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Nov. 8th, 2007

artistic

NaNoWriMo!

Like jinxedpoet, I've decided to do NaNoWriMo too!

If you want to check out what I've been working on, look me up. I'm posting the chapters of my novel on the LJ account nanojovo. Friend me if you want to see. :P
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Jan. 13th, 2007

love

That Way to Life

Being in Tulsa with Connor is like walking in a dream. Soon I'll have him in real life too. Graduation is in May. I'm still not sure how things will go, but I'll be in New York. It doesn't matter how it happens, or what I have to do, but we're going to do it.

I've never been with someone who I felt was really forever. We're the sort of people that don't open up to others easily. We don't open up easily because we've been hurt too much. We've opened up to each other, and it's been utterly peaceful and safe. So, even if we're not boyfriends, we're the best of friends. If I'm not with him, I don't think I really want to be with anyone else. And that's all right, because if I'm not his boyfriend, I'm still in his life. I'll still live with him, and we'll still sleep in the same bed.

Things that are solid are solid no matter what you call them. A change of name is not a change of substance.

I return to school on Tuesday. One more semester, and I'm done. I'm excited about being done. I want to live for a little bit with school behind me. I need a few years of peace, wanting nothing and enjoying only what I have.

Dec. 21st, 2006

jack

The Meaning of Christmas

It's Thursday! I haven't finished the paper I've been trying to write for several days. But I am done with finals.

I'll never be able to understand why my friends hate Christmas so much. I don't care what the reasons are. Holidays are holidays. You can either make them your own, or you can be cynical and aggravated by it. If you choose to be angry on a holiday, that's your own fault. Christmas is no more responsible for your feelings than cats are responsible for making my nose runny.

Granted, Christmas doesn't mean the same thing to me that it does to most people, but choosing what things mean to you is part of what makes us human. We survive because we're capable of adaptation. If you choose not to adapt, that's your own fault.

When I had a long streak of being single, Valentine's Day was never a day that brought me misery. Love isn't romantic. Love is universal. You can enjoy love for friends, love for yourself, love for your hobbies. Anything that you love, you should be able to enjoy, and if you choose, Valentine's Day can be a day when you celebrate all the things and people that you love.

Christmas is a time where you give up all the stupid little things that make you upset with people. You can forgive all the bullshit, forgive yourself, let things go, and be a whole person without regrets or baggage. You can do that, or you can focus on the commercialism, the banalities, and even all the people who are too stressed out to enjoy the holiday for what it really is. Whether or not you believe in Christ, the idea can be universal. This is a holiday when everything is okay: everything is lifted from you. Relax, enjoy the eggnog and the holiday treats, give presents to those who you love, and enjoy being with them. Celebrate your friendships for the good things they offer you. Stop being a dick about Christmas. You fucking ruin it for the rest of us.

As for Happy Holidays... whatever. Merry Christmas to all of you. You may wish me a Merry Yule, or a Happy Hanukkah, or a Happy Kwanza, and I won't be offended. "I don't celebrate Christmas." Well, good for you. Do you want a cookie? Oh, I guess you don't celebrate cookies either. Good wishes are good wishes. If you get one, accept it for what it is. I repeat, stop being a dick about Christmas.

Was Christ born around Christmas? Probably not. More than likely not. No one gives a damn. This is when we celebrate it: on the festival of the Winter Solstice. Yeah, I know that. I still call it Christmas, and I still celebrate the idea of Christ's birth. If we celebrated it during September, then it wouldn't have the same meaning. Winter Solstice is the longest night of the year. We celebrate Christmas now because this is the time when the days get longer. It is significant now.

And again, stop being a dick about Christmas. Either enjoy it, or let me enjoy it. Have yourself whatever Christmas you want to have. I hope it's merry, but I can't control how you celebrate the holiday. So even if you sit at home pouting about the stupidity of people and how inane the whole idea of Christmas is, I hope you'll at least be merry while you whine.

Merry Christmas to us all. And to all, a good night.

Dec. 13th, 2006

artistic

Navigator: Statement of Intent

The immrama, or "rowings about," are a genre of early Irish literature. Central to the immrama is the structural motif of the sea voyage, which frames the narrative and forms a central part of the genre. There are few surviving immrama: four of them in Irish, and one of them in Latin. These are Immram curaig Máele Dúin ("Voyage of Máel Dúin's Boat"), Immram curaig Ua Corra ("Voyage of the Uí Corra"), Immram Brain mac Febuil ("Voyage of Bran son of Febul"), Immram Snédgusa ocus Maic Riagla ("Voyage of Snédgus and Mac Riagla"), and Nauigatio sancti Brendani abbatis ("Voyage of St. Brendan the Abbot"). The framing structure of the sea voyage is distinctive in that each immram describes episodic voyages to more than one island, and usually the abandonment of a number of the original voyagers. Furthermore, they are the usually the voyages of monks, and those that are not are the voyages of secular individuals who go enter into what may be either a satire or an allegory of the monastic pilgrimage.

