Smallhouse Log

Thursday

So if you are like me, and didn't go to the Kid Koala show on Friday night only because you didn't sit down and read the paper until Saturday, when it was the perfect weather to sit out on your deck and, well, read the newspaper, you might be as glad as I am to hear that J+J+J are having a show up in East Village on Monday night. If you are me, then you live in Bridgeport, and are excited further by the fact that they are doing a DJ set at the bar/liquor store one block away from your (my) apartment, and that there is no cover for this. Other exciting things for me, and any errant copies of me that might be reading this: I have a job interview! In theory. That is, it's been postponed until next week. It was going to be tonight, right before the National Address (also exciting -at Mercury Cafe, seven at night, if you're / I'm reading before then and want to czech it out), but it's been moved to Monday... right before the J+J+J show. Sweet, sweet proximity. Critical Mass tomorrow! I may be less enthusiastic when I'm tired and saddlesore after a week of commuting plus the jaunt north tonight for the Address. Then, on Sunday, church! There's no way I'll sleep through it, because I now get up at four every morning! Then, on Monday... well, I skipped ahead on the concerts, because I was that excited. And so are you.

And now I'm going to go try to buy spray paint in Chicago. It can't be that hard.

Sunday

So I was roadtripping with some other old Scav Hunt judges, and we were going through Las Vegas when our car broke down. While it was in the shop, we sort of wandedered around until we came to a convention centre, where we crashed a folkways convention. But these were not established, traditional folkways, they were new ones, still in need of promotion, so there was a lot of energy and music and even more free food, most of it pretty decent. It was winding down as we were there, though, and in the end most of us ended up playing poker off in a corner. Looking out the window, there was a gigantic, lit-up restaurant (/ casino?) called "PIE to the RIBS", where, it was agreed by all present, one should be able to get pie made of ribs; sadly, this did not seem to be the case. Apparently, not even pies made of ribbed-like things (eg. pulled pork) were available. And then I woke up and was terrified I was late for something.

But no. I had, in fact, slept through the alarm to go to the Marauders run tonight, which had sounded so promising - though I'm sure the information is available somewhere online, it's not my place to spread it; I am content to say that both the origin and the terminus are two of my very favorite places in Chicago. But I had woken up at three am already, been chagrined, turned off the alarm, mourned the missed opportunity, and gone back to sleep. And since my sleep schedule is being phased to end at three in the morning, I wake up a few hours later, thinking about meat pies and good times with Scavjudges.

Holy Saturday

Even in my dreams I get heartache; you know, a typical star-crossed lovers story. Boy gets hired by secret angency to infiltrate enemy kingdom, boy meets girls, boy learns girl is princess, boy pretends to fall for girl, girl falls for boy, boy actually falls for girl, boy reveals secret plot, girl realizes it can never be, boy and girl take soulful walk on beach near castle, boy goes home empty-handed and heartbroken. That may sound pat, but inside, I'm still saying "Oooooaaaaghh" over and over.

Analysis: Shows heavy influence by an old television show I've been rewatching recently. This show is similar to Clone High in that it's a cartoon about teenagers; it's hilariously ridiculous and ridiculously hilarious; the main character in followed around by a girl who is crazy about him, but whom he generally ignores as he chases another woman and there's a third, much shorter character who acts as confidante for both of them but is primarily comic relief; and involves a lot of historical figures in a modern setting. But in this show, the adoring girl is a beautiful princess. So there's that. Other obvious influences: Layout of castle, infiltration of same harken to long, long string of recurrent dreams, most of which focus on either getting into a labrynthine stonework building secretly, or escaping cavernous mansions without being caught. The original root of these dreams is not known.

This dream was so touching, so coherent, so full of honest clear-cut emotion, it demanded to be written down. Perhaps I could even work it into a story, but I doubt it. Too personal, and writing it out as a narrative, it must be obvious how much I, the author, am in love, and how heartbroken I am. That seems undesirable for other readers, and I lack the kind of vanity that makes me eager to do things for my own sake.

I fear there is a serious danger of sappy poetry in my future.

