(almost) All about me...updated 2-2-07

Papers I done wrote
Pictorial interview with myself

Born in Santa Monica, lived in LA
graduated ucdavis in 2001


Quick Look
Favorite Book: latest world almanac
Favorite Music Acts: beatles, autechre, orbital, beastie boys, led zeppelin
Favorite Films: die hard; graduate; planes, trains, and automobiles
Favorite National Park: yellowstone

From The Horse's Mouth
A bunch of old updates which say a lot about me in a lot of different ways:
12-1-06 (01:33)

  • maybe i'm naive, but i believe michael richards' apology and don't believe that he's a racist. i'm much more inclined to believe that mel gibson is anti-semitic. how's the saying go? in vino viritu...i should know since i took latin, but i can't remember exactly. here's the thing: i think that richards was hurt and he reacted in a shameful and base way. if you're on the playground and someone who is heavyset makes fun of you then you might call them a fat ass. that, in and of itself, doesn't make you anti-overweight people. clearly there's more of a stigma associated with using the n-word, as we now have to refer to it, but i don't see why it's all that worse than calling someone a fat ass yet you see that in film and tv on a regular basis and no one thinks too much of it.. maybe that's just a sad commentary on our society. probably is. at any rate, i think it was more in that vein than in the vein of him having some crazy rant about blacks being the root of all our problems (as gibson said about the jews). i believe the authenticity of his sorrow and regret about the situation, i put some merit into the fact that seinfeld essentially vouched for him on letterman and i can understand how an intense comic might get out of control. i don't condone what he said, but i'm not going to crucify the guy. here's an excerpt from a daniel tosh routine which i think is appropriate for the discussion. first some context: daniel tosh is a fairly edgy (and very funny) comic. he's white and i think he's gay, but i don't know and i don't really think it matters, but it might make this excerpt more acceptable to some.
  • "what do you think of these faggots getting married? (pause for laughter) i can say that, i'm black. now that's a social experiment - figure out why that second statement softens the first one. but that's how i know my job's pure. i still talk like that... try that at your job...'hey, what do you think of these faggots getting married? i can say that, i'm black. what? i'm fired, alright i'll see you later.'"
  • i think that in an ideal world there would be consistency across the board - the n-word is out of bounds for whites so it's out of bounds for blacks as well, faggot is out of bounds for straight people so gays can't use it either - but in both instances that isn't the case. there's a certain element of the oppressed re-defining the word, but it doesn't really work. they take the power out of the word a bit by using it amongst each other, but when the perceived oppressor uses it all the power is back in it. it's an argument i've heard intellectuals make, and it makes a bit of sense, but i don't think it's practical. i think we live in a pretty sensitive society when it comes to certain things or certain groups. i think you get more of an uprising if there's a film wherein a black person is stereotyped than if you were to stereotype an asian person. how much of that is about the stereotype (e.g., foreboding criminal vs. doctor with glasses who mixes up "r"s and "l"s) and how much is about the group being stereotyped? is one stereotype more destructive than the other?
  • my sense is that it's probably a combination of the stereotype and the group. asians have done well in america (for whatever reason, i'm not going to speculate) and the stereotype of rocket scientist or glasses-wearing geek probably isn't as damaging as the stereotype of a criminal. notice, too, that some stereotypes are overlooked - that of the star athlete for blacks or the doctor for asians or the evil boss for whites. in general i think that stereotypes for whites (irish people as drinking too much or germans as nazis) or males are overlooked because the group has been in power in america for so long that any outcry isn't well-received. it's kinda like ben wallace complaining about the bulls not allowing him to wear a headband. the popular reaction is: fuck you, whiner - you're making $60 million over the next four or five years, i don't feel sorry for you. why there isn't more of an outcry from overweight people who are stereotyped as stupid, lazy, or sloppy is beyond me. i think there's a mild degree of sensitivity regarding the stereotyping of muslims as terrorists.
