Jan 20 2009


Here’s a mini article to fill in for the past few days (and probably the next few as well).

Every day when I get home, I turn on my computer. My computer, being awesome, is also quite the noisemaker. If I turn the fan speed all the way up you can hear it throughout the house. Well, maybe not the whole house. But anyways, it’s loud. So for the rest of the afternoon, whatever I’m doing, watching TV, playing videogames, homework, the computer is running, and making noise. I don’t notice it. It’s a constant drone that my ears adjust to and I simply don’t hear it. Then at night, (morning technically) when I decide to go to bed, I turn it off, and the noise stops. It all goes quiet, and I get this feeling like I’ve been leaning on a wall that’s just disappeared, and I’m about to fall flat on my face. I can’t tell whether that’s symbolic of something or not…

Jan 14 2009

The First Friend I Ever Had

Ironically, the first friend I ever had was a girl, and looking back, she’s probably one of the top contenders for being the closest friend I’ve ever had, I still think about her pretty often. We were inseparable, that is, until my dad got his job at Reuters and we were separated by a good 315* miles (*Thank you Google maps). We saw each other only a couple times after that. Anyways, I am going somewhere with this, the other day I opened up my email and what I saw there made me go totally blank for a moment. Sitting there, at the top of my inbox, was one of those Facebook friend requests, with her name on it. I’m not quite sure what tearing something open would equate to in email, but that’s what I did. One of the first things I wondered was what made her think of me? The fact that she remembered me and was interested in getting back in touch was extremely uplifting after what had been a rather rotten week at school. The next thing I did was confirm the request and check out her profile, which always sounds weird, but that’s what it’s there for. One of the things that hit me was that really, she’s practically a stranger to me. All I have is vague memories from 10 years ago. Vague memories of her when she was 5 years old. I know I’m a totally different person than when I was 5, maybe a few personality traits stuck with me through the years but other than that, me at age 5 and me at age 16 are practically different people. I started going back through my old memories, trying to bring back everything I could. I can remember her house just as well, if not better, than I can remember my old house. I remember a little of the town, Frederick, but not much. The thing I remember most about it was this lake, Lake Linganore, that had this cement structure, not totally sure what it actually was, running along the edge that I used to walk along. I was really excited about the chance to catch up with her, and maybe start up a regular correspondence, but then the worrying set in. I worried about saying the wrong thing, and mostly I worried about this site, which I make a pretty big deal out of on my profile. I learned from her profile that she doesn’t exactly share my liberal atheist views, which I don’t really care about, but I worried that she might. I’m pretty sure my worries are unfounded, I have both conservative and religious friends who read this stuff and don’t hate me. Anyways, where I’m really going with this article is that it got me thinking about who I would be if I hadn’t moved. Would me and her still be friends? Would we ever have been more than just friends? Would I have ended up with the same interests, the same skills, the same opinions? Would I become essentially the same person I am today just in a different location, or would I be totally different? Would the person I am now like the person I could have become? These are all questions I really can’t answer for certain, and I don’t think anyone ever will know the answers to these types of questions, but it’s fun hypothesizing.

Dec 30 2008

Great Expectations

So I was thinking the other day, (Again with the thinking! It can’t be good for me.) what do I expect to accomplish in my lifetime? Well, it depends really on how you define accomplish, I don’t expect to do anything incredible or legendary. I realized, there are loads of things I hope to do in my life, publish books, have a career of some sort, maybe design video games, fall madly in love and marry, so on and so forth, but there’s probably only one way things will turn out, and it’ll probably end up something like this: I’ll graduate high school in much the same way I started it, with good grades and little effort. I’ll probably be near the top of the class but I don’t expect to be valedictorian or anything, probably not even in the top 10, there are both those smarter and those more motivated above me. I expect to go to college somewhere, RIT is the only serious consideration I’ve had, and spend four years living the movie Animal House. Then I expect I’ll become one of those shiftless “just out of college not sure what I want to do with my life,” people. This will probably be the most fun because I’ll most likely travel. Then some time around the age of 25 I’ll start to think about having a career, and end up with a job somewhere. Then some time around the age of 30 I’ll meet someone and get married. My life will become dull and monotonous and every day when I get home from my thankless job I’ll sit in my car for five minutes pondering my old dreams and wondering where it all went wrong. I’m not sure if my first marriage will last, but a second one, if I have one, won’t be any better. I’ll probably have some kids along the line and I want to say I would be uninterested in them too, but the truth is I don’t see myself doing that. I’ll do my best with the kids, and they may turn out all right or they may not, or maybe some of each. They’ll all grow up and move off, most of them will probably repeat the cycle of which I am coming to the end. I expect to grow old, and die. That is of course, unless disease or accident hasn’t taken me out somewhere along the line here. That sounds really dull and depressing but it probably won’t be as bad as my telling makes it sound. I can continue to try and break free from the rest, and who knows, maybe I will make it out, but until then, this is what I expect. I can’t decide if I’m looking forward to it or not.

