Tuesday, April 27, 2010

It's a Doozie

Here's the one rule: no judging.

--> Smith Experience <--

In related (and fairly obvious) news, I've finished my thesis! Or at least the creative portion. What's all this about 25 pages of research?!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

For Good Measure

An excerpt from David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest. Go! Buy! Read!

"Orin and Marlon Bain's view was always that C.T. was less like a person than like a sort of cross-section of a person. Even The Moms Hal could remember relating anecdotes about how as a teenager, when she'd taken the child C.T. or been around him at Quebecois functions or gatherings involving other kids, the child C.T. had been too self-conscious and awkward to join right in with any group of the kids clustered around, talking or plotting or whatever, and so Avril said she'd watch him just kind of drift from cluster to cluster and lurk around creepily on the fringe, listening, but that he'd always say, loudly, in some lull in the group's conversation, something like 'I'm afraid I'm far too self-conscious really to join in here, so I'm just going to lurk creepily at the fringe and listen, if that's all right, just so you know,' and so on."

- pg. 517

More on my life forthcoming.

Friday, April 9, 2010

"Happily Ever After"

Thank God (read: vast, incomprehensible algorithm of sorts) for this latest episode of LOST. As much as I'm loving season 6 (because how could I not?), something had to happen to usher in the series' conclusion. Something big. Something game-changing. And when an episode's dually written by Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse (LOST's show runners) and directed by Jack Bender, you know it's not gonna disappoint.

The big beef LOST naysayers have had with this current season is its seemingly irrelevant sideways timeline. And I kept telling these people the same thing: obviously with a show this precise in its execution, it's GOING to have some relevance. What was witnessed in "Happily Ever After" is not only proof of that relevance, but proof that the sideways reality is getting f**king exciting!

I've had a good long while (six years, now) to scheme and plot an appropriate ending for what is arguably network cable's most daring endeavor (Twin Peaks gives LOST a run for its money in the "what the hell?!" department), and the thing is, my brain's incapable of coming up with something truly kickass. I just can't fathom it, which is why I (and, I'm assuming, so many others) was so concerned the writers get it right. They've got a LOT riding on these final six episodes, and the implications of island world and alternate world colliding (or bleeding together, or willingly pairing up, or whatever) in my opinion really do constitute the ingredients for a decisive, thrilling end.

There's also Jacob and the Man in Black to consider, though, and how their argument fits into DHARMA/electromagnetic activity/parallel realities is going to need some explanation. But that's what's going to make these last ones fun. Forward ho!

I'm running this post short because I'm being whisked away to Portland in about fifteen minutes... may update in a few days.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Bringing Us Up to Speed

Spring break in a paragraph: relatives (lots of them)! Extreme bouts of mother-mandated self-consciousness (in no way related to my grandparents' near-constant presence). Stubborn refusal. A t-shirt when not many others had them on. And a breakfast buffet to end all breakfast buffets. For serious. I also managed to get through David Foster Wallace's Oblivion, an incredible, inspiring, and oftentimes downright absurd book of short stories that I'd recommend to anyone. Go read it! Or just flip to either "The Soul is Not a Smithy" or "Good Old Neon" for examples of the best writing the 21st century has to offer. Again, for serious.

Then I came back to Eugene. I hate when people always make those insipid comments about good/bad weather following them from place to place. As in, "Hey, Bob, looks like you brought that sun back with you from Nevada! Eh, Bob? Eh?" First of all, a statment like this automatically reduces the speaker to a position of idiocy, and second-of-ly, as if anyone who isn't completely up-their-own-ass-narcissistic would actually believe the weather is not only aware of their existence, but also is willing to drop whatever it was doing (or not) and actively follow that person across the state/country/sea just to provide some piddling water-cooler talk. Long story short: unless you're either an idiot or a narcissist (or, God forbid, both), stop with the weather comments!

But seriously, the weather in Eugene seemed to know I was coming, because it's been raining like hell (if hell was positioned beneath the floorboards of the world's largest leaky sink) ever since we got back. Where's my spring term filled with alcohol and sandals and little to no obligation?! Where's the sun for me to cower from? All I've got to keep me company are 16 credits' worth of class, which I'm going to detail right... NOW!

Shakespeare 208: Exactly how it sounds. I already had Ginsberg as a professor for Medieval lit (which was actually more like ancient Greek lit), and he finds no shame in jumping around the front of the room speaking different parts and screaming to the Gods. Bear in mind he's like 70 years old and highly Jewish. On the downside, the class is stuffed full of freshmen, and I hate them.

Consumer Culture: The last of my Honors College requirements! It's three hours long, seminar-style, in a stuffy little board room with fifteen other overachievers, and it runs from 5-8 on Tuesday nights. Not the best time slot. The Professor reminds me of a severely jaded future me, and I left the first class (having watched three hours' worth of Dove, Axe, and toy commercials, bleak news reports, and online documentaries) feeling less than hopeful. [storyofstuff.com]

Magazine Editor 474: My professor is a rock star (literally), and since I've had him all year I'm expecting quite the letter of recommendation. Oh, I'm also the only guy. Here's how class started:
Professor Wheeler: Looks like you're the only guy here with me, AJ.
15 girls: Ohhhh, you're soooo lucky!
Me (internal): This is such a major bummer.

Kidd Tutorial: More creative writing. Nuff said.

I think that about does it! Besides can I also mention really quick how cruelly realistic these internet-based April Fools jokes are becoming? They get me every time! Oh, and LOST is progressively kicking more and more ass. Case in point: