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Welcome to the castle.

Make sure to dry off before you come in.

Diary entries archive here.

02/07/2024

Lately I've been feeling "intellectually inadequate'(?), like I'm stupid. For the past couple of weeks I attempted to start Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon. Thirteen pages in and dread washed over me. I had no idea what I was reading. I could vaguely grasp the contours of what was being described, but I never completely understood it. I must be stupid, I thought. Multiple methods were tried: going on literature forums, trying to read equally frustrating reviews, listening to podcasts about the book; none of these helped me in the slightest. So it's to my dismay that I have to give up on Pynchon until I'm a little bit smarter.

late blooming

It's my understanding that Pynchon is an author whose works you read when you around fifteen years old. Sadly, when I was fifteen, I had entirely given up on reading anything. It was a lot more fun to play Minecraft or watch a subpar romance anime. Now that I'm twenty, I've been playing a game of catch-up. Many years of potential learning were squandered with video games and lore videos of game I never played.

I had read before in elementary school. I don't remember whihc grades because most of the years in my past coalesce into a blurry singularity. It was mostly Rick Riordan books, or a required reading of something like Oliver Twist. Now that I'm older and I realize that literature extends past Greek mythology or stories about boyhood, I feel overwhelmed by all the "stuff" that's out there, and I'm even more overwhelmed with the fact that I have no clue how to parse whether all that "stuff" is good or not. I know people who read close to 50 books a year. . . how?

I guess this insecurity I harbor stems from my desire, my envy, to become a reader: a person who reads "stuff," good "stuff," and has an expansive knowledge of the English language to not only understand, but materialize that understanding through articulation, or writing. I guess I also want to become a writer.

yeah yeah, wrap it up

I have to sed all these things from my mind though. I shouldn't want to become something, because being something is all about becoming? God, shut up. Other news: they banned the illegal streaming site I used to watch NBA games so I've been pondering buying the League Pass. I think Jalen Green is starting to hit his stride, though we did have a bit of a stinging loss to the Pacers the other day. I didn't watch it, but Instagram comment sections did have a lot to say about it, and the box score told a story that matched the cries of the mob. Sad that Sengun got snubbed for the All-Star voting.

"Ain't that great to be wanted?" - pharmaceutical rep during lunch today

world happenings

Senate GOP blocks border bill, Democrats shift focus to Israel and Ukraine aid - NPR
3 dead as U.S. drone strike targets Iran-linked militia leader in Baghdad - The Guardian
Netanyahu rejects cease-fire, vows to continue war as Blinken visits Israel - The Washington Post

tunes

01/23/2024

Weeks become slower, duller things. They sort of mesh together, time loses its contours, becoming flat. That's what I think is happening to me; this world is slowly eroding me. I've never been more violent, and yet passive like I have the last how many days.

fall from grace

Yesterday, my Dad told me the Holocaust was a hoax. There was no provocation for him to say it, other than the fact that I mentioned that there was a disruption at a Cornell(?) protest for Palestine by two Zionists, who both used stink bombs as their mode of disruption. He just dropped it on me after that. I didn't really feel shock, or anger, I kind of just let out a sigh. Somewhere in my subconscious I think I was preparing for him to say something like this.

There were signs, for sure. Him having BitChute open on his second monitor while simultaneously watching WWII documentaries. His Christian upbringing. His overtly conservative beliefs. I kind of pushed these to the side though. I thought, well, these are completely normal positions to have, normal things to do. There are plenty of Americans just like him. I should continue to watch Payton Pritchard warmup routines.

However, now that he's reached this point, there's kind of no helping him. He's entrenched in this horse-shit. God, if there were a way to monitor parent's Internet usage. I kind of just have to live with this now. My Dad now holds the same politics as a 14 year old Hispanic kid who just discovered /pol/. It's only a matter of time before he starts posting Kekistan flags on LinkedIn and putting '88' in all his social media handles. Man, they should make parents that never change.

it's been cold in houston

It's been cold in Houston. Gives me an excuse to start wearing my sweaters again. I've taken a notice to how horrific all my clothes look when paired with my body: blocky, disproportionate, kind of stale. I look like I'm inventing the concept of 'outfit'.

