I dip my hands in the Pacific Ocean to wash off all the blood. I’m bent over; a little wave laps up, and by the time it rolls out my khakis are soaked but at least my hands are clean. Now if I could find my sandals I’d leave, but I’m not so sure I’d want to go back to the party.
Tom Werring, I just basically reorganized his face outside Lisa Baxter’s house in what started out as a drunken crowdpleaser but turned into assault and battery. Shouting woke up neighbors, neighbors called cops. Blue and red whirling lights pulled me off of Tom and when everybody else bolted for their cars I made a b-line for the beach, which is just down the block because Lisa Baxter is fucking loaded.
I shook teeth loose from his skull and somehow end up feeling like he’s the lucky one. There are liquid parts of him on the pavement, and dribbling down the street, and until recently on my fists and just now in the ocean, making the Pacific one zillionth Tom Werring, a great big diluted blood cocktail. Actual cocktails, and straight rum, and keg beer, make this all make sense. There’s only me in me, and a little bit in Melissa, Tom’s sister.
I think that’s why the fighting, but I’m not sure and it doesn’t really matter. All that matters is that in days an infinitesimal bit of Tom Werring will be washing up on the coastline of the French Riviera and that makes me jealous because I’ve never been to Europe.
All better now.
Pretty girl plus Christopher Guest movie will do that.
Actually, to be honest, I wasn't too terribly fond of the movie. A Mighty Wind, that is. It was no Best in Show, which was no Waiting For Guffman, which was no This Is Spinal Tap. There were just too many damned characters. It seemed like Guest, in a rush to fit in all his (admittedly talented) improv buddies, forgot what made his previous movies so funny, that is, the audience really getting a feel for the people onscreen. Here, we just get caricatures, one or two-joke sketches of these folks before we move on to the next one. Does it have its moments? Sure. Does it have Parker Posey? Yes, but not enough. Is there such a thing as enough Parker Posey? Perhaps only time will tell.
And while I'm in a criticizing mood: Was anyone else left kind of cold by Matrix: Reloaded? It just-- (WOOT WOOT!) What's that sound? Why, the analogy train is comin' round the bend! Let's all hop aboard and see where it takes us!
We had to do this project in Creative Writing last semester, writing the first five pages of a screenplay, as well as an outline for the rest of the film. People got really excited by that prospect, the fact that they only had to actually write the beginning of something. The kids in my writing group would turn in these five densely packed pages, full of car chases and disguises and mysterious phone calls, flashbacks to god-knows-what, plane crashes, that sort of thing. Set-ups that would get the audience wondering what the hell's going on.
And naturally, I asked. Who's calling? Who's conspiring against her? Why a monkey?
Uhmm...I haven't really figured it out yet.
The Wachowski brothers seem to be having the same problem. They've set up this fascinating universe, and it worked, for the first film. They got it and so did we. But now they have to hang around, and they've realized they never set any ground rules. What Neo can do, what he can't, that kind of thing. So now, his ability, the crux of the whole film, is being dictated by whatever cool stuff they want to show us and whatever's convinient for the script. Instead of the character shaping the narrative, the narrative, and the desire to pack that narrative with Escalades and Superman-style flying and specteral albino Rasta-men, are shaping the character, and the world he inhabits. Who's the French guy? Why the keymaker? Why won't Morpheus just shut the hell up for one goddamned second? They haven't really figured it out yet.
The car chase scene was bitchin', don't get me wrong. The problem is that, a week after seeing the movie, I couldn't even begin to tell you why it happened.
Lileks says it better than I do. Of course.
They're going to do a staged reading of the play I wrote first semester at the ASU summer student-productions festival, Moondance. I met tonight with my playwrighting mentor and ex-girlfriend's current boyfriend AJ, who's directing it. At my ex-girlfriend's family's house. Surreal? Yes. Helpful? Completely. Fun? Surprisingly so. He's a good guy, and I'm proud to have him at the helm. I've never collaborated on producing something I've written, and I think it'll be good for the script, and, in turn, for me.
The upshot: I have to retool and restructure the whole 113 pages in four days. Hopefully it will be closer to 90 when I'm done.
