Friday, December 30, 2011

I have been playing Deus Ex: Human Revolution on my PS3 for the past several days, and I have to say that it is easily one of the best games that I've played in the past few years. I have not been this engaged by a video game in quite some time. I found this email on an in-game computer that I had hacked earlier this evening, and I thought that it was worth sharing. For the purpose of setting, this email was uncovered in the office of a news media company.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hello,

With the rush of day to day operations, it's easy to lose focus and forget what the job is all about. As a reminder to all of you:

1) Minds and emotions can be influenced by the media.
     a) A crowd has the mental age of a 5 year old child.
     b) It is our mission to orient and guide the child to higher understanding.
     c) That understanding must keep the right intent at heart.

2) Language and carefully chosen words are a form of influence.
     a) Anyone can experience the world and express points of view.
     b) Words are condensed ideas and the sole means for men to understand the          world.
     c) This is the power of Semiology and Rhetoric.

3) Control is in the delivery of information.
     a) Knowledge is power.
     b) Today, knowledge is based on information.
     c) Controlling access to and the flow of information is the key to power.
     d) With this power comes responsibility.

A bit simplistic, I admit, but it gets the point across.

     Emilie Masse
     Division Supervisor
     Picus Confidential

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Peace be with all of you throughout this holiday season.

Especially to those of you who keep up with this blog.

You mean so much to me.

I don't say that as much as I should.

So thank you all.

For everything.

And Happy Holidays.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

"That was...that was very real, Hayden. It's exceedingly rare that I get to see such an unhindered display of emotion from you. Where were you just then?"

"I was with her, Doctor."

"I was with her."

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Nine days ago, I graduated from college.

Five days ago, my grandfather passed away.

Yesterday, I was informed that a dear friend of mine was killed in a car accident in India last week, along with eight other members of her family.

I would love to offer some sort of introspection here.

To expound upon my feelings.

Provide some sort of valuable insight.

I would love to offer something more.

But there is nothing to say.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Celebrate difference and try new things.

You will be happier.

I promise.

Monday, December 12, 2011

"I like how you're always calm."

It is difficult not to be calm, my dear.

It is difficult not to be calm.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Our senior design project made the local news!

http://www.wltx.com/news/article/162834/2/Engineers-Design-Device-for-Boy-Born-With-No-Arms
I graduate on Monday.

It is...surreal, at best.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Sometimes when I lack the concentration to do the things that I need to do, I think about all of the things that I have given up in the interest of my work until my personal desires fade into irrelevance.

The memory of the things that I have lost provides my mind with the sadness necessary to overcome the discord of my broken attention span.

It is uncomfortable; having to meditate on the harmful until my thoughts are so powerful that they literally dull my awareness of the world around me.

Until they physically cause my ears to ring.

But the work simply has to get done.

This is something that people often do not understand: for everything that the depression takes away from me, it leaves something horrid and twisted, but ultimately more meaningful in its place.

Animal Planet

Saturday, December 3, 2011

There has been nothing more frustrating in my experience with academia than dealing with scientific intellectuals who refuse to acknowledge the importance of the arts.

It is art - not history - that propagates culture, and we would be incomplete without it.

Those who are so stubborn as to dismiss the merits of the arts simply because they do not follow the particular rigors of the scientific method need to reconsider the metrics by which they deem themselves intellectuals.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Late Night Snack

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Spree



More late-night engineering shenanigans.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I whispered.

"Tell me what you want."

She smiled.

"I want you to make love to me."

Monday, November 28, 2011


Two of my friends and I had to redo some data for an automobile drag coefficient lab experiment that we performed earlier this semester. Gotta love gross, wet hair danglin' all up in your face while you are trying to drive.


Naturally, we stopped to dance in between trials.
My plan for the next week. I'm a little bit behind on today's schedule. I was too busy spelling lobotomy wrong.





Saturday, November 26, 2011

Bad things happen to good people because bad things happen to everybody.

The universe really just isn't concerned with our morality.
I was recently asked to define intelligence.

For me, this is a topic that has been broached many times.

I have been asked to do this before.

But even after continuous revisitation, it is still a difficult issue to contain in one general definition.

People are so different.

So far, the best I can do is this:

Intelligence is the propensity to doubt. 

Intelligence lies not in the number of answers accumulated during one's lifetime, but rather in one's ability to ask the right questions.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Wintergreen makes me so happy.

Mint is one of the things that make this life worth the struggle.

Mint and Tootsie Pops and beer.

Driving and music and science.

Hugging and conversation and chess.

Laughter and sadness and love.

Cooking and physics and beverages.

Experience and philosophy and perspective.

But mint...

Mint, most of all.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

"That'll be $1.61, sugar."

I extended the two bills in my hand over to the cashier.

She moved to the register and began to expertly enter commands into the device before suddenly saying, "You have really pretty hair."

"Thank you," I replied, sincerely flattered.

"Makes me sad," she said.

I looked at her, quizzically.

"I'm just joking," she stated.

Another cashier behind the counter was grinning widely, clearly amused by the events of our interchange.

"But seriously, I'm jealous," the first cashier continued.

"Your hair is prettier than any woman's. Makes me sad that my hair doesn't look like yours."

She smiled at me.

Her face was so warm; her eyes so kind that I had no choice but to smile back.

"Well, thank you," I said again, retrieving my soft drink from the counter as she dropped my change into my other hand."

"Anytime, sweetheart. Have a wonderful day."

"You too."

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sunday, November 13, 2011

"Just let it go."

"It wasn't right."

"You don't have time to worry about this right now."

"There will be others. You're still young."

"Don't let it get to you too much."

"I'm sorry. That sucks."

"Just stay busy. Keep your mind off of it."

"Keep your chin up. You'll be all right."

"You need to move on."

"You're better than this. Get up."

"This happens to everybody. Get over it."

"I told you to be careful."

"Just try to forget."

