discover card wont stop sending me spam letters trying to get me to sign up for a credit card. unfortunately for them they included a business reply mail envelope that they have to pay the postage for when used
Attach the reply envelope to a box of bricks. They pay postage per weight not parcel.
OH MY GOD
The question is, of course, what did you do for your Klondike Bars?
The blank page. Why is a white blank page so intimidating? Perhaps some part of me realizes the empty page holds limitless possibilities. Any mark limits the rest of the page. What comes next is defined by what comes before. What fills the page after the first mark is still limitless, but its infinity is a lesser set than the unmarred page.
Why then does silence not terrify me so? Because I do not create music, spoken poetry, lyrics. What I create begins always as marks on a page. Silence does terrify me, if I’m being honest, but my silences are never absolute. Even in a still room with no external sounds, the tinnitus ringing ensures I have a constant audible companion. When I am able, I banish silence with music, or crowds. Fans or artificial rain sound. Anything.
Are conversations the same? The blank page of the silence in the air. Alone with the thoughts in my head. Echoing. Battling indecision. Should I say this? Is it a good idea? Are any ideas objectively “good” in and of themselves?
Content is king, but content loses meaning without context. Good and Bad are contextual. Hilarity and sorrow too. Context trumps content. But some content touches on an universal, shared context. Lincoln’s speech at Gettysburg is unquestionably powerful, moving. But how does it sound for someone who does not know the context? The same with Armstrong’s words from the moon. “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Remove context, that of a man speaking as he takes the first human steps off our home world and onto another, and the words fairly lose their meaning.
I suppose that’s true of everything though. Every word. Every phrase. Every person.
On my way to dinner tonight, I ran into one of the women who sells me coffee every morning on my way to work. She recognized me first, my thoughts on the first lines I would put on the page when I sat down in the diner. I smiled reflexively, recognizing that I’d seen her before, that I knew her, but I did not slow my walk and couldn’t place her until I sat down and got the words on the page. She was out of context for me. Not surrounded by the environment I’d come to associate her with.
Even the page is not immune. I cannot, now, begin a work of fiction here once I’ve started waxing poetic on context; the page is irrevocably locked on context now. The context of a discourse on context.
Practically, of course, this is not true. Demonstrably. There is nothing preventing me from starting another work in the blank space on this page. Nothing except my self-imposed rules and structures. And thoughts of criticism if I publish this as a whole. And my fears of being unable to find a particular passage before I transcribe these handwritten words.
What’s more intimidating? A blank page, or a page full of context? Either way, once you begin, the rest is easy.
I started reading Looking For Alaska earlier this week, in fits and starts on the bus going to/from work, or while eating lunch, and tonight, just before bed, I got to the part the first half of the book is counting down toward. I’ll avoid spoilers here in case someone who hasn’t read the book comes across this; I know I wouldn’t have wanted the event spoiled for me, even though the book’s been out for a while at this point.
Anyway, so I decided to do a bit of reading before bed, and get to the event around midnight. There’s a very clear delineation in the book between Before and After and I could have put the book down then and gone to sleep. Instead I kept reading, and didn’t stop until I’d turned the last page, fighting back tears, two hours later.
I don’t have anything insightful or meaningful to say. Pudge and the Colonel will stick around in my head for a while as I digest the story.
Suffice it for now to say that I enjoyed the book and found myself altered enough by it to leave my bed and write this, rather than just turning out the light and closing my eyes.
I even spent a bit hunting for an email address for John, so I could say what I’ve said here, or “Thanks,” or something, anything really … But while searching I remembered that one or both of the Green brothers have intentionally obscured contact info like that to deter the fans with border issues and what not, which seems reasonable and I don’t fault them for it. So, Tumblr it is.
- 1: Could you go the rest of your life without smoking a cigarette?
- 2: Are you single/taken/heartbroken/confused?
- 3: What if I told you that you were pretty?
- 4: Ever been told “it’s not you, it’s me”?
- 5: Are you interested in anyone right now?
- 6: What are you looking forward to in the next week?
- 7: Do you want to be single?
- 8: Did you go out or stay in last night?
