Sunday, December 27, 2009

Unfinished Mopery

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me
One broken plan
Two broken hearts
Three broken promises
Four weak knees
Five angry dances
Six months of heaven
Seven days of tears
Eight words of anger
Nine thoughts of defeat
Ten resignations
Eleven hopeful smiles
Twelve months of novelty.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


I realised something yesterday. I've been ignoring my imagination. Somewhere along the way I sort of lost track of it, mostly. Sure, I still do some weird quirky things, and I think up crazy schemes, but I recognise it as weird. At some point in school we stopped doing creative writing and fiction writing and shifted to analytical and persuasive writing. Poetry and fiction became silly and inane. I'm not sure why this happened, maybe it's part of how they prepare us for the "real world", no more silly thoughts, no more cats in rain coats or shrink rays or magical melt-proof bowls of ice cream. Maybe it's a big conspiracy theory, they're trying to convince us that you can't be normal if you're imaginative. They replaced all the teachers with robots, or conditioned them to teach us to be normal. Somewhere on some magnificent island they have taken all the fun people, the ones who write silly stories and poetry still, and draw funny pictures of giraffes wearing boots to make people smile. If they fail to normalise you they haul you off to this island. There, they teach you to be weird, as weird as possible. Salvador Dali is there, in a giant egg, throwing yellow paint at people. They tell you that you are the normal ones, and that all those suburban dwelling suit wearing folk are a grand experiment. You attend classes that teach you to stand out, so that the "normal" populous will think you're bizarre, and it will scare them. Your oddity will reinforce their conditioning. After you're done learning to be weird enough to survive, they take you back to civilisation, and they swear you to secrecy. This all takes roughly a weekend.

Maybe, if I keep this up, I'll get to go too.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


I'm tired of pushing it to the back of my mind for fear of judgement. I don't care anymore. I have to know. I can't continue pretending there is nothing there anymore when I think there very well might be. So, I'm going to talk. I'm going to let things happen naturally, let the chips fall as they may, because there is no way I can continue to ignore this. It's too important. Even if there isn't, at least I will know. I already threw away one chance, if I have another, I'm going to make it count. How's that for a New Year's resolution?

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Evergreen Essay 2009

The essay response is strongly recommended for undergraduate applicants who would like to provide some explanation of their previous academic achievements. Your response should be as thorough as possible. Limit your response to two (2) pages.

Please provide us with information about your academic preparation and why you feel you’re ready for college-level studies at Evergreen. In addition, you should describe your educational and career goals and how you believe attending The Evergreen State College will help you reach them.

It began on a windy autumn day in 1996, I was five years old. My mother and I arrived in front of the two steps leading into the classroom, as I cried, not wanting to wear the floral jumper she had so painstakingly chosen. This singular event was the beginning of a thirteen year endeavour-- one which would take me many places. It began with the basics: sharing, the alphabet, addition and subtraction, reading and writing; lessons at the core of an education. As years passed, classes grew increasingly challenging, and the change from recess to responsibilities came swiftly. My passion for certain subjects- particularly English, art, and history-- have grown over these thirteen years, as well as my ability to strive in a rigorous learning environment. Through observation and immersion in the public education system, I have developed obvious qualms with certain methods, namely the "one size fits all" teaching method, as well as the traditional grading system. Achieving a perfect GPA often seems to be emphasised more than achieving genuine comprehension and learning.

I was lucky enough to have access to the Polaris program-- a small learning community residing on the campus of North Kitsap High School-- during my sophomore year, and having experienced this program after many years in the typical system, I was extremely impressed. Class sizes were small, and courses were integrated, with instructors collaborating in order to better the curriculum. Plenty of individual attention was available to students, and students were held to a higher standard. There was an expectation that students would take the time necessary to comprehend the material, and that instructors would aid them in the learning process. For the first time in my educational career, I was challenged by the curriculum, and truly connected the courses I was taking with the world at large. Unfortunately, with the building of the high school I currently attend-- Kingston High School-- the Polaris program was disbanded, with hopes of a new beginning in a new school.

The challenge proved too great, however, and the Polaris program was put to rest. I have since reentered a typical sized high school, opting into Advanced Placement and Honours courses in search of challenge, but lacking that environment which I found so beneficial. In looking at potential colleges, I have unwaveringly recalled my experience with the Polaris program, searching out those elements which made such an impression on my education. Having courses with integrated curricula allowed me to connect the information I was learning to society, and to comprehend it in a way that I hadn't with typical courses; thus finding a college that offered integrated courses has been a paramount concern. Another concern was identifying a college which offered an alternative grading system, one which was more practical than the letter graded GPA system employed in public education. Despite my relatively high GPA, I have found that I am able to earn high grades without really learning any valuable or useful information. The only courses I have found to be an exception are Advanced Placement, which I find relatively challenging, and with a workload that requires keen study skills and organisation.

With these qualities in mind, as well as an ever-growing passion for writing, story-telling, and literature, I took The Evergreen State College into consideration. The program system offered at Evergreen seems to fit my needs perfectly, and with a range of subjects that will allow me to reach my eventual goal of working as a journalist or in the media and communications industry. Creativity and self expression has always been something of utmost importance in my life, and since the day my hands were dexterous enough to form lines on paper and my mouth to form semi-cognitive syllables, I have been reasoning and expressing thought. It started with simply drawn animals, backward letters, and an ever flowing onslaught of questions, forming a basic understanding of the world around me, and spending every waking moment pondering, exploring, and learning. Every pen, pencil, marker, and crayon was a medium to deliver a message, to tell a story. With a world full of stories waiting to be told, I go forth with that medium. By furthering my education at Evergreen State College, I hope to gain the skills and merit necessary to explore those stories and the world.

Hey Hipster

I think I might be a hipster. I'm getting too close to that stereotype, sans PBR and republic bike. I can't even afford to be a hipster, being a hipster requires some level of monetary support, because it takes money to look like an artsy homeless person. I'm just a broke ass art student. Most of my clothing has paint on it. I perpetually have paint in my hair, or between my fingers, or on the back of my elbow where I don't notice it. Everything I own is covered in a fine layer of clay dust, paint, graphite, ink, and eraser nubs. I can't help it.

Talking about myself in third person forced me to be introspective, thanks Evergreen. I'm bored. I'm genuinely fucking bored, and not even because I am a boring person (which I definitely can be, because nothing sounds better than Sudoku, coloured pencils and comic book art, and a ton of coffee in bed all day). I don't even own a bed. I sleep on a beat up old futon that has seen so much interrupted sleep it's not even funny. Well, maybe it is a little funny, but only because it completes my long standing dream of sleeping on the floor.

I'm scared too. I'm afraid of losing all that I have worked for, but then, it wouldn't really matter if that happened anyway, I could just figure out a way to work for it all over again, or work for something else.

Chloe is worried about time, she feels like she never has enough time, it goes much too fast. Chloe is terrified of what might happen. Chloe is afraid of her own potential. She fears that if she goes out and does something she'll have to recognise as remarkable, she'll be proving herself wrong. Chloe worries about things that she has no control of, and she should simply let them go.

Chloe needs someone to talk to about things, everything.

Chloe misses being in love. She falls too easily, she's been hurt too many times, but she keeps falling anyway. She's in love with love, even when it hurts. But hell, at least she has plenty of material to base melancholy stories off of, and happy sappy ones too- God forbid, I prefer to avoid such fluff.

Chloe hates it when people use apostrophes wrong. Also when they use ellipses wrong. These insignificant details drive her mad. It is not a proper ellipsis with only two periods.

Chloe is awkward and shy. She is introverted out of habit. Chloe is not insincere or cruel, she is simply afraid. Her lack of eye contact is not something to signal bad character, just nervousness.

Chloe is listening to rain on a tin roof.

I want to go to the ocean. I want to go swimming. Like when I went to Ocean Shores and I went swimming in my last dry jeans (I went swimming in the other pair the day before).

I want to stand in the waves.
I want the cold water to crash against my warm skin,
create the sensation of thousands of small antagonising needles.
To be washed of the weight of the world
and the dull numbness of monotony
by the feeling of being cold and alive.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Verdant Creativity

There once was an Old Man with a beard
Who said, "It is just as I feared!
Two Owls and a Hen
Four Larks and a Wren
Have all built their nests in my beard!"

I feel better today. I'm going to do something about this damned insomnia though. I think I'll start taking Melatonin or something, I researched it a bit today. I think it would help. All I know is that I need sleep. I hate my ceiling after staring at it so much. Despite sleep deprivation, I'm happy. I feel like things are falling back into place. I'm going to start doing little watercolours and selling them or something, I already sold one through Suhyoon. That was awesome, I didn't get much for it, but it was still cool to buy a soda with money I made by doing nothing but doing what I love to do. Best feeling ever. I'm going to be late for my meeting though. No helping it now, it's 10 minutes off and Jake still isn't here. Damned traffic.

