Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Books of Poetry.

Tonight I've been sifting through my books of poems, All by others, Looking for titles which sound like band names. It's hard finding a band name to which you're willing to commit. We have a few reasonably good ones but I can't help but feel that there's some more meaningful name that's hiding somewhere. I've gone to the pages of my favourite books of verse to find names suitable. It's also a nice look back at the poetry I've read and so admired. There is so much great poetry out there, and I've only a little bit of it.

There are many great titles too. I've a few great titles that I would love to use as band names already. It's hard to decide on one, but I'm just sending any that sound mildly good and letting my bandmate sort through them to find if they're any good. The name for my other band just fell in our laps. We call ourselves Exactly. It's a word I use often, to elbow into conversations. It always works, likely because of the force of my personality, and my ability to just jump in on conversations. The name that seemed obvious for this unnamed band isn't quite as good. It's somewhat clever, but not enough so to make it interesting over a long period of time.

I'm enjoying the reading of my old Langston Hughes, and William Butler Yeats, and Robert Frost, and Seamus Heaney, and Walt Whitman, and Friedrich Holderlin, and Allen Ginsberg. It's nice sorting through verses that aren't mine and that are all so well wrought.

I haven't really written poetry in a long time. I've focused more on these posts, and on the stories and essays I write on an average day. The poems I used to write are, in retrospect, rather trite. It helps that I was so young when writing them that I thought my sorrows were the worst of the worst. I've not written poetry about my mental state, and I suppose I should. I remember making a good turn of phrase as being such a rewarding thing. I'm sure it still would be, I simply haven't taken the time to in so long.

Besides this realisation that my poetry has been lacking (as in non-existent) in the last few years, I've also fallen back in love with all my piles of books. This happens periodically, when I've gotten over how in the way my stacks of books are. I fall in love with all of these lovely, useful artefacts that fill my shelves. I went through my books finding these books of poetry, and it felt so good.

Being able to sort through piles of good books, read and unread, and reread and never to be read is just a great feeling. It's like being part of the lives of all of the authors. The joy of a good book is something I very much intend to engender in my kids. My parents gave me a love of books, and I can't think of many things they've given me that have been more rewarding. I can't say that the mental illness or tooth problems have been appreciated inheritances. But this love of books is quite great. I have my piles and they are all so pretty and useful and lovely.

I find myself speechless surrounded by so many words. So many great words as writ by saints and scoundrels. As I'm sure you can tell I'm rather infatuated with these items, these books.

Here ends my little love rant to books and poems, and my little bit of woe at having such trouble finding a band name. I'm sure there is more in me to write, but perhaps it will be saved for later, or put into one of my many other writing projects.

good night to you all.

Monday, March 30, 2009

I didn't sign the social contract, so why am I still subject?

I'm posting far earlier this evening than I'm used to. Normally it's write, take pills, go to bed. I guess I'm changing it up because I'd like to avoid the tyranny of scheduling. I've already written about that, so you should have a pretty good idea of what I mean.

Today while going on to campus to go to class and have my psychologist appointment, I started on writing a little political/philosophical tract on anarchism. I'm not done and I don't think that this is the proper venue to post it. I'm just doing it because I haven't seriously put forth my views in quite some time, and in writing I can remove inconsistencies, and put forth the ideas without having to remove anyone's illusory ideas. That's my primary problem with having a vocal political discussion, I have to deal with whatever preconceived notions my counterpart has. That's not to say I won't have to deal with some of those if I accept questions and criticisms of my writing, but at least I can do so in a measured and concise fashion. I'm big on opening up for questions and discussions, but I find quite often that many people don't have the same base of knowledge as I do, and if I have a certain type of discussion with those people I either dominate it and don't learn anything or spend the entire time trying to give the other people some sort of reference from which to assess my position.

There are problems with my attitudes towards political discussion and my attitudes towards other people's opinions, but I'm working on it.

Besides working on that, thusfar short, political tract, I've simply been cleaning my room and doing laundry and getting done chores. I haven't really taken care of any of that stuff in a while, as in months. It's nice to get back on top of things, and a little disconcerting to realise how out of it I've been. That I'm in a state where I can finally take care of most of this stuff is a good sign though. I'm very pleased to be in a situation which allows me to take care of all the stuff I've got going on.

That's the primary problem with my politics. Reconciling my ideals with my daily life is extremely hard as long as I'm pursuing a career in academia. One might think that a career in academia is perfectly suited to professing interesting political ideas, but my ideas are somewhat threatening to the structure of academia as well. It's a problem. I want to be part of a system which I tend to think of as corrupting.

I'm not a fan of heirarchy in any of its varieties, and the academic variety is no exception. So I'm trying to become part of this heirarchy in order to research on the brain and it's function but I am also strongly opposed to it. There are things I can do when I eventually run my own lab, and when I've got more control over the direct application of my power, but just the having of said power is somewhat of a conflict of interest. I suppose it's an instance of curiosity overpowering ideals. I don't suppose it will be a serious issue, but I'm still somewhat ill at ease with it.

I've always hated jumping through hoops, and I still do. Even in elementary school I wasn't much for following the rules as they were writ. It helped that I wanted to learn, but I didn't want to do well in school. I didn't want to do badly, I simply didn't care about how I did in school I just wanted to learn more. That's the vitality that this system doesn't reward. It isn't a desire to learn which is rewarded, it's ability and willingness to jump through hoops.

That I may become the facilitator of one of those hoops isn't a comfortable thing. There is also the issue of who I may be getting grant money for research from. The government and corporations which provide grant money deeply bother me. The sorts of malfeasance going on in those circles is disgusting. When I say disgusting I mean it in the literal sense, I am so bothered that my breath momentarily leaves me.

So there's some sorting I need to do. I want so much to learn these things no one knows about the brain, but all the while I have to put up with a generally unfavourable and in many ways immoral system. The fact that the University of California does weapons research for the US is a big bother. If I'm to be part of that behemoth then I must somehow reconcile that. If I get money from the government for research I can't know that said research wouldn't be used for military applications though I doubt my arm of research would be particularly useful.

The thing is I don't know how to disengage from all these systems I so abhor. The main cause for my philosophy is that I don't have a choice. I was born here and I am automatically subject to the laws, to the taxes, to the police force, to all the things put forth in a social contract with this government, and with the companies that surround me, and yet I never signed that contract.

The social contract may have been made at some point, but I never got a say in signing it. Even to leave I need permission of many groups larger than myself. In order to live, eat breath and have shelter I must subject myself to more of these systems. If I chose to disengage and remain in this country I'll simply be leaching off the systems I'm trying to disengage from. The point is that None of us is given the option to opt out.

I am registered with the Selective Service. It is a legal requirement, and in order to pay for college I had to sign up. I couldn't say fuck it and protest that way, because I wouldn't have been eligible for federal monies for university. I need that money because my family doesn't have enough to put me through, and no mater how much I know and how well I can construct experiments I cannot perform them without a degree. I cannot be a part of all this science without access to many things and in order to get access I must subject myself further to systems of government and corporations.

I've oft thought of the implications of that. I am subject to a contract I never signed.

I wish more people would think about that. None of us who were born in this country ever got a choice in being a part of the social contract.

