I’ve decided I’m doing this again. Not right now, but like… soon.
So this semester I’m in my college’s (Northeastern) creative writing class. We started with poetry which is… not exactly ideal but whatever. So we had to write one shorter poem and one longer one. I was not convinced that either poem was any good, but today in class we went over our short poems and I got a response very different from what I’d expected. We went around the class and each read the poem of the person next to us, when it came time for someone to read mine a very pretty girl across the table from me audibly whispered to her friend, “This is the best one,” or something like that (we had all read each others’ poems before class), and also at the end of class someone came up and told me mine had been the best. I was a little taken aback as I had thought it was average at best and I still have problems with it but I guess it might actually be fairly decent. The longer ones we haven’t gotten to yet so I don’t know whether it’s as good, I highly doubt it though, I don’t like it much but it’s something.
I’ve been listening to all the songs
I didn’t write about you
And wishing there were songs
That you didn’t write about me.
Death once came for me
Death sounded like a kick drum
And a choked cymbal
And death looked like an airbag.
Death rolled me
I held tight as the world turned
Upside down, then right side up
And then stopped.
The smoke stung my eyes
And choked me
As my dog cried.
But death didn’t get me
Cautiously I explored the feeling
In my limbs and tested their movement
As shock faded the radio played.
My dog thrashed behind me
Her leash caught and tangled
As I released her she bolted
And together from death we ran.
Soooo… yeah. Not much else really. College is fun, most of the time. Might have a short story or something soon, hard to predict really.
Alright, this took forever to write, and I still haven’t decided whether or not I like it. I’m not even sure if this is the 100% final version, some changes may still have to be made, but it’s at the very least okay I think. It’s longish, but I think it’s one of my better if not near best concepts for a story and I tried to do it justice.
This isn’t right.
Aaron awoke, not sure of where he was. The surroundings were unfamiliar. This wasn’t his bed, this wasn’t his room, that wasn’t the view from his window. After a moment of confusion, the remnants of his troubled dreams from a difficult night’s sleep cleared from his conscious, and he remembered.
He was at home. In a motel. He had arrived in town the evening before. He had visited his parents at the house he had grown up in, stayed for dinner but then left. He had elected to not even go upstairs and revisit, let alone spend the night in, the room that for so many years he had called his own. He had gone from there to the motel, stopping along the way at a liquor store. However, upon arriving at the motel, he hadn’t even felt the energy to get properly drunk and fell into a restless sleep.
He was glad of that now. A hangover wouldn’t have helped him at this point. He had a funeral to go to.
His phone rang, and his live-in girlfriend, Christie, answered.
“Hello,” she said with that terribly soft and sweet voice of hers. “Yes, he’s here.”
She handed the phone to him and mouthed, “It’s your mother.”
Aaron took the phone, “Hey, what’s up?”
There was a pause, then his mom answered, “Hello, how’s things?”
“Things are fine. I’m good, Christie’s good, work is… work, but it’s good.”
“Good to hear.”
“You normally call on Sunday’s. Is there something you needed to talk to me about or did you just want to chat?”
“Yes, well, it’s… Haley is dead.”
“What? Dead? How? I… I mean that’s terrible.”
“She umm… she jumped.”
“She what? No… but, but what about her husband, and kids, too?”
“It’s been a hard few days for them I imagine.”
“That’s… that’s terrible. Wha- I mean, why?”
“I don’t think anyone knows. You’d have to ask her. And of course, well, that’s no longer possible. I mean, why does anyone really? It’s always been a mystery to me.”
“Yes… yes, well… well I…”
“There’s a funeral this Sunday. I think you should come.”
“Yes, yes of course, I’ll… I don’t think I can get out of work tomorrow so I’ll leave Saturday.”
“Are you okay?”
“Yes, yes I’m fine. I’ll see you Saturday, okay? I’ll come by the house first thing.”
“Alright. You sure you’re okay?”
“Really… really I’m okay. I love you, bye.”
Aaron hung up and put the phone down. He turned and looked at Christie, sitting next to him on the couch with a concerned look on her face.
“Oh, yeah, she was a… I guess you could say a high school sweetheart of mine.”
“What happened to her?”
“She killed herself. Jumped apparently.”
“And you said, you said she had kids?”
“Two, at the last I heard. I guess the oldest would be about… 5 now.”
“That’s awful. How could she do that to them?”
