Meow Wolf

There is nothing wrong with your computer screen. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission. If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. We can roll the image, make it flutter. We can change the focus to a soft blur or sharpen it to crystal clarity. For the next post sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. We repeat: there is nothing wrong with your computer screen. You are about to participate in a great adventure. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to… the House of Eternal Return!


Zu-Zu Lee, Wild Er, and the flame of Udûn landed at 1352 Rufina Circle in Santa Fe, and the skies looked very different that day.


Ziggy Starbus to Ground Control: It’s gettin’ really grooovyy…

Our Mommy always told us that when the skies roared with thunder, the sky bears were going bowling… by the look of this storm, the sky bears must have gotten into Mommy’s secret stash.

Ziggy Starbus to Ground Control: We are stepping through the door

Here am I floating ’round my tin can…

We must have taken a wrong turn at Albuquerque and driven right on through the floor of the sky bears’ inter-dimensional rave house. The mezzanine level view of the stage on our left can attest to my superb parking skills.


I hope they validate parking here, I couldn’t find a meter… perhaps it got sucked in by the gravitational pull of what appears to be a pocket dimension in the floor to our right that was now our balcony.

I made a mental note to ask the lady in the lab coat.


The portal was marked by an interior ring of glyphs that we could not decipher, and we could not pass through the force-bubble to the other side, but we could make out crude dark shapes etched into the walls in style similar to that of ancient cave drawings.


We climbed back through our bus and out the back doors onto the dance floor to ask the lady in the lab coat about parking… she scribbled down some notes and brought us to this next room for testing.


We played with blocks, she took notes, we aren’t sure what that accomplished but before she could get to the anal probing an alarm sounded and all the lab coat people rushed to take care of the sort of business that lab coat wearing people must take care of in a timely fashion. We snuck a peek at the portal from the underside, realized we weren’t in Kansas anymore, and got out of there before the lab coats returned.


We weren’t the first to come through here–

Spacecrafts had landed and been left abandoned by their inhabitants,

boondockers had settled into camps more perplexing than our own parking situation,


and this guy was just chillin’


We really needed to get our heads out of the clouds…


… but that was proving rather difficult in this “Fog Space”


Well, that explains a lot.


Dorothy had landed here as well, and her welcome mat suggested she may have gotten herself a guard lizard while she skipped off to the Emerald City… or perhaps the Emerald Triangle, Dorothy mentions a brother named Lex in her letter, and a bit of digging around the house revealed Lex’s school records from an elementary school in Mendocino, California. A citation from Lex’s teacher depicts him as quite a little smartass, perhaps this is the boy that grew into Superman’s arch nemesis.


The more we saw the more we were beginning to think we may never get out…. did Lex ever get out? There were no maps, just a meandering trail of cryptic clues and swamp acrobats.

We didn’t have a Plant-Jean of our very own to get us through it, but this was the best destination on our adventure thus far, and our bus was inexplicably stuck in their floor for the time being, so we kept on adventuring down the rabbit hole through the Fog Space.

Naturally, we made ourselves at home– went through their photo albums, read their diaries, played with their Lego’s, ate the meals they so kindly left on the tables for us, napped in their beds, used their fireplace to access the Floo Network…

The Ministry of Magic really needs to make the network Myastenia Gravis accessible, I enunciated very clearly, but somehow, we ended up in the fishtank.

That opened up a whole ‘nother can of worms… if you have ever eaten the worm at the bottom of a tequila bottle, you may have some idea what this next part was like.

Entire villages had been established here in Dorothy’s closets, along with a very large skeleton from the Mesozoic Era. Tusky here must have been a friend of Hagrid’s, we played him a song and he lit up like a politically correct holiday tree.

Our new friend led us to the Magic Tree House, which took us on many wacky adventures, like the siblings Jack and Annie Smith but with much cooler names and an adorable puppy.

Mary Pope Osborne used Arthurian characters Morgan Le Fay and Merlin the Magician as the source of magic for the tree house in her illustrated series, but King Arthur hasn’t come through here yet– his sword still awaits him:


*gasp* It’s bigger on the inside!

From what we could deduce, Dorothy’s “Dad and Grandpa” were fiddling around with transdimensional engineering in the tree house. They had built some sort of “machine” that could travel through Time And Relative Dimensions In Space while maintaining a state of dimensional transcendentalism.

We enjoyed a much needed vacation on the beach, but that is a story for another time… stay tuned for more photo-adventures with Zu-Zu Lee, Wild Er, and the flame of Udûn.


