Tag Archives: random journals

It’s perhaps only the changes from then to now that seem interesting

5:51 A.M. (smartphonetime).

Whatever year it is — 1999, 2018, or, presumably, 1871 — things around you will seem boring when compared to, say, things in books — fic or nonfic. I mean, I have an interest now in building a picture of Rochelle circa 1871but there probably wasn’t actually much that happened in that year, and even less that happened on any particular day (I mean, maybe things seem more hectic now because we have more media telling us more problems from more places — well, and the madness of the president — in this day and age, huh?). So, it’s perhaps only the changes from then to now that seem interesting — fast-forwarding through all the changes from 1871 to 2018 — that would seem like a lot has happened. Surely it would seem that way if you fast-forward through time like that.

[From journal of Thurs., 27 Sept. 2018, Journal 284, pages 161-2]

Once the lust boils off

I watched a clip of J. Kimmel, where he shows a bit of minor squabbling between Judic. Comm. Chair Grassley and Ranking Member Feinstein, and Kimmel’s comment is, how long have those 2 been married? And that prompted the thought that people in long-term marriages might squabble — [I asked [Uncle] Glenn where he wanted to go and he said something about having learned to be a good husband and agree to whatever is suggested to him.] — as if that initial glee of first love, of new love, always curdles into minor annoyance — and maybe it does. I mean, as a general trend. And maybe that’s OK — that hopefully there’s some good companionship left once the lust boils off.

[From journal of Mon., 1 October 2018, Journal 284, pages 237-238]

This place has become more normal for me

Show went very well. I’m becoming more accustomed to speaking on the radio and not sounding dumb or nervous.

[Roommate] was an asshole today — talked on the phone at 10 this morning, while I was trying to sleep. I was mad, but I didn’t say anything — why start an argument now? And I didn’t feel like spending all the energy arguing takes.  

Read some more of Life 101 — what a great book. It’s like the authors took their ideas about life and put them in a book. 

Called mom around 2. Told her that I’ve been thinking about who I am and who I want to be.  

I feel pretty happy lately. I’ve been troubled, of course, but overall I’ve felt contented. My sense of humor seems to be back, and I’ve had an easy time talking to people lately. This place has become more normal for me.

Also, I’ve been thinking about who I am and what interests me, who I want to associate with, etc. I think I’m a fairly intellectual, mature person. Not that I want to script myself into being just intellectual (and therefore stuffy), but I do like to read, like to learn, and like to discuss issues. I also like spending time with other similarly intellectual people, rather than uninformed hillbillies like [roommate], for example.  

I also don’t drink. I thought about it the other day — the pros and cons of drinking. I came up with 8 cons, 2 weak pros. I know I don’t want to drink, so why even try it? I know it’s detrimental to my health, studies, extra currics, mind, etc., so why do it?

That’s why I don’t, and I don’t associate with people who do. There is still a little part of me that keeps telling me that alcohol isn’t that bad, go ahead and try it, but my intellect and reason always intervenes.  Not to say that I’ll never drink, but I don’t feel a real need to drink any time soon.

Both of these reasons say to me that I’m different from the crowd, I’m an individual. Not that we all aren’t, but my intellect and beliefs seem much different from other peoples’.

I never really thought about it before, but I guess I really am different.

I also told mom about how the Todd guy from tennis thought I was much older than I am. That’s funny — other people see you so differently than you see your self.

Worked on this journal. Read some SS318. Went over to house after dinner to watch Superbowl. I told Chad I didn’t think I was going to call Kasey for a while, and he thought that was a good idea. [Chad’s girlfriend] Trish thinks Kasey is just leading me on. Oh, well. I’ll just play it cool and see what happens.

[Journal of Sun., 31 January 1993]

Overwhelmed by looking at the 3 years ahead

Made oatmeal.  No instructor (again) in tennis.  Had to play w/ John Who Tries Too Hard To Win.  SS318 test moved till next Wed.  Didn’t finish logic homework.  Went downtown and got broom, knee and elbow pads, and cheap helmet [for intramural broomball].  Got all for less than I thought, about $50 total.  

I tried talking to [roommate] — went well.  I’m looking for a new room.  We may both move, or not. I don’t know.  

Called home. Did calc and caught up on this [journal].  I should do this more often, so I don’t forget important stuff.

Mom and I talked a lot about why I’m unhappy here when I was home. Most of her suggestions had to do with having a positive mental attitude and looking for the best in people, situations, etc. I’ve been depressed last two days, but I’m going to try harder when things get back to normal.  Speaking of normal, … I’m still considering transferring. Right now, I just feel overwhelmed by looking at the 3 years ahead of me. I don’t know.  I guess I’ll just stick around for this and next year, then see.

