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

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 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


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

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