The Random Griffith

Sometimes you just come up empty

Posted in dreams, self help weirdness, spirituality and the Buddha and stuff by Jackson Griffith on 11/08/2011

I’ve been sitting in this cafe for an hour. Came here after parking the car, attempting a little James Taylor transcription on the guitar, walking over to visit Nich at Phono Select, stopping by Body Tribe to visit Allyson Seconds’ dogs Lulu, who likes me, and Hank, who’s still too bashful to move into my zone, and then I left there and walked a block up 21st to the Weatherstone. Ordered a salad and and a mocha, sat down, pinched my flab and decided more exercise might be a good thing, and why not walk to McKinley Park for a couple laps around, then home. What the hey. No. I need to write something.

Because a writer needs to write, like a guitarist needs to practice his chops and a ballet dancer needs to dance. So here I go. The last few years have been years of subtraction: First my marriage, then work, then a bunch of material things, then some core ideas about myself, like someday I will record an album of my songs or someday I will find someone who is really compatible with me or, most importantly, someday my now-grown-up daughter will want to have even a half-hearted relationship with me. Life is short, I’m not sure what matters and what doesn’t matter anymore. I know what I want to matter, but sometimes the world at large has other ideas, and one must flow with the current.

This life I lead isn’t so lonely, really. I mean, I must have gained some kind of oneness with the Great Whatever from four years of daily Buddhist meditation, because I don’t feel acute pangs of neediness; it’s more like what the Brazilians and Portuguese call saudade, which I’ve heard described as the longing or yearning for the loving bliss of the past. But Buddhist practice, in part, enables a person to move beyond that hankering for a state in the past by repeatedly bringing the attention to the present. So that’s life for me: a seesaw ride that alternates between the present moment and recurring waves of saudade. I don’t live much in the future anymore; I’ve kind of let that go. I’ve even stopped dreaming. Well, almost.

I had the coolest dream last night. The first part of it I remember (there may have been a preceding part I can’t recall now), I was in a big auditorium with a bunch of people. I think it was an recovery-type meeting or something. I got tapped by someone to share my thoughts, and I began going on about how people in AA talk about how they “don’t do relationships well” and stuff, but that I question that position as kind of a self-imposed limitation. There were people around me who were ignoring me, and I was upset that they were not validating me. I may have had my guitar with me, and I was asking them to be quiet so I could speak my piece and maybe play something, but they engaged in loud conversation which drowned me out. So at some point, I went to a corner of the room, and there was a woman sitting on kind of some steps, and I grabbed my guitar case and, I dunno if I asked her to accompany me, but we left together. She was this very pretty dark-eyed woman who I know from this place I visit some mornings on my way to work. So then we were riding in a vehicle like the one I drive, but it was hers, or her family’s, and she was letting me drive; it had like a Hemi V8, and I remarked something about how it had a lot of power and I was really digging it. I found myself driving on kind of a limited-access highway out of town, and she asked me if that was the way I wanted to go, and I said no, it didn’t have to be, and soon there was a place where I could drive up a berm and get back onto a city street to head back toward town, and I did. At some point, I reached over and touched her hand, kind of ran my fingertips across her palm and fingers, and she reciprocated and looked at me affectionately, and it felt very nice (that was the extent of any physical contact in the dream). We pulled up at this 1920s bungalow where an old roommate was living, and we walked toward the narrow driveway between this house on the left and the house next door, and we were greeted by a big calico cat. Actually, two cats, one a female and one a more dog-like male (which I understand male calicos are rare) and I think they followed me back, with my lady friend following, too; she was quite amused by the cats. There were one or two kinda sketchy hippie or druggie guys I didn’t know in the back, by a garage, and it was a mid-morning spring-like sky just after a light rain, so there were like old hibachis and microwave ovens and other things stacked up all around, and they were dewy or damp from the fresh spring rain. One old hippie told me that someone — the government? aliens? — had changed the lock and that my key wouldn’t work, but when I looked at the back door into the house, it had one of those long-loop padlocks, and the padlock was open, just looped through the hasp on the door. And that’s where I woke up.

