Wednesday, December 14, 2005

It's all catching up

So I knew that someday failing those classes would catch up with me.

I'm two credits shy of graduating on time.

Two

credits

shy.

That isn't even ONE CLASS.

Monday, November 28, 2005

13 Going on 30

Poor Andy Serkis. Poor Poise. Poor you-go-girl secretary.

They were all merely tools, constructions in the protagonist's imagination. At best they were in an alternate future where they are now jobless and ruined. Their lives -- created to show Jennifer Garner that mistakes she may make at 13 will snowball into her becoming cold, calculated, and a cutthroat at 30 -- have turned upside down.

I feel bad for them, for all their hard work in life, struggling against certain doom.

The Hollywood ending left their plotlines to wisp through a negated universe.

But at least Jennifer Garner and Mark Ruffalo lived
happily ever after.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Nikolai Tesla

"Let me tell you a little something about a man named Nikola Tesla.

Tesla worked for a man named Thomas A. Edison. Edison fired Tesla, many would say over their growing disagreement of alternating versus direct current.

Edison was the innovator of, among many things, Menlo Park. Menlo Park was in New Jersey. That, my dear friends, was a mistake.

Tesla was a large proponent of alternating current, while Edison favored direct current. Tesla tried to explain that alternating current, which does not dissipate over distance, is superior. Edison hired men to walk around with AC crank generator and electrocute dogs. Tesla was busy becoming paranoid of all things circular, and creating his death ray.

Tesla was evicted from his building for, more or less, being a mad scientist. As his research into resonance harmonics progressed, he discovered the frequency at which cinderblock crumbles. He pondered this for a moment, turned around, and stuck his device onto one of his basement apartment's steel support beams.

When the right frequency resonates through steel, it becomes almost like a reed in the wind. When the right frequency resonates through a load-bearing steel I-beam of an apartment building, the building itself becomes very much like a gigantic reed in the wind.

Needless to say, the other tenants didn't like this."

As told, more or less, by Evan R. West.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Happy Fourth of Shut Up and Go Home

O.K., so ever since I was little the fourth of July has been that holiday where I would place little firework-y tanks facign each other, and watch them fight to-the-death.

We would always have all my parent's friends over (we never had people over), and we would all go down to the beach and watch the firework display on Epply Island.

I was even able to watch as the island, for lack of a better term, blow up.

Then I turned sixteen, and since that day I haven't been able to watch the firework display.
I've only seen a glimpse of it from the long, paved path leading away from Ehrhardt's and toward the employee parking lot.

I have been at work since 7 this morning. I woke up late today, because I was up until 1 a.m. last night doing my weekly assignments and taking the quiz for my summer course. I've worked from 7 a.m. to 3, and then had a "break."

Don't let the hour break fool you, it leaves me just enough time to drive home from Exxon, shower, dress, and drive to Ehrhardt's.

Tonight, at Ehrhardt's, was the busiest night of the summer. It always is. And everyone wants to sit on the deck.
O.K., so there are eight tables on the deck, each one seats four people. YOU ALL CAN'T SIT OUT THERE.

It's been a long day, and the firworks are annoying me.

I've cleaned toilets, stocked coolers, stressed over drive-offs, told people there's an hour wait for a table, meant it, had to put them on the waiting list anyway, frantically searched for tables for reservations that arrived early, and stood on my feet for a grand total of 15 hours today.

And I needed someone to tell.

So please, sir, take your Lexus SUV, and go away. I don't care that the Half-and-half's out. And I certainly don't care that you can't find the newspaper you're looking for at 2 IN THE AFTERNOON. I also do not care, ma'am, that you've been waiting two hours for a table on the deck. Because your reservation was for 8:30 inside, and yet you showed up at 5 and wanted the first available deck table. FOR EIGHT PEOPLE. Kindly, shut your mouth, and take your troubles elsewhere.

Sometimes I just want to scream. At people from New York.

The ones from New Jersey? There's no hope for them anyway...

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Would You Like Some Cheese With That Fuel?

All over the place, people are throwing around the phrase "foreign-oil independent." The republicans use it as an excuse to open the ANWR for exploratory pre-drilling expeditions. E.g., "drilling in the ANWR will help the U.S. become foreign-oil independent."
This is, of course, a boldfaced lie.
Many magazines tout that if "readers would pledge to use one gallon less per week" or gasoline, they would be doing a small part to help the United States become foreign-oil independent.

All these people fail to realize one thing. There's an inherent flaw to their stupid little phrase. It has one too many words. It shouldn't be foreign oil. It's just oil that is the problem.

We need to become oil independent.

Trust me, I work at an Exxon, I see how much of it people use in a day.

Small irony my paycheck comes (rather vicariously) from gasoline and oil taxes? I can live with it. Y'all are the ones using all the gas.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Epilogue: 132 E King St. no. 2

They really are gone.

I was walking around the other day, after graduation, after Caitlin left, after all my friends went to their houses and started to finish packing. Just walking around, listening to The Postal Service.

The clouds were folding in, but this proved to be a feint --- they folded right back out not two minutes later.
A pity, I wanted rain. I wanted the rain to come and beat hard upon the purple flowers, flowing like a waterfall over the concrete barrier between sidewalk and lawn.

I'm packing up my room. This room that I've called "home" for the past year. I'm going to miss it. Sure, it's small, has an eaved roof, and I didn't have a desk. But it was still very cool to sit here and watch King Street flow by.

Never will I be able to walk to Pizza House, where you can get a large Pizza-Hut-esque cheese pizza for $5.25.
Oh well.

These people, the ones who've just become "productive members of society," in the "real world," these people are the ones who made band camp hilarious for me as a freshman. They were the closest to me in age --- and maturity --- and I will miss them.
It's hard to imagine that they're "all grown up," if only because that means I'm not far behind.

This house, while falling apart at the seams, is still unique, as only a house can be. It isn't a cookie-cutter apartment room in Stone Ridge, it isn't a townhouse in a long row of townhouses in Bard. It is a house, and there's nothing else like it.
Even though the back stairs are rather precarious, and the dishes never seem to be quite clean, the stairwell's ceiling is falling, and the front doorknob falls off constantly, it was my home for this year, and I will miss it.

I suppose it's quite a wake-up call to come to the realization that your friends are not coming back. That they won't be here next year during band camp, or weekends. I'm not saying I don't have any friends here, because I do. But the one's who just graduated are ones-of-a-kind.

So goodbye, 132. And see-you-soon, Shippensburg. I'm off for a summer full of job-hunting, minimum wages, online classes, and hopefully a little fun mixed in as well.

Back to Lake Wallenpaupack, if all goes well, I'll be able to swim in it more than a couple times this summer.

Why do the years seem shorter as time progresses? In high school, it was the opposite...

Why then do I worry more as each year slowly fades into more boxes and less oppotunities to live-it-up.

Goodnight, room.
Goodnight, house.
Goodnight, Bob, John, Kelly, Bob, Lisa, Kevin, Greg, Adrienne, Megan, Carmen, Lainey, Matt, Rachael, Ben, and everyone else who wore dark blue robes, and smiles from ear to ear as you were handed your diploma-folders.


Goodnight.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Those Majuscule Characters...

You know, I finally realize the beauty of Majuscule characters.
For a while I was being all teenage-rebellious and such. For a while I was treating e. e. cummings as more than a man.

Did you know, by the way, that on his gravestone his name is capitalized and spelled out.

"Edward Estlin Cummings"

How's that for irony?

But now I understand. The gently slope of a J, The harsh, commanding presence of a capital W. It makes sense now. Somewhat. I guess I really have grown up...


Profile Picture, disregard. . .

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

And Now for Something Completely Different

So here we are again, talking about the ANWR
Erich wrote an opinion article about it in The Slate this week.

You know what, though?  It isn't so much that America has decided (by a very slim margin) to enter a nationally sanctioned wildlife refuge, it isn't even really the fact that so many people think that the limited amount of oil we can get there before moving on to another protected site will help us.

It's the fact that after over a century of learning and scientific progress and environmental concerns, we --- the United States of America --- are still simply looking for the easy way out.  Sure, drill in the ANWR.  Hey, there's oil right, we need oil, right?

