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I read the news today, oh boy Nov. 9th, 2005 @ 10:56 am
Twelve years ago, for the first time, I was forced to deal with the issue of death. I knew several young people who died that year(by young people, I mean people my own age, plus or minus a year or two). None of these were people I was particularly close with, but it was dificult to deal with, because of the fact that they were my own age...

I'm writing this, because one of these people died on November 6th, twelve years ago, and I've been thinking about him a lot for the last couple of days. This person was the son of one of my Mother's friends. I'd never even talked to him, that I can remember, but I always heard about him from my mother. He is somebody I wish I had known. He was a few years older than me, about the same age as my older brother. When I was a kid, I spent most of my time playing basketball in our driveway. Sometimes, my Mother's friend would stop by the house, and her son would wait for her in the car. It was sort of awkward, as I was very shy, I wasn't going to go talk to him, so I just kept playing basketball, and he just sat in the car, not paying any attention to me. It's only a random memory I have, but when I think about it now, I wish so much that I'd just walked over and said hello...that is sort of my primary memory I have of this kid. Like I said, I didn't really know him, and he was several years older than me.

I do have one other related memory. This would have been several years earlier, maybe around 1982 or so. My Mother and I went over to her friend's house, and as her son wasn't home, she told me I was welcome to go into his room and play with his toys. As any child born in the 1970's knows, the most cherished toys of the day were the Star Wars toys. To imagine the typical kid's room of that time, at least in American Suburbia, just think of Elliot's room, in the movie E.T. This kid's room looked just like that. He had every Star Wars figure, every ship, the Death Star set, the Mos Eisley Cantina set, the Hoth set(this was before Return of the Jedi came out, so we were still smack in the middle of the "Is Darth Vader Luke's Father?" debate). As a five year old kid, I was in heaven. I remember walking softly amongst these scattered treasures on the floor, afraid to touch any of them. I don't know why, perhaps it was just because I was an especially nervous child, but I thought he would come home at any minute and wonder what I was doing in his room, messing with his toys(perhaps my anxiety came from my own older brother's reaction when HE would come home and find me messing with his toys). I'm not making much sense here, I know. It's dificult to convey this memory, as it gets mixed up with what happened later, and my own feelings looking back on it now. The part of this I remember most, is that feeling, of looking in his room, and thinking he will be home at any moment. That's the part that kills me, since he's never coming home. In my memories, time gets all mixed up, and even though he was just a little kid as well, when I think back on it now, it is like he is his older self, just ten years later, who died so needlessly, and I'm still tiptoeing through his room, and his Mom and my Mom are still chatting in the kitchen, and I don't want to touch any of his toys, because I know Andrew will be home at any minute...and that just kills me.

And I remember so clearly when I found out he died. My Mom had just picked me up from school. I remember looking at her as she drove, seeing her lip begin to quiver, seeing tears on her cheek, her voice trembling as she said, "Andrew...died yesterday", and I looked past her, through the window, at the baseball practice field outside, and tried to project myself out there, away from this pain.

"There are places I remember,
All my life, though some have changed,
Some forever, not for better,
Some have gone and some remain.
All these places had their moments,
With lovers and friends I still can recall,
Some are dead and some are living,
In my life, I've loved them all."
Current Mood: crushedcrushed
Current Music: A Day in the Life - The Beatles

the old days... Sep. 29th, 2005 @ 10:11 pm
I was thinking today about the relatively early days of the web, around 1995-1997. I know that the internet dates back to the late 60's, but I'm talking about the modern day web, post Netscape IPO. Back in those days, we didn't even have email addresses at school. Teachers didn't have webpages for their classes to post assignments and schedules. The web was a much smaller world. Obviously you didn't know everybody, but it sort of felt like you did. You'd cross paths with people rather frequently on various websites. Back then I was a totally obsessed Kevin Smith fan(still a fan, just dropped the obsessive part). But in those days you could go to Kevin Smith's website(www.viewaskew.com), and post stupid questions on his message board, and he'd pretty much answer anything you asked, and he'd know most of the fans by name(or at least by their handle). I'm rambling now, my point is that everything has changed. My 86 year old Grandmother forwards me Jesus chain letters on an almost daily basis. This woman used to have to fill the bathtub by carrying buckets full of water from the well on her family's farm, and now she's spamming me online. The Web is just like the real world now, in that, everybody is there. It was inevitible, and it's a good thing, and part of the reason why the internet is so ubiquitous in our lives is because of sites like livejournal, and similiarly clever web clients that let literally anybody have the equivalent of their own webpage. My point is it's harder to stand out now. That is, you used to be somewhat unique just because you were online, and you had a stupid webpage and knew a little html. Now there's like a billion people online. With a billion people, nobody stands out anymore. We all just blend in to the network. Some of us more than others. It's not really a bad thing, just lamenting how it used to be. It was once a place where nerds reigned supreme. Now all the cool kids are here, so it's harder to stand out, without being cool yourself. It used to be a place where one could escape from that Jr. High social scene of real life, and now the web has turned into Jr. High.

I might as well find the off button on the computer and go outside and feed some birds or cut down a tree or whatever it is normal people used to do before 1995. If I wanted to be invisible and ordinary I would have just stayed in bed this morning.


And now, a few quotes from Kurt Vonnegut...

"...moderate giftedness has been made worthless by the printing press and radio and television and satallites and all that."

and also...

"Of native talent itself I say in speeches: 'If you go to a big city, and a university is a big city, you are bound to run into Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Stay home, stay home.'"

and one more...

"Out into the world I go! Muggers! Autography hounds! Junkies! People with real jobs! Maybe an easy lay! United Nations functionaries and diplomats!"

and maybe one more...

"One time I had my pocket picked in that Postal Convenience Center. Convenient for whom?"

and I guess one more quote from Vonnegut, to sum up this entire journal entry:

"This was very interesting to him, as it certainly wasn't to many others".

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to finish watching Goonies on DVD. It's almost to the part where Samwise gives his big "Up There, Down Here" speech to Data, Mouth, Brandon, Frodo and Pippin . Don't want to miss that...
Current Mood: intimidatedintimidated
Current Music: Everybody Wants to Rule the World - Tears for Fears

update Sep. 28th, 2005 @ 10:53 pm
So I got a reply from that kid I emailed who may or may not have attended first grade with me in 1984. Turns out it was the same kid(although he's 28 now). I can't tell you how exciting this is! (When I say you, I mean the implied you, as nobody actually reads this journal...but you knew that). He didn't seem to really remember me, said he only had one surviving picture from the first grade. But my only memory of him is on show and tell when he got up and talked about his country, Sudan. And in his email reply back to me he said that he remembers that day very clearly, and it is one of his few memories of that year. His family left the US after that one year, and he went to school in Saudi Arabia, then returned to Sudan. He went to college in Cairo, then got his masters in the States, and now lives in England. It's just so exciting that I now have a friend who's been to all those places. How international am I?!?!? I'd be especially interested to talk to him about growing up in Saudi Arabia. I've read a great deal of books on the middle east, many of the books were related to terrorism and islamic extremism. I would like the chance to talk with someone who actually lived in Saudi Arabia, and knows what things are like from the inside. Since I rarely leave my apartment, I don't get many chances to talk with people from other parts of the world...
Current Mood: thirstythirsty
Current Music: We are the World

Hurricane Shmuricane Sep. 27th, 2005 @ 12:42 am
Despite the intial concern, all my Houston family survived the latest hurricane unscathed. It was dicey there for a bit, but then the hurricane turned east, and spared Houston a direct hit. My friend Elisa, also from Houston, survived. She's a teacher, and they canceled classes for the first part of this week, so it's like a snow day for her!

I remember my first snow day(note that smooth segue). It was January 1984, just as my Dad was dropping me off, a police man drove by and told us that school was canceled. I couldn't believe it. I had never heard of such a thing. Canceling school! Can they do that? Apparently they can. AND THEY DID! To this day, the very sight of a couple of falling snowflakes overwhelms me with the desire to skip school/work/responsibilities. Thankfully, I live in a town where it only snows once every couple of years. If I ever moved up north to Green Bay or Michigan, I'd atrophy myself to death with general disinterest.

