and lying in some kind of spotlight was what appeared to be a kind of cartoon-like chunk of a part of someone's head, in a pool of blood, and the ornate dagger lying beside it. I realized that indicated I had probably not dodged the dagger, even though it still seemed like I might have.

I was so excited at the dream, and didn't feel like it had anything to offer me. "I guess it's time to wake up now," I thought, and I did immediately. I sleepily ran over to the computer and sketched out as many notes as I could about the experience. What could such a dream mean? It felt so hopeful and fearless and auspicious the whole time.

July 27, 2006

of meandering interest

Also, I sat down at the bus stop on The Ave to read a little. Right next to me this skinny bearded guy lay a few soggy tortillas on the cement near the post office railing. He had a squeeze bottle of some kind of sauce and he squirted it all over the tortillas and all over the ground.


Then he started vigourously tossing other foodstuffs onto the cement. He said then, (maybe to me, maybe to no one, but I was the only one within earshot) "It's a sacrifice offering. Just like a lamb." Or something like that.

Then he laid the final few pickle slices and stalked off. I finally recovered my senses and took a couple of pictures as my bus went off. I left my book at the bus stop and had to run back to the site of the sacrifice to get it from the next bus stop.


Also, I've been loving these time attacks. This is vintage video game playing at the olympic level. I played these games and my jaw (almost literally) dropped by watching this guy beat the NES version of Arkanoid in 16 and a half minutes. Sounds kinda dumb, I know, but this dude never loses a ball playing one level right after another. If you've ever played this game you won't believe it.

Then, watching this man do his beautiful and unholy dance through Super Mario Bros. 3 in 11 minutes. He just glides around like a god in a world he built himself. He almost never stops for any reason. When he's in the final levels where you can't go fast, he just entertains himself by seeing how many consecutive cannonballs he can stomp without ever hitting the ground.

Also, Miss Megaparsec wrote several anagrams for my name...a thing never before done, to my knowlege. I present to you, a dozen anagrams for Daniel David Talsky:

1. did a veiny stalk lad
2. talk as did veiny lad
3. avid and skilly date
4. an avidly skil'd date
5. dan: avid skilly date
6. day lived at skin lad
7. add a divine, sly talk
8. divine, sly data lad, 'k?
9. avast, kid! dine! dally!
10. naked lad laid ivy st.
11. Add lively skin data.
12. Live. Lay. Add dat skin.

Also, this is my favorite self-portrait in a while:


April 4, 2006

my only drugs are tortellini and mfk fisher

On April Fools day I started a little mini-partial-in-house-personal-retreat for the whole month and I had a wonderful day with some sweet new friends romping about discovery park and other places. We had a wishing rock (which evidently is any rock with a little circle vein of rock that goes all the way around the rock but this was a special one). I made a bunch of wishes for my retreat and life, and in fact I had so many wishes that I had to have a second turn at the rock. We all wished on it and then Michal threw it into the sea. Right as she did a spray of water jetted up and splooshed us and we knew all our wishes would be granted. Hoorah!

What does a m.p.i.h.p.r look like? (you might ask) I meditate for a moment every morning and every night. I go to a longer meditation once a week with my man Nate, which I do anyway, but also doing more personal practice. I'm just making every day it's own special thing. that I work at home I can stop and take little meditation breaks when I need to and I'm here most of the time anyway.

I'm a little loosey-goosey with the "indulging in intoxicants" part of the refuge vow, but I'm tightening that ship up for the month of April, which means no late night trips to Wong's for late night company and a Budweiser. Only wicked late night blogging!

Yes, that's right, it means my only drugs are tortellini at Santorini Pizza & Pasta and M.F.K. Fisher.



For some reason it seems like tortellini is served with a cream sauce almost exclusively. I'm not a big fan of cream sauce, but I sure am a big fan of tortellini. For those who don't know what tortellini is, it's sort of like a cross between ravioli and a wonton. Only filled with cheese, or preferably, meat.

The Russians make something almost exactly the same, but their versions are usually meatier and they serve them with sour cream and some kind of garlicky Russian salsa, which I also love.

I always ask for tortellini with meat sauce instead, and sometimes that makes Italian waitresses give me frosty looks for being such a philistine. I do not care. Those snotty beetches can bring me some meat sauce and be swift about it!

But at the closest little Italian (Greek, really I guess) joint to my house do they give me frosty looks? No! The first time I ordered it, the waitress asked me, "You mean...still baked though?"

I said, "Umm sure."

Little did I know what delight would be unleashed on me in the form of a little tureen filled with tortellini in meat sauce and what can only be a genuine Isle of Santorini kinda thing (only not with meat sauce) covered with a thick layer of cheese and baked until it is bubbly and so hot it stays hot almost the whole time I'm eating it!

I thought tonight, as I read M.F.K. Fisher, a person who writes about food, that it was one of the finest meals a Daniel Talsky can be served. I tucked it away quite tidily and waddled home.

M.F.K. Fisher

I never knew about M.F.K. Fisher until the Angry Librarian put it in my hand. She wrote about life and love and food before such a thing was bestseller material...way back in the late 1930's!

It's wonderful stuff and makes me feel like I found a kindred spirit when she says things like,

I was basically what Beerbohm calls, somewhat scornfully, a 'host' and not a 'guest': I loved to entertain people and dominate them with my generousity.


In spite of all that, I was the one who got dinner on the cook's off-night. I improved, there is no doubt about it, and it was taken for granted that I would step into the kitchen at the drop of a hat.

Perhaps Anne would have liked the chance at having all the family's attention. If so, she never got it. The stoves, the bins, the cupboards, I had learned forever, make an inviolable throne room. From there I ruled; temporarily I controlled. I felt powerful, and I loved that feeling.

I am more modest now, but I still think that one the pleasantist of all emotions is to know that I, I with my brain and my hands, have nourished my beloved few, that I have concocted a stew or a story, a rarity or a plain dish, to sustain them truly against the hungers of the world.

Then there's all the ways she talks about the amazing food itself. Bless her. I was high on Fisher and pasta when I finally stood, 8 minutes past closing time, and said goodbye to Gino on the way out.

Some of you may recall the original story where I told about how I met Gino, and offered to do the Santorini web site for free, just so I could look on the web to see their pizza toppings, and got turned down. Or the story about how a friend of theirs found my blog entry about it and told Gino's son George who contacted me and said they wanted me to do their web site after all.

So as I was walking out, I tipped my cap to Gino, who said in his somewhat broken English, "We get a lot of compliments!"

"On the site?" I said, feeling happy and high.

"Yes. That must mean it's good."

I raised an eyebrow, "You've never seen it?" (It's been up for almost a year now.)

"No. To this day I have not ever seen it."

I could not help but burst out laughing, "That is awesome, Gino...that is so cool!"

"I don't even know how to work those things."

June 7, 2005

climax fruit bombs 20% off!

I went out for dinner with Aidan the tinyblog boy and his mom last night. We went to Tacos Guymas, on Broadway, right across the street from a Castle Superstore, a large sex shop with a big marquee in front.

I had some wierd thing that was like a chimichanga but filled with chicken, bacon and spinach. Actually pretty good.

Aidan looked across the street and stared at the Castle Superstore marquee. "Oh damn," he said, "they took down the Climax Fruit Bomb sign. Now I'll never find out."

"Wha?" I said, intelligently.

His mom began to hold her head in her hands.

"They used to have a sale, 20% off Climax Fruit Bombs. Now I'll never know what they were."

I was puzzled, "You'll know in about 15 minutes when I walk in there and ask for you. I'm sure they still know what they are."

His eyes lit up, "You will?!"

"Sure. I wouldn't joke about that. If they're under four dollars, whatever they are, I'll get you one."

He started to get all excited, "My mom wouldn't do it."

I looked at her. "No!" she said, probably for the 30th time.

After some lively speculation among him, me, and his mom about what a Climax Fruit Bomb might be, he rushed me through my meal and practically pushed me out the door to find out, at long last, what a Climax Fruit Bomb was.

Turns out it's just fancy flavored lube in a bomb-like package. At Castle it was 17.99, which even at 20% off looks way more expensive than you can get it online. So I didn't get any.

I guess buying flavored lube for a 13 year old boy has some sticky ethical questions associated with it, but it seemed like the right thing to offer at the time.

Anyway, then we got into a big dildo discussion, to his Mom's combined amusement and chagrin, and even got some details about her non-illustrious sex toy history. Just goes to show you, it's more fun to score points with kids than moms.

March 24, 2005

at the bartender's mercy

It was almost one am and I was still at the office. Just a friendly face at the Wedge is all I'd foamy sweet pint of Guinness before everyone closes up shop to ease down the tensions one notch and have one moment of sweet bullshitting with another human being, at the bartender's mercy of course. Went by the Wedge, and Patrick had chairs up, and all the neon lights were off. I rattled the door just in case and started walking away.

He must've seen me through the window because he came and unlocked the door and poked his head out, "We haven't had a customer for like two hours...sorry man, the register's all closed up and totalled out." He looked at me as if there might be something else I needed, like a copy of The Stranger or something.

"Thanks, man," I said, and made for the car. Perhaps pies and pints. I can't believe that my favorite bartender Emily stopped working there days after I had just been talking to her. I went in a few nights ago and some lady who was filling in told me she'd just stopped working there. It wasn't a week and a half ago that she offered me the same kind of company I was looking for now. I drank my beer and she talked to me while she poured. You know, small talk, sometimes not even a whole paragraph about the same thing. I remember I was so grateful.

"Thanks, Emily, I really appreciate the generous company," I said.

"Yeah. I was gonna say, when I see you come in, I'm glad, because I know I'm not going to have to talk about sports." I laughed. I just found out it was March that's why there's been basketball on every TV in the world lately.

Whatever. Pies and pints was closed. I think they close at midnight. Emily's gone now anyway. I knew there was another place right by there. The Atlantic Crossing...another of Seattle's many "how I wish I was an Irish bar" bars. Go into a strange pub? Where I don't know a single soul? Did I even really want a beer?

Sure. Sure I did.

Walking into a new bar I suss everyone out in five seconds. Who's going home with who and who's nearly incapacitated and who's on top of their shit. Table of seven drunken girls rocking some kinda red shot and singing along to Van Morrison.

I go order a beer and he looks at the clock for a long time before he finally decides to serve me (he serves some lady a Maker's like 15 minutes later, the shit). They make me wait though, while they make seven of some red shot for the seven drunken girls. The most forward one comes over to get the drinks and says hi drunkenly and collects the sticky recepticles. She goes back to the table and starts Moondancing. I walked by her and she turns her back to me and sways, whether turning her back on me or inviting me to dance with her, who knows. I walked past her and just sort of stood where I could see the pool table and the whole bar.

I drank my beer. It's what I was there for after all. I walked back to the bar, but then stopped for a second at the table, the girls were starting to pack it up. "I don't know about the rest of you," I said, "but please tell me that one's not driving, right?" I pointed to Miss Moondance.

"No, we all live two blocks from here, we're walking."

"Good." I said, set my beer on the counter and walked towards the bathroom.

On the way back I saw there was a bag in the girl's bathroom sure to belong to one of the drunken girls. I walked out holding it aloft and saw the look of recognition on one of her faces. She had like really twisty Kyra Sedgewick kinda hair. "Thank you," she said, and loitered on her thank you. "I live just a few blocks away from here."

"That's cool," I said, "so even if you got all the way home you still..."

"That would have been bad," she interrupted, " thank you. That was really really nice."

"Have a good night." I said.

I wasn't looking for that kind of company.

March 20, 2005

there was once a gurl


There was once a gurl who meant well, really she did. She hibbered about the ave, dodging the dodgies and patting the young bastervilles on the head with a mop. The denizens of the ave revered and validized her and longed to get her alone on the couch at the Sureshot for just five minutes.

Her hair was purple and straight and that never kept her from telling random people on the street how she felt. She could not mate, because she was truly one of the last of her kind. She did not wish to have mutant one-sixteenth inner panda babies who would have to live their whole lives craving bamboo but being unable to digest it. In other words, she couldn't get her no....nonoNO! Hey hey hey!

She saw her likeness once on a pillar in a park and admired it's amazing likeness except for the insufficient rendering of depth and it's portrayal of her lip as pouty. Sad certainly, but she'd be taffeted if she ever but once pouted. Pout really refers to various freshwater and parine fishes, like the eelpout or hornpout. She sniglered at the idea of herself as a bullhead or hornpout nuzzling through a sludgy bog.

