I don't always understand Stuck With the Duck, but I always enjoy it.
You know what's amazing? I'll tell you what's amazing. The Hewlett Packard copy machine at my office. You walk in with a fat, one hundred page document, drop it in the tray, and two minutes later you walk out with three exact copies of this exessively large document, collated in perfect sequence. Appeasing the boss and destroying trees has never been so easy. Now, If I can just find some kind of recycling center in Phoenix, I wont have to drive home feeling so guilty.
You know who sucks? I'll tell you who sucks. The middle-aged man in my office who addresses me using the term "guy". As in, "How you doin' there, guy?" and "Sounds good, guy." He also enjoys abusing "Mmmkay" and "Yep. Yeah. Yep. That should work out just fine. Mmm-hmm." And do you know what else he does? He answers questions, and then repeats the answer multiple times as he walks away, until he's out of earshot: "You'll have to see Mike on that one... you'll have to see mike about that one... have to see mike...." WTF?? He seems to perform his job well, but 50% of his speech is businessy filler-talk. This man is actually making the world a less intimate place. When I grow up, I'm going to work for a company like Pyra and live out the rest of my life in a Coupland fantasy.
Since I've had Education on the brain for quite a couple of weeks now, A ghetto mom talks back caught my eye and thoughts. It reminded me that the barriers preventing both racial harmony and education reform come from all sides. Like Rebecca, "I have so much to say about this, and so little".
If you're looking for something neat to explore today, try visiting the downright largest personal collection of links that I've ever seen. As Jeffrey says, these links will keep you busy for months.
np: Morphine, The Clash, RATM, Sunny Day Real Estate, and Kraftwerk.
I can't say that I'm thrilled that most of yesterdays traffic to Project Omni came from the unremarkable pornografic zone of Dont Blow.com.
Life is good, or so it seems. These boring and/or useless statistics published yesterday reveal that Americans like music about "how wonderful life is". America's second choice? Songs about overcoming adversity. Third? Love. It may be a world of laughter, but if its all the same to you, I'd rather hear more songs about buildings and food.
Oh So Quiet.
Today my ordinary experiences were glazed with emotional subtleties and surreal overtones. I am very alive here. These things are not easy to phrase, but I plan to write a journal entry just the same. If you are the sort of person who thinks that online journals are stupid, then just listen to "Jesus Don't Want Me for a Sunbeam" from Unplugged in New York. That seems to cover it all pretty well.
As usual, today after work I hopped on my computer for the old weblog routine. And I found it peculiar that no one even mentioned today's elementary school shooting. Granted, I don't know what anyone would have said on the subject, other than "it's such a shame". There are newspapers and newsgroups for the discussion of such things. Still, sometimes I wonder why more folks don't include their opinions in daily blog posts, because unless opinions and perspectives are expressed, there can't be any exhange of ideas. I guess it's easy to forget what it's all about. We rarely talk about religion, politics or serious issues on these silly things, we just point to other places. I don't know why I'm being preachy--perhaps I'm temporarily frustrated with the "four-quick-neat-o-links-of-the-day" format.
What's that? You love quick neat-o links? You came here expecting me to make a funny joke? My apologies--I don't want to lose any readers. I'll stick to whatever gets me eyeballs.
My "I Don't Have To Run" Day
Thanks to Heather at Harrumph for helpng me discover the Maxim 2000 Girlfriend Remote. Finally, a wireless girlfriend operations device that integrates both the "breast size" and "clean this up" options in one easy-to-use control center. The extra mute button is for when the old ball-and-chain is being extra annoying.
I spent a couple of hours this afternoon grilling up burgers in the park with Joshua, surrounded by children falling in their rollerblades, families laughing as napkins blewoff tables, the smashing of pinatas, smells of charcoal and teenage perfume, dogs sniffing and yelping, couples talking and kissing and walking through the acutely-angled sunlight. A man who looked ragged and skinny like a junky sat at a picnic table with his wife. They had a bright red parrot, who let out a sharp SQUAWK! every few minutes. We played chess and ate baked beans, doing our best to prevent the soft 75 degree air from knocking over our pawns. From behind the jungle-gym came the sounds of a band accompanying some kind of a seasonal celebration. The bassist kept playing the same notes over and over, over and over. The sky was baby-blue. The volleyball courts were full. My tummy was warm.
I recommend Guess The Evil Dictator and/or Television Sitcom Character. After asking me 37 questions, this web site finally figured out that I was thinking of Alfalfa from The Little Rascals. I love the internet (via rebeccablood).
World Gone Wrong is chalk full of true news articles on topics such as Gunmen, Babies, and Religion. The world has truly become a screwed up place when toddlers are drunk and elementary school administrators sell cocaine on campus (via Cortex).
