Monday, March 31, 2003

I Rock So Fucking Hard

I totally rolled today, everything I planned went I got up and drank my coffee and wrote out a lesson plan in like 20 minutes. I had budgeted somewhere nearer an hour for this process, so I got the opportunity to enjoy switching between Sportscenter (which has new Bottomline grapchics, I like them, they are smaller, but they make me wish I had a larger television, also, I wonder if they are going to update the PC version of the bottomline, regardless) and MSNBC. I did however get pretty pissed that NBC and their affiliates cut Peter Arnette loose because the dude gave an interview to Iraqi TV which indicated the war was more difficult then planned.

I dont particularly understand why it is that this bothers them so much, many people have said much the same thing on the air. I guess the point is that it seemed like Arnette was a trader or something. Obviously this is a ridiculous position to hold, but, big surprise, there are Americans holding ridiculous positions on this war especially regarding what is and is not patriotic to say about it. So now it appears that MSNBC's pictures from Baghdad are all just being stolen from Al Jazeera or Abu Dhabi TV. This sucks, especially because Peter Arnette rocked, he was definitively the best of the in Baghdad reporters and maybe the best correspondent overall. Dude has won Pullitzers for his fucking war coverage, he covered Vietnam and the Gulf War I, he had serious fucking connections with Iraqi leaders. He had an 1:30 hour interview with Tarik Aziz for fuck's sake. Apparently dipshits at NBC are either way too fucking bound up in the success of this war to actually recognize that it is vital to have someone actually at the heart of the beast or, in my opinion, drastically overestimate how much their public would care about one of their correspondents actually giving such an interview. I would imagine they would lose many more viewers when they lose such an important correspondent than they would people pissed of at Mr. Arnette. If someone picks him up, as I would imagine they will soon, I will be very tempted to switch to them.

So I ended up leaving my house a little early and since I had extra time due to my extraordinary lesson planning abilities I was able to stop at the Tinder Box and get my smokes before class, saving me from having to roll the last shards of the previous can of Samson (notably, I have cut down on smoking by a pretty impressive amount, this last can lasted over 2 weeks!). I went to class, everything was pretty smooth, we did some peer review, etc. Answered some questions about the research paper they have to do, which, again, I am still impressed with myself for.

I went up to my office and decided to put in some hardcore work into the paper for my Frankfurt School class. I worked for approximately 2:50 minutes, with only one cigarette break, and got like 7 pages done, bringing the grand total to approximately 10. That means I have only about 5-8 pages left to go, easy enough considering I still havent brought Adorno into the mix. I came back to my place and re-read Adorno in preparation for writing that part of the paper tomorrow. I even got the incentive to outline some of the relevant arguments there. Seriously, I rocked this shit.

So I dont have much to do tonight, I will watch Married by America of course, but I kind of feel like having Chinese food, I may run to the cheap buffet. That is a decision which is yet to be made.



Sunday, March 30, 2003

On Pancake Breakfasts

First, let me note how much I enjoyed this morning's breakfast at St. Pius X. I walked into this church and was in some ways shocked by how much it reminded me of St. Joe's back in the Rose that is Mount. One of the great parts about attending Catholic services nowadays is that the general devotedness of most serious Catholics to the Vatican means that there is a far amount of anti-war rhetoric included in the mass. We said a decade of Hail Marys at the end of mass for the end of war, very solid. Both of the past two weeks have included a prayer from the Pope directed towards the safety of all people in Iraq. The only thing that pissed me off, and indeed convinced me that St. Pius will not become my regular parish, is that they ended by singing the Star Spangled Banner, which makes no fucking sense in relation to a mass which is all but DIRECTED at the lack of morality that this song currently represents.

But so I roll over to this pancake breakfast after trying thoroughly to ignore the singing of the national anthem and walked into pretty much exactly what I expected. At St. Joe's the pancake breakfast is in the school gym. St. Pius X doesnt appear to have a school on the premises, so it was in the large room of the Parish Center area, but for all practical purposes it was the same, there were basketball hoops and a linoleum floor. There were those 8 person lined up tables with folding chairs and plastic tableclothes. I paid my three-fitty, put in another dollar for a raffle ticket from the dude sitting next to the dude selling tickets to the breakfast itself.

So I got into the line, which, right after the 10:30 mass was pretty long, and worked my way through. This pancake breakfast had eggs, sausage, and hashed browns as well as the standard pancakes. When I say "standard pancakes" you must understand that I mean STANDARD PANCAKES. The pancakes I ate this morning were exactly the same as the pancakes I have eaten at every other pancake breakfast. I think every K of C and catholic church in the world must somehow have the same pancake recipe or something. Maybe its inscribed in every tabernacle ever produced or something, I don't know, but it can't be coincedence. I would say they all just happen to use the same mix or something but even if two people use the same mix the resulting cakes are often quite different. So the pancakes, as always were excellent. They have this perfect degree of fluffiness but also soak syrup in just the right manner so that they are heavy on your tongue while they dissolve into buttery sweetness.

The sausages, though I didnt eat any obviously, were standard pancake breakfast sausage. You know, like they used to serve when they had breakfast day in elementary school lunch, that grey-brown color with an almost sparkly casing. They arent great, but hey, cheap sausage is cheap sausage. The St. Pius KCs added some standard scrambled eggs and hashed browns that were quite good, legit sliced potatoes with celery and onions and both green and red peppers. Quite impressive for a pancake breakfast.

