Tag Archives: tv

selections from Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich

No one ever said that you could work hard—harder even than you ever thought possible—and still find yourself sinking ever deeper into poverty and debt. Continue reading

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Michael Pollan’s Food Rules

Eat food. Mostly plants. Not too much. Continue reading

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selections from Room by Emma Donoghue


“It’s called mind over matter. If we don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” (10)


I climb on Rocker to get the books from Shelf and I make a ten-story skyscraper on Rug. “Ten stories,” says Ma and laughs, that wasn’t very funny. (16)


[R]aw things make us extra alive. (20)


Silly Penis is always standing up in the morning, I push him down. (28)


The cartoon planet’s not in evenings, maybe because it’s dark and they don’t have lamps there. I choose a cooking tonight, it’s not real food, they don’t have any cans. The she and the he smile at each other and do a meat with a pie on top and green things around other green things in bunches. Then I switch over to the fitness planet where persons in underwear with all machines have to keep doing things over and over, I think they’re locked in. That’s over soon and it’s the knockerdowners, they make houses into different shapes and also millions of colors with paint, not just on a picture but all over everything. Houses are like lots of Rooms stuck together, TV persons stay in them mostly but sometimes they go in their outsides and weather happens to them.

“What if we put the bed over there?” says Ma.

I stare at her, then I look where she’s pointing. “That’s TV Wall.”

“That’s just what we call it,” she says, “but the bed could probably fit there, between the toilet and…we’d have to shift the wardrobe over a bit. Then the dresser would be right here instead of the bed, with the TV on top of it.”

I’m shaking my head a lot. “Then we couldn’t see.”

“We could, we’d be sitting right here in the rocker.”

“Bad idea.”

“OK, forget it.” Ma folds her arms tight.

The TV woman is crying because her house is yellow now. “Did she like it brown better?” I ask.

“No,” says Ma, “she’s so happy it’s making her cry.”

That’s weird. “Is she happysad, like you get when there’s lovely music on TV?”

“No, she’s just an idiot. Let’s switch the TV off now.” (41-42)


[E]verything’s breakable. (43)


“If you play you won’t mind and you won’t matter.” (44)




But when I want something I want it always, like chocolates, I never ate a chocolate too many times. (56)


She goes to Sink and washes her face, I don’t know why because it wasn’t dirty but maybe there were germs. (57)


“I don’t know.”

They way she says it, it’s strange. I think she’s pretending. “You have to know. You know everything.” (59)


“Stories are a different kind of true.” (71)


“My ears hurt,” I tell her.

Her eyebrows go up.

“It’s too quiet in them.”

“Ah, that’s because we’re not hearing all the little sounds we’re used to, like the heat coming on or the refrigerator hum.” (76)


“What I’m doing is the opposite of lying. It’s, like, unlying.” (85)




When I was a little kid I thought like a little kid, but now I’m five I know everything. (102)


I can think and do interesting stuff at the same time. Can’t she? (104)


“Nobody’s going to rescue us.”

I don’t say anything. And then I say, “You don’t know everything there is.”

Her face is the strangest I ever saw. (104)


“Scared is what you’re feeling,” says Ma, “but brave is what you’re doing.”




Word sandwiches always make her laugh but I wasn’t being funny. (116)


Ma’s still nodding. “You’re the one who matters, though. Just you.”

I shake my head till it’s wobbling because there’s no just me.

We look at each other not smiling. (128)


Outsider don’t understand anything, I wonder do they watch too much TV. (152)


“Yeah. I’ve seen the world and I’m tired now.”

“Oh, Jack,” she says, “we’re never going back.”

The car starts moving and I’m crying so much I can’t stop. (155)




catatonic (adj., Psychiatry)
of, relating to, or characterized by catatonia.
—informal: of or in an immobile or unresponsive stupor.
“The despot’s victims have an eerie pallor and appear to be in a borderline catatonic state after the long nightmare of their incarceration.” (165)


Ma wipes my face with her hand, that spreads the tears. “Sorry,” she says, “sorry, I guess I’m moving too fast.” She gives me a hug that wets me all down me. “There’s nothing to cry about anymore.”

