Arrested development

There was this She-Ra the Princess of Power episode in which Glimmer, a pink-haired friend to She-Ra and herself a princess, the queen’s daughter, etc, was set to meet this prince from a faraway land; she so wanted to impress the guy she rebelled against her mom and dyed her pink hair dark purple and had it all, I dunno, spiked up (I’ve just thought of the word, I think, by the way; can you spike up your hair? Because it really is the best term to describe what was going on with the girl).
So, she got herself this really cool New-Wave hairdo, it was the 1980s, and despite it all being a trap set up by the evil Hordak to… I don’t know, rule the world or thereabouts… Glimmer-with-the-purple-hair became the most beautif… no, scratch that, she was the sexiest girl I’d ever seen and what do you know, a cartoon character.

[In the end there was this silly moral that Glimmer shouldn’t have changed her looks for somebody else, blahblahblah we should learn to admire and respect ourselves for what we are, crap crap crap- At least GI Joe had the “Knowing is half the battle” thing, which supposedly taught you useful stuff.]

Still, in a very weird kind of way I think it established a basic archetype in my mind, then and there, of the perfect girl, of the femme fatale, of looks being able to kill, of well, sex per se, I guess, up to the point that I think all my (further) choices in girls from puberty on to adulthood were severely influenced by it.

…By Glimmer with the purple hair and the bad-girl attitude, from an early-1980s He-Man spinoff.


Present-day futurology

So yesterday I saw this commercial on TV which was for microwave-ready poultry from a well-known brand, I think it was some frozen chicken that came with potatoes, and the whole thing went like- A single mom would tell her young kid (age 6 or thereabouts) to be good while at his dad’s- Not to eat with his hands, to use the fork, to have manners at the table and so on.
Cut to dad’s house, dad (in his mid-30s) has just taken this beautiful chicken with potatoes, steaming hot, from out of the oven. He places it gently over the table, his son is eagerly expecting him from the other side, is served a leg but suddenly has some trouble eating it with his fork.
Then dad, ever the cool guy (I bet it was the mother, that bitch, whom filed for divorce in the first place, like being five years younger is a good reason!!) grabs another leg with his bare hand hands eats it, and tells the kid to follow suit, which he does, and everybody’s happy, then cut to the brand-name advertisement, and fade to black.

…Rejoice ye deviants and freaks and outsiders everywhere!

Has the corporate world finally embraced divorce in the western hemisphere?
Now me, I’m the son of a happy marriage. When I was a kid I used to think it was the rule, but as grew up I quickly changed my mind and came to realize that no, it’s an exception.
The point is, shit happens.

The point is, really is, just look at that, will ya. Now that’s freedom of speech you can’t buy- There’s a political statement being served with that chicken- That’s another taboo biting the dust.
I would, if I could, live in a perfect world just like that one immortalized in post-war Superman comics, say, it’s 1958 and the world is at peace and Capitalism rules the waves but money, you see, money is still buying you love; a dishwasher bought by the ever-loving husband for the missus back home, the kid doodles with crayons before cartoons on TV, and so on.

It’s not that the world isn’t perfect, coming to think of it. I really think the world is as perfect as mankind’s perfect, only mankind isn’t- As hard as we try there’s always room for improvement and that room has one heck of a slippery ground.
It’s really just a matter of time. You have all your taboos lined up to the wall and Father Time himself is manning the water cannon, gonna be a landslide where all the alleged goodness and decency are standing on the wrong side of the tracks, gonna be like that till every one of your polemics falls down, crash’n’burn.

Advertising catches up with it, public opinion is all for it, people like to take it to the streets because they enjoy having sex with say, corpses or goats or with dead goats themselves, it’s fine with us.
The consumer rules the waves, in fact, Marxism has bitten the dust, “F*ck Communism” and all that, and you see a dead goat-f*cking consumer with a thick wallet, buddy, you’d better start off advertising stuff for that public- It’s all in the pockets, really.

Now don’t look at me like that. The left hand is only good for masturbati*n because it feels like it’s somebody else goin’ at it [hey, it’s not me, it’s the general consensus. Ask anyone.] –I’m still as a right-handed person as they come; I like girls, I think people should have guns, I’m all for the death penalty, I feel most wars & military interventions against sovereign but totalitarian States are indeed easily justifiable- But you gotta put pragmatism before any of your dime-store morals; people wanna be weird? And the wife, that bitch, wants the divorce? Let ‘em. Give it to her.
Heck, just put it all on TV, c’mon… sex sells and that money makes the world go round.

Mass-consumption does, after all, justify pretty much anything. People need jobs more than they need preachers.

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And it’s not just Economics; if a dead goat’s your escape-valve of choice against the 21st-century night sky after work, buddy, you definitely got your p*rn all mixed up if you ask me, but if that’s what makes you happy… and providing the goat’s over 18…

Freedom, yeah, that’s the real bottom-line for everyone.
And you gotta respect that.

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...It’s a practical thing after all; because in the end they’ll be coming for you too. In the end they’ll end up coming for everyone.



Every damn week, every damn day I’m on the phone with these three Mexic… no, people from Chile, pretty much the same thing…, my new bosses, for an hour and a half- going over a few processes from this project thing, etc, which makes me thank myself, every time, when, in my younger years, I actually had the bright idea that No, of course I’m not taking any other language lessons other than English, what are the odds of getting to work for a Spanish-speaking company…
Now, what the odds of getting to work for a Spanish-speaking company during the goddamn World Cup?!

Jesus Christ.
Spanish and Soccer together at the same time. The two things I’m most clueless about in the whole wide world.

But fret naught.
Given the latest World Cup match yesterday, I have decided to prepare myself:

Did you see the game?
¿viste el juego?

What did you think of the game?
¿qué pensaste de el juego?