It should be noted that in one respect this pancake breakfast fell short, that area, the service. It wasnt bad, everyone was nice and everything. The point is a pancake breakfast is all you can eat, you are supposed to go to town on these pancakes. Here at St. Pius, however, I had to stand up and walk back to the serving area when I wanted more pancakes. Some kids came around and brought me coffee a couple times, but food was stationary.

Here's what i think in this respect. The best atmosphere for a pancake breakfast should be like a friend's mom's kitchen, specifically I think of Carole's (Katie's mom). It should exude the attitude that your eating there is doing them a favor. Eat, eat, come one , you can eat some more, is what it should say. Now, obviously, when one is eating out, this attitude is never actually there. These people dont WANT you to eat more, but they also dont really care if you do since each pancake costs about 1/100th of a cent. Most of the time when you are in someone's house they dont want you to eat more either, but they make it seem like they do. The easiest way to create this type of a feeling is to simply bring the pancakes around to you. Just have another dude who walks around with the coffee dude/ette with a tray of pancakes. There were plenty of pancakes in the serving area in the first place, just pile some more on and send them out.

Regardless, those are my thoughts on pancake breakfasts. Get out and support your local K of C and enjoy some good flapjacks.



Saturday, March 29, 2003

Adventures at the Lockport Mall

So I rolled to Alissa's place, we edited Zizek's essay, which is, by the way, fucking hilarious. He pretty much just accuses Stavrakakis of not understanding anything. Stavrakakis' article is actually pretty good for the most part, the third section is painful, however, and something needed to be said about it. Regardless, it took us a little longer than I wanted it to, but not ridiculous, maybe 2:30 hours from when we really got going on it.

So I left there around 5:45, fully intending to go get some wings and head home to catch the second half of the Kentucky Marquette game. Along the way I got a very strong urge to watch the second half of this game at b-dubs. I could have done that, of course, but the problem was that my desire was to watch the game at the b-dubs in Apple Valley with Reuter, Maroney, Andy J, the Dobs, and Katie (among others). That was not possible, even with alot of fouls and timeouts it is very unlikely that I could have made the 15 hour drive before the game was over and even less likely that the gang would still be at b-dubs around 8 hours after they had closed.

Nonetheless, my desire to go to b-dubs turned into a desire to simply not be alone in my apartment. Well, the first part of that, again, could not be accomplished, I dont know anyone here. But I could stay out of my apartment. Saturday, around 6, however, is not a very good time to go to a restaurant. Moreover it is a really depressing time to go to a restaurant by one's self. So I drove by One-Eyed Jacks (the BBQ joint in Lockport) it was really crowded, so was the Fieldstone (which has very solid wings), and the Applebees as well was full to the brim. I was very strongly considering getting my wings from Sunny's and just saying fuck it. Damn it though, even though I eat out a fair amount (less than I used to obviously, but usually 2 times a week maybe) I havent had a meal anywhere but the living room in my apartment since I got back from the TC. This is where I eat, I spend 99.999% of my fucking time in this fucking room and I couldnt handle going back to it.

I drove around a little more and located what appeared to be a bar and grill inside the Lockport Mall. I have never been inside the Lockport Mall, mainly because it looked like a slightly larger version of the Rosemount Mall without Chee's Cafe. But I decided to roll inside. The place, Garfields, was nothing to write home about, though I suppose I am technically doing so right now. I had a Buffalo Chicken sandwich with cheesy-waffle fries and a tall Guinness. It was cheap, a 24oz guinnes for 3 bucks. The whole fucking bill was only 9.89 and that included the 1.50 addition to upgrade to the cheddar waffle fries. It was a solid dinner, the place was for the most part exactly like Applebees/Chilis etc., a slightly lower class Fridays, you know the fucking drill.

I finished eating, watched the unexciting (besides the fact that Kentucky lost) conclusion to the first game of the Elite 8. I had about 30 minutes before the next game started, so I decided to investigate the Lockport Mall and all its goodness. I had little investigating to do, however, because the Lockport Mall has little goodness. I think there were 2 nail shops, an FYE record store, two electronics places, several shoe stores (all owned by Foot Locker), a Radio Shack, a coffee shop, and a pizza joint. It is admittedly flanked by the world's crappiest department store and Rosa's furniture warehouse, but nothing special. So I pretended I was considering buying a DVD at FYE, almost purchased the re-release version of Blue Velvet, decided not to since the box was smashed, looked through their Playstation 2 games and was going to buy EA NHL but they didnt have it. It was at this point I realized that I was not drunk, but that I had consumed two 24oz Guiness-es in less than an hour and was not entirely sober. This pleased me greatly and I preceded to pretend that I was going to buy a new pair of basketball sneakers and a 11,000 television. Me and the sales dude at the appliance store had a cigarette while we discussed the merits of having more invested in our television than our cars. We both agreed that we spend more time with the TV, but also decided that our motivation to do anything more with our lives would all but disappear once we had access to such a marvelous discovery. I considered asking the dude if he had anything to smoke besides his cigarettes, but thought that was a little presumptous, then courteously made my way back to the car.

I stopped at Topps on the way home for a box of Twix bars and some milk and ended up adding a 6 pack of Sierra Nevada and one of Bacardi 03, which, for those not in the know, is an orange version of Bacardi Silver. Its actually quite tasty and was on sale for like 5 bucks. So while I am, as usual, in my apartment bored and lonely at 8:00 in the evening, at least I had some activities which sort of resembled something a normal person would do on a lazy Saturday.

