Thursday, October 30, 2008

tobias is queen mary

I'm pretty bummed that I have to work on Halloween this year. It's one of my favorite holidays. Everyone is silly, and generally in good spirits, and I love that. At least we get to dress up for work. But since it's work I really haven't given much thought to what I'm going to dress up as. My costume last year was my favorite ever, although not very many people understood what I was... but those who did understood all to well (I was getting high-fives all night long from those who did, and many of you know how much I love those). The best part was that it only cost me like $10 - A bald cap, a fake mustache, cut-offs, and some makeup for fake body hair and bingo, Tobias Funke: the first ever Analyst and Therapist aka Analrapist (it didn't look good on paper) and of course loud and proud nevernude (there are dozens of us. Dozens!)

The only downside to that costume was that I was freezing all night. It was worth it though.

Also, I have been listening to the Fleet Foxes album all week, and its incredible. If you haven't heard it, I highly recommend that you check it out.

And here's a random poem, just because.
"Lie still now
while I prepare for my future,

certain hard days ahead,
when I'll need what I know so clearly this moment.

I am making use
of the one thing I learned
of all the things my father tried to teach me:
the art of memory.

I am letting this room
and everything in it
stand for my ideas about love
and its difficulties.

I'll let your love-cries,
those spacious notes
of a moment ago,
stand for distance.

Your scent,
that scent
of spice and a wound,
I'll let stand for mystery.

Your sunken belly
is the daily cup
of milk I drank
as a boy before morning prayer.

The sun on the face
of the wall
is God, the face
I can't see, my soul,

and so on, each thing
standing for a separate idea,
and those ideas forming the constellation
of my greater idea.
And one day, when I need
to tell myself something intelligent
about love,

I'll close my eyes
and recall this room and everything in it:
My body is estrangement.
This desire, perfection.
Your closed eyes my extinction.
Now I've forgotten my
idea. The book
on the windowsill, riffled by wind...
the even-numbered pages are
the past, the odd-
numbered pages, the future.
The sun is
God, your body is milk...

useless, useless...
your cries are song, my body's not me...
no good ... my idea
has evaporated...your hair is time, your thighs are song...
it had something to do
with had something
to do with love."
-Li-Young Lee

Monday, October 27, 2008

bingo bango bongo. something the whole family can enjoy

I'm sure people are looking at me in this quiet coffee shop and wondering what the hell is wrong with the kid laughing uncontrollably by himself over in the corner. C'est la vie.

Ducks fly together

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

i am truly sorry about all this

I heard a story tonight. No, a story is not accurate; a bit of gossip, really. Since I have little interest in such things, and only mention it here because it sparked something in my mind, I will not repeat the scandal, but here's a euphemism to set the context: a boy gets kicked out of a grocery store for juggling two apples, one of which was the assistant manager of the grocery store.

I don't expect that to make sense, but I felt the need to write something silly. Sometimes, all you can do is laugh about things that make you sick.

At any rate, this bit of gossip was delivered to me with vigorous veneration... and I smiled (because I really don't know what else to do in these moments), but felt ill inside.

Here's the thing: I have a bit of a hang-up with gender roles. I always cringe when people say that "men are..." or "women are..." But if I'm being honest, sometimes I just can't agree with most of my male friends. Sometimes (most of the time) I can't stand how they talk, the things they get excited about, the way they talk about... I'd say love, but that would really only be another euphemism... about... relationships?

And I'm always the guy that when my female friends say things like "guys only care about sex" or "all men are assholes" says: "hey now, that's not true. There are plenty of really great guys out there" or something of similar valor. But, in reality, out of all of the males I know, there are only a handful that I would be comfortable really standing up for when it comes down to ideals of love.

Now, don't get me wrong, I know plenty of women who are just as depraved as the "conventional male", but as a member of the male persuasion, I see more blatant honesty than I'd care to, and therefore am in a better position to critique my own gender. In other words, as a standard, (which I try desperately to avoid), I'd really like to believe that gender has nothing to do with an ideal of love, but the scale is tipped in my personal experience.

The worst part is feeling like I have to slap these people on the back, or give them high-fives for things that are disgusting to me. I just sit there and smile, wishing I would stand up and leave.

It's Okay - I'll shake your hand, and be affable, but you should know that your proximity to something so, so beautiful tears at my sensibilities. You and your self-interest do not deserve to be that close, to the point where I almost felt bad using the same hand as a greeting.

But again, sometimes all you can do is laugh about such things. Which is why I'm really glad these two guys are around.

Monday, October 20, 2008

autumn rhythm

The air smelled like autumn yesterday. It was intoxicating, inspiring, and fleeting. I miss the north sometimes so badly it hurts, but here in FL during these months there are moments that breathe a semblance of that crisp autumn aura. It reminds me of Jackson Pollock, of blisters on my palms from raking leaves, of pumpkin patches, of dead leaves scraping the hardening ground and making music, of hearing the air-brakes of school buses quickly replaced by the shouts of children free for the afternoon, of the way your breath becomes slightly visible as the light drains out of the sky. I'd have to say fall is my favorite season, for reasons I can't quite articulate. There is a paradox in the beauty of autumn: everything is dying, but nature lights up for a moment before fading to white, playing out its swan song in beatific sensory details, and in that moment everything feels right.

Autumn is a season of transition, and I have found that my life echoes its example. The most drastic changes in my life always come in the fall. I'm not sure what changes await me this fall, but I'm ready for them, God am I ready for them. It seems that some of the things I thought might happen this semester have slipped away. Some of the things I had hoped for, that, probably, I had no reason to hope for in the first place, are now hopeless. But hopelessness of things hoped for is not to be confused with hopelessness in life, as that first breath in stepping outside yesterday morning reminded me.