As we sang our closing number, another rift in time and space began to crack open in the Denver Triangle formed by the interchanges of I-25, Colfax Avenue, and Auraria Parkway. Our timey-wimey-demodulation-doohickey was also picking up potential hot-spots in Austin, Oklahoma City, Minneapolis, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and our nation’s capitol.


These wrinkles in time and space were marked only by mysterious appearances of the phrase “Meow Wolf” scattered like breadcrumbs in a trail across the universe.

We now return control of your computer screen to you, until next post, at an unknown time, when the Control Voice will take you to…



LaRocca Lush

Daily Prompt: Lush

her lips blushed
a LaRocca Lush
plump, juicy, and sweet
her smile dimpled
pig-nosed wrinkled
eyes twinkled
with pure delight
shied behind
a stray lock of hair
teeth pressed in
a nervous bite

her soul shined
in radiant gold
a Dionysus devotee
grape stomp beauty
draped in ecstasy
and purple toed
her windswept tassels
billowed like a horses mane
braided in grapevines
zinfandel red
cascading the curves
of her divine frame

“The Late Harvest Lush Zinfandel was picked in November 24, 2005, allowing the grapes to hang longer on the vine. The grapes were picked at 34.5 brix at our Sutter Buttes Vineyard. Capturing the desirable effects of the Botrytis cinerea, the “noble” rot, this wine is rich, ripe and elegant with an enormous presence of raisin and luscious flavors of chocolate and berries which makes for a delightfully sweet finish. With hints of spice and pepper the wine is not overly powerful and is referred to as an aphrodisiac that only gets better with age. This wine pairs deliciously with a rich chocolate truffle or any desserts.”

LaRocca Vineyards grows on 110 acres in Forest Ranch, California, two miles down the windy mountainside Schott Rd, to the end of the pavement, and then a bit further. Nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains at 2600 feet, LaRocca vines thrive on the sweet spring waters and rich mineral deposits of Mount Lassen.

12106829_986283898088474_3771412007118525030_nPHOTO VIA LAROCCA VINEYARDS

Vintner Phil LaRocca does organic with a passion, the fruits of his labor grow chemical free, and his wines age to perfection with no sulfites added. Sulfites may occur naturally in some wines as a byproduct of fermentation, but the United States Organic Wine Standard strictly prohibits use of sulfur dioxide, synthetic additives and preservatives.ccof+usdaAll LaRocca vintages are tested for sulfite levels, if the readings are completely sulfite-free bottles are labeled with “no sulfites detected” to distinguish these hypo-allergenic products for consumers. Roughly 1 in 100 Americans have sulfite sensitivity, which can present as shortness of breath, hives, or anaphylactic shock in extreme cases.

When my big brother Bisbee was in high school experimenting with alcohol, he played a game of slap-bag with some friends of his, passing around cheap Moscato wine… until he passed out on the sidewalk at the Boys and Girls Club where our mother would pick me up after school. Bisbee was taken to Enloe, suffered a brutal hangover, and learned about sulfite sensitivity.


Dad — Pinot Noir Harvest 2015

Sulfite sensitivity runs in our Dad’s side of the family, but we would never have guessed that he was allergic to wine, because both our parents drank LaRocca wines regularly when they were working at the vineyard. The LaRocca family has been growing grapes to stomp their wine since 1984, and under them my family has been working from vine to bottle to tasting room off and on for roughly 30 years.

Dad laid out irrigation, harvested the crops and stomped in the vats. They always joked about the hazard of vat death, apparently common in this profession, but I still remember the day Dad chopped the tip of his finger off with the pruning shears. The flap of skin was hanging by a thread, but we stopped for popsicles at The Store on the way down the mountain to the hospital, orange creamsicle was always my favorite. In the photo below, roughly 20 years later, I am cutting myself with those same shears. Turns out, the grape doesn’t fall far from the vine, but sadly, the popsicle selection at The Store just isn’t what it used to be.


Me — Pinot Noir Harvest 2015

Mom worked at the vineyard in racking, bottling and labeling, and later behind the counter at the Tasting Room when the original location opened in Forest Ranch. At the time, town consisted of The Store, The Diner, The Video Rental, and The Tasting Room. Over the years, several businesses have briefly occupied Forest Ranch storefronts, but the remote little mountain town provides a rather limited customer base, and rent for these locations is notoriously overpriced given the circumstances.