The Writing Problems
of Visual Thinkers by Gerald Grow describes one of the problems with our education system and offers proven solutions. "Because some gifted visual thinkers have difficulty producing the kind of writing required in schools and colleges, they may become casualties of a form of learning style discrimination built into the educational system." I encourage you to read this. I'm in the process of finishing up an Epinion about the U.S. educational system.
Neverending Math Equation
Weekends are always so much more enjoyable when you've been stuck at your job all week. My favorite part of the the day today was when Joshua and I were walking through the desert and he said, "With a willing partner who didn't fight back, I think I could kill a man with a cactus in less than an hour."
Let me take a moment to dish out some props. Matt Dabrowski emailed me and posted a comment to his weblog about the Soviet Eminem parody that I recorded last May called "My Name Is (Ivelnikov)". I had forgotten about that mp3, but it's nice to hear that someone, somewhere, finds it amusing. I'll try hard to remember you little people when I win my first Grammy. But not too hard. The author of Fcuker mentioned sixfoot6 in a recent post about "a few nicely designed blogs". I stumbled on Fcuker a couple weeks ago, and I enjoy it both for the soothing green design and the witty link commentary. Also, my brain has quickly become addicted to Cortex, the site of one David Pannet. I enjoy each of the more personal "lobes" of Cortex as much as I do the opening weblog, and I find the integrated column design very appealing.
While we're on the subject, a word about the relationship between design and content. Recently, Dave was whining about this issue, and it grabbed my attention. Following last week's clash with Derek, Dave Winer made these casual comments:
I'm still puzzled by what makes some people feel a weblog is "well designed". Some virtually content-free logs get high marks from people who value "aesthetics". Being a word guy, I judge by two things.
First, can I read it? (My eyes are not what they used to be, and I like using the browser's vertical scrollbar, I hate clicking from page to page to read a story.)
And second, do they have something interesting to say?
All the cute effects and layout tricks mean very little to me, actually they usually interfere with my ability to read the site. I prefer a plainly laid out site like Flutterby, for example, over (name deleted).
Not everyone is a word guy. For me, the design of a weblog is important because of the way it frames what the author has to say. Design is a form of expression; layout, graphics, pallette and font are elements that, for me, make a visual statment about the author's point of view, and this statment changes the effect of individual posts. I don't want every web page I visit to feel the same. I chose to give sixfoot6 a blue background for a good reason. I vary the color of my journal entries to change the feel of the text. This is the point of design, and this is what allows the internet to blend information with art. To be sure, not everyone responds strongly to visual elements. But if you don't feel that a story such as The Rules of Carpentry, (recently added to the fray) is made even more wonderful to read because of the added visual elements, then you may be broken. Good design never makes up for crappy content, but it does effect the way we perceive and explore content. And when done well, that is something worth complimenting.
Thank God this is finally over. Now I need a new hobby.
Today's Swell Sixfoot6 Site of Today
I found a really neat web page full of links to all kinds of kewl sites called Yahoo! It even has news and helps you book rides on airplanes!! As if I don't spend enough time at my computer as it is, but I could literally spend hours looking at the stuff on this site. Cool!
at the day
I took my camera in for another day at the office.
These photos do not make me grin.
The official word is that until yesterday, it hadn't really rained in Phoenix for 150 days. So I guess I shouldn't have been surprised that everyone went totally ballistic. Hmmm... Does any one remember a Saturday morning show from 1991 called something like "Chip and Pepper's Cartoon Madness"? It was hosted by these two twenty-year old surf losers who would enter this virtual place and turn into badly animated bulldogs. They would yell "Go Ballistic!" Do you remember?
I don't know why I pose questions like that, since you and I aren't having a conversation. How is this relationship going to work if you don't give once in a while? I think it's because you don't care, that's what I think. As clearly evidenced by the fact that I received only ONE response to last Friday's Secret Riddle of The Day. Apparently, you don't think I'm serious about building the winner a homepage using Composer 2.0, but I sure am. You too could have a neat homepage like this, assuming you win. My inbox is waiting.
I have two obsevations today:
"YESSSSS! (for now)" and
Are you fucking kidding me?"
I was three hours late for work this morning. I did my best to be productive. The sky outside was cloudy, overcast, moving quickly, condensing. But I barely thought to look outside, I was so determined to be conscientious and dilligent. I ate my lunch at my desk, while proofreading. At 5:15 my boss moved swiftly through the office, pointing: "Lisa--go home. Ryan--go home." I didn't understand untill I walked outside.
Phoenix hasn't had rain in months. My co-workers were staring up at the sky, as the wind picked up and tossed our hair around. Whipping shirts around shoulders. I moved toward my car, and drops began to fall. The skies were two hours darker than they should have been. I drove to Fry's electronics to buy the new Morphine album, and my car seemed to be handling strangely. People were walking like inexperienced marionettes, jerking their bulky packages side to side, unstable around the uncertain weather. Shopping carts flew across the parking lot towards oncoming traffic. Lightning flashed. Drivers refused to yeild to pedestrians. I saw a middle aged bald man holding a newspaper above his head. Water fell all at once. I splashed across highways and intersections, my windsheild wipers swatting at shower-streams.
