Friday, December 31, 2010
-Meet some interesting people.
-Write on this blog.
-Improve this blog.
-Get a new, better job.
-Forgive and reconcile.
-Maintain and work on existing relationships.
-Finish at least one short story.
-Watch old movies.
-Maintain physical fitness.
-Spend less time being afraid.
-Make a positive difference.
-Be with A as much as possible.
[Please excuse the hackneyed conceit of this post; it's mostly for posterity]
[This concludes 2010, in which this blog posted 10 times per month, every month. Check the archive]
-I'd like to apologize to M—— for not accepting her invitation to the Prom junior year. I was confused.
-I'd like to apologize to Allan because it didn't work out.
-I'd like to apologize to my father for having a short temper sometimes. I love you anyways.
-I'd like to apologize to A for saying that the day we spent together at the ICA peaked at breakfast. It didn't.
-I'd like to apologize for not taking the time to complete this list. My attention span is lacking at times.
And all the same, how can I wish that anything had gone differently? I'm right where I want to be.
Depend only on love and the ones who love me
This was the year of confidence.
The self is strong, believe it and see it
This was the year of Allan.
Monday, December 27, 2010
Friday, December 24, 2010
JD does long form posts much better than I do; witness this one. This is the way the post ends Not with a bang but a whimper.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Saturday, December 18, 2010
For the French, the word collaborate must be politically charged, even now.
I had conjured an image for Maréchal Pétain, that perhaps his experience in World War I had scarred him so much, he had been cut so deeply that he felt it necessary to take any and all measures as to be totally insured against another war as senseless as the first one. I'm mostly sure now that I was mistaken. Pétain was, from all appearances a petty junior Fascist, who was eager for the appurtenances of power. I want to know more, but this is the summary judgement.
Monday, December 13, 2010
I will not brook regrets. I will not carry them with me.
I love those conversations where you get turned on to the limitless possibilities that lie ahead. They keep happening now, with all sorts of different people. They spark me. I could do anything. Anything!
You just have to make sure you're not overwhelmed by the possibilities. Sometimes I have to ask her to give me three choices, and then I can pick. Me knowing that I won't be offending anyone, and relieved of the burden of winnowing, that is the efficient me.
I spent December 11th in the company of A. We walked the streets of Washington. We remarked on Millard Fillmore's official portrait. My face eventually hurt from laughing. It was a day to remember.
The bar has been set high.
Monday, December 6, 2010
*The grimy desks are the same, the aged volumes institutionally bound are the same, the powerful musty smell of books has not changed. Why should it have?
*I remembered that I had loved this place powerfully as a sanctuary, a place to play at being an academic and reading and writing for long hours till the bubble of restlessness burst.
*It always feels good, still, to pick out a volume or two, take them home for free. They might never be read, but say, what if one day I take a sudden, strong interest in John Donne? I must equip myself ahead of that day that we await with faithful anticipation.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
What I'm trying to say is, I've got freedom and my youth. What I'm trying to say is, I'm in a happy spot. Here's to another glorious year! [years start on December 1st, right?]
[The business with the exclamation points is really getting out of hand! I need to be careful, or I'll start using them without thinking! WITHOUT ANY FORETHOUGHT! Can you only imagine?! That would be like throwing a party and charging your friends 20 dollars to get in to the 'VIP Section'! Say it ain't so, Joe!]
Monday, November 29, 2010
Sunday, November 28, 2010
By the way, check out our new blog:
Monday, November 22, 2010
*Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
*West Newbury, MA
*Cannon Beach, OR
[In approximate reverse chronological order by date of first contact]
It's a list. I'm nothing if not transient.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
I have a feeling that F. Scott Fitzgerald had the opposite problem. He had too many people that believed in him. There's a quote on the back of my book that even says “You are a great writer. Believe it, not me.” I'm getting the feeling throughout this book that Scottie [that's what his intimates call him] was given to believe that he was a great writer a little too much [this is another problem, his abuse of italics in the text]. He has too much confidence in himself as a man of letters. He believes too much in his own powers of description. He is also clearly pretty snobby about being an American expatriate in Paris, and is eager to show how much he knows about this lifestyle, much the same as Hemingway.
Monday, November 15, 2010
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Nothing has to be timed or perfected, or cooked just so. Everything just comes together in a big, soupy mess. The soup is the most forgiving dish known to cooks, save grilled cheese. No doubt there's an art to getting the broth to taste good (or appropriate?) and getting the vegetables to have just the right bite, but what tastes better and is so consistently easy to assemble, if not soup. If not soup, then what?
I will spare you the answer. It's soup or nothing. The joy of the warm, savory broth. The satisfaction of adding some arcane ingredient which won't actually figure in the taste, but makes you feel like an expert all the same. Soup, which nourishes our bodies and contains enough salt, when done right, to pickle our organs. Soup, the signature dish of fall, the autumnal enterprise of slightly shivering city-dwellers. It does a body good.
[Also, a good part of the conception of this post was how much I like to hear my fingers clattering on the keyboard while the words simultaneously appear, marching ahead on-screen. Strunk and White advise that you should delete or heavily edit things you write for these reasons, but they were writing before the existence of blogs. So I will have my cake and post it too.]
