Friday, December 31, 2004

Getaran Jiwa
P. Ramlee

Getaran jiwa
Melanda hatiku
Tersusun nada
Irama dan lagu
Walau hanya sederhana
Tetapi tak mengapa
Moga dapat membangkitkan
Sedarlah kamu wahai insan

Tak mungkin hilang
Irama dan lagu
Bagaikan kembang
Sentiasa bermadu
Andai dipisah
Lagu dan irama
Lemah tiada berjiwa

Happy New Year....
I Gave My Love A Cherry
(Traditional Appalachian Song)

I gave my love a cherry that has no stone
I gave my love a chicken that has no bone
I told my love a story that has no end
I gave my love a baby with no crying

How can there be a cherry that has no stone
How can there be a chicken that has no bone
How can there be a story that has no end
How can there be a baby with no crying

A cherry when it blossoms, it has no stone
A chicken when it's pipping, it has no bone
The story that I love you, it has no end
A baby when it's sleeping has no crying
FortyTwo (2002)

Woke one morning when the sun was up
My mind was water in a paper cup of holes
Beauty living on the edge of town
You're a mile from the border when you're turned around and told
There's no one home
When a child has reached his fifteenth year
He's learned to walk along a trail of fear and love

Boardwalk burning in the midday sun
The sea, the sky, the earth, the penny arcade are one
Don't feel a sentimental fool right now
The roaring river's all his heart allows to run
Are we having fun?

She said "I've got a question to put to you"
She said "How?" She said "Who?"
He said "Forty-two years I've seen
And I thought I'd know more than I did back then
And I do but I'm more confused than I've ever been"

But You torch up the night
You torch up the night for me

Dreamed a thought for the young at heart
The morning after's the hardest part to make
Words that breed like apple cores
All that I have stolen's your to take
What can we fake?
All the corners are filled with beggar-men
March's cover's making out with an also-ran from Tinseltown
You're praying to the Lord there's more than this
He may be sayin right back, more than ritual is
A thorny crown

You torch up the night
You torch up the night for me

I had a dream last night
You placed a lamp on my table
I'd gotten nothing right
I was a Cain
You were my Abel
And in the wilderness
No man or beast would touch me
They all ran and hid
I don't know if their hearts were good or bad
I only know thats what they did

Woke one morning when the sun was up
My mind water in a paper cup of holes...

Wednesday, December 29, 2004


words on the paper
from the radio
questions from
people that i know
(no i don't think so
everyone's alright
everyone i love is
safe and sound tonite

i pick my way home
or to the place i live
consider what i have left
the things i didn't give

don't come apart
don't come apart
say that to yourself
you selfish, tired heart
just a few more days and then
wave and let that be an end

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Trying To Throw Your Arms Around The World

Six o'clock in the morning
You're the last to hear the warning
You've been tryin' to throw your arms around the world
You've been falling off the sidewalk
Your lips move but you can't talk
Tryin' to throw your arms around the world
Gonna run to you, run to you, run to you
Be still
Gonna run to you, run to you, run to you
Woman I will

Sunrise like a nosebleed
Your head hurts and you can't breathe
You've been tryin' to throw your arms around the world
How far you gonna go?
Before you lose your way back home
You've been tryin' to throw your arms
Around the world

Gonna run to you, run to you, run to you
Woman be still
I'm gonna run to you, run to you, run to you
Woman I will

Yeah, I dreamed that I saw Dali
With a supermarket trolley
He was tryin' to throw his arms around a girl
He took an open top beetle
Through the eye of a needle
He was tryin' to throw his arms around the world

Gonna run to you, run to you, run to you
Woman be still
I wanna run to you, run to you, run to you
Oh, Woman I will

(...and you just gotta, you just gotta make your faith see...)

Nothin' much to say I guess
You're just the same as all the rest
Been tryin' to throw your arms around the world
And a woman needs a man
Like a fish needs a bicycle
When you're tryin' to throw your arms around the world

I'm gonna run to you, run to you, run to you
I'm gonna run to you, run to you, run to you
I'm gonna run to you, run to you, run to you
Woman be still
Woman be still
Be still
Woman be still

Monday, December 27, 2004

What We Talk About When We Talk About Love
(The Wedding Version)


Come to the table darling
Sit with me a while
Break this bread and drink this wine
And kiss me with your smile
This is what's been given us
This is all enough
This is what we talk about when we talk about love

Your eyes are an ocean
Your tear trails a course
This world's lost its purpose
But we're safe on these shores
Let them play with knives and bullets
Set their hammers and serve
But this is what we talk about when we talk about love

We've heard about a mother
And we've heard about her son
We've heard about the carpenter
The good work that's been done
Not a cop, or judge, or doctor
Just a life, that was enough
Well what'd you want to talk about when you talk about love?

A lonely king he prophesies
In rhetoric and rhyme
He fights to be understood
He'd kill to be sublime
He seeks an end to songs and chains
Affections undeserved
But he don't know what he talks about when he talks about love

We can go to the philosopher
We can go to the sage
We can go to the Nietzchean at the end of the age
We can ask this question of them
If they say "you've got some nerve":
Well what'd you want to talk about when you talk about love?

There's a tower burning brightly
In the middle of the sea
It was there before the world was made
By the shores of Galilee
What once was below us
It now rises above
This is what we talk about when we talk about love
This is what we talk about when we talk about love

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Bob Dylan Talks About That Singer From U2

"Bono says things that can sway anybody. He's like that guy in the old movie, the one who beats up a rat with his bare hands and wrings a confession out of him. If Bono had come to America in the early part of the century he would have been a cop. He seems to know a lot about America and what he doesn't, he's curious about."

Chronicles, Volume One

Friday, December 17, 2004

"Forty-two!" yelled Loonquawl. "Is that all you've got to show for seven and a half million years' work?"
"I checked it very thoroughly," said the computer, "and that quite definitely is the answer. I think the problem, to be quite honest with you, is that you've never actually known what the question is."

Douglas Adams, The Hitchiker's Guide To The Galaxy

Psalm 42

As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?

My tears have been my food
day and night,
while men say to me all day long,
"Where is your God?"

These things I remember
as I pour out my soul:
how I used to go with the multitude,
leading the procession to the house of God,
with shouts of joy and thanksgiving
among the festive throng.

Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and 6 my God.

My soul is downcast within me;
therefore I will remember you
from the land of the Jordan,
the heights of Hermon-from Mount Mizar.

Deep calls to deep
in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
have swept over me.

By day the LORD directs his love,
at night his song is with me-
a prayer to the God of my life.

I say to God my Rock,
"Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I go about mourning,
oppressed by the enemy?"

My bones suffer mortal agony
as my foes taunt me,
saying to me all day long,
"Where is your God?"

Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Why Aren't There Any Nice Bible Verses With The Word 'Dog' In Them?

Monday, November 29, 2004

Singing Turkeys!

My friend CCL came down for thanksgiving and we just finished a 4-hour recording session. Here're the results:

Arise My Soul Arise: The Indelible Grace version!

I Sure Have Made a Mess Of Things: A song I wrote as something I thought Johnny Cash might sing. He probably wouldn't, but it's nice to tap into other people that way when you write stuff.

Girl Of The North Country: I heard Garrison Keillor sing this with this melody once on A Prairie Home Companion. Thought I'd give it a shot. The yodelling at the end is all me though, for better or worse.

Many props to CCL for the tech-savviness, and the guitar skillz on Girl Of The North Country.

Monday, November 22, 2004


Don't get me wrong, I like our current Prime Minister, and as I've said before, I don't like the Yee-Haw-Screw-You-Rest-Of-The-World attitude with which the US went into Iraq, but this collection of Badawi quotes from The Star had me a little confused:

"No one wants a government that is oppressive. People will always fight oppression and people who fight oppression cannot be called terrorists."

"No oppressive government must be allowed to survive."

And then a little later:

"When Sept 11 occurred, we in Malaysia were very sympathetic with the United States and even willing to support efforts to counter terrorism. But the United States took a swing and took the pursuit of terrorism into invading Iraq. We disagree with that."

Okay... I think we can file Saddam's government under 'oppressive'. Selectively-oppressive, perhaps (as I understand it, they only gas-bombed defenseless civilians who didn't agree with Saddam's totalarian regime, and tortured olympic athletes who didn't perform... everyone else got a pretty good break, I suppose), but since when was that better than all-out oppressive?

And thanks to the US, his oppressive government didn't survive. I say, give em props for that at least. Quietly, though. We don't need Bush's head to get any bigger. His white hat might explode.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Long Way From Home
Jesse Harris and the Ferdinandos

in the mirror, stop and stare
but it's a stranger's face in there
rake my hair back with a plastic comb
where'd i go, i'm
feeling like i'm a long way from home

you were sweet to care for me
and gently stroke my hair for me
put me on a matress made of foam
and whisper low but i'm
feeling like i'm a long way from home

i don't know where i'm goin'
i don't know what i'm doin'

sleep again won't come to me
i walk outside, the galaxies
and stars surround the whole world like dome
i'm still alone and i'm
feeling like i'm a long long way from home

Sunday, October 31, 2004


Recently, I've been playing Ultima Online (or UO), and a lot of it too. Which isn't a good thing. You see, UO involves a lot of time-consuming skill-building, which in turn involves a lot of sitting down in front of the pc. So I sit down in front of a pc at work all day and then I come home and sit down in front of the pc all night. Then the weekend comes around and... guess what. Yep, I sit down in front of the pc some more. Today was almost no different. I got up, turned on the TV, and it was the Sci-Fi channel with their Halloween movie marathon. That's great, I thought, I get to watch some horror classics while playing UO.

