Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Bathroom Wall

I transcribed this from the bathroom wall this morning. Bathroom wall graffiti is so much more cynical, crude, and telling than any other kind of defacement of public property that I know of.

EDIT: Sarah brought up an interesting point. There is probably a huge contrast between the writing in a woman's lavatory and the men's lavatory. Most people just don't think about that because...well...we are either one or the other and we often don't partake in the fruit of the other's toilet. Also I heard that some ladies rooms have couches. Can anyone vouch for this?

- I wrote this
- Um, I'm pretty sure I wrote that
- No good sir you are a fool and a charlatan for it is in fact I who am the culprit muahaha (?)
- Stop taking credit for my work!
- Losers (-> I wrote this)
- [expletive deleted]!
- I'm the artist formally known as "I wrote this"
- Your mom wrote this. She snuck into the boys room just to write this.
- 4:20 (-> How old are you?)

Speak easy,

Monday, March 30, 2009

Serious Adult Money

My bag of sugar smells like summer camp. Why does my bag of sugar smell like summer camp? It is a sort of musty nostalgic smell that puts me at ease.

This, from what I can tell, is some sort of old metal salad fork that I found when I scoured the house for noisy household items that would potentially make some interesting samples to record music with. When my grandmother died, my family received a lot of strange objects of yesteryear.

I think one of the greatest pleasures in life is not doing something you really don't want to do and then not feeling any real repercussions from it. My tuition bill is way past due and every time I check the status on it, I find that the school has taken it upon themselves to find me loans without my knowledge. A month ago it said I owed $3,000 and today I checked it and now I only need to scrape up a loan for $450. In a way, I kind of wish they didn't let this happen because I do need to learn serious adult money bill responsibility, but for now I am content in not doing much of anything until I find myself standing on the precipice of no return (in which case I would probably have to take some sort of initiative).

Speak easy,

Sunday, March 29, 2009

there are so many places to hide?

For the last few weeks I have been taking graphic novels out of the library and reading them when I am not studying for French or reading for Comparative Literature or watching television on my computer. I stopped reading novels extracurricularly* because I get enough words on a daily basis as it is, although I am still kind of hungry for pictures and stories.

*I was surprised to find that this wasn't a real word, but I like it so I am using it anyway. Take that spellchecker! It's obvious to me that you don't check for creativity. Also, spellchecker sounds like something a wizard uses to make sure they properly executed an incantation.

For some reason I feel more safe on the twelfth floor of the library than I do when I am walking through the center of Amherst, which is strange because I feel like the upper levels of the library are a prime location to mug people because 1) there are no cameras 2) there are usually no people around 3) there are so many places to hide.

Since the weather has been warmer I have been taking planning longer routes to the places I need to get to. It might not be economical but it is rather cathartic.


I am filling out this room selection appointment survey on the university website. The following is something I have to respond to in the common yes/no fashion...

"University regulations require us to ask all housing applicants if they have ever been convicted of a felony?"

Confusing. Just because it has a question mark at the end doesn't mean that it is a proper question.

No matter how much I want it to, my work will never do itself. Ducks have it so easy. People feed them and if someone pisses them off they can just fly away. Of course on the other hand they can't talk (to humans, and isn't that the most important form of communique?), can't run without looking looking ridiculous, and can't chew their food.

Speak easy,

Friday, March 27, 2009

Garbage Men and The Trash They Keep

This evening there was another rave held at Diva's nightclub. I didn't attend. Instead I went to a short story/poetry reading. There were one or two pretty good speakers out of the bunch. The two social gathers, the reading and the rave, are very different but I would say that the latter is far more exhausting. We listen, we feel, we dance, we understand, and we dance some more.

This is the recording setup I had in my room over Spring Break. Somehow I was able to set everything up to the preamp (even the record player) without crossing audio and electrical cables. If these two kinds of wires cross it results in some sort of static interference. The songs that we got out of the session are just sitting on my computer waiting to be spliced, reverberated and mixed. Sometimes I like to distance myself from projects so that I can come back later with new eyes.

Speak easy,

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Fished Eye

Fun fact of the day: Drinking coffee in excess reduces a woman's bust size.

Last week my cousin showed me a new song from Britney Spears' new album. The chorus, as catchy as it seems to be, contains the following lyrics: "All the boys and all the girls are begging to if you seek Amy." These last four words are purposefully very similar sounding to "F.U.C.K. Me". I wonder if they play this on the radio. It doesn't literally have anything offensive in the lyrics but you could make an argument against it.

