Is there a place in the world where people are just happy to appreciate things as they are? Where they read an article or story or poem and instead of criticizing it, they say, "wow, someone put a lot of effort into making that... Good for them!"?
What is the air like in this place? Would it be as fresh as a cracked orange? It wouldn't need to be. People wouldn't criticize smog. They would think about how great it is to be able to travel anywhere they want affordably or how useful electricity can be.
What is the food like there? Would it be made with the love and care of a Grandmother preparing Thanksgiving? It wouldn't need to be. People would realize, despite the bland taste, the nutrients were still giving them useful energy.
What is the classroom like there? Would the students quit moaning about homework and calling Shakespeare, "stupid?" Would they embrace the concept of knowledge and treat their peers with respect? Would they come to class on time and apply themselves in hopes of discovering something new? It wouldn't need to be.
Sunday, May 5, 2013
Is there a place in the world where people are just happy to appreciate things as they are? Where they read an article or story or poem and instead of criticizing it, they say, "wow, someone put a lot of effort into making that... Good for them!"?
Thursday, February 21, 2013
This week I had an assignment for class. I am ashamed to say I scoffed at it. To understand why, I need to explain that the past 6 months I have been writing lengthy papers about educational theory and connecting it to the classroom. That seems to make sense when pursuing a masters degree in education. So when the first assignment for my spring semester course was to:
write a poem that starts with "I am"
I was a bit shocked. I was a bit confused. I reread the syllabus and made sure I wasn't missing the analysis part or the essay accompaniment for the poem. That was it, just what you read above- write a poem that starts with "I am...". So tonite we sat in class and waited as nervous hands of graduate students that spend their whole day speaking in front of audiences slowly volunteered their voices and I am poems were recited. It was great. Every one was different and I learned so much about my classmates. And it was enlightening and applicable and easy- well except for that bit of nerve-building needed to raise my hand:
Monday, December 31, 2012
1. At the tail end of the year (last night) I watched a movie called Temple Grandin about an autistic woman who accomplishes great achievements despite having a number of difficulties she must overcome. She says, "every time you see a door, you should walk through it." That works well for her, and I think more people should give it a go.
2. The value of something should never be viewed as how much the price tag says it costs. That might be the cost, but the value deals with how much your life will be improved and, ultimately, what happiness will come from the investment. Furthermore, if you are already happy, you should buy less stuff.
3. Books, unlike any other system of communication, are whole complete worlds created for so many different types of enjoyment.
4. The frontal lobes and prefrontal cortex, typically associated with decision making, does not fully develop until around the age of 25. I learned this in two different circumstances this year. Once, in a car with a dad whose son is in his early twenties and once in an educational psychology classroom a few hours after overhearing high schoolers talk about how lame books are.
5. Weddings are great. the best part of this stage of my life is the abundance of Celebrations for Love.
6. Would you rather sit and watch a campfire, or sit and watch a river flow by? surefire debate starter/no wrong answer
7. Things that are hard usually get easier once you stop thinking about how difficult they are. This is true for me when I stand up in front of high schoolers and try not to sweat and stutter.
8. I am slowly approaching the day in which I don't feel silly wearing a full brimmed hat on a regular basis, but moving away from the age in which I don't feel silly with a moustache.
9. The Circle of Life is more than just a song about the jungle. It's also a song, that if you use it right, can ignite any type of party.
10. its a shame about the Big East.
