Sometimes when you learn a lot you don't quite notice it. You go on with your life a little smarter, a little more wise, but not quite aware of it.. but sometimes you know you've learned a lot.. and that's dangerous.
It's knowing that makes you forget. Conciousness kills. The best stuff I ever knew I learned was the first I forgot and I'm still trying to remember it to this day.
Like who framed roger rabbit.
Damn if I forget who that was. Oh well.
But my point is that I learned something this weekend and I didn't even open up a textbook. I didn't read a newspaper or watch the television and I didn't listen to anybody lecture, either. I just walked inside my own head, sat down, and stared at the blank walls - all buddha like.
People want to believe. That's what I learned.
Celebrities, my friends, are just as miserable as you and I.. don't get me wrong - they are having fun partying or popping out little baby celebrities or riding in their bling blizizzle or whatnot.. but they're no better off than the next guy.
My man with no plan, Jaime
, he's workin NYC over like a prize fighter. He's hammering his left jabs in there between uppercuts and sidewinders and he's livin. Drives a jeep around North America, politely declines all the hot kiddies hitting on him every night, and flys to Scotland just for the heck - why not? But he sure tries to convince you he's the down-and-outest of the down-and-out. Not in a material sense, but in some sense that we all get and understand but can't quite explain. Like how relatives at Christmas.. gosh it's good to see them but... but..
My man with the anti-plan, Anti
, he's livin - L, I, V, I, N in L, A - and rollin' in a pickup and bubblin' the bowls and tony says he's probably having lots of sex with the ladies. Stop. Read his blog. He sounds like the most down and out motherfucker you know. He makes it sound like holidays with the family is a pain in the ass and paying the bills is like trying to ride the tilt-a-whirl with a hangover and shit, he's still partyin.
Don't get me wrong. The man could be a lot better off. He could be happier, maybe a few notches up the happiness meter, but he's not and that doesn't make him any less a rockstar than the next guy.. who doesn't play guitar.. who isn't in a band.. but you get my point, yah?..
My man with a plan, Tony
.. he sounds a little happier but if you pay real close attention he's got it too: the Human Condition. A little twitch in his speech, a slight melancholy. Makes me happy to hear it there in his voice because it means he isn't a fabrication of NBC or the WB. It means he isn't some experiment by Universal Studios in new media entertainment.. It means he is not a robot or a cray supercomputer cranking out blog posts in some dark room somewhere, pulling random picks off of eonline.com. It means he is a human cranking out blog posts in some dark room somewhere, pulling random picks off of eonline.com.
So I learned it before, probably, but I'll forget it again and learn it again and that's what's great about it.
I learned that the misery makes way - clears a path - for the happiness and soothing experience of life. Melancholy is like the foam bathtub cleaner - you need to let it sit in the tub and slowly work at the hard-water stains before you wash it away down the spiral drain with the hairs and dirty soap.. all this before you can get that pearly white glisten of a clean tub.
But you can't much appreciate a clean tub if you've never known a dirty one and a clean tub only exists for a single moment of time, after which it begins the slow spiral down into grime and misery, dirt and despair.. Which is great, cause then you can clean it again.
If we remembered everything we were ever taught we'd run out of new stuff to learn and that would be a crying bore, wouldn't it? There wouldn't be much point in crossword puzzles, that's for sure.
Luckily I've already forgot what this post was about. I think I'll go learn me some good stuff over again.
The hardest situations in life are devoid of any sense of humour and those are ultimately the defining moments in people's lives. The scars we wear on our psyche and our soul, those are the scars of the truly difficult times when not even a smile or a laugh can crack through the hard cold realism.
I find casual racism humourous. It's probably because I am 1) the antithesis of a racist and 2) find medicinal humour worthwhile.
I find chauvinistic jokes funny, though I respect women.
I find puns hilarious, even though I have nothing but respect for the english language.
There is something in almost all humour that is pain and suffering which makes it funny in the first place. There is a little sadness in every guffaw. It's like humour is the anti-matter to cruelty and suffering's matter.
Cruelty and suffering, we all know from previous experience, is the human condition.
So it makes perfect sense that there should be a balance, a counter-weight to all the heaviness around here. It makes sense that humour can make the most downtrodden homeless bum on the street with nary an ounce of vodka or a slice of pizza drop everything and laugh hysterically at the full moon. It makes sense that smiles can crack through the tears of a hungry child when it's dog, thin and rib-shown, chases it's own tail.
In humour we heal. It is the scartissue - that deep pink, raw and red, that stops the hurt and heals the pain and leaves a mark on us. Jokes are the platletts that clog our blood and stop our whole selves from flowing out of our own bodies onto the floor, into the mud, out into the stream river lake ocean to dissolve, disperse, dilute into nothing.
We'll do that soon enough - go to nothing. We go whence we came, we come from nothing and will return to nothing.
In the meantime we have our health in our humour.
suggests that I may have drank as many as 4000 alcoholic beverages in my day, accounting for well over $10,000. It might not be far off... but comparing me to Homer Simpson? Come on.
If you smoke and you're over 21
for a chance to win a flat screen TV
Almost makes me wanna light one up, yah know?
says: "..im not sad. i should be. i should be a fucking wreck, but im not. im probably living the life of the fool in the famous tarot card picture. hes about to go off the cliff and hes looking up in the clouds smilingly even though his dog is barking its head off trying to warn him of his imminent doom..."
If that's a fool than what am I? I am the guy walking towards that cliff knowingly and with melancholy, hoping a bridge will be built before me as I take my first steps into nothingness but not believing even my own hope. I am the man, foolish some may say, who unreligiously believes in certain truths in this world and hopes with all my hope that those truths will be born out in my life. I don't think they will.
Hope is called hope because it suggests a certain sort of disbelief. True hope is a wish for that which will not happen. Otherwise, it's just desire. Desire is the real world version of hope - the kind where you hope
you make it to the bus on time. Real hope is unrealistic - the kind where you hope
this iraq thing will turn out alright or you hope
that she'll learn to love you and love you forever and ever.
Have you ever noticed no one ever hopes that they
will love forever and ever? It's always disbelief in the other person and never questioning one's own resolve.
I would rather be an old and miserable man alone and tired and sad, than a divorcee. I do not ever want to take my love for a person away from them - to me it is an eternal gift. I do not hope I have the resolve to love one person for the rest of my life, because I know and believe I have it. It's in me.
