January


january 2nd. i finally bid my pal farewell. shortly before we left for the bus station, i had another one of those
meltdowns about my body that make me feel so crushed under the feeling of my life being fundamentally invalidated that
all i can do is stare, & try not to think, because anything i think will hurt. i was scared that my friend's visit would
end on a very awkward sour note, because i could not even bring myself to care about what was happening

i did manage to pull myself together though. after he boarded, i stood idly outside the bus where he could see
me, i did this until my brother arrived to drive me home. it was very cold outside. i could barely stand
to take my phone out from my pocket for a couple of seconds to read each parting message he sent

later that day, i began to consider that there may be genuinely delusional aspects to how i process my appearance

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january 4th. i gave my succulent two shot glasses of water. i was unsure of how else to measure out an amount that felt
reasonable. i hope it is enough, & not too much. the wet dirt smelled very good. the succulent is a sedum adolphii.
i finally prepared the youtube version of the final lamplight episode. i scheduled it to air the following friday

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january 5th. i tried to indoctrinate my friend into liking ween by making him a playlist of songs that i felt didn't sound
like "a block of cheddar cheese." he listened through it. he wrote up another google doc with his reaction to each song

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january 6th. i ate a bunch of noodles & quickly became intensely tired. dusk dim
bedroom tinted blue quiet voices mingling with calming air vent noise cozy blissful

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january 7th. the backs of all my front teeth don't consistently feel smooth to my tongue anymore. there was a week
or two where i kept accidentally falling asleep before brushing my teeth a second time for the day, & i am convinced
that that period had some substantial accelerated effect on my enamel wear. i am not feeling okay about it

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january 8th. i looked at the geographic centers of all fifty u.s. states on google maps. i thought many of them would be pretty locations
with street view, like the first one, alabama. but many of them were uninteresting. often there was only had a satellite view of some empty
area. my brother drove me to subway & everything was perfectly, intensely, beautifully gloomy outside, like a platonic ideal

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january 10th. i finished spending nearly a month trying to listen through wee tam & the big huge one single time & always getting distracted
from it. i rearranged the tea boxes in my windowsill to four stacks of five, & a fifth "stack" of one, so i could place the succulent safely on
the last box. i move it between my room & the living room to maximize its sun exposure. i would be fairly sad if it died. my eyes were watery
all night because i kept unknowingly rubbing them with trace amounts of perfume on my hands. at one point they stung so badly that i cried out

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january 11th. in the early morning i was briefly woken up by a chorus of screaming cats outside of my window

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january 12th. i finally burned a cinnamon candle my pal got me. it did not produce very much of a scent

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january 14th. i decided to make boiling the water for my tea a mechanism for dispersing a kind of meditation throughout
the day, i.e. i flick the switch & stay in the kitchen instead of coming back to my laptop. i try to close my eyes & not
think, until i hear the click. i ordered a second perfume sample. well, not one. a distinct set of three

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january 15th. i woke up with my wrist hurting because i had slept with it bent ninety degrees. but i dozed off
again with it held straight, & it was okay when i woke back up. i made another six hour playlist for my friend

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january 16th. i did not add any entries to the january journal until today. i think i have been feeling particularly
socially satisfied lately, in a way that erodes my willingness to cling to routines & procedures like this. usually,
if i am not adding to the journal, i am at least taking notes on my experiences all of the time. that is not
the case this month. on this day, i tried to piece together something for the first fifteen days

i did the meditative water boiling twice. i thought it was very nice. after i slept, i learned that my dad had tested positive for covid. he is
sixty, but he is remarkably fit for sixty, so i am a bit worried, but not significantly worried. he initially believed it was the flu, & even
in light of that he was walking around the apartment, touching things, unconcerned. so i think there is a fair chance that i will contract it

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january 19th. my language & culture teacher referenced the cremation of sam mcgee
& recited the start of it, which thrilled me, since i know it from the doug dalglish album

