Sunday, July 22, 2007

It's a gorgeous day outside, 76 degrees in the middle of July, with a gentle breeze. The few clouds float like parade balloons across the sky. Tree leaves scuttle in the distance. Pink cherry blossoms and purple flox and tomato plants bend and sway rhythmically to Nature's metronome.

Snacking on Mom's rhubarb in the back yard with a good book and the sun shining down on me, it's hard to imagine why I feel so bad. I don't know why... I try to figure it out, try to analyze and quantify it, balance the equation... but everything's irrational.

Monday, July 09, 2007

I'm Back!

I practically forgot that this blog still existed. You don't know how many combinations of passwords and usernames I had to go through to find the right one... I haven't blogged here in 2 years!

Matt Dyer hooked me up with a pretty nifty blog using WordPress a while back, but for some reason I just couldn't use it. But this blog... this is where I started. I can see the progress I've made since my first post in October of 2005... and it's pretty interesting. So, I decided to resurrect The Boy Who Never Forgot.

Because, in truth, he never did.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

My Farm Girl

It's snowing outside, almost two inches already, and I'm staring at the screen wondering if this blog is dead. I just can't summon the drive to churn out posts like I used to.

Right now the only thing I can think about is my up-coming vacation to Tennessee, in January. It's been almost a year and a half since I've been to Dayton, the town I consider home. That's much, much too long. It also happens that my time in Tennessee coincides with my best friend Adam's vacation, so he'll be there as well. And with Claudine back home from L.A., the gang will be complete. It'll be just like old times...

Now that I'm twenty-six and single, I find that I cling to these notions of "old times" rather than looking ahead to the future. I'm so caught up in memories of growing up that I regard the future with bitter, almost resentful skepticism. That is not a beneficial way of looking at things.

What else can explain my endless homesickness for all things Tennessee? Or these dreams of one day owning some land in the Frazier area, with a logwood cabin, a wrap-around porch, and a rocking chair that I can sit in while sipping Jack Daniels and watching the sun set? Or hoping to find a woman who will actually follow me there, and stay.

It would explain why it's been difficult for me to make lasting friendships here. My body's in Ohio but my heart and head are still in Tennessee. I'm hyper-critical of everyone I meet, comparing them all to my friends back home. Nonetheless, I've managed to make a few solid friendships here, and I credit them with keeping me from going insane from loneliness.

It might also partially explain my being single. Deep down I know that I won't stay in Ohio forever, and I plan on moving back to Tennessee someday. I'm afraid of meeting a girl who might either make me change my mind or keep me away from moving home. The longer I stay in Ohio because of a girl, the longer I'm away from Tennessee. That can't happen. So I don't let it.

There's really nothing wrong with Ohio. It's pretty nice. The people are friendly. The problem is in my head; I'm emotionally stuck in one place and time, and anywhere else is unbearably uncomfortable for me. It can't explain it; I can't make it go away. I guess some people are more prone to nostalgia than others. Maybe those who regret they didn't do more. Or maybe those who did so much that when things just kinda petered out, they were left hanging. I don't know.

One thing's for sure, I wish I could find a girl like my Farm Girl and take her back to Tennessee to live with me forever... in my logwood home, with a fireplace, some whiskey on the rocks, and a huge stereo playing Patsy Cline...

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Armegeddon A.D.

The end is near, brothers and sisters.

First, they shot the remains of Hunter S. Thompson out of a cannon on his Owl Farm in Woody Creek, Colorado, late Saturday evening. Inebriated attendees included Bill Murray and Johnny Depp, among others. The very next day, Robert Moog, the inventor of the Moog synthesizer, died of a brain tumor. The Moog synthesizer pretty much revolutionized the world of electronic music. Bands like Kraftwerk, Depeche Mode, Gary Numan, The Human League, The Rentals, and countless others, have featured synthesizers as their main instruments. The Moog is used to perfection by my favorite band of all time, Joy Electric, whose complex, intricate, and highly melodic aural landscapes are impossible to find anywhere else. Robert Moog also invented the theremin, an electronic music device that plays music when you wave your hands around it's antennae. It makes that eeiry wOoOoOoOoOoOo sound you hear on all those black-and-white sci-fi movies from the 60's. So, in short, it was sad day for fans of the synthesizer.

Not to mention the fact that Israel has pulled out of Gaza and some parts of the West Bank. Palestine security forces will be moving in some time next month. These are serious socio-political events, folks. This is history we're experiencing.

