Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Coat Hanger Halos

I want you to read this first... then we'll catch up after.

Mummified body found in Hampton Bays home
sandra.peddie@newsday.com and susana.enriquez@newsday.com

February 16, 2007, 10:30 PM EST

Southampton police responding to burst water pipes in a Hampton Bays home found the mummified body of the owner -- dead for more than a year -- sitting in a chair in front of a television, officials said Friday.

The television was still on.

Vincenzo Riccardi, 70, appeared to have died of natural causes in his home on Wakeman Road.

The medical examiner's office considered his body mummified because the lack of humidity in his home preserved his features.

"You could see his face. He still had hair on his head," Bacchus said. "I've been on the job 35 years, and I've never seen anyone dead that long."

Police and county sources said Riccardi, whose body was found Thursday, had not been heard from since December 2005. The medical examiners said they were baffled as to why the electricity would be on in the home all that time.

"He was in his house, sitting in his chair, as if watching television, and the television was, in fact, still on," Dawson said.

Riccardi lived alone, his wife having died years ago, Dawson said. Mail had piled up, but then stopped being delivered.

"He hasn't been heard from in over a year. That's the part that baffles me," he said. "Nobody sounded the alarm."

Neighbors said they hadn't seen Riccardi for a while. They said they had tried to keep an eye on Riccardi, who had diabetes and had become blind in his 50s, but since his house was up a long driveway and could not be seen from the street, they did not always know what he was doing.

A couple who lived near Riccardi's house, Helen and Pat Boyle, said they never noticed mail piling up by the mailbox, which is visible from the street. A rope was attached by the front door and led to the mailbox so he could retrieve his mail.

"The word going around was that he was in a home," Pat Boyle said.

The couple said Riccardi built the two-story house -- where a waterfall of ice ran down over one of the garage doors from the burst pipe -- after he emigrated from Italy and worked in construction.

"This is a very sad situation that shouldn't have happened," Helen Boyle said.

Neighbor April Cowden said she would occasionally read Riccardi's mail to him, pay his bills and buy him groceries. When he began to demand more of her time in the summer of 2005, she said, they had a falling out. "I needed to go to work [one day] and he wanted me to stay," said Cowden, 37.

About a month later, Cowden said, she saw an ambulance at his house. When she saw the mail pile up, Cowden thought he was in the hospital.

At a neighborhood gathering last month, residents commented that they hadn't seen Riccardi in a while, neighbor Diane Devon said. "We never thought to check on him," she said.


Okay, all done?

I'll start things off with a quote from an old Temple of the Dog song, Wooden Jesus.
"Coat hanger halos that don't come cheap,
with television shepherds with living room sheep.
And I pray, can I be saved?
I spent all my money on a future grave.
Wooden Jesus, I'll cut you in,
on twenty percent of my future sins."

Let's put what happened here in perspective because, to be honest, I can't get the visual out of my head.
This old man died in his easy chair and for over a year, sat day and night, his body decomposing, the heat and humidity mummifying himself, bathed in the low light of day and the blue glow of his television at night.

How many bad sitcoms and reruns and news broadcasts of the war on drugs, the war terror, the war on Iraq, the war on Britney and TomKat and Anna Nicole Smith have cast reflections in his dead eyes?

This was not some po-dunk backwoods Unabomber neighborhood. This was a community he lived in. And for over a year, although some thought it odd enough to question his absence, no one did anything about it. No one took action.

And actions speak louder than words.

We live in an era where technology is king... cel phones and texting and the internet and email and message boards "connect us" in new ways than ever before.

But in oh so many ways, it has disconnected us from things that we may never get back again.

In oh so many ways, when something like this happens, it's not just the body of a 70 year old man that's overlooked and forgotten. In the cynical times we live in, it's become way too easy to let a part of ourselves mummify and decay.

Turn off the tv and look inward for a moment... is there mail piling up on your doorstep? At night, what's the blue glow you're bathed in?

Monday, February 19, 2007

Rage Against the Night

"In your house i long to be
room by room patiently
i'll wait for you there
like a stone i'll wait for you there alone."

-- Audioslave, Like a Stone

I've shown you my true colors since the beginning... they've never changed...
I know shadows are among you... I see them cross your path every day.
Just know you've got enough light to defeat them all - no matter what they are.

-- "So strong... you don't have any idea how strong you are. But you will. When you need to... you will."

coming soon...
Dylan Thomas had rage against the night?
Sorry, but with all due respect to his genius and his talent, fuck Dylan Thomas. He ain't seen nothing yet.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Ouroboros

The Ouroboros is an ancient circular symbol, usually in the form of a snake or dragon eating its tail. It was first seen as early as 1600 years BC in Egypt.

The Greeks are the ones who called it Ouroboros, or the Tail Eater. It's a symbol of renewal, infinity and the repetition of history. The image has been seen in Japan, Indian, European woodcuts, Native American Indian Tribes, by the Aztecs and has been directly associated by many different gods and the serpent in the garden of Eden.

It's a symbol of light and darkness merging together. The Ouroborus kills himself, yet resurrects himself... impregnates himself and gives his own birth. It is the one thing. It is living duality... the convergence of both halves. It means, from Gnostic texts, "All is One."

It's no accident that wedding rings were made in this shape.

There is no end... there is no beginning... just the path in the middle.

Success... failure... death... life... sickness... health... just tick marks along the path that we're all on.

