February 14, 2002

portion of male

I wanted pants. The world need not be exposed to my male lower-portion. I studied the pants hanging in my closet and found a pair that suited my fancy for the day: grey Target janitor pants. Ever so delicately I went to free them from their wire clippy hangar Display of Approval… pulled ever so gently…

And all five pairs of pants came furiously cascading down.

Now they expect me to hang them back up. Nay, I say. I’m gonna teach them a lesson. “Floor for you,” I sez.

Later: Normally I think personality profiles are a bunch of schlock, but Colorgenics.com did a pretty good job for me. The result was overly negative, sure, and I don’t know where all this ‘you’ve been hurt’ crap comes into play, but the first and fourth graphs summed it up quite well.

And yes, I am distressed that I may be prevented from attaining my goals.

February 11, 2002

soul food and mason jars

Lately I feel my creativity has not been nurtured properly. School makes me want to cry in boredom as my soul is sucked out of my ears and fed into stacked mason jars in a cold, damp basement.

But I think things are changing and oh, they’re changin’ for the nice. Philosophy class is starting to touch on some issues that really fascinate me; how the perceiving self functions to actually create the world. A number of great recreational books have been trickling in with my online-ordered textbooks (Nordic Runes, the Collected Sam and Max, Shackleton’s Voyage) and some significant music purchases should start drifting in from BMG before too long.

Not to mention Twin Peaks, which is still feeding my soul so kindly.

Ahh, but something great and important is still missing from this intellectual diet. Where is the live music? Still yourself, sweet child, as that issue has been resolved as well. Robert Randolph, an amazing pedal guitar player, will be at the Cedar Cultural Center next week, and Sound Tribe Sector 9 will be at the Cabooze in March. Both shows fall on school nights but I plan on going anyway.

An ear is a terrible thing to waste.

February 10, 2002

saucy subtlety

Lots of weird people go to Walmart at 1:00 on a Sunday morning. The sunken eyes and harsh glares said they blamed me for their odd shopping habits. By the look of the customers, Walmart must offer an oozing face sore discount in the wee hours of the morning.

I finally got the Twin Peaks DVDs. What a wonderful show. Incredibly weird, but it’s subtle enough to pull it off effectively. I love the music; a saucy jazz background of brushes on snare drum, acoustic bass and vibes solos. The music makes the show breathe.

The DVD collection has drawn a bit of flak because it didn’t include the pilot episode, which some say is integral to understanding what’s going on. I disagree. I think the pilot demystifies the story’s origin… and it’s the mysterious nature of the show that is one of the most alluring draws. By making definite all the things the pilot does, it dashes any speculation on the viewer’s part. I would rather hear about the discovery of Laura’s body instead of watching because then I can doubt it. Maybe that’s not the way it happened. Maybe Martell is lying. I like the feeling that I’ve been plunged right into the thick of mystery.

I love the subtlety. One reason I can’t stand sitcoms is their insistence that you don’t miss anything. No joke can sneak by undetected because each one must set off the irritating Can o’ Laughs. Twin Peaks lets you discover the humor for yourself. There is no huge finger that jabs you in the eye and points out the huge book on Tibet, or the fact that a lady who talks to a log is fun-ny(!). With Twin Peaks if you’re not paying attention you’ll miss it, and if you weren’t paying attention earlier you won’t even understand the reference.

That’s one reason I don’t like 99% of TV. They grind up nonsense and spoon feed it to viewers. It doesn’t matter if I watch or not; the same message would be broadcast and would be interpreted in the One Obvious Way by anyone else. I’m not benefited in the least by watching. Most shows are not rewarding or engaging, but patronizing. You never walk away from Friends and wonder “What did that all mean?” This shameless undermining of the audience’s intelligence is the fault of the writers. It takes confidence to toss out a joke without the guarantee that people will get it on their own. It also takes wit to come up with enough good jokes that you can take such risks.

Twin Peaks is a lot like watching a live jam band. The musicians all groove along, and if you’re listening you can pick up the subtle melodic and rhythmic shifts. Sometimes an artist will toss in a quote from another song, and you can’t help but laugh along with the other band members… because you get it. They don’t stop the show right there to explain to the audience that Mr. Rhythm Guitar just played a line from Rhapsody in Blue, and wait until everyone nods in understanding that the bands starts again.

In a similar fashion I think you could argue that friends (people you know, like and trust, not the televised dreck) that have lots of inside jokes are smarter and more creative than those that don’t. There’s a certain amount of mental activity required in storing and recalling common experience in a humorous way. Yes, call me cruel and old fashioned, but I do believe some people are smarter than others.

Activities are much more rewarding when you are expected to bring your own knowledge to the situation. Always keep dear your ability to retain and process information and be weary of those who would rather you forgot about it. Don’t short your intelligence because of someone else’s lowered expectations.

February 8, 2002

olfactory alarm clock

Whenever I go to the library to work on my laptop, there is always the same guy sitting in the same cube by the window.

The fellow sits with amazing posture and has dark, bushy eyebrows that communicate an inner sternness. He is spindly but solid-looking, with greasy hair and a bony chin that makes me want to break his jaw. I’ve never caught a glimpse of what he’s working on, but I’m sure it is of dire importance. Taxes, probably.

His deodorant fails every day at 11:30, and the biting stench tells me it’s almost time to head off to philosophy class.

