Thursday, August 29, 2013

Day 466 . . .

So. I’m here, scouring the infinite pages of Craigslist, trying to find a job. It’s hollow, Craigslist. Devoid of anything human, as I’m sure you know. Almost like robots generating pretend listings for the sake of confusing people who are, like me, trying to finding something. A job. A new couch. A tutor for their Autistic son or daughter. A nanny. Whatever it may be.

I have a job. Sort of. I wouldn’t call adjuncting one class a job, but I get paid. And my fellow adjunctees are decent people. The students . . . well, they are what they are. But still, it’s work, and it’s money, and that’s great. Except, as a Master of English (or not, it doesn’t really matter), one class a semester at around $11/hr just doesn’t cut. Not for anyone. You can’t live on $11/hr extreme part-time, it just doesn’t work. Even if you live alone, only eat Top Ramen, have no electricity or TV or water, no cell phone, no car or car insurance or gas, no medical insurance, even then, $11/hr for 15 hours a week, just isn’t enough. And I have a wife. And a kid. How am I supposed to make this work?

The wife, in all her of awesomeness, works too. Because she knows we need her to work. Because I need her to work. Because I am not enough. No matter how hard I try, no matter what work I try to do, it isn’t enough to take care of my family, even with all the schooling I have done.  No schools are hiring. No one wants to publish art, only books that make money, because “literature” is a commodity, something to be bought and sold, to transfer hands only at the expense of materialization and capitalism. But I digress. This is about work, and money, and life, and the fact that it has now been 466 days since graduating, and I’m still living with my parents, still looking for a job, still hoping that I can find something so my wife can quit her inane semi part-time job at Beverly’s to allow her to stay at home with our daughter, being the stay-at-home mother she has always wanted to be, the stay-at-home mother that I want her to be. But, instead, we have to balance our work schedules to watch Katherine, to schedule days with our parents when we need them to watch her, because we can’t do it ourselves. Don’t get me wrong, I think family and community is beautiful. It’s not that. It’s the simple fact that I am unable to provide the necessities of life to take care of myself, let alone my family.

What am I doing wrong? Since graduating, I’ve stayed up on my reading and writing as best I can. I’m a nerd, a super nerd in fact, so I decided that I would keep a master list of all the books I have ever read since graduating with my Master’s. I don’t know why, I just thought it would be cool in 20 years to look back and see what I’ve read. So far, this is what I’ve read (in order oldest to most recent):

-Paradise Lost, 7/1/12
-The Senualist, 7/7/12
-Mere Christianity, 7/15/12
-Everything is Illuminated, 8/9/12
-Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, 8/15/12
-Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, 8/25/12
-Mad Cursive, 8/30/12
-What It Is, 8/30/12
-The Witches, 9/8/12
-Enchanted Night, 9/19/12
-The Phantom Tollbooth, 9/28/12
-A Brief History of Time, 10/8/12
-Matilda, 10/17/12
-Hildafolk, 10/31/12
-Everything We Miss, 11/23/12
-The Familiar Beast, 12/5/12
-LotR: The Fellowship of the Ring, 12/23/12
-Piskies, Spriggans, and other Magical Creatures, 1/1/13
-The Art and Craft of Handmade Paper, 1/7/13
-Boy: Tales of Childhood, 1/11/13
-Going Solo, 1/26/13
-The Storylady’s: Italian Tales, 2/2/13
-James and the Giant Peach, 2/13/13
-Griffin & Sabine, 2/26/13
-Sabine’s Notebook, 2/27/13
-The BFG, 2/28/13
-Frog and Toad are Together, 4/21/13
-The Epic of Gilgamesh, 4/23/13
-Sudden Fiction Latino, 5/8/13 (started two year ago)
-The Sandman: The Doll’s House, 5/11/13
-The Sandman: Dream Country, 5/14/13
-The Sandman: Season of Mists, 5/17/13
-Inch, issue 20 (Spring 2013), 5/26/13
-Pour, 5/26/13
-It Is Especially Dangerous to be Conscious of Oneself, 5/26/13
-A Lover’s History of Nevada, 5/28/13
-The Mystery of the Aleph, 6/20/13
-Vigils, 7/22/13
-The Road, 7/25/13
-Danny, Champion of the World, 8/13/13
-House of Leaves, 8/16/13 (started in April)
-How to Shake the Other Man, 8/17/13
-Animal Farm, 8/23/13
-The Hollow Earth, 8/25/13

And, of course, I am currently reading Don Quixote, because, yes, I am that English nerd. It’s a decent list, I think. I feel pretty good about it. I should be reading way more than this, but it’s not bad, I guess.