[Journal of Monday, 4 January 1993]

I saw this morning the Harman-Ising cartoon “To Spring”

I saw this morning the Harman-Ising cartoon “To Spring” (1936, Wikipedia says). I saw it once before in recent months. The old dude underground singing “Time for spring, time for spring,  it’s time for spring, I say” and waking up … the people (humanoids? humunculi?) who mine and refine color underground to make color in spring.

I also saw an art style I like — flowers just written with a color outline [in a different cartoon] …

I’m looking at Wikipedia article for “To Spring,” released 4 June 1936, with Elmore Vincent credited as “Troll.”* Wiki also said this was “the first cartoon to be directed by the future cartoon giant William Hanna” — and Wiki does call the workers “gnomes” — but I feel bad for them having to do this hard labor.

*Or maybe this credit was from a non-Wiki source on my Google search. This is credited to E. Vincent by Imdb.com. Dude has a credit as Doc Appleby on Dukes of Hazzard (1982), and as Floyd in Little House sur la Prairie and as neighbor in Beloved Infidel (1959).

[From journal of Sat., 6 Nov. 2021, Journal 350, page 84-85]

So, we left here 1 p.m.-ish Saturday

So, we left here 1 p.m.-ish Saturday and went to see cat [at M’s office], then went through McD drive-thru in Genoa [Illinois]. M was treating herself a bit. And what else? Oh, so got to Algonquin Commons [in M’s parents’ town of Algonquin] about 3. M met her dad at DSW while dog and I walked around parking lot and west on County Line Road to Boyer Road, past condos and back, and met M & her dad at car at 3:30 (I think my time line’s right here) and then we stopped and I bought $100+ at Trader Joe’s and then to Crystal Lake and I walked Sammy around that strip mall — past Bed Bath & Beyond, etc. At Algonquin Commons, Sam pooped near a retention (detention?) pond and when he walked by the first auto-slide-open door, he got startled, but less so after that first one — and he wanted to go into these opened doors.

Got to E___’s just after 4:30 for pepper-dip and to open a few gifts between M____ & E____’s family and ours — and to drink some of the old grape-peach juice M’s mom had given to Elena how long ago, Elena didn’t know. Then about 6, to [M’s parents’] casa, next to Russians next door having barbeque. And Sam and I walked past several other dogs being walked — two had red flashing lights on collars. About 9, K___ and her fiancé A____ show up. He’s 2 years older than us, and he went to U of I. He’s a programmer at B_________ [company] and he’s been working on his stand-up since January. He’s done 12 performances.

Maybe, it just now strikes me, my generation will take a while to get going. Some like Steph Meyers (aged 38, she recently aged to that number) will become notable early — others, later. I mean, we’re not having kids that young.

Blerg — there’s danger of generational generalizations ahead. M said K___ said she and A___ are trying to have kids. The live in Lower East Side, near Chinatown, in Manhattan. They live above a Chinese restaurant, a real restaurant for Chinese, where the menu’s not in English. And we chatted 9 ’til after 11, dropped M’s dad at mall to get truck, home 1 a.m.

The Loot report: perhaps fewer things than other years, but same value? One: a little decorative tree with nine crisp 50-dollar bills attached to it. A 10th had fallen off upstairs (there was talk among M’s family that Matt would be angry. Matt was more astounded and Matt was tired but mostly Matt kept that to himself). We had Chinese food delivered about 7 and Mrs. wanted to transfer the food out of trays into bowls.

[From journal of Sun., 25 December 2011, Journal 150, page 76-78]

Funny, how, now that I’m teaching, I’m supposed to have ideas about what’s best for my students

Funny, how, now that I’m teaching, I’m supposed to have ideas about what’s best for my students to learn, what it is they need, etc. They also have ideas about what they need. It’s possible none of us is exactly right. Likely their ideas are very far from mine — they don’t know what the world (college) holds. I at least have an idea, and a fairy recent experience at college, and yet …

Truly education is so broad. In Rockford Register-Star today, columnist Dale Dauten says, “People who go to college tend to have ambition and a tolerance for bureaucracy, and to come from backgrounds where they are born into opportunities and connections.” That’s key — part of college is in just getting used to/learning to operate in a bureaucracy. Fits in my recent theory (inspired by [my friend] Doug) how much current society looks like feudal society — corporations are the lords, individuals pledge loyalty and service to the corporation, etc. — and the university is where people learn to live within that structure: gaining the ability to be obedient and to please others and to learn the code of behavior — formal dress, interview skills, writing a resume, etc.

Yet of course education can happen anywhere — and as the book “E=Me2” (I started Friday & finished Saturday) points out, most revolutionary (as opposed to evolutionary), new-paradigm ideas come from people who somehow have an outsider, alienated influence on their perceptions. That is, they simply think about things differently than those people who are cultivated from within the system. Example: how Faraday’s religious perspective helped him imagine magnetic fields — not that he was right, but that this different perspective allowed for unique ideas.

