Monday, June 28, 2004

Arrogant, Cavalier, Disdainful, High-and-Mighty, Insolent, Lordly, Overbearing, Supercilious, Superior...

In case you ever wondered what "haughty" meant, call (805) 564-2515 and listen to the voice on the recording.

Two Tough Guys

Late at night, after the second airing of Adult Swim and in daring defiance of my nine a.m. wake up call, I put together a special CD. A double disc album, I'm wagering. It's the soundtrack to "Kill Bill." But it's not the studio version; It's that plus thirty or so extra tracks that didn't make the store-bought version. Great stuff from Isaac Hayes and Ennio Morricone. Stuff culled from the bottom shelf of the western, blaxploitation, samurai and kung fu shelves of some dirty video store. Stuff with wonderful, pinpoint-evocative titles like "The Demise of Barbara and the Return of Joe" or "Seven Notes in Black" or "Yagyu Conspiracy" or this one by a singer named Lily Chou-Chou called, awkwardly, "Wound That Heals."

Tonight is a good night.

A Close Reading of the Inherent, Implicit Gay Content of Elton John's "Rocket Man" (or What Majoring in English Has Taught Me to Do)

Ahem.

A Close Reading of the Inherent, Implicit Gay Content of Elton John’s “Rocket Man.”
- or -
What Majoring in English Has Trained Me To Do.

If one listens closely to the lyrics of Elton John’s hit “Rocket Man” from his 1972 album Honky Chateau, the song can easily be read as an early admission of the singer’s homosexuality. Elton John would not publicly come out until 1976 in a Rolling Stone interview, this song is pretty goddamn gay. Basically, it likens being an astronaut to being gay — which is exactly how everybody should think about those astronauts.
She packed my bags last night pre-flight
Zero hour nine a.m.
And I'm gonna be high as a kite by then
The narrator is separating from his wife. Then he’s doing drugs. And we all know that gay men are notorious junkies.
I miss the earth so much I miss my wife
Okay, yeah, he says he misses his wife, but for all he knows he just misses her companionship — not necessarily the sex.
It's lonely out in space
On such a timeless flight
He’s lonely, lost in a world of anonymous sex.
And I think it's gonna be a long long time
Here, the narrator’s talking about how he’s not going to be able to be open about his sexuality right away. He’s gonna need time to go public with it — as in the four years it will take for him to tell the Rolling Stone reporter that he’s bi, or the years after that when he finally gets around to admitting he's full-on gay.
Till touch down brings me round again to find
I'm not the man they think I am at home
Oh no no no — I'm a rocket man
Rocket man burning out his fuse up here alone
This doesn’t really warrant much of an explanation.
Mars ain't the kind of place to raise your kids
In fact it's cold as hell
And there's no one there to raise them if you did
Mars, the symbol for which is a big fat male sign. Apparently, gay life isn’t the kind of place the narrator would want to raise a family. Traditionally, women do most of the child-rearing. The narrator worries that an all-male environment might deprive his child of a proper parent.
And all this science I don't understand
It's just my job five days a week
A rocket man, a rocket man
Being a singer or whatever is just his public persona. At heart, he’s a big flaming rocket man. And, if nothing else, we should have learned by now that rocket man = gay.
And I think it's gonna be a long long time... (and it goes on like this)
So there you have it. The secret, homosexual-but-surprisingly homophobic content of Elton John’s “Rocket Man.” Please feel free to introduce the term “rocket man” into your vocabulary, as in, “I don’t know about you, but that one seems like a bit of a rocket man to me.”

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Where Have You Gone, Tiffany Blum-Deckler?

And sometimes when I'm waiting at Chinese fast food restaurants, I amuse myself by sending out peculiar text messages to as many people as my phone will allow me to send. Things like "thinking of u, sunshine." Then I see who writes back first. It's like a race.

This time, Marcy won. Her response: "it my sister weding 2day," which I'm pretty sure I was supposed to interpret at "It's my sister's wedding today." Personally, I'd rather take it as "It's my sister's weeding today," because that gives me a funnier mental picture.