Once I reached my apartment, twenty minutes later, it was all over. The sky remained dark, as the unvisible sun set. The ground was moist. I changed into jeans, and streched. I put on a sweater, pressed the new CD in my discman, and crossed the street. Glendale Community College had cancelled classes, apparently out of concern for the well-being of their students. The acres and acres of parking lots were empty. The park was devoid of visitors. It was all mine, and for fifty minutes, I let my eyes go out of focus and floated through this city of the future.
I love when I wake up and find a message in my inbox with encouraging comments on this site. It always starts my day oof right. So thanks, Lumpy. Last night I reorganized the archives, and I made sure to include some of the really old stuff--updates I did last spring, when no one was reading but me. Christine of maganda.org is celebrating her sites first birthday this week. I remembered that I've been fiddling with sixfoot6.com for about one year now, and it's been a pretty damn important year of my life. Life after college is, uhh, less surreal.
Version 2.0: Sweet Lord... No. NO! NOOOOOO!
I'm really glad that Fox has decided not to rerun the most disgusting two hours of television, ever. I only wish that ignorance and greed could be formally abolished. Fox should have a show called "Who Wants to Have a Big, Pleasant Tea Party?"
Sunay Afternoon Lipton 'n Lemon
Yeah, I'm down with Sundays. Relax a bit, read the paper, cook some soup, go for a hike in the woods. I used to pretend to be sick on Sunday mornings just to avoid going to church. When that ploy didn't work, I'd start "carrying on" about how I could commune with God just as easily in my own bedroom as I could in some big old building full of people singing. I very rarely enjoyed anything in those days that didn't invovle friends, learning, or video games. During ninth grade I entered an exciting, energetic period of spiritual and philosophical wakening, and I became a "recovering catholic". The same thing happened to most of my friends. But I miss church these days. It feels good to sit in a large enclosed space surrounded by people full of faith and awe. However, it doesn't feel so good when you encounter newspaper advertisements like this, the Christian Guide to Small Firearms, or
S.T.R.A.I.G.H.T. (the Society To Remove All Immoral Godless Homosexual Trash).
Usually I encounter good news through lazy Sunday morning surfing. Finally, after 7,397 performances, I will never again have to hear about these god-awful singing cats. Strangely, when I read on memepool that Microsoft's board of directors gave Bill Gates a space shuttle, I wasn't that surprised. These are heady, heady days indeed. I'm in the mood to write myself a nice journal entry.
Today I've been listening to Marvin Gaye, Fugazi, Kraftwerk and Kool Keith's Black Elvis/Lost in Space. Talk about melting-pot variety.
Baby, Baby, Baby. Baby.
Well, what a pleasant day today has become. I ate a big plate of spaghetti a little while ago. There's a lot of good stuff happening in the world out there. I worked, walked, and webbed. I also read Derek Powazek's recent personal opinion on weblogs, and it helped me complete my recovery from last night's extended moment of self-doubt. Derek refers to a few sites during the course of sharing that opinion, and all of those sites are worth exploring. I particularly enjoyed the simple and honest multi-media narratives of Soulflare.
So, today during my lunch break I went out to my car to read and listen to some U2. I relaxed, read a chapter, sang along with a few, songs, glanced at my watch, stood up, streched, and promptly shut the door, locking my keys inside. Great, just Great. Perhaps you remember the last time this happened. So, feeling like an idiot, I sauntered back into the office, trying to decide whether to call Josh or AAA. I didn't feel like waiting for "the tow truck guy" to come. But then, while sitting unawares at my desk, I had a flash of inspiration. And within 10 minutes, I had used my Advanced Problem Solving skills to break into my own car using a strip of metal from a hanging file folder and a piece of a plastic trash bag.
How, you ask? Well, that's todays Secret Riddle of the Day! If you email me the correct solution to today''s secret riddle, I'll use Nescape Composer 2.0 to build you your own personal homepage, with a bio, a bunch of neat links, and information about your friends and family!
Problem solving skills, like critical thinking skills, are pretty damn important. I probably wouldn't have either, if it weren't for Legos, 321 Contact, the "Gifted and Talented" program, and Boy Scouts. Information is everywhere these days, and it's easily accessible. Kids don't need to learn everything anymore. We need to be teaching the stuff that you can't put in an encyclopedia--namely problem solving skills and the Arts. Students should be exposed to all kinds of things, but our culture has grown far too accelerated for us to continue with education in its present state. I think I'll probably go off on a more detailed education rant in the near future.