[Brackets are so much more entertaining than parentheses]
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Have I made myself clear?
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Isn't it funny, what you notice?
Her hair falls around her face, short,
not too much cared for.
Skin, in this light, is scarred with blotchy teenage battle-wounds.
Eyes with a magic laugh in them,
that she does not bother to guard from view.
Doesn't shy from looking at you
Doesn't need anything from me, but wants my attention
Full of life,
full of knowing everything
You anticipate her presence in every moment:
where she wasn't before
looked askance at a dim,
hazy talk about nothing really [don't you just tend to agree with people]
we three blanketing someone else's car
philosophical after half-a-bottle [only]
she burned me with a cigarette,
And I didn't even notice she was there.
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Maniac is me
want it now
on top of the
the mason's plight,
for making what is perfect.
Does his job too well,
intricate machinery of mortar
all that's left
to put to our faceless names
Thursday, October 28, 2010
* * * * *
How can you ever hope to produce something great when the way you conduct your business is so narrow-minded? We are looking for cogs, not people, and we will gladly numb your personhood into nothing if you yearn to be a cog, find your place, catch the same notch on another cog, again and again in increasingly arcane shades of meaninglessness. You will take consolation in HAVING BEEN OF SERVICE.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Her whole aspect is a double entendre, and begs another question of how to interpret her. Is she the attractive older woman who has held her power to turn people's heads? Or is she rather the desperate fortysomething who has, frighteningly, never changed? [Would I be considered an anti-feminist boor in some circles for the manner in which I pose these questions?—A separate question entirely, you will agree.]
[bracketed digressive interspersals doing anything for you?]
I saw a shock of gray emerging at her hairline yesterday and was struck by how well the dye had done its duty: I never once considered how old she must be. It was all I could do not to stare at it after that. Does she know that I have guessed at her secret? [A hint here at the secrets we all keep in plain sight and we think people don't notice. They must have, though, no?]
These questions I'm inclined to pose about her make her one of the only people in the department who is truly interesting on her own merits. What happened to her? How did some part of her become arrested in a stage of growth, before it was fully mature [I am presuming, but what is life without presumption?]? I can only hope that it is not one of the darker mysteries that is hinted at by the evidence. Assumption: she married young to a high-school sweetheart, felt trapped, but stayed in it, and acts out in barely perceptible ways to assert her lost freedom. And who says you can't judge your elders and postulate their life stories based on appearances and surface perceptions?
Monday, October 25, 2010
This is written not to memorialize my love and pain for HER. That would be to succumb to it, and that can no longer be tolerated. This is written to write HER out, drive HER away from the gates like the ragged horde before my vanquishing knights—words. It is not so simple as that, you may be certain. And yet, it has to be. It has to be spelled out, in black ink, on ruled white paper, in certain terms that leave no room for maneuver: NO MORE.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Consider the source. Micromanager, another one of those people who seems to have a work face they put on every morning, giving you the eerie feeling of talking to the face, not the person. There must be a car for her here, one that fits.
I saw it clear, like icy water in a steel sink: the Honda Accord nestled in a corner spot.
Moderate luxury without ostentation.
Modernity without hipness.
Practicality without ugliness.
Comfortably, tenaciously situated right in the middle.
That it was beige went without saying.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Sunday, October 10, 2010
In response to a query from John B
Interesting topic for sure. I don't really have any data about Allston, so whatever I say is based on anecdotal evidence. I found relations between the students and the other residents to be mostly harmonious, although there's definitely sort of a sense that actual human interaction is to be avoided. This is not really stated by anyone, but it's an unwritten rule. When you see people on the street who are maybe hispanic, brazilian, or older asian people, you both ignore each other mostly, I think. It's basically respectful, but you're really acting like the other person is not there. In that way there are two separate worlds. People don't mix too much. Each group has its own stores and its own gathering places. The places that the groups have in common are probably limited to liquor stores, fast food joints, thrift stores (sometimes), and some ethnic restaurants where students might interact with the mostly immigrant community.
It's also interesting that while the students are certainly better off financially in comparison to the immigrants, they are also mostly interested in living on the cheap. There's definitely a certain type of person who is drawn to the neighborhood, usually more thrifty types among students. This may be a large part of the appeal of Allston; it's relatively cheap for Boston, and by taking advantage of some of the institutions that the immigrant communities have brought with them (cheaper ethnic restaurants, laundries, and groceries) students can save money. I also think that the privileged type of person that you find at BU, for example, might consider living in Allston something of an adventure. It offers cheaper living, ethnic flavor, and something of an art and music scene, plenty of bars, without the dangerous, violent urban side that places like Roxbury and Dorchester have. It makes you feel like you're "slumming it" in relative safety. And if you ever get tired of Allston, there's also Brookline right nearby, which is comparatively white and affluent, and probably even safer than Allston.
