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Stuff that I planned to write about before I figured out that I was too tired to write [Apr. 26th, 2004|04:05 am]
Or, Since these points can't be addressed properly after 40+ consecutive without sleep, I'll write them down so as to have future topics

Why Bertrand Russell sucks.
What Befindlichkeit means and why it's important.
The gross misinterpretations of Plato given by some post-modernists because they need an easy foil.
A note of appreciation for Wilco.
How cool it is that I found a pristine copy of Red Headed Stranger for $2.

Ancedotes to be recounted (names changed to protect the guilty)

The story of Amy, cafeteria worker.
The story of Tom, Amy's brother, who loves Nabokov.
The story of Melina, who knows German and got a better score than I did on the GRE.
The story of Amber, princess, and how the bomb tumbled awkwardly from the sky.
The story of Cherie, her love affair with me and Sartre and how I broke a cat's leg.
The story of Sergio, prodigious smoker of blunts.
The story of the lesbians who drove a Turqoise Tempo, and how despite a modicum of proficiency, the repetoire of songs that I can play on guitar will never get me much pussy.
The story of Jessica, the little person without use of her legs, her sister and a sandwich.
The story of Molly... ugh.
The story of Vic and our found art project that required the purchase of a gluestick at 3AM.
The story of Vivian, her abortion and how my finger wound up in her ass.
The story of Amy and how she caused me to accrue 200 dollars in late fees.
The story of Tia and how I fell in love.
The story of Jasmine and how I completely lost my mind during an early evening phone call.
The story of Gerry and the bar.
The story of Rick the Dick, Yadira, and beer.
The story of Ben, the Grease 2 loving foreign exchange student who probably figured out that my pink comforter was a giant semen rag.

I must not forget how I ruined the apple dunking by flicking my cigarette ash in the bucket.

I want to write more about time machines, too.

How I would attempt to go back and correct all my embarassing slipups , but actually just make other stupid mistakes instead.
How I could be the smartest kid in the 4th grade if I went back knowing what I know now.
How unhealthily often I fantasize about time machines.
There's a DeLorean with flat tires parked a block up the street.
How everything in my world became encrusted with semen and Rapberry Ginger Ale.
Everything collapses back in upon itself eventually and my spiritual death will make great soil for the me that will be reborn.

I want to be the person who gets tomorrows paper in advance and saves people from dying, not the asshole who travels time to whisper in his own ear, "stay calm be cool, everything will be alright. Here's some mistakes you should do your best to avoid..."

When I first realized the difference between depression and normal feeling, I realized that for as long as I could remember I'd seen the world through tinted glasses. I never had known what it was like not to be depressed. Anhedonia. L'etranger without the murder (Tedious to imagine!). Mental health though is like a trip to the optometrist's: which is better, 1 or 2? Ooonnne(..wait a beat...)or 2? Shit, none of it's as good as imagine, the perfect vision of the mind. The cheery contrary to fact past that in its very instantiation would crumble, not in its contrariness, but in its factuality. Socrates shrugs off the objection that the "idea state" can't exist, by saying, "that's what makes it so great." So too my time machine.

The contrary to fact conditional fucked up Russell, the Vienna Circle Jerk and the rest of logical empiricism (known to some as positivism). The subjunctive mood is part of the beauty of the mind and the failure of the my mechanical visualization of my mnd crushing me in its gears.

anyway feeding me pills or therapizing me while I sit and wonder "Ooonnee(...wait a beat...)or 2?" seems an unfortunately less than satisfactory answer.
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(no subject) [Apr. 25th, 2004|03:28 am]
Last night, as i lay on the couch fighting the loneliest moments with a book of essays by David Sedaris, a vital piece of my machine broke and everything I worked so hard for ground to a halt. Actually, that might be a touch melodramatic. Still as i read Sedaris' exaggerated telling of my life story (Oh God! I'm becoming one of those "he speaks to me" people...), I realized nothing is holding me back.

It scares the shit out of me.

