curious thoughts and remembrances

Monday, September 29, 2003

Rough day ended with two victories 

My Grandmother is rather sick. I cyber-implore everyone to cyber-think about her. She lives in Massachusetts.

And speaking of Massachusetts, I just finished reading Kerouac's "Dr. Sax". Wow. Anyone read that one? Crazy ending. I won't give anything away, but he wrote it in Mexico. He was a Lowellian, ya know.

My laptop is dying a slow, strange death. Different parts of the screen swap themselves around, the screen goes black, and then flickers long, thinrectangles before going black once again. My hig-school geometry teacher would have called them "long skinnies". We always got a kick out of that term.

I watched a movie tonight with Nicole that made me want to become a cyclist, a stone-cutter, and a small-town guy. Or maybe it just made me want to look like Beck.

Speaking of Beck, man, he's cool.

Speaking of cool, man, the weather's nice.

Speaking of the weather, it means there's nothing left to talk about. Adieu.

Friday, September 26, 2003

The hunt continues 

Back in Austin. The drive from LA was amazing. Came through Arizona, driving into the purplepinkorange sunrise, surrounded by cacti protruding through dense fog, only being able to see the car in front of me if it was about 2 car-lengths away, max. Got pummeled by downpour in East Texas, but rewarded with a huge rainbow off in the mountains. Enjoyed passing 18-wheelers at 90mph after the rain subsided, as they sprayed mist off their tires and the windshield wipers made short work of it all.

Went to Venice Beach and Santa Monica Pier on Wednesday. I am now LA to the MAX.

Glad to be back. Sad to not have a job. Thinking about becoming a part-time hermit. The pay sucks but the hours are flexible and the office has a nice full-size bed, stereo, books, laptop and MIDI keyboard, and guitars.

Remind me never to use the word "belligerent" with a female again. They don't seem to like it.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

I'm LA to the Max... 

So, it's a quarter til 11am here in Claremont, CA, about 30 miles east of downtown LA. Sammy and I just got back to his brother's place after sleeping at his friend Matt's apartment in West Hollywood. I think we got about 9 hours sleep. Amazing. Last night was a crazy drive through LA... Matt showed us a bunch of the sights... we drove up Mulholland Drive, saw the Valley at night from up there, drove through Beverly Hills (RIDICULOUS houses), Rodeo Drive, Sunset Blvd, too much to remember even. Stopped at In'n'Out Burger. Had a beer at the Cat and Fiddle. Got approached by a hooker at 7-11. It was a very complete night. I'm really liking LA. Today, we'll probably check out Venice Beach, (That's totally) Santa Monica Pier, who knows what else. Then tonight, we DRIVE. All the way back to Tejas. It's a crazy trip.

Speaking of driving, the drive up here was intense. We drove for 22 hours straight, swapping out about every 5 hours. Sammy hit a raccoon, I almost hit a jackrabbit. The desert's pretty. Some of the rest stops are incredibly well-cleaned. There's a huge wind farm outside of Palm Springs. It reminded me of a level from Sonic the Hedgehog.

The weather in LA is beautiful. The smog is disgusting.

Monday, September 22, 2003


In about an hour and a half I'm leaving with Sammy to drive to LA, on a whim, as they say. By the time I get back (Thursday) I'll know whether I have a nice, secure, full-time job. I think I'll take my laptop and probably post a blogging or two on the way. Peace.

Finished the night with a Boddington's 

Cafe Nelray was delish. I ate too much. DIY sushi = you're going to eat too much rice.

Tonight was another night of pints and riveting discussion with my good friend Paul. From romance to open publishing to the market to politics to hey-those-girls-at-that-table-are-blatantly-checking-us-out-hahaha it was a pleasure. Paul likes it bitter and I like it creamy. We agreed that Neil Young's "Harvest Moon" is a good song, and created an idea of the song's best music video, involving us drinking beers at a bar and nodding at the camera while Eddie Vedder either bartended or made out with someone behind a barn. If the Pixies really do get back together and tour and come anywhere near Austin, you can plan on seeing Paul and I in the front row chanting "the sauce of chaos" even though that's a Frank Black song.

Hopefully in 2 or 3 days I will be notified that I am now employed and that life will not suck in the near future. If that happens, drinks on me. If not, drinks in me.

Gillette's ATRA gave me the best shave I've had in months today. I cleaned the toilet. I ate an orange and drank some detox tea. I read some poetry I wrote in eighth grade. I donned a beanie and enjoyed the greenish haze of the lights of the IM fields in the fog. Or maybe the haze was brown. I used to draw trees with brown leaves and green trunks. Color me colorblind.

