Saturday, June 23, 2012

A composite of early summer 2008

6-23-12 Posting note: This was after 7 continuous, full-time college (including summer.) I posted this on my website on 11-30-09, but wrote it on the dates listed. I think I selected these entries out of about 30 others. These were the best or most relevant ones.

A composite of early summer 2008
6 18 08
When I lay here trying to sleep, I wonder about the things I’ve done and the mistakes I’ve made.  I wonder if I were able to do things over again knowing what I know now, would I make changes and what would they be?  Do I value the lessons learned over the possible opportunities missed?  I don’t know.
Later, looking back, will I see the same things in this time in my life?  I’d like to think not, but the sheer lack of feeling like I’m doing much worthwhile makes me think I will barely even remember now as more than what classes I was taking and where I was living.  Which is worse?  To want to change a lesson learned by huge mistakes, or to not make mistakes and as a result to be forgotten?
This comes up from late night considerations of things as compared to Moorhead.  Specifically thinking about intramural soccer.  No really “big” mistakes were committed there, but the girl involved was cute and fun to talk to.  What could have come from that had I dared to call her?  I had her number since we two basically organized everything for soccer.  I gained nothing from not calling her, so it’s one thing I’d say I likely would have changed.
I continue to be amazed at how much happened up there in those short 5-6 months.  I think about it pretty regularly, especially when considering things that are occurring in my life now.  It is a reference against which I compare many things.  Is that because it was so formative or so destructive?  Was it formative because of what I learned through that destruction?  Was it just the right time in my life that anything that had happened would have become significant?  I don’t know.
I feel idle.  I probably am.  Maybe it’s just summer.  I want to exercise.  I want to get a job.  I want more friends.  I want to move on in life.  I want a girlfriend, though I am displeased at myself in some way that it matters so much that I write it among other more important issues.  I want dedication.  I want progress.  Of course, getting these things will make me want free time and relaxation.
Writing all sorts of “wants” makes the good ol Lutheran in my feel guilty.  I know it’s ok though.  It’s fine to want more.  It’s ok to not have enough (especially since I’m not talking about material things.)  Even so, all the things and blessings I have overwhelm me.  How could I ever express sufficient thanks for such luxury?
6 19 08
Given that last night [the night of 6/18] was a singular piece of writing and no semblance of a journal, this obviously is as well.  What do I intend by writing these entries?  Some sort of introspection?
It feels like most of my life has been on hold for 5 years.  I’m somehow stuck in 2003.  I have no job, no education, and live with my parents.  Other than hair I’ve lost, I look and dress mostly the same as I did then.
Even so, I feel like, “new beginnings” aside, I am moving on.  I’m writing more, for what that (this) is worth.  I am and have been taking (3/4 assing) classes.  I have a vague semblance of a difficult long term plan.  I’m trying to clean up my relationship with Kent.  Leah and I are hanging out more, which is great.  Even my handwriting is a bit better.  Sounds like progress.  Or like it’s closing in on time for a crash and crap shoot.
Where does God fit in?  I believe, so now where are faith motivated acts?
How do “truly productive people” find time to sleep?
7 10 08
What is it that we’re looking for in life?  What is it that makes us write or create or love or live at all?  I’m not looking for any meaning to do these things, or meaning to life, but the how of it.  Some people can get up and do things.  Others cannot.  What is different between them?  What is it that some people find makes them able to function and that others lack which restricts them to a bed in the mental health ward of a hospital?
Anyone who does anything with passion knows that you don’t do it for the actual product (though having a thing be completed is also nice,) but that it’s just whatever it is the person does is as close as you/we/I/anyone really comes to what is really wanted.  I don’t know what this mysterious and elusive thing is, but I know when I see bits of it.

Story 1-9

(Disclaimer: I wrote these "stories" in high school, during study hall, when I should have been doing my homework. Meaning, they are not representative of my current writing.
I've edited them so they embarrass me less, but only the grammar and punctuation. They're still embarrassing, but are a little funny. Or something.)