By three o'clock, my butt starts to ache from all the sitting down. It was like, 'dude, give me a break, go do something that doesn't involve me bearing the brunt of your weight'. So I thought, okay, what can I do? Well last week, Brent and Marci had gone babysitting at their friends' house on Saturday and asked me to do something with Brae, their dog, just so she wouldn't be lonely all day. Well, I'd heard that House Mountain, which is about 15 minutes drive away from where I live, was a good place to hike. Problem was, I didn't know exactly how to get there, and I wound up driving around House Mountain (I could see it from the road), not knowing exactly how to get to the hiking trail. Eventually I went home, defeated, with a very perplexed dog in the back seat.

Well, today I decided I would atone for that failure. Brent had given me simpler instructions for how to get there. "Get on Rutledge Pike, and just look for the House Mountain State Park sign". I could do that. I got in my car and took a roundabout route via Millertown Pike to Rutledge. Saw a few creepily decked out houses in the area along the way. One particularly brilliant getup was situated just over a small hill and around a bend. They had put up cobwebs and ghosts that sprang into view just as you came around that bend. That gave me a bit of the willies!

I got on Rutledge, drove a bit, and found the sign Brent had talked about. Soon I was at the parking lot for the House Mountain trail. Quite a few cars were parked there, so I knew I could expect to see other hikers. I walked out a ways into the woods to take piss (when you gotta go, you gotta go), and saw that someone had a left a copy of the News Sentinel a little ways off the trail. It was today's, too. I picked it up cause, hey, I'd have something to read when I got to the top.

I'd been up this trail with friends before, so I kinda knew what I was in for. It isn't a long hike... it maybe takes half an hour to get to the top of the mountain. On the way up, I ran into quite a few people making their way back. I checked the time on my cellphone to see what the rush was... it was only about 4:30pm. I thought that was weird, because these past few weeks it only gets dark around 7pm. That's at least two-and-half hours of daylight left, so what was the rush? A couple of them looked at me weird too, but didn't say anything. So much for Southern hospitality :p.

The trail winds around the side of the mountain quite a bit, so there were quite a few corners to take. After about twenty minutes, at one of these corners, I came to an overlook that faces South. It was a rock outcropping that gave a cool preview of the view at the top. I sat there for a moment to catch my breath. The view was already pretty good, even at this point. I was going to look at the copy of the News Sentinel I'd found, but then I thought I'd just save it for later. I did glance at it, though, and I saw that the Lifestyle section had a Halloween special in it. I promised myself I'd look at it.

When I was ready to keep moving, I thought about getting back on the trail, but then I remembered the last time I was here. Instead of taking the trail, Brent had gone up the slope from the overlook and got to the trail at the top quicker that way. I'd followed him the last time, and I thought, what the heck, I'll take the same shortcut again. I didn't quite remember the route he took, but I thought it couldn't be very complicated, as long as I just went up.

About ten minutes later, I was dog tired from clawing my way up the slope, which had been a longer climb than I had thought it would be. The slope had also turned out to be more slippery than expected. The dirt was pretty loose. Once, to steady myself, I grabbed a small tree whose roots had rotted away. It wasn't fun regaining my balance AND dodging a dead falling tree. I did manage to get up to what seemed the top of the mountain, though. The problem was, I didn't immediately see a trail. I started thinking this shortcut is way longer than I remembered. The only other way was back down the slope, though, and I wasn't about to give up on my shortcut just yet. I did start wishing I'd stuck to the trail, though. If I had someone with me I could at least be yucking it up. As it is, the only sounds I heard were the wind and the rustling of leaves underfoot.

Where the slope had levelled out, there was a small clearing that had a bunch of rocks sticking out of the ground. They would have been kinda cool if it wasn't getting so lonely. I spotted a couple of dark crannies amongst the rocks, and decided that if there were any animals inside, I didn't want to meet them. I got out of the clearing and wandered through the trees for what seemed more and more to be an inordinate amount of time. Just as I was ready to turn around and head back to the slope and try my luck finding the overlook again, I got over a hump and found the trail again. Well, I found *a* trail. This one was wider and had more leaves on it than the narrow trail I'd been on before. It was lower than the rest of the ground, so I hadn't seen it from a distance. It was a relief to find some form of civilization again. Well, except I didn't know which way to go. The trail seemed to run along the length of the mountaintop, and neither way seemed intuitively to be the fastest way down. And frankly, I was tired enough that home was where I wanted to be as soon as possible. I decided to go east along the trail, because that was the direction the trail had gone in back at the overlook, where I had taken my 'little' shortcut.

After about, oh, forever? I was wondering if this trail actually went anywhere. I came across a wooden bench by the side of the trail and thought about sitting down, but I was really in a hurry to get to my car. I didn't know exactly where I was and I didn't know how long it would take to get back, and I still hadn't found anything that looked like a path leading back down the mountain. As I got closer to the end of the mountain, the trail got narrower and less descript. Eventually, the trail was nothing more a narrow winding path hemmed by mossy rocks. Just when I thought that I'd never see another living being again, I spied a couple coming along the trail towards me. What a relief. I stopped to talk to them. The dude was pretty friendly... his gal was kinda quiet, so I didn't pay much attention to her. He introduced themselves as... get this... Dick and Sue. He must've been living in the 60s... who calls themselves Dick anymore :p. I asked if where they were coming from led down to the parking lot. Dick was like Nooo, that goes to the East overlook at the edge of the mountain. He told me the branch that lead back the the cars was way back where I'd come, next to a wooden bench. I was like, dude! I saw the bench, I must've missed the trail. The lady pulled out a map and thumbed through it, and silently pointed out where I was. I was going to turn around and head back to the bench, but Dick was like "The view from the overlook is too good to miss! You *need* to see it".

Well it was only a quarter past five, so I thought I had plenty of daylight left. I said adieu and kept moving. They were like, "If you don't spend too long there, you'll probably catch up to us!". Yep!

Eventually I got to the overlook, and the view WAS great. I would've enjoyed it thoroughly, and I did for a while, until I took note of the overlook itself. It was made up of a five rocks (more rocks, dang) that kinda pointed out from the side of the mountain... it was like a big freaky golem hand that I was sitting on. That really weirded me out. Of course, I was being silly, but to take my mind off all the kookiness, I took out the News Sentinel I'd found. Thought twice about looking at the Halloween special, but again, I was being silly. It had the usual: origins of Halloween, Halloween events, blah blah blah. Then one story caught my eye. It was about Spooky Knoxville Locations (tm). I could not resist. There were places downtown (surprise! surprise!), and some others out West I didn't know about. Then I saw it... House Mountain. I thought, okay, this is tacky, and I don't need to read that... but I did. Fifty years ago, Richard Shipe took his girlfriend, Susan Hawkins up to the East overlook (horrors!), and, in a fit of rage, threw her over the edge to her death. Apparently she wanted to break up with him, so she followed him to the top of a mountain, alone, go figure. Then he shot himself with a pistol. On Halloween.

Okay, that was just too funny. Like bad-horror-movie funny. I ditched the paper and started back the way I'd came. The sky was taking on that red sunset hue, which had me a little concerned. It wasn't anywhere close to seven... but then it hit me. Daylight savings. The switch was last night. I've only got, um, half an hour of light left, not until 7pm like I'd thought. Geez. I start to hustle. I eventually came to the bench, and... no branching trail. I looked and looked, and didn't see anything that looked well trodden leading down the side of the mountain. I had that I've-been-had feeling. That and a I-need-to-get-the-hell-back-to-my-car feeling. I was still on a trail, though, at least, and it's gotta lead somewhere. I just need make like a walkathon contestant and I'll be... somewhere... in no time.

After another fifteen minutes walking the length of the mountaintop, it was officially darker than I was comfortable with. I'd kept my eye out for a trail, *any* trail, leading down, but had seen nothing. I wasn't TOO worried though... the last time I came here I'd gone down the West side of the mountain, and I knew THAT trail had to be in the direction I was going. I'd get there, eventually, I thought. Well when I eventually found myself at another overlook, hence a dead end, I knew I'd thought wrong. Apparently I was suffering from a serious blind spot... how else was I missing all these branching trails? I started thinking, if I hadn't taken that shortcut, I would never half gotten this lost. Stupid, stupid shortcut. Now I had somehow wound up on the trail that goes nowhere along the top of House Mountain. I took out my cellphone, meaning to call Brent... he probably knew where I'd gone wrong. I lit up the screen to look up the phone. It said 'No Signal'. Which was weird, because the last time I was here, and I promise this is the last time I talk about the last time I was here, I'd called my friend Chun Liang in Chicago on the way up. I even remember some idiot we passed saying "Can You Hear Me Now?" to me.

