30 August 2003

A Fine Day [Filed under: Uncategorized]

Today is truly a glorious day. I have, for more than six years, been suffering under the oppresive and inescapable weight of a profound existential dilemma. Naturally, I expected today to be confronted by the same unresolvable issues, but as I was doing some light cleaning around my room this morning, I made a breakthrough. I was listening to Hilary Duff sing What Dreams Are Made Of, a sublime (if utterly disposable) poppy number from the soundtrack to The Lizzie McGuire Movie. Normally, I sing along to such things without ever consciously processing the lyrics, but this morning, I caught myself singing:

Have you ever wondered what life is about?
You could search the world and never figure it out.
You don’t have to sail the oceans, no, no, no!
Happiness is no mystery, it’s here and now, it’s you and me!

Problem solved! Hilary Duff is the source of happiness.

I think I still might sail the oceans, though.

On a wholly unrelated note: on this day, many, many years ago, two of my college roommates were born. Happy birthday, Stephanie, and happy birthday, Ray! I do hope it is a good one…

NP: Blümchen, Denk Noch Mal Drüber Nach

28 August 2003

I’m Number One [Filed under: Uncategorized]

My connection has been a bit spotty the past few days. Partly, Comcast sucks. Partly, our weather sucks. If it ain’t 120% humidity, it’s wind strong enough to topple buildings. I wanted to run a “Swinburne Poem a Day” post-a-thon (at least through the end of the month), and I wanted to start two days ago, but I also wanted a pony for my eighth birthday, and that never materialized, either. I will try to make amends today. Before I do, though, I must toot my own proverbial horn for a moment.

(Read more…)

25 August 2003

Bleh. Title Schmitle. [Filed under: Uncategorized]

Today was a day I really could have (and would have) used a shoulder to cry on. Thank you, World, for not allowing me such a crutch. I’m sure, in some mysterious and indescribable way, I’m a better man for being alone. And I’m sure that, years down the road when the sun shines for a day on my life, I will look back upon today as a turning point or a genesis. Because, after all, that’s the sort of irrational and idiotic faith in the nature of nature that we’re taught as small, irrational and idiotic children to adopt, and who am I to disagree? Nobody, that’s who. Nobody.

  Of all things tired thy lips look weariest,
Save the long smile that they are wearied of.

Swinburne, from Hermaphroditus

NP: silence, finally

19 August 2003

I’m in the Money! [Filed under: Uncategorized]

[img] Bob Sapp kicking ass [45 K]

[Photo courtesy sherdog.com]

Look carefully at the man on the left, because you will be seeing a lot more of him. His name is Bob Sapp, also known as “The Beast” [birth year 1974, silly]. He had short stints in the WCW and IWC after playing football for the Raiders and the Bears. Now Sapp is, quite simply, the biggest star in Japanese Mixed-Martial Arts Prize fighting—both physically and commercially. He is 6′5″ [or 6′3″, there are mixed reports] and 356 lbs. of solid muscle. He was on Leno the other day. On Friday he KOd Kimo at the Battle at the Bellagio. Mike Tyson was watching in the front row; when the match ended, Tyson jumped into the ring and Tyson and Sapp challenged each other to a match. Tyson wants to fight Sapp. Sapp wants to fight Tyson.

Why should you care? I dunno, maybe you shouldn’t. But I care. I went to junior high and high school with Bob Sapp (he was a year ahead of me). I just yesterday found out about his relative stardom. I knew he went NFL, but hadn’t heard much else until yesterday (thanks, Katie!).

When I was young, my friends and I used to sit around playing Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out on the old Nintendo, joking about how crazy you’d have to be to step into the ring with Iron Mike. Now, a guy I know might actually do just that. Insane!

But the real reason I care is not that I can claim some derivative accolades from knowing someone famous, but because Bob Sapp yearbooks are selling like hotcakes, and I have four of them. I’m guessing that the guy trying to sell his for $100,000 is bound for serious disappointment. But I’m not asking for $100,000. I’ll sell mine for a tenth of that.

Any takers?

Other people of note from my high school: the Fuzzy Carrot Nipples. Because dead chicks are great, and so is getting drunk.

