this is where i enter text



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?"