April 17, 2008

She

I never let it get me down before.
It was bound to happen. She came in through those doors. That wooden door with the frosted glass. She opened the door, the way it looked.

She's the reason you lose sleep at night. Not really, you're actually tired from long nights in Wurster. But then again, she does like to pop into your head.

You think about it, you consider it and you ponder it. You're too damn methodical. If you think about it too hard, you're just never going to get there man.

You know it, her friends know it. Even friends of her friends know it. But she doesn't. She just doesn't seem to notice you.

The moment you get to talk to her, you just cant entertain her. You've tried. She's gone away.

Just be natural dude. Natural. What the fuck is that? "Natural". I have no idea how to act then. Nerdy? Smothery? Handsy? God. When I have it in my brain, it gets in there. Normal goes away. Shit.

What happened last time with what's her name? Oh. Her? Yeah. I guess I let my mind get in the way. I never asked her or anything. Typical dude. Well, we're friends. I think. You think? Well, shes there sort of... Its hard to explain. You're always hard to explain.

And what about the one after that. You liked her. But I never talked to her. Oh. Yeah. Loser.

And what's her name. The cute one. I tried. No you didnt. Yeah.

And look at you now. You've got another one don't you? Another infatuation. Its infectious on you isn't it? I suppose. Well, from what i've heard, she's really nice and likes alot of things you might like. Yeah? Go for it. Ask her. nooooo. C'mon. Just try. Noooooooo. Fail... just fail.

Do I? But it might affect our friendship if she says no. That's true. Well... Looks like you're screwed my friend. Crumbs.

April 16, 2008

Sesh sion

So Professor Sullivan, Christy and I finally decided today was going to be our pipe day. We packed and we enjoyed ourselves outside wurster today. We drew a comic together and it was quite nice. I ended up getting myself a decent fountain pen for use. since at this point, I think I have replaced all pens with the fountain and dip pen. Dip's a little harder to carry to class and such.

April 15, 2008

Fear

You know that feeling. That one called fear? Some of you claim no familiarity with it, others of you may say he has never left your side for a moment. I dont blame you. I've had that moment too when it would stalk me for hours on end. But the moment daylight came up, all was resolved. But night would come soon and you'd go back into it.

As a college student, you realize how much fear has transformed. As a child, your fears were the opposite sex, no recess, the boogie man who lived under your bed and in your closet at night. All sorts of wild and fantastic things and beasts that never existed. As you grew older, I'm sure the opposite sex became less of a beast and recess was nothing more than a mere period for teachers to relax and catch a smoking break. Then the boogie man. He never quite left now did he? I still know people. At my age. Get freaked out by scary movies, then can sleep at all at night. I know. I'm like that. That's why I abstain from it.

But the fear I want to talk about is that fear of the opposite sex. Sure, it has gone away for the most part, but still. It exists. In the virgin, the one bereft of confidance, the one who thinks about it, but never acts on it. To let you know, i'm one of those.

To be honest and frank with you all, I haven't been on a real date since august of 2006. That's an approximate time. I'm sore some of you could consider when I took a friend out for dinner, the two of us, a few months back as one, but it was more of a quasi dinner get together. With the two of us. In Jupiter. At its loudest. Ok, for certain, I probably wouldn't go back to Jupiter for a date, but the food's amazing.

But still friends, I live in that fear of rejection. Its why I cant flyer on sproul sometimes. I cant bear to be one of the annoying broods attempting to stick you with a flyer that you're not even interested in. Which is why, thankfully, my group has decided to abstain from hand to hand flyering and stick with stapling and stalling. But back to rejection. I'm guessing from the most of you, you all have that confidence to do it, right up, no worries there. But I still live day by day, one step at a time, plotting and calculating every outcome and every downfall that may happen if action is taken place. Where some of us rely on quantum physics too much and less on the initiative. We are pathetic sometimes. In the presence of that special someone, our legs turn to jelly and we talk about the weather instead.

Dont get me wrong, the weather is interesting sometimes, and in normal conversation, it has come up actually. I kid you not. But back to jelly. I know a girl, shes beautiful, funny and interesting. But I had not the courage to ask her. Even when drunk, I could not ask her. That fear held me back.

What I hate most in relation to this topic is when your friends catch on. When you're more transparent than see through lingerie. When they can read you easier than an alphabet book. Blast, damn, bother and curse. Then there was the other girl, much older, but I never bothered.

What also was quite annoying was my inability to tell if someone was interested. It always happens to the person of another person's affection. It just seems like that. The person is completely oblivious except for his or her friends. Its annoying.

Then came at last, someone new. Someone I can relate to (I think) and someone who was pretty and funny and oh so sweet. What am I doing here just writing about it? Fear. That's what. That little four letter word we mingle with every so often.

