Posts tagged: Blogging

My Fake Plastic Girl

By , February 27, 2010

She looks like the real thing
She tastes like the real thing
My fake plastic love

For the most part, I’ve not read any of my old blogs since I wrote them, but as I move each one from the old url to this new one, I am more or less forced to do so while fixing links, updating the format, categorizing, tagging, summarizing and so forth. It is not easy. Sometimes I’m more than a little chagrined by the less than gripping writing or the trite choices of topics, but the hardest ones to reread are those like the Dreaming post. Reading that again evoked a complicated mixture of emotions within me, from the bittersweet to the embarrassing, and for more reasons than I can list, I want to travel back into time and smack myself over the head.

I was so unabashedly open about how in love I was. Which is fine, except that I can’t help but feel foolish in retrospect that I was going on and on about how wonderful our love was, and how amazing she was, when it was all a big joke at my expense. It isn’t as if she became a different person the day she up and disappeared; she was always that person and I was too blinded by love to see it. I realize that now, and so I look back at what I wrote I can’t help but feel awfully stupid.

The saddest thing I ever did see
Was a woodpecker peckin’ at a plastic tree.
He looks at me, and “Friend,” says he,

“Things ain’t as sweet as they used to be.”

I think the crux of what I feel when revisiting the old entries stems from the fact that I know what is to come. Just as each time I reread The Great Gatsby, I futilely hope for a happy ending, yet know all along that Gatsby is going to die, no amount of hindsight can change what I know came next in my life. If I could rewrite history by rewriting those old journal entries– if only it were that easy– I would do just that. Gone would be gushy blogs about true and perfect loves with best friends. No more would be the maudlin posts about future weddings, nor would there be any extolling the virtues of dream girls, and there most definitely would be none of these. In their place, I would write of my fake plastic girl: emotionless, selfish, dishonest, and uncaring.

If it seems like I still care, I don’t. If it seems like I am still hung up on her, I’m not. I’m past it all, and I’m again ensconced in a happy, productive life in which I am the master of my own heart and destiny. I wrote this in part because the old blogs have dredged up memories which seemed worth exploring, but mostly because amidst all the previous blogs devoted to my love for her, and later those of heartbreak for losing her, there needed to be at least one entry here that named her for what she really was– my fake plastic love.

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Goodbye John

By , August 12, 2009

Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

I don’t know if I have ever blogged merely to link to another blog, but that’s sort of where today’s post is going. I’ve been trying for six days now to think of what to write about John Hughes’ death, but haven’t been able to craft anything worth sharing. Then today I read this blog and I realized why John Hughes mattered to me. It wasn’t merely that he created so many great films; he was a genuinely great guy.

I tend to ignore celebrity-related news and issues, and certainly don’t blog about them. I can’t bring myself to care. Michael Jackson’s recent death felt like such a non-issue to me, and the resultant hysteria was mystifying and disappointing to me. But last week John Hughes died, and, like I suppose most Americans my age, I took notice. Here’s an artist who actually contributed something lasting to our culture.

There is little I can offer that likely hasn’t been said before. The Breakfast Club certainly presaged the era of reality television, and the first film I’m aware of that dealt with teen issues in such a starkly real way. It is also a rarity in that it cast actual teens as teens. Weird Science is on some level a starkly realistic insight into the psyche of the teen male, as well as a too-real depiction of life for two uncool guys.

Hughes’ true masterpiece, however, as far as I’m concerned, is Ferris Beuller’s Day Off. I’ll spare you a long-winded exposition on why Generation X made the world a better place, despite the efforts of the Baby Boomers that came before them, and the OMG’ers that came after. Instead I’ll offer Ferris as the Gen-X everyman. From his day off you can glean most everything you need to know about the topic. Consider– he spent his day off attending a Cubs game, visiting the Chicago Institute of Art, watching a parade, and eating a nice lunch. Think about that for awhile, then get back to me.

As the trip to the museum is one of my favorite of all moments cinematic, I am including it in today’s post.

Finally, as a teen, and even still as an adult, I wondered– did the popular kids, portrayed in such unflattering light in his films, also like John Hughes? How could they? How dare they? Those movies were made for me… and Alison.

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What is This? MySpace?

By , January 6, 2006

Since MySpace is all the rage these days, here is the latest ridiculous “survey” that I’ve filled out there, saved here for posterity. And for future embarrassment.

