Wednesday, March 30

Typically, last night's shallow digression into the realm of game theory took considerable time away from other, healthier pursuits.

more: mad

Friday, March 26

My stuff is carefully, maybe even artfully, packed in a single backpack. Shorts, shirt, longjohns, disc, cleats, notebook and pencil in a Ziploc sandwich bag, three letters demanding responses, bandanas, shaving kit, sunscreen, knife. The dirty brown sleeping bag is neatly rolled. I must be forgetting something, but I can't for the life of me remember what. Colorado, here we come.

Thursday, March 25

discovery

Death Cab for Cutie - Transatlanticism Ben Kweller - On My Way

A donut place on 13th St. in Omaha, some blocks North of Sokol Auditorium. Self-serve coffee 45 cents a cup, fresh donuts a quarter. Rapid fire service, old school analog cash register with heavy cha-ching noises. Pictures of cats and dogs on the walls.

In other news, I have decided that {curly braces} are more elegant than [square brackets]. They seem like less of an intrusion on a string of alphabetic characters. Has anyone else noticed this?

Everything You Think You Know is Wrong moments:

I think my favourite book is William Blake's Complete Writings - the Oxford Standard Authors edition. I'm always fascinated by his life, and the incongruity of someone so visionary emerging in a place like London in the 18th Century. I've been writing an album based on his work for the past 40 years and some day I'm going to finish it.

— Tony Bennett, over on Word

Wednesday, March 24

Wake up this morning feeling good. Roll out of the overused brown sleeping bag and green wool blanket and stumble into the kitchen through the mixed smell of the open window's spring morning and the floor drain's bleach fumes. Eat half a loaf of last night's salvaged day-old Jimmy John's bread, drink deeply from the milk jug, realize that my domestic wreckage is as incapable of dampening my spirits as is the general shape of my life.

Leaving the house, a brown envelope from England by the door. On the way across the bridge, grackles and a coal train sliding past. Sunlight warm enough to shed the sweatshirt and roll up my sleeves. Campus full of people milling in the warmth, the human form suddenly visible everywhere after months of heavy coats, baggy pants and lumpy hats. The girls are all beautiful. It's enough to make you break out in song. Most people settle for breaking into conversation.

Tuesday, March 23

Alan is on some kind of tear lately.

more: airplane

Saturday, March 20

Windy.

wednesday, march 17

carolann writes a poem

hoar frost clinging to last life beneath
dawn-brushed silver sky, we look
from these well-trod discontented drifts
as though morning would alleviate
need — to build a fire,
splintered wood scraping abused leather gloves,
numb hands fumbling the match,
smoke and ash and blinking coals,
and this is life — the cracking
and bleeding of your calloused hands
exposed to that dry cold.

raw wind and the sight of frost in morning
steals my breath away.

Thursday, March 11

succinct

Today seemed like an excellent day. It still does, after a fashion, but I'm suddenly not so sure I'm going to be able to graduate this May.

Fuck.

Tuesday, March 9

Now, things get a little crazy and this (non)space probably goes static for a while.

Before I sign off for the evening [read: early morning], and perhaps the next few weeks, a series of small thoughts for your consideration:

I've been wearing a pair of cheap brown cotton gloves with the fingertips cut off. It's almost the time of year to put the heavy winter gloves in mothballs, and I can type or write or throw in these. Unfortunately, they fray. Is there a better fingerless glove solution? And where did this hobo-glove thing get started, anyway?

Nickel Creek are going to be in Lawrence, KS again on April 21st. OAR are going to play Pershing auditorium in Lincoln on the 8th. Okkervil River are opening for John Vanderslice at Knickerbockers tomorrow night. Okkervil are pretty great and Will Sheff is really approachable, which means that it seems like a good idea to actually say hey, I dig what you're doing. "Red" is one of my favorite songs, ever, and Down the River of Golden Dreams has to be one of last year's better albums. I probably can't make it because I'm broke and like usual I put a big, ugly assignment off 'til the last two nights before I have to show results.

On Friday, I'm going to get on a plane to Pittsburgh, PA. This will be the first time I have flown since before September of 2001. I almost feel like I've been avoiding it, although the truth is I haven't really travelled outside of a few neighboring states in the past few years. I wish the United States had a functional country-sized passenger rail network.

