3.31.2002 "Wanted: Ride to Hartford. Any takers? Call me, Kat."
Of course I called, I love strangers. There's something I really enjoy about strangers. And I think I find some ackward thrill in an ackward silence. I definitely wouldn't have called had it been someone I'd known, I'm not a particularly nice person. I don't know, something really appeals to me about strangers. I've always liked talking to people on planes, I love soaking up the details of the crazies that pool in brightly-lit subway cars.
Because honestly, what did I have to lose? The friendship of a girl I didn't know and have lived perfectly fine without? Save the off chance of a one-sided knife fight, in situations like this, there is only room for gain. Some company for an arduously familiar car ride, the rare possibilty of meeting a worthwhile human being, some gas money I'd blow on a large bag of Skittles. An expendable relationship with an entirely expendable person. If she turned out to be useless, I'd lost nothing but two hours of time that I would have spent alone in some self-critical mindfuck. And if she turned out to be worthwhile? Well then I would be one person closer to my dream of being able to fill a minivan with worthwhile people. That was a joke. I don't drive a minivan.
And while I suppose my offering the ride could be confused with altruism, please don't confuse this action with altruism. Oh, altruism, the Santa Claus of morality that the naive await eagerly with a plate of cookies and a glass of milk. I personally have never believed in the man, the idea that anything is entirely selfless. As with the idea of God, the nonexistence of altruism doesn't present a problem, and belief in either can wholly serve to foster goodness, but more selfish reasons tend to abound for action just as more logical explanations tend to abound for phenomena. And even if she hadn't filled my inner linings with Skittles, like I said, I really enjoy strangers, that admission alone leaves no room for selflessness.
And so, we drove. She asked for gum twice. I made my "what?" face at her for not knowing of Nick Drake. She tapped her left hand to Radiohead, she was motionless for Otis Redding. I told her she had tiny arms and she reacted with offense until I convinced her she should react otherwise. The color of her skin is that of a girl I haven't seen in years and think about frequently. We laughed a lot, it was an entirely worthwile two hours.
This took me a couple hours today, so I thought I might as well post it. It's the second installment of Four Square's newspaper-style advertisement. I'm sorry that almost all of the jokes are Bard-based, but that's my audience. I also apologize for the quality of the graphic, apparently our thirty-six thousand-dollar liberal-arts education doesn't warrant proper scanners. Anyway, enjoy.
One night a man had a dream. He dreamed he was walking along the beach with the Lord, Jesus Christ. Across the sky flashed scenes from his life. For each scene he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand; one belonged to him and the other to the Lord.
When the last scene of his life flashed before him, he looked back at the footprints in the sand. He noticed that many times along the path of his life there was only one set of footprints. He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times of his life. This really bothered him, and he questioned the Lord about it.
"Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you, you'd walk with me all the way. But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life, there is only one set of footprints. I don't underdstand why, when I needed you most, you would leave me." The Lord replied, "My precious, precious child, I love you and I would never leave you. During your times of trial and suffering when you see only one set of footprints it was then that I carried you." "What? No you didn't." The Lord replied, "I was carrying you, my son." "Then why aren't they your hippie sandal-prints? I have bigger feet than you, Jesus, those are clearly my footprints. You left me alone when I needed you." "I have always been with you, my son." "Jesus, I called out to you over and over. What, you couldn't hear me because you were too busy lugging me around? And I think I would have noticed you carrying me. Jesus, I cried out for you." The Lord stared in silence. "Jesus, talk to me." The man sat in silence for what seemed like forever. Tears formed in his eyes, he could barely speak above a whisper, "Where were you, Jesus? Were you with her? Answer me." The Lord responded, "Let me explain. She said she--" "No! NO! You said that was over! "My precious, please, stop. It was nothing like that. Please, let me explain." "No, I can't do this again, you said that was over." "But--" The man cut him off, tears falling from his shaking face, "No. Jesus, I can't keep doing this. Not anymore. I'm not letting you hurt me, not again. This is goodbye, Jesus. Please don't call me."
The man walked off alone, leaving behind him a single set of footprints in the sand.
Right. So in a little blog-wandering, I ended up at the blog of Wil Wheaton, the guy who played the kid on Star Trek: The Next Generation. That was a show that was always on when I was channel flipping as a kid, especially on late Sunday afternoons, when there was absolutely nothing on. I always hated seeing that it was on, because it was always a sure sign that there would be nothing on TV that I would want to watch, even a little. Anyway, his site is ridiculous. I'm not sure I recommend, in fact I don't, but it's ridiculous, if you're into that sort of thing.
I've been looking for Adam Conover for days now, but he doesn't seem to be anywhere to be found. I've looked everywhere. My relationship with him has become a dull, one-sided Easter morning. I called him three times today to see if he wanted to join Keelin and I for various meals, but Mr. Popular doesn't answer the phone anymore.
