9/14/2002

I gave a little speech at school on Wednesday. I sat on a platform next to veterans of World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and the Gulf War. One of the WWII vets was also a retired NYC firefighter, one of the guys stood up while they rattled off all the sniper missions he'd performed in Iraq. I was two seats away from Trip McKinnan, a Phoenix firefighter who went to New York one week after September 11th, and spent seven days digging through still-smoldering rubble. I felt very very small. But I said my little speech anyway, sort of to prove to all these guys that today's kids aren't all spoiled ungrateful whelps. We're very grateful for their sacrafice allowing us to be the spoiled whelps that we are.


Two hours and counting until call for the final performance of "The Yellow Boat." I figure you could find worse ways to spend a Saturday afternoon than this, rounding up all the pictures you took in the past week ('till your fucking camera fucking broke motherfucker) and sticking little pieces of text to them. I could be drowning kittens, or stealing food from the mouths of poor kids, or writing that play I'm supposed to.


Anyway, there were speeches, and a human American flag composed entirely of seniors, which I think had about three or four stripes, (how many original colonies where there? Only like five or something, right?), the football team unraveled another flag while their captain gave a speech about how mission statements are important when we talk about living our values, or how values are an expression of our goals, or some drivel somebody wrote for him. Poor guy. Our school is chock-full of this fluffy kind of feel-good crap about "empowering excellence" and "acheiving vsion," all of it headache-inducing and meaningless. Kind of shameful, actually. I mean, I bet you these veterans never talked about "living their values" before they went into battle, hell no, these guys went out and shot Nazis because there were Nazis that needed shooting, dammit, it was just the right thing to do. They didn't need a mission statement, besides the US Constitution. And here we are wasting whole reams of paper and perfectly good breath on this useless psuedo-inspirational psychobabble that no one listens to. Oh well. I guess it's a luxury we can afford, thanks to guys who put action before words.


And then there were cheerleaders performing to "Coming To America" and "Born In The USA," and then there were skydivers.


Every story should end like that. And then there were skydivers.




But I'm being misleading. That wasn't the end.



Hi, I'm Clint.



How's it goin', Clint?


Good. That was a good speech.


Thanks, glad you liked it.


You know what's weird? I have a Godzilla video that has the Twin Towers in it. It's Godzilla, and Megalon, and they're fighting on the Twin Towers.


Wow. That's pretty crazy.


Yea. Maybe I should make a copy of it. Bring it in sometime.


Yea, maybe you could.


We could do Yellow Submarine, and I'll be Ringo. (*says something in a dead-on Ringo accent*)


Yea, we'll have to see about that--


You ever notice how Wakko on the Animaniacs sounds like Ringo? He's all (*more Ringo-talking*)


Wow, yea, I never noticed that. Could you smile for me, Clint?


Sure.


(*Click*) Thanks, Clint. Well, I got to get to class...


Yea, hey, maybe I could get your number some time!


Yup, well, we'll see about that...

A lot of people complimented me on the speech that day. But Clint was by far the most interesting.




Like most days are, it was a mix of triumph and tragedy, only amplified by about a thousand. To wit:


Triumph



Pretty girls from all over the world come to America to talk to me in Humanities and play my wife in plays.




Tragedy



These people will not be joining us today.





One hour 'till call. And then there were skydivers.
AHHHH. Still no time to tell all of my interesting pictographic tales, like Clint who wants to be my friend, or the play that simply wouldn't cease being totally mind-blowingly awesome. This week has been an amazing one. One more show to go. Moments are being seized left and right, rung dry of all their moment-y goodness, and filed away into memory. Left and right.


If I am ever asked to sum up my romantic life, my answer will be as follows:

Some poor sweet girl took pity on me.

And then another one.

And then another one.

9/12/2002

This has been a week full of good stories and good pictures. Had the first performance tonight of "The Yellow Boat." I can't talk a whole lot tonight, but what I can say is this:


If you're in town, you really need to see this show. It will knock your socks off. In fact, wear five pairs of socks. We will knock four pairs off with our awesomeness, and you can use the last one to wipe away your tears after you run out of Kleenex.


But maybe I'm overselling it. I have a tendency to do that.


It really is something special, though.

