Monday, February 20, 2017

Analects 2.9

The Master said, "I can talk all day long with Yan Hui without him once disagreeing with me. In this way, he seems a bit stupid. And yet when we retire and I observe his private behavior, I see that it is in fact worthy to serve as an illustration of what I have taught. Hui is not stupid at all."

House renovation campaign -- pobrecito!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The Good, The Bad, And The Not-So-Bigly

My Mom, at her high school in Lincoln in the 60s, was an avid artist, and did cartoons for the Clarion -- it was her thing, her nickname: Quick Draw. After graduation she moved to San Francisco and was even briefly a student at the Art Institute on Chestnut St., a starting point for many modern luminaries, before she moved on to studying for her B.S. from Berkeley. She nevertheless continues to be an artist in spirit...

My Dad? Well, a competent enough draughtsman who could adequately sketch any renovation or carpentry project he'd set his mind to (until he started getting rather wacky in his later years...) His best work was probably the plan for the house that he and his friends, and me and Eric together constructed for my Grandmother in Century Ranch. Turned out quite brilliantly, at least until the pipes in the attic froze one winter, flooding the new construction.

I myself have been as susceptible to the charms of the visual arts as any other human; I have a solid aesthetic sense, a good eye. I doodled in my youth like many, and dabbled in studying how to draw. In my early 30s, I began to put my experience in melting my brain with drugs and alcohol to good use, coming up with the artwork that would decorate my last apartment in San Francisco, and that also found its way into friends' homes, and even into the collection of Tenderloin Art Lending Library (TALL), managed and curated by my good friend Mr. Rick Darnell...

Here are a few pieces I have pictures of from that era of 2010 to 2014 (heartfelt and important bleg after the cut...):

Still raising money as best as I can for the renovation project; three more pics of why we need to do it:

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Hear It, Vice President Gore? Whale Song! Either Canada Needs a Chuckle, Or William Way Some Attention!

"May I confess? As I was drinking that initial ill-advised cup of coffee, I felt so proud of not coughing that I accidentally swallowed some the wrong way, and almost expressed a lung! Sorry -- what do you want? I learned irony at the feet of Alanis Morissette in the mid-90s.

"(That said, Ms. Morissette, I just heard Ms. McLachlan speaking on your behalf; she's very cold there in Nova Scotia, but doesn't she nevertheless own a kind house in which to live? Give her a call...)

"Thank u India
Thank u terror
Thank u Dr. Eichelberger
4 to-do lists, yeah!

"There. Feeling better... Oh, thanks, Ms. Mitchell, I love ginger snaps! Don't mind if I do. (California's the bees' knees, I must say, though I know I shouldn't... You know, as a native...

"Where was I? Oh yes, thanks eldritch voices: Hypothetical: you're about to lose your life -- what do you watch? An entire first-season episode of 'DeGrassi Junior High'; the gay bareback porn clips accidentally pre-empting Trent Reznor's and Matt Pinfield's pilot of 'Eh, Canada?' on MuchMusic; or Atom Egoyan's laundry drying on the line in this fine January weather? What. Do. You. WATCH???

"...Dunno, really. This is what we've got. All I had was the idea for naming Canada's first nuclear submarine the Alexandre Despatie... Honest!"

A couple of Canadian players who began as children doing skits in a hallway...

Monday, January 30, 2017

Urgent! House Renovation Campaign!

BACKSTORY: In the early 2000s, my dearly departed father, William Francis Way, due to a lack of prudence and circumspection, unfortunately cost the Way family its old house on Black Diamond Road in Century Ranch. Times went hard for him, my mother, and brother, who then was still living with them, in Colusa County (I myself was living in San Francisco, sending money from my biweekly paychecks, whatever I could afford, to my mother.) The three of them were forced to live in a camper on two acres of land just outside of the town of Stonyford (happily, the land has always been in my brother's name.) But a few short years later, my beloved Grandfather passed, leaving a decent inheritance to his daughter, my mother. My mother subsequently purchased a previously owned manufactured home, which was then assembled on the property; we also are equipped with a well, a septic system, and have electricity as well as propane.

Glad to say, the fully developed property is owned outright by my younger brother; I live here now with my mother, paying her rent every month... There is no mortgage, no debt against it. We do have a certificate of occupancy; the County passed the house for inspection in 2003 or so.

THE CAMPAIGN: This is, however, a pre-owned manufactured home; it needs a lot of TLC. My mother and brother had planned to finance a custom built home, but my mom is getting on in years, and our family would rather not be saddled with the debt incurred by a construction loan (even if the resulting occupancy is a superior real estate investment/development); better option we've been in discussion with each other about is to spend perhaps $4000 to $5000 on renovating the current home. Certainly, we're already in the process of updating the wiring, and we'd also like to fix the plumbing, as well as address certain structural damage, especially in the underside and subflooring, in order to bring the whole thing up to code. It would be great, too, if we could install new flooring, paneling, baseboards, moulding, fixtures, and so on -- by no means would we do anything fancy, like hardwood or laminate; no expensive drywall or tile. We're talking surfaces appropriate to a manufactured home, but that are clean and new -- materials easily purchased online via Home Depot, and put in by our neighbors who are local contractors and handymen (not to mention with my volunteered sweat equity.) Here are some pictures of more serious damage (the last picture shows you the exterior, which clearly demands new siding, trim and skirting):

Like I mentioned, we're just looking to patch damage in the structure and install new surfaces, and do a new exterior. And fyi, the roof is a little over a decade old, in great shape...

