Camp Tipsy was fun… and other news…

August 24, 2009 - Leave a Response


OK. So I floated a camping trailer to the middle of Lake Ladoga.





IMG_0135



It was pretty funny. Camp Tipsy was super fun. The lovely and talented Anja took photos.

http://anja-ulfeldt-photography.smugmug.com/gallery/9342935_9uTNm#P-1-30

There was 140 people all told. The contest was awesome. The idiocy abounded.

A little sad without the small dog… but a fair amount of work. If you went and have no AS YET made a donation, please allow your generosity to be your guide. It cost real money to throw that event and life has been expensive of late…

Here is a video:

I’m gonna build this next:http://ephemerisle.org/


You can just use a dumpster as a pool too…. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=111624469


Anybody live or know anyone in the Delta? By Paradise Point? I need some space out there to build. Anyone got any connections in or around Stockton? Gimme a shout…

Good coffee at Camp Tipsy?

August 12, 2009 - Leave a Response


ritual nimby



Behold the trailer that I am going to float to the middle of Lake Lodoga using barrels from the maraschino cherry company.

It’s a swim up cafe. And the coffee is free….

Can a guy try any harder?



chicken

Camp Tipsy this weekend (or anytime you wanna come, actually)

August 11, 2009 - Leave a Response

Camp Tipsy has some Olympic contestants. Special Olympics, that is…

Here are a few of the boats you will see floating around….

Kezia and her catfish boat (notice the floatation she uses) with the top off. Yes, there are a few bike helmets in there:

kezia




Here is Team Fandango:

team1



team2



Their entry blurb:

Our UFO-themed “boat” is made from a bathtub and some incredibly flimsy bits of found-lumber that we used for an outriggger/sun-deck. If this deck holds up through the weekend without somebody snapping it in half trying to “come aboard”, I’ll eat my tricorn pirate hat. We still need to affix our “floatation” sacks, as I’m betting our duct-tape latticework won’t stand up to three weeks in the sun of the NIMBY parking lot, much less immersion in water. (We have alternate plans involving the plastic mesh from hay-bales.) We are aiming roundly at a Third Place prize (worst design) since we just made it out of whatever was handy, and then painted it silver. We’re not even sure if we’ll be able to reach the water with a paddle. But it’s totally gonna work.


The amazing Scott built a Hovercraft out of leafblowers. Yes, he did…

scott1



And yes, that is a model airplane prop and a weed wacker engine….

scott2




Here are the barells for the Ritual location nearest to Camp Tipsy:

barrel day 033




Directions to Camp Tipsy:

Take I-5 North to the Maxwell exit. Take Maxwell Sites road west. Take it for like 12 miles or so, over the big hill. The ONLY thing you will see is the Lodoga Store which is also Lodoga Storage. 300 feet after the store is a brown sign for East Park Reserviur, but they probably spelled it more better. There will be Camp Tipsy signs everywhere. It is impossible to get lost. If you do a Google search for Lodoga, California, you will see the lake. The store is at the crossroads. The store is actually the entire town of Lodoga. And it’s for sale.

It’s free camping. If you wanna give me some money to defer costs that’s great. It’s expensive to get all that shit up there and takes tons of time. But it’s a donation thing. There is no gate, no ranger ect…

chicken

Sigh… here we go……..

August 4, 2009 - Leave a Response

“I have sometimes thought of the final cause of dogs having such short lives and I am quite satisfied it is in compassion to the human race; for if we suffer so much in losing a dog after an acquaintance of ten years, what would it be if they were to live double that time?” -Sir Walter Scott

2 weeks has elapsed since the passing of our beloved Dammit and boy is it hard. There is a photo pool, if you have pictures please post them. And anyone who didn’t go to the service can see photos of her here. Her casket, made by Pete Goldie, was beautiful. Laid to rest now, the show must go on… somehow.

http://www.flickr.com/groups/1051412@N24/pool/

So we built all this bullshit for Camp Tipsy. I’m gonna leave next Tuesday, the 11th and head up there. We’ll do the competition at 4:00 in the afternoon on Saturday the 15th. Sunday the 16th will be a day for all the boats to just be in the water. Camp Tipsy is super fun. It’s a great spot and there are a ton of great people going.

http://www.camptipsy.wordpress.com

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=104270274993&ref=ts

We have like 16 boats built as of now. And a build weekend this weekend at NIMBY if ya wanna put something together. Just call me if you wanna do something… 415-215-1632

Please pardon me if I sound a little lack luster. I’m doing the best I can…

chicken

RIP Dammitina Dawoo (posted 7-19-09)

August 4, 2009 - One Response

RIP Dammitina Dawoo

How long can I sit here in front of this blank screen with the title above and a blank white page mocking me? How could I ever reduce the joy that Dammit bestowed on me to mere words? …The same devices that used car salesmen and politicians use. The same feeble and obvious combinations used over and over again in different combinations to elicit unique and special meanings but always within limits of convention and always said before better. I would be the most talented writer on Earth if I could convey a morsel of the grief I am about to endure by telling you that the burden of Dammit’s death is on my shoulders. That I am going to pay, fucking pay someone to end her life. And why? Why? Because kidneys don’t last forever. Because a test tells me to. Because she can no longer either leap into the air as if gravity didn’t notice her or lap water out of a bowl. Because not only blindness or deafness or creaky limbs and now failing organs should dictate the comings and goings of
spirits like this… Nay. Because she demands it. She has used up the vessel that contains her spirit. She used every drop. The last few years were her golden ones and now bored of her retirement she demands to continue to push on… on to the next thing for her. Greedy, I beg her to hold on. For another week. Maybe the steroids? Maybe more acupuncture? Maybe it would be easier if the freak accident that came for me a thousand times came now? But there is no shortcut. The lives of Elves and humans and dogs and fleas are out of calibration. And this is the way of a show, after all. A beginning, a middle and an end. With the reveals, the conflicts, the resolutions. The dramas, the tragedy, the experimentation. The fun. The passion. And finally, the conclusion.

Dammitina was a Showdog. The dog of a Showman. We did it together. All of it. This is her curtain.

I looked for her today. She’s not here. Will I look for her forever? Will I always see her at my feet when I’m typing my pitches to get people to support the plight of the underdog? Will I forever be the guy with a pick-up truck and a dog loading junk and throwing the stick? Will I stand at the front of my bus and tell 40 people that we are going on an adventure and don’t give the dog chocolate? Who’s gonna pee on the couch now? There are so many questions I have. The biggest one is what the fuck am I going to do now? How can I still be Chicken John without Dammit Dog? Will the spell be broken now?

My heart is shrouded in grief. But how could it be any different? Chaos brought her to me, and through me… to you. We were all fortunate to have met this animal who I watched people CHEER for. CHEER! Like it was your kid in the fucking Olympics. I’ve watched people’s faith restored in the show watching this animal do her tricks with no script and no training. She was a natural. Dammit has graced the covers of magazines dozens of times. Posters. Thousands of t-shirts. She had a friggin’ theme song. People fawned over her like a newborn. An entire language crafted to like baby-talk with the entire circus reciting it. “Da da da da woo woo woo.” Her last name is what we called that language: Dawoo. A bizarre Steve Miller referene from the song Go On Take The Money And Run. Her original name she ignored, finally responding to the curse that would escape my lips when I would catch her being bad as a teenager. “Dammit dog!!!” I would say looking at the garbage can knocked over. “Dam
mit dog!!!!” I would shout as I would chase her down when she escaped from the yard. “Dammit dog!!!” I said one day as she was eating a pair of Danny’s panties. And she came to me like I called her. And came to me every time after that. Named herself, basically. She was put on the Earth to make your day. And she did just that, over and over again. Every day. She was an enchanted creature. Her passing leaves us poorer. Impoverished. Destitute. And will leave in me a hollowness that I will never be able to fill.

Camp Tipsy is re-scheduled to August 15th and 16th. I’m gonna need a minute.

Services for Dammitina will be held at the warehouse Monday, July 20th from 7-10. Her final resting place Tracey and Don’s backyard in Richmond.

Of all the things that have made me feel like a lucky guy… the luckiest guy… being Dammit’s steward has to be all 10 of the top 10. Rest in peace, small dog. And know that not only was your 19 ½ years amazing in length… but also in depth. She had the best life a dog could have. I can’t even begin to describe it. But I don’t need to. You already know.