The new LaRocca Tasting Room is a classy joint in the heart of Chico, next door to the El Rey Theater. An intimate setting with limited capacity, the wine bar is a refreshing escape from the rowdy college scene that dominates Chico nightlife, but with special performers and trendy paint nights LaRocca is a tasteful alternative social hotspot.

LaRocca Vineyards Organic Wine Tasting Room
222 W. 2nd Street
Downtown Chico, California
Open Weds – Fridays 1:30-8pm
Saturdays 12 noon – 8pm
Sundays 1:30-6pm


Even Bisbee got to pitch in with the LaRocca crew back in the day, as a tall and lanky child he was just small enough to drop into the vats for cleaning and just tall enough to climb his way back out again. For payment, being the little devil he was, my brother asked Phil for a Dallas Cowboys jersey. The 49ers haven’t won a Superbowl since he got that accursed jersey, but it is still packed away in the family home with baby keepsake clothes and old hippie hand-mades.

When my brother Wilder and I found our way home to Forest Ranch, Phaedra LaRocca had taken over business operations, with winemaker Phil doing what he does best. While we settled back in town, I started working for Phaedra around the vineyard, and fit right in like my mother never left. One by one familiar faces walked in, said hello to my mother… and one by one they did a double-take, wondering how she had managed to age backwards.

Dad, Wilder and I joined the limited friends and family crew when they came up shorthanded for the Pinot Noir crop that year. Another generation of Allens beside another generation of LaRoccas, another vintage, another snapshot, another generation of Forest Ranch memories. Phil prepared an organic feast that couldn’t be beat, with pineapple glazed ham, pasta salad, fresh fruits and veggies, and of course, LaRocca wine.

From right: Dad, Me, Wilder, Phil and Crew











a picture is worth 1000 words …but which words, exactly?

Before you squawk semanticist–
Give me 1000 words for this picture, compare it to the next contributor’s 1000 words, comment back what their words mean in your own words, take and/or draw a picture based on their words, compare and contrast.
If easier, start with 100 words, or even just 10.

set the scene–
primarily pink
a touch of green
flecks of red
a golden gleam
indecent exposure
liquid strangers
photo sin thesis
festive pranksters
sun spot blinders
black & white
graffiti gray
acid rain
tapestry woven
in tense disdain
in obscene name
a curse, a swear
profane love
a witty dare
screamed in passion
uttered in fear
flung for fashion
a viscous sneer
focus, focus
hocus pocus
a gentle bow
in falling dew
a fuzzy fwip
a curtsied skew
spin and dip–
the leads on you
hand in hand
shoe on shoe
word for word
view for view

With 10 words, I have a catchy hook.
With 100 words, I can spin a verse of visual imagery, motivational complexity, and a tease of linguistic philosophy.
With 1000 words, I can bore you with semantics.

In the words of Savage Garden– “a thousand words will give the reason why I don’t need you any more.” By today’s standards, a quick and sassy Sweet Brown meme says just as much, right?


Errybody complaining that nobody gets it but “ain’t nobody got time” to speak out exactly what it is they want people to get.

A snowball effect of colloquialisms, presumptive universalities, and logical fallacies establishes it as an unspoken statement of the obvious, and thus, explanation is in itself an admission of obliviousness, in which case, if one does not get it by simple reference, then it is a concept that can not be gotten within the context of language as they know it.

Any attempt to communicate across such a divide is labelled as semantics, met with exasperation, and widely considered to be obnoxiously exorbitant… illustrator Jeff Mallett knows what I’m talking about–


Modern technology has made communication with audiences of any size at any distance as simple as the touch of a button… but with simplification of our means of communication, came simplification of content.

Ratings for this type of content are off the charts– given our rising population and the increased availability of internet connectivity, this is not so much a sign of superiority as it is a statistical inevitability.

With the dawning of the age of Aquarius came a technological boom that would come to define the Millennial generation. Marked by the coming of the new millennium, the invention of memes, and the hands of the doomsday clock ticking ever closer to midnight… this global culture-shock forged a divide that has fundamentally changed our understanding of language.


They say that to assume makes an ass of u and me but we go on assuming that such assumptions apply only to the assumed target of the phrase, while the assumer is exonerated by… perception of moral superiority?

When I say that is a contradiction, I am arguing semantics.
But it isn’t just semantics, being a particular word choice, it is the very semantics of logic itself… a concept that is defined below in British context, whilst poignantly absent in the American understanding of the word.

