Storytellin’!

November 29, 2009

So I did some storytellin’ the other day. Hit up 7:00 minutes in or so, though the rest of the show’s fun too. I really enjoy this weird magical realism/jazz mode I write in sometimes… If you ever wonder how I thought it up, read Coming Through Slaughter. Incredible book that I could rant about for days, it’s basically a half-truth poetic pseudo-biography of a historically mysterious jazz musician who played before jazz was called jazz. But yeah! Here:

Click here, Mr. saxophone player.

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This Isn’t My Story…

August 24, 2009

…but, frankly, after hearing it earlier, I feel both the need to write it down and the feeling that I probably couldn’t do any better. From an Aikido class:

“A man was running from a lion. He stumbled and fell right over a cliff. He grabbed a weak tree branch on the way down. The ground was fifteen feet below him. Immediately, a bear noticed him hanging and started clawing at his feet from the ground as the lion swiped at him from above. Barely hanging on, he noticed a lone strawberry growing within arm’s reach on the cliffside. He reached for it and plucked it. Biting into it, he said: ‘Mmm. Delicious.’ ”

That’s it. Man. As usual, Aikido has more to teach me than I could ever possibly learn. Just so this isn’t totally out of my ball park, I wanted to note that, apparently, I’m on the first page of hits on google when you search for “I don’t even know, man”, “short philosophy poems moon”, “childhood story of man”, and “It is good to renew one’s wonder” (which redirects to my entire poetry section, not just that one poem). Wow. These searches all make me pretty damn happy, haha. (In case you’re wondering, I know this because WordPress tells me what people searched for when they searched and then clicked my blog. It’s pretty fun, although I get tons of “Swiss Chalet” traffic when people search for an image of that. Wait, if I include all of these here, isn’t it gonna maybe all direct to this page? Uh. Hm. Blogsplosion?

…because I thought I was gonna have something bigger ready by tonight, but it ended up not working out yet. Sorry! So, a couple of quick stories. First one’s fictional and based on a much crappier and unfinished short story from high school. This is more or less a beginning to it–maybe I’ll try and write more of it later this week. Too many unfinished projects, haha. Like I said earlier, I’ll try and focus on finishing/continuing stuff soon–most likely this week.

…She was like a portrait, sitting on her windowsill that night. And not a self-portrait, either–No, she was too beautiful for that, too beautiful in so many ways. Too delicate to put brush to canvas, certainly unable to understand the impact she had on every arbitrary passerby. And as Billy pondered all of this, sitting on a tree branch just past the brick wall that guarded her from the rest of the world (And rightfully so!, thought Billy), he could only stray his mind so far from her beauty. Any other thoughts were justified or proven immediately wrong by that central, utterly important quality. Was she a good person? She is beautiful. Was her family loving and supportive of her? She is beautiful. Was she happy? Beautiful. Beautiful.

That night, that one damp, mid-fall night, Billy decided he would have to wait until he grew up. Another long decade, but it would be worth it. He would grow up, many years from now, and hope all the while that she would still be there, in her brick tower’s windowsill, waiting for him. If only she was unhappy, thought Billy. Then I could rescue her.

And this one’s real and quite quick: I was walking around Brown one day last year and came upon an older woman who was standing in the middle of a sidewalk, looking around confusedly. I walked up and she briskly asked me, “Do you know where the dining hall is?”
“Oh, uh, which one?”
“I don’t know which one.”
“Well, there’s a lot of them… are you looking for someone?”
“Yes. They’re somewhere around here. I’ve been looking for an hour.”
“Er, do you need some help–”
“No, I’m fine. Thank you for your help, anyway.”
“Oh! Uh, alright. I hope it works out for you–”
“It will.”

And she marched off in the direction I came from.

This one’s pretty simple but a lot of fun. I was at a football game at a local college in my hometown, in about fourth grade or so. In the stadium where the team plays there’s a big, steep grassy hill that overlooks either end of the field. All the kids would get pieces of cardboard and slide down the hill on them. Honestly, it was at least half of the reason I wanted to go to games there, haha. Usually most of the kids got their cardboard from snack stands. The stand would sell pizza from pizza boxes, then leave the boxes outside of the back door for the kids to pick up and take over to the hill. Good times.

One time, though, I went down to the snack stand as usual to get one of the pizza boxes to sled on, and discovered that the snack stand was now charging kids for the boxes, fifty cents a pop. I was, frankly, pretty pissed off. Keep on Readin’ on?

Got back at midnight and way too tired to do anything substantial tonight, although I do want to point out this AMAZING movie I saw earlier tonight, which is most of the reason I’m tired: The Room changed my life. Think “Rocky Horror Picture Show” in the sense that there’s a lot of hilarious audience interaction/traditions that goes on during the film. Except this is so much more fun and hilarious; it’s incredible. To give you an idea: in the room that about 75% of the film takes place in (Which is a completely ordinary room with no other plot significance) there’s some pictures in frames on a desk. One of these pictures is of a spoon. That’s it. The tradition is that, whenever that picture appears, you yell “SPOON!” and throw a plastic spoon at the screen. This happens at least 15 times during the movie, and never stops being amazing.

There’s a lot of great little traditions like that, and you catch on to all of them right after they’re done once, so it’s really fun from the very beginning, unlike RHPS which kind of builds up a bit. Other favorites include cheering whenever the camera pans across the golden gate bridge and then going “Aww!” if the camera doesn’t make it all the way across, how every other line of conversation is hilarious (I am not exaggerating here), cheering as the main character buys flowers, and the fact that the movie is directed, produced, written and starred-in by Tommy Wiseau of “Wiseau-Films.” I seriously can’t hype this movie enough; it was incredibly hyped for me and I still couldn’t get a smile off of my face until 20 minutes after the movie ended. Soooo showing this at Brown when I get back, you don’t even know, man.

