Dec. 19th, 2016


Dec. 19th, 2016 01:43 pm
phetish: (Default)
My name is Samantha. I am a thirty-two year-old pirate queen with belongings and booty stealthily stashed all over the United States in only the most fashionably modern vintage trunks. Naturally, I do this only for research purposes, as I am currently writing a guide to catnapping in trains, planes, automobiles, and luggage of a convenient size (Wiley Publishing can't wait to get their hands on it).

I lease a 1920's brownstone on an island just west of New York. With blues and jazz seeping from my windows on a jasmine-heavy breeze and the backdrop of the greatest city in the world, I wonder if some lucky gumshoe might stop by and see me sometime.
When I am not defending my company from industrial espionage in my custom Giorgio Armani ninja suit, I indulge in the most passionate affair ever to stir the soul of an artist.

Unfortunately, my capricious shrew is as unpredictable and inconsistent as the sea. But, my lady English and the lovemaking called writing are two things that I cannot live without.
Call me, baby?

I sleep for seven hours once every seven days in order to rewind my internal Ignatz clock.
I eat when my inner fat and spoiled child growls and howls.
(I punish it with broccoli)
I drink cold, unsweetened, black coffee like it reveals the path to enlightenment.
I am learning to speak Germanic, Romantic, Ugrian and Altaic languages.
I play the piano, the guitar, the drums and a number of wind instruments.
I win rodeos, I scale stone, ice and most of the buildings downtown,
I am learning to spin fire...and I can juggle.
I danced ballet, take courses in tap and have learned the Flamenco.
I can fish, I can cook, and I excel at the uneven bars.
I am going skydiving in August.

I drive the speed limit unless the music is good. I have never been in a car accident or received a ticket. I learned to sail a catamaran and found it to be much easier than wind-surfing, which, as you know, is much easier to master than its saltwater, sailless cousin (which, in turn, is far less dangerous than the reaper-invoking ritual of surfing on snow). I spent my childhood summers shark-fishing and was dragged for two miles by a misdirected whale in the wake of the perfect storm. While learning to scuba-dive, I was amused to discover why they never show people walking in fins. It does, however, prepare you for snowshoes and the impersonation of penguins. If anyone ever tells you that it prepares you for skiing, they are lying. If you want to prepare someone for skiing, take them to a fat camp and tie their feet to the rear of a crowded sled. Then, when they aren't looking, strap an A.C.M.E. rocket to the sled and light it. Wherever they land, there shall they be buried.

I am the great grandchild of one of the founders of the jazz movement in the 1920's.
I am the prodigy of composers, arrangers and musicians of considerable fame.
I am the relative and student of acclaimed anthropologists, brilliant writers, talented artists and artisans, saintly heroes and devilish villains.
Our names are carved in stone, from government building to concert hall to garden monument.

Personally, I believe that the only foolishness is in taking yourself too seriously.

It should be noted that my parents call me "Samantha" and never refer to me as "Kaos," my super-secret internet identity. "Chaos" is my reluctant crimefighting sidekick Maine Coon cat.

When I am not an anthropomorphic Armani ninja crimefighter, I am an "oldest child" as well as an "only daughter." My father is a hero of an attorney from whom I inherit my wild spirit and white-knuckled tenacity.
My mother is a beautiful artist specializing in oil paintings in a style similar to Monet. A free spirit and close friend, she is omnipresent.
My stepmother is an artist, a master archer, a mistress of the sail and a globetrotter.
I was the sister of the late, great Gregory Marcel. His spirit will forever watch over anyone who hikes the Adirondack Trail.
It was my pride to be the mother of the most awesome boy to ever wear superman underoos.

My family supports me in everything that I do, even when that includes air drops, riding a Kootenay highline, or sailing to Peru. I take great pride in hacking my own path with my machete of a lack of experience leads to a deficit in foresight...which leads ambitious people to believe that invading Russia is a new and innovative idea involving low overhead costs and the potential for profit.

I am not prepared to plant my flag in the Gulag market. It is, however, a bullet point on the five-year plan.

"I want you to face your deepest fears and I want you to let me be there with you when you do. I want you to fly through the air without benefit of wings, to be there with me when I scream defiance in the face of my personal terror, and to celebrate with me once we reach the ground. I want you to watch a sunrise with me from the peak of a mountain and a sunset across the waves of an ocean. I want you to party with me in New Orleans until our bodies give out from hedonistic excess. I want you to converse with me on all the topics that motivate you or move you and let me see the world through your eyes. I want you to offer me your mind, your body, your passion and fire without doubt or hesitation. I want you to live the life that you choose to live and want to share with you the time you wish to give to me. I want your best, Samantha, and I want it in everything you have to give me as a friend.

