Monday, October 31, 2005

Miracle Spring Water

I seem to see the most interesting programs from my elliptical machine in the ungodly hours of the morning at the gym. Normally, I amuse myself by watching the guys walk around and lift heavy things. It's generally enough to observe the feather fluffing/mating rituals of the meathead (not that I'm opposed to sweaty muscled men...). Today though, I was in for a treat.

Somehow, someone had tuned the center television to the miracle network. For some reason I was under the impression that miracles were harder to come by, but apparently one can just turn on the tube and there are thousands (LITERALLY thousands) of miracles each day.

"How can I get a miracle for myself," you ask? Why the answer is simple: Miracle spring water. As I understand it, there's some sort of spring "out there" with fountain-of-youth-esque qualities. The people at the miracle network are bottling the water and sending it to you, free of charge!

Did I miss something here? Isn's salvation something that is supposed to be had after a lifetime of pious acts, doing unto others and various "other" whatnot? Admittedly, I'm a skeptic. "Not religious" is a giant understatement. Still, I try to respect the beliefs of others even when I disagree. Miracle spring water is a bit insulting, right? I mean, all you have to do is get a bottle, "add faith" and you're cured of cancer, debt, name it! Doesn't Christianity preach personal accountability? How does drinking a bottle of water and getting a get out of jail free card enforce any of the values touted so heavily?

I suspect that there aren’t too many people who fall for this sort of thing, but I would argue that the few who do are the ones who are the furthest down on their luck. Aren’t these the people who need REAL help? Isn’t false hope ultimately even more damaging? If drinking a bottle of water was the solution, we’d all be doing it. I hate to watch people who could take real action to better their lives lured by the easy solution…the false solution.

You know what tends to be a good plan for solving one's problems? Discipline, logic and a supportive environment. Perhaps we should bottle that.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


It's so obvious that I'm kicking myself for not seeing this sooner. Now, I'm not a linguist, but I'm going to submit a little theory.

Usually we can break words down into their roots and their inflectional endings to derive their meaning. Today, as I was describing how busy my yesterday had been, I wanted to literally say that I was compounding my "busy-ness." I then realized that the correct spelling for this word would be "business."

Correct me if I'm wrong, but that word means something slightly different from what I was attempting to say. Business is the word that we use to describe and define most of our capitalist units. Business describes the place in which the free market gears grind.

But where did the word come from? Is the root of business, busy? Does this mean that when I head to work, my selected career path is literally keeping my plate full, regardless of efficiency or added value? Does anyone have a sledgehammer that I can borrow to hit myself over the head with? ( grammar is going too!)

Why wouldn't we call it something more descriptive of our ideals? Efficiness. Qualiness. Integriness?

Is it possible that whoever named our free market functional units knew exactly what he was doing? It seems likely that in the face of all our insistence on "working to better the world," and "giving back," and "putting out a quality product for the smart consumer" stares the reality that we're just keeping ourselves occupied. The outcry of "I'm swamped!" is simply the proclamation that things are running exactly as they should.

My crazy head

Well, I've just survived another one of my crazy Tuesdays. I'm starting to think that I'm going to lose it. What's funny is how much I love life right now. At the same time, I'm spreading myself just a little bit thin. Allow me to elaborate.

My Tuesdays go a little something like this:

Wake up. Head to Marketing department to grade/collate/key various assignments for the three classes for which I T.A. (yes, T.A. is a verb). Go to class. Go to lunch. Go to class. Go to mandatory career services meeting in which I am the one voice protesting, "There's another way to do this! Business does not have to work this way!" Head home for dinner/practicing guitar for the one free hour of my day. Trapeze class. Practice for band number one. Practice for band number two. Home and bed.

Yesterday's schedule was made worse by my self-imposed quest to get into an undergrad honors creative writing class. I was trekking all over campus trying to figure out who could sign what form to bend the rules and get me into the class. It'll be worth it if I can do it.

So yeah, that's what I'm up to on just about any given Tuesday. I love being in school.

Would anyone like to hire a marketing student who doesn't like to conform, secretly wants to be a rockstar (OK, not so secretly) and indulges herself through writing?

Sunday, October 23, 2005

I'm it.

