10.25.2002

While I've got this on my mind, I do know that my external hyperlinks are all busted. I've tried fixing them, but each time I republish, blogger blows away my HTML, leaving only an empty "a" tag. Kinda sucks.

I'm sure I could fix it by adopting a new template, but I don't want to switch templates. I customized this one, damnit.

If anyone out there has any special knowledge, I'd appreciate it if you'd email pointers on how to fix. Thanks.

Sooooooooooooooooo tired. I was up until almost three last night, irritating the roommate and one of his friends, some girl who's moving far away, to Nap Town.

Actually, that's not the whole story. Band practice lasted until around 9:30, and then I stopped by Paul's Club to sip drinks with the CS crowd. It was a pretty good time. I got home a little bit after 11, and wasn't that tired. I had to pack for the trip I'm taking to Minnesota (the Goose and the Drake are getting married), dilly-dallied with that for a while, and then interrobang's friend came over.

And I just stayed up, ruining their quality time together. I went to bed when he walked her down to the door. A bastard is what I am.

10.24.2002

So I'm rediscovering my musical roots, through my alphabetical MP3 project (the short on it: I listen to each band and it's albums in alphabetical order). Right now I'm on Public Enemy's 1988 landmark It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back.

I've made this comment so many times before, but it bears repeating: it is nothing short of a miracle that a 12-year-old white kid living in rural Wisconsin found this group. They were just what I needed at the time, a completely transcendant expression of anger towards inchoate forces conspiring to keep one down. To this day, I am moved by "Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos." Great tune.

Was I repressed as a 12-year-old? I suppose it depends on your perspective. I was not particularly well-liked in school with either girls or guys, and I possessed enough self-awareness to recognize the lack of confidence the school administration had in us. The guidance counselors, in particular, seemed to lack any kind of empathy. With the skills and world-view I have now, I would be far more successful negotiating those waters, but I wouldn't go back for anything.

Here's a quick example of what I was dealing with: Van Halen was cool. Guns 'n' Roses was cool. My discovery of hip-hop (especially such a political strain of it) only further colored me as an outcast, but the music gave me an important crutch.

In the end, it was among the first instances of me expressing my individuality in the crowd. It further singled me out, but it also solidified my distaste for what the cool kids do and who the cool kids are. It demonstrated the power of leaving behind the opinions of others.

I abandoned hip-hop a couple of years later, when the once-nascent strain of West-Coast gangsta rap took the front of the stage and achieved unprecedented success. Simultaneously, those who had previously mocked me for listening to hip-hop listened most ardently. I went goth.

I went to bed ridiculously early last night, and I'm still tired. Must have something to do with the seasons, hibernation, that kind of thing.

I've been caffeine-free for nearly a week, and that certainly helps. But I've also started smoking again, so that probably doesn't. Speaking of which, I think I'll step outside for a moment...

10.23.2002

More on that self-aggrandizing jackass.

No, it's just too easy. Anyone who approaches folks in a bar, trying to impress by name-dropping "Steve Albini" and acting the big-city sophisticate - while intoxicated, mind you - doesn't deserve much of my time. Just my scorn.

If you're out there, fella, take my advice: you need to work on your approach. Tone down the ego, and please remember that it's not all about the music, especially where comics and fiction are concerned.

I vomited my breakfast this morning, shortly after brushing my teeth. I'm not sick (though I have had a decreased appetite of late), so I figure it's stress. Whodathunkit?

Last night proved interesting. interrobang and I developed more ideas for Popular Misanthropy, our zine, while drinking at the Lava Lounge. A self-aggrandizing jackass (complete with indie cred!) inserted himself into our conversations, making like he had some world wisdom and help to offer us. Since he was intoxicated, we had more than our share of fun, at his expense.

The whole reason we went to the Lava Lounge was to wait out the laundry three doors down, and from the walking and carrying the basket, I think I did some damage to my foot - it's not feeling as good today as it did yesterday.

10.22.2002

I'm feeling better now.

It is, of course, imperative that I maintain perspective, and many people have done plenty to help.

Thanks to everyone that's coming to bat for me. I know I try your patience with the ongoing melodrama of my life, but I hope that you get some return for making a difference. I can't repay you, except if, some day down the road, you need my help. I'll do the best I can.

I'm more depressed than I previously thought. It's mostly due to a lack of organization. Living in as small a place as I do, and having no plan for anything, my life has become littered with unsatisfying chaos.

I can't think. I don't sleep well. I've got half a grip on a creative outlet, but sometimes I fear that having had another kid in the past year will force me to leave that behind too.

The defeats of the past year have, in and of themselves, been manageable. But combined, this past year has probably been my worst. Both my dad's parents died. A summer girlfriend I never got along with that well, well, she got pregnant. Now I'm Dad x 2. I found someone who made me stand tall and fearless at the edge of this vortex, but she left me for reasons I can't fully articulate or understand. And then there's this foot business.

To all those prone to worry: I will get through this. There is no other choice but to push on, bearing what I find on my shoulders. There is no other choice but to keep living.

The warm bodies
shine together
in the darkness,
the hand moves
to the center
of the flesh,
the skin trembles
in happiness
and the soul comes
joyful to the eye--
yes, yes,
that's what
I wanted,
I always wanted,
I always wanted,
to return
to the body
where I was born.

I've had my difficulties with the Beats in the past, most specifically with their seeming rejection of maturity, their reluctance to accept responsibility, and their failure to innovate something that could be drawn out to successive generations.

But. The above quote, from Ginsburg's "Song", is some of the most beautiful poetry I've ever read. I've loved it since my junior year in high school, and it's always welcome to make me cry.

My foot is getting better. I'm walking around the office without a cane. It still agitates me, but I can put some weight on it and sit comfortably.

10.21.2002

I've decided to participate in NaNoWriMo, though not through the officially sanctioned website. Just to see what kind of progress I can make by devoting nearly all my free time to writing.

I don't think I'll be working on James of the Desert during that time. I have a different story in mind that I'd like to tell, something a bit closer to home and less "wacky." And while I'm not foolish enough to think I can get a damn book out in a month, I'm familiar enough with the writing process to know I could get a fantastic kernel out of a dedicated month.

And then there's the routine issue. I haven't regularly written in years, and it's time to change that. So if the blog gets quiet, it's because I'm locked away, giving serious thought to serious things. Seriously.

Lee and I went to "Spirited Away" last night. Fantastic movie.

Writing about it now only highlights the difficulty of communicating the excitement of animation. For me, it's perhaps the visual art with the most possibilities. Miyazaki certainly has a strong grasp of how to use details to convince the audience of the reality of his animated world. In the theater, in the darkness, I felt I was watching a landmark work of art, something that would influence countless pieces to follow.