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House of Leaves

Posted 6 July 2002, 8.55 pm by Jake

"How in the hell do you write a review for House* of Leaves?"-The Roach

A good question. All I can really do is to outline the basic premise and let you form your own praises/convictions by buying, stealing or borrowing a copy. And by the way, you should listen to Roach and berly when they wholeheartedly recommend this book.

House of Leaves began as a collection of pages on the Internet, and blossomed into this excellent book written by Mark Z. Danielewski.

And so it begins.
A man named Johnny Truant hears from a friend about this old man named Zampano. One day the old man keels over dead, and Truant and his buddy go to the old man's apartment. Inside they find a menagerie of knick-knacks...going along they find deep scratches in the wooden floor..and then they stumble upon it.

A collection of various notes and writings called "The Navidson Record". Based on a few films (appropriately named "Five-Minute Hallway" and "The Navidson Record"), Zampano's Navidson Record tells of the enigma surrounding the house on Ash Tree Lane. It outlines the truths and opinions behind The Navidson Record...It begins as a seemingly regular tale of brooding evil and true fear, but once the text begins to shift and you begin to follow the various footnotes made by Truant and the editors, the book takes on many different meanings. The eccentricity of Danielewski's writing style leaves the book aptly open for imterpretation.

I came to read this book expecting something normal, maybe a bit interesting but nonetheless normal. I began reading it and for some reason could NOT fucking put it down. It intrigued me greatly, and daily I still find myself flipping through the pages, among various Post-It notes, trying to search for the meaning of such-and-such allusion...

Even this review barely scratches the surface of what all House of Leaves contains....it's one of those things you just have to experience for yourself.

So stop reading this, and go fucking buy it.

You owe it to yourself.

*Apologize for not putting the word "house" in blue text as should be done accordingly."

Flogging a Dead Horse

Posted 6 July 2002, 4.36 pm by Berly

It struck me the other day, as I was doing my daily grind at the office. The 8 to 5. My email sprang up, interoffice communication. Was it about a big project? Was it about profits? No, for the last month or so, the most prominent news in our firm has been the birth of babies.

It seems we've had somewhat of a baby boom. There are 14 people in my office of 40, pregnant. If we include the males in the office - who are expecting via their significant others, that number jumps to 22.

It occurred to me, that this is the result of 9/11. For one day at least, getting to the office wasn't nearly as important as being close to people we take for granted. For days after that, the importance of those we love was pushed to the front of our consciousness. For a while, people reconnected - apparently - and got pregnant.

And then I wondered. Is it events like 9/11 that make life worth living? Hold on for a second, don't take that the wrong way. I'm not saying terrorism is great. I'm not saying a baby boom makes me feel all "Hooray!".

We go through our days, numb to "what is really important". But, if we ALWAYS concentrated on "what is really important", would it really be so? Without the numb, without the forced pain, I doubt it would be nearly as sweet.

SMILING

Posted 6 July 2002, 3.43 am by Sickan

WHAT A WONDERFUL SMILE. WHAT A WONDERFUL BEING.
CAN I EVER BE LIKE THAT? CAN I EVER SMILE LIKE THAT?
JUST ONCE I WISH I COULD SMILE LIKE THAT.
WHY IS IT THAT YOU NEVER HATE ANYONE?
HOW CAN YOU LIVE LIKE THAT?
ARE YOU NEVER SICK AND TIRED OF BEING A NICE PERSON?
JUST ONCE I WISH I COULD BE LIKE YOU.

THERE HAS BEEN SO MUCH HURT IN YOUR LIFE.
AND I DON’T EVEN KNOW HALF OF IT.
THEY TREATED YOU LIKE YOU WERE NOTHING
AND YET YOU KEPT ON SMILING – PERHAPS YOU SMILED OF PITY.
YOU WORKED HARD FOR THEM AND THEY NEVER GAVE YOU NOTHING.
YOU WATCHED AS HE BEATED HER UP AND YOU STOPPED HIM – YOU SMILED.

YOU WERE COLD TO THE PERSONS WHO WERE EVIL – BUT NEVER YOU SAID A BAD WORD.
YOU COULD NOT GET YOURSELF TO HATE. PERHAPS YOU CAN AND I DON’T KNOW YOU.
SOMETIMES I LOOK AT YOU AND WONDER – WONDER WHY I WASN'T GIFTED LIKE THAT.

HE WAS UNFAITHFULTO YOU AND YOU LEFT.
BUILD A HOME AND WORKED TO MAKE IT ALL WORK.
SMILED ON THE WORST OF DAYS AND LAUGHED ON THE GOOD.
NEVER ONCE YOU DENIEDE ME A MINUTE.