I feel like a jerk. We stopped by his room to make sure his european cigarettes hadn't finally done him in, but despite the smell of rotting flesh that consumes his room, the man was out and about somewhere, presumably alive. So what did I do? Leave him a note? Just a short message to say that Keelin and I were sad that we'd missed him? No, instead I pulled the old "take a photo of your computer desktop, set it as the background, and remove all the folders" bit, (for the less geeky in the audience, that means that it will look like all of Adam's folders are right where he left them, but clicking on them will do nothing except upset his ulcers) which will be both be a confusing and disappointing surprise for him when he gets home. But I left him a kiwi-strawberry Snapple, so I think we're even.
I remember the first day of freshman year -- the day that I met Adam Conover, the first roommate I'd ever have. His mom pulled me aside into the hallway and stoically warned me, "Don't get him wet. Keep him out of sunlight. And, no matter how much he cries, no matter how much they begs...never, NEVER feed him after midnight." And I never did. If you haven't already, check out his site, tweebiscuit.net, he's a good guy. And as far as I know, he's alive and well.
Give us a call, Adam, we get lonely over here in South Hall.
The girl at the computer next to me has a lock or her own curled hair locked in her front teeth, she tugs at it with her left hand while she scrolls through her e-mails with her right. She revised and twice restarted a three-line letter to her boyfriend. Her careful wording and rewording of the three seemingly thoughtless statements made me reconsider every letter I've ever received. She pretended not to notice me reading it off her screen, just as I pretended not to notice her peripheral interest in my search on origami. An armadillo can be made in thirty-nine steps. Before leaving, she gave up on her delicate prose and sent the damn thing, which he will no doubt read and delete in less time than it took her to perfect the identation of "I love you."
The girl diagonally to my right must have been hit by a train. Because she's a usual at the library, and I'm an expert on the usuals, I am without a doubt qualified to say that this girl looks like shit. She's usually quite pretty, but her face has lost its usual warm appeal, the skin under her chin hanging lifelessly, rising to her jaw only when she yawns, which is unusually often. Either this girl is under a lot of stress, or she's become a junkie, filling the now-dusty slot in my mind carved by a junkie who frequented the library last year and has since graduated or found a more appealing outlet for thirty-six thousand dollars a year.
I guess I don't like that we all pretend that we're alone. I know why the girl next to me presses the palms of her hands against her eyes. I know why the girl diagonally across from me is about to break into tears. But we have rules. We've been given rules. We've been afforded a sense of individuality and denied any remote sense of connection. But we're not alone, we don't really have these boundaries we've built between us. It confuses me, saddens me. Because the girl at my diagonal is going to cry in a minute, and because it would be strange of me to stop her.
Cast a vote and I'll upload the winner tonight. Radiohead - Fake Plastic Trees - This song would go on the album of my life. It's just one of those fundamentally great songs that never my circulation. "And if I could be who you wanted..." Portishead - Only You (Live at Roseland NYC) - This is probably the sexiest song in my music collection of 4000 songs. I love this song. Features great scratching and mixing by DJ Andy Smith. I'm not going to say anything else about this song, I'm trying to keep this objective. Sparklehorse - It's A Wonderful Life - A new edition to my music collection, a recommendation from Adam that I've really liked. Quiet, surreal, great to go to bed to. "I'm full of bees who died at sea." Looper - Mondo '77 - An upbeat, electronic song that I love having in my ears while I walk around. It instills my normally dull actions with a false sense of intent and purpose, which is nice. Bill Frisell - Over the Rainbow - Probably the saddest song in the mix, this cover of the classic song is instrumental, soft, and incredible beautiful. Choose this if you're depressed, it's like salad dressing for most breeds of depression. Especially if you're a wallower like myself. I bet you are. Nirvana - Jesus Don't Want Me For a Sunbeam - This song and I go way back, back to when things were simple and I still paid for music. Unplugged, great instrumentation, perfect. One of my favorite Nirvana songs off my favorite Nirvana album. "Don't expect me to cry for all the reasons you have to die." Mazzy Star - Roseblood - I love Mazzy Star, so when I discovered this eerily gorgeous song, I naturally listened to it on repeat for god-knows how long. Check back on my old lists of repeated songs, it's there. Not like most other Mazzy Star music, but nonetheless incredibly beautiful. Beta Band - Won - A hip-hop rendition on "One (is the lonliest number)." It's a great mixture of quality hip-hop and the classic Beta Band sound. And while I doubt you'll vote for it, it's a definite must have.
Vote! And I'll upload the winner later tonight. Damn it feels good to upload music.
*** UPDATE *** - I've said it before, I'll say it again, democracy just doesn't work. 78 people visited since I posted this poll, and only two people voted. So, tossing democracy aside, here's Looper - Mondo '77. I spoil you people, I can't believe the depth of your lethargy. Enjoy.
