Monday, October 31, 2011



National Novel Writing Month starts tomorrow! I’m sure you know all of this already, but the goal is to crank out a 50,000 word novel in a single month. It doesn’t have to be good, it just has to be done. It is an writing exercise! And it is hard!

You aren’t allowed to write anything until November 1st (which is about four and a half hours from now!) but you are allowed to plot and plan. I have spent a lot of time doing that lately and I am looking forward to getting started!

Realistically, I may not finish. I have only ever successfully hit the 50k mark twice, but this year I am really going to work my ass off. To succeed you have to write at least 1,667 a day. A DAY! That is a lot of words. Every. Day. But I am really looking forward to throwing myself into it.

Here is the novel synopsis I just posted on my NANO page:

The misanthropic and (hopefully!) madcap adventures of a team of bankers … unique bankers. The kind of bankers who travel the world quietly solving problems for the world’s largest financial institution and its most valuable clients. The kind of bankers who can overthrow a mid-sized country, make an oil spill disappear, or stop aliens from stealing the moon.

It will be half satire, half international espionage thriller, half love story and half exploration of all the ways in which banks are screwing you! It will also include notes on how to reprogram an Excel spreadsheet to sexually harass someone!

I will post my daily writing chunks on this here blog, so you can read it as I write it! And please yell at me if I slack off.

Some crazy people will be staying up until midnight to start jitting the keys at 12:01, but I shall not. I am kind of tired, so my very exciting Halloween plan tonight is to eat some real food for dinner, do some yoga, and go to bed early. I KNOW! I am so exciting that you can’t believe it!

Tomorrow this super-awesome adventure in awesomeness begins!


Ode to 8am.

Ode to 8am
by james bezerra

Coffeepot please brew
your black gold faster!
I’m an addict and you,
you are my dealer.


Still a Mugging?

Still a Mugging?
by james bezerra

Heavens to betsy!
Maybe we should see
if that there deceased body
has in its pockets any money!



by james bezerra

Let’s sail our dreams
like a long sailboat
around this giant fishbowl
and then we’ll know
if our love will float



by James

You know who always
seems happier than me?
People getting laid regularly!



by james bezerra

If you’re like me,
sometimes you read your own poetry
and realize sadly
that your rhymes are pretty sloppy.


Fruit Loopy.

How come really fancy hotels don’t have complimentary continental breakfast?

That’s not a poem or anything, I’m really asking.

A few weeks ago I stayed in a really crappy little motel and got some free Fruit Loops, terrible coffee and a rock hard blueberry muffin out of the deal. I was very please!

But I recently made a reservation for a really fancy pants hotel and guess what? No complimentary continental breakfast! And the hotel has a restaurant in it and everything! So it’s not like the concept of people eating food just escaped them! No! It’s because they want you to wake up and be all like, “Well gee, I’m hungry gosh darn it! And I would really love a rock hard blueberry muffin right now.” So then you go through your luggage because you’re sure that you packed some muffins, so you dig around in your bag, but beneath the leather straps and gimp mask and ball gag and tub of liquid latex all you find is your back-up ball gag. So then you’re all like, “Well, I guess I should go see if they have any muffins at this restaurant I keep hearing about.” And then BAM! you end up spending a hundred and fifty dollars on eggs Benedict and a cup of fair-trade coffee!

When all you wanted was a crappy, dried out muffin and maybe some Fruit Loops if they’re on offer.

They are manipulating you! Playing upon your most fundamental need for substance! It is a racket! A trick! A sham! A fiat! A gambit! A gauntlet! A hootenanny! A shake down! A bloom’en shame! A hold up! A stick up! A despotism! An Orwellian nightmare of free market capitalism run amuck! A Kafkaesque nightmare of unseen power manipulating your fundamental essence! A Dickensian nightmare of not being given “more” food even when you ask nicely, with your big puppy dog eyes and empty bowl and empty stomach and – quite frankly – your empty heart!

Okay, I know that not all of that is actually true or accurate and some of those things I just said don’t even make any sense in this context … sorry? I got excited. BUT LOOK AT ALL THOSE WORDS I KNOW!

