Maybe I'll actually blog regularly again someday. Wouldn't that be awesome?
Until then, here's something I've been thinking about (partially triggered by this) that could use some input:
Conservatives believe that the people should tell the government what they want. Liberals believe that the government should tell the people what they want.
Here's a brief thought that's been bouncing around in my head for a little while and may or may not be valid and/or insightful. See what you think:
Empathy is putting yourself in another person's shoes by buying a pair in your own size, walking around in the same places as the other person, then coming to a conclusion about how their feet must feel.
Projection is putting yourself in another person's shoes by stealing their shoes, wearing them back to your own house, then complaining that because your feet hurt so much, the other person sucks at picking shoes.
This can be political once you realize that each of these represents the typical thought process of one side of the spectrum...
Here's a bizarre occurrence that makes me ponder the nature of existence...
I was doing my normal grocery shopping at Pathmark yesterday when I happened to come across a shelf of Small Steps napkins. My internal monologue immediately drifted into something like "is there another brand called Giant Leaps somewhere in the store?"
Fast forward to today. I was doing my normal aimless dicking around on the Internet instead of working, and I somehow stumbled on the fact that yesterday was the 41st anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing. Furthermore, according to that article, Neil Armstrong set foot on the Moon at 10:56 PM EDT, which is only about an hour and a half later than the time I had the aforementioned thought.
What are the odds of that?
(Side note/question: Am I correct in thinking that my concept of an internal monologue is pretty standard? I mean, I actually have conversations with myself in my head, many of which (like the roommate post from a couple days ago) eventually end up on SIT in some form. That's normal and not just the product of being a lifelong loner, right?)
Here's a completely random epiphany that I thought might be interesting...
I was in my doctor's waiting room yesterday (fun fact: my appointment was for 5:50, and I actually got in to see him around 7:20), and at one point, a newer episode of The Simpsons came on the TV.
As I watched the show, I noticed that it hasn't improved much on the utter mediocrity that made me stop watching it a few years ago, but it still has its occasional moments. At the same time, something was missing from what was once the funniest show on television.
I always attributed this to the writers deciding that "Homer gets a wacky new job" (which, incidentally, was the main plot of the episode I saw) is still a useful premise. And I stand by that to some extent. But a little while ago, I realized that the very feel of the show has changed, and not just the plotlines.
It's hard to explain, but when I go back and watch episodes from the first few seasons, I get the impression that the characters are talking to and interacting with one another, even though they're cartoons. In the new episodes, however, it seems like they're just putting on a show for the audience, and every line and plot point is there to get a particular reaction, rather than to tell a coherent and enjoyable story.
Of course, I realize that since The Simpsons was a huge part of my late childhood/early adolescence, I could be letting nostalgia get the best of me, but I find that unlikely. After all, I still laugh at the older episodes, because they're genuinely funny. On the other hand, when I laugh at a newer one (which is rare), it's usually preceded by a quick "oh, I guess that was the joke" moment. Again, hard to explain, but I never really thought of it this way before, so maybe I'll have a clearer understanding of it later.
This entire post is, of course, meaningless to people who haven't seen The Simpsons, but I needed to get this in writing before I forgot about it.
I thought about it a little more, and it occurred to me that The Simpsons is the Chris Chelios of TV shows. It was an all-star at one point, but it's clearly past its prime, and it's just kind of sad and pitiful to watch it attempting to relive its glory days.
Have you ever considered the fact that, when you eat chicken, you are, in a very roundabout way, actually eating a dinosaur?
(NOTE: I promise that I am not under the influence of anything besides too many episodes of Jurassic Fight Club. Also, new Name That iTune coming later)
- John Ashcroft is giving a speech in the SU student center as I type this. I won't be surprised if he ends up with a pie in his face at some point, since that seems to be the favored method of protesting conservative guests on college campuses these days.
- I just killed a fucking centipede in my room. It was conveniently climbing up the wall next to my bed (mere inches from my guitar bag), which is a really fucking great location for something like that. Really. Damn it, now I'm going to be paranoid for the next three days. Fuck nature.
- Final thought: Remember when I used to write interesting, detailed posts on this blog, and then people would read them and discuss them in the comments, then other people would link to them on their own blogs and discuss them there, to the point that I had a minor fan base and at least a dozen daily readers?