Instead of looking for more oil around the world, and cutting all the locks our country has placed on what was deemed a refuge, we should be investigating alternative sources of fuel.

Any high school biology teacher can tell you "fuel" does not mean "gasoline."
Yes, there are hybrid cars available now.  But they still rely on gasoline half the time.

You would think that a nation which has learned to harness --- safely, I might add --- the power of atomic and sub-atomic energy, we would be able to devise a cleaner system to get our lazy selves across "this great land."

It won't be great for long if you people keep this up.

It is a matter of principle that the ANWR not be drilled in.  It's like telling your children they cannot have a cookie because it's almost dinnertime, and then turning around and eating a cookie.  What kind of example is that?

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

The Slate: Forty-eight years as Shippensburg University's student paper

So here's something fun.
Think of a sentence which includes any for of the verb "got" (e.g., gotten, get, got, getting).
Now write that sentence down.
Show it to me. I don't care how.
I will show you a version of the sentence without the word "got" in it.
It will be more intelligent, grammatically more correct, and all-in-all a better sentence.

I had examples, but I'm lazy.

I really can't stand "got." It's just lazy.

Like my mom told me once about profanity, choosing to not use profanity shows an elevated vocabulary, denoting intelligence.
I was twelve at the time, so she didn't put it precisely that way. But you get the point.
I didn't take much stock in it at the time, since I was at the age where rebellion is the "in" thing to do. But now I'm understanding what she meant.

The same thing goes for "got."

Anyway, it's just one of those things that irks me.

No offense to anyone from Kutztown University, but a week ago at The Slate office, we had a copy of it.
Fourteen pictures appeared within its pages. Seven were taken by KU photographers (forgive me, but the name of their paper escapes me). The other seven were stolen. Not bought from the AP (like The Slate does), but stolen.

Worse than that, they were even attributed retardedly. That's right. Retardedly. My blog, my imaginary suffixes.
Some were from yahoo.com, some from this Website, some from that one. But one caught my eye.
It was the one of Terry Schiavo. Or, as Mel Gibson prefers to call her, "Terry Shiavo."

The attribution was "http://www.google.com."

Now correct me if I'm wrong, but Google is a search engine, yes?
Google is a tool, used to compile images and Web sites. How in the world could something as abstract as a search engine, and as concrete as a corporate campus, take a photo of a brain-dead woman in Florida?

No, please, I really want to know.

It just really pisses me off that papers at schools like KU pay their editors for contributions which, quite frankly, I found severely lacking conviction. Here at good old SU, the best our Student Senate can do is whine and ineffectively defend itself via letters-to-the-editor (letters sans any apparent answer or reason), not taking seriously --- even for a moment --- any chance of compensating the editors of what many have called "a better paper than most in the area."

Don't get me wrong, as only a copy editor I fully expect nothing. But I realize the weight of a paper like this, and what it demands from its staff.

So screw you, SA. And pay them.

UPDATE
The text appearing in the following color:       has been added. The reason for this Geoarge-Lucas-esque correction is none other than Mr. Kevin McGuire. Mr. McGuire pointed out a grammar error in the post, causing me to actually read what I wrote. I apologize, I didn't know it was that grammatically incorrect.

All I can say is, no one edits my copy. Apologies, and thank you, Kevin.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Summer

Vanessa informs me that we are the only two of our circle of friends to return to Lake Wallenpaupack for the summer.
Well, screw you all.
I'm sorry, I didn't mean that.
What I meant was, I'm nervous, scared, insecure, and jealous that you have found jobs/internships/better places to be.
I'm afraid I will never find that.

I will probably tell you many times that I plan on taking road trips this summer.

Don't let me fool you, it's all talk.
I will say I want to drive out to Washington, to Seattle, to B.C., to Vancouver.
I will sit at home, work too much, and bitch about my life.
I will say I want to go camping in Canada.
See Montreal
and Quebec City.
I will probably do that, though, because Caitlin will make me.

I have no aspiration to get an internship.
Apparently, you're supposed to have one, especially as a print media-concentrated Communication/Journalism major.
I'm so scared that all my whining in the past is coming true, that I truly will never find a job.

How the holy freaking heck am I supposed to see the world? I'm Brendan.
I'm no one special. I'm not a writer, though I aspire to be.
I'm not a journalist, though I'm slightly better than the piss you'll find on most C/J majors' papers.
I'm not in anyway unique to a world of six billion people.

I should have majored in Geography. Or at least minored.

This is the last summer I will be a student.
Yes, I plan on getting my Master's someday. But until then what the heck am I supposed to do?

I will probably make more demands about my life this summer.
I will probably not get the job at the Army Depot.
Hey, it's a desk job, and it pays >USD10.00/hr on a 40 hour work week.
How can I go wrong?
Well, we'll see just how I can go wrong.

Summer always seems to take forever until it's suddenly 12 August and you realise you have to pack for Band Camp.

I hate that feeling.
I love the feeling of summer.

Last summer, I told myself I'd bike the towpath every weekend.
That lasted two weekends.
This summer I'm going to keep my promises.
I hope.

It wasn't too long ago that I was wearing my teal blue windbreaker, riding around Simon's Point on a blue bike with white tires, a white seat that would always rock back if you hit a bump, with a walkie-talkie, seeing how far away walkie-talkies from Kmart would reach.
It wasn't too long ago that all I worried about was where all my matchbox cars were, and why it was that the Lego piece you needed always ended up being on the bottom of the pile.

Only a child can understand that Legos are just easier to look for when poured directly onto the floor. There's something that carpeting gives to them. It's the same thing sheets and blankets take away.

I've realised so much of my life has become "should haves" and "could haves."
It isn't really the best feeling in the world.

I'm going to New York City again this summer.
And it looks like I'm doing it with Vanessa.
I didn't know there was a The North Face store in Manhatten.
Here I come.

We're going to see a lot of what we didn't see last time.
Believe you me.

I'm going to go camping in Canada.
I wanted to road trip with Dave, but OCS gave him a second chance.
Screw you all.
All I need is my gear, a camera, and a moleskine.

Some day I'll get up the courage to do something by myself.

But not any day soon...

I don't know why, but the Micro-Computer Lab in MCTB is the perfect place for angst-y blog entries, whining for a home in someone's irises. Irii?
I don't know.

You know, I'd really like to be a gear reviewer. Like for Moosejaw or MountainGear or The North Face.
You give me the latest gear for free.
I'll go use it for a weekend, camping or biking or something.
And then I'll write a review about it.
And you'll pay me.
I get free stuff, and paid to write about it.

It will NEVER happen.
Things like that just don't happen to me. :'(

Oh god, I'm using emotion-icons. Time to stop writing now.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Hollywood

Just returned from Los Angeles, California from the SUCB concert tour.

Saw George Hamilton in The North Face in Beverly Hills.
Stood in the Pacific Ocean in Santa Monica at sunset.
Saw Mel Blanc's headstone.
Took 500 pictures of the HOLLYWOOD sign.

Visited Grauman's. Visited the Kodak. Had my picture taken with a
Stormtrooper.
Was on The Price Is Right. Tune in to CBS on 29 April to see me in
the audience.

Went to the Beverly Center and felt entirely too poor to be walking
past a Louis Vitton store.

Adjusted --- finally --- to Pacific Time, just in time to return to EDT.
Watched Fox News every morning at 7:30 during breakfast.
Drank outside with a brown paper bag over the bottle.
Bought new shoes.

Saw more Porsche Carrera's than I thought was possible. It is
definitely not the Porsche to buy. Go with the 911 with retracting
whale-tail.

Went to Six Flags Magic Mountain and rode two rollercoasters. Woo.

And now I'm pulling an all nighter to finish all the work I told
myself I'd do over the break.

American West airlines at LAX has to have THE most ridiculous bag
check I've ever crossed. This was amplified by not only our large
group of people checking bags at once, but also the general
incompetence of the airline's staff.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

They'll Name a City After Us

I'm walking down the street, and I can smell the laquer on the telephone poles.
It reminds me of Providence, New Jersey and my Grandfather's yard.
You can smell everything in your past.

The fresh cut grass, my Uncle's house outside of Hartford.
The pressure-treated wooden fencing, work with my Dad.

