Monday, February 23, 2009


This'll be a pretty straightforward post. Or at least, that's the intent going in.

Bit of a challenging week up ahead in that there's a lot to get done in not a whole heckuva lot of time. [score one for using "heckuva" in the post] I'm sure I'll manage as any number of my friends have pointed out, but it also is just annoying in the here and now, and I'd rather be on the other side of this week when it's all over and done with.

Looking forward to summer break. It's looking increasingly likely I'll just buy myself a PS3 anyway, regardless of whether my bank account is up or down the requisite $400. Oh well, hopefully the price will come down by this summer. [Doubt it.]

Spinoza tells us that all of the universe is in God. And that God is a timeless entity, and everything we think we are, we sort've still are, but fundamentally, we are all just modes, or modifications, temporally and spatially of God. [Should've put a disclaimer, leaving straightforward territory]

I care about this line of reasoning twofold. First, because I find it inherently interesting. And second because I have to write a paper on it due Friday.

But back to the metaphysical point at hand, I guess I'm not sure what it changes to define God as the only substance in the universe and all other things as modes therein. I think it just kind of pushes back the questions. I mean, okay, I don't tend to think of myself as merely an expression of God, a way of God's existing, but whether I call myself a mode or a substance, there are still other questions I want to know about what I am.

And, unfortunately for Spinoza, he didn't get to live in the world of 21st century physics. Sometimes substances do seem to come from nothing. Matter and anti-matter splitting apart for no good reason, and by all accounts, before they split apart, they don't exist. At least, that's how I understand it. I should do more research if I'm going to put that in the paper. At any rate, there's always the big bang. This universe hasn't just always existed.

So, we'll see where that goes.

Closing thoughts: Beds are warm in the morning. Outside is not. God is as mysterious as ever. I am not.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Taking a Page Out of Someone Else's Book

's a really good metaphor. When you think about it.

I mean, I think you can really come to know a person through the things that they read and by reading said things yourself. It's the whole walking a mile in their shoes kind of deal, to mix metaphors. Which, apparently, is surprisingly easy to do this early.

And yet, here in suburbia, it is apparently also not very early. My parents are both awake and just left. My dad to go to the airport. My mom to take him to the shuttle bus.

Yep. There's the hum of the car pulling out of the driveway.

Out on the roads, I saw more than a dozen cars. Which is impressively few cars, considering just how many people live around here, but quite a bit more than I was expecting. I think the late night crowd of bar hoppers and late night joyriders transitions seamlessly into an early morning cadre of 6am commutes, fishermen, campers, and folks headed to the airport, like dad.

Oh, and don't get me started on the highway. I think it's a law around here. The highway must always have cars on it. At all times.

But right now, here in bed, all I can here is the clacking of my own keyboard strokes and the dull, distant roar of wind somewhere outside on another unremarkable winter's night. Er- morning.

It's easy in the dark to become a little disembodied. A silent, ethereal observer to the world. It's like removing all the details. Fade to black. Darkness is good like that. And bad.

I guess the lesson of the day is simply to realize that you can only ever find pockets of serenity. The world's gotten too fast for it to last. And you don't have to look too far or long to see the chaos and change. *Cue garage door* But that being said, it's very important to seize upon, when you can, some moments of solitude, of silence, of insubstantial sensation.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Una Poema

Una Poema en el estilo pervertido de William Shakespeare.

Mementos, memorabilia,

paraphernalia, tiny trinkets,

trifles, truffles,

All serve to remind me

Of the things that I’d nearly forgotten,

But the rush of the flood waters doesn’t overrun the dam

So I forge a new time capsule,

And zip up the slips and scraps in the pit of a pouch

To see what rips first

When next we meet again.

And in the meantime

Get thee hence! And with haste;

For thou wilt only be i’the way

Whilst another here holds sway

Would that memories could burn as swift as sheets

Yet gladder still am I, who has them e’er for keeps.

Monday, November 17, 2008

With Malice Towards None...

Two items for the day.

First, Hillary Clinton is likely to be (has already been?) offered the job of Secretary of State in Obama's administration. By all accounts, there are no anticipated hiccups in vetting, and she is inclined to accept the offer.

Yes, this is the same First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton who had such a contentious primary battle with Obama. I think it's a very prominent position, and I'm actually pretty excited about the choice.

I think that she can probably do a lot more there than she could've as Vice President, anyhow.

It also means that Obama has a willingness and a personal security to bury the hatchet and bring people on board based on their merits, and not biased by superfluous factors like a past campaign.

Item number two is the reports out that Sen. Lieberman will likely retain his seat in the Democratic Caucus as well as his chairmanship of the Homeland Security Committee.

I think it's safe to say that a not-so-small portion of the Democratic Caucus wanted Lieberman's head to roll. The fact that it will not, I think it's also safe to say, is due in large part to the subtle hints dropped by the President-elect and his surrogates.

I can't be certain why the Democrats fell in line. But I think it bodes well for the kind of clout Obama can reasonably expect to wield when he assumes office for real.

More importantly, while it's true that the Democrats don't need Lieberman anymore to pass legislation, they aren't at the fillibuster proof mark yet, so every friendly senator helps. Moreover, if anyone thinks that Lieberman doesn't know that Obama sent an olive branch when he could have by rights had him crucified, they are fooling themselves. I think if Lieberman has half a brain, he knows that he's now more beholden to Obama than 90% of the rest of the Congress. And beyond feeling indebted, I think Lieberman, like myself, will admire the strength of character in a man who reaches out to those who have formerly fought (diligently) against him.

"With malice toward none, with charity for all, ...let us strive on to finish the work we are in, do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations."

"Yes We Can."

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Mental Ejaculation.

