Copper - Beginning Again

I think I have begun updating a little too often.

I just started reading this new comic. It's called copper.

I love it. It makes me smile.

And in case you still drop by, there is a comic there that feels like you and I.

Copper's dreamscapes, artwork, and raw artistic vision combine in a way that is enchanting and new. It seems to remember the world we all once dreamed we would take our places in when we were too young to know what words like mundane really meant.

On a related but not directly correlated topic: Do we still hope for someone to break us from our molds, and from our wrote-rehearsal places? Do we silently beg that someone will stop us from lying our way into believing we are happy doing what we hate?

We are waiting for an end, but dreaming of new beginnings.

"We can never start over. But we can begin again."

The summer dialogues will draw to a close soon. I can sense the end. Will it be my new beginning, or just another phase?

Saturday, July 31, 2004

Slipping into the currents of life.

Swallow the lump in your throat.

She doesn't want to hear it. And you can't bear to say it one more time.

Just let it slide beneath you, like the pine cone dropping in the river that passes under the bridge.

Watch it tumble in the water, and spin in the eddies and currents. The words become a little less authentic the further down the river they travel.

Turn off the music and go to sleep. It's easier this way.

The Pages of Relationships and the Winds of Life

Do you remember the scene in Wonder Boys where the author's 1000+ page book (the follow up to "The Arsonist's Daughter") gets thrown out into a very windy space and blows away, and his editor is left running around frantically snatching at the last few pages as it slips into the breeze?

I feel like I'm two personalities, and half of me is the editor, watching this part of my life come to a close. I've only got 15 more days, and it's killing me. I feel like I should implode from the emptiness that I know is building within. He dashes from moment to moment, not caring if he gets stood up for an hour at a dusty little Jazz club if it means he might get just another few seconds spent with her. And when she doesn't come, he goes by her house, to reassure himself that she's ok, although he knows she's fine, and that plans just didn't work out to go to the club, and he shouldn't be surprised.

And the other half of me knows what it means for something to end, and is half-resigned and half-detached from the entire moment. Sitting here, watching the end coming and telling myself "Just don't fall apart now. Let the moment pass. You'll survive. You'll make it. Don't let the placid surface be disturbed, no matter how much turmoil there is beneath."

You could have had my heart if you had wanted it. What stopped you?

What am I holding onto so fiercely? The idea of what I thought I had is dead. But I am not done mourning for it yet.

Friday, July 30, 2004


Y'know. . . stereotypes suck.

A message To the World: Just because I get along with the people that you don't doesn't make me one of them.

Just because you're ultrapractical about your clothes and I can talk fashion doesn't make me gay. Just because I know how an AND gate works and you don't doesn't make me a geek. Just because I can talk to a guy and know how to smile appreciatively while he babbles on about his 'awesome 9th level wizard' doesn't make me a D&D nerd. Just because I know how the action on a pistol should feel doesn't make me a gun nut. Just because I refuse to play your games doesn't make me antisocial. Just because I laugh when you cry doesn't make me cynical. Just because I weep when you giggle doesn't make me sensitive.

Stop trying to put me in the two dimensional boxes you build to categorize the people you don't begin to understand. I don't fit in any of them, and you can press and push and insist and argue just as long as you want, but every time you open your mouth and another wasted misunderstanding leaps from your lips it just makes me that much less likely to think you have any hope of understanding me.

I am not a freak. I am not a geek. I am not your mother's boyfriend. I am not your father's long-lost son. I am not your miracle worker. I am not your average bum. I am not the end of the world, nor am I it's beginning. Trying to classify me is an attempt to catch water in a sieve.

Listen to some Bright Eyes and remember that I introduced your friends to them. Listen to some Linkin Park and I am hidden between the lyrics. I am Hanz Zimmer and Millencolin. I am Guster and I am Maroon 5. I am every band you love and I am half the bands you hate.

I am the sushi you think you are good at making. I am the pasta dish you never quite get right. I am the water you burned when you tried to make it boil.

Your fences are too short, your boxes are too shallow, your mentalities too limited to contain me. The best you can hope is that one day you might classify me as unclassifiable, and then you might be closer than you've ever been before.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

All my curses come in threes.

the glove compartment isn't accurately named and everybody knows it.
so i'm proposing a swift orderly change.