Yesterday I had a very full day: church, work, homework, then a midnight airport trip to pick up Elizabeth. Before leaving for the airport I made a playlist of some music that sounds like autumn to me. Two albums in particular: Dave Matthews' solo album Some Devil and Rilo Kiley's The Execution of all Things. Some Devil was released in the fall after graduating highschool, and The Execution of all Things was a steady companion the next fall while I was in San Fransico. So each song is a heavy dose of nostalgia for me. There was a lot more on the playlist, of course, but songs from these spoke especially loud as I cruised down I4.

As the cool air swam around my head and the music played to the rhythm of painted lines speeding by, I began wondering what to do after this semester. Portland is more than a possibility - my sisters both really want me to come out there, the city itself is amazing and I think i'd fit there. NYC is, of course, ultimately where I want to end up, but I can't afford it yet... unless my cousin wants to have a pro-bono roommate in his upper-west-side apartment (ha, I wish). My sis lives in Brooklyn, I could always get an apartment with her... close enough, I suppose, slightly more affordable. Maybe I'll just pack up and move to Paris. Or maybe I'll stick around Lakeland for a bit. I really don't know. I want to though. I really do.

On a lighter note, I saw a promotion for McDonald's Monopoly game thing where a bunch of people were photographed together and labeled "Last Years Monopoly Winners" It was highly suspect - they hit every demographic with this picture, like the back of board games with the all-inclusive multicultrual family laughing and patting each other on the back while rolling dice. Hey McDonald's and Milton Bradley, your marketing schemes are a little too obvious. I'm all about inclusion, but tone it down a little, eh?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

what does it take to fulfull a dream that changes every day?

My computer is filled with microsoft word files containing absolute dribble. Beginnings to stories, promts for novels, nonsensical breathings, etc. Hundreds of them, organized by date; a really ridiculous journal that I never think about or revisit. Tonight I opened up a few out of curiosity. The ones on my actual computer (not including the thousands on my hard drive) go back as far as 2005, and in revisitng them I realized that if I met myself a few years ago I wouldn't recognize me. It's amazing how much we change without realizing it. This one is dated 10. 21. 06, and is apparently a beginning to a narrative:

“We are different people now,” she said.

“No," he said, "we were different people before--when we used to sit inside and laugh about the world outside. Now we; head down and hands tied, shuffle in the long grey line of death. We both are the same now, you and I... What happened to our dreams? I remember when they concerned fulfillment of love and kindness, gentleness and peace, patience and grace. Our dreams now are only concerned with money and power, style and consequence, self-fulfillment and disappointment. We dream of the future while disregarding the past and the present. We lost in our youth what we hoped to gain in adulthood, not realizing that we already had it--whatever it was, I can’t even remember anymore. I just know something’s missing. I catch a glimpse of it sometimes, when in a dark room, drunk and tired, I await something new. But it is fleeting and it fails me, or maybe I fail it. Is there more to life than sitting inside and dreaming of the world outside? What does it take to fulfill a dream that changes every day?
We were different people once.
We used to sit inside the comfort of our own world and laugh at the people outside the windows we imagined. The only thing I dreamed was you, so that a dream was anticipatory of waking. Now waking grows harder. Eagar am I no more to rise from the opulence of a life fulfilled in the sleeping realm. And they say life goes on. Most likely, they are right… and yet, I shudder to call this life.”

I have no idea what was going on in my life in October 2006 that caused me to write this. I don't know who I was thinking of... I don't even remember writing it. It's weird, because in reading it I feel like there was some severe pain behind it all, but I can't for the life of me recall it. Maybe that's a good thing. But it's strange, because it makes me feel like I don't really understand me. And shouldn't we know ourselves better than anyone else?

Eh. Who knows.

How am I not myself? How am I not myself?

Monday, October 13, 2008

to begin with... everything

I've recently been attempting to rebuild my dvd collection. I do this thing where if I mention a movie to someone who has never seen it (no matter who they are) I insist that they borrow it from me.

"You've never seen Magnoila? Shut up... here, take it."

Then I forget to get it back. (There was also that period of time in San Fransisco when I didn't have a job and resorted to pawning off a good portion of my collection just to make a few bucks... sigh.)

Over the years my collection has dwindled from such events. Its gotten to the point where one might think I have a lame taste in movies because so few of the best ones are left. So for the past few weeks I have been making trips to FYE after church, perusing the shelves for used copies of the very films I used to claim (and some new additions as well, of course). It's amazing how many great movies you can find used for under $10.

This week these lovelies came back to me:

Almost Famous
The Big Lebowski (It's absurd how many times I've bought this one. I think this is the fifth copy I've owned)
Being John Malkovich

Total Cost: $34

I'm glad they're back. For reasons not the least of which is related to the fact I just popped in Almost Famous to provide some background while I write a paper, but have not succeeded in writing hardly anything. Maybe it was seeing Zooey Dechanel (because I'm boarder-line obsessed) or watching young William thumb through the Vinyls his sister left him under his bed (Zeppelin, Joni, The Who, Henrix...) or the epic soundtrack... but I couldn't peel away enough to get anything done even though I knew every step that was coming next.

In short: Cameron Crowe was successful in his goal - "to write a love letter back to music" But now I'm going to have to write a love letter to my professor, since my paper got put on the back burner. Oh well. It was worth it.

My bookshelf is the next to be revitalized, since it's in the same predicament. Amazon Marketplace is a beautiful thing.