Why Won’t People Just Let Themselves Be Inspired By My Blog?

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Monday, June 16

Current mood: feisty!

Listening to: Los Lonely Boys, Live at Blue Cat Blues

Got some exciting news today. Randy is maybe moving back to the Bay Area! (You guys should remember Randy from previous posts. You better!) Anyway, he and I had talked about trying to do that hot dog vending thing for so long, and I randomly look online yesterday and see that…Stanley’s Steamers is hiring! I admit it kind of started out as a joke, but I’ve been thinking about the whole idea and honestly believe it would be a terrific life experience. Just vend hot dogs in Union Square for a year or so. It’s way cheaper than moving abroad. Imagine how many interesting people we’d meet!

Have you guys heard there’s gonna be a new Los Lonely Boys album? Supposedly by July 1st. (I don’t know if I can wait that long!) You’ve probably noticed I blog about them from time to time, as they’re one of my favorite contemporary blues/Tejano/Christian rock bands. If you still haven’t picked up that disc I recommended back when I started this blog, now’s the time! Get on the LLB train, people! Toot tooooot!

So I’m curious what you all think on the hot dog thing. Comments, guys! (And not just you, Mom!) I’m really hoping for some feedback here, and would love to hear about other people’s life aspirations.

Eric

p.s. Randy, I faxed you the application. Get it back to me ASAP!

Tuesday, June 17

Current mood: poetic

Listening to: Los Lonely Boys, Los Lonely Boys

So, many of you know that when I’m not blogging, I dabble in poetry. I’ve got a couple things I’m working on that I’m thinking of submitting to The New Yorker or somewhere like that. The first one is kind of “older style” mixed with sort of like a contemporary “slam” feel, and I think it’s got promise. (Be nice in the comments, though. It’s just a draft!) Here’s an excerpt:

“The Cliff (Reprise)”

The cliff doth naff

And high as s**t

Break me off a piece

Of that towering cliff

Aboard a ship

U.S.S. Hennessy

Do you feel me, skip?

We are where we be

The cliff doth naff …

And ne’er to wit

Kind of “urban classic” (hence the curse word — sorry), a style I see more and more these days, especially on other blogs. The mixture of “old” and “new” language has kind of a poetic “zing” to it, no? Anyway, I’d really love any feedback you might want to give. Still no thoughts from you guys on yesterday’s hot dog post — do I detect a hint of jealousy perhaps?

Kidding! You know I love you.

Randy, where you at, fool!

Wednesday, June 18

Current mood: amused

Listening to: Smash Mouth, All Star: The Smash Hits

Mr. Jo Bangles (that’s my cat, for all you newbies; Welcome!) did the funniest thing this morning. Oh. Man. You. Should. Have. Seen it! There was this fly buzzing behind the mini blinds and he noticed it and sort of perched beneath the window and then just started going, “ma-a-a-a-a-aow! Ma-a-a-a-aowww!” — all robotic-like. You know how cats do that when they see a bug? Anyway he sounded like a robot, and his head was perched kinda curiously to the side. I didn’t have my phone on me at the moment and couldn’t video it, so you’ll just have to take my word for it, okay? Classic.

What about you folks? Any crazy cat stories you want to share? Don’t be shy! We’ve all got ‘em. And mom, this isn’t an open invitation to regale us with Bubba tales. Again. You can do that on your blog, k? (Give Bubba a pat for me!)

Waiting to hear back from Randy on our exciting plans. Nothing yet, but I’m sure he’s as excited as I am!

You guys sure are quiet. I was really hoping the poem would spark some intellectual discussion and maybe prompt some of you to post your own poems, but I suppose not just anyone can write poetry. “Alas.”

Thursday, June 19

Current mood: admonishing

Listening to: Lizzie McGuire soundtrack

Hey, I just wanted to remind everyone that the comments forum is for constructive feedback and generally nice discussion. Mean-spirited, curse-laden language will not be tolerated (nudge nudge, Mr. “Anonymous”). I’m not going to repeat what the comment said, but the mere idea that someone found my site by Googling “gayest blog ever” is just dumb. I don’t recall having ever used the word “gay” in a single post (not that I have anything against that stuff!).

