Wednesday, June 30, 2004


In 1712, when the divine Cotton Mather provided the first scientific description of an American mastodon, the huge size of the remains attracted immediate attention on both sides of the Atlantic.

The American Mastodon is looking very much forward to the approaching long weekend, though he is still unsure exactly how he will be spending it. Today at lunch he attempted to convince a friend that a fortnight trip to a well-known National Park would be a fun and enjoyable sojourn. Any time the Mastodon can get out of the city and back to the open pastures of his natural habitat, he is a happy Mammut. Still, the American Mastodon is concerned that it may not be the best idea to spend the weekend in a National Park, as it will inevitably be filled to the gills with other day-hikers and pleasure-seekers. If he had his way, which he does not, the American Mastodon would shut the park down and forage for days, gorging himself on the numerous and plentiful indigenous grasses, fruits, and, of course, delicious tubers that the park has to offer.

Scientists have often commented on the American Mastodon's insatiable appetite for tubers.

The American Mastodon, while still pursuing the above-mentioned option, will more likely than not just sit at home and watch a movie, or see a rock-n-roll show, or hang out with friends, all the while funneling warm PBR down his USA-loving snout.

Yet in a culture in which extinction was not thought possible and scriptural precepts governed scientific analysis, mastodons defied analysis.


Have you wondered whether the American Mastodon prefers to secure his "junk" through the use of boxers, briefs, or the ever-lovely boxer-briefs? Sure you have.

The American Mastodon, a large animal with appropriately large appendages, enjoys the feeling of security he gets from wearing the proverbial tighty-whities. "The Whites", as Walter would say. However, the Mastodon understands that in the presence of ladies, or friends unfortunate enough to be present during those moments when, in a whim, the Mastodon decides he'd be more comfortable if he just dropped trow, the sight of a Mastodon in his whites can be an odd, if not altogether uncomfortable sight. Therefore, for the pleasure of others, the American Mastodon prefers wearing the boxer-briefs. They combine the security of briefs with the visual and aesthetic appeal of the shorts worn by Olympic track participants. Indeed, when the Mastodon wears his boxer-briefs, he does feel a bit lighter on his feet.

Never, however, under any circumstances, will the Mastodon wear your run-of-the mill, plain-jane, throw-me-another Coors, straight-up boxer shorts. The Mastodon's man-piece gets stuck in all variety of holes and pockets, and half his day is spent with his snout in his pants rooting out his mischievous member. This is not a pleasant sight for the Mastodon's coworkers, nor is it all that particularly fun for the Mastodon, as he is required to spend hours of his day hunched over at his desk, acting like he dropped his pen again, all in an effort to hide the errant paths his Mastadong is taking.

For these reasons, and many others, the American Mastodon officially endorses boxer-briefs as his preferred lower-body under-garment. Also, he likes it when girls where guys' tighty-whites.

He's just saying.


MASTODON are an explosive, unbridled force. Possessing an uncanny song-writing sense, fearless innovation, unparalleled technical ability and a bottomless pool of raw talent and creativity, MASTODON are inarguably one of the most exciting new bands to form in the last 10 years.

The American Mastodon, while standing in line this morning waiting for his grilled turkey, egg, and cheese bagel sandwich, was lucky enough to catch a few glimpses of Debra Beasley Lafave on CNN's famed Headline News program. Now there, the American Mastodon thought to himself, is a hot little number. Little did he know that the looker in the pink top was recently apprehended on charges of "lewd and lascivious battery and exhibition".

Immediately upon seeing the lovely Ms. Lafave being escorted away, handcuffed, by our nation's fine police officers, the American Mastodon lamented the passing of one of America's greatest institutions - that of the mentor/mentee relationship. How else could one explain why the supple, beautiful love between this smoking 23-year old foxx and her 14-year old student could be viewed as anything other than life-affirming? Simply put, the labeling of this act as "criminal" is just another example of the loosening of the moral fabric in our country. If Ms. Lafave has committed any crime, it's the crime of loving somebody too much / and it's then when you know it's their heart you can't touch.

In the spring of 2001, MASTODON once again blazed through the Eastern U.S. with EYEHATEGOD, KEELHAUL and BURNT BY THE SUN. MASTODON blew the doors off every venue along the tour, leaving a whole new contingent of music fans awestruck and hungry for more.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004


Route 66, the “Main Street of America,” was commissioned November 11, 1926. Originally a graveled state road, 66 follows an ancient ridge that was trod by migrating mastodon.

