Friday, June 15, 2012

So That We're All on the Same Page......

Well, I've gone and done it once again.....  I've lasted over a particularly long period of time without posting on this blog.....  As if that weren't the biggest understatement ever.......  It's been like, two years man, seriously....  I won't lie, it's crossed my mind in the past as to whether or not I still want to keep this blog because of how little I post in it not to mention how very few people actually read it.  But, it's times like these that allow me the inspiration to keep on going with it.  Frankly the last thing I would ever want to do is cut myself off from any means by which to express myself.  It's too therapeutic to just give up on it.  I might very well just go more insane.....  If it's even possible for me to go more insane that is.... ;P Besides, I wouldn't want this spify new layout I have for all y'all's eyes out there to go to waste, now would I?

And to be completely truthful, quite a bit has been on my mind lately actually.  I'm basically getting to a point in my life where I feel that if I don't do something to change the nasty run of luck I've always had very soon, I may never be able to.  And then I'll be in a very, very bad way, probably for the rest of my life.  I might not even have much of a life left to live if that's the case......  And it's gotten me very worried about certain essentials in life such as employment, finances, my own living situation, transportation, and of course the big one, companionship and marriage.  I know I'm not where I need to be in any of these areas; far from it, as a matter of fact.  And I really have been trying to the best of what I feel I can do to change that.  It's not like I'm intent to be sitting on the couch all day doing nothing.  No - I actually do want to be productive with my life and I actually do want to be out there doing things on my own, for myself.  And it's not as if I just give up if one failure comes along and never try again.  No - I have been continuously looking, thinking, and trying for opportunities, and am determined to do so until I find something that works for me.  But the more nothing works for me and the more I get older, the harder it is for me to not get caught up in feelings of discouragement and fear of failure, and the more I feel I need to write blog posts such as this one, heh heh. :P

But I don't intend to wine or complain like I have in some of my earlier blog posts, which I'm sure will be quite the relief for those of you who have followed this blog from the beginning.  Here, I intend to do something a little more productive than I've done in the past with negative feelings that have been nagging at me.  Here, I would like to focus more on a particular aspect of such things that I believe have made it much more particularly difficult on me to do these things in my life than it's ever needed to be.  Frankly I've always had a hard time believing that anyone truly understands me, or that they've ever bothered to try to do so.  But then again, isn't that more my fault than anyone?  I certainly feel like it is.  I really could be doing a better job of allowing people a much easier capability of getting to know me.  It's just always been extremely hard for me, because probably the first and foremost thing to understand about me is how introverted I am, and as a result just how much I tend to prefer keeping to myself.  It's very hard for me to truly open myself up and admit certain things about myself that I'd rather have not be true - but the harsh reality of it is that they are nonetheless.  But with this post I hope to clear some of those things up, and I most certainly pray that not only people actually read it in the first place, but are willing to do so with an open mind and an open heart; without judgement, patronizing or condescension.

Like I stated above, the first and foremost step towards understanding me is my introversion.  Most people do understand this about me, but they don't quite get the depths behind it.  For others it's not so easy, and sometimes it feels too much like they expect more out of me than they understand they won't get.   These misunderstandings come from the fact that I have in fact broken out of a lot of the shells I once had as an adolescent.  I'm nowhere near as introverted as I was back then, and at times this sends the wrong message to people that I'm perfectly normal outgoing individual.  This is especially true considering the fact that I tend to have a much easier time expressing myself and being myself through writing, and as such, when people read my blogs, my texts or my Facebook posts, once again they get that same wrong impression about me.  This isn't always the case, and even when it is I'm always acting like the same self I am in real life.  But also when it is, it gives off the false illusion that I have no social awkwardness about me whatsoever, and that is far from the truth.  The truth is, in real life and underneath the surface of what you might judge of me in real life, I'm very much so the quiet type - not necessarily shy, though it absolutely MUST be of note that I am in fact very shy about some things in life, such as dating, romance and other such social interactions - just quiet and contemplative.  This is especially difficult for me in these times because it also tends to give off the wrong impression that I don't want to hang out, date or socialize with certain people, or that I find myself bored or fed up with them.  Believe me when I tell you this is FAR from the case......  I very much so enjoy the company of others, especially if they're good friends or loving family.  I want to spend more time with them than I feel I get to half the time.  I want to live my life, be who I am, meet new friends and keep in touch with old ones.  Even though I am accustomed to being lonely - I do sometimes prefer to be alone and I have a tremendous capacity to enjoy my own company - I don't particularly like to be as much as I am most of the time.  Just because I don't text you, call you, Facebook message you or in general be as proactive towards socializing with you as I could be, it doesn't mean that I don't want to be your friend, to date you, or to have anything to do with you.  It's simply a joint issue of the shyness I expressed before and the sheer and simply fact that I would much rather spend time with you in real life than I would through technology.  Yes, in spite of the fact that I do in fact have an easier time expressing myself through such means, I really, really would.

