November 2009

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I really kind of stumbled through the day.  This is, of course, because I was up late last night watching Pan’s Labrynth with someone awesome.  As far behind as staying up got me, I wouldn’t trade it for a second.  In fact, my only regret is that we had narry a moment to discuss the rich mythological themes of the film before the night drew to a close.  Perhaps later…

Anyway.  It’s going to be a long week.  I’ve made ovations at doing something interesting on this page, but have yet to find the time/energy.  Perhaps I will do it this week?  Oh fuck!  Or perhaps I won’t, it’s MY blog page after all.

No, but really.  I want to put something on this page worth reading.  Not for your eyes, whoever you are.  For mine.  For this is the best way to regard a blog.  It’s just kind of hard to regard it that way when working 60 hr weeks….

Anyway, good night for now.

ALSO:  there is a new rule in the house!  No fucking turkey!  I had another turkey dinner at Mom’s tonight, and as good as it was, I wanted to barf.  I did not barf, but that is a testament to my mighty fortitude.  The new rule is designed to secure my fortitude from the rigors and temptations of turkey, stuffing, dressing, trimming, and anything else that attempts to needlesly march its way into my gullet.

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I’m supposed to be at the office right now, lapping up some of those sweet overtime hours.  But instead, I am home convalescing.   I only had three beers at the bar last night, but it feels like ten.  I guess between thanksgiving family madness, catching up with friends, and dates with a particularly awesome someone, I am worn out. *sigh*

This is not good.  I need to be soaking up all the overtime I can right now.  Need to, as in right now it’s not optional.

Since I’m home, though, my goal is to be as productive as I can be.  I need to clean, I need to figure out some Christmas gifts, I need to work on some mix CDs, I… don’t even know what comes after that, but it’s too much.

I will try and post something mor substantive later today.  Perhaps after I am rehydrated…

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This past week or so I’ve been only sort of intermitently with it, it seems.  Maybe I’ve been partying a little too much.  Maybe working too much.  Or both.

In either case, I lost my phone.  Or at least I think I did.  Gonna check the apt one more time, but I can’t find the damn thing.

Let me be clear:  this is not the sort of thing that I do.  I have never lost my phone! So when I do, I want to take it as some sort of sign that I need to get it together or focus a little or whatever.

Last week I lost a hoodie.  Most importantly it was my FAVORITE hoodie.  One that I actually spent some money on.  It was built to last and fit perfectly (most hoodies are all baggy, and I hate that).

Losing the hoodie felt violating.  Some dark specter of my subconscience led me astray, and the kicker was that I didn’t even realize I had lost it until I went to wear it again.  Then I realized where I had left it: at the track.  Damnit.

Losing my phone feels… liberating.  Heh, okay not gonna lie, I find something exciting about it.  Floating free.  Liberated from this ubiquitous digital tether.

I need it though.  I mean it’s a holiday weekend, and I have tons of plans.  So hopefully it will turn up.

Of course it is broken (stuck keys) and needs replacing anyways, so perhaps I have another underlying motive that makes the loss exciting.  Perhaps my subconscience was doing me a little favor…

Anyway, keeping it brief because I’m in a training room.  I need some kind of discipline or something for the coming weeks.  A lot going on, and a lot that I want to do.

Damnit, get it together son!  No more losing hoodies or phones!

UPDATE:  found the phone!  Woot!

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How is it that The Strokes could put together such a masterfully succinct and enjoyable album as Is This It and then fade into the mediocrity of their subsequent albums?

It’s late.  Well, end of the day.  My students have all left.  The other class on this floor has left.  And I’m finishing up some work and listening to The Strokes.  You frustrate me, Strokes.  What is your god damn problem!

I’m by myself up here right now.  Alone at the top of a thirteen story tower in Baltimore.  It’s a strange thing being alone at the top of a tower.  I can look out across the city and see the rush hour bustle.  The city is dark.  Alive right now only in lights that trace themselves across the streets, across the skyline, and down the horizon.  It’s quiet.  I hear only the building’s air vents.  In here everything seems frozen in time, crystalline in appearance.  It’s like looking out from inside of a snow globe.

I love these little isolated moments.  I feel like for a moment–just a moment–I can think clearly.  I hope I can catch some more of them over the holidays here.  I’ve had some things percolating in the back of the brain.

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Everything seems to be happening at a slower pace than I would like right now.  In too many aspects of my life.

The main frustration today is my training room.  We keep encountering these hold-ups, and right now I just want to get everyone through this and to the holiday weekend.  Grr.  I don’t think anyone realizes that I’m actually really irritated.  I’ve this tendency towards the copasetic that I’ve long considered to be one of my flaws.

Two more days.  I just want to get these folks through this week.

