Archive for February, 2009

27
Feb
09

At this Mediocrity

I finally got the applications all sorted out and sent away. Only took me near six hours to get around to doing it, though it took about one hour to actually fill out the forms and such.

That weight’s off my shoulders, but there’s all sorts of other trouble about to head ym way with more essays and a different research proposal i need to make for the summer. Man, so much trouble just in order to have a future that i may not even want.

I really just need to find a beautiful, motivated girl who’s excited about work and her future career. I’d be a made man. Stay at home, look after the kids, do the laundry, cook the meals, all that. That’s what i want.

Lord, save me from the future. Plant a girl down beside me. I want to be that stay at home dad. It could be my life if i’m lucky.

Been watching Radiohead at Saitama the last little while. A cool and recent concert in Japan, i think, by the greatest band in the world. Enjoy.

27
Feb
09

And when you see me coming

So many things i should be doing now, should’ve been doing for hours, but i think i need to get my fingers moving a bit or i’ll never get anything done. Four applications due tomorrow and i’ve still barely started any of them and i want to finish them all by three, which is about forty minutes, so there’s just no way. I mean, i’ve been here since eleven and all i’ve done is watch hours of live videos of people like Bon Iver and Sigur Ros and Third Eye Blind, which is quite a strange playlist now that i think about it. Anyway, what’s the point of this post if any of these have a point? No idea yet, but i guess i’ll just chat a bit about this week because i think i’ve posted fairly recently so there couldn’t be too much news to relate.

This week was supposed to be my get everything done and finalised week. Instead it’s been my least productive week in, well, weeks. I accidentally skipped a bunch of classes and didn’t do anything of importance. Just a lot of shenanigans and hijinxs and general jubilations. I went to Phoenix Park, though. It’s the biggest park in Europe and it was an awesome time. Didn’t really see much of it, though. Mostly just sat in a field and enjoyed the fact that Ireland has a sun sometimes. Shining now, actually, but i’m still sitting here wasting away the hours. Anyway, Phoenix Park, yeah, very good time there. Played in a tree, too. I miss doing that. Felt so good to just hang out in some branches. I’ll put a photo up here because i think i finally figured out how to do that.

I snapped that and it looks much better than i expected. I hate my camera, but it actually does some things quite well. That whole day ended up being quite ridiculous and so fun. Maybe the best day spent yet in this country. Yeah, lots of good times. A pirate and Jasmine.

Last night ended up being quite wild, too, and a lot of it disappeared. Probably made a bit of a fool of myself, but i’m okay with that. I’m a foolish person and always have been and always will be and refuse to be otherwise.

Not sure if my fingers are feeling up to the application task yet, but i’ve really nothing to say here. And really, i need to do that business or my summer’s ruined. Though really, these research programs [or programmes if you're European] will more than likely ruin my summer. I never seem to have a good summer. Stupid long sunny days.

I think i’m going to feed some ducks today, but might wait until the weekend or just never feed them. I’ve never done that before, feed ducks, but i think it’d be a good idea.

18
Feb
09

Uh oh…

I think my travelogue is much more boring now that i’m doing no traveling. Fear not, for traveling will happen soon. Going to the North in a few weeks. End of March, i’ll be in Paris again–might just stay there this time. Late April or early May, i’m taking a whirlwind tour of Europe. Flying into Germany, then taking a train to Russia, then down to Budapest–finally–then through Italy and Spain. That plan has yet to be planned and i may be going it alone–which really doesn’t bother me and actually kind of excites me–but i’ll be looking into it soon. Should be somewhere around ten to fifteen days over the continent.

Um, the creative writing’s on a standstill until i get these essays under control. Mean tot do that today, but something’s wrong with my school password and i can’t do anything. Gonna sort it all out tomorrow.

Also, watching Radiohead live in Glastonbury 2003, which is the full concert over on youtube. Can’t even tell you how many times i’ve gotten the chills here. So so so sos os sos so sos sos so so so so sos os good. Check it if you’ve ninety minutes to kill.

18
Feb
09

BUKOWSKI SLEEP KARATE

Went to Neil Gaiman last night. He did a reading with Amanda Palmer, who’s a musician i’m not really familiar with. I know she just made a solo album and is also in a band, but i either don’t know or can’t remember what band. There were upwards of five hundred people there, which, if you’ve been to Chapter, which most of you haven’t, you’d realise how amazing that is. They were together because they’re publishing a book together called Who Killed Amanda Palmer, which, i believe, is also the title of her solo album. A very interesting book that’s yet to be released. Amanda Palmer has, apparently, been raking dead photographs of herself for a very long time. That meaning, she poses as if she were dead in them. For each photo, Neil Gaiman wrote a short story describing the death. Very cool.