I KEPT SO MANY DEEP AND DARK SECRETS FOR YOU AND
YOU WILL DIE IF YOU EVER KNEW. I CANT BE A GOOD PERSON.
BUT YOU MAKE IT EASIER FOR ME TO KNOW WHAT TO DO.
WHY CANT I BE LIKE YOU – YOU ARE MY MOTHER AND I LOVE YOU DEARLY!

PEACE


Stumbling

Posted 5 July 2002, 2.44 am by Villager

I don't know who I am. Rather, I don't know what I am.

I have a good idea of the life I wish to lead and the person I want to be. I have a good idea of the person that I like to perceive myself as, the person that I explore in My head and around whom I build an elaborate imaginary world, one that has only intermittent contact with the real world. The Me that other people see is much different, I disclose only a very, very small fraction of My thoughts and feelings with the majority of the people I know, and even My immediate family do not know Me as well as they likely think they do. What am I? Am I the mind that thinks and controls and imagines, or am I the perception that walks and talks? Does the distinctly separate and seldom similar nature of these facets mean that I am deluding myself?

I do not want others to know Me as well as I think I know Me. I am quite content with the (low) level of interaction and sharing of thoughts/feelings that I have with most people. Most people I know, I do not care to have in My life. And yet I am not happy that they all know the filtered, life-weathered Me instead of the better, more intelligent, more explorative and more promising Me. There is so much that I want to achieve, and yet I have not even begun to do so. Hell, I don't even know where to start. My sole driving force is personal achievement and satisfaction and yet all I have is a piecemeal and blurred vision of what that is.

Contentment and true happiness lie at the end of a tunnel that could be a million miles away. It could be right in front of Me and I wouldn't know it. The Me inside is persistently working to further this vision, and to plan my adventure in life. The Me outside puts on a tired face and suffers the tolls and requirements of daily, human life. The Me inside chases a goal that his counterpart can't even see. To reconcile the two would either require a flattening of the inside or the elevation of the outside. I could not live for long if the inside was stripped of its freedom.

But how to communicate and depict the mind in sufficiently accurate and intense detail and coherence as to do justice to the aspirations of the mind, when the ugliness of society and the restrictions of daily life make it so hard and over-clouded? Nothing fits. Nothing promises to fulfil the magic and purity of what I am searching for. What I so desperately hope exists. I have so little to convince myself that I can create it myself, and yet that, ever to my sorrow, seems the only beacon of light in an otherwise unsure, grey and rocky life.

I can't bring myself to settle for less.

IQ Test!

Posted 4 July 2002, 9.59 pm by Alexander

As submitted by Janetdoggy, no not a test to see if you have an IQ (although that might be a good place to start). Take the test, answer all the questions and post your (honest!) results. Were you pleasantly surprised or disappointed by your score? What weight to you give to such Q & A style tests of intelligence?

Take the test

Freedom

Posted 4 July 2002, 2.18 am by The_Roach

Today is the day that we Americans celebrate our independence from Great Britain. This is, in my opinion, unfortunate. Before anybody gets their panties shoved so far up their crack that they begin to spout forth terms like "ponce" or begins making reference to bad teeth, allow me to clarify.

I find it unfortunate because there is so much more to independence than merely being free of a government that was oppressive to a select minority of individuals over two hundred years ago.


We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.


I read a story the other day about a lecturer who was giving a speech concerning the underlying themes of a book by Isaac Asimov. Unbeknownst to the speaker, Asimov was in the audience for the oration. Afterwards, during a Q&A session, Asimov rose and said some reasonable facsimile of "That's not what it means at all." The speaker challenged Asimov's credibility where the writing was concerned (unaware of who he was speaking to), and Asimov revealed himself as the author.

Now, while most of us would probably take a moment right then to shut the hell up (likely sitting down and hoping that we haven't stained our shorts too badly), the lecturer remained cool. He explained to Asimov that, while it may not have been his initial intent, once a work becomes published and begins to disseminate through society the author can truly make no claims any longer as the process of interpretation becomes the property of the public. Asimov agreed with him. So do I, and I don't think that the predjudices of our founding fathers should hold any relevance to the operation of this country today.

All men are created equal. The only law is that one should be able to live their life in the manner of their choosing, so long as it doesn't infringe upon the freedoms of another. Or, at least, it would be in an ideal world.


independence

In`de*pend"ence, n. [Cf. F. ind['e]pendance.] 1. The state or quality of being independent; freedom from dependence; exemption from reliance on, or control by, others; self-subsistence or maintenance; direction of one's own affairs without interference.



