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June 7th, 2009

Notes from Chris, 2000-2001 Edition

I had cause to pull out a notebook I was writing in back in 2000. Randomness within that notebook gets shared...NOW:


Slipping into a swirl
Balance, pattern, speed, abandon
Finding beauty in chaos
-- Dance expands the body, the self
Into fleeting sculptures of flesh
Punctuating the darkness.

(November 23, 2000)

(note to side that "fleeting" could possibly be replaced with "moving," "floating," or "flowing," and I liked "flowing" in that context almost as much as "fleeting" and almost substituted it.)


Would God swear?


Positive energy
In negative space.

(...no, I'm not entirely sure what that means.)


He sneezes with enough force to jumpstart a car.


Image: a woman pretends to hold a cigarette between her index and middle fingers and she forms an O and blows -- on a cold night, so her breath condenses, causing the cloud. Pretending to smoke.

That's as close as she wants to get to smoking.


(The following was inspired by the grammar lesson in Stephen King's On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, reminding us that English does have a core simplicity if you strip it down: "Take any noun, put it with any verb, and you have a sentence. It never fails. Rocks explode. Jane transmits. Mountains float. These are all perfect sentences. Many such thoughts make little rational sense, but even the stranger ones (Plums deify!) have a kind of poetic weight that's nice.")

Shoes dance. Roses sing. Coupons burn. Rivers crumple. Air crashes. Pants climb. Trash breathes. Colors scream. Teeth melt. Shirts bleed. Wood flows. Lakes flip. Rugs walk. Albums oscillate. Insects revolt. Tapes transmogrify. Tortillas smile. Blankets blend.

(2009 note: I'm rather fond of "Teeth melt.")


And finally, for now, more poetry:

A good kind of exhaustion
The remains of exertion
-- the dancing and clapping and laughing and more
That galloped through your body
Pushing it
Happily straining in special directions
And, perhaps, getting near a rhythm
As music echoed
"Decorating time" (as Frank Zappa said)
And you decorated space.

(July 6, 2001 -- after I'd attended the Waterfront Blues Festival for the first time)

Poems © Christopher Walsh, 2001. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Christopher Walsh (chris_walsh) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Relationship Thing

I keep having trouble noticing who's both interesting and available. Y'know, for that whole dating thing. Which I haven't done in a while.

I like to think I'm good at becoming friends with people. I can do it without thinking too much about it. It helps that I like people and know that to be interesting, you should be interested. I've got experience in spades at that. But trying to become potential snugglebunny with someone: I start to overthink it. Over-analyze it. And then, surprisingly often, I've found that whomever I'm interested in isn't available. Oh, she has a boyfriend, or We are so very likely to drive each other NUTS if we dated, or Oh, she has a girlfriend have been among the reasons. So that nips it in the bud, as it should, because to go after the unavailable leads to drama that can hurt other people. (Though sometimes I wonder if I subconsciously notice and get interested in the unavailable, so that I will have that reaction.)

Back in college, a campus dorm-mate of mine told me Get into Melrose Place. Lots of hot girls are watching that in the TV room Wednesday night! I didn't act on that. Seemed like I'd be trolling for potential dates, in a way that was too calculated. (I am not knocking soap operas. I've liked soap operas. Some Guiding Light in the mid-Eighties, some All My Children in the early Nineties, and prime-time soaps like L.A. Law. There's soap opera to the Battlestar reboot, too. I willingly show my soap-fan bonafides.) Also I'm enough of an entertainment snob to want to get into a show for its own entertainment value, not because someone potentially interesting and date-able is watching it.

That said, later I met Alicia by going to her dorm's movie night. We met when we and her dormmates watched Mad Love and The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain. We ran into each other a couple of times the next week; we met again at the next movie night, Clueless and Apollo 13; and things progressed from there. We dated for a year-and-a-half, then broke up, then rebuilt things a year-and-a-half after that as friends.

I know I'm lucky that Alicia noticed me, because I doubt I would've had the werewithal/cojones at the time to approach her, or do anything beyond notice Hey, she's pretty cute. Sometimes that connection just happens. It happens a lot, in fact. A couple of friends of mine just had their first anniversary as a couple, and it just happened: running into each other a couple of times, having a chat that went on and on in always-interesting ways, and connecting. ("It was an honest-to-God Meet-Cute," one person in this relationship once told me about their very first run-in. "You'd buy it if it were in a John Cusack movie.") But it takes noticing. And it takes NOT TAKING THAT "NOTICING" TO A PUSHY OR CREEPY PLACE, which at some level I worry about doing. It's as if I know I can be friends with someone, but think that doing anything more than that is inflicting me on someone. (Seen That Thing You Do!? Remember the "I'm single" guy? I don't want to be That Guy.)

Relax about this, Chris. Imagine if you were this un-relaxed about becoming friends with people. See the problem with that thinking? People are meant to connect. You do that. It means you can connect at a potentially-more-than-friends level. Relax. And even if it's not a snugglebunny connection, it'll still likely be a friendly connection.

I'm glad I have experience becoming friends with people. I can use those skills for connecting with any potential more-than-friend. See, Chris? Not that exotic.
chiara607? Happy birthday!

May you have smile-causing activities today that you can talk about later in your sweet-voiced way. (I really like hearing you speak, Becca.) I won't say what activities those might turn out to be, because this is a public post ;-) , but you have ways of enjoying yourself and I hope you avail yourself of those ways.

