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Saturday, July 12th, 2008
6:30 am - What to do, what to do
In the unlikely event that someone reads this, apologies.  I started this thing years ago to whine/introspect, and introspection is all that will happen here.  I'd just like to help myself work through some foggy thoughts, and writing helps to solidify them.  Feel free to comment, spam, message me, whatever.  I most likely won't get it.

So dating is confusing.  Two months into it with Christen, and she tells me she's a prostitute.  And I thought having two kids was baggage!  Sheesh.  One clinic visit later, everything's done with that situation.  They say you learn something from every relationship - I'm still not sure what lesson to take away from this.  "I know we get along well and I'm really attracted to you, but first, a formality - are you now, or have you ever been, a prostitute?"... Doesn't seem that workable.  I'm sure there's a lesson about acceptance or somesuch.

At least the rebound situation is good.  Things with Steph are nice.  She's a nice girl, likes me a lot, is really accomplished.  Super-smart family, great job, aspires to be in the "30 under 30" in the business journal.  But for some reason, I don't find myself especially attracted to her.  Very fond, but my fire isn't quite lit.

Then there was last night, when I met up w/my old high school crush, find out that it was reciprocal, and then fireworks.  Thing is, she has a 2-year-old son and didn't graduate college - works as an office manager.  Not as pedigreed as Steph, has baggage, but... wow.  Yes, I'm shallow like that.  Will this blow over in a week?  Or could it be something more?  Maybe I'm just a slut.

So what it boils down to is: do I go for the successful one, or the one to whom I'm feeling more attraction?  You could say I'm being a typical guy going for the blonde, as it were.  On the flip side, you could say I'm contemplating being a gold-digger.  On the third hand (yes, I have three of them), maybe I've met somebody with whom I genuinely have more of a connection.  Whatever the case, it's clear that this is a simple either/or proposition and I need to man up and make the decision.

Historically, first-night hookups haven't boded well.  Hell, Chris started that way.  Not that that has anything to do with Amy.  And I've never been one to learn from mistakes.

current mood: ditzy

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Thursday, September 11th, 2003
11:47 pm - people in cars don't face each other
I hit a new record today! I practiced for five hours!
...I'm not exactly sure if that's good or not...

This morning when I drove to school, some guy in a little red sports car was driving 50 mph in the fast lane (ironic enough as is, isn't it?). When I tried to pass him, he sped up to 80 so that I wouldn't get in front of him. And he has the nerve to give me the finger.

[pause while I think of other space-filling entries]

I think I should go to bed. Three hours of sleep a night didn't cut it this week... but then, when will I read? Oh well.

So that's about it for today. OH! I almost forgot! Possibly the coolest LJ trinket yet! Try it!

LiveJournal Haiku!
Your name:alkan
Your haiku:calm before the storm
i stayed up all night to be
sure i didn't think
Username:
Created by Grahame


Stolen from an LJ from the Random button

current mood: artistic

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Tuesday, September 9th, 2003
2:34 am - Good Books I've Read Lately (And So Should You)
The Hour of the Star - Clarice Lispector
Short, but amazingly tragic and thought-provoking. From Brazil's late premiere literary luminary.

One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Epic. Literature fetishists will already have read it at least twice, but for the rest of you, I can't even begin to describe it. Absolutely incredible! Go read it, damn it.

current mood: lazy

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Monday, September 8th, 2003
12:38 am - Update
Some people (OK, just one) have recently brought to my attention that I've neglected my LJ for some ridiculous amount of time. And, they've been right. So, here I am.

MY SUMMER (in short):

Went to Atlanta to visit my ex-almost-roommate Artie and to see !!! at the Echo Lounge (awesome trip & awesome show)

Hung out in St. Louis, doin' a whole lot of nothing and loving it

Went to Italy for a music study program, and met the girl of my dreams, who happens to live in Colorado (I'd post a picture, but that would require scanning it, and I'm lazy)

Worked as a technical recruiter, and made $$$

Spent the last couple weeks in Colorado, spending said $$$ and living quite happily

Started school in St. Louis


And that's where I've been. Honestly, I haven't written in this long because I haven't had anything to spill about. Things have been good. I've been happy, and I have friends again, so there's been no need. We'll see if I actually get into the whole journal-on-a-regular-basis thing. No promises.

Except that I promise that it's good to see you again, too.

current mood: drained (but happy)

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Sunday, May 18th, 2003
5:01 am - ...and Good Riddance!
Well, today settles it. I'm not coming back to Beloit. St. Louis for me! I never thought I'd end up at Webster, but that's the breaks. Soooo..... FUCK all you whiny, pretentious assholes! (Yes, I know I'm one, too...) I can say that now, because I'll never see most of you again. I'll miss M'ris, Arthur, Caitlin, and, um... a couple of other people, but that's about it.

