The Mulmaster Beholder Corps have returned Just when you are least expecting it, The Mulmaster Beholder Corps have returned. Disguised as pinatas, birthday cakes, chandeliers, and hanging plants, these vicious monsters are bent on destroying humanity.
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You really have to love what you’re doing in this life. Otherwise gravity will crush you. And I don’t mean love like people claim to love bacon. I mean you have to love it. Like when a child you adore digs his nails into your neck because you have to be the one to stop him from running into an object more solid than he is. The same child the next morning sees you emerge from sleep and wraps his arms around your legs like you’re the fourth most important person in the world. And that makes you the fourth most important person in the world. So you better watch your diet and get some exercise because that’s a lot of responsibility.
Poetry is hard, too. It hates 99.99% of the people who have ever tried to write it. It likes me, but not enough. Not enough to make me one of its chosen few.
Love is a dirty trick. It keeps you on the path. Keeps you from careening into the aether. Pulls you back from some of the dark places you might have disappeared in.
Getting old is hard. The pain. The dampening power of pain. A blanket of ice on your bones.
This morning I was awakened early by my mind. It wanted to enjoy every second of this first brilliant day of Spring. But it didn’t consult my body, which is tired. Very tired. And sick. I’m struggling to remain happy and gracious because I really have looked forward to this day for many months. But I’m tired deep in my bones. And afield from a lot of the selfish desires I have for myself.
I’m enjoying listening to R.E.M. I have a friend who is dying and making a record of it via social media. I also am dying, but more gradually, and my head is slightly fevered this early afternoon from the flu. I am partly here, and partly other places.
You have to love it or it will kill you. It will sniff you like a predator and sense your lack of commitment and it will devour you. I don’t suffer from any such commitment, but I fear I will be dissipated. I suspect I will be. Hopefully my dissipation will result in leaving the better parts of me behind in some form others can benefit from. I feel like I want to write poetry now.
Running is hard. As I was watching the runners go by the window this afternoon, their faces twisted with what seemed like agony I only feel when forced to listen to This American Life, I wondered what exactly what it was about what they were doing they found enjoyable. Jogging is big in this neighborhood. I suspect because most of the people are happy they have a nice house and car and probably don’t feel like dying, even if the alternative is being miserable. I tried to run a little bit earlier when Jack was propelling his little motorcycle down the sidewalk with his little rhinoceros legs that never quit moving. But my hip told me to stop. It recommended I come back indoors and listen to the White Sox game on the radio and maybe write a haiku. I also found a few left over Starbursts from Easter we are hiding from the kids. What better place to hide them I thought than my stomach.
The runners never came back in the other direction. I suppose that is for the best. I suspect the house on the corner is abandoned because I never see anyone go in or come out of it. People probably think the same thing about my apartment. I might go there later today. I’m having trouble avoiding the sugar this afternoon even though I made a conscious effort to buy some healthy foods earlier in the week. It’s not easy to stay in shape or eat right at any age, or in any age, or neighborhood, although I tell you what when i was in Houston there certainly were more choices for shopping healthy.
On April 20th no one in the world read this blog. Which doesn’t surprise me much, but on the same day over 500 people searched for and voluntarily came to a blog entry i have elsewhere titled Oprah Winfrey’s Pussy. It’s a painting depicting, well it’s a painting of Oprah Winfrey’s vajayjay.
For many years no matter what I wrote about, or where, that was my most viewed blog entry.
It might say something about me.
It might say something about you.
As a child I fantasized about having a sack full of jewels and gold and silver. I think that’s a rather common fantasy for children to have.
As an adult I became more enamored with silver, and recently copper. Gold just seems too rich for my blood, but silver and copper have been precious to humans since the first time they were extracted from the Earth. The huge bull market in precious metals seemed to burst last Monday when gold and silver lost close to 25% of their value in four days.Those who never participated in the market seemed to be really happy.
For the four years I’ve been following precious metals I’ve seen the world change quite a lot. Preppers and conspiracy theorists have become commonplace. I’ve seen some of the sites I initially went to for information about prices and availability information turn into virtual havens for lunatics and malcontents who seem to think the end is near.
The end of what I have no idea, but whatever ends they seem to think they’re ready for it. Sometimes it feels like they actually welcome the collapse of civilization. That seems foolish to me.
After silver flirted with an all-time high at fifty dollars an ounce then slowly plummeted to 23 dollars today I lost a lot of interest, but since I hopped aboard the bandwagon when silver was at about $25 an ounce I have always wanted to buy it at that price, so I started checking out prices. Despite the spot price being 23 dollars no one on the planet was selling it for under thirty dollars. I called the coin dealer I have been buying from for four years now and he laughed me off the phone. he said I wouldn’t find any silver for sale for weeks unless I wanted to pay a ten dollar premium.
So I have found myself in the unusual position of hoping a commodity i own plummets further in price. I’m several years from even contemplating digging my silver from out of its resting place, so I say let it fall, and let it stay low for a long time. Maybe enough people will lose interst that those who jumped on the bull when it was riding roughshod will sell of at a fraction of what they paid.
