blog cull

I use google reader to keep up with the blogs I follow, and I tend to just add shit in willy-nilly as I come across it. Of course, this means I was "following" 200+ journals and barely glancing at 2/3 of them on a regular basis. So I just went through my list and cleared out anything abandoned, anything I skip more than read, and anything I've lost interest in.

I feel so... purged.

For you, I offer a handful of themed blogs that I enjoy:
- My Parents Were Awesome
- illustrated Missed Connections ads
- Comically Vintage
- xkcd

Now, are these any odd/themed blogs you'd suggest?


howdy do, neighbor

My mama reads this blog. I assume you know that. Hell, if you are reading this I can almost assume that you either found me through her blog or are related to me.

Anyway, that's one reason that there are certain things I don't talk about on here. You'll never get the details of my sex life through blogspot.

But, looking at this blank page, I feel like there are certainly more personal things to discuss once in a while. Things that could do with an airing.

So, out of curiosity, who's reading this? Are you one of my mama's fans, do I know you in real life, have we dated? Speak up, please.


Getting the story backwards.

Wait, doesn't it say three wise men went to visit one baby? Damn it, we've got this backwards.

Seriously, though, we've got a bumper crop this year, y'all. I remember being a young'un, going to bonfire parties and singalongs with my hippie parents, playing with the other kids in the flickering, cold night. I remember dozing in the back of our VW Rabbit, watching upwards out of the back window as the trees flickered over us, riding down a canopy road from the Land Co-op or Oxbottom back to our little place in Lloyd.

And here we are again. My sister and my friends having their firsts - all boys this time around - and bringing them to parties. It won't be long before they are weaving through the crowd, planning raids on the snack table, flirting with the ladies, showing off their best toys to each other.

Cycle of life, y'all. Oh, and go check out my Xmas present for my own sweet mama: her blog is now easier than ever to find or recommend at blessourhearts.net - her own domain name!


amazing grace

By the way, I feel about a million times better today. Less like someone dragged their muddy feet all over my brain. The tasks I did today stayed done and no one pissed in my iced tea.

After I extracted myself from the office yesterday, I met up with a good friend. We rode over to the Lucky Scars' practice space to listen to good music, freeze our bald heads, and get our shoulders out of our ears. A fellow was out there fooling with his bagpipes, and I love the pipes, so that was a bonus indeed.

Although, I admit, when he got to tuning the things we decided to leave.


fuck fuck fuckity fuck

Every single god damned thing I have done today has required 5 extra steps because someone else fucked it up along the line. Someone who makes more than I do. Someone with a college degree. Someone who ought to have the god damned sense to know how to do their job, which I am not getting money to do.

So, here's a hearty fuck you sideways to those out there who have kicked my soul in the nuts today. I hope you go home to find your porch plants dead and your pets shitting wetly on your bedroom rug.



let me tell you about my friend T-bone

She and I dated for 5 years and have been close buds for 5 more.

She can cook up anything from escargot to vegan sloppy joe. She can drink a 12 pack of beer and walk a straight line. She can balance two jobs and taking care of a mom with issues. She can dance like a muppet. She can tell a joke (as long as it is one of a half dozen she knows). She can make a tshirt look pretty damn good.

What can't she do? Wash dishes. Name a cat anything except Baby (she currently shares a tiny apartment with Old Baby and Good Baby). Whistle. Make friends with girls I date.

Last night, she took something off the can't list. See, she was an end of life surprise for her dad - in her 20s, she's the youngest of 5 kids, and the oldest is in his 60s. Her experience with babies is in the range of slim to none. But a bunch of our friends and loved ones have started spawning, and now there are newborns everywhere. The thing is, T-bone's never held one. The youngest kid to ever sit in her lap was a few years old, and that was only for a few seconds.

But Brother B put his wee one in her arms last night and stepped back. She whispered to Waylon, "When you're older, we're going to be best friends." She peered into his little face and he blinked back sleepily. She cried a little. T-bone and babies - who knew?


Did I mention Punk Nite?

I'll (punk) rock you like a hurricane. (I'm actually pretty much the world's worst dj, but it always turns out to be a lot of fun.)


take me to the river

Tonight: Mostly clear. Lows 41 to 48. Northeast winds around 5 mph.
Saturday: Mostly sunny in the morning then becoming partly cloudy. Highs around 76. East winds around 10 mph.
Saturday Night: Partly cloudy. Lows 50 to 53. East winds around 5 mph.

As the locals know, the weather in North Florida ranges from hot as homemade sin to cold as a witch's tit in a brass bra. Somewhere between the season of massive heat and massive skeeters and the season of chilly damp followed by hard freezes, we get a couple of perfect weeks. Candy blue skies. Bonfire nights. Moonlight turning every leaf silver. Sunlight that warms your body without melting your soul.

Camping weather.

My ground tarp's cut, an 8 X 10 slice of an old billboard cover. My quilts are rolled tight and bound with a bungee cord. My cooler is washed out and waiting to be packed full of three days worth of canned beer. My backpack's crammed full of socks, drawers, notebooks, and novels.

