Thursday, July 31, 2008
You may not know this about me, but I'm a little obsessive.
Like, bite my nails, bend my mind until it bends the spoon kinda crazy-obsessive.
Which is great.
But I end up telling myself I should take it easy alot/mellowness is a strength/a "what's the point" mentality only loosely correlates with apathy/having it your way is for fat Americans. And for some self-loathable reason, I'd rather not be American/that kind of American/even though I REALLY am that kind of American, but in a really passive way.
I pace before I put my pants on.
I panic about how my mind is presented on paper (or electronic representations of paper)
I want my coffee.
But that's it.*
*I bought a new press saturday morning...
Also another picture I took that I really liked (edit:like!) : the Time cover says "Secrets of the Teen Brain"
I need my moisture-bar/light-saber to fight dry skin/the Sith and restore water/balance to the stratum corneum/Force. (edit:Aug 6, 08- I watched a force unleashed promotional today. Looks like fun)
My roommate in high school moisturized. Cocoa butter, as well as, (on top of) Vaseline Intensive Care Moisturizer, the large bottle, with the push-down spout. I, you know, admire his strength, or conviction, or something. Having moisturizer, without the requisite poster of Tyra Banks or Yasmine Bleeth or a black-and-white photo of two women you didn't know making out on a bed was basically admitting, "I jack off when you're not here" to anyone who came in our room. Ez and I, of course, had extensive discussions about his dry skin. I was cool with it. Sure man, whatever. It's not, like, an elephant in the room at all. Semper Fi, Mac.
You remember Singled Out? There's only one authentic episode on Youtube. The rest are UK Channel 5 recordings. Maybe there're some episodes on Hulu.* I started looking for more and I found this: Singled Out: Blah-Blah-Blah--a new -ism to discuss--Blah! So. The reviews are funny. I don't think I'd read the book. The reviews, I suppose, make a case against it's purchase. By reading it in public, I am at risk of being perceived as single, which in case you didn't know, means over-sexed, sad, miserable, lonely, self-centered, and (as a man) messy and likely to rape the first unsupervised child or woman that comes around. And I really can't handle that. It's summer, I want to read in the sun. I bought a hat specifically for these occasions, I'm not going to buy a book just to render that hat obsolete.** I do think it's great that I have another stereotype to stammer around.
Over-sexed is a funny word. (Funny=Strange, Funny=/=Laugh) Kenning? Hyphenated thing. In the past six months I've seen it used to describe the portrayal of black men in films, heard it used to describe a Muslim man's perception of Muslim women, and now I'm seeing it again, describing a very broad group of ~M. (M is Married) Typically, I'd spin this off into a graphical representation, but I think I need to know what old married Eurasian men think the baseline of sexuality is before I parody it. Research...
On the subject of purchases, I called my mom the other day to talk about dry skin.*** She recommended, you guessed it, the Vaseline Intensive Care Lotion. I bought Vaseline deep conditioning body lotion with cocoa butter, which came with a little bottle of intensive rescue moisture locking lotion,**** along with some apples and Mike-Sells Salt & Pepper potato chips, at the self-check-out. I wonder what Ez would have bought, or if he's found some eternal moisture font. Perhaps he only ever needed to change his diet and now he enjoys days free of fear from perspiration and showers.
*There aren't any.
**I have other books, and especially not this hat.
***My mother's been on a cruise with my sister and my grandparents and her sisters. (my aunts, whatever(she grew up with four sisters. I call them "her sisters" as consistently as possible solely in recognition of that)) She got back yesterday. I called her while she was sleeping. Conversation with almost-lucid-mom is awesome. She described her flesh peeling, bubbling even, as a result of the no-fluid policy. I think I would only have gotten, my skin peeled, if she been more awake. It's possible the peeling/bubbling was really uncanny.
****no caps on small bottle. Perhaps caps are put too much pressure on the intensive rescue lotion? Conversely, maybe it is such a cool and collected rescue lotion it didn't care about the capitalization fiasco, as a much more pricey, perhaps Suisse, lotion would, and instead said, whatever, i got skin to save...
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
"The mind is its own place and in itself, can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven." -Come on, you know this one
I tell my colleagues, "Always remember, there is no city in the world which has erected a statue to a critic"
Award: first critic with statue
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Before I do anything in the morning (aside from hit the snooze button) I boil water and check the e-mail.
Today, the in-box had a Monster.com update with a job offer for "WRITER.*" Science fiction. Humor. So far up my alley it should be in my apartment, not my mailbox. Having recently found my cell phone, I packed that, my laptop, and started transferring word .docs onto my flash drive. I had a class in two hours but after that I was going to totally burn through some last minute editing, make sure my generic cover letter was pertinent, and kick some interviewing butt.
I'd been taking some advice from an alter ego of chuck klosterman's and not doing any work before 11,** instead I just check in with my comics and blogs.
Sara's blog was particularly inspiring. Later I would go to the post office and buy a bunch of "utility mailers" in the hopes of being superwriterman and submitting everywhere. (There's is no point in buying an envelope ahead of time, as you need the postman to set up the postage for you. Drat)
At 10:50, because I've decided I should always be an over-achiever and inspire an emotion akin to but not identical to mental superiority in my class mates, I got to work a little early, and began to read Ode. Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood and found a nice passage about death that I'll probably have read when I die,*** "Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting;/The Soul that Rises with us, our life's Star,/Hath had elsewhere its setting/and cometh from afar;/not in entire forgetfullness,/and not in utter nakedness" The rest us "but trailing clouds of glory do we come/ from God, who is our home:/ Heaven lies about us in our infancy!" I'll probably change that. Sorry Wordsworth! If you beat me to it, I'll read it like that for free.
