A polymath rambling about virtually anything

Archive for April, 2012

Interview with Philip K. Dick

Posted by Scott Holstad on April 30, 2012

Interview with Philip K. Dick.

Fascinating interview for any Philip K Dick fan. Read it!

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Literary Diary Entry

Posted by Scott Holstad on April 28, 2012

I’ve been posting some diary entries from the 16 old diaries I recently found, dating from 1984 to 1992. This will probably be the last one I post. I don’t see much point in blogging about things that happened 20 years ago. This entry was written after I had moved from Knoxville TN to Tempe AZ. Anyway, here’s the entry:


June 13, 1992

Last night I went down to the Coffee Plantation and, among other things, I met the editor/publisher of Zone, a local-based magazine with a national circulation of about 15,000 — pretty good for a literary mag. To make a long story short, we talked for about three hours and I gave him a lot of marketing ideas. In response, he asked if I was interested in several projects — an article about the L.A. writing scene, an article on the small press scene, and he asked if I could land an interview with Bukowski. Huh. They would also list me as editorial consultant, or something like that. Things to ponder….

Got a lot of things in the mail today. A postcard from Lisa. A few magazine rejections. A couple of acceptances. A small mag with some of my poems in it. A letter of appreciation from someone I recently gave writing advice to…. However, I’m spending a hell of a lot of time writing shit these days. I wonder if I’ve lost the touch. I can’t write prose. Blocks from hell. It’s just too stilted. Haven’t done any decent poems in a couple of months. I’m not sure if it’s a lack of inspiration or a lack of ability or what. Maybe I just don’t have what it takes.

Well, after all that, I actually did get a lot done tonight after all that bitching. Nine new poems, two of which are pretty decent. Yeah! Also met a few strange people. Not a bad day.

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Writing and Working – 1991

Posted by Scott Holstad on April 26, 2012

I’ve been writing a few diary excerpts from old diaries I recently found. I thought I’d copy one here from the summer of 1991. I had moved from Knoxville to Phoenix during the Bush 1 recession and I couldn’t get a job. After getting kicked out of where I had been staying and literally relying on my car for living a little while, I eventually rented a room in a dump in Tempe before getting a horrible job in downtown Phoenix, where I then moved to be close to work. I worked from 6 AM to 6 PM six days a week plus one Sunday. That’s roughly 28 days a month. It was grueling. And I was getting up early and going to bed late to be a writer, writing feverishly for hours every day and then submitting stuff to mags and publishers. I don’t know how I made it. Anyway, here’s this entry:


June 3, 1991

Long day at work today. Like always. When I got home, Knoxville Ami called me and we talked for awhile. I miss her. I wish I could hang out with her for a few days. I miss Robert too. We were quite the trio.

I got up this morning at 4 AM to try and get some writing done. I’ve been researching what pays because I’m sick of being dirt poor, living in a roach infested apartment in gangville Phoenix. Mags like Esquire pay, but they generally only accept about one unsolicited submission a year. Porn pays. Smut mags like Oui, Chic, Swank all pay $100-$400 a story. Hustler pays $500. Two of those a month and I’m doing a lot better. I got three pages done this morning. I have a lot of interesting experiences to draw from….

I really feel like my life, and life in general, is one big waste. I sit here every night writing and waiting for time to pass so I can go to sleep to get some rest so I can get up in the morning and do menial work simply so I can come home in a robotic state of making the hours pass so I can go to sleep again and escape, only to get up the next morning and start the same fucking grind all over again. No one seems to understand this nightmare — not even my closest friends. They tell me it’s a phase, a learning experience. I think “stagnation” would be an understatement. Brain and body rot is more like it…. I spend every day looking forward to my mail cause I have nothing else to look forward to in life. No money! No future! Nothing. Maybe I’ll get an acceptance from a magazine. It’s happening more frequently, but poetry doesn’t pay rent. Who am I kidding? Writer. Shit!


Working 12 hour days 6 days a week for shit pay really wore me down. And my 2-5 hours of writing and submitting to magazines each day further wore me down, although sometimes I think it was also the only thing that saved me. I lasted in that environment two years before moving over to L.A. to go back to school.

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Mountain Bikes

Posted by Scott Holstad on April 25, 2012

I was all excited to write a post about mountain bikes this morning, but I don’t really feel up to it right now. Nonetheless, I think I’ll press ahead.