Good Friday

'Triduum' may well be my favorite word. I wish I could play it in Scrabble sometime. Is it only a proper noun? But I confess, I have not had a particularly holy Lent. I slipped in my devotions a lot, and I am sitting here right now, on the anniversary of Christ's death, wrapped up in my own little problems.

I've been thinking unusually hard lately. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say I've been thinking about unusually hard things. In the past three weeks, I drafted (with some help) Plan Epsilon-sub-epsilon and executed it. Like every other instance of Plan E (summary of Plan E: graduate college), it seems to have failed, but for the first time in Plan E history, it failed due to circumstances and not due to improper execution on my part. Also, it didn't cost me anything but stress, time, and energy, all of which I have in abundance. Further, I discovered that I am ready to go back to school, by which I mean I enjoyed and was interested in the material, something that had not been the case the past few stabs at E. I am so pleased (if not satisfied) with this result, I think I will redeploy E-e at the time of earliest convenience, but with somewhat more set-up time.

Encouraged by the recent sharp decrease in failure for my Plans, I sat down a few minutes ago and tried to draw up a Plan for romance, but I ultimately set it aside as futile. The first part was too obvious and disorganized to be worthy of the name (eg. "stop being too poor to date", "buy a pair of jeans withouth holes in them"), and the second... Well, if the first part was a list of complaints about myself, the second part was a list of complaints about the rest of the world. The second part was longer, and made less sense. It was based, I suppose, on my guesses as to what young women are interested in, and partly on what girls I don't try to date telling me things about girls I do. They usually don't know each other. Result: confusion.

There is a part of me that thinks itself reasonable and always, always suggests that the best way to attract a girl who will be interested in me is to act like myself. No offense, me, but that is a crock. It certainly has not been working to any detectable degree. There is another part of me that insists overwhelming apathy is the correct path, but that has been a bit harder to pull off of late. This is because I'm impatient. A year and a half is bad enough; maintaining full-scale apathy as an ongoing strategy is... resource-heavy.

There is no third part of me offering advice. I sought outside help, and received, variously "go to church more, there are good, religious girls there" (this is true); "you're totally not to old to be dating college girls" (not really helpful); "have you tried online dating?" (am I the only one who still finds that creepy?); and a short refresher tutorial on how to manipulate people (which, apparently, other people find creepy?).

There is a clear, more-or-less permanent obstacle: I don't understand women. Or most people in general, really. I understand a few, such as Brian. But this is not a function of time, really; I never understood Jeremy, and I definitely did not understand Leah. Obviously, that's no barrier to loving people, but it does make them harder to manipulate, my default form of interaction. There is also a less-permanent obstacle: My Chicago social circles are tapped out. Everyone I know knows each other, is fiercely loyal to each other, secretly hates each other, used to date each other, openly hates each other, and so on. There is a graph of it floating around in my head. It ensures that my relationship to anyone who could be introduced to me by anyone I know will already be complicated at the time of the introduction. That is too much work. That right there, and my lust for a good, honest mosh pit, are the reasons I am so eager to move out of Chicago. But I'm not willing to give up on getting my Chicago degree yet, so.

The first twenty years of my life taught me to accept the consequences of my actions, but they did not often force those consequences upon me. I was miraculously spared, time and time again. Except for the broken leg when I was three and the heartbreak in highschool, nothing bad really happened to me until mid-college. Now I have to deal with terrible realities (I admit once more, often of my own making) several times a week, and I find myself thinking, is this what other people have been living with their whole lives? Seriously, how do you people DO this?

Second Sunday in Lent

I have identified my weakest emotion. Or rather, I have identified that I have a weakest emotion. An emotional weakness? The best phrasing eludes me.

As does the specifics of my weakness. Hope? Love? Attraction? Perhaps hope, indeed, for I allow myself to be suckered in many situations. What is my job search but a constant series of convictions that this next application will pan out? Yet this I can analysis in progress, know even as I assure myself that my assurances are false and groundless. So Hope is a weakness, but not a critical one.