Dismal Calculations

I've already written so much today. I have actually written an absurd amount and I'm not entirely sure how I could possibly have more to say at all, but I do. Life is weird. College is weird. Moving is weird. I feel so damned homeless. I hate it, I'm right back where I was this summer when home didn't feel like home anymore. Then the dorms didn't feel like home either. Then I lost the only semblance of home I had here on campus because I have breasts. I don't want that. Lust makes me feel weak and helpless, it makes me feel awkward. I don't want it. It's self destructive and just makes a mess of everything. But I keep getting myself into situations where that's all that the guy is interested in. What's wrong with just talking? What's wrong with just sleeping? Spine to spine, two human beings taking comfort in their similar humanity and proximity. Sure, sex is fun, but since I've gotten to college it's lost its lustre, it's just this arbitrary thing here, it doesn't mean anything. It's a liminal thing that people engage in without thought. Inebriated, messy. The general issue of being a person with protruding hips and ribs and shoulders and elbows and collarbone, and striking the perfect balance of elbow-intrusion-less sex.
I don't know. I'm just rambling and complaining. Today has been less than excellent, despite promising to be good. I want to paint. I want to move into the house, all the way. I feel so isolated in the dorms. When I'm alone in my dorm I just stare at the wall, thinking about how many states I haven't been to. I've lived in this state for 83.3% of my 18 year life. I've been to 12% of the 50 states. I am 100% unsatisfied with those mathematical calculations. I think I'm going to try and live in Boston or something over the summer. Line up a job over there and see if I can crash with Keith until I find a place. I want to see the Atlantic Ocean. I want to see the country. I feel like I'm missing out on something, that something is lacking from my college experience because my actual life experience is so limited, geographically speaking. Maybe I've just got Wanderlust. That's distinctly possible. In fact, that's it. But I don't care. I'm legally an adult and goddamnit I want to see the country. I want to struggle, I want to live. I'm tired of living here feeling numb. Smiling and laughing to survive. Dancing in the rain because it's what there is and damnit I am going to make the best of it.
I mean, in the grand scheme of things I've got it good. I have a family (albeit a crazy one) who loves me, even when they don't understand what the hell I am doing or saying. I have friends, even if they are often petty and inclusive. I have good health, despite insomnia. I'm in college, and I was able to afford it, by the skin of my teeth. So, really, I shouldn't be bitching and moaning about everything. But I'm human, I can bitch and moan. I'm entitled to be angry and hurt sometimes. I just don't care anymore. It happened, everything happened. The timeline of the past three years and the damage the events therein incurred has happened. So I deal with it. There's no point worrying about it, even though I will. Right now I just have to focus on school, and on living. On taking comfort in the small similarities. On taking comfort in the little things like soda from vending machines at 2am. On huggles and potential adventures that are just as fun to daydream about as they are to follow through with. I want to see the Ocean. I need to see the Ocean. It makes all of my problems seem insignificant.

Monday, November 30, 2009


Is there something wrong with me? Am I in some way flawed, in such a way that I myself cannot see it, cannot recognise it, cannot address it?? FUCK. I can't handle rejection. I just fucking can't anymore.
"I love you"... "I don't love you anymore."
"I like you,"..."I was just using you."
"I was just using you."(repeat)
"I love you!"... "I did love you, but it faded away into abyss."
"I fucked up."
I'm one big fucking mistake. One strange witty awkward blonde haired brown eyed mistake. USE ME! I MAY AS WELL TATTOO IT ON MY FOREHEAD. Use me, use me, use me, use me, use me. Just use me, don't bother loving me, don't bother even feeling anything but animal lust. Use me. Please, save me the energy of hoping that this time might be something worthwhile. Save me the effort of thinking you might actually care about me as something other than B cups and shapely hips. Don't lead me to believe that you actually care enough not to just use me, that you actually care how I feel at all, how I will feel when you throw me away. I'm used to it. I really am. I'm so used to it in fact, that I can honestly and genuinely say that I'm acclimated to the pain. Use me so I can commiserate over whether or not to leave, for the sake of just being held, and then laugh at my anger. My genuine and justified anger, just laugh at it, because goddamn I must be cute when I'm angry. Pouted lips and hair all over the place, fingers fumbling impatiently at the buttons of my jacket, lace bra stuffed into pocket. Laugh. Please laugh. Remind me that I shouldn't have let myself feel. Remind me that I shouldn't have cared at all.
Did I do something wrong? Was it something I did, something I said? Something I always do, always say? Don't be so goddamned nice about it. Just say it. Say you don't care. Say you just used me. Own up to it. Own it. I didn't initiate it, you fucking did. I'm glad you stopped it when you did, but you shouldn't have done it at all. Nothing. If you felt nothing, you should have done NOTHING. I have feelings. I'm not just some walking pair of breasts, I swear, I'm really not. I don't give myself without prior deliberation. Is there something wrong with me? Am I not pretty enough? Not smart enough? Not skinny enough? Too weird? Too awkward? What? I don't know. Fuck, I don't know. All I know is that this hurts. This hurts, and I don't want to feel this anymore. I just want to be held. I just want a boy to want something from me that doesn't immediately entail the contents of my bra. Is that so much to ask? For a boy to care, to genuinely care and want the best for me as I do for them?
I'm just a mistake. You fucked up, you fucked up, you fucked up. I'm a mistake. I was a mistake. I am a mistake.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thirty-five Twenty-six

Fish tank window, neon fish.
Televisions upside down,
sideways, leaning on walls.
Colourful lawn ornaments chaotically
overtaking the front yard.
The backyard treehouse,
full of candy, and pillows.
Hammock, firehouse pole, ropeswing,
Slide instead of stairs.
Disco ball elevator.
Lego Closet.
Cookie drawer.
Racecar bed.
Bookshelves to the ceiling,
sliding ladders, Secret garden.

How am I trusted
to be financially competent
When I buy moon shoes
after touring a condo?

August in Madrid

He pressed the white porcelain to his lips, rolling the side of the cup across them with a slow flick of his wrist. The pungent odour of coffee wafted from the rim to his nostrils as they flared, breathing in with a stutter. Sickness knotted up in his stomach as he closed his eyes tightly, willing the brightness to relent. Looking up as the tepid liquid slid toward his stomach, he noticed the cafe was quite crowded. Couples laughing, talking, bickering, old men sitting alone with newspapers, women with books, steam rising from tea cups and kettles. He regarded the people in the street as they bustled by, unaware, his reflection coming to his attention in the distorted mirror of the windowpane. His jaw protruded beneath his hollow cheeks, as did his cheekbones below his darkly circled eyes. His eyes lingered momentarily unbelieving, then moved to the glassy black surface of his coffee, meeting his circular reflection in the darkness. Steam chilled his skin.
Wincing, he collected himself and, pushing the simple wooden chair back under the lip of the table as he glanced once more into the dark depths of his cup, placed a 5 centimo piece on the table. Izquierda, derecha, left, right, left, he strode out into the hot chaos of the street. The sun was heavy on his gaunt frame, exacerbating the weight of the fabric draped over his shoulders. Madrid possessed a particularly stifling heat this year, a heat which seemed to sear the life out of the city. The crowded side street made him feel impossibly small, its brick and mortar walls pasted with billboards and faded adverts-- Conciertos and Corridas long since past. The clacking of heels on the uneven cobbled street assailed his eardrums, reminders of his hollow loneliness, his eyes perpetually fixed on the ground just ahead of his feet. He was invisible, alien on these streets he had walked for so many years.
A trumpet pierced the August air from a balcony overhead, sputtering a disjointed Pasodoble. The golden tenor of the trumpet sounded empty as it echoed alone in the street, bouncing off of laundry lines and into open windows. The cracked heat of the street beneath his feet gave way to warm packed earth.
"Presente el matadore, Leone Vazquez!"
The Pasodoble thundered as he strode across the arena, posture perfect, shrouded in embroidered gold. He observed the crowd as they cheered, arms waving. He reached the center of the ring, his cuadrilla in formation around him. The ground shook, suddenly becoming scalding hot and hard as steel, the cheers of the crowd became a dull roar. His hands moved instinctively to his ears, his fingers meeting the matted grease of unwashed hair. The street re-formed around him, the ground becoming harsh under his feet once again. Gasping in a vain effort to regain his breathe, he stumbled forward. A passerby addressed him with a shocked expression, Leone slammed sidelong into a nearby wall, careening toward the ground, back arched.
The gritty stones of the street met his sallow skin without mercy, small stones lodging themselves in his palms and between his knuckles. He felt a hot flurry of blood rise to his face, streaming toward his chin from his throbbing temple, momentarily catching on the scruff of his unshaven face. A crowd gathered above him, blocking out the sun. He rolled over, startled, a sea of eyes, blue eyes, green eyes, brown eyes, filled with concern and shock, hovered over him. He clamoured to his feet-- blood running down his forearm, staining his cotton shirt-- and pushed through the sea of eyes into a deserted alley. He broke headlong into a run, his lungs straining, the heat of the sun pounding on his back. He jostled into an alley crowded by line after line of drying bed sheets, the wind throwing them about like capotes. He ran through them, becoming entangled in their crisp dampness, breaking through the alley into the street. En, fuera, en, fuera, in, out. He focused on his breathing as he struggled to keep moving, the city around him faded to black.
Upon coming to cognition he found himself next to the mailbox, breathing slowed to normal, possessing no memory of how he had arrived there. The blood on his arms had dried to a tacky burgundy, forming cracks as he moved his arm eye level to inspect its tattered state. He touched his temple lightly, feeling the blackened bruise throbbing beneath dried blood. He opened the mailbox, reaching inside hesitantly. His hands clutched instinctively at the time yellowed envelope as his fingers recognised the texture. From an old friend. Leone tore at the seam of the envelope, the brittle paper ripped easily. A death, a funeral. The blood rushed to his head, the pressure in his temple built, the blood pounding hotly, his face becoming ghostly pale. His legs felt weak.
Limply marching up the stairs, the slanted walls spinning, he fumbled in his pocket for the apartment key. The lock gave, the door stammered open, a rush of musty air escaped past him down the stairwell. Inside he discovered a fine layer of dust had overtaken every surface, the stagnant air felt hot. Two opened letters lay on the small dusty dining table, he stepped heavily across the tile, his sore feet embracing the rug as he made his way over. Two push pins lodged themselves in the sole of his left shoe, piercing through it to collide with the tender arch of his foot. His expression clouded, tears streaming unintentionally to the floor as he bent and pulled off his shoes along with the offending push pins.
Abandoning the letters, he moved across the room. The wash room floor felt refreshingly cold on his battered bare feet. The sickeningly metallic odour of sweat and dried blood filled the small room as he stopped the drain. The cast iron tub stood silently as an inundation of water shot from the faucet. He stripped away his blood soiled clothing, stepping into the tub, sinking slowly into the warm water. Steam filled the room as he submerged himself fully, the water cleansing his damaged flesh. He closed his eyes, the tension drained from his muscles, his mind quieted.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Theresa White