All around town, I can imagine my friends. We've bounced a few messages off each other - I know we're all half out of town already. "I'll pick you up at 6, be ready." "We got plenty of food, don't hold us up once we get rolling." "Give me the address, I may need to stay last at work and come after."

I've got my mind fixed on one moment in time: past the hour and a half drive, past the unlocking of the gate and the turning on of the water supply, past setting up my tent in the dark (good thing I've got practice on that one), past gathering wood. The moment when we drag stumps and folding chairs up next to the fire, crack open our beers, and settle in to watch the night unfold.

Don't miss out on the good weekends, guys. You don't get a whole lot of them.


the best of times

You know, I really don't share all that much on this blog. It's too public. I don't get into discussions about my sex life, my spiritual beliefs, or the finer points of my wider politics. I don't go on about the details of my work woes or how I'd rather be at the bar, double fisting Pabst.

That was me on Friday with two friends, waiting for the Lucky Scars to hit the stage. They're a local streetpunk/oi band, and they put together a fundraiser for cancer research - called it Breast Cancer Beatdown. There's a joke or two to be made about a cancer benefit in a smoke-clogged dive bar, and they all got made that night, I tell you what.

The cause was worth but entirely superfluous to my night. Some people go to church to center themselves and feel at peace with creation. Some walk in the woods or jump off of bridges or eat mushrooms or race cars. But for me it's live music. Just about anything will do in a pinch - bluegrass on the porch, marching bands making the streets ring and crash. But to be in the crowd at a punk show, in my home bar, brothers and sisters around, singing along. Moments like those are the reason some of us never give up the scene, though we let the drama and street level politics largely fall by the wayside.

My knees are shot from standing on concrete in boots and tripping over kids in the pit, so I don't mosh anymore. I try to pay my bills on time these days, so you don't find me blowing my paycheck at the bar every night anymore. My favorite little subgenres of punk rock aren't as popular as the current trends, so there's not a show every weekend anymore. But when the call goes out, I can't help but answer it. With a beer in each hand and a smile on my face.


now accepting mail

P.O. Box 37281
TLH, FL 32315-7281

Feel free to send me letters, mix tapes and cds, postcards, zines, stickers, publicity shots, small toys, dried meat, money, lucky pebbles, your favorite movie, political manifestos, local newspapers, and your undying affection.

Please do not send underwear, chewed gum, ice cubes, poop, illegal bird feathers, stink bombs, or naked pictures of Sarah Palin.


this week in dreams

From my found image blog: ski witches, broken noses, pirates, trolls, nursing mothers, primate hands, train hoppers, and other odds and ends.


a key of my own

I've made zines about past relationships and zines about long time affairs. I've made zines about bands I love and zines about music I can't stand to listen to. I've made zines that are mostly interviews and zines that are nothing but three paragraphs detailing a momentary mindset of my own. When I was wee, I drew out little newspapers, complete with weather, date, and bannered headlines (probably about our pets or maybe mom washing dishes).

I don't remember learning to read. I don't remember learning to print. I don't remember first deciding to create something written with intent to distribute, any more than I remember learning to use the toilet or eat with a spoon. But I do remember the first time I learned about zine culture (punk personal zines, in this case), laid out my first one (god damn, it was ugly), and got my first post office box.

Up until then, I'd never had a key to anything that was my very own. I didn't really have my own room growing up, I moved straight out of my folks' houses and in with a girlfriend - I don't recall even having a locked trunk or cabinet. But all of a sudden, I had a small place that was mine. I could get mail and never show it to anyone, if I wanted - in fact, no one even had to know I ever received anything. I could slap that address on a zine that I sent out and carry on conversations with people that no one else in my life had any connection to without having to worry about any of them showing up at my front door.

Walking into the outer, always open area of a post office at night to check my mail calms me. It's quiet and cool, and it smells like paper and ink. And if that p.o. box is full of zines and stickers and letters, by god, that's as good as Xmas.

After I folded my last zine - it covered a certain music scene, and I just got tired of doing interviews and herding all the cats needed to make it come out right - I let my box rent lapse. I'd had that address through several different incarnations of zinedom, and it seemed time for a change. So now I'm working on something that might be more than a one shot issue, and I need a way for people to contact me. It's easy to throw an email address on there and call it good, but what fun is that?

So next payday, I'll pick my branch and rent a box. I've overjoyed at the thought. Hey - you have your incomprehensible thrills and I'll have mine.


Mr. Owen Curtis

9 pounds, 4 ounces. Born 9/26. 42 hours of labor. My sister's a badass. Welcome to the world, little man!


a good day to be born

Looks like the time has (started to) come! I'll let y'all know what's up next time I get on a computer.


waiting for the baby

Well, it looks like we're coming up on the big event. My sister Lily is headed to the hospital with her husband and our mama, and words like "induce" and "ripened cervix" are getting thrown around. (How do they ripen a cervix? Put it in a paper bag with a banana?)