Class was boring. I basically have to force my opinion on the teacher. He tells me I'm wrong sometimes.**** He seems big on "historical context." I may have to resolve this. "Historical accuracy." "Historical context." The connection. Where is it?
Right, "historical accuracy" is for period pieces (etc) and "historical context" is supposed to illuminate old art in retrospect?
After class, I punched the keyboard for a bit in the SEL. I like working in the third floor. There is so much light. A woman and a man chatted in arabic across from me. This dude with ear buds and vrry square white classes (elvis costello meets kurt cobain) looked burdened. I made a great deal of headway with the argument about advertising and postcard from nowhere. This is when I went to the post office.
Between the post office and my apartment, I called my brother and told him about a dream I had. In my dream, someone had said "hey awesome receding hairline" the way you say "hey sweet dye job" or "sweet pompadour."
"Hah, that's wishful thinking," he said.
"You mean the dream is a parody on my subconscious fears?" I actually said.
"Well, I mean, what's his face has a receding hair line..."
"Bruce Willis?" Bruce Willis does, in fact, have a receding hair line. He shaves it.
"Brad Pitt?" Also shaving his head now, though hardly conclusive evidence for MPB
"John Travolta!" he shouted, and started us on a tangent about Scientology and it's deep roots in MacArthurism, ("You think Communism was scary, look at what celebrities get away with now...") Christianity, ("not allowing your kids to use contraceptives is one thing, but medical facilities?"), and Weirdness ("Those dudes are weird. Their eyes are huge all the time.") before finally having it spelled out for me that my brother was talking to me while he was driving but he was stuck behind a Rabid Raccoon Control Truck, so it was cool.
I don't know what you know about Raccoons and Rabies. But there are maybe two better segues into "A Conversation about the Zombie Apocalypse."***** So I pounced like Blake's Tyger onto the possibility that this truck, which was apparently casting pellets haphazardly into the Russelton wilderness, was not trying to curb the rabid raccoon population but raise it.
"You know, more rabid raccoons means more rabid pets, Alex. And more rabid pets means more rabid pets means more rabid humans. You know how you figure out if your pet has rabies? You cut its head off."
"Gross," Alex said.
"Well sure," I said, "But imagine the possibilities. What if Russelton, which we'll call Raccoon City for the purposes of this discussion,****** becomes a den of sin and rabies, Ed, that skinny dude, and you could drive around and shoot the crazy rabid inhabitants of Raccoon City until the National Guard came in to rescue you."
"It would be like Dawn of the Dead." Victory was mine!
"What do you think it would be like if something like that happened?"
"Well, you know, They'd cut the city off and nuke it," he said, as everyone always does, "some place like Japan or Pittsburgh or England."
"I'm sure they would if this were, like 28 day later-type Zombies, but what about traditional zombies. You know, Brooks/Romero 'I'm gonna cut my arm off and pretend I'm A-Okay' infection zombies. What if that happened in New York or Miami. All those fuckers have boats and shit."
"Oh, They'd never nuke New York, it's a symbol. And I guess you can get everywhere from there when you're not drooling and trying to eat people."
"You think They'd try and cover it up" I asked.
"Oh, of course," he said, which began a cost-benefit analysis of full-disclosure, creating equations such as the recent assassinations in Iran and the assassination of Sr. Pablo Escobar.
"Some Scarface shit" or not, "He has nothing on Special Forces"
A bold conclusion, to say nothing of the regional officials of the Iranian government.
As I told my brother and I tell the broad, multi-faceted you, I found a package today.******* In it was a hat. It was branded with the newegg.com logo. About four months ago I built my own computer. It was a rewarding experience despite:
2.The first CPU I bought was DOA. It took me about as long to get my replacement CPU as it did to get the right motherboard.
3. One of my video cards was dead. This is the only bad product I got from newegg.
Building your own p.c. is easy. The hardest part is making sure that all the parts are compatible. In fact that the 800 dollar mark-up for a comparable p.c. from dell seems like an unpleasant act that is often done to a person against their will, except this time by request and for pay. I wonder if they're unable to buy in bulk. Are they not able to assemble these things with machines? Are the machines horrifically inefficient and break one part per five they install? Is Dell/Area 51 (same company) hiring a bunch of people to do this? I guess that's good. They should give me a job, with that mark-up I'm sure the wage is above the cost of living well.
Brief detour. I got a hat. I will wear it to the beach once I find sock with suspenders. Does anyone know where I can find these. Perhaps along with really short khakis shorts. I have lots of undershirts and I would like to pretend I am someone's dad, except from the fifties.
Ugh, totally lost in time. OK, I drove out to main st. because I'm protecting my writing like a bonobo momma protects her boys. Guess what TTD stands for.
To This Day Foundation
"To this Day: a journey from doubt to belief"
(sorry, no more guessing. I'm assuming you've visited tothisday.org)
so I was excited. I was going to mail my awesome cover letter and writing sample to their office, but I don't like their definitions. Primarily skeptic = agnostic. While I may doubt that God is at all knowable, I believe that some things are knowable. So hey there's a footnote down there with a job offer. It's all the multi-faceted you.
