Thursday, October 30
A bag of pretzels
A near-empty box of Froot Loops
The Analects of Confucius, unopened with the receipt still sticking out
A Randalls bag
A Wal-Mart bag
Emergency Evacuation Manual
2 ping pong paddles
A Canister of Ground Cinnamon
An empty water bottle
An empty Life Water bottle
The brown sheets (as opposed to white) that I need to switch out soon
my black belt with its Batman belt buckle
A Duracell battery
Alarm Clock (knocked off in frustration of not being able to find the off button earlier today)
Pair of Shoes
Pair of Flip Flops
A Guide to the Ancient World
My black and grey jacket
Psychology book open to Sleep and Dreaming
Empty box of Pop Tarts
Empty box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch
Unplugged in Pencil Sharpener
2/3 full jug of Hawaiian Punch
My only pair of shorts
Priority Mail envelope
5 Dollar Bill
The New Oxford Annotated Bible
Irish Folk and Fairy Tales
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Big Book of Jewish Humor
The History of the Smile
2 Jugs of Water
Empty blue water glass
El Dia de Los Muertos Pamphlet
Fibers from my blankets
Oh, and a penny!
Wednesday, October 29
This is the piece that reminded me of Mr. Jay Gatsby and his struggles.
Even if you think classical music is stupid, if you have time and aren't constantly listening to your own music, give it a play. The quality of the video isn't the greatest, but hey, it's all about the music anyway. Oh, and if anyone does happen to listen to this, don't be startled by the extreme dire chase music at the end -it startled me quite awake at the concert.
Tuesday, October 28
A long time ago I discovered, but never really accepted, the fact that I’m never at peace unless alone in God’s creation. Reading Romantic poetry brings tears to my eyes, viewing a sunset makes my heart soar to it, and sitting on a mountaintop alone provides me with clarity of thought. Never am I surer of my God and His provision than when I am in full view of the stars.
I’ve convinced myself for years that music or movies provide me with a like happiness and similar fulfillment. Songs like All Flowers In Time or Christians songs such as Angels Fall Down and Thy Mercy inevitably better my day. Certainly, a moving film may cause me to cry or to love or to hate, but all this emotion cannot equate peace. More importantly, I’ve been blessed with wonderful friends, skilled in raising spirits and always lending me a smile when I have none of my own, but this is all still too short-lasting. Ultimately, I desire peace with God. Since I cannot be immediately with him, I want to go out and live off of locusts and wild honey, swamped in what is pure. I want to adhere to desert monasticism like St. Antony. I want to found an island so simplicity may be my life forever. When impatience and irritability strike, I hate that I can’t just be done with life on earth already. I was reading Faust today and found these words:
The god, who throned within my breast resides,
Deep in my soul can stir the springs;
With sovereign sway my energies he guides,
He cannot move external things;
And so existence is to me a weight.
Death fondly I desire, and life I hate.
The truth is though, that he does move external things. He moves them through us (you could say working within free will), and despite how useless I may sometimes feel, I am His and thus useful for His glorification -it is only selfishness to claim otherwise, exalting your own will against God's.
I may have problems with living here, where fulfillment of my deepest desires to find God in His creation are virtually impossible (instead I'm generally enclosed within my dorm room walls), and so I may not find the comfort I immediately seek. I must accept that God will grant earthly and heavenly peace in His own time. Though I look about me in this city filled with evil and apathy, I know that I can, and must, keep standing that I may hold firm and serve. As for now, I find my comfort in the remembrance of God’s appearance to Elijah, not in the earth-rending storms, but in the peace of utter stillness.
Monday, October 27
Pretty quickly, when you're in a "high society" event, you realize how little you know about the procedure. I thought the performance started three times before it actually did, and thought the end of the fourth movement of the first song was the end of the concert. I understood the whole movement thing, but I didn't know the symphony actually stops and pauses before changing between them.
