May 29, 2002

N’essence of T’ime

It’s a good thing this deal knows what day it is, cuz I sure as hell can’t keep them all straight.

Today I played Grand Theft Auto 3, went to Kame-Apart, ate at Arby’s, painted my computer, changed my oil, cruised around Lake Calhoun (is that spelled right? It feels like it’s missing letters, like Lake Callhoune or Laake Kcallhouwne or Lawuieke Kschahwallowueunght or something), cleaned my room and… umm… there was definitely other stuff but I don’t remember.

Oh yeah, saw Attack of the Clones and enjoyed every bit of clumsy dialogue, stunning imagery and Jedi ass-kicking. Best. Star Wars. Ever. I feel bad that I have been referring to it as Phantom Menace II in the near past. You cannot compare the two flicks. One sucked. The other showed Natalie Portman’s midriff.

Oh, and Natalie. If you are reading this, I would like no more than to refine that last comment after we chat over coffee at Munkabeans or something. 4.0 at Harvard. 3.875 at UMD. Psychology. Philosophy. Double consciousness. Lack of conscience. From New York City. I’ve Been to Duluth. Aggressive negotiations. GTA 3. Beautiful and intelligent. GTA 3.

I hope that we have a few things to talk about. If nothing else, the conversation could be a meaningful exchange between two equals. Let me know.

Summer is lovely. Perhaps I will try windsurfing tomorrow.

May 27, 2002

Poetry Crap Fest!!!!!!!!!

I’m bad at poetry but I’m good at reading Richard Brodigan. In that light I will write lovely poetry.

Something about a pen!

I touched a pen to my shirt

it left a mark

they assured my it was not fatal

it burned through the cloth

into my flesh

I flung the shirt from my body

but the distant banjos would not shut up

Something about a guitar!

the guitar says everything is all right

but you know otherwise



but you fool yourself

just this once

just every time

Mr. Big Robot Man

Built of painted plywood

guards me from the spittle thieves

authenticates my existence

sells me stereo equipment

Something about a sign!

The sign says 30 m.p.h.

I laugh ha! A challenge!

Speed up, meet the turn

with tires of flame

I am young!

I am virile!

My car plunges into the St. Croix.

I am entombed!



swim alone,

at night,

in unfamiliar places


dive off bridges,

high banks,

into water

of unknown depth

small children

should be watched

Pair o’ Lakes

We went to Pair o’ Lakes in the backwaters of Wisconsin. The lakes did not cover the road. The place is seedy. One-eyed Jack’s seedy. Our arrival coincided with the departure of a fellow wearing a Hustler shirt. I did not see if there was any writing printed on the back.

She ordered wine. She will be summoned to work at the perfume counter. The glasses are much more sensual than the one’s available at Tony’s in Spooner. More curves = more sex.

The following song was not played on the bar’s overhead music system, but should have been.

We’re a domestic Boston beer

Another snotty Boston beer

We’re a domestic fucking Boston fucking beer

and we’re here

at Pair o’ Lakes

to get your ass kicked

by surly rednecks

swinging broken bottles of Grain Belt Premium.

European travel is down 20 percent from last year… but maybe it’s not our responsibility to travel out of guilt, rather their responsibility to give us reasons to go. Reasons like booze and whores. Why travel at all when I can my fix in the backwaters of Wisconsin? I don’t need to go to Europe to get beat up by rude smelly folk, thank you very much.

There is a stuffed moose head over the bar with velvet antlers. It’s a shame that they would kill such a wonderful and rare creature. I’ll bet it used to do children’s programming. The hit show Moosey and Spigot. I watched it all the time growing up last year.

May 24, 2002

Live, the Universe, Grand Theft Auto 3

Grades for Spring Semester are posted. Let’s go see how bad I did!






…Hmm. A. Another friggin’ semester of straight A’s, or As without the apostrophe, or Ass if you like it like that. This can’t be right. I’ll bet when they first post grades they all start as A’s, and as results from the professors start flowing in the grades slowly get docked down to their appropriate level. Bush won. No wait, Gore won. Oh silly us, Nader won.