I've been "academically suspended" for a semester. I had to face my parents today. I didn't think I could ever feel so guilty about anything, but I can. It was rough. But every cloud does have a silver lining; I've been watching my life crash down around me for the past five months. Now, at least everything is finished falling. Nowhere to go but up, as it were.

In other news, I'm now playing the nursing home circuit, whoring my music out to the elderly for 60 bucks an hour. On the one hand, I have to look at decrepit, broken people all the time, but on the other hand I'm making amazing money at it. I feel like this is quite a bit below what I've been aiming for, but hey. I get paid to make old people cry.

How cool is that?

current mood: blank

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Sunday, May 4th, 2003
12:05 am - How to be a failure pt. 1
Lesson One:

Skip the last week of calculus class, and bomb the final
Write your philosophy final, but forget what time it's due and end up missing the deadline
and finally
Don't do any of your Sanskrit work. Ever.

Congratulations, you are firmly on the road to failure.

current mood: distressed

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Saturday, May 3rd, 2003
3:45 pm - Finals can suck it
So I'm taking my Philosophy final right now. Said take-home final is without a doubt the best thing we've done all semester. Sheri's worthless as a professor, but I'll give her this: she writes fun exams. This one consists solely of a five-page dialogue between your humble narrator and several famous philosophers about a topic of our choosing. I think that this is one of the most fun exams I'll ever take! I mean, how often do you get a creative carte-blance on a final exam? Right now we're debating God's (non)existence over a game of RISK. How cool is that?

On the other hand, I definitely failed my calculus exam, because Bruce Atwood is even more worthless than Sheri is. I don't think that the man's ever had a non-mathematical relationship with another human in his fucking life! I don't think that he grasps the concept of testing us on the material he taught, either! To be fair, I missed a fair amount of class, but seriously! It's not like I skipped three times a week, which the test would seem to have implied!

It's all downhill from there, challenge-wise. This one's fun, and after that I have one more take-home to do for Tuesday morning, and then I'm OUT! There's a brand-new grand piano waiting for me at home, too... I'm counting the hours. No, I'm not joking. 68 hours and 18 minutes.

In other news, I got my tongue pierced Thursday. I had thought that it would hurt as it got pierced, and then get better. Nope. It didn't hurt going in, but it sure hurt like hell yesterday. It's still kinda sore, but that's the price you pay. I like it.

I told my friend Tabby about it, and she told me that it was wierd. A little background: Tabby is one of my best friends; she calls me (from St. Louis) every two days or so. She's a little normal (in the most Seinfeld sense of the word) for my tastes, but she's a wonderful, smart, and liberal girl. So imagine my surprise when all she'd say was "that's wierd, Ben." When I asked why, she actually has the gall to tell me that "God gave us our bodies the way they were, and it is disrespectful to mutilate them." You think you know people, and then they hit you with something like that... I almost don't want to talk to her at all after that.

Something just occurred to me. In my first post, I made mention of the fact that I really didn't have a purpose for keeping a journal. Now, one has materialized. It's a venting journal. You, my faithful readers (all three of you), get to read most of what I don't talk to people about. Congratulations. You officially know me better than 90% of the people I hang out with.

In addition to all the complaints, there are things that I'm happy about as well.

Wednesday, I won a music award at the Honors Ceremony, consisting of a certificate and a check for $150. That was pretty fucking cool.

There also seems to be a cute townie girl who's pretty eager to hang out with me. That's definitely cool, too.

--

OK, it's a beautiful day; I'm going to go finish my paper outside. Whoever is reading this, I hope that you have a wonderful day. You deserve it.

current mood: complacent

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Saturday, April 12th, 2003
1:36 am - The Incredible Weekend pt. 1
If any of you weren't at the chaus tonight, you all seriously missed out!

The first band had instruments for everybody in the audience. The second band, Lying In States, rocked harder than anybody else has this year. Finally, Of Montreal just blew everybody away (well, at least me) with one of the most fun shows I've ever been to. And, they're nice guys off the stage, to boot. The singer seemed almost surprised when I told him how awesome the set was.

Just tonight would be enough to make this weekend one of the best of the year. But that's not all!

3eb tomorrow!

I just knew that all of these shitty weekends we've been having have been leading up to something cool like this!

current mood: ecstatic

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Friday, April 11th, 2003
4:49 am - none
I obviously haven't posted in a long time; it either didn't occur to me, or I didn't feel like it. Tonight, though, I do.