Saturday, October 6, 2012
I'm in a culture slump. No, that's not a good term. Let's see if one appears. I am sitting with a tightly clenched jaw listening to people talk about education. Heck ya its important! someone just said. Stimulate it! Tough argument to combat. But then, the more I seem to listen, the less anyone ever talks about anything besides job training and guiding students towards where the jobs will be. That is fair. True. I don't have much of an argument here except the fact that no one should look at their life as a job. I hate that message. Hate is not the right word- disagree- denounce- dial-down maybe. Perhaps, in the light of attempting enlightenment, educators should allow other ideas to emerge. It is frustrating to have a whole country's worth of policy makers feel so strongly about something and have that something be shallow but also have everyone's best intentions at heart. Maybe it has always been this way and I just ignored it. I like to think that at some point people embraced learning because they wanted to figure things out. Not specific things like how to format the processor to upload the database to the server, but things. Just things. Those people that maybe want to make connections and learn new things that they can connect other things to so more connections are made and eventually they possess a broad world view and utilize that view to make wise decisions, including maybe some decisions about jobs and money, but other decisions too- ones that have nothing to do with jobs. Why aren't those people important? Why can't we encourage eighteen year old kids to do that? For every vocational school that tells them they can be making this much money by this date if they study this degree at this school, maybe there should be a person letting them know that if they buy a fuel efficient reliable car they can probably see a good deal of the country inexpensively by following these steps and maybe trying to talk to these sorts of people and avoid these sorts of people, but still spend less than what one semester of career training costs. That choice is a valid educational choice. Anyone that claims otherwise has seen a different country than me. And maybe if we encouraged this sort of education, one where money is just a tool utilized to reach your goals instead of a goal in itself, people will be more willing to share. I don't know, that is somewhat drastic, but I've seen it, I like it, and I want to teach it.
I'd like to fill out a fafsa and fly to Finland with the funds. Maybe there is value in that. I feel like for every beer bong drank in college, there should be ten American teenagers talking to Finnish citizens about life, and making connections. If we can't trust them, they're only kids, they might get taken, then we teach them, train them, and educate them that the world is a beautiful place and filled with beautiful people. Does this sound like an asshole writing jibberish about bullshit? When I reread it I come close to almost hitting delete, but it's 4:30 am, and I have nothing to do until 6 am, so I am going to keep it up.
I know, I get it- people need jobs to survive... but moreso I think people need to quit being so predetermined... I am all for people making an educated decision to follow a career path- heck I am enrolled in a path like that as we speak- BUT can everyone settle down a bit about the necessity to teach these youngsters job skills. If they are taught critical thinking skills, I feel like a logical next step would be the youngster realizing that s/he needs to get a job... or no, a life. Get a life in which a job is a part. But it is just a part if you want it to just be a part. Or if you are really passionate about this job- heck go for it. I don't want people to sit there thinking I am being anarchistic and plain silly with this because I am being serious. I don't think your job should rule you (unless you come to that decision on your own accord).
Monday, September 3, 2012
A little bird told me that 50-60% of people will be unable to determine what is being described in the passage above. The enjoyment arrives with the realization. OR is the enjoyment knowing that you figured it out when 50-60% of readers can't. You are better at reading and figuring than other readers may be if you believe these numbers. You did it, you know what will soon begin to sag. You grinned a gap toothed grin. It feels good right?
...Well ...honestly, I think I preferred the feeling of just figuring it out. I remember it. It took me about 2 minutes and then a light spun on and I said, "no doi!"
Monday, August 6, 2012
A man spoke to me a few weeks ago. He was addressing the incoming graduate students as part of a lecture on an endeavor we are all about to begin. It is a dangerous journey filled with deceit, violence, and gum chewing. He told us it would not be easy, but it will become easier with each day. He said we should look at it as an education, but not forget that we are acting within strict guidelines. He told us to buckle up and cover our asses. He was preparing us for student teaching.
As the man went on and on about not kissing the high school students and not hitting them with yard sticks my brain wandered. I found myself in a classroom with a trampoline for the floor and 5 fingered hands on the ceiling fan. Each misbehaving student in my class would be bounced from his seat up towards the ceiling where the arm of the fan would spank his hiney. He would fall back to his desk and begin his assignment. My classroom also had a vegetable garden, and each girl in my classroom that wore some sort of outfit that allowed her classmates to know the color of her undergarments would have to plant and grow a vegetable that was a matching color to that of her bra or underpants. Pink tomatoes, purple eggplants and leopard printed zucchini would all grow within my learning environment and then donated to the local food-bank as part of a lesson on building relationships within the community.
The man continued to speak though. I jotted a few notes down. They said things like, "TB test required. Find out what TB stands for," and "August 28-put head down, motor through." The whole while I was thinking of if I cannot show this man the respect of focused listening, how could I ask for my students to do so for me?
