display | more...
Yes, It's pro-Israel. No, I'm not really apologetic. This is what people here live with.

Today is Yom Ha'atzmaut, Israeli independance day. I, for one, have very ambivalent feelings about the day. Is there any religios significance in our return to the land we lived in 2000 years ago? Even if there is, is the day that we signed a piece of paper stating our independance really the day that needs to be celebrated? At the same time, it clearly is a day to reflect on what it means to me to have a Jewish state. In any case, It's Independance day, and that means something very different to me than it does to an Israeli. I was thinking, tonight, about what the 4th of July is like in the United States, and why it is different here. I came to the following conclusions:

It's a holiday. There are firecrackers, beer, and bands playing all over. That's true in the US of A also, but I think it's a little different, because people care. As Thomas Paine said, "the tree of liberty must be refreshed, from time to time, with the blood of patriots." Everyone here knows people, not one or two, but dozens of people who died. These people live, every day, with the knowledge that a soldier they know, a brother, sister, cousin, or down the street neighbor, may be killed in the combat that occurs everyday. Or their uncle from the territories may be gunned down in a random act by some frustrated palestinian. This is life. And every single one of them knows, and doesn't act on, the fact that they could always leave for a place that's safer.

No one takes the existence of their country for granted. Whether you're a radical "Ultra-Orthodox" Jew that thinks that the state should never have been founded, and used to be part of the Neturei Karta, a secular Jew that hasn't seen the inside of a synagogue in several decades, or a member of Shinui, the anti-religious political party, you can be holding one of the torches in the yearly parade. (These are references to specific people who are going to have torches in the parade.)

At the same time, there are people that I know, all around me, that fought in 1948. they are 75 or 80 years old, and I see them in synagogue, running the local grocery store, or just sitting in front of the Kotel, when I visit.

Maybe in another 55 years the state of Israel will have an Independence day where people can get drunk, barbecue, and just talk about the weather like we do in the United States. Maybe in another 55 years, the country will only care about how the next election will turn out, and politicians will give speeches about things that are, at least comparatively, inconsequential, and people will car. Hopefully it won't take that long.

Riverrun was right. He warned me that Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin sea stories would quickly become an addiction, and so they have. I spent most of last weekend buried in the second book, Post Captain, and now that I’ve finished it I’ve got such a jones going that it's all I can do to keep my feet from ambling of their own accord down the hill to Seattle Public Library’s temporary Central Branch to check out the next one, and dive in. Not only are these books the best of both of pulp and high literature, but somehow they’re better than both worlds: none of the pander of even the best pulp, and none of the philosophizing or overblown literary affectations of so-called serious fiction. These are, indeed, smart books for smart people, but O’Brian feels no need to convince you of how bright he or his characters are. Indeed, there’s no trace of the the author in any of what I read so far, and the rich and utterly real complexity of the characters, especially Stephen Maturin, extends across the book-to-book progression, so that you honestly feel like you’re witnessing the uninflected accounts of these men’s lives. What an achievement. And what a delightful surprise to be discovering them just now. It gives me hope that there’s other hidden pleasures around other future corners, just when I need them. That said, I still feel the onus to control my new addiction, if only to prolong the dosage.

Addictions thrive at transition points in people’s lives, and my situation is no exception. I’ve been in juggling two writing commissions for a couple months now, and last week added a third ball in the form of a sampler of TV pitches I sent to an L.A. agent last Friday. Happily, though, at the moment all three projects are on administrative leave of sort of an or another. On the one commission, I sent notes off to the producers enumerating what my co-writer and I planned to do in the final draft (in order to get our final payment). They’ll either sign off and we get to work, or they balk, at which point I’ll probably walk since it ain’t that much cash any way. On the other commission, which hasn’t actually been paid yet, I’m holding off on any more research until I get an check in the mail. And on the TV pitches, I’m waiting to find out which of them this agent decides is most saleable. It feels good to have everything off my plate, however temporarily.

The real transition, however, is the one I seem to be half-consciously making between writer and full-time stay-at-home dad. Even if I do continue to plug away at one project or another, I’m starting to realize that it matters a lot less: that whatever artificial purpose my creative efforts were giving my existence pale when compared to the meat-and-potatoes purpose I have taking care of my 11 month-old son. Believe me, I don’t say this out of any cloying moralistic sense of self-congratulation. Some times I long nostalgically for the days of artificial purpose, clandestinely typing away at relatively subversive plays while pretending to be busy with actual work in the belly of the American corporate beast, but such is no longer my lot. Now it’s feeding, changing, snuggling, playing, comforting after a head bump, getting up at 3:37 am to replace a lost binky, rinse and repeat. I spent the first ten or so years of my career as a playwright creating demons to drive me to work enough to get anything of substance done, but when you’re a parent, you don’t need to create demons to drive you to work. The demon comes custom-built into that cute little bugger you begat.

