Archive for the 'Blogging' Category

the Raw Want to Win

My buddy Alan over at Left At The Gate is part owner of this — by appearance — absolutely smashing racehorse. Her name is Just Zip It. Just Zip It is a 2-year-old filly. A filly is a young female equine. Just Zip It races for the first time in the 4th at Aqueduct today.


Just Zip It’s career debut will be against fellow 2-year-old filly Maidens. This is interesting: Maiden races are restricted to horses who’ve never won. Or, as with Just Zip It, never run.

The business of betting on a Maiden race boils down purely to one, albeit vexing, question: which horse wants it the most?

Maiden races require a peculiar blend of raw hunch tempered by mathematical deduction. Whereas, with older horses, it’s often the other way around — mathematics tempered by instinct.

I love to bet the Maidens. Here’s why: when I bet on a horse — the Long Shot — who’s not ‘supposed’ to win it feels like I’ve bet smartly on me.


And Maidens win at long odds more frequently than contenders in any other type of race.

The best is when, on a hunch, you select & bet on a first-timer — like Just Zip It — and win. A horse who plumb wants it enough to prevail in her very first race…she makes me hearts leap! It’s inspiring.

And a powerful lesson for People: Why bet on a horse who has never proved their worth in a race? Why? Raw want — that’s the key. When I bet for what I want most I feel good even when I lose. And that, dear readers, is the Ticket to a good day of Gambling.

I ask: does Just Zip It look like she wants to win?

I’ve thought so for months. Alas I can’t bet on her. She races in just over an hour — 2PM — and I have no dough.

So goes.

But — that being the case — I deeply suspect she’ll win.

I’m rooting cosmically for her. For good reasons: 1. I have a good feeling about her and good feelings are right. Dig? I want to feel good and right today! Shit I’ll be broke either way…

2 . I got mad Props for my buddy Alan. He keeps the best racehorse blog in Town. I read his stuff — for love of the races — every day for a year. The first thing that struck me about the dudes blog — & Blogs in general — was that he owed his success to the Oldest Trick in the Literary Book:

He writes about what he loves. And every once in awhile insults some jerk like Dick Cheney. Follow that formula impeccably and even crappy joints like Open Container speedWay can go Huge.

And if all else fails you can always toss in some stuff about chicks & drugs & booze.

The horses have reached the Starting Gate…all in line & they’re OFF!

Click shortly after 2Pm if you want to watch the free replay. [4th race Nov. 24]

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Password: 673720

It has been a real pain in the ass to write lately.

As my regular readers — and friends from around town who happen by the speedWay — know, I’m shall we say temporarily between homes. This entire blog is composed (on my own laptop — thanks mom), variously, at coffee shops, bars, late at night in the 24-hour computer lab at a nearby college…wherever I can thumb a free lift for a few hours on a loose wifi signal.

The Gonzo Fantasy piece, for example, was finished and posted on battery power between 7 & 9 AM from the stoop in front of the Weathervane bar.

I’ve written 75 posts that way — a damn fine accomplishment if you ask me.

But the whole shenanigan has lost some luster lately. Not the blog — certainly not my readers! — or the writing act itself. Being homeless, though. It’s gotten to be hard on me.

It’s preposterously stressful. More precisely put:

It sucks donkey balls.

Well, one might ask — then Why Don’t I Do Something About It??

Anyone who asks that very likely has never been homeless for a stretch of time. Most everyone hasn’t. So if you wonder, I respectfully ask you:

Precisely what do you propose?

First off, a bit about the reason I’m homeless — which I’ve been chronically, off & on, my whole adult life…

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I’ve talked about it a bit in some previous posts. Homelessness is a classic symptom of PTSD. Unfortunately having a home is no cure, as I’ve learned the hard way when I have lived somewhere.

Another symptom of PTSD is a lack of awareness of being struck with the disorder. For years I assumed my Problem — among other things — was homelessness itself. But it’s not. So, when I have lived somewhere — before I knew about PTSD — inevitably something else would go Wrong. And the stress I once associated with homelessness would merely be transferred to a different, equally maddening Problem.

Ususally a broken car, lost job or some other Factor which would contribute heavily thenceforth to my inability to pay rent. And soon enough I’ll be homeless again.

So goes the insidious, oft-cruel nature of PTSD.