The first song was a Haydn piece (one of my least favorite composers that I've learned about this year), but I remained attentive and took a few one word notes to help me with my report. Believing the end of the first symphony to be intermission, I started to doze, awaking to find a new conductor bowing to us, and the beginning of the second song. This next piece was Schubert, who I like well enough, but I had already been lulled into a doze by some sort of evil enchantment, possibly Dumbledore's Bewitched Sleep. I probably ended up enjoying this symphony the most, but only because it gave me beautifully vibrant images in my daydream that sought to match the music. It was quite an experience; I assume it would be comparable to drug-induced hallucinations. I'll just say there were a lot of fairies among trees and a dragon, whose eyes ended up being too exceptionally well-lit music sheets when I fully opened my eyes.
At the real intermission, I considered leaving, because our class hadn't studied the next two modern composers, but I decided to stay. The third symphony seemed to encapsulate every sentiment of The Great Gatsby, so I went with that. I swear it could have been the extended soundtrack. Finally, before the last song, I really was going to leave, as the resident violin virtuoso had left the stage and that enchantment seemed to be on its way back. That was until I saw the harp appear. Nothing more needs be said. I could sit through an 8-hour badminton tournament if a harpist was placed by the net. I couldn't even tell you anything about the song except there were a loud of loud noises that distracted from the beauty of the harp.
And that is Kyle's most basic thoughts on his first classical concert. If I wrote more, it would only be about the little quirks of all the individual performers, the crazy composers, and the annoying people that sat by me. It's probably best if I simply leave it at, I love harps.
Saturday, October 25
1. Jeff Buckley
3. Nickel Creek
4. Ryan Adams
5. Bob Dylan
6. Ben Folds
7. The Beatles
8. Caedmon's Call
9. Regina Spektor
11. Joanna Newsom
13. Loudon Wainwright III
14. David Crowder Band
15. Explosions in the Sky
18. The Postal Service/Death Cab for Cutie
20. Sufjan Stevens
21. Counting Crows
22. Andrew Bird
23. Norah Jones
24. Sigur Ros
25. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds
1. Edward Scissorhands
2. La Vita e Bella
4. The Dark Knight
5. Little Miss Sunshine
6. The Nightmare Before Xmas
7. Forrest Gump
8. Good Will Hunting
9. Pulp Fiction
10. Lord of the Rings (pretending it's one 10-hour movie)
11. Big Fish
13. The Truman Show
15. Benny and Joon
16. It's A Wonderful Life
17. Sleepy Hollow
19. American Beauty
20. Bottle Rocket
21. Once Upon a Time in Mexico
22. A Mighty Wind
23. The Shawshank Redemption
24. Lady in the Water
25. The Lion King
(I decided post-listing, meaning just now, that I would order these from when I started watching them. So basically, this is an outline of the television that has influenced my life from childhood to junior high to high school to now. It is a truly a catalog of love. And I do still love all of them and would most definitely watch them for hours at any given time without qualms, except maybe power rangers.)
1. Power Rangers
2. Looney Toons
3. Scooby Doo
5. The Simpsons
6. Mighty Max
7. Beast Wars
8. The Powerpuff Girls
(those last two seem a little bit contradictory in title)
9. Dexter's Laboratory
10. Samurai Jack
11. Fullmetal Alchemist
13. King of Queens
15. Late Night with Conan O'Brien
16. The Colbert Report
17. The Office
19. Arrested Development
21. 30 Rock
22. Curb Your Enthusiasm
23. This American Life
24. Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
25. Pushing Daisies
(Here I'll do the same thing I did for television, though sadly TV has played a much larger role in my life than books. Also, I'm not including the Bible because that's just always been there. After all, in the beginning there was the Word. Consider it Item Zero if you'd like. Narnia's excluded too because I simply don't remember it.)
