Friday, August 31, 2007

Here is What I Imagined Today

Quite vividly as I walked across the street towards the Ice Cream Shoppe with Intentions in my heart and goals in my stomach.

I slept for three hours and woke up with my head two years behind the present. Then I rode in a plane. I carried a couch a long way. Could these things have contributed to what you see above?

Also the illustrated guide to Etc may or may not return.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Here is Part Three

Of the illustrated guide to my most recent and most aquatic family vacation.

I know how revolting a habit this seems to a lot of people, and they're right - it is totally disgusting, yet still pleasant. It's like when I see a happy couple kissing or calling one another by pet-names in public: seeing them makes me sick, and yet if I were to ask them why they're doing something that I find absolutely nauseating to witness they would answer, "because it's nice." People not smoking cigars are hateful and lonely.

Here is Part Two

Of the illustrated guide to the trip I took to this country's upper west side.

As a bonus I have included a picture of an island that looks alarmingly like a Normal Curve:

Monday, August 27, 2007

Here is Part One

Of the Illustrated Guide to My Trip to Alaska on an Environmentally Hostile Cruise Ship

You will almost certainly have to click it in order to read it, and there will almost certainly be more of these to follow. In other news: hello, it is nice to be back in America Proper.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Here Is How Ohio Is

I am not in Alaska yet, and this is for a couple of reasons. The first reason is that travel is not something that can be compared to continuous data, and is instead a series of compartmentalized steps that nobody has the authority to bypass. The result of all these rules is my presence in Ohio at this moment. Ohio is a place that, until what was technically yesterday, I hadn’t seen since January. What’s more, August and January are the two months during which I’ve spent the most total time in Ohio, and none of these Augusts or Januaries have ever been good times for this person. The worst part is that minor, month/season-specific details from January appear to be bleeding into this particular August. For example there are three two-liter bottles of Coke on the counter in the basement of the house, all of which feature polar bears and express a written hope that my holidays be happy. This is very unsettling for a person who enjoys both cola and Christmas as much as I do.

It gets worse. Ohio is also a place with a number of shelves that features objects the sight of which upsets me for reasons that are difficult to explain and therefore understand. I am not mad at the objects for being on the shelves, instead I am bothered rather tremendously by the simple fact they are existing in Ohio, when in fact it seems like they ought to be somewhere else. There are two shoeboxes and one sketchbook especially responsible for this mental unrest, but it’s unclear at this point what should be done. Last year I took the precautionary measure of cutting out all the words I ever wrote in the sketchbook.

I will now offer evidence that suggests that Ohio might not be a terrible place. My parents live here, despite the fact that their lives seem to be defined by extreme silence, and take place in a town in which it is unclear whether or not they actually know anyone despite having been here for two years.

Finally, Ohio provided me the adventure of dealing with a very scared mouse that had ensconced itself pretty securely in an area near the house’s kitchen. The story about this mouse ends with it being captured in a dustpan before being released outside, where it was in all likelihood devoured by an owl. The blood is not on my hands, the blood is on Mother Nature's hands and also the owl's, but owls do not have hands.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Here is That List of Animals I Hope to see in Alaska

Did you know that I am going to Alaska? If not, you can find more Information about that here. Because Alaska is located close to the top of the planet it has numerous kinds of animals, most of which are not available to us here at the regular part of the planet. For organizational and personal reasons I have made a list of the animals I hope to see in Alaska. It follows:

  • Penguin
  • PanserbjØrn
  • Inuit
  • Baby Seal
  • Regular Seal
  • Navy Seal
  • Pokemon
  • Eskimo
  • Gazelle
  • Mammoth
  • Kitten
  • Moby Dick

I may or may not add to this list. I may or may not be able to give you much Information in the coming week due to the unavailability of internet in Alaska. (Alaska's internet deficiency is directly proportional to its biodiversity. Now you know.)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Here is how that Conversation with My Brother Went

The other day I called my mom. This is not out of the ordinary, I try to talk to my parents once a week on the telephone. I have not seen them since January, and January was also the last time I saw my brother (whose existence is still contested by some of my friends, despite photographic evidence from multiple sources). My phone-call schedule with my brother is somewhat different from the one I have with my parents, which is to say I do not have one, meaning that I had not spoken to him since January (which is, if you’ll recall, when I last saw him as well as my parents), until I called my mom the other day. It seems that my brother is currently visiting my parents, though he will leave the day before I arrive in Ohio, meaning I will not see him. However, when I called my mom the other day she was in the car. With my brother. So she asked if I wanted to speak with him. So I did, and here is how that went:

Me: Hello.
Him: Hello.
Him: Did you see “The Simpsons Movie?”
Me: Yes it was –
Him: [Interrupting] How was it? – oh sorry. what?
Me: It was good. I enjoyed it.
Him: So should I see it?
Me: Yeah.
Him: Okay.
Me: Did you watch Lost this season?
Him: Yeah, that was pretty nuts.
Me: Yeah
Him: Who do you think is in the coffin? I’m thinking its -
Me: [interrupting] I’d say it’s Ben.
Him: Yeah.