It was a pretty nice dream, really. Anyway, maybe I ought to post this and go walk to the park? —Jackson Griffith

Postscript: The music clips here are by my good friend Sport Murphy, who in my humble estimation is a brilliant songwriter whose music I wish I could gift to everyone I know, that some of thos friends might grow and throb with ardor for his music’s many charms, like I have.

Fake it ’til you make it

Posted in babble babble toil and trabble, self help weirdness by Jackson Griffith on 17/07/2011

One of these days, I just know I’m gonna remember that riff that I use to be able to play pretty well. I even have what you might call faith. Until then? Fake it ’til I make it, I guess: Grab the instrument, fingers on the board, and keep toiling away until the holograms of happy dancing couples begin appearing again with some regularity.

That said, I really don’t know what I’m doing most of the time. I feel OK, but slightly discombobulated. I was in a roomful of people a little earlier, one where everyone who talked went on about how they really felt connected and in the middle of the herd and things, and I stared out the window and wondered why I sometimes feel utterly alone, even in the middle of a crowd. Not that I want to feel that way, mind you, and this isn’t coming from a place of self-pity or anything, but I’ve always gotten the sense my brain was wired a little bit differently than everyone else’s, which can make for the occasional uncomfortable silence. Actually, a lot of uncomfortable silences, coupled with a lot of “WTF?” looks when I start babbling about, oh, the behavior of ants in colonies and birds flocking in the sky, and how that relates to humans. (Fortunately, I have a few friends who understand my ramblings, and will start talking about morphogenetic fields and increasing novelty, but I don’t get to see those folks all that much these days.)

Most of the time, I can function in my own little world all right. I still spend the lion’s share of my time alone, when I would prefer to be more gregarious; hell, even cockroaches are gregarious, but I’m not. I eat alone. I go to shows alone. And I’ve come to realize that I just must be one of those people who relates much better to other people through a keyboard than I do in person. Maybe it’s just that, in person, people think I’m kind of uncouth and weird or something, and they’d prefer to read my stuff online a lot more than they want to hang out with me. I’m OK with that. (And I’m not even going to go into the meeting-women part, because I’ve finally reached the point where I’ve just let that one go, at least for the time being.) Shite, this sounds like I’m whining, so I probably am.

Anyhoo, as I’ve mentioned before, I do this recovery thing, and I’ve steered clear of the bottle and the bong for, well, it’ll be 19 years this coming September. Part of that particular spiritual practice involves praying to a Higher Power, as they say in the rooms, and so I do that every day — just turning my thoughts, feelings and actions over to the care of some Great Benevolent Whatever outside of myself, and forgiving those who I think have trespassed me, and all that. It’s a practice, just like the meditation sit that I do every day. Lately, and for a little while now, I’ve taken to pray something along these lines: God, I ask that you take whatever that miserly thing in me is that keeps me blocked off from connecting with other people on a heart-to-heart level, and that you smash it, dissolve it, break it down, take it away — whatever it takes to where I can connect with others with my heart. Please make me loving, generous, compassionate, caring and kind, so that I no longer feel so alone and disconnected from the rest of humanity.

I’d like to tell you how well it works. Sometimes, maybe. But right now, I’m back to feeling pretty alienated. I know it’s just a feeling, and that feelings are not facts — but that feeling has persisted, and I’m really starting to lose whatever faith I’ve gained over time. Even so, I’ll keep on trucking along, doing what I do, because it is a practice, and to maintain a practice, you have to do it day in and day out, every day, even when you feel like you’re wandering through what feels like weeks of twilight. Like my sainted mum, I am a stoic motherfucker when I need to be.

And that, chilluns, is today’s cheery little dispatch. So, hey! Let’s party! —Jackson Griffith

Post and run

Posted in self help weirdness by Jackson Griffith on 16/07/2011

Poor time management. Actually, I had a dinner engagement with some friends, and because I still don’t have my act wholly altogether so I can lie on the couch and post at home until I sort out a few issues with the people at American Telepath & Torygraph, I’ve got to repair to a coffeehouse with wifi to make these dispatches. But that’s the whole deal about this commitment to post every day: Sometimes you just gotta do a drive-by.

