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Archive for November, 2005

Percussion

My apartment has been a zoo recently. Or maybe an “aquarium” would be more appropriate.

There you see her
Sitting there across the way
She don’t got a lot to say
But there’s something about her
And you don’t know why
But you’re dying to try

There’s a youthful optimism in the air. As I flounder miserably in my classes and various angsts, Matt “They Can Edit Braces Out Of Pictures, Right?” Lautzenlover and Michael “So, Do I Look Different?” Hanna have been having giddy schoolgirl conversations. They stay up late and giggle. It is maddening, I feel like I may puke through my sappy grin at any moment. Yeah, they’re utterly lame. True, they need to give each other wedgies. In fact, I think the only way it could be sillier in this place is if they were dating each other. But, shucks, it’s a nice thing to see for your roommates. Thankfully, I’m moving soon.

Now’s your moment
Floating in a blue lagoon
Boy, you better do it soon
No time will be better
She don’t say a word
And she won’t say a word

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Exhibit A

Before I forget, requiem is the word of the week. Why? Because I had to look it up a few minutes ago. It means roughly what I thought it meant. Furthermore,
mustard, 34 degree rain, traffic jams, old people in training classes, the color purple (especially in conjunction with gold), deer ticks, green peppers, vodka, little crappy punt-able dogs, people that are late all the time, optimization homework, Paul Pierce, Meet the Parents, Nascar, elderly drivers on cell phones, arachnids in general.

Otherwise, everything else is mildly amusing, at worst.

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Like everyone the day after Thanksgiving break, I am having a difficult time focusing on anything. I can’t think in a straight line. Stresses and angsts are ravaging the countryside, without no natural enemies to check their waxing turmoil.

Sixteen days, six classes, an exam and two finals, one unfortunately positioned bundle of intoxicating baggage, and, wouldn’t you know it, they pay me for 40 hours a week to focus and get things done.

For this reason, I babble to God all day long. Poor guy, my incessant prating must get tiresome.

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But Can He Sing?

Father continued his meteoric rise to stardom, today appearing in the New York Times. In the last three months, he’s been interviewed by all varieties of running people. He has featured prominently in web-based video promotions, all the while masquerading with the likes of Wetmore and Lannana. He’s sort of like a rockstar, and all because he coaches the fastest american high school cross country runner in the last five years. Good for her, she’s got olympian written all over her, she listens to every word he says. And he’s just a big carpetbagger.

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Having recently completed listening to my Thanksgiving CD (recorded this time in 2002) on my trip back to Goshen yesterday morning, I began flipping through the channels on the radio. I occasionally stop to listen to preachers, as there are many very gifted speakers out there. There was one guy with an annoying voice, but the cadence and delivery of the phrase “potent paradox, interesting irony” hooked me. He raised a very good point.

Today is the day where we all come together and celebrate how thankful we are for all that we have, be it health, family, relative comfort, etc etc. Yet tomorrow, Black Friday, we’re up at 5 in the morning, assaulting Kohls and Sears with our uncontrollable desire to acquire more. People are never more acutely focused on what they DON’T have then on the day after when they are supposed to be grateful for what they do have. It’s almost as though as we’re compiling that list of what we appreciate, what we are thankful for, we’re making another list alongside it.

Well lets see, I wish I had an x-box 360, but I’m thankful for my health at least. Aunt Flo needs some of those cute socks, but I have a house, that’s nice. We make these lists side by side, dump the one on our families while treasuring the other in our hearts, then spend hundreds of dollars satisfying the one which holds the real sway over our lives. The health of the american economy, the preacher pointed out, is gauged on how willing we are to depart from our attitude of thanksgiving and embrace one of greed.

It’s like an inverse Mardi Gras, one of my least favorite concepts. Mardi Gras is a wanton splurge before 40 days of comparative discipline (in theory at least, in practice, it’s a wanton splurge before going back to college and partaking in normal frat-based orgies), while Thanksgiving stores up a small pile of perspective in order to put the down payment on our greed. It’s like saving $5,000 for a Mercedes. Sure, you’re in 42K of debt, but at least you had that 5 grand saved up.

