looks like...

... i'm only going to have a couple of hours a week to blog and just goof around on the internet. this saddens me quite a bit. as i see it, the consequence is as follows:

- my blogging will be reduced (for lack of a better term) to creative production/display. as i no longer have time to explore at will the inner workings of the cyber community at large, not to mention the literary/poetic/philosophical blogging community, i consider myself automatically less qualified to comment on the subject.

my plan is to decide on a few key aspects of my blog so far, and attempt to produce enough good pieces during the week to have at least three or four posts ready by the weekend. then, it'll be off to the library with me (what, you think i'm paying for the internet?!) to post away. at least for an hour. whatever.

that said, until i post again, happy blogging to all, and to all a good night.

wait, that was stupid.

read on, poem on, live on.

p.s. i have yet to figure out how i will continue to keep track of the blogs i have come to love over the past few months, but somehow...


"and on earth..."

sad to say, this is probably my last post for a while. the Christmas season is upon us, and my parents will be at our apartment in a scant few hours. i happily start a new job wednesday (proofreading foreclosure notices), though not one which will offer me the time to blog as my current job has (current for another half-hour, that is).

with that, one chapter comes to a close while another waits breathlessly to be written.

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

- Luke 2:13-14

blessings to all.


more on Christmas

(i posted this originally as a comment on my recent post, Overrated Things - The Holiday Edition, which apparently, i'm glad to say, struck a nerve. anyway, i liked how it came out well enough that i think it deserves a post of its own)

here's the thing: God wants us to value some things, yes. things He created/did, especially; i'd call those things religious observances. once, we had Christmas, one such religious observance. now, we have christmas/xmas, a largely secular humanist, capitalist observance that almost completely overshadows in the eyes and minds and hearts of the general public what once was (and yes, i even mean those who think the true meaning of christmas is a largely humanist observance, a watered down warm-fuzzy feeling festival that's all about being nice and having a good time with relatives - Christmas is about more than that).

so what is Christmas/christmas/xmas, exactly? is it religious or secular? my idea here is that, as perception is reality*, Christmas/christmas/xmas is comprised of many realities, the majority of which, at least in this country, are not aligned with my own. it seems to me, then, safe to say that yes, josh, christmas/xmas is wildly overrated. Christmas, however, is still one of the most beautiful of religious observances.

my frustration, then, lies mainly with the the obscene proliferation of secular barnacles attached to what is otherwise a beautiful time of year. i dislike performing activities (wrapping gifts, writing christmas cards) that remind me that the birth of my Lord is now forced to carry upon its back, as an event, too-heavy secular baggage. i give gifts to people who are special to me, not so i can buy cute new wrapping paper or use up the old; i commune with those who are close to me, not so i can say "merry christmas," but so i can enjoy fellowship (as my college roommate would say). my problem lies in the fact that, because i don't enjoy wrapping gifts or writing cards for the sake of the activities (some people do, and that's wonderful - but some people also like buffalo wings, also fine, but they're not something you'll catch me eating anytime soon), i cannot enjoy them, for my idea that they detract (again, for me) from what i perceive (and what becomes my reality) to be the true joys of Christmastime.

so please, all who enjoy the usual activities: wrap and enjoy, write/receive cards and enjoy - i, too, will be engaged in the same activities. rest assured, though, i will not easily be swayed from my opinion that Christmas is a simple observance, or should be. and though it will not likely be celebrated simply in my lifetime (again, yay america), there is very little about what has become christmas that is important to me for its own sake (let's be honest, i have a wife and i'm going to have children. just because something isn't ideologically important to me doesn't mean it can't be fun being with people who are enraptured by the activities, and myself become enraptured. these are not ideals i will die for, and though they are, in my mind, logically sound, in practice they become little more than curmudgeonly).