Iraq's a week away from turning in it's first constitution (they're having problems with a human rights bill). Are we prepared to withdraw our military forces in time to both encourage and fortify the autonomy of an Iraqi democracy, and appease the American citizens at the same time? And how soon after we pull out will insurgants and terrorists revert back to their old ways and starting suicide-bombing the hell out of everybody and everything again? The fightings not over. It will be months before we even begin to see anything resembling a stablized region.

North Korea with nukes. Russia and China becoming allies. China just recently bought an aircraft carrier from Russia. The vessel was gutted and completely unseaworthy; but the fact that China's showing an interest in building a fleet... and China's army... 10 million soldiers, all armed with pea-shooters. The last thing we need is for some other global power to sell high-tech arms and armor to communist China.

And to top it off, I found out the first girlfriend I had outside of high school, and the girl who happened to take my viriginity, is living in Florida with her husband, whose name happens to be Bill. How ironic. Another ex-girlfriend, married. I can see a pattern developing.

Stock up on canned foods, batteries, and lots of water. When the seven bowls of God's wrath are poured onto the Earth, Death itself will flee, and there will be no escape. (Cue diabolical laugh and really fast violin music).

And tonight after work, I heard some kid in the parking lot say I looked like Billy Corgan.



The situation with Katie the Cook grows more interesting by the day. For the past couple of weeks, Katie has been sitting at the bar after her shift for a drink, and we talk. I've found out that she's still living with her baby's father because of the child. She's not happy with the father, she says they fight all the time (but that could imply there's still feelings between them). And just this weekend he got arrested, right after she and I discussed how girls love bad boys, even though they hate them, too. But she's obviously not satisfied with her situation. She even referred to the father as "the babysitter".

I can see this going in two directions. The first, if she were to break up or permanently leave the father, she'd look for someone to fill the vacuum -- replace him with someone who could fill the role of a boyfriend and a father; someone obviously more mature and secure than me. I couldn't possibly hope to fill those roles... at least, not right now.

The second direction would be if she broke up with the father and struck out on her own. After being locked in such a contrictive relationship, she'd probably just want to be alone and enjoy being single. Going from one serious relationship to another would be too overwhelming. She'd need time to breath, rediscover herself, spend time with her baby, whatever. I don't see myself in either of those pictures.

Katie's flattered by my attention. I'm proof to her that men still find her attractive, and want to be with her. On any other level I'm inconseqeuntial. I merely serve the purpose of reminding her that she could still find another man if she wanted to, someone who'd love her and treat her right and take care of her baby as though she were his own daughter. Is anybody is worth that, Katie certainly is. I'd give anything to pull a Lancelot and come sweeping in to rescue her, but I doubt she wants to be rescued right now. She probably wants to find her own way.

And that, my friends, is it.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Writing about writing

I have this astonishing ability to write about writing, with a net result of zero. I haven't really finished anything since high school, unless you count a volume of really bad poetry circa '98-2000. I have countless plots, but I've never started any of them. It's torture because I know I want to be a writer, I want to write, I want to be creative and express myself in a productive and artistic way, but there are some things holding me back.

Should I write about myself? Should I start when I was a kid, living in Florida? Or when I was a teenager in Tennessee?

What kind of narrative should this be? First person, third-person, stream-of consciousness? Clean and clockwork exposition, or Kerouac-style spontaneous prose? What IS my voice?

Sometimes I think if I just sat down and wrote, just wrote 10 pages of nonsense, maybe I'd find a perfectly-composed paragraph in the middle, subconsciously tucked away, sandwiched between mountains of useless babble. 10 pages to get one paragraph... wow... That's a horrible ratio and I don't think I'm that mindless a writer.

I know my friend Matt's probably shaking his head and saying, "Just write, you damn fool. You aren't a writer unless you write." I can say with true humility that he's surpassed me in talent and vision when it comes to observing and commenting upon this vast seething pool of bumbling mongoloids we call humanity. And I only wish I had a microbe's worth of his determination.

I could hide behind the excuse of having two jobs, but that's lame. Any true writer is going to apply himself and dedicate himself to honing his craft every chance he can get. And ever since I started working at The Winds, in Yellow Springs, I have more than enough inspiration and material. The people there are rich mines of oddity. I can only really fess up to laziness, that's true. I'm a lazy, lazy person.

