Friday, April 30, 2004

Just started reading Malcolm Gladwell's The Tipping Point, for class. It concerns itself with the spread of trends, social epidemics, what I've heard called memes in the past. The second chapter is about the people who can spread information, the tastemakers. People with lots of acquaintances who they can reach easily. Which I am not, even though I would like to be one of the information-spreading people. Then there's things like charisma, and a certain type of knowledge... Basically, I am not a tastemaker. With that said, let me discuss the two movies I watched last night. They made up a double feature that cost me $6.50.

Monster. What a piece of shit this movie was/is. God. Because of the whole double-feature thing I can view it like I saw it for free. But it took up my time. If you place any credence in my opinions regarding movies, don't see this.

Big Fish. Pretty decent, I wasn't even bored with the whole Billy Crudup/Albert Finney parts. Didn't make me cry or anything like that, but I didn't hate them when they were on screen as other people did. Yeah, Big Fish was nice.

Oh, and at the movie, because it's a film society and it's all wacky and such, there are ticket drawings/raffles. The prize for the winners was a comic, handpicked by the people who work at the comic shop. At the first screening, the actual comic wasn't announced, but I thought that the giveaway was a cool way for the shop to promote itself, and then thought about comics that people would like. It turned out they were giving out an issue of Stray Bullets. I've actually considered writing about Stray Bullets here. Stray Bullets is pretty fucking great. I don't own any Stray Bullets, though. Here's the deal, which is pretty retarded. Each issue is kind of self-contained. It's a complete story, but there's also arcs. The book's collected in paperbacks that collect four-issues in a go. The paperbacks are relatively cheap, but kind of the worst format to read it in, as the arcs aren't in sets of four. The first one was seven issues, the second was eight, the third was seven, I don't know about after that. I read it when Jason bought the cheap paperback collections. I am sure that the best way to read it is in complete arcs. The complete arcs are only collected in big hardcovers, with really over-the-top production values. I think each one probably runs like $35. It's pretty bullshit. I wish there was a way to get a complete set of each story (which, in most cases, is really just a series of vignettes, but they come together well, and the second story was all sequential style.) for cheap. If there was, I'd recommend you all buy and read Stray Bullets. It's like the anti-Monster, in that way. I guess one could buy the single issues in sets of seven or eight, if they were at a place that had all of the issues available.

The guy who did Stray Bullets, David Lapham, also did another comic that is available in one cheap collection, called Murder Me Dead. But Murder Me Dead is not nearly as good as Stray Bullets. Murder Me Dead is like a homage to classic fifties noir, Stray Bullets is its own original animal. Stray Bullets will break your heart and your face.

What I'm getting at is this: Stray Bullets is really fucking great and you would all like it. Well, the third arc, Other People, that one's pretty weak. I heard that was just a weak moment, and it gets a lot better after that, but I don't know. All I know is that the first two are fucking aces.

Saturday, April 24, 2004

So it seems like here on campus, sexual frustration is running high. College kids, spring, etc. But yeah, feelings high amongst both genders, but not in a way that people can take advantage of. More in a way that just makes everybody want to die. I lie. It can be taken advantage of. But not by me.

Last night the power went out.

Before it did, I made some headway with this short story I'm writing. Getting close to the end, I wrote in very straight-forward prose. I was spurred on by Loose Fur and The Meadowlands. When The Meadowlands stopped playing, I stopped writing. The music just fit my mood, and then the music propelled the writing. It was a nice cycle. This morning, on my way back from the doctor, I decided to rewrite what I wrote last night, to give it more of a clever tone, and less of a straight-forward one. Still, I made some progress.

Went to the doctor. I need to call Insurance people before I get X-rays. It turns out the brace thing that I miraculously avoided all my life is only for adolescents. For the fully grown, they just insert a metal rod in your spine. But that's only for extreme cases, of which I'm not one. So it really seems like nothing is going to come of this. But I should probably get those x-rays anyway.

Oh, structure. I treat you so poorly. I abuse you and ignore you and then bring you up faux-lovingly just to show the world that I'm aware of my own faults.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

So I was woken up at 8 AM, by the school medical center, cancelling my appointment, and moving it to Friday morning. Two days ago, my spine was in such a condition that I couldn't sit comfortably. My left shoe has a hole in it, getting wet whenever I walk on wet ground. I only discovered this hole after the record store that sells shoes stopping their sale. So if you are imagining me, imagine a broken husk of a man, being crapped upon by life.

Anyway, I went back to sleep. And when I woke up, I had a pretty nice day, in many ways. Granted, of all the things I wanted to accomplish, the only one I pulled off was buying comics. I wanted to pick up an application from this buffet that's soon to open, but the envelope taped to the door was empty. I wanted to buy stuff for my face from Target, but I didn't know where to find it. So I spent a lot of time bumming around Olympia, and the weather was nice. And I woke up late. And I bought some comics. While I was reading Love And Rockets, the UPS guy delivered those issues of Shade to my door, so it was like nerd heaven. But I do have stuff I should be reading for class. And I woke up late. Then spent a lot of time not in my room. So the work to do, for tomorrow, has gone undone. As I sat down on my bed to rectify that, I started to feel sleepy. I didn't fall asleep, but the urge was there, and tempting. Lots of reading to do before the night is done, and some writing as well. But I'm also going to watch South Park and Daily Show before the night is done. Because I am not responsible. Not even a little bit.