I am also looking forward to tomorrow morning's pancake breakfast. Hopefully St. Pius X will not let me down. Hope everyone else is enjoying their weekend and I will check the lot of you (or maybe just you Katie-bear, since no one else is aware of this little ditty) on the flip side.



Saturday Mornings, However...

are fucking a to the fucking g. I know that the typical phrase is "easy like Sunday morning" (thats a phrase that I really like, notably, very fucking smooth) but the fact is that Saturday morning, at least outside of the NFL season, is just plain easier. I honestly dont think there is a better portion of the week then Saturday around 10:30 am to about 1 in the afternoon. What a relaxing fucking time, for the most part no one ever has obligations on Saturday morning. If you have stuff that has to be done before noon on Saturday you have one of two serious problems:

1) you work way too fucking hard

2) you are involved in some fucked up debate/speech like activity

I understand that some people really like both of these types of things. But damn, dude, they just cant possibly compare to an available Saturday morning with jack to do, a cigarette, and a cup of coffee.

Dont get me wrong, there are things that you can do on Saturday morning if you want. You can go have breakfast or make yourself some b-fast. Dennys is solid on Saturday mornings, especially if one has been drinking hard the night before. You could make a run to get some Krispy to the Kreme. One could even just hit up the local Starbucks. Pretty much, Saturday mornings should be about indulgence, tasty breakfast food, expensive coffee, television, etc. I think that we should establish some sort of Saturday morning ritual. Maybe I can work on Katie to begin this movement so that the world can share my enjoyment for this wonderful time.

I have to go out this afternoon, unfortunately, and edit Zizek's response to this Stavrakakis article. On the bright side it means I am already out and able to stop by Sunnys on the way home to grab a double order of hot wings. I can sit here and watch the games this evening. I am doubtful that the stuff I am waiting for has gotten here, but I suppose it is possible that it will. I guess I will drink or something, I hate the idea of going a whole weekend without having any intoxicants of any sort.

Okay, I guess I will head out early and extend my morning by grabbing a Venti mocha. Its been real, sharing my love of this wonderful time of day with ya'll. I will return, with wings and beer. Always a solid promise. Maybe Saturday evening will surpass my currently very low expectations for it.



Friday, March 28, 2003

Friday Nights Suck So Much Ass

Seriously. Looking forward to Friday night always rocks. I get up on Friday morning all excited, just 3 hours of actual work left and I am done with classes for a week! Notably I do as much homework on a weekend day as I do on a weekday, but I dont have obligations at school, I dont have to get up, etc. Well, I guess I dont do as much on Saturday or Sunday as I do the rest of the time, but I do my fair share. I guess that I do enjoy the not having to leave my apartment thing but in many ways. That, however, is really fucking sad and also not true of this weekend, where I have to go edit a Zizek paper tomorrow afternoon.

Regardless, so I roll through my class, I do a shocking amount of work for a Friday afternoon before Tim Dean's class. Then I actually have the dedication to stay at school and attend a class that I am not getting any actual credit for. I am impressed with myself. But I do actually enjoy this class, it is helpful in nailing down some things that I never can quite keep straight. Plus Tim is a fucking funny dude who always seems to have at least one remarkably scandalous story every week. This week it was about his friend actually murdering his girlfriend (his friend's girlfriend, not Tim's girlfriend, obviously) which I know in and of itself isnt funny, but the explanation of things surrounding it really were. It reminded me of Ed Norton's line in Fight Club, where, after explaining to the random woman on the random plane what he does (evaluate recalls, balancing the cost of recall versus the cost of lawsuits) he says that he cant tell her where he works, but he assures her that it is a very major car company. Tim didnt tell us who this person was (obviously a wise decision, it does not do wonders for your professional career to go about telling your students that X person murdered his girlfriend while in grad school, even though neither you nor anyone else has any actual proof) but indicated that he was a professor somewhere. Sort of this "be scared, he is out there" thing going on, which wasnt his purpose but whatever. It is however obviously scandalous. The story about Lacan biting this woman whom was a patient of his was quite funny, though he wasnt able to tell us the details surrounding the story.

Nonetheless, I roll out of Tim's class at 4:45 in the afternoon feeling as bright and sparkly as possible. Today was a perfect example, it was warm and sunny, birds were singing. Painful how perfect a lazy afternoon-evening it was. I got in my car, started it, and my CD player happened to be on Matthew Sweet's "Sick of Myself," which for those who dont know, is just a wonderful song. So my good mood elevated. I drove by a sign for a Pancake Breakfast at some church fairly near my house on Sunday and realized how great a pancake breakfast sounded. I was in a fantastic mood.

So I got home, I drove up to my house, and thought that maybe the stuff I was expecting to get would show up today. It didnt, which was still okay, it is on the way I'm sure, but that sort of slowed down my good mood. Nonetheless, I was still rocking on. So I came into my apartment, realized I was hungry, decided to check the cupboards. Normally on Friday afternoons I will stop by Sunny's on the way home for a double order of Hot Wings, but the whole lenten Fridays thing obviously throws that off. So I thought about making a tuna melt, considered it, and decided to consider other options. I came upon a half-or so wedge of parmesan that was becoming dangerously close to unusable, but, as I had just read a very interesting article in Cooking Today on risottos, I knew that this type of drying parmesan was perfect for a creamy cheesey rice. So I whipped up a batch, stirred in some half and half, shredded my parmesan, crushed up some garlic, and stirred it in. It was very tasty, the first risotto I had made since reading this article, I agreed with all the tips it suggested. They are now officially in my repetoire.