It went about where you’d expect from there. He’s going to start his last year of law school this fall. What if my parents are more proud of him than they are of me even though I call them every week? I’m not too sure what to do about this. I’m not even sure who was in the coffin in the season finale of Lost.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

What Happened With That All Night Bakery

Well, it definitely exists. Getting there requires a car and a fair amount of patience, especially if the driver is unable to understand the concept of getting off at exit 24B-A on 93 South after crossing the ZBH Bridge. It was an important part of getting to the bakery. Navigational problems continued to arise as we found ourselves at the intersection of Atlantic Ave. and Atlantic Ave. Am I joking about this? No, I am not.

Everything worked out eventually though. The bakery has a sign that explains that it is open 24 hours a day. One enters the bakery through a door, and once inside it becomes apparent that the business has many baked wares to sell.

Yes, they have canolis.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Here is that Simple Arithmetic I Did Yesterday

Yesterday I went out walking (I don’t do too much talking these days), and before I knew what I was doing I wound up on the banks of the Charles between Harvard and Central.

I found myself surrounded by a significant number of partially-clothed sunbathing people and, consequently, a meager amount of math. Here, I will give you that simple math data:

Ratio of Attractive Women in Bikinis to Hideous Men in Terrible Athletic Shorts 1:3.667

This is the main piece of information that stood out to me, not only because it directly influenced my ability to enjoy the walk along the river, but also because it brought up a lot of evolutionary questions, questions that I do not feel like thinking about or posing here.

Feel free to check my work

Friday, August 10, 2007

Here is That Picture of a 3-legged Cat

...That I took with my phone almost three months ago.

It is one of the friendliest cats I have come across, and it belongs to one of the many Sarahs I know. That is a book of short stories by Etgar Keret nearby.

Here is a special bonus picture of what O'Hare International Airport looks like when you are in a pretty serious hurry.

Someday: probably many entries just about airports and just about cats (no more about both, though).

Thursday, August 9, 2007

What Came in the Mail Today?

Here is what came in the mail today:

Looks like it's time for me to put up posters for John Vanderslice's fall '07 tour. I remember the last time this happened, life was pretty good. Although they didn't give me as many posters this time - only 8. I guess they do not trust me to do a very good job, which is entirely reasonable. Maybe if I pretend to put them all up they'll send me more? More on this and typewriters in the future.

Here is How I was Almost an Asshole Today

Another movie-related post. I will try to do something about Typewriters or the Bad Time I Had at the Apple Store soon, in order for there to be variation. Until then though, there's this.

As anyone who knows anything about the greater Boston is well aware, there is a lot of stuff to see between stops on the T, which is why walking everywhere is important (biking is not important because biking is a good way to get killed while operating a device that makes listening to music unsafe). Anyway, what’s relevant here is that there exists a video rental place on the stretch of Mass Ave between Harvard Square and Central Square, and I happened to pass by it on my walk to Kinkos.* The franchise has at least two other locations – one in Davis and one on Mass Ave between Porter and Harvard, if that was information you wanted to know. I am getting off track though.

I saw something as I passed by the video store (the one between Harvard and Central, not the one between Porter and Harvard). It was this poster, hanging in a window, surrounded by yellow “caution” tape. I looked at the poster, and I read the words on it, and I processed the words on it. Here is where things get troubling: somewhere, probably in some highly-evolved human-only bullshit region of my brain, the thought “go in there and rent that” occurred. Obviously the more basic, survival-first parts of my mind (everything in the brainstem for example) recoiled from this notion by dumping hormones and adrenaline into my blood. Digestion stopped, respiration increased, and my senses became heightened as my body dealt with this threat. But still, just for a second, part of me actually thought that it would be a good idea to watch David Lynch’s 3-plus hour movie about…I don’t even know what it’s about. That is not the information I requested. But look, I have reached a conclusion about all of this: while I strive to be a good person, and to live a decent life, I am on some level – however repressed or minimal – a terrible asshole. At my age the desire to watch a David Lynch movie without knowing anything about it makes one a terrible asshole.

