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Memores acti prudentes futuri


She said it was all make believe
but I thought she said maple leaves
A few words
"When we describe the Moon as dead, we are describing the deadness in ourselves. When we find space so hideously void, we are describing our own unbearable emptiness."
―D.H. Lawrence

"Is the meaning of life defined by its duration? Or does life have a purpose so large that it doesn't have to be prolonged at any cost to preserve its meaning?"

"Living is not good, but living well. The wise man, therefore, lives as well as he should, not as long as he can... He will always think of life in terms of quality not quantity... Dying early or late is of no relevance, dying well or ill is... even if it is true that while there is life there is hope, life is not to be bought at any cost."
―Seneca

"People will tell you nothing matters, the whole world's about to end soon anyway. Those people are looking at life the wrong way. I mean, things don't need to last forever to be perfect."
―Daydream Nation

"All Bette's stories have happy endings. That's because she knows where to stop. She's realized the real problem with stories― if you keep them going long enough, they always end in death."
―The Sandman: Preludes & Nocturnes

"The road now stretched across open country, and it occurred to me - not by way of protest, not as a symbol, or anything like that, but merely as a novel experience - that since I had disregarded all laws of humanity, I might as well disregard the rules of traffic. So I crossed to the left side of the highway and checked the feeling, and the feeling was good. It was a pleasant diaphragmal melting, with elements of diffused tactility, all this enhanced by the thought that nothing could be nearer to the elimination of basic physical laws than deliberately driving on the wrong site of the road."
― Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita
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Uhh... dreams
Sunday, March 6, 2011
I'm not sure exactly what to say about the dreams I had last night...

Some stuff I don't remember happened, and then I was sleeping under a blanket in a long room with a grey carpet. I felt somebody's clammy hands against my arm, and pushed the blanket off my head to discover an old classmate, who seemed to be mostly or perhaps completely naked (I couldn't tell). He was high on pot, and apparently trying to rape me or something sexual like that.

I fled, terrified and grossed out, and went to a bathroom to throw up. Apparently all I'd been eating for awhile was cooked spinach. After I was done with that, I went to a different bathroom and threw up some more. It felt like I had food poisoning all over again, which was awful.

When I had finished vomiting for good, I went into a larger part of the building, which housed many bunk bed/play structure things. My mom was in there, since she had apparently secured a bed, whereas I had not (hence the sleeping in the other room). I climbed around on some of the beds, and then the scene became an 8-bit sidescroller type game, and my character was an old magician man trying to escape from the place by digging a tunnel. There were guards though, and spikes and holes he could fall into. Unfortunately I wasn't skilled enough to get out alive, so he died, and back in the present, I learned that his ghost haunted the area.

In a separate dream I was at school, trying to figure out classes to take with Alice. I lost her though, and wandered into a classroom where there was a female professor teaching something about Venus. I thought the class was interesting, but I had either not registered for it or already dropped it. Regardless, I had to find Alice. I ran up an escalator, but didn't see her, so I got on one of those saucer sleds and went on the down escalator so I could get back outside.

She was nowhere to be seen, so I went and hung out with Phoebe and her friends. We walked around the uncovered basement of a serial killer's house. The actual house part had long since collapsed, so it was just an empty room with an ominous feel. There wasn't much to look at, so we stood outside, and they ate dried noodle snacks, and I thought about rodents and dead body blue liquid.

I woke up in between these dreams at around seven, with a song in my head that I'm pretty sure I've never heard before. It had a Death Cab For Cutie sound, but the words were unintelligible. I was too determined to go back to sleep to try and record it...

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Another perspective
Sunday, March 6, 2011
"I like talking to you."

You like pasting links to pictures and articles and random sites into the IM window. We don't have real conversations. You just talk about things, and I make small comments here and there. If I try to bring anything up you ignore me and add another link to the queue. It would probably be more appropriate to reword that as "I like talking at you."

---

Friday night was good! Alice freaked out because we had to drive through an unmarked alley to pick up Erika for the art walk (why was an alley on Google Maps?), but the drive was fairly smooth after that...

The First Friday galleries didn't have exhibits that were that great this time, I thought. Didn't really get to check out SLG, since we were late and only had a couple of hours to check out all the sites on the walk. The MACLA had an interesting comic/3D art thing going on, but that was the only one I found particularly memorable.

Alice and I agreed that Erika didn't seem to be having a very good time. I tried talking to her in one of the galleries, but she told me she wasn't much of an art person, so she didn't know anything about it, and that I shouldn't worry about her. :S It seemed like she felt like a fifth wheel, unfortunately. I was kind of bummed that she couldn't enjoy herself with us, but I guess that it's hard when you're shy and you're hanging out with a friend, a friend of that friend, and two guys you've never met before. I've talked with her without Alice before, but I guess we're more like friendly acquaintances? I'm not sure.