February 6, 2002

omni-blubber smoking format

I have a new writing technique that I call forehead/desk formatting. I use it often when I’m having troubles getting words down on the page, but I think it may actually cause more problems than it solves. Brain damage, four inshtunche.

nnm nhjgmnm b hngb h hnbh hbzs hnb fvhnb

Sorry. Formatting is becoming a habit.

This weekend should be exciting. I’ve gotta get to my cabin to do some laundry, catch a monster truck show, see Sunny Wicked at the Amazing Grace, write a story on a UMD student web forum, prepare a three page court summary and class presentation, and read a hundred pages of a philosophy book I don’t have, yet.

On the plus side, my philosophy prof said we will find reading the book so frustrating that it is expected we throw it across the room at some point.

Later: Reality Check

Saw Shackleton’s Amazing Arctic Adventure at the Omni Theatre earlier tonight. Incredible flick with wonderful cinematography, and one heck of a survival story. I’m reading the book, but I’m also reading ten other books at the same time, so it’s slow going. To keep myself focused (not just on the book, but on life and other important stuff… as I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time complaining the last few days) I printed up the following proverb and put it right next to my door, to review every morning:

Your face is not coated in blubber smoke

You do not dine on penguin meat

You have slept in the past week

You still have all your fingers

Suck it up and roll.

Ok, so no one cool actually said that, but I did. Journalism be damned. At least I’m not fighting the fargin’ bottom of the world.

Even though sledding down a 2,000 foot mountain in two minutes would be really cool.

February 4, 2002

a really cool hat

Augh. I’ve got three journalism classes this semester, and as someone that doesn’t like journalism all that much, it’s a lot of journalism to stomach. Well, I’ve decided that if they’re gonna make a journalist out of me I get to wear a hat with a slip of paper that says PRESS sticking out of it. Just cuz I’m a reporter doesn’t mean I don’t get to mock them, too.

Note: I am indeed on my sabbattical. These aren’t the Daily Blither entries you’re looking for.


February 3, 2002

plague of literate cross-dressers

There was a splendid party at a band nerd house last night. I ended up in women’s clothing early on, and later set this away message on Geoff’s computer:

I have boobies, and this font makes me want to drink gasoline and fight with the demons of ENGLISH MAJOR! they will repent when they feel the power of Geoff (not Jeff, for that would be spelled wrong), flow through their bodies like the wind of the damned 1950s trendy looking fans that swept the nation like Luke Merte’s atonal appreciation of the jazz avant lifestyle. The end is near for all those that don’t fear the beer that swept the nation like the locust plague of the Dutch.

Yes, it was quite an exciting evening.

February 2, 2002

disappear for your happy brithday

One year. Cromlech officially went active a year ago today. At the time I was toying with the idea of changing my major to something besides music, and I started Cromlech as an experiment to develop my writing and see if I was actually any good at it. I also felt I led an interesting enough life that people would want to hear about the highlights, occasionally. Blithers were not originally the focus, as shown by other areas of the site; especially Writings. Last semester I finally settled into a layout I was satisfied with and set to write voraciously for four months. The easiest way to write so much was to just do it every day, and not bother with designing new sections, pages and organization.

The Daily Blither forced an entry to be created and finished in one day, without dilly-dallying, so there would be time to write another entry tomorrow. It required discipline in coming up with an idea, figuring out how to voice it, slapping on enough meat to make it interesting, and making sure I did so with consistency and quality, every day.

In light of points made in yesterday’s entry, I need a hiatus. Maybe it will only be a week until I find the urge to write again, maybe a month. More? Cromlech will remain, but I guarantee no updates until the fever settles into my soul and takes me to a wonderful plane where all the women are well read, five-dimentional and shower me constantly with chocolate gold coins. I may pry open the vaults and post some writings from elsewhere and elsewhen, but no more Blithers.

While I do feel a bit guilty for the sudden abandonment, I remind myself that most people don’t keep journals, and most that do don’t edit the journal for the public. Most people don’t have websites, either. There are starving children in India that need my bandwidth.

I’ll come back when I feel inspired. It’s high time to peel away from my computer for a moment.

Thanks for visiting. I hope you’ve enjoyed this as much as I have.

February 1, 2002

scuttling about

C:\>format c:\dane\brain.exe


Do you wish to continue? y

formatting… 0%

formatting… 100%

Enter new label, or [ENTER] for NONE

Sitting in the the library, bored, and for some reason I cannot collect thoughts when not in front of my desktop. So I’m just gonna ramble a bit. Apparently I can’t form sentences either.

Being a writer has brought unexpected consequences. Whenever I do something, whether it be sitting in class, extreme sledding, watching tv or thinking, I’m always trying to come up with ways to put the activity into words; my internal editor is running constantly, formatting thoughts so I can spew them forth for easy digestion by others. At first it was kind of fun, and I approached it as a challenge. The guy that scrubs the floor in Stadium. I think it’s funny, but how would I write a blurb about that? For the past year I’ve been ironing details and formatting generals, and my writing has improved considerably as a result.

But I feel dead inside. Sometimes I feel like I’m not directly interacting with the world, but experiencing it only through my writing. While my goal is to write accounts of life that people find fun and interesting, it seems I can’t enjoy the moment anymore, unless I can remember it for a later Cromlech entry.

I love reading other people’s work (humor columns, books, magazines, blogs, etc…) but I’m so busy picking the words apart I don’t see the ideas anymore. I am like the crab I saw in a California aquarium thirteen years ago. His life consisted of scuttling about the tank, gluing bits of coral and junk to his shell.