Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Last Hour of 2008

In some (better) parts of the world, 2008 has already ended. The time differences across the world had the biggest impact on me in 1999 when several parts of the world had already entered the new millenium. News stations were calling China all day to ask if the world had ended. Could they not tell themselves?

Earlier I read a poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson about the "old year" dying. It was no "Ulysses," but a nice accidental read for today.

I thought I'd take a moment to list some of the things that happened in 2008:

My parents celebrated their 25th anniversary.
I turned 18.
My brother turned 21.
My mom turned 50.
The Summer Olympics were held in Beijing.
I graduated high school.
I began college.
I voted for the first time ever.
Barack Obama was elected the first biracial president of the United States.

Basically, more milestones than should ever happen in one year. In addition, there were more personal milestones for me that I'd rather not write about on here. What I'm trying to get at is that 2008 was a remarkable year. I anticipate a calmer, more normal 2009. Or, as normal as a year can be when you don't know where you're going and every day you discover a new truth, a new friend and a new direction.

Less than an hour left.

I'm home alone. All plans fell through. If I weren't imprisoned by that ridiculous "no driving on New Year's Eve" rule (ok, it's a legitimate rule, but I don't see any of my friends subjected to a similar fate), I could be party-hopping with Clay, on my way to Glen Rose, or taking a last drive with Max before he returns to Michigan.

Is this supposed to foreshadow the rest of the year? Being alone and battling between depression at my missed opportunities and bleak apathy to not care about silly things like New Years?

Last year, I knew what was coming. I was going to turn 18, graduate, start college, vote. There would be the Olympics and election buzz. Sure, it was all scary and an emotional roller coaster, but I knew that going into it.

What does 2009 hold? I have no fucking idea.

So here's me: over analyzing everything and simultaneously convincing myself that there is no cosmological-symbolic reasoning for anything in this universe. Here's me playing the tough misanthrope who sees no reason why tonight should be unlike any other, while I honestly want nothing more than to be at a party with a glass of champagne to toast and a boy to kiss at midnight.

2009 is a prime number. It's not divisible by anything. It stands on its own. Strong? Or lonely? I guess we'll find out at the end of this hour. Except that they already know in other (better) parts of the world. Maybe I'll call up China....Ni hao ma? Qing wen....

Friday, December 5, 2008

Rest in Peace

Maybe it was providence that I didn't get more involved with the Student Peace Alliance this semester. As cool as the idea of being so politically active was, I always felt a Department of Peace wouldn't really do anything. I also felt bad because I had selfish reasons for wanting to go to the meetings. Apart from wanting to be a part of a group of kids I thought were really cool, I mostly wanted to go to see that cute senior with the chin piercing who had invited me to the drum circle. He was essentially the president (though Martin was the real one) and he was into all sorts of spiritual ideas and practices I was familiar with.

I'll never forget the night of the first Korouva party of the year. I had too much homework to attend, but the whole crowd of Student Peace Alliance and Korouva people ran through all the halls of Mabee (and the entire campus) banging on cymbals, djembes, maracas and any other makeshift instrument they could get their hands on, screaming for revolution and for the party that night. I watched from the third floor balcony as they shouted their way out of the building. The last one out, pounding his soul into his stout djembe, was the cute boy who had invited me. I punched a revolution fist into the air as he looked back. Then, staring straight at me now, he thrust his fist up with a heart-jarring shout that shook every fiber in my body. And with that, he turned and left behind the others, beating his drum all the way.

He died last night. He was hit by a car while crossing Highway 29.

I never got to know him like I wanted to. I feel almost intrusive to be so hurt by his death when I wasn't as close to him as others, but that just goes to show how unique he was that I can feel so deeply for him after only having spoken to him on a few occasions. He was the one person in the Student Peace Alliance who I thought would really make a difference. Someone I thought I would hear about in a few years, lobbying for that fire in his heart, for peace, for a peace that he never saw.

