Category: real life

[words] rip, ric

under the cold and darkly sky / you trip the light and go…

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the cars were my fav growing up. their records and lateral solo projects not only will come with me to any desert island, they are my desert island — if i had to choose an island.

ric ocasek catalysed my adolescent desire and urgency to play the electric guitar and to write songs. all-lowercase, overdriven-jangle, and quirky-jerk, ocasek was also endearing, intelligent, and accessible. the cars became my crash course in how to bring depth to “disposable” music; that is, how melody married to meaning could still court the coolest girl in class.

more importantly over the long-arc of my teenage daydreams, some of which linger to this day, their music spoked out innumerable adventures in sonic discovery. riding with the cars, in the backseat i found (among many more) roxy music, david bowie, and t-rex; in the side-view there was robert fripp, steve reich, and john cage; passenger side would find buddy holly, the byrds, and tom petty; and in the way-way-back, crouched flat out of sight of the driver, there were new order, blondie, suicide, the cure, and eventually the ramones, the replacements, and much of what i’ve loved since.

the early 80s was still a world where intelligence and cool were a tough tightrope walk. ocasek and the cars hovered over it all, saying, “c’mon, man, the fringe is the cool. one foot in, one foot out — that fine line — that’s the place to be.”…

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Most car horn use is an expression of a driver’s loneliness, masked as urgency.

Car horns should not only be all in the same key, but also the same mode. Doesn’t have to be major. I’ll take Mixolydian, even Aeolian.

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Frivolous horn use should be per honk – $0.25 for the first second of duration, $1.00 each additional second. Call the oversight/enforcement system HornHeeder – like ShotSpotter meets EZPass.

Using a car horn for anything beyond a true warning is the same as when a dog barks out of lonesomeness, or chews its paw out of idiocy.

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supermarket matrix glitch

On 03 May 2017, at around 17:45, on 6th Avenue and President Street, a man and a woman passed me by, empty-handed, as I walked home after shopping. I had been in the market for approximately 12 minutes, and was about 3 blocks (so 2 minutes) south of the market when these two walked by me the other way.

I was heading south on the west side of 6th Avenue. The man was going north on my side of the avenue. At the moment he passed by, behind him in my visual frame, the woman crossed the avenue, and then turned left on the east side of 6th, also to head north.

Thing is – they both were just in the market with me. And here they were, headed back, opposite me, with no groceries, towards the market.

I recognized the man, because after getting caught behind the market’s front door while grabbing a bouquet of flowers, I held the door open for him to enter the store. He was skyscraper tall, perhaps 6’5″, and rail thin, so we’ll call him “Stick.” Approximately 3 minutes later, I was leaving the produce area by the store’s entrance, and saw the woman enter the store. She was memorable as she was African-American with long beautiful platinum blonde braids. The braids flowed down below her waist. We’ll call her “Tress.” They were separate shoppers, for sure not together.

9 minutes later, I swear Tress and Stick were still in the store when I arrived at the check-out, and neither alit at any adjacent cashiers while my cashier (we’ll call her “Samantha”) scanned and weighed my stuff.…

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Write On The Exhale

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analog truth, typos make

Communication is a form of respiration.

“You want to know what I think…?” is the same as asking, “You want to know how I breathe…?”

Resonant, meaningful discourse flows as a meditation, where we think on inhale and communicate on exhale. Thinking, writing, and speaking — these mirror different stages of breathing, and together form a respiratory cycle.

We draw our breath to prepare, to gird, and in doing so, leave ourselves vulnerable to enter the unknown. Will we take in enough air? Will we make the train? Is there anybody out there?

Conspicuous breathing in — the audible struggle for air — gasping — happens under threat of drowning, choking, or asphyxiation. Apprehension and uncertainty underwrite every inhale.

Confidence and awareness, by contrast, infuse every exhale. Breathing out means we have another breath to take, or that we will rest in peace and/or resignation, knowing the one just released will be our last. Everything renews every time our respiration cycle refreshes. You change the world every time you exhale.

Writing and speaking are subsets of exhaling.

Speaking comprises shorter inhales and exhales — faster thinking, quicker tongue. Writing involves longer breaths and slower output, more thinking, more holding your tongue.

Holding your tongue is not the same as holding your breath.

“Held my tongue,” lasted at minimum a full cycle and a half of respiration, in which you thought twice, and didn’t speak. You inhaled, then exhaled, then inhaled again. Then spoke.

Holding the breath is a frozen inhale.…

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[real life] Sterling At The Gates

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A dog’s will to live is its raison d’être. Dogs do not suffer Albert Camus’s “one truly serious philosophical problem” of suicidal ideation. The canine affirmation is automatic and compulsory — a dog will never choose to end his or her life. It simply can’t. Dogs live, and only live.

A dog, by extension, affirms all lives it touches. Life’s entirety, of course, comprises a spectrum of emotions and ricocheting perspectives on reality — from nihilism to optimism, frustration to contentment, abandonment to love. A dog brought home becomes a nexus and repository for all that home’s experiences, memories and outlook.

Projecting a dog’s POV through ours, there’s beauty in their affirming life while (perhaps) never knowing that life is an opt in/out choice. The phrase “dogged determination” is doggone true. We don’t know what a dog knows, but we sense — and communicate through — some kind of mutual sentience. The true paradox of our cross-species communication surfaces as our dogs act with intention: we know they think — but only because we can’t tell what they’re thinking. 

(The know-can’t-tell paradox will also be true in determining whether an artificial intelligence achieves true sentience, but this story here’s about organic lifeforms. Ignore the robots around us, for now.)

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