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january 20th. i went to the first meeting of my photocommunications class. the instructor is decently funny, which
is important. the girls working the registers in the cafeteria this semester are really nice to me. today one of them
walked up & handed me my Plato book! i had left it there the day prior. i had not even noticed that it was missing

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january 21st. in class, a girl called Google "capitalist bastards." it made something in my head really twinge unpleasantly. it just was not
smoothly incorporated into the exchange she was having with the teacher, something was viscerally off... i had a long, good conversation with
my pal about love. i would have loved to have gotten second opinions on things, but he wouldn't have been comfortable with reproduction of the
conversation to anyone he doesn't know, & that restriction would make it tough to get second opinions because the conversation in its precise
entirety, no less, felt like the most succinct expression of the entire situation one could expect. where do you draw a line between
reproduction of the conversation versus the inevitable paraphrasing that would occur in discussing it?

i gave my friend a sixty-letter hangman, then just peppered in whatever letter he guessed... the word we ended up creating was:
styigajndsulgcentripahspochmalnecdsitegfulysmwcardmdschalegn. i feel that i am in a peculiar & fleeting period where, in
reflecting on my relationship with my best friend, i am gifted with the pleasingly peculiar opportunity to note that
i have known him for a duration as short as... less than two months. i'll never be at this spot in time again

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january 24th. a girl in my language & culture class was at the open mic where i played meadow, & she
recognized me. the crazy religious guy was on campus again. i am bored of him, & limited myself to
taking three pictures of him. a nice person in the cafeteria went bonkers over my outfit

my radio class had its first meeting of the semester. the instructor used my show as an example of the eclectic
music one might play. the set of three perfume samples arrived. my friend had gotten the same pack a while
back, & waited until mine arrived so that we could smell & evaluate them in tandem. we did this

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january 26th. i bought a candy bar from a vending machine & put it in that lion sculpture's mouth again. towards the
end of my walk home, i felt an object underfoot with each step. it clacked against the asphalt of the parking lot. i looked,
& it looked something like the cap of an acorn, like some hard element of a plant that had become embedded
in the rubber. no matter how i scraped my foot against the ground, though, it wouldn't dislodge...

well, i got home & tried to pry it off with my fingers, even. it still wouldn't budge. i noticed
it was made of metal! it turned out to be a very nasty object indeed, which i had to pry out...

the comprehensiveness of this journal may be suffering, because previously i tended to recount things to a discord
channel, which otherwise had a relatively scant amount of messages to comb through for the sake of incorporating
events here. now i tend to tell things to my friend, who i generally send a great deal of messages to

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january 27th. in photocommunications class, we went over the process for doing a bit of
editing to the photos we take. i used the picture of the sharp object that was in my shoe yesterday

i finished the outline for episode fourteen of lamplight. my dad brought me a suitcase & a chest, both very pretty. i decided i would
fill one or both of them with small sentimental objects. some would be from the top drawer of my dresser, which acts as my "safety
deposit box," my "archive." others would previously be on display around my room, but only for lack of anywhere else to put them

i cleared out the bottom cabinet of my... cabinet, which had been very full of old unwanted clothes. i put them all in a big
black plastic bag for my dad, who intended to take them all to the homeless shelter of which he is a part of the management
& staff. the night prior, he had had to break up around eight fights, & compel a very big guy to stop waving a huge knife
around. then, as he was leaving, now on the tail end of a fourteen-hour shift, a nearby building happened to catch on fire

i have been becoming intensely dissociated over the course of each of my class periods. i'm not sure why. after class,
i sat at a workstation in the middle of the student center for a while, looking at pictures of teddy bears on ebay

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january 28th. i wore my googly glasses to class. as i walked down the sidewalk towards the building,
one of the eyes flew out. it took great effort to get it back in. for all that effort, i didn't get any
reactions from the teacher or my classmates. two girls in the food court liked them, though

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january 29th. i put out another vallesaab "soundplay" album. i cleaned up my room a good deal