Remember how subject to the government's whims and to the whims of those to whom you owe money and to whom you pay rent and with whom you've cellphone and electric and television contracts, and then think of how many of those contracts you've just taken at face value.

I'm in an ironclad contract with the state, and I have been in it for my whole life, and there is no getting out.

A good weekend, and still getting used to my head

If I use chords my songs end up sounding like 90s emo. It's a good thing in my head, because then I can write these lovely songs for just me, because that's what I like to listen to. I don't know that there's much love out there for those sorts of songs though. I'd have to develop them further and frankly I just like having them for myself. Little songs written about theoretical situations, and about actual situations.

Been looking for shows for my band. We don't know what we're gonna call ourselves. It's a problem, but one that I'm sure we'll figure out soon.

I went on a date tonight. It was nice. Had Mexican food and watched that horror movie "the haunting in Connecticut" it was surprisingly good, but I don't feel like going into particulars. It was actually scary and interesting, even with the silly "based on a true story" triteness.

It has been a good weekend.

There's been a lot going on in my head. It's a nice change. It's good to know that the drugs haven't dulled me into a sedated bliss. I'd rather have some wild problems than a completely flat life. I've had great ideas and have had lots of intersecting problems and solutions and examples floating around in my brain space. The big surprise here is that there isn't any elevation of mood to go along with it. My brain still works, and it does so independent of the wild moods that once preceded quick thought.

The practice of writing every day has been wonderfully useful. It's good to get everything out of my head so I can sort through it all. Much like when I'm cleaning my room and I have to put all the piles of things where my bed is so that I can sort them back into the more ordered spaces. It makes thinking easier.

Sometimes I just pause. My head just stops. That's something I don't know that I'll get used to. It's mildly disconcerting, and I don't know quite what to make of it. I know it's probably part of the sedating effect of the seroquel, but I don't know how to parse it. It's such a unique experience, having my head just not work for a moment. I imagine this is what it's like for certain stroke patients, only for them it's constant.

I've been sorting out what is me and what was my mental illness, and it's sort of a fun process. The driving creative type, and the musician and writer are both actually me. That's wonderful to realise. I feel like my writing (other than these posts) has gone down a bit, perhaps not in quality but most certainly in quantity. That may bode well for the school quarter to come, because I won't be putting all that time into writing when I should be studying. Of course knowing me, I doubt studying will ever take the foreground. I don't think that will ever be the case, at least not while I'm unable to do reasearch of my own.

I'm very excited for my classes. They're all psychology classes, in fact they're all cognitive neuroscience classes. That's very exciting because that's what I want to do. I have my seminar tomorrow, and then tuesday I've Perception, Cognitive Development, and Cognitive Neuroscience. I'm looking so forward to all this. The stuff that we cover in these classes is so interesting and so much of it is new. I haven't learned a lot of it yet, and that's of vital interest to me. I think that this may be a quarter where I'd enjoy putting out the amount of effort I'd need to to get straight As.

I'm so topsy turvy today though. I've lots of things on my mind, most of them good. I feel like tonight is one of those nights were I could just stay up and clean my room, listen to music and write. I've had many nights like that, and it is a little sad to prevent them by taking my drugs on time. I'm ok with it though because I'll be able to put my whole energies into my class tomorrow which promises to be wonderful.

It takes some getting used to, putting off the energetic cleaning and writing that I do when all hyped up for some other day. That's part of why my room is such a mess. The whole space has books and clothes spread all about and I don't much like it, but the hyper cleaning sprees that I before went on, no longer come to me. I have to figure out how to clean like a normal person, and I just don't know how that works. I imagine it wouldn't be so bad if I just had to do a little bit every day, but I haven't cleaned since before starting on my drugs, so the mess is a large mess, and I don't have the will to clean it all up. It's somewhat daunting without a head of steam to get me doing it all.

I'm sure I'll get it sometime when I'm avoiding working on classwork or something. I'm not sure, but I would hope so.

My head is a little too jumbled to fully post much further, I don't have organised thoughts like I did last night with my lovely rant on anarchism. Sometimes that happens. I hope my blog posts don't suffer from it.

I do appologise for all these self centred posts. It's not hard for me to write about things other than myself, but there is a lot of stuff going on with me, and people keep telling me I'm interesting. I'm not sure it's a good thing, because I'd ultimately like to keep my ego in check, but it does make me feel a little more justified in writing about the things going on with my head.

I do suppose it's interesting to hear about how someone is dealing and has dealt with mental illness and the drugs that go along with it and all that stuff. I guess I am in a unique position to report on that stuff.

If it ever gets boring, repetative, or overly self important please do let me know in comments or emails.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

some anarchist questions

So today has been good. I've had a good time hanging out with my friend andd his novia. It's been nice. I won't tell you what my plans for the evening were because they're mildly incriminating. I remarked that the bag I was carrying was the worst thing I could be holding were I to be searched. The only way It could have been more incriminating would have been the addition of explosives or firearms.

So my lovely plans for the night were not gone through with. I wasn't planing anything particularly bad, but I'm understandably paranoid about police reading through profiles which have UC Davis affiliation. They don't have anything better to do in this town, so I'll take the fifth.

Among the things I carried was a book called "Patterns of Anarchy". It's an overview of anarchist thought throughout the last century or so. That's the time that has been the most filled with anarchist influence. Sadly much of the influence has gone by the wayside. Most people when they think anarchy think of chaos and destruction. This is a misconception brought about by governments (primarily in this case the US government) to discredit anarchist ideals. Whenever there was some sort of violent upheaval among people in the late 1800s and the early 1900s, anarchists were blamed. In many cases the anarchists blamed were found to be innocent, the haymarket affair being one prime example.

This propaganda against anarchism started being more fervent around the time that state police and pinkertons were being first used to quell strikes in factories primarily in the midwest. Before this time police as we know them did not exist. The first state police were created solely to break up union activity and prevent organising of the working populous.

It would take a lot more time and a lot more research and citing of sources to tell you all about other important things in this history. I don't have the time or the primary sources from which to work. I'd suggest a few books if anyone wants to hear my suggestions. The point however is that anarchy has gotten a bad name because it's been taken from it's original meaning and used as something entirely different.

Anarchy literally translates to Without Government. It's that simple. there are may differing views on how this would work, and what sorts of organisational structures would exist, but the unifying principle is that the governments which thusfar exist are primarily dominating entities.

My take on this is fairly complicated and nuanced, and with my primary vehicles for promoting these ideals still in the editing and revising phase I can't just give you my manifesto. I'll explain the general ideas but they don't stand as well without details and examples.

Essentially I don't approve of organisational structures which take on a life of their own. One example would be the US Legislature. The general operating principles and the unwritten cronyism and corporate influence do not change when the people in the legislature change. We can refer to the legislature as a single entity which for all of my life has been essentially unchanged. The influence of corporations on bill writing and on voting is very heavy no matter who the senators and congrespeople are. There are changes in attitudes to social programmes and tax plans, but there is no change in attitudes on the influence of the corporate on the process. This is an example of the organisation taking on a life of its own. In this instance the legislature is its own entity made up of the people in it, but not defined by them. Once they enter said system they conform to the requirements of the system.

