My Mother Was A Chinese Trapeze Artist

I keep forgetting to post the track list of the very good CD I burned recently. So, without further ado:
Orange Stone
1. A Beautiful Morning by the Rascals
2. 7/4 (Shoreline) by Broken Social Scene
3. Doctor Worm by They Might Be Giants
4. Joy by Apollo 100
5. The Puppy Song by Harry Nilsson
6. The Rubberband Man by the Spinners
7. Keep It Comin' Love by KC and the Sunshine Band
8. Helena Won't Get Stoned by Tarkio
9. Song for Jedi by Dionysos
10. Ugly Girl by Fleming and John
11. Black and White Town by Doves
12. Black Betty by Ram Jam
13. This Fire by Franz Ferdinand
14. Move Over by Janis Joplin and the Full Tilt Boogie Band
15. Get Right Back To Where We Started From by Maxine Nightingale
16. Sooner or Later by the Grass Roots
17. Domino by Van Morrison
18. Children Go Where I Send You by Nina Simone
19. Little Girls by Oingo Boingo
20. Fire in the Twilight by Wang Chung
21. The Diary of Horace Wimp by ELO
22. At the Zoo by Simon and Garfunkel
23. Dance to the Music by Sly and the Family Stone


Song for Jedi

On Saturday I remembered that I was in a three-day weekend and drove to Springfield to see my dad and brother. As with every visit to Springfield, this involved some sport (this time volleyball), batting cages and the driving range (why are there no batting cages in Dekalb?), darts/ping pong/pool, going to the movies, watching movies at home, some sort of cake (this time cookie cake), cards/board games (this time Uno), and perhaps the most traditional: a huge blow-out that tends to involve someone being kicked out, threatened ousting, or threatened semi-voluntary leaving. Ah, family. So, a good weekend in the sense that most of my muscles are now sore (which I always enjoy because I'm kind of strange), and I saw a really good film (Transamerica), a pretty good film (The Da Vinci Code), and crossed one more Jonny Lee Miller film off the list (Aeon Flux).

Then, on Monday I stopped in to see my mom in Joliet on my way back home. A pretty good visit that involved watching some home movies that have recently been converted to DVD format. I love watching home movies, even though it usually brings evidence of me as a little person not being very nice to my dog (I'm sorry Tuffy) and me as a little person being a selfish and greedy bastard. Although I was very adorable when I was small, up until the age of about 6, and it's been downhill ever since. But, to get to the point of this whole post, which is to help explain to my friends that frequent the Annex with me why I tend to punch people (and walls) and otherwise try to "fight" people, a lot of the home movies we watched were from Easter morning and involved me (age 3), my brother (age 7), and my dad in the living room playing around. This featured "the big fight" which was simply all three of us kind of beating the crap out of one another. So, this was my childhood. There were also "the good going-overs", where two people would team up against the third, with one holding a person down and the other delivering several punches to the stomach, and there was always the possibility of getting a random slap to the face, which began a competition of who-can-get-the-last-slap. This is why I wake up after going to the bar with bruises on my knuckles.

Sleep the Clock Around

A couple of things that I've been thinking about recently:

1) When I've written about eradicating fear, I'm mostly (if not entirely) referring to the fear of things not happening or not going well or as planned, etc. As in the fear that my life is not going to work out how I picture it in my head. So, I suppose living without fear= letting go of the things I have no control over. For example, I've become obsessed with the search for a fellow (as in the synonym of companion, but I like the word fellow (and fella makes me smile)), which I'm not very happy about or proud of, but anyway, with this comes a large fear that I will either never find a person or that there are opportunities that I'm missing out on and that are passing me by. And this has caused strategies that when I step back and look at are not ones that I want to use. So this is what I mean by eradicating fear and how that is not very successful as of now. I'm not sure that makes much sense since I have only moderate faith in my ability to explain my trains of thought to others.

2) In a similar vein, there have been times when I've become despondent for about as long as I can remember. In the past I've dealt with these times not in the most productive ways, but in ways that only involved me. This changed around the time that I entered my first serious relationship, when I would attempt to talk to people while I was melancholic. Now, it's almost become a compulsion, which results in me pestering a lot of people quite frequently, which I don't like doing. I apologized to someone I've been pestering, albeit in a way that goes along with thought #1 rather than this, last night, so I give myself a little pat on the back for that (I like to celebrate small victories). But, to all of you out there in readerland, if I've been incessantly bothering you, I'm sorry and I'm working on both ceasing and desisting.

