Archive for October, 2002

on having a home

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2002 at about 9:52 pm

on having a home

I was just reading the homeless guy’s blog. It fascinates me. First of all, considering this guy has been living in varying states of homelessness for the past 20 years, he’s rather well-spoken, and computer-literate, too. Of course, if I was homeless, the time I didn’t spend trying to survive would be spent reading and talking to people, so I guess I could find some time to learn HTML.

It’s interesting, on this guy’s FAQ site there’s a letter from a 16 year old girl to him. Among other things, she mentions living on the street for a few days just for the experience. I was thinking of doing exactly this at different times during the past 6 months or so. I figured that it was OK to live the sheltered life I did so long as I acknowledged the fact that the rest of the world was indeed out there. And one of the best ways to do this seemed like just hopping on a train to New York one Friday afternoon with a few bucks and coming home a few days later. Just as a chance to see something different, to find a breath of air where I might least expect one. But, alas, I didn’t. And it wouldn’t have been safe to, either. I don’t really know my way around New York (at all), and it’s far from a good idea to sleep on a park bench. It’s better than it used to be, but it still isn’t wise to go into Central Park after 9 at night.

Here, in this place, I’m confronted with a bit of another option. I could hop on my bike with a full back pack and just go. There’s just fields around here, I could follow country roads and see where things go. There isn’t anywhere to sleep, though, and even if I had money there isn’t much of anything to eat. So I guess this doesn’t really seem like such a liberating idea after all.

Interestingly enough, there’s also a few quotes on the homeless guy’s page. One of them is from The Grapes of Wrath, which I’m just about finishing up reading. I remember the quote, too. It’s appropriate on this guy’s page because it deals with poor people. But it’s quite easily expanded beyond this relatively simple pretext, onto much greater concepts in relation to all of humanity. Poverty is all in your head, it would seem. How often am I told in school that money cannot buy happiness, that the truly rich people are those who are happy, those who love, those who are loved. But then, I don’t think I’ve never been poor.

Dave Matthews Band is playing at Assembly Hall on December 14th. I really want to go to this concert. I saw them at Madison Square Garden last May; it was absolutely incredible. Just the crowd was reason enough to go. So many thousands of screaming (albeit often drunk or stoned) teenagers… the energy is incredible, intoxicating. I hope I can find some people, or even one person, to go with. Three of my friends (and one of my friend’s fathers, since our mothers trusted neither us nor the city enough to have us going alone) went with me last time; we had a great time. Maybe Ben will go with me, I talked to him today and he said he really wants to go except he’s not sure if he can justify the $50 ticket.

It’s odd, I’m not feeling terribly tired. Some of me is, in my limbs. But my eyes aren’t. And my mind is never tired on a regular schedule, it can be sharp as a tack when I’m physically exhausted and hopelessly sluggish when I need to twitch just to release some excess energy. But I’m slowly winding down for the evening. And I guess I’d better be moving along to bed at some point. Because, as my mother used to tell me when I was much younger, “tomorrow is another big day.”

Posted in General
by tom

8 million thyroid glands

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2002 at about 8:37 pm

8 million thyroid glands

The West Wing is a rerun tonight. That kinda annoys me. But oh well, it’s only a TV show, it shouldn’t matter to me.

Shit, I just figured out that the Halloween dance is this Friday, not next Friday. That means that I need a costume within 48 hours. My dad said he might be able to take me down to Dallas & Company between 10 and 11 tomorrow, when I don’t have any classes. If I’m lucky they’ll have an Osama bin Laden mask, and I can just use a white sheet as a tunic type thing and I’ll be set. If not, I’ll need to find another costume there. I could be a skeleton, like Cordelia said. I’d look pretty ridiculous, but I guess that’s the idea. Oh well, hopefully there’ll be something decent that I can get.

My stupid blog isn’t loading. I don’t know why. Other people’s blogs still load just fine, but mine refuses to. Maybe it’ll fix itself. That would be nice. But so rarely do things fix themselves that I have to doubt it will. But maybe I’ll be lucky this time.

I still have to do the French homework from last night, since I temporarily lost my book yesterday. I found it at the end of school today on top of one of the coat racks, though. Which is fortunate. Anyway, that’s enough for tonight.

Posted in General
by tom

fine line between genius and insanity

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2002 at about 6:51 pm

fine line between genius and insanity

Sometimes I think this comic describes Uni well:

whoops

For the moment I’ll leave you with that and I’ll post more later.