All told, with the desired updates, we're looking to raise between $4,000 and $5000 dollars. If this is feasible, I'd be happy to report on the end result with pictures and such.  The donations may be sent to my Venmo account:

Hope you can give; I'll be reposting the request with every new Hollow Man update, including funding raised to date... Thanks so much, and Happy Lunar New Year everybody!

Claro que si, conoce tus derechos, pero...

I'd like to be all, "Yay!" about volunteers in Cali always handing out Red Cards (awesome folks, good hearts), but the people who gratefully accept reminders of their rights from outreach workers aren't stupid. We all know reality (which is why I'm cautiously optimistic, still, about this Trump shitshow, but I digress...): hella mess goes down ALL THE TIME on this side of the border at the hands of racist fuckers, rapists, thugs from ICE, la migra, and others... The only rule I know when it's my turn to help out is kind of scary to think about (love you, Dad, RIP... I'll be a gentleman, even if they called me LA PRECIOSA LOL...) -- it's this: if you see something, if you see some shit go down that you know is wrong: DO SOMETHING -- NAMELY, STAY ALIVE UNTIL YOU CAN GET BACK AT THE MOTHERFUCKERS WHO ARE DOING EVIL TO INNOCENT PEOPLE. Witness or victim, your objective is to survive no matter what. If you do, you will be in a position to get help and give help, and secure justice when God gets you there. Have faith, be strong. At least, I think that's the best any of us could do, right...?

(Sure, if you're a citizen, especially white, especially lacking priors or compromising stuff, and others are around, feel more confident to take a stand then and there if you're up to bat. It's kind of catch as catch can. But don't get killed out of your indignation, don't try to be a boss or a hero -- remember la cucaracha is wise and outlives evil...)

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Casual, Red-Eye Reflection

Dear fellow souls,

When I consider topical (Trump-derived and culminating-in-Trump) kerfuffles, what should come to mind but your average, inner-city, devout-Muslim owned-and-operated bodega... No, there's no liquor, but there are plenty of cigarettes; you can buy a $2.oo charger for your janky old flip phone (a nod to the geographic and socio-economic reality); and you bet the hot dogs are halal -- BUT THEY ARE A YEAR OLD AND THE CONSISTENCY OF SHOE PLEATHER. The business struggles in a way, when half mulled-over, it seems no urban American small business should.

Non sequiter-like, I now jump to the dynamic obviously shared between what and who really animate the Trump phenomenon; and its objectively more disparate and odd-bedfellows opponents: both "sides" exemplify, agree upon, and talk past each other about the imperfections in the modern human world that truly imperil humanity's long-term viability.  We truly are in the end-times, and what's at stake is our species-wide Linus binky best described as being a comforting, penultimate-resort fear we have that for certain, whether or not we continue to survive is to an unfairly large degree our responsibility, and will be decided by a painfully lucid, collective decision-making process, global in scope (Cylon model 2's faux-philosophical mutterings on our worthiness of survival be damned...)

Calls of "Let them in" at Dulles? Check and weak-yet-advantaged countercheck... The rigged game plays out, and even if you're as sappari Japanese as Zatoichi, playing your weighted die in a personally unfamiliar yakuza gambling house, presuming too much even as you are fundamentally certain never to incur traditional physical punishment, ultimately uncertainty takes over, and nothing is as our faith would have it.

Crisis will not be forever deferred... It inshallah will be upon those of us who live to endure that moment. The many recently deceased luminaries of American acting and performing no doubt earnestly pity the remaining billions who have yet to perish... (Thank you -- presumptuously -- Miz Fisher, Miz Reynolds, Miz Tyler Moore, et alia for your sorrow and compassion I now know you surely cast back at us from the sweet hereafter. Please rest in peace... May we endeavor to carry on.)

(I loathe what Mr. Trump appears to be about, but smvrti satya needs be connected by the ligaments of karma to the world of similitudes, which is so helpful to mullahs, rabbis, and other such boddhisattvas, whose burden and joy it is to successfully instruct the more fortunate among us... I right now, more than anything, am just keenly, primally and uselessly stung with my enviable place among hoi polloi, comparing as I cannot but the President's lot with mine...)

Not to put too fine a point on it, but I guess what I'm wondering, in (you might self-servingly, blamelessly argue) a neo-liberal way, is this: is it so cruel, objectively, that refugees and immigrants be excluded? What quality of asylum does our greater-in-aspirations-than-in-concrete-accomplishments nation offer? Bootless speculation? Mayhap -- I'm hardly any more an agent than the sicaria running inexcusably toward the worst cardinal direction from obvious consequences, or a 1990s London party girl who just kind of got stranded with a murky immigration status in San Francisco lo these last twenty-odd years...

As always, yours in trying too hard to be of more use than a MSM pundit or an holidays-with-family-dinner-table-screaming match, and falling inevitability into the usual contemptibility,

American and human William R. Way