  • i think a lot of it comes down to being organized. and a lot of that comes down to how much do you associate your personal image with a certain trait - race, religion, weight, eye-sight ability, etc. there's never going to be a public outcry from people who wear glasses about their being typecast as smart doctors or scientists because 1) it's not that bad to be stereotyped as being smart and 2) there probably isn't any group of glasses-wearing people who are dedicated to addressing these issues. wearing glasses certainly shapes a person's experiences, but not enough, apparently, for people to define themselves in those terms.
  • for me, i don't associate being white or male or jewish or tall or whatever as a big part of who i am so i'm not going to form or join any group dedicated to the issues which might be pertinent to those traits. you can easily say that i don't associate myself with those groups because, in being part of the majority in those regards, i don't feel separate from the rest of society. that is, if i were a native american woman, i would see popular culture as differing from mine so i might feel more of a kinship with other native americans or women since we're in the same minority boat together. the way i can relate to that is less substantial. if i were to meet someone in ohio who is a usc fan (good luck) i might feel a small bit of that same kind of minority kinship, even though we don't have other things in common. if that kinship feels large enough then you define yourself, in part, through this minority status. so, i can understand this on some level, but on another level i wish people would define themselves (and others) much more on what they do, rather than how they're born. of course a big part of it, too, is that some minorities tend to have similar experiences in life. and, in general, similar life experiences lead to increased kinship. maybe it's just as simple as blacks have a more uniform experience in america than asians.
  • lastly. i think that any group that is explicitly a male or white group is setting itself up for an increased degree of ridicule. this is one of many reasons why there might not be groups of whites railing against the stereotypes that depict them as oppressors or as unable to jump high. charles barkley once made the comment that white guys shouldn't be ashamed to shave their heads when they start to get bald. i think it came up because his co-host, ernie johnson, had recently shaved his head (because he has cancer). anyway, barkley said that some white guys are afraid to shave their heads because they don't know how their scalp will look - if it'll be too bumpy or whatever. i don't think this is the reason at all. personally i'd feel like a fucking nazi if i ever shaved my head. i would imagine that the association with shaved head and "skin head oppressor" might keep more than a few white guys from shaving their heads. like jim gaffigan, i prefer to not look like hitler's poster child. so i've brought the discussion full circle - starting with michael richards and onto a daniel tosh reference to a jim gaffigan reference; both are great comics, check them out.
  • in viewing cultural texts i get the idea that, even before world war ii, there was a sense in america that we were all in the same boat. i can't be sure because i wasn't around at the time to fully have my finger on the pulse of the culture, but that's the sense i get from reading about the time, or hearing what my grandmother has said about it (she's studied it fairly extensively), or watching films from that era. after world war ii there was certainly that feeling that we were all working towards a goal together. we all had to ration certain goods and deal with food stamps, etc. but even before then i think there was that idea and i think much of that probably came from the economic hardships of the time. i think that today we're doing too well to truly care about each other. prosperity, coupled with the increasing ability to separate yourself from others, has led to our being relatively segregated. as mr. lif says "systems exist so we never meet each other."

