March 26, 2009

Cenotaph

"A small paddock-like enclosure surrounded the large gray rectangle that used to sit right here," the man would point out, "it was a popular place to meet back in my day."

Before you, sits a large wet rectangle, seemingly forever etched into the hewn granite blocks beneath your feet. As the man walks off, you follow the line of the rectangle with your feet. Delicately balancing between light gray and dark, as if you stood upon a wire. You start to search the area for evidence of what was once here, but no more.

1919-Harvey Kulloum dedicates memorial cenotaph to the fallen soldiers of the great war.
1921-The cenotaph is rotated 23 degrees as a prank by members of chi phi
1929-The university lovingly calls it the coffin's turnpoint.
1941-War breaks out over campus
1945-Second cenotaph erected adjacent to turned cenotaph
1955-The first cenotaph is replaced with a new marble one
1968-Both cenotaphs are destroyed in a Vietnam war protest
1970-University officially decides to not to replace the two damaged cenotaphs
1972-All remains of the cenotaphs have been removed and placed in storage
1979-dark spot appears on quad where the cenotaph once stood. Exactly 60 years to date.
1980-University powerwashes quad in an attempt to clean the square off
1981-Rectangle re-appears
1982-Paranormal researchers appear on campus, then leave when nothing interesting happens

But all this still is oblivious to you, as you stand on that dark graying rectangle. As you stand in the center, you stare at all four sides around you. There's only one phrase that comes to mind, as the hands and the faces of the fallen grab at your legs. "The Glorious Dead"

March 25, 2009

alone in place

Glenn knew it would happen. He just longed for it not to happen, and every time, it would get him. His alarm clock would ring signaling the start of another day. The little metal wire holding back the plastic number would let go and the number would come down with a crash and the alarm would blast a scratched, fadey kind of radio sound. He cracked open one eye over his pillow to peek at the clock. The old plastic faux-wood machine stood on the end table a few feet from the bed. Its leering stare indicated 7:39am. One more minute until that damn sound...

The plastic plate came crashing down and it now read 7:40 and the noise began. Like a bad techno song, it came thumping out a steady rhythm and Glenn turned over sinking his into the overstuffed down pillow. "You know... it does sound a bit like a techno club in here". A banging on the wall behind his bed meant that Mr. Himiachi would like to sleep. He slapped the relentless machine and pulled himself out. The bright sun leaked through the white shutters and pooled onto the floor covered in the bedsheets, magazines and several dirty plates with forks still on them. He lumbered over to the bathroom, his feet leaving a heavy thump over the hardwood floors.

The bathroom mirror was no better than that alarm radio he though. He looked like he rolled out of bed. Hah, what's new. He combed his hair, ran his face once over with the electric razor and he looked in the cluttered medicine cabinet for his tooth brush. He brushed, and replaced the things and stared again into the mirror. He used to share this mirror. Just like he shared that giant Ikea bed with all the big pillows and fluffy comforter. He slammed it shut and turned out the light and went back into the bedroom. He pulled open the wardrobe and threw on a striped shirt that seemed to fit a bit too tight and a pair of skinny jeans. Picking from a pile of dress shoes, boots and sneakers, he grabbed a pair of Converse chucks.

Glenn went through the hall, kicking the door of his roommates, his roommate's way of being signaled to wake up. He picked up the arm on the record player and switched on the machine and the sound began to fill the kitchen and breakfast room with a quiet sort of vanity. Seth emerged from his room, looking groggy half shaven with his hair every which direction. He dragged his sock covered feet to the table where Glenn placed a bowl of dry cereal in front of him.

"No milk?"
"We're all out dude. Its your turn to buy groceries. I wrote what we need on this list. Go pick it up when you got time ok?"
"yeah yeah yeah"

Glenn didn't feel comfortable with that response. He knew Seth. He knew Seth since their undergrad days at Tulane. School at Armaugh University certainly was different. They always seemed to be stuck to research of some sort. Massachusetts was a strange sort of place. Much more different than what life was like back home in St. Louis or growing up as a kid in West Germany with a father in the military. Seth was the one thing Glenn could count on always being the same or at least bring some sort of "comfort" into knowing what the day was like or at least going to be like.

