Wednesday, December 31, 2008

An Expansive feeling.

I've been feeling expansive today. The music I've played and the things I've thought have felt like a new branch of an old tree.
I've finally decided to say fuck it to the idea of music which requires others. There's a whole bunch of stuff that interests me in that sector, but I need to put my focuses elsewhere, because my will to work is usually far greater than everyone elses. That's not a fault in others, it's more a fault of mine. I have a voracious appetite for creation. My fingers hurt right now because of all of the guitar playing I've been doing. I've stretched my voice tonight, while it's still healing from a week or two of abuse. All of this and I have no audience. I don't have anyone to appreciate it, because all of this transpired in my room, alone.

I don't create because I want to be famous, I don't create because I want to get laid, I don't even create because I enjoy it. I create because I have too. There is something in me which must get out, and music seems to do that. It's the only thing that seems to do that. When My fingers the strings the fretboard and my brain are all the same thing, are all simply pallets for whatever force I'm channelling, all is right with the world, no matter what.

I can play music, about anything, at any time, and there is no doubt that what I feel will be better. If I feel sadness it will be cathartic sadness, if I feel happiness it will turn into joy, that much greater because of pain I have felt. Music channels something out of me, that if left un siphoned would build up and pressure my mind to explode.

SO now I listen to other people's music, hearing some of me in it, and hearing some of them in me. There is a tie, and it feels good to know that maybe you have something to offer the world.

I ramble because that is what I must do. the words have to leave my head or a decompressing explosion is inevitable. Everything I say, and think and talk and fuck up, all of that needs to go out on a page, or in a song, and when my fingers are typing without me being aware of what they're typing, or how, that is when the page is just an extension of my mind, a place where the thoughts I can't hold on to are saved for later viewing. That you may end up reading it has no tie to the purpose. The view into a brain not fully functioning, or perhaps functioning at too high a level, is something of use, but is secondary to the real purpose. I just have to. I must write, and that's all there is too it. It could be shit, or it could be deleted in the near futures, but as long as it's out the space in my head feels more open, and the thoughts that run together and run a part so quickly no longer threaten to destroy the delicate pieces of myself that float in the streams of idea and speech that slide through my brain circuits.

Monday, December 29, 2008

going into a hypomania?

I feel a lot like writing tonight. The music I'm listening to, the way my head feels, all of that is giving me reason to write. I have all of these things I want to say, and It just seems like the right time to get them out.

I'm not sure if that's a sign of anything. I do feel tired, and I'm pretty sure I could sleep if I chose to leave the keyboard, so I don't think I'm in a hypomania. That's the damn problem. Whenever I feel god I have to worry. Whenever the world seems to agree with me, I have to wonder if it's just my chemistry.

Being manic or hypomanic feels fucking great. I love the feeling, but I hate what always comes after. Always afterward there is debt, and recrimination, and STD screening. Always afterward I feel like my liver is that much closer to cirrhosis. I feel that my world is that much closer to being toppled over the edge.

So I want to write everything now, and that worries me. I feel awake and well, and that worries me. My impulsive urges don't seem to be kicking in, and of that I'm glad. I know things aren't wrong, but the things I know aren't always so true.

When I'm manic I want to go out and Buy everything, Drink everything, and Fuck Everyone. I'm not like that now. I just want to write. I just want to ramble on with nearly no goal. That whole thing where my thoughts are only loosely connected is one of the other symptoms. Maybe I'm on a build up to mania, or to hypomania. It is a gradual process, so maybe I'm just now beginning to notice it.

If that's the case, then I've improved. Noticing that something is wrong is half the struggle. Knowing that I should leave my credit cards at home, and hide the alcohol is a great help. Knowing that things might get a little crazy is helpful.

Writing about it is helpful too.

All this week I've been desperately wanting sex. That's probably a sign too. I'm glad I'm noticing these things, now I just need to figure out if it's for real.

The good thing about all of this is that if I'm just feeling good because the world isn't out to get me, and because there isn't anything seriously wrong with my life, I can go on with my life without trouble. If I prepare for the worst, I can just continue on. It's good knowing all of this. Finally knowing why I fluctuate from the darkest of darks to the brightest moods possible.

I don't know if just knowing my cycle is enough to keep myself from seriously fucking things up, but it sure helps. Knowing how long it takes to go from feeling that the best solution to the problem of a meaningless existence is to quit, to feeling like the Gods themselves have imbued you with their power, makes everything a bit more real, and a bit more manageable.

Knowing that maybe someone will read this and figure it out themselves is nice too. Maybe my self serving rants will serve someone else for a change too.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

an Un-ironic yearning for Emo.

I would have been perfect as the vocalist for an Emo band. We're past the time when that is the sort of music I can play un-ironically. I love that frank, heart on the sleeve feeling. The Get Up Kids, and Saves the Day. The Rites of Spring, and Hot Water Music. I was cut out for bands like that. I have a voice that's pretty but just expressive enough to sound hurt. I have enough strife to write about. I feel things strongly enough to respond with the sort of softly voiced anger that suits Emo so well.

I even know the musical structure well enough that I could write Emo songs in my sleep. I'm so well versed in the intricacies of selling out and the value of poor recordings that I could argue purity with those guys who only listen to music on seven inch vinyl.

I was built for harmony and painful realisations regarding a lack of self worth. I was built to write songs that show how much I rely on other people for approval. I could have put all of this effort into great music rather than personal growth.

What brings all this to the fore is the music I want to listen to while up in my hometown. I want to listen to this music that whines, because I feel justified in a place like this. I have small town anger that I could have let out in the powerchords of my songs.

I was in a screamo band in highschool. This was before the tight pants and eyeliner was a must for any show goer. I was into screamo (still am) at a time when the only similarity in dress was based on practicality. I had my band shirt, hoodie and jeans, mostly because that's all I had. I was into it before it was cool. And the fact that I make that statement un-ironically is a sign of how hip I felt I was.

I'm cut out for that posturing, and for the life of sleeping on peoples couches, eating ramen noodles from a styrofoam cup, and drinking too much. I am made for a world in which my music is the only thing that gives me purpose. But it's too late now.

If I were to play something easy, that I could just fall into without challenging myself, that would still be it, Emo, with it's strong chords, and it's tendency towards self confession. Emo is simple, and to me marks a time when the troubles we were facing really didn't have much to do with the rest of the world. Emo reminds me of a time when what I did was my business, and the hole I was in wasn't one everyone else could share. It was a time where suburban middle class white males could whine about how bad their lives were, and still feel justified. It was a time when being aware of the strife of the world was all well and good, but worrying about yourself wasn't narcissism, it was just natural.

I could have done that. Dropped everything for a tour of couches and houses, and small clubs. I could have done that, having rabid fans, but not very many of them. It isn't possible now, and won't likely be ever again, but I still feel that those young men singing about girls who scorned them have something in common with me. I still love emo even though it isn't cool anymore. I still love the way it sounds, and the cheesy things about it. I un-ironically feel nostalgic for a scene I never was able to fully immerse myself in.

That simpler time is gone, and my ranting about it doesn't change that, but maybe it will remove some of the shit people give emo. Just because someone decides that their problems are important enough to sing about, doesn't make their music in valid. The sooner people realise the actual worth of good emo music, of what emo was before this popular shit took over, the better off musical history will be.

moving towards reconciliation

Tomorrow I'm leaving the mountains again. I've felt less animosity towards this place while here than I had expected to. If that sounds like an odd statement to be making, I suppose some background would be helpful. I hated this place. I haven't thought of it as home since 2006. Now that I have a place of my own, tenuous though my ability to pay for it is, I don't have to hold on to this place.

I grew up here in the mountains, a smart inquisitive kid in a place where that sort of thing was discouraged. There were things about Westwood that aren't true of other places, but for the most part it was a logging town still separated from the mixing seen in most of the northwest.

I know more about guns and cars than I would ever care to, simply for conversational purposes. When I was small and my parents took me to San Francisco I was fascinated with black people because we didn't have any. I didn't realise that nigger jokes were offensive until junior highschool. The only AP courses offered at my highschool were done on the internet through third parties, and in my junior year I had to offer the principal an ultimatum to take more than one.

Essentially everything about this place stifled my mind. Everything about these mountains except for the ability to just leave into the woods held back my potential. Naturally I grew to resent it. I was the definition of misanthropic, and I still don't think that was an unreasonable response to the world.

I ran into people I went to highschool with while up here on holiday, and one of them said something rather telling, "I don't think I've seen you since you graduated" That's three years for anyone who's counting. There was a reason for that. Coming back up here still makes me want to listen to angry music about lost love and unfulfilled potential. Coming back up here still fills me with the desire to Fuck Shit Up.

So that I felt less animosity towards this place than I expected is a huge sign of growth on my part. The place hasn't changed, it is still enthralled by drugs poverty and redneck politics. The people are still petty, and exclusionary, with the exception of those who came here for solitude. People still know who I am, and I still know who nearly everyone is, and I still have a past here. People are still getting married or pregnant far too young, and are still joining the military because there's nothing else left for them. The place is the same place, and that will be true further in the future than I have plans.

The place hasn't grown, but I have. I feel good about that. I still feel like I could have done so much more (and could do so much more now) raised just about anywhere else in the US, but I don't feel as resentful about that now. I have come to except the good and bad that has come my way because of my upbringing. I have forgiven this place for it's shortcomings and am willing to live without bothering it, if it doesn't bother me.

I've gone from a point of view of mutually assured destruction to one of live and let live. That's all I'm willing to concede to as of yet.