  • 5-23-05 (19:41)

  • melanie seems like such a different person now. i know that if i hung out with her she'd more or less be the melanie i know, but it seems that there's so much more going on with her that i don't know about. stuff that she may have kept under wraps when she was with me, or stuff that the breakup let out. after the breakup we were actually very close to each other and it was sort of similar to how things were when we were first getting together. everything was intense and it made me feel like the relationship we had was real and it sort of validated the last four years...not that it needed to be validated, but it was reassuring to know that even when things were over we still cared about each other.
  • now, though, it seems like that's gone. we've been so out of touch with each other and it seems, from my perspective anyway, that she's transformed so much that we've grown apart very quickly. it's amazing what people are capable of and how quickly we can adapt. it sort of makes you question the nature and resilience of all relationships. the whole thing is rather discouraging. feeling like you're replaceable is one of the worst feelings a person can have. the truth is that i am replaceable in most ways. you can never replace memories, but a person can always find someone else to have fun with.
  • i wonder why i care how i will be remembered. ultimately it doesn't really matter, but i still care about it as if my universal image is being distorted or something retarded like that.
  • phil used to be my best friend in the world and i thought that we'd never lose touch. somehow, though, we grew apart and became different people and stopped talking with each other. i knew the guy like 10 years and then we just couldn't relate anymore. i've always felt shitty about it, as if i did something wrong. i know that to a certain extent i did, but that the larger problem is that we just grew in different directions. when i was first with melanie i was sure that we'd be together forever. i wouldn't really admit it aloud, but i wanted to be with her forever and actually felt like it could happen. but within five years we've gotten to the point where i'm starting to wonder if i'll know her in a year. you start to wonder if it's a personal failure or if that's just the way life is or what.
  • it's such a sad thing that people move and lose touch with friends. the non-family person i've kept in touch with for the longest is probably james chai, who i've known since 10th grade or so. but even with him i haven't really kept in touch on a really regular basis. i'm pretty sure that if i lived still in la that i'd hang with him, but because of geography, we almost never see each other. the same is true for jon, johnny and vern who i've known for about 8 years now. i consider them all friends, but i've spent more time with meryl in the last month than those guys in the last year. i guess if i had my priorities straight i'd move to berkeley and live with johnny and i'd be able to visit jon and vern more regularly. but inertia, liking davis more than the berkeley, and the security of knowing i have a livable salary keeps me here. of course i also regret not being able to be around my mom, dad, sister and grandparents. i don't really like la, but if i lived there it would be nice to drop in every other week or so to watch a film with my grandpa. i don't know where in my life personal relationships became so important, but they're definitely more important than they used to be. maybe because i realize that they're the only thing in life that matters and which i have an active role in creating. it's fun to be able to deconstruct and reduce, but it's more fulfilling to create.

