this is where i enter text


multiple selves and deconstruction

truly (post?)modern?

First, I'll quote a piece by Lance Morrow from the January 2008 version (from the future!) of Smithsonian magazine in which he quotes Norman Mailer as having quoted Virginia Woolf in Mailer's book about Marilyn Monroe:

A biography is considered complete if it merely accounts for six or seven selves, whereas a person may well have as many as one thousand.

Second, I'll start typing:

The first thing that came to mind when i read this was the nature of my thousand selves. I know now that they're there, not separate in any way. And accepting that even inside of myself I have multiple viewpoints and opinions about even the smallest thing was a huge step in learning to love life even when things didn't go according to the plans of one of my past selves. The trick is to get out of that headspace and get into a different one. Tougher, of course, the more initially unpleasant an experience is... but who knows, perhaps you could do it, mentally at least, with any given experience, no matter how terrible, if only you focus well enough.

Then gain... that sounds like a buncha mumbo-jumbo.

The second thing that ripped through my skull was the serious translation Wool's quote has gone through to land here. I wondered...

1. Had Mailer actually read the document that he quoted and understood the context? Had he violated Woolf's original intent somehow?
2. Had Morrow fully understood the context of the quote in Mailer's use? Had Morrow Fully understood the quote in Mailer's context? Did a full understanding of Mailer's usage of the quote rely on a full understanding of the work from which it was originally quoted? Had Morrow's use agreed with or contradicted those sources?
3. Did I understand Woolf's/Mailer's/Morrow's usages? How the related to each other? Their contexts? Intended meanings? Reasons for quoting? What they were each trying
to convey to me by quoting the other person (quoting the other person)?

Shit No! And now my fucking head hurts.

In part because I just thought about the notion of someone leaving a comment on this entry, quoting me quoting Morrow quoting Mailer quoting Woolf and then me responding to that comment quoting person x quoting me quoting Morrow quoting Mailer quoting Woolf.

And then I imagined the conversation dying for a while. Then the passage of time and
the blog falling into non-update land (as most websites eventually do) and then
even further into the future, someone randomly coming across it years down the
road with some google search like 'Mailer Woolf "multiple selves" deconstruction' and
quoting my last comment to her friends in an email....

And so it continues. Further removal of context.

Does it retain the same meaning? Does it lose meaning? Does it gain meanings like a snowball rolling downhill gains snow? Actually, the quote is probably exactly like that. As it gains more and more meanings layered on top of one another, the ability to fully comprehend it diminishes until you can no longer tell how big it is. And
then, if it continues for long enough, a person observing it wouldn't even be able to tell it was round...

Perhaps that metaphor went too far. But since I'm not handing in a lit paper to some snotty grad student without a sense of humor, I don't have to worry about it. I can just think on it and jot this down for later mockery. Or future quotery.

Or for nothing at all.

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i often wonder...

what things people say behind my back.

and how i get described to people who don't already know me.
both assume that i'm actually a topic of conversation in the first place.

and do they think they can't tell me about those things?
and more importantly, are they right in thinking that they can('t)??

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i dropped my thought and made a broken haiku

your today is close

-er to my four years ago
than is my today.

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wouldn't ever have guessed...

that improper fractions appear in real life

not that i mind them, of course, but take a gander at this dirty sonuvabitch:

i've got 11/3rds servings in this thing? so that's... 40g x 11/3 = 146.67 g. that ain't right. this thing is only 30g! i've actually got 3/4 of a serving, not 11/3rds of a serving. (3.67, for those scoring at home).

improper and wrong! cool.

the funny thing, for those of you who like your chocolate dark, is that this is waaaaaaay more than 3/4 of a serving. this is the sort of chocolate you take a tiny tiny bit of and savor for a while. more than that and it is quite overpowering.

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new yorkers walk

like others drive

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home home (2.0)

Yes, I’ll be home soon.
The day says quietly
it is almost done.

On my way,
my freedom granted again.
Mind free.
Heart free.
Soul free.
Stone Free,
to do what i please”

that is,
until I watch my freedom fly away free from me.
Like every every every morning.

And yet…

It is me who weighs the freedom down?
Me who shackles it against its will?

Prevent my freedom from being free of me
Call it back again every evening
Miss it as it tarries too far from me
Ask of it the only thing worth asking.

“Will you give yours to me
iff I give mine to you?”