(*disclaimer: while i assert here that perception=reality, i would like to point out an amendment to that assertion: there are two co-existing realities for every perceiver: 1) God's Reality - all of existence, as He perceives all things, and of which the perceiver is a part, and 2) the perceiver's reality - all of that with which the perceiver comes in direct of indirect contact: a finite portion of Reality. while all the universe does indeed exist continually as God's perceived Reality, my portioned existence only allows me to perceive a fraction of that Reality, which becomes my functional reality.

all that to say, i am not supporting any form of relativism. each individual perceiver's functional reality is very different from every other perceiver's functional reality, but each such reality is a part of a whole Reality, and never deviates from the whole.)



... this will be my last bit of political meandering for a while. that said, i can't keep quiet any longer: does it sicken anyone else as much as it sickens me (and i mean the violently ill variety of sick) when politicians add pet projects, however big or small, to larger bills that are more likely to pass, just so their bill will pass as well?

personally, i find the idea that our representatives in government are voting on bills containing any number of wildly unrelated measures. let's think for a moment. i've got a bill before me with three measures that, if the bill passes, will all be enacted:

1. cure cancer
2. abolish poverty
3. behead all children under the age of three.

being the good politician that i am, i now have a problem: pass the bill, thereby abolishing cancer and povery while killing millions of children, or save the children and let cancer and poverty continue a killing spree of their own.

i trust the absurdity of the example was appreciated.

now, as i took two semesters of logic, i realize it's not the strongest argument. such was not my aim. my point is simple, and it remains: you cannot apply one vote to more than one thing. cannot. do we vote for the president, congressmen, representatives, and our respective governors and mayors with ONE yay or nay? get real.

and we wonder why politicians are driven to evil: the devil offers them refuge from insanity.

i realize as well that politicians have a lot on their proverbial plates. too, i suppose efficiency/expediency were at least partly responsible for the birth of what seems to me a poorly conceived practice. perhaps, though, if the politicians weren't concerned with governing everything imaginable and instead concentrated only on matters of the utmost importance and severity, this silliness wouldn't be necessary.

(is it me, or is the general flavor of my political posts a heavily sarcastic "yay, america"?)

Things my wife has said... #7

"Heaters don't do anything when you're cold!"



all things democratic?

this one isn't deeply seeded enough to warrant inclusion on the "Overrated Things" list, but suddenly i felt the desire to voice it anyway:

what, exactly, is behind this craze of opening up decision making processes to the general public? haven't we had enough experience by now to realize, as the founding fathers did, that the general public just doesn't know what's best for it? what, with all the
american idol silliness, the quill awards, and now even the IAU is thinking about letting the general populace name the 10th planet.

has no one thought that since God doesn't work in a democratic system, perhaps we shouldn't either? the answer is no, no one has. and i suppose i might as well go back to england a few hundred years ago for pointing it out.

whatever your thoughts, i should probably point out that i'm not saying any other human-based systems will work better, i'm just saying that some things should just not be decided by people like you, me, and our neighbors. i'm just saying.

intelligent design and science

thank you, kevin, for bringing this article to my attention.

we are all well aware of the debate, so here's the rub: intelligent design, in my lay opinion, is probably not
science, and it seems to me the argument could be largely diffused by means of some semantic finagling. let's agree, as i think we all can, that true scientific inquiry is aimed at explaining what is in the world. intelligent design seems aimed a little closer to explaining what's in someone's head, or further, what's in the Bible. hence, not science.

now, i realize i've already offended my conservative base, but let's be honest. i'm a card-carrying Christian. empiricism aside, i believe the world was created the way the Bible describes. but, if i start looking at the world around me to find evidence to support that belief, i am not practicing science. i can use all the facts i want, but that kind of inquiry is simply not scientific.

i, for one, am all for children being taught Biblical creationism, but let's not pretend the subject belongs in science class. instead, let's teach it along side the Enûma Elish in social studies, or the Silmarillion in english. to call for intelligent design in the science classroom only makes the religious (especially the Christian right, as Christian creationism is clearly the player in question) look ridiculous, and that's not good for anybody, no matter how big a victory for the left one things the judge's ruling is.