For Keelin, who can't hear my thought process, but who can hear the alarm repeatedly going off:
8:00 I do the most math before I sit up in bed in the morning. "If I slept another half hour, I could still shower and make it to the library by 9:30, study for two-and-a-half hours, grab lunch, meet with the chemistry professor, and still be at work by 2:00." Resets alarm clock.
8:30 "Alright, if I don't eat lunch, that's another half hour, I'll still be at work by 2:00." Resets alarm clock.
9:00 "Ten minutes doesn't count for anything. I could cut ten minutes off of my doddling at the library and still get everything done." Resets alarm clock.
9:10 MEEP MEEP MEEP MEEP MEEP MEEP. "FUCK! If I just quit this job I could get so much more done! It's not even like they pay me that much!" Annoying internal voice of reason: "No, you can't do that, you need the money." "FUCK!" "Get up, Ben. Get UP!"
9:18 Alright, I could write post something in ten minutes, take a quick shower, be at the library in half an hour, study 'til 1:00, meet with chem, and still be at work by two...."
3.18.2002 I've moved! Man, is it great to escape from the grasp of evil fascist Adam Conover. I have a lot of plans, all of which will be executed after the next two weeks of pure hell have passed and gone. But I have a real site now! This is going to be fun.
Anyway, I unfortunately do have "real" work to do, so I can't play around anymore tonight. But as a gift for you for having to update your bookmarks, I offer you a great song. I love that I can post songs, look forward to more of that in the future. (You may have to right-click on the link to download).
Connected conversations from a concert pit 1. If I had to choose a super power, and not a really exaggerated one, like the ability to stop time (cough cough adam cough), I think I'd want to be able to control peoples' dreams. Just think of the possibilities. You fuck with Ben? You're going to wake up every hour on the hour after being brutally stabbed in your sleep. Your tired waking life will be consumed by fear of falling asleep. And when you can stay awake no longer? Guess who's waiting for you? That's right, my henchman and his knife (I don't have to do the dirty work myself, it's my super power). That would be awful. And sometimes I'd make you think that you were having a really good dream, and then I'd show up at whatever love-in you've devised, and of course I'd bring my henchman. But that power doesn't have to be all knives and henchmen. You could show up in the sleeping thoughts of that girl in your poetry class, suggesting politely, "You know what? I really think you should date me. I really think we should go out to dinner or something." After eight hours of subconscious persuasion, she'd definitely wake up in the morning and go, "I really should go out to dinner with that creepy guy from poetry." In retrospect, I guess I really only can use this power for evil. We can't all be super heroes, though, somebody needs to be a villain. And when all you super heroes go to sleep? Guess who's waiting for you. Superman sleeps. Batman sleeps. Goodnight Batman, sleep tight..
2. On a less super power note, and more a "Wow, wouldn't it be great if that were one of my appendages" note, I think life would be a lot easier if you had an iron fist. Blockbuster video: "Alright sir, your late fee comes to $4.84 Iron-fist Ben: (Slams fist down on worn blue counter) "I don't think so." And that'd be it. People would always cut you a lot more respect, because you're the guy with the iron fist. I don't think I'd ever really actually need to hit anyone with it or anything like that, it's just a perpetual threat. Like the Incredible Hulk, just less angry. Actually, that guy hit everyone, my idea isn't like him at all. But, again, if you had an iron fist, your employment options are extremely limited. Organized crime, third-world politics, walnut factory. Take Doctor Claw. There were very few things that guy could do with those hands, I'm willing to bet that most retail stores just tore up his application. So can you blame him for being driven to crime? That's the sad reality of our supposed equal-opportunity employment system.
3. We never saw anything of Doctor Claw but his one hand. So when I was a kid, and strongly devoted to the nightly Nickelodeon cartoon, I would suspect everyone. The man at the super market with his hands in his pockets, I would debate a quiet maneuver that would put me behind him, where I would be able to end crime with a heavy can of broth to the head of a stranger. But thankfully, I wasn't that tall, and so myself could never reach the evil scalp of that evil villain, securing the safety of all sorts of men with cold hands and pockets. He's still out there though, and I'm still looking. And I'm much taller now.
I finally got my own site! Among other things, that means that you'll now be able to find me at asleepfromday.net. The format of the page will stay the same, at least until I have some time on my hands, but I'll be able to upload a lot more in terms of pictures and even music. The name asleepfromday was taken from a Mazzy Star/Chemical Brothers song, mostly because I like the feel of the words, and also because it fits into the theme of one of my favorite concepts (see quotes below).
I'll also be hosting a few different people, talk to me if you're interested.