Speaking of the first grade(and the second smooth topic segue in as many paragraphs...), in the first grade, there was this kid in my class from the Sudan. He was only in our school for one year. Anyway, so I'm on the Yahoo! version of Friendster. I think it's called Hi5, maybe? Whatever, so I enter the name of my elementary school, and there's a listing for another kid, same age as me, looks vaguely Sudanese. I emailed him just now, don't know when or if he will reply, but it just amazes me that I might actually have a conversation with some random kid that I knew 21 years ago. You usually think people like that, whom you encounter only briefly in your life, are lost to you forever, but then yahoo! lends you a hand by letting you transcend space and time and then BAM!...I want to talk to him about what he remembers, and if he remembers any specific people, and I can tell him what became of those people. This is so exciting! Behold the power of the internet.

Speaking of the internet, I was thinking, what if you woke up, and it was September, 1993. You are still you, but everyone else is not them, or rather, they are the old them, the September 1993 version of them. Now, imagine if you start talking to some person you see at school or work, in 1993, about the internet. They would be like, "Inter-who!?", "The What-er-net!?". They'd think you were crazy, trying to explain even something like livejournal. This was just twelve years ago, and none of us had any idea about the kind of things we take for granted on the internet today. Plus, back then, if you wanted porn you had to be that creepy guy in a trench coat, lurking around the dirty porn store, shamefully shopping for your particular perverted predilection. With the internet, however, you can still be a respected member of society, and then in the privacy of your own home spend countless hours downloading Batman porn, or whatever it is you happen to fancy. Batman porn was just a random example, a hypothetical, and doesn't necessarily reflect the author's pornographic preferences.*

Technology, man. It's the great equalizer.

*The author's pornographic preference is for Batman porn

Done! Sep. 22nd, 2005 @ 07:13 pm
I was given a Rubik's cube for Christmas in 1982. I just solved it. It has been a dificult twenty-three years. I'm exhausted.
Current Mood: rushedrushed
Current Music: Pac Man Fever
Other entries
» In dreams
The only recurring dream I have is the one in which I've killed somebody, and now I'm trying desperately to cover it up. I try to find some way to get out of trouble, but just end up digging myself a deeper and deeper hole(which is then used to hide the body, so that part actually works out quite conveniently...for me, not so much for the dead person). The main theme of my dream is me desperately wishing I could go back and do things differently. The murder itself is never the point of the dream, I rarely remember who I killed, and I never remember the actual killing. It's always just me trying to find a way out of the mess I've created for myself.

I suspect the dream's meaning, if it has one, is something about wasting my life, regretting how I've lived, never taking chances, blah blah blah. Whatever, I'm going to take another nap.
» uh oh!
My resting heart rate is 113 beats per minute. I'm somewhat comforted by the fact that it's a prime number, but I seriously doubt that this comfort will extend into what will surely be an imminent and not altogether unexpected death. My belongings, upon my untimely demise, will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis, with priority given to armed looters and my Mother. I obviously don't expect to be present to coordinate the distribution, so I ask that everyone please use the honor system. One item per person, except for socks, which will remain as a pair. In lieu of flowers, please send cash, as I'm not dead yet, and I'm looking to buy an i-pod.

Clearly I will be missed.
» Primer
So I rented and watched the movie Primer today. The movie was made by some guy in Richardson on a budget of $7,000.

I really enjoyed the movie, even though I did not even begin to understand it. Understanding it isn't really necessary to enjoy it, which is perfect for me, as I'm not much of a "thinker".

Speaking of not thinking, I also watched I, Robot. I originally thought that this movie would suck, based on the previews. Then I heard from friends that it was actually really good, so I got my hopes up, then I watched it and it sort of sucked. Maybe I just wanted to dislike it so that I could lecture my friends on how wrong they are about everything. They love when I do that.

