Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Evan Tanner, R.I.P.

I discovered the UFC after a very necessary romantic break up left me with a one bedroom apartment in Harlem, just under a couple hundred dollars in what used to be a shared bank account, and a not-so-great paying job to buoy the lot. What I also had was a Blockbuster card and, thanks to the low ebb of that buoy, a bevy of free evenings. And Blockbuster, being the Shoney's of cinophelia, had such treats as Black Ninja IV, Ghost Dad, and--in perfect keeping with its bread-and-circus MO--real-life bloodsport in the form of the UFC.

Now, Ghost Dad and BN4 would both have driven me to violence, whereas the UFC expended the energy behind that furious urge to break teeth and bone with one's bare hands successfully and dependably. Clearly, the latter was the healthiest way to invest my $4.23.

Among the first fighters I came across and learned to admire was Evan Tanner. He and Randy Couture (among a few others) had a kind of bonhomie to their presence in the Octagon--a love of the fellow man they were beating the holy crap out of--that impressed me deeply. Couture's was based in an All-American sense of sportsmanship. Tanner's was more a Zen thing--an unalloyed joy in the here-and-now, no matter how painful the present moment might be.

I realize that I'm coming to this wake several months late, but after occasionally wondering where the man is now I discovered that he's gone. As was his wont, he went in search of life's most extreme conditions and--to his credit and our loss--he found them.

Watching the elan with which he both gave (did he ever!) and took (really, did he ever!) a beating, I always had the sense that his spirit was at peace. So I'll content myself to say goodbye to his body solely.

Evan Tanner, R.I.P.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Weeny, Weedy, Weechy

I drew the sketch below when I was on a short-list to pencil a friend's comic book story--set in the further reaches of 1st Century Rome--and was experimenting with various visual styles. I finished this a while ago so it's not rose blossom fresh but it's not past its sell-by either. And hey, I'm feeling artsy but not enough to do the work to make something completely new.

You might recognize the model. What a diva to work with...

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Here, There, And Everywh...

...I'm sorry, what's that you say? There's no "there" or "everywhere" and certainly no "anywhere?" It's just HERE?

Well then. That's where you'll be able to find me now. Over there.

I mean, here.

Late Night Guest Blogger

"Stepping" in for me: Miss Eliza Do-too-much.

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(Marlon adds: "Indeed.")

A Separate Concrete Example

Since my favorite blogger has her comments restricted to team members only, to this, I say this:

"Organized religion is a slippery slope. First, you shrug away the Pope's hateful politics then before you know it you're Southern Baptist..."


I have so much more to say about the subject, but the magnitude of it wearies me. So for now, I'll stick with that...

Friday, December 19, 2008

You And I Do

Wii do.

Wii did.

Wii will.

Thanks to mom, oh yes Wii will.

Life is smashing.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Deeper And Deeper In Vein

Tonight was the first full band rehearsal for me after learning six full numbers. (And I mean full: several songs clock in closer to the ten minute mark than the four.) My fingers hurt a little, but I do believe I'm on track to do my first gig with them for their December 5th show.

I hear we also managed to put a man on the moon.

More details soon (about the moon landing too, if anyone out there is confused), but first I have to go meet a hot girl at a neighborhood bar...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Sign Of The Angels

What I wouldn't do for some good ol' fashioned Halo on this chilly afternoon...

Radio Silence

Apologies. I've been too damn sleepy to pick up the microphone these last few days.

For the few moments that I have my finger on the on-button:

Had a second go-round with Deep In Vein. Went well. I seem to be successfully passing myself off as a bassist, despite the fact that I lack a significant low end in real life.

The rhythm section I had hopes for officially fizzled with the arrival of a "dear john" style send-off in my email in-box. It's not a catastrophe; they were good but the surly attitude gave me acid flashbacks of the last group I worked with. Now I go crawling back to Craig and his list. Sigh...

Played another soccer game yesterday. The arctic temperature combined with insufficient warm-up time--combined with my general idiocy about balancing the two--made my left quad go "sproing!" So, no assists, no goals. Fittingly, we ended up at a bar called Antarctica afterward.

Ok, nap time...again. Marlon out.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Who Wants A Piece O' Me? (Updated)

So it seems my social calendar has gotten somewhat crowded of late, and very suddenly at that.

Meet Deep In Vein. I think I just became their new bassist.

On Sunday afternoon, I may or may not discover whether I will have a new rhythm section on whom to inflict my best Clapton impression.

That same evening, I will get to sit with a friend-turned-novelist and discuss his latest opus over what will undoubtedly be several pints of fine bitters.

And tonight, I have a chance at victory on the international field of battle in place of an injured friend.

Of course last, and certainly best: she's there at the end of each of all of them.

I win.


Update: Lost the first game, won the second (the team's first win of the season, no less). Scored one goal, had at least two assists. Not bad, all told. Though today my lower half feels like it's being herky-jerkied by an apprentice puppeteer. Ow.