Then he dropped some words that hit me hard. He mentioned what century we are living in (21st) and that the times have changed. He promised us that students would be googling our names and looking to see what sort of beer pong photos there are of us on facebook and if we want their respects we should wipe ourselves from the internet. I was excited about the facebook part, figuring it might be healthy. Then I realized that maybe a student would stumble across the silly babblings of this site. Here they are talking about student's underpants and how they downloaded music illegally! How could this person be the one teaching my little Vesuvius?!
I am struggling with the decision. The only teacher I ever had that was on facebook had a profile picture of him flicking off a road sign that said Republican St. He was a great teacher. I was 30 years old in his classroom though. There will be little paste sniffing fourteen year olds all hopped up on boner juice and Justin Bieber gossip that may read this blog. you know what...
let 'em. Ain't no one learning from being kept in the dark. In fact, I'll tell them right here: one time, when I was your age, I threw a spitball at a student teacher in one of my math classes. And you know what, it was less than five years before I realized what a bozo I was. I also made fun of a peer for being real pale and looking like a vampire (before that was cool) and you know what, I still regret that all the time- really seriously regret it. You know what else? I was scared to just be myself and tried desperately to be someone I thought would appeal to my peers. I tried all sorts of illegal acts and made dumb decisions and hurt a lot of people I loved and I regret that about as much as Adam Sandler regrets Jack & Jill.
So- I was hoping this catharsis would help and I think I will keep this site functioning. It always makes a good story to get fired from your job for writing something stupid on the internet.
Friday, July 27, 2012
Anyway, I think it finally sunk in during a very transcendental moment in class yesterday. I have been taking classes to learn how to be a good teacher, and yesterday we were focusing on the importance of school wide initiatives to improve academics and behavior. As we discussed these techniques, in the back of my head I heard Steve Jobs say to me, "See- you need a closed system where things flow seamlessly from instance to instance." It was weird. I had just had a conversation with someone about how I don't care enough about computers and business to want to know how important Steve's corporate and technological actions were. I wanted to know about his thinking, the funny thing was, I just hadn't scratched below the surface of his preaching. He wasn't just talking about computers and devices needing to exist within a closed controlled system which flows so seamlessly a six year old can operate it- he was talking about humanity. Well, maybe that is taking it a bit far, but he was talking about more than computers and the Apple company (I think). And if he wasn't, I like him more now imagining him hiding civil philosophy within an ipod.
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
I recently read a report saying it was important to eat much less monocalcium phosphate if you have bad knees. I found this as weird, but the knee is a complex joint and monocalcium phosphate is a complex ingredient. The report went on to say that your Azodicarbonamide intake should be much higher than Calcium Peroxide intake if you want to keep your monoglycerides at a relatively even level. Monoglycerides help in the war on folic acid, so it is important to keep them happy. However, if your monoglycerides become partially hydrogenated, it is a cause for concern. There is a strict list of what you should and shouldn't partially hydrogenate if you are concerned about colon health in any way. For instance, the colon reacts similar to a cranky infant if it is overrun with partially hydrogenated soybean oil, but it is as happy as a clam if it itself is partially hydrogenated. A little TLC will accomplish this. Furthermore, don't mess with disodium dihydrogen pyrophosphate because that is a real thing that actually exists that someone created to promote color retention in frozen tater tots.
This report caught my eye mainly because of its headline "Palmitate and Beta Carotene are Silly Words."
Thursday, June 7, 2012
As I was writing this last night I had a hunch it wouldn't make it into the exchange of vows at our wedding ceremony. However, it is a true statement of my love for my wife:
If at any time, you are called upon to rescue the Universe from space invaders, I will fight beside you. And when I can no longer fight, I will write you long letters and shoot them into the stratosphere with my mail-ray.
Friday, March 23, 2012
Friday, March 2, 2012
Lodged up there between the back few molars, somewhere around the ice-sensitive teeth, is a grape skin. Stuck there since you sat down. Burrowed between your gum and tooth. No man's land. A strained tongue pulls at it fruitlessly. Stop lights turn red, radio stations air advertisements you don't hear. Only listening to the scraping of a thumb nail in the back of your mouth. Then, lifetimes later, a right turn, perhaps at high speed. You straighten the wheel, shift gears, and relax. The sweetest meal swallows down to your stomach. The tiny little grapeskin works a smile.
