Instruments of Graphity

December 19, 2005

Last Friday, I went to Staples to purchase blank CDs to burn music for my niece, Katie. Now, I just love office supplies, well specifically pens, pencils, stationary… calculators and tape dispensers do rather little for me.

So, as I’m wandering in Staples, I see a two pack of mechanical pencils. Specifically the Zebra M-301, 0.5 mechanical pencil. It is really slim, and so far seems to be of a decent weight. The wrong weight makes me break off lead w/ mechanical pencils.

I buy the pencils (and sone pens), and it just feels good in my hand. Not perfect. It’s Das Uber Pencil. It’s just nice. As it is light, it makes my hand compensate. Almost bringing it up to its level, rather than pressing down on as I am wont to do.

Sometimes, that’s all it takes. A different look. A different feel. A new approach? Can you force symbolism upon your self? Can you actively make something into an omen.

I’m not trying to turn all Bene Geserit now. More of a basic observation.

Our moods and thoughts are influenced by our environment. But this is, for the most part, passive reaction. My words come out differently when I physcially write them down rather than when I type them. This is pure mechanics. I can type much faster than I write. So typing creates a faster stream of consciousness.

So, by interjecting a new instrument into my environment, can I subtly change my ouput. Or does the fact that I’m actively attempting this ruin any sense of a new variable into my own personal experiment.

So anyway, this entry was first written on a spiral bound, college ruled, notebook with a mechanical pencil that uses 0.5 graphite. Actually, this particular passage was written on the back pags as my hand bumps against the metal spiral.

A quick diversion of mind and hand, as I wait for a developer to get back (or possibly arrive) at his cube.

I promise (on paper, we’ll see if I leave this in) to only change spelling and perhaps grammar (if an intended adverb would be better suited as an adjective, because I changed my mind in mid-sentence).

As I said, stream of consciousness, but also permanency. Without getting all William Burroughs on the situation, the words are oni the paper. Editing is much more difficult, and has greater destructive consequences. (We all have had eraser accidents in our lives).

Anyway, reaching the end of the back page. Another limitation of the paper form. But enhances brevity. But I should leave room, and end it here. Have fun transcribing, ya poseur-slacker!


Too much information

November 30, 2005

I have about fifty things to write about and yet none of them feel important enough for a blog.

One of the main things is my friend, Geoff. Now, as Gregg (and possibly Michael) are the only two who even know about this blog (as of the time of my writing this), they are probably wondering who Geoff is. Geoff is a childhood friend. He and I kindof hung out when we were kids. His family moved to Jacksonville, FL when I was 14. Since then, I maybe have seen him three times.

So, he contacted me through my Mom a few years ago. And, well we have nothing at all in common. I mean NOTHING. So our conversations are like paint drying. And yet, I know the guy is in trouble.

First off, he has a severe case of arrested development. I mean I’ve met people who were kindof stuck in their high school years. I’ve met people who were stuck in their college years. I’ve met people who were stuck in their post-college years. He is stuck in his elementary years.

Seriously, he calls up and is basically talking memories of us when we were kids. Under the age of 12 memories. And I can tell he’s got nothing. Well, not nothing. He’s got a Vietnamese wife and a young daughter. But even that seems like he knows he kindof settled. I mean you hear him talk and he can’t seem to do anything he wants. He feels trapped at 35 years old.

I feel bad for the guy. And he’s like. “Dude, when are you going to come down and visit?” Half of me is like, “Are you serious?” I mean what in the world would we talk about. I’m not exaggerating. He and I have trouble filling up a 20 minute phone conversation. And that’s when we haven’t talked in over a year. What would we possibly do if we went down to see him. And it’s not like we can just meet for dinner or something, it’s Jacksonville. It’s pretty fucking far from anywhere I even regularly visit (Atlanta, West Palm Beach, Key West, etc. )

And yet. He’s a friend in need. How can I turn my back on him. I know that I have turned my back on too much friendship in the past. I know that due to my procrastination or not wanting to seem “stupid” that I have let friendships fall by the wayside. And that’s not right. So… I’m stuck.