I do hope
I can find the person who sees in me a good and worthwhile person. I hope I can find a person who can love me for me, for all the right reasons, not just because I am there and convienent and easy.
I want my love to be inconvienent and hard and I want to have to work for it so that I am reminded every single day of the worth of that love.
I do not want my love to be cheap.
True romantic love, James Jones writes in From Here to Eternity
, is an illusion.
I hope.. oh, how I hope, I hope he is wrong.
Those fat lazy american bastards. They're all sitting at home watching tv and eating their fast food while the rest of the world works to give them their luxuries. Fuckers.
Average number of hours worked yearly, 2001:
United States - 1979
Mexico - 1863.1
Japan - 1842
Spain - 1815.8
Canada - 1779.5
United Kingdom - 1711
Italy - 1603
Sweden - 1602
France - 1531.7
Germany - 1467.1
The way I read that, 2080 hours makes up 52 weeks of 40 hour work weeks. Account for 2 weeks vacation and that leaves barely half a week of unaccounted time for the average american worker. That means, perhaps, that the average american worker calls in sick 2.5 days a year. Lazy?
It's worth noting, as well, that Japan - pounded into our brains as being the most industrious of countries - doesn't even make the top two, falling to the Mexicans down south.
Surprisingly, Canada struggles to make the top five. They must be too busy making mac & cheese up there and watchin hockey to do much workin, eh?
I know I pretty much stay off my political game here and it's mostly cause I'm trying to protect you little kiddies. I'm a shark when it comes to that sort of stuff - no one is safe from the jaws of my malice. I don't want to alienate any of my constituents so I try to stay nice and balanced and off-topic. Have you noticed? But recently, as the country celebrated NAFTA's birthday, it was worth pausing and thinking about the decisions we make as a country. See, that's one of our biggest faults - in our blindingly intense forward-lookingness, we do not take notes from the past, and we are bound to repeat history. But right now, here, we have the ability to stop and reflect upon ten years of open and free trade among the North Americas. Never before has Mexico and Canada been so easily connected through the FDR highway system of the United States of America. Never before has Canada sold us so much syrup and never before have so many companies outsourced to Mexico.. and for what?
It is a step in a process, the process of market globalization.. but a step I fear people take for the wrong reasons and without understanding their motion - what I call the motion of the ocean. The pull of the waters. The inevitable expansion out across the seas of earth and space and exploration of the unknown for the sake of greater economy.
Companies lobby for more open markets when it behooves them. They lobby against it when it doesn't. Why people should think free trade is any more righteous a cause than the next, I don't know. It is only happening because the majority (which means numbers*power majority) wants it to happen - because they collectively perceive a direct benefit. To think that this majority is thinking ahead and for the greater good; it's ridiculous. Companies want to maximize profits and minimize costs. The people want to Maximize profits as well - salary - but here is the kicker.. people don't
want to minimize cost. It's more complicated than that. Inwardly, of course, the natural trend is towards decreased cost. Stone tools, metal working, group hunting.. all born out from caveman efficiency experts trying to maximize profit by lower cost, in this case the cost of time. Yet outwardly, people want to appear as if they are maximizing cost. It's the psychological equivalent to building pyramids. When the pharaohs had the pyramids built they did not gain anything but prestige and a great pad to sleep in for thousands of years. They don't really make economical sense. Neither do the statues of Easter Island or the gold chains a playa wears around his neck. It's superfluous. It's labeling. It's buying your way to the top, which isn't any different than a gorilla muscling his way to the top. It's war games. It's power plays. It's animalistic. The pyramids are just really
big pieces of jewelry.
To what end? Prestige. Pride. Power. Survival.. of the fittest. In the end it is all driven by the desire to be most fit. It's evolutionary. Maximize survival by maximizing resources by maximizing power over the resources available. And if there are not enough resources than seek out, explore, discover more resources. Exploit them. You see, use the word exploit in that sentence and it doesn't sound nearly as harsh.. but put it another way and it isn't so nice: "Companies continue to exploit their workers as much as they think they can get away with it in order to maximize profits." What I'm saying is companies are like animals. Big, dumb, animals. Large corporations insist that import goods should have tariffs - a nice colloquialism for taxes. A charge for being someone else. The same corporations want to shift their labour divisions overseas, over borders, to cheaper regions. First it was to Mexico but ask the Mexicans now where their jobs are.. already across the ocean to even cheaper regions, that's where. Mexicans now face the same problem we faced ten years ago in NAFTA. What people forget is that the goods being tariffed are manufactured through labour which is untariffed. And here we have an inequality.
There is nothing wrong with a global market, in and of itself. It's a macro example of a micro system. Economies of scale say we should only benefit more and more as we move towards globalization until everyone on the earth is sitting in front of their TV’s watching the simple life.. Only there won't be anyone working to film it. Globalization isn't the end of the world.. it's just going to take some time and there is going to be some major growing pains as the world economy matures into a full grown adult. But when there are direct and specific inequalities like the labour-goods tariff situation, those growing pains are only going to be worse and perhaps ultimately fatal. Evidence this by looking back at the last big economic revolution and the prevalence of "company towns" where workers were forced to spend their meager wages on overpriced goods sold by the company itself.. this inequality caused major strife while allowing the revolution of industry to grow quickly and efficiently. Was there suffering by some? Sure. Are we better off, are our lives better, are we a more fit species for our now solid and sturdy industry? Probably. ( I won't get into that argument) But the bigger question is what happened to that inequality? Labour unions - that's what. For better or worse the power play of big industry resulted in a major battle between good(?) and evil(?).. or put another way, a battle between numbers and power. Some may argue who actually won the battle but in most systems - in nature for sure - large networks of small independent and loosely connected units tend to work better, faster, and more powerfully than large monoliths. Think David and Goliath, only one thousand quick scurrying Davids versus one large and cumbersomely slow Goliath. I would argue that labour won. You wouldn't think it, given my general negativity and my complaints about the rampant consumerism.. but I didn't say labour won the war, I said they won the battle. If anyone thinks that working conditions here in the United States hasn't improved 90 fold for 90% of workers over the conditions of 90 years ago, they are crazy. But it didn't happen overnight. It's a process.
Until people realize that change is a process things will continue to flounder. People need to see the greater whole, the past and the future. If people spent less time thinking now now now and more time considering the mistakes and victories of the past, as well as the future implications of current actions, we would make better political decisions and shorten the uncomfortable process of change. It would be like going from LA to NY in half an hour. What I'm saying is if we continue to worry about our upcoming 50 cent raise and do not consider our children's $10 raise, we're dooming ourselves and our children to years and years of doubt, uncertainty, and struggle.
