(sometimes withershins, widershins or widderschynnes) means to take a course opposite that of the sun, going counterclock-wise, lefthandwise, or to circle an object, by always keeping it on the left. It also means "in a direction opposite to the usual," which is how I choose to take it in using it as the title of this blog. We're all in the same world finding our own way.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

I want to write a letter

I want to write a letter to a friend of mine. He lives in Canada and I haven't seen him since we met: it's been almost two years. We met at a summer camp and while we've both returned to the camp, it's been different sessions so we haven't seen each other. Somehow though we're still in contact.

I've made plenty of other camp friends over the years of course, but I haven't consistently stayed in as close contact with pretty much anybody else except this one, crazy redhead I met on a bus to Leavenworth in July of 2007. I'm a pro-penpaller, but very few people have the same drive towards stamps and letters that I do, so it most always ends up being very one-sided conversations. Which, now that I think about it, has been the case here as well. I've only received one physical reply from Gabe, but where I send letters, he emails or Facebooks me so there's still the transmission of ideas.

The point I'm getting to is that we were talking about this the other night, and letters really are something that you treasure.

He said something that really made me think as well. It's mind boggling to think that someone's hand wrote the words you're reading and then traveled however many miles to get to you. Sure it's amazing that you can send the same amount of information in under 5 minutes, but the fact that the wrinkled piece of paper you hold in your hands traveled all that way to get to you makes it so much more special.

With how little we physically write anymore - I know plenty of college students who complain about cramped hands right after finals/midterms - taking the time to actually write a letter shows you care above and beyond. It conveys something about your personality by lacking the impersonal uniformity of type.

So the imperfections make us special and make the people we interact with feel better about it.

So then, what of perfection? Often, it takes so much more effort, but it lacks the personality, and it's the personality that enables us to connect. And like the hokey pokey, that's what it's all about.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

A Sudden Exodus

For those friends who I speak to fairly often (or who happened to see my Facebook status), you know that I recently found myself sans-roommate.

Yesterday, I met Luke's parents for the first time as they came in to clear out all his stuff. They were surprisingly efficient in their packing/cleaning ability. It took all of half an hour for them to get everything in boxes and out to the car. They were really nice, and my only sorrow is to not have met them under better circumstances.

I don't really know what Luke's situation is, and don't really feel like it's my place to air his personal problems for the world even if I did know, but regardless, he does not feel up to finishing this quarter, and I sincerely hope he's doing alright.

So now I find myself alone in one of the larger (if awkwardly shaped) rooms here in Nash Hall, or at least until I hear otherwise from the Housing Administration. I'm not sure how I feel about this.

On the one hand, I like having this space to myself. I really feel like I can make it mine now.

I've rearranged the room to open up some space, and give myself a little more bed room to make myself comfortable as well. The only thing I feel like I'm missing is color and furniture. I need more posters, and maybe some shelves or something.

On the other hand, I'm a social person, so having someone in the room, even if we never really talked is comforting to me. This idea of potentially being alone, while not scary per se, is mildly distressing. I've gotten used to that other presence.

My friends have varying opinions.

One thinks I should have sleepovers. That sounds fun, but with who? The girls I spend time with, well they outnumber me, so I usually go to their rooms. The guys I hang out with, oh, that's right, I don't really hang out with any guys (Kellen is an exception since I know and see him most of the time through Dani).

Dani's first thought was that I need to find a boyfriend. Which, while that is an amusing thought, since y'know, I have a room to myself and no one to answer to for being up late so to speak... I'm not really looking right now. I just don't feel like I'm in a place where I really need to find and be in a relationship. I'm happy and admittedly still dealing with some of the aftereffects of the last relationship I was in (as short lived as that was). I have yet to find closure, and I don't think it would be fair to bring that with me and make it a burden on anyone I meet who's worth the effort.

Still, with this new found freedom I'm a bit lost. Any suggestions?

Friday, April 24, 2009

Space Administration

I'm currently fascinated by a small facet of my nanotexts class.

Earlier this quarter we discussed the idea of moving our classroom from its current space (Old Main 482) to a room more conducive to the technological integration our specific class is geared toward.