How long do you let friendship go on. If the frienship is one-sided how much obligation should you have. I know, I’m talking so callously.

I guess I should just call him more, and just try to be there for him, at least over the phone and go from there.

And then there’s the Christmas holiday. Always a fun time of the year. Especially when you have three releases due in the middle of the month. Always a lot of fun.

The one thing I was looking forward to were three different cheap concerts to go to in the Philly area: SCOTS, Marah, and Marc Broussard. Well, it looks like maybe only Southern Culture on the Skids is in the works. With a slight chance of an upgrade from Marc Broussard at the TLA, to the Bonnie Raitt with opening act Marc Broussard at the Tower Theater.

Okay, not a bad upgrade. Any chance to see a legend like Bonnie Raitt, you should do so, and to have Marc Broussard open, that’d be cool as well. But I was really looking forward to the Marah show. Saw them last year with a holiday Nick Hornby show, just very cool. And we have to put that aside because Suzanne made plans with her Mom to go to the shopping district in Flemmington. And, get this, I told her about the Marah show like two months ago.

Anyway, I’m whipped, yes indeed. And truth be told, if it was something that was important to me, or that I had to do with my family, I’d skip the Marah show anyway. So, as much as I want to jump on my high horse, I really can’t do it.

Maybe we can go to NYC the night before and see them.

Anyway Christmas sucks anymore. I mean you gotta stress yourself out to buy stuff for everyone. You rarely get anything cool anymore. I mean, certainly not like what you got as a kid. Gotta make sure the house is sparkling clean. Have to make sure that everyone’s emotions are well balanced before the event. And I get to sit there as my wife goes nuts over every comment and reaction that my Mom gives.

Not that my Mom hasn’t created this herself. She most CERTAINLY has.

And the reward for all of this is extra bills, a carpet full of pine needles, more crap that you have no idea where to store, and, if I ‘m really lucky, a pissed off Mom and an emotionally drained wife.

We bought the Polar Express on DVD last week. Suze really likes it, and I enjoyed the movie. It was certainly good.

Anyway, the point of the movie is to keep the Christmas spirit alive within you, regardless of what you believe of the holiday, of Santa Claus, of what’s stupid or silly or whathaveyou.

To put bluntly, if you’ve seen the movie is: Can you hear the bell ringing?

Okay… the season is magical. I’ve always believed that. There is just something in the air. There’s the basic goodwill towards men. People (other than in shopping centers and their parking lots) are generally kind this time of year. Folks gather around the fireplace. Eat lots of good food. Drink and merriment abound. And I’ve had numerous really good thing just happen during this time of year, that really didn’t have anything to do with Christmas or my birthday.

But the rest of this family crap is really starting to ruin the damn thing. I’m getting fucking sick of it.

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

….

That’s about all of it.

I want toys damnit!

Rob


The problem with blogs

November 23, 2005

 

The problem with blogs….

You see, I have several problems with weblogs (a term I actually like better than blogs). The main problem is wondering what this is supposed to be? Is this supposed to be a journal of my thoughts and feelings, that allow friends and strangers with similar interests to view, so they can better understand me? Should I be writing this for an audience, posting the humorous and interesting websites in an effort to gain a small audience? Or, should I simply show pictures of naked women?

These are the issues that trouble ones life.

The truth is to post something in the middle. Things that are personal, that dance around the truth of life, but that don’t crack the inner circle of who/what I am. Why post things that Gregg and Michael will find out by giving a shout by telephone, or they know already. (Sometimes my ‘revelations’ can be so obvious to everyone else, it’s really amusing).

Gregg is working on this other plane of blog existence. Blog-families, cross-postings, trackbacks, topic starters, polls, surveys. And its all done from an adult perspective. So, I’m not talking the polls for “Which O.C. character are you most like.” But its somewhat foreign to me. Don’t know how he got so ‘established’. Half of me is curious about it. And the other half is like, “You really don’t need more distractions in your life”.

It’s amusing.

