Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Cool Artwork: Jan Van Eyck's Ghent Altarpiece

I know what you're thinking. You think I'm displaying this image so I can turn you into a devout Catholic. If that is what you suspect, well, let me tell you that you are correct. You guys are all hedonists, anarchists, sadists, duckbill platypusists, communists, somnabulists, populists, capitalists, existentialists, and all sorts of other ists. To counteract all these evil ists I'm showing you this painting in an effort to change your ways and guide you to the correct ism.

Besides telling you about the awesomeness of the Catholic religion, I'm here to tell you about the painting pictured above. It's marvelous. Why? It's so freakin' detailed. I guess that's a reason. And it's totally surreal. The bottom middle part is ridiculously weird in its perspective which gives the image a surreal quality. Plus it's got all these super detailed plants and beautifully painted people and a lamb that's gonna get slaughtered. And the clothes are painted super nicely too. I'm a big fan of clothes, specially nicely painted clothes. Bravo. I guess that's it. Well, I could give you a more serious answer but you'd probably want to shoot me in the head.

In case you don't know me well and didn't realize I was joking, let me declare my respect for many of the different ists out there. Be sure to choose your ist wisely, defining yourself by the group or subset you belong to is the key to modern day happiness and also the path to ultimate victory (I don't know what victory entails, I just thought I should say that).

PS. Individualism is so 19th/20th century. To make things easier on ourselves we need to move past the cult of the individual and start redefining ourselves in terms of what television programs or channels we watch. All the other ists and isms are way too confusing anyways. So we'll boil it down to tv... You could be a Simpsonist, or a Spongebobist, or a Stewartist, or an Iron Chefist. Or a Foxist, or a Cartoon Networkist. Obviously it goes on and on. As you can see I've got solutions for everything, just like MacGyver...

A Thought on Memories and Health.

Sometimes memories are terrible.

I don't mean the memories themselves are terrible. But it's more how they make you feel in remembering them... they come back and remind you of things you once had but have now lost or will never recapture. Before I got sick I never really had memories haunt me like they have at times this past year. And I don't particularly enjoy wallowing in memories and nostalgia, but you can't control everything in life, sometimes it's unavoidable, and you just gotta feel what you gotta feel.

A particular thing happened to me a couple days ago that triggered this recent phantasmagoria of memories. And this time the intensity of the memories has been very strong... I've had a hard escaping them.

But today the memories and nostalgia have finally eased up. I'm back to thinking in the present and thinking of the future, I'm settling back into my rhythm, my mindset and optimism, and it feels very good.

This whole trip down memory lane just amplifies my desire to fully recover. I'm going to cry and cry and cry with joy the day I finally am free to work and do things again. I try not to get too bothered by the fatigue that still hampers me... I'm getting better, I feel so much more like myself, and I feel so close, like I'm on the cusp... but this fatigue feels like some sort of invisible wall that just magically prevents me from doing stuff. But after all the pain I had, I'm just thankful that the days are so much more peaceful, at least my body can get the rest it needs now. I know I've said a lot of this stuff before, but it helps to write it again every once in a while. It helps me organize my thoughts...

And there is good news on a medical level, my doctor was really encouraged by my blood tests and the virus levels. I'm not sure what all the numbers mean, but good things are happening. This happened about a month ago but I think about it often, it's very comforting to know that besides how I feel, there are invisible things happening in my body that are supposedly good.

So, what exactly am I gonna do when I'm better? Let me tell you: I'm gonna get so drunk for like a week straight and drink so much tequila I'm gonna forget my name and wake up in some gutter in Mexico.

No, no I won't do that, but I should...

A certain thought keeps coming to mind, I don't know where I read it, but I think it's part of the Buddha's teachings: all suffering stems from desire. I guess it's a good thing to keep in mind.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Leaving the House. Thoughts on the Movie Blood Diamond.

Whew, I'm really tired today, I did a lot of stuff (for me) yesterday.

I finally made it out the house (really!). I went to Borders, I just love wandering about and checking out all the temptations... But hey, I made it out without buying anything! I have certain suspicions that the Borders megacorporation called the CIA to order a hit on me, you know, put a couple of retributory bullets in my brain for not spending a cent in their store yet I still read tons of shit. I'm not scared though. Really, I'm not (can you tell I'm trying to convince myself, I'm really doing a shitty job of soothing my fraying nerves).

Anyways, I also went to a movie with some friends. We saw Blood Diamond, a movie starring a guy I used to call DiCrapio, but he was awesome in this movie, I got so much more respect for him than I did back in the day.

I was a bit worried Blood Diamond might get too preachy, or just be full of cliches... but overall the director did a great job, and the action was stellar, and like I said, DiCaprio was really great, and so were all the other actors. Of course there were some stupid parts, totally Hollywoodized, but hey, you'd have to be an idiot to not expect that sort of stuff!

I haven't seen The Departed, but it seems people are saying DiCaprio was even better in that flick.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Friday Music Fun. And a Clip From Trainspotting.

I was randomly surfing Youtube. First I found this song I love, it's called 'Sweet Pea.' Fantastic. Shoot, but I can't upload it in this post. Oh well. Anyways. Then I stumbled upon this scene from the movie Trainspotting, one of my favorite scenes of all time, haha it mostly features Begbie! And then thinking of that movie got me thinking about Blondie, and their song Atomic which some band covers in Trainspotting. And then thinking of Blondie made me think of their lead singer who reminds me of France Gall and Francoise Hardy. Who then made me think of Serge Gainsbourg (a total pervert!), who in turn reminded me of Frank Zappa. Did you need to know all that, why of course not! But that's what I'm here for, needless explanations. Uh, and I'm throwing in some other songs that I love, why? Well I suppose just for the hell of it!