I never wanted any of it to be this way. Am I the bad guy now?

cause behind its door there's nothing to keep my fingers warm
and all i find are souvenirs from better times
before the gleam of your taillights fading east to find yourself a better life.

I asked for a promise from you, when all this began. Do you remember what it was?

i was searching for some legal document as the rain beat down on the hood
when i stumbled upon pictures i tried to forget
and that's how this idea was drilled into my head

I asked that there not be a bad guy. That if everything unraveled and the notion of 'us' drew to a close, that it could be without someone having to take the blame. I didn't want to make an enemy out of a friend. I didn't want to look back on someone I had loved so fiercely and feel only shame and regret.

But I earned that shame, and that regret. I was the bad guy.

cause it's too important
to stay the way it's been

Is that how it will be with us? Will I one day wish to burn all of this from my memory? Isn't this too important to stay the way it's been?

there's no blame for how our love did slowly fade
and now that it's gone it's like it wasn't there at all
and here i rest where disappointment and regret collide
lying awake at night

Did I fear the end so much that I manufactured it? The way you sometimes jump into a pool of icy water, to avoid the slow pain of adaptation, and get the shock over all at once?

How could I have been so stupid, to let something so lovely slip through my fingers?

All my curses come in threes.

there's no blame for how our love did slowly fade
and now that it's gone it's like it wasn't there at all
and here i rest where disappointment and regret collide
lying awake at night (up all night)when i'm lying awake at night.

- Death Cab For Cutie, Title and Registration.

I still sleep easy, but sometimes sleep is the only escape.

All my curses come in threes.

Things could have been so different. Did you ever wonder why they always seemed the same? Do you ever wonder why every pattern repeats, and nothing changes from face to face, and moment to moment? Do you ever think that perhaps it isn't them, it's you?

I know it's me. I know my life loops like a broken record, skipping between promise and failure, beginnings and endings.

Perhaps if I strike the table hard enough, the skip will stop, and redemption will come, even for a sinner so wretched as I.

All my curses come in threes.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Freedom within Oppression

I attended a youth rally this evening.

The man who spoke was named Kelly Green. He was one of the most honest men I've ever heard speak to teenagers, and I've heard quite a few. He was direct, he didn't cut corners or play word games. He made fun of himself and his fellow christians in those moments when we act absurd and earn the derision of others. He made honesty out of his own story, and his own story is certainly not easy to tell.

And he did it all in jeans and a print button down, looking like a relaxed Hawaiian tourist.

He said somethings that I really liked.

Before he spoke, someone else sang a solo (that was, I must admit, kindof awful) but it got me thinking about freedom.

Assume for a moment that absolute freedom is simply the absence of any oppresion.

This leads to an immediate statement: Freedom does not by nature imply progression. Just because you leave something alone doesn't mean it will grow. You can put a weight on a plant and limit its growth, but if you place the same weight on a rock, it won't limit the growth of the rock. In the same sense, taken the weight off the rock will not spurn it to grow suddenly.

Progression comes via personal ambition, not just freedom to pursue what we wish.

Secondly, if freedom allows for easier progression (less energy need be expended for progress to be made) than the strongest character is the one who progresses in the absense of freedom. That is, when his oppression is hampering his development, and he still strives to progress, then he is expending more energy and demonstrating more strength than one who advances in the absence of any oppression at all.

So my question is this: why do we so often dread oppression or trial? Is it not simply a chance to prove ourselves. To test the mettle of our making, and discover what we are truely worth?

I'll leave you with this--when Kelly spoke, he talked of his conversion, and said that he was 'seeking for things he didn't have: Forgiveness, Peace, Purpose, and a Reason to Live'. That's an appropriate list, I think. Those are concepts worth seeking.

Research for repairs on Chetter.

As many of you know, I had a sport of trouble last month.

So today has been a research day. For the past two hours I've been comparing replacement part prices for Jeep tops. Mostly things like Tonneau covers (Aka Dusters or Cargo covers), Bikini Tops, Island Covers (aka Safari Covers), Windjammers (aka Cab Curtains), and Canopy Covers (aka Trail covers or Cockpit Covers).

