it’s ten-thirty. i’m at work half out...

Head on a keyboard dreaming of self-purpose

machines fall apart

it’s ten-thirty. i’m at work half out of protest, half out of frustration. if anything, i think what the internet does most is make the juice cook in my limbs and make me want to cry.

a sea of people both anonymous and known, photos of chevys and wonder-composers. amazing Islam, kitchen remodelers, housewives and geneticists, beat indie artists who do it JUST BECAUSE!

i can’t stand that i don’t know how to manage the haystack of heartstrings pulling me in ten thousand directions and not knowing what to do. i’m terrible at everything but mostly because i can’t be happy and focus on anything.

rough me up, kiss me, drag me to mountains and a hole will wear in my converses. i want to slouch in a hallway overexposed on a shaky handheld camera of stock solarized and burned by some smiling, gap-toothed girl in a hat with hair that’s always gently moving even without wind.

what do you think? do i have a better shot finding some meaning in the realm of sound or sight? i have the sick feeling i’m not going to get anywhere with either, and i should just sink on e now, but i’m too much of a conformist to stop living orthogonally.

listen to tree wave.

It’s five after one. I should go to bed....

Just a little below happy

It’s five after one. I should go to bed. I will in ten minutes. In the meantime, I will recount the day’s events and listen to the always mood-enhancing(/generating) Coldplay.

I woke up at seven thirty after going to bed (more precisely passing out) in the vicinity of three thirty, with my laptop exactly where it’s named to be. I was tired. I tried hard to be energetic. I ate too much at breakfast (as my boss bought), way too much. I had fun last night but struggled with exhaustion all day.

I went to a class, came back, fell asleep, somehow managed to disable the alarm, and zonked until half past one when my roommate came in from lunch.

I looked for my boss, I went to the expo. I got lots of flyers and business cards for a very good. job-hunting friend of mine.

I went to two more classes, I listened and took notes. I went to the booth crawl, got a bad beer, a pretzel, and two branded tumblers. I went back to the hotel room to code and found I was supposed to go to dinner with the team.

I ate salad, they ate more. It was slow. We talked about my inadequacies in understanding and adapting to Japanese business culture.

I went to the ETC party at Gordon-Biersch. I took my workmate. We talked with my friends. I found my Japanese now exceeds a colleague of mine’s.

My workmate went home, I took care of several of my best friends, hopelessly drunk; giving them bread and water, among defending one from a slimy guy.

I talked with my old advisor about work, I spoke my situation as plainly as possible. I felt better, but worse. I showed him the game with my voice in it.

A very drunk man asked where the elevator was. We showed him. He asked where I worked. I told him Japan. In between stopping himself from collapsing, he said some revolting, bigoted things. He spat out suppositions that I did some unmentionable things. He said he was sorry. The elevator door closed.

I helped my advisor read a Japanese webpage about his game. I came back to the room. I was tired, but I checked my mail. I grew sad and heavy.

It’s hard being away from someone you care...


It’s hard being away from someone you care about. A hundred years ago this wasn’t so much of a problem, it was more difficult to move around. Most people were born, lived and died in the same place. Now that it’s incredibly easy, I seem to change locations every one or two years. Friends and lovers, a thousand unspoken promises, clouded by timezones and local news.

I’m in the second deck of the six am from San Francisco and my mind is a sorted mess addled by the constant vibrating of steel and plastic and fifty miles an hour. My morning is a haze of parking lots, piano solos and freeway off ramps, a vacant lot with gravel and scattered club flyers, wrinkled glass rings and crab grass.

Moan, moan, moan you beautiful morning. My skin is tender with heavy eyes and whiskey mouth. I danced with you past midnight, and softened to feel the grace in your fingers. Roll on Bayshore, carry me San Bruno. My cheek is pressed against smoky denim, and their sleepless adoration still in my eyes. Yellow houses and thistled brush, scrape but don’t pull away the half-felt sigh in my heart. Poor California, why does your atmosphere only build in the past?

