Saturday, February 07, 2004

It would appear that Fend-For-Yourself Fridays has leaked over to Saturday as well.

Sweet, sweet justice.

Friday, February 06, 2004

Nobody pointed out that for the past...well, always, I've been writing descriptions incorrectly.

Instead of this:

The charred, gooey, Guillermo was catapulted the remaining 200 meters into the peat bog.

It should have only had the one comma, like this:

The charred, gooey Guillermo was catapulted the remaining 200 meters into the peat bog.

Someone out there must have known that I barely passed my English classes and even now am only in English 102. (It's amazing that I can even write my own name.)

Since that someone didn't speak up and allowed me to just ramble on thinking I knew what I was doing, I am declaring today:


End post.

Update: I am re-declaring this day PANTS-DOWN FRIDAY!

(Let's see how well you fend for yourselves with your trousers around your ankles.)

Please accept my apologies, Miss Jaden Jewel.

Thursday, February 05, 2004

Meanwhile, back in The Royal Scrivening Room...

Dryly Snydesdale: Official Gurg! We have a situation!

I (Official Gurg of the Nation-State of Guillermo): What is your cause for such alarm, my Head Scrivener?

Snydesdale: Bigger Brother is here! They claim to have a warrant to search the palace!

I: Bigger Brother? The name sounds familiar, but I am unable to recall exactly why.

Snydesdale: Sir, please! Bigger Brother is the regiment of Thought Police that you accepted in lieu of payment during a business transaction with one of the Anti-Utopias.

I: Business transac...Oh! Yes, the one we sold all those rat traps to?

Snydesdale: Precisely, sir. Now they are demanding to search the palace!

I: Well, what is it they're looking for?

Captain of Bigger Brother: I'll tell you what we're looking for!

Soldier Bigger Brothers: Hut!

I: Good evening, Captain. Please, by all means, explain the actions of you and your men.

Captain: Official Gurg, some days ago you officially stated that you had exhausted your ration of funny.

I: Indeed, I did say that.

Captain: We have reason to believe that you have been illegally importing funny.

I: I do not recall taking such action.

Captain: Oh really? Tell me, Official Gurg, are you familiar with the website,

I: Indeed I am.

Captain: Did you not provide a link so that others could view this website and the funny contained therein?

I: I did.

Captain: Then you are under arrest for illegally importing funny in violation of standing funny restrictions!

Soldier Bigger Brothers: Hut!

I: Silence! I see that you "Thought Police" are poorly named. I did provide links to the website, but I did not return with any of the funny. I have violated nothing. To arrest me now would be akin to arresting me for posting directions to India on my blog without a valid passport.

Captain: Uh...

I: You have wasted enough of our time. Begone.

Captain: Wait, aren't there supposed to be three of you? There is another Head Scrivener on the payroll. Where is...Quibbles Bumbly the Third?

I: Quibbles is hiding in the broom closet.

Captain: I knew it! He's funny, isn't he?

Snydesdale: That's being rather generous, Captain. One moment, how could you know that he was hiding in the broom closet?

Captain: We here at Bigger Brother are highly trained, Head Scrivener.

Snydesdale: But you couldn't have known he was in the broom closet.

Captain: Oh, and why not?

Snydesdale: Because there was no broom closet.

I: Snydesdale, don't addle their brains any more than they already are.

Captain: What do you mean, no broom closet? I'm looking at it right now! It was always there, wasn't it men?

Soldiers: Hut!

Snydesdale: Well, it was and it wasn't. As of just a few moments ago, that broom closet was always there.

Captain: That doesn't make any sense!

Snydesdale: I'm afraid that it makes perfect sense. Has it ever occurred to you to stop and wonder why nothing around here exists until the Official Gurg mentions it?

Captain: Enough of this post-modern garbage! Regardless of what exists and what doesn't, we are here to do our job, and you will hand over this Quibbles Bumbly for questioning!

Snydesdale: I would ask rather politely, if I were you. You would like to get mentioned again at some point in the future, wouldn't you?

Soldiers: Hut?

I: It is of little importance, Snydesdale. Take Bumbly for questioning, if you wish. I, for one, will enjoy the brief respite from his constant LOL'ing.

Captain: You heard him, boys. To the broom closet!

Soldiers: Hut!

Meanwhile, The Next Day...