This is observable in corporations, large religious institutions, and other governments. The particulars are different, but in each case one can discern core values and operating principles which are held above those of the people who make up the group.

The reason I'm not fond of these supra-human entities is because they are indifferent. There isn't evil there, because there is no morality or accountability. A company has its goals and pursues them in whatever fashion best allows it to meet them. If a company's goals are profits and growth (as is very often the case) they will move towards those goals everything else be damned. It is only when public disapproval, or interactions with the government promise to hinder growth and profit that tactics change. Though the decisions to pursue these avenues of action are ostensibly made by people, the consistency of these decisions across companies suggests that the decision doesn't care who makes it.

All of this has been floating in my head tonight because I'm severely bothered by the way that a lot of things are going. That the "best country in the world" the US of A is as bad as it is seems a bad sign to me. If this is the best, then we humans are doing something wrong.

My friends and I were biking throughout Davis and I kept grabbing my U Lock out of my back pocket and brandishing it. The heft felt good in my hands. The whole time I was worried about and wondering about police. The power that they had over me, the fact that they could call my holding of the ULock (a potential weapon) "Probable Cause" and theoretically kill me; all of that bothered me deeply.

There are hundreds of things wrong with modern policing, but I cannot say it as well as was done in "Our Enemies in Blue: Police and Power in America" The title is intentionally hyperbolic. The research is wonderful and the topic matter as important as this stuff gets.

The whole point here though is that I've been thinking politics and social organisation and the influence of capitalism on the media.

All of this was crystalised while we watched "The Motorcycle Diaries" it was good, and very affecting. Since then I've been looking for non-corporate news sources (much harder than it sounds) and have been thinking of how best to write the third part of my novella (which draws heavily from my organisational ideals).

I'm getting a bit to bleary eyed to continue on this topic, but It must be noted that one needs question the society in which they live. Whatever one comes to is their own, but so many people don't do that. Things are good, or so they seem, because we've internalised so many of the control mechanisms.

Just think about how things work, and how you want to be involved in the processes. Do you vote, and if you do is there actually any efficacy in it? My ideas aren't well formed enough in this post for one to mull them over really well, but if you see something in them think of the organisations you are in and around; how are they changed when new people enter them, what are their core operating principles, and how do those principles differ from the stated principles?

Friday, March 27, 2009

The problem with schedules.

Keeping up the posting every night is a good thing for me. Having regular band practices and having a regular schedule are good things for me. I just wish that I weren't subject to the more dominating things about a normal schedule. I like the benefits of having band practices at consistent times, and I like the benefits of requiring myself to post every night, I just don't like the control that is exacted over my life with school and work schedules. It's like one's life isn't their own. With band practice or writing I set the schedule and I feel like all of it is my own. I'm just parcelling out my hours as I chose because I have things to do, But when I sign up for classes, or for a work schedule it's like I'm giving a certain range of hours to other people. The hours are no longer mine.

We've gotten so used to scheduling every hour of our days that we don't think of it as an affront anymore. It's no longer considered an odd thing for a kid to have a full schedule that gets them out the door at 8 and gets them back home at 8. That is such an arduous schedule if you really think about it, and yet it is what we expect of the average middle class child.

I'm not saying that I don't understand the need for a certain amount of scheduling, I just wonder if we're trading productivity for humanity. I'm also worried that perhaps what we're producing won't be of any worth. We're creating students who are so good at fitting within the lines that when a problem that requires more of them occurs only the people who didn't fit manage to solve it. I've always been the smart kid but I've never been the straight As kid, because I know things, and I know how to do things, but I do not every subject myself to the tyranny of school work.

I know that's a bit hyperbolic, and I realise that some of the refusal to do all my work is just laziness, but I also realise that blind acceptance of school work isn't a healthy attitude. People who get straight As rarely have outside lives. That we even bother with grades as a way of measuring anything is somewhat ridiculous. I could write an essay just on the problems with the logic of grading, but this isn't the place. I simply want to ask the question, who are we raising, and what are we making ourselves to become. This every so scheduled life, and these absolute deadlines aren't so good for us. That we add more and more activities to the average day, with little time for unstructured relaxing that doesn't centre around a television.

I don't know how to fix it for everyone else, but for me, I don't treat the hours after school as study time. I don't treat the hours of my days as anything really, they simply are. If I have a class I need to go to I go to it; if I have work to go to I go to it, but in the time that isn't taken by one of those absolutes I do things as I'd like, and at my fancy.

I just want to make the point that doing well as everyone else defines it isn't a good thing. Being dazed and going about ones day along with the mores that society runs on is dangerous. Making a little rebellion once in a while. Doing school because you want to learn rather than because you simply want to jump through the hoops to get a degree, working because you enjoy what you're doing for work, not just because you need the money. Those may seem like minor distinctions, but they can make all the difference. The stress you feel from going to school for a degree is gone when you go because you want to learn. The stress you feel from working for money is gone when you just enjoy whatever about your job there is to enjoy. The repetitive accuracy of a factory job, the personal interactions of a service job. The point is that we must all take an accounting of our time and decide how much of it is our and how much we're giving to other people. I'd suggest that when you give your time away to work, or to school, be sure you're willing to waste those hours, or make the most of them in that situation. We don't get another life when these ones are done, so why should we be spending every available hour doing what other people want us to do?

Just an important meditation on the nature of scheduling, and how perhaps we should be aware that we're loosing all that time. Be aware that when you get paid 8 dollars an hour whoever your working for is saying that an hour of your life is only worth that much. They are putting a finite price on your existence. I could calculate it for you based on average life span in hours, but I won't do that. Let's just say that when we work, we really are selling ourselves, no matter what it is we're doing.

Just think about how you spend your time, and if it's not how you want to be spending it, then say fuck it to work, to school, to whatever you're doing, and make the time you're spending into your own time. Play music all the time instead of working, and make that your work. Write instead of going to school, and make that your avenue for learning. Make your time YOURs again.

Anyhow, that's a bit of my philosophy. Call it a minor part of a manifesto if you will. Schedules are dominating, so make sure you want to be submissive before you agree to one.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Getting used to the new meds.

I had a very long and very interesting idea to plug here, but I started on it, and a paragraph in, I felt like it just wasn't quite right. I have these ideas all the time, big and small, important and unimportant, but only so many of them are of worth.

I've been having less as of late. The ideas that usually flood my brain, and the songs that play whether I want them to or not; the need to produce or explode, and that energy that just takes me every once in a while, are gone. I'm convinced my pills are saving me. From a possible suicide, from depression which steals from me months at a time. I'm being saved by these drugs, but the sedation, and the dampening of ideas is such a burden. I was so defined by constant production. I've said it before, I'm not real unless I'm creating. Fitting into whatever this modern mould is doesn't work for me.

I will keep taking my drugs, but gods do I wish for a world in which I didn't have to. I value my life enough to take the slow creation, and effortful work that comes with it, over the fiery passion that it's replaced. If only to continue living and perhaps increase my creation over the longer time I'll be spending here.

I can feel why people don't stick to their drugs. I picked up the guitar today and played for about an hour, but the things that came out all sounded the same. The songs I played were songs I already knew. I've plenty of days where new things come out, but I hate those days where it doesn't happen. I've been having new ideas for parts of stories, and for stories themselves, and I keep loosing them. I keep losing the things that used to keep me grounded.

