Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I just spent three solid days preparing for an economics presentation that my partner and I had to give today.

We were allotted ten minutes.

We did not finish.

When I sat back down after being cut off by the professor, I was, as one can imagine, rather upset.

But something was different this time.

Something inside of me changed today.

I came to accept a fact that I had never before felt justified in believing.

No matter how hard I try, I will always be a disappointment.
4 a.m.

I sit here.

I sit here and wait, more awake than the day I was born.

I wait for the ink to dry.

This silence screams against my ears.

My neck is so tense.

I wish for sleep.

It never comes.

I sit here and wait for the ink to dry.

It never does.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

"Resolving the essential issues - It is impossible to compete and win if problems are avoided. The door to innovation is opened by meeting problems head on and finding solutions."

-Toshiba Annual Report 2006, page 27

There is wisdom everywhere. Even in the corporate world.

Just some forecasting

I am working on a new piece.

It's been in progress for several days, but I can't promise when it will go up.

This week is going to be absolute hell.

I have four final projects due Friday, two of which haven't really even been started.

But I will try to have it up withing the next few days. If I can't make it this week, it will definitely go up this weekend.

Also, just as an FYI, I am currently working on a more long term project.

I was inspired by a dream that I had a few days ago to begin working on writing what at the moment is aimed at being a short story. I can't see myself writing anything much longer than that right now, but we'll see what it turns into. I'm hoping that by the time that I am finished with it, I will have a piece that is potentially worthy of publishing, even if just somewhere else on the internet more significant than this diary.

I am very excited about it, but I don't want to talk to anybody about it until I have a draft, so as to avoid expending my creative energies on explaining the piece rather than the process itself.

Anyway, I just wanted to let you, my readers, know what is going on with the blog right now. For the next two weeks, things are probably going to be a bit more sparse than usual. I just haven't had the time recently to put onto paper all of the things that I've been writing, and those things that I have written out I have not had the time to type into this box.

I haven't even had time to shave for the past month, much less sit down and take the time to pound out these pieces.

But I have been writing, and come winter break (mid-December), I am going to be posting legitimate content much more regularly.

Until then it will probably just be mostly thoughts and silence. The beverage review will maintain its regular schedule though, for those of you who keep up with that.

TTFN

Friday, November 26, 2010

"It occurred to me that many men had trouble expressing empathy because no one had ever taught them how. Most were clueless, not brutal—although some were both. Lots of these guys had grown up so confused and undereducated about the female anatomy that they hardly even had a sense of what sensations might feel best or what activities were most satisfying.
The more men I talked to, the more sympathetic I felt. I was approaching the biggest epiphany of my life: men had as much anxiety and shame around sex as women did. We were all in this together, and any ideology that couldn’t admit as much was doomed to fail."
-Charlotte Shane; Nightmare Brunette [Mostly NSFW]
From her article "The Professional"

Thursday, November 25, 2010

I have a bottle of my favorite wine in my room.

It has been sitting there, unopened and staring at me for over two months now.

I've been saving it for a "special occasion."

But...who am I kidding?

I am only 21 years old.

I am still so damn young.

I lack the maturity to back these romantic desires of mine.

I lack the self-establishment to be taken seriously by those to whom I would like to appeal.

Nobody wants a "troubled," bankrupt, college student who is just barely pushing into his twenties.

Damn my lack of age.

Gobble gobble shut up.

Happy Thanksgiving.

I guess.

I would rant about how inaccurate and commercial Thanksgiving (and all American holidays ever) has become, but I don't really have the energy right now, and I've already pissed enough people off with my Fourth of July post, so I'll just keep it to myself this time.

So Happy Thanksgiving.

Eat lots of vegetables and cranberry sauce, because turkey and stuffing are dry and not very appetizing unless you pour gravy all over them until they are no longer recognizable as their initial product and I don't really understand why they are such a big deal.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

She doesn't want this anymore.

I don't blame her.

Why would anybody want this?

Why would anybody settle for the inadequate?

It was ludicrous for me to ever think that a being such as myself could imbue happiness within another individual.

Monday, November 22, 2010

I feel nothing.

I want nothing.

I am nothing.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I do not know how to make this better for any of us.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I got excited about engineering again yesterday for a little while.

We were discussing fatigue failure theory in our design class yesterday morning and I felt the fascination that I used to feel towards the subject return to me, at least for a time.