9 lasts.
last cigarette: I don’t smoke, but I had my last pretend cigarette whilst getting air outside at the Chinese Hospital casino bash
last beverage: coffee at Fenton’s
last kiss: friendly? Chloe, unless I kissed Josh tonight. I think I only bundled him up. romantic? Tzuen.
last cd played: actual CD? Brian Jonestown Massacre. Last song, Joy Division is playing now.
last bubble bath: at the Madonna Inn in October of ’04 with She-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named
last time you cried: this morning :/
last time you laughed: Moments ago whilst foos-balling with a super-stoned Josh

8 have you evers.
have you ever dated one of your best friends: no
have you ever skinny dipped: no. wait, yes. forevs ago
have you ever kissed somebody and regretted it: boy howdy have I ever
have you ever fallen in love: yes
have you ever lost someone you loved: yes
have you ever been depressed: consult previous blogs…
have you ever been drunk and threw up: *nod*
have you ever ran away: no. but ask me again in a couple weeks.

7 states you’ve been to.
1. Alaska
2. New York
3. Michigan
4. Arkansas
6. Hawaii
7. Texas

6 things you’ve done today.
1. got drunk
2. ate cheeseburgers, plural
3. listened to music
4. read comics
5. wilded in the streets with Teddie, Bronson, Kevin, Josh, and Nick
6. sent a fax

5 favorite things in no order.
1. my friends
2. being massaged
3. cooking
4. her, but not the her you think I mean
5. film noir

4 people you can tell [almost] anything to.
1. Teddie
2. Kathryn
3. Chloe
4. Diane

3 wishes.
1. to be happy again
2. to trust again
3. to love again

2 things you want to do before you die.
1. spend time in at least 50 countries
2. find out why

1 thing you regret.
1. trusting her, the bad her

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Anniversary Redux

By , August 19, 2005

This is the only entry that is too cubbing to re-post to the new blog.

If I change my mind, I’ll post it. *cub ears*

The comment exchange with my stalker is pretty rad though. At least you can still see that bit of lore.

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Some Quality Reading

By , July 7, 2005

So Tawny says she prefers “quality reading” on Xanga, which is female code for “enough with the song lists already, buddy.” Never one to say no to a challenge, I will take a stab at writing something of quality. In case I fail, I have cooked up another song list for the less discriminating among my readership. Without further ado… some quality reading.

Whilst waiting for Batman Begins to, well, begin, I offered to procure some treats for my friend Emily and I. And me? Whatever. Anyway. What I mean to say is that I was going to head to the lobby for some snacks. A bag of the popped c, maybe some candy. I asked Emily to select a beverage– she said she wanted 7-Up.

I know of this beverage. Once, as a wee lad I took a sip of one, and did not like it. Since then I haven’t tried it again, on account of I reckon I won’t like it. But when Emily extolled the merits of said beverage, I began to wonder– do I still dislike it? I *hated* Cap’n Crunch forever. As recently as my freshman year of college I couldn’t stand the stuff, but then a couple years ago I randomly had some and liked it just fine. So maybe now I will like 7-Up. I mean, it’s possible, right? If I suddenly liked Cap’n Crunch, then maybe I will find 7-Up to be refreshing and delicious and crisp, and whatever other adjectives one uses to describe a bottle of pop; or a soft drink, whichever you prefer.

So, I intend to drink one. Soon.

The end. Just in case that was not interesting, here is another crummy song list:

Best Albums of Recent Life:

Arcade Fire – Funeral (This is so good. It is beyond good. My favorite thing I heard all of last year. It may be my favorite record ever.)

Camera Obscura – Underachievers Please Try Harder (I still listen to this all the time)

Bright Eyes – I’m Wide Awake It’s Morning (I did not think this band could ever top Fever and Mirrors. They didn’t, but damn they came close.)

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Wireless Fidelity

By , January 25, 2005

Have I written before about how wonderful the wireless age is?

I’m now sitting in a Starbucks cafe in San Francisco. With my T-Mobile wireless account I can get online at any Starbucks or Kinko’s, as well as any major airport. I’ve been able to check e-mail in El Paso and post to my journal from New York City. Good stuff.

There really seems to be no limit to what one can do these days. Things like real-time chat, and even voice or video chat, are the norm anymore, but that is only the tip of the iceberg. From this little table in a cafe I can broadcast my streaming radio station, and thanks to the miracle of software I can mix it turntable-style, live, using only my Powerbook. I can snap pictures or take video clips with my mobile phone, use Bluetooth to instantly upload them to the computer, and share them with the world mere moments after they were taken.

