New LanguAge

I was reading the school paper, and perused a commentary on how students on campus use language in this age of information. As an English major, I approve.

The author, as I recall, blamed the breakdown of intelligent communication on the text messaging language as it creeps into the spoken.  Many people do. I’m not sure I don’t. In fact, I was surprised at myself when I first read the article, because at first I found myself rolling my eyes. I don’t appreciate the careless use of language. Using text speak in actual speech is always ridiculous–unless used satirically. Or maybe even just used humorously. But I must admit, sometimes I have at least thought “WTF” when watching/hearing something so utterly stupid that I can’t spare the mental time to think the whole phrase–and, hey, it’s not really cursing. And there are plenty of words invented by the internet* that I genuinely  appreciate. Sheeple. Kerfluffle. Angsting.

Perhaps it’s careless to use new words, when a careful enough revision of my own writing or thoughts might be able get the same feeling across using ‘traditional’ English. But then again, as the Facebook “Flair” button says “English: A language that lurks in dark alleys, beats up other languages, and rifles through their pockets for spare vocabulary,”** which I’m quite sure is stolen from someone who does not get nearly enough credit…but when you say something that awesome on the internet you tend to lose your fame for it very quickly.  Anyway, when English doesn’t have the perfect one, it tends to fill the vacuum with something new or borrowed (and sometimes blue, I’m sure). Thus I justify my internet speak.

So when I first read the article, I thought: well, really, why not use text speak in casual conversation? I’d greatly appreciate if you do so out of my hearing, but if your group understands the language, you may as well. So long as your formal communications–to someone outside of your social circle, or in written communications other than texts or possibly tweets. And if you have any acquaintances (or especially coworkers/bosses) as Facebook friends, don’t use text speak in status updates.  Nonetheless, I do feel  it has a place.

Then again, pretty much as soon as I found myself making the argument above, I realized–the problem is people don’t seem to be able to distinguish when it might be appropriate and when it definitely isn’t.

I remember, in high school, I read two ‘paragraphs,’ each written by a one person attending detention. Okay, so I couldn’t have been expecting much, but still, these would have been written in an academic context, not to mention that it was displayed on the whiteboard. Each, though, were equally terrible. You’d think they’d never learned how to write…which I suspect they did, as they had that ‘valley-girl’ handwriting, one even adorned with hearts.

And, despite the fact that I am now in my third senior semester at college, each of my professors, after the first essay assignment, still have to go over the most basic tenets of writing. For instance: spelling. When I first started college and heard this lecture, I was horrified. It was like, really people? this is college. The fact that it was a community college makes now difference. Now at least I’ve gotten used to it, though I am still saddened. While I’d like to think that people ought to be able to adjust their language based on the situation….apparently, no.

I don’t know how to solve this. I refuse to submit to writing text speak in my essays or talk to my mom that way–she doesn’t even use the computer, much less would have any idea what I’m talking about (although she is rather proficient at reading my mind when I’m particularly incoherent.)  You know what I think? I think that we should just disallow those people who can’t tell the difference to participate in any meaningful communication, because they aren’t capable of doing so anyway. First amendment be damned.

*Okay, so the internet itself didn’t actually develop the language, but it’s such a facilitator, it seems to make the spread rather faster and more creative. I likes it.

**Possibly James Nicholl, actually: “The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don’t just borrow words; on occasion English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary.”  Apparently he’s mostly an Internet personality, as opposed to being famous offline, which I find rather appropriate.

True Evil

Oops. Been awhile.  Before I get to new content, may as well at least cross-post the last 6 or so articles from the class…

Is evil really a simple concept? We like to think it is, we like to think we can recognize evil as something evil, and something other. But most people don’t actually have any real experience with evil, no direct experience.

Craig Williamson was an operative for the South American apartheid government. He was granted amnesty from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. He now works in a market, selling produce, but despite the official amnesty he says that he does not feel that he is forgiven. In his defense, he claims a sort of “just following orders” defense. If he’d been told it was evil to do the things he was ordered, he would have thought about it more. Apparently because it was presented to him as the “greater good” he just didn’t question anything. As weaselly as this sounds, and, really, is, the fact is that once people get into the mindset of distinguishing “us” from “them” this kind of thought process can be used to follow through with all sorts of terrible actions: it’s probably very similar to what urban gangs to do each other.