I feel so disjointed. I still want to drink and smoke and be wild, as if it would bring back the creativity that once was paired with debauchery. I'm not sure if this is permanent. I hope that it isn't.

I don't feel right without some world being created in my head. I don't feel right without ideas flowing so fast that I can't even hold onto them.

I think that's where my problem is. I've spent too long being exceptional. By exceptional I don't mean wonderful or brilliant, I mean an exception. I have been too long an exception to the rules that govern most people. For better or worse I've gotten used to being either this dynamo skittering with thought and creative passion or being this inert blob made of pain and despondency.

Being in this odd inbetween state that it seems is normal for everyone just doesn't feel right. I don't know how normal people exist. I still don't know how. I feel like everyone would rebel against their mundane lives if they had even once felt the power and beauty and terror of a mania. If just once people had felt the horribleness of a depression perhaps they wouldn't have such faith in indifferent systems. If people knew what I know I don't think they would be the way they are.

Everyone seems to me deluded and overly optimistic. Even while everyone is crying wolf and worried that their savings will disappear under an ocean of debt, they still believe in some sort of meaning to the world.

I can't feel that. I can't feel the love of God, and I can't feel ever that normal is good enough. So I am left with the decision to either live in a way that the rest of the world accepts, taking my pills and being dulled down into a manageable middle, or to go crazy and be at odds with all that this world stands for.

If I weren't afraid of another depression, afraid of that horrible time when I feel like destroying my hands and myself, I would stop my pills to feel the joy of mania and to once again have so many thoughts piling around in my head that I have to get them out on every surface I can. I used to cover my arms with notes, and fill notebooks with ideas. I used to positively crackle with passion, and now I am much like everyone else, whatever the fuck that means.

I'm glowering right now feeling bad about the lack of creative prowess I've been displaying lately. My pills sit on the desk next to my computer. I will take them soon, before heading off to bed, but they'll go down into my stomach, anchoring me to the rest of humanity.

There's the good and there's the bad about all this. I am no longer a risk to kill myself, I no longer will spend all of my money on frivolous things, I no longer will have to after every mania go get an STD test and check on my finances and feel my liver aching. But I also will no longer have 72 hour writing sessions broken up only by cigarettes and store visits, I will no longer have a song in my head every hour of every day.

I like the benefits and I hate the costs. I don't know if it's worth it, being sane. I was both happier and so indescribably sadder while I was crazy.

I have been so many things. I have lived more lives than most 21 yearolds could ever hope to. I have existed for what feel like 26 years. My time has been lengthened, and now dulled and medicated I don't feel like the person I've been the last three years, or six years, or whatever it has felt like to me.

I don't know if I'm the same person, and I need to find new ways to bring out the good things about my craziness. I need to find out how to bring out the creativity and passion that before smouldered beneath my breast.

I think I'm succeeding to a certain extent, but I don't know, and if I keep feeling this hopeless, what's the point of taking these drugs at all?

Writing like this may be one of the ways I can draw out the passion that I haven't been finding in the slow rhythms of every day. I know that when I write, things feel good. The stuff that comes out, be it filled with vitriol, or filled with joy, always feels true. That can't be said of most things. My writing and my music feel true, and for someone who isn't even sure about there being any objective truth that's a rather important statement.

So for all my ranting, and for all that I feel a little constricted on these new drugs, things are good. I am well, and I am still writing. I am still producing written word that hasn't been written before, that is hopefully interesting. As long as my blood is still pumping and my hands still writing, I will be ok.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I wish the truth were happier.

I hear better stories on the street than I could ever come up with on my own. Dead Mothers and stolen bicycles. Torrid tragedies remembered by streetlamps.

I was walking to the store, Cigarette in mouth, breathing in smoke which simultaneously comforted me about my coming death and increased its proximity. In the centre of the street, a few people met and began talking loudly about a party, or something of the sort. One of the girls, clearly drunk, and rather obnoxious sounding said "I can't believe they stole that bike off my front lawn. That was my mom's bike. She's fucking dead and they stole it. That's all I have to remember her by. She's fucking dead and they stole her bike. What sort of people do that, just steal a bike off a front lawn. What the hell am I gonna do?"

I walked down the sidewalk, away from there middle of the street conference. While I was smoking and watching the billows rise up above me into the night, I could hear two of the voices behind me while I walked. "That was my mom's bike. I needed that. I can't believe they did that, I just can't fucking believe it." I couldn't make out what the friend was saying.

About halfway to the store, and about a block after the voices disappeared into a house on my street, I could still hear the timbre of the girl's voice. It was the voice of the girl at a party you just wish would shut up. The voice that sounds just as annoying when complaining about there not being enough dip for the chips as when complaining about something that needs to be complained about. It was so sad. That's a voice I would disregard normally. I would have just felt annoyed by tone and not have bothered to hear content. It's something to note; the most annoying people still have problems.

I finished my cigarette feeling great and horrible at the same time. I knew I shouldn't be smoking. It's bad for my lungs, the smell is atrocious, and the benefits aren't really that apparent. It makes some things bearable. It's not a habit yet I guess. I've only bought one pack in the last three months. That's a good sign, but that I still need them is a bother. But I still need drugs every night. To feel good I need lots of things. To feel right I need lots of things.

while worrying about my lungs and the shortening of my life I lit another cigarette and wondered if that bike would be returned, and how that girl's mother died, and who she was, and what the hell was going on, and if it was recent or something that the girl just talked about every time she got drunk. Was this all just something that came to my head because I like stories? Did I make all of this up and convince myself it was real. Shit.

I hear more interesting stories in the middle of the night, in the middle of the street than I could ever come up with, but I wish I could. I wish the stories I heard were made up, and I wish the stories didn't have to be true. I wish that girl's bike, that had once belonged to her mother, hadn't been stolen. I wish that the stories about me, about going crazy, about shattering my life into a million pieces and having to pick them up and patiently glue them back together with drugs and persistence weren't true.

I wish my life this far with a dead brother, a crazy father, a crazy self, and generally unfulfilled dreams and ambitions weren't true.

I can make up stories, but they're never as interesting as the sad ones that I hear at night, when I can't sleep and my feet just want to strike the pavement, and my lungs just want a mix of fresh air and carcinogenic smoke.

I wish the truth were happier than it is, for me and for everyone else.

Monday, March 23, 2009

stagnation bothers me.

I'm so much more likely to want to write when I don't have time for it. I've written obsessively for a long time, but that tends to be more obvious when I have stuff to do all day. It doesn't seem like I write so much when I'm not doing anything else in a day.

I have a feeling it's just because time feels different based on context. But it still doesn't help me feel more inspired while I'm sitting in front of the TV writing.

So, in this advertisement for that movie "monsters vs aliens" they were playing a lovely song called Hey Pachuco by Royal Crown Revue. Something to note is that this is a kids movie, and the song is about Pachucos, a particular breed of Mexican sometimes gangster from the 1940s. The song is largely based on the Los Angeles riots between sailors and pachucos.

It's a pretty awesome slice of history. I'd suggest you check it out. I just find it interesting that it's in the advertisement for a kids movie.

