I wish I had a camera here.
I am crossing my fingers that these visits work.
I've decided to employ the same strategy. In other words, I'm treating some people in my life like they're toddlers.
When I was in the sixth grade I loved this poem by a guy who wrote about kissing his ex-girlfriend while listening to Just Like Heaven so now whenever I hear that song I think of sweaty summer make-out sessions.
I'm taking this opportunity to read old Achewoods and god these characters kill me every time.
so i heard this story yesterday from this guy who lives in philly
let's hear it
there was this group of kids he and his friends would always jump, they lived in south philly, and this one day hes walking home and the kids he jumps spot him and run after him
he runs to this park and climbs a tree
and for whatever reason the kids couldnt get up the tree
and hes sitting up there laughing at them, ah hahahha you think you can catch me
i dont fucking think so
so they set the tree on fire
I spent eight years, longer than I've lived in any other location, in Alliance, Ohio. Here is a picture of four guys, a few I've known since the fourth grade. Allow me to point out:
01. The weaponry.
02. The Natty paraphenalia.
03. The tattoo.
04. The "PETA supported" sign hanging next to the mounted deer head.
I adore the boy in the foreground and the one to the very right. That being said, this picture is hilarious.
I want to learn more and more to see as beautiful what is necessary in things; then I shall be one of those who make things beautiful. Amor fati: let that be my love henceforth! I do not want to wage war against what is ugly. I do not want to accuse; I do not even want to accuse those who accuse. Looking away shall be my only negation. And all in all and on the whole: some day I wish to be only a Yes-sayer.And:
My brother and I used to play a game. I’d point to a chair. “THIS IS NOT A CHAIR,” I’d say. He would point to the table. “THIS IS NOT A TABLE.” “THIS IS NOT A WALL,” I’d say. We’d go on like that. “IT IS NOT RAINING OUT.” “MY SHOE IS NOT UNTIED!” he would yell. I’d point to my elbow. “THIS IS NOT A SCRAPE.” He would lift his knee. “THIS IS ALSO NOT A SCRAPE!” “NOT A CUP!” “NOT DIRTY DISHES!” We denied whole rooms, years, weathers. Once, at the peak of our shouting, he took a deep breath. At the top of his lungs, he shrieked: “I! HAVE NOT! BEEN! UNHAPPY! MY WHOLE! LIFE!” “But you’re only seven,” I said.
--Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science; Nicole Krauss, The History of Love
Also, if teaching were in my future, I'd want to teach at the Science Leadership Academy.
Also, I walked into a pet store and fell in love with exactly three kittens.
Also, I wish I could make my hair grow by sheer force of will.
Also, Rittenhouse in the sun.
Home with the team, no matter how high the AC or how thin the sheet, Orin wakes with his own impression sweated darkly into the bed beneath him, slowly drying all day to a white salty outline just slightly off from the week's other faint dried outlines, so his fetal-shaped fossilized image is fanned out across his side of the bed like a deck of cards, just overlapping, like an acid trail or timed exposure.
The heat just past the glass doors tightens his scalp. He takes breakfast out to a white iron table by the condo complex's central pool and tries to eat it there, in the heat, the coffee not steaming or cooling. He sits there in dumb animal pain. He has a mustache of sweat. A bright beach ball floats and bumps against one side of the pool. The sun like a sneaky keyhole view of hell. No one else out here.
--David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest
There are passages in this book that make me so anxious I want to tear my skin off.
So sure, it’s a lengthy book that’s heavy to carry and impossible to read in bed, but Christ, how many hours of American Idol have you sat through on your uncomfortable POS couch? The entire run of The West Wing was 111 hours and 56 minutes; ER was twice as long, and in the later seasons, twice as painful. I guarantee you that getting through Infinite Jest with a good understanding of what happened will take you a lot less time and energy than you expended getting your Mage to level 60 in World of Warcraft.
--Jason Kottke, forward to Infinite Summer
01. Turn off the Food Network.
02. Pay for a library card, pick up some GRE books.
03. Make use of the GRE books. Just in case.
04. Infinite summer!
05. Sign up for Couchsurfing.
07. Take advantage of free yoga classes for first-timers.
08. And Netflix.
09. And phone calls.
10. Lose the self-pity.
Graham points out you and I are, ourselves, more like a wave than like a permanent thing. He invites us to think of an experience from your childhood, something you can remember clearly. Something that you can feel, see, maybe even smell as if you were really there. After all, you were there at the time, weren't you? How else would you remember it? But here is the bombshell--you weren't there. Not a single atom that is in your body today was there when that event took place. Matter flows from place to place and momentarily comes together to be you. Whatever you are, therefore, you are not the stuff of which you are made.
--Richard Dawkins, Queerer than We Can Suppose: The Strangeness of Science
Coven man, we gotta get this sucker done, though. Seriously. Last night, man, I was so drunk, I was calling Morocco, man. Calling, trying to get to the Hotel Hilton at Tangiers in Casablanca, man. That's, I mean, that's, that's pathetic, man! Is that what you wanna do with your life? Suck down peppermint schnapps and try to call Morocco at two in the morning? That's senseless! But that's what happens, man.--American Movie
The perfect symmetry between the dismantling of the wall of shame [the Berlin Wall] and the end of limitless Nature is invisible only to the rich Western democracies. The various manifestations of socialism destroyed both their peoples and their ecosystems, whereas the powers of the North and the West have been able to save their peoples and some of their countrysides by destroying the rest of the world and reducing its peoples to abject poverty. Hence a double tragedy: the former socialist societies think they can solve both their problems by imitating the West; the West thinks it has escaped both problems and believes it has lessons for others even as it leaves the Earth and its people to die. The West thinks it is the sole possessor of the clever trick that will allow it to keep on winning indefinitely, whereas it has perhaps already lost everything.