I had thought that I would put in a whole detailed bit after Barack Obama won the election, and about how gracious McCain's speech was, and how much fun election night was spending it with friends and celebrating an historic moment, and how I've come to terms with the fact that sometimes you're supposed to put "an" in front of h words even though it's weird, and doesn't work for a lot of h words like an hangover, an hat, an hippie, an halloween party, an hill, etc. But, at this point, I am just in a weird mood and don't have the energy for the eloquence I envisioned on Tuesday.

Don't get me wrong, I am unbelievably excited about Obama's victory, and I can only hope that the next four years do not disappoint. But I am way to unfocused to make it the sole focus of this post.

No, instead I have a sloshing of thoughts ranging from dreams in which I nearly fall to my death in a free falling elevator car to emoticons that may or may not carry the essence of someone to returning to this general feeling of listlessness.

Nah, maybe not listlessness. Maybe just boredom.

At any rate, there's too much work. I couldn't get focused today. Papers to write. But I can't really complain, I know lots of people who've got it worse.

Is there such a thing as writer's block when you're not trying to write anything? Mental block? That's kind of how I feel. I know, I know, there are wise guys out there who will point out, you're writing a blog right now, but if you're thinking that right now, you've missed the point that I'm not expressing myself well enough in the first place, and you're going to have to compensate for it yourselves.

Get the right vibes from this.

At least there are still things I'm looking forward to...

...Despite what the horoscopes say.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

October 19th, Two Thousand and Eight.

It is one week, give or take an hour or two, until my twenty first birthday. That milestone that signifies so much, and I suspect changes so little, for millions of Americans across the country.

But I don't want to dwell on the stereotyped importance. I want to dwell on the state of affairs that I have arrived at some 252 months after that day in 1987.

When we are young, I think the world seems very constant, because we have only ever seen such a very small sliver of time's passage. And I think it is customary to instill this sense of security in our children. We try to keep them warm, and full of food, and occupied with the same toys in the same room.

But at the close of two decades and one year, the vantage point seems much higher, and I can begin to appreciate the fullness, and the dynamic flow of things.

Sometimes I wonder at having gotten to this moment of time we call the present. So much has occurred, and there is even more than this yet to occur. I don't understand having made it to this point. I don't know what it means to be here, in now-ness.

And if I am vague herein, it is though no malicious desire to keep my reader ignorant, but rather through my own inability to adequately express myself.

I remember rotary phones. I remember the Apple II computer. And Floppy Disks. I remember Power Rangers, tomagachi, and the twin towers. All of these things rise up, in the crests of great waves, and all of these things come washing up, in a surfeit of metaphorical surf. And soon enough, the next wave rolls through, bringing cell phones, ipods, flash drives, britney spears and the Patriot Act. And soon, I suspect, these things will recede back out to sea as well.

In one week, I will be twenty one. I am arriving at the golden ages of which I long dreamt about as a child, and as a kid, and as a teen. And they are more complex than I thought. And they are more difficult than I thought. And I wonder at the human condition that pushes me through each day's trials and sees me to tomorrow, and tomorrow, and the next day.

There is, in this reflection, not a profound sadness. Nor even any disillusionment. I am not the wearied desert traveler who finds sand in his mouth where he thought to find an oasis and salvation. What I feel is not cynicism or bitterness. I would more likely call it acceptance. It is the mood of a man who needs to be perpetually reminded of the day's agenda. My senses tell me now that this is how things are, what they've become, and I docilely accept them, for what else is there to do? There is no confusion in that what is is not what I thought it would be. I accept just as readily that then I was mistaken. And now I am not. And in the future I may yet be again, even about these things I again hold to be sure. Such is the nature of this existence.

I find it hard, at the moment, to conjure up any sort of passions. Perhaps what I lack is purpose. Maybe in some sense freedom. Purpose is important. It drives a man. It sustains him. I appeal to purpose, then, at the close of my twenty-first year on this Earth.

I shall close then, with what feels to me the most appropriate quote imaginable, by one of the greatest playwrights imaginable, from one of his best works.

Mr. Shaw, you have the floor.


Man can climb to the highest summits; but he cannot dwell there long.

It's false: there can he dwell for ever and there only. It's in the other moments that he can find no rest, no sense of the silent glory of life. Where would you have me spend my moments, if not on the summits?


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Conservative Tourette's

Alright. Just a quick update here.

I understand that sometimes people see things, and they make assumptions. And, we all do this. I get that. But sometimes those assumptions really just sound a little absurd.

Here's a good one.

Did you hear about how Obama is refashioning the American flag in his own image? Yeah, it's got all the same colors, but now there's a real big O in the blue part, and he did away with a bunch of the stars.

I don't think Bob Grant mentions this part, but I betcha he didn't include a star for any state that he didn't win in the primaries.

Or maybe the stars aren't the United States, but some collection of exotic African or Muslim states! Stop the presses!

Wait. What? Oh. I see. ...So it's not a new white flag of surrender to the terrorists that he pals around with while eating babies and beating women and stoking his tyrannical megalomaniacal ego??

Well then what else could it possibly be?

Oh. That's the state flag of Ohio, you say? That seems like an odd and rather implausible thing to place in the background of your rally in Toledo, Ohio.

Shoot. And I was so hoping for another excuse to call him an arrogant, elitist liberal. Though, I admit, it's a pretty nicely designed flag- *gasp* Do you think he's gay, too?

Oh, right, he didn't design the flag. It was probably designed by somebody in Ohio who wasn't Obama. As far as we know...

*cough* Hussein, Arab, Ayers, Muslim, tax raising, Manchurian, teach-kids-sex! *cough*

Sorry. Something in my throat.