I've always said there are two stories inside me, waiting to get out: the first is a galaxy-shattering space opera of apocalyptic proportions, in the grand epic style of E. E. "Doc" Smith; with a dashing hero, a damsel in distress, and gargantuan spaceships duking it out with nukes and big-ass f***in' laser beams. The second story is a fictionalized autobiography, about a nerdly little dude (me) coming of age and whatnot. A rite du passage? Did I spell that right?

I'm hesitant to start the first story because a) it's been done before, and to perfection, in Doc Smith's original stories; and b) topping his stuff is pretty much impossible. And I have trouble starting the latter because I'm riddled with self-doubts... I'm only 26, I'm mainly self-educated, I lack common sense (among other things). I'm astoundingly ignorant of trivial and confusing matters like finance, politics, cars, sports, fashion, etc. I tune that shit out. I've been tuning it out for 26 years and now that I need them, I don't have those topics to draw upon. I kinda havta "fake" it.

I guess this all comes in the wake of the news of my friend's first published book of poetry. Kathryn Stridsberg has written an excellent volume of introspective and emotional verse entitled "Detachment" (which you can order here, btw) and got it published. I'm more than proud for her, I'm ecstatic. She is the first friend I've ever had who actually got a book published. This, then, is what I've been craving for, I guess: elbow-rubbing with published poets here in Ohio. I took it for granted when I was in Dayton and Chattanooga. It seems like all my friends in Tennessee were artists of some kind, or possessed of some weird and entertaining talent. I miss that up here; but I guess kids like that aren't so far away after all. (And although you could say there's the smallest microscopic twinge of jealousy, it's only because I know I can do it, I'm just too damn lazy.)

I suppose I do have plenty of material. And I've heard enough tall tales and witnessed enough sordid affairs to fuel a trilogy. It all comes down to the battle between me, and my mind (and my body, too). I can either re-double my efforts, stick to my guns, and just write, or I can babble away in long-winded fashion on a weblog.

Ideas churn.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


Nuke Illinois!

What's up with the freakin' Postal Service selling out to M&M?!

Everyone should forgive Governor Schwarzenegger. He's Conan The Barbarian for Jebus' sake. AND the Terminator. Leave him be. Or he will come back in time to extinguish the human race.

I am head-over-heels in love with Katie the Cook. Half of the employees at The Winds say she's single. The other half says she's not. She has yet to mention a man's name during our conversations. And she knows I like her. (I heard from Penny the Dishwasher that she's flattered by my attention). Today I invited her to come into Outback, my treat. If you could only see her lovely red hair and lusciously beautiful tattoos. Talk about one big freakin' SIGH...

NEW FAVORITE SUMMER DRINKS!! The mint julep and the mojito. To make a mint julep, you put a sprig of fresh mint at the bottom of the glass, add 1/8 cup of superfine granulated sugar and mash delicatly. Do not masticate the mint! Only enough to release the mint oil. Then add 1/8 cup of freshly squeezed lime juice. Follow that with a full shot of whiskey (Makers Mark, traditionally... tho I prefer Jack). Add ice, a splash of soda water, and garnish with a lime and another sprig of mint. To make a mojito, the summer drink of Cuba, use rum instead of whiskey.

I work with Lord Vader. Details to follow...

Friday, June 24, 2005

Bats, Bats, and More Bats

No, guys, I haven't given up on the blog. I know a lot of you are probably wondering where I've been, but I've already given my excuse: two jobs, no time. And when I do have time, I'd rather sit and do nothing than type on the computer. But I've seen how woefully barren the past two months have been, so I've decided to post an entry. It may be a little scattershot, but at least it's something for you minions to read, isn't it?

My new job at The Winds is fantastic. My second paycheck was for four-hundred and thirty three clams! That's the biggest paycheck I've had in... probably eight years. Of course I signed it right over to Maleea, but it's eased the tension around here a little bit. The cafe itself is unbelievably cool... it's like bohemian fine dining, if you can picture that... I may post next month's menu for everybody to read... if you can decipher the French and Italian. During these past four weeks I've learned more about wine and cheese and bread and everything else European than I did throughout all of high school and most of college.

And the employees there are unbelievabely cool... I can only describe them as subterraneans (a la Kerouac)... or angel-headed hipsters of the night, maybe? I feel less than adequate because I'm neither covered in tattoos and piercings nor overtly bohemian in appearance and style.

