Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Improvement in Telegraphy

Below is a short story I wrote for one of my classes. I’m actually really happy with it. Enjoy!

Improvement in Telegraphy
By James Bezerra

Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone to impress a girl.

Her eyes were blue and her voice was sing-song-y like a nursery rhythm. Her name was Hester. She was the daughter of his benefactor Gardiner Greene Hubbard, however, so too was Bell’s wife Mabel. Hester was her sister.

Mabel was deaf, her hearing had left her after a childhood bout with Scarlet Fever. Bell, whose life had been so devoted to the plight of the deaf, was ashamed to admit to himself that he loved Hester because of the way she spoke, so pretty, so perfect. Mabel spoke so little and so poorly.

They made love, Bell and Hester, just once. They were discovered! A misshapen shriek left Mabel’s mouth when she found them together. Gardiner Greene Hubbard shipped his youngest daughter off to France and the two men never spoke of the incident. But for Bell it was torture. He was anguished. He locked himself in his workshop. He longed only to hear her sweet voice again.

Yet Bell was not the only man who loved Hester Hubbard, nor was he the only inventor in Gardiner Greene Hubbard’s employ. The young Elisha Gray had also cherished and adored her and when he learned that Hester was gone, and why, he was enraged. His long, stern face twisted into a mask of hatred, “Damn you Alexander Graham Bell!” he shouted, fist in the air, “Damn you to Hell!”

Gray learned from the jilted Mabel that Bell had devoted himself to the completion of his ‘harmonic telegraph’ so that he could hear Hester’s voice from across the sea. Seeing the perfection of such a romantic gesture, Gray committed to finishing his own ‘liquid transmitter’ prototype, which functioned on entirely different principles but would accomplish the same end as Bell’s device.

Bell learned of Gray’s competition and the two men engaged in a race of invention. At times Bell could even feel Gray’s hot breath on the back of his neck.

On the crisp, snowy morning of February 14th 1876, Bell was in his workshop, his brow was sweaty. His arms were heavy with exhaustion as he snapped into place the acoustic reed, completing his device. “Thomas!” he shouted to his assistant Thomas A. Watson, “I have just invented the telephone!”

Then, to Bell’s amazement, it rang.

He picked it up and held it carefully to his ear. Unsure of the appropriate etiquette, he answered, “Ahoy?”

Gray’s voice crackled down the line, “Fuck you Alexander Graham Bell!” Then Gray hung up.

In a panic, Bell gathered his notes and the device. He dashed out the door, his knees high in the air as he ran. A trail of papers streamed behind him like a cloud.
Halfway to the Patent Office he spotted Gray rounding a corner, clutching his own invention. They came even, both of them running down the center of the street, dashing past carriages and horses.

“She doesn’t love you!” Bell shouted.

“She will when she finds out I invented the god damn telephone for her!” Gray yelled back.

They rounded the last corner; the U.S. Patent Office loomed at the end of the block. The men were both puffing; lungs were burning, legs were cramping, pain-in-the-name-of-love was all around and then Bell did the thing that he would spend the rest of his life denying, he said, “You’re right. She loves you.”


But when Gray turned his head to look at his nemesis, the back of Bell’s hand was already swooping around in a wide arc. Bell slapped him across the face and Gray stumbled, still running full-speed, and his foot caught an uneven cobblestone, he was wrenched sideways and he hit the ground with an awful wet thwack! and he slid for several bloody feet.

Alexander Graham Bell never looked back. He ran straight through the doors of the Patent Office. He slammed the device down on the desk and said to the clerk, “Hurry up, I have to make a call.”

I ‘borrowed’ the telephone photo from this person on

I have a question ...

Douchebag or blowhard?

Who cares, he is our douchebag/blowhard now!

Filibuster that you motherfuckers.

Do you think that the Republican Party will just wither and die, choked to death by its own hateful bullshit?

I know it won’t happen, but a boy can dream can’t he?

Bad Parenting.

As always, is still the best website on the internet.

This is just so awful it is funny.


Violet is at a Rufus Wainwright concert right now.

And I am not.

That’s some crap, right?

So Busy

Oh! My poor blog! I have missed you so. I have been so busy that I haven’t gotten to update you.

I have been at work and at school and driving between work and school. But also, other things have conspired to keep us apart.

