Wednesday, July 30

Hey, Card! You homophobic toolbag, you preposterous self-derivative ever-declining hack! Fuck you!

That is all.

Tuesday, July 29

Writers are like sharks: Got to keep going or they die. Except of course I don't know if that's anything remotely like true. Do sharks die if they quit moving, or is this just a thing we like to think 'cause it makes a hell of a good metaphor for the things that demand continuation or threaten cessation? (Or is that the other way around?) How many ideas are like that? Surviving on their merits as ways to express or emphasize ideas that otherwise bore or confound us, alive by virtue of their capacity to eventually become dead metaphors? Lemmings and cliffs come to mind, which is perfect because the whole idea says more about how we think of ourselves than it does about our knowledge of some fat little tundra marmots.

Monday, July 28

$ dict rounder

3 definitions found ...

From WordNet (r) 2.0 [wn]:

rounder
  1. a dissolute person; usually a man who is morally unrestrained [syn: {libertine}, {debauchee}]
  2. a tool for rounding corners or edges

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 [moby-thes]:

76 Moby Thesaurus words for "rounder":
Arab, Casanova, Don Juan, Lothario, bad lot, beach bum, beachcomber, beggar, bo, bum, bummer, debauchee, dissipater, dogie, free liver, gallant, gamin, gamine, gay deceiver, gay dog, good-for-nothing, guttersnipe, high liver, hobo, homeless waif, idler, lady-killer, landloper, lazzarone, libertine, loafer, losel, lover-boy, mudlark, night owl, nighthawk, no-good, philanderer, piker, profligate, ragamuffin, ragman, ragpicker, rake, rakehell, rip, roue, scapegrace, ski bum, skirt chaser, stiff, stray, street Arab, street urchin, sundowner, surf bum, swagman, swagsman, swinger, tatterdemalion, tennis bum, tramp, turnpiker, urchin, vag, vagabond, vagrant, waif, waifs and strays, walking phallus, wanton, waster, wastrel, wolf, woman chaser, womanizer

Friday, July 25

§ rainbow

There's this spectacular rainbow across the horizon of Louisville, or at any rate what I think of as its horizon: The rooftop of the profoundly mediocre Safeway and its assorted strip-mall satellite businesses, behind which my (merely) generically mediocre apartment complex lurks. It's one of the better rainbows I've seen in this state.

I am not exactly a connoisseur of rainbows, but they still strike me as events, you know? Not that they appear to have any particular significance in the scheme of things, just that (even if they are Nature's Most Clichéd Meteorological Phenomena) there's something aesthetically singular about a rainbow and the conditions that give rise to it: Here is something radiantly chaotic which has briefly arranged itself to produce something radiantly ordered and transparent in its geometrical purity.

Rainbows are supposed to symbolize hope and several of its close cousins, along with (or maybe, culturally, because of) the idea of the faithfulness and reliability of a God who narrative-wise had just finished destroying pretty much every land-dwelling organism on the fucking planet.

Hope, if you think about it, is frequently an agonizing subjective experience, and can be among the ugliest & most pitiful of all emotional states to observe in someone else. I suspect our culture valorizes it because having hope will keep you alive even as it kills you slowly, and historically this must have kept a lot of people going long enough to breed, or at least long enough to produce cultural artefacts which would propagate their attitudes.

Anyway, I'm standing out in the strip of back-door parking lot behind the Safeway, the liquor store, and the laundromat which was my original motivation for leaving the apartment. I'm holding a small jug of Tide, and this rainbow is fading out, so I kind of start poking around the strip of trees and weeds around a narrow concrete drainage ditch that seems to mark the formal and psychological boundary between indifferent commerce and indifferent apartment living. There're at least ten minutes to go on my last load of laundry, and it seems ridiculous to go all the way back to my apartment, just as it seems ridiculous to stand around watching my rented washing machine do its business. Besides, I'm sort of curious if I can find any evidence that (as I halfway suspect) destitute homeless alcoholics in their mid-40s or the somewhat desolately drugged-up children of middle-class Louisville have been grubbing around in the bushes here. I keep hearing shuffling noises outside my window at night, you see.

