Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Sleep: I Remember That.

I've been disgustingly busy lately. And I haven't been sleeping from a combination of having too much to do, and too much to think about it. For the last five days or so, I don't suppose I've averaged over four solid hours of sleep per night, and before that I wasn't exactly getting eight hours a night. I finally had a little free time this evening, sort of, and I collapsed. So from six to eleven, I was sleeping. And, my, it was glorious sleep, too.

But like most things that feel good at the time, it's going to come back to bite me in the ass. Because, as far as my body is concerned now, I've already gotten my five hours of sleep for the night, and it's ready to meet the day. Unfortunately, it's 1:30 in the morning, and I need to be going to sleep again now, so I can actually stay up past noon tomorrow. But the body doesn't feel like sleeping; it knows that we've already slept in, for goodness sake!

So that's annoying. And now I'm debating between taking a sleeping pill and having that annoying drugged feel all day tomorrow, or just sucking it up and staying tired tomorrow, and trying to fix it gradually. Either way, tomorrow, kind of a pivotal day in terms of my life, is going to be spent largely in the misery of drug-or-deprivation-induced incoherence.

In any case, I suppose I should take advantage of a few minutes of being awake and sort of lucid. I'm going to go write my brother a letter that doesn't suck, to replace my last one, which pretty much did. And I'm going to try to get some junk done for school. And to top the boring evening off, I'll try talking myself into sleeping.

Goodnight, cruel world!

Tuesday, June 29, 2004


I haven't meant to be so absent recently. But I'm quite busy doing not a lot that I'm allowed to talk about. Soon enough I'll be able to spill the secret. Don't get too excited; it doesn't really concern anyone who reads this, and it isn't terribly exciting news for me personally. At this point, in fact, it's mostly just time consuming.

But today was nice. I got to play pool with my sister for a little while. The whole weekend was nice, really. Rory was in town, so there was much movie watching, and fishing, and hide and seek playing. But all the good times mean that work sort of piled up on me, and now I'm playing catch up.

Well, that's consequences for you. I wonder when my life is going to start to calm down. You'd think it would soon.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

I've been thinking lately about how many of life's limitations are self-imposed. It's easier to simply write something off as impossible than it is to really work to make it so. But who wants to live a life of limitations? It's safer, sure, but not nearly so rewarding. And I think there has to be more to living than the fear of dying.

I've been reevaluating the things that are important to me. What I really want out of this life is just to matter to the people who matter to me; and, I suppose, to make that circle of people grow larger rather than smaller over time.

Insofar as that is true, I can't afford lethargy in the essentials. That's my focus for the time being. My other huge worries - making something of myself, not squandering my potential, what in the hell am I going to be, etc. - are going to have to take a back seat for a while.

Monday, June 21, 2004

"And in a sense, this terrible situation is the pattern and prototype of all sin; the deliberate and formal will to reject disinterested love for us for the purely arbitrary reason that we simply do not want it. We will to separate ourselves from that love. We reject it entirely and absolutely, and will not acknolwedge it, simply because it does not please us to be loved. Perhaps the inner motive is that the fact of being loved disinterestedly reminds us that we all need love from others, and depend upon the charity of others to carry on our own lives. And we refuse love, and reject society, in so far as it seems, in our own perverse imagination, to imply some obscure kind of humiliation."

- Thomas Merton, The Seven Storey Mountain

"Some people live closely guarded lives, fearful of encountering someone or something that might shatter their insecure spiritual foundation. This attitude, however, is not the fault of religion but of their own limited understanding. True Dharma leads in exactly the opposite direction. It enables one to integrate all the many diverse experiences of life into a meaningful and coherent whole, thereby banishing fear and insecurity completely."

-Lama Thubten Yeshe, Wisdom Energy

Euchre Blows.

Last night Jasmin and Co. attempted the impossible. And, predictably, they did not succeed. Being nice people they tried to ignore my imbecility. But it shone through regardless. I lost whenever I didn't have a brilliant partner to fix all my mistakes. Or, at least, I think they were mistakes. As a matter of fact, I haven't the foggiest whether they were mistakes or not. I was just throwing cards.

I spent the majority of yesterday, though, just reading books. During school, I forget how much I love to read. I reread Thomas Merton's autobiography, The Seven Storey Mountain over the course of the last week. Man, it was lovely. This summer I really want to take the time to read a lot of the books I've been putting off for a while. And I think I'll even have time to do it. That's such a happy thought! Ahh, to be a geek in the summertime, and free!

