Recently, John Campbell, the author of my most favorite webcomic, pictures for sad children, wrote a series of articles (for lack of a better word) that have generated some interesting controversy that’s relevant to my previous post about trolls.  Although they’re an interesting read, the titles alone rather succinctly describe the content.  The only background you need here is that John Campbell’s comics and street art are nothing if not compulsively melancholic, but never, ever serious.

His entire confession and apology was fake.  A lot of his readers and fellow artists were pretty offended, and not unfairly – but one line in particular got me thinking.

I regret the borderline people, those who could identify the problems in their life, face them, and allow themselves to be changed, but instead found it necessary to conceive of themselves as “struggling with depression” rather than being genuinely held back emotionally by some nasty and real situation. Any work participating in the “culture of depression” has probably contributed to these sad and unnecessary cases.

Continue reading control


There’s a lot of work yet left to do, but so far I’m pleased with how things are coming along.  From the design side of things, I want to convert the background to SVG so that I can take it to the next step, that being a dynamic and potentially interactive scene.  I’ve had musings of changing it based on the tags within a given post, or perhaps animating the birds, waves, the sun, and so on.  It’ll be a while before I get around to that, but I’m already getting a bit tired of the existing scene, so the clock is ticking.  Moving on: thoughts after reading my entire blog from start to finish – the first time I’ve ever done so.

Memories are recorded very differently in words than in photos.  I go through all of my pictures on facebook once a year or so –  not as a ritual, but at some point I just find myself scanning through them, revisiting the progress of my life, trying to see what the pictures say about the names and faces contained therein.  Photos capture moments, but they don’t immerse you into the time and place.  They make that moment easier to access, but the only story they tell is the one you already know.  Writing, on the other hand, is quite like a short film of thoughts and feelings, available to be re-experienced an infinite number of times.  In this sense, I relived the last nine years of my life through the lens of my writing.  It was more intense than I had expected it to be.

Continue reading identiclasm


Another thing I wrote for this lame psych class. The prompt this time: why is depression & its treatment so popular in American society?

For better or worse, America is a highly individualistic society. Self-reliance is generally considered to be a major virtue. Once an adult, an American is expected to provide for him or herself with minimal dependence on family or friends. In general, people who have not attained the expected level of independence are considered lazy or slothful. A failure to perform well in school or work is usually called a flaw of that person’s work ethic before anything else. In short, Americans tend to believe that most of a person’s successes and failures are up to that individual, and too much help will make them weaker and dependent. While these beliefs have probably helped maintain strong economic performance, they have encouraged behaviors and attitudes that leave Americans vulnerable to psychological instability.

Continue reading dividulous


Three months ago, I said I had begun taking bupropion. It’s time for an update on that. For the record, if you believe it unwise that I should discuss such a topic on the medium of blogs, I no longer see this as being fundamentally different from prescribing an antibiotic for an infection. This is not to suggest that modern psychotropic medication even begins to approach the level of accuracy or certainty as there exists with, say, penicillin. It is more to posit that I don’t think this should be a subject of taboo. I would rather like to be able to discuss this without that awkward sensation of entering a zone of excess intimacy.

To recap a bit: medication was not something I had an interest in at any point prior. I felt strongly that the causes of my void of progress were a fatal cocktail of environmental issues combined with self-disciplinary failures. I saw myself as too unprincipled to maintain the kind of long-term responsibility necessary to make it through higher education, a problem that was exacerbated by the fundamental errors of the structure of American society as was available to me. I’m sure that both of these things contained a kernel of truth. However, the medication has brought about a level of change that I had previously not thought possible. I am now faced with the possibility that accepting medication may have been one of the best decisions of my life.

Continue reading carry


Of late, I’ve had a certain experiment on my mind. It’s a well-known study that involves placing an electrode into a specific area of a rat’s brain, and putting the rat into a box with a lever that activates the electrode.

Rats will perform lever-pressing at rates of several thousand responses per hour for days in order to obtain direct electrical stimulation of the lateral hypothalamus. Multiple studies have demonstrated that rats will perform reinforced behaviors at the exclusion of all other behaviors. Experiments have shown rats to forgo food to the point of starvation in order to work for brain stimulation or intravenous cocaine when both food and stimulation are offered concurrently for a limited time each day. Rats will even cross electrified grids to press a lever, and they are willing to withstand higher levels of shock to obtain electrical stimulation than they are to accept for food (thanks Wikipedia)

Reading this, I immediately see myself pressing the levers that make the pretty pictures appear on my screen and sounds burst from my speakers. My relationship with technology has been highly isolating. For as long as I can remember, my pattern of behavior has often resembled strong addiction and compulsion. I’ve spent a great deal of time wondering what my life would be like in an age without computers, the internet, and the many video games I’ve devoted tens of thousands of hours to. These entities have also enriched my life in myriad ways, enabling me to acquire knowledge and hone skills that have become the foundation of my identity. If I have any claim to mastery over rhetoric or vocabulary, I owe that to technology (and my grandmother, for all those games of Boggle). But the internet is a poor teacher of self-mastery, and my lack of this has been my continued downfall.

