Monday, October 31, 2005

I love you—What’s your name?

Yeah, I’m having another epiphanic moment about a band adore: Sonic Youth. Listening to Dirty right now, the first CD of the Deluxe 2-disc edition, wishing I’d brought the second disc for the rehearsal recording of "Wish Fulfillment". The irony.

A while back, I warbled on about the ecstatic degree to which all sounds Kristin Hersh affect me from the inside through to the outside. Sonic Youth is different. The twine is less emotional and seems to access a part of me I'm tuned more distantly to. Dirty was the first album I bought. Then I pedaled backward to buy the earlies and then forward to march in time to new releases as they came.

A high school boyfriend, the bad-boy skater that my whole family took grim issue with (so he was socially awkward, deviant and loved Nazi décor…) introduced me to Sonic Youth, and his older brother borrowed my tape so he could hear them before seeing them in Champaign, IL. I’m not sure why I didn’t go to that show too, since I provided the tunes. Perhaps I was broke or working hard at the salt mines that night.

Which reminds me of seeing a show with this older brother when I was dating a different skater—antithetically, a true and congenial person—who happened to be his friend. They drove down to where I was going to college—he, the congenial skater boyfriend and a small crew of people I knew on the outskirts of some loose-knit high school dress. Turned out he’d been very sick the week before, and that very day had gone to the doctor to get himself checked out. When the doctor said, we need to do a spinal tap, he told the doctor he had plans that night and then drove, high with fever.

When he and the gang picked me up, one of my favorite albums of all time was playing in the car: Kristin Hersh’s Hips and Makers. We were going to see Tori Amos. For the record, I like her second and third albums ok; after that, ehh, and I’m not one of those people who only likes early stuff. As a person, she just annoys the piss out of me—we had a falling out and will no longer be doing each other’s laundry or sharing Chapstick—which trickles thickly, and her later music simply does not appeal to me. Perhaps it was I who changed.

So, Sonic Youth. This band doesn’t affect me from the inside out on a personal level like Kristin Hersh does, but there’s something in their noises that reverberates keenly with something in my brain. Even when it’s purely dissonance. Plus, Kim Gordon’s voice is sexy even when she’s hollering. Which apparently is conducive to pounding a paper out of my head. And the lyrics, even when I think I haven’t discerned them (my hearing is quirky), stick to my brain.

I haven’t put much effort into connecting myself to Sonic Youth, not as with Kristin Hersh—play her music daily, have put one of her songs on about every mix I’ve ever made, go to as many of her shows as possible. While I’ve bought a fair number of Sonic Youth albums—Evol, Sister, Daydream Nation, Goo, Dirty I know the best (I'm missing a couple of early earlies) but even the newer ones which I haven’t listened to as much stick, I’ve only seen them once and only listen to them here and there. Each time I hear any of it, though, it casts a spell: I seep into a zone and truck on, bound in stellar vigorous focus.

Sonic Youth, my own neurofeedback machine.

While I wrote papers during college, I listened to Sonic Youth albums on repeat. It didn’t matter which one. Sometimes I filled my 5-disc changer and let them all play through. The music somehow geared my brain perfectly for the sort of intellectual mapping and creative upheaval it took for me to construct a paper. Memories of pages of drafts fanning across my bedroom, behind my computer chair (old-ass kitchen chair), hang strong with a soundtrack in the attic.

(Seven) I hear this in my sleep. One little word uttered between songs.

I love you I love you I love you What’s your name? I bet this happens a lot to people who lose focus on the heart of things displaced by a shiny surface.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

harvest a living, clean an attic

A whole corpse—and I hate to put it so flatly, he said—goes for about $100,000. Fingers go for about $15 each, sexual organs about $125 each. This, upon starting my car to drive to work this morning. Turns out—I just caught the end of it—a group of businessmen based in Brooklyn were arrested for selling body parts in the New York area. One of the deft crew is an ex-dental surgeon having given up his license after being arrested for using cocaine and other narcotics. Another "has interests in real estate, poultry, corpse transportation, and funeral homes." Beware: this one may be in on the spread of the bird flu. Why else dabble in both corpses and poultry?

The radio then offered
update on the kids selling candy on New York subway cars. In yesteryore, the youth claimed to be selling M&Ms to fund their obviously phony basketball team. Now they hinge on honesty: they sell candy to keep themselves out of trouble. As one young vendor put it, it just became unbelievable that there were that many basketball teams needing help getting uniforms year-round. Furthermore, the reason you hear the same script from most is that some veterans have other kids selling for them. (This is also why those assholes at Borders ask you if you want to join their mailing list every time you make a purchase.) One boy has been peddling empty calories for nine years. He began when he was 12; do the math. He makes enough money--and has been making enough money--to pay rent for his own New York apartment.

