General Meandering:

Today seems like one of those days where every relationship I'm involved in crumbles away underneath my feet like an Indiana Jones action sequence. All drama aside, I have these periods where I doubt the sincerity of my commitment to everyone that I seem to care about, and it bothers me quite a bit. I worry, maybe not unfoundedly (but that's the paranoia talking, no?) that all the pleasant and happy experiences are feigned: feigned pleasantness and forged happiness. But that can't really be the case? Can it?

On moving in with new roommates: the root of my concerns. How will this play out? I'm extraordinarily optimistic, and that might be why I'm worried to begin with. They are really (and this I don't really doubt at all) two of the nicest people I know, and two of the people that I enjoy most being around. But moving in with a couple could be troublesome: I don't function well as a pivot between two sides, though I am capable of not taking sides, very capable (too capable). Though I don't really foresee too much bickering and side-choosing, I have had a taste of some mild discomfiture between the two of them, though my role was never an uncomfortable or compromising one... Nevertheless, how far does my non-committal stance go when we're in the trenches? It's hard to say, and hard to see.

Lately, and lately means here 'for quite some time', I feel like I'm on the edge of some sort of precipice: something is happening and I'm not quite sure (or sure at all) what it is. I'm racked, as I mentioned above, by really awful worries about my friendships and, even more, about my more amorous endeavor. But, alternately, I feel so happy I'm close to tears when I walk around in the day, or when I'm by myself walking home at night and it's very quiet. (Why is it quieter in Montreal than Halifax? The why doesn't matter: the quiet is my favourite part of this city, and I hope it stays). Lately I've been feeling more capable of insanity than I ever have before, and it is both relieiving (insofar as I'm capable of being affected more than momentarily) and frightening (for obvious reasons).

A job interview today, and somewhat successful, I think. The woman interviewing me was rather pleasant, even affable, but also very committed to what she is doing, which is nice to see once in a while. It felt odd looking at a list of adjectives and having to point out which ones I excel at ('self-starter') and which one's I are less applicable ('team-player', 'pleasant'). What an odd 'test': maybe it is to see how 'honest' you are, though it seems odd that they should test your honesty in an interview! Hopefully I get the job, though I'm a little nervous at that prospect too... I haven't had a real job (Teaching Assistant is not a real job, it's just a fact) in over a year, maybe even closer to two years, and the idea of 'working' is not exactly one I warm up to. Though, to be fair, this job sounds more like teaching than my teaching assistant job did! We'll see how it goes.

I start (I think) another job, this one even easier than TA'ing, tomorrow: proofreading. That should be fantastically easy, and I get paid well, perhaps even fantastically well. There may be a snag if I have to work with the narcoleptic person I think I'll have to work with, but I can be patient. The good Lord knows that.

Writing day-logs still seems like an odd thing for me to do, though I'm not exactly averse to the idea. I've been drinking and smoking a lot of weed lately, though I'm not of the opinion that this is yet a problem. As all of my papers this term have been handed in early, and I've been receiving excellent grades, I think I've handled myself rather well. The incidence of drunken idiocy, and its concomitant comic results, has lessened, though the incidence of 'high as fuck' and its concomitant 'let's draw for five hours and play video games' has dramatically increased. And I can't say that that's for the worse either!

Hanging out at this giant warehouse loft was the most sedate fun I've had in a long time. Playing drums, skateboarding, sleeping in boxes of sweatshirts, drawing, going on the internet, benching trains, hanging out with two of my favourite people, all in one place. And you can't beat that with a sack of doorknobs. No sir.

Philosophy. Well, lately, I've been reading a lot of Wittgenstein, and a lot of Norman Malcolm's thoughts on Wittgenstein. The more I read, the more Kantian (in my vision of Kant anyway) Wittgenstein seems to me: that we have to accept our position like grownups rather than play pretendsies about what we're doing seems to be the common theme. I find this in Nietzsche too, but with more vitriol and a more robust passion. Though, there is a passion in Wittgenstein that is almost terrifying: something different than Nietzsche's but of the same intensity, but colder, much colder. I'm looking forward to a detailed reading of the Critique of Pure Reason next semester, as well as a detailed reading of Zarathustra which I've arranged with a fellow enthusiast. I'm still somewhat caught up in thinking through McDowell and Heidegger together, and I got my paper on the subject back today. One insightful comment, in particular, has me thinking: something about the limits of how we are or can be in the world. My suggestion is that I'm not so interested in showing the limits (like Kant, Foucault, Wittgenstein) as in expanding them (something Foucault also does, and convincingly). Just how I do that, and how I do that within 'philosophy', is something that will be engaging me for a while, I'd wager.



