... notes on writing below

  • Notice of Copyright -  all writing not attributed to others that is posted here by  "zombiedisco101," including his writing posted other places in LiveJournal, is Copyright by him on date of posting

  • Layout -  a) "titles" - "tags" are fiction titles (most of the posts here), b) /titles/ - /tags/ are nonfiction titles, c) [tags] are lj communities or other websites, d) plain tags are subjects

  • Comments -  are periodically cleaned out and deleted

  • Profile -  since my profile page does not display right with LJ's new format, here is everything you might want-or-need to know:  a) name: zombie dance band, derived from future-hopeful occupation as a zombie dance instructor; b) gender-species: male, homo sapiens; c) age-circumstance: 21+, fiction writer wannabe living in US far-east; d) reason for livejournal being: using lj as a writing lab and look-in on the world; e) more info: http://zombiedisco101.livejournal.com/tag/bio; f) email: screen name at gmail

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"hard lines"

It started in first grade. With a left hand not much larger than a still young, flesh-white plum that had, miracle of miracles, sprouted fingers and a thumb, Charter-use Font-a-guy -- a name Brian Nordster created at age fourteen when he submitted "Bus Notes" to "storyland.com" magazine in Dubuque, thinking his chances of getting published might be helped with a name that sounded sophisti-foreign-cated, while still being written in a way that made it easy to pronounce -- began the written record of his fiction wordlings with a pencil called "Big Al." Even in first grade he liked his imaginary readers, and figured the more he tried to be accessible the more those future scrollers of the white electron page would love him in return.

But eight years before "Bus Notes" changed his life forever, there was first grade and a future Font-a-guy who gripped the enormous graphite-wooden silo of Big Al like a pencil that seemed large enough to hunt wild game with, while trekking across the vast and fertile velds of Africa.

"Brian Nordster?" Miss Angel said again, louder on her third try, as our future Font-a-guy came to and looked up at her scowling by the whiteboard at the front of class. "Thanks for joining us. And your answer to the question, please -- the capital of South Dakota is what city?"
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2014-08-26 12:11 (569 words)
- "The Curse" by Josh Ritter, from the album "So Runs the World Away" 2010 (with lyrics down the page), performed live on Minnesota Public Radio in June 2011
- "Dream On/Roxanne" a mash-up of Aerosmith's "Dream On" and The Police's "Roxanne," performed by UMass Dynamics from the album "Giraffes Out of Bed" 2013
- by Damien Rice:
- "Cannonball" from the album "O" 2002, lyrics
- his full set at the Best Kept Secret Festival June 2013
- "Unplayed Piano" and Lisa Hannigan 2005, lyrics

"washing roseanne's balls"

(for the ER doctor)

When I was younger and dreamed of one day having a borderline career as an actress and comedian, I saw myself as another Joan Rivers or Roseanne Barr. I know -- hard to believe, right? But they were my heroes -- bold, assertive, and with an honesty that pulled no punches. Like "Rocky" in a skirt, and with all his teeth. And like Roseanne, I dreamed that one day someone would say they'd like to play a round of golf with me, just to watch me wash my balls.

But that's not exactly how things managed to turn out. I never learned to play that kind of golf. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's because I never got the balls. I mean, I asked Santa for them every Christmas. But what I got instead were ballet lessons, music lessons, tickets to "The Nutcracker." Maybe I spent too much time with "The Nutcracker," I don't know.

Anyway -- the borderline career thing did happen. And continue. And continue. Which is ok, I'm not complaining. I like the fact that L.A. is such a border town, with so many people struggling, living on the border between success and that other thing that people living on the border of success can't really bring ourselves to talk about. Which is about the only "F" word you never hear anyone in L.A. say.

Some people might say that's living in denial. To me, it looks more like being optimistic. You know, a kind of quiet and dogged, not willing to give up "optimistic." Which could be just another kind of honest toughness. Like watching a lot of different versions of Roseanne, washing their own unique and different balls.

2014-07-26 15:49 (295 words)
- "Ubi Caritas" by Ola Gjeilo
- "Water Night" by Eric Whitacre
- performed by the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire Concert Choir conducted by Gary R. Schwartzhoff


... donutting at the fast break

"So you're saying what, then, Tonsil Batman?" Melody asks the question like it's not rhetorical. Which it is because she knows both the every and the thing of everything about this story. It is, after all, the story of her song, which is why we call her "Melody." With "we" being Edgar Hooplin Townsend Ross, on indigo harmonica, his sister Varsity on first trombone, Pretty Elvis on the dollar ukulele, and me, Once Risk Averse, on drums and Sally gong. It's 7:30 Sunday morning and we're in the kitchen while the others are asleep, in the big house on the hill at Sutter's Ferry.

"Metaphor is just a duck that lost its waddle," I answer, sitting down across the ancient, bare oak kitchen table in a baggy t and nearly rag-bag boxers. "It's a bloat-float, ancient fable of a duck, that's not a duck and also not a story about anything we can now relate to. It's just something from the handsome-godsome pantheon of our past, where describing what was real required images and characters so extravagant and vague they moved like constellations through our airy heads."
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2014-07-04 12:39:01 (499 words)
- "I Know That He's Mine" and "Stuck" by CaroEmerald from the album "Deleted Scenes from the Cutting Room Floor" 2010
- "I Like Being At Home" by Ivor Game from the album "Wake Up and Sing" 2008
- "Stories We Tell" 2012, directed by Sarah Polley

"alive almost"

... the continuing story of one boy's journey through a world where no one really needs to be someone else's dinner

poster for the movie "Alive" 1993

"So the scene of the survivors not dining on the bodies of the dead, here, is a metaphor for -- what?" Felicity Halston asks, looking up over her reading half-glasses, above the rumpled pages of a script resting on a desk nearly deep enough for half-court basketball.

