Thursday, March 30

Advice from my friend Karen Palmer.

1. Live every day like it's your last.
2. Muffins are for people who don't have the balls to order cake for breakfast.

And she's right!

Guess what I'm doing tomorrow morning. No, seriously. I'll tell you tomorrow.

Monday, March 27

I wrote this quickly, so it's probably honest.

I'd like to read this out loud to someone:


something is placed,
so something else
must be unplaced.
Simple like water,
but comes
in so many styles
of quick flood
it's hard to say
who you have been.

I say,
I have been the man behind the register,
I have been myself (in line
I have been the woman
complaining about Dell's cracker ass
manufacturer's warrantees
I have been your cup of coffee, that banana, my high school principal, Smokey the Bear,
someone's steel-tipped boot,
and someone's left
breast, with the nipple
of someone else entirely.
I have been men and women
in bed
minus a mind,
so this morning
I did not worry, that
you claim to have been
in love. I have been
many people
who were
in love.

Authors without texts, texts without authors.

More Pictures! Pantea's dance was really cool, and I'm honored to know her. That's her on the left, there.

Hypothesis: This week will go well.

Materials: Lots of homework, no computer to synchronize the pictures, writing, and music I will take, not much time, a little rock climbing, a little job seeking, a little cooking. A refusal to apologize for who I have been lately, because I am proud of what I accomplish and don't accomplish. I am still young, although it is probably dangerous to acknowledge that.


Sunday: Yesterday: Spent all day skipping the universe with Molly. Gathered raw imaginational resources. Processing . . . . . . . . . .

Monday: Today. Homework, dropping off sleeping bag, homework, getting myself back in alignment. Take charge of my life.

Tuesday: Classes, Homework, rock climbing with Molly, possible hang out with Pantea for birthday. Rock climbing with Molly? (!)

Wednesday: Class, homework, therapy, occupational stuff, work on post-modernity style paper.

Thursday: Class, homework, good times because class is over. Work.

Friday: Work, wine and good times.

Saturday: Too far away to think about. Start Katherine's birthday present?


Disconnection is difficult to live on top of, but sometimes it is more solid than the truth. Also, I like to sum things up.

Lately I listen a lot to a mix CD given to me by someone I don't know, mixed by someone I've never met. I don't know who the bands are, and I don't know what the songs are called. I like track 6 for happy times, track 3 for times when I'm feeling romantically disconnected, and track 7 for when I'm walking. Of course, my computer still won't be fixed for 10 days, so I can't actually listen to any of it for quite a while except in my head. But you know how it goes!

Uber-conclusion: I know how to be me. I think I'm going to do that a little more often, and things will probably go well as hell. No poetry lately, I think, because I haven't been myself as much.

Photo Safari coming! Alex visits new York! We went horse back riding!

Also: James Keene is amazing and from space. Me in the midst of academic troubles.

Wednesday, March 22

Crossing the Page of Swords.

It occurred to me today while reading an article about the conflict in Vietnam: there must have been dozens of politicians who wanted to drop an atomic bomb on that country. What did they say? What happened?

Things are better a poem in class, decided to write a post modernist paper, brought some balance in.

If cats always land feed side down, and toast always lands butter side down, what happens when you strap a peice of toast to the back of a cat and drop it?

Tuesday, March 21

Call me Action Jackson!

This thursday, at 6 PM: High tea in BRITtney Dorm (appropriate, eh?). I'm hosting, there will be British cookies, my sister, and increditimes.

Yesterday, at the bottom of a saltines box (a big one with the four plastic columns of crackers) I found a 1979 silver dollar. I didn't touch it, though. I put the box back on the shelf, and called my dad about my problems. It was a great idea.

Academic amputation feels weaksauce, but sometimes is good for me in small doses, if my goal is to find balance/inspiration/fear. Reading is good for me, in times of stress. Underlining with a pen in a book is good for me.