My world stopped today. My heart shattered into a million pieces and my grief and gratitude forever confused together in a maelstrom of smithereens of the true love and understanding of 1 small dog. Life is a messy, fucked shenanigan. My life; a caper that I pulled off largely because of the great spirits that I surrounded myself with. A trick that I pulled off with ease. Because of Dammit, I got away with so much. I know it. And now, life seems blurry and less sharp. A smudge of what it was. A testament to love felt so deeply. So easy. A partnership divided. I can’t believe she’s gone. But this is no fiction. She was always the realest thing. Her passing a testament to reality itself.

I’ll miss you, Dammit Dog. Nothing will be the same without you.

There is a Flickr thing if you have photos you would like to share of Dammit:

http://www.flickr.com/groups/1051412@N24/pool/

Chicken 7-19-09

I don’t accept or give excuses…

June 29, 2009 - One Response

I just don’t wanna hear one more person say they can’t build a boat.

Nonsence.



cardboard 1




cardboard 5





cardboard24





CardboardBoat





Cardboard Boats


These boats are made outta cardboard, some caulk, some ducktape and glue. In this coffee powered city of over-acheiver, I refuse to belive my ears when I hear people say: “I don’t know how to build a boat.” Duh. Did you think I knew how to build a boat when I built this?:




Picture 5


Camp Tipsy is now less than a month away. The prizes for competition are as follows:

****Top dog!
 Worst implementation of worst design


****Sloppy seconds!
 Worst implementation


****Third rail!
 Worst design


****Fourth dimention!
 Boat most likely to kill pilot


****Fifth Avenue!
 Boat most likely to get pilot laid


****Sixth sense!
 Boat most likely to sink, but doesn’t


****Seventh heaven!
 Boat least like a boat


****Last place!
 Least effort put forth




This event is the one that finally gives people an opportunity to fail to win. Aren’t you tired of the know it all genius’ that surround us getting all the attention? In SF, we’ve got the best and the brightest artists and engineers and they run ramshot over our events and provide for us giant Tesla coils and steam powered pancake makers, giant robots that jerk off and fire spewing yoni art cars that run on puppies. You can’t compete!

Now you can. You seal up a few old guitars and paddle to glory. The genius’ can’t think like idiots. This is OUR turn, to take it all back. Let them come with their fancy pantz boat that runs on granulated McDonalds napkins. Someone is gonna figger out that all ya need is a few milk crates and some dodge balls and you’ve got a boat. Packing peanuts. You can fill up garbage bags with air and throw some foamcore on it and it’s a boat. Paddle away with a loaf of Italian bread. And win.

You don’t have to build to come to Camp Tipsy. You can just go and watch. That’s fine. But I don’t wanna hear anyone else say “I can’t build a boat.”.

“To dream, the impossible dream”
(this is a dramataztion montage of your boat sinking in slow motion…)
“To fight, the unbeatable foe”…..

Camp Tipsy competition date is Saturday August 1st. We’ll be there the weekend before and all week. Don’t miss it.

back in the saddle…

June 26, 2009 - One Response

OK. So our beloved civic infrastructure needs to balance the budget of this City of Art and Innovation we all live in. Fair enough. Budgets need to be balanced. I’d suggest they cut the hair gel thing by 50%… but I digress…

Newsome is ballyhooing about not raising taxes. So where does the money come from? They are gonna raise operating fees for businesses. Small businesses. In this case, tattoo parlors. Now lets take a look at the ‘idea’ of taxes, shall we? A tax is an account that citizens of a civic apparatus pay into the general fund for services. So is the $4 on the bay bridge a tax? Only kinda, because it has specific end users. People who use the bridge pay that toll, not bicylists. So if you don’t have a car, you don’t pay that ‘tax’. What about parking tickets? What if I told you that 75% of the money collected in parking tickets paid for the infastructure of writing them?

Are ya mad yet?

Over $2.40 of the bridge toll goes to collecting the bridge toll.

Lets keep going, shall we? If you open a small business, you have to get licences and permits. One from the health department. Maybe one from the entertainment commission. Occupancy from the fire department. On and on…Then you need an operating permit, your business licence. They’ve got ‘em for other things, too… like the H41. For tattoo parlors. Now how much do you think the permit is to run a tattoo parlor? A guy sometimes comes like once a year maybe and peeks in for 4 minutes and does an ‘inspection’. That’s it. That is the “service” that a tattoo shop gets for it’s permit. A guy for 4 minutes. Maybe. That and the cost of the paper the permit is written on. How about $120? Sound fair? I think so. That’s what it was last year. So. To put the budget back together, the city raised that permit to like $1,500.

Is the guy gonna come in a maid outfit and give the shop owner a handjob now or what?

It’s a 1,259% increase. And it’s irresponsible. There is a petition that I would like you to sign, please. It will take you 2 minutes. It’s here:

http://www.petitiononline.com/H412009/petition.html

The petition was started by Jason Stein, from Cyclops tattoo. If you’ve ever seen the fish on my left wing… that’s Jason’s work. He also plays bass for Sissy now. He’s a cool guy, but it’s important to know the place of the small business in our fragile community. And this kinda fee increase is going to affect it. Not only a strain for struggling shops, but also preventing the new shop from opening. The position of the small business in our community is paramount. All communities. The corner store, the café, the video rental store, the odd little curio shop, the specialty shop, the copy shop and all the rest… these places are hanging on by belly button lint right now. If there is any doubt in your mind how the economy is doing, just visit Craigslist.com and looky loo on business’ for sale. It’s staggering how much is for sale and for how much. People are giving ‘em away. Can’t pay the rent. It’s pretty bad. And this is an insult to that injury.

The small community business is a heroic place in our complicated and fragile eco-system. With an outpouring of support never before seen by City Hall, we all stopped American Apparel from opening on Valencia. That was cool. But the reason there is a community at all is that people start and maintain small businesses. This is how neighborhood exist. Duh! And if you raise the permit fees, then it’s another chip chipped away at the cornerstone of the whole point of the reason why most of us are here: The neighborhood. So the end of the story is that more people leave. Then more billionaires come in to kick the remaining millionaires out. But Gavin will be Govenor by then, so what does he care?



There are 1 and 2 ACRE properties in the Mission district that have been passed down from generation from generation. JFK once said “There is inherited wealth in this country, and also inherited poverty.” These estates were eltablished before the advent of property taxes. They are owned outright. And since they pre-date the tax, they are excluded. That’s a neat trick, aye? Own a 15 bedroom mansion on Genoa Street with a 7 car garage, a swimming pool in your living room and those dumb ass giant bushes sculpted like a bunny or something. You pay the calbe, the water, the garbage and the PG&E. Yea. Lets raise the permit fees on the tattoo parlors. Will someone please deliver a crowbar to City Hall so our supervisors can get their heads out of their asses?

The permit process is necessary. Sure. Sure it is. But my friend Sweet Melissa says it better than me that the process is absurd. She went down to see what kinda permits are on offer down at City Hall. Here is her report:

Say you own a shooting gallery ($723) where you deal in firearms ($961) as part of your amusement park ($871) where people play ring-throwing games ($477) and see traveling shows ($680). One day after the rodeo show ($651), you decide to gather the junk people left laying around ($439 for residents, $370 for nonresidents) and sell it ($330) using a pushcart ($594). But despite your use of kite advertising ($367) and “public outcry sales” ($716), when customers don’t flock to your wares, you decide to make the cart into a motorized rickshaw ($268) and offer to escort funeral processions ($224) complete with an honorary cannon blast ($400). Along one of the routes you discover the perfect place for an off-heliport landing site which, at $477, is only slightly more expensive than an out-call massage service ($462).

She’s a cool lady and a good writer, if ya like the myopic, endless, petty jewel that is SF politics. http://sweetmelissa.typepad.com/

If I had known that a cannon blast was only $400… welll… lets point the thing at Gavin’s 6 MPG Lincoln limo and see if we can get him to roll down the window and throw us a bone.

*****************************************************************************************************************************

This sent by Jeremy Paul, father of 2 boys:

11-year-old Zander Paul excitedly calling friends: Michael Jackson is dead!

