Saturday, September 30, 2006

Dear M

Yes, I know I have a habit of blogging about failed friendships. It is a gift. However, this does warrant its own post.

Dear M______,

It is with some degree of remorse and sadness that I respond to your last correspondence with bad tidings. You tell me that I blow hot and cold, that it is "too much work being my friend." These facts I do not dispute, they are for the most part true. It probably is a lot of work being my friend. I ask a lot of my friends. Truth, loyalty, honesty, and dedication being just a sampling of things I expect from my friends. However, in my defense, I do not ask anything that I am not willing to give. It may be hard to be my friend, but I think it is worth it. If you are my friend, I will go to the wall with/for you. Whatever you need just ask. If it is within my power to give it to you it is yours no questions asked, and no return of favour is expected. You and I have reached the logical conclusion to our friendship. No further discussion is necessary. We have known each other for almost 6 years. We have had our ups and downs, our good times and bad times. At this stage we have reached a down that is permanent in nature. No amount of tinkering can fix our friendship. It is broken beyond repair. You tell me I blow hot and cold, that is fine, that is your opinion, and I suspect it has some merit. Towards you, from now on, I am cold. Please do not test me on this. Someone who knew me long before you did, and in a similar way once told me that I was "the coldest person she had ever met." Do not make me prove it to you. From now on we are finished, we are not connected you and I, at no point do we touch. This is indisputable. I advise you to move on with your life, and I am sure you will. In the future when I think of you, if I think of you, it will be in the past tense. I wish I could say that I am sorry it ended this way, but honestly I am not. This is the path we both chose there is no need in denying it. I hereby declare a "break" with you. Relations between us have come to an end. Quite simply, we are done. We have "run our course," and no longer have anything to discuss. Bon chance.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Cezanne Part Deux

It seems my previous post about my painter ex-friend was, shall we say, a little off. The problem I had with my friend was not necessarily the choice he made, but the fact that he had a choice to make at all. For all of us pluggers in the world I was upset. This is not sour grapes it is simply angst at seeing talent tossed to the winds because of a "bad" attitude. I should mention that my friend has had a problem with authority and rules for the majority of his life. When we were younger it was quaint and cool. Once we reached thirty it just looked like surliness. Here he was with this gift that people would give their first born for, and he, in a fit of pique, decided to piss away a chance to better his career. He was certainly no Cezanne or Monet but he had talent, and he worked very hard to be good at what he did. He was committed to his art, and to see him refuse to "seal the deal" was extremely frustrating. I certainly did not want to live his life for him, I have enough trouble living my own life. This is merely a cry of mediocrities everywhere when they see genius wasted.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Lady or The Tiger

A long, long time ago in a place far, far away the following events happened. A kingdom existed that you or I have probably never heard of. Its king a typical king not a great monarch, but not a foolish one either. It so happened that one of the customs of this kingdom was to throw people accused of high crimes in an arena where there were two doors. Behind one door was a beautiful maiden, behind the other was a very, very hungry and slightly pissed off tiger. The trial of the accused was simple, they were led into the arena and told to choose a door. They were told to choose wisely because if they choose the wrong door they were food for the tiger. The logic was fairly simple, if the accused chose the lady they were "innocent" and were allowed to take the beautiful maiden as their wife regardless of their previous marital status. If they chose the tiger they were "guilty" and were rightfully punished by feeding the tiger. This custom was a very ancient one, and deeply ingrained in the kingdom's tradition. However, our "typical" king just so happened to have a lovely daughter that had taken a lover that was far below her station. The king when he became aware of this was duly outraged, and ordered his daughter's lover into the arena. Now pay attention boys and girls because this is where it gets tough. The king's daughter always was privy to the secret of what was behind each door in the arena. As she sees her lover tossed into the arena she is aware of what (the lady or the tiger) is behind which door. Our problem, our dilemma, our tragedy is simple. Does the king's daughter give a signal to her lover to tell him to pick the door with the lady, thereby assuring his survival, but knowing he will marry the beautiful maiden, or does she signal him to pick the door with the tiger, assuring his death, but never having to see him happy in the arms of another woman? Obviously, I would love to hear your opinions. Who does our young lover chose the Lady or the Tiger?

