April 28th, 2004

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Hate, Kill, Rock and Roll.

It was an appropriate ending to my fixation on LHG. Today's film class was...well something akin to five classes in one. I went there immediately after submitting my application for summer school, something that felt a combination of thrilling and setting myself up for defeat. I don't know if I want to do another year of school. I don't know if I can handle doing a thesis in film next year and I am NOT staying for two years! I don't know I don't know I don't know.

Anyway I went into class early and sat near the front so I could talk to Frank. We decided to shoot on Thursday and hopefully knock out both scenes we have left. We have little enough time left that it's really a necessity. While I was focusing on sorting out these details with Frank, she sat down in the seat behind me, unnoticed. I spotted her a few minutes before class began but only from the very corner of my eye and I only IDed it as her by hair color. It took about 10 minutes before I had confirmation when I turned around to give her the attendance list. I'm actually a little disturbed that I could tell it was her from just an indistinct blur of colors on the VERY periphery of my vision. Disturbed and proud of my visual accuity.

Anyway, with her presence behind me acting as an anchor I proceeded to watch the films that the professor played. They were astounding. We started off with this incredible 1920's documentary basically about recreation that had some really hilarious juxtapositions and great spots. During this film she tapped me on the back and handed me the attendance sheet to give to the professor. I wish I could say that the touch was electric and meaningful but frankly I was too wrapped up in the movie. It was just a few very faint taps on my back.

After that we moved on to Nanook of the North, which is another astounding film. The professor talked about how a lot of it was staged for the purposes of the film, but it's really well done and the scene where Nanook's entire family comes out of the Kayak that looks like it would hold like 2 people max is just plain hilarious. It's really sad to know that Nanook died of Starvation the next year.

During the film she kept hitting the back of my chair with her feet so I moved forward until my feet dangled off the platform I was on onto the level below. Despite this I leaned back in my chair at one point only to find my hands coming into contact with her sandals, she'd propped her feet up on my armrests. That's one of those things where in the case of most people you'd be sort of annoyed and feel like your space was being invaded but when it's a girl you're crushing on it's charming and eccentric.

During the break I was loitering in the hall, as I am wont to do, and the professor walked by. He asked my name and said that he'd enjoyed having me in his class. I'm not sure if this was just an empty comment, the giving of some approval to someone who made a lot of comments in class, or if it was sincere, but regardless it was nice.

After the break we went back into the classroom. She came down to her seat, but before sitting down she took down her hair and did a hair flip. I watched it in the periphery of my vision as I stared blankly at the wall. If I ever have to follow someone for the CIA I will send her a note of gratitude. She has done wonders for my ability to focus on peripheral vision. It was fitting to see one last flip of that absolutely gorgeous hair.

The next film shown was "Night and Fog." I'd never seen it, and it was just as horrific as I expected. A couple people laughed when they showed the various architectural styles of the concentration camps. Now I'm someone who thinks that you should be able to laugh at ANYTHING, even and including the Holocaust, but that just struck me as totally inappropriate. Watching the film was difficult but important. It portrays the Holocaust with a dispassion that creates an even stronger condemnation of it than any red-faced invective could. The fact that it does not specifically mention the Jews as victims is a good thing in my opinion. It focuses on the fact that they were neighbors and people first. They were plucked arbitrarily from society and slaughtered. The fact that the arbitrary selection process favored Judaism as a characteristic to select on is not as important as the scale and scope of what happened. The mountain of women's hair is one of the most horrible images ever commited to celluloid.

During the film I found myself recoiling in horror at what was on the screen, gasping to release the tension of seeing hundreds of my people naked, sticklike, and slaughtered. She leaned forward in her seat, so that our faces were almost parallel and I watched some of the ghastliest atrocities in human history with my face less than a foot away from that of (literally) my dream girl. I'm sure that's extremely healthy.

It did put things into perspective though, oh god how it put things into perspective. The little things matter a lot less when you know that had you been born 60 years earlier and in a different place you would have been marched into a gas chamber, scraped your fingernails off on the ceiling as you died, and fed into ovens so your ashes could be used for fertilizer. It's significantly worse than not getting all the film classes you want.

After Night and Fog ended we watched "High School" which is a hilarious documentary about a highschool in the 60's. It was a much needed relief from the darkness of the Renais documentary and contained some incredibly memorable scenes and characters. I had trouble getting into the film at first just because I was still recovering from Night and Fog, but eventually the sheer preposterousness of it overwhelmed me and I threw myself into laughing at it. In fact I overgesticulated, pantomiming in my seat and making what I thought were amusing comments under my breath. This was probably a combination of wanting to leave an impression on LHG and an attempt to wrest myself free from the shock and awe of Night and Fog, which had a deep impact on me. The movie was great. At points LHG and I were the only two people laughing at some of the brilliant visual plays. My absolute favorite was when the sex ed teacher was talking and the camera zoomed out to show that printed on the podium was an inspirational saying. The saying was about how anything you try you should put your full effort into.