The players from Ghana played really well, they were very fast, but the players from Brasil are the best
los jugadores de Ghana jugaron realmente bien, ellos eran muy rápidos, ellos de Brasil aun son los mejores.

They said Ronaldo was fat, but he keeps on being a very good player.
Dijeron que Ronaldo era gordo, pero él sigue siendo un jugador muy bueno.

So bring it on, Zorro!!! Estoy listo!!!

[This post has not been sponsored by the Google Online Translator]


Dramatis personae

Up to which point is catharsis the key to self-knowledge?
Up to which point do I actually care? It’s a brand-new day for me, these days, so considering a position somewhere between 0 and 10 it now ranks as -12.

Here’s to prove another point to life, then, that it’s not the stories that shape the persons, but completely the opposite. The strength of whatever it is that you write lies on the people doin’ the deed.
Since today is starting out as one of those “rhetorical questions” kind of mornings here’s another one: Do blogs have characters?
Aww well. Anyway. Stories do and this is mine, and these are mine:

The protagonist.
Also the author.
Fancies himself to be following: A lateral thinker, sidereal, a bit odd, and smarter than you are.
Really is: None of the above, not really, but deep down just a big kid with a good heart (but please don’t tell anyone).
Likes: Dogs, 1980s junk culture in general, books and comic books (though he’s been losing that lovin’ feeling with the latter), and chasing after brainy girls but that was before they became extinct.
Dislikes: Jim Carrey movies, mostly, but also Marxism-spawned philosophies.
Is afraid of the following: Well, being alone for one thing but that’s what pretty much the whole of humanity fears as well. I’ll go, then, with not knowing stuff people ask me at random. Isn’t that a weird thing to fear?
Favorite comic book character: The Flash. Period.
…And in case you’re wondering, the stories here are as real as the reader believes them to be.

The muse.
Dean Martin, good ol’ Dean-o, now Dino was one guy who would get onstage in Chicago, mildly-drunk in his cool sharkskin suit, it was the 1960s and he sang about how he’d write himself a letter, and pretend and caaaame from yoooou. But never mind that bit.
Most posts here (but not all of them) are written for this specific person that I knew back in College, because, well, you took me to a goddamn museum the first time we went out. We went to see this thing with the furniture from Sigmund Freud’s office and you really had me going that you were actually enjoying it, and there was that bit from Bugsy Malone afterwards- you killed me right then & there.
That’s a reason as good as any, isn’t it? Keeping a light on outside my door? It’s on the front porch just above the sleeping German Shepherd you can just see it, just past all our yesterdays.
If we were to meet again- When we are to meet again, I’ll ask if you’re up for the airfare in say, within a year, and we’ll meet somewhere else entirely.

The ex-girlfriend.
…Whose memory downright haunted me for years, right up until I came to the not-so-brilliant conclusion that in the end it all chalks up to that bit that says, whoever it is that said it first, that a rose is a rose is a rose. Meaning, you can’t really take things for something other than they really are, or were.
It took me three years to get to that conclusion. Nice f*cking going, Copernicus!

The spirit of Jack Kerouac.
Oh ye holiest of holies, the patron saint to all young writers by far and large, he whom once preached that “you can do this, kid, whip up a tale in no time.”
J.K. was the so-called king of the 1950s Beat generation. His books are mostly unreadable because he wrote them up while under tons of alcohol and drugs, but there’s always been some inherent truth to whatever it is that he wrote.
Also, he came up with this really cool last chapter for Maggie Cassidy. I mean everybody’s read On the Road but nobody’s really read Maggie Cassidy and that’s like this big, hitherto-unknown hole punched in the fabric of the literary universe.

My mother.
Is the protagonist of the Freudian Remembrance Day posts, which are still unable to answer evolution’s greatest question: How did mankind end up in the 21st century with polymers and moon-walking, despite everybody having a mother to himself? Mine blamed everything on Captain Marvel, then wanted to name my dog after a Nazi dive-bomber that scorched Spain in the late ‘30s.
But that’s just comic relief, c’mon, you know that.

People from High School.
The following is a list of people that I haven’t called back in a long time for no specific reason other than being the center of my own dysfunctional universe for the past couple of years:
K.B. and D.S., my brother and my older brother, respectively.
R.L., Superman’s pal, first & foremost.
G.H. the mostly-unsung heroine to my late-teen years, best friend and love of my life at the same time, also the hottest ass to walk the Earth.
M.S., she with a smile to put Meg Ryan’s to shame, the prettiest girl I’ve ever known.
P.Z. and R.P., also maybe T.C., three guys I’m actually surprised that made this list. Best friends a kid could ever have, too bad it never really translated that well into adulthood.

Batman is the essence of being cool.
Batman is summoned up to this blog whenever there’s the need for the author to quantify sheer coolness and compare it against anything else being written about at the time.

I've said it before and I'll say it again:
Given enough time and a decent word processor, I'll eventually write about everyone I've ever known.


Doing that Green Lantern thing once again

To prove a point:
Once upon a time I would leave a comment on my friends’ blogs in which I’d pick one of their posts at random and change it into a Green Lantern oath.
In a nutshell: The Green Lanterns must charge up their power rings from the planet Oa every 24 hours. In doing so they say this poem thing aloud which pretty much goes like, “In brightest day, in blackest night, no evil shall escape my sight, let those who worship evil’s might, beware my power, Green Lantern’s light!”

So now that the world has gotten lighter- well, it has to, anyway, at least mine did- I’ll try a variation on that theme.

Here it is then, me deputizing crazy Modernist British writer and feminist icon Virginia Woolf into the Green Lantern Corps--

Please consider the following excerpt, from the lady’s utterly unreadable Mrs Dalloway book from 1925:
"She belonged to a different age, but being so entire, so complete, would always stand up on the horizon, stone-white, eminent, like a lighthouse marking some past stage on this adventurous, long, long voyage, this interminable --- this interminable life."