I weighed myself the other day and clocked in at 200 pounds.  Jesus Christ man!  It’s remarkable because I have gained ten pounds, and my waist size hasn’t changed in any noticeable way.  It’s all muscle.  Or maybe it’s 8-to-2 or something, but whatever.

I feel like I’m evolving into a beefy sort of guy, and this creates mental dissonance for me.  I’ll always think of myself of this skinny, non-athletic type.  But lately my exercise has been coming together.  I think I’ve just been following a more rounded routine when it comes to lifting and cardio.

Anyway, it’s all transitional right now.  Stepping on the scale and seeing 200 makes me freak out a little, because I don’t want to turn into a big giant fatty.  So I’m gonna need to watch with it my diet over the holidays here, as I continue to trim a little padding off.

But it’s weird.  I think I’m just gonna weigh more with a full rack of muscle on my frame than I thought.  My weight is likely to stay in the 190s, when previously I thought it would be more like the 180s.

It’s strange to muse over how in my 20s I was always struggling to be perfectly fit and never quite getting there, and now all of the sudden I’m finding it easy.  Then again I’m not out drinking five nights a week and eating cheese fries at the diner all the time like I used to, so perhaps it all makes sense.

Anyway.  Sort of a quotidian sort of journal today.  I had this post I was going to write up about Ingourious Bastards and Godwin’s Law, but I didn’t get to it.  Maybe later.

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This has been one of my favorite things to share in my Google feed reader, but I don’t think I’ve mentioned it on here at all.  Slaughterhouse 90210.  Folks post pictures from movies and tv and then an underlying literary quote to accompany it.  Occasionally very clever, but usually just amusing.  Btw, I believe the title comes from the first post being a Vonnegut quote, probably the ubiquitous “So it goes”.  I don’t remember.

The following just popped up, which is interesting because I was just discussing this Calvino book with someone this week:

“Arriving at each new city, the traveler finds again a past of his that he did not know he had: the foreignness of what you no longer are or no longer possess lies in wait for you in foreign, unpossessed places.”
— Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities

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I tried to catch the leonides this morning. Woke up nice and early, put some coffee on, knowing that the peak was supposed to have come around 4:00

It’s funny that I should even think of it, but I was just writing about it on here the other day. That period a few years ago where I was trying to get my head right. Typing disturbed secret journal entries.

It was late. Middle of the night. One of those nights. Can’t sleep. Can’t get your mind off of things. Anxiety pushing you back and forth in bed, until you get up out of it. I went for a walk. Threw my coat on, laced up my shoes, and just ran off into the night. The air crisp, dry, the season’s cold easing it’s grip around the Northeast.

I didn’t know where I was going. Just started wandering around the paved trails that criss-crossed my then suburban home. And I came upon a field. A playground at one end of it. Apartments to either side and some townhomes to another. Not a soul was about. It really must have been late.

And I wandered out into the middle of it and laid myself down to look up at the sky. And there they were. Stars. Just shooting across the sky. Everywhere. Everywhere. Streaking through, sometimes alone, sometimes in little sorties. Stars and stars. I’d never seen anything like it.

I lay there in that field for I don’t know how long. An intensity swelling in my chest with each silver arc.  I felt something rising inside me. I was reading Wallace Stevens at the time, and I kept tossing afflatus around on my tongue. Afflatus, afflatus. An awesome, affecting, ascending, animating afflatus.

And maybe that was it. The moment I was looking for. A turning point. A sign. A flashing signal from the other end of life’s tunnel. I don’t know.

Logic does not follow. You look up at the sky to see the heavens alive, soaring, swinging. And the mind latches onto something. We’re uplifted. A hollow heart feels a little less lonely.

Logic does not follow.

I remember thinking to myself then that things were going to change. Hell, things weren’t really that bad. I just had my head in a bad place. All I needed to do was look up.

I think I kept at that journal for a little while after that. But it soon tapered off. And I started acting more like myself.

So I woke up nice and early this morning, hoping to catch a glimpse of my old leonides. But I had woken up too late. The sky was already lightening. The Sun swelling on the horizon. There were some low, dusty clouds. A few stars still. But none of them shooting.

Standing on my balcony, half-dressed and wrapped hastily in a wool coat, I looked east. The wispy clouds were parting, as if just for the Sun, arching up to frame its expanding corona. The sky’s blue was already brightening, azure and clear. The day was looking pretty good.

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So apparently that Scooby Doo apocalypse illustration that was making the internet rounds a few weeks ago has made its way onto a t-shirt:

I’ve been laying off the t-shirts lately, but very tempting. It is, of course, at Threadless, and you can purchase it here.

In other news regarding things that must be bought:  I need tires.  Does someone want to give me some tires?  Four of them?  For a bitchin ’05 Corolla?  Please!

A friend recommended me to Tire Rack, but it’s still going to cost me between $400-500.  So I gotta like, you know, figure out how to pay for that.  Yeesh.  And I promised myself I wasn’t gonna turn any tricks this month…

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Because apparently five days isn’t enough.