So let’s keep it positive, people! My mom’s comments about Bubba and Mr. Jo Bangles are great examples of what I’m looking for — not to mention she posted a link to LOL Cats (SO funny).

Also, Randy, if you’re reading this, I faxed you the application on Sunday and you haven’t sent it back yet. Please get on top of it or we might miss our golden opportunity! There are only so many positions available! Carpe diem, dude! And remember to include the same story in your cover letter about the time we came up with the idea, and also remember to mention we’d like to be paired together on the same hot dog cart should they offer us the positions.

Please tell me you’ve checked out that Los Lonely Boys disc by now. Believe me, you’re going to regret it if you haven’t! For those that did: what did you think? The comments field is wide open!

Friday, June 20

Current mood: little sad

Listening to: Los Lonely Boys, Sacred

Well, I’m sorry to say this will be my last post until further notice. I was really hoping we could build a little community around this thing and encourage one another and recommend music and stuff, but it seems I tend to attract the shyer kind of reader.

I just hope that I’ve maybe inspired a few of you to step outside yourselves — to write that poem, listen to that CD you’ve been curious about, or go on that crazy hot-dog-vending adventure you and Randy have always dreamed of (or whatever your path in life may be). I know my mom has really considered this a positive experience! I just hope the rest of you have, too. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this last post in the comments section, or some thoughts on my poem from Tuesday. Or any (generally positive) thoughts you might have to share about anything at all on any subject you feel like commenting about.

Eric

p.s. Randy, your phone got turned off. Pay your bill, dummy! 😉

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Brahms’ Other Lullabies

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Lullaby in D-flat major

Begun in the dulcet triple meter of his most renowned berceuse (the Wiegenlied, opus 94, #4), this misbegotten piece by Brahms veers astray when he eschews the conservative chromaticism of the traditional lullaby and opts for a more aggressive atonal approach. Eighth notes cluster in the upper registers, dissonantly burping out in random ostinato sprays, as Brahms, at wit’s end, tries to soothe “Big” Bertha Faber’s illegitimate infant while she goes out to settle a score with her pimp. When Bertha returns smelling of back-alley liaisons, Brahms crashes a dominant triad and ponders whether Chopin had to put up with this kind of crap — women stopping by and demanding he “come up with something to put the little guy out for a spell.” Brahms, exhausted, resolves to locate an alternative dating service and attempt some isometric muscle exercises.

Lullaby in C minor

This melancholy waltz composed at the home of Brahms’ beloved mentor, Robert Schumann, and his wife Clara (with whom, after the death of his mentor, Brahms had a torrid, yet fully clothed, love affair) soon dissolves into a pizzicato cacophony of tritones and grunts as Brahms contemplates a detour to the wine cellar to feed the cantankerous Schumann babe a spot of brandy. When Clara Schumann comes home early and finds Brahms giving her little angel thimble-shooters of Rémy Martin, the lullaby devolves into an all-out symphonic riot — complete with a sudden scherzo of crashing spoons and an odd chaconne-like war-dance around the piano. Clara, Brahms and the family dog collapse into a peculiar ménage on the floor, during which Brahms suffers multiple lacerations and a mild case of rabies. The piece closes with Brahms foaming at the mouth and urinating on his sheet music, the faint echo of middle C resonating throughout the boudoir. Bavarian parents begin to mutter that maybe Wagner would have been a better bet to tackle the lullaby contract.