As an introverted person, I also really, really hate confrontation as well.  Every single time I have taken the infamous four-colors test (Red, White, Blue, Yellow), I have always not only gotten White as my pre-dominant color, but also by a landslide as well.  I do have undertones of Yellow (my next in line color) and Blue (next in line after that), but White is definitely very much so my main color.  Meaning you do NOT get through to me by yelling at me, coming down hard on me, being condescending towards me, calling me out in public or all in all trying to get into a fight.  You do not antagonize or judge me, nor do you patronize me, which is probably the worst thing you can do to me.  I have no intentions of ever being a leader, being better than anyone or having power of any sort whatsoever.  All I want to do is just live my life, get what I need and want to get done, and do it all in love, peace and harmony with others.  I want people to be understanding and patient with me, in spite of my shortcomings, as I go about doing so.  I'm a very individualistic person who doesn't like to be told what to do.  I will do it on my own time and on my own terms, in the way that best works for me.  I will think what I want to think and believe what I want to believe, the way I want to think or believe it.  That doesn't mean I won't take your suggestions into consideration, or that I'm not willing to reach out for help in any way you have to offer it and that it's not appreciated, but please, for the love of my own sanity, let me make my own decisions.  Don't assume that just because it worked for you and it makes sense from your point of view that it's the only way to do things.  Because frankly, I'm not you.  I have my own things I struggle with personally, and different things work with and make sense to me.  I will do what I feel most comfortable with and what I feel is more along the lines of "Hey, that sounds like something I would actually really love to do!"  Too many times do I feel that when I try to reach out for help in my life, or when others attempt to reach out to me, what they have for me is not what I don't want for myself, and the response ends up being "Well why do you even bother asking for help then?  Why do I even bother trying to help you?" or "Why don't you just accept what you need to hear rather than only settle for what you want to hear?"  And that's just simply a complete misunderstanding of how to best get through to me.  Try to put yourself in my shoes for once.  Think to yourself "Okay, this is what I understand about how he is and the way he works.  This is his personality, this is how he thinks, and this is what he believes.  What can I do, or what suggestions do I have for him, that can best help him achieve this way?"

This applies to pretty much anything in life; school, dating, relationships, hanging out, work, driving, finding a place to live, ect.  I'm going to start with the one that's most pressing on my mind at this very moment.  Basically I woke up this morning to X96's Radio From Hell show as I usually do, and they were having a call-in session addressing relationship issues.  At one point they covered a certain subject that's actually been covered quite a bit in our culture since Spring General Conference a year ago regarding the issue of how dating and hanging out are two completely different things.  And I must say, it's really quite been nagging at me all morning.  What exactly is the difference between dating and hanging out?  How would one define such terms?  One of the saddest facts about my life is that at 25 going on 26 and still single, I haven't been on very many dates, have never kissed a girl and have never been in a serious relationship.  And I'm beginning to wonder if maybe my own personal definition of dating and hanging out as opposed to the Utah Mormon culture definition of it - shoot, what almost seems to be society as a whole's definition of it.  To me, the difference does and should lie in genuine feelings; the desire you have to spend as much time as is realistically possible with the other person; how much time you spend together and how often, rather than in more secular traditions such as what exactly it is you are doing and who pays for what.  For me, a good date could simply comprise of taking a nice walk, sitting or having a good conversation or snuggling up on the couch and watching a good movie.  And if we do want to go out and do something that requires cash, is it really such a terrible thing for each of us to pay our own way like to mature, responsible adults?  One paying the other's way is a nice gesture granted, yes.  Every once in a while it's nice to do so for your date, and every once in a while it's nice to have the same done so for yourself.  But only if one or the other genuinely wants to, or is able to.  If it's expected of them, then it loses it's special meaning, and if fades into the grey area of narcissism.  It becomes something that as their date, you feel entitled to.  And as the date of someone who feels entitled to it, it becomes something you HAVE to do, and all of a sudden it's become nothing more than a drain on your wallet rather than a sweet thing to do for them.  Pay your own way, first and foremost.  And, every once in a while, should you feel inclined to do so, go ahead and give them that nice little gesture just to remind them you love them, not as because it's a tradition you're expected to live up to just because society says you SHOULD.  Because it's the quality of the date that matters, not the traditional definition of it.  Call me naive for feeling this way about it, but it's how I feel nonetheless.  Because frankly, I'd rather have a good experience with a date than a superficial one any day.  Is that so wrong of me?

(Wow, I just realized how condescending and potentially offensive this next paragraph is going to sound..... o.O Just know that I in know way mean to offend anyone, and if I do, I apologize.  My goal with this is not to start a fight or to step up on my podium and talk down to others.  I'm just simply trying to convey how I see certain things is all.  And I do feel particularly strong about this next subject...... )

