Friday, January 22, 2016

Note to a Baby: The grandfather you'll never know

You're almost five, and no baby. Lately, it's crossed my mind several times that there are stories I want you to know.

One is the day my biodad died. We were friends. We could talk about anything and we made each other mad sometimes. We had a couple great adventures in New Orleans together. He had a zest for life while he was slowly killing himself. Such a paradox. It's what happens when shitty stuff happens to little kids a bit too much. This little kid was curious and  bright, open minded and happy. Then his dad, my grandfather drank way too much all the time and might have hurt him, or my grandmother, not sure. Either way, he left the family and became homeless and died on the streets. I think in Oklahoma, maybe Texas.

My biodad then suffered at the hand of my grandmother. I think she may have hit him, I know she told him she wished he'd never been born.

They found out my grandfather died when they didn't hear from him for a long time. They called someone, who? The morgue, the police, I don't know. It was in some other state than Louisiana, where they were living. Had always lived.

He played the drums in a rock band and then the tympani in the Army symphony in Alaska.

The day I heard he died was in the evening. Your dad and I were at our friends' house with other friends too and we were watching the Simpsons and eating pizza. It was such a fun time, everyone was happy. It was simple.

Then your dad's phone rang and it was my mom, your grandmama calling to tell me he was dead. She hadn't been able to reach me on my phone. Your dad gave me a weird look, then handed me the phone. I don't remember what he said. I said Hello, and she was crying pretty hard. She said she was so sorry to tell me that Arthur had died. He was your grandfather.

I started crying and couldn't stop. Your dad led me to the converted garage, now a studio, and I sat on a yellow jacquard sofa. After a moment, my two girlfriends came in and asked what happened, and they sat on either side of me and held me and said nothing while I cried. My guy friends sort of hung out in the background unsure of what to do.

Your dad and I went home. I felt so weird. I felt very numb in the car the whole way home. I felt all the sadness I ever felt about him, the loss he suffered in his life, everything I knew about his pain felt worse than ever and dug into my being. All the lost potential, the life that could've been the life the got away.

His best friend's husband found him. They hadn't heard from him for a couple days; very unusual. They were paying for his apartment. My biodad, your grandfather had been friends with this woman since high school, and now she was married to the mayor of the small town in Louisiana and they were rich. That mayor turned out to be first cousins with Jerry Lee Lewis and Jimmy Swaggart. How weird is that.

He was in bed, the air conditioner was cranked. He had a fan pointed towards his face, and there were dozens of beer cans in the kitchen. He'd been sober for like 3 years.

What  happened.

I don't know. I wonder if he killed himself. He was very lonely and bored. He had emphysema and used an oxygen tank while he chain smoked. Did he have respiratory failure because of the large amount of alcohol? I think maybe it was just his one last drunk.

I hadn't talked to him for five months previous. That five months was preceded by a visit your dad I made to his apartment in that small town. It was overwhelming for me and I kind of avoided him afterward. I didn't answer his calls. For five months. And then he died.

Monday, January 18, 2016

"Look up here, I'm in Heaven"

Ok, ok, ok.

Days pass without another tear shed for Bowie—and thank god because it's been very sad and hard at The Jones since last Monday.

Then today, this.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Breakfast Club + Bowie

At some point in the movie these lyrics from "Changes" show up. After viewing, my friends and I started tagging our backpacks, army jackets and random public bathroom walls with his words. We were 15. We felt so vindicated.

(Bye Bye Beautiful Bowie.)

Monday, December 07, 2015

John Lurie on Guns.

He feels the same way I do, but is much funnier about it. This painting is called, "Americans have the right to bear arms."

A few more of his brilliant works.

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Ass-kissers only need apply

Only a company as giant and important as Pixar can get away with calling this position of slave-like proportions, "Editorial Assistant."

As an editor, I am in the position to say they should be arrested for slander.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Gavin on Guns. Me on Guns.

Click here to sign a new petition for a California law against gun violence.

I've liked Gavin Newsom since he opened up San Francisco City Hall for gay people to get married in 2004. I also like that he's not so into guns. I always open Gavin's emails. They're well written and make sense. I loathe politics and spam, but somehow he and his emails transcend both. Maybe he's an evil genius and I should be scared because he got me listening when no one else has. Or, he's just smart and a gen-x-er like me. We speak the same language.

Just now, I clicked through his email to a form about gun control. I was asked to tell my personal story about guns, why I'm not into it, why I want more control, which, yes, means more government.

What I wrote:

That favorite saying of many gun owners, "guns don't kill people, people kill people" is just dumb. Of course guns kill people. Without guns, people wouldn't die from other people shooting them. Which brings me to the next tiresome defense.

"If we the people aren't allowed to have guns, only the criminals will have guns." 

I say, while that may be true (may), there are still less guns and that means less shooting. Consider the "war on drugs." It's a disaster riddled with lies, BUT there are less people on "drugs" than there would be if one could run down to 7-11 and grab some opiates for a headache. Same reasoning with guns. 

Less guns = less shooting. I'm terrible at math, but isn't that an accurate equation?

On a personal level, I was nearly shot by my beloved grandfather when he proudly showed me his gun. I was 24 years old, he was 80. I was sitting in his lounge chair when he approached me from the side and lowered the gun towards my line of sight...but it went off before I could get a look. The bullet lodged in a window frame. I was deaf for an hour or so, while my grandfather descended into a terrible depression. That near-miss wouldn't have been possible if he didn't have a gun. Simple. So simple. 

Ok now, let's talk about getting some opiates in 7-11 because I get massive headaches and my back is fucked up. Just kidding.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

From the desktop of ...Lou

This table wants to abduct me and take me to its mothership.

I'm developing a crush on this old punk rocker.

This table is the rich cousin of the table made of two gasoline barrels and an old door.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

"There's a dragon with matches that's loose on the town"

The Valley Fire in Middletown, CA left most people without a home. But spared our property.

I was just tearing around this vineyard, up and down the rows on an ATV. Care-Free. The horror barely touched us. The fire stopped at the cinderblock retaining wall right next to the house, and took just a taste of a corner of the vineyard. Really, did we deserve that mercy?

And the sky. Meant to kill.

We were able to save the horses, but had to let the cows and the goats and the chickens fend for themselves. You're set free loves, now RUN. 

Sunday, October 11, 2015

AC/DC in Town

When I got the email, "Who Wants To Go?" One thing came into my mind and that was "BACK IN BLACK!" and so obviously I said, I do.

But then the day came and I imagined being amongst all the nostalgia players and felt like I might feel selfconscious. I might have a good time, and also sometimes feel like I'm in an uncomfortable time warp. Plus it cost $144. So, I told my friends fuckit and sold the ticket.

Later that night one of said friends sent this image.

Jim Carrey's on a trip and I wanna go