Archive for November, 2008

29
Nov
08

humbug

something a bit annoying here. all the videos i posted on here slow down the site. i’ll not do that again. maybe just post links or something to the appropriate videos rather than imbed them. but imbeddings so fun, even saying the word, imbed. too much excitement about using technology is the main problem, methinks. you see, all this miscellaneous access to miscellaneous internet workery and buggery and tomfoolery get me a bit excited.

so, yeah, no more videos, just more of my words here. i’ll try to keep things interesting, though. i mean, reading these things can, i imagine, be quite boring. such is the nature of the beast. i mean, i dont read peoples weblogs, seems so stupid, to be honest.

every day i do what im doing now, sit in the library doing nothing im supposed to be doing. i may check out a few movies rather than start my essays. maybe just keep wandering aimless on the internet. lanark by alastair grays been sitting around waiting to be finished for too long, too. i just havent had the right amount of time. its a great book, though and i highly recommend it. been listening to muse for the last two days and realise i enjoy them quite a bit, though theyre prolific thieves of all things radiohead.

well, yeah, just a little bit of wandertongue here. procrastination, yeah? well, back to it, or something like it.

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26
Nov
08

video dump

for those of you who wonder about these things, that picture in the header, you know, right above this post, yeah, i took that a few years ago. pretty cool, yeah? i thought so, too.

anyway, in an attempt to keep all this floating about and up to date, im going to toss some videos up here for you to view. just songs i like and have been listening to lately. also, apparently youtube formats changed a bit, the videos are much bigger now. well, not much, but noticeably bigger, anyway.

tape song by the kills, cant stop listening to this song either. the videos edits out a swear word in the song, which is pretty gay, but whatever, doesnt detract from the song. something about that guitar, just grumbling and distorted sounds so perfect.

sometimes by my bloody valentine, maybe one of my favorite songs ive heard in the last year. shoegaze is a genre i know little about, but i dig it, especially these guys. this song is just something magic, resonates through me and makes me feel it, whatever it is, in my chest. the distorted wave of guitars layered over soft vocals rolling through the song feels the way floating feels. and then when it opens up and breathes, its like a lung full of cold air that reminds you what life feels like.it elevates you, slowly.

postage stamp world by rogue wave, a nice pretty little song. just really dig it. this heres a live video since i couldnt find a plain video. but i like live videos more than unlive videos, which isnt the same as undead videos, though i dig those, too. anyway, this is a great performance with a little silly introduction.

glittering blackness by explosions in the sky, maybe my favorite song by them, which is really saying something. this song is great, though. it builds and tears, builds and soothes, then gives you a sense of relief. another song that reminds me of that singular moment when you take in a deep breath and feel existence swirl around you. and it feels good.

cody by mogwai, a beautiful song that hits my heart right in the left ventricle making me miss a beat. i wish more mogwai songs had lyrics, because i dig it when they sing, though they do it rarely.

pioneer to the falls by interpol, because i mentioned them below. really dig this song. a bit haunting and alienated. like i said, lovesongs from purgatory, thats what these sound like to me.

well, there you have it, a few more songs i like with visual cues to feed from, too.

26
Nov
08

paris promenade

i finally got that flickr thing linked. theres a limited amount of pictures you can put in there, so theres only a limited amount of my pictures on there. i’ll post more on facebook when i get the idea to. check that out if you fancy, or just wait for me to post them on facebook where i can post plenty.

but, yeah, paris, spent the weekend there. a very good time in a very cool city. traveled with caitlin and lucy, arrived friday morning at about nine or something, left dublin at like seven, woke up at four. mhm, good schtuff.