*********



Reading list:

I read Operation Shylock by Philip Roth a couple of weeks ago. It was a rather excellent book, and reminded me ('idea wise') of Foucault's Pendulum in that the distinction between reality and fiction is always blurry. Though, at least in my opinion, Roth seems to obliterate the line more completely than Eco does, and that is satisfying in its own way. The weird anti-Semitism, Zionism, Diasporism rants are interesting... it's odd to read something so 'topical' that avoids being garbage.. or it's odd to me insofar as I rarely read anything that refers to things that 'matter' today. Fiction-wise anyway. I believe I'll be reading some more Roth soon enough, I heard he's got a book about baseball....

I've just read Norman Malcolm's memoir for Wittgenstein, interesting look into the later part of Wittgenstein's life, I particularly liked the letters at the end (as I usually do). The parts in the letters where Malcolm and Wittgenstein talk about Moore are very interesting: the picture they paint of Moore is strange and surprisingly engaging (surprising insofar as I dislike much of what Moore has to say, philosophically). Malcolm also presents a lot of Wittgenstein's unpublished work in an interesting way, situating it all in a context that makes his thinking look more like a development than a series of disjointed masterpieces. Malcolm's presents a picture of Wittgenstein that shows how the Investigations grows out of the Tractatus, though he doesn't do so rigorously (for obvious reasons) in the memoir. There are also some hilarious little anecdotes about Wittgenstein that I've seen nowhere else.. a good read overall, though not the most complete 'biography' of Wittgenstein (if that is what you are looking for).

I read Ecce Homo a few weeks ago from cover to cover in a fit of sleeplessness... One thing that always strikes me about Nietzsche is how fast I read him. I am, by nature, a very slow reader: it takes me a fairly long time to wade through a twenty page article. But something about Nietzsche (which I've only found elsewhere in Deleuze and Guattari) makes me read his sentences so rapidly that I almost fail to notice I'm reading half the time. I don't have much to say about this book other than it is always a pleasure to read, and especially so in light of some of his later letters and the fourth book of The Gay Science. It is a book that makes me happy, it makes me smile and it makes me nervous.


This is probably the least formatted writeup I've yet produced.




RANT

This shit has got to fucking stop. A taxi driver in Shrevport, Louisiana was yanked out of his cab by a small group of young black men. They hit him, they insulted him, they took his wallet. Kicked him. Shattered his windshield. When he fought back and tried to defend himself, they beat him some more. They got into their pretty, white SUV and drove away, him so stunned from this abuse that he couldn't think to let go of the only thing which was propping him up: the SUV's door handle. They dragged him more than twenty feet until he let go and then left him senseless in the middle of the fucking street, to die or get run over for all they cared. Onlookers, lots of them, stood by and did nothing. No. They did worse than nothing, they fucking encouraged it and cheered the thugs on. They laughed and ooohed and ahhhed and THEY FUCKING CHEERED AND CLAPPED! A simple man who works for a living got beaten unconscious in the street and the witnesses were laughing!

How do I know this? It was videotaped. All of it. By one of the onlookers, who did nothing to stop that evil shit, did nothing to spare a man undeserved pain and suffering, just so that they could keep their fingers neatly poised over the RECORD button on their mini-cam. So that they could show it to their friends, the media, their family, whoever would want to watch that horrible example of humanity. So they could make a few extra bucks when the local ABC affiliate paid for the rights to air the film. So that they could save it for posterity. And laugh later, perhaps. Again and again. At this overweight white man who had done nothing wrong, who was working to feed himself and, perhaps, his family, to pay the rent and bills and keep his insurance premiums paid up.

I just saw this on national television, the news. Broadcast over satellite and cable TV, through our airwaves.

And people have the fucking temerity to get upset when Janet Jackson's breast gets exposed during the fucking Superbowl?!?? If I gotta choose between a beautiful woman's naked body versus seeing this horrid shit, I'm gonna fucking wag a dollar bill in the air and ask the woman to kindly take it off, whatever it takes. Show me beauty. Show me sex. But God spare me from ever having to witness this depraved, uninhibited, obscene, vile, vicious, insipid, corrupt, criminal, sinful example of what humanity IS.