She regarded this wall-artist with a mix of consternation and appreciation. Well, she thought, perhaps they got it just right.

May 10, 2004

tinyplace history. back in the day, when I was...


Yesterday was my 29th birthday (the PAR-TAY is on the 14th), and in addition to it being Mother's day (as it is every few years), it was the launch of a new idiot-friendly design for

I feel some affection for blogger, since the tinyblog originally lived there.

Blogger was originally created by Pyra, a very cool scrappy group of people who had some really innovative ideas about blogs, and really made full-featured blogging an easy universal thing to do. It's really blogs like What's New Pussycat and The Booge and the friendly, blocky old blogger design that really got me into blogging in the first place. I think it's really cool that their hard work ended up paying off, and they ended up being a huge part of the blogging revolution, and also being able to finally sell out to a pretty cool company actually, who paid real attention and spiffed it up nice.

Incidentally, here's a snapshot I saved of my second blog design. The design you're looking at is the third design, and it looks like I didn't keep a good copy of my first tinyblog design. (it was cute! such a shame!) And also, here's my old tinyplace front page and my OLD OLD tinyplace front page. Oh, and while I'm digging, I did an away page when I went on retreat once, which is kinda cool.

Eventually I got to be too big for my britches, and blogger started having some really serious server problems, and some friends of mine lost their whole blogs. I loved the flexibility of Movable Type, and also having my posts living on server space I had control over. Also, it helped that I (to my knowledge) was the first person to install Movable Type on a server besides Ben and Mena themselves, with them on IM back before I knew a chmod from a chown.

Now there's a couple more blogs under the tinyplace umbrella: Loverzan and CrazySexySwampMagic (and perhaps a newcomer coming soon), and I'm finally giving some serious thought to putting in the work necessary to give the site a real redesign and applying all I've learned about web design, accessibility and standards since I coded this hellish mess of HTML 3.2, 4.0, PHP and Movable Type Tags.

Plus, I've actually started posting again...things were pretty slim for a few months there.

May 8, 2004

the mishandling of a sacred institution

I'm sure there's a lot of gay people out there that would be handling the wedding plans like a completely Jewish American Princess. And here we are, with the unquestioned legal right to legal and spiritual union and I'm so afraid we're gonna totally botch it!

I can, like, hear Fran Drescher or something saying in her high, nasally Flushing voice, "Oh my GAWD people, your wedding is in four months and you don't even have a caterer yet?"

It took us like four months even just to come up with a location and wedding invitations. Now we have like 6 people who have officially RSVP'd, and no cake, no caterer, no wedding dress, no rings. (Okay, so we've designed the rings and everything, we just have to drop off a check.)

I swear to god whatever licensing body gave me my Grown-Up license should be audited or something.

But really though, what the fuck, we love each other, and we have a pretty location, and we'll find some way to feed those six people...even if I have to cook a big hunk of meat for them myself. Oh wait...most of them are like pescatarians.

As it approaches I feel closer and closer to Roseanne, and gladder and gladder that I resisted the very strong urge to bolt to Uganda. I mean, I'm sure Uganda is cool and everything, but there's a lot to said for the sacred institution, and having a nice pretty garden, and starting a business, and just facing all my intimacy issues and weirdness with one cool, trustworthy girl.

I read in a recent issue of Parabola on marriage, that in an Indian wedding, there�s this part of the marriage where the groom goes for a walk, and is symbolically trying to decide whether to choose the life of spiritual asceticism (it�s a little late for that, kid). But the father, who knows that bachelorhood is closer to asceticism and that the groom would be naturally drawn to that life, comes up to him and sort of gives him a sales pitch on the virtues and advantages of married life. I sort of wish I had that, because there�s not a lot of un-ironic �pro-marriage� voices in our culture.

I think it will be okay, I�m calming down about it, even as I wish I could magically make all the details take care of themselves. And hey, tomorrow�s my birthday! The party's on the 14th. You're invited)

January 6, 2004

im sledding poem

danieltalsky: snow!
danieltalsky: we sledded!
danieltalsky: hard and fast!
danieltalsky: and crashed!
danieltalsky: 100 times!
danieltalsky: smash!

September 4, 2003

shaving cream


Shaving Cream, by Benny Bell (mp3, 2.6MB)

I have a sad story to tell you.
It may hurt your feelings a bit.
last night, when I walked in my bathroom,
I stepped in a pile of...
Shaving cream, be nice and clean!
Shave every day, and you'll always look keen.

I think I'll break up with my girlfriend.
Her antics are queer, I'll admit.
Each time I say "Darling, I love you,"
She tells me that I'm full of...
Shaving cream, be nice and clean!
Shave every day, and you'll always look keen.

A baby fell out of the window.
You'd think that her head would be split.
But good luck was with her that morning.
She fell in a barrel of...
Shaving cream, be nice and clean!
Shave every day, and you'll always look keen.

When I was in France with the Army,
One day I looked into my kit.
I thought I would find me a sandwich,
But the darn thing was loaded with...
Shaving cream, be nice and clean!
Shave every day, and you'll always look keen.

And now, folks, my story is ended.
I think it is time I should quit.
If any of you feel offended,
Stick your head in a barrel of...
Shaving cream, be nice and clean!
Shave every day, and you'll always look keen.


August 6, 2003

streams don't quarrel

Sometimes after the sound of quarreling all you want is silence.

I took Rzan to school the other day and she slammed the door as she got out to go to class. The conversation on the drive there hadn't gone so well. We'd both said whatever it was we needed to say, but didn't feel much better for it.

I was mad at her petulance then...but got home and calmed down. Who cares about such silly things, anyway. I wanted to just be friendly and free of the weight of dancing around words or eating my own words or just being a dumb boy or whatever it is that causes these things.

We had a BBQ in the backyard. My friends gave me a BBQ book with all kinds of crazy cajun duck flambe recipes that looked so good. We made kababs with all kinds of colorful peppers and marinated stuff and I felt better. By the time she got home late from school I felt that stagnant mixture of love, grouchiness and not knowing what exactly to say.

I said we should go for a walk, and we got ready to go and we did. I got these cheap aqua-socks from payless shoes that were probably made by legless 14 year old sweatshop workers in Indonesia but they are so light and flexible they make me feel like old man kung-fu or something. It felt so good to walk this familiar walk and the words drained thankfully away as I wrapped my arm around her skinny ribs and pulled her close to me walking in opposite step until naturally our feet synched.

We said a couple of things but then it tapered off. We came to the Beaver Park, and it was so silent and trippy like when you eat only a few hallucinogenic mushrooms and then go for a walk and you're trying so hard to feel it and you're so aware. Aware of every scuff and sound.

When we came to the stream I could hear a thousand pieces of water tumbling over a thousand rocks at a thousand distances. She was so real there in the dark light, skinny and complicated and beautiful. We kissed some and I held her really close to me...we just sort of lopped over on the ground and hugged amongst all the million stream sounds. And mostly nothing was said. Mostly nothing is like some major achievement for me, I'm almost always talking.

It just felt like an important moment, lying there all silent and in love, and feeling like love was just this sort of thing. So I thought I'd share it with you, that's all.

July 22, 2003

who would marry this madman?

who would marry this madman?

She would:

what a good friend to me

I got to express my appreciation:

those little diamonds are from my gramma's ring

I gave her a ring, and asked her in the garden.

P.S. It wasn't ten minutes after I asked her that we were already discussing how we were going to blog about it.

July 10, 2003

the business of

I'm always desperately trying to bite off more than I can chew, and then when I finally do it, I'm always sorry.

I decided to do something I'd never done before, and take a job to do some print work. I'm designing a catalog for the Stroum Jewish Community Center, and it's just ended up being incredibly complex, and meeting deadlines for a job that you don't understand exactly how to do is no fun.

It's not that I think I can't do it, but it's just becoming a hell of a lot of stress.

Then, as some of you may know, my housemate Ben and I are putting together a little web development house called Robotic Cat Communications.

Now I know you're saying, "God, Daniel, you totally ripped off your logo design from Movable Type to which I would say, I swear it was subconscious, and besides, I can't draw a fucking Robotic Cat. Try it sometime.

My friend Josh, who incidentally got me the SJCC catalog job, looked at me and said, "How hard can it be?"

So I said, you draw a goddamn robotic cat, and he grabbed a napkin and started sketching. He got into the face and I said, "That looks like a post apocolyptic death cat!"

you try and draw a robotic cat!
(see the entire death cat)

Luckily I had my digital camera with me to record it for posterity.

Did I get off track? Hells yes.

The point is that Ben and I were discussing a more realistic (read: re-evaluating based on not getting it to work the way we originally hoped) business model, and I just really felt what a pain in the ass it is to try to manifest something like that. Then I remembered what a pain in the ass it was to work for an employer.

Yes, the business of

June 16, 2003

beach logs kill / congratulations!

I'm back, thank you Rzan for your tireless guest posting!

This post is both a paean to the power of the sea, and a congratulations to Rachel and Andrew hamilton, who braved the power of the sea and allowed me to join them in holy matrimony.

Okay, wait, I'll go back. Rachel and Andrew decided they were getting married many months ago. So, when Rachel asked me to officiate at her wedding, I agreed, perhaps thinking she'd come to her senses sometime between talking to her parents about it and the actual even, nine months to come.

But no, May came and I got a wedding invitation. The wedding was happening up at Olympic National Park and I was still going to be becoming a licensed minister through the Universal Life Church (even though Washington State doesn't require it).


We all laughed at this sign when we saw it on the beach...but that was before we experienced the beach. People like me who live on the Puget Sound (the little baby arm of the Pacific Ocean Seattle rests on) forget why people write long sad songs about how the sea took their baby from them.

Nearly all of us got taken unawares by the power of the sea. You'll be sitting there on the beach watching wave after wave wash up many feet ahead of you, and then suddenly it comes up ten times farther than it did before, and your legs are soaked. I can't tell you how many fires we built on the beach those first two nights that got swallowed up by a sea that didn't give a crap about our puny little lives.


The beach logs were convenient after the first night of rain. They seem so stable, you can climb around on them all day. But once the mighty sea gets hold of one of them, it can effortlessly glide these several-ton hunks around like hockey pucks. We learned quickly that it was the sea who was boss.


But in the meantime, the event finally came to a head, and I, for the first time, looked two people in the eye and told them (with a snap and a flourish) that they were husband and wife, and it was time to kiss the bride. How fun!

Good food, good music, good partying, good company. Thanks to everyone, the crazy New Yorkers and all who came to celebrate, the family, and all my sweet friends. It was truly a good time and I come back deeply humbled and mellowed from the sea.

May 22, 2003

silly rats, silly buddhists

The rat is so bold now. We are seeing it in the evenings traipsing through the hallways and finding little droppings on the couch. We don't like it. We want it to go away. But we're not going to kill it. What on earth could we be thinking?

It Sounds Like a Squirrel

At some point in the winter...many, many weeks ago, we started hearing some scurrying in the walls. It happened at night, little things running around behind the bathtub shell.

At first we had no idea what it could be. Was it a rat? A squirrel? A possum? How was it getting into the house? It's one of those things where you are just living your day to day life and you just don't think about it until you hear the scurrying. A friend told us that if it were a squirrel, it would explain why it hadn't tried to come in the house. It was just using the walls for shelter. A rat, we assumed, would have come in the house by then.

Thou Shalt Not Kill

We told the landlord. She dropped off three old-school wooden snap-traps for us to use. I angrily threw them in the garbage.

I know it's silly, but as a part of the way I think the universe works, I really try to refrain from being the direct cause of another being's death. The Buddha recommended this not in a "Thou Shalt Not Kill" sort of commandments way, but taught that it was a way to be gain freedom from worry and fear.

I guess it's silly to spare a rat's life. Rats are vile vermin. They shit indescriminately, they chew through walls, they bite babies and lick toothbrushes. Even the most compassionate of our friends, when asked for advice, exclaimed, "The only good rat is a dead rat!"

But yet I can't help thinking of this little being, seeking shelter and food in a relatively innocent way. It grabs for a particularly succulent morsel of food and then the metal bar swings up, impossibly fast and crushes its arm and body. It's a little less palatable if you think of it happening to your puppy, or your mom or something. Anyway, silly or not, I've kind of made an internal decision that I'm not going to try and kill it.

