Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Day Bar

The bar at which I work has four stools. The 30 odd taps mainly are for the diners sake. A few people come to sit on the stools and eat, or drink some brews, but during the day it is very few. There are the regulars who show up like clock work; Dana, a computer programmer that very recently was laid off from his job at CAL, Bruce, a local accountant who is an avid cyclist competing in centenarians, Decibal Dave, a loud mouth know it all who works up at the Greek etc.

Not only are there the daily regulars but there's also the people who come in once in a while. Today there were two. For the most part I leave people alone when they come to sit at the bar. If they wanted company they would have come to a more crowded bar I think to myself. Besides the fellows that come in all the time are just dull. Today a bearded man who was about thirty came in. I served him his beer and in two seconds it was gone.

"You finished that fast," I said. "You want another one."

"I'm alright, actually," he replied. "Thank you."

"Do you always drink that fast," I asked. I leaned against the bar cabinets struck by the ennui of work. Perhaps he would relieve me of the burden of boredom.

"I do. I actually like to freak out new bartenders doing it," he said chuckling. "I'll drink four in a row and see if they get surprised. The good bartenders won't bat an eye and will just ask if I want another while the bad ones will wonder if they even served me a drink."

I nodded, feigning interest and he continued talking about his ability to chug beers.

"What do you do for a living," I asked.

"I'm a school teacher," he replied.

"Do your students know about your drinking abilities," I asked.

"No, nor do they know about my eating abilities. I can eat a lot. I sat down at Blake's a hamburger place and ate 30 hamburgers in one sitting. The recent world championship for eating just occurred. The winner ate over 74 hot dogs, with buns in 9 minutes. It took me a little over three hours to eat 54. There is a Japanese guy that's usually been winning. Every time he goes out to eat the cooks make him this huge meal that he has to eat otherwise he offends the cook and loses face."

I laughed a loud. He ordered one more beer and slugged it down. He waited a few minutes and went out the door, no doubt to buy a new pair of stretch pants that would help with his bloating caused by excessive eating and drinking.

The fast drinking school teacher was replaced a half hour later by a quieter man who ordered a salad, some soup, and a beer.

"How was your day," I asked him after I'd served him his beer.

"Good, I just got back from the gym," he replied.

"You go to the YMCA," I asked pointing across the street to the public gym's nearby location.

"Yeah. I haven't been in there for almost a year," he replied.

"Why is that," I asked.

"Well I had to take two months off because I donated my kidney to my friend. Then the rest of the year was a bit busy," he replied.

"You donated your kidney," I asked. "What was that like?"

"It wasn't that big of a deal, although it took a while to recover. My kidney actually got bigger after I donated mine to him. They put me under and then I woke up pretty sore. The kidney was gone but the nerves were still there firing away, they didn't realize that the kidney was gone so it hurt."

"Wow, how did your friend do?"

"He did alright. They had to put him on dialysis for seven months. He actually almost died before they found out his kidneys were bad. He was rushed to the hospital, his eyes had turned black and his skin calico. His kidneys had just shut down and he was filled with toxins. His brain was all mushed up and it took 3 days of initial dialysis for him to even be coherent."

"Really," I said. "So was he on dialysis for a while?"

"For like 7 months, until I gave him one of my kidneys. A normal wait for a kidney is 7 years, if you're real lucky 5. That's for people who are on a list, just waiting for a cadaver's kidney to show up. Then you gotta be at the hospital within 5 hours to do the transplant. While you're on the list you go do dialysis three times a week. They take all your blood out and filter it through a machine then pump it back in. It takes a lot out of you."

"Wow," I said.

"My friend didn't have any family out here, and everyone that could do it was really old so I did it. He's been my friend since '81 or something. The doctors were afraid of him rejecting my kidney so they did a dialysis where they stripped all of his blood of anti-bodies then inserted my kidney, then put in the anti-bodies. They were afraid his anti-bodies would attack my kidney. He takes about 30 pills a day."

"That's a lot of fucking pills," I said. "How is he doing now?"

"Great, he looks like he's 24 and is 48."

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Fight Night at the Fox

I have a new post up at mymuaythai. You can check it out here.

I've mainly been working on writing that doesn't involve the blogsphere, sadly. I do hope to get to more writing exercises soon for my large fan base.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

What does it mean to be...

"Well when you get married," she said to me.

"I probably won't get married. Its bad enough that other anarchists are doing it. If I did it it'd be like another angel had lost its wings," I replied.

"Even if you love her a lot," she said.

"Well, I don't totally discount it but its just one of those principle things, its like vegans don't eat meat. If you eat meat once well you're not REALLY vegan are you (if you do it on purpose)? Even if you never eat meat again. You had that lapse, a lapse of choice. Its the same with marriage and anarchists. It doesn't really matter that you're getting married in terms of the tradition but that state recognition and the culture of anarchism goes against your "anarchist identity," I replied.

"How do you consider yourself an anarchist now," she said pointedly.