I've been on half a dozen websites comparing prices for about a dozen items by four different manufacturers. I'm about to go out of my mind. The fact that no two places seem content to use the same terminology for all parts, and that some of these websites are the most poorly designed layouts for navigation doesn't help.

It makes me wonder about modern web designers. I mean, half of these systems actually keep you from getting to the product you want to purchase, and in the process expose you to a plethora of useless or irrelevant product lines you don't need to know anything about.

Are these companies intentionally targeting ignorant impulse buyers, or are they just really poor at doing what they do?

Either way, it reminds me of a quote that a friend of mine once gave me about interactivity, which, sadly, I've lost. I'll see if I can find it and add it to this post later.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Today is my sister's birthday.

I feel as if, for the first time in my life, I'm growing up. It's a strange sensation.

I've known for years that I was maturing, learning, advancing. It wasn't always at a steady pace, sometimes "breakneck" would be more apt a descriptor than "steady". But it was always happening, and I always knew it was happening.

But I could never feel it happening.

I can feel myself growing up. I can watch the years wash away from my frame and be replaced by wisdom and knowledge and cynicism and hope. Yes, hope. It's one of the things I am beginning to sense, seeping into my veins, into my heart, into my bones.

I am becoming older. I am becoming stronger. My youth is decaying, and in its place is what I believe the Korean's referred to when they speak of the Hwa Rang, the "Flowering of Manhood". It is as if all the sunshine and good soil and rainwater of my life up until now has temporarily abated, and I find myself maturing in the absence of an environment that demands my continued development.

Suddenly my circumstances do not require me to grow, and so I grow voluntarily, and I can feel every moment of it.

I read "The Five People you Meet in Heaven" this morning.

"Per l'amaro ed il dolce"--For the bitter and the sweet.

It as if, until now, my life was a river, and I advanced only because the rushing of my life pulled me ever forward. But now, my river has emptied into a bay, and I'm rowing out to sea, skimming among the larger waves and heading for the horizon. I do not progress because the current pulls me, but because I wish to advance, I wish to move farther forward.

What does all this mean? Is that what this last year was? My resistance, as I paddled upstream? Avoiding the mouth of the river? Avoiding the advance, realizing for a moment that I wanted no more of maturity, but just the innocence stupidity of youth?

But why now--having been spat out of the mouth of the river and left to drift in the bay--do I find myself preparing for a larger journey? Pushing forward now, just as the push from behind me has receded?

I am growing. I am flowering. I am the new bud. I am the craft slipping out to sea. I am the migration route. And the stories that my life will someday create seem to welcome me with a sad but consistent smile. "We always knew you would come. We have been waiting for you."

My life's ebb and flow is defined incrementally in each moment that I hesitate on the edge between thinking and being.

I will choose to be.

Monday, July 26, 2004

Getting back on my feet.

"Now I lay me down to dream."

I've got some work to do today.

More than a couple of things have been bothering me lately, and I'm coming to terms with them one at a time.

I came so close to the edge that I can't tell whether I stepped over or not.

I've frightened myself by how far I can fall, I think.

In any case, I'm done in Macon. The pictures are developed. My father fixed my jeep for my birthday. He's so cool. My sister's birthday is tomorrow, and I am looking forward to it. I even have her gift ready.

In the meantime, I've got some work to do. There are some very overdue letters that need to be prepared, some answers that must be written. Heck, I've still got to unpack from the trip. That's the first order of the day, unpacking.

And now, to work. Time to produce? To bear fruit?

I think I might also do some reading later today. I think I have a few religious texts I owe it to myself to read.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Giving Blood.

I'm back.

I looked at the window of my old room and thought about my past, my present and my future. And I decided it was time to do something with the latter two, based on the lessons learned in the former.

Funny, former. . .the extra meaning that arises, as my past formed me, so it becomes former. . . hmm.

In other news: I'm listening to Air these days, and I love Alpha Beta Gaga.

I gave blood today.

Giving blood always makes me jittery. It's odd, and so I'm going to spend some time unpacking the sensation.

First off, it doesn't hurt to me. The pinprick when they confirm your iron levels is more painful to me than the actual needle sliding into my arm.

However, even now, on my fourth or fifth time giving blood (I wind up giving about once a year) I still experience this very strange sort of uncheckable anxiety. I know full well that I have blood to spare. I know it won't hurt. I know I've done it before, and it won't effect me in the long run in any way.