However, though at times during the documentary “The Ones That Got Away” Williamson does seem to have accepted his actions, and is genuinely trying to make some restitution and, in a way, make up for his evil, he also resents what he sees as an over-positive fairy dust solution. Part of his reasoning behind this resentfulness is that “there will be people…who hate what I did.”  This is problematic, because he should also hate what he did. Everyone should hate what he did. Forgiveness means that we shouldn’t hate him, as an individual, but apparently, somewhere in his mind, he may still believe that he wasn’t entirely wrong.

In A Human Being Died that Night by Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, who was a part of the TRC and is a clinical psychologist, believes that “even atrocities call for an apology that is sincere, unencumbered by explanation or justification.” I believe that is true. It’s very hard to make a sincere apology. No one likes to admit being wrong, and to make a sincere apology they have to be able to face what they did. They have to strip away their mental defenses against whatever wrong they committed…and even minor every-day infractions, like forgetting to take out the trash, can be very difficult to admit to, especially when the person apologizing feels they are in the weaker position: also a hard place to be.

As Gobodo-Madikizela says, an apology “clears…the air in order to begin reconstructing the broken connections between human beings.” An apology doesn’t come from weakness, but it does require the speaker to completely acknowledge their own faults—and that admits weakness. Actually truly apologizing is strength. But an apology enacted to put the apologizer in a position of moral power is even less likely to be sincere. Gobodo-Madikizela uses the example of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, and her official apology in front of the commission for the death of Stompie Seipei. The young man’s body was discovered just outside of Soweto, and linked to the activities of the Mandela Football Club. A court hearing found that there was evidence that Seipei’s death was related to events that had taken place in Madikizela-Mandela’s home.

During the TRC public hearing, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela refused to admit she knew anything about anything, whether or not it had happened in her home. Gobodo-Madikizela does not give details as to what specifically she said, her focus was on how Madikizela-Mandela used that opportunity as a way to offer an “apology” and keep a position of moral strength: “She approached Stompie Seipei’s mother while the TV cameras rolled. With a triumphant smile and open arms, she embraced her.” Unlike Gobodo-Madikizela, I don’t know that I believe Seipei’s mother was stripped of dignity in this interaction, if only because she seemed to be behaving far better than Madikizela-Mandela, but I wasn’t there, and I don’t know the details of the interaction. Unfortuantely, Madikizela-Mandela was unwilling to face what she’d done, or even what she hadn’t done, much less try to heal the wounds she left behind.

Both of these people did very wrong, and hurt people. But where do they fall on the scale of evil? Is there a scale? I would judge that, at least to a certain extent, Williamson is willing to face what he did during the apartheid—even if rather obliquely. But Madikizela-Mandela does not face any possible damage she may have done, what part she played. And Williamson undoubtedly killed more people, and was far more directly involved. So should we not forgive them, because they aren’t doing enough? Perhaps so. After all, we know what’s Right.

Fundamentalist is not the Insider Perspective*

Fundamentalism, the concept, is a topic that I’ve struggled with for a while—probably since 9/11, although to be frank, I haven’t exactly kept a journal or other record following my thoughts on the subject. But even if I remember exactly what I thought, I do know I’ve thought about it.

And I have the most trouble seeing it as more than simply a Bad Thing, especially when I usually can’t articulate why. I’m not much of a rebel, and still think my parents are some of the smartest people I know. As my mom said about it (fundamentalism—or some similarly-used term in the popular media) anything can go too far. Terrorists are fundamentalists because they go too far. But some Christian fundamentalists go too far. And so do governments. And the examples go on and on ad nauseam.

Mohsin Hamid’s novel, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, is really all about fundamentalism and what it means, both in the US and the narrator’s native Pakistan. The American that Changez, the narrator, approaches in the opening of the book seems alarmed by his appearance—specifically his beard, which is specifically taken as a symbol of the Middle Eastern fundamentalist. Or that is how it, and the American, are introduced to Changez: “Do not be frightened by my beard: I am a lover of America.” But really, it’s all about fundamentalism as identified from the outside. What seems fundamentalist and dangerous to outsiders may seem perfectly acceptable to insiders.

