Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Race, Part Deux

Well gang, it appears that I was wrong about mental edge. It does exist. I was fed up with being fourth, so I told myself ass would be kicked, and indeed it was. About a fourth of the way through the race, I was in the number 2 spot. This is to be expected, as our number 1 doesn't really gun it until the end, and I'm known to go a little too hard at the beginning. But get this- by halfway through, I was in first! All I can say is that it was exhilarating. Someohow, when you're #1 for the first time, the pain just seems to melt away, and everything feels so pure and right. Next up was the section of the course with severe dropoffs into freezing water, which I managed to avoid. However, I lost speed a little bit and allowed a guy to pass me, and then the bats spun me out and allowed a girl to get in front of me. 3/4 of the way in and I had dropped back to 3rd. However, the mental edge really started to kick in. I wasn't about to lose to a girl, let alone ditzy Peach. The finish was dirty, and I almost fell off the rainbow into vast space, but I managed second. I guess it just goes to show that if you really believe in yourself, you can do anything.


Oh yeah, and the XC race got cancelled.

The Race

It always seems enough in my mind to tell myself that I'm going to kick ass, to convince myself that I'm going to see a guy, pass a guy, see a guy, pass a guy. In recent weeks I have come to question not only if I am mistkaen in this (which I have long suspected) but completely and utterly wrong about it. We're always told that there is a large mental component to running, but I am either not at all effected by this component or terrible at achieving it well. Mentally, I'm about as tough as a three-year-old. You know, one of those annoying three-year-olds who acts like they're made of steel and then cries without forseeable end when they got knocked down. I can tell myself that ass will be kicked, and that's all well and good, but it doesn't change the fact that when I get out on the course I'm inwardly yelling onscenities at myself by 3/4 of a mile in.
I've been almost privileged, in the past, to be a mediocre runner on a fairly mediocre team, as I had the wonderful ability to look good even if I had a terrible race. Back when I ran 22-minute races, I was capable of running 21s, but would sometimes only run a 21:55 and get showered with praise by team and family. One thing that never made sense to me was why "PRing" is treated with the same degree of awe and congradulation no matter what your skill level is. Runners who consistently run under 19 or 20 minutes are heavily praised for their PRs, with good reason. But at the same time, the runner like me, who used to run slower than he was capable, was praised the same amount for not nearly giving his all. And then of course there are those (can we even call them runners?) who don't give half a shit about XC and recieve the same amount of praise for PRing just because they decided to try that day. In this way I've been spoiled, as any small improvements I made in the past warrented celebration. But now I find myself possibly (hopefully not) beginning to touch an actual plateau. I'm not getting slower, but everyone else is getting faster, and now people think I'm not giving it my all because I'm behind those I used to beat.
The issue is, then, how do I improve? I run hard at practice all week, I train in the offseason, I eat well, I hydrate, but I lack the mental edge I'd like to think I used to have but know I didn't. I fear the pain, but I also fear the defeat. I can't do it again. I have to win this one for my own self-esteem. So, pain, I have but one thing to offer you: Let this be our final battle.


Do I need a cookie for this one? That ending line was pretty sick...