When I told my older brother that my wife and I would be having our first baby he was delighted. He has five kids, one of whom was born twenty years ago when he was just 18. He told me that being a father would make me a better writer. I’m not sure how this is supposed to happen, but I believe him for some reason. Faith, maybe? If it’s true, it’s down a road which I can’t see very much of at the moment.

Yes, It's pro-drug. No, I'm not really apologetic. This is what people here live with.

This is the day
That the Lord hath made
I will rejoice
And be glad in it.
--or so said someone in the Bible

Yes, indeedy. This is my special day. Indeed, my birthday. Now don't be trippin. I am weary like Leary, but it's all good because I at least know what time it is. And why a daylog, another? Still. I just got shit to say. Shit to spit. Feel?

And this is much directed at the mullet in the Camaro, yes, you can indeed even turn that shit off as you drive by because your music, not at all much unlike yourself, sucks.

Sorry, maybe this daylog will again even suck but there seemed to be something important to share, because it is My Special Day even though my girl's message told me not to wake her up to see the sunrise because she got smashed last night, even though my phone is disconnected, and even though because it is definitely not the prettiest day in the past few. However, as I may or may not have said, This is my special day and it is mine to enjoy, because the god gave it to me him or her own self to enjoy and live and experience, for better or for worse, and if you should downvote, should you chose to hate, despite the untainted truths set forth on this here web document, the thing is I ain't gonna give a flyin' fuck in the most part because almost exactly twenty two years ago I emerged from the vagina of my own sweet mother and here I am, still rockin!

It ain't no stoppin
I'm still boppin
Dre got some bitches from the city of Compton

And, no, acid won't teach you anything you didn't already know, as this log might have revealed. so just chill till the next episode


And all on top, I go over to her house, as it's my special day and whatnot expecting, say, a birthday gift, or at least nothing shy of a kiss. All I got was a cigarette and dumped. Friends?. I have friends I've been neglecting severly on account of your ass, you sweet sweet bitch, I need no more friends, none that don't kiss. And matter of factly, not only do I hate you for doing this today, I am gonna become racist now and stop the rest of the chinks before it's too late. I tried to love an Asian and got my heart all Ginsu knife-like chopped to shit pieces, and I'll be damned if they're gonna do it again. And your fucking tatoos are ugly and your short hair makes you look like a boy, if still hot. I hate you now for not letting me love you. Ewwww!!!!

Sorry, sorry, I was kidding. I love chinks!

It is amazing what a phone call from a friend will do.

Brutha Yosh called me last Monday. He only calls me when he's stuck in traffic. Since he lives in LA, he calls me several times a week. Yosh is the only male friend I have.

"My bruthahhh...," he said.

"My brutha," I replied and pulled the long cord in to dining room where the boys and SpongeBob floated in as a mere murmur, and I proceeded to spill my guts.

Normally, I don't do this. Never tell anyone how I feel or what I'm thinking. If I do, it's not quite the truth. Maybe to save myself. Usually because I figure others have enough to worry about and I'm a man and I need to suck it up.

So I told him how life for me has sucked the last two months. How I hate my mind-numbing job. How I am frustrated to the point of tears a minimum of twice a day. How wifey says I am an undistilled nightmare to live with and sex is history. How I am trying to get a programming job in a town with no job market. How nothing interests me anymore. How I believe when most people wake up in the morning they have something they feel deeply about, but all I feel is the carpet.

I told him that the only thing getting me through the day is knowing that when I come home, a squealing, grinning RunningHammer will be coming at me with a full-speed head-butt to the groin and the tightest hug a 2-year-old can give. Then SweetFaceBoy will tell me about the wicked save he made in soccer. Vonda MaShone will ask to help with dinner.

"Well," Yosh said. "There you go. Build on that."

There's something good in every day, he went on. You just have to make that initial hard yank to stop the inertia of your bad funk and look around. It may take some effort. You may not be able to do great things for yourself or get out of your current situation right away, but you can do things to make life more bearable. This is coming from a man who has been out of work for a year and a half and basically lives out of his car and on the couches of friends.

"For me, I'm drinking no soda," he said. "I walk. I'm doing something good for myself. I'm trying to pay as much on my bills as I can, and my cousin's company gave her tickets to the Ducks game and she invited me to go. I'm on my way to pick her up now. Not a big thing, but it's something, and on that, you can coast until the next day."