The responses I get fall into four basic categories:
  1. People who get the joke and run with it, like Monique, who responded with lyrics from "Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows."
  2. People who know me and disregard the peculiarity. Example: "Hi drew."
  3. People who don't get it. Example: "What are you talking about, weirdo?" (These are my least favorite.)
  4. People who don't respond ever. (No, these are my least favorite.)

Saturday, June 26, 2004

P.S., I Am Not a Lunatic

An actual email I sent to the keeper of a well-done blog, Vitamin Q.
Dear sir,

I saw your weblog. It's very entertaining. List-reading i an underrated form of entertainment, I always say. But I thought you'd be interested in how I found your site.

I was checking to see if my archived pages have been loading properly. They should all be able to be found on Google, separately. So to check for one, I searched for a rare combination of words that I knew this particular archived page has. I searched for the words "farkleberry" and "hurdy-gurdy." (These words showed up once repeatedly in one of my entries because I had recently become fascinated by these two words; they're quite odd sounding and I'm happy they're part of English.) I got two hits: your page and my page. I didn't think there'd be any others, but I was wrong.

Anyhow, I just thought you might like to know that, according to Google, your page and my page are the only two on the entire internet that have the words "farkleberry" and "hurdy-gurdy."

Peace,
Drew Mackie
The bloggist's name, I realize now having sent the email, is Roddy Lumsden.

Scratching Their Nails on the Chalkboards of Death

The new dilemma.

[ thoughts in favor of moving out ]
It’s my fifth year here. I don’t do I.V. anymore, unless it’s friends holding the party. But most of my remaining friends moved downtown. The house has changed so goddamn much, and no one but me has any interest in keeping the place clean — or even sanitary. Sample conversation:

“Hey, Phil, is this your chicken in the refrigerator?”
“Yeah.”
“Well, you can’t keep uncovered raw chicken out like that. It’s not safe.”
“Oh, because bacteria could grow in it?”
“No, because there’s salmonella in the chicken already and it contaminates other food.”
“Oh, I didn’t know that.”

I don’t like feeling like an RA or a mom, but I feel like I have to to keep my stuff from being trashed. I’m living in a different world than the kids I’m sharing the house with.
[ thoughts against moving out ]
It’s the Pasado House. It’s my home.

Friday, June 25, 2004

Think About Haystacks

Only a few days after I got my digital camera, I took it to the lodge at the edge of Hidden Valley — my childhood neighborhood, not the salad dressing place. Midwinter casts a bluish gray shadow over that area. It's spooky and isolated. I think my pictures reflected that. I went back last week, digital camera in hand, and took more pictures. It's green and gold now, instead of gray and blue. Whatever ghost spooked me so badly during the winter apparently took a vacation. I tried to approximate my old pictures, angles and distances and everything.

The creepy house in winter:



And the same house, much less "Ring"-like in the summer:



This lone tree in the winter:



Tree finds clothes for the summer:



A dead thistle:



Probably not the same thistle, but you get the idea:



The rest of the photos from the December trip, I couldn't re-create because the army of rattlesnakes hiding the grass scared me off. So I guess nature still technically won.
[ link: the original photo essay, "Liminal Reality" ]

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Happy Birthday, Big Brother

[ see title; see actual brother for more information ]

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Summoning the Calculaticians

Belatedly, the end-of-the-quarter scorecard:
English 140: A minus (surprisingly)
Writing 105CN: A minus
Writing 151B: A
Writing 150: Pass
Rise, GPA, rise.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

The Curse of Anne Perry

escalift: i can't believe you have that anne perry thing on the cereal box
kidicarus222: why is it so unbelievable?
escalift: i just found out about it myself and i was telling people the story last week
kidicarus222: oh
kidicarus222: how odd
escalift: we're the same person, drew
kidicarus222: so i hear

Monday, June 21, 2004

Forty-Eight, If My Math Checks Out

Meghan's all moved into her place on El Nido. She tells me she will not be hooking a landline up to the old phone number. Some group of our friends has had this one number since sophomore year. I've drunk dialed that number countless times.

So long, (805) 562-8824.

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Media Muffins

Anne Perry is Juliet Hulme.