Anyways here's some awesome vids:

Trainspotting Scene


Elton John-Saturday Night

France Gall-Les Sucettes

France Gall-Ali Baba Und Die 40 Rauber

Eazy E-Real Motherfuckin' Gs

Francoise Hardy

Francoise Hardy-Devi Ritornare

Devo-It's a Beautiful World

Francoise Hardy-La Maison Ou J'ai Grandi

Frank Zappa(not actually him though, some other guy, love this song)-Catholic Girls

Frank Zappa-Bobby Brown

Serge Gainsbourg-Je Suis Venu Te Dire

Serge Gainsbourg-Qui Est In, Qui Est Out

Serge Gainsbourg and FRANCE GALL!-Comic Strip

25 Question Meme

Another meme I wanted to do that I found over at Silverneurotic's blog.
1. If you could build a house anywhere, where would it be? Chicago. I'd say somewhere in California, but earthquakes, I don't like those. Although Chicago is vulnerable but not as much as Cali.
2. What’s your favorite article of clothing? Rugby jersey
3. Favorite physical feature of the opposite sex? Smile. Nice curves.
4. What’s the last CD that you bought? Can't remember.
5. Where’s your favorite place to be? With family in France.
6. Where is your least favorite place to be? Fast food joint. Man, I am such a pain in the ass!
7. What’s your favorite place to be massaged? Hands.
8. Strong in mind or strong in body? Both I hope. Well, currently my body is weak, so I guess I have to say my mind!
9. What time do you wake up in the morning? Love waking up early. 6 or 7am.
10. What is your favorite kitchen appliance? This thing that is like a mini blender... Don't know what you call it, probably just called a mini blender!
11. What makes you really angry? People who disrespect me or try to screw me over. Especially during my illness I've had some people take some real cheap shots or act really judgemental. When I feel better and don't have as much pain and symptoms I feel more forgiving, these people don't truly mean harm. But when I'm in pain I think about them and what they've said for motivation to get through this bs illness. I try not to rely on anger though, it's a draining emotion that is ultimately very empty.
12. If you could play any instrument, what would it be? Tabla, I like the harmonica too. But you know, if you want real glory and all the ladies, you gotta be the lead guitarist.
13. Favorite colour? Pink and Black
14. Which do you prefer…sports car or SUV? Sport car... but, I don't particularly like these choices!
15. Do you believe in an afterlife? Ask me on my death bed. I'm not close enough to death to fully believe in it yet, but I think there's a good chance that I will. Kinda like Pascal's wager.
16. Favorite children’s book? The ultimate classic: "How To Be Murderously Great Through the Use of Guns, Rocket Launchers, Knives, and a Couple of Pit Bulls!"
17. What is your favorite season? Spring
18. Your least favorite household chore? Hate doing laundry.
19. If you could have one super power, what would it be? Someone wrote a good answer for this, but I can't remember it. This means I have to rely on myself, and I usually panic when that's the case! Oh boy, how bout something unoriginal like superhuman strength. It's gotta be fun. And I promise to only use it for evil. Ah! I mean for good. I'm sick and tired of my stupid subconscious, it's always finding ways to expose my secret evilness.
20. If you have a tattoo, what is it? Colorful dragons snaking up from the middle of my back, then curling around my shoulders with the heads of the fire-breathing dragons located at my chest. I designed it myself. That's a lie. I do have many ideas for tattoos, but I don't really want a tattoo. I don't mind them so much, and I'm more apt to appreciate a tattoo if it has been designed by the person who wears it.
21. Can you juggle? No, I remember my PE class years ago when we had to learn juggling. I was pissed and didn't try. PE isn't about preparing you to join the circus, PE is about tough mental and physical challenges in real sports. Like dodgeball and square dancing.
22. The one person from your past that you wish you could go back and talk to? Big Bird or the Snuffleupagous. Or Tony the Tiger. That guy is great.
23. What’s your favorite day? Thursday or Friday.
24. What’s in the trunk of your car? Nothing important. Well, nothing that the cops need to know about... I definitely don't have dead bodies in the back of my car. I'm not THAT dumb! I put those in my sister's car, you know, she takes the fall if anything happens. I'm a good brother like that.
25. Which do you prefer, sushi or hamburger? Sushi. I do like hamburgers, but I'm sort of a healthaholic. Jeez, ironic I got so sick since I'm usually such a healthy person, but maybe it would've been worse had I not been so healthy.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Health Update Plus Some Quick Thoughts On HP Lovecraft.

There's something bad that happened lately but it's too personal to get into. At least for now. Maybe another day. But I do have good news. I'm finally getting over this cold that has been punishing me over the past 3 weeks.

I feel stronger, sharper, better. Woohoo! It's really great. And although my underlying illness is still keeping me from living my life, I've been seeing various people and doctors, and they keep telling me how much I've improved. It's a work in progress, it's a battle, it might still take a hell of a long time, but destiny is on my side, just have to be patient and keep focused.

Thoughts on HP Lovecraft
I read a story by HP Lovecraft yesterday which could have been great. It's called 'The Whisperer in the Darkness,' and like I said it could have been really amazing but I think the writer sorta goofed something up. He made the main character way too gullible... the guy in the story falls for a trick that no semi-intelligent person would ever fall for (and this guy was supposed to be a scholar too!). Anyways, that's the only thing that sucked about the story, because the rest of it, the way it was written, the atmosphere, all that was great! Even the suspense was good, although it was too easy to tell what was gonna happen.