Keep doing what you're doing to get that job you want, he said. Be glad you're getting a paycheck to feed and shelter your wife and kids. At the same time, keep your eyes open, and don't forget what you love.

"Hey," Yosh said. "Traffic's moving and my exit's coming up. Look for me at the game."

I've taken his advice to heart. I do what I can. I work on my coding so whatever skills I do have don't evaporate. I send off resumes and cover letters. I'm back to my pre-dawn routines of lifitng and running. My writing, however meager, has come together. Prompted by my boys and their Grandma, I'm taking tentative steps to paint again.

This is paying off. I'm happier. I do not blow a blood vessel at every minor annoyance. The only tears I've had recently have been poignant ones prompted by my sons (like when SweetFaceBoy sang along with Hey Jude from the back seat yesterday, beautifully unselfconscious for an eight-year old).

"You think Yosh ever checks his e-mail?" Supervixen asked.

"Why?"

"I want to thank him for your chat."

Apparently, I'm back in her good graces. Last night after the kids were finally in bed she stretched out on the couch next to me, her head in my lap. I ran my fingers through her hair and across her eyebrows and face and arms. We both began to doze. Then she sleepily rose up on one elbow, pulled the top of my shorts down and planted a wet, tongue-heavy smooch on Mr. Happy.

"I'm glad you're back," she said. "But I'm not good for much else tonight. Maybe tomorrow if you're good." Two minutes later she was out.

Combining that with finishing a program and buying some new acrylic paints had me coasting wonderfully in to today.

A headline in the newspaper today read:

Pre-Roman Etruscans Finally Getting Their Due

ABOUT FUCKING TIME.

Sure, I could do it for a month no problem. Turn it off like the irritable waste of a convenience that it is. I am, after all, a zen master with godlike control over my will. But it started to irritate me when I really thought through the reality of cutting myself off from the internet, even for a month.

OK, the easiest thing to do here was first just limit my internet connection to work. Sure. For a month I could get by with just a work connection.

lil voice: That means no E2 at work  

Me, in the voice of Stewie from Family Guy:
Damn!

But seriously, no entertainment at work would be my employer's dream come true. Think of the productivity.

Ok then, that means no emailing to keep in touch with friends. Sure, you could get by with your friends through just a phone, or take things back even further, and use the gasp! mail - but would that really keep you in touch with all your friends? I'm not just including people you know through or on the internet. Think about all the people in your life. Your relatives, even your parents. Think how much of your communication with them is done through it. (If you live with them, I'll concede it might be entirely too conceivable). What about those friends you have moved away from or that have moved away from you? We're starting to talk about a large group of people that I would have to inform; ' Mail Call me, we'll be in touch.'

I started to think about how I'd have to kick my phone use into high gear. That quickly became a despicable feeling about how I'd never keep up the work that I'd have to go through to keep in touch with them. Of course, there's always, I'll see you in a month. Shit, it used to take a month to keep in touch with someone an ocean away. Geography means nothing to the general American population.1

Yeah, whatever - point taken. It'd be slightly rough if I didn't have the internet for a month. And I use rough lightly. At the drop of a hat. But it would be annoying, and you'd probably come back after a month and settle your eyes on that radiating glow, and it'd be kind of like slipping into warm water, bordering on hot. 'A bath or spa but only once a month, you say? No problem. I could even give it up for a year.'

As a side note, I also started thinking about how we are basically in the first stages of the internet. In Dan Simmons Hyperion series, our internet is referred to as a planetary datasphere, and the network of those within the known galaxy would then be the noosphere. Some people are connected to this noosphere via implants that have a direct fatline connection. Fatline means FTL, but we're talking about instantaneous here; stepping outside the boundaries of spacetime. Any information known to the galaxy, all you have to do is think to 'google'. Well, when the fatline transmission medium was destroyed (and thus also the economy and fabric of hundreds of worlds), what do you think happened to the people that had these implants? They dropped dead on the spot from shock.




1Two words: Jay Leno. If you know what I'm talking about you cringe, if not, then reading this footnote was a waste of time I'm afraid.

I don't like naming names, but sometimes I have to.

To understand the present, one needs to know the past, so, Reader, I invite you to join me this past Saturday, to witness these scenes:

"Hi, is Kate there?"
"Sorry, she's working today, and I think she's going out tonight."
"Oh, that's alright. Can I leave a message?"
"Sure."
"Alright, just tell her that Rob called, and would like her to call him back before she goes out. She has my number."
"Will do."
"Thanks, goodbye."
"Bye."


