Sunday, December 24, 2006

Home for the Holidays

This is the first time I will spend Christmas away from my family. My dad's an airline pilot, you see, which means I fly for free, but only if there's extra room on the plane. Paying customers first. There were no open seats on any flights to MSP today, or yesterday, or the day before. Lucky for me, tomorrow's flights are wide open: nobody travels on Christmas day.

Waiting all day at the airport wasn't fun (nor was an additional $70 in cab fairs), but I'm not really busted up about spending Christmas eve/morning alone in a chimneyless apartment. We (my family) don't have a real tree this year. It's some synthetic simulacrum; a geometrically perfect and odorless arrangement of plastic. I already have my main Christmas present: an Alaskan hat (received in advance for Neil's broomball party). So I don't miss the tree, I don't miss the presents. I don't miss the fam (I spent last week at home). I don't really miss The Event (you know me and my religious holidays).

Sure I'd rather be home. I'd rather not spend Christmas day on a plane, and I'd really rather it were not a 6:20 AM flight. But on balance, I can't complain. I'll have a soothing Christmas Eve wank, read a book (I'm still on Exodus), and then go...

Home for the Holidays.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

The Antilogical Argument

God is the most perfect thing.
God does not exist.
It is more perfect not to exist than to exist.

Take that ontological argument!

It's A Shame

It's a shame I have to be an atheist and I blame religion. If these issues had been settled by now we would all be post-theist, paying no more than academic bemusement to the lore of yore.

God was shot in the head on November 24, 1859 and died 22 years later. We ought to have held a tidy funeral, paid final respects, mourned for a polite 50 years, and been done with it. God may be in his grave, but religion is proving more difficult to kill. It is much better organized, better supported, and better funded.

I show up, a century postmortem, and we're still in stage one. Thanks religion. Now I've got to be an atheist. Yuk.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Give me a Stone Hendge and I will give you a pegan dance!

Merry Winter Solstice, northern hemisphere!

It's December 21, 2006!

I use one composition notebook for every class for the whole semester. Today I am filling the last blank pages with an essay for European Drama. What timing! I was leafing through the chicken scratch to see what all I had learned these past four months. The pages included:

  • Code
  • IPA
  • Sketch comedy scripts
  • A few doodles
  • 8 pages of writing done with my non-predominant hand (the left)
  • Blog posts. Some posted, others not.
  • Reminders and notes
  • Thoughts
I wrote some stuff while sitting in Washington Square Park one day. Here are excerpts:
I'm sitting in the most, I guess, beautiful part of WSP, but it smells. There are perfectly yellow leaves falling all around me. There are newspapers and a trashcan nearby. I imagine that is what smells.


When I was walking to the river last Sunday, it occurred to me that almost all of the trees in the city have been castrated. They grow through tree-trunk sized holes in the concrete, spaced at precise distances. Each season, they spill their seeds upon the infertile pavement.


I don't crave attention. I crave interest.


The length of my hair leads me to certain new mannerisms and habits.


I love language. It gives form and order to thought. I enjoy the order of language, even past its point of usefulness. Syntax, for example. Language can be wrong in its grammar but correct in its thought, and it is wrong. There is a whole other level of "right" and "wrong" which has nothing to do with logic or morality, only conformance to rule. I enjoy this abstraction. It allows me to differentiate a "right" from a "wrong" without the encumbering ambiguities of logic or morality. I wonder how the English language has shaped the nature of my thinking. Greatly, I suppose. Nearly all of my thoughts occur in English and such a saturation of grammar, rules, violations, exceptions, and idiosyncrasies in the language have undoubtedly tempered the content of my thoughts in some way. Language is meant to serve thoughts. However, over time I'm sure the human mind, so often occupied with the translation of thought to word, begins to shade and alter the germinal thoughts as a consequence of the language.
Jos Ceausescu!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Parts of myself I particularly like:

  • Top of Head (when bald)
  • Ankles
  • Eyes (appearance and quality of operation)
  • Toes
  • Eye lashes
  • Teeth
  • Clavicle

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Ought: way cooler than Should

Winter Break Prologue is over: four days at home. They included...

  • Krispy Kreme with Steve
  • Bravo with everyone
  • Perkins with 3/4 Blackmans
  • Big Labowski with Sam
  • MOA with 4/4 Blackmans
  • Dinner with Beckmans, Blackmans, Hangs and Petersons
  • Broomball with everyone
  • Mafia with nearly everyone
I'm back in NY for a final on Thursday. I have other things to do. I return for Winter Break Part II on Friday. Winter Break Section C happens around Dec 30 in M'Zoola Montana with Blackmans et co. I am so happy to see Sam.

Spe me my rife!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

This Revolution Has Just Begun

Today was our final performance of Mad Forest. It was well received. It was not a satisfying experience for me. As one of my characters remarks, "I felt empty." It is a sentiment others in the cast share. I was sincerely complimented by some whose opinions I greatly respect. It is on these nuggets that an ego survives the drought.

