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War and Peace

I selected only the choicest carcinogens, the tastiest toxins, and the most hard-hitting health and environmental hazards as my weapons. I had to win this war, even if it came down to a "scorched earth" methodology with my own body taking some hits. I was willing to make those sacrifices if it meant having no more insects in my apartment.  
I'm fine with most animals, but anything with more than four legs is immediately on shaky terms with me, especially if they are in my apartment uninvited. My apartment, my home, is my safe place, where I want to feel completely comfortable and relaxed and not find myself continually doing double takes at shadows in dark corners half expecting to find my dirty clothes hamper or coffee maker in the middle of some Kafkaesque metamorphosis into the biggest cockroach I've ever hoped never to see outside my restless dreams of late in which I have a whole extra room in my house completely devoted to and filled with all variety of slimy clicky segmented antenna laden sharp fuzzy footed clear winged oversized brown and black hued insects constantly moving in jittery lines underneath and through each other and over my bare feet as I stand there each night and choose one type of bug of the hundreds or thousands there to carefully exterminate with tweezers or chopsticks or a poison dart blowgun or some other precise method that will ensure no collateral damage. This must me done right and perfect, and my blood pounds through my neck and up to my skull and my heart struggles to keep up and my brain somehow keeps me asleep through all of this but I finally wake up and go to the store and buy every type of bait trap and roach spray and fumigation fogger I can find and I throw it all in a giant cement mixer sized blender making a fine paste that will surely solve all my problems if applied liberally enough to every nook and cranny and dark corner and empty cabinet and behind the toilet and the hot water heater and maybe under the appliances in the kitchen and at the bases of the walls in the hallway and around the rest of the house and under the mat at the front door to ward off any newcomers as well. I set the rest out in a pan at a sunny window and let it dry into a powder to be sprinkled everywhere all over the carpet and into the air conditioning for good circulation and into a shaker to season my food and a bit is sprinkled into my shoes as well for good measure. I finally feel slightly safer when I have done these things and I see a small cockroach on its back in its death throes on the bathroom sink. This is what victory and wellbeing look like, I think, as I flush it down the toilet in a wad of toilet paper. 

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Wordles

Recently I have attached to some of my Instagram posts blocks of text that are essentially meaningless run-on sentences. I call these "wordles." 
'Wordle' is a portmanteau of 'word' and 'doodle,' if that wasn't obvious. I call them that, because that's what they are. I go at them with the same basic mindset with which I go at my doodles, except I use words and strings of words instead of lines. And I don't use commas because it's fun to avoid those and I've always enjoyed run-on sentences.
I start out with some 'random' words that could logically go together in some context, and then I add on some other words and just continue adding words. Just like with drawing, as there are many different types and and combinations of lines, there are many, almost unknowable combinations of words.  It's a fun exercise. As I do it more and get 'better' at it, I'll get more comfortable with controlling the flow and feel of each wordle. Words can easily feel harsh or soothing or aggressive or depressing or just weird and it's fun to toy around with them. Mostly I just enjoy writing nonsense. 
I was a little apprehensive at beginning to share these in the first place because I was afraid people would think I was trying to do something I wasn't, I was afraid people would think I was trying to say something meaningful and just spitting out lines of nonsense, à la Deepak Choprah, or trying too hard to seem random and deep but my intent at the moment really is to just spout nonsense and enjoy it, in the same way most of my doodles aren't supposed to look like anything but I really enjoy drawing the lines and how the lines sit on the page next to each other. 

I hope a little of that made sense. Regardless, I started sharing my wordles without much explanation, and I probably shouldn't have even made any attempt at explanation here, for the best experience. People are calling them poetry and prose and saying they're out of breath after reading them, which I'm assuming is a joke, because who reads Instagram captions out loud, but it's all well and good. I'll keep posting them along with my drawings for the time being, because I enjoy it.  

 

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Haircuts & HMOs

Everyone's pants are always around their ankles. If they are full length pants being worn properly. Just the ankle part of the pants, though. The waist part is usually around the waist. Everything inbetween around everything inbetween. 

