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I sit here daily and stare out the window. The view seldom changes. I'm not sure what exactly it is I'm looking for. I seem to be in an almost constant state of paralysis. There is something inside of me that wants to get out, that needs to be heard, that is clawing away at me, that is real, energetic, positive, but I cannot hear it clearly or do not speak its language and it manifests itself only as frustration and bewilderment as I sit here on yet another dull day, numb, watching the minutes tick away from me. Melodrama.
Today I am going to read another chapter of my Finnish language book. It is tough going. Languages seem so infinitely complex, yet it is so easy to speak your own language. You do it all the time without really consciously attending to it. I've never studied any languages before. I wonder if I will ever get to a point where I think in Finnish. Does that even really happen though? I seem to recall an article by Chomsky about people thinking in different ways depending on their mother tongue. Does that happen if you learn a new language? Hmmm.
Mother Nature sometimes pisses me off. There were some guys outside earlier sweeping the pavement and doing their spring tidy-ups. They spent an hour or two sweeping away debris and had only just finished when it started to snow again. What the? I thought you were done for the season, you old biddy! Sometimes I imagine what she must look like. She isn't some jolly old cheerful, Santa Claus's wife type in my mind. Oh no. She's undeniably wicked, smokes 20 a day and consciously breaks wind in the faces of little children. You wouldn't want her as your mother-in-law.
You probably look at your face in the mirror every day but chances are you don't know what the back of your head looks like. It's foreign to you. You're not going to see it in real life are you? Actually, you might not have even seen exactly what your face looks like either. Everything is on the opposite side in a mirror image, so that freckle on the right is on the left to everyone else looking at you. Ain't that the strangest thing? That face you are so familiar with is not quite the face everyone else sees.
Have you noticed that in certain circles coolness equates with obscurity? Obscure is the new alternative. You can't be into anything popular, oh no, that's not cool at all. Popular equals uncool – end of story. The reverse is also supposed to be true. Anything unknown or a little bit strange is automatically cool. Have you ever seen someone listen to some really weird band, under the pretense that they're really cool, and seen that they clearly don't like it. They're gritting their teeth, "Man these guys are cool, did I mention they're from Mozambique?"
Yeah, only about a hundred times.
It's that time of year again. The nba playoffs are here and I'm pumped. I'm on the net checking scores, analyzing stats, reading predictions and making my own. The only thing is, I can't really say why I still follow the game. I realized the other day that the last time I actually saw a game on tv, Jordan was still playing baseball. Maybe I'm a closet statistician. Maybe there's some suppressed anguish about being knee-high to an imp bubbling away somewhere in there. I dunno. All I know is that unless Duncan breaks down, the Spurs should win it.
Stimulus. Response. Such a moment requires instant comprehension and lightning-quick reaction. Surpringly equal to the task, I launched myself at the falling object, a glass. Making a face like popeye I desperately threw out my arm. I figure I must have shut my eyes. Opening them again I stared in disbelief at my hand. I'd caught the thing between my little finger and ring finger. I turned around to high-five the fans but of course no-one had been watching. Man I can't believe no-one saw that! Maybe God will shortlist it for his top ten plays of the week though.
These are definitely new tricks, that much is certain. The real question is, am I yet an old dog? It's been ages since I last studied anything. Sure, I've learnt new things at work but it's not the same. I'm hoping I can blow the dust off the student in me and get learning. What do they say about languages though? Something about young people being much better at learning them. I seem to recall something about the brain becoming gradually less elastic over time, less open to new ideas or information. Sounds like defeatism though. An old person's excuse.
A real United Nations moment. A Hungarian girl on a train from Greece speaking German with a Turkish ticket inspector about a passport for a Portuguese dog. For some reason the memory of a trainride to Istanbul popped into my mind. The girl and her Portuguese boyfriend were traveling with his dog. After collecting our tickets the inspector apparently also wanted something from the dog. Nobody in our compartment could work out what until it was discovered that both the girl and the guy could speak German. He wanted a dog passport. Apparently these exist. The whole trip was surreal.
I just love encountering people who think the universe revolves solely around them. The kind of people who seem to think whatever they say is gospel. You'll be innocently chatting to them, then all of a sudden things'll get heated when you disagree on something. They'll blatantly refuse to accept that you might have a different opinion to them. They'll hiss and spit at you viciously, unrelentingly and then with the most pathetic look on their faces end with "Well I guess everyone's entitled to their own opinion." meaning "… so long as it's the same as mine!" Love it.
