a stupid thoughtless Somewhat
(a.k.a. Erika's Bloglet)

A friend of mine just died at the age of 80 something after a very long battle with cancer. We knew each other from a church group.

In the group years ago he had talked about what he really worried about with dying is that the last living link to his mother would be gone. His mother slid into dementia when he was an early teen, and died a couple years after being taken to an asylum.

He gave me this poem the last time I met him and I think he'd want it to be shared, to keep some small connection to his mother among the living.

THE ASYLUM - 1948

It was the middle of the night in the lat summer. I don't remember getting into the car. There were two sheriff's deputies in the front seat. I was in the back with my mother and father.

It was a long dark way over on what you would call secondary roads today. Then it was the only kind of roads there were across central Illinois. The joints in the concrete made a thumping noise, bada bum, bada bum, bada bum.

It was a long ride. Except for car noise it was silent. By the time we made it to Alton and the hospital it was broad daylight.

I also don't remember her getting out and going in.

I can't remember, but I never forget.

R. I. P. Dick Sargeant. _
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02:20:24 PM, Thursday 12 December 2013

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And would it have been worth it, after all,
After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,
Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,
Would it have been worth while,
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe into a ball
To roll it toward some overwhelming question,
To say: “I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all”
If one, settling a pillow by her head,
Should say: “That is not what I meant at all;
That is not it, at all.”

from Prufrock by T.S. Eliot.
_
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05:34:06 PM, Wednesday 5 June 2013

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This plays in my head like 17x a day. I forgot about the being shot bit. Consciously. Hm. Ok now that's going to be even more disturbing. _
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01:38:57 PM, Wednesday 15 May 2013

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From my journal from last year:

i don't know why i can't make a bunch of boxes.

here are some boxes:

{[fear, weather, arbitrary, illness, asphalt] [tomes, dust, deliverance, turtles, venemous snakes] [plastic, sweet tart, sharp, definition, wrapped] [thonk, marble, elbow, rose, sand]}

{[smoke, tickets, boots, armor, glass] [air conditioner, pine, highway, gong, in your eyes] [brick, blinky lights, vines, sadness of corridors] [fear, eyes, headlights, euclidean, garlic]}

i should have a whole warren full of boxes and bits and scraps

stuff stuck in odd corners, not neat

but with a logic of its own.

things ordered by color, or scent,

or fragile things packed carefully between soft things,

stacks and shelves and cases and crates

and archival quality boxes full of archives.

i would tear down these little heaps become altars

these seemingly meaningful spots that draw me

always back into myself. to a meaning i

can't share.

i would tear it all down for scrap

and be one of those people

who builds dinosaurs from scrap

in their backyards. _
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09:25:36 PM, Tuesday 7 May 2013

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Just watched Tiny Furniture, by Lena Dunham writer/director/star.

I get the sense that it is all nicely composed and would hold up to thinking about the themes and all but honestly I don't feel like it.

I thought I didn't want to watch Girls because I saw a couple of scenes linked to as people's favorites that involved people screaming at each other in a way that wasn't funny to me. This movie had those scenes and in context, honestly, they bothered me just as much. But between them it was poignant and hilarious. Self-consciously Woody Allen-esque. Possibly one of the best films I've seen recently. I'll have to digest. _
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07:25:06 PM, Monday 29 April 2013

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I am here going to say what (understandably) no one is saying, that wossname who was captured is absurdly beautiful. It's jarring. _
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11:35:23 AM, Saturday 20 April 2013

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I'm depressed, but not any more than I was Monday morning, or much less than yesterday. Hard to respond to things when you're depressed. Hearing an explosion when I was half asleep did affect me, I had nightmares and was glued to the news the next day. It's a great privilege never in your life to have heard bombs. I'm not taking that for granted. Can't imagine living in Bagdhad during the war, for instance, or even now. The fear is of a different nature altogether. Boom boom boom, is my family next. We're still lucky. _
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11:32:24 AM, Saturday 20 April 2013

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Meditative plant motion and plant motion sounds. _
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06:17:03 PM, Tuesday 26 March 2013

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Mania pisses me off because here I was liking everything and it was fun and pleasant to have zero critical faculty and 100% admiration of things. Now I’m back on earth and things that suck suck and I can’t appreciate some of the stuff I thought was great. I remember my problems with free jazz and Somewhere out There from An American Tale. Everything sounds flat, comparatively. It sucks.

Filed under the "least of my problems" dept. _
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03:01:51 PM, Thursday 21 March 2013

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I used a vending machine today that used a robotic arm to grab the bottle and shunt it into a nifty revolving door type thing that opens at hand level. Impressive and also strikingly like an elaborate squirrel-proof bird feeder. _
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01:05:11 PM, Wednesday 13 March 2013

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Hey. Snow. _
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09:54:48 AM, Thursday 7 March 2013

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Current status: listening to Miles Davis and filling a bowl with origami balloons. _
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04:16:31 PM, Tuesday 5 March 2013

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There's no such thing as suicide-by-bully. The idea blurs our whole moral framework gives too much credit to bullies. I wish the press would stop going on about it. _
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11:01:14 PM, Sunday 10 February 2013