Friday, October 26, 2007

Life Prime

No, it's not the next installment in the ever-difficult metroid series. I've really been thinking about perception recently, as is evident by that beast of a post I made yesterday. But aside from pondering the mechanics of the human mind and what exactly it is to be human, I've also had some shallower queries on perception floating around. More specifically, I've been thinking about what it means for something to be "in it's prime" and whether the true beauty of a thing is measured in its occurence, or its remembrance.
Ok, maybe "shallow" wasn't the right word, that sounded pretty fucking smart. I blame it on the Thoreau and Emersonian prose I've recently been forced to read for my recent uncharacteristic plunge into the profound. Personally, I'm inclined to think that most celebrated prose are not actually as brilliant as they're hyped. Rather, they're the result of a writer having a personal epiphany which has changed their life who tries to convey this epiphany to their audience. The audience drinks these prose in because they sound smart, and they hope that the writer's epiphanies can be transferred to them. However, it being a personal epiphany, the audience is never actually effected enough to adopt this epiphany themselves and apply it in there own lives. Basically, they walk away from the experience fooling themselves into thinking they've changed inside, but anything they've gleaned from the experience slips from them in short time.
Sorry, I've been inwardly ranting about prose for a while. Which basically makes me a hypocrite, but whatever. The shallowness comes from the connections I'm about to make. Let's start with Star Trek. The Triangle has often discussed how amazing it would have been to be as into Star Trek as we are now 5 or 6 years ago. Back then, DS9 and Voyager were running new episodes at the same time, and the tail end of the TNG movies were coming out in theaters. It was, without a doubt, the best time for a Star Trek fan to be alive. However, I was not into Star Trek back then, and the other two were arguably too young to fully appreciate the beauty of this "nexus of Trek". In the present day we have no more Trek to look forward to (No, XI does not count, as I am still not looking forward to it), and so we lovingly and longingly watch the myriad reruns and DVDs to sate our cravings. There is a sort of beauty in experiencing a show in hindsight, as you can truly appreciate it as an entire being. For me, also, my isolation fantasies play into this, as these episodes seem to come at me from nowhere, previously hidden from me in an unknown past. In this way, the shows themselves are a type of isolation, and a world their own. But is it more beautiful to experience the shows in their prime, or in this mysterious hindsight? For something in its prime is a wonderful thing itself...
Which brings me to State Radio. My second-favorite band of all time, favorite existing band, they are certainly in their prime. I fear I may jinx it by saying so, but this trio is on fire. I hope to see many more albums of theirs of or even near the quality of their recent work. Experiencing their work as it emerges, I am ever intrigued by their sound's evolution. But let us compare them to Dispatch, my favorite band, and a group I only got into far after their prime, and just before their official breakup. Looking back on them, it is fascinating to see their sound's evolution in hindsight, a progression from acoustic love songs to political reggae rock. This, too, is wrapped the mysterious isolation of an unknown past. My entire perspective on Dispatch is sandwiched between dreams of what it would have been like to be a fan in their prime, and this is fascinatingly mysterious.
But something that we all experience is the prime of friend groups. When groups move on and aprt, I often wonder about their primes. They are, undoubtedly, good times, but they leave a lot of things inclear. Those of you who read this blog, even those who have left the obvious friend group, i would like to think I am still in a prime relationship with, as we keep in regular contact and consistently have good times whenever we get together. However, with other friends this does not happen. I spoke on the phone today with an old friend whom was very happy to talk to me, and I to her, but I feel that the solid friendship is a thing of the past. This is not a fault of I nor her, but it leaves me wondering. For unlike Trek or Dispatch, looking at the past does not grace me with the beauty of isolation in this case. It just seems sad, leaving my mind with a bitter taste. All I can say is that my perception of the primes of life confuses me. Sometimes hindsight is happy, sometimes it's not. But either way, let's enjoy the prime times we can have now before they're gone.


Joke of the Day:

Man walks into a bar. Woman wlaks into a bar. Man and Woman hit it off. Man and Woman go out for a nice dinner. 6 months later Man and Woman get married. Man and Woman have kids.

What?It's a nice story.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


I apologize in advance for the scatter-brain style of this post. I let my stream of consciousness flow freely,a nd feel that any editing may throw the mood/ message (if there is one).

