April 16th, 2004

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Quit your whining cause you're bringing her down.

Steven Pressfield wants us to believe in muses because of a radical interpretation of William Blake's poetry that he is. Steven Pressfield is a giant ass and a pussy to boot. His book is useful.

When I was like 4 years old (maybe a little older, up to 7) I wrote

"Egyptian asleep for a thousand years
What is the difference between an inch and a mile
A second and a year.
You have slept and endless sleep
All wrapped in the blanket of time."

I actually thought that was a good poem until I was like 12. I still think it's decent for an elementary school student.

I finished Pressfield's book. He compares clothes shopping to Stevie Wonder's piano playing and writing Bagger Vance (which he wrote) to the tortured paintings of Van Gogh. Prick or pussy? You decide.

I feel electrified. My brain is flooded with endorphis. My Neurons are all a buzz and they aren't going to be shutting up any time soon. For the first time in my goddamn life I feel like I can actually do it. Like I can go out there and have enough to say, and say it well enough, so that people will actually listen and more importantly that they motherfucking SHOULD listen. You hear that all you motherfuckers who will undoubtably stand in my way, try and beat me down, divert me from my task and turn me into a suit? You are doing the world a fucking disservice. You aren't going to stop me either, just slow me down. Van Gogh didn't get recognized during his lifetime. Nobody cares now. If I don't produce anything of quality at least I'll go down swinging. I'm tired of covering up and waiting for my opening. Carpe Diem. Seize the motherfucking day and make it mine. Hook hook uppercut. Time to go on the offensive.

I feel like I could do anything right now. My superego says it's an illusion and my ego tells him to shut his FUCKING mouth and go sit in the back with the slackers and the retards.

Something really weird happened to me yesterday. I was talking to Justin after free speech class, as I am wont to do, when this guy from my film class came up to me, confirmed my identity, and then said he was going to tell me a story because I was the only one around. He then proceeded to tell me that as he'd left a nearby building he'd seen a squirrel. He chased it around and sort of harassed it a little until it ran up a tree. Then he turned and saw this girl on the steps who had a look of disgust on her face while looking at him, presumably accusing him of harassing an innocent little animal.

That was the story.

I proceeded to try and engage him with a couple jokes, about how he was teaching the squirrel about the real world and how the squirrels around campus are too soft anyway. As I expanded the discussion to pigeons and postulated that the pigeon that was caught by a hawk recently on campus would have survived had someone had the guts and kindness to chase it around before so that it could have developed some survival skills he said "I gotta bounce. Give me your number next class."

I was left confused, and I am almost always the confuser in social situations. What exactly was it about that story that compelled him to tell it to me, someone he doesn't know? This is compounded by the fact that he was apparently in a hurry. I guess he could have been high but I don't know.

Speaking of Justin, when I was talking to him Phi Beta Kappa came up. He's expecting to be invited in as a junior. He said his GPA is in the top 15 at the school and he's also applying for a Rhodes scholarship. I felt no jealousy whatsoever. In fact I was kind of happy for his accomplishments and glad to know such an overachiever. I think that's further proof that I am getting into the mental role of a writer. I don't care about the grade shit and the social competitiveness anymore. I need to focus on my own creativity, screw the rest of the world.

Today I did some more filming for the project. I was so wired and high going out to do it that I was almost twirling in place with nervous energy. Frank was 15 minutes late and it turned out that tonight was the varsity show so half the college showed up in their Sunday best to go to the show, and I was standing there like a schlub in pants that are now too big for me and a dreary checkered shirt. That's the kind of situation that would have made me turn tail and run or at least freeze up with social anxiety a few months ago but I just rode it out and kept a smile on my face. It didn't really matter, I don't care what they think anymore. Eventually Frank showed up and we went off to shoot. We went to buy a pack of cigarettes for the shoot and then as we were heading into the grocery store to see what they had in comparison to the newstand we ran into LHG on the street. I nodded at her and just kept on walking. My train of thought was completely shattered of course and it felt like a punch to the solar plexus just seeing her but I was not going to let myself lose focus and I quickly righted the ship of my mind.