I do think, though that a lot of the students (and to a lesser extent, the immigrant community) don't give any respect to Allston as a place, precisely because they are usually not long-term residents. They are more likely to leave trash on the streets, break bottles at random, and make noise at night, because they sort of don't consider Allston a real place. It's just a place where the poor immigrants live and where people go to party and temporarily live cheaply during their college years. It is not, in this mindset, deserving of respect; it's not a 'real' neighborhood. I'm sure that this is also partially because people often come to Allston to visit the bars, and so are intoxicated. This is unpleasant for people like me (and I imagine for older, long-term residents), who just want to live quietly, go to work, and occasionally enjoy some of the many restaurants.
I hope that helps you some. Let me know if I can provide any more information, or if you want me to expand on any of these points.
Friday, October 8, 2010
Thursday, September 30, 2010
"We have changed plans."
This strikes the ear funny, if you let it. Maybe we haven't changed our own plans, but inadvertently changed the plans of others by our unwitting actions. The words don't discriminate. Plans have been changed, though, by us. We have changed plans. Keep repeating it, it sounds absurd if you keep at it. We have changed plans. It could also be that we are now in possession of changed plans, as in We have changed plans. We've come to be in charge of them, who knows how. You hadn't considered these notions, had you?
"...so flowers, except in the common-noun sense (he knew birds liked them, as did bees), sent no message to Keith's blue eyes." -- Martin Amis
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
I had been warned that as a rule, one should beware of people who treated others according to a sliding scale of preference and status. A person wholly kind and honorable will treat everyone with kindness and honor, so this line of thinking went. Aren't we always, though, making exceptions to rules, for ourselves and for those we want to love? So I now saw her through this lens. That, and she was something of a fabulist. She only did it sometimes, I covered. Andrea is different, though. This assertion I have based entire worlds on, worlds. She really is genuinely nice. This could not be denied, either, for based on it were other worlds, presumptions, years of life tenderly lived in advance. These were not to be undone under any circumstances. She's not an airhead, she's substantial, unlikely to float away on an unfortunately timed thermal. This is no joke, either, I am not what's called an unreliable narrator. Self-deceit is for the birds.
I would say I was proud of being a good soldier for her, but that wasn't really the case; I didn't need to be the good soldier because I wasn't even thinking about it very much. She crossed the street, and looking back, smiled and waved again. Her smile is close to me, always.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
first things first, always
dream a little dream of me
shouldn't i quit it with all the rhetorical questions?
over his shoulder gleamed the radically bald and goateed visage of trent dilfer, professional yes-man former pro athlete
as preston is my editor and my witness, i will not see this post through to its logical termination
not alone by choice, by myself only because i want to be
from her to eternity
Mass Bay 153, OK to go!
The audacity, really, of these train advertisements is what's appalling
it has none
Mr. B— felt deep in his bones that Contador was a coward and Schleck had been wronged. His mind could never change on this point; it was as a closed book. This was his strength and greatest weakness: consistency.
....could only fumble at the expression "God helps them who help themselves."
cars shark-like, marauding more than driving...
Sunday, September 26, 2010
[does anybody read these things?]
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Sunday, September 19, 2010
And how I missed her but then she would say these magic things that floated in and out and in my head. They were little things but that nothing was precious, it's trivial, but together these things accrete into everything that you have together, really a huge collection of tiny things. That's how I came to think of it, anyways.
I found it so funny that I could hang with them even on subjects that I didn't care about, or TV shows I hadn't watched in years. Could I help but interpret this as evidence of some kind of social intelligence now in my possession? It didn't used to be like this, high school was a long time that I don't remember three quarters of.
I was reading a Bret Easton Ellis novel, which I didn't understand at all. It was about people whose lives have become completely empty, and the flashes of human emotion that seep through into their days at the cracks. The emotions, when they're present, don't seem natural at all because the default state is a void. His next book was better by far, even considering the dark themes and the parts about people living empty lives, it felt warm and supple by comparison with the icy, nihilistic rigor of the first novel. Poor Bret, I'd have to say. It must be awful to even be able to write emptiness so realistically. I'd much rather not be able to write well about empty people. It might rub off if you're not careful.
Monday, September 13, 2010
I hate sad songs, never knew this until now. They are a poor substitute for what we miss, a false comfort. They seem profound, but reveal themselves as charlatans on close inspection.
"Forgive my grief for one removed,
Thy creature, whom I found so fair.
I trust he lives in thee,
and there I find him worthier to be loved."
Now, everywhere, in the street, the cafe, I see each individual under the aspect of ineluctably having-to-die, which is exactly what it means to be mortal. --And, no less obviously, I see them as not knowing this to be so."
Silence is my default mode, as it is everyone's. Why should this not be so? If there is nothing to say, silence prevails as part of a natural order.
Monday, September 6, 2010
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Friday, August 27, 2010
I left the truck running as we switched positions. So this is it.
Demure brown chairs stacked high in the back.
Don’t tempt fate by counting your chickens before their eggs are all hatched in one basket.
I couldn’t tell if I was smelling fresh bread baking or the celery-colored paint from last night.
That I have intuited things they couldn’t find out through hours of hard research.
I think it gives me comfort to know that I could always switch email clients. Even though I’m with Outlook now, I could easily change to Thunderbird, and that might make a big difference.
Dreams of domestic bliss, being cheeky about other people’s friends, private jokes with my lovely partner.