Now let’s see it read as through the verdant light of an Oan power battery:
In every voyage and adventure
must a lighthouse shine,
Through an age stone-white,
through this interminable life,
On the horizon befallen,
Green Lantern’s light!

…Comic books make everything so cool…



According to Jewish lore, the survival of the world rests on the shoulders of 36 Tzaddikim. A Tzaddik (“im” is the suffix for plural in Hebrew) is a righteous person, basically a do-gooder, somewhere out there, unknown to the world at large and to himself. The number goes down from 36 and the very existence of the world is compromised.
I must’ve heard this bit somewhere when I was a kid and was immediately fascinated by it- not regarding the whole theological or ethnic aspects of the myth, for I think my own birth certificate points to the opposite end of the spectrum- but to its inherent philosophy and, why not, panache.
You cannot automatically assume every do-gooder to be an assh*le or a wimp, you gotta have an open mind in your belief system, whatever it might be, for all the do-gooding and derring-doing to be downright cool. Let go of your martyrs for an instant. Some half-naked bearded guy who’s been doing chin-ups on a T-shaped bar for the last two thousand years must be, well, built like a fortress after pushing up all this time, but that’s neither cool nor necessarily “righteous”, at least not on a worm’s eye-view from the street.
So he supposedly died for me, thank you. Live for me for once, will ya!
We need more good people down here, right now.

I think of the 36 Tzaddikim guys and I think of 36 S.O.B.s with Rudyard Kipling’s “If” hanging from behind their bedroom doors, guys wake up each day and go to bed every night trying to fulfill the promise, to make good for those vows, for each line of the poem.
And off they go, trusting themselves just enough to get the job done, mustering up some amazing willpower to hold hell at bay at every problem and above all, being humble about the whole thing- and as tough as it looks, they actually pull through, they actually make it, 36 guys built to save the world from deep inside the mediocrity of their own lives, etc.
…Right until they stumble upon that last bit from the poem and they’re asked to "fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds' worth of distance run", and they fail miserably. The Tzaddik runs straight into a brick wall, that last bit’s one hell of a brick wall for anybody.

Sometimes it feels like that their roll call is dwindling away, feels like this Tzaddikim thing is bordering on what, ten or twelve? Are the hands on the clock coming closer to midnight, is that it?

There’s gotta be somebody left to save the world, to make the world a better place, to add quorum to the myth.

But hey. Think about it.Can the gloomy attitude; It only takes 36 persons!!
Brighten up, buckle up, you ask me?, we’re as good as saved.



Yesterday we kicked this project thing in high gear at the office (and I’m getting to mingle with all the corporate glitterati), then I realized I’d lost a rather embarrassing sum of money by fooling around with the stock market afterwards.
I took this friend of mine to dinner for an overdue vaguely office-related, but more of a career-oriented pep talk (we went to Subway and I had this one with bacon, and lots of olive oil and pepper too), but before I left the mall I made sure to stop by the toy store and buy a new Superman Returns action figure which is kind of crappy but comes with this cool, tiny kryptonite bomb which has a digital clock mockup eternally showing 00:03, which is very edgy- lots of suspense for such a small amount of plastic- I think it’s called X-Ray Alert Superman or something.
When I came home I found a neoprene bodysuit on the floor, probably my roomate’s, and I tried it on alongside a black woolen gown covering my whole head except for the eyes, ninja-like, and proceeded to bug the tar out of the guy sleeping at the other bedroom, because I thought he’d lied to us about the allegedly excellent grades he’d gotten in College, and I said I was a super-hero and also God’s agent of vengeance on Earth. He just said, Man, knock it off, leave me alone, I wanna sleep in peace.

I was barefoot but it was strictly circumstantial.

If I were a (real) super-hero, though, I would probably wear sneakers instead of go-go boots, but it would probably clash with the spandex.


Dilbert meets Lex Luthor

Yesterday afternoon in the conference room at the office:

Boss: Wait a minute. What is that green thing on your computer screen? “Lexoil”? What’s a Lexoil?
Me: Oh. That. No. I mean, yes.
Boss: Why did you change your Windows wallpaper? And what is Lexoil anyway? “Our profit is your power”? Is that what it says?
Me: Lexoil is a subsidiary of Lexcorp, which is Lex Luthor’s company in the Superman comic books. I downloaded it from DC Comics’ website at www.dccomics.com in the spirit of the new movie,also because it’s really cool to pretend I’m actually working for Lex Luthor because he’s the world’s no. 1 super-villain, that kind of stuff.
Boss: …What did you say?
Me: Oh. This is… nothing really. I was just fooling around with the new computer… testing the color palette for green… wavelength spectrum… hi-res light-wave frequency band… you know… pixel definition...
Boss:, smiling: That’s some computer we got you, eh?

(Sometimes I think I can get away with murder in here…)


René and Georgette Magritte and their dog after the war

Last night I had this oddest of dreams.
I was back at my parents’ old apartment, at the kitchen, there were chocolate shavings all over the table and I was picking them up, one at a time, and eating. My father was there too and he was laughing because he’d just pulled this prank on me, something to do with two rolls of bread, a bum asking for food, and a halberd shaped like a fleur-de-lis. But anyway.
I went to the living room where there is, to this day, even in their new place, this picture in heavy lead pencil of a boy riding a tricycle- and it’s the creepiest thing, the boy has a big head like a bubble and eyes so bright, the whole ensemble screams “Damien” at you, I think, something like that. I have no idea who’s the author, probably some unknown local 1970s wannabe pushing for an art nouveau thing; but in the dream somebody had etched an arrow in thick black pencil, maybe charcoal, coming from the kid and pointing to a name, also in pencil besides the boy’s head, somebody had written Magritte beneath the glass frame.
(Which is kind of odd because you’re not supposed to be able to read stuff in your dreams, you know that? That’s a sure-fire way to know you’re dreaming, if you can’t read something before you.)