Well now then yet I was like walking in this garden this one time right? And suddenly I came upon this tree, not an ordinary tree mined you, but a tree TREE. -Oh. Oh no. I've heard this one before. You have​? Yeah. So. Just bear with it. For once, this really happened. All my stories really happened. Sure they did.- The tree TREE was crying, so I inquire as to the nature of its sadness. As soon as I said something the tree TREE hopped right up and swallowed me whole. How odd.
As I passed through the ominous hole that IS and or WAS its mouth, I plopped down in its belly and discovered that I was not the only one that the tree TREE had consumed. Neigh there were at least 5 other beings that were in the same predicament as I. Not long after I had learned all of their names, I knocked them unconscious and crawled back up the throat of the tree TREE, but alas my labors were to no avail as the neck was an unholy length. -For real. Unholy. Demonic maybe.-
So I plummeted back into the abyss below me.
I turned tail and tucked into a full swan dive, through which process, I proceeded to imbed myself in the bottom of the stomach. As soon as I pried my face free from the ground, I discovered that I was no longer in the tree TREE at all. Far from it indeed. For I once again found myself in a funnel falling at a speed similar to that of a blender being shot out of a canon.
As I proceeded to observe my predicament, I perceived a floor rapidly approaching my position.
So I simply slowed my self down by waving my arms, like a bird mind you. I gently landed on a cake-like floor.
This cake-type flooring did not taste at all like cake, on the contrary it tasted more like pie. I then kicked that no good floor and went on.
Then, this giant, yellow, butterfly/dragon fly crossbreed came zipping, fluttering, and zigging up to me. I took one look at it and then threw some boiling stew that happened to be cooking on a large nearby rock. As soon as I was finished thoroughly thrashing it’s wits out, it flew away in an even more drunken manner than with which it flew away yonder at an alarming speed. -Yeah it did.-
Well then I looked around a bit, ate some of that stew and I jumped up and down about 3000 times in one place (for convenience.) When I completed my jumping sequence and I fell to the floor, unconscious. Later, after waking, I stood up and walked around for a while. I came to a point where I had nothing to do, so I took my finger nail cutter, threw it at the wall.
Upon impact, it exploded, revealing a large opening to the outer world. So I walked outside and looked at the tree TREE, which was standing nearby. As it had tried to kill me , and did in fact succeed in eating me, I held no grudge. Instead I simply cut it down and used it for a large amount of fire wood.
At about this point imagine Something Other Than George or Bob sticking his head through the ground and saying “See? What did I tell you? Peril, Eh?“

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Picture of a First Day of School (2009)

Comment: 6-20-12
My first repost in a while. I'm often surprised at my own writing. Sometimes clean, sometimes funny. Even 3 years ago, competent and effective. I'm not bragging; it's the truth. I kinda wish things had gone better.

Picture of a First Day of School

How even to begin to describe it?  Like being at the State Fair (and in saying such, I limit my audience to Minnesotans who go/have gone to the Fair) or a very busy airport.  Shuttle busses whiz students and faculty back and forth across a campus so large it has its own transit system.

There’s a presence in the air here; one both oppressive and welcoming.  It threatens to crush the unready, but for some, for me anyway, carries a sort of pheremonal, almost psychic (if there is such a thing) empowerment.

“I can work with this,” my mind says.  “This is a thing that we can use.”  At Century, I managed, tried even, to float through.  To pass between people and classes like an Olympic diver into water, leaving only a quiet “blurp” and the smallest ripple to mark my passage.

I didn’t want to deal with its sort of extended high school attitude, or the remarkable number of intelligent, but very young PSEO students.  That type of thing would never work here.  Such a solo-isolationist act would ensure I never knew the things I would need to know so I could finish my time here.

