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Eric Lawrence Jeffus

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Serendipity: The Story of Us. [03 Feb 2009|11:15pm]
[ mood | reminiscent ]

I love the word serendipity. It's mellifluous — another great word, incidentally — and refers to a charming phenomenon, namely the occurrence of events by happy chance. (Even its etymology is attractive. It was coined by Horace Walpole, who drew inspiration from The Three Princes of Serendip, a fairy tale whose heroes "were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things they were not in quest of.") Serendipity is also among my favourite movies, and the intersection of chance and destiny that brought its main characters together has always appealed to me; how fitting, then, that similar vagaries of fate led to my girlfriend and I first meeting.

This is the first time I've put the story down in words; until now, it has only existed in the nebulous realm of oral tradition, and thus has picked up various embellishments and accoutrements in each retelling. I look forward to sharing it — with gusto and, when appropriate, waggling eyebrows — at dinner parties and with friends and family for many years to come. While my ability to recite the tale has been honed into a well-oiled machine, it will be interesting to see how it translates into writing. I hope my conversational style lends itself well.

(Disclaimer: This is very, very long, but I hope interestingly so.)Collapse )

3 thoughts | ponder

Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita... [03 Feb 2009|04:25pm]
[ mood | hopeful ]

[Italian: "In the middle of our life's journey..."]

Those more literary souls among my long-neglected — and undoubtedly aggrandized — readership may recognise the title of my entry as the first line of Dante's Inferno. The crucial difference is that I, unlike Dante, do not find myself in a dark and savage forest, uncertain of my course and wary of my threatening surroundings. On the contrary, I've never been more certain that my path is the right one — illuminated not only by hope but by the harsh light of experience, and bounded both by my ambition and a sense of perspective earned through enduring past adversity and error. Such certainty may seem to be born of naïveté, but I speak instead from a font of confidence the likes of which I've never known. It is an almost prescient knowledge of the future that awaits me.

But I get ahead of myself. Much time has passed since last I regaled you with what I have always, in jest, called "tales of swashbuckling and derring-do," and a myriad of experiences — both good and bad, but all opportunities to learn — has buffeted me in the interim. To quote from William Goldman's delightful novel The Princess Bride:

"Let me tell you what's been going on—" He stopped and shook his head. "No," he said. "There's too much, it would take too long, let me distill it for you..."

So let me, too, distill for you the past year or so of my life, though some of you know the rudiments of the story already.

In January 2008, life found me in North Carolina — near Chapel Hill, for those familiar with the area — pursuing a new chapter of my life, far from the material and meteorological comforts of Southern California, as well as the professional certainty of a promising position at Blizzard Entertainment. I was resolved to return to the world of academia, positively bursting with lofty career goals, and had come into a romance not yet been exposed as merely a shadow of the profound emotional bond under whose guise it had beguiled me.

The future appeared bright, as a sunny winter's day belies the frigid wind.

Early last year, amidst the then nascent economic slump that made it all but impossible for me to find stable work on that foreign soil, the fledgling — but nevertheless beleaguered — relationship came to an end. I had been out of work for months, left to watch my funds hemorrhage with every passing day, and now found myself alone and thousands of miles from home. At the time, I could only battle despair. It seemed that I had failed at everything I had set out to do — that, to use a somewhat more visceral phrase, everything I touched had turned to shit. For a couple weeks, I wallowed in self-pity and sodium-laden delivery food. In time, however, I came to my senses and felt a sense of freedom I had never before known; in retrospect, I hadn't been treated particularly well in that relationship, and what happiness I had felt had been tempered with unease. Now I was free to live by my own agenda alone, to live by myself and for myself.