(i know, i know: i hate throwing around quasi-political terms like "right" and "left," but at times they are unavoidable. as a matter of principle, i not only avoid them, i intentionally distance myself from such labels and do not approve their application to me. they are not only useless, they are dangerous, and should be avoided whenever possible. ideally, of course, this would result in the elimination of such terms, though in practice, such is too-often impossible)

Overrated Things - The Holiday Edition

Installment #7

19. Wrapping paper. When I was a young lad, I was taught in school to "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle." My parents had a compost heap out back. We did our best. Or so I liked to think, until Christmas came, and with it the annual giant garbage bag of wrapping paper, headed for the garbage instead of a recycling bin.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not arguing that we shouldn't use wrapping paper because it's wasteful, which it is. I'm arguing we shouldn't use wrapping paper because it's
stupid. We spend hours wrapping mounds of presents, to have the careful cutting- and taping-jobs destroyed in seconds. It irritates me more than most things that will appear on this list. Ever. That's why my wife wraps everything that's not for herself.

It should be outlawed. Just fold up the effing bag the gift came in, and give it as-is, and leave me alone already about the ten million different kinds of cute wrapping paper I could choose. After this year, I'm using brown paper bags, untorn: that way, when we're done, we can use the bags as trash cans for all the wrapping paper.

20. Christmas cards. (Thank-you cards can included here) The idea of Christmas cards has
Fight Club written all over it. Basically, there's just something wrong with bite-sized, obligatory tokens of friendship. If you really care about the recipients, call them and have a real conversation. I find the whole concept degrading to the honest ideals of human interaction. It's what the Daily Show might call "friendship inaction." These, too, should be outlawed.

21. Santa Claus. I know, this is obvious, but I mean, get real: a guy in a red suit who flies in a sleigh pulled by reindeer? I think not. I grew up knowing my gifts were coming from my parents, so I was never disappointed when Santa didn't come through, because I knew he DIDN'T FREAKING EXIST. I just want someone to explain to me why it's better that children think someone who will, inevitably, turn out to be non-existant is giving them things for no reason. Is that so much to ask?

In the meantime... that's right: the very idea should be outlawed.

it's all connected

philosophical jottings, sprung from the nyc transit workers' strike

the first transit workers' strike in 25 years has brought public transportation in nyc to a halt. the city stands to lose upwards of, maybe more than, 400 million dollars a day as a result. even here in buffalo, my current place of employment (T-minus 4 days, and counting) is feeling the effects of the strike, as our headquarters are in nyc. the big apple aside, there are countless other cities in this country and around the world that also stand to lose money on a daily basis.

how important is the strike? is it more important than my wife and i having to suddenly replace a car? is it less important than hurricane katrina? would it be more important than a transit-workers' strike in, say, dayton, ohio?

could there be another davinci?

the information age has brought the entire world to the fingertips of anyone with a computer and a modem. "it's a smaller world," they say, "and it's shrinking more all the time." not true. period.

we live in what i like to call the "that's stupid" era. to paraphrase my mortal enemy, david hume, my self is no more than a bundle of perceptions. clearly, an extension of his (correct) assertion is that the number of perceptions that comprises a given bundle is inherently limited. one bundle can only perceive so much. the world at one's fingertips? no, the fraction of the world one is able to perceive, with a lifetime as the longest possible timeline for adding to the bundle. davinci was a genius, yes, but he was able invent entire fields of study because he was also first. could there ever again be, in the person of one man, the unquestionable leader in not one field of study, but several? so deep are the fields now that the answer must be no. we are forced to be selective; we are each limited not only by the finite number of perceptions we are able to accumulate, but also by the number of available perceptions. if i am given only a single bundle, that number is functionally infinite.

further, what other option does a bundle have than to create a selective version of reality to call his own? how, then, to select? we would all like to think that we select on the basis of importance, but such a scale is not, in practice, universal. the lowest common deominator for inclusion in the selective reality i inhabit becomes that which matters to me. everything else is, as you have certainly guessed, "stupid."

the implication is that, although some people are more narrow-sighted than others, we each have a set of blinders over our perceptive faculties simply by existing. awareness of the situation is a step toward broadening, and that is all we can hope for; no remedy exists.

in conclusion: aborigines probably won't give a second thought to the strike--or a first, for that matter. and no, there will never be--there can never be--another davinci.

singing: "i don't wanna grow up..."