On top of that, the sight of my own blood doesn't bother me. I've been cut and busted up lots of times, and the sight of my own blood is neither new nor unsettling to me. And even if it did hurt more than it does, I'm not bothered by most other kinds of far more excrutiating pain. Heck, I study a martial art, I'd be an idiot to keep that up if I had a problem with pain in significant portions.

But when the clamp comes off the line, and that bag begins to fill with my blood, its like everything inside my head simultaneously screeches "Hey! I NEED that! That's ME in that bag! Give it back!"

And this sort of self-preservation instinct kicks in. I can control it, and with focus I can override it. But in the course of overriding it I take on all the physical signs of nervousness. Difficulty concentrating, nervous fidgeting, jittery movement, Deeper breathing, etc.

And despite the fact that I don't have any of the internal physiological warning signs that I might pass out (no lightheadedness, nausea, or dizziness) I still obviously look freaked out. As a result the nurses invariably do all the things they do for people who are going to pass out or throw up. They elevate you, they put icepacks on you, they keep asking "are you going to be ok?" It always makes me want to shout "I'm fine! I'll be fine. There's nothign wrong! I'm just panicking inside my head because the innermost me is freaking out that my vital fluids are being pumped into a little plastic baggie!"

So, if I could get over that phobia, I'd be fine.

And despite that phobia, I still try and give blood when the opportunity arises, because. . .well, it might be me bleeding to death on the table one day, and I'd like to know that someone else was willing to spend 20 minutes going haywire inside their own skull to save my life.

So I guess that's my message for the day. If you can give blood, and you don't at least once in a while, I urge you to do so. You're not just helping out, you're saving lives. Sure, tomorrow your blood may help out some random schmuck you'll never meet who cheats in his income taxes and will never make an impact or matter to you. But one day the life you save may your father's, your pastor's, your sister's, your fiancé's, your brother's, your own.

Think about it.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

The (Un)"Common Room"

I left the last entry for two days because. . .well, it was long. :)

I'm done developing. The last picture was one of her. She's looking out of a window, resting her chin on her hands.

Not just any window though. It's my window. The (Un)"Common Room" of 306.

It's a good picture of her. I took it at the wrong time of day, so the lighting could be better, and her hair is fringed with white where the sunlight strikes it, but I like it nonetheless.

Too much happened in that room, in the last two years, for it to ever recede in importance from my memory. I know that, due to the way that Hall was built, unless it's renovated greatly it'll be gone in no less than two decades. By the time I'm old enough to justify my nostalgic reminiscing, the building (and that room) will probably be gone.

I think that's a pity. I made (and nearly lost) some great friends in that room. I won some fun victories (Hey Justin, how many consecutive wins at Power Stone was that?) and suffered some ignominious defeats (I'm sorry. I can't ever convey, even to myself, my shame).

That room helped mold me. Those four walls witnessed my life unfolding. And today I'll go and look at that window, my window, maybe for the last time.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

What it means to be honest.

What does it mean to be honest?

One of my objectives, from my earliest memory, is to be honest. Not nice. Not kind. Not tactful. Not even politically wise. Just honest.

I always tried to "tell it to people straight."

I had a couple reasons for this. One was that pre-experimentation I was big into this lost concept of chivalry. My experimentation, in fact, was primarily with Amorality and the Loss of Chivalry and Character.

I think I'm coming back to the parts of me I left behind in the experiments and now trying to figure out how taking them apart like I did will help me put them back together, and one of the big ones I've got to re-assemble is honesty.

One of the reasons I was so big into honesty is that my Mother is huge about it. She talks about the fact that bearing false witness is a sin, and that to her lying is one of the worst traits that anyone can have.

I always believed her. But recently I've watched her, on at least one occasion, toss aside the trust of her students, because she feels that the concerns they've voiced to her are unwarranted.

Example: A kid calls her to talk about an assignment, and that he's happy that he's found his material for the topic, and asks her not to tell anybody, because he doesn't want to get teased by the other kids in the class for geeking out and calling her. She thinks the story is adorable, and proceeds to tell it (in full, with names) to both his parents and the parents of other children in the class. She wasn't worried at all about the fact that it was almost certain to get back to the kids, and even just telling the parents was a pretty low thing to do, after the student requested it go unmentioned.

