Thursday
Jul032008

Blog Consciousness

Jackson has a mad gag reflex.

Little man threw up on a doctor once as soon as the tongue depressor hit his tongue, no warning, no “Ahhhhhhh…”, nothing. If Jackson’s toothbrush slips off his teeth and touches his tongue, Jackson will throw up in the sink. If Jackson swallows too much water, he will shut down the master planned community pool for 1-2 hours while the bored staff adds chemicals and takes measurements until the chemical : vomit ratio is safe. Jackson has thrown up at school, in restaurants, and in my car. Jackson will sometimes even pull a Hendrix and vomit in his sleep—he just wakes up all covered in mess.

Jackson has a mad gag reflex.

I want to begin to articulate a strange new form of consciousness I inhabit now that I write a blog. It’s a difficult task because I’m just becoming aware of it, and it was totally unexpected. I imagine some of you are already familiar with it. But I wonder if there’s been any long term studies of blog writing and the consequences for consciousness? Probably not. I’m a pioneer! Here’s my proposition. Being a person who writes a blog alters that person’s fundamental relationship to the world, self, and others. It moves that person into a trippy kind of 3rd person relationship with him or herself and wedges open the potential for a goofy new detachment from what used to be conceived as problematic (it’s a lot like the coolest drugs).

Everything is blog fodder. And because all of one’s experiences are related to as potential blog fodder, no experiences are off limits or bad. What the hell am I talking about?

Yesterday I took Jackson to phase one of getting braces. Yeah, the part where they goob your mouth full of bubble gum flavored cement to make models of your choppers. Jackson was so wired and anxious that he couldn’t stop with this crazy nervous smiling. He looked like a 9-year-old serial killer. He was so amped up that, in italics, before the glop of bubble gum cement goo even touched his mouth, he hurled all over the orthodontist’s floor.

Here’s where my break in consciousness occurs. I had a wholly different reaction to this event than I would’ve had 2 months ago. Let’s look at both my probable pre-blog reaction and my actual post-blog reaction, and maybe we can begin to grasp a notion of what I’m calling “Blog Consciousness”.

PRE-BLOG BLACK HOCKEY JESUS (in a thought balloon): O my God Jackson is hurling on the floor and everyone is looking at me and the orthodontist hates my guts. Why are you so weird, Jackson? Why can’t you be normal, Jackson? O my God I just mentally asked my son horrible questions that would totally eff up his self-esteem if he could read my mind. I am a bad person. I am no good at being a Dad. I don’t know what to do. I should get drunk. I should kill myself. Jackson threw up.

[I hear the haters already. “What if Jackson reads this? You will eff up his self-esteem.” Yeah so what if Jackson reads this? Listen. I wore the headgear my whole 5th grade year. It’s hard for me to feel sorry for Jackson because his Dad has an awesome blog when I WORE THE HEADGEAR MY WHOLE 5th GRADE YEAR! 11-year-old me would’ve given you 5 million dollars if his only problem was his Dad’s fucking blog. If you are reading, Jackson, remember: these are just made-up characters based very loosely on things exactly like they happen to us. I love you. Go to pokemon.com or something.]

Here’s my post-blog actual reaction:

POST-BLOG BLACK HOCKEY JESUS (in a thought balloon): O my God Jackson is hurling on the floor. How did my life get so awesome? This is so funny I might pee my pants. [out loud] Jackson! You totally hurled on the orthodontist’s floor!
JACKSON: (spitting): Pah! Yup.
BHJ: I totally love you you’re crazy you just totally hurled at the orthodontist ha ha ha! Ahhh ha ha ha!
JACKSON: Pah! I love you too, Dad.
BHJ (to orthodontist, giggling): This is never going to work. He’s gotta mad gag reflex plus he’s all amped up. Do you have a valium?

I’m glad you’re reading. Really. It’s blowing my mind that you’ve even read this far on this long post. But I gotta tell you I’m a lot gladder about this (and so is my family): The Wind In Your Vagina is having some magical goofy transformative effect on who I am and the way I live in the world. I’m more alert. I’m excited and enthusiastic to wake up in the morning. I’m more engaged with my life. And best of all I’m a lot less of a dick. So thank you. Thanks for reading. Thanks for teaching me how to be less of a dick.