And naturally, as I am standing at the edge of the vegetation and scattered litter, trying to figure out which "garden level" window is mine, reflecting that I have probably just been hearing raccoons or something, I look up and notice that there is a light on in someone's apartment, and that there is a woman looking out of this window, wearing glasses, and that we are (god damn it) sort of making eye contact, which probably means that a female resident of this apartment complex has mentally filed me as some random creepy asshole who goes around snooping in people's bedroom windows.

I break off eye-contact and meander away, trying mightily to appear as though I have some vague but legitimate and completely non-creepy reason to be shuffling around at the edge of the deserted asphalt peering at apartment windows. I am completely certain that this has the effect of making me look really suspicious, if anyone is actually watching.

Friday, July 18

I see you've written discouraged things on p1k3, says CarolAnn. Isn't that almost redundant, I ask?

Thursday, July 17

if i was a bed / i'd be an unmade bed

Summer is the roadnoise of a high-mileage Japanese import headed nowhere on an anonymous American interstate and you're just waiting for a tire to shred itself out onto the pavement, collect all at once on your debts to momentum and aimlessness and fossil fuel. Summer is the pan of dirty motor oil sitting in the hallway because you keep forgetting to find a jug slowly outgassing toxicity and in your imagination at least the entropic stench of several thousand deadend miles. Summer is cheap moral logic fuzzily attributed to dead Russian novelists1, the toasted lint and spilled detergent smell of laundromats, and the subtle shift from dead conversation to dead electronics as your cellphone battery yields to chemical fatigue.

1 Hey, Ben. Thanks for reading.

Sunday, July 13

america and hope

In red marker on a urinal divider in the men's restroom of the Sinclair gas station at the Fleming, Colorado exit off I-76:

J.F.K
OBAMA

OBAMA is circled in ballpoint pen. Underneath is the single word "SUCKS", and to the right, still within the circle, "HE WILL NIGGER-RIG THE COUNTRY". A third layer of commentary is provided by aggressive but ineffectual key-scratch marks.

Here is my only real question about this: Was red marker's point really just too goddamned subtle for ballpoint pen, or did he merely feel that it demanded elaboration?

Or am I, in fact, just reading violence into the original text - "J.F.K" not really intended as a verb or the acronym that leaps immediately to mind? Is it possible that ballpoint pen correctly read an endorsement rather than an exhortation to murder, and felt convicted to respond?

Friday, July 11

i drive to omaha for the stateside iteration of megan and levi's wedding

~1:30am: A generic chain motel in York. By the pool in the chlorine stench, Sega's Outrun and a Golden Tee '97 cabinet. A snack machine which only accepts quarters. Instant nostalgia, stale Oreos.

~7:30am: Lincoln. Park on P street, walk from the Coffee House (pause to drink coffee, buy logoed mug as some kind of gesture to now-dead routines and patterns) up through campus. Feel the necessary moment of consuming emptiness and dislocation, walk back to the car and head for the Interstate.

Presently: Chain bagel joint at the intersection of 40th & Dodge in Omaha. Too fucking exhausted to write.

Weddings are always like this to some greater or lesser degree. The past shuffle-stumbling into the present.

...

Sunday, July 6

line(s) at a reading the other night

did we go somewhere?
what is the distance
from a fist to a wall?

Wednesday, July 2

let me tell you how empty my life is

I just became frustrated with the Nelnet site, where you are now required to create a login with a password that meets the following criteria:

Your password may be any combination of 6 to 10 letters and numbers.

  • It is case-sensitive
  • It can't contain special characters (?&%$#@+=!'~, etc.)
  • It can't contain your user name
  • It can't contain two separated numbers (i.e., Abc12ef34 would be invalid)
  • It can't contain "Nelnet" or "Password"

This struck me as so exceptionally dumb (no separated numbers?) that I decided to write them a really mean-spirited note about it. The interest on my student loan will probably mysteriously double over the next few days while my credit rating plummets. That or management will read it and fire some poor bastard in IT with a wife and 6 kids to support.