Millbrae, whoa; BART goes to SFC. A heaving heavy of jazz, paper, popcorn and cigarettes tumble through my ears. Burlingame wakes up slowly, Brothers Deli & Juice. The Daily Planet, SUVs, and creeks, why was I a cat on that garage shelf? Mystery, sweet water, and styrofoam cups, left by lip balm kisses. Goodbye Mike Harvey Honda. Will your wife stand looking after you in the doorway?

Tree-lined streets in Palo Alto, a southern boy named Dom and my gazings at a taqueria La Cumbre. Sigh, San Mateo, must you stay behind? Forever his name will be regret. Volvo repair and little league fields, El Camino dances by Hillsdale and terraced mountains. A northern California suburbian dream and day breaks, is it adolescence or adulthood sitting with me breathing the scents of carpet cleaner and the Radisson, linoleum and Pep Boys?

Ikebana wraps around me like a worn glove, and I’m rocked by gentle arms. Suddenly I think of another city, and find myself holding my breath. Two tracks, the bicycle capital of the northwest. Concrete slabs, bridge trolls and five twenty. Sitting in a wild grass field with barefeet in cold. It tingles in my pores like a skin cream, this sleeping bag, damp dew life. Can I capture moments in a single frame, and blur the edges with my fingers?

I’ve never ridden the Caltrain before, but...

Going to San Francisco

I’ve never ridden the Caltrain before, but I’d heard a lot about it. There’s something romantic about riding a train north through California to the city inlaid with the mystique of eighty years in ballads, movies, and novels.

The train itself is nicer than I expected. Two floors, tables at some of the seats (which I’m using to support my typing), and for the most part vacant. The lights are dirty, grocery store fluorescent tubes, and the car rocks back and forth, groaning like an old carnival ride. I’m looking out a long, dirt-stained window into the sunset.

The suburbs of San Jose drift in and out of view. Children play lacrosse on dark, grassy fields, and office parks mixed with warehouses show further signs of developers being given more than they can handle. I listen to the more hopeless tracks of Parklife and from behind my CIA sunglasses watch a fellow who looks a lot like a rugged Val Kilmer.

Hot in the Milky Way
Outside in
Vega Capella
Hadar Rigel Barnard’s Star
Antares Aldebaran Altair
Wolf 359 Betelgeuse

Stuccoed condominiums porch happy songs in Sunnyvale, as a mother sits with her toddler son waiting for the ride to San Jose. Everything is half-finished and imperfect, a chain of impetuous union-made majesties…

…Well you and I collapsed in love, and it looks like me might of made it, yes it looks like we made it to the end…

Drum, drum the median. Make a left signal turn, mind the construction cones. Fingers again and again on the dashboard. I must stop at KFC on the way home to pick up dinner.

There’s so much trouble
Your thoughts are just
Pissing away
It’s so much trouble

I am a manager
And I am in control
As the local delegator
(No calls today, dear
They’ll just have to wait, dear)

Railway ties stand like perforations, holes in the bind of a page that has no top or bottom; myself bounding up the spine, looking past the spirals on an endless and ever-changing fence, to the coastal world beyond the covers.

…La lalalala, la la la la. La lalalala, la la la la…

At Palo Alto I start to lose the sun in the trees, the music downshifts, and I sink in my seat quivering to the high resonating notes of the duotone guitar in Clover Over Dover.

I’m on the white cliffs of Dover
Thinking it over and over
But if I jump it’s all over
A cautionary tale for you

And when you push me over
(And when I come back)
Don’t bury me, I’m not worth anything
(I found that you took care to me)

Everyone climbs to the second story of the train, the grand admiral’s deck of commuter transportation. In the belly of the lumbering metal beast I spy out at parking lots and construction nets, Menlo Park and the software halls of giants, a revolution of technology mercenaries and minutemen.