9/11/2002

Alyx (via AIM, from NYU): it was really weird today...yesterday it was sweltering and today it was cold and very windy...it was quiet and melancholy...even walking down the street felt odd...one of my classes was cancelled...we went to a candlelight vigil in Washington Square Park...thousands of people...mostly students...and everyone was silent...an orchestra played for an hour and a half while people sat and held each other....struggling to keep their candles lit in the wind. it was eerie...and strange...i'm not sure if i know how to describe it...but it is definitely a different feeling here...some people saw scary fighter planes fly overhead today at various times....i didn't


my roommate is from long island and lots of the kids she went to school with lost parents....


later we went on the roof of our dorm...17 floors up...it was freezing cold and really windy...from one of the corners we should have had a perfect view of the towers
No rain today.



Belabored sigh.



It says something though, that that tops my list of complaints. Says a whole hell of a lot. That, and my camera sort of broke today. There's a little wheel at the top that switches modes: picture-taking mode, looking-at-picture-mode, and several other modes whose functions I'm totally ignorant of. There could be a shooting-colored-flames mode and I wouldn't know. Anyway, that little knob came loose, then broke off entirely, along with the button that takes pictures. After losing the little piece in Joey's car, I found it again, stuck it back on, and it still works. I just have to glue it back on. Exciting, I know. But I'm too tired to be interesting. Lo siento.




Today I saw inter-racial couples and girls in short shorts in broad daylight and I talked to Jewish friends and I shaved without being punished by the militiary police and I had a couple of classes where ideas were freely exchanged and authority was questioned.


Are we up against a sucky bunch of terrorists, or what?

9/10/2002

James Lileks wrote one of the most fantastic things I've ever read online tonight, and the best tribute I've read concerning September 11th, without a doubt. And I'm mostly tired of these things too. We can't all say something valuable and important in reference to that momentous day, lord knows I can't, not in light of all the other amazing things I've read on the subject. Just more pointless words that won't place the towers back where they were, scraping the sky, and it won't resurrect three thousand people from beneath the wreckage of those towers.

I don't think moping around all day is a good way to commemorate the lives lost, but a little tribute is in order, for all of us. And whatever you do today, just don't deny its importance. 3,000 people left for work and never came home. Some of them looked into each other's eyes, held hands with strangers, and leapt from the flaming heights of the world's tallest building, rather than face the alternative. It was the first strike in the war between freedom and tyranny the likes of which we haven't seen...ever. They jumped. It could've been you. It matters. Remember.

Nothing has changed in my heart, God forbid it ever does.

-James Lileks.



I'm actually in the best, most euphoric mood. We just had the rehearsal to end all rehearsals, the show is in two days, it looks and sounds (now we have acoustic-guitar accompaniment, which ratchets the show up about eight levels) fantastic. Then I came home, practiced my Ain't-America-Grand speech for tommorow out back while it rained, then went jogging. Strange to have this blissful sort of feeling when the country is at its most reflective and depressed (and I can't blame the country, frankly.) But we're still here. The streets are slicked with rain and I love all my friends to little tiny pieces. These are the kind of good days you almost don't want to have, because they come with the knowledge that they aren't all like this.

I was asked to caption these photos, I don't really want to, plus I don't have the html skill to know how if I did want to. But the pretty-girl-looking-pissed in Taco Bell Friday afternoon in a torrential downpour is Taryn. She rocks. Then again I'm such a lucky fella I don't know many girls who don't.

I realized after I linked yesterday's photo album that you have to have a username to get into Imagestation. I was trying to figure out what the downside was in unlimited picture hosting. That must be it.

New comment system. Use it wisely. Hell, just use it.

Fifth straight day featuring rain. They can't all be like this.

I was bored in 2nd hour, so I changed my comment system. This'll be the third one.
Just click on the thing that says "Shout Out" under every post.
Yea, that's it.
Now you have no excuse not to leave me comments.
PUNK.
Holla back.

9/09/2002

For four days straight, it has rained in Phoenix, Arizona. Yea, and? says the rest of the country. So what? It rains like every other day here. We carry umbrellas and get over it. But what the rest of the country doesn't understand is that four days of rain in Phoenix is like four days of snow in LA or four days of complete sentences and use of simple machines in Canada, basically, it don't ever fuckin' happen. But nothing is happier when it does. We don't know what to do with all these grey skies, all we know is that we suddenly feel compelled to move our activities outside, which puzzles us. The whole place has this wet sheen to it, it's great.