Dismal day. Sometimes I think the weather is wired directly to my mood somehow. It's a leaden, dull, damp, sleepy old day and that's exactly how I feel. Except for the damp bit, of course. Would I be a high-fiving, jovial wee box of birds every day if I moved to somewhere tropical though? I very much doubt it. Maybe it would help if I got up earlier, or later, or ate a better breakfast or lunch or meditated a little or did some sort of fancy new-age affirmations. Maybe it wouldn't though. Maybe it's just one of those days.
If something horrible happens, how close does it have to be for people to care? I'm not demanding to know, not screaming "why the hell don't you people care goddamnit?" the way some uptight activists seem to. I'm just interested. When does something on the news cause you to do more than simply pause for a few seconds and say something like "oh that's just horrible" before asking for the salt? Does it vary per person? And if you do feel moved to act, to do
, how do you do that without the weight of world's suffering crushing you?
Mid-life crises are happening earlier these days. In fact they're not really mid-life crises at all. They're more like early-life crises. People hit thirty and think shit I'm not young anymore, what the hell am I doing with my life? Where am I going? I catch myself falling into this mindset. I'm sure having some idea of where you're going is worthwhile but somehow I suspect you don't enjoy the journey so much if you're too busy trying to get somewhere. Too much thinking, not enough living. That's me sometimes. What if we didn't have clocks or calendars? What then?
I like Garfield. He hates Mondays and can eat a truckload of lasagne no trouble at all. Same here. Mostly I like him cos he's a lazy son-of-a-bitch though. I identify with that. There are plenty of days when I'd rather stay tucked up in bed and insult some happy little elf like Odie. You can't really knock Odie though, can you? How can you possibly knock a happy dog? All goofy smile, bounding from one (utterly riveting) situation to another. There's definitely something pure about that. Simple pleasures and a live lived fully. Sophicates can snigger. They're just jealous.
I could have sworn I saw someone I knew today. We passed in the street and I thought "hang on a second". I turned and caught up with him and only when a greeting was right on my lips did I realise that it wasn't him. This guy sure looked like him though. Actually, I've been told more than once that I look just like a friend of so-and-so's. I'm always just a little put out by it. You like to think of yourself as completely unique. I guess near double-ups are entirely possible in nature though, at least physically.
I think it's high time I learnt how to play Chess. I recall getting a book out from the library and playing as a kid. I was probably better then than I am now though. It was fun but I didn't keep it up. There are so many brighter, shinier, easier entertainment options to be had these days. Movies, Video games, DVDs, Music, the Web. How can some stuffy, old board game compete with that? I don't have the answer. I'm going to learn how to play though. That is if my mind hasn't decayed too much from watching tv.
Can work ever really be fun? By definition it's work, right. Always ends up being a bit of a drag. Sure, there are people who end up in "dream jobs", playing in a band or photographing playboy models but there're only so many dream jobs to go around. Should you just accept that what you're doing (really) is just making money so you can enjoy the time when you're not working? Or is it time to look for a new career? Something soul-nourishing. What about those in the world who don't even have the chance to choose? Forced Labor. Perspective.
What's with these condescending gotta-pat-myself-on-the-back-at-every-given-opportunity people? People who when they know something about a subject (or sometimes even if they don't) will delight in pointing out that you don't know what the hell you're talking about - "Oh no haha that's all wrong." They'll point out that you're wrong without actually helping you out. What's the opposite of constructive criticism? I guess they're really just trying to build themselves up in front of others by making you look stupid. They're just dying for attention, for validation. I do honestly feel for them but mostly they just piss me right off.
Did you ever think about something as a kid that made your brain just give up. You're thinking away and your brain, realising it's out of its depth goes
"Whoa buddy, what're you playing at here, that's out of bounds. There's no way this thought is going to lead anywhere. Can't help you."
Then your mind just goes kinda blank. Ever had that? I used to get it when thinking about how the universe goes on forever. Forever? I couldn't fathom it. I'm getting that same feeling again now. Only this time I'm (just) trying to conjugate a Finnish noun.
Interpretting dreams. There're countless books on the subject but I've never read one. Lately I've been wondering about the purpose of dreams though. I'm told children dream a lot – more than adults and much more than the elderly. So you'd think that they might provide some sort of unconscious learning mechanism. I'm starting to think that they can also be a window on your own consciousness. If you remember a dream, you can see what associations you made and how the you in the dream felt, thought and reacted to different situations. I'm sure at times this can be enlightening.
I'm surprised by the prevalence of little dogs living in this city. I couldn't help but notice that almost every dog here is about the size of a grapefruit. As with status symbols like mobile phones and other techno gadgets, it seems the smaller the better.
"Did you see the size of that guy's dog?"
"That was a dog? I thought it was a hamster. Wow he must be raking it in".
