Sunday, November 4, 2007

Promises', Promises'...

I'm going to stop making promises. Can't keep them. I always start out with the best intentions, but never quite follow through. So, no more promises. I'll post when I'm goddamn good and ready. And I swear, if I look in this blogs comments section and see the words.. 'the road to hell...', I will find out where you live and shave your pets bald, and then dress them as prostitutes. You've been warned.

Now. Just a few random thoughts...

What the hell happened to Seal?! First three albums were fantastic, I always got the sense that he was this tragically scarred Brit; singing in the back alley of some popular club that wouldn't admit him because his songs told too much truth and achingly beautiful vulnerability. Now? HE'S HAPPY! No more pain, longing, and existential questions. Now we all get to hear him talk about finding love and keeping it. There's far too many of those type of artists sir, I want MY Seal back.

A writer's stike in Hollywood. Pick up your sticks kids, it's time to assault studio executives and producers for more money. Finally, the time has come.

Britney's fight for her kids. Honestly, they'd be better off with a functioning alcoholic.

GOD, New England beat Indianapolis. We'll never hear the end of it from those east coast bastards.

Hillary's the front runner. How the hell did that happen? Don't get me wrong, she looks like she can handle any situation. Sopranos style.

Alright, that's it for now. I've got more memories from the real town without pity, but I wanted to get some things off my chest first. More of that later, though. Keep those streets safe people.



A Bastard's Law

I will kill any man that says an ill word about Hall & Oates. You've been warned.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Des Moines, Part Three: Rocket Park

The beast minions had us surrounded. Everywhere we looked the snarling demons and their master, had closed in and were pounding on the outer hatch. Panic set in with my crew, instead of preparing for take-off, they had all started crying and yelling at the monsters. They answered back with snapping jaws and teeth, hungry for our flesh. The rocket began to rock as I made an attempt to start the engines. We all fell to the floor and the screaming came to a fever pitch. Suddenly, all of the sounds outside stopped, as did the rocking. A voice spoke from outside the hatch...

"My turn in the rocket, Cameron!"

"Self-destruct! Everybody down the escape slide!" I ordered.

"Whatever, punk." My brother said as we all evacuated the rocket, blasters in hand. Fighting our way through the hellish army, we looked back and saw my brother and his friends turning our rocket into a club. He yelled gambling and girls were now available at the top of the rocket. Everyone started running for the rocket. Maybe we can get off this planet on the merry-go-round, I thought.

Just another day at Rocket Park.

The actual name of the park is Union Park, but I always called it Rocket Park, because of the enormous rocket slide located at the entrance of the park. It had a long, loading ramp comprised of angled rope walls for climbing, mini-slides, and fenced in sides to prevent injury. However, it was the top of the ramp that was the real draw for all of us. The rocket. I loved that rocket. It was huge and had a blue and yellow top that everyone could see from anywhere in the park. The sides had iron bars and the sprial slide was made of steel, both were scorching hot during the summer. No one cared about that because the burns were a bagde of honor that we could play through pain. For a little while I could escape what awaited us at home and have fun. And pretend.

How many times did I save the Earth? How many times did I save the damsel in distress from the alien hordes led by my brother? How many planets did I explore?

Never enough.

The rocket wasn't the only draw. There was the food. Everyone went to Union Park to grill, meet family and friends, talk and laugh, play loud music and let their children play. It was wonderful, and I will cherish these memories for the rest of my life, as this was one of the few places you could escape the beast outside the park grounds.

I talked to my Mom about this, because I seem to recall having sack lunches there. She told me what I was remembering was the Des Moines Parks and Recreation Department setting up a daycare service at various parks that parents could use on certain days of the month; and they had sack lunches. Bologna sandwiches, a fruit, and a drink. Ice cream, on occasion. To this day, that service is still provided and it brings a grin to my face knowing that another child has this to look forward to. Mom would drop Joe and I off at Union when she had business to deal with. I don't want to know, but I can guess what said business was.

My niece and nephews tell me the rocket is still there in all its glory. Although, they never went to any planets while playing on it. I tell them that they were not playing and shake my head.

And this is a good memory of the town.



Saturday, August 4, 2007

In Which We Discover That You Can Keep A Good Bastard Down

Life has a way of beating us down. When we least expect it, we're walking along, minding our own business and life comes running up from behind and takes a steel pipe to our knees. Shouting as it runs away, 'Kerrigan Bitch!'

Anyway, that's how I feel.

It's been a lousy month and the lousiness continues. Work sucks (my boss gave me the strangest stare yesterday, it can only be described as 'After I've hidden the body, what will I tell everyone?'), home life not going good (my girlfriend apparently thinks gnats are great pets and her son wants to gut me in my "sleep"), and as for my family; well I don't call them because I can only take so much. When I snap I'm going to start with the loud teenagers standing in groups outside the front of Quik Trips, blocking my enterance to buy my cancer. I'm not joking.