And in the answer given everyday
freedom makes its pact with me.
We do our dance to pretend
that we each are happy where we are,
with what we have,
with who we are.

And then rush to the other greener pasture.
And back.
And forth.
Free to not
to Free
to not
to Free to
not too Free.

Constrained to:
be or
not be.

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life is a constant battle

with your own worst enemy.

Worst thing about it? When battling yourself, part of you always loses.
But the upside is that part of you always wins, too!

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i LOVE it when it snows.

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i have two non-thoughts in my head:

i am nothing.

i am not anything.

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sign of something more

just like tom thumb's blues. simple. genius. nothing. a mirror (to the reader). kill the rhyme. now in time.

Bob Dylan is a genius. sometimes I forget that, and sometimes I wonder how much of a genius the guy could be, he's just a damned musician. And not a particularly classically pleasin' fellah by any stretch. Not that there's anything wrong with that. And then I hear things like my millionth time listening to "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues" and I don't wonder about 'lil Bobby Z for another moment.

If you skim through the lyrics and catch bits and pieces, as most people do, you hear a bunch of fantastic couplets and turns of phrases. "When you're lost in the rain in Juarez / And it's Eastertime too" "The cops don't need you / and man they expect the same" "I started out on burgandy / But soon hit the harder stuff" that's all pretty cool. They always said Dylan had a way with words. And damned if he doesn't.

Then, you listen a little closer. Maybe to a verse.
Maybe on the rain in Juarez. Maybe Saint Annie. Maybe you latch onto Sweet Melinda. Housing Project Hill? The Authorities? Drinking? Is that what you then thought the song was about? A whole song about one of those characters?

They said that Dylan was smart!! Shit! I bet the whole song fits together into one long tale. One guy traveling through an experience of some kind. An epic tale! I should learn about it. Maybe it'll be like the Ballad of Billy the Kid. Everybody knows that's a dope song about a L.I.E. boy. (That is about what Dave still looks like. Only he looks more like a rockstar now, as my favorite ex-girlfriend will have you know!)

Then you hunker down and listen. Okay. It's a story about me. Me? Why would I be lost in the rain? Let's find out. Hmmm... doesn't say. Must be bad if I'm there on Easter with these hungry women. Shit. Dylan knew one of 'em and now he can't even get a shot. What kind of shot? A bourbon? A shot in the arm? A shot at Annie? Even his best friend doctor doesn't know! Wait, who's Melinda? Someone he knew after Annie apparently. That explains why I was nice. How was I kind? well, I didn't go to her too soon. How soon is too soon? I don't know, but she's got my fucking voice, dude. Which leaves me upset all night. Maybe leading me to housing project hill? Fortune or fame. Neither is what it claims. But what does each claim? Well, whatever it claims, that's exactly what it ain't, right? Yup. Well, I better get out of here before it gets silly. What does he mean by silly? I don't know, but the cops don't need us, so we better not need them for shit, alright? Yeah, even the authorities don't do nothing but boast about turning on their own, man. Who are we supposed to trust? Well, learn your lessons from Angel because he left here looking like a ghost. What does a ghost look like? Well, I don't know but seeing one will drive a man to drink. Starting of with something easy (as seen in context even if you don't know what burgandy is) but then moving on. And didn't' you know, when people say they're going to be there, they aren't always. And when I figured that out and laughed the joke was on me because I was the only one there, so nobody heard it. Damn. that's gotta be ironical or something. And who goes back to NYC when they've had enough that's backwards!

And then you read back what you just wrote down on the first run through and relize that you missed everything. Somehow. Even though you followed the narrative pretty well, you have no idea what's going on here. Is there one character? Multiple? What happens to the guy in Juarez? What about the ladies in the Second Act? What about that brush with the lowlifes on Project Hill? Or the clash with the authorities? Or when we faded away into the bottle, alone into terrible laughter?

Damn. Nothing.