I'm now willing to admit that maybe the confining character of this place has given me inspiration, and drive that I may not have had otherwise, and that perhaps growing up with a certain degree of adversity has helped me to deal with the adversity I'm likely to face in the future.

Being from here isn't something I fight or deny anymore. I still can't tell people here that I like girls and boys, and I still don't have peers who understand me here, but I am willing to live with that, and that's a big step.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

I had a firm intention when I sat down to write this post. I wanted to say something about the place I am in the world, and about how I feel about the world, but I don't have any serious desire to do that anymore. I don't feel like writing down a record of what my state is would help anything.

The dilemma with which I'm faced is really one about whether keeping track of my life is worth the effort. I know that sometimes I just have to let out all of my thoughts in writing or my head feels overfull. I don't know if that gives me the right to put all of that on public display though. Ultimately if I decided to write a book (or finish any of those I've been working on) Then it would be the same sort of situation. Why are the products of my mind, imaginatory and not, important enough to be shown to everyone who cares to see them? I doubt that I'll stop writing, and doing so in a public way, but I also doubt it will cease to bother me to a certain extent.

The cult of micro-celebrity isn't something I aspire to. It bothers me that people could know where I am and what I'm doing nigh all the time. That doesn't mean I stop posting facebook statuses, nor does it mean I stop posting thoughts on this blog. I wonder what that says about me. As much as I find people airing their dirty laundry for the attention of it a little disgusting, to a certain extent I am one of those people.

I suppose the real idea here is that I'm recognising my own contradictions. There are things about me which don't mesh with each other. I don't feel bad about this, but it's simply something I feel I need to be aware of. People like characters with internal contradictions, we like our holy gangsters, and our ethically questionable heroes. These inner contradictions engender interest. I guess people realise that they are not just one person. The duality of mans being is vital to our concept of self. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, "The Dark Knight", any number of other characters give clear view of this. I'm just not sure I want to be part of this self contradicting thing we call humanity. I can't really do anything about it, but I do wonder how necessary our duality of being is, how necessary that which is evil about us is.

Friday, December 26, 2008

my hollidays, and me

I spent Christmas at my brothers, hanging out with my little niece and nephew (damn the English language for not having a cognate for Sobrinos) and playing Poker with my parents and my brothers friends. It was a good day and I'm glad I went up to see everyone. That's sort of become our holiday tradition. My brother's house is where we have thanksgiving and where we have christmas. Everything else is up in the air, but those two are pretty solid.

The tradition of having thanksgiving at Craig's is a relatively new one. While I was growing up (or for most of that time) we would have thanksgiving up in Oregon with my brother Chucks family. That only lasted one more year after he died in 2002. It sort of became too much. That whole thing was sort of too much. The way my family interacts isn't very different because of it, but certain things were thrown into relief.

It's a topic I'd need more time to delve into. I don't mean that I can't talk about it or anything, I simply would need more time to really know how I feel about things. The way that my family is confuses everyone but those members of my family. Everyone thinks they have a crazy family, but for mine it's true.

My siblings are all about 18 years older than me. My sister is technically my half sister and my brothers were adopted. All of them were here long before I was, and all are my siblings in the truest sense of the word. Everything else about my family is complex in different ways.

My father has the similar mental illness to mine, or perhaps I should put it the other way around. That's made a lot of my life interesting, and has made all of his interesting. We lived in Japan, and we lived in the mountains. I grew up with these two polar opposites, so as much as I am a boy from the mountains I am not like everyone else from the mountains. I was raised by teachers in a community that didn't value education. I grew up with rednecks, and still became a far left winger. I am filled with contradictions. That's partly because of my family.

There's more to me, but that's what this blog is for, to really figure it out. Maybe someone will be interested in who I am, and maybe they won't, but either way I'll figure out what all these intertwining influences mean.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

back home with mixed feelings.

I'm back in the mountains tonight. It's an odd feeling. The place is still intertwined with the good and bad that came from spending most of my childhood here. Coming back up here has also reminded me of how horrible it feels to be stagnating. Even when on vacation the fact of stagnation eats at my being. I'm not particularly pleased with doing nothing. That's not to say I don't still play my guitar and read and write while I'm here. I just don't feel like those things lead anywhere.

The nature of this place is isolation. If I produce something of worth here, it is of no worth to the rest of the world, mostly because it doesn't ever get to the rest of the world. Basically I am reminded of the futility I felt while growing up. Many of the things I'm feeling now about this place are no longer true. I no longer have any responsibilities in this place, and no longer do I have to wait to get out. If I so chose I could leave tomorrow. That is a liberating thing to know. But just because I can leave doesn't make the memory of being stuck any more pleasant.

Ultimately that is what this place reminds me of, ambition caged by circumstance. I hadn't returned here for the longest time for just that reason. All I was reminded of was the sick feeling that I was capable of more than I was allowed to do.

Being back isn't as bad as I had anticipated, and I am willing to put up with my feelings of stagnation and confinement for a while. I don't so mind the situation when untethered, but I doubt I'll ever remove the feelings that made me hate this place. I doubt the things that I never got because I grew up here rather than somewhere more open will stop haunting me. I doubt that I'll ever grow to love this place. Maybe I'll grow to feel indifferent, maybe I'll be able to see this place objectively sometime, but that time hasn't come. For now I just marvel at the natural beauty and the way that so many of these people surrounded by it are utterly ugly in comparison.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


To further expand on my previous post, this post will deal with what I am beginning to think of as Post-Chordalism. Or Post-Chordal music. It's all based in how you think of it.
The key basis to the idea is the removal of a structure mediated by chord progression. This is something played around with in free jazz. I don't feel it's been played around with, (at least not enough) In music where guitars are the primary focus.

I admit that the guitar is so wonderfully suited to chords that not taking advantage of that would have been obtuse. Of course that was going to be a focus of the way guitar is played. I'm only sad that has been the only focus. The riff based construction sometimes used in maths rock is a nice step in the correct direction. Using the guitar in a similar way as an instrument which can only play a singular note at a time, though restricting in certain ways, opens up so many possibilities. It is interesting even as a simple exercise. It's like trying to play without a high E string. The sound is different, but it challenges you to play within a truncated range. This challenge changes your music, often for the better.

I don't suggest that Post-chordal music would have no chords, I simply suggest that the usage of chords would be less frequent, and at the whim of the guitarist. In the early stages I imagine this would sound like free jazz played on the guitar, but whence the techniques prominent in maths rock, such as finger tapping, enter the arena, something entirely different will emerge.

The Point here is that the Post isn't a complete leaving behind of, but a de-emphasising of. In many a song the chord progression is the key sign of structure other than "verse chorus bridge" Though I'm not yet sure about which vestiges of structure to keep and which to get rid of, I do think that chord progressions are on their way out.

I would most like an ensemble sized group, with a bandleader within. The bandleader would give signal, be it musical (some riff perhaps) or other wise which tells the rest of the band to switch their tone completely. whatever had been worked on is left behind and something new is created. The only structure is the way in which the bandleader decides to line up the changes. Some riff can be the focus of a block of the song, but everyone does as they will in that space, playing off of each other, until signalled into another switch.

That's the basic Idea. The amount of music that could come of it is magnificent. There is a nigh infinite realm of possibility in just that idea. If someone manages to start such a Post-Chordal, or Free-rock Or whatever the hell else you want to call it, band, ensemble or so on, I'd be thrilled.

In fact that would make things easier for me. It's never the first guy who does it who makes the biggest waves. Take Ornnette Coleman's adoption of Free Jazz and then John Coltrane's (Coltrane was second, and far bigger)/

So please borrow my idea. Perhaps better musicians than me can take it and do something with it.

So this idea is yours to anyone who finds it. Credit me or don't, but make great music either way.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

maths rock/free jazz = The future of music.

I've been listening to lots of maths rock (It sounds better as Math rock but mathematics is plural for god's sake) Bands like LITE, You Slut!, Maps & atlases, This town needs guns, Foals, American Football, and a few others. I love the guitar interplay. That's always been a big interest for me, interplay of multiple parts.
It brings up the fact that my musical interests and aspirations explore a few particular things. I am most interested in the interplay of multiple melodic lines, discord, passion, and innovative use of dynamic range.
It can be seen in my interest in Jazz, and maths rock, as well as my interest in screamo and post-hardcore. I am most comfortable where musician-ship meets the need to express.
I am helped by the fact that I strongly desire to express things I'm unable to put into words. There are a number of things that only music can bring out. The best example I can give of this is the way that a piece with two melodies brings out a third melody which though unplayed, is naturally there. It's like the two melodies outline the space for the third unplayed one to go. Basically one is able to hear the space inbetween.
This is partly because of the way I hear music. I hear music in terms of what can be added to it. Most songs have something missing. Almost all songs. Even great songs have things missing. There are melodic opportunities unrealised. when nothing is missing the music is just fucking amazing, but this is a pretty rare occurrence.
So I'm as likely to come up with some different tune to go along with a song as I am to sing along with the tune the song already has. It's only when people have more than one melody going, playing off of eachother, and modulating based only on patterns set out beforehand and the other players ideas. It's the logic behind great jazz, especially free jazz.
Two great musicians playing off of each other is a great example of the whole being greater than the sum of the parts. Two great musicians playing off of each other pushes each musician in directions they wouldn't usually go.
I feel like the natural next step in music, the next progressive step is that fusion between free jazz and math rock. There is a natural junction there that I don't see being fused. I asked my friend (a wonderful jazz drummer) why no one has gotten to this point yet and he suggested it's a musicianship problem. Most jazz music with rock instrumentation becomes fusion. That's all fine and well, but it's been done. It is passée in the most literal of ways.
What I would like is a free jazz played with rock instrumentation and a certain flavour of maths rock tied in. It's a hard thing to describe, but with only one person I sure as hell can't play it.
The trick is to remove a large deal of the structure of the songs. That is where the maths rock is missing things. There is a great deal of interplay, and the way that the guitar is weilded is pretty impressive, but the removal of standard rock structure is what's missing.
That's also the problem with the fusion inclinations of electric musicians who chose to play jazz. It's like they can't get past structure. Maybe I learned differently and so ended up at a different playing point, but the rock structure, for all the good that's been done with it, needs to be put to rest.
There are advancements in rock, and they're interesting, but they all have the same structure for the most part. Subversions of this structure are welcome and usually end up being some of my favourite things, but none have been game changers as of late. The story has been the same for jazz. Jazz hasn't had a real game changer since the death of Davis. There hasn't been a Coltrane for the modern era.
Someone who throws into sharp relief the things that can be done. Someone who throws a monkey wrench into the workings of things. Basically I am calling for those people who have the inclination to make beautiful Jazz or Maths Rock, or Post Hardcore to take a good hard look at what you're changing. Say fuck it to the 90/10 rule about familiarity/innovation and throw out most of the structure that keeps you up. Be brave enough to create without a life vest.
I'm going to try to further this dream, and I continue to play guitar for hours a day to further my skills, and my goals, but if someone should step up before me, that would be welcome.