And now I'm taking from that stash of Prozac that my sister steals from work for me so that I don't need 24 hour suicide watch surveillance. You'd think 7 years and a spotless mental health record would earn a guy a little trust, but my mom still calls obsessively and asks me about the Prozac. Well, my record's not quite spotless, I did break down crying when my dad yelled at me at the airport last year. And I did throw soda cans at the wall and sink to my knees and beat my breast. And i went on a six hour walk and then locked myself in my room for a week not eating.

And that's just what my parents know about. If they knew how brutally I treated S--, I'd probably be in a padded cell with Prozac being forced down my throat the way they feed some geese blueberries.

Voluntarily, I rarely take the pills. Instead I save them in a Pasta Salad container from a supermarket "deli." I'm not hording Prozac in order to off myself, like Scobie in The Heart of the Matter. Nor am i saving them for a rainy day, like those vaguely shaped egg people from the Zoloft commercials. I only really save them because of the effort my sister goes to to acquire them. That, and I have a hard time throwing things of value out.

Now at a quarter to 4 in the morning here I sit tapping away on the computer I bought H-- in what I now realize was a pathetic effort to hold out crumbling relationship together. What looked as if it would be a life of comfortable adventure with my girlfriend is now transforming into something paralyzingly frightening. Soon I'll be staying up 36 consecutive hours exhausting myself so as to avoid the loneliest moments, but I won't have H-- there to keep me warm.

Oddly though, I came to that realization last night after David Sedaris broke the machine, but before H--, kissing my back as I feigned pre-sleep, said, "I've been thinking a lot about next year... and i'm thinking I want ot live alone."

"OK. That's fine," I said, having already toyed with moving out this summer. I was mentally prepared for the blow because I'd already dealt it to myself.

I tend to think of my brain in mechanical terms. When, shoelaceless, I was in the hospital I pictured myself as the hapless Charlie Chaplin and my brain as Modern Times gone amok. My brain was feeding my lap soup; it was sucking me in whole and grinding me up through the gears. Everyone was helpless but the doctors and nurses, who were efficient and sneering. All my parents could do was eat at family restaurants and give me coloring books, as I lay in those sterile rooms trying to devise ever more clever ways to kill myself in a ward where every room has plexiglass in front of the windows and patients become adept at eating their meals only with spoons. I was helpless too, finding power only in my new, beat the system / suicide fantasies; otherwise the machine would eat me.

Now I don't view my brain as some fundamentally flawed machine that requires constant upkeep to prevent a lapful of soup. Instead, my brain is a machine fundamentally sound in conception, but reading David Sedaris, a spring has popped out. In the short term I'll still function fine without maintanence. Is that the why for the recent Prozac revival?

To be honest I don't know. I've got an MA, no immediate job prospects, nowhere to live, and debt caused by a misguided attempt to buy affection. I figured it wouldn't hurt.

[Music--Needles and Pins performed by The Ramones]
[Mood--severely depressed]
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(no subject) [Apr. 16th, 2004|03:05 am]
I just met Dave Chapelle. He appears a lot smaller in person. Wasn't very funny either. It's 3AM, so I can't blame him.
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Three Questions [Apr. 15th, 2004|05:08 am]
From </a></b></a>chorrocks and </a></b></a>musicallum

I would appreciate everyone who reads this to ask me 3 questions, no more, no less. Ask me anything you want. I will answer them honestly. Then I want you to go to your journal, copy and paste this allowing your friends (including myself) to ask you anything.</div>

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Taxing [Apr. 15th, 2004|03:37 am]
I can resist everything except temptation.

I took a picture from my head and a-painted her on the sheets. A funny conct that stuck with me from the Neal Stephenson panning for gold classic Cryptonomicon, pumping an imperial pint. Thank god for Show Your Pussy, which is just the sort of grimy, pseudo-authentic masturbation fodder I need. Enough of that, though.

It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious.

I've been away for a bit taking in the arts. Saw an extremely well done performance of Lady Windmere's Fan, by Oscar Wilde, sitting amidst some blue-haireds during a Wed. matinee. Unless it's a Greenwich Village camped up performance of The Importance of Being Earnest featuring Chippendales Dancers, Oscar Wilde is always a good bet. There's something satisfying about about his combination of anti-Puritanism with the good stuff from Christianity.Before I hear any objections about Christianity from you religion-haters, there's some good stuff in there.

