Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Despair in the Rose Garden

Taken by me in the Boston Rose Garden with Hipstamatic for iPhone app

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Josh Ritter has blown my mind again

At his Daniel's Street concert in New Milford, CT, Josh played this new song, and it blew me away. I can't find any lyrics online, so I did my best to transcribe them from the live video of the preformance.

Here we go:

It's like I'm haunted by a ghost; there are times I cannot speak your name for the catching in my throat, and if I dont sing this song it's out of fear of silent notes.

Oh I feel like a miser, oh I feel low and mean for accusing you of stealing what I offered you for free. Oh it beggars the belief sometimes what thieves we lovers be

Oh i dont know who you're with these days, might be with someone new, and if you are I hope he treats you like a lover ought to do. But whoever makes you happy, it dont really matter who, I've got a new lover now, I hope youve got a lover too.

Praise the water under bridges, praise the time we...

Perhaps the fault was mine, perhaps I just ignored who you're always gonna be, instead of who I took you for. I've been treated worse it's true, still I expected more.

But I will not chase your shadow as you go from room to room, droppin' handkerchiefs and daggers, smokin' guns and other clues for what someone did with someone and who did what to who. I've got a new lover now, I hope you've got a lover too.

Got a new lover now, she knows just what I need. When I wake up in the night she can read me back my dreams, and she loves them though she never needs to tell me what they mean.

I got a new lover now, I know that she's not mine and I only wanna hold her, I don't need to read her mind, and she only looks like you when she's in a certain light.

I hope you've got a lover now, hope you've got somebody who can give you what you need like I couldn't seem to do. But if you're sad and you are lonesome and you've got nobody true, I'd be lying if I said that didn't make me happy too.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I'm not in a bad mood, but this song is rocking my mind right now.

You and I, we may look the same, but we are very far apart.
There're bullet-holes where my compassion used to be, and there is violence in my heart.

Into fire you can send us, from the fire we return.
You can label us a consequence of how much you have to learn.

You can try but you'll never understand.
This is something you will never understand.
Can you hear it now? Hear it coming now?

You have set something in motion much greater than you've ever known.
Standing there in all your grand naivety about to reap what you have sown.

Time will feed upon your weaknesses and soon you'll lose the will to care.
When you return to the place that you call home, we will be there.


Saturday, April 23, 2011

All the other girls here are stars, you are the Northern Lights

She's as easy to know as a broken mystery.
Water under the bridge is never coming back.
-Anne, Josh Ritter

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I can't read it without getting tingles.

There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.

Excerpt, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Atlas Shrugged movie was comically bad.

People think that a liar gains a victory over his victim. What I've learned is that a lie is an act of self-abdication, because one surrenders one's reality to the person to whom one lies, making that person one's master, condemning oneself from then on to faking the sort of reality that person's view requires to be faked. | S3C2

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

"To judge from the notions expounded by theologians, one must conclude that God created most men simply with a view to crowding hell."
— Marquis de Sade

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results. -Einstein

The other day, while driving around the poverty laced backwoods of central Connecticut and listening to Nine Inch Nails as I am wont to do, I started thinking about what makes humans so amazing. I'm not a fan of most people, and I don't think most of them are particularly impressive - both intellectually and physically. But the kind of "amazing" I decided on is applicable to pretty much everyone.

From science to philosophy, we seek an answer to the question of what sets us apart from the rest of the animals. There's a pretty fair consensus among rational and non-combative people (so, likely not most philosophers) that we have something that goes above and beyond what animals are capable of. The simple answer is, well, "Humans can think. We have bigger brains and we're capable of cognitive functioning that entails learning and memory. Most importantly, we are the only creatures that are self-aware."

The conclusion I came to in the car (the place where I am most lucid) is that humans are unique because of our ability to change. We morph, we repair, we become damaged, we despair over the past, and we hope for the future. And all these emotions are driven by our ability to alter ourselves. We choose new clothes, ditch old friends, choose to forget the most painful memories (or perhaps replay them over and over, forcing ourselves to feel the sting of self-loathing) listen to different music. No other creature engages in these behaviors.

Not only can we do all this changing, but there is some strange property in our minds that allows for change but also never lets anything quite slip away. The Nine Inch Nails song I was so enjoying, Somewhat Damaged, used to speak to exactly everything I felt about life and myself. I really felt a connection to it. Yet somehow, the other day, I was able to appreciate and love it, but the sentiments expressed no longer exist in me actively. They're still present, and I can still remember what I felt; sometimes I still feel that way, but it's just...different. I've changed! Humans can change. It's what makes us different.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Edward Gorey

Edward Gorey was such a fantastic eccentric. He went to every performance of the NYC Ballet while Allegra Kent was a dancer there, wore floor length fur coats, and kept his empty medicine bottles on the window ledges because he thought they looked pretty with the light coming through them. I guess part of my wants to be that type of nutty, although my kind is entertaining too.

A book was written about his home, The Elephant House. I met the author at Gotham Book Mart by chance, and while clearly in awe of Gorey, I don't think his book ENTIRELY captures the author's whimsy (at least as I like to imagine it).