I was in the room when I heard the story, and I almost jumped her for it. I've started to realize that there are areas of life where I feel superior to my parents, and I really wanted to call her on it and say, right there, while she was telling the story "and what did you tell him? Did you assure him you wouldn't share the story?" Right in front of all her peers.

But I didn't. It's not my place. I've learned to hold my tongue in recent years, quite well. Its a trait that comes in handy but often goes unnoticed. I'm sure there are many people in my life who, if they read this, would think "Patrick? Holding his tongue? Pfft. He never does that." They'd be wrong. And for every time they think that, there are probably a dozen times that I bite back a statement that could take someone apart. I realized it isn't worth it.

I lost my respect for other's opinions after a girl that I'd known for over a year--who was quite intelligent (I had thought)--told me that she didn't think homeschooling was capable of preparing people to socialize properly.

I didn't even laugh in her face. I was too shocked. I just quietly consigned her opinions on homeschooling (and several other topics) to a place in my brain where I store the opinions of many (but not all) gun control, Welfare and Drug War proponents.

In the meantime. . . what does it mean to be honest? Am I facilitating dishonesty by not calling out people like my Mother, for her actions. What about a friend of mine who recently boasted "I could have killed you at any time" in front of others, to shore up his ego after I quietly pointed out that he'd taken a knee to the face in class only because his technique was poor?

What do I care if my mother tells her story, or my friend's ego remains shored up? The student of my mother's will quietly lose some of his respect for her if the story ever makes it back to him, but that is not my concern. My friend will go on cheerfully thinking that he told me off, when in truth he just ignored an opportunity to learn from my comment--meant not to criticize but to instruct--but that too, is not my concern.

Why should the honesty of others be my concern? Why should the respect others pay one another be my concern? Why should the respect they bother paying me be my concern?

Years ago my father drew me aside after I expressed frustration with a situation in which I had no hand and he said "You can't play policeman for the world. You can't save everybody."

I hated it at the time, but now it has become a part of my mantra, a part of how I relate to the world. It may be one of the most effective lessons my father ever taught me, those quiet words.

It lets me sit back, these days, as others rant on about their lives, or even posture and use my willingness to let their proud words go unchallenged to maintain their own reputation. What do I care if others think me a wealking or a fool for letting someone talk to me like that? Let them think it. Let them drink from the well of ignorance like a lost man from a bottle of cheap whiskey. Let them drink deep, and be filled with the ignorance that comes from listening to the loudest voice in the room.

My challenges will remain unspoken. I wouldn't even dream of calling these people out on their arrogance or breach of trust in private, let alone in public, when the incidents occur. It no longer is my priority to set people straight. Perhaps this is partly because I know that, even if I could do it quietly in private, many of them would feel incensed or offended that I--foolish young arrogant Patrick--had the audacity to point out their own failings to them.

But in that moment when I refuse the opportunity to challenge, Do I abandon my honesty? As much as if I'd said the statement myself?

Would I only be honest if I worked to maintain not only my own honesty but the honesty of all those around me?

And what about those moments when I myself have gone back on my word? There are more than a few people that I've betrayed by careless words or stupid decisions. There is at least one girl I can think of that I basically stabbed in the back, and nothing I can do now, and nothing I can say, can ever bring back her trust in people like me. By being the instrument of destruction, I not only deal damage, but make myself incapable of being an instrument of healing.

And so I look at the words of others and remember that there are other times that I have been no better than them, and in my moment of weakness and failure, none of them called me to the floor, or only one or two did. Meanwhile the rest quietly let me 'be myself' (whatever horrid creature that I may become) without so much as drawing me aside for a quiet word. And so I follow their example. They don't challenge me, I don't challenge them.

And the world turns around. Perhaps, do I lose my honesty not when I refrain from speaking a corrective truth but when I lose my innocence, and begin to realize that we all would rather remain uncorrected?

What does it mean to be Honest?

Am I any closer to the truth?

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

I am Extraordinary, if you'd only. . .

I've been developing pictures again.

You longtime readers will roll your eyes, knowing that this activity generally leads me to pontificate about such things as developing time, the Power Line Problem (®, pat. pending, etc.), and how real life and photography are analogous.