Now it is time to study for French.

Speak easy,

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wild Things

This is the newly released trailer for Spike Jonze's film adaptation of Where The Wild Things Are. When I was a little kid I remember reading a lot of Maurice Sendak's work, including In The Night Kitchen and Chicken Soup With Rice. The former was a piece of work that I enjoyed but did not fully understand; a sentiment that I still hold to this day. It has been many years since I have read Wild Things and all that I remember from the book is...well, don't really remember anything from the book. I recall a boy in drab animal themed pajamas, Max might have been his name, and some interactions with monsters, but not much else. The film version looks tasteful, and

Earlier this evening I was thinking about the difference between people and humans. People are the self aware beings that share toys and kill themselves because they are depressed. Humans are the carbon based life forms that grow hair and take naps. Chimpanzees and comatose human vegatables are examples of the two polar ends of the venn diagram that do not overlap. Sometimes I wish that humans were not so human. It may be easier if we can choose to be one or the other. Dogs always seem content because there is nothing else for them to be except to be dogs. I usually wash my hands after touching a dog. They are not very clean animals.

Speak easy,

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

the reason i take walks

The following is an exert from Don Hertzfeldt's production blog. The idea of art vis-à-vis advertisement and professional work is something that I think about quite often. Although I am certain that over the course of my life I will always persue some sort of extracurricular artistic project, I don't often think too much about the people that are living out their dreams and doing what they love.

Just to give a little background - Don Hertfeldt, a prominent indpendent animator and nominee and winner of several short film awards (Sundance and the Academy Awards), went to college for film but decided to work with animation because it can take as little as one person to do the majority of the work. Over the course of the last 15 years he has created 11 short films. Unlike most independent animators, he has been able to make a living with his art without compromising his integrity.


"i am often asked why i don't do commercials or ad campaigns or music videos and why i've turned down small fortunes from the corporate universe in favor of just carrying on with my own things. i like to take walks. i like hiking in the woods around here and climbing the foothills and exploring the coast. it clears my head. i find new things. it's something i'll probably always enjoy doing.
so somebody comes along and says hey, i hear you like to take walks. how about i pay you to walk? you just have to walk around my house in circles for eight hours a day wearing a sandwich board that has a picture of my product on it. no, i'd rather just walk through the woods and explore my own places out there, thanks. but what difference does it make? as long as you're walking, why not make a lot of money from it at the same time?
because money's not the reason i take walks. it doesn't really factor into it. i take walks because i enjoy doing it. it's something i'd do if i was rich and it's something i'd do if i were poor. i guess maybe someone might pay me to walk around in the woods. but i'm gonna keep doing it anyway."


Recently I have noticed that I almost always create an awkward situation when leaving a door open for someone behind me after entering a doorway. If the person is several yards away from the door, I will often put seemingly too much effort in making sure that they get in without having to reopen the door. Other instances, however, result in me acknowledging the person entering the threshold behind me but for some reason I put little to no effort in trying to keep the door open for them, resulting in me closing the door in a strangers face. I need to find a happy median.

Started watching Breaking Bad. I really like it so far and am really glad that Bryan Cranston is not playing the same role that he usually does.

Speak easy,

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Banana Man

My grandfather gave me a new watch. It beeps every hour on the hour, something that I think will take a little getting used to. Looking at my wrist, with or without a watch, is something that I do systematically to subtly avoid eye contact with strangers in public. Other times I will check my phone or even pretend to text message someone. Someday we may constantly be wearing computer goggles and headphones so no one will have to interact with anyone unless they absolutely want to. Social networking sites are making it easier and easier to say nothing to everyone while still not actually interactine with anyone (kind of like Matthew Lesko or God).

I'm back at school and have a few hours of the waking life to relax before I have to cope with the shattering reality of work and school and public restrooms.

This is a picture that Mike took of Brad. I was holding the broken mirror. This is what happens when a bunch of white kids have way too much time on their hands.

Years ago at summer camp one of the British counselors said that Brad resembled a English television character by the name of 'Banana Man'. Brad's nickname became 'Banana Man' for the remainder of the summer. Recently I went on google images to try and find this character. The only interesting thing that I came across was this guy on a moped hunkered down with a large quantity of under ripe bananas. This picture (as well as the picture below) has been on my desktop for quite some time to be incorporated into some sort of venn diagram but never really came up with anything I was happy with.