I played the first five minutes of the SNES game Chrono Trigger yesterday, enjoyed that, found it calming. I think all my favorite video games play out like the quests you used to go on with your friends when you were little. Everything seems animated by a healthy, young sense of your world being this absolutely gigantic but ultimately conquerable place. Optimism, anyone?

When I was smaller and living in Massachusetts, there was a gigantic fallen tree in the woods off the end of the driveway. I used to make beleive when I was climbing on it that it was a strange futuristic boat, and that being on it was the only thing that mattered. I think I'm getting a little of my ability to feel that back.

I came this close to writing a blues song yesterday. I may come this close today. Who knew?

Katherine, this comic was made to be talked about by us, in all its glory. Family, think of the phrase mmmm....buddaw...and you'll understand why.

Mood: Building.

Monday, March 20

Double time.

I got an extended sentence here in the computer lab for attempting to escape. Here's something personal:

Life by mind.

I have a...beawwwd. Mmmm....buddaw.

I'm having trouble writing about New Orleans as an experience, so far. I'm going to try and dish something out up here the next time.

So last night I met James Keane (spelling?) and participated in what I consider to be one of the great friendship triumvirates of our modern age. There were (not in any particular order): gin and tonics, there was random word association, blueberry pancakes, friend making, dessert before dinner, snuggling for three, song writing (I wrote a song with Molly! Probably the most amazing writing experience I've had in a while...), skipping the universe, romantic interest, fear, grocery shopping, the reading of sensitive documents, and the cubing of intensity surrounding physical interaction by unpracticed arts. Vagueness is shyness, and shyness is pride (for me). Lately I haven't been vague much, though. Just directly more proud than usual.

Now, I'm in the computer lab. Molly and company will be going to V for Vendetta tonight, something I'm really excited about, but instead I'm going to set up an academic foxhole with Pantea, and try to get my wheels back on the track. All this dry steering is really fun and dizzying, but as I have never really lived the way I am these days (Friends and careers shooting off the charts with schoolwork lagging somewhere in the background, feeling like it's moving slower than an uphill pancake.)

My father is asking me to write 100 things that I've learned during college. I want to write 20 things each for 5 categories. The five abstract categories I'm considering using for inspiration are:

1. Seeing.

2. Touching.

3. Hearing.

4. Smelling.

5. Speaking.

It's kind of a massive intellectual project, now that I think about it. I think I'll have to outline my emotional, academic, and extracurricular involvements over the last 4 years in order to even begin to approach everything.

There are some things that the mind does well--you can fight your mind and do everything perfectly (or take medication trying), or you can relax and let your mind work behind the scenes for you. In my experience in the last few days, both ways get similar amounts done with similar quality of work and similar stress levels.

Things I'm doing:

  • Making a list of things I'm doing.
  • Going to the gym.
  • Doing things.


I am waiting for you, Vizzini. You told me to go back to the beginning. So I have. This is where I am, and this is where I'll stay. I will not be moved.
He takes a long pull from his brandy bottle. He stops as the Assistant Brute comes into view.
Ho there.
I do not budge. Keep your "Ho there."
He waves his sword dangerously.
But the Prince gave orders --
-- So did Vizzini -- when a job went wrong, you went back to the beginning. And this is where we got the job. So it's the beginning, and I'm staying till Vizzini comes.

My favorite thing I said today:

You should

see the


I come from, it is

colder than it

is here.

Friday, March 17

Camera keeps blinking (Staring at the teeth of the University dragon).

The library of the school we worked on yesterday, pre-cleanup:

The power cut out last night before I could finish uploading, but being the smart person I was I published before it was all here are another 50 pictures or so. Also, my Photobucket account went over, so I've started another for the remaining N.O. pictures. Here. Cheers!

Also, here's something I found from a while back: A list of the funny costume descriptions given in manufacturer's magazines that I was keeping while I worked at Future Memories. Some of these are priceless...I had to fix all of them and make them saleable, unfortunately.

  • Costume includes a jacket with attached belt, pants, and a dickey.
  • The Power Ranger glove accessory will stretch to fill any child.
  • In the Child Emperor of Evil Costume your child can the next leader of their own evil empire! Costume includes: Robe, Chest Drape, Hooded Cape, Belt, Medallion and Mask. Sizes 4-6.