Wednesday
Jul022008

Dear Satan,

Hi Satan. How is Hell? How the Hell are you? I’m fine. I don’t know why I write “I’m fine” in letters like the other person just asked me how I was doing, but I’ve been doing it since middle school. It’s an ingrained quirk. I’m babbling, Satan. It’s intimidating to begin a letter to the Prince Of Darkness.

I have read Goethe’s Faust and I’m familiar with its many derivatives throughout popular culture, such as Devil Went Down To Georgia by The Charlie Daniels Band. But “Chicken in a bread pan picking out dough”? What does that even mean, Satan?

O never mind. I’m writing to express my interest in trading my soul for worldly success beyond my wildest imaginings. I’ve had a recent bit of blog success, but Satan, between you & me, I want it all. I want to be on the tips of everyone’s tongues. I want book deals. I want movie deals based on the books from the book deals. I want the clouds to rain down Prada purses and Nintendo Wiis. I want it all.

But mostly I want to make love to my wife on a big bed of money like in those rap videos. That would be so dope, Satan.

That was a joke, Satan. This is really about my wife. Her shifts are 12 hours (sometimes longer) and she looks so tired when she gets home from work. She is so tired. So all I’m really looking for is just enough writing success to insure that my wife and I could both stay home. I would write and she, after sleeping a few minutes past 9, would do things at her leisure like mess around barefoot in the garden. I would watch her from the window and love her completely. That’s worth a soul, no? O wait. Is this too selfless for your taste? Because I’ll take the sex on the big pile of money too. I’m flexible, Satan.

Though I’m looking forward to doing business with you, I’m a little fuzzy regarding what it will mean for me to not have a soul. A handful of my past girlfriends have already accused me of being soulless. O God (sorry)! What if I don’t even have a soul to trade? Shoot, that would put me in quite a pickle. Um, maybe we could work something else out. Like maybe you could give me worldly success beyond my wildest imaginings, and I could just go about being very cruel to everyone. I could sneer at them or shake my fist in a threatening manner.

I’ve got it, Satan! I could extend the attack on Western metaphysics via self-conscious blog storytelling where I blur the distinction between what’s real and what’s fiction! I will serve as the acid that eats away at the myriad false notions of Truth. Now, that could work. I’ll be the herald of deep change, relativity that radically relativizes everything—even the bones and marrow of rock, and an impermanence that exposes infinity within every blinking second. And most importantly, Satan, I will love my fate with a terrible love and never, ever look to a moment and ask it to stay.

I think with my brains and your evil that we could really make this go. Perhaps we could meet and further discuss what I might offer your fiery realm. I look forward to hearing from you.

Word Is Bond: Black Hockey Jesus

PS I understand that this worldly success beyond my wildest imaginings may take a bit to get rolling. Until then, if it suits you, please buy a BHJ T-Shirt of Coffee Mug. —BHJ.

Tuesday
Jul012008

One Leg Running

I like to imagine Jackson as some goofy little enlightened Buddha who was reborn into my life to unlock and free me from the shackles of my egotism. But this would mean that Jackson’s purpose in life revolves around me. So Jackson’s actually doing a pretty sucky job of unlocking and freeing me from the shackles of my egotism. His allowance is dwindling.

But he really is an egoless little dude. We’re still running in the mornings, but Jackson’s times are actually slowing down. Trapped within the tunnel vision of the rage for improvement, I search out ways to horsewhip his ego. I get right in front of him, run backwards, and shower him with a bunch of sweet ass Rocky moves. Jab. Jab. Left Cross! “Dude! Come-n-get’chole mann. Lookame! I’m runnin backwards ova here.” Jab. Jab. Left Cross! This doesn’t fuel Jackson’s fire. It makes him smile. I told you. Egoless.

When I was 9, I got my 3rd Dad (who is still married to my Mom and is a King among men. I love you Bill). But I didn’t love his ass when I was 9. This dude married my Mom and all of a sudden I was sweeping the garage. I was outraged. This is another one of those scenes I’ll never forget (like the one where me & my Mom were dancing to Elvis). Me & my brother Jeff (11) were sweeping and I was beginning to show signs of a tendency toward revolution.