1. The Hobbit
2. Encylopedia Brown books
3. Deltora quest series
4. The Redwall series (literally the definitive books of my junior high years -favorite: Marlfox)
5. The Lost Years of Merlin series
6. Harry Potter (favorite: my initial urge was to say Goblet of Fire, but I think the writing got progressively better, so the seventh one -I forget what it's called)
7. Fahrenheit 451
8. The Giver
9. His Dark Materials Series (favorite: The Amber FREAKING Spyglass!)
10. The Lord of the Rings (favorite: don't make me choose!)
11. Mere Christianity
12. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
13. Life of Pi
14. The Catcher in the Rye
15. The Great Gatsby
16. The Scarlet Letter
17. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
18. Till We Have Faces
19. The Brothers Karamazov
20. C.S. Lewis' Space Trilogy (favorite: PeReLaNdRa)
22. Crime and Punishment
23. Co. Aytch
24. The Sound and the Fury
25. Cold Mountain
And that's my 100 off the top of my head sitting in a left-handed desk in music class.
Friday, October 24
For the past few days, I've introduced a new time- and thought-consuming exercise, playing "Could I beat that guy up?" with every male I pass on long walks to class. For the most part, the answer comes back "no." There are a lot of kids that I know I could hold my own against, but then others that I know could stomp my head into the concrete. The only people I seem to win against in my mental match-ups are the nerdy kids that are even smaller than me and the doughy Asians -they just look like they lack the killer instinct to take me down. Also often included on the beat-uppable list were many of the artsy liberal types. Sure they're opinionated and sometimes even violently so, but I have serious doubts as to their real combative abilities.
It's quite a fun game to play and I would encourage everyone to try it in extreme boredom. Just picture altering your steps a tad and veering straight in front of your innocent opponent, bowing up, and sucker-punching them. Not really. That'd make it too easy. You've got to make it official with a glove-slap or a shove if you want real statistics. Now, go out and make mental war!
Wednesday, October 22
I actually thoroughly enjoyed the Heroes this week. That's new. Some characters still seem almost unbearable at the moment (I don’t think I need to name names), but I’m liking the majority. I especially liked the extra-cute Hiro lines, including “Now I’m a vee-lahn, like you!” and “Hello? Mr. African Isaac (Ee-sock)?” And now that Hiro and the newest Jung-quoting black guy are together, I’m expecting fun. I’m wondering why no one refers to him by his nationality. Maybe he’s Haitian 2. I’ve again taken hold of my hope balloon for the future of Heroes.
I’m watching way too much Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. I want to be Will Smith.
I saw what I can best describe as an Amazon Colonel Warr (my old computer science teacher/renowned pole vaulter/science fiction writer) today on the street. Or maybe I could describe it better by saying the skin tone shift would be comparable to Cosmo Kramer after he fell asleep in a tanning bed, or Ross Geller after getting "an 8" on his front with spray tan. And I still don't know how I obtained all this F*R*I*E*N*D*S knowledge. I wouldn't be at all surprised if I learned I'd seen every episode.
I’m struggling with a total lack of concern with work and grades, and a powerful appetite for learning. I’m in a state of deep questioning of whether I should be here at the University of Longhorns at all, and whether I should become a teacher, a researcher, a churchman, or an astronaut. I only know that I want to learn to play the harp.
All anyone around here ever asks me for is my money, my vote, and my blood. Yesterday though, I passed a man twice, who asked the simple question, "Spare a smile?" My hope in humanity was restored, but immediately dashed when I saw how his humble request was ignored like all the others. I smiled at him, knowing full well that it he’d quickly shake a tin cup for change upon noticing my attention. He had none, and merely smiled warmly back. I was so intrigued (and bored) that I walked back down that street around an hour later and saw he had not moved. The quartet in front of me discussed and prepared an organized ignorance. The heart-wrenching irony to me though was that this group decided to use Operation: Pretend I Just Said Something Really Funny, and each of the three averted their eyes to look to the "speaker" of the "joke" and laugh, fake and hard. I glanced at the man on the ground, whose request reached only a wall of falsified laughter, and I saw a sorrow in him that still almost brings me to tears. It was so piercing, I couldn't even twist up my lips into a smile.
