Saturday, January 1, 2011
-People who give me bitchy looks when I pass them on my bike. Okay really? I know what I'm doing. I'm sorry if the only/coolest option I had was to swerve between you and that girl with the messy bun and the ratty OU hoodie, but deal with it. I'm not going to hit you. On accident.
-People who pass me on the highway. What? I'm sorry WHAT? Don't you DARE look at me like I'm driving like an asshole when in fact you are the asshole. You are, sir or madam. I'm going to pass you spitefully now.
-People who post before 7 o’clock on Classic Brian. You know who you are.
-The Game in which like the point is to not think about the Game. Shut up shut up shut up shut upppppp.
-People who shoot down jokes. Seriously? Just go with it. You're ruining it for the rest of us.
-Alarms. Constantly tricking me. Changing the AM to PM or whatever, making me look like an idiot. Okay awesome, I've napped for 5 hours on accident, missing several important meetings slash classes. And to top it all god damned off, you will go off 12 hours from when I intended you after I've sortof gotten over your betrayal, pissing me off ONCE AGAIN.
-The plastic fortresses headphones and shit like that comes in. Sometimes shit remains unopened for days, because while yes, of course I want this product, obviously I want this, I paid money for it, I just don’t want them that bad. Here it remains on my dining room table, pissing me off every time I walk by.
-Waking up and being covered in blood and piss. Thought process. "What is this...? Ohfuck what is thiiiiis??"
-People who pass by me really quickly and really close to me on their bike.
-Having to see people eating at restaurants alone. I'm sad now because I have to watch you eat alone. HAPPY? ARE YOU HAPPY NOW THAT I'M NO LONGER HAPPY? No. You're eating alone, of course you're not. Do that in private.
-Haters. We should stop blindly accepted that they're gonna hate. We should fix the problem.
-People who blindly make Texas jokes (ALL OF MY FAMILY). Wait seriously read this sincerely. Okay listen. I feel some unnatural dislike of Texas because I've been raised this way. I feel like a lot of people have this same hatred beat into them. It's just another state, everyone. I live right next to it now, and a bunch of my friends are from it, and it's just another state. Let's talk. I've met some people being like "I never want to live anywhere but Texas! It's the best State ever all other states suck" and yeah sure that's really dumb, but fools are fools. Let's forgive Texas their fools. I don't want to be held accountable for Illinois' fools. Seriously. Let's cut that out. I know you're not all that serious, but I know on some level you think that.
-My dependence on energy drinks, and how obvious it is that it’s just like, a placebo effect, right? Right? I need a monster.-ATTENDANCE POLICIES
Thursday, December 30, 2010
In high school, I had the same teacher for Spanish III Junior Year and Spanish IV Senior Year, much to my then chagrin. I was all about having as many teachers as possible in high school in order to get that fully well-rounded experience. I wanted to meet new knowledgeable adults and not have the same ones several years in a row, like I did in grade school. In Spanish III, I was not exactly met with much strife as Spanish came somewhat naturally for me in school, but I struggled to stay awake and remain enthused in class, which I had first hour at 8:00 a.m. Mostly I went through the basic daily motions- answering monotonous questions, passing frequent vocab quizzes, etc. I did not particularly enjoy my teacher because she was pretty hard on us, stressing retention of vocabulary, pronunciation and a general understanding of Spanish culture, while most of us just wanted to pass the class to get credit that could be applicable to college later on. I used to leave class every day with my head ringing with her much-uttered mantras: "You guys should know this" and "Es la verdad?"
Spanish III - 1st Hour. Awkward, devoid of color and bursting at the seams with future Spanish dropouts.
It wasn't until about the end of junior year that I began to find myself somewhat engaged in class, actively seeking to understand the language and its cultural impact. I even began to side with my teacher when students vied boisterously for easier tests, given less often. I found myself inexplicably drawn to the woman I previously discounted, whose eccentricities and passion grew on me. As a result, during Spanish IV the next year, as I began to grow out of my shell socially, I was able to enjoy learning Spanish, and, yeah, maybe take advantage of my teacher's fondness for me by having a bit of fun in class knowing I wouldn't really be punished. But it was all in good cheer, and my enthusiasm rubbed off on some other students in the class, resulting in a warmer, collective, more engaging class period. Even the lights seemed brighter and the room warmer in comparison to junior year.