Monday, December 15, 2008

fascinating flaws.

This is a retread from some time last month, but today was indeed dreary, and I've figured out that if I want to write on this blog every day it would be best to just write things related to what I write in my notebook (or in times of little inspiration just copy my notebook). So here are a few pages from my notebook from a few weeks ago.

" It's a pretty dreary day, but that's how I like it. yesterday I stood in the rain for a while waiting for a bus. It felt good having water pour down on me. It felt nice to be out in a healthy world. I chuckled at everyone trying to keep dry, and wondered how much sense it made for something made of so much water trying to avoid just another form of water.
This is one of those ways people are so fundamentally silly. Some of our beliefs and actions can be so asinine. That's of course part of our brilliance though. The lies we construct are so masterful as to inspire awe. The idea of religion is so fantastical and yet so practical. All of our flaws, if you so wish it to call them that, are amazing.
Just as the snake with two heads thrills and excites, so do the apes with beliefs in a higher power.
We are amazing. Delinquency, cruelty, the creativity with which these things are acted out is fascinating. NO mater how much one detests the purpose of guns, the inherent beauty of the object is unavoidable. Our contradictions and the ugly little things that define us are interesting.
Much like staying dry when it is so unnecessary, our quirks show a huge creativity in the interactions we make with the world around us. "

so that was written in a surprisingly post like format, for being a direct quote from my notebook. Luck I suppose.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

If ever there is a quote regarding how many blogs in the world there are, blogs like this one are accounted for in that number. That sort of draws into question the logic of those numbers. That' my blog exists and is written in doesn't make it important. If people read it, then it might gain some amount of importance, but as far as I can tell it isn't. There must be millions of blogs that work this way. There is someone who writes on it frequently (probably more frequently than I do) but very few people read it, few enough to draw into question it's validity, and importance.
So when I see newsmedia talking about blogs and how many there are, I'm sceptical. Many of these blogs are just like this one, Of little importance, and of little interest to most people. that's what is great about blogs, they're very individual. That's got to be remembered.

Monday, November 24, 2008

three things of importance.

Contemplating what this post should be about I came across three things I want to talk about.

~ I hate being single. It's partly the whole lonliness thing, but I'm simply no good at it. I'm consistently good at relationships. I'm good I maintaining them, and being thoughtful. All that stuff comes naturally to me, but all the stuff that comes before that doesn't work as well. I'm only so introverted. I like to be alone most of the time, but having one person who is allowed in my bubble makes certain things way more tolerable. I guess it comes down to the fact that I can only play guitar for so many hours a day, and read, and write. In that other down time, having someone I can just lean on and curl up to makes the rest of everything better.

~ nextly, I just started watching the show Skins on BBC. It's very good. The first episode I saw was fascinating and screamed of literary prowess. Just that episode (it's episode 16 I believe, the title of it is "Tony") Is one of the best, and only, examples of television as art. That episode is just a great fucking story. I liked the others I've seen too of course, but that one was brilliant, and felt like an elevation of the form.

~ and finally, I really want to get a band going. I've a few songs written with a guitarist friend of mine, and I could see it becoming something more, but it's not moving particularly quickly. I've also not played bass in my friends band for a while. My good friend and drummer from my last band has been atrociously busy, so not much has gone on there, and he's one of the only fellows I know who I feel could move my music towards where I want it to go.
I've been playing obsessive amounts of guitar, and have a number of song ideas set and ready to show off, however I don't know any bassists who could do what I want done. Normally I'd be the bassist. Actually Ideally I would do everything, just have myself cloned a few times, and then have Dan do drums. I guess what I'm really saying is that I need to find some musicians who have time to dedicate and with whom I can collaborate. I'm also tired of being in bands with just guys. There aren't nearly enough female musicians (at least not in bands. There's no shortage of female instrumentalists in more classical settings) I feel like having a differently structured brain working on things makes the music better (exemplary are My Bloody Valentine)

Actually that's what I would like for a project, I would like to be as Kevin Shields was for Loveless. He did nigh everything and then had at his disposal Colm O Ciosig and Belinda Butcher.
Colm contributed one track, (was incapacitated for the majority of the recording) and Belinda did primarilly singing (so the things that Kevin couldn't do for himself).

That's why I just want a four track recorder so I can get this stuff down. A recording mechanism is my next priority really.

alright, enough ranting, I'll post some other time. Likely in a few days. Until then.

Friday, November 21, 2008

fits and starts.

I tend to post in fits and starts. It helps that no one reads this blog, but I am quite aware that quietly posting every day will get one readership. I have a whole bunch of listeners on not just because my music selection is superb (even if it weren't someone would think it brilliant) but because I post all the time. The degree of love directed my way and the sorts of people who listen to my posts is determined by my musical tastes but it's my prolificness that determines the fact that I have listeners at all.
the point is that once again I'm going to try posting here every day. I already write every day. I might as well put some of that writing on the internet. It'll get out somewhere. I can't say that It will be good (though being so self deprecating isn't a great idea in the grander scheme) but it certainly will be.

10,000 hours

It takes ten thousand hours to become a virtuoso. That's a pretty consistent number. In research on exceptional people that's the number that comes up the most often. At my current rate of practice on guitar (ignoring any practice I've done up to this point, and assuming unusual diligence) It would take me (365x2 = 730. 10,000/730 =) 13.69 years. Obviously it's not quite as dire as that, but that is still not the best thing to be hearing. I'll be Thirty Three by then, (nigh thirty four). Not exactly an old man, but not a young one either. I suppose I could up the practice, but I don't anticipate my time getting more available in the intervening years.
Add an hour of practice each day I'd only shave off three years or so, and once you've committed to ten, what's another three. It does seem rather hopeless.
That of course isn't to say I won't continue to practice, probably for the rest of my life, it's simply to say that I've a long way to go.
I look forward to the music, but I do rather wish that my virtuosity would appear somewhat more rapidly.
however there is naught to be done about that.

Monday, November 10, 2008

it's been months. I've not written in months. That's not to say I haven't written at all, just not here. I've actually been writing quite a lot. I just suppose I haven't felt it good enough to show off to the world.
I'm a rare blogger, in that I don't always like airing my dirty laundry. There's certainly a nice catharsis when I do, but some things just sound too whiny even for me.

I've had a very uneventful month. I'm relatively close to finding a job. That will pull me out of my odd stagnation.

My room is coverd with things. I haven't even fully moved in. I can't ever seem to get the desire to move things into some order. No one really visits my room, nor do I expect they will anytime soon. It's partly laziness, but it's also partly simple desperation. When I get a job I'll clean everything up. It's messy because I like a certain amount of parity between my state and my environment.

The mess doesn't bother me, but it really should. Everthing should matter more to me, and that it doesn't is somewhat disturbing. I do want to get this whole thing started. I really want to get this life of my going somewhere, but so much of that is just waiting. So much of it I have no control over.

I can do what I have been doing, just reading, and writing, and playing music, but little else comes my way. I don't go anywhere, and I don't feel good about that.

Not only does my lack of control over when my life starts up again bother me, so too does my lack of companionship. I have dear friends who are wonderful, but it's not the same as having a partner. honestly I kind of just miss cuddling. I don't sleep well alone. I don't sleep well at all, but when i'm not alone I don't feel so bad about it. As much as I need time to myself, I wouldn't mind having someone else to lean on.

I don't even really feel like explaining it. I just have gotten tired of being alone. romance fulfills and entire different need.

I never did like being single.

Monday, September 22, 2008

It has been twenty two days since my last post, and boy what a twenty two days it has been.

I don't care to go into detail. It sucked, 'twas manic and crazy, and filled with upheaval. I can't say much more without opening the speficicity can of worms.

Tonight I haven't been sleeping. I'm quite wide awake, and it's three AM. That's not too unusual, but it does point to a possible manic upswing. For all that such upswings always get me into trouble, they feel fucking great most of the time. Sometimes they end up being far too much, and the aftermath is always horrible. It's a bit like drug addiction though, once you're no longer high you have to deal with all the consequences of having neglected shit, so you want to get high again and forget it all. that's how it goes. Right now I just kind of want to be manic so I can go out and spend money, do drugs, get laid, and not give a fuck about any of it. Of course I don't actually want to do any of this because I know how much it fucks up my existence, but damn would it be nice to get out of the shithole I've been in.