You might vaguely remember a guy from one of my Santa Fe entries who, among a lot of other things, told me about his friend who left his necklace outside in the full moon all night to make it a sort of talisman. After I heard about that, I wanted to try something like it, though something a bit more “me” and maybe a tad less cliche. I’m usually not that big on supernatural stuff, but I do believe that a lot of things can change if you’re very conscious of something you want (See: Placebos, that water bottle from Space Jam). So, I thought on it for a while, and eventually got the idea earlier today to use this bracelet I got in a Chicago craft market a while back as an as-of-yet-unnamed charm when I want to make things more eventful, insightful, or just plain strange in general–not so much a lucky charm as much of a luck-polarizing charm, where things go back and forth between extremely lucky and extremely unlucky.

And wouldn’t you know it, it worked! I think. Keep on Readin’ on?

July 5, 2009

Ohh, this one’s good. Not many people know about this story, but it’s one of my favorites, despite not being the most fun to actually go through. So, yeahh, there was this one time when I got interrogated and was the prime suspect for a 200$ theft…

I was playing soccer in a gym in a P. E. class, back in tenth grade. There was this pretty big guy, Hispanic, a year ahead of me, and actually a pretty cool cat after I got to know him later on in the year. He was wearing pocketless gym shorts but for some reason didn’t want to leave the wallet in his gym locker, so he placed it on a bench in the corner of the gym and asked the goalie (read: me) to watch it for him during the game. I sorta passively said yes, not really thinking about it, and kept playing the game on through. The game eventually ended–didn’t really keep score, but for one guy guarding a giant wall as the goal, I think I did pretty okay–and people started heading back to the locker room. I looked over to the bench where the wallet was supposed to be sitting… Keep on Readin’ on?

#1: I walked into a custom hat shop one day in Santa Fe, hoping to find a crazy shop that made tons of different kinds of hats (hopefully with optional pom-poms on top?). Instead, I found shelves upon shelves of mesmerizingly beauitufl ten gallon hats. There was a guy there in one such hat with a magnificent southern drawl and a fantastic blonde ‘stache. Keep on Readin’ on?

While I was in Santa Fe I spent a lot of time at the Santa Fe Complex, a wonderful, wonderful place downtown that throws events involving
(and supports the creation of) creative projects involving the combination of visual art/music/etc. and technology. When I first got there they were just taking down “FrankenCircuit,” which had some really creative uses of technology in installations, like that crazy pink thing in “Santa Fe, Part 1”, lots of cables, television sets, metal structures, and so on. You should really check the place out if you’re ever in town; they’re a fantastic group of people.

Later on in the week I participated in an “UUUUT,” which was an open-to-the-public experimental music thing. Basically, for an hour there was a really sensitive microphone in the middle of the room, and a rule that it couldn’t get too loud, but other than that anyone could hop in with whatever they wanted to use as an instrument. There were computers, drums, trash cans, a guitar, duct tape (yours truly!), a chair, an accordion, and much more. So much fun! The good part is that it’s online right here! Fair warning: it’s an hour long and very, very creepy. But really cool and varied! I played a synthesizer on my phone, my friend’s djembe drum, and the duct tape rip. Some highlights if you want to hear me and my friends playing:

At about 35 minutes in: Me and a random lady do a drum duet for about a minute. She was playing on a trash can. (No street lights around, sadly.)
At 40 minutes 40 seconds: One of the many times I’m on the synthesizer. The ghostly wailing thing is me.
About 35 seconds from the end: Something we coordinated (literally) at the last minute. I’ll leave it as a surprise.

Also, one of my friends is the guitar player (I love the parts where it goes from really creepy and loud to just a pretty-sounding guitar), and both of them traded off the synthesizer and the drum with me here and there.

June 29, 2009

Oh hey, we passed 1000 hits last week! That’s about 30 hits per each of the 30 posts, over the course of about 4 months. I’m pretty happy, personally. Thank you! I mean, yeah, you; if you’re reading this then I’m assuming you contributed at least once today, if not before a few times too. Unless someone on the internet is stealing this paragraph and posting it somewhere else, in which case, uh, wow, I’m flattered? And/or you might try a blog with a little more readership and a little less self-hatin’? (This entire paragraph is going to be really funny someday if the blog hits it big, haha.)

In partybration of this semimomentous occasion, here’s what I think is probably my favorite story I’ve undergone since I started this blog. This one’s a little long, but it’s pretty good, I think! I’m admittedly not really sure how I feel about putting this on the internet—that is, I feel a little weird just talking about these guys on the internet with them not knowing about it, and even weirder for the amount of analysis I give to the situation and them. But, I’d like to remember it and share it with people, so hopefully they’ll understand if they ever happen upon this little corner of the internet themselves. For these reasons, I’ll give them fake names, which is actually just as well since I only got one of their names, anyway. In any case, I really appreciate the conversation, guys.

Well, about halfway through the Santa Fe trip last week, I was walking by myself past a parking lot in a park. In the lot there was an old red truck parked with three guys in it, two in the car’s seats and one guy sitting in the back. The guy in the driver’s seat called over to me. “Hey! Know where we can get wasted around here?” Keep on Readin’ on?