Felicity Halston is Senior Vice-President of Development at ArmAndLeg Pictures. Jiles Newburg, a writer supplicant, sits politely before her in a cushy chair near the visitors' edge of her enormous desk. Desk size in Hollywood can be the furniture equivalent of a metaphorical penis that's large enough to fuck you over really good, if you make it angry.
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2014-06-28 11:17:56 (784 words)
music by Ruut DeMeo from the album "Glimpse" 2013:
- "Unbeatable"
- "No One Will Ever Love You" written by Steve McEwan and John Paul White

"all the answers"

who is brave - you
who is daft - me
who is trapped - everyone
who is safe - no one
who is the provider, short-term - capitalism gone crazy
who is the destroyer of worlds, long-term - see above
who is alive and commenting - me
who is alive and never responding to anything I say - um, gee, that's a tough one

2014-05-29 11:00 (62 words)
- "The Gunner Song" by 2nd year Harvard Med School students 2013
- "Crazy For You" by Adele from the album "19" 2008, lyrics
- "Portions For Foxes" by Rilo Kiley, performed by UMass Dynamics from the album "Barking Mad" 2014

"famous twitter resumes"

... because if you can't sum up who you are in 140 characters, your life is b-o-r-i-n-g

Smart. How smart? Like putting all your hopes and dreams in one 3-gallon bucket, and still having room for lunch. That smart.

I have so many patents that I had to resole all my shoes with patent leather, just to have someplace to put them all.

I think refinement is okay for some people. But for me, I'd rather just get the "finement" right the first time, and not have to redo it.

If I could tell the world just one thing it would be: "Put your ego back in your pants. Really, no one wants to watch you fondle it."

Sure -- I drink a little. I used to drink a lot. Then I found that if I just drank a little, I could do it for a lot longer.

You should hire/enroll me because it would be a gamble. And with a gamble it's always the biggest long-shots that have the biggest payoffs.

2014-04-20 00:42:46 (183 words)

music - by Signe Tollefsen
- "Oh My Love" performed live in 2008
- "Borrowed Song"
- "Where You Been", the last two from the album "Hayes" 2011, both performed live in Mar. 2011

"horror scopes, 01"

Pen, aka Penelope Sclorisi, finds a spot on Hardy Street just three blocks from the beach. That it's barely one tire-width longer than her '98 Corolla, means it takes a full five minutes of bumper-bump to get the rusted Toyota within two feet of the curb. She stuffs her pen and steno notebook into Charlie, the knapsack she's had since 11th grade, gets out and carefully shuts the rust-flaked door.

It's a good omen, so she's smiling. The last time she found a parking place within twenty blocks of the Venice boardwalk was 2009, when she did a story on Bikini Bikers, the club where both girls, and guys, wear only bikinis on their Harleys.

"You must go through a lot of sunscreen," she'd asked Fat Willie, then, nearly naked as he straddled Mary Ann, a hog with an eight-foot-long front fork.

"Never use it," Willie answered. "If you'd just stop bathing, honey, you'd find your skin makes its own sunscreen, moisturizer, and insect repellent."
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2014-04-09 16:19:30 (1245 words)
- "Stay" by Olivia Merilahti and Dan Levy of The Do, from the album "A Mouthful" 2010, lyrics
- "Luna" by Bombay Bicycle Club, from the album "So Long, See You Tomorrow" 2014, lyrics

"dialogging the threshold"

- US: (walks to porch, knocks on door)
- U: (walks to entryway, speaks through door) Yes?
- US: (slowly leans toward door without touching it, like an old Italian tower playing the kid's game "leaning to the edge of fall"; yells) Pizza!
- U: Uh -- I didn't order a pizza. (looks through peephole) Who are you?
- US: (falls against door - *thud*) No idea. I was hoping you could help me figure it out. (leans back from door)
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2014-04-07 09:33:06 (358 words)
music and tv
- "Heal for the Honey" by Brooke Waggoner, from the album "Heal for the Honey" 2008
- "The Goldberg Variations: Aria" by J.S. Bach 1741, played in the video by Glenn Gould, who is sitting at the piano like a lump of coal grooving to the music (a true inspiration to bad posture fans everywhere) ...
- ... and apparently played by actor Donald Moffat in "The West Wing" Season 4, Episode 13: "The Long Goodbye" 2003, with Season 4 being what tv might have dreamed of doing as a child

"go figure"

... or why people have a hard time being lines that are forever parallel, or connecting, or something else that resembles some other form of math; (HAND IN BACK OF CLASS: Uh, 'cuz we're people and not metaphors? MOUTH AT FRONT OF CLASS: That's it. You get an A. So, you know, you can just take off now and do something you really want to do.)

1) the algae bra version, from Tarooty's "9th Theorem On Stuff in Time"

- a) (X+Y) t = 0 ... where X and Y are people, and t (time) = 0 ... which is "time" with nothing happening
- b) (X+Y) (t+1) = (X+Y) ... where stuff happens and the equation changes
- c) (X+Y) (t-1) = -(X+Y) ... see above
- d) summary: positive times produce positive changes; negative times produce, well, just look around, sweet pea

2) the story version, with noodles
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2014-03-19 10:23:20 (858 words)

signs of the times

... following the links -- from open-source web browser software, to coffee and the working mosaic of business as the production and exchange of goods and services, to the Godzilla of a self-defining, empty money vessel called the current "business culture"

new mozilla sign
(from the "monument" video below)

Jan. 10, 2014
- 1) I click on the link in a saved Dec. email from mozilla.org (aka the Mozilla Foundation, the non-profit over-entity of Firefox and Thunderbird) asking for donations, and make a donation.

Feb. 20
- 2) I receive email "news" from mozilla.org with a link to a youtube video showing the design, construction and installation of their new "monument" (aka, a 3-foot-square x 15-foot-high pillar "sign" with Firefox logo, placed just off the sidewalk outside the Mozilla headquarters at 2 Harrison Street in San Francisco.
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2014-02-22 13:34:08 (1092 words)
- "Walking the Backstreets and Crying" by Sandy Jones, Jr. (sadly, the only bio we could find on the web for him), performed by John Primer and The Real Deal Blues Band (from a live performance at Callahan's Music Hall, Auburn Hills, MI, Feb. 2011)
- "Simple Twist of Fate" by Bob Dylan, sung by Stevie Ann (from a live performance on the Dutch tv program De Wereld Draait Door (The World Keeps Turning), Sept. 2011), lyrics here

"fathering a country"

... highlights from the movie

pres day 2014a5
(- a) baby and ted from cuteomatic.com (really? even with a diaper load?) - b) Daddy George with extra blusher, from wikipedia)

Feb. 22, 1732 - George Washington is born near present-day Colonial Beach, Virginia, with ten fingers, ten toes, and a dingus not much larger than an afterthought without the hyphen. No one present in the crowd cheering Mary Washington on at her bedside, imagines that this kid will one day be the father of a country.