…this is a low
But it won’t hurt you.
When you’re alone,
It will be there with you,
Finding ways to stay solo.

And the sun capsizes into a motionless, clouded sea.

From the bottom of the stairs I can see people eating box dinners and playing Game Boy. I move my rucksack up to the cargo shelf, making room in my slowly filling, office furniture-grey cabin. Parklife becomes The Great Escape, and I jump to The Universal, preparing for consumer salvation in a world full of empty corporate lives.

Moscow’s still red, the young man’s dead, gone to heaven instead. The evening news, said he was confused.

…they come to space save us, the space invaders…
He thought of cars, and who to drive them with, but there, there was no one, no one…

Pet stores and strip malls dot side of El Camino Real near San Carlos, and I remember the road that looks so much the same here as it does in Encinitas four hundred miles farther south. Winding and snaking through tree-canopied ranchlands, I drove back from Mexico with Nobue, stopping at Arnold’s for granola and dried fruit before my death eleven months ago.

And I reach Yuko and Hiro, an odd tribute to the life I’ve grown in to, now a stranger to condos, cars and commutes.

We work for the company
That works to the future
We work hard to please me
They will protect us

I never see you
We’re never together
I’ll love you forever

I drink in the evening
It helps with relaxing
I can’t sleep without drinking
We drink together
FroMondayay tSaturdayay
I go to my workplace
But Sunday we are together
Yuko and Hiro

Wareware wa kaisha de
Jataraite iru
Itsumo karela ga mamo’otte kureru
Issho ni hataraku mirai no tame ni

The sun, almost a memory, backlights the clouds falling on forested hills. My trip drifts on, moving north as the clouds head south, and I find myself wedged between more memories than I can stomach, on a coastline of broken promises and new beginnings long ended.

The world is a big place, given. Any moment has...

All Is Full of Love

The world is a big place, given. Any moment has a myriad of sides. On a toss, which one lands facing up is roulette of body chemicals, past experiences, and music. I’m awake. My roommate is snoring. It’s four-thirty in the morning. I’m hungry. BUT, I’m listening to Bjork (layered with a disgusting amount of line noise and feedback from cheap headphones and circuit crosstalk). So, I’m content.

This many-sided artifact through which we perceive “reality” is a gem; a jewel, a crystal of perspectives, like an imperfect prism that is cast in the sand and we’re forced to look through before perceiving events, corporeal or external. A Fate’s eye that filters and enhances every signal we process. It’s welded to our senses, we can’t remove it. But, it isn’t chaos that completely governs the alignment of this destined bauble. We have free will, and can alter our attitude, repress/enhance feelings internally or with chemicals, etc. It is indeed quite personal, and a gift… a right no one can remove or truly force upon you. So, we’re entitled to “always look on the positive ‘side’ of things” if we wish, or just the opposite. Anyway, unnecessary restatement of the obvious, back to my case study…

I am listening to Bjork. I am in a good mood, if not a passive and calm one. I have a girlfriend. I don’t know what to make of that entirely, as so many past experiences have put knicks and weights on my crystal, so when thinking about love, it is more likely to land on a certain subset of sides. But that’s age: growing and evolving that jewel from the unthinkable two-dimensional figure at birth of life and death. I love my girlfriend, but I don’t know what that means exactly. However, analysis of that subject is so well travelled that it’s almost inconsequential to further debate it. The point is love is an emotion, and a choice. A choice I make for cascade of reasons, a stream of angel feathers falling over a waterfall without substance, a beautiful thing connecting souls in ways so advanced and pure it drives us to madness.

In music, in silence, far apart, or touching my lover’s face, it is a heated knife that slowly grazes the back of my neck as I gasp. I want her, and it is a noble and redeeming part of what makes a man. The smell of paper skin and the ache behind any stranger’s eyes, I’m lost to be able to make sense of the dream. That’s good.

[3:36 am JST / 10:36 am PST …please note that...