I'm in the middle of reading a tract entitled 'Electronic Civil Disobedience,' instead of writing a paper. I'm still on the introduction, but it's amazing! Contrary to what the title implies, it so far isn't a "how to" as much as an analysis of modern-day civil disobedience, and the shape it should take in the future. The writer is evidently quite intelligent and a highly insightful individual. Given the deplorable state of things today, what with corporate profiteers running the world, consistently showing a blatant disregard for the value of life, etc., etc., this is striking such a chord with me it's ridiculous. Going to the "protest" last weekend felt like the most pointless, antiquated thing I've ever done. I want to do something to make the world better, and this tract is getting me more excited than I've felt in a long time. I would definitely recommend anybody with a political and/or technological bent to read it. You can find it all over the internet.

Coming back to real life, I'm pretty excited about this weekend. TWO concerts! Friday Of Montreal is coming to Beloit. Woo! Saturday I'm gonna drive three hours to Urbana to see (go ahead and laugh) Third Eye Blind. They've been one of my favorite bands, for various reasons, since 1997, and I finally get to see them live, in a small club.

---

The way that tract was written reminded me of the book 'Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.' The two don't correlate in any way, shape, or form, save for one all-important concept. ---------------- OK, I just spent the past 20 minutes trying to condense this idea into a couple of sentences, but it isn't working. The working title of this idea is a "mental knife." I assure you, this is an amazing, fundamental concept that has altered the way I look at almost everything, and helped me see things the way they really are. Read the damn book.

---

Musically speaking: Imagine a kitchen. A really big one, like in a big cafeteria or something. With lots of people working. Now imagine that everybody there is using everything in that huge kitchen to make one simple dish. That's how I feel. Renato gave me a new piece at the beginning of the month, and then told me that I was performing it at the end of the month. What an asshole. I play it for hours every day, and I still am not sure if I'll be able to play. But if I do, it'll be Monday the 28th. As usual, you all should go. Also as per usual, I don't expect that any of you actually will. It'd be a nice gesture, though.

--

And that's about it. Back to the paper, I guess.

------

EDIT: It's in chapter 7, for those of you too impatient to wade through the whole book.

current mood: thoughtful

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Saturday, February 22nd, 2003
2:47 pm - What a relief!
You Have Normal Coping Skills
You are normal. Lucky little you


What Self-Mutilation Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

current mood: thankful

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Thursday, February 20th, 2003
9:46 pm - It's out of my hands now...
...and in hers.

Funny how this is the first time I've ever taken the initiative; it's always been the other way around. We'll see what happens.

current mood: okay

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Wednesday, February 19th, 2003
8:10 am - rawk
And this brings the total number of nights spent awake but doing nothing productive to five... this semester.

Weezer totally rules.

current mood: awake

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Tuesday, February 18th, 2003
9:32 pm - My body hates me.
I know that drunken make-outs at parties don't mean anything. I know this. But when she gave me the phone number, told me she really liked me, and said we should see more of each other, it set something off. I was fine until then, but now I'm walking around with this big knot of akward in my stomach, and I can't really focus on anything. I haven't gotten myself so worked up about anyone in over a year. My mind knows that the drunkenness accounts for everything, and that I don't know her that well, but my body's ignoring my mind at the moment.

On top of all that, I'm playing the piano tomorrow at 8 PM in Eaton chapel (If you know what Eaton chapel is, then come see me!).

....

It's really not so bad, though. It sucks, but in a good (read: GREAT) way. Gave me something to think about while working out today, too.

current mood: weird

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Wednesday, February 12th, 2003
9:37 pm - Justification
Well, I didn't think that anybody actually read this journal, and someone (you know who you are) read something that really wasn't meant for anybody but myself.

To that someone:

First off, I'm sorry; I really shouldn't be naming names here to begin with.

Second, it was to my knowledge the first time I'd ever hung out with you, and the only thing that I knew was that I'd been told you and your friend had taken to calling me "Creepy Ben" for some unknown reason; needless to say, it was a pretty awkward situation for me. I normally don't stay around people who talk shit unprovoked.

Third, when I hung out with you on other occasions, I was actually very pleasantly surprised to find out that you were a nice person. I changed my mind, but not my journal.

I know nobody was twisting my arm, but I thought that if I just got up and left when you came in that I'd have been the asshole there.

And that's about it.

current mood: embarrassed

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Monday, January 27th, 2003
4:06 am - Ahh, bliss...
4:00 in the morning, reflecting on a great weekend.

Friday, saw Pilot Scott Tracy at the Chaus. So-so music, but GREAT show! Memorable moments:

1. Adam sexually harassing Captain Scott, then going onstage to grab his "whammy bar," then getting his shoe checked for bombs.