Jeremy: he was a great artist Zander, don’t be like that!

Zander: to you Dad, to us he’s just a famous child molester who is dead.

Says it all, don’t it….



******************************************************************************************************************



I’m kinda coming in for a landing from my little flight. But only kinda. Things are still a little sparkly, but I’m not as… well… I’m not as…

My dear friend Lera, girl scientist, was worried about me. It’s the jewish mother in her. She made me take this test: http://psychcentral.com/maniaquiz.htm I scored a 28

So. I guess, clincly, I’m not feeling as “manic”. That fucking word, mania. I always think of Beatlemania. She asked me to call her if I thought I could fly. I think she wanted to watch me try.

But when you make out with God, ya don’t just have one ciggerte when it’s over….



cigs

Sparkly…

June 25, 2009 - Leave a Response

Hi. I am having an odd sensation. In general. I can see better. The focus is crisper. The colors brighter. The edges sharper. Like I’m high. And I’m certainly not high. I can hear better. I can feel something is different, but I can’t put my finger on it. My shoulders are back. I am standing tall. My creaky body isn’t…. well, creaking. I feel young. Am I that old? Jesus. But this feeling, it’s real. Is it a coincidence that 460 people just sent me emails saying the gushiest stuff to me? I got a metric ton of response from my post relating to being molested as an 11 year old (“Well… this is uncomfortable”, 6-21-09). I think that there is a certain amount of squishy Berkeley hippie doodle doo relief that comes with me putting the box that says Dennis on that shelf. Sure. But for a salami sammich guy like me to so much as nudge at the power of p-… pr-…. prah-…. Jesus I can’t even say it. The power of mother fucking shit ass prayer. There. I said it. If a salami sammich guy like me can so much as even nudge at it… well…

No, I’m not gonna go off on some fucking Marin County flowing robes schpeal. I’m not gonna take a Learning Annex class on shockra toning or whatever. And I’m not a gonna try to quantify anything or allow myself to do anything but just sit here and enjoy it. The response from sending out that post was astounding. And I have to respond. Not only to tell you guys that I’m having some kinda physical reaction to *something*, but also to show gratitude. I am not a crier. I make other people cry. I know, I know, I’m workin’ on it… but man… I’m a tough guy. I’ve hired a few hundred people. I fired most of ‘em. Which is hard. I’ve sold hubcaps on Ebay. I carried my girlfriend down 5 flights of stairs when she od’d so the ambulance guys could get to her quicker. She didn’t make it. I dug my tractor trailer out of a snow bank with my bare hands. I’ve lent money to Jim Mason. I’ve had to say “no more” to junkies 100 times. I have endured the shame of a being a pedophiles plaything. I’ve had my tools stolen, my liver fail, my ideas hijacked, I’m the sole survivor of a 40 person squat in NYC (HIV), I’ve had the pain of divorce without the bliss of marriage and I’ve been, at times, rejected by my own dog. It makes a guy calloused and hard. And all I can do for the last 3 days is read and re-read the letters you all have sent me. And cry. I had no idea.

Over 200 of the mails are from other survivors of child abuse and the stories are chilling and awful and there is little to do but sit with the sadness and be overwhelmed at the volume. Words, powerful words were tossed about in describing how some of you felt upon reading my story. Words like brave, hero, inspiring… on and on. Stunning. The gratitude was intense and easy at the same time. 30 people or more told me they never so much as mentioned it to anyone before.

I knew that child abuse and molestation statistics were staggering… but those are statistics of OTHER people. It became different when I can recognize the names. Hear the voices. And to hear your voices saying these complimentary things… well… it makes me kinda squirmy like a 6 year old. But to hear the voices relate their stories one by one was an intense immersion that I did not see coming and could not have prepared for even if I did. All I can say is that I am humbled and filled with grace. I don’t know how or why, but I feel very lucky to have read all those awful stories. Every one of them a box that needs a shelf. Every story belonging to 2 very small hands brushing tears away. Every story connected to an adult in a severely disadvantaged position to have a healthy adult romantic relationship. Every one of those stories ten thousand packs of cigarettes smoked trying to figger out how to figger it out.

If there is something I can do to get you to get a fucking pinch of what I just got… well, that is the intention of this. I got no instructions for ya, but if I can relate my story and if it’s of benefit to you, exploit it. But do the work and like Harvey Milk said in his Long Island accent… “ya gonna feel bedder.”. Almost everyone commented on “the box” analogy. I truly and sincerely wish that people find shelves for their boxes. The feeling I am having is nothing less than sparkly.

I had little idea that this was even the right thing to do. I had doubts, for sure. But I’m learning that doubt is kinda bullshit. Doubt is total bullshit. You gotta either surrender or fight, whatever is appropriate. Anything but doubt. Decide, and own it. And remember ya can’t do it wrong. We’re all amateurs here, anyone who says they’re an expert at being a human is an idiot. The history books are full of ‘em. I wish I could do more than hurl more words into the ether. Ya know, it’s all I got right now. But I feel like I just made out with God or something. It’s really odd. And really, really good. The quality of light is stunning. I have tilted smile. I wonder if there’s a crash in my future or if this is permanent? Maybe a little of both… just a little crash and I get to keep a little of this feeling.

That would be cool…

But if any of you fuckers make fun of me for nudging the power of prayer, I’m gonna smack ya…

paying close and careful attention, chicken



bird_cage


Fathers Day Pretzels

June 21, 2009 - Leave a Response

Of all the ceremonial foods Birth Day Cake, Halloween Candy, New Years black eyed peas, the least ceremonious of foods could be the lowly pretzel. To elevate the status of the crunchy knot I would propose that it should be the official gift-snack of Fathers Day.

Pretzel mythology dates back to 610 AD when an alleged clergy invented snack food to resemble crossed arms praying. The writing of snack food history didn’t start with Bechtell. Pretzels pre-date ancient Rome. Egyptians worshiped pretzels and mummies were postured in the cross armed form of a pretzel. Cave man children were given pretzel sticks to resemble clubs to crack over each others heads.

Nothing says Dad like pretzels.

My dad took me on a tour of Snyder’s of Hanover`s pretzel factory. I was about eight. We walked on an elevated floor with Plexiglas panels sealed from the sound and dust of the bakery. The dough extruded from tubes in a clock work pattern producing 30 pretzels at a time. The pretzels were squeezed onto a conveyor that resembled a giant bagel toaster. Water atomized over them and salt rained down before they went between the glowing coils to cook. Hot pretzels slid down a slide onto another conveyor dragging them up over our heads to the other side of the plant. Woman in blue smocks and paper hats attended the packaging machines. Inserting a fresh roll of bags. Taping a box shut.

My Dad and I got the freshest bag of pretzels in the world from the factory store. We walked across the parking lot to the pick-up truck. Dad pulled a tiny cooler from under the seat and produced a bottle of beer and an orange juice for me. I tugged at the bag to open it but it was too tightly sealed for my little hands. Dad ripped it open and handed it to me to take the first pretzel. The smell of pretzels is dry baked with a hint of pee. Holding it up I observed the knot and the nub of a tail. I took the nub in my teeth, “crunch, yum” pretzels.

By Paul Da Plummer

Picture 1

Junk boats to Venice put to bed…

June 20, 2009 - Leave a Response

So the Swimming Cities project went swimmingly and now the deconstruction is almost complete. The boats are back in containers and who knows what’ll happen next year. But the spoiled rotten leaderless collective of angry vegans pulled it off. And I’m proud of ‘em. There is a Flickr slideshow that is on the site, http://www.swimmingcities.org, if you wanna see the boats get smaller. A project like this will make a man outta ya, for sure. I discovered this year that I’m too old to sleep on the ground and argue the politics of the creative class. It was a cool trip for everyone but I got a graduation out of it. The project was touted by some as the coolest thing to EVER happen to the Bianalle, and that’s what we were supporting. So that’s cool.

Picture 2

Boating is a great thing. All around. There is no reason is perceived as a sport for the rich. Being on the water is calming, wonderful thing. I reccomend it. Going through the canals was an awesome experience. Truly. You should do it sometime if your body is ever in that part of the world. It’s beautiful. There are actually a butload of boat projects out there in the world, I’ve found. I’ll post some of them here, for your amusement.