Monday, November 10, 2008


Here's a little idea I executed a few months ago. It's taken me rather a while to address the subject, I admit, but sometimes these things require a bit of time to work through. In its physical form, I have it set very small--like a postage stamp--against a much larger white space with matting and frame.

I guess I should count this as my first posting wearing my visual artist's hat. 'Tis a pretty hat, lots of colors and patterns....


Saturday, November 8, 2008

Best Get My Dashiki Now...


I, for one, welcome our new islamo-haremic overlords...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Holy Crap III: Yakuza

I don't really like gloating. So I'm only going to do a little of it. I have many friends back in Georgia and Florida who vote Republican as loyally as I vote Democrat. I get it. I've understood for a long time that a healthy portion of Party association is anchored in tribal identity. Hell, my friend and I used to argue about the ways we embodied--or didn't--our respective Party ideologies...back in 4th grade...based solely on the fact of our parents' differing affiliations.

This past 4th, my Party won. Big. (See? Only a little bit, just like I said.) I will now endeavor to explain why this happened, in terms so simplistic that I will unapologetically reference the sucking intellectual wound that is a Quentin Tarantino film.


I like the "Kill Bill" movies, in much the same way I like bacon: sometimes you just can't help yourself, even knowing what it's doing to your heart. There's a moment in the first one where Uma Thurman is decimating a small village's worth of underlings in various parts of an upscale restaurant in order to get to Lucy Liu. Suddenly, the lights are cut; the fight proceeds in the dark; as Uma's about to cut down her final opponent the lights snap back on and she realizes that, instead of a warrior deserving of her wrath, she's actually facing a young boy. After breaking his sword, she snatches the wayward child, bends him over her knee, and--using Hattori Hanzo steel--spanks the holy crap out of him while admonishing "This...is what you get...for fucking around...with Yakuza! Go home to your mother!"

That's exactly what happened to the Republican Party two days ago. Just like that young boy, they followed the crazies in their Party into a very bad place. And they got a nasty ass-whooping for it. Here's hoping they finally stop...fucking around...with Yakuza.

Go home to your mother.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Holy Crap II: Obama


Holy crap.


And yes, "holy crap, I really love this woman."

That still holds true.

But, um...

Holy crap!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Holy Crap

I really love this woman.


That is all.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


You know your life is in sad shape when, walking home from work after yet another twelve hour day, a frank assessment of your current professional situation dredges up memories of middle-period Van Halen as mid-wifed by MTV back in 1992.

Two minutes and eighteen seconds in.

Only, I think the pay they mention averages a little higher than what I drag myself out of bed for these days.

And it's not even good Van Halen. Sigh...

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Nov. 4th

Call me a moral relativist--maybe that's why I vote Godless Democrat--but I completely understand the mounting emotion of those Republicans who have dedicated their mental space to a horse who will not only most likely lose the race, but do so with wild, rolling eyes. I sympathize because I remember my own investment in 2004. (Not that Kerry could muster some rolling, much less any sort of wild, but still...)

At this point, with the finish line bearing down, the election feels so important, so big, and so totally out of your hands that the only emotional response can be rage. "How," you lament, "how can people not see what a wrong choice that guy is?!"

I feel for them, the true believers frothing over Palin's knife-blade rhetoric. It's just a short hop back to my own ABB days, when the idiocy of the previous three years (I only started paying attention to politics on 9/11, when I realized--Yatzee!--that politics had real world effects) seemed so baldly plain that I was (and still am) unable to comprehend a sober lever-pull for the Fuck Up Twins. (See?) There was nothing about Kerry that got my blood moving, other than the fact that he wasn't them or anyone like them. But being against something does not automatically motivate that portion of a populace to pry their fat asses from their armchairs and be for something. And so Kerry was forced to take his ball and walk his droopy eyes home.

Now, though, the jackboot's on the other foot: Obama is up in the polls and looks like he might have the fight to finish. I imagine I'll see this pendulum swing back and forth several times during my lifetime. I also imagine that it will never stop being satisfying watching the ass-end of that pendulum grow larger as it heads back my way. At the moment, the conservative "movement" has as its spokespersons someone who has never actually been a part of it and someone who is its unflattering caricature. My heart goes out: Kerry managed to make the party of San Francisco leatherfests sound boring.

And yet...and yet...after Guantanamo, extraordinary rendition, wiretapping, the lawless (and, more to the point, unnecessary) war in Iraq, the politicization of the Justice Dept., and so many other offenses, I myself can only admit to a kind of glee--mathematically diametric to the paroxyms currently gripping the GOP ticket's rallies--at the current prospects of the Republican party. After all they've wrought--after all the fundamentally anti-American policies they've imposed--the best that can happen to them is the non-violence of a political defeat.

(I say "anti-American" with this story in mind: talking with a friend who generally votes Republican, I made the argument that certain of the Bush Administration's policies were anti-American, meaning that they did not respect those rights to individual liberty and speech [among other things] that are enshrined in our Constitution. My friend unambivalently shrugged: the ends justify the means.)