the first day we wandered around the city for several hours, just looking about in awe of the glory of the city. we eventually made our way to the louvre, which ive heard pronounced at least two different ways by the french. regardless of how you say it, its a glorious place. so vast and immense, everythings there from egyptian and grecoroman art to picasso. da vinci, man, that guy could paint, im sold on him. hes fantastic in every conceivable way. the mona lisa, though, meh, its all right. i feel like its one of those things that musicians run into where their most famous stuff isnt necessarily their best or most interesting. so much great stuff in there. i lean towards darkness when it comes to art, and i found many to my liking. also, so much religious artwork, i loved it, the christian images are just beautiful, sometimes painful, but always unforgettable. we spent three hours their and basically only saw one floor. it apparently would take three months to see everything if you spent just thirty seconds at each piece of art. yeah, good luck.

after the louvre, we walked to the eiffal tower, that giant fallic structure looming over the city. it was all right, mostly just steel and blue light. super high, though, almost too high. theres a great view from the top overseeing the entire city where you can just see the skyscrapers at the edge. i wouldnt really recommend going there, but its an interesting place, if nothing else.

the next day we took two walking tours around paris where we learned fragments of history. it was pretty cold in paris, though. around zero degrees centigrade, not terrible, but when you spend all day outside, it feels absolutely frigid. but, yeah, saw all the big sights and learned bits about them, then, for the second tour, we walked through the artists quarter, which was also pretty cool, but even colder as it was night. then we went on a pub crawl. caitlin and lucy left pretty early, so i spent the rest of the night with an australian girl and an italian girl. we had a very good time. we didnt pay for the pub crawl, we just followed it and got all the drink specials and free drinks. so deviously wonderful.

next day we went to the versailles palace, which was okay. i mean, it was fantastic, absolutely glorious, but i wouldnt recommend making the trip out there unless youve some free time. do it in the summer, too. it snowed while we were there, which was actually quite pretty. reminded me of anastasia, as paris does. after that we wandered a bit, me and lucy went to notre dame, and caitlin went to the musee d’orsay, which is an impressionist museum. after that, i flew home to dublin.

i know i rushed over most of that, so i’ll just add a few things. ordering food in a language you dont know is unreasonably embarrassing. makes you feel so stupid as you point and grunt and try to speak what fragments of phrases you remember. i kept having the urge to speak spanish, which would probably be more insulting. lucy actually did a few times, very funny. also, the city itself is beyond me, can barely wrap my head around it. i think i could stay there forever, it suits me is what i mean. i love it, every inch of it. i may go there after school for a year, learn french, and just hang around. its an expensive city, though, much like dublin in that regard. but so not like dublin, so much radical structures and mindsets. its hard for me to explain how paris made me feel, but i’ll hold it dear to me and will probably return in the spring. its a must see, i think. and a weekend just isnt enough, not even close to enough, but its what i had and it worked as a sampling. got a lot of the touristy things out of the way, so i can really just see the city next time.

we’ll always have paris

together in paris

when good americans die they go to paris

if youre lucky enough to have lived in paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for paris is a moveable feast

theres a reason people say so many things about paris. its glorious.

anyway, a few random things. i forever change my mind about most everything. happened again with the band interpol. i dismissed them for a long time, thought they were just all right at best, but the last couple of days changed my mind. for some reason i picked up their music again, which, for some reason, i have. anyway, i quite enjoy them. theyve a darkness in them that makes me feel at home. theyve heart, too. theyre like lovesongs from purgatory. i dig it.

also, ive been writing a lot. im about 25,000 words into a novel and the writing keeps coming. im also writing shorts that im thinking about sending for publication. working on a vampire short right now for an anthology to come out next year. got a new short lined up for the next issue of colored chalk, and a slew of childrens tales im picking up to fit into crow toes magazine. just need to bring them all together and what have you. feels good to get my fingers pumping on the keyboard.

though, ive four essays due over the next month, so all progress will probably halt until that happens.

thats it for now. i’ll throw some random things your way eventually.