BLACK HOCKEY JESUS: We don’t have to do this you know? He’s not our Dad. He can’t make us sweep anything.
JEFF: Just shut-up & sweep, Black Hockey Jesus.
BHJ: Plus there’s 2 of us & only 1 of him. HE CAN’T MAKE US SWEEP!
JEFF: Just shut-up & sweep, Black Hockey Jesus.

And I’ll tell you what if Bill would’ve taken me out running and did some fancy backwards running thing while egging me on, I would’ve ran myself silly. Chest heaving and throwing up. All you had to do was tell me I couldn’t do something and I was gung ho. (Come to think of it, Bill, you should’ve told me I was too stupid to sweep the garage or that I was too young for the lawn mower.) My point is that I was tenacious. I wanted to win faster bigger more go go go. And still do. How many days have I went without posting on this blog?

The luckiest days for me as a parent are when I remember that the kids are teachers, that they didn’t arrive in this world merely to be Black Hockey Jesus II & III (Good God!). If I fall into the habit of instructing them all the time, I get locked into that relationship with them and miss all their spontaneous, original ways to be. Jackson will sometimes just stop running.

BLACK HOCKEY JESUS: C’mon C’mon. Overcome yourself, Zarathustra. Push it. You’re better than you let yourself be…
JACKSON: DUDE! CHECK OUT THIS CRAZY ANT! Dad. He’s carrying a little piece of bread that’s 5 maybe 6 times his mass!!!

Indeed Jackson. Show me your ant. Show me your original face before your Mom & Dad were born, you perfect little boy.

Monday
Jun302008

Shhhhhhhhh...

Be very very quiet. The lifeguard is sleeping. Black Hockey Jesus is not here today.

Because today he guest posted over at Cynical Dad. Or is it Sarcastic Dad? I can't remember. Perhaps we should ask Backpacking Dad.

Sunday
Jun292008

Bored Lifeguard In A Merry Shade Of Red

Yesterday at the master planned community pool there was a bored lifeguard in a merry shade of red. Guarding life is a big yawn.

Why do tightrope walkers walk on tightropes? The money is not so hot.

I have always been repulsed by the notions of insurance and retirement plans. I am not making an argument against insurance and retirement plans. That wouldn’t be prudent. But believe me when I tell you I’d much rather invest the money in the beer and hooker markets.

The bored lifeguard in a merry shade of red filed her nails. She nodded like a junkie.

Do all the people who flock to Vegas want to lose? With the obvious knowledge that Vegas was built on the broken backs of losers, what are the people who flock to Vegas really looking for?

You will find in my writings a lot of references to fire that oftentimes find expression in acts of arson: of willfully burning down the house or the self. A friend of mine, Jay, tried to kill himself by dousing his head with a bottle of 151 and lighting himself on fire. Though of course I’m glad that Jay survived, I have always considered this horrifying story instructive.

The bored lifeguard in a merry shade of red thought about malls or something.

Since I juxtaposed the Sylvia Plath post with the Charles Dickens post, I have received a lot of email declaring that I’m crazy. You could define my life as the willful construction of a rational apparatus capable of dealing with the explosions of chaos that irrationally erupt in what you might call "my ideas". What? What I mean to say is that I am the victim of frequent profound compulsions to break things and punch people in their motherfucking faces. I have spent a great deal of energy trying to figure this out and keep it under wraps. I’m not always successful.

Here I simply point out that people who have wholly conquered themselves rationally and those who overly plan for their goofy little futures are complete and utter bores. People who submit wholly to chaos are dead. Aristotle and the Buddha have discussed at length the notion of the middle.

The bored lifeguard in a merry shade of red merely stared, more bored, at the unimpressive high school boys until they gave up and walked away.

If all men are mortal and Black Hockey Jesus is a man, it follows that Black Hockey Jesus is the dawning place where light and shadow embrace.

Perry Farrell once told me that seeing images of the Los Angeles riots of 1992 on television caused him to compulsively masturbate. What’s the dealio Perrypalooza?

I got drunk for the first time when I was 12. After vomiting and dryly retching for longer than an hour, I gazed at myself in the mirror. My eyes were red and moist. I was hollow. I looked deeply into my own image and said aloud: “You need to do this more often.”

The bored lifeguard in a merry shade of red had half mast eyes. Wished the master planned community pool was Ocean Size.

Several Native American tribes of the pacific northwest engaged in a practice called potlach. They gathered and had something like a little party, a kind of game where the winner was the one capable of destroying the most wealth. You gained status by breaking all your stuff. Sometimes, whole villages were ravaged. Some theorists believe that disdain for economic wealth and the desire to lose are viable, though largely ignored, aspects of the self.

We have no traditional ritualistic behaviors that resemble the goals of potlach except for alcoholism, drug addiction, gambling addiction, addiction to destructive behavior in general, and suicide.

Why do you spend your money so recklessly?

The bored lifeguard in a merry shade of red was bored to death.

If you’ve ever met an “artist” who knows nothing of gambles & danger, then you know what it’s like to meet a bored life guard.

Jackson & Lucy survived the day at the pool in spite of the sleeping lifeguard. I consider this instructive.

Saturday
Jun282008

This Book's An Hour Behind

Yesterday I subbed at the toughest elementary school in Myrtle Beach for a bunch of 3rd grade druggos and this was their word wall:


What the eff word, Jasper Mocks?

[READER NOTE: Jasper Mocks is the largest known enemy of The Wind In Your Vagina. I’m sure there are other larger more subversive ones, but Jasper’s the most outspoken. He’s completely at odds with 2 of The Wind In Your Vagina’s fundamental suppositions.

1). Black Hockey Jesus is a genius.

2). Teachers are mediocre intellects who play with kids half the year, loaf about for half the year, and whine about being insufficiently paid for their “job” in huge quotes.

Most Wind In Your Vagina readers find him utterly despicable. And before he makes a jasper mockery of my unemployment, I’ll here point out that letting my wife support the family makes me a radical feminist and women think radical feminist men are mad sexy. Jasper Mocks seeks to perpetuate the patriarchy and maintain the oppression of women. Utterly despicable.]

Again, what the eff word, Jasper Mocks? Most people tend to implicate the parent for the decay of moral fiber in this country’s wretched youth culture. Yet this photo clearly indicates the teacher’s reckless support of prescription drug abuse for 9-year-old people. Plus she taught them that Pluto’s not a planet. Good God, Jasper Mocks!

And what about:


!!!

And...


Listen. I've never been nominated for Father Of The Year but I had Jackson pretty straight on the diff between a book and a clock before I let him strut into Kindergarten. And this was the 3rd Grade! Even Lucy (4) can spot the difference between a clock and a fucking book. You could even throw in a dog and she could distinguish between all 3. And Where's Waldo? Isn't there a deeper issue with putting the label "BOOK" on a big rack of books? It's tough to get your finger directly on it. But it's there. It's a rack of books with the word "BOOK" denoting their bookness. And the clock says "CLOCK". Subbing completely weirds me out.

You know what else? There was a 5th Grade teacher named Mrs. Hardcore. You don't have enough time to read all the things I want to say about this so I'm just going to repeat it in italics: There was a 5th Grade teacher named Mrs. Hardcore.

Quote of the Day: "I like pizza."

From nowhere, right in the middle of silent reading, this drug addled little girl declared that she liked pizza. And yes I checked to see if the book said "I like pizza." and it didn't. Nor did it tell me the time (couldn't resist). The girl just thought her attitude toward pizza was spontaneously relevant.

A lot of people have been questioning the veracity of my blog claims. Well tell me this. To what end would I sit at this lonely computer and conjure up a little girl that utters: "I like pizza."? What's in it for me?

Tell me. Did a girl in real clock (not book) time in the concrete phenomenal world in, like, actual biographical truthy history actually really genuinely sincerely say "I like pizza." on June the 27th, 2008, or is this just more Black Hockey Jesus sophistry? Chime in.

