Friday, December 29, 2006
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
I realized that I could recall the order of the last few months with relative ease...why is that? I wondered absently. The answer hit me like a drop of water from the showerhead.
it's because they're already numbered.
September - from the roman septem- for seven.
October - from the roman octo- for eight.
November - from the roman novem- for nine.
December - from the roman decem- for ten.
I had never realized this before two days ago...and it blew my mind. What also blew my mind was that the numbers are apparently two off.
I found out later that this is because the roman calendar, from which these names are all derived, began in March instead of January. In fact, july and august used to have similarly prefixed names, but were later renamed for roman emperors (July for the month Julius Caesar was born, and August for Augustus).
Anyway, I found it interesting, but you don't have to.
Sunday, December 17, 2006
The old man had been taken care of easily enough. The last bullet in his pistol was exactly what he needed to make some peace and quiet for himself.
Stepping over the corpse of the ex-wizard, One-Eye-Jim surveyed his surroundings and, for the first time in a while, felt content. It wasn't the silence, the kill, or the pristine beauty of the meadow before him; rather, it was the return of the burning need for revenge which had lit the fire in his soul for so much of his life. With newfound direction in life, he set out to search for clues as to who had buried him this time.
Before long, he found himself staring at an old wooden sign, hanging by rusted nails from the limb of an elm tree.
There came a grim thought, suddenly juxtaposed with the recurring image of California,
The sign before him read, "MEDIEVAL FAIRE"
Wednesday, December 6, 2006
as a wall round a fortress
like a wall round the country
who cares not of its neigbors
lay yourself aground
as the beasts in the forests
like the monks in their towers
and for once enjoy the view
as an open drawbridge
like a courtyard of stone
and see the wealth within
Sunday, December 3, 2006
About five feet up from another one of his early graves, and customarily with only one more foot to go, One-Eye-Jim was tired of eating dirt.
Sure, those weaklings in Texas kept telling him that he only had to dig, that eating the dirt was completely pointless...but who's dead now, texas weaklings? That's right, the texas weaklings. Although, he was fairly grateful for the layer of topsoil he was currently ingesting; sixty pounds of clay is hard to keep down. And with unrivaled tenacity, he kept on eating.
With unrivaled tenacity, the Wizard waited...stared at the stone...and hoped.
Jim hoped that he was close. He hadn't breathed air in nearly five hours...heh, that was another thing the weaklings had preached, breathing.
The breath was caught in the Wizard's throat. He watched as the ground stirred, then rumbled, then erupted in a shower of debris...and when the cloud of dust cleared, he knew he had not been led astray. The man he'd waited so many years for was emerging, face first, out of the very earth below him.
Jim emerged, finally, coughing up a stone which had been laid atop his grave.
The stone landed at the Wizard's feet. Ecstatic, the Wizard cried, "The stone of Anadarko! The prophecy is complete!"
Completely oblivious to the old man behind him, jumping around and shouting of stones, One-Eye-Jim adjusted his eyepatch, knocked the dirt out of his ears, and for the first time, heard the shouts and ramblings of an old man who seemed to be wearing a halloween costume.
"Ugh, where am I? California?"
Sunday, November 26, 2006
Saturday, November 25, 2006
The lone Wizard stood in a field of grass looking at his sole possession, a crinkled bit of parchment, worn out long ago by too many readings. Waiting for today. The parchment told of a prophecy, of the coming of a messiah, of many things too cryptic to decipher. But one thing was clear...it was happening today, and not more than two meters from where the Wizard stood.
The field was empty, save some grass scattered with wildflowers and a single stone. The stone itself was nothing special; however, it marked a location whose significance only the Wizard truly knew. The messiah was to raise himself from his eternal sleep and arise at that very spot.
The Wizard, with white flowing beard and pointed hat, stood ready for the second coming of the man whose name was only given by a cryptic symbol, a single eye in a field of green.
Monday, November 20, 2006
Directly outside, unaware, he enters unknowingly.
Fangs and fur flash in the darkness, an explosion of sound and movement, and then: silence.
Somewhere within, waiting, it bides its time.
Friday, November 17, 2006
deamed of returning to Kathmandu.
he dreamed of his home
and he wrote many tomes
block print on sides of his shoe
the warden had found this odd
one day while feeding him cod
fish souffle was on par
con que esta en el mar
for the man with literature shod
a daring escape had been made
one evening in shadows and shade
a last hastened glance
for he'd left his pants
still in the cage where they'd laid
with captivity far behind
in a place where no one would find
his huddled shape
sharing cage with an ape
chewing on leftover rind
the plane set down with a thud
it seems they've landed in mud
with the gears all amuck
and the ball bearings stuck
the grand entrance looked like a dud
but the uncharted jungle awaits
stranded en route to kuwait
with a slash and a hack
he fights foliage back
and does so to this very date.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
There is only one thing that makes humans different from the rest of the animals. Conceptualization. All of thought can be divided into three categories: perception, reaction, and conceptualization. The first two being shared by all thinking organisms on earth. The third, however, is what makes us unique and grants us the power to rise above our surroundings and change not only the environment around us, but also our very lives.
An example to illustrate these concepts: A rabbit finds a carrot growing in a field (perception), the rabbit eats said carrot (reaction), and then goes on looking for more. It took a human mind to take this process one step farther and say, and I'm paraphrasing, "Whilst going about my nomadic ways, I come across this field once a year; and every year I find carrots growing anew. Perhaps I can harness the carrot's periodicity and grow my own, thereby creating a much more stable food supply" (conceptualization).*
One more short example...do you ever see a racehorse stretch before the race?
Conceptualization, or abstract thinking, is something that we all as humans should embrace. Too often in today's society do we see people reduced to animals with respect to the way that they think. Too much emphasis is placed on the immediate, with little or no concern about the long term effects of short-term thinking. As a college student I see this happening far too often.
Things like drinking, smoking, and ecstasy-induced-rave-hallucinations may be fun at the time, but often have disasterous consequences in the long-term. Even things like (I hate to go this far but...) fatty foods have their later repercussions which should be noted.
I try to explain this to short-termers who simply scoff and tell me that I'm boring because I don't smoke crack. These people who shrug off going to their morning classes due to their hang-overs. These people who wonder why they fail classes.
Jose Ortega y Gasset makes it a point that each of our lives is nothing but a sum total of the decisions we've made in the past.** We make decisions based upon where we want our life to go (whether we're conscious of it or not). Thousands of these choices made every day can add up to mean the difference between law school or working at Wendy's.
Every choice you make has an effect on your life. Long-term decisions lead to long-term happiness.
*For a conflicting viewpoint on agriculture, i.e. it is the root of all human suffering today, see the novel Ishmael by Daniel Quinn.
**Jose Ortega y Gasset, What is philosophy?
Saturday, November 11, 2006
There came a rumbling from deep within the ground, a sound and fury that made it seem as though the earth were going to open up below me and nothing but Dante’s Inferno would await me there. The pain was a cold slap in the face that brought me back to reality, it was my guts that were aching, it was my stomach that was growling, but nothing had ever been this bad. It felt as though my insides were waging war with the rest of me, as though they had gotten sick of the tyranny of the nervous system and they were striking back. I knew it was only a cold. I told myself over and over again that it was just the flu. I repeated the mantra until it was the truth. But something warned me that this was different, that something this time was very special. My guts were eating me alive. And it felt like it.
(Inspired by the short story "Guts" by Chuck Palahniuk)
Part I - Best Served Cold
The night wore on until he had shot the man who took his eye.