The shooting went pretty well. Frank's girlfriend was cold but a real trooper and a sweet woman, and some of the shots looked just beautiful. We weren't zoomed in far enough and the sound is terrible but it doesn't matter. It looks like a student film but a student film by a couple guys who know what they are doing and could get it right if given the chance. The lighting is actually quite superb in the spot we picked out. Shooting is going at a snail's pace but it doesn't matter. I love it. We shot for about an hour and a half out there in the cold and I could have gone for 10. It was just so awesome. It doesn't feel like work, it feels like joyous play. I love it. Frank has registered for the Auteur class over the summer so I'm missing the registration period. Stupid senior class center won't respond to me. Fuck them, they are evil. I'll go down there tomorrow and try to find out some information. The classes over the summer aren't so important. I am all of a sudden possessed of a certain level of patience. I'm young, I can wait. I am reborn. I can do anything! Well anything short of talking to LHG. I mean I'm still ME! I think I could actually handle her laughing in my face and telling me to take my fat fuck ass as far away from her as possible at this point, but I wouldn't want to impose on her world with my awkward self anyway. It's the whole idealized female thing I set forth earlier. She exists on another plane of reality where us mere mortals (me) do not dare tread.

Jesus H Christ the shooting was fun.

When I was lifting weights today there was serious pain in my right arm. I think something's not right with a ligament or tendon there. I only feel it when lifting but it's not a good feeling. I've given it rest but it hasn't healed up. I think after the semester over I am going to have to go to full cardio for a few months to let that issue heal up.

When I was a late teen early twenties my left elbow joint got all weird and felt like it always needed to be popped. This made me very uncomfortable and I thought it was a permanent condition as it lasted for over a year. It went away at some point. The human body is a miraculous thing.

I have a RIDICULOUS amount of work to do this weekend I think I'll get it done though. I hope I will.

I may get it done. I also have to relax and I have lots of shooting to do with Frank.

My life is a series of peaks and valleys with no plains in sight at the moment. I will ride this roller coaster out the best I can. I wonder how much of this has to do with my switch back away from carbs. Man the human mind is a mysterious thing.
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It don't seem fair

ARGH! Columbia.

I went in person to get an appointment with my advisor since she never responded to my email. At this appointment she proceeded to tell me that, basically, I have to go through the school of continuing education in order to take future courses at Columbia. That was it. She didn't offer to help me get into the classes I wanted OR contact the school for me, she said "go deal with them" and gave me an address and a phone number.

Wow! What great service! And they chided me for not using the advising services in the past. How could I have been so stupid, considering how helpful they are? I got information I could have grabbed off the website in 50 seconds and only had to waste an hour getting it. On my way out she told me that if I wasn't going to graduation I should give my commencement tickets to people who didn't have enough. That was the only actual advice she gave me, and it had absolutely nothing to do with helping me.

I called the school of continuing education and they said I'd have to apply through the normal process including sending them a transcript. That's right, I need to send a TRANSCRIPT from Columbia College to the Columbia University School of Continuing Education. I'm not sure if I should laugh or cry. I've chosen to laugh because that's the new me and I'm not going to let this BULLSHIT stand in my way. So now I'm applying for admission to the continuing education section of the school I'm graduating from Phi Beta Kappa this May.

Maybe I should have gone with cry.

I'll head down there on monday in person and berate them for forcing me to actually apply since I'm STILL REGISTERED AS A STUDENT AT THE COLLEGE. Damn hippies. It probably won't do any good. I'll have my application all ready to go on monday then.

There is a plus. I've found out that there's a second majors program at the school of continuing ed and one of the majors offered is FILM STUDIES. That is very promising. If I can get into that and get my second (well third, but I won't tell if you won't) major in Film Studies then all will be forgiven. It's still a horrendous bureaucracy.

Honestly the biggest problem here is that it's friday and I'll have to wait until monday to resolve these issues and know what I have to do. I need to study my ASS off this weekend and having this (the only thing I really care about at the moment) hanging over my head is not going to be conducive to doing well. I really need to get my shit together because the semester's basically over and I haven't done ANY work. I have like 2-3 weeks to write 60 or so pages of papers. I also have research to do and for the film project filming. This is not a good combination of things to have to do. Furthermore a week from monday I have to give a research presentation for one of my classes. HACHE MACHE. If I can read 3 books this weekend and get some more articles for my first ammendment paper I will be absolutely fine but I'll have to actually DO that. That's a different story from knowing what I have to do. To be honest I can probably get extensions on some of the stuff but I also have a final in my history class and ugh. My whole grade for most of these classes rides on the final, that's no gouda.

All of this amounts to a heck of a lot of pressure at the moment and I do feel close to bursting. I think I'll be okay but who knows. Whatever happens I don't want to fuck up GPA because it matters for this Continuing Ed application and some other stuff (like getting a job if I ever want one.)

