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Pensive Words

I recently took down a secondary blog I wrote for. When I wrote there, I would give a preview here and link to the post there. Since it was going down, I decided to fill out the full content on the posts here. Enjoy!

A Response To ‘On Discovery’ by Maxine Hong Kingston


How Do I Know?

Right Is Another Word For Privilege

I Am White, Hear Me Bore

Straight Pride, White Pride

Outshined, Shined Out

The news this morning made this a surreal day. Chris Cornell, just 52 years old, survivor of the explosive and culturally immense Seattle grunge scene, was found dead in his hotel room while on tour with his original band Soundgarden. So, like many of my Gen-X brethren, I am sitting at my desk, listening to Soundgarden, and reflecting on it all.

Outshined was the first grunge song I heard. …or maybe Smells Like Teen Spirit… or maybe Alive… I cannot really recall; 11 years old was a long time ago. What I do recall, very vividly, is the first time I heard it. I remember sitting on the living room floor of my parents’ old apartment watching television (I used to sneak down at night to watch The Monkees on VH1) and turned to MTV. Here was a Buzz Clip that premiered that day… and POW. That was it. The past was over. I was changed. That was the moment that people talk about music changing their lives. That was when it happened for me. That moment defined so much of the rest of my life. That riff, the passion, that god damn voice… I may have stopped listening after Down On The Upside, but I will never forget what that moment did for me. It is one of the core reasons I am a musician. Thank you, Soundgarden. Thank you, Chris Cornell.


   Rest well, Chris.


A Foggy Morning

A Morpheus Congrats To H&B On Their New Baby

Congratulations to my dear friends Heather & Brandon on the birth of Cooper!


fire rust    Autumn brings many pleasant things. The apples come off of the trees, ripe for eating. Cider begins to flow and find its way into the stores. I begin mulling my cider and baking pies. The leaves turn to fire and drop to the ground. The trees become bare and everything in this world begins to die. Autumn is the season of bounty and waning, of that final passionate explosion before the cold stillness of winter.

Solar Autumn runs roughly from the 21st of September to the 21st of December (varying a day in either direction from year to year), from Autumnal Equinox to Winter Solstice. Meteorological Autumn goes from September 1st to December 1st. Culturally, we tend to consider autumn as lasting from Labor Day Weekend to Black Friday and the weekend after Thanksgiving. However you reckon the span of the season, autumn is the maturation of the year and a time when mischievous spirits run stronger than any other part of the year. Whether you interpret spirits to mean spectres or human moods, the trickster is surely present in each and every one of us. You don’t have to be so strongly associated with darkness to feel that Hallow’s Eve spirit. Nearly every child dresses up as either a ghastly visage or beloved pop culture icon, goes door-to-door, and demands a sweet treat. If one does not give the little hooligan an offering of appeasement, the mischievous nature may take over and pull pranks on you and your home! Adults find time to let their oft-suppressed rambunctious sides out as well. (see: Jenna Marbles’s rant about sluts on Halloween)

appppppppapple    The first thing that comes to mind when I think of Autumn is apples. I thoroughly enjoy apple-picking. I have ever since I was a child. It’s more than the extremely fresh apples that are the fruit of the labor. It’s walking through an orchard full of twisted trees while an almost-crisp autumnal wind pushes at your back. It’s reaching up into the tree to find that perfect apple. It’s admiring one’s surroundings. It’s a short hike in a lovely man made wood. Apple picking is more than just the apples. That first bite into the Newtonian muse, fresh off the tree, is an experience that simply does not happen from a store bought pome.

pumpkin    In the year’s old age, when Demeter begins to cry and Hades’s fires grow stronger with passion, nature gives the most beautiful show. The leaves of every tree not deemed an evergreen turn from green to bright yellows, oranges, reds, and browns. Demeter weeps for the loss of her daughter, Persephone, and the subsequent autumnal rains rust the green away. A world of fire is born. The leaves, once vibrantly green photosynthesizers, now begin to change color and die, growing brittle and falling away as the trees retreat into dormancy for the winter ahead. We harvest our crops and begin preparations for the winter, when everything is absolutely dead, still, sleeping soundly in a crystalline purity. This last show of life, that spark at the moment of death, is breath-taking no matter how many times you’ve experienced it.

