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Archive for April, 2008

I walked out of my Program Evaluation class this evening — wherein we have learned to evaluate programs, as stunning as that is — and had to stop mid-walk when I realized the following: I will never walk back into a classroom for this master’s program again (unless I somehow bomb my finals which isn’t likely because I will not stop until I feel confident that they are sufficiently aced). I took a moment and wanted to feel more — like skipping or jumping up and down or drinking many shots of some nasty well-brand liquor until a friend finally coaxes me out the door with an embarrassed smile to the other patrons who have been quietly wishing my loud, obnoxious self horrible rashes and other nasties because I just wouldn’t shut up about how I’m almost finished with my master’s degree and how it was such a long time coming, etc. and blah, blah…

But I didn’t feel any of that. Instead, I just felt kinda tired and a little scared.

Tragic moment of self-awareness = realizing you’re lame for not being more proud of your accomplishments. Maybe I’ll realize one day that everything I went through to get here was worth it. But I don’t feel it yet. Help me people…my sense of entitlement in squashing my enthusiasm…

Addendum: and then this morning I remembered that my parents surprised me Friday and came up to see me dance. And I felt better again. Small gestures make all the difference. It’s funny how many people don’t know that…

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Little Lola’s pretty sad today and is likely to be for some time to come. For a writer, my communication skills are pretty tragic — I’m so bad in fact that I somehow manage to convince people I don’t care when I really do, that I’m useless when I’m really not and that I enjoy being treated like a doormat when, dammit, I really, really, for truly, don’t.

I also can stand up for myself and unfortunately people generally don’t expect me to and so are horrified when I do — to disastrous results usually. Or maybe it’s not that they don’t expect me to as much as when I do I am sort of a force to be reckoned with. I have a lot of my mother in me — it takes us a while to get angry but when you do you may just see the devil in our eyes. Seriously, not joking about that. My mother has actually thrown me a look that suggested that she regretted the day I was conceived, would just as soon have me off the planet, and was currently trying to figure out the best way to accomplish that end without getting caught (sorry mom but you know it’s true).

So, in order to quell the rage impulse I have, I cry a lot, usually out of pure frustration — I’m crying because the alternative is really bad. This leads to people thinking I’m overly sensitive and/or weak. Which leads to the aforementioned doormat thing.

I’m so screwed.

Right now the rage impulse is in full swing because I’ve recently had to break my heart a little in order to do the right thing and am hunting for work, a process that guarantees rejection after rejection until, finally, after months of trying, acceptance. I know this is coming and I’m anxious about it. The situation has been ramped up here recently as well but I won’t go into all that. Suffice to say that sometimes you can never do enough.

But dancing helps. And I’ll be doing a lot of that this weekend. It makes me feel like I can do something properly and with a little bit of grace, and that I can’t hurt or offend anyone by just trying to move beautifully through space.

Here’s one of the songs for a piece I’m in. I send it out to a friend of mine that I hope understands better than I think he does.

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Dammit I’m in a bad mood…

This is basically — exactly — how I feel today.

At least Scarlett Johansson didn’t embarrass herself covering Tom Waits. This is actually a great song.

But, to continue the dark theme I’ve got going, here’s my favorite of Mr. Waits’ songs.
I totally feel like a rain dog…

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Ro-ro turns 1

I attended a rockin’ birthday bash Sunday. All my favorite guys were there. How cute is the redhead declaring his gang affiliation? sigh…

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Which means that we all must search our feelings and turn from the Dark Side. If it were a Clash of the Titans Friday we would all have to find and fulfill our destinies, which is harder. So good for us.

Star Wars Main Title and Ambush on Coruscant by John Williams; London Symphony Orchestra

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Run!..doh

I love all the names for these little guys. The lady’s all like “wooden leg goats, fainting goats, roll over goats, goats-a-go-go…” for like five minutes! Alright, like 6 or 7 seconds but still. It made me laugh. (many thanks to you again Mr. Zimmer)

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Blast it! Justin, if I actually set up a Facebook account it’s your fault since you refuse to communicate like a normal human being by using email and so you force me to discuss your baseball prowess via Stalkerbook. It just feels weird to me…I’ll think about it…

Addendum: I’ve done a little research and have found out the following: 1. the guy who started Facebook stole the code and the idea from people who had hired him — sans contract — to basically finish their Facebook-like project for them. Which means that this douche has made a killing.
2. According to a dude I work with, one of Facebook’s biggest contributers is a very high-level official with the CIA which of course means Facebook is Big Brother (I can’t corroborate this fact…ahem…), but is still less scary than the capitalists disguised as “caring liberals” who run Google.
3. Poking around Facebook makes me uncomfortable and I’m not sure why. I think because the whole friend collecting phenomenon, and the associated giving a crap about popularity, reminds me of “how many people signed your yearbook?” and “which sorority are you rushing?,” both of which were distasteful for me at the time and are even more distasteful to me now when I’m supposed to have more meaningful things to worry about.