The next few months passed leisurely — as only they can in the South — and I found temporary work that, at least for a time, staved off the inevitable bankruptcy awaiting me. I picked up cooking as a hobby and subsequently discovered that it's a great comfort to me, that hours spent in the kitchen serve to center me, and thus had another career path to consider — that of the personal or professional chef. I eventually did run out of money, though, and was forced to return to my hometown of Pomona to "regroup," as I jauntily put it, whilst temporarily staying with my parents. This brings us up to my last journal entry, in which I mentioned a trip to the Seattle area this past summer. I returned from my brief foray into Washington as a changed man — several pounds heavier from indulging in sumptuous meals at Seattle restaurants, albeit a bit lighter in the billfold from said dining, and with a renewed sense of hope.

(As has no doubt become clear, I suck at distillation. My apologies.)

Why the hope, you ask? I had met an intriguing young woman under rather unusual circumstances, and the prospect of friendship — or more, I dared to hope — with her excited me. The story of how we first met isn't a short one, and in fact seems to grow longer with embellishment every time I tell it, so I'll let that wait for another journal entry. It's a good tale, and deserves ample space. What began as friendly and engaging e-mail correspondence segued into IMs and finally blossomed into prolonged phone calls — the bills from which stagger me to this day — that steadily revealed what a truly remarkable woman I had stumbled upon.

She is brilliant — powerfully literary and linguistic alike — beautiful, daring yet nurturing, strong yet tender, a seeming contradiction of qualities that find a happy marriage in her delightful mind. Her name is Laura, and in her I have found true love — no mere pretender dressed up in hopes and embraced out of ignorance — for the first time in my twentysomething years. I am at once humbled by, and yet exultant to behold, the emotion, dedication, and fervor with which we both imbue our relationship. In Laura, I have found myself anew — my best traits amplified, my less admirable ones patiently endured — and draw from her both strength and purpose. No wintry gales threaten our summery future together.

I have been known to become "mushy" at times, however, so I'll leave it at that for the sake of propriety. Suffice it to say that I'm extraordinarily happy, and that life found me this January as a different man — I've grown and learned from my failures in North Carolina, as well as gained valuable perspective in life and relationships. I know now what I want from both; I've found it in the love Laura and I share, and in the nigh predestined path that lies before us.

Thus I write to you today from a small apartment in Columbus, OH — a surprising destination, perhaps, for a Southern Californian, born and raised. (The locals here are always amused, and not a little dismayed, when they learn whence I came. Evidently, they envision all of Southern California as a paradise, and almost invariably say, "Like San Diego?" as if that beacon of temperate climate and coastal beauty were indicative of the entire region. Balmy, Pomona is not.) In my time here, I've experienced biting cold and snow drifts the likes of which I had never seen outside of towering mountaintops in California. More on the entertaining spectacle of my cold-weather acclimation in other entries, though.

I'm working full-time at Barnes & Noble (a grave temptation), reading during all my remaining waking hours, exploring the city on my days off, and seeing Laura as frequently as our schedules and transportation will allow. In short, life is good, even if money is tight and my wireless connection infuriatingly spotty. I hope to continue writing about my experiences here, not only to keep my creative writing juices flowing but to chronicle this mundane adventure I call my life.

As always, I apologise for the length of this entry. Those familiar with my writing, I hope, are already immunised against its relentless longwindedness.

Newcomers, flee while you still can.

3 thoughts | ponder

I'm off to the Emerald City, and I don't mean Oz... [13 Jul 2008|05:51am]
[ mood | eager ]

Good morning, all! I'll keep this brief, as it's nigh on 6 a.m. and my bed is beckoning.

I'm going to be in the Seattle area for about 10 days — from July 18-29 — and humbly request any restaurant recommendations you folks can offer. From browsing Yelp, among other sites, I've found a few already: Quinn's (technically a "gastropub"), Monsoon, Art of the Table, and several Italian places that claim to be "the best in Seattle" (Asteroid, Swingside Café, Salvatore). I'm not looking to spend extravagantly during my stay, but up to $20 a plate should be fine. I'm especially partial to seafood and Italian, but, really, I'll try anything that's good.