If you were to say to me right now that life was a strange and yet strangely wonderful thing, I'd probably agree with you.
Sorry for the pause in blogging, I was in California for Chuck's mom's wedding. That was fun.
I'm no longer in high school, as of last Thursday night. The last five days have been full of interesting stories but for some reason I can't muster the energy to talk about them. I think I might be sad about graduating, because I've been in a strange mood the past couple days, but I haven't thought a lick about that particularly. It's sad that my emotions are so strange and stilted even I don't know what I'm on about half the time. I have to poke and prod at my melancholy, looking for symptoms, probing for cause, like it's the flu or something.
I don't think I'm depressed, don't like being depressed, try to avoid it. I think it's a silly, self-indulgent thing to be, especially when you have it as good as I do.
Growing up: What the heck is the deal.
You should probably, no, definitely, be reading Guillermo's blog religiously, assuming you're not already.
NOTE upon reading this entry just after I posted it: Some people turn to the bottle when they're feeling down. Apparently I turn to commas. Sheeesh, look at 'em all.
Things were better back then, they always say, the people who were around back then, and you’ve always been afraid to admit you believe them.
You hear these stories. Men coming over to the new world, getting a job doing something hot or dangerous or both, sending his meager checks back to his family, dreaming of bringing them over too, but not ‘till he can guarantee they won’t be coming over just to do the hot or dangerous stuff. And then he does. And maybe later he owns the place. And one of those kids that comes over, years later he takes another boat, but not back to the home country, to some foreign land to fight for the only somewhat less foreign land that he just left, and he does it with bravery, grit, and determination, concepts such as irony and adolescent cynicism shaken out of him by seasickness and later by mortar fire. Because anything less than steel nerves and blind faith would get him killed, his buddy killed, his unit killed. He makes it. He comes back, he has a kid. Years later, that kid has a kid, and years after that, that kid has you.
All you can do is read books about their time, the sooty-faced man in the hellish factory, his mud-drenched son crouched in a hole in distant Europe. The great men of their times, the Abe Lincolns, the Churchills, and the no less brave but certainly less renowned legions at their command, they knew what time it was. They knew right from wrong. Light from dark. And if there was ever a question, they’d go to a wise old man from an era where the clarity of good and evil was even crisper, and he’d point the way. They’d look down it, see it was perilous and rough, but they wouldn’t deliberate. They’d pack a knapsack, breathe in, breathe out, and start walking.
You know where your car is. Where your school is. Where your girlfriend is. The locations of all the things that are supposed to matter, you have a pretty good grasp of. But what you really want to know is where, over the years, where they hid the really important stuff. Where they hid Truth. Where they put Sincerity so you couldn’t find it. If Trust sank with the Titanic, if Loyalty was hidden under a canvas tarp in the tiny cargo hold on the Hindenberg. Why we let someone paint everything shades of grey while we were asleep. Why we let our grandparents die and take all the wisdom with them before we can take it all down and put it someplace safe.
You want to have somebody point the way but even then you’re not sure you’d follow the wrinkly, trembling finger off into the woods.
I think a good epitaph for my grave, well, not like I'm considering dying, hells no, this not-having-school thing is way too much fun, but in case the unthinkable happens I want the following carved on my tombstone:
He always had some sort of crumbs on his face but he seemed nice enough.
I think that'd be appropriate.
I read a whole book today. Cover to cover. Stephen King's "On Writing." Not bad. His advice? Read a lot, write a lot. And don't use adverbs. I've already read two of the eleven books I picked up at the library yesterday. I wish this summer would never end, even though it's barely started.
I'm this week's Madpony of the week and you're not so sit on it, G.
Happy housewarming, Kristin.
Well, it's over.