When I was a baby I only cried for a good reason. But Ma going in the shower and shutting me on the wrong side, that’s a good reason. (173)


Every wall’s a different color, that must be the rule. (175)


The glasses are invisible like ours but the plates are blue, that’s disgusting. (177)


I go look at the tray Noreen brought. I’m not hungry but when I ask Ma she says it’s after one o’clock, that’s too late for lunch even, lunch should be twelve something but there’s room in my tummy yet.

“Relax,” Ma tells me. “Everything’s different here.”

“But what’s the rule?”

“There is no rule. We can have lunch at ten or one or three or the middle of the night.”

“I don’t want lunch in the middle of the night.”

Ma puffs her breath. “Let’s make a new rule that we’ll have lunch…anytime between twelve and two. And if we’re not hungry we’ll just skip it.”

“How do we skip it?”

“Eat nothing. Zero.”

“OK.” I don’t mind eating zero. “But what will Noreen do with all the food?”

“Throw it away.”

“That’s waste.”

“Yeah, but it has to go in the trash because it’s—it’s like it’s dirty.”

I look at the food all multicolored on the blue plates. “It doesn’t look dirty.”

“It’s not actually, but nobody else here would want it after it’s been on our plates,” says Ma. “Don’t worry about it.”

She keeps saying that but I don’t know to not worry.

I yawn so huge it nearly knocks me over. My arm still hurts from where it wasn’t numb. I ask if we can go back to sleep again and Ma says sure, but she’s going to read the paper. I don’t know why she wants to read the paper instead of being asleep with me. (184-185)


I never saw Ma hug a someone else. (187)


“Why did she laugh about me knowing all the words when I wasn’t making a joke?” I ask Ma after.

“Oh, it doesn’t matter, it’s always good to make people laugh.” (189)


I remember manners, that’s when persons are scared to make each other persons mad. I say, “Please may you have me more pancakes?”

The she with the apron says, “He’s a doll.”

I’m not a doll, but Ma whispers it means the woman like me so I should let her call me one.

I try the syrup, it’s super extra sweet, I drink a whole little tub before Ma stops me. She says it’s only for putting on pancakes but I think that’s yucky.

People keep coming at her with jugs of coffee, she says no. I eat so many bacon I lose count, when I say, “Thank you, Baby Jesus,” people stare because I think they don’t know him in Outside. (192)


“Are you enjoying it here?”

“I’m enjoying the bacon.”

He laughs, I didn’t know I made a joke again. “I enjoy bacon too. Too much.”

How can enjoying be too much? (194)


“‘World is suddener than we fancy it.'” (194)


“Everyone’s got a different story.” (195)


In Outside the time’s all mixed up. Ma keeps saying, “Slow down, Jack,” and “Hang on,” and “Finish up now,” and “Hurry up, Jack,” she says Jack a lot so I’ll know it’s me she’s talking to not persons else. (196)


“You were born with your eyes open.” (206)


“The very best thing you did was, you got him out early,” says Dr. Clay. “At five, they’re still plastic.”

But I’m not plastic, I’m a real boy. (209)


“Because we didn’t belong to him.”

“That’s right.” Dr. Clay’s smiling. “You know who you belong to, Jack?”



He’s wrong, actually, I belong to Ma. (209)


When we go see Dr. Clay, Ma makes me tell about my dreams.

He thinks my brain is probably doing a spring cleaning.

I stare at him.

“Now you’re safe, it’s gathering up all those scary thoughts you don’t need anymore, and throwing them out as bad dreams.” His hands do the throwing.

I don’t say because of manners, but actually he’s got it backwards. In Room I was safe and Outside is the scary. (218-219)


“Be gentle with it, Jack, it’s my present from Paul.”

I didn’t know it was hers-not-mine. In Room everything was ours. (220)


“I keep messing up. I know you need me to be your ma but I’m having to remember how to be me as well at the same time and it’s…”

But I thought the her and the Ma were the same. (221-222)


Lots and lots of hes and shes on the sidewalks, I never saw so many, I wonder are they all real for real or just some. “Some of the women grow long hair like us,” I tell Ma, “but the men don’t.”

“Oh, a few do, rock stars. It’s not a rule, just a convention.”

“What’s a—?”

“A silly habit everybody has. Would you like a haircut?” asks Ma.


“It doesn’t hurt. I had short hair before—back when I was nineteen.”

I shake my head. “I don’t want to lose my strong.”

“Your what?”