When a man is young and his constitution and his body have not acquired firmness, i.e., before he has arrived at middle age, he is not an assured inhabitant of the earth, and his compensation is that he is not quite earthy, there is something peculiarly tender and divine about him. His sentiments and his weakness, nay, his very sickness and the greater uncertainty of his fate, seem to ally him to a noble race of beings, to whom he in part belongs, or with whom he is in communication. The young man is a demigod;, the grown man, alas! is commonly a mere mortal. He is but half here, he knows not the men of this world, the powers that be. They know him not. Prompted by the reminiscence of that other sphere from which he is so lately arrived, his actions are unintelligible to his seniors. He bathes in light. He is interesting as a stranger from another sphere. He really thinks and talks about a larger sphere of existence than this world. It takes him forty years to accommodate himself to the carapax of this world. This is the age of poetry. Afterward he may be the president of a bank, and go the way of all flesh. But a man of settled views, whose thoughts are few and hardened like his bones, is truly mortal, and his only resource is to say his prayers.

- from Thoreau's journal, Dec. 19, 1859

later today, a holiday edition of "Overrated Things"



... this is one of the byproducts, i've got to start wondering about the people who thought it would be a good idea to live under a capitalism-driven, "representative" government.

(silly me, i was starting to wonder why i've noticed myself becoming less and less fond of capitalism. who's up for starting a new country?)


wednesday sucked

this is the message that was left on my voicemail wednesday, around one o'clock:

"Hi Matthew my name is Jim. I'm a paramedic with --- co. I have Lisa here; she was involved in a little car accident. Everything is fine. She's just gonna take a ride down to South Buffalo Mercy so that she can get checked out and make sure the baby's fine. Again, everything is fine. Um, if you want, you can give me a call back here at --- ----, and you can take a ride, a slow ride, to South Buffalo Mercy, where they'll be. Again, everything's fine. B-bye."

needless to say, i became worred. too, jim's repeated use of the word "fine" did not help.

fast-forward to dinnertime wednesday, and everything is indeed "fine". my wife and bethany are both perfectly ok; the car, not so much. ah, well - better the car than my wife and child-to-be.

UPDATE: the car is officially totalled; the search for a new second vehicle begins...


Overrated Things

Installment #6

16. Adjectives (and, by extension, all things adjectival - this means you, adverbs). Though I have the feeling this item has more to do with my mood today than anything else, here goes: one of the more common problems I have with authors, generally, is adjective (mis)use. Too many otherwise intelligent wroters over-use adjectives when they are not called for, while ignoring adjectives when they are most needed. Now, I have no examples or supporing evidence for this one, only my gut instinct. But I am right. I will say this: good writing is useful to the imagination in that it supplies descriptions that help the reader devise his own, more complete, mental images. Writing built on poor adjective use hinders the descriptive/imaginative process and thus becomes an agent in its own demise.

17. Cellphones. I suppose this has been coming for some time, now. I have had a cellphone for several months, and my findings are simple: cellphones, while useful in some situations (an emergency is the obvious example), are annoying in many others (the grocery store, for instance), and they are obscenely popular largely for their high novelty value. That is the nail in the coffin: novelty. They are amusing for a while, but soon enough the novely of one's current cellphone clamors for something else: the fresh novelty of a newer model. Repeat, ad nauseum.

Email is the lumbering triceratops of interruption; cellphones are the velociraptor. Land-line phones are VD (it takes two to tango, you know); cellular phones are the bird-flu.

All together, now: "TURN THEM OFF!"

18. Poetics. Ouch; this one hurts.
This post on Ron Silliman's blog got me thinking about this today. Interestingly enough, today, Kevin Elliott was kind enough to provide, also via a blog post, more thought-provoking links regarding poetics.