At the same time, it's definately in the house now. I've seen it scurrying away a few times and we've found droppings. It clearly has some pretty free access to this cush little rat situation.

Possible Solutions

Well, there's the possibility of just restricting access. There's a couple of places we know of where it could get into the house and we could physically block them. But we suspect that by now there's a great deal of points of entry.

We could try and live trap it and relocate it. This is not something commonly done with rats, for obvious reasons. Even when we called the wildlife commission in Washington State, which doesn't recommend killing any wildlife, they said they didn't have much advice to offer us, and seemed surprised that we were reluctant to just kill it.

Plus, live trapping a rat is not such an easy job. Rats are smart and don't want to get caught. They won't walk into a trap unless there's really no other food available. When you have kids, that's a very hard thing to do. Plus, it can get outside and raid the compost. Cutting off the rat's food supply completely would be a pretty hard job involving a lot more stringent housecleaning, and the purchase of a lot of tupperware and jars.

Maybe the best thing is to kill it. But I just can't help feeling like the karma of killing it is to end up in a situation of being trapped in a deadly trap myself. I believe pretty strongly in causality. But it's endangering the health of the kids at this point I think. I wish there was some easier solution.

April 11, 2003

how to stay grown up

I'll tell you how to stay grown up!

The other day I got in a little altercation with Rowan.

"Look at me!", Sam said. He was about ready to jump off the couch arm onto the couch for the fiftieth time, and wanted Rowan to be his witness. But she was jaded.

"I already watched you do that," she said drily.

I happened to be walking past, "Rowan, look at Sam."

She refused. I insisted. I pointed her body toward Sam's, and she closed her eyes. I tried to open her eyelids and she curled up in a little ball. Two stubborn people locked in a battle of wills, and she was winning. Finally I tossed her away in disgust.

"You don't get to watch me play any video games today," I said, spitefully...the ultimate threat.

In an incredible upset, Yoshi defeats giant Bowser!

Then I walked off, but I didn't feel right about the whole thing. I hadn't had any right to tell her to look at Sam if she didn't want to, and I had acted just like a stubborn child about the whole thing.

Finally, hours later, I did my best to make it right. I apologized. I said I was sorry and that I was kind of acting like a kid, and as a grown-up, I should know better. "Does this mean I can watch video games then?" she asked.

Later on, Ben and Rzan told me that she had written me a little note about how to be a grown-up. "Realllllly?" I said. I wanted to know her advice.

I finally located the note. I'd just scan it but it was written in yellow colored pencil:

How to stay grown up

1. Act like it.

2. Feel like it.

3. Do it.

Not bad advice.

March 5, 2003

foot language

Foot Feet


Cat Feet


Meow Feet


Cool Feet


Crash Feet


Love Feet


Family Feet


Surprise Feet!


February 8, 2003

molé poblano ala frida kahlo ala daniel talsky

Gather the following ingredients:

a bunch of tofu, chicken or turkey

a few fresh pasilla peppers, seeded and chopped
1 stick of butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
a few dried ancho chilis, seeded
most of a garlic head, roasted
2 medium onions
2 tortillas coarsely chopped
½ a hard roll
½ cup raisins
¾ cup almonds
¼ cup peanuts
6 tablespoons pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
4 oz. sesame seeds, toasted

1 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 cloves
1 cinnamon stick (remove before you puree or your processor will go spastic)
9 oz / 270g Mexican or very dark chocolate
½ lb. / 125g tomatoes peeled and chopped
5 coriander seeds (optional)

Thanks, Frida!

Soak the dried peppers in warm water for a few minutes.

Sauté the fresh peppers in olive oil until good and hot, then set them in a saucepan. Pour in the dried chilis and water and let them simmer until really soft.

Sauté the onions and roasted garlic in the stick of butter until they are translucent. Add the torillas, roll, almonds, peanuts, raisins, pepitas, sesame, black peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon stick, chocolate, tomatoes and coriander. Sauté for a few minutes. Toss in the chilis and a cook just a little longer.

Puree the whole mess and pour back into the pan. Let bubble and brew.

Sear meat or tofu, and then add it to the molé...let it cook until potent.

January 8, 2003

maths, special for you

Maths fact of the day:
You probably know that when you have a divided by b, then a is the dividend, and b is the divisor.

But, did you know that when you add a to b, then both a and b are addenols? When you multiply, you have a multiplicand and a multiplicator. Anyone care to venture a guess what the names are for subtraction?

This is probably only a fact for Americans, but in Britain they say Maths for Mathematics! I like it. It's called Maths from now on in my book.

I'm just getting back into maths, after a relatively disastrous experiment with them in High School. My guide in this endeavor is one Natasha Kholomiyeva, a teacher at North Seattle Community College.

She is a fine woman, who doesn't speak English all that well, but appears to have a fairly good sense of humor, which makes up for a lot in my book. When someone complained that they couldn't understand her, and was afraid of asking her to repeat herself, she replied, "I am traditional teacher. I can repeat again and again and again without wishing to kill."

We have Problem Sets that are basically long-term, take-home tests, and then homework. The Problem Sets are graded, but the homework is not. At first I wasn't sure what the difference was between the two, and when I asked to confirm whether the homework was graded or not, she replied, "If you want me to look at your homework, do not worry, I will go over it. Special for you."

November 26, 2002

tinyblog squaredancing poll

So, it's time to vote on the issues that matter to you. Well, just one issue actually, and it's really only important to me. So thank you for voting.

Is it possible to like squaredancing, and still be cool?

a.  Absolutely. Nothing is cooler than squaredancing.
b.  Squaredancing is niether cool nor uncool.
c.  You just can't be cool while you're squaredancing.
d.  Maybe if you only liked it when you were a kid.
e.  If you ever once thought fondly of squaredancing you are a complete dork.

November 11, 2002

just ask rowan

Me - The Fearless Babysitter
Rowan - A six year old girl.
Sam - A five year old boy.

The Kitchen

Me: Rowan, do you want butter?
Rowan: Yes! Yes! Butter!
Me: Sam do you want butter?
Sam: Yes.
Rowan: I changed my mind...I don't want any butter, just beans.
Me: Sam?
Sam: No butter for me.
Me: Rowan, it'll be good with a little butter.
Rowan: Ok.
Me: Sam?
Sam: I want what Rowan wants.
Me: Should I just ask Rowan from now on?
Sam: (Pause) Yeah...just ask Rowan.

November 8, 2002


Damned if I didn't want to go to see Neko Case last night. We stood in line for tickets, but they sold out about 10 people before us.

We went to go see Star Wars: Attack of the Clones in IMAX version, which actually turned out to be quite an improvement. The Jar-Jar psuedo-political scenes, and all of the painfully acted love scenes were shaved down a great deal, leaving a movie that flowed a little better, like it should have originally, with all the action scenes intact.

Plus, the IMAX screen was damn nice. It really brought out the shlocky FX quality of the movie. Plus, that scene where they drop those sonic charges (which is already one of the coolest special effects I've ever heard) was even more spectacular. There's complete silence, and then suddenly there's this pulsating WWWWWHANG and all the sound comes rushing back in. Sounds pretty great when you have all those 500,000 speakers or so in an IMAX movie.

Then I knew I was going to have to take a bus home, so I trekked up to the bus stop where the last bus came. I was early, and had a good 40 minute wait. A nearby bar looked pretty attractive.

I walked into the warmth and wry humor of two regulars and a bartender with a long perm who looked as if she had had quite a few herself. I was the shining newcomer and was told immediately that they weren't alcoholics cause they didn't go to meetings...they were just regular old drunks.

They were talking about a chili recipes, as the regulars were having a chili party the very next evening. One of them was talking about how chili has to have meat in it to actually be chili.

I took issue, freshly poured and very strong vodka tonic in my hand, "Chili with meat is called chili con carne...'with meat', so clearly there must be a chili without carne."

Ahhhhh, they all agreed, I had them there, and so they asked me how I made chili, since I must be some sort of incredible chef, knowing such fancy spanish words, and saying them with such newly intoxicated bravado.

So, I began making up a grand chili recipe, with an elaborate preparation...invloving some sauteing, deglazing and other magnificent french methods....spices like cumin and marjorum, ground lamb, and all manner of exotic things.

They were duly impressed and begged me to write the recipe down. I ordered a beer to go with my vodka tonic and began to scrawl the recipe. I honestly, think it will make some seriously magnificent chili, except I hope it occurs to them to add a little salt, which I did not remember to include in the recipe in such a grandiose state.

Goddamn them, they actually photocopied it so they could all have a copy. I really hope they remember about the salt.

This morning I was feeling pretty crappy from slamming a beer and a strong well drink so close to bedtime. I glazed my first ceramic bowl, and felt pretty glazed, or perhaps de-glazed, myself.

October 30, 2002

cara the morning after

what did I do last night?

October 16, 2002

entertain the pain

I had a discussion over lunch with a friend about the meaning of life. It sounds trite, because everyone assumes that the meaning of life is some unreachable thing, or that it's something simple like, "Help other people."

What we were talking about was how in spite of all the good ideas we have, besides being good, intelligent men (for what that's worth) we are still floundering, hardly able to scrape together a real living for ourselves, and wondering if our values that we held so highly are really worth anything.

I cringe now at the confidence with which I told people of my Buddhist ideals, about the Bodhisattva vow to keep being reborn over and over...even in hell, for the benefit of work for the freedom and benefit of every single sentient being until all of them are free from confusion and suffering.

I guess I wouldn't be the first idealistic young person to discover that it's not so easy. It's not so easy to try and choose a spiritual life, lost in your own bad habits and compromises. Every day I wake up and go to work and I'm not sure what good I'm doing. But then at night all I want to do is rent a movie and be entertained. Just entertain the pain.

September 24, 2002

lunch deluxe


September 11, 2002

how my lama exposed the cia

My spritual teacher, Lama Tashi Namgyal, was once named Micheal Wood. He had always talked of his history as a political activist, when he was younger. He had even told us, cryptically, that he had in some way exposed the CIA.

Finally while we were on retreat, a few of us finally asked him to tell us the whole story. Then we sat there with slack jaws as he finally broke it all down. In 1967, the National Student Association was being secretly funded by the CIA, to the tune of $400,000 a year, which was a lot in 1967. In addition, the CIA was influencing the elections process in order to influence international student politics.

Micheal Wood, at 23, broke this story to Ramparts magazine, setting the big dogs of journalism, like the New York Times, on an investigative frenzy that did indeed put the CIA in an embarassing position:

"It was an SDS member, Michael Wood, who took the story to Ramparts magazine after being told of the relationship in 1966 by then NSA president Phil Sherburne. In telling Wood, Sherburne was hoping to forestall Wood's imminent resignation brought on by other officers who had refused to provide him with information regarding NSA funding sources. The exposure led to a year-long series of revelations alleging CIA financing of the American Newspaper Guild, the AFL-CIO, and the American Federation of Teachers, among others."

Read the whole story in the Rampart article that broke the story. (Skip to part III for the juicy stuff.) One cool thing about the full story, is that it talks about the tricky CIA lingo that was used, which the Lama told us about in great detail.

Another good article is this Campus Watch article about the story, that breaks it down well, and in less words.

And one last story is the story in the United States Student Association website. Skip down to "The CIA Connection Exposed" for the story.

Good Job, Lama!

May 26, 2002

unfortunate haircuts of the past

for some reason this didn't drive the girls wild

Never underestimate the power of the mullet.

March 27, 2002

rzan the feral cat tamer

A guest post from my friend rzan about when she was a young girl. I was so touched by this story that I asked her to do a tinyblog guest post

..: Erik the Cat :..

It was cold in the backwoods of northern Maine. So cold. The kind of cold that bites through to your skin despite the thickness of your snowsuit. There was snow and ice most of the year, but also the prettiest blue sky you ever saw-we seldom get that pure, brilliant, frosty kind of blue here in Seattle. Sunshine is SO much brighter there, gleaming on snowdrift and sparking frostfire off icy treelimbs.

I was very young, probably about eight or nine when I met Erik the cat. I named him Erik for the hero of my favorite viking tale, Erik the Red. His long orange fur was always scruffy and tangled with burrs. I guess my romantic little girl heart decided that was what a viking was like, all wild and tough and shaggy but so sweet inside.