  • In the adult deluxe werewolf mask people will know that you are one bad dog and an even worse wolf! This is one mean wolf! This is a full over the head latex mask with lots of hair attached.

  • In the Adult Cain the Vampire Tyrant Vampire Costume be the evil undead dictator! Costume includes: Long Jacket with shoulder capelet, velvet trim vest with dickey, brooch and vinyl gauntlet. Teen size 32-36.

  • In the Child Dark Vixen Gothic Costume your child can learn the ways of follwing the dark side! Costume icludes: Gothic style velvet hooded dress with draping sleeves. Sizes 8-10.

  • $This $$giant thrashing demon haunted house prop$$$ is an astounding sculpture of incredible detail and unbelievable scale! Its entire 13 foot tall body thrashes back and forth swinging its arms, snapping its head, and lunging at your guests. Your patrons have never seen anything like this! This piece generates incredible word of mouth and is an unbelievable marketing tool to the local media for guaranteed exposure. Animated version includes steel stand, pneumatic package, computer controller and footpad.$$$$
    $The $$goblin haunted house prop$$$ is actually reaching out for you! It is a foam filled latex prop reaching out as if to take your very SOUL! It is 40 inches tall and 36 inches wide.$$$$
  • PAGE 2287
    Adult Sexy Black Halter Dress Costume
    Halter-style nylon dress, very provocative, flair skirt for plenty of sex appeal
    $ 9.00

It's stronger in my head.

I'm not arrested, and I had a great time! More photos here, in the up to March 16th folder on my photobucket account (over 70, amazing what I got to see today), and lots of stories to tell. There aer some pictures from the house we gutted, my adventures in NO proper (trying to find the doctors my cousin told me were missing), along with mother's and food that I ate (YES, I ATE ALL OF THAT). There's only a little overlap because Id idn't want to miss uploading anything. As I said, lots of stories. Here's one:


Only think
what the library
looked like
the day after, that soggy sea
that tomb/tome of learning
those papers/trash that
had become trash/trash and
the ceiling was so tall
you could imagine students
like scared frogs
bouncing over a dirty pond,
the bottom of which
they used to know.

Nasty carpet of books, now.

Here, pages are
without destruction.
Here, dark mold
paints the pink
of the wall
and community
is drowned.

I throw the
librarian's chair
over children's
on the street.

These book shelves are
heavier than
they look.

Take off the goddamn door,
I don't care
what the hinges
look like, how bad
they rusted.

Working man's obese sexist haiku:

In the sun, only man I love more
than the creator of the crowbar
is he who invented lunch

Fun Fact! The governor of RI is named Lincoln Almond. Is that funny? If so, why? I feel like I need one of those commercials where they call the people to ask if it's funny or not. Yeah. Let me know.

It's easy for me to enjoy my pictures because I'm an english major who likes poetry and is in the poetry class that I'm in--everything has artistic value, everything can be stared at. Do you find that about pictures?

Thursday, March 16

West Texas twang

Still no pictures today, but I got a lot of good ones, beleive you me.

Things I did today:
  • Finished gutting a house.
  • Went and tracked down a family member's colleague across the city (by bike), and then called that family member and let them know everything was fine--the people had just relocated. Got the information from one of their neighbors who was staying in a trailer.
  • Ate at Mothers. I went up to the woman at the counter and said, "My father told me this was the greatest restaurant in the world, and I'm really hungry. What should I eat?" She gave me a beer, a bowl of gumbo with a baguette peice, and a footlong sandwich with ham, beef, swiss cheese, tomato, lettuce, mayo, mustard, roast beef, and roast beef with drippings. I ate ALL OF IT, and then had to throw up a little. Still, it was the greatest thing I have ever eaten, and I do not need to eat meat again for the rest of my natural born life. If I am reborn as a zombie, that may be a different story. I might have to have a cheeseburger or something. Otherwise, call me Salad-4-Life man.
  • Got a REALLY kick butt record. Almost got a recording of Woodstock, but it was a bit pricey.
  • Read a play about Madame Butterfly. It was interesting.
  • Decided to go to gut a school tomorrow against the government's wishes (they have not provided any support for this area, and tomorrow the residents are protesting, and Common Ground is providing supplies and relief love), which may end in my arrest. I'm gonna make a run for it, though, when the time comes. More information soon! I called my mother, and she said, "Go for it!". ROCK ON, MOM. I AM RELATED TO YOU 200%.
I'm getting ready to go to sleep to get ready for that tomorrow. But here, take this.


