Friday, March 30, 2007

the key

what exactly allows you to transform your relationship with someone to a friendship? there are people at work i am good friends with. there are some i can talk to sometimes and joke around about things that both of us understand or are experiencing. there are some, however, that i pretty much am not going to be engaging in a one-on-one conversation. i'm not sure exactly why this is. i mean, there are people in the office who will talk to me if other people are involved, and who are far from antisocial, but they will not talk to me in the elevator if we are both leaving work. it's odd. i mean, i can tell they don't really want to talk and i don't try to force it.

the difference with friends is somehow they don't mind if you aren't talking about much. you feel comfortable saying exactly what you want, at least with your closest friends. er, at least i hope there are people who'll let you do that.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

the value of anything

i purchased $32 worth of candy eggs today. i don't plan to eat any of them. i would consider handing them out at my birthday party. i also think the experience of buying an entire case of candy eggs is potentially worth a lot more than the experience of eating any of them. there are 96 in total. since i had already spent $5 on diet soda i was purchasing as a pure expression of spontaneity, it seems $32 may have been a little much to spend on candy eggs. i am listening to a pop levi song right now, and i think i would much rather spend my money on candy eggs than attend a concert of his. his band is called 'woman,' which just seems extremely odd. i'm going to start a backup band called 'i don't really want to hear your music' and ask him if he'd like to employ us as well.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

signs i am growing up

although i resist it, consciously or unconsciously, maturity comes naturally as you progress through the years. or so it seems. here are some signs i am growing up.

1. i no longer eat huge amounts of food in order to entertain people. mj was present the night i decided to end this practice, although she may not remember.

2. i don't drink huge glasses of juice and milk anymore.

3. i often stop myself from revealing things. this took a while, and i'm still not really good at it.

4. i no longer read the comics section of the newspaper. once i got out of the habit, this was actually pretty easy.

despite this, i am still very pleased with myself when i get taken for a college kid, as long as it doesn't involve a severe scolding. i almost tried to pass myself as a high school kid and go trick-or-treating two years ago, but i think some number of my regular readers here convinced me it was a horrible idea.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

second time around

blood meridian
-cormac mccarthy

more disturbing than anything else of his i've read. a brilliant story of savagery, debauchery, war, and life in the truly wild west. some of the strongest characters are never properly introduced. the narrative thrust of the book seems less connected than usual to the actual message. mccarthy tends to use tales told in the course of the action to dig at the meaning of everything, and here those moments arose in my own mind even when they weren't in the text. we learn less about some of the main characters than we do about peripheral figures in 'the crossing.' still, lacking history, these men are so strong as presences in the tale that i found myself as never before wondering what else mccarthy is telling me.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

reading your way to the left coast

edgewater angels
-sandro meallet

i have to say i liked this book despite the author's sometimes quirky style. that is to say, perhaps some would be bothered by his penchant for combining words intoone, but i wasn't annoyed enough to take much of anything away from this first-person tale of life in a san pedro housing project. the book is a string of short stories tied together either in plot or by narrative effort - coming off as a young man telling the tale of several years of his youth in one setting. i like that about it; everything stands on its own, and fits together. certainly, it's more organized than a long narrative might be, but who knows. it's obvious the narrator has potential as an author; he spends long days at the library when he's not welcome anywhere else. given this penchant for literary escapism, the cleanly outlined narrative comes off as inevitable.

Monday, March 12, 2007


i managed to find good homes for two of my favorite don't-really-fit sportcoats. it made me very happy that i didn't have to plain get rid of them. now, if only i had someone who could take a pair of slightly worn green and pink sneakers off my hands...

Saturday, March 10, 2007


as i try to recover from one of my more egregious errors of the past month, certain sentences i heard last night keep running through my head. i arrived home from work last night around 7:15, having been both unusually productive and surprisingly ambitious in my day's efforts. my roommate laughed as he tried to lure me out to a party across the way and i crawled deep into my sleeping bag to recover, relax, and read the novel i have so desperately torn through. within half an hour, two bowls of cereal and a couple slices of toast were gone, and i had read just enough to blunt the desire to crash.