- 9: How late did you stay up last night?
- 10: Can you recall the last time you realized you liked someone a lot?
- 11: Last three things you had to drink?
- 12: Have you pretended to like someone?
- 13: Have you ever told somebody you loved them and not actually meant it?
- 14: Honestly, has anyone seen you in your underwear in the past 3 months?
- 15: Is it hard for you to get over someone?
- 16: Think back five months ago, were you single?
- 17: What were you doing at 12:30 this afternoon?
- 18: Hold hands with anyone this week?
- 19: Could you go for the rest of your life without drinking alcohol?
- 20: What would you name your future daughter?
- 21: Do you miss anyone?
- 22: Have you kissed three or more people in one night?
- 23: Did your last kiss take place in/on a bed?
- 24: Are you good at hiding your feelings?
- 25: Have you ever cried from being so mad?
- 26: Who did you last see in person?
- 27: Are you listening to music right now?
- 28: What is something you currently want right now?
- 29: What is the last thing you said out lot?
- 30: How is your heart lately?
- 31: Do you wear the hood on your hoodie?
- 32: Are you wearing socks?
- 33: What do people call you?
- 34: Will you talk to the person you like tonight?
- 35: Are there any stressful situations in your life?
- 36: Who did you last share a bed with?
- 37: Did you do something bad today?
- 38: When was the last time a member of the opposite sex hugged you?
- 39: Do you get stressed out easily?
- 40: Will you sing today?
- 41: Have you ever wanted to tell someone something but didn’t?
- 42: Who do you go to when you need to talk to someone?
- 43: Have you ever been taken to the emergency room in an ambulance?
- 44: What are you listening to right now?
- 45: What is wrong with you right now?
- 46: What is on your wrists right now?
- 47: Where did you get the shirt/sweatshirt you’re wearing?
- 48: What do you like better: hot chocolate or hot apple cider?
- 49: Do you make wishes at 11:11?
- 50: Are you a good artist?
- 51: Love really is a beautiful thing huh?
- 52: Do you miss the way things were six months ago?
- 53: Ever been on a golf cart?
- 54: Do you have trust issues?
- 55: Ever stayed up all night on the phone, with who?
- 56: Do you own something from Hot Topic?
- 57: Do you use chap stick?
- 58: Have you ever slapped someone in the face?
- 59: Do you have a little sister?
- 60: Have you ever been to New York?
- 61: Think of the last person who said I love you, do you think they meant it?
- 62: Have you hugged someone within the last week?
- 63: What were you doing at midnight last night?
- 64: Have you ever regretted kissing someone?
- 65: Is there one person in your life that can always make you smile?
- 66: Were your last three kisses from the same person?
- 67: Have you kissed anyone in the last five days?
- 68: Would you rather sleep with someone else or alone?
- 69: Will next Friday be a good one?
Unrelated to anything I have done today, I want to say something on the passing of Neil Armstrong, and that something is expressed best in a quote from the movie of A Prairie Home Companion:
The death of an old man is not a tragedy. Forgive him his shortcomings, and thank him for all his love and care.
Thank you, Neil, for taking that one small step for man and for participating in an extraordinarily dangerous endeavor to further human understanding.
If I may quote again, from Abraham Lincoln this time:
The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.
Somewhat random observation.
My roommate and I went to a housewarming party for a friend tonight, and left fairly inebriated. When we left, we were between busses that would take us from our friends’ to our place, ~30 minute wait, so we started walking
(I may still be slightly drunk as I write this. and by slightly I mean more than slightly. I mean I have to keep correcting simple words like “correcting” and “keep”.)
I noticed we were talkative and animated while walking. But part way we came to a bus stop with ~2 minutes wait for a bus that would get us home. While on the bus we were almost silent, like the rest of the bus. Then as soon as we left the bus, we were back to animated and talkative for the short walk home.
I just thought that was kinda interesting.
do you ever just break out in song when you hear a certain word
reblogged for tags
Reblogging because the sounds of words are weird.
“The sounds as they appear to you are not only different from those that are really present, but they sometimes behave so strangely as to seem quite impossible.”