"You're kidding, right?" Kurt, the second-assistant midwife director, says at the craft services table between takes of the birthing scene. "Kid's hung more like a parakeet than an eagle. How could he ever father a country?"

"It's a metaphor," Lulu, the production assistant who always wears her clothes inside-out because she thinks the good side should be the side her skin gets to cozy to, replies. "The father of the country isn't actually everybody's bio dad. It's a metaphorical lineage." She's filling an empty 32-ounce Big Gulp cup with peanut M&Ms.

"Right. So with metaphorical lineage, then, it's the penis size of the characterization that's important?"

"Sure," Lulu answers. She's fishing out the blue M&Ms because she's in a mellow mood. "In fact, you could say that metaphor and characterization are both just inflated penis stories."

Kurt's smiling as Lulu palm-loads half a dozen peanut M&Ms into her mouth. She glances up and smiles, talking around her mouthful. "You're imagining me, now, with a mouthful of inflated penis stories, right?"

"Sort of."

2014-02-19 10:31:36 (246 words)

- music: "To Love" by Brooke Waggoner, with vocals by Sanders Bohlke, from the album "Originator" 2013
- movies: "Broken" 2012, on Netflix


... a bowl of words for breakfast

alpha-bits you are what you read
photo from Dylan Heimbrock

Name: Robert Townsend Fairchild

Age: 5 years 7 months

Education: kindergarten -- 4.2 SAA (stars awarded average); lead in Christmas production of "Pirates of the Caribbean" where he kissed Becky Thompson with his tongue (BECKY: Oh, Robert, please -- just grow up. ROBERT: Are you kidding? Pirates don't grow up. Don't you understand the subtext?)

Interests: at breakfast he likes to pour his Alpha-Bits on the place mat before putting them in his bowl, to start the day by finding words

Favorite Word This Week: instinkyouall n (2014) : a group of people who share a common sense that they all smell great

2014-02-07 11:06:59 (100 words)

thank you - 20c

deputy-editor Paul Johnson, executive-director Sheila Fitzsimons, and computer expert David Blishen -- destroying computer hard drives containing leaked material from NSA contractor Edward Snowden, in the basement of the Guardian's offices in London on July 20, 2013; from a Jan. 31, 2014 story by Luke Harding in the Guardian

... the state of journalism at the beginning of the 21c; thank you, 20c, you were the best

2014-01-31 09:16:07 (19 words)

"culture wars"

"Oh ... you are ... so ... wrong. A complete and total letdown that made even the really good stuff in the beginning, now seem lame." Ellis leans back in the booth, shaking her head. "How can you be ... so ... fucking ... stupid?"

Truck smiles back. He knows he's right. "How can you be so upset? Could it be a nagging doubt that says I might be right? It was artful and totally unexpected. The writers should all get awards for stepping so far outside the creative box."

"Creative? The script was written on the walls with writer shit!"

It's the final episode of "Dexter," and it has driven a wedge between them. Really. Like their relationship is a piece of firewood that has now been split, forever.

"How could I have ever let you fuck me?"

"How could I have ever wanted to?"

"You disgust me."

"You ... you ..." he's looking for the right word. The put-down that will be so awesome, Ellis will shrivel like the witch pinned beneath the house in "The Wizard of Oz."

"Can't find the word?" she asks. "Your Mommy Muse is standing in her apron, just staring at you, silent?"

"I'll email it to you."

"Fine." She slides out of the booth, stands and slides her knapsack on one shoulder.

"Fine. Is 'horny_betty_gets_the_blues@hotpocket.com' still good?

"Go fuck yourself."

Five hundred years from now, as demographers look at the sharp drop in the birth rate in the US nine months after the final episode of "Dexter," the real reason might go overlooked.

"Five hundred years from now? That's motherfucking optimistic," the Debra Morgan still living in our head, adds.

2014-01-23 12:32:46 (283 words)

"casualties of were"

Jefferson Milbank Hart is thirty "with youthful overtones" is how his sister, Felicity, puts it in describing her baby bro to friends. What that means is the kid never left the building.

What that means is -- if you really do need the kind of broader redefine that dilutes and redilutes the essence of a thing until what you end up with is a "lightly flavored sparkling water that, without an over-presence, will complement any dish" -- we have no idea how to make it. Which means if you are reading this by looking in the mirror of you, you should go read something else. Which means the vacant, mindless you of you, are both not wanted here. What's living in our head is not a dish of the "always-you-alive-and-breathing-in-the-world-of-you" you-and-you are looking for. So go self-absorb yourself somewhere else.

"You can't drive your readers off in para 2," Editor Ed adds in brackets at the end of para 2.
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2014-01-22 10:02:06 (1217 words)
- "The Indie Queens Are Waiting" by Dan Mangan, from the album "Nice, Nice, Very Nice" 2009, lyrics here
- "At Seventeen" by Janis Ian, from the album "Between the Lines" 1975, lyrics here

"what movie are we in?"

... the House of Crick and other Universities of Business, in the new reality

(from a comment left here: "Shhhh? Scientists need to talk about not talking" by Felicity Mellor)

If pigs could fly, someone could make some serious money. How might this happen? We weren't sure, so we asked our Uncle Spindly, a guy who knows a lot of stuff about a lot of stuff.