When I was a kid my (much) older brother was in England earning his master’s degree. Perhaps once or twice a month we’d receive a letter from him, and we’d respond just as often. International phone calls were just too expensive to warrant more than one or two calls per term. Were he going to school in England today, we could communicate, for free, using iChat. We could see one another, again for free, using a webcam. Yet, neither of those things seems even remotely amazing– in the short time such forms of communication have existed they have become commonplace and pedestrian. Who knows what we’ll be able to do wirelessly in another 10 or 20 years, but odds are we’ll take whatever it is for granted in much the same way.

I just answered a phone call. I forward my 800 Number to my mobile phone, so anyone, anywhere in the U.S.A., can reach me for free no matter where I am. This time, it was a woman who had searched Google for a party planner and found me. She hired me on the spot to provide a casino, DJ, and clown for a party she is hosting.

Wireless life rocks.

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Hodge Podge

By , January 5, 2005

Something amusing I heard in an episode of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer:

(Talking about Jonathan)
Andrew: That boy is our last hope.
Warren: No, there is another.
Andrew: Wait, really? Who’s our last hope?
Warren: No, I was just going with it. It was a thing. I… No, he’s our last hope.

Additionally, I’ve another internet quiz result to share with you:

Charon ushers you across the river Acheron, and you find yourself upon the brink of grief’s abysmal valley. You are in Limbo, a place of sorrow without torment. You encounter a seven-walled castle, and within those walls you find rolling fresh meadows illuminated by the light of reason, whereabout many shades dwell. These are the virtuous pagans, the great philosophers and authors, unbaptised children, and others unfit to enter the kingdom of heaven. You share company with Caesar, Homer, Virgil, Socrates, and Aristotle. There is no punishment here, and the atmosphere is peaceful, yet sad.

The Dante’s Inferno Test has sent you to the First Level of Hell – Limbo!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:

Level Score
Purgatory (Repenting Believers) Very Low
Level 1 – Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers) Very High
Level 2 (Lustful) Moderate
Level 3 (Gluttonous) Moderate
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious) Very Low
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy) Very Low
Level 6 – The City of Dis (Heretics) Very High
Level 7 (Violent) Moderate
Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers) Low
Level 9 – Cocytus (Treacherous) Low

Take the Dante’s Inferno Test

I was really hoping I’d be on the glutton level. I don’t get what I did wrong.

Finally, while I’m at it, let me inform everyone that I am worth $2,771,706.00 on HumanForSale.com.

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Ten Years

By , September 11, 2004

I’ve been ruminating about my future lately. Most of the time, I feel as if I have a solid foundation underfoot, and my life is going in the direction I want to see it go, but once in awhile I catch myself wondering if somehow I should be doing more. It’s like there is this check list of the basics in life,

significant other
family
friends
career
financial stability
general fulfillment
and so on,

and I have a nice check next to each one, and it’s allowing me to sort of coast along a little bit. Is there some way I could be doing more? Could I be changing the world around me in positive way more than I already am, if I even am doing so at all? Is it enough to have nailed down all the fundamental aspects of life, or should I be striving to “take it to another level,” or however one would say it in the Attitudinal Beliefs patois?

I asked myself– where will I be ten years from now? Will I still live here in my college apartment? Will I be doing the same job? Will I be married? Will I be a father? Just what will I be doing come 2014? Or will the Mayans have risen from the dead and eaten us all by then, so it won’t even matter? I didn’t have a very precise answer to any of those questions.

Nothing else in this world seems to stay the same, so who is to say that the person I am right now won’t also be subject to that state of eternal flux that plagues everything else. Whatever is taken for granted today could be gone tomorrow, or I may lose the things I need later on; or they might not even be there in the first place. I have no idea what I am talking about anymore.

My life is great right now, but it could probably be even better. I hope ten years from now I can re-read this blog and say without a doubt that I bettered my life since authoring it.

Today’s Question: Ten years from now. You. Well?

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Ruining It for Everybody

By , July 8, 2004

MP3 Blogs are all the rage these days. I suppose in a way, with my occasional song blogs, Divisione di Gioia is something of an MP3 Blog, but the people quoted and mentioned in the linked article have taken it to an entirely different level.

I actually know one of their sources, though it has been a few years since we’ve crossed paths. Oliver Wang, a.k.a. O-Dub, used to hang out with me and my crew when we did our radio show back in college, and he’d show up at many of the parties I’d DJ. I mostly remember him as the kid trying to learn about hip hop, who was constantly asking “what song is that? what song is that?” and then jotting down the information we’d give him. It seems to have really paid off– he now markets himself as quite the expert on hip hop and old soul music. And before you read this as some sort of condemnation, or damnation via faint praise, I give him props for making a name for himself, and even more props for being honest– I see in his blog that he credits his mentors and admits to being a late-comer to the hip hop bandwagon. You’re welcome, Oliver.