If companies want to play the "global market" game, then they either should accept that labor should have tariffs or goods should not. One or the other. Make it fair for everyone involved. Eventually, Bob T. Worker in the United States may end up making less. He may have to work harder to keep his job. He may have to, *gasp*, play the game of employment for the most skilled and efficient - which is a weak abstraction of survival of the fittest - which is what we've all, us humans, been doing for thousands of years in one form or another. So Bob T. Worker may end up making less but maybe, just maybe, he will be able to afford to continue living his present lifestyle because maybe he'll be able to buy more DVDs at Hong Kong prices and more toys for his kids imported directly from china without all those brand names.
But he won't. His kids want him to buy the name brand and so does he. He needs his gold chain. He needs his pyramid. I mean, christ, his neighbour just put in a helluva tomb - 30 feet wide by 100 feet long and covered in hundreds paintings. He needs a goddamn pyramid, already. Right now!
But that's just it. In the perfect future of a global economy he can buy the best brand of pyramid for the cheapest price because the company that makes them can find the most efficient place to manufacture them.
But because they are the cheapest, he is proving nothing in buying from them. He is not advertising his power as a moneymaker. He is not maximizing his marketing potential as a fit survivor. He will go out and buy perhaps a more handcrafted, more expensive pyramid, thereby offering up a message to his neighbour. "Covet this!" he symbolically shouts across the fence. Because he believes it is better his neighbour will too and will now desire the more expensive pyramid. The expensive pyramid company will realize larger unit sales and ramp up production to meet it, thereby causing a fall in manufacturing quality but also a fall in manufacturing costs (remember economies of scale). They will begin to offer cheaper pyramids. They will begin to lure lower income buyers into their dynasty with the release of entry-level pyramids. They will grow to a point where they no longer offer what is considered a luxury item - it will be a normal item. They will fall to the next luxury pyramid company. It's a cycle.
I have just described BMW. Mark my words.
Economies are market based.
Markets are cyclical.
There is no realizable static future of goodness and content for all.
There are only periods of contentedness followed by moments of joy followed by inevitable failure, woe, suffering, and eventually acceptance of the situation, motivation to climb out of the situation and into... a period of contentedness.
There is no realizable static future at all.
Markets are cyclical.
Economies are market based.
And we control the markets. We are the market. We are the supply, the demand, and everything in-between.
So maybe this Saddam thing is superfluous. But it's a big label for Bush. It's like putting a bumper sticker on Air Force One: "I Kick Ass, Man". It's Bush buying his way to the top, which isn't any different than a gorilla muscling his way to the top. Sure, you might get some wounds on the way but if you're standing on the top at the end, it's all good.
It's war games. It's power plays. It's animalistic. Saddam is now Bush's bobble-head doll. Maybe they'll drill a hole through his head, put him on a string, and Bush can wear him around his neck.. like a piece of jewelry.
A really ugly
piece of jewelry.
and what I am thinking I am liking is the clear and clean look of gorillamask's
url links. dotted underline, same colour as the normal text. understated but not too understated. i'ma gonna go with it. flow with it.
yah yah, he didn't invent it.. but it was where I noticed it today so he gets the props.
It's been said that everything that's worth doing has been done already and they may be right but they'd be awfully pessimistic to think so, don't you think?
Everyday I stare blankly at this little box - this blogger form - where I attempt to crack open my head and spill the lumpy contents out for you. I try to work my skull open like a tin can with a very basic rudimentary opener. Not an electric one or even a manual mechanical one, but one of those old hiking can-openers where you have to punch around the edge of the can yourself - that's what I feel like I am using to open my head up for you. Every day I have ideas, lumpy mushy ones like stewed tomatoes, and I sift through the refuse with a stick, poking at the plump looking ones. Every day I look for something ripe but they're all over-ripe most of the time. I'd be pleased enough to find a small hard immature one hiding among the pile, all white and small and albino like.. something I could work with anyway, to leave on my window sill in the sun.. That way I could give you something to look forward to. Like a phone call.
But they say it's all been done so there isn't much to look forward to, is there? Just lots to look backwards to. No wonder we have such complexes, us humans. We look forward to the past and hope our hope is not a hope for a future it's a hope not
for the past.. That's like asking for "not something crappy" for Christmas. I don't think it works that way.
But I don't really know. Maybe they're wrong. Maybe it hasn't all been done.
And if it hasn't than goddamnit I want to do it. Right now. Bring it on. You think drinking beer has been done? Cause that's about what I feel like doing right now..
It's 4:30pm and it's already dark out here in the port city. The good people are going home or thinking about going home - early, because it's wednesday that feels like friday. They'll be going home to their wives and their husbands and their kids and their parents soon and they'll be sighing a quite sigh. A sigh of relief of resolve of hardship of doubt. They'll sigh contentedly as they settle into the couch. They'll sigh forlornly at the new bills in the mailbox and the old bills on the table and they'll look around and maybe see a Christmas tree or the candles of Hanukkah or the pole of festivus. They'll sigh a sigh of relief when they count all the little heads running around and through their legs and the number comes out right and then, maybe, they'll just sigh.. for no good reason.
Maybe they did it last year and maybe they'll do it next year too. Maybe it's been done before and most probably it'll be done again. Would they be wrong to do it?
Someone once said "There is no sense in being pessimistic. It would not work anyway."
So with that being said, let's get in the giving mood.
"The fragrance remains in the hand that gave the rose"
There. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it's holiday cheer.
i give up.
life's too much work.
I think i gotta just climb in bed for the rest of my life.
sleep, jerk off a bit, sleep, maybe read some books.. escape from reality.