Because I can guaran-fucking-tee that shit is now being beamed hundreds of lightyears away from this shithole planet, straight towards whatever intelligent life might exist in this Galaxy. And you know what? I'd rather that they see some nice tits and ass before ever seeing just how low we, as a species, are capable of sinking.

How does it feel now to call yourself a human? Enjoy your sushi, folks. News at 11.

/RANT

Hi everybody! I’m doing real good and I hope you are too. My dad told me that some of you don’t think I’m real. He told me to write down some reasons why I am real. Here they are.

Sometimes when I look in the mirror, I ask the question “Am I real?” I look in the mirror and ask “What if the past never happened and the future never will?”

  • I know I’m real because I respond “yes” to the universe.
  • I know I’m real because I have an imagination.
  • I know I’m real because my cat sleeps next to my head in crazy positions.
  • I know I’m real because I can listen to the Beatles
  • I know I’m real because the clouds tell me stories only I can hear.
  • I know I’m real because I have lots of friends.
  • I know I’m real because when I’m asleep I can dream
  • I know I’m real because I remember things.
  • I know I’m real because I’m more than a picture.
  • I know I’m real because I’m me.
  • Maybe, maybe…

    Bye! Note from borgo: I’ve heard through the rumor mill that some folks out there are questioning the authenticity of borgette and that maybe her writing is a little too sophisticated for a nine year old girl. This has caused me much consternation over the past couple of weeks since I thought I was doing something good for both her and our users. It was in that vein that I asked her to come up with the reasons she has so eloquently stated in the above w/u. The process took a couple of days and the only thing I did was to correct some spelling mistakes and re-order them so that they seem more coherent. Either way though, I think the message might’ve gotten through.

    Anybody who has followed her progress here should be able to see that most of her w/u’s are of a very simple nature. They attempt to address simple things in simple ways. They try and weave the story of what’s in her mind and in her heart. For me to try and discourage that would be an injustice to her and to those who like her w/u’s.

    I’m a proud papa, I’ve got a beautiful little girl who brings a light to my life that was missing for so long. I’ve tried to share a very small portion of that light with you. Judging by the reaction, most of you feel the same way. For the small contingent of you who continue to doubt, well, you’re free to think what you like. I know better and so does she, I guess that’s the most important thing.

    Thanks from the both of us.
  • Does life go in cycles, respond to themes? Do we create our situations or dramatic arcs? Can I do well only in an academic setting? Why is my social life dependent on being in a lecture at a certain time?

    To review: last week, my life was much like the prevailing mood here: I would like a girl. I miss a girl. Tom Waits. Frank Sinatra. Girl. Tales of Phantasia, English hack for an SNES emulator. Etc. Thanks to the timely intervention of somebody who recently joined our community, I gained confidence to rejoin the human race. Today, i went back to university.

    An accumulation of small incidents. Receiving back a paper for my Ulysses class-- "awesome essay. However, you were supposed to discuss two episodes, and you only discussed one." Sixty percent(60%). D or F, depending on how they grade in this country. D or F, and a compliment. My own sense of self is unchanged: i wrote a very good description of the Proteus episode, recounting that hour on Sandymount Strand. It will be seen here, soon. My institutional number is threatened by stupidity, however. A triumph or a tragedy? Balances out.

    A girl (quite beautiful, known to me before) invites me to her house to see Martin Scorcese's "The Last Waltz", considered by some to be the best concert film ever. If I do not mess things up and I have not misread obvious signs, this Friday will be my best birthday ever.

    Catch up on a girl I would have been dating were I not shy, or not on the same wavelenght. Things are complicated. She has a boyfriend (sensetive, with a motorcycle). This does not bother me; the chemistry is there between us. Had I wanted it to be anything, it would have been.

    (Interlude: Dad is watching music television. My contemp for the Bee Gees shifts into love as the Clash play Should I Stay Or Should I Go?. Its relationship to today is uncertain.)

    More signs. Once again, poised on the edge of possiblity. Things uncertain. Better then a relationship, more fun. Mom's birthday is today; I should node about her. She loves ballet and art and her privacy. Neither her nor my dad would want me writing about her here; suffice it to say she loves and cares for her childern. My next post will take me to level 2; I have revealed too much of the personal here; the SWAT Kats need noding; things do not happen, they simply are.

