reading old journals

I’ve been reading through old posts, mostly looking for this one that I linked to in another old post, but since my permalinks have changed six ways from sunday (what a fun phrase, technically, it’s only been three ways since sunday), the link was/is broken. (I still haven’t found the post I was looking for.)

Point? Was there a point? The point is that my posts, even the longer ones, are totally unfocused and pointless. Maybe especially the longer ones.

This is not to say that I don’t say anything… (HA!) just that all my rants are about six different things at once. I’ve been trying to add categories to all the old posts I read (hey, why not?), and I’m finding myself checking boxes for at least two or three categories per post. And these are broad categories!

Anyway, what I meant to get to with this post is how reading my old posts feels a lot like reading excerpts from my journal. I guess I’m getting a bit nostalgic. I read this stuff and flashes of memory are jarred into the present. It’s not re-living moments, but it’s like reliving a very narrow slice of a moment. Like a phrase, or a glance, or an image… a tiny sliver of the whole memory suddenly jumps out at me, not supplanting the present, because the present is so much larger, but supplanting one tiny sliver of the present.

Is it worthwhile, this nostalgia? I guess it’s compelling, and that’s enough. For sure it’s as worthwhile as any other non-productive activity. And are non-productive activities worthwhile? That’s a different question, and one that’s bigger than this blog post. I think my inclination is to say no… but that doesn’t mean that I don’t take part in non-productive activities on a daily basis.

Hmmm… This begs the question: What is a non-productive activity? I basically mean anything that does not directly lead to the creation of something. So for me, common ones are playing video games, reading, watching TV. Hell, even eating counts, really. So I guess we’re forced to participate in some of these activities, and maybe the goal is just to maximize your productive to non-productive “time spent” ratio. I guess it depends on how you count work, but I’m guessing my ratio is very low right now. I’m sort of planning to raise the bar after x-mas/new years, when I’ll begin creating my new video game in earnest.

whales and elephants, oh my!

First of all, there is a vote going on right now over at to name a whale. What does it say about people who use the internet that the winning name right now (at 49%) is “Mister Splashy Pants”?

Secondly, our office’s South African Canadian is back from the outback, and he brought a bottle of Amarula with him. It’s tasty… possibly even tastier than Baily’s (although very similar), and makes me want to try out some Marula fruit. Anyway it’s put a pleasant buzz on the end of this first-workday-back-from-vacation.

Tonight I plan on spending my entire evening curled up with Florence on the couch, alternating between the new episode of Heros, Super Mario Galaxies, and possibly the second disk of the first season of Flight of the Conchords. I got the new Mario game this weekend, and am excited to play more… Florence and I rented the first disk of Flight of the Conchords last night, only realizing as we walked out the door that we’d have to return it today. (Overnight rental… wha!? I like nicollet village video, but I’m going to have to remember not to get new releases from there again.) We may well get the second disk, but we’d either be forced to watch it all tonight, or break down and go to Blockbuster instead.

thanksmas2007 redux

I am sleepy and sated, product of a good family gathering. This weekend has stretched into long-ish memories, globular gelatin-like happy oblong memories… of card games and movie watching, catching-up and conversation. Thanksgiving among mine is a time for family.

In contrast or contradiction, it seems that once again time has passed in an eyeblink and I feel some small amazement that tomorrow florence and I will already be driving back to minnesota. Where does life go once you have lived it?

I was thinking a bit today about my poor memory in the context of how bad I am about remembering jokes, and I would like to think that I’m a product of a rich and varied present. I cannot live outside the moment, because the moment is too powerful, too compelling.

Common Quotation

Florence turned me on to the band Common Rotation way back when we first met. They’re an awesome folk-type band. Anyway, she’s also on their mailing list, and read me this hillarious quote last night:

There is a saying that can be traced to the great French scientist Jean-Read Boisseriely. It goes vaguely like this: if a woman learns to levitate an object with her mind, it doesn’t really matter how high off the ground it goes–as long as she’ll sleep with you.

I spent a good five minutes searching for this particular quote (or any reference to Jean-Read Boisseriely), and I’m 90% sure it’s totally made up.

random thoughts on poetry, writing, and the internet

Wrote that last poem a couple of days ago on the bus… I wish I could say I was thinking about my own death at the time, but honestly it was totally random what came out of me at the time. I did follow it up in my notebook with “Read this at my funeral. Ha!”. Aside from “Where did this come from?” my thoughts after writing it were all things like “Am I going to think this is any good in a couple of days? (Answer: yes, but predictably not as good.) …and “This must be the first poem I’ve written start to finish in months.” That last feels weird because while I haven’t been writing, life has been racing past full-bore. (Full-bore is an interesting phrase to use here, since it, life, hasn’t been “a bore” at all in this time of fast-pacededness.)

Married life, and life in general lately, has been a whirlwind of pleasant chaos.

Anyway, this chaos hasn’t left me time to write. Or rather, I haven’t pushed life aside enough lately to make time for writing. But now, conversely, I’ve been thinking about writing more… which has led, in turn, (finally) to more writing.

Parts of the impetus for this post was the inspired discussion over at Is blogging per se a dying art? (via semifat sediment). I found myself wondering whether it’s useful to talk about “ages of the internet”, which is semantically (in my head anyway) identical to “trends of the internet as a function of time”… which then led me to ask myself whether a single lifetime can have “ages”, which, when my brain then translated to “trends of my life as a function of time”, I found the answer was clearly yes. I hope that makes sense, because I’m rapidly running out of time to elaborate.

One more aside… which I already twittered earlier, but since the tweet was aimed at an individual (not-quite-coincidentally Josh who runs Semifat Sediment) it didn’t show up here. (Better to post the exchange anyway:)

“joshleejosh: Finding more and more obscure crash conditions in my AI scripts. It’s like malfunctioning turtles all the way down.

me: @joshleejosh: What’s underneath the bottom malfunctioning turtle? …is it WINDOWS?! (Interesting to imagine the universe as an OS.)”

So yeah… I find it immensely (intensely) amusing compare the universe to computer systems (and of course vice versa). Rudy Rucker does this superbly, and (in yet another cosmic coincidence) I picked up his latest novel, Postsingular, from the library this morning. I’m still not done reading Day Watch, but I’ll probably put that one on hold until I finish Postsingular, which I’ve already started and has already sucked me in.

Satisfaction Guaranteed

Dead skin surrounds you
like a cocoon. You are always emerging.
Isn’t it interesting to compare ourselves
to snakes? We are both constantly
shedding our dead selves.

But also we are constantly dying.
It’s as if contact with the physical world
kills us instantly, so we grow
only to keep the death from
spreading too far inside us.
Maybe old age is just
death catching up.

Entropy maybe
explains us better.
We are like river walls
eroding into death, via
the swift rushing
of passing time.