Did I just use the word "namely"? Think about that word, Namely. N-A-M-E-L-Y. Naaammmmellyyy. What the hell does that mean, and where did it come from? In related news, I finally finished redesigning the Words portion of the site. A couple of the sections, namely the essay and poetry pages, should have some new content coming soon.
sweet lord... no... please... no...
Sweatshops: It's Not Just A Pipe Dream Anymore.
Believe me, I know what you're going through. For years you've been lying awake at night, dreaming of starting up your very own company to manufacture low quality garments with trendy designs in horrid working conditions. And every morning, as you slurp at spoonfulls of Puffed Wheat, you imagine the thrill you would feel seeing these same articles of clothing sold to unsuspecting teenage mall goers for half the cost of a lightweight pickup truck. Believe me, I hear you. But who wants to pay some 12-year-old immigrant $1.75 for an hour's work? I don't, and neither do you. Thats $1.75 you could be spending on a bigger yacht, or on c-phone calls to your fiancee in Paris. Why pay out the ass for full grown employees when you can buy them young and raise them yourself? Your young workers won't complain, since a musty basement room piled high with sacks of polyester is the only life they've ever known--thanks to you and your incredible business sense.
What? The little melon-headed bastards aren't doing the job? Get rid of them! You'll surely be able to unload them for a reasonable price at eBaby - Your Personal Baby Trading Community.
Between this photo from a riot in Beirut, and this article about the government of Burma using the Internet as a "tool for repression" (commented upon here), I'm not feeling like staying awake anymore.
is content dead?
Great personal site.
Depressing article from Metafilter.
The nearby strip mall.
Insert cynnical comment here.
Listening to: DJ Spooky.
Current mood: petty.
An Ego Trip To An Extrasolar Planet is a site I found on evhead. Mr. Raza Syed has filled this site with quotes from books, movie reviews, and bits of fiction tied together in a beautiful interface. I'm jealous. Sites like this challenge me to keep experimenting with design AND content.
What do superheros do in between gigs? If you have the bandwidth, it's time you found out. Thanks to my good friend Awol for that one. Maybe someday Awol will get off his ass and get a web site so I can link to him.
Content might be dead, but even so, it's funny.
I went jogging, and now I feel alive again. So I put on The Bends.
You do it to yourself, you do.
Make Me Some Breakfast.
mostly, today was bjork, belle and bebastian, and early tom waits. but today i went headphoning for the first time with
Captain Beefheart's Trout Mask Replica, and boy, was it a trip. A Trip. I can't even talk about it yet.
I've been reading through this article on Wired that about the decreasing number of women in computer science, Building the Digital Systerhood. Read Closely as Anita Borg tries to assimilate you into her was of thinking. This sparked some thoughts, so I spent a good long while searching for the online equivalent of a magazine article I read a while back about testosterone being instrumental in develping the part of the brain that deals with spacial relations. But I couldn't find it. I did however, unearth a classic neverending Slashdot thread stemming from a post entitled Why Girls Dislike Technology, which is both enlightening and humorous. Anyhow since "the scientists" have decided that both Love and Math are as much chemical as they are cultural, isn't it time we combined both into somekind of synthetic drug? I sure think so. It would be called Calculac or Fibbinaccicycline.
Count your troubles away!
Find True Love:
It's as easy as Gödel's Last Theorem!
On the topic of gender, there's a "woman" at my office who looks exactly like Pat, the Julia Sweeny character from SNL. The hair, the glasses, the androgynous outfits... it's brutal. When she passes by I have serious trouble holding back laughter. Plus, she has a vocabulary that includes sappy interjections such as "Geez Louise!"... I think the world would be a bit more intimate and peaceful if there weren't such a large number of people who are easliy reduced to a character sketch. It takes real effort to perceive everyone as a compex individual.
Lastly, I put up some tractor photos from this past weekend.
Tell me what you think.
The next time someone in my office microwaves a big fat bag of stanky BUTTER POPCORN in the staff kitchen, you can bet I'll manage to stifle my overwhelming desire to vomit just long enough to go absolutely caveman postal on that person with a stapler, an intellimouse, and a ten gallon tank of spring water.
Standing, Undivided, Watching, Wanting.
Another Valentine's Day with warm whiskey and street hookers. Poor me.
The Soft Bulletin
I walked for one hour. With Joshua off at class and the rest of the people I'm in love with hiding on the other side of the country, I decided to take along Ok Computer, an album with whom I've been maintaining a lustfully tragic relationship for about two years. Appropriately, the 6 PM sky was bloodflowering Necco heart hues, fresh sidewalk pastels, flavors of curve-cut February construction paper, Lisa Frank pre-teen makeup, the seasonal aisle of Walgreens. More than usual, the park blushed with couples strewn across picnic tables, childern on rollerblades, dog-walking clubs, and multiple games of baseball.
this is what we talk about when we talk about love .
but you dont need my fancy words for this.