I lied about only knowing I want to play the harp. Judging from the movies I’m watching (feel-good romances), the music I’m listening to (gals with pretty songs and voices –Norah Jones, Joanna Newsom, Eisley, Regina Spektor), and the dreams I’m having, I want to fall in love again.
The first week (which was technically the third week of school) inspired me, with a lecture from one of our three Liberal Arts Honors (LAH) College sponsors. With serious doubts about even remaining in liberal arts studies at this time, he helped to remind me why I originally joined it (with lots of jokes interspersed making fun of the business school). I think it especially appealed to me because his allusions and stories were based largely on a combination of mythology and reason.
In week 2, anthropology was the subject. The field appeals to me out of a combination of the love of history and science, and my misguided childhood dreams of becoming an archaeologist. The speaker was energetic and clearly loved his job, which involved studying lemurs.
In week 3, a philosophy professor came and taught. He spoke about the fundamentals of philosophy, which was interesting, but for the most part already to known to me. The best part about this week was the essay prompt, which boiled down to “Does philosophy exist and if so, can there ever be any philosophical progress?” I referred to it lovingly as the Question Everything! Paper.
In week 4, an English professor, specializing in Shakespeare, came and talked to us about The Winter’s Tale. I know I would have enjoyed it more had I read the play at that point, but it was still fun, with student enactments of the opening scene and helpful/interesting discussion, giving me ideas to consider when reading it for the first time.
In week 5, we talked about economics. The lecture was based on a survey half-heartedly completed by all the LAH students about time management, on weekdays and weekends, this year and last year. I say half-heartedly because a large number of the surveys produced 30-hour days. To be fair, one of mine was 25 hours, but only because I didn’t want to use decimals, and I didn’t figure 0 was entirely accurate for Time Spent Eating. This was a long day, in which I only remember one funny line. “My favorite response to time spent studying last year was ‘Haha!’ I wasn’t exactly sure how to code that, but I thought zero was a safe estimate.” Socioeconomics just doesn’t interest me very much. It felt too much like my statistics class last year: learning lots of time-consuming methods to display answers I can already figure out on my own.
In week 6 (last week), the favorite speaker of most came and gave his comedy performance. The lecture dealt with the evolution of human mating and was simultaneously captivating and depressing. Hearing the theories of an evolutionary psychologist was new and unbelievably intriguing, but made me feel terrible for being a man. We listened to an hour of evidence, explaining how we boil down to unappeasable sex-machines, wired singularly to seduce and destroy. The most telling study involved random approaches in a mall. He organized an experiment in which a fairly attractive male would approach a random female in a mall setting. The male would then state, “I’ve noticed you around campus…” and then ask one of three questions:
One: “…Would you like to go on a date with me?” Shockingly, 50% of the women agreed to this random question. Shame on you, 50%.
Two: ”…Would you like to come back to my apartment?” Still to me shockingly, but significantly lower thank God, 6% of the women agreed.
Three: “…Would you like to have sex with me?” 0% Again, thank God. I would lose a little faith if women started agreeing to this with only the opening statement “I’ve noticed you around campus.” The follow-up question doesn’t exactly follow logically.
You can probably guess where this is going. The experiment was then applied to males, approached by attractive (but not goddess) females.
One: 50% Wow, I guess men just aren’t patient enough.
Two: 69%...Sufficiently depressing. Everyone laughs.
Three: 75%...Spectacularly depressing. Everyone laughs harder.
When I left, I had a smile on my face from the entertainment, an urge to call Andrew, and a further loss of faith in humanity.
