Saturday, October 25, 2008

look at all the people with the flowers in their hands

Okay - this, before you start reading, has nothing to do with anything, at least in regards to classwork.

I turned on my computer to check my email, pay some bills, whatever. On the AOL start page, there was a link that said

Singer Opens Up About Losing Family
Well, I'm game. I always like to see how the news-people want to pull my heartstrings. I clicked it and LO AND BEHOLD. It's about Mark Oliver Everett, the lead singer of The Eels and the son of Hugh Everett. If you know science, you know Hugh Everett. Think parallel universes aspect of quantum physics.
I got SO terribly excited. Not only do I adore The Eels, but I like science and quantum physics in particular. I had NO IDEA that M. Everett was the son of H. Everett. It never even clicked, I never bothered to check on the bio of the people in the band (all I knew was that it was just him, and musicians in the background). That. Is. So. Awesome.
Also, reading the interview was the weirdest thing. Now I understand why I like that music so much. Interestingly enough, I was just hypothesizing to myself the other day about why people like the things that they do; I was thinking about myself versus the friends that I have. I found myself trying to draw parallels between things, like a big squishily biological connect the dots. Anyway, it was really horrifying to see that people are probably a lot easier to explain than we make it, yet in some stupid paradoxial fashion, unbelievably obscure.
Do you know what I mean?
Eels lyrics: love them.
Eels downloads: eat them. (you can also preview songs on this page; scroll down)
Albums I love: Blinking Lights & Other Revelations, Electro-Shock Blues, Beautiful Freak

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

R03: Tonight, Tonight/In the Air of the Night: A Short Story Segment

So, I guess that really makes this entry a cross between a musical and a really overly dramatic Phil Collins song about divorce that everyone seems to think is about him watching some guy watch some other guy drown.

Or not so much.

I'm going to be posting a little bit of my short story, which I believe is due this Thursday, on my blog, in accordance to the requirements of posting. Just so everyone is caught up, I am going to post the requirements again and let you know which ones I have done so far.


"1 review of literary reading/event
2 reviews of writing exercises
2 reviews of what you are reading in other classes
1 imitation of someone else's blog entry
1 short story segment
1 extensive (1-2 paragraph) comment on other blogs, in the form of initiating a dialogue with the author."


1 of 2 reviews of writing exercises
1 of 2 reviews of other readings
1 short story segment (tonight)

To GO:

-1+ extensive comment on other blogs*
-1 review of writing exercises
-1 review of other readings

*I say that I have done -1+ of the comments, because I have commented on a number of your blogs, classmates, but I'm not really seeing a lot in the way of replies. I sometimes forget to click the little "e-mail notification" option when I am done commenting, so it's completely plausible that I just overlooked any replies. If this is the case, I would super really awesomely appreciate a comment letting me know which entry of yours we've initiated dialogue on. As for those who have commented on mine: Terry, check for replies.

SO. As Norberg so nicely put it, I have a "Daria-esque" story I would like to share with you all. I don't know what to tell you about it, the background or what I aim to do. I think that's cheating. (Shrug.) Read, if you would like to, and comment, please, if you have anything to say about it, good or bad. Or indifferent! I would like to know if it leaves you cold. Have fun reading it, if you do, and I look foward to reading your comments (:D). Warning/Disclaimer: I haven't looked over it to see if the seams are showing aka if it makes sense cohesively. As in... a lot of editing has to be done. So, yeah. Watch out. I'm piecing together their puzzle and these people aren't very cooperative!


"He grabbed my hand and he said to me,
‘Talk. You can talk about anything you know.
I mean talk about any subject in the world –
don’t worry whether it’ll interest me or not.
Just talk so I won’t break down.’ He couldn’t
bear to be alone with his thoughts. It was too painful."
- Capote

They stood there, a group of terribly extraordinary people, smoking cigarettes. Watching as lightning bugs blinked their signs to one another, lazily drifting around the bushes and trees lining the condominium complex, the group silently took in their surroundings. Trees outlined the inky purple-black sky of a night slightly cool for late July. David’s porch was sizable enough for the four of them to stand beneath the overhang ceiling’s single covered light by the front door, and so they stood there idly talking and taking in the air. Looking up to exhale, Saul noted: "You have bees in your light. You should take care of them."

David replied, "We tried. The nest was right at the top corner of the roof. My dad sprayed them down with pesticide one night; easily one hundred bee corpses lay on the porch the next morning. And there were still many of them alive. Literally at least two hundred on our lawn and the neighbors complained that they had them, too. We had to get an exterminator to come and spray everything with some white powder. My family has probably sent over five hundred little bees to the grave."