Also got pictures, had a bad meatball hoagie from tommy's, assauged some pirate guilt, and bought CDs (the mighty mighty bosstones-Ska-core, the Devil, and more, and PJ Harvey- Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea) and books (CK's IV & Killing yourself to Live, Tim Pilcher's Spliffs 3: The last word in Cannabis Culture? by Tim Pilcher, and Gun Show Nation by Joan Burbick) from HPB.********,*********,**********
*WRITER WANTED Must Be Experienced. For Science fiction, humor. ctive, confidential project. Send writing sample to TTD Foundation, attn CWR, 2770 E. Main St., Suite 8, Cols, OH 43209.
** The alter-ego will not work before 12. As a perpetual-over-achiever Poseur, I begin working at 11. HA!
*** Rich, Famous, and Mourned by Beautiful People Half my Age, of course.
*****Better Zombie Apocalypse/Ice Breakers Conversations: (1)So what's John Romero doing? (John Romero co-founded iD software and firmly redeposited video games into the "for boys" category with the ad campaign "John Romero's about to make you his bitch" while promoting Daikatana. Why is this better? Not, but almost, George Romero.
(2) The entire ageless bunch of shitheads from green day. yes. them. looking the same age you were seventeen years ago is a clear indicator of walking deadness. green day, also a big tip. possibly undermined by possession of children. decapitation orders delayed pending paternity test.
(near miss:4) Mention someone's trip to a far away rehab clinic. A considerably more likely and substantially less p.c. scenario for 28 Days Later.
(near miss: 5) Easter-and the dead shall rise
******I did not actually call it that. But come on. Raccoon City? How could I resist? I actually feel guilty for not thinking to say it in retrospect.
*******Everything else in that conversation happened.
********OMG MMB REUNION TOR! STFU RLY! NORLY! RLY! ZOMG!
*********Whatever, Spliffs is a gift. And so what if my thoughts are totally disjointed. (pun intended) I have "a unique train of thought unencumbered by homage to narrative tradition" or something.
**********I should be memorizing this instead:
The Pains of Sleep
Ere on my bed my limbs I lay,/It hath not been my use to pray
With moving lips or bended knees;/But silently, by slow degrees,
My spirit I to Love compose,/In humble trust mine eye-lids close,
With reverential resignation,/No wish conceived, no thought exprest,
Only a sense of supplication;/A sense o'er all my soul imprest
That I am weak, yet not unblest,/Since in me, every where
Eternal Strength and Wisdon are.
But yester-night I prayed aloud/in anguish and in agony,
Up-starting from the fiendish crowd/Of shapes and thoughts that tortured me:
A lurid light, A trampling throng,
Sense of intolerable wrong,/And whom I scorned, those only strong!
Thirst of revenge, the powerless will/Still baffled, and yet burning still!
Desire with loathing strangely mixed/On wild or hateful objects fixed.
Fanastic passions! Maddening brawl!/And shame and terror over all!
Deeds to be hid which were not hid,/Which all confused I could not know
Whether I suffered, or I did:/For all seemed guilt, remorse or woe,
My own or others still the same/Life stifling fear, soul-stifling shame.
So two nights passed: the night's dismay/Saddened and stunned the coming day.
Sleep, the wide blessing seemed to me/Distemper's worst calamity.
The third night, when my own loud scream/Had waked me from a fiendish dream,
O'ercome with suffering strange and wild,/I wept as I had been a child;
And having thus by tears subdued/My anguish to a milder mood,
Such punishments, I said, were due/To natures deepliest stained with sin,--
For aye entempesting anew/The unfathomable hell within,
The horror of their deeds to view, /To know and loathe, yet wish and do!
Such griefs with such men well agree,/but wherefore, wherefore fall on me?
To be beloved is all I need,/And whom I love, I love indeed.
Monday, July 28, 2008
As opposed to mutilating plastic with a knife.
Because I don't own any scissors that are longer than an inch.
Stupid, contoured, cheap-ass, plastic packaging.
Light bulb is nice though.*
*Expect another blog in four years about how it didn't last five years/they should say it doesn't really run for five years, it stays on for x number of hours. (Elliot make no claims to perpetual optimism.)
Me: Eh, Around. My coffee press broke. I took pictures. Bought a new one almost immediately. I make decent coffee with just a sauce pan and a strainer, but it's messy.
Y:That's so sad. I know you got through alot of coffee presses.
M: Yeah, this is like, my fourth one. You'd think they'd make them better, faster, stronger than they were before.
Y: They do, they're called automatic drip. Also, that's the lamest lament to a late inanimate object ever.
M: Whatever. Any Expensive, Cybernetic Adult nod is only temporarily played out due to franchise revitalization attempts. You wait. My referencing schemes will acquire coolness like banknotes acquire practical value. Furthermore, automatic drip coffee pots are neither stronger nor faster. And eff your value judgments.
Y: Would you like to buy some incense?
M: This is an interesting sidebar. Uhm. Sure, but I don't have any money...
Y: Hah, money is for losers. I will trade you incense for a roll of film.
M: Fair enough.
Y: (quickly snatching the roll of film from my gullible outstretched hand, you immediately replace the roll with a bundle of one hundred incense sticks) Victory is mine! Your referencing scheme is doomed to be uncool forever.
(I howl, falling to my knees. Beat to the ground by your cackling Laughter of Win. )*
I cannot write. I have started five blogs entries, not counting this one which i will finish goddamnit, and I have been trying to move along "Ideas and Diner Cars" into novella territory. I have made no progress. This is the type of "can't write" I mean. It is experiential.
(Edit: On the subject of not being able to write, my Anthro teacher has approved my "unorthodox" research format of back-dated blog entries. Faking Are-some!)
So here's something I wrote almost a year ago, in Chris Moreno English 201.