Thursday, February 23, 2012
So, I was reading through some* words I wrote last November as part of this great event and stumbled upon a part that I am going to delete, but feel as though it should see the light of day somewhere. Statements like that are what blogs are for. Statements like that are what CB radios are for. Statements like that are what most of the cable channels I see are for. So, before the delete key was struck, the ctrl-C key was struck and then some more keys and then the ctrl-v:
Saturday, February 4, 2012
So I'm sitting here quietly at the back desk of the hotel I work at and I'm pretty bored. I was flicking through old blog posts looking for some sort of inspiration to write about when I stumbled upon a comment regarding a post I made in 2009. A guy named Rob moseyed on up to the comment section almost a year after I posted the words and decided to pursue an act of persuasive propaganda. His post has merit and gusto and validity at times. His post is written with a confident knowledge. His post is the type of shit that makes me want to barf. I'm sorry to say that Rob, but it's true. When a man is just riffin' don't bombard him with know-it-all obvious fidelity and greed sentences that have been reiterated in every argument on the subject since 1999. Speak loudly and confidently and often, but when you speak please do so with the slight idea that maybe what you are saying isn't the word of our savior. Speak with humility and just because your brother owns a studio in Santa-Fe, doesn't mean you are an expert in audio. First off, why aren't you collecting vinyl records instead of CDs Rob? They have a higher level of fidelity, everyone knows that. Secondly, why are you making a point about fidelity when I was trying to make a point on ownership? Owning a bunch of mp3s is not much different than streaming a bunch of mp3s if you are looking for high quality jams to pump out of your Bang and Olafsun tweeters. Shit Rob! you gone and made me upset for some reason. Don't be a know-it-all-my-word-is-the-smart-word-trust-me kind of dude in a blog comment thread. No one wants to read paragraphs upon paragraphs (so many that you had to fit the second half into a separate comment) about that. Wait- hold up! Maybe people do want to read that. What am I saying? What am I writing right now? Rob won't see this. Am I picking on Rob? shoot! What has come over me? I was in a good mood twenty minutes ago. I had just re-read my adventures with the spirit-beast which always puts me in a good mood and then I kept rolling all the way back to 2009 and then Rob came and all of a sudden I had to start up some kind of tiff for him voicing an opinion. Come on Jon! rise up above that petty nonsense! The internet has a lot to offer, and Rob's opinion is just one of the many peppercorns that spice its salad. Quit being a dick!
without further ado, my inspiration for the night:
Anonymous said... First let me say you have a cool blog and some great links. Second I want to make clear I am not trying to rip on you imply you are not smart. In fact all you are is a bit younger. My name is Rob and I am in my late 30s and here is the evolution of how you are thinking about this. While I am not anti-biz, there are plenty of shitty greedy business men who would gladly serve you less for more as a general rule. Music in the day used to be considered of great value for obvious reasons but mainly because it was the one thing one could not simply buy on the cheap and reproduce to make a party. keep in mind this is pre- much tech. When the ability to give people high quality musical reproduction came into being, the focus for years was on making and getting good gear that could both record and then reproduce the music. WIth the music being so obviously valued and with people not wanting to play just one thing all the time, so was variety. But starting around the computer era is when things began to take a big turn. While on one hand people liked surround sound as it was the logical continuation of the previous trend of making the musical reproduction as real as possible and a new trend, adapt it for big budget action of special effects movies. There was this New thing called digital music. The CD was great because it focused on debugging recording digitally and reproducing in great fidelity. IN fact they were about to leap beyond CD into the next level of fidelity when.... DUN DUN DUN.... Broad band internet caught on and you had things like Napster -- with a new format called mp3 which whlie not even being remotely close to great music quality, it was good enough for many to want it and grab it up for free. since then as you know digital music is the thing. and of course music education being in the toilet like it is and half of the pop music being rap, (nothing against it just saying it not that musical in and of itself) so bad music education, and rap -- and free digital music and broad band and the music executives saw this and thought -- subscriptions -- but of course they jumped the gun -- because I was not a child when edward scissor hands came out and I already could see he was a bit pretentious -- creative and detailed sure -- but not god. Ok so, they tried to get people like me who have a huge CD collection to give that up for what -- and MP3 subscription? thats a laugh. And it really was in those days the quality of even the best mp3 were not as good as todays common ones -- which by the way are still not great -- on