This peice of art was constructed by my friend Katie's friend Becca (if memory serves). At some point this semester I would like to try this out with the oven in the common room on my floor. Sushi pizza is also something I would like to try but the only problem is that I wouldn't know exactly how to prepare it. Would I a) make the sushi and put it on the pizza, leaving both uncooked b) cook the sushi with the pizza [which may negate sushi becuase sushi is supposed to be uncooked fish] or c) cook the pizza and then apply the fish? Life has one destination but oh so many roads.

Speak easy,

Saturday, March 21, 2009

via Morse code

I came across this website, which converts text to mp3 (via Morse code). People don't really use this for communication anymore but it is still kind of interesting.

After watching the Comedy Central's Roast of Larry The Cable Guy I went online to see if he is for real or just a character. I found this video. Apparently his whole act (including his accent and his name) is just a fabrication. Carlos Mencia is in a similar situation. I suppose that they do attract an audience and some people do enjoy what the do, so it's not all bad.

This is a video that I made a year and a half ago. It was footage that I took at in Rhode Island (Providence and Ross' Cliffs outside Coventry). The video was compressed to oblivion so the quality is pretty bad but you can still tell what is going on.

Friday, March 20, 2009


Brad left this evening. For the last four days we have been writing, mixing, editing, and recording music. The process can be just as time consuming and nerve wracking as writing a term paper but, in the end, it is definitely worth it. You only get back what you put in.

Speak easy,

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Telescopic Baseball Bats

For the last few days I have been locked in my room recording and practicing music with my cousin Bradley. Some, but not all, of what we have worked on is pretty good. Right now I feel so drained and headeachey but there is still work to be done (although I will leave room for relaxation).

I heard that, in other countries, prisoners don't rape each other in jail. There are a lot of strange things like that which seem to be strictly American. Another, for example, would be how Americans tend to claim that they are Scottish or Italian or Irish but they would technically be
American (because most people in America were born and raised in America).

More objects should be telescopic. There are cups you can buy that fold out just like pirate telescopes.

Other everyday objects that could be telescopic...
- Chairs (or stools)
- Pots (or pans)
- Lamps (either the base or the shades)
- Baseball Bats
- Cat Litter Trays

Speak easy,

Saturday, March 14, 2009


I heard somewhere that dog's mouths are cleaner than human mouths. It is also said that the mouth of a Tyrannosaurus Rex was so gross that you could die just from being inside of it. There is a canker sore in my mouth that is bothering me. The Internet says that Lysine is a great way to get rid of them. There isn't any of that in my house so I am using yogurt. In the 80's there was a movie about brainwashing alien yogurt called The Stuff. It was stupid.

Speak easy,

Friday, March 13, 2009

Unofficial Verbage and [expletive deleted]

When I got home from school I got the news that Mashpee made national news in a statutory rape scandal. The guy in question graduated the year before I did and was working as an assistant coach at the Mashpee High School. You can read about all of this here. But what really caught my attention was the use of the word "sexted". This is a slang verb that means 'to send pictures or messages of a sexual nature through text message (which is a form of mini-email sent from one cellular phone to another).

Sex (Verb)*

–verb (used with object)

to ascertain the sex of, esp. of newly-hatched chicks.

sex up, Informal.
a. to arouse sexually: The only intent of that show was to sex up the audience.
b. to increase the appeal of; to make more interesting, attractive, or exciting: We've decided to sex up the movie with some battle scenes.

to have sex, to engage in sexual intercourse.

*Definition retreived from dictionary.com

Sext (Verb)*

v: The act of text messaging someone in the hopes of having a sexual encounter with them later; initially casual, transitioning into highly suggestive and even sexually explicit.

In a sentence: "He keeps sexting me saying how hard he is and how much he wants to tap my [explitive deleted]," Cindy said massaging her [expletive deleted] unconsciously.

*Definition retreived from urbandictionary.com

I am at a LAN right now. It's 2:16 am. Andrew is looking for a free port to plug into. I'm not quite sure what that means.

Speak easy,

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Greater The Sound

This practice quiz was printed on the back of a receipt I got from a book I bought off of Amazon. The questions seem pretty easy, I wonder what age group this is targeted at.

Spring Break starts tomorrow and I am headed home in the evening. Right now I am in the middle of reading 'The Death of Superman'. It is the only superhero graphic novel I have ever really tried to read (although I will probably read the Watchmen as soon as I can get a hold of a copy). The whole genre of superhero action comics is something I find generally uninteresting. They are too strong, it seems too predictable. I am more of a fan of 'American Splendor' and 'Optic Nerve'. No powers, days jobs and girl problems. That I can understand.