You figure.. if all you needed was a tiny room enough to hold a small bed and maybe a tv you could mooch off friends for the rest of your life. get in early, get in fast.. before they are settled with a significant other. that way, when they do find someone you are part of the package - the smelly old dog that she can't say no to. Then, you live off your life savings.. you get $50k built up, maybe, and figure on a conservative 6% yearly gain. that's $3000 a year, which amounts to 30,000 packs of ramen noodle. or 9000 boxes of mac & cheese. or if you want to get complicated, let's say 365 meals of mac&cheese&hotdogs, 365 99cent salads at wendy's, 365 servings of frozen peas, 365 servings of frozen broccoli, 365 servings of frozen carrots, 365 packs of ramen, and 365 once-a-day multi-vitamin pills.. and that probably leaves $1500 left to pay your buddy $100 to live in his closet and $20 a month to spend on clothes at the salvation army... and $5 a month left over to make your principal grow.
your money would always grow and you'd have unlimited funds. well.. unlimited in that you could last forever barring any major shifts in world power or a stock market crash.
it's 2pm, wednesday, about that time of year and i just don't feel like working. i don't feel like not working, either. i don't feel like feeling or thinking or doing anything at all. i don't feel like being alone but i don't feel like there is anyone out there who wouldn't drive me nuts in a matter of minutes at this point. i don't feel like walking to the company kitchen and opening a bottle of beer and drinking it and opening another one and drinking it and opening another.. but i don't think i can really come up with a better idea.
The more I look at that mule down there a few posts (here
) the more I sort of like him. He's a good looking mule, as mules go, and he seems to have a sense about him. I can't say for sure, but I'm willing to bet he's a mule that's accepted his lot in life and is pretty easy to deal with. A sensible guy, in all respects.
There is a certain respect that I reserve for the Workers(tm) of this earth. The ants and mites and the bees buzzing above. The tireless hammering of the woodpecker and the exhausting sunbathing of the cold blodded lizard. These are committed folk, for better or worse. Accepting of their fate and willing to work with the tools given them.
The thing about the Workers(tm) is that they are wholly separate from the Whiners(tm). Sometimes, people try to glump the two together and call the whole mess a Workforce(tm) but it's just bullshit if you ask me. That was the mistake Stalin made and a mistake that will no doubt be repeated. A worker is heads down and resolved. A worker shovels the ditch even as you fill it back in. A worker stops a minute into his break and starts back up a minute before it ends and calls himself lazy. The whiner, however, is a creature of a different nature. The whiner shows up on time but is not ready to work. The whiner follows the rules but does not follow the Rules(tm). The whiner measures the hot air coming from his mouth as part of his contribution to society and he sees himself as a very integral part, a irreplacable part of the wheezing coughing smoking machine. The whiner thinks he holds it all together. THe whiner would rather get off 30 minutes early than have a 15 minute break and doesn't understand why the two are not synonmous and equal.
So they are both beasts of burden yet the burden is wholly different and unglumpable. The whiner and the worker, brothers but not twins, share only their plight. They both hold up the structure, for they are it's very base yet they differ greatly in where they come from and where they are going.
I respect that mule. I respect him a lot. I see him, sad maybe, forlorn, or just accepting.. even lively with the sparkle of challenge in his eye.. but still a mule, a jackass, a pack animal. Sometimes I wish I were a pack animal. It would be easier, in many respects, to be the worker. It provides for an easier conscience and a more understandable future. The worker knows it's path and by knowing, can resolve itself and accept it's journey and get to actually travelling it.
Alas, there is whiner blood in me. There is the urge to expel and expound upon feelings and emotions. There is desire to explain and express. The whiner, for shame, hopes for more - a better life. The whiner thinks he deserves more just for being him.
That mule.. he's just an animal. In our human eyes we see him staring back at us with small little animal expressions. "I am thirsty," he says. "This pack is heavy, but okay," he grumbles. "If you ask that dog for advice one more time I might kick you," he mumbles under his breath. We do not see the burden of knowledge in his eyes. To us, the mule is a static thinking machine. A mechanical calculator not capable of dynamically changing, explaining, provoking, or realizing. This is our burden, the Whiners(tm). We have share the burden of doubt, hope, faith, and the most burdensome of all: knowledge of the existence of things we do not know.
I do not understand.
I respect that mule for it's place on the earth, behind that fence, looking over - looking out at me from that photograph. I respect that mule for it's complete unawareness of that camera, pointed at him, and it's inner mechanical workers. I envy that mule for not knowing of the whirring spinning sparking photographic electronics packed within the metal housing. I appreciate him standing in his mud perhaps not knowing that mud is dirty and not appreciating the sun or the sky and only knowing that yes, the mosquitos are bad, oh.. I hate those mosquitos I wish they would just go away *swish* *swish* *swish*.. my tail is worthless.
I bet that's one good mule, there in that picture. I bet he's a good guy, hardworking, and friendly to boot. I'm not saying all workers are friendly and I'm not saying they have to be.. but I'm glad I think that he, the pony jackass mule in that picture, I'm glad he is a friendly creature in my mind.
Oh, call me mike. You don't have to be so formal.
Okay mike, no problem.
Gosh the mosquitos are bad, huh mule?
Yah, mike.. they are. That they are.
You there.. yah, you. I'm talking at you. Where the fuck are my damn comments, yo? I'm getting sick of looking at all those blue little No Comments
at the bottom of each post. They are boring. Especially if you click on them - surprise - cause nothing is there. Boring, yo. Assfuck boring.
So I got tired of trying to remember if anti
was antidisestablishment.blogspot.com or antidisestablishmentarianism.blogspot.com or antidisembowelment.blogspot.com or maybe even antidisestablishmentarian.blogspot.com so I've linked him on the left of this weblog. He is now up there under Anti and I made him all red-white-and-blue American cause I figured he'd really like that.. or would be pissed off about it.. and either way, cool.
Thing about anti is you don't have to worry about him going political on you like tony
. You don't have to worry about him getting too philosophical, either. It's just some quality "What the fuck, life sucks, I need money" griping. I dig consistency. And I dig real. If it ain't real, I don't really need it cause I can get plenty of that on reality television these days.. so be real folks. Even if you're lying. Make them real lies, not just fake wanna-be lies.
Now get to work and leave me a comment about how asshole my emotionally charged whine-fest was last night.
I'm walkin' down that long, lonesome road, babe
Where I'm bound, I can't tell
But goodbye's too good a word, gal
So I'll just say fare thee well
I ain't sayin' you treated me unkind
You could have done better but I don't mind
You just kinda wasted my precious time
But don't think twice, it's all right
I know I know, I'm usually not such a mushtart. I usually don't run around quoting lyrics a whole bunch and I try to avoid the poetry like the plague, too. Mostly it's because when I'm reading someone else's site I skip over it. I like to get straight to the juicy stuff and if it's juicy enough maybe I'll look back at the lyrics later to see if they were pertinent enough. Thing is, no matter how much lyrics may say what you're thinking, no matter how connected
you feel to that song - they are only words. It is only notes on a staff and drum beats and there is absolutely no feeling in the song. The feeling is all in you.