“I don’t know. It really is… tragic. I have to go back on Saturday for the funeral Sunday.”
“Do you want me to come along?”
“Well, no. No I think it’s best I go on my own. And I know you have things you’re committed to here already.”
“If you’re sure…”
“Yes. Yes I’m sure.”
They sat in silence for a moment, Aaron stared vacantly out at the room in front of him, and Christie watched him still holding that same concerned look. A look that quite plainly said, I wish you’d tell me what’s on your mind. Aaron, however, remained oblivious until she spoke.
“How close were you and her?”
“Not very anymore. Last time I saw her was her wedding, and that was 5 years ago.”
“But you used to be?”
“Well yes, back in high school there was a period of a few months when we both, or at least I, thought we were in love. It came to a very… abrupt end, though.
“It was… something happened that just… it made our relationship feel wrong, so we stopped seeing each other.”
“You don’t want to talk about it?”
“Umm, well, not really… no. It was a very long time ago.”
“Yes, well, the short version is that a friend of ours, my best friend actually, and Haley’s ex, committed suicide, and we both felt in a number of ways responsible.”
“Oh god, that’s so terrible. You can’t blame yourself for that. Things like that, they can’t be blamed on anyone.”
“It’s taken me a long time to come anywhere close to accepting that. At the time I believed it was entirely my fault.”
“You shouldn’t have. It’s really just… unfair for you to feel responsible.”
“It was long ago enough now that I don’t feel much of anything about it anymore. Or at least I didn’t. But now with Haley though, well, I’m not sure it really changes anything but it brings a lot back.”
“Do you… is there anythi-”
“I’ve seen that look before, there isn’t anything you can do to help, and really I’m fine. Just a little shaken up is all. Even though Haley and I lost contact over the years, she was still an important person to me, and now that she’s gone, I don’t know how I feel about that yet.”
There was another quiet moment as Aaron stared down at the floor, and Christie continued to look at him with just as much if not more concern. She opened her mouth as if about to say something, but then stopped. She leaned over and hugged Aaron, wrapping her arms tightly around his back, resting her chin firmly on his shoulder. Aaron returned the embrace.
By the time Aaron arrived at the graveyard,\ the ceremony was well under way. Everyone was gathered in a circle around the coffin which was poised above the grave, waiting to be lowered. A preacher stood at the far end, holding a bible from which he read. Aaron looked at the people standing with him, all dressed in black, heads bowed, solemn and grieving, or at least showing respect for those who were.
Next to the preacher stood a man who Aaron recognized as Haley’s husband. He appeared to be on the verge of tears, Aaron was quite impressed with the man’s ability to keep it together. Next to him stood a boy of about five, staring blankly at the coffin. Aaron could see the tear stains on the boy’s face. Another boy who looked to be not quite two stood clinging to his father’s leg. He was too young to really understand what was going on, and, in a way, he was lucky for that. Next to them stood a couple who Aaron recognized to be Haley’s parents. They had outlived their child, and they weren’t the only ones Aaron had seen do so.
Aaron continued his way around the circle, it was an impressive turnout really, but of course nothing less than impressive could ever be expected from Haley. Most people he didn’t know. Moving along he came to an elderly man and woman that he almost didn’t recognize at first. John’s parents. He didn’t think he’d seen them since John’s funeral. It was strange to see them again now. He wondered why they’d come; he’d always thought that they blamed him and Haley for what John had done. The image of the two of them at John’s funeral was still clear in his mind. Him standing solemnly, much as Haley’s husband was now. Her, barely able to stand, weeping into her husband’s shoulder, shaking with grief. Imagining his parents like that had for a time been one of the few things that kept Aaron from following in John’s footsteps.
The preacher said his final words, and the coffin began sinking into the ground. Aaron looked at the coffin, wishing his vision could penetrate the wood so he could get one last look at her. He couldn’t pin down the emotion he felt watching her being lowered into the grave. In that box lay the body of a woman he had once been so close to, as close as two people can possibly be to each other. He had felt the life pulse through her veins, a pulse that was now still.
He thought about the last time that he saw her. He didn’t remember it well. There was the wedding, a great big Catholic ordeal, her new husband’s kind of thing. Then there was the reception. He didn’t remember much of the reception beyond getting blind drunk. His memories ended at the bottom of a highball glass.