Right at home

[3:36 am JST / 10:36 am PST …please note that although this appears to be only two minutes from my last entry, it has actually been seventeen hours]

So I’m back on US soil, and doing what Americans do best at places of government administration: waiting. The state of the union is this: if you’re a US citizen, come on in! If you’re a resident, give us some fingerprints just in case you try anything shifty. If you’re a visitor, well… That’s why I’m waiting. Because the domestic immigration lines are staffed by two folks (unnecessary considering how short they are), and the visitors line (which wraps around to the boarding tunnel), is manned by one poor woman, who has to take photos of nearly everyone with a USB camera after checking their papers twice. Of course I can’t go on to my hotel without my company, so I’m stationed in a wastefully expensive ergonomic chair, typing away. I don’t envy my colleagues, in fact I really am not looking forward to the mood they’ll be in when they finally get out.

Anyway- back in the US. Land of too large portions at T.G.I. Friday’s and a Ford Excursion full of other cliche’ (but accurate) stereotypes. I’m happy to be here though. The sun is shining, the palm trees beckon, and I get to sleep on beds and snap cynical witty remarks with English-speaking chums my age for a whole week. Whatever will I do with myself?

I got a “talk” about protocol and what not from the big man before we came over, and I promised to do my best to get our company’s money’s worth and make our work environment a better place through my mental upgrades.

But I can’t dwell on that. I’m happy, I’m home. It’s a different place, lots of different things, different people. It’s like, I’m not an outsider anymore, and I guess that’s the biggest charge for me. No more of the constant minute ebbing of my strength to fight the diluted cryptonite of expatriatism. Yeah, this country has a lot of problems, yeah we piss a lot of people off with our attitudes and actions (probably more than most countries), but it’s home. I believe in the Constitution, and I believe in American spirit and the freedom and possibility to improve oneself, one’s community, and the world.

Did you ever have one of those times where you&#...

Ten thousand things at once

Did you ever have one of those times where you’re hit with an onslaught of memories so fast it makes you dizzy? It’s like the end of the Beatles’ “A Day in the Life“, where that crazy orchestra starts playing faster and faster and louder and wilder until that big piano DEH- DUHHHHHH…

I woke up this morning after several shivering episodes of portentious dreams during the night., the last of which was a mega amalgamation of nearly every major phase of my life in eighty seconds. I was at work, but showering in the powder room, well, at least trying to, in a hurry, late for high school, having a cubicle instead of my desk, seeing folks from work and grad school intermixed in the same office (among them wunderkind Reagan Heller), and then our company president striding to the front of the office (which was a classroom) and proclaiming proudly, while framed by a blackboard, that we had made fifty thousand dollars profit that week.

I woke up in a cold fury, fighting to turn off the alarm on my cell phone, tripped over several things and ran into the shower and hurried through shampoo and conditioning until I began to ask myself what the hell am I doing?

I couldn’t shake off the curious sense of urgency, and found myself singing (though entirely not consciously), a medley of all the songs I’ve dug since I was twelve; from The Monkees to Tom Petty, old school Radiohead, to my much longed for Superdrag.

I guess it’s because I’m going home today. Well, not actually, but going to the perennial socio-professional tension-sleepfest, the Game Developer’s Conference. A long flight with the programming team fromo work, and this week we listen, share, and shake hands with all those gaming elite. The big kick for me is that I get to see all my grad school friends. Except those poor souls whose GAMING companies wouldn’t let them go to the GAME DEVELOPER’S conference.

Gotta pack… write much soon.

It seems to be some kind of law that Shibuya never...

Morning in Shibuya

It seems to be some kind of law that Shibuya never gets cold. The heat of a dozen train lines under narrow streets alone is enough to make even late January bearable without a heavy coat. I went to the city office this morning to change my address. The sky was a flat grey, but it didn’t feel like rain because the atmosphere was too dry. The stillness in the air was thick; the few cars that were around, muted and spectral. Even the crows seemed pensive, tired from a winter of panhandling.