Does anybody have access to a
neurofeedback machine? I’ve been doing some research and I’d like to learn to lower my theta waves to temper me out like a good valium would. However, a good valium apparently caused rapper DMX to impersonate a federal agent and crash through a parking gate at JFK International Airport. Probably just idiosyncratic, but one must be careful popping pills and tampering with brain waves.

Very busy today. Before this began, though--and before I got in the car and learned the price of dead body parts--I walked out my back door (we use the back door as the door at my house) and saw a sky like a sky I’d never seen before. Despite having in the past stayed up all night and seen the sun rise, I don’t recall ever having walked out under a sky at this particular juncture between night and day. Dark purple clouds were pulling slowly back showing a light yellow sky, and a shade stilled over the cars and grass with the highest definition clarity, an open fulcrum moment out of which anything could turn in any way. For a minute I stood in it.

Friday, October 21, 2005

all that and a snapdragon scaled the wall

Berlin has returned me to New Jersey a changed woman: Sara Einsteinuberguten is full of yua (see below) and utter respect for the public transportation system in this fine city. The U-Bahn is clean and efficient. Electronic signs indicate which train is coming and how many minutes before it arrives. Same with buses, only, better yet, the electronic sign indicates the next five buses that will arrive and how many minutes until arrival. What a boon.

Next, I fell face-first in love with the little men on the stoplights: Ampelmann.

Neither sausages nor saurkraut found hearth in my belly. Rather in the same day I ate Italian food twice. It’s rare that I order Italian food out at all. Frankly, I don't know what got into me. Sara da Vinci Rossellini perhaps. At a fancy place with fancy courses I ordered an "in-between" meal of spinach-smoked cheese-various pepper lasagna that was quite keen. Apparently I transgressed by ordering an "in-between" as my meal. Pardon me. I’m freaky. You should see what I do with dessert wine.

Some of you may know of my rich affection for cranes, as in the machinery. Cranes in Berlin were at every turn of the eye. I was in regal phallic-machine heaven. It took gritted teeth and much might to not take a picture of every one of the handsome stretches. I knew there was more to Berlin than cranes. I extended myself and explored.

Perhaps more later on my visit to the fine city. In the meantime, is everything alive and your thumb aching making you want to bling disrespect in the face of your co-workers? Tinctures appear in the following yips:

Do you have BlackBerry Thumb? Earlier this year, the American Society of Hand Therapists issued a consumer alert, warning users of small electronic gadgets that heavy thumb use could lead to painful swelling of the sheath around the tendons in the thumb. Did anybody read or see Even Cowgirls Get the Blues? Thumbs up.

From Rob Brezny: Yua is a term the Yupiit people of Alaska use for the spirit that inhabits all things, both animate and inanimate. A rock, for instance, has as much yua as a caribou, spruce tree, or human being, and therefore merits the same measure of compassion. If a Yupiit goes out for a hike and spies a chunk of wood lying on a frozen river bank, she might pick it up and put it in a new position, allowing its previously hidden side to get fresh air and sun. In this way, she would bestow a blessing on the wood's yua. (Source: Earl Shorris, "The Last Word," *Harper's,* August 2000) I am full of yua. You are full of yua. Beloved Ampelmann is full of yua. Let's have Hefeweizen and frolic.

Now for some imperatives:

Put on your thinking cap and reconcile the following headline and final sentence of its article. Headline: Dead man gets parking ticket. Final sentence: It is simply a case of the parking officer not noticing. Simply, I suppose. Like mom always told me, Shit happens.

Fuck business casual. While baseball bobbles an issue as critical as the health of its players and the game's image, pro basketball is focused on the players' off-the-court attire....NBA Commissioner David Stern issued a memo Monday banning retro jerseys, any headgear and ‘bling,’ the players' slang term for the gaudy chains, pendants and medallions favored by some. 'Business casual' will be required when players appear in public as a representative of the sport.

Note the concise definition of "bling". From here on out I'm wearing bling (e.g., gaudy as I can manage and medallions that only some basketball players favor) both outside and during basketball games, white and open-toed shoes past Labor Day, and I'm going to form cleavage in the office with my denim bustier. One who refuses to be a sheep must take a stand.

