Last Chance Saloon

Friday, 30 April 2004

The Haiku con­test ends to­mor­row. This is your last chance to sub­mit en­tries. Some of you have on­ly sub­mit­ted one haiku so you can sub­mit one more. Others [B?rd, Phil, epm] have not sub­mit­ted any­thing. You, I think, are com­mies. So click on the damn con­test pic­ture over on the side and sub­mit some­thing. Winner is an­nounced on Monday. Here are a cou­ple more haiku.

across the build­ing
my sweet red­head­ed heartache
wears her hook­er boots

me plus you equals
heart mi­nus mind di­vid­ed
mul­ti­plied by spring

who needs a gim­mick
a face like a baboon’s butt
is enough for me

three birds in the sky
hot dog buns and tater tots
wa­ter­mel­on pie

Random Is As Random Ever Was

Thursday, 29 April 2004

So I was across the street eat­ing lunch in the cafe­te­ria with some cowork­ers when, out of nowhere, I run in­to Chris Sikorski, a bud­dy of mine from col­lege. The last I had heard from him he was work­ing for the SEC in Chicago; he still is, and was in Cleveland do­ing an ‘ex­am­i­na­tion’ [not ‘in­ves­ti­ga­tion,’ mind]. He couldn’t tell me the specifics and I didn’t re­al­ly care to hear them any­way. We trad­ed num­bers and then last night I took him for a few pints at the Public House on Lorain. I’d nev­er been there but I’d heard good things. It was dis­ap­point­ing how­ev­er. It was like any oth­er bar, ap­par­ent­ly they felt that a Guinness poster and a few Irish flags turned it in­to an ap­prox­i­ma­tion of an old coun­try pub.

Chris gave me the down low on work at the SEC, ap­par­ent­ly his di­vi­sion does com­pli­ance [au­dits isn’t the right word but that is what it is, ba­si­cal­ly] of fi­nan­cial ad­vi­sors to make sure they are ful­fill­ing their oblig­a­tions of dis­clo­sure agree­ments and not breach­ing their con­tracts. Then the is­sue de­fi­cien­cy re­ports and tell the fi­nan­cial ad­vi­sors to fix it. So af­ter all that work, the fi­nan­cial ad­vi­sors get a slap on the wrist. I gath­ered that most of the prob­lems are rather mi­nor and are the re­sult of neg­li­gence but since SEC com­pli­ance is such a big deal in the wake of Enron and all that hoo-ha his de­part­ment has been hir­ing fi­nance grad­u­ates like crazy.

I caught him up on my life too but I won’t tell you what I said be­cause its all here in this thing.

Adam’s Nonsensical Ontological Argument

Wednesday, 28 April 2004

Here I go again with more of this think­ing stuff. You ever get the feel­ing that you’ve thought of some­thing mind­blow­ing and then find out lat­er that some­one else thought about it 100s of years be­fore you and it was prob­a­bly just chill­ing in your sub­con­scious? Yeah, I hate that. So a few days ago I was blab­ber­ing about on­tol­ogy to lit­tle avail. Almost a year ago I was blab­ber­ing on the na­ture of know­ing to ba­si­cal­ly the same end.

And now, last night, they, un­sur­pris­ing­ly in ret­ro­spect, merged. [damn lot­ta com­mas] So I guess this is my ver­sion of the on­to­log­i­cal ar­gu­ment. It ends with God = Nothing, which is rather sur­pris­ing.

x = some­thing
y = noth­ing
z = God

If y ⊆ x ex­ists, where y is a sub­set of x, and z ⊆ x ex­ists, where z is a sub­set of x, then y = z.


  1. Is y a sub­set of x?
    • If x is the set of all that ex­ists then y ex­ists. Ergo, y is a sub­set of x.
  2. Are y and x op­po­sites?
    • At first blush it seems so, but if y were not a sub­set of x then y would not ex­ist. [i usu­al­ly start bog­gling at this point.]

If y DNE then there would be no con­cept of y.
There is a con­cept of y. Mere dis­cus­sion of y proves this.
Therefore, y ex­ists.
If z DNE then there would be no con­cept of z.
There is a con­cept of z. Mere dis­cus­sion of z proves this.
Therefore, z ex­ists.
If y ex­ists and z ex­ists and they are both sub­sets of x, then y equals z.