Oct. 15, 2007
There’s a great deal of skepticism when today’s readers are given an account such as Beowulf or Marie de France’s Lanval and asked to accept these stories as anything outside of mythical. Content such as faerie queens and a man holding his breath long enough to battle a sea creature while underwater are seen as exaggerated at best and otherwise simply the providence of the author’s imagination. Black Sabbath’s “Jack the Stripper/ Faeries wear Boots” is similarly understood to be the product of the band members’ wild imaginations. The burden of proof is placed on the respective authors’ and writers’ account to turn these seemingly unbelievable experiences into something that’s mundane. Beowulf uses the literary device of “we have heard…” to make the ridiculous commonplace. Lanval is rooted firmly into its role of a folktale, including an introduction where Marie de France explains that the story is simply a metaphor for proper courtly behavior. “Jack the Stripper/ Faeries wear Boots” put the credibility of the account solely to Ozzy Osbourne and allows listeners to criticize the account as true or false based entirely on their opinion of the speaker.
Beowulf is England’s foremost woodsman and a self-reliant hero who performs feats that tax the reader’s ability to accept the story. The tale elevates Beowulf into a hero of mythic proportion and makes him into a brave Christian warrior who is beyond fear. The speaker tells his listeners that “we have heard” tell of such a man and leaves it up to the skeptical listener to refute his claim against the rest of the crowd in attendance. Other devices throughout the story, such as when Beowulf loses a swimming match to Breca the Bronding, allow the speaker to undermine listeners who are reluctant to accept his story.
As a point of contrast, Lanval is presented as a fable told to Henry II and promising a moral concerning freedom from sin. Once again, the unbelievable is presented to the listener. Within the scope of a fable, however, the unbelievable is mundane and readily accepted by any who hear the story. Marie de France tells a story of a displaced knight having a chance encounter with a faerie queen while deep in the woods. He quickly finds himself in a contract with the faerie queen and at odds with Queen Guinevere. The knight is suddenly obliged to present a woman who is fairer than Queen Guinevere while at the same time holding to his contract of not revealing the existence of the faerie queen to others. With his two obligations in opposition to each other, the knight decides to violate his arrangement with the faerie queen and present her to the court. Marie de France shows several examples of the knight behaving poorly and, considering the content of the prologue, doing things which will surely lead him into a life of vice. Since Lanval is presented as a fable, the listener is encouraged to identify and examine the moral presented, accepting the characters and their actions as necessary to the outcome of the tale.
“Jack the Stripper/ Faeries wear Boots” plays with the conventions utilized by the Beowulf orator. Instead of appealing to group consensus, Black Sabbath makes the speaker the sole authority when he claims he saw a faerie dancing with a dwarf. Ozzy Osbourne sings “faeries wear boots and you gotta believe me/ I saw it, I saw it with my own two eyes” and invites the listener to doubt his account. Instead of immediately undermining their skepticism, he entertains it. The last stanza has the speaker visiting the doctor and receiving a diagnosis of “son, you’ve gone too far/ because smokin’ and trippin’ is all that you do.” The speaker’s account is created around his being an untrustworthy narrator.
Why would these three accounts take such different tracks in relating similar material? While the material is similair, their objectives are very different. Beowulf aspires to create a national epic around its eponymous hero. The story is written for Christian listeners in a Christianized England and, despite the fact that it describes Scandinavian heroes fighting in Denmark, serves to unite listeners around a shared legacy. Lanval serves as a moralistic tale communicating a standard of conduct in one country to another. Lanval and other Arthurian fables are French stories that have been fostered by English storytellers. Many of them are moralistically loaded and the unbelievable becomes a device for conveying the crux of these tales. “Jack the Stripper/ Faeries wear Boots” is absorbed in separating the world of the listener from the world of the speaker. Instead of being invested in similarity, like Beowulf and Lanval, it focuses on labeling itself as part of the outside. One thousand years after Beowulf, English literature isn’t focused on bringing its population together. Instead it focuses on creating a niche for everyone.
This essay, along with an essay about the comic book maxiseries Preacher, is fairly unique in my artist's portfolio. While I still keep the Preacher essay** on my desk, the Beowulf/Sabbath essay is pretty close to perfect for me and I keep it in my truck*** which has a bumper sticker that says, "Broprints: You don't have to like Black Sabbath to get your stuff printed here, but it doesn't change the fact that they're a kick-ass rockin' band."
Even so, I don't know what the title of this essay is. I've saved it under "Son, you've gone too far." Not just because that's a lyric Ozzy screams in "Faeries wear Boots," mind you. This is the point writing became fun for me. It is the point I discovered I could write more or less whatever I wanted to as long as there was a quietly cooling logic train behind it. So how had I "gone too far" as the "son you've gone too far.doc" would suggest? I wrote a story connecting Beowulf to Black Sabbath using a tenuous link of faeries and Lanval. On top of that, I'd been watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer all summer, and the discovery of it's cavalcade of theses proposals on "the science of vampires" or "Darla's Transformation between 'Buffy' and 'Angel" or "Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Mythology." So yeah: Woo Woo!
I got the essay back with a new office address and a note suggesting I ask for a LoR should I apply for graduate school.
***Yeah, I drive a truck. And whenever we've cruised into the post-peak-oil-paradise of flying cars and an economy that doesn't fluctuate around the availability of a single resource I'll be able to say I had a hand in that and you'll just be able to say, "uh, I saved some cash..." Jerks.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Seven Reasons (Raisons en Francais) why you should Start to or Continue to Smoke*Chapter One: Where a Cigarette fills in for Gainful Employment
I wake up in the morning and ignore the pile of clothes that the bedroom is doing a really great, like promotion-worthy, job of containing. I walk into the hall, which is doubling as my kitchen, and fill a saucepan with water. In the time it takes for the water to boil, I turn on my computer, grind up enough coffee beans to cover the agitator, and clean out my coffee press. If there's any electronic mail, I either delete it or do what it tells me to do. Sometimes I wash my face.
