Noise on the streets thudded like a toothache. Jamie had gotten over the idea of even trying to sleep and now she was on a fresh bottle, a pot of coffee boiling on the stove to offset the depressive quality of whisky. She had so much work to do.(more) She'd swig from both, hot and cold. The night air blowing in the window did not refresh her. August, thick with heat and exhaust, a touch of salty air from the port a few blocks away, polluted and full of barges, tankers thick as fleas on the rainbow-swirled water. The world was so large and getting larger, it seemed. There was so much room to cram in more and more ventures, chaos and construction jostling for space like Tetris blocks. More corners to hide in, more money to be made. But here was one white sheet and she was baffled by it. The drink turning her thoughts like a top, inspiration like nausea, elusive words darting like the missing bees.
A thousand times a day she decided to quit drinking. Her shame made her feel small, and incapable of shouting. But she had so much to say, yet she always ended up like this: going mad, red eyes, slick with sleep-deprived sweat, all her money gone to the liquor store and no food left, no words to stave her inspiration/nausea.
What was wrong with sleep? What was wrong with normal life? She could live with fresh air on her face and hair combed, earning decent money, waiting downtown at the crosswalks on lunchbreak with others her age, one of many who moved through the city streets in fashionable black, privilege visible in their quick, soft step. The words blessedly stilled. As she moved not so much forward but up.(less)
I was a contented child. The world was not cruel, not to me. I played, I laughed, I learned. One day, my father would hand me his ledger and not look over my shoulder while I wrote; one day, I would haggle with the ship's captains alone; one day,(more) I would be a child no longer. But I would be ready, then.
I was not ready when the world became cruel.
It started when, one day, the land's protector was gone. First came the Sea. Its hatred of the land came down upon us: the strange magics roaming the streets, attacking the people; the storms and waves that assailed my father's ledger.
After the Sea came the men from the east. They came to burn, slay, rape, and pillage. That night my father died; that night, I lost my arm; that night, we rode away into a cruel world.
Android users don’t pay for apps, they don’t have data plans, you can’t monetize them easily, and designers are all iPhone users who don’t really understand Android users.
When I pay $13 to see a film, I sneak i(more)n my own food. Even those theaters sporting couches and dinner menus serve food as mediocre as the movies they screen. Chances are that the movie isn’t worth the $13 but that is what it costs to escape Netflix on the couch yet again.
“The global expansion of McDonald's restaurants is a relatively recent phenomenon when put into the context of the history of warfare.” - anon.
McDonald’s is closing its restaurants in Crimea due to “operational reasons beyond our control.” Subsequently Vladimir Zhirinovsky called for all of the McDonald’s in Russia to close, too.
Listening to Sonic Youth’s Goo album. Never their best but I remembered it being better. Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore are divorced now.
When Lee Ranaldo was playing nearby with his new band, I didn’t go. I listened to a few songs on youtube and decided it wasn’t worth the effort on a weeknight.
Now we have Pussy Riot along with a matching Obama/Clinton meme.
“All we make is entertainment”. Quotes within quotes within quotes.
The new Wes Anderson flick, Grand Budapest Hotel is a plateau that the director has filled with cameos of half the actors he has worked with. It is a half decent product placement for the brands of these celebrities. One new actor is introduced and 100 old ones are name checked briefly. Costumes, colors and cleverness are no longer enough.
Father Abbot stood behind his desk with his hands behind his back, looking down on me from the perch of his long frame.
"Eight months. Eight months as a novice. Are you ready to take vows as a brother?"
"I don't know, Father, I-"
(more) "Have you found what you were looking for when you came to us?"
"I don't think-"
He cut me off: "Why?" It hung between us and I didn't bother trying to answer this time. "Why are you here?"
"I was a broken man out there. It was a cruel world and I..." Father Abbot was shaking his head now, holding up a hand to stop me.
"I heard your speeches when you arrived. You came to us because you were weak."
"As I said, it's a cruel world."
"Crueler than your life in here? You work longer and harder, obedience is demanded and punishment is harsh. Your life is less comfortable. Life here has been cruel to you as well; I have seen to it."
I nodded. It was true; Father had granted me no favors. Everyone noticed. "But," I protested, "that's all different. It taught me, made me stonger. I was weak when I came here. I am less weak now."
"Because of the cruelty?"
"Yes. It served a purpose."
"And the cruelty of the world did not?" I didn't understand and my face showed it. He sat down across from me. "You are strong, my son, and you can do great things both here and in the world at large. But whether you stay here or leave- and leave I think you must- you must always remember that the cruel world is our greatest teacher."(less)