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Showing posts from January, 2010

We will make every jam.

It feels like it's been a long weekend, but it really hasn't. I really wasted this weekend by having a pretty good time. I didn't get anything done that I needed to. So I guess I'll deal with those consequences here pretty soon. Tomorrow is going to be miserable. Get my lab things, do my lab things, do more chemistry, and on and on and on. This semester is about to spiral out of control, and it just started.

Deep breath.A friend of mine found this thing called Wordle, which takes things and does things with them and makes pictures. Out of words. The words that appear most commonly. And the size of the words is related to how often they appear. Blah blah blah. But it made a pretty interesting picture. But then I did it and couldn't figure out how to save the picture so you get this:
Why the hell is 'butter' so big?

Change is only for hippies and underwear.

If I don't get to shower in the morning, I end up being groggy and grumpy the rest of the day. I mean, groggier and grumpier than normal. It just throws me off. I am absolutely a creature of habit and routine. I need to shower in the morning. It's critical. Like brushing my teeth, hitting the snooze button twice, or applying three strokes of deodorant per armpit. These are all things I need to do every morning.

Speaking of armpits, I kind of want to shave them again. It was pretty nice.

I've been thinking about this boy & robot comic quite a bit the last couple of days. I know exactly what I want to do with it, not just overall but specifically per comic and panel. It's the first time I've felt confident with how things were going to go, and it's weird. It's weird to know how everything is going to go. Everything else has been pretty loose. Do some things and sort of end up somewhere. Fill the space between here and there with stuff. But no…

Zombies on the brains.

There is something depressing about going from a word count of over 20,000 to a word count of under 100, but I can't quite put my finger on it. On the keyboard, I mean. It's so hard to write. I just feel so uninspired. I feel unprepared to be writing this thing, even though I've been doing so much research and planning this last month. I want this to be perfect--I refuse to settle for anything less.But, I'm writing it and that's all that really matters.

Not if your foot's asleep.

I always feel so bad when I eat pancakes and don't use all of the butter they give me in the little butter cup. I mean, I certainly don't need that much butter and I know that eating that much butter is just a horrible idea, but they gave me all that butter. And if I don't use all of it, they'll just throw it away. They won't give it to somebody else. I can't waste the butter! So I put all of the butter on my pancakes so they end up oversaturated with butter.But damn do I love eating pancakes.

I set up a year-long schedule for writing my zombie story today. I just need to accomplish something with that. I thought about it. After a year of 'working' on it I ended up with 40 or so pages. A year. And now I'm at zero pages. That's horrible progress, and I feel utterly disappointed in myself because of it. So no more spinning my wheels. I can think and talk about this project forever, but it's time to really get serious about it. I&#…

Doesn't sound very good to me.

I don't really know what the deal is, but I've been feeling a little emotional these last couple of days. Like I just need to sit down and have a good cry. Have a good, manly cry. I start to tear up when I think about the comic story I'm working on right now. When I think of the dachshund I won't see again. When I think of the sad things I normally think about but am not usually bothered by. Maybe it's just that time of month.

I'd rent Batman: The Animated Series and cry it out over a couple choice episodes, but I don't really have the time or the will to go all the way to the library. I will soldier on, I suppose. I'm working on not bottling things up. Because that usually doesn't end well. Just have to remember to, you know, talk things out. It's tough.

I think I need to take a break from saxophone. The weird feeling of my suture sites vibrating while playing has elevated to feeling my suture sites all the time, which is not somethin…

Take it from the top.

Maybe it was a display of my awesome resolve and passion. Or a testament to my seemingly infinite talent. Or a verification of the wonders of surgical science. Or, I suppose, a mix of all of them. I'd like to think it was just me being normal, which is, of course, to say totally badass.

But I played the saxophone today for the first time after the surgery. I mean really played it. It took a little bit to get used to the feeling of my sutures vibrating and to fix my embouchure, but when I did it was, simply, the best. I was hitting clear notes, pulling off some nice vibrato, and had a surprisingly good range. Everything just fits right. It feels proper now. The most surprising thing was how easy it was. Even though my lips and too much of my mouth are numb, it was easier to play saxophone today than it was pre-surgery.