My favorite explanation for the cause of Love comes from Aristophanes in Plato's Symposium, who suggests that the human race was originally split into three genders: man, woman, and the androgynous "manwoman". This third gender, combined of equal parts male and female, was eventually split apart. And now we each wander alone, looking for our other half, a perfect match. Unfortunately, this model only seems to account for heterosexual love.... Well, this stuff shoult be taken with a grain of salt anyway. Those silly Athenians also thought that the purest form of love was the love an elder statesman had for "his boy".
Today prolific led me to this interesting and potentially depressing article about love as a chemical process. Next year, I'm sending my special someone three dozen roses dipped in chocolate and phenylethylamine.
My favorite love song of all time is without question God Only Knows by the Beach Boys. And for poetry I'd have to choose This Is Just To Say: by William Carlos Williams.
You know, I never expected to be posting to my web log in accordance with holidays. Thank you to everyone who has been emailing me about the site during the last 48 hours. It's much more satisfying to spend Valentine's Day feeling loved than it is to spend it as a consumer.
Midnite Coffer Quiet Things.
Today I've been listening to Massive Attack, Radiohead, Built to Spill, The Cure and Morphine. Give me a moment while I pour myself another cup of tea... Ahh, that's better.
I feel like I'm starting to get comfortable with the direction this weblog is taking. I'm trying to find a balance between the standard links-with-commentary format, and actual content. I feel strongly that the web really needs good content these days, and hopefully my images and wordramblings are helping in some small way. A "different kind of portal" called
CoolSTOP has given sixfoot6.com its Best of the Cool Award for February 13th, which is pretty rad. They focus on "the spirit of the web which is personal, creative and non-commercial", and I always enjoy the sites they choose for their awards. Here is their blurb on my site:
The new year is bringing on a number of new personal websites by young creatives that are really good. Today's winner appears to be a simple weblog at first but that's just the entrance. This guy's talented and honest - a lot of good content, including a journal, photography and thoughtfully selected quotes that reflect his true personality. The unique navigation scheme of this site is excellent - nicely interconnected with multiple ways to keep you moving. Nice work!
So, Merci buckets to the people at COOLStop. I'm flattered... I don't get too much feedback on the site, and it's nice to know someone's appreciating all of this nonesense. I have some dead links to repair and plenty of new stuff to add. Photos to come down and more to go up. So I'll be keeping busy when I'm not at the office or spending time with other Tall People.
Joshua and I took a walk to the park today and stumbled across a tractor pull: hundreds of antique tractors on display, shiny and strong, iron and solid steel. People were lined up on bails of hay, watching big red machines pull 182% of their mass across a track of dirt. At times, Arizona grows so heavy with the bouyant vibesmell of America that I could swear I was caught somewhere between Eisenhower and a John Cougar Mellencamp video. I have some pictures of tractors and tractor culture that I'll try to post soon.
I used to be a pretty big fan of Quake, but I don't play it much anymore. I've actually logged hunderds of hours designing some pretty complex levels, but I could never manage to complete them. Anyhow, you don't need to be a gamer to appreciate the Quake Wedding that's going to take place on Valentines Day. At 7 pm "South African Time", a man and a woman are getting married in a Cyber-Cafe, and anyone who has Quake 2 and downloads the Wedding patch can witness it virtually, on a Quake 2 server. I'm convinced this is a good thing. The future is now. I mean hell, we're practically living with sexbots.
Hmm. The specificity of these words is unsatisfying. I think I feel a journal entry coming on.
Let My People Grow.
Today I was at the office, making some photocopies, when an attractive thirtysomething six foot blond woman who was passing through the faculty lounge stopped to talk to me. She was very friendly, and asked where I was from and how long I expected to be working at the office. She told me about the courses she was teaching, and I told her about the document I was helping to prepare, and mentioned that I'm visiting from the east coast, staying with a friend. Then she left. It was fairly pleasant as office chit-chat goes. Then, while I was using the paper cutter, she suddenly appeared again, saying "Here, in case you need something to do while you're in Phoenix." And she handed me this:
Here's what the web site outlines as the primary goals of this organization:
The Central Arizona Tall Society is a social organization whose purpose is to provide men and women of exceptional height an opportunity to benefit mutually by:
Educating and encouraging them to be undeterred in their outlooks and activities regardless of their height.
Informing the public as to needs of Tall People, including but not limited to obtaining clothes, accommodations and facilities of adequate size and convenience.
Establishing, coordinating and promoting such other and further activities to provide and facilitate the exchange of information and ideas towards the happiness and welfare of Tall People which includes both social and community service activities.
Finally, a social institution of individuals who understand me and other Tall People like me! I'm sick and tired of you midgets getting snagged among my legs while I'm walking. I'm sick and tired of the comments, the endless references to basketball, the constant stories about your tall relatives. I'm sick and tired of being opressed. I long to be among Tall People who understand me and the trials of my day to day existence. And I've just learned that these organizations are all across America. So watch your back, pipsqueak.