Please...

Stop it.

Stop it.

I want to forget.

I have tried to forget.

But how am I supposed to forget when I can not think clearly long enough to even figure out where to begin?

I have tried to forget.

But the alcohol only does so much.

I have tried to forget.

But the thoughts are so resilient; reverberating through my head with the rest of this relentless noise.

I can not forget.

And it makes me want to take a power drill to the side of my mind.

Friday, November 11, 2011

"Hayden, you have so much going for you. I mean, have you looked in the mirror lately?"

Yes, I have.

And every time, I see somebody else staring back.

Monday, November 7, 2011



I had never used a shearing machine until yesterday. I don't think that I've ever discussed our senior mechanical design project on this blog before, but we are working with a ten year old boy who was born without arms. We've been tasked with designing assistive devices to help him change his clothing on his own, and we are currently working under the advisement of an organization called Enabletech that specializes in designing devices for the physically handicapped. This is our second semester working on the project, and we have finally reached the fabrication phase. Yesterday was our first day of machining, and we spent the entire day in the company's machine shop working on our prototypes. I may talk about our designs more in-depth once they can be considered "finished products," but for now, here are some pictures:


Steven and Chris bending a steel bar into a hook.

More bending.

"This machine shop is pretty obscure. You've probably never heard of it."

Caught mid-sentence.

Clearly hard at work.

Cutting down an aluminum bar with the band saw.

Sanding down pieces of filler rod with a drill press.

One of our semi-finished prototypes. The individual bars sticking off still need to be bent into hooks after the bonding epoxy sets.

There was an exposure problem.

There were a lot of problems.

Evidence of a hard day's work.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Adolf's Barbeque

Just another short study session snippet turned into a podcast. Of all the things that I have recorded over the past year, I think that this conversation is one of my favorites. Enjoy.

Adolf's Barbeque.mp3
(Right click and "save target as" to download to hard disk)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Last night, I dreamt for an entire year.

I was only asleep for a few hours.

But in those few hours, I experienced an entire year of my potential future.

I remember every detail just as I would remember the details of one year of my actual life.

The dream began simply enough.

I had just started my first year of graduate school, doing research in materials science.

Not exactly what I wanted; but in the dream, I was happy with it.

I made friends.

I carefully built relationships.

I earned trust, and I trusted.

I fell in love.

And we were very happy together.

An old friend with whom I had lost touch died in a car accident.

I ate delicious new foods; drank fascinating new beverages.

I listened to beautiful new music.

Nothing was out of the ordinary.

Everything was as it should have been.

Everything was so real.

It was not until the end of the dream that things began to fall apart.

Until reality began to crumble.

For a time, not long before I awoke, I saw in watercolor.

The elaborate false reality that my mind had constructed slowly began to collapse in on itself, gradually making less and less sense; gradually growing more and more dangerous until I eventually awoke.

It took me almost twenty minutes to fully realize where I was.

To realize that I was no longer dreaming.

To realize that, for a time - however false - my life had been bearable.

To realize that I had once again passed out face down on my living room carpet without finishing the assignment that was due that morning.

To realize that this will not matter to the rest of the world.

That I will be expected to return to my normal life and function as usual.

I woke up this morning one year older that I was last night.

How can I just pretend like everything is the same?

How can I just pretend like nothing has happened?

How can I adequately convey this...this disorientation?

Perhaps I will write about it one day.

One day, perhaps.

For now, I am still trying to remember who I was.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Classified Ads

I made a short podcast out of a recording that I took of a friend of mine and I reading some local classified ads on Craigslist. We like to do this on occasion to blow off steam during study breaks.

This was an unusually interesting selection of classifieds.

As a warning, this is largely not safe for work. Enjoy.

Classified Ads 1.mp3
(Right click and "save target as" to download file to hard disk)

Monday, October 31, 2011

The wooden bench beneath me creaks as I lean to retrieve my water bottle.

The decrepit slats of material bounce and bend against their ramshackle constraints under the stress of my weight.

As I refresh myself with a bit of the bottle's fluid inhabitant, I stare straight ahead, entranced by the prismatic rainbow of color defracting from the reflecting pool before me.

The fountain in the center of the pool sprays a continuous jet of water into the air, each drop lingering almost unnaturally in the apex of its parabolic trajectory before slamming back into the surface of the water, leaving nothing but the rippling remnants of its kinetic energy in its wake.

The mist from the exploding droplets of water wafts occasionally in my direction, leaving tiny points of moisture on the surface of the open page in my lap.

A woman on a bench across the water notices my unintentional gaze and shifts uncomfortably.

I look away.

Had I been staring?

Shit...how long had I been staring?

Oh well.

It doesn't matter.

I stared at her again, this time with purpose.

She was beautiful.

Her loose, brown hair floated gently in the light wind, almost as though unencumbered by the usual forces of gravity.

She was fit, but not athletically so, and she sat with a posture that signified the sort of warm composure that one attains through a life of love and happiness.

She looked up and noticed my stare once more.

This time, she smiled at me.

Just a small smile.

But a smile.

I did the same, and returned to the privacy of staring down at my empty sheet of paper.

It seemed such an atrocity, really: the blank page, waiting to be filled with ink.

It pleaded with me; begged to be freed from its imagined incompleteness.

And I simply sat there.

I sat there with my pen hovering above the journal as I always do, hoping that this time the words might come as freely as they once did.

I waited for what seemed like an almost unreasonable amount of time.

And then I waited a little longer.

The words never came.

But this time I did not mind so much.

I carefully closed the book in my lap and put away my pen.

To say that it felt good is not entirely true.

The feeling was still so...artificial, somehow.

But it just felt good to be out.

It just felt good to be among other people.

Friday, October 28, 2011

"Wouldn't you rather lose yourself in such a memory than spend the night alone, staring at walls of metal and plastic?"

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

"You always look so sad all the time. Why don't you just smile a little?"