“My muscles, like Samson in the story.”

That makes her laugh. (222-223)


“Jack, there’s a lot of things in the world.”


“Zillions and zillions. If you try to fit them in all your head, it’ll just burst.” (228)


I think buddy is man talk for sweetie. (240)


I take Dora out and put my arms in her straps and I’m wearing it, I’m actually wearing Dora. (243)




“That was Dr. Clay, your ma is stable. That sounds good, doesn’t it?”

It sounds like horses. (258)


“He wants me not born.”

“He wants what?”

“He said I shouldn’t be and then Ma wouldn’t have to be Ma.”

Grandma doesn’t say anything so I think she’s gone downstairs. I take my face out to see. She’s still here with her arms wrapped around her tight. “Never you mind that a-hole.” (259)


At breakfast Grandma takes a pill. I ask if it’s a vitamin. Steppa laughs. She tells him, “You should talk.” Then she says to me, “Everybody needs a little something.” (263)


In Room we knowed what everything was called but in the world there’s so much, persons don’t even know the names. (267)


God’s yellow face has a cloud on top. Colder suddenly. The world is always changing brightness and soundness, I never know how it’s going to be the next minute. (268)


“‘Human kind cannot bear very much reality.'” (274)


“She’s in the other wing, she needs to be on her own for a while.”

I think he’s wrong, if I was sick I’d need Ma with me even more.

“But she’s working really hard to get better,” he tells me.

I thought people are just sick or better, I didn’t know it was work. (275)


“Why are places to eat called coffee shops?” I ask him.

“Well, coffee’s the most important thing they sell because most of us need it to keep us going, like gas in the car.” (278)


The little cards with numbers all over are called a lottery, idiots buy them hoping to get magicked into millionaires. (285)


I didn’t know persons could be private out in the world. (285)


In the world I notice persons are nearly always stressed and have no time. (286)


“Remember,” she says on the way to the white car, “we don’t hug strangers. Even nice ones.”

“Why not?”

“We just don’t, we save our hugs for people we love.”

“I love that boy Walker.”

“Jack, you never saw him before in your life.” (288)


“Noreen tells me you’ve had a haircut.” Ma’s voice is tiny on the phone.

“Yeah. But I still have my strong.” I’m sitting under Rug with the phone, all in the dark to pretend Ma’s right here. “I have baths on my own now,” I tell her. “I’ve been on swings and I know money and fire and street persons and I’ve got two Dylan the Diggers and a conscience and spongy shoes.”


“Oh and I’ve seen the sea, there’s no poo in it, you were tricking me.”

“You had so many questions,” says Ma. “And I didn’t have all the answers, so I had to make some up.”

I hear her crying breath.

“Ma, can you come get me tonight?”

“Not quite yet.”

“Why not?”

“They’re still fiddling with my dosage, trying to figure out what I need.”

Me, she needs me. (292-293)


“Well, celebrity is a secondary trauma.” (306)


Ma says everybody’s got a few different selves. (310)


Grandma says why doesn’t Ma take me to the zoo but Ma says she couldn’t stand the cages. (312)


“Do you sometimes wish we didn’t escape?”

I don’t hear anything. Then she says, “No, I never wish that.” (313)


“‘The Soul selects her own Society—Then—shuts the Door—'” (314) Continue reading

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selections from The San Francisco Poets by David Meltzer

The DNA molecule is the memory. It is the memory of the meat. Four billion years of memory telling you to be a mammal. (274) Continue reading

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in which the Tunnel decides to sell Dorothy. Continue reading

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spoiled startup brat needs his creamy ass cheesy bagels and free fucking lunch and hella snacks and shit and… a mason jar of San Francisco tap water, somewhat lovingly sourced from Hetch Hetchy, valley of water and murder.

then the poor thing has to drive a metric ton of clothes in his little grey Porsche, ghetto defenseless creature, four fucking blocks because he can’t throw anything away. clean clothes cannot be digitally produced.

goddamnit and all the goddamn dates all the goddamn time. but goddamnit girls are so goddamn fun. whether they’re 19 or 26. or 37 or whatever. numerology and orgasms.

