The Apology.

I'm sorry.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

You're right. I do.

Friday, June 25, 2004


Tomorrow, I am leaving for Alaska.

For more information, of course, you can try something commercial.

But when I think of Alaska, I think of these.

I find it kindof funny, really, that while I am gone on this trip many inevitable things will occur, here and there. I can't figure out if I want to change them for the better, or let them happen as they will now. I'm not sure.

I'm going on a cruise, y'know. On a rather large boat. A sort of floating city. I wonder how it will like me? And how I will like it?

Another new friend, another lost moment? Another useless fight? I've only got a week. How much can one offend an entire ship in just 7 days?

Maybe I won't. Maybe this time, I'll go somewhere, and feel comfortable, and be myself. Maybe I can somehow manage to make it like the old days, before I was self-aware enough to realize that I didn't fit in. Back when I was too stupid to know I was different, and that being different was bad.

They're right, y'know, when they say that ignorance is bliss.


The Dust is Settling on the Road behind Me.

You saved for a base guitar.

The music pours out of the sides of my jeep, like the Flowers dropped by a four year old, walking down the aisle of a small country church. I am driving home from an accident that could have taken my life.

With your pen and notebook, you blow me away.

My Jeep trembles beneath my fingers, steering wheel almost 120 degrees from it's natural orientation. It lurches and overstresses when I hit 45 miles per hour. I feel like a man attempting to coax a dog out from under a porch after he has kicked it in a moment of frustration and anger. I can almost feel the vehicle shudder to my touch, and almost hear it whimper against my requests. But I know I can never be frustrated with this one, after all, he saved my life.

It's the smallest words we cannot say.

I remember. I am coming around the curve. I can see it in my minds eye. The road peeling away from underneath me, smooth and dusty, as I try and make good time, on to my next errand, my next objective, my next moment in life that is delayed by my distance from it. I can see the red gravel nestled in the red dust, and the curve tightening more than I expect, I can feel the slide and hear the rumble as the wheels search for traction underneath me, scrambling for purchase on suddenly treacherous ground. I can feel myself thinking "I'm losing control. But if I slam on the breaks, I'll roll. Just keep everything even and hope for the best. I've felt a slide before, it'll be ok."

Your favorite colour, is that of red wine.

The slide continues, but fiercer now than I've experienced it before. and then there is a loud noise, and more dust than I remember. I am still sitting in the Jeep. But "Up" is no longer up. Down is Left. This feels more like a dream than a moment in time. I half-expect myself to gasp awake, in bed. No gasp. No cold darkness of my room welcomes me. I look around. Maybe 12 seconds has passed since my vehicle carefully slide itself off the road and into a clear space between trees. I undo my seatbelt, and clamber out of the Jeep--through the back. It is very dusty. I am standing in the street. My Jeep is on it's side, sleeping, it appears almost unscathed. My belongings are scattered on the ground around the vehicle.

Which brings me 'round, to your favorite past-time.

I am still wearing my sunglasses. I take them off. Slide them into a pocket. I begin walking the road to the nearest house, hoping to find a phone.

Are the stars out tonight?

The memory fades away like a mist and I am back in my wounded Jeep, driving home, the day after the accident. It isn't as unscathed as it at-first appeared. I feel the guilt of knowing that it took quite a bruising to allow me to walk away from an accident that wasn't its fault. I know that it's just a machine, but I am still responsible for its safety, and as the steering lurches under my touch I'm reminded against that this is one more being in my life that I let get hurt on my watch.

Are you watching, wrapped up cozy and tight?

The music dies away. My jeep rumbles slowly, limping towards home, and rest, and hopefully, repair. Do I also need these things? Am I devoid of Home? Of Rest? Of Repair? I am my own driver. Did I let myself down as well?

We're not the same.

Thursday, June 24, 2004


Kreed is the worst demo I have played since Mortyr.

For those of you unfamiliar with either title, refer to this Handy Visual Aid.

If your'e sitting there, right now, and thinking to yourself:

"Self, due to my current mental state, I think I'll choose between installing and playing the Kreed demo, and stabbing myself directly in eye with a potato peeler, twice."