That is quite a demand.

So let's make a deal.

Give me a reason to smile, and I will do so.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sunday, October 23, 2011

What they see:



What I see:



Saturday, October 22, 2011

I have spent most of my fall break in my kitchen cooking new things.

I had forgotten how much I enjoy it.

It makes me feel so...

Well, it just makes me feel.

And that, I think, is a good indicator of a truly beloved hobby.

Last night, I made fried eggplant with steamed millet and ponzu sauce for dipping.









Today, for lunch, I made Japanese somen noodles with egg, sliced cucumber, and daikon radish.









(chili ponzu dipping sauce) 


The somen noodles were surprisingly tasty for a fairly plain wheat-based noodle. This is a particularly light and healthy sort of meal, and although I did counteract some of the healthiness by drinking a beer with my lunch, I still feel very satisfied with the way  that everything turned out.

Now...if only I had somebody here to eat this sort of thing with me.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

So...as some of you who may have followed this blog of mine for the time that it was actually running already know, I like to cook from time to time. Cooking is one of my favorite hobbies, and I make a point to indulge in it whenever I can. Tonight, I made a curry for the first time in months.

Prelude to Curry. In D Minor.

I chopped up all of the vegetables, only to realize that I was short one can of coconut milk. Luckily, I live across the street from a Wal-Mart, and I had to make an emergency, last minute run in my pajamas to procure the extra can. I picked up a six pack of Sam Adams Latitude 48 IPA while I was there.

And the currying commences.

My favorite part of cooking: turning off the stove.

The final product: green curry with tofu, bamboo shoots, daikon radish, carrot, eggplant, yellow pepper, mushroom, spinach, and basil. The eggplant and yellow pepper are slightly (slightly) overcooked, but the mushroom (usually the most delicate ingredient) is just right, so I think that I will consider this one a success.

Monday, October 17, 2011

With each passing day, I grow less and less human.

More and more like a machine.

Like a plaything: manufactured to fulfill the whims and desires of others.

I feel very little anymore.

There is not much left but this continuously deepening sadness.

This empty hole in my consciousness.

"Stay positive."

"Look on the bright side."

"Your life doesn't have to be this way."

"Focus on the happy things."

"Just enjoy life. Take it one day at a time."

"This does not control you."

You know, you're right.

This does not control me.

This is me.

I have been told my entire life to fight this.

To be strong.

To be "bigger than this."

And I have tried.

For my entire life...

For all of you, I have tried.

But I'm afraid that I must stop and apologize.

Because I don't want to fight anymore.

I am tired.

I am so tired.

I am tired of fighting.

I am tired of maintaining this facade.

I have lost all sense of purpose.

But perhaps I can still serve a function.

So here I am.

I am yours now.

What can I do for you today?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

You know, I haven't been keeping up super well with this Occupy Wall Street nonsense, but I can't help but wonder:

How many engineers do you think are busy "occupying" Wall Street?

I'm going to say probably not very many. Making things costs a lot of money, and private corporations are one of the few financial entities that actually have the capacity to fund the projects that bring us the technologies that improve our quality of life.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I did not take my medication this morning.

I intentionally left my pill box at home specifically so that I could not be weak today.

That was a mistake.

That was a fucking mistake.

Oh my goodness.

I can't be this anymore.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Everything is terrible!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

"It should be noted that if there is large random error in a single-factor experiment, it is not really a single-factor experiment."

Here's looking at you, creation scientists.

Monday, October 3, 2011

3:20 AM.

The music pours into my ears.

Each note races across my synapses like a discharge of pure electricity behind my eyes.

My heart pounds, each fervent beat sending my amphetamine-fueled blood coursing through my veins.

Ten days.

I lasted ten days.

Ten days withstanding its absence.

Ten days of desire.

Ten days of wasted effort trying to direct my thoughts to other matters.

Ten days of ignoring that translucent plastic bottle.

Ten days of unfocused apathy.

Ten days of clouded thought.

Ten days of chaos.

Ten days of futility.

Ten days.

For ten days, I watched myself give up.

And tonight, I took the pill.

Sunday, October 2, 2011



I can't stop listening to this song. 

Oh my goodness, it is so good.
Do not waste your time telling me that people are not worth it.

I have seen too much good in this world to assume the worst in others.

Friday, September 30, 2011

"One cannot use only the light without denying half of all that is."

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I want to write.

I have a story to tell.

Two of them, in fact.

But every time that I begin to lay ink to the page, my words disappear.

This is ridiculous.

I am so tired of this.

I hate these emotions.

I want them taken out of me.

Monday, September 26, 2011

1 = 0.999...

Just a simple proof. For reference, 0.999... represents 0.999 repeating, non-terminating.

Proof:

x = 0.999...

10x = 9.999...

10x - x = 9.999... - x

9x = 9

x = 1

Therefore:

0.999... = 1

Sunday, September 25, 2011

"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."
     - Franklin Delano Roosevelt

And yet...

"Only fools have no fear."
     - Lieutenant Worf of the U.S.S. Starship Enterprise

Frankly, I prefer the wisdom of Star Trek over the wisdom of American politicians any day.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

For a moment.

I experienced excitement.

For a moment.

I was comfortable.

For a moment.

I was not alone.

But that moment has passed.

Those potentialities are gone.

They are gone.

On the whim of another's decision, they have been taken from me.

This is not what I wanted.

For either of us.

The idea of existing in a reality in which I am no longer permitted to express to her my affection makes me sick to my stomach.

But my wants are irrelevant if they are not mirrored by my surroundings.

I do not get what I want.

This is a simple factuality.

To fight it would be a waste of what little energy that I have left.

I have accepted that.

But that does not make this any easier.

I am alone again.

This emptiness is exactly the reason why I do not make efforts to change the fact that all that I have to anticipate is the howling silence of my desolate apartment.