That said, I've developed orange rapport with Berlin. We will hang together again.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

canals in position

The gods are drooling like mad upon this land. The canal has risen and mudded.

Chewbacca is about to become an American citizen. He has this to say about his new coat: "I am feeling very happy about it....Whatever people say about America, it is still one of the most wonderful countries in the world, despite the politics, religion and everything else that goes on."

And everything else that goes on.

The flu is one of the most wonderful conditions in the world despite the fever, chills, achiness, and everything else that goes on.

Did you hear about the potential mercy killings in a New Orleans hospital (German: Krankenhaus) three days after Katrina hit our country's mouth? It's difficult to offer an opinion without more information on hospital capacity, condition of the patients, contacts with relatives, et cetera, and without having been there myself. I'm curious what will come of this.

Last Saturday night I helped Melissa celebrate her birthday. Here are pictures to prove it. The gods were drooling all over the land then too. Like the carefree child (some might translate: dumbass) I can be, I ran without looking through the swamped up yard, saturating my shoes, socks, and the lower half of my corduroys. Melissa caught me on film, wearing her socks, her boyfriend's Garfield slippers, pants rolled up, and eating ice cream cake, with my new plastic ninja knife sitting at my side. By the way, Melissa is the maker of the HANDJOB t-shirt referenced in a previous post.

Finally. Saturday afternoon I ship out for my first work-related international voyage: Berlin. I won't be there long enough to do much sightseeing, but if anyone out there knows of anything I must see, do tell. Lonely Planet tells me: The East German government built the Berlin Wall to try and stop its citizens escaping into West Berlin. In the time it was up (1961-1989) over 5000 people tried to climb over it; 3200 were captured, 191 were killed. I wonder why this "factoid", over all others, was selected to be on the opening page. I am left with the words "captured" and "killed". Welcome and happy travels.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

gezundheit: a fairy tale's trail of vomit

Today I am crotchety and people disgust me. I assume that like gas this too will pass. I am generally a very tolerant person.

Quite contrary, Mary broke her lamb in two. Then she had two broken lambs. The day went on.

Four pieces of chocolate cause buzzing in distended heads. There is no doorbell.

Idiots continue to complain while coffee cake rises in the streets. A scarf is heard from somewhere.

My bloody valentine induces appropriate narcosis to coat a day’s bleak jewelry. Save the stomach lining.

If you were a never-nude, what would you wear?

Free from the shackles of a report written in twisted English and statistical code, the girl asked to be hosed down with champagne.

And thus the midget suns were saved once again from war.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

grab the brownish area by its points

Merging wasn’t the right word for it. More like seeping into highway traffic. So I idled up the merge lane and finally put my left signal on, where a van gave me no opening. Ok, I sped up to the end of the merge lane. Enough space to edge my nose in. Just when a car’s length opened, the van’s driver—instead of letting me in as the merge lane ended—stepped on her accelerator. I threw the steering wheel right and drove into shoulder. Saved from untimely death.

"Fucker," I pronounced. Then I got behind her and did what I rarely do. I honked. She needed scolding.

Within seconds I moved left into the fast lane, bearing angry and sad thoughts about humankind, wondering why they continue to be assholes, wondering if generally the asshole bar had been raised or if I have lived in Jersey long enough to have melded into a brasher and more assholing culture than I was born into.

A cop was in my rearview. I wondered what he knew. Lights flashed in my rearview. Fuck. Naturally I was being pulled over for having angry thoughts. Rarely do I act out angrily. Almost every time, though, something nasty happens in return. Karma’s way of telling me to calm the fuck down, that nothing matters. Finding a spot to stop took a stretch. Siren went whoop-whoop. Cop ran me off the left side of the road and drove on.

And then I went to work where a pile of dirty-stimulant tasks buzzed on my desk. Black coffee.

Last night I watched the first four episodes of Arrested Development with my roommates. After the third episode I took off my sweatshirt, then looked down and saw I was wearing my kelly green t-shirt with "HANDJOB" spelled out in white letters across the front. Further down I remembered I was wearing white socks with "I (heart symbol) BOYS" spelled out in red glitter around the ankle. My roommates are male and the most convenient set-up for DVD-viewing in the house is on the one roommate's bed. The way things come together is by some black comic magic corn.

Until last Friday evening I had thought I was composed of Swiss, German, and Native American blood. Last Friday my mom told me I have a great-great-great-great grandmother who shares my first and middle names (though she’s a Sara with an ‘h’). She wore long blazing red hair and was Irish as can be.