Gotta recommend a great story by Lovecraft that blew my mind. It's called 'The Colour Out of Space,' really a phenomenal story. I think it's my favorite of all of Lovecraft's stories, at least of the ones I've read so far. It perfectly captures all the elements and themes that matter to him, things like fear of the unknown, entrapment, and pernicious elements from outer space. It's just awesome. I found this link, it has a bunch of Lovecraft's stories, including the couple I mentioned.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Can You Do Funny Voices?

Love this video, it's Mel Blanc (the guy who did the voice of bugs bunny and daffy and all sorts of cartoon characters) on the Johnny Carson show. Talk about someone who'd be fun to hang out with! I would give anything to have his abilities, just thinking about all the hilarity and havoc I could cause with such a skill...

Google Searches

Sadly, I have neglected the topic of google searches that lead to this blog. The wait ends now, I will create a journal entry out of some of the google searches that have led to my blog. The google searches are in italics AND bold...

Sebastien's Journal Entry
I saw a Simpsons' episode where they reenact 'The Shining.' Seeing that episode made me wonder if there is an episode where Spongebob does the Shining. I check Nickolodeon for Spongebob, but something else is on, a show on cats, I am displeased to say the least, if I want to see cats I might as well go waste my time on cats are cool!.com.

I change channels and see that a Duckbill Platypus movie is playing on cinemax. It is overly violent for my taste. Turning off the tv, I grab a book filled with pictures of daffy duck playing basketball, and can't help wondering if there is any way Daffy could beat the great white sharks basketball team. The sharks are an imposing team, what with their uniform that consists of dead taxidermied snakes, and their chant of "i lost my eye." The uniform and chant always strikes fear in the heart of opponents. Why, just the other day the sharks were about to play a b-ball game when their cowering opponents realized victory against these demonic sharks was impossible. In their fear the opponents yelled out,"Invisible things keep biting me!" They were quickly whisked away to the mental hospital, and in doing so ingeniously avoided a basketball match against the frightening sharks.

Meanwhile, the sharks were now left with free time on their hands. They decided to do a round table discussion on the literary merits of writers like Andre Gide and Edgar Allan Poe Sebastien. It was riveting and made for great television.

I forgot to tell you guys, it has recently been discovered that Poe had changed his name and added Sebastien to the end, it turns out Sebastien was his great inspiration and muse. Who knew? I have to admit, I'm the one who taught Poe how to paint bird feathers, and I also remember the time Poe asked me, what is journal entry? Yeah, I taught Poe everything he learned, even grammar skills...

Now, I'm sure many of you esteem Edgar Allan Poe, but truth be told, he was kind of annoying. For instance, he always whiningly asked me if he could borrow my laptop just so he could watch what he euphemistically referred to as 'videos chistosos de sexo.' I even saw him use my computer to google search things like 'fascist kitties' and 'real scary shit.' Let's just say Poe owes much to the internet for helping him find fantastic ideas. For example, you know that story of his, 'The Black Cat'? Well, Poe found all his material for that story by google searching 'felins not eating,' 'cruel thinking in the mind. How to overcome,' 'Edgar Allan Poe psychological aspects,' and 'pyschotic visions.' That's it, that's how the man created his stories!

Poe's final short story was called, 'I'm Still Thinking About You in French,' and as Poe tried to explain to me, the story was mainly about cool things on Allen Iverson. Let's just say I had to heavily edit that one, turning it from a simple laudatory story on the merits of Allen Iverson into a chilling tale of horror and suspense. The reworked story involves a scorpion painting, where the creature from the painting comes to life to haunt the main character. The drama involves the main character losing his glasses, and now, unable to see this terrible scorpion, he yells out with terror, "IM NEARLY BLIND WITHOUT MY GLASSES!" But don't worry, the story ends well, the scorpion died before he hurt anyone.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Rambo. Terrorist Gophers. Rambo Falls Off the Bed.

Rambo was sleeping on my bed tonight. He was dreaming of beautiful things, like chasing rabbits and gophers and all sorts of vicious creatures that constantly terrorize us and take away our courage to even step outside. Damn gophers... Sorry, I digress, Lord knows I can go on a tangent about evil gophers and their nefarious acts of terrorism.

I was sitting in a chair reading. Rambo, as I said, was sleeping on my bed, dreaming his dreams of sweet justice, you know, those dreams of catching and tearing apart villainous gophers.

That's when I heard a loud terrible crashing noise followed by a thud. I was frightened beyond my wits and immediately ran into my closet for safety. I hid behind my clothes.

But I was only panic stricken for a moment. As I lay curled up in a ball behind my clothes I decided to do something about the situation. I decided to throw on my superhero uniform. Part of my uniform is this t-shirt that has the letter C emblazoned on the front. To me it stands for courage. Unfortunately the back of the shirt specifies that it stands for the Chernobyl nuclear power plant facilities. Nonetheless, seen from the front the shirt is ambiguous and helps serve my purpose, plus the superhero outfit gives me courage and that's what counts.

Sitting in my closet for several minutes, I have finally drawn enough power and courage from the uniform I just put on. Now, I am ready to investigate the cause of the loud terrible noise. I won't lie, I'm still a little scared at this point...

Several minutes later I'm finished with my thorough investigation. I conclude that the noise and thud were caused by Rambo falling off the bed. There he lays, on the floor, blankets and pillows strewn around him. It is an open and shut case of innocent bed falling.

Or is it? I realize he isn't moving. Limp as a dead fish. Struck with a terrible fear, the thought that he might be paralyzed races through my mind. Could evil gophers have injected him with some terrible poison and pushed him off the bed as the coup de grace? All done while I unwittingly sat nearby reading a book... The possibilities are limitless, these unscrupulous gophers are unbelievably well trained and will stop at nothing to destroy Rambo and me.

