A Dose of Self Criticism

September 22, 2005 at 3:40 AM | Nostalgia, Site/Personal | No Comments

For the big conversion over to WordPress, I’ve been looking over a lot of my older writings and blog entries. One of my goals is to move the stuff from the old “writing” section and intertwine them with the blog entries. Why? I’ve thought about it… this whole blogging thing has really become one and the same with my private writing, which over the years has become less and less personal. And so the rule of thumb became: file anything that I considered “too long” for a blog entry in the writing section. But slowly that definition blurred away and I found that “writing” came to a sudden halt while blog entries got longer and longer. Anyways, in reviewing my archives, I gotta say: I used to write really, really shitty. I mean, I still write pretty shitty now (a whole different kind of shitty, which I will try to explain below), but I’m telling you, this stuff that I was looking over is god-awful.

And yet at the same time, I also think that I used to write more intensely. The shit was just more real back then.

I really started writing back in early 2001, back when a lot of wild shit was going down. None of it was in the public domain and I had/have no intention of putting it there. And I think that’s one of the main reasons why some of those writings were so intense. Because that was the real stuff. I was reading some of it and I was like “damn, you know that was pretty hardcore of me… I mean, oh my god, did I really just say that right there?” It was a shock to me… it’s almost like I didn’t even recognize my own creations because it was more real than I have dared to type in a long time.

To be honest, I think I prefer that wild, unrestricted, balls-to-the-wall style writing, even if it was of inferior quality. I believe that in becoming more aware of my audience, I have actually harmed, to some degree, my ability to write like I’d really like to… part of the reason being due to the fact that the anonymity of the internet became lost from here long ago. Don’t get me wrong, I am very appreciative of my audience and I’m grateful for everybody that puts up with my BS on here. It’s just that sometimes I feel like everything that I’m putting out there is so self-censored that it disgusts me. I dunno, maybe I’m just too big of a pussy to say some of the things that I really want to say on here, because I guess it really doesn’t even matter. But yeah, what’s the point? I mean, is there a point to writing if not for an audience other than myself? Perhaps. The point has been lost with me for quite some time now and I am uncertain whether it is a good thing or not.

Fun fact: this post was originally entitled Thanks For Reading, Fuckers. But no seriously, I love you guys… but yalls are a bunch of fuckers.

My (Nameless) Mango Plant

August 18, 2005 at 12:34 AM | Nostalgia, Site/Personal | 22 Comments

I love mangosI have never been successful in raising any plants or growing anything my entire life. I’m serious! Like you remember those science projects we used to have in class, where the whole class would grow a small plant from a seed or a bean for whatever reason? Well, I was always the kid whose plant would die and they’d just have to have me work with someone else’s plant or give me a different project or something. I’d always give the plant too much water or not enough water… all kinds of shit went wrong… I just could not grow anything for the life of me. Growing things is simply not my specialty.

But that was years ago. Hopefully, in my many years of not having tried my hand at growing anything (unsucessfully), I will have completely forgotten how to improperly care for plantlife and I can start anew–I am currently caring for a young mango plant that my aunt gave me. It was grown from the seed of a mango that was supposedly really bad ass. And I love everything there is to do with mangos, so I (perhaps foolishly) accepted the mango plant into my care. It really isn’t that big right now, but I think I can make this work.

I mean, I’ve experienced some difficulties with it already… I decided that it wasn’t getting enough sunlight in my room, so I moved it out to the balcony/deck thing. Trouble is, that spot doesn’t get a whole lot of sunlight either. Maybe even less. But I thought maybe the “fresh air” might be good for it. I’m not sure what was the basis behind that one, but I mean plants normally grow outside, right? To be honest, there really isn’t a whole lot of prime sunlight spots in the apartment. But anyways, I left the mango plant out there for a couple of weeks and it seemed to be doing OK. Except one time, I went out there to check on it and some of the leaves were a sickly pale yellow-green color and drooping. I freaked. It was fine just the other day! Had I done it again? Had I killed my mango plant? I decided that maybe it was too hot outside with too little sunlight to be doing any good. So I brought it back into my room. It seems to be doing a little bit better now, but I am still a little worried about it, during its time of recovery.

I’m thinking if I can barely take care of a plant, then I could never care for a pet. I’ve never ever had a pet. And it’s unfortunate, because I really like animals.