Let's wrap this up front page USA Today color-graph style. Now presenting:
Pounds weighed, Freshman year: 180
Pounds weighed, end of Senior year: 157
Months waited after legally able to get drivers license to actually get driver's license: 8
Stop signs run resulting in T-boning by Acura weeks after receiving license: 1
Number of times favorite band changed: 3 (KMFDM freshman year, Radiohead sophomore, Creeper Lagoon Junior, realized having a "favorite band" was kind of a waste Senior)
Plays acted in, mainstage: 12
Plays acted in, one-act: 12
Hairstyles rocked: 3
Years of Spanish taken: 4
Spanish words retained: 24
Obscenely hot English teachers had: 2
Crushes had on redheads Freshman year: 1
Internet answer-sharing scandals avoided by cheating old fashioned way (girlfriend's study guide): 1
Plays written, one-act and mainstage: 5
Freestyle competitions won: 1
Friends named Chelsea had: 5
Friends who play guitar had: 6
Friends named Chelsea who play guitar had: 2
Years spent in Marching Band playing sax: 1/2
Times awkwardly shot out of the saddle in front of some girl's locker: 1
Times girl didn't even realize she was being asked out, subject changed: 1
Years Prom attended: 4
Girls kissed: 5
Virginities lost: 1
Times I wondered why people thought high school was so bad: innumerable
People I wish I had gotten to know better: see above
Years I wouldn't trade for anything: 4
This is what a nerd I am: I get songs stuck in my head like everyone else. But I also get words stuck in my head. And we're talkin' SAT words here.
Tonight I can't seem to get rid of panoply or panopticon, neither of which I had any idea as to what they meant, until I looked them up to link them just now. Although "panopticon" is pretty sweet: A prison so contructed that the inspector can see each of the prisoners at all times, without being seen.
Words are sexy. I don't care what anyone says.
Night 2 of recycling a creative writing assignment as a blog entry. If I was really smart I wouldn't tell you. But that wouldn't be very honest.
Regular posting will resume once finals are finito.
The cab driver was mumbling to himself in Arabic. Actually, I shouldn’t say it was Arabic because I don’t know for sure. It could very well have been Persian, or Pashtun, or Indian, even, for all I know. He was a brown guy speaking a different language than me, and not to me. To himself, under his breath, in the front seat of the cab at 2 am in New York City.
They call it the city that never sleeps but at this hour it could’ve fooled me. All the stores were shuttered, the only other traffic was the occasional garbage truck. If I would’ve rolled down the window and shouted out my accusation I’m sure the city would have jumped up with a start and insisted it was just resting its eyes. But I’m pretty sure cab windows don’t roll down.
At the club, the comedian had mocked me as I left the room with Melanie’s cell phone.
“Going to call mom and dad and ask for a curfew extension?” he said.
“No,” I shouted back, “I’m calling my grandma.” And I wasn’t kidding.
“I’ll be back a little late,” I said in the hallway outside. “Probably like two.” She insisted I take a cab back uptown, she’d reimburse me tomorrow. I didn’t argue, wasn’t in much of an arguing mood. After all, I was in a comedy club with a model I used to go to high school with. If her psuedo-boyfriend hadn’t been there, too, I probably would’ve asked for that curfew extension.
Then I realized he wasn’t talking to himself. He had one of those hands-free earpieces, he was mumbling into a cellular phone just like I had been doing in the hall of the Comedy Cellar. Maybe it was the dispatcher on the other end, but it didn’t sound like it. Someone was keeping him company. I imagined it was a woman, his girlfriend, maybe, his wife, maybe, waiting up for him. She’d be flopping around their terrible apartment in the Bronx, watching late-night TV, trying to stay awake ‘till he got home. And he was saying, in this unidentifiable undecipherable language, just one more fare, I just have to take this bourgeois brat uptown to the Waldorf Astoria and then I’ll go park my cab and count my tips and I’ll be home by two-thirty.
Or maybe she wasn’t in the Bronx, maybe he didn’t bring her with him when he came to the New World. Her family hadn’t let her come, or they didn’t have enough money for the both of them to make it, so he’s over here saving up so at this time of night she’d be ten miles away instead of ten hundred thousand. Maybe the meter running up my fare is being mirrored by the long distance charges, but on a night like this he just had to hear her voice.
We pulled up to the hotel. I don’t remember what the meter said but I gave him a twenty and told him to keep the change.
And I was thinking, if speculating on things like that and writing them down is what I want to do for a living, maybe here’s the place to learn how to do it.
