Rockin' Down the Highway

Okay, okay, okay ... I've always known that Everything2 could be a gateway to good things, but, OMG! WTF?! And other on-line slang as well.

Alright ... slow down ... breathe.

I got a book in the mail Friday.

Step back a moment with me, please.

The time was November of 2004, I had been writing on E2 for less than a month. My work was improving quickly with some very expert guidance from JohnnyGoodyear, as well as a lot of help from people like rootbeer277, gorgonzola, and wertperch (to name only three). JG told me to write what I like, what I know about. My first writeups were about a favourite animal and a campy album from the 80s. But I had been reading E2 for years, and I'd always admired the essay work. I really wanted to write one.

Saturday afternoon; I came home after a full day at the salon My house mate is not home so I flop down for a nap. Funny, my elderly aunts always extolled the virtues of naps when I was a lad. Never knew what they meant, but as time has moved on, I've been learning just how good a little shuteye in the afternoon can be.

I awoke around an hour and a half later—a vivid memory in my head, bringing a smile to my face: driving out to my sister's home in Carrollton, Texas as a young man. Roaring down the straight-edge highways in mother's big luxury car, with Freddie Mercury blasting "Mama Mia! Mama Mia! Mama Mia—Figaro!" from the speakers. I thought about those old 8-track tapes and how they would change in mid-song.

I started to write, feverishly. 'Make every word count' my mentor had said—both the easiest and hardest advice I'd ever gotten. I polished it, I crafted it—lovingly, painstakingly. I thoroughly expected to have it nuked. The next day, after re-reading and re-editing it, I posted the essay.

allseeingeye wrote to me. wordnerd wrote to me. I was really touched—this was the first time strangers had ever commented on my work, it felt really great. Johnny chinged it, so did wordnerd. I was proud—really proud. I felt like a real writer.

Like that big car blasting though the Texas summers so long ago, the months roared past and I kept right on writing. I never forgot my little essay. It inspired me to fill a nodeshell or two. It wound up with a rep in the high teens.

Then, a couple of months ago, I was snoozing away comfortably on a Saturday morning when my cel phone rang. The voice on the other end was an enthusiastic baritone, with excellent diction. If this is a telemarketer, he's a dead man, I thought

"My name is Paul Grushkin, and I'm just finishing a book on rock n roll and the automobile..." the man said.

I was wide awake. Don't say anything stupid ... don't say anything stupid ... I told myself.

Paul wanted to use my little essay in his new book. What could I say? I said yes. Emphatically. Excitedly. And I did not say anything stupid.

I did the math. It was 5am where he was. I'll bet he had been up all night. No wonder he sounded wired!

I watched on-line for the next few months. I found the book on amazon.com, available for pre-order. I read about Paul's other work; he's done quite a beautiful list of rock art books with titles like Art of Modern Rock: The Poster Explosion, Treasures of the Hard Rock Cafe, and The Art of Rock Posters from Presley to Punk. I knew my work would be going into a nice book—a well-designed and interesting book. But I wasn't prepared for just how good it would be.

You see, Paul called me again this week, this time he sounded much more calm (and called in the afternoon!). He needed mailing info.

It is magnificent ... a real piece of art. It boasts brilliant rock photography of stars like Dylan, Snoop Dogg, the Boss, Joni Mitchell and way too many more to name...running the gamut of cool music from the 1950s on. These pictures blend with album covers, cartoons, photos, notes, quotations, ticket stubs, 45s ... all sorts of wonderful images, laid out beautifully. And of course, there are cars—lots of beautiful hot rods of every generation. And the prose. The writing is snappy, mostly by Paul, but featuring some car-loving rock n rollers, some famous, some not so famous.

The book is cool. Cool in the way rock music is cool. Cool in the way cars are cool. Cool in the way only a book about something as cool as rock music and cars can be cool.

And there, on page 105, is an essay entitled KER...CH-U-U-U-KKK. A little fine-tuned for his audience, but there are my words, right in print in a real book by a real author. Alongside my prose are photos of 8-Track tapes in front of a day-glo dashboard. Golden Earring's Radar Love nestles up to my work in a sidebar. At the bottom of my essay, —Kellum Johnson. My name. In a real book. How cool is that?

