New Year's Eve

I have fond memories of New Year's Parties from my childhood. This was the one time when my parents would throw large, 'holiday' parties, and 4 to 7 families would all come out to our house and we would stay up half the night setting off fireworks and the parents would sit around the bonfire for hours.

The next morning 5 to 10 of us kids would be up at 6 or 7 AM, back outside splitting open the core logs in the bonfire to start a new, smaller fire (we were kids, and that means we were pyromaniacs too) and we'd sit around, collecting fireworks we'd lost in the dark the night before, running around in the yard and playing outdoor games like freeze-tag.

It was always fun to find left over bottle rockets or roman candles, reminders of the magic of the previous evening. Of course, the most disapointing thing to find in the yard were sparklers, since the night before they were beautiful and exciting, and in the harsh light of the new day they were very little more than hissing sticks.

It is a happy memory.

I have one memory of the awkward times between childhood and the teenage years, of sitting in my den with a good friend, both of us talking with a girl in Atlanta. That girl was my first adoration (crush is not a strong enough word for the stupidity this girl generated in me). It was a different sort of New Year's. Confused. Restrained. Unproductive. But characteristic of those in-between years. Growing pains. The other New Year's Eves are lost to memory.

Then a different set of memories start. Two New Years ago, I went out with some friends that I had met through a co-operative education home-school program, including my now-ex Kawaii girl and her then-best friend (we'll call her Barbie). I'm not a big fan of blondes, but I will admit that Barbie was one of the 5 most attractive blondes I have ever met. Hot, and very intelligent. Zero depth to her, and no common sense, but hey, you can't have everything.

This was before I was actually dating my ex, back when we were aquantainces who hadn't even admitted how much we were attracted to each other. I was still sortof playing up the mentor/big brother role (hey, we all make mistakes. It's a role I've since abandoned to be played by other men with more patience than me).

Those two, myself, and about 5 other people wound up at my ex's parent's house, sitting in the living room playing games, trading massages (actually, that's a lie--It was just me giving everybody [well, all the girls] massages) and talking until early in the morning.

Fast forward to last New Year's Eve. I spend it with my ex, but of course we were dating then. We'd been maintaining a fairly successful (if incredibly draining) long-distance relationship for about 7 months. We were (again) in her living room, but this time it wound up being just me and her, somehow. A nice end to the evening, but much more personal than the others.

We wound up watching a couple of movies, and during Boondock Saints, one of my favorite movies of all time, I kissed her for the first time.

Now, those of you who don't know me well are probably a bit surprised by this, so let me catch you up: I hadn't planned to kiss anyone until I was married. It was one of those stupid, crazy ideas you pick up in elementary or middle school and that most people usually have the good sense to discard as impractical or anti-American before they are even old enough to shave daily. I was not one of those people. Call me stubborn, call me passionate, call me obstinate, call me stupid. Whatever.

My first kiss happened at the age of 20, as a result, on New Year's Eve, as 2003 was disappearing into memory.

The first kiss was, well, awkward (she wasn't expecting it).

The next three hours were also considerably more amazing than anything I had experienced previously. To keep from bothering the other people in the house with concerns that we'd fallen asleep or left, we simply ran the middle portion of the movie back and rewatched it to cover our activity. So it once took me five hours to watch Boondock Saints, a 2 hour film.

It turns out, you can learn a great deal in three hours.

It is a great memory. Full of passion, love, and kindness. Of course, there are fair shares of rebellion, youth, and stupidity mixed in. Again, growing pains, but this time they were less restrained. More of me fighting against what I had made myself into. Fighting my way out of a shell I didn't like.

Then, this year happened, and for various reasons, all that kindof went to hell.

In the last 12 months I've kissed four girls (although I'd say only two count), broken up with my now-ex, finished my degree and then abandoned that carreer path for a time, and just generally kindof messed up my life a great deal.

And now, the last time I talked to my ex (who I had thought was still on kind terms with me) I was told that maybe we should stop "pretending to be friends" if-and-when she moves back to the town where I now work.