Chris and Tina, vinyl tie fighter attack.

sleep. Continue reading

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The term is generally applied to alcohol, barbiturates, amphetamines, THC, PCP, cocaine, and heroin but also includes caffeine in coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee

why yes, i did just let a man stick a needle in my eyelid and inject steroids. why, you ask? oh, because i trust him.

now, with a swollen lower right lid, i barely sit up—almost lie—in my bed, watching the curtains blow wild and green over my turntables like big ship sails, listening to the Who belt out covers of blues songs that could pass for hardcore sonic pornography, chewing on week-old pistachios, sipping on plastic water, and typing up a vacuous storm. it’s monday and i’m blogging.

i went to a baseball game last week and saw a pitcher end an inning. innings end about 17 or 18 times per baseball game, and pitchers are often the reason for those endings, seeing as how they throw the balls that cause strikes and home runs. anyway, this particular time, the pitcher walked off the mound with a little cross on his face and a little point to the heavens, as if he were thanking the Greek deities for their graciousness in allowing him to end that very inning. what a crock of shit! i don’t end every single paragraph i write with a prayer to Allah. i don’t even do so after each blog post is published! although, Christ, maybe i should…

what other things have i done lately? what other thoughts have i had? after all, what is a blog post but a description of sights and sounds, as mundane, murky, magical, or obsolescent they may be.

today, i went to a television studio. i don’t really have much more to say about that except that i saw lots of monitors and a pretty girl (or two) and important people.

i’ve had two amazing weekends back to back and—coincidentally—my girlfriend has been sober for two whole weekends. this most recent one was spent doing and eating and feeling many things, but it started with my limbs actually assembling a delicious spinach mushroom pasta for Chelsea and myself, followed by the spectacle of spectacles, ballet:

all the critics seem to love the San Francisco Ballet’s 2012 closing-production of Don Quixote and, this time around, i’m not one to disagree with critics. not only did i take my beautiful girl to a beautiful ballet, but i finally closed the loop on something i should have done almost two years ago: mixed marijuana and high art! yup yup yup, during the intermissions, Chelsea and i slipped to the City Hall-facing balcony—the very same one where i was offered a smoke so long ago—and took a toke from my own magic flute. and, as if the universe wasn’t content with closing a single loop, it sent an old man wandering to our balcony, who awkwardly conversed with us until i killed the awkwardness by offering him a smoke. his response: “far out!” i love ballet, i love San Francisco.

i also love girls.

these are the girls that are the waitresses that are the angels at It’s Tops Coffee Shop that i love that i yes that i love more coffee more smiles more eyes bright wide-opened white cream in my coffee, the girls that i love, the coffee that i love, the ballet spins music into my misty ears. coffee.

the rest of the weekend was spent sleeping in super late, loving friends, drinking beers, eating wings, eating omelettes, eating trout, eating salmon, celebrating Rachel, and hating my disgusting eye. oh well, there are worse things, i suppose.

do you ever read a blog post and think to yourself, “i wonder if this blogger stopped mid-post to take a gigantic shit.” not all who wonder are lost.

the weekend prior was just as—if not more—outstanding. if you assume that thursday and the first seventeen and a half hours of friday are not the weekend, that is. but if you somehow take thursday night to be part of the weekend, well then, good reader, i’ll have you know that just about the only good thing that happened to me that night was a small cup of tomato basil soup, a bit of grilled cheese, and a portion of water. the rest was hell and teeth-grating, dreaming of my sweetness pinned down of her own volition, writhing, unsmiling, drowning. and i knew not of her freedom until friday evening, when i threw all care to the wind and descended into Daly City, the land of beer and music.

everything will be okay in the end. if things aren’t okay, then it’s not the end. Continue reading

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qotd: now that Osama is dead, who should we kill next?

“What the hell are you talking about” “who cares” “What” “Phil Collins” “Right…. Thats nuts….” “Que?” “Hilarious” … “Its jrr tolkien talk”

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Sunday Night Football And Their Refinement of the Decline

i was going to write about it until i realized i could just record it: the experience of walking from the living room in my house to my bedroom downstairs.

