“Tonight at Noon” –

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Tonight at noon
Supermarkets will advertise 3p extra on everything
Tonight at noon
Children from happy families will be sent to live in a home
Elephants will tell each other human jokes
America will declare peace on Russia
World War I generals will sell poppies on the street on November 11th
The first daffodils of autumn will appear
When the leaves fall upwards to the trees

Tonight at noon
Pigeons will hunt cats through city backyards
Hitler will tell us to fight on the beaches and on the landing fields
A tunnel full of water will be built under Liverpool
Pigs will be sighted flying in formation over Woolton
And Nelson will not only get his eye back but his arm as well
White Americans will demonstrate for equal rights
In front of the Black house
And the monster has just created Dr. Frankenstein

Girls in bikinis are moonbathing
Folksongs are being sung by real folk
Art galleries are closed to people over 21
Poets get their poems in the Top 20
There’s jobs for everybody and nobody wants them
In back alleys everywhere teenage lovers are kissing in broad daylight
In forgotten graveyards everywhere the dead will quietly bury the living
You will tell me you love me
Tonight at noon


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This movie is an absolute stunner – not only is it visually arresting, it’s a rare exceptional female-oriented film. This movie has all the great elements of a story-friendship, love, action, and tragedy. I really wasn’t sold on the story at first, but it picks up and the conclusion will blow your mind. I guess it’s okay to say that nobody was expecting a happy end with this one, but the ending to this film is absolutely unforgettable.


“Faint Music” – Robert Hass

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Maybe you need to write a poem about grace.
When everything broken is broken,
and everything dead is dead,
and the hero has looked into the mirror with complete contempt,
and the heroine has studied her face and its defects
remorselessly, and the pain they thought might,
as a token of their earnestness, release them from themselves
has lost its novelty and not released them,
and they have begun to think, kindly and distantly,
watching the others go about their days—
likes and dislikes, reasons, habits, fears—
that self-love is the one weedy stalk
of every human blossoming, and understood,
therefore, why they had been, all their lives,
in such a fury to defend it, and that no one—
except some almost inconceivable saint in his pool
of poverty and silence—can escape this violent, automatic
life’s companion ever, maybe then, ordinary light,
faint music under things, a hovering like grace appears.
As in the story a friend told once about the time
he tried to kill himself. His girl had left him.
Bees in the heart, then scorpions, maggots, and then ash.
He climbed onto the jumping girder of the bridge,
the bay side, a blue, lucid afternoon.
And in the salt air he thought about the word “seafood,”
that there was something faintly ridiculous about it.
No one said “landfood.” He thought it was degrading to the rainbow perch
he’d reeled in gleaming from the cliffs, the black rockbass,
scales like polished carbon, in beds of kelp
along the coast—and he realized that the reason for the word
was crabs, or mussels, clams. Otherwise
the restaurants could just put “fish” up on their signs,
and when he woke—he’d slept for hours, curled up
on the girder like a child—the sun was going down
and he felt a little better, and afraid. He put on the jacket
he’d used for a pillow, climbed over the railing
carefully, and drove home to an empty house.
There was a pair of her lemon yellow panties
hanging on a doorknob. He studied them. Much-washed.
A faint russet in the crotch that made him sick
with rage and grief. He knew more or less
where she was. A flat somewhere on Russian Hill.
They’d have just finished making love. She’d have tears
in her eyes and touch his jawbone gratefully. “God,”
she’d say, “you are so good for me.” Winking lights,
a foggy view downhill toward the harbor and the bay.
“You’re sad,” he’d say. “Yes.” “Thinking about Nick?”
“Yes,” she’d say and cry. “I tried so hard,” sobbing now,
“I really tried so hard.” And then he’d hold her for a while—
Guatemalan weavings from his fieldwork on the wall—
and then they’d fuck again, and she would cry some more,
and go to sleep.
                        And he, he would play that scene
once only, once and a half, and tell himself
that he was going to carry it for a very long time
and that there was nothing he could do
but carry it. He went out onto the porch, and listened
to the forest in the summer dark, madrone bark
cracking and curling as the cold came up.
It’s not the story though, not the friend
leaning toward you, saying “And then I realized—,”
which is the part of stories one never quite believes.
I had the idea that the world’s so full of pain
it must sometimes make a kind of singing.
And that the sequence helps, as much as order helps—
First an ego, and then pain, and then the singing.

Education and IQ Aren’t Important

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…although if you don’t have a GED, you’re over 25, and don’t have major extenuating circumstances, you’re just being lazy at this point. There are community programs that will help you, and doors will open once you have it. Go do that. I will google crap to help you get started, I promise.


Neither education and I.Q. matter much in day-to-day adult life, unless your career requires excellence in both categories. What matters more is your mindset and your ability to apply yourself. I had my I.Q. tested in high school, tested out at 136 and I professionally clean offices and do customer service jobs. It is completely appropriate to say that I clearly messed up at some point.