Movie recommendation: Transamerica
Album recommendation: Wings Over America
Book recommendation: Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson


I'm Going To Klown Kollege!

Good news: I now have a computador (whose name is Eliot)! Bad news: I won't have internet access until June 3rd (stupid Comcast). Today I listened to two songs that made me instantaneously absolutely happy and elated. The first was "Dead Man Walking" by David Bowie, which I listened to while waiting for the office to open and watching the rain come down outside the window. The second was when I once again listened to Colin Meloy in concert, specifically "Weird and Wonderful", the song he swore he would never write about having a child. Both are so very good and I will wait while everyone finds and gives them a listen...

In other bad news, I have found that I have a hole in my jeans, located on the inner thigh. So, for a little while today I was trying to take stairs one at a time so as not to exacerbate the condition, but it was so strange to go one step at a time that it didn't last very long. It's been about eight years now since I last used this mode of stair-stepping, usually taking them at least two at a time. So that was a bit strange and interesting. In my ongoing quest of eradicating fear (I wrote a bit about it in a blog on myspace after seeing V for Vendetta), I find that I'm not very good at it. And perhaps this entirely explains the motivation behind much of my not-so-proud-of-moments as of late. Someone just said 'sheets' and my mind immediately leapt to Shalamar's "Dancing In The Sheets". Anyway, here's a poem I just composed, I think I like it pretty well. Any suggestions for a title?

they're selling instant elation
on an infomercial, channel 3, 2am.
I noticed since I was awake
sitting up on my bed and staring
at the screen's projection on the wall.
I could hear the man telling
the woman, "Now you can be
happy, even in the dead of night!"
even in the dead of winter
when even the dead things are gone.
the screen went blue as they were
experiencing technical difficulties
and I wondered if this was the
right ambiance for contemplating
non-practicing atheists, at least
that's what he told me he was.
we missed the cabin in Wisconsin
the writing retreat that we ran away from
to drive South in the summer.
they were selling instant elation
on the roadside and he wanted
to stop, at least check out the prices
but we were going too fast, and
I noticed the man's flashy smile
only as he became a blur
in the rearview.


Plans Get Complex

Continuing in the vein of finding really cool stuff while on campus (beginning yesterday with All-Time Quarterback's video), I found Colin Meloy's last night of his most recent solo tour (which I saw in Chicago and was absolutely spectacular) here. And I now have my very own CD, as well as a copy of his cd of Shirely Collins' covers which I didn't have any money to buy when I had the chance in person coming to me via ebay. So, I highly recommend listening to Colin Meloy sing and talk to the audience. Ah, discoveries make me happy. Also, tentatively Great America will be visited on June 3rd, so everyone mark your calendar and make no other plans!! I watched Love, Honour, and Obey last night, which is interesting. I'll need to watch it again before I decide what I think of it. That is all.


I'm A Cuckoo

I took a jaunt over to the library since I was hungry early and ate my lunch before noon thereby freeing that hour to watch videos. And god bless youtube. I enjoyed an interview with Jonny Lee Miller, live renditions of The Sporting Life and The Shankill Butchers by Colin Meloy and this, which is fantastic and should be viewed and enjoyed by all. Oh, Ben Gibbard, when will you be mine?

Ghetto Musick

Apparently my body has become used to getting up at a later hour, so much so, in fact, that I now feel pretty shitty sitting at work at 8am (which in my mind is pretty sad and pathetic). Last week, I chalked this up to being hungover for at least two of the weekdays, but today has provided evidence against that theory. This is especially disheartening since I used to get up at 6am everyday and averaged about 3-4 hours of sleep a night. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. In other news, after tomorrow night's episode of House, it will be Welcome to the Dullhouse (ain't I clever?) in terms of network television viewing. Sigh.

I think I need a Great Gazoo of my own, or some other person/creature to stay on my shoulder (you know, something to light up the path that I walk and say everything when I talk) since my perception of the world is so often so terribly skewed. And said shoulder-inhabitant can let me know when I've drifted over the line of rational thought and periodically remind me that everything's going to be alright and that everyone doesn't hate me. Maybe this will be accomplished after my appointment with health services next Monday.

final thoughts: woot for purple slushies at Sidetrack, boo for being tired while driving, woot for conversations about music and advertising with gay guys that look like Ben Gibbard, and woot for conversations with an interesting person that last until five in the morning.


