You grew up and the sights you saw most during that time were probably the faces of your mother and father, the ceiling of your room as you wondered why all the adults were still up having fun, the television screen on Saturday mornings. Terrence Metcalf grew up and his world was all tail-lights and off-ramps, and his father’s face illuminated every couple of seconds by yellow street lamps as the Union zoomed by all around them, from sea to shining sea.
Terrence liked the Atlantic Ocean better. Definitely. There was something about it, especially up in New England, that said it was just allowing North America to be there on a whim. The Pacific was sky-blue and showy, like how a billionaire might build his own private sea if he had the time. The Pacific was for people having a better time than you. He had seen the Pacific six times and the Atlantic five, and they were heading back to the east coast when his father pulled the old Accord into Wharton, Ohio. But first things first.
He was all curly sandy blonde hair and had to be the only kid in America with a right-arm driver’s tan, from those long stretches of blank prairie when he’d stick his hand up to the window to block out the sun. Then, when they’d get to Oklahoma and the sky would cloud over, when the radio would start playing an endless loop of the Charlie Daniels Band, he’d put his arm down, stick both arms behind his head and watch the rain fall on the windshield. He’d pick two raindrops and watch them race them from the front windshield to the end of the passenger window, knowing that as long as the rain fell, the race would never end.
They lived out of the trunk and every Goodwill store between San Bernadino and Cape Cod for three years, and, by Terrence’s count, three shoe sizes.
They were out on this inter-ocean expedition under the pretenses of Mr. Metcalf looking for work. But all Terrence knew was that Mom had left, Dad used to be a gas-station attendant and before that, a truck driver, and for some reason nobody was paying for the line of work he was looking for.
They pulled into a little Virginia village one afternoon, and while Terrence’s father ducked into a bar for a drink, Terrence headed down the block under the pretense of buying some jerky at a corner store. He ended up in the town library, not so much out of a voracious need for literature but the desire for free entertainment: he had done three whole Mad Libs books on this particular leg of the trip and somehow stories that started “So I walked outside my house of CHEESE and lifted up a car with my EYEBALL” had just ceased to amuse him.
He was warming to the idea of a narrative for which he didn’t have to provide all the adjectives and verbs when the space designated “ADDRESS” on the library-card application stopped him dead. Worse yet, the librarian told him that if he didn’t know his address she would be more than happy to call his mother. A number he didn’t know to find an address that didn’t exist. He settled for a dusty clearance copy of 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea that lay on a shelf between the Help Desk and the faint twilight of the Virginia town.
It was too dark to read every night, so Terrence would count mile markers ‘till he fell asleep, because if he was lucky, once or twice a week, he’d wake up in a motel bed. He’d dream he was deep beneath the Atlantic, wrapped in cold blue, darting in and out of the legs of a giant squid, thrusting his way up towards the surface and hearing the roar of waves. But when he would always awake to find that it was the engine, not the waves, that were roaring, and the ocean’s surface was now a seemingly endless prairie sky.
One night he went to sleep and woke up in bed in a farmhouse in Wharton, Ohio, owned by grandparents he’d never met, who were downstairs making breakfast. The Accord wasn’t in the driveway, just a beat-up old truck that would one day take him in to town to buy school clothes. He would try to grow accustomed to a stiff desk instead of a bucket seat. It would be hard (the desks didn’t have a cupholder and never reclined.) And some afternoons at school, during geography, his classmates would pull out their textbooks and trace their finger along a cartoony map of the United States, in accordance with some assignment. Terrence would just stare out the window, secure in the knowledge that not only did he know his states and capitals, but he could tell you how to get between any two of those capitals in the Continental US, how to navigate the New Jersey Turnpike, and could draw from memory the winding stretches of the Pacific Coast Highway. He had seen these flat, awkwardly colored shapes spread out before him, one continuous mass from the wise old ocean to the showy arrogant one.
Small town life would eventually settle him, with its promises of a permanent address and all the books the Wharton Public Library had to offer. His father never returned, and neither did his lust for highway life. Eventually, he’d find himself wanting out of the one-horse town, but not wanting to make the journey to get there, for fear of wandering until he regained his driver’s tan. He hoped someday to find a place of his own, where he could fall asleep and dream of asphalt receding under headlights to the tune of six cylinders, and wake up to realize it was only the ocean.
Just for the record, MTV's Made is the best show in history.
I may be hasting in making that declaration, especially considering I've only seen two episodes, but damn, is it ever some watchable shit. It's as if the TV Gods asked, would you like to see pathetic layabouts struggle endlessly to acheive their seemingly impossible dreams? and I said, Well, yea. But will there be a five-alarm flaming cheer coach? Or a whiny kid who resembles a stick and a terrible attitude doing Suicides and falling all over the place? and they responded, You bet your sweet ass, G! and then the TV Gods and I did a slow-motion high-five, and the sound produced by the meeting of our hands...well, that was MADE.
And it was good. Was it ever good.
I almost feel bad describing it. If you ever woke up in the morning and wish you could watch physically ungainly teenagers be tortured by coaches shouting trite motivational slogans, you owe it to yourself to tune in. The first episode I was privileged enough to catch involved a fat Drama girl attempting to make her school's cheer squad. The highlight might have been her friends: buncha awkward bucktoothed girls insisting that all cheerleaders were snobs. I wanted to say, wow, you go to one of those high schools? With the jocks and the goths and the hitting and the locker-putting-in? Poor bastards. We have cliques and muscular guys stealing wormy band kids' Magic cards and things, but I guess it never seems that bad. Or that ugly.
I don't know where I'm going with this. Good show, though.
Someday I will go to sleep and wake up as Flavor Flav. And until that day, the slowly growing stash of giant clocks on necklaces will sit in my closet, gathering dust, until I awake one day, ready to implore the masses to Fight The Powers That Be.
Uhm...let's see...let me pull out the topic checklist...made is a good show...wake up as member of public enemy (flavor flav, if not, prof. griff, despite antisemitism)...
