Monday, January 26, 2009

Quote of the Day: The road to hell is paved with adverbs. -- Stephen King
Poem of the Day: Goodbye to the Poetry of Calcium by James Wright
Dark cypresses--
The world is uneasily happy;
It will all be forgotten.
--Theodore Storm

Mother of roots, you have not seeded
The tall ashes of loneliness
For me. Therefore,
Now I go.If I knew the name,
Your name, all trellises of vineyards and old fire
Would quicken to shake terribly my
Earth, mother of spiraling searches, terrible
Fable of calcium, girl. I crept this afternoon
In weeds once more,
Casual, daydreaming you might not strike
Me down. Mother of window sills and journeys,
Hallower of searching hands,
The sight of my blind man makes me want to weep.
Tiller of waves or whatever, woman or man,
Mother of roots or father of diamonds,
Look: I am nothing.
I do not even have ashes to rub into my eyes.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

"Breaking forcefully with Bush anti-terror policies, President Barack Obama ordered major changes Thursday that he said would halt the torture of suspects, close down the Guantanamo detention center, ban secret CIA prisons overseas and fight terrorism 'in a manner that is consistent with our values and our ideals.'"

I. Love. America.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I almost cried today. I was absolutely amazed by the ability of one man, whom I have never met, and never will meet, to inspire me. I worked out harder at the gym. I did an extra twenty minutes of work before going home. I'm going to bed at a decent hour. I want to do better, to be at my best, so that I can meet the challenges set forth by our president. I'd forgotten, after eight years of torpid intellectual languor and myopically self-serving cultural prejudice, what a leader looks like, and to be reminded gives me hope -- a word that has been bandied about for months, tossed around until it became a catch phrase more than an idea, but today it was redeemed and its power to inspire and heal restored. For the first time in years, I want to say, to pronounce, to declare with a voice stentorian that I am an American.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Quote of the Day: Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. -- MLK
Poem of the Day: Another Time by W.H. Auden
For us like any other fugitive,
Like the numberless flowers that cannot number
And all the beasts that need not remember,
It is today in which we live.

So many try to say Not Now,
So many have forgotten how
To say I Am, and would be
Lost, if they could, in history.

Bowing, for instance, with such old-world grace
To a proper flag in a proper place,
Muttering like ancients as they stump upstairs
Of Mine and His or Ours and Theirs.

Just as if time were what they used to will
When it was gifted with possession still,
Just as if they were wrong
In no more wishing to belong.

No wonder then so many die of grief,
So many are so lonely as they die;
No one has yet believed or liked a lie,
Another time has other lives to live.
How odd... People actually read (or at least have at some point read) this blog. That was unexpected. I can't possibly imagine why anyone would want to read this. Scanning old posts I always feel like I'm reading the ramblings of a malcontent teenager. I'm one whiny bastard. But if I've got that stuff floating around in my brain, best to unleash it on the spectacularly anonymous blogosphere and keep my public identity as a grown-ass man intact. If nothing else, it's an excuse to practice typing without being on a deadine.
I can't figure out why I sleep on my couch. I don't remember the last time I slept in my bed. Not that I pass out like the ne'er-do-well antihero in a cliche cop movie, mind you. I've moved my alarm clock (which is about to go to the great Kohl's in the sky and I can't wait because the thing was poorly designed in the first place and it was a gift from my ex-wife but on the other hand I don't want to have to buy another one) to the coffee table, along with the bulk of my bedtime reading (which consists of about seven books at any given time -- I like to have options). I make "the bed" every morning, and keep the room clean. I thought about sleeping in my bed a couple of times, but it just didn't seem right for some reason. Perhaps it's that by sleeping on the couch, I streamline my life just a bit, eliminating the bedroom, and I'm all about streamlining; perhaps it's that I bought the couch right after I moved into the apartment, because almost all the furniture in the house was my ex-wife's, and, dammit, it's mine; perhaps it's that the TV is in the living room and I can go to sleep watching DVD reruns of West Wing and Studio 60 and Californication; or perhaps it's that it saves time and money not having to wash the sheets, and I'm all about streamlining. Maybe when I move to Austin I should just take the couch and easy chair and rent out a room rather than taking up a whole one-bedroom or efficiency. That would be a terrific excuse to get rid of almost everything I own, which would be so fantastic that the mere thought gives me goosebumps. Not sure how the owners of the abode would take to the guitar(s), though.
My coworker keeps trying to find word games on Facebook at which she can best me and I keep carving her up like a Thanksgiving turkey. I'm starting to feel a little badly for how obnoxiously I beat her high scores. But it's AWESOME to be a bad-ass at something.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I am witty. I am educated. I am usually flippant. I am foul-mouthed, but would never, ever swear at someone because I'm upset with them. I am reticent but not shy. I am reserved but not insecure. I am introverted but not anti-social. I am, generally, quiet. I am a good listener. I can be passive agressive but I'm okay with that because it's less harmful than being physically aggressive. I like to get to the point. I am patient. I have learned to (almost always) defuse my temper. I love diversity and react to homogeneity with a degree of judgementalism that I find a little disturbing. I am attracted to brainy girls. I think glasses are sexy. I choose the path of least resistance as long as it leads to where I want to go. I have trouble following through, but I'm okay with that because when I'm on, look out. I love how introspective I am. I am uncomfortable with polish. I could never date someone who didn't like "The Princess Bride." Seriously. I don't say the pledge of allegiance. I detest Robert Browning. I want less. I hate being angry. I refuse to be an emotional crutch for my family. I will never get there, and thank God for that.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Lines written a few feet beside by loud-ass neighbors

Book recommendation of the Day: The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
Explains the four agreements you make with yourself to achieve fulfilment. Very empowering. Useful for tearing down old constructs and building new ones.

Well that holiday season sucked. I drank too much, wasted too much time, wrote, worked out, and read too little, frittered away most of my alloted sixteen days doing I don't know what, and did almost no work. Hence the three hours of work a night all this week to catch up. I hope I've learned my lesson, young man. No more stretches of unstructured time for me. Apparently I can't handle it. New Year's resolution: impose order in my life when none exists. I suppose sixteen days of depression is worth it if it means I learn never to go down that road again. I feel like I survived some sort of crucible, which is an invaluable experience, but only if you never repeat it.

The silver lining, it seems, is that I've knocked something loose, and for the first time I really feel like I'm grieving the loss of my marriage. I thought I had, but really, in retrospect, I was angry, or sad because I was lonely, or feeling like a failure, or impatient to move on, or frustrated. But now I feel grief. Good old-fashioned healthy grief. I feel like I'm just now realizing that I'm divorced, and that that means that I have a new life. I feel like I've come from a funeral, like I'm honoring a loss, honoring all that was good about what was, respecting the cyclicality of life, and accepting that all that comes must go, and go where I cannot. Like I'm no longer tethered to my marriage. Which works out nicely, because my ex-wife is finally taking over the mortgage and the house officially. All that's left now is to strike out for greener pastures, and find the new me.

Or maybe I'm just not getting enough sleep and it's making me a bit loopy.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Okay, enough. Really. I'd like to go back to being married and having money and having friends now please. I'm not sure I deserve this. Does resolving to move to Austin count as showing enough sack to get some kind of karmic payoff? Because apparently fighting the proverbial good fight teaching public school doesn't cut it. All I wanted was to drink beer and smoke cigarettes in a bar with a couple of friends surrounded by other people who have nothing better to do than go to a bar on New Year's Eve. But, alas, I ask too much. So here I sit, alone on my first New Year's Eve alone, which is painfully poetic. I'm out of words, which is monumental for me. I have nothing to say.