I've had so many text messages this afternoon from sisters and close friends that my cell phone ran out of charge. I keep saying, no, it'll be hours and hours before anything happens, but after waiting months and months that doesn't seem like such a long time.

Lily's a hell of a woman, pink velvet around an iron will. I don't know if she's looking at two days of labor or just enough time to call in the troops and push Owen into the world, but either way I know she's got the strength to get through.

A friend just asked if we should bring presents to her in the hospital. I said, "No, she'll have a present - a baby!"


comment moderation

Sorry, y'all, I have to turn the comment moderation on for a while. Asian spammer. Fuck those guys.


I've seen heaven...

and it is Neil Gaiman's library. Seriously. Lock my ass in there and occasionally push food and beer under the door. I wonder what order he's got it all set in. I'm pretty sure every book that I have ever wanted to read is in this room.

I'm quite literally a little sick with envy, in a way that I have never experienced before.

this week in dreams

A few of this week's found eyehooks on I've had dreams like that:


broke as no joke

This is sort of riffing on yesterday's blog, and thoughts about what is worth money and what ain't. I don't talk about personal money matters much, but it's on my mind, so be it.

Paycheck to paycheck's been my entire adult life, since I moved out of my folks' houses at 17 and in with my first girlfriend. She, years older than me, liked to buy electronic toys and get credit cards in my name. Let's just say that when I finally left her, three years later and centuries wiser, this poor boy didn't take nothing but a bag of clothes, a box of books, and enough debt for a third world nation.

Between that auspicious beginning and a tendency toward sex, beer, and rock'n'roll and away from academic and professional success, let's just say I'm not rolling in dough. I shuffled from rented room to slum apartment as jobs came and went. I crossed the country for my sister's wedding with nothing but my boots, $20, and a Greyhound ticket. The whole time I lived in Atlanta, I never had car insurance or got my tags renewed. (Marta: it's smarta!)

Eventually, I came home to Tally and got this state job. When I first started in this office, what I was making seemed huge, a god-send, especially when coupled with actual health care. Ten years later, I'm making the same amount, and it ain't shit. I owe my mama. I owe my pops. I owe my sister. I probably owe you. I pay most of my bills most of the time. I don't pay for cable. I do have netflix. Last night, I ate buttered noodles for dinner. My neighbor gave me the noodles when he moved into his new house. I don't get paid for a week and a half. If I had $80, I wouldn't buy Lyle Lovett tickets is what I'm saying. I'd feed my cat, put gas in my car, and get aa badly needed oil change. I'm trying to find a second job for Saturday or Sunday afternoons, but you can guess how that's going in this college town.

This is a whiney post. Like I said, I don't usually discuss this, because it's mostly my own choices that put me on this economic rung, and times is rough all around. But I felt like venting, so there you go.


God will, but I won't

I've been a Lyle Lovett fan since the late 80s, when we got a few of his albums to play in our new cd player. The hair, the smile, the crooked sense of humor, even his name - the man was born to sing the American story. I lucked out and got to see him as part of a 3 songwriter showcase a few years ago at Ruby Diamond Auditorium thanks to a friend with connections. Hell of a night!

Well, when I found out he was coming back this year for 7 Days of Opening Nights, I had to price tickets. Are you fucking kidding me? Upwards of $80 for a few hours of music? I know, that's not too pricey for a mainstream concert, but that doesn't make it okay. How do you people who go to these things justify that? Is it a matter of only going out to see live music once a year? Have I just been so broke for so long that what looks like a massive bill to me is just an evening on the town to the average Lovett fan?

And, most importantly, who wants to buy me a ticket?



I've been following quite a few image blogs lately, just collections people make and show of visuals they find interesting or arresting. So I thought I'd join in the fun. Plus, blogger's free, so why the hell not?

"I've had dreams like that" is my new listing of photos and art that catch my eye, mostly swiped from around the web. That's all, no more, no less. I set it up as having adult content, because there's no telling when I'll need to post up some nice tatas. Or a Tom of Finland drawing. Who can say?

Anyway, go take a look at it. I'm being careful to provide links back to the sources, so if you like what you see, that's who to thank.


Biscuits and Gravy

Mama linked to my blog today, suggesting that folks ask for a copy of my current zine, Biscuits & Gravy, Corn Pudding & Black Eye Peas. I'm glad she liked it - she inspired it in a million ways - but it's just a simple, 8 page ramble about food and life. If you want a copy, drop me a line. I swear I promised someone a copy already, but I never mailed it - if that was you, write me again and I'll get on it. Either way, I'll need your mailing address; send it to: drunkonpabst at gmail dot com.