My assignment (Thank you Jason Evans, author of The Clarity of Night - check him out):

1. Take first five novels from your bookshelf.
2. Book 1 -- first sentence.
3. Book 2 -- last sentence on page 50.
4. Book 3 -- second sentence on page 100.
5. Book 4 -- next to the last sentence on page 150.
6. Book 5 -- final sentence of the book.
7. Make the five sentences into a paragraph.
8. Feel free to "cheat" to make it a better paragraph.
9. Name your sources.
10.Post to your blog.

My result:

(and admittedly, I've cheated and picked 5 books I thought would be interesting. In fairness, they were readily accessible as I've read all of them fairly recently. Also, please, if you don’t want the ending of Cat’s Cradle ruined, please do not read this. The last sentence is probably one of the best, and most revealing, ever.)

Maman died today. It pleased him to set himself outside it, with his little vices and extravagances, as a queer fellow or a genius, but he never had his domicile in those provinces of life where the bourgeoisie had ceased to exist. They were targeted – first by Libyan terrorists, and then by liberal Democrats. Pittman experienced a number of problems, however, and reached only 24,000 feet before turning around. If I were a younger man, I would write a history of human stupidity; and I would climb to the top of Mount McCabe and lie down on my back with my history for a pillow; and I would take from the ground some of the blue-white poison that makes statues of men; and I would make a statue of myself, lying on my back, grinning horribly, and thumbing my nose at You Know Who.

I’ve left the sentences as I found them. The paragraph lacks some basic grammatical elements, but I couldn’t bear to change it. It has a rather comical and surprisingly fitting effect.


  1. Albert Camus, The Stranger
  2. Hermann Hesse, Steppenwolf
  3. Al Franken, Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them
  4. Jon Krakauer, Into Thin Air
  5. Kurt Vonnegut, Cat’s Cradle

I hope you’ve enjoyed!

For anyone who feels like joining, the more the merrier. I'm not one for tagging, but I'd be thrilled to hear about your results. It's an open invitation.

Friday, October 21, 2005


The water had been growing colder and colder as she cut through its black depths. She could see that she was approaching a strange light. It was almost as if she was sensing the light rather than seeing it. Some previously unknown sixth sense revealed itself to her. Now, as she began her final approach, the water started to warm. The pressure of the depth released and she could visualize that the light was actually coming from a very specific point. She reached out with both of her hands and tried to grasp it. Her hand passed through and she found that nothing was there.

That morning she woke with the knowledge that life was her choice. She wasn't like the birds because she had no set path - no pre-destination. She could act as she wished and become as great as she determined. She could change her mind. There was no "should," no "supposed to." She realized that searching for this elusive should would only lead her on a desperate journey through illusion.

She leaned back and inhaled a long, slow breath. She closed her eyes and cleared her mind. This was what freedom felt like.

Monday, October 17, 2005


She opened her eyes into a sea of blue. She realized that she was neutrally buoyant. A few moments and she had adjusted herself. Her breathing was slow and calm. What was strange was that she didn’t float or sink with each respiration. She remained at neutral. A quick look at her hands revealed that she was still human. Her hands went to her face – no mask, no regulator. She was naked and streamlined. Her hair, normally uncontrollable, was a mass of clean ringlets. It was a writhing black fire that screamed what her otherwise reserved demeanor hid.

She felt completely lost, but she knew she had to swim. As she began a slow variation on the breast-stroke she found that her arms and legs were more powerful than ever before. Another quick check yielded no discernable change in her anatomy, yet her strokes moved her at the same pace as the surrounding life. Exhilaration spread through her like a slow heat. She couldn’t intake enough. She glided through coral beds and tailed schools of rays. Their bodies waved like the arms of a bird. In their wake she was a member of their flying “V”. She felt the instinct that she had envied so deeply of the birds overhead. She knew exactly where she was going. She couldn’t understand why or how, but she knew that she had to swim forward.

Her journey took her into the night. She swam deeper and deeper until the sun’s rays no longer lent any color to her environment. She started to register the phosphorescent glow of the bottom dwellers. Plankton swarmed around her head creating a glow that swam with her. From a distance she was a comet with her own tail of light. From even further away, her comet seemed to be speeding towards a light that pulsed from the greatest depths.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Search for North

She often dreamt of rivers.

She wondered how birds knew which way to fly. With the beginning of fall millions of birds soared overhead. No maps, no compasses, no real goal besides warm. It was as if an internal magnet had turned itself and gone from pushing to pulling. Did the polarity of the earth shift? What was this instinct and where did it come from? How could she find hers?

