31 May 2010


this past weekend, I went camping out in Iowa, very near the state line. I'd been gearing up for it all week; my excitement was doubled by a new recipe I was trying out on my fellow camp-goers, homemade Pop Tarts* with breakfast treats in them (eggs, bacon, and cheese). when I find myself looking forward to something with great relish, it tends to overwhelm my consciousness at night, making it hard to get to sleep. I had the same problem during my Rush period. (their calmer songs were too upsetting for my taste.)

couple that with the fact that I sleep lousy on camping trips in general, and you got a very cranky Shannon come Saturday morning. my sister informed me that Benadryl or Xanax would put one out not unlike a light when sleepytime is nigh. she just happened to have a Xanax with her, of which I took half on Saturday night. I was curious as to what it would do with my anxiety, too, as well as what it would have done if I'd wanted to stay awake, but that's another situation for another day.

I took the half, as layperson-prescribed. the first thing I noticed was that yes, it did indeed make me sleepy. the second thing was that as soon as I closed my eyes, I saw pre-dreams I'd never seen before. usually my hypnogogia is chaotic, stream-of-consciousness and, due to looking at small screens almost all day long, only takes up a portion of my inner field of view. when my head dropped on the pillow, great fractal-like visions filled the entirety of my eyelids. my subconscious spit out calm, organized images, tessellated to the edges of my brain. and brother, once it was over, I slept. I slept like Bob Seger.

now that I'm back home, I keep seeing the monitor in front of me as a tiny slice of a huge swatch...that my Paint the Line wallpaper is indicative of a voluminous landscape. add that to the rolling contours of eastern Iowa and the disconnect of webpages becomes fascinating again...

* if you make those homemade tarts, do not use that dough recipe. that thing was conceived, literally, in Hell's Kitchen. find something with less butter.

17 May 2010

the tradeoff

long, long ago - I know not through what channels - I started reading an offensive, bong water-soaked webcomic using Microsoft Comic Chat as its medium. it was called Jerkcity, and its name was apt. stock MS characters joked about how queer they were, how many cocks they could gobble in a minute, how much Windows/Netscape/IE/et al sucked. (the funniest joke ever strip is still one of my favorites.) it was counter to everything decent in society, and I ate it up. it's still a guilty pleasure, though the quality has diminished somewhat, IMO.

part of the draw of Jerkcity is: who would write this mindless garbage? was it one guy? a bunch of guys? sometimes there'd be a fuzzy .gif image of an unshaven man lurking in a panel here or there, usually ingesting copious amounts of ganja. was this the guy, or a red herring roommate or friend?

poking amongst the Jerkcity links, I found a blog purportedly from one of the characters, Rands. and what do you know - even if he was the main proponent behind Jerkcity, he wasn't a total nimrod. something about his obsession with and personal mastery of Vegas spoke to me. his description of Nerd Attention Deficit Disorder (or N.A.D.D.) eerily shadowed my own habits. I still knew almost nothing about the guy besides his inclination towards strippers, but I liked what I was reading.

fast forward a few years to the Twitter age. I joined up last summer our of curiosity and potential self-promotion. not long after, I discovered Rands had a Twitter account. cue futher mystique breakdown. most of his tweets deal with design and office management (the latter a little hard to swallow due to my last job), a pithy missive here, a well-timed link there. it's a link to his own blog that prompted this blog post.

after perusing his latest post, a wish for the perfect store unhampered by anonymity and marketing jackals, I noticed he had a link to his Amazon wish list on his sidebar. curious, I took a look. I now know more about him, his tastes, and even his state of mind than I ever dreamed possible. the Internet has bridged the gap between creator and audience, stranger and stranger, possible friend and potential stalker. no privacy was invaded; he put up the list on his website for public browsing. undoubtedly, he has preferences and hatreds he has not shared with the public at large. still, I can't help but feel a little weird at this peek inside someone I'll never know in person.