Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Speaking of beautiful music...



I to this day still think that Davey Havok of AFI fame has one of the most beautiful voices that I have ever heard.

There was a time when I believed that I was not allowed to enjoy AFI's music because they were "too mainstream" to be cool.

Those were dark, dark, foolish days.

My attitudes towards "music" have exploded since high school, and I feel more and more enriched by this growth every day.


Monday, June 28, 2010

I miss the feeling of your hands in my hair.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Does anybody even care anymore?

Did anybody ever care?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

I am convinced that the reason that people do not foresee change in the world is because nobody believes in it.

People don't change because everybody has fooled themselves into believing that we can't. Or won't. It doesn't matter, really, because they're both bullshit perspectives.

Most of the people with whom I engage in discourse about this (this meaning social, economic, and political change) think about it for a while and then typically resolve their opinion to, "Well, that would be nice, but I don't see people changing like that any time soon. You need to be realistic about this, Hayden."

I am being realistic about it. One of the most real notions to me in my life right now is the idea that we create our own reality. Not necessarily as individuals, but as a general world populous, the way that we run our society is entirely up to us.

Why is it "lofty" or "unreasonable" to envision a world with less hunger, less poverty, less war, less intolerance, less greed and selfishness, less voluntary ignorance, less stifled thought and emotion, less oppression, or any combination of the above (plus others)? Why is it wrong for me to want to live in a world in which people help each other every now and then? Ugh, even a reality in which the United States adopted the SI units of measurement would be a step towards a better world. That may seem silly to many, but you'd be surprised how much frantic opposition that I get from people about that.

Why is it not respectable to harbor humanitarian opinions?

Why am I a dreamer when I suggest that we help the impoverished?

People always talk about how nice it would be to live in a "better world," (whatever your idea of a better world may be, assuming, of course, that it does not come at the disadvantage of specific groups of people) but then at the end of the discussion people just give up and assume that it's never going to happen because "people are just too stubborn" or "there has always been and always will be war."

I'm tired of it. People always say that no one person can change the world, and I don't understand where that comes from. It usually takes one person to start a movement.

No matter what people tell you, thoughts and ideas can change the world. I believe that thoughts and ideas are what changes the world.

I'm convinced that we can do this. I, unlike many of my peers, have great faith in humanity. I don't see how you can look at how far we have come and then turn around and tell me that we can't go any farther.

Progress will never stop, as long as there is a desire for it.

The growing lack of desire is what troubles me.

We can fix some of our issues. We can change this world.

We just have to want and believe in that change, and have the courage and strength to act.

All of the most dangerous "forces of evil" in the world have had the courage to act upon that which they believe.

It's absurd to believe that the rest of us can't.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Okay...two things.

First: I think that it's fairly safe to say that the west wasn't won on beef, either. Cows were not exactly a common commodity during the colonization of North America. Also, due to inadequate methods of preserving meat for extended periods of time, meat was probably not a huge part of the colonial diet and was most likely considered a delicacy and saved for special occasions. It is probably accurate to say that "salad" was not largely enjoyed by the colonists, either, as it was probably rare that any one person had a large variety of vegetables simultaneously available to him or her at any given time, but I would imagine that fruits and vegetables and other things that are easy to cultivate and grow and don't need to be hunted probably constituted a large part of the colonial diet.

Second: The west was not "won." The west was violently taken. The land that the colonizing forces wrested from the natives was not some prize to be procured through noble battle. It was a "victory" achieved through heartless, murderous, and malevolent force justified by the despicable notion of manifest destiny. What the early settlers did to the natives was and in a lot of ways still is disgusting, and you need to stop regarding it with pride.

So enjoy your victory beef, my ignorant, misguided, carnivorous, southern friend.

And by "enjoy your victory beef," I actually mean "fuck the fuck off."

I will eat salad all I want.

Monday, June 21, 2010

I've decided that I am going into physics for graduate school.

I love mechanical engineering, but physics is where I am right now.

It's where I always have been.

And I think that it's safe to say that it's where I always will be.

So...that's the plan for now. Mechanics for now, physics for later.

I got pulled over today on the way to work.

I was speeding: 57 in a 45 zone. I didn't even realize how fast I was driving until I saw the officer perk up in his seat as I passed him in the opposing lane. Luckily, I got off with just a warning. I told him that I was running late for work (which was the truth), and he was nice about it in that weird police officer way.

I've never been pulled over before. I guess I broke my streak today.

I know it was just a warning, and I know that everybody gets pulled over at some point and all that, but I still can't help feeling like an enormous failure for some reason. Every time I think about it, I get this horrible sinking feeling in my stomach, and I can't figure out why.

I want to dream about falling.

I need to dream about falling.

But I haven't been dreaming much lately.

I guess to dream, one has to actually sleep.

Lying in bed awake on my back, staring at the ceiling is close, I suppose, but not quite enough.

Every night I fill my head with other peoples' voices in attempt to stop my own thoughts.

I don't know why I bother.

I have yet to learn that it has yet to help.

My body feels like lead.

I feel that if I were to start running, my inertia would carry me through all that stood in my way, and I would never be able to stop.

So I don't run.