And just for kicks, the poem I wrote for the zine (probably the first verse I've written in 5 years, at least):

The south rises daily and fills a plate.
Cheese grits, breakfast or supper.
Field peas. Black eye peas.
Ham hock and hot sauce
Or yr mawmaw’s sweet sauce
From a mason jar.
Lima beans or call ‘em
Butter beans with chunks of pink pork
Either way.
Fried mullet, fried catfish
Dredged in corn meal salt and pepper.
You add chopt onion to yr batter?
So many greens.
King Collards and the royal family:
Turnips, mustards, kale,
Dosed with pepper vinegar,
Pot liquor rich as beef broth.
Soaked up with skillet cornbread.
Pass me another slice of that,
Please sir,
And the honey bear.


Don't-Drive-In Movies

I live very much in the center of town. If I called NYC home, my tiny apartment would cost approximately eleventy thousand a month and there'd be a doorman with gold braid on his coat. Instead, my rent check goes out at less than four hundred bucks, and there's a plastic skull over my porch light.

Good thing, too, because my friends and I ain't exactly what you would call the monied class. Mostly, we're the drinking class. Though we don't have a lot of cash, we do tend to be clever fuckers, so we make our own fun. We're getting a little burnt out on just listening to music and getting a buzz on, which seems to be the drill for Friday nights and special occasions right now, so this week we came up with a new and truly awesome fun time: the Firestone Outdoor Theater. The only Don't Drive In movies in the county.

Ever see Escape from New York projected on a two story high outside wall? A twenty foot tall Snake Plisskin kicks so much ass, I can't even tell you. See, my back parking lot - hidden from street view on all sides and lacking residential neighbors - is bordered on one side by the tall end of a local auto repair shop. It makes a beautiful movie screen when a friend brings over a dvd projector that may or may not have fallen off a truck.

So there we were, maybe ten friends sitting in two rough lines, swigging beers and answering back to the movie. Over our heads comes the party patrol helicopter. It circled us four times and then flew off. Can you imagine how weird we all looked from above, sitting there in the dark, all facing the same direction in a hidden parking lot in the middle of down town? I tell you this much: they'll have another chance to try and figure it out come Friday.


I want all the books

There's a new used bookstore opening down on Gaines. Here's the letter that the former owners of Word Traffic books sent out:

I’m excited to tell you about a new independently-owned bookstore opening soon in Tallahassee. The store is located at 672 W. Gaines Street, between University Cycle and the Warehouse. It’s in the Quonset hut, that semi-cylindrical corrugated steel building.

Please understand that this is not a resurrection or reincarnation of Word Traffic. I am not in any way involved in the ownership of the store, but I have been hired by the owner to help shape things up prior to opening and to work as a staff member once the store opens. The owner’s name in Jayson Hays, a long-time Tallahassee resident, academic, and book collector. He has amassed a great volume and variety of used inventory, including very impressive collections of European literature and history and Judaica.

I hope you will make note of the following dates:

Friday, August 7th (First Friday): Open-house and store preview from 6:00-10:00 pm. The store is not quite ready, but we are inviting the public to come in and look around, see what we’re doing, have some refreshments, even buy a book if you feel moved to do so.

Monday, August 17th: Store opens for business, and will be open regular hours henceforth.

In my personal and professional estimation, this is going to be a fantastic used book store, and I look forward to seeing you there. Please feel free to forward this message to anyone who might be interested.

I dunno about you, but I'm a used paperback fanatic. I'll be checking this out as soon as they open for real business. Pass the word!


the farmer and the cowman should be friends

So, Thursday night, President Obama intends to sit down with Dr. Gates and Sgt. Crowley for a cold beer and a friendly discussion about race in America today. And I think it's a goddam great idea.

I'm not saying we're beyond the age of needing to litigate to make sure racial prejudice does not impact peoples' lives. I'm not calling this "post-race America", for the good lord's sake. But I do think that many of us are in a place where our individual, socially implanted, culturally reinforced racial prejudices can best be winnowed out and destroyed by looking each other in the face and talking shit through. And if there's beer involved, so much the better!

Now, maybe this will fail. Maybe it'll wind up a Springer-style screaming brawl, with broken glass and trigger-happy secret service men. But I doubt it, as shallowly entertaining as that might turn out to be. Will it solve the rancor and divisiveness this incident's created in those of us not actually involved? No, probably not. But for the two men at the heart of the issue, maybe this will be a moment worth thinking about later. Maybe some education, some healing will happen while they sip their Red Stripe and Blue Moon (and is there any more perfect symbolism than that?) - let's ignore the Pres's deplorable choice of Bud Light for the moment. Maybe the next time Crowley's called upon to interact with a black person in the call of his duty, he'll understand some of the anger and distrust aimed his way and have some patience. Maybe Gates will feel like he got to speak his piece and was heard, something that doesn't happen often enough in this world.

After all, I have yet to see much drama that couldn't be deflated and deflected if the people involved would just sit down and talk. Drink up, guys. Hope it goes well. Here's to you.


heel, toe - that's how we go

The Wizard of Oz. The Hobbit. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. All those fairy tales full of third born sons strolling across Europe in search of their fortune. Mr. Toad legging it home from prison. The barefoot mailman. Even the Von Trapps escaping over the mountains. Long tromps and epic walks filled my childhood stories and yard adventures.