My mom also informed me that it’s possible we’ve also got black blood in our lines. Apparently she’s got keloid scars, which is most common to people with dark skin. Her doctor had asked her about our roots. As yet, this is inconclusive.

I have pale skin, dark brown hair, and dark brown eyes, relatively high cheek bones, moderately slim and long nose, and somewhat thin lips (unless I’ve just eaten Chinese food containing a large dose of the devil nectar*). I’m about the whitest person I know. Hear me say, Word. It’s as stiff as the stuffy doctor’s collar. Ax my friends.

The Irish could explain my affinity for Guinness and more Guinness, and why I keep dying my hair red. The latter could explain my affinity for James Brown, my pulsing inner desire to be a funky black man. I have long had a dream of making an instructional video: How-to-write-your-own-James-Brown-song.

Sometimes you have to grab the brownish area by its points and run with it. That’s why, for writing purposes, I’m changing my name to Handjob Whiskey Jackson. Find my books in your local corporate bookstore, either in African-American lit. or gender studies. Find my videos, of course, in foreign self-help films. There is space enough to edge in anywhere.

*devil nectar: really fucking hot sauce at New Kahala in Carbondale, Illinois; trying to impress my dad once I dumped a few heaping tablespoons on my already spicy garlic chicken, my lips swelled up for four hours.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Please notice when you are happy

It’s more difficult than it seems like it would be. But try it on and love the way it makes your ass look anyway.

Go here to read an article on Kurt Vonnegut, from which the title for this post comes. Difficult to choose, for he is a quotable man who by the way grew up in my very own Midwestern United States. He also thinks our president is a "twit" and that people in general are "too cheap and lazy".

While I’m promoting deserving figures, go here. First, if you haven’t done so yet, play around in the web site, drool a little because you’re so enchanted, put the good music in your ears, and then, because your senses are at brim with pleasure, purchase the brand new Ten Songs by the Teenage Prayers so that this goodness will never end. I’m not kidding. I don’t know how to.

Are you happy now? I am happy. Darn sleepy today, but happy, perhaps more with knowledge from the future than with the present circumscription, but happy nonetheless, for I have been visited by swift and knowing aphids donning neon visors and trenchcoats.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

the kidney that came out accidentally, wearing a tutu

In body he is here.

It came out accidentally. The good doctor has been busy. It was my way of saying, he’s in that office but don’t bother him. But it could have sounded like I was hinting he had dropped off the deep end, neurons askew in some red-soup cyclone. Or it could have sounded like I myself had gone off that very deep end. Like I’d seen the good doctor’s spirit wrangle out of his tiny henna body. There are many ways to say the same thing and many things can be said in the same way. Gödel, dear, it is a wonder we ever understand each other.

Please find below today’s minutes astutely recorded by Aphrodite, the brazen secretary for this organization of atoms into the sara that be:

There is much bustle and bump in the office here on hump day, residents being interviewed, doctors selling Girl Scout cookies, jerks with jerk agendas, and a whole lot of Roy Orbison going down in my office.

Give me coffee or give me death. Give me elephants on parade. They don’t know how dirty my hair is. They don’t care. There is a grammatical term for this groundhog oscillation. We are dancing, yes we are.

There was zero visibility on my way to work. An angel is in my cleavage (if I lean forward and squeeze). Wine-dark muse, bring on the pastries. Bill Murray is my brother.

Go here to see the best damn photo of a cabbage I never expected to see. I thought it was a fish. It might be a fish. There might be a fish on my shoulder. I’m too busy to look.

For some real fish, wriggle your fins over here.

Yesterday, after the library chased me out of the building by hurling papayas and charcoal at my head, I purchased Everything Is Illuminated so that I can read it before I see it. I don’t want to know anything about either the book or the movie, mind you. Why is everyone so freaked out by Elijah Wood’s eyes? Maybe I get off on feeling threatened. Maybe I like peanut butter on my thigh.

Last night, because the Chinese restaurant screwed us out of some rice, I played Operation with my roommates: I lay down on the kitchen table and let them slice into me with cleavers. When they touched on an organ I wanted to keep I buzzed sternly, like a rooster at the crack of sun.

Let it be known that Bill Murray is not really my brother; however, I would like to somersault down a steep verdant hill on a brisk day tipping into autumn with him. I would admit to him then that I do in fact think he is my father. In mind but not in body.