Or rather, the abrupt respite that I was offered from that emptiness.

That brief flash of understanding.

That feeling of need.

That feeling of worth.

That fleeting glimpse of satisfaction.

They are all gone.

I am alone again.

And "again" is the word that hurts the most.

Monday, September 19, 2011

There is no comfort.

Not for me.

There never was.

Never has been.

Perhaps one day there will be.

Perhaps one day my mind will finally drive itself to the point of ruin necessary to admit that I am finished.

Perhaps...

But for now, I must know more.

I must never be satisfied with my understanding.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Buddhists are right.

Life is suffering.

So get in the car.

And turn up the bass.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

I can't think.

I can't think.

I can't fucking think.

This is the worst that it has ever been.

I feel like my mind is going to break.

Friday, September 16, 2011

My medication had stopped working.

This was my fear.

I knew that this was coming.

But to have my concentration taken from me so soon seems...cruel, somehow.

The side effects still linger.

From the time that I wake up in the morning until the few hours before I fall asleep at night, my body screams for me to stop.

And I have listened.

I have tried to stop.

And to my horror, I have come to the realization that, despite all of my efforts towards the contrary, I have developed a chemical dependency on the substance.

I have tried to stop.

But all that I can think about is when I am going to take the next pill.

It consumes my mind.

Even now - little more than three hours into today's allotment - I yearn for the dose.

I tried so hard to avoid this.

I tried so hard to keep this from happening.

But the reality is clear.

I am a fucking drug addict.

And I have no idea what to do.

I hate this new self.

This is pathetic.

I have tried to stop.

But I can not afford to break this now.

Time will not wait for me.

I must find another way.

I can't go back to the way I was.

I can't go back.

I can't.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Okay, world.

You win.

You have broken me.

Do with me what you will.

Monday, September 12, 2011

"It's important to be neutral, striving not to strive."

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


This is what we mean by "study."



And this is what we mean by "study hard."

There is no certainty in the future.

Uncertainty is frightening.

It's okay to be scared.

But uncertainty about events that have not yet occurred is just the nature of things.

It is an inherency of the passage of time.

But the future is constant.

It will always be there.

Waiting for us.

The best that we can do is work diligently and maintain hope that perhaps one day, this existence will be better for everyone.

You have no power.

You have no ultimate influence.

You are nothing.

You must recognize your weakness.

Our undeniable weakness.

Accept the fact that the most that you can do is offer yourself completely to your passions.

The things that you enjoy.

The things that drive you to do good in the world.

The things that you understand to be real.

So relax.

Be still.

Live your life for others.

Breathe love into all that you do.

Find the center within yourself.

Calm your mind.

And allow time to pass.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

It hurts.

I know.

I'm sorry.

But time will continue to pass.

You will never get used to the pain.

But you will learn to live through it.

You must learn to live through it.

Please, learn to live through it.

You have so much to offer.

You are so beautiful.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Learn to let go of your previous self.

It no longer exists.

Our potential is our only reality.

Focus not on the person who you have been, but rather on the person who you have not yet become.
People say that to become a better writer, one must write every day.

"Practice makes perfect."

But this is not entirely true.

Writing every day may help improve vocabulary, spelling, and sentence structure.

But it does not improve the writer's voice; the writer's capacity for expression.

Writing every day is not a bad idea.

But one must wait for inspiration.

Writing about nothing does not provoke critical thought.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Humidity

"Hey, are you coming back up with us?"

I stared at the sidewalk for a brief moment before I responded.

I could feel their tension as they hung in those few seconds; their eagerness mounting as they waited for my answer.

"No," I said.

"I'm going to stay out here and finish this."

"All right. We'll see you upstairs."

They entered the stairwell, and as the door slowly began to drift shut, I found a spot next to the building and sat down on the concrete.

Slowly, I take in a breath - listening to the familiar crackle - and hold it for a time.

I wait for that first twinge of threatening discomfort to dance across my mind.

I wait...and wait...and wait.

Finally, I exhale, watching as the smoke billows out and away from me.

Another hour.

I will need another hour for the alcohol to wear off.

One more hour, and then I will be fit to drive home when the time comes.

I take in another breath.

Again, I hold it until my lungs begin to ache.

As I exhale once more, I hear footsteps approaching from just outside of my peripheral.

The clamor emanating from each impact of the sharply heeled footwear against the concrete pathway betrays the gender of the approaching pedestrians almost immediately, but I glance to my left anyway.

Two women of about my age make haste along the sidewalk, each of them wearing a short black dress and carrying a white, plastic grocery bag containing various beverage ingredients.

They were attractive, although in a very contrived way.

I relocated my gaze back to the anterior and took another breath.

Holding my respiratory muscles still, I closed my eyes and surveyed my surroundings.

I smelled the humid summer air; felt its presence beginning to condense upon my face.

I listened through the relentless clicking of the womens' shoes to the sound of the insects calling from the safety of the surrounding flora.

I focused on the distant, yet very distinct sound of vehicular tires peeling across the pavement of nearby asphalt roads.

I waited quietly for each new and fascinating waveform to surface from the aural static of the busy evening, until a soft, concerned voice suddenly interrupted my brief moment of concentration.

"Are you okay?"

I looked up to find that both of the previously approaching women were looking down at me.

One of them was bent towards me slightly at the waist, presumably the one who had spoken.

"Yeah." I replied, adjusting my posture slightly to better represent that of a conscious, aware individual.

"Are you sure?" she asked.

"Yes. I'm fine. Thank you."

"You just look super contemplative..."

"Yeah..."

I wanted to say more; wanted to carry on the conversation.

But something stopped me.

"Okay...well, have a good night." she said, after a moment's hesitation.

I nodded and waved slightly as they continued on into the building.

As I once again listened to the sound of the door slowly swinging shut, the searing heat from my rapidly extinguishing kretek stole from me my euphoric focus and brought to my attention the more immediate realities of the situation.