Home & hearth still have meaning to some, and this is so much more important this time of year than any other. Autumn is beautiful. I wish to mull some cider and sit next to a fire, eating the fruits of my year’s harvest with someone I love. I wish to write cold and hollow music, melancholic and melodic echoes of passion. I wish to celebrate with great festivity the Season of the Dead… the Season of Fire.

Here is some Autumnal themed music for your pleasure (after the jump).


Help Your Beloved Author!

Click here to donate!

I just opened a GoFundMe campaign to finance some digital gear and kick off my commercial photography career. Check it out!

Hi! I am an amateur photographer based in Rutland, VT. For more than a decade, I’ve been shooting non-commercial artistic work.

Want to take a look at the work I’ve done?
DA Portfolio site
Facebook page

For the last few years, I’ve been shooting exclusively in 35mm film. For the personal expressive work I do, it’s the best option. However, to break into modern commercial work (portraiture, weddings, events, models, etc.) a digital set up is necessary. That cost of entry is more than beyond my reach.

My target camera is a Nikon D5200 dSLR and a pair of appropriate lenses. (Other required gear such as case, tripod, and batteries I already own for my film camera and can be used with this one.)

I’m a full time single parent stuck in a minimum wage job and under a significant amount of personal debt (accrued as a single parent living on such an income while receiving no child support). We live paycheck to paycheck, scraping by. My goal is to climb out from under that debt, but with my current income this is impossible. Were I to begin gaining commercial photography jobs, I could work myself out in just a few years and then begin transitioning over to this work full time. I have the eye, the skill, the training, and the experience to make this commercial endeavor succeed, but I lack the start up capital to launch the ship.

It took a fair bit of convincing for me to do this GoFundMe campaign. I’m not a fan of asking for help (often to my own detriment), so I’m including reward levels to provide services for the donations. Check out the various reward levels!

(Note: I am also open to recommendations on cameras if the one I am looking at is known to others to be inadequate or simply not the best choice.)

Click here to donate!


This piece originally appeared on a previous website of mine in 2005.

My crew of friends and I have many stories that we have collected over the years. All of them are true and some are downright incredible. This tale is one of my favorites.

I hate being woken up by my telephone. I have a tendency to damage the eardrum of whoever is calling. I now turn the ringer off when retiring for the night. My closest friend, John, was the recipient of my telecommunications wrath this particular afternoon.

“Are you done yelling now?,” John chuckled back at me. I used to throw darts at him for waking me up, so yelling doesn’t really phase him. “We’re going to GG’s grave. Are you coming?” Of course I was.

GG Allin was a legendary punk singer. He was notorious for starting fights with the audience, defecating on stage, and beating himself severely while performing. In all probability, he was the only true rock n’ roller who ever lived; he knew no personal boundaries, nor restraint. Allin is buried in Littleton, a small town in the northern region of New Hampshire. There was no question that I was going.

John picked me up about fifteen minutes later in Rob’s ’95 Ford Escort. Along with us were John’s girlfriend, Hollie, our closest compatriot, Rob, and associate in mischief, Matt. John put some music on for the ride.

“Hey, Hollie,” I said, “has John shown you Quechee Gorge yet?” Hollie was visiting from her Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania home with no knowledge whatsoever of the green and mountainous Vermont landscape.

“No, why?”

“Are you afraid of heights?,” I asked, with my noted sadistic gleam.

Hollie just looked at me in a nervous sort of manner and shook her head, “Yes.”

I looked at John and chuckled, “We have to stop at the Gorge, man.”

He was more than willing. When we arrived, it took five or so minutes to talk Hollie into walking out onto the bridge. She took a couple of photographs from it and scurried back to the car. Rob and I spent a few minutes spitting off the side before we both became bored and resumed our drive.

We hit the outskirts of White River Junction, a town that, to others may seem a tad pretty, to me has always looked like a wasteland. We ran into traffic delays that would rip out the heart of a New York City commuter. We didn’t know it at the time, but a high speed chase between police and a boy named Eric Johnson had, just hours prior, resulted in the death of a Vermont State Trooper. We were rerouted and detoured through the city.

New Hampshire is a state that I have never been fond of. I’m not entirely sure why. The New Hampshire leg of the trip was uneventful and boring. I openly, repeatedly, and obnoxiously blamed the entire state for this. It wasn’t until we arrived at our destination that anything noteworthy happened.