No action or event is ever going to destroy you. Or create you either.

I believe that talent, like the Ouroboros, lies within ourselves.

Happy Valentine's Day.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Muerte de pasión

Jimi Hendrix had passion. He stood on stage, blotters of hidden acid melting into his eyes... and his passion made his guitar speak to us.

Gandhi had it. A passion to stop violence and hatred. Where a thousand terrorists fail today with explosives strapped to their bodies, Gandhi succeeded with sit ins and starving himself.

Van Gogh had it. Hell, that crazy bastard had it so bad he once argued with a girl's father, holding his hand to a candle flame and asking to see her for as long as he could stand the pain.

What most people fail to realize is that passion is an exchange. It exists by two parts:
1) the animal/vegetable/matter/action/or other that is desired


2) whatever is doing the actual desiring.

And when passion is thrown into the mix, it elevates and improves both parts; the sum is of the parts is greater than the whole.

Hendrix was passionate about music and it made both him and his music, legends.

Gandhi was passionate about peace. And even now, 59 years after his death, Gandhi's name is damn near a synonym with peace.

Van Gogh's passion came attached to a hard knock life and took a chunk of his ear with it, before he put a revolver to his chest and pulled the trigger. But his passion cemented both him and his work into the art world forever.

When passion dies, nothing else matters.
Food loses its flavor. The world, it's palette of color. Surroundings are colder; less comforting.

Without passion, what's the point?

One of my greatest passions is writing. I set it aside for a long time for a laundry list of reasons, but not anymore. It's becoming a pattern again. Feels like I've been out of the saddle for too long and trying to bridle train the horse again.

You can try and make others happy with actions, but it's no guarantee. You can try and cater to their needs - and sometimes you should if you care enough about them and their happiness. After all, most of life is a give and take situation almost all of the time we're here.

But at the end of the day, the only one you can guarantee happiness, as the result of your actions, is yourself. Hard truth, but a truth nonetheless.

Life is a short, delicate, pristine thing that we hold only for a brief time. It's the softest of snowflakes drifting to the ground and if we wait too long to just stare at its beauty, it melts and disappears before we know it.

If you haven't found your passion yet...
what are you waiting for?

And if you have...
what are you doing about it?

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Stone Walls

Updates coming soon...

Busy rearranging some stone walls in my head right now.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Random Driveby

Current Reads:
The Adweek Guide to Copywriting
Cell, by Stephen King
The Devil's Wine, edited by Tom Piccirilli (re-reading because it's an amazing collection of poetry)
Next up will be John Skipp's The Long Last Call - which I abso-fucking-lutely cannot wait to dig into, but needed to have a block of dedicated time for. Why, you may ask? Because I've heard that Skipp is once again at the top of his game with this release, and it's going to grab me by the throat and not let go once I start it.

Recent Flicks:
Devil and Daniel Johnston *see recent post for this review
Feast - the winner of the last Project Greenlight. Great direction and some funny moments, but story fell way short of what it could've been. But of all the Project Greenlights, this one wins hands down.

Can't wait to see upcoming flicks The Number 23, The Messengers, and the Fountain

Current Music
Ok Go - Oh No. If you haven't seen the videos, go check YouTube. The music is just as killer.
All Time Greatest Hits of Lynard Skynard - the whole damn cd is great, but Simple Man just plainly kicks ass.
John Mayer - Continuum - another solid release. if you dig him, you'll dig this.
Lady Soverign - Only have a few singles so far, but she's the equivalent of a british, female Eminem. Don't know who's producing her, but they know what they're doing.
Tool 10,000 Days - This release and my iPod got me through Christmas shopping without maiming anyone in the malls.

Current Infatuation:
Oversized bejeweled rings
Raspberry and Blackberry candy
Stella Artois

behave yourselves and I'll be back soon...

Survey for Ghits and Shiggles

1. How tall are you barefoot?
2. Do you own a gun?
3. Rehab?
4. Do you get nervous speaking in front of people?
5. What do you think of your friends?
6. What’s your favorite Christmas song?
7. What do you prefer to drink in the morning?
8. Do you do push-ups?
9. Are you vegitarian?
10. What is your secret weapon to lure in the opposite sex?
11. Do you own a knife?
12. Do you have A.D.D.?
13. Date Of Birth?
14. Top 3 thoughts at this exact moment:
15. Name the last 3 things you have bought?
16. Name five drinks you regularly drink:
17. What time did you wake up today?
18. Current hair?
19. Current worry?
20. Current hate?
21. Favorite place to be?
22. Least favorite place to be?
23. Where would you like to go?
24. Do you own slippers?
25. What do you think you’ll be in 10 yrs?
26. Do you burn or tan?
27. Last thing you ate?
28. Would you be a pirate?
29. Last time you had an alcoholic drink?
30. What songs do you sing in the shower?
31. What did you fear was going to get you at night as a child?
32. Last thing that made you laugh?
33. Best bed sheets you had as a child?
34. Worst injury you’ve ever had?
35. How many TVs do you have in your house?
36. Who is your loudest friend?
37. Who is your most silent friend?
38. Does someone have a crush on you?
39. Do you wish on stars?
40. What is your favorite book?
41. What is your favorite candy?
42. What song do/did you want played at your wedding?
43. What song do you want played at your funeral
44. What were you doing 12AM last night?
45. Do you love someone?