Then, there’s my writing. I have a few big projects in the works right now, projects that I won’t talk about just yet, because they are too young in the process. But soon. And then there is my personal writing, which to date is almost non-existent because of work, balancing my editor duties, and have a family, all while trying to find another, better, job. But I write, occasionally. Plus, I have a ton of older writings that I submit to literary journals. And I’ve gotten some published. Here is the list of all the pieces and places I have published/been published in (those in bold are forthcoming):

- “Mortuary,” published by Convergence Journal (online), Fall 2011
- “The Book Collector,” published by First Stop Fiction (online), July 2011
- “Dream Burial,” published by In Parentheses, October 2012
- “Forgotten,” published by Midnight Screaming, December 2012
- “Written,” published by Conium Review, February 2013
- “The All-Inclusive Guide on How to Brainwash,” published by Skive Magazine, April 1, 2013
- “Continuums of Appearance: How Social Media Disassociates Possibilities of Seeing,” published by The Black Rabbit, May 2013
- “The Artist,” published by Crack the Spine, (online) June 2013
- “Black Hole,” published by The David Daedalus Internet Experience (online), June 2013
- “The Chase,” published by Calliope Review, Summer 2013
- “Listen,” published by Stinkwaves Magazine, June 2013
- “(De)Constructed,” published by Hidden Animals, July 2013 (online)
- “Steam,” publish by Back to Print, in The seXXX File, August 2013
- “Mortuary,” published by Forgotten Tomb Press in 100 Doors Anthology, 2013
- “Sound of Drums,” published by Indigo Rising, 2013
- “The Power Out,” published by Dreamscape Press (Nuclear Town USA), in Of Beast and Warriors, 2013
- “Hallowe’en,” “Baskets of the Dead,” “Stopping Time,” published by Twisted Dreams, October 2013
- “I Asked a Color Once What Made it a Color,” published in Compose, 2013
- “Chickens,” published by The Binnacle, December 2013
- “Love” and “Social” published in The Encyclopedia Project, 2014
- “Hegemonic Reform,” published in The Stray Branch, 2014

I should feel good about that list. It’s not bad, for an emerging writer. Right? I don’t know. Maybe. If I could, I would show you the list of rejection letters that has led to these few publications. I’m neurotic, so I keep all the rejections. Every. Single. One. The stack (which I keep in a binder, in nice static cling protectors) is over an inch thick, and ever growing. But I should feel good about these publications, so I’m told. My wife is proud of me. My friends congratulate me whenever I mention a new publication. Not sure what my parents think. Well, I know my mother wishes I had become an engineer of some kind, because that was/is what I’m naturally good at. Anyway. I should be proud.

But I’m not.

I’m stressed.
I’m terrified.
I’m sick.
I’m tired.
I’m alone (yet not).
I’m lost.

I’m trying to do my English duty: reading and writing, and furthering the cause of the English language in all of its beauty and splendor and wonder and excitement. As a possessor of a Master’s in English (which I am finding means nothing), I feel like I have a responsibility to language, to texts, to the world on a whole to help in the evolution of this vocalized and textualized communication that we call English. So I read. And I write. And now I even teach a little. I make fun of my friends when they use words incorrectly. I make fun of myself when I use words incorrectly. I melt when I read a beautiful sentence, or hear beautiful lyrics, and I just want to share those lines with everyone. It’s like being in the Matrix, but instead of seeing binary, I see words. And each word has its own unique color, a color that can’t be described or quantified, but can only be experienced. And the world is painted in these word-colors so minutely, that even the most infinitesimal scarps of matter cannot escape the idiomatic vibrancy. We are words, and they are us. One cannot exist without the other. There can be no color without an object to illuminate, and no object can be illuminated without color.

Words are just amazing.

My point in saying this, is that I don’t feel well. I don’t feel good. I feel terrible. I know I can work harder, that I waste my time (on occasion), but I’m not lazy. And I’m not stupid. Yet, here I am, waiting, hoping, praying, that someone, some company, will see my resume that I have sent them, or ask for a CV, and they will say, “Hey, this guy is brilliant, we need this guy;” and then, finally, someone will tell me I am worth something.