That was awesome.
I write a lot about how pathetic my complete lack of a social life is, but having no friends/relationships does come with one huge advantage:
NO DRAMA WHATSOEVER.
Every time I overhear someone's angry cell phone conversation in the lounge/hallway (which happens a lot, especially around 3 AM on weekends), I take a second to remind myself that I never have to deal with that type of stuff because everyone pretty much ignores me.
This still doesn't eliminate the frustration of isolation on the occasion that I'm actually feeling social or the mental distress caused by the increasing likelihood that I'm going to die alone and unloved, but it's something.
On a related note, every time I work on a post like this, my inner sarcastic asshole screams "HEY, MAYBE PEOPLE WOULD LIKE YOU MORE IF YOU STOPPED WHINING ABOUT HOW LONELY YOU ARE, YOU STUPID FUCKSTICK!"
On the other hand, only one person who has met me in real life reads this, so...fuck you, voice in my head. I'll do what I want.
Wait...am I so lonely that I've resorted to having a conversation with myself on my own blog? Sweet mother of fuck, I need a girlfriend. I think I'm going to create an "Emo" category for these posts...
You know, it's weird to look at the frequency with which I use "fuck" and "shit" on this blog and then compare it to my posts from a few years ago when I censored everything and used various substitutes.
I think college has corrupted me.
Incidentally, this tendency has started to spill over into my normal life. I think the realization hit me when we briefly flipped to "Who Wants to Be A Millionaire?" while waiting for people to come to our audition and the contestant was so dumb that I shouted "you fucking piece of shit!" at the screen. I wonder what the people who made fun of me in high school for being afraid to swear would say now...
Something just occurred to me...
Two weeks from today (the first day of classes after spring break), I have to start looking for a job. Like...a real, full-time job. And numerous people have told me that my best bet is to start looking for contacts in Los Angeles.
Holy. Fucking. Shit. Where did my youth go, and why did I waste it?
Also, considering the fact that I'm preparing to search for a career in film, WHY THE HELL AM I STILL TAKING BULLSHIT LIBERAL ARTS COURSES THAT ARE A BIG FAT WASTE OF MY FUCKING TIME?!
Two months until graduation. Shit.
(In case you can't tell, my thought process is extremely fucked up at the moment, and the past couple weeks have been somewhat surreal. Just bear with me, people)
I use the word "seriously" too much on this blog.
I think it's interesting that when you're lonely and depressed, a possible solution would be to go out and try to have some fun, but the fact that you're lonely and depressed just makes it harder to even find the motivation to look for opportunities, let alone actually do something.
I also think it's interesting how my brain seems to want to reinforce the depression rather than doing something to fix it. For example, I somehow decided that it would be a good idea to spend part of the evening reading through a thread called "Tell me about your first kiss" on a discussion forum I frequent. In a truly shocking development, seeing that most people give the age at which this happened as 13-16 has not made my 21 year-old never-been-kissed self feel any better.
Seriously, someone needs to come to Syracuse and cheer me up. This shit is getting really irritating. I realize that it's been about a month since I started this stupid pity party, but I'm still having trouble dealing with the realization that the last ten years of my life could've been better with just a little more effort on my part, and that I'll never have a chance to fix that fact.
I know it's incredibly cliché, but I would be willing to deal with all the bad stuff (even living with The Chimps for a year) if I had the chance to go back and live those years over again with the knowledge/social skills I have now. It's the 21st century, damn it. I want a time machine now.
Incidentally, I know that the best way to deal with this would be to move on and try to make the future better (Army NCO Guy, the comment you wrote on the "Blarg" post really did give me some hope), but emotions really aren't rational, are they?
I haven't had any candy corn yet this year, and it's almost out of season! Since I'm apparently the only person on the planet who likes it, I'm willing to accept donations from any generous readers out there.
This is going to be another one of those posts involving stuff that might seem obvious to most people, but strikes me as amazing because I've spent so much of my life in isolation. Anyway...
I was taking advantage of a lazy Sunday in a very long weekend and letting my mind wander, and I started thinking about a few of the seemingly successful social interactions I've had throughout my college years that ended in awkwardness. It usually goes something like this:
Person I either know casually or have not met at all approaches me and starts a conversation, we form a good enough connection for it to keep going, and it generally continues for a while. I have, on a few occasions, had conversations lasting between 15 and 30 minutes with people I had never really talked to before. Sounds great, right?