A friend of mine pointed out that fundamentalism isn’t necessarily bad: in the sense of going to the fundaments. For instance, the fundamentals of the Constitution. The Constitution of the United States is essentially the ideal document of the United States, particularly with the Bill of Rights, the 13th and 14th amendments and the 21st amendment. It is the ideal of what our country is supposed to live up to, which is why arguments over the Constitutionality of laws makes people go so insane and irrational. Sort of. At any rate, her argument of going to the ‘fundamental’ (according to the OED, “2. Of or pertaining to the foundation or ground-work, going to the root of the matter.” and “3. b. Primary, original; from which others are derived) makes sense. If we went back to the fundamentals of the IRS, we wouldn’t need so many tax laws and forms and confusion.

It’s the “-ist” that causes the problem. Fundamentalist comes into use, according again to the OED from the first world war to apply to Protestant groups that wanted to get back to the fundamentals of the Bible. At first, this wasn’t seen as a bad thing. Then it is applied to the “other religions, esp. Islam” as “a similarly strict adherence to ancient or fundamental doctrines, with no concessions to modern developments in thought or customs” which is a pretty reasonable definition, until you get to the “modern developments” which is always considered a Bad Thing in most of the so-called “Western World.” (I feel terrible using that term, but here it seems to work).

Early in the book, when Changez reflects on his life in the US, he paints it as a fundamental society—fundamentally capitalist, and he sees this as just as bad as any other fundamentalism, or rather far worse, because America is so powerful, and because he himself was a part of it: “Moreover I knew from my experience as a Pakistani…that finance was a primary means by which the American empire exercised its power.” In fact, describing his “initiation to the realm of high finance” as primarily an education in the fundamentalism of capitalism: “Maximum return was the maxim to which we returned, time and again. We learned to prioritize—to determine the axis on which advancement would be most beneficial.” When he is first a part of this society, this particular corporate culture, Changez enjoys it, according to his older self, always feeling the seeds of guilt, though they eventually grow enough to lead him to quit.

Changez cannot fully buy into this fundamental finance culture because he was, or always felt like, an outsider. Though Jim, his boss, seems to recognize a similar drive in their ambition, he accepts fully the precepts of his “religion” and Changez even calls him a knight, describes what may be a nervous habit as “donning his gloves before striding onto a field of contest.” At first, Changez envies Jim’s certainty. Because of his own doubts he does not feel that he could have it in the United States. But the older Changez telling this story seems to have found it in his fundamental Islam.

Changez, though having decided to leave America and become a fundamentalist to his own beliefs and country, in advocating “a disengagement from your country by [Pakistan],” does not see himself as an extremist. He becomes a university lecturer on finance, and tells the American “it was not difficult to persuade [his students] of the merits of participating in demonstrations for greater independence in Pakistan’s domestic and international affairs.” When one of those demonstrations becomes a riot, for all intents and purposes, with thrown stones and burnt effigies, he admits it had gotten “out of hand,” and he had gone to jail for “intervening” in one of the “scuffles.” As the incident is described, he certainly seems to be using gentle language for his own role.

While Changez learned the fundamentalist role of commerce in the United States, and is aware of the world’s belief in his own county’s fundamentalist culture…and to an extent even acknowledges the problems of the local fundamentalist, he does not seem to realize his own role as a fundamentalist and how that affects others. For instance, when he is describing how the demonstrations got out of hand, and a former student was arrested for a planned assassination, his defense is that he is only a university lecturer, a teacher. But teachers have great power, great influence, and he admits that his reputation, although exaggerated, is attractive to many intelligent young students. But he doesn’t know their beliefs or why they are coming to his lectures in the first place. Though he ought to know that simply because someone can have the loftiest education doesn’t mean they are above fundamentalism. It was what he didn’t like about his classmates from Princeton.

*also known as “Fundamentalism is More Than Just the Fundamentals”


So for my mulit-cultural lit class this semester, I have to write a blog a week. And I suspect that this blog will only suffer from it. It doesn’t help that I’ve really lost interesting in writing at all. Fortunately though, homework is a different matter. Maybe by the end of the year I’ll feel like continuing.

As I write those posts, I’ll probably be moving them over here. But so far I have two, and I don’t feel like moving them yet. So we’ll see.

How About a Round of Applesauce!

(What can I say? I read the headline “How About a Round of Applause” wrong. It has nothing to do with anything…but I do like applesauce.)

So, let me think of a ‘real’ topic.