A part of requesting this classroom change is talking with the Space Administration here at Western.

As far as I know, we have yet to receive any kind of response.

Despite that though, I think we're still half expecting to get approval to move rooms at some point.

The point I'm trying to make though is that in a way we are at odds with the Space Administration (insert non-existant hyperlink to Space Administration here).

The black box that you see Prof Pritchard (is it weird that I think of him as Tony or Nanotext?) moving is one of those lectern-speaker boxes made available (apparently by the Space Administration) for Professors to lecture from.

That I know of, no professors use this box at all. And yet somehow it still finds its way on top of the table at the start of every class.

I've taken this almost ritual moving of the black box from the table to the floor at the beginning of every class to represent a kind of symbolic sticking it to the SA.

We shall not use your box. We do not believe in your ideals. Give us our space! By moving this simple box, we represent our solidarity in defying the SA. And yet, it's an empty gesture, because here we are, still finding ourselves in OM-482.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

I keep getting lost

Maybe I need to print off a copy of the syllabus, but I can never seem to keep track of which book I'm supposed to be reading for my Lit class. So this weekend, I looked up what book I'm supposed to be on by Monday, and have been working on reading everything previous that I haven't read yet.

The books are pretty hard to follow, because they don't exactly follow a linear path, so it's been rather intensive reading. They're making me think however.

For example, Radical Alterity has made me wonder about the nature of cameras and photography, more so since my friend and future roommate, Kellen has been dragging me to the crew team's Regattas of late (see earlier post) and making me what he calls his "sherpa." Really, the job is nothing more than a glorified pack-mule position, but it gets me out of the dorm and near something interesting. Kellen has an enchanting way of talking about anything that interests him that vaguely reminds me of my stepdad. And he explains everything very well, so I've learned more about different SLR settings and modes and different lenses than I probably ever would owning any myself.

My point being, the alterity of Baudrillard has invaded my life and I can no more than look at a camera without pondering its ability to capture a moment, and separate it from what we call the time stream. It's akin to taking a single sentence out of the context of the conversation going on. It makes sense in its own way, but it's also transformed into a separate thing. And as we've talked about in class, who is really taking the picture? The tool the camera or the tool the person (sorry, Kellen, I couldn't help myself and had to throw a jibe in there somewhere).

I learned from my Cinema class that lenses differ from the human eye in that they can isolate and magnify an image, where we could no more make a single object the sole focus of our vision than we could zoom in on the trees across the bay. But these tools allow it, and in doing so, separate us it seems from our humanity, or at least the natural exhibitions of our humanity.

And in The Ticket That Exploded, I see parallels of that. It's a little more disjointed perhaps, and the storytelling involved is completely different, but there remains that sense of otherness. That something we express and accept as normal is merely the surface. Which, admittedly, as a sci-fi cut-up, makes sense.

Burroughs populates his Dreaming with fantastical, homoerotic creations perpetuating what so far has been a world with some kind of dark ulterior motive. Someone or someones are in control and it doesn't seem to be Mr. Lee, who strikes me as being our "good guy," though I don't doubt that archetype is relative in this case.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Day 33: On Words

If you repeat a word again and again, it loses it's meaning.
heartbreak. heartbreak? is that spelled right? Heartbreak. AUGH.
A Softer World

I stumbled upon this webcomic while on plurk just now. Someone posted a link to a different posting by this website, and I happened to peruse through the archives until I came across this particular gem.

It reminds me of something we used to do in my journalism class in high school. Those of us who designed pages and covered the whole layout aspect of publishing the school paper often found ourselves searching for an appropriate font to help tell the story. This wasn't always the case, because we were taught well that too many novelty fonts are a bad thing.

Personally I still cringe when I see more than three fonts on a flyer or poster without a very good visual context to put them in. But anyways, when we did do this, we would highlight the text, and then click in Adobe InDesign's font bar and scroll through all the fonts one at a time, only pausing long enough to see if it matched the story we were trying to tell.

After about the twentieth font, the word or name (names were especially bad) we were looking at would start to blur together. And even those of us who'd been designing for years would start to question and second guess. That word can't be spelled right. It looks wrong. AAAgggghhhh!