---

Today was not so great. :| I did work out a possible schedule for next quarter though, so I guess that's good?

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Youthful impatience, perhaps?
Thursday, March 3, 2011
I feel like I had to pry the information out of my prof when I asked how I could improve on that particular paper. The gist of it is that I need to clarify more... which I found a bit... uh... stupefying I suppose? When I explained the situation to Alice, she concluded that he just has "reading comprehension issues." :P

Here's an excerpt from my paper, and what he told me about it:

The “what” in “what drives me crazy” is not specified, so it could be any object, action, event, characteristic, etc. Let us imagine that it is being poked.

Apparently the "it" in the second sentence isn't specific enough, and readers might not realize that I'm referring to the "what" of the previous sentence. He suggested I make it more obvious, and change "it" to "the what" so as to avoid confusion.

Would it be condescending of me if I were to say that these hypothetical confused readers of mine are dumb as rocks? I mean, seriously. If I write...

I have an apple. Let's say it's red.

...The average person is not going to be going "Huh? I don't get it. What's the red object?"

---Anyway, enough about that.---

I talked to him again today about my comics. He thought they were good, but didn't say anything I hadn't heard before. Same old "you've got talent" and "you should pursue this" stuff. He DID mention that he knew some people in the field, and said he would talk to his wife about me (His wife is a graphic designer or something). I guess that's helpful, but I didn't really gain anything insight or learn anything new from the discussion. Ah well. I should probably submit something to the school paper...

---

I think I made a potential friend yesterday morning. My dad dropped me off at school early (around 10:10?)because it was raining (and my prof's office hours are 10:30 - 11:20, which is before my class with him), so I had some time to kill. I was sitting on a bench in the area under the cafeteria, browsing through my Beat Poetry book, and this guy came over and asked if he could sit on my bench.

I gave him permission, and he sat there for about two seconds, then started asking about my book. It developed into a conversation about writing fiction, then comics, and majors/future plans. After awhile I told him I had to go meet with my prof, and he asked if he could walk me there. I said yes, although the distance was pretty trivial, and outside the prof's office building he asked where I hung out on campus. Since I just go home after my classes, I told him I didn't hang out anywhere because I don't have friends at school, and he said I could hang out with his group. We exchanged phone numbers, then I left.

The whole thing reminded me vaguely of Nathan. I don't THINK this guy has been watching me or anything, but it's possible I guess. It's also possible he was hitting on me, but he didn't give that impression. In any case, I'm not attracted to him, so it doesn't matter much...

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Alas, grades
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Lit:
First (graded) paper: 95/100
Second paper: 98/100

Psych:
Midterm: 48/50

I would say I am doing well. This 98/100 business is bugging me, though. I understand that my first paper was kind of rough, since I'd never done an explication before, but he didn't give any explanation for the two points off. He just wrote lots of praise all over my essay...

Well I've tried to write the rest of this entry three times now, and I don't know how to do it without sounding ungrateful or condescending or just... annoying. I guess I'll just talk about my day(s) instead...

Yesterday went well! I was kind of tired, but it didn't affect too much. Since I have that gap between my psych class and my environmental studies one, I went to the environmental science building to wait. I saw the guy from my class who gave me a ride before there. He was sitting at one of the tables, so I sat down across from him. We had about half an hour left before class started, and he was writing his paper (due that day, for shame! :P). He was also eating pasta with chopsticks. :S (The guy isn't asian, although that really wouldn't make it less weird anyway) I thought it was a bit odd, so I laughed, and he explained that he had a metal fork before, but it kept stabbing him and poking holes in his backpack, so he switched over to chopsticks.

Well alrighty then, mister. Whatever floats your boat.

He also mentioned that he hadn't seen me at one of the volunteer events. I told him I didn't know that one counted, but he said it did, and then went on to elaborate on how boring and long it was. Glad I didn't go, I guess? Haha, he definitely made it sound like a drag.

Besides that, he asked me if I noticed that another one of our group members seemed to be really into guns. I replied that I hadn't, but I thought that it was because he works in law enforcement.