Making my way north from Dogenzaka shita, I started actively thinking about the things I was seeing. A three story “hundred yen” shop, gutted, with some new chain store to take its place. Turning right on Spain Street, the Condomania and The Amsterdam, pink neon lights ablaze at half-past eight. A line had already formed outside a pachinko parlor, a scraggly line of gambler junkies, some standing with bags from McDonald’s (one with a tray). At the next corner, the worn carving of a coattailed man welcoming customers to a restaurant next to the ABC Mart. Steeper still upwards, past the hand-painted advertising mural so artfully done but frequently replaced. Past Popteen station, Nippon Rent-a-Car, shady hotels, piano bars and boutiques. And at the top, a middle school, where a handful of students practiced calisthenics on tennis courts to the instruction of several teachers- goofing off, doing well, feeling nervous. The large, overweight kid falling over to make the others laugh. The smallest, wiry one paying extra attention to fit in, and do as well as the status quo.

Pausing to watch for a moment, I remembered I’m in Japan. Japan! This isn’t just another big city in North America, or even Europe where everyone has the same music and base language. This is Asia, and the most eastern part, a country that shut out the West, opened its doors, and took on the world all in the span of four hundred years. A country so familiar at times it’s deceiving, but under a capitalist facade, so very different, a house of rooms extending farther and deeper into woods I will never know the end of. I shook off the complacency of being able to survive here comfortably, and felt again as I did when I first came- amazed. Amazed and thrilled and excited and fascinated, with a sea of possibilities and a far-reaching shore of stones look under. I think I would like to take a day off and tell no one, to just sit and wander around, watching, filming, writing, recording, capturing; bottling a small vial of the invisible gas here that makes me gleam.

Turtle pies, Chef Boyardee, and things that taste...

Turtle pies, Chef Boyardee, and things that taste like pizza

Ah, the consumer franchise branding craze of the eigthies. I suppose that there were Starsky and Hutch lunchboxes well in advance of my infatuation with the seamless transition from character properties to nonperishables, but I’m pretty close to Generation Y so you can deal with it. I started playing with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles just as the fad started taking off in 1988. A girl that lived on the next street over, Heather Cooper, and I would have all sorts of adventures in the tall grass medians of Amber Meadows (later to be accurately called Amber Ghettos). The deal was simple: half an hour of ninja shell-shocking action in exchange for me putting up with the Barbie Dream House and the slightly disturbing (and uninteresting) heavy petting that she enjoyed staging between the waxed, plastic dolls.

Fortunately my brother stopped crying every time I poked him around the triumph of Nirvana, so it became much easier to engage in like-minded madcap ninja-flippin’ action. We had it all: the van, the blimp, the skateboards, the monster buggy, even the mammoth Technodrome. Everything except for the lair (which I still pine for), substituted by a vast array of overturned and taped together Pfaltzgraff boxes in form of a turtle city. (This ended up being infinitely cooler anyway.) Aside from the hundred-plus five dollar action figures, our turtle fandom reached into every aspect of our lives: ninja turtle bath foam, ninja turtle beach towels, Pez dispensers, Morse code communicators, school folders, bookbags, lunchboxes, even the Turtles’ “Coming Out of Our Shells” audio cassette from Pizza Hut (the tour poster still hangs on the back of my closet wall in Frederick).