Presiding over all this
is a mistress of ceremonies known
as Tante Sue,


tiny dynamo of a woman
who boasts
grand children.
She sings, cavorts, sips
hot schapps
from a half-pint holstered
on her hip.

She has an accordion
printed on her T-shirt.

And as she spins
she grasps two
of material
and says,
"I play my accordion
on my T-shirt,
I have a great
I don't miss
a note."

And this:

"but the Butthole Surfers said
It's better to regret something you did
Than something you didn't do
We were young
And we were looking
looking for that deep kick...
Seen 'em come, seen 'em go...

(And I feel I'm getting close to you)"

--From "Deep Kick," by the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Wednesday, March 15

I coo.

Swinging from rafters,
Hammer in my mouth
Asbestos pirate.

Dark shower time
In the freeze, move hands where body
Should be. Is that soap?

Cheese Nips for breakfast
For lunch, dinner, salad, dessert
Nabisco is God.

House graffiti
Top is corps, right region, left date
Bottom for body count.

Reading books to place
and then to replace, is it
better off the plate?

More pictures soon
I lent my USB cord
It's time for dinner.

Monday, March 13

The internet connection at the end of the universe.

I had the means, so today I took a lot of pictures and am uploading them to my photobucket account. In case I haven't told you over the phone or you can't guess from the images, this place is a gigantic, terrible fucking mess. Things:

  • There is a line of something about 5 feet high on every structure in this neighborhood. It's a water mark.
  • This is not just a "clean up" thing. It's also a race thing. Common Ground was started by an old Black Panther leader, who was trapped in his home when white vigilantes were roaming the streets after the flood.
  • It's a completely volunteer organization, with 34 full time people and 300 more students coming in tomorrow. That means the number of volunteers are doubling.
  • The most dangerous things in the houses we're going to be gutting will be the refrigerators...think about it. Roast beef + 6 month abandonment = Satan, airborne.
  • I'm going down to the lower 9th Ward tomorrow, with a Tyvek suit, a respirator, a first aid kit, a tool box and some raisins, and I am going to fix up some mess.
  • I'm on team Moose with 11 other students, most of which are from Weslyan. My team and I picked it so we can yell MOOOOOOOOOSE in the morning to gather the team up.
  • Today I helped a woman bring cabinets into her house. She pulled up on the side of the road, said her name was Betty, and that she was trying to move back in and needed two people. I went and got this guy whose name was Ryan, and we did it.

There are 34 pictures here.

I'm not going to describe all the pictures yet, but there is a picture of me with team Moose (although we haven't done anything yet), a lot of pictures from the top of the school that I'm staying in with 599 other people (Called St. Mary of the Angels), some pictures of non-working trains, and some funny messages people left on their houses.

There are some pictures of drawings that are stretched all around the cafeteria...they're all done by one guy, who I met. The person he drew writes their story of working in New Orleans on them.

Sunday, March 12

First taste is always free, with P to the N-U-T.

I had a really terriffic friday-saturday combination day, walking the Brooklyn Bridge and things. But it's hard to talk about. Here is something personal! (Yay)

I'm a little tired, but I'm not out. Here's a comic that has nothing to do with anything:

Alex is coming soon! I'm psyched. I want to take her to so many a big brother. I hardly ever get to be that.

All packed for New Orleans, flight at 7 AM. Whoooey. Just in time to get breakfast in the south...gonna get me some flapjacks, if I can.