Also, if you can suggest any food shops, bookstores, coffeeshops, etc. to try, I'd be very much obliged. :D

I know at least one of you actually lives in or near Seattle — if anyone in the area happens to be free sometime within those dates, I'd love to see you! Let me know of your availability, if you're interested in getting together; you can reach me at (919) 265-3644 all this week. In any event, I'll appreciate any advice you provide. :)

2 thoughts | ponder

Ah, Food Network, how I love thee... [09 Jun 2008|03:59am]
[ mood | amused ]

Yes, I realise how shameful it is that this frivolity is my first post in almost a year; I promise to offer an actual update on my life soon, for anyone who's still paying attention to this poor, dusty blog of mine.

Anyway, I've been following The Next Food Network Star as of late, and one exchange struck me as particularly comical. The backstory here is that Kevin's "culinary theme" is bringing romance into the kitchen — his mantra is the faintly inane "Eat well, drink well, love well, live well," which seems content to sacrifice meaning for the sake of catchy repetition. Truthfully, seeing him go was bittersweet; it was amusing watching him try to infuse "romance" into ingredients that aren't lustful in the slightest. To wit:

"My dish is honey-glazed figs with mozzarella crostini. It represents my culinary point-of-view, being a single guy who likes to date, and romance, and hopefully one day fall in love. I think the crostini is sexy."

To which his teammate Jeffrey replies (albeit to the camera), in perfect deadpan:

"I have no idea what is romantic about a crostini."

Later, during the judging, Bobby Flay asks Kevin whether the dish fits into his romantic theme at all. Though he does look a bit dazed, his response is another indication that he's drunk his own Kool-Aid:

"Absolutely. Fun, fresh ingredients but with a nice creative, sexy, romantic twist."

"Wh-what was the romantic twist?"

"Uh, just using figs... and the honey... and the fresh mozzarella..."

Needless to say, the judges were unmoved by this stunning use of reason.

[Exit Orpheum.]

ponder

Do my eyes deceive me? [31 Jul 2007|01:35am]
[ mood | bemused ]

Evidently, they've made a musical out of Legally Blonde. I'm not sure how I feel about this.

It was a cute movie, don't get me wrong, but the "Bend and Snap" on Broadway seems a bit much.

I mean, the opening track is called "Omigod You Guys." Am I the only one who finds this a bit... off?

2 thoughts | ponder

Brrraaaaiiinnnsss... [18 Jul 2007|03:36pm]
[ mood | exhausted ]

Four hours of sleep, eight hours of work.

I like those odds.

ponder

And how should I begin? [18 Jul 2007|06:52am]
[ mood | tired ]

I've discovered, much to my chagrin, that White Zinfandel — the only wine I've found myself to enjoy with any consistency — is apparently considered a "girly" drink. I suppose the fact that it's called "pink" wine (technically, rosé in the original French) might have been a clue. Ah, well, it's not as though I'm known for my machismo.

I would still like to expand my oenophilic horizons, however, so does anyone have any personal recommendations for other wines I should check out? I generally prefer whites over reds, but I'm open to suggestions. Danke. :)

4 thoughts | ponder

Let's see how this works... [10 Jul 2007|10:46pm]
[ mood | bored ]

So, here I am in the line for Harry Potter, and there's about an hour until showtime. I should have brought a book.

Or a Ravenclaw scarf.

4 thoughts | ponder

And indeed there will be time. [10 Jul 2007|07:04am]
[ mood | content ]

Today was busy, but pleasantly so, and spent primarily with friends; I can think of no better way.

The first order of business was getting to an AT&T store to activate my iPhone; they wouldn't let me do it over the Internet, probably due to my credit history (or lack thereof), so I needed to give them a $500 "deposit" that will apparently be returned at the end of the year. How nice of them. Where's the trust these days, I ask you? :P

The upshot is that my phone is now fully operational! To get all my ungraceful fanboy squeeing out of the way now, let me say that I love this thing. Just today, it helped me get directions to the restaurant where we had dinner, and find a showtime for the movie we watched tonight. I sense great things from this partnership.