  • perhaps i'm too good at finding contentness in life; and too willing to be fine with that.

    2-28-01 (16:15)

  • the thing with freedom is that we don't really have it in the large sense of the word, but we try to have as much of it as possible. it's manifested in different ways by different people. some get drunk and laid every other day. some discover a religion opposite their parents and dump their boyfriend and move to salt lake city. some don't become lawyers like their parents want. some simply move away from home. some just do anything that they've been told not to do, regardless of outcome. some go on a hitchhiking trip. some become transients. some comb their hair differently. some claim not to care about things because freedom from caring is cool to them. we all do it and we've all made mistakes trying to do it. finding a balance point is hard. you can call it the appollonian vs. the dionysian or yin vs. yang or freedom vs. order, but it's all essentially the same. everyone has to decide for themselves where the balance lies.

  • 2-24-01 (00:33)

  • had i gotten drunk tonight, like i planned, then i would have been assured a hang over and thus plenty of rest tomorrow morning. it would have been fun, i would have been the life of the party for once (something that is, and should be, very important to me), i would have considered myself loved by many, i would feel good about myself because i have friends and i'm funny when i'm drunk, i would feel alive because i didn't have the baggage of sobriety weighing me down and holding me back, i would have been far less bored, i would have felt an amazing rush throughout the night, i may have even gotten some poon. the more i think about it the less i understand why i didn't go ahead and do it. i might not be alive tomorrow, there could be an earthquake, i might get hit by a car on my way to work, i may slip in the shower and die, and i wouldn't have had that last hurrah, that last night of fun. i need to start living every moment of my life as if it is the last - thus i must have as much fun as possible. after all, life is about fun.
  • vern asked what i would do if i only had a few minutes left in my life, he suggested getting laid, but i knew that writing a letter to those i love would be the only thing that i could really think to do at such a time.

  • so in case i die tomorrow - thank you mom, dad, max, and cliff for being highlights in my life. thank you sarah for being a good and loving person despite your age. thank you melanie for giving me things no one else has. thanks vern, johnny, jon, and phil for being overall pretty nice people to me. with that said i'm going to get high and laid in my farewell to the world, there's no other way i'd like to end my life than listening to the latest limp bizkit album in an orgasmic drunken haze.

    2-21-01 (22:35)

  • what does freedom do for us? do we have it? what do we do with it? what should we do with it? someone probably has written a rather large book on just those questions. as we all know - we are not truly free. most would think about that and after some thought would agree on some level - there are things that we just need to do, for myriad reasons. many liberals would see that as a horrible injustice of living in this society. at the same time we all know that there are certain freedoms which are best not given. to me, the most interesting aspect of freedom is freedom from norms, or even better - yourself. sure it's a law that we can't yell fire in the theater, but there's no law that says you have to look at yourself in the mirror before you go out so that you are presentable, yet most people do. there are all sorts of "laws" that we have either placed on ourselves or which society has placed upon us. i think that this is all fairly obvious, and as such bears repeating, because that which goes without saying sometimes needs to be said the most. in order to be an artist you have to be good. in order to be free or independent you have to have economic freedom. we've been sold a bag of goods, my friends. and what's worse is that we continually buy into it, we even perpetuate it. this is why i love the parable of the camel, the lion and the child so much - we need to become that child - free from the "laws" of society. the more we live the more we become socialized, trained, and domesticated and thus go farther away from being free.
  • i'm not saying anything new, i'm just reminding you, because you've forgotten it and you'll forget it by the end of the day. tomorrow you'll wake up and realize that you need to make sure you have enough money to put food on the plate and you have to look a certain way and you have to act a certain way and you can't be ambitious in certain ways....

  • so what am i advocating? isn't it obvious? go out, right now, and get drunk, get high, walk the streets naked, yell "i am free" while tagging on walls, all to prove to yourself and the world that you are free. that's what i'm advocating. actually that's not what i'm advocating, but that sure is what people have done in the past (and the present) to prove (mostly to themselves) that they're free. i think everyone needs to find a way on their own, but i don't think that any of the ways which were classically employed by hippies (namely free love and drugs) are the right way. drugs for obvious reasons and free love for probably conservative permanently ingrained moral reasons.