It's like, what?But I'm excited.

No shit, Sherlock.

The man's name was Scott Alan McDowell. He offered a choice between a handful of change or two cigarettes. I gave him two more cigarettes instead. He told me not to forget him, so I won't. I mean, how easily can you forget a reasonably crazy dude you talk to on the street for, like, an hour? He said a lot of bizarre things, and maybe all he wanted was to buy another drink, but there was something else that drove him to where he was. "My brother graduated when he was 19," he said. "And I wasn't there to see it." He seemed genuinely upset by the statement. "Where were you?" I asked. He looked at me sideways.

"I wasn't there."

The lesson I ended up taking away from the experience is that we just don't appreciate what we have. Even when it's gone. Scott Alan McDowell from Maryland seemed to have made a few mistakes that lost him things that were dear to him and never fixed them. Maybe that's a dramatic interpr…

Hammer to every memento.

I watched the class trickle in around me. Everybody was represented. The sorority girl with her Nike shorts and fleece North Face jacket. The frat boy with his boots, flamboyantly colored Polo button up, and camouflage cap. The nerdy Asian with his cutoff gloves, spiked black hair, and black military cap pulled over his eyes. The band nerds who still wear their high school band shirts. The hipster art girl with her over-sized flannel shirt and bandana-bound hair. The music major snob who's only taking the class to look smart. The asshole who sits in the back and judges everyone as they walk in. It was a diverse group of eccentric anybodies all crammed into a small concert hall and lead by a too cool professor with bed head and cargo pants. It was the kind of group you could just disappear in.

And I felt right at home, even though nobody else seemed interested in the class. But it's so stupid that such strong feelings can precipitate from just one song. Sixty seconds…

Just experiment, bro.

Well, I guess this is it. It's the last night before classes officially start, even though I only officially have one class. And it's not even a real class. But, you know, whatever. It's the idea of it. No more messing around. Break's over. Time to bunker back down and really push it. My goal for the semester: master time management!

Honestly, I do not foresee success in that department. But hey, who knows, right? Or, I mean, who cares? Not this guy. Not terribly, at least. Things will work out. They usually do.

In fact, I have such a good feeling about this semester that I'm going to take that doctor up on his suggestion. So let's see what happens tomorrow.

Frail deeds might have danced.

"As far as I can tell," the doctor said. "There is nothing wrong physiologically. So our next step is go ahead and talk to those people--the psychologists and doing the sleep study. But in the mean time, I'm going to give you some samples for you to try and experiment with. And keep in mind that I'm doing this reluctantly, but these helped me when I needed it." And he sent me on my way.

"I am not a big fan of medication," he told me as he leaned back in his chair. "And I don't know if you have a predisposition to develop addictions to medications--that certainly seems to run in the family. But I think there are other options to pursue in this thing. Other ways of figuring it out."

It makes me wonder, as I sit here with these samples lined up on my desk, what my end goal really was with all of this. Do I really want to figure things out and fix them for real or do I just want the crutch? Do I just want to point at myself and s…

Pulled through my head.

It was a little weird at first, to meet people who were already so comfortable with a stranger wandering in. But it was very relaxing. I felt alright. There was no, you're an outsider. It was more like, let's just make some music. And I like that. So we jammed.

And it was fantastic.

I just hope it sticks. I hope we keep doing it. Or, rather, I hope I get to keep doing it. Cool people, good tunes, good times. Those kinds of things tend not to last. Good ones, I mean. But, I mean, you know. You take what you can get.

Back to writing.

It's my aim to kill you.

Don't get me wrong. I want to play some music. I desperately want to play some music. I desperately want to play some fucking music. I want to sink into a couch with my feet kicked up, a cigarette hanging from my lips, and a guitar across my lap. I want to shake feverishly as I scream into the mic to hear myself over the other instruments. I want to jam into the wee hours of the morning until my fingers bleed, my voice disappears, and I can't hear anymore.

