Archive for December, 2003

“From The Jeep To The Street, These Are The Hits With More Bounce To The Ouce!”

Monday, December 29th, 2003

From the douchebags that brought you Kidz Bop, Now That’s What I Call Music, Monster Booty, Monsta Jamz, Monsta Flava, Goin’ South, and Ultimate Yanni

…comes Thug Nation.

Even though this company must offer at least a few decent compilations of music (I hope), I absolutely despise the way they market their products. I just saw an ad for “Thug Nation”, and it is completely ridiculous. I have to assume that these people are marketing the music to stupid white suburban kids who like to fool themselves into thinking that they live in “the ghetto”. I can’t imagine any self-respecting “thug” to order this collection of music. (I would think that most already own the albums that the songs come from anyway.) The incredibly “old white guy” sounding narrator reading a script that attempts to emulate current street slang certainly does not convince me that he knows what it is like to live the “thug life”. It’s cheesy, it’s corny, and it seems a bit exploitative. I hope to God that I never have to make ads like these when I get a job.

From the website:

“Whether you’re jeepin’ or creepin’, Thug Nation has got your back!”

From the television commercial:

Are you a true player? Then it’s time to pledge allegiance to the money, power, and respect of Thug Nation—the hugest hood anthems of all time. Guaranteed to get you gangsta! … Whether you’re a hustla, a baller, or a P-I-M-P, Thug Nation is gonna get your game in check. Call or log on, and get your thug on now! These are all the greatest hip-hop hits for the thug in you. … East Coast, West Coast and the rivalry that spawned the biggest mix of all time; it’s Thug Nation, where all your favorite legends of hip-hop are representin’. Where da hood at? It’s ahhll right heeere, dog! … Plus, get blingin’ with this “Holla 4 Thug Nation” bumper sticker, absolutely free with your paid order. Street dreams are made of this. Get Thug Nation now!

::sigh::

“It’s never to late to start planning for the future.”

Friday, December 26th, 2003

Yesterday, on the drive to Follansbee, we passed a graveyard. It was just a large rectangular tract of land in the middle of a valley, with nothing else around except for a river that runs through the valley.

I started to think and wonder what I would like to be done with my remains once I am dead. My first thought was that I would like to be buried on the banks of a large raging river, so that one day the water would rise and carry me away, dashing my corpse against rocks, trees, and other debris. On further contemplation though, I decided that this was a poorly thought out plan because I do not want my tattered corpse to wash up into some poor family’s back yard down stream.

I have decided that I want my body to be burned on a traditional funeral pyre and the ashes to be swept away by the wind, water, or cleaning crew. I do not want any physical memorials to be placed in my name—no headstones, no crosses, no flowers, no gravemarkers of any sort.

I would also like for a public funeral for friends and family to be held, which would be a party of sorts. There would be an abundance of alcohol, music, fireworks, bonfires, etcetera. At this party, people would be encouraged to stand up and say anything that they had ever wanted to say to or about me—either good or bad—but never had. These observations and opinions would be my eulogy, and would be closer to an honest and fair eulogy than most.

An effigy would be constructed to represent me, and it would wear a t-shirt that says: “I consumed more than my fair share in life and in death.” It would be lit on fire and burned up, and people would dance and sing until they were too tired or bored to go on any longer.

Age 64; A Scene From “The Life of Andrew: The Original Motion Picture”

Thursday, December 25th, 2003

[scene]

One time during his later years, an aged and weary Andrew sat down at a café on a warm California Christmas Eve.

“Is there something I can get you today, sir?” asked the waitress.

Her name was Reagan. She was a student at the nearby university—a junior studying business and world economics—and worked just short of 40 hours-a-week as a part-time employee.

(The manager used this strategy with a number of waiters and waitresses so that he could have nearly-full-time workers without having to provide them with full-time worker benefits.)

“I’d like what he is having,” replied Andrew with a wink as he gestured to an attractive young couple a few tables away.