I sat down at the edge of the overlook to ponder my situation... and then I saw it, sitting on the rock next to me. The copy of the News Sentinel that I had ditched on the other side of the mountain. What the heck. I stood up and looked around me. The overlook I stood on was five ugly, mishapen fingers of rock.


"Good view isn't it?" I heard a voice say.

I turned around with a start. It was Dick and Sue! Boy was I glad to see them. "Hey hey!" I laughed, "Good to see you guys! You won't BELIEVE what just happened!"... blahblahblah... I told them the reader's digest version of everything that had happened up til that point. Dick didn't seem too surprised, and Sue was quiet like before, but I didn't care, it was just good to see other folk. When I was done with my story, I was like, okay I'm ready to get back to the car, can you guys show me the way? Hey come to think of it, what are you guys still doing here?

"What are we doing here?" Sue said in monotone, "We came here to talk, just us alone".

That was the first I'd heard her speak, so I was a little taken aback. She sounded weird too. Dick laughed, and said "Well she came up here to talk. I'm here to do something else."

"Um, what?" I asked.

"This", he said, and he pushed me over the edge of the rock.

I fell backwards some 60 feet, too shocked to scream. I hit the ground. I didn't completely lose conciousness, yet. Through the blackness, I heard them arguing, up on the overlook... he got mad, they struggled... I heard her scream on the way down, and land a few feet away from me... a few more moments of blackness... her last pathetic whimpers in the throes of death... then a gunshot from above.

As darkness came over me for the last time, I thought to myself...

That's the last time I'm taking a shortcut.



Saturday, October 30, 2004

The Wanderer
U2 (starring Johnny Cash)

I went out walking
Through streets paved with gold
Lifted some stones
Saw the skin and bones
Of a city without a soul
I went out walking
Under an atomic sky
Where the ground won't turn
And the rain it burns
Like the tears when I said goodbye

Yeah I went with nothing
Nothing but the thought of you
I went wandering

I went drifting
Through the capitals of tin
Where men can't walk
Or freely talk
And sons turn their fathers in
I stopped outside a church house
Where the citizens like to sit
They say they want the kingdom
But they don't want God in it

I went out riding
Down that old eight lane
I passed by a thousand signs
Looking for my own name

I went with nothing
But the thought you'd be there too
Looking for you

I went out there
In search of experience
To taste and to touch
And to feel as much
As a man can
Before he repents

I went out searching
Looking for one good man
A spirit who would not bend or break
Who would sit at his father's right hand
I went out walking
With a bible and a gun
The word of God lay heavy on my heart
I was sure I was the one
Now Jesus, don't you wait up
Jesus, I'll be home soon
Yeah I went out for the papers
Told her I'd be back by noon

Yeah I left with nothing
But the thought you'd be there too
Looking for you

Yeah I left with nothing
Nothing but the thought of you
I went wandering

Friday, October 29, 2004

Ultima Online Is Ruining My Life

But I'm getting GM Archery this weekend, so it's worth it.


Monday, October 11, 2004

Other Malaysian Blogs

A couple of things I may be reading from now on....

1.Screenshots, a blog by some guy named Jeff Ooi, who has the balls to use the slogan 'Thinking Allowed, Thinking Aloud'. *Ouch*. But hey, stuff like that passes for witty in Malaysia, so he's aloud to. Hyuk! He recently got in A WHOLE LOT OF TROUBLE for some 'anti-islamic comments' that were left on his blog *by another reader*... and it turns out those comments weren't really anti-islamic... they were just taken out of context by giant Malaysian newspaper entities.

Gotta love it.

2.CY Leow's Photoblog... well I won't *really* look at this too often, because I'm not exactly into that sort of thing, but the September 21, 2004 entry is notable for two things:

a)a link to a story about the time a B-25 bomber crashed into the 78th floor of the Empire State Building, and

b)a "WTF!!!???" family picture at the very end of the entry. :p. I love my countrymen.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Top Ten Desert Island Cds

Every blog needs one eh...?

1. U2 - The Joshua Tree:
You need something to make you hope...

2. Sting - Ten Summoner Tales:
... and something to make you laugh...

3. Bob Dylan - Time Out of Mind:
... and make you cry...

4. Moulin Rouge OST:
... and make you do a little bit of all the above.

5. Strictly Ballroom OST:
There's never been a time I listened to this CD and didn't thoroughly enjoy it. Except that one time a monkey was hitting me with a wrench at the same time. That time it kinda sucked.

6. The Crow OST:
Since I'm using the acronym 'OST'...

7. U2 - Pop *OR* Achtung Baby:
It ROCKS. Everyone who disagrees is... a retard! Yeah, a retard!

8. Radiohead - The Bends
One song: Fake Plastic Trees.

9. Paul Simon - Graceland
Hmmm... need to buy this CD. All I got is a cassette... and it's lost amongst the junk in my car.

10. Jesse Harris and the Fernandos - The Secret Sun
It's just what happens to be playing on the stereo right now. But hey, it's really good, in a back-of-your-mind sorta way.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

The Playboy Mansion U2

If Coke is a mystery
Michael Jackson...History
If beauty is truth
And surgery the fountain of youth
What am I to do
Have I got the gift to get me through
The gates of that mansion

If OJ is more than a drink
And a Big Mac bigger than you think
If perfume is an obsession
And talk shows, confession
What have we got to lose
Another push and we'll be through
The gates of that mansion

I never bought a Lotto ticket
I never parked in anyone's space
The banks feel like cathedrals
I guess casinos took their place
Love, come on down
Don't wake her, she'll come around

Chance is a kind of religion
Where you're damned for plain hard luck
I never did see that movie
I never did read that book
Love, come on down
Let my numbers come around

Don't know if I can hold on
Don't know if I'm that strong
Don't know if I can wait that long
'Til the colours come flashing
And the lights go on

Then will there be no time for sorrow
Then will there be no time for shame
And though I can't say why
I know I've got to believe

We'll go driving in that pool
It's who you know that gets you through
The gates of the Playboy mansion
But they don't mention...the pain

Then will there be no time for sorrow
Then will there be no time for shame
Then will there be no time for sorrow
Then will there be no time for shame

Thursday, September 23, 2004

...When the last rays of daylight go down
Buddy, you'll roll no more
I can hear the church bells ringing in the yard
I wonder who they're ringing for
I know I can't win
But my heart just won't give in
Last night I danced with a stranger
But she just reminded me you were the one
You left me standing in the doorway crying
In the dark land of the sun...

Standing In The Doorway, Bob Dylan

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Shiki VS Vega

'Snk VS Capcom: Chaos' comes out on the XBox in a couple of weeks... so here's my related fanboy contribution.

Shiki! Shiki! Oh, Shiki!

Sunday, September 12, 2004

It's Alive!

My laptop had been getting progressively crappier and crappier over the past two years, what with all the nefarious spywares running in the background everytime I TURNED MY MODEM ON (though I take full responsibility for presence of said spyware), as well as other more esoteric problems. A couple of weeks ago, it even told me I couldn't install a new graphics driver because Windows is still in the process of installing something else. Please reboot. Rebooting doesn't help. I was like, fine, nevermind, I'll just not install anything for a while. Last week, though, it started attempting to install MS Money everytime I open Windows Explorer. So I lost my temper, pointed at the screen, and yelled "Your buggy @$$ is getting reformatted!". It's a good thing my neighbors moved out last month.

I didn't reformat it right away, though. First, I had to backup a bunch of things onto my external hard drive. I did that (or at least I thought I did... I did find out after the fact that I'd forgotten to backup all my website-related files, so now I've lost all my Flash files for Opposable Thoughts... Bleh!) and then I also had to know I had access to hacked versions of software I'd gotten used to having around. Hey! I'm poor and I just got out of college. I haven't been weaned of free uber-powerful image editing software. Oops. I've said too much haven't I? a-DOH-be! In any case, Paul hooked me up. All was good.

Finally, I got round to wiping my hardrive clean yesterday. Nothing fancy... just took out the QuickRestore CDs that came with the laptop (I'm glad I actually bothered to hold on to those), popped them in and told it to do it's thing. Now my laptop runs as good as new (well... the built-in keyboard still doesn't work, but that's a hardware problem), like a happy, wide-eyed grade-schooler, not the cranky old hag it been for the past year or so.

Now what was that free P2P app I was using before...?