It was a fleeting emotion, but even so, it was comforting.

Maybe this won't be so bad after all.

Maybe I can find a way to be okay with this...

Maybe.

Friday, November 19, 2010

I stepped onto the elevator today in the business building, and as I did, I noticed a girl who was already in the car glance down at my feet and do a double take. I wear Vibram Fivefingers, so it's not terribly uncommon for people to react that way from time to time. They are certainly an unconventional shoe.

However, after I walked into the elevator and turned around, I could feel her eyes on me. She was staring at my face, which was situated on the message that I was typing on my phone. I could sense that she wanted to ask me about them, but was probably trying to avoid starting an awkward elevator conversation. For the entire time that I was in the elevator, I could feel her gaze; interrupted only momentarily every so often to avoid complete awkwardness, but still always returning to its initial focus.

I don't know why I did not just turn and look back at her. She was certainly very attractive. I guess I didn't want to get into a discussion about the shoes five seconds before the elevator reached my floor, but I can't be sure. That feels to me like a justification for actively avoiding human contact.

The elvator stopped on my floor and I stepped off. As I did so, I heard her say to another girl in the elevator, "Did you see his shoes?"

"No," the other replied quietly, preoccupied by her own cell phone.

"They were really cool..."

This was the last thing that I heard before the doors slid shut with their characteristic vocalization of friction.

Why couldn't I at least just look back at her and smile?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Damp

It is raining outside the boy's window.

He sits by the paned glass, somewhere around ten years old, fascinated by the spots of water falling terminally through the air and colliding with the ground with surprisingly insignificant force. The boy wonders to himself how something falling so fast could do so little damage to the world around it. He wonders why the rain causes him no harm when he stands underneath it and lets it play across his face. He thinks about the mysterious phenomenon; certainly not correctly. But he thinks, nonetheless. His attention is drawn suddenly by the grey plastic of the game controller wired to his Nintendo 64.

Opening another chamber in his already overly preoccupied mind, he situates himself in front of his tiny white monitor and reaches for the device. The slight chill of the recently unhandled material greets his skin as his left hand slides around the molded grip, sending a subtle jolt of familiarity through his elbow and up into the muscles of his shoulder blade. As he leans forward in his chair to turn on the monitor, a gentle roll of thunder reverberates through the boy's window. His thoughts are briefly turned back to the rain as the Legend of Zelda boots on the small black box that to him is the largest, most important item in his cluttered room.

Almost as quickly as his attention was directed back towards the rain, the all too familiar melody of the title screen calls his lack of focus back into the room's interior. For a time, at least, the boy is content.

The boy, now in his twenties, sits in his recently parked car with his hands still gripping the steering wheel and listening through the music wafting out of his stereo to the rhythmic sound of the idling engine. It is raining outside the vehicle, and he allows the din of the heavy downpour to wash over him. Filled with knowledge that he once lacked about the rain, he sighs out the breath that he had been holding and yearns for the sense of mystery that he once maintained about the world. He watches the water slide down the windshield and decides to just leave his things in the back seat for now. The emergency break emits its familiar ratcheting sound as the boy pulls it into place and rotates the key in the ignition backwards until the engine quiets. Letting his foot off of the clutch for the last time that day, he steps out into the deluge, unfazed by his almost immediate wetness.

The boy stands motionless outside of his car with his face angled up towards the clouds, eyes gently shut as the water slams against his skin.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

"Good morning, Mr. Fennell. How are you today?"

The man smiles at me and presents his hand as though it is a homecoming gift from an old friend.

His gaze gives off the thin facsimile of warmth and concern, but there is no real emotion behind his eyes.

I reach for his hand to participate in this distant and impersonal greeting, preparing my answer.

A thought whispers an imperative into my ears.

"Tell him the truth," it says.

"Stop lying to people."

Our hands clasp, somewhat awkwardly.