First, my sister gave birth to my newest niece, Alexis Anne. They want to call her “Lexi” but I’m still going to call her “Boo” (that was her gender-neutral moniker).

Look at her! She is a New Yorker, which means that she is less than a week old, but already cooler than me.

Next I helped Violet shoot engagement photos for this cool couple who are getting married this coming weekend …

Look at what good work Violet does! You should totally hire her for something.

And THEN, I went to the LA Times Festival of Books and saw Steve Erickson on a panel. Steve frickin’ Erickson. The guy who wrote one of my favorite books …

He is basically the guy who taught me that it is okay to write however the fuck I want.

And then I did homework! And more homework! And then it was Monday and I went to work again. Life is busy when you are as important as I am.

Just kidding. Where I said "important", I meant to say "wage slave".

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Why You Should Care, and stuff.

So apparently CNN Newsroom (this is the one that is on when I am getting ready for work) now has a segment called, “Why You Should Care”.

Basically they do what television “news” does. They find two people who disagree about something and let them fight with each other. The CNN person acts like a referee, but thinks that she’s a journalist.

I only thought it was funny because of the segment name: Why You Should Care.
Is it the fault of CNN that we don’t? Or can I blame FOX NEWS for this somehow? Or are these jack-asses just trying to make a living?

I don’t know.

But this is a spot of bother for me. Normally I’m great at assigning blame!

Also, the two guys arguing with each other, they were arguing about whether or not the children of illegal immigrants should be allowed to apply for federal student aid to go to college.

One guy was all, if they can get into the damn school in the first place, let them go! They are basically Americans!

The other guy was all, they are taking the spots and the financial aid away from actual Americans!

At the very least, at least it was an interesting question.

Not really though. Of course we should let them go to school.

The difference between a Mexican immigrant today and an Irish immigrant of a hundred years ago, is just the law. If we had had these laws back then, you’re great-grandfather Irish McIrishson would have been illegal too. And you’re grandfather wouldn’t have been able to go to school.

Look CNN! You totally convinced me to care!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Animals Love Me.

Today at school I met this squirrel who totally let me feed him french fries. He is awesome and now I am totally friends with Jeremy (oh yeah, I named him Jeremy). We hung out for a little while and swapped stories. Then I ran out of french fries so he went and hung out upside down on the side of a tree.

That's Jeremy right there! He's the blurry one.

Monday, April 20, 2009


So do you want to hear something sad?

I have not received a single mass-email, MySpace bulletin, or Facebook update concerning the fact that today is 4/20.

It seems like that should be a good thing, right?

Well it is not. It means that I have turned the corner and I am now a stupid adult person. Gone are the totally high, wantabe indie musicians who used to hang out in my living room that didn’t have any furniture. Gone are the so-serious emo girls who used to come over and drink my wine. Gone are the days of watching the sun come up while eating the last of the maraschino cherries straight out of the jar, drinking Early Times straight out of the bottle, and using zig-zags to roll new cigarettes using just the butts in the ash tray.

Good bye sweet youth!

Good bye cops at the door and friends who need to stash mysterious lock-boxes in my air conditioning vents!

Oh we had some good times.

Anyway, I guess that it means you are all grown up when you don’t even have any annoying pot friends anymore.

Now, the pot was never my thing (I’m a drinker) but it is part of the culture. Oh! Goodbye angsty youth culture!

I’m going to go listen to RENT and put on La Boheme and cry into my beer.

The worst part?

I found out that today is 4/20 when NPR told me.

Oh, the awful shame.


I drank so much coffee at work today that I can taste how bad my breath is. That’s disgusting, right?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Gender Neutrality

So my sister is pregnant and due in June. She and her husband have decided that they do not want to know the sex of the baby (Insert exasperated emoticon here, right?).

Today Violet and I were at the mall (I was totally not shopping at Forever 21) and we wandered through a baby store (or rather, a store that sells stuff for babies) and we were looking through the gender-neutral section of the store and Violet commented on how small the selection is for gender-neutral stuff.

So we decided that we are going to start a line of baby clothes that makes the gender of the child immaterial. “WHAT?” you ask. Well I will explain.

Let’s face it, babies are all (more or less) the same shape. They are all basically the same. Totally, it is true. So rather than dressing them into some gender-role costume, why not just use them to harmlessly express your own views which you would not otherwise be able to express in a socially-acceptable way.