I run over to Rambo, I check his paws and limbs and poke and prod him. Thankfully, he lazily reacts to my tests. He is sleeping so deeply he has not realized he has fallen off the bed. This must be what they call the sleep of the truly innocent, if only I could sleep with such peace...

I will leave you with several pictures. They depict Rambo and me working on gopher fighting exercises. This is top secret, we don't want the gophers to know how we train, but I don't think gophers know how to use computers so the likelihood of them finding these pictures on the internet is ludicrously slim. As you can tell from the pictures we carefully hone Rambo's skills so that he can methodically seize and interrogate villainous underground dwelling gophers with ruthless efficiency.

Furthermore, I know our methods might not please some of you tree hugging hippie wannabe's, but you know what, those gophers will steal your lunch AND my lunch if they get a chance, and I'm not willing to increase the risks by wussifying the training regimen and watering down our tactics.

And let me warn you, the following pictures are NOT for the faint of heart.

Friday, January 19, 2007

I am the Walrus?

I have a cold that has been dragging on. I will spare you the details. Although, there are some odd changes in my appearance that I can't help but mention: my skin has changed colors and now has an odd silvery sheen, I've grown long whiskers, my belly has been distending at a frightening rate, and yesterday morning I was more than surprised when I glanced at my face in the mirror and saw that I had grown large tusks. Cool. I think I'm turning into a walrus.

I've also been more tired than usual...

I like this commercial:

Monday, January 15, 2007

Ban the Letter X. Search the Letter T.

Saudi Arabia is planning on banning the letter 'X'.

Here's what I have to say:


If I had to choose a letter that has caused me more problems than any other, without a doubt it would be the letter X. It has lowered my quality of life by a measurable 10%. Think about it, if each letter was this destructive, we'd have like a minus 3,000000000000000000000000000% quality of life, and that's not very good. It'd be like living in a cave under the ocean with no light and meager amounts of food... I wonder what kind of GDP we'd manage in such an environment, I doubt we could afford decent infrastructure... Wow, there would be serious challenges to overcome.

The problem with tackling the issue of evil letters and their destructiveness, and particularly the destructiveness of the letter X, is that few among us are gifted with heightened sensibilities in the area of evil letter recognition. I'm blessed though, the letters of the alphabet reveal their secrets and their qualities to me, I'm like, what do you call it, a witch doctor? How bout a letter doctor? How bout super duper awesome!

Hey, guess what? Even Marvin the Squirrel is enthused about the Saudi's impending decision to nix the letter X. Wait a sec, Marvin is saying something to me... He's saying he thought it was funny that someone had google searched the letter T and miraculously arrived at my blog. What! Come on Marvin, this has nothing to do with anything! It's not worth mentioning, but Marvin keeps telling me how funny and weird this search is and how I should talk about it. He's so pushy.

First off, Marvin says I should be thankful that this google searcher hadn't searched the letter X and arrived at my blog. He says that if that had been the case, my blog would have to be considered evil, and in turn, I, the writer of this blog, would be supremely evil. Not necessarily a bad thing mind you, but it's also good not being supremely evil. I think being mildly evil is better, it's more low key and sneaky.

Back to Marvin. See, the thing that is really bothering Marvin is that he can't figure out why someone would search for the letter T, unless they accidently hit the t letter on the keyboard and then accidently pressed enter. But then why would they click on any of the links that appeared if this wasn't their intended search... Marvin is baffled. Frankly I could care less...

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Marvin the Squirrel. Joe Jackson Song. HTML Book.

Marvin, the squirrel that lives in my room, is sitting here in the corner of my bedroom playing his mini-piano. He's smoking some camel reds, I think he's mostly doing it for image, like, he thinks it's cool or something... That's ok, because he is busting out some great music. Kinda like this song by Joe Jackson, I posted it at the bottom... I don't really know anything about this musician but I can listen to this song over and over again. So can Marvin, he loves it...

Now, before I keep this a secret any longer, I've been inching my way through this html book. The book is by Ian Lloyd, here's a link that has some info on the book. Now, I only mention this because this book is super-duper, so if any of you need a book to start with and are curious about web design I recommend this one! As most of you already know, I'm trying to reach the ultimate goal of creating a fully-functioning website for my art. Will I succeed? Only time will tell, but maybe Marvin can help me out if I get stuck, he's so freakin' awesome. I once saw him take out two bulldogs with a karate move that was blindingly fast and piledrivingly powerful. The guy is just on a higher level than us mere mortals.

Sports Heaven? NFL Playoffs and B-ball. Television and What It Means To Me.

My diatribe is unoriginal and my viewpoint is probably shared by many. That being said, I'm still going to spill my silly, caustic, unoriginal thoughts...

Do you like violence? Crazy people plastering each other with bone-crunching hits? Seemingly pointless violence all in the name of some fictitious glory? If so, then the NFL playoffs are for you!!!

Yeah, you need to grapple with the irony and contradictions and silliness that mar professional sports. Especially professional football. But once you get the irony, the silliness, once you get past the fact that these grown men are willingly punishing and torturing their bodies all while trying to manipulate a ball so that the little orb does their bidding and they can 'win' a game... well, once you get past that it's very easy to enjoy the game, and believe in this magical realm of heroes and heroic plays...