a CD you could get great speakers and hear the full musical sound. -- unfortunately most folks have shitty speakers or something in between and very little music background and even less audio background. Also you have people who a now motivated to get you to rent what you should own. -- I think its great to have an mp3 subscription -- I even have a really cheap one to preview songs on although now LaLa is almost good enough for free. Bottom line -- an mp3 is not real music reproduction and if you put it a good speaker set up -- it would sound like shit. -- to further complicate this mess -- you have two main sampling rates -- 44.1 for stereo and and 48.2 or whatnot for surround sound. -- they are making chips now so that the up or down converting is good but the point is -- right now -- people are no longer being sold on high quality music. instead they are being told not to buy just rent a low quality recording of all music and you can whatever you want -- until you really listen or have the ears to hear now that you are missing a ton of detail and feel. -- at least apples Itunes has a format that is of a much much higher quality then mp3 and yet there is still no DRM -- the point is, do not be fooled -- you did not make a mistake -- insist on owning high quality copies of the musicians you really like and pay for it and then use the other to just check stuff out and explore -- and do not kid yourself -- the only thing that is losing money in music right now are all the old school middle men who did coke, banged models and never wrote a lick of music. -- insist on ownership do not trust collective to do right by you because by the time you realize because its full of greedy humans and therefore flawed -- it will be too late to change it. -- that is the lesson of america -- never ever give up the sacred rights that allow individuals freedom and limit the power of government -- then let the greedy folks fight it out in the market to see who will offer what to you at what price and quality. -- its not a nanny state -- but it is most successful system so far. do not let music be taken from you because you are too young to remember when they knew you would only buy a high quality recording -- to see examples of the the almost dead next level of fidelity for the CD -- google SACD. and read up on what will go the way of the laser disc. -- cheers and I hope I was interesting to you after the rum hang over. -- ps -- sorry I did not have time to make my text very pretty or grammatical but I am sure its readable and the content is spot on. check out my brothers studio in NM -- www.santafecenterstudios.com peace and do not let the fool you -- never give up ownership of things that define you
Friday, February 3, 2012
Friday, January 27, 2012
I wanted to tell the folks that listen to this blog something important that happened to me the other night- something that reinvigorated me to live life fearlessly and full of fire; a magical event that helped prove that at the heart of the mysterious world is a pulsing soul that works towards the good. It works in ways that can perhaps be broken down and explained in a simple cause and effect manner, but more importantly works in ways that bring tears to your eyes and make the hairs on your arm stand up and shake.
Let me get to it:
In 1996 I was a curious lad. I didn't know what I liked or where to go. I suppose I am still a bit like this, but I have started to figure out (to some degree) what I like. Back then, I would devour anything and wait until someone nearby told me if I should like it or not. Luckily I had friends with good taste. They had taste that was not just fed to them by the television, but taste that was crafted by fingering through record collections and researching in books and magazines and on the relatively new device that would come to be known as Los Internet. These friends showed me why some things were good and others are less good. While I still try my hardest to love everything and avoid criticizing things people put effort into, I should say I have developed a taste all my own thanks, in part, to my dear friends.
In case you haven't figured it out yet, I am pretty much talking about music. I thought about being more broad, but lets just call a cow a cow for the rest of this post.
My dear friend T, was the first to introduce me to the elephant six collective. It was some weird funky shit that my Soundgarden and Dr. Dre record collection was having a hard time accepting into its fold. However, T's continued spinning of all things elephantine slowly drew me in to the odd world and I was soon yearning for weird Elf Power and Circulatory System albums alongside him (but not to the same degree). The greatest discovery to my ears was the classic Neutral Milk Hotel album, In an Aeroplane Over the Sea. T had won me over to the elephant 6 when I heard this album.
The funny thing is this isn't about me, its about T and his passion for the elephant six as can be seen on the worn green tshirt he regularly wears. His love of their music went from the headphones he wore in his bedroom, to the concert booking committee at his college, to a small venue in Athens. T met and befriended elephant 6 member Julian Koster over a few years by booking him to perform at his college, and then bumping into him at a performance in Athens. The two became friends which was crazy for all of us at home because Koster was a celebrity to us. He was the quirkiest of the collective.