They all looked solemnly up towards the light, at the bodies of bees writhing around within the glass fixture. Jediz furrowed her brow, as though considering the bodies and their tiny minds. "I never knew what to think about exterminators," Jediz said absently, dropping her cigarette and grinding it under her heel. Picking up the filter, she continued. "There was something about going into a place and killing off what was probably there first. If I had to do it, I wouldn’t do it out of menace but like… A mercy killing. I’d say a bug prayer over them, let them know they’ll be happier when they’re gone. Less fleeing, less hiding, less foraging."

Lindsay laughed. "Forget mercy killing, I just want the uniform. They’re awesome – very Ghostbuster!" Grinning at Jediz, she mimed pointing a gun at the porch light. "I would have loved that job!"

David, looking at Lindsay, said very gravely, "You know, I always wondered what happened to the spirits they vanquished. How cramped was it in those containment fields? They must have felt like bugs being squashed, themselves."

Lindsay looked over at Jediz, who was still staring up at the porch light. "You’re going to ruin your eyes, you idiot," she said, gently shoving Jediz. Smiling absently, Jediz said, "My eyes are just fine, thank you. I can very clearly see the other side of the lawn through your ear."

David snorted, "I don’t think I’ve heard that in years. Probably since that year I lived with my grandparents." Laughing, Lindsay grabbed Jediz’s hand and pulled her down the porch step. "Time to go!" Dropping their cigarette butts into the trash bin beside the porch, the four walked along the pathway of the complex to the parking lot, shooing away mosquitoes attracted by the dampness of the lake just beyond the trees.


Saul started his car and placed his hands on the wheel without shifting gears, to let the car heat up. David sat beside him, quietly looking out of the window. Lindsay and Jediz sat in the back, equally as quiet. The engine ticked and rumbled as it idled and a CD faintly rattled in the console between the driver and passenger seats. Minutes passed. The car idled. The CD rattled. The tempurature gauge read the normal degree, and still the car idled. The CD, of course, still rattled. David turned slowly and purposefully to the back of the car, placing his hands on the shoulder of his seat and Saul’s, and slowly inched his face close to Jediz’s. He stared at her. She looked at him blankly.

"You can be angry, but only quietly."

Jediz blinked owlishly at him, and after a pause, burst out laughing in big hoarse guffaws. Lindsay howled with laughter. Saul snickered and patted David on the shoulder. "Ever the peace-maker. You could make a living off of solving the problems of the world."

"I don’t aspire to be this guy, but it’d be pretty okay if I were him," Saul said to Jediz, who was still giggling. Lindsay had quieted down a bit and was smiling at Jediz, though watching her carefully. David patted Jediz on the head.

"See, it’s okay! If you can laugh, you’re good. If not, you’re screwed." Jediz looked up at David and smiled wryly.

"It’s not that I don’t think it’s okay. It doesn’t have a choice. There is nothing but this, and I’d like to call it love, but it’s covered in stupid memories and hurt – none of it is mine, it’s not even nearly what I imagined the outcome would be." She smiled again and waved a hand to dismiss the conversation. Saul threw the car into gear and headed towards their restaurant, where they had gathered so many times before. For a few long minutes, no one spoke. Their heads were full of images of Jediz’s father, six weeks dead on the bedroom floor.


"They were alone in their principles." Lindsay slapped her open palm against the table and repeated, "They were alone in their principles! How could they not understand people to be so disassociative?!" David slowly pushed his empty coffee cup aside and leaned over the table, staring at Lindsay.

"There is absolutely nothing isolated about it. ...Incidentally."

"Do you honestly mean to tell me that you are willing to believe even for a second that--"
"Can I buy you a cup of tea?" Saul waved a menu at Lindsay. She viciously batted at it as David laughed.

Jediz looked up from her coffee. "I think that David is right. Every stranger, no matter how familiar, is essentially no better and no worse than you in not assuming the person right next to them might be thinking the exact same lonely things."

"What do you mean, no matter how familiar?" Lindsay frowned at Jediz.

"Well… There are a lot of degrees. Technically, a familiar stranger is someone you see day in and day out, doing whatever they do… Walking the dog, taking the same bus… It could even be people you work with but never interact with. It does go deeper than that, though."

"How so?"

"You’re a stranger."

"What? Get off! I've known you for over ten years!"

"Sure, but I didn’t know about your uncle being in the army until yesterday. And I’m sure I don’t know what you fantasize about when you’re masturbating. Don’t make a face; do you see what I am saying? No matter how much time you spend around someone, no matter how long you have known them, you don’t know them. You just don’t know what is going on in their mind."

"I guess that explains the ‘no better and no worse’ part."

"Of course. Any time you feel like the unconnected party in a room, someone else is looking at you and wondering how you got to be who you are. The thing is, they never stop to ask. That's what makes The Stranger real. That divide. It breeds unintentional self-alienation."