The problem is that after this first conversation, I usually end up never talking to the person again, and they seem to avoid me or just ignore me, even though I didn't say or do anything stupid or offensive while talking to them, and we parted on good terms. This has been a mystery to me for years, and is one of the reasons I get pissed off so easily at humans in general.
And then, a few minutes ago, it hit me: Social exchange theory.
Human social relations are based on a system of give and take. If people give their time and energy to you and don't get anything back, they'll see you as selfish and avoid you. How does this apply to the above situation, you ask?
Simple. In every one of these long-ass conversations, I was the one who had to be prompted to talk. I never started the interaction. And afterwards, I always waited for the other person to approach me again. Makes sense, right? They did it the first time, and we got along, so why wouldn't it happen a second time?
Again...social exchange theory. Maybe...just maybe...there's an unspoken rule that the person who initiated the conversation last time shouldn't have to do it again, and that the other person should step up and start one, keeping the social scales balanced and basically saying "hey, I care enough about you to take time out of my day and see how you're doing."
Can any of you with actual social skills verify this? It would explain so freakin' many of my problems, and I can't believe I never once thought of it until now. It's clear that I do, in fact, have some conversational skills, so maybe my inability to balance relationships is the main source of my previously mentioned connection problems.
On another note, the drumline is apparently going to Friendly's after rehearsal tomorrow night to hang out, and I'll be joining them, so this is potentially time-sensitive knowledge here.
Fuck. Now I'm all depressed after realizing how many friends I could have made by now if I had just talked to people instead of thinking "durr, they're avoiding me, so they must not like me, and it would just make it worse if I tried to interact with them again. Durr."
I'd like a do-over of college, please.
You know, sometimes I think I should start drinking just to see what it's like...then I go into the bathroom and see people kneeling in front of toilets full of their own vomit and trying not to pass out, and it reminds me why I stay sober.
So, we were discussing defamation in my communications law class today, and the professor taught us about the "libel pinball game." Essentially, there are eight conditions ("holes") that must be met for a statement to be considered libelous, and in order to avoid the charge, you have to make sure that at least one condition can't be met (by making it so the "ball" can't go in the "hole" or something).
This kind of makes sense, but my first thought upon hearing about the "libel pinball game" was of an actual pinball machine that displays insulting messages every so often. I'm going to borrow from/add to Jeff Goldstein's Pinball Post (one of the most brilliant things ever written) to give you an idea of what popped into my head (and almost made me laugh out loud in the middle of class):
*INSERT COIN, COCKSUCKER*
*BALL LOCK, BITCH*
*EXTRA BALL, ASSHOLE*
...Maybe it's only funny to me. Specifically, I almost burst into laughter the second "MULTIBALL, MOTHERFUCKER" came to me.
I think I need to sleep more.
(NOTE: I am aware that insults technically don't count as libel, but I'm just telling you what was in my head at the time)
I really, really, really, really, really, really, really need a girlfriend.
I recently realized that I've had Metallica's "Master of Puppets" stuck in a constant loop in my head for the past month.
That's not to say that it's not a kickass song, but still...a frickin' month of the same soundtrack can get a little tiring.
This isn't the first time this has happened, either...
In other news, I have absolutely nothing interesting to blog about. Isn't that great?
I'm posting this from the Knights Inn in Syracuse. I have no reason for doing so other than I've never blogged from a hotel before.
Uh...that's all, I guess.
Those of you who have read the Bob and Joe scripts and/or checked out my Facebook profile are probably aware of a hypothetical device I invented called the spone. It's a combination of a spoon and a phone, and it would, in theory, make life easier.
Long story short, a few hours ago, I decided to see if it was really possible, and this was the result:
You know you want one. Bow down to the Sponemaster.
...Holy CRAP, I need to go back to school now.
You know...I really would like to make this blog more like it was back in the old, pre-2004 election days. I spent a lot of time reading about issues, checking other blogs and commenting on them, engaging in discussions here, etc., and generally enjoyed it. If nothing else, it satisfied the constant need for an audience that has been a driving force behind my writing/film/music for as long as I can remember.