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Men At Work

(Concerning Ultima Online's new Orientally-themed expansion)
vochraye: I have heard tell that the Samuri Empire is going to be really well done though with new art and stuff
vochraye: new plants and new creatures and new human types
vochraye: oh and new weapons of course
vochraye: Oh and get this
vochraye: Ninjas
vochraye: WHA?!?!
ngbernard_98: hahaha
ngbernard_98: well sure
ngbernard_98: i mean you cant have samurais without ninjas
ngbernard_98: they like, hang out and stuff y'know
vochraye: Riiiiiiiight
ngbernard_98: yeah man
vochraye: Oh!
vochraye: And while we're at it
vochraye: Throw in some robots.
ngbernard_98: yeah man
ngbernard_98: giant robots and samurais and ninjas
ngbernard_98: dont you watch pwoer rangers
ngbernard_98: dude they hangout together all the time
vochraye: Oh yeah!
vochraye: And the ultimate
vochraye: The Ninja Samuri Robot.
ngbernard_98: errr... .no DUDE.... ninjas cant be samurais
ngbernard_98: DUH
vochraye: Well this one is a pro wrestler
ngbernard_98: it's like spiderman wearing a cape calling himself batman
vochraye: Well that is of course my point
vochraye: Ninjas are Chinese and Samuri are Japanese. Why are they in the same expansion
vochraye: Might as well put some Vikings in there too
ngbernard_98: wait... where the vikings come from
vochraye: Iceland I think
vochraye: no
vochraye: greenland
ngbernard_98: woah.... no wonder that countries so frikkin huge
ngbernard_98: the vikings went out and conquered shit
vochraye: Oh yeah
vochraye: Hey!
vochraye: That WOULD be a good expansion
ngbernard_98: vikings goiung out and conquering shit? yeah thats what you call expanding alright
vochraye: Well
vochraye: Yeah!

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Harvester of Hearts
Rufus Wainwright

If a person should ever like a person
Then a person should like you
Being that I'm only just a person
What would you do?
If a person should ever like a person
Then a person should like me
Being that you're only just a person
It must be
Still I find it hard to get an answer
From the harvester of hearts
Always find it hard to get an answer
From the harvester of hearts

If a person should ever like a person
How funny that would be
If a person should ever like me
Not that I have that much to offer
God knows I have so much to gain
From the harvester of hearts
From the harvester of pain

If a person should ever like a person
Then a person should be free
Free to like whomever that they want to
Even though it ain't me
Not that I have much to offer
God knows I have so much to gain
From the harvester of hearts
From the harvester of pain

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Things I Couldn't Get This Week

1. A Car
2. A Car Loan
3. A Used Xbox
4. Travis's Jokes


Friday, August 20, 2004

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Things Have Changed

Well I saw Bob Dylan play on Wednesday night in Kodak, TN, at the Smokies baseball stadium, so I guess I can quit posting Bob lyrics now. I say I went to see him play, and that's exactly what I mean. I didn't see him put on a show, and I didn't see him perform for us. What I did see him do was get four or five other guys onto a stage with him in a baseball stadium that kinda just happened to have a few thousand other people hangin' around. Then he might have said, "Ok boys, let's play something", or "Hit it!", or "Where'd I leave my goddamn joint...", or something, and then he and those four or five other guys started making the biggest noise I'd ever heard in this state. He didn't sing the tunes like I'd ever heard them before. Hell, he didn't sing so much as recite them. He leaned as far away from the beat as he could. Sometimes it sounded like the band knew the songs better than he did. But it was good, hard-rockin' stuff, and Bob belted out the words like he meant them. Bob's a funny man. Bob's a living man. What more can you ask for from Bob, except to live, and to play, right before your very eyes.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Every Grain Of Sand
Bob Dylan

In the time of my confession, in the hour of my deepest need
When the pool of tears beneath my feet flood every newborn seed
There's a dyin' voice within me reaching out somewhere,
Toiling in the danger and in the morals of despair.

Don't have the inclination to look back on any mistake,
Like Cain, I now behold this chain of events that I must break.
In the fury of the moment I can see the Master's hand
In every leaf that trembles, in every grain of sand.

Oh, the flowers of indulgence and the weeds of yesteryear,
Like criminals, they have choked the breath of conscience and good cheer.
The sun beat down upon the steps of time to light the way
To ease the pain of idleness and the memory of decay.

I gaze into the doorway of temptation's angry flame
And every time I pass that way I always hear my name.
Then onward in my journey I come to understand
That every hair is numbered like every grain of sand.

I have gone from rags to riches in the sorrow of the night
In the violence of a summer's dream, in the chill of a wintry light,
In the bitter dance of loneliness fading into space,
In the broken mirror of innocence on each forgotten face.

I hear the ancient footsteps like the motion of the sea
Sometimes I turn, there's someone there, other times it's only me.
I am hanging in the balance of the reality of man
Like every sparrow falling, like every grain of sand.

Saving Grace
Bob Dylan

If You find it in Your heart, can I be forgiven?
Guess I owe You some kind of apology.
I've escaped death so many times, I know I'm only living
By the saving grace that's over me.

By this time I'd-a thought I would be sleeping
In a pine box for all eternity.
My faith keeps me alive, but I still be weeping
For the saving grace that's over me.

Well, the death of life, then come the resurrection,
Wherever I am welcome is where I'll be.
I put all my confidence in Him, my sole protection
Is the saving grace that's over me.

Well, the devil's shining light, it can be most blinding,
But to search for love, that ain't no more than vanity.
As I look around this world all that I'm finding
Is the saving grace that's over me.

The wicked know no peace and you just can't fake it,
There's only one road and it leads to Calvary.
It gets discouraging at times, but I know I'll make it
By the saving grace that's over me.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Knockin' On Heaven's Door
Bob Dylan

Mama, take this badge off of me
I can't use it anymore.
It's gettin' dark, too dark for me to see
I feel like I'm knockin' on heaven's door.

Knock, knock, knockin' on heaven's door...

Mama, put my guns in the ground
I can't shoot them anymore.
That long black cloud is comin' down
I feel like I'm knockin' on heaven's door.

Knock, knock, knockin' on heaven's door...

Sweetheart Like You
Bob Dylan

Well, the pressure's down, the boss ain't here,
He gone North for a while,
They say that vanity got the best of him
But he sure left here in style.
By the way, that's a cute hat,
And that smile's so hard to resist
What's a sweetheart like you doin' in a dump like this?

You know, I once knew a woman who looked like you,
She wanted a whole man, not just a half,
She used to call me sweet daddy when I was only a child,
You kind of remind me of her when you laugh.
In order to deal in this game, got to make the queen disappear,
It's done with a flick of the wrist.
What's a sweetheart like you doin' in a dump like this?

You know, a woman like you should be at home,
That's where you belong,
Watching out for someone who loves you true
Who would never do you wrong.
Just how much abuse will you be able to take?
Well, there's no way to tell by that first kiss.
What's a sweetheart like you doin' in a dump like this?

You know you can make a name for yourself,
You can hear them tires squeal,
You can be known as the most beautiful woman
Who ever crawled across cut glass to make a deal.

You know, news of you has come down the line
Even before ya came in the door.
They say in your father's house, there's many mansions
Each one of them got a fireproof floor.
Snap out of it, baby, people are jealous of you,
They smile to your face, but behind your back they hiss.
What's a sweetheart like you doin' in a dump like this?

Got to be an important person to be in here, honey,
Got to have done some evil deed,
Got to have your own harem when you come in the door,
Got to play your harp until your lips bleed.

They say that patriotism is the last refuge
To which a scoundrel clings.
Steal a little and they throw you in jail,
Steal a lot and they make you king.
There's only one step down from here, baby,
It's called the land of permanent bliss.
What's a sweetheart like you doin' in a dump like this?

Monday, August 16, 2004

Dark Eyes
Bob Dylan

Oh, the gentlemen are talking and the midnight moon is on the riverside,
They're drinking up and walking and it is time for me to slide.
I live in another world where life and death are memorized,
Where the earth is strung with lovers' pearls and all I see are dark eyes.

A cock is crowing far away and another soldier's deep in prayer,
Some mother's child has gone astray, she can't find him anywhere.
But I can hear another drum beating for the dead that rise,
Whom nature's beast fears as they come and all I see are dark eyes.

They tell me to be discreet for all intended purposes,
They tell me revenge is sweet and from where they stand, I'm sure it is.
But I feel nothing for their game where beauty goes unrecognized,
All I feel is heat and flame and all I see are dark eyes.

Oh, the French girl, she's in paradise and a drunken man is at the wheel,
Hunger pays a heavy price to the falling gods of speed and steel.
Oh, time is short and the days are sweet and passion rules the arrow that flies,
A million faces at my feet but all I see are dark eyes.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Bob Dylan

Fat man lookin' in a blade of steel
Thin man lookin' at his last meal
Hollow man lookin' in a cottonfield
For dignity

Wise man lookin' in a blade of grass
Young man lookin' in the shadows that pass
Poor man lookin' through painted glass
For dignity

Somebody got murdered on New Year's Eve
Somebody said dignity was the first to leave
I went into the city, went into the town
Went into the land of the midnight sun

Searchin' high, searchin' low
Searchin' everywhere I know
Askin' the cops wherever I go
Have you seen dignity?

Blind man breakin' out of a trance
Puts both his hands in the pockets of chance
Hopin' to find one circumstance
Of dignity

I went to the wedding of Mary-lou
She said "I don't want nobody see me talkin' to you"
Said she could get killed if she told me what she knew
About dignity

I went down where the vultures feed
I would've got deeper, but there wasn't any need
Heard the tongues of angels and the tongues of men
Wasn't any difference to me

Chilly wind sharp as a razor blade
House on fire, debts unpaid
Gonna stand at the window, gonna ask the maid
Have you seen dignity?