Adam Conover: Oh...this makes me kinda sad. Me: Oh, come on. I moved out of my house, but my parents still consider me their son. Adam Conover: I guess, but it's not the same.
Here's me, on my first day in the real world of internet real-estate. The woman on the left? She's my web server. I had to pay her a twenty-five dollar activation fee. Bitch.
"When I consider these matters carefully, I realize so clearly that there are no conclusive indications by which waking life can be distinguished from sleep that I am quite astonished, and my bewilderment is such that it is almost able to convince me that I am sleeping." Descartes
"Modern man likes to pretend that his thinking is wide-awake. But that wide-awake thinking has led us into the mazes of a nightmare in which the torture chambers are endlessly repeated in the mirrors of reason. When we emerge, perhaps we will realize that we have been dreaming with our eyes wide open, and that the dreams of reason are intolerable. And then, perhaps, we will begin to dream again with our eyes closed." Octavio Paz
"When no pain, no specific satisfaction or dissatisfaction is "existed" by consciousness, the for-itself does not thereby cease to project itself beyond a contingency which is pure and so to speak unqualified. Consciousness does not cease "to have" a body. Cenesthetic affectivity is, then, a pure, nonpositional apprehension of a contingency without color, a pure apprehension of the self as a factual existence. This perpetual apprehension on the part of my for-itself of an insipid taste which I cannot place, which accompanies me even in my efforts to what we have described elsewhere under the name of Nausea. A dull and inescapable nausea reveals my body to my consciousness." Jean-Paul Sartre
"Where is your authentic body? You are the only one who can never see yourself except as an image; you never use your eyes unless they are dulled by the gaze they rest upon in the mirror or the lens (I am interested in seeing my eyes only when they look at you): even and especially for your own body, you are condemned to the repertoire of its images." Barthes
"How often have I dreamt that I was in these familiar circumstances, that I was dressed, and occupied this place by the fire, when I was lying undressed in bed? At the present moment, however, I certainly look upon this paper with eyes wide awake; the head which I now move is not asleep; I extend this hand consciously and with express purpose, and I perceive it; the occurrences in sleep are not so distinct as all this. But I cannot forget that, at other times I have been deceived in sleep by similar illusions; and, attentively considering those cases, I perceive so clearly that there exist no certain marks by which the state of waking can ever be distinguished from sleep, that I feel greatly astonished; and in amazement I almost persuade myself that I am now dreaming." Descartes
I posted some new four square merchandise today, I thought maybe designing a tote bag would significantly cut down my work load. Well, surprisingly, it didn't work. But on the upside, now you can get your own official "Fuck Vassar" four square jersey. I'm definitely going to get one. It will make getting kicked out of Vassar a much more swift venture.
My friends and I were actually kicked out of Vassar once for trying to play ping-pong, it was thoroughly disappointing. We spent an hour wandering around the campus looking for a ping-pong table, stopping only to mingle with the real students. Whenever we're in the presense of Vassar kids, at least at Vassar, we like to throw around sly and cunning statements to maintain our cover, such as "I think my favorite part of being a Vassar student is..." and "Man, I really love that I am an official student of Vassar College." And when we finally found a ping-pong table, ironically in the basement of comment-jerk Lauren's dorm, it turned out that we needed authenic Vassar ID's (not just the promise that we were real, authentic Vassar students) to get the paddles. Thinking on our tired feet, we approached one of the mindless basment television junkies binging on the couch, and offered him our various driver's licenses as collateral in exchange for the invaluable paddles. "Sure man, no problem, I'll be right back." But instead of bringing us the paddles, like we had quite clearly worked out in the aforementioned deal, he must have misunderstood, and instead brought a grown man with an unnecessary attitude who had us escorted off of the Vassar campus. How fucking ridiculous is that? There needs to be a jersey for an occasion like that. And now there is.
3.13.2002 I've learned more from Google in the past two days than I have in the past two days of classes: 1. Mr. Belvedere is dead?! What? WHAT?! Sure, everyone cries when Dave Thomas dies, blah blah blah, tragedy this, sandwich that. But no one tells me when Mr. Fucking Belvedere dies? He apparently died last August. I was around last August. I can't believe no one told me. When I was five, my parents took away my dog because it was getting old, and "gave it to a nice old lady," which I figured out ten years later meant that they had "cooked its meat and fed it to me without my knowledge." But this, this is much more sad. 2. Webster got fat. He's also now making Denny's commercials, which some might consider more of an affront to his former celebrity status. But not me. No, I arbitrarily discriminate against fat people. And now Webster's on my list. In his defense though, his gorging himself may have been a fear-driven, self-defense response to other people trying to consume the tiny child star. Well, don't worry, little buddy, nobody's consuming you now. Not in one sitting, anyway. 3. You cannot overdose on Vitamic C. So I got these "Halls Vitamin C Supplement Drops" that advertise that they're "100% Daily Value of Vitamin C in each drop." But they're sogood! So naturally I had to finish off the bag the day I got them. 3000% of my daily value of Vitamic C. I'm working on the second bag. And while I'd hoped for some sort of citrus-related super power, according to Google, all I have to look forward to is nausea and diarrhea. Which are, I might add, the worst super powers ever. But then again, if we were going to have a "Really, Really Doesn't Have Scurvy Contest," I'd so win.