I sometimes think that God in creating man, somewhat overestimated His ability.

A week after Wilde, a week ago, I saw Van Morrison in concert. It was a sit down show, in a theatre with a lot of middle aged people hoping he'd play Astral Weeks all the way through. No such luck.

I was disappointed, but not overly so. His song selection ranged from the relatively new and uninspired to the old and uninspiring. There wasn't a lot of emotional depth to the songs he did sing. His voice sounded good, the backing band was excellent, but the show was too short, clocking in at 1 hour and 20 minutes. There's something disturbing about an old balding man singing Brown Eyed Girl", a song about young love.

Sit down shows suck! Shows in theatres suck! I've seen three sit down theatre shows in my life, Elvis Costello and the Imposters with Billy Bob Thorton as the opener, BB King and Kenny Wayne Shepard, and now Van Morrison. Even Elvis was mildly disappointing. Only really BB King's relatively passionless, seated guitar playing and well practiced stage patter worked well in that environment.

Saturday I'll be seeing Shakespeare's King John.

Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes.

I've quit my job. I can't sleep. I worry.

[Mood--sleepy, depressed]
[Music--Radiohead "Just"]
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Makin' love [Mar. 30th, 2004|02:19 am]
My fantasies grow more lurid and off the wall the longer I go without sex. Especially if, for whatever masochistic reason, I'm eschewing the, manual override.

I say "lurid"suggesting to most that my fantasies are some kind of mental Bachhanalia. There's no fruit filled orgy of random women. As fun as it is to build up complex realities from a smile or a laugh, there is no friction in fantasies involving composites of the girls who give me little smiles as I hold the door for them or who laugh too long at my moderately clever--but not particularly funny--puns.

I need the specific reality that can only come from people I know. How are we together? How do we talk? Is the build up nervous anticipation? Casual familiarity? Are we adventurous lovers?

I need physical references too. Her hands in mine. Do my hands dwarf hers? Childlike fingers interlaced with mine. Does she have engulfing lips or does she execute nimble little pecks.

What does it feel like, hugging bare chest to bare chest?

The smells, the slickness, the feeling of my knee betwen her thighs. Do my fingers prune from the moisture? Does the smell linger on my hands, to be savored again, when we separate?

Does she have little curls of downy hair on the backs of her thighs? Do they embarass her? Do her hands roam my body unselfconciously? Does she stiffen up and recoil if I stray from missionary foreplay? What if I give her a swift spank? How will she respond?

Is it the depth? The speed? The angle? The rythym? The position? What is it about it she likes?

Is it frenzy, the noise, the pounding of the headboard. The motion, sliding across the floor from room to room, slicked with sweat. Does she rock on top, pushing with all her might, as if just that bit deeper will send her into ecstasy. Rubbing frantically, asking to be rubbed, or closing her eyes and enjoying.

What is it about reality that makes for such good fantasy? Are other people's fantasies like beer commercials? With the constant piling up of improbabilities, so that the less the fantasy resembles reality, the better. Or do beer commercials just maintain the realities I feel it necessary to change.

Or maybe I've no right to fantasize since I've always wound up with the one that I wanted. Wow, she's gorgeous; there's no chance we'll wind up together, I'd think. Somehow, through no real effort on my part, we'd be lying together kissing 'til our jaws hurt as I try to avoid pressing a clothed erection up her bejeaned thigh. It's enough to make one briefly consider the possibility of God. Or, then again, Maybe I sent out lalmost imperceptible little signals.Pheromones or electricity or weak nuclear force. Or maybe I always tailored my desires to the available options.

Why does fantasy invade everything else when not indulged? A question for another time. The throbbing really makes it hard to concentrate.