Even if I could pass unnoticed, I would not want to.  I can enjoy this place, but it’s more than that.  As my friend Dan learned, college is not about receiving an education, or certainly not only about that, but about meeting people who would make it worthwhile to GET said education.  It’s all about networking (and that applies to all of life, not just college.)
That sort of psychic-like mental-energy-feeling beckons.  It calls to the interested mind.  It says “Grow here.  Become something more.”  My mind agrees.  It feels the power of 40,000 people of similar age with similar goals.  Here I can take root and make a home.  If I didn’t, I would be wholly destroyed, but, of course, I really want to, so that possibility doesn’t worry me.

The best words and phrases of creative thought come to me in useless quips as I walk through the teeming masses.  As I buy a coke; “Do I take the sure slow death of carcinogenic artificial sweeteners?  Or the irresponsibly lazy death of sugar induced heart disease?” I chose diet only because I like how it tastes better from a fountain than normal coke from such a source.  Also, the excess sugar makes me jittery.

It’s like being in some mythical city.  Not Minneapolis, which it is in, or even any other city I’ve ever been to, but like what movies show us Seattle (where I’ve never gone) or New York (where I have gone) are supposed to be.  Heavily bustling foot traffic marches between their peers who form lines in doorways.  Out on the sunny grass-filled lawns people sit, lie, stand, spin (practice balls for fire spinning of course,) and bike.  Hordes of bikes.  They pedal by in twos and twenties, migratory herds running from predatory shuttle busses.

Is it always this way?  Does it die down as the weary Fall season and heavy class load beat at their youthful spirits?  Even if 10% of them dropped out (10% of the whole school being bigger than any school I’ve ever gone to before) then it should still be packed with humans.
I can only imagine the tunnels between buildings will, in the winter, look like some scene out of a disaster movie.  Thousands of people, refugees from the hostile environment, shuffling through low cement walk ways.
Beginning classes always leaves people feeling overwhelmed.  Beyond even that though, I know I have a lot to do.  I need to look into lots of things which are native to the U that I am unfamiliar with.  I need to look into transit alternatives.  If things went perfectly (and so far they have, so I’m going to trust God to keep everything working for me) I will live within range to join those rubber-on-cement leg pedaling herbivores (the bikers, duh.)

If things don’t, I need to look into busses or carpools.  Even if I simply commute as I have been, parking daily will quickly bankrupt me.

Essentially everything is coming down to money.  I need to work out financial aid stuff.  Hopefully I can get work study still.  Hopefully I can get loans in time.  Hopefully I can earn enough money to move closer and fix the transportation issue.  I might get grants.  I might get lots of grants (hopefully!)

Even if I do, if I get the hours and pay I’d want, I won’t be so impoverished next year as to get them again, and so will need to come up with at least $5,000 a year that I don’t have access to this year.  I suppose the whole of this relative pipe-dream rests on book selling.  I want to finish book 1 and have it sold in a year.  This may be (read: IS) unrealistic.

Oh well.  I’ll cross these bridges when I come to them.  At the moment, I’m doing what I want to do and am enjoying it.  I’m happy to be in school and look forward to the challenge of juggling another semester of class, work, homework, and life.

For now, simply being happy is enough for me.

Story 1-8

(Disclaimer: I wrote these "stories" in high school, during study hall, when I should have been doing my homework. Meaning, they are not representative of my current writing.
I've edited them so they embarrass me less, but only the grammar and punctuation. They're still embarrassing, but are a little funny. Or something.)