So that's sort of proof that I haven't a whole lot to write about. I sort of hate having nothing to do. IT gets very old. I'm not good at being useless. I'm way more ok with sitting down and watching television without being busy than I ever have been before. I still have a bit of trouble being stagnate though.

Even writing sometimes doesn't work as a way of fulfilling myself.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Regarding Obama

Regarding Obama.
I've no doubt he'll work on the problems, but I don't think that the general intertwinedness between the corporate and the governmental will be overcome. That's a serious problem for me because it is not only a conflict of interest, it effectively disenfranchises whatever amount of the 300 million us citizens votes. We are given a few options for candidates, and those candidates cannot run without corporate funding. We sort of chose the candidate that ends up in office, but effective advertising is shown to have such a profound effect on purchasing behaviour that it would be a bad idea to think it didn't do something similar with voting. Essentially all candidates are fundamentally Liberal Capitalists, with varying attitudes on social issues. The social issues can vary because the people funding them aren't worried about the social, they're only worried about making money. So the variance in candidates though very real doesn't change the fundamental outlook that they must have in order to get the office. This applies to all of our elected officials, and once one looks at the process of lobbying in congress it becomes even more apparent how intertwined the corporate and the governmental are. So while I see Obama making changes, which will be beneficial, it will not remove one of the basic problems that lead to all this. The serious influence of the corporate on the governmental will not change under his leadership, or under the leadership of any president elected by the same system. The liberal capitalist agenda will remain strong, and the fundamental conflict of interest which causes ills to the planet, the people and the ability of citizens to affect the governing body above them will not be resolved.

It is a somewhat pessimistic way of looking things, but things are dark. I'm not of the opinion that this Liberal Capitalism is evil. It isn't, but I am worried by the fact that it is indifferent. There are no socially constructed taboos, and mores, to prevent them from doing ill. Humans however have implicit rules engrained in us from birth. The indifference of the powerful is dangerous. The Corporate doesn't control everything, but their amount of influence is so large as to be astronomically difficult to fully represent the vast expanse of their power.

There could be hope in all this, but I'd have to think more. I don't think that that fundamental problem will be solved while the US still exists, but there is a small chance I'm wrong, and I really do hope I am.

Friday, March 20, 2009

My 21st birthday, and my Animus.

I'll preface this post with the note that I have two songs that have been running through my head tonight. One of them is by my band Sans Francisco, the other is by Tom Waits.

The one by my band is called Dear Antigone, lyrics and vocals by me, guitar and harmonies by my band mate Matt Sevrens. It goes like this

Someone once said, cellar door is the most beautiful phrase in our language
I'm not sure I believe that assertion, now that I've heard your song
Oh Antigone, You have so enthralled me
Oh Antigone, you've so enthralled me

You say the words you think, You say them unabashedly
My voice could never do you justice
in these sad little songs I sing
and I hope that I can be all the things that you seem to ask of me
A hope that you can bring me peace, if not a rest from all this
please Antigone
Please Antigone
Please take me

You say, it's all in Vain
I don't know, what it is you want, out of me
I once tried to measure an hour, in wasted time
when with you, It's never so good as when you're there
it's never so bad as when I'm missing you
dear Antigone
please set me free, from the shackles that so roughly bind me
to this world
could this lovely girl, in front of me
my dear Antigone, be

So that was the whole song, but the whole thing has been going through my head. I need to find my Antigone. (not necessarily a girl, though the song does suggest that.)
That's what I've been missing, someone who can set me free from the shackles that so roughly bind me.

I talked to my ex girlfriend tonight, while avoiding working on a paper that's due tomorrow. The thing that kept coming to mind was the fact that she never really understood my need to create. It's not a matter of choosing to create less so I have more time for classes and school and work. There isn't a choice for me. She never seemed to get that. She fell out of love with me and also couldn't deal with being so close to all of my mental problems. It's something I think I've gotten over, but she still makes me want to smoke.

At the time it was both a fulfilling of oral fixations and a desire to put physical scars where the emotional ones were. It worked to an extent.

I got over her with oral fixations. I smoked more cigarettes in those couple of months than I ever had before and ever will again. Talking to her, or using instant messaging to talk to her, still makes me want to smoke. I guess that's a sign I haven't really gotten over her. I don't love her anymore, and haven't for some time, but there's still some bitterness there for me. I felt pretty abandoned when all that went down.

That ties into the other song that was in my head, Little Drop of Poison. It's not important that I put down the lyrics in this post, you can look them up if you'd care to. it's tied into all this though.

So instead of being with someone who doesn't understand my need to create I need an Antigone. I guess that's my model for a partner. I'm looking for one of those really, because I'm no good at dating, or at playing the field. I'm good at being in a relationship and caring for someone.

I've been figuring out my head, and the only thing that's constant no mater what is going on with me is this need to create. I always am making things and when I'm not I don't feel real.

I feel real right now, sitting and writing this. I was almost in a mood to neglect posting here, but that's not something I ever want to do. I have to write every day. I don't feel fulfilled otherwise. Sure I was writing a paper today, but that's not the sort of writing I mean. When writing a paper, no matter how enjoyable, I can't just say the things I think. There's too much back story and too much messiness to put into a paper for school. I have to write these ridiculous rants and these long long posts about what it is to be me, because I haven't figured that out yet.

I'm getting better at it. The realisation that I really do need an Antigone, a partner in all of this is one step in figuring it out. Writing every day, whether or not I feel like it is another step. The things that drive me are pretty clear, creation and a desire to help someone and be helped by someone.

I had so many things I wanted to say when I was thinking about this blog post outside, smoking a cigar to signify the end of the paper I wrote tonight and the end of my 20th year. Today is my 21st birthday. I'm not a new person, but it's a notable landmark. My first adult birthday, while sane.

I have a final, and a psychiatrist appointment tomorrow, then I'm done for the week. I have work some of next week, which will be a nice change of pace. I'm ready to take on the world as a slightly different person. Like I've said before I still don't want to conform to the way the world is, but I do want to be able to deal with it on my own terms rather than the on the terms of my moods.

The whole mess of who I am and who I want to be, and my goals and my desires is all too messy to deal with at once. I have too take all this day by day, and so far that's going well. My friends are helpful in this, and my drugs are helpful in this. Breaking up my routines with writing and song has really given me something to look forward to.

As unusual as it is, I look forward to this blog post every day, not always consciously, but still the anticipation is there. I like being able to finally say all the things that build up over a day, especially a day like this with paper writing and two finals and a discussion with my ex girlfriend. These are things that just tend to make me want to get more and more shit out.

The moral of all this is that I'm ready. I'm here. I am creating, and I will be doing so for the rest of my life however long or short it is. I've shortened my life with tobacco and alcohol, with marijuana and wild nights, and I've lengthened it with atypical anti-psychotics that can keep me from just saying fuck it to this life that I haven't found meaning in yet.

The only thing I've found of worth is to create. So every day, unless my computer breaks again, I'll be here, typing away my sorrows and joys and in betweens because for me this is more than a narcicistic bit of self aggrandisement, it's an outlet, and on some really shitty, or unproductive days, my reason for keeping on going.

