Next time, instead of being late, just shit on my face… Cause that’s kinda the same thing as missing ‘Your Body is a Wonderland’…

I absolutely adore John Mayer… I have loved him for years and he is one of the most talented people I have ever encountered… The following is a sampling of some of his old blog posts, an example of why I’m so smitten… After a couple less than flattering media backlashes in the recent past, he began to monitor himself a bit more unfortunately but he used to be quite active online and the stream of consciousness he put out there was witty and honest and it is what made me respect him so much… Here are some of my favourites…

To Catch A Viewer

Earlier this year, while camped out in a hotel room, I came across a promo on television for a Dateline NBC special called “To Catch A Predator”. The 3 minute piece promised one of the most compelling moments of television I’d ever seen.

The premise is this: Dateline works in conjunction with a non-profit organization that baits online child predators into vulgar chatting, sending of pictures, and eventually (hopefully?) meeting the young boy or girl (played by an actor) at a house that’s outfitted with dozens of cameras. Then Dateline snags them by way of a litany of embarrassing events.

I made a point to TiVo it, because I knew it would be one of the most densely fascinating shows I’d seen in a long time. I wasn’t wrong about the hunch. It’s like COPS on its best night, but with a more intricate emotional topography. We’re shown proof of the offender’s motivation through chat transcripts, photos sent to the “child”, and also by way of what they’ve been asked to bring to the rendezvous. It’s Law And Order with a running start. And it’s all helmed by one of the most awesomely aggravating hosts in recent memory, Dateline’s Chris Hansen. We know his name because he will go on to repeat it to every offender he commands to have a seat in the kitchen of the rented upscale home.

The suspect walks in through a back door and is immediately met with the chirping request of an of-age child actor to have a seat for a moment. The actor is nowhere to be seen, but explains that they’ll be in momentarily. Before too many beats of silence drift by, Mr. Hansen pushes through a swinging door, dressed like someone in between a lawyer and a Century 21 realtor and holding a handful of paperwork. He asks the suspect pleasantly to either sit or stay seated. He is as affable and disarming as a man can be in a situation so ominous. He is handsome and clean cut, a blonde Guy Smiley if he weren’t a puppet but a Dockers model. “Why were you here today?” He asks with feigned curiosty; Mr. Hansen is holding a printed transcript of the juiciest highlights from the chat. Sometimes he takes to handing a photograph of the man’s penis that was sent to the supposed minor.

What makes Mr. Hansen so effective in this setting is that he’s so unapologetically smug that the only way to make peace with watching him is knowing how much he must be getting under the skin of someone who deserves to have his nerves grated to a nub. Mr. Hansen goes on to interview the predator with a fake “give me a reason to believe you didn’t do this” kind of hope in his inflection, an effort to get them to explain themselves.

And they do.

The suspects all appear to be sorry individuals before the even utter an apology. Dressed to a stereotype-solidifying T, replete with stained tank tops and shorts, they will each resort to their best impression of what improvising their way out of trouble might sound like. Of course, there’s no reason to explain anything to the host of a television show. They’re going to jail. The police are watching and waiting outside as soon as the suspect leaves, jumping him like a man strapped to a bomb. The show will go on to explain that in Florida, where they are filming, it is quite easy to obtain a concealed firearm in that state, and that the police aren’t taking any chances. They offered no explanation as to why one of the officers are hiding in the bushes and draped in a pile of green mossy camouflage. (I believe “we just got this yesterday” would suffice.)

What makes the show so compelling is how confused the narrative tone is. We’re meant to feel as if we’re taken on a glass-bottom boat into the depths of human darkness, yet with a host like Mr. Hansen and the camera’s inevitable quality of making cartoons out of real people, we forget just how repulsive these subjects are. And the show, in all its attempts to remind us otherwise, only ends up feeding into the causal feeling that these silly little dudes just got owned. It’s obviously more than that. But Dateline NBC’s not all that interested in our remembering it. They just keep serving up the servings, one by one.

Sure, there’s scores of subtext running underneath the story itself. “Where do these people go to get therapy?” “How many of them will repeat the offense?” “How many of these predators are victims of their environments?” are all more than qualified questions to be asking. But the show doesn’t have time to answer. It’s rifling through the back of their cars, producing everything from condoms to rope. So we’ll never know WHY or HOW this came to be and can one day be resolved. We’re just made to feel one thing. “I’m glad that’s not me!” And maybe, at the end of the night, all you really want to be assured of is that you’re on the right side of life, and for an hour, try as you might have, you couldn’t imagine it any other way.