Glenn closed the door behind him and walked down the hall. He used to do this with someone he recalled. He remembered holding someone's hand when he did this. He retracted his hand from his side and massaged it with the other. It felt weird, like it was going to fall asleep or something. He locked the front door of the building and began to walk to the trolley stop. His routine was regimented every day, Get up, get out, get food, get to class. The trolley arrived with a hiss and he stepped on and it trudged forward under its heavy load of undergrads living off campus for the first time as well as disturbed looking locals finding that their once empty tram car now would be filled with stinking students on a daily basis.

He got off at Battery St. walking over to the fogged up windows of the coffee hut and he entered. The hustle and bustle of graduate students laid itself before him, pimply looking high schoolers working behind the counter trying to earn a bit of cash while they were on their spring break. He plunked down three quarters and a dime. Enough for a small black coffee and a meager looking croissant filled with cheese.

"My Usual please." He loved to say during this time.
A panicked look washed over the high schooler's face. "Uh... what would that be sir?"
"What seems to be the problem?"
"Nothing nothing! So that's one uh. Espresso and a raspberry toa..."
"Small black and a cheese croissant."
Reddened but wiser, he lurched into the back and brought his things. When he turned his back to the cashier to walk out, he grinned. At least one thing still made him smile.

He plunked into the lab, sat at his office space and stared. Papers were needing to be graded, he did that. The professor needed someone to fill in, he lectured. 5pm. Time to go. The tramcar slid through Cavanaugh street filled with students on their way home. Glenn sat at the station stop, just missing the car by that much. He recalled sitting at this stop with someone. He would play games with that someone, fool around whenever they had missed the packed cars. But he sat there quietly thinking about work. The MBTA car rumbled into the stop and he boarded and stood the entire ride back home to his apartment.

The apartment was dark and he switched on the lamp on the table by the door. Seth was passed out on the couch, a bag of groceries sitting on the table and a bottle of vodka sitting with a few shot glasses on the table besides Seth. Glenn looked in puzzlement at the glasses, knowing Seth never pulls out glasses for himself unless he had someone over. He ignored it, walking down the hall to his room. He began to undress, tossing his clothes over towards the closet, throwing his shoes back into the pile from where it had come from and crawled under the heavy comforter.

His figure lay with his arms outstretched to one side, as if he still were holding someone. He imagined days from when he was very happy, from when he still had her. He felt someone slide into the bed and take up his arm and place it over their midsection. He felt that someone crouch into position to fit in as the little spoon and Glenn felt whole again. He moved his hand up the torso and began to squeeze the breasts of the unknown person. He began to realize how lifelike it strangely felt. He sat up instantly in darkness. Only the moonlight was visible, casting an eerie shadow on the pile of dirty shirts on the chair bathed in light. He looked to his side where he was spooning. He stared at the dark massy looking lump and wondered who it was. He poked whoever it was.

"Hey babe... I know you're drunk, but lets do it."
"Seth! Get out of here."

Seth wheeled around, parts of his beard bathed in light from the window.

"Shit dude, my bad. Just give my boxers tomorrow."

Glenn wiped his knees with his gym towel and threw it into the laundry pile. He climbed back into bed this time, unable to sleep. He stared at the ceiling. The lamp seemed like the moon floating, half of its body in the light, the other half shadowed by darkness. He only could think of her, it didn't help. He thought she was happy. Apparently not.

Clack. The alarm clock passed another minute.

Glenn rolled over onto his side, this time, spooning the pillow to make sure Seth didn't come back. He breathed in the pillow's aroma. It still sort of smelled like her, but really faintly. He fell asleep. The battle would begin again at 7:39am.

March 22, 2009

Suspension of Darkness

Darkness enveloped my surroundings as I sat motionless, staring out of the window, my forehead pressed against the rear pillar of the car. My eyes did not wander, nor were they transfixed upon one thing, but instead, as we sped down the San Mateo bridge, my eyes only could look out one direction and wander around watching the horizon burn with a dark tinge as the lights of the city created the glow behind the mountains. I breathed a heavy sigh realizing my own heavy life.

Wires came into view. I passed them watching them grow with life and then sink back into depression, grow again, and die. The darkness made the wires seem almost suspended in midair, the only parts visible are the reflection of the silver in the faint, unearthly glow of the bay and the headlamps rushing by. A think like this, you hardly ever seem to notice if you've ever made this crossing as many times as I have at this time of night I so know and am so acquainted with. The moon is about. It hides from the world tonight making everything seem more eerie.