Today's theme seems to be "Things that shouldn't be eaten." I'm looking at you, Denny's.
I had to wake up at eight knowing that I would not even have the option of lying down again until 11:00 tonight, and that's assuming I don't fall prey to my usual bouts of doddling at night.
Why Mondays Will Make Me Become A Creative Writing Major 8:30 - 9:50 - Introduction to Neuroscience - A class composed almost entirely of bits of other classes I've already taken, a couple of which were with the same professor and many of the same overheads. And it's really early in the morning. And it gets out 40 minutes before my next class starts, which is just enough time to not enjoy myself between classes. I want to relax, take a little nap maybe, but I carefully designed this break in my schedule to provide for minimum possible enjoyment of my daily routine. I hate whatever side of me is in charge of registration, and apparently he hates me. 10:30 - 12:30 - Inorganic Chemistry - Another class I don't want to take, but must to fulfill my pre-med requirements. The annoying part is that it's not an easy subject for me, it's not something that comes obviously to me, but I don't really have the appropriate drive to do well. But I need to do well, pre-meds can hardly afford to get B+'s. So I have to work a good deal on a difficult subject that I not only do not particularly understand, but don't enjoy, even a little. After this class, I have the same oh-so-close-to-being-just-long-enough-to-enjoy-myself-even-a-little break before chem lab starts, and usually I'm stuck using this time bent over a pre-lab anyway. 1:30 - 4:00 - Inorganic Chem Lab - Chem lab starts with my teacher telling me how/that I did my pre-lab incorrectly. This is followed by three hours of caustic boiling solutions scalding the soft spots of my cheeks and me pouring acid on my hands. Cartoons have portrayed acids all wrong, but they're right about them not being enjoyable. Itchyness, redness, burning. Irritation. I find a lot of things irritating these days. And I don't think I really appreciate the labs to the extent that I could, I think too often I consider the procedure not as "the synthesis of 2,4-younameit-dimethyl butene," but as a laundry list of things I have to do before I can go home and almost enjoy another just-almost-long-enough break before another class. You can see why creative writing has its appeal. 4:30 - 5:30 - Independent Research in Neuroscience - We expose zebrafish, who supposedly serve as very good neural models for research, to all sorts of horrible things. Psycho-twisting chemicals of various levels of toxicity, embryos doused in critical levels of alcohol, maybe a little sensory deprivation from my side of the table. The way I figure it, at least these fish don't know what to expect. And I envy them for that, because largely, I've already played out every second of this entire day in my mind, and there are no peaks. Or, rather, Monday peaks in the mediocre enjoyment of unstimulated daydreaming. "Ben, do you have anything to tell the group about your research? Any progress?" "Well, I'm trying to teach the fish to respond to German commands. My hypothesis is that fish hate the German language, and I think I'm getting some pretty solid empirical evidence." The Rest of the Night (or, for the fish in the audience, "Das Resten Nacht") - The rest of the night will be spent in the library, bent over open photo books and laboratory notes, scrambing for hours to put together a complicated lab report so that I can crawl into bed and die for the night. Mondays are the worst. The library is empty, it's always me and the usuals, so I already know at one in the afternoon who's going to be there. I guess the downfall of my schedule is the predictability. It's disgusting, and I really have to start throwing myself curveballs to mix things up.
And as much as I'd like to write more, it's time for lab. This will be fun, whenever you have a free moment in your fun and exotic day of restful enjoyment, stop to take a second to think about where I am at that same moment. There, now don't you feel a little bit better?
I was never cool in school I'm sure you don't remember me And now it's been 10 years I'm still wondering who to be But I'd love to mix In circles, cliques, and social coteries - that's me Hand me my nose ring (Can we be happy?) Show me the mosh pit (Can we be happy?) We can be happy underground
Who's got the looks? who's got the brains? Who's got everything? I got this pain in my heart, that's all Hey you with the long and lonely face There's got to be something else Let me tell ya something else There was this girl who passed me by She gave a smile but I was shy I looked down, so down Don't look there no no, go go underground But now there's a place to go It's the morning, it's the evening It's everything I click my heels and I'm there
Underground, underground Everything's happy underground You been kicked around? Did life bring you down here? Everything's heavy underground
We'll be decked in all black and Slamming the pit fantastic Officer Friendly's little boy's got a mohawk He knows just where we're coming from It's industrial, work it underground Get down, get down, get down
Underground, underground Everything's happy underground You been kicked around? Did life bring you down here? Everything's heavy underground
- Ben Folds Five - Underground - a strange song that I think I've always misunderstood as being happy. Give it a try, listening to it while actually considering the lyrics is bizarre.