Drinkin' man listens to the voice he hears
In a crowded room full of covered up mirrors
Lookin' into the lost forgotten years
For dignity

Met Prince Phillip at the home of the blues
Said he'd give me information if his name wasn't used
He wanted money up front, said he was abused
By dignity

Footprints runnin' cross the silver sand
Steps goin' down into tattoo land
I met the sons of darkness and the sons of light
In the bordertowns of despair

Got no place to fade, got no coat
I'm on the rollin' river in a jerkin' boat
Tryin' to read a note somebody wrote
About dignity

Sick man lookin' for the doctor's cure
Lookin' at his hands for the lines that were
And into every masterpiece of literature
for dignity

Englishman stranded in the blackheart wind
Combin' his hair back, his future looks thin
Bites the bullet and he looks within
For dignity

Someone showed me a picture and I just laughed
Dignity never been photographed
I went into the red, went into the black
Into the valley of dry bone dreams

So many roads, so much at stake
So many dead ends, I'm at the edge of the lake
Sometimes I wonder what it's gonna take
To find dignity

Saturday, August 14, 2004

On A Night Like This
Bob Dylan

On a night like this
So glad you came around,
Hold on to me so tight
And heat up some coffee grounds.
We got much to talk about
And much to reminisce,
It sure is right
On a night like this.

On a night like this
So glad you've come to stay
Hold on to me, pretty miss
Say you'll never go away to stray.
Run your fingers down my spine
Bring me a touch of bliss
It sure feels right
On a night like this.

On a night like this
I can't get any sleep,
The air is so cold outside
And the snow's so deep.
Build a fire, throw on logs
And listen to it hiss
And let it burn, burn, burn, burn
On a night like this.

Put your body next to mine
And keep me company,
There is plenty a room for all,
So please don't elbow me.

Let the four winds blow
Around this old cabin door,
If I'm not too far off
I think we did this once before.
There's more frost on the window glass
With each new tender kiss,
But it sure feels right
On a night like this.
Mississippi, Bob Dylan

Every step of the way we walk the line
Your days are numbered, so are mine
Time is pilin' up, we struggle and we scrape
We're all boxed in, nowhere to escape

City's just a jungle, more games to play
Trapped in the heart of it, trying to get away
I was raised in the country, I been workin' in the town
I been in trouble ever since I set my suitcase down

Got nothing for you, I had nothing before
Don't even have anything for myself anymore
Sky full of fire, pain pourin' down
Nothing you can sell me, I'll see you around

All my powers of expression and thoughts so sublime
Could never do you justice in reason or rhyme
Only one thing I did wrong
Stayed in Mississippi a day too long

Well, the devil's in the alley, mule's in the stall
Say anything you wanna, I have heard it all
I was thinkin' about the things that Rosie said
I was dreaming I was sleeping in Rosie's bed

Walking through the leaves, falling from the trees
Feeling like a stranger nobody sees
So many things that we never will undo
I know you're sorry, I'm sorry too

Some people will offer you their hand and some won't
Last night I knew you, tonight I don't
I need somethin' strong to distract my mind
I'm gonna look at you 'til my eyes go blind

Well I got here following the southern star
I crossed that river just to be where you are
Only one thing I did wrong
Stayed in Mississippi a day too long

Well my ship's been split to splinters and it's sinking fast
I'm drownin' in the poison, got no future, got no past
But my heart is not weary, it's light and it's free
I've got nothin' but affection for all those who've sailed with me

Everybody movin' if they ain't already there
Everybody got to move somewhere
Stick with me baby, stick with me anyhow
Things should start to get interesting right about now

My clothes are wet, tight on my skin
Not as tight as the corner that I painted myself in
I know that fortune is waitin' to be kind
So give me your hand and say you'll be mine

Well, the emptiness is endless, cold as the clay
You can always come back, but you can't come back all the way
Only one thing I did wrong
Stayed in Mississippi a day too long

Friday, August 13, 2004

Tangled Up In Blue
Bob Dylan

Early one mornin' the sun was shinin',
I was layin' in bed
Wonderin' if she'd changed at all
If her hair was still red.
Her folks they said our lives together
Sure was gonna be rough
They never did like Mama's homemade dress
Papa's bankbook wasn't big enough.
And I was standin' on the side of the road
Rain fallin' on my shoes
Heading out for the East Coast
Lord knows I've paid some dues gettin' through,
Tangled up in blue.

She was married when we first met
Soon to be divorced
I helped her out of a jam, I guess,
But I used a little too much force.
We drove that car as far as we could
Abandoned it out West
Split up on a dark sad night
Both agreeing it was best.
She turned around to look at me
As I was walkin' away
I heard her say over my shoulder,
"We'll meet again someday on the avenue,"
Tangled up in blue.

I had a job in the great north woods
Working as a cook for a spell
But I never did like it all that much
And one day the ax just fell.
So I drifted down to New Orleans
Where I happened to be employed
Workin' for a while on a fishin' boat
Right outside of Delacroix.
But all the while I was alone
The past was close behind,
I seen a lot of women
But she never escaped my mind, and I just grew
Tangled up in blue.

She was workin' in a topless place
And I stopped in for a beer,
I just kept lookin' at the side of her face
In the spotlight so clear.
And later on as the crowd thinned out
I's just about to do the same,
She was standing there in back of my chair
Said to me, "Don't I know your name?"
I muttered somethin' underneath my breath,
She studied the lines on my face.
I must admit I felt a little uneasy
When she bent down to tie the laces of my shoe,
Tangled up in blue.

She lit a burner on the stove and offered me a pipe
"I thought you'd never say hello," she said
"You look like the silent type."
Then she opened up a book of poems
And handed it to me
Written by an Italian poet
From the thirteenth century.
And every one of them words rang true
And glowed like burnin' coal
Pourin' off of every page
Like it was written in my soul from me to you,
Tangled up in blue.

I lived with them on Montague Street
In a basement down the stairs,
There was music in the cafes at night
And revolution in the air.
Then he started into dealing with slaves
And something inside of him died.
She had to sell everything she owned
And froze up inside.
And when finally the bottom fell out
I became withdrawn,
The only thing I knew how to do
Was to keep on keepin' on like a bird that flew,
Tangled up in blue.

So now I'm goin' back again,
I got to get to her somehow.
All the people we used to know
They're an illusion to me now.
Some are mathematicians
Some are carpenter's wives.
Don't know how it all got started,
I don't know what they're doin' with their lives.
But me, I'm still on the road
Headin' for another joint
We always did feel the same,
We just saw it from a different point of view,
Tangled up in blue.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Bob Dylan

The seasons they are turning
And my sad heart is yearning
To hear again the songbird's sweet melodious tone
Won't you meet me out in the moonlight alone

The dusky light the day is losing
Orchids, poppies, black eyed susan
The earth and sky that melts with flesh and bone
Won't you meet me out in the moonlight alone

The air is thick and heavy
All along the levee
Where the geese into the countryside have flown
Won't you meet me out in the moonlight alone

Well, I'm preaching peace and harmony
The blessings of tranquility
Yet I know when the time is right to strike
I take you 'cross the river, dear
You've no need to linger here
I know the kinds of things you like

The clouds are turning crimson
The leaves fall from the limbs and
The branches cast their shadows over stone
Won't you meet me out in the moonlight alone

The boulevards of cypress trees
The masquerade of birds and bees
The petals pink and white, the wind has blown
Won't you meet me out in the moonlight alone

The trailing moss in mystic glow, the purple blossom soft as snow
My tears keep flowing to the sea
Doctor, lawyer, indian chief, it takes a thief to catch a thief
For whom does the bell toll for, love?
It tolls for you and me

Old pulse's running through my palm
The sharp hills are rising from
Yellow fields with twisted oaks that grow
Won't you meet me out in the moonlight alone

Friday, August 06, 2004

Yesterday, I bought a copy of the greatest, funniest, saddest, thickest work of fiction I ever read, David James Duncan's The Brothers K. The title plays off Dostoevsky's Karamazov, but has many more meanings besides. These are explained, partway through the book, in a short ditty titled, quite simply, A Definition, composed in the tale by one of the titular brothers(who happens to be, arguably, the funniest and most self-destructive one). This piece could also very well be used as a summary (of sorts) of what the book is about. I quote it here, with thanks to the author.

A Definition

K verb, K'ed, K'ing. 1. baseball: to strike out. 2. To fail, to flunk, to fuck up, to fizzle, or 3. to fall short, fall apart, fall flat, fall by the wayside, or on deaf ears, or on hard times, or into disrepute or disrepair, or 4. to come unglued, come to grief, come to blows, come to nothing, or 5 go to the dogs, go through the roof, go home in a casket, go to hell in a handbasket, or 6. to blow your cover, blow your chances, blow your cool, blow your stack, shoot your wad, bitch the deal, buy the farm, bite the dust, only 7. to recollect an oddball notion you first heard as a crimeless and un-K'ed child but found so nonsenically paradoxical that you had to ignore it or defy it or betray it for decades before you could begin to believe that it might possibly be true, which is that 8. to lose your money, your virginity, your teach, health or hair, 9. to lose your home, your innocence, your balance, your friends, 10. to lose your happiness, your hopes, your leisure, your looks, and, yea, even your memories, your vision, your mind, your way,
11. in short (and as Jesus K. Rist once so uncompromisingly put it) to lose your very self,
12. for the sake of another, is
13. sweet irony, the only way you're ever going to save it.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

The Song of Wandering Aengus
W.B. Yeats

I WENT out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;
And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.