Continue reading acclaim


This is a post that I started (but never finished) last August, shortly before I departed from my job at Optimal Purchase. It struck a rather potent chord with me, now that I can reflect on what that choice eventually led to.

“Zefrank had a rather delightful little question recently:

‘You partake in a medical experiment. In the experiment you are given one of two pills. You don’t know which one until after you take it. One shortens your life by 10 years, and the other lengthens your life by 10 years. You have just found out which pill you took. The question is: which pill do you think will increase the quality of your life the most? Would one make you change the way you live your life more than the other?’

The answer is rather slippery. The obvious “trick” to the question is that most people would be pressed to make more of the time they have if they discovered they had less of it available to them; thus, the life-shortening pill would be more beneficial. This assumes, however, that the person is not already making the most of their time. What is “making the most”, then? Certainly, there is no limit to how well one can spend any given amount of time, so we can’t say that such a person wouldn’t be further enhanced by the life-shortening pill. Yet it’s a difference of twenty years that’s at stake, and a great many things can be accomplished and experienced in that time. I feel strongly that I am making excellent use of my time, currently – but will I look back in a decade and say the same?

Continue reading sandy

the surreality of truth

(here is the complete and mostly finalized version of the story; constructive criticism is welcomed and appreciated, as are questions of any kind)

Preface: This epic tale begins at 4:00pm on a Thursday, when I rise from my slumber to find my father has left me a note, saying something about having made an appointment for the doctor, citing concerns about hot flashes and clowns. I do not sleep, because sleep is for infidels. Dusk and dawn have passed, and I set out to the clinic.

FRIDAY: The Ambush

10:45am: I arrive at the clinic. The normal old saggy man is not around and has been temporarily replaced with an old saggy woman, a detail which I fail to notice until hours later. I inform her on various matters regarding depression and narwhals, and the fateful question arises which I have always lied about: “have I ever had thoughts of suicide”. I ponder the consequences of saying yes, and I feel that whatever happens, it should be entertaining; I give her an affirmative. I can see something sinister light up within her eyes, the fires of a white person’s over-reaction burning deep inside. She leaves the room, and approximately three games of cell phone solitaire later, she returns to inform me that if I do not check in at the hospital in two hours, she will tell the police that I am a godless heathen. I later learn that this was a bullshit bluff, but I am becoming quite sleepy at this point, and details/vision become blurry. I begin to regret my choice.

12:00pm: An angry horned man greets me at the desk, citing his gross over-qualification for his current task. Though I do not know it, I smoke what will be my last cigarette for seventy-two hours, and after two hours of Disney channel fornication being blasted throughout the waiting room, I am summoned into the inner sanctum to offer a sacrifice of urine to the cultists. They smile warmly, but I see through their illusion, and I am shunned back into the waiting room.

3:00pm: I am again called into the inner sanctum, where my blood is tapped because I am a virgin. Despite my protests, the cultists keep me quarantined from the others in a room containing grotesque amounts of literature on Jesus, no doubt to ensure me that they are not satanists. I fall into a sleep-like state, because I am goddamn tired.

5:00pm: I am awoken by a shaman, and she tells me that they think I should be checked in to the hospital. I ask many questions, generally following a tone of “I thought I was here to be evaluated” and “It took you five hours to tell me this?”, but she is not fazed. I ask if I can do this tomorrow, and my request is declined, citing concerns about me driving straight home to jump off a bridge. I give her a “what the fuck” look and she smiles warmly, but I cannot see through her illusion. I sign a paper that, unbeknownst to me, says that I agree to be bored out of my fucking mind for three motherfucking days.

6:00pm: The shaman leads me into the sanctuary of her people, handing me a pair of holy robes to be donned before I join the other initiates. The robes are made of blue paper, and I question the validity of a cult that cannot afford, at the very least, some Snuggies. She takes away my cigarettes, citing concerns about bullshit that I do not heed. My cell phone and wallet are also stripped of me, and I begin to realize that I have signed a very ill contract.

6:30pm: The sanctuary is filled with new initiates, and not much else. I am promptly greeted by an 80-year-old woman wearing socks on her hands, and I politely decline her offer of a high five. I spot no less than three middle-aged men that appear to be detoxing from various drugs. The shaman hands me off to her acolyte, who happens to be the first attractive person I have seen in twenty-six hours. I am grateful for this, but she spends most of her time ensuring the woman with socks on her hands does not take her clipboard away.

I am shown to my quarters, and a man wearing a Led Zeppelin t-shirt is snoring in a cot not far from mine. I am thankful that he is not wearing a Metallica t-shirt. The acolyte provides a tour of the facilities, which are not large enough to elicit a tour. A single shitty television sits quaintly in front of half a dozen chairs designed for the mentally unstable. There are no doorknobs, only these odd pyramid-like contraptions that I can only assume were made for the aliens these cultists undoubtedly worship. She informs me that contact with the outside is mostly forbidden, but that I may call for reinforcements via a singular phone that cannot reach cell phones. I manage to make a single call home, and plead for my music and some books. Every time I use this phone, it gives me a static shock. This cult is skilled in the ways of torture.