Speaking of dinner, it was at Sammy's Woodfired Grill, which evidently specializes in pizza, but I wasn't in the mood for that. Instead, I had a luscious London Broil paired with a delicate White Zinfandel, and finished with a cheesecake-like tiramisu. The meal was wonderful; I was feeling pretty good after half a bottle of wine. ;)

After that, we wandered around a bit while waiting for our movie to begin, and ended up in a Hollywood Video; I left with Little Miss Sunshine, Children of Men, The Last Kiss, and The Prestige (all of them pre-viewed). The first of these is a charming movie that took me by surprise, and comes highly recommended — the humour isn't far removed from that of The Royal Tenenbaums, but it's somewhat less dry. In all, it's a nice little indie film.

We saw Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, and I have to admit that, although it was nice to get some sense of closure, I was somewhat disappointed by the film as a whole. It felt bloated, unfocused. I fear the same fate may befall the new Harry Potter movie — my friends and I are seeing the midnight showing tonight — as that seems to be the trend nowadays. There's something to be said for subtlety and understatement, if you ask me.

And I might be going to a firing range today to shoot pistols at paper targets! I'll keep you folks apprised. :D

2 thoughts | ponder

Almost, at times, the Fool. [07 Jul 2007|06:10am]
[ mood | tired ]

It's days like today that make me sorry there's not more (or, hell, any) caffeine in my diet. I suppose, on some level, it's nice to know that I never needed caffeine to function normally, but goddamn if a Mountain Dew or Monster didn't perk me up a bit on those rough evenings at work. Ah, well. No point crying over spilt taurine.

The iPhone continues to elude me, which makes the one my boss has all that much more tantalizing. It shall be mine soon enough, however, and then I, too, may worship the monolith; yes, that was a 2001: A Space Odyssey reference. No, I don't find the comparison to a bunch of troglodytes demeaning. It's the iPhone, for fuck's sake.

We somehow managed to see Transformers on opening day. It's quite well-done, and comes highly recommended on a number of fronts. I shall have to make a point to follow Megan Fox's, ahem, body of work more closely.

I think I'm sick, which is a tad annoying. For me, going to bed early and waking up on time is usually a clue.

Well, I think this has been sufficiently trite. I started writing up a moderately scathing diatribe on the detriments of a world currency, but was too tired to finish it last night; perhaps I'll revisit that tomorrow and see if I can't present some sort of cogency to the world. For now, dear reader, you'll have to be content with this non sequitur.

[Exit Orpheum.]

3 thoughts | ponder

Off to bed. But first... [22 Jun 2007|07:56am]
[ mood | tired ]

The Queen is an excellent movie.

That is all. Please return to your lives.

[Exit Orpheum.]

ponder

Let us go then, you and I. [16 Jun 2007|06:46am]
[ mood | tired ]

"I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker."

Truth be told, it's an odd thing to have indelibly inscribed on oneself. Defeatist, one might even say. Morbid.

I don't think of it that way, though. Somehow, I feel it's a remarkably apt description of my spirit, of the dichotomy between the different shades of my personality. On the one hand (or around its wrist, if we're feeling clever), it's a statement of irony for someone as young as I. My entire life ahead of me, I'm sure an older person would say — chastising me for squandering my youth and vitality as theirs slowly creep from tired bones — and here I've chosen to tattoo myself with a resignation to gazing back at glories of yore that dimly illuminate a shadowed future. An admission of failure, of giving up on myself and resting on what meagre laurels I have.

It tickles my sardonicism to consider the dark humour of it all — this my mantra, and Eliot my prophet.