And as a side note (hinted at by the title), I want to give my plant a name. I mean, I’ve got a pretty good track record at naming things at the moment… my computers, my iPod, my car, this foam hippo that I have at work (his name is “Buck”, by the way)… but I can’t think of anything for a plant. Any suggestions are welcome.

The Life Aquatic

August 12, 2005 at 11:32 PM | Good Times, KCMO, Nostalgia, Site/Personal, Work | No Comments

It’s almost as if there’s no limit to how many posts that I can write about skin peeling! Today’s theme: skin peeling from sunburns.

I went to a Royals/White Sox game a couple weeks ago with my new hire group. It was a pretty good time, we got there a little early to start up a grill, drink some beer, and have ourselves a little tailgating session going. It was all sunny n shit that day and the heat was out of control. I could already tell early on that it was going to be an effort to sit through this game. And what a game it was! The score was all tied up and tension was high in the atmosphere… until about the 12th inning, with the same ol’ fucking score. Half of our group left an inning or two before then, but us hardcore motherfuckers decided to sit and watch the game through, because we’ve already stayed this long, we might as well see what happens. Well, we didn’t make it to the end. We decided to leave at that point because who knows how long that thing could’ve lasted. We could’ve been sitting out there all afternoon! I mean, at that point, I really couldn’t care less who would win the game, I just wished somebody would just finish it up and call it good, so I could get the fuck on up out of there. I checked the game later on that day online and I guess the Royals won. Oh well, I’m pretty indifferent towards baseball.

I normally never sunburn. But this game was especially long. And we did stay out there for a good couple of hours. The only other time that I have ever burned in my life is one summer when my brother and I were taking sailing lessons out at some lake. Also did some kayaking, some canoeing… it was all good. That was a crazy summer, a long time ago. Yes, it’s a little known fact, but I used to be quite the sailor! I knew all about the different nautical terminology, all the cool sailing knots, etc.

I don’t remember shit about sailing. I couldn’t tell you which way was which and I can barely tie my own shoe now. I’d probably be the one to get scurvy out on the open sea if it really came to it. It’s sad, really.

Interestingly enough, I can remember all kinds of useless information from that summer. I remember the stench of the lake; I remember the vanilla/banana smelling sunscreen in the summer mornings. I remember that was the summer when Semisonic first came out with the song “Closing Time” because that song was all the rage, even before every bar across the US decided that it would be clever to play that song when they kick everybody out. Seven years later, they’re still doing it. I mean come on, that shit’s so old hat, it’s not even funny anymore. Oh, you’re so clever.

The reflection from the water and magnification of the sun through the water on my body really did a number on me. That summer, I got the most hardcore tanning/burning that I have ever experienced in my life, and hope to God to never experience again. One artifact of my exposure to the sun, was seen in my very distinct “sandal tan” that was like the difference between night and day. That thing lasted well into and even past the following winter. I mean, it was snowing n shit, 20 below, and there I was, with that blasted sandal tan underneath all of my winter gear. It was ridiculous.

I never knew the sun could be so cruel. Showers were especially painful. This was the sort of thing that’ll make you take an ice cold shower. And even then, you’re in one corner of the shower, clutching at your arms to dampen the impact of the water. This was the sort of thing that made it painful to put socks or shoes on. And the peeling! My god, the peeling! I don’t even want to get into it. It wasn’t a pretty sight.

But I was really surprised that I got burnt at that Royals game. Nowhere as bad as that summer, but burnt nonetheless. I spent a week in the Philippines. I’m talking about some motherfucking tropical islands! And all that got me was a lovely dark tan that got me mistaken for a local more times than I would care to recount. What happened? I spend an afternoon at a baseball game and suddenly I find myself wincing in pain two days later in the shower, skin starts to peel a few weeks later. At least I didn’t get the sandal tan this time around.

Flying Skins

July 28, 2005 at 4:27 PM | Food, Nostalgia, Site/Personal | 4 Comments

potatoesI have this scar on the back left hand, near the base of my thumb. It was from a potato peeler accident some years ago. I don’t recall when this happened exactly, but it was a while back. I remember I was at the restaurant and I was peeling a potato. My brother came around and started messing around, distracting me. So I was like “get outta here!” jokingly. But then when he wouldn’t, I started peeling some potato peels at him, also jokingly. He was just out of range so none of the peels were hitting him.