I ate my risotto wathced a repeat of last night's Daily Show and chilled for a couple minutes. About that point I started to think to myself "What shall I do tonight?" It was a really weird thought for me to have, I have gotten rid of them for the most part because the answer to such a question is really simple : um, nothing. I dont have anything to smoke, so I wont be doing that. I could go to a bar, but not only are there not any bars near my house that particularly interest me, but going to a bar by one's self only to pay more for booze, sit in chairs less comfortable than my couch, and have no control over the television doesnt sound particularly attractive. So I am not going to go out, that is obvious.

Next step in answering this odd question which I have posed to myself. What am I going to do in my apartment? Well, Friday night television is for the most part god-awful, but the NCAA tournament alters that. So I have entertainment, if the games get boring I can always watch a movie (I got both Seven Samurai and Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex... from Netflix the other day) or play some GTA3. All of these activites would be much better if I could get high, but obviously I am simply helpless in that regard. I can drink, I have several types of booze and some beer and shit. I suppose I could go get a bottle of wine or some other thing to drink if I preferred as well. So intoxication will not be a problem.

Nonetheless, the whole bright smiley attitude started to crash down pretty quickly as I realized that this really wasnt anything special besides a weeknight where I dont have to get up early the next morning. A very very depressing thought when one has been buzzing about the possibilities of the evening all day. I miss hanging out with people, I miss my friends, I miss knowing that one way or the other I would end up with friends on a couch somewhere, either with Katie at her apartment, or Andy J's basement or whatever. There is just nothing to get excited about alone out here. I am very immensely happy that Katie will be here at some point, nothing like a good end to continual weekend loneliness. Regardless, back to the tournament and maybe to get some beer or something.




I am sad, Katie has disappeared from the internet. My guess is that she has not disappeared and that in reality it is just that the computer problems which she has experienced over the last several days have come to a head and are no longer allowing her to sign on. It would be very sad if she just decided she didnt want to talk to me anymore. I dont think that is the issue though, I love her too much.

Regardless, I am getting tired and about to go to sleep. I thought I would take the public opportunity (well, as public as you can consider a journal thing that only one person besides its author knows of) to say goodnight and that I love you.

I should also note how ricockulously clean my living room is. Vaccuumed, books removed from their random piles around the floor. Really really cool, I know I already mentioned this, but it rocks.

I am a little concerned about the lack of diversity in my room decorations. At this point they break down as follows: Hitchock (1), Britney (4), and Mr. Winkle (1). The Vertigo poster is actually fairly classy, I'm glad to have it, though I really need one from Rope. Mr. Winkle at least gets props as a useful decoration, insofar as it is a calendar. Admittedly, half of it is a calendar, while the other half is a shockingly large picture of what is without question the most adorable little dog ever created. Also, I admit that since my computer, my watch, and my phone all have calendars built into them, the actual use-value of Mr. Winkle's calendar is very low. Damn it all though, he is too fucking cute. His little tongue sticking out like that, all puffy. He always looks so happy. I love Mr. Winkle.

I have now spent approx 5 hours in my cleaned and Britney-ized room. It appears to be just as clean now as it was at 7. No ashtray spills, no dishes/coffee cups/soda bottles, no books in unauthorized locations. I am very proud of me, which I think is entirely justified. I think I will tackle the bathroom tomorrow, maybe just the bedroom, it is a Friday, I need to relax.

Anyway, goodnight Katie. I love you, call or whatever if you need to.



Thursday, March 27, 2003

Support our Troops?

This is a phrase which really pisses the fuck out of me. In the first place, why should I support our troops, I think what our troops is doing sucks. I dont want our troops to succeed. If someone made up a slogan that was "Hope that our Troops Don't Die" I would be all over that. I dont want anyone to get killed, but I honestly dont give the world's tiniest fuck whether or not those deaths are American or Iraqi or British or whatever. I support our troops insofar as "support" is synonymous with "hope that their bodily integrity is not compromised by random pieces of metal." Beyond that however, fuck our troops. I don't want them to do what they are trying to do. If my lack of support for our troops results in a decrease in morale and hence some bombs dont get dropped, rock on. I obviously dont think this is going to happen, if it did I would spend more time trying to get the troops the message that they dont have my support. The point is however, support usually implies encouragment towards a pre-selected goal and in this case, I hope that goal cannot be accomplished.

Second, I know its equally cliched, but it just seems that the "Support our Troops: Bring them home!" signs make alot more fucking sense then the "Support our Troops: Kill the Muslims" variety. If all this bullshit about people hating anti-war protestors and stuff is because we have to rally around the troops, shouldnt we be against the thing that is going to kill them? Obviously we need to support the troops, but only insofar as that support also accomplishes political, economic, and military objectives.

Notice how so many people are trying to align supporting our troops with supporting our president. Well, which one do you want? Either we can try to help the dude who is putting 250,000 Americans in a situation which encourages them to kill other people and hence those people to kill them (it doesnt necessarily just go in this direction obviously, its a mutually reinforcing relation) or we can support those 250,000 Americans.

Enough in regard to the war, though I do think it is interesting.