“I had no idea this was a Magritte drawing,” I told my father.
“It is,” he said. “I’ve just found out. Isn’t that strange?”
“You know, I really don’t like this kid.”
“What’s not to like?,” he asked. “It’s Magritte.”
“I don’t know. It’s a little too creepy for me.”
“Well, that junk you got hanging over your bed is creepy too.”
“C’mon, it’s not creepy,” I said with a smile. “It’s the Flash!”
“Oh it’s creepy enough, trust me.”
I thought for an instant then went on in mocking, “Oh look at me, I’m this big highbrow art-lover, I’m such a straight-shooter for the classics, I can’t stand the kitsch and the new and I absolutely loathe pop-art.”
“Funny. But it’s not pop-art, it’s a comic book character.”
“Roy Lichtenstein based his stuff on war-themed comic books from DC Comics, which publishes The Flash too.”
“Now you’re making this up,” said my father, ever the skeptic.
“Oh but I’m not,” I replied with this devilish grin. “Are you calling my bluff? I am smarter than you are, you know that.”
“You think you are smarter than everybody else.”
“So it goes…”

Then I woke up with the alarm clock going off, it was 5:30am and I left my bed and headed for my corn flakes.

And here’s the creepiest bit- during the whole dream sequence there was this Pal Simon song in the background… what is it with all the recent Paul Simon references by the way?... it was playing ”René and Georgette Magritte and their dog after the war”.
You know, thinking about it I think the Boston Legal re-run mentioned René Magritte this weekend- Guy must’ve stuck to the back of my head or something- They had this plot which had to do this little girl’s admiration of a painting by Magritte, I think it is called the The Pipe or something like that, you know, that one which has “This is not a pipe” written underneath the figure, then the girl painted her own version of it, which said, "This is not a smile", because she couldn't smile herself.

Me, I’m not really into paintings and art, not really, to the point that whenever you hear me going with the “Impressionism was devised solely to fill empty spots at the wall at the painter’s dentist” routine, it’s probably because I’m coasting my way out of an art conversation because, well, I probably cannot hold my own on a decent art conversation.
Maybe it’s a good thing girls are pretty much clueless when it comes to art and all brainy girls have long since become extinct. Makes my job way easier.

…But there’s this Magritte painting that I saw somewhere when I was kid, I think it was somewhere here and they had brought in all these Magritte paintings and they were showing them in the same room as Andy Warhol’s, and goddamn it, any kid with half a sense will steer the hell away from stuff like, Torso.
-So half-scared of the counterculture bogeyman I wandered far and astray and ended up before Magritte’s L’Empire des Lumières- the Empire of Light, and there was this inherent melancholy either in me or all over the painting and I kept thinking of… and seems to me now that every story ends in the same punchline… girl I’d known during the past summer, I was at the beach at a friend’s place, etc. You know how it goes, we’ve all been there, meeting girls at the beach, being idyllic-ly 14 years old, etc.
So you have this painting which in my head was like a house at the beach (no beach in the painting per se, by the way) and there’s this lamp-post on breaking through the darkness, and the light’s on as well inside a room on the second floor, it was very 14-year-old-ish, like the girl leaving the light on for me, you know?
I cannot for the life of me recall her name, but she did have her hair dyed red (it was such a lousy job but who was I to say?), and she had a silver ankh hanging from her neck on a rather thick black cord.

Oh well.
Kids do dig the surreal and the oneiric.
And girls.


Not Patrick Bateman’s blog

I’ve decided to can all the underlying darkness to this blog, to ditch away this nagging ominous feeling that seems to be imparted to each new entry even before I start putting them down to paper. It’s time to draw the line and draw it very clear: Death to Mr. Grouchy!
After four months of a bad, bad ingrown toenail then this annoying flu last week, come on, am I ready to see the light of day or what!
…Which consequently and right off the bat means, bidding adieu to the mass-consumption of sugar and downright re-upping the diet (even though I cannot, for the life of me, fathom all those pesky little facts with proteins and carbs and… Jesus Christ, I’m utterly clueless! Is pasta bad or good?). It also means, thank god, that I’m back- and way overdue- with the crazy, half-assed series of exercises: running, fooling around with the barbells (presently back to the initial rates of 8 Kg for the biceps and a mere 4 Kg for the triceps. Well, sorry about that. And I don’t do pounds), also push-ups and abs-crunches, etc. Of course that after a four-month hiatus I’m back to pushing it as hard as a twelve year-old girl. It’ll take a little while to get back in shape- here’s the beer-belly all over- but hopefully by the end of July things will be better. Meaning, less sore muscles, a leaner general complexion, etc.

Whatever it is that brings change cannot be restricted to a purely physical medium. You got to get those endorphins running, alright, but that’s phase one. Phase two is, simply put, letting go of all this sorrow- because like it or not all these recent posts below have been reading like the weather forecast for disaster, like a goddamn tsunami alert, it reads like the shadow of a storm. What are you afraid of?, I’m asking myself. What is it that’s really bothering you?
I think I have been living in the shadow of my earlier self, I have been living in this seemingly-eternal, albeit very silly, fear of the day the wedding invitations pop in the mail and it’s coming from my ex-girlfriend. I used to think that this feeling of impeding doom was stemming from the fear of being rounded up with all the outsiders and freaks once push came to shove, but no, I think I’m fairly ordinary and therefore can easily fit in if I try hard enough. But here’s talking like Patrick Bateman again. Jesus Christ. Anyway. No. I’m actually a little afraid and haunted by the specter of life having moved on. So there, I’ve said it.
Does it change anything?