I have a crush on one of the cooks, this gorgeous redhead named Katie. She has the most soft, tender, womanly voice. Not to mention the fact that's she's covered in tattoos... All down her arms, her back, her chest... Any woman who can sit through that many tattoos is tough, no doubt about it. It makes me painfully aware of my inkless body. I've always wanted the 1960's Bat-symbol tattooed across my back, ever since I was old enough to get tattoos... but tats are expensive, and anytime I've ever had enough money to afford one, there's always been something else more important to buy (or at least spend the money on). So I'm a little wary to approach her. Surely she's attracted to tougher, scruffier men... Which is an experience I've dealt with in the past (and not one I particularly enjoyed... but I won't go there...)

Speaking of Bat-symbols... I've seen the new Batman movie three times now. I can't help it. I've been waiting for this movie to come out for almost four years... I mean, I looked forward to it even more than Episode III. And man, was the movie fantastic. It delivered on every level: psychological, action, intrigue, moodiness, etc. It's the darkest, grittiest Batman movie ever, even more so than the first Michael Keaton/Tim Burton film (which will always hold a special place in my heart). It has nothing in common with the last movie in the series, that pathetic piece of cinema trash that doesn't even deserve mention, much less a name.

Christian Bale nails the Bruce Wayne/Batman personalities on the head. The first hour of the film is almost all Bruce Wayne (Batman doesn't make an appearance until little over half-way into the movie), so Bale had to make Wayne an interesting character to watch, and he succeeds, wildly. The story sets up enough conflict outside of the Bat-suit to keep you paying attention; it makes you sympathize, and even empathize, with Bruce Wayne. He's a tortured soul who, after confronting the past, must learn to deal with his pain, guilt, and anger.

If you ever watched the other Batman films and wondered, "How and where does he get all those gadgets? Who made the Batcave?" then this movie answers those questions. It's not like Bruce Wayne called in a bunch of contractors and had them build it... What kind of secret would that be? We see the entire universe of the Batman grow from the ground up. Everything is explained: the suit, the gadgets, the cave, the Batmobile... and most of all... the inspiration...

The villains are handled perfectly, too. They're not over-the-top, and they don't overshadow our hero. Dr. Jonathan Crane (played by Cillian Murphey, from 28 Days Later), who later becomes the Scarecrow, manages to come across as creepy, especially when using his special panic-inducing "fear toxin". And there's a twist with the immortal eco-terrorist, Ra's Al Ghul (credited as Ken Watanabe, from The Last Samurai), that makes for a delicious surprise near the end.

Michael Caine (Gods and Monsters) is an excellent Alfred Pennyworth, but his cockney accent took some getting used to. Gary Oldman IS Lt. James Gordon, hands down. He was born to play the role. Morgan Freeman is also perfectly cast as Wayne Enterprises employee, Lucius Fox. The only character I didn't care much for is the only one who never appeared in the comics, and that's Katie Holmes (she plays Rachel Dawes, asst. D.A. and childhood sweetheart of Bruce Wayne). She's just too cute and apple-cheeked to be in this movie. Every time I see her all I can think about is "Dawson's Creek".

Anyway, I could write a dissertation on the many psychological and sociological facets of the Batman mythos, but I'll spare you all the geek-talk. Just believe me when I say this is a mature film, dark and brooding, meant for adults (it's definitely NOT a kid's film).

I cannot stress this enough: GO SEE BATMAN BEGINS!!!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Alleviate the Funk

I apologize to everyone, again, for taking such a long time to post. Now that I have a second job, it's getting harder and harder to either find time to post, or actually make myself do it when I have a few minutes to spare. My schedule's so hectic, I find that I'd rather just sit down on the recliner and relax for thirty minutes than pound away on the keyboard, racking my brain for something new to write.

Needless to say, I've been busy. I usually work at The Winds from 10:45 AM to about 4:00 PM... Then I jet to Outback in Centerville to work from 5:00 to close (10:00 on weekdays, 11:00 on weekends). All of this, five days a week. It's definitely helping me get ahead with my sister; the money I owe her took a dramatic jump down from $800 to about $300.

And now that I have my car, I've been able to get out and do things. I've seen Batman Begins twice now: once on opening day, and again last Friday. I'd anticipated this movie more than I had Episode III, and I was definitely pleased. The movie was amazing, enough to warrant its own blog post (if I can summon the willpower, which is pathetic, since any writer worth his salt shouldn't have to summon willpower, it should be second-nature...)

Maybe I can summon myself out of this lazy funk...

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