I got a haircut today. At this point my dad would probably make a joke about getting them all cut. That's a solid dadjoke. I went to GreatClips, which is maybe the worse place you pay people to cut your hair for you. On the upside, someone is cutting your hair for you. 
I grew up with my mom cutting my hair. My parents were missionaries at the beginning of my life, so she learned to cut hair in some of the field training courses. When you're out in the middle of the jungle I suppose it's nice to know how to do that stuff for your family instead of sending them off to the closest machete wielding local who the rest of the mullet-haired villagers affectionately call barber and butcher. Then again, maybe that would have been better for assimilation and I'm sure I would have loved it. 
I strutted into GreatClips trying to look confident and told them that Yes, I did want a haircut today. A ten minute wait would be fine. I sat down and started flipping through nonsense on my phone. A couple other guys came in, joined the end of the invisible line and left again. In the following ten minutes before my haircut several other people entered and left in low spirits after hearing the news about the now 35 or 40 minute wait. When it was my turn, the stylist promptly offered my spot to the people waiting "behind" me in line who had returned moments before, and they wondered aloud to her if perhaps it was, indeed, actually my turn. She seemed to apologize insincerely, directing me towards the chair and informed me it had been a "long day." I couldn't tell if she was joking or not, but I decided she must have been because the place had only been open for a few hours. Then again, maybe a lot of craaaazzzy stuff had happened. You never know. Then she cut a bunch of my hair off and I paid and was shooed out the door before I had a chance to ask for a ToGo box. 

I bought some health insurance today. That stuff is expensive. I bought the worse health insurance I could get my hands on. Thanks to some stuff Obama changed, I was able to stay on my parents' plan much longer than I would have been able to before, but still, all good things come to an end, and at the beginning of 2016 I'll truly be out on my own. This really is the worst part of being self-employed.  The lack of benefits.  There are plenty of other benefits, but there aren't any benefits in the way people like to use that word when it comes to this sort of thing. If I wanted to, I could buy a reeeeaaall nice health insurance plan and it would cost me as much as my rent does. Crazy. Two other solutions to this problem, things I could do besides just buying it outright, as I see it, would be to get a job with benefits, or to marry someone with a job with benefits. Both of those seem pretty time consuming and complicated.  But cheaper.  And both of them increase your income, in a sense.  I'll keep my eyes peeled for possibilities. 

 

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BO Soup and Fireworks

I drew this today. I sat in a place for several hours, a place in which every single piece of art on the walls contained likenesses of bread and/or bread products. I would rather sit in a little "Mom and Pop" place, but the ones I've seen around here so far are a little more stingy with their coffee and I really want to be able to just get a mug and get refills. I'll pay extra. I don't mind.  
Anyways, anyhow, as soon as I sat down with my food, which was a tuna sandwich and  turkey chili (and a refillable mug of coffee of course) I was overwhelmed with the sensation that someone near me had terrible body odor. With a couple sidelong glances I decided that no one near me strongly resembled a hobo or an unshowered athlete, so exuding what I hoped was a sense of calm and cool while reeling with a spoonful of panic, I plunged my nose into my shirt and followed that with a confident sniff of the sleeve of my hoodie. I was happy to find that my shirt smelled of deodorant and my hoodie smelled of hoodie, so with a couple more furtive glances and sniffs I picked up my spoon.  Bringing the bowl closer to me, I quickly realized that it was the scent of the chili that I had mistaken for body stank, which worried me a little, but I was able to convince myself that it was I that was at fault, not the chili. When I approached it with the right mindset, the chili did, in fact, smell like chili. Pretty much.  I just hope no one nearby smelled my chili and was unable to solve the mystery as fast as I. 

Then, on a full and content stomach, I drew that picture while listening to a few of my favorite Moby songs including PorcelainHoneyNatural BluesRun On (or God's Gonna Cut You Down which I first heard sung by Johnny Cash, and I enjoy how different the two versions are), and Flower.  Extreme Ways, another song I like, is on an album that wasn't played there today, unfortunately. But I am listening to it as I write this.