There was an exhausted, cold, seriousness to the statement which caused Reagan to stumble a moment while attempting to figure out if the old man was joking or not. She finally decided that it was mostly jest, and that Andrew was referring to the thin, attractive, wide-eyed companion of the young man.

The young woman had rich brown eyes and straight brown hair that fell just below her shoulders. She was dressed plainly but well, and was madly in love with her handsome young escort.

(In less than five hours, she would be overwhelmed with joy as the young man presented her with a modest but elegant diamond engagement ring. It would be nothing spectacular—just the traditional bended knee, solemn, request for marriage—but at that moment she would believe that she was the most beloved woman ever to exist. And perhaps she would be correct.)

But Andrew was not referring to the young man’s companion. He was not referring to the man’s entrée or beverage either. Nor was he referring to the youth, health, beauty, or modest wealth. What Andrew desired was the young man’s appreciation for all that life had provided for him and the unconcern for all that life had withheld from him.

“The Bourbon Street Chicken with Rice?” inquired Reagan with some hesitance.

“Yes, that would be wonderful,” Andrew responded, “with a glass of lemonade, please.”

[/scene]

This is something that I composed for my other journal [quietist], but felt like sharing here as well.

Selected “Fragments” by Michael Maynard Slingerland

Friday, December 19th, 2003

I decided to peruse my bookshelf last night while unable to sleep, and I found an old book of poetry that I had purchased long ago from a Kanawha County Libraries book sale. I decided to read through it, and much to my surprise I discovered that I could identify greatly with a number of the poems. I have decided to share them here, so without any further ado:

Selected “Fragments” by Michael Maynard Slingerland

Exploding Hearts and Aching Bones

Thursday, December 18th, 2003

Do you ever lie in bed, unable to sleep, mind racing over thoughts of nothing, heart feeling as though it will explode, all your bones aching, trying to bury your head and wet burning eyes into your arm or pillow?

I think that I am afraid of the night.

I like the night. I am the most productive at night. But at night, it sometimes seems that the whole world disappears and I am left all alone. Not just alone, but lonely. I like to be alone sometimes, but I fear being lonely. I think that I would like to live somewhere where the nights are never without at least a faint twilight, because when I am alone in the light, I still feel somehow secure. I feel that people are not far away and that I am not so alone. But when I am alone in the dark, I begin to feel insecure. I feel that people asleep are corpses and those awake are the dull glassy-eyed wandering undead.

These past few years, I have been feeling less optimistic about the direction of my life, and what the world has in store for me. I had attributed this to only seeing my parents an average of two one-week periods each year, and being twice lured into love and then abandoned for an easier alternative. I assumed that it might be due to a lack of the immediate presence of unconditional love and a general trend of abandonment. I thought that spending time at home and with family might alter my perspective, but nothing has really changed at all. All that has really changed is that I have gained an awareness of how easy it will be to run away, but how hard it will be to forget. I think perhaps I am also irritated more to reaffirm the obligation that any child has to outlive parents who care for it. It is not that such would necessarily be my decision, but I just don’t like being pressured out of a choice. I like to have options, even if one option is to cash in, opt out, throw in the towel, and take the long bus ride home.

Thursday, December 18th, 2003

Not that it really even changes anything, but sometimes a “well, you never know” becomes a “well, what do you know”. I guess it makes me feel ever-so-slightly better, and maybe it will help me get some sleep.

We don’t bother anyone. We keep to ourselves. The mailman visits each of us in turn.

Thursday, December 11th, 2003

Well, I found a place to live next year. I think it will be pretty good. It is a single that is basically the whole ground floor and basement of a small house. One bedroom, a small living room, a kitchen, a bathroom, a small utility room, a basement. I also have an old garage and a driveway, but since I have to share the driveway with whoever moves in upstairs I will probably just park on the street most of the time. It isn’t a very busy street, so that should be OK. I will have to pay $400.00 a month for rent, but basic utilities are included. The house is in the same part of town that I live in now, but is a couple blocks closer to campus. It is down the street about eight blocks down the street and two blocks to the right from where I live now. I am actually kind of looking forward to living there.