Unfortunately, no matter how hard I try, I can't seem to get back into that zone. I keep reading through my archives (especially from May to November of 2004) and wondering how I was able to crank out so much pure substance and still have time for other stuff, despite the fact that I've been sitting at home for over a month now, and it seems like if I try to write one detailed post, the entire day is gone.
I'm really not exaggerating; I genuinely want this whole blogging thing to be the way it was then, when a post with five or six insightful comments wasn't unusual, and I actually had my writing linked and became semi-well-known in certain blog circles. However, I realize that it's my job to make that happen, and it seems like that part of me just isn't there anymore. Weird.
No, I'm not announcing a hiatus or trying to "quit" again, nor am I looking for fake sympathy. I'm just having a serious episode of dontyouwishyoucouldgobackitis, and unless the prescription is "more cowbell," I really don't know what to do about it.
Holy crap, a Napoleon Dynamite reference and a Saturday Night Live reference in the same sentence...I really am losing it.
On a semi-related note, I will try to work with the requested post topics, but when I came up with that idea, I was thinking more along the lines of "ask me what I think about (insert topic here)," not "give me a subject to write a boring historical essay about." I know you're probably just trying to be funny in a sadistic way, but I thought I'd make it clear what my intentions were. However, since I try to maintain a reputation of honesty, I will attempt to work with the topics that are there so far. But feel free to add more serious ones.
All right, I have to stop with the blog-emo bullshit before I start listening to Dashboard Confessional or something...
Rain. On Christmas.
Ah, yes, it's good to be home...
You know the problem with having a lot of work to do? It's not necessarily getting everything done; It's deciding where to start.
Yay, finals week!
- I'm a little late on this, but there are a few minutes of Veterans' Day left, in case anyone needs a reminder. There's really not much to say, but I'd like to extend my thanks to all past, present, and future members of the U.S. armed forces for doing quite possibly the most difficult job there is and prevailing. If it weren't for you, who knows whether I'd even have the freedom to write this post?
- This weekend is SU's homecoming. For most college students, that means extra festivities, hanging out with alumni, more school spirit, and other generally positive things. For us marching band members, on the other hand, homecoming weekend is pure evil. Imagine marching over a mile (which takes about 45 minutes because of the frequent starts and stops)...at night...with the temperature hovering around 40 degrees...while carrying and playing a snare drum that somehow got screwed up in Pittsburgh and doesn't quite sit right on your shoulders, so every step you take is like having your entire spine compressed in an accordion-like fashion.
Go ahead, ask me how I spent my Friday night.
Anyway, the fun didn't stop there. After the parade, we had to stand outside for...I don't even remember how long...while various members of the community made a pathetic attempt at a pep rally. A few highlights: The president of the University Union led the rally for some reason, and he has apparently decided that the name of our team begins with an H. Thus: "Let's go Horange!"
Yeah, we were just as confused as you probably are.
Next, the judges who were watching the parade gave out awards to student groups for demonstrating school spirit, making banners, etc. As a result, I have concluded that screaming in unison is the only method of celebration that sorority girls are familiar with. Holy crap, I can still hear it now...the horror...the horror...
Oh, and by the way, the band, which clearly has the most spirit because we MARCHED A FUCKING MILE WHILE PLAYING THE FIGHT SONG, was awarded with...a "round of applause" that was pretty much a golf clap on steroids. Yay. Ungrateful bastards.
Finally, the coach of the football team, who should be ashamed to show his face in public (if you don't know, Syracuse has just about the worst team in the NCAA), took the stage and tried to get the crowd going. His words of inspiration:
"Tomorrow, we're going to WIN A GAME IN THE BIG EAST CONFERENCE!!!"
You know your team sucks when simply winning a game becomes the Holy Grail of your season. On the plus side, the coach's unintentionally hilarious statement did inspire something: parody. A comment I heard from another drumline guy seconds later: "Tomorrow, the team's gonna get a first down!!!" A few of us also compared the coach to Howard Dean, and the drumline erupted in impressions of the infamous "YEEEAAAAAGH!!!!" Bwahahaha.
...I'm so glad tomorrow is the last game of the year. Seriously.
- Finally, open the extended entry (or just scroll down, if you're already there) to see the SU Drumline t-shirt for this year, inspired by our Earth, Wind, and Fire show:
Heh. I'm using this as my Facebook picture right now.