What does one do to increase the range of flying potato peels? You peel faster, you peel harder. If you can, you peel harder and faster–I think that works the best. So there I was, peeling skin off of this poor little potato all hardcore, pulling back the peeler farther back in order to give each peel more velocity, more distance… and one of these times when I pulled back and drove forward with the peeler, I missed. I peeled right across the back of my hand and a piece of my skin went airborne. I’m not sure if it hit the target or not, but I remember peeling a couple more potato peels out before realizing that I was missing a strip of skin because the cut was so clean.

And then it burned. The pink flesh underneath was exposed and it burned something awful. Blood soon found it’s way to the surface and I gripped my wrist with my right hand in a futile attempt to slow the flow, baby the wound without touching it, and maybe reduce the pain.

The ability of the human body to recover from such traumatic events to its well-being never ceases to amaze me. How it grew that skin back, I’m not sure, but I am rather glad that it did. It came back in such a timely manner too. I mean, I didn’t pull a Wolverine or anything but it healed and only a scar remains as a reminder of that event.

They say “chicks dig scars” but if they only knew the stupid things that we did to get those scars, I think things would be quite different.

Mischa Barton

July 26, 2005 at 10:34 PM | Movies, Nostalgia, Site/Personal, TV | 2 Comments

Mischa BartonI’ve always felt like The O.C. robbed me of something. Someone, I should say. Mischa Barton. I was watching the show the other day and I was talking to Sam about it… I casually mentioned, “You know I’ve been in love with Mischa Barton ever since I saw her in The Sixth Sense?”

“She was in The Sixth Sense?”

I am actually fairly accustomed to hearing this response. I’ve come across way too many people who didn’t know that she was in that movie. So I gave him my usual reply:

“Yeah. She was the dead girl.”

Yeah, you remember the dead girl!! The dead puking girl, if that helps. But let’s not stray far from the obvious question here. You may be wondering: just where do I get off by saying that I was in love with Mischa when I first saw her there? I mean she was pretty young at the time–she was, what, 13 at the time? You also have to understand that I was pretty young back then too, I was like 15. We’ve both kind of grown up together. Well… not together, but you know what I mean. Uh… simultaneously?

But the point is, I’m not sure too many people are even aware of most of her other works, pre-Orange County. I went on to check out Skipped Parts, Lost and Delirious, Tart, and Lawn Dogs… all good movies in my opinion, all made better by Mischa. Check em out if you get a chance.

And then The O.C. blows up and now all of a sudden, she’s everywhere in all these magazines and commercials… crazed fans started popping out of the woodwork left and right. It’s just not right.

I guess it’s the same sort of feeling you get when your favorite, secret little “indie” band all of a sudden “sells out” and goes “mainstream.” You know you should feel happy for their success… but having to suddenly share them with a larger number of (less deserving) people isn’t fun.

My Memory Is As Good As Ever

March 9, 2005 at 7:39 PM | Nostalgia | No Comments

I can distinctly remember the time when I read the book A Wrinkle In Time. It was during the couple of days when I had chicken pox.

Real CDs

February 9, 2005 at 11:47 PM | Music, Nostalgia | 6 Comments

That weekend that I went out to KC with my rental car, I had to fall back on my “real” CD collection, as the rental was not equipped with a MP3 CD player. It’s not too often that I add new CDs to this collection, because I figure why put 20 tracks on a CD when you can put 200? So the majority of the music in the CD wallet is stuff I listened to back in high school. But yeah, I busted out my old pre-Dookie Green Day CD and it was fantastic; I was laughing and singing along in the car, so much fun. So, feeling a little nostalgic, I threw the CD onto my computer for heavy rotation. Anyways, I was looking at these CDs and I was surprised to see that not one of these CDs from my so-called “real” CD collection were actually “real.” They were all CD-Rs. The explanation for how this came to be is simple: CD wallets are not good for CDs.