I took in one last breath; made one last effort to absorb whatever information my senses would allow me before quietly standing up, brushing off the backs of my garments, and making my way back up to the party.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

"Lisa didn't want to go to the gig that night, so I gave her ticket away."

"5000 people in a room, and you can still feel alone..."
"Try now, if you can, to close your second eyelid. Only then will the true path to darkness be revealed."

Monday, August 22, 2011

I need to apologize for my recent absence.

Between moving into the new apartment, trying to iron out the details of what I still need to pick up, and the new semester starting this past week, things have been very busy.

I need to make more time for my writing, but lately that has proven to be quite a difficult task.

I have one more piece of furniture to pick up, which I will hopefully be doing today, and then hopefully I will be able to fall back into my normal routine of writing in between classes.

I am very worried about this semester.

I literally have more to do than I have available time in which to do it.

I have five classes: Manufacturing Processes, Senior Lab (Engineering Lab III), Senior Design II, Fuel Cell Fundamentals and Applications, and Adaptive Materials/Smart Structures.

Senior Design and Senior Lab are both project oriented, which is fine, but it means that they require a much larger time commitment than most classes.

Adaptive Materials/Smart Sturctures is going to be a very, very interesting class.

Intelligent material systems is a very new field of engineering, and most of what we talk about in the class will be oriented around a lot of cutting-edge technology.

However, the class is being taught on a graduate level, and is going to have a heavy focus on research.

This is the sort of thing that I want to do with my life, but the prospect of having that on top of my other four classes still scares me a little.

Not to mention the fact that I have to start applying to graduate schools this semester, as well as figuring out what I actually want to do with the rest of my life, preparing for the FE exam, and making arrangements for the empty semester in between graduation and, hopefully, my continued education.

There is not enough time for everything.

I know that I can get my work done this semester.

I know that I have it within me.

But the knowledge of what I am going to have to sacrifice to do so is...

It is...

It is sobering.

Yes.

Sobering...

I think that that is the word for it.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

I meant to finish writing an entry last night.

But instead, I went out and got drunk.

It was sort of an accident.

The intoxication, I mean.

I had to eat afterwards to sober up, knowing that it was going to cause digestive issues but also knowing that it was my only choice if I wanted to get home at a reasonable hour.

I spent the evening sick and was late for my first class this morning.

I must be more careful.

This is not like me.

I am ashamed of myself.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011



I will have internet again tomorrow sometime between the hours of 1 and 5 pm.

See you soon.

Friday, August 12, 2011

I am writing.

I am still here.

But I am about to move back to Columbia, where I will be without internet for several days in my new apartment.

I will try to make another post before I leave tomorrow, but I can't promise much.

But, whatever happens, I will be back soon.

So, until next we speak, I hope that each one of you is having a wonderful morning/evening/afternoon.

Peace be with you over these next few days.

- Hayden

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

There is no progress in the absence of conflict.

However, one must look outside of the self to understand, refine, and utilize conflict constructively.

Viewing disagreement in terms of the self is the quickest path to anger and destructive reasoning.

Saturday, August 6, 2011







Thursday, August 4, 2011

The philosophical indoctrination of children is certainly very real and very effective.

That is inarguable.

However, you can never force your child to believe as you do.

You can never force them to agree with your system of values, nor to adopt only the attitudes and opinions about the world that you find appropriate.

You can only force them to live a life of silent misery as they feign agreement with your paradigm to avoid the unending punishments of disappointment.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I started a Tumblr a while ago to associate with Ultimate Gourmet, but never got around to actually setting it up.

I was going to use it to post links to share some of the media that I enjoy throughout my day to day existence, so as to not clutter up the blog proper with links and videos and pictures.

I was going to, but I never did.

However, I have good news.

I finally got everything up and running yesterday, and I have even managed to post a bit since then.

I'm looking forward to sharing some of my inspirations with all of you, and it is my sincere hope that everyone will eventually find something to enjoy.

You can check it out here, or via the new link in the sidebar.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I went to Columbia yesterday and checked out of my old apartment.

It was a strange feeling, really.

I hadn't realized how attached that I had grown to that place until it was time to leave.

As I sat on the bed that had been cluttered only an hour before and surveyed the stark emptiness of the room around me, this horrible sadness washed over me, as though it was just occurring to me in that moment everything that I was about to leave behind.

A year's worth of memories.

A year's worth of music and sounds and textures.

A year's worth of love.

A year's worth of pain.

A year's worth of cooking.

A year's worth of regrets.

A year's worth of exhaustion.

A year's worth of evenings spent naked and alone between my sheets, cuddled against a glass of dry red wine.

A year's worth of writings.

A year's worth of experience.

A year's worth of alcohol.

A year's worth of thoughts.

It always felt so good to come back to that place after my long, torturous evenings of work.

It always felt so good, and now I must just leave it all behind and start over again, this time with a more demanding schedule than I have ever faced in the past.

It is exciting, in its own way.

But the sting of the nostalgia is...disquieting, somehow.

Monday, August 1, 2011


Somewhere, a Girl Scout trademark attorney just woke up in a cold sweat.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Vermeil

My hands shake.

Even a task as mundane as holding my pen steady enough to lay ink to the page requires every bit of my muscular focus.

It's almost funny, really.

What good is the somber calmness of my mind if my body simply takes control of itself at the slightest hint of stress?

What good is this internal quiet when my body screams for satisfaction?

What good is this still reflection when all that I want to do is stand up and run until the spasming of my muscles cracks my ribs?

What good am I?

What good have I ever done?

Why do I choose to endure this psychosis in the interest of making myself numerically useful?

Why do I bother to combat the ever-present call of that half empty bottle?

It would be so easy...

It would be so easy to destroy this life.

It would be so easy to disassemble what I have built.

It would be so easy.

The tools are all right here in front of me, contained within the clutch of my fingertips, on ice.