I am always careful to navigate the growing pile of books that the living room does a less remarkable job of compartmentalizing. The only thing keeping the bedroom from getting it's promotion and all the trappings that entails is the existence of the living room. The living room's perpetual underachieving makes the bedroom appear to be worse than an overachiever. It looks like a brown-noser. It is both independent and needy. Any self-sustaining bonus points are immediately undermined by the giant orange bed it so proudly displays. I know what that bed is saying. It's saying “don't leave me” and you can't have that in the management. By contrast, the living room is easy-going and unphased. You call it into your office and hear “Whatever, I'm trying.” And you want to help that kind of employee, maybe not with a full renovation, but a bookcase and a new lamp would really help them out.
By the time I figure out what the fuck my bedroom (MY bedroom!) is up to, the water is boiling, and the automatic motions of turn off coil, dump coffee grinds into press, put water on top of grinds, stir, fit plunger on top of “press,” go to bathroom,** push plunger down slowly, pour coffee fill in for conscious thought. It is maybe not the best breakfast drink. I take medication and gulping it down with coffee creates a comical expression which has been described as “self-pitying,” “somewhere between nauseated and confused,” and “contorted.” And this is about the time I get dressed.
I really like my porch. It's no more than the staircase that connects the third and second floors to the ground, but the well midway between second and third projects off the building and almost out into the sidewalk. It is almost the width of the building. I have considered putting a plant there. It gets direct sunlight in the afternoon. I people-watch from it. This activity, along with regular classroom visits, is probably the only reason I ever put on anything other than boxer shorts. People-watching requires appropriate apparel and accessorization. The dress code is broad. Pants or shorts. Shoes are not required. Shirts don't need to be buttoned, but they should be worn. I have coffee and a cigarette when people-watching on the porch. (MY porch!) It is a necessity.
**The bathroom is, if not the cleanest place in my apartment, the least cluttered. Despite the brand-newness of my vacuum, I have no faith in it, or really any other cleaning device other than a mop and bleach. To give you a better idea of just how committed I am to this, the first place I applied to was all tile. I would have rented it too if only for three months in the hopes of manuvering myself into a comfortable month-to-month arrangement afterwords, but it had a lease lined up for September.
Innovations: New Applications for Acrylic Polymers
I'm going to invent clear luggage. Hardshell Plexiglas ones with aluminium clasps and soft vinyl ones with your choice of colored piping!*
I saw some lady using the bag that bedsets come in as a suitcase. Damn sharp if you ask me... It also occurs to me that maybe this lady is a type of performance artist. Is it perhaps easier to simply travel with see-through luggage? Probably not. Though the irony of transparent luggage in the most accessible of situations where you come face-to-bureaucratic-"face" with the very opaque war on terror is pretty delicious, I doubt that the purchase of clear carry-ons will do anything but draw scrutiny until the FAA "strongly suggests" and then "insists" you purchase it. (luggage, not scrutiny) Then it will be like going to high school again.
Other observations over Coffee & Kahlua:
-I prefer over-ripe bananas to under-ripe bananas. I find myself thinking "HA! caughtcha!" as I peel the soft banana, which is a better thought-emotion than "drat, I could have waited."
-The dryer in my apartment complex is awful. If it were a fifty cent dryer, I may have simply noticed that it was poorly named, but at 1.25 it is "awful."
-Rally's, perhaps fast food in general, is not the same without a cigarette to complete the double beef gorging.
-I am pretty resistant to the written word. I read Crooked Little Vein over Linguini and Clams and had to stop around the description of Ben Franklin's possessed rectum. I picked it up later.
b.But if it's supposed to be a joke, or a roundabout attempt to point out that something is ironic...
c. like homophobic mexicans liking morrisey...
d. then maybe I should "just fucking go with it..."
e. because I'd be screwed if people didn't do that for me.
Thank you Christopher Nolan, Christian Bale, and Warner Brothers for Batman.* More precisely, for a Batman that finally acts like the obsessive creep who made me fall in love with comic books that second time. If it takes five more movies to get to Ron Perleman or some other old large person to play my favorite old large curmudgeon, I'll be happy.
Yes, I am always asking for more.
Thank you Angelfantab, and David Foster Wallace, for:
the funniest footnote I've ever read. And the only time I've read something that has made me laugh so hard I squeezed water out of my eyes.
53a (he let me measure it when the reptillian maitre d' wasn't looking)**
an opening that made me think again and again "the horror, the horror" and that maybe Wallace was doing something with the Heart of Darkness on the open ocean.
Examples include, but are not limited to:
-"Imagine the day after the Berlin Wall came down if everybody in East Germany was plump and comfortable-looking and dressed in Caribbean pastels, and you'll have a pretty good idea what FT.Laud. looks like today."
-"Apparently FTL.A. is always just your sleepy midsize airport six days a week and then every Saturday resembles the fall of Saigon."
-"A second Celeberity crowd-control lady has a megaphone and repeats over and over not to worry about our luggage, that it will follow us later, which I am apparently alone in finding chilling in its unwitting echo of the Auschwitz-embarkation scene in Schindler's List."
It's good. I shudder to think what his fiction's like.