My sister May and I would pack our gear - a treasured mess kit, my favorite trench tool, apples and pb&j done up in a bandanna bindle - and strike out across the yard or neighborhood. If we could find a crick drainage ditch, we followed it, ankle deep in who knows what. We drew maps, explored parks, dodged cows, slipped through barbed wire, crawled under bushes to find hidden trails.

So, last month, when May told me she planned to walk the Natchez Trace - a small paved highway of more than 400 miles between Natchez, Mississippi and Nashville, Tennessee, it seemed like the obvious next step. The trip we'd been training for our whole lives. "When are you going?" I asked. "Do you want company?"

Fall of 2010 and yes.

For a day or two, I said maybe. Maybe I would think about it. Maybe I would walk a little in the evenings and see how I felt. Have you seen me lately? I am not a small man. After a lifetime as a fat kid and 10 years with the state, I am not exactly up for strolling a few dozen miles with a pack on my back every day. But. But but but. The Stand. Huck Finn. The Canterbury Tales.

So now May and I are sort of obsessed, and, if I want to go, I need to stay that way. I'm In Training, for a certain definition of that phrase. I'm limbering up and starting to walk again. I'm sweating my way around the neighborhood at night, cursing the heat, cursing my tired legs. If may can do it, I can do it.


while my folks are in Mexico

Dear Mama and Dad:

Well, I just spent the weekend, with May, keeping an eye on Moon Manor. The house didn't burn down, the dogs didn't run off, and foxes did not raid the hen house. To battle this complete lack of excitement (and doing the Tallahassee Democrat's Sunday crossword puzzle does not count), I made Kool-Aid pickles.

1. Open already made dill pickles (in this case, that my mama canned).
Delicious looking, ain't they? If not, please blame the fact that I have to a camera phone.

2. Show how much a pickle can look like a thumb.
This is teh kind of thing that cracks me and my sister up. We sat around giggling for a good 5 minutes after I took this picture.

3. Buy kool-aid (actually, two packs, cherry in this case). Make it up, 2 pack of powder but only one pack's worth of water and sugar.

4. Pour off liquid in dill pickles, retaining all the dill seed and so on. Pour double strength kool aid over pickle in jar. Put in the fridge to chill.
I drank the rest of the kool-aid, but that shit was strong as hell. I iced mine heavily, which watered it down enough to enjoy.

5. After a while (a week or more is best) Eat! They come out sort of sweet and sour.

May and Jess hated them. May said, "I don't like this, and it's in my mouth." I felt so bad for her, but I really like the salty/sweet/dill effect. Anyway, I left the jar in the fridge, so tell me what you think.



Sometimes, you're just going through your day - wake up, work, go to grab a sandwich - and you glance over and see something that suddenly has you in stitches. This was one of those things.

(If you didn't see the incredibly airbrushed and homoerotic film 300, you might not get it.)


depressed? angry? sad? got a belly ache?

You've got your basic Koko and All Ball.

But I kind of like it best when they're the same size.

Of course, if your cat is bigger than your monkey, things can get pretty wacky.

With 4 hands, you can hold your kitten and eat a banana at the same time!

How could I pass up a chimp and a white tiger.

Don't you wish you could curl up with a cat and a monkey and take a nap right now?


faggots, bulldaggers, queens, and queers

40 years ago, to be gay was to be illegal. Get found out? Lose your job, lose your family, lose your home. There were laws against wearing the clothes of the opposite sex. Being attracted to those of your gender was a mental disorder - gays were literally sickos, perverts. Get busted in one of the regular police raids on gay bars, the only meeting place open to "the love that dare not speak its name"? Lose your freedom. Lose your human dignity when the cops raped or beat you. Lose any right to life and love, damned queers.

These days, a man can marry a man in some states. Lesbians pop up in car ads and become America's sweethearts. The president himself has to face mainstream accusations of not doing enough to advance gay rights (I happen to agree, but that's not what I want to talk about today).

40 years ago yesterday, in the wee hours of the night, the NYC police department went to raid a mafia-owned bar called the Stonewall Inn. A true dive, it catered to the least respected even of the gay world - the stone butches, the drag queens, the homeless queer kids that lived in a nearby park. Folks who drank and danced there (it was the only gay bar in NYC that allowed dancing, by the way) came from all ethnic backgrounds - when you are hated for whom you love, racial issues can become less pressing.

40 years ago - when Michael Jackson was 10 years old and was already an old hand at touring, when Farrah Fawcett was 22 and graduating from the University of Texas, a week after Judy Garland went to that big rainbow in the sky (and don't think that didn't have something to do with the angry mood that night) - 7 cops stepped up to the front of the Stonewall Inn, which didn't even have a back door or fire exits. As they did more than monthly, they announced, "Police! We're taking the place!" One of the officers called for the vans and backup, and they began to force the 200 patrons into lines. They ordered everyone to present ID, and those suspected of being in drag were told to follow a policewoman into the bathroom for a gender check.