I am not particularly planning any such moments for this evening. Instead, I'll just muse a bit.

I developed pictures from Seattle today. I was in Seattle three weeks ago, because I went on a cruise to Alaska.

While in Seattle we went down to Pike's Place Market, a very cool little section of the city that I'm sure any native wouldn't be caught dead in, unless they needed cheap flowers or dangerously low-flying fish.

In any case, it's got some very photogenic moments to it, and I managed to capture at least a couple of them, which I'm happy about.

In addition, I finally finished developing the last of the pictures I took last semester on the Stafford Building here in Macon (glory, glory, hallelujah, and so on). Now I've only got three categories left to finish, really. (1) The rest of the "Common Room" pictures (those are the ones of you. And you know who you are). (2) New York. (3)Seattle/Alaska.

So I'm happy about all that.

In addition, I've decided that radio is the spawn of hell if you listen to it for more than 30 minutes. It's obviously designed to make intracity drivers happy. If you try and listen to it while you work for several hours, you will quickly decide that Yellowcard's Ocean Avenue has gone on your personal preference list from ranking up there with Chocolate, Sunsets, and Massages, to ranking alongside toothaches, getting hit in the head with a hammer, or having your appendix out.

Ok, I think I'm done. Off to dinner with three old friends! Hurrah!

Monday, July 19, 2004

The Scientist

"Questions of Science,
Science and Progress,
Don't speak as loud as my heart." - Coldplay

I promised before that I'd return to this topic.

So here I am.

So what's the deal?

I was thinking about my previous comments, and feel I've maybe acquired some additional clarity via a related problem.

In addition to the other problem (my constant struggle with playing the fool and then resenting it when I have a chance to think quietly once I'm away from the limelight) there is another facet of my public persona that I have come to resent in recent years.

It's a habit that I thought I had mainly reigned in, or at least suppressed, as my 'self' filled out, but now, at the strangest times, I find it reappearing, making me doubt my ability to really be my self.

See, it's a social problem. When I speak with/around people whom I respect, or think highly of, or even just those who over time I've learned to think of as different than myself (no better, no worse), something happens. I begin to adopt their attributes. Facial Expressions, Turns of Phrase, Accents, Mannerisms. Everything.

It's like I become some sort of fucking social sponge, incapable of being myself except with those I feel a clear superiority to, either social, intellectual, physical, or all of the above.

What the fuck is that about?

It's bothered me for the last 5 years and sure, it's not as prevalent as it once was, but the fact that it's still there irks me.

Why can't I be myself? I feel like I'm some sort of Social Borg, incapable of not trying to assimilate and absorb every attribute of others that I have not yet made my own. As if I can somehow feed socially off their characters as people feed intellectually off each others thoughts.

It's odd. And I don't like it.

But there it is. It is appearantly as much a part of me as my eye colour, or my vocabulary.

The Scientist in me wants to subvert it. To conquer it and excise it completely from my system. The Warrior in me wants to confront those from whom I begin to model myself and prove to myself that I do not need to model them. The Dreamer in me just wants to know why I am so unhappy with my self that I must try to change.

Who wins? I don't think it matters. I think I still lose.

[Hindsight-o-Matic: I found out, after my Grandmother's death on New Years Day, 2005, that it is at least in part an inherited trait from her. She did this with accents throughout her life, and so perhaps it is merely my genes at work.]

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Sunday seems Slower than Normal.

I'm locked out of the Art Building.

That annoys me. I have pictures to develop!


So I'm in the 24-hour lab, access to which, inexplicably, my BearCard still provides.

Now that's an interesting thing, since I expected Rajeev to refresh the access list and kill my permissions.

Ohwell. I guess that's one of the major advantages of schools where everybody is really relaxed about getting stuff done. It's sortof like what I hear Italy used to be like, with its casual reliance on things happening when they got around to happening. I worry for Mercer if they ever get a Moussilini as a President and the "trains start running on time."

Just stopped and had a conversation with a girl about my typing speed. Interesting. I've been debating switching to DVORAK for years, as many of you are probably aware, and have never gotten around to it. I probably won't.

Oh, it's time for a product endorsement (Yes, dear Readers, I sold out. All six of you may now close your browsers in self-righteous indignation ;).