I love silver. The Silver American Eagle is one the most beautiful coins ever created.
I hope in a few weeks to go out and pick up a few of these at discount prices.
Last week at this time we had just come back from watching World War I re-enacted, complete with an explanation of what mustard gas is and what it does to the human body. Then Monday the world went insane. Hard to believe this has been only one week. It has seemed like an entire lifetime.
I have hopes Monday will reset everything and all the insanity will have passed. The weather will warm up, the pipes won’t leak, and I’ll have time and energy to get in shape and really enjoy this summer. I remember last year trying to savor each nice day, knowing that winter is now what feels like a nine month process. The warm weather is slow in coming and everything is flooded.
A summer where almost nothing happens would be great.
It was still barely above freezing today, so of course Jenny decides we should take the kids to the World War I re-enactment at Midway Village. Battle one was fought in the small mock village they have recreated. We asked one of the soldiers how they decide who pretends to have been shot and he said generally if you get tired you just lay down.
The kids were most interested in getting into the foxholes, which were full of mud and rainwater, but the climax of the afternoon was the re-enactment of a full battle on a large field, complete with mustard gas. The Allies lost this time and were taken prisoner.
The Dirty Trick I want to talk about here is akin the the Trojan Horse dirty trick because after the battles the officials encourage the children to run out on the field and gather up the brass shell casings like Easter Eggs, and when given the prompt, of course they do. The nine year old is fast and insistent and gathered many.
Then we went to Red Robin for gourmet cheeseburgers. Nobody actually ordered a cheeseburger, but that’s beside the point. When we got to the parking lot I made a comment that America doesn’t exactly have a great sense of humor about people driving around with shell casings in their car, blanks or not, and we agreed and gathered all the shells up to make sure there wasn’t one on the floorboard of the car in the case one of us was stopped for an invalid registration then made national headlines for a colossal misunderstanding.
You have to be careful with the dirty tricks in modern America. they come in many disguises.
After forty every day is an adventure. Waking up with pain in places you didn’t even know were places, coming to terms with diminishing energy and time for all the plans you once had. But something else starts to happen you never wanted to think about: death.
People you know start to die. Or start the long process of dying. Including yourself.
It’s not an ever-present reality, more of a shadow you start to notice all around you. Things get slightly darker. You try to compensate by being even more appreciative of the good things you have and the days without pain and all that you have survived and continue to survive. But it’s there.
Then it happens.
That first friend dies.
Not accidentally. Not tragically. They die from complications of being on this Earth longer than than it takes for their death to be a shock.
And it starts. An invisible hourglass is turned over somewhere on a table in the Universe.
You immediately want to go buy every food and every piece of exercise equipment that will ward off this shadowy presence, but in the end, you are who you are, and the cards you have been dealt will have more to do with your eventual demise than your lifestyle.
But I wasn’t finished with that book I intended to write. I never got to Paris. I always wanted to learn to play the piano.
You are who you are.
Go away, I’m not done watching American Pickers.
I remember once Gene Siskel wanted to insult Roget Ebert in the worst way, and he’d run out of fat jokes, so he referred to Ebert as the writer of Russ Meyer’s movie Beyond the Valley of the Dolls.
Not because it’s not a lousy movie, but because it’s just one more example of what Roger Ebert was, and one of the best one’s of his generation… a writer.
The man wrote. And he did it well. About everything. His blog was a joy to read and one of the best instances of one of those most literate, proficient writers in the world doing what he did best. It was accessible. He could write about poetry as well as science and make it just as informative and interesting.
He was available. If you had him on your Facebook feed you could see what he was thinking about, writing about, what he cared about. And his taste was exquisite. But not pretentious. For me he embodies the term “a writer’s writer.”
Out of the blue yesterday I was asked if I wanted to write for a role playing game. Specifically, write demonic and undead creatures for a role playing game.
I think the answer to that is yes.
A ghoul drawn by artist John Bolton for the film The Monster Club. The ghoul is one of the least understood, written about, or portrayed of the undead creatures.
I think one of the first, if not the first account of ghouls are the two demoniacs of Gadarenes written about in the Gospel of Matthew, who, possessed by demons, took refuge in a nearby tomb and ate flesh while terrorizing anyone who came near or tried to use the nearby road. When Jesus came on the scene we all know he exorcised the demons and they fled into a herd of swine and ran over a ledge to drown in the sea. But what we have here is perhaps the first account of ghouls. These men were perverted into robbing graves and defiling the bodies of those who had been buried. It’s unlikely they did this of their own volition, or even as the result of mental illness or drugs. The reasonable explanation is that once influenced by the demons, they despoiled the graves to mock God and his creations. So, we see in the ghoul a perversion of the flesh and human sensibility, quite separate from other undead creatures like the zombie who have no stated goal. The ghouls goal is to defoul, despoil, and desecrate. And the most foul act imaginable is to eat the body of the dead. To make them disappear. To reduce the handy work of God to feces.
Ghouls are found in Muslim tradition, too, performing much the same role. But questions remain. What is the process of creating a ghoul? Is it reversible? Time to go to ghoul school.