The one place where this whole thing is especially true, but not annoying to me, is Las Vegas. OF COURSE they aren’t gong to give you a free breakfast in Las Vegas! But they make up for it by selling you steak and eggs for a nickel at 4 in the morning. AND they let you play keno while you’re eating! The no free breakfast in Vegas I can understand and respect because the intentions of Vegas are very apparent and it is part of the deal you enter into. They want your money, you want to have a good time and get to use your ball gag. Done. This is the same logic that made it ok for Jay-Z to nark out a bunch of his fans during that late 1990s Napster lawsuit, but not ok for Metallica to do it. As a rapper Jay-Z made it clear that he was in it for the fame and money. Okay, cool, I can live with that. Metallica, on the other hand, was supposedly all about the music and all that inarticulate white man rage and the anti-establishmentarianism-ness, dammit! They had long hair! But then Lars “even my pets think I’m a douche bag” Ulrich personally wheels a titanic full of download records into the courtroom, records with the IP addresses and names of people whose only crime was liking Metallica in the first place. What a fucking prick. I was never a big Metallica fan before that, but since then I have become an anti-Metallica proselytizer.

Um … but I fear that I might have strayed off topic a bit …

I guess the real question to come out of this whole rumination is this: why do you travel with so many ball gags?


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

So it Goes.

Hi blog,

I know, I know, it has been a while, but it really wasn’t my fault this time. Life has been less than good as of late. I will spare you the gory details, but here are the highlights:

My cat is very slowly and very expensively dying. I am working with the vet, but the vet always gives me that stink eye look that seems to say, “This wouldn’t be happening if you were a better cat parent”, so that always feels good. Also, holy shit is the vet expensive!

My car has been slowly falling apart for awhile now. I did the math not long ago and figured out that I need it to get me through another year. At that point I will have some important things paid off and I will have been able to save some money, and also I think that about a year from now I should be able to make some big life decisions (job, location, some new goals, a revised plan for the future, all that good stuff). But my car is kind of a beater, so I have been trying to give it a little more TLC and as soon as I did, the wheels started to come off the wagon (almost literally) and it has all snowballed: get it serviced, get new tires, get the brakes fixed, stop that god-awful squealing noise, etc, etc, etc. If I really, truly believed in karma, then I would have to guess that this is all happening due to the hubris of my saving money in the first place. I was very proud of myself, I was able to save some money for the first time in a long time. Made me feel like a grown up; like a man. Well all of that is gone now and I will be living on minute rice and boiled dirt for awhile. But so it goes.

Finally, a few people in my life who are (or were) important to me have (separately and without provocation) gotten in touch with me to enumerate the ways in which I am an asshole. These are people for whom I still care deeply, regardless of the ways in which the winds of fate have battered us about. So that just plainly sucks. Though they did make some good points and it does make me think, “Shit, maybe they’re onto something!” And who knows, perhaps they are.

But I will be honest with you dear blog, I’m getting my ass kicked here. Like Mark Wahlberg for the whole beginning half of The Fighter. Seriously.

But I have weathered these types storms before. And some of them were much worse than this one. Much like all of us, life has moods and sometimes it can be kind of a bitch. But so it goes. That was a refrain that Kurt Vonnegutt used in Slaughterhouse-Five and it comes to mind a lot. So it goes.

However, I don’t want you to get the impression I’m spending my days sitting around in a puddle in soiled britches, clutching a dead cat and crying into my beer. Some days are quite good. Running is feeling better each time I go and I have been reading a lot and writing some. I’m impatiently looking forward to NANOWRIMO next month, even though I have yet to lock down a … oh, what’s the technical term … plot. But who needs a plot? That’s my refrain, who needs a plot?

I have a new backpacking bag I really like and I am itching to use it. I want to find a thru hike! I think I may have finally gotten my Base Pack Weight down to ten pounds! (I know, I’m a dork. Please feel free to Google “Base Pack Weight”). I bought a scale recently and I was happy to discover this is the least I have weighed since high school! And it’s not even because I got all binge-and-purge-y or anything! I’m slowly getting in shape! Which is maddeningly ironic because I also haven’t had sex or been naked in front of anyone in a completely unacceptable amount of time. Seriously, I’m starting to understand why people marry conjugal visit-capable inmates (What? Every movie I have ever seen about women’s prisons made them seem like pretty sexy places!)

Anyway, there’s an update for you. I’m sure you were just dying to have all of that information. So it goes!


Occupy Wall Street?

Occupy Wall Street?
by james bezerra

Occupy Wall Street?
Sounds like a good time! But what
are you protesting?


It’s the Stopping that’s a Bitch.

It’s the Stopping that’s a Bitch
by james bezerra

I would like to go hang gliding,
but am afraid of dying.
Not death from falling,
but rather death from plummeting,
followed by suddenly stopping.


Ding Dong, Gaddafi's Gone!

Dear Muammar Gaddafi,

BANG YOU'RE DEAD! Hahahahaha!

The Editors at Standardkink


Last Thoughts of Muammar Gaddafi.