What about visual cues? Are there colors? Nope. Only burgandy. And that was a beverage. Places? Juarez and New York City. I don't even know where Juarez is. I know New York, but no two people know the same New York. So, even all of those images we pictured the whole way through were not shared? Nope. They were all your images. No descriptions of the people? Nope. Let's run through this again. So we've got... unknown person in an unknown place in unknown weather at an unknown time of day during easter when gravity fails and the unknown person of unknown gender is stuck out with some hungry women on a made up french-death sounding avenue. in that area i might see saint annie, but i don't know what she looks like or anything else about her aside from she left my narrator without strength to take an unknown shot of unknown anything, and worst of all, his best friend the doctor won't say what the narrator's got. not what his sickness is, not what the shot is, not what is going on, not anything. now sweet melinda enters the picture and she, though gloomy, invites me up to her room where i'm kind (of course) though i don't know what that means and i don't go too soon even though i can't speak, only howl. in project housing hill, you can have one of two things that every has their own ideas about, the catch is that while you can have either, neither is what they claim. although we don't know what they claim. and if you think this is nonsense, you better go back the way you came because the cops don't need you and you don't want to need them. nice threat. the authorities are bad too, though we don't know which authorities. just the ones who blackmailed someone to pick up an ungendered someone who was no longer the same person were when they eventually left after an unknown period of time. in fact, they looked like a ghost. but we don't know what a ghost looks like. well, that made me drink unnamed hard stuff which lead to an unknown number of people who said that they would stand behind me leave when the game got rough. which was funny because there was no one there to call my bluff, which meant i had been lying to all however many of them there were in the first place which means that when they left, they did just what they should have because i was lying to them just like they were lying to me. nor not (sic).

So... there are no details in this song. None. Every image is placed there by the mind of the consumer/listener/reader/whatever. Wow.

Then you notice that the emphasis placed on the rhyme is just there for amusement. There should be something linking those rhymed words. Some meaning. Something should be revealed there. a Relationship between the words. Something. here, there is nothing. The rhymes are pedestrian, if not the most obvious thing that would come to mind. But there is nothing to tease out. Nothing to infer.

Well damn, what can you get from this madness? Can you pick out feelings? Maybe. not the linear ones we so often hear about. Not Joy. Not desperation. Not exactly sadness. But there is a feeling of that. There is also inevitability. Passing of time. Change. Not from one particular state to another particular state, but from one ill-defined state to another ill-defined state. Not from happy to sad to happy. From imperfect to imperfect to imperfect.

Such is life. Constantly changing imperfection. Are you ever just happy? Maybe. But you can never know that you're just happy because the minute you think about being just happy, you're no longer just happy, you're thinking about being just happy. That's why the second time is never as good as the first. In anything. Until you realize that it isn't about being as good as the first. It is about being different than the first. The joy is in the change. The joy is in experiencing the contrast. It will never again be like it is now. It will only be different.

That encapsulates everything, right? Good. Now we can talk about how Dylan destroyed and mocked convention so long and so well that he became conventional. Love that guy!

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memories linger

even when you ask them nicely not to.

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i didn't know the journey would be so hard

and i'm not sure i brought the right shoes.

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two lessons

Gleaned from The Hold Steady experience on Thanksgiving Eve:

1. "When someone asks you if you are intoxicated, you say 'NO!'"
2. If you don't know the answer to a question, the answer is "Gonna walk around and drink some more."

Great band to see live. Goofball-literate music for the masses. Fun choruses. Above average musicianship. The band is completely into their performance. Lead singer does a dead-on Springsteen impression with enthusiasm. They're imperfect, but therein lies the glory. The do go big, until they go home.

In other musical thoughts, the new Jay-Z is solid. Unexpectedly so.

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into the wild

The thing that struck me about Into the Wild wasn't the desperation at the end.

Nor the beauty during the rest of the movie. Although there was some serious scenery and some truly touching moments, it was something else that struck me. It was the way that the perception others (in the movie as well as in the audience) had of the main character changed depending on his surroundings. When he was in the wild, he seemed at home in terms of style. Wild hair, ever-present stubble/beard, disheveled, dirty. This is what it is like to be in the wild.

At some point, he went to a major city and I was completely taken aback at how destitute he looked. Instead of having that feeling of freedom and the scent of trial and tribulation, he had the look of someone who had been beaten down. It was not just due to his interactions, it was due to the juxtaposition (Thanks Mrs. Lipsky!) of the straight lines of the man-made world with the crooked, crazy lines of the larger world.

Nothing in the wild was straight as a board. Not even the horizon. Even it had the grace to curve. This included Alexander/Chris's appearance. There were no clean lines on his face. Everything was obscured, save for the cheek bones. And the eyes. They were always clear and clean. Piercing.