Give some serious thought to the latter option, which I realize involves screaming, wailing, headaches, weeping, and gnashing of teeth, you'll find it's not much different, really, from playing the kreed demo.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Art, Intent, and Content

On Art, Beauty, and Content vs. Intent.

So I'm thinking about this image the other day, and a friend protests as he points out that the content of the photograph is not something he feels should be displayed.

He argues that the image should be judged on content alone, and that the content of the image conveys a message he's not comfortable displaying as art in his home.

I counterpoint by saying that anyone who has worked with photography can determine via their resultant knowledge of the art form that the picture is intentional, and that this intent clearly demarks the picture and validates its existence as art.

My friend disagrees.

It presents an interesting discussion, and so it winds up here, so I can hammer it out better in my head.

I disagree 100% with the idea that a picture's content is completely removed from any obvious staging. An intentional pose adopted by a dancer is to be admired both for it's direct effect and for the fact that it is a performance, an intentional presentation.

I think that the intention to do something for performance reasons validates some activities that would otherwise be frivolous or disconcertingly offensive. Ballet, I feel, is an entire art form about generating power via movement, but the power is not just the physical power the dancers put forth, but also the emotional power evoked from the audience, and I feel that without this focus on eliciting emotion Ballet would be a much less effective and honest art.

If that's true, than Ballet's intent must be evaluated alongside its content, or else its content is being blatantly misunderstood.

I think that photography is a medium where the contrast is far less obvious (yeah yeah, pun intented).

However, I think that any photographer who knows about the work involved and doesn't put that knowledge to work during the evaluation of his fellow artists is like a ballet or figure skating critic who refuses to consider the technical difficulty of the movements performed when evaluating the performance. Or like a Martial Arts judge who refuses to consider the real tactical signifigance of the kata he is judging and use it as one of his criteria, instead focusing on the audience appeal, despite the fact that the intent of a Kata is not to appeal to an audience but to train a mindset.

For the person who hopes to critique any art in any medium with any reasonable level of professionalism, intent must be brought into consideration to bring about a full understanding of the art being presented. Otherwise the artist and the critic are both sold short.

Art's presentation speaks volumes about it. It's the presentation that surrounds the image in question that keeps me from being offended by it, because it's obviously succeeding at intentionally capturing for display a concept rarely captured in such a fashion. I personally wouldn't take such a picture, but the fact that others do doesn't offend me, and I can admire it for its intent and it's effect, both, without feeling that it's somehow infringing on the sanctity of the moment.

I say that Arts' presentation and intention is a great part of what makes it art, and what seperates it from craft.

Oh, and by the way: I crashed my JEEP on a dirt road today. Laid it over on its side just as pretty as you please. Just thought that might be a point of interest to some of you.

Red Warrior

I've recently begun listening to a lot of Hans Zimmer's work. Good stuff. Stirring, dramatic.

I think that as humanity's needs develop, people are created to fulfill those needs. Zimmer was born into the vaccuum of our need for someone who could create music that would stir emotion and match the epic and amazing moments in film that Hollywood has become so gifted at generating.

What was I created for? What is humanity's great need for which I was born? Does purpose come with gifts? Or only responsibilities? Who am I?

The questions of all of mankind are reflected in the questions of each of its members.

I saw Troy last night. I need to read the Illiad. Once I have, I think I'll have some things to say about what I see in Hector, Achilles, and Paris, and playacting a person you are not.

What good are gifts meant to be weilded gracefully if you are clumsy with them?

Monday, June 21, 2004

sometimes these eyes forget the face they're peering from

That one hit closer to home than I expected.

All these pretty moments when I open up and my eyes twinkle and I laugh are the moments when I feel the least alive. These are the times when I feel the most hollow--like a piñata or a blow-up pool toy. It's the moments when the darkness settles around my shoulders like a permament disease and I retreat into the depth of my self that I feel most alive, most authentic.

Overly gothic? No, just a bit nonplussed. It seems at those moments when I'm smiling and laughing and playing along my brain submerges itself in a cool, simmering pool of needlessness. I'm so used to playing the fool that it requires no energy or thought. I can just let him play and float along in the tunnel of ignorance.