And just as we played, bathed with, and slept on turtles, we also ate them. Turtle cereal, turtle Chef Boyardee pasta with “ninja nets”, and the most revolting of all, the hallowed “turtle pie“. Never a greater dose of Yellow #3 has been inserted to humans as all the sugar-filled artery-stoppers my brother and I devoured. Take an already unhealthy Hostess sugar-glazed pie and shellac it with about a quarter inch of pure turtle green baked mutagen goo. Yum. Of course, the most obvious of all was the endless array of pizza-flavored fried snacks that sprang up in concert of the green four’s greatest love. Pizza Combos, pizza potato chips, pizza rolls, pizza bagels… one hundred ACRES of pizza are consumed by Americans every _day_ (though that figure has dropped several hundred square feet since the advent of my expatriatism). The sad truth is there is actually nothing pizza-y about most of these snacks at all, just phony chemicals that will shrivel your pancreas but smell like oregano. And tonight, I dine on that craze twelve years later and as many thousand miles away, pizza flavored potato sticks.

…now I’m going to Disneyland. I’...

I just robbed a grocery store

now I’m going to Disneyland. I’m wearing my jeans jacket today [the beat one with holes and patches of the American and Japanese flags], I think that’s why I have that song in my head. Or it could be the way I’m slouching on the train. Because I’m wearing my jeans jacket, I forgot my wallet [saifu] and as such have been scraping by on the change I’ve dug out of my unraveling Jansport. So no shopping tonight, especially since my lock was cut and bike impounded for illegal parking. ::sigh::

It’s getting warmer, the kind of warm that makes it really hard to stay inside. It’s still cold enough though to wake me up from sleeping on the floor around six.

I got some of those wooden window screens yesterday. They look nice but do little to block the street light four feet outside my window. I guess I’ll whip up some canvas shades to put behind them (yet another one of my father’s envied skills). Someone said the other day that children usually end up becoming a lot like their parents. Interesting. As a child I imitated that role, and in adolescence I spurned and shunned it. Now bits and pieces of me are mimicking again, but with greater accuracy and satisfaction. I guess it’s the same with anything: take the good, leave the bad, and change a little to make it your own.

Over my pork cutlet and tofu soup this afternoon...

Forgetting the door to old Japan

Over my pork cutlet and tofu soup this afternoon I realized that I have indeed been living in “new” Japan for the past five months or so, and am doing a pretty good job missing out on half of perhaps the world’s most binary country.

There is a Japan that a large number of foreign residents know, it involves Tokyo, the Shinkansen, discount electronics chains, a lot of clubs, fancy apartments, and import furniture. It’s country of technology beyond present day (and occasionally practicality), awe-inspiring varied architecture, and a marriage of fashion and commerce that exists several planes of existence above any fathomable economy. This is the Japan I’ve been living in for pretty much all of my preproduction phase at work. It’s not bad, it’s actually really nice… really too nice.

Aside from paltry two-to-five social to work cycle, a guy could get used to it. My problem is I’m too used to it. This is another big time of change for me. New apartment, new furniture, new bills, new diet, new community. I admit I’m kind of binging on the prefab consumer yen for the moment, but I attest it’s only a hurdle to get over. Better to hit it fast and get it out of the way, so I can go about appreciating the fruits of my labour.

When I do eventually surface from this pike dive into the coffers of teflon wonderment, I’m really going to have to get my mind (and my art), back into “old” Japan, the one fate rotated me around when I first came here and lived in Nara. There is a lifetime’s worth of religion, history, and nuances to discover here… a long, winding road into the mountains, covered with sand and scattered with stones. It’s time I took a break from looking past the horizon and started paying attention to the soil under my feet.

I’ve always been a pretty thrifty guy, I get...

Stop living like you’re in college

I’ve always been a pretty thrifty guy, I get it from my dad (at least my dad of fifteen years go). From a little creativity, coupled with the sanitary and nutritional tolerance of a hobo, I’ve managed to live a very economical life up to this point: unlimited meal plans, daily specials, point cards, dollar stores. I somehow rationed nine months of shaving on a single can of foam (and I beard quite quickly). One mechanical pencil, books reread, games bought five years after initial release. More than half of my wardrobe is goodwill, second hand, or over eight years old. I have at least three complete outfits that I’ve been wearing since the eigth grade. Living in the center of one of the most expensive cities in the world on fifteen hundred dollars a month is no simple task.