But that change from fitting in with the surrounding area in a life of slight chaos to completely sticking out past the borders provided by the tall buildings and straight roads was simply jarring. No longer at home or free, he predictably pushed away from that life once again. He didn't fit there. It didn't fit him.

He was not coloring between the lines. He was painting a broad expanse of canvas. Seemingly limitless, and the choice of which part to paint and which part to ignore was his and his alone. The trick of the movie is that you can feel that sense without feeling like you must travel to Alaska and the wild with only what you take with you. You can paint the infinite canvas of your life however you please. With whatever colors you like, without respect to the lines that other put down for you.

The trouble, as always, is determining what you want to paint and convincing yourself that you can accomplish the task.

(I'm going to read the book soon. I'm excited about it.)

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you don't love me

By the Allman Brothers Band, from the At Fillmore East album... just as phenomenal as any other master of his/their craft. This song just tears my head and musical appreciation organ (wherever that is) in two. The style and feel with which those fellas play is incredible. It's that feeling of soul mixed with a down home countrified "we've been doing this for our whole lives" confidence.

The solos bend the mind. The smooth guitar continues. The dual lines duel and interact seamlessly. Effortlessly. But imperfectly. Just so that you know this comes easily to them. The original lineup of the Allmans is in the top five of concerts I wish I had seen. Somewhere else in the list:

Miles Davis doing anything Gil Evans related (this linked-to box set might still be my favorite gift of all time. thanks dad!)
Hendrix (duh)
Neil Young in the Live Rust days (perfect would be *that* concert)
The Doors (Jim Morrison was nuts. Love that guy.)

Those are in no particular order and with no particular thought given them, just a quick survey of the brain cells that saw fit to response at something:something on a Wednesday morn. I reserve the right to change my list and to pretend that I never, in fact, made this one.

Obviously this list is skewed toward dead people. I've seen too many concerts to have many artists I love (and have been alive during my lifetime) that I haven't seen.

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trailer game

When you're bored and waiting for the movie to start, they run trailers.

A great game to play at this point, for my money, is the trailer game. That is, you watch the trailers, but instead of thinking of them as 5 or 10 different shorts, think of them as one big movie. Make connections between analogous characters. The girl you just saw talking calmly to her father in some sort of family drama is now the girl being scared witless by some type of monster. The monster that scared her is now a top CIA investigative agent.

Yeah, I know I'm strange, but you gotta get through the day somehow, right?

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if'n you got sumfin that needs writin' i might could do that.

Or I could pretend to be professional. I have rather acquired a taste for it.

That's part of the beauty of writing. You can write like whomever you please. Admittedly, If you're as idiosyncratic as I am when typing, it can be difficult, but whether the underlying style stays the same or changes, the words through which the reader sifts for meaning can be of any number of dialects/languages and still appropriately convey meaning.

It's so crazy to think about. The power of language. Especially the written/typed word. The complexities in language. The subordinate stories that word-choice tells. I really enjoy writing. Creating something not tangible, but... something that conveys ideas, thoughts or feelings. That stuff of life! Even if it is ever-so-subtle. Even if it is merely directional. AKA Commands. Like instead of "Look out!" I could yell "Heads up" or "Fore!" or "something more instructive."

Each conveys the same idea, although depending on the person to whom you are yelling, it may be ineffective.

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what to do...

when a friend who owes you money says he will "pay you in blood?"

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Is a complete genius show.

If you don't know that, you simply didn't spend late nights in college watching reruns two-at-a-time. And that sir/ma'am, is your loss. You could buy them on dvd and watch them. I'm told you can find them on the internet somewheres, but I don't know for sure. I've got them on dvd and that's the way I likes it.

From the episode I watched today:

Bill MacNeil (Phil Hartman): Hey I here someones in the market for a few good Ted stories.
Guy: Yes, that is correct.
BM: Then walk this way. Through the gates of Ted-dom into Bill's secret repository of tasty Tedbits and fond Tedmembrances. Oh and a please forgive Dave. He's wearing a mask of callousness hide his grief. Y'know what they say: Little man big emotion.
G: Never heard that before
BM: Well, I'm part cherokee.
[cut to scene of the two talking]
BM: Hell of a guy. One of the bravest sons-of-bitches I ever knew. Best man in the world to be in a foxhole with. He took bullet for me in the battle for San.... Luis Obispo.
G: anything else you remember about him?
BM: Nope.
G: Did Ted have a favorite song, movie, book anything?
BM: Nope.
Genius. In the same episode, Matthew Brock (Andy Dick) sings a random 30-verse song about Ted (mentioned twice), which is really a song about he (Matthew) hobbits, elves, vorpal swords and mythril blades. With Matthew accompanying himself on "weird vocal noises" while the Guy from above looks horrified.