    2-13-01 (23:40)

  • "He was a wise man who invented God." - Plato
  • no one can say with any real certainty that they know what they know and that it is true or real. everything can be deconstructed and picked apart to death, or at least to serious doubt. but the saying that "absence of proof isn't proof of absence" goes both ways. on the one end you have a firm belief in x or y and on the other you have a doubt of everything - god, yourself, feelings, existence, etc. so what happens in the middle? i guess that's what you have to figure out for yourself. the truth is that you can't know anything for certain. from there it's up to you what to do...but no matter what you choose i think it's a rationalization. rationalization has a negative connotation (as it usually should), but in case i think it's just the truth of the matter - neither good nor bad. so then is it even necessary to know that the life you are living is a rationalization? ignorance, in this case, certainly is bliss...it makes rationalizing your beliefs far easier, it gives you more to latch onto.
  • if you don't think about things too much and if you don't seriously challenge everything around you then you won't come to the conclusion that everything you think you know or feel is real, really can't be proven. that ignorance is functional, this much is certain. why can't anything be proven to be true without a doubt, some might ask. well i'm no deconstructivist, maybe you should read some nietzsche or derrida or other post-modernists, but most things i think are real i've been able to cast at least some shadow of doubt on. how do i know that love is real? there are those who would claim it is only a trick of the mind that allows for guilt free procreation, or is functional in other ways - it's not real in it's origins, other than being a means to an end. from my brief knowledge of neitzsche he would say that anything that one perceives is only their perception of the thing and one can't be certain it is the way it is because everything is subject to interpretation - from desks to love to god. your interpretation is subject to all sorts of things - personal experience, environment, etc. it's all a great mind fuck.
  • so if one is really rational and looks at the function of all these things and bases their worth upon their function then what happens? belief in a higher power and many of the things that usually go with that - a belief in higher authority than that on earth, a belief that there is a right and a wrong, a belief in justice (whether this be manifested in heaven and hell or the Amish belief that those who work hardest will be the best off in their next life (or is it their afterlife?) or karma or any number of structures which religions design to give followers a sense of justice). believing in all that certainly makes life easier - you usually question less around you, you know right from wrong because it's prescribed in the koran, the bible, etc., you have a feeling that for all the piss and shit on this earth there is something greater out there - something greater to be aimed for - if you're mormon then you're aiming to one day be god of your own planet...all of those beliefs serve a definite function individually. i think they also serve a function publicly - if the preponderance of the populous believe that killing is bad, loving thy neighbor is good, etc. then norms are established, there is order. how people deal with deviance is a whole other question which is really interesting - do they claim heretics are witches and burn or drown them? do they attempt to convert them and kill those who rebel or resist? homogeneity sure is useful and functional and pleasant.
  • aside from religion or views on "god," what function does creating a world, which you know you can't prove to be real, serve? simply, it makes life livable. if you are constantly reminding yourself of the utter chaos and uncertainty of life and the world then surely you won't be able to live a sane life. at this point you should either kill yourself and get it over with or tell yourself a "noble lie" (as plato used in the republic) to substantiate existence. even nietzsche seems to acknowledge the necessity of some "illusion" or convenient creation of tangible truth. even though you know that nothing you "know" can ever really be known or true or real, you take a leap and make a floor to stand on - something you can base the rest of your reality on, knowing the whole time that the floor isn't really there. maybe that analogy doesn't work.
  • i think that a lot of theologians talk about "faith." that's pretty key because they know that nothing can be proved, and one must have faith in order to make things work. some people talk about a "leap of faith" - something that is required for any belief, whether it be the big bang, or the christian view of the world or what not. that faith is the floor i was talking about. you've got to make that floor, or take that leap in order for everything else to fall into place. what makes it interesting is what leap people choose to take - why they claim allegiance to that one as opposed to another. everyone is different, that's key, certainly, but beyond that what's interesting is how each defends their position. i don't believe in the death penalty. why do i claim that killing isn't good under all circumstances? why do i claim that there is probably a higher power out there, but it doesn't have control over my life, i'm not fated to do anything, there isn't a grand plan, etc.? i don't know. i can't back up my claim with any certainty, much of my beliefs are like that, and yet i stand by them. it's wrong to do wrong by friends or other people - why? it just is. even if they've done wrong by you? yes. why? it just is. this whole line of thought can be extrapolated throughout our lives - our thoughts on religion, politics, drugs, right vs. wrong, abortion, etc. from big to small and everything in between.
  • "i know that i know nothing" - socrates
  • absence of proof isn't proof of absence.
  • "get busy living or get busy dying"
  • language and words are really annoying at times. i don't like the word "god" because all these ideas of a christian conception of god come flooding into my mind. if someone asks me if i believe in god i always answer "i believe in a higher power." people usually say "well that's what i meant" or the like, and i can understand that, but i just want to make sure that i say it the way i really mean it - without the baggage of the word "god."
  • this pretty much goes for all labels. i buy into a lot of the stuff that marx says and a lot of the stuff nietzsche says, but i'd never call myself a marxist or nietzschean. this goes for politics as well - i'm not a leftist, i'm not a member of the green party (though i did register as such, though for different reasons -- i want the green party registration to be higher, i feel it sends a message, just like voting does, but i digress...), i'm not christian (though i believe that loving thy neighbor is good and killing is bad), etc. i understand that labels are easy...if i say that i'm a post-modernist nietzschean member of the green party one might get a good idea of what i think and feel...it's a lot easier to say that then to spell out my stance on all issues. i still resist labels, though, because they have lots of baggage. i consider myself a feminist because i think that women are persecuted based upon their sex, i feel that gender roles are detrimental - to both males and females, i feel that women should be treated like human beings, and i want things to change. beyond that i don't know what meaning being a "feminist" has - to some it might evoke an image of a militant hairy woman who wants women to be spelled womyn....there are numerous permutations of "feminist" thought and by calling myself a feminist i fear that i might fall into a category that i don't agree with. labels and words can be annoying and cumbersome.

