I think I’m brushing up against the singularity. I’ve been more or less hard-wired into the internet since I was 12 and I presently have 40(!) tabs open in my browser, so I guess it was bound to happen eventually.

This morning I visited the original Prancercise video again for some unfathomable reason, only to have my coworker link me to this takedown of the new “Romancercise” John Mayer music video not five minutes later.

Today also saw a bunch of reports of Paula Deen allegedly being a racist jerkass, which made me feel more than a bit weird about inexplicably zoning out on a bunch of her more ridiculous videos last weekend.

Confirmation bias tells me I’m mentally tapping into the zeitgeist. Soon I will be able to predict the near future, but in this modern Cassandra myth, I’ll only be able to convey the truth in memes.

I’ve already been mentally drafting my last several days as a post in the style of interactive fiction, which is kind of an ongoing fixation of mine because I never really got over Choose Your Own Adventure books. How I imagined it would begin:

You wake up. It is still dark outside. You don’t dare check the clock for fear of spending the rest of your precious sleep time thinking about how little of it you have left.


You manage to fall asleep again, only to wake up an hour or so later. It’s still dark. Also, why does your bladder think you’re pregnant?


You do, but you wake up again. Your cat sighs and rolls over in her sleep.


Haha, no, fuck you.

There’s a good reason I didn’t see the whole thing out. No one wants to read Kafka’s LiveJournal.

(I should probably get around to trying to write real IF. I should be able to figure out how to use Twine, if nothing else.)


I realize this entry is incoherent. If anyone hopes for better, tell my brain to figure out how melatonin and serotonin work. (Good luck with that!) Alternately, blame it on the interwebs destroying my attention span.


The lights that stop me

The rumors of Chicago’s devastation at the hands of a mighty derecho seem to have been somewhat overstated. Of course, we got sent home from work early and I’ve been holed up in my apartment all evening with the blinds closed, so I may not be the best person to ask about it. No trees have come flying through my window, though.

Raging thunderstorms like the one tonight are one of my favorite things about summer in the Midwest. Sure, we had them back home in California but not like here, where the ground seems to shake, the windows flash like cameras, and the car alarms all go off. I remember one time during my first summer here when I was riding down Butterfield Road in a car with my ex and saw lightning strike the road no more than 50 yards away. Part of my love for it all may be nostalgia for my early days here, when I was exhilarated by my newfound adult freedom and the new territory. It seemed like anything could happen.

Fireflies are another powerful symbol of those days for me. I had never seen one until my first night here, when one was briefly caught for me to examine up close. The memory’s a bit tainted now in hindsight, but the novelty’s never worn off. Lately, I’ve been scanning the patches of grass in my neighborhood for signs of their return.

One of the most stunning things I think I’ve ever seen was on the drive back from Pontiac one Fourth of July. There was lightning off in the distance, fireflies were milling around the fields, and we passed a new firework display with every town. The lights have all burned themselves into my brain like afterimages, I think.

Anyway, I’m tired and not thinking straight. Gratuitous poetics!

Now we are (twenty)six

Today is my twenty-sixth birthday. In accordance with my continued aging, my back has decided to throw itself out. While I was napping. No, I don’t know how that works.

Passing the midpoint of my twenties has forced me to confront the fact that I kind of expected to be a lot farther than I am now. There are days when it feels like the only things I’ve really accomplished with my life are not being dead and having a lot of bizarre, awkward stories to tell at parties. I guess those are both important in their own way, but I seem to have sidestepped a lot of the milestones that people my age tend to have passed. I realize it’s unproductive and frankly a bit stupid to worry about these things, since life isn’t one-size-fits-all, but I do get pangs of guilt when I see someone my age (or younger) who’s so much better and more successful than I am at the things I care about. I feel as if I’ve wasted a lot of time holding myself back.

This past weekend I was Netflix-surfing and decided to finally start watching Stephen Fry in America. I started with the “Mississippi” episode, wanting to see where he would go and what he would say about my adopted hometown of Chicago. (I am fiercely vain about this city.)

In the episode, he hits a lot of the expected landmarks: blues clubs or their former locations, Second City, the Sears Tower. He also goes to The Weiner Circle, much to my delight and sympathy. While he’s there, he has a conversation with a couple of Second City cast members and says what I imagine are the wisest words ever spoken at that establishment. (Granted, that’s not a high bar to clear given the usual throng of late-night drunks. Every time I’ve been there I’ve witnessed either sexual harassment or property damage. Still, wise words indeed.)

“If, from the vantage point of my elderly position of a fifty-year-old, I can offer any advice, it is that it is never too late. That the idea that the door closes and – “oh gosh, I’m already thirty, nothing’s happened” – that’s complete nonsense. Actually, almost the reverse is true.”

Serendipitous timing. I’ve been taking those words to heart. Hell, I’ve got years until I even hit thirty, something my friends on the other side of that line never cease to remind me of. I just need to make every day count. But, you know, not beat myself up over it.

Good luck with that, me!