Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Octubre [edited: Mamihlapinatapai]

Soft grey clouds stretch to the horizon:
svelte, occasionally undulating, blanketing.
You walk in their perpetual shade; at each moment,
a million droplets threaten to obscure your frame.

A chill wind strikes at your sweatshirt, whipping it about;
it seeps in, toying with you, sapping heat for no purpose.
Still, I wish to walk with you, to shuffle through the dampness;
leaves clinging to our shoes, listening to the wind in the trees.

I watch as images flow from your pen;
they're trapped in my mind: beautiful, evocative.
Sadly I trundle away, my head quickly turns,
wishing that this could be, yet too reticent, coy to ask.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Odd milestone

Today, Google Analytics tells me that search traffic (via Google and Yahoo) to this page has eclipsed the 50% mark in terms of relative sources. I've been getting a lot of hits from terms like "tennis etiquette" and "peter singer famine affluence morality", even "60 ton angel" (Porcupine Tree reference). Which is weird because those are only three posts that have those terms. I'm sure that they didn't find whatever they were looking for (I know that for a fact because the average time on the site was 00:00:00, and there were 100% bounce rates across the board! :]).

I also think its weird (mostly cool) that I get occasional international traffic: Brazil (spam bots), South Korea, U.K., Norway, Japan, Vietnam and Ecuador. There's someone in Belgium who visited, and even comes back occasionally (Amazingly! I mean, I'm barely relevant to my friends, much less a Belgian. Nonetheless, thank you for reading).

I guess because I intended this initially as a place for me to be introspective and occasionally sappy (then as a place where I can write things that Alex will read), it's weird to me that others read it, albeit mostly unintentionally. But I certainly don't mind.

Orbiting the Room

This evening was host to a boisterous jaunt with some buds. We went to see Mutemath at the Orbit Room. The opener was a local band called: Something, something, way too loud and flappy bass. They were ok, but the bass was way too loud and flappy. As Tall As Giants followed, and though their singer was back home having surgery, they played some wicked instrumental tunes with fantastic energy. The bassist was electrifying; a very exciting human being.

Mutemath followed and played some songs from their album Armistice. They really brought a good mood and got people up on their feet. Roy went on to dominate the cello which really made my night. Both of my favorite songs from their first record were played: "Typical" and "Break the Same". This was the first time seeing them in concert, and I was very impressed. I probably wouldn't mind seeing them again.

Arguably though, the concert had three best parts all of which took place during the encore/reset portion of the show. First, was the man in the balcony who whipped off his shirt and made out with a girl who was up there (strange), then, the drummer Darren put his bass drum on top of people in the crowd, and stood on top of it for a bit, then leaped off in order to crowdsurf. And if that weren't enough, a man in a bear suit, followed by Goldilocks walked in front of me on their way to leave. An actual bear suit... i.e. he probably killed a bear, skinned it and made it into a suit that he could wear. He wasn't dissing @JohnCMayer though.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Walden Excerpt

"I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if if were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion."
--H.D. Thoreau

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


...is in the differences. This was never real to me growing up. Sure, my little sister is Chinese, and we spent time at multicultural festivals, but there was never any real interaction there. My experiences were of someone who saw from afar, different people, but did not comprehend. This became especially obvious to me (and I learned that I am a sad confused little boy) at a recent visit to Meijer. The particular Meijer store I went to is often referred to as "ghetto" Meijer, and I had never been there before.

Let's be clear, this was no grand revelation, which is what makes it particularly pitiful. Apparently during any interaction that I've had with Africans or Hispanics or Asians, or any other race, I have been in the majority. At Meijer last week I was in the minority. This certainly wasn't the first time that I've been in the minority as a Caucasian, however it was probably the first time it was salient to me. How sad is it, that as a 20 year old college student, I finally became aware of such a thing. The worst part, the part that makes me feel utterly juvenile is that I was very uneasy. Pathetically uneasy. I felt like a racist pig, in my feelings of unease. There was no reason to feel ill at ease, yet there I was, dodging eye contact like one of those racist fathers depicted in movies about the south before/during the Civil Rights movement. These feeling hurt me; hurt that I felt like I had to act that way.

It seemed that for all of my welcoming intentions, my reaction went around my brain's back. My visceral reaction brought me to the sad and obvious realization that racism is not over. Academically, I believe in the beauty of difference, in the celebration of difference, and in the realization that for all of our outward differences, we are the same. We are a tapestry, beautiful in scope, that is made of the same thread. The strands are of course individually beautiful, however in combination they set each other off. African thread looks different than Caucasian thread, looks different than Hispanic thread, looks different than Asian thread, BUT IS THREAD!

I realize I've said nothing new in this post. It is intended to draw to the forefront of my mind something that needs to change in me. It is intended to show me that I have to rectify my instinctive reaction with that which I believe in my heart.

Diversity is pulchritudinous. I want to feel that in addition to knowing it.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

I desperately need you

Drops of light, they glide over the sphere we call home,
like water on a snow globe, lit by the brightest day, during the darkest night.
Peering into our world in short bursts,
obedient to time and space, they wait for us each year.

In our appreciation we spurn their advances, for what can we do,
but allow them to render themselves vapor?
Glorious and vibrant they streak across the sky in a most violent and beautiful death,
they think us rude, but we just stand and stare.

Temprano en enero hay ésos azules y rápidos de Bootes,
pero en un instante no son no más.
Los mejores vienen durante agosto, se llaman Perseids, y son tan hermosos,
ésos que cepillan el pelo oscuro, suave y fluyendo que es el cielo del noche.

Necesito practicar más a menudo (mi español se está volando)

Saturday, October 03, 2009

This is just to say

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold
-- William Carlos Williams


I have indirectly told
the police
that you are
in violation

though you
were rather quiet
and bothering
no one

Forgive us
we don't understand
that you
aren't housing prostitutes.
-- Calvin College