When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire a-flame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And someone called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.

Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done,
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Harold And Kumar Go To White Castle is a classic. For real. Go see it.
The moon, all too fair, in your russet-red hair sets a sparkling crown
The moon, all too red with glory, is spread on your poor, tattered gown
The moon, all too white, caresses the light in your world-weary eyes
Princess of the street, do allow me to greet you, my broken heart cries

Les escaliers de la butte
sont durs aux miséreux
les ailes des moulins
protègent les amoureux


Complainte De La Butte

Monday, August 02, 2004


ever had a day
that hurt and hurt
but no-one twists the knife
ever had a day
you saw the world
its parody of life
you saw the world
its stupid rhymes
its angry skin
its dying shit
its lying dreams
its crying dogs
its raped and
bleeding babes

you don't believe;
you see the world;
you see it
like it's true.
you don't believe;
you see the world;
recieve it
like it's true.

all you are
is broken truth
but all
want is you

Sunday, August 01, 2004

And Now For Something Completely Different

When I was a kid, I spent a great deal of time by myself, alone with my thoughts, watching other people, asking myself questions about them that had no answers. They weren't questions about specifics, like who this person was or where that person was from, but just the same general questions over and over again.

Look at all those people.
Where did they all come from?
Look at all the lonely people.
Where do they all come from?

I grew up, I kept seeing these people. Blank looks on their faces, screaming at their kids, sitting by the side of the road, missing a hand, missing an eye, holding a half-dead baby, whatever. I'd walk past, maybe gave them some change to make myself feel better, said a prayer, but I walked past, and I'd wonder. What if I was that person? What if I gave up some of my time to actually help? What'd he do to deserve that life? Same questions, really, all of them, when I think about it.

What the fuck?

Let me elaborate. What the fuck? What the fuck was that? How the fuck is it I'm fed, clothed, and dreaming of being relevant while some other poor fuck two meters away from me is living that shithole existence? Who came up with this shit, and why are people wired to let shit happen? Why do I keep running into shit like this that makes me feel like a complete asshole? Who designed this fucking guilt-trip of a world, stuck me in like a poppyseed on a giant fucking lemon poppyseed cake, and proceeded to start taking bites of all the fucking nameless poppyseeds around me?

You hear all kinds of things people come up with to explain this shit. There's the spark of love in everyone. We learn compassion this way. No one is without hope. All we need is luuuv. Okay. Sure. I'll run with that. I had compassion for these people. Yeah, I did. And the fact that I had compassion made me feel better about doing nothing. Where's my cof-fay.

Then Christ found me, and after a long process of discovery, I learned the following things. We fucked it all up. We did. We're fucked up. Every one of us, fucked since birth. Here's the clincher, though: we don't have to be fucked up. There is hope for the fucked. All who come to Christ and believe in Him may be saved. All others... well they're still fucked.

Woah, my brain said. Wait a minute. We were fucked at the start? Dude in the Mercedes and the business suit, just as fucked as single starving mom and dying baby on the street? Ho-kay. Never would've guessed that on my own. Blue-collar schmoe here in front of me ordering a Big Fucking Happy Meal at McFuckingDees, completely fucked and doesn't even know it? Half-dying-soon-to-be-dead one-year-old with her fucking crackwhore mom, fucked here on earth and, probably, if no one else doesn't say to her the right words soon, fucked in the afterlife? Well, a part of me said, it's so fucking ridiculous you can at least be sure no human being made it up. Well, the rest of me said, it's fucking ridiculous, so fuck that.

Then God put a word in. That's how it is, He said. You don't see it all yet. You see only in part, as through a glass darkly. I am the God you met. I am the God who met you. I love you. Again, you do not see my love clearly.

You can deny that what I say is true.

You cannot deny that I AM the God you met.

Back when I first heard that, I pretty much said "Oh". This morning I woke up, and I was wondering what "Oh" meant, exactly.

Welcome to the blog of hope.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Ooh! Ooh! Ooh!

Oh, wait, who cares?
Roll Over, Plato

I found myself in one of the worse types of debates this evening: an argument over semantics. To be more specific, the definition of the term sci-fi was called into question. In retrospect, the whole thing was really quite pointless, because when one side quotes Gene Rodenberry and Isaac Asimov as definitive sources, and the other points to how Blockbuster and Borders' marketing departments choose to place their product, it becomes painfully obvious that there is no common ground whatsoever on which to construct a meaningful discussion. Therefore, I offer this, a link to a list of quotes by people I mostly have no clue about, as a source for interested parties to dive into, which, by the way, offers roughly equal amounts of ammunition for both elitist and populist. Shields up! Fire torpedoes!


"Modern science fiction is the only form of literature that consistently considers the nature of the changes that face us, the possible consequences, and the possible solutions." Isaac Asimov

"A work belongs in the genre of science fiction if its narrative world is at least somewhat different from our own, and if that difference is apparent against the background of an organized body of knowledge." Eric S. Rabkin

"Science fiction is really sociological studies of the future, things that the writer believes are going to happen by putting two and two together." Ray Bradbury

"Science fiction is that branch of fantasy, which, while not true to present-day knowledge, is rendered plausible by the reader's recognition of the scientific possibilities of it being possible at some future date or at some uncertain point in the past." Donald A. Wolleheim

"The future depicted in a good SF story ought to be in fact possible, or at least plausable. That means that the writer should be able to convince the reader (and himself) that the wonders he is describing really can come true...and that gets tricky when you take a good, hard look at the world around you." Frederik Pohl

"At its best, science fiction has no peer in creating another universe of experience, in showing us what we look like in the mirrorof technological society or throught the eyes of a non-human." Dick Riley

"By challenging anthropocentricism and temporal provincialism, science fiction throws open the whole of civilization and its premises to constructive criticism." Alvin Toffler

"...[Science Fiction] means what we point to when we say it." Damon Knight

My personal thoughts on the subject:

Talk to the hand, because the face ain't listening.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Anybody Got Some Fleece I Can Borrow?

Okay, first I need to do is apologize to Erin for not showing up to help her move, because I woke up at 10:15 this morning with a minor hangover. I'd go into details about the previous night, but there's little to share except that it involved this. Pretty random, huh?

Second thing I need to do is announce my new artiste site at They actually let me in! What's this world coming to? Well, here's hoping I'll get to update that page again soon.

Thirdly, I just got a call from Scott Meyer today basically affirming the decisions I've made about my involvement in YAMs worship... Someone else has stepped up to the plate to take over, and this without me telling anyone (aside from Matt) that I don't think I want to be leading when Amanda steps down. Scott was also cool with the fact that I don't feel like leading small group. Yes, yes, I'm supposed to say "I didn't feel lead to" or, "God wasn't pointing me there"... something in Christian-speak. And maybe it's true that God is leading me elsewhere. But from my end, I don't sense such a direct line to God that I can feel His hand yanking my ear in one direction or another. What I have done is prayed and asked for any guidance aside from what I have in my head, and so far, the most honest thing I can say is, I don't *feel* like it. Like that guy from Office Space. I'm not quitting. I'm just not gonna go.

And now, of course, Scott tells me that YAMs worship is covered, which really, if that's not a sign, I don't know what is. Just in case, though, I might go to Wal-mart and get a nice pink towel to lay across my balcony, and pray that if I'm completely wrong about all this, that it would turn lavender in the morning. I might. Except Wal-mart out East is a scary place to go.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Played some of my old stuff again today... this is from my old song bin, written in 2001 apparently. What was I smoking then?

Late In The Day

There is a voice from Minnesota
Made a name in the Greenwich Village coffeehouses
Sang a song to break hearts
When he wasn't certain what a broken heart is
We were walking up the hill
Late in the day the bells filled the air
You hear there's better music downtown
So you spend a couple of nights drinking coffee there

His song didn't have a chorus
Just lines needing to be said
Not unlike the words of the lord Jesus
In the bible bleeding red
It's not dark yet, he sang, but it's getting there
Getting where a man can barely see
Late in the day, beneath a lonesome tree

You learned to be in love
Might've been in Autumn though I can't be sure
Can't be certain now of many things
Can't be certain what I think of you so much for
It's been quiet here lately
So much so you hear the woodwork sigh
Oh why don't you call me baby
There's a performance in the park; let's go see it tonite

You know exactly what's right for us
It's not what I've been trying to pull
I know my feelings have their uses
But darlin', I feel for you still
We could take an evening walk, just us alone
I'd see the night town neon in your eyes
Late in the day, beneath the purple skies

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Something Cops Might Say To Friends On The Phone As They Are Fixing To Pull You Over

"Ooh! Ooh! Traffic stop!"

Thanks, Amy.
The Hills Are Alive...

