Friday, February 27, 2009

Broadripple is Burning

7 years ago to the day, I awoke at 4 AM in a blanket sweat. A sensation of panic and uncertainty had taken control of my body and I was clueless as to how to ascribe this sensation and the accompanying emotion to any one set of events in my life. I had hardly slept all night and the overwhelming restlessness exhausted my body but kept my heart racing. Minutes later my mother came into my room in fragile state, holding whatever composure she could ascertain to pass on a simple yet devastating message. I knew something was wrong as soon as she made eye contact.

My grandfather, my idol and my hero, had died earlier in the night.

I will always remember the uneasiness that sat in the pit of my stomach from the moment she spoke those words. It is one of those episodes that we all have in life that forever change the complexion of what we are as human. Births, deaths, and other momentous occasions often have this impact on personality and our growth as people. Greater still, was the fact that this is the type of impact my grandfather had on me not only in death, but also throughout the brief 14 year period in which our lives overlapped.

I suppose the general ideals I gleaned from him are basic: honor is in effort; careers are made for self-fulfillment, callings are made for selfless-contribution; holding back in anything is either poor planning or preparation for failure, a will is single most powerful tool of man… I have a number of these that could easily be structured into a life plan for success. But that was the man that he was. I had never known him to fail in anything or to falter in the strength of his determination. He was a man that stayed up for consecutive days without aid or caffeine simply to prove that he could. He was also the same man that peacefully protested an oppressive British government and was imprisoned as a result of his conviction. That was just who he was, the personification of will.

He died in his sleep that night due to complications with his heart health and a continuing struggle with diabetes. It’s almost like he waited to pass on that night. The curious fact that I’ve failed to mention to this point is that the anniversary of his death is also my grandmother’s birthday. Maybe it’s just the romantic in me, but I believe he waited until my grandmother could say she spent another full year of her life with the man she loved. And so after the stroke of midnight, he let his body relax.

He gave up his constant resistance and loosened his will to push back against his infirmity. And perhaps for the first time in all the years I had known him, he let the strength of his conviction waver and so he slipped into the darkness while everyone slept. Of course that’s just speculation. Maybe that is how it happened. I prefer to think he accomplished his goal of surviving that one last day and there was almost nothing left for him to accomplish. I know that if he had willed anything else, he would have found a way for it to happen.

In actuality, I suppose some spirited form of him still resolves to carry out goals through manifesting himself in my actions. A ghostly variety of his conscience or what is virtually an overwhelming essence of my ethics already infects my decisions on a regular basis. And I can honestly say I’m ever-so-proud of that. I hope that when I pass, those I leave behind can hold me close in the same way.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Double Murder Ballad Suicide


when oceans roll between us
a memory will be made
distance will shatter
youll look to the west
ill look east
time will dissolve
and for one perfect moment
will be more than captivating

Saturday, February 21, 2009

One Slowdance

I pulled this from some old notebooks I was going through and wanted to put it up somewhere again. By the way, I desperately miss Rufio. They had such an amazing sound. *Tears*


She keeps a clothesline around her neck
In what she will claim is just an attempt
At keeping you honest, at keeping you at bay
But the look in her eyes might say love, but it spells contempt

She's the kind of girl that will ruin you life
Half way down the block before she thinks twice
One look, turn the corner to see you sweat
If ever you thought different, it was never tonight

Give a 99.9 or less than your share
Anything less than one-oh-one means nothing at all
Can't live with, but won't let live without
Remember, I warned you, she said "remember I cared"

This isn't addiction, it's a sign of despair
Relinquish control? What control was ever there?
It's her pacification and claims to try and help
The self-satiation seeps from her skin

She'll state it quite clear, quiet though it may seem
She's lining the docket with all of these things
Coordinating her purpose and your ill advice
With out a word or whimper, she'll slip into the night

You'll wake up one day, with it all laid out plain
She's taken your will and you'll never be the same
With her, it's give all you have, there is us and not you
Until the day that you wake and you realize it's through

Friday, February 20, 2009


It's the way that you blush when you're nervous.
It's your ability to make me earn this.
I know that you're tired, just let me sing you to sleep.

It's about how you laugh out of pity,
'Cause lets be honest I'm not really that funny.
I know that you're shot, just let me sing you to sleep.

If you need anything, just the say the word.

I mean anything.

Rest assured, if you start to doze, then I'll tuck you in,

Plant my lips where your necklaces close.