(Which kind of sums up what we’re able to accomplish here, at least in this particular post; I have to sound more like the bad, but sunny lyrics to a Footloose song and less like an American Psycho monologue.)

“It” changes nothing and means a rat’s ass because it reads like a crazy man’s soliloquy and I’m through with all this sturm und drang banter. It’s gotta be writing because of the sheer fun of it. Period.
Look at this tail-end of June all spread out before us, terrific things have been happening (my father’s job seems to be picking up speed, I got this very cool notebook with a wireless network connection at the office, there’s the new Superman movie just around the corner, many many many pretty girls all around) and simply put, it feels like that I’ve been through a lifetime of sowing- all those books must’ve amounted to something- now it’s time to reap.

I mean, I used to have a sense of humor, right?
I should go back to pulling more pranks.

The world seems to have lost its loving feeling when the Chupacabra sightings ended about ten years ago- we’ve been riding this dawn of the 21st century just waiting in the wings in apprehension: It’s a terrorist attack, it’s microbes from outer space hitching a ride to Earth on a shooting star, it’s job outsourcing to India, it’s the figment that brings together the invitations for an ex-girlfriend’s wedding.

It was last Friday night, 9pm and the Trade Management called me up, she said we were 98 TEUs over and had to have it trimmed down from this weekend’s vessel by the next day, she said she knew I was no longer directly involved in this, etc, but still could I give her a hand?
Luckily we had it down to 48 TEUs on Saturday morning.


We are here

A National Geographic issue published in late-1999 came with a “special map supplement” featuring the map of the known universe, and on it´s flip side, a big picture of the Milky Way riddled with diagrams and notes and whatnots. There on the inner rim of the Orion Arm spinning outward from the red-hot galactic center is an arrow with a tag saying, We are here- pointing at the Earth.
I had it framed then hang it on the wall above my bed and it´s become a kind of mantra to me, every time before I go to bed, plunging deep into infinity and yet, We are here.

It gives me, as I found out later on, a sense of perspective, it places things where things belong, it´s a bit frightening at first because there´s this vast openness of space all around us with bits chunks of matter thrown in almost at random here and there, it´s Paul Bowles´ the sheltering sky times a hundred, and we´re alone.

Ah. The dialectic of outer space unfolds!
Here´s the notion of humility that comes from utter loneliness against infinity itself, but also the sheer thrill of the manifest-destiny as taking the universe as our own playground to plunder under the birthright of, well, being able to.
Statistically speaking there´s no way we´re the only intelligent species out there, but until Mr. Spock proves me wrong… c´mon, little green men? Grow up.

We are here still. This is me living in the same dot on the map as say, Jane Mansfield and Bruce Springsteen and the 1939 New York´s World Fair (it´s a personal fantasy of mine, so what, slightly chronologically-challenged but it´s still valid, isn´t it? Me & Jane Mansfield going at it, at the fairgrounds in ´39, maybe during a Springsteen concert circa ´85? Is that asking too much? Oh yes, and I´m wearing a red ´The Flash´ T-shirt, too- She´s not wearing anything except for stilettos, naturally!)

We are here still, as Jack Kerouac once said, “down on dark Earth, before we all go to Heaven”.

I feel safe every time I look at that poster- the Milky Way- and us, a tiny dot on the map, being here together yet alone against the nothingness of creation itself.
We are here, but where are you?


Excerpt from a book

Just because I came through this bit in the train to work & thought of posting it here:

"It´s too ridiculous to take seriously and too serious to be ridiculous. And it´s activating - reactivating- the very state of mind that I´ve been working for months now to shake off. You know what´s at the heart of the misery of a breakdown? Me-itis. Microcosmosis. Drowning in the tiny tub of yourself."

from, Operation Shylock: a confession, Philip Roth, 1993.

Misplaced on a Thursday

A couple of weeks ago I saw this girl at the mall in my hometown, short black hair and big brown eyes, and I think I was what? Thirteen? Fourteen? Fifteen? –something like that, definitely early-to-mid 1990s- and thinking back about it, thinking of her, well wasn´t she the girl that made me like girls? Boy more than a decade´s gone by and she still looks the same. A little older but the same girl waiting for me by the other side of the fence outside the swimming pool nevertheless; I was off at six in the afternoon then we´d sit somewhere quiet and we´d talk about…
You know, I do have an amazingly good memory for a lot of stuff but I can´t recall for the life of me just what the hell we were talking about. What do teenagers talk about for chrissakes?
- And does that make me ready to be a father? You got the generation gap thing going on right there.

Anyway we´d talk about a lot of things and as usual the girl would be the one talking because say what you will I´m one hell of a good listener. I enjoy watching people, I enjoy listening to people. They´re all characters in God´s book, I think, only I´m a card-carrying Atheist so I´m taking the book as something ghost-written you know just like those Star Trek books allegedly written by William Shatner.
(On a sidenote that metaphor´s really caught me off guard; never saw it coming but loved it anyway. This is me grinning like an idiot at my own joke. This is me to the readership at large: I love being me, I can´t deny it!)

So. There you have the girl and I sitting under a tree just outside the swimming pool and we´re talking, and I´m thinking god look at those eyes, she´s got the prettiest eyes ever not to mention she looks so good in those shorts, what an ass and I got to find a way to take her downstairs past the soccer fields, through those trees just before the parking lot below but I´m also thinking god, I´m so late and I have a Math exam tomorrow to which I haven´t studied, mom´s gonna kill me if I flunk again, I was up all night yesterday going over a few Batman books because I wanted to find this specific panel with the Bat-Plane as drawn by Jim Aparo and I wasn´t sure if the shot was real or I´d just dreamed it up, but look at her, she´s gorgeous and maybe I´m dreaming her up to.
There you go, by the way, teenagers talk a lot about how school sucks and how being a kid sucks because our whole sphere of existence is ruled by older people whom seem all so out of it, and are you going to Andre´s dad´s farm this weekend too? There´s this party around the pool and it´s gonna be so cool, etc.
- I took my 12-year-old cousin to an Avril Lavigne concert last year.