Something other than George or Bob come up to me and raises his hand in the air, shaking it about, nearly poking both my eyes out in the process. And so he says, “Riiiiiiino! You, yes you, stop fidgeting, have met small peril before, but now great peril will come upon you and increase its intensity 10 fold! Well maybe not 10, but at least fifty percent more. So watch out! Things will be more dangerous from now on! OOOooooooo!” Then, Something other than George or Bob scampered away to go jump rope with his friends.
Well I sure wasn’t scarred of the old so-called, somewhat quasi normal peril, but this 1.5 times amplified peril was so great even I was shaking in his boots. And the scary thing about this was that I was not wearing boots! I was wearing galoshes, yeah you heard me! Galoshes! So there!
I figured that if I was going to defeat my new and improved 1.5 times more perilous perils then I should get a good night’s rest and have a healthy breakfast, so I went home. As I went to sleep I vaguely remembered Something other than George or Bob’s warning and I wondered if it was possible for any sort of peril to get me in my dreams. –So now the story will be dream stuff until I say that the dreams are over.–
I found myself once again in the mysterious forest, battling the giant field mouse (you may recall such a fight from previous adventures,) but it was a whole lot larger. Really, the size increase was quite impressive. Just as it was about to crush me into a pancake, a feeling I can only call fuzzy came over me. Then, I noticed that I was no longer in the mysterious forest. Instead I was in a city and all the trees had been turned into buildings, but there was no one moving. It was as if time had frozen, leaving all the people and candy wrappers hanging in the air.
I said to myself, “Self, know what? I could have a lot of fun here.”
“Know what?” I said in reply, echoing my earlier words. “I really could and I think that it would indeed be neat.“
So I went up to almost all the cars and I opened the glove compartments. Then I popped their trunks open for no reason at all. –I know this might seem rather mean and perhaps a little evil, but it was a dream and I knowsed that its was a dreams. So I didn’t really care that I was doing all these really mean things.–
Before I could cause any more mischief in my dream lands, I woke up. Well believe you me, this oddity of a dream had startled me to a certain degree, but for the most part, I felt much relieved, because having control of my dreams has always been a sure sign of my sanity.
Well rested after a very sane night of sleep, I felt hungry, so I swam down the stairs into my kitchen. I was quite famished, and anticipated a large breaking of the fast, of BREAKFAST as it is commonly called. I soon discovered one of the great perils that I would have to face. When I opened my cuboard, I discovered all my cereal had been eaten by a large pack of traveling weirdoes (you know, the type with those hair cuts, who always wear those stupid hats,) who had mistaken my house as some sort of a inn with free lodging and food.
Missing out on breakfast really boiled my ears. (That hurts a lot, trust me.) As soon as I got some ice for my burnt lobes I immediately set off to the nearest food supplement repository. Upon arrival, I went to the automatic door, but for some reason it had backwards writing on it and it only let people out. So when one person came out I thanked them and politely went in. (Later research suggests that this was some sort of backwards trap for people who are too stupid to escape a one way door.) As soon as I went through the first door I was faced with the same problem again, though now knowing the trick, I overcame this puzzle with ease, only taking another fifteen minutes to enter the the edible material resovour.
Once inside, I immediately went to the nearest currency/supplement exchange vendor, and requested the location of marshmallow and grain chunk heterogeneous mixture contained within a plastic repository bag. I tell ya that this operational manager of the checkout lane did not understand at all what I meant in any way, he was obviously of a lesser intellect. As a result of this confrontation, I decided that I must go in search of it myself so that I could completely gain the satisfaction of gaining my goal. I found the cereal in aisle three.
The first phase complete, I set out to gain the material that would be used to liquidate the entire combination inside of an upturned three dimensional concave circle. Milk was easier to find, so I found myself on the way out within moments. Having obtained all three things, I went to the food checkout lane. Whence the transaction was completed, I went off to my home, which by some quirk of fate, of just by normal happenstance, was on fire at the time of my return. I refused to let a simple fire dampen my spirits. –You are such an idiot. The house was not on fire! You are making things up again, not that you need to, things being perilous enoguh as they were. I can’t believe this guy; the nerve of some people.–
Oh. Right then. So I went into the house and kicked off my shoes. Then I went and threw my coat on the coat rack and karate chopped the cupboard, just to announce that I had returned to my domain. While I was doing all this I leaped into the air, twirled about a few times, did an airborne sumersault, spring boarded off the refrigerator, tossed the entire ensemble of food onto the table, where it landed in perfect eating order, and flew into a seat, sitting down to consume my breakfast.
Satisfied with my aerobatic routine, I was content to eat my breakfast in peace. At about this point imagine Something Other Than George or Bob sticking his head through the ground and saying “See? What did I tell you? Peril, Eh?“

"Story" 1-7 (Just for continuity)

Story seven was so bad that I refuse to put it up.  Compared to the rest of series 1, which I think are moderate, even in their best moments, story seven was a steaming pile of poo.  So, you won't see it.  I only have fragments, because in editing, I was so harsh that I had less than a page before I realized I had cut huge chunks of it away, save it that way, and then a backed it up over the old files.