Tonight Lev and I went to Jim's dorm for hot dog night. They were selling 2 hot dogs (with the choice of one additional hot dog or a cup of beans) for $2. It went really well.

Speak easy,

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Live Like a Champion, Get Rich Quick!

If anyone has any questions they would like me to answer on the blog, do not hesitate to send them my way. Either post them in the comment section or e-mail them to [briefpenguin@gmail.com]. To get the ball rolling, I asked Lev to pose a question to me...

How can I earn $5,000 in one day without disrupting my class schedule too much?

At first I wasn't sure if I wanted to tackle this question because I couldn't figure out a good way to answer it. The problem I had was that I thought in terms of things that I would do. Once I got out of the realm of my own conscious, the answer was quite simple.

EDIT: Lev, to save time you can just scroll down to the bottom. I would never purposefully imply that you are desperate/destitute. Also, as your roommate, I know you would never try any of the alternatives that I pose.

1) Steal

There are plenty of students with unlocked dorm rooms, unlocked cars, and unattended baggage all over campus. Once you have taken all of the items that you think you will need, I would recommend pawn shops, stores that specialize in used goods (Gamestop, etc.), or the Internet (Amazon, Craigslist). This is not legal, moral, or safe, but you may reach your goal if you persevere (I know you can do it!).

2) Sell Drugs

This means of financing may be a little less morally deprecating because you are making people happier instead of sadder (by taking their stuff). People will often "front" you some drugs that you can sell, and then pay back later. Although I do not see it around, I am sure a college campus would be a great place to sell 1) marijuana, 2) prescription drugs, or 3) black tar heroin. It might be harder to actually find a group of steady costumers, but once you do, it is smooth sailing.

Helpful Hint: If you ask someone if they are a cop and they don't literally say "I am not a cop.", they are probably a cop.

3) Prostitute

Criagslist has made it fairly easy for a independently contracted prostitute to make it in a pimpless world. Just post what you do and how much you do it for and the clients will come to you.

Note: I do not advocate any illegal activities. Please live your life at your own risk.

The only legal route I can think of is the stock market, although you would definitely need some sort of initial revenue to jump start your profits. The lottery might also be up your alley.

The problem is that people still believe that there is a quick fix, an easy answer. One can not get something for nothing. You must invest, take risks, work hard, and try to make something of yourself. Also, please remember that money is not everything. As long as you have enough to stay afloat, why not put your energy into more fulfilling endeavors (like building your own Da Vinci flying machine, or painting your entire house using fruit scented markers).

Speak easy,

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Mental Drips

Often I will find nonsense leak into my consciousness. This comes in the form of vivid imagery, strange lyrics, or bare concepts. The other day I was walking to cash my paycheck and "the apartheid glow of the emerald snow" landed on my brain. I didn't really make any sense of it, although I do kind of like it. Probably half of the songs that I have written come out of this kind of disjointed, unfastened mental drips.

Spring Break is quickly approaching and the weather seems promising enough. UMass, as smart as the faculty is, decided to wrap the one week vacation around St. Patrick's Day. Before I head home for break I have a lot of reading and studying to do, which I should probably continue working on.

Speak easy,

Today's Playlist:
Miss Lonelyhearts Pays a Visit

1. Neutral Milk Hotel - Song Against Sex (On Avery Isle)
2. Built To Spill - Car (There's Nothing Wrong)
3. Pavement - Cut Your Hair (Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain)
4. Wilco - I'm The Man Who Loves You (Yankee Hotel Foxtrot)
5. The Olivia Tremor Control - Memories Of Jacqueline 1906 (Music...)
6. Syd Matters - Hello Sunshine (The O.C.: Mix 6)
7. Devendra Banhart - I Feel Like a Child (Cripple Crow)
8. Wolf Parade - I'll Believe Anything (Apologies To Queen Mary)
9. Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin - What'll We Do (Broom)
10. The Snake, The Cross, The Crown - A Brief Intermission (Mand...)
11. Nico - These Days (Chelsea Girl)
12. Beirut - Postcards From Italy (Gulag Orkestar)
13. Bright Eyes - I Woke Up With a Song In My Head This Morning (Lua EP)
14. The Decemberists - Raincoat Song (Always a Bridesmaid: Volume III)

*Note: Most of these songs have shown up on other playlists.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Crystallized In Landfills

In the center of campus is a room that was originally intended for pay phones. Students could walk into the heart of the university and call their loved ones at any time of the day. With the onslaught and popularization of cell phones and personal computer gadgetry, pay phones are almost a thing of the past (like 8-tracks and car phones from the days of yore, damned for eternity, crystallized in landfills and bad 80's movies). In this room marked TELEPHONES is nothing more than ceiling lights and white walls. At the end of the corridor is an elevator that can only be activated by the custodial staff.