I only wish I could take credit for this discovery. Other reporters already made the connection back in 1996, when Peter Jackson’s “Heavenly Creatures” hit theatres. The movie tells the story of these two girls in Christchurch, Juliet Hulme and Pauline Parker. The two share this freakishly close bond. They write fantasy novels together. They construct elaborate histories for their characters. The friendship concerns their parents, however. They suspect it’s unhealthy — possibly leading them into lesbianism. Beyond this, Juliet has health problems stemming from childhood tuberculosis.

Both girls’ parents agree they should be separated.

The girls are devastated. The dark of the two, Pauline, somehow concludes that her mother, Honoura, threatens the friendship most. They girls carefully plan to lead Honoura Parker out into an isolated path. Then they beat her head in with a brick in a stocking. The movie ends there, basically. White text on a black screen explains that though both Juliet and Pauline are convicted of murder, New Zealand authorities release them after a few years. One of the terms of their release dictate that they can never meet again.

It’s a good movie. It’s Kate Winslet’s debut, I think, and she plays Juliet earnestly. The sequences which dive into the girls’ fantasy worlds are beautifully done. I wonder if more people will watch this film now that the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy has been so well received.

The interesting part about this whole story, however, is the epilogue missing from the movie. Some point after her release form jail in 1960, Juliet Hulme moved to this remote Scottish village and changed her name to Anne Perry. Some of her writing talent apparently lingering, Anne Perry begins writing mystery novels. They garner her some success here in the states. (She also converts to Mormonism, but that’s another story altogether.) Anne Perry might have hidden her past forever if Peter Jackson hadn’t filmed “Heavenly Creatures.” But reporters dug around and made some connections. Soon, everybody found out that this Anne Perry had a dark history — a real life experience to draw her in the direction of murder mysteries. Although I must imagine that Mormon murder mysteries can’t be all that dark, no matter if they are written by a convicted murderess.

I think I’m recently drawn towards people who achieve fame by trying to erase their past. Paul Weston. Juliet Hulme. It's fun to think about who might have something to hide.

Saturday, June 19, 2004

The Haunting of Hill House

I’d been dreading Jenn’s graduation party since she invited my family and me a few weeks ago; I knew the party would be full of people who knew me since I was a kid and I hated that.

I hate Hollister.

It’s weird but no matter how much I do, how far I go, these people can shrink me back down to a kid — the same little kid who got teased and grew up to be an asshole, a verbal bully, just to defend himself. When I was a kid, I wasn’t like other people. I’m still not. I don’t act like them. I don’t think like them. I’m left-handed, right-brained and I worked best when I’m doing my own thing. People don’t like that. They changed me. They made me act more like them, which meant becoming more critical of everybody else.

I hate Hollister.

Since I got to college, I started moving back towards being myself again. I’m getting better. I’m getting over myself and everybody else. I’m doing what I want to do and writing more and starting to do art again. Art. I used to do art. I'm still an asshole, but it's something I can work on. I found people I like — people who don’t make me feel like I should modify myself. I can left my guard down there, and I don’t want to go back to having it up all the time. But talking to my fifth-grade teacher, I’m back again, being the same stupid little kid I didn’t like then and can’t stand now.

I like being home, but I’m glad my house sits beyond city limits, because I fucking hate Hollister.

Friday, June 18, 2004

Jacqueline

A short story after the end.

I can't find replacement sunglasses. The shades I got in Coachella — the ones I bought while Shade was there, coincidentally — crumbled to pieces partway into my brother's graduation ceremony. The pieces, I'd imagine, still lay under the visitor bleachers at the stadium at Cal Poly. It's about what I'd expect from something manufactured in Hollister — no less, something manufactured in an apparently invisible sunglasses factory that has somehow escaped my notice for twenty-one years.

To repeat, I can't find replacements. Hollister apparently doesn't sell the sunglasses it makes. Lame.

(The tiny white ball you throw in bocceball is called a pellini.)

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Adios, Johnny Bravo

  • Glenn’s desk.
  • My grandpa’s pen holder.
  • My mom’s potted azalea.
  • Nate’s futon mattress.
  • The futon frame from Helen and Valerie’s living room.
  • Conchita Ramirez, the hanging plant I named after Edith’s alter ego.
  • Hillary O’s nightsand and chair.
  • Grandma’s lamp.
  • The Christmas garland Kami made from the forty-ounce beer cans.
  • The circumferential shelf Glenn built for the train track that used to go around this room — which, for practical purposes, I still refer to as Monique and Taryn’s room.
  • Shanna’s chest of drawers.
  • Nate’s chest of drawers.
  • My dad’s old ties.
  • Deer antlers from a buck my great-grandpa shot.
  • The pea green "Kermit" blanket I stole from my house in Hollister.
  • Brie’s beta, Jean-Pascal.
  • Works the Dinosaur, which Jessica gave me for my birthday last year.
  • Taryn’s block of silicone.
  • The white bookcase Beth left.
  • And a plastic pineapple cocktail mug I inherited from God knows who.
I look around my room. Like it or not, it is a memorial to people I don’t get to see often enough. I’m comfortable now because I have pieces of them — furniture, appliances, whatever. I don’t care so much that most of what’s in my room isn’t one-hundred percent mine.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

The Miracle of Genuine Pyrex

As I typed away at my desk at Seasons, I could hear the grown-ups talking about Scott O’Dell and Island of the Blue Dolphins. This naturally caught my ears since I wrote my last column of the year about this very book.

Apparently, the Los Angeles Times’ outdoor section, which rocks, did a feature on the woman the story was allegedly based on. Karana is a fraud. She didn’t exist. Not really. At least not in the way she’s portrayed in the book. The real woman lived there for nearly twenty years, alone, scavenging seal carcasses and communicating with the island’s resident wild dogs like some kind of nature witch. Those living on the mainland knew she was there, but never bothered to help her for a long time. When some traders finally retrieved her, this wild bushwoman jabbered incoherently, the victim of two decades of isolation on a fog-shrouded rock just beyond swimming distance from the mainland. On the boat ride back to civilization, she clapped and danced unabashedly. Self-perception, the writer wisely noted, fades without human contact.

Two weeks later, she died of dysentery — of diseases spawned by the civilization that was supposed to save her.

The real kicker is that the island named in the book’s title doesn’t exist, really. The real island is San Nicholas — the Channel Island that lent its name to my freshman year dorm. It’s an island I’ve seen on rare clear days off the coast of my college campus.

I guess Island of the Blue Dolphins was even closer than I thought.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Pull of the Moon

Another short story about the end, titled by the name of the song playing at the time I started writing it.

I liked piling fifteen people into Naughty Jan and bussing to Q’s last night. And I liked seeing everybody at Menehune’s on that last night when everybody was still here and I talked to people from the Penthouse that I haven’t talked to — like, talked to talked to. And I’m pretty sure I’ll like Defrost Fest 2004, which I’m having tonight. But easily, the best way to end the year was going to the top of Storke Tower. Champagne at sunset, 140 feet above the ant-land campus we’ve all been scurrying about for the last four years.

It’s video game-like, the process of getting there. A few well-placed phone calls, and bam — I get this magical key that grants me access to this special place. I even have to put the key in the slot and turn it to make the elevator go all the way to the observation deck.

There’s something neat about seeing the bells that we’ve heard ring all these years. These bells, they’re something. I could fit inside the bigger ones. Me and a friend could fit in the biggest. And looking 180 degrees at everything, at home. It’s cool. In less than one minute, I can see Pasado and the Nexus office and the beach and the lagoon and Campbell Hall and the Goleta Pier and the airport.

God bless you, Mr. Storke. God bless you for having an ego raging enough to demand the tallest structure in Santa Barbara County.

Pictures forthcoming.

Monday, June 14, 2004

Madagascar

A short story about the end, titled by the name of the song playing at the time I started writing it.

The Santa Inés Mission will hit the double-century mark on September 17, 2004. This I learned while I was at Seasons, doing the last bit of writing I’ll have to do for the fall issue. They’re having a festival for the 200th birthday and I had to include it in the events section.