He was feral. Completely feral, not just a housecat gone wild. His mama had birthed her litter in a shed, and raised him in the forest. I'd glimpse him in the thickets, peering suspiciously out at us kids while we played.

I've always had a secret communication with cats. It just comes naturally to my hands, how to pet them in the perfect place-different for every cat. How to be still and calm, or frisky and playfull, or just radiate love and friendly intentions.

There was this old stump at the edge of the forest. Erik would perch on top when he felt brave enough to watch out in the open. I could feel how attracted he was, and how scared. So I began sitting for him. I'd just sit there, as close as he'd let me. I'd sit for a long time, freezing my butt off. Every day I got the chance, I'd sit. Closer and closer. Little by little I made my way right up to the stump. The day he actually had the bravery to sit there next to me I knew he'd probably let me touch him, but I stayed my hand.

The next day, he was waiting. I sat down carefully and slowly, slowly lifted my hand and held it up. He was so wary, ears sharply alert for danger, but he just couldn't help himself, he moved closer. He let my hand brush against the side of his face and the matted orange fluff of his body. Then he spat and bit at me and scurried back to the woods.

It had begun, our little dance of taming. Every day he came to me. I gently, slowly introduced him to the sweetness of human touch. He'd take it untill he couldn't, then snap and run. At last he gave himself up to it, revelling in the love. Pressing his whole body against my hand as I slid my fingers over him. And oh how he purred! It was a rough purr, almost a growl, but so full of pleasure. He'd push himself against me, pass me, turn and push back the other way.

Frequently, just to let me know he was still wild, he'd swerve in the middle of our petting session and bite, hiss, or scratch. Then he'd hightail it back to the woods and look back at me fearfully.

I never minded. I knew we were friends. I knew he'd be back for more, soon.

I have a photo somewhere, of him sitting on that stump, looking so shaggy and hungry.

Erik, my wild feline friend, tamed by true love.

That's my story and I'm stickin' to it!

February 14, 2002

my momma taught me better than that

A good friend called me from Illinois the other day. She just moved there with her new husband.

"Happy Valentine's Day," I said, "did Nathan get you something?"

A pause, "No, we agreed not to do anything for Valentine's Day."

"WHAT?! And he believed you? You got him something though, right?"

"Well, I got him a card."

"Of COURSE you did. Oh my God, this marriage is not going to work."

Men, let me just break it down for you. I know that it's a made-up Hallmark holiday, but it's a symbol. There's absolutely no agreement that will keep your girlfriend from having her little girl feelings hurt if you don't get her a fucking Valentine's Day/ Christmas/ Birthday/ Martin Luther King Jr. Day present.

There's still a few hours left. If you didn't get your girlfriend a Valentine's Day present then get up off your uneducated ass and go get at least a card you pathetic moron! Didn't your momma teach you better than that?

January 31, 2002

i'm just a soul who's intentions are eeeeeeeee!

My friend the rzanimal, has a 4 year old kid named Samadhi. I made her a mix CD with a bunch of songs I love, and evidently he likes them too.

It's no surprise that he likes the They Might Be Giants Song, but more surprising is that he likes the Tom Waits version of 'Downtown Train'. The strangest thing is that his favorite song is Nina Simone's haunting and beautiful studio recording of 'Please Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood'.

Evidently he runs to the stereo when the song comes on, puts his ear right up to the speaker and sings along. Only when she sings, "I'm just a soul who's intentions are good, oh lord please don't let me be misunderstood," he sings, "I'm just a soul who's intentions are EEEEEEEEEEEEEE!" It's sort of a high-pitched squeal, and definately not the word "good".

His mom has tried to tell him the correct lyrics, but he insists he's singing it the correct way.

He's a pretty intense kid. I was stunned when I found out he had been age 3 when I met him. He's astoundingly creative and articulate, and has a fascination with rhyming and consonance and onomontopia. He'll just sit in the bathtub and bark out little songs like, "Cho-a-goat, Zo-a-jote, Splash of water, tow a boat, cho-a-goat, do-a-jote, soapy goat!"

So anyway, I'm making him a mix tape. I'm for sure going to put some more They Might Be Giants, and some songs with repeating sounds like The Trashmen's "Surfin' Bird (The Bird is The Word)". I might even put Tom Waits' "Swordfishtrombone."

Any other suggestions?

P.S. rzanimal, if you're reading this, don't read this to sam yet or it won't be a surprise!

January 29, 2002

what it's like to have a body

My mom had visions naturally. I had to take drugs to get the same effect.

Sometimes I meet these people who are so etherially high. They speak in abstractions and never think of logistics. They see the world in symbols and only see numbers as shapes. They never leave the house on time.

But I, like it or not, am grounded in the element of earth, and I am very aware of my body. It has always worked pretty well. I can lift heavy furniture when I need to and chop wood and climb trees and do yoga.

All this in spite of the fact that I am so broken. I fell and broke my back (twice), my elbow (twice), my wrist, and various fingers and toes. I'm never happy about it, but never 100% surprised when it happens anymore.

And also I hardly ever remember my dreams. My sister and the rzanimal and her son samadhi remember them almost every night. They have little dream caususes in the morning and compare notes and write them down. I only remember dreams sometimes when I nap in the early morning, and then it is very vivid. I always think I'm going to remember them later because the feeling of them in my body is so strong. But then of course they are not really there in my body like the steel rods and plates so they fade into the distance by the time my breakfast has digested.

My body is hairy. No, more like furry. It's thick and is my beard when I'm growing it. Like a little beast I am.

Someone once called me Baba Yaga, and I don't know why except cause she's a crazy Russian witch with a big nose. And I'm Russian, and I have a big nose and sometimes wild hair, too. That's why I guess. And the crazy part, too. (But not the part about having a magical house on chicken legs. I wish!)

I had some friends from Singapore and they use to call me "Mo Mo" which is Cantonese for "hairy". In other asian languages it usually means "meat filled dumpling" so I'm not sure where they were coming from with that one.

My step-dad, he used to affectionately call me "shit-for-brains". I think he meant the English phrase, but sort of idiomatically. He was funny like that.

This body is basically on loan to me. I'm going to have to just drop it at some point, so when I break myself I try to remember that. Breaking myself has actually made me less focussed on trying to be a body and remembering that I just have a body, like a snake skin. Eighty years or so is not that long, need I remind you?

I like other people and their bodies too. Even dirty people or crooked people or fat people, I rarely find people really repulsive. Bodies are just bodies.

I think it's been a long time since I posted a post that had less of a point. That's so great.

November 1, 2001


"The majority of abortions in Olangpo [Philippines] are done by a hilot, the traditional woman healer. Several trips to the hilot are necessary, and fees depend on how advanced the pregnancy is. Abortion is illegal in the Philippines. If a woman has complications as a result of the abortion, she may have difficulty obtaining the necessary health care.

The hilot massages the abdomen to dislodge the fetus so that it will miscarry. No studies have been done regarding the saftey and effectiveness of this method. However, if done during the first trimester, it appears to be successful."

- From Let the Good Times Roll: Prostitution and the U.S. Military in Asia

I mention this because I was once asked to do this, by a massage client. (I am a liscensed massage practitioner in the state of Washington.) "Please," she said, "It would be so much easier if you could mush some things around and I didn't have to have surgery."

I said no.

Let's just put aside for a moment the nightmare of medical risk, liability, and criminal risk. Also the idea that who knows if I could even do it, (although when I think of it, I'll bet that I could) but really those are secondary.

In the final balance I thought about whether or not I wanted to be directly, personally responsible for killing a being and I did not. It may not be a human being yet, but it is a being.

Of course she went and had an abortion anyway, but even today I'm glad I didn't try it. Then I just recently came across this excellent book and it brought it all to the front for me. For one thing I highly recommend the book. It is compelling and educational. It's sad, but the stories are so real and even inspirational that it's worth it.

Would you do it if you thought you could? If it would save the woman's life, or if she was raped, or the rest of those hypotheticals?

October 18, 2001

more after I left the porn stars

As I walked towards the grocery store, mah' man called after me, "Hey, I've had that can opener since Vietnem."

"You know you're gonna see it again."

Chuck puppydogged after me to the grocery store where I went straight for the beans with a touch of maple. Then chocolate milk...they have no whole milk chocolate milk. Who wants low fat chocolate milk for crying out loud?

"Is there something I can put these in, to heat them up?"

The cashier looked vaguely in the direction of the deli.

"Do you have like a styrofoam bowl, or a cup or something I can use?"

The cashier looked annoyed, "There's some cups over there."

"That was really nice of you, to feed that guy," said Chuck as we walked over to the microwave, marvelling at my two dollars worth of generousity. "I really admire that."

It took me so long to get the can open with that army-issue can opener that the security guard came over and asked if everything was OK. A small can of Bush's Baked Beans fits exactly into a tall Seattle's Best Coffee cup. Minutes later I was back out in the night air with a steaming cup.

"You shine," he said, between mouthfuls. "Some people just really bright, an that's you. You don't meet people like that every day."

We had sat down again and Chuck had an arm around me, cradling my ribs. Something was kinda bugging me, and I gently said to Chuck, "That's enough, Chuck, you gotta back off, man." He pulled away and looked a little wounded.

Then it kinda dawned on me. That Chuck and mah' man hadn't ever seen each other before...Chuck had just come over and sat down for no reason. He had shiny new clothes, he was probably not homeless. "What's your story?" I said to him, "What are you doing out here at 4am? I thought you two knew each other."

"I'm just walking around. I just sat down here because I was attracted to you."

For some reason that suddenly made me aware how late (early) it was. I stood and told the two of them that I had to go, and I walked the last few blocks to my car, and drove to my apartment...which I was very grateful to have.

October 17, 2001

after I left the porn stars

It was almost three in the morning now as I walked up Capitol Hill, away from the porn stars, and in the direction of my car. Up John Street I walked, away from the madness of Broadway. 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, and I neared 15th, a semi-major intersection with a bus stop on the side I was walking and a Safeway grocery store across the street.

Normally my hair was in a braid but it had gotten so messy and frizzy because of the rain that I finally let it out and let it do what it would like a big 'fro.

A short black man with glasses was standing near the bus stop, watching me approach, and looked for sure like he was going to get my attention. As I came up to him I started to sing that familiar Public Enemy tune, "I can't do nuttin' for ya man, I can't do nuttin FO ya man!"

He laughed, and looked disappointed he'd been shot down so quick but still he talked to me. I was lonely from the porn stars and tipsy from the 211 Steel Reserve and he seemed like good company. He was. We stood in the street and talked and sang songs, and he told me why he needed change for the phone.

"Hmf," I said, after a while, "I guess I can do something for you then", and I handed him a couple of quarters, all the cash I had on me.

We went and sat down in the bus shelter and he sang cheesy late seventies sould tunes and I sang early nineties grunge songs and generally kept good cheer.

A strange man approached us. He was ruddy faced and wide eyed and had on some kind of shiny weatherproof pants...they were so shiny I thought they were wet. For some reason I thought the guy I was talking to must have known this guy because he came over and sat next to me and I asked him what his name was.

His name was Chuck. "I'm really lost," he said. And not much else. He seemed a little dazed, and I assumed he was homeless, too. The other guy and I kept talking, and Chuck sort of gently wrapped his hands around my arm. I didn't mind, I was feeling expansive and bright and happy to be alive, sitting in a bus shelter. Chuck sort of curled up into me a little, resting his head against my chest and hanging on to my upper arm.

Mah' man had asked Chuck if he would get him something to eat and Chuck didn't seem to hear. Finally I said, "Hell, I'll feed you...what do you want?"

He started talking about going to a grocery store halfway around the nieghborhood, even though there was one right across the street. I wanted to know what the hell he was talking about.

Turns out that what he wanted was hot beans. Bush's Baked Beans..."the kind with a touch of maple," he said, with lights in his eyes. But he didn't agree with the night manager at that grocery store, or the other nearby grocery store. He wanted hot beans, and wanted to be able to use his little vietnam-war era can opener and microwave the suckers at the deli.

I told him I'd just go in myself and get him some beans (with a touch of maple) and open them and microwave them and it wouldn't be such a big deal. And some chocolate milk? Yes, and some chocolate milk.

October 16, 2001

pussycat with the porn stars

I had tried to say hi to him, (we'll call him "Winter") a couple of days earlier and he had ignored me. That's why I was surprised that when I walked past him on a seamy Capitol Hill street, outside of Club Seattle, a private "bath house" he said hi to me warmly.