Hmm. I played the clarinet from fifth grade to senior year. With a few things that actually happen in my life, I tend to mention it on a fairly regular basis. At first, when we got to choose our instruments at the end of fourth grade, I had no intention of actually choosing the clarinet. I went straight to the line for the flute…and couldn’t even get a sound of it. Probably tried the trumpet next, although I don’t remember that. I do remember that at some point I got a hold of the trombone, which I could play, but hated.

Not that there’s anything wrong with the trombone, or even that trombone, but in fourth-grade though I like to play at playing it, it just wasn’t good enough. Neither was the clarinet, for that matter, but it didn’t require so much arm work. And I could play it.

Therefore, I told the music teacher I would play clarinet for fifth grade band–with the intention of later switching to something cooler, like the flute or French horn. Whereupon I went home, informed my parents of my decision, and found out that my uncle had played the clarinet for years himself. In fact, his band had played in front of the president…or the governor of Illinois…or some other illustrious personage, which I cannot really recall, but found myself much impressed by at the time.

At any rate, I got to borrow his instrument. A lovely instrument, wood, in a very battered old-fashioned case (that, most unfortunately, did not survive my stewardship). For clarinets, wood is better, unless it’s new and gets too cold and cracks on you. His wasn’t, obviously, and there were no cracks. Although the key pads had to be replaced at least once. By the way, I can’t say way wood is better, or even that it is to other people. It’s personal preference , really.

I don’t really know much about the clarinet, as an instrument. I have read that silver-plated keys are sometimes considered to be better than nickel-plated, although, again, I don’t really know why. Clarinet reeds come in several degrees of “hardness” though I don’t know if that’s how someone who actually knows clarinets would word it. When I graduated high school, I was playing on a 4 1/2. I believe the harder reeds are supposed to be better for playing on the highest register of the instrument. I also have a second mouthpiece, which, again, I think is supposed to be better for the highest register, but this time I did know, and just forgot this time.

Throughout middle school and (most?) of high school, I heard pretty much the same thing: “Play louder!” Over and over again. Because I played quietly, and for the most part never felt any need to play louder. Usually there were a few other clarinetists in the band either better or with seniority, so I figured they could play, and then the teacher wouldn’t be able to tell when I was playing the wrong note, and stop the whole band just to make me fix it. Generally though, despite the quiet playing, I seemed to get by well enough.

Bad habit: once I stopped having to verify that I’d practiced, I’d pretty much stopped practicing. I’d still play probably fifteen minutes out of school about once a month when I either particularly liked, or had a particularly hard, passage. But mostly I figured I practiced enough during school.

In high school, my senior year, I somehow ended up wanting to apply for the Western International Band Clinic (WIBC: pronounced WIB-ic)–fancy name, but dare you to find much about it on Google. I suppose band teacher thought: her senior year, may as well offer the chance, though probably understood it wasn’t very likely. Told me to practice. And I really didn’t. Well, more than I usually did, say about an hour total in my month of “preparation.” Had to do the audition tape twice…really upset the teacher though he didn’t say anything, and hid it rather well (yes, it was a terrible thing to do–I am sending telepathic apologies to him as I type).

Apparently though, they had a bad crop of clarinetists that year. I got in. Scraped by in the last chair of the last clarinet section of the last band. Theoretically, the bands are all equal, but among the students it seemed very clear that they were arranged by skill anyway, I was the…twelfth? (no longer remember for sure)…seat of the third clarinet section, which meant that all my parts were boring but easy to learn. The girl in the seat ahead of mine went to a music academy and owned a two thousand dollar instrument, with silver-plated keys. Made me feel a little better, true or not.

When I was in band, I never played in a group, say, larger than fifty. That may well be stretching it. At any rate, each of the WIBC bands was about two- to- three hundred people (no longer remember this either…what can I say, I’m bad with numbers). And the day of the concerts, two bands would combine for a 600 person band. That many people…it was incredible. So much more powerful. I loved it. It was definitely the most fun I’d ever actually had playing band. I’d had plenty of great experiences in band, but though we’d had some pretty good local concerts, they couldn’t compare to the grandure.

Not only that, but the guest soloist that year was clarinetist Robert W. Spring. Probably the first professional clarinet I’d ever even heard of. I even got his signature. When he came in to practice, he played “Flight of the Bumblebee” without pausing for breath–he was breathing, it’s called circular breathing, just in case that worried you. Now that was cool. And though it was very cool, it did not make me want to be a professional. He mentioned he had to practice hours a day. Still very inspiring though.

