Saturday, September 30, 2006

Unrequited Love...

I watched Closer tonight, and one scene struck me. When Clive Owen is telling Natalie Portman that he loves her...when he's only met her once. She doesn't love him, she doesn't even know him.

I began to wonder if one can love someone--truly--if that person doesn't love you back. If you do happen to fall in love with someone who doesn't return your love, are you really in love with that person, or just an ideal? I don't think it would be pleasant or even useful to love an fact, it seems almost as fruitless as declaring war on an ideal.

Unfortunately, love, like politics, lends itself to such flights of passion where even the most rational and thoughtful person finds himself alone, pining for what he cannot have.

And so, I throw myself into books and photos and art and music and try to fill the void with artificial emotions of the artists who share those feelings I cannot or do not get elsewhere...thus, Closer.


I just awoke from a nap where I dreamed that I was in Las Vegas looking at the water works in front of the Bellagio. I bumped into Barbara Boxer, who I told how much I appreciated the work she was doing, and then she and I had drinks on the strip talking about politics. She asked if I was a lawyer yet (apparently, she knew I want to go to Law School) and I explained that I still had to go into the army before I could go to Law School. She rolled her eyes and seemed dissapointed. Then she told me to hurry so I could help out.

Subs, Beer and Friends...

Last night we had a company party down at the train station. There were some good people there, and I wore a tie. (For those who are curious, it was a skinny brown tie from the sixties. I don't think it looked very good on me, but I like wearing ties.) There were some long subs from subway (which I don't approve of) and a keg. Someone brought an I-pod that was overloaded with shitty emo music I don't like, but eventually, Weezer played and I felt at home.

Weezer reminds me of basic training. When I was deprived of music, I would hang out with my friend Steve, one of my roommates and best friends. We would run and sometimes sing Weezer songs. We imagined ourselves standing in a park, barefoot and barbecuing listening to Weezer. It got us through the hard times. I remember being at the rang, in the mud and rain and laying on my stomach wearing plastic pants and a top. The clothing didn't do much to protect from the rain and was so hot you'd be drenched in your own sweat anyway. I'm not one of those people who loves to be muddy and dirty and the novelty had, by that point, already worn off. As I lay there, Steve says, "you know Harmon, you're my best friend." and I replied, " too." I think we had known each other a week or two, at most, but it was, and is, true.

Funny how the army works like that. I've met my best friends in the army, Adam, Steve, and James in equally simple situations, but we've stayed good friends and close friends ever since.

Two nights ago, I gave an inbrief to the incoming prep school class (USMA '11). They asked all the same questions I did when I came, about how close they would be when they were here, would they see their old friends, how much freedom would they have, is it hard, what's the hardest part etc. I found it hard not to laugh...not at them, but at myself. The last five years have flown by, and yet, here I am, worried to holy hell about the next five. You'd think that 26 years into this game, I'd understand the rules a little better.

You'd be wrong.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Grand Ol' Party...or Gay?

So...another Republican Congressman has been outed. After being alerted to emails and IM's he sent to 16 yr old male pages, Congressman Foley (R-Fl) and his staff responded with:
Foley's office acknowledges that Foley wrote the e-mails to the young man but says they were completely innocent and that Foley is at most guilty of being "too friendly and too engaging" with young people.

Now, two days later, when more IM conversations and emails surfaced with explicit references to sex, Foley has resigned and apologized saying,
"I am deeply sorry and I apologize for letting down my family and the people of Florida I have had the privilege to represent."

While that's all nice and fine, I wonder if he is going to the thousands or millions of gay people in Florida who have lived under the rule of Republican lawmakers making them feel like second class citizens, denying them the right to raise children and marry...something tells me the answer to that is no.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Follow On...

Not to dwell too long on my Zach Braff post of earlier, but I've been thinking it over some more. I remember when I first saw Garden State and thought it was good, my friend Kevin Kirby said he would see it based upon my reccomendation although his sister said it wasn't good. I was nervous--what if Kevin saw it and hated it? That was the first time, I believe, that I took pause to re-evaluate the movie. Why did I like it was a question I had to ask myself. Then followed the stinging indictment of Meggers, Kevin's sister; it was the same as every other crappy romance movie-boy meets girl, girl changes boy.

Could making a crappy romance movie be that simple? I didn't want to believe it since I considered myself to be an above average viewer with above average tastes. I came back to my collection of movies only to find myself dissapointed. In looking over my collection, quite a few could be deemed as nothing more than that--boy meets girl, girl changes boy.

Here is the list of movies I have which, when stripped down, offer nothing more than that:
  • Harold and Maude
  • Punch Drunk Love
  • Say Anything
  • As Good as It Gets

I think there are more...those are off the top of my head. Oh sure, those are some pretty good versions of the theme...but still, how could I have missed something so simple?