LHG laughed a lot at the anti-promiscuity comments, which may imply that we have different values since I didn't think they were particularly more funny than a lot of the other stuff and were a lot LESS funny than several of the truly inspired moments, like when the principal was asking the kid on the phone if he had a hall-pass and the kid held up a finger telling him to wait. That's irrelevant though since this was, hopefully, the last time I will spend an extended period of time in her presence. There's still one section left on Monday but I will focus on chatting with Frank and Scott to the point where hopefully I won't even notice her, IF she attends. The fixation will fade with time and in a couple years there will be a new unattainable girl to pine after. This is as it should be. I will be glad to get past the humiliation of my existance and focusing my energies and fantasies on other things. The thoughts will fade into the background.

For this I am thankful.

After class I taught my GED course. It went pretty badly though I had a lot of students. I had a terrible headache and they were inattentive. I don't really care anymore, all of them are passing and I've done most of what I can do in this format to teach them. I'll do an extra good job next Tuesday and then I don't think I will teach over the summer though I may again in the fall.

The film class gave me a lot to think on. For one I am now deadset against the camps where we are holding Islamic men in Cuba. They are far too similar to concentration camps to be allowed to exist. Let the Media in, including Al-Jazeera, and show us that the claims of attrocities are lies. Remember that the claims of attrocities on the part of the Germans were denounced as lies when they first came to light. Resnais reminds us that it is far too easy to become complacent and allow horrible things to happen on your watch. No society is safe from commiting horrendous evils. No people is unimpeachable.

I also thought about the fact that my dumb ass never joined the video production club. I can't figure this one out except that I guess I assumed they'd have no use for someone like me. I doubt that's true in retrospect. The writing and art on campus is not at such a level that I can't compete. I may not blow Charlie Kaufman out of the water yet but I can at least bring some competitiveness to amateur hour.

Morris, one of my students, wants to become an actor/director. If that doesn't come through he'd settle for writing or drawing comic books. He's in his thirties and currently works at a factory. I am inspired by his dreams and how he works to try to achieve his goals. I wish I had that kind of gumption, as I have more advantages than he could ever hope for.

I'm tired now and I have to read two books by Friday morning. Aye Carumba!
At least the chronicles of LHG should be over in this journal.

There was much rejoicing. Not really, nobody cares.
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I'm just staring at the ceiling staring back at me.

I could write an entire entry on how wonderful it is to have someone else laugh with you. I frequently find myself laughing alone, sitting in a room of however many people and being the only one who finds something funny. Maybe it's something that only I noticed, maybe it's something that only my perverse mind can find funny, maybe a combination of the above. It's lonely to laugh alone in a crowd of people. That is, I think, the one thing that really drew me to her. She is also unafraid to laugh alone. That's what I think it often is, fear. Fear of that loneliness that comes with being the only one who finds something funny, the one who disrupts the seriousness of the proceedings with the power that even a discrete snicker has. Nothing ruins gravitas like laughter. I'm not afraid to laugh. I hate gravitas.

She is an incredible laugher. It doesn't hurt that she has one of those beautiful feminine laughs that harmonize with anything, a pleasant background noise complimenting whatever a speaker is saying instead of a harsh burst of sound competing with it. It's not just the laugh though, it's how frequently it appears. It's the sonic equivalent of a migrating flock of Monarch butterflies. You'll be sitting there focusing elsewhere and these beautiful things will just drift by you. Sometimes in large clumps, sometimes one or two together, sometimes packed together like commuters in a standing-room-only subway train and sometimes seperated out like a few solitary snowflake drifting from an azure sky. When you manage to do or say something to call it forth yourself, it's like catching one of the Monarchs in your hand, sure it may be as common as a blade of grass but when held and examined on its own merits it is still beautiful beyond comprehension. You hold it for a second and then release it back to its friends, out to play in the winds of the wide world and drift away beyond the horizon.

She and I laugh at different things, or at least at different times. I tend to be a pre-emptive laugher, I elaborate everything I watch so I often get jokes before the punchline and laugh as soon as I can figure out an explanation as to why something might be funny. I don't know her internal process, of course, but I imagine her to be more of a reactive laugher, someone who waits for the jokes to come to her before reacting. To use an utterly inappropriate simile I'm a brawler and she's a counterpuncher. Neither style is better per se, but the latter is a hell of a lot more graceful. Anyway there were points during the semester when I would snort (I have a snorting laugh, it's not something I'm proud of) then a beat would elapse and she would laugh. Then there were times where she laughed and I was unamused, or visa versa. That was okay though, at least it wasn't one of those situations where you're the ONLY one laughing all the time. The moments of synchopation were the best though, someone else to laugh with. You could have taped those sessions, put them on CD as "The Princess and the Pig. Laughing again." I think I will miss that at least a little.