Q: So it's 2014. Planet Earth. There are publishers and self-publishing. Book stores. Newsstands. Colleges and universities. Libraries. An Internet. And yet what we really need, if we are to fully realize our creative, human potential and finally enable pigs to fly, is to have a fully-realized free and open exchange of ideas, by investing more money in places like the Crick Institute -- the future bio-tech idea factory in London -- instead of investing in the individual pursuit of understanding and ideas? Is this like building flying pig, idea farms, instead of supporting unconnected, individual idea farmers?

A: Exactly. From factories, to factory farms, to factory idea farms -- the industrial revolution just keeps, you know, revolving.

Q: You mean "evolving"?

A: No, revolving. It's like evolving, but at a higher rpm. You know, because it's industrial.
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2014-01-17 18:48:52 (439 words)
- "Passenger" by Lisa Hannigan from the album "Passenger" 2011, lyrics here
- "Big River" by Charlie Peacock, 2012

"dispelling myths"

... with Chicago-style pizza history

1) Mayonnaise. Not really French, mayonnaise was first invented by the Booty Brothers of South Chicago in the summer of 1894. It was a hot summer. So hot that fish in Lake Michigan could be seen dancing on the surface just to catch a breeze. For much of July and August the water in the lake was actually hot enough to cook spaghetti. Which meant that In the Italian neighborhoods along the South Shore, on those warm Chicago evenings, the beaches would be lined with people floating large pasta pots just offshore with sturdy sticks.

Some evenings the spaghetti might take an hour or two to cook, but people back then were patient. Without cell phones, t.v. or the internet, there really wasn't much to do. So they would often pass the time while waiting for the lake to al dente-ize their noodles, by inventing stuff. Like the "Roberts Wish and Dream Extractor" that, according to the patent, "could extract the dreams from anyone, and turn them into money in less than 90 days."
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2014-01-14 11:50:29 (801 words)

still pimping this music: "I Get Along Without You Very Well" written by Hoagy Carmichael in 1939, recorded by Chet Baker in 1954, and used in the Hans Petter Moland movie "Aberdeen" 2000, on Hulu

"boxing and unboxing day"

"Boxing Day is a traditional, oldie-worldie celebration that occurs December 26th." Angie Clarke is ten and sitting at her desk in Ms. Armstrong's fourth-grade class at Becker Elementary, East Clarion, Pennsylvania.

She finished the report two days early, then "fine-tuned" it last night after 11:00, when Jennifer Littlefield crapped-out on their online chat so she could get her "duty beauty sleep," which is just a verbal, personality blusher to make the fact she likes to sleep sound more attractive. She likes to sleep because she dreams a lot. Action dreams with "dramatic consequence, and really handsome leading men" being the usual drama context she uses to describe the scenes, the next morning on the school bus.

"When I grow up I know exactly what the life I want to have will look like, because I can see it every night as it plays out in my dreams." She smiles and sighs the happy, upbeat sigh of someone with a well-moated self-assurance. She got the moat from both her parents, who met in college and found "to their great and lasting fortune" that they shared moats of personal self-assurance that might have come right off the same, social moat assembly line.
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2014-01-12 10:44:03 (938 words)
- music: "Os Justi" by Anton Bruckner, performed by the UMass Amherst Chamber Choir, 2007
- the writing prompt for this at teleskopos

disasters old and new

tay bridge collapse 1879a
1879 Tay Bridge collapse, from wikipedia link below

(from a comment left at teleskopos)

From the flippant wilds of North America … this is all news to me. Geoengineering. The 1879 Tay Bridge disaster. Lords of Astronominies.

From your link to the wikipedia article on the Tay Bridge disaster: “At 7:13 pm a train from the south slowed to pick up the baton from the signal cabin at the south end of the bridge, then headed out onto the bridge, picking up speed. The signalman turned away to log this and then tended the cabin fire but a friend present in the cabin watched the train: when it had got about 200 yards (183 m) from the cabin he saw sparks flying from the wheels on the east side, this continued for no more than three minutes, by then the train was in the high girders; then ‘there was a sudden bright flash of light, and in an instant there was total darkness, the tail lamps of the train, the sparks and the flash of light all … disappearing at the same instant.’” (this being maybe why people like to read history, and other stuff)
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2014-01-10 16:02:13
music: "Streets of Philadelphia" by Bruce Springsteen, written for the movie "Philadelphia" 1993, lyrics here

"on being on the outside"

"... and the inside, in the same place at the same time"
(from this to this; and, really, how can we now thinking-live another way?)

"It starts at birth," Thompson says. He drains the Guinness from his glass and lifts the empty pint above his head, as Felicity glances from across the room.

The End Game is nearly packed by 6:00 p.m., three days before Christmas. Outside it's snowing on deserted streets. This college town has been a ghost town since the break began a week ago, and this bar and grill with its tiny stage will close tomorrow until the 6th. Which makes today a gather-day for the regulars still here.

Sarah's sitting sideways in the booth across from Thompson, head back against the rough-brick wall, knees upright, half-boots planted on the booth's old, heavy-wooden seat, one hand on the Anchor Beer bottle standing on the zipper of her jeans. "So you were a breathless voyeur from the start?"

Felicity appears and disappears with a new pint for an empty glass, like a cat with a tray that likes to navigate a crowded room just for the fun of moving through it.
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2013-12-26 09:53 (930 words)
music: "Mercy" by Dave Matthews Band, from the album "Away From The World" 2012; lyrics here

"the story of the baby peanut"

Hey kids — this is the story of the baby peanut.