You may question if it is really necessary to cite not one, not two, but three dictionaries just to make this here point about semantics…


If these 1000 words are not adequate enough to stress the necessity of expressly establishing common terminology within the context of a conversation for the purpose of mutual understanding across language barriers, perhaps that meme will suffice.





(used with a singular verb)


  1. the study of meaning.
  2. the study of linguistic development by classifying and examining changes in meaning and form.
2. Also called significs. the branch of semiotics dealing with the relations between signs and what they denote.

3. the meaning, or an interpretation of the meaning, of a word, sign, sentence, etc: “let’s not argue about semantics.”

British Dictionary definitions for semantics



noun (functioning as sing)

1. the branch of linguistics that deals with the study of meaning, changes in meaning, and the principles that govern the relationship between sentences or words and their meanings
2. the study of the relationships between signs and symbols and what they represent

3. (logic)

  1. the study of interpretations of a formal theory
  2. the study of the relationship between the structure of a theory and its subject matter
  3. (of a formal theory) the principles that determine the truth or falsehood of sentences within the theory, and the references of its terms
Derived Forms
semanticist, noun

Word Origin and History for semantics

n. “science of meaning in language,” 1893, from French sémantique (1883); see semantic (also see -ics ). Replaced semasiology (1847), from German Semasiologie (1829), from Greek semasia “signification, meaning.”



Definition of semantics

  1. the study of meanings
    a: the historical and psychological study and the classification of changes in the signification of words or forms viewed as factors in linguistic development
    b (1):semiotics (2): a branch of semiotics dealing with the relations between signs and what they refer to and including theories of denotation, extension, naming, and truth

  2. general semantics

  3. a: the meaning or relationship of meanings of a sign or set of signs; especially:connotative meaning
    b: the language used (as in advertising or political propaganda ) to achieve a desired effect on an audience especially through the use of words with novel or dual meanings



plural noun

1 [usually treated as singular] The branch of linguistics and logic concerned with meaning. The two main areas are logical semantics, concerned with matters such as sense and reference and presupposition and implication, and lexical semantics, concerned with the analysis of word meanings and relations between them.
1.1 The meaning of a word, phrase, or text









Ace Reporter – Trip Hunter

In a cramped, musty office on the ground floor of The Daily Star building– a lone worker steadily taps at the keys of his typewriter, their clickity-clack syncopating with the beat of a leaky ceiling and an empty can, the two forming a beautiful symphony that could perhaps be the very rhythm of the universe itself… or maybe that’s the combination of caffeine, psychotropics, copious amounts of marijuana, cheap beer, and bootlegged whiskey. Either way, ONE thing can be certain: no matter how queer the case, how dire the straights, Ace reporter Trip Hunter will be there, in the thick of it, to bring the truth to YOU!

illustrated series by WildEr




Along Came Dolly

Ba baa black sheep have you any wool?
Brush here, shear there, ne’er a bag full… 

That sheep ain’t no Dalai Lama– girl, yoe must be a glutton for for an ass-whoopin’ keepin’ that ewe round here!

This was one piece of mutton long past its expiration date, with a comb-over rivaled only by The Donald himself, and a disproportionately sized tongue lolling out its mouth.

Dolly was an old ewe, she had certainly sheered better days… but the little boy who lived down the lane, turned his nose to ordinary wool, white and plain.

Master demands a bag per day, and a second for the Dame. You know what happens when their coats grow lame.

Ewwwwe, not stew! Not Dolly!

Hush! Not a peep from you or the ewe– I have a plan:

Knight, Bruce I. “Animal Cloning: Transitioning from the Lab to the Market.” USDA. March 5, 2008.

Do you even movie night big bro? That never bodes well for the humans…

Think–Dollhouse. The 6th Day. Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Star Wars II. Blade Runner.
Ask yourself: Do Androids Dream Electric Sheep?

I know I know, a clone is not the same as an android… but would you want to eat it? wear it? drink its milk?

Pull the wool over your eyes, but ewwwwe, not stew!

We assure ewe, it is as safe for human consumption as the foods we eat every day: United States Department of Health and Human Services. “Animal Cloning” FDA. July 3, 2014.

We? Big bro, are you–

We assure ewe, it is as safe for human injection as the drugs we take every day: United States Department of Health and Human Services. “Creating Human Drugs From Genetically Engineered Animals” FDA. August 23, 2015.