Things are all right though. I just want a bit more companionship of an intimate sort (I've plenty in the way of friends) and a bit more of a fulfilling day to day existence. What I really want to do is either move to Ireland for a year. Just pick up and go right now ditching everything, or go on tour playing music. The difference between the two options is the going off to play music is far far more viable. I might be able to actually pull that off. I've been playing a lot of music lately. I've always been playing a lot of music, but now I'm playing more of my own. I was looking at my forearms tonight and thinking about how much bigger than my biceps they are. This is just because I play bass and guitar for hours every day. My forearms are beastly, but my biceps are as whimpy as can be. I like my forearms so that's fine by me but it provides interesting evidence for how i spend most of my time.

This has turned into somewhat of a rant, but I suppose that's what this blog has become. It's of no incidence as no one reads it, but I still should work on that.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

a hectic two weeks.

I haven't posted on here in a while. Two weeks to be exact. It's been a long two weeks. I'm moving. In fact tomorrow I'll be out of my apartment and between places for a week or two. That's fine but it does make things busy and annoying. Julie and I broke up. It was the right decision but that doesn't make me exceedingly happy about it. I'm glad I was with her for as long as I was though. She was with me at the wrong time though. If we both had our lives together when we were going out then I'm sure it would have worked out much better, but that's not how it worked.
She only ever knew me while I was somehow insane, and There's not much I can do about that. I'm getting to know myself better and I'm dealing with not being with Julie surprisingly well. For about a week before we actually broke up I was dreading and expecting it so I got some songwriting and ranting and the such done. That helps a lot. I'm not even sure if the songs are worth playing for anyone but damn do they make me feel better.
My head is feeling ok but I've some things I haven't had the ability to deal with lately. I'm afraid I may be Bipolar. It seems that my first quarter here (well I don't actually know the time span) was all a manic episode. Everything I did then fits with the diagnosis. I realise the conflict of interest involved in self diagnosis, but I haven't been too far off in the past and I've got a pretty good psychological knowledge. I wish I were as good at dealing with my problems as I am at dealing with the problems of other people.
It will be nice to move to someplace new, but the process of it is very very annoying. Because of my couple of weeks of craziness I have more things to deal with now than I would have had I planed a bit better. It's nothing too huge but I'm not looking forward to various hassles. I never really had someone to be with at night or when I was feeling lonely. Even so, I wish I did now. Julie at least filled the role in some emotional way.
It's a horrible catch twenty two, when you're sad and in hard times you can't get a partner, but that's when you need one. You only get the support when you don't need it.
Mental illness seems to have a lot of those. Catches are all around, and I'm sure tired of them. I'm kind of tired of everything. Work, The world. I still want to be here in hopes that better things come along, but I'm not enjoying the world as it is. some things are going well, work for instance, but that is of little countenance.
These things will either work out or they won't, either way I must deal with it. I'm working on it, and It's hard, but such is my lot.

I hope to have better things to report next I post, but such may not be the case.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

the neuroscience of storytelling.

It looks like there hasn't been any research on the neural basis of storytelling. Not so much as one neuroimaging study. It seems to be an unresearched thing. That is what I want to study. I want to study the way that brains tell stories. Which parts of the brain are active, what is going on in these parts, how does making up a story differ from telling one which is remembered, how does writing a story differ from speaking one. There are a lot of questions and all of them are rather interesting and would be easy to make studies about.
It would be interesting to see if the brains of people who tell stories for a living are different than other people. Do the sorts of stories you tell cause different brain morphology? If you are a trial lawyer and tell a certain form of story to juries how is that different from a writer telling a story? Is there some neural basis for the structure of stories. Other than semantics of language, does our neural network somehow determine the structure of stories.
Is there some neural basis to archetypes in stories.
I'm really shocked that no one has studied this yet. I may just not have found anything yet, and I'm going to keep searching, but that it's been this hard so far shows that there is so much stuff we don't know. It's also such and interesting intersection of various things neuroscience studies. It requires an understanding of the neural basis' of memory, language, social interaction. So much of what seems to separate us from other creatures is storytelling.
Some animal studies could be really interesting as well. It would be interesting to see if a Parliment of rooks is indeed being told a story by the rook in the centre. Where does the ability to tell a story begin.

This is great because it is also the intersection of two of my loves, Storytelling and Neuroscience.

anywho, I'm very excited about this and have been mulling it for a while. I still want to study mental illness as well, but the storytelling is interesting enough to be another focus of study.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

As if I weren't already frustrated enough.

It's awfully hard once you've gotten into a rut to get out of it. It takes more effort than succeeding under any other terms. It's not so much time effort as emotional effort and the effort of going through middleman after middleman. I fell into one of those ruts. It's a pretty well known fact. I'd like to think that I'm all better now, and for the most part I am (no OCD anyways). Being mostly better doesn't help though. I can't show the university bloodtest results for OCD. I can't make administrative processes work any faster.
What is the worst is when there are things I can do. When I find that I am able to change something (usually after the fact) and for some reason or another I don't. Those are the times that really piss me off. It's an anger that can't very well be assuaged because I've no one to blame but myself. It's usually forgetfulness, or minor neglect in the face of stress. Nonetheless I can't stand it. One such thing just happened to me. It's rather horrid and I'm mad at myself about it.
When I was Disqualified from UCD for poor grades (gotten because of insanity) I was advised on the situation. The advisor had me sign a contract for readmission, and told me to call her whence I met the requirements for readmission so that I could sign up for classes and all of that. I was understandably distraught, so the reading of the contract was cursory. I hadn't looked at it again until about a week ago. I called the advisor because I met my requirements. What the contract said. What I didn't read. What I really should have fucking known was that readmission forms for fall are due in on the last business day of July. I found this out today.
It's one of those things where I don't know where to lay blame. I blame myself primarily because it's my fault. I'm not sure how much good just feeling bad about it will do though. Other shit was going on, and a lot of it. On my down time I did jack shit, so If I'd known I wouldn't have had a lack of time for filling out the form.
I just didn't see the form. I took what the advisor said (or what I remembered her saying.) at face value; call her when I got my grades in and get things sorted out. This is one instance in which my avoidance of obsession (to an almost frightening degree really) bit me in the ass.
I was consumed by obsession for so long that I don't ever want that again. Now I suppose I'm being apathetic because if I care too much I obsess. That's just a cursory analysis though. It may just be the fucking drugs. I don't even know. That's the whole problem. I don't know how much of me is well. I don't know what is right or wrong. I don't know anything right now. The only things I understand are stories, the English language, Neuoscience, and psychology. None of those things are doing me any good right now. What use is it to understand how the brain works if I can't even fucking use mine with any degree of accuracy.
I've got things figured out so the fuck ups I've been making aren't exceedingly detrimental, but I have had enough setbacks as it is. I don't need any fucking more.

I could rant for a while more about it, and will later, but now I think I'm going down to the store to get something to drink that isn't soy milk or water.

Monday, August 11, 2008


alone I sit
this heat surrounds me
bit by bit
my grasp it leaves me.
Now I see
where my time's going
To nothing much
just sit and waiting
in stagnation
I can do nothing
so I've tried
to fill these hours
with songs
and poems of little worth
but songs
and poems they go so far, not
far enough.
Worse than being in a rut
you made a poor decision
being stuck
for nothing in particular.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

four AM

it's only about four am. That's somewhat late, but I'm saying only because I want to make myself feel better. If it's only four, then I still have an hour or so until I absolutely need to fall asleep. at five my next day could start, but at four, It can still be night time. I'm yawning and I feel kind of tired, but I'm also pretty sure that sleep isn't coming anytime soon. I almost want to encourage it away and just sleep a whole bunch after work tomorrow. I don't even know anymore.
This whole weird sleeping thing sucks. It's been a month or two since I last slept on a normal schedule for more than a few days. oh well. It's not as if there's a lot I can do about it.
I feel like it'd be alright if Julie were here, because either she'd be awake as well so I'd have someone to talk to (or just to hang out with for that mater) or she'd be asleep and I wouldn't mind so much lying in the dark waiting for sleep to come. I always sleep better when she's around too. I'm pretty sure it's the same for her.

anywho. There's really naught I can do about either of those things, so I'm going to go and either further procrastinate (odd using that word to refer to sleep) or lay down to try and expedite the process.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Broken car further hinders releif from the world

I can't really help but be unhappy about my car situation. It's been weeks since I last saw Julie. I could go up on a train. It wouldn't be too much trouble to undertake. Her mom's coming up though, and it's the weekend before senior high so it's somewhat intense. I just want to be there. I honestly would be fine with just being there. If it makes it harder for her then I don't want to come. She said I didn't have to go to the trouble, but I feel like she was really saying she didn't want me up there this weekend. I mean, we've got time after camp is over to hang out, so It's not like it makes a huge difference in the long run, but I'd gotten used to seeing her every weekend, and the relief I got from doing so was so large that the absence of that possibility hangs heavily over my head.
I was peeved when I started this message, thinking that Julie just didn't want me up there. I felt alone and I've been tired of this for a while, so I had a shorter fuse than usual. I'm realising that it's not actually that bad, and of course it's understandable that she'd be busy. Without a car our activities are heavily limited as well, and with her Mom there, me being a third wheel wouldn't be completely welcome. My initial annoyance is gone. I still feel a bit forlorn, and despondent, but that will subside.
I have a weekend of leisure ahead of me, and that's not a bad thing. I'll take it for what it is, and read, play videogames, play guitar, and sleep.