The Infanta

There is a roundabout in front of the building that I work in. As I was walking to the building across from ours, I noticed a NIU van which had apparently missed the parking spot its driver was hoping for. It stopped at the bottom of the circle, backed up, and turned around in order to park in this particular spot. Seriously? You're in a fucking roundabout. Then, I dropped off a file with a secretary who didn't seem as though she was the winner of any congeniality contests. She reminded me of a cross between Felicity Huffman in Transamerica (at least the snippets I've seen since I have yet to watch the film) and Mary Jo Buttafuoco, which I thought was interesting. And then I walked back to my building and smirked once again at the van driver who likes to complicate things.


Funny Little Frog

It's a good thing I pumped up the volume on my CD alarm (in order to both wake up and reference Christian Slater). I didn't hear a thing until the fourth song when someone in my dream was complaining about Belle & Sebastian being really loud. In waking my first thoughts were, "Oh crap, I'm going to be really hungover today since I imbibed a fair amount of alcohol and since said imbibing took place not that many hours ago." Turns out I was half right. While I do feel the need to move a bit slower today and walking up stairs is not nearly as fun as other days, I feel pretty good. And, much to my surprise, I'm feeling very happy. This is comforting for two reasons: 1) it's comforting to be happy 2) it indicates that when I wasn't very happy last night, it was the alcohol. Other things to be glad about: contrary to what I suspected last night, I don't have any splinters in my hand from the tree that I spent some time in, and I have no new bruises either from punching things or from falling when climbing down from the aforementioned tree.
Countdown to arrival of my very own computer: nine days, or thereabouts


Good Lovin'

I like my new job. This has been my last two days: I come into the office, get a cubicle in a corner so that I can hide away from all the other office people (they are very nice people, I just enjoy hiding), have the option of spending all day on the internet, reading, doing crossword puzzles, etc., except that every ten minutes or so I make a loop around the different rooms to see if anyone has anything in their outboxes for me to copy or deliver. And then when I deliver things, I get to walk around campus. this seems almost perfect. I can entertain myself as I see fit, but the time goes by very quickly and my back/ass doesn't hurt with the added bonus of getting up and walking around every ten minutes. and today, I went to two really interesting buildings on campus that I did not know existed heretofore. The art building is pretty funky and the engineering building is really cool and reminded me of a gym/pool or else my very limited memory of the Oak Lawn pavilion. And this side of campus altogether reminds me of downtown Springfield. Then again, everything reminds me of something, as I'm sure anyone who has had either one rather lengthy or several conversations with me can attest to. So, I can read or surf the internet (I read interviews with Will Forte today) and take little adventures all day. Nice gig if you can get it, I say. In other news, as I'm constantly trying to be the person I want to be and not be the person I don't want to be, it seems I need to try harder. I think that in order to accomplish this goal, I should go to Great America as much as possible. So, who's with me and when are we going?
movie recommendation of the moment: Millions
book recommendation of the moment, judging by the small amount I've read so far: Liars and Saints by Maile Meloy
music recommendation of the moment: "Song for Jedi" by Dionysos
tv recommendation of the moment: Scrubs (everyone is getting preggers!)


The Tain

a while ago I went to a poetry reading at a coffee shop in downtown Dekalb. it ended up being a good night (with David Amram making an appearance and performing), but didn't really start out that way and this poem was written during the segue between not-a-good-time and having-a-very-good-and-interesting-time. I had written a poem titled Smooch years ago, which was crap really, but it had one very good line. so, as a nod to an experience I had around the time I wrote Smooch, I decided to write an acrostic poem with said line.

In an interesting coincidence,
my thoughts tend toward
good and evil when I feel the
onset of family politics.
In good time I will break away from the
naysayers and find myself one
giant leap away from the right and the left.
Taking what I can, at times
omnivorous of the influences
surrounding me, at times
murmuring on the floor, broken on an
insignia, indicating this Illinois
landmark that I can feel
even now, when I think of
afternoons, mornings, evenings,
not one distinct, not one
divulging any confessions that could
surprise me, at midnight or noon.
and I think back further, days of
yore when I was yea high,
for when I look at the world,
under this pretense that I
cannot change how I was born, I
know that I can, but I still do not.
You think I can navigate this back and forth,
omnipresent in both worlds? I am
undulating and never staying.