After reading a bunch of the MP3 Blogs, I remember why I stopped collecting old soul and breakbeat records: it became this fetishist obsession that everyone and their brother was doing, seemingly more to be trendy than for any admiration of the music. When I started collecting records, virtually no one else was really into that style of music, but I loved the stuff; there is a rawness to those records that was nowhere to be found in the polished fare being transmitted over the airwaves at that time (or now). This meant that I could find great records at affordable prices all over the place. When hip hop went from being underground to mainstream music, a sudden interest picked up in the soul and funk records that spawned the genre. It was neat at first, as I suddenly had other people to talk with about the music, but once it reached a sort of critical mass there was this influx of the fetishists, and it all changed for the worse.

It became crappy for a few reasons, the first of which was strictly supply and demand. As people began wanting the same records, they became harder to find, and record sellers began upping their prices. Not only could I no longer find something awesome in the 99 cents super-saver bin, I pretty much couldn’t find it all. And if I did, the seller wanted $100 for the record.

Economics aside, by far the worst byproduct of all was that I had to associate myself with all those nouveau record-geeks. Imagine if something very personal and enjoyable to you suddenly became the trendiest fad among, say, the popped-collar polo shirt preppie and sorority girl set. Unless those are your people (and if so, my apologies for singling them out as especially moronic), you’d be embarrassed to associate yourself with them. And that’s how it became with the “crate digging rare groove beat junkies,” as they began to label themselves.

They all dressed the same, spoke the same, and had the same want lists. Once one of them would find some great new beat, they all had to have it. They produced massive lists of “All the Funky Songs, Ever” and distributed them. Maybe I am an elitist, but I believe in the whole pay-your-dues, old school mentality. I don’t want to know every great breakbeat record. That takes the fun out of discovering them. When I first found The Incredible Bongo Band’s “Apache” or Billy Squier’s “The Big Beat” it was a treat, because I had come across a great track that I knew nothing about. Certainly, other DJs, and some collectors, already must have had those records, but the fact that I’d found the record myself made it fun. Now it’s like collecting stamps. You have this master list of every soul record ever released, and you are supposed to search and search until you find a copy. Boring.

It grew so tiresome, in fact, that eventually I just quit collecting records. The Oliver Wangs of the world had officially sucked all the fun out of it. As he says, now “the whole point is to show off.” To me the point was to find music I liked. Again I should point out– Oliver, pretty okay guy. He is just today’s magufffin, to use what seems to be my new favorite word.

When you like something, sometimes it’s great to find other people who share similar interests. But when that interest becomes something thousands of people are turning to simply because it has become a cool thing to be into, it starts to suck, and when a faddish “scene” develops around it, it sucks even more. There may be a more graceful way to phrase that, but that is basically how I feel. It sucks that a fun hobby was ruined when it became mainstream. I hear people bitching about this all the time with regards to any of a number of once-personal/ now-mainstream interests, and I empathize completely. It does indeed suck.

Today’s Question: Doesn’t that totally suck?

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My Wallet

By , June 8, 2004

Stelladoro’s Unfortunate Tale was the inspiration for today’s entry, at least in part. The topic of losing one’s wallet has been bandied about of late, and the discussion turned to the contents of said wallets. As such, I began to wonder: If I were to lose my wallet, how much of a hassle would it really be? After a quick analysis of my wallet’s contents, it turns out the answer is “not a terribly big one.”

My wallet’s contents at the moment:

$148
ATM card for my personal bank account
ATM card for my business bank account
Driver’s License
U.C. Berkeley Student ID
AMC Moviewatcher card
Blue Shield health insurance card
Membership Card for 924 Gilman
BART ticket with a value of $1.10

The only other thing in there is Hello Kitty’s advice to me from many years ago, printed on a little card she spat at me from her perch in a machine at FAO Schwarz in New York. “Remember to keep the promises you make to others and to yourself,” admonished the cat. To this day, I always do; I’m not sure if it is because Hello Kitty tells me to do so that I do.

It turns out I do not have a hell of a lot in my wallet, and were I to lose it, my world would not crash down around me. I would have to call my bank and say “send new cards,” wait for a few hours at the DMV, and then I’d be set. I don’t carry any photographs or memorabilia around, so there would be no sentimental loss. I suppose that Gilman membership card is the one irreplaceable item, only because it is one of the older “lifetime membership” cards, and I’d be sorry to see that go. Otherwise, I think losing my wallet would not be a major inconvenience.

Today’s Question: So then, what is in YOUR wallet?

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