20
Nov
08

five books that changed my life

i decided today, well, about five minutes ago–lots of fives hanging around me–that id keep this thing alive and be a bit more active, though it seems less and less people are coming to read my little jottings. anyway, probably a lot more of this incoherent rambling and sharing of things i like than just retelling of what im doing. i dont find it terribly interesting, to be honest. i mean, i suppose thats my fault. i should jazz up my prose and what have you, but i grow weary from it. anyway, the topic at hand.

i wanted to insert images of these books, the artwork, but it wouldnt work. anywho. oh, these arent in order of importance, but in order of biography. that being, my biography and chronology of reading them.

1. ender’s game by orson scott card

really just the entire series, more so the later ones, those being : speaker for the dead, xenocide, children of the mind. ender’s game brought us here, though, so i’ll leave it at that. such a great book. the series really had a profound impact on me when i was still just a young snapper. from an action/thriller young adult novel to philisophical pondering and quandries of love and faith and humanity. these books cover a lot of ground and id recommend all of them. ive not read them in several years, but ive always meant to revisit them. maybe next summer or this winter.

2. the lord of the rings by jrr tolkien

i honestly dont think i need to justify this in any way. these books are fantastic. i felt a lot there and put an entire year into them, reading them over and over and delving deeper into the world with the silmarillion. turin turambar remained my favorite character for years after that. these books are tragic and beautiful and hopeful. grand in scope and amazing, despite what literary elitism would have you think.

3. crime and punishment by fyodor dostoevsky

im sure just about all of you have heard me talk about this book. but this book literally changed my life. even still, theres nothing more important thats happened to me then the day i was told to read this book back in high school. raskolnikov was a part of me, is a part of me. always. i wept into this book, it sent me on a year long existential crisis, broke my mind, my soul, rebuilt it all, hopefully stronger, at least i like to think so. ive read this four times and keep wanting to pick it up one more time, or eight more times. ive not read it in a few years, though. mostly because it shuts me up for weeks. it crowds my mind and i get confused and start treading dangerous territory where life and words mix to close. something i’ll always hope to one day be able to do, but will surely fall short. to make words on a page more important than twenty odd years of experience. that is writing.

4. the phinneas poe trilogy by will christopher baer

im sure ive told tons of you about this, too. its a weapon, itll hurt you, bleed right onto the page. so dark, so intense, frighteningly comfortable in there. probably more than i should admit given the subject matter. but phinneas’ voice in my head felt so right, felt like home, like me. poetic and powerful, sentences like gunshots in a garden. theyll break you down and pitch you deep underground, back into the dark recesses of your mind. i love these books. but, yeah, never knew fiction could be like this.

5. the book of lazarus by richard grossman

ive not much talked about this, though it may be the single greatest thing ive ever read. maybe ever written. well, at least in the last ten or twenty years. i’ll not get into that battle, though. this book has everything i want in a book, everything ive ever needed. experimental and contemplative. a book of the dead, a ballad of unforgiveness, songs seeking salvation, and the pain of life stuck between heaven and hell. its told through several characters and they each have their own distinct part ranging from aphorisms, to poetry, to a noir novella, to a seventy page sentence fragment–by far the greatest thing ive ever read in my entire life, so readable and brilliant, twisting and swirling and bringing you everywhere words can and should take you. everything i hope to recreate exists in balancing this and crime and punishment, combine them together. that same effect, i mean.

all sorts of honorable mention belongs here. pretty much everything stephen graham jones for being the most immediate influence on everything i put down and hope to be able to accomplish. and then theres guys like dr seuss and maurice sendek. neil gaiman, too, that guy can do anything and he gives me hope when i look at his books. camus, too, hes a big one, and bukowski and rimbaud, my hero. then theres things like the greeks and oedipus and orpheus, always orpheus-right up there with rodya-and shakespeare and egyptian mythology and odin and thor and yggdrasil and the trickster and parts of the bible that burn just right. but, yeah, keep it close and concise. or try to.

thats about it, i think.