And then there would be heads pounding against walls as the rest of us rushed in to save the poor designer from the offending word and to have them check it online and in their notes.

Okay, so I hyperbolized that last detail, but you get my point, something about seeing the same word over and over in so many ways without changing anything more than how it looked made it start to look wrong. The word began to lose meaning, and with that, all semblance of being a real word.

So I ask, what makes a word? What gives it meaning and provides the thought behind it? When it comes down to it, print is just smudges of ink on paper (or in the case of this blog post, pixels on the screen). There must be some social aspect that binds the idea to the word. Otherwise when we see a word over and over, or say it over and over like in the webcomic I started with, it wouldn't lose it's meaning.

I'm hoping to start a dialogue with this, so please feel free to comment. I'd prefer if you did so at my blog, and not on Facebook, but I welcome whatever feedback I can get.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Maybe this will work...

If you want to join me on stickam, and add me as a friend or join my chats when I go live for class, my profile is:
There's a "Add this person as a friend" link somewhere under my profile picture.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Hahaha, oh the drama

I wrote a rather long email this morning to my ex. Basically explaining that I've had enough of being treated like I don't exist and that if he wants to be friends with me like he says he does, he has to step up and start talking to me. And then I defriended him on Facebook (Oh my gosh, Danny, how could you do that? It's like, such a breach of internet etiquette to defriend someone!).

I was kind of really harsh, more so than I've been with anyone else in my life, and it hurts me to feel like I have to resort to that, because I'm not a harsh person, but those words were necessary to let him know that I am not willing to do all the work. And that if he doesn't step up, he's not worth it to me and never should have been.

He blocked me on twitter.

I'm not outright offended, because most of his tweets had someone very specific in mind (not me) and it was kind of nauseating (sorry, if either of the parties involved are reading this, but it's true, the e-PDA has too much ick-factor for me).

But I am saddened that this is clearly a sign he isn't willing to step up and be the kind of friend I need in my life. I had so much hope he would, because I want to be friends.

So now I'm disappointed, but with clear reasons to move on with my life and find someone who will treat me like I deserve. If I seem unusually blue for myself the next few days, this is why. I'll be fine, this is just a major disappointment.

Silver lining though, he introduced me to several people who I'm sure I will remain good friends with. Two steps forward, one step back, right?

Thanks for understanding and I have no qualms about talking about it with anybody, so feel free to ask.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Day 32: Status Culture

Twitter, Facebook, Plurk, MySpace. If you're seeing a pattern, you know what I'm getting at. Hell, you can even have a status on your Gmail or MSN Live accounts as a special message to tell everyone why you're away from your computer and not IMing with them.

With current technology, we live in a status culture. You can update the world about every little thing you do from anywhere at any time (though let's face it, most of us don't care and would rather you only update the important stuff).

My point being, as a world community we are connected as close to instantaneously as we have ever been in human history. Half the time in conversations with friends, I already know half of what they have to say about what's been going on in their life because they send out tweets or status updates or blog about it, and I follow them.

So the question I ask, is: Is conversation becoming obsolete? Is it evolving and transforming to conversation 2.0? I've had entire multimedia "posting wars" with friends (Shout out mainly to Julia!) where we not only shared ideas, but images and songs and videos that back up and support those ideas. This is one reason I find myself liking Plurk so much. It facilitates that exchange so much easier than other microblogging services I've encountered so far.

If you think it's worth trying out, find me and sign up for one at the link below.


Sunday, April 12, 2009

Day 31: Tired

I'm tired.

I've been up and running since 7 o'clock Saturday morning (it is Sunday now right? Yeah, it is. It's almost 2am) and I'm exhausted.

I really should have worn socks and shoes to the regattas (see my last post if you want more on that) and I just now got back from Nerf Wars. All this running around and all this energy spent. Part of me loves it, because I truly love being around people, but today has just been a lot in so many different ways.

While I was at Nerf earlier, sand fell out of my coat all over the couch. It took me a moment to remember where my coat picked up that sand. And each grain weighed me down because it reminded me of what I don't want to do so I swept them onto the carpet to be lost to the vacuum of some random custodial worker. That made me think of my friend Ian's shirt. It said "Vacuums suck." Vacuums do indeed suck, Ian's shirt, it's what they were made to do.