There are soda-can-tabs pressed into the pavement
---like constellations---
by so much pollution, and so much death.

Caitlin doesn't think that "list" and "listen" share a similarity or two in their etymologies.

It's really amazing what a couple of days of warm weather and a few hundred buckets of rain can do to grass.
Campus used to be brown-green-dead, but now its green-green-green.
I never really realized how much I missed it, usually there's the bright-white snow to take my mind off of the lack of green.
But not this year.
A whole winter, and not one day of cancelled classes. We had one delay. And one evening/night classes cancelled.

And neither time was there enough snow to even imagine a snowman.

I wonder if they'll lose my luggage on the aeroplane.
I wonder if my stuff will be too heavy.
Since the Bari Sax is the only instrument Fam couldn't get the school to let us use, I have to take mine with me. It weighs thirty pounds. The maximum weight for checked luggage per passenger is fifty pounds. I have a twenty pound window, if i go over it, cha-ching: eighty dollar fine.

I wonder if I'll get bodysearched.

I cleaned my room today.
I lied.
I fixed my bed, which was falling off of the little metal rails that are naïvely referred to as "the frame."
And I arranged things. No cleaning was involved.

I wonder how the ROTC kids keep from fainting walking across campus dressed in full fatigues...

This girl's cellphone keeps going off down the row from me.
Everytime it does, I don't know why, but I think it's the fire alarm, and jump to get my stuff.

I suppose I will eventually have to get a cellular telephone. But not right yet.
It would be nice to give people a telephone number i might actually answer
but I'm still weary about tying myself down with monthly bills.
There it goes again. This is the third time in as many minutes.

Cellphones should not be sold with a speaker on them. They've really crossed the line by making them polyphonic and loud and whatnot. Really, if you can't feel your cellphone vibrating, you don't need to take the call. Therefore, no one around you should be subjected to your annoying ringtone. Ever.

Don't even get me started on Nextel. And now Verizon merged with them, or something. Because now with verizon phones you too can "DEDEDE" your friends, causing someone to seize in contempt at your "walkie-talkie" feature.

Have you ever really just realized that you've matured? That there will be no more childish laughter at stupid cartoons, you start doing things with an adult mindset?

Oh, by the way, check out Regina Spektor, more specifically, click on "video" and listen to "us."

Thank you

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Everything Looks Perfect...

Tonight reminds me of such great heights.
It's warm, you can't (really) smeel the cow poo. It's spring.

It reminds me of band camp, of summer, of buying clothing. Of Ehrhardt's, of all my friends there. It reminds me why I love this season so much. It's warm, green is a color again, I'm actually happy although work freaking sucked.

Tonight reminds me why i have shorts and Birkenstocks.

The quizz I have in Spanish tomorrow is far away, so is the exam. in Bio, and the paper in I.L.S. (both due Thursday).
Right now, though, all that matters is that i can walk around outside, when its dark, in shorts and sandals. Although I won't, because most of my shorts are packed for California already.

My washing machine broke. With my clothing still in it. It mostly washed it, I mean the only thing it wouldn't do was "spin," so I had to truck dripping (literally DRIPPING) clothing to the laundromat on Washington Street. Screw you, washing machine.

Like i said, work sucked.

I'll be the fire-escape that's
bolted to the ancient brick
where you will sit
and contemplate your day.

That's summer.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Mi Scuzi!

So here's the plan, Caitlin and I will spend Spring Break 2006 in Europe. Going from country to country by rail.

What better way can you think of to spend your last spring break than traversing Europe on a train? We can hit a maximum of five countries. This will take careful planning. We plan on going to France, Italy, Austria, BeNeLux (eurail.com counts Belgium, The Netherlands, and Luxembourg as one country), and Ireland. We don't know about Austria though, it might be too much. I know I've wanted to see Vienna for a long time, but I kind of want to stay in Vienna longer than a day, so it's all good.

The only snag right now is the flight. When i looked on cheaptickets, priceline, and travelocity, any ticket from any U.S.A. eastern-seaboard airport to Paris is a thousand USD per ticket. That is outrageous, and i demand to know why.

The plan is to start in Paris, rail to Italy, see Rome and Pompeii (which, apparently, may require a stop in Naples. According to most guidebooks, Naples is not the place you want to spend the night in. It compares to Newark and Compton. woo.), then to BeNeLux, where i want to go take a stupid-tourist-picture of the hotel De Roode Leeuw. I would suggest staying there, but the rooms are "soundproofed." Another word for "out of your price range you stupid white fool." So perhaps Rotterdam, which is where R.J.J. deRoode emigrated from. Of course Ghent, in Belgium. Of course I'll be an ass and order waffles while in Belgium. I don't really know what's in Luxembourg, but oh well. Then from BeNeLux to Ireland, via ferry. This is all relatively cheap, through this program we (Caitlin) found, it gives you ten travelling days to see three - five countries.

The U.K. does not count, though, as the site warns. Probably because the rest of the E.U. hates G.B., since they're all snooty and whatnot. If that's not enough acronyms to make your head spin, you should have read my Slate article on SCUPA.

So I'm getting a gear list together, and probably making most of my purchases this summer. I've decided (unilaterally, of course) that the easiest and best way to haul our gear from city to city, country to country, is with backpacks. No, not your L. L. Bean bookbag. Backpacks. Backpacking backpacks. Caitlin agrees, yet she is timid about the possibility of carrying a backpack through cities such as Rome and Paris, and feels that it would make her more tourist-y. I think it would make us look not tourist-y, but "I'm in college in the states and i'm backpacking through Europe because i'm a bohemian at heart"-y.

We both agree that no matter how good a hostel's reviews are, we would be skeptical about leaving all of our belongings in some stranger's house while we perouse the city.

So the search for lower airfare begins. As does the search for train times, and h/mo(s)tels. haHA, look at that motherfucker, i made three words into one.

We could always do what they did in EuroTrip and become air couriers. But what if the courier couldn't get us a flight to Paris from wherever on that day, and then we'd have to check extra baggage, and blah blah blah.

I'll probably be talking to Jeff and asking him to ask his Grandmother about the airfares when the year progresses a bit more. Hey, she was Erin and my's travel agent for the Prague trip, and that worked out fine.

Time to work. work work work. I can't think of work, all I can think of is being on an aeroplane flying over the continental USA for five days in Los Angeles.

Bob Barker, you're MINE.

Sit Inter Astrum

so I'm on the John Kerry electronic mailing list, yes?

I get an e-mail today (this is the same list that warned be a day before the ANWR shit blew up in everyone's face) about how the republican majority leader (Senator Frist, I believe) has a plan to make any judicial nominations made by President Bush immune to a Senate filibuster.

Id est, "If he can convince enough Republican Senators to go along, the nomination and confirmation of judges will become a tightly-controlled, one-party affair."

Id est, the Supreme Court of the United States of America will become, until more justices die, an arm of the conservative America.

"Why would you want to move to Canada Brendan?" asks my dad.

=

post script: in pace requiescat John Paul II. You were not my Pope, but you were a good Pope. You will be missed, and I truly believe those Italian people on the news were right: you were a saint among men.

caelestis

post post script: gmail storage limit: 2.054Gb and counting.

Friday, April 01, 2005

"I've lived too long with pain. I won't know who I am without it."

-orson scott card, Ender's Game

they're making an ender's game movie????
holy paperback novels batman!

wolfgang peterson is directing it?
i don't know.... he made the perfect storm... it might suck...

but holy cannoli anyway!

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0400403/

A Renewed Faith in Corporations

the people at google are my heroes. they should be your heroes too.
gmail used to be a free electronic mail service, with a wicked cool take on "filing," revolutionary low-profile non-annoying ads (and trust me, i don't even know they're there), and a thousand megabytes of storage
for those of you who can count, that's a gigabyte of storage. FOR FREE
but that isn't gmail anymore. when i checked my mail today, i discovered it was gmail's one year birthday. and to celebrate, google has given all of its gmail members much more than one gigabyte
if you visit gmail you will see numbers increasing rapidly. last time i checked, i was at 1.6Gb.
and they're still rising

google, you are my hero.

want a gmail account? i have fifty invites. sheeshes, someone ask me for one already

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

It's Pronounced "Lau-REN"

Well, it's spring, and you know what that means... Jocks with confused looks on their faces, stumbling down the sidewalk in basketball sneakers, mesh shorts, and sleveless t-shirts (it really isn't a T-shirt, then, is it?) with their cellphone in their ear and a Nike backpack hanging like a box across their shoulders, their other hand not quite falling to their side as the massive, growth-stunting, workout sessions have caused an unnatural muscle grown, which prevents them from putting their arms down.