Apparently, a plug from HFT is the kiss of death. On Wednesday, I linked Katie Hall's joyous wonderfully well-written if spottily updated blog. And days later, this: No more blog. No explanation. Not even a cursory "let's-just-be-friends." Poof. Kate is no more, blog-wise. This is a late blog. No wonder I have friggin' abandonment issues.
One of my other favorite bloggers, Jim Treacher, hung up his spurs a few weeks ago under vague and ominous pretenses, but he took them back down from the Wall of Spurs again, and is currently making jokes about the Hulk's skin care. Good for him. Meanwhile, Kate's spurs just hang there, without explanation, waiting for the return of their gifted owner. What's the deal, Kate?
I was shocked when she told me. "There's no milk! Not a drop left," she said, ashamed. I could tell she was in disbelief as I saw her look back into the refridgerator numerous times, hoping a gallon of milk would suddenly appear... but no luck. "Where could it have gone?" Umm, we drank it, Grandma. I drank it, you drank it, we all drank it. It's... gone.
Ha ha. Kenzie is funny. Hopefully me linking her will not result in the immediate demise of her blog. Although, at least I know her and see her every day, so if such a thing does happen I can grab her shoulders, shake her, and say "What the hell, baby?" Not that I would do that. Naw. Although Flavor Flav just might.
Last night I left a party early.
What the hell is wrong with me?
Ben called me a slacker.
Yea, I'd say that's pretty accurate.
The Smiths follow Nas in my MusicMatch Jukebox playlist. How eclectic am I? The answer? Very eclectic, motherfuckers.
We performed the competition one-act today, at a competition, ironically enough. We didn't really know what it was all about and we showed up to the high school about forty-five minutes before our scheduled stage time. It turned out to be some podunk theatre festival Apache Junction just decided to have, but it was a chance to perform. There couldn't have been more than five other schools there, although you can tell they expected a lot more. Oh well, can't complain. The judges ate it up with two forks, the audience was receptive (perhaps too much, it seems theatre kids will laugh at anything), and our ratings were all Superior, for a total rating of...Superior. Yee-haw. State is next Saturday. There's a cute girl with a Hogwarts shirt in Apache Junction who said I was an amazing actor. She better be there.
Was going to see Confessions of A Dangerous Mind tonight but ended up seeing my friend's band at the YMCA and rocking my ass off, then chasing it across the parking lot, insisting that I needed it, you know, for sitting. And if I lost it, I'd have to rock off other parts, and eventually I'd run out and be nothing but a head in a jar in that shadowy derelict ward of the hospital for people who just rocked...too hard. Although I will continue to insist there is no such thing as rocking too hard. Some will call me mad. Some will call me Steven. All of them will be wrong. None of them will be hot. So what the hell's the point.
I wish that more artists obeyed the Tupac Shakur law of post-mortem production: the deader the artist is, the more prolific they become. Apparently nothing clears up writer's block like getting shot the hell up. If only Jimi Hendrix still released a new track every other week, like Tupac seems to be able to do from beyond the grave.
Biggie's better anyway. I'm so eclectic. And so much fun to be around.
Take me out tonight
Where there's music and there's people
And they're young and alive
(Welcome to the Amish Tech Support Blog A Day Tour! Today's post is short, but not sweet.)
I'm writing this post yesterday for today. Or, you can say I'm writing it today for tomorrow. Depends on your perspective: when I wrote it or when you're reading it.
One of the things that people say a lot is "At least you've got your health." Well, I've got that. But Hal doesn't. And so he's going in for surgery tomorrow. (Which to you is today, for me is still tomorrow, and I guess Australians will call it yesterday now that I think of it)
I have no idea how long it's going to be tonight when we go over to Hal's for the pre-hospital visit and then how long it will be tomorrow as we wait in the Waiting Room. I guess we're not allowed to wait anywhere else or it'll violate something i nthe insurance carrier or something. Folks gotta wait in the Waiting Room instead of spending time at the Sonic Drive In or humping away in an open bed in the E.R.
Folks aren't supposed to eat before surgery. I was going to bake up a loaf of bread with bright blue food coloring in it. At least then I could be giving a loaf of bread as a pre-surgery present and then he wouldn't want to eat it. I mean, blue bread. Who would want to eat blue bread?
That one's tamer compared to all my other attempts at light humor. I've got a whole list, but in the end they all miss the mark. I figure I'll just be like everybody else, nod when I'm supposed to nod, smile when I'm supposed to smile, like some gigantic scroll of paper is running through my feet and my toes pick up on the holes like some human player piano.
Anyway, I'm sending this post a little early to D.C. so at least the Tour isn't interrupted. I figure that if we get home tomorrow (today) after everything goes well, I'll have something to post.
Of course, if D.C. has to post this pre-submitted piece, this means that nothing will get posted to my own site that indicates that the Tour is stopping here. Until I get home to post, that is, which means sending him this early really doesn't amount to squat, right?
I'll think of something. Y'all are clever, you'll figure it out tomorrow.
I mean today.
There are few feelings more wondernous than saying, at 6:00, "I'll just lay down until dinner, someone will wake me up," then waking up at 9:42 realizing that dinner has been missed entirely, and that all you're going to do with what's left of your evening is stumble downstairs, pour yourself some Special K with Red Berries, and update your lonely little blog.
Today was a half-day, meaning anybody who was anybody got out of school at a little before noon, and went to Vaquero's, which is actually Spanish for "Sketchy Yet Delicious," for lunch. I know I did. Then came back to school to rehearse the competition one-act, which we're performing for the second time in a conference setting this Saturday. I still have to get work off for that. We ran the show twice, and I wasn't needed on crew for the next mainstage, so I ended up leaving school around three, which is an anomaly. I half-expected flying pigs to block out the sun as I drove to the gas station.
Even more uncommon, I put twenty bucks worth of gas in my tank, which means the needle is now completely to the right of the "F" line. F for full. I know, I'm just as shocked as you are, especially considering it's usually about that distance to the left of the "E" line, E for Earn more money so you can put more than five bucks worth of unleaded in me at a time, jackass. Every ride in my truck raises a million life-or-death questions. Will I make it to then next location without having to get out and push because I put off getting gas for too long? Will the windshield de-fog and allow me to see the road that I'm hurtling across at forty-five miles an hour? Why am I driving like this thing handles any better than a Civil-War era ironclad battleship? What's that smell? I drive completely in italics, by the way. Usually on the wrong side of the road.