I cleaned my living room today, I mean cleaned it like a motherfucker. I moved all the furniture around, I vaccuumed, I took all the boxes that were stacked up in the corner and moved them to a closet, I put all the dirty laundry in a basket, I moved the clean laundry into a different closet and my dresser, I put up a couple other Britney posters I had sitting around. All around a very solid cleaning job by me. I think I will try to do a room every day or so, after that I will be able to do occasional maintenance and still keep fairly clean. While all the other rooms are much smaller than this living room, all of them but the bedroom will probably be significantly more difficult. The bathroom, for instance, pretty much doenst get cleaned. The tub is filthy, so is the floor. The kitchen floor may not have been cleaned, well, ever. The counters are a to the g, the sink and all the stuff in it is fine. There are about 500 soda bottles, all bagged of course, under the kitchen table. Maybe I will take those in for my 5 cents a bottle this weekend. I like Minnesota so much better, I should start importing soda that doesnt require a deposit so I wouldnt feel bad about throwing away fucking bottles and cans. I just never feel like walking into Topps with a cart full of 24oz bottles of Pepsi. I suppose its better than not having the however many dollars they are worth, probably good enough for 20 wings.

Back to the tournament, I get to cheer against Duke, Arizona, and Kentucky tonight, though I think only Duke has any serious chance of losing.



Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Dawson's Creek and Cyndi Lauper

I still love this show, I always have. I could try to list all the different stupid ways it could be symbolic for me, maybe I will some Wednesday night as my emotions build towards the end of the series. It is sad, since the point I have begun to change from the crazy-anti-dizneuce I was in high school to the radded-out nermgoise I am now, Dawson, Jen, Joey, and of course Pacey have been there with me. Admittedly, the show has never regained the glory that it had around 98-00. It fell hard when the new group of writers moved in to accompany the transition to college. Jack's homosexuality went from a storyline to a central tenet of the show. For about a year Jack was nothing but a gay person, Jen was nothing but messed up, Pacey was always complaining about not being smart enough. The last year and a half has been good though, oddly enough, Dawson had to leave all his friends to really develop.

I like alot of programs, Buffy might be the greatest show ever made and West Wing is still up there, but I just don't know that there will ever be a program which I will be as excited about as I was about the DC my first year in college. We watched alot of episodes of that show in Wilking and Maroney's apartment, most of that time spent with me telling Wilk-dogg to shut the fuck up so I could hear the wonderful dialogue.

So here is the thing about the conclusion of this epic program. It is obvious that the show can end with one of three possible messages. First, Dawson ends up with Joey. That message is obvious: fate. I think this was how the series was supposed to end, I would imagine they designed it to do so from the beginning. At the point it is at now, however, Katie is absolutely right that alot of fucked up shit would need to go down in the next 7 weeks in order to get Dawson back with the girl it appears is falling back for Pacey. Second, see above, Pacey and Joey. While some seem to think this message is simple, I am not so sure. It definately says somethign else about fate, more about choice however, fixing one's mistakes and discovering something about life and love. The third option is for none of these couples to end up together. That really doesnt make an argument, in fact it just sort of says that everything the show was initially about fell so far out of line that they werent able to recover original storylines. While fundamentally I still believe the show should end with Dawson and Joey (I mean its his fucking creek) I doubt they will. Still, I will probably cry when I hear "I dont wanna wait..." that one last time.

Also, there appears to be a new Dr. Pepper commercial which features Cyndi Lauper. How fucking sweet is that. Leave it to Dr. Pepper to come up with something as sweet as that and bring back such a wonderful blast from the past. Time after time.



Wednesday was a Good Day

Momma didnt cook breakfast, but there was indeed no hog. In fact there was only coffee. But I rolled out of here nice and early, it was a little cloudy. I had to stop by Kinkos, so I hit up the new quick pay system, which miraculously gave me like 50 free copies. I was even feeling a little guilty about it, so I told the attendant but she was all like "whatever" so I was all like sweet, and she as all like "have a nice day" and I was all like "I already am."

So as I leave Kinkos I notice that not only is it comfy and warm but the sun has come out from behind the traditional Buffalo cloudiness. So I sat outside before class, drinking some bad, but free, coffee from the English department and enjoying a legitimately gorgeous spring morning. Whether or not it is actually spring is debateable, but it was straight up awesome today. I taught, it was cool, I think my idea for a research paper is actually pretty solid, sort of miraculous that I was able to allign a research paper for a sort of hastily designed class. So class got done a couple minutes early, one of my students thanked me for my recomendation letter as it apparently got him the RA gig he wanted. It was very solid, its nice to have people thank you for shit that is really easy to do that actually significantly helps them. Thats not so say that he wouldnt have gotten the RA job without my letter, but he at least seemed to think it helped.

I got paid and my raise took effect this week. It earns me another 15 bucks on every paycheck, so that kind of rocks. So I sat down to correct a couple papers, somehow ended up whipping through the motherfuckers, and had time to go downstairs for a couple cigarettes before Joan's class.

