March 9, 2004

Clamor, Semblance, Cavort

Inspiration has not been kind to the Blogosphere as of late. Zosia Blue finds herself disappearing unannounced. is being subjected to much prodding in order to start posting photos again. I know not where Dierin is currently penning his work. Only the Noble Hobo, with a mind racing after a summer at the South Pole and a couple of long days running around New Zealand, has any insight into this whole human being thing. Damn, though, that Hobo has some serious words. Swing by and check ‘im out.

As for Brainside Out, my mindspring is running dry. Earlier tonight I was flipping through the pages of a notebook I was keeping in 2000, a year before I started blogging. It’s brimming with freshman college student crap, failed lyrics to songs, thoughts unstrung and quotes thuggishly torn from unspecificed sources. Things were different then. I had a vague and anonymous enemy that was pinning me to the ground, and all my writings have me grappling for control. You can call it what you want: The Man, conventionality, critical thought, the ennui of modern living… whatever it was it grated me so, such that it consumed my thoughts, my soul, my passion. Somehow I had to get his foot off my neck and my mouth out of the mud.

A lot happens in four years. Someone rams a few airliners into your skyscrapers and you get really pissed off and you start taking things a lot more seriously. Then someone hands you a piece of paper rolled up all right-nice with a piece of ribbon, and you dash across the countryside to become a windsurfing bum. Then a snowboard bum. Then a web designer. No matter what you do or where you go, you’re still fighting, always fighting, because the fight reminds you that you are alive. Nay, the fight is what it means to be alive.

At some point you lift your head, and realize that you’re no longer surrounded by enemies. You see that The Man is actually a toothless git when you get right down to it, and raging against him isn’t even worth your time. You feel the inner flame shudder as it gasps for more fuel, a new reason to keep burning. You fear that three unprecedented years of clear thought are the limit, as you find yourself sinking into the bitter clouds of unconsciousness.

At the same time you consider the enormity of the year last, and consider cutting yourself some slack for feeling tired and groggy. You left home, your home for twenty-two years, ten months ago and ever since then you’ve had to reinvent yourself every day. Your new environment does not give itself up to familiarity without effort, and thought this effort can be minimal it is always persistent and can weary the soul. Your good friends you have not seen for nearly a year, maybe more, and they are scattered across the globe like spots of sunlight glinting off the surface of a pond. You have not seen your sister, the only person in the world able to keep your ego in check, since August, and haven’t seen your parents since September.

You dined with wonderful mountain people for Thanksgiving and Christmas, but nothing can take the place of family. Nothing can take the place of friends. You have strived to reinvent yourself to meet every twist and turn, but at some point invention must be allowed to give way to contemplation.

Perhaps the only way to redefine yourself, now, requires that you first lay down your sword. Perhaps that is the most difficult battle of them all.

Welcome to the next level. Beers to your left, TV to your right, and a new appreciation for things like diapers and couches and monogamous relationships piled up in front of you.
The challenge now is finding the value in your environment rather than creating it. If you can learn this trick, you’ll want for nothing until the end.

From what I understand, that’s the answer to a lot of things! Mr. Beer and I may need to have a meeting in the near future.
And man, lemme tell how awesome a monogamous relationship would be. It would certainly beat the ungamous relationships I’ve been engaged in for the last umpteen years.

well, i have since upgraded from the Mr. Beer home brew system. I now use a 7 gallon food grade bucket with a spigot, an airlock, a 7 gallon glass carboy, a lot of siphon hose, and a kettle large enough to hold 5 gallons of water, (and its also big enough to easily fit two delicious kitties).
yeah so i do this partial mash brewing now, in which i actually drive to this homebrew store, and buy malted barley and extract, and special yeast, and hops and i have to follow these long recipes that take 4 hours. But, one the bright side, it makes REALLY good beer. much better then mr beer, and there is 5 gallons of it, which is enough for almost 2 weeks.