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Archive for April, 2009

april

the sun today was hot but not oppressive.  paradise pond was cold, if not clear.  the grass is green and the sky is blue and all’s right with the world.

well, most’s right with the world.

it’s a week of surprise substitutions, some welcome and some not as welcome.  for two weeks now i’ve had unexpectedly great fridays, and this week i was fortunate enough to follow it up with an excellent saturday and sunday.  if only i were free to follow it up with an excellent monday.

damn finals.

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i sometimes wonder what becomes of the little pieces of paper that in context make up a life, that out of context reveal only a glimpse of an otherwise unknown person.

well, this is what becomes of some of them.

i am struck.

dryer ask out

thor

breakuphet maleresign

shotgunastral

wash the panmonsters

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sometimes i think i would be happier if my memory were not so good.

i wish that, when i looked at my clock this past monday, early morning after midnight, i hadn’t known where i was exactly a year earlier, and what i was saying, and with whom.  i wish that this weekend i weren’t going to be thinking about grass and stars and strawberries and pink underwear.  i wish that this morning i hadn’t been seized with the sudden memory of the way the nighttime lights on lake shore drive look through a fog of tears.

and so under the weight of a long memory, a chest cold, and an extensive to-do list, i am muddling through my week.

___

there are red roses on my desk, though, and they haven’t yet started dropping leaves all over everything.

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wet gray stones all over everywhere.  forgetfulness.  trees with water drops hanging on them like pregnant buds.  deadlines.  losses.  adulthood.  80-degree days in the five-day forecast.  fresh flowers.  empty white sky.  friends with summer sublets.  coughs you can’t shake.  manic-depression.  $4.81 tax refunds.

all these things, and a thousand others, and after a while you’re hanging on the tip of a big question mark, aren’t you?

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the weather is faking it, and i’m a little displeased.  it looks like tempting bikini weather.  the buds are coming up, there are wispy clouds softening the sunlight a little bit, and the grass is thick and soft.  yesterday i had a delightful peach smoothie.  it looks like the sort of day where i’d want to take that smoothie and spike it and top it with ice cream, and lie on that thick soft grass all afternoon.

but it’s too cold to actually lie outside with a book and a cold drink and bare arms and bare legs.  as one of my mother’s students once wrote, the right to bare arms is covered by the second amendment…  maybe i should call the ACLU, i might have a case here.  (this is topped only by the supposition that the fourth amendment, in its prohibition of quartering soldiers in civilian homes, was intended to put an end to this.)

on a lighter note, compare:

feist, one evening

joan osborne, i’ll be around (spinners cover)

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for years i have dwelled in darkness, seen only the shadows cast on the walls of the cave.  finally i have been awakened.

yes, that’s right.  i just downloaded audacity.

how did i ever survive without the ability to record multitrack harmony in the privacy of my own room?  without balance control, without auto-generated click tracks, without zoom?  it’s like word processing, or digital cameras.  all those things that make life just a little bit easier.  i love it.  i played with it for hours today.

but lately i’ve been thinking.

years and years ago, my sister and i used to make cassette tapes.  we’d start off singing, then lapse into joke telling, which invariably devolved into mutual insults (notably, “you’re so stupid you don’t even know what nine times nine is!” “yes i do, it’s 81!”) and fighting about who would get to hold the microphone.

clearly it wasn’t a perfect system.  but i wonder if now we haven’t gone too far.  i can delete my words with the stroke of a key (and have done, multiple times, in this sentence alone)– no messing with typewriter tape and backspace keys.  i can erase unflattering pictures of myself, and conceal blemishes.  i can tweak and change and re-record my voice until it sounds perfect.

in fact, if i wish, i can create an entirely mediated representation of myself.  and that is the person people will see, when they look at me.  the person people will think of, when they think of me.

i plan to continue playing with audacity, wearing makeup, and typing on computers.  but… it’s almost frightening how much reality we are delighted to forsake.

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stress, not power, = work/time.

  • where stress > power, work doesn’t get done.
  • where stress = power, work gets done.
  • where stress < power, work gets done… and so does a cup of tea, and a good book.

today i took steps to increase time, decrease stress, decrease the ratio of stress to power… and it feels glorious.

the lesson?

no one makes me do it but me.

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