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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

July 31, 2008

no man is an island, but some men are no man’s land

its been an interesting month, turning 35, breaking up with my lady, getting back together, spraining my ankle, getting lots of work, putting a shovel-full of coke up my nose, wondering how it will all end…

I’m a free-lancer. I don’t have any work scheduled ever again as of today. I don’t have a job. Most people can’t handle that, they want to wake up and know where they are going and how much money they will deposit against their mortgage. I can deal with the unknown. I don’t like it, I get scared too, but I don’t have anyone relying on me. No wife, no kids, no parents to support. Someone might call me tomorrow and ask me to move a bunch of garbage for them. Or bring cameras and lights to a location. Or pick up a couch somewhere and take it somewhere else. Each day is a mystery to me.

My parents are driving from New Hampshire to Ohio today, to visit my half uncle. My father’s half brother. He had a son named John Rolston, who committed suicide about my age. We all went to his funeral. I kept the Catholic calling card that had his name embossed alongside the funeral home. There’s a million different ways my life could have ended up.

I live in a city, with no family a thousand miles around. I can get lonely and go to a bar and look up and down that long plank of polyurethaned wood and look for someone to fuck, but that won’t help. I’d rather stay at home and read until I pass out on the couch. I’ve always enjoyed loneliness. It hurts, but I like how it hurts. I’m just not interested in people being too close. No man is an island, but some men are no man’s land. Can you dig it?

July 29, 2008

compton cannon

Sean drew the ghetto blaster, I drew the headphones, about two years ago when we were working together on a job.

July 28, 2008

no matter how happy you sound some people will think you’re sad

this goes out Mitch – good talkin’ to ya.

July 27, 2008

nobody loves you all the time

July 26, 2008

doug’s dartboard

In what may be the best wedding gift ever, Doug bought his friend ninja stars and a few throwing knives in Chinatown and built a target of his own likeness. The hair is little wood scraps. It also features a real strip of leather for the belt.

July 25, 2008

Is it totally gay?

Not sure if this billboard is unique to San Francisco. It says “Gay Television, here on demand”.

photo posted from my iPhone

July 24, 2008

donut redux

Here’s a different angle on the donut narration. Is this a better direction?

Donuts and drugs. They go hand in hand – like beer…and hot dogs. You walk out of a bar and see some Latin dude rolling franks around on a hot piece of tin and your heart cries out “Street dogs!” You fish out your wallet… “Here’s three bucks, I want one with everything on it, extra hot peppers”. That’s what pints do to you.

Druggies are different. They go for the sugar buzz. From weed to speed they need the rush.

For me a donut is like casual sex. I think about it, get excited, and do it. Soon as I’m done, I feel terrible. A pain in my stomach. Remorse and shame. I say I’ll never do it again. I promise, and then a few days later, I smell the perfume wafting down the sidewalk. I get dizzy. I walk in the shop and there she is…with a pretty pink skirt of frosting, beautiful rainbow sprinkle jewelry. Soft and round. And that hole in the middle…

The donut hole. Why don’t they have bagel holes? They have donut holes, but as for the bagels, they remain missing. They’re very different things of course. You wouldn’t put eggs on a donut. Totally acceptable for bagels. As for bagel holes, you’d never get the little things out with out turning the toaster upside down and shaking the bejeezus out of it.

olds 98 with mother in law unit, $4,500 or b/o

photo posted from my iPhone

July 22, 2008

the silverware drawer released steam

got a call from a gal, water from Ian’s place was for some reason running out of the ceiling into her place. Ian’s in England. I got there shortly after Glenn. He got to be the hero. The dishwasher line had been eaten through by mice nesting in Ian’s cupboard. Most people don’t run dishwasher line theough the cupboard, but we’re all friends. We take short cuts. That’s the joy of home ownership.
It was nice to see Glenn. We used to stand shoulder to shoulder in the trenches remodelling that house back in January.
“You got rock ‘n roll hair now,” he said.
“What happened to your face,” I said.
It didn’t sound mean when I said it. There was a scab under Glenn’s left eye.
“I was leaving the bar on my bicycle down where all that new construction is and I was lookin up at these buildings wondering how easy they would be to break in and I rode right into a chain link fence.”
That was enough to get me laughing. Glenn is a pretty together guy. Doesn’t bumble around like I do. I enjoyed picturing him riding directly into a tall fence.
“The fence didnt have any poles, so it was real loose strung across the path. It was like a sling shot. It shot me out backwards.”
Ian had left beer in the fridge. We had already mopped up the hot water from the dishwasher and were sitting at his kitchen table enjoying his beer.
“I couldn’t believe it when I hit it, how far I kept going forward. It had a lot of slack. I was really surprised. At least I’m not limping around like you though. I can tell people I was doing stunt work. You got beat up.”
We laughed and drank more of Ian’s beer. It’s good to catch up with friends.