40 years ago - not that long at all - those queers started to say NO. They refused to let the cops in their pants and under their skirts. They refused to show ID. The paddywagon was slow in coming that night, and people were already pissed. Revolution - on so many levels - was in the air in those years, and the "sexual deviants" had been through enough. That some of the cops were groping the lesbians under the excuse of a "pat down" sure as hell didn't help. Think about that - 7 or 8 officers in a room of 200 abused, bullied gays and the police were secure enough in their dominance that they went right on ahead molesting and harassing. That's how low on the social totem pole queers were those days.

About a third of the bar patrons were cut loose, shoved out the door to slink away and count their blessings. But they didn't. They started to taunt the police, snarking away, gathering a much larger (and mostly gay) crowd. As the wagons finally pulled up and the cops tried to get people into them, someone - god bless 'em - shouted "Gay Power!" Others began to sing "We Shall Overcome." A cop shoved a drag queen, and she hit him with her purse. Someone yelled back that those inside the bar were being beaten. The crowd reached into their pockets and pulled out the only ammo they had - pennies, bottle caps - and started throwing them at the police. Those were followed by bottles and rocks.

A butch dyke was dragged out of the club in handcuffs. She fought with four of the cops for long minutes, unwilling to be shoved into the van, bleeding from where she'd been struck in the head with a billy club. Finally, she turned to the crowd and asked, "Why don't you guys do something?" and the place fucking erupted. They battled back and forth, the crowd throwing bricks and garbage cans, turning over the paddywagon, slashing the tires on the cop cars. Do you understand? For the first time, the police were forced to retreat in the face of the queers they'd set out to brutalize and dehumanize.

All night, fighting raged in Greenwich Village. The queens set up kick lines, taunting the cops with songs and insulting rhymes, fading back when the officers attacked them with clubs and fists and firehoses, only to start up again when they moved down the street. The police chased a handful of young gay men around a corner, only to find themselves in full flight when they suddenly faced a wall of angry homos shouting, "Catch them!"

The next night was the same. Many people who were there say that they remember, as much as the riot itself, that suddenly people were kissing in the streets. Gays and lesbians were openly being physically affectionate to one another, not hiding in bars where you had to give your name at the peephole to get in. Allen Ginsberg was there that night, and, walking home, he said "Gay power! Isn't that great!... It's about time we did something to assert ourselves," and, "You know, the guys there were so beautiful—they've lost that wounded look that fags all had 10 years ago."

40 years ago, the entire gay rights movement burst into life. Oh, there were inklings and struggling starts before, of course, and brave men and women who fought hard for change. But it was that night, when the queers fought back, that pushed it out in the open and started the boom. In their fight for the right to marry and the right to join the army, the mainstream gay movement would be wise to remember that it was people like Sylvia Rivera (a transsexual woman who began living in a community of drag queens on the streets at the age of 11, when kicked out of the house for being effeminate and who was there that night), that it was working class bulldaggers and homeless sissy fags and limpwrists and stone dykes, that led the charge.

So here's to those who fought back that night, the ones we know and the ones we don't, some nameless but none of them hopeless. Here's to kicklines in the face of police brutality, and swinging purses, and bleeding - if that's what it takes - to be able to love freely. 40 years. Truly amazing.



Standing around the practice space last night as the sun went down, sipping drinks out of cans and plastic cups, we told each other lies about the weather.

"It's not as hot as it has been!"
"Feel that breeze?"
"I'm pretty sure it's cooling off some, what do you think?"

Until it turned out to be the truth, and suddenly the wind kicked up some and bright lightning flashed in the purple-black grey clouds that came crawling across the sky. Between songs, the lead singer asked us, "What are y'all all looking up at?" He couldn't see it from inside the storage space, but we sure could. Staring up at it, thunder lost in a double bass beat, smooth-bottomed force of nature come to wash us clean.

Next thing you know, we're getting hit with those fat Florida raindrops, like getting pelted with acorns or pebbles that splash when they land. Wet dust smell jumped up off the asphalt. We protected our beers but not our heads, letting the storm wash off a heat wave's worth of sweat and exhaustion. The driveway between rows became a still river, soaking your shoes and pants' legs before you even realized you'd stepped into the water.

Man, we needed that.


up and down the river

For my birthday and general kicks, my folks and some friends and I went down the river on Dad's boat. My sister May wrote beautiful things about it and my mama shared her pictures and thoughts here. Go get the backstory!

Dad and Mama in front of the boat, up in the yard in Lloyd.

"Is it so nice as all that?" asked the Mole shyly, though he was quite prepared to believe it as he leant back in his seat and surveyed the cushions, the oars, the rowlocks, and all the fascinating fittings, and felt the boat sway lightly under him.

My sis May (in front) and one of my best friends, T. This was maybe T's second time on a boat smaller than an aircraft carrier.