Beside him you will invariably see the fratboy, wearing his American Eagle Doc-Marten-look-alike shoes, distressed in his best vintage Aeropostale bootcut, lowrise, jeans, and wearing a neon green Hollister polo with the "top" "popped," and offsetting white Hollister polo is underneath, it to has its "top" "popped." A cell phone is wedged precariously between one hand and ear, while the other ear sports a bright white iPod earbud, its sister dangling from the cord where it crosses his chest to the teardrop-shaped bookbag that everyone has, yet is widely impractical. He wears that necklace all italian men seem to own, the silver one that looks like a tennis bracelet, the links somewhat reminiscent of a chain, yet flattened and polished so you can see his sweat-stricken, hairgel-covered forhead. A LIVESTRONG wristband sits on his wrist, not because he knows someone with cancer, perhaps he doesn't even know what the LAF is, and the same blank quizzical stare his neckless friend sports finds a comfortable home on his five-o'clock-shadowed face while he simultaneously shifts from the urban beats of the iPod to the walking steroid, to the "cell" to "holla" at his "dawgs." A car drives by, one with a muffler that could deafen anyone within miles, pimped out with so much ice the owner didn't have enough to finish painting the primer-colored spoiler--designed to keep the tiny toyota on the ground, yet at the same time look "fly." "What up playa'!" he yells to the occupants of the offense-on-wheels, "dude i got so wasted last night" is of course their reply. They converse of bitches, they converse of 'hoes. Suddenly the heart-tremoring thuds from the driver's over-sized woofers are momentarily overcome by the horns of the people behind him, and it is time for him to yell "peace, I'm out bro'."

So pull out your nextel, and two-way your favorite bitch. Where you at dog? The whole city behind us?

You just have to love spring...

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Crappidy Crap Crap Crap

as you walk under once-drenched-pines,
the tiny brown seeds are scattered across grass
constellations.
becareful, they haven't been named.

becareful, to watch your step
as yesterday's torrent
still subsides in mossy green
pools.

becareful, not to disturb
the future stars
of a world drying away.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Stir-crazy

this is a manifesto.
i lied. i don't really know what that means.

i must admit, i do not believe that a resume is what will ultimately win me a career instead of a job. i see fallacy written all over it, and fear the day i put together my own, it will have nothing on it.

i wish i could be openly funny about everything, and just have people understand that humor is more important than any other single idea in human history.

i want to write for the daily show one day.
you all know that jon stewart is our generation's johnny carson.
if you don't, you're kidding yourself, and making carson into something he isn't:
a god.
yes, he was hilarious, but still.

i hate those people, when you try and reason with them their side of the argument just doesn't hold up.

i hate those people who think they have the slightest clue about ANYTHING, when really none of us do.

i hate people. in general. men in black may be a stupid movie, but it taught me one thing.
a person is smart, people are dumb, slow, and insane.
yeah i kind of made up the second part of that, but fuck you.

since when do people like the woman who writes the shopaholic series have financial security, when they write CRAP.

since when do you care?

i'm tiring of this game.
i don't know what the FUCK i'm going to do about scheduling next semester
and yes, loretta, there is more that you can do.
you just don't WANT TO.
and no, loretta, coming to you the moment i get my grade from my SUMMER COURSE, in AUGUST, is not an acceptable answer to "what should i do, i'm not in the department, but the only courses i have to take are in the department, and they only have one section"

basically, unless they let me in under some special whatever, i'm fucked.

i hate my art of the film book, it was written by monkeys who had somehow attained degrees from universities.
the one guy's dead.

i think it's time to update your material when you say that babe was a "film for children of all ages"

it's a textbook, not a god damn advertisement.

i don't know what i want, but a feeling of depression sort of wafted over me.
graduation is so close, and i have no clue as to where i'm going to go afterwards.
i say this a lot, but it's on my mind three times as much as i let on.

i wouldn't mind making movies.
i wouldn't mind screen writing, or directing. but i don't know the first thing about directing.
screen writing it is then.
woo.

i also wouldn't mind working for the parks department or the forestry service.
i've said this often as well, but it really is true.

i don't know what i want out of life, other than to be happy.
but apparently, to be happy, you have to have a 401k, a credit line, a lease on a car, and bills to pay.

i just want to live, really that's all. i want to see the world, and live.

maybe it's because it's cold today, instead of insanely warm like the past two days.
maybe it's because i have an exam, a quiz, a rought draft, a topic, a presentation, a research proposal, an article, a paper, and text questions due this week.

maybe it's because i have to go to the launguage lab and do my spanish lab book for the exam on monday.
'cause i sure as hell did NOT do it for the first test.
maybe all i want is to be appreciated, to be noticed, by the world.

maybe that's why i dress like i do, and wear cologne. i like it when people compliment me, i really do. i just don't know how to show it.
sorry.

i'm going to california april 8.
between now and then i have everything i had mentioned about four paragraphs up, plus rent, the cable bill, my sony bill, ebay is charging me, and whoopty-do.

the concept of money is fucked up.

i'd love to live in british colombia. or seattle.
i love the rain.
if it rained every day, i think i'd be O.K. with that.

i really wish we were going to san fransisco instead of los angeles.
i liked the boston trip last year, because it was boston, there weren't any "amusement parks" that they could make us go to.
i don't really like roller coasters.
i liked the city.
and i've always wanted to see san fransisco.

oh well.
there's always...... rod-e-o drive.
someone needs to tell them it's just rodeo.

i have all this shit hitting me at once.
i have to go talk to my advisor, but she won't know what the hell to do, since she's in the chemistry department.
i have to find someone in the comm/journ department to talk to.

i want to go to nyc this summer, again.
the three hour train ride was suprisingly fun.
i want to go to washington d.c. and see all the marble and concrete.
i want to see the district sleeping alone.

i want to this
i want to that.

all i'm doing is providing an annoying pattern to look at.

i want to go to different countries over fall, winter, and spring breaks next year.
i owe it to myself, at least spring break. i haven't done anything for that one these past three years.

i want.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

'I'm Saint Ignatious!'

--listen to me bitch.

so YET ANOTHER THING that bothers me -- and you'll find all of these have to do with people using arbitrary and archaic systems, and applying them to work.

today's topic: AP Style. as a journalist (or rather, journalism student), i have become quite acquainted with AP style over the past semester and a half. there's something to be said for tradition, and mass opinion.

but there's something entirely different to be said about objectivism. in the AP styleguide, right after the entry for Numerals (i use this one a lot, you see), there is an entry entitled

Nuremburg.

this entry states that a journalist using AP style should stick to spelling the city (which is in Germany, by the way) Nuremburg, to "keep with widespread practice."

wanna know the city's actual name? Nuernburg. i think, i don't know, if i had the AP styleguide with me, i could tell you. i'll probably update this later and put in for sure how it's spelled.

to keep with widespread practice, call the city by a different name.
brilliant!

this isn't my only issue with AP style, only to most blatantly subjective one.

(some of the others include U.S. as an accepted acronym for the United States of America, as Brazil also happens to be the United States of Brazil. Acronyms are a major flaw of the AP style, in my opinion, and really need to be re-vamped.