The story starts in a stable on a cold and starry night. On this special night one star is glowing extra-bright. Some say it's a distant Klieg light at the opening of a major motion picture. Others say it could be just another glimpse of the latest movie super star, going super-nova. You know, kids, a super-nova is when stars go flash-kaboom and then pack up their Lamborghinis and drive to Florida or Arizona, to live out their remainders in trailer parks with names like Sunshine Pretty Former Life, and Sleep Well My Used-up Cutie Smoothie.
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2013-12-19 16:23 (569 words)
mooz ick: "Portions for Foxes" by Rilo Kiley, performed by UMass Dynamics, from their CD "Barking Mad", with lyrics here; hippy holly days

"mono-logy - medicine man"

(from @zombiedisco101 posts at @LateNightJimmy #fallonmono)

In political news, Washington conservatives are divided on what direction is best for the country. 1/7

The Tea Party thinks we should return to 1773, while the anti-Obamacare group ... 2/7

... thinks we need to go back farther, and replace doctors with Medicine Men. 3/7

MEDICINE MAN: You have bad spirit. I remove with wooden stake. No charge. 4/7

FAL: (to Higgins) So I guess that would be affordable health care for everyone. 5/7

HIG: And a big boost for the wooden stake industry. FAL: So everybody wins. 6/7

HIG: In a manner of speaking. MED MAN: (wacks stake with hammer) BAND: (scream) MED MAN: Next patient!! 7/7

2013-11-14 11:30:16 (115 words)

"jonklin evers, 08"

Back to Butter Creek.

Even in the 1800s, when the creek and town were named by settlers from "Oold Norvay," the water never did resemble butter. It was even clearer then, as a stream that traveled through unsettled woods and scattered fields spread with buttercups in spring. The creek was named for them.

Buttercups aren't the flashy-gas of wild flowerland. Small and yellow, they tend to hug the ground and are often lost among the plants with higher aspirations. But in a field in spring, where native grass has yet to flourish and overshadow what's below, a mass of buttercups can spread out upon the faded winter brown and, from a distance, look a lot like butter spread upon a piece of rough and heavy, wheaty toast.

"Oh, yah," someone might have said in 1860, seeing such a scene and speaking with a "yah" that has its vowell-sound buried deep enough to carry with it something of the pretty-tended fields of Norway. "Dat's pritty goood. Yooo betcha." Which was high praise coming from a head that kept the fragrance of its emo life tucked safely out of sight, in the back corner of a drawer of heavy woolen socks.
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2013-11-02 17:12:19 (644 words)
- 1) "Somewhere That's Green", sung by Kerry Butler, song from the 2003 Broadway revival of "Little Shop of Horrors" (1982), music by Alan Menken, book and lyrics by Howard Ashman
- 2) "Write This", sung by Kerry Butler, song from the 2005 musical "nor.mal: the musical", music by Tom Kochan, book by Yvonne Adrian, lyrics by Cheryl Stern

"candy rejects"


(from @zombiedisco101 posts at @midnight #RejectedCandy)

Candied Road Apples
Granny Pixie Sticks
Baby Root
5th Avenue & 143rd Street
Clark Kent Bar
Dingleberry Vines
Candy Cornhole
Tootsie Mold
Sour Snatch Kids
Chocolate Covered Popped Cherries
Hearse's Kisses
Tootsie Toe Pop
Nestlé Cunts
Mons Bar
Dorky Way
Smelly Bellys

2013-11-01 09:13:01 (52 words)


... and a big-kid Halloween

"You are ... who ... again?" Antonia Adagio Consigliere asks in slow-slow motion.

"Baffleman," Baffleman answers.

The big kids are dressed for trick-or-treat on their way to Ansel's house on E. 19th.

"He's a new-generation superhero. You know, ego neutral, a pumped-up meme stud without the pump, the me or stud. As a contribution to finally ending this long, so-sad-to-see-you-go-my-tears-are-crying-crocodiles for the super-here-oh's of the 20-C -- that out-of-time, vain-goreous-not-glorious time of time-death camp -- by making heroes new?"

He says it like a question that's both rhetorical and populated by more hyphens than any editor of English would ever grant a visa for. Like he's saying "Get it? And if you don't that's okay, too. Word performing to an empty room can be a lonely looney-tune in blue. But being the room you're playing to does tend to make you listen. Which is one way to find a voice -- or, the only way to find a voice -- by being both the source and audience to the music of the sound and sense the words are making in your head, as they come together and apart. Which becomes, then, a making-and-observing that's like living in perspective, as you both see and hear a thing from both the inside and the outside of its moment of existence. You know, like you're actually trying to describe your life inside the sphere of space and time it's actually in?"

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2013-10-13 17:51:55 (498 words)

"jonklin evers, 07"

So the indie social dance continues, like everything we do continues, moving through the link-link in our heads that we storyboard in time.

"Hello," the smiling twelve-year-old boy says, hair combed, leather-soled shoes freshly polished, his shirt and trousers pressed wrinkle-free as if to say: "See? No wrinkles in this boy's life. Thanks to Mom."

He has a paper cup of lemonade in each hand, looking like a time-lapsed photo from the 1950s. "I noticed, from across the room, that you looked a little parched. So I got us each a lemonade." He stretches out his hand and offers her a cup.

"Thanks," she says smiling back and takes it. "Don't suppose you have some vodka in your pocket?"

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2013-09-29 11:51:21 (504 words)

- 1) "Little Bird" by Lisa Hannigan from her album "Passenger" 2011, performed in the Bing Lounge of KINK.FM Portland, OR 2011-10-04, lyrics here
- 2) "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere" by Bob Dylan 1967, performed by Glen Hansard and a busker mob, with Mundy, Liam O Maonlaí, Matthew Devereux, Steve Wall, Vincent Swan, Eoin Glackin and Ciarán Kilbride, on Grafton Street, Dublin, Christmas Eve 2011
[Merry Christmas in September]

"jonklin evers, 06"

"It's like set theory."

Ned had tried to explain to Alice, in what came to be the beginning of the end of their time together as a couple, how he saw the come-and-stay-and-go of human intersection. But he never got the rope of what he thought to close. For reasons similar to how a com-ex (common expression) with some emo purchase power, like "the end of their time together as a couple," tends to open up a landscape that's much larger than the indie one intended, as human cause-effect expands to include both the wind-up and wind-down of personal endeavor and reward.

Even after a separation that is complete enough to move one part of the human sum fifteen hundred miles away, the "breakage" never makes it to "complete." Like a teacup shattered on the kitchen floor, the molecules of people and other objects of this world exist outside a fiction dream of physics where things "Just ... go ... poof," says a wide-eyed actor as he/she wildly smiles and does an open-finger visual of the proof of poof.