But it’s nice to be home. I miss the dog, ya know… she’s happy and healthy and doing the things that grandma dogs do. It’s another beautiful day here in the city of art and innovation. I’m gonna keep my head down for a minute. I gotta do some work, pay some bills…

This is uncomfortable…

June 20, 2009 - 3 Responses

I love you is a powerful thing to say. So I hear. It’s usually a delineation, marking a point in a relationship you have with someone. Something you struggle with timing-wise with a new lover, something you say to a parent or the people in your Burning Man Theme Camp. And it’s not just the drugs, really. Saying I love you has always been weird for me. The first person I had sex with said it, and would ask me to say it. It was a confused time. I think of that time often, and it stitches my little world with the color of it’s thread. Relevant now, I type things into this box and sometimes exploit them for promotion. Sometimes for comedy, inching my way forward hacking this path through the frozen , overgrown muck. Courage is what I’m looking for usually but sometimes seen as sympathy. But your bound to lose a few, ya know. It’s available for therapy, this list. You become a council as I sit on your couch. I have a new skill that I am proud of: I can type with a cigarette between my index and middle finger. It’s almost an act. But therapeutic writing here has become few and far between as the list has grown and I have become an arts cheerleader rah rah reeing for things… impossible things. Championing the rejected artists or telling a story of an atmosphere of beer cans. If these things can happen, then truly anything can happen. And does of course. But I’m a guy. In the world. I move my body though my experiences and I report here and allow you a glimpse of my travels and what… bonding? Who knows.

A few months ago, I told someone a story. Of someone I had sex with a few times. Not remarkable, really. Happens all the time. And as a teller of stories, this is not remarkable. But odd to tell it to someone into a tape recorder. Curious about sex, the mysteries unraveled for me with this partner. There were a little drugs involved. Which is not uncommon. There was horseback riding. It’s hard to remember, as it was 30 years ago. When I was 11. Dennis DeSantos used to crush up valium and put it in my Pepsi. That came out in the interview. I had forgotten that. And the motorcycle. He had a kid motorcycle that he promised to let me ride but never did. In his 70’s love van I developed some job skills that helped me make some money in my late teens squatting in NYC. He was a guardian of my pal Randy. Me and Randy were in a band called trouble that had t-shirts made at the flea market but that was about it. As I tell this story to Officer Farrington of the Palm Beach sheriff’s department, the physical reaction I have is telling. I know this feeling well. Violence. Hate. I sit with these emotions now and try to watch them as a 3rd party. It’s all about breathing. I try to breathe into it and inflate it like a balloon. And let it go. Floating away to outer space or something. 30 years. They incarcerated him a few weeks ago. My case is going to trial and he is likely going to spend the rest of his life in jail. He’s 68 years old.

12_1

I am struggling with how graphic to get. Shall I report the pleadings? The deception? Does sharing this lighten the burden? Who knows. Well I will, when I hit send. I’ve got a plan, ya know. I’m gonna send this out then I’m gonna send out 3 more rah rah ree’s and bury it. Only some of you will ever read it. I imagine me walking through an endless warehouse with rows and rows of shelving going up higher then I can see walking with a box marked Dennis. I wander through this labyrinth looking for the shelf it’s supposed to go on. The shelves are all full. The box is heavy. Forever almost dropping it, and without a map I continue on to find the shelf and do not. This is the shelf I have. Fuck it. It’s just the best I can do right now. To shed light on dark things. Secrets can be like lies. It’s a corruption from the inside out.

There are 4 defendants. Florida state law delineates something in some way so that children under 12 are like protected more or something. I’m not sure how it works. I don’t know who the other 3 are. I’m assuming Randy. If there are 4 there are probably more. 30 years is a long time. And what about before? As an adult, now, how someone can have sex with a child is a baffling mystery to me. My original embrace of any eastern philosophy is in an attempt to relieve myself from the violent hatred I have of this man and the imaginings of his murder I replayed in my head sometime several hundred times an hour. My greatest achievement so far in the time I’ve had on this Earth is actually to have pity and feel sorry for Dennis. What a curse it must be, no? To find pleasure in this place? Sex as a union between people who love each other is a powerful and intense thing. I’d like to someday have the 180 degree experience from the powerful and intense sex I had with Dennis. I’ve gotten close. Maybe.

I was told by the detective that they don’t stop. Even at his advanced age. They just get better. Sneakier. They go for younger ones, easier to manipulate. He had a pony. Christ, I had actually forgotten about the pony as well. The drugs made it all a dream, I guess. He would give a curious 11 year old information that other adults wouldn’t. Talked to me like one of the guys. I used to go over Randy’s house and stay for the weekend often. Play music. Hang out. Traps were set. My parents were comfortable with me being there. There was beer in the fridge that you could just drink. Ride the pony around their 40 acre ranch deal. Dennis was a fireman. You can trust a fireman, right?

By the time I was 13 it was over. I was so behind in school I should have been left back a year. I couldn’t concentrate and could not do any of the work. I had zero desire to listen to anything any adult said to me. I was terrified to ever be alone with anyone. I struggled through my days with plans of killing everyone. All of them. And one day, I found relief. I found a device that would make me another person. Someone who hadn’t picked a fat, disgusting mans’ pubic hair out his teeth. I found another reality. I can be another person. A powerful person. A killer. A warrior. Proud and true. A user of magic. Smart and scholarly. I could be an Elf king, and marry and Elven bride. Another man, Gary Gygax, had made a game that you could play that you use your imagination to create a reality that he supported the infrastructure of. He wrote books that made that fantasy plausible. With matrix’s and charts and descriptions of how much leather armor weighs and how many spells fit on a scroll and how long they take to utter. How many times a Storm Giant can strike with his flaming sword in the time it takes you to cast Ice Storm from you Rod of Smiting. In Dungeons and Dragons you create an avatar (like Facebook!), and it was a way for me to not be a human. Elves are beautiful and can’t lie. So I became an Elf.

In the game, you roll dice to replicate the risks and outcomes of any encounter. To achieve a life-like chaos, so to speak. I started rolling. For everything. To bring the game here, to the prime material plane. To say that caused problems is an understatement but there was some serious comedy that no one got but me. I wouldn’t ‘roll’ them. I kept them in a dice pouch I hung off my belt loop. I’d just reach in, take one out and look at it. No one knew. How’s that for bad decision making? I decided that not all men were child molesters. I gave them 40% chance of being guilty. 10 sided dice. 1-4, they were. 5-10, they weren’t’. It’s amazing to me how a child’s’ mind works. Creativity just all over the place. Convictions, opinions, energy… just amazing. I wish I had more of that now. And the ability to adapt, instead getting stuck like we all do.

It’s all like a dream now. Like a bad movie I saw in the 70’s. When a remote control for your TV had a cord and interest rates to buy a house were 19% and there were people who wouldn’t get in a Japanese car because they had fought in WWII and the future was the year 2000. I put as much distance between me and Florida as I could as soon as I could. You can run, but you can’t hide.

Insane. But true. If I allow myself, I imagine him coming in the door. Here, on Army street. Insane. That can not happen. He’s in jail. I told you it was insane. This is all real, and not real at the same time. Because what actually happened and the things that happened as a result of it are staggeringly out of balance. When a bad thing happens, it’s bad enough that it happened. Keeping them in the past is the correct place to archive them. I refuse to believe anymore that this makes me unattractive. Like a leper or someone painted purple. Keeping this a secret or just sharing it with people close to me hasn’t really worked either. I just don’t want to be afraid of it anymore. The confusion surrounding this to this day feels the same as it did 30 years ago. There is a deep seeded desire to protect Dennis. Or I might get in trouble. Fucking crazy. Real. Fucked.

It never once occurred to me to tell another adult. An adult did this to me, and the other adults always side with adults. Right? That it was off the table for me to tell anyone says volumes. If you can’t understand that I envy you. It is possible that some of you do not know child abuse boasts some astounding statistics. When thinking of weather or not I wanted to press charges, I considered statistics. Let there be one more case on the records maybe they child programs will get more funding next year. But if you’ve been to jail, you’d know that sending a 68 year old man to the joint is a death sentence. That’s a heavy fucking thing. It’s all heavy. And he’s in jail. And this can end.