More than ten years later and I´m passing her by at the mall, I´m wondering if she still remembers who am I, what´s my name and that kind of stuff but it´s takes me a split-second to second-guess myself and take my eyes off her, just walk by and not say anything, I mean what´s the point in saying Hi after all these years?
It bothers me however that she´s with this boy- and I´m gonna say boy because some guy in baggy pants with retro-1970s carefully-unkempt hair falling over his eyes is not a man. Guy dresses up like the lead singer for one of these new groups, say Coldplay or the Strokes or something like that (I´m clueless & probably naming bands at random, so that you know)- a golem not of clay but of mud straight out of an Avril Lavigne song, some f*cking avatar to this 21st-century SK8R BOY-ism, and you want me call him a man, c´mon.
Still guess who´s got the girl and who´s the sh*thead sitting alone at the office on a holiday. Nice going, brainiac.
- Struggling with Microsoft Power Point, day two.

[Then all it takes is one single e-mail from the Head Office popping up in my inbox and wham!, this is me getting back to work instead of playing Jack Kerouac, god I have so much to do today and haven´t done anything so far…]


He´s lost that lovin´ feeling… One last hurrah… Black Adam, too

There´s been a fundamental truth about myself that I have been denying for the last year or so, merely skimming the surface, a faint hint given at random, the speck of a realization:

I think I´m through with comic books.

It´s not going to happen say this month or the next, it´s not gonna crawl up in the night and jump at you the day after.
It´s going to be gradual and slow, it will take many months- maybe a few years- but bottom line is, the love has been slipping away and now thick paperbacks reprinting old stories from the 1950s and 1960s, which I once loved, have been piling up in my bedroom, unread.
It´s never happened before.
Have my priorities changed so much?

A parable to a boy-meets-girl relationship, to a love affair, may seem like stretching it a bit too far. I mean, it is, only it´s not. It´s love as well, isn´t it? And the person doing the lovin´ is one & the same. So for the sake of my being myself, please bear with it.
I think the… thing I had going with my ex-girlfriend went exactly the same way. It did not end, it just burned out until we were running on fumes, up to a point we were not anymore.
…So let´s file this one, just for the sake of being self-conscious enough, under “Apathy strikes again”.

From a Paul Simon song, "It’s true the tools of love wear down / Time passes / A mind wanders / It seems mindless, but it does / Sometimes I see you face / As if through reading glasses / And your smile seems softer than it was"

But hey. Do lighten up a bit.
“Growing up” takes a long while when you´re just a big kid, so here it is, one last hurrah, we´re doin´ it like Paul Newman riding into the sun. Or was it Marlon Brando?
I forget.

I was browsing through Wikipedia last week, going over the Black Adam entry at, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Adam, which is surprisingly well-written, and I decided to tweak it up a bit.
What follows is pretty much an updated entry on Black Adam´s super-powers, 1980s Marvel Handbook-style quantifying the extent of his abilities as compared to real-world information.

OBS: Superman is the world´s most powerful super-hero, it´s a given. Now you ask me, are there any other super-people on his class? Yes there are, Bizarro (the reverse-Superman) and the Marvel Family (they whom cry “Shazam” and are blessed with the powers of old sages & deities).
Wonder Woman, by the way, is a tad slower than Superman and doesn´t even come close to his invulnerability. Marvel Comics does not, despite anything they may claim otherwise, have a Superman-level character. Not the Gladiator from the Shiar Empire, not the Silver Surfer, not Jean Grey the Dark Phoenix, and certainly not the Hulk the homeless bum with no pants or Thor the hippie God of Thunder (those wimps!). Superman would mop up the floor with any of those.

But back to Adam.
Black Adam is the “black sheep” of the Marvel Family. He was a good man living in ancient Egypt and was blessed with the powers of six gods to do good unto his people. For years he defended Egypt and his homeland of Kahndaq (a fictional country somewhere between Egypt and the Middle-East, on the northern shore of the Sinai peninsula) against their enemies but once his wife and sons were murdered he chose to walk a darker path which led to ruling his country with an iron hand- and was thus brandished a villain by the wizard Shazam and stripped of his powers.
In recent years Adam has come back to life and re-gained sovereignty over Kahndaq, after deposing (with extreme prejudice!) a Saddam Hussein-lookalike dictator.
When the Justice Society- the Flash, Green Lantern, Captain Marvel & co.- went up against Adam, they were forced to concede that while they´d all been looking over the United States of America there was simply no “super-hero” handling the Mid-East situation.

Anyway, by saying Shazam (it´s an acronym) Adam has access to the powers of 6 Egyptian deities as detailed below; the following data on his super-powers (their magical source notwithstanding) might be considered for Superman as well.