It’s like being a cabbie who drives everywhere backwards. The clock starts at the default $4.00 and creeps down as you back into pedestrians and fire hydrants and cop cars. Before you know it you accidentally kill a few officers and you have three stars so you book it to the fenced-off area of China Town where they can’t run you over. Then they start bombing you with squad cars from the sky, you get four stars, and the cops already shooting at you get run over by ten more squad cars as they race up to see to your peaceful arrest.

May 22, 2002

Terminal Inquisition

Funny thing about summer break. The less you do, the less you have to say.

Dan had to do work at a client’s place in Minneapolis yesterday. A sign in their underground parking garage said “WARNING: CARS ARE EASILY OPENED, EVEN WHEN LOCKED!” I don’t think I’ve ever read that statement in an automobile user’s manual.

The locks on the FORD BRAND are merely ornamentation. If someone wishes to steal your purse or faceplate or organs they can simply remove door with the quick-release buttons identified on this diagram. Diagram is reproduced on passenger side door to allow thieves easy access to your personal belongings.

Willis played an XBox racing game at Best Buy. He chose the DeLorean, which had beautiful reflective textures and a large British flag stencilled to the roof. It would not travel back in time, so we hit the double-decker bus at 88 mph rather than slipping through it with a trail of flames. The car doors would fall off when you rolled over too many times.

We went and saw some hippies at the Terminal Bar, along with a band called The Beads. The drummer (who likes playing video golf) and auxillary percussionist were absolutely incredible, playing off each other with tight, complex rhythms. The rest of the band didn’t quite do these virtuosos justice, but it was a pleasant night to be downtown with guys peeing on the sidewalk.

“Hey Dan, honk at that guy! Nervous up his bladder!

May 20, 2002

Seed Crystals

Hmm. I was half way through a nice entry when I must have inadvertently hit the RUIN ALL MY WORK UP TO THIS POINT keyboard shortcut. Trying to write on a computer is often like writing on paper that’s on fire. No need for a fireplace in which to file the day’s work; each medium has destruction written into its being.

Saw Cowboy Curtis at the 400 Bar this evening, and while watching Chris Morrissey play bass like a maniac genius I realized something about people. We are all crystals who are constantly precipitating out of a creative fog. The world is awash in thick clouds of chaos, and it takes a human spirit to condense beauty out of the air and give meaning to life. We take certain qualities of the world and amplifiy or diminish them to satisfy our creative drive. The truly artistic can pull the beauty out of chaos, but everyone is free to enjoy the fruits of their labors.

Through creative work our crystals grow, whether that work be the creation or appreciation of something beautiful. Personally I find this realized in no greater form than in music. When listening to a song it condenses on my body and I absorb it through the skin. it’s more than just sound; it’s a pervasive human spirit that is being unconsciously decoded and slipped into my brain. The song will always be with me; I am the sum of all my experiences.

Blah. I’m really tired. I was up until 5AM last night drinking, playing music and speaking in an English accent, and woke up this morning under a pool table.

May 17, 2002

On Holograms and Encoding

A last bit o’ intellectual fun, as we scatter to the edges of the world after UMD shakes us from her branches. This is a rerun, yes, but I rewrote it a bit and promised Starlarva that I’d post it again. This one’s for you, my philosophical love peach.

Holograms are 3D images encoded on 2D surfaces. A laser beam of coherent light is split into two separate beams, one which is reflected off the object onto a photographic plate, and the other aimed directly at the plate. All the information is located on a single two-dimensional layer, but manages to represent a three-dimensional object. The encoding looks nothing like the original object, but it contains the information needed to reproduce the light that originally came from the object.

The universe potentially has four-dimensions; the X, Y, Z axes and space-time. When you move on a sphere it appears to you that you are traveling in a straight line in two dimensions, though anyone observing your movement from off the sphere would see that you are moving in an arc, dropping away in the third dimension. When you travel through space you move in three dimensions, but it is possible that the universe arcs in the fourth dimension, such that if you were to travel in one direction long enough you would curve around and eventually retrace your path.

If the universe is indeed a four-dimensional sphere it is completely self-contained and doesn’t need to exist in anything. Even if it does exist in something, the something would be outside our comprehension (and universe) and it would be foolish of us to talk about it. It is like Heidegger’s life-after-death, which would be silly for us to discuss because we have no experience with it. Wittgenstein would call utterances about this outer something meaningless, as it is beyond verification and cannot be proved true or false.