For instance, if you’re secretly in the KKK, why not dress your baby in a KKK Onesie! If you hate Portuguese people, why not dress your baby in a “You guys are basically just Spanish, and everybody knows it! That’s just drunken Spanish, that language you’re speaking!” onesie!

If you hate the Police, why not get your baby a “Fuck the Police!” jumper? It will have Ice Cube’s picture on the ass!

We will also carry other kinds of baby accessories that have nothing to do with gender. For instance, baby diapers with Rush Limbaugh’s face on them and once your baby craps in it, the diaper connects via available wi-fi to Limbaugh’s radio show and doesn’t turn off until you remove the shit from your kid and from your house. This will be our biggest seller! People will love them! They will be so popular that we will release a limited edition onesie on Rush’s birthday and it will say “Shit = Rush Limbaugh”.

The best part? You can put it on your child and then the two of you can go to a Toby Keith concert or Sarah Palin’s house and not even one of those people will be able to assault your baby because it is a BABY! You can’t beat up a baby you racist, illiterate, morons!

Oh! And the ever better best part? Your baby can wear any of our products, regardless of gender! Awesome!

For even worse ideas about how to dress your child, visit
Baby T-Shirt Hell.

My newest favorite:

A Classic:

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Stuff That You Didn't Realize About Tomorrow.

So it is almost midnight, so it is almost tomorrow, and do you know what happened tomorrow?

Well, 224 years ago, the American Revolution started at Lexington and Concord. You know, we still don’t know who started it. I just found it interesting, because we don’t celebrate that at all.

Also, on tomorrow, in 1933, America went off the gold standard. That’s totally interesting, right?

Tomorrow is also the Oklahoma City bombings, in 1995.

Kinetic Typograpgy.

I love this stuff and I will find a way to use it one day.

Check out this and others at Youtube. The Hitler one is strange to sit through. The Abbott and Costello is sublime.


I love when a couple of words bang together and stick and there’s this slow sizzle inside your brain that lights up like when they light the fuse at the beginning of an episode of Mission: Impossible.

Anyway, I’m reading some stuff online and watching this show about General Patton on the History Channel (did you know he’s from Pasadena?) and they started talking about a German towed-artilery rocket launcher. It was named the Nebelwerfer, but the Americans who had to endure it called it the “Screaming Mimi” because of the awful, high-pitched shriek it made.

What a great name! How the fuck is that not a punk band?!

I am totally going to write something that uses this term, this slang, this name.

There was a pulp novel with this title, and there is a vintage clothing store with this name, and a couple of sex acts on Urban Dictionary (one of which makes sense, the other is simply juvenile and was probably submitted by giggling fourteen-year-olds) with this name.

But just wait! Someday soon there will be my story called “Screaming Mimi”. It will be written in the tradition of “Gravity’s Rainbow”, but faster and … and … and it will be … narrated in a third-person omniscient fashion by the SETTING! Ha. This is a great idea!

And one whole chapter will be about the lead singer of a punk band who wears vintage clothing and likes to perform juvenile sex acts!

Thanks History Channel.

Oh! And here is what a Screaming Mimi sounds like. It is actually quite creepy.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Something is wrong . . .

I seriously just left the apartment wearing one shoe. I got all the way to the stairs. WTF, right?

An Over-Worked Sign.

This is a sign that I came across at school.

I just kinda smiled and shook my head. God love these college kids. They try so hard. I’m just not sure that one sign can be asked to convey this many messages.

Now I am about as liberal as one can be without falling off the edge of the world and into the territory ruled by people who chain themselves to trees or have messianic visions of President Obama sweating sunshine, but – that being said – I can totally understand why the right hates us. I am kind of annoyed by us sometimes too. Maybe I’m just getting old, but each of the things on this sign is an issue in and of itself and jamming them together like they are part of a package-deal is the kind of absurdity that made the recent protests in London so ridiculous. "Political opinions are not fashion!" That's what I want to shout all the time at my young liberal compatriots. “Don’t make this about YOU!”

And not for nothing, but what is “DE-INDUSTRIALIZATION”? Does that mean dismantling the factories? Or does it suggest that someone wants us to return to a pre-industrialized society. I hope not because I’m a terrible farmer. I bet the college kid who wrote this is too.

I will admit, however, the free donuts are a nice touch.