The coffin reached the bottom of the grave, and the group surrounding it began to disband. Aaron lingered a moment, then turned and began heading back through the graveyard to his car. A hand touched his shoulder and startled he turned. It was Haley’s husband who had stopped him. He had in his hand an envelope, which he held out to Aaron. Aaron noticed that his name was written, in woman’s handwriting, on the sealed fold of the envelope.
“She left this for you.”
“Oh, uh, thanks,” Aaron said, taking the envelope. “And I’m terribly sorry for your loss.”
The man lingered for a moment, as if debating whether or not to continue speaking, but then turned and began to walk away.
“Wait, do you, did you want to…” Aaron held the envelope back out toward the man, who had stopped a few paces away.
“No, I got one of my own. That’s yours,” he said, but still he didn’t leave. A moment of tense hovering passed and Aaron was about to try and say goodbye and leave, but then he spoke again.
“She was worried about you, you know.”
This caught Aaron completely off balance.
“Huh?” was all he managed to put together as a response.
“After the wedding, you know. She saw how you were, wouldn’t stop fretting about it.”
“I… I never heard from her.”
“I know, for whatever reason she wouldn’t make contact with you directly. Ended up calling your mother I think.”
“Oh, umm, alright then.”
“Well,” he said, and inhaled deeply, in a, ‘that’s that then’, sort of manner. “Goodbye.”
“Yeah. And uh, again, sorry.”
After which the man turned and left.
Aaron stood staring at the envelope for a minute. The handwriting was neat, curvy enough to indicate a female hand, but not overly flowery. He ran his thumb across the ink, feeling where once the tip of her pen had been guided by her hand to address her last words, to him anyway. He folded the envelope into his pocket and walked back to his car.
Aaron reached his car, seated himself behind the wheel, fit the key into the ignition, and then stopped. He had to think for a moment about where he was going to go. He decided that he should probably stop back at his parents’ house before heading back to Boston, it would be a while before he was likely to see them again, and he’d get an earful on the phone if he didn’t.
As he pulled into the driveway, he noted that there wasn’t a car in the drive. He let himself in and called out.
There was no response. The house was silent. He remembered the days when entering the house was never quiet, always you would be met by the sound of claws scratching frenetically against the hardwood floor as the dog rushed to greet you, to make you feel welcome and loved. There was no more dog.
Aaron remained in the foyer for a moment, the ghosts of his life rushing around and through him. He saw himself as a boy, sitting with John in the living room in front of the TV, hands furiously working controllers. His teenaged self emerged with Haley from the kitchen, and ran holding hands up the stairs to his room. 18 year old him appeared again at the top of the stairs, alone and carrying a suitcase which he dragged down the stairs. He paused at the door, took one last look at the house around him, pet the dog, then left.
He headed upstairs and opened the door to his room. Through all the years it had remained mostly the same. A few old posters still clung to the walls, a few old collections still sat on the shelves. The bed was neatly made, and Aaron lay down on it. He thought about the life he had lived in this room. He thought about the day that life had ended. He thought about the 1 Missed Call.
As he left the theatre in the dark with Haley on his arm, he turned on his cellphone. The screen lit up and told him, “1 Missed Call: John.” He thought nothing of it and pocketed the phone. He’d call him back later. He would have left a message if it was important.
He tore himself from the recollection, and tore open the envelope. Inside, there was a single sheet of paper, with a single sentence written in the same handwriting as had been on the envelope.
I never stopped loving you.
It was dark now, and cool for this time of year, yet still somehow managing to remain humid. Aaron’s hands gripped the rail tightly. He felt the rust come loose under his hands, and removing them he watched the small brown flakes fall away to the water below. It didn’t look all that far away. He’d heard that falling into water from a certain height was no better than hitting concrete, but he figured you’d probably need to be a little higher up than this. He didn’t think the water could be all that deep here. Maybe if you dove, you’d hit the bottom. There were probably rocks. Maybe you just had to fall in and let yourself drown. The other two had managed it somehow. It was definitely possible.
Staring down into the darkness, he recalled an old song that he’d loved in his teenage years, and he began to sing, softly and without rhythm, the one line he could remember.
“And Dad would dream of all the different ways to die, each one a little more than he could dare… to try.”
Aaron began to sob. It came over him all at once, the tears streaming down his face, the anguish building up in his vocal cords and escaping with his shaking breath. He sunk down into a sitting position with his back against the railing. It began to rain, and soon after it began to pour. The sound of the rain pounding the pavement and the water below became deafening. Aaron turned his face skyward so that the rain washed the salt from his face, and just as quickly as it had started, the downpour ended.