So that's why I haven't been here in a while and why you may notice that I've received a fresh batch of sarcasm, with a hint of scorn. Let's list the good shall we?

Tranformers: bad

The Simpsons: great

Crooked Little Vein: Fantastic

After Dark: good, not Murakami's best short work

Comics: good

Smart Ones Dinners: good

Smoking: the only thing keeping several "people" alive

That's pretty much it. Before I forget, I need someone to help me with the pictures I promised you. I pressed all the right buttons to put pictures along with a post I had, but the last button I touched made the screen go black and words in some strange font I had never seen before popped up making out this sentence, 'Feed me your blood, meatsack.' Then my hardrive started to breath, sticking out its CD tray that saliva started dripping from and the whole thing pulsed as if it was a reject from an old Cronenberg film. Yeah, I know. Cool.



A Bastard's Law

I hereby decree that the world will be divided into two kinds of people: Almond Joy or Mounds.

Choose carefully. You spineless, Almond Joy traitors.


Thursday, July 12, 2007

Des Moines Part Two or Living on the Dragon's Snout

The rope was tearing into my skin. The more I struggled, the more it tore and burned. Sweat poured down my face to intermingle with my tears. My heart was pounding, ready to rip itself from my chest to escape the building fear growing all over my body. My throat had gone dry from the screaming and now a corse whine issued from my mouth. I had a briuse on my upper right shoulder where I had kept beating my back against the foundation post I was tied to in our basement. It was dark that day in the basement. I remember it was day because, the only thing that filled me with hope was the small window in the basement, with warm rays of sunlight shining to a spot a few feet in front of me. I wondered why Mom hadn't come down to rescue me yet. But I already knew the answer to that. Dad.

After all, he had tied me there.

And that was how I conquered my fear of the dark. If I hadn't, I wouldn't be able to type this now in a darkened room, lit only be my computer screen.

Mom has recently said that she doesn't recall why Dad tied me down there, but there was a shouting match between them about it. All I remember is the sunlight and fear. Fear has been my constant companion since that day. And since most of us have vivid imaginations, my fear has always had a voice. A voice that even now as I type this is telling me to stop and delete this post. I don't know if any of you have ever suffered this type of abuse and perhaps it's not right of me to share it with you and ruin your day. However, if I don't, it makes me a coward and my fear wins.

I remember wanting to escape badly. To run outside and keep running away, until I found a place where I wouldn't be hurt. And then, I remembered where I lived and what resources I didn't possess. The streets of Des Moines would offer no salvation and neither would its people, all dealing with their problems and abuse, that had changed them into unsympathetic citizens. I know what you are thinking, it was your father, Cameron, not the town. It was both is my reply.

The sun beat down relentlessly on the pavement. I reached down to feel its heat make the empty street feel like a skillet. My hands press against the hot surface to gauge my pain threshold. Lifting my head, I surveyed my neighborhood and see that no one is watching. Slowly, I kneel down repeating my pain exercise on my knees first, then belly and finally my right cheek. Heat sears its way all over my body, and subsides after a few moments and then I can feel the coldness of the street return. Staring down the street I can see the two sewage drains on opposite sides at the end of the road. They are raised, so nothing can clog them, but a child could slip and fall down to the sewage below. From my belly resting on the street I can hear what seems to be footsteps and water. I was still alone and no cars had driven on the road since I had laid down. I listen again and this time I hear something else, a pulse. A pulsing sound, and the street seemed to move. Breathing. The whole street was breathing and the two drains suddenly became jet black eyes that caught me in their gaze and I could not move. These words formed in my head. No escape.

And this was the beast that I had hoped to escape to during my time in the basement.

Fear. It's a hell of a thing.

Next time, I'll share a good memory to offset this horrible one.



Sunday, July 1, 2007


I have been given a camera for my birthday. Now, the world will tremble. Watch your back world. Terrible pictures to follow, perhaps even one of my hideous visage.


Friday, June 29, 2007

Vacation time at the Bastard Ranch...

My brain needs cigarettes. Hold on a moment. Ah, much better. Well, for ten days I'm on vacation from my job of making small arms ammunition. I work for a company that not only does that, but also ICBM'S (government contracts) and rockets for NASA. However, as stated, I'm just a worker bee that makes primers for machine guns and heavy artillery. Some of you may ask, 'how does that work on your conscience, Cameron?' Answer: see the first line of this post.