And ah so sleepy.

Sunday, April 18, 2004

So after my last boring entry, where my mind was just stuck in a state of blandness, as I laid down to go to sleep, my brain woke up. Not in a useful way. I don't have any real interest in writing that essay that I have to finish for Monday. I don't have any new ideas to add to my writings. Just more enthusiasm for blog-writing on movies. And I'm just going to ramble. But I'll keep it short. It won't be a stream-of-consciousness thing recounting the thoughts on movies.

Laying in bed, my thoughts turned to Jeunet & Caro, why it's sad they split up... I'm not sure which is which, but one has stopped doing movies and the other did solo stuff like Alien: Resurrection and Amelie. I liked the stuff done as a team, more, and I prefer Delicatessen to City Of Lost Children. I guess I've already written about this, how City Of Lost Children looks cooler and has more visual ideas. But Delicatessen works for me more because... I guess it's weirder. It's darker. I can very easily see my grandparents getting into City Of Lost Children, and it's basically a children's movie as I recall, even though it got an R rating somehow. I don't know how that happened. But Delicatessen is much more plot-oriented, more interesting, and probably not as wide in its appeal. The thought of movies for family members as opposed to movies just for me brought me to thinking of The Triplets Of Belleville, and how I like that movie a lot. Probably my number two favorite movie of 2003. Which was a weak year. I don't like being the guy who makes lists that rank things. Sometimes I just do it, but I'm not happy when that happens. Anyway, yeah, a lot less wide appeal on that one. Especially compared with the other movie up for the Best Animated Oscar, Finding Nemo, which probably would actually make the bottom of my top 5 list. 2003 was pretty weak for movies... Another topic I've already covered.

What I really wanted to talk about was that, at the IMDB, Sylvain Chomet's working on another movie currently. That movie has a title, Barbacoa. After that, the IMDB lists something that was just announced and not in production yet, for 2006, going by the title Untitled Sylvain Chomet 3-D Project. Which... I didn't take the Perception program Evergreen offers. It was all about the senses and whatnot. Some people who read this took that program though, so I'll ask them: Is it possible for the part of the brain that processes visual information to have orgasms?
There's a party going on, some people I know and like are there. But yeah, it's a bad scene, the party scene, with loud bad music and me standing up, leaning against a wall. I'm not good in bad music situations. Even when the music was good I felt kind of alienated. When the music was good, people were talking, ignoring it, and drinking. I am not a party person. I left to write an essay, but the words weren't coming. My mind just feels blank. I'm fine with that, it's a good feeling, it's just awkward to be around people. I just feel like spacing out.

And now, some movie reviews, all positive, none glowing.

I saw Kill Bill volume 2 today. Didn't hit me like volume 1 did... It's less non-stop violence, with more dramatic moments. Some intense, some emotional. Those moments actually affected me, I must say. It's probably better than volume 1. Volume 1 just got me, as it rarely relented. The action sequences that it had were just as good. But they were farther apart, the movie is longer, a lot of it takes a Leone western pacing. It is very enjoyable, and recommended highly. Volume 1 stood alone better as just an action movie, volume 2 works more as part of a whole. Even though it's quite different. I don't know. Shouldn't really compare it with volume 1. I don't think it will turn out to be my favorite movie of the year, like volume 1 was. Still: pretty fucking great. The fight scenes were aces, a lot of the other scenes were just as good. When I said all of these reviews were positive, but none glowing, I regret that most of all for Kill Bill. It's an expectations thing. I liked a lot of it when I was in the theater. It's just not as non-stop bad-ass as the first, but it's better on the whole, containing more moods.

I watched Citizen Ruth a few nights ago. That was pretty funny. Unsympathetic characters, which I think might be the key to a comedy. Play all the characters for comedy. Don't try to make some of them good and some of them bad. Make them all terrible. Or you can make all the characters likable and relatable. That's not so much for comedies, that works more for dramas. Anyway, Citizen Ruth treats all of it's characters harshly, as a satire should.

Also saw Citizen Kane. Of which I don't know if I have anything to say about it. It's pretty great. I think the humorous elements of it are overlooked, but they're there. I can't imagine someone seeing it not knowing the twist. I also can't imagine seeing it then, when all the film tricks would be new. Mainly it's the twist. If you didn't know the twist, maybe it would hit you really hard. It's still a very good movie. I liked it more than Casablanca, for what that's worth.