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Comments by my drunk female friend in the presence of Tim, Cody, Chris, and myself;
  • I've cried every night this week.
  • I won't go on a blog!
  • All I hear is blah blah blah orgy orgy orgy...
In her defense...she had drunk a margarita and a half...


I'm sure most of you have already seen this, but I thought I'd post it anyway. It's a screen capture from of Newsweek this week from Europe, Asia, Latin America and the US.

(The cover, for those who can't see, of the first three reads, "Losing Afghanistan")

In strangely related news...I'm still reading about the Supreme Court and Richard Nixon.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Revelation...Probably wrong, but still...

I had an anthropology trip to New Jersey today. I've always thought I'm an open minded person, particularly when it comes to religion. I tend to think all religions have some amount of truth...more truth, in general, than not.

Today, we spent half the day with Coptic Christians and half with Muslims. We had lunch with the Christians and dinner with the Muslims. We broke the fast and sat in on two prayer sessions. I know this isn't what most people would expect me to say, but it's what I came away from it thinking...

I'm a devout Humanist I think. Agnostic, Atheist, Humanist...whatever. After hearing so many people justify so many illogical things and talk about history and politics and faith in ways that all used the same (lack of) logic to justify themselves, I couldn't help but think that it was all somehow an exercise in how much we, humans, can believe whatever we want.

They both (along with cadets who were telling me about their own religions and how their religions were superior) would distill their teachings to the essence, which always came down to "be good to people" or "love one another." And that all sounded great...then they'd get into the minutiae of what God apparently expected...wear this, don't eat that, say this...stand here, face that way...or worse, the patently wrong things, "well...women should..." or "once you're married..." etc. It just made me want to throw my hands up in disgust and say, "but what about the love and acceptance you just talked about?!"

And yet...I still feel pulled to religion, after all that. I can't pass a Catholic Church without wanting to go in for a minute, see the Tabernacle, or a synagogue without thinking of the great sound of prayer in Hebrew, or see a Buddha without feeling peaceful. Such is life I guess...a series of contradictions.

I remember my priest telling me that being baptized Catholic was like being a fish caught on a hook. You might not know you're hooked, and might swim far, far fact, God could let out enough slack you don't even know it's there any longer. But, at some point, he's going to yank, and you'll feel it...and he'll pull you in again.

Maybe that's what I feel sometimes...the tug.

Saturday, September 23, 2006


Beau...Tim...Nina...I think I drive everyone to church but myself. Well...maybe it's like the know, points for recruiting?


Tonight, after an uneventful day and a night drinking with Tim, I came back to heat up a generously offered piece of pizza. I put it on a paper towel and into the microwave...and I thought of three things.
  1. As the pizza spun, I realized that while I know nothing about math, the way the paper interacted with the walls of the machine was fascinating. Something tells me the corners made parabolic arches against the sides...but, the paper was pliable enough that it didn't crease or just moved in interesting wave patterns across the inside of the microwave heating me my dinner.
  2. I remebered growing up, when we'd put popcorn in the microwave, slightly after the Jiffy Pop era...and we'd watch it pop. My mom would remind us that we could lose our eyes if we watched it pop (because of the radiation).
  3. I thought of watching it pop from our kitchen, which had a nook overlooking the living room. There were wood beams running parallel to myself, perpendicular to my view, all the way to the brick fireplace. The rust colored carpet gave our house a very seventies feel. I remember, vaguely, removing the carpet and putting in tiles (I still cringe when I hear terra cotta rubbing against terra cotta). I remember thinking, even then, about how important a home was, and how much I couldn't wait to build my own.

We'll see about childhood dreams.

Garden State...

I watched it...and thought I liked it...then I watched it again, and's not that good. Sure, sure, I could just be jumping on the anti-Zach Braff bandwagon, but seriously, what is the movie about? Anyway, here is a video Slate linked to that made me laugh:

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Good News...

Despite the fact I just found out some bad news about school, there is good news. I just received the following information via email I'm very excited about:

Hey Adam,
I just wanted to inform you of a new campaign I am starting, aimed primarily at you. This would be the Madison, Wisconsin Awareness Campaign, designed to get my closest coast-dwelling friends to easily recognize the existence and location of the city I live in. Through this campaign, I will try to routinely bring you bits of information about Madison that I hope will relate to your life.

Today, I bring you the Freedom from Religion Foundation, a group based in Madison that works nationwide for the separation of church and state. Though I can't really call myself an atheist, I value the efforts of group and think you probably will too.
More later

I'm strangely excited to learn about this "Madison"

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Anyone want to see this with me?

My Friends are So Cool...