"Nice? It's the only thing," said the Water Rat solemnly as he leant forward for his stroke. "Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing—absolute nothing—half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Simply messing," he went on dreamily: "messing—about—in—boats; messing—"

The Anni Sue, a massive barge, passed along our port side. I took 5 photos on it, one after the other, as it came - that's how long it was. Look at that guy - King of the River!

"Look ahead, Rat!" cried the Mole suddenly.

A pink sailboat with a "yard" full of purple flowers. If I could spend my life on the water, I would.

It was too late. The boat struck the bank full tilt. The dreamer, the joyous oarsman, lay on his back at the bottom of the boat, his heels in the air.

Dad, Mama, and my sis Jess making like an otter. Leaves fall from the cypress and other river trees, filling the river with tanic acid, making it look like good sweet tea. Cold, too, but perfect in the heat of the Florida June sun.

"—about in boats—or with boats," the Rat went on composedly, picking himself up with a pleasant laugh. "In or out of 'em, it doesn't matter. Nothing seems really to matter, that's the charm of it. Whether you get away, or whether you don't; whether you arrive at your destination or whether you reach somewhere else, or whether you never get anywhere at all, you're always busy, and you never do anything in particular; and when you've done it there's always something else to do, and you can do it if you like, but you'd much better not. Look here! If you've really nothing else on hand this morning, supposing we drop down the river together, and have a long day of it?"

May and T again. You should have seen T's face when dad hit the throttle and we sped into the wind!

The Mole waggled his toes from sheer happiness, spread his chest with a sigh of full contentment, and leant back blissfully into the soft cushions. "What a day I'm having!" he said. "Let us start at once!"

(Wind in the Willows)


at May's request

I got my septum pierced a million years ago, when I was 21, in Atlanta's Little 5 Points. It's the only piercing I have left (used to have my ears full of rings) and the only jewelry I wear. I do a few stupid tricks with it, usually when little kids state at me in public - "disappear" it into my nose, take out the horseshoe I wear and run other things through the hole, that kind of stuff.

In response to yesterday's picture, my sister said: "Now put something else in your nose, 'cause that shit is hilarious." So, two pictures of something else in my nose:

4 or 5 years ago, at a baby shower. Novelty diaper pin. I don't want to tell you what other piercing holes this thing got stuck through after I was done with it.

And just now, in my office, a small punch tool.

Fun times!


gimme money

Waiting on my paycheck to go through. Waiting on my paycheck to go through. It must be an alternate Thursday, because I'm singing the Waiting on My Damn Paycheck song.

Why do I toil here in the salt mines, waking up at the ungodly hour of 7 am to support the unlucky and unstable of Florida? It ain't so I'll develop state worker ass. It ain't for the chance to rise in my field and shine like the brilliant star that I am. It ain't even for unlimited office supplies.

Okay, it's partially for the unlimited office supplies. I do love 'em. (See above picture.)

No, it's for the paycheck, of course! It ain't much, but it's steady. I've been skin broke all week, and now I've got visions of cold beer and a fully gassed car, a meal that doesn't involve soup and a new pair of cargo pants from the army/navy store. Next week is my vacation, and I'll spend it locally, sleeping in my own bed, having adventures where I can. And what little is left after rent and updating my car insurance will make for a good time indeed.

When you make small change, it's good to recognize simple blessings.


put it on paper

I am a man of appetites. I hunger for good food and good words. Stepping away from the music-based publications I've been writing for the past few years, I recently finished a small zine about grub. It's got recipes. It's got a personal story or two. It's even got a poem, and I just don't write too many of those these days.

Want a copy?


When I go out to play with my friends...

...this is what it looks like. This is why mainstream pop/rock concerts make no sense to me.


the tropics in spring

I've got murder on my mind. Premeditated - I went to Publix in a thunderstorm to buy a 4 pound box of Mule Team Borax and a one pound sack of icing sugar. Came home and mixed them together in a big jar that used to have pretzels in it. Sprinkled that shit all over my kitchen, down every crack, in the sink drains, around the back of the stove and fridge and water heater, along the door jamb.

You can call them palmetto bugs, I call them the enemy. This apartment is trying to return to the soil, but I'll fight the roaches any time they rise against me.


let's go to the movies

The night Max wore his wolf suit and made mischief of one kind

and another

his mother called him WILD THING and Max said


and he was sent to bed without eating anything.

That night, in Max's room, a forest grew.


will you be there this year?

A krewe "is an organization that puts on a parade and or a ball for the Carnival season." The Krewe of the Fives? We're the float that doesn't move. The only ongoing, family-friendly, breakfast beer bash of Springtime Tallahassee. 5th Annual this year. A few more babies, a few more friends, a few more beads to catch. This year I can't afford to set us all up with a keg, but I'll throw hot dogs on the grill after the parade wraps up while everyone wanders in and out and downtown and back again and people nap on the couch.

If you and yours are downtown this Saturday, come on by and say howdy. You can't miss us.


the end

I found out yesterday that a guy I've known for maybe 13, 14 years killed himself this week. He and I were never that close, but he and one of my best friends were all but brothers.