Here's my thinking: while poetics can be a good thing inside certain circles, I have to agree with Greg over at g r a p e z that the poetic sphere has become largely self-interested, more concerned with impressing those of like mind and wiping out dissenters than with true large-scale community involvement - in leading, as poets once did. Poets and poetry communities need to begin formulating theories of poetry not around perfection and innovation (though such must be included in any valid poetics) but around connection: to other poets/poems, yes, but more importantly connection to the world-at-large, which, I am sad to say, has largely lost sight of poets (and I don't think because poets are so far ahead...)

Why, then, is poetics overrated? Because it has failed. It has failed to make progress in the only area of poetry that matters: its connection with the real reading world (whether or not the real reading world could still support great poets is another matter entirely). In developing various theories of poetry, poets have ignored the other half of existence: receptors. For that reason, I say quietly and in my small corner, "overrated."

exactly 7 writing links

i don't usually do this (at least in such an outrightly bald fashion), but here are a few good links (courtesy slant truth)

- an
interview with philip roth

"You should let people fight with the books on their own and rediscover what they are and what they are not. Anything other than this talk. Fairytale talk. As soon as you generalise, you are in a completely different universe than that of literature, and there's no bridge between the two."

confessional poetics at
grapez: one, two, three, four, and five

and lastly, 7 reasons why poets get on this guy's nerves (here i feel i need to remind my readers that while i occasionally use profanity in my writing, i do not condone such flippant usage as is found in the title of this last linked post, no matter how "real" it may be. i'm not sure anyone needs to swear about something so trivial. by the by, i don't mean any offense to noah specifically, because i found myself laughing out loud at some of his posts; i am only pointing out what i see as an unfortunately skewed usage pattern.)


there are times...

... when i think all i ever want to do is play with words. there are times when i want to simply abandon this capitalist society altogether and go somewhere peaceful, so i can spend all day writing. but then, there are times when i tell myself that dream is impossible, that this is the way things must be.

then, there are times, immediately following the times described above, when i wish my two views were entire persons, standing before me, waiting to see whom i would befriend, and i wonder: which one would i punch first?


by far, the most exciting thing to happen to me today:

i got a new job.

the pay is much higher, the benefits are much better, and tonight, for the thought of it, i will sleep like the baby my wife will soon have.

here seems appropriate this verse:

"The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song."

- Psalm 28:7 (NIV)

(it may also be worth noting, to those who read this blog, that my blogging will almost certainly suffer at the hand of my new job. i will, however, once i am in my new post, strive to keep up a pace that is not too much slower than the one at which i have been posting of late)

"... that we should be meat's dream."

this story, by one Terry Bisson, is hysterical; reminded me why i love SF.

They're Made Out of Meat

nom de plume

how to create your pen-name: both parents' initials + either grandmother's maiden name (with an added suffix). thus, my pen-name would be J. M. Fogleby (from Jon, Miriam, and Fogle). now, i realize this is more complicated than the porn-name formula, but come on: we're writers, dammit!

from thoreau's journal - dec. 12, 1859

I am inclined to think of late that as much depends on the state of the bowels as of the stars. As are your bowels, so are the stars.


bethany margaret - 11.23

sucking her thumb


three quotes

from this article:

"To see what is in front of one's nose requires a constant struggle."

- George Orwell

"Half the harm that is done in the world is due to people who want to feel important. They don’t want to do harm—but the harm does not interest them . . . or they do not see it . . . because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves."

- T. S. Eliot

“We have sunk to a depth in which re-statement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.”

- George Orwell

by far, the most exciting thing to happen to me today:

the number of emails in my gmail inbox just reached 100


another lennon photo

a favorite of mine, from the beatles' white album, 1968

Christ, you know it ain't easy...


Linguistic Thermodynamics

Second Law

the passage of time makes breathing difficult.
(once, while improvising, he said:

"Tonal music is dead.")
do i even need to know what to assault?

i only use words
because they are so like
small birds,
flitting this way and that
about and about, up and out.