Another unpopular belief I have about dating is in that I don't believe it's any one person's responsibility to ask the other out.  Rather, I think it is solely the responsibility of the party at hand who would like to ask the other out.  I feel like we have too much of an acculturated idea, especially around these parts, that if a woman asks a man out, it makes us some sort of pathetic sack of bones that needs to grow a pair.  Because we're not supposed to be raised as boys anymore.....  We're supposed to be raised as MEN!!!!  MANLY MEN!!! WHO'S DUTY IT IS TO COME TO THE AIDE OF OUR POOR, AILING, DEFENSELESS WOMEN WHO CAN'T DO ANYTHING FOR THEMSELVES!!!!  Spare me....  Sad thing is I've come to know some women to have good, strong, confident heads on their shoulders and fearlessly outgoing personalities who have this perception themselves.  And it's not because they feel too shy or insecure towards it, that I can tell you.  It's because they've been acculturated to feel entitled to it.  And as I said above, any time you feel entitlement or obligation to do anything regarding this sort of thing, the special meaning it's supposed to have completely fades away.  Now I can understand if you feel shy towards this sort of thing.  Ooooooooh lordy can I understand......  I mean, did you read that earlier paragraph?  I struggle with shyness towards this sort of thing as well, and there's plenty I need to work on as well with regards to personal accountability regarding asking someone you like out.  But I still infer (and this is especially true for women, if only because of the culture we live in) that we shouldn't just sit around asking ourselves "When is he/she going to ask me out?"  Get off your little hind parts, be a little proactive and ask THEM out!  If you're shy or insecure about the issue, seek help.  Yes, I know, it's still a struggle for us shy people to even talk about who we like to other people, even people we trust.  Believe me, I'm as guilty as charged on that one.  Point is, you're never alone on the subject.  Maybe they'll come to figure it out for themselves.  Maybe they wont, and you'll have to work up a little courage or use a little tact in your speach to bring the subject up naturally (my personal preference, heh heh).  But as long as you surround yourself with people who understand how shy, insecure and awkward about the subject you are, you're never alone.

Now I do realize that these last couple of paragraphs come from the point of view of one who is fairly introverted, quiet and somewhat shy and socially awkward as well as one who struggles with finances and getting a job.  I've already covered the former, so right now I am going to focus on the latter.  As I've said before, I am trying.  It's not like I want to be a couch potato in my parent's house all my life.  Shoot, part of the reason why I feel the way I do about being in that particular point in my life like I mentioned above is because, due to my parent's seemingly declining health, I'm vastly approaching to where I quite literally will not be able to do it anymore.  Believe me, I want myself out of their house as much as anyone else does.  But I think the key element to understand about me in this aspect is that personally, I simply do not care about money.  I care about money enough to support myself and eventually support a family, and I care about having enough left over on the side to spend on leisurely times but other than that it doesn't have to be a whole lot.  Fact of the matter is there's so much more that's important in life that I think those seeking to make a hefty paycheck in a fast paced world tend to forget (or, if you'll forgive me for addressing more political issues, in the case of those who don't have much of an opportunity to remember because their extremely hard-working and back breaking selves don't get paid nearly enough to not have to work the ridiculous hours that are demanded of them just to support a family they hardly ever get to spend time with...... ).  And if I have to survive off of tuna for a few months or solely off of Netflix or Roku on a non-flat screen TV for our entertainment, then I'm more than willing to do so just so I can be happy with my job and my presence in my family's life. They say beggars can't be choosers......  I say why not?  Isn't freedom of choice the greatest opportunity we enjoy in our society?  One of the greatest gifts given to us by the lord?  If I don't want to work a job that I could easily get while desperate to find work, why should I?  Doing so just for the money it offers doesn't sound like opportunity to me.  It sounds like a desperate beggar feeding off of the scraps the upper classes throw away (here I go getting all political again, heh heh......).  When I say I want a job, I don't mean I'll take any random thing you throw at me.  It needs to be flexible with hours so I can have time to go to school, get good grades and have a social/leisure life at the same time.  It needs to be something I decide for myself would be something I would love doing, have a level of competency with and doesn't contribute to an idea that goes against my personal values and convictions (No fast food, no Wall-Mart, and for those of you familiar with the Computer Science employment in Utah, no L3 or Hill Air Force Base.  I don't think I can handle the idea of writing software for military weaponry whose soul purpose is to take the lives of others......  Or to be more simply put, I don't think I could bring myself to work for the military in any way, shape or form.  Not because I don't respect the military; the courage that it takes to do what they do and the sacrifices they make for us.  But because I don't like the idea of contributing to the idea of war in any way, shape or form).  It needs to treat their workers well and provide them a good, patient, friendly, welcoming and understanding environment to work in.  I need people to understand the anxiety that I will cover in the next paragraph, and how it effects my ability to fill out an application or a resume, my competency in and intimidation of an interview, and my worries of struggling to keep a job.  I need them to treat me with love, kindness, patience and understanding if they want to help me do these things.  In case you've forgotten my earlier paragraph on the issue, doing otherwise is no way to get through to me or inspire me.