Lullaby in B flat major

With a promising sonata-allegro introduction and enticing exposition, one wonders whether the transitional bridge immediately preceding the codetta was actually intended to sound like a feral hog falling down a flight of stairs — a musical conceit some attribute to Brahms’ struggles with the colic-ridden, three-toed orphan toddler lent to him by the Ministry of Child Welfare on which to practice. “She’s an outright monster,” Brahms complains. “I’m really at the end of my damned rope here.” What follows is arguably a manifestation of Brahms going a little nuts, as the composer rips apart the musical gestalt by slamming a nearby viola against the piano legs, creating a one-of-a-kind dynamic dissonance. Shortly after, the infant succumbs to a fit of the barking cough, consumed by croup. Brahms sets to work on a new codetta, this time practicing with another orphan, who, after the composer’s leitmotifs prove too much to bear, receives his reward after a particularly virulent attack of armpit thrush. The Ministry of Child Welfare ceases its orphans-on-loan initiative. There are murmurs of an investigation.

Lullaby in C sharp minor (disputed)

Brahms is in abject misery. He collapses on the couch in exhaustion and blows a languid stack of minor thirds on the flute he made by carving diatonic hole spacings in Schumann’s chamber pot. “You know, Clara, if more women would breast-feed, I wouldn’t have to come up with this heinous little jingle,” groans Brahms, between dangerous injections of morphine. “The pressure from you and the suits over in Berlin is crushing me. And the wretched angst of knowing that your heart is still with Robert!” “Robert wouldn’t give up like this,” says Clara, throwing Brahms into a psychotic episode that lasts until Clara brings a frying pan down on Brahms’ kneecaps. For the real enthusiast, the subsequent “clang” (augmented major seventh), while not in the sheet music, nevertheless offers a seductive moment of reflection as, during the rallentando, we imagine Brahms shuffling off to an orthopedist.

Lullaby in E major

The piece begins as an adagio, almost like a hymn. “Big” Bertha’s infinitely more attractive but slatternly sister Inga watches adoringly as her son Uder eases into sleep. The graceful introduction transitions into a quiet melody that halts dramatically as the child awakes with a start. “Oh, Inga,” says Brahms, “I’m just so tired. What is to be done!” “You know what, Johannes,” she hisses, “why don’t you take your worthless little ditties and go back to Vienna. I’ll just get Debussy over here. He knows how to treat a woman.” The consequent silence recalls a primal epoch, where silent amoebae sit contemplating their next move. Then, in 6/8 time, Brahms begins with a whisper, “Guten Abend, gut Nacht, mit Rosen bedacht.” The child sinks into a somnolent repose, then, in one final burst, roars with banshee enthusiasm, hurling a ball of sputum into Brahms’ eye and expiring without a whimper. Brahms, despondent, considers turning the lullaby project over to Wagner while going back to cranking out the formulaic, albeit decidedly less lethal, Hungarian dance tunes the lubberly public clamors so desperately for.

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The First And Last Time Socrates’ Older Brother, Frankios, Participated In A Dialogue

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SOCRATES: What troubles you, dear Glaucon?

GLAUCON: I was in the market today buying figs, and an old man in rags asked if I could spare a drachma or two. Even though I could have spared several, I told him I could spare none. I knew if I gave him money, he would buy wine to satiate the very vice responsible for his pitiful condition. It got me thinking about ethics. I wonder, Socrates, was it wrong of me to withhold money from that beggar, even though I knew he would use it to harm himself?

SOCRATES: Is it wrong to withhold a merciful death from a wounded horse, Glaucon?

GLAUCON: Well…yes, I suppose…

FRANKIOS: He asked you about giving charity, Athena. Nobody said anything about a horse.

SOCRATES: Yes, I know, Frank — it’s called an analogy. That’s what I’m trying to do. Make an analogy. And if you’re trying to get a rise out of me by calling me Athena, it won’t work. Now be quiet.

FRANKIOS: Sure thing.

SOCRATES: Thank you. Now Glaucon, would you care to respond to my question?

GLAUCON: Of course, wise Socrates. I do believe it’s wrong to withhold a merciful death from a wounded horse…unless the animal could eventually be healed.

SOCRATES: Ah! Now we’re getting somewhere! But what, sweet Glaucon, if the horse does not want to be healed? What if the horse simply wants to die so the pain will stop?