July 21, 2008


weird thing made by Sonja and me
I dreamed about a bee with long angled spider legs that could run as fast as it flew. A cockroach had a thin feather for a tail and it jumped in my mouth and climbed down my throat. Someone in my dream told me the cockroach would begin to eat me alive if I didn’t get it out. I didn’t know how to get it out.

July 20, 2008

Yosemite Sam

I always liked Yosemite Sam. He’s a pirate cowboy. Here he goes again, telling Bugs what’s up. Apparently this is a line from some Kurt Russell movie. Also a record label. Now a cartoon.


Here is the gist of my donut movie. I read this narrative over footage from late night donut shops. My pal Fisher, who is editing it, says the last part about city planners is kinda weak and that maybe the Dunkin’ Donuts part could be cut. So here is your chance to chime in friends, about donuts. What could be better before we record?


Most Americans can remember a Sunday morning trip to the donut shop to pick up a warm dozen with Mom or Dad. With the pretty pink frosting, the rainbow sprinkles, the glistening honey dipped, it seemed like the happiest place in the world, that little donut shop. But come 12 hours later and a kid’ll see a whole different world. At night a donut shop is a warm place for a homeless women to wait out the dark hours. It’s a place for a guy on a bad trip to sit and come back down. Old guys with nothing left in life shuffle in just to be near humans. The working poor come here when they get off the second shift because they can’t afford much beyond an old fashioned and a coffee for a buck and a half.
San Francisco’s a rich city. You’ve got the biotech industry and Silicon Valley money here. One of the highest property values in the country. Part of a healthy capitalist economy is plenty of cheap labor. In other words, poor people. A city needs poor people to mop floors, take out the garbage, and do the laundry. And make the donuts. But no one ever stops to think about what service these simple little places provide.

Just about every donut story in San Francisco is another chapter in the American dream. The vast majority of them are owned and operated by Cambodian immigrants. People from one of the poorest nations in the world, fresh out of occupation and genocide.

Whole families are put to work, and who isn’t working is home sleeping. Then they switch. It only takes flour, sugar and hot grease to make one. People point at the donut they want, so you don’t have to know English to work the counter. All’s it takes is the ability to make change in a new currency. To not get ripped off.

I’ve hung around a lot of late night donut shops here in S.F. Seen people selling prescription pills, stolen sunglasses, and make big talk about other hustles. I’ve seen guys passed out in the corner for hours. No other business model allows for patrons to spend eighty cents and hang around as long as they want. Back in New England your only choice is Dunkin’ Donuts. A huge franchise. There’s no room for a mom and pop place. Dunk’s has it locked down. There’s a dunkin donuts inside the dunkin’ donuts. That’s the American nightmare – corporatization.

Out here in the west it’s still up for grabs – but for how long? The owners are immigrants and haven’t caught on to the American ideal of quick turnover. Of standardization. Of throwing the weird guy out. Maybe these small time business owners have some compassion for the down and outs, since they themselves are scraping their way along the bottom as well. You gotta drop a lotta donuts in grease before you get rich.

But donut shops aren’t on the mind of urban developers. City planners don’t make space for the poor. City leaders don’t give awards out to the folks who work 19 hour shifts to make a low class pastry. The rich eat cakes and go to bakeries. City planners are concerned about tax revenue. City leaders court voters, not transients, illegals, zoned out druggies. There’s a dark side to donuts, kids. There in the city. Maybe someday when you get old enough you’ll understand how important it is for some dark places to remain.

July 19, 2008

wooden gutters

pulled these old wooden gutters out of a dumpster in San Jose today. They are quite beautiful.

July 17, 2008

home made tractor

Rusty Sunshine picked up this homemade tractor. It has an old Chevy drivetrain, a hand welded I beam frame and a single cylinder engine. The seat is missing. Someone stole it.

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