Anyway, I learned to apply my zeal and spontaneity to my homework assignments, particularly the infrequently assigned and collectively dreaded essays. One essay, for instance, dictated that we write our own conclusion to a story we read in class, entitled Una Carta a Dios by Gregorio López y Fuentes. I decided to have some fun and stray from the commonly written endings where the main character gets his money and winds up happy with his family, or the main character loses his money or whatever. Instead I opted to write a Coen Brothers-style ending, dealing with issues and themes such as greed, ignorance, lust, betrayal, love, homosexuality, corruption, and murder, fully aware that most of the latter were neither written into the original story itself nor intended to be extracted from the text by readers. My ending will make no sense if you haven't read the short story itself (though it doesn't make very much sense even if you do read the story). I had Google do a quick translation of the story, originally written in Spanish, but Google, like every other online translator, is faulty to a degree, so there are a couple points where the grammar is kind of spotty, but you get the gist of it anyway:
-Una Carta a Dios (A Letter to God) por Gregorio López y Fuentes-
And here's my translated ending to the Spanish folk tale:
"The jefe became angry at Lencho's ignorance, so he and his employee [it's a man, by the way] went to Lencho's house in order to obtain his money. When Lencho saw the two from the post office approaching, he grabbed his gun and went outside, down the long road as it became dark.
-Give me the money! he shouted.
And suddenly, Lencho and the jefe fired their guns at each other. Lencho, with a bad wound, fell to the earth and died. Then the jefe looked at his employee to his left.
-Let's get the money.
But the employee didn't respond. He had a wound in his heart, as a result of Lencho's bullet.
-Employee!! shouted the jefe. But it was too late.
In his depression, the jefe picked up Lencho's gun.
-But for the grace of God, he said to the body of his employee, his lover, while he drew the gun to his temple.
A pair of yellow lizards on a peak near the hill of the house of Lencho, of the starving children, of the waiting old woman, scattered at the sound of the discharge of the gun."
(cut to black, cue credits playing over "Santa-Fe" or "Outlaw Blues" or "When I Paint My Masterpiece" or basically any loud song by Bob Dylan that would fit the mood)
BONUS: If you're Facebook friends with me you can watch me comically stumbling my way through a presentation on Cuban migration to America!!!1!
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
I have been way too busy this week to conceive an idea for a blog post.
Here's a list of other things that will leave your head spinning if you try too hard to truly conceive them.
As you may have picked up on by now, I am fascinated by death. The fact is, it's the source of a majority of human fear. Being scared for your life is never a fun experience and one that a person should only have to go through once (or twice, if you're a thrillseeker). In addition to the fact that it's the source of most fears, everybody experiences it. Everybody dies. I'm not being pessimistic or a Debby downer, it's just true. At some point, you get cut off from life, and you have to pass on. And it's the most hollowing thing to think about, slash the scariest, but it's also damn interesting. First off, what's it like not living? Do you have a conscience at that point or a soul? Part of why I like to think about this is because nobody knows. It's not being kept from anybody, it's just one of the most important things that we as alive people will never know. What happens to us when we die?
My personal theory? Irrelevant. Create your own.
Is big. Really big. Bigger than any thing that a human could hope to discover in their life ever. Looking at the stars is a really cheesy thing to do. But without a doubt it sure makes you feel useless. What lies in space? Everything that exists. I like to think that everything any human has ever thought of exists. Somewhere. Why not? Space is boundless? There's not room for 8 billion people on this planet, but there is room for everything 8 billion people could ever think of in space. The notion that human life only exists on planet earth is both ridiculous but ridiculously plausible. The fact that we get to be one of these human beings and watch cable television is absolutely astonishing if you think about all the times and lives and planets, galaxies that have passed by when we weren't (as far as we know) in existence. And all the life out there now, in the endless void of stars and shit that is space, that we have no clue about? And how often or not-so-often a survivable atmosphere and ecosystem comes along? That shit is stupid unfathomable.
Speaking of unfathomable things. There are so many things that are caused by chance. Figure out the odds on this bit and you will be staring at a 1 and a number so large, you'll need a full college-ruled 80 page spiral notebook to write it down. Ariel Smith-sized handwriting too. If I'm ever out of town and run into someone I know, my mind explodes. Every car accident that's ever happened could have been avoided if someone took an extra three seconds to do something. We're so heavily immersed in the world of chance that we take it for granted and become acclimated to the ridiculous unlikelihood of anything ever happening. But nonetheless, it's something that should be respected.
The ability to see and hear things. The ability to taste food and smell things and (shit what's the other one? Oh yeah...) feel textures. Amazing. There are animals who lack all five of humankind's vital senses. Imagine if you couldn't see colors. Imagine if you couldn't hear music. Imagine if you felt food in your mouth and didn't taste it. One thing I personally enjoy is when my hand goes numb or something like that. Then I just feel it with my other hand. What's my hand feel like? You don't know because you perceive it differently when you can feel it too. But for a brief thirty seconds, I can just touch my hand. And it will feel like it has to every person who has ever touched my hand throughout my 18 years of living. It's a rare experience, and one I relish.