Posted in General
by tom

piss and vinegar

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2002 at about 7:47 pm

piss and vinegar

I’ve kinda gotta pee (what is it with me and needing to piss when I type?). But I’m going to valiantly hold it in to post to my blog. I’ve got a streak going, I’ve posted every day for the past 5 days. Let’s see how long I keep this up.

So not that much happened today. Well, not that much in the grand scheme of things, but then nothing ever happens that’s terribly important in the grand scheme of things. So let’s diverge from this self-important pattern of me talking about myself and move on to something of slightly greater consequence.

It looks like the sniper in D.C. just found his 13th victim. Right now I’m wondering whether I’m going to eventually look back at this and say “wow, it was only 13 then…. there’s another 20 to go.” I’m certainly hoping not, but it’s impossible to know. Maybe it’s wrong, but I keep finding myself thinking about the emotional high this guy (or this group, or whoever is committing these murders) must be getting from it. I don’t feel the need to go maul someone, but the adrenaline rush after firing off a round into someone’s head must be incredible. Driving away I’d probably almost pass out. But then, I’ve never killed anyone before.

One semi-interesting thing did happen today at school. On the way back from lunch at Zorba’s there was a guy outside the building in full Class A military uniform holding a protest sign. Apparently he feels that war veterans (he’s a Vietnam vet) are discriminated against because he wasn’t hired to work at Uni, and was told there wasn’t a position open even though there was one. He had other numbers to back up his claim, which was essentially that the U of I wasn’t hiring any war veterans. I have no idea whether he’s full of it or whether he has a valid point.

Posted in General
by tom

all hell can’t stop us now

Monday, October 21st, 2002 at about 9:38 pm

all hell can’t stop us now

I finished my homework early today (due to my new-found system of “minimum effort”), so after dinner I just sat around on AIM for a while then watched TV. It’s Monday, and usually I don’t watch TV on Mondays, so I watched some shows that I don’t normally. I caught the last ten minutes of Boston Public, which is a good show but for some reason my mom thinks its evil. Anyway, the last ten minutes were basically just about the kids rioting (does anything ever go right at that school?). I kinda wish I knew what they were rioting about (they just were arguing with the administration about “who has power” and saying that “something has to be done, people need to see how things are”. While they were walking (it started as a walk-out) and then rioting the background music was P.O.D.’s “Youth of a Nation.” A bit of a clich� for the scene, perhaps, but I haven’t heard to song for a while so it didn’t really bother me. And the song really did fit the scene, I just wish it hadn’t been so overplayed. If I hadn’t ever heard of it it would’ve been awesome.

I was incredibly amused by the TV tonight. After the end of Boston Public I watched most of Everwood, which I’ve never seen before. It was all right, a bit odd. One of the sub-plots was about this pseudo-hermaphrodite kid who was being raised as a boy. And I couldn’t really figure out what was going on with some of the other sub-plots. But that’s all right, it was a decent show. Except for some random occurrences of horrible acting. Maybe it was just my perception of it and in relation to the plot, but it seemed like what some of the people were acting in ways that were totally wrong for the situation. Then again, maybe the idea is that there isn’t any right way to act in those situations. More likely, though, it was just bad acting.

I saw some commercials I liked, too. The Sprint one with the monkey, that’s some funny shit. I’m not into animal cruelty or anything, but seeing that monkey with a cold made me laugh so hard I almost fell off the couch. The ad for (of all things) chocolate milk with the punk kid blasting metal on all the speakers at the Best-Buy-type place, that’s pretty tight (what a great descriptive term). What really makes it awesome is the guy who works there. In the opening he’s telling someone about a toaster, and it picks up with him saying “and there’s a cancel button, if you decide you don’t want toast.” And then this crazy loud music starts playing, and he keeps smiling this hilarious fake smile, and walks through the store with everything shaking and falling to the punk kid playing all this stuff, and asks, “Can I help you?” The kid says, “Nah, I’m good,” grabs his chocolate milk from on top of one of the stereos, and walks out.

This commercial put me in the mood for some loud crazy screaming obnoxious music. Unfortunately I couldn’t really figure out a good song that fit the description, but in the course of this blog post I’ve been playing some music in that general vein. So Rage’s “New Millennium Homes,” “Bulls on Parade,” and of course “Guerilla Radio.” The Offspring’s “The Kids Aren’t All Right,” and Green Day’s “Fashion Victim” as a random choice from my collection of 15-odd Green Day songs. So this is what’s in my head (All, hell, can’t stop us now!), and its got me kinda amped, but I got nothing to do, so I’m just sorta furiously typing at the keyboard. The energy is leaving me, though, so I guess it isn’t even an issue.