It seems strange to say "rest in peace," when peace meant so much more to you than a pithy saying. But you are in peace now. A peace we've all dreamt for. A peace you fought for. A peace we will all continue to fight for in your honor.

Your drum will never stop beating.

Rest in peace, Rob Atkinson.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Distastefully Written Prattle Through the Looking Glass

As per usual, I was exponentially less productive this break than I anticipated. It had been my hope to finish all of my work before Thanksgiving Day so I could spent the rest of the break reading leisurely (I have so many books from people that are waiting for me), listening to my 4.3 gigabytes of new music, messing around with Final Cut Express 4 and attempting to relax for once.

Alas, all that will have to wait until Christmas Break when I honestly have no homework (except for three videos to edit for the school and a book to read for Dr. PM's book club next semester).

When will I learn to set reasonable goals for myself? Now, here I could justify my actions by saying that setting unreasonable goals is how one achieves greatness even if one does not fulfill their goals entirely, they've still gotten further than the average person with reasonable goals might (something I do believe). However, the fact of the matter is that I feel ashamed, stressed out and often depressed when I don't accomplish everything I set out for myself to do. It's typically that I don't realize how long it really takes to do things and how often I'll get distracted with friends. I'll have over a month during Winter Break with no essays, no Chinese homework, no infernal World Civ readings. I will be working and more of my friends will be in town, but since I have no obligations (apart from my two jobs) I might just maybe get some recreational reading/writing/research done and relax.

That being said, Winter Break might not be so bad. I hated every moment I had to interact with my father during this break, but it was quite minimal. Plus, my mom is growing ever more to my side. Not to mention work. I went there earlier today and seeing a few people (namely my favorite manager) made me ridiculously happy. Almost as happy as I was yesterday evening at Buon Giorno with Kate watching Will work, making fun of Jeff and speaking in Chinese and Japanese to each other. So there are my two escapes when this Birdcage gets to be too much over winter. Max is making me work with him on Christmas Eve and I intend to spend every other moment that any normal person would be spending with their family either at work, at Buon Giorno or with my friends and their families (or maybe I'll take some road trips to Glen Rose...).

This next week and a half will indeed be hell-ish. Beginning with a four hour road trip back to campus tonight (four hours because the added half hour to get to Austin and then a half hour back to SU) through the finishing of an essay for English and those analyses I never did for Islam to my terrifying Chinese and World Civ finals ending with dorm arrest until I can finish a 10 page final for Islam and three essays for English. Only then will I get to return to the GVC, weary-eyed and lonesome, having completed my first semester of college and thirsting for more.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

10 Things I Hate About You

I like Shakespeare. I like Heath Ledger. I like the 90s. I like Sarah Lawrence. I like Joseph Gordon-Levitt. I like writing poetry. I like mimicking things that aren't mine. The following was taken from the movie 10 Things I Hate About You and adapted to fit moi:

I hate the way you talk to me
and the way you cut your hair.
I hate the way you "LOL."
I hate it when you stare.

I hate your nude photography
and the girl who left her bra.
I hate all the girls you've slept with.
I hate how they never saw.

I hate the way you drink so much
and the way you talk to Her.
I hate the way you push the limits.
I hate your lack of culture.

I hate how dumb your hometown is
and that you think you're smart.
I hate when people say you're an asshole
I hate it even more because you aren't.

I hate your Twenty-Sevens
and the way you read my mind.
I hate you so much is makes me sick.
I hate that you're cruel to be kind.

I hate the way you're always right.
I hate it when you lie.
I hate it when you make me smile
even more when you make me cry.

I hate it when you're not around
and the fact that no one knows.
But most of all I hate the way I don't hate you
and that I don't want you to go

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Stream of Consciousness

When looking through the documents on my computer, I found this stream of consciousness that I wrote sophomore year of high school. About three pages in, I found some interesting thoughts I didn't realize I had back then.