But all this build up is getting drab. Long story short- T's friendship with Koster blossomed into a roll alongside Koster as a member of his band, The Music Tapes. Then The Music tapes became opener for Neutral Milk Hotel. Then T and the Music Tapes performing on stage with Jeff Mangum during one of the quintessential songs of our youth. T's love for music has grown into a career in music performance with the people who caused him to fall in love with music. It is indescribably crazy to me. T is one of my best buds and to see him on stage performing the songs of his heroes alongside those heroes is probably like what Lebron James's friends feel like when he slam dunks a basketball and wins a gold medal. It is undoubtedly what it is like when Saul Perlmutter's friends found out he won the nobel prize for his research in the expanding universe.
I must say, as I sat in the mezzanine of Irvine auditorium the other night and watched Thomas smile across the stage, I knew that I wanted everyone else to know that great things can happen in the world. Often times the world seems overwhelmingly out of hand. Actually though, I have proof that the world is within your hands. Although he might be a bit more modest, I feel as though the other night I saw a dream of 15 year old T come to life in front of three thousand people. It was pretty dang cool. He did not seek out the opportunity or apply for the job of Music Tapes band member, but he lived a dedicated life that was committed to being the best musician he could be and as a result, his 15 year old dream burst into reality. It was organic and honest and truly inspiring.
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
After reading a book last year that was written as a part of National Novel Writing Month, I became interested in the event. I navigated to the website linked above and while scopin', I found myself signing up for it. Next thing I knew it was November and I was sitting at the computer not really feeling like writing my daily words, so instead I started patrolling the forum.
""There are hundreds of people writing novels this month that none of us will probably ever read," thought the stranded sith as he awaited his execution," might be a line that is being written in a novel right now.
Anyway, as I struggled with what I guess is writer's block but felt more like a belly ache, I ditched the writing and decided to read some synopses of interesting looking profiles on the nanowrimo's forums. Then, I thought I would share a few of my favorites:
From MikeAlx's Tolombok trilogy, book 2:
Reen Trajen and Korbin Benvanine have escaped from their home planet Nilva and are now aboard a space station in low orbit above Prembis. Furnished with fake IDs, they are set to board a sleeper ship to distant Tolombek, in the hopes of finding Reen's long-lost brother. But, with Korbin wanted for a serious assault, and Reen still pursued by the secret organisation who call themselves "The Friends" (though they might not be), it's never going to be plain sailing. So what could possibly go wrong?
No, I haven't a clue either. Maybe I'll tell you in December.
From AlyRuth's Fountains of Green:
In 2061, the UN declared the current environmental state a global crisis. Scientists predicted that earth would be uninhabitable within thirty years without drastic changes. In 2063, a desperate decision was made. With no more time to 'innovate' new ideas, industrialization was declared the problem, and the global powers united to "de-industrialize" the world. Their plan was to revert people, over the course of 200 years, back to hunter-gatherer societies by force.
In 2282, after the last cities, factories, and plantations have fallen, this vision in almost Kiko's reality. Global Operations, the only populous society left, has been enforcing the transformation from cities to villages, from tribes to nomads. Living in a small tribe, Kiko must learn the ways of the nomadic hunter-gatherers in the wilderness, but while on his journey, Kiko realizes that Global Operations may not have the best intentions at heart for the people or the environment when he witnesses massive genocides against local tribes.
Kiko, while conflicted against societal life and a nomadic life, must stand up against the violence and discover exactly where Global Operations true ambitions lie.
From MCat's In a Bind:
When one of the teenage generation's most popular writers, Shanie Lennox, goes missing, it's up to Bree Michaels to find her. She's sure she can do it - of course - she's one of the CIA's most successful junior agents. But there's just one problem. No one seems to know what Shanie looks like, or where she lives! She's never used descriptive author bios, or pictures. She's never even had book signings. Come to find out, some say she's a recluse. Others claim that she actually lives on some remote mountain in China. Has Shanie been abducted? Will Bree be able to find her before it's too late?
From LousyWriter13's One Fine Day:
In the beginning, there was a day.
This, a careful study of history reveals, is when everything started going downhill. Fast.