Let me say, I understand the few complaints I have heard about Joan's classes. She doesnt take a break, which sucks, 3 hours is simply too long to go, especially when one is a smoker, but thats not a huge deal, when she gets rolling you forget the length of class for a good 45 minutes at a time. The only other complaint I have heard is that she isnt always completely answering questions. I have noticed this as well though I dont think it is as pronounced as people make it out to be. The conclusions that people seem to be drawing from this fact though, are fucking ricockulous. Hearing Joan talk should make it pretty clear that she knows her fucking shit, very few people impress me ith their level of thought on a regular basis, I think Kiarina, Ernesto Laclau, and Joan are the only ones actually. Joan does stick out a little from both Ernesto and Kiarina, insofar as they both project an air of confidence and answer questions in a way that she does not. After reading her books, after listening to her lectures, I just dont know how people can imagine that she isnt more on her nut than almost anyone out there. Maybe she's not very good on the spot, I dont know her enough to know, but the point is, she rocks. People shouldnt complain about this, I feel lucky every time I'm in class with her. Its something I hope to brag about to my own students someday.

Beyond that I am just in a good mood. Can't really explain it. The ice-cream shop right down Transit just opened. I really like that place, not only do they have really solid custard at entirely reasonable, if not really cheap, prices, it just makes me feel all relaxed. Like the world is telling me that even though I have alot of shit to get finished in the next month, I need to chill out, get a Boston Malt, let the spring roll me, because, in the end, its all a to the g.

To quote Penn and Teller, as I often do, if they ever make a Reader's Digest version of my writing, that last paragraph is a shoe-in.



Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Feelin Groovy...

So some new (at least to me, which should indicate that it is fairly new, I dont miss many commercials with the amount of TV I watch) commercial uses this song, which for some reason makes me think of Reading Rainbow. Feelin groovy... Its a solid solid song.

Benjamin talks about this concept in Baudelaire called memoire involuntaire. He refers to the experience of eating a cookie and all of a sudden recalling some vivid childhood memory. The idea is simply that sometimes random shit reminds you of other totally random shit (Benjamin would be so happy with that simplification...) for no reason that you can identify, while to your unconscious it seems entirely normal. I'm not the first person to connect this type of memory to Freud/psychoanalysis in general, but its very similar to the way dreams operate. Nothing in a dream is without some sort of latent meaning, its not as simple as The Interpretation of Dreams may make it out to be, in fact for the most part it is the formal aspect of dreaming and the connections between dream elements (the fact that the kangaroo follows you being naked at Shopko) rather than the individual elements themselves (the fact that there is a kangaroo).

Long rambling way to say that for some reason, Feelin Groovy brings me back to a song that I havent heard in about 2 years I would guess, but which I probably listened to 300 times in the two years previous. That wonderful song: King of Wishful Thinking by the immortal Go West. You may not remember this song from the name, but trust me, you fucking remember it. Its such an incredible tune. One night, I think I was a college sophomore, but I may have been a first year. Steve and I, as usual, were cruising around randomly in his car, probably rolled to the Perk. We were listening to some weird ass album, as we always did, and somehow started discussing how much the King of Wishful thinking was an incredible song. For some reason we had to have that song that night. Shit, I remember now.

I worked at Toys R Us for about a year and a half. The muzak at Toys R Us seemed to have an obsession with Go West. They played that song at least twice a day. At one point I think we heard it three times in a 6 hour shift. The really fucked up part was that there are like 9 fucking versions of it. There is even (I shit you not) a Christmas version with fucking bells in the background. The lyrics and shit are the same, just a different backbeat and bells. If you search on Kazaa you can find a couple different versions, just more or less synth music to the same lyrics and rhythm I think.

So Steve and I hit Wal-Mart, at like midnight, as it was the only thing that was open where we could buy CDs. We searched for quite a while, no one even knew who the song was by, though they could all remember it. Steve and myself dug through all these different CD bins for like a half an hour with no result. Finally we just resorted to the compilation section, having no idea even what year the song was made. We looked at every Hits of 19-- they had in the store and ended up finding it, I think under 90. The album also included the Candyman's "Knockin da Boots" quite a bonus.

We cruised around for another 2 hours that night listening to that song. Back at Toys R Us we had constructed a little dance that followed some of the lyrics of that song. Steve and I did our best to remember it, I had the chorus down pat, but the rest took some inventive shit. The long rambling point is how much fun we had that night. For some reason hearing "Feelin Groovy" made me remember that evening and those incredible times. I havent seen Steve in, damn, close to 2 years. I have to work harder at getting in touch with that kid.

Regardless, that was my diatribe for now.



Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy

So I have actually had this news for a while, but I was scared to say anything about it. It is my experience that saying anything about really really sweet things tends to fuck them up hardcore, but I am now confident enough to announce that KATIE IS COMING TO BUFFALO!!! It is without question, the absolute best thing ever to happen...ever.

Buffalo is, without question, the worst place on the face of the planet. I would rather live in Baghdad then this town. But with Katie here, Xanadu. Seriously, I have been so lonely all this year. I miss my friends, I miss my family, but most of all (no offense you) I miss my Katie-bear. At the point I decided I wanted to marry her, it was pretty clear to me that there was one person whom, assuming I could be with them, could make me happy my entire life. I will always miss the homies back in the TC. But this city becomes a whole fucking lot cooler when I dont have to watch Survivor by myself every week.

Maybe everything is coming into balance. The biggest problem I can imagine with Katie living here is pretty significant. Gilmore Girls (her big show) and Buffy (the greatest program ever) are on at THE SAME TIME. But in the sadness and pain of Buffy's final moments, I can find joy. There will be no need to compromise on Tuesday nights. Someone up there is looking out for us.