(because my daughter will be born
suffering from blogorrhea,)

The end of man,
So as he goes,
Is the anarchist's dream,
His perfect plan,
Crumpled and buried
Alone, in a linguistic garbage can.

What can i do that cannot be done,
That has not already been done?

Solomon knew, and still i push on,
Looking up, falling downhill.

The avant-garden is full of weeds,
Of useless men and meaningless deeds;
Then, whither are we going now?
Who cares? (How now, brown cow?)

Man is no lever, and not one long enough,
To move aught but his own, and that by words,
Yet we persist, and we are rough.

The distant deed has made it home
And we have allowed it
An equally tremendous welcome.
His time is now, has even passed,
But we are drowned in cum.

Called to account, I will reply
Nothing but: "What, after all,
Are these words now, if they are not
The tombs and sepulchers of thought?"

I'm sorry, December 25th is what?

That's correct: Christmas.

Personally, as an intellectual Christian, I don't find the whole politically correct "winter holiday" business terribly offensive. On the contrary, I find the notion of being PC about December 25th to be hysterical.

Let's think for a minute: people came to this country for freedom, both from and for many things. That includes, obviously, religious freedom. Now, does it strike anyone else as a little off that we are free to celebrate any holiday we like, any way we like, but we are inundated with PC thinking, told that we shouldn't mention by name the holidays we are free to observe? I understand that, historically, our government has gone out of its way to avoid officially endorsing any religion (and that, given the nature of republic/democratic government, such is a good idea), but if you choose to live in a country that allows its populace an obscene amount of freedom, it seems to me you also forfeit your right to cry "foul" when other people living in the same country (including the leaders who defend the rights you have) publicly celebrate a holiday that you don't.

Seems pretty simple to me. "Freedom" means the power to act or speak or think without externally imposed restraints (obviously this is a case of amphiboly, but I'm using freedom in a pretty loose sense, referring generally to the supposed ideals of the united states constitution). It does not mean you are compelled to prevent (read: restrain) others from doing (within reason) what you don't.

That said, let's have Christmas sales, let's have 8-day Chanukah sales, let's have Kwanza sales, let's even have Satanist new year sales every March. My point is, let's have them all; but, at the same time, whether you celebrate Christmas, Chanukuh, Kwanza, or any other holiday, don't be a pussy: let other people celebrate their holidays, too.

Only the weak-minded man is offended (intellecually) by another man's right to celebrate as he sees fit.

my all-time favorite...

... version of Dickens' A Christmas Carol:

Patrick Stewart, audio.

The First Sign of the Apocalypse:

A Charlie Brown Christmas is taken off the air, for good.

i wonder,

if Pascal had had a blog...


"I hate flowers.

I only paint them because they're cheaper than models and they don't move."

- Georgia O'Keeffe

here's something

has anyone else wondered what people named katrina have been through in recent months? it seems to me it can't be good for the psyche to hear people associate your name, for an extended period of time, with great sorrow, horrible pain, massive destruction, and widespread disease and death.

on an unrelated note: do you suffer from logorrhea?

know everything

"A writer should know everything."

- Ernest Hemingway



(NOTICE: if you are my parents, do not read this post - it contains a Christmas present spoiler.)

(a slightly longer poem)

my wife is making a quilt
for my parents for christmas
And suddenly, I want to capitalize.

She's sewing squares into strips of three
And I want to write a poem
But it seems I have unlearned
them all,
And when I look at the blank page before me
I know I haven't earned
The right to write, tonight.

The quilt is-or rather, the quilt will be-
Purple and gold and tan:
All fabrics I picked out
(Because I know well my mother's tastes)
. But now, all I can do is sit
At the kitchen table, beside my wife,
Not writing. I doubt and waste
The evening, wondering if I can
Do the thing I know I can.

Her sewing machine is a white White
And our walls are white
And my thermal underwear is white
And we are white,
And we are white all through,
Except for my wife's grey sweatshirt.
Or is it gray? I never know.