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2013-09-19 09:29:22 (702 words)

music - "My Romance" from the musical "Jumbo," music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Lorenz Hart, 1935; performed by Emily Day vocals, Shane Hardiman piano, John Rivers bass, Geza Carr drums, 2012

"questionable stories -"

- fleshing out the georgia meaty nudie pink

- Q: So dive in!
- A: Browsing in, not diving in. My computer used to dive so I stopped using Windows.
- Q: Okay I'll bite. So if not Windows, what operating system are you using?
- A: POS -- the Penguin Operating System. It's friendlier than Windows and will do tricks for fish.
- Q: Really. What sort of tricks?
- A: Stuff like lie on its back, flippers waving in the air, while saying "Who's not your Daddy?"
- Q: And the fact that you are writing both sides of this dialogue would mean you have no one to play with?
- A: Just Mr. Wooblie, but I can't play with him too much because I'm afeared it will make him blind.
- Q: "Afeared" is a olde hilly American colloquialism?
- A: Yes. Olde hilly. My forbears took to the hills centuries ago, many of them intermarrying with bears. In the European settling of North America, animal husbandry was pretty much a "try it and move on" type of science.
- Q: Do you talk to yourself a lot?
- A: Yes. And like praying or masturbating, writing is pretty much a solo call-response form of counterpoint.
- Q: So you masturbate a lot?
- A: Not really. I just use the word so the spambots won't feel bad about themselves.
- Q: Is it true that the person who invented spam was actually named "Pam," and someone at an ad agency in Chicago coined the name originally as "s'Pam" -- a shortened version of "It's Pam"?
- A: Abner Doublenight was the copywriter working at Trumpet, Swan & Hurdle, the ad agency in Chicago. He came up with the idea for the product name, and to match the color of the product to that of his girlfriend's favorite underwear. He called it Georgia Meaty Nudie Pink.
- Q: Really. That sounds like something you just made up, now, as you typed.
- A: Really? Thanks. That's the convo style I'm always looking for in my writing.

2013-09-11 11:59:37 (332 words)

"jonklin evers, 05"

Back in the kitchen of Jonklin Evers, the fragrant dry hills and valleys of the city of movie angels seems like a wiggy dream. Alice is sitting on a tall stool by the open, rear kitchen door, half way up a cigarette and earphone listening to jazz. It's a girl she found on the web after Google map street-cruising the sunny streets of Johnson, Vermont, up college hill to an acropolis with trees high above a placid July Lamoille River.

Local legend has it that early French settlers in the Lamoille Valley called it "La Mouette," "The Seagull." Then a mapmaker forgot to cross the t's and the seagull became a new word that, ironically-coincidentally-and-somehow-meaningfully sounds a lot like "the roil" a placid river can turn into during spring rain and snow runoff, or when the occasional hurricane decides to tour the picturesque and laid-back green mountains of Vermont.

The girl is singing a slow "Pennies From Heaven" to a single jazz guitar. It's so smooth, the notes and words so even and clean, the sound forms the kind of story in a song you want to live inside. It's the understated part of jazz that has always been, for Alice, like an open door to story songs that, for good and bad, let you "find your fortune falling all over town."

Which is what she thinks a lot, without actually putting it in words. Like the kind of feeling-thought that wraps a human body with an expression of where it is at this moment in a string-of-moments life. Here as a solitary character outside the purloined homonyms of humpty social role, an aging but still girl-living girl, sitting on a stool, back against a wall, and gazing out an open art-kitchen door.

2013-08-31 12:56:43 (308 words)

"Pennies From Heaven", music by Arthur Johnston, lyrics by Johnny Burke, 1936; performed by Emily Day - vocals, Ken Husbands - guitar, recorded in April and May 2013

"jonklin evers, 04"

From the pov of sitting in a lawn chair on a roof at the closing of a night, the dawn moves really slow. Like the dark world is creeping toward the light in no great hurry. Like a pair of geezers on an early morning geezer stroll.

"What's that dear?"


"You said something?"


"Oh." Silence for another forty creaks. "Wanna donut?"

And suddenly the creep-and-stroll of time jumps forward. Donuts and coffee -- one reason we left the swamp and crawled across the sands of time, to a take-out window on Wilshire.

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2013-08-27 10:21:59 (361 words)

"jonklin evers, 03"

Ned Jonklin is sitting in a lawn chair on the flat roof above his loft in Santa Monica, facing west. It's early dawn. Between some buildings is a small glimpse of ocean a mile away, the horizon now a thin dark line where a still-dark sky meets even darker water. The streets of morning are as empty-quiet as his life, which is why he sits here most mornings after a night of wakeful sleep.

"Get out!" Alice had screamed three years ago. He plays the scene over in his head, often. It's like a funeral service followed by an anger wake, as people try to come to grips and put a context handle on a death. With romance death that grip includes a stream of names that are used as emo epithets, with some traces of amazing clarity and a ton of non-so-amazing posturing and clouded logic.

All of this being driven by an ocean harvest full of anger that at times is laced with white caps of adrenaline large enough to turn a romance death into an actual homicide. Usually that's the only choice. You either get out of the life you're in and move on with another, or you end your life completely. Like a choice between either death-and-transfiguration, or just death.

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2013-08-23 11:17:30 (597 words)
"Hey, Mom, it's movie music!"

"jonklin evers, 02"

"Anything else?" Alice Jonklin asks the question in the flatest, emo-vacant voice imaginable.

"No, sweetheart," the lady in the blue wildflowers dress says, looking up. "We're good."

Two ladies are sitting at a table by the windows that overlook the eastern end of Main Street, where commerce thins into a neighborhood that's tree-lined, big-yard residential. Except for them and Alice, her cafe-bakery-coffeehouse, with a small stage against the back-wall of the large front room, is empty. It's Thursday morning, 10:30. The place is perfumed with coffee, fresh crusty-station bread and muffins, and the raspberry tortes she bakes on Thursdays.

