Swimming: .posted by collin on Apr 21 at 18:07:51
Sometimes you just move and feel what you can feel. As I sit here at the grayest university in the country in the midst of a cold gray March I wish I was back in the mountains. I wish I was somewhere where I could just sit and feel. In this dysfunctional world of academia I am beginning to think that I am evolving into a being that exists only in my own mind. Not only the Cartesian loneliness that comes from reading an essay that proves the non-existence of the physical, but that compounded with a complete lack of meaningful physical action, and sexual interaction. Here I have waxed philosophical and should just get around to telling the story of where I wish I was. It was a storm of such magnitude that you only see one or two a summer, at least in Colorado. It wasn't a truly great storm, but as we drove up Flagstaff Mt. road the thought of a mudslide, or simply driving off the road did cross my mind. "Ben, if you want me to drive I can. If you want." This elicited no response from my younger friend, initially. We had driven pretty much most of the way when he gave up the wheel. By that time the thunder palpably shook the van every minute or so and you could only see fifteen feet in front of the headlights. The other younger passenger, who was sitting in the back now that I was at the wheel, and is much better looking than Ben, had become increasingly antsy. While I was not going to listen to her concerns, for though they were well grounded in logic, they had no foundation in the mind of this eighteen year old boy. This was a tactile excursion. The strong beat from the Bob Marley playing on the radio was punctuated with increasing frequency by the thunder. The car lurched left and then right as we moved serpentine up the road. And the driving rain, which should have occupied my thoughts as the thing that my cause me to kill myself and my two passengers, was not an audible sensation but instead a constant thrumming on my skin. We then proceeded to drive past where we intended to go, Barker reservoir. I don't know when the dam was made, though I like to think it was some project meant to give work to the unemployed men in the area long before I was born, but I like going up there to look at the reflection of the pines. Tonight that was not going to happen. So we sat in the van and listened to some more Bob Marley. Beyond what I felt driving up to the reservoir I can't really remember. I guess the chemicals my adrenal glands had put into my blood stream clouded my memory. We just sat and talked, for almost two hours. Another time a month or two later I was back up at the reservoir, this time in more hospitable weather. This time it was a larger group as well. Three men, though we were really boys, and two women, who were not older, younger than myself, but women. Now Ben was there again, along with Scott, and he was at this time attached to one of the women, the one named Lucia. Now this leaves Scott, the other woman, and myself. Now I don't want to objectify this woman by not using her name, though she was most definitely the object that I was then directing my affection and the female companion of the previous drive. She was a prime example of chaste beauty. A good little catholic girl, and not in the sense that she was only when adults were around. A physical masterpiece, older than Nabakov's girl, closer to Botticelli's goddess, and full of morality. But she was not a goddess nor work of art, that blindness comes when a man falls in love, and that is a sickly-sweet death I hope does not befall me again so soon. I was not filled with love, for I did not know her and had not known her, but with a yearning. This is the yearning when a man is starved beyond hunger, and not of his own choice. This is not a chosen abstinence. The man is a prisoner who no longer feels hunger pains but wishes to once again feel food, it's texture and flavor. He wishes to experience unadulterated sensory joy. I, instead of voicing these feelings or even rashly acting on them, dove into the water. Now this was not just swimming like you do in a pool when you're sticky with sweat. This was well past the witching hour in a cold cold lake. The rocks were too sharp to stand on in bare feet for any length of time, so I simply floated. I felt no discomfort from the cold, but instead reveled in it for it complimented the darkness. This is perhaps the greatest lack of feeling I have ever experienced. I was once in a small cave in Utah. It was really only a crack under an overhang, but it ran near parallel to the rock face and curved in slightly. It was very high, you couldn't see where the crack ended, and two feet wide at the opening. Height is something else. Since it was just a crack it narrowed as it went up, you couldn't see the where or if it ended. As you walked in it became narrower. At first you could easily stand and even turn around. It quickly became so narrow that you had to side step. You could still turn around, but by the time the opening was no longer visible and sunlight was just a diffuse gray glow you couldn't turn your head around. You then had to crawl on your hands and knees, and finally you were crawling along on your side, the sandstone scratching your chest and your shoulder blades. All you could see was the light that your mind thought should be there. You would look up as see the wall two feet away, but when you reached up it would only be a few inches from your face. Being in a cave is nothing like swimming that night was like. In a cave you can still feel the walls. There's an inside and an outside, you know that you can get out. You still know that you're standing. Underwater the only thing that exists is you and whatever isn't in the water. You're in deep and you close your eyes and you are alone. The silvery plane that was just above you is gone. The weight of you limbs is gone and the cold removes any vestige of human warmth from your body. You exist only in your own head. Everything is silent and you're not breathing. I fought my way to the surface. Instead of being closer that I thought it was much farther. The late summer air stung. Instead of floating I was now standing on sharp rock only in water up to my waist and bare chested. I wish I could have held her and felt her warmth.