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300 Beowulfs

Reading a lot recently.

Not much else to do at the moment. Fabric of the Cosmos is still blowing my mind. I love it. When I finish it, there's a chance I might read it again, this time following all footnotes and getting deeper into the suggested readings. I look forward to reading this book every day. It makes my days much better and more contemplative.

Mornings recently have been strange. Sometimes the weather is just so gray that I don't entirely realize what time it is or that another day has passed.

Sleeping on the couch mostly, even when the bed is empty. That's never really a good sign. I mean, I've always enjoyed sleeping on the couch, ever since I was a kid, so it isn't too bad, but still.

When I fall asleep I no longer have my usual boring dreams. Now I have dreams of the impossible. And even during the dreams I know that. That kinda sucks. To have a dream that you know can't happen even in the dream. That's the beautiful, terrifying power of dreams is that you believe in them while they're happening. But right now, my dreams are the type that I would will to happen if possible, but even while I'm dreaming, I know it isn't real and that it can't happen. Kind of odd, really. It's a strange feeling to be experiencing something you know to be unreal and not, actually happening. You're not tied to it, or the possible outcomes. And yet you experience it. Ups and downs all together.

This, actually, feels very similar to large portions of my life.

I've always been an observer first and a participant second (the opposite of my brother, of course). So I watch games before I play them. I want to know what happens and what to expect before I go headlong into it. This is me. It extends to just about everything. Except that once I've learned something, I love it. I dive into it.

That's the feeling I'm always after. The core of it. The thing that extends across interests and disciplines. To be somewhere somewhat familiar and yet in a place where I can explore new territory. Academics, athletics, whatever. Learn it and then work to master it. Work in a system and work to overcome the system somehow. If that makes any sense at all.

This could, in some sense, be considered a "way" in the sense that multiple eastern texts define way. As in something to dedicate yourself to. The intricacies. The details. Studying for excellence. Dedication to excellence. the classic example would be the way of the samurai, but that always feels overly dramatic. I'm no fucking samurai.

Then again, anywhere the concept of a way is mentioned, it is always made clear that there is more than one way. More than one path. Everyone can reach enlightenment. Just be dedicated to excellence. Tiny details. Lose yourself in it.

In other news, "I am Beowulf" = "This is Sparta" ??

Not sure, but those simple declarative sentences are pretty dope. Similar cadence. Forcefully delivered. If Beowulf fires me up as much as 300 did... It'll be an awesome experience, no matter how it lines up with the text I studied so many times over my academic career.

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tao te ching 1

this blows my mind every time I read it

"Wise souls keep their part of the contract
and don’t make demands on others
People whose power is real fulfill their obligations;
people whose power is hollow insist on their claims"


That's deep. "Deep like the mind of Minolta."

(Tao Te Ching Wikipedia Link)

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test your friends!

life the universe and everything (multiple choice):

If there is an end of current scientific knowledge, what lies past that point?

a) more scientific knowledge
b) god*
c) i don't know

a = atheist
b = religious/spiritual
c = (duh-- the answer key is in the answer here)

What happens as the boundary of scientific knowledge moves to include more?

a) past that point is still more knowledge
b) past that point is still the realm of god
c) i don't know

*-I use god here as a proxy for all types of spiritual belief. Not to denigrate those without gods, per se. Nor to lump all gods in as equal. But more that the word "god" seems to encapsulate all that is completely past our notion of existence or our scientific understanding of the world. Somewhere. So, don't take offense. Or do. It's your choice really. God is in the details, after all. I just wanted to give you a glimpse into what the author intended. If you're into that. Which I'm not. Usually. But blogs are weird. Very weird.

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i put all of my eggs in one basket.

i then left the basket locked in a room for a month with nothing but a dirty old egg-suckin' dog.

and now i'm surprised that i can't make an omelet.

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past me

i can't remember who i was

before i met you

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to believe that one exists as you do

is to create the possibility of your existence.

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without infinity...

...existence isn't.

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belief in a Hero is what makes us human

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"He's just this guy, you know?"