Tuesday, July 29, 2008

BEST DAY EVER see also: Writing about found objects & zombies: Awesomeness

Call it tradition, call it desperate, call it mundane.
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.
"No, uh.."
"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:
1.The ebay supplier I bought my motherboard off of bait-and-switched me. I do have a functioning Abit motherboard. It was not the one I wanted. I got it later.
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.
Two guesses:

To This Day Foundation
Flagship project?
"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.
****The Audacity!
*****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.
*********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.


popquizkid said...

Your inbox is in (on?) your computer, and so the job offer *was* (technically) in your apartment (since your computer was in your apartment at the time of checking). I’m not sure what to do with the alley.

That section of Wordsworth’s Ode always reminds me of Plato’s idea (was it always/originally his idea? my MA exam reading didn’t cover that) that the physical act of being born results in the soul being separated from God, and that life is characterized by an individual’s search for that lost connection with God. One failed attempt after another, as it turns out. Stupid charioteer. (I might be putting that cynical spin on it. Although maybe Plato was a cynical guy. Who knows, really? I mean, that cave thing is pretty cool, but I’m not so down with the republic. [Maybe he wasn’t either?]) (And of course we wouldn’t necessarily say “God” nowadays. We’d say “The One,” or “The Higher Power,” or something like that.) (Maybe Plato would’ve too? Hmmm.)

I also never noticed the Scientology/big eyes connection, but now that you mention it...

misanthropic bastard said...

Is it on my computer? Is it in the office of information technology? Someplace similar? Ma mailbox! C'est n'existe pas?

popquizkid said...

Well. Yes. I guess you've gone and out-thought me there. Congratulations.

What that makes me think (!) of, though, is the fact that email doesn't exist and it absolutely exists, at the same time. It goes from one "place" to another - from my Sent Box to your Inbox - without really existing anywhere. But then you can't ever really delete email messages. It always exists somewhere, but that somewhere is difficult (impossible?) to define.

So there's that.