And so, it’s Friday evening. I’m still wound up, my processor overclocked, hoping I can relax a little from the nervous wreck I’ve been lately. The yoga book made it from the stack on the floor to somewhere on my bed, and I’m thinking about taking a long walk sometime, too. And maybe I’ll engage in theraputic writing of some sort, and I’ll cook up some healthy stuff in the refrigerator, and I’ll even get some sleep.

Anyway, more later. —Jackson Griffith

Walter Mitty imagines life as Aleister Crowley, or some stupid crikey

Posted in bringing the squinky, self help weirdness, trippy by Jackson Griffith on 15/07/2011

If I hadn’t made a commitment to writing something here every day, I’d probably be doing something else right now — accompanying the sounds of the neighbors fucking with a serenade of ninth chord-based riffs, funky-butt bass pops and other musical cliches sourced from my half-remembered arsenal of vintage porno-soundtrack grooves, perhaps. Or maybe I’d be dressing up like a scantily clad goat god/satyr fueled by shitty goth records and clove cigarettes and warm Red Bull, and I’d head out to the places where my imaginary entourage of nymphets congregates. It is a motherfucking big-ass full moon tonight, after all.

But, sadly, no. I am alone, in the corner of a coffeehouse, typing, sipping some non-alcoholic lemonade concoction, watching people walk by who I most likely will never carry any kind of a conversation with. It is a cool night for July. Apparently, most of the imbeciles in town are elsewhere, strange for a full moon. They’re probably all huddled together somewhere else, jizzing over each other as they read banal couplets and turgid prose, too artsy to engage in the drunken limericks of my sodden youth. Most of the people here? Studying for something. Quietly studying for some kind of stability while a full moon hangs in the sky.

Innocuous techno burbles in the background. To my ears, that’s the perfect coffeehouse music, with its cold, clinical precision, hyperactive percussion and washes of choral-like sounds. Better that that Sirius Buttrock Favorites As Selected by Some Tattooed Douche Who Ran a Stripper Bar Just Off Sunset Boulevard Circa 1987 channel. In fact, this being Bastille Day, the only thing I’d like more is something shlocky and French to go with this full moon.

I’ve been such an anxiety-permeated dog lately. Dunno why, really; it’s just this baseline of anxious background noise that surges and wanes in intensity. I’ve been feeling slightly more alone and out of sync with the rest of humanity, too — not uncomfortably so, but just like I’m being pulled back into the weird-loner status I thought I had escaped.

And then, I look at all these beautiful women floating around me, not like some kind of perv does, but with that muscle memory of hugging them but with a sighing regret that that sweet and fruitful part of my life may be over with, and I can accept that. Time for chess with the other old men in the park, perhaps, or arguments with trees.

Jeebus. What the hell am I on about? I think it’s time to bid adieu for the night, go home, crank up the white noise sound app on the phone to drown out the grunts and groans from across the way, and maybe play some bluesy shit on my guitar until the eyelids get heavy.

And if not, there’s always Jack Webb and Harry Morgan. —Jackson Griffith

Standing bow pulling was almost the death of me

Posted in self help weirdness, trippy, yoga by Jackson Griffith on 14/07/2011

Don’t know why, but I’ve been feeling a little run down lately, stressed, not up to my usual superhuman ability to grab the universe in a half-nelson, flip it sideways and slam it to the mat in a piledriver. I’ve been running through a bunch of variables, and maybe it’s the usual poop: Get more sleep, improve the diet, be sure to exercise, pay attention to how much I’ve got on my plate.

After last night’s post, I got a really nice and long letter from that early girlfriend I’d mentioned, the one who lived in San Francisco. She told me she regretted turning me on to that spooky astrologer, and advised me to pay more attention to free will and not listen to anyone who uses terms like “converse progressed Chiron sesquiquadrate North Node” to make predictions; that if I’m going to buy into that line of bullshit, then I ought to stick with the basics: conjunctions, sextiles, squares, trines, oppositions.

Good advice.

Then she goes into this “I see you’ve still got that emo rollercoaster ride of transiting Uranus conjunct natal Sun going on, so stay flexible.” I think she mentioned yoga.