This particular mission, the nineteenth, presents an interesting challenge to the online researcher: its name. I wish they’d go Anglo and call it Mission Agnes. Officially, though it’s Santa Inés. But since it’s in the Santa Ynez Valley, people often refer to it as Mission Santa Ynez. Beyond that, still more people spell it Mission Santa Ines — no accent mark, no "z."

The difficulties of the name aren’t the crux of this short-but-could-be-shorter story, though.

One of the events the mission’s putting on is a production of this play, “The Bells of Santa Ynez.” (And yes, it’s with that spelling, though you can find the other spellings everywhere, too.) The music was written by a guy named Paul Weston. Generally credited as “the father of lounge music,” this guy wrote a lot of songs — some swing, some jazz, but mostly an easy-listening bastard child between the two. Lacking anything else interesting to include in the write up of the bicentennial celebration, I went to Allmusic.com to check out some information about Paul Weston. Neat guy, that Paul Weston.

Born Paul Weisenstein, he went to Dartmouth and got his degree in economics. But something in the back of his head tells him that music, not money, is where he should be. So even though he’s only been in his piddly college band, he decides that a Jewish kid can make it big in the music scene. And he starts writing and gets some gigs with Tommy Dorsey and does okay for himself.

But the weird thing is that he writes this Catholic musical, “The Bells of Santa Ynez.” Paul Weston gets famous in his later life for writing a lot of religion-centered music, much of it Catholic.

So how does a Jewish econ major at preppy prep university end up becoming the father of lounge music and the writer of Catholic musicals? I wonder: no matter how much success Paul Weston achieved, was he a failure in the eyes of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Weisenstein?

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Don't Put Marbles Up Your Nose

While drinking last night, I had way too many conversations that ended with "Well, hey — have a nice life!" or something like that. I hate endings. It's "Home Movies" all over again. I wish I could just power-coma on through this week and wake up when everybody's already gone.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out

I am tall, but not as tall as I would like to be. If there's flowers taller than my in my own backyard, then I'm not tall enough, dammit.



Maude would be proud, nonetheless. (Note: this picture was taken in the afternoon before my hair accident.)

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Poor Claire



I fell asleep after dinner, around six-thirty, and I woke up after nine, just before Brie and Hasan got here. Truthfully, I was still half-asleep when I talked to them. They didn’t make much sense and they left.

Outside, the sky was that fake-looking electric blue it gets just before dawn and just after sunset. It was windy and warm and I felt weird — in some between place. I burned what was in the firepit, for some reason, and then I wandered around the house, accomplishing nothing except twitching and staring and fiddling pointlessly.

Eventually, I cut off all my hair. My hair hadn’t been bothering me, really, but I felt better afterward. Sometimes you just don’t feel like having hair anymore. I nearly bicked the whole thing, because I’ve never done that before and I always kind of wanted to. But I chickened out. (Now that I think about it, I’ve seen that electric blue before. It’s Lynch blue. The rose and the box and the key and the silencio lady’s beehive — now there’s hair I’m glad I don’t have.) The good news is I’m not balding. My hairline is exactly where it was the last time I shaved off all my hair.

I can’t explain how any of these relates to anything else.

The Good Dale Is in the Lodge and Can't Leave

Maybe because I work in an old church. Maybe because it's always just a little foggy and shady when I walk through the door. Maybe because I have to wear a nice shirt when I go in. But something about my other job reminds me of England. And I hate it less now.

More mysteriously, somebody sent me an appropriate if perplexing and anonymous birthday present: The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer. Like, a book made up to look like the one Laura hides and gives to Harold Smith to keep. The one Donna and Maddy find, right before Maddy dies. Jennifer Lynch, apparently, took it upon herself to write it all out, up to the end — les 7 derniers jours de Laura Palmer, as the Cannes poster for "Fire Walk With Me" above my desk reads. It's a suitable gift for me, but I can't imagine who would have thought to find that this book existed, much less sent it to me.

Thanks, if you're reading this now.

Monday, June 07, 2004

She Pales

"The Muse, then, is that most terrified of all virgins. She starts if she hears a sound, pales if you ask her questions, spins and vanishes if you disturb her dress."