Monday, March 8

landscape

Alan Moore, interviewed at ADD:

And that kind of analysis, I thought, by looking at a murder, an extreme human event, with that kind of eye, it struck me that we might be able to say something general about the wider human situation. And the same thing goes for Voice Of The Fire in a slightly different way. With Voice Of The Fire, as I say, it's not an attempt so much to prove that Northampton is the epicenter of the universe, although I fervently believe that to be true, it's more a case of putting the point that anywhere, where we are located, that the landscape around us, wherever that might be, is much richer and bigger and stranger and more wonderful than we've previously believed it to be. With From Hell, I was trying to cast a perceptive eye of murder as a human situation, and what that meant about human beings and society and English culture and, with Voice Of The Fire, I think that I was looking at place, at landscape, at where we are standing now, but, again, with a kind of an eye very much influenced by some of my recent magical thinking. I think that perhaps is what links the two books together.

The idea that "anywhere, where we are located, that the landscape around us, wherever that might be, is much richer and bigger and stranger and more wonderful than we've previously believed it to be". I dig that. It seems true when I can muster the attention.

Even in Nebraska?

Well, maybe. The layers here are different. Less human history has beaten itself into the landscape than in a place like Northampton. I'm not knocking, say, Otoe or Ponca or Pawnee history for value, I'm just talking about sheer density and duration — you've got to figure there's more human history by sheer volume in a day's worth of New York City than in most Nebraskan years. But there's still a landscape with all kinds of homo sapiens sapiens imposed shape to it, and under that there are other things. I always thought that my high school science teacher was wrong when he said again and again that nothing is boring, but what he was halfway getting at (while dismissing our complaints about mindless work) is basically true:

I see now that keen interest can illuminate anything, and that anything, moreover, has something worth illuminating in it, and that without that interest gates carved by Benvenuto Cellini from two diamonds would merely look chilly.

— Lord Dunsany (via PNH)

The landscape is worth looking at.

Sunday, March 7

No one showed up for ultimate today besides, more or less, the dependable hard core of addicts - which amounted to less than anyone wanted to play a game with in the wind. We stood around and BSed for while. Todd mentioned he's running for county commissioner.

With nothing else to occupy my afternoon, I returned to Perl and the pile of minor offenses against elegant scripting I've been committing for the last few days. There are times when I'm overwhelmingly relieved not to be doing this for a living, and this is definitely one.

Saturday, May 6

To whomever came here searching for "Macintosh CGI with HyperCard": I don't know if that's possible, but in a just universe it would be.

(Turns out it is, which is pretty cool. So is the stuff about how a HyperCard stack led to the development of the ever-fascinating WikiWikiWeb. If, you know, you're into that kind of thing. And if you know what I'm talking about, you probably are.)

Friday, March 5

lost causes

I'm fascinated by the comments on this Electrolite post. They are not the deepest discussion of fundamentalism, evangelicism, or the political orientation of Christians I have ever read, but they are pretty good for the angle they come from.

A later, more reflective update: There was a lot more here. It's gone now. Mike, a few days from departing for a part of the world where someone's certainty (be it George W. Bush's or Saddam Hussein's, in a big picture kind of way, or x-random local guerilla's, in a proximate sense) is capable of translating to hostile fire or homemade explosives under your truck, called and pointed out that this all read pretty damn vicious. It's good to hear from Mike, because he has an unsettling knack for making me realize when I'm being an asshole. I need someone to say "Do you know what you wrote?" Way more often.

Wednesday, March 3

sport

My face and the back of my neck are flaking and peeling like old paint on the side of some forgotten barn. For all the casual observer can tell, I might be suffering from some horrible and possibly contagious skin disease. Who knew you could get one of the worst sunburns of your life in late February? Smarter people than me, apparently, because I've been hearing "Why didn't you wear sunscreen?" a lot.

Maybe I should back up. The reason that I'm sunburned is that I spent the weekend playing ultimate frisbee. In another few months, I will have been playing ultimate for all of a year, which is more organized sport than I ever expected to find in my life. Of course, calling this an organized sport is misleading at best, which has a great deal to do with my attraction to it.

pictures

There is no special significance to this image. I've been playing with Photoshop, slapping some scans from a notebook together. What I had when it was full size wasn't bad. The end result kind of sucks. It's too small for the details to come out clearly, and there are visible artifacts. All this and the file is probably twice the size it ought to be. The image I added to Feb. 19's entry is not much better.

collage

It would be easy enough to fix this, but I've probably burned enough time for one day. I think I've learned a few things, at least. I'm just about ready to start turning p1k3 into a hybrid webcomic/sketchbook. Not because I have any confidence in my ability to draw, mind, but more because I don't.

monday, march 1

some days
it seems like a damn shame
there's no way to offer a sincere
apology to the universe for existing
without offing yourself in the process.