He insisted he hadn't seen me at the party. Said he hadn't seen me in years, and asked how I was doing. I was glad to talk to him, and told him about school and all that. We talked warmly and exchanged cell phone numbers.

I asked how he was doing. "Well, actually..." he said he'd been working a little in the porn industry.

"Like motion pictures?"

"Motion, stills, everything." He went on to say that his girlfriend had just kicked him out and he was kinda scrambling for a place to live.

He told me it was a crazy industry, and that some pretty borderline characters worked in porn. "Yeah," I said, (and it's here that I firmly wedged my foot in my mouth) "you don't really have to have your shit together to work in just have to be able to get your dick hard."

The conversation ended shortly after that, and we went our seperate ways.

I thought about him all the next day though. Adrift in the world, no place to stay, hanging out at Club Seattle hustling and trying to put something together.

So, the next night I called him and asked him if he needed a safe place to stay that night or something. He said he was okay until the 31st, but was more worried about food and such, and a place to live after Halloween. He asked if I was looking for a roommate. I said definately not, but if he was in a dire situation I was more than willing to let him crash for a few days. Plus, I'd always be happy to feed him.

It seemed like I hadn't entirely ruined things by my callousness the night before. He told me a friend of his had suggested seeing the late night movie at the Egyptian Theater, and wanted to know if I wanted to go. It was late, and I wasn't sure I wanted to do it. He didn't know what the movie was, so I said I was going to check and get back to him.

The movie was the 1965 sex farce What's New Pussycat, which I instantly decided I was going to see in honor of Shauna.

I called him and told him we were on, and met him inside. We went and sat down and instantly started laughing at Peter Sellers' rendition of a sex-obsessed psychotherapist, and his sex-obsessed patient Peter O'Toole, who looked pretty foxy back in the day.

A few minutes later his friends showed up in true porn-star style. In tight clothes, beautiful mussy hair, and several king cans of 211 Steel Reserve. Two women and a guy, I could only barely make them out by the light of the flickering screen...we were briefly introduced and I was handed a long, cold silver can of the swill, popular with old chronic public inebriates.

I did not open it, but let it cool my nuts until the movie was over, at which time we made our grand exit, where I made the further aquaintance of the guy, known as Yuri, by splitting the malt liquor with him in the men's bathroom. He was in a grand and expansive drunk, speaking eloquently and gesticulating madly and dancing around.

We made it out on the street and I met the two girls, Yuri's girlfriend, Vicki Victory, and the other girl a native Russian speaker, both young, slim, tight, devastatingly pretty in their mussed way. They just projected this energy that said, "bend me over that couch, big boy", but like...not really.

It was after 2am, and there was nowhere to get decent beer anymore, so I tried to choke down some of the truly most repulsive malt liquor I'd ever tasted as we danced down the street like young trouble.

They said they were going to a bookstore. Yuri was wicked trashed, spouting Shakespeare and metaphoric cum on the streets of the randiest nieghborhood in the city. Truly they were going to a bookstore. I had forgotten that Twice Sold Tales was open all night on Saturday nights (books half price after midnight) and we entered in grand style.

Yuri and I staggered through the stacks. He picked up a book and read convincingly from Louisa May Alcott's Little Women. The staff was surprisingly tolerant of us, and I realized that you'd kind of have to be if you worked in a bookstore that was open all night in Capitol Hill.

Finally I had had enough and, without a word, walked out into the delicious fall night towards my car, and my relatively normal little life.

October 1, 2001

tragedy on a small scale

These are such confusing, exciting days. School is starting and I have people living at my house for a few days and all of my relationships with people are shifting and I have 18 million projects, most of them fun but not allowing for much sleep, and...hey, is this a run-on sentence?

Anyway, I came here to tell you about something and I'm going to do it!

I work with this 19 year-old sweet lil' punk of a kid who lives with his mom and spends all his money on dope, and expensive audio and computer components. I like him, he's really intelligent and funny, and he's just getting in touch with his feelings so he's still pretty surprised by someone like me who wears his heart firmly buttoned to his sleeve.

When I relieve him at 11pm, we go outside and smoke a cigarette and bullshit. He mostly talks about Star Trek Voyager and Diablo 2, but occaisionally waxes philosophical in his 19 year old way.

That's why I was a little...mmn...disturbed when he asks me out of the blue yesterday if I'd ever done 'crystal'. What he is referring to, for those not in the know, is a really potent Methamphetamine that is really hot these Washington State at least. It might be bigger than heroin. More likely he's just talking about crank, which is the stepped on version of same.

Now, I worry about this kid a little already. He already does quite a fair amount of drinking for a 19-year old, and he listens to Korn, Marilyn Manson, Eminem, and all those voice-of-the-disenfranchised-and-slightly-psychotic-suburbanite bands, and is just pretty directionless. I know, I know...he's basically your average teenager these days.

But now he looks like he's flirting with that crazy-ass jet fuel. He asked me if I wanted to do it with him sometime. (You know, sometimes we go out and smoke a bowl in his tricked-out Toyota.)

I told him I wasn't gonna be into that. I have actually tried it, and I have watched some really cool people just go down. Sores all over their faces and red eyed and pretty much crazy. The bullshit addict lies and the inevitable stealing.

I told him about the 'speed bumps' or just the big red sores that come as the skin begins to break down after a while of being on the shit.

"Nono, he said, crystal doesn't do that. Maybe they were really on heroin," he said.

I told him I knew damn well what they were doing.

"Maybe they were taking some other shit, too."

Who knows, maybe he'll get wise really quick. Or maybe he'll just be another small-scale tragedy in the midst of all the large scale tragedies going on.

September 27, 2001're a hippie, aren't you?

One last market related by Cara (as I remember it):

Cara was sitting there at her booth reading a copy of Mother Earth news, when a nearby vendor said to her, "Mother Earth News! I haven't seen a copy of that in a long time."

She paused, deep in thought for a moment, then looked up and said, "'re a hippie, aren't you?"

Cara smirked confidently, "Well, what do you consider a hippie?"

The woman thought hard again. "Have you worn tie die in the past week?"

Cara was currently wearing tie die long johns. "Yes," she said, "yes I have."

"Do you have a VW bus?"

"Yes. Yes I do."

"Is it broken down?"

"Yes. Yes it is."

The woman gave a little nod of her head, "I thought so."

boomerangs will only be sold to responsible adults

The boomerang vendor was in casual drag. Not all dolled up like a queen, (s)he was wearing a sensible lipstick, a midlength skirt from TJ Maxx, and a dreaddy grey wig.

When I first approached her, and asked her about her relationship to the boomerangs, she told me in sort of a psuedo-confiding voice that she had never even thrown one. "Boomerangs are hard to sell," she said. I thought that was hilarious, and wondered why the boomerang maker might have chosen her as a vendor.

I stayed though, and quickly discerned that she had quite a well developed banter about boomerangs, and everything she said seemed to be tongue in cheek. She started to do her sales pitch on me, just to show me how it was done, and it became apparent that I was in fact talking to the maker of the boomerangs. Evidently the larger the boomerang, the more range you get, but the less tolerance you get for mistakes.

Her boomerangs were modern, loopy affairs, sweetly painted and shiny. She showed me some old school boomerangs, meant to be used as weapons, thick kangaroo-smackers that didn't look like they were designed to return.

She made it clear, however, that she was only interested in boomerangs for play, however. She has a sign clarifying her position:

Boomerangs are not weapons!
...but antidotes for

These are times when our
PREDATION on each other
have run amok.

So let's use boomerangs the
right way!
Throw only in open areas
Boomerangs will only be sold to responsible adults.

home of the market crazies

I'm reporting today from Seattle's Pike Place Market; a place where tourist, junkies, housewives, middlemen, fish throwers and brass pigs all meet together in perfect harmony. Mostly.

It's so lovely to come at 8am when no one is there and the vendors are all chattering and setting up their stalls. You get to see a totally different side of all of them Usually I go in the afternoon when they are all well into their day and a little jaded already. Now, though, freshly showered heads bob among rarely showered ones. It feels so cool for it all to be part of my hometown.

My friend Cara is setting up as well. Knowing the market scheme, she can get work at different booths, as they need help, since she is known to be reliable. Today she is selling soap, and as she vigorously packs gift boxes with this serrated fancy shredded cardboard filler, she looks over to me and says in all seriousness, "Crinkle wrap is the key to all gifts."

September 21, 2001

he was sick of being in his own skin

This is Cara. Yesterday I went over to her house to help her paint and she told me a story.

She works in Seattle's historic Pike Place Market, where she sees tourists, millionaires, and bums. Because she is the way she is, she accepts and befriends them all without prejudice. She calls the people she meets there the "market crazies".

As she tells it, she invited one market crazy back to her house to help her paint. He hung out all afternoon, and at one point asked for four dollars to go buy a pack of smokes. She pulled out her wallet, with more than a hundred dollars in it, and pulled it out for him.

Later in the day her boyfriend came home and asked to talk with her privately. When she came out, her friend said he was leaving, and took a bus home. The next time she looked in her wallet there was only forty dollars. She was pretty was rent money.

Today she worked in the market again. She called this guy and asked him to come down and visit her so she could talk to him. When I met her at the market, she was in the middle of this talk. She looked him in the eye and said that some money was missing, and she wanted to him to look her in the face and say whether or not he had taken it.

He acted surprised and said he hadn't. He asked how much it was. She told him at least sixty dollars, and he said that he didn't want it to be a source of friction between them anyway, and that he was sad that she had been put in the a bad position by it. He offered to help with some bills!

She assured him it was okay, and said that if he said he didn't take it she trusted him. She even told him the name of the bar we were going tonight, and said she'd be there if he wanted to drop by.

He was there when the two of us walked into said bar, looking a little sweaty and strange. He and Cara sat down, and I wandered over to talk to another friend.

He gave her sixty dollars. He told her some story about how he had met some guy, who had met an angel, and didn't want to ruin things with her. This guy had told him to give the money to Cara. Cara was a little puzzled...that didn't add up, really. He had even left a message on her answering machine saying that "he had found the guy who owed her money".

He stayed, and some other friends and I came and sat down. We all talked and drank beers for hours. At one moment Cara looked at him and said, "I bet that guy feels better."

"Oh yeah," he said with a smile, "he's so relieved. He was sick of being in his own skin."

In further conversation we learned he was undergoing Methadone treatment for heroin addiction, that he had four children with four different mothers, that his mother raised cashmere goats for a living, and that he called her "the queen of darkness". Also that he had '666' in the adress of his childhood home, his social security number, and other relevent numbers. He alluded to the fact that anyone might be Jesus, and anyone could be Satan.

I personally think he took a positive step towards the former on this fine evening.

September 11, 2001

catsitta' Beyonce

About two weeks ago a friend emailed me and asked if I could cat sit for about a month. A couple he knew was coming into town and needed a stable place for Gwyn (the cat, short for Guinevere) while they couch surfed and looked for an apartment. For some devoid-of-sanity reason I unhesitatingly said yes.

Well, now these people are in town and as of last night, I am cat sitting. My apartment looks so much different with a scratching post and litter box in it. I've lived with cats before...but it was always someone else's responsibility.

So far I have diligently avoided the sole responsibility for another being's life, and I've liked it that way. But now there's this being wandering around in my apartment, complaining loudly, and knocking over my favorite peanut cactus, Mr. Spaghettihead. There is food and water in her dish, and a scratching post, and she's be on my lap with my undivided attention, wailing at the top of her lungs.

I sing to the cat like Micheal Stipe: don't talk to me about being lonely.

I had Gwyn for a whole day by the time her parents were able to come over for visitation rights. I set up a little WinAmp playlist so that I wouldn't have to DJ.

So there we were all sitting around mellow on my floor, when Destiny's Child came up on the playlist. In a sudden wave of self-concious embaressment for having something that's on the top 40 on my playlist, I reached up and stopped the song after only a couple of notes and put on something else.

Not even the beat had started, just the little funny sounds at the beginning of the song, but Gwyn's mom looked up at me and said, "You're listening to Bootylicious, aren't you?" I was so busted. I laughed, and then decided to go ahead and play it.