I know life isn’t about money. I hate money. Money is the root of all evil (girls are evil too, and I can prove it). But our world, our society, functions on a basic distribution of money. I almost have none. Almost. I know that there are billions of people in the world far worse off than myself. But all I know is what I know, and I know that I don’t feel good about my life, or my position.

466 days, and I’m still here. At the beginning. Or the end. I can’t tell the difference anymore. I should be proud of my accomplishments. Of my gifts and talents. Of my degree, my publications, the work I have been able to produce so far. Of my family, of Katherine and her ridiculous awesomeness and simple happiness. Of my beautiful wife and how much she loves me and our little family, of how much she devotes of herself and her time, always putting the needs of the whole above the wants of the one. Of the simple beauty of the world around me that God has created. But, I can’t. I can’t see past my own hands at the spinning planet that cares nothing for man, for life, for me, but only knows that gravity and orbits carry it through space. I don’t want to care anymore. I don’t want to worry about money, or people, or providing, or whether or not I can make it in this world. I just can’t do it anymore. I’m sick of the worry and the stress. It’s too heavy. I just want to orbit, without care, without complication, to spin around the brightest light in the solar system, and give beauty to those around me.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Exhume and Resurrect are not the same thing.

Those who know me, know that I say weird/mean/bizarre/racist/sexist type . . . stuff. A lot. By far my favorite personal expression surfaces when people ask: "Whatever happened to so and so?" I don't know, who does? No one, that's who. So I respond: "Oh, they're dead." Nonchalant, and on I go to something else. It's just easier than trying to figure things out. Some people get it, some don't. There are at least a dozen occasions where people have asked how the person died. Come, people, get with it.


Really, we don't care what happened to a person. We really don't. No matter what anyone thinks, the only reason we want to know what happened to someone we haven't talked to for years is because we either want to make sure we are better off than they are, or we need to make sure that we have all of our facts together, so if someone else asks us about said missing person, we can be the know-it-all informant. Because we are fact collectors. We love lists and lists of facts. Individuals are nothing to us, except when they can be compiled into various categorical definitions comparable with other individuals.

I mention this because my day has been completely thrown off. Here's how: I'm sitting in the waiting at the doctor's office, no big deal, just waiting. I hate waiting. I fidget like a four year old, kicking my feet, tapping my thighs, shifting positions every three seconds. But then I stop, because I see this blonde girl walk up to check-in station. About 5'10", thin build. She looks very familiar, but I'm not quite sure. You never can be, can you? Unless you go up and talk to the person, hear the voice, confirm your rising memory buried years ago. This happens to me all the time, and it's only a 50% chance that I know the person. So I don't say anything (all of this a matter of seconds; besides, she's too far away for it to not be creepy as hell), but then she opens her mouth. And I hear her voice, and her name, I know. It's her. Morgan Clanton. Well, married now (huge ring on her finger), so the last name's different, but I can't hear it. I just stare. What do you do? No way she remembers me, 12 years since we last saw each other, out on the pole vaulting mats. I remember those spring days. Lots of short spandex shorts and sports bras. Not much left for the imagination. Paradise for any teenage boy. I try to look way just enough to keep her in my peripheral, but to hide the fact that I'm examining her. What is wrong with me? I can't stop watching. And for a brief moment I think I see her look at me, recognize she knows me, maybe even remembers my name, the years together in school, all the hugs we shared, the one time I called to talk about nothing, how I "loved" her with a school boy kind of love, how we never dated but always should have. Maybe. I hope she remembers me, because I remember her. And everything. She hasn't changed. Still keeps the platinum blonde hair. Still wears spaghetti straps (this on turquoise) with the bra straps showing (magenta). Still wears those really short booty shorts (black; it looked like a mini shirt at first, but it wasn't, just really ugly short shorts). Some ghost straight out of my brain. Terrifying. And not in a comical sense. My heart starts pounding. Breath shortens. I get confused. The wife sitting right next to me, and I am weirded out by this phantom, so I tell her. I knew that girl, back in high school. How strange it was to see. Steph giggles, and we talk about friends we lost track of, never knew what happened to them. That was it.