Also watched Jim Jarmusch's Mystery Train, which I liked a lot. Some of the characters in that one are just awesome. I particularly liked the two men who worked at the hotel. I think I expected it to be longer, hence I expected it to do more. It doesn't do a lot. You know, independent film. It's very gay cowboys eating pudding. But good for it's small scale. I guess the scale is decent enough. Lost In Translation was on too small a scale... Well, that's what I said at the time, but there's actually a lot that's not good about the movie. But one of those was that I don't think a lot of independent films are that ambitious. P.T. Anderson's ambitious, Tarantino's ambitious, Linklater's ambitious in his way, with the philosophy and the constant experiments. Jarmusch just goes for small stuff. Most of his characters are really likable though, which goes a long way. They are genuinely likable, they come by it honestly. Insert another slam of Lost In Translation here.

Saturday, April 17, 2004

Let us discuss song lyrics. I have a paper to write before Monday, that concerns itself with hippies, and how useless they are, (seriously- they had nothing to do with the civil rights or women's liberation movement. They benefitted from the sexual revolution, and were symptomatic of the idealism of the sixties belief in progress, but they accomplished nothing.) and I'm not really feeling writing that right now. I also have to read Ralph Ellison's Shadow And Act, which is fairly dull. It's a collection of essays, kind of about race at points, but mainly, at least where I am now, it's a lot of literary criticism. Usually looking at other books from a perspective of race, but not always. It's pretty dull.

But yeah, song lyrics. I am very much a lyric guy. But many of the lyricists described as great, the folk singer-songwriter people, I don't see it at all. There is a part of me that strives to be contrarian, or at least comes by it naturally. But once that happens, I take pride in my opinions, in being able to be labeled as a philistine.

In talking about Tom Waits today, I said that I like his music, but am not a fan of the voice or the lyrics. Wasn't being facetious. Well, okay, the voice sometimes works with the overall vibe of the latter-period noisier stuff (the only kind I have interest in) but on it's own, it holds no appeal. The lyrics are of the straightforward variety. The kind that some swoon ever, that I don't get. I also just listened to Smog's Dongs Of Sevotion... That gets some praise for the lyrics, but not from me. The lyrics have their moments. Permanent Smile has a nice conceit- you earn your permanent smile when your flesh decays, and Dress Sexy At My Funeral is kind of funny. But mostly, really straight-forward.

I am a whore for the clever. The couplets work for me. The metaphors. The dark sense of humor. The lyrical. I like my lyrics lyrical, let me cite Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel as an example, in terms of meter and rhyme and such. Amazing lyrics, beautiful in every way. Modest Mouse's lyrics... well sometimes, not so much on the new album, but on Moon & Antarctica especially, work on a great level, of stoned insight and poetic imagery.

I even have a weakness for the non sequiturs and the opaque. Pavement, Beck. Decent enough.

In the realm of the straight-forward... I have a weakness for Smart Went Crazy's lyrics, the phrasing of dark negative sentiment. I like how these emotions are handled. Honey, honey, there's sugar in your gas tank. That's a good line because it's unexpected.

The first band I got into was They Might Be Giants. They usually get pegged as comedy or novelty. But so many of the songs are quite sad. What can I say... good lyrics, especially on Lincoln. Make a hole with a gun perpendicular to the name of this town in a desktop globe, exit wound in a foreign nation. That's the first line of the record. That's not even from They'll Need A Crane, which I think I've already discussed having great sad lyrics.

David Berman of the Silver Jews writes real poetry and fucking great song lyrics, and there's a clear difference between the two. I like his poetry, there's a wit to it. It has a rambling quality. His lyrics are tight, compressed, going for clever imagery that says a lot. "Now you watch the sun rise through a rifle sight" is perfect. That it's said over an interesting musical backdrop as opposed to just an acoustic guitar that changes chords a lot is nice, too.

Couplets are amazing. It seems like going out of your way to not rhyme and not have meter or whatever is just a declaration of how important you are... What I'm saying is so great, and so universal I don't have to be clever, so fuck you... And that doesn't work for me. The structure that forces either wit or easy rhymes. I like that a lot. Some of the people I've named don't rhyme constantly. It's not a requirement. I like it quite a bit. People can be witty other ways. If they try. What I'm getting at is wit is important. Cleverness is great. Because you can be clever and witty and still have genuine emotion, still say something. Say something that relates to people instead of just being self-congratulatory.

But yeah, the folk singer-songwriter that claims to speak of deep emotions, to be literary... Dude, I don't even like Ernest Hemingway. And as much as I love The Velvet Underground, I don't like Lou Reed's lyrics either, and they get the same charges, I guess for talking about Heroin in pop songs or whatever, but no, Heroin is a great song, but the lyrics aren't particularly clever or lyrical.

And people talk about Les Savy Fav having bad lyrics. But seriously: Can we declare this room to be a sovereign state, where all its citizens share skins and sins and copulate? OK it might not say anything about the human condition, but it's clever, and there's a nice little rhyme scheme to it. If the people who talk about Les Savy Fav being crap are the same people who talk about how "smart" and "literate" Morrisey is, I fully understand any anti-intellectual sentiment that pervades America. I hope a hospital orderly has sex with your girlfriend in a coma.