I still play Dungeons and Dragons every Monday. My character is an 8th level Lawful Evil Elf assasian named Olaf Yayo. It’s the highlight of my week. He’s a badass warrior with a +5 Defender sword and invisability at will. 48% chance of assasination if I acheive surprise and 38 hit points. 18 dexterity with a +2 bonus. He’s a killer. He kills. Everyone.

elf

04_3

Random bla bla sitting at the airport comming home…

June 16, 2009 - Leave a Response

Giant boyfriend. As her lips came close to mine a God-like voice thundered inside my head. As I shook his hand, earlier, I felt like a child. It was like shaking a Thanksgiving turkey. He looked tired, and rightly so having to move around all that muscle. He also looked kinda infuriated. I would be too if my supermodel girlfriend was paying so much attention to the American with the dimples. “GIANT BOYFRIEND!”, the voice said as her lips moved in slow motion, her eyes closed as she teetred her 6’2 frame on a pair of 5 inch heels. Teetered is actually being too nice. Ya see, when you drink that much… walls start to have gravity as well as the ground and they compete for your mass. She would have blacked out if it hadn’t been for the pile of cocaine. Giant boyfriend. You think I could just… ya know… for a second find myself in a situation where the georous curvy 23 year old super model leans over to kiss me and I just take it. Like a man. But I turned my head. It’s still a kiss if it’s on the cheek, right? And in Europe kissing on the cheek is kinda all the rage. I had the “I still got it” glow for like 2 days. It lasted until the cute usher on the train didn’t check my ticket and I realized that she didn’t check anyone’s. Trains move in fast-forward in Germany. I went to a bar where the owner knows me from the circus days and gives me some kinda lifetime achievement award keychain that makes my money no good there. But I cracked the code on the ukelele much to the dismay of whoever was standing around me while I was struggling to play Fly Me To The Moon which is really hard, by the way. I’m ready to tackle Queen, I think. They post gaurds in front of Jewish Synagouges in Germany. Kinda puts a chill in the air a bit. I’d like to get the phamplet on how I’m supposed to feel about that so I do it correctly.

dana

From my unique vantage point, I see things usually in one of 2 ways: legitimate or scrappy. It’s probably no secret that I have great distain for the legitimate. Which is why Berlin was so odd. It’s like, people were good at hanging out in café’s. People were good at it. Excelled at it. People leaned on things correctly. Perfect bad haircuts. Exceptional over-bites. The worst things I saw there were the result of Americans. We sure are messy.

The German language is fucking funny. And true. It’s so true. It’s kinda funny English in a way, with a buncha words jammed into the mix to throw you off. But ya can’t fool me. I still think they all talk English when I’m out of earshot. Because I’m an asshole, that’s why. Here is a photo of someone who puts little flags on dog shit asking “Who left the dog shit?”

IMG_36

1966 Cornet sitting on the street. With the air weepholes. This is a fancy car. 340 six-pack, if ya wanna get techy. 3 carbs with the worst progressive linkage MOPAR ever made. One more beer and I mighta stole it. The next day? 1973 Satellite. Custom. Only had the 318 but still a super rare car. MOPAR muscle. Makes my day every time…

IMG_0032
Are you still thinking about the super model? I am… here is another car…

IMG_0036

In the park on Sunday, 1,000 people are gathered to watch this new invention. They’ve never really seen it before, and an American is showing it to them. He has a little sound system, and a microphone and he is showing the people of Berlin the miracle of Kareokie. There are 1,000 people in an ampetheatre all sitting there bright eyed and wonder-filled. Every one of them sang along to Take Me Home Country Roads. Some of them even pulled the harmonys on ‘born’. A full 50% of the songs sung were the Beatles. “Oop la de, oop la da…”, the crowd clapped and swayed. They were simply delighted. Wait until they get toilet paper, they are gonna be happy then. Oh boy!

IMG_35

Berlin is exploding. Young people everywhere and ideas are flying around and there is possibility around every corner. And it’s all totally legit. It’s not like anyone is getting away with anything. There is very little ‘pranking’. And I use this word with trepidation knowing that I may be forced to capitulate anything I say because it’s all still sinking in. Someone will probably write me back and comment and say it more eloquently than I can. But the place could use some recycled Cacophony Events. Anyone out there wanna go live our past and be the king of Berlin for like 3 years before someone takes the idea and figgers out how to get money for it? Apply in person White Trash Fast Food anytime, day or night. Everyone you need is there to host a pigeon roast, a Chuck E. Cheese birthday with a burn victom ‘kid’ in full mummy wrap, a UFO hoax, a pillow fight, a nap in, a Santa rampage (or a bunny hop) or your very own book burning. Whoooops!!!! Nevermind the book burning. Swap that one out for urban golf. Or maybe a big wheel race.

I come home now. Can someone pick me up? Email me first. Take me out for a burrito. SFO 8:00 Tuesday night.

Here are some of Neils photos

June 11, 2009 - One Response

http://www.flickr.com/photos/neiltron/

Neil is my roomate, he came to document stuff and do the things that photographers do. You may remember Neil as when he quit is job he did the standard “resignation letter”. Standard thing, really. He wanted out of his mind numbing data entry thing and become a pro photographer. Here is a photo of his resignation letter. On a cake.

Cake of Resignation

I think he’s doing just fine. He hooked up with the boats for a few days. Here are some photos…

The Most Italian Rendition of The Most Italian Chicken

This is a photo of me in Bologna. I was feeling particularly Italian that day. I have the stupidest haircut ever.

Alice arriving in Venice

Alice arriveing in the Venice harbor.

Maria and Old Hickory arriving in Venice

Old Hickory and Maria arrive in the Venice harbor.

Ben Burke, Sea Sailor

Ben Burke, swarthy mate.

Dinner, Torre di Fine

The crew, eating vegal gruel on the banks of a canal waiting for favorable weather… look at the sunset… the colors of everything here are kinda amazing.

_

This is one of my new favorite people, Ian. He was our Italiano link as well as a doer, worker and all around swell guy. This photo is stunning. I like it.

My tale of W.W. a tale told from Berlin…

June 11, 2009 - One Response

In order to read this story, you have to be able to read in a German accent. Anytime I use italics, itz weeth ze Shermein, no? Yes no. Good. You see, Werner Wervie is German. And the accent is a huge part of the Werner show. You pronouce his name Verner. Verner Vervie. But you spell it with a W. Which has found a way to remind you of this fact as he refers to himself as “WW”. And he’s fucking funny. He owns like 10 vintage clothing stores and has an enormous warehouse overflowing with ancient clothes. It’s his muse and his tormentor. You see, there must be order. “Zere must be aweduh.” He says, slapping the back of his right hand into the palm of his left hand with a satisfying yet alarmingly powerful crack striking terror and dark imaginings to anyone in earshot.

I’m reminded of WW today because it’s my first time to Germany and everyone talks like him. It’s adorable. Terrifying. I don’t know what it is. He hired me once to build some clothing racks. Clozing rlacks. It’s easy enough to weld some ¾ inch pipe together. Came up with a cool design. I asked him how high he wanted the racks. “Oh, a-bout zeis hye…” he held his hand up against his shoulder just about the sleeve. I measured from his hand to the ground and noted it. Half cash, half trade for clothes. Now ya know where I get those awesome suits I wear. It was springtime, and the livin’ was easy. Werner decided to try an entrepreneurial endeauvor. It failed miserably.