Alice Beeson Thor married Ned Jonklin in 2007, six months before they moved to Butter Creek from the North Side of Chicago and opened up this place. Divorced three years later after Ned met a rough girl with a motorcycle, Alice kept the restaurant and cottage by the river, their two dogs, and the three-thousand vinyl record collection. Ned got the girl and her motorcycle for another year, until she left him in a loft in Santa Monica for a guy who made movies in his head.

Enter the Prince of William's Faucets. The tiny door-swing bells jingle and William Prince smiles at Alice as he closes it. They don't speak. He takes a deep breath as his head begins to salivate, then walks to a table on the side wall. Alice comes with coffee and two raspberry tortes with cream on a checkered plate. She makes the tortes on Thursday as his present, though he'd come, as he does every morning including Saturday, if she sold sacks of animal feed. He likes her and she likes him back almost as much, with the small deficit in that balance of affection being the hole burned through her sense of human trust when Ned left town.

William Prince designed the faucet that changed the way the world now turns the tap. Sliding up and down, "a stiffle in a tube," the faucets are so easy to adjust you can do it with a pinky. And they last forever, without the need for new O-rings or silicone to lube them. Three years ago he started writing novels.

"How's the morning," she asks as she fills his mug.

"Five hundred words, one marriage and divorce, a motorcycle and a guy who makes movies in his head."

"No orgasms?"

"Saving them for after lunch. You?"

"Taste the torte."

Which he does, eyes suddenly becoming focus-blurred, breathing stopped, like he's coming in his mouth. Alice stands there watching as he chews, feeling sudden-flushed inside her jeans. Then she reaches out and slides the fingers of her free hand across his shoulder, as she turns and walks back to the kitchen.

2013-08-19 22:05:22 (475 words)

"jonklin evers and the kindest touch"

Mary Alice Thingly Beeson Thor was an only child who grew to 6'1", which is what can happen when you happen to be born and raised beyond the dark, rain shadow of Mt. Sibling Rivalry.

She grew up on the sunny plains of Hansen Farms, an actual farm until the 1960s when the four great-grandsons of Albert Hansen sold the land to pay for drugs and legal fees to keep their sorry butt'errs out of prison, a place they rightly feared contained a certain class of human undergraduates who have enhanced the rectitude of anal hazing to a studied art that never needs the use of study aids. Like that slip-and-slide last Brando tango in a Paris dance hall, with the famous kitchen scene that made good use of the properties of molecular attraction of certain products from the dairylands.

Which is what Hansen Farms was for one-point-five hundred years -- a dairy farm. Albert came from "Yah, Old Norvay," as he liked to put it when the ladies outside Ellen's Hair Salon in Butter Creek would smile and pretty ask "Where was it, again, Albert, that you're from?" They knew the answer but liked to hear him say it. He knew that too, and didn't mind performing in a small town solo show, every now and then. Life can tend to get a little cudsome close when you spend your days in attendance to the needs of lactating bovines.

And for half of that first one hundred years, the Butter Creek environs were like Old Norvay had been transplanted -- literally picked up and put down somewhere else -- a quarter of the way around the world. But old ways in new places at some point begin to lose touch with their initial gravity, and become something with a newness of their own. Albert understood this, too. He came to the upside promise of America with open eyes, looking for the new. If he'd wanted to remain encased in the cozy amber of the past, he would have stayed in the place where the past was living.

2013-08-17 10:29:30 (357 words)


(from tweets left under the small blue bird of postiness by @zombiedisco101)

1/5 The heat wave in New York continues. But thanks to State Supreme Court Justice Milton "Tingling,"

2/5 ... New Yorkers are free to stay hydrated with any size beverage container they want. Thanks, Judge Tingling.

3/5 The last thing anyone needs to be known as at Rikers Island, is a beverage container outlaw.

4/5 And we're hoping somewhere at City Hall, someone is sitting on a stool and looking like this.

5/5 (takes "dunce cap" large beverage container, with rubberband strap on top, turns upside down, puts on head)

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2013-07-17 16:59:36 (201 words)

"the lunatic, the lover, and the poet"

(from a charloft prompt, Saturday 7-6: Quotable Quotes "The lunatic, the lover, and the poet, are of imagination all compact." -- William Shakespeare, "A Midsummer Night's Dream")

The lunatic, the lover, and the poet -- it's what Melody calls Facebook, Twitter and Livejournal.

"Really. And of the three, why have a billion people embraced the lunatic?" she asks.

It's not a trivial question. The billion people f-book claims it has, all came from somewhere. Riley thinks many of them arrived on special friend-mobiles from Mars. Still, with no real answer to her question, he continues smiling back at Melody like a dog who is pretty sure the question was rhetorical. Some dogs really are smart enough to Facebook. And I'm guessing that the marketing people there are working out the promo slogans even as I type. "One billion people, point-two-five million dogs, and half the butterflies on Planet Earth. Who's Hot? A: Marrrrrk Zuckerberg!!!" [so really not]

"Because lunacy is po-pu-lar. That's why it's lun-a-cy." Melody continues. She's not happy. Her friends on Livejournal have either all been abducted by alien friend-mobiles from Mars, or have just grown-up. She isn't sure which. But when the happy in her boots is nearly empty, she often speaks like George Bush reading with third graders. You know, like on that memorable morning in September as he sat at the front of class in Florida and waited for his advisors to tell him what to do after planes had flown into the World Trade Center towers in New York, and the Pentagon just across the river from the big house at his eastern city ranch.

Riley nods his head and raises his right hand for a high five.

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2013-07-16 10:08:54 (1538 words)

"heartbreak bridge"

(from a charloft prompt Drabble Thursday: 100 words on heartache.)

From the bridge, a hundred feet above Went Wrong Falls, the view downstream was bleak. Mist from the water-pounded rock rose up to just below the bridge deck and formed a silver cloud that hid the river in the light.

At night the mist rose higher in the dark and became the air you breathed, like a sodden envelope that held both the Dear John letter in your pocket, and you, the letter carrier.

"Dear John: This isn't working. I'm just so very sorry. I hope you find romantic employment elsewhere. Please, don't hesitate to use me for a reference."