Did I say heroes? Heroic plays? Well, I have a feeling that my heavy-handed sarcasm has already given you an idea of how tired I am of sports announcers, reporters, and many others who go on and on about how some player is such a goddamn hero. This player, this person, he plays a 'game' for a living, makes millions of dollars while doing it, seriously, I hate how the term heroic is tossed around in the sport's world with such flippancy. Anyways, that said, I do have a decent amount of respect for a lot of these athletes. Many work very hard, and have pretty amazing talents.

It's too easy to rip on professional sports, but televised sporting events have been a great diversion for me during my illness. Believe it or not (probably not) after my spiteful diatribe... I even find some inspiration in the sports world... I guess I just have a split personality when it comes to sports, a love hate thing going.

I think the main thing that angers me is this: had I been healthy I wouldn't have been wasting my time with television and sports. I never watched tv before I got sick, so in a sense the unwitting tv symbolizes my illness and weakness. Poor tv did nothing to me, it's actually helped a lot, but it stands for bad things to me, namely my being too ill to do anything over than watching television. Sure, I know what you're thinking, Sebastien, just don't watch tv, rest in your bed or something. I did that, trust me, for months and months... but I found that the television fills a vacuum and distracts my mind, distracts me from pain or fatigue or both those things... And there's this vicarious thing I got going with sports, it helps me dream...

I know. I'm coming across as overly bitter and frustrated. My head's just hurting a bit at the moment, but you know, I am seriously thankful to just be alive. Nothing like remembering all the pain I've gone through and just being thankful, thankful to breath this air and able to see the world and be with people I love.

Anyways, we got some good games today! Colts at the Ravens, oh boy oh boy! I'm cheering for the Colts (I spent a good part of my youth in Indy)... and then we got the Eagles at the Saints later! Go Saints, I'm cheering for them because I like the city of New Orleans, and Reggie Bush, that guy is great. Tonight, we even got some b-ball on tv, Magic at the Suns... Wow, this is like serious overload, and tomorrow, Patriots at the Chargers, now that is gonna be a game!

What a great sports weekend.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Poe's Ligeia. Thoughts on Opium. A Raccoon Ate My Headphones But First He Beat Me On the Head With Them.

First off, sorry, lately most of my posts have been on stuff I've been reading... I'll be doing celebrity posts soon... Beckham coming to the US, oh my! Let's all grovel, or shoot ourselves in the head, whichever you feel is more appropriate...

So, I finally got to read a bit today, and I'm totally digging this Poe story, Ligeia. Why? Yeah, it's a great story, but what I love the most is the idea of will. Will. The will to live, that's what the story is about for me. And love too. Love is cool. Can help bring you back from the dead.

See, Ligeia is this really fine woman that the narrator loves, and she loves him, with total passion. But she gets sick, and although she has a crazy desire and will to live, and this man she loves and wants to be with... well, in spite of these things she can't beat her illness. Ligeia dies.

But the thing is, this lady has such a burning passion to live, to come back, to return from death... Well, in the end, she does come back from the dead! Her spirit was so strong, her will was so determined, she was able to overcome the laws of reality... Something like that I guess.

I also dug how wind was mentioned in the story. This invisible, great force, wind, acting like a channel for Ligeia's spirit, a channel for her to come back to physical reality. Coolness.

There is only one little problem to this whole story. The narrator is always smoking opium, so he's not totally trustworthy. Ok, that is a little more major than I first let on. Damnit, the freakin' loon might just be imagining the whole damned thing! Dude, he doesn't even remember how he met Ligeia, kinda makes me wonder if Ligeia is even a real person or just a figment of his tripped out mind. It's ok though, because it's cool, that's his reality, even if it's not real.

When all is said and done, I really don't know what to think. I've learned nothing. The story is a mystery. The narrator is an opium smoking lunatic. Is opium that great by the way? Cuz, uh, this narrator guy kinda got me curious... wasn't Poe way into the drugs... didn't Poe end up in a gutter... would that make for a good anti-drug commercial?... or would people think taking drugs makes them do cool things like Poe, no not the ending up in a gutter thing, but the writing cool stories part. Yeah, it'd be a mixed message... I'd probably pass on using Poe in any anti-drug advertisements.

Since you mentioned opium... I wonder what kinda visions I'd have if I tried it, I wonder if I'd have cool visions... like seeing a crazy raccoon materialize out of nowhere, who would promptly attack all the objects in my room with a fierce and psychotic vengeance. Haha, that'd be great. But, Rambo's already beaten him to the punch, so it wouldn't be all that novel.

By the way, there's a couple stories in my Poe book that precede the story Ligeia, Berenice and Eleonora, really great, hghly recommend those stories too. To balance it out, the stories I don't recommend: I'm not fond of Poe's investigation/detective stories, I'd say they suck, but that's unduly harsh, they're just not my thing.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Thinking Meme

I saw that Silverneurotic did this meme on her site and I kinda wanted to do it.

If you had to choose one vice in exclusion of all others what would it be?
Coffee. Love the coffee.

If you could change one specific thing about the world what would it be? I want peace. So that means no war. And that also means the destruction of all nukes and crazy weaponry that kills people. So those things, but I also wish the world wasn't full of illnesses and diseases. But war is more our own fault, we have control over that, so it's more feasible to curtail!

Name the cartoon character you identify with the most. Daffy Duck is my boy! Although, I don't really think I'm like him, but he always makes me laugh, that surly bastard!

If you could live one day in your life over again which one would it be? I've had too many good days. Hard to choose one. Any day I've gotten to paint and also play basketball. Then gotten to hang out with friends. Loved days like that. Those were good times.

If you could go back in history and spend a day with one person who would it be? Leonardo da Vinci, but I don't speak Italian, so we'd have a communication problem. Hmmm, I'll go with my favorite painter, Ivan Albright. Well, I would have also really liked to have gotten to spend a day with my grandfather who passed away before I was born.