It seems to me that pleasure is a product of perception. A person like me rarely enjoys things for what they actually are (Friends and music are the only two exceptions I can really put my finger on), but rather he enjoys them for what they seem to be. Summer after freshman year epitomizes this. From this summer was born the Star Trek marathon, and arguably the friendships involved. But let us look back at the history of marathoning; was it not a more intoxicating experience when it began? Prior to the creation of marathons, I had never truly penetrated the night. Sure, I had stayed up late (or early), but never really taken advantage of that time, never really had fun with the night. Because it was mysterious, it was intoxicating. This isn't to say that the quality of marathons has decreased since then (though the frequency certainly has), but now they're more relaxed, and we know what we're doing. We're good at our craft. But the one thing that made Freshman summer so distinctive was the mysterious feeling of it.
I feel this way about many stages of my life. When I was young, it would happen when I discovered a new TV show that really played to my emotions and curiosities. I would completely give into the show, letting it envelope me until I had created a world out of my obsession. Later in my brief life it became new people, and I believe this holds true for people of any age. When you meet new people who seem "cool" to you, you sometimes immediately place them on a pedestal, and adopt an inferiority complex. Deep down you wish you could emulate them, but feel that it is impossible. However, as they become your friends, you get to know all of their flaws intimately. In this way, I often find myself appreciating the presence of new acquaintances (whose character has overwhelmed me) more than that of the old. I guess I'm just reinforcing the age-old saying "You never miss something until it's gone." Really, you have bonded much more with yor friends than a new person, yet your thoughts are filled with the new person. For me, this is because I have a need to experience other "worlds". That is to say, I am very comfortable in my own domain, both physically and mentally. But my ultimate fantasies involve new places and new people. One of my first ideas for a novel was about a boy waking on a sailboat in the middle of the ocean, no memeory of how he got there or who he is. He is the only character in the story, and the entire book revolves around him attempting to discover new lands and peoples, but throughout the entire tale he is alone.
To be honest, isolation fascinates me. That fascination is essentially the flaw in all of my creative writing. I set up a simple plot in which a character is either physically or mentally alone, and try to chronical the mental progression ( or de-evolution) of him or her. Sometimes the character's quest is to escape their isolation, and sometimes it is a quest of understanding its intricacies. I get lost in my own thoughts contemplating the idea of questing for companionship so as to fully enjoy your isolation. Therein lies my creative flaw, then, as my characters may search for companionship or understanding, but I the writer do not wish for them to find it. For the answer does not interest me, but the seemingly unsolvable question.
In life, it seems that we always search for companionship. Indeed, this is the case with me, always hanging out with new people. it is human nature. What fascinates me then, is not man, but an inhuman man, one who baskes in being alone, though it is not what I desire from my own life. We are told by many that we as humans like to feel in control of our surroundings, though we are not in control of anything. I believe i am safe here, but a plummeting plane could kill me instantaneously at any moment. While I do not have a death wish, it is the lack of control that interests me. When I awake on a sailboat in the middle of an endless ocean and no memory, I do not wish to find my autobiography and a map home. For it is far more interesting to believe I am isolated than to know that land lies right over the horizon, just a day away. If I believe I am alone, is my time not better spent contemplating my predicament and discovering things about myself than it is plotting a course home?
The truth is, answers are boring, and from this sprouts my paralyzing fear of the afterlife. The sunniest prediction we ever get about an afterlife is heaven, a haven of peace, together with others, knowing all. But to know all is to have nothing left to seek, and to be eternally bored in your eternal happiness. This is not an original idea, some Greek dude who I don't have the will to look up said this long ago. And he was right. The best I can hope for in an afterlife, if there is one, is an eternal mystery in which progress is made towards an end that never comes, but eternally intrigues.
The truth is, none of this would actually please me in reality. I know that if I were to wake up on a sailboat in the middle of the ocean I would be miserable. But I'd like to think I wouldn't, and after all, mystery is part illusion.


'Cause I can't stand to stay
Right where I am
Let the water fill this land
Bring it to your mouth
And pass beyond your lips
No gale can down this ship

And wherever you go
There you are
And if I go
I won't go far

Thursday, October 11, 2007

JP Sousa Found A Radio, A Radio

So I've realized that the only way I'm getting into college is if I start writing that play of mine. Right now I've got a premise. It's called "Rash of Robberies" (I was listening to the State Radio song when I thought of it). My writing style for drama is the crappy tactic of coming up with a mystery without actually knowing the answer yet, so I don't actually know why the stuff that happens in the play happens, but I will soon. Basically it involves a wealthy mother and daughter living in a wealthy house. The mother is slowly killing her daughter (by means of drugs and alchohol) due to a hatred that has built between them over many years. Over the course of the play, 3 different robbers break into the house (coincidence? I think not) and find themselves in a strange twist of fate, as they end up stuck in the house as hostages, because the psychotic mother will not let them leave now that they see what she is doing to her daughter. One of the thieves discovers a connection with the mother and daughter, and all three are connected, unbeknownst to them.
Sketchy, I know. But I'm filling in the holes.

Continuing to spoon out ideas as if you care, OSK

Baby falls 40 feet, caught by a street cleaaner
Coming home from the Union Hall
He saw the fall
A it's OK

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Poetic Outlet (ish) II

I just found this in a word document on my computer. I have no idea who wrote it; I guess it could be me, but it's not quite my writing style (bad).

In times when life slows you down
Enough that you can walk around
Without the thought of consequence
Tearing at your conscience
I sometimes wish
That like the fish
I could swim and not look back
But times like these
It comes with ease
The certainty that the things I lack
Will become my strengths eventually


Holy crap, how long ahs it been since "Poetic Outlet (I)"?