I am equat­ing the con­cep­tu­al with the fac­tu­al. I have ap­par­ent­ly al­so de­cid­ed that every­thing in the set of x is mu­tu­al­ly ex­clu­sive to every­thing else. So it ap­pears that every­thing is per­mit­ted. So lets do what­ev­er we want.

What I Think About My Art.

Tuesday, 27 April 2004

I was rum­mag­ing through my old sheet mu­sic last night in search of some­thing sim­ple enough for me to play on my gui­tar. While do­ing this I came to the con­clu­sion that eight years ago I was a damn good sax­o­phon­ist. Up un­til high school march­ing band killed my love of mu­si­cal per­for­mance [a love that had al­ready waned since be­com­ing in­volved in or­ga­nized en­sem­bles in 6th grade] I was start­ing to play some Coltrane and learn­ing the art of jazz im­pro­vi­sa­tion. Then I up and quit. The up­shot of this is that all of my sheet mu­sic is far too com­pli­cat­ed for me to play on my gui­tar. For now at least. But some­thing as mun­dane as this did get me think­ing. [sur­prise!]

I am in a con­stant­ly strug­gling with my art. I have a well of cre­ativ­i­ty and imag­i­na­tion that I can’t quite ever ful­ly tap in­to. I feel like I am stand­ing in front of a leak­ing dike with a bowl and just catch­ing drib­bles un­til I have enough to take a drink. I fig­ure this might be the typ­i­cal state for many artists, and the pe­ri­ods of rapid pro­duc­tiv­i­ty and ge­nius are when the lev­ee breaks. Since all art [ex­cept for writ­ing*] is, by its na­ture, in­ef­fa­ble I think my dif­fi­cul­ty lies in the ba­sic con­nec­tion be­tween trans­lat­ing the in­ef­fa­ble in­to some­thing. Which is a pret­ty damn big prob­lem. A fun­da­men­tal one in fact. A prob­lem that says, per­haps I shouldn’t be do­ing art at all if I can­not trans­late.

My prob­lem is that I’m not very good at any of the art forms I’ve been try­ing. I’ve avoid­ed draw­ing and paint­ing be­cause I don’t know how to do them and I don’t think my mind is arranged prop­er­ly to deal with that type of vi­su­al artistry. Filmmaking is the clos­est vi­su­al art to my mind­set be­cause it is sig­inif­i­cant­ly eas­i­er to make things look the way I want them to. My writ­ing breaks down be­cause I al­ways end up writ­ing about writ­ing about things. I want to tell sto­ries, not be a writer or film­mak­er. I want to be a po­et, not write po­ems.

So I’m think­ing that per­haps mu­sic is an art I can be good at. With mu­sic I don’t need to de­scribe the in­ef­fa­ble be­cause I can make it my­self. This strikes me as the re­verse of what I have just talked about. Instead of in­ter­pret­ing that which can­not be ful­ly in­ter­pret­ed, if I play good mu­sic I can lead my­self and oth­ers to a place where things can­not and do not need to be in­ter­pret­ed. Because be­ing there is enough.

Same Old Dog and Pony Show

Monday, 26 April 2004

So when I was talk­ing with some­one [ok it was my moth­er] over the week­end she once again raised a con­cern about my con­tent on this thingy. She wor­ries that my Mennonite un­cle, who ap­par­ent­ly reads this… ac­tu­al­ly I can’t even tell what she wor­ries about be­cause she just says ‘I read it and then I think about C______, he reads it…’ 

I sort of know what she is get­ting at, but be­cause her ob­jec­tions are so ill-de­fined I’m in­clined to toss them out the win­dow. I think she feels that, be­cause C______ is Mennonite, he needs some sort of spe­cial pro­tec­tion from crude lan­guage [for in­stance, when I write ‘fuck’ or ‘raisin-tit­tied’ or ‘cor­pus­cle’] and oth­er vul­gar be­hav­iors. Which is ridicu­lous. We live in the same world and pre­tend­ing to be some­thing I’m not is dis­hon­est. I’d rather be vul­gar than dis­hon­est any day of the week, and twice as vul­gar on sun­day.