I'm glad I know you, chiara607.


My computer screen background story

I mentioned a story about computer screen backgrounds when I did the "what's your computer background?" meme, and here it is:

My then-girlfriend Alicia was and is much better with computers than me. It was summer break from college, and she and I were visiting our mutual friends Andy and Anders, who were sharing an apartment in a complex they were supervising for the break. They told Alicia they'd done something wrong on their computer, and had saved a porn image on it. A really big, explicit porn image. So hey, maybe she could help them get that image off the computer!

Now Alicia, while sexy herself and liking sex-related stuff, doesn't Do Porn. She doesn't look at it and has no interest in it. So she scoffed. "No, I'm not going to look at that!" So Andy grinned a shit-eating grin and said, "So, Chris, you want to look at it?"

I'm proud that the next thing I said was "I had better not want to look at that."

Alicia cracked up. (Great, big laugh, she has.)

That is my computer background story.
On Friday night, a few hundred Portlanders watched The Karate Kid while wearing their slash goggles.

Holy crap, there’s a lot in that flick that can be read in ways the filmmakers DID NOT intend. That is, if you’re a pervert, like a lot of us that night, and you’re willing to see sexual innuendo in many places. There’s Daniel on his hands and knees sanding Mr. Miyagi’s deck, and Mr. Miyagi’s shadow starts to loom right behind him, and hello. Even though neither Daniel nor Mr. Miyagi is my type.

The comments and “woo hoos!” moved screening host Bobby “Fatboy” Roberts to yell “You guys are RAPING my CHILDHOOD!”

(This is not new. In Living Color suggested this all the way back in its first installment of “Men On Film.” So maybe a lot of childhoods have been raped in the past three decades.)

We had fun at The Karate Kid, because all kidding aside, it’s a fun, feel-good flick. If you don’t like Pat Morita, something’s wrong with you. Ralph Macchio is a credible Everykid/bully target (and see him trimming the bonsai tree? Yeah, he’s good with his hands AGAIN WITH THE INNUENDO, CHRIS, OY, STOP IT). I’ve long preferred Elisabeth Shue in Adventures in Babysitting to here, probably because she gets to be so kick-ass in it (“Don’t fuck with the babysitter!”), but here she’s also really cute, lovable and likeable. The work (and work, and work) Daniel has to do, which makes him stew more and more and not realize he’s learning karate skills, is a good running gag. The songs and Bill Conti score are still catchy, at least that Eighties kind of catchy. And pay attention to the Cobra Kai student-bullies, because you can tell as the film progresses that they realize how much of a bully and jerk their dojo master is, and that something’s wrong with that. They actually get a character arc! Remember who gives Daniel the trophy at the end!

A welcome returning thing was Fatboy’s clip reel, something he hasn’t been able to do (Friday and the one music video he showed excepted) the last few months. There’ve been episodes of Battlestar Galactica or a band on-stage or a long, long film like The Godfather for a Late Night Movie, and that made less time for that extra. But Fatboy likes to make those, so before we watched The Karate Kid, we saw this*, and this**, and this***, and this****, and this*****.

Oh, and the audience popped at Cort and Fatboy’s announcement of what the July KUFO Midnight Movie’s going to be. I’m not announcing it yet, but…it’s going to be special. It’s also going to be a Christmas-in-July charity screening, so the ticket price will be $5 going to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, but the film will be worth the ticket price.

Want to know what we saw without clicking on the links? They’re:
*the trailer to 1995’s Mortal Kombat
**the karate face-planting guy
***the trailer to 1988’s Bloodsport (whoa, Forest Whitaker?!)
****one of the G.I. Joe PSAs, re-dubbed to become sick and wrong
*****the trailer to 1990’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

ETA: Hey! More Karate Kid thoughts, let me show you them.

More Karate Kid thoughts:

* We had guys in the audience dressed as Cobra Kai. Many points for style.
* How many bullies find Daniel? First film, bullies. Second film, bullies. Third film, bullies. This goes beyond bad luck to “was he a bully in a past life and now he’s getting punished?” C’mon, he’s getting’ piled on, the poor guy. (He’s also getting nice and cute girlfriends each time, but still.) I mean, how many friends does he get? (Friends are on my mind, you see.)
* I’d forgotten Larry Drake was that racist beer drinker at the beach. This was pre-Benny on L.A. Law and really pre-Robert Durant in Darkman.
* I wanted Mr. Miyagi to actually yell “Concentrate!” Then I realized I was imagining him saying it the way Yoda does.
* Anyone remember Mad Magazine’s Karate Kid parody? The jerk dojo master’s tattoo is not of someone holding a snake, it’s of someone strangling Kermit the Frog.
* There’s only barely a training montage in this film. And it’s set to Bill Conti’s score, not to a rah-rah song, so does that count? *is confused* *or maybe has heard “We’re gonna need a montage!” too often*
* Now I want to see that parking lot scene after the tournament that they shot for Part I but didn’t use until Part II.
* I kind of wanted the ref at the end to go “Three, two, one: Dodgeball!”

(Following up this entry)

Y'know what Twilight needed? More songs.

Which Brett Hudgins provides: a super-sized (2,400-word) chapter of Potato Moon, which EARNS its extra extra length.

I have laughed like the mythical Laughing Bat of Latveria, which is to say: I laughed a LOT.


Whale fluke
Chris Walsh

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