Saturday, August 05, 2006

Venus in the 1st House?

Saturday, 5 August 2006
born 4 May 1960

©Astrodienst AG

A good time for a good time
Valid during several days: This influence marks a period of several days in which it affects your whole manner of expressing yourself to others. You have a great desire to relate to others, and you are willing to make whatever personal compromises are necessary. During this time you feel rather unaggressive. In fact, you may not even defend your own personal rights. Instead you may try to work out a compromise or evade any contests. During this time you may be able to make peace among others. Since you do not feel like fighting, you are willing to act as a go-between to help others smooth over their differences. This is a good time to have a good time with friends, take a vacation or do whatever you enjoy. If you can get away to have fun at this time, you ought to do so.

Venus in the 1st House
1 August 2006 – 17 August 2006.

After Starbucks, before 960.

This is a rough draft, based on an e-mail that went to a select few. Very few details have been changed. Every word is true. I'll flesh it out later. Before (lunch at The Corner Pug, Tisane's, The Goodwin) was just as surreal, except lunch with Ant was fun, and funny as hell (yeah, I know: as long as it's clean!)

Friday night, Hartford.

As can only happen to me:

My SUV was illegally parked outside the Hotel in the "pick up visitors/10 minutes only" and I finished busting Wayne's chops, and we had a really great visit, and I was sufficiently rocketed to the top with caffeine and sugar, and seriously ready to hit the floor (with my shoes) and do major damage, when, as I was making my way to my car, I noticed this HIGHLY INTOXICATED young guy (white, clean-cut, preppy, 21) stumbling against my SUV, with cuts and blood all over his face, and serious vomit trailing down his shirt. His rather tall, equally young and preppy (dress pants, dress shirts, obviously young business guys) and very sober friend appeared out of the corner of no where just as I lurched to help the guy (Kevin) who was about to fall off from leaning on my SUV into the gutter, as I caught him (dead weight, about 200 lbs, now I smelled like vomit everywhere, and it was enough to turn my stomach). His friend just looked at me (Paul) and said "dude, I don't know who you are or where you came from, but you gotta help me. My friend has been passing out. He's staying at this hotel and I gotta get him to his room." And, with that, Kevin collapsed on me, out cold, and knocked even me to the ground, UNDER HIM (vomit, sweat and all. Paul immediately recognized the serious awkwardness of the situation, and at least got him off me, apologized profusely, and said "hey, if you just wanna leave, I understand." I asked their ages (21, 24) and Kevin was out cold on the pavement, blue, and unresponsive. We dragged him to a corner where he would not be seen by cameras or passers-by, and he was still out cold. Somewhat I ironically, I had $2 bottles of water from the field trip in my SUV and got them out, with my business card so Paul could see I was not some ordinary "passerby." I poured two bottles of water on Kevin's head, enough to get him to come to, and Paul was "you're a college professor?" You look like some guy ready to hit the clubs!" "I am and I was." So we got Kevin to take his vomit soaked dress shirt off, and tucked it into his belt in the back of his pants so no one would see. His shirt was soaked with sweat, vomit and blood. It was not pretty, and was making me nervous. I asked quickly the background of the evening: they both work for PriceWaterhouse, there was a huge party celebrating a new client, and Kevin got smashed at a work party (not a smooth move in any way shape or form.) I immediately said that the new story for the evening was that they were coming from a bachelor's party as no one would question that and would IMMEDIATELY understand "youthful folly" and would work to HELP us rather than the converse. All of a sudden Paul said "hey, we're on the same team, I want you to know that." And, you knowing me, I said to myself "what are the odds I get TWO goodlooking YOUNG gay guys, one unconscious, one sober, and I'm on my way up to their hotel rooms?" So I said to Paul (sober guy) "What exactly do you mean, 'we're on the same team?" and he said "you know." At which point, I said "pal, I'm a 46 y/o fucking cocksucking fag. Are you trying to tell me something here, because you'd better get straight to the point, because I've got vomit all over me, had plans for the evening which just went out the window, don't have a change of clothes in the car, and I have no fucking idea who you guys are." "Oh, oh, oh. No. No. No...I, I, I...I just meant we're on the same team, the bachelor party story? I couldn't think that fast on my feet, that's fucking brilliant, I don't know who you are, I see you're a college teacher, your students have no idea who you really are, I can't imagine you'd stop and help two guys who could turn around and steal your car (at which point I referred to my HOSTEL shirt and knife and said I could have them both dead before they knew what hit either of them) and he just kept apologizing saying "I'm alright with YOUR KIND and I HAVE A GIRLFRIEND and MY HAIRDRESSER'S, you know, GAY and MY DAD'S OK WITH THAT" and I said to shut the fuck up because my student's professor was gay AND THEY WERE OK WITH THAT AND THE GUY HELPING THEM AT THE MOMENT WAS GAY AND THEY SEEMED TO BE OK WITH THAT AND I REALLY WASN'T OK WITH GAY HAIRDRESSER STEREOTYPES WHEN IT WAS CONVENIENT...and he really got my drift when I said I could kick his ass nine ways to Sunday and leave him AND HIS FRIEND in worse shape than Kevin already was in. So Kevin vomited some more, was out could, and police walked by and I calmly took charge and made up the funniest bachelor party story had the cop laughing he also had my business card and said "well, you seem to be the guy in control, so I'll take your word for it, so you and your buddy get your friend up stairs, but let me know if you need anything" and I asked him NOT to tow my car...