So that anxiety.....  More than anything else in my life it applies to getting a driver's license as well. Most people think I don't have one because I never bothered to take driver's ed in high school and that I've simply never seen a purpose or had a desire to get one.  Only half of that is true.  The latter half I eventually came to the decision of on my own after my horrible, almost life-scarring experiences in driver's ed.  If any of you read Reminder, that prose I wrote over on the writing blog, the part that covers the driver's ed experience is pretty much right out of my own experience with it, scene by scene, word by word, depicted personal concern by depicted personal concern.  And it is all the effects of that said anxiety......  I have a hard time taking tests because of it, I have a hard time with one-on-one interviews of any kind because of it, and I certainly have been having a hard time getting myself to learn how to drive because of it.  The anxiety of the responsibility of everyone's life - including and especially your own - all resting on your shoulders, the safety of the vehicle you are driving and the expenses and inconveniences that come if it crashes, and all of the complex road rules and regulations, driving techniques and all that you have to be paying attention to in order to do so.  That and the fact that my driving instructor, my driver's ed class instructor, and my fellow students never made any of that anxiety any easier on me.  In fact, they only made it worse.  They did nothing but grow impatient with me, and the more impatient with me they grew the harder they came down on me, yelling at me and beating all of my mistakes into my head.  And in the particular case of the fellow students, had nothing but discouraging and condescending things to say to me about it.  That anxiety manifests itself still today, in the fear that my out of school experiences with learning how to drive, taking the necessary tests and dealing with all the instructors would be exactly the same, and thus no progress would ever have the opportunity to be made towards it.  By now I'm sure I have beaten the dead horse, and you should perfectly understand how to get through to me.  Well..... if you want me to get my driver's license so bad, apply the same here.  Just as importantly, if you want me to get my driver's license so bad, be patient and understanding of why I feel it as hard as it is to me to get one.  Don't just tell me to go and get one, like it's as easy as going over to the store to pick up a loaf of bread.  It may have been for you, but it's not for me.  For me, it's all about getting over that anxiety I developed towards it in high school; facing my fears.  It's about receiving the proper instruction of patience, understanding and encouragement that gets through to me the best.  It's about not having much of a passion for driving and driving-oriented subjects in the first place - only caring that my car has four wheels, an engine and a steering wheel and handing it over to someone more educated on auto-mechanics than I to get it fixed and never having the desire to drive stick....  Ever.  It's about the fact that if a location takes at most one hour to walk to, in most cases - in fact in almost all - I would much rather walk or use public transit than drive, especially if it saves gas money and it's a beautiful day to do so.  It'll be a nice, handy tool to have in those situations that are so relevant in today's world where you just simply can't get by without one, especially as I go out to search for a job, and pretty soon here, once my mom (who doesn't have a driver's license at this point either) get's her glasses back I'll be taking a shot at joining her in the pursuit of getting one to see if that will help ease a lot of that anxiety.  But as that tool, that will be the only purpose for me getting one and nothing more.

And finally, finding a place to live.  I don't really have much to say about this subject than has already been said about others, so this paragraph probably won't end up being so long.  Frankly put no, I don't want to live in my parent's house my entire life.  And I'm not particularly picky about where I live either, which I think goes in correlation to what I've said about not caring about money or other worldly possessions.  If it provides adequately enough for me or my future family's life, then I'm perfectly fine.  I would prefer to never have to live by myself though, so finding a roommate for my single days, not just to help pay rent but to give me company as well.  I've been coming to learn quite a bit lately that being lonely, without contact with other humans, is becoming more and more difficult for my sanity.......  Frankly I'd feel much better about it and my leisure time within it if I were in a better situation than I am, but no......  And part of the problem is that I feel beaten over the head with nostalgia lately that has made it difficult to live too much in the past and not enough in the present......  So preferably if I could live anywhere that's not Bountiful, that would be great.  Shoot, I'm almost inclined to say if I could live anywhere that's not Utah, that would be great as well, considering how fed up I seem to be getting over the Utah Mormon Culture and all (the culture mind you, NOT the gospel).  But with how extreme that may seem, living anywhere that's not Bountiful will suffice for now.  But, this is getting to sound quite a bit too much like a wish-list now, so yeah........  I'm just letting you all know at this point that this is how I feel about this subject is all.

So yeah, there you have it, yet another big long blog post resulting from the innermost aching thoughts I've been putting up with lately.  At least this time I'd like to hope it was a productive learning experience for you all, and every bit as much a therapeutic experience for me as well.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Nephilum: The Uncensored Episodes - Part 18

It was never a pleasant thing waking up in the morning for Dante Weathers.  He found that he never needed an alarm clock, because the sound of his father angerly shouting at the top of his lungs was usually a good sign that it was time to get up.  This time, however, the sign would be the most horrific yet.  It would be to the sound of dead silence.  And the first image to paint a picture of terror into his soul as he opened his weary eyes was the sight of his father sitting to the side of his bed, chugging down a beer and burning a glare of death through his eyes.

"Do you have any idea...... " He began to speak has he separated the glass bottle from his lips and swallowed.  ".... how much of a failure you are?"  He gave a sarcastic little chuckle and continued.  "The fruit of my loins.....  You know, I have to take that as a personal insult."

"Whatever Dad."  Dante remarked as he rubbed his eyes and sat up.  "I really don't have time for this today, it looks like I'm running late enough for school as is."

"Why bother?"  His father replied after taking another swig of his cold one.  "I don't take it you're learning anything there anyways."

With a stressful sigh, Dante paused and looked at his father sincerely.  "Okay Dad, I'll bite.  What's it all about today?"

His father tossed into Dante's lap the pieces of what looked to be and what once was a paycheck from work.  The pieces were torn, crumpled up and looked to have been dried up from being previously soaked.  Dante's hands went straight to his face in shock as he gave a devastated gasp.  "Your mother found this in your laundry this morning.  I told you to cash that for me, didn't I?"

"Just like our lazy, good for nothing son, isn't it?"  A feminine voice remarked from outside the doorway as Dante's mother happened to pass by.

"Shut up, wench!!"  His father shouted angerly.  "I thought I told you to go fix my breakfast!!"  His mother jolted in alarm and hurried away.  He then focused his attention back to Dante.  "Look right here son."  He remarked, pointing to one of the torn pieces of the check.  "It's worn, but it's still there.  How much does it say?"

Dante calmed down a bit and let out another stressed-out sigh.  "Dad, I don't have-"

"HOW MUCH!!"  His father interrupted with a roar of anger, making Dante jump a mile.  With a sigh, his son complied.  "One-thousand, two-hundred."