It's dramatic, but these aren't histrionics. I'm doing this because I need to, and read or not, this blog is keeping me sane in a more fundamental sense than the neurochemical. I'm not sure I believe in a soul, or in something about us that isn't just our brains, but if any such thing exists this is where I'm giving mine room to breath.

This is my animus. Unless I take to doing this in private, every day you'll get to see some of it, some of my animus spilled on the page, and explained, not just for you but for me.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

my way with words isn't mine.

I tend to think of my ability with words as something that just came about naturally, but that's far from the case. The way my parent's used language around me while I was growing up and the way that my dad thought about writing all influenced how I use language. I used to write essays for my dad on various topics. It was fun, but important, and I know that that improved my writing style. So while I have a way with words, it's not because I have some natural ability. I have a way with words because of the training I had. That's useful to know.

What I tend to think of as natural ability is more a product of being raised on writing, and reading, and language. It's nicely sobering to remember that what I've got comes from practice and training rather than just a way with words.

I don't know exactly what brought that on, but It seems important. There's an intersection between natural ability and environment that's vital to the development of a skill or talent. Same goes for music and other things. The music is the same way. I heard music growing up. It would have been a bit better if, like in the family of my friend Paul, people played music all the time, but exposure is still important. It's important to not think of a skill as something entirely yours. It's about the influences. Not laying claim to a skill is a good way of avoiding that bravado that comes from making something that you think is good. That my writing skill is really something given me by my parents, and by my time practising, is humbling in a good way.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Creation is my only refuge.

The point I made in the other post is rather profound. I don't know how true any of the stuff regarding Sans Francisco is, because I think I'm just having a bad day, but the statements about creation are true. I only feel real when I'm creating. Sometimes a conversation will enthral me. That's actually one of the preconditions for my infatuation with someone, in conversation with them I am enthralled. The only other times which are real to me are the ones in which I'm making something.

That's an important thing to note. What is real to us is so much a mater of perception. The fact is that everything in memory is foggy and is somewhat surreal to begin with, but when that sort of patina is draped over the present, one can imagine how disconcerting it would be. My present is like that. If I'm not making something I am in a limbo. I am in a between. There's not a lot I can do about it except to create everywhere. To always be making something new, whether or not I think what I create is going to be of worth. That's one of the changes for me. I can't feel real just by going to a party. I don't automatically feel expansive, I have to induce it.

I can't just be driven by a mood and then go on into the world that way. I have to push myself into these furies of creation to make the world mine. Other wise I don't feel as if I've done anything.

An hour of class often feels like wasted time. The transit between home and school feels like wasted time, and the majority of conversations I have feel like wasted time. One effect of my drug is that I'm less depressive, and tend to be a bit nicer to be around. That shows how drastically unpleasant I must have been. But I still cannot shake this feeling that nigh everything I must do is pointless. I am real when I write, and I am real when I play music that hasn't been played before. I am real when I'm typing this poorly structured essay, because it is the flowing out of something new that keeps me going.

I've long wondered about the value of existence, and the only things that haven't come up short have been writing and music. Everything else is sullied by the fact that we don't know if there is meaning. Everything else is unsure, and may be of no use to anyone in the long run. But Creation.

Gods. I want to write Creation in all caps to make my point, because language isn't even sufficient to explain what I want to say. CREATING is a reason to live. That's all.

I often have felt I hadn't a reason to live. I've often felt the power, as well as the hopelessness, of being alive. I have felt a wide wide range of things, and the one thing that has stuck out to me is that I can keep on living as long as I can create.

That is the only thing that inspires me to continue. When the world has fallen down around me, and I feel this strong desire to drive my hands through some wall, and destroy their ability to play guitar, their ability to write, The only thing that sustains me is this ability to create.

The only reason I don't end up slamming my hands against the wall again and again until they are useless, is because creation is worth living for.

I'm willing to have gone through whatever ills I have gone through in order to create.

I don't know if that will always be the case, but up to now that has been the thing that has kept me alive.

I am still alive because I can create. There isn't another redeeming value to life that I've found yet.

One can argue all they want with that logic, but they will be found short.

creation is my only refuge.

I'm only real when I'm creating.

I'm not always sure what I'm going to write about when I sit down to write a blog post, but I do it every day and somehow I always come up with some writing topic. That's something new to me, having to force myself to write every day. I write every day whether or not I feel like it, because no longer do my moods drive me to write. I still feel driven sometimes, and I still have important things to say (or so I think), but I don't have the same sort of fervour.

I sort of want to move. I like Davis. The place is fine, but I feel almost like I need a new setting to fit the new person I'm becoming. I'm still the same in a lot of ways, but not being blown about on the winds of mood is something that takes a lot of settling down to. I'm getting used to it of course, but I don't entirely feel the same. I almost miss the wild fluctuations, even though they caused so much distress.

Sometimes I feel like the stuff I'm putting the most time into now isn't the stuff I want to produce. I'm playing music that I like with matt, but I feel like there's a whole lot of boundary pushing I want to do with my other music. That hit me today while sitting around with Matt. It wasn't a practice session or anything, but I kept on being more and more annoyed at the little things he does, and it kind of hit me that I'd rather be sitting with my loop pedal and working on some of the difficult problems that I have with the musical pointillism stuff. The thing is that when playing with him I get bored. The bass lines bore me, and the things no matter how good they sound tend to feel less vital than the stuff I create alone or with Dan.

I like playing with Matt, and I want it to go somewhere, I'm excited about it in a lot of ways, but I can't just do that, and sometimes it gets in the way for the stuff that most interests me. It hurts that I woke up at 4 in the afternoon, so already I haven't as much time to do the stuff I want to, but I'm still not willing to take the time that I would play my musical pointillism and put it towards this other stuff I'm doing.

I guess that's what my problem is. I like doing this but not at the cost of the music that I feel like no one is doing. Sans Francisco is doing something interesting, but it's not something that engages me every time I play it. When I play one of the bass lines I'm not fully there, and when I sing one of the lines I'm not fully there. It doesn't feel like creation. That's the thing I'm not real unless I'm making something. The time when I'm writing music, or writing blog posts, or making something are when I'm fully involved. Rehearsing things I've already made bores me to death. Writing bass lines to things already written bores me to death. I can only do so much of it before I get all pissed off.

I have to be making new things. I like playing my own songs that I've written, but not nearly as much as writing new things. That's part of why there's a heavy improv element to the musical pointillism stuff, that way I'm real while I'm on stage. That way I'm actually a full person. I'm not performing something that already exists.

I just want to be real, and the only way I can do that is by making. Making anything really. I don't create the way others breathe, but if I don't create there isn't a point in breathing.

I'm tired of doing the same things over again. I know how important it is to have a song tight, have it put together so well that it sounds perfect, but I don't know if I have the patience to make that happen. I can't cede my existence for that long. It's so close to making something, and yet so far. I want to eschew the routine, the practised, the automatic. I can spend my time in front of the TV not existing, but I WILL not spend my time with a guitar or bass in my hands not existing. That's part of why I don't remember bass lines. I can't stand doing the same thing every time. I tried. I will continue to try, and I intellectually understand the importance of it, but I can't force myself into that rut.