Isn't this terrible? Yes, but isn't it?

Corinne came to visit me the other weekend! We went to go see Barefoot In The Park. Thanks, corinne. Also, C-dawg: It still looks like Erin Malcolm to me.

The Katherine Says: AWWWWWWWWWT.

Music: Since You're Already Up -- The Joggers. Well versed in this world -- This Providence.

Thursday, March 9

Gross national product.

So today I observed at KIPP STAR academy, which is the school that Democracy Prep Academy, the school I am helping build, will be most closely based on. It was inspiring/terrifying. The teachers are there from 6 AM to 8 PM. Think about that. It's your life. If you sleep 8 hours a night, that means you have 2 hours to yourself every day. That includes commute, work you do at home, meals you prepare. And quite often you end up coming in for half a day on Saturdays. The kids are there from 7:30 to 5, which is okay because they're only supposed to have 1 hour of homework for home a night, and their extracurriculars are mostly included in the school day. But still. Wow, what a life that would be. I think I'd like to try it, but not at this point in my life.

I'm working on getting things straightened out. I am trying to start doing 2 hours of work per night outside of how much I currently do, which if I actually keep to the schedule of it will probably make me a more responsible student. I haven't been much of that lately, and I have to get back into ass-kickin' gear. If you catch my french drift.

Things to do that have nothing to do with my education, and a lot to do with my life after college:

--Cancel my job with Soft Skull.
--Apply for a job at St. Agnes by sending resume and cover letter to principal.
--Search newspaper for teaching jobs.
--Get on a plane sunday to go to New Orleans.

I got a sleeping bag...thanks, James!

Tuesday, March 7

The riot act.

It's settled, I'm leaving for New Orleans on the 12th, returning on the 18th via Jet Blue. I'm going to work via

I still need a sleeping bag, though. Please, if anyone has one that I could borrow and you're reading this on tuesday, give me a ring! I'd be eternally grateful and repay you with cookies and undying love. Also, if you want to come with me, I'd be honored.

Sunday, March 5

That story I wanted to share with you.

This is one of my favorite short stories (that I read a few years ago and could never find on the internet). It really made me want to be a teacher.

Wow, this etymology packs a historical wallop (I just made a pun, you'll get it later).

Mood: Last minute panic. Jesus references + Asian Americans = Simon's paper.

Friday, March 3

Feast you eyes.

Hey. Here's a thingy:
Photo by Miss Molly Q.

Things didn't go so well with the spring break trip doing relief work with Kesher, so I'm going to do something else. Not sure what it is yet.

I got a job working for the US Charter Center as a part time job, it should help with things.

I still haven't been doing my animation for soft skull. That's going down hill, I hope I can pull it together...

I'm going to get new Rock shoes!

The battle against the computer goes on, as the one in my room is currently broken until monday/tuesday. I made you guys a comic anyway, though, since I care so much.

I was going to become a mime, but I talked myself out of it.

Chuck Norris puts the laughter in manslaughter.
Cars were invented to have a faster way of fleeing from Chuck Norris. Not to be outdone, Chuck Norris invented the car accident.

Chuck Norris can sneeze with his eyes open.


Chuck Norris esponded to the Chuck Norris Facts on his official website with the following statement: I'm aware of the made up declarations about me that have recently begun to appear on the Internet and in emails as "Chuck Norris facts." I've seen some of them. Some are funny. Some are pretty far out. Being more a student of the Wild West than the wild world of the Internet, I'm not quite sure what to make of it. It's quite surprising. I do know that boys will be boys, and I neither take offense nor take these things too seriously. Who knows, maybe these made up one-liners will prompt young people to seek out the real facts as found in my recent autobiographical book, Against All Odds? They may even be interested enough to check out my novels set in the Old West, The Justice Riders, released this month. I'm very proud of these literary efforts.

Music: "I should have killed him in the sauna", by Jaga Jazzist.

Thursday, March 2

I see the stars.

Do you?

Check this out. It's from the same folks who made the Sims.

Or their website.