But when the fool is put away, and the stage darkens or the limelight moves away from me, my mind is removed from its puddle of frigid anesthesia and begins to process my more 'public' moments with a sort of silent shame and reproach. I feel as though my intellect looks at my charisma and shakes its head, peering over the top of a pair of spectacles as if to say "how could you degrade us like that? Honestly, you're a disgrace. Why we must have such a loud and garrulous persona is beyond me."

It's an awkward life. I guess I'm tripping over my selves?

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Star Wars

What a weird evening.

First off, it was enlightening to see how different things were with others around. I know now it's probably for the best that I never went to Mobile. Maybe I'm misreading all of that though. I suppose it's possible. 'eh. Happens.

Later on in the evening, already in a blue funk and not particularly interested in coming out of it (nor with people particularly capable of drawing me out of it, even if they had recognized it existed) things were even more interesting.

In one ear, a conversation about the latest swimsuits, underwear and summer wear available via the victoria's secret catalogue. In the other ear, conversations about diving equipment, gear, and trips.

"I really like this halter top." "So I traded out my inflator with another on the boat and used my own BCM." "But you know, the sizes are never right. Maybe I should get it in teal?" "We dove through the Bart's old wellhouse. Next time we'll probably dive down the stairs." "Ooh, don't you think that's cute. I like these pants." "Yeah, the dive instructors daughter wound up misplacing her perscription mask and nearly took home the other one."

And in between these two conversations, neither of which held any relation to me, or reason for me to relate to them. . . I found myself an alien again.

Why did I come home? It's not really my home anymore. It's home, sure. But not mine.

I feel like an outkast who was only rejected, and never forced away. I know they don't mean for it to feel like that, and if they knew I felt that way, they'd do anything they could to make me feel more at ease, but it's not them. . .it's me. It's how different I am now.

I feel unsettled. Like this is no longer supposed to be my life and now I'm living inside someone else's skin, reputation, and abilities. How do I explain to them that there has been a terrible mistake? That I'm not the one who everyone recognizes. I'm not the one who has all the answers. I'm not the one with the easy smile and the quick laugh who shrugs everything awkward or hurtful off as a joke. I'm not the one with the sharp mind and the steel will who stands head and shoulders above all others when duty calls. I'm not the one.

I'm not the one.

I'm just this guy, y'know?

I feel sick.

The Size of the Military

Hey, this is interesting.

I just read in this article that the total population of the Army is about to increase to 502,400.

That's just over half a million people. In a country of 300 million, that means one in every 600 people is in the Army.

In other news: I'm tired, and I ripped both my hands open on the bag tonight. Stupid soft knuckles. They'd better firm up fast. I plan on working on the bag a lot over coming months.


No big thoughts tonight. Just little ones. Like how it is interesting that The Urban Dictionary doesn't have an entry for "Roughshod" but does.

Funny thing, that.

And by the way. This Flash Video is genius. (NSFW - language).

Post Post script: The quote of the day: "Tell me someone's face doesn't look as bad as your hand." - My mother

Friday, June 18, 2004

Soprano's Computer Repair

[Bad Word!]

Dad: Edit: Ok, so I'm not really that mad. Just miffed. From now on, I'm not logging you into an admin account on my machine ever again. :P


Thursday, June 17, 2004

The Rubble

What else is there to say?

I just got home.

I'm tired.

Tired of all the conflict one day, and all the tranquillity the next. Tired of knowing that there will be another unnecessarry argument. Another pointless apology for comment that should never have been needed in the first place.

What am I seeking for, amid the rubble of my life? Old dreams? Old goals? Old visions? All my old dreams were naive. All my old goals seem far off, and placid in comparison to my life. What is there left for me, that is worth salvaging?

What part of me should live on through all this? The part most capable of survival, the hard cold edges and the calculated smile, or the part I once thought most worth loving, the innocent eyes and the laughing care for others that I once owned as part of my self?

"Everything it seems I like's
A little bit stronger
A little bit thicker
A little bit harmful for me."

- Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk by Rufus Wainright

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

The Prayer of the Mariachi

The Prayer of the Mariachi:

"Give me the strength to be what I was, and forgive me for what I am."

My prayer? His prayer?

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Mood Rings

"We all know the girls, that I am talking about. .
They are time bombs, and they are ticking,
and the only question's when they will blow up?"

So I was thinking, right. . .

Say you love someone for who they are. Or they love you for who you are. Whatever.

Now what does that mean, really? I mean, you know the phrase: "She loves me for who I am!" We've all heard it in a dozen teen dramas and probably our own lives once or twice.

So here's the question I have for the knight gallant with the great girlfriend who thinks he's fantastic: what if you change?

People change. This is an important fact. More important is a side note: change is not always positive. Sometimes change is regression, sometimes it's advancement, sometimes it's just change, with no particular direction or positive or negative aspects.

So how does humanity deal with the fact that when we say, every day, across the world: "I love you for who you are" we're admitting, deep down inside our minds, that we don't have to love who they might become.

God doesn't love us because of who we are. If he did, he could easily enough shrug us off after time and time again we regress to our most hateful and depraved states. So what does he love us for? I think that maybe the only valid answer is that he loves us because of who he is.

So if that's true, than is that the answer to a successful relationship? Not loving the other person for who they are, but loving them for who you are? Are we meant to love our mates because that's what we are meant to do, not because they have demonstrated some worthiness or earned it by being 'Mr./Ms. Right'?

What if that is too much work?

Is that what it comes down to? Is that what inspires thousands of divorces and breakups and heartaches every day? Are we just not ready to put in the mind-numbing, heart-rending, emotionally-exhausting effort that it takes to love someone because we are someone meant to love them? Do we just slowly decide we don't love each other because we never loved them for who we are, we loved them for who they were, once upon a time, in a dream. Or do we lie to ourselves to get to that place, to make ourselves feel safe, so that we don't have to admit that we didn't have the energy to see it through? Do we want to avoid realizing that we didn't have the sheer strength of will and character, to be what we promised we were?

And if it happens, how would you know it happened to you?

"Lets get emotional girls to all wear mood rings
so we'll be tipped off, to when they're ticked off. . ."
Relient K - Mood Rings

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Nothing's Gonna Change My World?

You ever think about cliché phrases that might not mean what you've thought they always meant?

Like "One in a million."

Think about it. "Oh, he's a great guy. He's one in a million." We always use it positively. Meaning that someone is rare.

But think about turning the phrase around for a moment. Put me in the middle of 999,999 people who look like me, talk like me, and act like me, and once again I'm one-in-a-million, but now it means something else. Funny how that works, don't you think?

There's this phrase, I've always liked, in the song across the universe (originally by the Beatles, covered by Rufus Wainright, Fiona Apple, and a host of others).

"Nothing's gonna change my world."

I always liked the phrase because I thought it was an edgy sort of determined defiance. A refusal to let other people dictate what happens inside your personal universe. A strong proclamation of independence from the sweeping tides that bowl over other, weaker men every day.

But what if it is a lament?

What if it is not a defiant crowing at all, but rather a despairing wail? A cry of trapped isolation and desparation? Of a man without hope recognizing that no matter how long he struggles, or who strives along with him, his universe will remain unchanged, and his troubles will never recede to be replaced by the light of a brighter day?

What if our moments of most joyous proclamation should really be lamentations?

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Catch 22

I finished Catch 22 Yesterday.

I think it may have changed my life. (Ha!) If you haven't read it, I recommend it. The Chaplain's revelation is a brilliant passage and a concept I reached myself sometime a year or two ago, but I hadn't attributed it's genesis to a complete lack of character the way Heller does. Brilliant.

And on an unrelated front: Does this article give anyone else migraines?

The Concept T

In other news.

I want this car.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

The Martyred

I learned a new lesson recently.

Don't bother trying to update a blog with server limitations on a weekend. :P

Anyway, I'm back.

We lost our network connection yesterday for the whole day. Got it back this morning.

I finished The Martyred, by Richard E. Kim yesterday, and there's a passage from it I'd like to quote. If you ever get a chance to read it, it's well worth experiencing.