"I like to make people think
To reconsider
To open their minds
And imagine
No one should ever understand something the first time they see it
Or hear it
Or feel it
Everything should be molded in our minds
And made to be scrutinized under strict consideration
Before being decided upon
And even then there should be no answer
Nothing in the world is right
But plenty of it is wrong
What am I looking forward to in the world?
To everything
To the far future
And the near
Mostly the far because it holds so much
But also the near
Ages sixteen and seventeen should be the best years of your life
A time with freedoms and tastes of adulthood
But the knowledge that no matter what you do
You cannot be charged as an adult
You are still a kid
You can still be a kid
Adults can’t be kids
Plenty have tried
They’ve either been committed or charged as pedophiles
Some of my greatest heroes among them
The world is disgusting
It’s barbaric
Simple innocence is a greater crime than murder
Well, I suppose it makes sense
Murder is concrete
There is no question about murder
Death is final
When someone dies they are gone
When someone dies it’s the end
If someone questions authority
Or acts in a different way
We don’t know what to do about it
We don’t know what’s happening
Are they telling the truth?
Seeking attention?
Is there an unseen motive?
When someone acts differently
We must question them
And we must condemn them
Lest it lead to the worst"

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

La Vie Boheme

Perhaps it should concern me that my last two blogs have begun with musical song titles....are the fads done yet so I can come out of the closet as a RENT fan and not be targeted as a teeny-bopper?

Playing HOOKY, making something
Out of nothing,
to communicate,
To going against the grain,

To loving tension, no pension
To starving for attention,
Not to mention, of course,

To riding your bike
Midday past the three piece suits
To the Village Voice
To any passing fad


To HAND-CRAFTED BEERS made in local breweries
To YOGA, to yogurt, to rice and beans and cheese
To leather, to dildos, to CURRY Vindaloo
To Huevos Rancheros, and Maya Angelou

CREATION, Vacation



To Sontag



and CAGE



Why Dorothy and Toto went OVER THE RAINBOW
To BLOW OFF Auntie Em

Pee Wee Herman

To APATHY, to ENTROPY, to empathy, ECSTASY



To S&M


No way to make a living, MASOCHISM, pain, PERFECTION
Muscle SPASMS, chiropractors, short-careers, eating disorders

ADVENTURE, Tedium. NO FAMILY, boring locations,
Dark rooms, perfect faces, egos, money,
Hollywood and sleaze!

Rhythm, POWER, feeling, harmony, and heavy competition




To people living with

Let he among us WITHOUT SIN

Is anyone in the mainstream?
Anyone ALIVE - with a SEX DRIVE
Aren't we all



Sunday, October 12, 2008

Totally Fucked

Scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the worst) how messed up am I romantically?

Response from proof of answer:
10. I'm an eleven.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


Sometimes the best things are hidden
It's those who we forget
who are harbingers of the welcome we crave
the welcome we thought was lost

Are you dead?
Or tragic-living with the dead inside?
Or are you alive?

The dead are inside
I'm tragic-living with them
But when I escape the barricade
to the outside
I'm alive

Let's get lost in the canyons
I'm only alive when I leave
the tragic-living with the dead
I'm only alive when I forget
and when I remember
what I forgot

We don't know what we know
so lets do what we do
Fuck control
Fuck reason
Fuck consequences
Fuck the tragic-living
We never cared what They thought
Why care what we think?
It's all a never-ending
string of theories
You'll get lost
Better to lose yourself
In passion
In love
In freedom
In life

Let's get lost in the canyons
I'm alive and ready

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Cranberries

Oh my life is changing everyday
in every possible way
And oh my dreams
it's never quite as it seems
Never quite as it seems

I know I felt like this before
But now I'm feeling it even more
Because it came from you
Then I open up and see
The person falling here is me
A different way to be

I want more, impossible to ignore
Impossible to ignore
And they'll come true
impossible not to do
Impossible not to do