"I have never been worse, each and every day. I don't even know what happiness is anymore. Every day, the majority of my energy is dedicated to finding reasons to keep myself alive. Most of the time, I don't find any. Every morning, I get out of bed silently reciting my unconvincing mantra: 'I am myself, not someone else.' Every night, I get back into bed not believing those words for a second. I have to take medication just to gain control of my own mind long enough to finish the things that I start, a fact which has haunted me so ferociously throughout my entire life that it has taken until this year for me to finally overcome the fear of its implications and talk to a doctor about it. Even with the medication, I still must sacrifice almost every facet of my social and personal life in dedication to a major towards which I no longer harbor any of the passions that I once did. I isolate myself despite hating the feeling of being alone. I am constantly frustrated with the world around me, and can feel the creeping grasp of alcoholism inching ever closer with each disquieting thought. I analyze constantly. Sensory information is immediately broken down into its most primitive of mechanical components and reconstructed in my vision as slow-motion, detailed replays of each event, regardless of how desperately I try to simply be a part of the world without tearing it apart. I hate this life. I hate this mind. I hate this constant struggle, and I wish that there was something more."

After a most fractional duration of time that seems to me like an eternity, I give the man's hand one firm shake and speak at last.

"I am doing just fine today. How about yourself?"

Friday, November 12, 2010

I need more DDR in my life again.

I miss it so very much.

I miss the astonishingly quiet and empty sensation that it incurs in my mind.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Nose

I sit in the school of music's main recital hall in eager anticipation of a violin recital beginning in a few moments. Looking around me, I take in the scenery with which at this point I am already completely familiar. The pale wood of the rounded, segmented acoustical columns…the stark contrast between the dull metal pipes and the decorative weave of the recital hall’s prominent, obvious organ…the non-vibrance of the pale blue paint covering the matte walls…

The violinist enters the stage. Soft applause fills the room as she quickly acknowledges the audience, tunes her instrument, and begins to play, accompanied by piano. She is beautiful. Her skill and dedication require no introduction, and are immediately made apparent by her selected work. Students all around me have spiral-bound notebooks at the ready, writing instruments racing desperately to quickly put into words that which has no adequate linguistic description for their surely soon to be due music appreciation course papers.

As I allow the now well-established music to reach into my chest cavity, I notice a new and persistent external sound emanating from elsewhere in the audience. A man across the aisle from me is breathing so heavily that I can hear his entire respiratory cycle over the instruments. At first, I experience only agitation. I try to ignore it, but it persists. The agitation escalates gradually into aggravation with each labored intake of atmospheric gas through the nose next to me. 

“Talk to a doctor,” I think to the man in something other than words.

Suddenly, there is a breath to end all breaths; a stifled gasp, perhaps. The aggravation turns immediately to frustration, and I brave a glance to my left. The man is older, seemingly in his sixties, with moderately long, but stringently kept locks of shockingly white hair. He is handsome despite his age, and is inconspicuously well-dressed in the manner that only older, more dignified men can be. The man’s hands are folded with intent and held in front of his mouth, the elapsed knuckles of his index fingers suspended but a few millimeters from the bottom of his large, yet fitting nasal protrusion. His gaze is affixed firmly upon the woman on the stage, mirroring through his eyes a hybrid emotion of metallic concentration and soft, affectionate wonder. The corner of his mouth creeping out from behind his hands is contorted ever so slightly into the telling half-grin of a being impressed.

Not even a second after turning my head to the man, the violinist strikes almost violently a perfectly executed sustained vibrato of a pitch which can only be described as devastating. In immediate reaction to the grandeur before us, the man’s tightly clasped hands begin to tremble noticeably and his eyelids creep shut in a way that only deep satisfaction can provoke. The most empathetic of familiarities seizes upon my mind, and any form of frustration that I had once harbored towards the man dissipates so rapidly that it feels as though the emotion had never existed.

I maintain my glance briefly, long enough to notice the man’s knee begin to rise and fall slowly to the meter of the music. As I begin to look away, one of his hands struggles free from the other and begins sharply rising and falling over his rhythmically bobbing leg, jabbing the empty space in front of him on sharp notes and floating through the air as though unattached during gentle sections.

Here is a man with whom I share a mind. He is not simply listening to this music; he is allowing it to interface directly with his nervous system.

Full of understanding and newfound appreciation of the man’s elevated breathing, I turn my head back towards the stage, looking around once more at the students, many of whom have already directed their attention to more important matters such as monitoring their overactive cell phones or drawing fifth-grade geometry class cube diagrams in the margins of their notes. A couple in the seats directly in front of me are being silently obnoxious and perpetually falling all over each other.