So despite being paid vritually half that of my American counterparts, I still have more money than I can manage to use. But moving into a new apartment owning practically nothing, I’m faced with a dilemma- to what extent and in what manner do I furnish my new domicile? Decisions, decisions…

There’s a small bar called Jam off Meiji street...

Down at Jam

There’s a small bar called Jam off Meiji street, near the Harajuku koban in western Sendagaya. I don’t remember the first time I went there, it was like talking to a girl at a friend’s party and not seeing her again until a surprise meeting on a blind date. For the last two or three months I’ve been coming here every other Friday, usually near last call thanks to the rigors of gave development. Like most of the places I hang out, it has about a dozen chairs and one that’s my roost.

Jazz or folk music plays in the evening, and indie art flyers litter the two plank counter. Three rows of liquor rest behind and above the bar, an eclectic mix of fraternity party memories and east European export. I’m hopelessly awkward in throttling between English and Japanese with the other patrons, so I usually just mull the independent store owner lifestyle over a glass of Canadian Club. Since moving farther and farther away from a pragmatic perspective on drinking (goal: drunk as cheaply and quickly as possible), I find I spend empty minutes here without concern for price or what else I could be doing with my time.

From time to time I try to pretend I’m not a total social loss and make small conversation with the bartender, whose name I’m too embarrassed to ask after coming here for so long.

It’s now twenty after ten, and early enough that the lights are still up and people are eating food. I got off work at six-thirty, and after an hour at Tokyu Hands, had a dinner at Pasta Diece with Kerouac and a random salesman from Nissan heavy machinery who wanted to practice his English. Thought after I move I’ll still live close enough to make the trip without trouble, I know it’ll be harder to come here with a last train to contend with. I guess that’s why I’m here tonight after already spending a decent amount of money at dinner. That, and my room is a black pit devoid of anything interesting except my computer, which I think is giving me incredible eye strain.

A “help wanted” sign perpetually hangs over the cash register and I occasionally think about visas amidst a sea of loan repayments, Cheers episodes, and images of more than eighty minutes to myself a day.

I’m tired of being jaded, but grateful for being young-spirited. So happy to be off at a normal time, and shopping, I almost ran into several people as I literally danced and sang my way through Shinjuku station and Takashimaya. Obviously there are at least _two_ people doing a timeshare in my heart.

I’m currently listening to M.I.K.E. Asta Armada...

Combatance, tacit, soldier theory

I’m currently listening to M.I.K.E. Asta Armada Night, a set that went on just one week ago today (courtesy of 160kbs Holland-based ets-global). I also caught the Appleseed trailer thanks to the daily /. Now I have thirty minutes or so of a set quite similar in some ways to Oakenfold@Space, but leaning a little more to the psytrance side. The Appleseed trailer loops in the background, and though it possesses an excellent score of Paul and Basement Jaxx, it does well with M.I.K.E.’s symphony.

This is my life, or at least what I hope it to be: cyberpunk anime, winamp visualisations and trance streams. Surrounded by dark technology in a dark room, my mind dreams up a thousand and one olive metal fantasies in a shining world light years beyond the camp science fiction of my father’s youth. Maybe that’s what’s different about today’s fantasy and that of fifty years ago: the elements placed in the stories are so much closer to reality, so much more possible. I don’t know if that means it’s less imaginative, or simply that the state of science these days has lifted us so much closer to the plane of natural mastery (or destruction).

Why do I feel so safe in electronic music? Is it because the mainstream doesn’t understand, but a thin group do? Is it a refuge from my self-manifested pressures in society? Or is it something more pure, and just the right time and pocket of history for me to thrive in? If it is a dish, agar, I want it to grow with me, or always extend beyond my farthest gazes, past the heat-blurred line on the horizon where I squint and almost see the end of the world.