"That's right"  His father continued with another swig of his beverage.  "One-thousand, two-hundred.  That's how much money your lack of intelligence cost me.  One-thousand, two-hundre-!"  

"I don't have time for this!"  Dante remarked as he tried to ignore his father and get up out of bed.  His father, however, forcefully shoved him back into it.  "Who said I gave you permission to leave!!"  he shouted in the act of doing so.  "Maybe.... "  he continued as he began to survey the room.  "Just maybe....  if I beat you over the head..... "  At that point Dante threw himself out of his bed and made a dash for the door.  But not before his father found his object of choice - a leg off of a broken chair his father had busted in his room the day prior.  "I can get some intellect in there!!"  He shouted with a swing of the chair leg, which caught Dante in the eye, knocking him to the floor.  Dante rushed away back up to his feet all the way into the laundry room with his father charging after.  In a rush of anxiety he slammed the door shut and locked it, and with a sigh of relief that evolved into sobbing, grabbed his bruised eye in pain and slid down with his back leaned against the wall into a fetal position where he continued to sob into folded arms around his knees.  He continued this all while his father started beating on the door with the chair leg like some neanderthal.  "What's the matter son!?  I'm not done educating you yet!!  Don't you want a quality education!!  You're not getting one in school, that's for sure!!"  His father continued to shout as Dante continued to sob heavily.

Later at school that day Nathaniel noticed Dante as he passed by sitting in the hallway in another fetal position against a locker with tears in his eyes.  Instead of sobbing, however, he was starring off into space with a look of anger in his bruised eyes.  Nathaniel took a seat right next to his friend in an attempt to console him.

"You know... " Dante started, whipping tears away from his eyes.  ".....sometimes I wish I could just kill that son of a bitch!"  He continued with the most sinister glare and the most ferocity in his voice he could muster before breaking out into a full sob again.  Nathaniel looked at him somberly, wishing he could do more for his ailing friend.  But he was never good at this whole comforting thing in the first place.  Instead of saying anything, he just put his hand on Dante's shoulder, making it evident that at the very least, he was there for him.

But this gloomy mood wouldn't last very long for Nathaniel.  For soon would he be off to his gym class.  Now, how would one make any sense of a high school teenager looking forward to going to gym class?  Nathaniel certainly did have his reservations about it no doubt.  The boy's locker room is never kind to an adolescent young man after all, and it never had been particularly kind to Nathaniel through his gym-attending days.  But he was above their cliches, stereotypes and cliques.  While it was no secret he was ever any sort of athletic jock type of any sort, he had more of a nerdy kind of respect for sports, as much of an oxymoron as that would seem.  He loved to follow and watch them, and while he was never particularly good at them or even enjoyed playing them with some of the more hardcore jock types of the class, he still found it as time to kick back, have fun and forget everything else.  It was a lot better than having to take the alternative body-conditioning class with all of those neanderthals, after all.  This was something Nathaniel learned in time to keep to himself, however.  There was never any way their closed minds would possibly understand how beyond their way of doing things he was.

This had nothing to do with the joy he felt in his heart at the moment though.  The reason why he was looking forward to it so much was because Mary Ogilvy was in his class.  Sure, they were pretty shy around each other, and as such had a difficult time getting to know one another on the level of depth Nathaniel would have preferred.  Nathaniel of course felt the way he did about her, but at the same time Mary was just simply that shy a person all around.  She carried herself with all the confidence she could muster, but in spite of that fact she always made it evident in one form or another that she had some pretty serious personal issues, especially in the form of self-confidence.  Nonetheless, the two had enough alone time in this one class, away from everyone else that associated themselves with either of them, that they actually had been able to build a fairly solid and mutually understanding friendship.

As he made his way through the gym doors, Nathaniel and Mary immediately laid eyes upon each other and greeted each other with a friendly smile.  Nathaniel made his way over to hang with her a bit before class started, as he usually did.

"Hey Nathaniel!  Come here, I have to show you this poem some guy wrote about me in my Creative Writing class."  Marry started off casually.

"Ah, Creative Writing."  Nathaniel remarked, trying to hide the fact that he was a bit put off by the idea of the poem.  "I've really been wanting to take that class, but I needed to take up other credits instead."

"Yeah."  Mary replied, putting him off.  "Look at some of these lines though - 'she shines like the grace of heaven sent to bring rapture to my wretched soul'; 'why must I be confined to the bondage of sitting and starring as I watch her look away, refusing to acknowledge my existence..... ';  'I wish I could just hold her and embrace her lips with mine forever...... '"

"Well he sure is a poet, I'll give him that."  Nathaniel replied lightheartedly, though inside wishing he could say those same things to Mary himself.

"He's a creeper is what he is!"  Mary responded with disdain.  "I swear everytime I see him he's eyes are glued to me with this.....  this look....."

"So you just randomly decided to steal his homework one day?"  Nathaniel teased, hiding away his discouragement at the statement.  As if it wasn't hard enough to tell her how he felt.......

"No," Marry replied with a shy little chuckle.  "we're supposed to exchange assignments, take them home and give criticism.  He certainly wasted no time making sure I got his...... "

Out of curiosity, Nathaniel reached over to take a look at who it was who wrote the assignment.  He clenched himself through his teeth, seething in disdain when he discovered that the name in the upper-left hand corner was that of Dante Weathers.  Nathaniel managed to keep it to himself however, and proceeded with a fake, yet fairly believable tone.