Do you know what they're saying? They're saying I don't think you're ready for this jelly, my body's too bootylicious for ya babe. Girls don't usually even wanna acknowledge the existance of their jelly, so I was impressed. I was never into Destiny's Child before but this 14 year old girl got me into that song. Once I heard it, though, I knew that I had to set aside any indie coolness and just listen to the brilliance of Beyonce Knowles, Kelly Rowland, and Michelle Williams, or whoever wrote that song. Plus, I think my name should be Beyonce. Catsitta' Beyonce, yo.

Just Guinevere and Catsitta' Beyonce and a WinAmp playlist full of Destiny's Child against the world. Too bootylicious for ya, babe.

September 10, 2001

big dork

Yes, I am a big dork, as opposed to small or medium dork. Yes, it's related to nerd and geek, but don't even bother to look it up in the dictionary. I tried that.

A kid in middle school told me I was a nerd in my 8th grade English class. I told my mom about it and together we looked up the word. I went back and told this kid the definition of nerd, and he presented that very fact as conclusive evidence that I was, in fact, a nerd. I guess he was right.

Some people would argue that just by having a little website I'm a big dork, implicating most of my readers I think, as well. I beg to differ. Maybe that was true ten years ago about being online (and I was there), but I suspect there are some pretty cool people online right now. I'm not going to name names, because that would stir up a controversy I don't want to spearhead, but I think it's fair to say that I am not one of them.

Well for one thing, there's all of that Advanced Dungeons and Dragons background, and I was a Dungeon Master, no less, a sure hallmark of dorkism. If you know who Gary Gygax is, then you're in good company.

Mostly though, I'm just uncontrollably silly and I bite my fingernails and toenails and don't know any carpentry. I can magnetize people somewhat on a one-to-one basis, but I can never generate that kind of broad shouldered confident broad appeal that the "winners" do. I was picked last in gym class...even for dodge ball, even though I was the most wicked dodger of a red rubber kickball that ever was. I don't know about any truly cool bands (read: good bands that everyone doesn't know about yet) except for the bands my cool friend Beth tells me about.

Okay, speaking of Beth, she's really my only claim to coolness. When I'm out with Beth, then I feel cool, but it's temporary. As soon as I go home I'm a big dork again, yo.

Okay...there's some corner of cool. I'll admit it...I know my way around a somewhat cosmopolitan city, I've been in a m�nage � trois, and I don't live with my mom. But let me just say, that any cool that I have developed, has come as a result of accepting my own inner dork completely.

August 21, 2001

the captain's chair

Now I work graveyard, but I used to work during the day shift at Spacelabs Medical.
Once, my office chair broke, and our office recieved another chair as a loaner. It was a black leather captain's chair. No one else in the department seemed to want it, so I pulled it over to my desk and sat down in it. It was ok, but not as comfortable as my regular chair.

I didn't think anything of it for a while, but then people coming in from outside the department would come in, they would say, "Whoa! How'd you get the fancy chair?"

"It's just a loaner." I'd say.

People who had never been in the department before and had to ask a question would walk right past my boss and come over to ask me their question. I like to think that if I would have kept the chair, I would be the CEO by now, like The Overcoat by Nikolai Gogol.

In Gogol's story a young, poor Russian clerk finally one day finds his coat is too worn to even wear to the office. He takes it to the tailor who tells him it is way too far gone and he needs a new coat. The clerk trips out, but finally agrees to buy a new overcoat. The overcoat changes everyone's perception of him and he gets all these promotions and social attention and his life is changed.

In Gogol's story though, the coat is stolen from the clerk and without it, he lacks the imposing power to get the police to actually look for his coat (It's a very Russian kind of story) and he soon dies. In my case, however, my chair just got repaired, and then they took the loaner. Simple as that. I didn't get a promotion, but I'm still here to write about it.

August 17, 2001



Today's post is brought to you by my mom, who graciously allowed me to post this portion of her Email to me upon returning from Spanish Immersion Camp:

"I have been at summer camp. It was a Spanish immersion camp at the Hunt Hill Audobon Sanctuary in northern Wisconsin. It was very fun, kinda like girl scout camp. We had friendship bracelets, secret pals, name tags and games in Spanish. The only difference was that we got beer or wine and happy hour before we went to swim in the lake under the stars. Full moon and a meteor shower. With cute latin hotties. The next to the last day I turned my ankle in a rabbit hole and sprained it. So I came home a day early and missed the big fiesta on the last day. My ankle is still rainbow colored but it is getting to the stiff stage, which is much better than the painful stage. There were at least five nurse practitioners in the camp so I received excellent initial care. The young counselors offered to carry me everywhere but I really just wanted to go home and stay put for a few days."

Glad to have you back, Mom.

August 11, 2001

the tinyblog survey

the tinyblog survey

I came across in my Email one of those middle-school kinda surveys from a friend. You know, "What's your favorite color?" and all that. I have to admit it, I love the things.

I got to thinking though, these are fun, but they're not really the questions I would want answers to. So, in response, I composed my own survey. Please cut and paste the following into an Email, meticulously and carefully answer all the questions (you know you want to, it's all about you!) and Email me the results:

What name do you prefer to be called?

Have you ever hallucinated something you knew wasn�t there but looked real?

What is your favorite kind of tea?

What languages do you know swear words in?

Do you believe in a benevolent creator?

If so, do you have a relationship with it/him/her?

Do you believe in homeopathy?

What famous person you really wish you could be friends with?

What makes you act the most evil?

How much does your mom know about your life?

What music did you once love but can�t even listen to now?

What�s the dirtiest book you�ve ever read?

Are you a top, bottom, or versatile?

What is your most prominent dysfunction?

What is your favorite font?

What is your favorite kind of salad dressing?

Ever had a major illness or injury?

Ever come close to death?

Would you kill a man if it was you or him?

Would you kill a man just for lookin� at you funny?

Are you still friends with your exes?

What do you bring to a potluck?

Say one nice thing about the author of this survey.

Okay, two things.

Say one nice thing about yourself, too.

Now Email it to and whoever else you want to know you so intimately. If you get any good responses, email those to me too. Any questions you feel should be added?

June 18, 2001

tinyblog usage

In case anyone would like to know, the word tinyblog does not have any spaces or capital letters. I should know, I made it up. No really, it's not a real word.

Also, both "...what's wrong with that guy over at tinyblog?" and " via the tinyblog." are correct, but "What the hell is a tinyblog?" and "...then Johnny gave away one tinyblog, leaving him with four. How many tinyblogs did Johnny begin with?" are incorrect.

It's also acceptable usage to say, "I cooked some bacon atop the tinyblog." but it's not Kosher. Keep that in mind.

June 12, 2001

I thought you liked people.

I went out to Pub Trivia at the George and Dragon in Seattle tonight. We won! So did the Mariners!

Anyway, while I was there, I was telling my introvert friend (cute!) a little about my struggles with my passive-aggressive female supervisors and peers. She turned to me and said, "I thought you liked people...I thought you were all about people."

I laughed. It's true of course, but it's more by nature than by choice. Extending one's extroverted tentacles out into the universe just means that they get smacked a little more often. I certainly do get wary sometimes, and sometimes I swear to hermit up and forego the troublesome bastards entirely.

Natural exuberance and/or loneliness always wins out in the end, though. Even when I was in grade school, I remember sort of wanting to be the mysterious held-back one, who everyone wanted to get to know. I actually remember saying to myself, "Ok, Daniel, you're going to school today and not say a word to anyone, just do your homework and observe." I could never last the day. Someone would say something interesting and I'd just have to chime in.

On the city bus, in a room full of people, in the movie theater ticket line...people are scary, but they're just slightly more intriguing, which always seems to win out in the end.

some amusing little story

I went out and got sushi by myself the other day. I sat at the counter and next to this big burly guy. He ordered a 22oz. Sapporo and enough Japanese food to choke a horse. He was a massive guy with reading glasses...he looked somehow foriegn, well-read, and mysterious. I leaned over to him and said, "You look like some famous recluse writer."

He turned to me and said in a thick accent, simply, "That means nothing." Then he went back to drinking his beer.

June 8, 2001


Some people say daydreaming's for all the lazy minded fools with nothin' else to do. - mah man Jimi, May This Be Love
Today has been all about class and coding, but for some reason it's been an A+ daydreaming day. In my daydreams I've painted my kitchen, set up my computer, gone to the Educare Press reading at elliott bay books, kissed passionately and been kissed, eaten lunch, and just generally had a very fulfilling day.

I came into the multimedia lab and there's this autistic guy who goes to school here. He had found a bunch of cartoon pictures of Sushi, and had cut out one piece of ikura (salmon roe sushi), and tiled it across the entire screen. He was delighted about it when I came in, "I wonder if it will make anyone hungry!" he giggled. I'm going to miss all my school friends. I hope to hook up with them this summer but still...somehow it's not the same as seeing them everyday in the lab.

daydream on...

May 31, 2001

brain chemicals and the sullen mechanics of loneliness

Something wasn't working right today. Aside from a bit of warmed-over heartbreak, nothing is acutely wrong. My brain was sending messaged to me otherwise, and I felt like doing nothing. In spite of this I trudged joylessly through my day, getting some programming and laundry done, but I wanted something: Face kisses, a badass massage, a hot bath, a bong hit, closing my eyes while listening to soothing chants, a stupid buddy-flick while lying in bed, some wonton soup from Hing Loon Seafood Restaurant, or peppermint gum. I settled for peppermint gum and it did make things a little better.

Besides, my beautiful friend Cara was coming over to bring my some patio furniture and an antique mirror from the house she was moving out of. I waited the crankiness out, and I chilled and read and did some laundry.

She came over with a friend, and brought the wicker chairs. We swept off my slab of concrete and I discovered I have about twice the patio I thought I have. There's room for a grill, I'll reckon! I brightened up a bit more.

Oh, but the mechanics of lonliness are the sweetest tenderest evil. There she was in her thick canvas overalls and thermal shirt, paying attention to me and hugging me and being all nice. I couldn't help it, I just wanted to wrap an arm around her and put my tongue in her mouth and fuck her like amazing grace. I could feel it happening from a place right where each bone meets the other bones it touches. I knew what the movements would feel like to initiate, that heady swing and rush and flush.

It's just the lonliness talking, I assured myself. She did kiss my face (right cheekbone, right jaw, left eyesocket) and she was so sweet. I left for work feeling tired, but not as desperately hormonal as I had been all day. I still feel a little like the only person on the planet. I want everything. Love, attention, satisfaction, everything. I know, I know. The hunger settles down...I just have to try not to harm anyone when it kicks up in full force.

May 28, 2001



I am flailing around and there's no one who can help me. I'm thrashing about and trying to make it all work in too few hours. My brain feels as if it has climbed the matterhorn and there is no rest in sight. I just want some emotional comfort and nothing really seems good enough.

Ever have that feeling that you're hungry for something but you don't know exactly what it is? Me too. When I was a kid, I used to just sit there and think of things I liked, and see if any of them would satisfy the feeling. If I found something that would satisfy the craving, even if there's no way I could have it, it would make the craving die down a little.

Spaghetti? Playing a computer game? Riding on the rollercoasters at Great America?....yeah.....

Things were so much simpler then, but in retrospect more painful actually. Now if I get o'erwhelmed and lonely I have some tools. Plus, I've learned that it always looks at least slightly better in the morning.

May 25, 2001

all their sweet ways

Last night I missed every girl I've ever loved.

The way they let me in on their sweet ways, their secret languages, their dark secrets, and their delicious smiles.

Their gifts, their sweet cards (most of which I still have) and little notes and Emails.

Their tantrums, their dark insecurities, their subtle fears, their strange pasts, their body issues, and their ability to be one hundred times more mature than me and have the maturity of a five year old little girl at the same time.

The way they opened up their sweet bodies and hearts to me (to some extent anyway), their foxy secret little ways, their delicious come-ons.

I love what it feels like to be in a woman's innermost circle of confidence, where I get the unvarnished truth about her opinion of things. Being in on a woman's daily plans, being friends with that extra practical component.

It's much less complicated to be solo. Every woman comes with her own set of craziness. There is no normal lover. There is no normal person. There is no normal love.

* weighty sigh *

Carry on, Daniel...carry on.

May 23, 2001

please don't get too discouraged

I know, I know. It's confounding. As soon as you think of a pretty workable system to deal with everything that's coming at you, a new ball of crap lands in your lap and you realize you had it all wrong.