All that brings us up to this week. Our first woman speaker, the professor and self-proclaimed geek held my attention for the entire 75 minutes. I didn’t even look at my watch. She was extremely confident and goofy and of course very funny. Her lecture included (I just had the urge to use the word plethora but I abhor it so!) BUNCHES of information on what research is done in geography, along with findings from her own. She quoted Tennyson with his words of nature red in tooth and claw, compared herself to a snowflake, “individually schizophrenic,” and explained her liberal arts career goals in the form of a cute chart of Discipline over Time. She first described two basic career paths. The first was the person who knows what they are going to be and strictly adheres to it –a slightly sloping linear graph. The second was the person who may change focuses once or twice and settle –looked a bit like a sine function. The third was her own. The fade in of the line began with a huge bubble, not even on the chart, and went on to reveal a random squiggly mess -clearly not a function. That’s how I would describe my career goals as well. She completed the lecture, and I had been instilled with a heavily romanticized idea of geography and was ready to move to Peru and become a geographer without a second thought. She had yet to give out the assignment yet though. She finished a few minutes late and all around me people were putting folders and notebooks up, readying to leave. She then read the prompt: "Technology evolves, though differentially. The environment changes and fluctuates... with and without us. Quality of life globally is shifting... and widening. I just want you to react." Muttering arose from all over the auditorium, from which I picked out words like dumb, stupid, and pointless. Over the rabble, our speaker announced loudly the final three words of the prompt: “IN IAMBIC PENTAMETER.” In our crowd of 150, there was silence. Some further muttering sprung up again, this time with words I won’t repeat, while I couldn’t help from laughing loudly aloud. It’s amazing how angry three words can make people. I’m excited; I have a geography paper to write in iambic pentameter! I must be the biggest nerd alive.
Tuesday, October 21
The day begins at midnight, and I always seem to be awake for that dawning, even if there's nothing to do. It was a good day though. I technically entered the birthday realm satisfying my new near-obsession, failing to complete crossword puzzles. Apparently my education has been a failure, because I don't know about sexologist Shere Hite (16 across). The witty crossword humor gets me every time though -so many puns. But this morning was a triumph, because I finished my first crossword puzzle without giving up and going to Google for help. I was so excited I attempted another and came 2 words short -still a pretty good percentage. I was still fully awake and bored so I figured I'd try one more, which sadly came to naught but utter failure. Thoroughly humbled, I hopped into bed (I literally have to jump off of a chair to make it onto my bed) and watched some Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. They started from the beginning! Hallelujah. We knew something was up when the name "Jazz" was not yet notorious, and I can now proudly say I've seen him thrown out of the house for the first time. I watched the nightly marathon from 1:45 to 4 and then still couldn't sleep so I watched a movie. I set out to watch a classic movie every weekday last week, but after two days, I realized online movies only go so far. I watched It's A Wonderful Life last Wednesday? and then Casablanca the following night. So Monday night/Tuesday morning, I set out to watch Citizen Kane. I found it nowhere, so I gave up and went to Hulu the all-powerful, and decided to watch Sleepless in Seattle. I wouldn't recommend watching it by yourself. It was a good movie, and had elements mimicking Casablanca so i was sold. When you finish a romance film around the time the sun rises though, with no one around you aside from a big-headed, colorblind sleeper, you tend to feel lonely. Aside from a few phone "best wishes," I spoke 5 words today -probably as a result of Sleepless in Seattle. As Fenton (my roomy) threw some object at me and told me to wake up (though I was wide awake), I responded "why?" First word! "You've been asleep for a long time" "Don't care." Triple Word Score! Then I also muttered "So true" after a comment about the practical uselessness of attending our music class. Sometimes I wonder how I maintain my ability to speak at all. Overall it was a pleasant day though –average, but pleasant. My mind was at ease for the most part and I've just been spending the day listening to a 500-song playlist I made and meant to give someone just before I left for college, and ruminating on happier times. It feels like a night that will be filled with lovely dreams.