Yeah, not gonna lie, I found the whole conversation kind of amusing. Just the directions it took... I don't even know. Oh, but in class, everyone liked my cookies! (The chocolate ones I make most often) And one of my group members (the "gun obsessed" guy, who's like, forty and has kids and a wife) said I was marriage material. Ah, if only cookie baking skills really could secure me a husband... Everything would be so much easier. XD

Today hasn't been as nice. This morning I started getting cramps at 3 AM, but it hurt so much that I didn't want to get out of bed. (Plus... I thought I could try to sleep it off) Finally, at 5, I got up and took some Midol. Went back to sleep when it finally started working, and then woke up about half an hour later than normal. I was in a bit of a rush because of that, so I just had a smoothie for breakfast, then got dressed and biked to school.

School... uneventful. We just got our papers back and then... talked about poems, I guess. I was so brain dead I could barely pay attention.

Back home... made another smoothie (with some Very Green powder from Trader Joe's... it gave it kind of a weird smell/taste, not bad exactly, but strange. Blending in a banana fixed it). My brother wanted to try it, despite its green color, and apparently liked it enough to finish the rest.

And now... CRAMPS AGAIN. Blahhhhhhh my 12 hour Midol is wearing off. :( I hate having periods.

Also when I got up at 5 to take the Midol to begin with, for some reason I kept thinking about yamakas. When I wake up I often have one clear thought or song stuck in my head, and today... it was Jewish headgear. If I was dreaming about that, I do not remember at all.

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Pictures of food
Monday, February 28, 2011
The title does not lie! This I swear to thee.

BUT FIRST: Look at the lovely things I have been getting in the mail!

:3

I also took some pictures of the yemiser wot I made the other day. Yum yum yum, Ethiopian food.

Here are the ingredients...

Red lentils, berbere, onion, garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Water was also an ingredient, but I think you all know what that looks like. :P

This is the sauce for the lentils...

The recipe I have calls for only 1 1/2 Tbsp of berbere, but I like me some spicy lentils, so I probably use more like 2 1/2 - 3 Tbsp. Possibly more.

The lentils, after being cooked, but prior to being combined with the sauce. Notice how they've lost that bright color they had while dry...


Just added the sauce...


Stirred and cooked for a few minutes.

The lentils have started to absorb some of the color at this point.

Unfortunately I don't have a delicious looking picture of the finished product for you to see. We ate the yemiser wot up so fast I forgot to take a final photo. XP There were some leftovers in the fridge, which I took a picture of, but it doesn't look quite as nice. Slightly revolting to some people, I'd bet.


Do not be fooled by the mundane appearance! I assure you that it is quite tasty. Plus, it's super healthy considering how good it tastes. Lentils are very good for you, and I hear they're good for losing weight... (Probably not so much if you pig out on them like I'm inclined to)

The recipe I used is HERE.

It's super easy to make as long as you don't mind a teensy bit of multitasking (I would recommend using a food processor to chop the onion, by the way). I eat mine mixed with a little brown rice, since injera (Ethiopian sourdough flatbread, spongy in texture) is turning out to be hard to make. I think my experimental batter just needs to ferment awhile longer...

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These breaks I'm taking
Sunday, February 27, 2011


I seem to be putting a lot of gaps between entries these days. There were times when I'd put up two posts a day, and now it's more like two a week.

Oh, how times change.

Things are quiet around here.

No I will not explain that picture. It needs no explanation. NONE WHATSOEVER.

I made yemiser wot again today, and it was yummy. Took some pictures, but as you might recall, my external hard drive crashed a few months ago (man I have NOT been on top of this...) and I have nowhere on my primary computer to store them. I can, of course, transfer them from my camera to the computer in the front room, which is the sluggish ol' machine I used to obsessively surf Nutang with, but seeing as I am not often in that room anymore it takes a bit more effort on my part.

And we all know that I am a lazybones. :(

Sidenote: I just Googled "scour" (habit; sometimes words you've learned purely from context mean something totally different than you expected) and laughed because I am immature.

scour Noun /skou(ə)r/

1. The action of scouring or the state of being scoured, esp. by swift-flowing water
2. An act of rubbing something hard to clean or brighten it
give the floor a good scour
3. Diarrhea in livestock, esp. cattle and pigs

That last one is just so non sequitur. I mean, it's also bathroom humor, but mostly I was caught off guard. And apparently being caught off guard makes me laugh.

---

I had a dream that I was trying to escape from home, so I went into my bedroom, which was also apparently the bathroom, and tried to close the door so my dad wouldn't see me leave. It wouldn't shut all the way, so I pretended I couldn't do my business without proper privacy, and pleaded with him to help me close it. He wasn't falling for it. I packed my bag anyway, and then realized that I had boiled some lentils for yemiser wot, and contemplated finishing cooking before leaving. For whatever reason there was a lot of pressure to leave as soon as possible though, so I just ran. The streets outside were bordered by jungle, and deep trenches ran down the middle of them. Wooden bridges ran over the trenches, but you could easily fall in if you tripped, since there were no railings down the length of the gashes in the ground. It was all very tropical and humid.