That was kindof a blindside. I had thought I was her friend. Although, I suppose, considering the treatment I recieved the last time I saw her, I should have known better (Awkward doesn't begin to describe it). I will point out that I think it was more her letting off end-of-the-semester steam than it was honestly sharing frustration with me personally, since we had the conversation during her finals week (I don't know why she thought that would be a good time to burn bridges with me. who knows).

But it should be an irrelevant issue anyway, since I hope to be out of the country before she returns from school.

So tonight is the anniversarry of my first kiss, and I miss my ex more than I have in a long time.

Of course, I realize that for me, she was my first real girlfriend, and one of the most 'real' relationships I've ever had (friendships included, at least for a time) but for her, I was little more than one of the longest lasting and most memorable of a long string of boys, and now, of course, I'm just one of the boys in the discard pile.

She dates like it's going out of style. Hell, by the end of the summer she'd found someone new (within a month of the last time we'd been on good terms and seen each other under the pretenses of friendship). So she's had a new boy for 4 months now, and appearantly he's great. The irony is that from what I hear, he's half the responsibilities I gave up to be with her, and half the things I was always too responsible to be.

But hey, she says that he is great, and they're a far better couple than we ever were. And I believe it. Sad as that may be, I think it is probably true.

I have stopped allowing myself to fantasize about winning her back. To be sickeningly honest, I don't want her back. I'll always love her. You don't ever stop loving your first, but I know better than to think it would ever work out for the best for us to try again.

And that is sad.

I have to work today, so I probably won't leave until 10:30 or 11PM. But I'd really, really like to try and find a New Year's Eve party to crash, because the idea of coming back here to drink (It's New Year's Eve, and there is a hellacious amount of liquor here) doesn't appeal to me. It's too lonely a memory to add to the list. My family is out of town (seeing my grandmother for the last time, in a Philadelphia hospital) and all I want is to be distracted into forgetting what the past few New Year's Eves were like, and I doubt that will happen if I come back here.

So, if you live in the Montgomery area, and know of a kickass party that you recommend or will be attending, drop me a note before 3PM Eastern, today.

Of course, I have no faith that I'll find a party, and my only current 'public' consideration is to drive up to the Blue Iguana and spend 40 dollars to get into the Spicoli's last show. . .but hey, I've already seen them once, and I don't feel like paying the cover, and dammit, I don't think I could even get there before midnight, anyway.

So I have a feeling my New Year's Eve is going to suck. Big time. But hey, if you wanna come out to my place, I'll be throwing the biggest pity party ever.

Heh. I'll admit I kinda earned this screwy, lonely New Year's, via my actions over the last couple.

I've learned a lot over the past 3 years.

If only I could return to my earlier self with all this knowledge and experience. How different my world would be.

How different my world will be anyway, if all goes well for the next four months.

Dreamers will dream, I suppose.

Friday, December 31, 2004

Glass, Concrete and Stone.

house != home.

body != self.

I am searching for home. I am searching for self.

Am I learning something here?

Each mistake defines me just a little more.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

The Graphing Calculator Story.

I just got the link to this from overcaffienated.

If you've ever read Microserfs, and understood it, not just as an intriguing and charming period piece, but as the definitive structure of a 90s era geek's ideal life dreamed into a black and white literary reality, then this should intrigue you (Thanks Sergio).

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Bah, Humbug!

Bah, humbug!

Since when did I have the 'christmas spirit'?

So I bought gifts for a bunch of my coworkers. It was pretty helpful. I think the managers even liked their gifts. I know the owner appreciates his copy of the Sorpanos soundtrack (he's a HUGE Sopranos fan).

In any case, It has been thinking about all these gifts and finding the right ones for the right people that has kindof gotten me into the christmas mood this year. I really was not planning on being very christmas-y.

But yesterday while picking up the last gift for someone, I wound up in line at Best Buy, and was sent to a station where the transaction was almost complete (If you've used Montgomery's Best Buy you know how their system works. Good most of the time, but it can have little hiccups). I wound up behind such a hiccup. A girl a few years younger than me (for the guys: she was about a 6 or a 7 out of 10) who was buying her last couple of gifts for family and boyfriend, and whose check was declined. Her bank didn't provide the cashier with any information, they just declined it over the phone.

Now, it's entirely possible that the girl simply overspent. She didn't keep track of one of her purchases, and there she is, account empty. Too bad. It's also possible, however, that a family member or friend got to her account and screwed her over, or that her bank (in the horror that is the week before christmas in economic transaction terms) screwed up her account or someone elses.

I really don't know, and I'll never find out.

But she seemed nice enough, and quite shocked and appropriately mortified.

And hell, it's two days till christmas.

So I reached past her and laid my debit card on the counter.

"Run it on this card."

The cashier, not yet realizing that I've never seen this girl before, assumes that I know her and looks at her for confirmation and then back at me. The girl looks at me like I just disembarked from an alien hovercraft that punched a hole in the roof and landed in the Networking and Connectivity department.

She says, "But, how am I going to give back--"

"Merry Christmas."

The cashier, at this point, gets her train of thought up to speed and overtakes reality: "You don't know him?"

Confused and still embarrased about the money issue, the girl responds. "No, I've never seen him before."

I smile and look at the cashier. "Go ahead and run the card."

The cashier looks back at her and in her surprise, her heavier latino accent kicks in to match her distinctive features. "Girl, you better take it! Don't ask no more questions!" she says with a laugh.

The girl tries to protest again but she's too shocked to put up any real argument, and I finally get her to bustle off with her own breathy "Merry Christmas! Thank you!" so that I can finish my purchases and go to work.

Now, I don't know about you, but I like to think $43.94 was well worth the knowledge that maybe sometime in the next 48 hours, and hopefully on christmas morning, in at least two households, a christmas story will be told about a mysterious young benefactor who saved christmas for a young girl.

I guess that settles it, I'm a pathetic romantic after all.

Hopelessly hopeful.

Merry Christmas everybody.

Friday, December 24, 2004

That Wacky Mr. Ishida.

Tatsuya did it again.

He keeps making comics about my life.

And here is the latest installment.

If you haven't guessed, I'm the pig.

Below is something I wrote yesterday at 4AM, with a very attractive coworker to whom I was (am?) very physically attracted asleep in my guest bedroom.

I'm leaving it unedited, and then continuing this post below it.

The familial roles in relationships.

Or "how I learned to stop loving my mother."

Quasi-Seduction number 2. I'm up to 1 a week. Pretty pathetic, huh? If the trend continues, I'll be approaching daily by next week, then hourly. After that, I plan to collapse from a mixture of exhaustion and physiological shock.

Again, in the end, I'm less interested in the act of seduction as a means to an end as in the actual seduction itself. It's methods, it's effects, it's outcomes, it's variables. (in other words, I STILL haven't gotten laid, dammit).

It's become so fascinating, appearantly, that I can't stop.

Time period: 8:30 PM to 5AM.

Chemical variables:

1 Tangueray and tonic.
3 shots of Rumpleminz.
1 coors light.
2 shots of Jeagermeister.
4 cups of coffee
1/5 a cup of soda.

Thats all I remember consuming, though more might have been involved. She consumed some stuff too, but I wasn't keeping track. I believe the list included 4 shots of jeager, a shot of rumpleminz, a budweiser, and a margarita. Aside from that, I've no idea. (editors note: Ok, so appearantly I was keeping track)

Pretty pathetic that I still can't get my inhibitions lowered enough to take advantage of a girl, huh? I've got some deep-seated issues.

So lets talk about deep seated issues:

I babysat someone tonight. Right now she's asleep in my guest bedroom (naked, I'm pretty sure). She's a coworker/friend who got absolutely tanked last night and was in no condition to drive home, and who I wasn't willing to waste either her money or mine on a hotel room for her. So I brought her here.

Which means taking her back to montgomery 4 *VERY* short hours from now.

I've decided that girls are looking for fathers. if they have a strong father figure, they're looking for men that they know will be strong fathers. If they didn't, they wind up looking for men who treat them as if they were their fathers. This is how women get into abusive relationships.