20
Nov
08

five favorite songs of this minute

or something like that. basically the five songs ive been listening to non-stop for a while now. no particular order, really. just throwing some videos up here. maybe you guys will enjoy these.

reverend green by animal collective, there. a song i just cant get enough of right now. the oscillation just sounds so good, feels so right. linked a live video as i couldnt find one with just the song, but its a legit video. also, watch the comfy in nautica video in the underreel afterwards.

how it ends by devotchka. a beautiful sing that i had on repeat for about two days straight. a bit haunting and enormous and glorious. sinks deep into my head and echoes in me for the rest of the day. what brought it to mind in me some weeks ago was that gears of war 2 commercial. i think i’ll link that, too, as its a great commercial. yeah, great video.

tom traubert’s blues by tom waits. really, its tom waits and i can never get enough. touching here, beautiful. love it. hes not just the voice of satan or the monster in your basement playing scarecrow songs, hes also a brilliant writer who can break your heart in five minutes.

run into flowers by m83. really just lives inside you when you listen to it. brings me somewhere else when i close my eyes. im flying through blooms of psychadelic rainpetals. something about it feels so good, so right.

dreamt for lightyears in the belly of a mountain by sparklehorse. its long and theres not a single word in it, but i love this song. swimming through an icy inkblack sea with a light that flickers inconsistently far away. you drift to it, not swim, but float, not move, but come close to it. the journey takes ten minutes, but you feel it warm your face tenderly, and you smile after years of being trapped in the belly of a mountain.

yeah, thats it. just thought id share a bit. enjoy.

19
Nov
08

a thought

the further science goes, the more we’re learning that there is no difference between the mind and brain. that being, that theres no difference between our distinct anatomies and our distinct ways of thinking and processing the wrold. neuroscience is discovering more and more that psychological phenomena start physically in the brain. they come through function, stucture, neurochemical transmission, blood flow, and all that physiological goodness. even more than that, there seems to be a genetic basis for much of this. now, i’ll not get into whether or not thats true or believable. its science.

however, the impostant question lies in the implications of this research. if every things genetic and physiological, what then does it mean to be human? are we programmed by nature to be the way we are? this isnt a nature versus nurture debate as nurture is a part of our nature. i dont mean nature as in instinct, i mean it as just a manifestation of our behavior. we all, typically, act in similar ways and our social constructions are a part of this nature of ours. its not separate. we facilitate development in other humans. i digress. the implications, though, these are big. for example, is there free will?

how can there be if we’re genetically predisposed to act and behave a certain way? and if theres no free will, where does responsibility come into play? the existential responsibility sartre advocated cant exist in this model. so then, what makes us human? is it the metacognitive functions and all that jazz? the fact that we can think about this as a question? we can wonder whether or not our nature is nature? does that not boggle your mind? anyway, we’re coming to a world that doesnt need or want god, and we’re coming to a world where explanations are coming to light, so where do we fit in this world?

we are what weve always been. but its scary to think what people could potentially do with these implications. every thing becomes permissible because of this. well, its not my fault, i was meant to do this, its in the genes. and that very thought scares me. that we can subvert our better judgment and explain away all of our atrocities with this simple fact that we’re biological machines.

and the soul, the soul, the soul. i think we’re afraid to explain everything as a physical reality, a materialistic view of the world. but it feels right. though, wheres the hope there? does this lead to some strange form of predestination? i dont know. its a bit troubling, not just for me. i imagine the religions of the world will eventually be up in arms about this research and the debasement of man. makes me a bit scared nervous for the future and the past and the present.

anyway, a different vein of thought. i found some nice youtube videos of cocorosie performing with an orchestra.

oh, too, im getting published at the end of this month. i’ll link it when it happens.