- - - - - - - - - - - -

for the stamina of Shu
Using Shu's endurance Black Adam can withstand and survive most types of extreme physical assaults, with his skin and general physical complexion ranking well above 10 on the Mohs scale of hardness. He is, for all accounts, virtually invulnerable to harm or fatigue but may be taken down if caught unaware by a surprise attack of reasonable strength.

for the swiftness of Heru
By channeling Heru's speed, Black Adam can fly and move at supersonic speeds in excess of Mach 500 and, in space, supersolar speeds (surpassing the speed of light itself, over 186,282 MPS). It has been theorized but unverified that Adam is able to achieve and even exceed lightspeed on ground level as well, putting him on par with top speedsters such as the Flash.

for the strength of Amon
Black Adam has a phenomenal level of super strength, able to easily bend steel, punch through walls and lift massive objects such as the 6 million ton-Great Pyramid of Egypt. Adam's peak strength borders on limitless and is enough that he can hold his own against beings such as Superman or Captain Marvel. It has been theorized but unverified that Black Adam is strong enough to move planets on his own.

for the wisdom of Zehuti
Black Adam has instant access to a vast level of past scholarly knowledge. The wisdom of Zehuti also gives Adam limited clairvoyance, provides him with counsel and advice in times of need and makes him resilient (but not impervious) to mind control. Additionally, Adam's senses are acutely sharpened (though not to the extent of Superman's).

for the power of Aton
Aton's power, besides fueling the magic thunderbolt that transforms Adam, also enhances Adam's other physical abilities, provides physical invulnerability and resistance against most magic spells and attacks, and allows for interdimensional travel. Adam can use the lightning bolt as a weapon by dodging it and allowing it to strike an opponent or target. The power of Aton might be affected or short-circuited by specific outside forces (magical or technological), thus incapacitating Black Adam or changing him back to human form.

for the courage of Mehen
Like the wisdom, this aspect is primarily psychological, and gives Adam superhuman amounts of inner strength to draw of.

- - - - - - - - - - - -

Anyway. You get the idea.
Just to prove to myself Hell yes, I still got it.

…´til the day that I don´t.


Oh Nikita you will never know

They hung this huge flag, the national flag, up the wall and I´m offering ten bucks for this guy to turn it upside down and he´s laughing because he´s thinking it´s just a prank only it´s not, because I look at the flag and the odd mixture of green and yellow makes me a little annoyed because I´m always a little annoyed when I see big things in primary colors thrown in with secondary colors. It just doesn´t seem right you know.
I´m thinking maybe I could go out on the pretense of buying cough medicine (as usual) and get a can of red paint then come back here and have some nasty stuff- obscenities, mostly, maybe a political statement or two- sprayed over the flag.

Yesterday I came up with this joke in which I´d come up to this guy at the office who attends some International Affairs course in College and ask if he knew the name of the USSR Premier who came after Nikita Khruschev, and of course he didn´t, not by heart, and I´d say, Come on, everybody knows it´s Leonid Brezhnev- then I´d send an e-mail to some other guys sitting around us explaining the prank and I´d ask each one of them, in front of the guy, if they knew the name of the Commie and everybody did but him, and he was so pissed.
Then for no reason whatsoever, and it was a slow day at work, I started browsing for web-sites about the duck-billed platypus & it turns out only the male platypus has venomous spurs on its hind legs. The female of the species does not.

Back home my room-mate was complaining that this girl he´s been dating since last year doesn´t want to do this thing in bed and I simply told him that it´s not for her to decide, aren´t you stronger for chrissakes?- To which he didn´t reply, only looked at me kind of spooked then said he didn´t expect that kind of answer from me of all people.
I shrugged and said I guessed he was right, that I wasn´t really paying attention.

The company I work in is changing banks so we´re now receiving our pay through this new bank, which we had to open an account there last month and this morning I saw a letter they sent me saying I currently had $0.00 on my account (first paycheck through the new bank is only due next month) but since I´d been such a good customer I was good for this multi-billionaire loan if only I´d apply... I thought no, thanks and thought of pouring cashews with the corn flakes which I did then did the dishes and brushed my teeth (forgot to floss) and left at 06:11 am as usual for work.


This is me, during the World Cup

I have come to the following conclusion:
I remember brushing my teeth all my life, but I don´t remember flossing the whole time.
I mean, flossing is important too, right? Providing you do it regularly and not with one of those unwaxed brands that leave tiny strands of itself between your teeth after you´re done.
Also, I often hurt my gums when I floss because I think I floss too hard.

Yeah, yeah, I´ve seen the picture, you go on bragging how much cooler you are, that you can relax and that god I´m so uptight, that it´s the World Cup for crying out loud, that it happens only once in every… six (?)… four(??)… hundred-and-ten(???)… years so what the hey, that I should play along and have a good time.

Think of me as a gargoyle perched atop Snake Mountain- a motionless, wordless gargoyle thinking about flossing.


1997 pt. I: The last Tango in High School

Exactly nine years ago to this day I was thrown out of class by my High school Physics Teacher because, well, because it was a Monday and I had to pee so bad and it was almost noon, I was hungry and I was bored beyond belief, god, it´s a wonder we all actually got out of High School with most of our mental faculties intact but anyway. So the teacher all of a sudden said he was wrapping up with these calculations or something on the blackboard- I was oblivious to everything, probably reading something tucked under my desk and was paying zero attention- so I decided to laugh a little and gathered up my stuff just for kicks and stood up and pretended to say goodbye. Boy, guy sure got sore, go figure.
I was 17 years old.

So there was I was, expelled from class with about half an hour to spare. I was obviously sent to see the Principal over disciplinary issues but it was my last year in High School and to that day I´d avoided seeing the Principal in every occasion they´d sent me upstairs so of course I was pretty adamant in dodging the bullet once again. Like they could get me in High School for chrissakes, buncha twits…
Her secretary was an old friend to my mother so we kind of went a way back. I sat on the couch outside the Principal´s office for a bit (had to walk the walk with the Hall Monitor, by the way), made small talk with the secretary, then simply got up and headed for the bathroom, then to the library.

Coolest thing about the library back in High School was everything but the books. Ever since they´d disappeared with all cool books back in Seventh Grade (by “cool” I mean a shelf once filled with Erich von Daniken books, which are utter crap for grownups but paradise for a 13-year old kid, those books long since burned by the local Thought Police) we´d all cram up in the back aisles and shelves to look over old photos or fool around with pretty girls.
K. are you reading this? I got this close to kissing your cousin there once when she was teaching me how to Tango. Tango in the back-aisles of the library. High School was so cool in a relative kind of way- I didn´t get to kiss her but damn I guess I fondled her up a bit & she was so pretty, had those big… Dude, whatever happened to that girl anyway? Daniel´s mom told me a few months ago that she´d moved back here and now lives just a few blocks away from my place…
But I digress.