And men, conversely, are looking for mothers. If they have strong mothers, they look for women who will embody those qualities, if not, they look for girls that will act like their mother did (either pushovers/weak/submissive, or whatever). This is how guys get into freaky, co-dependent relationships.

This is, to me, the essence of the oedipues (sp?) complex problem. Guys who freak out and think their mothers are the end-all-and-be-all of creation.

In addition, I think perhaps this is one of the primary factors in lots of bad relationships in america today. Weak family values means weak families, weak families means weak parenting, weak parenting means children who get into bad relationships because they impose these mother/father roles on their boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife/spouse etc.

Thus, the social awkwardness that arises.

More on this as the situation develops. Right now, I really need some sleep.

Now, back to the present (Dec 20th) on some extra sleep, with all of the alchohol, nicotine, and caffeine out of my system.

Pretty much all of the writing between the lines above is horse shit.

vaguely chauvanistic, overly-thinky, quasi-introspective, wanna-be-philosophical horse shit, but still horse shit, basically.

As Doctor Palmer used to say "Beautiful crap is still crap."

What it boils down to is that I am perfectly equipped to be a seductive, callous, cruel, sex fiend. I've got all the tricks, knowledge, lies, and physical attributes (good skin, 'cute butt', deep eyes, great smile, etc.) that are necessarry.

But I just can't bring myself over the edge.

It's not that I wouldn't like to abandon the last of my inhibitions. It's certainly tempting. Had circumstances been different, perhaps it would have happened last night.

But something much more powerful overrides my desires on this front. It's a combination of social pressures and personal motivations.

My consistent readers probably remember this post. It's a conviction that I am, appearantly, powerless to abandon.

Like abandoning the color of your skin, or the way you laugh. It's something you can't train out, or run away from, or deny.

Sure, you can fight against it. You can buy makeup, you can think hard about frowning, you can start searching out relationships that you know are doomed by circumstance (kid, I'm sorry--But maybe the 3 week time limit was a large part of the attraction for me), but it won't change the underlying issue.

We are who we are. We dream our dreams and no matter the batterings and turmoils of life, those dreams never leave us.

And here is the fundemental trick for me, caught up in the christmas time.

My biggest problem, now and for the last year or so is something I described in "On people and faith" and "I call bullshit". I claim that people can't change. I don't believe in the Ebenezer experience. No Scrooges will be saved this Christmas in what I claim as my bitter, cynical reality.

And deeper still, behind my desperate desire to be jaded. . . I don't want to believe in the reality I have built out of the cold hard bricks of my experiences. I want people to be changable. I want people to improve, to dream and to reach for the dreams they long ago abandoned.

I want people to be good, and proud, and noble, and kind.

Noble, perhaps, most of all.

I want people to be noble. And more than that. . . I want to be noble myself. It's the meaning of my name. Patrick. Nobleman. It is something I seem to have forgotten. Maybe it is time I went searching for it again.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Something Worth Saying. (Child's Play)

For those of you who don't know me, I'm a gamer.

Not just a gamer, but a pretty oldschool, grew-up-on-the-Atari-2600, thinks of LucasArts as the creators of Sam-and-Max, Tron Quoting, Max-Payne playing, Mercury adoring, Gordon Freeman emulating, geek.

I imagine that some of you are too.

For those of you that don't know, there is a charity drive for us, every christmas.

It's called Child's Play.

The idea started last year, when the creators (the boys from the Ultimate Gamer Comic: Penny Arcade) generated a wish-list of toys, (mainly video games) for the Seattle Children's Hospital's long-term illness wards. The idea is that these kids are trapped in these hospitals, sometimes for months at a time, undergoing barrages of tests, treatments, and absurd medical practices, and often the hospitals have little-or-no outlets for these children to enterntain themselves and distract themselves while they are there. Families are forced to import whole collections of toys, movies, and games to try and keep their child's spirits up.

Child's Play suggests a better plan: set up 'game and toy libraries' for these kids, where they can check out games, or play in community areas with other kids, to keep from being driven insane by the boredom and frustration of it.

