it’s a festival

Lauryn Hill. Pardon me Ms. Lauryn Hill, Rise Against, The Muse, and Rage Against the Machine!

L.A. Rising at the L.A. Coliseum was today and it was pretty damn incredible. Full sets for each of the bands instead of the usual shortened ones in events like this. Music with a message.

Stand up, seek the truth, fight the power, etc.

And for all the hundreds of shows I’ve seen, I’ve never seen Rage Against the Machine. I’ve missed them at least a half a dozen times and I’m beyond glad that I finally got the chance. Shouted the lyrics the whole way through, fist in the air, etc etc, like I was 16 instead of 36. Of course, my feet hurt like hell, but rebellion comes at a price.

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day 7

12 pounds down, no caffeine, no soda, a whole mess of vegetables and fruit.

It’s funny how that sounds wrong “vegetables and fruit”…where it should be “fruits and vegetables”. I only wrote it the other way to be more accurate, the bulk of what I am consuming being juiced vegetables. Though, as I’ve since discovered while trying to determine if what I’m juicing is one or the other, as it turns out the term “vegetable” is entirely invented for solely culinary reasons. The actual demarcation, biologically-speaking, between one or the other does not exist within the vagaries of the usage. For instance, a tomato is a fruit (technically), as are cucumbers, bell peppers, and pretty much everything that isn’t otherwise a weed of some kind. So “vegetables” is just a construct for some reason invented to delineate between the stuff generally regarded as sweet and delicious versus savory and ponderous.

Should the technical nomenclature change the mind of children everywhere refusing to eat their vegetables I doubt.

And so it goes.

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cleanse me

I haven’t spent a particularly significant part of my life polluting myself if I’m honest. I don’t have a history of intense drug use or the usual classics. I can bring the party, but eat pretty clean and get on and off vitamins from time to time. Nevertheless, I’m trying a fast. The idea being that I clean out and heal up from the inside. I’ve been changing the diet, reducing animal intake and whatnot for the lead-up and now I’m on a day and a half of a juice-only fast. And I don’t mean Sunny-D. I mean like a plate of vegetables that I could never eat all of in one sitting kind of juice.

It’s a weird experience already.

I’m hungry, of course, but I can solve that by just drinking more juice. I’ve been craving food during the lead-up and now juice-only time…though I think it’s less the actual food itself and more the act of eating that I’m missing.

You can’t argue with results. My body is starting to feel more at peace, I get an energy that I haven’t in a long time, and my face is even lookig thinner already. I’m not sure how long I’ll last in my 5-10 day goal, but I got trough at least this day. Here’s to a few more.

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spam, not just for after dinner

I don’t get spam.

Or, more correctly, I don’t understand spam…I sure as hell get it.

I’ve been around the internet for a fair amount of time. Not since the very very beginning, but damn near. I was on Pine doing email back in the day. I remember Compuserve and when AOL actually was something interesting. I remember Cindy Margolis being downloaded in excruciatingly low dial-up speeds. I don’t, however, remember when I started getting spam.

I don’t remember it back in college, when email was still entirely text-based and on Pine or similar. I had my first web-page in college, incidentally. It was an awful one page scrolling affair that had this really horrid purple lava liquid kinda something background and just had pictures of fighter jets on it. It was…not good. My second, third, and fourth websites weren’t especially better, and I have no idea where I’m at now on my 6th or 7th.

I may have started getting spam towards the end of college when Microsoft Outlook Express started becoming the thing, and then I probably was well-versed by the time my first “real” job at Lockheed Martin happened.

I don’t recall ever being drawn-in by spam…they being so incredibly obvious. Do I really think it’s a good idea to write a check to a Nigerian prince so that he can move money offshore and give me a cut? Well, it’s a GREAT idea, actually, I just ain’t gonna fall for it…has anyone ever?

Spam is no longer even trying to be clever in email anymore. GET A BIGGER PENIS is about as subtle as it gets now. It’s really more like mass marketing and advertising through junk mail (the literal real-world kind) instead of spam designed to trick you. Yes, I want a a bigger penis, therefore I will click on whatever link to member enlargement pills you are associated with because I generally do want to improve my manliness. Easy.

Do spam programmers even bother with viruses anymore? Hasn’t everyone figured out what a huge waste of time that is, yet? Unless it’s for awesome cloak and dagger espionage reasons, viruses are just dumb these days. Oh no, you temporarily crippled one of my 5 computers. Whatever, build a model plane, fly a kite, rid your kid’s tricycle, anything…just get a life.

I get a lot of spam on my comments for this website. They’re clearly automated trollers as I get so few visitors to my site in the first place. But they don’t even try, and that bugs me. If you’re sophisticated to write the software that makes comment spamming possible, why wouldn’t you also be smart enough to maybe check your damn grammar? At least a little? For instance, today I saw this:

It is a pity, that now I can not express – there is no free time. I will be released – I will necessarily express the opinion.

OK! Super! So…what now? Have a little pride in your work, won’t you? Easily deleting stuff like this is way too easy to be even inconvenient anymore…therefore you (spammer) have achieved nothing. Save for this post. Print it out, hang it in your mom’s “activity room” where you still live to “help out”.