Proof that life isn't a video game. Everything that is must make sense. If you were the first person on earth, it would just exist. You wouldn't know why. You wouldn't think to figure it out. Science impresses the shit out of me. Who the hell has time to figure out everything that is and then figure out a way to make it relevant to life or easy (..difficult) to understand? Of life's mysteries, this sort of encompasses all of them. How do things work? (Side note: I'm taking a class called “How Things Work” next semester, so I'll be able to answer all these questions in about five months.) How and why does everything happen? Flowers are pretty? Well we figured out every single fucking thing about flowers and now we know why they're pretty. Nifty, but to me it kinda ruins the wonder of it all. But to those people out there who fucking hate wondering about things and not knowing them, I salute you (and also find you slightly annoying), and this post is for you.
6-The Human Body
(This goes along with science I know, but eff that)
You have never once stopped moving. There is always things going on in you. Your body is a factory producing you. It's always running, no power outages, and will continue running until you number one. Blood has ran through your body for years, and spilled every so often. But it's weird to think about ourselves in the inside-out sense. Turns out we're more than water balloons made of skin. We're a ton of bones and, my God, brains. Brains are retarded. Synapses firing to give you thoughts, thousands of millions of thoughts a day, everything you do is verified in your brain. Everything you've ever done. Everything you'll ever do. Ahh. Also my heart has GOT to be tired. I mean, Jesus, it's been beating evenly for every waking and non-waking moment of my life. Sure it speeds and slows, but it hasn't gone three seconds without beating ever. Good work, heart! Keep it up, please?
The final one I'll bore (slash BLOW your FUCKING MIND) with today. But time has two main facets I want to get to. First off, it passes. Evenly, supposedly. It ages things. Everything. All things have been aged by none other than time. Time is always going, more so than your body. Time goes after your body gives up. Time can't ever stop, even if everything else on this list ceased to exist, time would pass. Second thing, what if we lived in the non-present? How the hell would you guys read my blog posts if this was 1858? Well you sure wouldn't be doing it if you were black, THAT'S for sure. (Hooray for figuring out civil rights!) I mean, what will life be like 40 years from now? What will video games be like? We better still have controllers, dammit. And, supposedly, we'll get there eventually. But we'll only make it so far. And after that, time will continue. Things will continue. There's a chance we won't get to know. There's a huge chance that we'll forget we were ever curious. However, undeniably, the future holds many things, including number one and PLENTY of number three. Whatever the future holds, whatever the past held, I don't know. But it all happened. It will all happen. Fate? Chance? Who knows. Fuck. Shit's heavy.
At some point you have to throw your hands up and give up trying to figure these things out. You won't succeed. You will come up short of knowing everything. It will be less than fulfilling. I wish we could know everything about these seven concepts, but we don't. We don't know what it's like being blind unless we are blind (or what if colors were different colors? When I saw red you saw blue and that was red to you? Holy crap.) We will never finish science. We can try, but uh, good luck. I will never know what it's like to be Osmosis Jones inside of the human body. We will never catch up to the ever-expanding Universe. We will never outsmart chance, and we will not know what death is like until we do it.
Damn. My brain hurts. Have a good day.
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Bio: Freshmen at University of Illinois with no current future plans. Skilled at piano, math and cutting people down. Good throwing arm.
Work Experience: Abercrombie Kids employee (EDIT- recently received a merit raise from 8.25 to 8.75 (EDIT- sells jeggings like its her job)).
Interests: walking, soccer balls, looking, seeing, candy, ghouls, boyz, hairz, bookz, antique scissors, jumping, landing, Miley, the movie Brink, weed, children, inhibitionz
Dislikes: packing things in boxes, college, music in cars (EDIT- annoying), talking, listening, hearing, dudes named Magnus, my childhood, your childhood (SEE- Dislikes: listening), ripe bananas, blogging, single moms
Application Requirements: None
Deal Breakers: blindness, excessive kindness, uppity, Catholic, good at flute, bad at gunz, Conor O'Brien, emotions
Contact Information: Classic Brian (EDIT- Tuesdays)
Monday, December 27, 2010
No one ever visited or left. There could be no travel, no contact with anyone; we were more than a week's walk from the nearest town. My parents had taught me from childhood that I couldn't safely leave; that I would have to stay and take over my father's farm as he aged. And that was fine with me. I was a timid child, vying for my parents' approval and I was born without a lust for adventure.
Everyone knew everyone, although the only other children my age were my best friend Kuuzon and a loud girl named Odessa, both of whom I saw very often due to the closeness of the families here.