Once we entered the town of Littleton, we were assaulted by countless stares. These weren’t the normal, “Who the hell are you?,” stares; these looks bore a particular flair of malice. John concluded that they must know we’re in town to see GG’s grave. Year after year, absolutely crazy and relentlessly crude people migrate to this small New Hampshire town to see the grave. They drink profusely and defecate at the site. This results in numerous arrests. No doubt, the locals are quite sick of it. I was convinced that there was no way they could know why we were there, but when we found the graveyard, I saw how the townsfolk knew. We had written some of the more obscene song titles from GG’s career in the dust on the side of the car.

This cemetery was larger than I expected. Though John was looking for landmarks he’d noted from the documentary footage of GG’s funeral, we were all lost. After ten minutes of exploring gravestones, John found it. He found the grave of rock n’ roll’s most infamous legend: GG Allin. We all stood in front of it, staring as John read the epitaph aloud.

“For my mission ends in termination, vicinity of death.”

Here we were, standing at his grave. We took photos of the stone, and of us around it, while Hollie videotaped. It was almost like a religious experience. This man was the embodiment of the human animal. He followed his every urge and instinct, no matter how taboo, without one sliver of care for the thoughts, opinions, or judgments of others. He was, in that sense, the most pure man who ever lived. He was tainted by neither self-consciousness nor self-repression. The fact that GG Allin was so successful in doing this himself is inspirational. This strikes a deep chord in me. I strive to rid myself of society’s pre-established morals and ethics to leave room for just my own sense of right and wrong.

GG Allin had a fetish for urinating on his audience. He once said, “My body’s the rock n’ roll temple, and my blood and body fluids are a communion to the people.” This led to many canceled shows, near escapes from authorities, and even an appearance on Geraldo Rivera’s talk show. In true GG fashion, the people who make the pilgrimage to his grave in turn urinate on it. This has become a custom, of sorts. It should go without saying that we did the same.

GG Allin hated, more than anything else, authority. He loathed anyone and anything that attempted to control him. This included the United States’ government, as he spent three years in a federal prison for an assortment of charges. To honor GG, John decided to burn an American flag over the gravestone. As the flag burned ferociously, two Littleton Police officers arrived.

The first officer took the video camera and gave it to the other officer. They acted very routine, like they’d grown bored of throwing kids out of the cemetery. It wasn’t until ten minutes of lecturing about public urination had passed that they noticed the flag remains. Both officers grew extremely angry and yelled about it, threatening to lock us up right away. John, noble misfit that he is, spoke up. He confessed to burning the flag and took the heat off us, placing it onto himself. The officers cuffed John and put him into the cruiser.

Now, you should know, before they found the flag’s remains, John had decided that it would be very bad if the policemen had discovered the bag of marijuana in his pocket. To prevent this from occurring, he subtly slipped the bag out of his pocket and shoved it down the back of his pants. Once arrested and in the cruiser, he thought back on the last time he’d been brought to jail.

The last time John was arrested was the result of miscommunication between Rutland’s Diversion office and the court. Diversion had eliminated a court date and forgotten to notify the court. When John didn’t go to his nonexistent court date, a bench warrant was issued for his arrest. While trading insurance information with another driver during a minor accident, he was cuffed and brought in to the Shelburne Police Department. They eventually transferred him to Chittenden County Correctional Facility where he was strip searched, so he assumed all jails conducted strip searches.

Here was John, alone in the back of a cruiser, once more facing discovery of the bag. What was he to do? Still handcuffed, he managed to unbuckle his seat belt, pull the bag out from the back of his pants, toss it onto the floor of the cruiser, and kick it under the front seat where it was never found.

As the first officer drove John away, the second asked if any of us had a driver’s license. Despite the fact that it was Rob’s car, he has never had his license. It was only Hollie who was legally able to drive. We quickly found out, while leaving the cemetery, that Hollie was the poorest candidate to drive, because she did not know how to operate a standard transmission vehicle. After a very bumpy succession of stalls and restarts, Rob took over and we drove into the main strip of Littleton.