Anyway, the fact that Katie is coming here has made me really happy. Like really unbelieveably enormously happy. The fact that I am on my third black russian helps too. The gloomy skies of Buffalo just got alot brighter.

On a completely unrelated note, Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn is the worst program ever. Nothing like listening to high-school educated stand up morons like Nick Dipalo spout right wing propaganda hardly spiced up by bad metaphors. At least Colin Quinn had the decency to invite Janine Garofolo occassionally, it just sucks that she is resented BECAUSE she is liberal and intelligent. I doubt its coincedental that she is a woman in this situation either. Not alot of successful and funny women in the stand up business. I can tolerate watching the show when she is on, but I hate to see this gang of fucking morons gang up on the one person who regularly makes sense. Maybe Comedy Central decided that they have to follow up the quality, and admittedly left-wing slant, of the Daily Show with something for the GOPhers. Oh well, take what you can get I guess.

Again, really really happy. Cant wait to have Katie here. My couch feels less lonely already.



Monday, March 24, 2003

Shiat everyone else has talked about already...

Two random things that I continue to think about. The first has probably been listed by everyone who writes in these sort of online formats, but the Michael Moore "controversy" continues to shock me. Jon Stewart summed it up pretty well, as he often does, but what in the name of fuck was going on. Did people imagine that Michael Moore was going to stand up there and thank his producers, God, and his family and then sit down. Fuck, the dude would use his mother's funeral as a political platform.

Dont get me wrong, I see eye to eye with Michael Moore for the most part, if I were to have big causes they would be the same as his. But how the fuck did people not see this coming? Michael Moore won an Oscar for a movie that was, in his own fucking words, an exploration of the AMERICAN CULTURE OF VIOLENCE!! What in the sweet name of fuck. Maybe some people will say they were booing his callback to November of 2000, and I wouold imagine they were, but again, big fucking surprise. I dont think he has referred to Bush a single time without prefacing it with something like "the fictitious president." In many ways he has the whole "Criminal Little Bush" titling deal that Tarik Aziz, Saddam, etc. have worked out for referring to the President. I like them all, to be honest, much better than just "Mr. President" in this case.

On a related note, I read a number of articles about Michael Moore today, some were sort of introductions to him in general, I would assume directed towards a readership which didnt give a damn one way or the other about "radical left-wing pop-politics" until he got booed off the stage after winning a prestigious award. Of course they explained the premise of Bowling for Columbine and reactions to it by people all over the political spectrum. The one thing that has sort of pissed me off which seems to be his modifying the message of the film, likely for Oscar gain, is his argument that the film is not inherently for gun control. That certainly was not the way I interpreted the movie, it seemed pretty obviously to argue that gun control wouldnt completely solve the problem, but definately indicated that one problem with the American culture of violence is the easy availability of guns (especially the bank/shotgun incident). It doesnt surprise me however that he comprimised this by saying that he was a member of the NRA and was committed to the safe use of firearms under the 2nd ammendment. My guess is that that is PR bullshit, but Moore knew that he was going to shoot for an Oscar with this one, and it means alot more for his movement, his personal fortune and popularity, etc., just to get the chance to win.

I dont think this is really "selling out" partially because I dont really believe in the concept of selling out. If I was in a position to sell-out I would do it in a heart beat, I'm amazed that Michael Moore went this long. The thing I do think sucks is that the powerful notion of this film, the way it meant what it said is actually compromised when Michael Moore tries to convince people that they can be in the NRA, that they can support firearm rights, and still get rid of what he is talking about, which fundamentally is just not fucking true.

I have a couple of random thoughts on selling out which I would like to share at this point. The first relates to a special I saw a long fucking time ago on Comedy Central about Trey Parker and Matt Stone when South Park was just hitting it big. They responded to the question of whether they had just come to Hollywood and decided to sell-out. They responded that they had intended to sell-out the whole time. They had Cartman dolls and Kenny t-shirts planned from day 1. Admittedly, this may have been something that they just said as a joke, but maybe it was true. Its not like South Park began as some uber-artsy cartoon or something. Yes, South Park episodes often make an argument about political or social issues, yes the South Park movie was very well-done in its self-referentiallity while retaining its hilarity, but its different from Roger and Me or Bowling for Columbine or TV Nation. Fundamentally, however, Michael Moore is a politician who uses irony and for the most part South Park is comedy which is occassionally political. I think both of these formats are fantastic and I enjoy them, but if Matt and Trey argued that their movie was not against censorship, that one could censor material or artists and still agree with them, it wouldnt bother me in the way that Michael Moore belonging to the NRA does.

The second example that comes to my mind whenever I think about selling-out is Tool's "Hooker With a Penis," a fantastically titled song which is #7, I believe, on the Aenima album. You can easily find the lyrics, but the point of the song is pretty much making fun of people who hate on bands who blow the fuck up, who sign on different labels, who "mainstream" after they get popular. The imagery in the song (sips of coke, Vans, 501s) are really explicit attempts to demonstrate that its not like Tool has uniquely sold out, anticonformist culture, with its readily generateable list of cliched products is just as much alligned with the capitalist enterprise as Tool. I guess the point here is that selling out CANT HAPPEN IN FORM, ONLY IN CONTENT. Bob Dylan's lyrics would be just as revolutionary if he had signed with Virgin Records in the 60s and was promoted like Justin is now. Dont fuss on and on about the fact that a film came from Fox and not an independent studio (which is probably owned by Sony Classic anyway) or an indie label rather than Virgin, pay some fucking attention to the song itself. If TV Nation could have done the things it did and succeeded on Must-See Thursdays I would have had no beef with it. Sad fact is, it can't.