I was agitated beyond control. "No! I don't despise you or anyone," I almost shouted. "It is what you all are doing that I despise!" Then trying to moderate my voice, I went on, "You say you give them what they want, what they need. But why deceive them? Why deceive the people who have been cheated countless times already? Why add more lies to their miserable lives? You say you give them what they want? How do you know that a pack of lies is what they want? Are you sure that is what they need? They need truth. It may be painful but truth is what they need and what you must give them. You say you do all this for them, for their happiness. But no! You do it because you want your propaganda. You do it because you want to save your church from being scandalized. You do it because you want to deceive the people into believeing that everything is all right, everything is going to be all right, that a god in heaven takes good care of them, that a state sincerely worries about their lot, and all this in the name of the people. I am tired, I am sick of all this pretension, all these noble lies, all in the name of the people, for the people. And meanwhile the people continue to suffer, continue to die, deceived from birth to death."

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

We're like pen pals, but without the pals.

Do you ever wonder why you keep corresponding with some people?

I mean, you were friends once, when they lived near you, and you honestly enjoyed the pleasure of their company.

But now, seperated by an ocean of time and distance, you continue to write chatty letters back and forth, knowing all the while that without the tete-a-tete interaction your words are meaningless because you have zero in common.

I have noticed that I continue to correspond now only with those with whom I have at least a little in common (a shared interest, a similar goal, etc). Because over the years the other correspondences have all died away.

It's like a sort of darwinistic rule of long distance relationships. "Only those relationships founded in some rational shared interest or common characteristic will survive to maturity via a long distance correspondence."

A very good friend contacted me recently. She and I now have things in common that we didn't when we knew one another before. It's interesting, but I think our correspondence died as a result of the darwinistic limitations, but now, with the new commonalities, we'll probably keep in touch for a while.

Funny how that works, don't you think?

Thursday, June 03, 2004

American Girls are Leather and Noise

Two things today.

First, Kuk Sool has made me happy!

I went back yesterday, first day back I got to groundfight with two people, and play "Bull in the Ring" (a sort of timed Randori where people actually get to realize how little of their stuff works). In addition to slowly getting my techniques back (hrm, now I just gotta remember the Hyung, ach!). But in the meantime I've got bruises, scratches and a sore neck. In other words, I am a happy camper.

Hearing "Don't forget you can use your knees and elbows" is always encouraging, of course.

It seems he's found a way to challenge his students without scaring them away, and I'm thinking it'll work well for me this summer. We'll see how everything goes down from here on out.

On the other side of the coin from violence is romance, right? So I'm starting to figure out stuff about American Girls (ala Counting Crows, yeah) and there are far too many things that seem too easy for me. And some things at the same time that I just can't figure out.

But I'm getting there, slowly but surely. I'm trying to figure out how I can be myself and interact with people, which is hard for me because I've learned to read lots of people well enough to know that if I just play the right cards with the right timing I can get people to do what I want. But I don't want to rely on manipulation to get what I want out of life. That's not my objective.

So how do I get around it?

We'll see. Right now I've got some reading and research to do.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

I missed Pilates

So I missed the Pilates class. I'll try again some other time.

However, I'm going back into town today, and starting with Kuk Sool Won again. (w007!). That makes me happy.

I'm a wee bit concerned, however, because I love my instructor, but over the last four years I think he's gotten more soft around the edges. He's a great guy, but staying in business is an important part of the full-time martial arts school plan, and that means that sometimes the authenticity of the training suffers in exchange for its entertainment value. That's just a fact of business and life. He's done a good job so far but I don't know how things are going to go in the long term. We'll see.

I really need a job, and hopefully I'll start/continue that search this afternoon. Wish me luck.

I'm seriously considering Bouncer, because the hours would work well. I'm also going to try and get in touch with a contact of my mothers that might be able to get me a line on something good at Felix's. We'll see.

In the meantime. . . life is sortof rewriting itself by the moment. My Girl and I are reworking our relationship into something that will survive the summer, I think. But it won't be the same. I don't think anything will ever be the same.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004