I don’t want to turn this into a big whole thing about David Lynch, but I feel like I might have to in order to fully explain myself. Let’s first get one thing straight: I don’t enjoy Lynch’s movies the way I enjoy regular, designed-for-humans movies.** I tried to watch “Eraserhead” once when I was barely a high school student, and wound up being pretty badly harmed. In early 2006 I watched “Mullholland Drive” and was reasonably harmed. More recently I watched “Lost Highway” and was not harmed too badly, but then I watched all of “Eraserhead” and was really badly harmed. Despite all of this, I’ll probably watch “Blue Velvet” sometime soon and be harmed some amount, and God knows I'll get through all of Twin Peaks even if it kills me.

You’d think that, after all these seemingly bad experiences, I’d just give up on watching Lynch movies. But such is not the case. How is it that I am a moth and David Lynch movies are enormous, unshielded 60-watt light bulbs that I fly into? Why haven’t I learned anything from this? Maybe it’s something you grow into unwillingly, the way we look at our parents’ ways with disgust simply because we know that someday we will be like them, and it bothers us now. My dad loves Lynch movies. He also loves watching golf on TV and listening to NPR. Maybe someday I will love Lynch movies and these other things too, after I have lived long enough to hate everything that makes people happy, and to have given up on making sense out of the world. At that point it won’t matter though, will it?

*I went to Kinkos so that I could see about getting that skyline picture I told you about a few days ago printed in big, nice paper. The man at Kinkos was very helpful and it looks like Friday will see the existence of that Nice Print.

**There are two exceptions to this: "The Elephant Man" was good, and "The Straight Story" was very endearing and sweet. Neither of these movies involved cowboys being in two places at once or a baby who falls apart and makes a terrible mess.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

What Did I Think of That Fellini Movie?

So I guess I just watched Fellini's "8 1/2." That should look more like a 'and a half' than it does, I mean I guess it just looks like "eight one slash two," which doesn't make any sense. Regardless: I thought the movie was okay. Visually, there were numerous moments that I enjoyed a lot, and the film was consistently nice to look at. Unfortunately I had a hard time giving a shit about anything that was going on during the movie, due in part to the temperature of the room I was in, the size of the screen the movie was being shown on, and the time of day I was watching it. I guess what you need to know is that you should make sure you are very comfortable when you try to watch a Fellini movie. In conclusion the woman who played the main character's wife had glasses that made her extremely attractive.

UPDATE TO THIS STORY: I just got charged FOUR FUCKING DOLLARS in library late fees for this movie. HERE IS THE THING: I did not check it out, NZ did. She checked it out under my name, and then checked it in LATE, despite having the power to backdate it GOD DAMN IT FELLINI, NZ I AM AND WILL CONTINUE TO BE MILDLY UPSET WITH YOU UNTIL YOU PAY ME FOUR DOLLARS.

Stay tuned for more movie reviews in the future, and eventually some information about typewriters.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Here is Some Advice #1

If you feel like falling asleep at around half-past five on a warm summer evening, well, don’t. You might wake up two hours later with a disorienting headache and a very sad song stuck in your head. The house you wake up in will probably be empty, and after you’ve wandered from room to room for a few minutes you’ll have to start thinking of ways to make yourself feel better, but they won’t work. Even a plate of Oreos and a cold glass of milk on the front porch won’t help. Trust me.

Anyway, that’s some advice.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Know about Koyaanisqatsi

Finally got around to watching the movie “Koyaanisqatsi.” Ever since I have been old enough to like movies (and difficult enough to not immediately do whatever they ask of me) my parents have been telling me to watch “Koyaanisqatsi.” These rare-but-memorable conversations would usually go something like this:

You really should watch “Koyaanisqatsi,” it’s really great and you’d like it.

Why would I watch this movie? What is it even about? Does Bruce Willis drive any vehicles into people/objects in it?

It doesn’t really have a plot, it is a collection of scenes, mostly landscapes and cityscapes set to music by Philip Glass. It’s pretty mesmerizing.

You are just reading the back of the box.



Yes. Watch the movie.

Okay, yeah, I will sometime (goes another year without watching the movie, watches many movies in which Bruce Willis drives vehicles into things).

But today was the day, it seems. After waking up to the brutal noises of The Place’s roof being repaired or replaced or removed I found myself unable to sleep, dying of sweltering heat, and with well over an hour and a half of free time on my hands. So I got out the movie and I put it in the computer and I watched the movie. Man, it was good. There is no plot, and it is just shots of landscapes and things, and it is set to music by Philip Glass, and I did enjoy it a lot, and it was mesmerizing. So I guess my parents were right. Again. Maybe someday I will get to be right about everything?