Don't lie and say it's coffee you're makin'
Oregon is insanely beautiful
There exists a coffee called "Double French Roast"
My feelings have not changed
I'm still making up things to worry about
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Dick Diver this, Dick Diver that, Dick Diver is the only American man in Paris with repose [apparently this means he doesn't touch his face at restaurants; who cares?], Dick Diver is great at parties, Dick Diver is a fascinating dinner companion but runs away if you try to monopolize his attentions, Rosemary fell in love with Dick Diver the moment she saw him, Dick Diver's children were educated in France, Dick Diver, Dick Diver, etc. etc. (Have I said Dick Diver too much? Let me say it again, Dick Diver. Now you know my pain). Really far more than I need to know about this character at this point in the novel, and an embarrassing amount of affection shown for him by the author. Hasn't he heard of understatement? And did he know that the name of this character would torture me? He seems more than happy to repeat the name again and again, as if he knew it would get under readers' skin. It's starting to feel like work to read this for my book club, which is unfortunate. I'm committed to finishing it, but I wouldn't mind reading something I'd enjoy.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
These are the things that maybe you don't want to know about me, but maybe you should.
I am a person. I am a whole. I am not to be used only for good times.
I worry a fair amount about everything. I go hot and cold sometimes and am short with people I love. Inevitably regret it, but still, I think it's how I am. I know too much about living cheaply, but I always live well. I scoff at people who can't spell, but forgive the fault at will. I love talking to old friends, even when it makes you miss how things were. I want to tell people how much I love them, but usually can't. I like knowing smiles. I'd like to hold on to being 19, or 22, or 24, but not cling desperately. I mouth words when I type them in personal communications; this may look unseemly when I'm in public places. I'm not very good at sleeping anymore. If I'm serious, it's probably because I don't want to be the guy who always tries to be funny and is never serious. I tend to hold doors for people all the time, but I'm nervous about the interactions this entails. I don't know how to look at people in the hallways at work. I pray for things that I think I need. I want to write effortlessly. I want to live a good life, and be loved.
Saturday, July 31, 2010
Slowly the moon is rising out of the ruddy haze,
Divesting herself of her golden shift, and so
Emerging white and exquisite; and I in amaze
See in the sky before me, a woman I did not know
I loved, but there she goes and her beauty hurts my heart;
I follow her down the night, begging her not to depart.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Monday, July 26, 2010
Sunday, July 25, 2010
-Indictment of Americans for how easily they are tricked by the false modesty of a Lindbergh. Some have claimed this is a roman a clef against the Bush Administration. Parallels my dears?
-225 - His portrayal of the honest, striving, protective parents working together to keep their families safe is moving
-227 - Sandy: "You Jews"
-228 - Homestead 42 sinister because it is so unnecessary. How in the world can Bengelsdorf and Evelyn et al. not see through this? It is transparent as a thinly sliced cucumber.
-230 - Sandy is in throes of rebellious young adult period but, this is to an extreme level. Again, how can he justify saying "you people"? Who does he think he is?
-Communal news-watching/listening. Is this completely gone? Exception of Super Bowl and election night. Any others?
-Does Winchell not fear for his own safety?
-What do we make of Herman's assertion that there are still good men in this country? Is he right? Are the good men (Roosevelt, Ickes, et al.) being swept away in the wave of Lindberghism?
-226 - "This is our country!" Realization that Bess is right, though, and it's always better safe than sorry in these matters, as European Jews learned in the worst possible way
-Symbolism in Alvin's absence?
-241 - "historical fears of a persecuted people" They are historical fears for a reason! Is Bengelsdorf naive or perverse? Both?
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
With good reason.
I went swimming in Walden Pond and the Atlantic Ocean.
I ventured into the Allston Cafe with A.
I ate quiescently frozen confections.
I piloted a bumper boat.
It was a fun weekend, as you can tell from my dry, adjective-free descriptions.
It really was a good weekend.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
My lentils are refusing to cook easily.
The rain was welcome, but came down so hard that I was forced to close all the windows.
Bret Easton Ellis's second novel was much better than his first; also his second name is much more pretentious than his first and last names.
Amanda was sorely missed this week at the office.
We made the mistake of assuming there would only be one Market Basket in Wilmington; there were two in close proximity.
A luggage store would not have been my first choice to fill the vacant retail space.
The mustard contained VINEGAR, MUSTARD SEED, SALT, SPICES AND TURMERIC.
The purchase of spray starch was inspired by A.M. Homes.
Eyes on a sweet potato look alien and unfriendly.
Any whiff of cool air is welcome, whatever the source.
Müller looked 35 at 20 and scored 5 in '10.
Monday, July 5, 2010
Some other kind of trite fishing metaphor?
I'm a catch, but I hope not to get hooked; it might hurt.
Don't want to fight an angler with a pole.
Let me determine my own fate,
Lady of the Lake.
Saturday, July 3, 2010
I believe in the sand beneath my toes
Do you ever worry that you're not getting anywhere, and then realize that maybe it doesn't matter anyway?
Sometimes you have to laugh, or you’ll cry. You might just have to resign yourself to the fact that fate has you in its grip, and you don’t have much of a choice. Might as well enjoy it, it might be lovely after all. Maybe this is all just a game. Don’t be sad.