The journeys of a wanderer weary (part one)

At it's edge the forest calls
far it goes, seeks to enthrall
deeper still the forest goes
shadows turning, on trees thrown
through the shadows you traverse
thoughts assail you, most perverse
now your head it fills the blanks
making twiglings into shanks
building monsters, they're oh so cunning
your frightened mind then calls for running
you resist its frightened call
telling it to quell the squall
standing still your heart beats quicker
wishing now you had some liqour
to calm your nerves, and settle you down
to un bolt your feet from the loamy ground
this abject fear, it soon subsides
for in this forest no monsters reside
or none you know of, none you pray
tippy toeing on your way
hiding fear and stopping fright
keeping alert, prepared for a fight
then from fog a house appears
on its door are reddish smears
out your axe and flashlight come
to see where all this blood came from
trudging down a bloody path
you begin to do the maths
fearful ground you do not know
no telling how numerous your foes
you turn back silently lurking
sighting an owl through the murky
sitting on a brached perch
causing you to quickly lurch
back your food on dead man falls
over him sick insects crawl
buzzing sounds as flys abound
deadly stench floats all around
trying now to stop a yelp
you prepare to go for help
then you frightfully recall
the nearest town's across the falls
these hurried times this trip bars
with axe out you trot around
'till you hear an awful sound
from behind a crunching bone
now you know you're not alone
in your midst this sad man stands
entreating you with bloody hands
sympathy he wants to start
but soon the fiend begins to dart
at your throat his fingers fly
while he makes an inhuman cry
axe ready down it swings
catching shoulder, metallic ring
armour your weaponry confounds
with the light you shine his eyes
blinding him, making you free to strive
with rope that hangs on back pack coiled
quickly his movement is foiled
hands are bound and feet bound too
only scratches injured you
now you drag the bad man on
singing out victorious song
out the forest now you dance
cheering at your skill, your chance
free at last of fear you are
you want to travel, travel far.

lament of a condemed building

I've been messing with different metres lately. Here are some of the fruits of my labour.

When all the lights have burnt full out
and sounds of living gone away
when all the people leave my halls
my families move on, move on
when my doors, shut for the last
latches rusted, holding all in
still will be the pain and joy
residing in my walls
Paint will peel and chip away
thrown about will furniture be
yet all the filth and slow decay
will fail to confound, or turn away
the sounds of people in my walls
the smells of cabbage, sausage, cooking
the ancient cry of tenement halls
the faint residue of rooms
where lives were spent from start
to the last exhalation
Moistening my walls slightly
still I'll sit in degradation
waiting for destruction
while I wait to be detached
limb by limb they'll take me
I wait here with the memories
of people who forsake me.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

our pasts are fiction.

Most peoples lives, when looked back on, are fiction. The things we know about out past are mixed in with the stories we tell about them. Your embellishment of what happened melds with the reality, until no one knows the difference. Once it's gone it's gone. This is probably why I can remember the plots of books as if I had lived them. Perhaps that is why when telling stories I never really cared if they were about me or not, as those ones were likely fiction too.
I've spent a while thinking about how my life has been so far. For a Twenty year old I haven't done too badly. If I try to tell the story though, it will be naught but fiction. I don't have a problem with fiction, but I can't state fiction as memoir.
I also want to figure out everything before I put anything in writing. I suppose writing about things would clear them up in my mind, would remove the nebulous slag sticking to my ideas. I suppose I'm just scared. I'm scared of what I'll find. There are so many shitty things that could happen. There is a good chance that some of them might happen too. It's not simply an irrational fear, like the fear of terrorism (especially in the US). It is a fear driven by heritability percentages and evidence from the road I've already traveled.
My Father is bi-polar. Putting it that way is a bit too simplistic, but I haven't the desire to go through an explanation. Bi-polar disorder is one of the most heritable mental illnesses. Look up the percentages because I've forgotten them. I'm afraid that is me too. I'm afraid that more shit will pop up.
I already have enough wrong with me, and enough wrong with the world. I don't need more.
That's what I've been ruminating on. Not obsessively so, but with relative frequency. Writing about it does help though.

Saturday, July 26, 2008


I just returned from watching Wall-E. There was only one kid in the theatre. It helps that it was a 9:30 showing, but I was pleased by that. The film was beautiful. The colours were a drab palate of greys and rust reds and dirt browns which evoked the feeling of desperation and foreboding I imagine was intended. The first portion of the movie has no human voices. there is some music and once or twice the robots say their names, however the silence is pervasive. The use of Wall-Es eyes for expression is magnificent. My environmental psych class popped into my head a few times as well, and that was interesting.

there's more to tell but I don't particularly feel like doing so.

Friday, July 25, 2008

a late night and a bike crash.

It's four in the morning (roughly). I gotta say, this is getting annoying. It doesn't make a huge deal of difference since I've little to do tomorrow, but shit. I am going to eat dinner with my parents and manage some money stuff, but that won't be until a bit later so I'll have ample time to sleep. I really don't know what's up with me.

On a completely different note my neck is sore. I think it's from this bike crash I had on Wednesday. I was riding my bike a bit too fast, and the streetlight was turning yellow. A car was turning left coming from the other direction, and I was parallel with a car in my lane. The fellow turning left saw the other car, but not me, so he proceeded to take his left. I was going too fast to really stop efficiently because I had been speeding up to make it through the light. by the time I got to the intersection I was confronted with his trunk area. I turned right as hard as I could so I was going the same direction as the car I struck and I hit the car, ricocheting off at roughly a fourty five degree angle. My bicycle and I flew into the air and I landed on my back (and my messenger bag, thank god) about two metres away from where I hit the guy. The wind was knocked out of me pretty badly. The guy got out of the car to ask how I was doing and all that and I couldn't really respond with no wind. I told him I was fine besides that though. We waited around for the police so we could have it on record if anything happened, just to cover our asses. He was a really nice guy, I'm sorry I ran into his car. I found I was bleeding in three places, an abrasion on my elbow another on my left hand, and a geartooth shaped hole in my right calf from the sprocket. The sprocket hole (or chain tattoo as some call them) by far bled the most, though it hurt the least. I later found that I had three or four (perhaps five?) abrasions on my back. None of the stuff was too bad, nor was it anything I hadn't had happen to me before. My shoulder (right) is a bit sore but my range of motion isn't hindered and movement is fine so It doesn't seem to be serious. My neck is sore too. I think its from the shock of me holding it up off the ground so vigorously. I wasn't wearing a helmet see. This is because research supports the idea that riding with a helmet is in fact more dangerous in the presence of cars because they crowd you. I've just been going by whatever the most valid well constructed studies have found. anywho, I was defensive in how I landed, though little of it was conscious, and so I didn't hit my head, and all that's sore now are the things listed above. It's a bit annoying, but not hugely so. I can't say I'm not pleased that I get to be all hardcore. Sadly on the same day one of my friends upstaged me by getting in a motorcycle accident (he's ok, because helmets on motorcycles are infact a Brilliant idea) his accident wasn't as intense as mine, but he passed out and has two black eyes so he gets automatic credit.

Monday, July 21, 2008

weird sleep strikes again

my weirdness in regards to sleep schedule has struck once again. it is five thirty in the morning and I'm not yet a sleep. The sun is very close to coming up. I didn't wake up until relatively late today, but that doesn't explain all of it. I've been living on a schedule where my days are a bit longer than everyone else. It seems like I just tack on a few extra hours here and there and end up getting out of sync. It's also gotta be partly because I haven't been going to work and forcing myself into that schedule. I've just been feeling really excitable too. It's odd. That's the fucking problem with being up at five thirty though, I can't really think properly. I can think quickly but things are working in the correct order, or whatever it is that isn't clicking. I'm going to put off more posts until my head is more clear.

Friday, July 18, 2008

the persistence of memory.

Today during a huge cleaning spree, (likely driven on by a bit of mania and a lack of meds but that's another story) I found that the power cord to my printer is the same as the one missing from my old computer monitor. That was all that had been stopping me from using my old computer for the fun of it. My old computer is a beast and I its Frankenstein. running parts are held together with duct tape, everything is relatively jerry rigged, and I love it.
This computer helped to get me thorough highschool and that year of psuedo college/senior year of high school.
I plugged it in and everything worked fine. I was very pleased because I'd done nothing to it for nigh two years. The computer is a blast from the past. I opened up the music player to hear lovely sounds of my youth. There was so much stuff on there that I hadn't been able to transfer previously. Eventually I'll get to it, but now I'm just revelling in music I'd forgotten or lost. I also love the games and poorly written poems and songs laying about on there.
The songs and poems aren't all bad, but some of them are certainly atrocious. I'm not going to say whether my writing has gotten better, but I garauntee that my editing eye has gotten better. \
I'm enjoying this. I listened to some music I love and haven't listened to as of late for one or another reason, Some Dashboard Confessional, I Voted for Kodos, The Wedgewoods, some older NOFX, some old Catch 22. and some songs just sound better sitting infront of the big ol screen and rocking out. I'm pretty sure it has to to with ties to memory and situation and all of that stuff. It's just so bad ass to rock out to some chiodos in front of the computer. I've been eating it up.
I've also been reading Swan's Way, by Proust for a while now and just passed the scene regarding how the taste of madelline cookie dipped in lime flower tea brought back the vivid memory of his childhood in combray. Sitting infront of the computer rocking out to Chiodos, watching out for things that might break if I am not careful enough brought back a lot of the good memories from highschool. It also did something similar to what Proust discribed, it made me feel that perhaps the time spent in my room infront of the computer was the only time which existed in that stretch. Proust says it as such,

"And so it was that, for a long time afterwards, when I lay awake at night and revived old memories of combray, I saw no more of it than this sort of luminous panel, sharply defined against a vague and shadowy background, like the panels which a Bengal fire or some electric sign will illuminate and dissect from the front of a building the other parts of which remain plunged in darkness: broad as its base, the little parlour, the dining-room, the alluring shadows of the path along which would come M. Swann, the unconscious author of my sufferings, the hall through which I would journey to the first step of that staircase, so hard to climb, which constituted, all by itself, the tapering 'elevation' of an irregular pyramid and, at the summit, my bedroom, with the little passage through whose glazed door Mamma would enter; in a word, seen always at the same evening hour, isolated from all its possible surroundings, detached and solitary against its shadowy background, the bare minimum of scenery necessary (like the setting one sees printed at the head of an old play, for its performance in the provinces) to the drama of my undressing, as though all Combray had consisted of but two floors joined by a slender staircase, and as though there had been no time there but seven o'clock at night. I must own that I could have assured any questioner that Combray did include other scenes and did exist at other hours than these. But since the facts which I should have recalled would have been prompted only by and exercise of the will, by my intellectual memory, and since the pictures which that kind of memory shows us of the past preserve nothing of the past itself, I should never have had any wish to ponder over this residue of Combray. To me it was in reality all dead."