[Mood--Potent, virile, hare-triggered, etc.]
[Music--"30 gallon tank" Spoon]

Yes, I really do happen to be listening to 30 gallon tank. And no, there's no way I have 30 gallons in storage. I doubt I could even fill up a plastic Big Gulp cup.
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The Rewards of Infidelity [Mar. 15th, 2004|01:40 pm]
I don't feel like playing pseudo-intellectual essayist today, so at least right now I'm just going to write.

The first strains of my new Cat Power album (You Are Free) sound like the early Joni Mitchell. My new Spoon album (Kill the Moonlight) had just petered out as I started writing. Combine two albums with a new pair of jeans and a sweater and it was a nice acquisitve weekend. I spent sixty dollars in one weekend, which for a skinflint like me is a pretty big deal.I'm thinking about topping it off by dropping $15 on a Sebadoh concert in April.

The Spoon album is like a kick in the nuts, it rocks. Spoon reminds me of the old Tick cartoon/comic book/live action television show. It sticks in the back of my head, never really standing out as something I enjoy. Unlike Elvis Costello or Neutral Milk Hotel or Paul Simon, Spoon is always a niggling memory in the back of mind. When I press play I always wonder why I don't listen more often. Same too, Leon Russell, Warren Zevon, The Replacements and Stevie Wonder.

This brings up a point that's been bothering me for a while. It's been crying out for expression. [Interjection: I love my new jeans.]

Sullying my Good Name

First, let me outline one of the dangers of journal writing: falsely universalizing from the particular. Off the top of my head, prominent gay, conservative blogger Andrew Sullivan claims that Bush's recent anti-Gay marriage Amendment proposal turned off a lot of conservatives. In a hasty generalization straight outta the Book o' O'Reilly, Sullivan uses his personal reaction as evidence for how others who self identify as "conservative" will react. He may be right, but his experience alone provides pretty meagre evidence. Typical of a member of the punditocracy.

The problem is that, when we self-identify as anything; liberal white, gay, stupid, Smart, Deaniac, Kucitizen, Bushie, etc., we view the label as monolithic. Since we belong to a specific group, we feel that we are in a position to make assumptions about the beliefs of others who self-identify similarly.

[I'm hearing "Babydoll" for the first time. I really like it.]

Sometimes those assumptions are safe. Concerning this issue, Sully is on fairly safe ground in speaking for those who self identify as gay. Reactions among gays may be mixed about Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, but the Amendment is pretty universally denounced. Sully is often on safe ground speaking for the Bush species of conservatives when he transcribes RNC spin points.

It's hard to generalize about those aspects of our existence that make us complex, since they sometimes conflict with our ideology.

A Trivial Comedy for Serious People

Shit! That was a digression. Keep what I just wrote in mind, since it's easy to misstep when talking about one's observations.

Rather than start with the sentence, "I've noticed a recent trend in music," I'll start with the following observation about my own listening habits: I've noticed that the music that moves me is un-ironic, unlike my favorites when I was young. I guess the trend in my listening really started when I began listening to Astral Weeks and Leonard Cohen more often than I listened to Beck, the Ramones and Pavement. The move was unselfconscious, like all good shifts in one's taste. I just found that coherence was part of what is appealing about music.

I still like those more ironic bands (I love Steve Malkmus' solo work and Sea Change), but their music is often more abstract. The immediacy isn't in the marriage of music to words, it's in the music's referents.

Listen to Satan Gave Me a Taco. Now, listen to a Neutral Milk Hotel song. The first time I heard "The King of Carrot Flowers, Pt. 1", I thought to myself, "Shit, I just wasted money on this crap." I was embarassed because it was so earnest.

Jeff Mangum strains his voice to the limit spitting out lyrics with such earnest immediacy it's jarring. There's no Beck-like lyrical detachment. He's serious about every word he says. The music, overflowing with fuzz bass and singing saws, doesn't have any referent outside the do-it-yourself aesthetic. You can't mentally file it away under genre or influence because it refuses to be easily categorized.