And people...just when you start to love and trust them you somehow unearth their greatest cruelty. Constantly they are either too invasive or too withdrawing. They are inconsistant and have double standards. They expect of you things they would never consider doing themselves. When even the tiniest wrong word is said they are up in arms over it.

The money. It seems set up so that you can never just get it together and live your life in a peaceful way by working at what you're skilled at doing, and love to do. Just to feed yourself, or god forbid a family, like a human being really should eat costs a high enough percentage to be a burden. Trying to think about all of the expenses you will incur between when you cannot work and when you die is maddening.

There's no place to hide. The drugs don't work (for long), and everything on this place that is wonderful eventually becomes a disappointment.

I know, I know. But get up. Take a shower. Calmly address your mess, assume that you're blessed. Then try again and do your best. There's no other option.


May 22, 2001

amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me

amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me

God how I used to hate that song. When I was maybe eight we would sing it in Catholic Mass and I would refuse to say "wretch". I'm not a wretch, I thought! What the hell! Why you gonna try and say I'm a wretch! You don't even know me.

Well, I think I was about twenty-two or so when I stopped resenting that song. About the time I realized how much of a wretch I really was. Oh, now don't get me wrong. I'm great, as wretches go. I'm a pretty loving wretch.

A wretch I am, though, nontheless. I have seen too many times my own selfishness and shortsightedness hurt other people: seen my unmitigating craving make me act like a lunatic, my fear make me lash out with aggression, seen myself unable to pull myself out of my own shit by my bootstraps if I got low enough.

I got humbled enough to not mind a little grace. Hell, if there's some grace to be had, then bring it on. Life has made my gladly grovel for mercy more than a few times, and I'm sure that I've got a few more times to go.

I wonder if there's people out there who still think they've got it going on. I wonder if Britney Spears really thinks she's the greatest. Well, maybe, but even Micheal Jackson was the greatest once. Look at what's up with him now...wretched.

How about you?

May 18, 2001

oh coffee, oh sweet coffee, why have you forsaken me?

This is the way I usually do things: I embraced coffee. I wasn't half-ass about it. I didn't say, "I'm really cutting down now."

I got into blends, I got into varietals (non-blended coffees) like my favorites: Guatemalen Antigua, Etheopian Harrar, Sumatra Gayoland, Mocha Java. There is a chi-chi grocery store near my house that only serves the best, and I have greatly enjoyed walking down there a few times a week to get a hot cup...something full bodied that will take whole milk and not become a big mouthful of acidic, watery milk.

I got a cone brewer for my house, and kept myself well-stocked with small batches of the freshest beans. Just so I could wake up, boil water, and within seconds feel that familiar buzz at the crown of my head and the warm focus spreading through my eyes and head. Like a jocular old friend, even when it's the worst morning, it can be made workable with a decent coffee.

Oh, but the law of diminishing returns. Eventually I had to admit that I was deeply dependant on the chemicals wrapped up in that smooth little package, that velvet hammer, that brewed beehive. I was starting to feel dehydrated all the time. Too high a percentage of my money was going to it. Most of all, I wasn't really able to just step back from it and see what my relationship to coffee really is.

So, as I was watching my dishes last night, in a moment's descision, I reached over and grabbed the little brown bag with the built-in wire closer...and threw it in the trash. This morning the familiar voice of addiction began to speak its sweet words.

"Well, Daniel...that was a bit hasty now wasn't it? Look, you're passing Victrola Espresso and you have change in your pocket. Surely you weren't serious! Why, you could just go home and pull that Antigua out of the trash and I bet it didn't even get damp. What were you thinking? It hurts to quit. You don't like to hurt, do you?"

That was how I knew I made the right descision, but I AM hurting. Every headache I've ever had is converging on me. So thick. Everything is a little too much of an effort. My stomach is unstable. I just want to lay down....

oooh. Nothing a good cup of coffee wouldn't fix.

May 15, 2001

i believe this to be a true story

My upstairs neighbor doesn't seem to mind bumming me his Nat Sherman MCDs. He comes from Virginia and his family were tobacco farmers so he only smokes the best. He is a serious man, and well read. Well read compared to me anyway, which is not hard, but he's really well read.

When I first met his wife, it was just a glance, she was in the car. She looked older, with wide, almost perpetually terrified eyes. Over an MCD, we discussed her a little. He said that he would like to move to a different place, someplace with a little more space. "I bet your wife would like that," I said, knowingly. THose studios were really only for one place for a couple to make their home.

"No," he said, "She's had some really hard times, and she doesn't mind at all."

I had a good talk with my gossipy neighbor about it (it takes one to know one, I know it) and she said, "That lady seems like she's seen some serious abuse or something."

"Hmmm," I said.

Weeks later I knocked on his door to bum a smoke and procure some company. He asked me if I wanted to walk with he and Mary to the music store so he could pick up some guitar strings. He plays folk and flamenco guitar. She held his arm, but was skittish and unsteady. Every couple of blocks or so, she would drop down to both knees and hang out for a moment. After she did it the second time I looked at ther and said softly, "Mary, do your legs give out, or does it just get overwhelming?"

She looked at me dolefully. She is a native German speaker and her English is not so good. "Overwhelming," she said. After about the fourth or fifth time he started to get annoyed with her. "C'mon Mary," or "Not in the middle of the street, Mary!" By the time we were halfway back from the music store he had really lost his patience.

I think she appreciated me not treating her like a freak, however, and whenever I saw her after that she would say "hi" and just beam at me with her biggest smile. One time, as we were having a smoke, she was standing in the doorway and a motorcycle passed. "I like motorcycles," she confided, and her eyes brightened for a moment.

Meanwhile, my neighbor's mood seemed to darken day by day, and I soon found out why. We were talking philosopically about something, and he made it known that he was really bummed. "Mary's gone," he said. He told me that she'd been wanting to get a place of her own and had been talking about it for months and months. All of her counselors and doctors advised against it but she was determined. Her aid was less than $40 more then her rent, and he had heard that she had been out on the streets asking for money. "I've got a thousand dollars in her account," he spat. "She won't spend a dime of it. She calls me and says I just married her for her money. I try to tell her, Mary, you don't have any money. All the money is mine, but she won't listen."

At that moment I wondered what on Earth would make this seemingly lucid man generate a romantic relationship with someone so deeply damaged. I had wondered it before, but at that moment I got an answer.

"Listen to this..." he said. "When I was in the hospital for drug and alcohol treatment, that's when I met her. She was undergoing electroconvulsive shock therapy at the time. During those few weeks that I was there we fell madly in love. Later, when I tried to contact her, she didn't even remember it, they took that memory from her. I had to woo her all over again...she still doesn't remember. Her sister tried to stop the wedding, she called the doctor and the minister performing the ceremony and said, 'she's just using him to get out of the mental health system'."

Say what?!?!

"She still doesn't remember. I said to her just the other day, 'Mary, if you could just remember those weeks you would understand.' But she doesn't remember."

That shit broke my heart. Right there on the porch with a Nat Sherman in my hand. But man...those cigarettes are so sweet and good.

April 30, 2001

metric buttload

via The Airman's Mess...

Suggested abbreviation: mBl.

Usage: I just made a Metric Buttload of bean stew and I'm going to have to eat that shit for weeks. You wanna take some home? I got an extra tupperware sure? It's pretty good, just put a bunch of sour cream on it.

March 31, 2001


When I was kid, I loved being sick. I didn't get sick very often, and it represented getting doted on and cared for, and possibly missing school, the ultimate of all priveledges. Now here I am all stuffed up and a little delerious and feeling a little like I got hit in the face with a shovel. Plus there's this evil moist chocolate cake here taunting me that I can't eat because I know that it would make it all so much worse. Nobody is doting on me. I am just schlepping along in this mean 'ol world and desperately trying to hide the fact that I am still a little boy and I don't know about lawyers or NAFTA or saw palmetto. Nobody is going to clean my sicky sheets (or even go down to the store and get me some change). I'm going to a party tonight...whoo hoo.

March 23, 2001


One time I lived with this 5-year old and I used to make up stories for him when we took the bus to his school in the mornings. One day I made up some story about a monster and he was very insistant about what the monster was called, so I told him that it was called a Greek-grak-grok-groke-gruke. Then he wanted to know what it looked like, so I folded up the tip of my tongue into the shape of a "w" (a talent of mine) and said, "It looks like that."

"Oh," he said. For some reason that seemed to make everything perfectly clear. I told him the story and then forgot about it for a long time, and then, about a month later he brought me a picture he drew, and I asked him what it was, and he told me it was a Greek-grak-grok-groke-gruke. The funny thing is, is that it was a little stick figure, but it's head looked a lot like my tongue when I'm folding it up into a "w". His mom was pretty impressed. She framed it.

March 19, 2001

i would like a girl

Looks like my I would like a girl entry finally came up and was posted today. I couldn't remember what it was, and figured I would feel totally different about it so many weeks later. But I read it and it's still pretty much accurate. Also, read Shauna's's good.

March 12, 2001

more than a penny

Roosevelt 'hood update:

I saw the guy again. He asked me for fifty cents today. In another two weeks he'll be a political fundraiser. Count on it.

March 8, 2001

can you spare one penny?

There's this guy who lives in my neighborhood...but on the street, you know...dirty jacket and white scruffy beard and sort of know the type.

I noticed him because, well, because he's always in my hood, but also because he always asks for one penny. "Can you spare one penny?" I offered to buy him a burger one day and he said, "If I was hungry, that would be just the thing, but I'm not hungry."

"You should ask for a dollar," I said.

"I should do a lot of things," said he. I thought about carrying around pennies all the time so I could give him one whenever he asked. I thought about him a lot. I felt like it was dishonest to just ask for a penny when you damn well know that if anyone is going to give you any money it's going to be more than a penny. Why not just ask for what you need? I tripped about it a little. But then I saw him again this morning. I saw him making the rounds and realized that I had one dollar in my pocket and I was not going to be a snot...I was going to give it to him. I missed my walk sign waiting for him, and finally he approached.

He must have been really hard up, "Do you have any pennies you can spare?" he asked. Whoa...multiple pennies.

"I don't have any pennies," I said truthfully, and paused...suddenly not sure for some reason, but then, "I do have a dollar though, do you take dollars."

"Yes," he said, "I'll take a dollar, that would really help." He caught onto my confusion a little and he said, "I can only ask for pennies...that's just how I am. I can't even ask for spare change...just pennies. That's just how I am."

February 24, 2001

the george foreman grill

I went to say hi to my new friend Yushi today who works at Apocolypse tattoo in Seattle. He's Japanese and does both traditional Japanese Tattoo, and Kanji flash. He was telling me that he sees people almost every day that have Japanese tattoo art that doesn't mean what they think it means. Most often done by a westerner who knows nothing of the language, one time he had a guy come in and ask him what a tattoo meant. Turns out it was the name of some noodle company.

I asked him if he wanted to go out to dinner. He initially said no, because he was excited to go home and cook on his new George Foreman Grill. He said that a lot of people made fun of him when he brought it in to work to show everyone because he was so excited about it. "Look," he told me he had said, "It even has the signature on it!"

He rescinded though, and we went to Hing Loon Seafood Restaurant in Seattle to get "shredded chicken and corn in soup with fish maw". All he could talk about was that George Foreman Grill. He lives alone in an efficiancy apartment with no kitchen, just a hot plate, so the George Foreman Grill has signifigantly improves his quality of life. "My friend had one," he said, "and I made fun of him, but then he cooked this piece of chicken and it was done so fast, and it was cooked perfectly."

Then later, as we were walking to the bank, "You know, you can put some asparagus in there, and then put your meat on it over the top, and it cooks both of them." Is there a little George Foreman Grill cookbook? "Yes, but it's really bullshit."

I clearly have no beans. via brigita

February 16, 2001

my good qualities

I've been feeling like my good side has been underrepresented here on the tinyblog, so I just wanted to take a moment to extol my good qualities:

- I truly love anyone I have ever loved, and so I feel quite confident saying "I love you".
- I learn really well in school and try to help other people in class who aren't getting it as well.
- I am good to my mom and my sister.
- I know that I'm not perfect and am always working towards rooting out my own confusion and correcting it.
- I don't maintain or nurture prejudices towards others based on race, gender, social class, sexual orientation, or anything else.
- I'm open to every person and would never shut someone off from communicating with me (even if communicating with them is very painful).
- I'm good at touching people and creating an environment where people feel alright about being touched. (I'm a massage therapist).
- I'm a righteous performance poet.
- I'm always nice to people when they first wake up in the morning.
- If I realize I'm wrong about something, I always try to correct it instead of covering it up.
- I don't hate anyone.
- I try to make people comfortable about their own wierdness, I really respect all of the variations in human life and character and really work to accept all of them.