I'll let Proust have the next to last word as he says things so well.
Hopefully light was shed.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The orgin of my writing voice.

I ran into an essay by Kurt Vonnegut about style, and one of the points of advice got me to thinking. The point of advice went something like this. Vonnegut writes best when writing like the kid from Illinois he is. Joyce writes best when writing like a Dubliner. Twain Writes best when sounding like a man of the Mississippi. Ones orgin is the basis of their best writing voice. I haven't been able to think of an example refuting this. Saul Bellows sounds like a Jew from Chicago, and that is part of why he's so great. When I write I don't know what I sound like.
That's not a function of my writing being convoluted, though that has been a problem. I'm pretty sure it's more a function of my personal influences being so nebulous. I don't just write like a boy from the mountains of northern California, nor do I just write like a boy raised partly in Japan. My influences are such that my writing doesn't fit a single accepted form of prose. I have a weird way of speaking in which anachronisms from my parents generation, sentence structure from Japan, the earnest simple speak of the mountains, and the odd turns of phrase used in my voluminous reading are melded. It's hard for me to divine my influences.
One good example of this is simply in my speech. When talking I use lots of idioms that are antiquated. I don't realise no one has heard them. I always think them to be normal phrases, but am corrected, or met with a blank stare. This is how it is with weird little turns in my speech. I don't know what is odd. I know how other's speech differs from mine, but I sure as hell don't quite know what is up with mine. I look at all speech through the lens of what I've read and what I myself say. It's just natural.
It would be interesting if someone could pick out what was specifically different about the way I write or speak. I know a lot of what I write is either dull or constructed in a normal stylistic manner, but there's something there that isn't at parr. I suppose it's more odd that that is the way I speak too. The odd turns of phrase and awkward sentence structure pervade my speech.
If I figure out what's going on I'll let it be known, though this is rather unlikely.
until next rant.

ahh, near sorted.

dealing with my insurance company wasn't so bad, nor was getting a new tyre. I'm pleased with the interactions and it didn't take a huge chunk of my day or anything. I'm looking forward to getting back to work, and hopefully this won't but a huge dent in my already dented finances. Not something to really worry about though, things are like to get sorted soon.

Frustration and a weird sleep schedule.

My sleep cycle has been drastically perverted. My car has been in disrepair, and so I haven't been going to work, which has changed my schedule a whole lot. This isn't a bad thing, but it proves to me that Ideally I live at a slightly different pace. I know that I work best if I am awake for about seventeen hours. I can go more or less depending on how things are. This would work great if sleeping eight hours were my normal set up, but I'm pretty sure it isn't I'm pretty good with at least ten hours.
None of this is for sure and I might take a log of when I sleep and all of that sometime, but it seems that the normal schedule doesn't quite fit for me. On that note, it's seven fourty in the morning and I'm still awake. I woke up sometime around seven pm yesterday after a few fitful bouts of wakefulness. I'm going to go off and get my car fixed, and deal with the world disliking me. It's nice having these things occur at what is really the end of my day. I don't feel like dealing with anything but, I don't really have a choice now do I.
I'm also not happy that I'm unlikely to see Julie this weekend, as she's got other engagements. I don't like being apart from her for so long. Having had to put up with months of it doesn't make the weeks that I'm putting up with now hugely better. All I really want is to be in the same damn place, but I can't do that without shirking responsibility. I really can't shirk my responsibility if I want to be at all Fair to Julie. It's quite the catch twenty two. I need to be with Julie to really do her justice. To do that I have to shirk responsibility, which doesn't do her justice.
It's rather annoying. I haven't had a good complain in a while, and I guess I'm just getting it all out at once. I'm glad that I'm not crazy, but I definitely am not happy about the rest of the world giving me trouble. I know other people have it worse, and I've kept my complaints to myself (well mostly) for just that reason, but I've had enough.
Oh well. there's naught that I can do at the moment. I'll figure it out.Or maybe I won't, that's to be seen. I just have to keep it up and hope that things will work out.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

dealing with people can just be too much fucking trouble. I understand a lot of how they work, and about why things happen the way they do with people, but fuck, how to deal with them sure is opaque. I wish everything were just more straightforward. I'm always relatively striaghtforward, and try to avoid bullshit, why can't everyone else?
So what sparked this was a conversation, or rather a bit of talking and a lot of sitting in silence, with my girlfriend. If I didn't love her this would have pissed me off. As it is I'm just a little annoyed and perplexed. I try to be helpful, I listen to complaints over which I have no control, and I give what advice I can. I know advice can't be given for every situation, and I know that not everything can be fixed, but trying to understand everything just seems like an obvious must to me.
I can only deal with that which I can observe, or which I'm told of. Silence doesn't improve my understanding of anything. I don't think it's alright for her to get all pissy just because I don't understand what's going on when I haven't any information. Oh well. I'm not particularly able to assess the situation as of this time, so I'll leave it be, but I can't help but still be a bit bothered. Whatever, I'll figure it out eventually. I just wish I were with her so I could pick up those signs I can't over the phone, so I could understand better what was going on, so when she talked with me, I could stop when she was annoyed, or leave, or otherwise do something effective.
I just feel so impotent at this distance, or any distance really.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I hate money.

Tonight I talked with Julie about money.
I have irrational fears about money, and obsess over how much I have and how I'm going to pay for things. My family wasn't poor or anything. Somehow frugality was simply instilled in me. My dad grew up poor and his father grew up during the depression. I can understand where some of this obsession comes from. The thing is that in the past I haven't let money stop me so much. I was ok with buying books and music regardless of money. I don't know what's changed, but lately I've been worried about how much I have and how much I don't.
I'm in debt right now and I have a little over a thousand dollars less a month coming in than I need in order to keep up with bills, without paying off my debt. This is with working thirty hours a week and using the money my family has saved up for years on end.
Julie is telling me money is easily attainable but that hasn't been my experience. I've done the whole applying for scholarships out the wazoo thing, and I've taken out loans. The thing is that it doesn't help. My dislike of all of this makes a certain amount of sense, but it is indeed irrational. However I know of lots of folks who worked their way through college. It's a common thing. I\I don't really understand how people can think that it's ok to just defer everything. I know that its ok to take loans and to focus on ones education, but what happened to contributing to your own education. The fact is that with the amount of money I was getting in financial aide loans and all didn't pay for the remainder that was left when my parents money was spent. (it's actually my money, long story, umm probably for later) I went further in debt because of that. Before I had my reckless spending binge while in a bout of clinical depression I already had debt from paying off parts of my school and housing etc. with my credit.

I don't know what to think right now. I don't want money to determine what I do, but I can't eist without my money figured out. Julie doesn't worry about money the same way, but I don't think it's just me being all irrational, though that is part of it. I think that some of it comes from the fact that I manage my money. I have to see where it goes, distribute it among accounts, spend it, and organise it. She doesn't do any of that. Her parents juggle the finances. They probably have to go through a similar set of hoops, but she never sees the hoops so her anxiety about money is subverted. I also imagine it's easier to get a loan when you have some twenty or thirty years of credit built up. as far as my parents taking out a loan, we already have some of those out, and I'm not sure where we are financially. Frankly money is the only thing my father and I really argue about.

Just like with everything else as of late I wish I could just drop it all and just curl up with Julie. That's all I want out of anything lately.
I can't fix my craziness in a flash, I can't fix my schooling in a flash, and I can't simply slough off my monetary responsibilities on my parents. Like it or not I've taken on this stuff, or have had it pushed on me, and now I have to deal with it. I'm not alone or anything, but I sure as fuck am not in the ideal situation.

Hopefully that made sense. It probably didn't considering my track record tonight.
maybe I'll figure it out soon.
until next time

Thursday, June 19, 2008

a wonderful day for my student

My student was wonderful today. He wasn't in the classroom the majority of the time. I thing these two things may be causal. He does very well if things are put forth clearly, and in a non-classroom environment that is much easier to do. (it sometimes feels impossible in the classroom).
He followed directions well, enjoyed himself, was happy throughout the day as opposed to off and on, and his aggressions were exceedingly rare. It just makes sense though.
The reason he was out of the classroom was for a bit of testing. It wasn't for analysis. What they were doing (they being two people from the district) was introducing him to a new communication system (just feeling it out). It went' well. I don't think the communication system would stick, but his behaviour and reactions during the testing were brilliant.
I was very proud of him. His mother was also there during this (as was my consultant) She expressed surprise about some of the things I was doing, in a good way that is. for instance, in order to lead him places, and to give him a good amount of tactile input, my hands are on his shoulders a whole lot. She was under the impression that he didn't like that. It's just one of those problems that comes up when you assume every whim and need. She doesn't require him to clearly show what he wants, and so he doesn't feel the need to. If all things he wants are just given to him, why should he be insistent about it.
I'm proud of him, and I think that perhaps a switch in his mothers brain is being triggered. Maybe she'll realise the harm (and disrespect for that mater) she does him by enabling him.