Dear Robles Merideth

Dear Robles Merideth,

Thank you for your recent e-mail requesting that I visit you on the internet. While I appreciate the offer, and would be curious to see just how you fist someone with a bat, as the subject of your message suggests, I must respectfully decline at this time.

To address some other points in your e-mail, I would like to begin with the mention of the “Hot Latina Gangbang”. The use of capital letters suggests that this might be state-run, or at least professionally screen printed on a banner and slung between two garbage cans. I won’t be able to attend, but hope that the turnout is what you expected.

You make mention of a “naughty blonde nympho who will lick your ass clean” and I was wondering if this may apply to a larger area, say a two bedroom Santa Monica apartment?

As for the “drunk party chick lost control vs fucked in glue”, you’ve lost me. It seems as if you may be weighing your two options. If I was forced to choose at this point, I would pick the fucked in glue. I’m almost 30.

I am very interested, however, in “Asian girl and piano.” I am having a small function this week and would like to have her by. Will you please fax a song list to me?

In closing, Mr. Merideth, I thank you for your time and interest in my patronage of your web site and its related services. I fear I do not have the time to devote to these requests at the time being. I will make sure to save your missive should a need arise for a blonde amateur enjoying “doublefuck cum” near a swimming pool. I would also like to thank you for what looks like a string of missile launch codes followed by life-affirming quotes.

Lastly, I am sorry it took so long to respond to you, as my junk e-mail folder accidently filtered your mail message.

Kindly, John Mayer

Dear Cherry Tomatoes

Dear Cherry Tomatoes,

We’re cool now. I know we didn’t get on real well in the past, and I think the blame has fallen somewhere between us both. You’re distinct!! You really come on strong there at the beginning with that first bite. You’re like, “bang! tomato!” and some people get a little taken aback by that. I know I was.

I also think I was a bit misled by the name “cherry tomato”. That’s a tall order, referencing a delicious fruit in your name like that. I don’t know if any vegetable could compare themselves to cherries and get away with it.

I’ve had a hard time stabbing you with my fork. Sometimes I’d have to push down six or seven times before I got hold of you, what with your being covered in slick salad dressing, and round. Sometimes I just don’t feel like playing. And maybe that’s my fault.

Lately, though, I’ve been warming up to you. I’ve gotten older, my tastes more refined as a result. You’ve been respecting yourself, showing up in perfect symmetry ensconced in the corners of my grilled chicken salad. You carry yourself differently now. I’ll admit it, I think that’s kind of attractive. Makes people want to be around you. I’m not saying we should just get together, but I think it would be cool to have you on more meals and maybe see where this goes.

I don’t want to forget about the past, but I also don’t want to harp on it. It is what it is. Let’s take things slow.

Love, John

P.S. Dear olives, I still f**king hate you.

"Us", As Told By Us

I can think of no better metaphor for loneliness (or at least involuntary independence) than a photograph of a man with his arm extending out of the frame and his body leaning backwards, every muscle engaged, hoping to get the shot of himself he envisions in his head. A shot, by the way, that looks nothing like the man. This, of course, is why he chooses it as his portrait. It doesn’t remind him of anything he knows so well. Maybe he likes to hold his lens to the mirror because the inverse of his image is just novel enough to satisfy him. Maybe the glare from the flash across the glass cheats the math. A fluke of physics for 1/400 of a second, proof that sometimes, when you shoot enough, the camera gets it right.

As time goes on, the best years of our lives will be remembered by photos we took of ourselves. We’ll handle our own history, revising it as we go along, deleting the ones that don’t look like our reflections anymore. All that will remain will be images of people that look nothing like us.

In 20 years it won’t matter what our connection to us was. There will be nothing to learn from an image of ourselves, by ourselves. That’s called life. The ongoing image of us, by us. It will only matter what the connection to others was like.

Those will matter.

That shot that girls take together, man - they know what they’re doing. The flash hits so hard that everything behind their hair becomes arbitrary darkness, their environment suggested only by the cut of dress and color of beverage. That’s your life. That’s your self. When you hand the camera to someone else, you break that electrical circuit of hand to lens to eye to vanity.

I’ve never seen any truth in that, and I never expect to.

No more pictures of me by me. I can save you time and just write what I hope you’ll think about me when you see me.

Honest but mysterious uncommonly attractive but naive Potential for great understanding, but only if called upon. Fun as default. Rugged but subtle

That’s more than you’ll get out of me from some photograph I chose as the one that you should see. Don’t ever let me pick my own photo. I have two options. Disappointment in not seeing what I so badly want to, or a false sense of wonder.

But the ones you girls take together, that’s what it’s all about.

Five Hours.