7:00pm: The woman with socks on her hands has grown weary from her quest for the attractive acolyte’s clipboard, and makes several attempts to retire to her quarters, entering mine several times in the process. I cannot blame her, because the demonic taint in this sanctuary is powerful. In the meantime, I examine the only sign of culture within this wasteland: a meager bookshelf. In between copies of Danielle Steele, I spot Anna Karenina, and I hide in a corner caressing it, drifting off in between long Russian surnames. The attractive acolyte leaves, being replaced by an obese woman that waddles in excess.

8:00pm: I spot a girl carrying a laptop. She hides quickly, and I am unsure if I really saw her. My parents arrive with survival gear, but my music is snatched away before my eyes, citing the potential ability to stab myself with the headphone jack. My copy of Baudolino survives the interrogation process, and I am granted normal clothes to replace the blue paper robes. I ponder tearing my robes as a throwback to Biblical outrage, but most of the initiates are too busy detoxing. I deem it an unworthy pursuit.

9:00pm: The initiates assemble in front of the single shitty television to determine the fate of this night. Several voices call out for Forrest Gump, but the disc cannot be found; the group settles for Uncle Buck, to much derision from the detox crowd. The AA crowd approves.

11:00pm: Uncle Buck has taught Ferris Bueller’s sister some manners. Satisfied with John Candy’s performance, I retire to my foam cot, hoping that I do not wake for several days. The man in the Led Zeppelin t-shirt is still snoring. After this, I learn that the demonic taint of this sanctuary spoils the possibility of even the most humble hopes coming to fruition.

SATURDAY: The Death of Comfort

6:00am: I awake, bleary-eyed, hoping that it had all been a nightmare. The light of dawn taunts me like an ill-mannered street urchin, and my back screams obscenities at me for sleeping on what was possibly the most uncomfortable bed I have ever encountered. Calling it sleep would be a stretch; the obese acolyte enters my quarters every fifteen minutes throughout the night to be certain that I am, in fact, still alive. Led Zeppelin is still asleep, and I begin to wonder if he has been subjected to voodoo magicks. I emerge from my room to see a twenty-something with a neck-beard pacing back and forth singing Van Halen lyrics in an off-tune voice. Fearing for my life, I quickly retreat back to my quarters, and I consider my options:

– take a shower, or
– brood

I choose to brood while taking a shower. I examine the sparse contents of my bathroom, noting that cleanliness (let alone aesthetics) has taken a backseat to preventing all means of hanging oneself; truly, it would take a master to commit suicide in this room. I examine the cultist shampoo (my shampoos were rejected, citing fears that I would smell better than the other initiates), and while the ingredients do not list the blood of daemons, the foul smell tells me otherwise. The shower spews lukewarm water with almost no pressure, and this enhances my ability to brood.

7:30am: Not really feeling any more clean having spent twenty minutes attempting to scrub away the image of the unholy neck-beard, I venture out from my quarters. The Van Halen devotee has taken to sitting motionless in the corner, which appears to be his primary method of sleeping. One of the middle-aged detox men occupies a chair, staring blankly into space. I decide to do the same, thinking that there is perhaps some merit in this activity. After ten minutes of staring at the floor, I give up the search for nirvana, and I embrace my dear Baudolino, hoping that I will fall asleep again.

8:00am: The acolytes dole out deceit in the form of eggs and sausage without remorse, and I do not forgive them. I avoid eye contact with the other initiates, fearing that they might bond with me, thus beginning the process of hypnotism.

Exhausted from having to evade their silent assault upon my sanity, I retire to my quarters, and my stomach voices its concerns over this cult, demanding food that doesn’t taste like shit. Led Zeppelin appears to be awake, and he stares at the ceiling, without movement. Although my suspicions regarding this phenomenon are many, I refuse to pass up the opportunity to sleep through this ordeal, and my back steels itself for another arduous trial.

11:00am: One of the shaman yanks me from my slumber, and he smiles warmly. He performs a dark ritual to see into my soul, but I remain steadfast, even though I lack the comfort of my shampoos. By the end, he acknowledges that I am too narcissistic for this cult. He informs me that I will be able to leave Monday morning, because the high priests do not work on weekends. The shaman is engulfed in a shroud of mist, and I do not see him again. In retrospect, it seems likely that he was a product of the breakfast sausages. Eggs are not usually so sinister.

11:30am: The neck-bearded fellow is flipping channels, and I happen to catch a glimpse of Gandalf. Seizing the remote, I hunt the dear wizard down, discovering an all-day marathon of Lord of the Rings in progress. For the next nine hours, I guard that most holy power over the television like a mother hawk, the continuation of my sanity inexorably linked to Frodo’s quest more than any fanboy could ever dream. To my surprise, Led Zeppelin rises from his slumber, and he sits down to watch, saying nothing. I fall asleep amidst the marshes of the dead, and I awake just in time to rescue the television from a VHS viewing of Titanic. Led Zeppelin gives me a knowing look – though he has not shaved in weeks, I accept his support in my cause. I have found my first ally.