I like Travis Morrison of The Dismemberment Plan a lot as a lyricist. The rhyme schemes are informed by hip-hop. There's a wit there. But he's a rock band singer, and his lines, choruses, have this kind of anthemic easily relatable quality. It gets pegged as emo on occasion, and sometimes understandably so. But there's a storytelling there. And they're great stories, and they're wrapped up in pop songs. Because, fuck man, yeah, I'm a whore for the pop songs as well. That's my thing, really. Good lyrics, and my idea of good tends to mean clever, and if they're in a context where the lyrics are incidental, because the melodies and chords, all the sounds around, are fucking great, then I'm happy. I want the songs running through my head to not be retarded, and I want the lyrics I'm reading to be attached to music that does stuff.

God this really went nowhere. I needed to talk about it though. What I'm getting at: Lyrics matter to me, but not at the expense of other stuff. And usually, when the lyrics are at the expense of other stuff, the lyrics aren't that good anyway. FUCK THAT ACTION.

And if your idea of good lyrics is over-the-top angst that really "gets to the core" of "how you feel" fuck that too.

So yet another thesis statement on what I don't want from lyrics: I CRAP ON ANGST AND POLITICS.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

So as I watched South Park tonight, I came across a commercial for something called The Buzz.

It's finally happened.

I'll give you a few seconds: What have we all been waiting for with a feeling of dread, knowing it was sure to come?

It's finally happened.

Yeah, fuckers, nineties nostalgia compilation CDs from Razor and Tie. Featuring all kinds of bands whose name you can't place with the song. Collective Soul! Candlebox! Eve 6! Gin Blossoms! Sublime! Deep Blue Something! The Presidents Of The United States Of America! Others! I wish the commercial was on right now, as... Deep Blue Something is the most symptomatic of the list. And you don't even know who they are, do you? They did that song Breakfast At Tiffany's. I'm sure that Sister Hazel's on there... I've forgotten them entirely, and their song, but their song was popular, and the band was a joke for one short moment. Terrible.

The question was what songs were on it that they didn't mention in the commercial. Dishwalla's Counting Blue Cars? Invariably. That's not even a question. The Refreshment's Banditos? I don't know. Probably, it fits with the rest, but I don't know how popular it was.

Pepper by The Butthole Surfers? Beck? The Breeders? god, what about She Don't Use Jelly or Cut Your Hair? The nineties had enough decent fluke singles to be cause for concern.

These are sad questions. Other happier questions are what Green Day and Bush songs will be the singles chosen for inclusion?

Oh god: Remember when there were all those eighties comps along these lines? And everybody I knew at high school started making jokes about... Madness and the Thompson Twins? Now there are ninth graders going to be making jokes about the fact that there was a band called Deep Blue Something.

God, even worse: Kids nostalgic for shit they never knew, and don't even know why it's terrible. You know the people at college who say they love the eighties, because you know, fucking VH1, and they're dumb as shit and no that was terrible, there were good things in the eighties- Coen brothers movies and The Pixies, basically, that was all, and that's not what you're remembering, (well, not remembering: fetishizing) you're obsessed with fucking the soundtrack to Vice City.

But of course, the ubiquitous Bush and Green Day: they still get the radio station airplay. Unlike Dishwalla. God, what a weird thing. I guess- does this make me feel old? I don't know.

Oh, and the commercial kicks off with What's The Frequency Kenneth by REM. So that's... yeah. I don't know how that commercial makes me feel. It makes me feel prescient, because, you know, I saw that shit coming. Not old. I'm not stupid enough to feel old. This post got all angry. What I wanted to say is that I called it, and now it's happened.

Also speaking of things called: my professor predicts a draft within eighteen months. Current bill allows for women, and college won't save you.

What else: big music festival going down in Olympia in July. I'll be gone by then. I don't know if it's Yo-Yo-A-Go-Go or whatever, but some big thing. I kind of don't care. Northwest indie rock: Built to Spill I like a lot and haven't seen, and I'm sure there are some bands who I could catch and fall in love with and then they'd get all huge, but whatever, I can fall in love with them when everybody else does, I don't feel the urge to be that guy. On-top-of-shit Olympia scenester.

I don't have a strong ending for this, as I'd like to have. I have laundry that needs to go through the dryer again. Damn this college. Going to sleep late tonight, with class tomorrow.

Sunday, April 11, 2004

My mom woke me up this morning by way of phone call, to wish me a happy Easter. I was really tired. It was around ten AM. I told her I was quite tired. She asked what time I got in, I said I didn't remember. She said something to the effect of "oh, one of those nights, huh." Which I obviously don't have. Last night I hung around for a while, at one AM watched Mystery Train, came back to my room but didn't fall asleep until five AM. I basically didn't know whether to say three AM, which was the answer to the question of "when did you come in?" or five AM, the answer to the real question that went unasked "When did you go to sleep?" Either one of these answers would've explained me being asleep at ten AM, especially since that's a common occurence, as even on days I have class I don't wake up until eleven. But I was sleepy.