The owner is Kingdom Properties, which I have no background information on, but the place was head and shoulders above the other places I have looked. That size for that price just cannot be easily beat in Morgantown. I also stopped back by the apartment to talk with the current tenant after seeing a few other apartments, and the tenant says that he has lived there for three years and never had any problems with either the apartment or the landlord.

For anyone who wants to stalk and gruesomely murder me or send me money and gifts next summer, the address is:

432 Pennsylvania Ave.
Apartment C
Morgantown, WV 26501

Mapped

Adventures In Wisdom Teeth Extraction: Part Seven

Wednesday, December 10th, 2003

I think I will be OK. My gums are far less sensitive these past few days. I know that there is a chunk of jaw or something loose on my upper left jaw, but I am going to just ignore it for a while and hope that it fuses back to the rest of the bone. While brushing my teeth this morning, another small bone fragment came out; excellent, the process has begun.

I think that maybe all this studying and preparing for advertising finals is really getting to me.

Tuesday, December 9th, 2003

“I am a walking product placement. It’s my job to get you to buy things. See… these markers–$20–buy them.”

(The markers were actually $18.80.)

In the third of my three dreams last night (one good, one absolutely awful, and one that was just strange), I was back at Capital again as a student, even though I am 22. I got to just walk around and choose whatever classes I wanted to go to (since I had already graduated), but I was still somehow a student. Also strange was that I spent most of my time hanging out with a guy I went to school with since grade school (and who lived on the same road I did when I lived in Charleston) but who I never really hung out with much. He is just as old as I am, but for some reason in the dream he was still just a normal high school student. He was in love with this girl who was a freshman and happened to be the (one of many actually) younger sister of another guy that I went to school with. In real life, these two guys were pretty good friends, at least until the second one chose to go to a different high school. The second guy didn’t want the first guy to go anywhere near his sister, because he felt that she was too young to be dating someone older, and was afraid that she would start acting slutty if she knew that guys liked her. This created a sort of Romeo & Juliet-esque struggle, as the second guy and his brother kept threatening to try to beat up the first guy.

I am unsure of my role in all of this, but it seemed that I was mostly just there to watch and to help whoever needed help. I definitely did not fit it, although no one was mean to me or anything. I just didn’t know anybody (except for those two guys) and I didn’t feel like taking part in the high school drama. At one point in the dream, as I was walking through the art store (CHS did not have an art store, but in my dream it did–located where the “special ed” room was in real life) with the first guy, we were discussing what class I had next. I said that I didn’t know, but it didn’t matter because I could choose whatever class I really felt like. I told him that the reason I was there must be to sell stuff to the high school students, and then randomly pointed at some permanent markers and (in jest) told him to buy them.

Monday, December 8th, 2003

while letting the tides of the internet take me where they may, i stumbled upon a list of things that someone aspired to do before they die. this person is a few years younger than i, and as i looked over it, i began to recall some of the dreams and goals that i had once desired to do before death.

and so now i wonder just when i lost my aspirations in life?

there are still things that i desire to do, but nothing that i aspire to. i have given up on just about every lofty goal that i ever had. i am essentially ready for death if death comes. i say “essentially” only because my obsessive nature would have me tie up a few loose ends to “tidy up” my exit from this world. after all, no one really likes having to clean up someone else’s messes.

in some ways, i feel that i have died already—i am just hanging around and completing formalities and obligations before i take my leave.

but when did i really give up my hopes and aspirations?

the closest that i can guess is that it happened sometime during my sophomore year of college. i think that i began to let things slip as far back as junior high school, but i always kept clinging to my dreams until sophomore year of college. even then, i do not think that i let the last threads slip from my fingers until last year.

but regardless of when i let go, my hands are now empty. so what shall i do with myself now?