Her tendency toward being nearly trampled was alarming in Sporting event related settings. A hockey game, of all things, she had chosen a hockey game. Theresa White, so nearly run down by so many buses, so many horses, so many cars, sat nervously next to the ice rink. Would the thick protective plastic really deflect the hard plastic puck? Of, for that matter, would it withstand the force of so many helmeted and armoured bodies careening against it? A hockey game, of all things. She wondered why she had left Seattle, the warm safe interior of her home. The predictable rise and fall of a loaf after loaf of bread. Coming here, to Canada, on whim, could spell disaster. There was nothing but hockey and moose and tall trees to be trampled by- or crushed by. Like those cartoon characters on the side walk that are crushed by pianos or lead weights, or any measure of heavy falling object. A puck hit the plastic with a resounding crack, making her jump. It hurtled full force off of the plexiglass and into the goal. The crowd roared A hockey game, of all places.

Monday, November 16, 2009


I can sleep again. I've been sleeping too much, making up for lost time. I still ended up awake until 5am on Saturday night, just sitting in my room drawing, but other than that night I have been sleeping. A lengthy bout of insomnia, and now relenting into sleep. I even dreamed. Not half sleep nightmares but a real dream, where reality became wonderfully tangled up in my subconscious and strange things happened. Even sleeping alone wasn't a concern, I was far too tired, or my body was. My mind was still attempting to read and engage in Sherman Alexie land, but my eyes refused to see the pages anymore. My mind is awfully wandering these days, back to old times, and to the future, and everything in the present that I must do. I'm trying to write a short story and just failing miserably. I haven't even gotten a page. It's forming in my head, the issue is getting it out of my head and into something presentable.

Then there's sleeping alone. Sending foolish text messages that would do nothing to solve the problem of sleeping alone, and only exacerbate old wounds. I wish we still talked. That would be more than enough for me. I'm not in love with him anymore, though I miss him. I don't miss the romantic aspect, just the connection. Having someone I could talk to about absolutely any strange, weird, alien thought that entered my head. Knowing someone cared and cared to understand. I don't think back wistfully to first kisses in the stacks or love letters. Just talking.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Thought Corral

I need to clear my mind. The truth is, that I miss you, as you were. Not as you are now. You are changed too drastically, you are too different, too far from who you were then. I miss feeling so safe and yet so exhilarated. Held in your arms without question or lust, just being wrapped in the feeling of home. I am tall and strange, with wrists I find too small, and hair that does not behave in a manner that good hair should. Especially when we were together, it was everywhere, tangling itself up. So many moments of concentration spend regaining control of the knotted sea of blondness. So many moments interrupted by unruly hair trespassing on a kiss. We just laughed. I miss those times. When I was just myself and you were whatever you were and we laughed at everything and nothing. It was so natural.

Anything was possible and nothing would bring down the feeling. Even when something did, when we abandoned our rapture to address a matter at hand, crying on the phone late at night, telling you that you were worth the oxygen. Falling asleep on skype together and waking up together that way, in the closest way available to us. Smiling in the halls on the way to class, when nobody there really knew why. I prefer to think of those times, though they are unrealistic now. Too much has happened, too much has been said, and done. Sometimes I want nothing more than to go back to those days. It's too late now though. I had ten new year's resolutions, one was to fall in love. I did. You still have those resolutions in a box of things you will never lose. I don't have anything but memories and doodles in a coursebook.

I laugh everytime I see that book now, Alice in Wonderland. That was a good night, even if it was all tangled up in blonde hair and love lost. You tried so hard to read that book to me, in that goofy accent that I hate. All I did was lightly punch your arm, tell you I just wanted to look at the pictures. You wanted more from me that night, but you knew I couldn't give it. You just held me close and safe all night, because the sky was falling and I didn't know where else to turn. I had to tell someone that my sky was falling, and you were the only one who understands that sort of panic. I'm sorry I made you cry. I didn't want to hurt you, even though you hurt me. I never wanted any of this to fall apart, but life interjected. You changed, plans were unmade.

I wish you hadn't changed. I miss you. Maybe you didn't change at all. Maybe this is who you have been all along. Days soaked with rain, alcohol, and ecstacy.

Mona Lisa

I need to clear my mind. The truth is, that I miss you, as you were. Not as you are now. You are changed to drastically, you are too different, too far from who you were then. I miss feeling so safe and yet so exhilarated. Held in your arms without question or lust, just being wrapped in the feeling of home. I am tall and strange, with wrists I find too small, and hair that does not behave in a manner that good hair should. Especially when we were together, it was everywhere, tangling itself up. So many moments of concentration spend regaining control of the knotted sea of blondness. So many moments interrupted by unruly hair trespassing on a kiss. We just laughed. I miss those times. When I was just myself and you were whatever you were and we laughed at everything and nothing. It was so natural.

Anything was possible and nothing would bring down the feeling. Even when something did, when we abandoned our rapture to address a matter at hand, crying on the phone late at night, telling you that you were worth the oxygen. Falling asleep on skype together and waking up together that way, in the closest way available to us. Smiling in the halls on the way to class, when nobody there really knew why. I prefer to think of those times, though they are unrealistic now. Too much has happened, too much has been said, and done. Sometimes I want nothing more than to go back to those days. It's too late now though. I had ten new year's resolutions, one was to fall in love. I did. You still have those resolutions in a box of things you will never lose. I don't have anything but memories and doodles in a coursebook.

I laugh everytime I see that book now, Alice in Wonderland. That was a good night, even if it was all tangled up in blonde hair and love lost. You tried so hard to read that book to me, in that goofy accent that I hate. All I did was lightly punch your arm, tell you I just wanted to look at the pictures. You wanted more from me that night, but you knew I couldn't give it. You just held me close and safe all night, because the sky was falling and I didn't know where else to turn. I had to tell someone that my sky was falling, and you were the only one who understands that sort of panic. I'm sorry I made you cry. I didn't want to hurt you, even though you hurt me. I never wanted any of this to fall apart, but life intrajected. You changed, plans were unmade.

I wish you hadn't changed. I miss you. Maybe you didn't change at all. Maybe this is who you have been all along. Days soaked with rain, alcohol, and ecstacy. Who were you before you came here?


I have defeated my writer's block, tooth and nail, it has been slain. The Tercio de Muerte was an exhausting brawl, but the deed is done. All it took was intensive music listening, some amount of hair pulling, and a lot of doodling. Now the task of writing commences full force.

Commence Doodling

I got a new sketchbook! This is very exciting. I also went on an exciting adventure that involved breaking and entering, and broken typewriters. Needless to say, it's been a good day. Despite writer's block and foolishly considering drastic measures to ensure not sleeping alone.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

South By Southwest

From South By Southwest, by Sherman Alexie...

" He remembers it now as he stares at the black-and-white movie where the characters don't make any sense, as Seymour sleeps on the other side of the bed, or pretends to be asleep.
Seymour, said Salmon Boy
Yes, said Seymour.
I am the most lonely I have ever been.
I know.
Will you hold me close?
Yes, yes I will.
Salmon Boy pushed himself into Seymour's arms. They both wore only their boxer shorts. Seymour's blue shorts contrasted with his pale skin while Salmon Boy's white boxers glowed in the dark.
I don't want to have sex, said Salmon Boy.
I don't either.
But how will we fall in love if we don't have sex?
I don't know.
They held each other tighter and tighter. They were afraid.
I am happy in your arms, said Seymour.
And I am happy in yours.
Is this what it feels like?
To be loved, to be held, to be intimate without the fear of penetration?
I think so.
Yes, I think so too. I think this what women have wanted from men for all of our lives. I think they want to be held in our arms and fall asleep in the absence of body fluids.
I think you may be right.
They held each other tighter and tighter. They were not aroused. They were warm and safe."

