Sunday, April 29, 2007


Possibly the best thing to happen on Sunday since Creation, the New York Times Sunday Magazine, features a cover story set in the eerie, murderous depths of Colorado Springs. It's about Robert Browne, the serial killer who took up about a week and a half of the news cycle during the summer. It was my first and only press conference. The article is a worthwhile read, although it's more of a vehicle for the traditional cat-and-mouse detective story. Charlie Hess has a good face for the part, and Robert Browne has a good beard. For being a killer, I mean.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Often more crappy than a poor choice

In my travels across the Internet, occasionally I find things that amuse me. This is one of those things.

It's a blog called Slantmouth that is, as they say, "Often more sultry than a pillow fight." Although I personally have never experienced pillow fights to be sultry, but more like painful and not fun, I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt. It's awfully good humor writing and totally sweet linkage. The links don't burden you with the pain of too much information, but instead are photographs where the captions serve as secret punchlines. You really should check it out.

Also in terms of recommends, Laura Veirs' new album, Saltbreakers, is a glorious achievement. I'm always stunned by her ability to cram nature imagery into every line. It seems like she's always turning a corner to discover some new kind of butterfly or staring in awe at the pink stars. This hasn't always worked for her: I can't listen to Carbon Glacier without cringing a little when she sings, "Topographic lines/ come close together..... and boulders just might/ make an appearance/ if the sun shines just right."

Saltbreakers has a few references to "sautering," which is exceptional. And the phrase, "Merman with a twinkle." Those mermen are up to no good, casting a hook in her.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Great Transition

If you ever drive from Colorado to Texas, bring bean dip. It is absolutely essential. Bean dip is the perfect sustenance for a journey that involves an incredibly open and slowly flattening landscape, exits with no services, entire towns that smell like either crapping animals or processed animals, and a wonderfully haunting emptiness.

I also recommend those handy "Scoop" tortilla chips.

My friend Shari was my traveling companion and partner in speed-related crime. She had just returned from Paris. The cops could smell it on her.

I really believe that the key to a successful road trip is side-trips. On my first road trip, from New York to Colorado, my desires to stop at the Buffalo Bill and corn husking museums were declared void by the front seat because I didn't know how to drive a stick. This time no such opportunities were missed.

We saw Billy the Kid's grave. It was monumental.

We posed in front of interesting signs.

We helped the pioneers with the laundry...

and apple picking. I didn't have the heart to tell the young man on the ladder he was harvesting out of season.

Between bean dip sessions, we took time to stretch.

We pulled over in New Mexico at a church that was in ruins. It was beautiful.

Maybe the most successful part of the trip was the shopping.

The highway wasn't crowded with hipsters, so the antique stores and flea markets were fresh, which means: Tons of owls! For cheap! I collected three new owls, two of them being hot plates, for about $2. I think the hot plates will come in handy when I set up my homestead. But I will always cherish my memory of the original owl wall.

We stopped for a night in Lubbock, where we failed to convince the night auditor we were only one person. In the morning, Shari nearly died from overexposure to MTV's spring break.

Fortunately, we made it safely and happily to Austin, after aforementioned run in with the traffic police. What a buzzkill.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Great! An easy solution to all my troubles.

This year for my birthday (3 months, people) you can give me the gift of carbon-guilt free living: Offset my life.

On the other hand, carbon offsets are actually kind of sketchy. Damn it.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

The Global Warming of My Dreams

It's been quite a while since I have last written, so I'll quickly catch up:

I am now living in Austin, Texas
I decided not to get my own place quite yet and am living with family
I earn my keep by providing cooking services and the enjoyment of my company
I like working at Earth & Sky
I like Austin
It is mostly hot and humid here but this weekend was cold and rainy
I dented my car the other day

The end.

I intended to write and post some photos about the drive down, but I can't find the USB cord for my camera, and my camera has been having some difficulties since someone (named Reed) decided to put it on a shaky porch railing to take a self timed picture of us before I left, and when it inevitably fell, claimed it was not his fault, despite my warning him not to do it. So I'm working on it, don't worry.

One of the things that occupies quite a bit of space in my mind right now is global warming. Why is this? you ask. Well, I answer, it's because global warming is the new Cold War. Haven't you heard?

Apparently, back in the day, people had nightmares about getting nuked by Russians. Looking back with our spectacular 20/20 hindsight, we can laugh about how silly people must have looked cowering under their desks. We know now that Russians are really as gentle as little lambs, except for when they poison spies and kill journalists.

For the past two months, I've been having nightmares about global warming. I think and read and talk about it a lot, especially with my job, and so it makes sense that it seeps into my subconscious. And global warming is one of those things that people don't want to think about too deeply, because when you do, it's completely terrifying. And as one person, you feel powerless to stop it, especially when you see that people in power don't even want to believe it's real.

Mostly the dreams are about car emissions. I drive a car that I don't feel gets good enough gas mileage. So I feel guilty. The guilt goes into my dreams and combines with other issues. The first dream I had was that I was working (at my old job, with disabled people) and one of the clients/individuals/persons served, who was prone to screaming, "Bad boy SCREAM!" owned this car that was parked outside the building. He couldn't drive, but he liked to have it on, and it had this huge smokestack sticking out of it, just spewing black pollution out of its top. I told the people I was working with that he had to turn the car off. They protested that he had rights, as a person, and if that's what he wanted we couldn't say no or force him to turn it off. I said, no, it's not about his rights, it's about stopping global warming, but they didn't understand. I grew increasingly anxious and guilty until I woke up.

Last night I dreamed that I bought a new car, and as a bonus, the dealership threw in two new trucks. One was a huge new red truck, and the other was an 18-wheeler. They put them all in a huge garage for me. I tried to explain that I didn't want them, but the dealer was unresponsive. I didn't know what to do. I knew that if I gave them away, I would feel responsible for the gas that these trucks would use. And I couldn't keep owning them myself. I hated seeing them as mine. So again, I grew increasingly anxious and guilty until I half-woke up and started thinking incessantly about getting in touch with climate change scientists, none of which I could reach on the phone.

I've had anxiety dreams my whole life, but they used to be about not being ready on time while people were waiting. Now it's about the fate of the planet, and I feel way worse about it. Maybe the dreams will relent once I start riding a bike to work and taking the bus. As I said, I dented my car this week. Maybe it's a sign from a higher power telling me to speed up and stop driving.