Friday 15th January 2010

i have this recurring dream

where the world is divided down an artificial political line and all anyone cares about is the latest gadget and they all read celebrity mags and they're all filled with vitriol and all the food contains high fructose corn syrup and the corporations have the power and rush limbaugh talks and government grows more opaque and china holds all the aces because the deck was made in china and every day increasingly feels like the punch line to machiavelli's joke, and i'm so happy until i wake up.


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Monday 28th December 2009

on the fifteenth day of guy-love

the world was on fire
no one could save me but you
strange what desire will make foolish people do
i never dreamed that i'd meet somebody like you
and i never dreamed that i'd lose somebody like you

no, i don't want to fall in love
no, i don't want to fall in love
with hoth
with hoth

what a wicked game you play
to make me feel this way
what a wicked thing to do
to let me dream of you
what a wicked thing to say
you never felt this way
what a wicked thing to do
to make me dream of you
and i don't wanna fall in love
and i don't wanna fall in love
with hoth

world was on fire
no one could save me but you
strange what desire will make foolish people do
i never dreamed that i'd love somebody like you
i never dreamed that i'd lose somebody like you

no i don't wanna fall in love
no i don't wanna fall in love
with hoth

nobody loves no one


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Wednesday 23rd December 2009

the space between

okay, seriously. a lot of the time i complain that i have no idea what's going on, and most of the time it's hyperbole or for dramatic effect or whatever. usually.

lately though, i feel like there's this whole separate universe being played out around me and i'm utterly not a part of it. as though there's a club with a secret entrance code, a code which everyone knows except me, and i'm standing at the entrance struggling to understand why no one let me in on the secret.

tonight, as chelsey and i were discussing how to divvy up amongst my coworkers the cookies she had made, we discovered that there were not enough gift bags to hold all the groups of cookies we wanted to distribute. no big deal, right? we'll just put some of the cookies in nice simple plastic bags and hand them out that way, because it's christmas, and they're cookies, dig?

no. dear me, no. such a thing is not conscionably done.

you see, it's the small things that matter. the cookies need the gift bags. worthless without them. it's not the making of the cookies that matters, not the time it spent with mixing bowl or oven, it's the wrapping of the cookies that matters. it's not the words that you say, it's the tone of voice in which you say them. it's not the thing itself, it's the framing and the context and the gist of the thing. it's this parallel world of undercurrents and subterfuge and small all-important para-things that completely fails to resonate with me, to which i have absolutely no sensitivity.

this is why i fucking hate christmas. do you hear me? hate it hate it, with swear words for emphasis. it's not enough that i think well of you, or that i want nice things for you. it is expected that i spend time in thinking about something you secretly want, that i go out and get it for you, and that i wrap it up and put a bow on it, and turn what would be (at any other time of the year) a gesture of goodwill and potentially unexpected awesomeness into just another thing that is done for its own sake. we've turned what might have once been called the spirit of christmas into a fat lot of empty, expected gestures.

a bit unexpected, admittedly, coming from a guy who prides himself on being mindful of the little things.


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Tuesday 15th December 2009

on the second day of guy-love

every night in my dreams
i see hoss
i feel hoss
that is how i know hoss goes on

far across the distance
and spaces between us
hoss has come to show hoss goes on

near, far, wherever hoss are
i believe that the heart does go on
once more hoss opens the door
and you're here in my heart
and my heart will go on and on

love can touch us one time
and last for a lifetime
and never go till we're gone

love was when i loved hoss
one true time i hold to
in my life we'll always go on

near, far, wherever hoss are
i believe that the heart does go on
once more hoss opens the door
and you're here in my heart
and my heart will go on and on

you're here, there's nothing i fear,
and i know that my heart will go on
we'll stay forever this way
hoss are safe in my heart
and my heart will go on and on


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Monday 14th December 2009

on the first day of guy-love

probably exactly one person in the world will appreciate this, or my next [small integer] posts. but that's okay; in fact that's rather the point.

ahem.