The constant sliding in and out of a CD leads to unavoidable scratching from the backs of the slots no matter how careful you are. And I’m pretty damn careful. I’m the kind of guy that holds CDs proper, that is, only by the edges. I am soo anal about CD/DVD handling it’s not even funny. But you gotta admit that a wallet is so much more compact than 50 loose, scattered jewel cases. So I keep the originals back at home. Any time I buy a CD, I rip it, put it away, and listen to the music on my computer. I don’t even have a standalone CD player and my discman broke years ago. Anyways, for nostalgia’s sake, here is what my “real” CD collection contains:

Show

And then I think… I could probably have all these CDs fit onto about 5 maybe 6 CD-Rs in mp3 format…

Lawnmower Scar

February 7, 2005 at 11:10 PM | Nostalgia, Site/Personal | No Comments

I have this scar on my right forearm. It was from a lawnmower accident. But not the type of accident that you would expect… no, in fact, it’d probably be the last way you could think of, for a lawnmower to cause injury. This happened many years ago, and I remember I had just finished mowing. I cleaned up the mower and I leaned in to unhook that spark plug thing, when I accidentally brushed my arm across that metal muffler thing, which was hot as fuck. The heat instantaneously burnt off a decent-sized piece of skin. Needless to say, it hurt something awful. But I’ve been burnt worse before, but yet it didn’t scar… yeah, I think I’ve written about this before but I can’t seem to be able find it. Anyways, the other time that I was burnt pretty bad was when I was a small child, I put both hands on the stove top burners, because I had an urge to feel the smooth, cold, black texture of the wire burners… only they weren’t cold, but rather hot as fuck. Now that sucked… because I couldn’t hold onto anything for like the next week. But somehow, it didn’t scar at all.

Being Halloween and all, I dunno, I thought these kinds of stories might’ve been appropriate… maybe.

Wishbone

December 4, 2004 at 1:46 AM | Food, Nostalgia, Site/Personal | No Comments

they call it a "merrythought" in the UKSo this is a little delayed, but I would like to report on a little incident that happened over Thanksgiving break.

Every year, when everybody is busy in the kitchen, preparing the big Thanksgiving meal, I like to sneak in there and take the wishbone just when my dad is carving the turkey. Then I run off with it and force someone to engage in wishbone tug-of-war for the once-a-year bounty of Thanksgiving related wishmaking. Not that I necessarily believe in the power within breaking some forked bone of a large bird or anything… it’s just something to do I guess.

This year however, when I tried, I couldn’t break that wishbone for the life of me. I tried it with Mandy; I tried it with my aunt; I even went back to the source and tried to split the bone with my dad. No such luck… it was too slippery or something. You know how it goes, there’s all that turkey juice all up on it, making the bone slippery and flexible. So the bone twisted and slipped from fingers constantly until I finally decided to give it up and throw the thing away, unbroken.

Was this a bad sign? I mean, I don’t believe in that wish business, but at least the powers that be could have humored me and let me at least snap the stupid bone. The “powers that be”, in this case, being the laws of physics. Ah well, there’s always next year.

Love Psychedelico

December 1, 2004 at 1:57 PM | Music, Nostalgia, Site/Personal | No Comments

Love Psychedelio - Fantastic WorldLove Psychedelio
Fantastic World
December 18, 2004

Love Psychedelico. I’ve never been let down by this Japanese rock duo. I’ll be the first to admit that I have no idea what Kumi is singing about in the songs but their songs are infectiously catchy nonetheless. I’ve actually looked into some of their lyrics and I’d be willing to bet that even people who know Japanese would have a hard time with the lyrics. I’m not sure whether it was my brother or Tamiko who first picked up on Love Psychedelico and then later exposed it to me. The curious band, whose first album was entitled “The Greatest Hits,” was something that I knew I must look into upon first listen.

The whole thing reminds me a little of Starflyer 59, but not in the way that these two bands sound. Most people who’ve known me for a while know that I am really into the band Starflyer 59. What most people do not know is that I did not discover them on my own but instead, first heard about them from my brother way back in my middle school years. And I distinctly remember that when I first heard it, I hated them. Things have changed since then. I think the thing about Love Psychedelico that reminds me of SF59 is the fact that my brother and I both enjoy both of these bands. I tend to think that we have pretty different tastes in music because it’s kind of rare that I’ll pick up on music that he listens to. At the same time, I don’t think he’s too thrilled with my music either, but what can you do.

Anyways, I just happened to come across this little bit of info about a new Love Psychedelico single coming out pretty soon and it’ll be perfect timing because it’ll have just come out when I arrive in Japan over break. Very exciting stuff.


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