A month or so ago I predicted that based on what I’d heard Jukebox the Ghost’s Everything Under the Sun was about to become my new favourite album of all time, dethroning Belle and Sebastian’s The Life Pursuit, not an easy challenge by any standard. So now that I have the album, and have listened to it many times over, the question is was I right? The answer, plain and simple, yes. Belle and Sebastian of course have the opportunity to take back the crown when their new album Belle and Sebastian Write About Love hits shelfs October 12th in the U.S., but for now Jukebox the Ghost has captured my heart. Their first album was fantastic, it was fresh, new, different, and inventive. I was almost a little worried that they wouldn’t be able to reach the same high standard with a sophomore album. They did, and in fact I think they went a step further, a giant leap further even. The album is very recognizably Jukebox the Ghost, not much if anything has changed, but in no way is that a bad thing. The band is far stronger in a number of areas, Ben and Tommy are clearly more experienced vocalists, and they’ve done an excellent job of meshing piano with guitar, two instruments with a tendency to vie for attention when used together creating a sense of disharmony. Jesse remains ever fantastic, listening to him play always depresses me a little because I think to myself, “Damn, I’m never going to be able to do that.” His drum parts are as much a part of the music as Ben’s piano and Tommy’s guitar. In some bands the drummer just keeps time, plain and simple, that is not Jukebox the Ghost. Jesse takes it to a whole different level, he play’s inventively, uses the whole set and then some, and at the same time plays with such speed and precision, it’s really just amazing. Okay that’s a lot about drums, but that’s the only instrument I really know much of anything about, and drummers don’t generally get the attention they deserve, and in this case attention is definitely deserved.
There is not one song on this album I don’t like, and I love most of them. Schizophrenia, The Popular Thing, and Nobody are all strong candidates for replacing Dress Up In You as my favourite song of all time, I’m not calling it just yet though because I have yet to see if they all stand the test of time and repeated listening. The great thing about this album though is that the songs not mentioned there are still great, they’re not just filler tracks as you so often find on LPs. Summer Sun although short is a gem of a track, The Sun and The Stars are both fun and energetic. Half Crazy and Carrying are infectiously catchy, but in a gimmicky sort of way that comes close to making me not like them, but they’re still fun to listen to. Empire and Mistletoe are also great, and if it wasn’t for that fact that I’d already heard them many times over prior to the release I would probably have been wowed by them as well. There is practically nothing wrong and everything right with this album, and it is absolutely necessary that everyone go listen to it.
Final score: 100/100
An update: For those of you who don’t know who Jukebox the Ghost are and are too lazy to go look them up I’ve embedded this video here of them playing Schizophrenia on Letterman.
This is one of the very rare occasions when I’ve actually seen something that’s been in theatres (spell check tells me that’s the wrong way to spell theatre but it’s TOTALLY NOT!) less than a week, but Scott Pilgrim was a movie that I knew I didn’t want to miss and it’s release having coincided with a week I was looking to fill with any and all kinds of distractions I grabbed a couple of my friends and saw it. It was wonderful. There was so much that I loved about this movie, I don’t even know where to begin. I guess I’ll start with that Kieran Culkin (Igby from Igby Goes Down) is a most fantastic actor and he is perfect in this movie. His character Wallace was undoubtedly my favourite (THAT IS ALSO THE CORRECT WAS TO SPELL FAVOURITE GO AWAY RED LINE), he was wonderfully sarcastic and witty and his interaction with Scott was the best thing about the movie and if I could change one thing it would be to add more of it. The other thing I loved about this movie was it’s tendency to surprise me with pop-culture references. Now, you may be thinking, “What do you mean surprise? Half the point of that movie was to make pop-culture references,” and yeah, that was half the reason I went to go see the movie, but I expected mostly references to 90′s video games, and yeah there were a lot of those, but quite a few others that I didn’t expect. I won’t reveal what they are because being surprised by them was a large part of their entertainment value, but they’re there, and you’ll know what I’m talking about if you’ve seen the movie, or will when you inevitably do (because everyone should). As a whole the movie is fast paced, witty, action packed, and at moments endearing. A few people may feel a little alienated by the mass amounts of culture they won’t understand, but even without understanding some of the references I think most of the humour (Are you kidding me!? THAT IS HOW IT’S SPELLED.) and the story itself are relatable to a much larger audience than most people perceive.