Amanda Palmer sang a few songs with a ukelele and Neil Gaiman read a few of the shorts. Amanda Palmer played a Cure song that i can’t remember the name of. She also did one of her own. Those were pretty enjoyable. Then, she finished with a cover of Fake Plastic Trees by Radiohead, which was really just awful. Horrendous even. I’ll link a Radiohead version of it because i love that song so so so much.

Really, just fantastic.

Neil Gaiman was great, too. I love that guy and he certainly can do no wrong. Such a prolific and imaginative person. I linked his site up above for anyone unfamiliar with him. He writes children and adult novels as well as comic books and films and television series. All of it amazing. I guess you’d call him a fantasy writer, but he’s not your typical kind. He’s very funny and very, just, well, awesome. Kind of like how i’d say Ender’s Game is science fiction for people who aren’t science fiction fans, so i’d say the same for Neil Gaiman’s novels. And American Gods is probably one of my favorite books of all time.

After the reading i met up with my friend Derek who’s quite possibly the nicest man on earth. he bought me dinner and we caught up a bit. i finally gave him the gifts i’ve been holding for him for months. Was a good time.

He actually brings me to an interesting thing that i’m a bit embarrassed about but probably shouldn’t be. Internet socialising is becoming quite widespread and acceptable. most of us, though, still think it’s quite weird and off-putting. i’d include myself in that last category. But Derek is a man i met through the magic of the internet that i’d probably never had met otherwise. It’s a very strange thing for me to know someone before i’ve met them in real life, but such is life and the oddity of technology. I probably never would’ve met him if i hadn’t had such a miserable summer. Because i had no time to hang out with my friends, i spent an inordinate amount of time on the internet and joined two internet forums centred around authors. The Velvet, which is on the blogroll, is one such site which has Will Christopher Baer, Craig Clevenger, and Stephen Graham Jones as a fulcrum. It’s something i never thought i’d do and still think it’s quite bizarre that i do use it, but i enjoy it, to be quite honest. I’ve met some very interesting and awesome people in this way.

But, yeah, the times, they are a-changing. The internet grows and grows and is beginning to swallow our real lives. And now i’ve dipped a bit into that strange world lived over wires and signals.

A bit embarrassed to admit all that, but it’s now a part of my life, even if only a small part. But, hey, you’d be surprised the people you’ll meet over the internet and the things you’ll learn from them.

Too, can’t, for the life of me, get a job. Very frustrating and the money runs short. C’est la vie. We’ll get it done. Somehow.

17
Feb
09

My Bloody Valentine

Not really, nothing bloody about it, i mean. Still haven’t caught the film yet either, which is a sad state of affairs. I mean, it’s a horror in 3d, what more could you ask for? Probably a lot, but whatever. And just because he’s my hero and he writes about such things, linking The State of the Slasher, which is a sequel–yeah, very horror conscious–to this essay. The man knows the genre, just read Demon Theory and you’ll understand everything you need to know about horror ever.

Anyway, this really isn’t about horror movies or what have you. My Valentine’s Day was spent a bit better than most previous ones. Can’t really recall what i usually do. Probably get drunk or go unaware that the made up holiday even arrived. I went to the Botanical gardens, i’ll put those photos up on facebook when the moon shines just right. Found a Mexican restaurant, finally. Very cool stuff. Then, the rest of the night went as many nights go for me and i ended up forgetting my coat at someone’s house and spending lots of money.

Now, though, i need to really start getting on essays and all that jazz. Much work to do and will probably keep my head underground until i get all that ish done. Going to see Neil Gaiman tonight, though. Can’t really turn that down. Too, House is on, so, yeah, there’s that, too.

So, what’s my point here besides being very vague and nondescript in my chronicling? I’ve been living in the past for a while. The musical past, anyway. A few bands that i’ve not listened to for a very long time popped back up on my listening schedule. Mostly on accident, but then it turned into this avalanche of music i listened to back in the early days of high school. Thursday, for example, been listening to them on high volume for the last week.