— Ray Bradbury

Sunday, June 06, 2004

The Biggest and Therefore the Best

Drew wins best opinion writer, biggest ego (for the second year in a row) and biggest wise ass (for the second year in a row). The last one was a given, but I thought for sure Daniel would snag biggest ego this year.

The Afternoon and the Night That Followed

[ the afternoon ]
Hanging out with ex-Nexites — and I'm talking ex-Nexites generations behind David and Marisa — reminds me of my parents’ friends coming to visit. They relive old stories I only know bits and pieces of, yet assure me that I've “just got to hear this story.” The story, of course, never ends get told because everybody keeps interrupting with their two-cent memory fragments and forcing it through so many tangents that everyone eventually forgets what the fucking point was — except me, who’s still wondering what the fuck "fatty two-by-four" means. Oh, and they're drunker than me, because I still have finals because I still go to school.

It's too bad these meetings are painful. Ex-Nexites still want to feel connected to the paper, I'd imagine, and want the current staffers to put a face with their name. And those of us still working at the paper have a lot to learn from the people who preceded us: Nexus history, writing tips and benefits of their experience in the professional journalism world. Unfortunately, the old ones try to impress the youngins by talking up their tenure, when it was "so much better," and we kids in turn have to prove that they're not a Nexus version of “Muppet Babies” and we're not running the paper into the ground.

Of course, this flips the minute I leave, when I become embittered and hopelessly nostalgic and the paper, now deprived of me, starts sucking donkey cock.
[ the evening ]
Even though I didn't go to high school with Kristen and Hillary's friends, they've never hesitated to make me feel like I did and that I have a million stories to share about they time we tried to steal Mr. Belding's car and got addicted to caffeine pills. Seriously, I wish I had gone to school with a group like them. Agnes and Charlie are great, but so are the rest, even though I don't really know them. I don't think any other group could have made “Mr. Wrong” such much fun.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Retainer to Mushrooms, Retainer of Mushrooms


The Solution for Blogger's Block

Mailbag.

What Meg Ryan said:
Drew, how you doing, buddy? I was just thinking about you recently and thought I should write...like a real friend would-to keep in touch. Anyway, I hope everything is good with you and I hope you are staying out of trouble. Any big plans for the summer? Deirdre moves away to Oklahoma in two weeks once she graduates and Jacob will be going to San Jose for two weeks once school is out to work on his masters thesis. And me, I get to stay here and work. Ahhh, the life of a drop out. Kinda scary though, I've never really lived by myself.

Okay, back on track. I'd really like to hear from you-it's been a while since we said hi. Maybe we can get together for real this time. No gossip...

Meg
And what Josh said in response to last month's post, "She Don't Love Herself":
just for kicks...
  1. whoopi goldberg (sad inclusion, but she's gotten a few oscar noms)
  2. oprah (bitch already has an oscar)
  3. vivica a fox
  4. angela bassett
  5. alfre woodard
  6. regina king
  7. pam grier
  8. loretta devine
  9. thandie newton
  10. rosario dawson
an entirely different list... but troublesome and time consuming all the same.

and i know, i know, i know... i need to give you a ring. i've been uber busy and stressed... that's my excuse. and it's a good one.

Nerdus P. Jerkwad and the Literature of the Young Adult

The last Artful Dodger of the year.
The Lonely Trek to Super Seniordom

It's June. This year - my senior year of college - is nearly done, yet I keep thinking about books I read in grade school. You know the kind. You'd order them from those tissue-thin pamphlets, and after six to eight weeks, you get these teacher-recommended books emblazoned with silver or golden circles. The Newbury Medal. The Caldecott Medal. The Nerdus P. Jerkwad Award for Children's Literature.

Two books in particular keep popping up in my head: Island of the
Blue Dolphins and Hatchet. The former was about a girl who is marooned on an island; the latter was about a kid stranded somewhere in the Canadian wilderness. I haven't thought about these books in years. It's not nostalgia, though. It's trauma-induced regression. It's not even my zest for reading, as academia has effectively quashed that.