The cold blade of ironic detachment is the easiest way to spare oneself the embarassment of actually liking something. It's a way of pretending to be an adult, but what are we giving up to pretend to playact? Forgive the imagery, but sometimes that leporous distillment is poured into one's ear and infects one's body completely. The poision opens up the ventricles of the heart and shoots lightning to the tips of the fingers. Tears well up and one wonders whether experiencing such beauty will ever be possible again. Let it be what you want, the Beatles, Journey, Joni Mitchell, Cat Power, Violent Femmes, whatever. Take a moment, though, and let yourself be moved.

I remember being embarassed listening to a Violent Femmes album in the car with my day when I was 13 or 14. Not because of the fucks and jerking off--although that wasn't pleasant, either--but because of the immediacy of the music. Because the admission that I like something without an irony is an admission of weakness. That I am powerless to choose, to step back and intellectualize. It's like public professions of love. There are forces in the world bigger than we are. Not aliens or cosmic design. But everyday things. Music, sex, love. Our intellect is sometimes rendered powerless by things we feel deeply. It's scary. It can be embarassing. But it opens us up to a world of beauty that otherwise stays closed.

I just warned about the danger of generalizing from one's experience. Still, it seems the world has become more ironic. Malcolm McClaren may have been a self-conscious promoter, but the Sex Pistols felt they were stating some meaningful political and social dissent. The Beatles used Sgt. Pepper and Yellow Submarine to strive for something great. Self-referential music (The Glass Onion, etc.) was part of their identification of where they stood in the world. I don't know. I guess I'm full of shit. I said I wasn't gonna write an essay, so I'm not gonna argue this point.
[Mood--Beautifully overwhelmed]
[Music--"Somebody's Baby" Yo La Tengo (Cover of a Jackson Browne song)]
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Contrary to Fact [Mar. 12th, 2004|11:17 pm]
I've been an reasonably active genre blogger for a couple of years now. Specifically, I have written baseball essays, music reviews and erotic short stories. Everything I have written has had a specific theme, a built in structure provided by the subject manner. Albums or artists create their own narrative; the rise and fall of the baseball season maps the rise and fall of a story. Hell, as I told my first friend, the physiology of the orgasm and the ebb and flow of seduction themselves suggests the movement of plot.

It's so much easier to play the role of passionate outsider in one's writing. Rather than standing at the middle of the stage under the glare of the lights, why not insinuate a bit of one's self at the periphery. To a careful writer, one can manage one's persona while discussing the relative merits of the NY Yankees or anonymous fantasy.

Once I, bumping aside Derek Jeter and anonymous kinky sex kitten, take center stage, then I lose that structure. I have merely the messiness of my own existence to provide any sort of dramatic arch.


My life is heteroskedastic, in my own colloquial sense. Heteroskedasticity means what it sounds like, sort of. It's a word from statistics that describes a data generating process in which for different values of the independent variable, the distribution of the error changes. Homoskedasticity, a presupposition of linear regression, assumes that the distribution of error is constant for all values of the independent variables in the data generating procedure.

My life is like a data generating procedure. If I choose any variable for my life (time t, location q, emotion c), the change in magnitude for that variable is going to produce unkown error bars. It's a flaw in my understanding, a fundamentally human flaw.

This is a colloquialization of a statistics term that has a precise quantitative meaning. I don't want to get too carried away with my peculiarly qualitative notion of what it means. It's a cool sounding/looking word that by twisting it's meaning, I can make relevant to my own existence.

For of all sad words of tongue and pen, the saddest are these...

Whittier, Vonnegut, Robert Burns. John Steinbeck. They all expressed variations of this theme. Vonnegut and Whittier emphasize our impotence in the face of the past. Steinbeck and Burns want to show our impotence in the face of the future.

We cannot change the past. No great insight that. But as I intimated in my previous posr, our ability to think contrarily to fact, in the subjunctive mood, allows us to reflect not merely on what was--depressing enough in itself--but on what might have been. Can I give my father the courage to beat up Biff? Can I save Anne Frank and 500 families from the horrors of the Holocaust? No, I can't do either, but I can imagine. I can imagine myself taking a bullet for archduke Ferdinand or murdering a struggling Austrian painter. It's sad enough that the Holocaust happened; it's sadder to imagine what might have been.