I want to write like this. I want people to find things in my writing when they most need them. Even if it's just one person.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Concerning Appreciation

Maybe it's the sickly warm feeling in the pit of my stomach-- thanks egg nog-- but I feel ill at ease. Dark circles around my eyes, shaky feeling in my body. College is a self destructive cyclical beast. Work, work, run, work, work, socialise, sleep a few hours on a floor. My body has declared war on my mind now. I'm tired. I can't think. I can hardly speak articulately, just preconceived phrases automatically spit out.
I try and I try, give and give. But it seems to go entirely unappreciated. Maybe a thank you, a glance. It doesn't feel genuine. I don't ask much, just honesty. I'm giving for a reason, it's because I care about you, I want you to be happy, it makes me happy to see you happy. All I ask is for honesty, for care in return, or not even that much, just for appreciation, at least a little, it doesn't have to be directed at me even, just expressed.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


I slept on a floor last night. College has encouraged me to sleep on floors quite often, floors and hard sofas. Initially this was a painful development-- particularly for the lower back-- but over time I've come to find it quite comfortable. Why didn't I sleep on the floor before? It's brilliant. I tried to at home, actually, I asked-- this being my first mistake-- mum if I could put my mattress on the floor. Dismantle the bed frame, put it in the closet, and sleep on the floor. Two stories up yet close to the rocks and rough beneath. "This is not a flop house, if you want to live like Jack Kerouac you will wait until you are out of this home." So I did.

I woke up to a stream of light as the closet door was nudged open. Then I proceeded to stumble around the apartment in half cognition, put on my shoes-- first the left, then the right, toes pointed, pull the backs up over the heels, laces out, laces up, laces tied-- and methodically made my way back to 712. Heel, toe, heel, toe, heel, toe. Right, left, right, left. A writer came to class today, a real live writer, a living writer. Published, accomplished, ordinary looking. Just a man, capable of weaving words together into a working narrative.

Why not be a writer? It's possible. All that need be done is commit to the notion. This is why I am here. I don't feel elated, or even all that relieved, just content. I know what I want, more or less. I don't know exactly how to get it. I am just figuring out how to be it. I'm quite certain I'll commiserate and yell at myself still. But I have a general direction. I'm committed.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Who were you before you came here? I want to yell it from the roof, I want everyone below to masticate the notion that they have changed. Who were you before you came here? Did you spend every night searching for your next high, sleeping the next day, waking up in a haze and doing it all over again? What did you do? Who loved you, who did you love? Did you dance in your underwear sober, or is that a new development, intrinsically based on substance abuse? Did you put on airs, pretend to be something you are not, and lie through your teeth just to be accepted? Why are you doing this? You were better before you got here, when you were yourself. You were nicer. You were smarter too, and more passionate. Now you're just a lemming, like that whole crowd, bending to the will of the high-school-weirdo-on-campus hierarchy. Why are you even here if you don't even care? You told me you came here to learn, not to be strung out on a day to day basis. Not to avoid looking me in the eye because you know damned well I can see right through you. I knew you. I know you.

Be yourself, people would like you better that way. What are you so afraid of?

Monday, November 9, 2009


Flying on wax and feather wings, striving to find the balance between bright sun and dark unforgiving sea. Vacillating between irrepressible joy and unbearable sadness. College is a rush, and a let down. All the oddballs and off-beats have made a pilgrimage to this campus. The kids who were scoffed at all through High School because they were different have built a hierarchy here. This hierarchy is fundamentally built on strangeness and substance abuse, driven by the will to find the next high. It feels redundant to say that, but I am just now reaching clarity on the idea that this place is not all I built it up to be in my mind. It's a lot like Communism; beautiful in theory, but when the human element becomes involved, chaos ensues.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Writer's block is hell. It strikes at the strangest times, when I really have so much on my mind to articulate. There it is. Nothing, I cannot piece together a coherent sentence of any particular note. So I stare out the window at the grey sky, everything is still, except for the occasional breeze tousling the branches of the cedar tree.


Don't leave. You can't leave, you mean too much, you're too important. You can make good choices here, you don't have to make them back home, this is a place for you. Don't leave. You're considering leaving so much potential here on a false hope there. Perfect as it will get for you isn't good enough for you and you know it, you just crave comfort. I understand, just don't leave, embrace this alien feeling even when it hurts, because you'll know you're living. Your life up to this point has mattered, how many people you have touched matters. You bring sunshine into the lives of everyone who crosses your path, even when you are seeing nothing but overcast. I hope you were just out of it, I hope you don't mean it.

Falling like flies, fireflies in a jar, pounding on the tin lid trying to fly free. The lid is open.

I don't want to see anyone fall, I want to let them out. But I don't know how, how can I make them see that the lid is open? This is not a cage. This is a castle...

Please, please, please...

There is so much here for you. Just see it. Please just see it. You can do anything here, anything you want, anything you need. Just reach out and take it, that's all it takes. Forget self doubt, forget false hopes. Just live, learn, do something, do anything.


... I'm worried about you...
You drink too much.
You don't want to feel anything,
I can see that.

But not everything you feel here has to be bad.

Friday, November 6, 2009


Life would be a hell of a lot easier if it was socially acceptable to say,
"Hey, you're cute, we should mack."
Seriously. My life would be so much less awkward. I'm in a hotel room, in Oregon, so very far from Evergreen. Which means I'm still wearing pants...



My mind is too fogged to write anything coherent that hasn't already been written, so I am typing up an old journal entry. I don't know why I feel unoriginal when I wrote the damned thing anyway... hmm... anyway... it's an interesting juxtaposition to where I am now, as this was more than a month ago. Themes have carried over, just not individuals:

"This notebook has seemingly been soaked in Nag Champa, the effect of which is to cause my mind to be dragged chaotically through smashed up memories. Mistakes. Love lost. I feel a terrible twisting in my stomach as it knots up with every inward breathe, every renewal of the odor contained in these pages. Knowing I shouldn't love those who have done nothing to earn my love, and everything to lose it. Yet I still care, I still love. I feel like I should avoid him, but am compelled to speak to him. He still feels like home. I can be nothing but myself and remain unjudged. Despite my better efforts I cannot bring myself to hate him. I'm not in love with him, yet I still deeply care for him, and against all better judgement I feel I should talk to him. Everything feels unfinished. My life feels unhinged. I don't feel like I can deeply connect with other people, at least not genuinely, excluding a select few people. I don't know what I want. I feel the insatiable urge to be held. To feel safe. Maybe that is simply because I am in a new environment and a new situation. I am unsure. I feel empty. I feel a constant and seemling insatiable hunger, not for food but for love. To love, to be loved, to give love in any capacity available to me. But I can't. There is a mental block preventing me from genuinely reciprocating the love that is given to me. I try and always end up feeling vulnerable and unstable-- thus I pull back. I recede back into my mind, where I am safe."

For the sake of keeping busy:

"Does it work?! It's a miracle! Woo! My pen miraculously works again. How annoying... maybe it's because I chewed on it. The novel I wrote this morning may have had something to do with its critical condition. We're about to watch Schindler's List now. Time to cry again. How can I not cry? To believe that anything like that could have happened. That human beings are even capable of such atrocities. I mean, how on earth can there be any logical reason for it? Hitler was so full of hate, it was just... fanatical hatred. It was directed, but it was so intense that it was overwhelming. How could he not feel remorse in knowing that he caused so much sorrow, so much pain? I can't even kill a spider without feeling remorse. Maybe I have too much empathy. I just don't know what would give me the right to end even that tiny life. There is so much finality in death. How can human beings kill? Without substantial provocation? How can they just take orders without question? Human life is not expendable. War is an outdated concept. Human beings have other routes to peace. Does wa even bring about peace? Or does war just make us realise how tired are of fighting, and that it would be easier to give in and relent. It seems to me that human beings ought to have evolved beyond war. Our bodies evolve, our languages, our world, our technology. Why can't we evolve beyond war? It seems the natural progression. Why can't we just love, get along, forget differences... forget hate? Recognise our similar humanity. We're all human How can humans be so inhumane? I wonder about the stigmas that society ingrains in us. Sex, nudity. Why? The magnitude of hatred in WWII is astounding. Children.. for fucks sake. Really? How could you kill children without shame or pangs of remorse? Especially if you have children of your own? Everyone deserves hope... what's so wrong about giving people hope? Human beings are so complicated. We should live more like little birds. They have purpose without obligation. They embody simplicity. They aren't weighed down by responsibility or greed or desire or materialism, thus they can fly. People will never be able to fly, we're too weighed down. By shame and want and expectations. But birds can. Their forms are light and agile. They evolved that way because they have no reason to stay landlocked."

My name is Yon Yonson...

I work in Wisconsin,
I work in a lumbermill there.
The people I meet when I walk down the street,
They say, "What's your name?"
And I say,
My name is Yon Yonsin,
I work in Wisconsin...

Why do I feel so compelled to read that damned book again?? Again and again and again and again. It doesn't make me feel clever or uplifted, it makes me feel dull. I feel dull, I feel like a sea creature shuffling along a murky sandbar, never finding anything, only becoming more and more covered with sand. Then I think about sand, every grain is ground from a slightly larger grain, and that from one slightly larger, whole cliff faces ground to grit by wind and water and surf. But I'm avoiding the point. None of this is about sea creatures or sand, that's all trite. What am I even doing here?

This college which I so coveted, and worked so hard to attain. What the fuck am I doing here, really? I'm in a battle of head versus heart on so many levels. What do I want out of life, and am I even worth my salt enough to do it? Draw a pretty picture, write a quirky poem, mill around the library. Spend hours upon hours just staring at the dusty spines of poetry books, text books, art books, fiction, non fiction. I can't even think straight, my thought process has fallen into dyslexia again. I can hardly even speak, all the words come out jumbled, tangled together, incoherent. Speaker's block. Writer's block. Like I wasn't awkward enough already.