I wish things were a lot cooler with me and my coworkers. There's a wall that divides our camps: me and them. There's a natural flow of conversation whenver they talk to each other. Words don't falter, laughs come easily. However, when they come over to my side, it seems like they switch modes, there's another person they have to be when talking to me. I am fully confident in my ability to overthink about this, and I'm sure I am. But the feeling's real, I don't know.

My Pho is getting cold, and the noodles are getting soggy. They should make a noodle that remains healthy and strong, and lives long, lives forever.

world happenings

Donald Trump wins New Hampshire primary but Nikki Haley vows to fight on - Financial Times
President Biden Wins the Democratic Primary in New Hampshire - The New York Times
US carries out airstrikes on Iranian-backed militias in Iraq - CNN

tunes

01/09/2024

The haircut I got from Bree turned out pretty okay. I won't disclose what went down during the haircut, but Bree and I are a lot stronger now. I think they played Back to the Old House by The Smiths four times at Pavement today. And I love the pair of Levi 550's I got.

things are more terrible now more than ever

I bit the bullet and watchedSaltburn by Emerald Fennell. It was a terrible movie. It polluted the social media airways for a couple weeks a while ago. There was no shortage of memes and references and Letterboxd reviews. It seemed like it was a pretty good movie, which is why I was probably more disappointed than ever when the credits rolled.

I'm not going to state a truism or draw a lesson out of Saltburn about how movies like these affect the art form; plenty has been said about that already. There's already a perfect review of the film by Wesley Morris (I'll do you a favor and link the archived article to bypass the paywall). I will say that I wish I had the time to watch more movies. Plenty of the time in my day is swallowed up by work and chores and reading Wikipedia articles. There were days of unemployment... they were swallowed with movies and shows and manga. Aspects of those times were great, the head racking depression was not.

Some comments about Barry Keoghan (Ollie) were made during a post-screening discussion with Bree and some friends. Meg said she thought Barry was sexy; Bree disagreed. I think he's a perfectly normal looking British bloke. His performance in this movie was weird for me. It was good, but I can't help but feel like it was hindered by the character of Ollie himself. There's an obvious confusion and insecurity on Fennell's part of who Ollie is supposed to be. By the end of the movie you don't really learn anything about the why behind his actions. And for an erotic thriller he wasn't that erotic to me. Jacob Elordi (Felix) was tall though.

rugged concrete

I've though about Houston a lot lately, probably too much. This city is suffocating in a subdued way. Though I guess sometimes it's loud--like when a guy on West Loop, probably someone driving a Ford truck of some kind, gets mad at you for not exceeding the speed limit by at least 20 mph. There's really not much to do around here, at least not anything I've found worth staying for in the 20 years I've lived here.

You have an occasional restaurant that's pretty good but a tad bit expensive, a street vendor selling fresh fruit, or Popeye's. It's kind of just food here. Montrose has the most in terms of 'culture,' but a lot of the people there are from Austin or L.A. It doesn't feel particularly Houston-y, it's a pocket town, it's own thing.

Worst part here are the roads. The concrete sometimes juts out in front of you or dips down into the curb. It's rough, like you're driving off-road but on-road. I'd like to drive on smoother roads, please. "What do I pay taxes for?" is what I would say if I were my Dad.

Most days here are plastic. I'm itching to go to a place where there are more trees, more rocks, high skies, no light. Friends are heading to Colorado over the spring, but I can't go because of work. Bummer. That's something I miss about unemployment, other than the depression. Being able to go places whenever I want to would be nice. I got a new pair of earbuds after running through 2 pairs over the course of a year. Hopefully I can make this one last this year.

world happenings

Severe storms sweep the U.S., bringing blizzards, flooding, and high winds - The Wall Street Journal
Appeals court judges appear skeptical of Trump presidential-immunity argument - Los Angeles Times
ELECTION 2024 ~ Violent political threats surge as 2024 begins, haunting American democracy - The Washington Post

tunes

wiki article today

Our Lady of Charity (Latin: Nostræ Dominæ Charitatis) is a celebrated Marian title of the Blessed Virgin Mary venerated in many Catholic countries. Various similar Marian images can be found in Cuba, France, Italy, Mexico, the Philippines, Spain and the United States of America.