I'm writing this entry from within a Mozilla FireFox window, and I have to admit I'm impressed. I'll be downloading and installing it when I get home. It's got some features that I'm quite happy with, (the dictionary lookup, while subtle, is especially cool, and the built-in Google search bar is sweet too). Tabbed surfing is my new best friend, so my style of reading (several windows of News, Forums, MA/Gaming sites and Comics open simultaneously) will be much aided by this feature.

In short, I'm happy with my new toy.

Aside from that, a rant about photography:

Power Lines Suck.

I realized that this was one of the things I liked the best about New York, and what makes Manhattan so astoundingly picturesque: It has almost zero exposed power lines. They're all buried and building-to-building.

I was in Savannah last Tuesday--a town I've wanted to conquer/sample/ravish with a Camera for some time (like, almost 4 years)--and I kept finding myself visualizing shots that would have been brilliant compositions if not for the bisection of the view by an inconveniently placed power-line! They were everywhere! Always breaking up the flows of houses and trees, and just generally stomping across my vistas all day. In the end, I didn't get half of the Savannah-style shots I had originally imagined would be so fantastic because, well, they weren't there. To me it seems that my mind, once it is familiar with a boring visual feature of life (like a Power Line, or a Sidewalk) stops bothering to factor in its effect on the picture. However, with a camera in hand and my mind set on processing the raw image as a potential for the visual sampling that my Camera performs, I find myself suddenly noticing unsightly cars parked in the wrong place, or a telephone pole that I'd previously never seen.

It's quite frustrating. But somehow I think I'll manage to survive. (sigh).

In the meantime, I seem to have written a rather long rant. Sorry about that.

I'll leave you now, and hopefully get back to the topic I mentioned in my last update sometime tomorrow. I've got things to say about it, and some other things that I suspect are its close relatives.

Buying Beer, FMJ, and Miscellany

I had a birthday yesterday.

I'll talk about it more probably tonight or tomorrow when I have some real free time.

At the moment, I'm just waiting for us to be prepared to leave, and then we're making a sushi ingredients run. Woohoo!

In other news: I have new boots, and I like them. They're comfy, and I actually kinda like the way they look too.

I bought my first legit alchoholic beverages yesterday. Good beers, both of them (Kirin Ichiban and Hoegaarden). So that's a milestone passed.

I also saw Full Metal Jacket a few days ago. It occurs to me that it's not a War Movie at all, or if it is, it's one of the lousiest "war" movies ever. It's a soldier movie, and a damn good one. Kubrick's hand is more subtle to me than it was in 2001, but the movie itself is quite strong. Some of the best and most honest dialogue I've seen in a film about military combat and training. If you haven't seen it, and you think you like movies about wars, you really owe it to yourself to see this film.

Why do I sound like a movie critic all of a sudden?

I'll have more introspective and interesting dialogue later, I hope. Probably on This topic.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Aristotle, Birthdays, and so on.

I'm in North Atlanta.

Happy Bastille Day.

And tomorrow. . .Happy Birthday to me.

I've also started reading Aristotle again. I'm convinced this is a bad thing.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Experimentation and the Mortician's Knife

I'm going back to Macon.

Lifehouse bleeds from my speakers.

Solemnness pervades me.


It's been my companion since I walked away from my self.

I have this theory.

Y'know, in high school, everybody is searching for identity. Nobody really knows who they are yet, so it's this really awkward time where we fight for a sense of the 'self'.

Once college rolls around, some of us have found selves which we recognize as 'us'. Our identity, however, is sometimes not what we expected, sometimes not what we wanted. For some of us, the self assumed is like a second skin that fits like a poorly made suit. Too thick in some places, too thin in others. We feel out of place, even in the places that should be our homes. We feel ourselves outcasts, even in the center of those groups that should be our communities.

And so we begin to search for our selves again, and we do it via experimentation. A sense of who we thought we were attained, we seek out methods and madnesses that challenge who we are. We act as thought we are someone else to discover what is different, and what is real. We seek to experiment to resolve within ourselves the struggle that we ourselves began by assuming a sense of self.

And so some of us turn to drugs and alchohol. Others turn to body piercings or tatoos. We dive into ill-fated relationships, take jobs we hate, and study subjects we always found repulsive. And some of us, like myself, turn to amorality, the loss of the character and chivalry that once defined us.