Later on, as the day progressed and my life along with it, my friend and I took his boat and went out on the water to watch a local holiday "flotilla" of sorts. It was really just a parade, where the floats are actually floating, because they're boats. There were all sorts of cool lights and decorations and whatnot, and afterwards there was a fireworks show, which dragged on for far too long. The website advertised that the whole gig boasted a 21-minute long show, which may have been the actual length, but it felt like it dragged on for hours. Thoughts of "Oh this is neat, I love fireworks." turned into "Ok, ok, you can do the finale now. I love finales." It would have been an A+ fireworks show if they had just taken the last 2/3rds of it and added it to the finale instead. I guess it's nice to look at pretty lights exploding over the water while you sit in your boat or on your deck and sip at something with your arm around someone for a while for some people, but maybe we just want different things out of a fireworks show.  I'll take a short and desperate over-the-top explosive spasm of pyrotechnics over a long and drawn-out feature-length production with a plot and what seemed to be themes and major and minor characters and people leaving in the middle to boat back home to refill the cooler and making it back in time for the final climactic battle where the forces of good overcome all odds in that epic triumphal salvo at the end we'd all started at the edge of our seats waiting for but had since slid back a little and then down the chain and joined the anchor at the bottom of the channel where the murky brackish water offered to perhaps conjure up some sea life a little more captivating than that when it comes to fireworks. 

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on Tomatoes

Tomatoes are a passionate fruit often recklessly grouped in with vegetables since they're not very comfortable in a smoothie or a fruit salad. Unless that smoothie is actually ketchup. Here's a touching and emotional poem:

Oh it really goes back to those young careless days
Of getting our money's worth at the buffets
And eating them whole dipped in warm mayonnaise

Sit down with me now and enjoy one of these
A taste on your tongue like the cool summer breeze
And that dribble of juice from your chin to your knees

Acidic and sweet and bursting the skin
A delicious red universe swirling within
Unknowable things that never have been

And never will be if you don't try to find
That enlightenment of a whole different kind
Enigmas revealed by the food to the blind

And yet though your eyes may have been peeled
A great many things still were concealed
And by prudent eating could be revealed

So have one or ten or the whole stinkin' farm
Consume them in excess without any harm
In fact aversion to these is a cause for alarm

Munch, munch on tomatoes now with some zeal
And know they can be a whole healthy meal
The wonders within just contained by the peel

~

Who has truly entered into the wonders of the tomato fruit? Who has solved its riddles? Answered its questions? Embarked on its quests, checked its voicemail, refilled its salt and pepper shakers, seen into its future happenings, taken its bridges and supply lines, attended its debuts, counted the grains on its sandy shores, instructed on shoe tying, stalked though the alleys, invested unwisely, kissed with regrets, or gotten hopelessly lost in the crimson vast yonder of the tomato's endless bloody innards?

Start simple. One tomato. Maybe half of one. A half of a half. Sprinkle something on it or dip it in mayo. The world is now yours to explore as you pass it by your lips. Teeth make quick work of it and down a fleshy tube to your stomach, like a mangled ocean liner sliding into and through a too-tight canal towards its final resting place. It will never leave your body. Your body will never leave it, either. Magical juices that today's scientists have yet to categorize will break it down in your gut pouch and bind it with you; forever and eternally and always, longer than you both shall live, on into perpetuity and back again, long past the lives of men and mankind and everything we know, while all things crumble down and crash in upon themselves and swirl around in that great cosmic mixing bowl in what might as well be one endless instant in time. There, when everything is redone, rebuilt, rearranged, some days and eons hence, and many countless eons more, there you'll be. Somewhere. The tomato and you.

 

You've bitten off more than you could ever hope to chew.

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What's a bjournal?

Similar to a 'web log' except so many people that keep blogs seem like they wouldn't keep/write in/promote things in something called a "log" in real life.

Mom and dad don't understand. Not even the kids at school. I gotta go write in my log.

I doubt it. Anyways, I guess the reason blogs took off instead of bdiaries and bjournals is because it's more fun to say. Or actually possible to say. 

This web journal will be useless and irrelevant.  Current events will not be discussed in any helpful manner, crucial scientific advances and gorgeous celebrities will be ignored, only entirely inedible or extremely unhealthy brunch recipes will be shared, and the only gossip will be baseless rumors about myself or other imaginary people. I won't, however, spare you from even one of my beauty tips. (Did you know hair clippings can be used as fertilizer for your home garden? Did you also know that garden fertilizer applied directly to the scalp can increase hair growth, health, and thickness!? That's right, if my math is right, that means that hair clippings applied back to the scalp can help those spots that are thinning out! Maybe consider a small hair-clipping compost bin for the best results!)

I'll be back later.

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