#FallDOWNFriday

Five years ago on the day after Christmas the Northeast was crippled by the Snowpocalypse. Myself and a filmmaker were trapped in a Brooklyn loft building for fifteen hours… until we woke up and had coffee and bacon and eggs. Then we put our dishes in the sink.

We grimly suited up to face the hoarfrost that would soon cling to our beard whiskers. I hated that I had to evacuate my colon after I was fully suited up in vest, jacket, two pairs of pants and scarf. When I exited the bathroom, my friend had also taken off the bulk of his lower half’s bulky clothing and deposited it on the floor.

“Watch out! I gotta shit!” he cried and bum-rushed the tiny shit hole in this large loft.

When he emerged I asked how he could do that with his jacket on?

“In Canada, you learn to shit fully-clothed.”

“What? Do Canadians pass this down from generation to generation? Do they learn from their grandfathers?”

“Did your grandfather teach you how to shit?”

“No.”

“Yeah. You just learn.”

“Well, someone is around for most of your early years of shitting…er…toilet training.”

“You don’t need to be trained to shit in your clothes.”

________

Videos “Watch Your Step” and “Story Genesis” by Zachariah Scott (2011)

The Midnight Run

First, the dials on the instrument panel went nuts. They flung their individual arms from extreme to respective extreme. Then either steam or smoke began rising from under the hood.

“Damn.” the man said.

“What’s going on?” the boy asked.

“This damn…” he searched for the words that he meant. “Truck.”

He aimed the F250 at the only visible structure along the dark highway. It was an abandoned gas station with tufts of grass poking out in the concrete. When he cut the truck off it was really steaming.
Continue reading “The Midnight Run”

Paul’s Boutique – A Visual Companion

When I was twelve my older brother introduced me to the Beastie Boys. I bought the Sounds of Science when I realized how much catching up there was. My younger brother bought Paul’s Boutique. It was at the tail end of 1999. So it had been ten years since that album had been released.

The Beastie Boys made so much music that can come into so many people’s lives in weird and wonderful ways. My first experience was in a minivan with a CD player. My mom was driving. I’m pretty sure we played songs off of the first disc of the Anthology.

So far, Paul’s Boutique – A Visual Companion is one of the weirdest, most wonderful ways in which it’s come back to me:

My brother and I looked over the back of the Anthology and decided that there were enough hits and other things across those two discs to justify a concept album. I didn’t understand what a concept album was but I decided to use the term like I did. Our older brother talked about Paul’s Boutique with reverence and the back of the CD didn’t have a track listing. It was mysterious. Continue reading “Paul’s Boutique – A Visual Companion”

Four Silly Haikus

17/1/15 – 21:49

I

He dislike whiskey winds.
Surest sign of not eating enough
when you need it the most.

II

A simple trick of haiku
is not count syllables as you go.
Just open that brain up wide.

III

There is spontaneous
in the culled extrapolations
from silly ol’ life.

IV

But don’t stray too far.
Sometimes the confines favor
creativity.

Photo by Rafael Fuchs. Giant Dead Horse by Tinkebell @ The Active Space
Photo by Rafael Fuchs. Giant Dead Horse by Tinkebell @ The Active Space

The Cast Iron Skillet

When I was eight years old I became aware of my father’s cast iron skillet. It had been in our family for years.

I was getting interested in cooking. Encouraged by my mother and grandmother I graduated from mixing everything in the kitchen in a bowl to making buttery ramen noodles and frying eggs.

One morning after reading one of my Calvin and Hobbes books I decided that it was time to make pancakes. My mother and younger brother were cleaning the bathroom and I had the kitchen to myself.

I thought “They’ll be so happy and surprised to have pancakes for lunch.”

I mixed the Aunt Jemima batter and looked at the box. It recommended putting dollops of batter onto a hot skillet.

Dollops?

Dollops.

I thought back to my comics.

Calvin and Hobbes PancakesThe only thing in the kitchen big enough to accommodate all of the batter I’d made was this wide, deep cast iron skillet. I put it on the range with some oil in the bottom and turned on the heat. I waited until I felt that I couldn’t wait any longer, then I began pouring the pancake batter into the skillet.

It went well enough at first. I watched for bubbles. None appeared. A minute went by. Still nothing. I tried to flip it as I’d seen my dad do with cornbread so many times before. The pancake broke into soggy pieces and began to smell funny.

Now there was smoke. MY PANCAKE WAS BURNING! I desperately tried to flip it.

It was no good. I took the skillet off of the heat and tried to dump the uncooked batter back into the mixing bowl. The skillet was heavy and pancake batter hardened on the skillet’s edges.

I looked around at all of the smoke. I took the skillet to the sink and ran water, hoping to soften the burned batter enough that I could scrub it off before anyone noticed. Then I walked to the back room where my mom and brother were still cleaning.

“Hey mom.” I said.

“Hey Sean.” she said.

I went back to the kitchen and began trying to scrub the pan.

She came in a few moments later. “What happened?” She asked.

I tried to make pancakes and burned them I answered. Truthfully enough…

She walked to the sink where I was scrubbing. She saw the cast iron skillet.

“Just go help your brother in the bathroom.” Her words trailed off.

When my dad got home he saw the skillet and knew something terrible had happened.

I had to explain to him what I’d done.

When I finished he could only laugh. The damage was done. “Oh boy. That’s not a pan that you should use.” he said. “You can use anything in the kitchen except that pan.”

Eleven years later he was showing me how to make cornbread in the skillet. I asked if he remembered what I had done so long ago.

“Yeah. I remember.” he laughed. “It took me until last year to get it seasoned again.”

Seizure On Sunday, Maybe On Monday [excerpt]

I have epilepsy. It is something that runs in my family. My mother had it. A relative from long ago had it as well. She was killed while milking a cow in the 1930’s.

A basic definition describes it as a neurological disorder which causes repeated seizures over time. Causes may not even be knowable in individual cases, but doctors are able to provide best-guess scenarios. This can make it a confusing disease that is generally regarded as controllable.

When I’m feeling cynical I think that controlled epilepsy is just a medicated person.

In my case, the seizures began during my teens, which means that I’ve been dealing with it for a decade. I had to get a neurologist at 15yo who looked at my brain via EKGs and MRIs. He then prescribed a medication that would counter the wild electricity in my brain.

He told me that “We will see if this works. If you have another seizure then we will up the dose until we find something that works for you.”

calvin-hobbes-bridgeC’est La Vie