I took band a lot more seriously after that. Even got to play the solo part once during a concert. I wish I was still playing, but without having an already structured class, it seems hard to find the time. Or place. Or band for that matter. I’m thinking of looking into a concert band at this school… one band advertises itself to those students who haven’t played since forth grade. Right about my speed, there. Time after time, I still practice. It’s just much harder when you have anyone living nearby. Since fourth grade, I’ve come to see that the clarinet is highly under-appreciated, and is in fact totally awesome, but when practicing the upper registers, it can sound really bad. Really painful.

I should break these posts into sections or chapters or something.

A Long Unwinding

Off the rest stop

Off the rest stop

Often, when I am interacting with a new group of people, within the first few meetings, I will ‘brag’ about the oddest things.  One subject that I nearly always find a way to broach is that when I went to community college, I had to drive 14 hours each way to get home (told you).

Just today, I drove only about an hour to meet my dad and brother. And ever since I’ve not made that drive, I’ve been missing it. Part of the reason I bring it up so often is simply because such a drive seems so horrific to people. But I loved it. I miss it.

I would get up about 4 or 5 a.m. and head out to the freeway, going north at the same time everyone else went south. It was lovely.  It would be totally dark, and my side of the freeway abandoned, while the other was solid with headlights. It’s rather easy to feel just a little superior in that situation, or maybe it’s just a little small of me to feel so. But anyway, I’d drive, nearly alone, all the way to the next freeway (138)  to connect to I-5. It’s straight and flat and totally empty.  There is an itty bitty town, with a very old gas station, but other than that there’s little other than the occasional homestead until the massive connection to I-5, which is really only massive counting the tons of concrete that must have been used. And in comparison with the emptiness before. At this point too, it’s still dawn but you can’t yet see the sun, because you’re in the foothills. You can even see a bit of the old(er) Grapevine.

I love the Grapevine, I really don’t know why. Whenever I catch a reference to it, I don’t know, it makes me grin.  Just my mom knew a lot of the history of the area, having grown up in the area (sort of) at any rate, she’d tell us about it during the drives to Grandma’s house (the same, or similar, drive to the one I’d make, only my parents, naturally, took two days to drive it).

So anyway, I’d get to the Grapevine, which isn’t so difficult to drive now, and it’s always nice to be going that much faster than the semi-trucks. Their speed limit was only 35 or 45 mph, I think. Very slow. But they had their own lane. And it would be fully morning at this point.  I love the mountains too. Always have.  Even here, it makes me nervous sometimes driving out of town, that the mountains are so far away.  I don’t think I’d like the Great Plains. Anyway, naturally, the Grapevines=mountains. Very steep, wonderful, glorious mountains. I’m a fan. And during the spring…if you’re driving in the right direction, it would look very green (coming the other way, I suppose, the hillsides didn’t get as much rain).

Coming down out of the Grapevine, I think every time I made the trip, it would be dim. I don’t know whether fog or smog I never paid attention, but by the time you’re out of the foothills–which is a great section in itself, you can see the trail of the 5 by the headlights and taillights for miles–the sun was usually out of sight, and it would just seem…dusky. And you’d drive by an Ikea warehouse.

I tended to divide the trip into sections. Before the Grapevine, the Grapevine, and directly after the Grapevine, all of which I’ve described. Then there’s the straight section until the section of Stockton and Sacramento. In between, it’s straight and yellow.  Usually it’s flat, but there’s a section in the foothills, where it’s still straight, and up and down. Stockton and Sacramento are nice because they have more lanes and more visual variety. More interest with the driving too, although that’s a less happy variation in driving.

After Sacramento it’s flat farmland again until Redding. I like the foothills before Redding too. There are some great mountains that you’re driving into, and in the foothills it’s more up and down driving too. And a few casinos and car dealerships that change night into day, if it happens to be that dark when you’re driving by. Anyway, the hills around Redding are basically yellow grass (usually) with some kind of oak trees (I think) and very little shrubbery. It’s very dramatic, and lovely. Of course, I really like the scenery along the entire trip. Fortunately.

After Redding, of course, we go back to the local highways, and they’re scenic too. But all the way along I’d tick down past the same road signs to keep track of my progress. So know I always expect Red Bluff to be closer to Redding than it seems now, in comparison.