Many people in my country feel that the government here has lost sight of what true independence is. It's no longer a nation governed "by the people, for the people". The attacks last year in New York and Washington was spun by the government as a demonstration that others were jealous and hateful of our freedoms in this country, all the while taking the opportunity to snatch away rights that the citizens of this nation would never know they lost. Maybe that's true. There are certainly a number of new restrictions on our freedoms, the least of which being an extended wait at the security checkpoint in the airport.

What has to be remembered, however, is that we allow these things to happen. It is through our silence, our ignorance, our fear, that we enable those who lack these traits to exert control over us. It's not enough to simply complain about it. Find like-minded individuals. Speak your mind to people who may not be so easily convinced. VOTE, for Christ's sake (if I hear one more American citizen bitch and moan about how horrible this country is without making that minor effort towards changing it, I'm lobbying to have it punishable by death).

I suppose that the whole point of this diatribe, is that if you want to exact change in your society or even just within the bounds of your life, the only person really stopping you is yourself. It's freedom.

It's the revolution, baby.

Guest Submission - Author: AnemusRogo

Posted 2 July 2002, 2.58 pm by Berly

I don't know how to make the little font like Roach does with his guest posts. I'm lame-that's ok though. My guest is pretty talented, so I'm hoping you will forgive the lack of web skill on my part.




Stone Bird


------------------------------------------------------------------------

8.12.01


THE WOMAN WAS THERE.

Looking like a dead bird by the highway.
A beautiful thing, maybe in her mid twenties.
Detective Harwell cupped his hands and lit a cigarette, then looked away.

Her broken limbs were arranged like an archeoptryx, trapped in mud from the fall--well muscled flesh still clean and warm.
He took a lond draw, then puffed out smoke that rose with his gaze toward the horizon.

"Tough break."

The irony was not lost on him.
He turned to see his partner standing with her chin in her hand, elbow to
her knee, propped up on a tree stump. Behind her the police cruiser flashed silently.

"Yeah."

You learned not to care after a while. The pain of other people's
misfortunes became just another color on the vast canvas of life.

"You think she jumped?" he said, cutting right through all the crap and the pretention in his partner's voice.

"Nah. I think she was pushed."

He nodded and flicked his cigarette.
The sun burned high overhead, a tangerine globe of unforgiving heat, that poured his own sweat on him like a downpour.

"Let's go get something to eat" he said.

"Right. After I finish the damn paperwork."

* * *

Lou's Diner was hot and stuffy, but it was better than the bottom of an
overpass. He ordered the corned beef and hash, and she ordered the grilled cheese on rye with a side salad. Like she always did.

"So" he said between bites, "Do you think it was drug related?"

She shook her head vigorously, then brushed her hair back with the hand holding the sandwich.

"No. I think it was premeditated. Did you look at the way her limbs were
arranged? Shit, Stepen, it's like she was someone's fucking sculpture!"

He nodded. "I thought the same thing. Like a dead bird."

"Like a dead bird" she echoed, then threw down her sandwich, eyes rapidly widening. "Come on." she shouted, bolting up from the diner booth.

"You may not eat, but I'm frigging starving."

"Take it with you, Harwell."

Harwell waived down the cook to get three boxes for the food, one for the corned beef, one for the salad, and one for the half a grilled cheese
sandwich.

The other, rapidly diminishing half was in his partner's hand, joined now
by a clear plastic box of salad.

"Come on, we've got work to do."

"Cool it. We've got all day. All week. I doubt she's going anywhere other
than the Coroner's."

His partner was already half way to the door. Harwell sighed, threw a twenty down on the counter, and waived at Ernie, the chef, who nodded appreciatively. He knew how Harwell's partner could be. Or maybe he was happy for the change.


T-B-C.

Made Up Word Fun

Posted 2 July 2002, 4.42 am by Berly

As pimped to me by Wanker:

Wanker: have you seen this site?
Wanker: minutes of fun!
Wanker: I got 2 words published today ...ride hump - To ride in the middle of the back seat of a car, where the hump is.

ex. Everyone piled into the car and I had to ride hump.

choke yourself - To display your distaste for another's disposition; usually used when you're glad you're not in her shoes.

ex. A. My boss said I have to work this weekend. B. Just choke yourself.

Pseudo Dictionary


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This was more a fluke shot of the sun that turned out for the best. I was impressed by how well it worked out. Even thought there is a lot of empty space I feel that the sun flares and single set of trees has a very alone feel to it.


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80s candy bars were pretty good

only because i traded it for a candy bar in the 80's.

lol we all know you don't have a soul ghoti

my soul for some carbs...

But of course!

Yo ! Does this work ?

* Alexander wonders if this still works

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