Isn't it funny how that works? You've got these people who are so tightly tied to you, so much a part of your daily life. You feel like you know everything about them and they know everything about you. But, the whole time, you both have story lines going that have nothing to do with each other. We all carry little chapters of our friends, memories only shared by the two of you or more important to you both than to others. How you met. Trips you took. When you helped each other through or over some pain and trouble.

That's what we did last night, of course. As soon as we, a handful of us, found out what happened, we rallied around the deepest wounded. We huddled close to him and listened, put on hands on his shoulders when he cried. "Okay," he said, later in the evening, as the shock wore off, "I'm ready to wake up now." But he didn't, because you don't, because death fucking sucks like that.

So he's riding up today with another might-as-well-be-brother to the wake in North Carolina. Those of us left in town will worry about them, because grief makes people drive badly, but I guess they'll make it fine. They'll come back with an ending to the story of their lives with Demetri. He was 29, an artist, and a traveler, and he shot himself in the head Sunday.


big in England

Lord, the world is weird. And the punk scene is tiny. And when you look up in the grocery line to see someone you've partied with and gossiped about and swapped zines with and have just generally crossed paths with over the past ten years on the cover of the National Enquirer, it does feel a little surreal.

I didn't buy the issue, though - I've got better pictures of her at home.


dirt mall redux

You see some crazy shit when you spend the weekend selling used videos at the local flea market.

You'd be amazed at how many different ways there are to tote a small dog. You can tuck your chihuahua into a leather man-bag. You can push it around in a pet stroller, or you can just go ahead and load three pugs into a regular baby stroller. You can stuff it in a canvas carrier made to look like a really ugly purse with vented sides. You can buy a sort of harness made to go around all the important bits and leave the pup's legs and tail dangling as you carry it by the special strap at the top, as if the whole animal was a yapping diaper bag.

Or you can do as one family I saw did: carry the small dog lovingly in your arms and clip the animal's leash to your small son's britches, solving two problems in one go.


just so you know

Note the date change! This is now happening on Saturday, 3/21!

And, no, I won't be playing any Coldplay. But I will be playing quite a few tracks from artists like the Dropkick Murphys, The Pogues, Flogging Molly, Seamus, and so on, what with St. Patricks being only a few days before.


fun in the sun

There's this local band, see, called Lucky Scars. They're buddies of mine, part of the crew I run with. A great bar band. Well, one of them, for various reasons of his own, is calling it quits. This week, the Scars are playing their last shows with this lineup. The first one is Wednesday night down at St. Mike's Pub on Gaines Street. That'll be a hell of a good time, because the headliners are Hudson Falcons, and I hear they rock it. Plus, that's one of our home bars - there's a comfort level involved that make singing along and acting like fools just that much easier.

But, even better, the Scars got on the bill at a big local show over there in Panama City. Yep, the Redneck Riviera. Goofy golf, overpriced head shops, "Muff Diver" tshirts, and plywood condos - now with 100% more punk rock. A couple of friends and I have a room rented - we're going to have us a good ol' time on the miracle strip and then show PCB how Tally does this thing.


hey man, play some Crass

I've now DJed for four Effed Up Punk Nites at the Engine Room, one a month since November. No scratching, no mixing - I don't even own my gear. I just show up with a couple hundred cds and Truewill shows me which knobs to turn and which switches to throw.

So far, everyone who turns up seems to have a good time. And part of their fun is making requests - if I have it, I'll play it. I've noticed, though, that there are certain types of people who just have to make their voice heard. For example:

- The Honest-To-God Fan: This guy or gal is just stoked to have someone DJing the ska, punk, or oi they love instead of yet another block of new wave or electroclash or industrial. They might ask for someone obscure, but more often it's a great B-side, sing-along track. Garageland by the Clash, for example, or Myage by the Descendants. When I play something they dig, requested or not, they're apt to jump up on the platform with me to slap me on the back or throw an arm over my shoulder and sing a line or two, and they're quick with a "thank you!" and a thumbs up.

- The Show Off: Wants to hear that tune some local-to-Gainesville three piece thrash band recorded in 1984 and released on 100 copies of a single-pressing vinyl 7". What, I don't have that track? What am I doing DJing? This type might even bad mouth my collection on a messageboard the next day. Luckily, the Show Off is almost always universally known as a douche, so no one cares what he has to say about shit.

- The Know Nothing: He'll come up and request The Misfits two minutes after I play "Mommy, Can I Go Out and Kill Tonight." He's aware of maybe a half dozen of the better known punk and third wave ska bands, but not what they actually sound like. He wants to seem with-in and in on what's going down, but it's obvious that he's just checking off a mental list that starts with the Sex Pistols and ends with Less Than Jake or - worst of all - Rancid and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones. Less annoying than the Show Off, but still funny to me.

So, are you going to make it to the next Effed Up Punk Nite?