I: Good morning, Captain. I see that you have brought back my Head Scrivener. The questioning went well, I trust?

Captain: Yes, I suppose. We did find trace amounts of funny on him, but it tested negative. It was funny, but not Ha-Ha funny.

I: Was that all you subjected him to?

Captain: We had a team of psychologists give him a complete mental work-up. His official disposition is "Annoying."

I: As I strongly suspected all along. Is there anything else, Captain?

Captain: Eh, if I may, I'd like to point out one thing, Oh Official Gurg.

I: And that is?

Captain: Attempted funny isn't a crime. Yet.

I: I assure you, my dear Captain, that I have no idea what you are insinuating. No idea at all.

Bumbly: Don't I get to talk at all?!

I: Of course you may, Bumbly; go right ahead. Myself, I am going to sleep, so I greatly doubt that anyone will ever hear you.

Bumbly: Man, the Captain was right, you know. This post-modern writing stuff is a bunch of bull-

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Heh heh, thanks Jake, for a fun, fresh, outlook on the human condition...




After reading Kenzie's (another blogger-turned-Live-Journaler) last entry about the flood of memories and emotions from listening to a CD that she used to listen to a lot.

"That's interesting," I thought.

So I tried it myself. I hunted through my CD's until I found one that I hadn't listened to with any regularity in almost two years. It was Jimmy Eat World's Bleed American. (The title of the album was changed to just Jimmy Eat World since, shortly after its release, terrorists crashed jets into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. I bought my copy as soon as it came out, so it still says Bleed American)

I hadn't even started playing the CD and already I was remembering...

The morning of September 11th, I was awoken by my cell phone. It was Kendall, and she was in school. She frantically told me that planes were crashing into buildings. I was still half-asleep and wasn't really understanding what she was telling me. I stumbled out to the television and turned on the news. Sure enough, it was true.

My military training must have kicked in, because my emotions seemed to just shut off. The only thing I was thinking was "When we find out who is behind all of this we're going to absolutely destroy them." I watched the news for a bit longer to see if we, the public, were going to receive any special instructions. None came. Then, knowing that there was nothing I could personally do about it at the moment, I went back to sleep.

...I put in the CD and pressed the play button. I used to fall asleep to the music, so I lay down on my bed, turned off the lights, and closed my eyes.

I listened and recognized the lyrics that used to stir something inside me.

I want to always feel like part of this was mine

Well, that one still does.

I heard

If you still care at all/ don't go tell me now
If you love me at all/ don't call

and remembered exactly who I was thinking about every time I listened to that song.

And I'm still running away


So what would you think of me now?
So lucky, so strong, so proud?

Hmm...that line could very well be the grandfather of one of my blog entries.

On sleepless roads, the sleepless go


Driving 405 past midnight

I have always been a sucker for songs that mention Phoenix expressways (The Format, anyone?)

If you don't know, why would you say so?

I know who I was thinking of when I heard that, too.

Don't wanna thing from you
I'm going out, I don't care if you're angry

I took a bit of inspiration from those lyrics.

You'll change your mind come Monday/ And turn your back on me

The song outlined one of my fears at the time. It would be misleading of me not to say that it is still a concern of mine.

I don't seem obvious do I?

I find the idea of asking someone if you seem obvious hysterical, and I think it is being used tongue-in-cheek in the song also.

Then the CD ended, and with it, my exercise in reminiscence. I began to think of everyone else who had ever listened to the same album. All those thousands of people, focused on the same little disc of spinning plastic, listening to the exact same notes in the exact same order. But I know it's not the same. Probably not for a single one of those listeners.

Anyone can listen to the CD, or even just download all the songs, but they won't hear what I hear. All of the thoughts and emotions from the months of my life that the album contains, that it plays in the background of every track, can be heard only by me. The sometimes-feeble laser of my memory is the only thing that can pick those up.

The world inside my CD is mine, and mine alone.

So I guess what I'm saying is, thanks for the idea, Kenzie. And as far as making our team lose at Beer Pong goes, all is forgiven.

Update: Old Man Crohn pointed out that the 405 is in LA. I admit my mistake. I was actually thinking about the next lines, "Ninth and Ash on a Tuesday night." Oh, the dangers of blogging past midnight.

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Important! Well, to me...

Neil Gaiman recommends that writers read this.