I like American Idol. I think it’s neat. I’m not “obsessed” as are some people who throw the word “obsessed” around and think it’s extra cute if preceded by the word “mildly.” I just think it’s a nice show on a lot of levels. I like to link up with the rest of America for a minute, join the collective living room of the Rockwellian family, have a laugh at some thinly-veiled gay innuendo and then butch it back up with a Ford commercial. I like that Taylor Hicks. Blah, blah, blah.

I couldn’t care less about the trademark “real music/fake music” diatribe that musicians like to take off on. American Idol is to music as Jeopardy! is to the State Bar Exam. My bone to pick is a different one. I can’t believe that to keep up as a loyal viewer of a television show one must have FIVE HOURS A WEEK to devote to it.

What does this say about the presumption of the show’s producers that you and I have five hours to dedicate to a television game show? (Pre-emptive response; Yes it is. It’s a game show. Awesome one, but a game show indeed.) I’ll tell you what it says; it says that they have perfect aim. And on one level, a level that probably wears a bow-tie, we should be ashamed of ourselves for giving in.

Let’s do the math. 30 million viewers tune in three nights a week, an aggregate 5 hours. That’s 150 million man hours a week that could have been applied to doing anything constructive. In five hours, 15 million people can lift New Orleans up while the other 15 mil pat it dry with a chamois. Five hours of intelligent discourse a week and you have a country of extraordinary thinkers. I’m not insinuating that Americans should give up recreation for labor.If everybody took in fine arts even one hour a week, can you imagine how our culture would flourish?

But we won’t change our habits because we don’t have to. Think about that one. We won’t because we don’t have to. Hard nut to crack, ain’t it? Not trying to crush it myself, but I’m just making a point.

In case some of you think that I’ve lost my sense of humor, I haven’t. I made the promise to you long ago never to become too enlightened. And so for this reason, I shall compensate by laughing at a “Brokeback” reference.

There that went.


P.S. - if the first post references only being the first post, I deem that poster super Brokebacky.

Dear Girl Taking Reservations Over The Phone

Dear Girl Taking Reservations Over The Phone,

Hi, this is John Mayer calling… I’m calling to see if I can get a table for two at 8 o’clock tonight. Oh, you don’t? Hmmm. Well, I’m fucked now. Here’s why.

I always think it’s cool to call someone one on one. Why should I have someone else call and set things up when I’m perfectly capable of doing it myself? Seems respectable to me. I’m always a little bit leery of getting a call from someone’s assistant. (This does not apply to those with the titles ‘President’, ‘CEO’, or ‘Royal Imperial Guard’, mind you.)

The Problem with using this method when making reservations over the phone is this; I only get one shot to say my name, so I’d better say it clearly. (I like to enunciate as if I’m addressing a small class of Vietnamese children.) Once I say it, the decision is all in your hands. Maybe you were sharpening a pencil, or are more of a Manu Dibango fan. Nothing I can do about it.

Once you give me the “I’m sorry, sir, we’re all booked”, that’s just the end of it. Why? Because then I’d have to play the “maybe you didn’t hear me” or “do you know who I am?” or “I’m the artist… John Mayer, the musician?” game, and I can tell you that I can count the number of times I’ve done that on my vagina. The whole thing gives me a headache.

Why should I even deserve to get in a restaurant on such short notice in the first place? It’s debatable; I’ll give you that. I think of it like a brand synergy. I’ve eaten at your place before, and you know that once that check comes around, I have my special way of saying ‘thank you’ by taking the total and applying some of the craziest arithmetic since the FOIL method. You know, the sick thing is that if I choose to live my life like a jackass, I’d probably enjoy a more fruitful social life, and certainly get a table on a moment’s notice. If I sire a child with a well-known post-rehab-pre-re-rehab-pre-fab fame-fister, I could get straight in. I’m the odds-on favorite to get a seat under the heater on the patio if I smack her on a reality show. Appetizers on the house if I choke her at a Denny’s and then rap about it. Do you see where I’m going with this?

I have noother recourse to get myself into your restaurant tonight. Can’t do the pop-in, can’t have another person call. I’m not about that. I’m about phoning up the hottest restaurants in Los Angeles by myself, giving my own name, and handling my own affairs. I’m a bad ass. And I keep to myself. And I would like to think that there are points for that, even if they’re not redeemable at your restaurant. Tonight. What with my not having any celebrity-issued STDs and all.

That said, yes, I would like to be on your waiting list. I’ll be awaiting a call from your manager. What can I say? I’m a sucker for the cold-style Ponzu. I’m big shit and I want some fish, JM

Dear A Pear

Dear A Pear,

I have some things I’d like to get off my chest. This applies mostly to the Bosc, but I say to Anjou, Bartlett and Comice, you too should take note, as some of the following points apply to you as well.