He was vaguely aware of Bunny Bunny Jam Jam, a kind of Santa Rampage for ravers. It was a bunch of bunny activity around Easter. If you so much as nudged me towards monolouging about the demise of the Cacophony Society becoming a costumed drunken bar crawl you would regret it… so don’t do it. But the bunny thing is part of the maddening default that occurs when the counter culture gets a ‘hit’ (an event or an idea that gains traction). The Santa thing worked, so now you can go to the Cupid crawl (where you dress like cupid and go from bar to bar), the St. Patty’s day bounce (where you dress like, you guessed it, a fucking Leprechaun), Bunny Bunny Jam Jam where you get to participate in a HARE-raising Billon Bunny March and so on into perpetuity with Hallmark defining the holidays and we reacting to them. Right? Needless to say, the Santa Rampage is very different now that it was when it started as guys dressing like Santa and taking toys off the shelves at toy stores and giving them to kids that were in the toy store. Genius! Can you imagine the child’s’ wet eyes as Mr. Manager guy berates the Santa and tells Mom that Tommy can’t really have the GI JOE with Kung-fu grip or whatever that toy is now? You can’t arrest the Santa, he didn’t steal anything. It’s genius I tell you…

The first few Santa Rampages we were giving cigarettes to kids and going into Macy’s and chanting “BUY! BUY! BUY!…” Now you don your Santa suit and go from bar to bar. Maybe sing a carol. The original idea was that we all looked the same. Cheap Santa suits. Last time I looked at photos it seemed like a contest for which girl Santa can look sluttiest. But it worked. It hit. 50,000 Santa’s rampaging in Russia last year. Santa rampage in 1,000 cities across the globe. Humble beginnings. Rob Schmidt. Meek, quiet guy. Used the templet for unrestricted generosity and his event was spread all over the globe because it was a powerful idea whose time had come…

The bunny thing didn’t hit. Although very cute, the bunnies were (and are) a small group that have an annual convention and for over 10 years they hop about and have a great time. Werner was painfully aware that the Bunny Jam thing was a small micro-cosm. He invested a chunk of money making bunny hats. They were like bonnets, with big floppy ears. Pastel blue and pink, as I remember. They looked ridiculous. The ears looked more like handles and the colors were horrendous. The hat part or bonnet or whatever was far too big… it was clunky. And it tied at the chin and if you didn’t tie it tight the ears were very heavy and it would fall off. But if you tied it tight it kinda gave you a double chin. I don’t think that he sold one. Which is probably why, on the day before Easter (which would be the last day that one could sell a bunny hat that year) he was having a bad day.

‘On a tear’ would be a good way to describe it. An insufferable screaming child could be another. He came in the store and layed into his employees like a nightmare come true. I tried to buzy myself with the finishing touches on the rack project. The old racks were in the back of my pick up truck. The new racks installed and the clothes transferred. I was waiting to get paid. I was pretty happy with the way it turned out. Werner wasn’t happy about anything. “Ze weendoh iz fithy! Filthy! How ken ze cuzdummer zee da kloze eff ze vindoh is so FEELZIE!!!!!!” he went on to remind them that in Germany every window is cleaned every 15 minutes with acid or something. “Ze floor iz dezgusting… it ez depressing en dis place. I could not shop is such a plaze!” OK, maybe the window was a little dirty. And maybe they didn’t mop that day. But then it all came out… “And ze bunny hatz, they do not zell… and why? Beecaze you do not make it fun! Zey sit on ze shelf and you do not wear ze bunny hat! If you wear it, zen people see ze fun!!!” he grabs one of the hats and puts it on, tying the string tightly making a noticeable depression in his round face… which is now red with anger. He is spitting mad, monologueing and pacing slapping his hand in that alarming way going down an imaginary list of offensive points wearing that fucking bunny hat. He forgot he had it on. It was difficult to not explode with laughter. The employees were trying to look away, for fear that they would lose it. One pretended there was something in his eye, one had her hand over her mouth with a sincere look on her face. It was shocking. I could have been watching pregnant Siamese twin midgets performing Ebony & Ivory playing trumpets out their asses on ice skates and it wouldn’t have been more shocking. And funny like Don Rickles hosting the Special Olympics. And just when I thought it could’nt get any more amusing… he turned his rage on me: “And yooouuu…. Cheekeeeeen….” He says slowly, almost growling pointing his finger at me with a scowl on his face that would make any French beurocrat envious… “You make ze rlack too loow. I tell you how hei to make ze rlack and you make it too looow!!!” he went on about how when a rack is too low, it is a bad way to display clothes and if it’s too high it promotes stealing. His claim that there is a perfect height for a rack comes after he talks about his qualification to hold this information as an expert in his field. “Zeis hei!!!!!!” he shows me how high the rack should be. The horror and shock I feel is impossible. Just before the wave of comedy hits me like a planet. He is holding his hand out, fingers extended and together at just higher than shoulder height with his elbow straight as an arrow, spitting mad as he tells me that it is, indeed, ‘this high’ that he wants the racks. “Zeis hei!!!!!” Impossible. It is impossible that this enraged man with a German accent has accidentally bumbled into a perfect fascist salute. In a bunny hat. “ZEIS HEI!!!!!! He shrieks one last time, quivering. My DNA was breaking down. Cells were dividing. Internal organs failing. I was turning to liquid, and draining away. There was a war being fought in all of our bodies. To not erupt in tearful, weakening laughter was impossible. Time stopped, and for an instant, I was afraid I would die.

I burst out laughing 12 times today, being in Germany. Thought I’d share.

chicken

Rialto Bridge

June 7, 2009 - One Response

the_rialto_bridge_ch23412-1

I had a feeling that I would need an ancillary agenda item on this trip. Ukulele. I brought one with me and wrote an albums worth of material, kinda as theme songs to the time I did here. There was some down time. Alright. Last night, I went to one of the little bridges in Venice, and I played all the songs. As a soundtrack to drunk people wandering back to their hotels at 2 in the morning. People stopped and hung out. Danced. I got 3 kisses. OK, 2 of ‘em was from the same girl but I swear she changed clothes somehow.

rialto nightjpg

So no matter what happens or how my time here is perceived or how cranky I am that the art world is a myopic shithole or how great ice cream is all that’s left of the Roman empire… always and forever I’ll be able to pick up my uke and play these songs and remember the night that I sat on the Rialto bridge with the moon so full it looked like it was going to explode and I played the songs I wrote on the Spring Break Parking Lot Tour 2009 and humanity got softer around the edges with 4 poorly tuned strings and a head full of Fernet. The album I wrote, ya know… that summer I spent in Italy…

chicken album

Open the gates!

June 6, 2009 - Leave a Response

The moon is full and round over Venice. The little stone bridges stretch out over calm water like glass reflecting candle light from a café. Beautiful. The lunar accoutrement a broach on the cloak of the night sky, the germ freak Italian catalogue people wander in their immaculate outfits and preposterous hand gestures. It’s embarrassing. I didn’t really understand what Euro-trash meant before. I totally get it now. I-zod shirts with the collar up. Everybody smokes. I look at this moon, and I feel the summer night on my face. This is the moon we closed the Odeon under 48 months ago. Wow. So much has happened. The world has changed. I’ve changed. So have you.

the end

But the alter of the lupine lords changes not, however, is ever changing. I always do things under full moons. I organize events around them, trips and stuff. Significant things. The Winkers first night was a full moon. Twice I have successfully sat an audience down for dinner and introduced a special guest as the moon rose, obsured from their view. And once I served mussels in the Amargosa valley to a stunned and surprised bus group watched in awe a gorgeous sunset and moon rise contemporaneously. As far as showmanship, you can’t beat the moon. And it’s been like that for eons.

north-pole-moon2

But did we really go to the moon? Who cares? Well. I do. I have a statement to make about it that will change the way you think of the proposed lunar hoax. If the lunar landing was, indeed, a hoax… it was a greater feat of engineering and brilliance by a factor of 100 then just sending a few guy to our own moon. Weird, isn’t it? That every other moon gets a name? Anyhow, I see the lunar hoax not as a device for the paranoid conspiracy theorists to get all excited about… bur indeed as great, great showmanship. I mean, that’s the world you wanna live in, no? A world where a guy can get away with faking going to the moon, right? That’s be amazing! Go figger? Gimme a minute… here I go:

The scenario unfolds, as I imagine, as follows
The Cold War. The Cuban Missle Crisis behind us, we announce that we are going to send a group of Astronauts to the moon. The rocket is built. The spacesuits are designed and made. The calculations are engineered. Everything is going well. But there is a “possibility” of error. The computing power of my friggin’ phone today is more than all computing power on Earth at that time. COMBINED. So they proceed as planned, but there is a contingency plan. The way I see it, there were 2 scenarios. Here is scenario 1.