1:00pm: My back has swayed my knees and shoulders to its cause; these chairs were not designed for mortals, and my attempts at adapting them to my uses are futile. This cult is skilled in the ways of torture.

7:00pm: I am temporarily interrupted from the loving embrace of Middle-Earth to consult with one of the acolytes. No doubt word of my victory over the illusory shaman has spread; she has been chosen to test her mettle against me, and her wavering gaze suggests she is unsure she can best me in mortal combat. The victory is easy, and Aragorn looks pleased, upon my return. This was not a coincidence.

9:00pm: The detox crowd demand Titanic, citing concerns over the questionable relationship between Frodo and Sam. While I cannot deny them this point, I remain steadfast, knowing that effeminate voices and awkward dialogue are merely circumstantial. A vote is cast, and with the valiant aid of Led Zeppelin, the forces of good prevail, for two more hours.

11:00pm: The exhaustion of utter inactivity overtakes me, and I crawl back to my quarters. The ill mattress laughs at my attempts to siphon relaxation from it, but I do not heed its merciless taunting, citing an inability to understand the foreign tongue of cultish furniture. Led Zeppelin is already asleep, noble warrior that he is. My body aches at every joint; this cult is skilled in the ways of torture.

SUNDAY: The Wurst is Yet to Come

4:30am: No. No. No, no, no. It cannot be.

It is dark.

Led Zeppelin is snoring.

My heart, which shrivels like an erection at a comic con, tells me that dawn is not near. Dawn has forsaken me, its feelings hurt over being compared to a street urchin. I apologize profusely, and I am not forgiven. I lay upon my foam cot, impossibly awake. I am not even left with the whispers of a dream to entertain me; like a prostitute with no clients, my thoughts wander the empty streets of my mind, desperately searching for a solution to this situation. None are found, and I know that I will not be allowed to sleep through this ordeal. I resign myself to my fate, taking Baudolino with me into the main shrine. The neck-bearded singer is not to be seen, and I conclude that God sort of exists.

6:00am: The sun decides to show its cowardly face. One of the detox men has risen, likely drawn by the scent of agony and despair, and he voices unintelligible slurs in my direction. I respond with long words that may or may not comprise a sentence, and he looks dizzy. I continue reading.

8:00am: This sanctuary has an endless supply of sausages. I ponder a crass joke about sausage-fests, and I laugh to myself. Horror strikes me, as I realize that I have taken the first step towards joining this cult. Seeing this, a shaman smiles warmly in my direction, but I parry her blow, quickly riposting with a frown. She emits an ear-piercing wail, and disintegrates into a puddle of demonic taint. The other initiates do not seem to notice.

10:00am: A few of the initiates gather in the main sanctuary. They voice concerns that coloring pictures is no longer entertaining, and they request the release of a board game. Boggle is revealed as an option, and my whole body quivers at the notion of finding words in a 4×4 grid of letters. My advanced rhetoric convinces the others, and the first game is played.

I have found forty-one words.
The combined total of my three opponents is less than thirty.

My heart shrivels. If it were a prune before, it is now a raisin. The others wisely choose to find a different game. Another hour is spent on Scategories. Most of my contributions in this event are euphemisms for penis. The AA crowd approves.

12:30pm: Outside, the sky turns pitch black, and a terrible earthquake rattles the entire sanctuary. A giant chasm reaching down into the depths of the earth erupts in the middle of the shrine, and one of the detox men (still sitting in a chair) falls into the abyss. grunting incomprehensibly as he plummets into the void. Out of the deep nothingness, the high priest emerges, floating quaintly in the air. The chasm closes behind him, leaving no trace of its existence. The earth ceases to shake, and the sun appears once more. The smell of sausages lingers in the air.

I ask the question that lingers on the tip of every initiate’s tongue: “I thought you didn’t work on weekends?”. He laughs loudly, and a swarm of gnats erupt from his mouth as he does so. “No,” he says, “I don’t normally, but we’re short-staffed this weekend”. He beckons for me to follow him, and seeing that he is unarmed, I trail him cautiously.

When we have reached our destination, he turns to face me. In the distance, I think I catch another glimpse of the girl with a laptop, and for but a moment I take my eyes off the high priest. Seizing the opportunity, he begins to grill me with questions, and I am no match; his grilling is superior even to George Foreman’s. The stench of sausages becomes overpowering, and images of neck-beards and socks swirl around me. I sweat profusely, and tell him what I told the shaman and the acolyte.

The high priest gives me a quizzical look, and I can manage only to counter with a smirk. “Really, you don’t need to be here,” he tells me. I give him the most powerful “NO SHIT” glare that I can muster. Despite this, he maintains that I cannot leave until tomorrow, and I weep internally. He lets forth with another tremendous laugh, and this time a flurry of fruit flies burst forth from his mouth. He floats away, though the taint of sausages still lingers in the air.

I retire to my quarters, where I am surprised to see that Led Zeppelin is not in his cot. My back utters vulgar curses at me as I collapse onto my foam piece of shit. Dreamless sleep overtakes me, and I am grateful.