What is the one thing you lost, sold or threw away that you wish you could have back? My bike from Chicago. I miss it. I should've shipped it here, but I didn't. I'm really nostalgic about that bike, it was a road bike, manufactured by Giant in the 80s, nice colors, great frame. Together, we travelled all over Chicago.

What is your one most important contribution to this world. I try to be good to people. I try to spread positive energy, hehe, please disregard the previous post!

What is your one hidden talent that nearly no one knows about? I'm really a duckbill platypus, people never realize this talent.

What is your most cherished possession? My glasses or contacts. They let me see the world!

What one person influenced your life the most when growing up? Other than family, I'd have to say Michael Jordan. Seriously. I loved the guy's will, his determination, his work ethic. Sounds trite, but it's true. I felt that his work ethic was the key to his success, and in turn I always knew that no matter what, I wanted to bust my ass to improve myself in anything I did and just be the best that I could possibly be. Haha. I'm being truthful!

What one word describes you better than any other? I'll say 'ducky' for the hell of it.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Journal Entry?

Warning: This post is like a journal entry and it mostly deals with pain (gonna turn the comments off on this one, hehe, I feel like it's a begging for sympathy post! but thanks for reading of course, I really appreciate all the visits and comments!). It does me a world of good getting stuff like this off my chest.

My head feels like it's been in a vise the past two days.

The back of my head has felt particularly painful, but even the rest of my head is hurting, like someone jacked up the pressure in there by hundreds of psi.

Fortunately, in the midst of this crazy headache, I have the luck of already having a doctor's appointment scheduled.

But man, the other night was really horrendous. The pain was so bad, the pain made sleep impossible for a while, but I finally got to bed around 3 in the morning. Unfortunately the pain ratcheted up a couple notches at 6am, enough to force me awake. I got an icepack out of the freezer and I lay my head down on the ice (a measure I've had to take all too often through the course of this past year). The pain was really smothering. The seeming infiniteness of this illness, the seeming eternity of it, somehow the pain took on those characteristics, and made me feel like I was choking, struggling to breath, struggling to keep my head and mind from getting crushed.

Obviously my spirit felt like shit at that moment. One of the most frightening kinds of pain is the pain that keeps you awake. Pain located in your leg or back is already bad enough, but for your head to be the source of the pain is the worst, at least for me it is. It is a pain that infuriates beyond belief, scares your soul and twists all your thoughts into thoughts of despair and death. It’s like a hell within your mind.

Lying in my bed, trying to outwait the ceaseless pain. I felt like I was reliving all those sleepless nights I’d experienced months ago, when similar bouts of pain had kept me awake, forced to contemplate the night’s darkness, night after night, against my will. I just want a respite from the pain I've already experienced all day, just for a moment. But sleep eludes. And the blank darkness is awful, it's an empty canvas where visions of my fears materialize, fears of sickness and death, fears of never recovering.

Pain during the day is sufferable. Pain in my head, at night, in the darkness? It’s probably the thing I fear the most. The sheer terror of it. Your mind is free, but the pain, and the darkness, both give monsterous qualities to all your thoughts. I'm too tired and experiencing too much pain to distract myself, unable to focus on the computer, unable to focus on the weird infomercials on tv, unable to read, unable to talk to someone. It’s very intense. The darkness. The solitude of the night. And the pain. But sometimes it isn’t even really about the pain. Sometimes the pain in itself doesn’t matter, The pain is just bullshit. But the pain, not the pain itself but what it means. Right? I dunno. The fact that there is such pain, that I can't escape it, it just seems to chop away all the progress my body has achieved. It effortlessly wipes away all my hopes and aspirations, and makes me feel like I will never be myself again. That is the worst part of the pain, the ease with which it erases my progress, my strength, and it doesn't even have to try, it just does it.

And I never see the pain coming. It must be stalking me, waiting for me to ease up and forget about the previous attack it plastered me with, waiting for me to start thinking it might not come back. That's when it strikes again. Right when I think I've rid myself of that beast.

Yeah. I’m looking back at that sleepless night, it was just the other day, but it feels like an eternity ago. I’ve recovered my confidence. I know I talked about fear and my fears, but to tell you the truth, I'm a much stronger person now. At this point of my life. I am not fearful, only in those unlucky moments of terrible pain, where I've had a burning headache for days on end, very few hours of sleep, yes, that is when I get broken down and my fears gain a tighter grip around my throat. But I make it through those moments. I always make it through. The pain always fizzles out.

Sometimes I think I should just ask for pain medecine. But that stuff is a can of worms.

Right now my head isn't hurting very much, still aching, but not painfully so. That other night was really horrible, just brought back a flood of hated memories, I sort of thought I was safe from the pain. A night like that, with ceaseless pain, like so many of those other painful nights, it shakes my confidence to the core, but only for a moment.

I hate how in those nights of pain all my dreams just vanish, my dreams of health, of working, of exercising again, they all disappear. It's hard to handle that feeling of loss, feeling that health is just a cruel illusion that I'm ceaselessly chasing, always coming up short. For no explainable reason. Makes me think of Tantalus.

To be honest, I could live with disabilities, I know I could. But if I were going to be disabled, I’d like to have clear knowledge of what I could be able to do and what I couldn’t. Parameters. Like, if I was injured in a car accident and could never walk again, I could deal with that, so long as I was told I’d probably never be able to walk again. My mind wouldn’t waste its time on dreams that were impossible, I’d focus on reality and accomplishing whatever I could with whatever abilities I had left. Well, you don't get to choose these things in life, but life is life, I fucking love it, in sickness or in health, but it's a weird thing, it can lead you down paths you'd never have imagined, that's for damn sure. And I guess my path is just filled with a hell of a lot of jumping cholla at the moment. Maybe Vegas is coming up soon.