All right, I have marching band rehearsal in 8 hours, so...later.
- Well, it's that time again. I'm registering for spring classes a week from today. Of course, I've been trying to plan ahead by seeing what's available, but this is presenting a small problem. You see, there's a TRF course that I need to take next semester if I want to have enough time to take the super-advanced production course, but it conflicts with just about every poli-sci class that I was planning to take, except for one which gives the day and time of class as "TBA." Well, thanks for your help on that one, morons. I hate this school's schedule. Seriously.
- Remember the anti-war vegan I spotted outside my dorm a couple years ago? I saw him outside the dining hall today, still carrying around the same bag with the same patches. How progressive.
- Good times in TRF discussion today. We were talking about different ways to view television, and the TA asked for an example of "negotiated" viewing, which is when you enjoy something you don't totally agree with. One girl had this to say (as usual, somewhat paraphrased):
GIRL: ...the show "24" is about anti-terrorism, and it's a great show, I watch it, like, all the time, but I'm, like, totally against the...uh...um...the...uh...what's it called...the...uh...um...the...
GUY NEXT TO HER: ...PATRIOT Act?
GIRL: Yeah! That's it!
It's probably funnier to me because I was there and everything, but I just think it's great that people can claim to vehemently oppose something when they can't even remember what it's called.
- Captain Loudness has been talking to someone on the phone for about half an hour now. I can almost make out the individual words...but I'm mostly hearing the "uuuuuuhhhhh" that he adds before every fucking sentence (you know the sound a race car makes when it shifts gears? That's what this sounds like). I think this guy has voice immodulation.
- Finally, just a reminder that, to my knowledge, nobody has listened to the full Suspended Agitation demo. We're going to be writing new material in a couple months, so criticism is very important to our future.
There's not that much to blog about right now (other than Bush's frighteningly inexperienced Supreme Court nominee...is he trying to piss off real conservatives?), but here's a couple things I think are blogworthy:
1. I really have no idea who reads this blog these days, but if you're in or near Connecticut and are planning to go to the Syracuse vs. UConn football game on Friday night, be sure to stick around for halftime and postgame. Why? Because the athletic department, in its infinite wisdom, has decided that the Syracuse University Marching Band needs to perform at a couple of away games, and this happens to be one of them (the other is in Pittsburgh at the end of the month, which means I'll be within 20 miles of my house without actually seeing it...kinda ironic). We're doing an Earth, Wind and Fire show, complete with a drum feature that we stole from this movie
2. Speaking of music, it's now been almost two months since I posted the Suspended Agitation demo, and I've hardly gotten any feedback. Seriously, people. The entire thing is only half an hour long, and Ryan's been asking me if anyone listened to it yet. Just take a few minutes and let me know what you think.
...I guess that's it for now. I'll end with a quick public service announcement: If you have class at 8 AM, and you stay up until 4 AM writing a paper for your Constitutional Law class at 9:30, you will be incredibly tired.
Wouldn't it be great if there was an Indian tribe called the Udamanowdawg?
I'm laughing out loud (I refuse to type "LOL" non-ironically...other than just now) as I write this. You see, I'm trying to come up with a good name for the main character of the script I mentioned a few days ago, and as I searched a list of surname meanings, I happened to come across this one:
Kennedy: Helmeted, or having an ugly head. (emphasis mine)
If you don't see the hilarity, let me take you back to this post.
Heh heh heh...
- Why do people gesture while talking on cell phones? Seriously. Do they think that the person on the other end will magically know what they're doing? The only other explanation I can think of is that cell phone use has become such an epidemic that people talk on the phone even when they can see each other. Speaking of cell phones, why is it that on any given walk across campus, about half the people I see are on the phone, but none of them seem to be having important conversations? I bet some of them are just talking to a dial tone so they'll look important.
- In a similiar vein, I want to write a short film about parasitic aliens that take over people's brains by hiding in their cell phones and crawling into their ears while they talk. Eventually, the characters in the film are forced to stop using cell phones, and they discover how much better life is without them.
- If you haven't figured it out yet, I hate cell phones. Yes, I do have one, but I use it more as an alarm clock than a communication device.