But…why does Mike E have PTSD? That’s a fair question. Not sure if everyone will be comfortable with the answer; but then I’m not precisely comfortable reading Ishtar’s first-hand accounts of the daily viciousness in Iraq. The viciousness bothers me. But I read them anyway because Ishtar writes them well and I want to Know.

I had pedophiles in the family.

What can I say?

It happens. And it fucks life up for people.

And it’s important for me to say so. Same way it’s important for people to know how fucked up everything is in the Congo or Darfur. It’s essential that I write about it tonight, too — because as I said it has been a real pain in the ass for me to write at all lately.

Reason for that is on account of being homeless. It drains me. Makes it hard to come up with something to say…so I guess that’s the Story.

What can I do but write it?

a sensible career move.

Haven’t opened my computer for 6 days…which means I’ve neither posted to my own blog nor read any of the surely wonderful things my friends here in the blogCosmos have written lately.

I feel Guilt.

Really? Oh yes.

Suddenly I feel like a dumb Fuck-Up on my blog just like I do in Real Life!

So goes: the honeymoon phase between my now not-so-new blog & I.

Has anyone around here figured out how to blog for Pay yet?

Am I serious? Oh shit yes! With no apologies to the Purist. My blog brings me Joy and if I were already loaded with dough joy might be pay a-plenty. But it’s not and neither am I — moreover, it’s getting cold in Vermont. I try to be upbeat about homelessnes; a chronic affliction which, if nothing else, has worked a wonder-job on my empathic qualities

Also on my faith in the marketable quality of my writing. More precisely, faith in the certainty that I must sell some before my poor brains freeze.

Think I’ll write a fast book about drugs. I say Basketball Diaries was the last thing done well on the topic. A dizzying plentitude of brains have been warped by all kind-o drugs in the quarter-century since — so by my pro estimate we’re due for a few choice words about Why.

My book about drugs will be Good. Shit it will be the shaZam funny-Bomb. Except in the parts where you’ll cry.

Hell Yes! This is my smartest idea since I snuck into that college class about Organic Chemistry.

Mom-proof blog-post Goes Astray

A question for my readers:

If you had a blog like Open Container speedWay would you give your mother the address?

I think not. For her own Good…She’s on my side. Shit she bought me my lap-top! And she knows my plight. But she surely needn’t learn the garish details.

Consider: my mother was last employed as the pastor for two Methodist parishes in central Maine.

Does she really need to know her son is a close relative to the good-time Devil himself??

My answer to the mom quandary has been to cut paste & email her when occasionally I deem a post mom-proof. Like my last — poet without equal. One swear the whole way through and not a single drug reference. No gratutitous bigotry. Came off I’d say fuck-near respectably…

So I emailed it to her — Subject: Mom-Proof Blogpost. Spliced in a few links because I wanted her to see what kind of cool folks I’ve met hanging around & blogging.


Here verbatim is the resultant IM volley between Mom & me…

Mom: I have a confession to make.

me: confession??

Mom: Yeah! I found your blog.

me: ARG!!

Mom: Why ARG!!

me: Are you sure you want to read it??

Mom: Yes! and I was pretty impressed by what I did read. However, if you prefer I not read it, I won’t. I probably shouldn’t have looked for it without asking you but I did. I figured one of the links in the blog you sent would have a link to your blog, which is how I found it.

me: Like sneaking through the side-door at a Phish show!! long ago?

Mom: Last night!

me: You know when I added those links I figured you’d be maybe able to find me.

Mom: So it’s ok?

me: I’ll make a cup of tea & ponder for a moment…

Mom: Aslan [my nephew/mom’s grandson] is home sick today – strep throat – and I think I’m coming down with it too. Yuck!

me: yeah everyones got the Yuck around here tooo

Mom: BTW, your formatting in a blog email doesn’t come through. Looks much more better at your blog site. How about you? Do you have the yuck?
Aslan says Hi!

me: Hi aslan!!

Mom: Anyway, if you don’t want me to read it, I won’t.
Aslan wants me to tell you we’re watching Monty Python. Do you like his stuff?

me: Me, no havey the Yuck — if I had the time & space I might come down w/something…probably enjoy it w/my own bed & a kitchen to make soup
Love monty python. Barrel of laughs

Mom: We’re about to watch the tale of Sir Lancelot. Actually, I’m not really watching it; just tuning in.

