The Other End of Sunset

Thursday, August 20, 2009

What would you change if you could?

What would you change if you could?

I was sitting in my house the other night, looking out the kitchen window into the darkness. In front of me is the hedge of ficus trees. Beyond that, the street, with intermittent traffic buzzing by, on their way to Hollywood for the sin and scandal, or the Valley to shop or to hide.

I often wonder where cars are going, even when I'm in one. Don't you?

I did my best
it wasn't much.
I couldn't feel
so I tried to touch
--Leonard Cohen

I know I wrote about traffic last posting, so I won't go into it again. Rather, hear the murmur of sound in the background, and let it give rise to the noise in the foreground.

As I sat there, I noticed an abnormally large fly buzzing about. Seeing such flies makes me wonder what's in the water around here to yield such huge insects. But let's ignore that for now.

The fly was buzzing around the window I was looking through, and the noise was bugging me.

Yes, the pun was intended.

Reflecting for a moment on being the top of the food chain, I decided to kill the fly. I gave myself a moment to bask in the thrill of the decision, flying in the face of my humanity.

Yes, that one was intended too.

Fail to see the tragic.
Turn it into magic
--Marilyn Manson

There was a flyswatter lying on the counter next to me, cleverly masquerading as a Pottery Barn catalog. I rolled up the magazine, and went to town swatting the fly.

Needless to say, I missed it. Several times.

But then the fly outsmarted itself. It flew down to the lower corner of the window, directly behind a pill bottle that was left there for no apparent reason.

I grabbed the pill bottle and pushed it back to the glass, crushing the fly behind it. Voila, no more foreground buzzing, back to reveling in the background noise from the street.

Sometimes you have to use the weapons that lie scattered around you.

Me and the royal denizens
got damn good reasons for our sins
--Mary Gauthier

I've been reading a lot since exiting stage left. Some good books -- I'm currently focused on the Ascent of Money -- but loads and loads of garbage -- fantasy, science fiction, war novels, general dreck. It appears there are trends, or fads, in books as well as in fashion, etc.

The current fad is books about vampires. With a close second place given to books about magical detectives. Generally very strange, and, unfortunately, not very good.

A really good marker of whether your book stinks? If you find yourself using bizarre (or made-up, or italicized) words in some created language, and defining the words in the next sub-clause.

For example, "You don't want an undead to have access to the Monnowtizer, the weapon the gods made to kill undead. And even worse is to walk in on a BloggyWhackp, the race of armored dwarves known for carrying magically spelled pill bottles."

Really, if you are making up words, and defining them in such a hacked way, go write fairy tales. Or mark your books as "cheesy", in which case I won't clutter my Kindle or my mind with them.


In her hand when she died
was a note that cried
"Fare thee well,
Tecumseh valley"
-nanci griffith, originally by Townes van zandt

I'm writing this while watching "Elton John: Me, myself, and I" in the background. Jeanne was a huge Elton John fan. She'd have loved this show. To large extent, this show is a biopic of Elton John making fun of himself.

Part of his life was intertwined with the life, and death, of Ryan White. The images from White’s death, in Indiana, are filled with women with that fluffy hairstyle that women wore in the 80s. I have a picture of Jeanne with that hair, in Indiana. Why did anyone wear that hairstyle? It's horrible.

Now that I say that it is horrible, it’s going to turn out that I had the same haircut at some point. Thanks for playing.

The ending credits of the TV show are clips from a live stage show Elton John did in Las Vegas, called the Red Piano or something. I saw that show with Jeanne. She loved it.

I ended up buying 3 or 4 sets of tickets to the show. Yes, we only went once.

When Jeanne and I planned to go to the show in Vegas, I was in the middle of my scut work for the Google IPO. But for a variety of reasons, we didn't exactly know when the issue would go out, and what trips or meetings or general scut would be required of me.

So, I'd buy a pair of tickets for the show on, say, a Friday, and then I'd learn that I needed to be at meeting X, and so couldn't make the flight, or whatever. We missed the show, over and over again. It became almost a joke, although Jeanne really wanted to see it.

Finally, we made the show. I can't remember, now, if we went before the IPO, or after, or in the middle. We got good seats, on the right side, near the front. His piano was on the left side. She was giddy through the show, singing along at the top of her lungs. At the end of the show, if I recall correctly, various people from the crowd went up on the stage to dance or generally make themselves look foolish.

Jeanne didn't go up. She was too embarrassed. She'd have been prettier and more graceful than anyone else on stage, in her silly 4 inch heels, but she couldn't make herself go up. Then, just as everyone got moved off the stage, she worked up her courage to go up.

Too late.

Sometimes you have to use the weapons scattered around you. Those heels were definitely a weapon. And I wish she hadn't been ashamed to use them.

I have the skill
I have the will
To breathe you in
While I can
-Sick Puppies

Now, to be filed under "creepy", I was watching a horror movie called "Henry, portrait of a serial killer" last night. It's absolutely terrifying, even to me. Very disturbing, shot in this slightly faded looking film, that feels ever-so-slightly out of focus. Kind of like what your family's home movies of that trip to Mount Petit Jean in the summer. Only instead of being about how you can't really dive well, "Henry" is about... well, a serial killer.

There is a female character. She's the sister of the journeyman killer. She's sort-of the love interest, although the movie doesn't end well for her.

She looks exactly like Jeanne. Well, not exactly, the character in the movie has a bit rounder face, but, regardless, the actress looks closely enough that it distracted me from the movie. Which wasn't a bad thing, now that I think about it.

The end of the movie has a good lesson: Buy bigger luggage. Really, you don't want to know what I mean by that.

On a more cheerful note, don't you think that SL looks like Heather Graham? Of course, SL is about 4 inches shorter. Don't forget to remind her of that. She loves being reminded she's short.

Like every generation yields
A newborn hope
Unjaded by their years
-Sarah McLachlan

I leave tomorrow morning to ride my motorcycle to Vegas. I'm going up with a friend. Riding my Saxon. The motorcycle that left me stranded on Ventura Boulevard. The bike that nearly got me killed on the 101.

Yup, I'm riding into the desert on a death trap.

I wonder if this is a good decision?

Control yourself.
Take only what you need from it

It’s been a red letter week for the US judiciary. Apparently, in the US, being innocent doesn’t prevent you getting executed.

In the last several years, there has been a lot of interest in proving the innocence of people on death row, using DNA or other new techniques.

Apparently, it turns out, however, that you aren’t guaranteed to be able to prove your innocence using DNA evidence, even when it’s potentially available.

That’s bad enough. But worse?

How about a case where we know the prisoner is innocent, but has exhausted normal appeals.

As it turns out, here in the land of milk and honey, apparently the truth will not set you free.

Unless you mean free from this mortal coil.

Yes, indeed, a great week for US jurisprudence.

We all fall in love
--Elton John

It has also been another proud week of health care debate. I don’t even know where to start with this one.

Shall we start with the people talking about how illegal aliens have health care coverage, and that this is bad somehow.

Leaving aside the morality of that particular position, I think that most undocumented workers get their primary health care from public hospital emergency rooms.

How about the Medicare recipient who went to town – in a town hall, no less – on how the government shouldn’t have a public option for health care.

Hmm, hypocrisy cleanup on Aisle 1, please.

I don’t even know where to begin. But I know how to end.

You might ask what it takes to remember

When you know that you’ve seen it before
-- Jackson Browne
If you see a bike and rider stranded on the side of I-15, slow down and see if I need a ride. Or send a taxi. Either way.