  • this argument can be extended beyond labels regarding political or theological alignment - "car" to one person means something completely different than to another, but for the most part we have a picture of what a car is - four wheels, an engine, a basic shape, etc. language is a lot like rousseau's social contract. obviously when we're born we don't literally sign a contract saying that we will coexist in this political system with a mutual respect for each other and obey the laws of the land, yet it is assumed that we all have agreed to the social contract. the same goes for language - it's assumed that when i say car you'll be thinking of basically the same vehicle as i am. we buy into these norms for the sake of utility and for the most part they work, yet no one has actually consciously "signed" onto these norms in the sense that one would with an actual contract. we've never really agreed that from now on a car will be "a four wheeled vehicle with an engine of some sort in the general shape of this..."


  • "it's okay to eat fish because they don't have any feelings"
  • why is pork seen as such a sinful meat? i mean i understand the biblical stories, but why is that a universal thing across religions and cultures? is it really because they're seen as dirty? rats are dirty, but worshiped in india. i just don't understand it. i'll never go vegetarian, but i empathize with the cause. i figure that if more people were like me and ate meat sparingly then we'd be better off. but then we're still killing some animals and that's wrong in a sense. but where do we draw the line, becomes the question. i mean is the carrot harvest really a holocaust? is that going too far? fish are okay to eat, why? you can have fish, fowl and eggs are okay, but pork and red meat aren't. it's all arbitrary unless you have some religion guiding what you can and cannot eat. i swear that religion is just the best. it makes so many of the difficult decisions for you. as george carlin about religion i'll paraphrase - "it's mind control...so they're going to tell you some things that you ought not say, because they're sins. religion is going to suggest some things that you should say...here's something you oughta say first thing when you wake up in the morning, here's something you oughta say before you go to sleep, here's something we always say on the third wednesday in april after the first full moon in spring after the bells ring..." funny guy that george carlin, and he had it right.
  • obviously i'm not saying anything grand or eye-opening, but it's still stuff we take for granted. i say that i don't eat red meat and i'm not entirely sure why. i will eat it, but i prefer not to. some of it has to do with the taste, some of it is for humanitary reasons, some of it is because when it's not well cooked my stomach gets upset, but i don't really have any strong reasons for it. as jules says in pulp fiction "my girlfriend is a vegetarian, so that pretty much makes me a vegetarian" then he bites into a nice juicy big kahuna burger. what a great scene.
  • i'm hungry.
  • i don't value the life of a cow more than a pig's or a chicken's, but it does seem easier to accept the death of a chicken as opposed to a cow or a dog (if you're korean, thai, et al). i guess it makes perfect sense when you think about how arbitrary most of our lives are anyway.
  • i wonder why i shun superficial relationships to the extent that i do. i don't go to parties for lots of reasons, but one is because talking to people at parties is so on the surface. i think a big part is that on the surface there's nothing interesting about me. people who have a lot to show off about or feel proud of in the superficial and socially constructed way are more likely to thrive in party or social situations. the best time i had at a party was when it was at our old house. i had plenty of things to talk about on the superficial level at the time because i was a DJ and people always like that, i think i was also doing fairly well in school so when that topic came up i could talk about some paper i did well on. if i had more of those surface things going for me i might be more social, i'd still probably not go to parties, but keeping surface, or "hallway," friends (as i like to call them) would be more fulfilling. when i do talk with those hallway friends there seems to be an undercurrent of boasting. sometimes even a quick fix for some consolation - which i suppose isn't so bad so long as you can actually feel better from it; i can't.
  • "hey chris what you been up to?" "not much, and you?" "oh man i'm swamped, i've got three midterms in two days and a couple of my friends from out of town are coming on friday" "wow, sounds hectic" "yea it is. i've been studying for 13 hours straight and i'm kind of batty" "ha ha, that's funny. well good luck with that, bob. don't stress too much."
  • that's a perfectly normal conversation and i wouldn't mind too terribly having that conversation, but i can't help but think "what's the point?" so he's got lots of things going on and he wants me to feel sorry for him. great, i do, sorry bob, life sucks. i sound like someone who is bitter and probably doesn't have much of a life. "you're just jealous chris," i can hear people saying. was it hobbes or locke who said that we (humans) are not political animals, and in fact, we're not even social animals. the only time we are social is for vanity's sake. the only time we are political is to create a government. we create this government so that we don't have to be political in the future and so that we can be protected enough to pursue our own personal endeavors, and these personal endeavors are in the name of vanity and selfishness.
  • so maybe i'm just bitter, or maybe i'm right. either way we're both wrong because there is no right or wrong. ;)
  • back to the hallway relationships...i still don't know entirely why i refuse to have them. why don't i have a shitload of friends who i talk with a couple times a month and keep up appearances with just to be cordial? it's not because i'm an asshole. i'm not mean to people. i don't normally shoo people away with disdain because of their superficial concept of our friendship. rather, i just don't make an attempt to hold those types of friendships. i could, but i don't. i just know that it's not for me. maybe it's because i don't want to waste my time with something that isn't going to yield anything of much depth. though i must admit, having a shitload of friends like that might yield some useful information on occasion - "did you hear that such and such happened in the senate last night?" "why no, i didn't. do tell..."
  • so, is there anything wrong with those types of relationships? i'd like to have those kinds of relationships with neighbors. i don't foresee being buddy buddy with my neighbors, but at the same time i think being strangers is lame. so in that arena the surface friendship is just fine. it could be useful to have a store of friends like that because they could hook me up with a job somewhere down the line, or come up with some useful information - they say that networking is the key to success in the market economy. oh joy. it's true though, and in that sense having friends who are low maintenance and potentially high yield (assuming you choose the decent non-mooching ones) could be very advantageous. i could brag about the fact that i have a girlfriend and have to retell every success story (from hitchhiking to finding a girlfriend) about a billion times and be assured about a billion times that i'm cool for going on a hitchhiking trip or i could hear "congratulations" a billion times and i might even start to feel good about myself because there would be all this positivity when i brag to my surface friends. that's all well and good if i care what they have to say or if i want to tell those stories to people i don't really know, over and over and over again.
  • when i put it all into words like that it would seem like having those friends is a very selfish thing to do. they're low maintenance - so that's easy for me. they're going to console me when i bitch about having 3 midterms this week (something maybe my real friends are tired of doing). they could lead to good business, or other, opportunities. and all of that is just peaches and cream for me. i'll have to make a few appearances at some parties which maybe i don't want to attend and maybe i'll be a little late to class because i'll be stopped on my way to class by a few people i know, but overall friends like that are a wise investment. guess i'm not a very good businessman.

  • 01-09-01 i think about this kinda stuff a lot, so i guess it defines who i am...