So yeah, sale on comics online, which had low low prices. I consorted with my nerd conscience, Jason Sheridan, and he supported my purchases. (a dollar apiece for five issues of the great and fucking weird Shade- the one that was a dealbreaker featured giant fish-priests in New Mexico.) I like having external consciences, as they are usually much more permissive than your own inner voices/real conscience would be. It allows you to put the blame on other people. Last night Alex allowed me to steal a packet of oatmeal from somebody I didn't know. I returned this oatmeal in the name of comedy that no one laughed at... I should've kept it. That's why you have an external conscience. I recommend everybody get one.

But I now resolve here, on the internet, but mainly as a note to myself. No more buying shit online WITH NO FUCKING EXCEPTIONS, until I get a job. And no more hitting up the ATM until this Thursday/Friday when I get money to buy a ticket to Kill Bill.

Saturday, April 10, 2004

Tonight we played dodgeball and I made new friends.

The dodgeball plans kind of fell apart- me and Loren made flyers, that were amazing. They were torn down. We also made a mix that could be described as amazing. This went unplayed. Dodgeball was played, but obviously I am better at making mixes and writing stuff on flyers and trying to sell people on dodgeball than I am at throwing balls, which I'm not good at all. I dodge fairly well though.

See, the place we had planned for dodgeball we couldn't use without permission. So, the police took down our profanity-riddled flyers (Sample phrases: Motherfucking dodgeball; dodgeball bitches; and Bitches, dodgeball) and stopped us from using the place with electrical outlets. We took it to the tennis courts. Some actual athletic people showed up, who got really into it and pegged girls in the face. They left soon. Most of our team hated their asses. After a few games, people just hung out talking. But yeah, good times.

I read somewhere that the difference between fun and entertainment is that fun happens, entertainment is just something you watch. So tonight was fun times. Most of the day was cool too... Loren and I hung around downtown Olympia, got invited to smoke weed by some stranger on her way to a funeral, visited a classy apartment, and ate at Quality Burrito. I woke up late. Waking up late seems to ensure a good day.

As you can tell, I'm typing this late. Before bed. Hence, I will wake up late tomorrow, and tomorrow will be a good day as well.

Friday, April 09, 2004

Hey... weed smell. Thanks neighbors. I don't really have anything to say, it's late and I don't know if I'm sleepy or what... Can I holler at you?

I was complaining to Alex about Kill Bill, how it can't come out soon enough, and how we should've seen it by now. But... it comes out next week. That's not that long at all.

South Park on wednesday was a parody of You Got Served. Who sees that movie to parody it? God, that's brilliant. And apparently, in the movie, they really did say "you got F'ed in the A," which is terrible. I like how the people who wrote the screenplay... They consider themselves writers, you know, and they get paid for it. It's a depressing world we live in. Because people attack Hollywood and it's cynicism, but the producers aren't the ones who write the screenplays. People who write the screenplays... They think of themselves as writers, and they have more of a claim to it than I do, because they get paid for it, that's how they make their living, writing lines of dialogue like "you got F'ed in the A" which... Okay I'll concede I am not down with the streets, I'm not familar with the urban dance competition subculture, so maybe it's my fault that line doesn't ring true. But at least in white-peopleville, where we go to liberal arts college and do yoga, no one says "F'ed in the A." It's just non-stop talking about crudite, and finding income tax loopholes. But, like "you got F'ed in the A..." someone wrote that. And I'd wager it was probably someone from a similar background... The guy who wrote You Got Served was probably not black. Let's do an IMDB search. Chris Stokes wrote and directed. He used to manage B2K, and he directed but didn't write House Party 4. I guess that could be a black guy. So, yeah, I guess I'm wrong. Black people really do say "F'ed in the A." My bad, Chris Stokes.

I wish people I knew here at college read comics, because it seems like all the hip critically acclaimed stuff comes out in big graphic novels now, usually hardcovers. Like that Palomar book, which is supposed to be amazing, is a forty dollar hardcover. I can find it for twenty on, but yeah, bank statement, my decision to not buy shit from the internet anymore... Fucking hardcovers. Granted, I don't think I'd have time to read Palomar, but I could get to it eventually. I haven't read any of that Love And Rockets stuff, which I might even dig, due to the expense. And it's art type stuff, so I don't know who would be interested. Like, it gets compared to magical realism and Gabriel Garcia Marquez... Has anybody read Marquez? (I haven't, but I should) Does that sound good to anyone? Ha, I'm sounding like I am artier and smarter than people reading this... I'm not, I just view myself as a reader, which I am not. That's a misconception I have of myself, not really based on anything... And I'm usually such a good judge of character, too.

Except for the Chris Stokes thing, to bring it all back to him. Chris Stokes: White or black? Let's take wagers. IMDB doesn't have a photo, it just has that dark silhouette shadow thing.

Is this racist? I don't even know. It's pretty late. I think this is hilarious though. I'm not laughing out loud at what I'm typing, but I'm definitely very satisfied. He managed B2K. That could go either way. And I suppose he could've written the line "you got fucked in the ass" but had to tone it down for the PG-13 rating. But do people really talk about ass-fucking in regards to dance-offs?

I think that's the line I'll leave you with:

"Do people really talk about ass-fucking in regards to dance-offs?"
I got my bank statement today. HOLY FUCK did I spend a lot of money this month. There was the Seattle trip, and the McSweeney's thing, plus the general funds for entertainment/food. Which I'm going to be cutting down on, because, wow, lots of money. A lot of it was books for class I suppose, but still, shit. Like 300 dollars total for one month. That's fucked up. Man, I hope my dad didn't fuck up on the tax return thing. Especially since I need to give some money to the school for rent sometime soon. Granted: I have money in my checking account, but my thought was that I'd have enough to pay for one or two months' rent this summer when I live with my brother. Which I guess I technically still have. But yeah, if I liked drugs, I'd be fucked. Good thing I don't like drugs.

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Hey, it's 4:20 AM. I haven't slept yet, but I woke up at 3 this morning/yesterday. I have class at 11 tomorrow though. So, yeah, more crazy sleep schedule fun. I started thinking that this blog has been kind of whiny or whatever lately, and hasn't featured any shit-talking. Which I should really get on. But now, I'm going to write one of my posts where I talk about music and movies.

Last movie I watched was Santa Sangre, by Alexandro Jodorowsky. I don't think I could get past the fact that I heard that Jodorowsky's kind of misogynist, and women get treated really shittily in his work, and wondering about the female members of the audience reaction to it. To my knowledge, none had a negative reaction to this, it was only me, because I was the only one with advance knowledge of Jodorowsky's work. I also fell asleep for a few minutes. Anyway, it's kind of crazy, there's some good shots/imagery. Some over-the-top stuff that feels symbolic, it ends with a Psalm from the Bible. It had a lot going for it, i.e. violence, but what it didn't have was a character to care about so you cared about the movie. Mainly it's just crazy shit. When I woke up, it was a horror movie, which it wasn't before I fell asleep. Before I fell asleep it was pretty genre-less. It was probably genre-less on the whole. I don't know what my reaction to it was. It engaged me on an intellectual level with the weirdness and such. But usually, weirdness gets me on a visceral level... I guess the misogyny was kind of off-putting, and that Psalm seems like a dash of pretension, or just a weird joke. I laughed at it. Because, yeah, fucked-up movie. Would've been great if there was a human core to it, but I guess that's not necessary.

Bought the new Modest Mouse, 8 bucks at Best Buy. Weakest thing they've done, but there's a really good interview with Isaac Brock at the Onion AV Club. It actually makes him seem like a good guy... He denies the rape charges. Oh man, but I heard the live album, that has some really unfunny banter on it. There's no reason for that live album to exist. Granted, it's only sold on the internet, but still, why would you buy that?

I'm looking forward to the Les Savy Fav singles compilation/DVD so I can buy it. As it stands now, Les Savy Fav is one of those bands that I have given no money to at all, but really like. I want to see them live, and own something by them.

I was planning on giving more of my money to Young People, but today I also found someone with a CD-R compiling their two records, so I have those on my computer now. Not as good as the live show. And the lyrics turn out to be kind of lacking. But they're still good. I listened to War Prayers for the second time, and didn't recognize a lot of it from the first time I listened to it, which was only a few hours before. So I should listen to it more, get to know the songs before I dive into the self-titled record.

Listening to the upcoming Wilco record now, and it's not that good.

I also got tax forms from my dad, which I need to finish filling out and send in tomorrow. I already wrote down a wrong address, in that I should've written down my brother's because I'm going to be there when the refund comes in. So I need to buy white-out.

My life is so far from fascinating. But I guess I was happy today, what with the getting up late thing. That made it a good day.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

So I keep on trying to be a better person, the Brian Nicholson self-improvement plan. What keeps on getting in the way is my brain chemistry. There are times, usually happening late at night, although not always, where my brain is just on fire with sharpness. These are the worst times to be be myself, with nothing to do. I write pretty well at these times. But these are the times where I want to lash out, dance and punch glass. This is when I cut my own hair, write a lot in one go, get excited, become happy with life, and have enough synapses firing that I can maintain a conversation, even though nothing's really happening of note.

Then there are the times that are the complete opposite of that. Exhaustion. This is when I am worst at social interaction, where the sarcasm becomes lazy and nihilistic, and what I mean as friendly joking comes off harsh because all I'm thinking is in terms of negativity. I say things I kind of mean but don't mean them that much. Like when I talk about hating hippies, or life, or myself... sometimes it's just an exhausted cliche, sorry to say. (This is the feeling I'm sure would dominate if I were drunk, only it would give way to violence.)