It was a cold evening and none of us were dressed for it. I borrowed a long-sleeved shirt from Hollie that was suffocatingly tight, Hollie put on a sweatshirt, Matt bared the cold, and Rob wrapped himself in a bright blue blanket. Looking ridiculous, we walked around town, because we had a few hours to kill while the bail officer made his way to the police station. When John emerged from the jail, we all raced to the car and drove out of that place.

The ride was very quiet. John, Hollie, and Matt sat in the front, while Rob and I occupied the back. Rob is not a person who handles boredom well. I turned to look at him after we had driven awhile, to see only half of his body. The rest was climbing out of the window while the car sped somewhere in the vicinity of 70mph. Surprised, I tapped his leg.

“What’re you doing?!,” I whispered.

He just smirked and then climbed onto the roof. No one else noticed. Matt, sitting quietly by the window, heard a knock. He looked over to see Rob staring back at him from outside.

John became inquisitive and Matt just said, “Its Rob,” as if it were all perfectly normal. Rob began hollering at the wind like there was no tomorrow. We could barely stop laughing.

Once more in White River Junction, Rob had taken over driving and decided to pull in to a gas station just off of I-91. When he left the interstate, he cut across a few lanes and went straight to the pump. A State Trooper pulled up to us and began our final official lecture of the evening. When he finished, he looked us all up and down and asked, “So, where are you kids hiding the drugs?”

More than a little paranoid by now, John nearly lost it. The trooper was joking, of course, and went on his way. The look on John’s face was absolutely priceless.

The following weeks held a few newspaper articles and one radio discussion about John’s incident. The town had tried to make an example out of him and the prosecutor pushed for a year of jail time. A well-written letter by myself to the American Civil Liberties Union about his flag-burning case put a swift rest to that notion. In fact, just mentioning the ACLU was enough to reduce the sought-after punishment from jail time to a small fine and a condition of good behavior for one year in the state of New Hampshire.

GG’s brother, Merle Allin, contacted John to show his support. A few months later, one of GG’s old bands, The Murder Junkies, held a reunion show in Littleton. The same group of friends went and got the chance to hang out with Merle and the other band members, as well as big GG Allin fan, Chad, from the increasingly popular rock band Camp Kill Yourself (CKY). A lot of fun was had.

Of the countless stories our crew’s adventures have accumulated over the years, the tale of our visit to GG Allin’s grave is one of my favorites. I am glad to have told it.

Top Ten Reasons Why I’m Lazy Today

10. It is 81f (feels like 84f) and sunny in this period. [AccuWeather]

9. Old blog posts are being perused and scavenged for potential future material.

8. I’m not actually being lazy; I am merely wishing I were.

7. There isn’t enough coffee in the universe.

6. Meh.

5. Vermont Public Radio’s Saturday afternoon line up is really good.

4. Being asocial is “cool”.

3. Coffee good.

2. I could go for a Tomb Raider session today.

and numero uno…

Sometimes a guy’s just got to sit around in his undies.

Got A Beaut Here, Mate! [an old post]

I was bored and found this old blog entry from a previous site of mine. Seemed the thing to do to re-post it here.

I am of the opinion that job hunting should be approached like any other type of hunting. You disguise yourself to match your surroundings, so as to not alarm the herd. You focus on finding the best targets, letting nature run its course and eliminate down to the one right prey. You track this prey, first in the classifieds and then in the field, sifting through Help Wanted signs. Approach the prey with care, being sure not to alarm it to your true nature of money-coveting, allowing it to think you have an actual desire for the work. When all is ready and the kill is sure, strike at the prey swift and true with resumes and clean applications. Make sure your weapon of references is solid and strong. If all goes well, you will have tagged yourself a nice job to field dress and take home.

Direction Wanted, Apply Within

I presently lack all direction in my life. I am in a mire, a moment of stagnation, completely stuck in a loop, and I wish to break out of that. Unfortunately, the view from this merry-go-round is obscured and I cannot see where to hop off. I know there are a number of paths and each of them could end in ruin or revelry, but that first step… I’m not afraid of that first step, I just don’t know where it is. I have a goal with no discernible path. What does one do to find that path, that direction? Who could be my compass? What could bring my bearing? Where do I place that brave first foot forward?

It’s really not easy to break in to something when you don’t even know what you’re breaking in to. Until I can find direction, I’ll simply throw the wrench in every direction. I will charge forward with reckless abandon! I will throw my eggs in every basket! Woo!