All these feelings erupted from somewhere I can't place. I had a huge crush on this girl when I was 14. I don't know why, she wasn't nice. Most girls at 14 aren't. When we were kids, fifth grade, she shoved me for some reason I can't remember, and I totally ate on the sidewalk in the front of the cafeteria. Bashed my head against the gray cement. Huge lump, but no blood, no broken anything. Could not have been more embarrassed. And she was almost a foot taller than me. And pretty. And way out of my league. Had kissed people before (I hadn't). But, whatever, she was hot and I couldn't help liking her. But here's the thing: all these feelings came back to me, sitting there in that uncomfortable waiting room. Feelings that disappeared almost overnight when she moved. Feelings that pricked my brain stem from time to time, see if she's still alive, what's she up to. Nothing much. I get that way about a lot of people. But seeing her and that surge of emotion startled me. At first. But what baffled me even more was that they were dead. Those feelings. Corpses of feelings that I had, somehow still whole and disguisable from other feelings, but lifeless. Not even memories, but the idea of memories, or memories of memories, or even constructed memories around ideas of something that never really was. I don't know. But we were there, in that room, together but not at all together, and I felt everything for her, everything I used to feel, but deceased feelings long since ignored. I didn't like that feeling, the feeling I still have right now, typing this, why I'm typing this. I didn't like feeling emotions that have been locked in memories, hidden away so that I forget them. I didn't like that unexplainable zombie-ish draw. I don't know. I don't know what I'm saying. My day is just all muddled now.

It's just easier to keep memories were they are, wherever that is. Buried deep where I can't find them. It hurts too much to remember, sometimes. To know what you should have done but didn't. To know that what you used to be isn't who you are now (for good or bad). To know that you still live with your parents, at 28, being married, with a kid, and still only working part, trying to make ends almost meet. To know you aren't really an artist, no matter how much you wish you were, and wish other people thought you were too. To know, that in the end, it's the surfacing of those dead memories that makes you feel like you are nothing at all, because you still want to be that 14 year old boy, confused about everything, in love with every girl you see, happy just to get a hug and have your faced smashed into a girls small chest because that's as far as you'll ever get with any from the female species. To know that in the end, your life is amazing, that you have the sexiest wife there is with the best kid there is living in the best country there is (that's debatable), but you aren't happy because something is eating you from inside and you don't know what it is. To know you will die and still be wishing you had done more, been more, helped more. To not be who you want to be. Alone, even with loved ones, still alone underneath your quaking skin.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Rage in its purest form:

This is going to be angry. Probably preachy. And completely emotionally driven (see all those adverbs already?). I can't guarantee that it will be worth anything, but it is what it is.


I have this issue with people, and I think a lot of us do: individuals who open their mouths and start spouting off nonsense about a subject they know nothing about. It's a disease, and at times we all suffer brief, unexpected, relapses; but there are those, who for whatever reason, never received the vaccine to combat the stupidity. "Foot in mouth disease" my parents called it. True indeed.

Here's the story from today (or, at least as much story as I can give to preserve face for those involved): Me and few other individuals were having a relatively decent conversation about religion. I know, right away: "what do you expect from a conversation like that?" I know. Believe me, I know. And usually I don't get involved, I just let people say what they want, express whatever denominational point-of-view they prescribe to, and leave it at that. But these people didn't know what they were talking about because they were trying to define Christianity (a difficult task at best), and were really screwing up Christian history, so I had to jump in. Now, I am no "expert" in the classical sense (degree and all), but I have been a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints my whole life (28 years+), so that has to account for something. And I've had several history and religion classes, whatever. So I jumped in, and tried to straighten things out. Great. Nothing preachy, just simple dates and historical facts. Makes sense. Simple stuff, too. About Constantine and the Romans and his vision of the cross and the transition over to "Christianity" for the Romans and how he combined the Pagan holidays, etc. Pretty common stuff most people read about it in high school or GE college courses. Then we disputed the Bible, how it's been mistranslated, corrupted, edited, etc. Things got a little shaky, but still on track. Anyway. Then one of the individuals involved started spouting off some seriously misguided accusations about Mormons. Mind you, I've taken a lot of flak over the years from people about being a member of the Church, friends and not alike. It comes with the territory. And for the most part, I can handle it, because it comes from a place of bounding (with friends, anyway; others, you just have to ignore). But when people start repeating rumors and blatant lies about the Church -- and any religion for that matter -- that they know nothing about, I get angry. I won't try to recreate what was said verbatim, for my inability to be accurate, but here is the gist of it:

What Mormons believe (according to horribly confused person): 
- Joe Smith made up the Book of Mormon
- Mormonism is a business. We send missionaries on missions to convert people so the Church can get more money
- The Book of Mormon and the Bible are the same
- You can't prove anything in the Book of Mormon is true, so it's not true. Mormon scientists have tried to prove it's true, and they couldn't
- Mitt Romney (and other Mormon politicians) were/are financially supported by the Church
- All Mormons are very judgmental

Unfortunately, that's all I can remember. But that's basically all of it. And this person backed up his/her statements by saying: "I've written a lot of essays on Mormonism." Well good for you. Since when does writing "a lot" of essays make you an expert? (which no doubt was not a lot, judging by this person's writing skills) I've written dozens of essay on a variety of texts, but I would never, and I mean never (no matter how much I may joke about it) consider myself an expert on any piece of literature. I had professors in college, who had been teaching for at least a decade or two, and were still learning about books they studied in college, books they wrote their theses on, books they loved and analyzed and devoured and tore apart until their eyes bleed and there was nothing left on the page but red and black. And even they, with their brains so stretched it was all their skulls could do to keep their heads from exploding, even they were still learning, still growing, still finding new truths in their beloved texts. They are experts. And I still, now, will go to them with questions about those texts, and stories in general, because I know they know. Because they have worked for it. It's taken me years to realize that I know little to nothing, years of school and getting things wrong, and right, especially when it comes to other people's beliefs.

I'm no theologian. Far from it. But I know my stuff. Like I said, I've been studying it for 28 years. Certainly there are gaps in my knowledge, big gaps; but what I know, I know I know well. And I try very hard not to assume I know anything about other religions. That's stupid. Idiotic. Disrespectful. Presumptuous. And infuriating. How can we claim to know what someone else believes, when we don't believe it ourselves? It's ridiculous. It sounds like this: all Muslims are terrorists. Ludicrous. It's rash and assumptive and pathetic. It's a weak defense mechanism to try and rationalize our own menial existence in this difficult, dark, angry world. We are all alone, trying to figure what to do next, but we're lost and don't know where we are (probably at the bottom of an ever-change staircase with no lights and no ventilation). And rather than help each other, since that too is difficult and frustrating and time consuming, we find pieces in people we don't understand, pieces that we may not agree with, and we attack, hoping to destroy that person, or his/her beliefs, to add to them to the pile of bodies beneath our feet to help us climb out of that darkness. It's moronic. Because in the end, no matter how many bodies we acquire, we can never reach the top of that infinitely increasing stair.

But I digress.

I could refute all of that person's misconceptions about the Church, but to what point? You don't care, and that's fine. You don't have to care. Nor should you. And I don't care that you don't care. These are my beliefs, and as much as I want others to believe what I believe, feel what I feel, I know that not everyone is interested to hear what I believe. And that's fine. That's life, and that's what makes it interesting.

But I will say this, just to set the record straight: I believe that Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon from gold plates given to him by an angel. I believe the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ, just as the Old and New Testaments are. I believe that we cannot know everything in this life; we can't hope to beginning to understand the true nature of the universe, no matter how awesome our telescopes become, or how amazing the LHC is with its brilliant and wonderful and ground breaking discoveries (I love science). There is so much still to learn. I know that God exists, that Jesus Christ is His son, and that the Holy Ghost teaches us truth. And I believe that those three are three separate beings. I believe that I am a son of God, that we all are children of a Heavenly Father. I believe this, and so much more, but for the sack of time and space, I'll conclude by saying that I believe The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the only true church on the face of the earth the teaches the whole gospel of Jesus Christ. That is what I believe.

You may not agree. And you don't have to. You may think I'm crazy. That's fine. You may be the exact opposite: an Agnostic, or Atheist, or whatever. Sweet. We can still be friends. We can still get along and have great discussions and explore the world and life together. Isn't that the point? We are still people, trying to figure out this crazy messed up rock orbiting that giant ball of nuclear explosions spinning in the black void we call outer space. We are just people, trying.

What more do you want from me?

What more should I want from you?