The annoying popups are gone! Yay! I remembered yesterday that I actually have webspace at Comcast, my internet provider, so I've moved all my images there. The problem is I now need to go back and reedit all my old image links. I'm done with all the archives from now back to January... I may get to the rest later. I've also moved my old Tripod page there, so Opposable Thoughts is now viewable without all those annoying ads... as it was meant to be.

I started playing through some of my songs today (the depressing ones), and remembered that a while back I had meant to get myself some recording equipment to use with my PC, and that I was supposed to upload the stuff I had made with CCL last December to Well, I don't have the money for the gear right now, but I did swing by, and I couldn't figure out what the heck was going on, so I created an artiste profile ('greyhoundbus', of course) at CNET Music instead. It won't get created straightaway... apparently they have to review the submission first. Bleh! Whatever. I need to share my angst with the world now!

Friday, July 16, 2004

Stretch Marks

So I have a rather annoying pop-up problem with my blog if someone decides to visit this page without a popup-blocking browser, and I thought I'd just go ahead and apologize to anyone who's had to deal with that here. I know I really need to do something about it, but at this point, I'm not sure what. There's three things I can think of to do:

a) Pay money for the Angelfire space that I place this blog on. Not a whole lot, and Angelfire promises no more ads for paying sucke... err customers.

b) Move this to another site, which I'd probably have to pay for anyway, at least for an ad-free site. Not too bad an idea, since I've stopped living on a grad student salary (now if only I can figure out why I'm so close to being broke right now).

c) Go back to Blogger hosting.

The reason I moved this blog to Angelfire was because I needed to have pictures on this site, and Angelfire stopped allowing remote viewing of images. The hacky solution I came up with was to have Blogger publish to Angelfire. But Angelfire decides to go popup-crazy on me. Now, though, I see this they've added an Upload Image File button to Blogger's create/edit posts page(along with a lot of other helpers for the HTML-impaired), which makes me go "hmmm".

Well, at the very least, I found the answers to the questions Erin threw at me today. At YAMs, she asked how to publish a link and how to show an image on her blog. Well now Blogger makes it easy, as the editor now comes with both functions, along with controls for messing with your fonts and layouts.

BTW, thanks for the duck, Erin!

Monday, July 12, 2004

Stay (Faraway, So Close!), U2

Green light, Seven Eleven
You stop in for a pack of cigarettes
You don't smoke, don't even want to
Hey now, check your change
Dressed up like a car crash
Your wheels are turning but you're upside down
You say when he hits you, you don't mind
Because when he hurts you, you feel alive
Hey babe, is that what it is

Red lights, gray morning
You stumble out of a hole in the ground
A vampire or a victim
It depends on who's around
You used to stay in to watch the adverts
You could lip synch to the talk shows

And if you look, you look through me
And when you talk, you talk at me
And when I touch you, you don't feel a thing

If I could stay...
Then the night would give you up
Stay...and the day would keep its trust
Stay...and the night would be enough

Faraway, so close
Up with the static and the radio
With satellite television
You can go anywhere
Miami, New Orleans
London, Belfast and Berlin

And if you listen I can't call
And if you jump, you just might fall
And if you shout, I'll only hear you

If I could stay...
Then the night would give you up
Stay...then the day would keep its trust
Stay...with the demons you drowned
Stay...with the spirit I found
Stay...and the night would be enough

Three o'clock in the morning
It's quiet and there's no one around
Just the bang and the clatter
As an angel runs to ground

Just the bang
And the clatter
As an angel
Hits the ground

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Dressed For Success

I went to the Knoxville Zoo today with Cherie, and had my camera with me. I think it's pretty obvious where this blog entry is going.

"There were these two penguins walking across an iceberg..."

A Red Panda. It looks nothing like a regular panda, but it's pretty cute, and energetic too, from what I saw.

I forget what species of snake this was, so I'll call it a Green Snake (insert smartass "duh"-ish response here).

"Hey, Todd, moon that bozo with the camera, willya?"
"Eh-heh, eh-heh, ok."

The elephant compound was fairly large, and looked pretty cool, with all these... rocks everywhere. It's a much better spot for the elephants than what I saw the last time I was at the zoo.

A llama takes a potty break at the petting zoo. I guess you could say I got pissed off.


This is the closest thing to a photo of Cherie that she'd let me take. That is her hand, performing the Vulcan Neck Pinch. The goat fell over right after, but in a fit of laughter. She needs to work on that technique.

A Prairie Dog Companion! Haha.

A Zebra. Quick kids, guess if it's a he or a she. It's hard, I know. Think for as long as you need to.

Friday, July 09, 2004

My good friend just called
His father, now still, sleeping,
had passed on gently

Wednesday, July 07, 2004


This past Independance Day weekend was more interesting than usual. I usually don't do anything on the fourth except hide at home and avoid all possible traffic jams (that's what I associate most holidays with, justly or no). This time I actually went out and did stuff. I went with Cherie to see a Midsummer Night's Dream on Friday, and with her again to watch the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra and the July 4th fireworks at World's Fair Park on Sunday. Since she already blogged about it, I'll only say that I think they used an Italian Greyhound in the play, it looked like a great dog, and I want one now more than ever.

I saw Spider-man 2 last night. It was alright. I didn't like it as much as the first. It suffered from the same problem that plagued X-Men 2 (in my mind): Too many scenes, too many threads, and just too much, in general. I'm not complaining about the length of the movie. I think it came in at about two hours, which is just fine. It's just that, at times, it felt like the movie was made for A.D.D sufferers. Peter Parker has at least five major sources of angst in this movie. IMHO, that's more than can be handled adequately within two hours. And boy, do they try. Scenes flip by at a fairly frenetic pace. How can Peter linger on any one thing when he's got these many problems to deal with? More importantly, how can he resolve all these issues without people going "Hmm, right. How convenient"?

X-Men 2 did the same thing: lots of new characters, a half-dozen plot threads, and dangerously thin treatments of all the major elements in the movie. More can be better, but only if more is handled very skillfully. That's not always the case here. Both the original X-men and Spider-man kept things fairly tight... both their sequels seemed to want to explode in all directions. Sup with that? It's fitting that this is a comic-book movie: Sam Raimi had to be Superman hold this movie's plot together. Unfortunately, he's only a very talented mortal, and parts of this movie are left either dangling on the sides or dropping away altogether.

In it's defense, Spider-man 2 did do a lot of things right. Doc Ock doesn't get enough screentime, but he's good when he's there. Spider-man 2 stays faithful to the original's tack: this story is about a girl. Glad they stuck in there, though I recall Mary-Jane having a little more backbone in the comics. There were scenes here where my sympathy for MJ started spilling into the realm of pity. Not a good thing. But I digress. I'm talking about the good things now. This movie can be pretty funny. Ha-ha funny. That's a good thing. The action is superb, which is also a good thing. It kinda grinds to a halt in the middle... *slap* ouch, sorry.

Oh well, what else can be said. I'm a little dissappointed, but it was by no means a bad movie. I'm definitely going to see number three. In the meantime, though, I guess I could always watch Shrek 2 again. Now that was a great sequel.

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Well, That Explains Even More

More light has been shed on the circumstances behind my frightening and highly unstable childhood in Malaysia. (Note: 991 is Malaysia's emergency number, basically our 911)
Interrupting Ducks Pt 2

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Interrupting Ducks

Amy's put up some pretty neat pictures of her recent visit Washington D.C. I'm surprised they're no pictures of the J. Edgar Hoover building, but maybe it wasn't as pretty as the duckies. In a completely meaningless coincidence, I put up a comment on Erin's last blog entry concerning my desire to have a duck.

You gotta love ducks.

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

When you're all alone and lonely
in your midnight hour
And you find that your soul
it's been up for sale

And you begin to think 'bout
all the things that you've done
And you begin to hate
just 'bout everything

But remember the princess who lived on the hill
Who loved you even though she knew you was wrong
And right now she just might come shining through
and the -

- Glory of love, glory of love
glory of love, just might come through

Coney Island Baby, Lou Reed

Sunday, June 27, 2004

I promised Dad I'd put up a pic of my new pad. It's too large to fit neatly in this blog, so just click here to see what my living room looks like.

That's all. Go read a book or something now.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

"I Thought I *Ordered* You To Get A Life."

I bought the season one DVD of Stargate:SG-1 a couple of weeks ago. SG-1 has always been one of those shows that, when I sat down to watch it, I pretty much knew I would be in for an hour of solid, well-written, and well-acted TV. There is an overarching storyline throughout its seven or eight seasons that I haven't quite been keeping up with, but individual episodes do a great job of drawing me in nonetheless. It helps that it is always a hoot to watch Richard Dean Anderson, Amanda Tapping, Michael Shanks, and Christopher Judge (Col. Jack O'Neill, Maj. Samantha Carter, Dr Daniel Jackson, and Teal'c, respectively) interact with one another and with the things going on around them.