But then another work mate mentioned that all the internet applications we use every day are conveniently stored in one place and isn’t that useful, which then led to a discussion about how we’re volunteering all this information for easy access to our lives and aren’t we just making it frighteningly simple to see ourselves as one gelatinous clump rather than as individuals (but all done under the auspices of individuality) and isn’t that kind of scary and evil…and on, and on.

In the end, I’m sure I’ll cave but I’m going to rebel as long as possible before drinking that koolaid…

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I have very little time but I just wanted to give a shout out to a friend of mine. I recently found out that his disappearance was due to the fact that he made a brave decision to, as he put it, “step out on a limb” and train police officers in Iraq. What kind of person does this? An awesome one.

So, to you missing friend, I dedicate the song I listen to every year at this time to remind me of the hopeful, lazy Southern summertime just around the corner that will be waiting for you when you get back. It was introduced to me when I was about 16 at my friend Barry’s lake house where I spent almost an entire summer with the High School cohort. My dear friend Matt made me lay back, close my eyes and listen to the “poetry” in this song. Then he cranked it. You should do the same…

Summertime Rolls by Jane’s Addiction

Oh yeah, and I passed comps. They’re gonna let me graduate it seems. Why do I feel the urge to call about a dozen people and tell them to get bent?

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Ways to cope

Sittin’ here looking at the rain, I’m tempted to be all low and stuff since I should be in DC right now but last minute business and a pronounced naiveté about the cost of airline tickets kept me South for the time being. I’m missing the Braves play the Nationals this evening, too, which makes it that much more a potential big time drag. However…

My DC friend has season tickets so I can go another time to the new stadium, built smack dab in the middle of my grandfather’s childhood neighborhood (which I’ve never visited), and which interests me from a family-connection perspective almost more than from a “wow, cool new stadium!” perspective. I’ll get there because my DC friend is encouraging and has given me an open invitation. Dude, you rock.

So, in an effort to ward off feeling disappointed, I’ve decided to revisit some music that my childhood friend Little Sara and I used to listen to when her older brother got The Who’s singles album Meaty, Beaty, Big and Bouncy. Talking to Juje the other day, I was informed that my mother found this particular album title obscene (she had Tipper Gore beat by at least a decade) and apparently took a black magic marker to Juje’s Who’s Next album to cover up the unseemly urine stains on the strange concrete obelisk. She has a better sense of humor now. I think she was, early on, taking the parenting thing too seriously. By the time my little brother and I were born, 12 and 10 years later respectively, we could have filmed our own heavy metal rock video in the front yard and Mom would have just instructed us to keep it down because she was trying to take a nap.

In any event, Juje and I were talking about the genius of Keith Moon and his almost inhuman ability to keep time — and, who are we kidding, create time — on the drums, so I’m posting a song that I think showcases that ability. It really is remarkable. And it puts me in a better mood.

Also, sometimes I miss reviewing music… But only sometimes.

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THE IMMINENT TAX BOMB
(From Boortz)

There was an article recently in the Wall Street Journal written by John F. Cogan and R. Glenn Hubbard. Cogan is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and Hubbard is the dean of Columbia Business School. Here’s what they had to say. Although Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama believe that tax increases are needed in order to restore a balanced budget and finance entitlement programs, “these claims fail budget arithmetic and economics. Worse, they raise serious questions about the nation’s broad fiscal policies and its commitment to economic growth.”

We currently stand on the edge of a very large tax increase if Congress fails to continue the Bush tax cuts. If these tax cuts expire, the personal income tax burden will be driven up by 25% … that will be its highest point relative to GDP in history. It will be the largest increase in personal taxes since WWII, and it would be twice as large as Lyndon Johnson’s attempt to fight the war of poverty and finance the war in Vietnam. And it would be more than twice the combined personal income tax increases under George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton

So Hillary and Obama and other Democrats will tell you that these tax cuts on the evil rich must expire in order to balance the budget and finance the retirement and health-care promises made to the baby-boom generation. “But a tax increase is neither wise nor necessary,” according to the authors. The economic damage caused by tax increases will prevent promised revenues from being realized … and higher revenues will encourage Congress to continue its wasteful spending. In other words, even if the Congress has more money to balance the budget, it won’t do it because it is so caught up in pork-barrel spending.

A big screaming amen to that.

So if we let things continue at the current rate, the federal budget deficit will increase this year because of the economic slowdown. But … and here’s the big “but” that many Democrats don’t understand … “as the economy enters a recovery phase, raising taxes would choke off the recovery. The right policy, for both the economy and the budget, would be to make current tax rates permanent well before the scheduled increase. Giving investors greater certainty that current tax rates will be maintained will spur investment and aid the economic recovery, as it did in 2003. Federal budget balance will be achieved once the economy is again operating on all its cylinders.”

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