None of these things are actually affected by what goes on during my day. Because you know what happens to me during the day? Nothing. Nothing that should affect my mood one way or the other. Although, when I'm in my exhausted state and am around people, I'm bad at being around them, and once they leave, I look back at how bad I am with social interaction and that's when I start to feel like shit. There are other times when the exhaustion just stops me from talking to people, and I feel like shit than too, but it's the same brain chemistry. The exhausted times are times for reading and listening to music. Consuming art. I might not get excited about it at the time, but sometimes I get excited about stuff after the fact, when the feeling I discussed first kicks in, so I guess that's redemptive. It seems like this feeling would affect my opinions towards art, but no, not that much. I'll either like it or I won't, and then later, when I'm in the mood to be excited, I'll be excited about the things that were good.

Anyway, it's all a cycle, can't have highs without lows, etc. But man- when the lows kick in, I am not good at talking to people. I'm actually really bad at it. There's also the large middle ground which is just kind of nowhere, and I'm not good at talking to people, because nothing is happening in my life and I have nothing to say. And sadly, I don't even know if I'm in the low area or just the middle ground until I attempt social interaction and fuck it all up.

So yeah, there's some self-analysis. It's also a bit of an apology.

Monday, April 05, 2004

So I've been mapping my high school history in my mind, trying to work out what happened when, etc. It's pretty easy to break down stuff that happened in school into years, obviously. The school stuff remains, and I know when it happened. In terms of books I read and music I listened to, things are a bit more vague. The reason this blog mentions the movies I see (the last two- Dawn Of The Dead remake and Robert Altman's Nashville) is to map out that history. Writing the 2003 year in review thing helped too.

But anyway, yeah, 2001 was when I started reading a lot of the Milligan and Morrison that I now call some of my favorite comics ever. In September 2001, Sept. 11th happened, obviously, my stepdad had a heart attack, Home Movies came back on the air, I was in 11th grade.

This matters to no one.
So I've read in a few places recently the belief that music will hit you most when you are fifteen. That's the music that'll hold the most nostalgic appeal. I'm simplifying the thought, but just wanted to talk about what music I was listening to at age 15. Which just happens to be when my taste exploded, and I bought a lot of great fucking records.

On my fifteenth birthday, my brother gave me a copy of Herman Hesse's Siddhartha and Modest Mouse's This Is A Long Drive For Someone With Nothing To Think About. Didn't read the Siddhartha for two more years, and the first time I listened to the Modest Mouse record, I really hated Isaac Brock's vocals. Later that Summer I came across a copy of The Moon And Antarctica in a Tower Records listening booth, and started listening to it. It was fucking great, and I was sold on it after probably only thirty seconds. So I bought it, and later that summer, picked up The Lonesome Crowded West. Once school started, Kid A came out, and I bought it the week it came out, even though it was the first Radiohead record I'd ever bought. It was really good. That Christmas, I got more Modest Mouse, I believe, more Radiohead. I also bought a copy of Built to Spill's There's Nothing Wrong With Love. That Spring, I picked up Neutral Milk Hotel's In The Aeroplane Over The Sea. I think around this time I also picked up Clouds Taste Metallic and Transmissions From The Satellite Heart. I know that was sophomore year, when I was fifteen. I don't know when I got into the Pixies. After NHM, I got really into Pavement. So really fucking great music, really. I think I got into the Pixies later. But wow, that's a lot of music. Probably the biggest influx of music in my life until I got to college. And the music I got into then... Sure, some great records. But Neutral Milk Hotel and Pavement. That really can't be topped. So, fifteen, yeah. What a year. I guess that sixteen was a better year in terms of comics that shaped me, (I think, although some of that started at fifteen too, I believe) and movies happened later. (First movie to really hit me was Memento, which I saw the Saturday before it came out on video on Tuesday... the summer I turned sixteen) Funny is how I have such an anti-nostalgia stance, but it's pretty inescapable. I think a lot of it has to do with how much ass all that stuff kicked though. Well, I don't like Memento as much anymore. But the rest? Awesome.

And the stuff I listened to before I turned fifteen, I don't listen to anymore. Not noisy enough, I guess. Weirdly enough, a lot of it is still kind of respectable. Like, Ben Folds Five? That's nothing to be ashamed of, in terms of music you listen to in middle school. The first band I got into was They Might Be Giants. And even though I listen to them... never, nowadays, I still think they have some great songs in the repertoire, especially on Lincoln. I remember being in the shower back in December and thinking about how They'll Need A Crane is a great song, and how it's fatalistic view of relationships might've shaped my young mind, and how awesome it would be if it did.

Spent tonight with the "you don't have to wait until you die" line from Mirah's Apples In The Trees running through my head every time I was alone. The McSweeney's website has a place for essays about songs a la Nick Hornby's Songbook, so I wrote an essay. It's very short so I probably will not submit it. But yeah, that's a really good song, with a very strong ending.