I always find diary/journal writing to be unique. We have so many selves/faces/personas/voices inside all of us. There is the voice we put forward when first meeting people. The work voice. The family voice. The friends voice. The significant other voice (i.e., the bickering voice). And then there is the self voice. And even this voice is unique based on the medium we are using to communicate with ourselves.

At least that’s true for me. The voice I’m using right now is different from the voice I use while talking to myself in the car, or even the voice that is simply in my head.


Go ahead, make the psychotic/multiple personality jokes. Get it out of your system.

….

You done?

Okay. But it’s true. The voice on paper is supposed to make sense of things. Or rather organize thoughts as a sequence. Sure seques and stream of consciousness exist. But there is a concious effort to bring this into a ‘letter’ or ‘essay’ format. We’re familiar with these formats. And they make more sense when others read them, or even when we read them later on. (See Buroughs, William).

Maybe it’s not the voice that is different but the organization that is different. The storage. The inventory of thoughts.

Inventory is one of my favorite subjects from a historical, sociological, financial, and philosophical phenomenon.

I know, you’re thinking. “What are you some bloody accountant?”

Not at all. Inventory has only been useful in recent history as the idea of cheap disposable goods has become more prevalent. 100 years ago, when you bought something that was not food, it was yours. You didn’t just replace it, when it broke, you repaired it. The goods were too expensive to do otherwise. There was no inventory. Books, furniture, clothes, shoes, etc. I mean how many of us actually get our shoes repaired anymore? I have a good pair of driving shoes in the closet that I swore I would get fixed. They cost a lot of money, but I have never gotten them repaired. Because it’s too easy to go to some discount store and get new shoes.

So, now stores have inventory. And they must get rid of their inventory because new stuff is always coming in. It’s why you can buy hardback books at Barnes & Noble for $5.95 if you wait a year or more. It’s why you can get pre-viewed movies at Blockbuster for $8.00. It’s why you can get a year old, five star, video game for $20.00. Summer clothes in September. Dresses that were “last years colors”. (I’m sorry, I will not wear chiffon, it makes me chafe).

And then there’s your own personal inventory. The three main categories of, “Stuff that I want to keep”, “Stuff that I should get rid of.”, and “Stuff I don’t want and don’t use, but I can’t throw out.”

There are subcategories of course, but those are the three main ones. When I moved from my apartment to my house, it’s that third category that was so difficult to manage. I mean, here are these books. Maybe 50 of them. I like them. I enjoyed reading them. I have no real desire to re-read them again. But I don’t want to just simply throw them to the recycling bin. Used Bookstores are great, but kindof impersonal. Would love to bequeath them to someone else, and then talk to them once they’ve read them. But that’s the geeky reviewer in me.

See, I’ve gone off topic.


See, you can’t rewrite, ’cause to rewrite is to deceive and lie, and you betray your own thoughts. To rethink the flow and the rhythm, the tumbling out of the words, is a betrayal, and it’s a sin, Martin, it’s a sin.

Anyway, the one fault with the organization that comes with writing is the limitations of the page. Yes with electronic writing, there are no limits, there is no paper, no ink, so the content can keep running.

But the compartmentalization of thoughts that we are used to, make it so that we start losing interest in a topic.

Yes, brevity, the cornerstone of technical writing. And one of the things I don’t excel at. Brief, concise, and compact thoughts do not exist in this head.

I’m like that chick from Spanglish, who kept throwing words and thoughts and philosophies out there hoping that if you throw enough words out there they form something meaningful.

Awful movie by the way.

Anyway, that’s a post for today. I’m sure there was intent here beyond dipping my toe in the water.

Happy Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 23, 2005 – 9:49:53 AM

Rob


Eddie Guerrero R.I.P

November 14, 2005

Eddie Guerrero

I’ve been a fan of professional wrestling since I was a teenager. In college, I became a little more obsessed about it, but such is life at that time. I had discovered Eastern Championship Wrestling (ECW) in 1994. It was a fun little Philadelphia based independed promotion that was loosely associated with the, fallen from grace, National Wrestling Alliance. I could only watch ECW when I was in New Jersey, on a local cable access channel.