Mom: U still there?

me: yeah someone just stopped by,
Get this: my friend who just stopped by has a few hours of work for me so I’m off to do that! I’m going to help him demolish a house. Actual work…for MONEY!!

Mom: That’ll be cool! Great release too! Where are you now?

me: KC’s

Mom: I have to admit, I was awfully distressed to read that you’re going for days at a time without sleep.

me: As far as my blog goes mom…I’d love for you to read it BUT…there’s stuff on there YOU may not want to read

Mom: I love reading what you’ve written. And I fully expected I might read things you hadn’t told me.

me: On the other hand I’m proud of my blog more than anything for its honesty…my main concern about you reading it — besides making you old before your time — is that I’d feel the need to censor myself.

Mom: Due to “eavesdropping?”

me: Yeah — almost like you being right there next to me at the party I described in an earlier post where I threw my adderall up after eating LSD…that sort of thing.
Ok I’ll let you digest that. I’m off to tear a house down.

Well. One thing I learned: I will not censor my blog for my mother’s benefit. Any more than she would Praise Shrooms for my benefit when I’d go to her church sermons.

Speaking of psilocybin mushrooms — if you’re still here, Mom, I’d love for you to pop in on this post I wrote a while back. Like the folks in the described study, shrooms have been cosmically good to me.

I’ve mentioned that before. But one thing I’ve never told my Mom is:

Psilocybin mushrooms may prove miraculously beneficial to you too. Give it a prayer & some well informed thought!

Well. Mom. Hunter S. Thompson once said “You Buy the Ticket. You Take the Ride.” I think he meant things like when you sneak onto your son’s blog & next thing you know you’re praying to Jesus about whether or not to try Shrooms!

Oh & one other thing Mom: I love you. Leave a comment if you like & please stop by anytime…

Some speedWay regulars may be in shock over what they’ve just read. Not about my mom or anything. But because of the bit about me going to Work!

I shit you not — happened just like I said.

What can I say? There’s a house to be torn down. And my friend wanted to pay me to help do it. So I did. Pulled nails out of boards mostly. Worked a full-on 3 hour day!

Call me Demolition Mike E.

Praise Sweet Mother Earth for the bucket-loads of rain that make it so I can’t work today!

At long last — a hard-earned break from the daily grind. I should celebrate!

poet without equal

Something got me to think tonight about my old friend Herb Caen.

Herb Caen — I bet my cool blog-buddy Velma agrees — is among the finest Observers of our time. A master of prescience & a gifted comic to boot.

Velma is from northern California. Somewhere around my age? I think. So she maybe top-of-her brain recalls, as I do, the title to his 1.17.1991 San Francisco Chronicle column. It was 2 days after the ‘deadline’ set by the first Bush for Saddam Hussein to withdraw from Kuwait. Caen’s column ran that day behind a front page heralding the start of the first Gulf War; when US bombs first rained on Iraq.

The Other Shoe

As opposed to the other Other Shoe. Which can’t seem to stop catastrophically dropping.

I do think it true that the media are addicted to Bad News. Everyone buys newspapers with headlines like WAR & City Sunk & President Shot. CNN in 1991 was a brand new 24 Hour News network looking for a 24 Hour News story. A line is drawn in some far-off sand & voila! Their 24 Hour News story: On in perpetuity.

Do conglomerate rackets like the Chronicle’s actually start wars to sell more papers? Shit — they may.

Herb Caen only wrote about War when he had to. Not overly often — and clearly he liked it that way.

IT’S THE dramatically sudden appearance of more men in uniform than you’ve ever seen on the streets — symbols of a giant awakening to conflict, perhaps to blot out the peace and loveliness of All This . . .
+ Herb Caen
What is San Francisco?
Oct. 22 1940

Caen’s Chronicle column ran daily from the late 1930’s until his death in 1997. A thousand words wrote 5 days weekly for 60 years. Fifteen million words; Herb Caen wrote something about everything. But mostly of his splendid love for the City.