So we finally got Kevin upright, right arm around my shoulder (all deadweight, vomit, stink and sweat, head bobbing my way) when Paul (6'2") grabbed the other arm over his shoulder and the uneven distribution of height/weight (I'm 5'10") made it for one very herky-jerky walk into and through the hotel lobby. Kevin said he was in 2114...and there WAS no 2114. We were there, and then he passed out again, thankfully in the floor lounge. I called the desk said who I was and that my friend couldn't remember what room he was in and they said they'd ring the room, and I said that wasn't helpful because he was with me and we needed to get INTO the room. Paul told me he'd stay with Kevin and if I could go to the desk (WITH ID!) and the room card, to find out the room number.

Who knew security needed to get involved. I had to tell the "bachelor party story" and say "my other friend" was upstairs with him, as was a cleaning lady. Security, in the form of a handsome woman (my team) walked me upstairs, assessed the situation, and wanted to get EMS. I wanted to leave, as I sensed big trouble. We got Kevin to his room (2124) and got him off the bed and on the floor, started to draw a cold bath, I put ice on him, took off his shoes and socks while Paul attended to his t-shirt. A very heavy knock on the door startled both of us, and I told Paul he'd better answer it as I was administering an ice pack to a prostrate, shirtless, guy on the floor, with multiple facial wounds. It was kd lang and a very important looking hotel security guy...this time looking for IDs (driver's licenses) and license plates of cars. I also pulled out my business card and came clean with my story. I heard about police, EMS, and knew my name, license and plates were being taken. They patched downstairs and said not to tow the white Xterra with my plates, standby for further information. Paul had no ID. I had to stay in the room with a total stranger, male, passed out, half-naked, mumbling, practically vomiting, holding an icepack to his forehead, with two security people looking at me, holding my license and business card asking me how I got involved in all this and how I ended up at the hotel when I wasn't even a guest there and what my business was there. I asked them if they knew Wayne in Starbucks (which was now closed) and they said they did, very well, and I said he was my student, and he could vouch for me, and they looked at each other (as if that wasn't really a viable option) but they said they knew Wayne and that he went to school, so they took that much for granted. Paul was gone an awfully long time getting his ID, and then security suggested to me VERY STERNLY that it was IN MY BEST INTEREST that I leave the premises AT ONCE when the friend returned with his identification. They said they didn't know what was going to happen (EMS, police, alcohol poisoning etc) but it did appear to them that I was telling the truth, that I was truly a good samaritan by-stander, and they didn't want to make this any more difficult for me. I asked them if I was in any kind of trouble (they had my name, address, phone, license, car, make, model, plates, place of employ, phone etc) and they said if I took their advice and "just left the premises immediately as I wasn't a guest I would be fine."

After forever, Paul returned, and I explained, as did security, that they said it was in my best interest to leave immediately, and that Paul was obligated to stay with Kevin for the evening and overnight unless he wanted them to call both EMS and the police for alcohol intoxication. They understood the "whole bachelor party rationale" at which Paul shot me a look and a smile and a nod of the head, but that this guy was in and out of consciousness and had obvious facial wounds which were pretty serious in nature. Paul said he would stay, and they took his license, and said he could collect it at the desk in the morning. They told me to leave. Paul screamed "thank you, I don't even know who you are" down the hall (he had my business card with my home phone written on it) and I screamed back "say hi to your hairdresser."