01/04/2024

I spend the few hours I have before work to watch NBA clips from games this past week. Bean is begging me to let her out of the room, scratching up my door. Damian Lillard drives to the paint and launches off the floor, slamming a filthy poster dunk with his left hand. Bean continues to scratch. The commentators are marvelling at how beautiful that poster dunk was. They show a slow motion replay. God, I can't do anything with my left hand. Bean won't stop scratching. So I let her out.

king and queen

Sometimes when I watch analytical basketball videos I get bored of the term "field goal percentage." Not because it's not a reliable basketball statistic; it's perfectly fine. When I hear it too many times it irks me.

Bean and Jet Jet (the moggie we reluctantly agreed to cat-sit) spent the better part of the morning tearing into each other. I woke up to their shrill screams and hisses, rolled around for 45 minutes in the comfort of my bed, then decided maybe it was time to break up the fight. Now Bean lives in my bedroom. Jet Jet gets the rest of the house.

Dad seems to hold favoritism towards things that aren't his--maybe other than his children. When it comes to Bean he seems reluctant to take care of her. He only does so because he knows no one else will. I spend most of the day at work and my brother (second oldest to me) doesn't strike me as a caretaker. When it came to Duke, a three-legged german shepard we took care of due to the unfortunate death of his owner, Dad put in the work. He would regularly feed him, give him constant belly rubs, share reading time with him by his side, etc. However for Bean, he tends to forget to feed her. Perhaps it's a deep psychological complex that he needs to be seen by others--people who aren't in the immediate family--as competent. Or maybe he just doesn't like Bean.

what to do?

Sometimes it's hard to come to terms with the fact that most of life is uncontrollable. The generational zeitgeist is one of acceptance: we are too young and too stupid and too unwilling to make change in the world. My Dad is a big fan of BitChute and Gab. If he isn't on the phone with an Indian guy to discuss how to improve fracking analysis software, he's scrolling on either one of those sites. Usually he's reading a post about the imminent Third World Order or something vaccine-related. I always saw him as a reasonable guy. Now I can't help but acknowledge that he's going to be like this for the rest of his life. And what should I do? I'm helpless when it comes to the closest member in my family. How am I supposed to tackle anything else?

I shelf the thought and watch more Payton Pritchard highlights. This guy needs to be on a team where he can get more minutes.

i've got GERD

Over Christmas week I got the flu. I always forget how awful it is to be sick, which is surprising since I get sick so often. However this year it came with GERD. I've been holding down my food for the past week now. It's not pleasant. Right now I'm trying to stomach this oatmeal. John Hopkins says that you should eat high fiber foods--this includes a lot of foods that I don't eat regularly. I don't think I am finishing this oatmeal.

There's a lot of movies that I hope to watch in the coming weeks. Saltburn is one of them, Killers of the Flower Moon is another. I haven't seen them because I haven't been keen on going to the theater. There's too many people, sometimes they get rowdy. If God is repulsed by you he'll send a group of rag tag teenagers to yell mid-witted jokes during the climax. This has happened to me in multiple screenings of some of my favorite films.

I'm trying to get into the habit of not complaining this year. It's proving rather difficult. I'm trying though. I just didn't like knowing that atrocities tenfold the misfortunes I experience happen to millions in countries I couldn't locate on a map--and yet I still had the gall to stomp my foot in the ground and huff and puff. It's that kind of impudence that I find irksome in other people, even more so myself. So whether this GERD is temporary or a lifelong struggle, I'll keep my mouth shut. I've got it pretty good compared to other people in the world.

Anywho, been listening to lots of Wilco. One of my favorite discoveries of the past year. And I think Cam Whitmore should be wedged into the starting lineup and out with Jalen Green.

world happenings

Deadly Iran blasts and U.S. warnings escalate Mideast tensions - Bloomberg
Newly released Epstein documents include big names but few new details - NBC News
Another COVID wave hits U.S. as JN.1 becomes dominant variant - The Washington Post

tunes