Five months later, I was in another vehicle, mine. In my home state, in the parking lot of my high school. It was seven thirty or so at night, and I’d just left a dress rehearsal. There was no Arabic spoken in that vehicle. There was one word, in English. It had four letters and it shook my windows when I screamed it after realizing the reason my truck wouldn’t start is that I had left the lights on that morning, coming in at six thirty AM for rehearsal for another play.
Greg gave me a ride home, and told me how proud he was of me applying for schools besides ASU and actually intending to go to them if I got in. I explained the concept of Early Decision: whereby I’d have a better chance of being admitted to NYU if I applied, and probably get more money, but if they accepted me, I’d have to go. When he dropped me off, my dad and I went back to school to jump my truck. When I got home the second time, I finished my online application and sent it off. Yes, the dramatic writing program is great, and yes, the city is an education in itself, but that night I think the primary reason I wanted to go is that I wouldn’t have to drive in New York and if I wouldn’t have to drive I’d have no stupid trucks in which to leave the stupid lights on.
I hadn’t kissed a girl in six months and I had slept probably ten hours in the last week. People have done stranger things than applying Early Decision to their out of state dream schools under those kinds of circumstances.
At the beginning of the school year we had to write letters to our future selves in Creative Writing. We opened ours today. Here's mine.
Sweet Donny P-
Whatup homes. Not much, I hope. Or lots. Good things. I wonder what has happened in between today and the day you're reading this. Hard to predict, considering you're such a loose-cannon-pimp-daddy-2002. 2003, now, I guess. How are the ladies treating you? Are you going to NYU? I hope you are. Don't fuck it up for all of us, ya bastard.
Right now, if it interests you, "Favorite Things" is playing on the stereo and I have Advanced Acting after this, and my whole Senior year is ahead of me and it will only be a matter of moments before I'm reading this again, in the cosmic scheme of things, anyway. And in the way it will seem by the time you get to it. I hope this class is fun, and this year.
Remember this always:
"History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it."
People without the open diaries and all the trappings of self-record, how do they know what they thought a year ago? Half this stuff we must completely erase because it gets to start sounding so stupid, how do they remember it? They are disadvantaged by their inability to look back and go, "Wow, I was an asshole!" Poor guys.
You, you will always be recorded, charted, and checked for further review later.
I haven't blogged from the school library in a long-ass time and I figured now's as good as any, since I have simply become immune to schoolwork. Well, immune's not the right word. Physically incapable works better, I think. I tried to work on that stupid play this hour, and it's like my fingers just knew I was writing something for school. They were afflicted with temporary carpal tunnel, they hesitated and stumbled over the keys like a punch-drunk prizefighter past his prime. Kind of like me. I've been in the circuit too long, now I just have to take these last few punches, wait for the ref to hold the other guy's hand up in the air, spit out my teeth and duck the hell out of this ring.
All the library shelves are taped off, with handwritten Xeroxed signs reading "DO NOT ENTER: IF YOU NEED A BOOK-ASK FOR IT AT THE CIRCULATION DESK. THANKS!!" like they always are towards the end of the year. The other day we were in the computer lab in sixth hour and Trevor and I saw one of the more anal-retentive librarians actually measuring the distance between the shelf and the chair she was going to put the tape on, to make sure no one would even come close to their precious books in this late autumn of the scholastic season. The turnstiles full of young-adult novels isn't taped off. Neither is the reference section. Maybe I'll cop me a thesaurus and a crappy novel about dragons. Figure I've earned it.
Every time they hear the sound of the printer they swoop in from the so-called "Circulation Desk" to paw through the output. Probably because Drew in my sixth hour wrote something about the librarians being cunts or douchebags in Word and then set it to print 600 times. This was a while back. I see they still haven't gotten over it.
I think I'll go duck in to second hour Economics and see if they're eating. What better way to celebrate my last Tuesday of high school?
I've been flopping around in front of the computer for what's coming up on two hours because this semester I was supposed to write two one-act plays for my Advanced Studies class and I've so far only written one and there's only a week left in this semester.
Yes, I'll have the Procrastination Special with an extra helping of Procrastination and a cup of Procrastination on the side for dipping, please.
The problem is, I've had numerous ideas for this thing I'm supposed to write, and I get ankle-deep in them, decide they suck, and run screaming to the kitchen or the TV or bed and put it off for another day, tonight being no exception. Repeat until Wednesday when this is due.