Okay, I’m really terrible at writing about things I like, so here’s the fun part, what I didn’t. To be clear, all of my issues with this movie are trivial, I include them only because I enjoy complaining. My biggest issue is that I didn’t see what was so attractive about either of the two main characters. I mean I liked Scott, I love Micheal Cera and I thought he did a terrific job, but what he did a terrific job of was playing a character who’s 22, lives across the street from the house he grew up in, has no job, and plays bass (yes, I did just italicize bass as a method of expressing disdain, deal with it) in a band that I wouldn’t expect to ever be popular anywhere beyond their hometown, if that. What then do Ramona and Knives see in him? That wasn’t the worst of it though, to an extent I can accept girls going for some guy for no reason apparent to me, mostly because I’m not a girl and never understand what they see in anyone (who’s not me anyway), but as a guy I didn’t get Scott’s infatuation with Ramona at all. I think I can probably for the most part blame it on her hair, which was first pink (ick), then blue (eh), then green (ghastly). With the right clothing (or lack thereof) you could see that she had a pretty nice figure, but not on its own deserving of what Scott went through in pursuit of her. Now that is of course extremely shallow but I don’t think she had a very interesting personality either. Her character is largely supine (I had to look that up to make sure it had the definition I thought it did, it does) and little is revealed about her not directly pertaining to the exes that control her. I can understand being enticed by the mystery but I didn’t get the sense that there was much of anything that interesting to be discovered. Again, it’s probably all because of the hair.
I think that what made me love this movie, instead of just really really liking it, is right there in it’s title, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. This is probably something that holds true for most people who have seen or will see the movie, I was able to empathize with Scott’s battle against insurmountable odds, and it was satisfying for just this one time to see the world lose. Plus it’s hilarious.
Final Score: 95/100 (All 5 points off for the hair.)
Fuck if I know anything about them.
So I said I was going to do another lighthearted conversational thing like The Proposal, and I did, though I’m not so sure I’d call it lighthearted. The Proposal was a piece that posed some questions without necessarily providing answers, this is the answer, or at least a debate over the answer.
The Proposal Part 2
“So then, what have we learned from this whole… ordeal?”
“I don’t know, girls are bitches.”
“I would go a step further there and say that girls are soulless automatons put here on earth to suck dry our wallets and all too rarely anything else, but that’s just common knowledge. You have learned a lesson.”
“Well, if women have taught me anything, it’s that they don’t need me, and that is something that you have just learned for yourself.”
“I don’t think that’s true, women need men, just like we need them.”
“Well, first you’re wrong, the only thing women really need men for is reproduction and you can do that artificially these days. And second did I say ‘men’? No, I said ‘me’. I am a man without much of anything to offer, not particularly good looking, not loaded, and therefore not in any way desirable. You are in a fairly similar situation, and you have just come to realize what all of us eventually have to, if we sleep with anyone it is quite literally getting lucky.”
“Oh come on, that is so cynical.”
“Yeah, I’m cynical, what did you expect? Cynical is accurate. If I listened to the part of me that’s always saying, ‘That’s not going to work out,’ I would be right 100% of the time.”
“Girls don’t care so much about looks, personality is a much more influential factor for them.”
“Oh that is such a lie, just like anything any girl ever tells you. If personality is a factor at all it’s personality as determined by how much money you’re either willing or able to spend on them.”
“No, they want guys that will listen to them and stuff like that.”
“That’s bullshit, they have friends who do that. Their interest in guys is limited to money and muscles, and if you don’t have enough of either you’re screwed, or rather you’re not, which is the problem.”
“That’s not true at all. Love doesn’t rely on any of that. Just look at the book we’re reading in English, The Ballad of the Sad Café, that Marvin guy who could have had any woman fell in love with Miss Amelia who was considered in no way attractive. And Miss Amelia fell in love with that hunchback guy, there’s no reasoning behind it, it just happens.”
“Did you really just use The Ballad of the Sad Café, the book with the most cynical opinion on love that I have ever heard, to support your argument? The book that says in every relationship there is a lover and a beloved, and… here just a second I have the book in my backpack and the quote is just too perfect.”
Damien rooted around in his backpack until his hand prized upon the book he searched for. The book opened right to the page he wanted, as a book that has been held open on the same page for an extended period of time is wont to do.