Thank you advising office and lady of the three degrees for your quick response time, and making me feel like my graduation is a priority.****
Thank you bald dude on the bus for answering my rhetorical question about why, exactly, there are so many news vans outside of the Wex. (John McCain is leaching off of Lance Armstrong. Meanwhile crowds in the hundreds of thousands are flocking to see the considerably less Transylvanian, slightly more Obfuscating Canidate in Europe.)
Thank you Columbus for the metal plates that make it sound like there is roadwork going on even when there isn't.
Thank you every experimental magazine, (half of them) that accepts online submissions.*****
Thank you humans for building and populating libraries.
**Yup, it's a footnoted footnote. Also, the parenthetical is mine.
***Second paragraph line. Definitely going into my rolodex of examples for lines to use when you want to tell the reader "you know, I may have to write this but you don't have to read it."
****This is the beginning of a series of completely insincere thank yous. It will be ugly. You can skip them.
*****Okay, I'm over it. Incidentally, fuck online submissions if you just publish online. Call yourself something other than a magazine. Like a website.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
So I'm sitting in this lady's office and she has three degrees on the wall while she tells me that I can't get either of the two I'm due.* You see, it's really important that you tell the advisor scheduling office (it has a real name, but I don't know it) that you want to meet with your advisor not an advisor and what a fool I am for meeting with, like, every advisor in the advising office. (probably also has a real official name that I don't know) My perspective on the matter is shouldn't one of the six advisors I met with suggested this?** Or suggested that there was something wonky with my language requirement before I was auditing my degree? That sounds fair to me. Regardless, now I have to contact two advisors and make sure they have e-mails from five months ago because I don't have them anymore.***
My handle for everything but antiquing forums is "Strange Hominid." I started using it for a blog on the human body, innovation, and presentation. When I started writing I was entirely focused on unfortunate design features and workarounds. Angie had been living with varicose veins for three years and was trying everything short of invasive surgery to make them go away along with pain relievers (pleasantly and with no fuss) went to get for her.
She found this cream that was reducing the swelling. When she raved to a doctor friend about how effective it was he said she could just take more aspirin or use Iceyhot. Her legs were abusing her veins, and the aspirin and Iceyhot-like cream were reducing the swelling, albeit temporarily, that her legs were inducing to compensate for gravity's effect on a relatively new design.
I started researching every other punishment visited upon humans in return for their defiance of gravity and form: hernias, hemorrhoids, slipped discs, and pretty much everything else that can happen to a spine that doesn't involve an automobile or a shower. Over five million year ago, our pelvis flared out and our femurs bent in to put all our weight on our knees and shins. What a fool I'd been to get excited about Angie's wide hips and round ass. I was just dooming our child to shin splints. Catholic guilt, you have a new friend.
In order to avoid a spiral of self-loathing, I started looking into other human innovations.
Culture as a tool. While sexual dimorphism was comparatively minimal, sexual difashionization was wildly divergent. The flow chart for a man's morning dress routine was simple. I drew it up in a night without referencing a single history book, cultural anthropology journal, or issue of Vogue. Then I started the women's chart.
I thought of a woman I had seen walking in a simple green dress. Perhaps the wind was very high or it was too hot to wear a slip, but her skirt was catching right in her crotch. I had no idea what she was doing wrong. I realized then I was on the cusp of an investigation that I was completely unprepared for, and would take me deep into a dark silken heart that I could not return from as myself. I thought of that, looked at my chart for men,* and scrapped "fashion as a iteration of culture" project.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
"When music is literature, it is bad literature. Music begins when words cease. What happens when music ceases? Silence. All the other arts aspire to the condition of music. What does music aspire to? Silence. In that case, I have succeeded. I am now as famous for my long silence as I have been for my music."
So now I'm going to not get any schoolwork done.** I'm going to "aspire to the condition of music" for the rest of the night, even if it means beating my head through my keyboard and into the floor.
Shit Piss Fuck.
* Not at this very instant. I'm blogging now. Stop being silly.
**Schoolwork is for suckers and asskissers anyway.
(or Further Proof I have No Friends that are Men)
I brought my bed up from Pittsburgh today. I did it myself. Seriously. Threw a box-spring and a mattress on my back and moved them from Pittsburgh to Columbus.* I realize this entry is just text so you can take me on my word that I am totally flexing right now.
Maybe I wouldn't have to do this if I had a friend with external genitalia. It occurs to me that this isn't the kind of thing you ask of ambiguosly-gendered-friends-who-will-help-me-because-they-love-me, or man-friends-who-I-can-extort-help-out-of-through-extensive-use-of-the-word-"Should," but casual-acquaintances-who-will-accept-token-rewards.** Incidentally, that brings me nicely to my point. I like doing things by myself. I didn't ask for help moving my stuff because it makes me feel good.***
Even if I were in a rewarding business relationship,**** I'd probably demand some sort exclusive project.***** Maybe putting together a series of shorts would be neat. I don't think I can be trusted to stick to an outline/make an outline. I'd definitely end up telling a penciller/set designer/prop designer that "this is wrong, all wrong" several times. And then I'd get stabbed with a pencil/chisel/clay knife. And I don't think I could fault them for it. So I write, and write in genres that will never require working with other human beings, because it's better that wa-- because I demand complete creative control.
**Token rewards include beer and buttsex, in that particular order. I love the alphabet.
***Good- tough, accomplished, desirable, et cetera.
****I'm thinking of comic books, but I'm sure the production of any media would work fine here. I'd make a fine partner in a smallish business or something. Focus: Creative.