19
Nov
08

brief recap of a trip to the north

every time i come to this sight it makes me re-log in, which is annoying. its not a big deal, but it takes me at least thirty seconds to remember how to login here. yeah, not a big deal, maybe just means i need to be a better web logger.

also, the title of this thing. in the time of clover, i mean. it was supposed to be ‘love in the time of clover’ as a reference to marquez’ novel that ive not read, but whos title i love. anyway, that was so long ago it seems silly to change this title now, though i dont much like this ‘in the time of clover’ thing. i just wish i had remembered to remember where the idea came from so i wouldve given it the proper title and not this bastardised version.

but, yeah, went to northern ireland this last weekend. a very cool place. we went with the butler program which includes a lot of children. maybe one hundred[?] or more. but the thing is, these other folks didnt seem to want to meet any of us. they were seemingly content to remain with their friends from school, who, i can only imagine, they met about two months ago. its not a big deal, just surprising is all. i was excited to meet some other irish wanderers.

i had a roommate this weekend. his name was john and he was a pretty awesome cat. he goes to the art school in burren which is quite a ways from where i be, but hes here for the year and i may run into him again. i wouldnt mind it, anyway. but, yeah, it was a fun weekend where we got plenty of free food from the program. always a plus.

we went on a tour through northern ireland and got to learn bits of the history involving THE TROUBLES which is all that strife between the catholics and protestants up there. we also got to see some great sights and what have you. a walled city, a castle, and the giants causeway, which was formed by a scottish giant running away from an ulster giant. but the giants causeway was fantastic. its a valley-esque type place right on the ocean with strange rock formations that stretch into the water. so windy, too. i walkd deep out on the rocks, a couple hundred feet from shore where the wind tore past and nearly knocked me over. the rocks were incredibly slippery, too as the ocean water broke against the rocks. i stood out near the edge for what seemed hours all by alone. just standing there. looking out. it was an enormous feeling. the only sound was the wind rushing by, the only feeling was the spray of water and the wind tearing you down. i literally leaned against the wind with my arms outstretched to keep balance. jesus christ pose, yeah? but i stood there and could stand there all day. my head emptied of thought, unconscious almost, maybe superficially conscious; aware of myself, but unaware of the earth or the people around me or the sky above me, well, more like all those things swirled together, the sky, ocean, rocks, and me, i mean. some feeling of majesty. its hard to explain really how i felt, but it was great.

that night we wandered the streets of belfast and ran into a creepy and aggressive irishman. it was an all right night, i suppose.

the next day we wandered the streets during the day and looked through queens college and the botanical gardens. wondrous places, those. i also found three dm thomas books, which excited me greatly as hes a hard man to find. then we went on the black cab tour.

the black cab tour takes you through the places where THE TROUBLES started and where the most bloodshed occurred. they even have a peace wall there, not like berlin or palastine, but a wall that both sides wanted to be erected for personal safety. very intense. it was lit on fire two weeks ago, apparently, and our trip was almost cancelled. it was intense, though. all the pain and suffering that happened there. i mean, you dont think these things happen anymore, especially in western europe. we’re modern and sophisticated and past barbarism, but not really. there were still murders over these religious issues within the last four years. murals are everywhere depicting ‘heroes’. these heroes were typically murderers, but only murdering people of the other side. can you imagine looking up to a man because he killed thirty catholic men? and the catholics had it hard there. hunger strikes and brutalities. they were second class citizens in their own land.

i felt it there, whatever it is, i felt it, and it made me contemplative and morose.

anyway, we spent another night there and returned the following morning. ive pictures, but theyre not yet up. i’ll do so eventually. it was a very cool weekend, though, powerful and all that jazz.

read a bit of lacanian psychoanalytical theory, too. difficult stuff, but i kind of dig it, despite it being impractical. interesting philosophy, though, just not good psychology or science.

losing steam. this isnt a very detailed post. im getting a bit tired of recapping my life, to be honest. im going to paris this weekend and i really need to learn a few key phrases before i go. elsewise the frenchll hate me and not help me navigate. or so ive been told.