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My Robot Is Pregnant theme song!

tough guy poetry and manly stories of loneliness
all contents copyright Jon Rolston 2004, 2005, 2006

November 30, 2007

you are being targeted


just remember that as you go through your day today, an advertiser is targeting you.

I’ve been drinking


I dropped my wallet in a toilet the other day. I was multi tasking and got it right into my own urine. Could have been worse. It was – the place was out of paper towels so I wrapped it up like a mummy in toilet paper and dealt with it when I got home.


I’ve been scanning in some old ‘zines, so if you want something fresh to look at, click on the ‘zines link, top left hand side of this page, and check out the first one, half way down the page. It’s about nails.

November 27, 2007

in my truck


had some straw and cotton in my truck…

Richardson’s Market


I received an anonymous email this morning. Take a look:

“I went back in time and got Basil to give you a shot at the register. believe me, It wasn’t everything Brad made it out to be. Late nights guarding the register against one Kenny Hawkins and his band of cigarette stealing thieves (I literally had to make protection payments to the McCauliffe’s so I wouldn’t get kneecapped as I biked home) They robbed me blind. Eating day old ham sandwiches in the basement. eating candy and slim jims while Brad drank coffee and smoked cigarettes. Dealing out butts and brew to the aged drunk ladies stumbling down from Golden Memories or that bar across the street that used to be a biker bar. Watching the 4th of July fireworks from inside the store. Hearing the cheers as I made $4.25/hr.

Ok, maybe it was good for a laugh. Brad was forbidden by “Straight” to touch any alcohol. Well, all we sold at Richardson’s market was alcohol. But Brad didn’t hesitate to ask every customer to bag his or her own 40oz of Schlitz. That was the summer of 1989. I quit baseball to earn a little money paving streets in dover and working nights at Richardson’s. Everything looked rosy. The world was wide open. I was going to Alaska to live off the fat of the land. Much has changed since then. ”

note: the arrow points to a sign that reads “rotate the ice!”

November 25, 2007


I hated ice delivery. Basil, the owner, made me take the old ice out and put the new ice in at the bottom. “Rotate it. It’ll stink if you don’t.” Who smelled ice? Bags were stuck together and broke open when I pulled them out. I’d have to mop up. It was cold. I just wanted to be a cash register boy.

November 24, 2007

backstage at the dry cleaners


dreams don’t go away they just get smaller

Dante met me for lunch. I bought him Irish instead of Italian. You’d think with his accent I could have gotten it right. They had foccacia among their curry pasties and Belfast Baps.

“The double c comes after the a” Dante said, pointing to the sign in the deli case. It was an Irish coffee shop with pastries and lunch. “Focaccia.”

“I know, I’m half Italian” the woman serving us said. What kind of ethnic place is this? Dante and I sat down to eat. Two chicken curry pasties, that half Indian half Irish flaky crust stuffed with curry meat and vegetables.

“I grew up very poor in Italy, and when I told people I wanted to be a film director, they laughed. It only takes a few times before you learn to keep your dreams to yourself.”

But Dante made it to America, to Hollywood, where he became an editor of film and television.

“Probably being a director would have killed me with the stress.”

He asked me about my story, why I came to California.

“I read about the beat poets, Jack Kerouac, people who weren’t conforming and this is where they lived.” Of course by the time I got here San Francisco was full of rich people with their whole net worth tied up in their property values, so those freewheeling days were over and loud music and street parties were hardly a part of the culture any more. Still, there was more freedom in a big city and more opportunity to make money.

An article in the New York Times Online provided the title above. “Dreams don’t go away, they just get smaller.” In the article about the Pushpak railroad that terminates in Mumbai (formerly Bombay) the journalists states the world is no longer mostly rural. An exodus of Indian workers heading for big cities has changed the way we humans can think of ourselves. “This exodus, with a similar one in China, helped push the world over a historic threshold this year: the planet, for the first time, is more urban than rural.”

Dante had a dream as a child, and came a long ways away in the chase. He is not a movie director and never was one. The long list of personal failures in my life makes it nearly impossible for me to ask a woman out on a date. But if I make my dreams a little smaller, I start to feel a little better. If I look around at what I do have, what I have done, I’m not so bad.

It’s interesting to think about a young man riding a 24 hour train to Mumbai hoping to get rich in Bollywood, or a young woman in rural China taking a series of buses from her tiny village to Beijing hoping to open a business. There is money in these cities, and dreams take money the way we dream them. Are we a more hopeful species these days?