I refuse to write a new series 1 story (even editing these plays with my writing and not in a good way,) so for now (and probably forever) my audience will have to do without story number seven.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Story 1-6

(Disclaimer: I wrote these "stories" in high school, during study hall, when I should have been doing my homework. Meaning, they are not representative of my current writing.
I've edited them so they embarrass me less, but only the grammar and punctuation. They're still embarrassing, but are a little funny. Or something.)

Reviewing my previous adventures, I noted a lack of action, so I decided that now I should, to increase the quality of my stories, be more active in my methods of doing things. Not that I should describe them more actively, but should do more active things and then describe those. Or that. Either one.

Once, I decided that I should go bungee jumping, but not in the typical elastic-off-a-bridge method. Let me tall you it took no small amount of coaxing to convince to Not George or Bob (not Something Other than George or Bob mind you, but Not George or Bob, his second cousin) to go on this adventure with me. Because I would need him. For bungee jumping via alternate means.

As we were on this elevator up to the platform to go bungee jumping and about half way up, Not George or Bob disappeared in a puff of very gooey and sticky pink steamy smoke. If there's one thing I can't stand, it's anything sticky. Which is actually many things. So, as a correction, if there's many things I can't stand it is sticky things. –That's still wrong.– Ok, out of the many things I can't stand (and there are many,) all things that are sticky are near the top of the list. –Better–

“Well,” I said to myself, but then didn't go on, because there were people nearby and excluding them from my conversation would have been rude. “I,” I thought, “can’t let him do that.” I did the Exact Thing (you know, the Exact Thing, not to be confused with the Vague Thing,) and appeared (somewhere) standing on my eyebrows. I solved that problem by running around on my elbows for a while.

Now, keep in mind, when a person is standing on their eyebrows, that person is usually having a heart attack. My heart was fine, but I did topple (not to be confused with a popple) over. That is to say, I fell head over heals and landed on my elbows. Usually when a person performs this stunt, said elbows subsequently snap off and one then continues his or her foreword, out of control, motion. I skipped the last part out of consideration for time (and my forearms, which I'm quite attached to.)

Upon regaining my standing stance I resumed my bungee jumping adventures. Well then I jumped back to the top of the platform in a manner similar to that of a really neat high jump thing trick. It really was a trick you see, because I knew Not George or Bob would return as soon as I left. The sticky residue gave him away. Not George or Bob always returns for his messes.

When I got to the top I looked at Not George or Bob, and he blinked twice and disappeared in a puff of smoke. Well I knew how to do this exact thing (that is, the same thing he had done, not the previously mentioned “exact thing.” I can only do the “exact thing” once a day,) in a neat manner that was somewhat similar to the way in which he did it. Thus had I done so and thus did I appear in a long tunnel where Not George or Bob happened to be running away from me.

This was odd because he was laying down unconscious, and until then, I only knew of three people who could run down a tunnel while unconscious. Oddly, his cousin, Also Not George or Bob is one of them. To my relief, I noticed that we were not really moving, but being pulled by a large conveyer belt thing and zooming along at quite a pace might I add. –No it wasn’t! Oh then I suppose that we were just mystically flying backwards for no reason. Yes! Oh yes well that’s what I thought so I was just checking.–

So we were flying backwards and what not and so I said to myself, “Self?” I says.

“Yes?” I said.

“Well,” says I, “We think that we should stop going backwards and make Not George or Bob stop too.”