P.S. No, this is not original this is a famous thought experiment based on a short story that I was forced to read a long time ago, and to write a creative response.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Much like Zola knew Cezanne (they grew up in the same town, and were fast friends for a long time before Zola wrote his book The Masterpiece). I knew a painter once. He wasn't a natural genius when it came to painting. He went to your typical school of Beaux-Arts, and learned his craft much like the rest of us do. However, he did have some natural talent he just chose to use it painting. Not sure it was his "calling" or it was just something he decided to try. Either way he became very adept at painting small landscapes and still lives. Nothing too complex, but something that did take some skill. It was always my opinion that after a while he started to "settle" painting things that he knew would sell enough to earn him a decent living. Needless to say, this opinion caused a little friction between us, but it was not anything earth shattering. My friend painted this way for about 3 years when one day he was offered a "commission" to begin painting larger, more complex types of painting for someone with a little too much money, and a desire to appear cultured by being a "patron of the arts." My friend thought long and hard about accepting this commission. He was content, for the most part, doing the paintings he knew he could do as well as anyone else, and was not sure that this "patron" could fulfill any great desire of his. In fact, I think that my friend did not really have any major desire to be a great painter or anything else for that matter. He was just simply a very smart, fairly talented guy that just sort of cruised through life. It was at times very frustrating being his friend. Being the less talented sort, and seeing your buddy with all this skill just easing along through life. Eventually, my friend turned down the commission to become "someone's lapdog" as he put it, and continued to paint the paintings he knew he could accomplish with his eyes closed. I was furious to see my friend turn down something I felt he was extremely qualified to do for no "real" reason made me want to strangle him. Being the type to let my feelings known I told him that he was being a fool, and cutting his nose off to spite his face. His response, and the last words he ever spoke to me (we have not talked since) were "It is my nose, and it is my face."


'Is my team ploughing,
That I was used to drive
And hear the harness jingle
When I was man alive?'

Ay, the horses trample,
The harness jingles now;
No change though you lie under
The land you used to plough.

'Is football playing
Along the river shore,
With lads to chase the leather,
Now I stand up no more?'
Ay, the ball is flying,
The lads play heart and soul;
The goal stands up,the keeper
Stands up to keep the goal.

Is my girl happy,
That I thought hard to leave,
And has she tired of weeping
As she lies down at eve?'

Ay, she lies down lightly,
She lies not down to weep:
Your girl is well contented.
Be still, my lad, and sleep.

'Is my friend hearty,
Now I am thin and pine,
And has he found to sleep in
A better bed than mine?'

Yes, lad, I lie easy,
I lie as lads would choose;
I cheer a dead man's sweetheart,
Never ask me whose.

A.E. Housman


Once upon a time in a land not so far away there lived six, count them six, average people. These six people all had jobs, families, and all the other day to day bullshit that makes up people's lives. Things were going relatively smoothly; they had their bumps here and there, but for the most part the group was in fairly good shape. There was a seventh person amongst this group a shaman/medicine man type who was sort of the "one in charge." He was older and wiser than anyone else in the group, and the group looked to him for answers to their tough questions. He was far from perfect, had his flaws but the group admired him all the same. Then one day for no real reason the shaman was disposed by an "outside" group. It was a bit like a coup d'etat, and the other six members of the group each reacted to this situation according to their personality. Mostly though, they were a little saddened at the loss of the old shaman. This sadness was both noticed and commented upon by the new regime. The new regime was unable to understand why our six heroes were demoralized. Sadly, our band of heroes did not posses anyone clever or brave enough to stand up to the new regime, and to tell them the reasons for their sadness. Needless to say, this situation was extremely uncomfortable for our heroes. I realize that stories are supposed to have both a happy ending and a meaning, but this tale has neither. It is a work in progress, and as yet unfinished. Apologies for all of my mulitude of readers who were expecting something better.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Richard Cory