A lot of characters in sci-fi shows wind up looking extremely self-conscious and humorless... Star Trek:Voyager and (ack) Mutant-X are guilty as sin in this regard. Although Teal'c has a consistently morose expression on his face, he plays well against O'Neill's irreverent candor, and actually somehow manages make that face work during the truly dramatic moments. Carter and Jackson are the perfect geeks (albeit extremely attractive geeks... how convenient), and some of the show's funniest recurring moments involve O'Neill telling them to do something along the lines of "Get A Life".

So I've always enjoyed the show, and it made sense to me to finally go out and start collecting the DVDs. A word to the wise: I paid $70 for the season one set, but later I found it for $40 at Sam's Club. It's only $30 to get a membership, so if you're intending to collect them all (pika-pika!) it's actually worth it. Anyway, I've been going through the DVDs at a good pace, and so far it's what you'd expect from a first season. The pilot was alright, and set the characters up quite well for what is obviously going to be a long, ongoing conflict with the Goa'uld, SG-1's resident villainous aliens. The rest of the season so far (I'm about two-thirds through) has been a hodge-podge of extra-planetary visits. A couple of them, are, unfortunately, quite lame. So I've already seen something I've never seen on SG-1: a lame episode. I guess you could say I've gotten my money's worth.

The other episodes are mostly in the above-average range. There's only so much they can accomplish with planet-of-the-week episodes. I suspect the payoff for sitting through these will come later when the SG-1 team revisits planets they've been to before, and the war with the Goa'uld gets into full swing.

There is one episode, however, that stands head and shoulders above the rest. It does something that every good sci-fi show ought to be able to accomplish at least once per season. It made me weep like a sissy. Seriously! Any sci-fi show can throw fictional characters and their fictional toys at you, but *good* sci-fi leaves a dent in your heart. I won't say much about the episode (that would take too long), except that it's called 'Cold Lazarus', and it shows the soft and broken side of the tough and crusty O'Neill without ever compromising the character's plausibility. The way they accomplished that, I thought, was absolutely brilliant, and (SPOILER ALERT!) the best use of a doppelganger I've ever seen in sci-fi.

Ok, well, I've still got a couple more DVDs to watch, and I also just bought the second season. That's a lot of time to spend on the papasan chair, so I'd better get cranking.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

I've been the lowest of the low on the planet
I've been a sinner all my days
When I was living with my hand on the trigger
I had no sense to change my ways
The preacher asked if I'd embrace the resurrection
To suck the poison from my life
Just like an existential cowboy villain
His words were balanced on my knife

Devil to pay, on judgement day
Would Jesus strike me down if I should pray?

This Cowboy Song, Sting

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Well, That Explains A Lot

My frightening and highly unstable childhood in Malaysia suddenly makes a lot more sense, after reading this.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

No Stupid Jokes Today. No, Really.

I've just got to get something off my chest today. I've been paying a bit more attention to the news in Iraq lately. To be specific, the kidnapping and beheading of Korean Kim Sun-il is what interests me. The whole thing has just got me mad. Mad at the cowards who decided killing this man is their ticket to heaven, and quite frankly, mad at the Korean public who thinks their government ought to to have kowtowed to these a-holes.

Now I have plenty of grief for this fellow. He was there to do a job, and I read that in fact that he had dreams of being a Christian missionary in Iraq. My heart goes out to him and his family, and I'm in no position to tell them how they ought to feel about the whole thing. But every one of their fellow countrymen ought to be condemning the murderers, not the South Korean leadership. They ought to be cheering on the troops who are going in there, hopefully to bring some of these bastards to justice.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not one of the people who was all gung-ho about the US invading Iraq the way it did. I think the invasion was completely screwed up, not because they didn't succeed militarily, which they did, but because the US completely failed to gain the confidence of a sufficent number of allies to make sure the occupation would be adequately manned, which it isn't. It didn't help that they pretty much flipped the finger at the rest of the world, and then went in under pretenses that no one else was buying. Smart. Real smart. Politics 101... not even.

But now the fact is Saddam's gone, and the Iraqi people need help dealing with the brainless low-lifes who've sprung up among them, gotten their tentacles on machine guns and camcorders, and decided it's ok to kill people who're just doing their jobs. I have absolutely no confidence in the character of people who will do this sort of thing, and leaving them alone with their countrymen is *not* going to result in a stable, happy Iraq. A lot of Iraqis are dying now because the White House was all too eager to prove a point. How many more Iraqis are going to die or live a life of fear and oppression just so the rest of the world can tell Bush that "We told you so?".

Monday, June 21, 2004

It's A Doggy Dog World

Feel free to roll your eyes in disbelief at this blog entry's incredibly bad title. Anyway, Gretchen brought a dog into the office for a bit today, which, as far as I can tell, is a mutt, but a very happy and energetic mutt. It also understands Spanish only, so you can't tell it to sit, you have to tell it to sentarse. Of course, I start saying "Sentarse senorita!" with abandon. As is the case with most animals who meet me for the first time, I get completely ignored.

I brought Brie in when I had her last week, but it was after hours and Cherie was the only person in the office. I thought Cherie'd appreciate that, and she probably would've, except I managed to get her a mad at me with a couple of off-color dog jokes (hint: what's the dictionary term for a female dog?). So! I'm linking to her blog as of today. No, there's not really a logical connection there, but she gave me permission to do so, and for that I am humbled and grateful.

Finally, to round things off, I did a search today at Yahoo's breed selector website to try and figure out what sort of dog would be good for me. It asked some questions about my preferences and then gave me a few results, ordered by how closely they matched my preferences. Guess what was #1?

An Italian Greyhound.

I kid you not. Stuff like that is too good to make up. I still don't know if I'm going to wind up getting a dog, but if I run across an Italian Greyhound pup for sale, I'll take it as a sign and bring the sucka home.

Sunday, June 20, 2004

More Hardcore Blogging Action

A colleague at work started a blog that he said I'm allowed to link to, and it has a really nice design. I'm seriously considering learning php and getting a webspace that supports it. In the meantime, go look at Paul's blog here, and post comments on anything that interest you. I'm sure he'd appreciate them. Adrian, Jason, CK, none of your tomfoolery here. Well, maybe a little bit.

On a related note, I've activated comments on this blog, so your insults and criticisms can be more specific than ever before! Just click on the comments link at the bottom of an entry. You have to be a blogger member to post as anything other than 'anonymous'. If, however, you believe that Blogger sign-ups are nothing more than a CIA ploy to build a case against you, nothing's stopping you from saying who you are in the post.

War. Uh. Whatever Is It Good For. Saturday Night LAN Parties.

Paul also happens to be leaving for Memphis next week, where his wife Amanda is going to be in school for the next three years. We had sort of a final LAN party at their house last night. Starcraft was the game of choice. We played a quickie map Paul had made for the occasion so we all could be in on the action, vs the computer. It was a little too easy for my liking, but what the hey. After that, we watched Monty Python's Holy Grail with Shakespearean subtitles on, which added a whole new dimension to the movie. Finally Travis, Marvin, and I decided to put in one more melee game.

In order of skill, everyone at the party last night would probably agree that I and Marvin were roughly equal, and Travis was the least proficient Starcraft player. My philosphy, however, has always been that in multiplayer melee, as long as there's more than two players, all bets are off. You skills may be helpful, but ultimately they will amount to the same general significance associated with *squat* if everyone else in the game decides to screw up your plans at every turn. However, that's not exactly what happened last night. What happened was a little more bizarre.

For my part, the mistake I made was to underestimate the tenacity of my opponents. Early in the game, I hit Marvin hard, decimated one base, and then left it just so the game wouldn't be *too* short, and then went to work on Travis. Well, the moment I attack Travis, Marvin comes in with a load of crap from a secondary base I knew nothing about. I fend him off, spend a good while hunting him all over the map, and when I'm satisfied that I've crippled him too much to ever be a threat again, I go back to work on Travis. The problem is, Travis during this time has built up a force of carriers too large to be taken down easily, and so I take some losses, run home to lick my wounds, and along the way realise that Marvin is still in the game, with a nice shiny new base and a couple of expansions. I'm just numb with shock at this point, and from there it all goes downhill. My desire to build anymore units ebbs until I find myself eventually just staring at the screen for long stretches without doing anything. The map we're playing on has near-infinite resources, by the way, and so it was looking to be a long, long, game of attrition.

My will having been utterly broken, I threw in the towel and surrendered. Now initally I thought at this point that it was Marvin's game, but as we watched him run headlong over and over into Travis's wall of 24 carriers (cloaked by two arbiters), I realized that Marvin was suffering from pretty much the same problem I had: his brain was fried. He kept attempting to take on Travis's force with less carriers, which obviously wasn't going to work, especially since Travis's were cloaked to begin with. So about an hour later, Marvin surrenders, and Travis wins.

Travis tried to be nice after that, saying stuff like "Well, if you guys had attacked me earlier, I would've lost". Now could'ves and should'ves are fine and all, except

a)We didn't attack Travis earlier, and
b)We lost

I don't like it when losers bring up a bunch of hypothetical scenarios to explain why they should've won, and while it's a little more tolerable for the winner to say stuff like that, it's not alright for him or anyone else to tell themselves "Oh, he didn't *really* win". It's melee. Travis won. This is why melee is a great mode. You can't say. You just can't say.