But back to holograms. What if our universe is just the four-dimensional encoding of a five dimensional reality? Our reality would be nothing but a long groove on a wax cylinder and we have no access to the phonograph. However, if one were able to look at the universe from the outside and decode it, it would look like something entirely different; a Reality II.

To speculate on the implications of this possibility involves delving into metaphysics, an activity that will raise the hackles of any analytic philosopher, but one I find quite entertaining as a mental exercise. To accurately encode a representation of Reality II requires that the grooves be laid down in a logical manner that can be translated by a decoder, and this logic would become the framework of our universe. If the universe is encoding another reality it demands that there is an order to why things happen the way they do; a divine and guiding hand of sorts. There would need to be an underlying logic that dictates all movement, all thoughts, all history. Unfortunately the predestination that results from the need of an ordered structure is immediately troubled by free-will. How can I be representative of the same Reality II if I jump out the window or not?

Ignoring that serious wrinkle in the encoding theory, one of the more interesting considerations is that of time. Holograms can only represent a moment in time, and thus are limited in the amount of information they can store. While the theory of relativity definitely screws up any absolute measurement of time, it is obvious some kind of passage of time must exist in our universe. If the universe is an encoding of Reality II, that means the position and velocity of every atom needs to have a logical meaning that can be translated on the other side. Meaning is not only attributed to the position and velocity of every atom at a moment, but their attributes at every moment since the universe came into existence. The sheer amount of information that can be stored in this relationship is overwhelming.

I wish the most delightful summer to you all!

May 16, 2002

Sex Survey…

The phone rings. I dig around my filthy room and find the phone. A woman was speaking.

“Hi. I’m calling from Heath Services and we’re doing a sex survey. Do you have about 30 seconds?”

“30 seconds? Isn’t that kind of quick?”

“Well, yes. That’s kind of the point.”

“I like your style. Fire away.”

“When you have sex, what kind of protection do you use?”

“Usually a paper bag. Sometimes two.”

“Ok. What sexual position do you think results in the ugliest babies?”

“All of them.”

“All of them?”

“Babies are ugly.”

“Ok, thank you. Wow, that didn’t even take 30 seconds.”

“My pleasure.”

May 15, 2002

Live from the Wooch! Lounge

Last night was splendid. Instead of studying for my Editing final like a rational collegiate whore, a bunch of Woochers and I went down to a super-secret underground cove on Lake Superior and made fire consume the bones of listless trees. It was a beautiful clear night stocked with glimmering stars and a fingernail moon. Venus cast her sulfuric glow deep into the dark waters of the moody Lake.

After a restless night of stray ideas winding themselves through corridors of half-sleep, I rose to an early grey morning to prepare for the final reckoning in Editing class. The test was quite easy: root through 60 pages of notes from a Regent’s meeting, find 3 – 6 possible news stories and write budgets for each. Read a news article, write a short essay on what needs to be fixed, and edit it for sensationalism. Extra points if you incorporate space bunnies and pregnant men.

And now I relax in the Wooch! lounge, allowing the yellow table to drag me into its vortex of laze. I fling words at an LCD screen, hoping that a few stick like wads of wet toilet paper to the ceiling of an elementary bathroom.

May 14, 2002

A bit more like this…

Hmm. I may have burned down the town to save the forest, but pretty soon this tiny hamlet will be outfitted with glass freeways and fat porcelain cherubs. The last 12 hours have played host to a dizzying complexity of advancement, thrust forth by fits and starts of technological genius, dumb luck and blinding tenacity.

I welcome you to version one-half of Cromlech. When I get this crazy thing figured out it will archive my daily entries automatically, let me post from any internet-ready coconut on the planet, and allow you people to fling curses right back at me (see comments).

Onward, brave pirates! Be relentless in your plunderance of the world in search of knowledge! Board every ship armed with scimitars and doubleshot and rob them of their quantum theories! Slit the throats of all moronists that stand in your way! Drink gutrot from your cupped hands and teeter precariously from the mizzen mast!