College is just like fucking high school.

I didn't want to admit it, I had so many immense expectations. The people are the same, still the same judgemental, unfocused, dishonest always trying to cover their ass lot. Sure they have passion, but they veil it with nonchalance. Oh that, oh, well, I didn't really care about that project, I didn't really try. Why the fuck not? You're paying to be here, everything is available, anything is possible, and you're all fucking nonchalant??

I'm guilty too. I'm a hypocrite. I spew all this self righteous prattle about carpe diem and I never really do. I'm afraid to, I'm afraid of what will come of it, so I do it in secret, in little ways that nobody pays any mind to. People make me nervous sometimes. It's moment by moment. Sometimes I feel capable, social, articulate, and the next it falls to hell. I'm stuttering and my words are all mixed up and I just end up making a complete ass of myself.

Especially when I genuinely think that I have a lot in common with someone. That's probably a left over from high school, where I had hardly anything in common with anyone, so anything that I might have in common with anyone seemed so very remarkable, and I held onto it for dear life, if just to rationalise my existence. I thought college would be different, and it is to a point. I get along fine, I fall into my work, I have friends here. But I still feel so isolated. Does everyone feel this isolated? It's like laying in bed waiting for sleep to come, and it just doesn't come, you just stare at the ceiling, wanting so badly just dream for a while.

I hate sleeping alone.

Not always, just most of the time. I go to great lengths to avoid this bed. I sleep on floors and rock hard sofas, I ride my bike until 3am. It doesn't really matter, I still end up staring at the ceiling, or the sky, because sleep won't come. Just this dreadful half sleep, which causes me to wake up in a daze rather than rested.

My throat hurts. My stomach hurts too. It's all in knots. My mind is all knotted up too, like a can phone string, and I can't figure how I'm supposed to untie it. It's too tangled, too jumbled, so I'm pouring it all out here in a giant mess. I feel like I did when I was a kid and I broke this rasp tool my dad had lent to me, and I didn't know how to fix it. I was a kid, I didn't have the means nor the expertise to weld it back together. I tried really hard, with everything I could think of, and it was just hopeless, I ended up burying it by a tree. It's still there actually, I still can't fix the damned thing, and now it's all rusted to hell. I feel like that, about college. All the optimism that I had initially is teetering precariously on the edge of abyss.

Maybe I should let it fall??

Let myself fall. Forget dignity and grace and get to the fucking point, get to the core of the matter. Throw the negative in too, throw it all in and start fresh.

Didn't I say I was going to do that anyway? I did actually. I was supposed to be precisely who I wanted to be here, a true version of myself, nothing omitted. But then I got here. I made mistakes from the very start. I fell back on my past, in fact, I slept with it. Him, more specifically. I only added to his pomposity and conceit. I encouraged it. I gave him everything on a false hope.

Why can't I find a nice boy? One who doesn't wear goofy ass nautical themed jackets in seriousness, or idolise Hunter S. Thompson for aesthetics, or deny his actuality in order to be accepted, so that his existence might be justified, or just acknowledged.

Whenever I put myself out there I just feel awkward. Awkward, shy, and terrified.

My legs feel all wobbly. I slept on a damned sofa. All I really remember other than falling asleep and waking up again is that I got really angry at the television and got up to turn it off. I don't even know why I was angry at it. When I fell asleep I didn't have a blanket, and when I woke up I did, which I found somewhat bizarre, maybe I woke up at some point and got it?

Ramble ramble ramble.

My mind is starting to become coherent again. Good, but now I'm just tired. Finally tired.

Why aren't there fireflies in this state? I want to see fireflies, and catch them in a jar. Try to read by the light, try to write by it, have a conversation by it, then let them go. There is something so intriguing about fireflies.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Amazing how so much white hair
could fit into one room.

What happened to all
of those powdered wigs?
Do they lay dormant
in European attics
like dusty Persian cats?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Saying Goodbye

Saying goodbye to a friend is always so surreal. Whether they are gone for good or just moving away, it's a bizarre feeling. Standing next to a roundabout waving goodbye to a shuttle, wondering if you'll really keep in touch, if you'll ever actually see each other after these moments of growing distance. Someone that you have built a bond with, who you deeply care about, and despite the fact that you may not talk everyday, that person who is a fixture in your life. That fixture is suddenly gone, and it's hard to believe. Whether it's physically, emotionally, or six feet under.
Reading something somewhere, that says that someone you used to know, to see everyday is gone. Reading the obituary because it just doesn't make sense, reading it again and again, trying to make sense of it. How can someone so young die? How can someone who never held harsh intentions for a fly be taken away? My graduating class already dwindling, only months after we all walked in unison, threw hats in the air.
Someone I loved fully and honestly, without hesitation. Who helped me make it through so much. Whether I was smiling and laughing about lumberjacks and silly little things, or drawing silly pictures, or crying, or laying in bed all day reading Slaughterhouse 5 three times back to back. The person who called me crying, telling me nothing made sense and that the world would be better without them. Reasoning, pleading, trying to make him see what I saw. The betrayal, the heartbreak. Crying when nobody was awake to notice. Letters and letting go. Forgetting who we were then, and why we loved each other so intensely.
Standing next to a roundabout waving goodbye to a shuttle. Saying goodbye to a friend. Not one who has burnt out, or who has moved on, but one who is simply leaving. On to better things, in a place where they ought to be rather than here. Losing this person makes sense, despite the fact that it hurts. I don't know if we'll really keep in touch, but I respect him for doing what is going to make him happiest. Knowing he'll be happy makes it all a little less painful.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Concerning Rain on a Tin Roof.

Rain drops fell rhythmically on the gray tin roof, running down in spiralling and glistening trails to the ground below. Droplets hitting rich green leaves pooled in their veins, until they grew so heavy that they shed the pools in sudden and minute crystal inundations onto the leaves and mossy ground below. The surface of the lake rippled a million times as each tiny drop impacted. A band of bantering geese glided across the surface of the ripples, splitting them into tiered pyramids with the crisp whiteness of their bodies. Hinges creaked on the old red painted wooden door of the lake house as it stammered open, and two conspiratorial figures moved out into the tepid downpour.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Disparate Parts

So many disparate parts make up a person. The sum total of every quirk and imperfection is an individual. We start as clean slates, tabula rasas, and over time we are moulded and changed and we become unique. Sure, we start unique, our DNA is specific to us, our fingerprint is our own. But from the very second we leave our mother's womb, we are changed. As we grow into adulthood, we lose that genuinely childlike purity. We see things, we do things, we say things, we hear things, and we are forever changed. Jaded. Scars are collected, telling stories on our skin, and our minds collect scars too. Our experiences affect our perception of the world. They affect the way we think, our actions, our ideas.

Have you noticed that photographs of children truly reflect emotion, whereas photographs of adults often seem false? The emotions therein are faux emotions, modeled for the camera. Unless in a state where control is lost, adults are able to conceal their true emotions. It's almost like it's a game, these walls are built up, to protect people from harm, from expressing the things that they don't want the world to know. There is a filter.

Another aspect of adulthood that strikes me is that people often prioritise their lives, and generally they don't put the things that make them the happiest first. They put their career first. They put the aquisition of material things first. They put winning first. They put on these blinders that block out all the beautiful things. The simple things, like laying in the grass in the sun, or listening to the rain pitter pattering on a tin roof. They forget these things, tell themselves that those things are not important. Complication is important. Toil is important.

What about simplicity? What about love? What do I love? What am I passionate about? What weird wacky strange oddball thing am I absolutely enamoured with? The things that are suppressed for fear of judgement. Simplicity, simple things. Like when I was a kid and I would get entirely absorbed with certain historical periods, or with animals, or events, and I would tirelessly ponder and explore these ideas until every stone had been turned and turned again and picked up and broken in half and fused back together. Egypt, Rome, Dinosaurs, Cats, Titanic, Horses, Pompeii, Penguins, Snails, Trees, Clouds, Caves, Wind, Oceans, Secret Gardens. Obsession is a good word for the way I pursued things of that nature.

I grew more and more practical over the years, taking placement tests, career interest tests. Tests, tests, tests. I put my passions to the side in order to become practical. I'll be a Vetrinarian and an artist when I have time. I'll be a doctor and a writer when I have time. At a certain point my practical ideas peaked, and at that time I decided that I wanted to be happy. I wanted to be impractical because that was what was going to make me happy. I wanted to follow through with my harebrained, crazy, irresponsible, odd ideas and dreams. At which point I decided that Evergreen was my best option. Sure, I could get into Lewis and Clark, I could get into UW, I could get into Western, or Cal Arts. But I didn't want that. I wanted this. I made this happen, and I couldn't be more ecstatic.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Pork Chops

Well hello gray skies, you're not making my life gloomy! In fact, I am quite pleased with myself for many reasons. This is a landmark achievement among a series of landmark achievements. For posterity's sake, let me list my day's achievements thus far:

1) Drew most excellent picture of fat man.

2) Embarrassed myself publicly by volunteering to go in front of class, and was utterly un-phased.

3) Walked in the rain barefoot.

4) Found most excellent finds in the library.

5) Did something delightfully passive aggressive.

6) Put on some lip balm that is currently making my life.