I don't know exactly what it is about this song, but the raw emotion and energy it possesses cut through me like a knife composed purely of former loves and buried heartbreaks. Reading the lyrics alone is enough to bring my thoughts to a stand still and my heart rate to an idle. Perhaps it just strikes a certain nerve that normally lays dormant, layered beneath sheets of defenses constructed solely to prevent this sort of visceral and openly deep reaction. Yet this softly sung and simply crafted tune burrows beneath all that to affect me and illicit the most natural of reactions. If I actually focus on each verse and the powerful blend of pain and love in Nick Thomas' voice, I shed a tear and need a minute to regroup.

It's those pills that you don't need to take,

medicating perfection, now that's a mistake.

I know that you're spent, just let me sing you to sleep.

It's your finger and how I'm wrapped around it.

It's your grace and how it keeps me grounded.

I know that you're weak, just let me sing you to sleep.

If you need anything, just the say the word.

I mean anything.

Rest assured, if you start to doze, then I'll tuck you in,

Plant my lips where your necklaces close.

I know I'm flawed, almost literally to a fatal extent, in falling for girls that are flawed in their own right. My mother and my best girl friends all point to my nurturing nature as some sort of backwards reasoning for this. More often than not, the girl who has issues that she is working through is more attractive than the average plain Jane. It's not that I find girls that have it together boring, it's more that girls who are working through something seem more real. Unfortunately or fortunately enough this also gives way to an interesting common ground between us.

This song seems particularly poignant in reference to two of my past relationships. The latter was with a girl who consistently self-medicated in hopes of dealing with her limitless stress and anxiety. In fact, we both did, but months after I had gotten in control and clean (thanks to an enormous amount of support from her), she would still fall into stretches of chaotic mess. This song speaks to those long nights sitting beside her and wiping her brow as she sweat endlessly and came down from her highs. As much as that ended as a relationship of convenience, whenever I hear this song I think of writing her an e-mail and seeing how med-school is treating her. I can't believe that same girl, the one with disdain for the world and her heart full of hurt, is going to be such a noble and astute contributor to society within months... but I digress.

While you were sleeping I figured out everything,
I was constructed for you, and you were molded for me.
Now I feel your name, coursing through my veins.
You shine so bright it's insane, you put the sun to shame.

It's this last verse that fuels the fire that still burns for an old flame (read: will it ever go out?). The sweetness of its composition and the passion in Thomas' voice as he strains over each vowel and consonant brings only thoughts of her to my mind. Granted her troubles sprouted after our relationship ended and most probably, in part, due to the strain that our relationship, or more specifically I , put on her mental state. But I can't help but feel a unpronounceable connection to these lyrics and the melody draws me back to a more unstable time when I knew exactly what she was going through but was forced apart from her.

Despite miles and years, I will always hold an unusual bond to her. I can speak truly and purely and say she has been my one true love, at least thus far. Her face and name course through my every breath and every pulse of my heart despite how suppressed I keep them. In some sense it is because she is me, I am her. We were young and foolish but together we shaped out the depths of each others personalities. She cut me into the mold of better man with her love and forced me in that mold with our parting. When I meet the girl I want to make my wife, even she will know that this first love has carved me into what I am today.

Through many nights I lie awake thinking of what she might have been doing. Most night I know she is ultimately happy. Other nights I tremble knowing that she is going through some pain. Occasionally she will call me on such nights, and while it hurts to know she is down, it feels good to know she is not out. It's on these nights that this song plays through on silently through my head.

We've gotten quite distant in the past three years. In fact I wonder if I'd recognize how much she's grown since. I know I'd still love her. I still love the core of what makes her who she is. Despite it all, rightly or wrongly, I know that to this day I know that if ever comes a time that she needs me, I would do anything for her. I mean anything.

Pictures of Success

Simply because I'm tripped out on decongestants and clonazapam tonight, here is a list of words that i find endlessly amusing for one reason or another:
  • adjudicate
  • ambivalently
  • superciliousness
  • congruency
  • proselytizer
  • turgidity
  • emulsification
  • maladroitness
  • torridness
  • turophile
  • zymurgy
  • hirsute
  • pogonotrophy
There are probably a couple dozen more, but now I'm sleepy...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Kings & Queens

falling into you again

these feelings are repetitious.
ive known them before, ill soon know them again.
factory produced and mass manufactured.
a feeling of satisfaction and overwhelming resentment.
i can't control this outpouring of utter devotion.
i love you and i hate you all the same.
you do this to me, only you can do this to me.
im stronger than this, im so feeble it scares me.
brittle and broken. trust me, i cant trust a thing.
open me up with a butter knife, see what inhuman looks like.
stolen pieces of broken hearts and sharp objects i dare not touch.
cauterized with a hot iron and closed up with tape.
hold me together with pins and needles for one more day.
hold me together for one more day.
hold me together.
hold me.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Skin Of My Yellow Country Teeth

After nearly a month of planning it out, the boys and I are hitting Atlantic City this weekend. We plan on getting on the road right after work today and to put it plainly, I couldn't be more 'cised'.