I just about vomited when I got to my car. I had walked the phalynx of security guards all whispering into their headpieces as I walked out, even the one by the door who said "good evening Mr Mercury" which sent a chill down my spine.

My car was baking, and I stunk of vomit. I decided to go to 960, and lasted all of 10 minutes. It was pre-cover (which was $10 and $20, depending on when you got there, and I got there REALLY early) and I was told it was all house and trance, I ordered up a Bud Light (I'm caught in a trap and I can't walk out...) and I went in my vomit-stenched HOSTEL shirt and made myself known to the disc jockey. I shook hands, asked his name and said "are you gonna keep me happy?" "what's gonna keep you happy, my friend?" I pointed to my orange Converse. "See these?" They're either on the dance floor, or I'm not happy." "Really? And who might you be?" "Ever hear of South Beach?" "Yeah! That place rocks!" "No, I mean SoBe from 88-98, when it was white hot" "Yeah, that place was the SHIT." Yeah, I know. I was the scene. I played everywhere down there. I'm the Orange Man. That's Mr Mercury to you. Now. Keep me happy. Keep me dancing. That's all you need to do. Make it your job tonight. And if you do a good job, I can open doors for you. And you'd like that, wouldn't you?

Really? You know people?
Yeah. You want Tracy Young's direct line?
You know Tracy Young?

Keep me dancing. And we'll talk.

I left ten minutes later.
Too many intoxicated kids.
I wasn't there for the drum and bass.
And he didn't even know who Goldfrapp was.

Later on, for $10, I heard three things:
1. listen, dude. I gotta leave. I'm in over my head with you. You're dangerous. I see it in your eyes.
2. Fuck man. You're too fucking wild. You wanna leave? "Nope. You shouldn't be cheating on your boyfriend."
3. Fuck. Dude. I never see you around. You from around here? "Nope." Where you from? "Slovakia."

I cried on the way home.
Never got to dance either.

Frank's father died, so I'll be doing the wake and funeral this weekend.

Friday, August 04, 2006

More stories.

I've been talking, I need to get writing.
THE WEDDING PHOTOS is on the tip of my tongue. That I don't need to be reminded about. I'm trying to think of what else. I told that to Tom, Justin, and Dr. Austen. I should really write one entitled THE TRUE BLUE YELLOW BOYFRIEND, but he'll just probably flip about again, and not talk to me, but he's not talking to me anyway, just e-mailing me when he feels like it, telling me he's going on vacation, again. (I give a fuck?) Hey, I'm going to see a horror movie: DESCENT. And you know what? I'm prolly gonna love that your whining ass isn't sitting next to me. I need someone with balls and imagination, and the darkest sense of humor in my life.

Silence of the Lambs?

At first glance, I thought it was me in the mirror.
(I'm the pig, in case your wondering. The other one is "in sheep's clothing.")

Thursday, August 03, 2006

The Assistant.

© George Platt-Lynes; retouched ©2006 OrangeMercury

The Agency called. They said a temp was on the way. This place works in an odd manner. They just identified themselves as "The Agency" and said that I had called. Correct? I thought for one of those "what are you wearing?" moments, and said yes.

He'll be here in less than five minutes. They said his name is Robert.

Funny. My confirmation name.

I remembered my first day at David's, and wondered if I could handle being the other side of the coin. For a change.

Jonathan Tichenor

©1943 George Platt-Lynes

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


I told two stories today, in detail.
PROXIMITY and THE CARPET IN MY BACKYARD. Pretty much all I have to do is tell the story once, write down a title, and I'm ok with it. The photo helps jog the memory, or the title does it all alone. I didn't take this photo, but it'll help, especially when you notice there's no pharmacy here.
(No package store either, but that's moot.)

And for the carpet. All I gotta remember is the car without the grill, the backlit neighbor, the cop, Grace, the Indian Dreamcather, and Steph and Kay.
And how it is my business.

Just like it was Gary's business to tell me to start transcribing.
He's really right.

Do Animals Lie?

Would an animal lie to you, if it could talk, and you could ask it a question?
They don't, they can, and I did.
Now I have to deal with the knowledge.
Thanks Grace.
I know you really are listening.

You are cordially invited...

I'm taking my class on a field trip tomorrow.
It's a photo shoot.
And, technically, it's not a photography class.
Go ahead. Fire me. At least I'll go out, guns a'blazin'.