This is obviously an outgrowth of a substance abuse problem, but that in itself is a product of a bad environment which leads to an extremely defeatist attitude toward life. From my experience and (un)scientific theory, tweens/teenagers that are more intelligent than average tend to disengage from what their lives are – I think that’s fairly normal, actually, but when put in a position that they can’t do anything about (crap, I’m going to have to go to this school and live with these people for the next four years? That’s ⅓ of how long I’ve been alive. How do I get out of this?), we bend toward substance abuse because it’s a pretty effective way of numbing feelings and creating an artificial happiness. Then we mature into adults that don’t have normal emotional coping skills, have delayed skillsets, and an attitude that life is ultimately futile. That in itself is a ticking time bomb, but throw in “high intelligence” and “tendency to set on own life on fire to be amused by the flames for six minutes” and this explains why I know two other people like me who have had traumatic lives that they can’t seem to extricate who they are from (hi, i love you).


I have a personal tendency to get stuck in guilt – recent posts have gotten me to look at the fact that the period I was homeless and heavily involved with drugs was actually pretty brief, and I had somehow managed to base my entire identity on that – I thought I was essentially a hopeless piece of crap, but so deeply that I wasn’t aware of it. Even if say, that’s been someone’s life for over ten years, that’s not who they really are. That’s more of a role they’ve been playing, and they can stop doing it.
So, look at how you look at yourself and others. Don’t let the script in your control your life, instead try to understand and control the script in your head. The things you say to yourself matter, and if you keep going back to the same trauma and same people – it’s you that’s doing it, not someone else. I found therapy, spirituality, and a lot of books really helpful – I still do, and this is still a process in my life – but if you keep getting stuck in the same ruts, you need to change how you think, and you’re going to need outside help. The inside of your brain can be a beautiful place, but it can also destroy you.

“Connected Enough to Love the Other”

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Strength flows from spirit full enough to nurture another, alive enough to act toward good, clear enough to understand, faithful enough to wait and see, fearless enough to reveal the truth, free enough to choose to learn, courageous enough to stand alone, connected enough to love the other.

 -“Controlling People: How to Recognize, Understand, and Deal With People Who Try to Control You” by Patricia Evans


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AKA: What I Learned in My Twenties: Don’t Trust Strangers and Try Not to Piss People Off.


“I’d rather be in a corner by myself with a puppy and a goldfish and be happy than have somebody sitting in my house and I’m wondering what the hell they’re there for.”


I’m not really a big Tyler Perry person, but this is good. It’s more of an interrelated point than what I’m talking about, but what I learned during my twenties is that most of the people in your life are temporary. Treat people as if they’ll be long term associations in terms of kindness toward them, but as for investing yourself, your secrets, and your future, make them work for it. Keep up an air of mystery and see if they project who they think you are onto you, or if they’re actually interested and/or capable of getting to know you. It sucks that my advice about people boils down to be wary, but, eh.

We’re all frightened wild beasts, you just need to find members of your own genus…or you need to find those little birds that’ll pick the crap out of your teeth…also you sometimes need to be someone’s tooth-picking bird. All this advice is pretty basic, but here we go:



These are people you have had a mutually beneficial relationship with for a long period of time, consider this the “proven success” box. You call each other on each other’s mistakes, and generally help each other progress in life. If somebody in this box needs $200 and you have it, you’re going to lend it to them, and they’re going to pay you back when they can.

PROTIP: Be careful about bouncing your romantic relationships up here. For some reason I thought it was funny to do this to myself until like, last year. I don’t know really know when it’s officially appropriate to move romantic partners in this box, but just be more cautious than I was about this, because you can get involved in some pretty complicated and long-lasting hells this way.


This is where you put most of people in your life, they’re not all you’re friends, really, but you don’t have anything against them. Think of it as being kind of like a “trust pool” rather than a box. You have the shallow end, these people aren’t really your friends so much as people you don’t have anything against…

In the shallowest part you have people that you see on a regular basis, and you’re both nice to each other, but it doesn’t really go deeper than that. Maybe you chat up the mail-man or a customer, and might even know a few things about them, but you’re not really discussing traumatic events with them or loaning each other money, either.

Then the pool gets a little deeper, there’s probably the most people toward the middle, and you know? Most people are fine chilling out here. If somebody seems happy in the middle, don’t push them elsewhere. Just let them be happy there.

Let people start out in the shallow part of the pool, don’t go throwing people in random parts of the pool because it seems like a good idea…also, try not to rush people to the deep end of the pool, make sure they can swim before you’ve got a mess on your hands.


Loose Associations

You’re going to want to keep this box as empty as possible. Think of this box as a cross between purgatory and probation. If somebody’s in this box, either they screwed up with you in a major way, or you’re unsure about this person, or maybe it’s something like a co-worker you don’t like, but have to interact without, you know, stabbing.

Most of the time, you don’t really “want” them around, they just are.


Try not to put people here, but once they’re here, keep them in this box. I’ve bounced a few people out of this box, and it never worked out.


If you’re even thinking about this box, you’re in a situation with no potential soluation. Apologize for your part  ’cause whoever the hell it is didn’t get all the way down here on their own, and go no-contact. If this fails, seek help elsewhere.