“Okay here it is, ‘And the curt truth is that, in a deep secret way, the state of being beloved is intolerable to many. The beloved fears and hates the lover, and with the best of reasons. For the lover is forever trying to strip bare his beloved. The lover craves any possible relation with the beloved, even if this experience can cause him only pain.’”
“Yeah but that doesn’t support your original argument that women are heartless. Love can happen between anyone.”
“But why would you want it to? It hurts everyone.”
“That’s like saying why get a dog when it’s just going to die someday and make you sad? The time you have in the middle makes it worth it.”
“Then why is it so hard for us to get girlfriends? If love was blind and everyone wanted it, we’d all be paired up, but we’re not are we? Which means that there’s criteria, and we don’t meet it.”
“We just haven’t come across the right people yet.”
“But when you walked over there just a minute ago, wasn’t it because you thought she was the right person? And she shot you down.”
“I thought that she might be, but the fact that she didn’t want me means that she’s not.”
“But do you still want her?”
“Then that right person crap has nothing to do with it, you want her but you’re just not good enough.”
“Oh thanks, that’s always nice to hear from a friend.”
“I do my best.”
“I think you can want someone without them being the right person, the right person is just the one who wants you back, and finding that, it’s hard.”
“Yeah, hard for us, because we’re not wanted.”
“No, everyone suffers the same problem. Those who are desired may have a hard time finding someone they desire, it’s not just the unattractive who suffer.”
“I think on average they suffer more, someone attractive can just go out and hook up with anyone if they feel like it, we can’t do that.”
“Yes but now you’re talking about something else, hooking up with someone isn’t having a loving relationship, it’s a satisfaction of earthly desires with just anyone who fits the bill of being a member of the sex you’re interested in.”
“But we don’t get to do that either.”
“Yeah but that’s just because we don’t go to the right parties, which is a problem we have not because of our attractiveness to the opposite sex but our social abilities in general.”
“Exactly. You just proved my point.”
“Whatever. In any case what it comes down to is that your viewpoint is really just as bleak as mine. I say we’re doomed to be lonely because we’re not rich or especially good looking, and you say we’re doomed to be lonely because we have to seek out that right person from a sea of billions.”
“Yeah, it pretty much just sucks.”
The Ballad of the Sad Cafe is a truly fantastic novella, if you haven’t read it you should. It’s comforting, in a really depressing sort of way.
Okay, so I was thinking to myself, I’m really bored and don’t really have anything to do, I guess I should write an update because I haven’t in like forever. Then I remembered that I haven’t yet watched today’s Daily Show and Colbert Report, so I’ll be getting to work on this in another 40 or so minutes (which you of course won’t notice because it’ll all go up together at once, but there is actually a 40 minute gap in between the end of this sentence and the beginning of the next one, which will probably be marked by a rather abrupt change of topic). Alright, so I finished The Daily Show and Colbert Report, but now I’ve remembered that yesterday I started playing Half Life 2 over from the beginning again, so there’s another gap of probably a few hours here. Not actually a few hours, I got to Ravenholm which I’ve always kind of hated and stopped there for now. Thing is I don’t really feel like writing anymore, rather I feel like watching something again, so here’s another gap of probably at least 40 minutes. Annnnd actually it was 2 hours because I chose to watch High Fidelity on Hulu which was I would say a good use of two hours and I highly recommend it. Okay, now I’m really going to get down to it. So far this summer I’ve… well I went to Italy and England but no one wants to hear about that. It was fun, the alternate settings might get used in some things I write, that’s about all I have to say as far as that goes. Summer’s gone back to being what it usually is, hot and boring. I came back hoping it could at least not be boring, but I should learn not to hope for things because it never works out.
Because I went on vacation immediately after graduation and did my best to forget everything about home while I was away it wasn’t until the other day that it really sunk in that I’m done with high school. September will come, and I won’t go back. I won’t see those teachers again, I’ll not fight my way through those halls, or ever again talk to the people I only sort of knew. High school is I would say almost entirely responsible (you could say to blame) for my current personality and mindset, and I’m leaving it all behind. It got me started thinking about how things change, and saying that is so cliche I sort of flinched when I typed it. But really though, I’m completely different than I was four years ago when I was a freshman, everyone is. Someday I’ll be different all over again. Someday I’ll come home and my dog won’t be there to greet me, someday home won’t be this house anymore. It’s… scary.
