Thursday, March 29, 2012

What a Release

 It was raining outside. In the bus it was a bit drafty and cold. I had to pee. I really had to pee. It was as if I was the hoover dam holding back the Niagara falls of pisses. The aircraft carriers of pisses. The fire hydrants of having to pee. I held myself together with all the desperation of a wannabe zen monk.

   On we drove, through the torrential downpour with rolling hills and mountains surrounding the road.  The hills were covered in a mixture of car dealerships, grazing cows and a few horses.  It was a beautiful morning, but nevertheless I still had to pee. Like a voice calling without end, the need was still there.

  Finally after what seemed like eons, we arrived at the gate to the Rose plantation.  I was torn between waiting patiently and flying out the doors in search of a place to relieve myself. I waited. And waited. At last the call came that we could get off the bus and there would be a bathroom in the main office. I steeled myself from sprinting, doing my best to stay nonchalant. The bathroom was dark and small, but oh! What a relief! What a release!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Lightning, Massachusetts

  The lightning splattered as it struck the ground, shedding beautiful, deadly, fractal patterns onto the concrete. For half a black the pavement looked like an enormous snow flake traced by a giant. Super imposed electrically, burnt magically. The storm's scar left the whole town feeling special, as if they had seen rain falling in a way no one else had before.  Perhaps they had. From that day the people were just a little different. A little prouder. They changed their town's name from "Olde Town" to "Lightning", that is Lightning, Massachusetts. A place that had been around since the state had been a colony, but now reborn with a new name; brand new.

   With a new name the people themselves decided they would become more exciting as well.  No more being satisfied with the quiet life; each person made an unspoken resolution to become ever so slightly more. Racel Newberry started wearing a thunderbolt pin in her hair. Mark Finnegan at the age of 62 took up wake-boarding. He knew nothing about it, but it sounded exciting and found he enjoyed it immensely.  Lisa Brucket, who had become increasingly agoraphobic since her 20th birthday, was coming out more and found she liked flying kites, especially yellow ones. Richard Zacharias took to running each morning. He was up to 8 kilometers, he hoped to be ready for the marathon in October. The list went on, people adding something to their lives no matter how big or small.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Slipped Under the Radar

  As an ardent fan of the band Islands, I was a bit mad at myself to find that I had let any news of their latest album completely slip under my radar. It is understandable in that its been a very busy winter, but still..Anyway I finally accidentally heard a few of their new songs the other day, and I liked them. The newest effort from Islands has a slight return to form, with darkly poppy songs that have jangly undertones. A Sleep & A Forgetting is the name of the new album and was released February 14th, 2012. Here's a slightly more low-key single from the new album:

This is Not a Song

Monday, March 12, 2012

Parking Lots

  He was hot-boxing in his '86 Corolla in the dollar store parking lot. The snow was coming down softly and I think you were crying, but I don't remember seeing any tears. When he got out of the car I remember how you walked over to him, stared into his blood-red eyes and slapped him straight across the face. I think you did it because he was high as hell and you knew he wouldn't really feel it and you need to take out your feelings on someone. And you also knew he wasn't really the person you wanted to hit, which made you feel bad and made you kiss him. I don't think I've ever seen a stoner so dazed and so completely surprised at the same time.

  This whole bit gave me a good laugh. You see, I was working the checkout at the store that night. I knew you both had forgotten or you would have come in to say "Hi" at least. Which was fine. I think we were each dealing with things in our own way and I couldn't really take interacting with anyone I knew that night; I knew I just couldn't.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Surviving College Part 4: Leaving and the Library

My college career seems to be quickly coming to a close: I am in the finals week of winter quarter of my senior year. After this I just have a quarter to spend in Ecuador which will start in about a week's time. I am excited about that, my thoughts and adventures will be found at Letters of Adventure, though I will probably write about it here as well.  But back to college as a whole, I started a series of posts last year entitled "Surviving College" as a sort of beginner's guide to the college experience and at times life itself. I did not end up going as far with it as I meant to, but I intend to continue it here and in subsequent posts.

   Since freshman year I have used the library quite frequently. I've always felt that I can concentrate on the work that I need to accomplish better there than in my room/home/etc. I like the combined environment of solidarity of people trying to get things done and others procrastinating from work. I like the upper floors which encase "the stacks" or our entire catalog of books whether they be fiction, non-fiction, reference or other. Its like a labyrinth up there at times which you can walk about breathing in the scent of dusty novels. Though I digress, my purpose of this post is to encapsulate how I feel about the existence of the library in college. Do not be afraid of the library, do not fear the silence that permeates each floor equally. If you truly cannot stand the silence, bring headphones, that's what I do. The library is a home away from home, it has resources at your immediate disposal that you do not have when you're at home. The library is a meeting place for group projects and study sessions.  You can efficiently print large amounts of pages, or fax documents or open pdf's you could not open on your own laptop. It truly is a magical place.