Home, and Sam, in two days! I'm psyched.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Remember the Failures

We tend to remember our failures more than we need to. I do at least. Here is the story of my most loathed personal failure.

On the very first day of school, mom and I strode down to the bus stop to wait with the other neighborhood kids and their folks. We were a mess of pictures and hugs and final bits of advice - "What ever you do, don't hold it in all day!" That big yellow motorbus put an end to the festivities and it was goodbye for real and, alright another hug and, OK one more picture and, really goodbye for real this time. I probably waved at mom and yelled something sweet, and then I turned to mount the steps of the bus. The driver was a nice, plenty large woman whose name left me sometime around middle school. She welcomed us aboard with a friendly smile and invited us to sit wherever we liked. I took a seat next to a young girl of about my age. We discussed the sort of things four-year-olds might discuss on the first day of school: our names, our lunches, and Sesame Street.

When we arrived at Teasley Elementary, I said goodbye to my new friend and took that first trepedacious step onto the path of academic enlightenment. That path has not been an easy one for me. I couldn't read at all until third grade, middle school and high school grades were nothing of which to be proud, my senior year transcript appears to depict attempted academic suicide, and I would not have gotten into this respectable university if mom had not personally cashed in favors with the principal. Even now I am astonishingly close to failing out of higher education all together. But none of these monumental failings in personal discipline, academic responsibility, even honesty and integrity, have trumped in frequency or duration of loathing remembrance the blunder I made my second week on the job.

Our parents continued walking us to the bus stop the next few days, each morning taking fewer photos, shedding fewer tears and offering less advice - "Geez mom, I know how to go to the bathroom!" By Friday, they stopped chaperoning all together. Through most of that week, I would locate my new girlfriend and try to sit beside her if the space was open. Then came Monday.

On the first day of the second week, our rolly-polly bus driver doled out seating assignments. The purpose of such a thing, I gather, is to bring order to a bus worth of prepubescent chaos. These assignments were carefully devised to maximise busly harmony by matching bench pairs for ideal personal compatibility. A week had been given to behavioral observation and psychological profiling (no doubt aided by the poorly concealed video camera and the magno-mirror-enhanced eye of our supposedly innocuous "bus driver," doubtlessly former KGB), all of which was analyzed by NASA supercomputers to produce the perfect seating configuration. This seating assignment would see us through a successful kindergarten year and onto a bright future in further grades. But I missed the point.

Monday, Ms. Bus Driver pointed to, "your seat, Scott." As a rule, I was not an obedient child, but these were my first days out of the nest and I was eager to please. I spotted my lady buddy and waved to her as I took the prescribed seat next to some nobody booger-eater. For some reason, it never occurred to me that this seat assignment was any kind of permanent rule. I was told to sit somewhere and I did. Mission Accomplished. Done and done. Gold star for me! Sure, it didn't seem very logical to be given a seat assignment for one day only, but when had I known adults to be logical?

Come Tuesday, I spied my old bus compadre and beelined to her half-occupied bench. We were just catching up when Madame Schoolbus spoke the most painfully inditing words I have ever heard: "Scott, why are you sitting there?" She was not upset, merely curious. Curious as to how anyone would ignore so simple a direction. I quickly figured out what she meant, where I was supposed to be, and what had gone wrong. No one laughed or teased me - I don't think anyone noticed. It was the most uneventful indiscretion, yet every day on the bus for the rest of the year, I was helpless but to remember. I decided some months afterward that the driver surely must have forgotten the incident, but how, oh how I remembered. With each passing day I made the conclusion with greater confidence: "She's forgotten but I'll never forget." And I never have.

Why is that? It was no terrible mistake to have made, I was not socially stigmatized for having made it, and the failure revealed no disturbing flaw in my morality, reasoning skills or intelligence: it was only a misunderstanding. I think the reason I have so fixated on this failure is to do with its developmental significance. It was the first time I was embarrassed before an authority figure other than my parents. Lovely Mrs. Bussy never knew, but her soft-spoken question broke new ground in my psyche. I wonder how frequently we tread on the fresh soil of another's soul without ever realizing. Perhaps if everybody blogged their epiphanies, and everybody read them, we'd all be really really happy.

Ego Relativism

Last night's events strongly suggest that Nick is a more good person than I am.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Words for Aesthetos

I am much better acquainted with the state of non-existence than with its opposite which I now enjoy. Both are potentially ephemeral, so each ought to be cherished. Unless I live forever, and I don't have any current plans to do so, I'll have a full opinion of each soon enough. I may or may not be able to blog about it.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Quotable Nick

"I'm gonna go out for a smoke because, unlike Kate Bosworth, I'm no quitter."

Friday, December 01, 2006

World AIDS Day

It's World AIDS Day. Are you wearing red? How about (RED)?

Nick and I saw The Fountain and Casino Royal today. I'll share my thoughts latermaybe.