I feel like I suck right now because I'm that kind of tired. I'm entering one of my world weary phases, and I don't know how long it will last. Maybe until morning, as it gets washed away by sweet slumber, or maybe through the next week. Maybe if I find the right words it will help.

What am I even talking about again? This isn't working. I'm going to go. I need sleep right now. After that, who knows.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Day 30: Regattas

It's going to be a long day today. It's only 3 o'clock now and it's already long. I've been up and running since 7 and see no rest in site. I have salsa practice with Charlie (I should call her about that), potential HigFom and Nerf later tonight.


I need to start sleeping better.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Day 29: Multimedia Megapost!

Can you guess what I did to this image?

These were some sad, crushed looking dandelions.

That's right, my gals are working on yet another incarnation of their handshake. I took so many videos I may simply have to delete them after I edit the best bits together. And what in hell is on my nose? How did that get there and why did nobody tell me? *sighs* Oh well too late now. It's on the internets for the world to see.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Day 28: to make a habit?

I've heard the adage that it takes 28 days to make a habit, though I've looked it up and found various numbers, most commonly 21 days, saying how long it takes to turn a simple repetitive task into an unconscious routine.

Discounting the small unavoidable breaks wherein I was physically... err electronically disconnected from the internet, I have reached/passed that point in my blogging. Is this a time for excitement? Or am I just word spamming the interwebs, giving my empty opinion to no one?

Am I the tree in the forest recorded digitally and posted on site to site?

I suppose I'm just having a blogging existential moment right now because I receive so little feedback. This whole blogging thing was meant as a way for me to basically journal and share myself, my experiences and my projects, and hear what people think!

I'm a social person. I don't do this for myself. If I were doing this purely for myself, it would be in a diary. Full-on paper and pen and glue, hidden under my bed/underwear diary. It's not. It's posted online for the world.

Is it too much to ask to get a comment now and then?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Day 27: "Give him two lips like roses and clover"

I'm reminded of the dreaming right now, that fictional realm of Morpheus, the dominion of possibility, of all things beyond the scope of reality.

More so after watching The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari in my Intro to Cinema class on Monday.

We're in an age of flux. Times are changing and it's chaos. k-os makes good music. I send letters out like bombs of love waiting to go bowling for a hundred years. Perhaps they will return to me in a karmic display of the cyclical nature of life. It takes skill to make this kind of stuff happen. Or is it merely chance?

Bipolar weather lashes out at a world that for too long has abused it, mentally marking its silent sine function sensibilities.

This relatively short post has taken me nearly three days to put in the ground. I hope it supports something.

Monday, April 6, 2009

A Perceptive Guy

I know you hate me, I’m a perceptive guy
I’m also aware enough not to wonder why
- Jay Brannan "At First Sight"

Okay, so taken out of context, these song lyrics aren't exactly the best way to illustrate my point, but it's a good song by a good artist (and those who have been following me for the past week, first, thank you, second, you know I'm all about this album right now). But in general, what I'm trying to say here is that I tend to be perceptive towards people, I might be oblivious or naive at times, but I'm a good read of those around me. I'm rambling... oh well.

My point is that I'm one of those people who picks up on and even draws/loses energy from/to the people around me. Put me in a party with some sweet, danceable music and I'm off. In general, the same holds true if you were to surround me by people that are upset. Okay, not true, my personality is far too bubbly for Negative Nancys to bring me down too far. But it's something I'll notice and that weird caregiver part of me wants to fix and help and... care for?

So to say the least, a greater majority of males in society frustrate me. It's a contest of three wills when someone refuses to talk to me about what so clearly is bothering them. Three because there's the part of me that wants to comfort/fix/care, the part that respects the other person's right to privacy no matter how infuriating it might be, and the other person. So pretty much I lose either way because it's two against one no matter what.

Strangely though, I feel as if I'm getting used to it, which is not an idea I enjoy. Probably a big reason why most of my friends are girls. In general they're more willing to talk about their problems, which suits me just fine. It's gotten to the point where they'll have boy-hating conversations with me and basically count me as one of the girls. It's funny and disconcerting at the same time.