“Oh, yes, quite the dashing plan,” came my terse reply.

“Yes yes yes, quite dashing indeed,” I tittered like a school girl. I almost smacked myself for that one. I'm no school girl and should know better.

“Fine then,” says the me, “now what I want is to stop this backward flying backward stuff.”

So that’s exactly what happened as soon as I wanted it to.

Once I stopped the backward movement stuff, I grabbed Not George or Bob by the neck, and POOF I disappeared I a cloud of stuff. Again. When we reappeared somewhere, a delightfully high somewhere I must add, I pushed Not George or Bob off a handy platform. George fell to his doom, because the stupid gremlin wasn't wearing a bungee cord. This turned out a-okay, because he happened to be a gremlin and they don’t get hurt by that type of falling stuff.

So then I, following Not George or Bob's example, jumped off the platform, but as I was neat (so neat!) I stepped onto the ground and did nothing. So as soon as I jumped off this thing and landed in this neat (very neat!) way, a large alien space ship came down and this loud, but tinny booming voice all hollers out these few lines of speech.

“OOOOHHHH ooOOOoOOooo whooooooooo oooooOOOooOOOoo oooooooooh, Rino King of the    
Semi-gelatinous beings that are commonly referred to as gelatin peoples, not to mention other gooey and neat things that are not quite solid or liquid, but still taste really neat,” it said (no lie!) “You have done well on your quest to do this bungee jumping stuff. Quite well.”

I didn’t like its arrogant tone so, I punched the entire ship, right in the nose and it cried and ran away real fast. So I felt real proud and started walking home. At this point imagine Something Other than George or Bob sticking his head through the ground and saying “See? What did I tell you? Peril, Eh?“

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Hippies and Music (Bonnaroo 2012)

I'm taking a walk to the porta-potty. A group of twangy youths walking north, stop me, ask "Which way is centeroo?"

I point south toward the archway that marks the front gate. Streets of artists, hustlers, concessions, and tiny little shows, either music or dancing block the view, but music drifts over the stands and camps. "Keep following the road," I say, "until you see the big arch. Just follow the music."

Before I leave, one girl says "Do we keep going?" She gestures north, toward the road and more camps, "Or listen to the guy on acid." She points at me.

I am not on acid. But, shirtless, in flower dotted swim trunks and sandals, wearing bracelets and giant shades, while sporting four inches of chin-beard (I refuse to admit it's a gotee,) and grinning because the shows are good (and maybe I'd been drinking,) I guess I could see how she'd mistake me for one of dozens of tripping hippies.

From June 7th-10th, I lived music in surprisingly cool (record lows,) Manchester, TN at the excellent Bonnaroo festival.

I saw 30+ (out of over 150 possible) shows including Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Beach Boys, Alice Cooper, Skrillex, and Phish.

I missed more than I saw. Critical choices, see? Punch Brothers or Battles? Mogwai or The Roots? The Shins or Fun.?

Like any major event (80,000 campers, plus extra,) it must be seen to be believed.

Example day:
Wake up at 8 am. Tent is a sauna. Unfortunate.
Drink many beers.
Go to shows.
Run back to camp for beer and food.
Go to more shows.
Collapse for sleep by 1 am.

Here's a note from each day!
Leave town by 2 pm, then drive until arrival (18-19 hours.)

Too warm for naps after setting camp, but drink many beers instead.

Danced my legs wobbly at various excellent performances.

Neglect sunscreen, but rain-clouds save me.

Meet first Minnesotan Bonnarooian at gas station on way out of town.

Parting of ways at 12:30 am.

I see I've neglected to mention everything. Porta-potty disasters (try not to think about it) and being offered Molly about 80 times. Lighting displays, meeting about 800 people from Jersey, or arrays of unexpectedly impressive hippy art sold from carnival-like stands along every chalk-dust covered street. People dancing literally all night long or watching people try to shower under waist high faucets while standing in half a foot of mud.

But, like I said, you'd have to be there.

Or ask me about it.