Monday, August 29, 2011


"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..."


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.



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.