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kleeman

I don’t write a tremendous amount of posts on here these days. I used to be a multi-per-dayer but I also used to be extremely isolated from other people with a lot of free time on my hands. Regardless of the more recent dearth of posts, I’ve written a lot of them over the years…some 1,900 or so, in fact. Not as many as a lot of people, but a fair amount none the less.

My point being, that I’ve had this blog for a long long time.

My point in mentioning that is that I’ve probably written about this before, but I’m too lazy or disinterested to check.

I don’t have a lot of nicknames. You thought I was quitting, didn’t you?

I don’t have a lot of nicknames, and I don’t have any that aren’t just manipulations of my actual name. My mother claims that “Dave” is a nickname because David is my actual name, but I think we all know that that’s just crazy talk on her part.

I’ve been called “Kleemo” a few times, because that was the way a friend of mine with a heavy Thai accent used to say my last name…but I wouldn’t call it a regular thing.

No really abstracted names like K-man or DK or animal descriptors like Tiger or Moose.

They just don’t stick and I’m not sure why. I used to have a theory that it was because Dave is just too easy a word to say. Why would you need a nickname for a one-syllable word? I also had a private theory that it was because I was so varied and interesting that there wasn’t any one word that summed up my entire being sufficiently enough. The latter may be (secretly) true, but the former definitely isn’t as people have lately been taken with calling me “Kleeman”. I was, in fact, recently introduced to a group of people as “This is Sean, Jose, and this is Dave…we call him Kleeman.” To which, the introducee surprised me by saying “Oh! Yeah KLEEMAN!” as if I’d been mentioned before and she remembered the name…which is probably exactly true. I don’t know that I’d get the same reaction had I been “David” in whatever the story was.

Some people just have the kind of last name that works for things like this. Or maybe it’s the type of person? I’m not quite sure. I come from a military family, so it seems like a lot of us Kleemans have been called thusly…though my Dad was a Kleeman long before the military made him so.

Obviously, I can’t introduce myself this way without sounding like a total jerk, it just happens. And I can’t think of any people in my own life that I call by THEIR last names…though I DO give out a fair amount of nicknames.

I’m going exactly nowhere with this, by the way, it’s just something I was thinking about today.

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good deeds be done

Yesterday was The Rapture and, as I’m still here, I suspect that gives the remaining heathens reading this a good idea of the type of person I must be. Although, given that you’re reading it, too, I guess you’re my kind of people.

At any rate, there is no time like the present to improve your rep, and in my case this meant picking up random strangers. I was on my way home from Hollywood after taking pictures at a rock show at the El Rey and needed something to eat as I’d skipped dinner. I went a little of my way in search of late-night pastrami and while detouring I came upon a girl walking down nearly the middle of the street. She was young, dressed in one of the three typical LA party girl looks: really tight pants, off the shoulder shirt, heels. She was younger than I, but I don’t know by how much…I’m horrible at that game. Most importantly, she was clearly not where she was supposed to be.

I slowed down the car, simultaneously rolling down the window, and muttered some kind of question about whether or not she was going to make it. She looked me in the eyes and let out a wispy “hi”. At which point, all of the pre-conceived notions that you’ve probably also been slowly gathering about this situation crowded into my head and I shouted something about having a good night and kept driving.

Picking up pretty, young, drunk and/or high girls in the middle of the night? Lecherous! Sleazy! And probably dangerous as well. Let people’s business be their own.

But I couldn’t stop thinking about her as I waited for my food. Or, more correctly, I couldn’t stop thinking about her situation. This was a pretty girl who was obviously completely out of it who was walking down the middle of the street. If she wasn’t going to get hit by a car (which she’d already narrowly avoided when I almost hit her) then there were plenty of other less-reputable than me people out there. Other drunk party-goers spilling out of clubs and bars. Other groups of guys on the prowl for a girl just like this. Other just not great people who wouldn’t care how it would look to pick up a random in the middle of the night.

Driving home by reversing my route, I saw her again. Further down the street, but no less in the middle of it. I pulled over and watched her for a few seconds from afar, trying to ascertain if she had a destination in mind or sense of purpose. I thought not. I swung a u-turn and pulled into the center divide (which was effectively the same as pulling up beside her).

“You need a ride.” (said as a statement and not a question)
“Yeah…”

And she was immediately on my window ledge, trying to look unaffected by the fact that she was talking to some random guy in the middle of the road. Introductions, a cautionary handshake that seemed to make her feel a lot better about the situation, and she was in the passenger seat asking me how my night was. Actually, she asked me the exact same question 5 or 6 times without any recollection of my previous answer, so she was definitely rolling.

The usual story: got in a fight with my boyfriend and just needed to walk, how was your night? I really appreciate you. Seriously, I appreciate us right now. Can I shake your hand? How was your night? I live 3 blocks from the beach. I live like a half a block from the beach. I really appreciate you right now. Thank you for taking me as close to my home as is possible. How was your night?

Eventually, I found her place. One which she shared with her boyfriend that left her at a party, high, no keys, no phone, no ID, no nothing. I briefly entertained the idea of not leaving her there, but she seemed like a pretty tough chick who I didn’t have much doubt could handle any man.