Cross out the Eyes, there. Yeah, lots of energy and frenetic chords. The drumsĀ  here, man, could listen to those for the rest of my life on a neverevnding loop. Love that. They’ve a sound i still seem to appreciate, though i suppose i needed a three or five year break. Their songs remind me of the apocalypse in a really wonderful way. Lyrics, too, are better than i expected. At least for my aesthetic. But, yeah, some intensity in them and i’d probably look just like the lead singer if i had long dark hari. He’s an ugly brute. They’re not all intensity and brutality. I think they’ve a real beauty in them. The apocalypse, yeah, but there’s some hope there in his voice. It’s a different apocalypse than Bone Machine by Tom Waits–which, to me, along with Godspeed is everything when you talk about the end of days.

This song has been brought to you by a falling Bomb, a live video because it’s the only one i could find, but i quite like this song. Beautiful, despite the ugly girl who’s voice is getting picked up in the video. But, yeah, a beautiful, almost lullaby, to the apocalypse.

The Sound of Animals Fighting, too, has come back to me. Lover, The Lord has Left Us is quite possibly the most schizophrenic album ever made. They made it by having all the members play something without hearing what the rest of the song sounded like. Just musicians recording in locked rooms and throwing it all together. It shows, but it’s fantastic. It’s impossible to grab a song that illustrates the way the album sounds, but this song may give you some indication, though it’s as different from the rest of the songs as they are from one another.

St. Brodarick is in Anarctica, can’t really say what the deal is with the video, but it’s the song and that’s what matters. Really a very bizarre band made from members of a lot of awful bands. Just goes to show, that even people from miserable bands, in the right context, can make a memorable and, i’d say, great album.

Those bands, i’m sure they’ve had more recent albums come out, but i’ve not listened to them and probably never will. And, when you revisit the past, if you’re me, you rehit The Blood Brothers for weeks. So, yeah, going there. Especially since those made me think of the world falling apart, who better to listen to than The Blood Brothers? Not the most representative song for their sound, but easily their biggest hit and a song i quite enjoy, even still, so many years later. Really, the only band that still sticks with me so hard from that period of my life.

And this all makes me think of something. How, i believe, you’ll never feel the way you do about things as you did when you were younger. Nothing in your life will ever be as important to you as it was when you were a teenager, specifically a young teenager. They’ll always stick with you. It’s why, even though you listened to terrible music, you’ll still always love those bands. It all means so much because these are the things that are with you when you’re forming your identity, when you’re figuring out the world; they’re what get you through all the sleepless nights, all the heartbreaks, all the fights and fears of being in high school. It’s why you remember your firsts as well.

I still remember the first girl i had a crush on. Her name was Suzie–like that, with the ‘z’ and that might be what made all the difference for me–she had red hair and green eyes. I was in first grade and only knew her for two years, but, man, made me weak in the knees even then. She was the only girl i could never look in the eyes or talk to back then. I even got my first childhood romance kiss–or whatever you calla kiss when you’re seven–from a different girl because i was so afraid of her.

Too, this is why Bukowski–though i don’t think he’s very talented anymore–will always mean so much to me. He got me through a lot of things in my life, all the big things and unbearable things, anyway. And then there’s Rimbaud who’s really the only person i actually consider my hero. He’s everything to me. I’ll not describe him in detail or i’ll be wandering on forever, but his life, his ideology, everything about him; he’s who i admire most in the history of the world. He’s who i would be if i could be someone else.

And i know so many of you have the same connections with something. It may be a song, an album, a book, a poem, a sentence, a smell: it’s something and it’ll always be important to you no matter how old you get or how long it’s been.

You’ve no idea how much i think about things like this. I guess it goes back to memory. Because these things, you never forget them. They’re always shaping you and will always shape you. I’d not be who i am without Bukowski, Rimbaud, Dostoevsky, Johnny Whitney, Akira Kurosawa, Won Kar Wai, Conor Oberst, Isaac Brock, Salvador Dali, and probably many others. And, for me at least, it’s always art. Art in every form. It always shapes me, will always shape me, even when i want to rip it apart and burn it to the ground: it’s everything.

Really, without those guys, i would’ve probably died a long time ago. Not sure why, but i think the world would’ve finally swallowed me whole and all those ghosts that follow every step i take would’ve finally reached inside and shut it all down.

I’m gonna leave you with a cover of a band i quite like by a man i quite like. Not really the best cover, but i’m digging it. I remember hearing this for the first time in ninth grade in my best friend’s basement, jsut staring at the ceiling and knowing, somehow, that everything was going to be all right, that the whole world was out there for me, for us, and we’d take it if taking needed to be done. We were young, forever fifteen, forever afraid, and forever impatient for that next step.

If you’ve time, check out the Elliott Smith cover of that song, too. It’s much better and i’d link it, but i’ve put up enough videos in this post. Take care, all.