And yet, sometimes I do feel as though my "greatness," as it were, has in fact dulled with age. Sometimes I fear that the brilliant, precocious child of my past — reading years ahead of his age, poring over tomes of Greek mythology and dinosaurs alike, playing professor with his parents' coworkers — has become what I am today, all books and cleverness (as Hermione Granger would say), coasting on good graces and a broad vocabulary. I look back at my youth and see potential, abandoned at the side of my life's road, replaced by sloth and frivolities.

Still, I remind myself that I'm likely simply being critical — shocking, I know — and that my quick wit has not diminished so much as it's mellowed, that my counsel is still valued by my peers. That my potential has not yet been lost to the oblivion of age, and merely awaits a catalyst, the torch of inspiration to light my future path.

I identify strongly with Prufrock — perhaps too much so. His words resonate within me. But I shan't allow myself to become him. I shan't dither my life into the mires of inaction, nor adopt loneliness as my sole companion whilst I reflect on missed opportunities, on wasted chances to live fully. That said, I think I've chosen an epitaph:

I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,
And in short, I was afraid.

(This episode of moderately incoherent ramblings brought to you by the letters Exhaustion and Introspection.)

[Exit Orpheum.]

5 thoughts | ponder

Zomg, an update! [31 May 2007|06:03am]
[ mood | blank ]

Well, not really.

I should be working on my résumés, but instead I'm watching movies — The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and now Borat. It's certainly an interesting juxtaposition, let me tell you.

That's all for now. Perhaps I'll have a real update soon. :P

[Exit Orpheum.]

4 thoughts | ponder

I built a bridge across the stream of consciousness... [25 Dec 2006|05:59am]
[ mood | introspective ]

Well, I'm in Phillips Ranch again, waiting for Christmas morning to arrive. It's just like when I was a kid, except now I'm not pretending to sleep fitfully in the scintillating glow of the tree — I'm just staying up all the way through. It's fun having an unorthodox schedule sometimes, even if it will make consciousness awkward today.

I hope to enjoy my weekend; it's always nice (and somewhat sentimental) to visit home, especially now that my relationship with my parents is healthier than when I was younger. Gift-giving with them (and my sister, who's now 10), possible nap, brunch with my stepmother's family, maybe another nap. In all, a lovely, lazy day.

I was shocked, upon stepping on the scale here, to learn that I've lost 10 pounds since just after Thanksgiving. Given that I'm currently taking steps to lose weight — I've completely given up soda with calories and sugar, and I'm eating mostly salads during my lunch hour — this is spectacular news. I'm not sure whether it shows that I've lost weight, but it's heartening to know that I can do so. I'm going to start taking walks again soon, as well.

I'm also reading more, which is a welcome return to life before World of Warcraft. I'm nearly done with The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay (Michael Chabon), and intend to read Mirror, Mirror (Gregory Maguire) next. I have a whole box of books from home that I want to revisit, but I'm also interested in testing the waters of sci-fi and fantasy. I've already gotten some suggestions, but I'm always looking for more prospects. :)

Oh, and before I forget: Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope your day is wonderful. :D

[Exit Orpheum.]

5 thoughts | ponder

As only celluloid can deliver. [24 Dec 2006|06:04am]
[ mood | introspective ]

It's remarkable how anticlimactic this holiday season has been; the only signs betraying the fact that it's Christmastime are the colored lights hanging on all the palm trees around work (something curiously Californian), and the cheery music playing continually in places like Denny's. It's funny — when I was younger, all of December was a gaudy blur of lavishly decorated houses and the kaleidoscope of our tree shimmering throughout the night, made all that much more exciting by the anticipation of Christmas morning and its bounty of gifts.

Now I find myself watching the day loom closer and feeling little, if any, of that nostalgic excitement; I find that as I grow older, Christmas is less about the gifts and more about family. On that note, I'm looking forward to seeing my parents and sister this coming weekend, which fortuitously happens to fall on Christmas. After missing out on a chance to see my family last year, it'll be nice to avoid work on at least one major holiday. :P

And yet, as the spirit of acquisition flourishes during this merry, consumerism-driven holiday season, the only gift that cannot be bought by my jaunts in retail — the only thing I truly desire, beyond the baubles of technology that serve to distract me — is that of companionship. I'm surrounded by friends, enveloped in the camaraderie of my coworkers, consumed by the joys and rigors of work, and yet something is missing. In short, I'm lonely. To be honest, the only thing that keeps me from realising it more often is that I pour myself unrelentingly into my job.

