Saturday, October 22

current notebook extracts, some variations on same

We sit in a cafe in Lyons. Elizabeth studies for the GRE, muttering fragments of vocabulary and 10th grade math. I plug in an old laptop and start transcribing a couple weeks' worth of handwritten notes. Some days record better output than others. The overall process is made more frustrating by the fact that my two-week old notebook is disintegrating at a much faster rate than I can fill the pages. (Miquelrius, you suck.)

Some guy notices Elizabeth's GRE/GMAT book and informs us that he got a perfect score on the GMAT, then tells a story about how he cheated on a high school test by the brilliantly simple expedient of not handing in one particularly difficult page. It is a story that has obviously been told many times. I feel no special resentment for Perfect GMAT Guy. It would be easy enough, but he is a walking caricature and I suppose that being Perfect GMAT Guy is sort of its own dire consequence.

Here is some notebook text.

page text
22

rock & roll is not an ideology. neither is bluegrass. although they may be religious institutions.

32

nobody i much respect is advocating outright anomie & the breakdown of the social order so that we're all drowning in shit and starving to death.

tho i suppose we all have our moments of temptation.

34

man, the guys who can steal enough time and perspective in odd moments to write something Great fucking amaze me. i can't even write something Coherent in the space i make.

standing at mccaslin & s. boulder road, the mountains are white in the background. i try to take a picture but it's just hopeless. what seems so magnificent through my eyes is just tiny & horizontal though the lense.

38

my current situation ever goes sour, i'm gonna go drop off the fuckin' grid and live in a tipi by the river, ganking occasional connectivity from coffeeshops and refusing to engage in any activity or use any service which incurs a monthly bill or requires a unique account identifier which is not directly connected to a unix login.

39

an upside down american flag pin. there's a marketable notion. you could sell it next to black ones and whatnot. if, you know, you wanted to be all capitalist about it.

48

A recent minor epiphany: There are a lot of people either in my life or tangentially connected to it whose minds and perspectives fascinate me. Some of them, like the dude at work who loudly regrets that teachers can't smack kids around with impunity, are mostly fascinating because I'm not sure how you get there without some bad drug experiences or something. The rest, tho, they're full of stuff you can't help but take into account somehow, and it leads naturally to this impulse where I want to get them all into a room and make them talk about the shit that fascinates me until we get some Conclusions. The epiphany here is that not only is this wishful thinking in geospatial terms and a bad idea (there would probably be murders), but that it represents a special kind of intellectual laziness on my part. If my task in thinking & writing is to find a meaningful synthethis between my experiences and all the disparate things I find in brief connection with other, stranger minds - then it's probably incumbent on me to do the hard work myself.

(I'm being unfair to the guy at work, too - he's got worthwhile stuff to say even if a subset of it is uniquely apalling.)

It seems true that connections between two individuals are often not transferable. A -> B -> C does not imply A -> C, and it is too easy to assume otherwise.

Which might also be why polygamy is tricky as hell, and why I'm not going to get a consensus that neatly unifies my favorite visions just by tossing them at one another - no matter what convergences and collisions I imagine. Which isn't to say I wouldn't like to get many of you drunk and a few of you sober in a room together somewhere.

59

backreferences are computationally expensive. in sufficiently constricted domains they are extraordinarily useful.

for problem sets involving small-to-midsize collections of text documents, "computationally expensive" is something current hardware should be able to cope with. often it cannot, because it is too busy animating a paperclip or advertising a service for re-uniting you with the people you spent most of high school avoiding.

60

might as well admit i'm in that hungover state where details catch my eye. the filament of a bathroom light bulb glowing orange and fading for an instant after i've cut the power. small sounds. insect motion, birds. leaves. a cast of mind & sensory apparatus i first noticed the morning after my first real drunk, riding around in the back seat of mike's LTD with a case of milwaukee's best.

67

in the morning getting
in the car to go
to work, the moon is
perfectly defined, its
edges and surface etched
in the luminosity of
a sunrise which stretches
all the way across the sky
to the hilltop where
it hovers
and in this light, also
the turning leaves
and the thousandcolored grass.

later i sit and scribble these
thoughts with a cheap
ballpoint pen
the details are important
though i haven't
found god in them yet.