Just one more sip...

It would be so easy...

One more sip.

One more slip of the knife.

One more inch off of this windy ledge until gravity overtakes the hesitation.

One more unit of angular acceleration; one more ounce of force against the sides of these wheels to break the friction beneath these tires and send the bitter kinesthesia of my desire spinning over the guardrails of this unwanted purpose.

One more hollow casing ejected from the chamber of this smoking firearm.

Just one more sip.

The power is more intoxicating than the substance itself.

That unbridled control over something; anything.

It would be so easy.

So why do I fight it?

Why do I continue to deprive myself so that I may concentrate on living?

Why do I continue to give up the things that I love so that I may continue to fight away these dark compulsions?

Why can't I just give in?

Why can't I allow myself that critical moment of weakness?

Why can't I lose hope?

Why are you still worth it?

I will never even fucking know you.

Why are you still worth it?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Let go of your anger.

Realize that anger originates within the self.

It is not provoked by others.

You are the only person who can own your pain.

The acceptance of this will set upon your mind a calmness rivaled only by the silence of oblivion.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

You are the purveyor of your own belief.

Desire more to improve the self than to influence external circumstances, and you will always have a reason to hope.

Only through the filter of your own understanding can you come to understand others.

Saturday, July 23, 2011




Friday, July 22, 2011

As you are reading this, somebody, somewhere, is dying.

Just think about that for a moment.

Somebody out there is dying.

Someone is dying.

And someone is being born.

Someone is arguing with a friend.

Someone is searching for food.

Someone is buying new clothing.

Someone is fighting for a cause.

Someone is carefully aiming a firearm.

Someone is running.

Someone is having sex.

Someone is opening a resaurant.

Someone is boarding an airplane.

Someone is experiencing something for the first time.

Someone is dying.

Someone out there is living an entire life cycle that you will never see.

Someone out there is living an entire life cycle of which you will never have any knowledge.

Someone out there is living an entire life cycle of which you will never be a part.

As you read this, somebody out there is dying.

Just think about that for a moment.

We are so unimaginably small.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I thought that I would post a podcast of sorts tonight. I recorded a lot of study sessions with my friends this past semester, and this is a recording that I took during a Kinematics homework session with a couple of friends of mine this past semester that I am just now getting around to posting.

Just a heads up, it's not exactly safe for work, so make sure that you have head phones on if you are in a place where a little swearing here and there is unacceptable.

Otherwise, this is what engineering students get up to late at night. Enjoy.

Kinematics, March 2nd, 2011
(To download to hard disk, right click and "save target as.")

Weekend in Columbia



Antique shopping in Columbia


Asian market weirdness

Monday, July 18, 2011

I will post a thing here soon.

I promise.

I have a video in the works.

Busy busy busy busy busy.

Friday, July 15, 2011

I am going to Columbia this weekend to look at apartments for next semester.

Also, for the next few days, I am going to be working on some potential guest post entries for my friends Tabs, Jess, and Ms. Elle over at 20 Something Bloggers, so my personal writing for the next week or so is likely to be fairly sparse. I also have some long-form pieces that have reached a fairly completed phase on my mind's page, and I would like to try to take some time to really sit down and start working those out on actual paper so that I can maybe get the ball rolling on a few projects of my own before my last semester starts up in full.

However, due to my recent purchasing of a practical and fashionable new messenger bag the video camera and my voice recorder go with me everywhere now, so I will be posting some pictures, video, and hopefully audio in the place of my typical writing.

I will be producing at least some sort of remedial content during this pseudo-hiatus, and although the pages of my Moleskine have been more tantalizing than ever lately, I actually wouldn't mind a little break from the pen to try out some new sorts of things with our more modern mediums.

So keep an eye out.

I'll be around.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

I was going to write something tonight, but I am absolutely exhausted. So here's a video of my cat, instead.




Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Oh my God, I have never felt more sick.

I hate these pills.

I hate these fucking pills.

I am so tired of having to feel like shit all of the time just so that I can concentrate.

The muscular hypertension in my back and shoulders is excruciating.

The office around me contorts in my peripheral; twisting and bending itself around my computer screen.

I risk vomiting with every inward breath.

My eyes shift in and out of focus.

The muscle spasms come when least expected.

The nervousness is at its most profound.

Even the slightest motion or noise sets me on edge.

I can't eat.

I can't sleep.

I can't do this.

This is the worst that the uptake period has ever been.

To feel like this, and yet be fully functioning.

To smile and walk upright as I fight back the urge to collapse on the floor and weep the discomfort from my body.

It is misery.

I can't keep doing this.

I can't.

It is killing me.

I can't live like this every day anymore.

So why can't I convince myself that this is not worth it?

To know some semblance of order where there was once only chaos...

It is such a small thing in comparison to the agony I glean from the pills.

So why can't I convince myself that this is not worth it?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Asheville Weekend

I went to Asheville, NC with my family this past weekend. It's a cool place. I'd spend a bunch of time talking about it, but really we just walked around downtown and went to some art studios. So here's some videos instead:


We stopped by the visitor's center to get a map and look up hotels because every member of my family refuses to buy a GPS. The visitor center itself was unnecessarily nice.



Then we went downtown. There was a drum circle and some dancing hippies.



After it started to get dark, the street performers hit the downtown area full-force. There were musicians on just about every street corner. I ran out of tips and had to stop taking video, but here are a couple of the highlights.


As is the case with most people, I don't like spiders.


The next day we went to a bunch of open art studios and talked to some of the artists while we were there. There was a lot of really interesting art on display, but the only video I managed to get was of me helping a June bug.


Then we ended up at an antique store. It was all just junk, really, except for one rather strange item...