Do I say the kind of things I say in here in front of my fam­i­ly? No way. There isn’t much room for vul­gar­i­ty or ob­scen­i­ty when I’m with my kin, and there is al­so no rea­son for me to feel the need to be that way, so I’m not. It isn’t like I am a dif­fer­ent per­son, it is just that I know the time and place where cer­tain be­hav­iors are use­ful. Family time = re­spect.

Which doesn’t re­al­ly bring me back to my point but I will pre­tend it does any­way. Visiting my site is vol­un­tary, if you come to vis­it I ex­pect you to put up with how I say things. I don’t have to be re­spect­ful to any­thing or any­one for any rea­son in this space. You can call me out on ob­vi­ous blun­ders and mis­con­cep­tions [like Matty and the pics of dead folks]. I wel­come that stuff and will en­gage in it. But if you say one damn word com­plain­ing about what I write about or how I write about what I write about you can go to hell.

Another Dream

Sunday, 25 April 2004

so i re­mem­bered an­oth­er dream i had last night. its pret­ty straight­for­ward.

i go vis­it this lit­tle old la­dy with cook­ies who proph­e­size­cies to me about what hap­pens lat­er on in my dream [sounds like the ma­trix]. i nev­er re­mem­ber dream di­a­logue so for­get about what she said. it was ba­si­cal­ly some­thing along the lines of i was in dan­ger from some group who was af­ter what i had in my head, some sort of im­por­tant knowl­edge. [i’m think­ing it was like some­thing like what is in the head of the dude in the movie pi]. so then i leave and my dream cuts to me wak­ing up af­ter i’ve been cap­tured. i’m wear­ing red-edged un­der­oos™ [mi­nus the un­der­shirt and by the way, the old woman pre­dict­ed this] and i’m in some sort of psy­chi­atric cell. i know that some­how i’ve giv­en my knowl­edge away and that i have to get some place rather quick­ly be­fore some­thing bad hap­pens. so i bust out, beat up an or­der­ly and take his shirt which says ‘fem­i­nist chicks dig me’ [i ac­tu­al­ly own this shirt and the old la­dy pre­dict­ed that too] and tuck it in­to my un­der­oos and then hop on a subway/​el which takes me to wher­ev­er i need­ed to go to stop the bad guys and then i get killed [the par­al­lax view].

no i didn’t wake up af­ter be­ing killed, i just went on to dream­ing about some­thing else.

Free Concert Friday

Saturday, 24 April 2004

So, be­cause I have de­vel­oped a few con­nec­tions through my work and have start­ed writ­ing mu­sic re­views for Urban Dialect, I have now had guestlist ac­cess to two shows that I would oth­er­wise had to pay for. Last night I waltzed in to the Grog Shop to see Waiting For Evangeline, Murder By Death! and Rasputina. The evening cost me $6.25: I bought a Woodchick and left a tip and paid me­tered park­ing. Not a bad deal for three and a half hours of mu­sic.

Waiting for Evangeline is based out of Akron. They were bet­ter than Yellowcard but I kin­da got the feel­ing that they hadn’t set­tled down on their own par­tic­u­lar style yet. They had some re­al­ly nice riffs but every time the lead singer screamed I want­ed to laugh. It needs some work. They were all busi­ness though and the crowd seemed to like them well enough. I grabbed the band’s stick­er af­ter­ward to add to my gui­tar case. No gui­tar case is com­plete un­less it is cov­ered with ran­dom band stick­ers.

Murder By Death! was the band my cowork­er is good friends with. They all went to col­lege to­geth­er and she was at their first show ever and first road show. They had a cel­list and key­boards in ad­di­tion to the gui­tar, bass, drumk­it com­bo. They were pret­ty good and they im­pressed the crowd. A cou­ple of times the sound mal­func­tioned slight­ly but it didn’t slow them down at all.

Rasputina was re­al­ly good. I have come to the con­clu­sion from watch­ing the cel­list in MbD and the ladies of Raspy that the cel­los is a mighty sexy in­stru­ment when played by a girl. It is al­so ca­pa­ble of be­ing more met­al than I’d thought cel­los could be. Melora in­tro­duced their songs with quirky lit­tle anec­dotes and then they would play and cre­ate wicked cool sound­scapes. They al­so cov­ered Led Zeppelin’s Rock and Roll, an amaz­ing ver­sion of Heart’s Barracuda and CCR’s Bad Moon Rising. They al­so made every­one sit down so that every­one would be able to see them per­form.