One of my favorite parts, about the small matter of accepting, or more commonly, rejecting manuscripts:

"Manuscripts are unwieldy, but the real reason for that time ratio is that most of them are a fast reject. Herewith, the rough breakdown of manuscript characteristics, from most to least obvious rejections:

1. Author is functionally illiterate.

2. Author has submitted some variety of literature we don't publish: poetry, religious revelation, political rant, illustrated fanfic, etc.

3. Author has a serious neurochemical disorder, puts all important words into capital letters, and would type out to the margins if MSWord would let him.

4. Author is on bad terms with the Muse of Language. Parts of speech are not what they should be. Confusion-of-motion problems inadvertently generate hideous images. Words are supplanted by their similar-sounding cousins: towed the line, deep-seeded, incentiary, reeking havoc, nearly penultimate, dire straights, viscous/vicious.

5. Author can write basic sentences, but not string them together in any way that adds up to paragraphs.

6. Author has a moderate neurochemical disorder and can't tell when he or she has changed the subject. This greatly facilitates composition, but is hard on comprehension.

7. Author can write passable paragraphs, and has a sufficiently functional plot that readers would notice if you shuffled the chapters into a different order. However, the story and the manner of its telling are alike hackneyed, dull, and pointless.

(At this point, you have eliminated 60-75% of your submissions. Almost all the reading-and-thinking time will be spent on the remaining fraction.)

8. It's nice that the author is working on his/her problems, but the process would be better served by seeing a shrink than by writing novels.

9. Nobody but the author is ever going to care about this dull, flaccid, underperforming book.

10.The book has an engaging plot. Trouble is, it's not the author's, and everybody's already seen that movie/read that book/collected that comic.

(You have now eliminated 95-99% of the submissions.)

11. Someone could publish this book, but we don't see why it should be us.

12. Author is talented, but has written the wrong book.

13. It's a good book, but the house isn't going to get behind it, so if you buy it, it'll just get lost in the shuffle.

14. Buy this book."

I think the most important part of the article is that "it isn't personal."

Neil Gaiman also says, "It's amazing how many interesting things are done by people who have no idea what they're doing."

Myself, I feel a swell of confidence when I hear that.

And Speaking Of People Who Have No Idea What They're Doing...

Advice Girl would like to announce that she is now accepting requests for her unique brand of advice, via e-mail.

Since she is technologically impaired, it might be a good idea to send them to me at . I will make sure she gets them, and maybe even post them here.

Please help me. The busier she is with her advice column, the less energy she can devote to other pastimes.

Like lurking in the shadows by my house, heh heh.

Hold on, I think I just heard a noise in my backyard.

Monday, February 02, 2004

Did I mention I'm forgetful?

I'd like to welcome:

Jessica E. She'll sass you in English and serenade you in Spanish.

Nick C. Perhaps now the mystery will finally be revealed.

Kermit. Anyone who can lose themselves in Salvador Dali and Calvin and Hobbes is a friend of mine.

My Stats

I haven't had any alcohol in a month. No cigarrettes either, but I didn't really smoke regularly before.

For some reason I'm able to run three times farther, lift greater weight, and actually get up for class in the morning.

I've also mysteriously lost 8 pounds.

But I can't seem to lose this song that keeps running through my head.

At this rate, I will easily reach my goal of becoming an absolute bore by April.

Sunday, February 01, 2004

I need to listen when Jake tells me things.

He has been trying for some time now to get me to come out and see and his roommate's band, Moffit. So I did, and they were great. I also got to see Jake perform, which I always enjoy.

I had an idea for something while at the show, but I didn't have anything to write with so I forgot what it was. I'm sure it'll come to me. Or maybe it won't, and it'll get to live forever in the Land of Forgotten Ideas. I'm sure it will be in good company.

I also thought of something while I was running today. It is also forgotten.

The problem with running now is that I run for too long. When I started at the beginning of the month, I was running for about 20 minutes. That amount of time is good for cultivating my head until a seed of an idea falls in the right spot.

Then I increased my time up to 40 minutes, which is also good. My pancake story was almost completely cooked up during one such 40 minute period. I just scribbled down the skeleton of it as soon as I ran into the house.

But now I've been running for an hour, which is the perfect amount of time to have an idea and then completely forget it.

I guess what I'm saying is that I had an idea for a post tonight and now I don't.

There are worse things.