All in all, it was a good trip. I had a nice time, and I enjoyed being in a town with a strong artistic community and "downtown" culture for a change. There's really not a whole lot to say about the trip, as we mostly just walked around the area and took in the atmosphere. I did get a new pair of Vibram Fivefingers while I was there, and they are the most ballin' thangs ever

This is my second pair of Vibrams, and although I love the way my other pair feels, I have to say that these blow my old ones out of the water. I tried to take a picture of them on my feet to include with this post, but for some reason my ankles looked fat and out of proportion in every shot, so here's a link to the webpage instead. The only bad thing about them is that I can not wear them at work, so I unfortunately can not experience their most supreme coziness while I slave away at my computer.

Those of you who have never owned a pair of Fivefingers should seriously consider looking into it. They are a bit on the expensive side, and getting yourself properly sized can be a little tricky, but once you find the pair for you and get them broken in, they are worth every damn penny.

Monday, July 11, 2011

If you are reading this, I want to say that I am sorry.

I am sorry to have gone on about you the way that I have.

I know it seems juvenile, to have developed such a strong attachment after only two months with you.

It's ridiculous to me, too.

But that does not make this longing any less real.

I miss you.

I really do.

You understood me in ways that nobody ever had before we met, and there has been no one since.

In the two months that we had together, you knew me better than any of my oldest friends.

I know that your feelings for me were likely never as strong as my feelings for you.

The way that you left hurt.

It really hurt.

But I understand.

It would be a lie to say that I don't want you back.

I would do anything to look into your eyes again.

But that is only in my own interest.

I am glad that you got out of this place.

I am glad that you were able to go on and live out your dreams and desires.

As much as it pains me to say it, I am glad that you left.

You would not have been happy with me.

I could have never asked you to stay.

I still miss you.

My desire to be with you is still one of the most powerful emotions that I have ever experienced.

I know that these sentiments are no longer relevant to you and your new life.

But I want you to know that I'm sorry.

The way that I have carried on about this has not been fair to either of us.

This is the last entry that I will ever make about you.

I don't want to talk about us anymore.

I wish you the best for the future, and I hope that your happiness carries you through the rest of your days as it did throughout the short period during which I had the privilege of knowing you.

I'm sorry.

I am finished.
I am willing to discuss anything with anyone with an open mind.

The type of intellectual who shuts others out simply because they are ignorant of a subject matter is, in my opinion, more foolish than anyone lacking an understanding of the material may seem.

The next time that you are tempted to call somebody "stupid," remember this:

The world has never benefited from elitism of any kind.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Testing my new camera out. Yes, I know that my hands are always in my hair. It's in that awkward "won't stay out of your face no matter what you do" phase.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

NASA will be launching its final space shuttle, Atlantis, tomorrow at 11:26 a.m.

The space shuttle program is coming to an end tomorrow, and nobody cares.

I don't expect everyone to care as much as I do.

I never have.

I've understood for a long time that the things that fascinate me to the point of troubled breathing are not always fascinating to other people.

But I do feel like this is more important than the Casey Anthony trial.

Or the relentless stories about the man who was mauled by a bear in Yellowstone national park.

It's a tragedy; it really is.

But when you go to a place where bears reside, sometimes you might just encounter a bear.

Let me reiterate:

The space shuttle program is coming to an end tomorrow, and nobody cares.

I could just cry.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Dilemma:

Beer or tea.

Solution:

Beer and tea.

Result:

Shame and regret.
There will come a time when people will pay for coal with diamonds.

There will come a time when oil will be so scarce that it's obtainment will no longer even be worth killing each other.

There will come a time when energy will become one of the most valuable commodities that the world has ever known.

Unless we can get over ourselves now and start working harder towards viable solutions for the future.

Windmills and solar panels are nice.

But they are not enough.

There will come a time when we will sit down and say one of two things.

"This is what we have been preparing ourselves for all of these years. We are ready for this."

Or.

"We really should have prepared ourselves better for this all of these years. We are not ready for this."

We need to get over our dependence on fossil fuels.

They are not going to last forever.

This should be obvious.

We need to get over ourselves.

We need to work together, and get over ourselves.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Just one day.

One day without the persistence of these memories.

One day without the recollection of the unprecedented energy that I felt in her presence.

Just one day.

Is that really too much to ask?

Friday, July 1, 2011

For What It's Worth

Each and every one of you is so tremendously beautiful.

Each and every one of you is so passionately loved.

How do I know?

Because, for what little it may be worth, I love you.

I love you so much.

Each and every one of you.

Fill your lungs with air.

Breathe deep, this fluid of life.

Think your thoughts.

Allow your troubles to be real.

Calm your mind.

Carry on.

You are never alone.

You are meaningful.

You are loved.

And you are beautiful.

Never forget that.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Actual mental conversation that I had with myself on my drive to work this morning:

Self 1: "Is the bass up high enough?"

Self 2: "Is the rearview mirror vibrating?"

Self 1: "No."

Self 2: "Then no."

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Washington: Part 2

For those of you just now catching up, make sure to read part 1 before continuing on with this post, because I'm just going to pick right up where part 1 left off.

We had pressing dinner engagements, so after the National Building Museum, we headed back to the metro, at which point we encountered these interesting fellows.


They were angry about abortion or divorce or something. Unfortunately, we didn't really have time to stick around and find out. We had a train to catch.


I apparently have problems with depth perception.

After running home for a few minutes, we headed back out for dinner at the Army Navy Club. Our hosts are members of the club and decided to take us out for an old-fashioned dinner experience. I'd never been out to a proper dinner club before, and it was definitely a fun experience. The servers did everything in a very particular fashion, and everything was right and proper and fancy. I had a really good time, although I was constantly worried that I was violating some sort of unknown element of dinner table etiquette.

Nervous smile.

I got the Asian-inspired halibut with baby bok choy. It was very good.

After dinner, we went upstairs and checked out the Army Navy Club's library. The library contains pretty much every book regarding politics and the military that has ever been written. It was really interesting. Also, we got to try on some old-school formal regalia.