Hey, Ryan, can you help me get something off the top shelf?
Hey, little guy. Eat me.
There are pictures on the CATS (Central Arizona Tall Society) site of last year's halloween party, and they look just like all the other party photos you've ever seen, except everyone's head is closer to the ceiling. That's because the people at the party are Tall People.
In ordinary height news, this Yahoo headline says it all: Russians Can't Find 'Revolutionary' Space Craft. [via rebeccablood]
On a saddening note, Actor Jim "Ernest" Varney dies at 50 of lung cancer. The man made me laugh. The article mentions that he was performing Shakespeare professionally at the age of 16, but he never told his high school teachers. That is cool.
I received an email advertising the Relisys Dimera 3500 Digital Camera. It costs only 99.95, and it's a pretty darn good deal. Flash, auto-timer, fixed focal length, 2MB cartridge, 640x480 resolution, software, strap, carrying case, imaging software. This is by far the best starter consumer digital camera deal yet. It wont replace your 35mm, but if you need pics for the web and to send to friends, its a great way to start.
Of The Rood.
I have just been awakened from an evening nap by a strange man knocking at my door, looking for someone else. I fell asleep after finishing Douglass Coupland's Life After God, and had a sequence of vivid dreams that included, among other things: my friends Josh, Sara, and David Fox (David, via a phone call), a man with work boots on a crowded elevator, Megan of Megan.nu, myself running to catch a train, a kid named Levi Dalton to whom I havent spoken in two years, two people having sex under a bed in the next room, a woman employed in food-service with a ripped shirt and a hairy back, a slow motion game of basketball with Kareem Abdul Jabar, a maze of wooden hallways under construction, and a guy asking me and my friends to leave the house and go "to my own basement". Not necessarily in that order.
I rarely have dreams that I can remember so clearly. I remember an episode of Star Trek, Next Generation in which no one on the Enterprise was able to dream, and everyone (except Data, for obvious reasons) started to lose their shit, to totally go insane. Have you ever tried to stay awake for a long, long time? My record is about 52 hours, sometime during my softmore year at BU, if I remember correctly, for social and academic reasons. But after 36 hours, I didn't feel tired... I was just loopy, with a touch of mushrooms. If our brains don't have a chance to fiddle around with various permutations of reality, by creating and experimetning with phony situations and scenarios, we go insane. It's as if our unified, linear perception of conscious reality is defined by what our minds know to be imagined. How the hell did that evolve? Dogs dream, but do birds? WTF? I've been reading about the purpose of dreams on a University site focusing on a Quantitative Study of Dreams. I also stumbled onto Dream Lover, Inc., a side which looks at dreams from both spiritual and psycological perspectives, and includes a list of 383 dream symbols.
Occasionally, I have a fantastic dream where I'm completely in control, but usually when I realize that I'm dreaming, I wake up. I had a dream last summer in Plymouth in which I climbed out of bed, headed downstairs, and casually walked into my kitchen to join my family for breakfast. It felt like a normal day, until I realized that my grandmother, who passed away two years ago, was with us in the kitchen. Suddenly realizing that I was dreaming, I jumped into the air in slow motion, changed the direction of gravity, and landed with my feet on the wall. Then, thinking "practically", I ran out of the house to look for a girl... but I woke up while jumping off of the front porch in slo-mo. It felt absolutely real, and it was the same sensation I experienced in my Kareem basketball dream earlier. Lucid Dream Induction offers a rather insightful Guide to Lucid Dreaming that includes both suggestions and examples.
How can anyone not find dreams intriguing? Dreaming is ridiculous. Human existence is absurd. Thank God for love, beauty and comedy.
Eight Legged DJ..
This one's good for a quick laugh... the clever code of WuName allows you to find out what your name would be if you became a hip-hop star. Steve Guttenberg's WuName is "Superintendent God-Botherer." Jack Kevorkian? "Budget Nudist". I entered my dad's name and it came up with "Temporary Spastic". You can hear all four of us on our upcoming album, tenatively titled Damn, Bitch, I'z Only Trynna Get Some.
Slow Day at The Office.
Today I overslept and arrived three hours late to my lousy job. Do you ever get so bored doing something unsatisfying and monotonous that you enter a trance? The kind of trance where the part of your brain that glances sideways at yourself shuts off, and you completely forget about your life as it existed before this horrible activity? Well, that was today. The same thing happened to me once when I was walking around a Wal-Mart in central Pennsylvania. I'm not complaining, though, because I'm getting paid and learning about the exciting world of technical college administration.
After work I decided to take action, and went running in Sahuaro Park. In the months that have past since frequent workouts at the gym last summer I had completely forgotten how wonderful it feels to get excercise... the state of the human mind is completely dependent on physical well-being. I'm hoping to start running after work on a regular basis. Then, I'm going to get a CAT HATCH high altitude training bed, so I can really get my lap time down.