Anyway, here are some other pictures from inside my phone:

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

FOX NEWS should die!

Jon Stewart just said:

FOX NEWS, the news you watch when news is not what you want.

I loooooove you Jon Stewart.

Amber Tamblyn Has Better Taste in Men

Violet just said that Amber Tamblyn ...

is the poor-man’s Katie Holmes, so I was all, “psha!”

Amber Tamblyn is totally a poor-man’s somebody, but I'm just not sure who. It is a mystery to which I will get to the bottom ...

Probably by google imaging Scarlett Johansson for awhile.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Inside Pandora's Box: Techno Music


I recently started using Pandora Radio when I sit down to work or write or what-have-you. It is free and pretty easy to use and very customizable. Well, my relationship with Pandora is still pretty new. We are just past that honeymoon phase and we are finally getting to really get to know each other and for some reason she thinks that I like techno.

I do not like techno.

In fact, I contend that no one does, or ever has, liked techno.

I confessed to Pandora – in a moment of human honesty – that I enjoy some occasional Moby and some Massive Attack and sometimes Fatboy Slim and now she’s all like, “Maybe you will like some DJ AM.”

No Pandora, no, I would not like some DJ AM.

Also, these online radio stations should have a NO METALLICA button. I think all of life should have a NO METALLICA button, but that’s just me.

On a slightly related note, I spent three years crafting my Yahoo music station to get it just perfect and then Yahoo got rid of the customizable stations. I was so mad I peed in an envelope and mailed it to the Yahoo offices. I hadn’t been that mad since George Bush got legally elected president for the first time.

Anyway, to sum up, I do not like techno.

Here is Pandora.

Bling! Bling! You're a Criminal!

Ha! Ha! Ha!

Here is a funny article about how you can accidently make other people into criminals:

Can you say: mail-them-brass-knuckles!

This video game company included (illegal) brass knuckles in their press kit. Funny!

You should email me your home address and I will send you some of this cocaine I have sitting around my apartment.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

My Thinking Face Visits Monterey

Here is a picture of Violet and I.

Look at what a good picture it is. That’s because she is good at this stuff. Below is a picture that makes me totally look like I’m thinking deeply about something, but all I’m really thinking about is how cool I will look since I am making my thinking face.

We drove up the coast to Monterey recently. You should check out her Flickr. You seriously have to look at the jelly fish.

Man, they are strange, strange creatures. If you watch them long enough, you start to think about how odd and fickle evolution must be, but if you continue to watch them, you start to think that anything is possible, and not is some chicken-soup-for-the-soul, daily-affirmations kind of way, but in a very real way; in a holy-shit-jelly-fish-are-real-and-who-could-have-seen-that-coming! kind of way.

Or maybe they don’t make you think about possibilities at all.

Either way, they are very pretty and you should looked at Violet's pictures.

Fruit ! ! !

I have just started reading this book. It is about fruit. So far, it is fascinating. Get ready for posts about fruit! For instance, did you know that even though the Tomato is a fruit, it has the legal status of a vegetable (in the United States)!

More dispatches from the wild world of fruit, still to come! I know! You’re so excited!

Here is the book on Amazon:
The Fruit Hunters: A Story of Nature, Adventure, Commerce, and Obsession

I think this is pretty cool.

Lifted from still one of the best websites ever to exist.

Kevin Coster: man, legend, failure.

Look here! See!


I am not the only person who thinks that Kevin Costner is an awful plague on humanity. Click the link and scroll to the bottom.

And when you're done, give me a call and we will go get a drink and I will do - for you - my bit about 'The Guardian'.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

I Am Easily Fascinated

Did you know that The Village People take their name from Greenwich Village, which was a gay haven in the 70s? I did not know that. I guess I should have, or I guess that it should have occurred to me. I don’t know why I find that so fascinating.

I was just reading their Wikipedia page (a bad habit, I know) and I found another nugget of awesome. When the band was getting started and looking for new members, the first couple of guys ran an ad, “Macho Types Wanted: Must Dance And Have A Moustache”.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A New Story Published!

Oh the excitement! I have a short story up at this website:


My link is in the center of the homepage. It is called "Escape" or, as I wrestled with calling it, "Escape!" however, I really feel like I use too many exclamation points as it is! See!

Here is the link to just mine story, Mine but I encourage you to read some of the other stuff too. A nice lady named Dorothee worked very hard on the whole thing, and I think it shows.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Chocolate + Metaphor = Lame!

