I have a thing for masks, but this one is my least favorite.  But it has come to this, dear reader.  The smoke is so bad in Fecal Creek, yrs. truly is having to mask up.  Seriously, it looks like Beirut on a bad day out there.  Californians are asked to please refrain from breathing for the next 48 – 72 hours.

N.P.: “Rebel Yell” – Billy Idol

Holy shit, dear reader, I am frustrated.  By pretty much everything.  Surely this must be the apex of my frustration.  The zenith.  Or would nadir be more appropriate?  I don’t know.  Whatever the fuck.  I’m just frustrated.
Made a bit of headway on the book this weekend.  I should get back to it.  Just wanted to say hey.
Hey.

N.P.: “That’s the Way (I Like It) – Pig and Sasha Grey

Well, shit, California.  You voted to make moronic Daylight Saving Time permanent, and now the whole goddamn state is on fire.  Which fire, by the way, dear reader, is not threatening me directly.  I do appreciate the inquiries about my health a well being.  California is a huge state, so to quell any further concern, I have a little place above a liquor store at the corner of Bedlam and Squalor here in Fecal Creek,, which is a perverted suburb just a few minutes south of  Anhedonia, CA.  We’re pretty impervious to fire around here: all structures are built with asbestos and petrified wood.  The smoke, however, is dreadful.  Orders have been issued regarding outdoor respiration and visibility whilst driving.  The trees look forlorn.  Lugubrious.  Maybe it’s not because of the smoke, though.  Maybe the trees are upset as I am about the passage of Proposition 7.  Permanent Daylight Saving Time.  Shit.  The only hope now is the federal government, which are not words anyone ever wants to have to say.

Anyway, friends to the north and south, stay safe and pray for rain.

N.P.: “Squealer” – Genitorturers

The whole “I voted” thing with the stickers and all that strikes me as silly and childish and an example of the grotesquely misplaced priorities endemic to today’s culture.  I guess it’s that by so loudly declaring that you have voted via garish stickers and social media posts, you are also declaring that this is either a rarity, a first, or some kind of actual accomplishment that you are proud of.  Maybe it’s just another unavoidable empty gesture demanded by a desperate culture of inclusion that insists that everybody gets an award or at least a certificate of participation because we don’t want anybody to feel like some pathetically marginalized failure.
If you vote in every election, voting is not a big deal.
Look, you’re supposed to vote.  There are innumerable things that, as an adult, you are supposed to do whether you want to or not: you’re supposed to file a tax return every year.  If you’re in a certain age bracket, you’re supposed to register with the selective service.  You’re supposed to pay a fee to register your car every year.  You’re supposed to spend several hours at the DMV with the unwashed masses to renew your driver’s license.  You’re supposed to show up when summoned for jury duty.  And you’re supposed to vote in every election.  You’re not supposed to want to do any of these things.  And you don’t have to do any of them, but bad things happen if you don’t.  They are each just another droll civic hassle that’s part of adult life.  Every one of them is a  pain in the ass.  And you do them.  But you don’t then run around putting bullshitty frames around your profile pic extolling to fact that you filed your tax return or paid your registration, and then, not suggesting as much as rhetorically bludgeoning your friends to register their cars too.  Why not?  Because everybody else did the exact same thing already, and they didn’t need your dumb ass to encourage them to do it.
Stickers are for brave five-year-olds who don’t cry during the routine cleaning at the dentist’s office.

N.P.: “Hau Ruck (Spezial K Mix) – KMFDM

Just taking a gander at the news.  Some rapper’s cause of death was today officially listed as a “mixed drug toxicity” caused by  an “accidental overdose of fentanyl, cocaine, and alcohol.”  How “accidental” could that have really been?  If it had been any one of those ingredients, sure…especially fentanyl, which is apparently popping up labeled as Vicodin.  Dude goes to take his new prescription of Vicodin and accidentally ingests a fatal amount of something else, that is an accident.  But fentanyl and cocaine and booze?  That’s like saying the someone who died after being shot three times by three different guns fired by three different shooters was killed by an accidental shooting.
We could probably take a lesson from the Brits here.  They would have labeled it “Death by Misadventure” which, if you must have a cause of death, is about as good as it gets.