And yet, some people abhor the library. Which is fine, to each their own. But at the same time I think it works as a great change of pace from your usual place of study.

Theophilus London
Humdrum Town

Friday, March 9, 2012

Do you remember?

  Do you remember that night in July two summers ago? The one where we sat atop of the pavilion in the park? The day had been way too hot to venture outside, at 105 degrees, there was nothing to do but melt. So when the sun went down we all tentatively crept out of our houses, weary of being scorched by the angry sun. We were ecstatic to discover that without the sun it had dropped to a much more pleasant 70.

   On bikes we rode to the old quarry. Stripping off layers we jumped into the cool, cleansing water. We played like young otters, sinuously swimming and splashing full of energy. I think Tina even learned to swim that evening because every other time before she would only sit on the edge saying how no one had ever taught her.  But that evening she swam as if she had been born in water.

 After drying off and stopping to get pizza from O'Zetti's we parked our bikes in the moonlit park. Do you remember how the tree tops seemed to practically glow from the starlight? It was breathtaking. And then Mark had the idea we should play hide-n-go-seek like we used to: Linda was it first and she started loudly counting, "One! Two! Three!..." we all darted off, running as fast as we could, shouting with exhilaration.

  As we ran you motioned me to follow you, and so I did. You took me to the pavilion that those bands would play from on Friday nights. "Up there!", You whispered, "No one ever looks up." We monkey-climbed up on top of the roof and laid down.  Concealed atop the pavilion we admired the bright speckles of constellations in the sky. That was one of my favourite nights, and they never did find us: we had to come down after an hour and a half.  No one ever does look up.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Salty Air

  I let my sweat drip down, torrents of droplets splashing down on the ground. The air tasted so, so salty. It was like being near the ocean, but without the birds circling overhead, nor the waves crashing into the shore. My muscles were sore from running. My tongue was swelling from panting in the heat. I musta been slowly getting dehydration, my vision was going a little fuzzed at the edges, like a drunk-man's impressionist painting of the world. The glaring sun wasn't helping none either.

   I started thinking back to those nights at sea. That everlasting blueness that just sank into your soul with each day. Back when it took so many weeks before Morgan finally got her sea-legs. Until she did find her legs, I'd find her either on the starboard deck, green in the face leaning on the railing, or below-decks clutching a book for dear life. At that point, I always wondered why she signed on in the first place, it seemed like she was just making herself miserable and she was getting in the way at times. Once she learned to walk at sea, well, it was as if she'd been born at sea, born a sailor.  She'd be up in the crow's nest, checking the map against our surroundings. Nimbly she would climb down the ropes back to deck, swifter than any galley-rat on the seven seas.

   Man, I miss Morgan...I miss her and I miss the sea, I'm so sick of this never ending desert! Maybe I've only been running in circles, that cactus looks like one I saw earlier. I always thought mirages were just jokes, men seeing things that weren't there in the baking sun, but that looks a hell of a lot like my old ship rising through the haze in the horizon. What a cruel trick for my brain to play, especially as I run out of energy next to be that very same cactus...ahh, no this one has two arms, not three, my mistake.....

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Cryptic Sentiments

Sometimes talking to you
feels more like pulling teeth,
and there's never any Novocaine.
Every question I throw
is only met by one or two
in reply
None of your cryptic sentiments
are ever explained
One Hundred Questioning Spades,
To dig meaning from your lips

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Shins

  The Shins are coming out with a new album called Port of Morrow this year. A few weeks ago the new single entitled "Simple Song" from the album was released.  I listened to the single on repeat for awhile, both entralled with the new energy that the band exhibited and intrigued by the direction they were taking now. It was a slight departure from past material, more bombastic, definitely less low-key.  This change in form makes sense to an extent since The Shins changed almost the entirety of their lineup since their last album, Wincing the Night Away, with the exception of front-man, James Mercer. I was on the fence whether or not I liked the new sound: yes, it is an infectious song that is clearly catchy with the old melancholy of past albums toned down considerably, but was that acceptable within the realm of the same band? I couldn't decide. I was leaning towards yes, if the song is enjoyable then it is enjoyable.

   My intuition was reinforced upon seeing the music video for their single. The video is fantastic, in my opinion. It is comedic, nostalgic, shows great editing, and looks pretty good. The combination of the video and song together erased past doubts in my mind over whether I liked Simple Song, I do. I hope you too will enjoy.

The Shins
Simple Song

oh and happy March!