We love where we might leave, laugh where we might cry. Drink where we should be sober, and are kind when we should be wise. We are sinners when we should be saints, and charlitans when we should be pastors. But we are also benefactors when we should be leveling fines. We are the kindhearted when we should be the just. We volunteer as guardian angels when we should act as though strangers. We fight for ourselves when others are in need and doggedly try to make others happy when they want nothing more than to see our suffering rival their own.

And each experiment is like a cut of the mortician's knife. Bringing us one step closer to the answers, but one clean, deep, incision farther from the selves we once were.

We find that our experimentation doesn't just provide us answers to what was wrong. It doesn't just give us a cause of death for our old selves--It is the cause of death for our old selves.

Our experiments yeild the expected results, but just as in the microcosmic world of particles, in the macrocosmic world of dreams and selves, in measuring the ammount, we influence it and change it's qualities.

Change, perhaps, it's quality as well?

Are we who we want to be, or do we become what we fight most to discover within ourselves?

Friday, July 09, 2004


This image is my new background.

You like? [Editor's note: The link is back, but intermittent. I'll maybe try and find a way to host the image myself at some indeterminate later date.] I love it. It makes me smile on the inside. There isn't much that makes that happen for me anymore.

Oh, and Lynds? You were totally right about Guster. Why it took me this long to remember to find them I'll never figure out. Stupid of me. :) I'll try and have that CD of Camera Obscura ready for you when I get back from Macon.

My birthday is coming.

And much like the end of my college career, it will pass me by with the faintest of whimpers. My options limited by my situation, there's not even a reasonable way to throw a party that I would enjoy for myself. If I were to throw a party, it would be to make others happy, and I refuse to do that on my 21st. Dammit, it's my day, and if it's a choice between making it be nothing, and making it be a show to reassure others that their presence makes me happy, I'll make it nothing.

I'm going to get away, I hope. I'm going to go where someone knows my name, and yet doesn't really care whether it is my birthday or not. Thank heavens for the enlightened one.

And this question sticks with me: If I have so many friends in Macon, why am I almost dreading visiting?

Working vacation? I'm going to spend all my waking hours in that darkroom anyway. Hurrah for the beautiful escape.

"Trust in me, you're better off this way."

These things are fun.

Title is the quote of the day.

Why does everything always come in threes? Moments of absurdity, anorexia, accidents, the trinity. It's like theres a cosmic theme of threes in my life.

Currently listening to: Camera Obscura, and Broken Social Scene.

I may have said it before, but if I didn't: if you aren't reading Questionable Content, you're a loser.

Doubly so if you call yourself indie, or think of yourself as too mature to be indie, but act indie anyway, in spite of your best efforts to the contrary.

I'm off now. Nothing interesting today. Maybe tomorrow?

I'm traveling soon. Updates may be rare for a time.


Girls just want to have Fun

For all you young, happening Alaska Cruisers out there, consider this a message from beyond the grave:

Kristiana: Hey, thanks for everything (with the possible exception of the overexposure to Karaoke). Take care of yourself, and I hope that new job works out well for you. I'll miss those mornings. Getting back to sleeping normal hours will be hard.

Tom, Jeff, Karl, Jad, Matt, Chris, Mya, Kristen, Dan, Robin, and Andrew: It was a blast. I'm glad I got to meet you all.

Tanya: Do something about that voice. You're a nice girl, but listening to you made me want to jam a shrimp fork in my ear.

Kensy, Remy, and Jessica: Sorry we never got to meet up. I remembered what I liked about Idaho--I went to a little vintage vaudeville show called the Sixth Street Melodrama in Wallace (the place where they filmed most of Dante's Peak, if my memory serves), and I loved it.

And to that Canadian Customs official that checked my passport when I was entering Victoria: You're beautiful. I think I love you. Marry me?

Monday, July 05, 2004

I didn't get eaten by a bear.

I'm back.

I didn't miss any of you, until today.

And now I miss just one of you, but fiercely. I want to see you. I've got some things that need to be said.

More stories and notes about Alaska forthcoming as time and energy permit.

[hindsight-o-matic: For the record, it was too little, too late. ]