The American Mastodon, after a couple of enjoyable and break-neck paced weeks, is back to his old grind. This more laid-back lifestyle leaves room in his life for all varieties of obsessions and interests to be engaged and then, as is most often the case, quickly abandoned. Tomorrow evening the American Mastodon will be attending his first class in the study of Landscape Architecture, and hopes that it will be not just enjoyable and informative, but indeed something more - affirmative.

You may think that this is a bit too much for the Mastodon to ask of a silly continuing-education class. But those among you who choose to say "nay" are clearly not ones imagining spending your lives toiling in the soil, under a hot sun, or behind a drafting table conjuring all forms and designs of reconstructive landscapes. In addition to the pure pleasure of the profession, new studies by the Bureau of Labor show that landscape architects have now surpassed, on average, the yearly salary of architects. The only worry the American Mastodon has is whether or not this class is going to be too awesome.

The American Mastodon swings his trunk down and then back, slapping it against his chest twice before pointing it high and straight, into the sky, giving thanks to the Lord.

The romance of the road can still be felt and seen in preserved sections of this internationally famous highway in Pulaski County. At mile 23.9, one can look to the right and see Idumea Church and behind, a small graveyard.

Monday, June 28, 2004


The American Mastodon does not doubt that some readers of these pages may be confused as to the exact physical and mental attributes of its narrator. It is possible they wonder if the American Mastodon really is the last remaining specie of his kind, or if (and to scientists this latter theory seems a more likely hypothesis) he is actually a human being, and the persona he adopts is nothing but a clever and amusing facade; a well-orchestrated ruse.

Lately, however, scientists have begun questioning their previously held assumptions in lieu of recent news reports suggesting that the division between the ancestral and evolved lineages of the living orders may be a bit fuzzier than previously thought.

Either way, the American Mastodon wishes you to know that he is not that different from you. Scientists speculate that even if he is of the genus Mammut, he may still have been born from the womb of a human mother.

Sunday, June 27, 2004


Although people may have contributed to mastodon extinction, which occurred about 9000 years ago, rapidly changing climate seems to have been a more significant factor.

The American Mastodon finally had enough time by himself today to stop and reflect on the latest happenings in his life. Or rather, unfortunately for the Mastodon, he had enough time. He remembers a song he heard once by the musician Gram Parsons, whose chorus was, "100 years from this day, will people still feel this way, and still say the things they're saying right now". That song has always put the Mastodon in a blue mood. It has also made the Mastodon, on a number of occassions, pause and consider the heft of those words. Knowing all too well the damage that can be wreaked by unwise decisions, and the unceasing passage of time, the Mastodon wishes he could pause time for a few moments and do a few things that need doing. Excluding the obvious mission of salvaging excavation sites where some of the more perfectly preserved Mastodon remains are being unearthed, the American Mastodon would see if he couldn't make sure things were very clean. He doesn't like things that are messy, and would get his house in a perfect order. Then, he would try and make sure that the other foragers he associates with are on the same page. This would invariably involve very long conversations that, with time un-stopped, seem impossible of ever occuring.

Indeed, the American Mastodon is still coming to grips with this idea of "life". Scientists who study the mammal note that unlike other browsing animals adapted to forests, Mastodons tend to ask "why" more often than other animals, even though their life is an easy one, travelling in packs and browsing on plants. The American Mastodon wonders why this is.

One of the most remarkable specimens, the Hillsborough Mastodon, had nearly perfectly preserved patches of its hide covering a small section of its right thigh, and was found in 1936 by workers repairing a dam on the property of Captain Conrad Osman at Hillsborough, New Brunswick.

Friday, June 25, 2004


In 1977, a bone projectile point was found embedded in a mastodon rib near Sequim, Washington.

To scientists, it appears as if the American Mastodon has finally gone searching for his totem. As of late he has not been sleeping, has not been eating, and, as is his custom, has been consuming copious amounts of the Mexican cactus's beautiful blooms. And though he has been ruthlessly hunted by paleo-Indian tribes for eons, the Mastodon still appreciates and respects the cultures of aboriginal peoples the world over. This respect includes a particularly fond fascination with the ritualistic use of the peyote plant in some Native American tribes, and the participants' subsequent search for a spirit animal. The American Mastodon laments the passing of this tradition, and feels as though were this still a popular rite of passage, he could perhaps be a totem to a soul-searching young Redskin now.