See the thing is, that's what I long for the most these days. Someone to laugh with. Not just laugh with but, talk to. Beautiful girls don't need to worry about finding someone who understands their sense of humor, at the very least they can find someone willing to fake it for a chance to touch their breasts. Us double chinned deepset eyed oily haired geeks? It's a different story.

It's not that I don't have a sex drive, or understand the desire for faceless sex with many partners. Heck my masturbatory fantasies are full of all sorts of perverse delights, like vagina buffets and beds made up entirely of writhing naked women with breasts for pillows and, well, best we don't talk about how the night lights are mounted. I wouldn't want that in the real world though, and couldn't imagine it being anything other than degrading for all parties involved. Okay degrading and SUPER HOT. Anyway, the thing about the real world is that in it women are real live people and not just collections of dripping wet soft body parts to be pried and rubbed against until ejaculation. Some men find this rather inconvenient. I prefer to think of it as a good thing. See while I like carnal pleasures as much as the next guy (so long as the next guy isn't Hugh Hefner or Ron Jeremy) where I really get my jollies is in the realm of the cerebral.

I love thought and argument. It's an endless stream of entertainment. I go through my life thinking about all sorts of topics trying to put perverse spins on them. The things I regret most are not failing to go out to a bar, get hammered, and make a clumsy pass at a football player's girlfriend. They are being too busy to get into a philosophical argument with the student who wore the "Kantians do it out of duty" sign or not picking a particularly interesting topic for one of my papers. I try to reduce the what-ifs in this aspect of my life, saying most of the things that I want to and living my life, at times, like a stand-up comedian trying out new material. What would happen if I sent around an attendance sheet that declared itself to be 'now with MORE ricin' and had a slot for nicknames? The answer is "a fair amount of disruptive snickering." What would happen if I tried to apply a name to every point of a Badminton game? Some classics (5-5 is Stalin's favorite score, you have to say 7-all not 7-up for copyright reasons, 10-14 is the age range of a Michael Jackson personal ad) some amusing oddities (4-6 is Corey Haim's favorite score while the official theme song of 5-6 is "I wear my sunglasses at night") and some flubs/scores that I couldn't think of anything clever for.

I think that this tendancy might be partially responsible for my social ostracism. I am not only ALWAYS talking but usually trying to be funny and saying obscure/oddball things. I used to constantly be told that I wasn't funny and that my jokes were corny. That has died down recently. I don't know if it's because I've gotten funnier, honed my timing, or that my colleagues are just more mature or polite. It doesn't really matter. How can I regret responding to the professor's saying "Watch this part of Nanook, in case you're ever stuck in Riverside park and need to make an iglo" with "As long as you have a machette on you" when he responds "actually I think that's an ice saw made of bone." While I understand that he was just correcting me, it brought to mind a world where just about everyone went to the park carrying ice saws made out of bone and anyone who didn't was just an idiot plain and simple. It would lead to exchanges like this:

Rick: Joe, did you forget your ice saw made out of a walrus' jawbone again?
Joe: Come on guys, it's August.
Rick: I'm getting sick of your excuses. What if we have to evacuate to Alaska. Do you even THINK?

Why would I want to miss that?

Maybe I'm a 6th grader, lacking in self control and social skills. Heck that would describe me in many of my aspects of development. Lives with mom, afraid of pretty girls, NOT a snappy dresser? If maturity were apples I would not be the proud owner of an orchard, instead I'd have a few small cans of gerbers and maybe a juice box.

Walking along riffing on the ramps of Lerner hall, that's my idea of a good time. Cracking jokes about hypothetical guys in wheelchairs ("How is he supposed to avoid the bowling ball? He's in a wheelchair. He'd need cat-like reflexes, and if he had those he wouldn't BE in the wheelchair to begin with, would he? I mean he's the guy who, after someone yelled 'LOOK OUT,' still got hit by the falling brick.) is my idea of a good time. Moreso than getting drunk or hanging out at a party having my eardrums beaten in by lewd references to milkshakes and striking out with striking women in dresses cut so low that they have toe cleavage.

I would like someone to share it with though, someone who's down for more than 10 minutes of discussion in between class, who wants to hear my off-kilter thoughts and can handle the fact that sometimes I get so offensive I want to slap myself (and do, from time to time.) If that person happens to be a beautiful chick who also totally loves obscene acts involving 5 pounds of jelly and no less than three different species of hummingbird, so much the better. Heck if she wants to include ME in those acts then let me just say cha and ching. (That's cash register onomatopoeia, not a badly mangled racial epithet.) That's not necessary though. I'd settle for a decently kempt homeless man so long as he could take no for an answer.

Will I ever find such a person? Survey says no. That's okay. I'll make do with captive audiences and stolen moments. Alongside memories of girls who laugh seemingly from nowhere with neither fear nor embarassement they should be enough to tide me over.

Please note that this entry does not count as obsessive mooning over LHG because the narcissistic content is enough to file it under navel-gazing. I want to state that for the record.

Officially.
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