I don't get excited.

I don't dance.

I don't sing.

I don't smile.

I don't laugh.

I don't get upset.

I don't do anything that might send me running off towards that endless horizon.

Endless, that is, until I hit a body of water and sink to the deepest depths that my stupidly finite lungs will allow me to experience before they fill themselves with fluid, extinguishing this horrible thing that I have become.

Or, perhaps, this horrible thing that I have been all along, and was simply too young in my past to embrace it as I have now.

This may be a horrible way to live, in the opinion of others.

People tell me all the time that I need to see a doctor or look into medications or go to therapy or, and this is my personal favorite, simply be happier.

If I could simply be happier, do you think this would have even come up in the first place?

I am honestly okay with my unhappiness most of the time.

If I were happy, I would not search for answers.

I would not question things as I do.

Everything comes at a cost.

My unhappiness is simply the price that I pay for my science.

And it's a price that I pay every single second of every single day without hesitation, doubt, or fear.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

This song makes me so horny.

I suppose that now I'm supposed to tack on "and I have no idea why" to soften the blatancy of the previous statement, but that would be a falsehood.

I know exactly why.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I miss you so much.

I know that I didn't have your attention for very long.

Two and a half months, at the farthest stretch of the imagination.

But during those months, you taught me more about myself than most people have in a lifetime.

I...still don't really know why you left the way that you did.

At least a goodbye would have been nice.

I try to play the victim and tell myself that I don't get it and that I don't know what happened.

But when I look past the hurt little boy that lies on the surface, I understand.

I don't blame you.

I know why things had to be this way.

But I still miss you.

The sensation of your touch is still burned into my nerve endings.

At the slightest reminder, the memory of your warmth courses across every bit of my skin.

And every single time it is the most exquisite pain that I have ever known.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

I am starving, and there is a Wendy's hamburger in our refrigerator.

These are the times that I question my vegetarianism most.

Wait...are those blue corn tortilla chips that I see?

And salsa, too?!?!

This song is so good. I can't stop dancing in my head.

I just spent the entire day moving my remaining belongings out of my apartment. It was a laborious task, and rather surreal.

It was very strange pulling out of that parking garage knowing that it was the last time.

I did get to visit a pretty awesome comic shop, though. One of the oldest on the east coast, from what I hear (Silver City Comics, Columbia, SC). I did not buy any comics, but I did buy a few dice. I have plenty of dice for myself when I play a character in D&D, but as DM for a game of new players, none of which have dice, I am quite lacking. So, I picked up four standard four-sided dice and two eight-sided crystal dice.

I'm getting really excited about this Dungeon Mastering scene. The creative element of putting this campaign together has been a lot of fun so far, and after our first meeting to create characters, it seems to me that the players are looking forward to it, too.

I get a lot of funny looks from people when I tell them that I play D&D, and more so when I tell them that I actually enjoy and look forward to it.

I understand why D&D has the social stigma behind it. There is a strong TV stereotype of the inept nerd who can't interact socially and spends all of his time in the basement with his similarly single, un-hip friends whenever science, video games, or tabletop gaming is mentioned. I don't know where the fuck that stereotype comes from with regards to science (I reference the link in my previous post for information on this issue), and video games are becoming more and more mainstream, so the stereotype should start dying out. But as far as the tabletop gaming goes, I can see why this is the perception, because, unfortunately, whether we "tabletop gamers" like to admit it or not, the stereotype is true enough of the time to make it a reasonable assumption and generalization.

But let me attempt to be a proponent of change here: Please, do not base judgement on all of us from this one group. Many of us who enjoy the game are normal, reasonable people with strong external friendships, social lives, hobbies, and priorities. The game is a hobby just like anything else. I don't understand how sitting around on a couch watching a man (or a woman, but probably a man because men are sexist pigs) throw a ball around and getting all worked up and yelling at every mistake that is made is more praiseworthy than sitting down around a table with several friends and playing a cooperative game that requires large amounts of teamwork, strategy, communication, critical thinking skills, and creativity.

Although I understand the stigma, I don't understand where D&D got the "anti-social" label. Yes, there are people who play it who have social disorders. But that does not make the game itself anti-social. I would say that D&D is one of my more social hobbies. At the very simplest level, I say this because you can not play the game alone, but my reasoning goes deeper than that.

So basically what I'm saying is that next time, before you give me these "are you crazy?" looks, take a second to reflect on what it is that you do to relax or escape, think about what it entails, ask yourself whether or not it is actually more "valid" than playing a role-playing game, and then please keep your derived solution to yourself and let us have our fun.

If you think that it's silly, all you must do is simply not play.


P.S. Take a second to think about this: If someone legitimately has a social disorder, and playing Dungeons and Dragons is the only way he or she has found to make legitimate connections with other people, who are you to want that taken away from them? Who are you to decide that they should do something more "normal?" If tabletop or role-playing games is their medicine for an otherwise lonely or frustrating world, who the fuck do you think gave you the right to belittle them? I hate to sound angry about it, because I know not everybody harbors ill-will towards the game, but I've met enough narrow-minded cronies to feel justified in my aggravated directness.