(how do you vamp something in the first place?))

this is the same problem with mumbai, sri lanka, beijing, and a bunch of other cities in china.
for you see, when the british deemed the world their sandbox, they just sort of named things phonetically. mumbai was bombay, sri lanka, well, that was ceylon, beijing was peking, and i know there are others, i just can't think of any right now. go look at a map of china, half the cities have parenthesis with the "britainese" name under the actual name.

i really just think that if you attempt to be objective, be freaking objective. don't go half-way with it.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Get Out My Tip Calculator...

so here's something else that's arbitrary, archaic, and just plain dumb.

every book printed today has something called an ISBN. don't ask me what it stands for, that's what wikipedia's for. some books don't have an ISBN, they have some other acronym that means the same thing.

anyway... so all books printed have a number specific to the author, title, publishing company, publishing place, publishing year, even edition (1st, 2nd printing, paperback, trade, etc.)

therefore, why on god's great green ball of dirt do i have to dig out my trusty MLA style handbook at the end of every paper i write, and leaf through it to find the appropriate format for documenting a cited source???

i should just have to put the author's name, the title of the book, and then a 10 digit number. you really don't need either the author's name or title, but parenthetical citation would make for quite a headache if all it consisted of was numbers...

i really don't understand this, why don't MLA and APA take advantage of the book publishers' own system of cataloguing? it jusy doesn't MAKE SENSE.

you know, it'll just be called the brendan style of citation.

another great idea more companies should capitalize on: speedpass. it makes people buy more, too. trust me, i've seen it happen. when you aren't digging out that wallet, money is literally something intangeable, it isn't real.
it's also incredibly convenient. just don't lose your keys...
i suppose the same thing goes for that discover card that fits on keyrings, though.

you know what, altogether do away with form of identification. do you know how cheap biometric sensors are? especially the kind that just reads fingerprints. for heaven's sake, if you have a PDA you can read fingerprints. speeding ticket? state trooper comes to your door with a palm pilot, and asks for your finger. no paper, no plastic, no worries. left your giant club card in the car? biometric fingerprint scanner has your fingerprints on file, automatically deducts savings when you pay... WITH YOUR FINGERPRINT. no more credit card numbers, no more security questions, no more "verification numbers," biometric fingerprint readers even come on one model of sony's USB memory drives.

three years ago, men's wearhouse outfitted all their stores with biometric fingerprint readers at the registers, so all the employees would have to do was touch the pad to clock in/out and sign in/out of the register. lexus, last year, introduced a car with biometric sensors on door handles and trunk, allowing quite literally keyless entry (unlike "keyless" entry, which requires the remote).

come on people, how long will you sit and wait before realising that fingerprint and barcode readers are the way to go??? how long?????

this is why PDAs are so cool...

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Broad-sword

you know, it's movies like the siege that make you wonder how in the world america could let all the recent POW-mistreatment occur.

i really can't say anything other than watch the movie.

"...an american citizen"

Barbeque Sauce

DON'T PANIC.

alan rickman IS the voice of marvin the paranoid android. sam rockwell IS the perfect zaphod beeblebrox. the movie IS releasing a week EARLIER than anticipated.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Roget-asaurus

you know, as i sit here and look out my window, it isn't hard to imagine i'm at the top of the world.
no, NOT looking down on creation. cher, i will kill you.

you can see a four-wheeler out on the ice, where the lake was there is an immense field of white
it's twilight, and the smoke from our woodstove's chimney is stretching itself lazily across the horizon created by the window frame.
and out in the distance you can just make out the soft irridescence of the orange sulphur dioxide lights that plague the beaches around lake wallenpaupack, cut back because no one lives here in the winter.

it wasn't a cold day, per say.
there have been cold days, at shippensburg.
those days where you exhale and your breath pours from your mouth, sauntering slowly around your head before ascending and expanding, until the dense acute opaque orb has diminished to nothing but obtuse thoughts and soggy memories, of frostbite and swelled fingers
from the cold.

but today wasn't like that
not that stepped outside for more than five minutes, but still.
it did snow, somewhat.
no where near what they promised, however.
perhaps overnight.

i wonder if it will ever be snowy in shippensburg.
probably not this year. maybe not even next year, with the patterns of the weather thusfar.
i cant still hope though.
it's odd, it should be getting minutely warmer now, yet all it does is snow.
it's spring break, and it was advented with two days of cancelled evening classes and a two-hour delay.

mmm, pizza.

as it grows darker those faint orange lights strengthen, and lengthen
and suddenly there are orange streaks to replace the receding light, combatitive to the darkening twilight alone.
the high contrast of white frozen lake, dark blue surrounding hills, and light purpl-ish cloud cover makes for an interesting backlay

and the trees have drawn themselves over it, creating black scorch-lines, branching off as if a web
and obscuring the view, but adding to it all the same.

winter

Thursday, March 10, 2005

P.s. F.O.

so the newest rumour flying around is that the wallenpaupack area school district is changing it's colours and mascot.
this is straight from my little brother's mouth.
lee tells us that they will be changing colours from purple and white to black and yellow, and mascots from the buckhorn to the raven.

i don't know if i believe him, or believe whoever told him about it.
but i am very disappointed in wasd.

who else could say that they were the buckhorns?
who else had purple and white as their school colours?
black has to be one of the over-used school colours in existence, and i can't imagine yellow is any better.

why are they doing this?
perhaps it is along the lines of warner brothers' recent decision to defile their looney tunes with piles and piles of excrement.

either way, i can't fully express my disappointment in the school board, or whoever's decision this was, i'll probably be a dork and start a petition (if this turns out to be true).

ravens. psh. fuck you, wallenpaupack area

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

The Chipmunk Doctor

so hey do you want to hear the story of chipmunk drive?

apparently, some woman who lived here felt like putting a sign up at the end of the road, and she (for no good reason) wanted to name the road "chipmunk drive"

also, apparently, the people who named the road eventually were lazy, and didn't want to have to change the name.

damn you, woman.

i tell people i live on simon's point.
you're dead to me, chipmunk drive. DEAD.

i hate my address.
it's highway contract one. for those of you who don't know, it's like Rural Route #.
so when i order things online, they call me and say "we can't ship to PO boxes."
oh, i'm sorry, it isn't a PO box. i live in the sticks.
"so, UPS and FedEx go there?"
"what did i just say?"

i wish everything were more analytical. my address should be something like
77 simon's point s507
we're lot no. 77 on simon's point, on the south-side of 507 (the road you drive on that chipmunk drive connects onto is south-bound)

but no one listens to me.

in fact, if you mailed a letter to that address, it'll probably get here.
you know, there are only eight of us living in tafton, and we're all on a first-name basis.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Rebuttal:

it snowed today. a lot. it's still snowing.
i'm happy.

there really isn't much to do around the house i spent so many years in, i've sort of exhausted the building itself as a means of entertainment.
let me rephrase that, there isn't much i want to do around this house.

i could go play in the snow.
like a little kid.

it's so very cliche, but everyone really secretly wishes they could go back in time and be themselves, but know everything they know now. i could be a stoic, pompous little elementary-schooler, and know perfectly well what i was doing.
i could make millions.
like i said, cliche.
so cliche, there's a spielberg movie about it.
that's when you know it's cliche.

oh well.
so as i sit here in the hallway, i can see in my parents' room.
it's nice, the window shades are pulled down, but there's that glow of white creeping out behind them.
it's like i remember it.
i swear one day i'll write a memoir.

it's that sort of natural thing that we have tried so many times to recreate with fluorescence behind material, yet never looks quite the same.
and it's still snowing.

remember when you were little and you would stare at things until it seemed like they would come alive?
like walls and chairs. and then you would move your eyes and realise it wasn't moving, you were just staring at it for a while.
this was about the same time you would press on your eyelids and see stars and weird designs.
it was probably bad for your eyes, but fun to do when you were bored in class.
until the teacher called on you and the stars wouldn't go away for a bit, so you couldn't really see anything.

i dropped my mom off at the doctor's office this morning, she let me take the car (actually, it's because i needed to go to the post office to mail my broken digital camera all the way to texas).
and i dropped her off and watched her walk to the building, (she was going right from there to work, since it's like a block down the street).
she had her hood up and was walking through the snow, i don't know.
i owe my parents so much.
maybe it's all the childhood cartoons where clark kent sends practically all of his paycheck back to ma and pa in hicksville.
maybe it's society telling me i should be looking out for everyone.
but i do owe them a great deal.

more than i care to let on.

look, i'm sorry i upset you, i didn't mean to. i also didn't mean to insinuate anything false or bad about you, but even if i did i have the suspicion that no one would believe it. you don't give yourself enough credit, and people know who you are, and wouldn't believe anything bad i said about you.
but i am truly sorry, why would i ever want to cause you any pain when you've been so damn nice to me the past half a year (and before that, i suppose).
i don't deserve most of what we do together, but now i'm getting all mushy.