5:00pm: I am rudely awakened by an acolyte I have not seen before. She has the audacity to tickle my feet to speed the process of emerging from my slumber, and before I have time to ponder the legality of her actions, she is talking loudly in a voice one might use to herd cattle. She wants me to join the other initiates for dinner. I question her gender, or at the very least, the functionality of her ovaries.

At the foot of my bed, I find a pile of new clothes, and a note from my father. It does not say anything interesting. I sweat profusely.

7:00pm: The initiates have gathered once more in front of the shitty television. The fate of this night is sealed: the VHS viewing of Titanic cannot be prevented any longer. Led Zeppelin is nowhere in sight. He has abandoned me. With aught else to do, I submit myself to this doom. Popcorn is made, and it smells like sausages.

8:15pm: Leonardo DiCaprio looks like a twelve-year-old boy.

9:00pm: To my immeasurable surprise, the Titanic sinks.

9:30pm: The Titanic is still sinking.

10:00pm: I search my youthful memories of this movie for any recollection of it taking this long for the goddamn boat to sink. None are found.

10:30pm: If I were permitted to watch paint dry, I would.

11:00pm: I ponder my past relationships through the lens of Kate Winslet as she floats on a frozen crate. After a few seconds of this, I decide that I would find a better use of my time sleeping. My back disagrees, but I tell it to shut the hell up. My pimp-hand remains strong, even in this dark place.

Led Zeppelin snores away, as ever. Thoughts of late 90’s CGI fill my head, and I am thankful for the distraction. I comfort myself with the knowledge that a mere twelve hours remain, before I am free. Sleep takes me, and I am pleased to be taken.

MONDAY: Pursuit of the Lovely

I awake from a nightmare involving Frodo, Kate Winslet, and Van Halen. It is still dark, and I feel panicked; it does not seem as though as I have slept very long. My body is flooded with warring sensations. I am starving, yet my stomach informs me that it will re-enact the destruction of Pompeii if I give it any more sausages. I am utterly exhausted, but sleep refuses to take me back. I yearn for something soft to touch, and for a brief moment, Led Zeppelin’s beard looks promising. The ill desire passes as quickly as it came, and I am left alone, wishing merely for something beautiful to behold. I briefly wonder if this is what old age feels like.

I stumble into the bathroom to stare into the the make-shift mirror. It is nothing more than steel that may once have been polished, but has now rusted, and my visage is obscured by blots of decay, making even the phoenix on my chest look dull and forlorn. I wash my face with cold water (the lukewarm water is not available at night), before shuffling out into the main shrine to look at the bullshit clock.

It is 2:30am.

The clock looks back at me without a shred of remorse.

My fury is matched only by my despair, so I sit down on the floor. This is not effective.

Knowing of no other way to vent my frustration without assuring an extended stay with this cult, I do the only thing a man looking to preserve his sanity can do: push-ups. The obese acolyte, who is doing her fifteen-minute espionage, seems confused at the nature of my activity. I am grateful for the first honest sweat I’ve had in days, and I manage to exhaust half an hour honing my impeccable vanity. My rage has quieted enough to go back to Baudolino.

3:30am: An asian man I have not seen before stumbles into the main shrine. He takes a seat across from me, and a polite conversation about how the fuck both of us ended up in here ensues. He shows me some fresh wounds from when the po-po slammed him into the pavement, and we share in righteous indignation against The Man. I am rejuvenated, for a short while, until a younger member of the AA crowd joins us. He describes the sabotage of an affair with a married woman nearly twice his age, and the asian man and I share a knowing glance; we do not pity him.

Eventually the conversation takes a turn for the worse, and a semi-passionate discussion of Jesus breaks out. It is a conversation I have heard a dozen times before, and I am displeased to find that the record is still broken, after all these years. It is temporarily intriguing to be, for perhaps the first time, on the opposite side of this engagement, but I soon find it is not much different than it once was.

Once the debate has sputtered out, the AA fellow returns to his quarters, and the asian man and I discuss various matters of Warcraft and Counterstrike for a while longer. This is, undoubtedly, the first genuine conversation I have had in nearly three days. It feels eerie, knowing this, and as I think of more things I have not done since this cult captured me, I feel utterly panicked at the notion of staying here any longer. This place makes me feel fragile and needy, two qualities I take great care never to emit and do my best to avoid acknowledging.

As the conversation begins to falter, I return to my cot that I might gaze at the non-descript ceiling and bore myself into a coma. This is not effective; try though I might, I stare for an hour without results. Each time I think I feel the subtle touch of unconsciousness, the obese acolyte peers inside to ensure that I am not dead, and apparently to ensure that I do not sleep. I want to scream holy obscenities in every direction.

Measureless sands of time sift through my fingers as I imagine myself in every manner of fantastic circumstance that is superior to my own. Here, I stand upon a mighty tower of stone, and I am the night’s lone watchmen. There, I reside in the crow’s nest of a regal battleship, gazing out at colorless seas on a moonless night. Now, I am a soldier in enemy territory that must sacrifice my sleep for the sake of my comrades. As important as I try to fantasize my circumstance, I yearn only for rescue.