Even more uncommon than a full gas tank, I went and got a haircut. This only happens every two months, on average. I know, because they ask me every time I come in, when they see the overgrown mass of dark blonde they're going to have to wrangle into something half-decent, if they want to earn their eleven-ninety-five. I always get it cut from the haircut-neglecting teenager look down to the spiked in the front, now-I'll-be-able-to-neglect-a-haircut-for-a-really-long-time look, which has been dubbed "The Admiral." It's not that I hate getting a haircut. Really. I just hate doing anything where part of the protocol is something called "tipping my stylist." I'm having a hard enough time retaining my Man Card when the last three sodas I've had have all been Diet.
Sometimes I don't see why you'd want to listen to anything but JEW, Saves The Day and Coldplay. And it's good to know at least one Madpony girl agrees with me.
Basketball player in my Creative Writing class on Ernest Hemingway's short story "Hills Like White Elephants" yesterday: "Nothing's better for your relationship than getting drunk and talking about abortion." I wasn't drunk, but I did jokingly refer to their attitude toward their unborn child as "the catch and release program." Take THAT, anniversary of Roe V. Wade! ZING!
While I Was Sleeping: Trevor and Alecia were having what looks to be a kickin' RN Party. All I know is that when Trevor's psuedo-six-pack is involved, you can't NOT have a good time.
If more seventeen-year-old girls would make out with Holocaust survivors, the world would be a better place. I mean, can you imagine how different Elie Wiesel's Night would be?
What do you mean you're not reading Katie Hall's blog? What? That's the dumbest excuse I've ever heard.
I got four hours of sleep last night and then I kicked the gym's ass this evening, so I only have a few things to say before I collapse in a lump:
Carnival of the Vanities #18 is up on Meryl Yourish's blog. It's sort of like a blog mix-tape of sorts, this being the eighteenth tape in the series. And guess who's the opening track? Thanks, Meryl.
Also: Hosemonster is a king among men.
That is all.
Nicole: Ha. I notice that after that entry about possibly writing more honest entries, and everyone commenting about how they want you to write honest entries, you wrote two almost completely de-personalized ones.
Aperockets: ha. I didn't notice that
Aperockets: That's awesome
Aperockets: Take THAT, audience!
I'm tired of reading and talking about the war in Iraq, there's going to be one, it's going to be bad. Because it's a war, and wars are bad. Wars are not things to be entered into lightly, wars cost money, time, and the lives of soldiers and civilians. But it's going to happen, and when it does, I will shed no tear for Saddam. I'd say he's earned it.
And I'd say 5,000 Kurds would agree with me, if they hadn't been gassed by Saddam in a "Chemical Readiness Test" back in 1988 while 495,000 of their countrymen had the comparable privilege of merely being rounded up and slaughtered. The distant relatives of those people might agree with me, if their speaking up wouldn't get them tossed in an acid bath by Saddam's henchman. The families of Israelis murdered in suicide bombings would probably agree with me, too. You'd probably feel the same if your child died after some maniac blew himself up in a bus station, lodging nails and glass in your kid's flesh, and then you found out that the family of that maniac was getting twenty-five thousand dollars US from Iraq for strapping the bomb to his chest in the first place.
The guy wants to bring these spread these dubious diplomatic practices all over the world. And he's not even sticking with his old methods. He is seeking the means to perpetrate his acts of unspeakable evil in a new venue: ours. It's not that he wants to. It's that he keeps actively trying to find ways to do it. And that's why he has to be dealt with.
Said Donovan, in response to the previous post:
You're quite the war-mongering fascist for someone who has never lived through or seen a war. Be careful who you accuse of being self-righteous...
Ah, what a brave new world this is where supporting the military disposal of a real-life war-mongering fascist MAKES you a war-mongering fascist. These are some heady times, friends. Note that I stopped short of calling anyone against the war in Iraq a ideologically opportunistic lilly-livered Euro-bitch. War is hell. There are people with principled objections to bombing Baghdad (Radley Balko, one of my favorite bloggers, for one). I don't share those views. Although somehow being strongly in favor of taking out one of the world's bloodiest dictators makes me just as bad as the guy I want to fight. Maybe better word choice might be in order next time.
This isn't directly related, but it's brilliantly done: ANSWER was in charge of organizing many of this weekend's largest protests. They're a front group for a huge socialist organization, an organization that's come out directly in favor of well-intentioned socialism's greatest hits, like Tianenmen Square, Kim Jong-Il's regime, and Yugoslavian ethnic cleansing. Some, shall we say, interesting points are made pertaining to this fact here.
Well, that's enough pontificating for one evening. Sleep well and have a pleasant tomorrow.
All-time record hits today, thanks to totally unexpected, make-my-morning linkage from Mike at Cold Fury, combined with the fact that I'm still inexplicably at the top of Tony Pierce's page. Tony's also added Goldstein and Trevor to his permalinks. Damn, we comin' up in the world. Before you know it we could be the JV version of all those LA bloggers that seem to know each other. Except, without all that...what's it called...oh yea. Talent.
It seems the news talked about nothing this weekend but the worldwide anti-war demonstrations. If nothing else, at least one thing they can shut up about now is the "silencing of dissent." Yea, you wish. Thousands of people take to the streets, some of them with signs depicting our president in Hitler garb. The news media freely (in some cases, gleefully) reports it. Man, the military-industrial complex really needs to light a fire under the Dept. Of Muzzling Alternative Viewpoints, because they're doing a really shitty job.
I may have to mention here that I have a distaste for shrill, self-righteous, self-important opportunistic reverse-racist anti-war scensters who are in it for the revolutionary chic. Maybe it's from one too many ska shows spoiled by smelly kids with jackets safety-pinned to the hilt with clever slogans. No, I don't think dissent should be silenced. But they could at least have the courtesy to Lysol the protest ground afterwards.