link: .posted by collin on Apr 21 at 18:01:11
knot: .posted by collin on Apr 21 at 17:54:48
When is a knot not a knot? Not now.
Dharma Bum: .posted by ben on Apr 14 at 23:05:05
I just finished The New New Thing by Michael Lewis. It made me profoundly distraught at how unlikely it is I will succeed professionally. I have done badly at school, why not at work as well? I imagine at best I will end up like Ezra Pound, not recognized during life, and damned a bit afterward.
I started a new web site today. It is based on my ideas for analog neural networks, hopefully the content will get better over the next few weeks.
A Zen master once said "If you are eating, only eat. If you are reading, only read." One of his student came across the master while he was reading and eating. The student asked if this contradicted the master's teachings. The master responded, "If you are eating and reading, only eat and read."
In Zen a circle means enlightenment, the present and contemplation. I was also reading that reading about Zen is contrary to Zen. Irony abounds.
I was listening to someone talking about how Christianity denies the body and its importance. While this might have been true of the Gnostics, and theoretically Christian Scientists, for more Christians it's simply not true. Christianity has become obsessed with the body, surely Easter (tomorrow) is a potent example of that. Communion is another. Zen, at least, in its obsession with calm manages to ignore the body at times.
A student asked "I am very discouraged, what should I do?" The master responded "Encourage others."
Meditating deeply upon Dharma, reach the depth of the source. Branching streams cannot compare to this source! Sitting alone in a great silence Even though the heavens turn and the earth is upset, You will not even wink. -Nyogen Senzaki
So Cold: .posted by ben on Apr 11 at 19:13:23
Anyone know what the fundamental theorem of arithmetic is? The 35 year old retarded man who hates the spaces program and is majoring in aeronautical engineering was going on about it, but I'm not sure he has any idea what it is either. Speaking of stupid people, here are the latest choice quotations from trident goers...
"You have a huge incest. You have a lot of incest in those small towns, usually."
"No layoffs, but there was some deadwood that we had to get rid off."
I guess the last one might simply be politic, but the first is mind bending. What was this person trying to say? "You have a huge incest." That will be my new insult. I will go around claiming that other people have "huge incests." I know that the size of my incest is one of my utmost concerns. That, and the diff eq test I'm going to fail in about an hour.
I've decided that after I finish failing my diff eq test, and suffering through my stupid writing class (fuck you tory tuttle), that I write down an account of some recent madness, and feel generally bitter about how much things suck.
Here is my recent proposal for an analog neural network. It's a good idea, but no one seems to believe me.
If you like these, there are more here. Sadly, there is no text to go with them. I'm sure those stories were wonderful too. I wonder why the gods hate Kansas? I can think of so many reasons why I do.
And here I continue the work Graham began...Disembodied heads of porn... Imagine what life would be like if thumbnails for porn all looked like this. I don't think anyone could stand browsing the stuff.
Michiganders: .posted by fuzzybunny on Mar 23 at 13:48:30
I'm mildly curious what all these homophobic Michganders would think about the name "fuzzybunny." I think that the only person from Michigan that I have met that was not at least noticably homophobic was my gay insomniac roommate in the dorm.
Halfwits: .posted by ben on Mar 16 at 09:18:49
Things I have heard which I wish I hadn't:
"On a T3 I used a Sony and I was absolutely seamless."
Let me die..