So tonight the feeling is in me but that's no surprise because it's pushing 2am here in the port city and I'm still wide awake starring at the screen. Like any good insomniac I'm accomplishing meaningless tasks - like sorting out my mp3 collection. I found a script to download album cover art for each song. I found a tool to weed out my duplicates. I found a song to drown my heart. So, it's all working out for me tonight.. I'm lucky.
Sometimes a song does seem to fit just right in my life, at a certain point, almost as if it were written specifically for me. So I play it over and over again. I really dig right into the meat of the melancholy and stir up as much of those muddy dark feelings as I can. I wallow. I punch holes through walls in my head. I have trouble breathing but it's mental. I bounce off the padded walls of my own skull and all the while I know I'm as normal a human being as the next guy and it makes me wonder how any of us get up in the morning at all. It makes me wonder how the world continues to spin about it's axis everyday and how the New York Time gets printed and how the sun rises up over the Atlantic Ocean and paints the first piece of American soil - Cadillac Mountain on Mt. Desert Island in Maine - with it's sparkling colours. I wonder how all this happens without everything going to shit. I mean, I can barely brush my teeth in the morning. The universe is expanding, not collapsing, and it's even speeding up they tell us, not slowing down. Doesn't that worry you in the least bit?
Ignorance is bliss and if that is true it doesn't explain my situation. I'm lost in a dark tunnel and there is no clear exit. I can hear noises and crawl around on my hands and knees but that's the best I can do. I've been given a flashlight with no batteries, a gun with no bullets, and a paddle. I'm not even sure what the paddle is for. I've been crawling and paddling and clicking the gun rapidly while pointing out into the darkness and I'm still confused. I still do not know what is going on.
After awhile in a situation like this you start to lose steam. You can't keep it up forever. Even Marathoners collapse sometimes as the cross the finish line. I think I'm ready to collapse. I think I'm ready to walk down the lonely road. I mean heck, the road I have been walking down has been pretty lonely lately.. even with all the crowds and such.
And if you don't understand this post, well.. do it like dylan said. Don't think twice, it's alright.
Names absolutely fascinate me.. I don't know why. Especially place names. Edinburgh, Timbuktu, Hell's Kitchen. Names can be so incredibly vivid and colourful. Sometimes, as in Portland, they are descriptive. Other times, as in Kalamazoo, they are nonsense to me yet just as colourful. City neighbourhoods are always interesting. Some of them are very typical and found in many cities. The Garment District. The East End. Chinatown. The Old Port. Others, like SoHo, Quincy Market, Times Square and Piccadilly Circus are unique to one place.
Sometimes, though, the most interesting of all are the subway stops.
Suitland and Foggy Bottom in D.C.
Haymarket, Government Center and Ruggles in Boston.
The farther you go, the more weird the names start to sound.
Angrignon, Lionel-Groulx, and Pie-IX in Montreal.
Over on the tube they have Goodge Street and Ealing Broadway and Putney Bridge and Uxbridge.
Garbatella and the Circo Massimo in Rome.
Kasumigaseki and Kasuradamon in Tokyo.. surely normal names to a Japanese but weird enough to me.
Then there are names people give to actual pieces of geography. Not areas or cities but real physical things like mountains and valleys.
Dead Man's Curve. Death Valley. Saddleback Mountain. Pike's Peak. Huertgen Forest. The Isle of Mann.
There are great areas of land that are loosely defined, too. Upstate New York. The Eastern Townships (East of Montreal). The Russian Steppe. The Mississippi Delta. The Sahara.
Which brings us to names of waterways, lakes, and seas. The Amazon, the Nile, and the Mississippi. Wassokeag, Moosehead, and Flagstaff. The Caspian, the Dead, and the North.
Names are just cool. I have no point. That is all.
Some of the fastest racing in the world (where the competitors are still stuck to the ground for most of the time) is that of the MotoGP 500cc circuit. 200mph. Raw. A lot more raw than stock car or F1 or anything with a cage around it. More intense than a foot race or a bicycle race or even a lawnmower race (though I commend the lawnmower racers).
Check out the documentary that'll tell you all about it: Faster
And it's barely mid-december. Already we're 30 inches into this years snowfall. The season isn't even here yet. Winter, if you all will recall, officially starts the 21st of december, the shortest most miserable day of the year. The only thing that would make it a more miserable day is if it were in feb because that is the most miserable month of the year (which I would normally give to march but march has st patty's day and that means beer and heck, there ain't nothing miserable about that).
The wind is howling like a banshee. Clawing at the windows and the doors and banging up against the side of the house like the big bad wolf. At least I'm no little pig. When the wind starts to really whip up over the hill from the ocean my house begins to cringe. It's an old building with cracks in the walls and cracks in the ceiling and cracks in the cracks, even. The window frames make casual attempts to connect flushly with the windows themselves but inevitably wind manages to make it's way not only around over and under the house but through it, as well. When a good Nor'easter comes barreling in off the coast the wind comes trampling up over the hill, charges straight at the standing face of the building, and smashes up against the windows like a mad bull. The glass actually bows under the pressure. Along the north side of the house, where my bedroom windows are, the wind runs along the side of the building, racing along like a team of horses out of control. The panes of glass dance around in their frames like mexican jumping beans and the wind screams softly at me.
The snow is insistent. It rides on the wind and spatters along the sills and edges and gets into everything. A thin pile of snow extends from the crack between the front door and the frame into the room. Snow pelts against the windows. The tiny flakes rake along the side of the house making the sound of a thousand little brushes painting the world white.
Snowdrifts are the rule, not the exception. Snow piles up against cars and up on porches. Natural berms get created at every street corner as if trying to stop the flood of pedestrians. Every lawn is like a bowl, with the snow collected at the edges and the middle swept out almost to bare grass.
I walked down the hill this evening. I put on my heavy sweatshirt and pulled the hood tight over my eyes to stave off the wind and I headed out into the wintery mix. I tromped through the snowbanks and down the street while a million ice warriors assaulted my back. I slipped around in my shoes and shoved my hands down into my pockets and watched the snow plow make it's way up the road. I listened to the clink clink clink of the tire chains as he rumbled by and then I walked by the oil platforms floating in the harbor. The big tower lights on them were soft and fuzzy behind the wall of snow and I could only make out the outline of the big legs extended down from the platform into the water. I turned around, into the wind, and walked back up the hill. The sailboats down at the yacht club clanked and chimed like a huge set of wind chimes - probably rope banging off the masts - but I couldn't see them down in the darkness.