Whenever Richard Cory went downtown,
We people on the pavement looked at him;
He was a gentleman from sole to crown,
favored, and imperially slim.
And he was always quietly arrayed,
And he was always human when he talked;
But still he fluttered pulses when he said,
“Good-morning,” and he glittered when he walked.
And he was rich–yes, richer than a king–
And admirably schooled in every grace; In fine, we thought that he was everything
To make us wish that we were in his place.
So on we worked, and waited for the light,
And went without the meat, and cursed the bread; And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
Went home and put a bullet through his head

Edward Arlington Robinson

Friday, September 08, 2006


0% Extroversion, 100% Intuition, 27% Emotiveness, 14% Perceptiveness
You are most like Prometheus, and you probably knew that before you even took this test. You probably aren't deliberately altruistic, but you still tend to do things that benefit everyone, even at great expense to your health and personal relationships. You aren't ruled by your emotions, but you still have a strong sense of justice. You make good descisions, but they can sometimes backfire (and this isn't due to a flaw in your reasoning, but due to faulty premises instead).

You are very reasonable, you understand systems, you can quickly pinpoint flaws and you know how to correct them. You pride understanding and knowledge above everything else, and your greatest fear is to appear to be incompetent. You tend to be contemptuous of authority, but you don't accept leadership roles yourself until everyone else has demonstrated their own incompetence.

You've built a very specific skill set. You know exactly where your strengths and weaknesses are, and you pride yourself on this kind of self-knowledge. You distrust tradition, which you see as arbitrary, and you rely instead on your own judgements. You also pride yourself on your pragmatism. You're also a very private person.

Most of all, people think you're arrogant, but screw them! They're the ones who benefit from your ideas and discoveries, and if they took the time to understand why it is that you say and think the things you do, they'd realize that you only appear arrogant because you are exactingly precise when it comes to your area of specification, and most of all because, when you don't know something, you don't have an opinion about it (unlike most of the loudmouths that you have to deal with on a day-to-day basis).

Relationships are your kryptonite. It isn't that you don't want them -- in fact, you would very much like a very close relationship with someone who understands you. They're just the one thing in the world that you're naturally bad at.

Famous people like you: Niels Bohr, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Werner Heisenberg, Issac Newton, John Maynard Keynes, Erwin Schrodinger
Stay Clear of: Apollo, Icarus, Hermes, Aphrodite
Seek out: Atlas, The Oracle, Daedalus

Death comes for the Inquisitor?

Obviously not making light of death (see mine and Tidy's recent posts on the subject), but I think I may have had a peek at a possible cause of my death. Other than wanking myself to death (which I have been trying to do for years, or falling off some or down some great height while drunk, I think that it is going to be "Death by MATA Bus." Obviously, MATA is the transit authority in my town. I truly believe that one day there is going to be a MATA bus with my name on it. I think that the powers that be when to an asylum, and picked the 50 most suicidal sons of bitches they could find, and gave them bus keys. Saying here you go here is a monster machine, we need drivers and we do not care what happens. I can almost picture the "test" for becoming a MATA bus driver is like the Kramer and Newman test for ricksaw drivers (where they wanted to use homeless people). These people are insane AND seem to think that the rules of the road do not apply to them, hell I am beginning to wonder if they think the rules of physics apply to them. So, dear readers do not be surprised if one day the headlines scream "Inquisitor run down like a dog by MATA bus, for once it seemed he was sober."

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Midweek Poetry

Conceive me as a dream of stone:
my breast, where mortals come to grief,
is made to prompt all poets' love, mute and noble as matter itself.

With snow for flesh, with ice for heart,
I sit on high, an unguessed sphinx
begrudging acts that alter forms;
I never laugh, I never weep.