The Membrane: .posted by ben on Mar 12 at 13:24:35
I was called by Sara Smith last night to study history. After completing my requisite trip to the trident, I figured why the hell not?
It snowed yesterday, so my car required serious whacking at with a broom before it emerged in a driveable state. That, and my insistence on writing an inflamatory paper for my writing class made me the better part of an hour late. After my car had been sufficiently beaten I removed the roof to greet the sub zero world outside with my own personal brand of insanity, and drove to her apartment.
She had done outlines of the sample exam. An outline for every question, each outline a few pages long. This seems insane to me, but who am I to say? We got on to talking about the nature of history in general. She argued that the important things in history are names in dates. This seems absurd to me. Does it matter that Tojo commanded the Japanese forces for a bit, or that they killed at least 50,000 people in Nanking alone? She said, and I quote "I guess thatís why Iím a history major and youíre not."
This brings me to another question of arrogance. Sheís said, a few times around me, "Do you know who I am?" This seems stupid. Yes, I know who you are, some college student with the most generic name known to mankind. At least my name sounds more impressive... James Benton Lackey III...
At any rate, each time she says this around me I say "No, who are you?" Then she says, regally, "I am Sara." I then do my best not to laugh, it usually doesnít work. After history got boring, she started talking about her boyfriend. She broke up with him last week and is now angry that heís dating another girl. I donít understand. "I didnít think we would really break up."
As near as I can tell everyone else is mad, and I am the only sane one left. Yes, thatís it...
This is fairly interesting. It's a titled "ban normal sex." I thought it was kind of amusing, and agree with the idea that pornography isn't neccesarily a bad thing. It's only a bad thing if it's o ne sided. Visit equal opportunity pornography if you want pictures of men, gay men, women, lesbians, and people having straight sex.
Latte: .posted by fuzzybunny on Mar 12 at 12:30:43
While drinking my tasty latte, I find myself contemplating the night's events...
It was a dark and crappy night in Flushing, MI. A small group of people were assembled in Earl "the gentle giant" Hartford's room, nicknamed Nu Ohio. I was editing a book review written by my comrade Ian, while the others discussed linear actuators and Britney's theories on semiconductor physics. Suddenly, interrupting the B-Boy's rendition of "Benny and the Jets," we heard a fierce knocking at the door... *KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK! KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK!* Aside from the B-Boy's drunken slurring, the room fell silent. We looked at each other in shock. Who could be knocking at our door at eleven-o-clock? Ian rose slowly from his seat, a kidnapped BMW bucket, with a look of slight fear and moderate disbelief on his face. Silently he turned his back on us. Would this be the last we saw of Ian? Was this to be his end? What lay below us on the doorstep was a mystery, and only Ian had the courage to unravel it.
With winamp now paused, we waited in perfect silence as Ian crossed the landing, then descended into the entry way via the ancient stairway. We counted his steps. One, two, three.... eight, nine, ten, eleven. We visualized him opening the first door. *Cree-eekk* Then the second. *Ka-chik*
What came next, none of us could have prepared Ian for. We heard a flood of words released with a speed which only
women can manage. We were scared. We were terrified! We heard the voices coming closer. No! Nooooo! We all rose
simultaneously, with intent to hide behind the couch, under the desk, in the closet... anywhere. But alas! We were too
slow, our catlike reflexes having slowly dulled since our bitter loss in the volleyball tournament. Ian stepped into
the room, dropping back into the bimmer's seat, Following him were two girls. Strangers. We had never seen them
before. Yet they both bore identical sweatshirts which proclaimed "KETTERING UNIVERSITY" in bright white stencil.
Wacky hijinks ensue.
Coffee: .posted by ben on Mar 12 at 12:26:59
People are extremely stupid. I've heard two very sad things while sitting donw at the Trident, listening to pseudo-intellectuals...
"My father is prone to vats of depression."
And this strange little verbal exchange:
"I just saw crouching tiger, floating elephant."
"Yeah, that was good."
Thanks to Andres, I have learned something new, Allen Sartre is the Robert C. Guccioni professor of Pornographic Studies at Duke University. I wonder if CU has a similar position. If so, I could offer to fill it using my incredible knowledge of internet pornography as a basis.
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