Well, I'm not particularly free today. I have a lot of work I have to do, so I suppose I had better get on it.

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Elegy for an Abstraction.

This will be a strange, vague, blog. An elegy, in a sense, for a love I never really had. It doesn’t have anything to do, consequently, with anyone who might be reading this blog today. In fact, the subject has to do with a life I lived when I was away from myself.

Once upon a time, I lived a life in which circumstance had driven me to abstraction. The only thing that the material and the real had taught me was how to bury myself away. Staring down the barrel of a gun, I swallowed a bottle of pills, and with it went all of my pain. And when I’d slept it all off, I awoke only long enough to burrow myself down into a fortress that no one real could see or touch.

The fear of Reality had infested my insides, gnawing away at my hope for those things yet to be seen. I became not me; I became other. And far away from the world of men and angels, the me that was not allowed pulsating waves of non-material to reforge the broken heart.

I found my first love there. A silly, fragile, love, as melodramatic as any first tottering step toward transcendence. And like any great fool, I based it all on a lie. A little betrayal to make myself safe and ensure my distance. It is a brave and humble thing to allow yourself to be loved as you are and not as you are not, and I had not yet ever seen such a thing as bravery or humility.

But wondrous and mighty are the ways of the Lord, who makes straight the paths of the crooked. Through my first lie, I found the first great truth. That truth crumbling away my safety and certainty, as is only just and good. From my betrayal sprung forth the first fidelity I had ever known. And the fortress I had built for myself, away from pain and suffering, became so replete with the stench of my cowardice, that I was forced to abandon the only comfort in this world that I had ever known.

My love faded hard. The first few weeks shook me like addiction. And when it had withered away, I was left with nothing but longing and the emptiness that had been growing in me all the days of my life. That, and the knowledge of the lie, and the memory of a love I could never again feel.

Even now, I suffer tremors when I think of the innocence that was not, and of the love that preferred thought to touch. When the material bears down heavy and is burdensome, I think of the abstraction. The abstraction was nearly enough. It was the completeness of nearly all things. And yet, that love was a false love, as are all loves not based in the One Love.

The soul of man will not find peace until it finds itself comfortable in its place. The place of man is not in the abstraction. There is no peace in a lie, nor can the heart truly love when it is distant. A saint loves what is, and cares not for what is not. And that is why the sinful heart cares only for the latter.

The paradox of the abstraction - the nonsense of a first love - this is the closest I have come to knowing heaven, filled with the warmth of an everlasting hell.

Friday, June 18, 2004

New Car.

So today I bought my new car. Got a little Ford Focus, or Food Forcus as I keep accidentally saying. I'm pretty happy with it, I guess. It's a standard transmission, which makes me very happy, because I kind of prefer them. I've always preferred them, except in the Ranger, and that's not just because it's standard. It's because it has 170,000 miles on it, and it's sort of impossible to drive without extensive training all its own.

So that's the big news for the day. I'm broke now, which is lovely. But not totally. I still plan on taking some trips this summer. It'll be nicer in the new car.

I've decided to participate in a book burning. Participate is hardly a strong enough word as a matter of fact. It's really my book burning.

Well, must run, more typing later.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

I loathe making big decisions, and here I am in the midst of several of them.

For one, I have to buy a new car. For another, I have to figure out what the hell it is I plan to do with this summer, and by extension, the rest of my life.

I don't really want to buy a new car, or figure out my life, but fate has handed me these things and now I have to deal with them. The answer to all of this, of course, is meditation, and that is the absolute last thing I'm thinking about doing just now.

From time to time I launch on these anti-thought/spirit/meaning kicks, and I'm in the midst of one now. I suppose I'll get over it. The world is full of emptiness, and my sights are on the world just now.w

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

I'm having a difficult time deciding if it's destructive or not, to suddenly lose some of your eccentric, probably destructive, traits. It's almost like a major mood swing, out of nowhere, and frankly, I'm not all that experienced at having such things.

If a behavior is bad, you change it. But what if it's only minorly bad, and you really are sort of fond of it? Well, that's the conundrum I'm in. I mean, you can't force yourself to do much of anything, insofar as habit and emotion are concerned. But I guess you can force a tendency, if you try hard enough. The question now remains, is that regressive behavior, or is it an acceptable erm, I guess you'd say, foible.