The needle is so sure,
It is a blur of prolificity.
I want to rhyme and not to rhyme;
I want, for my words,
Elegance, Simplicity.
I think sometimes I ask too much of me
I think, sometimes.
I think sometimes I ask too much.
(I love that formulation
But I do not yet know
How to fit it in)
I think I sin.

* * *

She has finished for the night,
And we have watched our show.
I want to write some more tonight
But, still, I do not know:
Which way, which way tonight will my thoughts go?
I know I do not know, I know I know.


I'm IM

A non-play

The Players: Spiceyman417, HevnlyTGR11, IM Client

Act Only

Very late at night. Spiceyman417's room and HevnlyTGR11's room.

Spiceyman417 and HevnlyTGR11 are chatting.

HevnlyTGR11: I just couldn't believe he said that - he really didn't have any right to.

Spiceyman417: I know, he's such a retard.

HevnlyTGR11: LOL

Spiceyman417: Hey, remember when everyone was on IM all the time?

HevnlyTGR11: Yeah, why?

Spiceyman417: No reason. I was just thinking how cool it used to be.

HevnlyTGR11: Yeah... you know we're using it now, right? Hehe.

Spiceyman417: Only 'cause my phone died, or I would've called.

HevnlyTGR11: Good point. Good thing I got your email, huh?

Spiceyman417: Yeah.

HevnlyTGR11: Smiley!

Spiceyman417: Anyway, I should probably go to bed. Gotta get up early tomorrow.

HevnlyTGR11: Aww... do you have to?

Spiceyman417: Yeah, I really do. Have a good night, ok?

HevnlyTGR11: You too.

Both sign off.

IM Client: (Exasperated) I can't believe he said that! (yelling) I'm right here, ya know!



A non-play

The Players: Husband, Wife, Money-clip

Act Only

Evening. A dining room.

Husband and Wife are arguing.

Wife: (Voice slightly raised. waiving papers) "What's my problem?" Don't you get it? We're fucking broke, J---!

Husband: (Calmly) I'm sorry, is your waving the bills in my face supposed to be helpful, or...?

Wife: UHH! Why do I talk to you, huh? Why?! I mean, do you care (emphasized) at all, that we have no money?

Husband: Well, if you weren't talking to me, you'd be talking to yourself...

Wife gawks at Husband for several seconds.

Wife: Just... just shut up.

Husband: (Sincerely) Come on, we'll be fine, we always are. (takes Money-clip from his pocket and toys with it, revealing to the audience that it is holding no money and that it is also a pocket-knife) I promise. (pauses. smiling) Seriously, isn't this thing cool?

Wife: (Motioning toward Money-clip) Yeah, that's great, J---. Why don't you cut your fucking balls off with that thing; at least then it'd be doing me some good.

Wife exits. Husband continues fiddling with Money-clip: he opens and closes the knife several times before setting it on the table. He exits.

Money-clip: Look at it this way, mac: without her around, you're only half as broke!



VP on Literary Structure

Varjak Paul, in his --th year, wrote in his journal:

"Every sentence is a universe unto itself. Every sentence contains an entire world, a world that can be told, that is told, both in the sentence itself, and as couched among the surrounding sentences. Even without a single contextual ally, a sentence should, ideally, stand strong. Thus will weak sentences give themselves away: if it cannot support itself, neither will it be found able to support its contextual allies. Similarly, weak writing, if the culprit is a lack of cosmic integrity, may be aided by attention to the spectrum's opposite end.

In practice, however, the distribution of weight is almost always uneven.

Fragments, despite being grammatically (though not necessarily logically) incomplete, still reserve for themselves unique identities. However, standing by itself, a fragment would find survival difficult without its "more complete" counterparts. Why, if not for lack of support? Conversely, a grammatically (though not necessarily logically) complete sentence, though offering an easier view its into self-contained universe, is (again, in practice) often employed such that the effect is to detract from the support it inherently offers to its bretheren."