"Ah, Dantie!  Yeah, he's actually a really good friend of mine."  He replied.

"Yeah, I've seen you two hanging out before."  Marry continued with a sort of acknowlegingly shy yet distinguishable disdain.

Nathaniel looked away with a discouraged shyness, then looked back at Mary, proceeding uncomfortably.  "You know......  he doesn't look like it, but....  he's really not a bad guy."

Marry scoffed and looked away, and there was a momentary uncomfortable silence between the two before Mary continued.  "Paul's right about you, isn't he?  Always seeing the good in people...... "

"Are you two..... "  Nathaniel reluctantly attempted to ask, but never completed.  Enough was inferred however to earn a response out of Marry.  "What, with that busybodying jerk?  No way!"  She protested.

"But, you guys are always...... " Nathaniel continued, even more reluctantly than before.

"We're more like siblings than anything else I guess."  Mary continued with a more somber tone.  "Sure, he has a knack for sticking his nose in places it doesn't belong, but considering how similar our family situations are...... "  Mary proceeded uncomfortably with the same somberness.  "I don't think I'd be alive today if it wasn't for him."

Once again silence struck the two momentarily until Nathaniel decided to randomly break it.  "So you know about him being adopted then, right?"

Mary was in a state of puzzlement as to why Nathaniel would say something like that before she responded with a bit of a confused chuckle.  Nathaniel looked away in embarassment, wondering how he could be so stupid as to let something as crazy at that slip his mouth.  He supposed he just wanted to keep conversation flowing seeing as how he actually quite enjoyed talking to her, as awkward as it was sometimes.  Embarrassingly, he continued.

"Well....  you know....  don't tell him I told you this, but.....  As the story goes his current parents found him abandoned on their porch one day.  He still to this day has no idea who the real ones are..... "

"Sounds like a scene right out of a movie or something...... "  Mary continued, still  puzzled but awkwardly giving in to the conversation.

"That's a true story."  Nathaniel responded in honesty as he looked away, still feeling stupid about himself.  Taking note of this, Mary responded with a smile.  "Well, I guess I understand  a little better now why he doesn't get along very well with his parents or his older brother."

At that moment the coach walked in calling for everyone to line up in their warm-up blocks, thus breaking up the conversation.  "Hey Nathaniel?"  She caught his attention as the two went on their way.  "I'm looking forward to our date this weekend."  she continued with a smile.

Nathaniel's face turned bright red in response.  "Me too."  he replied, shooting her a kind, gentle smile.

Later that day Mary would come home to a familiar environment, as displeasing as it always was.  Her parents were yet again in the other room having another heated argument.  Sometimes she wondered whether or not she would feel more uncomfortable if they were ever able to actually get along for once.  The unfamiliarity of the silence might possibly drive her mad.  In the living room sat her older brother who was watching television, seemingly unphased by the fighting.  It seemed like that's all he ever did - sit on that couch watching television, listening to their parents argue as if it was some form of art.

"You think they'll actually get divorced this time?"  He asked his sister cynically, eyes still glued to the television.

"Sometimes I wish they would."  Mary responded with a straight face as she made her way to her room.

"Oh-ho-ho-ho, nice response!"  Her brother responded teasingly.  "Look who's got the appetite for destruction all of a sudden!"

Mary continued on into her room, ignoring the condescending teasings of her brother until she closed the door.  "Loser."  She sighed with a roll of her eyes in his general direction.  She tossed her stuff on the floor without care of the messiness it contributed to before proceeding to do what she always did - plug in the ear-buds full-blast to drown out the sound of the shouting, collapsed into her bed and curled up into a protective ball so as to shield herself from the penetrating vibes emitted by this distopian zoo she called a home.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Lyrical Musings of the Day: Lightning Crashes by Live

While listening to one of my favorite radio stations I've noticed that this song quite frequently comes up, which of course makes sense considering it's a classic of early 90's alt-rock/post grunge.  I've always thought this was such a mystically sounding, absolutely beautiful song, but I've never really put much thought into what it's meaning is.  Until just recently that is, when I finally decided to go pick up their classic 1994 album Throwing Copper.  I was listening to this album on the bus coming back from school today and listened to this song a couple of times, paying more close attention to the lyrics.  That combined with already having seen the music video for it led me to seeing this song's beauty a thousand fold, and has garnered me a newfound level of respect for this band as a whole.  Frontman and primary songwriter Ed Kowalczyk's lyrics, especially in the case of this song, are right up there with some of the most well-written I've ever heard as he so profoundly conveys the scene of an old woman passing away in one hospital room and a baby being born in the next, as if to transfer the passing of one life into the emergence of another in a glorious celebration of life in general.  His lyrical and songwriting style remind me so much of Pearl Jam's Eddie Veder, who is also amongst my favorite songwriters.

Lightning Crashes

lightning crashes, a new mother cries
her placenta falls to the floor
the angel opens her eyes
the confusion sets in
before the doctor can even close the door

lightning crashes, an old mother dies
her intentions fall to the floor
the angel closes her eyes
the confusion that was hers
belongs now, to the baby down the hall

oh now feel it comin' back again
like a rollin' thunder chasing the wind
forces pullin' from the center of the earth again
I can feel it.

lightning crashes, a new mother cries
this moment she's been waiting for
the angel opens her eyes
pale blue colored iris,
presents the circle
and puts the glory out to hide, hide 

Friday, December 31, 2010

Lyrical Musings of the Day: Sworn and Broken by Screaming Trees/Happy New Year!