When I got back up on my street my foot prints were gone. The snow had piled into the driveway and made random fractal-like patterns of snow drifts swirling out from the center of the pavement. Where once there was a cleared off set of steps up to the porch there was now a staggered set of snow levels tappering off on either end so you could see the woodsticking out.
It's still snowing out there and looks to keep on keeping on. The public landing parking lot down the hill is filled up with cars from the neighbourhood trying to avoid the parking ban tonight. The wind is still howling - shrieking, even, like a crazed tea kettle. The cold is creeping in through the walls and everywhere else and ice crystals are painting odd artwork on the glass.
You'd almost think it was winter.
: what's up
: i'm secretly spazing out because i have two GREs this week and I gotta get four grad apps done
: where are you going to apply?
: Brown, UWisconsin, Columbia, and McGill
: yes, Wisconsin
: dont go there
: cause it ROCKS
: I dunno
: you can go there if you want
: i hear it's an amazing college town
: and it's got a crazy mad awesome comp sci department
: top 5 in the country
: top 3 even
: and that would make me one seeeexxxxy dude
: oh yeah, sexy as a sock monkey
: "Hey, man, who the hell are you?!" some guy would say
: and I'd say:
: "Hey, I'm the man who made Wisconsin go from #3 top comp sci school in the country to #1.."
: cause I'd come up with some damn cool thing
: like Kazaa
: only it wouldn't be a free thing for the kiddies
: it would be for the corporates
: and it would help business' rip off people more
: and I'd be praised for that
: and held high atop a pedestal
: and the country would flaunt me like some sort of trophy wife
: "Look Japan, we have Mike.. so there! nah nayh nah"
: and Japan would realize their plight, admit defeat, and there would be world peace
: you'd be taken in by the Pentagon and forced to do their work?
: No no.. I'd be too dangerous if I was actually aloud to work
: I'd be like a nuclear weapon
: I would be a threat only
: "Watch out man, you don't want us to pull out some Mike on your ass..."
: and in the meantime... the government would put me up in a very nice HoJos and give me all-you-can-eat buffets every day
: if I slept with you would you buy be things?
: No, sorry.
: I'd be bitter that you never slept with me when I was a nobody..
: so I'd take it out on you
: i'd send g-men to your house at night
: and make them make creepy alien noises outside your window at night
: BEWARE THE CREEPY ALIEN-SOUNDING G-MEN
: they are bad ass.
: the end
: I like Cheez Its
Or not. It's almost 40 degrees out and the sun is shining so bright I feel like I'm being interogated by the man himself.
Not even one week ago snow was falling in amounts so large you'd think there was an early season special at wal-mart. The total over two days was in the two foot range. 20 some odd inches of the white stuff and it's barely December.
And not one week later it's almost all gone. The rain washed most of it away earlier in the week and the sun is now burning up the rest of it. Go figure.
Every year after the leaves have fallen to the ground and the weather turns towards the truly chilly side people start asking me what I want for Christmas. The funny thing is that I never have an answer.
They usually goad me into saying something, or else they make suggestions as if they were inside my head sifting through my own thoughts.. except they are in their own head and their thoughts never match up with mine so it's a busted operation anyway. So I made a decision to never get forced into an answer - or if I was - I would give the most unreasonable answers.
A Porsche 911.
A Ducati 916.
That usually shuts people up right good but I'm hoping one of these days someone will actually up and get me one of these things. Clearly, I don't need them, but heck.. why not? It's a quality of life issue and is there any reason that, given my lot in life as a citizen of the United States of America and a financially sound one at that, I shouldn't have at least one of these things? Would not a person of lesser fortunes snarl viciously at me for not
taking advantage of my position?
Really, not owning a porsche is sort of like starving on a desert island and not eating the coconuts. Sort of.
The problem with the mule answer, however, is that it's not such a far off option so I have to be careful who I mutter that one to. A mule can go a long way in these hard times. They're like the tauntauns of Earth - smelly pack animals that you can slice open and live in during the winter months if things get real bad. So who wouldn't consider a mule a great gift? You all laugh but with the way the world is going, terrorists and nuclear bombs that will blow us all sky high, we might be living in a ice-world-of-the-hoth-system type of situation soon enough.
But isn't the point of Christmas ( minus all that religious mumbo-jumbo, cause I ain't buying that ) to give gifts that are thoughtful and well considered and pertinent and important and and and? When did this change? When did it become okay to buy gift certificates and call it a day? When did it become okay to start spending willy-nilly with no personal thought placed on a single purchase decision?
In the generation I grew up in it was pretty common to get money in a card from your great uncle or your grandmother. This was, of course, back when gift certificates and gift cards and the like were less prevelant and money was still a physical medium exchanged between individuals as barter for goods and services. It was a good system because it freed up a lot of resources that were previously going towards the process of bartering. Before, a man had to take his chickens down to the market and trade them for a gun, so he could take the gun down to the farmer and trade it for some carrots, so he could then take those carrots home to his wife and trade them for some sex. Even back then life was tough after marriage. Anyhow, money was once considered a good idea and we got it in christmas cards sent to us by our extended relatives. It was nice because our extended relatives realized that they were not the right people to be buying us very personalized gifts since they didn't see us day to day and therefore couldn't really say what we liked and didn't like. So the money was a perfect solution.
Maybe that was the first step... or maybe it only opened the door but now we have fathers, mothers, daughters, brothers.. all giving each other gift certifcates and calling it good. I know a guy who got Mcdonald dollars from his significant other. We have entire families that are too lazy to stop and think or even get to know their own people. Families too engrossed in the television to look up and see the people around them and understand their lives. We have a breaking down of the American Family Unit. Maybe the gift certificate is one of the many results of this... or maybe.. just maybe.. the gift certificate is the very root - the cause - of the breakdown of the social fabric of of the american way of life. The fabric is threadbare and thin and has holes so big you could slide entire L.L. Bean catalogs through it and maybe, just maybe, it's all the gift certificate's fault. Maybe.