And it was just this feeling of a brand-new Earth full of fertile rain-soaked possibilities that caused Alecia, Elizabeth, Trevor and I to ditch 6th hour Creative Writing today. That, and the fact that we didn't want to sit through another senior go-to-fucking-college lecture in the guidance office. We all have two English classes, and we'd already sat through one of 'em today, so we fled in the Civic and went to Sonic, sat outside, enjoyed the rain, shouted "SENIOR!" in an impassioned manner just to remind ourselves what divine right we had to be here in the middle of a perfectly good school-day, then to Alecia's house. The door was locked, the key to unlock the door was in a locker at school, and a hell of a time was had with the skinniest bitches available (Trevor and Alecia) attempting to squeeze through a garage doggy door. A couple minutes at Alecia's for no particular reason, then, for no particular reason, back to school.


Later, there was rehearsal, and even later, seven dollar all-you-can-eat spaghetti at Buca di Beppo, as a fundraiser for the school's Sept. 11th memorial activities. I'm giving a speech at the ceremony, and I promise you I'm not seeing a red cent of all this ill-gotten noodle money. It was good eats, though. The pictures to prove it. I don't feel like going through and linking and captioning all these, so I'll just link the album. Besides, how many variations on the theme "Look at my friend Trevor being a doofus!" can you write?



You ever notice how peaches, nectarines, all those type fruits, are often so good, that when you get one that's not perfectly ripened, it's somehow incredibly unsatisfying, to the point where you can't eat the thing at all? I know what I'm talking about, there's a half-eaten nectarine sitting on a paper towel next to the computer.

Whatup nectarine.

Not much, pally. Just sitting here, looking forlorn with a big ol' bite taken out of me.

You sure are.

You're not gonna even finish me?

Not planning on it, no.

That's fucked up. How come not?

Because I've had so many fantastic nectarines in my day, I mean orgasmically good knock-your-socks-off type fruit, that when I get one like you that's merely okay, I get put off and just quit.

Yea, yea. You think your shit don't stink? You're writing an interview with a fruit, fer chrissakes. And not even a whole one. One you just took a bite out of and left.

There's a greater metaphor I'm driving at here.

Well, hop to it, bitch.

You sure do swear a lot for a half-eaten nectarine.

Make with the metaphor or I'll squirt fuckin' juice in your eye.

Oh, right. Well, all you fruits are like that. You have this great potential for satisfaction that you wouldn't expect from something you can just pluck off a tree, but you get your nectarine standards up over time, you know? All you fruits are like that. Love and sex, too. And evenings. And plays, and movies, and music. Everything. You see too many fantastic movies, eat too many perfectly ripened Washington peaches and before you know it, you get jaded. You expect the best from life or nothing at all. A girl doesn't immediately spark your interest and she's chopped liver 'cause of all the fantastic amazing girls you've ever met, she can't hope to compare so you dismiss her out of hand.

So...what is it you're trying to say?

I'm saying...you've got to listen up, basically. Even the bad nectarine has something to teach us.

Yea. I could teach you how to hotwire a car.

That isn't what I...aw, fuck it. Sometimes we've just gotta be glad we have nectarines at all.

You're still a bitch.



This sentiment goes out to Chelsea W. in response to her Sunday night post, but it also applies to the female population at large, yes, all of you. So listen. She really likes this guy, thinks this guy really likes her, they go out, have a good time, but he never calls. This sends her into all sorts of fear-and-doubt spirals about whether she likes him too much, more than he likes her, etc. etc. etc. And I have this to say, to girls everywhere, about guys who don't call or don't show enough affection or emotion or whatever:

Sometimes, we are dumb. We are plumb idiotic, sometimes, in situations more extreme than this one. Things that seem like crisis situations to you don't even register to us as situations at all. As the man himself Elvis Costello sang, "the moments that I can't recall are moments that you treasure." Do we mean to do this? No, not at all. We want to make you happy, we want you to like us, we think you're prettier than we can put into words, and if we could put it into words we wouldn't because we're scared of sounding stupid. We just don't function on the same level emotionally at all. We can be childish and stupid (not that girls can't be, but in different ways), we can make you cry without even meaning to and we have no idea how to put things back to the way they were.

Sometimes, you just have to forgive us. We don't mean to neglect you, we just don't have the same concept of neglect. We're two completely different types of beings that don't resemble each other at all, yet we have this irresistible desire to be together. And in that attempt to be together, we will fuck up, both of us. So try, try, try to excuse our persistent male-ness, and we'll try to see past your relentless femininity. Deal?