I had a nice Mongoose I bought in Pasadena years ago for a lot of money. My ex gave it away when we split up. Meanwhile, my girlfriend found a steal on a decent used mountain bike a week or so ago, and is eager to get riding. Well, I want to join her. I’ve been combing Craigslist and other boards for used bikes, as well as looking at places like Dick’s and Academy Sports, etc. I even ran into — and out of — a Trek store. I can’t go for a 10K bicycle. Wow.

Well, it came down to two or three possibilities. One was a new Mongoose at one of the sporting stores. Bare bones, but good enough and what I was looking for. Also, very reasonably priced. However, on Craigslist, I found another bike for sale that looked like a pretty good deal. It was a no name bike in pretty good condition listed at $65, but the owner agreed to come down to $50. We went to see it last night, noted the seat needed adjusting and the brakes needed tightening, but otherwise it seemed fairly decent, so I bought it.

I’m having some misgivings now, however. Sadly. First of all, we adjusted the seat with no problem. Good. Then, early this morning, I tightened the front brakes perfectly. The back ones, however, looked tricky. The cable was broken off and if I didn’t get a hold of it just right, it could slip out of what was holding it and I’d be damned if I could get it back in. Which is exactly what happened. I’ve spent an hour and a half on my knees trying to crimp wires and cables, trying to extend the cable where there was no extension possible, trying to reconnect — all to no avail. I’m going to have to take this no name bike into a good bike store for a new brake cable and repair, surrounded by nice, new, expensive bikes. A lesson in humility.

To make matters worse, I got in a two bike bike rack today. I had ordered it Monday so my girlfriend and I could drive our bikes down to the river to go riding on the path there, among other places. Well, I set it up on my car this afternoon. Had one hiccup, which I fixed. Then I lifted the surprisingly heavy aluminum bike up onto the bike rack, and it wouldn’t fit — at all. The frame is a touch too big and it’s shaped oddly, so it just won’t fit. So I won’t even be able to get this damn bike to a bike store for repair. Now I’m thinking it was a lesson learned and I blew $50. I’m thinking I’m probably just going to go ahead and get that Mongoose I should have bought in the first place come payday. Live and learn, right?

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February 1990 Diary Excerpts

Posted by Scott Holstad on April 24, 2012

If you’ve been reading my blog at all, you’ll recall that I recently found 16 old diaries of mine, dating from 1984-1992. I’ve printed several excerpts here, and while I’ll keep most everything to myself, I might post a few more before putting these away in storage once again.


February 16, 1990

I’m feeling much better today. I was suffering from a tremendous hangover yesterday, worst one in at least three years. I had gone over to Carey’s with Nicole, a cute girl from Memphis I’ve been casually seeing for a little more than a month. She brought her roommate, Terri. We had a 5 liter box of wine, some gin, and some bourbon. Well, I went hard at the bourbon before turning to the wine and I just had to drink at least 3 liters of the stuff, all on an empty stomach. After awhile, we went over to Planet Earth to dance and party, and I got violently ill, so we left. I somehow made it home and passed out only to be sick all day Thursday. I puked in the morning and couldn’t get out of bed until 8 PM at least.

Today was kind of odd. I talked with Courtney and she gave me hell for Wednesday night. I then turned in a cover letter to the English graduate department. I’ve been cleared for acceptance by the UT graduate school. I hope I get accepted and get an assistantship. I was running some poems off later and heard someone say, “Scott.” A lot of people have been talking to me lately who I don’t know, so I was hoping to bullshit my way through this….

February 22, 1990

I’m feeling very unhappy these days. I’m sad and lonely and unhappy. I used to be a carefree, happy person! Now I hate everyone and everything. I had God, people, society, the huge joke of it all, myself (while I also love myself at the same time — warped dichotomy), life, eating, holidays, even sports. Everything formerly pleasurable now leaves me feeling empty. And girls! Why can’t I meet an intellectually stimulating, moderately attractive, gregarious, open minded, liberal, ambitious, non-materialistic driven, intelligent, sexually open girl who is reasonably compatible and trustworthy? Because they don’t freakin’ exist! Not here, anyway…. I almost wish I could go back to my innocent days when I didn’t know and didn’t care. I felt more content, happier. I enjoyed meaningless sex. Now I’m so sick of that! I want to be somebody, do something relevant — not just own things. I want to be a poet. Sadly, no one can deal with me because I’m so eccentric or, on my part, the vast majority of girls just don’t interest me anymore.