I look down at my phoenix, and such a bold and excellent salvation I envision! At the very first light of morning, a most magnificent and terrifying firebird would rise up from the ashes of my hope, and from its wings would leap divine sanctification. Purifying flame would consume the rampant corruption around me, and only glorious beauty would be left behind. What more might I desire, than to see the existence of this place no longer necessary, and in its place, objects of eternal fascination and limitless grandeur, monuments to true pulchritude, dedications to elegance and grace. At the sight of these things, I could only fall to my knees and weep tears of joy, that my eyes had been blessed to witness such things.

The phoenix gives me a blank stare. The unbeauty of this place remains unmoved.

A few hours after dawn, the high priest convenes with his council of shaman, and he grants me leave before mid-day. An acolyte unlocks the giant steel door at the front of the sanctuary, and I leave silently and without ceremony. Outside, the sky is gray and featureless, and a fickle wind is tossing bits of rain around. The world is green, and never have I felt so grateful for such color.

I save my first cigarette for when I am home. I lay upon the damp grass, and watch the tendrils of smoke join the clouds above; it tastes better than sex, and I am, for what seems the first moment in centuries, at peace.

My heart is stricken with pity as I think back to those still within. I shall have to go back and rescue them, some day. I have much training to do.


I’ve spent the last three weeks holed up in my room, for no particular reason. After oversleeping for a test in my logic class, I suddenly lost all desire to keep going, and here I am, accomplishing quite little. It’s relatively the same circumstance I found myself in a year and a half ago.

I’ve been consumed with the concept of purpose. The popular mindset is such that purpose is equivalent with desire. We do not have a distinct purpose outside of what we want; we seek something, and we do what is necessary to acquire it. It is unsurprising, then, that the nature of depression lies in apathy. If our purpose is derived from the basic notion that we have something we care enough to pursue, we lose purpose when either we lose that which we used to care for, or we cease to care. Statistically, suicide is most common among individuals that have recently experienced significant loss – a job, family, etc, or have very weak ties to those entities in the first place.

The pervasiveness of simplistic evolutionary theory in my psychology classes has thus far been rather depressing. I don’t buy that most of our facilities can be reduced to functions of mate selection and special superiority. That just isn’t how I live my life on a day-to-day basis, nor anyone that I know. I recognize the importance and necessity of evolutionary theory in, say, biology, but I’ve come to think of the matter in this way: if we have evolved such that matters of morality, of love, of art and music, of poetry and film, are merely abstractions of survival mechanisms, then perhaps it is best to treat them at their abstracted level, rather than attempting to simplify them into more quantifiable terms. The process strips all that we gain in that abstraction, leaving us with very little that, to be rather blunt, makes us happy.

Perhaps what is so attractive to me about love is that it is both a desire and a purpose.


Music has always held a strange place in my head. You know that I have strange listening habits – a look at my tells you that I’ve listened to the same ten songs almost ten-thousand times. Some of them are short, some of them aren’t. I listen to one song on repeat until it no longer matches my mood. On other days, whatever I’m listening to carves my mood.

This is one of those days. I woke up late again, after not doing a pile of homework that was due, I sat in the shower and stared at the wall for thirty minutes before fumbling my way back downstairs and laying on my bed for four hours. There’s a sense of hopelessness that takes over, and the word ‘worthless’ kept running through my head all day. I know it’s not true, but a quick, objective examination of my life over the past year doesn’t warm my soul too much. I want a lot of things taken care of, for me. I want to be done with school, to forget it and move on. I want a job, truly and earnestly – I want to be doing something productive and I want to be compensated for it. I don’t enjoy generalizing my accomplishments in my head, repeating past victories in my head to console a bruised ego.

But that’s what the word ‘worthless’ is about. High school has been, on the whole, about losing my ego. That’s a good thing. Yet alongside that, I’ve stopped expecting anything of myself, because I have no pride to defend. I fantasize about having a job that I’ll enjoy in five (mayhaps seven) years, about some day being in good shape physically, mentally, and emotionally. I yearn for independance, the ability to stand on my own two feet. Some mock the idea of humans being independant, for we’re dependant creatures, but I think you (yes, you) know what I mean.

My one comfort in this is that I can look at past versions of my self (with a space) and know that I’m building up, not down. I might be lazy, unreliable, and apathetic, but I know I’ve grown, somewhere in there. I’m just not doing that growth any justice. It deserves better than this.


(edit: a disclaimer – I will be poking with the template, but because Blogger’s tossed in a lot of new features, I’ll be starting from their template and going on. things might look terribly cookie-cutter or just terrible, so don’t whine at me)

I haven’t posted for several months. Where to start?

A redesign is high on the mind-priority, you might say. I find the current incarnation to be increasingly stale, like crackers with too many years behind them, and perhaps too many ahead of them. The long delays haven’t been the product of any lack of desire or motivation – really, I don’t know why I haven’t come back here in so long. I love my blog, I love the little microcosm I created on this series of tubes. Why I would ever consider giving it up, I cannot know. I only know that this isn’t an isolated problem.