And now I tell you openly
You have my heart so don't hurt me
You’re what I couldn't find
A totally amazing mind
So understanding and so kind
You're everything to me

Oh my life is changing everyday
In every possible way
And oh my dreams
it's never quite as it seems
'cause you're a dream to me
Dream to me

Monday, October 6, 2008

Why is American society so opposed to Mormon polygamy when Americans practice polyamory almost incessantly? Seriously, at least the Mormons are committed to each other for life and they are well aware of the other people in the relationship.
I've written this story before
I've tread these roads
these roads to nowhere

The one here
Gets it all
With me every moment
He hears and sees all dimensions

In the end he gets the love
This time

Dare I walk the path once more?
Knowing how the story ends
Unhappily on both counts
Bereft of the accident
And disgusted with the dream
To ruin another wish
With spontaneity
That is true
But, really, is all wrong

What is it?

I know the roads
but I don't know where to go

Saturday, October 4, 2008

A Recent Dream

It was sick.
How I didn't know
Didn't realize

The ring
was perfect.
Just as I imagined
(since it was my imagination)
Gladdah embellished
Emerald, gold, diamonds

Once in my hand
I realized
It was sick.
I hadn't chose
How did I get here?
Why didn't She care?

I told Him
Fear bubbling up
Like it always had
That I could say
All I wanted to
Of what he would do

Before the eruption
I leapt out
Onto the street
Where he was
Little he
My savior

A savior
Of a different sort
Dressed as a boy
His ginger hair
My hand
he took
The ring
was gone
We walked
We talked
He would always be there.

What are our dreams trying to tell us? It really perturbs me some mornings.

Monday, September 29, 2008

A Response

If you grow up the exact moment you realize that where you grew up is not your home, perhaps I'm submersed in the process of growing up ---- awaiting the epiphany.

The house where I spent the last (often miserable) nine years of my life is not my home. I am much more at home in this square, bare cinder block room living within five feet of six other people and the length of my old sitting room from a dozen others. Here, in a dark corner on the third floor, I am more content than I have ever been before.

Yet, when I drove to my old home one weekend (when I realized just how much more I consider campus my home now), I couldn't help shouting in ecstatic nostalgia as I sped over the Tarrant County Line. I got a rush of welcome and knew that no matter how far I travel, where I move to or for how long, this metroplex that I grew up in will always be there. It will always be the place I know like the back of my hand, the place I prefer to anywhere else for little delights that pale in comparison to greater entertainments abroad, the place where I have memories, the place where people will be waiting for me (at least for sometime), the place that really truly means something to me and for good reason.

The town (and surrounding cities) is my home, but my house is not. Though I've refused since the age of 12 to formally refer to my house as my home, I think the critical factor ripping the label permanently away is that I don't know how much longer it will be there. It could be longer than I think, but I know that it is going away to be replaced by a myriad of storage houses, dorms rooms I can barely afford, one-week sojourns in one-room apartments and unknown quarters abroad.

Where they will be? Rockport Rockland. But no. Seattle Portland Camford .... Glasgow Denton Kashmir Austin Manhattan. "Dissociate me across the hemisphere" and beyond.

Who will they be? A vague idea. Hopes and dreams of friendships to last. Certainty of mother and brother. The three of us will be forever moving. Gypsies across the modern world. Troubadors of love, art, intellect and discovery. Screw our old permanence. Fuck our old ties and responsibilities. We will live for each other. With each other. Wine Music Cuisine Painting Travels Writing Relations Nature Lovers Spirituality Work Change Peace New. That is life we will carve together, coming as one and apart like a sine curve. We are the three and we are my home.