I'd really like it if you came with us.
In the event you've already got plans,
or you're previously booked (Hartford, 9-1p),
the link above is for your pleasure.

Horace Wells.
Worth the visit, alone.
Or with a lunch companion.

Mom actually remembered the name of the Chinese place.
I was impressed.

Welcome to Hell.

I can feel the discomfort in your seat
and in your head it's worse.
– Depeche Mode

Monday, July 31, 2006


Where I thought I'd see hurt, I didn't.
Where I thought I'd see love, I didn't.
I hope they both know everytime I look at them,
it's with love.
Not like a father.
Not like a brother.
Not like a teacher.
Not like a lover.
Only like I can.

Not just words.

Hold on, hold on, hold on to what we have
Yesterday is gone and the night is long
We'll hold on to what we have...
Texas|Just Hold On

I'm in awe.
What can I say?

Sunday, July 30, 2006

20 Minutes That Changed Music Forever

I've been screaming about this for years.
You can download this legend, in its entirety, here.


While surfing the internet for "all things greyhound" I learned that Cocoa Mulch, manufactured by Hershey's (there's a hint) and commonly sold at Target and Home Depot, among other retail outlets, contains two ingredients that are highly toxic to dogs. While proffered as a product meant to keep cats away from your landscaping, dogs find the scent, and the product, unusually appealing, and will, without hesitation, ingest it to some degree. With the very sensitive digestive systems all greyhounds are known to have, vomiting will occur. Within 24 hours, seizures may occur, and death will be the end result.

Compiled from various internet reports, because I love those fucking four-legged creatures, and I wouldn't want even one to suffer this gruesome fate:

Cocoa Mulch, which is sold by Home Depot, Target, Foreman's Garden Supply and other Garden supply stores, contains a lethal ingredient called "Theobromine".

It is lethal to dogs and cats. It smells like chocolate and it really attracts dogs. They will ingest this stuff and die. Several deaths already occurred in the last 2-3 weeks. Just a word of caution — check what you are using in your gardens and be aware of what your gardeners are using in your gardens.

Theobromine is the ingredient that is used to make all chocolate — especially dark or baker's chocolate — which is toxic to dogs.

Cocoa bean shells contain potentially toxic quantities of theobromine, a xanthine compound similar in effects to caffeine and theophylline. A dog that ingested a lethal quantity of garden mulch made from cacao bean shells developed severe convulsions and died 17 hours later. Analysis of the stomach contents and the ingested cacao bean shells revealed the presence of lethal amounts of theobromine.

Origins: This warning about the potential danger to pets posed by cocoa mulch began appearing in our inbox in May 2003. Unlike the majority of scary alerts spread through the Internet, there is a good deal of truth to this one, although we haven't encountered any substantiated cases of pet deaths caused by ingestion of cocoa mulch.

Veterinarians have noted that cocoa mulch contains ingredients that could pose a health risk to dogs (and other pets that might be tempted to ingest it):
"Cocoa mulch is a risk, especially to dogs," said Dr. Larry Family of Aqueduct Animal Hospital.

Found in most home garden centers, cocoa mulch is known for its fine texture and the sweet smell the fresh mulch gives off.

But getting past the scent, Family says cocoa mulch can be dangerous if a dog starts eating it. It contains two key ingredients found in chocolate: theobromine and caffeine. Similar to eating chocolate, he says a dog that eats just a few ounces of cocoa mulch could starting having stomach problems and it could get worse if it eats more.

"As time goes on they might act restless, excited, it can produce tremors and seriously seizures," Family explained.

"Puppies are very curious animals. So they're going to be attracted to various things around the yard and [the effect of eating cocoa mulch] seems to be more severe in the small breeds, and it depends on the amount they actually ingest," Family said.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) confirms the potential effects of theobromine and caffeine on dogs:
Cocoa beans contain the stimulants caffeine and theobromine. Dogs are highly sensitive to these chemicals, called methylxanthines. In dogs, low doses of methylxanthine can cause mild gastrointestinal upset (vomiting, diarrhea, and/or abdominal pain); higher doses can cause rapid heart rate, muscle tremors, seizures, and death.