I'll keep on with Sans Francisco, but I'm keeping on for when we make new songs. I'm keeping on for the catchyness of the songs we write, not because I like playing the song perfectly. I don't like playing a song perfectly, if it's the same song I've played ten billion times. I like writing the song. I'll perform because I must, but I exist only for the creative bit. Playing music isn't creative, only making it is.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Musical Pointillism

Eating pasta, watching television, and happily done downloading some lovely albums. I've no finals on lovely St Patrick's day, which I so love so the plan for tomorrow is to sleep in, sit about, watch television, and drink an beer or two. I'm rather looking forward to it. Perhaps some reading and some writing and music.

got back about half an hour ago from smoking cigars and talking about musical stuff with my friend Dan. He's the drummer percussionist guy from my band Exactly. He's been working on programming a loop on Macs MSP. It's pretty exciting, and he's got awesome stuff going on. I'm pretty psyched, because this means he can do a lot of things with the percussion. The possibilities are really wide ranging. We talked a little about specifics and if the parameters of his program could do what we wanted it too. He automatically came up with some solutions to our problems. It's exciting.

The problems I've been having with my musical pointillism has been in the fact that it's only guitar and a loop. I'm good at creating a static picture, which though certain rhythms will show up and there is movement, is generally a singular picture. Adding this dynamic looped percussion set up gives it a certain amount of motion. There's also the bass line, which I'm using my delay pedal (able to loop for around 3000 msec) for. The trick is that over those three(I may have more, not sure) seconds a certain number of repeats lead to a fade away.

I'm going to have my friend matt, and guitarist in my other band Sans Francisco, play bass this way. The strictures of the delay pedal will counteract some of the melodic things he can't help but do. It's going to be useful.

I have two inputs on my loop pedal, the one I'm using on my guitar, and the other input is ostensibly a Mic input, and what I want to do is get a mic and have my friend Paul who is off and on in Sans Francisco, and is one of the main members of Exactly, will play trombone through the mic and on the loop. It should be useful.

Point is there's a whole bunch of stuff that we want to do with this. It allows for creative input from all parties, (well I don't know if Matt will end up feeling like he's got creative input) and it's got a lot of possibilities. It's my first serious chance to be the primary creative force behind something musical. It's really nice. Being the impetus behind something is great.

There's lots of musical stuff floating around in my head, but it's far more manageable on my drugs, which is super nice. That's what I've been thinking.

Monday, March 16, 2009

My Generation's art.

I always worry that my generation will write memoirs no one will ever get the chance to read. We'll pour effort into long descriptions of going mad, or growing up a certain way, and no one will ever see them to benefit from them. It's fine for the person who writes the book, because writing about the bad parts of ones life makes them seem not less bad, but more manageable. It isn't quite as good for the rest of the world.

I used to worry my generation wouldn't create much interesting art, but I'm no longer worried about the creation of interesting art, I'm more worried about the desimination of that art. There are great band made up of people my age, but it's the shitty ones who get radio plays. There are great painters, and writers, and sculptors, and all sorts of other things, but those aren't things that come up to the public view.

My generation will create, but I don't think anyone will see it. That gives great reason to ask the question; is art without an audience art at all?

That's a troubling question, especially for someone like me who has art *music in my case* but rarely shows it to anyone. Our memoirs may be good, our songs great, our paintings brilliant, but it's all for naught if no one sees them, hears them or reads them. We listen to music for different reasons now. The same is true for how we consume writing and visual art.

Music is a distraction and something to go in the background. I don't know how people can listen to top forty hits on their iPods all day long, but that is what they do. the visual art that makes it is in advertisements, and the writing we enjoy is about sordid affairs, or about celebreties.

Art serves it's purpose as a placating remedy given to the masses. It's the same crticism that's been used since the Horkheimer and Adorno paper "The culture Industry." I fell like this art that my generation makes to put in advertisments and television shows, and the television shows themselves, and the art in full page ads are all worth less because their purpose isn't art.

To a certain extent I'm a formalist that way.

I'd like to keep going on this topic but my meds are kicking in and I litterally can't. It's like it's gradually powering down my brain.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

A bit about my current state

My room is a horrible mess. I haven't cleaned properly in months. I feel a little bad about it, but I never feel the need to clean. It's not a good thing that I willingly eschew cleanliness, but for some reason it just doesn't seem that important.

Even last night when I had people over it didn't seem a big deal to me. That's the thing. I just don't want to do any of these things I'm responsible for. Or maybe it's more like I have a pool of resources I can put towards anything and cleaning my room just isn't one of the things I choose to put resources towards.

That would make sense to me. I've been doing a lot more music lately, and it's been pretty good by my accounting. I've also been getting on top of the stuff I need to do for my job. And then there's school. I've been rather good about that as of late. I just don't have the extra resources to get to cleaning my room, or sorting out my clothes.

That's probably not a good thing, but I think I'm operating on the same schedule as I was when off of my meds, and it doesn't apply to my medicated state. That may be part of it. I'm much better with my meds, nicer, better to be around, less snappy, less negative, less wild. They're definitely a good thing for me, I just need to get used to them.

It's not just that either, I have to get used to a whole different life and figure out if I'm comfortable with just doing the routine things that each of us does every day. I don't know if I feel like the way the world is structured suits me. I don't want to live in the confines of habit. The routines I feel I need to go through stifle me. For all my desire to understand the human brain to a greater degree, for all my desire to explore the things that make us human, sometimes I just want to quit it all and play music. Sometimes I want to say fuck it, and just write books, songs and poems. Sometimes all of this is too much.

Of course the drugs make me realise a bit more fully the weight that a routine puts on ones shoulders. I've even had to justify the taking of them to myself. I'm taking them to avoid depressions, and to perhaps lengthen my life by preventing a possible (hell considering statistics on the subject among people sharing my disorder, likely) suicide. I'm not taking them to become a productive member of society. I'm not taking them so that I can work and be prosperous, I'm taking them to save my life.

That's a pretty profound difference. They're being prescribed to allow me to fit into society, but I don't need to fit in, in fact I'd much rather not fit in. I'm taking them to fit in or not fit in on my own terms. To a certain extent it's the same as my hindsight justification for the short time for which I could have considered myself a smoker. Cigarettes in some way helped me cope with the shittyness of life, and for all that they very well may have shortened my life by a few months or a few years, they have, by preventing my just giving up, given me back many more.

Right now for me is a time for rediffining of terms. Who am I? I don't know anymore, but I'm working on it. I am not someone who wants to be subject to the greater trends of society, and anytime I see myself doing something just because it's what has always been done, I feel a little bit of myself die. So far that and my desire to create have been the only certain things. I want to create, and even though society doesn't value my music or my writing the way they value the creation of pointless monetary assets, I want to continue as if what I do is the most important thing there is.

That's all I'm really sure off, but I guess that's a lot. I have to resources to do those things I want to as well, so I'm not so bad off. I just need to figure out the rest, through song, and writing. Maybe I'll find out and I can tell everyone who I am, but with this being a completely new experience and the fact that I'm always changing even if only a little bit, It may be rather hard to do.

the weather and my writing style.