Friday
Jun272008

Charles Dickens Friday

I totally wanna marry 10 Word Tuesday over at i Am Bossy. Every Tuesday she gives a topic and you have to express yourself in 10 words. You should try it. It’s a blast. It made me wonder what kind of weekly fun blog thing I could do to rival the likes of Bossy and here’s what I came up with:

Charles (arles) Dickens (ickens) Friday (ay… ay… ay).

Every Friday (unless it turns out to be really stupid), I’ll share with you the best of something in my life and the worst of something in my life, you’ll do the same in my Comments, and together we’ll achieve psychic wholeness. For example, I might tell you about the best date I ever had in my life and the worst date I ever had in my life, you’ll tell me about yours, and together we’ll achieve psychic wholeness. I know I said it twice. That made it even wholer. OK. Inaugural Charles Dickens Friday is massive, because it’s your best & worst times… EVER.

In light of my post yesterday, let’s get my worst time out of the way first. Yeah, having divorced parents sucked. But let me give you a different perspective (let the Many-Headed Beast Of Perspective slay the Cyclops Of “Truth”) of how things went with my Dad, so you’ll stop being so mean to him.

BLACK HOCKEY JESUS: My blog’s not harming Jackson. You’re never proud of me. You’re jealous old man.
DAD: Well I think you’re going to destroy his psyche. You never listen to anyone. Do what you want. You always do whatever you want anyway.
BHJ: I will. Plus I’m going to dramatize this conversation in a post that makes you look like the biggest dick on the internet.
DAD: Let her rip.
BHJ: Give my love to Amy.

All of our parents are divorced, aren’t they? It’s nothing special. Plus you get all kinds of extra Christmas & Birthday presents and your parents compete for your affection. My Dad bought me a Sims Jeff Phillips the summer of 87. That deck was so rad. Did you know Jeff Phillips committed suicide?

And yeah I really was sexually abused by Randy Pope. But 1 in 4 of all of us are sexually abused. Not necessarily by Randy Pope. But now that I write a blog that gets some exposure, I’m pretty excited that I get to write Randy Pope over & over. I’ll also put “sex with kids” in this paragraph so if Randy Pope ever Googles “Randy Pope likes sex with kids”, my blog will pop right up. Hi Randy. I still weep immediately after I have an orgasm. Thanks for that.

Can Randy Pope sue me for this?

No, the actual worst time in my entire life was when my buddy Chris was killed by a car when we were 14. Straight up. That’s as bad as it’s ever been for me. My life was significantly altered by that event and I’ve never been the same. When I saw him in his casket, Axl Rose got up in my face and screamed: “You know where you are? You’re in the jungle baby…”. Another song intimately connected with that event is Ocean Size by Jane’s Addiction. You wanna give me a bad case of the shivers? Play “I was made with a heart of stone / To be broken with one hard blow”.

The best time of my entire life was seeing Lucy born. Lest my DAD, the self-proclaimed Guardian Of Jackson’s Fragile Psyche, object because I picked Lucy’s birth, let me remind you all that I wasn’t very committed to being Jackson’s Dad until he spoke me. Truth be told, when Jenna was giving birth to Jackson, I was at The Golden Harvest in Lansing, Michigan eating a Denver omelet. (The Cleaver’s are a dead myth—families are interesting.) Anyway, seeing Lucy born was mind-blowing. Who could ever explain? All I can say is that when the doctor yanked Lucy free and held her up, Jenna screamed “Lou-Seeeeeeeeee”, Lucy’s expression embodied the essence of “WTF?”, and I was killed & reborn again.

What was your Best Time Ever? What was your Worst Time Ever?

EDIT: Here’s how strange my life is; this was a total accident, but it’s a sign that I’m unconsciously whole and motivated by super trippy forces beyond my control. Notice that my Worst Time involved Chris (CHRIST) and my Best Time involved Lucy (LUCIFER). The way up is the way down. The Ghost Of Dead Skip slowly nods his wise dead head.


NO ONE PULLS YOU OUT FROM YOUR HOLE / LIKE A TOOTH ACHING A JAWBONE
Imagine my middle fingers.