Also tonight, Cartoon Network aired the last ever episode of Home Movies. Remember in 1997, when I thought that the one where they went camping and some Russian kid peed in Coach's canteen was going to be the last episode ever? Yeah... This episode had more of an air of finality to it. I'm kind of sad to see it go, but you know what? Four seasons is enough. Can't really complain about it being great and lamenting what could've been, and how there should've been more. I think that point disappears after two seasons. (the two season mark is arbitrarily based on the fact that Sports Night only had two seasons, and I actually really liked that show) Not the funniest Home Movies ever, but it didn't have to be. It didn't peter out into unfunnyville. The episode last week was hilarious, as were some others this season. That's a show that needs DVDs, though. I'd buy them.

Oh hey, and I missed an episode from two weeks ago. Which is awesome. Forgot about that. But yeah, that'll be nice.

Friday, April 02, 2004

So, yeah, cut my hair, to the sounds of Brainiac's Hissing Prigs In Static Couture. There were moments when my hair looked cool in a dyke kind of way, but were uneven, and so I kept on cutting until kind of unevenishly bald. When I wear glasses, I look a lot like this one dude at my school who is an asshole. Without the glasses I look like a psychopath. I really like looking like a psychopath. I really should've just stopped early on and let someone else even things out, I would've looked amazing.

Now I'm just waiting for it to grow back.
The previous post was an April Fools' joke, which I guess nobody fell for. Which is too bad.

In other news, I need a haircut. My hair is now officially unruly.

Thursday, April 01, 2004

This is a common occurence: Going up to a room, wherein is someone I'd want to talk to. Then I hear the commotion on the other side, and realize "yeah... I don't belong on the other side of that door." So I go back to the room, all lurker style and awkward. Feel alienated from the rest of society.

Then there are the times I think about this coming Summer, going back to Philadelphia, where... I kind of don't have any friends at all to talk to. No human contact. All second-hand stuff from my brother and his friends. That's who I hang out with. These are awkward times. And then there is the job struggle. I got one job last year, thanks to my dad. I got it late. My mom paid for my first month's rent, my dad ended up paying for half of the second month. I don't want that job again this year. I'll have to fight for one. A fight I will probably lose, and am not looking forward at all to fighting. Then there's the times my brother would give me shit about getting off my ass, being adult, etc. I remember one night in that little room, thinking about the shit my brother would say and crying. Like crazy breakdowns as I stared my future in the face. Fucking jobs, fucking student loans I'd need to pay back and probably wouldn't be able to ever, all kinds of shit that just- I'm not looking forward to going through. I thought about slitting my wrists and just lying on my bed. Kind of over the top. Fucking goth kid bullshit melodramatics. So self-aware that it's all bullshit. But it might seem melodramatic, but that's the deal with suicide. It's melodramatic and over the top. It's either that or you try to muddle your way through life in an undramatic fashion. Which looks really fucking hard. And usually ends badly, especially if you have dreams, like of, let's say, writing professionally. Suicide is the easy way out.

Then there's the undelivered mail. Notes I've written and then thrown in the trash, feeling too awkward, revealing too much. OK so this only happened once. It was a confession of alienation, and an apology. The person the note was addressed to probably didn't pick up on the feeling of alienation I wanted to apologize for. And so it went in the trash.

It read like a suicide note, at least from my perspective, and I apologized for that as well, but still kept on thinking in terms of my death. It's something I've reconciled myself with. I can die at any time. So in this letter, I laid out songs for my funeral, lest I die suddenly. I'll repeat this now, as it seems like a good time to do so. Either Neutral Milk Hotel's In The Aeroplane Over The Sea or The Dismemberment Plan's Back And Forth will be perfect. My online profile right now reads "Dress sexy at my funeral," which is a song by (Smog) that I've never heard, just thought was an appropriate sentiment for me to express. It's a dark joke. It's not a real wish, so dress as you see fit.

This reads like a suicide note too, but you know, there's a reason for that.

Have I ever told you my belief system?

When we die, our minds copy themselves to a higher dimension, and you live inside the mind. Heaven is something like a dream state, but it's perfect and lucid. Your mind also makes infinite copies of itself, so you can show up in someone else's heaven if they want you there. It's not like a dream where everybody might look like other people, but all they really are is your impressions of them. A Christian heaven is different from other types of heaven simply because they'd want God and Jesus in their heaven, and so they show up, and reveal the nature of reality, if that is so desired. I desire such a thing. Maybe by the time you read this, I'll have all of that worked out. Which would be pretty awesome.

I guess I've covered a lot I'd want to get out of the way, so there's no confusion. If none of these things were addressed at my funeral, if I was painted as something I'm not, I would expect everyone to make jokes throughout. The ceremony of it all, the bullshit people said. So I guess what comes next would be the apologies and the fuck yous? Is that how it goes? A list of friends and those I care about and my enemies who I don't? That blurs sometimes. Friends hurt you. And then there are the people who I strongly dislike, but you know, I've been trying to improve myself, to be nicer. So... How about just:

Fuck you.

I'm sorry.