I’ve been thinking a lot about yoga lately. Thinking is the operative word, because I just haven’t gotten much farther than that, even though my 56-year-old body is crying out for something to twist it back into shape. I used to do yoga for a long time, off and on, and I even went to this place in town called Yoga Loka and did Bikram-style hot yoga on a pretty regular basis a decade or so ago.

The problem was, I’m like six-foot-seven, and I have a nasty habit of toppling over when I lose my balance. And I lose my balance when the room is heated up to “kill the bedbugs” range, because I am in fact a big pussy or maybe just a hereditary cold-weather Scotsman who blanches at the mere mention of tropics. And so, I would topple around like a drunk on one leg trying to keep it together during a roadside field-sobriety test, and I would utter “Fuck!” and “Shit!” and the other yoga class people would get pissed off at me and complain to the teacher that my grunts and utterances were fucking up their yoga time.

So I didn’t get kicked out, but I got actively encouraged to learn to practice yoga all by my lonesome. Not by the teachers, who were really cool, but by some of the other students, and by my now ex-wife, who made fun of my efforts. Fuck it. I’m a spazz.

And so, it is time for me to sing “Yoga Is as Yoga Does.” Alone. C’est la vie. —Jackson Griffith

Converse Saturn square natal Venus

Posted in astrology and stargazing thangs, self help weirdness by Jackson Griffith on 13/07/2011

I can be pretty goddamn dumb sometimes. Like this stargazing thing: It’s harmless when you’re reading the comics page in the newspaper and you get bored enough with the glacially moving storyline of “Mark Trail” to glance over to see what kind of day Aries might be having. It’s another thing to actually solicit the services of a professional astrologer.

Which I did. Actually, it was not long after I’d gotten sober, and I was still haunted by a reading I’d gotten years earlier, in San Francisco circa 1975. I was 20 or so, and still stupidly in love with this girlfriend who’d moved there, still clinging to the increasingly remote possibility that we could stay connected in some way. She’d seen this astrologer and was raving about how amazing the reading she’d received, so I had to go, too, to learn how bright and wonderful my future would be.

My reading was dark. I mean dark: Lots of grim shit about me spending most of my life in prison as the result of violent activities on my part, along with some Uranus-related thing about forget about being any kind of rock star because electrical energy was coursing through me in a really really bad way. Oh, and a bunch of other negative stuff. This astrologer clearly didn’t like me.

Oh, and the capper: She predicted my dad’s death. In September 1980. He died September 29 of that year.

Needless to say, that dark reading fucked me up for years. I guess I’m old enough, and enough of a spectacular failure now, to be able to admit that and not give a shit about what anyone will think. So it wasn’t until after I got sober in September 1992, maybe a year or two later, that I got the courage to pay another astrologer to look at my chart. What that seer came up with was a lot less benign, and really somewhat positive. I’ve got this fixed grand cross, or grand square, in my chart, with a retrograde Scorpio Saturn in the second house squaring Aquarius Venus in the fifth, squaring Taurus Mars in the eight, squaring retrograde Leo Pluto in the eleventh, which squares that Scorpio Saturn in the second. There are some other jinky factors, too, but it wasn’t the death sentence that first astrologer had cursed me with. More like: The unbearable tension posed by the grand cross was about overcoming alcoholism and drug addiction, and the underlying personality problems associated with addictive behaviors. As long as I didn’t start drinking or using again, and kept working on myself, the challenges posed by the stressful aspects in my chart would be resolved somewhat.

Over the passing years since, I came to rely a little too much on something that the relentlessly logical side of my personality rules out as complete bullshit. I tried different expressions of it, too, like Vedic astrology, which uses a siderial (actual position of the stars today) rather than a tropical (position of the stars long ago, anchored to the solstice/equinox points) zodiac, and focuses more on the position of the Moon and the Ascendant, and lunar movements, than the Sun, which is a malefic that “combusts” any planets too close to it. But I have slipped into getting my transits — points in my natal chart that are aspected by the ever-shifting planets in the sky — analyzed by various astrologers.