    Test flew a couple of U2 hang gliders from Crestline this morning in fairly strong west winds. The previous five days have been North vs. SW convergence days with amazing flights and heights by many pilots, including me. These kinds of days get talked about for years. Today was ordinary, except for the strong wind. After the second flight I left instead of helping load the gliders because I needed to fill out the divorce papers and drop them at her place. The Summary Dissolution instructions said the form boxes had to be typed in, so I planned to go to Kinko's, who had told me by phone they had a typewriter. I stopped at the house to check work email and get the paperwork, and when I backed out of the driveway I discovered that my left rear tire was flat.

    It took a few minutes to put the spare on, and I saw a bit of shiny metal in the middle of the tread of the flat. I figured I'd do the forms, drop them at her place, turn in my P.O. Box keys, and then go to Big O tires to get the tire fixed. At Kinko's the typewriter was putting out strange symbols and characters when I typed. I haven't really used a typewriter in about 20 years, so called for help. The woman was nice, but clueless about the machine, understandably. She tried turning it off and back on. I asked if it was from Microsoft, and she chuckled and said "No, it's an IBM Selectric." Then she tried to change the ribbons and the letter wheel, to no avail. The guy she called over was little better, but persistent at hitting the "code" and "Lang" keys, among others, over and over. Eventually it started producing characters that matched the keys, and he declared it fixed. This was frighteningly like my tech support methods at work.

    It was hard to line the typed lines up well, but I produced a passable form in about 10 minutes. Then I went to make triplicate double-sided copies of that and some other forms, and our financial settlement agreement.

    She had made up a couple of document cases a couple of years ago, containing copies of passports, certificates, the home loan, etc., that we each kept at our workplaces in case a forest fire wiped out our home (this was after a smaller fire than the Old Fire last Fall). She had asked me to return this to her, so I looked through it quickly to make copies of anything I thought I might possibly need later. I was struck by an odd coincidence when I came across her birth certificate. The word 'Middlesex' jumped off the page - it was the county of her birth (in New Jersey, listed twice) and the book I finished reading the night before last was none other than Jeffrey Eugenides' Pulitzer Prize winning novel of the same name, from a couple of years ago. The similarity goes no farther - normal equipment for both of us, that's for sure. Ahem.

    So I dropped the documents at my old home, which the neighbors just bought. I spoke to them briefly, we're friends, and only had a twinge of loss as I was heading to my truck and saw all the plants around the patio in bloom. Things were mostly still dormant from Winter when I moved out a month ago. Poetic, that. When I turned in my keys at the Post Office, the clerk asked the box number and came up with my last name after a very brief pause. I was taken aback, and pleased to get reminded of that small town feeling of the mountain community. I'll live there again if I can and if it makes sense.

    At the tire place, they pulled out the rusty nail and patched that hole, no questions asked. Then they found another nail and hole, and the nail had caused a rip. They said it wasn't patchable, but they'd pro-rate a replacement since there was little wear. Only they didn't have that exact tire and I'd have to come back the next day. Well, I've got to go to work, fifty miles away, the next day. I'll try the tire place near work. I've been buying my tires both places over the last six years, so that shouldn't be a problem.

    My brother had his kids for the evening, and I sprang for dinner from El Pollo Loco, which I've been having a hankering for. My older nephew, soon turning twelve, was quite animated and engaged in conversation, which he hasn't been lately. My brother remarked on it several times, making cracks about his usual one syllable grunts and becoming a teenager. My nephew didn't shut down, which I thought showed so real maturity. My bro and I had a good conversation about her despicable behavior, people who don't get it vis a vis what relationships are really about, etc.

    It was a varied day, and one full of progress, to say the least.

    My divorce was final today.


    I've been wanting to be able to say that for a long time. Now that it's true, there's a strange and surprising mixture of emotions I was unprepared for. Relief I expected of course, but there is also regret over the years I stayed that I shouldn't have, guilt towards my children and also towards my (now) ex-husband because some part of me feels that I should have been able to prevent it from coming to this, and sadness - a person I once loved, whom I shared some of the most incredible moments of my life with - the births of my children- is now no longer part of my life and, worse than that, hates me with every fiber of his being. Failure. Stupidity, because I KNEW what he was before I married him. Pity, because he doesn't even realize what he's lost and how he lost it, and so is doomed to do it all over again. Anger over how he has and still continues to treat me, and absolute boiling rage over the fact that he thinks nothing of using my children (which are his children as well) as pawns in his little games of revenge upon me.


    A chapter of my life is over. I just wish it were a story, and I could go back and edit it...

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