3.9.2002 Lists are for the indecisive and incomplete 1. We drove for an hour last night in a direction we'd never explored, arguing the fine points of philosophy and scavenging the rural roadside for interesting cuisine. Around 8:45, Keelin declared that she was getting seriously hungry, so I abandoned my Magellan-like sense of conquest and pulled over into the parking lot of a convenient store in a rural piece of nothing. I forget the name of the town, Greenstown, Greensville -- but it was nothing more than a patch of forest surrounding a convenience store, so it's not like I'd send you there. When I went into the store, which at this point I will reduce to a mart, there were only two women inside, one a teen-age product of a rural childhood, the other a thin, older woman buying three different types of Marlboro cigarettes and an assortment of juice boxes. "Excuse me, ladies, would either of you happen to know where I could find a nice restaurant around here?" They both laughed, the thinner one actually laughing for a period of nearly twenty seconds, folding in half at the waist and bending forward to prove how serious she was. The heavy teen answered me as the thin woman walked out laughing to herself, "You're not from around here, are you?" "Well, not really, no." "Well there ain't nothin' like that 'round here. Yer in the wrong area. You said you was lookin' for good food?" She clearly knew what I'd asked for, having just told me I was in the wrong area, but I went along with it,"Yeah." I didn't want to forget this, so here I am writing it down, "If you drive north up nine for two towns, and take a left at the blinking light, that'll put you in Otherhickton. There's a real good Denny's there, that's prolly the best food 'round. Yeah, try the Denny's." She was totally serious. I'd asked her for the nicest place around, and it was a Denny's. We'd driven an hour for a Denny's. There's a Denny's three miles from my college, and we've still never been to it. So we drove back, this trip being more sure, less scenic, and taking only half an hour, and ended up eating dinner two minutes from home. It was a great night. 2. I feel like there's this incredible weight on me right now. It's the feeling of having a thousand different impending obligations. It's terrifying and it's pervading every moment right now and it's keeping me from enjoying the things I love, from fully enjoying anything. Sorry I haven't written so much lately. I don't enjoy stress, I look forward to a career where I can deal with things on a day-to-day basis. I look forward to resting at the end of the day. I look forward to not sitting up violently in bed after dreaming alarm clock after alarm clock. I don't even have anything specific to wake up for, yet my mind won't let me sleep. 3. I'm going to the post office in a few minutes, I supposedly have a package. Gina is one of my favorite people right now, and I still can't reply to her e-mail. My mailbox is piling up with letters I am aching to respond to, but can't. And I really want to. See #2. And it wears me out. I'm sorry, Gina, soon. 4. I told Evil Todd that ravens can count to six. But I can't remember for the life of me whether it's ravens or crows. It's a true fact, at least for one of the two birds. If you shows them a certain number of raven-treats (crows-treats), 1-6, and then show them cards with corresponding numbers of markings, 1-6, they will pick the right one almost every time. Crows or ravens. It must be ravens, their heads are just much bigger. And by that logic, we're not paying elephants nearly enough respect. 5. I'm throwing a bigger party across the street at the Old Gym tonight, and you're all invited. It's a collaboration between two unlikely groups, Four Square and the Ladies Misbehavior Society. I'm really not sure how it's going to end up, but I'll keep you posted. I think our role is to attract the people. Even if we are just being used, I get to play four square on a Saturday night. And you can't beat that.
Did someone actually staple a stuffed raven to a bust of Pallas? Or is this a live raven forced to enforce a tired stereotype? Either way, this is wrong.
I told Keelin I was going to take her out to dinner at a really classy restaurant. You should have seen the look on her face when I told her I was I talking about Wendy's. Complete and total disappointment. I think I'm too poor right now to be a gentleman. I miss money. I miss being able to really go out to dinner. I wasn't always this disappointing.
When I was a child, I would stand in the middle of my family room, having cleared out the knee-heigh coffee tables and rolling ottomans, and I would literally spin in place. I would feel the short synthetic hairs of the carpet beneath my feet heat up with the energy of my rapid turning, I would watch the details of the room melt into a continuous horizontal blur. I would look down at the pale carpet, the only thing in the room I could remotely make out, and I would get lost in the moment. Such a beautiful confusion of senses. And when I could take no more, I would collapse to the floor (and on worser days onto a nearby coffee table), and feel the world continue to spin around me. I miss that feeling, that loss of control, that momentary release from order and reason. I don't think I spin enough these days.