And though he wishes sometimes that things are as they were, millenia ago, he also realizes that time is flowing like a river, to the sea. Truthfully, the American Mastodon realizes that he does not need to appear in the form of an apparition to a young Indian to be of some good in this world. Rather, he hopes that his significant monetary donations to various Children's Hospitals, his relentless pursuits in the laboratory to discover a cure for the HIV virus, and his commitment to ridding the world of adult illiteracy will suffice in the eyes of his fellow Mega Fauna, principally the giant beavers (Castoroides), giant moose (Cervalces), and American scimitar cats (Homotherium serum) he has come to call his "friends".

The American Mastodon realizes he's a bit loopy today. He's swimming in the ether, and isn't sure if that bone projectile point in his side is real, or if it's from all that peyote.

Evidently people living in a shrub-tundra landscape had killed and butchered the animal near a pond about 12,000 years ago.

Thursday, June 24, 2004


American mastodons had coats of fine underwool, overlain by coarser guard hairs ranging from amber to dark brown.

Today the American Mastodon awoke and, after pausing for a few wobbly moments, failed to be able to decipher if he was still drunk from the previous night's ruckus or whether he was suffering from a hangover. Upon glancing in the mirror, the Mastodon realized that the answer to this quandary was not nearly as important as getting the red out and the glass off of his eyes and, if possible, struggling through the morning storm in an effort to find some way to appear respectable enough to go to work. Also, to stop being so goddamned verbose.

The American Mastodon does not regret his earlier transgressions, but does regret that he's such a pansy. He wonders whether this condition has anything to do with his smallish frame, an affliction he has previously mentioned in the pages of these field notes. Scientists believe that perhaps Mastodons feel ill whenever they are consuming anything not of their natural diet of water, grasses, and tubers.

When both mastodon tusks are preserved, scientists find that one is usually shorter, indicating preferential use (the way people are right-or left-handed).

Wednesday, June 23, 2004


In 1739, an expedition from Montreal under the leadership of Charles Le Moyne, Baron de Longueuil, found bones and teeth on a journey down the Ohio River toward the Mississippi.

The American Mastodon awoke this morning and noticed, alarmingly, that he has lost a significant amount of weight in the past couple of weeks. Though scientists have, in the past, attributed such occurrences to seasonal changes or shifts in local food production, the Mastodon believes that he may just be, well, sort of worried as of late.

This is not something the Mastodon needs. Compared to other young males of his species, the American Mastodon has always been on the thin side of things. As a student at Mega Fauna High he even attempted to consume amino-acid and protein-rich weight-gain shakes on a daily basis in hopes of "beefing up" and, thus, scoring a few extra points with the Lady Mastodons that had caught his eye. This disciplined regimen lasted all of two days, as the Mastodon found he could not stomach the chalky texture and putrid odor of the shakes and even, on one occasion, regurgitating their contents into the nearest sink.

A wise creature, the Mastodon knew he had a better chance at gaining weight by keeping his food down.

Perhaps someday the Mastodon will get his winter coat. Until then, he'll have to continue wooing the ladies with his flexible yet sturdy snout and his piercing, soulful Proboscoid eyes.

Mastodon tusks show annual growth rings produced in part by seasonal variation in growth rate.

Monday, June 21, 2004


Compared to modern elephants, mastodons were squat and long in the body. Often vestigial tusks were present in their lower jaws.

This weekend the American Mastodon will be lending his talents to and participating in a local film festival. Apparently, films are to made in 48 hours and then screened for all participants to see.

The American Mastodon, a free-roaming mammal, is excited for the opportunity and hopes that the judges will enjoy his team's film. Preferably, the American Mastodon would like to convince his teammates to create a documentary on expanding human building developments and their effects on the natural habitat, and the continual depletion of endangered species due to poaching and lax hunting restrictions. Although it is a peaceful creature, the Mastodon is able to hold quite a grudge. He does appreciate going extint at the hands of pre-historic man.

However, if his team chooses instead to craft a heartwarming romantic comedy, ironic mockumentary, or action-packed buddy pic, the American Mastodon will happily dive in tusks first. With his large size and agile snout, he is a tremendous microphone boom operator.

Shoulder height varied from about 2 m to 2.6 m. Hair was coarse and reddish brown.