Thursday
Jun262008

Sylvia Plath

Hi Dad. Oops. Call me Britney. I did it again. I’m a 36-year-old man and I keep making the same mistakes. What is it again that all those dorks in the 12 Step meetings say? O yeah. They define insanity as “doing the same things over & over and expecting different results”. Trite. Stupid even. But fitting, no? How many times have I tried to make you proud of me? Did I mention that I’m 36-years-old?

But like Jackson beaming with his report card with all ‘A’s and 1 ‘B’—BEAMING!— I was like “Hey Dad! Look, I’m doing this blog thing and it’s crazy. I swear I’m not bragging I just can’t believe it myself. It’s so crazy, Dad. Look. 10,000 people have read my blog in 30 days. 10,000. Every state in the country. Countries all over the world. Look, Dad. Look. Look at me, Dad. SEE ME DAD!”

And just like a real Dad putting his arm around his son to give him some great Dad advice, you and your wife shot me an email about your concern for my children. How’d that go again? Oh yeah: “We think your posts about Jackson’s trouble with bullies are both reckless and harmful. What if he reads it? Think of how damaging it would be for him to read about his own Dad making fun of him. How can you exploit your children for your own personal gain? You should be ashamed.”

Do you have a moment? I want to teach you something about your son, Dad. I have become a thoughtful man. And because I am a thoughtful man, I will consider your concerns. I will weigh the pros & cons. I’ll discuss them with my wife and we will make a decision together about the way for me to proceed in relation to my children. I worded this paragraph with extreme caution because it was my hope that you would infer what was implied. But I fear that perhaps my hopes might not be satisfied. Let me spell it out.

You don’t get a vote.

See, Dad, way back when you were cheating on my mother and laying out the pattern for the rest of my life, that was the perfect time for you (and Amy—Hi Amy) to really dwell on words like “reckless”, “harmful”, “damaging”, and “ashamed”.

Did that statement shock you, Dad? I wonder if it gave you something like a jolt. Wait. Please. Stay inside the jolt for a moment. (It’s not so bad. I live here.) Too often that shock jolts us right into self-righteous defensiveness. Don’t get defensive, Dad. Relax. Take a load off. Soak in the irony with me. Let’s take a bath in the irony. Simmer simmer simmer. Bring it to a boil.

You. And. Amy. Are. Going. To. Tell. ME! What’s. Good. For. A. Child?

But enough of these emotional abstractions. My life’s substance is fed by images. It’s 1977. I’m dancing with my Mom. If I close my eyes, I can be there. I hear Elvis Presley on the record player. We’re dancing. We are poor. We are poor. We are poor. We had just finished leftover meatloaf off of paper plates at the kitchen table by the yellow phone. The yellow phone is so yellow. It’s the yellowest thing in the world. I’m dancing with my Mom. Elvis is sneering about that Hound Dog. The setting of this image smacks of Saint Petersburg in some pathetic Dostoevsky novel. And yet the tone is that of complete and utter happiness. It’s lit like a Vermeer. I am with my Mom and we are dancing. We’re happy. Really happy. My Mom is the Queen of the World. I do not know that her 2nd husband is beating her. We are dancing. She does not know that his son rapes me. We are dancing. And when you’re dancing, you’re happy—really happy—and it is not time to know these things. Most of all we do not know the yellow phone soon rings.

My Mother taught me how to dance in fires. Fires you lit. You don’t get a vote.

Jackson is 9. My lip is quivering and I’m biting it because the questions I have seem too big for him. But I’m feeling selfish and I need to know.

ME: Hey little dude you’re jumping up on 10 years here in July. What’s your verdict?
JACKSON: My verdict?
ME: Yeah, your verdict. Life. 10 years of it. What do you think? How’s it going?
JACKSON: Good. I guess. [I bite my lip hard. I’m so afraid to ask.]
ME: Jack?... You think I’m a good Dad? [He thinks. He’s such a pensive 9.]
JACKSON: Well… yeah… I love you Dad.
ME: Good. I love you too. Now grab your drumsticks and let’s burn this fucking house to the ground.