Laura (our hostess) helping Kelley with the unruly headwear.

Kelley in the feather hat.

Kip (our host) and Dillon, ready for action.

After the library, we took an evening walk around the White House area. D.C. is a beautiful town at night, and it always surprises me how many people are still on the streets after dark. It's kind of funny, really. I feel safer in downtown D.C. after dark than I ever have in good old Columbia, SC. The fact that there are about ten kinds of police within the immediate vicinity at any given time probably helps a lot with that feeling.

On the way back to the metro station, we passed a Five Guys restaurant that had a Coke Freestyle machine set up inside. Even though we were about to get on a train that prohibits beverages, I had to stop inside. I doubt that there is enough demand to justify the price for these things in South Carolina right now, so I really wanted to try one out while I had the chance. We ended up having to pass the drink around to finish it off before boarding the metro to head home for the rest of the evening. 

If you ever see one of these, I definitely recommend the raspberry Coke.

The next morning, our group split up (boys and girls), and we went to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum while the girls went to the mall to shop and get they hair did. We went to the lesser known branch of the Air and Space Museum, which was really cool, because all that I had seen was the museum downtown. The remote branch of the Air and Space Museum is basically just a huge, renovated hanger that contains one of each of most of the aircraft that have been used in the military since World War I. It also features dedicated sections for commercial and civilian aircraft, as well as spaceflight. As most of you would probably expect, the space exhibit was my favorite.

The space shuttle Enterprise currently resides in the museum. It was quite a sight.

After returning from the museum, Dillon and I ended up going out to the mall so that he could shop for some shoes. During this shoe-shopping, I ended up picking up a copy of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow for the PS3 for half price at the Sony Store. I also ended up paying more money than I ever intended for tea at an interesting store called Teavana. My experience in both the Sony Style store and Teavana was...strange, to say the least, but that is best saved for a later post.

We returned home for a while, and Kip eventually ended up making us a delicious chicken curry. After dinner, we went out to visit some of the historical monuments. We wanted to go at night, because the lights positioned around the monuments give them in a much more dramatic and powerful feel. I know that everyone has seen the monuments, and I hate to be "that guy," but here are some obligatory pictures of the monuments that we were able to see.

The Washington Monument

The Jefferson Memorial

Big ol' columns

The Jefferson Memorial Exterior

The Lincoln Memorial

Lincoln and his artistically protruding foot.

We got in from monument hopping at around 2:00 AM, and immediately passed out. We got up the next morning, packed our stuff, ate lunch, said our goodbyes, and then left very reluctantly. There was lots of very interesting conversation during the car ride home, but the only thing that I managed to document was this weird bell tower that we saw out in the middle of nowhere.

Kinda hard to see in the video, but from what we could tell, there was nothing around this strange artifice. Also, for the record, Kelley is not referring to the bell tower right before the video cuts.

Anyway, that's a basic rundown of our trip to D.C. I know that my description was pretty rushed and out of control, but I hate being that person who goes into every single detail about every single aspect of their trip. The trip itself also moved pretty fast, and the pace that we kept in real time during our stay was about the same speed as that depicted by the jumpiness of the post. It was crazy and altogether too short (none of us wanted to come back home), but I still had a really great time, nonetheless. It was definitely a nice break from working on engineering drawings in Pro/Engineer all day every day, and although I was initially worried about the trip filling me with forgotten memories of my childhood, I am really glad that I was able to go.

The long road home.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Washington: Part 1

So, as I've mentioned, I recently went to Washington D.C. with some friends of mine for a weekend vacation. It was a great time. We were staying with some relatives of the friends whom I accomponied, and we got into D.C. at about 5:00 AM this past Thursday morning. Our hosts were both high-ranking Air Force officials, one of which works in the Pentagon, so our Thursday was occupied mostly with going on a personally guided tour of the Pentagon's facilities. I obviously don't have any pictures of that, as they don't let you have electronic devices in the building, but it was a really cool experience.

The day after that, we went out on the town (specifically the Chinatown area) and essentially just meandered aimlessly. There's a lot to cover here, so I'll try to be brief so as to not make this post too lengthy. There are a few things from the trip that I'd like to talk about in more detail and in my regular writing style, but I will save those things for later posts.

As most would do, we started the day off by riding the metro into town.



 D.C. has a beautiful metro system.

After getting off the metro in Chinatown, we went to Urban Outfitters and shopped for a bit, and then proceeded to meander around aimlessly until something struck our fancy.


We eventually came across an interesting looking Cuban restaurant, and decided to eat lunch there.

Cuba Libre, Washington D.C.

The first and most important thing that I got here was their house mojito. It was fantastic. Cuba Libre uses fresh guarapa to sweeten their mojitos, meaning that they press the juice from raw sugarcane in-house every day. They also use real hierba buena, which is the traditional herb used in mojitos. It's a lot like mint, but is apparently not mint.

Dillon's food (poached Ahi tuna) was a work of art.

I had the sea bass.

Abby had octopus with a delicious (from what I'm told) truffle sauce.

Best meal that I've had in a long time.

And for dessert: Cuban espresso.

We were all intensely satisfied by our meal, and couldn't stop raving about how good it was, even two days after the fact. What started out as a weird, "let's just hop in here and see what's up" moment ended up being one of my favorite parts of the entire trip. I'm really glad that their sign just so happened to draw my interest. 

After lunch, we walked around for a bit longer and looked at some buildings before ending up at the National Building Museum.

I don't know what this building was, but it was gorgeous.

Building with an interesting gazebo thing on the top.

National Building Museum exterior.



We were absolutely astonished by the interior of this building.

The stairs in the museum were really old and worn down. Materials Science at work, ladies and gentlemen.

Engineering art!

I think that to keep this post manageable, I am going to split it into two parts. There is more on the way, but this is as good a part as any to leave off, I think. Stay tuned for part 2!