2013-06-29 01:22:47 (100 words)

"lutey tunes"

- from the endless list of possible replies, to a universe of questions about love and individual connection: *

- 1) Sorry, babe, but -- what ... the ... fuck ... are you going on about?

- 2) Yeah. I love chemical reactions, too. I make some really great shit in the old garage Aunt Emma used to keep the tractor in.

- 3) For me love is pretty much a foreign language, in a class I'm failing. I mean, I like the teacher. And I could do the homework all night long. But, to be honest, I don't have a freaking clue what anyone is saying.

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2013-06-21 12:16:17 (1126 words)


(from a charloft prompt Friday lists: Procrastination. Let's procrastinate together! Make a list of things you should've done already, but haven't done yet.)

Things I might not get to next week:

(version 2)
- grow up
- grow down
- grow sideways, less
- stop being a dick
- a cunt
- another word for "poo-poo bye-bye"
- figure out how to do all the above
- make plan for doing it
- make revisions to the plan based on future time and cost projections
- shake head and wonder when life became so complicated
- broaden personal redemption plan into a plan to save the species
- make charts and spreadsheets
- make timeline that extends the species preservation plan into the next millennium
- feel better
- take more naps

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2013-06-08 09:16:35 (185 words)

"a kite-life grounded"

(from a charloft prompt Drabble Thursday: So. Very. Tired. One hundred words on being too tired to do the things you need to do.)

Conserving energy was Charles Asquith's rationale for being for over twenty years. Before that, at twenty and in love with Lucy Flynn, everything was different, like living on a kite that flew itself.

When the love wind stopped and the kite fell back to Earth, he became what happens to a kite-life that is grounded. Confined to three small rooms, he moved from bed to chair and back as infrequently as possible, ate with a spoon from opened cans, stopped laughing, smiling, frowning.

The body of his days had become the statement of a life more sedimentary rock than human.

2013-06-07 10:35:06 (100 words)

"knock knock knockin' ..."

... on human's door *

(from stuff left elsewhere)

- ZOMBIE DANCE BAND: (knock, knock)
- SWINGING HOMINID: (looks through peephole) Yeah?
- ZDB: Just passing by. Saw your post. Thought I'd knock.
- SH: Okay. So you don't really want to come in?
- ZDB: Nah. I do better on the outside. (sits on porch, back against door) Okay if we talk like this?
- SH: (sits on floor, back against inside of door). Sure. Are you shy?
- ZDB: Not really shy. More like aloof, with curious tendencies. Sound weird?
- SH: Nope. Sounds pretty unweird.
- ZDB: Is that why counseling? You like, not so much talking to people, as listening to people?
- SH: (smiles) Maybe. Is that why writing? You like, not so much talking to people, as writing stuff that suggests better stories for them?
- ZDB: (laughs)
- SH: (smiles) So is this starting something?
- ZDB: Only if you write back.
- SH: So it's like tennis?
- ZDB: Human interaction?
- SH: Yeah.
- ZDB: Yeah. With the point being that it's a no win. Not competitive, the object is just to keep the thing going. Like playhouse fun. Like life.
- SH: Like rooting for the species?
- ZDB: Like we can't use our smarts to make a future and not destroy it?

2013-06-05 12:01:08 (211 words)

* a top (turn of phrase) on the song "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" written by Bob Dylan for the film "Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid" 1973 (for all you indie human, tribal social outlaws)


(from a charloft prompt Munday: In the future. Where do you see your writing five years in the future? How do you plan to get there?)

June 3, 2018, 7:36 a.m. The clock radio comes on and Mrs. Harter yells from the kitchen.

"Hurry up, boys and girls. Breakfast is on the table in FIVE MINUTES!!!"

She volunteers on weekday mornings at the writer house on Elm Street, a rooming house for out of work writers. I'm in room 3, just off the living room. Not the best room in the house, but not the worst. There's a breeze that usually comes in through my open window in the summer, especially during the morning and afternoon commute, from all the buses passing just beyond the sidewalk.

"You up?" Mary Ellen Frist says as she knocks twice on my door on her way to the enormous kitchen table. Big by most standards, it only seats sixteen, so the last five people to make it to the morning and evening "serving times," have to stand, butts against a kitchen counter, or sit on the floor by the washer and dryer.

With twenty-one people living in the house, we're eleven over fire code, which sounds worse than it is. Half the eight hundred writer houses in the city are more than three times capacity, many with people sleeping in the halls and on the stairs.

"How do people sleep on the stairs?" I asked Mary Ellen when she came to Elm Street from West Clancy.

"Not soundly," she replied. "Remember when you used to dream about one day writing stuff that people would pay money to read?"

"Yeah, I guess," I answered. "But, in all honesty, that dream seems so long ago, I can't remember if I just dreamed dreaming it, or if I really had the dream when I was awake."

"That's it. That's what unsound sleep and dreams are like," she said.

2013-06-05 00:20:13 (304 words)

"sacrimonic* filigree, 01"

... in be flat miner [sic, fic, diddle dick, sailing on the link-link]

He's sitting at a desk in a room that's roughly nine by twelve. In feet, or meters, kilometers or astral light-years, that part doesn't really matter. Apart from the floors of shelves of specific things at dusty rest in the record of their link-link relativity, would be the over-thing itself -- a library of space and time that's left unshaped by the builder of the over-thing, "Infinity and Continuum Construction -- We Build Your Universe."

Which is long for "He's sitting at a desk and the desk is in his head."

A girl walks in, who happens to be comely. Which is a word, today, with a connotation that shares center stage with "handsome." Thank you, Internet, for giving "come" and "go" new, graphic visuals.

She laughs. "Handsome? Okay. Then keep your hands where I can see them." She's smiling at the boy, like Slim, the character Lauren Bacall played in "To Have and Have Not," standing sultry in a doorway and asking Bogart if he knew how to pucker up and blow.

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2013-05-27 14:58:59 (546 words)

* from "sacrilege" (blasphemous) + "mnemonic" (a verbal device used to aid recall), with "device," here and where the fuck not?, being merely how we "shit a brick and fuck me with it" think, thank you, Debra Morgan