For me, I wish I could have the courage to ask her out. I've had the made up scenarios in my head that it works, then the onset of failure plagues me. Then I forget and fade back into a wall flower.

I need courage. She'll never say yes.
You just gotta try
No, I cant. I dont want to hear say no.
Just do it stupid.
No no no!
You like her. What's the fear in asking?
Rejection. That's what.
Fine. Be a dick. No, a pussy. That's all you'll ever amount to.

April 12, 2008

Rosie Teagarden's bar and grill was a regular for the beatniks and whodads back in its day, but today, it was only a mere shell of what it was before. Rosie Teagarden died of cancer in 1984 and her two boys sold the store to a restaurant enthauist who apparently adored the place, but the next thing you know, walls are knocked out, new chairs, replacement of all the historical photos on the walls with what looked like rejects from an art academy. The place was popular but the patrons obviously knew nothing of the heritage that Rosie's had. Last time I had gone, I stood dismayed in the door frame of the restaurant for about a minute before someone had pushed me in and out of the way. I woke up. This was a world rotted out underneath the gilt paint.

Jackson Thorre had bought Rosie's after a dinner he had there in 1983 which he claimed was magnificent. I knew Rosie was an amazing cook, but I had very little faith in this reclaimed place. Rosie's special was fish and chips. It was quick, cheap and easy to make. She would fry them in a pot of oil on the stove, then throw it into newsprint and serve it in a basket. Here, everything came on an oversized plate with cutlery that seem to fight the contour of your hand. I couldn't stand it.

I met with Thorre after an unpleasant evening to talk with him about the horrendous changes he had made. He was impenetrable in getting ideas and a single word in. He butted in when he liked and he most certainly had the look of death in his eyes more than one occasion. He left and so did I. I looked around the place, there was nothing I could discern except for an imaginary footprint of the past. The stage was over there, my buddies and I always sat at that table where that coat rack is and there was a column in the middle that supported all the weight that was covered in carvings. Wait, it still was though. But most had been filled in when they were plastered with paint. I could still see the rifts and cuts where names of numerous poets had been carved in, sometimes by the muse himself. In the day, there wern't as many female poets who like the Atmosphere of Rosie's. Wait, I know I had carved something. Where was it? It was above the queen frame.

The only scratch marks that wern't painted where the ones above the queen frame. Apparently, Thorre wanted some weird pub look. But I could clearly see what I carved. But as clear as it looked, it was illegible. For certain reasons, I would not ask that monkey of an owner to bring a ladder so I could examine his king post, nor was climbing around on the frame while other diners were still eating would be in good taste. I wanted to know what I carved.

I came back to Bastard Rosie's later in the week, but with a digital camera this time. I took 10 photos of it to make sure I didn't end with a bad image, but none worked. I attempted with mirrors, also did not work. Pretending to be scared by something then jumping onto the lower half of the king post didn't either. I gave up. I started coming almost religiously. Much better than their regular patrons. Only now did I start to spend my entire lunch just staring at the cryptic self-inflicted message.

Wednesday, the place was repainted, and the column filled in. It was gone. For good.

April 09, 2008

A letter from Police Chief of UCPD to all Students

As a student, my emails are private unless I put them onto this domain. So at this point, i'm all for the UCPD's actions and course of direction they took during the events of late March

During our recent efforts to end the occupation of a tree outside Wheeler Hall,
I was surprised and deeply moved by the number of students who went out of
their way to express support for the University and its police force. Later
that day I received an email from an undergraduate urging me to give you,
Berkeley's students, a better sense of the principles behind our approach to
the tree-sitters on campus and in the oak grove next to Memorial Stadium. It
was a suggestion that made a lot of sense.

First, a confession: I have been the chief of the campus police force for more
than 18 years, but in all that time my officers and I have never confronted an
ongoing challenge quite like this one. I thought I had seen it all; I was wrong.
Yet, even though the situation is unique, the values guiding our response are
firmly rooted in the longstanding traditions of our university.

The very existence of an independent university police force is predicated on
the fact that this campus, our home, is a unique environment. Ensuring the
safety and security of the campus community is our mission, but everyone who
wears the UCPD uniform understands that policing here requires understanding,
sensitivity and tolerance if this campus is to remain a hospitable host for the
free exchange of ideas and opinions.

It may seem counter-intuitive, but the guidelines that govern the "where,"
"when" and "how" of on-campus protest are there to make sure everyone's rights
are protected, everywhere, all the time. They help guarantee we can accommodate
interest groups regardless of their cause or the size of their support. The
fact is that, over the years, thousands of organizations and individuals have
found these rules of the road compatible with the desire to have their voices
heard.

Unfortunately, we are now contending with a few non-students who have placed
themselves above the law; people who seem to find our relatively permissive
environment and traditions too restrictive. While as a police force we are
neutral when it comes to causes espoused by campus protesters, we cannot
condone tactics that infringe on the rights of others while seeking to change
policy through a kind of extortion.