"Hi, Rob, it's Kate calling."
"Oh, hey. What's up?"
"Not much."
"Cool. As you probably know, the clothing show is on this weekend, --"
"Oh, yeah."
"-- And I was wondering if you'd like to join me tomorrow down there."
"Oh, um... thank you very much for the invitation, but my boyfriend's in town this weekend."
"Oh, okay. Uh... I guess I'll see you at school, then."
"Yeah."
"Okay then. Have fun. Bye."
"Bye."
People don't actually talk like that, do they? In words and phrases so carefully thought out and measured, not to offend.

So she has a boyfriend that she's never mentioned before. Never once since I met her so long ago. These things often go unmentioned, but let us join our duo months ago to learn the story.


"Did you love her?"
"Yeah. I did."
"Wow. I've never been in love before -- I would know, wouldn't I?"
"What I've been wondering is, what's the difference between a best friend who I'm sexual with, and a boyfriend?"
"Exclusivity... no, love."
"Right. I think you're right. I could never date someone unless I was very good friends with them -- I could never date someone unless I was in love with them."
Do you understand?

That …



Was the longest day of my life. I woke up yesterday morning at 6 am in the morning. My usual time, but it is no easy task to drag your tired body out of bed at that ungodly hour. I got on my bus as usual, got to school, and stood like the unseeing beast I am at the lunch table for a good thirty minutes. Mind you it got some of my friends worried; that’s okay, they deserve to worry because they don’t notice me any other time.

The rain has been coming down in buckets for the last two days. About 1:30 or so, the school decided to close down. Being in Chemistry class, the evil thing it is, I quickly tossed the vials of chemicals down the sink, tossed my goggles and gloves into a poor excuse for a cubbyhole, jumped out the window (Okay, its first story window people, not a attempt at suicide) and clamored my way to the front of the school. The wind was going at about 20 mph and I dropped my book, which sent up a storm of lab papers across the lawn. Cursing I picked up the damn things and proceeded to wait for the busses to decide to come take me home. Seeing one of my good friends, I confided in him I thought I was crazy. He looked at me and said “So?” I looked at him and asked if he thought I was joking. He said that it was irrelevant. Craziness is all in your head. I gave him a look that said purely Thank you captain obvious!.

I got on my yellow twinkie only to be met with the fact I was going to have to walk the last half mile to my house. Some car wreck, a fallen tree, and a few broken power lines wouldn’t permit the bus to make its trek down my road. Wonderful.

I manage to get across the mangled mess of my street and the raging river that is my driveway to finally clamor up the steps to my house only to find no power. After a few hours of running in circles with the power company, I took a bike ride down to where the alleged poles are down. I find no trace of any such disturbance. Annoyed I call back the power company on my return and get run into a rut trying to figure out what they are pulling on me. Meanwhile, all my favorite ice cream is melting in the fridge; damn diet.

Finally its about 2:00 in the goddamn morning when I hear the whirl of the power returning to my home. Fourteen hours of darkness finally lifts only to hear every damn thing in the house turn on. I return to bed and attempt to get to sleep only to be awakened at about 3 am by the sounds of the transformer down the street blowing. Shit. I lay in bed listening to the sounds of the dogs down the street going wild and that damn rooster crowing. Wait until the fucking sun comes up! I hear the cheer of the entire street as the power comes back on about 5:15 am and finally tuck my head under the pillow as the house shrieks to life once again.

I drag myself out of bed at the again, ungodly hour of 6 am and listen to the radio. School is closed. Thank you. I go back to sleep, listening to the sounds of rain once again hitting my window. Great, anyone want to buy a lakeside property?
Independence Day

Work
Get off early

Mike’s Place Memorial
Traffic
Road Blocks
Police more Police

Home
Family
TV
Fireworks!
A lot of Police
No Parking

Friends
Kumzits
Pita
Steak
Kebab
Beer
Party
Party
Party
Beer

Morning
Family
Israeli Movies
Israeli Songs
Mangal
Pita
Kebab
Pita
Hummus
Kebab
Pita
Hamburger
Hummus
Party
Party
Friends
Party

Sleep

Thursday



As Ha Tzel (The Shadow) says "The son of a bitch who will stop Israel hasn't been born yet" (sounds better in Hebrew)
I've been in the USA, Peru, Ecuador and Hungaria during Independence Day... Maybe I'm wrong but... Israel has the biggest country wide party on the planet and in a couple of weeks it's Lag BaOmer...

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.