So last week Violet brought home a box of See's Candy and I have gotten down to the stuff in the box that I don’t actually like, but I’m eating it anyway because it is covered in chocolate and not – like, you know – awful.

(There is some kind of metaphor about life in there if you want to dig for it ... oh wait! I just realized I’m lame AND derivative.)

My Kitten Sees Some Balloons

So I’m sitting here doing other stuff and I have the sliding door open, but the screen is closed, and the precocious Kitten is watching the outside world and then suddenly ( and inexplicably) somebody downstairs let go of a small batch of helium balloons that are now drifting skyward (two red balloons and one white one, against a perfect slate blue sky) and the poor kitten stood up on her hind legs, her attention peaked.

Normally she would make some sort of annoying noise, but she didn’t do that. She just watched the balloons, then I saw her little shoulders sag and her little ears droop as she realized that she would never be able to get to the balloons, given the screen door and their rapid accent.

So she sat back down.

It was very sad, so I drew a picture of it.

About My Pants ...

So ever since I became a fancy person with a blog and a website and all of the other trappings of fame, I have been bombarded with emails from legions of adoring readers who ask things like,

"This website has the word ‘kink’ in the name, yet it seems to have no discernable porn, what’s the deal?"


"Why are you not a cute girl who would like to have sex with me? As a person who devotes much of his free time to searching the internet for cute girls to have sex with, I was astounded to learn (from the ‘About’ page of your website) that you are, in fact, not a cute girl who would like to have sex with me. What’s up with that?"

Yet it seems that more than any other question, people ask me, "So what’s going on with your pants situation?"

Well, I have decided that I should finally address this, so as to clear it up once and for all.

When I get home I generally put on this great pair of blue jeans that I bought on sale at Kohls. Kohl’s has some great stuff and they carry some good brands and when they have a sale … well, you just can’t beat it (I paid $9, they were marked down from $60 – though I hade to remove the bandana and chain wallet thing that came attached to them. Who still thinks that crap is cool? I propose that it never was, but that’s for another day).

Anyway, I do not believe in washing jeans as often as regular clothes, in fact, I think that jeans don’t even get comfortable until you wear them two of three (hundred) times.

Well today when I got home I went to put my jeans on and I noticed that they kind of smelled like the ground and so I tried to think back to when I washed them last and I simply could not recall. I remember the last few times I did laundry and I did not wash them then, so that means that it has probably been like three or four weeks. Weeks, yes.

But they had been fitting so great!

So it is with some sadness now that I have to relate to you, dear reader, that I have gone ahead and tossed my jeans into the washer (along with other stuff, of course).

I will let you know how all of this turns out, but I suspect that once my jeans are clean, they will no longer fit in the same perfect manner that they did yesterday.

Why is my life so hard?

It really is difficult to be me sometimes.

Anyway, I hope that finally answers that burning question as to what the situation is with my pants. I hope this helps.

Love always,

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Oh my god! I hate everyone.

Not really, just the media.

I’m watching CNN while I get ready for work and this anchorwoman was talking about this Conflicker Worm computer virus that was supposed to ravange the world.Well, the anchorwoman couldn’t pronounce it correctly. Why? You ask. Well possibly because it was the first time she had ever seen the word. You could tell because her face scrunched up and she squinted and leaned toward the teleprompter a little bit. SHE HAD NO IDEA WHAT SHE WAS TALKING ABOUT! She is not a journalist, just a head that looks nice and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks.

YOU are the reporter! YOU are CNN! YOU should know more about this crap then me! Jesus Christ.

And then, I changed the channel to Headline News and that awful, awful guy who does ‘Morning Express’ was talking about London and the IMF protests and since a story is not complete without a 3D Google map, he zoomed in over London and he was explaining to the viewers that the protests were talking place “next to that doo-dad” on the map.

Yeah. “doo-dad”.

I hate everyone (but not you).

Literally, while I am logging in to post this, some jack-ass on “Morning Express” is now talking about the IMF stuff, but what is he talking about? He is choosing to focus on the fact that Obama dodged answering a question about some soccer tournament. Oh, did I mention that these idiots have not yet explained what the IMF is? Oh, and did I mention that the guy on the TV is doing his report in a fake British accent? Yeah.