That first day was followed by another day. Then another. And yet one more. The universe, being the creature of habit that it is, seemed to think it a good thing to have days fly by with regularity, and so it kept on with it, sending day after day after day.
This, a careful study of history reveals, was quite possibly a mistake.
Days simply became expected. Everyone started to assume that tomorrow, yes, tomorrow there would be another day. As a result, people stopped really paying attention.
Well, almost everyone stopped paying attention. And this... well, history hasn't made a public announcement of its opinion on this matter as of yet, but for those few who continued to pay attention, each passing day molded them, changed them, and made them into the angry, seething mass of unpleasant, war-mongering, monsters they are today.
This, history will surely reveal in time, might be a bad thing for at least some of the people who had stopped paying attention. And maybe for the universe. And, quite possibly, for history itself. For on this one fine day, the Fleglen Requiem of Flegola Five had a bone to pick with history, and the universe would never be the same.
All of these novels are being created right now as we speak. Some will be lost on hard drives, others will be published with full color illustrations. Think about it. It's so much fun to think that all these people with all these different ideas are all spending the month just spewing out 50,000 words for the fun of it. Who are all these people? Insomniacs? The unemployed? The beautiful foundation of culture? The dudes that hang out in coffee shops all day? Either way, reading some of these inspired me to get on my horse and work towards completion of my book and to track down the Tolombok trilogy some day.
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
I just finished the latest episode of This American Life. It's about middle school students and spends a lot of time discussing how stressful things can be for them. The stresses revolve around close friends growing apart, being made fun of for not bathing, or trying to find someone to slow dance with. It was great. It made me so thankful to not be in middle school anymore. I don't want to know what it's like to smoke a cigarette and whether or not that will give me enough cool points to sit in the back of the bus.
And so the episode got me thinking about something I have been tossing around in my dome for a while now. The broad term- STRESS.
Here is an idea I want to be true: what if stress is just always the exact same number of brain synapses in every single humans brain at any given time. Every one gets one stressy per second to use as they please. The middle school kids are using it on looking cool, the high school kids are using it on getting kissed, the adults are using it on life and the old people are using it on death. Your stressy-per-second allowance will never go up, it's just up to you and any given chain of events on how that stressy is utilized.
Now, stressy isn't the best word to make this point... it's silly. However, think about how often you stress out. If you are me, you constantly stress about all sorts of things... While I am stressing about money (and not having any) people with a lot of money are stressing about family or work or business and people without those stresses are stressing about global warming or how their socks have too many holes in them or about how their dog is sick. Everyone gets the same number of stressys, its just how it is. While you may think your life is crazier and more stressful than a middle school students, listen to the podcast and hear about the kid that throws up at lunch every day because he doesn't have any friends at his new school. If you think your life is less stressful than the president's life, think about how many people he has to help him make all his difficult decisions and how in 1 or 5 years, he will be all set for the rest of his life. His lifetime stressy-count will not be anymore than anyone elses.
Now, I feel like maybe there are some flaws to this argument:
First- are you less stressful if you don't have to worry about death? Is death-stress a heavier weight than money-stress or friendship-stress? I feel like maybe marines that are being shot at every day are more stressed than someone who lives in the Hamptons on his inherited trust fund. But, for the sake of argument, lets look at it from the stressy system of stress equality. Don't a lot of marines re-enlist? Don't they develop a level of camaraderie with their friends that is unmatched? If they die, aren't their families well-compensated (or at least compensated)? And don't a lot of rich kids in the Hamptons get addicted to drugs? Don't they over medicate themselves and take anti-depressents all the time? Don't they always have therapy sessions? Are their stressys, without a doubt, any less than the stressys of a war bound marine? maybe/maybe not.
Second- doesn't everyone always think that their life is too stressful at times? Without a doubt, everyone has climaxed on stress and it is not a good kind of climax. It is sweaty and wide eyed and hair raising, but it is not an orgasm. So maybe if you are climaxing on stress during midterms or a loved one's illness it balances out when you have no stress on Christmas day or sitting on a beach with a margarita. So instead of an exact stressy-per-second rate, instead you have a stressy allotment for your lifetime that will get used up and it is the same allotment for everyone.