Sometimes I email myself stuff from work. Ideas and all. I never do anything with them, and they're almost always bad in hindsight.
I have no idea when we will be back - he should be coming out of
customs and all by about 4:15 or 4:30 I imagine, that is if the plane
is on time. Then it's about a 5 hour drive home.
these are just thoughts
show details Jun 30 (2 days ago)
Why do people like that one so much?? Is it cause it's thin an everyone had to read it in school????
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
-First paragraph of chapter 32
-Behemoth: absurd, droll
-Why Pilate is so tortured?
-Is Azazello, or even Woland, a sympathetic, likable character?
-What happened to Hella?
-The greed of the citizens -- witness Berlioz's uncle grab for the apt.
-Absurdity of Bengalsky: symbolic of enforced institutional stupidity of Soviet life
-Kinship of Pilate and Master? Tortured brilliance
-Meaning of Mark Ratkiller
-Why did the devil come to Moscow? A lark? To teach a lesson?
The whole thing brings to mind the part in Infinite Jest where Wallace discusses the invention of video-phone technology and how people eventually decided they didn't want other people seeing them, and created lens caps for their video-phones with tableaus on them meant to deceive the person on the other end of the line. It's interesting how prescient that seems now.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Monday, June 28, 2010
bought new sheets
cleaned the floors
watched two world cup games
cooked some rice
rode my bike to grocery store
got to bed on time
the upshot here is that I did go outside and I did shower. So the day wasn't a total loss. It was the most useful Sunday I've had in some time. I think Waylon Jennings/Johnny Cash were right; there's something in a Sunday that makes a body feel alone. Kept busy on this one, though and did labor whose fruits I can enjoy for the rest of the week, so I really can't complain.
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Peace be with you.
And also with you.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
The cycle screaming through the Esplanade this morning (back on the old racing wheel).
The trope in literature about how mournful a train whistle always sounds.
How nervous he was to see her, even after they had contracted a certain intimacy.
The almost infantile fears people have when others leave; That which is not here now may be gone forever.
How easy it is to talk about trust and how very hard it is to practice it.
If you're a train conductor you can't be embarrassed by the sound of your own voice.
The graffiti read: "Sorry Chris". A farewell.
The look of amused mock-awe and surprise on her face when she is presented with something.
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Monday, May 31, 2010
This is basically just to keep up with my self-imposed baseline of 10 posts per month for 2010, but I was hoping to maybe stumble on some truth in the process. Doesn't look like I've succeeded, does it?
I bought four books at the Rodney's closing sale yesterday. The titles:
-The Rising Sun in the Pacific 1931 - April 1942 (History of United States Naval Operations in World War II, volume 3) by Samuel Eliot Morison
-Salvation in Death by "J.D. Robb"
-Let Me Tell You a Story: A Lifetime in the Game by John Feinstein and Red Auerbach
-War Diaries: Politics and War in the Mediterranean January 1943 - May 1945 by Harold Macmillan
I bought the Morison volume because it was a pretty nice hardcover edition and I had previously done a book review paper on his Leyte Gulf volume from the same series. His stuff is very readable and heavy on facts, so it seemed like something worth having around, to get to sooner or later. I bought the "J.D. Robb" book as a joke, mainly to tell A that I bought it next time I talk to her, so we can laugh about Nora Roberts and her insane productivity. Yes, I am the kind of person who drops two dollars on a paperback "futuristic suspense" novel just to use it as a conversation piece. So sue me. Also, I had noticed that the book makes a pathetic, mainly symbolic attempt at playing it coy about the true identity of its author. I quote: "J.D. Robb is the pseudonym for the number one New York Times bestselling author of more than 170 novels including the futuristic suspense In Death series. There are more than 300 million copies of her books in print." As if there is anyone who would buy this book and not know who actually wrote it. Plus it says copyright Nora Roberts 2008 inside the front cover. Don't insult my intelligence by still attempting to maintain the facade that your about the author section could still deceive people. The Red Auerbach book I bought because he's bound to have tons of really good stories, and the guy is one of a kind. There could never possibly be another Red Auerbach. I bought Harold Macmillan at least in part because everything in the store was fifty percent off. Exactly what do I have to lose in buying an enormous volume of per·spic·u·ous·ly detailed diaries of life and war in the Mediterranean during the years 1943-1945? Space in my already cramped apartment, you might say. Well so be it.
Did I mention that every book in the store was fifty percent off?
I'll leave you with a spot of appropriate Housman, the first two and last verses of "The Chestnut Casts His Flambeaux". Good luck in June.
The chestnut casts his flambeaux, and the flowers
Stream from the hawthorn on the wind away,
The doors clap to, the pane is blind with showers.
Pass me the can, lad; there's an end of May.
There's one spoilt spring to scant our mortal lot,
One season ruined of your little store.
May will be fine next year as like as not:
But ay, but then we shall be twenty-four.
The troubles of our proud and angry dust
Are from eternity, and shall not fail.
Bear them we can, and if we can we must.
Shoulder the sky, my lad, and drink your ale.