"Well, I'm a lifestyle anarchist." I chuckled lightly with my reply.

"Don't use Murray Bookchin as your defense! How does slash is your life anarchist... I'm asking this because I'm curious about my own life and how it is and isn't anarchist," she said, the latter half with fifty percent of her heart.

"Well I think I'm being exploratory. I think one of the defining characteristics of anarchists, at least the ones I respect, is their desire to explore. They read, they travel, they delve, they question, its their endless search. That process is something I feel I'm engaged in. Yeah my current strain of activity isn't normally deemed as "anarchist" but I think its a strain worth looking into and its something I find personally rewarding."

"How is it rewarding?"

"Well I'm engaged with others in a way that builds my confidence, and not in an easy manner. In order to create a stronger self in this world that I'm living now you have to work hard. I appreciate that.

I've commonly found that inhabiting solely anarchist spaces that I just get judged for my "extracurricular" activity. If I'm not publishing, writing articles for some near defunct magazine, or attending x group or y activity I'm not an 'anarchist, ' or worse not 'anarchist' enough."

"How is what you're suggesting any different from people like Jack Kerouac, or De Sade? Being libertine? Living without constraints," she said. She gazed at me while I figured my reply.

"I can't say that is that much different. Utimately I believe that people who develop themselves will realize that to develop themselves more requires the destruction of state and capital thus anarchy. Alienation, a fundamental part of capital isn't about loss, its about not being able to develop oneself to one's full potential. Its not that I am unhappy with my life now, but I do think that if I was unfettered by work and the obligations of the state I would be able to create a better me, thus I would see my self now as being sad, and fucked."

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Still Waiting

Justin Long who has been a part of great hits like "Alvin and the Chipmunks," "Herbie; Full loaded" and "Zack and Miri make a porno" has described himself as being embarassed to be a part of the recent "Still Waiting," a straight to dvd feature. "Still Waiting," is a sequel to the popular "Waiting" a movie that follows a day in a chain restaraunt. The sequel is much like the first but its plot meanders, which is difficult as there is hardly a part to begin with. Something about a hooters type place competing with a nearby restaurant and a pathetic manager.

There aren't many working movies anymore. There are no more 9-5 movies nor any other movies that I can think of that depict the working life. Working life has eroded not only from film but from literature.

I was going to write more about this movie, both the sequel and this one but decided it was too depressing.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Affairs of states

The days slide by and I haven't been posting. Part of that is a lack of discipline. I'll go to the gym everyday but I won't write everyday. How will I ever make any progress with the literary craft if I don't jot down a few things? Although in my defense I have been working on short stories that I haven't been posting. I'm pretty excited about them. I am rather unexcited about the recent string of blog posts I've been doing about the hipster kids in SF. I've found that hipsters are boring. Hipsters are young people who emulate the people that are actually doing things, the people making music, art, writing etc.

I have been reading a fair amount which is always nice. I recently went through a horde of China Mieville's work. Mieville writes dark fantasy, weird sci fi or some other genre. His work is a mix of fantasy and sci fi. His latest novel is hands down his best. I don't really like Mieville's writing style. It is belligerent and slow to come to meaning, but what he lacks in technical ability he makes up in imagination. The City and the City is his latest. Its about two cities that inhabit the same geographic location but are considered two separate locations. Residents of one city teach themselves not to see the residents, streets, and vehicles of the other city. They do this by recognizing only their own cultural signs and ignoring the other city's. A murder happens and a detective has to cross the border. Its a really great idea. The plot is so so, but the idea really carries it. Along with The City and the City I read a series of his short stories which were good. The collection is called "Looking for Jake." The novella called "The tain," is excellent along with a story called Varmint way. I think its called varmint way at least. The latter story is about disappearing streets. A street will come into existence for a little while and then vanish. The story is told well, using a series of letters that accidentally were delivered to Mieville.

While I've been reading a lot I've also caught most of the summers blockbusters, "The Hangover," "Transformers," "Drag me to Hell," and "Terminator: Salvation." The two best were "The Hangover," and "Drag me to Hell." The former was great with this bearded dude who does awkward humor. Awkward style humor is becoming quite popular. People like watching other people feel uncomfortable and they like watching people cross cultural boundaries. One of the opening scenes in "The Hangover," has the bearded dude wearing a jock strap and hugging his soon to be brother in law. Laughter from the crowd emitted as the odd incest, homosexual, and undergarment taboos were slightly breached. The latter movie, "Drag me to Hell," was one of the scariest.... no scratch that frightening movies I've seen in quite some time. The movie surprised me continually, but didn't necessarily scare me. The film weds in a good sense of kitschy-humor into its macabre moments. There is a great scene involving a stapler and a car fight along with some great gross out moments.

In other news I've added a new link to my blogroll. I was checking it out last night and its called bldgblog. Its about architecture, space and that sort of shit. Looks good. I look forward to following it. Check it out.