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We have the backyard light on and the indoor lights off and all the snow is all sworls and stops and sworls and gusts and streaks and dots and dude. Better than the Fourth of July. _
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08:00:12 PM, Friday 8 February 2013

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I just watched Young Adult. Instead of a black comedy about an ex mean girl, I got a heavy drama about mental illness, which wasn't exactly how I wanted to spend my evening, but it wasn't bad. I mean I've been there, I've had that delusion, I know how it goes, that is how it goes, and my god is it depressing to watch. To see her insulated from reality and projecting her fantasies onto little events, throwing herself against a brick wall and not even knowing it... that's not scheming bitchiness. That's not hilarious self-centeredness. That's madness. She doesn't have a real need to get back together with this guy, but it's also not fake and conniving. It's this pseudo-romantic thing where this dormant flame lights up in some delusional atmosphere, and glows big in it, thin and vapory, but big big big. A real thing pumped up, because the excited mind needs some excuse to get up and go driving across the state now now now! Before getting dressed! With that old tape, whee! I don't care what you call it, I know that state of mind. I found watching it from the outside purgatorial. _
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11:00:06 PM, Sunday 27 January 2013

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Why isn't it as good to watch a slug on a brick on the internet as to watch a slug on a brick in your own backyard?

The framing. The poor photography of course, but besides that. The holding up as an object of curiosity. Half the interest in a slug is that it's there, in front of you. And it's not there. Something in a frame, held up as a curiosity, has to be a hell of a lot more interesting to be interesting than something right there. I am the type to watch a slug. I am the type to watch a wall. But on the internet, I don't get into that relaxed spaced out spot. I go around sucking at the marrow of these bones, and then pronounce them awesome or not-awesome and move on. I don't relax into them. I don't want to. If I wanted to space out, I'd find a slug, or a wall. I want my attention managed. I want to commune with the buzz of the hive. The frame implies a person, the frame means you-are-not-alone. _
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05:44:15 PM, Sunday 27 January 2013

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I just watched Lincoln, which I wasn't particularly thrilled with. So I'll tell you about Trees Lounge, which I was. I saw it a few weeks ago on Netflix Instant, and it's such a slight movie it's already slipping from my mind, so I wanted to jot a few notes.

Trees Lounge is a 1996 movie starring Steve Buschemi as an alchoholic layabout who just kind of hangs out and stuff just kind of happens but it's great because stuff is just kind of happening like it does in real life if you're an alcoholic Steve Buschemi. Now he's at Trees Lounge, the dive bar where he lives (and sleeps above). Now he's hanging out with some dude he met at the bar. Now he's being kicked out of that guy's car. Later, back at the bar, the guy is offering him a job. He's at a funeral. He's selling ice cream. He's being a creep. The dialogue is totally convincing, I would believe that regular people said those exact things at those types of parties. The sense of place is perfect, that kind of vaguely gritty strip mall with hair salon type world; 1996 captured in a bottle. Nostalgia was a big part of the appeal for me. The movie neither celebrates nor condemns its main character's lifestyle. It takes this guy who you'd meet and be like "what a loser, what an asshole", and lets you go around with him for a couple of days and see it from his point of view, without letting him off the hook.

Overall, a relaxing little film. Winner of the "best thing that's been in my queue for years that I just randomly clicked on" award. _
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10:40:31 PM, Friday 25 January 2013

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Planning new project = happiness. Researching web development platforms = sadness. Questions such as "do I really need to spend $250 on the Adobe development environment for Flash?" are not inspiring. _
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10:22:46 PM, Sunday 20 January 2013

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This video makes me want to be stuck at a bus stop staring at puddles. _
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11:22:11 PM, Thursday 3 January 2013

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I laundered my Android phone a couple weeks ago and I don't miss it. I feel kind of sad that I don't. Like, the fact that it enabled my internet addiction shouldn't have outweighed all the other nifty features of the device. Oh well. _
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11:01:14 PM, Thursday 3 January 2013

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Vegetarian Christmas menu:

French onion soup (without the cheesy bread)
Foccacia
Potato mushroom casserole
Green beans
Peppermint cookies

...and whatever Ling and his fiance bring for appetizer and dessert.

I had a panic about the french onion soup yesterday, it seemed that the dark bits on the bottom had been too dark and cast a burnt flavor over the delicious delicious onions. But this morning it had mellowed and was excellent. After chopping 3 pounds of onions and stirring frequently for 120 minutes to make caramelized onions that were delicious and scarce like a an edible precious metal and then shamelessly drowning them in water, I'm very glad the final result worked out. _
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11:52:36 AM, Tuesday 25 December 2012

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I don't know why this thing doesn't seem to dispense cozy. It has so many things on it, I must have misplaced it. What's, like, something nice on the internet? _
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04:53:27 PM, Wednesday 19 December 2012

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It's troll Erika week. _
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12:28:47 PM, Tuesday 18 December 2012

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site & script courtesy of Moss

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explanation
75. It is a very extraordinary instance of the force of prejudice, and much to be lamented, that the mind of man retains so great a fondness, against all the evidence of reason, for a stupid thoughtless Somewhat, by the interposition whereof it would as it were screen itself from the Providence of God, and remove Him farther off from the affairs of the world.
-George Berkeley