My last play at MPHS was this last week, and now the Theatre Co. belongs to a new set of kids. It's sad, but freeing, in a way. Now I'm not working for the benefit or glory of some overarching entity. Now it's just me and the big, indifferent world.
Hello, big indifferent world.
And you are?
There are stabbing pangs of sadness where my heart would be if I hadn't traded my heart for cigarettes when I spent that month in the slammer. Now I'm going to finish out my last week of school and get a crappy-yet-better-paying-job, probably in telemarketing, and then go to New York. People will kill for lives like the one I have (and people kill for the sums I'm shouldering to furnish it, but I'm trying not to think about that so much.)
Does everybody feel like their blog is the most boring thing since white bread, or is it just me? Actually, I think white bread kind of shows me up. Wonder Bread has that retro-style rainbow packaging, Iron Kids has those fresh-faced uber-adolescents acheiving athletic glory, and white bread as a whole has a kind of secret-identity thing going on, since you know it was bleached to its unnatural palor but the question, dear friends, is WHY? White bread doesn't write blog entries that start out whiny and self-pitying then scold themselves in that same blog entry for being whiny and self-pitying only to return to complain about how dull that whole cycle just was. Come to think of it, white bread kicks pretty significant ass compared to me.
But that said, I still won't eat it unless it's the only kind of bread in the house. Wheat for life, suckas.
My eyes feel like ashtrays.
That make any sense? I'll bet it doesn't. Was up 'till 3 last night finishing this damnable synthesis project, but glory be, we did it.
Shoulda seen my first hour humanities class (the class the project was due in.) Like zombies, only less cheerful.
I'm going to nap my ass off this afternoon. Then I'll wake up, well-rested but assless, and ready to party. Or be in a play. You know, whateva.
You can feel it in the air and vibrating through everyone's collective unconcious, summer's coming. Blogs make it even worse, because half of the ones I read are authored by college folk and so that makes it seem like everyone in the universe is chanting in unison, if only fucking finals were over.
Finals don't faze me, ours aren't 'till next week. It's this week, this week whose name should be wreathed in flame and have that fart smell of sulfur. This week ass-loaded with a huge Humanities projects and an improv show and a play and a play I'm supposed to write and an awards ceremony, filled with dramatic tension between things I've been putting off and am loath to even start and things I really do want to do but there are just so damn many of them.
But of course, come summer when I'll probably be putting in eight hour bagging days, I'd probably capital-K Kill for a week like this.
Oh, and I have something closely resembling strep throat but not quite, that makes it painful to swallow and renders my voice a gravelly sack of fun. In the surfer parlance that naturally accompanies my new hair: Bonus!
Also I got bitched out for missing my performance date for a Shakespearean monologue in Drama, even though as the seventh hour bell was ringing I was in a doctor's office a few blocks away, lying on my side on that paper they put down, waiting for Dr. Kerr to show herself, thinking, "I'm going to miss my performance and get bitched out." How prophetic I was this morning. Also very ill.
Prom was fun this weekend. God, was Prom fun. Pictures to follow.
My little brothers' Easter candy bags are sitting out on the kitchen table, and out of one of them is protruding a big chocolate bunny in a box reading "Peter Candytail."
(Pulls from pocket disturbingly lengthy list reading "Possible Gay Pornstar Names." Makes note.)
The best part of X-Men 2 is that it has Anna Paquin, Famke Jansen, Halle Berry, and a very blue Rebecca Romijin Stamos, and also a hot Asian girl.
The second best part of X-Men 2 is Wolverine, and that there's not a lot of Cyclops, and the third best thing is Sir Ian McKellen.
The worst part of X-Men 2 is maybe three-quarters of the way through where the theatre fills with white smoke and you run into the lobby thinking "WEAPONIZED ANTHRAX!" but it turns out it was just a jackass with a fire extinguisher. That part is not likely to still be in the flick when you go and see it, and I highly recommend that you do.
So we all got free passes but now I won't know the ending until probably Monday.
Tommorrow night is Prom, and when the DJ's playing some terrible Faith Hill ballad and we're rocking slowly back and forth and I look into my date's beautiful eyes, what I'll really be thinking is but what will happen to the mutants?