Year of non-presence (except for the link correction) about up so reporting in at my original (c. 11/2000 XE) Web 2.0 venue of choice. Haven't fully succeeded at goals set for 4704, everything is accomplished and nothing but there's still a good 60 days left:
  • Imperium:
    Decent progress here I suppose, all things considered. You know you're not supposed to be suppressing the Frights and Delights, but riding them as the Superior Man can normalcy, the whole sageliness within, kingliness without thing. Currently Site Architect and Community Developer of girlfriendsmeet.com, which so far as I can tell is the premier lesbian site on the web. Ironically, I've had to make a statement on one of my two profiles there explaining why no one can have more than one profile except me and that I have just two. New foundations of community there based on a WordPress per user feature seems to be going very well. More generally though, we are not ready to cut Res Gestae
  • Form
    I was/am arguably in the best shape of life ATC, slippage due to recent move and stuff, but back at it sozusprechen.
  • Jati
    Well on the one hand I did become more integrated with my blood family, the Aryan branch on LJ and the Other on YouTube, started family album with name of this item in my web. So with that and virtual community development at GFM and elsewhere could mark this one check. On the other hand making all personal relations in the Geborene Kronstat if not the species of origin, excepting only my blood relations and friends of 20 years or more virtual seems a leap in the opposite direction.
  • Zhong Wen
    Again, in some ways nothing, in others everything. Fung Yu Lan's Short History of Chinese Philosophy, has made an obvious impact and I've modified the goal to be to have modest chunking in the way in which Hofstadter refers to it going well enough to hear sentence structure on CCTV.
  • Dat Ass Draggin Site
    Have a great and prosperous 4705!
Day before yesterday, I think, went to the falls for the first time. It was cold and dark and drizzly. The American town, my new residence is no more than a Starbucks coming soon as opposed to the 10 or so in the Canuckistani town.

Funreal indeed.

I've been very busy the past couple of weeks on new project I will bring forward eventually meaning soon. I have been laboring on an oil painting rich with colors and textiles which I am calling "Man contemplative in Esso gas station, circa 1970." For funny joke I was not terribly amused by told to me by my friend Dale, look here: "You ought to call it "Man constipated in Esso gas station." Dale is not knowledged man in art matters as is obvious by his poor remark in regards to my artwork.

My friend Dale, of course you will remember as heavy church-goer with unsatisfied nyphomaniac wife who often lets slit in skirt ride high on the thigh when yours truly, Berhardt Goats comes to dinner and also many drinks. A favorite film of mine is "The Man Who Came To Dinner" as I believe it deals with similar subject matter.

Unlike Dale I spend a great deal of time reading art books and reading auction magazines. Many oil paintings such as the one I am working on have sold for millions of dollars. According to my calculations I should be able to sell mine for around $800,000 at auction when I finish painting it. While my lack of name recognition in the art world, with the exception of appearing on many post-it notes and "While You are Away" phone message pads, I have something of a marketing weakness that will drive down the sale price. On the upside, I am alive while many of these other artists are long dead, which allows me to attend book signings at Barnes & Noble, look on at auctions and make other public appearances, driving up the value of my art. When I die I imagine my earning power will be somewhat reduced in most ways.

Penniless noder name of maxClimb has asked me to make an Energizer Bunny reference. This is it. Still no new reports on lesbian co-workers at CWAF, Ltd. as I've been working from home nights to fulfill my commitments there. Noder haze, apparently some sort of legal expert according to his wordiness has warned me about admitting openly to securities fraud. White collar crime is something I work to eliminate as it hurts no one and takes cops away from drug deals and whores.

Moving right along I expect my oil painting to be complete by Christmas in time for the January art auctions. I've already written to several requesting admission and asked for paperwork needed to enter my oil painting into the selling ring. I've requested minimum bid to be set at $200,000 as such a low price will encourage rabid bidding from art buyers. It may get more than $800,000 in a rabid bidding war but as things stand I'm only expecting an $800,000 payday.

As I work on my painting (this morning I finished putting flourishes on some of the flowers that adorn the top of the tank in the Esso restroom featured in my work), I think about how I work three jobs, between sales work at CWAF, Ltd. and part time gigs as an unqualified remedial science teacher and a substantially less unqualified substitute gym teacher, and still have time to work on an oil painting. If the poor weren't so lazy and drunk they could paint three or four oil paintings a month and even if they only sold each one for $200,000 they would still pick up close to a million dollars every month. Yes, these figures are per month. Put this week's beer and grass money aside to buy art supplies and you'll be on the money train soon. Oil paintings sell for big money. This is called pulling yourself up by your bootstraps.

My new friend Chopper, a Harley Davidson motorcycle enthusiast and Vietnam veteran with three steel plates in his head, not just one, told me he makes money by going to the homes of destitute people and offering them ten bucks and a case of beer for their furniture. He then turns around and sells the furniture on eBay for $500-$1000, after which he sends a little note card to the original owners of sold furniture detailing the extent of his profit margin and then writing "LOSER" in big black letters below. Chopper also warns me of a rising insurgency in the Greater Baltimore Area. Apparently a rebel army is forming to overthrown the Maryland government and Chopper wants me in his counterinsurgency army. I told him he has to wait until after my painting is done.

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