November 23, 2006

a glimpse into my mediocre life

Tonight I should have gone to bed early, since, for the first time in a long time, I can. But instead I headed toward CVS, one of the few places open at 2 a.m. I felt a little like a moth fluttering toward a buglight as I drove through the dark right toward the eye-catching luminosity of CVS.

I don't remember if I needed anything at CVS. I was going because it was late and I felt like talking to people, and preferably people who weren't inebriated.

You get to see a good cross section of humanity; overworked people, reclusive loners, fellow night owls, and the occasional stoner out looking for something to munch on.

The lady I met over in the drink section was named Fran. She raises Irish Setters. She gave me a large quantity of information about Irish Setters, unsolicited.

I don't think her goal was so much the transfer of information as it was gratification of the fundamental need for self-expression. I don't know that I came across as terribly interested in learning the ropes of dog-raising or the grooming of show-dogs, but she didn't seem to mind. She told me a bit about her other job, and even showed me pictures of her daughters.

She also told me about her college days. She had a masters in philosophy. I could tell from the way that she paused after she told me that I was supposed to act impressed. And I was, so I did act impressed. She mentioned in passing her worldwide travels, indulging I guess in the game we all play of attempting to scrub away every last telltale trace of mediocrity from public view and from oneself.

I ended up buying 3 4-packs of Red Bull, a bottle of hand sanitizer, sunblock (just in case), and a discounted set of Precious Moments figurines that caught my eye. The set was discounted because the package was opened and a piece was missing, and also probably because it was incredibly tacky. I've always been a big fan of kitsch, though that word itself is relatively new to me. There's something existentially satisfying about having artwork that I can be sure no one else will try to steal.

While I did value my treasure hoard (and still do, a little bit, all these minutes later), I now find myself wishing I had gone to bed. I am tired. So with that, good night.

Posted by jonsligh at 02:55 AM | Comments (12)

November 10, 2006

free stuff for the greedy

My old pal Sam has this promotion running for his company where they are giving away Nalgene Bottles for a link on your blog. Basically, you post a link on your sidebar to anywhere on their site and they send you a Nalgene bottle. No strings.

For the love of good water bottles, give it a try.

More details here.

Posted by jonsligh at 04:45 PM | Comments (8)

November 07, 2006

astrophysical wonders and fretboard pyrotechnics

Though many commonplace things can and do distract my thoughts (particularly when I have a paper to write) there's nothing like a clear night sky to get my mind wandering. The stars have always wielded power over my imagination. As I've said before in previous ramblings, they send me either into sublime philosophical exploration or silly imaginative romps. I could imagine the stars to be acollection of diamonds shining against a backdrop of dull black velvet, or else they could be the metal studs in the tight faux-alligator-leather pants of an 80s heavy metal guitarist.

With a bit of imagination I can reconfigure the constellations into not a warrior or a set of twins but Yngwie Malmsteen (in the aforementioned trousers), 9 minutes into his numbingly ornate guitar solo, his Bach-meets-rock neo-baroque metal blaring through the 38 giant Marshall amps behind him and washing over the world-weary souls of the mulleted and mustachioed audience, who are just satisfied that the last thing they'll ever be able to hear was so grand, powerful, and big. After a dazzling display of fretboard gymnastics up in the sky he will perhaps set his guitar on fire, and as the building fire reflects off his infinite amount of gaudy bling he'll toss his guitar into the deafened audience, and with a toss of his teased mullet saunter backstage and refuse an encore.

Diamonds or metal studs, or whatever I call them, the stars don't correct me. They always tell just a tad less than I want to hear. Frost touches on this:

"dark is what brings out your light./ Some mystery becomes the proud./ But to be wholly taciturn/ In your reserve is not allowed."

Look up and wait for answers and you enter the cosmic staring match. You're not going to win, but you find you just can't stop looking. Everyone who looks up there sees something big and eternal. Infinitely grand yet infintely cold and distant.

But tomorrow's going to be another working day, and we all gotta get some rest at the end of the day, and my paper still isn't written, so I now perform the perennially necessary task of sweeping these musings under the rug and continuing on with life. We grin and bear the cold and the silence, facing the cold with devotional warmth or gritty galgenhumor. So...good night.

Posted by jonsligh at 09:34 PM | Comments (11)