i applied for a job at borders today.
i'm applying for a job at tobyhanna sometime this week.
i just really don't want to go back to being a gas station clerk.
the pay was good, but it sucked.

i always get really great ideas for short stories, but i can never follow through on them.
i just hit a dead end.
i think it's because i have no idea where the story should GO.
i ave beginnings, but no endings, therefore i can't make middles.
go-fricking-figure.


let's forget, and play in the snow.
i can make an angel
look just like you, imprinted on a hillside
it'll even have a handprint on it,
and shoe scuffles starting just outside.
but right there there's an
accurate representation
of a foolish realisation
of you to me.
and when i fall i'll stay down
breathing out hard, melting
the snow beneath my face,
and leaving yet another temporary signature
for whoever may look out from a tree
top. we'll slide down the hills
and laugh and cry and fear.
and it'll be just as i remember it
to be, a white wintry mix
of child-dreams and hot cocoa.

i'll make a fort and hide from you,
and walk across the mile-wide lake.
on my own two feet,
to camp on the island in my best
frozen impression
of huckleberry finn.

so let's go play.

fin.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Don't Read This, It isn't Good in Any Way

so i think i've really started to get into photography.
it's always been a hidden passion of mine, but for the longest time the only camera i had was a minolta. or something. then i found my grandpa gene's olympus 35rc.
then it died.

when i got my digital camera, i started to get into it. but ever since i bought the n65 i've been really into it.

i just spent the last two days searching ebay for lenses and filters and camera bags.
too bad i'm poor.
no, i mean dirt poor.
hey, isn't that what college is about?

i found a USD469.00 lens that i ne(want)ed for USD99.00.
that's insane.
it's too bad i'm poor, you can't pass up a deal like that.
maybe i can talk my mom into buying it for me.
probably not.

ever notice when you're driving around lake wallenpaupack in the winter, ice sculptures pop up everywhere?
that would be thanks to mark crouthamel.
there's an ice throne at tanglwood, a couple of ice bear things beside it,
and something at the country store.

yes, that's right, there's a country store up here.
woo.

i slept in past ten a.m. today.
i haven't done that in at least a year.
O.K., maybe nine months.

i think that if i had the opportunity and photographic equipment in middle school, i probably would have pursued a career in it.
but right now, it's too late to change my mind.
i'm sort of stuck with journalism and english.
not that i don't like them, i do, trust me.

but photojournalism, or being like a magazine photographer,
shit that'd kick ass.
you wouldn't have to worry about ap style or passive and agressive voice
you'd just have to take pictures of shit.

c'est la vie.

but i really think i'd be good as a photographer.
i just need to learn how to set aperture and shutter speeds.

told you this wasn't good.
in anyway.

i find the more i go to church the less i like the people who always sit right behind me.
it's an old man and a woman.
they gossip
during the service.
i hate them.

i find one of the better insults to use is "you know, you're the reason abortion should be legal"
but i would probably burst into flames or something if i had said it.

which brings me to a HUGE issue.
so O.K. there's this girl in the service, and apart from wearing jeans and a hoodie to church in the first place, the hoodie had on it something prolife-y.
something like

"14 bazillion babies die EACH SECOND
abortion must stop
rock for life"

bullshit. i love it how the U.S. is taking an international pro-life stance, especially in the case of china.
yes, the chinese have a problem with identifying the foetus' gender and aborting it if it's a female.
but that's only because their society holds males in a higher stance than females, it's a tradition and part of their culture.
also, it's because there's just so damn many chinese having sex and making babies, that a "one child per family" rule is smiled upon, though not mandated.
big deal.

i also love it how now conservatives are trying to overturn roe v. wade.
almost half a century after that monumental stepping stone for women's rights, and they're already trying to overturn it.
now i'm not going to make any asanine metaphors and parallels like "what's next, only men can vote"
i'm just saying, there is one MASSIVE difference between the two "opposite" stances of pro-life and pro-choice.

and it's that six-letter word right there (^). C H O I C E .
no one understands that. it isn't pro-abortion. it's called pro-CHOICE.
as in, YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE FOR YOURSELF.
i strongly believe in ultimate freedom, i'm very liberal, and dammit, i think that if someone wants to abort their baby, then let them freaking abort it.
do you have a problem with it, pro-life people? i don't see any of you lining up at adoption clinics, or standing outside delivery-wards with adoption papers, ready to sign over any baby a mother doesn't want.

it annoys me IMMENSELY that we can be so blind.
i cannot express through the vast perfection that is the english language my distaste for intolerance. of any kind.
why is there even a marriage issue? it is NOT YOUR RIGHT to tell people who they can marry, nor is it your RIGHT to tell them what they should think, wear, eat, or say.
how is any of that different than the issues of today??

honestly, i want to know where this notion that everyone has to do what YOU THINK IS RIGHT came into play.
who gave you the right to tell anyone they can't marry who they please?
who gave you the right to tell someone walking down the street that they're going to hell for having an abortion?
god?
bull shit.
you aren't special, i'm sorry to disillusion you, but you aren't.
you aren't on a mission from god, and you certainly do not speak for anyone but yourself.
why can't we all just let everyone BE.

but i generally don't comment on things like this, partly because it gets me so angry to type it out, but partly because i don't have the right to tell anyone they're doing something wrong, they have to learn that for themselves. also, i am very condescending but don't mean to be. lauren petrillo has banned me from speaking with her on any political issues.

so please, don't read this. it isn't good. not in anyway, it is the first qualified "RANT," and will probably be the last.
i hate doing this, and i hate disagreeing.

so hope your eyes aren't too blurry, and hope you don't see this, because that means you re-read it.

i see my red door and i want it painted black

but in anycase, don't listen to me, i don't know what i'm talking about.
i just want us all to get along.

except ann coulter, i don't like her.

free tibet.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

And What's with Those Airline Peanuts?

so i was walking down to CVS in ship two days ago, to buy film.
(i had just received my nikon in the mail).
as i passed advanced auto parts, i spotted a jeep grand cherokee in the parking lot. it was parked with the hatch facing me, and on the rear windshield was a sticker reading
"hondas are like tampons
every pussy needs one"

bravo, you've come up with a clever analogy.
there's only one problem: you put it on your jeep grand cherokee.
it isn't like you're saying "my car is badass" because you're driving a jeep cherokee
and this is before they redesigned the jeep body, into what matt hughes drives now.

as i was walking back, i passed another car, this one in the parking lot of the first church of christ annex on the corner of prince and king.

the car had a front license plate that read
"IF YOU TOUCH MY
CAR
I'LL BREAK YOUR
FINGERS"

it was carriage-returned just like that.

the only problem was, it was a chevrolet corsica.
and it had a flat tire.
=

today, i was driving my mom's passat and ran over a pot hole in the wyoming valley mall.
a flat tire insued.
but it's O.K., i fixed it. luckily volkswagon, in all their brilliance and wisdom, includes full sized spares in all their cars. bravo. unluckily, they expect you to drive the vw around a barrio, and have included a theft-deterrent in the form of a specially-shaped lug nut that the tire-iron doesn't fit.

it took me five whole minutes to find the included "adapter"

also, one of our cats died.
s'ok, we have two more.

finally, if you want to see the definition of "icicle" visit me, on the house next to us they go from the edge of the roof to the ground.

wish i didn't break my digital camera, i could take a picture and show you.

oh well.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Chemical Smells

waking up every morning your freshman year at college in a new environment, surrounded by strange people,
waking up every morning, and trudging your way to franklin science center has an affect on a person.

you get to missing the chemical smells, the dilapidated yellow cabinets, the wood panelling. expensive texts and lab coats, goggles and ti-83+'s.
you move away, recenter your universe. no more copernicus, heliocentrism was so last millenium.
no more colorful, laminated periodic table. no more three ring binder or composition book to keep lab notes in.
you miss it.

i miss it.

it's like a collegiate security blanket. whenever i find myself dwelling too much on the less than three semesters i have left here, i come up to the third floor of franklin. and i walk around.