Scenario 1

They realize a few weeks out it wasn’t gonna work. For whatever reason. But they couldn’t lose face and cancel. They had to do something. So they staged it. They shot it in Hollywood. The rocket took off, but it was un-manned. Went up. Went behind the moon and hid. Then, came out and burned up in orbit. They did a swich-a-roo on the capsule that had the little parachute… dropped it out of an airplane or something. Plopped it down in the Pacific. Armstrong and company get out, smile for the cameras: Ta-da! Great reveal. Curtain.

Scenario 2

There were 2 Astronaut teams. John Glenn, Armstong and whoever else were the ones that you thought were in the capsule. But it was a swap-a-roni. A few other Astronauts were on board instead. The known Astronauts go hang out on a boat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean for the duration of the mission and drink Mai Tai’s. A few other guys go up. Land on the moon. Play golf. Small step for mankind and all that. You can’t tell either way, for the helmets. They think they’re coming back. Maybe they do. Maybe they don’t. Maybe the thing wouldn’t start. And it’s still there. And someone is gonna find it someday. Who knows.

But in either scenario, it’s the classic razz-a-matazz made famous by Otto Von Danger: it’s not really them in there. I mean, really. How could you risk it? Why would you? There is far too much to lose. We needed American heroes, to encourage kids to go die in Vietnam and all that crap.

att00025

There is something wonderfully fishy going on in there. I can smell it. Lets take it step by step, shall we? Wonderful. Here we go…

1. A rocket takes off from Cape Canaveral Florida.

Can you believe that? I can. Sure. Without a doubt. The rocket was real.

2. The rocket, with space travelers, leaves Earths’ orbit and goes into outer space.

You buyin’ that? I am. That sounds easy. Doable. A walk in the park.

3. They dis-engage fuel tanks, and land a ship on the moon.

OK. So maybe that happened. That would be hard. But lets give it to ‘em. They landed on the moon. Opened the door. Got out. Drove a car around. Sounds a little far fetched. But we’ll give it to ‘em.

4. They take off from the moon, break the moons gravity and go back to outer-space.

Sure they did. Nothing went wrong. They had plenty of air and water and they collected samples and they were jet-setting around the galaxy again. Sure they did. Why not?

5. They break into Earth’s atmosphere, survived the 6,000 degree heat, and land the capsule with a parachute within 10 miles of their projected landing spot.

Shut up. That didn’t happen. One thing at a time it’s plausible until the last one, but that there was not one glitch or whatever is terribly suspect. But lets stretch the possible over a few miles of impossible and give it to them. Mission accomplished. Right?

Wrong. Why the secrecy? Why is there zero information available? It went too smooth. Which makes me think it was pre-recorded. I can see it. I can see bad acting. I’m a Carney. I can smell a show. Someone thought of this. This is a careful engineering.

s503649395_1155441_9657

And it’s brilliant. If it is indeed true that either man did not walk on the moon in 1968 or that it was men but not the men we think it was this is a work of performance genius. Like 9/11. It’s just too perfect. Beginning, middle, end. Reveal, conclusion, understanding. The devices trigger perfectly. It’s uncanny. Things just don’t ever actually work like that. I move through my day watching the show, with a critics’ eye. And I’m telling you I have trained myself to see things that you don’t see. You can shake my hand and I’ll tell you if you are an only child. It’s a carney thing. It’s hard to describe.

But unlike a conspiracy nut, my intention isn’t to be paranoid. Nay. I could care less if the government is evil or whatever. I’m pointing out comedy here. Not tragedy. This is amazing. The possibility that is being spouted here is nothing short of mind-blowing. If the lunar landing is a hoax, what else total bullshit? That no one could ever use the phrase “… we can put a man on the moon, but…” can we? Can we really put a man on the moon? What else didn’t really happen? The civil war? The 50’s? What if the 50’s didn’t ever happen? And anyone over 60 was in on it?

50shousewife

OK. That’s absurd. But how many people would have to have been “in on it” to make the lunar landing a hoax? A thousand? A few hundred? What if it was 1 guy? What if there was a simulator for the Astronauts? What if the people at Mission Control were given false reading on rigged machines? Can you imagine how smug that one guy could get to be? And if the astronauts ‘thought’ they went to the moon?! That would be awesome. With all the different departments at NASA, he could totally engineer top secret this and top secret that and be the only one with ALL the pass codes and all the information. That puppet master! He’s a genius!!!

If the lunar landing was a hoax, it could be the greatest prank ever to be pulled off in the history of mankind. I’m a fan. Do I think we actually landed on the moon? I don’t know. It’s too much fun to think of how we didn’t land on the moon. “Open the gates! But sir, the Turks are at the gates!!! Open the gates!!!!”

Open the gates indeed.

munch

Lagoona Ravioli

May 29, 2009 - Leave a Response

R0014956

The boat tips from bow to stern like see-saw. The water washes the decks. The boats creak and and knock. Drywall screws. I remember the conversation about spending the extra $5 buying exterior grade screws. I was assuming they would buy fasteners in 25 lb. containers. They ended up buying whatever they needed day by day in small plastic bags hung on a spinning rack from the local Podunk hardware store in Troy last year. $4 a bag of 10 screws. It was thousands of dollars. But who’s the fool now, I think… as the fury of The Bora chases us out of the sea back to the shelter of La Blablabla cove. I can’t pronounce any of these towns. We just default to the dish that they are closest to. The town of Lingiuni. The Pastavasoul Canal. The Bora is a weather pattern that can whip up 150KM per hour winds on the sea. The good news is it comes from the North. The bad news is that it’s 150KM per hour winds. Far too much for our kindergarten carpentry boats to endure.
R0015001

Venice is only 17 miles away. But we can’t get through the canals. Because the boats are too tall. I am all for dismantling the boats to get through the bridges. We are 35 people. How long could it take? It’s really hard for my personality to just sit back and watch people make decisions without giving input. It’s an ego thing, and I begin to understand why the court jester dressed like a fool. A wise sage, usually the most schooled person of the court; the Fool would challenge any and all decisions as no one else dare challenge the King. Ya need a guy presenting the other side sometimes… but the Fool only speaks in parable. Using wisdom from all manner of places. He would commit them to memory and would talk like an idiot to prevent anyone from seeing him as an equal. This is where “playing the fool” comes from. We need one of those fools over here, probably. Anybody know anyone who fits the bill? Yea.

R0014866

The boats climb a wave, teeter over the crest and as it heads down the wave, the propeller comes out of the water. We run in 4th gear at full throttle. Which is like 600 RPM. In the water. But if the props comes out, the engine screams up to 3,000 RPM in a second. Do that a few times and it’s anyone’s guess what will let go first… throw a rod, spin a bearing… blow a seal. No, that’s vanilla ice cream. So ya gotta stay on the throttle. As the prop jumps out of the water when the nose dives down, you throttle down. When the prop is back in the water, you throttle up. With one hand. Your other hand is keeping the waves from pushing the long tail up and out of the water. The engines are all on gimbals. Pivots that make it easy to just push down on the front of the engine to raise the prop if we get to shallow water or to change the trim angle. Flexibility becomes a maddening exercise of exhausting endurance on the high seas.

SDC10144

The Captian of my boat, Maria, is Paul Da Plummer. Great fabricator. Inventor. Welder. Builder. Machinist. Mumbler. I’m deaf. We stand 25 feet away from each other. I stand next to the roaring engine. He’s on the top deck. We can see each other. Sort of. I have the throttle and the transmission. He’s got the steering wheel. We have a complicated system of hand signals and screaming. And out boat refuses to turn right. You see, our prop turns left. And our boat is skinny. There is a phenomenon with propellers: prop-walk. If you were to hold the prop shaft with a prop on it, and turn the shaft… the prop would “walk” in a circle. 360 degrees. So when we turn left, the prop is helping us. It’s walking left already. Turn the rudders right, and as if you were waking a bear up from hibernation. The boats creaks a little. It takes a little bit to respond. Yawns. Stretches. Then maybe starts to suggest going to the right before it starts spinning in a circle. For real. 2 wrongs don’t make a right. But 3 lefts do. I wanna get a no right turn sign and put it on the bow. The Smothers Brothers couldn’t make a skit that was funnier than me and Paul moving this boat through the water. The other boats are big, heavy squares. They have no navigation issues. So anyone can pilot them. Maria is complicated and kinda funner. It’s a disaster. An engineering debacle. Only as strong as it weakest link, me and Paul eek Maria through the water. I mean, you can just shut of the motor and start paddleing. Why not? The Tahitians did.
SDC10105

The engines sip diesel. We are using like 1 liter a mile. It’s amazing. 20 liters is 5 gallons. So with this boat design, you could go to Hawaii with 400 gallons of fuel. And at 4 MPH, it would only take 25 days. That’s totally doable. We could weigh anchor near one of those fancy hotels on Maui and steal their wireless. Crash into the Plastiki on our way. Mr. Environment. Builds a plastic boat out of recycling. Then has 10 media boats following him and 2 Coast Guard boats and a helicoper. To support the sail boating environmentalists. Just think of all the resources we wouldn’t have spent if they weren’t trying to save the planet… vanity project for a rich kid who wants a legacy.