Back when Al and I had the Chrismakuh Party at my house, my roomate Mikey came back home with me to celebrate. Before the party began, he asked me what he should expect of my friends. I thought about James and Chuck, Alex and Claire and Heath, Dan, Bonnie and some others, and I realized they had little to nothing in common other than...well, I liked them. So, I told him, the only thing he can really expect of my friends is they'd have nothing in common other than I thought they were cool and that was enough to enjoy their company.

Last night, my friend Tim read some of Al's blog and seemed pleased. I smiled as I realized that my friends really are some of the best people I know. Moreover, I can look around and see remanants of you all around me. Murakami-Mikey, Water resource books-Al, Temecula Valley Flight School T-shirt-Tanner, Russian belt buckle-Adam. So maybe I am just a hodge-podge of those who I've met before, but...I like to think I took the best of you all with me.

Monday, September 18, 2006

li'l brudder

If you don't know what this is, you're living a sad sad existence.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Rumsfeld Again...

So here's a quote from a radio interview he just did:
The fact of the matter is - if Saddam Hussein were still in power in Iraq, he would be rolling in petrol dollars. Think of the price of oil today. He would have so much money. And he would be seeing the Iranians interested in a nuclear program, he would be seeing the North Koreans developing a nuclear program, and he’d say well why shouldn’t he - and he would. So we’re fortunate that he’s gone.

Ha ha...that's great. So, gas prices go up, partically because we invade Iraq, and the high gas prices are a justification for the war? Interesting.

Thursday, September 14, 2006


We found out today that a girl from the class of '05 died in Iraq. It's wierd...I know I'm being self centered instead of sad...but I can't help but think about the fact that she was where I was, right now. Now she's's crazy.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Got Hair?

So, I went to the barbershop where a very quiet lady with big bangs and long black hair was taking about fifteen minutes per person. I didn't have class for four hours, so, instead of making an appointment, I figured I'd just wait...bad idea. I waited two hours. When I finally got to sit down, the nice quiet lady said, "How'dyalikeit?" I think that's what she said, at least, that's the question I answered. Apparently, that's not what she asked because my reply of "one and a half on the sides, trim the top and leave it long enough I can spike it up" translated in her head as "Skin on the sides, high and tight." Yes, I have a high and tight. No, I didn't want it. How do I look? Like an a huge asshole.

The thing about high and tight haircuts is, you can't wear civilian clothes without looking like a moron. I dress well...but nothing I wear is going to make me look like less of an asshole. The wost part is, I look like I am getting chemotherapy if I wear a hat, so, there's no hiding this horrendously bad haircut. I'll get my roomate to take pictures of it so you can all see what an asshole I look like. Until then, see these demonstrations:

(oh, the one on the bottom was voted "Chicago's best high and tight" for this year)

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Living in Art Instead of Life...

A long time ago, man would listen in amazement to the sound of regular beats in his chest, never suspecting what they were. He was unable to identify himself with so alien and unfamiliar an object as the body. The body was a cage, and inside that cage was something which looked, listened, feared, thought, and marveled; that something, that remainder left over after the body had been accounted for, was the soul.

Today, of course, the body is no longer unfamiliar: we know that the beating in our chest is the heart and that the nose is the nozzle of a hose sticking out of the body to take oxygen to the lungs. The face igniting but an instrument panel registering all the body mechanisms: digestion, sight, hearing, respiration, thought.

Ever since man has learned to give each part of the body a name, the body has given him less trouble. He has also learned that the soul is nothing more than the gray matter of the brain in action. The old duality of body and soul has become shrouded in scientific terminology, and we can laugh at it as merely an obsolete prejudice.

But just make someone who has fallen in love listen to his stomach rumble, and the unity of body and soul, that lyrical illusion of the age of science, instantly fades away.

(My favorite piece of art combined with a quote from a book I'm reading. I thought of this picture as I read the book)

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

I Remember...

Years ago, maybe nine or ten, I was in a play in Fallbrook, Grease to be exact. I didn't know anyone in the cast and didn't really fit in all that well (suprised?), but there was this girl who really took a liking to me. I don't know why...I was kind of (very) awkward and not very nice either. She wrote me a note one day with these quotes on it that were very cliched and kind of immature it seemed to me, such as:

People are angels born with only one wing, so to fly, we have to hold on to one another.
Shared joy is twice as joyful and shared burdens half as light.

There were more I can't remember right now. I didn't think much of the letter and didn't talk to her anymore (such is my style).

I would probably give anything to get a note like that right would be nice to know that someone cared about me like that. (This isn't, please, a cry to have a billion comments on this blog about how you personally care about me, that's not the fact, I know Claire cares about me, she posted a birthday blog!...but I think you all understand the difference)