--Bruno Latour, We Have Never Been Modern
At the far end of the hall a silver curtain parted and two young women stepped forward. They were dressed all in white and were beautiful beyond compare. One was grave and quiet, with a look of warm understanding in her eyes, and the other seemed gay and joyful.
"You must be the Princess of Pure Reason," said Milo, bowing to the first.
She answered simply, "Yes," and that was just enough.
"Then you are Sweet Rhyme," he said, with a smile to the other.
Her eyes sparkled brightly and she answered with a laugh as friendly as the mailman's ring when you know there's a letter for you.
"We've come to rescue you both," Milo explained very seriously.....
"It has been a long trip," said Milo, climbing onto the couch where the princesses sat; "but we would have been here much sooner if I hadn't made so many mistakes. I'm afraid it's all my fault."
"You must never feel badly about making mistakes," explained Reason quietly, "as long as you take the trouble to learn from them. For you often learn more by being wrong for the right reasons than you do by being right for the wrong reasons."
"But there's so much to learn," he said, with a thoughtful frown.
"Yes, that's true," admitted Rhyme; "but it's not just learning things that's important. It's learning what to do with what you learn and learning why you learn things at all that matters."
"That's just what I mean," explained Milo as Tock and the exhausted bug drifted quietly off to sleep. "Many of the things I'm supposed to know seem so useless that I can't see the purpose in learning them at all."
"You may not see it now," said the Princess of Pure Reason, looking knowingly at Milo's puzzled face, "but whatever we learn has purpose and whatever we do affects everything and everyone else, if even in the tiniest way. Why, when a houseful flaps his wings, a breeze goes round the world; when a spec of dust falls to the ground, the entire planet weighs a little more; and when you stamp your foot, the earth moves slightly off its course. Whenever you laugh, gladness spreads like the ripples in a pond; and whenever you're sad, no one anywhere can be really happy. And it's much the same thing with knowledge, for whenever you learn something new, the whole world becomes that much richer."
--Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth
The nice thing about saying "I've been studying ecology for the past twelve hours" is that I will most likely never have an opportunity to say it again in my life.
The relationship between Islam and the West includes centuries of co-existence and cooperation, but also conflict and religious wars. More recently, tension has been fed by colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims, and a Cold War in which Muslim-majority countries were too often treated as proxies without regard to their own aspirations.
...It is also undeniable that the Palestinian people – Muslims and Christians – have suffered in pursuit of a homeland. For more than sixty years they have endured the pain of dislocation. Many wait in refugee camps in the West Bank, Gaza, and neighboring lands for a life of peace and security that they have never been able to lead. They endure the daily humiliations – large and small – that come with occupation. So let there be no doubt: the situation for the Palestinian people is intolerable. America will not turn our backs on the legitimate Palestinian aspiration for dignity, opportunity, and a state of their own.
--Barack Obama, full speech here
So brilliant! How many American politicians these days even acknowledge colonialism?
He remained annoyed with himself until he realized that not knowing what he wanted was actually quite natural.
We can never know what to want, because, living only one life, we can neither compare it with our previous lives nor perfect it in our lives to come...There is no means of testing which decision is better, because there is no basis for comparison. We live everything as it comes, without warning, like an actor going on cold. And what can life be worth if the first rehearsal for life is life itself? That is why life is always like a sketch. No, "sketch" is not quite the word, because a sketch is an outline of something, the groundwork for a picture, whereas the sketch that is our life is a sketch for nothing, an outline with no picture.
--Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being
I'm a pretty selfish person.
I was not cheered, a few years ago, to read about psychological studies suggesting that most people inevitably return to a certain emotional baseline after circumstantial highs and lows. You’d like to think that nearly getting killed would be a major, permanently life-altering experience, but in truth it was less painful, and occasioned less serious reflection, than certain breakups I’ve gone through. If anything, it only reinforced the illusion that in the story of my life only supporting characters would die, while I, its protagonist and first-person narrator, would survive. I’ve demonstrated an impressive resilience in the face of valuable life lessons, and the main thing I seem to have learned from this one is that I am capable of learning nothing from almost any experience.
--Tim Kreider, Reprieve
...and the portrait show seems to have no faces in it at all, just paintyou suddenly wonder why in the world anyone ever did themI lookat you and I would rather look at you than all the portraits in the worldexcept possibly for the Polish Rider occasionally and anyway it’s in the Frickwhich thank heavens you haven’t gone to yet so we can go together the first time...
I considered writing a blog entry pondering this question. As I like to do, I came up with a photo-illustration to accompany the blog entry. I took a couple photos, played around a bit in Photoshop, and accidentally ended up with an image that is so bizarrely disturbing that I can actually feel my brain having trouble making sense of it. I could not in good conscience subject an unsuspecting reader to this photo. So I killed the whole post.I just came across the file now, and it still disturbs me. But I hate to let a good disturbing image go to waste, so now with the proper context, and a build-up designed to minimize the shock, I present the photo illustration that I killed two years ago.
Not the photo, necessarily. But because it made him so uncomfortable, and he's able to communicate his discomfort so well.