Anyway, here at the Bastard Ranch, we love down time. And seeing as how I'm behind on movie watching (The Departed, Pan's Labyrinth, Jeeves and Wooster, any number of my Wong Kar Wai films, etc...) and reading (I regret missing the Once Upon a Time Challenge hosted by friend and Avenger of Wrong Doings by blogger idiots, Carl), so it's time to catch up. I just finished Moorcock's Hawkmoon and I'm looking at these guys to read next...

Jim Thompson
Hunter S. Thompson
Poul Anderson
Haruki Murakami
Neil Gaiman

and of course Michael Moorcock.

I'm leaning towards the Gaiman and Murakami, as I have already read a book each from both Thompson's this year and a good deal of Moorcock's Eternal Champion series. Although, I do have that novel he wrote called Mother London, the predecessor of a book I tried to read and couldn't get to called King of the City. And then there is Anderson, whose Ensign Flandry series looks priceless. I love humor. I'll get to all of these by the end of the year because, I'm trying to read forty books this year. I know, forty is nothing to all of you, but I'm gaining back my old reading habits when I used to read ninety in a year. So please, have patience with this black soul.

Well, its past lunch time and I need to eat. So, until next time people. Keep those streets safe where you live.


Saturday, June 23, 2007

Des Moines, an introduction

I killed my mother the day I was born. For approximately forty-five seconds, she was dead. Not long, I know, but how many of us can say that? That we experienced death for a short time. I'm starting with this story, because it's important you know how I came into the world. And while my personal experience with the cold black is limited, my birth town is all to familiar with it.

First a cast of characters...


Dad, Dell Robinson

Joseph, brother

Grandpa Robinson

Grandma Robinson

Curtis Clyce, best friend

April Kibbe, first girlfriend

Butch, Mom's first boyfriend

Erskin, or One-Thirty, Mom's second boyfriend

E.J., Erskin's cousin and drug dealer

Nathan, E.J.'s son

Rico, gang leader

Lefty, Rico's right hand man

The Arab, rich drug dealer looking for young girls in the ghetto

Aunt Pudding, occasional savior

Aunt Necie, occasional savior

And other various family members and friends, who are too numerous to name, but the ones listed above are of note. Which you will discover how in other posts. There is no way to tell this story in one massive volume, so I'm breaking it up. I'll write about Des Moines when I'm feeling nostalgic or when I encounter a situation that reminds of a lesson I learned in the real town without pity. I should note right now that my memory fades about some experiences, while other are crystal clear. I don't know why that is, but it is the truth.

Des Moines has been described as a country town. Not big enough to be a city, but large enough not to be called a village. I always thought of it as a city, but I was a child and didn't know what an actual city was. Now I know what it is. It's a beast that chews people between its teeth before it swallows you whole. Body and soul. And once it has, you're tainted. It stays with you for the rest of your life, living in your blood as a cancer that will eventually make you unrecognizeable to those lucky enough to have never lived in Des Moines.

It's a violent town. I remember so clearly going to bed every night with the sound of gunfire in the night, echoing throughout the neighborhoods. Falling asleep before you heard the sirens because the shots were never enough to worry or startle you. Hell, it became so common place that by the time I moved to Missouri, I had a hard time falling asleep without it. It was unnervering to realize that much later. Joe and I would turn in our beds and rest our heads on our pillows and go to dreamland, not realizing the significance of what was happening outside. That would come later, and sooner than I would have liked.

The first place I remember living was Roach Ridge. This wasn't its actual name, but it had so many roaches that that was what everyone called it. Even to this day. To Mom and Dad's credit nothing bad happened to us there. Unless, you count Dad's infidelity and me pushing my brother's bassinet down the stairs. Yes, he was in it at the time and I've been told that it was an accident (Joe has never believed this and uses it as an excuse for the trouble he has caused). It wasn't until we moved to 1819 21st street, that the real story began.

The beatings, killings, drugs, fighting matches masquerading as family reunions, the street's you couldn't cross because of rival gangs and their shoot-outs in broad daylight (we lived on 21st and E.J. lived on 23rd), and let's not forget the home made psychological scars. The town had it all.

The next time I write about Des Moines, I'll tell you more of my first house, the neighborhood we lived in, the people I met and ran from, and perhaps, even a good memory or two.



P.S. It only gets worse from here.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Review: Ocean's Thirteen

I'll try and be as fair and objective as possible with this, but I am a huge Soderbergh fan. With the exception of Kafka, I've loved every one of his films. Now, after blowing my so-called "objectivity", on with the review.

Most people didn't like Ocean's Twelve and thought it was a nearly overindulgent piece of fluff by a filmmaker who, hadn't made too many missteps. While I agree it wasn't as good as the first(there were problems with it), it still entertained. It did feel though, that there should have been a little less slight-of-hand plot points.