Very few of us win. But that thing you do when you are 17 and looking out your window into the woods at night…you turned off a television that was showing you beautiful things that exist somewhere…and your woods are dark…You don’t want to see the stars in the sky at night you want headlights and horns and marquees calling you inside where people gather laughing and drinking and eating…you either go out into those woods, look up and call out the names of constellations or you get on a train and give it your best.

I had a set of stairs in my truck last week.

November 22, 2007

Queen of the Forest


Listen to Jenny, of Doug and Jenny, tell us about this picture of a rock tree:


Jenny: This is the petrified forest on the way to Calistoga, Doug was staying in Calistoga because he was working there. …I saw a sign that said “The Petrified Forest. ” I said, is that forest really scared? Or is it petrified? And it was petrified. Not scared. You walk around this trail – you pay six dollars to walk around this trail – you get this little map – you walk around the trail and you look at about about half a dozen petrified trees, right where they fell. Where they fell is where they lay. I think this one is the Douglas Fir. No. Let me get the thing. He’s number 8. He’s a pit pine tree.

mrip: Were there any rides?

Jenny: No. Umm mm. There was a shop . A souvenir shop. I didn’t buy any souvenirs. There were a lot stones and little pieces of petrified trees. But mostly crystals.

mrip: Does a tree turn into crystals?

J: No. Not to my knowledge.

mrip: Was there any candy? (at the souvenir shop) Like rock candy? Those dots… on the strip of white paper?

J: They might have had pop rocks.

mrip: There you were in the heart of this petrified forest…were you scared?

J: A little. I was by myself. I saw a few other people on the trail but not many. I saw a ghost. …. a tree ghost…the ghost of a tree…no, not really but i have a little tiny phobia of forests… just a little one…it isn’t a dense forest , but still off the beaten path, in the middle of the woods…how was I to know who was waiting in the cave?

mrip: What cave?

J: There was one tree that went into a cave…the trees become buried… when they were escavated…excavated? How do you say that?… Excavated. They didn’t completely dig it up because there was a whole mountain around it…not a mountain but its just a lot of material and earth above it…it went into a cave. It’s behind a fence but there’s a bandstand you can walk into and sit there and look at it. But there was a way bigger one, it was called the Queen of the Forest.

November 21, 2007


There was this book at the dump that explained Chinese characters and I thought I’d try to translate the pantyhose message myself, but I’m not in school anymore, why should I do research?

November 20, 2007

gettin’ half masted with the flagpoles:


Meet bird. And I think that’s Doug in the glasses.

May I introduce The Flagpoles latest hit

From the album CEntEr of tHe SoNG available sooon at Home Depot registers.

An Interview with the Banjo Player Doug Freedman:

mrip: So Doug, what’s this song about?

Doug: The producer having no emotions… the guy who produced this record when he heard how much my cats surgery was gonna be he was like, “WHAT?? YOU’RE GONNA KEEP IT???”

mrip: Tell me about your cat Bird

Doug: He skateboards, he snuggles. He’s got a sickness, he eats string. The doctor says it’ll keep happening, it’ll never stop. The first surgery was $1400 then we got insurance. It was $2400 the next time. A THOUSAND MORE…which doesn’t make any sense. We only had to pay 20% that time.

mrip: When can we expect the album to bomb?

Doug: You mean drop? We still need an album cover.


break room


I had to pee at Saver’s, a thrift store on the edge of the city. They sent me upstairs through the break room. These places are such weird spaces. I can just imagine that crew sitting around looking at each other, but I can’t imagine what they are thinking.

I worked at two thrift stores and I would sit around thinking “Is the pursuit of junk worth this?” I hate that 9 to 5 15 minute break lifestyle. It’s mostly women who work at thrift stores, so I was probably also wondering if I was gonna be introduced to any of their bodies.

Has love been made on that table? Costumes put together from the racks, a few props from the bins…

I’m not asking for money. Allen is.


Is anyone gonna donate to Al’s prostate mustache or what? I’m shaving this thing off at the end of the month and mailing chunks of it out to all you people if you don’t donate!

November 19, 2007

translation please


Sonja, whose flickrstream we saw the other day, found this message included in a package of pantyhose she recently purchased, and was hoping to find a translation for it. It is hand written in ballpoint pen. Any ideas?

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