No one removes the label. No one frequents the room. Once a hot spot for long distance outcries to loved ones concerning financial aid and date rape, the TELEPHONES room is a nothing more than a quiet reminder of all that is, and all that will be, obsolete.

EDIT: Special thanks to Jim for showing me the room in the first place! Great find.

Phrases That Annoy Me:

- Hubby (i.e. Husband)
- Beau (i.e. Boyfriend)
- Pet Peeve (i.e. Annoyance)
- Broham (i.e. Male Friend)

I found this image to be kind of creative/interesting. (click image to enlarge)

Speak easy,

Sunday, March 8, 2009

(6 steps)

Yet another great Spring day on campus. The air was like a soft sheet on cool Summer night and I found it hard not to walk aimlessly on the way to the library. I found myself in front of Bartlett, where there was a stone checker board propped on a log.

About two months ago I drew this and intended to incorporate it into some modified layout for this site. After I discovered that my wacom pen dropped off the face of the Earth ($35 to replace), I lost a lot of artistic motivation (at least for graphic design). The approach I used for this was to just draw a bunch of squiggles and then look for an image in the squiggles and then outline what I saw. It is a little bird, just in case you can't tell what it is.

Today some kid was skateboarding with his friend in front of the Fine Arts Center. He asked politely for me to call his friend a wimp for not being able to jump a short flight of stairs (6 steps). I did what he told me to do because it seemed kind of refreshing to hear someone use an insult like "wimp". People often use more colorful vocabulary when they sprout negative verbal sentiments.

Then at dinner this strange fellow with a square jaw and a little voice asked me if he could eat with me. He said that he knew me from somewhere, a party or a class or maybe he just saw me walking around campus a lot. We had a pretty interesting conversation about school and jobs proceeding the college experience. One of his friends is pursuing a career as a skydiving instructor but in order to do that he has to have a lot of experience skydiving. Apparently each jump costs around 200 USD, making it a fairly pricey hobby. In Japan, people pay Americans to practice English conversations. This sounds like a really interesting line of work. Right now I feel like I have a lot of acquantances that I would like to keep as acquantances. Not every relationship needs to flower.

Speak easy,

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Candle Wax Speed

Today was really warm and I saw three guys having a snowball fight in t-shirts and shorts. The snow is finally melting at candle wax speed. It was really the first day in a while that I didn't feel like I was fighting nature. Sitting down in the sun was a really pleasant experience. I heard that in Iceland there is a big problem with people not getting enough sunshine. This leads to a large part of the population finding themselves in a depressed state. In order to counteract this, the government has issued many households with heat lamps. I think that this would be a good idea for offices. If there was a special 'sunny' break room, there may be a significant increase in morale.

I bought Sufjan Steven's Come On! Feel The Illinoise! album this week, kicking off my record arsenal. Each record comes with an insert, which makes an excellent mini-poster. If each cd came with a free sticker and mini-poster, I feel like more people would be inclined to purchase the album. At this point, most people just buy the CD, upload it onto their computer, and then have no real need for the physical album. There should be more insentive. Record companies haven't tried to change the product very much. It's their fault that they're failing.

QQ: If you were an identical twin with both male and female genitalia, would it be a weird subject to bring up with your twin?

Sporadic Idea of the Day: Megaphone Choir.

This weekend was the third week in a row that I attempted to see the film Coraline. It was a great film and I encourage everyone to go. CGI films like Finding Nemo and Wall E are well and good, but they have completely changed the way I veiw stop motion films. During the movie I had to remind myself that all of the settings were constructed by hand and that each shadow was cast by a physical object, and not just the result of a computer program.

Speak easy,

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Primitive, yes.

Ducks scratch their faces with their hind legs just like rodents and cats do. It's pretty great.

While waiting for a bus in Southwest (the other side of campus, heavily populated with people and parties) I overheard a conversation between a few guys that were idling nearby. One of them posed two very interesting questions to his friend: 1) "Why would you have sexual intercourse with a girl you hate?" (keep in mind that I had to clean up the vocabulary a little bit) and 2) "How long do these pills take to kick in?"

It occurs to me that there are so many different kinds of "guys", most of which I usually don't encounter on a daily basis. Sometimes I feel like a Galapagos Finch stranded in a small corner of the Pacific.