3.6.2002 Alex Hale double-dog dared me, so I had to do it. There was no way out of it, those are the rules. Plus, he said he'd give me two dollars, and I'm sadly too poor right now to turn that offer down.
We pulled up next to him and I rolled down my window: Me: Excuse me, Officer, can I ask you a question? Kingston Police: Shoot. Me: What's the minimum penalty for possession of cocaine? Kingston Police: (Confused look) Uhh...well, there are a lot of different penalities, depending on the amount of cocaine. Me: Right...well, can you give me an example? Kingston Police: Well, a very small amount would be considered a misdemeanor. That might get you a year. More than that might get you five years. Me: Like an ounce? Kingston Police: I don't really remember the different amounts. But you can do life in some cases. Why, do you have some cocaine? Me: You want some? Kingston Police: Do you have some cocaine? Me: No. Kingston Police: Do you have some? Me: Thank you. Kingston Police: Sure.
everybody knows which way you go straight to over no one wants to see you inside of me straight to over I heard the hammer at the lock say you're deaf and dumb and done give yourself another talk this time make it sound like someone the noise is coming out, and if it's not out now, then tomorrow tomorrow they took your life apart and called you failures art they were wrong though they wont know 'til tomorrow I got static in my head the reflected sound of everything tried to go to where it led but it didn't lead to anything the noise is coming out, and if it's not out now, I know it's just about to drown tomorrow out.
My weblog was reviewed by theweblogreview.com, check out the review. It's not a bad review, though I kinda get the feeling that she only read the sidebar and the top few posts before commenting. But then again, I guess I expected her to read back through the entire archives, dissect my personality, and tell me both what is wrong with my life and how I can fix it. Well, she didn't do that, but it's still not a bad review.
Whenever I pass by a mirror, I think my first reaction is always a moment of surprise, followed by the thought, "Oh yeah, I'm that guy. I look like that." I don't really like mirrors, so I pretty much just avoid them. In my mind, I have a generic projected image of myself, so I'm always surprised to see my reflection and note the obvious discrepancies between my internal image and the reality of my appearance. Messy hair. Charcoal on my cheek. A beard. ("I have a beard? Who knew!?") Some days I'll go the entire day without showering or fixing my hair or anything, and then will glance at the mirror as I'm brushing my teeth, and think, "Oh god, have I looked like this all day? I look awful!" Appearance, or at least my own, is just one of those things that's not all that important to me.
Keelin, despite my half-serious negativity, has decided to dye her hair black. It will probably work for her, her hair has been every other color and looked good, but I'm naturally skeptical. But the results of her "should I dye my hair black" poll were six to one, my vote dying under the weight of six of my hallmates, so that will happen any day now. Changing my appearance is not really something that occurs to me. As long as I'm at least generally content with my appearance, I don't change it. It's not something I would ever really bother considering. I wonder if most people are like that. I dyed my hair early last year at the suggestion of my new radical friends, and needless to say, it did not look good. I have pretty dark features, so orangish-blond hair didn't work so well. It wasn't a big deal, it would grow out and I knew that. But each time I would pass the mirror, I would be reminded that I didn't look even a little bit like my mental image of myself, and I would think, "God dammit! What was I thinking?!" It was just easier to forget about the whole thing with a carefully placed lie for myself that kept things status-quo. I don't really like mirrors, so I pretty much just avoid them.
It's strange that I painted this almost four years ago, I remember that night perfectly.
Circles are a natural phenomenon in weblogs, relationships, really any social community. There are too many people and websites and possibilities in this life, so people bite off what they can chew. Adam's (apparent) circle consists of Mally, Jacob, Alice, Summer, and a few others. Summer's site is indierocket.com. Well, in a really peculiar twist of events, someone started indierocket.org, a site dedicated to ripping posts off of the aforementioned people's sites (and even some of my own favorite posts) and claiming authorship. Not only that, but the author is claiming to be Mally, stealing her boyfriend and even her last name. The plagiarist's e-mail address is email@example.com, which is Mally's full name. That's just freaky.
If you're interested, check out the aforementioned sites for much more informative posts on the subject, I'm in a hurry and I'm not even sure why. Alice: "It's the Talented Mr. Ripley Gets a Weblog!"
And if you've been reading my site for a while, check this bullshit out, you'll recognize quite a few things. It's ridiculous, they only change the pronouns. Even my drawings of Janaya! Strange business.
Sartre - The existentialist...thinks it very distressing that God does not exist, because all possibility of finding values in a heaven of ideas disappears along with Him; there can no longer be a priori of God, since there is no infinite and perfect consciousness to think it. Nowhere is it written that the Good exists, that we must be honest, that we must not lie; because the fact is that we are on a plane where there are only men. Dostoyevsky said, If God didn't exist, everything would be possible. That is the very starting point of existentialism. Indeed, everything is permissible if God does not exist, and as a result man is forlorn, because neither within him nor without does he find anything to cling to.