Speaking of my job, that's thankfully going quite well; I've been working in my current position (already one of a somewhat elevated status) for almost seven months now, and we're working to earn a title change — and with it a pay raise, we hope — that should serve to open some doors to us that are closed due to our existing title. There's also an opening in the position of "Editorial Assistant" for the Public Relations Department, which I intend to pursue; it sounds perfect for me, and would constitute a significant promotion. So wish me luck on that. ^^;

Well, this is getting somewhat long, so let me provide the "CliffsNotes" version, as it were:

  • Just like the old song, "I'll be home for Christmas" to see my family.
  • Despite some semblance of contentedness, I yearn for companionship.
  • Work is going well, and there may be some exciting new developments.

And, with that, I close this entry. What are all of you folks doing this holiday season? Let me know. :)

[Exit Orpheum.]

1 thought | ponder

Où est mon maître le prince rebelle? [13 Dec 2006|07:21am]
[ mood | weary ]

So, here I am, waiting for my laundry to finish in the dryer, listening to Rufus Wainwright, and what happens to strike me but the sudden urge to write a journal entry. I really need to make a point out of doing this more often in the future; that way, it may not always seem like such a daunting task looming over my morning.

Last night was the big Christmas party for work, and I must say that it was downright resplendent. Almost in spite of myself, I had a lot of fun, although much of it was absorbed — as if via osmosis — from wandering around others who were enjoying themselves, a method honed during my awkward forays into middle school dances.

In truth, though, between snippets of conversation over dinner, flitting from group to group and greeting friends and their loved ones, playing a few hands of blackjack, watching the antics in the karaoke room, and just taking in the atmosphere, I had a lovely evening. I also had a chance to dress quasi-formally, donning black slacks, a black button-down shirt, grey blazer, and my Converse with dress socks (to keep me grounded... and comfortable).

It's remarkable, really, the effect that a flattering outfit can have on one's self-confidence. It was wonderful to not only have people tell me I looked nice, but to feel attractive, which is something that hasn't happened in a while. It did a lot to buoy my spirits throughout the night, although I'm sure I still wasn't very photogenic, as usual.

(By the way, thebitingfaery, I apologise in advance for managing to eke what I'm sure is an awful picture of me out of your camera. I don't know what possessed me to make that face, but I doubt it came out well. :P)

Well, hell. With all the digital hemming and hawing I did, I wasn't able to get to what I actually wanted to talk about. Tonight, perhaps, after work. It may be therapeutic, in a way, to jot down my thoughts; I so rarely let them out to play, and I'm tired of letting them ricochet around my mind without any avenue of escape.

Until then, Livejournal, I bid you adieu.

[Exit Orpheum.]

2 thoughts | ponder

Hmm. [25 Oct 2006|09:05am]
[ mood | weary ]

So, I've remembered bits and pieces from my dreams lately — which is odd, since I don't usually have much memory of them at all — and have noticed a couple commonalities among them. One is driving, which I imagine Freud would claim signifies a feeling that I cannot control the course of my life; in my dream, I found myself sitting in the passenger seat of an 18-wheeler and somehow was expected to drive it on the freeway. Needless to say, it didn't go well — I seem to recall running into the back of another car. (No fatalities, thankfully.)

The other recurring theme is forging romantic relationships with young women whom I find attractive, but with whom I likely shan't pursue a real-life relationship, for one (possibly imagined) reason or another. To this I can only attribute loneliness, which appears to have an ebb and flow of its own, as if my heart were an ocean and love the Moon that gently pulls it. This too shall pass, I'm sure, but it certainly isn't pleasant to wake up from a dream and realise that I am, once again, alone. It's cruel the hope that dreams so blithely offer, then take away.