Speaking of death, absolutely fuck Louis Farrakhan.  The day he dies (which will be soon) is a day I smile and drink.  More than usual.  Another one off the list.

I should probably quit reading the news.

N.P.: “Lightning Man” – Nitzer Ebb

The villagers are having some sort of superstitious ruckus outside, so I’m sheltering in place.  Laying low until they pass out or fuck off.

You know what else needs to fuck off?  This stupid aloe plant.  I was sitting right here the other night, scribbling away, and out of the corner of my eye, one of the stalks of this thing just collapses in half and starts oozing pure skincare/burn treatment goodness onto my desk.  I thought about chucking the whole thing right then, but there are still two stalks left which, despite some bullshit going on down at the base, seem to be at least potentially more robust than this stupid broken dead thing just dangling over the edge of the pot.

I am presently so unpleasantly behind on the book that I can’t bear to think about it.  Okay, it’s not that bad.  I don’t know how behind I am.  I may not be behind at all.  It’s impossible to say.  It’s like trying to figure out how much longer your drive is if you have no accurate idea of where your destination is.

N.P.: “Red Tape” – Agent Provocateur

Dearest and most intelligent reader…what’s crackin’?  I was just reading about some idiots in the news, and the following paragraph appeared:
“Their thrill-seeking social media posts foreshadow the couple’s link to the growing problem of selfie deaths.”
Is it really a problem?  Or is it just Darwin taking out the trash?  I’m inclined to think the latter.  After all, we, as a species, have gotten so damn good at surviving: our wars no longer kill off enough people to affect anything, and though health experts constantly warn about the potential for a herd-thinning pandemic, we so effectively control disease that it doesn’t rid us of anywhere near the numbers of the past.  Even Ebola seems not only containable but treatable.  So it’s rather poetic but also unavoidable that the rising causes of death will be manmade/self-inflicted.
The article continues:
“A study published this month in the Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care said 259 people had died taking selfies between October 2011 and November 2017.”
A good start, but I think we can get those numbers up.

N.P.: “Somewhat Damaged” – Nine Inch Nails

All the usual apologies and excuses, dear reader…the road has been a bit rough on this end.  Nothing I can’t handle, of course, but just enough little annoyances and inconveniences to keep me from certain non-survival oriented tasks, like, you know, posting here.

For most of the last couple weeks I’ve felt as if I’m on the verge of some kind of break, either a breakthrough or a breakdown.  Which hasn’t been exactly comfortable, and it’s rather frustrating when neither breakdown nor breakthrough is forthcoming.

Another thing that is stressing me out is this goddamn plant.  Yeah, I violated personal policy and bought a plant the other day, and the thing is being absolutely dickish.  Obstinately refusing to thrive.  I should have known better.
Here’s the deal: things don’t survive very well wherever I live.  When I move in to a house, not only does the lawn die, but the lawns of the neighbors on the houses on either side of the house die as well.  Household pets contract rare tropical disease or go on hellbent hunger strikes.  Even non-living things are not safe: the most reliable appliances suffer catastrophic failure if attempt to use them for the simplest of purposes.  Hell, I had a full-sized plastic tree in my apartment in Seattle, and after about two weeks, its plastic leaves turned brown and fell off and it just looked completely derelict and weird.  It’s bad.  So after decades of the same result, I implemented a personal policy which stipulates no living things in my domicile.  No harm, no foul.  And it’s worked out fine.  So long as I’ve adhered to it.  Which I have.  Until last week, when I bought a plant at the grocery store for no good reason whatsoever.   I’m sure there were reasons, but they certainly weren’t good ones.  That I was grocery shopping whilst drunk likely had something to do with it.
Anyway, I bought this goddamn plant, and as soon as I got it in the door, this thing had started the death spiral.  I googled a picture of the thing, and was told subsequently that this is an aloe plant.   Low maintenance…the thing is supposed to love desert life,  Rather impossible to kill…the only thing it absolutely cannot tolerate is standing water.  And me, apparently, because this thing has done nothing but die for a week.  I’ve given it water, withheld water, given it light, kept it in the shade.  Whatever.  Fuck plants.

N.P.: “Tougher Than Leather” – Run-D.M.C.