Graded papers for 3 hours this afternoon; didn’t even get caught up with last week’s papers. The grading seems overwhelming, monolithic — maybe should be grading tonight but trying to get to bed early so that I can start the week refreshed —

Something I had no idea about before I started teaching (except for R__ I__’s comment last spring that I won’t have any time to do unique lessons but once a quarter or so): how much what happens in classes is not driven by what’s best for the students but it’s driven by what’s feasible: what is practical with 28 students, what can the overworked teacher handle, etc. I’m starting to see why teachers use multiple-choice tests — not because they are the best assessment tool but simply because they are practical — they’re easier to grade than essay tests, which might be more revealing, and certainly simpler to prepare and to evaluate than are projects/performance assessments. No one should be under the illusion that tests reflect real learning, or even that grades do. Here I am now, a teacher, giving grades, and yet I know these reflect primarily amount of work and innate talent, and only secondarily reflecting actual amount learned, ideas changed, etc. I admit that. Yet that’s the system I’m in — can’t change everything in a day.

[From journal of Sunday, 21 Oct. 2001, Journal 33, pages 80–82]

There’s a tendency to be profound, or to want to seem profound

There’s a tendency to be profound, or to want to seem profound, not all the time in my writings but in these ISS journal-writings, anyway. But there’s no need. I mean, no moment needs to be any more profound than any other. I’m tempted to say profundity is just a mood, an attitude, like any other mood/tone/attitude that a text writer could take — maybe acknowledging the writer

([student] R__ V___ just asked if he can get a 5-minute break “because we’ve been writing so much” [the in-school suspension punishment includes hand-copying rules from the student handbook] — [student] C___ S____’s been writing all hour, but R___ didn’t get here and start writing ’til 10-12 minutes ago.)

(Papa had his sleep test yesterday — Monday–Tuesday morning, he said. He said he didn’t go to sleep Monday night ’til —no, he woke up about 11 and stayed awake, thinking of all he’s gotta do, he said: get his driver’s license renewed, work on an old truck of Eric’s that Papa and Bruce will share, etc.)

[continued from the end of the first paragraph above] that profoundity (yes, profundity) is better when it seems something innate to the writer or the text, and not a choice.

[From school journal of “Weds., I think, 21 Sept. 2016, 2:03-04 p.m., In-School Suspension Room C105, ISS-labeled pencil,” Journal 238]

I haven’t been on a first date in over a year

It is just disappointing, though — here I am, lots of women, at college, my last year of college, and heading out to Montana next year where there are even fewer women, and [I have] no woman, not even any leads. 

[Roommate] Dave and I were sitting on the balcony last night, watched First Floor Sarah in a nice dress come out and get into some guy’s small convertible. Dave saw them come back and he said it looked like a 1st Date — no kiss, she got out after a little while and went inside, he turned up the radio and roared off (feeling manly and happy, I suppose — I would be if I were him). Wow, I said when Dave told me, a 1st Date. Must be nice. Hell, even a second or 3rd Date would be nicer. I haven’t been on a first date in over a year. F***, that’s depressing. Women all around and nary a drop to drink. 

[From journal of 30 June 1995, Journal 10, which journal entry starts with “8:30 p.m., Garcia’s [Pizza] on Wright [Street, Champaign], 2nd floor, behind the tomato [outdoor sign]”]

Nobody owes an explanation of one’s own life to anyone else

Nobody owes an explanation of one’s own life to anyone else. Nobody has to write an autobio. Of course, most people who do write one do it for the money, but my point is more about existence, and how it’s perfectly fine to live one’s life in obscurity because, well, a life isn’t really for the writing — it’s for the LIVING of it. Duh. And — and this is vague — but I’ve also been thinking lately that it doesn’t matter to get things about one’s life into the media. I don’t need my photos to be widely seen — I don’t need weird trivia about my life (my favorite show, say) to be out there in public. I don’t need to give interviews. I don’t really need to present my life — my physical or experiential life — for others to see, when I’m already sharing what I want to share: my life-as-written, my writing-life — my mind-on-page. I don’t need to tell anybody what pens or paper I use. None of that matters to anyone else’s experience. I mean, sure, a little — after I read that the Mamet writer used Clairfontaines, I got some of those Frenchy notebooks — and they’re good, sure, but they also don’t matter. It doesn’t matter that I make my own journals, or that I use Google Docs instead of Microsoft Word. It doesn’t matter what I wear, drive, watch on TV — none of my opinions matter! And that’s wonderfully freeing. Sure, it’s OK to write my opinions into my journal writings, and, yes, those opinions may then see the light of publication, but not because they’re vital. I’m not gonna post those things to my Facebook profile or to my blog. None of the particulars of what I do matters — the writings are enough. Don’t turn my house into a museum. Life moves on — see my house as YOUR house! Don’t look at my relics — look at your own things as relics (maybe).

[From school journal of Thurs., 26 Aug. 2021]