Sadly, I also found out this week that all of my pseudo-birthday plans have failed. My favorite Spanish/salsa/conga band, Grupo Fantasma, canceled their concert scheduled on my birthday and is now playing at some outrageously wallet-emptying festival with Willie Nelson this weekend instead. I guess I won't be dancing. Backup plan: concert I don't want to go to: Jason Mraz: cheaper, but still impossibly expensive: $130…I see the poison but not the remedy. Maya Angelou spoke at UT today, but as you could probably guess, there were no tickets left. I'd go see Ben Folds, but no one seems to want to go, and it is pretty expensive, though less than half the price of the holy Mraz tickets. Is he really that popular? I think I'm just going to see Wall-E on Thursday.
Monday, October 20
Thursday, October 16
Wednesday, October 15
Eventually I might start reading novels again, but for now I'm content.
I felt like slugging some people today. I've discovered another reason to severely doubt any goodness in humanity. As I attempted to get to my desired location 15 minutes away, I found myself consistently slowed behind the oh-so-content umbrella-wielders. Many traveled in groups, leisurely strolling along and fanning out across each possible walkway. One trio even formed a total impasse, out of the apparent need to stop in order to debate the future direction of Gossip Girls (like I need another reason to hate that show). Weaving between the wildly unsympathetic strollers, I drafted a new campus law:
In times of inclement weather, a speed lane shall be establish for the benefit of the unprotected, lest we let the proletariat be once more oppressed by their bourgeoisie elites. Or maybe umbrellas should be banned so that everyone will be forced to suffer equally. Then only those dreamers left singing in the rain would provide any obstacle to those averse to the rain. Many will call me a weather Communist, but so it is and so it shall be!
Oh, and I've decided to name the Prius Regina, mainly because of its color -Spectra Blue. It seems an appropriate pun, and I've always liked the name, even before discovering ReSpekt.
Tuesday, October 14
It's been funny to watch how our discussion director and professor Bugbee has been attempting to "stifle" New Testament thoughts all throughout our readings of the Old Testament. I'm glad he did so, in order to read the Hebrew Bible alone without bias, though that is still quite impossible for a Christian. We would read a passage and he would ask a general question like, "what does this imply?" on occasion. A number of times, the classic answer after a silence would come: "Jesus?" Or in other cases, purely Christian ideas not yet mentioned, such as the afterlife for most of the Old Testament. As if fearful of the surely explosive discussion to follow and the limited time we have being further drained, he would request that we hold off on that note for a few weeks. Well, the time has finally come; tomorrow begins the New Testament discussion. Bring out the heavy artillery, class.
It fascinates me that God would test Hosea in the way he does. It is not even put forward as a test as it usually is. The first we hear from the LORD, He tells His new prophet to go out and marry a whore, who he knows will be unfaithful to him and bear him children that likely will not be his own. He even has to give his children cruelly unusual names. I would hate to be named "unloved" personally - just seems a bit neglectful. You must be willing to obey any command given to you and not expect a reward for your toils and suffering in your lifetime. And the only true evidence I've found of an afterlife beyond Sheol, or Hades, is in Daniel 12:2-3 "And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever." Now, several of the other prophetic books were written as long as a century before. Most of the remaining books were written around the same time as Daniel. It is my strong belief that like Daniel, all of these prophets would have been let in on these secrets from the Giver of knowledge. After all, they are acting as the mouths of the LORD, in communication with Him. Ezekiel eats a scroll and Isaiah gets his lips burned with a hot Seraphim coal.
The prophets seem to be quite different from the patriarchs and earlier biblical figures. Abraham and Jacob were blessed at every turn and even given rewards for their faith as Abraham with Isaac. Prophets seem to receive no blessing or reward in their own books. They only prophesy of the LORD's wrath and mercy, and in Ezekial's case, bear Israel's iniquities for a time. Hosea’s own life becomes a symbol for God and Israel. He marries a harlot and has “children of harlotry.” Likewise, corrupt Israel is called both the LORD’s bride and son. Our God has a thing for irony and symbolism.