Also watched Team America: World Police. I loved it, and I'm not just saying that because of the graphic puppet sex, which was hot. Many a mediocre movie would have been improved by including some raw, gratuitous puppet sex. The English Patient springs to mind. Shakespeare in Love. Full Metal Jacket. Chocolat. Pretty much works for any movie.

The one movie that could not be improved by graphic puppet sex is the Great Muppet Caper, as that movie is perfect just as it is, what with the subtle sexual tension between the frog, the pig, and Charles Grodin.

I also recently saw the Boy in the Plastic Bubble, starring John Travolta circa 1977. The main point of this movie, I feel, is that immune systems are lame, and if you want to be cool, best get yourself a plastic bubble and an 8-track. My favourite scene is when Travolta talks the girl next door into jumping her horse over his bubble. Sure, she could end up killing the bubble-boy, but instead, she successfully jumps the bubble, and we, the audience, are left giggling with glee, much like Travolta, in his bubble. I wonder if it was the power of scientology that allowed the horse to jump over the bubble. Kind of like when Jesus baked all that bread out of nothing but fish(note: the author has not actually read the bible).

Interesting trivia about The Boy in the Plastic Bubble. Travolta was actually dating the woman(Diana Hyland) who played his mother in the movie. She was 17 years his senior. Tragically, she died the next year, at the age of 41. Quite sad, actually.
» philosophy and shit
If I update my livejournal, and nobody reads it, does it make a sound?

Okay, this is crap. I wanted to avoid having the sort of livejournal where I talk about what I had for breakfast and such(I had toast, thank you). But I really don't have anything else to say, or, rather, I'm unable to really talk about my life, even anonymously, so instead I try to be witty and clever, which isn't working out for me.

I'm going to attempt to instead talk about other peoples' lives. More interesting people. One of my friends, to protect her identity, we will call her...Raquel Desdemona Vasquez(not her real name). Let's just say she's Canadian(she's not...or is she? No).

Anyway, Raquel Desdemona Vasquez is purchasing her first vibrator. I say first, because I assume as a Canadian she will have many years of cold, lonely winters to deal with, and she will probably collect vibrators the way old crazy ladies collect cats. She was afraid that purchasing the aforementioned vibrator would make her a creepy perv. I told her she passed creepy perv years ago, so she should go ahead and get the vibrator. She chose a model called the "rabbit", which was apparently featured on an episode of Sex and the City. She read the reviews, filtered out the negative responses using some type of bayesian analysis, and decided that this was the vibrator for her.

Now, the problem becomes where to store it. You want to hide a vibrator someplace discreet, but not so out of the way that it is dificult to get ahold of in an emergency(like, for example, if somebody was drowning, or something, and you couldn't save them until you found your vibrator). Ultimately, she decided to put it in her closet. So, on the off chance that her mother is reading this...she's got a vibrator in her closet!

Only parts of that story were actually true. Certain details were changed to make the story more entertaining(hey, just imagine how dull it was BEFORE I spiced it up).

Just in case anyone is reading this, and can't quite decide if it is some kind of desperate cry for help, I'll just tell you: Yes, yes it is. Please help me. Somebody, anybody, shower some attention on me. Please? Can anybody hear me? Hello? Is this thing on?
» blah friggin blah
It's new years which signifies the coming of the newer year. blah blah blah.

I bought five new DVDs yesterday using my Christmas money.

Minority Report, Star Wars: Episode II, The Man Who Wasn't There, Panic Room, Taxi Driver.

I miss school. I went back to school this past semester, and then half way through just stopped going. It was interfering with my busy, important life. I was very disappointed in myself because, well, because I used to think of myself as smart. And I've been a student for so long, that that was a big part of my identity. Sometimes, when I'm not feeling too much in the self-worth department, I would fall back on that. At least I was smart, etc. And then I basically failed out of grad-school during my first class, so, now what?

blah blah blah.

I'm going to write a book. A novel. Well, probably a novella, if you wanna be exact. It will be semi-autobiographical, except, you know, interesting and whatnot. I'm going to start immediately. Well, sometime tonight, I'll start...tomorrow, I will begin tomorrow or else February. This is going to be a great book.
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