The weather has taken a nasty turn. I'd rather it just rained instead of threatening with big grey clouds and cool winds. Waiting for the other shoe to drop is never something I've been a fan of. I've spent enough time waiting for things to go wrong, or turn for the worse in my normal life, I don't usually like it for weather.

The weather metaphor is used a lot for bipolar disorder. It's a pretty accurate one. The clouds roll in and it threatens to rain before a torrent falls down. The same happens with manias, where you've those days where the sun just peeks out from the clouds and it's still cold out. It's like the lead up.

Oddest thing, I'm imagining this read in an English accent. I tend to write in a way that just sounds better read out loud in an english accent. I can do it in the Irish but that's not quite how I write. I don't really know why it sounds so much better to me when it doesn't sound estado unidensen. I've never been comfortable with being from the US, and that may just be part of it.

I've always had trouble figuring out where my writing style comes from because I've all these influences that aren't connected to where I'm from. I spent too much time reading books of all different sorts. I spent too much time in Japan, and I spent too much time wishing I weren't from the part of northern California I was from.

That irks me a bit. It's not necessarily of importance enough to blog about, but in actuality, what is?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

My current band and music

You all should go over to www.mattsevrens.com to see the music my new band has been making. It's catchy, and unusual. I think people will like it. So do check it out. it's not the stuff that I've written that musical philosophy stuff about. It's not my Post chordalism, or musical pointalism or whatever. It's folky pop with clever lyrics.

Do check it out. If you enjoy it let me know. Perhaps I'll post more if there is interest.

finnally my computer has been fixed.

My computer has been fixed. I'm so tempted to yell that, with my lovely caps lock key. I rather missed her. The thing is, turns out I use the computer far more than I had thought. It's almost like most of the easily kept social ties are on the internet now. It's a good and bad thing. It's good for my gas consumption, and bad for keeping my body in biking shape. It's good for my introverted but people loving people loving persona, but bad for the actually people I love.

I'm ambivalent about how much of my life, and the lives of others, centre around computers, but as far as action is concerned, I'm unlikely to change my direct involvement with said devices.

Something I'm sort of surprised to have missed is posting on this blog. I had been doing so every day, and it had been quite a release. I just didn't realise how much until I no longer had it at my fingertips. That gave me time to sit and handwrite part of the memoirs I'm working on, but handwriting is a practice in passion not in work ethic. I am a shite editor when it comes to handwritten works, and transposing them to my primary mode of wirting, my computer is always a troublesome endeavour. I'm not overly worried about that transition, but it will be a large amount of additional work over the editing and rewriting. One of my friends said it takes at least five years to write a good memoir. All that made me think of was the David Bowie song "five years", but she's right about one thing. Perhaps not the time in particular but certainly the fact of a long time being needed. I'd say more like two or three years, but on never fully knows. I would find it interesting to have it take 3 years, so that it's about as long as the primary time of focus.

But that's enough mulling. For now I'm just happy to have my computer back and my blog back and my connection to the rest of the world (well my non physical connection to it at least) back.

Rather pleased if you couldn't tell.

Monday, March 09, 2009

I'm working on a paper right now. I felt like writing but no longer felt like writing my paper, so while I've use of a computer I've decided to once again post on this lovely page of mine.

My teeth have been hurting me. I rather hate dental work, despite realising it's necessity. The thing that most bothers me is the ability of dental problems to remove all other thoughts from ones brain. If my teeth hurt I'm unlikely to be thinking about anything else. That occurs in a lot of different cases, but because my teeth hurt I'm having trouble thinking of anything else.

The paper I'm working on is titled "Madness and Meaning: Mental Illness and the Essentialist Turn" That sentence is rather hard because the shift key on this shitty school keyboard keeps sticking. I have to make a serious amount of effort to press it again and again. It leaves me tempted to not capilatise anything. That of course is a bad idea, but I can't seem to shake it nonetheless.

Not having a computer seriously puts a damper on my existence. There are plenty of things my computer is good for, and without it I realise again how much time I spend using it. It's usually just in passing, for the listening of music, or the reading of blogs and articles, but without it my life is significantly different. I write on notebooks for hours, giving my hand these uncomfortable cramps that I try to get rid of by massaging my hand while watching television. I don't like my life without a computer. Typing is a hugely useful thing for me. My hand writing is bad and I've a tendency to grip to hard. All of this leads me to wish I had a keyboard under my fingers to catch the thoughts that fall out of them.

My computer will soon be fixed, and the same goes for my teeth, so these minor things that ail me will be done for, however I'm a little too in the moment to just think of them as temporary.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Some challenges posited by my memoir writing.

my computer is well on it's way to being fixed, and my memoir is on it's way to being written. That's not to say I have near enough material as of yet, but on the plus side, I'm up to about 10,000 words and I haven't yet gotten to the meat. Actually that may be the minus side. I haven't actually figured that out.

The problem with this writing I've been doing is that my life is confusing. Trying to structure it so that people could make sense of my ups downs and various influences is a nigh arduous task. Timeline doesn't properly organise my life, and normal memoir structure doesn't either. I don't want my readers to be as confused as I was once they get to the bit about madness.

That's where the issue is, in portrayal of moods and all of that I can't rely on time, or on history. I seem to be doing that a lot, working on things for which I've no forebarers. It's a hard thing to do.

Of course there are many memoirs to look at, and read and reference, but somehow I feel like my memory of events is unsusual. I explained to someone earlier this week how I remember things so well; I tie everything together. If I'm learning about one topic I tie it to another, and another and so on until everything is a jumble of connections.

I have connections, not timelines. I have to go back and use details to sort out the actual timeline of my life. I think that my dad's first break that I was aware of was after my brother's death, but that's only because I'm assuming a partially causal relationship, not because I have any real feeling about which occured first. I could always figure out which years these things happened in through memory and through asking people, but I don't really think that would clear the air.

I want to explain things in an order that makes more sense. That's why this memoir is going to be an interesting experiment. I don't know if I'll ever end up releasing it, but I do know that there's quite a lot of stuff that interacts. It's not stream of consciousness, but it is structured based on sense rather than time.

Most people understand time, but for me, with my ups and downs, and dilation and contraction, time isn't the best way of ordering things. I don't experience time in the same way, and I don't know quite how to reconcile this experience with others.

So be it.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Wishing I could post more. Damn broken computer.

The stuff i've been writing in notebooks as of late all points to the writing of a memoir. I'm pretty sure I finally have the impetus and will to do it. It may end up being more like a "dreams of my russian summers", memoir only in the loose sense. I'm expecting it to be more about the truth than about the actual events. That's a tricky thing of course. I have a feeling stuff from the blog will come in handy and get slid in there, but I imagine most of it will be new stuff. I intend to continue writing the blog as soon as my computer is repaired (which should be soon). I'm using a school computer right now, and so will keep this post short.

The memoir may take some time away from my posting, and I do intend to put some serious work into it. I'm not entirely sure if I'll ever finish it, or where I'll get with it, but I do hope to find out.

I've had a lot to say as of late, mostly because my new meds have been giving me an unusual freedom from the mercurial nature of my moods. I do hope I can write more of it down here when the computer is fixed. That memoir may take a year, or two, or longer, but if I manage to finish it the people who read this will be the first to know.

So good luck, Will be back when I'm able.