Day 26: Little darling, it feels like years since it's been here .

It feels like it's spring finally, and I'm tempted to pull out my yo-yo. What does a yo-yo have to do with spring you ask? Probably nothing when we speak generally but for me specifically, it's the harbinger Robin. Never failing to find me when the seasons are a'changing.

Sitting in my hand, it flies rapidly down and up across these gray grounds and muddy lawns. Butterfly by design a scarlet breast of the palm.

It can walk the dog my little bird, whistling buzz and flying. My secret zen in time with breath. Down and up. Down and up. Down. And up.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Day 25: A late start

I woke up today with sweaty palms and sweaty feet, still wearing my sweat stanked (yes, I know that's not a word or a verb, no I do not care) clothes from last night.

By comparison, I suppose my Saturday night was pretty chill compared to most peoples. I wasn't drinking or partying. I was running around an empty lecture hall pelting other likewise minded people with foam darts, and even then I spent more than half the time sitting around talking with Ian, Sarah and Shelly. It was nice though, they're cool people.

I didn't end up leaving that until almost 2, which seems to be a normal habit when I go to the Nerf Wars group. There's such a contagious energy to acting like a child again. More people should do that, so we can have a happier world.

But now it's time to get up and go about my day. There is homework to be done and readings to be read and music to listen to. *sigh* Why does bed have to be so comfy?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Day 24: Endings and Beginnings

So... my first semi-serious relationship ended last night. It was only, what? Three weeks old? Those of you who've seen me and talked to me know already that I feel ending it was a good thing and a change for the better.

Me and the ex (wow, I can actually say that and have someone in mind now... this is an idea that will take getting used to) decided that we really make better friends than romantic partners.

I just wanted to take some time and say thank you to him and all my friends for understanding this. I mean, I guess I'm a little disappointed, but I kind of think I knew this conversation was going to happen sooner rather than later. In fact I'm glad it happened sooner, because had I continued to get the kind of silent treatment I was receiving for another two or three weeks, I know I would have gotten royally pissed off and said some things that would have ended the relationship badly. And I REALLY don't like the idea of doing that to either him or myself. It was short, but I think it was worth it. And no regrets.

So to all of you out there on the interwebs, here's to the start of a wonderful friendship, a phoenix out of the not too fiery ashes of an ended relationship.

Oh, and if you know any available guys I might be interested in... *wiggles eyebrows and then winks then bursts out laughing at the absurdity of it* Sorry, I can't even fake that in typing without laughing my ass off *watches ass fly out the window*

Day 23: Friday/Saturday

Wow... that was a lame title... oh well.

So I wrote the following little poems via text message sent to my email. They're just short little things, playing with words and ideas and expressing how I feel in a way that's complete nonsense to anyone not inside my head.

Poetry via text

Laying on my back.
Staring at the ceiling.
Sunlight enters through the window.
Pretty music in ears.
What is this i'm waiting for?
Blink. Blink go my eyes.
I'm dancing in my head.
The beige paint runs together.
Climbing notes higher than
the little lights scattered across the sky.

Woof Words

Isolated. Puppy dogs sleep. Waiting for that face that brings them such happiness. Curled into sunlit circles with head to tail between their legs. Dog days pass until that time when you get home.

Oh, and since I asked for a prompt, I'm supposed to write some theories about life, or at least a theory. Hmm... maybe something that inspires me.

Most libraries have a section among the non-fiction books set aside for biographies, usually in one corner or another, before or after the Dewey decimal numbers start. But the Dewey decimal system actually has a place for biographies in it, the 921s.

To most people, this is just another useless factoid, but I was born on September twenty-first, 9/21. And ever since I found out about this Dewey number, I’ve wondered, “What will my 921 look like? Will I have done anything worthy enough to deserve one?” It’s an inspiration and a curse, an idea that’s lodged itself in the back of my mind whispering at me to keep pushing, keep striving.

“Be not afraid of greatness/ some are born great/ some achieve greatness/ and some have greatness thrust upon them.”
Shakespeare, Twelfth Night.