Eaten by a 50-pound dog, about 2 ounces of cocoa bean mulch may cause gastrointestinal upset; about 4.5 ounces, increased heart rate; about 5.3 ounces, seizures; and over 9 ounces, death. (In contrast, a 50-pound dog can eat up to about 7.5 ounces of milk chocolate without gastrointestinal upset and up to about a pound of milk chocolate without increased heart rate.)
According to tables we've examined, cocoa mulch contains 300-1200 mg. of theobromine per ounce, making cocoa mulch one of the strongest concentrations of theobromine your pet will encounter in any chocolate product.

Yet the question of the gravity of the risk presented by this type of gardening mulch remains a matter of debate. According to Hershey's:
It is true that studies have shown that 50% of the dogs that eat Cocoa Mulch can suffer physical harm to a variety of degrees (depending on each individual dog).

However, 98% of all dogs won't eat it. And some of those who vend cocoa mulch note that although they're aware of the pet warnings, they've never encountered a case of a dog's being sickened by the product: (Editor's note: I have received emails that are pointing to approximately 20 deaths have been reported so far in 2006.)

"The weird thing is, it smells like a chocolate Pop Tart. That's the best way I can describe it. It really does have a chocolate scent to it," explained Shane Compton of Hewitt's Garden Center.

Compton says cocoa mulch is not that popular at his store, but says it has its regular customers who every now and then wonder about the rumors they hear and the effect it has on man's best friend.

"There's always stories on the Internet, but in the 30 years we've been here we've actually never heard of any body's dog getting sick," Compton said.
Rather than gamble their dogs won't be attracted or harmed by the mulch, responsible pet owners will probably prefer to choose another form of soil enhancement for their gardens, such as cedar-based products.

(Although Home Depot is named as a vendor of cocoa mulch in the example cited at the head of this page, the company told us in May 2006 that: "The Home Depot does not and will not sell mulch harmful to pets. The mulch sold by The Home Depot containing cocoa shells goes through several cleaning processes, including a high heat system in order to strip the cocoa fat from the shells without the use of any chemicals.")

The danger of canine theobromine poisoning does not begin and end with cocoa mulch, however: chocolate in any form poses substantial risks to some pets. This most beloved of foodstuffs contains theobromine and small amounts of caffeine, both of which can sicken and even kill cats and dogs.

Chocolate's toxicity to animals is directly related to three factors: the type of chocolate, the size of the animal, and the amount of chocolate ingested. Unsweetened baking chocolate presents the greatest danger to pets because it contains the highest amount of theobromine, approximately 390-450 mg. per ounce. White chocolate contains the least. As a general rule of thumb, one ounce of milk chocolate per pound of body weight can be lethal for dogs and cats. (Milk chocolate contains approximately 44-66 mg of theobromine per ounce.)

It affects the heart, central nervous system, and kidneys, causing nausea and vomiting, restlessness, diarrhea, muscle tremors, and increased urination. Cardiac arrhythmia and seizures are symptoms of more advanced poisoning. Other than induced vomiting, vets have no treatment or antidote for theobromine poisoning. Death can occur in 12 to 24 hours.

This type of poisoning is uncommon because it is rare that a dog, even a small dog, will eat enough chocolate to cause anything more than an upset stomach. Yet it can happen, especially if the animal gets into baking chocolate or powdered cocoa, two forms of the sweet particularly loaded with theobromine.

Do not feed chocolate to dogs or cats. If you keep a pet, do not leave chocolate lying about lest your critter help himself to it and in so doing poison himself. If your animal begins exhibiting signs of distress and you believe he might have gotten into some chocolate, call your veterinarian immediately. (It will help if you can supply information about the approximate weight of your critter, what sort of chocolate was ingested — white, milk, dark, cocoa powder, baking — and roughly how much.) But time is of the essence if such a poisoning has indeed taken place, so make the call right away.

The Greeter

Thanks, Grace. I know you were quite busy this week. Thanks for guiding Tate as he crossed over. I know you were there for him. As I know you were there for Rob, and I know you were there for countless others. I actually took your X-rays to class this week, showed the cancer which put you on the other side, as well as your heart, which you left with me.

Tate|DEP. 24 July 2006


Vault|God Listens, Speaks. Do you see?


Frustrated with the premature death of my grandmother (yeah, at 80, no less!) I asked God a question. Not only did He answer, but He saw that the moment has legs, and distribution. Published months (3) later in Miami, the cover of TROPIC Magazine, the title of the article was PROVING THE EXISTENCE OF GOD.

Something I've got to remember, and hold on to.