Despite these ever so fantastic achievements, I must go run now. I am sure this will only further the greatness of this day. Maybe I'll even have ice cream for dinner. I love college.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Wagon

I have fallen off of the proverbial wagon, and I wholly regret it. My mind has been whirring with ideas, and many of them have not been good. Oddly enough, it was my want to rely on others that got me into a grand old mess. I have to relearn self reliance, though I have found new and amazing friends. The good news about this ordeal is that I have learned to redefine my past relationships in my present reality. Past loves that were doomed from the start can become friends, but not without a great deal of respect for boundaries and for feelings. I have made people cry, and there is not one thing in this world that I regret more than that. I have hurt people outside of myself, and I have had to reconcile myself with the aftermath. My conclusion is that I no longer wish to rush into new love, new lust, new anything. I want to delve into myself, and to find what I am capable of creatively, intellectually, athletically. The past three years have shuffled me from one boy to the next, and I am exhausted of trying at this point. So I won't. I don't have to, I'm 18, I'm not dying, and I have decided that waiting for something worthwhile is worth being without anyone in the meantime. I will be a romantic sniper, I will quietly wait, get to know people, let things grow naturally. I've made amazing new friends already, and I am sure we will have nothing but the best college experience, and will make the best of every hurdle that is encountered. Breathe deeply and realise that this is everything I have spent the past four years pining for, and that's it's more than I ever could have imagined.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


To say that I have never loved is a lie. I have loved, and been loved in return. The problem with that is that it was all quite tangled up in lies and misunderstandings. I wish I could make legitimate sense of the whole ordeal, or even the ordeal I am currently finding myself involved in, at least internally. My brain seems to be wandering back to a simpler time. I was comfortable, I was happy, but it was strained due to immense distance. Clearly I have more options available to me now, and yet my mind wanders back. I don't particularly want it to and yet I seem to have no control of it. To be perfectly honest I don't really know what I want right now. There is so much else to experience and overcome at this point in my life. College is starting, my class starts on Monday and I have to focus hard and prove-- if only to myself-- that I ought to be here in the first place. The question of whether or not I belong here has not arisen out of lack of esteem, I am perfectly content in myself. It is more a matter of having spent the past four years vying for this place and to be here is overwhelmingly terrifying.
My own terror in this new situation is most likely part of why I am seeking comfort currently, despite the source of such being questionable at this juncture. I am so unsure of my footing in other relationships. It's daunting to build new foundations, especially when I crave reassurance now. So I sit in the library, leafing through Michelangelo books, studying form, wondering just why I am here and being utterly terrified. I know for certain I am not that calibre of an artist, if that calibre of anything at all. That daunts me. Life in general is daunting me now. I will make it through, but I need to start making decisions, which I can only hope will have positive outcomes.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Bell Jar

I ought to be asleep, however my mind is whirring with thoughts. They keep nudging at the outermost reaches of my skull and sleep will not come. I lay in the hotel bed listening to my own breathing and my eyes are assaulted by the bright green protrusions that are the digital faces of the microwave and the smoke detector. I hear movement upstairs and observe how the orange light creeps under the gaudy curtains in broken and chaotic waves. I lay on the floor by the waves, hoping that the moving shadow of some passerby will break them. I have a race in the morning at 10 o'clock, and must be up by 7. My mind must quiet. I have to rest. I want to talk, I want to-- need to-- articulate the idle wanderings of my mind to make them real. Rationalise them, discern their meaning, and make them dissolve. What is it that I want? I hear the soft scraping and flexing of the pad of paper and the scratching of the pen tip. I am writing. I love to write. But will it be worth anything? Will the rambling I scratch onto hotel notepads be appreciated by even a singular soul?
"Well written, but it had a sort of 'so what?' effect for me..."
My mediocrity gnaws at me. Sure I can write, but what sets me apart from scores and scores of other aspiring writers and artists? I'm terrified. Every person wants to be accepted, particularly when they bear their soul. I write with my heart on my sleeve-- at least at my best-- but lately I have guarded myself. Rejection on any level is paralysingly frightening. My true opinions and emotions are instead veiled in wit and syntax. I peer into the corner of the dingy hotel mirror as I sit on the sill of the bath. Shadow surrounds my features. Hair billows freely in rippling waves around my shoulders, draped carelessly across my high cheekbones. A pretty face-- so they say-- but what more? Hips and long legs, gawky height that I have yet to master with grace. What of my mind? What of my soul? I was repulsed by every boy who sincerely recognised that a mind occupied my head. In doing so I have made myself accountable to no one. They expect nothing but soft lips moving sensuously and cleverly in time with their own. I pushed the possibility of genuine love away in a flourish of pheromones and self loathing. My eyes are red with exhaustion in my dimly lit reflection. I need to sleep. Despite the loud clamour inside of my head. Clearly I should not have gotten my hands on a Sylvia Plath novel.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Fireworks or Bust.

Maybe my standards are too high, maybe I am too picky, maybe I should be patient, but hell, life is short and I am not going to waste it on anything that doesn't feel absolutely wholly right. I want fireworks. I want a boy that sees something in me that he can't live without, and is willing to show me, to fight for me. Maybe that's overly romantic, maybe that's unrealistic, but I don't care. I don't care. I want love. I want knock me flat on my butt, butterflies in my stomach, knees to jello, holy guacamole it's love love. Bring me flowers, woo me, show me, tell me, yell it from the rooftops. Everyone deserves to find that kind of love. I will not settle. I have settled for too long, it's never worth it. Boys who spit, boys who forget to call me, boys who never write me love letters or tell me I am beautiful. I will no longer settle. I will wait, patiently. I will live without a worry about finding it until it finds me. I will snipe until I am snuck up on, and that will be the way it ought to be. Life is too short to spend worrying about such things as love, when I have so many people in my life to love and to experience life with. I'll know when I see fireworks.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Say Anything

I wish I could read minds. I have wished that so many times over the years, but I am finally convinced that the benefits would outweigh the costs-- at least mostly. Mind reading would be entirely positive if I had the option of turning it on and off at will. I can't even read my own mind right now though, there is just too much going on. The transition to college, being alone, living alone. The constant inner battle to remain ever positive and hopeful when I feel so isolated. Feeling like I can only rarely genuinely connect with people on any level. I'm not being elitist, I don't think I am different or better or any of that trite nonsense, I just find it hard to find people that seem to understand where I am coming from on a fundamental level. I want to find someone I can say anything to. I want to find someone that I can be myself around entirely, and not doubt for a second that they aren't judging me poorly. I want it to be simple. I want to feel secure and content.

Friday, August 28, 2009

My Own Private Evergreen

I've been at Evergreen for nearly a week, and the only problems I have encountered are generally being hungry (it is college though), finding clean water my fish, and generally lacking a sense of direction. I have solved the food dilemma, as I have learned how to feed myself with very limited cooking implements, and how to find cheap food. The fish water issue still stands, and they smell, so I have to go on that quest tomorrow.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Not Giving a Fuck

Gracias amigo del alma.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


My stomach is churning. My room is empty. My car is packed. My mind is a mess. I can hardly articulate what is whirring through my mind, there is just too much. I am going to move to Evergreen tomorrow.

Friday, August 21, 2009


Forty-eight hours until Evergreen. Should I be panicking now? I am a little bit, but it's all wound up in excitement and rapture. I'm enjoying the time I have left at home, because it is passing all too fast. Today my intention is to curl up with a few good books and relax, because all the excitement of the past few weeks has left me a little under the weather. I have decided that Evergreen really is a fresh start, and that I refuse to deny any part of myself in order to gain acceptance. My deep rooted fear of rejection is clashing with my new will to go prime time. Through much thought and many strange and core shaking conversations, I have come to the conclusion that failing to reconcile my public image with my private self goes against my principles. It's dishonest, though only I may recognise it. I refuse to clash against myself anymore.

I fear change, I fear rejection, I fear loss, I fear appearing weak. Such fears have been learned through 18 years of worldly experience. In the past I have let those fears determine my actions. I have lost friends and people that I love, I have been rejected, change has shaken my foundations, I have been hurt, and felt helpless, and appeared weak, and been rejected and chastised for it. These are things that happen to everyone. So I have created a public self. A person who is bold and brave, who is invincible while remaining compassionate, who can do anything, say anything. This public self possesses all of the traits which I feel express the best parts of myself. Then there is my private self, which is a part of me that I guard and only express in solitude. The part of me that is quiet and contemplative, nerdy, empathetic, shy, and day dreaming. This part of me clashes against the boisterous, confident, and quick witted part of me that most people I come into contact with see. In the past I have attempted to bring my private self to par with my public self. High school was not the appropriate environment. People had already categorised and defined each other, and my reputation had seemingly been carved into stone.

Evergreen is a fresh start. I am free to express any part of myself I wish, and to be defined by it. I can only hope that I will find people who are open minded and reliable, and who I can find a kindred spirit in. Either way, I fully intend to be nothing but myself, wholly and honestly.

I am who I am, take it or leave it.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Summer Sailing

Sailing is so amazing! I went to community sailing today, hadn't been in a week. It was so nice to get back out on the water. I sailed a Laser Radial, and it was amazing. I did way better than I have in the past, I didn't capsize and I didn't drop the tiller. I even went fast intentionally. I now have three speeds, slow, fast, and unintentionally fast. That's some progress right there, if I do say so myself. I'm really going to miss sailing. It was one of the best things I decided to do in high school. I learned so much, and I met so many amazing people. Ron and Matt have basically and essentially become like fathers to me. It's funny, I was only on the team for a year, but I am really going to miss everyone so much when I go to college. Matt kept patting me on the back when I talked about going off to college in 3 days, saying "It's a big step." It is a big step. I am amazingly excited and terrified and... ready. I cannot wait. As much as I am going to miss so many people and so many things about Kingston, I am ready to move to Olympia. World, I am ready! Evergreen here I come!

