throwback thursday

Some old doodles I came across today…

Coffee cat © S. D. Stewart

Cat and human © S. D. StewartLaundry day © S. D. Stewart


Mopping the floor © S. D. Stewart


Wave the flag © S. D. Stewart

repetition is a theme

Buried in slog of post-contest photo caption editing. It is satisfying in a maddening way.

Tools for Monday survival kit:  Zeni Geva, The Voyeurs, Peanut Chews, Coffee

possible kalopsic casualty

Last night I swam in a sea of almost-sleep, drifting in and out of almost-lucid dreams, all of which evaporated upon waking. It was the fan, I think. The fan instead of the A/C. What was I thinking. The Siren song of dropping humidity dripped its sugar-sweet serum into my ear holes. Damn you Weather Sirens. It is Wednesday now. My bird-of-the-day calendar displays a sleek Green Kingfisher. I replaced the bulb above my office plant. We are getting new green carpet; it smells bad and looks like it was torn out of some swinger’s 1960s basement rec room. I cringe at the thought of it creeping in all molester-like into my personal office space. My feet will never be the same. Violation! Violation. I am listening to the liferaft again. So help me, I cannot help myself. Do you know what I mean. Do you. Do you really know. I attended a meeting this morning. I was 9 minutes late on account of I was waiting for the coffee to stop brewing. Also my coworker and I were busy trash-talking the last 4 years of our professional lives. I am back to drinking too much coffee again. But I drink the special tea after lunch to try and repair the damage. It appears to work, but maybe not since there was the almost-sleep and that is a heavy consideration. I am eating my lunch now and not smoking a cigar. But I bet that guy is. I’ll bet he is. The liferaft has segued into the bedside table. That is where I keep the 5 books I am currently reading, most of them Kafka-related. But there is Jung, too. And Tessimond. All of my dear friends stacked in a pile within easy reach. With my Moleskine. Sigh. Last night while out walking Farley we saw a cat. It was not a metaphorical cat that might or might not be in a box, dead or alive. It was a real cat and Farley was interested. He stared under the car long after the cat had run back across the street. I want a cat so bad. Nearby to where I live a train went off the tracks in the dead of night. Two college girls were up on the bridge tweeting photos and they were buried under a mountain of coal. They died. I’d like to think this exposes the ills of social media, but I’m not sure. I feel bad about this. That’s why I listen to the liferaft so much. It makes the sounds that I feel inside most of the time. I am perhaps a blurred model of myself. I walk outside and brush my hand against the lavender blooms and surreptitiously sniff. Hey, it’s that guy who is always sniffing his hand. Yes, that is me. I enjoy touching things in nature that look soft. I find them irresistible. I find much of what is around me irresistible. The rest of it can fall off the planet for all I care. The Internet ruined my concentration. I enjoy chasing rabbits of information down their hidey holes. That is really what I do. Often. Sometimes I pass on what I find to others. Sandy Berman taught me that. He is a good man. We used to write letters back and forth. I was an over-excited new library school student. Now I just search for stuff on the Web. My idealism is easily trod upon into a gross paste that I plan to smear on the molester carpet when it arrives leering and panting outside my office door. What you don’t know is that I was just outside touching the lavender. Literally. Between that one sentence and the next. What do you think about that. My hand smells so fucking good right now. Outside there was a truck with bins on the side dispensing free energy bars. The orbs and their blobs were shoving their fleshy flaccid fingers in those bins so fast. But they are healthy nutrition bars. Ha! That is a fucking good trick! I feel so alive today. It made me walk fast. Surf the mania. I am 100% alive and 100% dead ALL THE TIME. I am petting the cat and its back is arched. I’m an out-of-the-box solution, suckers.

angel giants stomp with long necks stretched

I dream about people I don’t even know, sometimes after I think about them so so much that I feel like I almostbutnotquite know them. I dream about people I know and my dream-mind puts them in places I know well, but then they are different…there’s a stream, for instance. The landlord is a squat petty thug and the place is a dump and I’m wondering why my friends want to rent it, other than that they are cheap and like old rotting buildings and, oh, there’s a girl using a sewing machine in the basement. We see her in the picture window as we walk by. Everyone waves. And I guess that is reason enough. I ask my friend if the landlord will clean up the place first and he says no. There is clothing lying on the floor and junk everywhere. That night we have an “art party” there. I don’t even know what an art party is, but apparently it is pretty crazy. People were walking on the walls. It may have been dark and people may have been glowing. Later I wake up (for real) with a staggering cramp in my left calf. Probably all that wall-walking with necrotic dream limbs. Waking life, hmph. There is a light that never goes out there is a light that never goes out there is a light that never goes out. Glad that’s off my sunken ship of a chest. Anyway, I’m climbing up this rocky incline to get to the stream above. When I get there I yell down to the others. There’s no bank up there. The water almost sloshes over the side. This is on a street I used to ride my bike on all the time. There is no stream. A map of my town imprinted on my brain at some point. My dream self makes good use of it. More interesting now than it used to be. Or maybe everything gets less interesting as we get older. Try to surprise me. It can’t be done. I dare you. Outside dreams, of course. The other night an industrial toaster suddenly fell out of a ceiling panel in the dream room next to me, followed by the man there to install it. That surprised me.