2. Some drunk fuck comparing their music to the penis-tucking scene in 'Silence of the Lambs,' on stage mind you, then getting made fun of by the band.

3. Probably more that I don't remember.

Saturday, went contra dancing (Woo!) with Cate and this freshman named Jim, who is from an organic farm in Maine. Much fun was had; dancing was fun but exhausting, ended the evening with a massage triangle and Mexican food. Turned Jim on to Neutral Milk Hotel; always a good thing!

Sunday, Tampa Bay won the Super Bowl (Woo!), and even though I got stuck watching TV in the lounge with Laura and Rachel (blegh...), the evening was redeemed by a trip to Liz and Emily's room to play video games and laugh until my stomach hurt.

And, to top it off, I've got a new ashtray for my room (Little things like that excite me, okay?), two packs of smokes, and a huge bottle of root beer!

Ahh, bliss...

current mood: basking...

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Monday, January 20th, 2003
4:08 am - Update to the list
You see, this is exactly what I was talking about two hours ago. Up until an hour ago, I had never heard anything about the Mountain Goats, but I downloaded a couple of their songs, and I'm amazed! I'm amending my top ten list: Insert "Mountain Goats - Jaipur" into the #2 spot, and bump everything below down a notch. If you've never heard of them, just download that song! It's wonderful!

current mood: enthralled

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2:09 am - My Top 10 Songs of the Moment
1. Red House Painters - Wop-a-din-din
2. Hot Hot Heat - Naked in the City Again
3. Anniversary - The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
4. Liars - mr. you're on fire mr.
5. The Good Life - The Moon Red Handed
6. !!! - Feel Good Hit of the Fall
7. Belle & Sebastian - She's Losing It
8. The Shins - Know your Onion!
9. Anniversary - O' Lady Butterfly
10. Beulah - Emma Blowgun's Last Stand

There were some other honorable mentions, like The Shins' "Caring is Creepy" and Modest Mouse's "Dramamine," but I can't seem to find room in the top 10 for them.

Every time I think I'm on top of the music scene, every time I think that I've at least heard of just about all the worthwhile bands around nowadays, I stumble upon a whole new vista of talent, and realize just how little I actually know. Good, because it means there's that much more good music to listen to. Bad, because I like to think that I know everything, and I like other people to think so, too. If I have one flaw, it's my ego.

This coming weekend will rock. Hard. Want to know why? I'm going contra dancing! I'm gonna stuff my car full (7 people) and drive down to Madison this Saturday, and it's gonna kick ass! The weekend after that, I'm going to see the Anniversary. That's gonna kick ass, too.

Right now I'm just wasting time; I should be writing my paper. I've got to write a 1 (!) page paper about my favorite female artist (Hope Sandoval), which should be both easy and entertaining, but surprisingly, I've written one sentence in three hours. Speaking of which, I should probably get back to the task at hand. That's about it for now.

current mood: good

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Tuesday, January 14th, 2003
11:25 pm - I'm back
Well, I'm back from break, moved into my new room, and ready to begin the new semester...

The competition is in 32 days, but I don't really feel like it's as close as it is; I suspect Renato will change that for me as soon as I schedule this semester's lessons, though.

I'm feeling a little disconnected at the moment, but that's because I've been doing homework for the last two hours.

All in all, though, it's good to be back.

current mood: okay

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Monday, December 16th, 2002
7:01 am - Last post before break
My last final in 2 hours, and then I go home!

I'm so looking forward to going home it's ridiculous; all I'm gonna do is eat, and then sleep! At the same time I'm a little sad to leave, because I'll miss all of my friends here (chances are, if you know me and you're reading this, then I'll miss YOU too!). But hey, I'm going home!

current mood: sleepy

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Saturday, December 14th, 2002
3:51 pm - What's important to me
I'm gonna want to read this in about 20 years, and this seems like a good place for it in the meantime.

Joy
Serenity
Sincerity (This one probably more than anything)
Humor
Intelligence
Knowing when something isn't important.
Knowing when it is.
The ability to do what needs to be done, regardless of fear.

These are the attributes that I value. I strive for them in life, and in music too. This list was prompted by the questions "what's important to me in music? What will I think about it in 20 years?" that occured to me while listening to an interview with the famous pianist Glenn Gould, who was comparing two versions of the Goldberg Variations that he made, one in his twenties, the other in his fifties. I disagree with many things that he valued in his later performance, but it's only a matter of taste. Hence the question, "What is important to me, anyways?"

I'm also just killing time before my Sanskrit final in 3 hours.

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