After the phenomenal success of last year (they nearly drowned in donations, and had to rent whole trailers, the likes of which frighten motorists in normal-sized cars, to move the toys to the Seattle Children's Hospital), they decided to expand their reach this year, and have included 3 west-coast hospitals, one texas hospital, and one in Washington DC.

So this is my plug for them. Go pick a hospital and donate something. It's all handled through Amazon, so if you've already got an account, it's a painless 5 minute process (the most anguish for me was deciding which gift to send).

I just ordered my donation (yeah, last minute, I know) and I know you're wondering, so here's the answer: I sent a copy of the original Spider Man game to the Texas Children's hospital.

One more thing: you need to hurry if you want them to reach the hospitals before christmas. But if you choose 2 day shipping anytime between now and monday morning, you'll get it there by the 22nd.

So go donate! Let a little of that christmas spirit get to a kid who will be waking up in a hospital on Christmas Morning.

(Hindsight-o-matic: This holiday season, Child's Play raised over $300,000 for five children's hospitals throughout the US).

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Renovations and Revelations.

Ok, so the main reason I'm updating is because I'm supposed to do so.

I'm reworking my room. All the posters, miscelaneous comics, and oddball designs that covered my walls from high school are coming down. The new decor will be an attempt at sort of vintage advertising firm office, complete with old Orangina and Martini & Rossi posters, Prints of 1930s/40s artwork, and so on. Annoyingly, the furniture (which is all built into the room) won't match the new style at all. But I'll live with that, I think.

First I've got to paint the room and mud/finish the cieling (a dog fell through my ceiling about 3 years ago, it's a long story).

In any case, it's time for me to go. I've got tutoring to do, then some shopping, and then work.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

You've made a fool of everyone.

Everybody fits in these weird little molds.

I seduced a girl last night.

I'm not sure I should call her a girl. After all, she was my elder by a decade, and had been teaching high school for as long as I had been taking college classes.

She was 31. For the purposes of this update, her name shall be "Lisa" (names may have been changed to protect the drunken). She was single. I should admit that I am moderately single myself, if my current state can be classified at all.

And I suppose this is the point where I should clarify: I didn't sleep with her.

So, Loyal Reader, I'm sure you're wondering how you can claim to have seduced someone if you didn't get them into bed.

Well, let me put it this way: When have you broken into a house? When you step across the threshhold? Or is it as soon as you've shattered a window or picked the lock on the door?

I met Lisa at a party, being thrown for people more than three times my age, and attended primarily by people older than my parents. If you exclude the catering crew, Lisa was the only female under 45 in the house, as far as I could tell (I did almost pick the mousey catering lass. She was adorable but seemed far too timid to coax from her shell in just four hours while she was trying to work). Excluding the aforementioned catering lass, Lisa was the only straight single female. (90% of the attendees were gay, the remaining 10% were married, with the exceptions of myself and Lisa).

Both of us were a bit out of place. She had sortof gate-crashed the party as it was. And I was young enough to be the child or grandchild of every other party guest.

But what is sad about this is that every moment that evening just served to re-enforced that opening statetment from the top of this update. Everybody fits in these easily discernable molds. When I started talking to her, I knew I could win her. If I wanted to seduce her, to intrigue her to the point that she would willingly abandon any pretense of reserve in favour of my affections, I could do so.

And so, for the hell of it (as far as I can tell) I did. After all, it's nice to be noticed and appreciated, even if it is shallow and mainly caused by outsider's-syndrome, and it's been a lonely 4 months. Why not enjoy that someone likes your attention, and reciprocates?

From here I'll be skipping moment to moment to make my point without making this into a salacious field-guide for seducing the early-30s American High School teacher.

We started talking about teaching and I paid enough attention to her opinions and opened up enough connections that she thought I was on her level. During the course of conversation I bring up life lines (my own has enough of an aberation that it can be a conversation piece) and this of course opens up the physical touch angle (necessarry to any seduction, really).