That said, the only mildly supportive trope I'll offer is that We're All Americans here. Representative democracy is how work it, baby. I'm a Democrat, you're a Republican; ostensibly we each have the best interests of the country at heart; let's call the whole thing off.

Still...may McCain and those loose wingnuts who comprise his base lose. Lose their way. Lose their faith in conservatism. Lose their anti-humanitarian, 19th Century frontiersman misogyny. In the worst possible way. Just lose.

I would say "lose their minds," but, well...

The End All

Over eggs and pancakes today, my love and I concluded:

It all comes down to anal sex.

Apply this to your own life as you will. Unless it's been applied for you.

(Update: Later, I took the N train to the Canal St. stop. Exactly.)

Monday, October 6, 2008

Kimbo Slice

Kimbo Slice. He'll show up at your nice, Florida house, stand by as his entourage tears up your expertly pruned azaleas, then beat the holy living He-Is-Risen crap out of your biggest friend.

What can I say, the man's scary. Has been ever since those backyard videos out of Miami started catching eyes on YouTube. (You remember that; it was a little like stumbling onto your parents' porn stash: your thoughts turn into a flaming jumble of "is this real? so this is what it really looks like! am I allowed to watch this? this has to be illegal...," all the while you're dimming the lights and keeping one ear cocked for footsteps outside your bedroom door.)

With this in mind, I was half amused by his recent, much jabbered about entry into the daintily gloved world of professional MMA. (Excepting Rio Heroes, I guess. Just....wow.) Now, I don't begrudge any man using his talents to work his way up the payscale. Still, there was one video of Kimbo that always stuck with me, a fight between him and one Sean Gannon, an off-duty policeman slumming the underground scene. Long story short, after the artwork he makes of Gannon's face, Mr. Slice gasses out. (The end is actually kinda sad.)

Which leads to the amused half of my response to Kimbo's newfound professionalism: when faced with an opponent who was better prepared than the run-of-the-mill thugs populating his suped-up schoolyard--i.e., a trained policeman, with all the day-to-day drilling and physical conditioning that that implies--Kimbo couldn't close the deal. The idea that searching out a (caged) forum where attention to diet, rest, and technique is the norm among vetted athletes would be more to his advantage than his continued pummeling of unknowns in between courses of BBQ’ed meat was—and here I speak only for myself—of the Barnum&Bailey school of spectacle. As might now be obvious, as far as Kimbo goes, I have silently leaned toward the “not” of the well-known B&B slogan.

Endurance wasn’t the deciding factor in his fight against Seth Petruzelli. At first, I thought it was a simple slip that Petruzelli capitalized on. On second glance, I noticed that as Seth’s desperate right jab lands, Slice’s front leg goes stiff—rather unmistakable evidence of some CTL-ALT-DEL going on in the higher brain functions. On third viewing, though, it’s painfully obvious: the dude got his clock re-timed with a single bunny right by a fighter who had a whole half a foot on the ground from which to leverage. For Kimbo, the end, once again, is kinda sad.

I think we’ve seen the beginning of the end of Kimbo. And I don’t rejoice at that. The sport depends on awe--amazement at the athletes’ power, prowess, endurance, all in the face of rather serious corporal punishment--and shattering that magic mirror, even for me, still provokes a certain amount of disdain. When the veneer of invincibility cracks with this brand of fighter--as it did with Shamrock, Tito, Belfort, and Liddell, for instance--multiple, humiliating defeats are only a few blearied blinks behind.

I would gamble my azaleas that Seth Petruzelli has unwittingly handed Kimbo a career as a distinguished MMA commentator.

I believe it would be wise of Mr. Slice to take it.

Monday, September 29, 2008

It Begins...

So, as far as I can figure it, the whim under which I visited Blogspot yesterday and whipped this little thing up was born of a desire to undo what has felt like an epic, years-long case of creative block. An attempt to roll a boulder out of my path, in some way. But, instead of an empty cave where a few confused Hebrews were treated to the final sha-bang of a thirty-three-year magic act, I'm hoping to find something, er, substantive.

The pursuit should be interesting, considering that my most successful poetry (by which I mean those short, haphazard groupings of metaphors people I didn't know and therefore couldn't bribe actually saw fit to publish), and most of my better dramatic writings, are concerned almost solely (and ironically) with the feeling that I have nothing to say. Actually, nothing, said well, might best describe my MO.

Now, clearly, things occur to me over the course of the day. Ideas, observations, puns, riffs, meanderings. Often, they're silly. Sometimes, they're not. I guess I'm hoping that if I etch my ideas and experiences into a solid medium--to those who just cocked their head I note that the interwebs never forget--then I'll force myself to acknowledge that I actually have a considered take on my own life.

Here's hoping anyway. Let the games begin...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Ruminations & Derivations

I...hello? If I could just take a moment of your time, I...hello?