I sat down with a friend's father a few years ago. It was right around the holiday season and he asked what I had gotten my sister for Christmas. I hemmed and hawed and told him my ideas but that I hadn't made the final purchase yet. "Maybe a gift certificate," I said. He began a long rant about the injustices of the gold watch for a retirement gift and how it just showed how you can work with people for 30, 40, even 50 years and in the end they know you no better than the day you started. Know you no better than your wrist size and that you are an American male and probably need a watch. He told me that gift certificates were the bane of Christmas and how they were the most impersonal and unjust gifts a man could give. He told me there was more thought in the act of placing coal in someone's stocking than there was in purchasing a gift certifcate. "Do you know you don't even have to write their name anymore? They get it to print out right on the card," he said. He sighed. So I asked him what he had decided on for his daughter.
"I got her a gift certificate," he said.
Over at tony's I saw a comment from a fellow looking for site hits
. He is donating $1 for every hit he gets on this day, December 10th, 2003 (up to $1000). The money goes to a local food bank.
As of right now it looks like he is at 639
, so you still have a chance to do something good today, if only in the form of one hundred pieces of copper for the poor.
And in other news, Tony
is griping about the finale of Average-Joe. I didn't watch the show but I am familiar with the concept. The thing that is somewhat shocking to me is that the girl was aware of the millions her average joe had when she made the final decision to go for the pretty boy. Tony asks us what we're supposed to learn from that and you know, I'm not sure. Someone, somewhere, could probably spin it as a triumph of the human heart.. as how love transcends.. as how money isn't everything.
And they'd be as sincere as that Citibank commercial where a kid is flying a kite on the beach and then it cuts to the Citibank logo and they tell us money isn't everything, and that we should live life. Isn't that another way of saying we shouldn't worry about our credit card debt and that we should just spend spend spend more?
I Feel awful because I have not posted here for five days, and more significantly, I have had way more to post about in the last five days than I have had in a long time. Mostly stuff up in the head that's been bouncing around like balls of flubber in a rubber room but also a few stuff out in the real world that's worth sharing.
I Feel awful because I had to (read: made myself) take the latest incarnation of the GREs - the computerized GREs - the evvvvvil GREs. You see, I generally don't mind standardized tests. In fact, I like them. I'm one of those folks you hated in high school - jokers who had some sort of innate reasoning ability that allowed them to excel on these tests that were most likely written by like-minded test writers. Nevermind that a good SAT score will not help one change their tire in a snow storm, fix a clogged toilet, or eat healthy. Well.. sort of.. in an abstract way.. but not directly. Anyhow, this test was on a computer and I didn't like it.. despite being a computer programmer. There is something uncomfortable about trying to work out math problems on a screen. Something unhealthy. So I didn't much like taking the test and I didn't much feel good about it afterwards. The whole rest of the day I was queasy and on edge. I try to self-medicate with caffeine but that didn't seem to help. I slept close to 12 hours last night. I figure I deserve a sick day after taking that monstrosity of a quiz.
I Feel even more awful because I have to (read: am making myself) take the GRE Computer Science subject test. I imagine it's going to be worse than the regular one and
it's on a Saturday. I think it's at 8am in the morning. I think I won't do very well since it's been close to three years since I've been involved with any sort of computer science on an academic level and that is exactly what this test is about. DFAs. Data Structures. Running Times. Crap us people in the real world of business machines do not worry ourselves about. Look at Windows - no faster now than it was 5 years ago despite the fact that computers now are easily 10 times the speed they were 5 years ago. What's that say? It says Billy Gates isn't too concerned about running time. It means he isn't too worried about using the most efficient data structure for a given task.
I Feel awful because something is nagging at me in the back of my brain. It's the sort of nagging feeling you get around Finals time at college.. That impending sense that something big is going to happen soon and it's going to effect you a lot. The only problem is I am not taking any finals. I am not at school. What am I waiting for? What is it that is coming? What's with the uneasy feeling? It's not the GREs because it's been building for a lot longer than that. It's not graduate school applications either. I couldn't say what it is, though.. I just know it's there, it's nagging, and it's driving me crazy.
Also, I haven't been eating great.
Remember the whole "Weapons of Mass Destruction" joke with Google's I'm Feeling Lucky
? Here is a new one for you. Head on over to Google
and enter miserable failure
for your search term then hit the I'm Feeling Lucky
The Simpsons make a funny.
Apparently they're not as overdue for a final season afterall? Okay.. you're right. One clever joke that two people on the planet picked up on does not a good show make..
I know I know. Everyone watches the Simpsons. It's the best rated show Fox has. Okay. Whatever.
Where were you all when life was hell?
But really.. who expects a Simpsons movie soon? 2005? Bets, anyone? Isn't there a website where people can make long term bets with eachother? I thought there was.. No? Are you sure? No there isn't one? Okay.. it's the internet.. wait a few seconds.
Okay. Now there is probably one. Out.. away with you.. go find this site and sign up a new bet: Year Simpsons Movie first appears.
I'm putting my money on early 2006.
The problem with this blog thing is that I don't play the game right. You would think that a technology so new, a cultural movement so young, there wouldn't be a right and wrong way to play the game already. You'd think that the ground work was still being laid out. You might imagine, also, that no rules had yet been written down and politicians had yet to fight over them. Well, you'd be wrong. That's the things with these humans
.. everythings all predetermined to a certain degree. The human race, you see, is really the very definition of a social network - is The social network, really.. the social network to end all social networks (except the ones where dolphins talk to humans and monkeys take over the world). The internet of social networks, as it were. Now, given that.. can that network ever be the sum of more than it's parts? Which is to say, can a part exist not within, but without the actual social network - an antisubnetwork - and thereby define rules and regulations not possible within the confines of The network... all while being a part of The network?
The long answer, if you didn't pick up on it yet, is no.
A set, with it's own set of rules, can not contain a subset with rules that break the rules of the greater whole, now can it? Of course not.
Which is the long way around saying I don't play the game very well, even though there are already many rules on blogging and also I am, at the very least, aware of their existence. Rules like "link early, link often" and "gossip like it's your job" and "talk tv" and even "sex sells". As you can see on here the links are far and few between and you know, it's mostly cause I got nothing to say about it. I could, if you wanted, come here and write every day about how tony has done it again and talked dirty about anna and how he writes some good shit.. but you already know that. I could, if you'd like, make some of my own deriding comments on the paris hilton fiasco but you really have plenty to read as it is. I could go on and on about the dude on survivor who totally shouldn't have gotten voted off but got voted off and that's a shame cause I would never have voted him off even if he voted me off no, nah uh, no way... well that one is self-explainatory, no?