Another weakness, often pointed out and just as often forgotten: Projection, the conviction that as I am, so are others. This may be true in specifics or false; the point is to reject the conviction, to come to know others for themselves, or, if my mind cannot handle such a thing, to regard them as sand in the wind, beyond my understanding or control.

Tangentially, can I love sand blowing in the wind? Or can I love only myself? No, I can love others, even if I only realize it in the moments when I understand them.

Perhaps I am incapable of discovering the exact nature of this weakness myself. Not that I could be satisfied with that.

Perhaps assumptions that things sharing an environment are interrelated. Analyzed, the fallacy is exposed. Yet how often do I make these assumptions? Whenever they are convenient, of course. This does not satisfy, either. But I am so tired of processing inputs, so very tired.

Clarity is a blessing.

The Feast of Saints Perpetua, Felicitas, and company

So I think I can safely say that sing-along parties are the best kind of parties. Better than weddings, better than graduations, et cetera. A long and (mostly) fulfilling night, ending with some poetry and not quite enough water to keep a small hangover at bay. A combination of sunlight and Lauren's alarm woke me up nice and early, too; this seems all the more cruel since Lauren hit snooze until I got up, at which point it started raining and the sky got dark again. So it goes. And then Lauren went off to judge the Chiditarod in the rain, and I ate my delicious oatmeal and sang the chorus to "Barrett's Privateers" quietly to myself.

That is pretty much all that is happening, yeah, though I remain optimistic about this latest batch of resume-sendings and menial-job-fill-in-the-blank applications. I decided to not bike down to HP for the Backstory film fest today, cool as it sounded, but I still plan to attend tonight's Contra and perhaps attempt to monopolize a certain young woman's dance card. Easily confused as I am, I never know where I stand in these situations. Then church and gaming at the Partihaus tomorrow, and another week of job hunting and penny-pinching. And a birthday party! But mostly drudgery. Booo.

Seriously, amicus ex machina, somebody hook me a job.

Saturday

So yesterday was sort of a disaster. Lauren and I had planned to meet up as she got off work, eat the food leftover that would otherwise be tossed at the end of the day, and then head over to the Critical Mass. Well! First off, Lauren's place of employment seems to be one of those mystical groves that only appears to those who have been there before. After three quarters of an hour searching in the bitter cold, I gave up and went to hide out in Union Station until the Mass started. (Lauren's reaction: "Union Station! We were right across the street!") Once the Mass did start, my chain fell off twice in the first few blocks. The first time I realized what was happening, the second... I don't know. Then the third time came. I tried to correct it as I rode, but what ended up happening was the chain slipping outside, rather than inside, and links getting wedged between and even hooked around the outer gear and the guard. I couldn't fix it without tools, and it was really cold out, so I gave up and hopped a train home.

Once I got home, I did just about everything but fix Terrence. I cooked, I cleaned, I rearranged furniture and patched some jeans. But waking up today, I knew it had to be done. I need this bike to get to, and home from, my date tonight -using those comp tickets I snagged from the Harris before being laid off. So a-fixing I did go.

'Fix' is perhaps not the best word. I removed everything that wasn't working right and I didn't use. That is to say, the rear brakes, the rear brake cable, the front brake handlever, the gearguard, the front derailleur, both gear cables, both gear thumbswitches, and the rear reflector (which I do use and will put back on... sometime). I also rerouted the front brake cable to attach to the rear brake handlever at Lauren's suggestion, so I can have one working brake, should I need it. That cable is now the only one on Terrence at all; he is, I suppose, now a one-speed bike. One can still adjust the front gears by hand, but the rear set... Well, I left the rear derailleur on because it wasn't causing problems, it looked complicated, and I was tired of working on it. That last is also the reason the rear reflector has not been reattached nor the bracket for the front brake handlever removed (all other brackets, such as the rear brake bracket which held up the rear reflector, have been removed). I took him out for a short test ride to McGuane and back to make sure my efforts had not crippled him, and was happy with the results. The real test will be the ride to Hyde Park and back, of course.

And whether I get more grease, rust, or tears on the cuffs of my pants with the guard removed, naturally. That's 'tears' like Rip Torn, not 'tears' like Conor Oberst.