Dec 22 2008

News From the Back of the Bus

The 40 minute bus ride to school is normally silent. What do you expect from a bunch of teenagers at 6:30 in the morning? Or rather, any time before midday-afternoon. However, the ride home, although shorter (I’m first on first off) is much louder, and a good deal more entertaining. Being an junior, I sit near the back, not in the back, but near. The last few rows are reserved for a pretty scary bunch, but it actually can turn out to be some of the most interesting conversation you’ll hear. It seems to be an unspoken understanding that ‘fuck’ has to be used at least once in a sentence to be grammatically correct, and heavier usage or a mixing of other swears is encouraged. I don’t really see the point in this, I guess it’s probably got something to do with rebelling against the idea of what is essentially a banned word, but I wouldn’t accredit this group with that much thought. I don’t mind, it’s just a word like any other, big deal, where it gets fun is listening to the conversation in between the expletives. For kids who’s clothing style would identify them with those averse to culture fads and society in general they are a rather gossipy bunch. My ears pricked up one afternoon at the name of girl aforementioned here. I worried for a minute that she was friends with these people, but was relieved when the conversation resulted in no one really knowing her but thinking she was nice, one of them told an anecdote in which they had showed up at her house one time for some reason and been invited in. I wondered if I would be greeted the same. Probably not. Oh well, that’s not what I’m talking about now. The influence of drugs can be picked up easily from some of their stories in such phrases as “I have no idea why I was there.” More often than not the influence of drugs is mentioned directly. One time the entire bus ride home consisted of a discussion on LSD. There are sometimes glimmers of intelligent conversation in the form of a hot political issue in the news being mentioned, but quite often they have the complete wrong idea about it, which annoys me more than anything else. You can swear and be as drug addled as you want, but being ignorant is going too far. They tend to be extremely politically incorrect, if not down right racist, and sometimes it’s hard to distinguish whether or not they’re joking, which scares me. I had been under the impression that this was the 21st century. I often find myself wondering about the parents who produced these horrors. How negligent were they? Or were they negligent at all? Newtown is a pretty affluent place, but that can go both ways really.

This afternoon as one of them walked down the aisle to join his comrades he proclaimed, “Hey, I support abortion now.” It didn’t turn out to be the in depth political discussion one might expect. I wonder who he knocked up…

Dec 3 2008

Art From Art

In my English class we had a project where we had to create our own artwork inspired by Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried. You could make whatever you wanted, painting, poem, short story whatever. Most people went for the obvious easy choice and did drawings, some of them were pretty good though. I, of course, chose to do a short story, and totally owned everyone at the gallery thing we did today where we displayed what we created. This was my story:

On The Porch

It was a bright sunny day in the heat of summer. The cicadas whirred, the trees swayed slightly in the occasional breath of breeze that distilled the otherwise heavy humid air. The children played in the street, running around, aiming at each other with their fingers.

“Bang! You’re dead!” cried one. He was tall and lanky, probably the eldest of the group, but not any older than nine or ten.

“Am not, you missed by a mile!” shouted back another, who was shorter and rounder, and probably a few years younger than the other.

“I hit you fair and square, you’re dead.”

“Am not!”

“Are to!”

“Am not!”

Mr. Harris sat on his front porch and watched them. Mr. Harris was getting on in years, mid fifties. He was a veteran of the Vietnam war, and had the scars to prove it. He’d gone off to war an energetic young man, and come back very different. He’d married his sweetheart, who subsequently divorced him. After the “incidents” at work he was no longer employed. He lived off the government in the small house on the suburban street.

He watched the children play. They ambushed, flanked, and took cover, it was funny really, to see all the moves he’d spent weeks in training learning, and then repeating out on the battlefield, mimicked here by small children. The familiar patterns elicited memories, bad memories, horrible memories, memories full of blood and death and fear. And here were these children, playing in the street.

“Bang! Bang! Bang! You’re dead!”

The gunshot split the air, it felt as though the atmosphere was glass that had been shattered, and should now fall down in tinkling shards around everyone’s feet. The child lay dead in the street. Mr. Harris smiled. It wasn’t any different than he’d remembered, killing. It was easy really. Aim, squeeze trigger, bright flash, deafening bang, sentient being becomes flesh and blood… lots of blood.

He fired again and again. The children screamed and ran. Leaving the dead lying in the street. Their blood spilling onto the ground. After a moment the street was clear, and Mr. Harris stood there with his gun. He surveyed the street, nothing moved. It was quiet. The cicadas had stopped. He sat back down in his chair. What a mess, he thought. It would make a great news story. He could see himself on TV, all the networks putting up his picture with all sorts of captions and people yelling at each other about why he’d done it and other such nonsense. The news trucks would probably get here before the ambulances. Everyone would call it a great tragedy. Humph, tragedy, what do they know about tragedy? The sirens sounded faintly in the distance. What a mess the trial would be. He would almost certainly be sentenced to death. And then he would rot for years in a cell while lawyers got rich off his case, and he waited to die. No, it would be easier just to aim, squeeze trigger, bright flash, deafening bang, sentient being becomes flesh and blood.

Awesome right?

Update: I got a 100.

Dec 2 2008

First Post

My first post in my new blog! Except I’m not going to call it that, because the word ‘blog’ just sounds stupid, the type of word you’d expect someone with a Mac to use. This my online journal of whatever the hell I feel like writing about. That works pretty well.