I could write about my love life. Would you like that, folks? I could write about alllll the women I'm dating and playing one-against-the-other like a crazed game of break out with four balls going at once. I could tell you about the law clerk that I made out with this morning while we waited, shivering, at the bus stop and how she promised to be my lawyer if I ever killed anyone, anyone at all.. but then again I don't take the bus.
I did write about a love interest once and it didn't really work out too well. I don't think anyone cared cause I never got any. What fun is the hike if you can't jump in the stream at the end, right? I know I know.. but I just can't seem to sign on to the fact that my life has an merit whatsoever as a spotlightable piece. I'm not complaining about my life. I'm not unhappy with my life. I just don't think it makes for very interesting reading.. not yet anyway.
Maybe if, someday, I move to Italy and start dating twins.. rich ones.. with a helicopter.. maybe then I'll start writing some more detail. Maybe I'll get a personal photographer to follow me around and take pictures of all the hot babes that want my ass and then I could put them up here, all of them, for the good people of the internet. Maybe.
So I don't play by the rules and I don't link much and I don't go around leaving too many comments on peoples sites and I'm not sure why. Don't get me wrong, I do some.. just not much. It's a seriously creepy comparison of my real life social network. Sorta involved, but sorta not. Bad about making phone calls but excellent about returning them. That means that if you ever see me linking like a whore you know I'm trying awfully hard because it's not my nature at all. I'm not the talk to strangers type and it's more a function of utilitarianism than anything. I don't talk to the store clerk other than to tell them how much the untagged item was. I order my beer in the most concise way possible. I just never have much to say so I don't open my mouth unnecessarily..
Which is awfully funny cause I can shut the hell up if I find a friendly ear to chomp on.
that is all.
The problem with coming into work with a small black winter hat pulled down over your brow is that everyone asks you dumb questions. Most of them revolve around longshoreman jokes but a few really struggling folk say things like "Come from the hood?" as if a black winter cap signifies all that is inner city livin'. It's my own personal version of "Sounds like somebody has a case of the Monday's" from Office Space. Argh. You might think the comments would taper off by mid-afternoon but they don't. People still wander by and chuckle at their infinite wit as they say "Hey, going down to the docks today?" The worst thing is probably that they all think they were the first to come up with it.
The problem with coming into work after 10am is people actually notice. 10 or earlier and no one looks up.. they're all still groggy from the morning commute and aren't feeling too friendly yet. But after 10 the caffeine has been flowing for awhile and everyone has happy smiles are painted on their faces and I have to deal with a "How's it going?" here and there. They don't care how it is going.. I think they ask because they think they have to and then I respond, "not bad," typically, because I feel like I have to but I don't, ever, ask them
how I am doing even though I feel like I have to because someone's
gotta break the vicious cycle.
The problem with wearing wool pants, and this is a mystery to me, is that it makes your balls itch. You'd think that a good layer of cotton boxers between you and the wool would be sufficient to block out any ideas of itchiness but it doesn't. It's almost a psychological phenomenon.. if you believe it will be itchy, you will scratch.
Speaking of scratching, I finally scratched Casablanca off my list of to-see movies and it was definitely a good watch. Just goes to show you that factories can output quality product, sometimes. Sure, maybe it was a fluke.. but what some people forget sometimes is that individuals turn out a lot of crap on top of the few diamonds of wisdom they produce... so it goes with mass production and is that so horrible? eh. such is life.
It's been awhile since my last post but, if you'd bothered to read the last post, you know I've been away.. away in the land of warm sun and sandy beaches...
oh ho. No. tony
has not been lying to you all this time. Sometimes some things in his little blog are true: like it's been cold in Southern California recently.. even cold to me, a Mainer. I didn't expect broiling temperatures and lots of bikini clad co-eds.. it was thanksgiving weekend after all, and it was the end of November.. but I didn't exactly expect 40s at night either. Smartly, I brought along a fleece zip up and jeans - the very thing I was, up until then, wearing in Maine (and finding quite sufficient, too, I might add).. Yet I found even this fleece to be lacking. The apartment was cold. The low lying meadow was cold. Everything was cold.
It was still a nice trip. I rode around Isla Vista on an old Peugot road bike, my friend viciously pedaling his creaking mountian bike after me. I rode down through the UCSB campus (did you know they have bike lanes.. with yellow lines.. even ROTARIES for bikes? I am told there is "rush hour" bike traffic when classes let out). I walked around in downtown Santa Barbara and made friends with Julie the bar keep from kansas city and dave the drunk VW mechanic (best goddamn car in the world
). I threw the frisbee on the beach, and threw it well, while we watched the last of the day's surfers paddling on the waves. Dusk came as the sun sunk down over the pacific ocean setting the clouds aflame in pink firey rays and the mountains turned dark. I rode up the 154 through the mountains and down the 101 to the 405 and out to the edge of sanity that is the huge venice beach. We walked down Santa Monica's Main street peering into shop windows and talking evolutionary psychology. We ate burgers at the Alehouse, made friends with Jennifer the composer who embarrassingly admitted her current gig with a lifetime show. We listened to the crazy rantings of a 50 year old surfer and then I went home.
The traffic was bad, but not too bad. The Airline only fucked me up enough to delay my departure by 2 hours. The snow in Boston did nothign to delay my arrival back home.
So, to parody a commerical as if 15 seconds on a tv could explain my life:
Airplane tickets to California: $325
Beer and Food for a weekend: $80
Hiking, Biking, Discing, and just generally hanging with a quality bud and no deadlines: priceless.
(though it would appear some deadlines sneaked their way in there somehow. a shame)
Speaking of which, my hands don't smell like balls. Which is only notable because a few seconds ago, I thought they did.
It's 4:14. I'm a useless, worthless human being. I am handing in the lowliest piece of garbage for my second paper, that I'm actually wondering whether I'll pass the course. I changed my grading option to Pass/Not Pass today, much because of the entertaining visit of non other than - . Alas, I claim full responsibility. It's not like I worked ridiculously hard today. I'm just a sack of shit. My balls smell like balls. Which is really a mystery . . . What is that ball smell? I used to think it was a penile emmission, as its smell vaguely reminiscent of such. But then I realized, no, that can't be the case. It starts immediately after showering. It's a little sweet . . . rather comforting. It makes me feel like I've done something, if only to smell up the sack that's holding my testicles. My scrotum, if you will.