Regardless of size, these dogs all seem so weird. Pitter-pattering about on the concrete. They seem so far removed from nature. Much like many of their city dwelling owners.
I have knobbly heals. They're not freakish or anything, just knobbly. Knobbly enough to shred shoes that is. I'm going through them at an alarming rate. I need yet another new pair. To look at the soles of my current pair you'd think they'd hardly been worn but the backs of them look like a dog has had them. I've tried several different brands. None seem tough enough. I'm still waiting for the release of the new Air Knobbly where some famous, but tragically knobbly healed athlete, rises above all others in his/her new shoes. It might be a while.
Recalling a passage from a novel I own with excitement, I went to find the book straight away. I'd been searching for a while without luck when bang, it suddenly struck me that I had left it with my parents several thousand miles away. Damn it!
Disappointing realizations. They can be small or large. You might have forgotten your lunch or just run over your dog. Either way, it's that sudden realization you've blown it that's really the killer. That sinking feeling. That plunge from a great height. That silent moment of comprehension and recognition. Swing ..... and a miss.
Today's entry is brought to you by the letters A, B, C, D, E and F.
Adam, alive as always, ate an apple after acting all April as an artist at an ancient amphitheatre. Betty, being bothered by bees, baked bananas beside bottlebrush bushes. Chris, continuously cackling, callously created crap copter caps. Dermott's Dad, daringly dressed, drove downtown deftly dodging damned demonstrators. Earnestly eager Evan, eating eaglet eggs, enraged eleven eagles every Easter. Fred Flintstone ferociously fired four flamingos.
Today's entry was brought to you by the letters A, B, C, D, E, F and also the phrase "writer's block".
That's it! I've had it. Enough is enough. I'm fed up. I've run right out of new ideas. I've tried being reasonable. I've tried being nice. I've tried a dozen different half-assed approaches .. every day. I've tried not trying the best I possibly could. It hasn't worked. The time has come to finally stand up. It's now absolutely, without a doubt, crystal clear that I'm going to have to beat this language to death with its own shoes before it will reveal its secrets to me. Blast it all. I really didn't want to get my hands that dirty.
I don't understand fashion. I cringe every time I hear someone use the word "trendy". Trendy? What the hell is that? Following a trend. Trend? Isn't that kind of like blind faith? And the fashion Gods decreed that this season's colour would be calf-puke yellow. And oh how the people did rejoice and begin to sew ridiculous yellow garments. I make a distinction between fashion and style though. Some people have a knack of always looking good in what they wear. But what they have is dress-sense and the ability to create their own style or look. That's not fashion.
We're continously evolving. Often we don't notice, as to us it's a gradual process. We're there every step of the way. Sometimes you get a reality check though and realise you're not the person you were - you have different interests, goals, beliefs. Have you ever caught up with someone you haven't seen for a while and felt as if they were talking to someone else, rather than you? Their whole initial interaction with you is based on a snapshot they have of you from the last time you were in touch. It can be weird to see that snapshot.
It's so fricking light here now. I just don't know what to do. I got up to go to the bathroom last "night" at 3am and the sun was already up, beaming in through the curtains. It could have been 10am. My body clock is completely screwed. It's given up altogether. It has its upside of course, the light. It's great in the weekends if you want to be outside until all hours. You can play footbag at midnight without floodlights. That rocks. And you'd have to prefer this to the winter. Almost perpetual darkness. Sapping your will to live.
I've never been a strong swimmer. I had inner-ear problems as a child and missed a lot of swimming lessons at school. I grew to dislike swimming. The water was cold. The other kids were much faster and better than me. I flat out hated it. Although I liked going to the beach and paddling about, I carried an uneasiness about swimming with me for many years. Then I finally realised that things were different outside of that freezing, chlorine-bath of a school pool. It's not a chore anymore. Not a race. I go swimming most weeks now, and love it.
Questions. I always have a lot of questions. At times they almost completely consume me, but I can't see myself going to my grave still wrestling with some philosopical issue. I accept I don't have to have an answer for every question and that for some questions there is no right or wrong answer. I don't think that's a reason to stop asking though. I wonder why and how often. Still, in the end, if I'm honest, I'm content to just go on without answers. I've learnt to let go. Ignorance might not be bliss, but I'm sure surrrender is.
Well that's it. It's the end of the month and I've actually managed to do it. 100 words a day. Over 3000 words written. I'm pleasantly surprised. I didn't think I'd make it. Not that volume was ever going to be a problem. My final project at university routinely crashed the word processing program, it was so big. Verbose, I can do. But writing something that didn't put me to sleep each day? That was always going to be a challenge. Now the question is, will I continue? Perhaps not immediately. We'll see. It has been fun. Lights out. Goodnight.
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