In other news, does anyone else find it ironic that JoJo has a song called "The Way You Do Me" on an album called The High Road? She's 15, for fuck's sake. It's so ludicrous I can't help but laugh. Kids these days, huh?

Well, I think my laundry is done, and sleep is calling. Good day, LiveJournal. Until next time.

[Exit Orpheum.]

2 thoughts | ponder

And in this drought of truth and invention... [04 Oct 2006|07:13am]
[ mood | groggy ]

An alien landscape faces me as I gaze out over the carpeted fields of my apartment, couches like rolling hills jutting out of otherwise barren terrain. Something has changed, but at first it is not apparent precisely what it is that draws one's attention. Then realisation arcs like lightning through synapses long abandoned to desuetude:

This room is clean.

Where once cat hair and various other detritus reigned, unblemished carpet gleams — well, all right, lies fluffily prostrate — and reaches toward the promise of sunlight, freed from the filthy fetters that had imprisoned it.

In other news, I cleaned and vacuumed our apartment this weekend. Rejoice!

While in what I call the "cognitive stage" of writing this entry — in which I mull over what I wish to say and how I wish to say it — my ambitions extended so far as a diatribe on the provincialism engendered by politicians' attempts to censor or otherwise legislate video games. Their desperate efforts to correlate violence in today's youth to this pastime rarely cease to at once amuse and incense me, and I thought it would be a nice, charged political subject matter to get me back into the habit of writing in this journal on a more quasi-regular basis.

But, alas, a couple drinks (Capt. Morgan and Coke, to be exact) have left me drowsy and unfocused, and it's about time for me to retire for the "evening," so I suppose that vitriol shall have to wait for another fateful day. It's truly incredible how easy it is to procrastinate with such distractions as YouTube at one's disposal, isn't it?

And, with four meaningless paragraphs behind me, I close this entry. Good day, LiveJournal.

[Exit Orpheum.]

1 thought | ponder

Oh, look... a meme. [17 Sep 2006|08:07am]
[ mood | bored ]

IF YOU'RE ON MY FRIENDS LIST, I want to know 20 things about you. I don't care if we've never talked, never liked each other, or if we already know everything about each other. I really don't. You are obviously on my list, so let me know with whom I am friends!

(answer in comments)


VITALS:
1.Your Middle Name:
2. Age:
3. Single or Taken:
4. Favorite Movie:
5. Favorite Song:
6. Favorite Band/Artist:
7. Dirty or Clean:
8. Tattoos and/or Piercings:

NOW THE FUN STUFF:
1. Do we know each other outside of LJ?
2. What's your philosophy on life?
3. Would you have my back in a fight?
4. Would you keep a secret from me if you thought it was in my best interest?
5. What is your favorite memory of us?
6. Would you give me a kidney?
7. Tell me one odd/interesting fact about you:
8. Would you take care of me when I'm sick?
9. Can we get together and make a cake?
10. Have you heard any rumors of me lately?
11. Do you/have you talk(ed) crap about me?
12. Do you think I'm a good person?
13. Would you drive across country with me?
14. Do you think I'm attractive?
15. If you could change anything about me, would you?
16. What do you wear to sleep?
17. Would you come over for no reason just to hang out?
18. Would you go on a date with me if i asked you?
19. If I only had one day to live, what would we do together?
20. Will you repost this so i can fill it out for you?

8 thoughts | ponder

That's why they call me Mr. Fahrenheit... [20 Aug 2006|09:08am]
[ mood | content ]

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas? Nah. What's the fun in that?