  • 03:23
  • i need to learn the meaning of fully checking oneself.
  • i used to think that getting down on myself was really cool, then i realized that going down on myself is cool, getting down on myself isn't. so being hard on myself is bad, but being hard isn't. a fine distinction in both instances, but a key one. now i know so all is good.
  • i'm up a lot later than i should be.
  • led zeppelin is still great.
  • this year i pledge to do some of those things on the "before i die" page.
  • as i age and get wiser i realize more and more how arbitrary tangible measurements of success are, yet they become even more important. surely, sat scores and gpas were important a few years ago, but now tangible measurements of success are even more key to success and becoming what it is i want to become. however, this is not the only reason that they have mattered to me more lately. though i'm not sure what the other reason is, there is one. i know that my grades aren't entirely indicative of what i know, or for that matter, my worth as a person. yet, grades and whether i'm able to answer questions on "who wants to be a media whore" have been weighing on me more now than ever. i know that there is a difference between ignorance and stupidity. i know that not knowing that michael collins was the fourth name on the plaque left on the moon in 1969 is a matter of ignorance and i should feel bad for not knowing it. i didn't feel stupid because no one else on jeopardy knew who the hell michael collins was. in fact i knew that the other guy was richard nixon, along with buz aldrin and neil armstrong, so i felt justified in my ignorance. but here's the kicker...if i had known the answer then i would have felt superior. what i'm saying is that it's a two way street. if i'm going to shun the arbitrary measurements and the (what i deem as) bs yardsticks we use to gauge our intelligence, then i can't rejoice when i succeed in them. so maybe the first step is not feeling good when i get a 1500 on a mock SAT. the second will be not feeling bad when i end up getting a 900.
  • the problem with all that is that it entails throwing out everything that i've learned in the past 20 years or so - people with high test scores are smart and successful. that's the rule. people who know the answers on "who wants to be a media whore" get paid the big bucks. the nice guys get recognition in feel good movies and on the back page of the metro section. those people should be rewarded the most and i know this, yet it's so hard to apply that rule to life when most of the other arbirary measurements are so pervasive and overwhelming.
  • in this sense i think i can understand the same struggle that many people who are deemed "radical individualists" might have faced. guys like thoreau or nietzsche. they meant it in a different way, perhaps, but they, too, struggled to separate themselves from the constructed norms of society and become whom they felt they wanted to become. obviously i'm not comparing myself to either of these guys, i think far too lowly of myself to do that, but i understand the struggle.
  • so either i can accept that there are these measurements of success which i don't buy into and then just discard or i can buy into them and try to succeed within them. since i don't buy into them and since i'm not much of a success by their standards then i'll choose the former. i doubt i'd make the same decision if i was a success by those standards. in a way it is a blessing to have sat scores on the relative low side, for i am then able to take the high ground.
  • in all actuality i'll wake up and forget all this and still get down when watch jeopardy and see how smart i'd like to be, and am not.
  • seriously though, it all comes back to my original answer to life - answering the question 'from where does my worth derive.' when i answer that then things will be a lot better. at least then i'll know what i'm shooting for and what matters.
  • i really should start taking more comfort in the fact that i'm mostly a good human being (as long as you know me more than a little and less than a whole lot) and that i don't mean ill for anyone (except maybe that bastard who smashed my car window and stole my innocence).

  • then i always begin to question human nature. maybe it's human nature to never be content with oneself, in a bizarre darwinian attempt to constantly evolve. or maybe just because. it's all really interesting to think about, but it's also 4am and though i feel like some of this may be making sense and i'm not quite the bumbling pile of ineloquence that i usually am, i should still get some rest because i've got to get ready to not have sex tomorrow.


  • in society quantity seems to count for more than quality. it also seems that effort isn't rewarded, results matter, not effort.
  • a person's worth is dependent upon bullshit, largely superficial, standards. overcoming this is very hard for some. some just buy into, literally, and embrace capitalism and try to buy their happiness and find their worth by being the first on their block to have a satellite dish, etc. then there are the other people who range from living the exact opposite existence to acknowledging the way it is, but still live their lives and base their worth, largely, on those standards.
  • i don't know what in life is real and what is not. i'm inclined to think that just about everything is a societal construction. i can see why many philosophers have claimed that the only real thing in life are our passions. maybe that is right, but it's not right to live as our passions dictate. i think; but no one knows.
  • there really aren't any steadfast rules in the world. i think that's more or less what postmodernism is about. but what does that tell us? well if i think about it too long it just makes me depressed. make a higher power so that your life is justified and so are your actions. writing about this isn't going to help. fuck derrida and thinking that nothing is real or doesn't matter, because even though it maybe the only real truth there is, it sucks deez.
  • when i get depressed i get really depressed. in the last 6 months or so my depression period has been a lot shorter, so i think that's a good thing. i attribute that to my ability to completely control everything in my life. ha. i start thinking about how much of a loser i am. how i'm not what i want to be or what i should be. how so many people are better than me at things ranging from the stupid to the meaningful. i can come up with 2 bad things about myself for every 1 good thing. then i peak when i feel completely hopeless. society sucks. i suck. things that i've done, or that have happened to me, suck. then i start to get better. i begin to remember that although it's true that i'm not everything i want to be and that there are plenty of people who are better than me and that society does indeed suck, that i should get out of depression and start fooling myself into thinking that everything will be alright. then i goto sleep, wake up and i've usually forgotten about all of it so i keep myself busy by watching movies or such. eventually i just accept the fact that i don't have control over anything except for what i do. of course the fact that i'm not doing what i would like to do is what may be getting me depressed in the first place. somehow i just trick myself into thinking that i'm not depressed anymore. so, i guess i should find a long term solution.