- Existentialism is nothing less than an attempt to draw all the consequences of a coherent atheistic position. It isn't trying to plunge man into despair at all. But if one calls every attitude of unbelief despair, like the Christians, then the word is not being used in its original sense. Existentialism isn't so atheistic that it wears itself out showing that God doesn't exist. Rather, it declares that even if God did exist, that would change nothing. There you've got our point of view. Not that we believe that God exists, but we think that the problem of His existence is not the issue. In this sense, existentialism is optimistic, a doctrine of action, and it is plain dishonesty for Christians to make no distinction between their own despair and ours and then to call us despairing.
- Three o'clock is always too late or too early for anything you want to do.
Sometimes I get suckered into opening the occassional "hey?" or "Hello?" It could be from someone I know, and I'm not sure I could bear the possibility of deleting a personal e-mail, receiving as few as I do. But the audacity of some of these advertisers: "Re: Are you doing anything on Valentine's Day?" or, "Here are those pictures you asked for," or, "Re: Please add me to you calendar." Am I supposed to have forgetten sending a letter to someone with a pornographic e-mail address, asking them to add me to their calendar?
They're not all carefully disguised porn, some of them are debt consolidation. And apparently, I have problems with debt consolidation, warranting my receiving so many e-mails on the subject, some of which appear to be responses to inquiries I don't remember making. "Consolitdate Now!" and "Totally Free Debt Review!" and "Home Loans & Refinancing at Lowest Rates Ever!" I'm not even sure that I really understand what it means to consolidate debt. The foremost of the aforementioned letters promises to have me out of debt in 2-4 years by lowering my monthly payments by up to 40 percent. That's fantastic!
I used to use AOL back in the day, back when chat rooms were still thrilling (age/sex/location?) and AIM was still ICQ. In my fifteenth year I got to the point of electronic connectivity where changing my screen name would have meant sending an e-mail to everyone I knew, and I'm just not that guy. So here I am, in my twenties, sifting through the 127 e-mails Guitar 15m received in the past few weeks. My real e-mail account is stagnant with inactivity, but I think I prefer that to the thriving wealth of debauchery and debt consolidation my adolescent account attracts.
But what if I was the 15 year-old male implied in the name Guitar15m? "Wet and Nasty 3-Day HUMP FEST!" and "Hardcore Amateur Sex!" and "Drunk Teens - Shaved Crotch - FREE Pussy!" Some of this stuff is just vile, and hardly fit for the hordes of children who no doubt must wade through and delete these same e-mails on a daily basis. Children should learn about sex through ambiguous references on "Three's Company" re-reruns, not by watching free hardcore sluts in any sort of hump festival.
"Free Pregnant Sluts! XXX!" Reading through this mailbox just makes me nauseous. 127 new messages, and not a single one actually for me.
I just wrote two different lengthy posts, and deleted both of them. Being sick of myself is not conducive to good introspective writing. I'm sorry if you were looking forward to anything. I'll try again later. I want to write, I really do, I just don't like myself very much right now, and my critical side has veto power.
I'm not doing so hot. Whatever I've caught, it's winning. I feel awful. Sore throat. Some nose issues. Constant, unremitting fever, broken only for moments by bouts of chills. But most interesting is the effect that the illness is having on my capacity for rational thought. Things are much slower, much more difficult. During dinner I participated in a conversation with the people around me entirely in my mind. Except I didn't realized that I wasn't vocalizing my thoughts, so when I awoke from the comfortable daze to find myself staring lifelessly at half of an uneaten hamburger, the reality of the situation was disorienting.
I have a lot to write, but it's pretty difficult right now to condense my thoughts into words. But I saw George Clinton and P-Funk, and I stood in a crowd of five-hundred people chanting "fuck vassar." And now I'm going to lie down.
After waking to find myself ill, I took a cocktail of cold medicines that has (apparently) launched me into an incredible depression. It's really awful. And five of Keelin's friends from home are showing up in 15 minutes. I don't know quite how the night is going to end up, but I'm in a really awful place right now.
George Clinton and P-Funk are playing here on Saturday in a free show, so of course we had to show up early to get tickets. But it turned out that the banner was lying, and that the true purpose of the long line we formed was to sign up to be eligible to stand in the line to get tickets to P-Funk. Everytime someone new came up and asked what the long line was for, I had to explain that we were all waiting in line so that we could have the opportunity to stand in an equally long line tomorrow. "What the fuck, man? Who came up with this bullshit?"
On a good note though, they showed Amelie tonight in the campus center theatre, so we spat on our work and spent the night curled and bent in theatre chairs, craning our necks to watch French people enjoy their lives. It was a great night, I'm not even going to think of the work I've left myself for the morning. No, I think this is a good note to go to bed on.