"As to what I offer to make it worth your while... I offer you myself. You have full access to me at any time and place that you so desire. Merely speak the word and I will be there as soon as is physically possible. I will match you, step for step, on every adventure you wish to share with me. I will not falter, I will not fail, I will not give you anything less than my best in all things. I will provide you with experiences that would make angels weep and devils sigh. I will march beside you on adventures both locally and abroad all the days of my life. In me you have a partner, a confidant, a twin, and a friend." -

This is the best illustration that I can offer of the definition of friendship. Josh is, unsurprisingly, my very best friend.

(A photograph will be posted after August...of him screaming as he hurtles toward the earth. I will be sure to photograph the ridiculous bunny tattoo I shall place on his abdomen when he loses our bet. That's right! You heard me! I said LOSES!)

I love to photograph humans.
I have unlimited access to a model.
I have converted to a digital medium as I no longer have a darkroom.
I post many products of creativity.
I have no singing talent.
I do it anyway.
You have been warned.

I drive a Chevrolet Avalanche which is regularly loaded with some or all of the following material: absinthe, apples, an amazon tree boa, ashes, backpacks, bats, bear spray, bird feeders, blankets, boats, Bodrans, books, boxes, cameras, candles, carabineers, car parts, chairs, Chaos, chess boards, chickens, chiseling tools, clams, climbing equipment, clocks, clothes, coal, coats, coffee, comic books, computers, a corn snake, costumes, cow meat, devil sticks, directions, dogs, donations, doves, dowels, drums, electronics, elephant tusks, Everclear, falcons, fans, films, fish meat, flashlights, flowers, flutes, gasoline, goggles, groceries, guitars, guns, hats, harnesses, helmets, hiking boots, ice, ice axes, ice grippers, ice skates, Jameson's, kites, knee pads, knives, leather gloves, leather coats, leather pants, legal documents, lights, lime, literature, luggage, a machete, mail, manure, maps, mirrors, mining equipment, Murano glassware, nanotechnology, narwhale horns, oil paints, oranges, orchids, packs, paintings, party food, people, plants, poetry, pork, pots and pans, presents, propane tanks, quartz (strawberry), rescue equipment, rocks, rollerblades, rope, rubber gloves, rugs, saddles, safety equipment, sails, seashells, sex toys, shark jaws, shark meat, sheet music, skis, sleds, smithing tools, sneakers, snowshoes, speakers, swings, swordfish, surfboards, tack, Tanqueray, tapestries, tents, tent poles, tonic, tools, tripods, trombones, trumpets, turpentine, undergarments, venom antidotes, vegetables, videos, water bottles, water filters, wet suits, wine, wine glasses, wine racks, wires, wood carvings, wool clothing, writings, x-rays, you (likely if you've read this far), zebra-striped clay pots and my trusty Zippo.

I play full-contact chess. I learned that there is no such thing as a facetious statement in a game of poker. For the want of fame, glory and trophies, I dove into sand, grass and mud. Then, I realized that there is no diving involved in track and ran across land and sea. I still run between four and ten miles a day, depending upon my schedule. If it didn't involve so much cold water, I would still be a lifeguard. Instead, I volunteer and participate in community service.

I can chop firewood, throw knives, spin a quarterstaff and often carry a hammer and chisel. I am a novice with a rapier but if given a pistol, I can disarm an Olympian midget at fifty yards. If given a rifle, I can give him a haircut. If given a bow, I can enlighten him to the stigmata. If given a crossbow, I could steal the olive branch from the dove. Before an injury, I would kick-box. My father taught me to box. I want to become a lifelong student of the martial arts and am currently studying Krav Maga and Taikwondo. I believe that a membership to one's local gym is the most sound investment a person can make.

I've played car tag with Thunderbirds, pretended to be a swamp fox in a Kenworth and driven on sugar-white sand under a sunset that made me wonder if God invested in a local timeshare. In my pocket I have sand from the Sahara, Thai currency and lemon zest from a homemade bottle of Limoncello. In my car I have two army medic bags, the coat of a fire chief and a well-worn pair of New Balance sneakers that have seen the world from an angle I won't see until I'm dead.