That’s about it then I guess. I have this one story I’ve been working on for a while but I’m totally stuck and it might be a while longer before I get it finished. In the mean time I might throw together a ye olde (meaning like a year or so ago) style 2-3 page lighthearted conversational type thing. I haven’t done one for a while, the last one would probably have been The Proposal all the way back in October, and I’ve been feeling kind of like getting back to that sort of thing.
I wrote this poem a few days ago but I still haven’t decided how I want to end it. There’s two versions and so far out of the people I’ve asked the votes are split. So what I’m going to do is post both versions here, and then you can vote for what should be the final version. (If I get the polling thing to work right.) I’ll probably totally ignore the results but I’m interested to see regardless.
Every day as I walk through town
I pass this intersection.
It has a stop light
And on each corner there is a button
Which turns all the lights red.
Every time that I walk past
Even though I don’t have
Any need to cross in front of traffic
I push this button.
And all the cars have to stop.
I push this button, because
If I push it enough
One of these days
It will stop You.
Every day as I walk through town
I pass this intersection.
It has a stop light
And on each corner there is a button
Which turns all the lights red.
Every time that I walk past
Even though I don’t have
Any need to cross in front of traffic
I push this button.
And all the cars have to stop.
I push this button, because
If I push it enough
One of these days
It will stop You.
And then I’ll have had my revenge.
So you may remember (but probably don’t) that at about this time last year I wrote an article about Rock Band 2. In said article I mentioned that the only instrument I ever used in the game was the drums, and that I got pretty decent at them. Since that time my interest in drumming has moved on to the real thing. After playing on the kits of a few friends I got my own a few months ago at Christmas. Several hundred dollars later I have what I consider to be a complete and pretty awesome set up, which looks like this:
And here is my collection of broken drumsticks, I’ve gone through a significant number in the few months I’ve been playing. I think it might be more the sticks than it is me, but they only cost $2.50/pair, ship for free, and come with candy in the box! (Sweetwater is the best store ever.)
And it sounds like this:
Bass, snare, and toms are all from a company called Drumfire, if the logo didn’t tip you off to that already.
Cymbals are (Camera’s perspective right to left):
Meinl HCS 14″ Hi-hats
Meinl HCS 16″ Crash
Zildjian ZBT 10″ Splash
Zildjian ZXT 16″ Rock Crash
Wuhan 18″ China
Meinl HCS 20″ Ride
I now plan on going through each of those items and what I like/don’t like about each. If you’re not interested, which chances are you aren’t, you can skip to the end.
I like the bass, and I like the snare, that’s about all I can say about them. The toms are about as close as I’ve ever come to actually liking toms, they sound kind of harsh without the headphones on, but with them they sound pretty good, and I guess also in the recording.
The hi-hats are kind of heavy sounding, if that makes any sense. Very low pitched, as are all of the HCS cymbals. They get very loud when you hold them slightly apart. Those really aren’t black and white pros and cons, more personal preference kind of thing. I like them.
The HCS Crash has almost exactly the sound I want from a crash, except it doesn’t have quite a long enough sustain, almost seems to choke itself, and it’s a little to0 quiet. When playing with the hi-hats open you have to hit it really hard to get it to stand out as separate.
As far as the splash goes it’s quite simple, I love it, end of story.
When I first hit the ZXT Rock Crash I was taken aback by it’s incredibly high pitch and long drawn out ringing sustain. I almost didn’t like it. After using it for a little I have come to really like it, it’s high pitch makes it stand out and I think the only reason I was at first shocked is because the HCS’s are all much lower pitched than is average.
The Wuhan China arrived today, and I haven’t formed an opinion on it yet. It sounds like I expected it to but I’m not sure I really like that as much as I thought I would. It works well as an accent to the snare, maybe occasionally as a contrast to the crashes, but other than that it’s a little too trashy for me and the music I normally play.
The HCS Ride is far better sounding in the recording than I think it is in real life, although that’s still pretty good. Ride cymbals are my favourite and I’m pretty picky about them, or would be if I could afford to. Unfortunately ride cymbals are incredibly expensive, you’re looking at $200 to get anything above very basic entry level stuff, and you could easily spend $500 for something top of the line, which I probably will, someday.
And that’s it, sorry if this wasn’t very interesting to most people, but it’s interesting to me, and that’s what this site is really about.