For those not aware, I just came back from spending a few days in Vegas with friends — it's nice to finally have a proper vacation — and can honestly say that I've had an awesome week. This was the first time I'd been to Vegas since turning 21, so I finally had a chance to sample the smorgasbord of salacity that only Sin City can offer (alliteration for the win). Although we didn't do much drinking, all manner of debauchery was ours for the taking: Gambling, strip clubs, burlesque, midnight buffets. I played (well, lost) blackjack, got my first lap dance, saw Zumanity (imagine a cabaret show in the style of Cirque du Soleil), and spent far too much money on the whole.

It was worth it.

You all may be interested to hear that, while in Vegas, I got a tattoo; I had been kicking the idea around for well over a year, but couldn't find the resolve to go through with it, nor the inspiration. I knew that I wanted some sort of text — likely a line of poetry — around my wrist, but I waffled for a long while as to whom I should carry with me: Shakespeare, Baudelaire, Poe? Indecision held me captive, but in the end I decided on an old favourite:

I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker.
—"The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," T.S. Eliot

Yep, because real badasses get Prufrock permanently etched into their skin. Machismo has found its king at last.

The tattoo came out extraordinarily well — although the skin around my wrist is still a bit irritated, as the wounds heal and my dermis becomes accustomed to its newest denizen, the writing is clear and bold, but small enough that I can wear a watch if I really need to cover it up. I have to put lotion on it and keep it out of direct sunlight for a while longer, and I've heard that it's going to itch something fierce soon enough, but I'm glad to have done this. It's a strange feeling, to look at my forearm and consider the permanence of my decision: Barring surgical removal, I'll always have Eliot's words — and the meaning behind them — with me, into adulthood and old age.

Then there's the idea that I've been drafted into the tattooed masses, that inked legion whose members inspire such disdain in those who lord their status and propriety over others; although our culture has become surprisingly tolerant of tattoos, some people will always judge me for what they see as the brand of youthful impetuousness, will employ it as a stigma or a scarlet letter. I'm not particularly bothered by this — I've never been fond of mainstream thought, nor do I have much regard for the opinions of those who would think less of a person for a bit of ink on their skin — but it should be interesting to see whether people react differently to me from now on.

It occurred to me only after the fact that I've doomed myself to a lifetime of, "Hey, what's your tattoo say? Where's it from? What's it mean?" I have to admit that, while I don't mind a bit of attention, this may prove cumbersome depending on the individual questioner's knowledge of twentieth-century Modernist poetry. To wit:

Q: Hey, what's your tattoo say?
A: "I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker."
Q: Cool, where's it from?
A: "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," by T.S. Eliot.
Q: Huh. Kind of a romantic, are you?
A: Well, no, the title of the poem is ironic. Prufrock, you see, is a middle-aged man whose life has been defined by his inability to act; he's borne down by the paralysis of self-doubt, and considers himself to be naught but an attendant lord, a secondary character, in the great play of life — more awkward Polonius than eponymous Hamlet.
Q: Oh. That's kind of, er... depressing, isn't it?

Granted, the quote is a bit sombre, but I identify strongly with Prufrock; although I don't yet have his years under my belt, I think of him as a kindred spirit of sorts. Like him, my indecision and self-effacement have made pursuing romance difficult; like him, I sometimes feel as though I'm on the outside of normal social interaction, looking through the glass at joy and whimsy; like him, I question my actions long after the moment for judgment has passed. Beyond that, I can't explain why the quote appeals to me so — it just strikes a chord in my heart.

Well, that's enough about that; there's only so much you can say about a bit of ink. Word to the wise, by the way: Tattoos hurt when they're on the underside of your wrist. Not that I have much to compare it to, of course, but I have a decent threshold for pain, and this stung like hell. It feels sort of like a sunburn now, oddly enough.

Oh, my, it's 9 a.m. already — I should get to sleep. I'll try to get pictures of the tattoo, so I can upload them. I suppose that the other tales of swashbuckling and derring-do from my time in Vegas shall have to wait 'til later.

Until next time, this is Eric Jeffus, going off the air and out of style.

[Exit Orpheum.]

ponder

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