The prophets are called by God, but are not blessed in this life, from what is seen in the text, at all. We certainly know from Jonah that they are punishable. And we at least know of the LORD's provision as seen with the prophet Elijah and his raven servants. But I have yet to see earthly blessings given to prophets since the judges. Even they were given authority, wealth, and oftentimes armies or preternatural abilities as with everyone’s favorite long-haired, jawbone-wielding judge. It seems to me that total sacrifice, as with Elisha, is needed in order to take on the job. But you need not apply; the boss will get in touch with you.
So I’ve recently obtained my newest love, in the form of my new car, a shining Spectra Blue Prius Hybrid, single-handed saver of the environment (I think I’m exempted from Greenpeace speeches now). I’m still strangely sentimental about the loss of my beloved long –time companion, the old, red Oldsmobile Intrigue. So many memories… I even dedicated a song to it while I drove back to Austin this weekend. The Leonard Cohen song “So Long, Marianne,” came on as the first song of the trip. I felt it was appropriate, especially since I never named it beyond Old Red. Several referred to it as the “Crap Car” (affectionately I’m sure), but a true Christian name it never held. I’m sure I would have given it a masculine name had I selected one –what with its “just get the job done” attitude.
I’ve set out to name my new car, a name fitting of her spectacular Spectra Blue beauty. Deliberations will last through the week. I’m literally mesmerized while I drive this car, to the point that I’ll probably crash it promptly. There’s a GPS system and map with a constant “You are here” to watch move along the little street lines. More captivating though is a picture of my car’s wheels, engine, and battery, with pretty flashing colors, with an indicator of what my current miles per gallon ratio is –usually hovering around 45-50! I feel like I’m driving a Delorean with all the “space age” features on the new Prius. The door lock is activated via proximity to the key, and you only need to press a button to put the car and park, and even turn it on. I feel like I could almost get excited about cars now. Then of course I can’t forget the magical luxuries of locking doors and cruise control. I don’t have to manually lock all four doors on this one, a plus, and cruise control as well as the general greatness of the car curbs my urge to uncontrollable speed. This is all so revolutionary. To quote Larry David: "This car is a ****ing work of art." Thank you Prius (and parents).
Friday, October 10
All the other absurd requests and situations come from Austin's begging community. First I think I need to point out a distinction. There are the homeless and then there are the cheap Austinites who are just too lazy to make something of themselves. The truly homeless are those that pick a location and ask for spare change. At times they appear genuinely insane. I passed one man on the steps of an old Baptist church one day, with what looked like little firecrackers duct taped to his hat, muttering to himself. As I passed, all I heard was "I had the father, then I had his dog, then I had his chicken fajita." I'm still a little disturbed by that one. In general I just dish out my change or ignore them.
The others are just punk teenagers who walk around asking for change for a beer, and upon my denial, never failing to lament, "but it's for a beer!" One even gave me a Greenpeace-esque pitch. He broke apart from his merry band of companions, walked directly up to me, and began: "Hello. I'm with an organization called HFA - Homeless for Alcohol. Could you spare some money for my friends and I to have a drink?" After I readily gave him the negative, he walked beside me for awhile, talking about how he had been rehearsing that in front of the mirror all morning. Then he proceeded to tell me that it was all a joke and they really needed it for food, and I think I believed him, if only for the alcohol already on his breath.
I'm thinking that I'll take to the streets this weekend. I've thought up what I think is a clever enough line: "With a world so full of change, why not spare yourself some?" I'm sure the intellectuals would be hurling their nickels and dimes at me.