In the spring the same ritual occurred in reverse. Pull turned to push again and the flock filled the air with cries that sounded like laughter. A perfect "V" injecting the lowest clouds with its movement. The swells of the earth went unnoticed in the hypnotic migration.

She wanted to know if they thought. Did they know where they were going before they got there? Did they simply arrive at a place and know that it was home? Maybe they knew where they were going because they lacked any real goal. Was it possible that her need for purpose was actually limiting her movement? She had learned to fly, but sat grounded for fear of choosing the wrong direction.

That night the river emptied her into an ocean. The current abandoned logic and ceased to choose for her.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Breaking Ground

Alright, this is my first try at writing something legitimately (and directly) about me. I've been pondering whether or not it's a good idea for a little while now and I ended up deciding that it couldn't hurt to provide the reader with some insight on this self-proclaimed architect. Of course, the second I assume that there is a reader, I feel like I've been presumptuous. I can't say I'm sure if anyone really reads all of this. I just felt an urge to share and I tend to follow my urges, so here goes.

I started this blog with the purpose of staying creative. I am a graduate business student. I've worked for big corporate America and to put it mildly, it's not a "fit." Being in school has been great, but has also left me stifled on many levels. I've found that large corporations (and B-schools) proclaim thinking outside of the box, but adhere very closely to it in reality (see "Without any regard to the box, whatsoever" for my take on that). I have set out on a path where I will find risk averse, financially driven, game-playing people. I am none of these things. I realize that this will create something of a tough path. I'm up to the challenge, but I realize that changing things from the inside out will require my constant dedication.

True creativity is my goal. Writing is my passion (or maybe more generally - creative arts). I'm seeking to combine the two and by extension say something with purpose...something inspiring. I must confess that this type of writing is rather new to me. I've loved doing it, but you're watching a newborn take her first steps. I'm very pleased to have people along for the ride with me and I sincerely hope I do not disappoint. I aspire to create great buildings. Today, I'm breaking ground.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Taking Liberty

There was something she loved about writing in the third person. The words were somehow more electric, more romantic without the, "I thinks, I dids, I ams." There was a certain anonymity and a distance placed between herself and her actions.

The liked the idea of being narrator to her own life. It added poetry [and a level of literary freedom] to otherwise mundane events. Now she was a character on a page. She might play the part of herione with the world as her damsel in distress. Perhaps she would need saving, but her tragedy could become beautiful.

She could place the perspective of observing herself through the eyes of another into each situation she had experienced. What was left out though, was the agonizing and the obsessing. What blazed true was her action. The internal struggle that led to eventual action dropped away entirely. It was her choice to include some mental process or eliminate any tug of war that she deemed unworthy of sharing. She no longer had to be human. She could elevate herself to goddess or paint herself as a pitiful creature.

Suddenly her experiences seemed newer, brighter, sharper, more exciting and the grass was effectively greener on her own side.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Just a little push

She sat down across from a man old enough to be her father – probably older. There was a static of slight awkwardness to her movements. She had asked him here, not even sure why. It had been pure compulsion…instinct.

He smiled and folded up his paper. They began to talk. She knew that under his demeanor of smooth arrogance (a delicate mix) he was astonished. There was the mutual understanding that they were on to each other.

He told her that she was unapproachable, intimidating and often too powerful for most people to take. She told him that until a certain exchange a week ago, she had all but written him off. The proud admiration of two forces wise enough to recognize one another seemed to pulsate from their corner.

Twenty minutes later she strolled out of the diner. Her head tilted back as she inhaled the moist warm air. Others passed and saw a girl with a lazy smile and a sharp glimmer in her eyes. Her senses were heightened. She could feel her skin tighten as the sun baked it. Moving along, saturated with expectation, she knew that she was on the brink of something great.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Pablo's Eyes

He painted eyes.

Yes, there were other parts, but that was what she saw. The eyes suggested such an intensity and connection that one had to wonder about each and every subject. Had he known them? What past had existed?

These eyes suggested inner torment, longing, the awareness of genius combined with the knowledge that it would be fully recognized by few. These eyes pled with the artist, "See me."

She felt that there had to be some intimate connection to capture a soul so accurately. Pablo's eyes seemed to beg the painter to express for them. Deep colors, exaggerated features balancing despite and because of each other, careful and strong strokes.

Was it possible for two men to have known each other so perfectly? How could he have known Picasso?