Anyway, I'm being purposely vague, so I don't know why I bothered bringing it up. Outside, that is, of that it reveals an odd tendency in my personality to demand perfection, even while I'm purposefully arranging for the lack thereof.

I'm thoroughly enjoying summer on the whole, though I haven't done much noteworthy. Thinking back, on June 15th of last year, I believe I was in Ireland. I wish I was there now. It would almost certainly be cooler out, in any case, and I would like to walk around like a drunken, homeless bum on O'Connell Street again.

April and I went to see Saved the other night and it was the best time I think I've had with her in a while, though I can't pinpoint why. Maybe it had something to do with the milkshakes. Or maybe it was just because I wasn't, for the first time since Fall, distracted by some paper I had to write, or some book I really had to get to reading. I don't know, but it was nice.

I managed an A in my 598 class, and an A in my English class. I'm only marginally annoyed by my A- in Stats. On the one hand, the equivocation of a minus totally blows, and I don't really see how it's fair that you can have an A- and not a A+. On the other hand, hell, any kind of A in a Math class is welcome, and knowing that I totally biffed, to quote Randy, on the final, it's stupid to complain.

I'm debating what class/classes I should take this summer. There are a lot of variables, and I debating on whether or not I care to work harder and get more. Or work less hard, and get pretty much the same, plus free time.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Right now I'm having trouble getting motivated to do all the stuff that I really kind of want to do. Like blog, for instance. I've been thinking over the old blog lately, and I actually have a few ideas for some changes I could make around this place. But then again, it all sounds like so much work. And I'm just not particularly interested in doing any work. Plus, I'm having a little difficulty with this blog, and what I can write in it and what I can't. The thing is, most of my thoughts these days are people, and not abstract ideas. I don't mind discussing the abstract in front of the world and everybody, but I don't think it's right to talk about people here, so I'm having a hard time coming up with stuff to say. Maybe break will recharge me a little.

In other news, I'm finally done with school for this wretched quarter, and this wretched year. I just have to get through Biology this summer, and I'm done for my entire wretched life, if I want to be. I don't know if I really do or not. Graduate school sounds like a really convenient way to put off being an adult for a while longer.

But then again, more and more, being an adult sounds like less of a bad thing. I've spent the last couple of days with my niece's baby, and my cousin's baby, and all I can think about is how I've neglected, purposefully, this huge part of my personality. I'm reconsidering all these notions about myself that I developed when I was like thirteen, that maybe shouldn't apply to me quite so much now that I'm past junior high school and my life is different. At the same time, I came to those conclusions, premature though they might have been, for good reasons, a considerable proportion of which still apply.

I turned 22 last Thursday. A lot of people did a lot of nice things for me, but it was still a lonely birthday somehow. I think they're going to become increasingly so as I continue to age. Adult years go by a lot faster than the younger ones did, for better and for worse.

I'm full of random thoughts tonight. I'm not all that coherent. I hate OSU's website for being down, so I can't check my grades.

Monday, June 07, 2004

Still working on my paper....

My entire mindset is consumed with lethargy at the moment. I woke up at 11 this morning, and so far the only positive good I've accomplished all day is talking to Jasmin on the phone. I haven't worked on my paper, or studied for my stats exam, or even returned my stupid library book; hell, I haven't even gotten around to taking a shower yet today. I'm just lethargic. I know I have to start kicking my own ass into gear soon.

My stats exam is tomorrow, and I guess I have plenty of time to study for it then, but a day spent on stats is a day not spent working on my paper. Wednesday night, my friends are all going out, so I probably won't get much done then. Thursday is my family birthday party thing, so that'll take a chunk out of my day. And it's due Friday. So right now, I seriously need to be working on my stuff. But am I? Hell no! I'm telling you all about how I really need to start working on it.

Blah. I've done a little. I've reworked my intro quite nicely I think. But I'm facing the daunting task of maybe reworking my whole damn paper, because I'm not satisfied with it. I know I can get away with a lot less, but I can't morally excuse myself for turning in something lesser than what I'm capable of producing. Stupid moral code. Anyway, it's all so damn daunting that I never really get started.