She climbed out of the car after insisting on giving me a long hug. “Thank you Thank you Thank you.”
“No worries, have a good night. Tell your boyfriend he’s a lucky man.”
(sour look) “He’s not.”

All told, she had been at least three miles from her door and heading in the wrong direction. I don’t like the possibilities of what her night might have been like if I hadn’t picked her up. Good luck, Sandy.

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the results show

So, in truth, I didn’t actually make it the full week. My Dad, who comes into town periodically, was visiting for one night and we had to have SOMETHING to do after dinner and whatnot, right?

Right???

So I really only made it 5 days without watching TV/my laptop/an iPad/an iPhone etc. I did, however, even in that shortened period of time, learn a few things:

– it wasn’t as hard to do as I was afraid that it would be
– with all of that extra time I was, as suspected, a LOT more productive. I started writing a story, I fixed a bunch of stuff, I worked on some creative projects, I cleaned my place, I got to a number of errands that I’d been procrastinating on, I read books, etc…
– once I broke the spell and started watching tv again, I fell back into my old habits almost immediately…I was within 25 pages of finishing a 354 page book that I started the week I gave up tv and I just finished it this morning two weeks after starting up again. A few days to read 329 pages, two weeks to read 25.

It’s a sad state of affairs.

My hope, in that at least I do realize the effects of all of this, is that I will work harder towards moderation. I want to find a happy medium where I can veg out from time to time and also be productive at other times. And I need to finish that story…

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day, the first

Today is the first day of the Great TV Give Up Experiment and look! I’m already posting something on two consecutive days! I’m no scientist, but I think that’s about a 1000% improvement over the last year.

In reality, it’s already been surprisingly hard…this morning it was one of the first things on my mind (remembering NOT to turn on the tv); and now, with a good 5 hours of awake time before sweet sweet unconsciousness takes me, I’m already wondering how to fill the void.

It’s not even an addiction to the shows. If I miss another episode of Glee or Real Housewives of Somewhere Horrible, I won’t mind at all…it’s just the knee-jerk reaction activity when I don’t necessarily feel like doing much of anything. Which, incidentally is the problem. When I don’t feel like doing much of anything I should be sketching or noodling on my guitar(s) or outlining my manifesto. SOMETHING.

Living alone, it’s my solo-time companion…half the time I don’t even WATCH the damn thing; it’s just on and providing stimulus for the other half of my inattentive brain. Numbing it into quiet acceptance. When our robot overlords eventually do take over the planet, I’ll be not so uniquely qualified for the brain sucking machines (where, conceivably, we all sit on couches and have our minds drained for pop culture knowledge).

On the plus side, the sheer boredom has already motivated me to file away the pile of tax papers I had stacked up in the middle of my living room floor and crack open a book I’ve been meaning to look at. Granted, it was only to get the pressed dandelions out of it that Mr. Darcy had given me, but it counts.

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used to

The thing is, I used to be a good writer. Possibly more accurately, I used to think I was a good writer and I don’t so much think so anymore. I may, in fact, have the same ability to write now as I did back in the “used to’s”, but as to whether or not it was good then or now, I’m no qualified judge.

I do remember how to belabor a point.

I want to write more, paint more, sculpt more, do more…and I’m not sure why I don’t. I AM sure why I don’t and it’s because of distractions. A lot of them are delivered to me through the very same laptop on which I am now typing this. Between Hulu, Netflix, and Facebook, there’s a good 20-25% of my life frittered away. Granted, I watch a shit-ton of “important” and “considered” documentaries that make me socially aware; but I also watch a lot of ancient SNL clips and spend a good amount of time typing out pithy comments to my friends’ wall posts instead of actually talking to them. That doesn’t seem like a good thing.

Media is keeping me from working in mediums.

Some stuff still remains. I still play guitar a lot, I still take pictures…but I barely draw, marginally paint, sorta write, and haven’t sculpted or built anything in longer than I am comfortable with facing. I haven’t ridden a bike seriously in what has to be at least 2 years now and I still have a laundry list of professional and persona development to get to.

Even as I write this I’m struggling not to go to another site or check out another whatever or double-check that I did the whatsis. I used to think of it as multi-tasking, now I think of it as lack of focus. I need to re-align. First step, no TV for a week.

Until I wake up in the morning and watch the news.

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secretly private

I was asked how to find my blog today…and in reaction, I made some kind of joke but never actually answered the question. My interrogator asked again and I deflected again. All of this in the context of a conversation in which we discussed how only some people were comfortable enough with the level of attention that publishing your inner thoughts in blog-form affords.

Which is true.

Literally everyone in the world with access to the Internet can read this (potentially not actually) and this registers as nary a blip on my conscience. Ask me directly about this blog, however, and I start to literally sweat and get very uncomfortable. Reference a post I made in conversation and I bolt from the room. Have it up on your screen as I come by your desk and I will spin on my heels as if I was back in marhing band.

(note: I was in marching band)

I suppose it’s a bit of a N.I.M.BY effect. I’m good with it as long as I don’t need to face it.

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