I do not claim to have the ability to psychically retrieve thoughts and memories from dead bodies (although what a highly-rated & crappy television show would that be! Like Ghost Whisperer mixed with CSI or something! And I would solve mysteries!), however in this post I shall posit some guesses as to what the last thoughts of Muammar Gaddafi might have been:

“Where is my all-female bodyguard detail when I need them?! Probably doing their make-up!”

“Look I know you rebels are angry, but doesn’t killing me seem a bit harsh? Wait, what? I had your entire family murdered? Oh … sorry?”

“I hope that I look better than Saddam Hussein did when they pulled him out of that hole in the ground.”

“Any chance this whole ‘Libyan Revolution’ thing is a joke? Or like that thing in The Game where they weren’t actually trying to kill Michael Douglas? Man, that was such a good movie.”

“Sure, if they kill me I will get forty virgins, but as a batshit insane despot I’ve really grown accustomed to having fifty or sixty virgins ...”

“Dammit, if I had known today was going to go down this way I would have worn my other multicolored mumu/quasi-military uniform and matching hat.”

“This has been – like – the shittiest year of my life.”

“I hope that they don’t make this into an SNL sketch. That Fred Armisen is a jerk! I don’t even talk like that.”

“Well, at least I can finally meet Liberace. That guy was so stylish!”


Looks like a Lizard, Talks like a Lizard, but it’s a …

Hey, remember Newt Gingrich? Remember back when he was running for President … wait, what?! He’s still running from president? Wait … REALLY?! Oh wow, that’s just sad … too sad to make fun of really.

Poor guy, maybe if he hadn’t made a career about of being a professional turd …


Ron Paul Shot a Guy.

Since you’re so cool you probably saw this on SNL already, but if not:
A very funny sketch about the Republican debates.


Just a Little Wrong.

So this is a couple of weeks late, and possibly insensitive, but I still keep chuckling about it.

A day or two after Steve Jobs died my dad got home from work and said to my mother, “Honey, I think that Bill Gates died today.”

Come on, that’s hilarious!

I love and admire and respect my father very much, but he has a knack for getting the pop culture stuff a little wrong. One of the other winners was the time he said, “I watched a whole episode of that Rupaul’s Drag Race because I thought it was about drag racing. But it wasn’t.”

That’s not the all-time, best-in-show winner though. My dad doesn’t sleep much, so tends to stay up late working on his laptop with the TV on in the background. He enjoys a good western, as most of our fathers do, and so one night – while looking for something to have on the TV in the background – he came across what looked to be a western he’d never seen. It did not take long however before he discovered that Brokeback Mountain is NOT a western. He is still a little shocked about that one.


Monday, October 10, 2011

The Name is Music.

Recently my energetic and always in-motion brother the Texas Diplomat gave me a hand-me-down Mac Book (I know, my life is really hard). Aside from the general awesomeness of such a super thing, there is a specific awesomeness here and it has a name.

That name is music.

My music situation has been quite sad for the last few years. When I moved to LA I had a beautiful and wonderful music library. It was esoteric and exotic and just the right amount of pop-y. It was so massive that it lived on an external hard drive. That hard drive crashed and I lost it all. Photos too and a lot of writing, but that’s beside the point.

The point is that I lost a life lived in music.

The years after that were a meager time for me. I was both poor and busy and only able to rebuild in fits and spurts.

I had an old (very, very, very old) Compaq that did its business but didn’t do it swiftly or elegantly. For college I bought a little HP netbook that I love because it is the nearest digital equivalent to a pen and paper, but it is such a simple device that I didn’t trouble it with music.

Well now I have this white totem, this sliver; half plastic and half Steve Jobs’ soul. Today I moved over the poor, starving scraps of music that I had left, and then I re-logged into my iTunes account:

And it was glorious.

For literally years I have been scribbling the names of songs down on post-its, hoping that one day I would have a functioning music system that would allow me to find them again.

Well tonight I have gone back and found them again.

Yes, that's right: I am building a library. I have been building playlists! The art of building playlists is very much like writing, but with other people’s words.

So I’m sitting here writing this and listening to the first mix I have made in years. Literally years. Now I know that all of this makes you think that you are reading a blog post from 1999 (back when blogs were cool), which is roughly the last time I was cooking on a Mac, but to those of you soulless detractors who do not recognize that I am having a profound moment of musical re-acquaintance … well I have nothing to say to you. This is an irony-free post I am making right now!

I am very happy and pleased right now.


I love music and I feel that I have been without it as a force in my life for at least a year, if not slightly more.