Skip an hour or two. The guest of honor arrives (4+ hours late. Long story about bad weather and airplanes), and I'd manufactured a persona for myself that she was inevitably drawn to. I played my immaturity card. I turned myself into the quasi-rebellious college student by curling up in a corner on some discarded pillows, and she (of course--any girl under 40 [and many over] would) admitted that looked incrediby comfortable, so I invited her to come pretend to be a college student (as was I) for a while.

Fast forward further, to the point where her drinks from early in the evening are kicking in (I admit it would have been more a challenge to seduce her if she'd stayed completely sober, but hell, if the professionals can dope a bit, certainly some chemical aides to accomplishing your goals can't be all bad) and we're discussing the attractions and detractions of age, and she's already admitting that she feels like I'm older than her (this is not a new feeling to me. I feel ancient around everybody these days, so I'm unsurprised) and curling up to me as if for warmth and connection.

Again, skip a bit, she's getting her things together to leave with her friends (having been declined in her invitation to an impromptu make-out session in a quieter corner of the house where the party was being thrown), and I walk her to the curb. I had managed to decline her offer without appearantly making her think that I was uninterested, which I was proud of. Because the last thing I want is a girl thinking I just played a game all evening without any real interest in her at all -- even if it is true.

If you've read this much of my writing, I'm assuming you're aware of how much of humanity's communication is substance derived from the nuance of body language, subtle aural cues, etc. Using all of the methods of communication available to both of us, it's basically made clear that there would be no complaints from her if I went home with her that night.

Period. 4 hours and a handful of conversational skills and there you are.

So I kissed her goodbye (bringing the grand total to 3--Hey, I had to add at least one who was older than me) and she left. I'll admit I probably overdid the kiss. I still enjoy kissing way too much to be subtle about it, which is a shame really.

End of story.

The point here is that humanity is continuing to prove me right at every opportunity I give it to prove me wrong.

I knew when I was introduced to her that there were no significant obstacles. The majority of Humanity that I deal with is so predictable as to be nearly transparent in their intentions, and their desires.

So where does that leave me? Well, I didn't go home with her. I instead went back upstairs and engaged in the rest of the party (where a dear friend and very wise man called me "21 going on 40" which is the new title, if you haven't noticed). I didn't really think too much about the seduction, or it's success, except in terms of a vague but unexpressable dissapointment.

I can't figure out if I was more dissapointed in her, that her desires by the end of the evening had degenerated to little more than escapist fantasies of being 'won' by the young man in the sharp-yet-retro suit, or in myself, for deciding to seduce a girl essentially at random because I found it entertaining and pleasing.

And that's the scary thing: It was a fun challenge, not because I wanted the result (though sleeping with her would have been no chore, I wasn't really in the mood or possessed of the right mindset to really desire sex that evening--or at least I didn't want all the things that come along with it), but mainly because it was just one of those "casual parties." You know, the kind that everyone discusses in some ethereal neverland of imagination as part of 'culture' but no-one really attends, and this was one of those absurd setups for the imagined 'one-night stand' that no-one actually engages in, and there it was, as plain as day, as if a myth had turned to fact before my eyes. I'd have been no less intrigued or pleased if Peter Pan or Mary Poppins had popped out of a cubbard.

How could I not find it enjoyable to play that path out as far as I desired in order to increase my understanding?

Sadly it seems the myth and the reality are exactly identical, and there was no need to bother trying. Because trying yielded results with no surprises or complications, and once again it's like being at an emperor's parade where EVERYONE is unclothed except you.

You get this horrible feeling that you're the only person willing to admit that nobody can escape themselves, or improve themselves, and that the molds into which they are poured they will continue to inhabit until they die.

And it makes you sick. Again.

and it gets you thinking about the girls you left, or that left you, and the things you've let fall apart, in grand 7 year quests, and in pathetic, 4 hour dalliances, and that maybe you're just too bitter to admit that there's a mold you're poured into as well. That the clothes you think you wear are as see-through as the next man's, and that you will find yourself unable to escape your own persona, and will die alone, with a thousand wonderful memories of a time that you thought you had found someone interesting, only to drive them away because you knew in the end they weren't right for you. Each memory a bittersweet one. Each about a girl you loved, and will love, and each also about a girl you lost, and can never win back.