Sunday, September 21, 2003

The ramen is cooling on the counter 

Last night, went to a party at the house on Holly Street. DJ's spun blips and breakbeats. Lots of good, expensive beer including Chimay and something that was delightfully fruity, but the name I cannot remember. Saw Rhys and krew looking very stylish, fresh from a homecoming dance. Talked with Chad A. about Friendster's newly-established Club Chad (joined when I got home from the party). Tried to say "mad-whack-funky" but said "wad-mack-funky". Heard the "camel toe" song. Stuck around til 5am and got a ride home with Kurt after we finished packing up the gear. It rained all night, with a steady increase in heaviness. Luckily Andy the house-owner was ok with us leaving the PA there. I was tired. Got home, joined Club Chad, shed a tear of joy at my new-found community.

Today, made some chai, watched Nicole play Soul Caliber 2 for awhile, bought a 10-pack of emory boards and some razors. Thinking about a shower and a shave. Nelray Cafe tonight, can't wait.

Ramen Time.

Saturday, September 20, 2003

Open casting call for trimmers 

The hardest part of cutting your own hair, as many of you may know, is the back. I need someone to cut the back of my hair. I'm going to ask Nicole if she wants to do it, but if she doesn't, who wants the job? The pay is nothing and you'd better not mess it up

Friday, September 12, 2003

Beautiful weather makes me sad 

I couldn't sleep last night because I got back on my "I want to go to the MIT Media Labs" kick again and so now I'm trying to dream up the project idea that I would pursue there. As I lay in bed, I started cooking up this recipe that consisted of one part Friendster, one part Indymedia, one part blogs, and some other parts that I haven't figured out yet. The final entree would be some kind of open publishing news site where people rate each other's credibility as news sources, and geographical data is tied into the sources for searching purposes, etc. It's all very vague but I think it has promise. I'm still researching to discover the extent to which this idea has already been pursued.

Beyond that, MAN it's a beautiful day. I spent some good time riding my bike in this luscious weather. I feel that I can never quite make enough of a beautiful day. This kind of weather makes me want to be a nature child, frolicking naked on the greenbelt, eating an orange, singing old Gaelic tunes, reading William Blake poetry all day, and maybe shaving my head.

I resumed work on FJenie today, a software application I worked on for Russell Pinkston (UT Prof) for function editing in Csound. Holla!

Thursday, September 11, 2003

As my Boards of Canada Gently Weeps... 

ACK! I have a job interview today with UT Applied Research Labs. ACK! I know they're not too popular with some of the people I know. I don't know how I feel about it. In fact, I don't even want to talk about it. I just wanted to let out a few ACK's. ACKCRACKSMACKFACK!

I had this dream last night that I was in this incredibly tall skyscraper, trying to get to the top (can you say "Cremaster Cycle"?) . There was this crazy monster in the building that kept killing people as they tried to ascend. The focus of the dream was in this one area of the building where there was one staircase that wrapped along the walls, then a kind of spiral staircase in the middle of it. Two concentric staircases. And I was climbing one of them, at times have to jump to the other one, getting past people who, for some reason, had a problem with me going up the stairs even though that's what we were all there to do. Towards the end the monster suddenly appeared right next to me and blew fire at me, engulfing my face and neck. I lay there dying, and the dream ended.

Just a few days 'til "Stuck in Delaware"!

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

I should be asleep... 

... I'm waking up at 8am tomorrow (today) to bike over to Architecture Professor Benedikt's house to help him set up some sort of MIDI system for him to make music. That will be fun if I can keep my eyes open. Last summer and fall I helped him with some research trying to find an objective measure of value in music. Sounds crazy huh? Well interestingly enough when you turn the analytical process on its head and use the research to generate what-should-be nice music, you get some pretty good results. I've been playing with the software I wrote for him, generating some tunes and layering things... it's not half bad. I'd like to flesh out the process and make a lot of songs and even a live set from it, but for now, none of it's leaving my bedroom walls.

The one other thing I'd like to do tonight is say a hello to a fellow named Keyur in the Great Beyond. He passed away recently, and although I did not know him, he was a familiar face in my computer science classes, and a friend to some of my friends. He is obviously missed, and, I dunno, I just wanted to write something for him.

Thursday, September 04, 2003

I have an unparalleled taste in tunes 

I would recommend (to those who like to rock) that you listen to the album "Sideways Soul: In a Dancehall Style" performed by a combo of the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and Dub Narcotic Sound System. In particular, I enjoy "Love Ain't on the Run" and the album's title track.

I often sit at coffeeshops with my journal and write in its little "sound ideas" section; pages devoted to whatever ideas catch my aural fancy... from waveshaping and echo patterns to loose song structures and ways to combine genres. The next thing I want to do is combine drum'n'bass with Spencer-esque guitar stylings. I think rock, like porn, is being pushed further to its extremities by the day, and I'd like to contribute by making some 170-180 beat per minute, riff-driven, distorted rawk songs that people can scream "baby" and "yeah" to.