Why haven’t I been running in two months? Why did I skip school for eight full days (thirteen for poor first period Math)? Why am I at home now? Why is my life so hard to manage when there is so very little to be managed?

No, no, I’m not in a state of distress, I’m just in a void, of sorts. I’m displeased knowing that a year from now, I’ll probably be sitting in this same chair, in the same place of this blasted yellow box called my bedroom. I’m going to TC3 (though I have yet to fill out the application), I don’t know what I’ll study, I don’t know where I’ll work in the mean-time (though I do know where I’ll be living – for some kind of fee, I’ll be remaining at home, as it’s the best option, even if it’s closer in proximity to my parents than I would prefer). I’m taking my driver’s test in twenty-two days. Life moves, but it moves like a sloth. I’m impatient for graduation to come, and yet I know that there are other features of this life that are passing by, that I’m missing.

SK has claimed 1825 hours, but I’m on the brink of quitting. No, I’m not addicted (nor was I ever).

Some day, I think I might try and build a strong reputation. I dislike having none – I don’t mind implications of stupidity among friends and acquaintences, I know they’re nothing more than a jest, but my insecurities lead such comments to strike more deeply at home than they might appear.

I don’t think I’ll make a post this insightful for a while. It feels wrong, and probably is. I’ll try and keep up with posting. No promises, though (not that anyone would take my word on such a thing).

An Inexorable Anxiety of the Heart

I’ve had the feeling again.

The feeling where my heart sags and beats irregularly, where I can think of nothing but gloom and doom. It spews this angst, this attitude that eats humor and joy for lunch, and occasionally brunch. I’ve spent all of today complaining to my dad about how much I hate school and generally saying anything I can that will distance myself from my inability to be responsible for my work. Whether anything I said is true is unquestionably irrelevant. Joe Wilson and Judith Pastel’s shortcomings as leaders of my educational system are not an excuse for my failures.

Tonight, I did my generic, meaningless plea to God. Something about me, a little more about my selfish needs, what I need, what I want, what must happen to me, complete with a delicious topping of insecerity and laziness. I knew I was wasting my breath, and I knew exactly what I needed to do. So I spent three hours not doing it. And I felt miserable for the whole three hours.

Once I finally got around to opening up my Bible, I read the last two chapters of Ecclesiastes. As I run across verse 8 through 10, I finally get the entire point of Ecclesiastes.

“However many years a man may live, let him enjoy them all. But let him remember the days of darkness, for they will be many. Everything to come is meaningless. Be happy, young man, while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth. Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see, but know that for all these things God will bring you to judgment. So then, banish anxiety from your heart and cast off the troubles of your body, for youth and vigor are meaningless.”

Meaningless. Life. Meaningless. Not pointless. Not worthless. Meaningless. This exact thing has been bugging me for two weeks straight. When I say bugging me, I really mean to say it’s been controlling my actions and thought processes to a very unhealthy level. I had this circular train of thought going. I was confused over the whole concept of enjoyment and despair. If I eat something and enjoy it now, it’s not making me happy later, so what’s the point? Every enjoyable thing is temporary; games don’t last forever, jokes stop being funny, movies get old. This is a basic fact that everyone knows but very few understand. These very few are what we call “content”. I understood this. But I wasn’t getting the “point” of enjoying anything at all because it’s so temporary. That’s where the answer comes in. They’re meaningless. They don’t provide meaning to my life. They don’t give it meat. They don’t give me any joy whatsoever. No material thing can do that (not even an HDTV). I’ve been relying on them for some kind of mental support so much these days.

I’ve got more on my mind, but some of it I can’t say. Or won’t, anyways. Good night, yon readers.

For the Irony

No, really. It’s irony this time. No dead squirrels, no metal, it’s 100% irony that I present to you tonight.

As per the standard of recent days, I sit staring off into space yet again during Physics class. Ms. Lynn is talking about something, I don’t remember what, probably something to do with work and power. My ears perk up as she says, “So, I graded your tests.”. My heart sinks, I slouch on my stool, and stare at the featureless bench, minus the writing “YOUR MOM”, authored by yours truly. She makes her way around the class handing out the tests. Lo and behold, even with 14 points of curve, I still take a 64. Ben manages to get a glance at my test before I shove it in with my numerous notes that I’ve taken throughout the course of the class. He gives me a woeful look and pats my shoulder. It means a lot.

I take a swift look at Matt’s test. Identical to Ben’s, he receives an 88 (after 4 points of curve). I look through the test for a few seconds, understand everything I did wrong, and try to look like I’m doing something productive with the nauseating paper, littered with red ink. I realize I’m tearing up, so I start taking longer breaths. It’s not working. I stare at the computer sitting next to me. There’s nothing interesting about it. I desperately look for something to focus on besides the damned test. I sniff, and to my dismay it’s audible. I glance at the clock just as the bell rings for our 5 minute break.