*     *

As a white middle-class male growing up in the suburbs, there were two phrase/mantras I heard from almost everyone I knew:

"Ignorance is bliss"
"The truth is difficult to digest"

I think those phrases somehow over the years have gotten mixed up, some mistranslation decades, or centuries ago, when people started thinking more and living less. It should be:

"Truth is bliss"
"Ignorance is difficult to digest"

That sounds right. I just want truth. I just want people to want me to want truth. And I want them to want truth for themselves. Whatever that truth may be. I believe in universal truth, one ultimate overruling truth that governs all. But that doesn't mean everyone does. And we need to find whatever truth makes us happy, and makes us better people. So we can help others be better people. I just want truth. Not facts, not statistics, not theories or conjectures or postulations; not opinions based on Wikipedia or online news sources; not something someone whose name you can't remember said to you once at a place you never visited. Just truth. That's all.

Am I crazy?


Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Glow of Disillusion (and cancer, and death)

I posted this on my Facebook a week or so ago, and I thought it deserved repeating here, and I'll explain why. This is a conversation I had with one of my students (who is Asian by the way, if that makes a difference):

              Student: "Are you related to Confucius?"
              Me: "Do I look Asian?"
              Student: "You're always talking all philosophical and stuff."

I laughed. And initially I took his response as a compliment. I was flattered. In their eyes, I’m a philosopher, I’m Confucius, an ancient man of wisdom that far surpasses their own. But, no. Not even close. And I started thinking about the conversation. It started to bother me.

So here’s the context. Last week during a class break, a few students were talking about smart phones. How they love their smart phones, can’t live without them, wouldn’t remember how to breathe if they didn’t have it with them. I have a dumb phone. I love that it’s dumb. It keeps me sane. It keeps me grounded. It keeps reality stable and definable. So I went off on a little tirade about cell phones. The students were talking about smart phones being progress, and the future, how cell phones were changing us and making progress possible and blah blah blah. Totally bull. I told them that cell phones weren’t progress, but that we were convincing ourselves they were progress because we don’t know how to talk about this new technology that separates us, that divides communication, that disconnects the world from physical reality; we don't know how to talk about consumer driven "advancements" in technology. Apparently that mentality is philosophical.

I’m cool with that.

Here’s the problem: during the entire conversation, every one of the students stared at their smart phone's glowing LCD screen. Texting. Emailing. Checking status updates, Twitter feeds, or Instagram images. Racking up points on Candy Crush. Nonsense. All means to killing time, destroy brain cells, fill their minds with useless information and images, all the while giving them cancer of the eye.


This is the world we live in, I’m told. This is the way of the future. Progress. I don’t get it. I don't get how pointing out the discrepancies of virtual communication and thwarting the powers of consumerism can be considered philosophical. The idea that pulling your face away from some plastic rectangle to interact with other flesh and blood and bones and muscles makes you philosophical terrifies me. Philosophers weren't/aren't men of the obvious, of the physically definable world (at least not in the sense that I am talking). They dwell in ideas: ethics, reason, the sublime, identity, relationships (of human and object kind), discipline and punishment, government, etc.

I’m a teacher. It’s my responsibility to make sure that my students are learning – and in my case, they are learning how to write. Essays. Resumes. Cover letters. Business emails. Skills that they will need if they hope to get a job once they graduate and become part of this capitalist regime. And yet, all they want are Apps and Lols and no-grammar-necessary lives. They want ease. Over simplification. Luxury without work.

I don’t blame cell phones, at least not entirely. They are a part of a disease, a growing malignancy choking out millennia of hard work, of connection. Not a golden age (no such place existed) but a place where faces were real, where people shook hands, and hugged, and kissed, and told things to each other with vocalized words; where texting in class wasn’t an issue, and laptops were paper notebooks, and you looked people in the eye when you spoke them; where we couldn’t avoid each other on the bus, or train, or plane, or wherever, behind some false screen representing someone else’s version of our reality.

Where am I going with all this? I don’t know. I never know. I’m just trying to figure out my life before it’s too late. There are all these influences and experiences and changes in my life, in the world, that I don’t understand, that I don’t want, that I don’t like, that if I could I would cut the cord of everything and just be for the sake of being. But I can’t. Because life doesn’t work that way. Not in 2013. Not in the new generation. Not in this world of technological progress and growth and ease and “brilliance”. Not here. Not anywhere. We've created a disease of upgradable consumerism.

Just give me a Hobbit Hole. That’s all I want. Some place to lay at night next to a fire with my wife and children, reading a story, hot chocolate mustaches all around, and the world outside asleep, the stars keeping us safe, watching, burning through space and time to make sure we are okay, that life still goes on, but without interruption, without fear. Without falsified progress.