I collect antiques; I feel that I cannot own anything that has a less interesting story to tell me than I have to share with it. I imagine mall furniture to be weak and easily intimidated. Give me something with a soul. As a secondary source of income, I hunt treasure.

I was on Sesame Street as a child and learned, on camera, that puppets are not alive. The Hispanic puppeteer taught me that it's okay to hug what frightens you, as long as an adult has an arm stuffed in its butt.

My favorite music genres are jazz and blues. Rickie Lee Jones, Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, George Shearing, Kenny Rankin and Hoagy Carmichael never leave my CD changer.

Welcome to my blog. I maintain it because a life well-lived does not leave one with the time to write the individual letters that each worthwhile friend deserves to receive.

That, and it passes the time while I wait for the karma bus.
phetish: (Default)
I have tried to fit in on Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, Twitter, Flickr, Posterous, Blogspot, Wordpress, and other seedy corners of the social internet where you are promised a soul in exchange for your email address.
Livejournal is the only perfect balance of community and anonymity. Beyond the litany of detestable elements within Facebook, I most loathed that the loss of anonymity and the ease of posting meant everybody - grandma, classmates, garbageman - was on it and linked to you. People stopped being honest and started being polite, and we lost all the intimacy. Without it, without people with whom to resonate, we lost ourselves.

Do you understand that? I've never heard another person say it. We knew ourselves because we knew others. We mirrored each other, giving everything of ourselves as others gave everything. We discovered ourselves as a consequence of a desire to know and love others. We loved so deeply that it made us honest with ourselves in a way that self-love, that ego, that pride could never hope to touch. If there is one lesson that Livejournal taught the world, let that be it. In a world beleaguered by depression and loneliness as its most common mental ailments, why is it that we must fight to keep the lights on in this magical place?

Having reached a new pinnacle in social networking, the absence of communal intimacy was as Hell, was as the Shadowlands beyond the reach of Love.
We were desperate, so we settled. For Facebook. For Tumblr. For mimicry of what we lost.
Like dating someone that you find attractive because they look like your ex.
As sweetly familiar as that peach tastes, it also makes you feel a little sick.

I know it isn't just me choking on the meat of this strange fruit.
I feel like the weird exotic pet in a world of housecats. Nobody else seems to think we should be outside. Everybody's on Facebook. But I remember when we were free and we felt alive.

I remember you.
You did not write about cats and sandwiches.
You wrote about your dreams, your passions, your soul, your fears, your adventures. You wrote your story. You gave yourself to me and I to you.
Now, you are more naked than ever and caged in a box of glass, with your real name, your real family, your real address, coworkers, partners...everyone has you on stage like a circus animal.
You are stark naked under a blinding light, on display in the Facebook museum.
But you are mute. Deaf. Blind. You express nothing. You quietly hum little tunes, safe little memories which will either not be recognized or will go unpunished.

I don't care about your grandmother or how racist she is. I never wanted to know.
I remember you when you were wild. I loved it when you sang. You have a voice like no other voice in the world.

What did they promise? Community? The same feelings we used to have?
For all the money in advertising, the competing sites do not have souls to sell. All you get is a knock-off that fits like a cheap suit.
You do not get intimacy. You do not get deep connections. You do not discover yourself.
You get a network of people who are obligated to follow you as you are obligated to follow them.
Every milquetoast jackass you wish you could forget and their grandmother is going to piss aggressively willful ignorance and grammatical sodomy all over your monitor all day long while you are strapped to a chair and forced to endure it. Like high school all over again.

But it is community. It is a huge community. That is what you wanted, is it not?
"Isn't that what you wished for?" asks the Djinn.
No, it is not. Not at all.
You know it. They know it. It is an exploitation of the fine print, a reimagining of a desire that only vaguely resembles the original in the complete absence of the original.

What I love most about anonymity is that doesn't matter who you are. It matters what you do.
This is to say what you do matters. Imagine the power and consequence of relevance.
There is a consequential responsibility in journalism absent from social media where we are identified.
Mary Jane can spout bullshit ad nauseum because her boyfriend and his friends and her sorority will always be there, even if she posts cat pictures every hour on the hour from today until kingdom come.
But Rubyone? Nobody will follow Rubyone unless they like what she posts, and if she posts cat pictures every hour on the hour, she will die young and alone.

It makes us better writers. It makes us care about what we put out there.

All right. Enough melodrama. Let's get back to the funny stories. I'm glad we are home.


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