The nice thing about the past is that it is done. Sure, memories well up and kick you in the ass every once and a while. Sometimes remembering hurts more than experiencing. That said, ganging aft aley is really crappy. The first time we fart in public, we come to the realization that what's done is done. So even though the past hurts, we've been conditioned to an understanding that only through the subjuctive--through an act of the imagination--can we change it.

Not so the future. Be self-directed, hitch up your boots, tighten your garters, shine your spats, button your vest and go out and change the world. All it takes is a plan and passion and motivation and hard work and sticktoitiveness and good old fashioned American knowhow.... until it gangs agley. Aft it does. And that's what the best laid plans do.

Dr. Claw found that. Every burger flipper with a dream finds that. God might have found that.


With this term, Heidegger emphasizes an aspect of our impotence in regards to the present. That might be the most depressing thought of all. It's roughly translated "throwness." I'll go into that tomorrow, or so.

Music--"Lover, You Should Have Come Over"--Jeff Buckley
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And, to my grief, Theology. [Mar. 12th, 2004|06:52 am]
An all powerful God can't smile. That's only fair. An all powerful God should have to give up all the cool things that make being a human being great: drinking, fucking and smiling.The fleshly existence of a human form, as embodying something incarnate--and hence less than perfection--runs contrary to the possibility of omnipotence.

But if God can't smile, then he's not all powerful. That is, there is something outside of his capabilities. So I guess God's not all powerful. Or maybe his power is defined in terms of potentiality in which case he might be.

Really, though, who cares? What good is a God if he doesn't exist? More importantly, what good is a God if he does? I'm not really getting much out of this God, if he is in fact there.

Are we, blind to the infinite complexity of God's plan, getting what we deserve? That would suck.

Or Is God powerless in the face of evil? Can God smile and forgive? All good, God watches as evil overtakes us, wishing he could stop it. Or powerless in its face.

Or worse, maybe God can smile and be a villain, because of his own frailty? He's neither all powerful or all good. This would sort of explain a lot, although I wonder whether a less than all powerful God would butt into the affairs of men. Or aliens.

Or worst, maybe God's an all powerful asshole. That would suck worse than the "we're getting what we deserve" scenario. Although in this case people might take solace in that they're being treated unfairly, since there's nothing people like more than to rail about being treated unfairly. If God's an all powerful asshole, he's done a decent jobs of making lives miserable, but not good enough.

Or maybe God is all good and all powerful and he thinks that a world with freedom and evil is better than a world without either. The Miltonian/Augustinian approach.

Or God doesn't exist. To be honest, Pascal be damned, I don't think it's even worth wagering over. Lightweight theological speculation is the third most masturbatory activity I've engaged in today, barely beaten out by the two times I masturbated.

God's potency is so remote as to be distant. The only frailties and powers I know are my own and those of others. I know I'm hypersexual, I'm honest, I can't perform fast chord changes, I'm a pretty good singer although I often fuck up harmonies. I come quickly, but often. I'm allergic to dogs, cats and all kinds of pollen. I'm messy. I'm addicted to smoking although I do it rarely.When eating pussy I make up in stamina what I lack in finesse. I throw a 75 MPH fastball and a curveball that doesn't curve.

The thing about God, though, doesn't just have to do with capabilities and limitations. It has to do with the fact that life isn't fair. I don't know if God is the ultimate cause of life being unfair. I do know that part of what makes life unfair is a lack of time machines:

"I know they buried her body with others her sisters and brothers and 500 families and will we remember her 50 years later I wish I could save her in some sort of time machine... Neutral Milk Hotel--"Oh Comely"

People read all sorts of crap into music. It really annoys the shit out of me; as if the Grateful Dead were some mystical experience as opposed to a drug tinged orgy held together by annoyingly wandering and incohesive melodies.

That said, I wonder about this line. It's a mantra for me. Life is unfair. If I could change things I would, but that's just a wish. Even if I overcame this great barrier (the unidirectional linearity of time) would I be able to change the big things or just a small thing or two? Can I only improve my quality of living a la Marty McFly or can I prevent the Holocaust?

That's what my novel's about. Steal it if you want.
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