Hello Southwestern. Hello Austin. You are my current loves. A flirtatious affair that could last through proposal.... but I'll break your heart just as it gets good and move on to another city --- similar, better but still with its problems. I'll have intentions to leave it just as I did the others. Always falling in love with houses and homes, but never envisioning a committment for life.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

An Old Letter to Max

"... I don't think I ever want to fully know what I believe. You're always asking me what I believe and the question has been coming to me more lately as I've become more open to discussing religious matters (in great contradiction to my steadfast opinion that beliefs should not be publicized). I never quite know how to answer this question. It is not for lack of knowledge or faith whatsoever. I do know the core of my beliefs and I believe I know much more about many religions than the majority of people who claim to adhere to them. The reason I never know quite what to say is that my beliefs cannot quite be defined. Furthermore, the intricacies of my practices are in a constant state of evolution. I have my faith and basic intrinsic principles that will never waver but as I learn more and absorb more and more religious scriptures (I'm concurrently reading Exodus and the Bhagavad Gita at the moment), I experiment with various mantras and concepts. This exploration is something I never want to give up. When Chris* and I began to talk about religion (a topic I actually introduced when he mentioned how humans create meaning), he had his beliefs all figured out. It struck me as sad that someone would have every single aspect decided. I would be bored. I think I must remain with a certain degree of my outsider apathy in order to forever explore and learn. My hero, Joseph Campbell, when asked about his religious beliefs always responded with a story about an American visiting Japan. The American said to a Shinto priest, "I've seen you're ceremonies and shrines, but I don't get your ideology. I don't get your theology." After a moment of deep thought, the priest replied, "We don't have ideology. We don't have theology. We dance."

Though I have my opinions regarding ideology and I certainly have my own faith, this quote holds true to myself as it did to Joseph Campbell. You see, when I saw Chris telling me of what he has come to know as the truth, something was missing. When Joseph Campbell spoke, that spark was there. The dance was alive in his mind. The video, The Power of Myth, was recorded during Joseph Campbell's last year on this earth. Yet, in his voice, his posture, and his eyes you would think he was just a boy. His curiosity was still rampant amid his expansive knowledge. If you don't know, he concentrated on mythology and comparative religion. I dare to say he knew more about the beliefs of every culture than any man has before him. Through all of his knowledge, he never lost the "fire in his mind." I suppose that is why I have no desire to ever be able to completely answer what I believe. I always want that ounce of exploration and curiosity to be there. I want to dance."
-Written to Max Cornell on 20 June 2008

*I wrote this letter after having a three hour discussion with an old British man in a coffee shop in my hometown.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Upon Awaking from a Fitful Nap

He was there
Not spectral nor ill
In all his fullness and spirit
His hair as bright as ever
Wearing the very shirt he left us in
(of this I have no knowledge
but I knew)
He was there

I watched him move
I watched him sit
No one spoke a word
Did he know?
Did I know?
It happened
Though so far removed
I can doubt

For fear of
Breaking the spell
I tread away
From what I knew the truth
I asked no questions
In my hysteria

I recounted the
To two who were there
But not there long ago
Still they knew
I had told them
And now
My claim
Disturbed them
As much as I

He was there
Just as I had left him
Not how he left
He was not a specter
In my vision
I knew him real
He was not a specter
No not at all
He was there

I miss you, Sean. Thanks for visiting.

Kerouac Hates Me

This is an amazing site I stumbled upon.

The following is an impromptu piece I wrote for my friend when showing him the site. You can't really save anything on the site so I copied it into Word and proceeded to edit the piece, which is why it is titled as such:

Kerouac Hates Me
Through their names
You are liberated

I watch as their struggles
Free your own
Twisting, weaving, stretching
Filtered through your words

I don’t know the why
That’s why
It bothers me
You aren’t bothered
Because you know
Or because you don’t
And that’s ok

Your eyes
They see through me
Like a fiery stake
Through my insides
My heart misses a beat
It’s fear
Lust born from adrenaline

Their words are easy

"...who passed through universities with radiant cool eyes..."

"among the scholars of war...who were expelled from the academies for crazy..."

I am beginning home.

I am beginning me.

I am beginning lost.

"starving hysterical naked"