Sunday, May 30, 2010
=Stop trying to make me care about college baseball, ESPN, I continue to not give a rat's ass. There is just no more room in my brain for caring about more and more obscure and meaningless sports. Clearly your business plan involves expanding forever ad infinitum, but I cannot be bothered to care about the College World Series and the "Road to Omaha". I mean, come on, they use metal bats. What is this, Little League?
="There's laughs and fun up where the conversation flows". I used to think about this song in a completely different way, in a wishful thinking kind of fashion. It's different now.
=You can't make coffee strong enough for me. I will not fall in line.
=Obviously everything will be fine. Obviously. Why can't I remember this, though? When I need it most, I forget it.
=I bought two CDs yesterday at Newbury Comics. Jeff Buckley and Saturday Looks Good To Me. Does that make me anachronistic?
=A place where the temperature is forever lingering between 65 and 85 degrees F with a cool breeze whenever you need it. This would be a lovely place, a place I would gladly call my home.
=There are a lot of bookstores in Metro Boston. A ton. It's sad when one closes, but I think we're dealing with an embarrassment of riches here, really.
=Haven't you ever wanted to cry, just to get rid of it? Happens from time to time, and it would be nice to be able to cue it up and cry at will. I'm not ashamed to say that it really works. It's a concentrated flush of emotions leaving you all at once, and it feels great when it's over.
=Dirty Old Town. The Pogues. It is beyond lovely. Give it a chance, in spite of the bad teeth on display in the video. The note of defiance is important, otherwise the song would dissolve into gooey sentimentality.
=Bullet points make things easier, but they feel like a cop-out.
=Thanks for the kind blog words, JD. I wish my attention span was long enough to write the nice long-form posts like yours.
=Reading, how important it is. Don't stop reading! Television is fun, but it's mostly junk food. Feed your brain with books.
Friday, May 28, 2010
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Special Thanks to Orson Welles & Paul Masson
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Sunday, May 16, 2010
This is not an exit, it's an entrance
This is my life, and I have the power to make it what I want it to be
"The way you walk
The way you talk, and try to kiss me, and laugh
In four or five paragraphs
All your compliments and your cutting remarks
Are captured here in my quotation marks"
Thursday, May 13, 2010
I want everything all at once. I want more time. I want to run as fast as I can the whole time, not just in spurts. I want to look into the water, and see what Roni Horn sees. I want more than I have, always, and I always will. I want it all!
Humanity is not enough. Perfection I desire. Perfect life, perfect body, perfect job, perfect relationship. It's not there yet.
A stream of consciousness flowing forth. Good company.
This is bad.
I got more than I wanted, and then forgot about that, and now it's not enough. Why can't it be enough? Don't you remember wanting these things [that you now have] more than anything in the world? Don't you remember promising that you'd finally be satisfied if you could only have that one thing, that one time, please? It's not enough, it can never be. I want all, all the time.
lots of stuff
I feel good though.
Can't help but feel so good. Things fall the right way sometimes, they really do. I just can't handle uncertainty. It throws me, and I can't catch myself quite fast enough.
If she is, I need a bit of info, like what grade level and subject area.
I refuse to explain myself.
Thursday, May 6, 2010
It was frightening, and the terror I felt pressed down on me, clamoring to be heard to the exclusion of all other thoughts. Everything reminded me of my fear, that I would be passed by. A wave washed over me, and in it was everything I hold dear, racing over me, through me, and past me in a flash before I could grab hold of it. For the life of me, I couldn't make it right. I knew I shouldn't feel this way, and that I would feel fine later on, but the immediacy of it was the worst part. In that moment I could not escape, and it was an awful thing.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
-There'll always be more plantains to cook.
-You can always just go for a run.
-Life will always go on.
-I won't be 48 for another 24 years.
Sunday, May 2, 2010
It's OK to cry.
It's wonderful when you're here.
It's a crime to forget these lovely things I've known.
It's a letter you ought to write, to let someone know you're thinking of them.
It's your life.
It's worth it, and worth fighting for.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
I think I'll make the same mistake twice
Got my dreams to consider though
Jimmy crack corn
and I don't care at all
Check it out, it's a pretty cool song
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Thursday, April 22, 2010
And thought about how we are all as numerous as leaves on trees
And maybe ours is the cause of all mankind
Give love to make more, try to stay alive
Monday, April 19, 2010
-Woke up too early, only about 6 hours of sleep. That's unfortunately becoming the standard for weekends.
-Watched TV for a while, then had an interesting conversation with Allan about the rules we live by in society, and how none of them really matter in the end. There's nothing that you exactly have to do, we concluded. (Italics mine, obviously)
-Headed out to Market Basket. It was crowded, but cheap, as always. I purchased a pork roast for the future, and some bison hot dogs, which, hot dogs being hot dogs, will probably taste the same as hot dogs made from any other meat.
-Swung by Alex's on the way back to drop off a gallon of cheap milk and some blackberries.
-The sun came out. Allan cursed its appearance for not having come earlier.
-Unloaded, did some dishes, played some scrabble.
-Worked on a mix CD for Ms. A. Russell.
-A nice run through the park, then down Commonwealth and through some of Brookline then back home on Harvard.