In the end, most people try to play the balance game, in all aspects of life. I do this bad thing, I need a good thing to recover from it. If I’m greedy, I need to be selfless. If I’m nice to someone, I’m allowed to be mean to someone and I’ll be all even. If I don’t eat today, I can have chocolate cake tomorrow. We play these bargain games, bartering with ourselves as though there’s some cosmic scale which we need to keep even.

Well there is a cosmic scale. The only problem is, this scale does not measure the comparative collections of quantifiable items. It’s not a monetary/barter system. In the world, our money acts as a proxy for our ability to trade some good of equal value for the item which we are purchasing. An xbox 360 might cost $324, and perhaps we have a bushel of wool. We could trade that, or use a bushel of wool’s worth of money in it’s place. The problem is, there is no proxy for mean/nice, sin/righteousness, right/wrong; at least no proxy that we can provide. Crimes against concepts cannot be paid by substitution; they cannot be paid at all. There is nothing to put on the other side of the scale that can outweigh one affront to good.

I suppose you know where this is going. With no way to even the scales which we bind ourselves to, we are left only with the punishment. With no way to restitute concepts, we are left with a punishment which snuffs out our very existence. If we didn’t believe this, why would we create the scale in the first place? Who maintains this scale? Why is there an equilibrium to be met? Hardwired to our very existence is a desire keep ourselves “right” in someone’s sight. Whose?

I imagine the “how” will come up quickly enough.

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Land O Goshen

I’ve been home an hour so far. The following has occured:

1) My mother, for some reason, bought body odor scented shower curtains for our bathroom. I accused my mop-haired brother of producing the odor, though he has never smelled badly before.

2) My father recently drilled a hole in our front door to install a peep hole. My brother inexplicably called my mother “white trash” as a result of this improvement. It is also slightly off center, reminding us once again to measure twice, cut once.

3) There’s an elliptical 7 feet from my bed. I live downstairs in the “extra stuff” room. Also in the extra stuff room (called the “Grey Room” for the grey carpet running up one wall) is a 6 and a half foot high wooden monstrosity used to dangle stained glass stuff. My mother is semi-pro now.

4) My parents bought a quesidilla maker, only they didn’t buy it for me. It’s sitting out on the counter, however, “just in case you wanted to make us some.”

5) Bucknell beat 19th ranked Syracuse in basketball. “Syracuse doesn’t have a team this year,” quipped my mother, who has no business knowing that type of information. After a few stunned seconds of silence, I asked her if she’s been listen to sports radio, and it turns out that she has. She has really taken strides in the last few years. First she understands cross country and track, now she competes in an office pool for college football and listens to sports radio at work. Good work Mom. Maybe I’ll try to schedule our Wegman’s date for March Madness in Federal Hill.

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Read Part 1 first

Read Part 2 second

Read Part 3 third

Read Part 4 fourth

2:29 PM
It’s important to finish what you start. OK, we just started talking about weather, specifically the tropics. Count down from ten…Anyway, it’s important to finish what you start. I’m not sure why. Come to think of it, I disagree with that statement.

2:43 PM
The instructor knows the names of all 11 of us somehow. I don’t even know his name, let alone anyone elses. Heck, I forgot my middle name recently.

2:47 PM
This is more like Advanced Boondoggling. I’m also concurrently taking Advanved Whining. I hold a degree in Advanced Criticizing. Advanced Mockery. Advanced Dense People Identification.

2:58 PM
I just gave myself a lobotomy with a paper clip. Things are much more difficult now. I added the font Bauhaus 93 to my custom toolbar and gave it an icon that looks like an eight ball.

3:02 PM
He’s wrapping it up already! I’m going to go home, this is supposed to be all day training.

3:04 PM
It’s days like these that I gain ground on the faster runners. I’ll be out there, many others won’t.

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