But that’s a goat–

Sheep go to heaven. Goats go to hell…
Just kidding!
We assure you, it is as safe as for human society as the society we live in every day:
Michael Herndon. “Transcript of Media Briefing on FDA’s Release of a Final Guidance for Industry on the Regulation of Genetically-Engineered Animals” FDA. January 15, 2009.

Recorded? I object–

Reporters will be in a listen only mode until we open call for comments.

Little Bo-Peep has lost her sheep,
and doesn’t know where to find them;
Make them a clone, and they’ll come home,
wagging their tails behind them.

She awoke with a start, her face full of wool– black wool.
Dolly the sheep, with a fleece thick as thieves…
Her eyes they must be deceiving.
It couldn’t be! Not Dolly, her Dolly?
She sure was a spittin’ image…
Three bags full she stuffed with wool
She had dreampt her sheep from lame to cool!

Little Bo-peep fell fast asleep,
and dreamt she heard them bleating;
but when she awoke, she found it a joke,
for they were still a-fleeting.

You’re a hack with a hook!
That filthy crook!
Big bro must’ve been deceiving.
Alternative facts
And fancy “science” reading
Dolly was gone
Before she ever knew she was sleeping

Then up she took her little crook,
determined for to find them;
she found them indeed, but it made her heart bleed,
for they’d left their tails behind them.

Tale of woe, woe is me
How could she let it be?
Tale by Tale
bye bye tails…

It happened one day, as Bo-peep did stray
into a meadow hard by,
there she espied their tails side by side,
all hung on a tree to dry.

buy small retail
these rhymes
are getting stale…

She heaved a sigh and wiped her eye,
and over the hillocks went rambling,
and tried what she could, as a shepherdess should,
to tell each clone from its lambkin…

But the real mystery
was little Bo-Peep
for that night she dreampt
of electric sheep.



4 v 4 Briefly Yours

dulcet quatrain
words of whimsy

wanton words
cacophonic colloquy
dank meme wars


Dreams of Daily Star-dom

I had all but forgotten about dreaming.

For those of you looking to your Daily Stars, this past night you may have noticed an empty sky clouded in this reporter’s silence. Snuggled up warm in my bear, I drifted off to the soft sound of puppy snores… and found myself in a familiar, but distant place.

In my youth, I deemed this place Slumberland, but then again, I have always been partial towards naming my original scripts with a catchy portmanteau.

Reflecting now on my college admissions essay to Drexel University’s Film & Video program entitled “Silver-Screen Dreams” I can’t help but notice the correlation between the dreams we dream at night and the dreams we aspire to live by day.

Not so much in the content of the dreams themselves, mind you. Many artists claim that a particular inspiration came to them in a dream– while I imagine that is true, in a way– they tell it much like they were watching it as a film in their sleep, and transcribing it to you by day.

Naturally, an inspiration we are deeply immersed in, will slip its way into our subconscious in our slumber. But not in an instantly recognizable literal sense. And crossing this border the other way around, is something else entirely.

They royal “they” tells you that you do not dream in color.
I know this to be a lie.
I can remember a neon pink octopus. Smooth, shiny, almost cartoonish for there wasn’t much texture to it.
I can remember a wizard, a castle tower, a magic book, a cat that was a shark.
Underwater, but also not. Swimming through water and swimming through air feel very much the same– and I can do both, as naturally as I breath in either.
I can relate mixed memories to you now from this dream, a particularly memorable dream I dreampt many nights ago.
But when I woke from that dream, many afternoons ago, I could remember the rhyme, but none of the reason. Though I did recall it was quite intriguing. A smash hit, a million dollar idea, I had to tell the world. But when facebook asked “What’s on your mind?” and I put fingers to keys… err… pink octopus?
I cannot tell you anything about the dream I dreampt last night. Though I do recall it was very vivid, and I spent much of my morning reflecting on it… err… coffee?
I don’t even drink coffee.
But at a distance, I can describe for you images of that old dream, like it was yesterday. Mayhaps, a tiny bit distorted by this reporter’s recent adventures with Dirk Gently’s Hollistic Detective Agency… but as we speak, I am just now beginning to piece together elements of a plot long forgotten by the journey to the waking world.

When I made the journey back this afternoon, I was left with very little in memory. But as the drive to dream drags me back to slumberland through most mornings, the drive to dream pulls me ever onward now, reflected in my waking world creations.

I suppose I could say the inspiration for this here post came to me in a dream. But that would be so cliché.