-Quick shower, watched Scary Movie with Allan for a bit, then grabbed the car and picked up Guru at the T stop.
-Drove to the Kendall Square area. Guru and I met Daniel at Helmand, maybe the only Afghan restaurant in Boston, although who knows really. Dinner was really good, chunks of lamb in a spicy, rich tomato sauce with lentils and peas and rice, followed by this amazing pistachio-cardamom ice cream with pineapple and figs. All in all a very rich and extremely satisfying meal that left me just a little too full.
-Walked out in the rain to a little Turkish cafe/pizza joint. The lady there made us coffee, and then was genuinely surprised when we turned down cream and sugar. Nice lady, her.
-Said goodbye to Daniel and Guru and I drove off to Coolidge Corner to meet with Alex, Maria, Allan, Anmol, and Lanthi for the event of the year. Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestero live, in person, to take questions before a late showing of the gloriously bad The Room.
-Wiseau was rude, lacked charm, and was nearly incoherent, clearly inhibited by any number of recreational substances. That said, he is one of the most fascinating people I have ever seen. I could not take my eyes off him the entire time (my video will follow at a later date, once I've had time to process everything I saw this evening). Greg Sestero smiled serenely throughout, but gave one-sentence answers to any questions tossed his way, and pretty clearly did not want to be there. One of the most interesting things to consider was the obvious psychic trauma of promoting your heartfelt, serious, but truly awful movie as a "black comedy", when it would be clear to even a child that this film was meant to be taken seriously, but never has been. It's sad in a way.
-The movie was fantastic. It was bad beyond your wildest dreams of what a bad movie can be. Awful dialogue, senseless plot, bad acting, pointless exterior shots of San Francisco that probably take up about a quarter of the movie, pointless characters, complete lack of continuity, overall lack of connection to reality. All the same, the extreme badness of it is compelling. And I urge everyone to see it. You can borrow my DVD.
-Decided, as did everyone else, to skip the Wiseau autograph session, at least partly because we're all a little scared of him. Walked home boisterously talking about our impressions of the film and atmosphere in the theater (Rocky Horror Picture Show type-stuff, probably at least 75 percent of the audience had seen the movie enough times to be able to quote lines and throw plastic spoons at the screen at appropriate times).
-Everyone parted ways. I walked out in Brookline to get the car and consider a few things. It was chilly but great for walking in a sweater. Thought about the nature of love and how you're the only person who can decide if you love someone, pretty much.
-Came back and laid down not one but two blog posts.
It was a great day.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
-I'm quite familiar, from my train commute, with a very narrow swathe of Eastern Massachusetts. I'm quite familiar, from my whole life up to this point, with a much larger swathe of the same.
-If the world is fallin' down, it may as well crash with me.
-I've never completely understood the phenomenon of people hanging out in bars. It's cheaper to drink at home and you don't have to be surrounded by a crowd of sweaty strangers. No-brainer, right? Is it just that they make really good settings for sit-coms?
-Never knew until this year how good Brussels sprouts and plantains are. Where have you guys been all my life?
-Once you quit making excuses for yourself, losing weight is much easier. Obviously I'm young and it's easier for me than someone say 25 years older, but still, once you stop all the rationalizing and get into some good habits, losing weight isn't the hardest thing to do.
-I'm really not comfortable with people cursing out loud in public places. It's still so off-putting to me. Not that it offends me personally, but I'm offended on behalf of the sanctity of a public place. And embarrassed on behalf of the person doing the cursing. You really do come off looking like a fool when you do that. And I'm not a prude, but it is offensive. We have certain standards in our culture. When you go and curse all the time within earshot of the polite, reasonable people who are simply going about their business, you are breaking the rules and lowering the bar for everyone.
-Went for a fantastic run today at the Appleton Estate. Treadmills are very convenient and all, but they can't hold a candle to a nice hard run in the woods on a brisk spring day. This in spite of the heavy odor of manure.
-It's good to be alive.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
An older man walking down a concrete path to his car in the company lot. Weathered blue jacket and work pants, he drives home to an empty house, falls asleep alone to wake tomorrow and go to work again.
The way the light falls on the train approaching sunset, slightly dulled yellow-orange, passes over it and makes shadows on the other side.
Empty streets in the dusk where no one goes. Open doors left open unattended and broken windows uncared for.
The open expanse of the harbor at Lynn, blue-black and soulless, looks like it goes on forever.
These things I saw from my window. They were sad, but didn't sadden me.
Sunday, April 4, 2010
Want more, get more, find something that's better than what you have, because what you have can never be enough. I'm trying so hard to break free of this mentality and the constant inferiority that it entails, but it takes a lot of effort and conscious striving to realize that what you have is good. It's enough and it can be great if you would only take a moment to look at it and see it in front of you.
I think I could be happy this way. Without too much, but surely with enough. It's like the saying, "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush". That only works if you don't let yourself be overtaken by the thought of having two birds, and constantly longing to have them. You still have a bird in your hand, and that's dinner tonight!
Saturday, April 3, 2010
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
I can barely tell if I'm sleepin' or awake.
In a little while
It'll be the morning.