Hm...I feel better. Thanks.

February 10, 2001

rob's amazing poem generator

Ok, I too had to try Rob's Amazing poem generator with this page.
Truly astounding, I got:

tinyblog archives * tinyarchives * outstanding australian blogs Shauny.
even cooler than that apartment I just
mentioned it casually in front of my
Mom sister again.
just my Sister Me on another
continent or develop a bloody pulp, and
watch someone destroy themselves in
my ass. 10:years I watched her being
sold .I think
she even order
my own tender body, listening to John
Coltrane, and my stepdad came into the Lincoln Park
link, worth it.

That is out of control. Word to the wise...don't destroy yourself in my ass. It's not pretty.

February 9, 2001

the cuff

I needed a place to go sit and be creative...all the parking was taken where I wanted to go, so I went to the place closest to where I had to be in an hour... The Cuff, a gay leather bar in Seattle.

I sat down to draw and write and, I didn't even order my drink before, "Is this seat taken?" He looked like a decent chap so I said no. He was nice. A flautist with a cowboy hat. He confessed that he used to be a clarinetist (I wasn't aware that this required a confession) but got sick of broken reeds and such. So he switched to the flute. No reeds, he said, you just blow.

By the way...if for no other reason than that the blogger frames don't seem to work right in it, Netscape 6 eats my ass.

February 2, 2001

the busines of keeping others entertained

Ahhh, the business of keeping others entertained. I watched someone do it with style last night. How to keep the drinks and the conversation flowing and everyone having a good time and feeling relaxed and like they belong. Suggesting the next thing that might satisfy an anticipated craving.

I watched a friend tend bar last night at Coastal Kitchen. I watched her take no sass from the wait staff while treating them with respect. I watched her suggest drinks and menu items to bar customers with paced prescision, in a way that made you feel like she was doing you a favor.

She even knew in advance what I wanted to drink. (I had mentioned it casually in a conversation days earlier.) There was never a pause too long in between suggestions, giving you a chance to finish your drink and mull over your level of satisfaction, but not long enough to feel that you were being ignored. It also never went too fast, in a way that made customers feel like they were being "sold".

I watched her hand pour drink after drink, and thought about the business of serving alcohol and what it must be like. One must have to sit there occaisionally and watch someone destroy themselves in front of you over a period of time. Or develop a series of relationships that is purely about the other person's hedonistic impulses.

I do massage, and it can be similar in the way that it is really a service relationship that I develop with people, but a little different because there's a health aspect to it. I suppose though, that being taken care of at the bar, paid attention to and served good food and beverages can be healing as well. It certainly was for me.

January 30, 2001

young Chicago boy

I lived in Chicago for a winter in 1992. I met some amazing people there and fell in love with the jewellike skyline. It captivated me, but I was 18 and had no idea why I was working or what I was working for and pretty much felt sick-hearted all the time.

I remember I got pink-eye and had to go sit in the scary-ass Cook County Hospital intake room for over 6 hours to get a free examination and prescription. I felt so sick and pathetic with my burning eye and no money to get a coke.

Some things were really cool. I was making pretty good money at a temp job...I read poetry at a cafe called the "No Exit" where old Chinese men clacked their fingers through pots of Go-moku stones as they played for hours...I got a little walkman and my soundtrack was Stone Temple Pilots "Core" and Smashing Pumpkins "Siamese Dream" and King Crimson's "Discipline", I drank tons of coffee at pretentious lincoln park coffee shops...I tried LSD and thought, "Life can never be the same again!"

I was right.

Oh, by the way, go look at the Lincoln Park link, it's worth it. A little bit of authentic Chicago culture for ya.

And you know Shauny? She's even cooler than you think.

January 27, 2001

I was a boy scout

I was a boy scout.

We had these obnoxious scout leaders who came up with a foolproof technique for waking up teenage boys who had been up all night playing Dungeons and Dragons, ninja stick-fighting and drinking bug juice. They would sing morning glory as loud and off-key as they possibly could (with lots of fake vibrato and voice modulation) until we finally couldn't stand it and got up at seven o' clock in the damn morning. There was no escape.

Included for your enjoyment is the song lyrics. Actually quite nice, but I will never be able to seperate them from their butchery:

Oh what a beautiful morning glory,
Dressed and caressed by the dew.
Oh what a beautiful morning glory,
Good morning glory, to you.

January 16, 2001

naked on public access

Ok, I've known you all for a little while now...I think it was about time I told you about the times I was naked on public access cable TV.

I used to read poetry aloud pretty often in Seattle. One day a lady who ran a poetry reading on Public Access called "Sweet Immolation" approached me and asked me if I wanted to read poetry for the summer show. She said it was going to be the "Summer of Love" show, and that we could wear hippie clothes or streak or whatever. I could even read my poetry naked she said. The idea of reading poetry naked on TV just seemed like the coolest possible thing to be doing. So I said yes.

It aired on the same night as the poetry reading all my friends went to, so I told them I would do a reprisal at the Globe Cafe in Seattle, WA the following week. So I got in the cable studio, whipped off my clothes, and read some poetry (one of the poems was called When I Read Poetry Naked on Cable TV and I LOST IT!). It was super fun, and I think they bluescreened out my body and made it some trippy pattern instead, so I don't even think I showed up naked except for the people in the studio audience.

Was I seen? Yes. One of my female massage clients saw it. I was pretty sheepish actually. It could have been anyone else and I wouldn't have cared. She said she thought the poetry was good that's not so bad.

Anyway, the following week, I again did naked poetry, but this time in front of a rowdy crowd at the Globe Cafe. It was a blast. In fact, it was such a blast that I promised to do it again next year. Which I did. Afterwards, I went out for a beer with a friend and some really good looking girls who were dressed really funny. They said they were going to go to The Crypt, a fetish botique in Seattle, and be on a cable access show in fetish wear. When one of the girls heard that I had just been reading poetry naked, she begged me to come with and read it naked in front of the camera. It wasn't anything new to me, and the whole thing sounded pretty exciting, so I went with them. Little did I know it was the Mike Hunt Show.

The Mike Hunt show is notorious in Seattle, and Mike himself has been arrested for showing porn on public access cable TV. So, when I got there, I tool off my clothes, but no one was really paying any attention to poetry, so I just ended up prancing around in one of the girls' Rabbit Skin Coat, getting spanked, and just generally having a seriously good time. So much for my political career.

Was I seen? Yes. About a week later at work, one of my co-workers asked me innocently if I had ever been on public access. For the next year I worked at that job, there were hundreds, nay thousands, of cheap jabs and bunny jokes. Was it worth it? Absolutely. I never wanted to be a politician anyway.

January 8, 2001

what is tiny?

I actually love blogging and blogs in general. When I try to explain it to normal people, they don't think it sounds very cool. But it IS...oh is it ever. I like getting correspondance from people who's blogs I really admire. Like today for instance, I got an Email from the excellent What's New Pussycat at She said (among other things), " seem so sweet and just a little crazy...".

If anyone wonders what the 'tiny' in 'tinyblog' is all about, that's pretty much it. So sweet and just a little crazy. I'm not making any sense. Tiny is like an affectionate nickname that became an existential adjective.

Here's a little help:

Tiny: The Dalai Lama
Not Tiny: Dick Cheney
Tiny: They Might be Giants
Not Tiny: Rob Zombie
Tiny: Mutts
Not Tiny: B.C.
Tiny: Bobcat Godthwait
Not Tiny: Jerry Seinfeld (jerry doesn't have an official website...isn't that wierd?)
Tiny: Droopy Dog
Not Tiny: Tom

That should clear things up.

Oh yeah, and I'm introducing a new feature.

Pot Pie of the Day: Marie Callender's Chicken Pot Pie:
Marie Callender's Pot Pies have this wierd reflective insert on the top of the box, so when you cool them in the microwave, it actually browns the top of the pot pie. Sounds strange, I know, but when you're at work with nothing but a microwave, a pot pie with a brown top crust sounds might good. I like 'em with cottage cheese on top. They have beef bot pies too, but somehow I can never bring myself to get them.

Ok, that's it. Love, D

December 10, 2000

creative at kinkos

It's a little hard to be creative at 20 cents a minute, but I had a few minutes to blow while I'm waiting at Kinkos and I was sorta feelin' the spirit.

Have you noticed what a lonely, lonely world it can be? You haven't, well it's easy to forget. There's so much to surround oneself hide from it. Well, that's all well and good, but that's when you go ahead and buy the shiny thing on TV and then you get it in the mail and you remember, invariably, why you were so lonely in the first place. It's not so much that the world is such a disappointing place, it's just that I'm so eminently disappointable.

I wish I could wash people for a living. There's this classic graphic novel called Love and Rockets (yes, it predates the British band), by the brothers Hernandez, which, incidentally I highly recommend. It's currently available as Heartbreak Soup and Other Stories. Anyway, there's a couple of characters who are Banadoras, and they just bathe people for a living. I do massage, but you can't really just lather people up and make sure their armpits are clean, which, in a way can be more healing.

I used to have a girlfriend with a 5 year-old son, and I used to love to wash him. He really took it for granted and made no big deal of it, which was kind of cool. I had a housemate once that let me wash her feet, and it was wonderful. It's kind of a goddamn shame it's mostly only kids and lovers you can get away with that sort of thing with. Ahhh, American puritanism.

Ok, I've spent $3.20 on this blog. I hope it was worth it to you. I guess it was to me.

November 29, 2000

the tale of the handle

The Tale of the Handle
(An Ironic Self-History of Screen Names):

1993? - Captain Hacker - When we first had an IBM Compatible computer I was
about 12 or 13. It was an 8086 if that means anything to you. It was a
little scary. We bought the game "Hacker", a text adventure that I think
was pretty popular at the time. My Mom and I started playing this game and
it asked for a handle. We thought Captain Hacker was pretty cool.

1994? - Hacker - Shortly after, I actually got online, and was dismayed to
find that most screen names topped out at 11 characters or so, with no
spaces. Captain Hacker was out. I guessed Hacker was the next coolest
thing. Who was taken most places.

1994? - Captain - The next logical choice. I was probably Captain for the
first month or so of my online life.

1994? - Texaco - Up to now I had been logging onto only small local BBS's.
(Yes, this was entirely pre-internet, for me anyway. At one point I
realized that Sierra On-Line had a BBS. In hopes of getting free Space
Quest tips, I logged on. Hacker was taken. Captain was taken. Daniel was
even taken. I suddenly realized that THOUSANDS of people must be on this
NATIONAL BBS! I would have to come up with something that no one would
ever think of using for a handle. Something obscure, something a little
bizarre. The name of the gas station Texaco popped inexplicably into my
head. Sure enough, it wasn't taken, and served me well for probably 5
years or so.

During this time I really started to learn the importance of a handle. I
actually met people in person (several!) who originally knew me only as my
screen name. They all said I looked different than they imagined. I guess
they imagined a Texan or something.

Also, I learned over the next few years that I had chosen a pretty vile
corporate entity. I began to get a little edgy about being identified with
them. In addition, the age of the Web had really hit, and user bases were
getting up in the easy millions, and Texaco, or any other recognizable name
was often taken.

1997 - Texada - I had been living in Seattle for years, and only moved a
few blocks away. There was a local church nearby called the F.A.M.E. church. I can't remember what it stands for, but they own a bunch of aprtment buildings nearby. Well, the place next to where I moved was called the Texada apartments. I instantly recognized it as my new handle. I could stay close to my online roots, but drop the corporate evilness. Plus it was a mix of Texaco and my first name. How perfecto.

1998 - Texadaa - Texada was actually taken on both excite and aol, so I chose Texadaa as a surrogate.

2000 - bLACKbRAID - I wanted to come up with something that would be fun to chat with, and just fit me a little better. So I came up with blackbraid, with the backwards capitalization. It has a smooth androgeny that I really dig, plus, I do actually have a black braid most of the time.

That's my story and I'm stickin' to it. Welcome to my Blog.