I had three Blogger "edit your blog" windows open. Three. I'd keep opening them and getting distracted. Then I finally clicked one, and started writing about how I had three Blogger windows open. Three. Then Internet Explorer crashed. Fuck this shit. Let's revert back to buggy-whips and quill pens. Why the hell not.
Although then again, you could never have AIM conversations with two girls who just moved into a new townhouse, one of whom is drunk as drunk can be and another one who's just tipsy enough to be interestingly confrontational.
Aperockets: We write for different reasons. You write to get your thoughts and feelings out and just document things. I write for an audience. You may be envious of my clever little entries, but I guarantee yours is far more honest
Nicole: You're definitely right about that one.
Nicole: You should write more honest entires. I'd be interested to see what those are like.
Yea. Me too.
The number one weapon in the war against the war against terror isn't protest.
It isn't passive resistance.
And it certainly isn't Ani DiFranco records.
The number one weapon to stop the people who would stop Saddam is farm-fresh, cleverly arranged...
That is why you fail.
Eternal gratitude to LGF
UPDATE: Comment from Sean: "They may be naked, but they have a point."
Uh, no. No, they don't: 1/18/2003: Iraq's Nuclear Program Revealed
Ben: Is the Rock-Harder party dedicated to eliminated the shame that prevents men and women from having sex when they both like each other?
Aperockets: The RockHarder party is dedicated to Rocking Harder
Aperockets: nothing more, nothing less
Ben: But I'm more of an acoustic kind of guy. Do I have a place in the Rock Harder party?
Aperockets: Outside, taking people's coats
Ben: I'm touched. :-)
Aperockets: suitably so
Ben: So, no quiet moonlight lovemaking for me?
Aperockets: Not where anyone can see, no
Ben: Damn, that's harsh.
Aperockets: I know
Aperockets: but you have to rock hard
Ben: Fuck man, I might have to make an opposing party.
Aperockets: It's a democracy
Ben: The "Quiet Melody" party.
Aperockets: They're not my party
Aperockets: but my blog supports them
Ben: Who started the Rock Harders?
Aperockets: In fact, I am frightened by some of their hard-liner tendencies
Ben: I thought it was you.
Aperockets: They've been around since time began
Aperockets: It's like that question, can God make a rock that even he can't move? Only in this case, it's "Can God Rock so hard that he gets tired out and no longer rock?" The RockHarders seek out that level of rock. The God-tiring rock.
Ben: It is good you have a blog.
Aperockets: It is very good.
Someone's telling me something.
If you misspell "blogspot" when you're typing in my url and you accidentally put "blogpsot," you'll be taken here: Aarons Bible (the lack of apostrophe is all Aaron.)
Oh, wait. I was going to eke a whole entry out of the fact that someone had chosen to rip off my URL, but then I tried a little test (typing in fuckwad.blogpsot.com), and it appears that Aaron who loathes apostrophes has total control of the entire "Blogpsot" domain, fuckwads and all. And more power to him, say I.
Uhmm... well, shit. Aaron has completely robbed me of subject matter. You'd think he'd have enough, what with the entire friggin' Bible, New AND Old Testament, but apparently that just isn't enough for some self-righteous domain-hogging Jeebus-loves-me doucebags. Couldn't even have the decency to exclusively rip off the HFT url, just to give me something to write about. Well, that just steams my clams. And I hope Aaron's allergic to seafood.
This Just In: Everybody and their insane blowhard mother is running for President in 2004. Of course, all these exploratory commitees and press conferences are essentially one big useless pissing contest, as the one party everyone knows will make all the difference in the coming election has yet to even think about selecting a candidate: The RockHarders, the only political organization that has HFT's one-hundred-and-one percent complete support (we were born with that extra percent, you know you're jealous.) We will make no pretense of journalistic objectivity here when it comes to the drinkin'est fuckin'est party ever to rock our fragile representative democracy: these guys kick ass, take names, then submit those names to their larger, more intimidating friends who can come back and kick the same ass again later.
The RockHarder's platform consists of the following issues: Price and availability of quality drugs, the Constitutional protection of a citizen's right to play Playstation 2 all night and not talk to his girlfriend, figuring out why the hell Brad's couch smell all, like, funny, and the immediate establishment of The Department of Drum Solos. To assist them in finding the perfect candidate, we are conducting a reader poll: who do you, fine upstanding citizen, feel would make the first Rock-Hardering President?
Results tomorrow. Or, you know, whenever.
There's a big bloody cut on my wrist, and here's the part where I say it's over, done, kaput, goodbye, they'll all be sorry now.
Unfortunately, I'm not that blogger. I'm not draped in black and I'm listening to Hey Mercedes, not Skinny Puppy. The cut is from a four-by-four piece of timber that decided to put its big sharp woody corner right in the tender part of my pale wrist this afternoon at Loew's, where we were buying wood to build the set for the next show. Then when we got up to the "Commercial Sales" register, lugging about a national forest's worth of lumber and a cart full of discount drills, the cigarettey old woman said someone at the district hadn't paid off the P.O., and no, we couldn't take the wood if we couldn't pay for it. Fair enough, old bird, but if I'm going to slice open my wrist I want it to MEAN something.
Like, say, for punishment. Like, say, for somehow misplacing a seventy-eight dollar paycheck. Which I actually, I think, did this week, if you can believe it. You ever think to yourself "Remember that you're putting this here! It would be awfully easy to forget!" Yea, one of those things. I think it's somewhere in my room, but finding a tiny scrap of paper in my room is like finding a specific cracker in the ol' cracker factory, that is to say: THOSE FUCKING CRACKERS ARE EVERYWHERE, G. I don't think my room has pesky theiving rodents, but if it does, some mouse probably dashed off to the mouse bank, cashed it, and is currently blowing the wad on mouse-coke and mouse-whores.
For some reason, the idea of mouse-whores makes it seem not so bad. Wait, who the hell am I kidding? Seventy-eight fucking dollars. Of course it's bad. That's twelve hours of work I'd rather not have disappear in a whisp of absent-minded smoke. I've already lost way too much to that damn smoke, sometimes it seems like I have nothing but.