Friday, June 18, 2004


Mastodons became extinct approximately 10,000 years ago. Today, paleontologists are trying to figure out why.

The American Mastodon would be lying if he said he hasn't been enjoying himself lately. "Life's a pretty sweet fruit," he has said. This is something the Mastodon would know, as his diet consists largely of grasses and other easily digestible vegetation, not excluding some of the smaller fruits.

Today the American Mastodon listened to some old albums and lamented the passing of the great music that came out of the early nineties. In particular, albums like The Breeders' Pod and Luna's first couple of albums. Then the Mastodon wondered whether or not the music "scene" of today was better than then. He supposes it is all just about the same, always. This is how the Mastodon finds his balance.

Would you believe that the Mastodon is going to go exercise his vocal chords at a karaoke bar this evening? Typically, relatives of the proboscid family have a distinctly deep, imperceptible singing voice, but luckily, the American Mastodon possesses a voice sweeter than molasses. He is hoping that all variety of Neil Diamond songs will be available for reciting, as he is particulary fond of America's greatest songwriter.

I am...I said, said the American Mastodon.

The teeth of the American Mastodon were like blunt cones. Scientist believe they probably used these teeth to browse on herbs, shrubs, and trees.

Thursday, June 17, 2004


The American Mastodon was a large elephant that roamed the open spruce woodlands, usually in low-lying areas such as valleys and swamps. Being covered with a shaggy hair coat, it was well adapted to the cold environment of the Ice Age.

It is known that the American Mastodon preferred the moderate climes and lush vegetation of the American Middle West. Therefore it is a bit surprising that the American Mastodon finds himself in, of all places, Los Angeles, California. Not unexpectantly, he has been lamenting the open pastures and rolling meadows of his homeland, and today waxed nostalgiac over the time spent in his previous stomping ground, Chicago. The Mastodon had good friends in Chicago and enjoyed his stay there, but felt the need to forage and wander. He has, perhaps, travelled too far west.

What is interesting is that the Mastodon has found that although he is in a foreign land, surrounded by unrecognizable vegetation and canopy, he occassionally finds himself in moods of supreme optimism and contentment. During these moments, the Mastodon is lucky enough to forget his worries and is able to enjoy his time on this earth as a member of the living, thinking orders. He is able to comprehend his happiness.

Still, scientists who have studied the creature expect that the Mastodon will someday find his course, as is the nature of most proboscid mammals.

The mastodons, along with the mammoth, are now extinct, possibly due to over hunting by Ice Age man.

Monday, June 14, 2004


Mastodons have had an evolutionary history separate from that of mammoths and elephants for at least 20 million years. Nonetheless, all of these animals resemble one another in overall body form and are placed in the same order of mammals.

Today the American Mastodon had an interesting experience. He travelled to a local educational facility and enrolled in a class relating to the study and implementation of the profession of landscape architecture. The American Mastodon has found this to be a peculiar stage of events, as he has little regard for the architecture, built or natural, in the world at large. Even still, he possesses an attitude of upmost optimism and curiosity in the subject, and intends on enjoying his three month sojourn into the world of hydrologic slope sustainability and pretty gardens.

Also during this day, the American Mastodon paused and thought about whether he was, generally or not, a lucky person. He found his attitude to be in favor of saying "no" but then imagined living in any other way, at any other time, in all of the shit places that one could live, in all of the shit societies and governments, and thought that perhaps a majority would have voted "yes". Experts are still trying to determine why, originally, the Mastodon felt the urge to say "no."

The American Mastodon, scientists believe, is prone to such self-doubting, and to such sentimentalism. This, they say, is not an unnatural favored emotion in such large-tusked creatures.

About 250 mastodon fossils have been found in southern Michigan, according to dave Thomas, the head of Washtenaw Community College's geology department.

Friday, June 11, 2004


I am embarking on a voyage and do not know the length of this... sojourn. It will be not only a journey of self-discovery and introspection, but a fruitless catalogue of non-events. You will find here nothing but a self-dissection of my perverse lack of will and character. Why do I do this? Because I love you all very much, and know that this is what you want. And because you ask - nay, beg - for it, I kneel and throw my arms forward and my palms upward. This I give, so that you ask no more of me. This - discovery of the elusive and disappointing self - you shall take and eat and from it fortify your own perversions and delinquincies and delight in your childish voyeurism.

This; this - blog.