She is very dedicated to her son. That is certifiable, it's simply her refusal of advice from people who know what's going on. It's a common problem, and if she realises that is what's wrong, she will take advice, because she wants what's best for her son.

other than that my day has been relatively uneventful. I may have more things of interest later, but who really knows.

Monday, June 16, 2008

post 100

I don't really feel it to be so important, but it is somewhat exciting that I'm to a one hundredth post. I'm still a little sick. I've been coughing and being up and about for more than ten minutes isn't so pleasant. I'm going to try to go in to work tomorrow anyways. I feel bad for missing a week or so of work, it just feels irresponsible, even if that's what was suggested to me by the doctor. I got an inhaler to help the coughing a bit, but that's all they could really do. It's a viral infection, and so I must let it run it's course. I can't say that's pleasing. I'm fine with it, but I hate being down, I'd rather be able to go back to work.
For the last few posts it seems that my blog has been largely complaint. I don't want to seem like the sort of person who complains endlessly.
I've watched a few football games in the euro cup, but I haven't been following too closely. I haven't a dog in that fight. I could route for just about anyone. For international Football its always Ireland at my top list. I like the Germans a lot, but that's partly due to my fascination at the skills of their goalkeeper during the world cup they played against Brasil.
I really wish I were up and about. That I've nothing more to talk about than a cold and football is really a shame. Not to say that I wouldn't be fine talking about those things.
I'm off to be sick some more. Perhaps I'll celebrate my hundredth post with some coffee. Hopefully I'll have more of interest to tell you later.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


My day has tripped along at an uneven pace. I kept wishing I could just have my life back. It's been like that for a while now. I've been doing all I can to get back into the flow of things (at least now I have) but I feel helpless. I'm in an un-enjoyable waiting time. I've done all I can, and all I am able to do now is trudge day by day back towards some modicum of normalcy. I've been sick this week which can't have helped my mood.
I don't mind the hard work, I just wish it wouldn't take so damn long. I really wish that all that I came up against stayed constant. I wish that the only problems I had to deal with were getting back to school and getting well. That of course isn't the case, and with debt, bills, and the general bullshit the world has to offer me, of course things don't feel right.
I am in a position to complain, I shouldn't. It won't do me any good, but I suppose that philosophy didn't do me any good while I was going crazy. I sometimes think about putting my fist through a wall. That's the key odd thing that pops into my brain as of late. I picture my hand slamming into plaster and the small fissures formed in the plaster, the slow-motion tearing of my skin. I picture my knuckles compressing along with the wall. I see the sharp edges scratch at the edges of my hand and wrist. It's a very involved picture. This is in a few seconds mind you. It takes longer to describe than it does to see and feel and think. I get somewhat convinced that I'm going to do this. I really _want_ to do this. It's just an obsessive thought, but it describes pretty well how I'm feeling. I just want to destroy something, my own well being be damned. I just want to fuck shit up. It isn't very rational. I try to be rational as often as possible. It doesn't make me very popular, though I suppose most of that is actually due to my lack of tact. I just want to destroy something. I imagine it's not an uncommon feeling among young men. Angry young men seem to be the norm. I just want to destroy something. Shooting things in video games only does so much.
I was having a particularly low bout in the middle of the day (the early evening by all actual accounts) I went and finally got a French-press, and made some coffee. It increased my jitters, but I felt somewhat better. That reminds me of another thing which bothers, the damn side effects from my drugs. The sexual side effects have been much less marked as of late. The details are unnecessary to go into. The shaking hasn't gotten better. It's not bad enough for me to lower the dose, especially as I'd rather have a bit of shaking than be confined to bed for days at a time.
I'm just fucking tired of everything. If I can't be well, and be with Julie, then I don't want to let the world be okay. I want to fuck things up. It's not ok for me to sit here doing nothing, being despondent. I need to fucking do something. It all stays pent up though, because what outlet is there? physical outlets don't do it (and this week I've been sick so of course those have been out). It's just something I don't know how to deal with. Anxiety, Fear, Helplessness, and Anger are my bedfellows. They get capitilisations because they are entities within themselves. I don't know how to deal with any of them. All of them are building. All of the signs point towards more of the same, or at the best a gradual incline towards something better.

I know that most of this ranting is in fact false. I know that I can do things, but I can't help but feel useless. I work, and I come home and that's it. I sometimes end up late on bills, and sometimes end up overdrawn on accounts. It's all really annoying, but ultimately this is what I have to do to get back to my feet. I have to trudge along like everyone else, and keep in the flow that the world requires of me. It's the only way I'll get the things I want, my sanity and a life with Julie (or at least a part of my life with Julie). I just have to continue working. I just wish the world didn't make it so damn hard.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

a week of illness and an examination of storytelling

For the last three days or so I've been in bed sick. It's not too horribly pleasant. On the upside I was able to comendeer a few seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer from my girlfriend. I'm just now done with the second season. It was very very good. I'm likely one of the few fans of Firefly who had never seen any buffy. My girlfriend absolutely loves the show. I can see why of course, It's told very well and has good strong female characters.
That's certainly one reason I like it. I'm always interested in stories that put people who are written in a real way into situations which are by their very nature contrived. I've always had a thing for science fiction. The literature of ideas intrigues me. Ultimately it's characters who most take me out of my world, and in these situations which are completely new, it is amazing to see the way that characters work.
I imagine that many people would put the reading of fiction, watching of films, and listening to music into the enjoyable but mostly useless category. I don't think so. There was a good argument in a "introduction to Criticism" class that I went to a few sessions of. If someone writes about something, Whaling for instance, are they really an expert on it. For advice about whaling would you read Moby Dick, or would you want to speak to someone who spent their life whaling?
That is the general view of the worth of stories. What I think people miss is that they are their own study. I'm very interested in psychology and people, and stories are a very interesting way to explore. The insights I already have I feel I have gotten from reading and writing stories. Characters are rarely written to be completely human, but even when that is the case each of them must have very particular human characteristics. We deal with humans all the time and when we read a novel we have a feel for if the characters feel real or not. Reading stories give us a chance to see what is true of humanity by looking at what isn't. If a character feels false, feels dead, then there must be something not human about them. If a character feels vibrant there is a wealth of humanity filling them. This applies not only to human characters. Anything written by a human is ultimately about humans.
This could work out to essay size, and perhaps it will some time, but for now I'm going to go back to the work of getting better.

Until next time.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

quickly passing time.

I've been drowning in a torrent of work. The hours are relatively low but the work is stressful. I've been focusing my writing efforts towards "The City, and a Misplaced Piece of Mind" I've not felt like doing much else.
I excel at my job. It makes me happy that this is the case, but my student is very hard to work with. He's been more difficult lately, and I have some lovely bruises to show for it. I still don't fault him, and I'm going to keep up the work. I don't much like his mother. This may have already been established, but if it wasn't it certainly is now.
I've already ranted enough about the mismanagement of his case throughout the years.

I've been rather blissful on the weekends, as Julie has been at home (about an hour from where I live). She's been coming to visit me, and I've been doing the same for her. The visits have been spectacular. I love her more now than I ever have, which is quite a feat considering the past two years. I'm going to see a new psychologist rather soon and look forward to the possible repair of my scattered brain. I've also been writing music. some of my strings broke on my guitar so I'm playing slightly different things at the moment, but I've about five songs that are up to performance standards when I've got all six strings.

I'll keep posting, hopefully with more frequency than I have.

Monday, May 19, 2008

a Monday, a headache, and a title for my novella.

Today went well for my student. He had fewer problems than he had most of last week. I however wasn't so lucky. I had a headache for the whole day. It wasn't particularly bad, but I had it over the weekend as well. It was very persistent. Last night I went to bed somewhere around ten or eleven (which is far earlier than I usually go to bed). I woke up at two ish, and at four ish, and at six ish. At four ish I went to takes of Ibuprofin and drink some water. that helped me sleep until six, and then at six I went back to bed. I was supposed to wake up at seven, but no such thing happened. I woke up fully and realised it was eight forty. My work is at least thirty minutes away from where I live. I drove quickly there but I still arrived a good ten Minutes late. the morning went well, but my head just kept throbbing. My left eye didn't want to stay open (this headache is only on the left side) and I was rather unhappy.
I managed to get some ibuprofin during lunch and so post lunch went somewhat more quickly. I got back home and managed to deposit a check my parents had sent me, and felt happy to have gotten that out of the way.
My headache isn't acting up right now thanks to ibuprofin (how I love thee). I'm sitting in my favourite coffee shop, listening to music and writing. I had been working on a title for my novella. I think I finally came up with one I like

This is tennetive but hopefully it works. "The city and a misplaced piece of mind"
It may not ring true to my later, but for now it's the best I've come up with.
The title for this story is pretty hard. No lines stand up as titles and I'm involved enough in the story that I can't very well explain it in a short emotive sentence.

I'll see how it goes.

I'll likely post tomorrow (if not sooner), perhaps sometime I'll try and post about something that isn't work, but for now that's what's kept me occupied.