Secrets and Triumphs

I have a secret. It's a very good secret, and not at all a harmful and dangerous secret. It's not spiteful or mean or vindictive. It's just lovely. But I'm not telling.

Anyway. I have 3 days now, and I am getting really really excited. I know that I am going to cry, I'm sure. Mom is going to drop me off and get all of the boxes up to my room and I am going to ball my eyes out. It's simply a definite. Either way, I am excited. I need to find a way to eat for a while, so that I don't die during practice. I suppose I'll just stock up on food before I leave and cook and such in my dorm. My classy rice cooker and pressure cooker will aid me in that venture. I'm very excited to start living in Olympia. Even though I currently have no money, which I found out in the nick of time, before I got an overdraft fee. I need a job, hard. Luckily I will be down in Olympia before most of the other Freshmen so I can begin my job hunting early. Hopefully I can get something through the school, but if not, that's fine as well, I can just plan around practices and meets and such. ALso, PAX. Jeez. This could be a problem. I have so much going on. I'll do what I must.

My room is fully packed up now. Hemingway keeps sleeping on my duffel bag, I think he knows that I am leaving soon. He has been especially clingy lately. I am going to miss that cat, a lot. He is my cuddle buddy. I suppose I'll have to find a human cuddle buddy, which shouldn't be too challenging. I'm excited to spit out of my window. That is so high up! I can't even comprehend it at this point. It's going to be insane. I was terrified climbing the water tower at Lake Wynoochee, and that was only like 3 stories. Then again, it will be a lot different being up that high in an enclosed building. Oh yes, camping this weekend, I never really covered that. It was fun, everyone was really nice. I ate black beans out of a can, that I cooked over the fire, and I also made a grilled cheese sandwich and toast over the fire. It was epic. I felt very much like an epic pioneer. Pioneers made fire toast, right? Either way it was neat. I also ran a lot, and caught little frogs, and swam a lot. Once I jumped off a rock face with all the guys and then swam to the dock by swimming under the log boom. I felt tough. It was pretty cool.

After camping, I got a grand tour of Olympia from Diann, one of the girls who used to be on the team-- she graduated. I got water from the artesian spring on 4th, and I went to this great coffee shop, where she bought me a Blood Orange Italian Soda for being a courageous water tower climber. Everyone in Olympia is pretty cool, from my observations. I fit right in, I was carrying around a gallon water jug from Haggen's and my shoes kept untying. Then mom came and picked me up from Evergreen to drive me home, and we got stuck in traffic and sang David Bowie really loudly. We also danced, and the people in the cars next to us laughed. It was really fun, I am going to miss that sort of event when I get to Evergreen. Anyway, we saw a redtailed hawk get hit by two cars, so we pulled over and wrapped him in a sweater. I had to ride with a shocked and confused hawk in a sweater on my lap for an hour. It was terrifying. I was worried that his angry beak would come out and eat my face and/or hands. So I named him Bill. We took him to the wildlife center yesterday, he is fine. They checked him over and all he had was some bruises, and apparently he has been giving them hell.

Well, I suppose that's all the news that is worthy. My secret shall remain secret, and my tales of glory have been publicised.

Monday, August 17, 2009


Camping was amazing, and everyone on the team is really nice and awesome! I am very excited, but it's a bit daunting to think that I will be living at Evergreen in only 5 days. My whole room is packed up, and everything is off my door, which is very strange and empty feeling. I came home to an inbox full of emails from Evergreen informing me of housing and such. As it turns out I will be moving into my fall assigned dorm on Sunday rather than in September. So I will be on the seventh floor all alone for a while. I predict boredom followed shortly by some amount of shenanigans- nothing destructive mind you. Most likely I'll end up running up and down the stairs and such. It should be amusing. I might go exploring, and by "might" I mean "will definitely". I'll find all the weird nooks and crannies before everyone else, and I'll be the cool cat with all the inside information. I may also be the cool cat who doesn't really tell anyone all the information. My own private Evergreen. I'm very excited. Scared, daunted, but excited. I'm really too distracted to write right now. There is far too much going on and I have been journaling personally on top of this. More later.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Packed Nostalgia

I packed my whole room today. Even the posters on my wall. My walls are bare now. 18 years of life amounts to about 6 boxes of different sizes. I really can't think of much else to say. I am going camping this weekend, and I have 8 days. So, yeah.

Want. I haven't found anyone to trip over love for right now though. It makes me smile though. :] <--- smile.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Crunch time; 9 days until Evergreen move in. I reread the email from my Cross-Country coach today, and it turns out we are moving in the 23rd, and practice starts the 24th. At which point I started to panic a little. I am in single digits. 10, 9, 8, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, go. There I am. Boxes in the car, walls bare, goodbye childhood, hello future. It's a very surreal feeling. Everything else has sort of been put on hold. I am so concerned with the transition that anything and everything else is somewhat irrelevant. I feel very self involved, which is unusual, despite outward appearances indicating otherwise. I have always looked out for the people that I love and care about, in whatever capacity that love is in. I want to make people smile. I want to feel like I have made an impact in their life, if only in some very minor way. I see the potential in people, I see the best parts of their soul, and I want to see them be the best version of themselves. People seem to misinterpret where I am coming from sometimes, they think I have some ulterior motive, and the honest cross my heart truth is, I don't. I like to make people happy, I like to help them fulfill their goals, because helping them do so is fulfilling for me. I suppose that could be considered an ulterior motive.

There are so many parts of my personality that I have yet to comprehend. Despite extensive introspection, I still feel like I am reading by candlelight. At times I love the company of others, I feel like I want their affirmation, I want to be respected and loved. Then at other times, I only take solace in isolation. I like to disappear for a while sometimes, into the world or into my mind. If I am constantly berated by people I feel like I begin to spin into chaos, and my introversion is a way of finding clarity and peace. I feel like I am disconnected from people in these times, which used to distress me, but I have learned the cycle, and it is never long standing. I only fear that it hurts the people I truly care about, when I see fit to disappear for a while. I am ever the optimist, and more often than not, a complete and utter romantic, but when in a committed relationship I have a tendency of feeling caged. My reaction is to flee, and to shut them out and go into myself. There was only one occasion where that was not the case, I didn't feel trapped. I felt safe. I'm sure I will find another like that someday, but quite honestly, I'm not looking. For the past 4 years I have been in and out of one relationship after another, and I feel like I just want to fly free for awhile. Unless I find a man that is truly remarkable and impossible to ignore, I'm content to seek casual company.

Despite my occasional, or, more than occasional, misanthropy, I really love people. I give love in any capacity that seems fit, and I genuinely care about people and look out for their best interest, because that is what makes me happy. There are so many unreliable and dishonest people in this world, at least in my experience, and I don't want to be one of them. Honesty is something I value over everything else in this world. Love takes a close second, but honesty is an integral part of such. In my past, a lot of the love that has been reciprocated to me has been dishonest-- may it be with best friends, friends, or lovers-- and it has caused me to be wary and untrusting. I have been rejected on so many levels that I have somewhat come to expect it, though it still terrifies me. I have been called an island of a soul.

Part of the reason I put so much value on solitude and independence is that I can rely on myself. I have respect for myself, and I love myself enough to care that I am making decisions that will benefit me and create a general feeling of satisfaction and fulfillment. Then on the other hand, I have somewhat of a loathing for myself, and a general sense of doubt about my own abilities. I feel as though I have to constantly test myself and hold myself to higher and higher expectations. I'm about to go out into the world, to be truly independent and living on my own, and I am scared. It's a real test of my own mental fortitude and my ability to survive. I know I can survive, despite all doubts, but can I thrive? My solution is simply to remain introspective, while detaching myself from the nagging fear that I am not capable as of yet.


Under the wide and starry sky,
Dig the grave and let me lie.
Glad did I live and gladly die,
And I laid me down with a will.

This be the verse you grave for me:
Here he lies where he longed to be;
Home is the sailor, home from the sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.

- Robert Louis Stevenson

Home is the sailor, home from sea:
Her far-borne canvas furled
The ship pours shining on the quay
The plunder of the world.

Home is the hunter from the hill:
Fast in the boundless snare
All flesh lies taken at his will
And every fowl of air.

'Tis evening on the moorland free,
The starlit wave is still:
Home is the sailor from the sea,
The hunter from the hill.

-A.E. Housman

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


People seem to know exactly when to test my tolerance. I am in general an empathetic, tolerant, and caring human being; but when I don't feel well, I expect at least a little bit of consideration. I'm mostly ranting because I don't feel well to be completely honest, and being pissed off at someone is much more effective in pacifying me than sitting around being mad about not feeling well. Immunisations are dumb, I think. I mean sure, I won't die now, but in the meantime I feel like punching someone because I feel dizzy and sick and my arms hurt. Also, strangely ironic situations have been occurring in the aftermath of my getting immunised. My arms hurt, so I decided that ibuprofen would be somewhat of an aid in the cessation of that pain. Thus, I reach up into the cabinet- which hurts and is annoyingly difficult with dead weight arms- and the bottle is unscrewed, thus, in my awkward attempt to grasp it with my supposedly opposable thumbs, it spilled, everywhere. So I was forced to pick up roughly 50 or more little red tablets before I could even take two of them, for fear the cat would eat them. Irony is a bitch. Man, I haven't bitched and moaned like this in quite some time, at least not openly. Well, may as well bitch it out.