Seventy-eight fewer dollars for a digital camera, or college tuition, or real whores. Damn. Of course, I suppose if I look at it the right way, I never had the money at all. Why, if I'd worked more that week, it wouldv'e been a HUNDRED dollars, and then I'd be even more pissed off, if only because a hundred has three digits instead of two. Or the fact that I'm losing money right now by not having a fabulously well-paying and glamorous job putting shoes on horses or calling field hockey games, or whatever it is the kids are doing to earn pocket-money these days.
I feel like I should stop looking at things "the right way" and start "not forgetting shit all the time." Yea, sounds good.
12 years I've been in school.
That's three presidential administrations. Three-fourths of my life, that is. Twelve bloody years.
And yet today, in Creative Writing, the teacher pulled out an overhead with a little happy stick-figure mountain climber guy who was facing a long line with lots of peaks and valleys, a plot diagram. And then she explained to us what this whole plot thing was about.
And I thought, just let me write. Seriously. Skip the lecture and we'll write. I'll take that little mountain climber guy up the mountain, down again, underneath, whatever. Maybe he'll get in a break-dancing competition with some mountain goats. Maybe he'll get his hat stolen by a sneaky sherpa. Just, whatever you do, please don't explain resolution again. I get it. Really. Twelve goddamn years.
At the same time I'm complaining about the lack of intellectual rigor in one class, I'm dropping out of another because it's too much work. Honors Chemistry, which has been the bane of my existence since early August. You thought the syphillis was the bane of my existence, maybe, or the knowledge that my string of gleeful hitchiker-slaughterings will someday come back to haunt me. Well, you were wrong. Bleeding sores and racking guilt have nothing on ionic nomenclature, my friends.
Try as I might, I'm just not a science guy. I think, like most things having to do with the inner workings of the universe, it's interesting in broad strokes. But when I actually have to get in there and muck around with exothermic reactions and sulfuric acid, I'm useless. I need one more science credit to graduate, but whether it's Honors Chemistry or regular, simple worksheets, easy labs, and nap-taking regular Chemistry, I still get the credit. So guess which one I'm in now?
If you guessed regular Chemistry, where we're just starting things we were supposed to have fully grokked back in September in Honors, you're correct. Your reward? The satisfaction that can only be found by grasping the sheer magnitude of my bloated sense of lazzzzziiiinessss. Congratulations. I just grasped that magnitude myself. It's pleasingly gigantic.
Not as huge as Alecia's laziness. I'm not even sure she actually GOES to school anymore. Which is fine, as long as she keeps celebrating God's precious gift of purity by imbibing tremendous quantities of God's precious gift of alcohol. I was thinking, in Creative Writing class, you know, the one with the plot diagrams and happy mountain climbers, and later, nap-time and graham crackers if it continues with its regression back to second grade, you really couldn't ask for a better character than Alecia, which is probably why her blog gets so much link-love. Although if it turns out she really does like this twenty-four-year-old she's dating, I will have to dismiss her as a total sell-out and start taking applications for a new Hard-Living Slut friend.
We are close to reaching the saturation point for the Getting All Of DC's Friends Blogs project: Matt and Jack now have a joint blog. You know you guys can configure it so it actually says "Posted by Matt" or "Posted by Jack," right? Although the fact that everything says "Posted by Matt and Jack" does give it that kind of cute, hetero-life-mate flair we've come to expect from you two jokesters.
25th Hour: It's not often you see a movie that's mostly just talking. This one is. And it's also mostly some of the best performances I've seen on screen in a while.
On screen in the living room is Futurama, which is now on the Cartoon Network four nights a week, because life is all sunshine and daisies, thank you very much.
I promised Alecia a post if she'd change her blog's title from the ever-popular (and ever-puzzling to outsiders) "Just Screechin' and Bonin'" to "This Means Whore," which she, in turn, did. And then, instead of posting, I did my homework and went to sleep, like a stupid homework-doin' to-sleep-goin' BASTARD. I won't say the fact that I neglected the poor blog here kept me up. But I did dream about being chased by ninjas peeved at my lack of updates over the past weekend. When ninjas get peeved, they throw sharp chunks of metal.
So here I am, updating.
The bold letters are usually for when I switch topics, but I'm not ready for that yet. However, I've already placed the tag, so there's no going back now. I just wanted to point out that Motivational Ninjas will doubtlessly be the wave of the future. Pep-talks? Former NFL stars coming to your workplace to lecture you about how you can "run in for the big score," even when all you're doing is calling old people and fooling them into signing up for long-distance service? A relic, my friend. From now on, if someone wants you to get something done, a parchment will appear on your doorstep one day, written in Japanese characters, with a translation below reading, "File your taxes or GET KILLED BY NINJAS."
Shit, the bell rang. Now I have to go to class, or, you know, get killed by ninjas. What would you do?
Oh dear sweet blog, I am not worthy of your loyalty.
But that doesn't change the fact that I'm tired.
Got ninety hits today (Sunday) without writing a word. The world is doubtlessly unjust, but we never complain when it's unjust in our favor.
Coolest. Morning. Ever.
It was like the clouds got tired and descended on our little desert paradise. I've seen, maybe, five mornings like this in my entire life (born and raised in the P-H-X, what can I say.) They never get old. Everything looks different, and the air feels crystalline and wet, and you just keep expecting something mysterious to loom up out of the gloom, like a Ringwraith, or some hellhounds are something, but nothing appears except the yellow road lines ten feet in front of you, other people's headlights, and eventually...school. I would've prefered a Ringwraith, tell you what.
It would've been a perfect morning for Pinback, if my car had a stereo and I had their CD. But alas, I had neither, and the radio is on the fritz again so my misty morning soundtrack was a remix "The Streets," one of the seminal works of Dub C featuring Doggs both Nate and Snoop, as well as X-Zibit, on Power 92.3.
Some of us threw caution to the wind and decided to take pictures while driving like skinny maniacs through the thick morning air-dew, throwing caution to the wind to capture the moment for blogternity. By some of us, I mean Alecia, who's not that great of a driver when visibilty is good and she isn't grappling with a digital camera. But we thank here at for her sacrafice anyway, and here at HFT we thank people by stealing blatantly from them, note the pretty fog picture up top. Plus she has what may be THE quinessential picture of me, counting up change to see if I could get me an expensive-as-hell movie theatre soda before Adaptation last night.