Today's visiting demon is the realization that I must leave Alex and beautiful California today, and face the challenge of finding a job that might actually result in a career and success. Not to mention the fear of getting back my Metaphysics paper, which might be one of the more disjointed papers I've ever turned in. It's a graduate seminar and I'm out of my element.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Funeral Blues, W.H. Auden

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He is Dead.
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the woods;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Burnt Norton (excerpt), T.S. Eliot

Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future,
And time future contained in time past.
If all time is eternally present
All time is unredeemable.
What might have been is an abstraction
Remaining a perpetual possibility
Only in a world of speculation.
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden. My words echo
Thus, in your mind.
But to what purpose
Disturbing the dust on a bowl of rose-leaves
I do not know.

At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards,
Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,
There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.
I can only say, there we have been: but I cannot say where.
And I cannot say, how long, for that is to place it in time.
The inner freedom from the practical desire,
The release from action and suffering, release from the inner
And the outer compulsion, yet surrounded
By a grace of sense, a white light still and moving,
Erhebung without motion, concentration
Without elimination, both a new world
And the old made explicit, understood
In the completion of its partial ecstasy,
The resolution of its partial horror.
Yet the enchainment of past and future
Woven in the weakness of the changing body,
Protects mankind from heaven and damnation
Which flesh cannot endure.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Hollow Men, T.S. Eliot

Mistah Kurtz -- he dead.

A penny for the Old Guy


We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats' feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar

Shape without form, shade without colour,
Paralysed force, gesture without motion;

Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death's other Kingdom
Remember us -- if at all -- not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men.


Eyes I dare not meet in dreams
In death's dream kingdom
These do not appear:
There, the eyes are
Sunlight on a broken column
There, is a tree swinging
And voices are
In the wind's singing
More distant and more solemn
Than a fading star.

Let me be no nearer
In death's dream kingdom
Let me also wear
Such deliberate disguises
Rat's coat, crowskin, crossed staves
In a field
Behaving as the wind behaves
No nearer --

Not that final meeting
In the twilight kingdom


This is the dead land
This is cactus land
Here the stone images
Are raised, here they receive
The supplication of a dead man's hand
Under the twinkle of a fading star.

Is it like this
In death's other kingdom
Waking alone
At the hour when we are
Trembling with tenderness
Lips that would kiss
Form prayers to broken stone.


The eyes are not here
There are no eyes here
In this valley of dying stars
In this hollow valley
This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms

In this last of meeting places
We grope together
And avoid speech
Gathered on this beach of the tumid river

Sightless, unless
The eyes reappear
As the perpetual star
Multifoliate rose
Of death's twilight kingdom
The hope only
Of empty men.


Here we go round the prickly pear
Prickly pear prickly pear
Here we go round the prickly pear
At five o'clock in the morning.

Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow

For Thine is the Kingdom

Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow

Life is very long

Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow

For Thine is the Kingdom

For Thine is
Life is
For Thine is the

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Wanna know why you're fat?

The Brothers Karamazov

The awful thing is that beauty is mysterious as well as terrible. God and the devil are fighting there and the battlefield is the heart of man.
-Fyodor Dostoevsky

Sunday, January 23, 2011

What a great way of putting what I thought was impossible to express clearly

I've never been lonely. I've been in a room -- I've been depressed. I've felt awful - awful beyond all, but I never felt that one other person could enter that room and cure what was bothering me.

In other words, loneliness is something I've never been bothered with because I've always had this terrible itch for solitude. It's being at a party, or at a stadium full of people cheering for something, that I might feel loneliness. You know the typical crowd, "Wow, it's Friday night, what are you going to do? Just sit there?"

Well, yeah. Because there's nothing out there. It's stupidity. Stupid people mingling with stupid people. Let them stupidfy themselves. I've never been bothered with the need to rush out into the night. Sorry for all the millions, but I've never been lonely. I like myself. I'm the best form of entertainment I have. Let's drink more wine!

-Charles Bukowski

Monday, January 17, 2011

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Prufrock distilled to its finest parts. I love T.S. Eliot

Streets that follow like a tedious argument of insidious intent to lead you to an overwhelming question...
Oh, do not ask, "What is it?" Let us go and make our visit.

There will be time, there will be time to prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create, and time for all the works and days of hands that lift and drop a question on your plate; time for you and time for me.
And time yet for a hundred indecisions, and for a hundred visions and revisions.

And indeed there will be time to wonder, "Do I dare?'' and, "Do I dare?''
Do I dare disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time for decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

I should have been a pair of ragged claws scuttling across the floors of silent seas.

Should I have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?

I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker, and I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker, and in short, I was afraid.

Would it have been worth while to have bitten off the matter with a smile, to have squeezed the universe into a ball to roll it toward some overwhelming question? It is impossible to say just what I mean!

I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.
I do not think that they will sing to me. I have seen them riding seaward on the waves.
We have lingered in the chambers of the sea by sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.