Simply put, this has been quite the stale and stagnant year for me.  It started out horribly and since then it hasn't particularly been a terrible year, just not particularly a great year either.  The year as a whole has pretty much been this exact same way for my favorite hobbies as well.  Even in the sense of my traditional year's best anime lists I love to make every year where it's been a terribly slow year for me in that sense that I just don't have enough to put on said list.  It's also been a really slow year for new music as as far as I've been able to tell, and for someone who has always loved movies but is still fairly new to the level of movie buff I would prefer to be at to make such a list, all I really have left is the fact that I've listened to a crapload of older music, discovering a whole slew of bands I've never listened to/never given a more serious listening to.  And the search even continues as we speak.  Now I can't really make a year's best list based on this, but I can post the lyrics from one of my favorite songs by one of these said bands that ever since I heard it I thought of it to be the perfect song to ponder over during the New Year season.  This year especially because I feel that not only do the lyrics of this song remind me of how this past year has been for me, but at the same time what I could say my hopes are for 2011.  So here's to the best of 2011 not only for me, but for all you readers out there as well! (If there are any that is, heh heh...... )

Sworn and Broken

Winter's setting in again
And it feels
Like the end is near
Senseless sense and I'm alone
Watching' the seconds
Passing' by

Come January I swear this world
Won't be the one
That we once lived on
Took an oath
For a promise sworn and broken
All that's gone

When Monday morning you can't wake up
Still dreaming' of
What could've been
Something good has gone and left you
It's another tear
One won't deny

Come January I swear this world
Won't be the one
That we once lived on
Took an oath
Another promise sworn and broken
All that's gone
All that's gone before you've changed

Well Monday morning you don't wake up
Still dreaming' of
What could've been
Something good has gone and left you
It's another tear
One more denial

Come January I swear this world
Won't be the one
That we once lived on
Took an oath
Another promise sworn and broken
All that's gone
All that's gone before
All that's gone before
Has changed

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Seasonal Letdown

Just in case you haven't noticed, it's that time of year again.  You know, that same time of year where everyone's supposed to be happy and jolly, showing love and appreciation for those friends/family that you know, etcetera etcetera.  In just an hour and a half from my writing these exact words it will officially be the day before Christmas, better known as Christmas Eve.  And for all the reasons mentioned above, it's my personal favorite time of the year.  Even though I can get pretty overly annoyed by snow at any other time during the wintertime, there's nothing I love to see more during the holidays.  There's just something about it that adds to the wonder and beauty of the time, along with the lights all strung up and gorgeous, decorated trees all lit up and the beautiful music that is played all around during this time as well.  The stress of school is behind us for three weeks and even though I personally believe in showing the same kind of love and appreciation for one another year round that is always talked about in full force cliche, it's the culmination of all these things that really seems to put the feeling in the air in all it's perfection.

Though I've always experienced all of this and reveled in it during must holiday seasons, there have been few next to none that have made me feel it more than it did last year.  Mostly because there have been few holiday seasons where I had so many people I held in my thoughts and my heart during it outside of my family as well as inside it.  Whereas that fact had me feeling admittedly more selfish than I probably should have during that time in years past, last year was one of the first times I saw myself appreciating it for less of the selfish commercialism and more of what  truly does make it as special as it is than ever before.  And all of this was made possible by the sheer and simple fact that if it wasn't family, even if it wasn't Peter, Aaron and the others or even certain someones who know who they are, it was someone else even, most specifically the many friends that I seemed to be making and who were making me feel more belonged than I ever have at school, in the band, or even other places that would be chatting with me, having me hang out with them and just all around making me feel good about myself and about them.  And on what was at the time my typical paperout routine not only every day of the year but on Christmas morning as well, I saw myself not being excited about my own Christmas morning experiences, giddy to get home and open my presents and such, but deep in thought about every last one of these people and wondering how they were spending their Christmas mornings and what excitements and joys they were feeling.  These experiences continued even on through New Year's and it all really gave me more of a newfound appreciation for what this time of year should be about.

Well long story short, as I'm sure we all know by now based on the many blog posts I've made on said subjects, it didn't take too long after being back in school again and life moving on as usual for life to be seeming like pretty much the exact opposite.  And as a result?  Here we are one holiday season later, and I couldn't feel life being emptier, lonelier, or just all around being more dull and boring than it is now.  It is now currently an hour away from officially being Christmas Eve, and it honestly doesn't feel any different than any other day.  Not only because of the aforementioned catastrophe, but also add onto that Peter now being married and living in Logan, so far outside of my capability to have him keep me company, Aaron and his wife being sick, and everyone else seemingly more distant from me in their thoughts then I feel they should be and instead I feel myself being more along the lines of bitter and lonely instead of having that special feeling I had last year.  Ironically the more commercial feeling of the season that had me more preoccupied than it should have in years past has come back to bite me in the butt, and after last year it all just seems so empty; not nearly as exciting as it used to be.  Almost everything about Christmas seems to serve as nothing more than a reminder of how wonderful things were last year and how it can't be that wonderful this year, and quite frankly, all it does is make me feel sad inside because of it and down on myself for not being able to not only have prevented things from becoming as bad as they are way back when they did, but also to find other ways to make it that special again.  Just when I thought things were turning around for the better last year, this year I find myself not only back where I was before it, but not being able to appreciate it as much anymore.