The soda I would eventually purchase in quarters and dimes may be my last for a while. I'm actually giving this whole "nutrition" voodoo a crack, to see if I can get working out to stick. You know those numbers on the back of the Pringles can? Yea, apparently those mean something, although I always assumed it had something to do with their Delicioustasity Factor.
We tried to convince our Humanities teacher to let us go play hide-and-seek in the fog. I had the perfect hiding spot picked out: The fog. But he said no.
A lecture about long-dead Romans teaches me nothing compared to playing hide-and-seek with a bunch of eighteen-year-old high school seniors at nine on a foggy morning, I wanted to say. Number one lesson that could've been learned: Hide-and-seek is awesome. I already know that. But reinforcement is always necessary.
Anything I say to you is gonna come out wrong anyway
Yea, you may have walked through Central Park with someone who would one day be Star Search contestant.
You may very well have, boy-o. And that's fine, so have I, as of tonight. So now we share a common life experience, you and I, something we can discuss over drinks, a starting point to the gentlemanly conversation we can have now that we're on equal footing, at least where previous associations with Star Search contestants are concerned. That's nice.
But you have not walked through Central Park with this Star Search contestant.
And I have. So I'll understand if you want to slink shame-facedly from the room at this point.
The girl pictured is Melanie, the finest, sweetest, smartest most down-to-earth model/actress I have ever had the privelege of sharing the stage, and then a year or so later, a peanut butter cookie from a shop in Greenwich Village with. Later we were insulted by world's most bitter comedian Marc Maron in the Comedy Cellar while her Judo expert psuedo-boyfriend sat hand-rolling cigarettes. It was a good night, and I promised myself the only thing I'd fall in love with was the city, and I'd like to think it's a promise I've kept.
She lost by one stinkin' point. Man, what is with you, American Viewing Public?
Saw Adaptation, finally.
There's no genre that has a tendency to trip into self-absorbtion and tedium than writers writing about writing. So a movie about a writer writing about writing, well, what can you expect?
Apparently, when the movie is written by Charlie Kaufman and directed by Spike Jonze, a lot. Even when it's a movie about a writer writing a movie about a writer struggling to write a movie adaptation of a book about a writer. This may be the closest we'll ever get to seeing Dave Eggers' A Heartbreaking Work Of Staggering Genius on the big screen. They share the same self-aware conceit: That you can use a cliche as long as you note, loudly, that you're using it. And both works take it one step further, by noting the fact that even though they're being detached and ironic about the cliches, that in itself is a cliche. The author then proceeds to beat himself up about it, to our delight and amusement.
In anyone else's hands, it might just seem cynical and self-absorbed. It seems cynical and self-absorbed here, too, but they manage to find a really good movie among all that. Funny, moving, touching, especially for those of us in the "Sheltered Awkward Writers Who Get Nervous Around Women" camp. (This is a pretty lame camp, by the way, and I'm still waiting for a care package from mom and dad.)
Was it my favorite movie ever, like it was for Kate? No. Not by a long shot. That place of honor belongs to another "writer" movie. But if it fairs well on repeated viewings, it may just get up there, among the Lord Of The Ringses and Star Warses and American Beautyses at the top.
Any movie where the two main character's names can be combined to make the first two thirds of my own (in this case, Charles and Donald) and "Alison" by Elvis Costello, the greatest song in the history of songs, plays in the background at a party is a winner in my book.
The problem is, it's a book about a writer writing a review about a movie about a writer writing...yea, you get the idea.
Big ups again to Brian
This is awesome.
If you purchased a "recorded music product" between 1995 and 2000, you're entitled to anywhere between five and twenty bucks because of a class action lawsuit over CD price fixing.
The music industry would never be in this mess if they'd have listened to my advice. A CD should cost five bucks. No more, no less. If a CD cost five bucks I would immediately take ten bucks of my paycheck every week and go get a couple of new albums. I might actually be able to take chances at the record store for once. That's ten dollars a week they'd get from me, twenty, if I was feeling generous. As of now, they get about twenty every couple of months, if they're lucky. And it's the same story all over town.
Link via The Agitator
No, we are not supermodels.
I checked in the mirror this morning, and the above statement is still true for me, and probably for you. But it's okay. There is hope.
No, we are not supermodels.
Which is why we have blogs, and guitars, and souped-up cars, the military, and the space program. Anything that requires any sort of great effort, even if it seems superflous. Animals are designed to make more animals. They survive so they can make more animals. How do they do it? Hint: It's the reason the Mormon kid had to leave the class that fateful day in sixth grade when the teacher was going to put in that video about...changes.
We survive so we can make more animals. And cult hoaxes aside, so far there's only one way we can do this.
Everything else? Everything else is a placeholder. The Coliseum, the concrete struts of the underpass, the Pythagorean Theorum, "Are You Experienced?" All things people did to pass the time between the time between the sheets, usually things to hopefully decrease the interval between those times. You know The Coliseum was just the Roman equivalent of a Dave Matthews song or a dozen roses and a bad poem.
"All this marching up and down and cheering and waving flags is simpIy sex gone sour."
This is not an original thought. It's just true, and worth repeating, 'till you think maybe the world itself is maybe someone's great big attempt to get some.
Senioritis is a cliche. But a damned valid one.
I wanted to be in school today. Really, I did. I could've thought of places I'd rather be (bed, San Diego, in your arms oh girl oh girl). But it was better than being, say, at work. The people were nice. I missed them, especially Chelsea W., who I only have one class with now. It was a beautiful day but I didn't mind spending it inside neglecting work with fun people.
The pain of it was the work. The WORK. They keep wanting me to do things, the large people, who apparently have some sort of authority, and sit at the front of the room. They hand me things and expect me to give them more than a cursory glance before I start doodling on them and throwing them at people. They want me to do things for them at home. It's ridiculous. Don't they realize that "Class of 2003" means something? I used to know WHAT, exactly, but I assume it has something to do with the changing of the year and the fact that I can literally feel my brain atrophying and rappeling, cell by cell, down out of my ear to seek refuge in warmer heads. I stomp on them as they run, and emit a guffaw from my drooling idiot mouth. Serves them right.