But seriously, my prospects are good. And I know it. And that’s what makes these setbacks more difficult. It's frustrating because I feel so close, I feel like I'm on the cusp of regaining my abilities... but it’s when I have those killer headaches that last for days and days and days, it’s during those times that I feel as far away as I ever have from regaining my former abilities.

I know this all sounds depressing, but I’m just describing how I felt as I experienced the pain. In reality, I've really been upbeat lately, I've focused on my improvement, I sort of feel like things are trending upwards.

I mentioned a doctor's appointment earlier. Saw the doctor yesterday. Although I was still in the throes of this pain, I wanted to let my doctor know that I felt I was making progress with my condition. I'm still very limited, considering the fact that leaving the house is still difficult for me, that living any semblance of a real life is still daunting due to the fatigue, but those things being acknowledged, I’d be a fool to deny the big time improvement I’ve had in my condition.

The main improvement is that my mind feels a lot sharper, more alive, I'm getting lots of ideas and just feeling more creative, more like my real self, I can talk with people and not feel like I'm going to pass out. And as you have probably noticed, I talk a lot more about reading, my thoughts, I tend to write more in my posts, I tend to be a little more descriptive or what have you. I think these are all good signs.

Anyways, this time, even though the headaches somewhat traumatized my psyche, I couldn't help but feel that they were an aberration. Things are trending upward, I tried to keep telling myself. And I told the doctor how I felt these headaches I was currently experiencing seemed like an aberration, the symptoms inexplicably different from the burning headaches I was living through several months ago.

This part is what I consider the good news. The doc checked me out and it turns out I'm congested, so he said I probably had caught a cold or virus or something. Something on top of my initial illness. This is actually a big time relief. My initial illness is not setting off these terrible headaches and symptoms, they were triggered by this other thing I just caught. I didn't realize I had anything else, my symptoms are so similar to the ones I've experienced throughout this past year that I wouldn't have guessed something else was helping to cause the pain.

Thankfully he prescribed me this antihistamine thingy which has really kicked the pressure down a couple notches and really helped with the head pain. And I appreciated the conversation I had with him, he told me he was optimistic, he was very optimistic I would recover. He mentioned how he had read about several viruses, viruses he’d never heard of, but he thought they might be what was affecting me. He said my EBV levels were up, but I ventured a guess that those could be up because of those other viruses. Yup. It's a possibility. Anyways, there’s nothing to do about those other viruses either. Except to wait. Be patient, not be stressed, and focus on getting sleep so my body can recover.

Here's what I say to myself: I will never concede to this illness. I might have more pain coming my way, but I love life too much to not outlast and beat this thing.

Props to you if you read this whole thing!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Sports, Sneak Attacks, and Books

Sports Stuff
Lots of sports stuff has happened lately. Great NFL playoffs, Cowboys lose in a wild finish (as it turns out I caught the game while playing poker with my sister and her friends!).

I've been watching most of the Suns' matches too, I usually take the opportunity to catch their games if I'm too tired to read or do something constructive. I really love watching their games, they have a great style and the perfect game plan, unbelievable how consistent they are. They keep winning, they crushed the Warriors last night.

The only problem is I love lying down on the couch or the floor when I watch these games, and that is when Rambo sneaks into the room. Then he usually sneaks over to where I am. I tend to be very into the game, or too tired to notice him, and before I can comprehend his presence he's already sunk his shark teeth into my arm! He's crazy. He starts barking at me, or trying to bite me some more. I think it's because he wants attention, he wants to play, poor little guy. I wish I could play with him in those moments but sometimes I'm too tired for that. I'll usually let him go outside in the yard, and I make sure to point out all the birds and rabbits, sitting pretty in the grass, munching away on seeds and feeding on the luscious grass. I'll whisper something into Rambo's ear, something along the lines of, "Look at that smug little bastard bird, look how goddamn content he is, walking about, with his chest all poofed out. Look, he's just pecking away in our yard, no worries in the world. He doesn't care about you. He doesn't respect you and your shark teeth!"

That gets Rambo going, he hates having other creatures in the yard, especially creatures that don't properly respect and fear him!

Books Stuff
I've been able to read a lot, as I've mentioned before. I started a really interesting French book, Les Faux-Monnayeurs (translated to The Counterfeiters in English) by Andre Gide. My parents got this book for me a while back. I've never read any of this author's books, I've heard a bit about him though, mostly about his best known book, L'immoraliste.

So far the book is pretty interesting, one of the main characters is very autobiographical (I assume). This character is very introspective and talks about lots of different things, has some interesting thoughts on art and life and all that. It's nice, I like getting a sense of the author's persona and ideas. I mean, not all books are meant to be intimate or about the author, but sometimes it's cool to feel that there is total transparency between the author and his writing. Like the writer is hiding nothing. It all depends on the books purpose of course, sometimes it's better when you don't even have to think about the author, and can just think about the story itself without worrying about the writer. Anyways, I'm not that far into this book, but I have a feeling it's mostly a meditation on art and life. Cool by me.

Quick thing. I totally loved this line in Gide's book, and I think it's true in certain respects, not necessarily about the British, but just the idea in general. A lady in Gide's book is telling her lover, who has just cheated with her:
"You remind me of certain British people; the more their thinking is emancipated, the more they attach themselves to morals; it's reached a point where no one is as puritan as these free thinkers."