NP: The Decemberists, A Cautionary Song

16 August 2003

On Bands and Girls (Part 4,293) [Filed under: Uncategorized]

As if it weren’t already apparent that Coldplay is the Best Band Ever™:

Today, as my roommate was flipping through the channels on the idiot box, he paused briefly on VH1, where we caught in medias res Coldplay’s video for The Scientist. It was filmed backwards, but I noticed that Chris Martin seemed to be singing along with the lyrics.

<aside>
It reminded me of a song on the Trash Can Sinatras’ most recent compilation, Zebra of the Family. The guys were fooling around in the studio, running the tapes for Iceberg backwards, so they recorded Francis trying to sing along with the backwards tape, and then reversed the recording. I imagined Chris Martin having to do something similar for the video.
</aside>

ANYWHO, I persuaded Teague to let me watch the rest of the video, which turned out to be quite a sublime little number, and an excellent complement to the song. The best part, though, was that the very end of the video features a brief appearance by Elaine Cassidy, who, as of this writing, just happens to be the Best Girl Ever™.

I first saw Elaine in a made-for-TV movie called The Lost World, which was based on a story by Arthur Conan Doyle. The movie was surprisingly enjoyable; particularly so due to the presence (ah, the double entendre!) of Elaine Cassidy. She was wonderful. She also stars in Felicia’s Journey, a movie by Atom Egoyan (The Sweet Hereafter). Definitely next on my viewing list…

But Coldplay is rad for far more than the actresses they employ in their videos. They’re planting mango trees in Bangalore, and they were the highlight of the otherwise overwhelming :bleh: HFStival of 2001. And the music. Can’t forget the music.

NP: Coldplay, See You Soon

Linux, Baby!!! [Filed under: Uncategorized]

This is why I’m loving my Linux box. Well, and this. And this. And this. And…

That, and it’s free.

NP: Gene, Olympian

8 August 2003

A quiet interlude [Filed under: Uncategorized]

I haven’t been able to do much writing lately. Partly I have been working far too much, and, perhaps related to this condition, I have been in extremely low spirits for several months. What little time I have devoted to any serious personal pursuit has been spent almost exclusively on trying to gather material for a large essay on a single topic that has held my focus for more than four years. A complete essay is a long way off, and I’m not sure it will ever be reproduced here. I’m still not certain that the materials I have gathered or what I have to say about them could possibly interest anyone else. The pathological nature of my own interest seems to argue against it. I may, however, from time to time offer small snippets of some of the supporting material, to keep it fresh in my own mind and step. Today, I recall section 192 from Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil:

192

Whoever has traced the history of an individual science finds a clue in its development for understanding the most ancient and common processes of all “knowledge and cognition.” There as here it is the rash hypotheses, the fictions, the good dumb will to “believe,” the lack of mistrust and patience that are developed first; our senses learn only late and never learn entirely, to be subtle, faithful, and cautious organs of cognition. Our eye finds it more comfortable to respond to a given stimulus by reproducing once more an image that it has produced many times before, instead of registering what is different and new in an impression. The latter would require more strength, more “morality.” Hearing something new is embarrassing and difficult for the ear; foreign music we do not hear well. When we hear another language we try involuntarily to form the sounds we hear into words that sound more familiar and more like home to us: thus the German, for example, transformed arcubalista, when he heard that, into Armbrust. What is new finds our senses, too, hostile and reluctant; and even in the “simplest” process of sensation the affects dominate, such as fear, love, hatred, including the passive affects of laziness.

Just as little as a reader today reads all of the individual words (let alone syllables) on a page—rather he picks about five words at random out of twenty and “guesses” at the meaning that probably belongs to these five words—just as little do we see a tree exactly and completely with reference to leaves, twigs, color, and form; it is so very much easier for us simply to improvise some approximation of a tree. Even in the midst of the strangest experiences we still do the same; we make up the major part of the experience and can scarcely be forced not to contemplate some event as its “inventors.” All this means: basically and from time immemorial we are—accustomed to lying. Or to put it more virtuously and hypocritically, in short, more pleasantly: one is much more of an artist than one knows.

In an animated conversation I often see the face of the person with whom I am talking so clearly and so subtly determined in accordance with the thought he expresses, or that I believe has been produced in him, that this degree of clarity far surpasses my powers of vision: so the subtle shades of the play of the muscles and the expression of the eyes must have been made up by me. Probably the person made an altogether different face, or none at all.

—From Walter Kaufmann’s translation of Beyond Good and Evil by Friedrich Nietzsche

NP: The Transplants, Tall Cans in the Air