Three years before his death at age 41 Franz Kafka wrote in his diary, “I have seldom, very seldom, crossed this borderland between loneliness and fellowship.” He was speaking of his refusal throughout life to accept offers that would open the door to social, even public life. That is what I do. I refuse offers. I am a refuser. Of offers. I listen to dark wave and brood instead. I am a brooder. A refuserbrooder. I concentrate on shunning contact.

The summer is a slow time. But what happens when autumn comes. What happens then. Everything begins to die, that’s what. It’s delicious. The earth opens its pores and accepts all this decaying matter into itself. Nutrients are restored. Birds collect dried seeds from dead flowerheads. The trees remove their clothing with no trace of shame. Their spindly exposed limbs shake and shiver in the October winds. The days shorten and the light takes on a golden cast. All my dendrites tingle. Sleep comes on deeper and shrugs off slower.

As I spun the pedals closer to my building this morning I caught the scent of roasting coffee on the morning breeze. And I forgot about all the fool drivers I’d not so gladly suffered on my ride. Maybe there is an antidote for every poison shoved down our throats. Maybe it takes a lifetime to find them all.

sf trip: day two

Good Morning, San Francisco Bay Bridge!

© 2012 S. D. Stewart, San Francisco Bay Bridge

Oh look, here comes a ferry.

© 2012 S. D. Stewart, San Francisco Bay

It’s coming from the Ferry Building!

© 2012 S. D. Stewart, Ferry Building, San Francisco, California

Inside the Ferry Building are vendors such as Pepples Donuts and Blue Bottle Coffee. Happiness is a vegan donut and a cup of drip coffee!

© 2012 S. D. Stewart, Pepples vegan donut & Blue Bottle hand-drip coffee

While enjoying my coffee and donut, I came across the following tableau.

[Please excuse this egregious example of anthropomorphism]

Fred the Western Gull: Hmm…what do we have here? Why I do believe it’s a tasty crab!

© 2012 S. D. Stewart, Western Gull finds crab

Bob the Western Gull: Hey Fred, whatcha got there, buddy?

Fred: Why, nothing, Bob. I have nothing at all.

© 2012 S. D. Stewart, Western Gulls with crab

Bob: Are ya sure there, Fred? ‘Cause it sure looks like ya got something in yer gob there, pal.

Fred: I have nothing, my good man. Now leave me be!

Bob: C’mon, Fred, just let me nibble a bit on that there crab. Dontcha ‘member me sharing my sea bass with ya last week?

© 2012 S. D. Stewart, Western Gulls with crab

Fred: Oh, very well then. But just this once.

Bob: Thanks, Fred. Yer a real stand-up guy.

© 2012 S. D. Stewart, Western Gulls share crab

Obligatory Western Grebe photo, just to prove I saw one. They kept diving underwater just as I focused in. Taken with my point-and-shoot through binoculars, which is why it’s blurry.

© 2012 S. D. Stewart, Western Grebe, San Francisco Bay

Coit Tower, as seen from the waterfront. We were so close to it the day before and didn’t even realize it. Still a bit annoyed about that. I would’ve walked back up there if I’d had the time.

© 2012 S. D. Stewart, Coit Tower, San Francisco, California

A couple of shots from Chinatown. It’s the largest one in the Western Hemisphere!

© 2012 S. D. Stewart, Chinatown entrance, San Francisco, California

© 2012 S. D. Stewart, Chinatown, San Francisco, California

In late afternoon we took a tour of the Mechanics’ Institute Library with the other conference participants. This is a private membership-based library, and the librarian wouldn’t let us take photos inside the library, so as to “protect the privacy of our patrons.” Instead I took a shot of this spiral staircase in the building. After I took the photo I walked down the staircase and kept feeling like I was going to fall on my face. Vertigo!

© 2012 S. D. Stewart, Staircase at Mechanics' Institute Library Building

Next time:  Goodbyes!

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