I don't want to do anything but read and blog and sleep and play video games and Risk and listen to Death Cab and Pinback.
Pinback is a fucking good band, by the way. Thank you Nicole.
Speaking of bands, in a monumental event that only occurs once or twice every presidential term, I purchased a CD today. Granted, I had a gift certificate, but it was at Sam Goody, which is the most moronic music store in the history of recorded sound, so even with the ten dollars from Aunt Angie the damn thing ended up costing me nine bucks. I blame Sam Goody, not Angie. I think I'm a better person because of it.
Anyway, I got Yankee Hotel Foxtrot by Wilco, which, despite being roundly praised as the best album of the year in critical circles, manages to be a really, really good record. "Jesus Etc," "Heavy Metal Drummer," and "I'm the man who loves you" are favorites right out of the gate, but it's all good. I think "Ashes Of American Flags" is maybe the sexiest song ever, not in a Marvin Gaye kind of way, but in the sense that it feels like resignation and darkly lit rooms and things I don't have words for. Smoky and mysterious. Good song, anyway.
I apologize for the slim post. But hey...SENIOR!! Yea, exactly.
Oh, all you hipsters can rot in hell, where all they play is Top 40 radio.
Except Nicole, who is tolerant and understanding of people whose musical taste doesn't necessarily hinge on whether or not a band's name starts with "Belle" and ends with "Sebastian."
Winter Break is gone. It packed its things like my grandparents, and left, like my grandparents will do at three o'clock this afternoon. Is Winter Break also going back to Pittsburgh? Who the heck knows. If someone could catch it at the airport, that would be great. I could use a few more days of sleeping in.
Here I am in second hour, with a terminal lack of anything interesting to say. I had fourth hour Advanced Studies (the king of BS classes) last semester, this semester, it's this hour. I'm used to having this class when I'm already through with the dread specter of Honors Chemistry, but with my schedule the way it is now, I have an extra free fifty two minutes to do my homework for that class. In fact, the only thing I'll have to do at home now is Humanities.
But I won't.
Weapons Of Mass Destruction was voted "Word Of The Year," despite the fact that words interspersed with spaces are usually known as "phrases."
What I find most alarming is the word "Neuticles," voted the year's most outrageous. It apparently is the name of a brand of fake testicles for neutered pets. What alarms me isn't that there is such a product, but that, with a name like "Neuticles" and a use like...you know...that it completely escaped my attention up until now. Are there other hilariously titled prosthetic pet organs I'm unaware of? This scares me.
Neuticles Neuticles Neuticles. Oh, mercy.
It's going to be a long semester.
Link via Instapundit
I was supposed to go see Chicago tonight, but myself, Trevor, and Jack were unceremoniously ditched by the girls that were supposed to accompany us. And as much as we wanted to be three teenage boys at a musical...yea, exactly.
I really do want to see it, though. And Adaptation. And About Schmidt. I really miss having a dedicated movie-going partner, because getting your friends to agree to see the same movie is like organizing a coup of an oppressive third-world regime. Wait, no, that shit is way easier than getting my friends to agree on a movie. Hell, I'll overthrow the Castro government in much the same amount of time as it takes to get everyone to the same theater at the same time and not bitch and moan.
We ended up at Matt's aunt's house playing board games with his family. And as lame as that sounds, and as much as I want that to be a front for something dirty and dangerous, like some kind of Hong Kong hooker drug-dealer shoout-out rendezvous (which is actually the name of my uncle's restaurant), it was quite a lot of fun. Mostly because his cousin is purdy and laughs at my jokes, and she's moving to New York like somone else I know. So what if she's twenty-four? If Aayliah taught me anything before she was, you know, killed in a plane crash, it's that age ain't nothin' but a number. Oh, and apparently, throwin' down ain't nothin' but a thang. Trevor, you owe my five bucks.
On a note that is only related by the presence of late R&B pop sensation Aaliyah, evidently, when you die, you become wallpaper in all your friend's rap videos. See also: Everything Missy Elliot has released since last year. When I die, I know I want all of my closest pals and relations to have giant spray-painted pictures of me everywhere, preferrably with the caption "Thug Angel." Got that, guys?
You know when a person you hate likes your favorite song? Yea, I got a Google hit tonight that reminded me of that feeling. So revolting (and poorly spelled, at that) I won't even link it or mention it for comic effect. Ugh. I don't want you looking at my site, person who likes...that. How do you even turn on the computer?
Of course, maybe this is karmaic revenge for running the Herpes Hit-A-Thon. (Fifty herpes-related hits by the end of January, remember?) You want to get hits with something gross? Here, how about THE GROSSEST THING EVER.
In other news, I've gotten seven HERPES HERPES hits since the beginning of the 'Thon. That shit is just as contagious on New Year's Eve as any other time, people.
In other other news, if this picture is any indication, a girl with very pretty eyes permalinked me today. Wasn't that sweet?
And to continue tonight's theme of bloggers-blogging-about-blogging, a long time ago (can't find the link in the ol' archives because I'm lazy) I said it was my mission to get all my friends blogging. Alecia was probably the first to take me up on the offer, and has definitely been the most successful, if blog success is defined by permalinks and hits. She doesn't have a hitcounter, but if she did it would probably double mine, easy.
The Reason? Glad you asked. Hot, Smart, and Funny will get you almost everywhere in life, and the blogosphere is absolutely no exception. Need proof? Look at Madpony. Look at Cliff Yablonski. Look at this. H-O-T spells S-U-C-C-E-S-S, which sort of seems spelled wrong in the first place.
I, for one, am proud of her. She used to write hilarious things on Free Open Diary, and then not update for months. Killed me, it did. But it turns out all she needed to become a prolific web-publisher was the remote adulation of countless legions of weirdos with nothing better to do. (Although, in the case of The Ward, weirdos with bitchin' web design skills and funny posts.)