***** Totally not a metaphor for long-term, committed, blah, blah, blah, romantic relationships. Except the inevitable failure part. While I've only driven two women to point sharp objects at me, I'm positive my child-rearing skills are limited to vehicular assault.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
2. I need some sort of coffee negator. Pizza does not pile on top of coffee well. Egg sandwich yesterday did not work so well either. The fruit was good. Maybe I'll buy more fruit.
*so is pizza, but pizza and coffee consumption overlap is rare.
b.FiberOne bars seemed to work well. Were also yummy, though inferior to fruit-yum.
*added bonus of scheduled poo.
c.perhaps a fruit/fiber bar compromise is in order.
3. The date on the manuscript/story/essay/piece I handed in was 08.10.08.
*perhaps some obscure reference?
-nothing interesting happened specifically on 08.10.08 in 1008, and even I wouldn't have suggested something more obscure than that (i.e. 1908, 1808, 1708, et cetera).
-and what's the point of a time travel reference when I'm talking about the past?
i. Actually that makes a lot of sense
ii. and I did it on purpose
iii. and will always act like I meant to do it on purpose
iv. and admit that I am a liar.
b. I have no idea what month it is.
*it's a miracle I showed up at CNF at all.
*the numeric date system is archaic/for computers and a pain in the ass/the first sign of their takeover.
-The only reason second star didn't get it's own letter is because I'm afraid of being shipped off to Chiron Beta Prime before Christmas.
4. This is my last writing workshop at tOSU.
*it's the "failure to communicate the requirements to graduate clearly" department.
*no, it's the "failure to graduate in a timely fashion" department.
b. I've been (over) compensating for this for three months now.
*writing like crazy
*no more video games
c. but I'm still not trying to publish.
*granted, as far as I can tell, this is the doldrums of reading time.
*I should submit to the novella contest in october.
-it'd be nice if writing paid the rent.
5. More than anything, this class has taught me to run for humor, rather than grope around blindly for it.
*I wouldn't want to reinforce those classic stereotypes like:
-men should pursue women
i. as opposed to "women should pursue men" or "women should pursue men as well."
-sex should happen in the dark.
i. with blindfolds on.
-sexual preference is analogous to sense of humor.
i. acquired mostly over time
ii. somewhat influenced by parents
iii. primarily controlled by media/mitigated by choice of media.
6.and lots of people have lots of different things to talk about.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
I have a neighbot that's staring into my window. The gray-haired, gut-hanging-out-the-bottom-of-his-shirt, me-in-fifteen-years type. Maybe future-me is here to spy on present-me and make sure I'm keeping my shit in order and not bleeding out from stupid self-inflicted injuries.* But honestly? I would never stop caring about my appearance so much to walk around with my stomach hanging out. I hope if I ever outgrow my favorite t-shirts, I'll simply give them to goodwill.** And go on a diet. And even if I refused to ship my favorite shirts out, I suspect I'd layer with a longer shirt.
Fat bellied etiquette aside, layering tees lets the bottom shirt catch the sweat in the summer so you don't ruin your nice shirts. Even your nice t-shirts.*** I hope neighbot reads this. I'm only 40% angry that he's violating my privacy. The other 60% of my misdirected disdain is over his repulsiveness.**** That really shoots the future-me theory in the foot. He should know this shit and have it processed and internalized, as I've/he's written about it. Maybe he's beginning to understand my feelings right now. Maybe whenever I yell at him from the stoop to cut the shit I'll violate some time/mind continuum law and the universe will implode.
It'll be worth it.
"By Jove, I've had an idea."
-"Well, spit it out man."
"Well everyone's complaining about the water of death. Their soap won't lather and their shampoo won't really ever come out of their hair and whenever they step out of the shower their skin is so dry it falls off in sheets."
-"Yes, I understand it's a problem in the western territories."
"Instead of calling it 'water of death,' I think we're going to start referring to it as 'hard water.' That way, people won't be sure if they actually have it and it won't sound so intimidating."
"Hmm, yes. I think we could also make some restaurants, and get rid of the service aspect entirely, and call it 'fast food."
1. Chicken (Miller Chicken Breast, 6.49. Purdue was roughly two dollars cheaper. But the Miller packaging said "Antibiotic-free" so big. And does that mean cage free too? Maybe free range? Happy chicken corpses for two more dollars sounds fair)
2. Can Opener *x5 (8.29!)
3. Hot Sauce (Frank's Red Hot (2.69) 12oz)
4. Elbow Mac (Heartland Rotini (1.50)instead. Rachael Ray said use Elbow Mac, but whatever...)
5. Carrots and Celery ("Mini carrots" -1.00 Celery -1.99)
6. Soup (Chunky is "on sale" at 1.79. I bought three cans (.79)of chicken and rice****** and treated myself to two cans of split pea and ham. Interesting phenomenon: Fully Loaded. I remember whenever Chunky soup was just a non-condensed form of premium cambpell's. What the fuck?)
7. Eggs (half dozen. .99. I have a skillet now. I should make breakfast some day. Still haven't secured a toaster oven...)
8. Veggie Nugs (Morningstar Chicken Nuggets are 4.49. What an extravagance! I guess if I ever go Veggie, I have to go Vegan.)
9. Pizza Rolls (Tostino's Cheese- 1.29 A much fairer price for the luxury of instameals)
10. Sweet, Sweet Coffee (Also, why are Dunkin' Donuts coffee beans expensive now? (8.79) I mean, I'll buy any coffee that's good and not paying tithe to Israel, but if you can do it for six dollars, do it for six dollars...)