The second thing I was going to mention seems sort of irrelevant at this point, I am not even sure I remember what it was. I think it was about how much I like Dr. Pepper. That remains true, I really do like DP. It is especially notable how well the good Doctor matches up with Twix bars (original caramel that is, no disrespect to your peanut-butter variety Katie). Its a solid combo. I think I will make it the Buffalo Dinner, paying homage to Kentucky Breakfast Numbers 1 and 2 (cheetos and white cheddar cheez-its, respectively, both paired with Mountain Dew). Ahh, the Kentucky Breakfast, Maroney tribuce.



Bored enough to write randomly to no one...

I have now actually become bored enough to do exactly what this subject indicates. I now know so many people who randomly write on the internet and I will admit that I, for the most part, do not understand the fascination. At the same time, what the fuck else do I have to do.

Don't get me wrong, television is a fantastic source of entertainment, I would straight up not have survived the 7-odd months I have spent in the godforsaken land of Buffalo absent my friends at the Food Network, Comedy Centrl, and prime time in general. Nonetheless, one gets to the point where simply watching television alone no longer cuts it. I can write, think, etc. while watching whatever happens to be on, especially considering I have seen damn near all of these programs before.

Admittedly, I am working towards my PhD so I do have work to do, but I simply cannot read Husserl for more than 8 hours a day. I think I do a fair amount of work, I just do it during the day. I get up early, have a smoke and some coffee, roll into 632 Clemens and read for a while before teaching, class, lectures, etc. I read afterwards for a while, I go back to my lonely-ass apartment, read a while longer, than switch to TV and have something to eat.

On an entirely random note, Mitch Hedberg is quite possibly the funniest man alive. I have seen this special on comedy central like 10 times, not to mention every time I have listened to the album. I am extraordinarily jealous of AJ having seen him open for Lewis Black. I can only imagine the glory of technologizing before sitting through Mitch's schtick. Everything this dude says is funny, if you dont like Mitch Hedberg, you dont have a soul. It really is that simple.

I suppose I could ramble on about the Oscars ,or the extraordinary amount of MSNBC I have watched in the last 5 days, or how incredible the first two rounds of the tournament were, but I guess I will save that shit for another time. I feel somehow like I shouldnt tackle too much in an opening post. I;m sure I will continue soon.



Monday, March 03, 2003

Avril and Such

I just heard the other day that Britney is going back into the studio for a late summer/fall release. That means we might have a video or single by late July, which is very good. The reason I bring this up is because Avril keeps coming so fucking strong it is hardly believable. She has now recorded her 4th number 1 video from this album. The songs are all totally solid too, what I think are definatively the best four songs on the album. I am not sure whether or not there are more singles from this album or not. There are a couple others that could work. I havent heard for sure, but I would guess that she is already recording.

So here is the deal, Britney is my girl. I would imagine she always will be. I mean, I saw her in concert with my beautiful girlfriend/fiance. As I have said many times before she was 30 feet away from me, wet and flying. It was an incredible evening in the lower deck of the Target Center. Nonetheless, Avril is coming totally fucking strong. I mean, this girl rocks, rocks so fucking hard. She definatively has the best gestures in rock and roll and is currently rounding out the top 5 (numbers 4-5) on the cutest moments in rock and roll history. That list, of course, is:

1) Britney's na-na-na-na-na, na-na-na-na-naaaah, with the head nod during the original Joy of Pepsi video.
2) RLC's head shake during the final repeated riff in Josie and the Pussycats hit single "3 Small Words"
3) RLC's outtake at the end of Josie and the Pussycats where she hits her nose on the mic
4) Avril's guitar rocking gesture during "sk8r boi rockin up MTV"
5) Avril's push through the crowd before the first refrain of "I'm With You"

Avril has also pulled into third in the list of the women who are almost as attractive as Katie. That list, though slightly more obvious, is:

1) Britney Spears
2) Willow (Alyson Hannigan)
3) Avril Lavigne

I have no desire to even extend the list beyond that. Those three pretty much blow everyone else away. I think RLC would be up there soon, probably some other people too. Nonetheless, you cant really approach these three.

I know Britney will, having enjoyed her 6 months off, come back and rock hard. Her next album will restate, very clearly that she is the ultimate music goddess, but for the moment I thought I would let Avril know that she is really really making a push. I would imagine she will pass up at least one of RLC's moments to escalate to the top 3, not quite yet though.

On another note, I saw Identity today, it was good. It was not perfect, it was very very good, but it was not perfect. I am not really in a position to be able to say what they should have done better, which is what a good criticism usually involves. But I will think about it. I will grant them 2 things 1) they were on the right track-they had the right movitations and the right ideas, they just didnt quite nail it 2) their suspense creation over the course of the film as a whole was incredibly done. I have not seen many films in general that have solid suspenseful moments, almost from beginning to end. Rope, maybe. Probably some other flicks I am not remembering. I am going to think about how to fix this, and the film itself, over the next several days. I will get back to you. The point however, is that you should without question see the movie. It is very very good. I doubt a better film has come out this year, nor will one unil Matrix Reloaded.

Okay, I am out, keep it real. Much love to my Katie bear and the boyz at the TOC.