Thankfully, Clooney and Soderbergh admitted this and set out to correct the mistake. Thirteen is simple and to the point. Reuben (Elliot Gould) has entered into a partnership with business shark, Willie Bank (Al Pacino). They have teamed up to create a brand new hotel/casino in Las Vegas that will rake in the dough. Everyone, including Ocean, has warned Reuben that Bank will cut him out the deal once he gets what he wants from him. Reuben, whose ego and legacy building blind him, defends Bank and goes through with the deal. Promptly, Bank gets what he wants and cuts Reuben out. Reuben, in distress, has a heart attack and the whole gang comes running. Our boys knowing what happened; decide payback is the only option to revive Reuben, now catatonic in his bed.

Without giving anything else away, the payback is great. Although this time we don't get to see every clever, painstaking detail of the gang's plan. We come in when the plan is already in place, but the boys have hit a couple of snags and call in outside help (Eddie Izzard/Roman Nagal and Andy Garcia/Terry Benedict) to finish the job. The entire gang returns with the exception of Julia Roberts and Catherine Zeta-Jones, whose absences' are explained by Danny...

'This isn't their fight.'

It isn't and there are not missed. That being said, you would figure that would mean more screen time for the rest of the gang, but it doesn't. Don Cheadle and Qin both get maybe a scene and a half. Bernie Mac, Carl Reiner, Scott Caan, Casey Affleck, and Eddie Jemison all get at least two scenes, but it left you wanting to see more of them (especially Affleck, his scenes are great in relation to the smooth running of the plan). Disappointing most of all is the misuse of Ellen Barkin. She's such a great actor that it was shameful she was just being used as something pretty to look at (and yeah, she still looks gorgeous). Most of the screen time is given to Ocean (Clooney), Rusty (Pitt), Linas (Damon), and of course Pacino; who really wasn't as scary as the trailer made him out to be.

Despite all of that, it was a laugh out loud, clever piece of entertainment that made me feel like I was one of the boys again and I was in on the joke. Last movie, didn't do that. And that's probably because, Soderbergh was on his game for this one. You can watch the movie and feel that he knows how to place his characters in relation to the pop culture necessity of the plot. And he stayed away from flashy camera angles and lavish scenery (as much as one can in Vegas) that turned the audience off in the second movie. And the banter between all of them, PRICELESS. Clooney and Pitt are finishing each others sentences and there are a few scenes which are just flat-out funny with them. You never would have thought that two A-list stars could co-exist and make you believe they were the best of friends, but these two make you believe it.

All of this and we get the best piece of in-the-boys-club advice/rule/code I have ever heard. I'm not going to tell you what it is, but it is so cool and its said twice in the movie, that you will not miss it. So what are you waiting for? Go see it.



Friday, May 25, 2007

a word of advice...

Some will tell you not to pay any attention to them and make up your own mind. This is good advice. I'm sure someone said the same thing about the trail that the Donner party took and look what happened. "Oh no, we make the same trek across the country, easy as pie. You'll get to California, no problem." Those poor shcmucks. Of course I'm talking about reviews. Good or bad, everyone has an opinion. Obviously, the Donners heard a bad review and acted on it. Bad form! I believe, however, that a little knowledge before going off on any excercise of work or play; has never harmed anyone.

I just read Butler's review of Pirates 3. Wow! He has never been this insulted by a movie. The guy made a sheep joke (in reference to us the audience) at the end of the article. Gotta love the guy for that. "But Cam, I would rather form my own opinion, then let someone sour it before I see a movie."

On the contray, Bubba!

No matter the intelligence or preferences of said reviewer, NO ONE CAN SAY THOSE THINGS ABOUT A FILM THAT WAS JUST OKAY. That was almost on the level of hated of everyone involved in the making of the film.

Any way I'll probably see it and form my opinion within the first few minutes. That's usually when you can tell where the movie is going. If it is in fact horrible, I will be back here to tell you so.


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

I haven't forgotten you my dear...

I've been real busy. With work and life in general to write. As a matter of fact, I'm writting this when I should be eating dinner and then taking a shower. And then I can have my first smoke of the day. I mean, really, do I have to wait so long to poison myself with cancer? You'd figure my enemies would offer me a cig right after work. Anyway, I've been thinking of ways to bring you into my world and the best I can come up with is my past. Des Moines that is. I know I promised it this time, but damnit, it's just too big. So I'm going to break it up into chapters and we'll see from there. Until next time...


Sunday, April 29, 2007

a simple black man trying to make sense...

I'm goodmancam. This is an attempt to write more. So, this will be the place where I will post my thoughts (and some of you will think they are odd and offensive), ideas, and opinons. I'm not going to lie to you, this project will be infrequent and frustrating. I'll try my best. The next time I post; I'll tell you a little about myself and my nightmares.