  • 12-20-00

  • i think it's very important to not compare yourself or your behavior to that of others. it just seems that it can go either way if you start playing that game...i'm smarter than most people so i don't need to worry about becoming any smarter. i'm dumber than these people so i should feel like a retard. create your own rules and goals and then live by that. then the challenge becomes creating goals which are conducive to a healthy life, happiness, and fulfillment. then again, it's easier for most people to just have standards by which they are expected to live their lives...SAT scores, gpa expectations, points per game, hours of work per week, etc. religion, i think, taps into this same need for most to have a structured expectation system. makes life easier.

  • My Big Trip - i went hitchhiking during the spring break of 2000. check out the photos and details of the trip, here.

    10-27-99 2-3a

  • i want: a car, a turntable, a cassette deck, a super fast MD recorder, a girlfriend, a fat savings account, a job with administration that doesn't suck, to be free from inhibitions, regular sleeping schedule, the will to study, the ability to read for hours, the ability to forgive and forget, to be a fun person...including while at parties, accepting of other people and their shortcomings, buff, a lot of time, the ability to manage time (not piss it away), in shape, able to run a 4:58 mile again, a girlfriend, all the nirvana cds, all the metallica cds, all the doors cds, all the ac/dc cds, all the soundgarden cds, all the black sabbath cds, all the ccr cds, a laser printer, a good globe, a picture of an atomic bomb exploding with the caption reading "it's good to be american", headphones with a frequency range of 20-20,000 Hz, a digital camera, new shoes, to be secure with myself, a hobby, a radio show from 12-2am, a respectable vinyl collection including hendrix classics and all the beatles albums, a world where people care, a world where people know what they are caring about, a society concerned with the long run and the small people, to do something that matters, to be recognized, a system of government that isn't inept, a group of friends that have the same wants i do, to live in a place where being liberal doesn't mean you have to have a messy house, to live in a place where neighbors speak, to be able to throw away grudges, to be able to spell without have to check words like 'grudges', to be confident enough not to check words when they are right the first time, to keep in touch with friends, to not be disgusted by people abusing themselves (um, i mean drinking) even in moderation, to be free enough to dance without having to mock myself, to be funny without making some kind of sexual allusion, to finally learn how to spell words like reference so i don't have to use allusion everytime, to know now that there isn't a double 'f' or 'r' in reference...just like i thought the first time, to have the same confidence with girls that i do while riding my bike, to be as accurate in comparing english stories as i am in keeping my checkbook balanced, to be able to bunny hop a bike, the balls to put my gonads on the line once in a while, not ever be as closed minded with music as vern is, to bump to loud music in the now deceased 92 passat with phil, for everyone to hear the same 2PAC that i do - one with compassion/genius/personality/zest, for everybody to hear 'rock n' roll' by led zeppelin and know that what they did is such genius it's amazing, for everybody to hear 'car thief' by the beastie boys and realize that the world can suck because of 'all the wife beaters and all the tax cheaters sitting in the white house pulling their peters' - but also realize that it can be a wonderful place because it has music like that, for people to care, for everyone to read at least one paragraph of the unabomber manifesto and then make a comment on it - but not until then, and the same for marilyn manson or 2 PAC or zach de la rocha or chuck d or noam chomsky or jello biafra or how about bob dylan or jim morrison, to be able to listen to eminem before looking at his white ass trying to rap then writing him off as a poser only to find out later that he's a person with feelings/thoughts/and all that gay shit which is not let in by most because of his color and baggy jeans, to be able to listen to 'love hurts' by nazareth without saying 'hell yea', to have the same drive as jerry rice/joe montana/steve young/steve prefontaine, to be as giving as phil, to be as smart as my dad/grandmother/mom/grandfather in no particular order, as eloquent as noam chomsky/howard zinn, to be a leader like MLK/malcolm x/che guevara, to have a world where MLK's dream of ECONOMIC equality is reality, for people to know that the preface to MLK's i have a dream speech talks about economic equality...not just racial equality because he knew it was - and still is - a economic gap more than anything else, not to finish this paragraph - goto sleep - wake up and not care again - like everyone else.