In more book news, I'm still reading lots of short stories, mostly later in the day, specially at night. I'm really loving reading scary stories right before bed. Still reading lots of Poe, just read a great one by him, William Wilson, that was one cool story. I also re-read the Masque of the Red Death, that story is really growing on me. It's funny, I usually don't re-read authors, but it's very easy to re-read Poe, his use of language is very beautiful, and there are always new things to pick up on in the writing.

Another writer of short stories I'm totally digging: HP Lovecraft!!! This guy is ridiculously great, totally dark, really freakin' scary, sometimes his writing is a little over the top, but sometimes it's just perfect. Definitely recommend him, especially if you like very scary stories, stuff that will keep you up at night! I'll recommend some of my favorite stories very soon, once I've read a couple more... I'll give you some links, there seems to be a couple sites that have his stories.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

5 Things You Didn't Know About Me

I've been tagged by Babybull41! I shall comply...

  • I really love that movie, Wedding Crashers, it's on tv all the time, and I never get sick of watching it. Makes me laugh every time.
  • In actuality I'm not a human being, I'm really a duckbill platypus. I've been lying this whole time. Sorry.
  • Did you know I was born in Belgium? Right near Waterloo, hmmm, the location of Napoleon's greatest defeat. I'm not Belgian though. I'm French/American.
  • I could benchpress a million pounds. Of course, that was before I got sick.
  • I love Spongebob Squarepants. And the Gooby Goober song too, that is just plain awesome.

Anyone who wants to do the meme, go right ahead!!! I will not victimize any particular person this time.

Thursday, January 04, 2007


I think I'm in love. With poker. Throughout all my years I've tried my best to avoid learning any card games... Mostly because I knew how much I would probably end up loving them. Well, last night my sister had some friends over, the plan was to play some poker. Thankfully I felt well enough to join them and learn how to play this most awesome of awesome games. We didn't play for money, just for fun. And it was soooo fun, I can't wait to play again, I'm counting the hours, minutes, seconds till our next game. Plus it's so good hanging out with people, much easier than it was before. I still get tired, but it's not as bad.

And the trash talk, that is my favorite part of poker.

But don't worry. I will never play for money. I hate losing, but I especially hate losing money, especially like that. I'd rather get mugged than lose money in a card game.

Pssst... (the Suns won again last night! Thought you'd like to know :)

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

On Stuff I'm Reading (What, Again!!??)

So, I just re-read Maupassant's 'Le Horla.' I freakin' love that story. Maupassant is obsessed with the invisible. He's always talking about invisible things that exist, powerful things like electricity and wind and all that sort of stuff. He usually uses those examples to set up this question: if we don't see those things yet they exist, aren't there other things out there that we don't see but that also exist? Ohhhh, I'm scared! Stuff like ghosts and monsters and everything. I'm gonna eat some meow mix to calm myself because that's too scary to think about.

Maupassant also thinks our senses are very weak so he's always going on and on about all the stuff we can't see or hear or even comprehend because our senses are too weak. For example, he mentions how weak our sense of smell is, say, in comparison to a dog's sense of smell. Whatever, I still think I'm cooler than a dog. Maupassant just wants to make me feel worthless... I think he was a very unhappy person, he did go mental in the end. He also always talks about how the senses we do have cannot perceive the very large and the very small. He wasn't around for Quantum Mechanics, poor guy, maybe things would've made a lot more sense, well, I dunno, maybe they would've made less sense?

I really dig his fascination with illness (another 'invisible' thing). I wrote about illness and the invisible a while back in my blog, and I wasn't reading Maupassant at the time, but I was thinking along similar lines. I wasn't specifically concerned with the supernatural, I was just fascinated by the idea that lots of 'invisible' things play a huge role in our life, not only illness, but things like gravity. Weird you know, all these invisible forces and things that exist...

I'd read Maupassant years ago, but his thinking and writing really didn't captivate me all that much. Since I've had to struggle with this illness, I've really come to appreciate his thinking a lot more. In the story of 'Le Horla,' the character becomes haunted by an invisible creature, the creature is sort of like a vampire and sucks your soul out and takes control of your body. I honestly think this creature is somewhat symbolic of illness, there are a couple references in the story to boats coming from Brazil (possibly with people carrying the disease that causes the insanity of the main character). There's also continual references to the main character's coachman being very sick and being unable to sleep due to some unmentioned illness. I also know Maupassant struggled with illness in his life (syphilis), so a lot his stories tend to deal with disease and illness, and an assortment of themes that goes along with those things.

I read the 'Masque of the Red Death' by Poe a while back, and there seems to be a lot of similarities between Poe's story and 'Le Horla.' Some similarities I can think of include the idea of seclusion, being trapped, an inability to escape, the fear of illness, fear of the unknown and the invisible, attempts to avoid reality...

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Internet Problem

My internets is so slow since yesterday, really grindingly, maddeningly slow... Don't know what's up.

Anyways, not much going on, been a little frustrated since I was feeling really tired today, but you know, that's the way it goes sometimes.

I had some friends drop by this past week, it was real nice seeing them, and I wasn't too tired when they came by, so that was cool. Plus my sister is here, it's so nice having her around. She makes me so proud, all the things she is accomplishing, and just her demeanor about life really impresses me. And she always lifts my spirits, well, usually I'm doing ok given my circumstances, but it's the days like today where I feel so tired and just so plain sick of being ill, it's a day like today where I most appreciate her presence and comforting words. I'm already sad just thinking about how she's going to be leaving in a couple days.

So, since I was tired I watched some tv and had a chance to catch the Suns game. They won on a last second 3 pointer by Barbosa! Hmmm, maybe there's some cosmic thing that balances the bad with some good...