So, when I returned to the shore in 1995, I searched for ECW television. Much had changed in a year. Eastern Championship Wrestling was now Extreme Championship Wrestling. A new look and a very different attitude.

Alot changes in a wrestling promotion in a year. The ECW fans were now cheering for The Sandman. There were now two Pit Bulls. Mikey Whipreck had developed some offense. And, boy that Raven guy seems really familiar.

And then I saw the highlights from the Eddie Guerrero versus Dean Malenko feud. ECW called it “The Malenko Guerrero Classic”. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing from both men. Dean Malenko was one of the best mat wrestlers I had ever seen. But Eddie Guerrero was one of the most complete high-flying wrestlers, ever. Eddie did things that I didn’t think were possible.

I was hooked.

When I heard that Eddie Guerrero and Dean Malenko were going to have a 2 out of 3 falls match at the ECW Arena, I made all plans to go down and see this. Unfortunately, my grandfather passed away during this time, and as much as I love pro-wrestling, it certainly takes a back seat to that.

The thrill I felt when ECW television showed the entire match in later weeks, was unbelievable. And it was and still remains one of my favorite matches ever. The match ended in a tie. The two wrestlers were leaving ECW to go to WCW. The crowd gave both men a standing ovation as the two men hugged each other in the ring.

That was ECW. And that was Eddie Guerrero. I was a fan.

Other wrestlers grabbed my attention. I followed Eddie in WCW when I could. Good matches usually followed him. All of his problems in and out of the ring have been well documented.

He went to the WWF as one of the Radicals. Eddie quickly became a man who could make you laugh in the ring. His ringwork was awesome. Eddie gained that last little bit that made him into a superstar.

The Internet Wrestling Community had heard rumors that Eddie had gained enough popularity that the WWE was thinking of giving Eddie the world title. I laughed in disbelief that a wrestler who weighed 235 lbs at best would win the title.

Then I remember hearing that Eddie Guerrero was to face Brock Lesnar at No Way Out in February of 2004. Lesnar was due to face Goldberg at WrestleMania. It was a dream match. It was basically signed sealed and delivered.

The joy in my heart lept to the surface. Eddie Guerrero was going to win the World Championship!!!!!

I don’t know why I care that a person wins a championship when the sport is fake. I guess it’s confirmation or validation that the federation recognizes the wrestler’s talent that you yourself have always known was there. I was thrilled for Eddie. Especially knowing the problems that he dealt with over the years with pain killers, drugs, family problems, and wrestling problems.

Professional wrestling has not made me cry for joy on several occassions. The embrace of Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit at the end of WrestleMania XX, had me bawling. Two wrestlers that I liked and respected were on the top of the mountain. A tear or two ran down my face.

Eddie Guerrero had made it. He would always be a world champion. Put him in the sentences with the Steve Austins, the Ric Flairs, the Hulk Hogans. Yes they are multiple champions. Yes, they are worldwide superstars. But Eddie gets mentioned in their company.

Eddie wasn’t a great champion, and they took the belt off him fairly quickly. Such is life. Eddie still gave great performances in the ring.

I came into work today. We were meeting the new VP of Development. I quickly hopped on the internet to see what happened in wrestling over the weekend:

WWE News: Guerrero death headlines local newspaper, fans treat situation with respect

My heart entered my chest when I saw the headline. Now, there are two Guerreros in the WWF. (And you will never read this Chavo, but please forgive me.) I was so hoping that it was not Eddie. But in my heart I knew that it was.

Eddie Guerrero died in a hotel room over the weekend from a heart attack.

Eddie was three years older than me. He was 38 years old.

The life of a professional wrestler kills your body. It’s that simple. Whether it’s pain pills or recreational drugs or steroids. They have no off season, and those at the top (at the WWE level), work 4-5 days each week. And it kills at lease 1/3 of them before they reach the age of 50.

I don’t want to preach, so let me stop. If I really cared enough, I would stop watching the stupid mindless crap.

Goodbye Eddie Guerrero. You have thrilled me. You have made me laugh. You have made me cry. You made me care about you. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Thank you…. and god rest.

Robert