Two weeks ago, I read some of my poetry at the Laurel Theater. I’ll write more about it later. Two months from now, I’m reading at Davis-Kidd, a big step up. They have many published authors read there.

I think I’m starting to suffer from severe depression. You know, I was happy for years, most of my life. I haven’t been happy for a full year now. It’s been getting more severe since last June. Normally I’m a strong person, but right now I’m feeling very weak….

My parents are strongly suggesting I see a therapist again for the third time in my life. It’s odd that at the time of the greatest maturity and responsibility I’ve had so far, I seem to be sinking deeper emotionally. Indeed, while I’ve always been a bit of a cynical pessimist, I’m getting much worse. I’m don’t think I’m feeling any more bitterness or hatred than usual, but I’m getting more abrasive, critical, lonely, depressed, sad, disillusioned, etc. I feel like I’m sinking into a deep black hole I won’t be able to climb out of. And I don’t see how I can go back. Oh well.


I guess I had a flair for the dramatic. I don’t know if I should have just shared these words. After all, they’re the ramblings of a young college student who didn’t know shit about anything. Still, it’s been interesting to see where I was, where I’ve come from, what has transpired for me throughout my life. I wish I had kept my diaries more diligently….

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Good Happenings

Posted by Scott Holstad on April 23, 2012

I had a good weekend. Where to begin? I guess I could start with my getting my girlfriend concert tickets for Crosby, Stills & Nash here in Chattanooga this summer. She’s a big fan, and while they’re not my favorites, I was tickled to make her so happy and we’ll have fun together. I was especially pleased because two days before she complained a little about my going to the Dead Can Dance concert later this year, and she gets nothing. Hee hee!

We also went to the grand opening of a new second hand store which specializes in outdoors-type stuff. And we found a decent used bike for my girlfriend. Cost? $20! We got a new seat for it, cleaned it up, and she’s ready to rock and roll. Now I have to find a new bike for myself. I had a good Mongoose, but my ex gave it away, so I’ve got to find something else. I’ve been combing Craigslist with little luck. Might be forced to buy a modestly priced new one. We have to go for rides together now. I’m very excited! I’ve already ordered a two bike bike rack for the back of the car. It should arrive in a week or so.

My girlfriend’s a Baltimore Ravens fan. I’m a Pittsburgh Steelers fan, so it makes for some fun rivalry during football season. I’ve been fortunate enough to see the Steelers play live several times, but my girlfriend’s never seen the Ravens live. I knew she’d love to. Well, I discovered they’re playing a preseason game in Atlanta this August, so I got us two tickets. They’re on the 30 yard line, on row 11. Decent seats. Again, she was pretty excited, and this made me happy.

Friday night, we ate some excellent food from Choo Choo BBQ, a sweet little dive here in town. Indulged in an adult beverage. Cuddled. It was nice.

Also, got some good reading in this weekend. I’m reading more Philip K Dick short stories, but also started another sci book which looks somewhat promising. I’m kind of surprised at how quickly I’ve moved from nonfiction back into sci fi, a genre I loved a lot as a younger man years ago. I’m really enjoying it!

Last night was pretty big. After 18 years of listening to my friends bug me about this, I finally went to my first yoga class! I went with my girlfriend, who’s been taking classes for nearly three years. I felt like an idiot, but the teacher was very nice and helpful and made me feel relaxed there, even though I endured some physical pain. LOL! I actually did well enough for my teacher to tell us that I “hit a home run” at the end of class. That was awesome! It was really cheap, and the class is a mixed class — not just for beginners — that meets on Sunday nights, so I suspect we’ll return again. Good times…

Sadly, I did watch my Pittsburgh Penguins lose in the Stanley Cup playoffs, but they had a good year, and with all of the injuries they had this year, I feel like they did well. I am disappointed, though, that they didn’t get further.

The weather has been beautiful, albeit a touch chilly the past few days. Still, our flowers are blooming so beautifully out front. I should post a pic sometime.

Well, I guess that’s all for now. I’m deliberating about posting some more entries from my ancient diaries, but am not sure. Many of them are R rated at best, and I don’t want to embarrass my girlfriend by posting sordid tales of my past back in the ’80s. Still, there are some interesting entries, so I might — we’ll see….

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