9/08/2002

Just got done doing a paper about not-particularly famous economist Thorstein Veblen. His one condition for letting me write a five-page essay about him was that he get to guest-blog for me this evening. So, without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, please welcome semi-well-known American sociologist and social critic Thorstein Veblen.


What is up, hizzoes. It is I, brilliant social critic and influential thinker Thorstein Veblen. Perhaps you thought I was dead. If you did not think I was dead, perhaps you were not aware of me at all. But here I am. Thorstein Veblen. I exist. You exist, too, but in a far smellier and less smart and sexy way than I do. Ha ha ha.

Many claim that I died in 1929. We call these people "lying bastards." Well, actually I did die, in a cabin in California, poor and obscure, in 1929. So they are not so much "lying bastards" as they are "misled sacks of shit." Yes, that will do. I returned to the land of the living not but three weeks ago, and in that brief period of time I have already fucked all of your mothers. And if I have not fucked your mother, I am getting around to it in due time. I have a list, and have been averaging 300-400 mothers a night on average. In my day I was able to knock off fifteen hundred in one evening of economic-theory-and-vodka-soaked debauchery, but seventy-four years of deadness has a tendency to affect one's mother-fucking ability. I assure you, I will be back in peak form in a matter of days, and then you had better ask your father to leave the house, unless he wants to see how a true blood-and-guts undead economist lays down the love on his wife. He does not want to see that, I would assume, if he is any kind of father.

If I were the maker of one of your capitalistic "motion pictures" rather than a famous and influential social critic, I would no doubt make a "motion picture" about my exploits. It would be called "The Time Thorstein Veblen Came Back From The Dead And Fucked Everybody's Mother." It would make millions of dollars in revenue, however, since profit-making is a remnant of an antiquated eighteenth century predatory social structure, I would put all that money towards socially improving industrial development, while saving enough money to buy a really sweet horseless carriage to come pick up your mother in, with a wide enough back seat so that we may fuck wildly unimpeded by vain upper-class trappings like bucket seats and in-dash consoles.

Wait, what is that rhythmic squeaking you hear, that interrupts the frivolity of your late-night expedition on the computing machine? Is it not emanating from your parents' bed-chambers? Go, cast wide the door, for there you will see a strapping buck-naked sweaty economist, a mysterious stranger with a really awesome pointy beard-and-moustache combo, straddling your mother as if she were a thoroughbred, yelping with delight! Is it not Thorstein Veblen, most influential and sexiest economist of all time, who is pumping the woman who gave you birth with the hydraulic effeciency of a factory unencumbered by pecuinary interest? It is! And is it not your father in the corner, weeping like a little girl at the very sight of such sexual skill, the heights of which he cannot grasp without his very mind snapping like a twig? It is! Be sure to tell all your friends tommorow: "Beware of Thorstein Veblen! Yes, THAT Thorstein Veblen! For he has returned from the dead, bringing not only revolutionary ideas about economy's role in the larger evolutionary and cultural structure of society, but unheralded sexual prowess! I tell you, friend, he fucks a mean mother!"

Sleep well, and if you have ever given birth, know that in time, you will be receiving a midnight visit from none other than legendary economic theorist Thorstein Veblen.

Veblen out.

You know what's not funny anymore? Old people swearing. For the longest time it's been the go-to joke in movies and on TV, if we can't think of anything funny, we'll just have Grandma say, "You cock-sucking bitch-ass motherfucker!" And the first thousand times, yea, it was funny. It grows old now. Old and wrinkly.


But if it happened in real life, that'd be great. I just wanna hear Grandma call somebody a "pole-smoker" once before she goes.


Reading is fun-demental.


Writing, not so much, when you're as tired as I am right now.


So look at the purdy pitchers. And shut yer yap sos I can sleep.



A librarian in her natural habitat.


Kids who hang out in the library for their lunch hour. I could've become these kids.

Instead I became this:


That is to say, a straight blue-tucked-in-shirt-wearin' pimp-ass muthafucka for real.

Bonus Points: Spot the ass in this picture. No points awarded if you say it's me. The OTHER ass.


Tonight is Saturday, but it feels like Friday.

I need to write more. So much writing. All the time.

I wish my comments worked more often. Then you could tell me how cool my tucked-in blue shirt is. Go ahead and try anyway. Then we'll all feel good about ourselves.



Goodnight.