But ten bucks says she'll make me forget about Professor X and Wolvie and the rest. At least for the night.
I dropped from Honors Chemistry to Regular back in January, because science makes me want to cry tears of boredom, and in Honors Chemistry, she probably would've made me figure out the chemical equations of my tears.
Somewhere between NaCl and H2O, I'd assume, but assuming always got points knocked off my lab grades.
So now I'm in regular Chemistry, and it's pretty much everything a lazy, lazy boy could ask for: half the time we don't even do anything, we just watch taped episodes of Forensic Files, and for the last couple of weeks we aren't even doing chemistry, we're doing a special unit on forensics. Right now, we're on fingerprinting.
Let me start off by saying I have the pimpinest right-thumb print in history. There's simply no doubt. We did an assignment where our groups would chose one finger out of our combined thirty (except for the Team Farming Accident, which had a meager twenty seven to pick from), put it on a piece of paper, attach it to cards with all our fingerprints, and trade with other groups to see if they could figure out whose it was. Our group selected my right thumb print, because as I said, it simply rocks ass. We traded with a group of girls, and I swear it turned them on. This is one sexy thumbprint we're dealing with here. The kind of thing you'd get tattooed across your back all big-like, but you wouldn't have to explain it to people because they'd be too busy being dumbstruck.
I've spent the last couple class periods staring into these loops and whorls, so perfectly transferred to paper, rolled with the delicacy of a seasoned fingerprinting veteran, not a smudge among them. And they're amazing. They look even better under a microscope, where there appears to be a good mile between every ridge. And if you stare long enough, one eye closed, it's no longer your fingerprint, it's an Aztec burial mound. It's an open letter from the time when we needed, badly, to keep our grip on things, namely branches as we careened from one to the next through the trees.
And if you stare long enough, you can see how we kept our grip when one of those branches snapped and it wasn't a branch anymore, it was a club.
And if Jimmy Buffet's playing softly on the lab stereo and you're the only one in here anymore but this is just more interesting than going to sleep on your desk back in the classroom, you can read the history of human civilization in your finger oils plus ink on a sheet of printer paper.
And the bell rings, and you recall that we have pattern-seeking minds: we read more into things then there are things to be read, and it's time for fourth hour.
The number 27 seems to be coming up a lot lately. Every time I look at the clock, it reads X:27. On MusicMatch Jukebox, 26 is too soft and 28 is too loud, but 27 is just right. The store I work at is Number 27. Everywhere I go it greets me like an old friend.
Am I a convert to numerology? No. I just decided to look for a pattern that wasn't there.
After I got my digital camera, I decided it might be fun, just for some artsy bullshit with no particular purpose, to take pictures of various manifestations of the number 27. My birthday, my brother's birthday, my stepmom's birthday, and my cousin's birthday are all December 27th. It's my brother's hockey jersey number, also his self-proclaimed lucky number. What better number could there be?
So I did. And like I said, it started showing up everywhere, to the point where I don't think, Another strange incidence of numerical repetition! I think, but of course. It's simply the best number there is.
Does it mean anything? Of course not. It's a double digit number, and there are only, what, ninety of those? Only sixty appear in the minute portion of the time. All those numbers are everywhere all the time, it only seems to be all over the place because I chose to notice it.
If it had been thirteen, it would be the same thing. Or guys named Steve. They're everywhere. Point is...
We naturally look for order in chaos. We want to see common threads running through all walks of life. And sometimes there are, that's when we discover things like relativity and gravity and that's when I fail science tests. And sometimes, the only threads are the ones we imagine. Sometimes, the noise of existence is just that: noise. This post was nothing but me enjoying rubbing nouns and verbs together, any meaning you got out of it was thanks to the gland in your brain that says all things ought to have meaning. And it would be nice if they did. But they don't, always.
And all you really have are your family, your friends, maybe, Springsteen and Paul Simon songs, and a lot of useless pictures of the number 27.
He says there's no doubt about it
It was the myth of fingerprints
I've seen them all and man
They're all the same
-Paul Simon, "All Around The World or The Myth of Fingerprints"