Backstory: I guess I’m somewhat of a romantic, or at least people tell me I am. Even though at this ripe age, after one failed relationship after another, I’ve finally reached the point of giving up on making any kind of meaningful connection in this life, there’s still part of me that wishes for closeness with another. Maybe it’s that seventh-house Aries sun. I’ve had a few nice and sweet relationships, and I’ve had some major disasters — especially my marriage, which ended when an award-winning (and married) novelist befriended my then-wife and, well, let’s just say his dalliances with her sent her spinning off in a different direction that hastened the demise of our marriage. But, really, my own part in that trainwreck was that I’d already disengaged emotionally, and I really don’t like pointing fingers of blame, so let’s just let sleeping dogs lie.

The past couple of years, though, have been somewhat of a drought. Part of that comes from me pushing other people away, because I’ve gotten to fear slipping into another bad relationship without having the energy to deal with it. Which is ludicrous, really, because I’d had one really sweet relationship, probably the favorite one in my life so far, after my marriage ended, which restored my faith in love and romance, but that one came to a screeching halt around the time the rest of my life went into a serious downhill wipeout in the final months of 2008. My astrologer friends were warning me about her, with her conjunct Gemini Sun-Moon and Aries rising. Also, transiting Neptune was conjuncting my natal Venus and squaring my natal Saturn. I was deluded, they said.

Anyway, here’s my stupid writ large: I kept depending on them for advice. What follows, in italics, is part of a reading that one astrologer, who lives just outside our nation’s capital, gave me last year:

Progressed Venus opposite Neptune 11/2010 through 10/2011. Possible relationship comes into your life for a year. Not sure if it continues longer. Very strong energy for this from 11/20 through December 2010 (con Moon conjunct natal Venus), Christmas very social and upbeat (12/18 to 12/28, with Jupiter to MC and Asc).

Uranus conjunct Sun and square Node begins in March 2011 and goes through mid-January 2012. Big awakenings and big changes that come suddenly. Possibly sudden end to one relationship and sudden beginning of another. Changes unexpected and cause a change in the direction of your life. Especially strong in March 2011 and October through December 2011.

Transiting Pluto semisquare to natal Venus (converse Saturn) felt from 7/1 through 10/17/11, likely to intensify emotions and feelings of love. But somewhat of an emotional roller coaster here, power struggle on emotional level, not fully getting needs met. Relationship may end abruptly when Uranus returns to your Sun in October.

Know that at this point, you are nearing the peak of the many years of converse Saturn square natal Venus, peaking in January 2012. December 2011 brings Saturn conjunct Neptune (12/10 to 12/21/11) which returns in March 2012 (3/13 to 3/28), suggesting some disappointment or at least a more realistic appraisal of things (following the end of progressed Venus opposite Neptune which peaked in October 2011). I think you will begin to feel a decrease in some kind of subliminal or emotional tension as 2012 progresses and moreso after that.

Now, what really happened is that one relationship that appeared to be beginning in early fall of last year suddenly ended. The “Christmas very social and upbeat” was one of the darker points in my recent life; I felt like one of the ragged cripples in the Pamela Colman Smith illustration for the Rider-Waite deck’s Five of Pentacles. No hot toddies and mistletoe kisses for Jackie boy. I did have my current steady job to keep me occupied, and my social circles through AA, but it wasn’t a rosy time. Over the past couple of years I’ve felt like that old Yiddish question/complaint of Borscht Belt comics: “What am I, chopped liver?” For most of the year. I couldn’t feel any kind of the old electric connection with women I’ve felt since, oh, teen years. Aside from a handful of platonic women friends, I still can’t. It’s weird.

The conclusion I’ve come to is that either some Higher Power I’m contacting through prayer and meditation has better things planned for me, and wants to prove to me that He or She or It is more powerful than any astrological reading, so as soon as astrology tells me that life is going to suck and I’m going to be barking alone, I’ll suddenly be the most interesting man in the world. Either that, or else astrology is complete and utter bullshit, and I’m a total maroon for buying into it in the first place. I’m leaning toward the latter lately. But, really, I just don’t know.