But starting now, I'm really going to start working. Right now, I'm going to get up and take a shower. Then I'm going to return my library book. Then I'm going to lay out my new arguments. Then I'm going to work on fitting them into the greater structure of my existing paper. And then maybe I'll sleep some.

Yes, well, this has been a boring, anal as hell blog, and I apologize for my utter lack of anything interesting, worthy or particularly clever to say.

Sunday, June 06, 2004

Happy day of birth Tyron!

My great-nephew, Tyron Timothy Brickley, was born today at 4:15pm. He weighed six pounds, twelve ounces, and was nineteen inches long. And he's a very lucky little guy, because his umbilical cord wrapped around his neck, and he wasn't breathing. It was pretty scary for a while because he was born blue in color, with no heart rate. At first they couldn't stimulate him; he wouldn't cry and his reflexes weren't reacting. But the doctors worked on him, and now he's doing fine. He's a healthy baby boy, and he looks just like his momma and uncle Robbie. On second thought though, I guess he would have been more lucky if his cord hadn't wrapped around his neck in the first place, but you take what you're handed in life sometimes.

Anyway! Pics to follow soon! In the meantime: Baby Tyron's Website.

Though a new baby in the family is always a welcome and happy event, there's a sadness to it too in my family. My niece Brianne had a little boy last year that none of us have been able to see. In fact, none of us have been allowed to see Brianne either; she's disappeared. The baby was apparently adopted out to a woman whom, despite my general objectivity in language and temperament, I can only describe as an evil bitch. I found out not very long ago that his full name is Bryson Andrew Tackett. I've never met the little guy, but I think about him a lot. There's a hole you can feel at family events without Brianne and Bryson there. It seems sad that Ty won't grow up with his cousin Bryson like Brianne and Jessica grew up together. I wonder if I'll ever get to hold him, or know him, or even just see him.

For now, it's comforting to have Ty to play with. And with the promise of more babies soon (my brother's expecting one in November), there's a lot to look forward to.

Finals Weekend.

I've been so busy I haven't had time to write, even though it doesn't feel like I've really been doing anything.

Friday, April, her little brother Jason, and I went to see the new Harry Potter movie. I messed up a bunch of kids lives by telling Jasmin that there were parts that might sort of scare them, if the second movie gave them nightmares. If they ever find out that I'm the reason they're not allowed to see it until they're older, they'll kill me. It was a nice day.

We also played catch. I apparently pulled muscles in my sides or something, cause the next day I woke up with sore sides like crazy. I'd forgotten about playing catch already, and I would have assumed that would hurt my arm and not my side, so it was sort of crazy for a while trying to figure out what the hell was wrong with me.

The most important part of the day was when April cleaned my truck. My truck was totally disgusting. I refuse to take the blame for it, cause it's really my dad's truck, and he was the one getting mud and cigarette smoke all over it. But it was nasty, anyway. And now it smells much better. It smells suspiciously like April, to be sure, but I guess that beats crusty old cigarette smoke smell. Thanks LoLo!

Yesterday was spent looking over my 598 paper. I didn't feel like my prof had ripped my paper all that bad when I first got my review, and I guess he didn't. But the corrections I have to make are still taking me hours. My introduction is much better now, and it was my idea to do a lot of it. But he took away my organizational structure pretty much, so it's sort of a pain in the ass to have to redo so much of my paper, which he called well-written. Yeah, well, the editorial process bites.

The really good news of today is that my niece Jessica is in labor. I was hoping the kid would be born on my birthday, but for Jessica's sake, I suppose today is okay too. If she hadn't gone into labor by the 10th, they were going to induce, so I had a pretty good chance of sharing my birthday with the kid. Anyway, I'm going up to see her in a while, and hopefully the baby will be born by then.

I'll post pics later if I get any.

Friday, June 04, 2004

School is over!

Kind of.

Well, regular school is over. Just finals to go. And they're not that bad this quarter. I already got one of them out of the way, so I don't have to go to school on Monday. I have my stats exam Tuesday, and I hope to turn my 598 paper in that day too, though I technically have until Thursday to get it done.

Finals this quarter don't even feel like finals. I'm used to huge half-the-night study sessions at Jasmin's, which mostly involve me just falling asleep and not studying for anything. Without that, it hardly feels as if the quarter's over. I guess I'll adjust when I don't have to show up every day anymore.