I suppose all I can really hope for is to survive it all, make the best of what I do have no matter how lonely ore empty it may feel, and hope for the new and upcoming year to have more promising things in store for me so that by this time next year I won't be feeling this way anymore.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Lyrical Musings of the Day: Everyday is Exactly the Same by Nine Inch Nails

I've actually been meaning to give this band more of a deeper listen to for quite a while now.  I pretty much figured I've really been on quite the rock music binge lately that now's as good a time to as any.  And I must say I've really been loving what I'm hearing.  I'd had a good idea as to how great Trent Reznor's stuff was based off of what few NIN songs I'd heard up 'till now plus the fact that he composed the soundtrack to The Social Network, but now I've pretty much confirmed him as one of our time's greatest musical geniuses.

In any case, I had just finished downloading their 2005 album With Teeth on iTunes the other day and when I gave it a listen to and this song came on, I found myself feeling how in a lot of ways it had a strikingly similar resemblance to how I've always kind of felt about life.  With Teeth as I recall was pretty much Reznor's political criticism record, one amongst many that were specifically being targeted at the Bush administration at the time.  With that said, I'd probably say a good interpretation of the song's meaning is would be a description of what life is like in a capitalistic society.  As such I'm actually pretty fairly certain most anyone out there could probably relate to this song every bit as much as I do.

"Every Day Is Exactly The Same"

I believe I can see the future
Cause I repeat the same routine
I think I used to have a purpose
But then again
That might have been a dream
I think I used to have a voice
Now I never make a sound
I just do what I've been told
I really don't want them to come around

Oh, no

Every day is exactly the same
Every day is exactly the same
There is no love here and there is no pain
Every day is exactly the same

I can feel their eyes are watching
In case I lose myself again
Sometimes I think I'm happy here
Sometimes, yet I still pretend
I can't remember how this got started
But I can tell you exactly how it will end

Every day is exactly the same
Every day is exactly the same
There is no love here and there is no pain
Every day is exactly the same

I'm writing on a little piece of paper
I'm hoping someday you might find
Well I'll hide it behind something
They won't look behind
I'm still inside here
A little bit comes bleeding through
I wish this could have been any other way
But I just don't know, I don't know what else I can do

Every day is exactly the same
Every day is exactly the same
There is no love here and there is no pain
Every day is exactly the same

Monday, October 18, 2010

To Yield or not to Yield; That is the question.

So I was surfing the internet last night and got completely bored, and as such I did what I usually do when I'm on the computer and bored: type my favorite musical artists into YouTube and see what comes up.  Sometimes I even re-visit old favorites of mine if I'm especially bored, which indeed was the case.  In the midst of this I came across one of my all time favorite music videos, that being the one for Pearl Jam's Do the Evolution (which I have linked to in this post) off of their 1998 album Yield (which, saying a lot for a band that constantly comes out with lyrical masterpieces, is probably their greatest lyrical masterpiece to date and in my opinion some of their finest work, but that's another story.....).

Rather than just being animated and animated excellently, this video is one of my favorites for the majority of reasoning being that it's actually very deep and thought provoking and loaded to the brim with symbolic images.  In watching this video last night I made a few really interesting observances that I never had picked up on before, as you would imagine to be the case with something like this.  One such observance was a shot near the end of the video of a Yield sign getting shot at and carelessly knocked over, as if not only to ignore it's presence and potential meaning but treating it as if it was just simply getting in the way.  This observance comes in light of the fact that the concept of the album is to focus around the idea of "yielding to nature," or as Eddie Vedder says of the matter: "Let's say that hypothetically speaking, the title does mean something...You can fight so much, and then you have to think, 'What are the real battles?' 'What's really important?' You get to a certain point, and it's really hard to remember what music is and to remember what drives you."  Quite a bit of a more positive outlook on life than their earlier works, which while still some of their more excellent and well known, has a lot more general pessimistic approaches.  Also says Vedder on the issue: "What was rage in the past has become reflection. In the past we got really angry and we cried out against many things in our songs, and I think our message reached to people pretty well this way. But where do you go after that? I think when you become an adult you have to express your energy in a different way, more calm. That doesn't mean we forget the bad side of life, because it still appears in our songs. But what it's now exciting, a real challenge, is facing it from a more positive point of view, looking for a way to solve it. In the past we said: what a shit, this stinks, that sucks, everything sucks... Now it's time to say: stop, let's look for a solution, let's be positive."

While most of the songs on this album are more positively deep and reflective, Do the Evolution is one of the ones that very much so focuses on the bad side of life, criticizing mankind's so called "Evolution" as a species today from what we were way back when, arguing that in all actuality we are no more primitive animals than we were as cavemen.  The approach from a more positive point of view/ way to solve it as Vedder suggests in the above quote I think is emphasized quite well in the shot of that Yield sign getting carelessly blown away in the music video: that sometimes we are so caught up in our ambissions and drives in life - to get ahead in life  or keep up with society or whatever - that we not only seldom stop to see the beauty and passion in the bigger picture of things, but sometimes we just ignorantly and carelessly blow them by to the wayside in pursuit of our selfish ambissions.