she was more like a beauty queen from a movie scene
i said don't mind, but what do you mean i am the one
who will dance on the floor in the round
she said i am the one, who will dance on the floor in the round

she told me her name was hoss reinsteen, as she caused a scene
then every head turned with eyes that dreamed of being the one
who will dance on the floor in the round

people always told me be careful of what you do
and don't go around breaking young girls' hearts
and mother always told me be careful of who you love
and be careful of what you do 'cause the lie becomes the truth

hoss reinsteen is not my lover
she's just a girl who claims that i am the one
but the kid is not my son
she says i am the one, but the kid is not my son

for forty days and for forty nights
the law was on her side
but who can stand when she's in demand
her schemes and plans
'cause we danced on the floor in the round
so take my strong advice, just remember to always think twice

she told my baby we'd danced till three, then she looked at me
then showed a photo my baby cried his eyes were like mine
'cause we danced on the floor in the round, baby

people always told me be careful of what you do
and don't go around breaking young girls' hearts
she came and stood right by me
then the smell of sweet perfume
this happened much too soon
she called me to her room

(chorus)


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Thursday 19th November 2009

these are the things that are broken

ordered list, i choose you:

  1. the car thing that's supposed to save the world. you see, those awesome batteries occasionally die. and apparently they're awesomely expensive. but i have some good news! i just paid a bunch of money to someone to basically let me keep using what i had already paid for.
  2. the iphone. though at&t doesn't know it's an iphone, and that's kind of at the root of the problem. in order to avoid allowing them to ream you on the data plan you have to perform some digital magic, among other steps. but this magic has certain side effects, including people can't call you. ask your doctor if ultrasn0w is right for you—i should have.
  3. the roof. it has holes. in it.
  4. the stereo of my other vehicle. a long time ago i turned the ignition in my truck a certain number of clicks so i could listen to the radio or whatever, but went one click too far, and then back a click, all in rapid succession, and this let the magic smoke out of the shiny lights of the faceplate. and magic smoke, as any scientist will tell you, is hard to put back in a device after it has escaped.
  5. the nail of my left index finger. and now every time i use it it's like the terrorists won their war against the kittens.
  6. the dog. i've made clear my thoughts on the matter of sub-sentient life forms. they exude smelly substances and totally ignorant of this fact. they whine for attention. and not one of them has a job.
  7. the internet. conservapedia.com will eventually become skynet.
  8. my liver. and i have the other items in this list to blame.

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Friday 13th November 2009

discretion

i beg you to follow me again down the rabbit-hole of my thoughtcrime. in this episode, i argue that at some point far in our future, original creative endeavor will have been exhausted simply because it's all been done.

to illustrate what i mean, take a piano. any piano. then pick a key on that piano and hit it with some amount of force, and hold the note for an arbitrary amount of time. there, you've composed a bit of music. a very simplistic bit of music, but it'll serve.

now repeat the experiment above, but this time adding another tone—either in parallel or in series—again arbitrarily. the complexity of our musical composition has increased by some factor due to the larger number of options (number of piano keys, plus the volume and duration of the incremental tone) we have added with the additional strike.

continue in this manner, evaluating with each additional strike of the keys whether the piece (a) continues to build toward, or (b) has achieved a "sufficiently artistic" (definition t.b.d.) end. if neither, alter something about what you've done or add a new note. if (a), repeat. if (b), halt. see? it's an algorithm.

you must agree with me that there is some theoretical maximum human endurance for absorption—four hours? ish?—of a single musical work, no matter its beauty, and given the limits of the number of keys available on a standard piano (most have just the eighty-eight), of human fingers both in quantity (most have just the ten) and in key-striking speed measured in notes per second (fifty at a sprint? shot in the dark). also, we must assume that to human ears there is neither an uncountably infinite spectrum of volumes (you can't tell the difference between 76.393 dB and 76.394 dB no matter who you are, you pretentious audiophile) nor an uncountably infinite spectrum of tone durations (ibid., 38.08 ms and 38.09 ms).

if you grant me my assumptions, it follows that the theoretical number of works of music that can be composed is countable, which is to say, given a sufficiently long amount of time and a sufficiently large amount of humans willing to slog through them, we'll write them all. sooner or later, any interesting tune you can hum will have already been composed, and you'll be in violation of someone's copyright.


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