You won't remember bein' lost
In the after-hours,
Take my number down
Write it on your hand
Call me in the morning.
Which of these worlds is going to find you?
Is gonna remind you what you have to do
And why do you feel that you're being lied to?
Why don't you feel like anything new?
It's almost winter time,
Is it snowing where you are?
Wait another hour,
It'll be the morning.
-Lyrics: Saturday Looks Good to Me
Monday, March 29, 2010
-73 degrees F ought to be nice. I'll count each of them as a blessing.
-I should try to live in the present a little more, and not think about next weekend on Monday.
-The rain will stop eventually, won't it?
-There are a great many things to live for in the world. Warm spring weekends are one of them, though not the most important one at the moment.
-I'm winking at myself. A private joke.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Don't be angry. Don't be sad. We're almost there.
Driving at night on empty roads full of life, singing at the top of your lungs. Burning up inside to see you sometimes.
What a life
Sunday, March 21, 2010
And I was just thinking, you really shouldn't tell someone something because you think they want to hear it. It's a dirty trick. If you love a person, you need, and they need, for you to be able to tell them the truth.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
-Portable Restroom Operator - Basically everything that could remotely be considered an industry has its own trade paper. This is one of them. There's a lotta dung out there that needs to get moved and disposed of, and this is the magazine for the people who are out there on the front lines every day.
-Journal of Civil War Medicine - Not that funny a title on its own, until you notice that it's published by "The Society of Civil War Surgeons". Sorry guys, it's not 1863 anymore. You can call yourself "Civil War Surgeons", but you're really just 20th Century People who have way too much time on their hands.
-Millionaire Corner - For those issues in a millionaire's life that ordinary commoners just wouldn't understand. As I remember, this publication concerns itself mainly with telling millionaires about things that other millionaires enjoy, and that they should therefore enjoy. And I think it goes without saying that you have to be a millionaire to subscribe.
-Mythprint - I think the lithping English professor/mythologist who thought of this title is still patting himself on the back to this day. Mythprint! Get it? Mythprint! No, seriously, do you get it?
-The Avant Gardener - My favorite, and another one, in the vein of Mythprint, that's just a little too clever for its own good. Really, guys, you've outdone yourselves. Let's scale it back a little. Once again, though, everything you need to know about the magazine is right there in the title. Looking for cutting-edge horticultural techniques? You've come to the right place!
Monday, March 8, 2010
There are a million different forces pulling us in all sorts of disparate directions every minute. The best I can do is to work hard and be myself. Some things I won't get to, and I have to make myself believe that that's all right, or I will explode from the worry that I forgot something, or that I'm missing some essential part of my life. It's OK! You can't be all things to all people all the time. It's enough to be yourself.
Saturday, March 6, 2010
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Sunday, February 28, 2010
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Monday, February 22, 2010
in his hulking legs
High-school athlete, Saturday star
all triceps and sinew
he prepared for the moment of glory
Muscles tensed, gaze fixed on his object,
He grasped the carton and slung it heavily into the delivery truck
Trains, balls, coins,
Coil around the loop in the tracks,
Fall gracefully through a suspended ring,
Score a point
Help me rush, rush to God-knows-where
Let me see in you things that aren't there
I love you
Saturday, February 20, 2010
If you don't know to what I am referring, don't worry, because I'm the only one who does. I'm just putting this down as a little reminder to myself, and for purposes of posterity. We'll see how it turns out.
And because I don't like to go too long without a blog post.
And because I want to get better at writing.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
On Friday evening I had something hopeful on my mind that I wanted to think about. What I realized, though, was that in my normal routine, I don't really have any time to consider things. I'm often in a hurry, and I'm almost always being stimulated by something exterior to my brain. I had to turn off the TV, and the music, and the lights to even have a chance to process the thoughts I had wanted to process. I was completely surprised by the fact that in my normal day, I don't really have time to think things over. I hadn't budgeted my time for that, and I wasn't even aware of it.
It seems to me that we often lose sight of how much stimulation we are forcing our minds to endure. It's important to think about stuff! Give yourself some time, unstimulated, to go over everything that's happened to you thus far, and consider everything that will happen. It's a lark! It's also something that is essentially human, and that we need to be sure not to lose.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
Saturday, February 13, 2010
-Portmanteaus can get ugly fast. Have you seen MANswers?
-Yourself or a body double like you
-I wouldn't say my mind is exactly fertile, but I do try to practice crop rotation and plant some legumes
-Evaporation doesn't get enough credit for the important role it plays in our lives
-The embodiment of death is the smiling, pink, chubby face of Glenn Beck
-We really shouldn't be afraid of anything that won't kill us
-I bet if I quit drinking I could drop 20 lbs. just like that
-It's the company you keep
-Ashton Kutcher was enthusiastic, and the writing was tight. Along with the Jon Hamm episode, best couple of SNLs in a long time
-It's a strange thrill to meet someone with whom you have a great many things in common. Like arriving at an oasis in the desert, which analogy I am almost completely unqualified to make
-The Room: beyond your wildest dreams of how bad a bad movie could be. Unspeakably bad
-"Dance with me, beneath the circuitry"