Friday, June 11, 2010

"It's a very, very sad commentary on the values in our culture when shooting a ball into a basket is more laudable, more praiseworthy, more admirable, and more rewarded than teasing out some fundamental truth about the natural world or finding a cure for AIDS or cancer."

-Carolyn Porco

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Well, I was going to make a post today about how I have really been wanting to play Dungeons and Dragons lately and about how there's nobody in this town I know who would be willing to play, but just as I was about to post, a friend of mine who's never played before texted me expressing his interest in the game.

I was astounded, and stopped posting immediately.

So, apparently, we have a D&D group going. I'm dungeon mastering this time, though, which is something that I've never done before. I'm really excited about it, though, and I'm having a lot of fun putting the first adventure together. I have a lot of [what I think are] really cool ideas.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some battle grids that I must go photoshop together.


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

What what what the fuck? Both of my watches broke this morning.

I don't know what happened to my beautiful Stauer. The spring apparently broke, as I can see wire hanging loose on the movement through the back of the watch.

But I don't know what happened to my old watch. I was trying to set the time on it, and it just made this horrible grinding noise and came to a halt.

Why has this happened? Damn you, anomolies of probability!

*shakes fist*


Monday, June 7, 2010

Please watch this.

I can not stress how crucial this is.

If you agree (that is to say, if you hold that exploratory science is the key to our future and that hindering it will be absurdly detrimental to the progress of our species), then please, tell everyone you know. Send them some links. Raise awareness. Hope to change some minds.

If you don't agree, you are part of the problem.

I am typically not like that. I try to be a proponent of the "live and let live" principle about many things.

But this is something about which I am passionate enough to risk being blunt and forthright with my opinions.

If you are one of the people who believes that we currently "know enough" about this universe in which we live, you need to wake up.

Yes, there are other important issues. No, I am not expecting everybody to be interested in science.

But scientific advancement, especially right now as we sit on the verge of a multitude of potentially life-altering breakthroughs, is of dire importance, and I think that deep down we all know it.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

I've been thinking a lot about relationships lately.

I'm tired of the loneliness.

I'm tired of the flashbacks and memories.

I'm tired of sleeping with myself.

But the idea of...inflicting myself upon anyone else is not an appealing one.

Friday, June 4, 2010

I had another dream about falling last night.

This one was a little bit different, though.

I was falling through nothing, surrounded by an infinite white abyss on all sides.

I was wearing an open jacket, a simple T-shirt, and fairly loose pants, all of which were flapping around all over the place.

From this, I was able to gather that there was at least some sort of atmosphere in this strange place.

But that was all I knew. I was falling through some sort of gas. Hooray.

The feeling of clothing rippling violently against my skin is one of my favorite sensations, though, and I welcomed it, despite the "wind" resistance cutting at my mouth and eyes.

As I accepted my fate and fell through this blindingly bright void, I realized that I was periodically changing directions.

I'm tempted here to say that every so often, I would start falling left. Or right. Or up. Or anywhere in between. But that's not really the case. One cannot scientifically "fall" left. It was more like "down" was changing directions. Sometimes it would be a gradual change, as though I was swooping through the air on some sort of vaguely radial path. Other times, it would switch suddenly, as though the new direction of free fall was the only one there had ever been, and my body would lurch violently from the change. Sometimes it would go for minutes without changing, and other times it would change several times in rapid succession, leaving me spinning wildly out of control when it finally decided on a direction.

During the times when "gravity" stuck to one direction for an extended period, I was able to exert some control over my plight. I was able to flip and tumble of my own accord, and took great pleasure in stabilizing myself into various chest-first and back-first free-fall positions.

The wind ripped through my hair. My mysteriously bare feet tingled in the cold of the crisp atmospheric friction. The wind stung my eyes and dried them out, but I dared not close them in fear of missing the point of this experience that I was comfortably aware was a dream.

Then I suddenly stopped, suspended in weightlessness for a moment. The muscles in the back of my neck tensed, and I was suddenly overwhelmed by the ominous feeling that something terrible was about to happen.

An instant later, I was thrown forward with such force that I felt my back break in several places from the impact. Several of my joints dislocated, as well, and as I opened my mouth to cry out, my lungs were suddenly filled with a choking, putrid gas. As I rocketed helplessly through the air, eyes watering and chest collapsing, the room began to slowly fade in pulses to black, with splotches of yellow, red, violet, and hundreds of other colors pulsing randomly around me.

I felt myself briefly speed up, and then suddenly stop, this time without the bone-shattering abruptness of the previous change in velocity. As I blinked the tears out of my blurry eyes, the mind-numbing agony of my broken body vanished as I realized that I was floating in space, gazing upon a young universe of several thousand years or so.

My mind hesitated for a moment, and then I promptly suffocated, waking up feeling reaffirmed in an ideal that I have held for some time now: There is no "grand reason" in this world. No divine plan. Our existence is magnificently meaningless.

There is no purpose in life except for that which we give to it.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Dear America,

Could you please make a movie featuring a Russian character who is not a maniacal raving lunatic?



Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I have a sudden burning desire to watch Apollo 13.

I need more outer space in my life.

And more Tom Hanks never hurts.