But things just don't work out, and it frustrates me to no end. It's right there. It's so close. But I just can't get out there with these guys and it makes me feel bad. Disappointing for them I'm sure. The dude's my friend and it's like, yeah! It's so exciting and then the next day, there's no car, the timing doesn't work out. It's just bad. It's just... I just live here with these people. In borrowed space under a roof that isn't mine. So I'm stuck goin…

It's called utility think.

Well, that's it. It's all gone. Every sentence, every word. I'm back at the very beginning. Where I was two years ago. Almost fifty pages--wiped clean. So now I get to start over. Rebuild from scratch. Frustrating, disheartening, but also strangely encouraging. It's going to be better this time. And who knows? Maybe I'll have to do it again.But I didn't have the characters right. They were missing something, which was why I kept running into all of those blocks. The awkward conversations, the asinine side adventures. And I finally realized it. So now I get to fix them all up. I've remade the characters in my head, which helps. Now I just need to play through and figure out how the story is going to go, again.


Dwell on this dying thing.

"You need to be stronger." She said as we pulled away from the traffic light. "You whine too much when you get sick. You have some problems sleeping and suddenly you want to go see a doctor about it? I haven't gotten a good night of sleep this week. Do you think your dad sleeps well every night? Come on here, Gabriel. You won't sleep well every night." I sighed and looked out the window. "I know, I know," she said. "You don't want to hear it. You never want to hear it. If seeing a doctor is what you really need, then we'll do it."

I shouldn't have brought it up at all, I guess. I'm just such a, you know, bad son--and weak person--for asking for help when things get out of hand. And how dare I bring up a longstanding problem again. I mean, who am I to try to get my problems fixed?

"You know about Alfred Hitchcock?" He asked. I glanced up at him. "Yes, I know about Alfred Hitchcock." I r…

Left us here to die.

I have always wondered what drives people to abbreviate everything. I experimented briefly with unnecessary abbreviations back in sixth or seventh grade and quit because it was too much of a perversion of written language. What makes it so attractive? I mean with extraordinarily great effort I guess that I could understand someone doing it in a text message, but not online. It's a damn computer. There's a big fucking keyboard attached to it. It doesn't take that much more time to type things out. To spell things properly. I feel guilty and dirty and wrong doing it any other way. Wut do u gain from typing--I can't even fucking do it. I have no idea how to write in such a simplistic way. I cannot consciously misspell or otherwise butcher words.

I just have too much cranial horsepower.

The worst part is that so few people see anything wrong with this. "Oh it's okay," they say. "We can write properly when we need to. It's not all that har…

Keeps us coming back for more.

Time is a delicate thing. It takes some serious mental horsepower to make any kind of coherent sense out of it. It's really not straightforward at all. I can remember days that felt longer than a week. Hours that seemed longer than a decade. A year, truthfully, doesn't seem all that long. A year goes by just like that. Blink and it goes by. A year.

Hell, I've seen twenty of them.

But it is a long time. A lot changes during that time. Things change. Situations change. People change. I'd like to think that people don't change, but they do. And it's nice to see how much we change over time. How much we grow up. Mature. It's all for the better. I'm glad I've changed.So I guess we'll see what things are like in another year. But in the mean time:

I believe we have the answer.

Neither of us was particularly impressed, but what could we do. We had been the ones to leave after all. To leave and go across the street. Which, I guess, is on par with saying 'good-bye' and leaving completely. I'm not really surprised though. I mean, not to say that sitting around and watching strangers hang out with other strangers or going to a park to play electronic catchphrase doesn't seem like an exciting, awesome time.

It's just not active enough for me. I'm kind of an athlete.

I decided that, to kick off the start of a new year, I would sing. Since I had a car and everything. And sing I did. I've lost some control, but at this point I really don't care. It was difficult to enunciate, but I don't care about that either. I was singing and starting to feel normal again. I sang until my throat was raw, and the mouthful of blood I spat out was absolutely worth it.

I also thought of a couple new resolutions. One, I think, will help me…