She Did Not See

There was the time I saw this girl play the piano. I was at a local high school, at the Solo & Ensemble Competition. I was waiting for my turn to play, in a room with stadium seating. I was sitting with my piano teacher and my mother, and I was not next.

The girl stood up from her seat; she was wearing a bluish dress with a subtle flower pattern. The flowers were white, the dress was sleeveless, and she had very dark hair. She sat at the piano and began playing Beethoven's Fur Elise, reasonably well. Her arms were not tan, but they moved smoothly over and around one another through the E-to-D sharp and back, forth and back.

She finished playing, bowed to academic applause, and returned to her seat. I smiled at her, but she did not see. I did not listen to the next two performers. I watched the girl watching whoever played. I looked at her bare arms, but she did not see.

My mother nudged me and I winced; it was my turn. I stood up from my seat. I was wearing a shirt and tie, as were all the other boys, and I played horribly.

Inquired Accordingly

There was the time I spent the lunch hour in the hall, on the floor in front of my locker. I had just finished talking to the blonde girl, but this was weeks before Christmas break. She had walked up to me in the hall as the lunch hour began. She looked upset, and I inqured accordingly. She spoke quickly, after telling me not to speak at all. We remained in the way of students passing by, and her eyes welled with tears.

"Can I say somethng now?"

"No... no." She looked at me without talking for several seconds, and she walked away. I turned around to watch her walk toward the cafeteria, but I did not follow her. I closed my locker, and I sank to the floor.

Some minutes passed, and a friend's brother noticed me from the cafeteria. He came to the hall, knelt in front of my locker and me and inquired accordingly. I asked him to find a brown-haired girl. She was in class, so he brought me her sister. She held my hand and talked me into the cafeteria. She sat with me, and I did not speak as I ate my turkey sandwich.

here's something, x2 (blogged against racism)

i am a white male.

that said, as far as the receiving end of racism goes, i've got it pretty good. i found myself born into a society that has an unending appreciation for who i am and what i can do. as for the dishing-out end of racism, i am struck by my lack of words on the subject: i have embarassingly, frighteningly little to say. even still, i want to do my part today...

- here's something: i will be thinking about this for a while, i think, but right now, today, my understanding of what racism even is is stil in its infancy. growing up white, i was taught, essentially, that racism is saying bad things about black people. (i know i shouldn't speak for too many people, but i fear such is the case in a shockingly high number of white homes in america.) so far as i can figure, the fact that racism is far more, and much deeper a problem than i originally understood it to be - that is the bulk of my real understanding of racism. anything else i post on the subject is the result of my experiments in thought - nothing groundbreaking, just a white male trying to understand what it means to be on whatever side of the issue i am on.

*raises glass* "here's hoping someone reads these words and is moved to think and/or do something good."

- here's something: perhaps a little motherly wisdom would be helpful. that is, when there were bullies, we were taught they acted as to overcome their inadequacies, that they were trying to make themselves feel better. does racism function on a similar level? people who feel they are not enough, or simply lack understanding about different kinds (read: races) of people, form their symbolic, and sometimes physical, actions around misconceptions and self-glorification. i completely agree with the idea that racism (indeed, all forms of evil) stem from self-justified ideologies - that is, no one who is evil would say they are motivated by evil, but rather by some perceived good. it seems, then, that racism can only stem from inferiority (the need to build up oneself, even at the expense of others), ignorance (not recognizing one's own racist acts, be they intentional or otherwise), or arrogance (actually believing one or more races to be inferior/superior, and acting accordingly - really, this is a form of ignorance, but i think it is sufficient enough to differentiate).

i've lost the train of thought that brought me from "motherly wisdom" to that last sentence. wherever that train was headed, here's my closing thought: knowledge and understanding can't solve everything, racism included, but they sure don't hurt. in fact, they help quite a bit. my man kevin said it well: "Please, people think about what you are writing. Think about what you are assuming". racism may never end, but it certainly won't get any better until people really start to think about what they say and do. looks like you were right about that, too, mom.

spread it.