I follow the normal routine and sit with Ben and Matt as they talk to Julia and Ana. Karel strolls over in his merry gait, and asks how I did on the test. I couldn’t laugh about it this time. Hell, I couldn’t even speak. I managed to whisper that I got a 50. He says it’s just a test. I knew. I know. It doesn’t make it hurt less. As my self-control is just about to break and a drop rolls out of my eye, I pretend to scratch my eyes, and pretty briskly walk out of the room, unfortunately not as stealthily as I had hoped, attracting the concerned inquiry of Matt. I jog to the bathroom down the hall. It’s empty, thank heavens, and I give myself 5 seconds before going back into class. I sit back at my bench with a minute of our break still left, and attempt to look like I’m doing something. Within another minute, I’ve got my grin back on and manage to stay that way for the rest of the day.

Fast forward, I’m at Acoustifest. I wasn’t there for the music. Chasing after a girl I couldn’t even figure out how to talk to, that’s what I was there for. After an hour of bad music and general nothing, I finally get the chance to talk. Nothing comes out. I see Sho and go jump on her lap, and we talk for a while, and things are jovial for the few minutes I’m with her. I stroll back over to the girl, and I get nervous, I can’t figure out what to say. Way to go.

She says we need to talk. I’m nice, she was confused, we should be friends. I agreed. I sit with Sho again for a couple minutes. Lacking the desire to do anything, I walk out of the Lost Dog, and run the 2 miles (1.4 discounting the slope, equivelant to around 1.75, round it off) in 10 minutes. I open the door to my room to find that nobody has bothered to let Jen out of my room, and there are 200 tootsie rolls on the floor, my headphones have been shredded, my bed covers have been removed, and a present has been left for me near the opposite door.

I clean it all up, and when all is said and done, I’m nauseated. I want to sleep, and it’s only 11:00. I find things to fill my head with for another 5 hours. I talk to Daniel. It helps. I talk to Amy. It helps. The excessive talking makes my head feel empty, so I sit down and play a game for a few hours. Still restless, I watch a few episodes of Arrested Development. Still not wanting to sleep, I manage to put in a few hours before Jonathan appears around 6 AM to watch some movie. I get a few more restless hours and lose the will to rest around 11 AM.

I was disinclined from writing any of this for the sake of not appearing emo. But honestly, expressing emotion is not emo. Whining is. Complaining, ungratefulness, ignorance, that’s emo. There’s a time and a place for everything.

Two (2) things should be clear here. If I see any comments apologizing for this, any comments remotely suggesting pity, I will delete them. I did not write this to receive your pity. I do not want your pity. Do not give it to me. Secondly, because I know someone will mention the fact that there were two (2) objectionable words in here, I should mention that there are times in which I can find no other word fitting to express the given emotion. I rarely swear, so as not to deprive the severity of the word for when the situation calls for it. I will not mention this again in future posts; remember it.

God’s given me exactly what I need. I’ve got good friends who are looking out for me – given what’s going on (and there is more than what you read here), that’s exactly what I need.


Man, what a jam-packed day…a lot has happened for just one day. Woke up, went to church, Sunday school was pretty darn boring…got home, gave my mom a hug and cleaned most of the house. (Dusted, vacuumed, sorted) and reogranized the basement. That was nifty. Brian dropped his computer by for fixing again…hopefully I can do it right this time. I really hope so. Ate some grilled chicken with bbq sauce for dinner…again…that was good. Did some poking in Brian’s computer, determined it needs a good old format. He’ll come by later tonight and drop off his CD’s, which I will then use to format the HD. I’m supposed to have that back to him tomorrow. Tomorrow also includes the Boy Scout meeting and some lawn mowing, so that’s gonna be a busy day. In top of all this, I do have a hefty load of homework…an easy set of German, but Math is killing me…Biology will take some time, too. As the final topper, I once again have approached problems.

I’m walking a fine line right now, between blaming my genetics, and just being stupid. Genetic depression/OCD, methinks, is really only a minimal issue in my life…having it still breeds self-reproach, however. It comes to mind a lot more being Mother’s day…I just wanna think and feel normal for a while. I’m gonna try and concentrate on schoolwork, get down to studying for the SAT II, try and finish this school year with a 4.0. Perhaps the work will get all this crap off my mind…I don’t know. However, my situation seems not so far from what SK was like…one would think I’d have learned my lesson the first time through. I’m quite aware that none of this really makes sense…but, I doubt it really needs to. Someone needs to invent a concentration pill. Think about whatever you wanna concentrate on when you take the pill, and poof, there you are, consumed with school for a full 24 hours. Of course, druggies would probably just say Ritilan, but I’d prefer something legal, non-addictive, and unharmful. That’d be just dandy. As I contemplate how not to be stupid, I shall finish my homework on Quadratic equations.


Bad day. Feels like monday, and that’s not very cool.

I’m so very tired of walking through school with no one next to me, no one I can turn to and look at them and know who they are. I hate being single. I hate it. I despise it. I despise myself for being single. And yet there is nothing I can do. Absolutely nothing. I love my friends, they are wonderful, but….[sigh]. I’ll stop complaining.