It's empathy.

You see, although this is my fourth year of college, I'm not graduating. I'm actually transitioning to my fifth year, during which I get that loaded title of "super senior." I hate having to explain it.

"So what day are you walking?"

"Um, I'm not walking."

"Oh, you're blowing off the whole ceremony thing? I totally get that."

"No. See, I'm not graduating. Not for a whole year. I'm doing a fifth year."

Instantly, whomever I'm talking to tries to decide which of the two principal reasons to take a fifth year - overachievement or underachievement - has prompted my decision. I have to jump in.

"I'm doing a second minor."

The other person nods, having understood that I'm the academic dork kind of super senior, not the fuck-up kind.

But being a slave to academia is the least of my worries. By hanging around UCSB for another year, I'm losing most of my friends to the working world, where they'll struggle to perform in the professional capacity for which college has trained them. I don't envy the stress of the postgraduate job search, but I'm just now realizing that college minus friends might pose certain challenges as well.

As melodramatic as it might sound, I feel like that girl from Island of the Blue Dolphins, watching the ship carrying her family sail away. I feel like the kid in Hatchet, stuck in crappy Canada, away from the people most important to me. Mass emigration is tearing up a social circle that I've been meticulously arranging for the past four years.

Thankfully, enough of my peers are also trudging toward super seniority that next year won't be a total wash. I'll have folks - both fuck-up and studybug types - with whom I can commiserate and bemoan the difference between "the way things used to be" and how they'll be next year. And I guess I could lower myself and hang out with underclassmen, who, for all I know, might be cool. And even if that fails, the time I would have spent socializing I can now invest in new hobbies, like macrame, game hunting or re-reading books I liked when I was a kid.

Seriously, on behalf of the rest of the super seniors-to-be, I can say we'll probably be fine. But we won't watch you guys wear those goofy graduation hats without a slight twinge of jealousy. It's been a great four years, and I largely have you guys to thank. Goodbye, good luck and, if you ever want to relive old times, you know where to find me.

Former
Daily Nexus opinion editor Drew unsuccessfully tried to work Bruce Coville's My Teacher Is an Alien into this column.
Props to Mark Batalla for making me look like a stud in the art. A stud who wears cut-offs, sure, but a stud nonetheless.

Gold Bond Medicated Powder

The 80s have finally died. I won’t forget when Ronald Reagan died. I won’t forget the morning I rolled out of bed in the afternoon following my twenty-second birthday and the only story the Drudge Report had up was "Ronald Reagan Dies in California." If it wasn’t finals, I’d propose throwing an 80s party in honor of Ronnie’s death. But no — I’m too busy not doing work on my own, much less with people dancing in my living room.

A year ago, my one word entry for my birthday was "Blackjack." So following that logic, I should have busted last night. But I didn’t. I had a good time. And it was especially nice to see Charlie and Agnes again. The last time I saw Charlie was in the train depot in London after we got off the Chunnel and the last time I saw Agnes with is the train station in Paris when Charlie and I left but she stayed, nine months ago. We could have made a whole baby by now. And even if only five of us hit the bars afterward, I still had a good time. It’s not every day I can watch Lee shoot pool with the guitarist from Depeche Mode.

Friday, June 04, 2004

Thirteen

People who called or IMed me to wish me a happy birthday:
  • Patrick
  • My dad
  • Brie
  • Hasan
  • Brenna
  • Edith
  • The Palmer
  • Kat
  • Jenny
  • Bonnie
  • Brenna (again)
  • Greg
  • Patrick (again)
  • Josh
  • Todd
And the rest of you can burn in hell.

Bad Dog, No Biscuits

and now it's my birthday, which is also the anniversary of the tienanmen square massacre. in a blur, i finished two classes and the nexus and avoided all regular sleeping patterns. my only clear memory of the last two sleep-deprived days is eating glenn's last banana while watching the late late showing of cowboy bebop at three-thirty in the morning. i only saw the second half. something with cats and an amusement park, but i had no idea what was going on... i can't believe i've been twenty-one for a whole year.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

"Gomeril"?

Seriously, "Gomeril"?!