GLAUCON: I suppose in that case…

FRANKIOS: A suicidal horse. Yeah, I’ve heard that’s been a real problem lately. Just a bunch of horses offing themselves all over Greece.

SOCRATES: Shut up, Frank. I’m simply trying to illustrate a point. If you’ll freaking let me.

FRANKIOS: All right, Hera, take it easy.

SOCRATES: Dammit, you piss me off sometimes.

GLAUCON: Um, Socrates? Hi. As I was saying, one should of course try to heal the wounded horse, even if the horse does not want to be healed.

SOCRATES: Yes yes, and why is that, precious Glaucon?

GLAUCON: Because the horse cannot think for itself. It doesn’t understand that by enduring the pain long enough to be healed, it can live a long, healthy life.

SOCRATES: And if the horse could think for itself, what then?

GLAUCON: Well then I suppose…

FRANKIOS: What if the horse could crap magical rainbows? As long as we’re making stuff up.

SOCRATES: Honestly Frank, if you’re not going to take this seriously…

GLAUCON: What kind of magical rainbows?

SOCRATES: Don’t listen to him, Glaucon! He’s trying to sabotage our discussion!

FRANKIOS: Just your standard magical rainbows — cure any sickness, slow the aging process, enhance sexual performance — you know the kind.

SOCRATES: Stop this at once!

GLAUCON: Oh I see. I hadn’t heard of those before, but it sounds like a magical rainbow-crapping horse would be very valuable indeed. I suppose in that case, one should heal the wounded horse for the good of mankind.

SOCRATES: What? No!

FRANKIOS: Yes, Glaucon, now we’re getting somewhere…

GLAUCON: So what you’re really saying, Frankios, is that one cannot be certain which wounded horses can crap rainbows and which ones cannot…

FRANKIOS: Something like that.

SOCRATES: No, he isn’t! Do you see him smirking?!

GLAUCON: So it’s best to heal all of the wounded horses, just in case…

FRANKIOS: Sure, why not.

GLAUCON: And you’re also saying, unless I’m mistaken, that any beggar on the street might also possess an amazing talent which could be invaluable to society — just as any wounded horse might possess the ability to crap magical rainbows…

SOCRATES: He isn’t saying that at all! I’m the one who’s wise! Listen to me!

FRANKIOS: Yes, Glaucon, go on…

GLAUCON: So earlier today in the market, I was right not to give that beggar any money. If I had given him money, he would have bought wine…and it’s the wine that’s killing him! I was actually saving his life so society could potentially benefit from an amazing talent that he might possess!

FRANKIOS: Couldn’t have said it better myself.

SOCRATES: Why, Frank?! Why do you always do this to me?!

GLAUCON: It’s all so clear now. Thank you, wise Frankios.

SOCRATES: You once convinced father I was a nymph! Remember?!

FRANKIOS: It’s really no problem, Glaucon, I’m just glad I could help.

SOCRATES: I’ll kill you! This time I’m really going to kill you!

FRANKIOS: Did you say something, Aphrodite?

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Climbing Everest

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I pulled my icepick from the frozen snow and carefully advanced another step. Craning my neck, I could finally see over the tip of Everest, like a god surveying the earth. My lifelong dream had been accomplished; I was the master of nature. I stripped off my clothes and made myself a dry martini, no ice.

Sure, I was quickly frostbitten and impotent, but I didn’t care: this was my moment. I curled into the fetal position and threw myself forward, careening end over end down the peak. Picking up speed, I quickly transformed into a giant snowball tumbling down the world’s tallest mountain. With this, my second lifelong dream had been accomplished.

Eventually my snowball fell into a crevasse and I was trapped in what would become my frozen casket, thus fulfilling my third and final lifelong dream. In those last moments, I laughed at the pathetic suburbanites who will never truly experience the world.

Then, in my very last moments, I cried and realized I had been extremely foolish and should have had more conservative aspirations — maybe investment banking.

But in my very, very last moments, an investment banker in a giant snowball crashed into me and I felt at peace knowing that anyone could have made this kind of mistake.

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