You’re not a sporty fruit. You don’t shine. You look like you may have at one point, as if the salty sea winds have dulled your once regal luster to a now lifeless patina. You are never featured on slot machines, and your inclusion in salads sends a strong message; that this dish is going to be funky, and will almost definitely include walnuts.

I never want to eat you after a game of touch football. You are the Springsteen of fruits. You’ve never sold out. Never went seedless, never came smaller. There’s no pear nano. Nobody ever really figured your flavor out for candy replication. Sure, Jelly Belly has tried, but it’s not even close, and looks too much like the watermelon one.

When you are juiced, your only purpose is to back up more expensive and exciting extracts. And still you never complain. Your bulbous shape and coarse skin make you very difficult to eat without a knife. I have tried on occasion, and the only outcome is a very sore inside of my upper lip. You are secretive. What aren’t you telling us that you might know? Do you know marijuana?

If there were one fruit that was sent to Earth from another planet to study us humans, it would be you. (Wink.) You are the stillest of all fruits. Your heavy base says “I’m staying right here!” and you don’t roll very well. I think this is why you are always featured in paintings of still life. You keep everything really, really still. In fact, I wouldn’t take a painting of fruit seriously if you weren’t there as the father figure of the bowl. I would say to myself “how do I know those fruits didn’t just come to a stop moments before the painting had begun?” And then I’d see the pear and just nod. And believe.

I’ve never heard anything desirable described as being “pear shaped”. You are a two-dollar bill, an almost accidental inclusion into the mainstream culture of nature’s bounty. But you don’t make a big fuss, as if someone’s bound to notice you and send you back to the crude, wooden tableat which blood oranges and persimmons sit quietly.

You got a real good head on your shoulders. Don’t go changing any day soon, a pear. I get you. I just get you.


Anxiety Dream:Eddie’s Attic Edition

I hardly ever have them, but when I do, I learn that I must care a hell of a lot about what the dream is based on. I was writing my first night’s set list (something I’ll do well in advance) in the very last minutes “backstage” at Eddie’s. Dream flub number one; there is no backstage at Eddie’s.

Oh, and for some reason, fans are milling about backstage, heckling me. They think it’s tough love, like some kind of requisite ribbing that’s going to bring us closer, but all it does is push me completely off my perch, and I’m getting stressed.

So there I am, in front of a computer with shoddy internet service, trying to find the track listing to my CDs on Amazon or something like it. I have a yellow legal pad, the bulk of which is hanging over the cardboard backing, littered with other people’s notes and drawings. But I steal a page and begin to write song titles. I choose Victoria, Man on the Side, Love Soon…that’s as much as I remember. Then I recall writing down Clarity, and was thinking of adding Bigger Than My Body, knowing I would have had to relearn it in the 2 minutes before show time.

Anyway, by the end of the set, I had too many songs. Way too many. So I checked back over the list and realized that somebody had added phony titles. So now I have to erase the ones that were added, which leads me to begin a new page instead. What follows is a riveting whodunit that must have gone on for 12 seconds (they say we don’t dream that long, so I’m adjusting it to reality time.)

Every time I would begin a new set list, I would turn to look at something and reset my gaze to find someone had written a wiseass message on the page. Nobody claimed to have seen anything when I pressed them about it.

After I angrily fired show opener Nick Lachey, he calmly suggested we “step out for some apple juice”, which turned out to be Cinncinati slang for “let’s take this thing outside.” We did just that, but only I returned. Something involving a motorcycle and lots of flames. That was where the dream’s production budget skyrocketed.

Then, one by one, I narrowed down who it was by beating the shit out of people. Chad was there, but he claimed to have never seen who it was. Once everyone but Chad was removed from the room (or just plain dead) I closed my eyes. “I can’t believe I’m doing this,” I thought to myself. “This is Chad, and here I am testing him.”

Sure enough, when I opened them, I caught the residual blur of his cocking his hand back to his side. There was the writing. It was Chad all along. He was laughing at me like “Don’t hit me! It was good! You gotta give me that!” I didn’t hit Chad. I couldn’t hit Chad.

But Chad, if you’re reading this, that’s really fucked up. Just yesterday you asked me if I needed help bringing a Christmas tree into my apartment, which I thought was so cool of you. And there you were, stressing me out before show time. Please call me today so we can make things right. I don’t want to have to step out for some apple juice with you.

Point is I’m excited for Eddie’s. And I’m going to make the set lists at home. I’m thinking of printing the lyrics out and binding them in a nice 3 ringer. I’m not sure, though.

Going to have to see what else I dream about.

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