Just then, a 170 foot pylon swishes by marking the end of the steeplechase and now began the footrace. The steady rumbling and shluck of the tires underfoot begin their monotonous song as I began to drift somewhere else. My eyes now turned forward to watch the carbon arc lamps rush by and yet still race to the horizon and into the darkness. The thumping continues. The wires alongside the bridge still grow and die, the lights briefly giving life to the interior of the car every few seconds, illuminating every hair in the back of the driver's head, or the meshy fabric of the coat of the person next to me. The thumping stops.

We are on land.

March 20, 2009

Berkeley Resturant Review: Norikino

Hello Readers! I'm starting today, a new series. I'm going to be, a restaurant review. A food critic. So here's my first review:

Category: Japanese
Address: Telegraph Ave. Between Parker Ave. and Blake Ave. Berkeley, CA

Date: 3/20/09

Ordered: Daikon Salad, Norikino's Special Curry

When entering through an authentic feeling sliding door, the resturant presented itself as quaint and slightly tacky with its little japanese toy things placed here and there. The entire staff was friendly, greeting you upon entry and it was fairly pleasant. I had noted outside, taped to their front window, a copy of their Zagat's review. Looking at the menu and prices, I realized then the review got to their heads and caused prices to inflate pretty high.

The Daikon salad arrived by hand from the elderly looking chef behind the counter where I sat. At first, its puzzling look mystefied me. It was shredded daikon radishes with a tart japanese type sauce and garnished with butter fried baby fish. The cool, crisp, salty yet tart Daikon made this a really appetizing and refreshing appetizer course.

The standard staple at most Japanese resturants came next, a warm bowl of Miso soup. Its really nothing special to write home about, but it has a warm, more traditional taste. Its cooked very homey. Although the meal was a bit on the pricey side for its location, the meal was very complete in that it almost felt like I was eating in Japan. Before me sat a plate of picklings, soup, rice and curry.

The "special" pork curry was subtle in hinting at its spicy nature. At first, I did not believe at all that the curry was spicy until the end where the undertones of the chili powder began to show themselves to my taste buds. This truly is a house special as they call it.

A plate of pickling, a wedge of orange carefully cut, and a sip of green tea sum up a very delicious meal.

decor: 20 food: 23 service: 22

March 10, 2009

If ever there was

You've probably always assumed that everything that happens in the world is for the "greater good". I feel like the old circle of elders from Hot Fuzz. But everything that happens, happens for a reason, its not that I think it is the ways and the prophecy. I couldn't believe or swallow anything like that. I'm led to believe that actions happen with consequences. Never without. The dynamics and the though behind quantum physics always seem to affect me the most dramatically.

We say we do things for the best but sometimes our actions hurt others and sometimes, there just is no avoiding hurt, harm and the like. Like any wise decision, pick wisely, think long, think hard.

That's what she said.

March 06, 2009

Why it is so

You ever wonder why of all people in the world to be born without hair until age 4 or why of all people do you get partnered up with the idiot jock in science lab or why you never can find socks that match? Karma. It could be as simple as that or maybe i'm overlooking something I never saw before.

Just recently, everything in my world came crashing down upon me. All sorts of drama and missing bodyparts. Ok, maybe i'm not missing big body parts, but i'm missing some none the less. Each day, it gets harder and harder to motivate yourself. It gets harder to push, to go for the gold as they say.

What drags me down like that? Sanders. Fucking sanders. I'm missing two fingernails because of those damn things. I mean, I've had no big trouble with before, but the past three days, i've sanded off an eighth of a fingernail and finger as well as ripped off a chunk on the same hand about a quarter of my fingernail.

Go on, come and complain to me about your little problems. Bitch and moan to me. Midterms dont seem so hard anymore when you're missing little parts of you.

Karma. Wow. Just wow.



Hey, Revival World, I wanna go there. Oh, it's just furniture.
-Greg Weldon

March 03, 2009

Album Art

1 - Go to "wikipedia." Hit “random”
or click http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Random
The first random wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.

2 - Go to "Random quotations"
or click http://www.quotationspage.com/random.php3
The last four or five words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album.

3 - Go to flickr and click on “explore the last seven days”
or click http://www.flickr.com/explore/interesting/7days
Third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

4 - Use Photoshop to put it all together. (yay practice! :) )

5 - Post it to Facebook as a note and tag the friends you want to join in - be sure to include me so I can see your work!

5a - Put the person who tagged you at the top of the list.

(Albanian National Army is an ethnic terrorist group in Albania, "See Inside of you" is from a Famous Amos quote)