Meanwhile, we here at Ham Fisted Theatrics are still looking for someone willing to trade Hot for some old sweaters and Elvis Costello's "Imperial Bedroom", which I got for Christmas and really am not all that fond of. Hot is the final key to blog success we just can't seem to find. We can only be so witty and have SO many pictures of Norm from Cheers, here, people.
I REALLY only care about sports four or five times a year, but I'd like to think I pick important times to do so. Tonight was one of those times.
I used to be a huge, HUGE ASU football fan. The Piersons have been season ticket holders since God was knee-high to some larger more imposing god, and my dad and I used to go to all the games. He still does, in nicer seats, usually accompanied by my stepmom and little brother. But there was a time when every Saturday night was spent rooting on the maroon and gold. The highlight of that period was the 1997 Rose Bowl.
"You want to go?" my dad said.
I laughed it off.
"No, really." And so we did, after an all-night roadtrip to Pasadena, and trips to both Del Taco and In-and-Out-Burger (California delicacies at the time which have since become hometown late-night staple foods.) It was glorious. Exciting up until the very last second. It was the last time Jake Plummer every impressed anyone on the field. It was also a heartbreaking defeat for the Sun Devils, and the party responsible was the Iowa State Buckeyes. And oh, how I hated them.
Tonight, I buried the hatchet. I said, Buckeyes, I feel bad for ya. Everyone says you're going to be crushed by the juggernaut that is Miami. I have never been crushed by a juggernaut of any kind, but I imagine it sucks a heck of a lot. Even the word "juggernaut" sends me running from the room yelling "Don't crush me!" Pops says it's important to root for the underdog.
So, Ohio State, when the big black guy in Miami garb started hooting and running around the sports bar tonight, prompted by some first-quarter finesse from the Hurricanes, I felt it necessary to holler "Flag on the play!" even when there wasn't one. And when you snagged couple of absolutely unbelievable interceptions, I revelled in your triumph. I watched as you took it to the next level, gave a hundred and ten percent, and every other sports cliche in the book, and I said "Why not take it to a level after this one? Why not give a hundred and FIFTEEN percent?" And when ABC's cameras showed us a couple of stunning co-eds in red caught up in the drama of the fourth quarter, I felt the overwhelming urge to find out about application requirements for Ohio State University. I believed in you, Buckeyes.
And you came through for me, and possibly also for the millions of people who actually followed your season and know the names of your players. You didn't get crushed by the juggernaut. You did whatever it is one does when one is not crushed by a juggernaut, but instead rises to its challenge and beats it in double overtime. So, from the heart of a boy who often couldn't care less about sports and who's not quite sure what the rule on pass interference is, thank you.
Got a checking account today.
Monumental, I know. But you have to understand that up until this point, my most complex savings system consisted of a Spam can full of pay-stubs and the occasional bill of large denomination. I would've gotten a bank account earlier, but you have to be eighteen to open one, and I didn't want to drag a parent the whole block and a half to the bank inside Fry's. I don't actually plan to use the checks, but having an ATM card is nice. Hopefully it will provide more net gains than Spam-Can-Full-Of-Twenties, which I always suspected didn't pay out any actual interest.
This officially counts as my entry until the world of High Finance. My next moves are converting all my liquid assets into Fabrege eggs, subscribing to Rocket-Yacht Enthusiast, buying two third-world countries on the eastern coast of Africa, placing titanic amounts of high explosives along their borders, detonating it, and seeing which one collides with Australia. Wagers will be placed by myself and other multi-trillionaires. I'm thinking Entrea and Djibouti, which I had not heard of until seeing this map just now. Three railroads and an orphanage on Djibouti. It looks way more aerodynamic.
I have to work at seven tomorrow. After I win the Collide-With-Australia I am SO quitting my job.
Winners never quit.
But even winners have curfews.
I fought Matt to a transatlantic standstill in Risk tonight, (a bunch of us played) but he had to be home at midnight.
The pain, the pain of it all. So we called the game. In a way, we both won. And in the way that I didn't win, no one won. Argh. We resolved to start at six next time instead of eight, since it takes a while to conquer the world decisively. I know, I know. If we were truly Fucking Hardcore™, we would've played through, curfews be damned. But I never claimed to be Fucking Hardcore™. It was a tie.
After everyone left, I played Snood instead, because I had to win at something, dammit. And I beat my high score by four thousand points, just to satisfy my inner Napoleon.
Au contraire, you have not provided me with baguettes as promised.
Shut up, inner Napoleon.
It is with great trepidation that I link to Snood. I'm assuming most of you have played it already, but if you haven't...oh my. If you should follow the link, be ye warned: it will swallow your life, but not whole. It will swallow your life in little tiny pieces, so's you don't notice your life is being slowly consumed by this deceptive bit of shareware. I was a certifiable Snood addict a year or so ago. I remember when I introduced my girlfriend at the time to it; it was like a heartbreaking scene in a movie about drug addiction, only with little colored icons taking the place of smack or coke or what have you. We'd be on the phone at night, and we'd reach an eerie silence in the conversation:
Are you playing Snood?
No. Are you?
What? AW FUCK, I MISSED THE-- What? No.
It destroys lives, and homes, and grades. I'm fairly convinced it jumps out of your computer at night and carjacks old ladies. It's terrible. And terribly fun. I broke myself of the habit eventually, but I reinstalled it a couple days ago, 'cause what else am I doing. The answer, apparently? Less than nothing. I've been playing it so damn much it's sad. Playing Snood and listening to Death Cab and enjoying not having anything better to do for once.
Am I really this pathetic? If we follow the dictionary definition of "Arousing sorrowful pity," then, most definitely. But if you should make the mistake of looking at the word ABOVE pathetic in the dictionary and think that pathetic means "a member of the prinicipal ethnic group of Afghanistan," then, hell no, I'm not pathetic. I've never even been there, for cryin' out loud.
Tony Pierce has resolved to try and update twice a day and have at least two really quality posts in a week. I think that's an honorable goal, although I think seven obscenely mediocre ones about computers and Risk should count as one really good post.