R0014524

I’ve got 8 entry’s for Camp Tipsy. When I get to Venice, I’m gonna sit down and tell ya about them. But you should be setting aside the last week in July and especially August 1 and 2nd for Camp Tipsy.

Signing off from Lagoona Ravioli, Chciken

Complimente’!!!!!!

May 27, 2009 - 2 Responses

`Prego!!!

R0014460

OK. Sorry to disappear, but I just kinda needed to submerge into this project for a minute and just unplug. I’m in Italy. We are traveling in little canals, but the bridges are low and we keep getting kicked out of the canals and sent back to the Adriatic. Sea. The Adriatic Sea. It’s the ocean. It’s huge. It’s not like a big lake. This ‘aint Camp Tipsy. We are piloting ocean-going vessels in serious swell on boats made of bullshit. It’s pretty amazing. Everyday I simultainiously fall in love and a few hours later I feel like I’m wasting my time. I’m totally confused. It happens when you spend too much time with vegans. The crew are 30 art-types who are all totally great on their own but as a collective they are impossible and the logistics are maddning. The boats aren’t even done, really. We are building as we go. We were underway and Steve was welding a muffler pipe. It’s stupid. I watched someone cut a piece of wood in half with a leatherman yesterday. We are cutting steel with a hacksaw. We’ve got a welder, but it’s 110. We’ve got a grinder, but it’s 220. Half the tools are 220. Everyones cell phone is deep 6ed. My tools are gone, eaten by the sea. We had a few problems with drive shafts and sheer pins, but we stopped in a little fishing town and a adorable old Italian man fabricated us a sleeve to protect the vibration and we havn’t had a problem since. He worked for 12 hours and charged us $160. People give us fish. The curiosity is very reserved here. Italy is kinda fancy. I’m in the North. It reminds me of Palm Beach.

R0014298

The motors I designed and built with Anton are amazingly powerful. You could take these boats anywhere. No problems at all. It’s kinda boring, actually. I think the water pump has a small crack in one. But besides that and my inability to wire an alternator I’ve been pretty mechanicly perfect. The new design has a long tail that is 13 feet long. It’s really mean looking. The 5th wheel hitch design is flawless. One of the boats can turn so tight it could “jump it’s own wake”. That’s impressive. The on-board design is cool.

R0014557

We arrive at the Beinealle on Sunday night, in the late afternoon. We have a place to do our show. We perform Thurs-Sunday, at 9:00. 40 person cast. The show is hard to describe. I’ll just shoot it and post it for you. I have a bit part as a screaming mechanic fighting with a giant foam rubber propeller that won’t stay on the shaft. It’s funny.

We have been camping, mostly. People are super buzy building props for the show and doing last minute stuff on the boats. I had to stop working the last few days. I’m just exausted. But I have a lot to do. Camp Tipsy is like 60 days away. I’ve gotta get crackin’.

R0014713

We are also looking into an exit stragey for the boats. Swoon wants to walk away. Put the boats in a dumpster and be done. She is exausted and spent and it’s only gonna get worse. The Beinalle is going to be a massive energy expenditure for her. I wanna store the boats and do it again next year. We are in the wrong part of Italy to find cheap storage. So we are digging in and I’m gonna go rent a car and comb the coast next week to find something appropriate.
Docked in Terra de Fine

The canal system here is increadable. You gotta do it sometime. Grab a boat and go from here to there. Pretend you’re a Roman Battleship. I don’t even know if they had battle ships. The Adriatic. Odysis. I’m looking at buildings that are older than some sins . And the Italians remind me of the Italians in my natural family. The hand gestures instantly propel me back to my youth. Maybe that’s why I’m a little dour. I watched a guy the other day do something with his hands that my biological father did 30 times an hour. It makes me feel terribly lost, and totally powerless to rally against certain traits I have that I can not control.

Old Hickory near Lignone

But this is hard. I’ve found myself in a leaderless collective again. We have a directive, sure. We are gonna crash the Beinalle with junk boats. We are going to be the most awesome thing there, likely. We are going to arrive in Venice heros. I think. But there is nothing planned for us on the way there. Which is kind of a shame, as there is so much potential energy here to be harnessed. And as a Showman, I wanna have something to promote. But that’s not how this contract was written. So we just hang out on docks and stuff. I don’t hang out well. But that’s not like, a problem. It’s beautiful. And so what if I’m 15-20 years older then most of the people here. Someone has to be the oldest. But it’s an odd postion, because there was a time when I was ALWAYS the youngest. Now, it’s different. But it’s hard.
May 22, 2009. Lignone, Italy

The boats rock impossibly. The deck a-wash with sea water and the crest of the waves force the propellers out of the water. You have to hold them in. And you better hold on! The spray explodes on the bow and you wonder how strong those 2 year old drywall screws are. You consider the designs of the boats. The napkins at the Denny’s you were drawing on. The boats are very buoyant. So they bouce back and forth. The lighter jumps out of the front pocket of your shirt. Gone. The sun is brutal. The salt is rusting the shit out of everything. 3 ½ knots is what we got.

Chicken on Maria

Check it off the list: build ocean going vessel out of garbage and take 30 people across the Adriac Sea and crash the fancy pants art show that wouldn’t send you an invitation…

CHECK!!!!!

Goodbye and Camp Tipsy!

May 3, 2009 - Leave a Response

O.K. So I leave for Slovenia in the morning. The boats are in the water. Ready for me to put the motors on and go…

 

BuildPanorama

This is the boat Alice, but in the Adriatic. It’s weird to think that giant hulk is out there.

photo by Tod Seelie

So I’m off to crash the Bianalle. With bullshit. I’ll be back later. But in the meantime, you’ll be hearing about OUR boating event, Camp Tipsy.

 

This is kinda a “save the date” email. It’s important to remember that this trip that I am going on now is possible because of the $5K Camp Tipsy made last year. Camp Tipsy this year is going to make the boat trip NEXT year possible. Including the exit strategy after the Bianalle this year. Yes, I’m that organized! I know, it’s hard to believe…

Camp Tipsy is a camping trip at Lake Ladoga California.

It’s 2 weeks long.

It starts on Monday July 27th and ends on Monday August 10th or so.

It’s tent and RV type camping with no services.

There is a nice lake.

It’s a boat buiding contest, with actual prizes and $ for the winners.

The contest is at 3:00 on Saturday August 1st. Camp Tipsy is a 2 ½ drive from the Mission, SF.

It’s near the town of Maxwell, off the 5.

Motor boats are allowed, but discouraged.

There is no amplified sound. At all.

Children are encouraged. Great kid spot.

Boats are judged not only on lack of engineering but also on crummy implimentation. The coveted “last place” award for least effort is the category to watch out for. The idea of Camp Tipsy is to have fun and build boats. Build ‘em outa nothing at all. It’s an excercize in a catyclismic future that Kevin Cosner portrayed so poorly.

If your interested: http://camptipsy.wordpress.com/

Trailer for the Burning Man movie this Saturday…

April 30, 2009 - Leave a Response

 

 Frenchy french fries’ movie trailer here. 

The most interesting thing that has happened to or around BM in the last 5 years is this movie. Which is going to put all BM’s bullshit ideologies to the test. And they are going to fail like dogs in the dirt. This film will single-handedly eliminate kool-aide drinking, and it’s about time really. Come to the movie, see what all the hoopla is about.                    DUST & ILLUSIONS Screening May 2nd 2009

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.