I also don't want to waste my attention on the people who are out there because of a class or club requirement, namely the environmentalists. I've only listened to two pitches to help Greenpeace. One was with a girl who I made way too much eye contact with too avoid. Oh how naiive I was, to be drawn in! She seemed one who has passion without knowledge. I listened, but was not at all compelled. The second time there came the greatest pitch I've ever heard and that I ever will hear. My strategy of sticking close by a group failed, and an energetic young man with Andrew Roberts-hair and a clipboard walked up to me and posed an unexpected question. "Do you like Gene Hackman?" I didn't slow down in hopes of slipping by him and answered, untruthfully, "Not particularly." With my love of movies though, I couldn't let that statement stand alone. I mean he's a talented and famous actor. When you consider it, he was a perfect choice -not too famous and beloved, and not too amateur or disliked. A Johnny Depp might evoke a "Doesn't everyone?" response, while an Ashton Kutcher will likely yield a flat-out "No." Still without slowing, I walked past him, conceding "I liked him in The Royal Tenenbaums." Just as he reached the edge of my peripheral vision, I noticed that he began to walk alongside me. "Really? I haven't seen that one. What about The French Connection?" He had me. Not only was I recalling Runaway Jury and Gene's cute little role in Young Frankenstein, I was in his grasp.
I figured I might as well enjoy it, so we talked about Mr. Hackman's career for a short while, and then he gave me all he had on the destruction of the Canadian rainforests. It was the same pitch I had received earlier in the week, but with a lot more knowledge behind it. On top of that, there was talk of giving me what I am quite sure was a literal sword and shield if I signed up to donate $20 a month. I had no intention of giving in though, and would have told him so had his pitch not been so continuously flowing. I felt bad telling him, I'd already heard the pitch, like I was destroying a fledgling friendship (and the opportunity to own my own weaponry).
All these questions remind me of my family's trip to Jamaica. If you venture outdoors, you cannot escape a swarm of inquisition: "Do you need a taxi?" or "Would you like braids?"
As much as they often irritate me or give me discomfort, some of these advertisers catch my attention and serve a useful purpose. Last week through Monday, voter registration desks were set up all around campus, as well as one student whose job pertained of yelling "Register to vote!" in the main UT courtyard, and high-fiving people if they claimed to be registered already. That seems like it'd be a fun job. Then there are of course the Bible-bringers.
If nothing else, I'm glad to see people passionate enough to take time out of their "busy" lives to spend some time in something larger than themselves, and it doesn't hurt that they add some excitement and randomness to my days.
Thursday, October 9
1. I hardly communicate with family and friends back in Houston anymore and every person seems to think that I'm either horribly depressed or that all is sunshine and rainbows. The logical solution is to keep in contact to dispel all the over-positive and over-negative thoughts -talking to everyone, but for a not-so-talented socialite like myself, a blog is preferable.
2. I've got my own opinions and feelings about "the issues" too (as well as some about movies, music, books, whistling, Smoothie King flavors, religion, relationships, and just the most random nonsense). It's a good way to let others into my head and for me to organize my thoughts as well. It's an online journal after all. Besides, I'll never write anything otherwise. I need to get into the habit of writing regularly again, even if it's just to express my feelings about a movie or show I've just seen, or a song I've just heard.
3. Boredom seems to have a way of finding me here at times and it seems like a decent way to keep myself and my brain occupied. If I don't do this, I only resort to late night sudokus, solitaire, and crossword puzzles, which, at best, improve my skill in meaningless activities and my vocabulary.
Everyone else seems to have one of these beasts anyway. I'm new to the blogging world (though I technically made mine a month ago) and I doubt I'll write at all regularly -likely often, but in no way consistently. I'm anticipating some ultra-multiblogging days as well as some long blogless months.
For now, a lot of my posts will be reactions to Scripture. I'm taking a course called Scriptures of the World as Literature, and we're reading most of the Bible in a few months (I believe we''re moving on to the New Testament next week). In all honesty, it's the first time I've set out to read all that I believe to be God-inspired. Don't get me wrong, I have read most, but there are books that I've only read a few chapters of, or just skimmed through once years ago. I'd like the thoughts of others to help me to make sense of it all. Sporadically, I'll throw in what I've done over the weekend and thoughts on other points of interest. We'll see how this works out.
I knew this day would come someday. I've been coming to you on a hard road, blog, and I'm not letting you go.