The latter point is significant because, although the main character of an immram may be a secular individual, the sea voyage itself is not. The journey is a spiritual one, in which every island brings the main character closer to a sort of psychopneumatic awakening. In the Immram Máele Dúin, for instance, Máel Dúin, the child of a warrior and a nun, pursues his father's murderers over the sea. Over the course of his wanderings, he experiences a spiritual conversion so that, when he finally encounters his father's murderers, he forgives them.

This thesis hopes to investigate the common themes that run through all five of the surviving immrama listed above. This thesis will examine the various reasons for which the sea voyage became a tool of atonement. In the immrama, being lost at sea is seen as a sort of exile, which serves as a form of punishment. The main character must then travel from island to island, in search of repentance and the conversion experience that must follow. This "conversion experience," which I have called a psychopneumatic awakening, is essential to the main character, and without it, the character cannot return home. In order to focus the discussion of the immrama, this thesis will pay specific attention to the Immram Máele Dúin, the structure of which will color the creative component of this thesis.

The creative component will be a manuscript that hopes to use those structural elements studied in the analytic component within a contemporary setting. The main character, Jason Medina, will be lost at sea with a group of his fellow classmates. As they find themselves traveling from island to island, they will discover many reasons to love the place whence they came, despite their cynical opinions about home and family. The psychopneumatic awakening involves both the realization that their home has value and that they have a place in it: a theme which I hope to elucidate over the course of the manuscript. The creative component will include minor elements of science fiction, although one of the primary goals of this project is to recreate the creativity of form that mythology was so successful in accomplishing.

In the future, I hope to reproduce "Navigator" in novel form. The goal of this thesis is not merely to produce a work of analytic and creative value, but also to prepare a foundation for my future writing.
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cute

Yay! Nuu! Meh... Rargh!

I'm everywhere today. I should have done a million things, but instead of doing them, I'm sort of lounging about. At least I'm not playing WoW.

I could be working on that thesis of mine right now, but I'm not. I'm typing this. And doing tons and tons of programming. Now I've got to get started on studying for my two finals tomorrow, but I haven't really gotten to that either.

I don't think I'm screwed—I can probably bullshit my way through those parts that I'm not well-acquainted with. I don't expect to get an A in either class, so my threshold of caring is dropping very quickly. I feel like I can do well at anything while doing minimal effort. It takes a lot of work to be a full A student. I've got plenty of As this semester, though.

And I've got a 3.3 GPA. It shouldn't be so hard (I hope) to get up to a 3.4, which is what I need to graduate with to get cum laude.

Cookies! I tried to buy some earlier, but there weren't any Oreos at the store. I might hit the Boot (our little local shopping venue) later tonight and get some. Yay for cookies!

I bit my pinky nail too much and now it hurts. And I can't seem to stop. :(
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Dec. 11th, 2006

default

Ending a Fall

The fall semester's almost over, and I couldn't be happier. I'm one semester away from graduation, then I can leave New Orleans and go somewhere happy and new. I can have a car, and a house, and finally stop feeling like I'm drifting from place to place like a well-educated vagrant—and I know so many!

I'm heading back home for Christmas, and to Orlando with my mom for New Year's. I'm dragging Connor with me because my family desperately wants to meet him. Then it's back to Tulsa and New Orleans again for another semester. And I'm done. I'm so done. I wanna be done with this phase of my life. I feel stuck in some sort of stasis, rotting in a dorm room. My only ways to interact with the people I love are IRC and WoW.

That having been said, I'm so excited about this winter break. I've got enough Zyrtec and Lamictal to last me through the break. The Zyrtec is so that Connor's cats don't kill me when I cuddle them. I love the kitties, but I can't touch them without my asthma getting really bad. The Lamictal is for the bipolar disorder. My doctor says it's getting less intense, but I can expect episodes for a while until the drugs get my brain chemicals under control. Yay.

I'm not getting a 4.0 this semester. My grades are awesome, but they're not all A's. Somewhere in my screwed up head, I'm beating myself up over that. I know it's not bad, but I keep getting really depressed about it.