It's not so much of the actual events that will unfold upon getting to AC, but more of the feeling of adventure and road tripping that has me so excited. Given the very nature of these experiences, I love road trips. I actually feel deprived that I haven't been on one in nearly 6 months. At one point in my life 6 weeks was the longest span I could go without feeling the urge to feast on the raw emotional surge that accompanies such treks.

There is a hardly a feeling that compares to that which presents itself when first embarking on a road trip. It is a equal parts concoction of all things magical in life. A fusion of known and unknown which may serve as a reflection and microcosm of life itself. It is the journey itself, regardless of the fruits it may bear at its conceivable endpoint, that holds the most value. While the results may be far below or above expectations, the thrill of reaching the destination and the curiosity of what may lie ahead is what holds the most value in a road trip. That simple truth is not unlike the reality of life in general.

Enjoy the ride.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Are We Human or Are We Dancer?

As the title of this entry may suggest, the latest hit single by The Killers is currently playing its chorus on repeat in my head. Granted the construction and style of the lyrics is incorrect at worst and unusual at best, but I think that's what makes them so damn catchy!

Most people take these words at face value and refuse to think twice. But you already knew I wasn't about to do that. The inspiration behind these words is a great Hunter S. Thompson quote: "America is raising a generation of dancers."

Thompson, better known as the author of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and the king of self-titled "Gonzo" journalism, hated modern American youth and the trend of raising free-spirited, pansy, nonconformist, undisciplined children. He summed it up in his word choice of 'dancers', which I'll admit sounds much nicer than it is.

As part of the generation Thompson is referring to I take some personal offense to this categorical assignment. While I feel like I can openly relate to some of those descriptive assignments, I also believe that this is only an ingredient to the concoction of freedom that is infused in modern youth. As the members of the first generation without direct link to a world war, the first beneficiaries of a green revolution, the first techno-educated and implemented societal group, the first widely-open minded generation in regards to sexual orientation, the first work force in which a college degree is mandated for even the most menial of jobs, the first observers of both a unparalleled economic growth and a dizzying fall from that potential, and a plethora of other firsts we have had make us unrivaled in the opportunity for growth that we've had.

Maybe Thompson was right and we are a generation of dancers, but what irritates me is Brandon Flowers semi-assertion that we are either dancers or human. Assuming his definition of human is, at least, loosely associated with free-will this correlation makes sense. However this also assumes the monotony and conformation of dance, which is not what I believe was implied by Thompson's conatation. I suppose this is all a moot point since Thompson commited suicide in 2005 and Flowers refuses to describe his exact intention. Still it makes an interesting point of conversation and thought.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Woke Up with Rain on My Head

Yesterday, President Obama issued that all executive salaries for corporations aided by the US Government bailout packages be limited to $500,000. Aside from the see through bullshit of the value of this limit and how little it will effect stock options, benefits, under the table compensations, and side-bar bonuses, this action seems to have struck up an interesting launching point for discussion in the office. In particular a concept which started out as a idealist theory of earning what you get in life was abundantly brought up. It's a word that is commonly associated with our new President, and justifiably so. If only it hadn't taken on such an ugly meaning.


There I said it. The neo-liberal agenda has turned socialism into such a dirty word(much like what it has done to liberal as a word, search for a great John Stossel article on this subject). What Marx once believed as the fruition of meritocracy has turned into a complete sham of egalitarianism. Granted: that guy also saw economic socialism as a transitory period to communism (how'd that work out?), the initial basis of his brain child is pure and true.

Socialism has turned from depleting exploitation in the world to actually means of enforcing it. For example, self-labeled socialists I have spoken with insist that this "salary-cap" should be employed universally. One specific example was made of star athletes. Player X makes 35 million dollars a year. The advocate of socialism in this case insisted that over his 12-15 year career in professional sports and his added compensation from endorsements and post-career work would lead him to make more money than one man could ever possibly need. They believe his direct salary should be limited to 500k just as the executives salaries are limited by Obama. While true in the simplest sense, that no man could spend all that money in one lifetime without being foolish and extremely spend-thrift (example Mike Vick), let's look a minute deeper...Player X is employed by the Z-town Juggernauts. As a franchise and a brand, the Juggernauts are worth 1.5 billion dollars. Player X, who aside from his on-field performance and value to the actual team, is a brand as well, who is owned by the franchise. Lets call it equivalent to the Pepsi Corporation selling Mountain Dew. While many people love all the Pepsi soft drink products, Mountain Dew, should it separate from the company, would still enjoy some level of success. Similarly, players like X have jerseys, team paraphernalia, and tickets to games all sold on the value of thier personal brand.