1009262057 Sunday Night Football And Their Refinement of the Decline by zronnyz Continue reading

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huckleberry time, person person [archive]

i’ve gotta stop buying so many books. before Tori and i even got on Highway 1 on Wednesday, i had already spent $20 on three books: Cien años de soledad (Márquez), Gulliver’s Travels (Swift), and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (Joyce). i can’t read them as fast as i buy them.

right now i’m reading The Philosophy of Plato, an Oxford University Press edition written by G. C. Field. based on the book’s dark royal purple hardcover design and the printed number (207) on the spine, it’s obvious that this is just one in an epically long series of books intended to bestow the most important knowledge in the universe on any worthy human subjects. it wasn’t yet part of the series in 1915, but “Rome,” “Shakespeare,” and “Evolution” were. i’d love to read those. unfortunately, i only have this one and a similar one, The Philosophy of Aristotle, both of which i purchased from the local library quite cheaply many years ago. i thought it a bargain and assumed i’d read it eventually. well, here i am.

This, then, is the first stage in Plato’s analysis, a stage which is specially characteristic of him and which, as far as we know, he was the first person to reach. The science of mathematics only attains its perfect precision and certainty because, and in so far as, it does not apply to the objects perceived by the senses. But, as it certainly applies to something, that ‘something’ must belong to a world of non-sensible realities. On the other hand, it does have a certain rough and approximate application to the sensible world, in so far as the objects in that world approximate to the objects of pure scientific knowledge. And it is only in sos far as they do this that we can think intelligibly about them at all. We can think about them because they do approximate to the objects of scientific knowledge. But because it is only an approximation, the thinking is of an essentially different kind from the scientific knowledge. It is never exact or definite or certain, but is at best only roughly true or true enough for practical purposes, and it is always liable to confusion, error, and contradiction.

Plato don’t give a FUCK! smoke weed ALL DAY!

i’m listening to Panda Bear on shuffle and i spent the last two days in Santa Cruz with Tori and her beautiful friend Jenna. life is good. we beached, we poesized, we jammed, we smoked, we spoke, we joked, and we fantasized about murdering people. ok maybe not, but maybe.

after the first day beach visit, we grabbed some beers and made a pilgrimage to the peaceful park in front of Mission Santa Cruz. Tori and Jenna played some songs on the ukelele, i killed my 24 oz. Stella, and, after awhile, a bus rolled up with the word DISCOVERY printed along its side, the word all epic with a logofied planet with rings enveloping it. the bus inspired me to write a poem:

70s vago, dice, but I don’t drive
a big blue bus with
the word DISCOVERY
printed horizontal, Saturn surrounded
on the side.

it doesn’t have a disco
ball hanging from the center,
twinkie ceiling twinkling
rainbow upholstery stilling
its passed out patrons, really
it doesn’t

have a harem
eight and a half girls bathing
me in their daft love, Saturnalia
all year long your one time
rhymes with every verse of my life
it doesn’t
read poetry on the seatback in front
of you
or on the traytable or in the bathroom
or within the mind of mister king
or mister joys or misses mayor
or mister crouton.

it doesn’t croon
like a salmon-starved grizzly
always barely about to exit Plato’s cave because he thinks
he learned some
united kingdom. doubt that
it has even any semblance
of monster comforts maybe one
cup water hold your eyes while
you sleep.

even if the bus really existed even
i’d think it kinda odd
to assume it’d have hydraulics like
the Dr. ordered. i don’t know
any handicapped girls except maybe

Amaria with the broken leg and
Antares with the fat old hunger and
Nina with the never-ending story and
Luisa with the same twin bed and
Nella with her pretentious nookie and
Anna with her terrifying shitiness and
Alicia with a tempting drop and
Amaranta with that disgusting nylon and
Leah with that virile circle of rocks and

if this were really an earlier decade,
I wouldn’t be driving
a bus but I might
have syphilis.

later that night, stoned/drunk, while Tori and Jenna lay in bed watching Dexter, i wrote some more stuff, even more nonsensical than DISCOVERY. i also made a list, titled “huckleberry time, person person,” of all the things i consumed during the day:

milk, cinnamon, peanut butter, wheat bread, string cheese, whiskey, chicken, beer, cheddar, sour cream, guacamole, beans, chips, sour punch, beer, cappuccino, wheat bread, cream cheese, cucumbers, French bread, ham, cheddar cheese, sprouts, and some other stuff.

but eventually i just watched a couple episodes of the show, centered on this guy named Dexter, a psychopathic blood-spatter analyst for the Miami-Dade Police Department who is secretly a serial killer. but he only kills other killers and he never gets caught.

tv. cool. Continue reading

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