I wrote two short stories this semester, and now I get to write a thesis paper based on a story I tried to write for my site: Navigator. I'm really excited about it. I actually have a course on my transcript called "Navigator." The title of the thesis is "Navigator: A Contemporary Voyage to the Otherworld." I have to do an analytic component on the immrama, which are a genre of the Old Irish voyage epic, and then I have to do a creative component, where I write a heavily condensed version of Navigator. Since it's condensed, it gets to be called "Navigator" instead of Navigator. There might be a Navigator eventually, but that'll be after I'm done with "Navigator."

P.S. I love italics. They make me almost as happy as bold.

Sep. 21st, 2006

jack

Quitter

That's right. What of it?

I finally went ahead and dropped out of my Cultural Policy, Aesthetic Value, and Urban Community course. It was a lovely class, and I would have liked to stay a part of it, but it had the most reading for me to do, and as a result I'd been falling behind far more than was acceptable.

Unfortunately, I had a presentation to do the day of the course. So I talked to the professor about it. Dr. Koritz recommended that I come in to do the presentation anyway, since it would be a nice show of what's to be expected (other students would have to do presentations throughout the rest of the year). So I nervously got up and talked about Bourdieu for a whole hour and a half. Apparently people enjoyed it—as much as you can enjoy a man as thorough as Bourdieu.

And after I was done, I dropped out of the course. So now I'm taking 18 credit hours, and my schedule is a lot lighter. So, I've decided to rush for a fraternity. It sounds like it could be a lot of fun, especially since it's co-ed and promises that the people welcome to the fraternity are from all walks of life. A creative writer in a business fraternity? Stranger things have happened. After all, I'm a web developer and a technician at Tulane's Academic Technology Support Services. I fix computers for computer science majors, which is still funny.

Oh. I have an interesting picture to share. But that'll come later. My HTTP and FTP are screwing up. Well, not mine: Tulane's. So I can't get anything up. On the plus, I did finish "Providence." I'll have it up on my website in the space of about a month, I think. I need to get it workshopped, then I'll do some retouching and unveil it.

Now it's John Mill and John Dryden for the rest of the week.
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Sep. 16th, 2006

wtf

Work Much So

I keep thinking that I can make it, and I keep being pretty sure that this is true. But...

Take a look at what I have to do this weekend:
  1. For Logic, do problems six and nine on page 24.
  2. For Restoration and 17th Century Literature, read pages 181 through 203.
  3. Also, read II Samuel chapters 13 through 19.
  4. For Cultural Policy, read pages one through 68 of English's book.
  5. Also, read William's essay "Culture."
  6. Also, read Arnold's essay "Sweetness & Light."
  7. Also, read Bradford's collection of works from page 11 to 63.
  8. Also, read Bourdieu pages 74 through 141.
  9. Also, write a four-page essay on the Bourdieu reading.
  10. For Advanced Fiction Workshop, read "Wolves" on page 177.
  11. Also, read "Girls I Know" on page. 202.
  12. Also, write a journal entry in response to the readings.
  13. Also, read three short stories.
  14. Also, write response letters for each of them.
  15. Also, finish writing the short story "Providence" by Wednesday.
  16. For Political Philosophy, read Mill's Utilitarianism.
  17. For History of Modern Philosophy, read Descartes Meditations chapter six.
  18. And write a short paper on it.
Yeah, no. That's it. No more work. What am I complaining about, right? I can do it. D:
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Sep. 15th, 2006

artistic

An Experiment in Language

I'm using a slightly different and—I hope—superior style of writing for my newest short story, "Providence." Here's an excerpt. What do you think?



Every morning Sheridan carried herself to Our Lady of Fatima, where she prepared breakfast for the nuns that lived there. Mother Bridgett was very gracious, and every morning she would softly thank Sheridan for her delicious eggs and bacon and mashed potatoes lightly seasoned. Every afternoon she would ply at sweeping and scrubbing and straightening the parts of the convent where she was permitted to go. Every evening she would attend service, and after she would make her way back to her cramped closet, separated from the ground by one hundred eight steep steps begrimed and cracked under the weight of a hundred eight times as many dispassionate feet.
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Sep. 11th, 2006

triankh

The Misery We Feel

This is one of the most amazing pieces of non-fiction writing that I've read on the Internet in recent times. It's a well-constructed argument, too, with references. Who uses references anymore?

http://www.pointlesswasteoftime.com/misery.html
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