It looks like sodomy laws vary from state to state. One may actual receive a penalty of 5 years to life for committing this specific sexual deviation in the state of Idaho.

This is a picture of a flat screen monitor that was integrated into a multimedia expedition in the basement of the Fine Arts Center here on campus. It was weird.

Speak easy,

EDIT: Blog post #100!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Already Heard

Right now I am in the throes of a paper I am writing on a book that I neglected to read (Catharine Maria Sedgwick's "Hope Leslie") on a topic that I know very little about (Native American women in the 17th century). Considering, the paper is actually fairly easy to write. Instead of not blogging, I decided to just post some exerts of stuff that I have sent to my friends within the last 24 hours. Most of it is stuff I probably would have blogged about anyway.

Message from Neil Johnson to Andrew Lippman:

I have actually been compiling a list of "must have records" for the last few days. It started out as a 25 favorite albums list (which, after thinking about it, is probably the same thing). Unfortunately about half of the ones I want are either nonexistent (for example, Ben Folds' Rockin' the Suburbs) or far too much money (Brand New's Deja Entendu*).

*Which I believe is French for "Already Heard".

To name a few that are both essential and affordable:

~ Neutral Milk Hotel - In The Aeroplane Over The Sea
~ The Postal Service - Give Up
~ Bright Eyes - Lifted + I'm Wide Awake It's Morning
~ The Arcade Fire - Funeral
~ Regina Spector - Soviet Kitsch
~ The Decemberists - Crane Wife + Picaresque
~ Andrew Bird - The Mysterious Production of Eggs
~ Wolf Parade - Apologies To The Queen Mary

I am thinking of buying one for each pay check that I get from now to infinity, as to build a collection over time. At the moment I have a pretty modest library.

Message from Neil Johnson to Katie Hakala:

After Lev and I went to Boyden today, we stopped by Berkshire. One of the flat screen TVs that I just happened to be glancing was tuned to ESPN. They were showing footage of Amir running around a basketball court.

I watched it this morning so I wasn't too surprised that they were covering it on a news network. It just made me happy to see Amir getting some attention. He deserves it.

Speak easy,

Monday, March 2, 2009

Not Tom

Why? Why would they make this? Arguably the only actor that can pull off the Ace Ventura character is Jim Carrey. Also, fat and loud does not always equate to funny.

There is a website that I heard about last week that is composed of a long series of riddles. After getting about four steps into the site, I decided to give up. It is kind of nerve racking, but if you enjoy riddles or being confused to the point of numbness, I would recommend This Is Not Tom.

Back to homework or youtube, whichever holds my interest longer.

Speak easy,

Sunday, March 1, 2009

...and the Clean Old Man

This fat guy is on a door across the street from the coffee shop in Amherst center. I see him about once a week. He is without name and without story, and that is why I like him.

My friend Brooke asked me what the deal was with the title of my blog. For anyone else that is curious, here is the explanation...

Miss Lonelyhearts is a novella written by Nathaniel West, and also one of my top 5 pieces of literature. The main character is a guy writes an advice column under the name Miss Lonelyhearts. His real name is never given and, throughout the entire 60 pages or so, he is addressed by his pseudonym. It is generally a story of one confused individual that, in his heart of hearts, just wants to stop suffering and save the innocent. The Catcher and the Rye, which is probably the only other narrative that is tied with this one for top rank, has a similar theme.

The chapters of the book are ironically similar to titles of would be childrens books. For example, Miss Lonelyhearts and the Clean Old Man, Miss Lonelyhearts Attends a Party, and Miss Lonelyhearts and The Dismal Swamp.

The chapter in question, Miss Lonelyhearts Pays a Visit, occurs towards the end of the novella. Basically he visits a couples' home for dinner and helps them realize that they do want to patch things up in their relationship. Even after realizing they are happy with each other, they subsequently agree that they are still not happy without alcohol. The husband, an old cripple, goes to the store to get some scotch. After he leaves, the wife tries desperately to force herself on Miss Lonelyhearts (which was not so far off since they had already had sex prior). Miss Lonelyhearts gets depressed and angry and ends up mercilessly beating the wife. Not too fun. Did I mention that it all takes place during the great depression? Because it does.

This door is generally agreeable. Where it goes, I do not know.

Naked mole rats live inside large colonies with one queen that has all the babies. I would have never guessed.

Special thanks to Lev for some of my recent pictures. He remembers to bring a camera when I do not.

Speak easy,