I’m not yet sure if I like this voice because I’m always trying to be a humble person and I balk at the thought of someone writing about my life. Aren’t we all great in the realms we entertain? Aren’t we all the center of the circles we surround ourselves with? What but society puts individuals on a pedestal above others?

Still, it’s a thought to consider. It’s a caveat of that old admonition: live your life like no one was watching you. What you do today could be of consequence later, so make sure it’s good. In short, it’s a Western derivative of the idea behind karma.

Anybody have any ideas on this?

Friday, April 3, 2009

RE Countdown to the Singularity

It would probably take a little longer than three weeks. This technology, while powerful and an example of the kind of technology that would lead to the singularity (I'm assuming of the kind described by Postsingular and other sources discussed in Nanotext), this is still in it's infancy.
From what I understood of the article, the program still needs to be "hand fed" the data it uses, a major flaw as far as finding autonomy and being able to operate on its own, but it is definitely a step in that direction. Once this program is able to self-analyze is when I think we will have to get really excited. Until then I don't see it being more than a giant intuitive search engine of sorts.
Then again, what do I know? I haven't studied any of the programming involved. Just adding my two cents to the change jar.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Day 22: I've suddenly lost the will to publish this post

I don't really feel in a blogging mood right now. Some stuff came up and I just don't feel up to it today. I tried dancing and free hugging, and that helped, but not that much.

I just need something to distract me from what's got me all in a twitter.

Maybe I'll start reading The Invention of Morel for my Nanotexts class. It's worth a try I guess.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Day 21: A multimedia representation

This video was shared with me (by, who else? Ahren) and as commanded by the video, I am sharing it with the world here on my blog.

In other news, I love my Nanotexts class. It's more than just a lit class, it's a multimedia behemoth at the miniaturized level. We're utilizing a web service similar to Twitter, called Plurk. Follow this link to create one and add me: http://plurk.com/acelessthan3/invite

I'm intrigued, because I've read one of the 8 books on the reading list already, and loved it. If you're interested in looking them up, I read Rudy Rucker's Postsingular. It was interesting because it was one of those scientific thinker books that I love so much. I'm really interested to reread it with some kind of perspective other than reading it for pleasure.

I've always been fond of analyzing movies, books, people. It's just a part of the way I think. I think I've touched on this in previous posts, but I like understanding things.

Did some calculations: if we printed off all 10+ 140 character Plurk posts, 10+ 1000 word blog posts and 3000-6000 word finals by all 34 people in my Nanotexts class, it would be approximately 900 printed pages (450 both sides) in a standard 12-point font document format.

I also bought all the texts for that class online today. It cost me about $100 on Amazon, but considering it could have been closer to $200 at the college bookstore, I'll consider myself lucky. Despite that, I still spent about $50 at the bookstore for books for my other classes.

I also paid $5 for a stainless steel ring:

I think it looks good, and considering I'll actually wear it, it's worth it for five bucks. Plus it spins, which, since it's already a nervous habit of mine to spin the rings I occasionally wear as necklaces, makes it that much easier for me to have something to play with.

Finally, I think I'll end this post with a poem:

Grey skies
Rain Clouds
Radio Silence
I stare at the sticky note doodle.
My battery disconnected
and wonder
if clipped wings still fly

Day 20: A quick update

Hello all, I got back from Spring Break yesterday, and now that I'm returned to the land of the living (aka I have internet access) I'm going to resume my dear sweet blogging and hopefully figure out what I'm doing wrong with my video entries.

In the meantime though, if you'd like to see some of what I did over this spring break that took me away from the internet, check out the photos I posted on Facebook.

I was introduced to this wonderful freeware program called Picasa, and while it will never replace Photoshop, for the sake of sheer convenience and multimedia capabilities all in one simple, user-friendly program, I love it. Just like I'm loving some of the new add-ons I've installed to Firefox. One in particular that I think all of you should add is adblockerplus assuming you haven't already. It will stop any and all unwanted ads from appearing in your web browser, including but not limited to those on sites like Facebook.

Thank you to my dear Ahren for bringing these cool features to my attention.

And to all you readers (which hopefully you are reading the actual blog and not just the Facebook note RSS which loses things like links and videos *hint HINT*) I'll work on getting something creative up for tomorrow's entry.