So pretty much, I really hate Kathy Griffin. She is annoying on so many levels. I mean, just her voice grates at my last nerve. That woman is a menace to society and all who inhabit it. Also, methheads. Seriously. As well as being addicted to methamphetamines, they are also exceedingly lazy, and rather dull. Let me provide an example: So, I'm at Rite Aid, buying... jeez, I believe it was Shoe Goo, but that's beside the point. Anyway, back to the story, so, I'm at Rite Aid, and I walk up to the counter to purchase my Shoe Goo, and this lady is there with five boxes of cold medicine, clearly being kept there awkwardly until my shoe repair purchase was made, so that she may conversate openly with the manager about her clearly methamphetamine related purchase. Complete laziness. What an unmotivated drug addict. I mean, seriously, if I was a meth head I would at least maintain the mental fortitude to purchase my meth supplies at more than one store. Sudafed here, sudafed there. You have to work for it, get the net methheads.

Alright, continuing, what else bothers me about life? People who take things too seriously, especially people who take themselves too seriously. Life is funny. Laugh, have fun, remove the straight rod that you have clearly put in place to maintain a stiff and stern gait, with the unfortunate side effect of making you a complete asshole. It is a bother to the rest of us to put up with your shenanigans. Please refrain from all further shenanigans, unless they are the good kind of shenanigans that may or may not include riding tandem bicycles and bouncing in bouncy castles. Life is too short to take so damned seriously. Also, Agatha Christie novels. Please avoid them at all costs, they are not worth your time, life is way too short. Dane Cook as well, Dane Cook is really not that funny. Please stop encouraging him, it's painful to watch. Now, comedians like Margaret Cho, and Mitch Hedberg (unfortunately he is no longer), should be encouraged, they are hilarious.

Now, to things in fashion that bother me. I love everyone, people are wonderful, in all shapes and sizes, but please do not wear things that do not flatter your body type? If you are not a size 5, do not try to wear a size 5, it doesn't look good, you can keep telling yourself it does, but the fact that it looks like a boa constrictor has consumed the lower half of your body evidences otherwise. Clothing is not meant to be worn that way, clothing is meant to accentuate your features. Accept your size, and if you hate it that much, work out, by all means, but please wear things that fit. Also, do not wear pants that are bedazzled. Despite what you may think, they are not cool. Having a shiny metal studded dragon on your pants is not cool. Another fashion faux pas, Ed Hardy. Ed Hardy is not cool, unless you are a douche, or as I have recently discovered as an available option, a douchette (by the way spellcheck thinks that's a word too, I'm in the clear!) The bedding and houseware sets that they have begun to produce are also unacceptable. If you purchase them, ravenous pelicans will eat you, and your entire family. Do not allow that to happen. Pelicans kill. Hmm... also any item featuring a Looney Toons character is unacceptable. Should you don such images, I suspect the pelicans will again return, this time they will mean business. Pelican peligro mi amigos.

Anyway, I am tired and I feel better after ranting and taking about 4 ibuprofen. I could rant about Disney Pop music or Paula Abdul, but I just haven't the will power.

Monday, August 10, 2009


I can't stop smiling. There is no substantial reason for it, but I can't stop smiling right now. I had a very good day, though it wasn't at all eventful, and life is just, good. There are so many good things right now, and right on the horizon. PAX, Evergreen, camping, meeting everyone! Evergreen in 13 days!

Sunday, August 9, 2009


Words are so ineffectively
Effective. They allow articulation
Of wit, seriousness, and emotion.
But seldom do they clearly convey
The meaning of what I am
Trying to say.

Lite Brite

The future is so bright, I'll have to wear shades. (Most probably knock-off Ray Bans.)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Homeward Bound

I've been having trouble writing. In fact, I've been having trouble thinking. There are a million thoughts whirring through my mind at any given time, and it's making my head spin. I have two weeks. Two weeks until I am there. Two weeks until I am home. Then again, my mind starts to drift. What is home? Where is home? When I was in love, I spent my theories of home on it. Love was home. That person, who makes you feel comfortable, who makes you feel safe, who makes you feel like you can be and ought to be the very best version of yourself, that person is home. No matter where you are with them, it's home. Then all that turned out to be farce, and I was homeless again. So I was left without a home, for my heart at least, and to decide what home was.

Is home a place? Is home a concept? What is home? These are questions I have been considering a lot as of late. I'm moving out, I'm moving on, I'm growing up. The place I have considered home for the past 14 years will no longer be my home. It will be a place that I visit and keep my things. It will be where my family is. Can I have more than one home? I don't even know if home is a place at all. In my opinion, it's more of a concept. It's simply a situation in which you feel comfortable being and expressing yourself. Somewhere that you are happy, for the most part at least.

I have to be my own home. Maybe that's what home is. Maybe you just have to decide that you are home. You have to decide that you are comfortable with yourself, and that wherever you are, you are happy and you make the best of it. My home is on the road. My home is at Evergreen. My home is wherever my feet take me. Home is wherever my mind wanders. Home is wherever my heart takes me.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Tabula Rasa

How do you mend something that you can no longer find all the pieces to? I lay here now, listening to Jonathon Coulton and weighing my options. People seemingly can't disappear entirely from your life, no matter how much you will it to be so. Though they are part of your past, they manifest themselves in your present. Your hatred is a manifestation of the impact they had on your mind. That they even cross your mind, may it be wistfully or with loathing, they are in your present. Part of me wants to erase every smile, every heart flutter, every tear, every night spent staring at the ceiling willing the pain away. Sometimes I want to be Clementine, I want to have every memory wiped clean. Tabula rasa. I want to be a blank slate. But I know it would never work.


Here I am once again, awake. Dreadfully awake. At yet another ungodly hour of the, well, morning. Sleep is something that hasn't come easy of late. My mind starts processing and it's over, I'm awake. Fully cognitive without a chance of intermission. So I ramble. I ramble incoherently about my state of being. Pondering my uncanny ability to look like a somewhat portly turtle when I move my neck just right- which I tend to in videos and pictures. Then laughing at how absurdly hyper critical I am being. Listening to dogs barking in the distance outside. Hearing the wind slithering gently across the leaves, creating a natural white noise. The summer air is crisp and quiet at night. My cat is laying on my back with his paws stretched gracefully over my shoulder blades and his face pressed into my hair and neck. Sighing cat sighs. Summer music.

In consideration of my surroundings I should be content. I try to steady my breathing. Inhale, 1, 2, 3. Exhale, 1, 2, 3. The air whistles in broken rhythm. The pressure of laying on my ribs on this stone hard mattress is evident. My mind wanders, and I do my best to maintain focus. I consider the future. I consider Evergreen. I anticipate the future; going home. After some amount of time and a fair amount of hostile and melancholy words being strung together, I am at peace with my past. For the most part. I fell in love, I fell out of love, I fell out of love with love. I became miserable. I became confused. I became angry. I reached a peaceful resolution. I spent a considerable amount of time considering the possibility of considering love. I considered love. I fell in love with love. I rambled. Without coffee it is more than likely I would be in a coma.

I have 17 days before I start living at Evergreen. In that time, I fully intend to spend at least one whole week regressing entirely. I am going to colour in colouring books with crayons. I am going to watch VHS tapes of The Fox and the Hound, Homeward Bound, The Aristocats, Milo and Otis, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, The Lion King, My Dog Skip, and Aladdin. I am going to make my bed into a sheet tent fort. I am going to eat PB&J sandwiches. I am going to wake up early on Saturday morning to watch cartoons, possibly online because they don't show the good stuff on Nickelodeon anymore. I am going to make mudpies and sit in them. I'm going to draw cats, lots of cats. I am going to play outside all day long, until it gets dark, building forts, riding bikes up and down the driveway, drawing on the driveway with chalk, climbing trees, and possibly swimming in a blue plastic pool intended for ducks- after washing it with a fair amount of bleach. I am going to beg my mom to buy Mr. Bubble bubblebath (despite risk of UTI) and sit in a bathtub overflowing with bubbles, while playing with plastic animals and pretending my torso is an island and my belly button is a pond. I am going to make a slip n' slide out of a tarp on the biggest hill in my yard and I am going to slide down it until every extremity is bruised.

I also fully intend to read my favourite books from my childhood. Island of the Blue Dolphins, The Secret Garden, Misty of Chincoteague, Black Beauty, Bridge to Terebithia, The Hobbit, Ernest Hemingway's Short Stories, and various others. This will require staying up under the covers with them propped around my head with pillows as I read with a flashlight. Seeing as I am so suddenly growing up and going to enter the "real world", I feel I should remember simpler times. A time when I didn't have to worry about financial aid and coffee. When the most essential and vital part of my existence was deciding which tree to climb first. When sleeping in my parents bed trumped going to parties, and playing with legos was a far more serious activity than standardised tests. When I had cat wallpaper, and posters that had pictures of puppies that said things like "Puppy love" and "Snuggle puppy", and unicorn sheets, and I was darned proud as I sat admiring them in my pastel pink room. I am going to regress for the sake of progress.