If you've never seen it before, explore EarthCam.com. There are links to all sorts of webcams all over the world. One of my favorites is New York Taxi, where from 8-6 EST you can see the view from some guy's cab. Great way to see the real New York if you're in a mostly crappy city like Phoenix.
I was just reading on Metafilter that Patrick Warburton, who played Puddy on Seinfeld, has been cast as The Tick in the forthcoming live action movie based on the cartoon. People seem to either love or hate The Tick. I've always been a big fan. Puddy will be perfect.
I'm listening to the Sea and Cake show I downloaded a while back from MP3it.com, a great source for free, authorized recordings of bands like Physics, Tortoise, and Godspeed You Black Emperor.
I Wanna Get With You.
If you're like me, you spent 8.5 hours today behind a desk in a shiny-crisp office, downing gulp upon gulp of coffee-kerosene while typing up unremarkable documents for a man who's name you've already forgotten.
If you're like me, you spent your brief lunchbreak at Fry's, a big place to shop. Fry's builds acre-wide airplane hangars and fills them with shrinkwrapped boxes and large fragile products, (hewn in kitchen-white, matte-black, or metallic-silver plastic), that no human can resist nor afford.
If you're like me you're a Beck fan, and you like free music. For a limited time, MJuice.com is offering a free live version of "Debra". The catch is that you have to download RealPlayer JukeBox, a program which pretty much sucks and takes over both your desktop and registry to boot. But the track is worth it.
Where Is My Mind?
I've been tossing around some ideas for writing hyperfiction, and I have only now discovered Hyperion, a hypertext site that has been around for five years. Better still, Eastgate is a more cutting edge resource for "serious hyperfiction". I'll be poking around here for a while, trying to figure out what's good and what's not.
In the meantime, visit Dead @ 32 to read honest words written by a depressed adult, keep tabs on Riot Hero to stay young, and visit Maganda for simple pastels and clear emotions. Or perhaps you need to laugh.
Been listening to the Pixies, Neil Young, My Bloody Valentine, Liz Phair, Outkast, Aphex Twin, Blur and Suzanne Vega... My day today was simple, but I've been brainjumpy, feeling both powerful and vulnerable. Mostly, it was Sunday. I'm curious to see what fun my new job has in store for me tomorrow. Goodnight.
Hot Tea and Cold Pizza.
Well, I finally gave in to the extreme convenience of Blogger.com, the website that automates the process of posting comments like the one you're reading. It all just seemed to good to pass up. So now it's a hell of a lot easier to put words up here for people to see... I kept the blue bold heading, however, because I like it and I want to be different.
I have a temp job that starts Monday working in some kind of medical office doing something on a computer that will most likely require less than 50% of my concentration. I'm going to use the other half of my brain to sing along with some classic John Hughes musical work sequences. I am a product of the eighties. If it doesn't feel like a music video, I lose interest quickly. This is all part of what my friend Michael dubbed "the John Hughes effect". Luckily, my job pays pretty well, and I am interested in getting paid.
I nearly forgot about my favorite group of hotties, the Meaty Cheesy Boys
Well, as you may already know, my dear friend and roomate Joshua has chronic hiccups. Really chonic, to the point where they're a constant force in his life. For years, Andrew and I have been telling him to see a doctor. But at last, it looks like this problem might help get him some, because Hiccup Lovers have united. Don't forget to read the hiccup fantasy stories and take part in the hiccup survey.
Believe me, you'll enjoy the poetry of e.e. commerce. [via onfocus]
Derf, of Derf City, has written and drawn a graphic story about his high school memories of young Jeffery Dahmer. The tale is dark, truthful, and intriguing.
Oh, poor Bence.
I've been redesigning the WORDS portion of the website, trying to have a little fun with it. Who knows what might happen... I'm unstoppable. You don't know what I'm gonna do next! Hell, I'm liable to...hmm... I'm kinda hungry. Thank you for your time.
Shem and Shaun
for the past four hours i've been reading about Joyce's Finnegan's Wake and various other mind-wrenching topics on Robot Wisdom. i don't know if I want
ohmygod, this is too much. im going to bed, for self preservation.
Right Here Waiting.
Why does a
beautiful girl who kicks so much ass
have to be on the other side of America? I wish I owned a jet, I really do.
My Cabernet Sauvignion is starting to taste funny, so I better drink it up
quickly. I whipped up steak with an onion and mushroom sauce tonight, along
with some homemade potatoE salad, for those of you who are keeping track.
Perhaps I'll post my potato salad recipe tomorrow for all of you to enjoy.
Today I've been listening to Wilco
, Tom Waits
and Liz Phair
Exile From Guyville
, among others
Why have 138,785 people visited
Richard Marx's website
in the last
? Are these people allowed to vote? Can't we put them on a glacier and split
them up by sex to keep them from breeding?