Anyway, when I wrote the astrologer who’d sent me the transits above and cashed my check, because I needed to tell her that my love life was more dead in the water than it’s ever been, here’s what she wrote back: It occurs to me that with the converse Saturn nearly exact square to natal Venus, perhaps any activation of Venus actually yields Saturn/Venus until that progression starts to wane. It is the only thing I can think of to explain the “chopped liver” reality. I am sorry to have misled you. Which is sincere, I guess, but a bit of a brushoff.

The punch line is this little tidbit that closed her original reading: Also, moving forward progressed Venus trine Node from 2/2014 to 1/2015 and progressed Venus sextile natal Moon from 5/2016 to 3/2017 suggest some future relationship without all the psychodrama and suffering.

I’ll be geriatric by then. Ah, like I said at the beginning: I am an idiot. —Jackson Griffith

More on the Fourth, on the Fifth

Posted in self help weirdness by Jackson Griffith on 06/07/2011

Why do I always forget the major point I want to make? Guess it was so hot yesterday that when I finally got ’round to scribbling one out, it totally went out the window. So the big deal about the Fourth of July, for me, is that when I was a little kid, I was mortally afraid of fireworks. Whenever my parents would get me and my blankie and a fresh bottle for ol’ dad into our massive bulbous Buick to go watch the fireworks across from the football stadium where they’d shoot ’em off, at the first Kaboom! I would completely flip my cookies, start screaming and yelling and crying and demand that mom and dad take me home now!

Loud motorcycles would have the same effect. I remember throwing myself onto the ground with my arms wrapped around my head, which felt like someone had run a blazing poker into my ear to the center of my brain, just from the sound of a neighbor’s motorbike. For years I’d felt like a big pussy because I’d reacted like that, but later on I learned that the freaking out to loud sounds, along with memorizing the names, addresses, the year, make and model of every car in the driveway, plus number of kids in the families who lived there and their ages and what schools they went to, over like at least a one-square-mile area in my subdivision, and could recite that meaningless info on demand from adults at the neighborhood swimming pool, meant something else entirely.

I guess I’ve gotten better over the years. I still feel like a total misfit half the time, and there are days when I feel like everyone else is thinking and speaking English and the stuff in my head is more aligned with the birds in the trees and never the twain shall meet, but I’d like to think that nearly four years of daily Buddhist meditation have corrected a lot of my lack of social synchronization.

Then again, sometimes I think I’ve just gotten more quiet, and have nothing worthwhile to say. —Jackson Griffith

Well, today kinda sucked, so might as well laugh

Posted in hipster gibberish, self help weirdness, sex drugs and ackohol in 5/4 time by Jackson Griffith on 13/05/2010

Jeebus, when things go sideways, well, maybe it’s just time to go for a few cheap laughs. Like the time I took my grandfather’s Oldsmobile 98 for its final airborne ride off the levee at Ladd’s, west of Stockton. I punched the 371-cube J-2 Golden Rocket engine and felt the sixpack roar into afterburner mode just as my buddy was lighting my bong, with a quart of Colt 45 malt liquor between my legs, and the Olds, a ’57 model that looked like a big chrome catfish, sailed off the road into a cornfield, with the Allman Brothers Band’s dope’n’roll epic “Whipping Post” blasting from the eight-track. Wheeee! Good times.

Some days are just crummy. You get up, you realize you didn’t get enough sleep. Then, things just go all dog’s breakfast from there. You break things. You realize you don’t have the dough in your pocket to get a good, satisfying meal, and you’re probably not going to get paid for a few days, and people are calling you who want money. You scrape together change, get coffee. Some random cop type sits at your table and gives you the flinty eye. You feel like a total bindlestiff, figure you might try bumming some money to get enough ingredients to cook up some hobo stew for the unruly crew in the empty lot at 20th and P, but then better sense prevails.