the gentle hum of the exhaust fans has been replaced with a roar. but that's probably because i don't spend every morning here anymore.
maybe it was just how i would always wake up here that ties me to it so much.

i had lab from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., so i would get out of bed, put PJ's on, and stumble to the third floor. i would wake up here.

it's like when you're travelling and you wake up in a strange hotel room and you momentarily forget where you are or how you got there. but then you wake up, and once you sleep there again, it's almost comforting. familiarity in the face of so much difference.

it smells like green grass, sandals, oakleys, and i can hear cake playing in the background. that's what i remember from freshman year, that's what stands out so much. spring. a puma jacket.

waking up and being greeted by the treeline on the far corner of the fifth floor of the south wing of mclean hall. and franklin is irrevocably tied to those memories, like splicing a rope.

now, all i visit is dauphin. i have one class in heiges, but other than that it's dauphin.
such is life.

it'll always be my security blanket, though. franklin. those pale cream walls, pockmarked at intervals with heavy wooen doors, black number plates bisecting them, adorned with fading white numerals, sinking back into their black backgrounds. and twin never-ending stripes of glistening black rubber floor runner, chasing doggedly the continuous contours of the square crisp corridors.

the wax on the floor, faintly reflecting fluorescent overhead lighting, catches the shadowy ghost of a trespasser, in my private little world i have. he lankily saunters across the tiling, towards a bright red EXIT sign at the apogee of my mind's eye.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Oh, there it is

you work your entire life, from the moment you start to crawl, you're working to an end.
means to an end.

you work to walk, you work to talk.
you work to play and cry and eat.
you work for attention.

and where does it end?

in a nursing home, not remembering your children's names or where you are?
in diapers, taken care of by an aide?

screw that.
i plan to live
forever.

i think the thing that frightens me the most about the cycle we're all stuck in is, it's about to end.
i've been in school since pre-school: when i was 5
suddenly i have two semesters until i get a little piece of paper, saying that i have a degree in a bunch of bullshit, just because i sat here for a cumulative 19 years and listened and told the teachers
answers they wanted to hear.

you always read about people like ernest hemmingway, who went on safari and live in sri lanka. and killed himself, O.K.... but the safari part.

he's been dead for almost fifty years, and he has a new book coming out next year.

i, on the other hand, will never be published.
why, you ask?

because i have no creative drive.

that's why i haven't been writing good journals, i don't have anything to whine about.
for once i like my life, i like where i am, and nothing's wrong about it.

the downside is, i don't get the ego-boost of people telling me they really like my journal entries.
in fact, since i switched to blogger and abandoned my livejournal friends, i'm not sure anyone reads this at all.

whoops, i broke the fourth wall.

life is so convoluted sometimes. i want to camp
i want to go to montana and work for the parks dept. or the dept. of the interior, or the forestry service.
fuck, i just want to freaking camp.
i want to be an airway steward, it seems like a good way to see the world.
i want to live in the south of france, i want to se the serengheti, and the sahara, and the cradle of civiliation. drink turkish tea in istanbul, learn afrikaans and go to south africa.

i should stop reading now.
i read to go other places, to envelope myself inside acid-free paper and ink. mass-marketed and dust-jacketed.
i need to stop reading, i get my hopes up.

i desperately want to be accepted by society as anything other than a failure, but doesn't everyone else?
what makes me so special? nothing, that's the cold, dark, honest, cliche answer. nothing.

but for some reason i sit in classes, listen to what lunatics who somehow obtained doctorates have to say, and tell them what they have to hear.
have, have, have.

i don't have to see the world.
i WANT to.

and therein lies a difference of infinite depth and proportion.

but for now i suppose i can be content with not being in too much debt to any one company, having a balance in my checking account, and not getting kicked out of college for poor grades.

haven't you ever wanted to see the amazon? or managua, beliz, cape horn?

there's something mystical we all tie to phrases like "the world's end."
well fuck man, let me see it.
one day, i freaking promise you, i will have a picture of invercargill, nz hanging on my wall. i will see the end of the earth.

i want to get lost in the jungles of atemporal china, surrounded by the mixture of ancient art and ultra-modernists highrises.

and honestly, i don't care if it's dangerous.
i want to see tibet, nepal, kashmir, taiiwan, melonesia, and papau new gunea.
did i mention st. croix?

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Atlanta, Ga.

i'm supposed to be answering questions from my biology text.
i thought science was behind me.

i don't want to jynx it, but it's hella snowing outside right now.
everytime it snows, and then melts, or snows for like ten minutes and then the sun is out and you can't tell it even snowed, everytime that happens i get really angry.
i really just wanted winter.

i think this is one of the reasons i could never live in the south.
i crave winter.it keeps me sane, in a way.

i'm sick, but i still bike.
i'm also fat, i've gained too much weight this year. so i bike.
last night it was the ol' run to giant.suprisingly it didn't affect my sickness.

like it's a disease, 'sickness.'
it's a weird sick, my nose is stuffy, and my voice sounds all weird, but other than that i'm completely O.K., my head is clear, my throat doesn't hurt.this is probably what happens right before some weird tunisian virus kills you from the inside out.

i didn't have college writing today, and biology just seems so useless.
i wake up at seven a.m., take a shower and fall asleep in class for an hour and fifteen minutes.
i can't stand nollenberger's jokes anymore, i think i'm going to scream next time.

there's this scientific american article sitting on the computer lab table next to me. it's one of the things i'm working on for bio. it's a page of an eye. the whole eight-and-a-half-inches-by-eleven-inches is an eye.i wonder why the photographer left the light in it. you can see the light in the iris, reflecting.

i hate arabic numerals. they're very cold, and pointed. except for three, six, eight, and nine.
why is that?

there's so little for me to stress about, but i'm still stressed. there is virtually nothing to worry about, yet i can't stop thinking i should be worried for some reason.

the snow isn't stopping, but nor is it sticking to things like sidewalks and roads.
why is that?
it wasn't that warm yesterday, and this isn't exactly atlanta, ga.


this is kind of freaky... maybe it's all the star wars as a kid, but the word "dark" carries an ominous forbodence with it.

the snow is coming down, and it's time to get back to biology

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Heart

you know there's something wrong with the united states of america when eBay commercials are more moving, more uplifting, and generally better than 80% of television programming and major motion-pictures.

that's sad, yet if you watch them, you feel all funny and uplifted inside.
they show you no matter how weird you are, there are a million people out there just as weird.
they show you no matter how trivial something may have seemed, it is invaluable to you, regardless of how long ago you lost it.

is it wrong to think that perhaps good advertising isn't dead? it's just been hiding.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

The S. S. California

what kind of a lullaby are katydids?
which soothing sleep CD will you find the gentle roll of rusted metal dock braces creaking back and forth, clicking just off beat from every other sound?

when i was growing up, evan and i shared a room.
there were four bedrooms in our house: three upstairs, one downstairs.
the one downstairs was my grandpop's room. it smelled like him, and had that dark yellowy light to it. it smelled like lemon-fresh dust cleaner and it always had a silver and red flashlight ontop of its bureau.

the one upstairs was a guest room, where we would put on puppet shows with socks and handpuppets with no lining, so the inside of the fabris felt scratchy against our childish minds and skin.

the other two upstairs were my mom and dad's, and evan's and mine.
evan and i had matching beds. until dad built us a bunk bed. the bunk bed was light blue, and it had a ladder we used to pretend was a letterslot. at least i used to pretend it was.
we never had a letter slot.

we had matching desks and bookcases.
we used to sit at them, on opposite sides of the room, doing homework. and in the summer my mom made us do homework. it was like summer home school. we would do work for a while, then go outside and make mudpies with katie adie.

that's right, i knew a girl named katie adie. this was before girls got all icky and developed terminal cases of cooties. this was a friend. she lived on the meadow road.
i suppose it was called that because there was a meadow on it at one point. now there are only houses stuck in 1959, the kind of houses people live in in the summer, smelling of wood and an air of perennial suitcases.
i used to call it the 'metal road'
i didn't know any better

katie had a badmitton net behind her house. she was the one that taught me how to put the birdie on the racket, and toss it up in the air to serve it.

whenever i sit at home in the summer now, i can't hear the katydids any more.
it's a cliche, but it's like the polar express.
i sit and listen, but even the creaking of the docks isn't as loud as i remember it.