12
Feb
09

Words of a Man gone Mad

Caught Milk yesterday. Not the liquid. Hate that stuff and can’t even remember the last time i drank some. Must be going on four milkless years by now. But, yeah, the film is what i mean. Really dig this film and knew not a single thing about who the man was until, like, two months ago. Gus Van Sant does as usual, which is to say, he made the film very well with some fantastically interesting sequences. Like the scene that happens through the whistle, just great. Josh Brolin does a great job, but i think he gets too much credit for his performance. Franco, Hersch, and Diego Luna give much better performances, i think, and probably deserve the supporting actor nomination more than Brolin. Though, Brolin’s become a Hollywood golden boy over the last year. Not a surprise, is what i mean. And then there’s Sean Penn, always fantastic, and pulls it big here. Really just a great movie that’ll tug at your heartstrings if you have them. Linking the trailer because it’s cooler that way.

But, yeah, really liked it. Also got me thinking about a lot of things. About how there’s nothing that i believe in or care about in the way that so many others do. I’ve no cause, no flag to wave, no slogan to chant, nothing like that. And in me, there’s a revolutionary almost bursting at the seams, but i’ve nowhere and nothing to revolt against. There’s no coherence to it, just a one man revolt against the world that i do not and, most likely, will never understand or feel apart of. And that’s part of it, i think. There’s a disconnect between me and the real world. I mean, it’s here and i can touch it, i can run my hands through it, but i don’t feel it. It’s not my world and i don’t belong here. And it’s because of this that i want it all to change, to burn the world down and start again.

I feel myself against everything. Against men, women, government, politics, religion, science, the natural order, class structure, art, political correctness, censorship, love, war, elitism [always], pretension, i could probably go on and on and on. So much of life and the world are troubling to me and i’d like to change them all, refashion them. But it’s not in me. I’m a man of big ideas and inaction. I don’t think you can change the world. Or at least not the way i’d like to. And i’ve no cause to support, only causes that i defy. But i’m a passive man. I’ve not it in me to change others. I don’t want to change them. You see, i’ve no idea what i’d rather have than the way things are; i can’t see it or hear it or feel what it should be. But i know it’s there, or will be there with the right amount of chaos injected. Ideally, maybe. Mostly, i think the world needs something new.

So i fight all these things as a one man army in my one man ways. But what do i believe in? What do i stand behind? I couldn’t tell you. The only ideas i can understand enough to get behind are my own that i’ve made up. Contradictions and absurdity. I see no meaning in the world or this life. No purpose either. But i’m here, and i’ll live life the way i think it’s meant to be lived.

I’ll leave no footsteps here. No memories of me. I will drift as a ghost through life and fade into nonexistence the same way i faded in.

Things got a bit heavy here, i suppose. I hope i don’t come off as a misanthropic curmudgeon all the time. I don’t mean to and i’m typically in a pretty good mood. I mean, life treats me well and i enjoy my life, would change a lot of things, but am quite content with my life.

Too caught a glorious Planet Earth-esque documentary on the BBC last night. Will link a view clips.

Such a beautiful moment and there were a lot of them in this show. You know, i never really believed in family before, but things like this make me want to believe. There were some great moments with a fox family as well that i can’t seem to find on the tube of you. But really beautiful and wonderful moments that almost brought a tear to my eye. It’s all so natural and glorious the ways they care for one another and love one another. Tragic, too, the way so many must die in order for so few to live.

But it’s shows like this and moments like this that remind me how connected everything is. Not just within families or even across families, but across cultures and species; we’re all here in the same boat drifting on a river we can’t see.

I think that’s more than enough from me right now. Lots of incoherence here.

10
Feb
09

Death in Dublin

This weekend turned out to not be as bad as i expected it. Though, I was in a foul mood for most of it. I found some good times to fiend on. You know, sometimes things’ll be okay if you let them be. Though, too, this weekend was pretty bizarre, lots of strangeness floating about the city.

The title of this post is another one of my many hidden literary allusions though it really has nothing to do with what it alludes to.

I saw a great film this weekend, The Good, The Bad, The Weird. It’s a South Korean western. Yeah, you read that right. So so so much fun there. Really, the film is just absolutely bonkers. Wild action scenes, frenetic pacing, surprisingly wonderful camera work, and that all important and distinct quality of Korean film: black as midnight humor. Posting the trailer because i think everyone should check it out. Wildly entertaining.

Oh, i found out today i made it into that Vampire Anthology i think i menationed on here. Will post that and the horror anthology when they pop up. Um, i think that’s about it for now.




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