Friday, May 16, 2008

Ahh, Friday, Autism, Scripting, and my thoughts on Free Will.

I am done with the week. I have a few more scratches and bruises to show for it, and I'm not sure what to think about my students' improvement (or lack thereof). I feel overall alright about it. My student had a particularly bad day yesterday (thursday) He was aggressive all day. I'm not sure quite what it was, but he was sneezing a whole lot in the morning.
The whole day was me redirecting him away from aggressive behaviours. I have a number of open wounds from that. They're primarily on my left arm at about elbow level and on the front of my neck nigh the Adams apple. They aren't serious, but I can't say I like coming home from work with red marks down my neck and blood on my arms (this is after washing)
It's no fault of my student. His care has been so mismanaged in the past that you really can't blame him. He's gotten too used to getting things he needed very easily, and so never pushed himself. It's natural, and it's rather sad when it happens. It's going to be nice getting good data on how he's doing. We (being me and my supervisor) don't think the data that had been taken before was accurate. Setting a baseline of behaviour will make things much easier to deal with.
My predecessor wore long sleeves (every time I saw him at least). I've a feeling that this is why. I'd rather be cool and have some marks on my arms though. The thing is, my student doesn't have aggressions if given time to communicate, and if given the opportuninty to get enough rest. We have bad days when he hasn't had good sleep, and when his allergies are acting up. It makes sense. Honestly I still think it shouldn't take too much time before he starts to straighten up a bit. People have mentioned a marked difference.
I really hope they're right, because I can't stand the idea of a bright good kid being fucked over by poor management in the past. I don't know the particulars or the politics of it, and frankly I don't care. I just think that it's a shame he wasn't given the sort of help my organisation specialises in earlier.
In the long run, the track that his parents have set him on will make him incredibly dependent for a long time to come. (They've been very adamant about not having him go to behavioural schools or to the sorts of places that would help him.) As always in situations like this, where the child is hobbled despite natural ability, I wonder how much of it (subconsciously of course) is because the parents want to have the child dependent on them.
I get a lot of my thoughts on that from Eric Burns, particularly from his book "What do you say after you say Hello" It's quite good, and it's about the idea of Scripting. Scripting makes a lot of intuitive sense, and I imagine with more research could be developed further into a strongly applicable branch of psychology.
The primary idea is that we are scripted by those around us in our youth. The example I give most often is somewhat of an oversimplification, but of course no one ever wants to hear the long version, so here is my coloquial explanation.

Suppose that while you're growing up your parents say with some frequency (doesn't have to be a lot) "You're so much like your uncle mike" Mike is an alcoholic. They never mention this in concert with saying how much you're like him. However they tell stories about mike and his alcoholism. This gives you the script that you are expected to become an alcoholic.

This is an oversimplification, so If it seems too blunt, that's because it is. Scripts are very hard to break, and very few people manage to. That's not to say that scripts are all bad, one can be scripted for success (sounds like the title of a bad self help book). The main point is that most people, most of the time will develop in adherence to their script.

This fits into my beliefs regarding free will as well. I gather that all people have the chance to chose outside of what they're _bound_ to do. However, most people will not.
Hence the world being largely Deterministic. People have free will, but it doesn't negate the general flow of fate or whatever you want to call it. This works well as an explanation for certain anomalies caused by individuals.

This is something I could talk much much much much further on, but I'll refrain for the time being.

I think next week will be better with my student, I am happy that I have a nice weekend to relax, and I wish all who may read this a good weekend (even though I'll probably post tomorrow too).

Monday, May 12, 2008

monday the twelfth

It's been a good Monday. I have some scratches and marks to show for it, but it went well.
My student's class went to a musical today. Sousical the musical. It was a production done by a local highschool. The showing was for just the school my student goes to. The school specialises in children with developmental disabilities.
What I saw of the musical was good. My student did have some trouble sitting still, and it was hard getting him to show me picture icons to ask for things when the lights were dimmed all the way down. We eventually went outside and walked about. we only walked for about fifteen minutes, and then the play was over. From then on my student was rather tired. He did well with all of his tasks, but got more easily frustrated after the change in routine.
He did a bit more grabbing aggressions, and dropped to the ground more frequently. He was clearly just tired. The aggressions weren't much of a problem, Though that is where I got the aforementioned scratches and marks. He's getting better at asking for things, and tomorrow should be better as it is on his usual schedule and he gets to swim.
He loves swiming. the class swims on Tuesday Wednesday and Thursday. On monday's and Fridays he continually goes back to his towel and swimming suit in anticipation.

A lot of people remarked on his improvement. I though perhaps some of it was making the rookie feel good, giving the new guy confidence, but it happened more, and after five or so times I took them seriously. (I knew my student was doing better, I just didn't figure it could be readily seen by outside observers)

I think it should be a good week for my student. Of course we'll see, but he's been getting better at asking for things, and he has been understanding that all he needs to do to get help for something is ask in some form we can know. This lessens the aggressions. I don't mind him grabbing onto my arm hard (well I mind, and more often than not it breaks skin, but I don't mind nearly as much as most people) but it will be nice when he only asks. He only has aggresions when he can't get his point across. It's relatively straightforward. I just have to continue through it, and keep the conversation going. I have colourful arms and some nicely stretched shirt collars now, but it's all for the better.(when he grabs at you sometimes he'll pull on your collar with both hands downwards trying to pull your face towards him. Sometimes he'll bite the centre of the shirt collar as well. The best way to deal with it is just support his weight by putting your arms against his, and giving no more reaction.) It can be somewhat hard to keep the reaction low when he give a really good pinch that breaks the skin, but it's an aquiered skill. If you jump too much when he grabs you or pinches you it reinforces the action. Since you jump at it, it's clear that he's gotten your full attention, and will likely get what he wants. We don't want him associating his aggressions with getting what he wants.
It's been going well so far.
The kid's bright, he just needs a vocabulary (in whatever form it may take, pictures words gestures anything really) to share it with others.
Sadly I don't think he'll ever be at normal functioning. I could be wrong of course, but he's thirteen and still non-vocal. Early intervention is the best way to deal with autism, and they botched it with him. I really wish the outfit I worked for could have gotten him when he was young (we specialise in really young children, and nipping it in the bud)
What I want for him when he's twenty can only happen if after I'm done working with him he's kept on the same general path, needing to practice his abilities and to learn new ones. I want him to be able to have some sort of a social life. I think it's doable. There's no doubt that we'll be able to get him to a level where he could live by himself if need be, I just want to make sure he has the skills to deal with people in non formal situations.

I'll keep you updated.

Sleeping does not come easily tonight

It is one of those inexplicable times during which my head will not settle. I have tried my usual methods for getting to sleep, but here it is, three hours before my time to wake up, and I'm still as awake as I was at nine in the evening.
I don't have any good explanation for this, but some nights this happens. Of course this happens every night to Julie, so I don't have much to complain about if I've only got to deal with it once in a while.
I tried sleeping, but frankly lying in bed bored isn't going to help much, so I'm trying to do things. I've edited a good five pages of my story, I'm writing a blog post, I've been listening to music, I had a drink, I may have a snack. There really isn't much to do that wouldn't be a bother to those around me. I can't make music, but I suppose I may read from the book I'm working on or the magazines I purchased today. I got a copy of Paste magazine (I like it quite a lot) Since Punk Planet went under Paste is my favourite music magazine. I also got a magazine called Poets and Writers. It's interesting, and has articles on writing and writers and the sorts of things to be expected in a magazine with its name.
It also has a handy list of publications to which things could be submitted. I circled a number of them that might have interest in the story I'm working on. I probably still have four edits or so before it's ready to send out to anyone, but It's a good idea to know where to send It anyway. Considering how quickly I've been going through it, It may get done before I had expected. I got the manuscript sent back to me from my dad a few days ago, and now I'm about two thirds of the way through my second draft. There will need to be much polish, and I can't guarantee that the remainder of my work won't have vast swaths of new writing, but I'm optimistic about it. Perhaps that's only the foolishness of a beginning writer.

anyway, I'm going to continue trying to sleep. It's unlikely to happen quickly, but one can hope (though one certainly can't dream at a time like this)

Friday, May 09, 2008

finally Independence

Today was a good day. I worked with my student by myself today. It went very well. The Aide he had been with was out for the day, so I was able to start my independent work a day early. It was much easier to deal with my student without conflicting messages flying around. it was my first time truly working with a student like this, so the first half of the morning I had lots of help from my supervisor, and gradually increased my skill. By the end of the day I felt pretty good about what I had been doing, and I felt that my student had improved.
He likes certain pressure points. He has a callous on his thumb from biting it, a bump on his arm from hitting himself, and a circle of hard skin at the space where his spine enters his head from pressing there. He likes pressure a lot. Understandably we're trying to decrease these behaviours. One well established methods is called a sensory diet. we haven't anything written up, but essentially periodically he is given certain allowed types of pressure by someone. He doesn't traditionally ask for it, but today I had him saying (in a way that was discernible from his other words but not very knowable to anyone else) Pressure when he wanted some. He is largely non-vocal and this is a huge step. I'm also going to have him use the Icon in his PECS book to show me. It's more reliable, but the vocal is great. He was very calm, and once I had gotten him saying Pressure He didn't have more of his aggressions.
I really like working with him, and I am glad that I got a kid who's both as cool as he is, and needs as much help as he does.

I had to get re-fingerprinted with the school district today as well. It didn't take very long, but I'm never a fan of that sort of thing. I've no serious plans for the evening, though a film and perhaps a party are likely options.

Monday should be nice. I want to see if the things he got to today stay with him over the weekend.