Once I got into trouble in Las Vegas. I mean, I got into trouble lots of times in Vegas, chemically enhanced trouble, like the time me and my pal Davey saw that they’d changed the signs for Paradise Boulevard to “Jerry Lewis Telethon Boulevard,” so we drove his Corvette Stingray to Abbey Rents to rent us some wheelchairs so we could roll into the telethon and talk to Jerry with a head full of Owsley’s finest. Not that time, but weeks later, around Halloween, when we dressed up like Bootsy Collins in made-up “Funk Funk” Devo suits and went to a party at the Epaminondas disco, and I kept shooting my plastic ray-gun spinner and hitting the waitresses in their tochises, or nay-nays, and they got pissed off and locked me in some sort of “Sadie Hawkins Day” wooden jail, which was not a good place for a guy with a head full of, well, you know, trouble. So I panicked and busted out of the jail, demolishing it, and they 86ed me for life, from all Epominondas discos and Eppie’s coffeeshops, too. Good times.

Yes, I can be an idiot at times. I’ve been clean and sober for, um, it’ll be 18 years at the end of the summer, so I can tell war stories with impunity. I do go to those “meetings,” but I don’t tell the great stories anymore, like when I was in this band called Death’s Ugly Head for about five minutes and change, and we would take a map with Stockton at the epicenter and draw concentric circles around it; Sacramento, at 45 miles, would be be inside the “our drummer’s wobbly and doing a lot of fills, but he’s still kicking the beat” circle, and San Francisco, at 90 miles, would be inside the “our drummer fell off his stool and is curled up in a foetal position next to his kit, so we’re rockin’ without a timekeeper” circle. Most of us didn’t get famous, but he did; made the cover of Spin and everything.

I’m generally well-behaved these days. I mean, I don’t get all scribbled and walk up to random women in bars and babble stuff like “Baby, you make me extremely conscious of my heterosexuality, if you know what I’m talking about and I think you do.” Believe it or not, that line worked a few times. I still talk to women, but the conversations are on a more even keel. Generally. But I still love to hear stories about people who really lose their composure and do amazingly funny and stupid stuff. Like this golden oldie. Um, not safe for work:

Damn. “I don’t know why I’m like this.” Um, I do, Pat. I’ve been zigged to the eyebrows like that, so chemically tumescent that enough blood was drained from my brain to make me seriously stupid and deranged, just like you! And thanks for the laughs, because when I hear phone messages like that, no matter how crummy I’m feeling, it’ll pull me out of my torpor in a jiffy. How can you continue a bad mood after that? I sure can’t. —Jackson Griffith

The business of isness is jizzness

Posted in hipster gibberish, self help weirdness by Jackson Griffith on 12/05/2010

Dig: I couldn’t wake up this morning, man. I mean, I rolled off of what’s sufficing as a bed these days, rubbed my blurry eyes, went and brushed my teeth and cleaned up, but it’s one of those classic examples of, well, the crayon I’ve got today to connect the dots is in a weird color, and it only shows up in certain lighting. But the good news is, I feel relatively good. It’s a brand new day, and I know how to do the zampoughi.

Now, please forgive me for making a statement that “the business of isness is jizzness.” In less gauche words, what I’m saying is that dialing into feeling consciousness and changing your mood from crunty dyspepsis to bubbling over with effervescence is a necessary component one needs to master before venturing out into the world. I read a book one time — well, in Samuel Goldwyn terms, I read part of it all the way through — by one of those self-help gurus, I can’t remember her name now, but the gist of it was that the outer shell we present to others is governed by the temperature and flavor of our inner moods. Meaning: If we can change the way we feel, we can change outcomes from negative or nebulous to bright and shiny. New Pontics for everybody, just like on Oprah!

Sorry, I’m not making sense. I did mention that this morning, I woke up and my crayon was a weird color, and the pictures I’m drawing with it are coming out different that the pictures in my head. Ever have days like that? At least I’m not hobbled by weird dreams the way I was a couple of days ago, when I dreamed I was up on some property I owned in the hills (actually, I currently don’t own shit), walking along a gravel road, and someone had landed a private jet on the road. I walked up to the front of the plane, and out popped Marlon Brando, who had some advice for me on how to make those shifts that will propel me from loserdom to the blazing and brilliant success he was utterly confident awaited me just around the bend. I can’t remember anything he said; we walked among boulders, looking at the ocean beyond; it was here, here at the dude ranch, above the sea or something. I can’t remember now. And I’m guessing I could use that advice.

You know, some days are just non-sequiturs. And from where I sit now, I hear banjo music. —Jackson Griffith