Posted in General
by tom

yogurt and cameras

Sunday, October 20th, 2002 at about 6:23 pm

yogurt and cameras

Just got back from Mark’s house. Want to post, but I don’t really have that much time. I should really do my homework. But instead I’m sitting at the computer, again, and talking on AIM instead of doing something more useful. Oh well, there’s still tonight, after dinner. And meanwhile, there’s oh-so-much fun stuff to be doing. Such as… ok, I don’t know. But I seem to be having fun sitting here doing nothing, so I guess it’s all good. This yogurt I’ve got was tasty, but now it’s all gone. I like the way an empty yogurt cup looks sitting on my desk with a spoon sticking from it. It looks best off to the side, nearly into peripheral vision of the lens of the camera that’s taking this picure. About 1/4 of this mental picture is taken up by the computer screen above and to the right, but the focus is on this yogurt cup. Focus is such an odd thing. It’s a more literal version of perspective. But I’m beginning to ramble more abstractly than I can really comprehend, so I’ll leave it at this.

Oh, but one this. I need to start titling these postings. I come up with all sorts of good titles when I’m not writing, but never use them. Well, here’s my chance to start using them.

Posted in General
by tom

83227268

Saturday, October 19th, 2002 at about 5:22 pm

I just got back from an exciting trip to Mallwart (for those of you who have had too little coffee or too few beers, that’s Walmart). It’s like the psycho’s paradise. I’ve been there before, but never really realized this until now. It reminds me of the previews of One Hour Photo (which I haven’t seen, so I can’t comment any further on). The lights in the open freezers where they keep dairy or meat and such, those garish, hideous, disturbing flourescent lights, they scare me a bit. Maybe scare isn’t the right word, moreso disturb, but that’s hardly the point. One day I think I’ll just go over there and follow people around. Maybe go there at night, too. My guess is all the weirdos will be out, since even psychos need to buy groceries and mops, but probably don’t want to do it while other people are there.

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by tom

83213616

Saturday, October 19th, 2002 at about 9:39 am

whoa this is freaky…. I’m sitting here on Saturday morning and there’s a shaft of light coming through the space between the blinds, and I swear I can see it moving across my desk. I saw it, then a few minutes later it was a few inches over. And now if I look at it carefully I can see the entire things shaking around, somehow, and I think I can see it moving. Maybe I didn’t sleep so well.

Posted in General
by tom

83197779

Friday, October 18th, 2002 at about 9:48 pm

Music tends to get annoying after a while. Like right now, I kinda want to take a swing at the guys in Boxcar Racer for whining so much. Usually I like their stuff, it’s slightly-less-sissy-but-still-mainstream blink-182 style punk. It had better be, because half of the band is Blink-182. At first I didn’t realize that, when I saw their first single’s video I was like “wow, that’s the most blatant rip of of Blink 182 in existance. They guys even look exactly the same, and they’re wearing the same clothing and have that same complaining voice.” When I realized that the reason for this was that they were the same people, it made much more sense to me, and restored some of my faith in them.

Posted in General
by tom

83148279

Thursday, October 17th, 2002 at about 9:28 pm

weeee, I’m blogging. I feel the need to, yet I have no idea what to write. I’m kinda tired, as always. I did all my homework except for health, I still need to finish my anti-smoking quilt square thing. Mine is a big weird looking banana with arms and legs and a face, and it says “Hey kids! The big giant banana says 1 in every 3 smokers will die from their habit! So don’t smoke!” I thought I’d try to do something a little different. I have the banana all done, I just need to write in the words. And that should be easy enough. Then I’ll draw a little girl or boy staring up at this huge banana all wide-eyed in fear. Yea, that should do it.

I feel the need to call a friend in New Jersey. But I can’t call guys, because guys don’t have long conversations with other guys on the phone, it just doesn’t work well. So I’d have to call a girl, and the only girl I know well enough to call is Diane. But it’s 10:30 there anyway, so this entire conversation is academic.

OK, so there’s this guy, and Mark talked to him originally for some reason, and had a funny conversation. And then the guy found my screen name, and we had a few interesting conversation. Here’s one. He decided to be nice and talk to me again. So I guess I’ll have nice long conversation with him and see where it goes. Here is the conversation Mark had with him. I realize his is more interesting, but give me time. I’ve already gotten some info out of him, that he didn’t get into Uni, and he lives in Champaign, and whatnot. This could be interesting. I wonder who Laura is.

Posted in General
by tom