11. Shredded Mozzarella (2 bags of Kroger brand Moz.- 5.00)
12. Non-dairy creamer (D'OH!)
13. Diced Tomatoes (2 cans Kb Mexican Style- 1.22)
Unplanned Purchases: Kb Singles (1.67- Skillet means grilled cheese), Kb Black Bean (.61), Kb Vidalia Onion (.72).
State got .56 cents for the can opener, which was very honest of Kroeger.
Kroeger got 55.39.
I got home and cut up the chicken, threw it in the pot with some olive oil and cajun seasoning.******* I chopped up the carrots, onion, and celery, and threw all that into the bottom of the slow cooker...crock. Once the chicken was done I dumped that in there too, along with those two cans of diced tomatoes and a liberal shot *x8 of hot sauce. Heated up the slow cooker and boiled the rotini, mixed them together with a half bag of moz.
Waited twenty minutes.
Got it in me.
And that feels good.
**except for my "scud" shirt. It's a collector's item. holes and all.
***someday I'll look through my various receipts and figure out just how many bicycles I could have bought if I'd opted to buy plain white undershirts and dress shirts instead of a cavalcade of punny Hanes beefy tees. Then I can finally get my "Dumb Ass" tattoo. I'll have earned it.
**** Arbitrary percentages. While I do have an alembic and a calcinator for distilling and measuring the various point of origins in any emotion, Brain Spickets are notoriously difficult to use, and I wouldn't use one without an assistant. I need a Rosenfeld-Chagall.
***** and thank God I remembered that one.
****** Campbell's condensed. Sorry Chunky, a buck is a book of papers/ bottle of soda/ ten sheets of copied paper. And don't tell me it's not all going to the same place. You're just worried about messing up your intercorp competition numbers.
******* Both of which were Kroeger Brand (Kb). They said they'd give me free groceries, what do you want?
******** half the bottle
in other news: my cat is pulling my clothing into her water bowl. I have no suppositions as to what's brought on her passive aggressive tactics. It's possible this is just her particular pathology. Before I bought a covered litter box, she would drag plastic bags, shorts, whatever was available into her litter box. I don't understand. I tell her "Indy I don't get you" but as far as I can tell, Indy is content to be a mystery to all but herself. Sneaky. Underhanded.
Blargh. Have to work. Blah blah blah. No meat man at the store. Blah blah blah. Come home next week, k? Blah blabbidy blah. Love you too, k bye.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
I think everyone should.
The chimps. Apparently they have cuisine and medicine now.
Other primates having tools ruined being human for me.
If they start writing and painting
A popular chimp dish is a fruit mash. It looked good.
I bought fruit.
Thursday, July 3, 2008
I thought I was the last person to get on the PJ Harvey band wagon (I am.) but this video is awesome. And my fanatic (ex-)roommates haven't seen it.
Someday, I want to be able to do this. Distill brilliance into media. I'll spoon it into everyone's gaping mouth as they stare in disbelief.
Intrigued? Then stay tuned.
[Elliot gets his laundry out of the on-site dryer. Yes, there's a washer too. Don't be envious. It has a centipede. Maybe more.]
"I really admire John Dewey. The whole Dewey Decimal system. What an undertaking! I don't mean to imply that I'm an authority on all bibliotechnical things. For instance, I couldn't address how much flexibility there is in this system of his, but trying to do it myself makes me feel comparatively primitive.
"My approach has it's constrictions of course. I have no book shelves. So I've thrown alphabetical order out the window in favor of book width. And since floor space remains limited, I'm using a fairly broad definition of "non-fiction." I mean, I think we'll all agree that Louise Menand's The Metaphysical Club is non-fiction, but what about philosophy? I have The Prolegemana, Berkely's Hylas and Philonous Dialogues, Descartes' First Philosophy, and Locke's Second Treatise of Government all in the same pile. I don't think that simply saying one is non-fiction makes the rest are fiction, but you know how it is, contradiction is inevitable."
"The other piles are vain. One is books I've read. The other is books I intend to read. That short one is books it's been strongly suggested I read."
"A copy of the book was bought for me at the nearest acceptable occasion. I will never read those books. "
"The books that aren't filed are either a) comics or b) text books. As I was saying, I'm disappointed with this method, it's inflexible but it's aestheically appealling. Call it a series of vain indulgences. It'd be a different type of indulgence to buy a bookshelf. And I'd never be able to move the size of bookshelf I need. Though I suppose I could use my filing system on a series of small bookshelfs."
"Yes, I suppose that doesn't get us anywhere."
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Completely, of course, does not include 1. A small fan.
2. A grill.
3. A pastel drawing of a lizard and an ant.
Otherwise, we're golden. It's very quiet here, so I opened the window and I can hear the drunks walking to and from Sloopy's or Miani's or Chachkey's or whatever it is this week.
Indy is laying down exactly behind me. Scratch that.
EVERYONE - My cat can read. She wants to make me into a falsifier of information. And in the most passive aggressive way. She's rubbing my legs now. What an underhanded sneak.
Also, I've been to the supermarket twice today. In an effort to stop living out of Taco Bells, I figured out three easy meals I could make out of one pot...
I have no skillet. No sauce pan. No double-pot vegetable steamer thing.
I have a slow cooker and a french press and a casserole dish.
And a pot.
SO I bought coffee and stuff for mashed potatoes and was creeped out boiling water on an electric range and guess what. I don't have any cleaning supplies. Now I do, and a belly full of carbs and some bubble bath. I'm going to edit and then take a (well-deserved god damnit) bath.