In studious awe the poets brood
before my monumental pose
aped from the proudest pedestal,
and to bind these docile lovers fast
I freeze the world in a perfect mirror:

The timeless light of my wide eyes

Or put another way

Je suis belle, o mortels! comme un reve de pierre,
Et mon sein, ou chacun s'est meutri tour a tour,
Est fait pour insirer au poete un amour
Eternel et muet ainsi que la matiere.

Je trone dans l'azur comme un sphinx incompris;
J'unis un coeru de neige a la blancheur des cygens;
Je hais le mouvement qui deplace les lignes,
Et jamais je ne pleure et jamais je ne ris.

Les poetes, devant mes grandes attitudes,
Que j'ai l'air d'emprunter aux plus fiers monuments,
Consumeront leurs jours en d'austeres etudes;

Car j'ai, pour fasciner ces dociles amants,
De purs miroirs qui font toutes choses plus belles:
Mes yeux, mes larges yeux aux clartes eternelles!

Charles Baudelaire

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


So it appears that next May it will 20 long years since I graduated from high school. Since we Americans are big fans of reunions and such I just got the "invitation" to "get the gang back together." What follows is my open letter to my former classmates.

Dear Ex-Classmates,

Yes, it is difficult to believe that it has been 20 years since we all graduated from ________ High School. Two decades that have seen the Berlin Wall come down, the Trade Center bombings, two wars in Iraq, and numerous other life changing events. I regret that I will not be attending the reunion. You see, I am not unable to attend quite the contrary I could be there in less than two hours, it is simply that I am unwilling to attend. Twenty years ago I was a goofy, dorky, confused 17 year old teen age boy with no clue as to what I was going to do with my life. Now, twenty years later, I am probably still a little goofy and dorky and probably more confused now than I was then. However, at this point in my life I can rest assured that seeing a group of people I did not like twenty years ago is something that I do not want or care to do. It is simple, most of you maltreated me then, and I have no desire to dredge up old sad memories of a life that ended twenty years ago. I would not piss on any of you if you were on fire. We were merely "friends" only because we happened to live in the same school "zone." I certainly would not choose any of you as friends today, and certainly do not want to waste any length of time pretending like I care what has happened in your life over the last twenty years. There is a reason that I did not keep in touch with you people. I do not like you it is just that simple. So, erase me from the "list" pull a Stalin and erase me out of any class photographs you may have. That is fine with me. I wish I could say that I wish you all the best, but truth be told, I really do not give a tinker's damn what happens to any of you. I moved away and on a long, long time ago. Please do not think that I ever want to see any of you again.


The Grand Inquisitor

Saturday, September 02, 2006

my own personal editor

my own personal editor is one harsh son of a bitch. he is unflagging in his criticism. he belittles what little output i am able to create. he obviously knows best, and rather refuses to come to my defense. he is very good at showing me where i went wrong. he is one acerbic bastard. when he raises his voice i quail and run for cover. he tries very hard to keep me from being so bitter that i am unreadable. it is a constant struggle between the two of us. one of us always has to be wrong, and the other one has a tendency to rub his nose in it. the fact that we haven't killed each other yet is a miracle. the last post i managed to squeeze out is a perfect example. for once i was proud of myself, and considered myself to have done a good job with my subject. i felt that i had "captured the mood" quite well, and had gotten my point across with some force. he, on the other hand, recognized the valid nature of my point, but proceeded to take an axe to my attempt at expressing myself. it was both painful, and a learning experience. i suppose it was a painful learning experience. i will say one thing for the bastard, while he is not the most experienced or the most educated editor in the world, he certainly makes some valid points. sad to say this makes him even more unsufferable. perhaps one of these days i will be able to please him. however, until then i will continue to peck out imperfect posts for him to chop up like cordwood. so, bear with me dear reader(s) this is still after all a work in progress just like i am. i can only hope that the lack of any capitalization in this post will cause the son of a bitch to stroke out and give me some peace.