Maybe Jet's right.

"Look what you've done.
You've made a fool of everyone
Oh well, it seems likes such fun
Until you lose what you had won"

Sunday, December 12, 2004


I'm going back to Macon.

It seems there is a little unfinished business there that I need to address.

Plus there is a birthday, and Lessons and Carols!

Plus a few old friends that I would like to see again.

- Patrick

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Predictions of a Dream.

Stupid Diaryland.

Again, the update lock-out delays me just long enough to make my entry little more than a trite apology.

So I'm thinking about starting a weblog.

No, not this one, you nuts.

I mean a real one. More like a news collection for a specific topic. It's already got a snazzy name and sections and I think it'd even inlude entertainment media (short story fiction, comics, etc.) as well as news articles.

Now if I can just get off my ass and start working on it.

Also, I'm terrified that I'll get it up and running, then have it brought to its knees when I inevitably get Slashdotted.

(why would I get slashdotted? well, it's right up one of their alleys).

Friday, December 03, 2004

I didn't pen this missive - but I wish I had.

I just watched "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind".

It just occured to me, as I sit down to pen this (pen? pen isn't a verb anymore. We don't pen. We scribble. We scrawl. Maybe we jot. But we don't pen. When we get to those lengths now, we type. How much less attractive a word is 'type' than pen? Pen is so fluid. So cozey. It's a curled-up-by-the-fire-and-thinking-of-you word. Type is so disconnected. Formal. It's a straightbacked-in-an-office-chair-banging-out-memos-on-a-machine word. In the interests of full disclosure: I'm typing this. Whether I'd like to pen it or not, I can't).

For a person everybody thought (thinks?) was deep, I sure get a lot of my inspiration from popular culture. Or sub-pop-culture. Or something.


I just saw this movie. And it's great. Let me rephrase that.

It's got incredibly "high production value". Thats my new favorite phrase to describe media I can respect for it's innate quality, despite my attraction to it or lack thereof (Titanic has high production value. I hated Titanic.) But on top of that high production value. . .it's so real.

The one major leap of faith I had to take was to buy into the procedure. As soon as I had reawakened my long-dead imagination and bought in (and the procedure itself seems so real, down to the finely crafted ways the 'technicians' fuck it up) to that one component, the rest of the movie falls into place on it's own.

As if one of those yellow flat-sided globes we had as kids were suspended, and spinning, and the people who wrote, directed, and starred were quielty tossing those little shapes through the holes, and each one non-challantly falls on through and is trapped inside. Triangle. Square. Star. Hexagon! Everything falls into place.

It's so real. So disgusting. So true. The pettiness. The faux-hate. The love. The random moments of honesty and kindness that should make up our day-to-day and instead make up the highlights we savour. The way we kill ourselves to keep ourselves from loving, and love just to keep from killing ourselves. The way the people who will try as hard as they can to get back together, to stay together, aren't really all that great for each other. They're human. They're messed up. They will never be the perfect couple that everybody thinks they would be if they just got over their issues. Because nobody ever gets around to giving up their issues.

But we love to use our issues as excuses for the reasons we can't be the people we should be.

But she's so needy. But I'm so traumatized from all those terrible things that happened to me. But I'll never be strong enough. But I'll never be pretty enough. But I'm not honest. But she drinks so much more than me. But we'll never sort it out.

But you never tried.

You only resigned yourself to pretending to try.

Is that the final story of humanity? That we'll keep groping in the dark for an answer that is always just beyond our grasp, never realizing that the answer is the acceptance that everything that makes us up is within our grasp. But that doesn't make sense, because where does God factor in to a world where humanity can be its own salvation?

Have I written God out of my mind in my desperation for an answer that lies inside me? Do I need to take responsibility so badly that I take responsibilities for us all that we cannot shoulder? Have I degenerated once again into asking pointless, unanswerable questions instead of musing and writing something worth reading? It looks like it.

I am become one of Rossum's Children. Upset by Humanity's failure I will try to spurn a revolution, and the new generation shall overthrow the old.

Thursday, December 02, 2004