It is a dark plateau under an eclipsed sun. At one point you’re alone, on a cracked clay wasteland, but the air is still, like the inside of a basement closet, and you can choose whether or not hear your heartbeat. Then if you choose, you’re on the way to a towering neon monolith, a honeycomb of blue plasma-infused creatures, dancing and rolling through a crowd that sustains and shares in nectar condensing in your throat.

A generation of lovers live in cities; children with the adornments of a culture. Wax through their hair, glitter on their cheeks, and stars in their eyes: down a mossy spiraled path nylon tendrils loop and curl. Silicon outlines form on car windows, and faces emerge with panoptic grins. The energy flows of its own will, snaking through vines like a scream, dissipating into tissue cells and ending like mist. Trends of today become memories of tomorrow, and every soul absorbs a chain of affectations to further bend and shape the heart.

Crackle, buzz, blister and fade…there is a...

Breathe in You / Beautiful Things

Crackle, buzz, blister and fade…there is a willowy vapor of ghosts inside my body. It shakes, jumps, contracts and swells, and my limbs cry for the ministry of adulation. I pitch and roar, in silence my ears tingle as my mind slides down a Sahara drowned with water in a pristine glass applebutter jar. Quake and shake, I’m at peace and discontent with the state of my mortal bonds but so happy to use it as my palette.

Breathe in You‘ is a remarkable piece. It builds and builds and builds and then crescendoes only to build again with more tracks. I’ve spent hours listening to it over and over, the headphones pressed against my ears, eyes closed and face in that angelic visage of all star children, nothing but the music and ecstasy stretched in every braid of cells. I wanted to use the track for Raver Nation, but committee vote went with a custom mix of Belissima/Heart of Asia. Oh, how my heart chokes on the sonic plasma.

Sitting in a room, in doors, miles from the heavy dew of incense and vapor rub, I climb that staircase in my mind, searching for the mountain top, the farm, the woods where I danced with energy behind my capacity.

Fading into Nyana, my soul downshifts like a Cougar handling unforgiving curves. The suspension drops and my thoughts glide on polyethylene wings, cruising above the surface forming sound from the suffusion of faster light. The triangle rings in my mind and I ache for my Korg, the knob edges rough and decals smooth under my drumming fingers. Polyphony follows and the beats demand acknowledgement, with a zither beam of fireworks pitching and diving about my head. It is a place like a movie and a dream, fantastic enough to be conceived in consciousness, but intangible and alphaed at the edges.

Why it gives so much I can’t understand, a beacon that shines unobtrusively, but always present. I shunt the current to the base of my neck, and it simmers through my flesh like coffee on a griddle.

“I forgot, that I might see…. so many, beautiful things. I forgot, that I might need…. to find out what life could be. Beautiful things.”

I can’t deny the yearning inside of me any longer… I must embrace the night for the dawn.

Beautiful Things – Andain
Can I change my mind
did I think things through
It was once my life –
it was my life at one time

Got up early, found something’s missing
my only name.
No one else sees but I got stuck,
and soon forever came.
Stopped pushing on for just a second,
then nothing’s changed.
Who am I this time, where’s my name
I guess it crept away.

No one’s calling for me at the door.
And unpredictable won’t bother anymore.
And silently gets harder to ignore.
Look straight ahead, there’s nothing left to see.
What’s done is done, this life has got it’s hold on me.
Just let it go, what now can never be.

I forgot that I might see,
So many beautiful things.
I forgot that I might need,
to find out what life could bring.

Take this happy ending away, it’s all the same.
God won’t waste this simplicity on possibility.
Get me up, wake me up, dreams are filling
this trace of blame.
Frozen still I thought I could stop,
now who’s gonna wait.

No one’s calling for me at the door.
and unpredictable won’t bother anymore.
and silently gets harder to ignore.
look straight ahead, there’s nothing left to see.
what’s done is done, this life has got it’s hold on me.
just let it go, what now can never be.

Now what do I do
can I change my mind
did I think things through

It was once my life – it was my life at one time