I will not (right now) bother you with the details of the mixes and my particular tastes (laughable as they may sometimes be), for now I just want to encourage you to go click open your iTunes and find for yourself one of those songs - we all have those songs, those songs that are transcendent, that move us, that alter us – go find one of those songs, click play, close your eyes and just listen. Luxuriate in it. It is yoga for the soul. So go do that, you’ll thank me.

And I would like to once again thank my brother the Texas Diplomat: you sir are a man among men!


Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Hello blog! The Internet! And the World!

Did you miss me … Oh. Did you even realize I was gone … Oh … Well I have to tell you, that’s a real blow to my ego …

Well, anyway.

I had a crazy-busy month of September and was not able to post at all. Here is how it all went down:

I went white water rafting on the American River (Rated A for “Awesome”!)

I worked my ass off at work in preparation for my Grand Canyon trip (Rated F for “Sucked”)

I went on my Grand Canyon trip (Rated AAA for “Awesome Association of America”!)

I came back and worked my ass off at work to make up for being gone on my Grand Canyon trip (Rated F+ for “Super-Sucked”)

I got really sick with a monster cold (Rated P for “Extremely Phlegm-y”)

And by then the month was over. See how time flies when you are alternating between awesomeness and sucking? I guess that in that regard I had a very bi-polar month. Oh! Additionally my cat Lilith (who is almost ten years old) has started having some health problems and I have taken her to the vet like 19 times in the last week and a half. No kidding, I have spent like $600 bucks that I don’t have on cat medical care. In the last week she has been to the doctor more times than I have in the last five years. Poor thing is all shaved down in weird places from all the tests they have done.

But you don’t want to hear about all that! Unless you’re some sort of freakish feline voyeur with a mean-streak, in which case … dude, seek help.

I will be easing back into this blogging-ness; I think we need to get to know each other again, you know? I think we shouldn’t take it too fast … all that.

But here are things that I am working on to share with you:

Notes from my Grand Canyon trip, including, but not limited to:

- How I wasn’t technically in the Grand Canyon.

- How the hell does “40% chance of rain” actually mean “rain 40% of the time”?

- Dead horses.

- The string of curse words which is most appropriate when the hammock you are sleeping in falls to the ground with you in it.
- Camping beards.
- All of the ways in which I am an awesome adventure person (if we ignore all of the complaining I did).

NANOWRIMO starts November 1st!
And since I am better at failing than at anything else, I am eagerly anticipating the beginning of National Novel Writer’s Month. However since I have actually been doing some real writing as of late, I have NO IDEA what to write about in November. So get ready for a lot of posts like:

Um … does this sound like an interesting idea for a novel? “A teenage girl falls in love with a teenage vampire and problems ensue.” Like, is that interesting? No … probably not, huh?

How I am attempting to learn yoga from a video I bought at Target and how – believe it or not – Yoga is actually pretty cool. Even if you’re like me and probably doing it wrong!

Some ruminations on life. I have been doing some reflecting and realized that 2011 has been a year of highs and lows and very little in-betweens. And why I seem to be in a perpetual funk lately.

All the crap I normally write about:
- How Republicans are terrible
- Poetry that is bad
- Ways in which I find myself to be delightful
- Complaints
- Whimsy

Oh blog, we have so much catching up to do!


Unsuccessful Rhino.

Words I was going to try to use to write a poem about a whistling wiffle ball bat that likes waffles:


(Sadly I was unsuccessful at creating this poem. I apologize.)

The Internet Thinks I’m Gay.

My friend Mike the Director got an Amazon Local deal on mountaineering classes and at the exact same time I got one for ballroom dancing.

What are you trying to imply Amazon Local, huh?

That being said … I would LOVE to take ballroom dancing classes!!! Or really, any sort of dancing classes.

In fact, there is a little dance studio around the corner from my apartment and every single time I drive by it I think to myself, “I totally want to learn to do all of that!”

That’s always followed by the crushing realization that I have no one to take a dancing class with. No partner for dancing, or for life. And then I always pull over to the side of the road and cry to myself while I watch all the people in the dance studio twirling around. All happy and dancing and in love.

Too much information?

So maybe Amazon Local isn’t calling me effeminate after all. Maybe it is just mocking me.



The other day my roommates and I were out on the balcony and the neighbor called to us from his balcony (he is a nice Australian guy who lives with his wife and baby and goes to Jesus College) and asked if we would like a cake.

Who turns down a free cake?!

He brought it over. A homemade chocolate cake covered in chocolate frosting so rich and thick that it tastes more like ice cream than cake frosting. One corner of the cake frosting had been scraped away by the Australians who must have decided that it was simply too rich.

But not for me. No sir. I have been eating it for dinner!



By James bezerra

It would not be swell
to go to Hell.