- If shared iTunes playlists are any indication, I am apparently one of the only people at Syracuse University who doesn't listen to 2Pac and 50 Cent. Almost every playlist I check out begins with those two. Not one or the other, but both. Human nature being what it is, I'm assuming that not everyone who has them in their playlist actually listens to them. Connect the dots...
- If this post seems only semi-coherent, it's because I was up late writing an analysis of Marbury v. Madison. Of all the poli-sci classes available, I had to take Constitutional Law...
Banner ads with sound effects should be illegal. I don't enjoy going to a website and being assaulted by the "shoot the paparazzi" camera flash noises. The people who make these things need to be flogged in the face with red-hot barbed wire.
Something occurred to me last night. Gandalf (the wizard from Lord of the Rings, for those of you who have been living under a rock) would make a great college professor. His office hours would be the best:
STUDENT: How am I doing this semester, Professor Gandalf?
GANDALF (stands up on a chair): YOU...SHALL...NOT...PASS!!!
Ah, yes. I have a strange mind indeed.
(Has this been done before? I can't possibly be the first person who came up with this)
I was just studying a map for Geography, and I noticed that there's a province in Australia called Northern Territory.
How long have they known about this place? You'd think they would've come up with a better name for it by now.
And in other news, it's finals week.
...Anyone know a good suicide hotline? I think I'm going to need it by Friday.
Apparently, Australia also has a Great Sandy Desert.
You people are freakin' lazy! What's next?
"This is the Great Watery River. And now we're on our way to the Lesser Leafy Forest. Then, it's just a matter of time until we reach the Big Slopey Mountains...mate."
This stuff is frickin' gold. I should be getting paid for...mocking landform names.
...Also, this post is proof that listening to Mitch Hedberg (RIP) for too long will warp your thought process.
(PS: This is what part of the alphabet would look like if Q and R were eliminated)
You know how people who are supposedy "homophobic" are often accused of being closeted homosexuals themselves because they think about gay people so much? Why doesn't somebody apply that standard to atheists who keep talking about the "theocrats" taking over?
"Dude, you think about Christians way too much. I think you really believe in God, man. Why don't you go to church and pray, you crazy fundamentalist?"
...I come up with some very strange things on weekends.
You know what I need? A fan club.
- After giving it way too much thought, I believe I've figured out the secret of Dave Chappelle's comedy. It's so simple, it's brilliant!
Phase 1: Take a regular character or situation and add a "black" element somehow.
Phase 2: Take any phrase and add the word "bitch."
Phase 3: Profit! (A.K.A. "I'm rich, biatch!")
The secret's out, Chappelle. The secret's out.
- I want to start a band called "Tear" (as in rip) and release an album called "Tear" (as in the water that comes from your eyes). Then, when people see it in stores, they'll think it's self-titled, but they'll be DEAD WRONG!!! HAHAHAHAHA!!!!! Or...I could call the band "Tier" so people would be confused when they heard about it.
Isn't the English language fun?
(OT: You're all aware that I posted the Grand Theory of Leftism, right? I wasn't sure if you knew that)
...Do you ever get the feeling that nothing really matters?
1. The amount of projection on the left is beginning to make me physically ill.
...Insert leftist here:
"Stop projecting, you fascist!"
2. For some reason, I keep thinking about a fictional conversation with a neolib. I don't know where it came from, but maybe it would make a good political cartoon or something:
CD: You know, for people who claim to be tolerant and open-minded, you ultra-leftists sure have trouble with opinions that are different from your own.
NEOLIB: That's a neocon lie. We're more tolerant than all you born-again bigots down in Jesusland.
CD: Uh, I'm from Pennsylvania, so I don't think that-
NEOLIB: Shut up, rightard! Anyway, as I was saying, we're a lot more tolerant than you homophobic Jesus freaks. For example, I think Bush is Satan, but my best friend thinks Bush is Hitler. If I was as intolerant as you say I am, would he still be my best friend? I don't think so. Racist.
CD: When did I say anything that would make me a racist?
NEOLIB: You voted for Chimpya. That's all I need to know.
...Stream of consciousness writing can be dangerous. Anyway, this has been "random political thoughts." Thank you.
You know what would be really cool? A film with a main character named "Jukebox." Except everyone calls him "Juicebox," resulting in hilarity and other fun things.
(This has been your random thought for the day. Before you ask a screenwriter what he's thinking, keep this in mind.)