the whole point about the rooms was, as we got older and lee was born, i moved into the guest room, and evan and lee shared a room. then when grandpop didn't come up anymore i moved into his room.

i would lie awake in my bed, reading, with the windows wide open, and i could hear the roar of katydids and docks.

i think the lake is getting old. it's getting old and there's too much for it.
it can't make waves like it used to, so the docks don't creak like they used to.

everyone always asks me, when they finally believe that the lakeshore was twenty feet from my front porch, 'wow, so was it like dawson's creek? did you have a rowboat? did you row to your friend's houses?'

of course we had a row boat. we called it the pram.
it was sort of square shaped
we also had a sunfish, and a ski boat.

and no, it wasn't like dawson's creek.
out of all the friends i made in middle and high school, none of them lived on the lake. everyon e had a boat somewhere, everyone we skiing and jetskiing and seadooing and everyone had a beach, but everyone's houses weren't on the lake.

it would have been so much cooler. but no, i was the only one.

i've always wanted to fly over the lake at night. you could see the shape of it, outlines by orange sulphur lights on beaches. it would be an orange-gold silhouette.
i desperately want to see it.

you could imagine, me living within sight of epply island, how much books like tom sawyer and huckelberry finn spoke to me.

i tried to build a raft one year
i got a book for it and everything
then my mom said it wouldn't be safe, boats would run me over

so hadyn and i found an old walkway plank that floated up on shore one day, and we used to sit on it, and capsize it, and see who could stay under longer.

we would also build boats and race them down the creek. his was the ss california. i don't remember what i named mine except i was jealous because his name was better.

since i lived in northeastern pennsylvania, right on a huge body of water (60ft. deep, 52 mis. of shoreline, 1 mi. at the widest and 7 mis. at the longest parts), i had a taste of new england few middle classe pennslvanian families did. it was IN me. all these people would come from NJ or NY or new england, and vacation there.

they all had white shorts.
they all wore dock shoes.
they all had izod and dockers.

for some reason, clamps and ropes and sailboats are anchored in my mind, and it compells me.

you never know how beautiful autumn can be until you're driving home on the schoolbus right before halloween, and all you see looking up simon's hill is YELLOW, GOLD, RED, CRIMSON, BURGUNDY, and ORANGE.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Indian Paint

you know, it's nice waking up to white sidewalks.
it's even nicer when it's still snowing.
it's not so nice when it stops at ten a.m. though, i'm still waiting for that blizzard.

it seems really weird, the snow and all. i think everyone was kind of ready for spring.
over the past month it's been warm(er than it should have been in february), and i know i was ready for spring.

for some reason, my mind has picked four very disctinct memories and attatched them to the four seasons. for spring, i can remember riding my bike around the neighbourhood, the sounds of my tires splashing through every single "pothole" puddle echoes around.

i had this teal windbreaker. you know the kind, it had this flimsy hood that rolled up into the collar, and a white cotton liner. i don't really know what the point of that liner was. i guess it helped stop the wind, iono.

i would ride around on my bike, walking through the woods, or along the shores of the lake. i don't remember why, but the feeling i have is almost euphoric. i can't explain that.

i can remember walking up the banks of "the creek," seeing an occassional patch of stubborn snow clinging to pine needles and dirt, slowly melting in the rising sun.

so for spring i remember a teal windbreaker, biking, puddles, the lake shore, the creek banks, my development (simon's point), but most of all
mud.

spring has this weird connotation attatched to it in my head: mud.
i suppose it's because spring is when all the snow melts and runs down the mountainside past my house and into the lake. i suppose it's muddy because i also live on a dirt road.

and the first thing you learn as a little kid who lives on a lake is how to make indian paint.
it's pretty simple. you need two rocks. one of them should be shale (when i say shale i mean red shale, to me there was no other kind until i started calling my aunt "ahnt"), so the paint turns out reddish brown instead of dull grey.
scrape the shale across the other rock until there's a thin red powder on the it. now here's where it gets tricky. you can either spit into the powder and mix it with your fingers, or use water. we did this right at the beach, so we always just used water.

then you just smear it on your face. it was fun.
it was also fun to get all the seaweed (yep, still call it seaweed although we live on a lake) and roll it into a ball and fling it at each other.
or, cover yourself in it and pretend you're swamp thing. don't worry, you will freak out your dog. but she will eventually forgive you.

i need to go camping. or hiking. i need to get away from all this pavement.
don't get me wrong, it's great. and flat. but for a kid who spent one hundred percent of his free time as a child running across sandy, rocky beaches, and through mossy woods, the tar is driving me insane.

i remember all i could think of when i was little was 'how cool would it be if they paved our road, i could get a remote-controlled car!'
they never paved it. i never had a remote-controlled car. life goes on.

pavement was such a treat when i was little, it meant we were going somewhere.
often to the dairy twist. which has the best soft-serve ice cream i know of. also, it had a water fountain. after we ate our ice cream, we would get a drink of water.

to this day, i still get thirsty for cold water-fountain water after eating soft-serve ice cream.
gresham's has the best hard ice cream. and it's right across the dike. i would go there after work, senior year, with my girlfriend and walk along the it (the dike's suprisingly long when you actually walk on it).
i wonder how long the people who sit on the benches during the fireworks on fourth of july had to wait to get those seats.
probably all day.

i would always get vanilla with rainbow sprinkles. ever since i can remember.
then i discovered waffle cones, they were all my own.
i was the only one in my family who liked them. 'cookies & cream in a waffle cone, with a chocolate-cone-dip, please'
it was a lot to say for a little kid.

pavement also meant we were going to grandpop's, in new jersey. now if you know me, you know i despise new jersey. i cannot stand it. it's dirty. example: the toll bridge in milford only collects the toll on the lanes coming from nj to pa. they know no one in their right minds would pay to get into nj, only to get away from.

grandpop's was a little one story house with a furnished basement in new providence (i think... maybe it was just providence. i always confuse it with where he worked: summit). he had a pool table. and an electric type-writer.

i typed a report on the statue of liberty on that typewriter. it didn't have a BACKSPACE button. i must have typed the first three sentences a million times, and killed a million trees with all the typos i made.

the house had this leather sofa in the den (it had a den!). the den, which a little kid is perplexed with at first, why isn't it called a living room?
'well, the living room is the room by the door, brendan.'
'but it's so fancy.'
'yes, that's why there's a den'

it had a den, a kitchen, a dining room, a living room, three (?) bedrooms, and this room that went out to the patio (patio!). it was a brick patio and it had a yard.
the yard was my favourite part. i simply could not get over the fact that my grandfather had a huge square of grass in his backyard, and fences all around it. he had neighbours, with yards ending in fences just like his.

and the refrigerator was upside down.
i was very perplexed by this. the freezer part was on the bottom. i couldn't understand why.

i worked with my dad one summer, when i turned 14, in summit. we were remodelling one of the apartment buildings my grandpop owned. it was HOT.
everyday we went to 7-11. i got a hot dog and a pepsi big slam. then we went back to work.

i have so much to thank my father for. not only did he put up with a fourteen year old for like four weeks in a hot new jersey apartment building, but he took me to see batman forever. that's what i wanted for my birthday, to see the batman movie. it is, to this day, my favourite one. not the best representation of the comics, but still my favourite. thank you dad.
you sat through two hours of val kilmer and nicole kidman and jim carrey with me.

i wore those sandals with webbing, three plastic buckles (one around your toes, the others around your heel and ankle), and black rubber soles.

and then we went back to my grandpop's house and slept in the air conditioning.

it really was a whole other world to me.

so even though i despise new jersey, there's this little section of it, nothing more than a municipalital line, that i cherish. and will cherish for ever. i will always connect providence, nj with my grandfather, his house of wonders, working with my dad, and a blue buick.

my grandfather had a blue buick. he would trade it in every now and then to get a new blue buick. it had electric door locks and windows.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Sold out

so it's snowing again.

you know, i just want a freaking blizzard, is that asking too much?
last year there were at least five days of cancelled class. this year? not even a white christmas.

for once i would like to see snow, on the ground, for more than two hours. is that too much to freaking ask?

it's february and all i see outside is dead grass