Bet if he were 20-years-old today he’d blog about San Francisco. On good days for the heart-leap Fun of it. Other days Herb Caen would do it because it’s in his blood so he has to.
Mr. Caen single-handedly coined the terms Beatnik (“they’re only Beat when it comes to work…” ) & Hippie. Like hitting the Daily Double on some cosmic poetry race…

He had a Knack for the angle you’ll read nowhere else:

SCOOPLET: When Garcia died last Wed. morning, Todd Anderson gasped, “I hope it wasn’t something he ate.” That’s because Jerry had his last meal Tuesday night at Piatti in Mill Valley, which Anderson manages. Garcia and his wife, Deborah, sat on the deck, held hands and ate artichoke hearts and pasta. “He looked awful,” says Anderson, “but he was as friendly as ever.”
+ The Rambling Wreck 8.15.1995

The Herb Caen I knew never doubted his allegience. Him & Jerry both felt proud of their Heros & laughed out loud at the Fools.

[Letter Writer] Jeff Watson asks, “How many Deadheads does it take to change a lightbulb?” A. “They just watch it burn out and follow it around for 25 years” . . . Aww, get a life yourself.
+ Three Dot Drifter 8.21.1995

His signature column style — a thousand niftily arranged words on a dozen topics separated by ellipses ( … ) — is indicative of not so much columnist as Poet.

San Francisco’s Poet in Chief.

No Comic Relief here on our speedWay: after reading Ishtar’s stunner on her Baghdad taxi ride the day Civil War struck Iraq. It was a video of Hunter Thompson — an old pen-pal of Caen’s — on Conan O’Brien. Classically funny. But it seems Conan’s conglom-o-racket Yanked it…yes I think it was Money Related…well whichever way, it is Gone.

So goes.

Safe travels for Ishtar. Go Saints! Happy Birthday — and 1,000 thaks for keeping the Torch lit for the Late — to Anita T!

Play for Peace & pray for Fun please.

I lived in San Francisco for a year in the early ’90s. During that time I read Herb’s column insatiably. I looked forward to it when I woke up in the morning; I read him like a drug.

Herb Caen is my favorite kind of writer — one I’ve never met yet happily know is my Friend. My hero.

Always in the money like my nigaa scrappy T.

Smart fast & funny like I wish I could be.


From the ‘Sucks to Be Me but So What?’ files…

I’ve met some truly very cool people since I started out blogging; connected with writers & artists who dig on the shit I am into. The best of these I’ve enshrined in my ‘Spun CookieRoll’ on the sidebar to your right.

A few of you guys hang around this crappy joint — I guess for odd reasons of your own — & leave smart comments & seem to enjoy my stuff. I have an awesome audience here. Thanks. Ya’ll make me happy.

One from my Spun CookieRoll who you haven’t met is Ishtar. Ishtar is a journalist in Iraq. Earlier this summer she kept a blog, iraqi screen, and provided first-rate street-level reportage on daily life there. Ishtar is a mother & a peaceful warrior who took the time & risk to give us the Deal in a way, I feel, that no one else has.

Her blog has been quiet since June. I’ve emailed Ishtar a couple times to make sure of her well being. Each time she has promptly & politely replied. Ishtar is still alive, far as I know, and — though she has made no recent entries — I emphatically recommend a visit to her site.

Ishtar’s writing amounts to a journalistic snapshot of life in Iraq when the shit hit the fan. Check it:

I have the chance to sit with an Iraqi singer who also plays on Lute and asked him how could he sing and play on these crazy days, the artist said โ€œI live in Sader city, I canโ€™t walk in the street carrying my Lute with me, I am hiding it here and there in fear some gunmen would see me and kill me, I have received many threats ordering me to give up singing because it is Haram or I would be killed but I love art it is in my blood, which is better to be a singer or a killer?โ€

Strange & sad but somehow it gives me Hope.

Honky Gangzta LocalBoy Writes Rhyme.


Like Bill & Ted.

DOSED!!! Like the Grateful Dead…

Ill-er than the BEATSIE Boyz.

When I grow up I-wanta Be Unemployed!


Shit I was born Unemployed. Got a cool $25 to bet I’m bound to die the same way.

Pss pst…Y’yo wanna buy a blogpost? One for Fiddy 3 for $100. 10-post pack for a 500euro. Any good? Shit Yes! Got mad heart & screamin laughers. Like the Heroic Dose of shrooms I taped behind all your flat-screens.