Live from Little City 

The job search is progressing through yet another day. I went by UT HR Services today and looked into temp work at UT. It looks like if I can't land my dream job (no job?) in the next week and a half, I can at least make some cash doing temp work for awhile. I would be like a roaming secretary, wandering the UT campus looking for memos that need to be typed and phones that need to be picked up. I could do that, for awhile.

Every Day 

Will I ever find a job? Not if things keep going this way. Here's an excerpt from an e-mail that I've come to know all to well:
Hi Chad
I;m very sorry, but we just filled the position last week. Please contact
me again in early Oct if you are interested in a Spring opportunity.

Thanks, R----

Degree? Blah, useless...
I have the greatest friends in the world. We all complain about anxieties and frustrations about the past, the present, and mostly the future, but it's wonderful. We keep each other in check. To all of you, it's going to be great. In the end, who knows, but along the way, we're going to have a lot to talk about.

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

MSG, yeah you know me 

Tonight after Lovejoy's, I went by Paul's place, where he held what he purported to be the best-tasting chips he'd ever had. I took one look at them and somehow knew: MSG. Sure enough, a quick look at the ingredients yielded: salt, oil, monosodium glutamate, among others. Damn they were tasty. I told him that I'd heard MSG enhanced flavor by causing small cuts in the surface of one's tongue, thus enabling the flavor particles to get at your taste buds more directly. I think this is probably bullshit, though. My ignorance is, once again, nothing that Google can't solve. Did you know that there exists a Glutamate Association in America? And according to this article, MSG has no adverse health effects. However, this other article claims that MSG causes rats to lose their vision, and can cause nerve damage. One thing's for sure: it tastes good. I urge my fellow citizens to try a "monosodium glutamate" Google search and decide for yourselves.

This used to be my playground... 

I really hate walking around the UT campus lately. While school was out, it was cool, no one was really around. And before that, I was a student, so I was chillin' daily with my fellow learners. But now, I'm a stranger. Today, after a brief interlude with the UT temp services office ("call ya when we have somethin' for ya") I was walking aimlessly around campus, tired from waking up at 7am (I don't think I've done that since grade school), and dressed like a tool in a sorry attempt to get a temp job. It all felt very wrong. Here I was walking around the same campus I'd been walking around for 5 years now, except now I'm not taking any classes and I look stupid. I've become The Man's bitch. I kept my head down as I walked around for fear of seeing someone I knew that would say something like "Hey, what are you doing here!?!" which would lead me to mention how I need to find a job really badly so that's why I'm here... and then that leads to the old "yeah the job market really sucks right now" and I reply with the old "yeah, but I'm not really worried" even though I'm kind of scared shitless right now. There's always one sure way to deal with these anxieties, though. Happy Birthday Joe! I'm off to Lovejoy's.

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

Two steps from welfare 

Tomorrow is my first official work day as an unemployed degree-holder. I am excited and nervous. My first point of business after waking up at 7am will be to shower and shave, put on some pants and a polo shirt, and catch a bus to the UT Human Resources office, where I will be shortly interviewed by someone and hopefully be given a "temp job". I'm hoping to start a full-time job in a couple of weeks, but for now I need to make some money.

I find that tension in my life inspires the greatest creativity/productivity, and I'm trying to go with that. Throughout the years I've picked up several interests and causes, and I'm always trying to hedge my bets to keep all avenues open that lead to pursuits of the goals I dream up. But lately I'm feeling really frustrated with this approach. I never go too far in one direction for fear of the resulting mileage (kilometrage?) I would have to trek to stroll down a different path for awhile. It's time for a new approach. One of my best friends had an old friend die yesterday, and tonight we had the conversation about death and what if it came today and viewing our present situations in light of that possibility. The conversation falls right in line with the frustration I'm talking about. If I had died on my inebriated bikeride home from the Hole in the Wall tonight, I would have left a legacy of myriad open paths and none of them really traveled. Once again it comes to mind: be bold, make a decision.

And as some sort of therapy this morning, I played with some dj software for a couple of hours, trying to make a nice mix of tracks that, with their powers combined, might soothe even the most troubled and lonesome soul. The result, after some whittling, is short and not too varied. As I listen to it now it consists of:
1) Turquoise Hexagon Sun - Boards of Canada
2) Hexagon - Aphex Twin
3) Analogue Bubblebath 1 - AFX
4) In a Beautiful Place Out in the Country - Boards of Canada
5) Z Twig - Aphex Twin
6) Kid For Today - Boards of Canada

It's only two artists, but I'll be damned if it doesn't cover all my bases right now.
I'm not quite sure how to put it, but it's something like, "If necessity is the mother of invention, then curiosity is its overbearing and aggressive father."

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