From youth, the only real entertainment I had besides farm work was playing with Kuuzon, by which I mean wrestling and fighting with sticks. Kuuzon, although two years younger than me, was naturally better than me at everything we tried. Rarely would I win in any of our competitions; but it didn't matter to me. I was timid, and more than happy to leave the glory to him.
Odessa I never had a close relationship with. I had a crush on her starting in my early teens. Timid as I was, I never acted on it.
Oblivious to the world, I did what I did best: coexisted. Did farm work. Lost to Kuuzon in wrestling matches. I existed in this state for a very long time, but I gradually began to gain a sense of awareness of the people around me near the age of 18. Kuuzon was very clearly the dominant personality in our relationship; he was the leader, and I the follower. And it became clear to me over time that he was starting to get a little bored of me.
My father, too, I began to notice more acutely. And I could see for the first time in my life that he was disappointed. Not angry, upset, or sad, just shrouded in a dim cloud of disappointment that he had long ago resigned himself to. He had come to terms with the complacent and unimpressive nature of his son, and was no longer bothered by it.
None of this was terribly troubling to me until the day my father went to ask Kuuzon's father for a deal; Kuuzon would take over working on my father's farm, and I would help his family with their cows. I knew that I was weak. And I knew that this work would be better for me; that I would be better suited to tending livestock. But the impact of seeing my own father acknowledge my inadequacy changed something inside of me.
I went on a walk to think about things. I knew that I had no ambition, and that, physically, I was lacking for a farm hand. But I had always done my best to be compassionate and understanding. To be there for my family. And as I was thinking all of this, I ran into Odessa, who joined me on my walk. And she asked if anything was wrong.
I said no. It was a lie, and a terrible one. But my emotions couldn't overcome my nature, and I was shy. We walked the rest of our journey in silence. I escorted her home. I walked into my house and gathered some food and belongings. Nobody noticed.
And then I left.
I didn't leave in hope of finding anything. I left because I realized there was nothing left to find. It was more akin to suicide than anything else. I fully expected to fade away, out of sight and out of mind.
And I should have died out there. I told myself that every day. I very nearly starved, but I ate weeds and eventually reached a town. I sat in the streets and took what I could find in the garbage. I had never seen anything akin to a large town, but I was never impressed by the sight. My eyes were only half open. I was living, was always living, in the quiet disappointment of my home.
And then a miracle happened. I went from that town to another town. And another one. And I didn't die. And then I killed an animal that attacked me. And I killed some bad men who tried to take my belongings from me. And I got caught up in something so big that it out-scaled anything I could ever be, anyone I could ever know.
I saved the world. I won't bore you with the details, but I rose to the occasion with a strength I didn't and don't have. There was a crisis, there was a plot of such deadly menace that it would have ended everything. And I got caught up in it. I killed people. I fought and won. I saved the world.
And I still, in my head, was stuck in my home. It took an event of such scale as that to put the idea in my mind that I could actually go back. I had to become a hero before I had even considered confronting my shame.
So, the most important times of my life behind me, I headed back home.
As I walked back into town, the first person I ran into was Odessa. And even she had heard of my feats, here in the middle of nowhere. I was a hero. And inwardly, I basked in the knowledge that I would finally be loved. That maybe now she would see that I am, and had been a hero the whole time.
But she looked at me as if I were new and strange and foreign; as if she were frightened. I was a little perturbed by this, but not surprised. Of course she would be shocked. I was a hero now, I was changed. It would take a little while to sink in. I left her shocked to go home and visit my parents, looking forward to the moment when I would talk to her again.
I entered my parents' house. I walked in triumphantly as my mother and father were eating a meal. I grinned, expecting joy; I raised my arms and gave a loud greeting.
I again see shock written on their faces.
"We had thought you were dead," Dad says repeatedly.
And then, at that moment, Kuuzon walks in. My one and only friend. The one whom I had missed, whom I had looked forward to meeting again. I stretched out my arms, ready to embrace him. Taken aback, he remained motionless and stunned for a moment before returning the gesture. He really was trying to act happy to see me, I could tell.
I asked him to come outside and wrestle with me, for old times' sake; and he did. I pinned him down easily; I had come a long way.
I laughed childishly; this was probably the most joyful I had every been. I was back, and I was better than I had ever been. I had become what everyone had wanted me to be. Kuuzon laughed back, but it was nervous and forced.
He wasn't happy for me, he was only intimidated. I had left in anger, a meek but compassionate individual, devoid of amibition. I had been gone, dead, but remembered fondly. And now I had returned, changed. No one had wanted me to become a hero. They hadn't wanted anything of me.
I could see it in his eyes. I could see it in everyone's eyes.
They wish it wasn't me.