Anyway, there I was fresh out of my Physics class looking for some John Constantine comics in the library which I was sure Andreas had stashed behind some old, unwanted grammars but the bell rang and I rushed outside to catch the bus home.
I met a classmate on the way to the bus stop and he was laughing at me, making fun that I was kicked out of class, etc, then he got really serious for a split-second and said, “Your fun had to end one day or another” which I think to this day it´s the most ominous thing I´ve ever heard even though it was still 1997 and a few years before the lights finally went out & the world got so serious & I had to get so serious myself.

Still we had a whole semester ahead of us & nothing to worry about & plenty of money flowing in & about a billion friends all over (I had seven friends called Fernando back in ´97 so you get the idea) but it was all so boring. God how I counted the days for High School to end, I was never really into being 17 and all that, too many smiles under empty eyes, I guess.

But there were good bits too and we made the most of them.


Where have you gone, Kenny Loggins, a nation turns its lonely eyes to you…

I think I just bought a Footloose DVD online, which is just another piece for this 1980s museum I´m probably- and quite subconsciously- attempting to build at home.
I mean, a few Transformers toys scattered around and a Top Gun movie that´s been watched a zillion times over, then tons of Bruce Springsteen albums, an ungodly amount of The Flash comics circa the Crisis (pre and post), and now Footloose. Next in line, which I´ve just remembered, is Streets of Fire.

I have come to this very odd conclusion about myself. I think I´m selectively eidetic. Isn´t that a weird thing to say?
-It´s either that, or that I´m mildly autistic. I´ll favor the former; chicks don´t dig crazy people.

Damn early morning Internet shopping...



Since the little voice in the back of my head- the one that says ´write, write, write!´ all the time- has gone mute for a while I´m thinking of taking some time off.

There are great things going on all over yet mediocrity still abounds. The Breakeven-Man is pinned down to waking up, doing stuff, then sleeping (it off). I sincerely wish I could fall out of the world for a while.
This is the cue for the alarm clock to go off, by the way.

It´s kind of funny because I keep picturing Solomon Grundy from those old, late-1970s Superfriends cartoons of all people coming crashing through walls wherever I go and it doesn´t make any sense and it shouldn´t be that funny but I´m laughing at the thought anyway.


Chanting the Tuesday evening mantra

Think of the silver sports sneakers in your backpack tucked under the desk... Tick.
Think of the silver sports sneakers in your backpack tucked under the desk... Tock.
Think of the silver sports sneakers in your backpack tucked under the desk... Tick.
Think of the silver sports sneakers in your backpack tucked under the desk... Tock.
Think of the silver sports sneakers in your backpack tucked under the desk... Tick.
Think of the silver sports sneakers in your backpack tucked under the desk... Tock.
Think of the silver sports sneakers in your backpack tucked under the desk... Tick.
Think of the silver sports sneakers in your backpack tucked under the desk... Tock.

Ah. This too shall pass, for lack of anything better to say… then we´ll take it to the streets & everything´s made cool once again.


Things I think on Saturdays, pt. 02

“I don´t think I should be charged of s*d*my for buying an A-Ha album. I mean, listening to the Pet Shop Boys might be considered gay, but A-Ha is just tacky…”


Born to run

For no reason whatsoever other than that I really miss Wally West, the third person to bear the mantle of the Flash, whom went M.I.A. a few months ago just after having his monthly title cancelled…

A new Flash title- with a new Flash- is set to begin shortly.

In Chile, day five, 25.May.2006

There was this big sale today and the price was thirty glistening pieces of silver. It´s a good thing I was born flawed & thus lacking certain moral liabilities good people have.

I still cannot believe I was actually present in this brainstorming session- yes they called it just that- in which god said unto man something like “If you have the technology you can pretty much do anything” and thus was the promise of a leaner, sleeker, more functional and downright better 21st century brought upon Paradise.

This is why I´m hopeful for the future, because of free, private enterprises, because of the big corporations, because of the international conglomerates, because there are two constants in life- one is the speed of light which may or may not be reviewed by Physics geeks in the future and also depends on the medium in which light is passing through, and the relative observer, all that crap, and the second is human greed which is, simply put, limitless- I´m hopeful for the future kind of because of Allen Ginsberg the Beatnik poet from the 1950s. Ever read “Howl” which kind of goes like, “I´ve seen the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness…” et. al. ? So, me, I´ve seen the best minds of my generation being drafted under the Dollar-green flag of Capitalism, a dog eating another, everybody wanting to rule the world, all slaves of their own greed… so when push comes to shove and the world goes straight to hell the only thing that will keep mankind together is all the bright white-collared people with not many moral qualms but a drive that just keeps them ticking.

Today was like tasting good food after having starved my whole life- it was grander than fire and what do you know- I was there. I mean. God damn it. Technocrats in suits & ties are way cooler than super-heroes…

In a sense today was the best day of my life despite the god-awful pineapple soft drink we had during dinner at the mall afterwards.


In Chile, day four, 24.May.2006

Today they showed us everything and some things you just can´t put in words, man.
We´re talking about seeing & touching the upper end of the spectrum beyond the thick strata of clouds that sets the godhead apart from man. Money talks, power talks, everything on a scale barely comprehensible to us mortals.
So this is the big league after all. It´s bigger than I expected but it´s real, alright: It exists, I have touched it for this split second and daaamn if I ain´t gonna be part of it someday…
“Everybody wants to rule the world,” et. al., but some of us already do.

-The grandfather clock was dated, and I mean it quite literally, 1702.