To be honest, I have a confession to make. In September of 1988, at the age 11,
on the night before I entered sixth grade, I was listening to "Endless Summer
Nights" on WZOU, and I started crying.
After a corporate merger,
a bunch of cutomers received wonderful news.
gigahertz chips are here.
Astronomers have observed parts of a supernova coming together to form a star.
As it turns out,
time can run backwards.
Casio has designed a
watch that plays mp3s.
Now that we've hired you, I bet you
want to know exactly what it is you do.
whoever you are. I dont even care what you say.
This morning I brought
Joshua breakfast in bed after a few hours sleep, and the
day swung into full force. Josh gave two-hundred and
fifty dollars and got his thirty year old Econoline van
back. It works now. My
is starting to sound sick. Also, I
took a walk.
are we doing... what kind of lives are these?
Held Like Sound
has a comprehensive
full of bands and labels I've barely heard of.
Hopefully tomorrow we'll find a store in Phoenix that
isn't charging 18 bucks for the
new Morphine album.
Jeff Bridges is a musician with a
simple, organic web site.
new Giant Sand album
will be released on
thrill jockey records.
Punk Rock and Good Eating.
Welcome, everyone, to February. It feels strange to experience a warm
February; and it is most certainly "warm" here in Phoenix, as it has been
consistently during my month living here. Dry and clear, without one drop of
rain, let alone snow. After living in the northeast for twenty two years I
have come to despise this month... I can feel my instincual hatred for it
welling up even now, a prejudice etched into the very biological fabric of my
being: that interminable cold, the continual darkness, and streets filled with
dirty, salty slush and embittered drivers. Here are a few survival tips for any
of my friends and readers living in colder parts of the country:
1. For the next 29 days, avoid thinking about any goals you've been hoping to
This includes New Years resolutions as well as more long term career goals and
life pursits. You currently have only one goal: to survive the month of
February without permanent scarring. If you can remain only mildly discontent
for the next four weeks, you will then be able pick up your life where it left
2. Don't go outside. If you must go outside, dress in layers.
Exposure to cold leads to discomfort, and extended physical discomfort isn't
going to help your situation at all. Should the clouds break apart for a brief
moment, try to absorb rays of sunlight by standing near a closed window.
3. Only talk to people when absolutely necessary.
While you may have a limited ability to guage your own level of discomfort,
you can never be at all sure
just how bad
other people are feeling. Communication and interaction with individuals who
are having a horrible month is only going to make you more discontent. I
recommend putting all local friendships on hold and making occasional phone
calls to you mother or another person who will not judge you too harshly for
your bad attitude. Once March arrives, re-contact your local friends and tell
them you have been either very sick or very busy. This claim will induce
sympathy, and sympathy will help you get back on track.
4. Get yourself an indoor hobby.
This can be anything that consumes a large enough portion of your
consciousness to prevent you from asking yourself probing questions like "What
have I become?" or "Does humanity matter?" Historically, trashy romance novels,
shoot 'em up video games and excessive amounts of weight lifting are excellent
examples of such a hobby. If you still find yourself asking to many questions,
try watching cartoons, a fantasy movie, or any similar multimedia presentation
that will entertain you
providing realistic characters to whom you might be tempted to compare
yourself and your seemingly pathetic life. Classic episodes of
Tom 'N Jerry
Wild Animal Kingdom
would be acceptable alternatives here.
5. If you are single, avoid all contact with the concept of Valentines day.
Steer clear of theme-decorated drugstores, the greeting card aisle at the
supermarket, and social interaction with friends or co-workers who are already
hitched. Above all, avoid flower shops and "very special" episodes of poplar
6. For God's Sake, don't make any important decisions.
Remember, because you are miserable, you have litle or no ability to acurately
judge yourself and your situation. Any decisions you make will inevitabley be
wrong, and come March, you will regret them. Do not quit your job or move out
of your apartment because your roomates are irritable. Most importantly, do not
make sudden desperate social moves in an attempt to remedy what you perceive as
"the underlying cause of all your trouble" (see section 5, above). In February,
that young man or woman may seem like your sexy ticket to happiness, but by
spring break you'll realize just how much you hate each other.
7. Don't forget: the underlying cause of all your trouble is, quite simply,
Try developing a catchy mantra to repeat to yourself when you're not watching
cartoons, such as "March on towards March" or "The month of salt, It's not my
fault!" This kind of constant affirmation will help you avoid blaming yourself
and others for the crappy four weeks that are undeniabley in store for you.
Joshua and I bought some groceries today, so I've been eating, walking,
site-surfing, and reading Coupland's
, an intensely good book that's only becoming more relevant. Hopefully I'll
have time to unload 'n upload some thoughts regarding these tonight in a casual
the fresh goods:
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