I ran down to the end of the street, where a large rounded dock stood. The jungle did not thin out as it approached the grey ocean, instead ending in a solid wall of dark green and brown at the shore. It was two stories high, with balconies like a motel.

---

Probably one of my greatest, if rarely thought about, ambitions is to accurately portray a scene from my dreams in visual form. Lately, since I've been remembering so much more, the urge to share has been increasing. People tire of listening to these things though, and I think it would be more meaningful if they could see what I'm talking about.

Maybe one day.

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Splitsville
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Like a dead star I'm burning out
And I scream in the vacuum


As the title implies, I've been listening to Splitsville recently. Definitely not my normal fare... I'm not too big on pop from the past few decades. Pandora introduced me to their song "Aliceanna"(CLICKIES!) though, and I thought it was great.

The excerpt above is from "White Dwarf", another song of theirs I like. I find the accompanying video a little tedious, but at least you can hear it...


I had a dream that I was sitting in a sparsely furnished cafeteria with a very high ceiling. It looked kind of like this, except with actual people instead of fiery splotches, and everything was farther apart.

I was sitting at the table, looking around. The employee behind the counter was making a pizza. All the ingredients were on one half of it, and he was rolling some from the filled half to the empty one. The pepperoni were stuck together like paper cutouts. Once everything was laid out, he began to press down on the top of the pizza with his palms, and then for good measure he got up on the counter and stepped on it a few times with his shoes. I was rather affronted by the unsanitary action, and glanced around to see if anyone else was seeing this.

My brother walked over, and I asked him if he had ordered a pizza. He said no, and I told him that was a relief, because the guy behind the counter just put his shoes on that one. I said that it was gross, and I thought it was good he wasn't going to eat it. We were getting along swimmingly in the dream, so there was a sense of camaraderie.

---

I tried making yemiser wot (the spicy Ethiopian lentil stew) today. It turned out pretty well! I thought I added a little too much salt, but everyone said it was good. We had to eat it with rice because the injera I'm trying to make needs a few days to ferment. (Side note: I'm trying to find other recipes to use teff flour in, since it would be a shame to let it go to waste. Found one for teff pie crust, so I'll update you guys on that if I make it)

I'd like to start cooking more again. So many things to try!

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I keep having semi-nightmares
Monday, February 21, 2011
Last night I dreamt I was with a group of kids - preteens in a building I used to live in. Something bad had happened in my old room, so we weren't supposed to go in there. One guy, ignoring the warnings, went in anyway, and he didn't come back.

The rest of us waited around for a little while, then decided to go look for him.

When we opened the door the room was dark and full of raw meat.

---

Yesterday I dreamt that I was employed in Hell, which looked more like a collection of old southern farm properties than flame-infested caves.

I was seeing a guy who had, for whatever reason, an unacceptable ethnicity. He was supposedly black or Indian, but he looked vaguely Spanish or Hispanic in some way. I had two sisters who were very racist, and he had two brothers who were as well. In order to evade them we had to walk in a strange dance-like pattern that, in the dream, I described as "circles". You had to take two steps forward, then one back to the right, and then one to the left, and so on. If one of the pairs of siblings caught us they would undoubtedly kill the partner whose race they hated.

---

Several days ago I had a dream that I was a little boy going to therapy. I kept having flashes where I saw my own gravestone. After the second time, the gravestone had my name as well as the name of my child and grandchild on it. I realized that I was not young at all, but in fact old or dead, and the trauma of losing my child had caused me to revert to a childlike state.

Later, I was with a friend (this time I was myself) in the backyard of the therapist's office. It looked just like my backyard with no plants. He suggested we dig in a part of the dirt, so we did, and uncovered a bottle of children's vitamins. Seeing this, he became horrified, and explained to me that the therapist had been feeding him such supplements to keep him from aging, so that he would have to go to her forever (she was a children's therapist). Following this discovery, she walked out toward us with a calm, slightly resigned face. She told us that we could never tell anybody what she had done, and advanced on my companion.

He climbed into the rusty shell of a car near the spot where we had dug, but she went in after him and grabbed his arm. I, on the outside, could only watch in horror.

She held in her free hand a stapler. "Oh, staples can't kill him," I thought to myself with a bit of relief. Then, as if to defy me, she extracted a staple about the size of a large nail and began to stab him in the back. I screamed, but stayed put, not knowing what to do. He struggled until she stabbed him in the back of the neck, then went slack, with a dazed look on his face. She stabbed him once more, and he collapsed.

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