It was a pretty full weekend actually.

I managed to catch the Caleb Stine hosted event at the Creative Alliance on Saturday, and it was waaaaay more amazing than I thought it would be (and I thought it was going to be really amazing). I mainly wanted to see this local country musician named Arty Hill.  I caught Arty Hill first a few months back.  I hadn’t been to the place I saw him in years, but apparently in the intervening time it’s become something of a local country hub.  And when I say country I’m not talking about country music top 40 stuff.  No.  We’re taling old Hank Williams, Lefty Frizzell, June Carter Cash, Bob Wills, George Jones.  That sort of thing.  Old country.  The good stuff.

But Arty only played a few songs at the show, and that turned out to be more than okay.  Got to hear some old gospel songs, old Confederate murder ballads, good old fashioned Irish jigs, and some surprises.  Wish I had some photos and sound bites, but this little mention will have to do.

I was hoping to spend some time reading and maybe doing some writing today, but that didn’t really happen.  This is the sort of thing I need to start being selfish about.  I spent too many hours today running errands and cooking dinner.  It’s not like I’m cooking for a family or anything, so why do I need to go all out just cooking for myself and spend so much time at it?  There are other things I’d like to do.  I guess it just wasn’t meant to be today.

Also I wanted to lift weights today.  I only lifted once last week.  At least I jogged a bit.  But this week I’m looking for some more discipline.  I’ve done a good job of toning up from last spring’s junk food indiscretions, however I have some goals to reach before the end of the year and, time, it is a runnin’ out.

Anyway.

I have a kitchen full of food, and I’m looking forward to doing some cooking this week.  I’m thinking about ginger and lime this week.  Ginger and lime.  That is the sort of tone that I wish to set.

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I had three days off of work, and now everything seems topsy turvy.  Wednesday we feds had the day off,  but I took Thursday and Friday as well.  Sooo glad I did.  The past few days have felt like a weekend.  I mean today I kept thinking it was Sunday.  And so here I am on a Friday, it’s not even that late, and I’m winding down.  Probably going to go into the office tomorrow and Sunday and soak up some overtime, meanwhile taking it easy and relaxing in the evenings.

It was about as mixed a week as could.  Some amazingly good and some amazingly bad.  There was some family stuff going on this week that really scared the hell out of me, but I didn’t want to get into it because, well, it looks like it’s going to be okay and, I don’t know… I guess it’s supposed to be hard to talk about that stuff freely.

There was some amazingly good, but I’ll get into all that later.

And then there was this page.  I’ve been good about posting lately, but still I was glad to revamp things.  I’d like to get back to writing things that actually feel composed, as opposed to journal entries that just ramble on and on.

It’s funny.  When I first made a WordPress page it was like two years ago, and I had it in my head that I would use it as a private page to do some more composed writing.  But all I did was rant about relationships and try to convince myself that I wasn’t miserable (I was going through an unhappy stretch). The tone of the posts tried to be positive, but it was clear in reading it that my head was not in a good place and that I was having trouble sorting myself out.  And I tried all sorts of things.  That’s what I do when I’m unhappy:  I move.  I keep busy.  When I’m happy, I stay.  I relax.

When I made this Cheshire Splat page, I deleted all the old pages.  The whole damn thing.  Let digital nothingness swallow it up.  It felt good.

I’ve had a rule these days about eschewing negativity.  Not just in trying to look at the bright side of things, but actually trying to express it.  I’m not Mr. Happy Go Lucky all the sudden–like some sort of hyper-positive born again.  But I sometimes wonder if the people in my life see it.  I certainly see it.  I found that I soon was being promoted at work and commended by my many, many supervisors (middle management at the government are legion).  My personal relationships improved.  I also found that I stopped getting sick as often and that sort of thing.  Just by avoiding the negative, inching towards the positive.

What I could never understand is how one could try so hard, again and again, to convince themselves that they’re happy and just be miserable and be miserable, and then one day it just clicks over.  Or over the course of a period it just clicks over.  I wish I could understand it, but there’s just no one thing you can take it back to.  No one event.  If I could bottle that sort of thing and sell it in a pill, I’d be a billionaire.

It was strange reading through those old, hidden blog posts from two years ago and feeling like such a stranger to myself.  It felt good to delete them and just forget about it.  I don’t miss it.

Anyway.  I’m rambling.  Like I said.  I need to get back to actually composing things.  Not just rambling so often.

UPDATE:  for some reason I feel compelled to mention, or perhaps to clarify, re: deleting, that I never delete my blog when I restart my blog.  I still have all of my Grin without a Cat posts.  Even the MySpace ones that go back years ago.  It’s just this one WP blog that I abortively attempted a little while back that I was musing about here.

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