So, I’m sure no one needed that kind of point-by-point summary of my drive. But basically, where I’d intended to go with this was that I enjoy such a long drive. I guess I just have the right kind of mind for such a long trip. For me, really long drives, like the 14 hr one described, are relaxing. Like meditating…kind of. Only there’s no loss of consciousness.  I don’t get bored with the driving, even without cruise control.  I just find it very soothing. And by the end of it I’m exhausted, but I’m not stressed.

I rather miss that kind of unwinding. And the scenery.

Once I got to my point, it didn’t take long for me to make it, did it?

What was I Thinking?

Really, do I ever?  I’m not convinced, mostly because I just had a great idea for a post, and in the time it took me to walk across the room–the very very small room, I forgot it.  This is mostly because I let myself be seduced by the trail of an idea, and didn’t bother to solidify it in my head before coming over…it was just so great, and of course I couldn’t forget it.  Well, I did.  And I don’t know what this one will be about, it’s just to fill space until I think of what the great idea was.  Sometimes it’ll come back to me.  I can only hope.

Interesting how that’s worded isn’t it. So far the shortest post I have here was written when I was on the far side of consciousness, and it’s still five hundred words.  I hardly lack for ideas, even if I did lose some really great ones over the course of pacing a room’s width.

I really wanted to write loose instead of lose in that last paragraph. Every single time I’ve been trying to write lose for about a month, in fact, I’ve been trying to write loose instead.  Unfortunately, in the writing I do…or have been doing…loose is simply not a word that shows up on a regular basis. Or even an irregular basis, and so I have no call to use it.  I should make one up.  But I have nothing to write about with loose in it, so far as I can tell. Maybe it has something to do with not writing fiction.

Say, if I was writing a story, than I could use loose as a way to get through writers’ block.  When I was in school, the only reason I really liked the vocabulary lists was to make sentences in which to use those words. I love using new words. And particularly using context, interesting context. Like impecunious. Actually, I just like impecunious because it’s a far cooler way of saying penniless than saying penniless, although I will admit penniless is better than the basic, cliched broke. Although, now that I write it, I don’t really mind broke either. Each has it’s own shades of meaning.

You can imagine what my vocab sentences looked like after I went on my tangents.

Actually, If you imagined they’d be long and creative and interesting, you’d be wrong. The one problem I’ve always had in school is not wanting to bother with it. I do the bare minimum to try for an A. I didn’t used to try, but I’ve been procrastinating so badly this semester, I’ve had to worker harder at it.  Also, this school uses pluses and minuses as part of the GPA, it’s the equivalent of .39 or something I think. What can I say, math is not my strong suit.

This is not because I’m particularly smart. I just tend to be good at taking tests, understanding what the teacher wants, and I enjoy reading. My learning style happens to be particularly good for the academic camp. Unfortunately, I don’t really wish to spend all my time in the ivory tower. I simply don’t have the focus to enjoy it properly. Not that there’s anything wrong with staying so far out of the real world. It has it’s upsides. And downsides too, of course, but then again, what doesn’t. The only bad thing about having a learnings style so perfectly suited to academics is the fact that I’m useless for any other kind of situation.  I need feedback, lots and lots of feedback and direction. Academia my thrive on that sort of thing, but the rest of the world tends to prefer the quick-on-your-feet independant-type personalty.  I suppose I can do that too, but passive is easier.

Which is why it’s called passive of course…

As long as these posts get…I’m starting to think the only reason I write anything is for the titles. I have, or at least I think I have, awesome titles.  Unfortunately, but the time I end up at the end of these posts, they hardly bear any relation to the title.  With the title here, for example, this post really ought to have been a semi-hysterial rant. Which might have been amusing, or possibly disturbing for readers, but isn’t really about what it was starting as anyway.  Kind of like sarcasm.

Wait, I think I’m losing track (there’s losing again). There is the “What was I thinking?” (or What was I thinking?”) of someone’s who has seriously (or moderately) screwed up, but in this case, it’s meant literally, “What was I thinking?” Which is kind of like sarcasm because the phrase is hardly used in the literal sense–by me anyway.

This is at eight hundred words again. How do I do it? I would say that words never come as easily anywhere else, although they do.  But really does anyone actually end up reading this far?

Since only those who have, have actually gotten this far…why?  I should post disclaimers at the beginning of every post: If you don’t finish reading, I don’t blame you. I hardly even manage to finish myself, I just write until my hands get tired.

Or change the title of my blog to: tl;dr.