at the actual party, i showed a best-of-late ability to have a personality. having plunged so often into the frightening depths of aimlessness and indifference, i seem to have failed more than necessary to convince people that i am worth knowing. last night, however, i had the sort of oddly film-worthy experiences that can only mean that i had a really excellent evening. i discussed jazz and other music with a record company employee who promised to send anything my way if i just asked. i cautiously ignored the girl who was relentlessly flirting with several different guys, only to have her tell me that she was in love with me. i managed to deflect this assertion with an anecdote about mj's brother and how he once said something quite similar and meant basically none of it. i was the worst by far at the evening's main video-game distraction and chuckled inside as someone insisted that i'd been brilliant. none of that really compares, however, to my brush with tragic skepticism.

sometimes, we think we know what we're dealing with, only to find later that we missed the true significance of a landmark event. so it was that i became engaged in conversation with a most impressive young lady, missing the biggest hint as it came and thinking i knew exactly what i was getting myself into. she managed to initiate the entire conversation, go out on at least one particularly feminist limb without any hint from me that i'd be ok with that, mention the joy of attending a performance by the band i'd been listening to all week, and generally come off like the most impressive girl i've met in forever. some of this entered into my brain, fairly well marked as important information, and yet i both recognized and rejected the opportunity to get her number before she left. it would have required an extremely obvious effort, but such things are worth it when you meet someone who's unusually worth knowing. so now i've got one beautiful conversation to play over in my head while i try to figure out the least-annoying way of getting contact information for someone i'm not just going to bump into anytime next month. i was thinking, as the conversation began to turn from something that seemed nice to something that seemed potentially awesome, that i probably should get her number. the problem is, i didn't have enough faith in the idea that asking a girl for her phone number at a party is actually an important thing in shaping the next few days or weeks of your life. this is the same problem that leads to me reminisce on the fact that i have never not once applied for a job in a city i have for over a year thought would be an ideal place to live. i am really good at buying awesome sneakers and eating cereal. i am not good at asking girls for their phone numbers or applying to endless endless jobs. in the past six months, i have probably applied for 4.5 jobs (i was rejected by one before i finished the online app), maybe a few more. i have gotten 3 interviews, one offer, and one very disheartening rejection. somehow, this is the effort i have been making to get out of a city i really can't stand. there's a problem somewhere with my faith in the significance of actions like applying for jobs. talking with co-workers this past week, it seems there's a lot more money out there to be made by people with my skills than i would have thought. maybe i don't care about that, but shouldn't i at least hold out until i can find another job in a city i like at a place that will let me wear jeans and sneakers?

Friday, March 09, 2007

gallery update: first installation underway

there's no real explanation for why i am creating an art gallery underneath my desk. it seems to make perfect sense to everyone who knows me. since i don't actually have any landscape photographs yet, i figured i'd be making a few drawings. turns out there are more ways than that to fill a new under-desk art gallery. the first installation is an exhibition of empty beverage containers, now eerily suspended from the desk. it's rather inspiring when you lie on the floor and gaze up at it. i've just got soda cans and foam cups from one of our epic lunch smoothie outings.

going for smoothies at lunch is tough if you actually want to keep it to an hour, because the train ride itself (not including waiting) is at least 20 minutes each way. to properly do the trip, we need some help from the trains; we can't wait too long on either end. we ride the train, in the past taking along the trusty world ball. if there aren't too many people on the train, the world ball can be used for a handy game of catch. there are many stairs and escalators between us and the real world, so an officially-cautioned-against sprint helps once the train pulls in to our destination. this leaves us out of breath, but the juice place is less than a block from the station. having stood in line, we buy our drinks, rush back to the train, and arrive back at work maybe 65 minutes after we left.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

a few distractions

do you remember the last time you listened to an album three times in the same day? i do. it was yesterday. the release of new albums may not be the event it was back in the days my parents can't get over, but i did my best to make this one count.

i am planning to create an art gallery underneath my desk at the office. willing to help? send me any unwanted landscape photographs, preferably actual prints not just files. your kindness will not go unnoticed.

finally, if you see a size medium zip hoodie at your local thrift shop, pick it up, email me, and i'll pay you back. tata for now.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

how to win affection without trying

for some reason, i am under the impression that richard h. shultz jr. and andrea j. dew's book insurgents, terrorists, and militias, which i just finished, attracts female attention while i read it on the subway. perhaps i am so foolish as to inhabit a fantasy world where an interest in non-state combatants is as endearing as a winning smile. more likely, i am under the impression that anyone who is impressed by my reading habits is probably worth knowing. perhaps ali m. ansari's confronting iran will win me some new friends and acquaintances.