So maybe I am thinking in scientific terms (stressy? scientific?) when I should be thinkin' in religious terms. I love a lot of buddhist philosophies, and one of them is that everything is flowing in one giant union. All matter, consciousness, and everything is a giant pool rippling in with the high tide and out with the low tide. Everything is shared and nothing and no one is anything more than a collective flowing force. You can take it as far as you want, but I just like to think of it as everyone being connected and sharing the universe. If this idea makes you want to barf, so be it, but remember you only have so much of a stressy-allotment for the day. If we are all sharing everything, than wouldn't we share the burdens of stress? Even though we don't realize it, we are passing around the stress from the middle school student puking in the boys room to the investment banker thinking about jumping out his office window.
Okay, the religious outlook makes me feel even more silly. I just know that when I am overwhelmed with stress and wanting to go into the bathroom and puke my guts out, it is no more or less stressed than any of my fellow humans. At that moment, I am consoled by the thought of a Radio Shack employee labeling 3 cases of AA batteries as AAA batteries and missing his date on a Friday night because he had to stay late and re-label the AA batteries or the small business owner whose business just didn't pan out like they planned it and now they are scouring the want ads because their mortgage notice just changed colors or the footy player who was to take a free kick with his team down by 1 towards the end of the big game or Steve Bartman or the boat captain who is being overtaken by pirates.
Stress is weird like that. As you stress, you yearn for the porch-chill, or the peaceful car ride, or the morning you get to sleep in... The non-stressy moments that are so closely related to the stressy moments they could be siblings. They could be the Olsen twins, so similar in so many ways, but perfectly unique in so many other ways. Either way, embrace them and remember that you can't ever lower your stressy-quota, so you just gots to deal.
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
I think it is fairly well accepted that the best feature a hotel can provide is a waffle machine. Placed atop the breakfast counter, a waffle machine easily allows the hotel to charge an extra thirty-five dollars a room with the understanding that their guests will pay more for waffles at breakfast.
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
I watched a man turn 90 the other day. He was sitting down and --* pop *-- the earth finished it's 90th revolution of the sun with his fleshy matter aboard for the ride. I had never seen anyone turn 90 as it is a rare site. I looked closely, not sure what to expect, only to find that 90 looks similar to 89. Then I was thinking, if 90 looks similar to 89, does 89 look similar to 88? If 89 looks similar to 88 shouldn't 90 look similar to 88? Simple flawless logic would then lead us down a long line which would be abbreviated by saying 90 looks similar to 12. I suppose if perhaps he had slipped in a bit of plastic surgery, we could even say 90 looks very similar to a character in Spirited Away.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
While investigating an inert folder on my old ibook, I embarrassingly uncovered inebriated expressions originating in April of '07:
Sleeping in a bed should never be considered a luxury. Thousands of millions of poor de-privileged persons win my sympathy. Sympathy! You say with a lofty dart. Well, I do and I don’t. Street sleeping is foreign to me- foreignly frightening. I speak of something not streetish, but simply a sleep in which no bed is available. Sometimes this sleep forces a creativity and ingenuity that stimulates grey matter in the dark. Don’t turn on too many lights. People are sleeping. Strangers are a-slumber in their beds. I imagined their apartment to be carpeted. Hope-prayed for a vacuumed cozy rug in which to unravel my sleeping bag and cushion my bruisable hip bone with the delicacy of thousands of fabric Lilliputians rocking me to a dream of back home. Instead I am hopeless. Soreness creeps into my thoughts. My neck reminds me of a week ago when scouting a merge in the van became painful. My spine recites an anatomy lesson a chiropractor once taught and my shoulders, they simply dip.
I have been here before. I will prevail. I am a Buddhist. I took a class on Buddhism. I know how Buddhists do it. I remember something about a Buddhist in a video and a nail and a stick. It is late, I am... this is easy.
I like to be near a wall or two. Tucked into a corner where there is minor midnight traffic. I like when chair cushions can be removed and curled upon....
Who knows where I was planning on going with that one. Just out of curiosity I cross-checked the last date that file was opened on my computer with the back catalog of the spinto blog and it seems that maybe this was written while on tour with The Changes and Dios Malos, and the only crash pad that jumps to mind from that tour is when we slept in a concrete broken glass factory.