I went to teacher training today for the GED program. What a complete waste of time. For one the semester's all but over, and perhaps more importantly we didn't actually learn anything about teaching while we were there but instead did a cognitive psychology worksheet of dubious value. I challenged the assertion that observation is not a type of perception and was looked at like I'd just said that Salvadore Dali is the head of the Catholic church. The rest of the training was touchy feely crap. There was this one actor in his thirties who was totally gung-ho about it, a few mid-twenties people including a cute girl who actually made the short dyed blonde hair and nosestud look work (she kind of resembled Kirsten Dunst), and a bunch of middle aged people who were not happy spending their Friday evenings listening to some Master's degree candidate give a slipshod presentation on Kolb's learning theory. It wasn't her fault, she tried hard and came prepared, it just wasn't the right lesson for this particular group. I vascilated between belligerence and intelligent participation, as I am wont to do, so by the end the woman who was running the thing was calling on me with trepidation, not knowing whether I would ask a difficult or nitpicky question or rescue the exercise by coming up with a plausible theory about how it could actually help teachers in the classroom. I did the latter, but I cushioned the succor by using the old "it could be argued" preface, which means "I don't actually believe this shit but it's what you want to hear and it will justify what you want justified."

I had two slices of pizza and two cookies for dinner, impressively moderate for me since when I eat junk food I tend to consume mass quantities, but recently I've learned to obey my stomach when it informs me that it's full, and chatted with a master's candidate in religion about crappy movies and the many faces of Jim Carey.

I want to write a short story but all my inspiration is for the sort of rich complicated world and plot that requires a novel or a screenplay. I would actually really appreciate if someone could throw out some ideas for a rather succinct and simple plot or premise that could be turned into something 5-7 pages long. That's around the length I'm shooting for but for the life of me I can't think about what I would do in that size range.

McDonald's has come out with a new Adult happy meal. It's basically a salad, some water, and some instructions on getting more exercise because you're about to die. The way I see it if you're an adult who's regularly eating at McDonald's they better give you some black tar heroin and a cute Thai hooker to do it with before they can declare it a "happy" meal.

Being funny is supposed to be appealing to people (internet guys declare 'cocky and funny' the third thing a woman looks for in a man, after money and appearance, of course their being internet guys sort of implies they don't know shit about what a woman looks for in a man) but is it possible to be so funny that you intimidate? Lately I've really been on my game humor wise and honing my delivery. Today during discussion section I said "The black laws prevented black men from being blacksmiths" and got a really satisfying delayed laughter bout. Everyone held it in for about 5-6 seconds while I kept talking and they processed the fact that I actually said it, that I intended it as a horrible pun, and that I wasn't going to be acknowledging it, and they just burst out laughing, including the TA. That's an example of a joke that is terrible if you read it but when delivered in the right circumstance and with the proper technique is absolutely killer material. It hasn't paid social dividends, which is fine since I'm all about the joke for the joke's sake, but it's one of the things one's supposed to do to achieve social status and it ain't done shit for me.

This has been on my mind since this kid who's like 6 years younger than me is coming down to visit Columbia and I'm expected to show him around. He used to idolize me back in the day when I taught him "Shave and a haircut, two pence" and what a cannoli was. Now not only will he see me fat and ill-kempt but if he wants to go to a party or hang out in a dorm I won't be able to oblidge. It's kind of embarassing really. Oh well, every hero must be destroyed eventually. The kid's like 16 now, got a 1480 on his SATs, and plays high school football. He probably had his 'the world actually sucks' cherry broken years ago.

Amusingly when the kid comes down to visit Columbia he will find it to be in the midst of a Graduate student strike. That's right, the grad students are striking because the University is being a putz about their vote to unionize and now can't give in because they are trying to join the United Auto Workers union and Columbia can't afford to shut down every time the auto workers strike (WTF are grad students doing in the UAW? Study labor politics for that little gem.) I'm going to lose at least one discussion section and have to face the prospect of Eric Foner grading my work. Oh joy. The whole thing is kind of silly and the strike is illegal due to the fact that non-union supporters weren't given a vote. Ahh students.

Bill O'Reilly's on TV chatting with some Frog about his 'boycott' of French products. That boycott has approximately zero effect on the French economy. Maybe O'Reilly himself doesn't buy some fancy French mirror so he can look at his own penis in the mirror and admire its pale suppleness, but that's not going to break a whole country. The right wing needs to be a little less laughable.
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