I can still hear the man’s breathing over the music, but it no longer bothers me. It is, in a way, a comfort to me: knowing that there is at least one other person in the room who experiences sound not simply as entertainment or art, but rather as a physically holistic experience that transcends the boundaries between the body and its imprisoned mind.

I want to talk to the man. 

I want to listen to his stories.

I want to learn from him.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

"The medicine is not a wonder drug."

I've known that from the start, but it's recently become more apparent.

It still works, and it is still pretty damn wonderful to me.

But it only works when I want it to work, and my lack of motivation is stronger than ever.

I am just so overwhelmed.

There is so much to do.

My growing lack of interest in my chosen field of study is certainly not helping things, either.

I just want to write all the time now.

The scratch of my pen on the paper is the most exquisite sensation.

Sometimes I write just to hear that sound.

I still enjoy doing the math from time to time. I can admit that there is something deeply exhilarating about manipulating the numbers.

But there is just something about the pencil; something missing.

There is a peculiarity about the ink...

Something mysterious and ethereal and profoundly attractive.

Something that, for my sanity's sake, I dare not attempt to quantify.

I need this too much right now to understand it.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I remember it clearly.

I remember every intonation of every syllable of every word of what at the time was the most stupefying question to which I have ever been party.

"You are so clearly a writer...why are you in engineering?"

At the time I did not know what to say.

I am sure that I just shrugged and made some excuse and changed the subject.

But I have finally arrived at an answer:

I have no idea.

I have no fucking idea.

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Heir and the Bus Stop

On my way out of Earth Fare today, I saw a relatively young father sitting at a bus stop with his son of probably about four or five years old.

They were sitting on the bench, waiting on the bus and reading through a picture book together. The child, his legs dangling characteristically from the edge of the bench, would frequently turn to his father with inquisitive eyes and purposefully jab his finger into the heavy card stock pages, physically denoting the word that he needed help sounding out. His father would simply smile in response and, reaching down to point in tandem with the boy at their phonetical adversary, form the syllables slowly with his breath as his son imitated the sounds with an eagerness that only the impartment of previously inaccessible knowledge can imbue in an individual.

As I sat in my freshly acquired seat in my car, my recently purchased quinoa and stuffed grape leaves left forgotten in my hands, I could do little but watch the event in front of me unfold, imagining in my mind the bus pulling up and the father helping his small companion up the precarious metal steps to return home and prepare dinner "together." After a time, I suddenly became aware that I was staring and that my door was still open, with one protruding foot still resting on the ground next to the vehicle. I quickly deposited my meager groceries into the passenger seat and went through the motions of starting the machine beneath me.

Pulling out of the parking lot, I stole one swift glance back at the endearing scene behind me. As I drove away in the waning light of the rapidly approaching dusk, I wanted little else in this world more than for this affectionate pair to make it home safely and in time to finish their story before the notion of sleep settled in around them.
I am so tired of failing things in Heat Transfer.

I don't know what it is about this class.

I try and try and try and all that I get back are unsatisfactory marks.

I have never worked so hard to fail a class.

Economics isn't going too well, either.

I'm not smart enough for this.

I'm not good enough with the numbers.

Conceptually, I understand everything.

It's all so easy for me to understand.

But as soon as I have to start applying numbers to the concepts, I feel as though I know absolutely nothing.

I feel like this is not me.

But what would be left of me without this?

Everybody thinks that this is me.

Everybody is convinced that I am one of the intelligent.

I wonder persistently if they are right.

But who am I but an amalgamation of the views and opinions of others?

There is no me but who you have collectively made me to be.

There is no I.

There is no you.

We are all the same.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

It is finally getting cold outside here.

I absolutely love cold weather.

Tonight, I am currently enjoying a modest meal of steamed quinoa with ponzu sauce and a mug of honeyed chrysanthemum tea while reading articles for a Heat Transfer project proposal.

Ain't nuthin' mo' cozy.

Friday, November 5, 2010

I am fairly certain that I got a 100% on an Engineering Design test this morning.

It feels good, but the test was so easy that I almost don't feel right considering it an accomplishment.

Either way, I erally needed the good grade, because I screwed the last test up pretty bad.

So I'm glad.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Everything is so out of control right now.

My thoughts are like screams.

Monday, November 1, 2010

I can feel the concentration.

I can feel myself focusing almost as though it is a physical sensation.

This is a clarity with which I am entirely unfamiliar, and it is wonderful.