I ask you to imagine a different, but parallel scenario: a group opposed to our
study and teaching of evolutionary biology occupies a laboratory and refuses to
leave until we agree to their demands. Would you suggest that we change our
curriculum? Would you support closing the lab? Would you want to reward the
tactics?

From my perspective it's pretty clear: the tree-sitters have willfully chosen
illegal occupation of University property - which is not public property - over
the sort of permissible and potentially persuasive engagement that goes on
every single day out on Sproul Plaza.

While there should be consequences for these actions, our response needs to be
commensurate with the crime and consistent with our values. I understand that
many of you are frustrated by an approach that seems overly tolerant, while
others believe we should just let it all be. However, I am convinced there is a
middle ground where we can and will maintain that delicate balance between
tolerance and law enforcement. We do believe that some of the sitters want
confrontation, but we are doing our best not to give them what they want. We
also know how difficult it is to safely remove people from perches that are as
much as six stories above the ground. One slip, one misstep and we run the risk
of causing serious injury to an officer or a protestor.

So far, UCPD has managed to contain and, to a certain extent, cordon off the
affected trees so that the protestors pose little immediate danger to members
of the campus community. That, in turn, is allowing us to make life in the
trees more difficult and less comfortable while minimizing the chances anyone
will be hurt. Already the number of people in the stadium oak grove has
dwindled to a hard-core few. They may continue to complain about conditions,
but the fact remains that they are free to come down any time they want.

There have also been complaints that we are trampling on their right to free
speech. Last October the campus went before an impartial judge and asked for a
temporary restraining order against the tree-sitters. We wanted to be certain
the protest was not, in some way, "protected speech." The protestors were
represented by their own legal counsel and had ample opportunity to make their
case. The results were clear; the court ruled that the tree-sitters are engaged
in an illegal occupation well beyond the scope of constitutional protection. If
the ruling had not gone our way we would have no choice but to abide by the
judge's decision. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the other side.

I also know there are concerns about the cost of our operations, and the extent
to which our officers have been pulled away from other duties. First, you
should know that additional expenses generated by the protest are financed from
a contingency fund that supports police response to unexpected events. In other
words, funds for policing the grove are not being redirected from teaching,
research or student services. At the same time, I cannot pretend that managing
this situation is not impacting other enforcement and safety operations. We
have tried to minimize costs by utilizing an outside security firm and,
whenever possible, redeploying our staff. There's no doubt that there are other
law enforcement strategies that might be quicker and less expensive but, again,
our response must be consistent with the principles that guide this
universitys police force.

At this point we are all waiting for the court's ruling on the lawsuits filed
against the plans to build a new Student Athlete High Performance Center, a
decision that is now expected no later than June. Until then the trees, by
court order, cannot be touched. It's also worth mentioning that if, at the end
of the legal process, we are not cleared to begin construction, the University
will have to live with the final ruling. Meanwhile, the tree-sitters vow to
abide by only those court decisions they agree with.

When that ruling comes, everyone will have had their day in court, and it will
be time to end the occupation of trees. While we still hope for a voluntary
climb-down, we are not naive and planning continues for a peaceful but certain
conclusion to this protest.

While some of you may not agree with parts of our mission or some of our
methods, I hope that after reading this letter you can, at the very least,
appreciate the complexity of the situation. I also hope that you can appreciate
the extent to which our UCPD officers have done an unbelievable job in their
professional, tolerant, and sensitive response to a really challenging
situation. We take seriously our sworn duty to uphold the law in a manner
consistent with our culture and consistent with our primary concern for the
safety of every member of our community.


Sincerely,


Victoria Harrison
Chief, UC Police Department

April 03, 2008

It's Just That!

Finding this old entry, I couldn't remember what I was writing about. But let's make the entry one that is the openings to very Zachesque pieces of writing.

Growing tired and weary, I sat on the on the stoop. It was still wet from the morning dew, but I didn't mind. I could feel the seat of my overalls growing cold from the dampness and I shifted over in discomfort. My wrist watch said it was almost half past nine. The truck was late. As usual. I couldn't help but scoff and spit in disgust at the driver's tardiness. I suppose he couldn't help it.

The room was dark and quiet. The dust moaned softly underfoot as I walked along the edge of the enormous carpet. Professor Van De Glehn would have wanted it this way. I just couldn't let three years of research mold away in his abandoned office. I knew they would be somewhere, but it most certainly would be hard find thanks to vandals. The office remained relatively untouched apart from a few books lying on the floor here and there.

Rejection finally hit him. Roger had tried everything from speed dating to online services. The only thing left was to walk through those doors. The swinging french doors squealed with a piggy-like giddy and no one took notice of the new entrant. He sidled to the bar and ordered a scotch on rocks. Looked around and left.