The difference lies in the income. The Pepsi company may roll 10% of its total earnings into the Mountain Dew division. The Juggernauts are giving the employee, that earns as much as 20% of the revenue, less than .03% of the total. If he was to only earn 500k, as my astute colleague suggested, he'd be earning less than one thousandth of a percent of that franchise's value. Give him just the percentages and even Karl Marx would call that exploitation of the worker.

The worker is the man that controls the means of production. Fair is fair even in socialism. You deserve to earn what you are worth. Sure, there are some absurdly rich people doing things that no one should get paid that much to do, but Neo-liberals shouldn't think for a minute that they have the right to tell a man what he is worth. And they definitely should not do it while touting the banner of socialism.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Make Out, Fall Out, Make Up

As work begins to slow and I find myself with small bursts of free time, I've decided I'd like to take more time to chronicle my thoughts. The only problem is that I'm living such a full life at the moment that I have little time to do this. This is especially the case since my preferred medium is old fashion ink and unlined paper. However, given the simplicity and convenience of this format, I suppose I'll try to at least outline a few points every so often. At least this way I can briefly point to ideas and concepts as vague as they might be and have a place to build on them in the future. Unfortunately, my beloved hard-bound hardly offers this. So let me start here, with the obvious:

I'm living such a full life right. It starts with the long hours at work because of the obscene work flow combined with the absence of 3 of the 8 office employees. By adding the obsessively lengthy work out routines routed in outlandish health goals I have set for myself and couple this already massive chunk of time with family and social obligations and I find myself lying awake at night simply to recharge my mental condition of neutrality instead of depravity and self-loathing.

I consistently find myself with a lack of time for everything I want to accomplish. One major section of my life that gets neglected due to the overbearing nature of the above is the lack of studying going on. Granted I have become more committed to prepping myself for LSATs and GREs in the last month or two than I was all of the year before that, I still find myself making excuses of why not to donate that hour of actual free time to the worthier cause. Worthier still would be if I could actually refine my life plan to some extent and figure out where, when, and for what I want to actually study. MPH? JD? MBA? MA? They all seem like viable and beneficial options. I just need the time to figure out what the hell I want to do.

I haven't had a lick of time to actual explore other things I want to do. I used to love being outdoors and wandering the woods. I supposed this is why and how I fell into geocaching. Not that I've even attempted that since my GPS got stolen. I also haven't had a chance to do any positive good aside from what I do at work. Helping out at Martha's Table has become zero as have all of the my other volunteer activities. In any case my volunteerism, adventurous spirit, and other personal pleasures have taken a back seat lately.

Given this lack of time, my romantic life is definitely suffering. This is the first time I haven't been in a relationship for over 8 months since her.Sometimes I feel like that's okay and convince myself that this is a period of self-growth and that a relationship would distract from my already lofty goals. Unfortunately that facade doesn't last long as even I know that I am so much better in a relationship. The continuous commentary of someone important in your life that you can relate to and share everything with only improves the reflective point you have on yourself. In a sense a relationship serves to provide clarity to all these goals you may have set for yourself. At least that's my take.

Perhaps a relationship would help me stop feel like I'm spinning my wheels. Regardless, one goal that helps me avoid that undermining perspective is my work outs. I can actually feel and see the results as they come and it motivates me to continue. This is clearly in stark contrast to the confused reality of my social, academic, and career oriented goals. The simplicity of working hard and getting results is refreshing and is often the factor which keeps me most sane. But I suppose in some sense, pushing myself at this level is accomplishing the same thing. Lord knows that if I go further and faster I risk hitting my lull and bottoming out into a deep cavernous depression that I've been avoiding so long. Alternatively, if I slow down I risk building up a manic energy that will probably manifest itself in ways I don't even want to imagine. Either way I run the chance of falling into a vicious cycle of no control. I'd rather be this way.

Sometimes life lets you take time slow down and smell the air and feel the sun on your skin. For me, it's more like an open highway: I have all the room and road to speed but I don't dare speed to fast for fear of being pulled over. At least I'm making good time.