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january 30th. i fell asleep with a stuffed rabbit by me unintentionally. i have a really visceral, un-lucid memory of waking up
a bit & just swiveling my head around, seeing it, registering in my brain stem that the rabbit is there, & falling back asleep

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january 31st. the nice person who works in the food court is very enamored with me. they always say "hi, alex!" &
wave. today they said, "alex, can i give you a weird compliment? i really love your energy, & i was having
such a bad day, & you came in, & now i feel a bit better. i appreciate you more than you know"

for my language & culture class, i handwrote a huge taxonomical list of articles of clothing, which takes
up four sheets of paper stapled end-to-end. i expect this to be more thorough than my teacher expects

i recorded the spoken parts for the next episode of lamplight


- at this point, something happens to Neocities which causes any change i make to a page to display immediately for others, but with a
delay of about twenty-five minutes for me. this breaks my established workflow & forces me to abandoned the "centered paragaphs" formatting -



February



february 1st. i woke up & spent an hour totally absorbed in rapidly scrolling through hundreds of old paintings, kind of genuinely incapable of stopping. i got out of bed. someone had downloaded the song thank you by swans from me on soulseek. i have made a ritual of listening to any individual song that is downloaded from me. i had not heard thank you prior. i have downloaded so much music that i haven't listened to yet that my music library is practically like an eldritch thing that i'll never fully know. so listening to random songs that people download from me actually constitutes a music discovery process, most of the time. the song was very good & i jerked around my room to it like a scary demon

each tuesday there is a screening of a non-english movie that is free for students to attend. i was going to go see this week's movie, which was elevator to the gallows, but our car was low on gas, & my brother couldn't risk driving me. instead, my friend & i listened to the second six-hour playlist that i made him, & he typed some thoughts in a google doc again


february 2nd. i feel like i am coming apart at the seams every day with attention-deficit eustress. there is so much to process, to account for, to put where it should go. i am a pinhole in the floor of an aquarium


february 3rd. in the early morning my friend & i watched an absolutely crazy old ninety-minute video from 2015 of me & an old friend exploring a five nights at freddy's-themed garry's mod server & interviewing people about how it functioned administratively & financially


february 4th. as i fell asleep in the early morning a hypnagogic vision of two girls standing in front of me saying "we're gonna tell you MORE secrets!!"

i got crazy & raised myself to having to drink three twenty-four oz bottles of water per day, & also imposed this on myself for the days of february that had already elapsed, so that i had to catch up


february 5th. i watched a bunch of foreign cartoons with my friend


february 6th. i left the apartment without my phone, wanting to walk to the store without being temped about distractions from my surroundings... i thought to myself, "there probably won't be anything i totally have to photograph," & considered the idea of carrying around a dedicated digital camera so as to dissociate the distracting aspects of my phone from my enjoyment of capturing things... well, i saw something on the ground that made me mutter "no fucking way," promptly turn around & start walking back for my phone. it was this

in a whirling void for the past two weeks, what feels like the worst period of scattered deficit attention i have ever had

i took stock of lots of objects in my "safety deposit box" drawer, trying to decide which ones i might throw away or place in my special sentimental objects chest


february 7th. i ate a scalding hot breakfast with toothpaste-mouth because i misspent all the time i had before class. the nice person who works in the food court was really excited to make me a coffee. i gave them a piece of paper with the url of my art list on it. it felt like an awkward gesture... but i am not sure. it was predicated on them asking if i like art, & showing me something they were drawing on their phone, but it kind of feels like i did the vague "foisting a vague 'structure'" thing that i typed about one time. i wrote a bunch of silly effortless rhymes. i recorded the spoken parts for the ariel pink episode of lamplight

i think it bodes really well that i've run into a person who has the direct effect of further sapping my degree of online public or even semi-public expression simply by being a person who i am more fixated on recounting everything to


february 8th. i discovered a polish cartoon called piesek w kratke that is a contender for my favorite artwork that i've found in maybe the past several years


february 9th. i opened a packet of oatmeal then started literally pouring it in the trash can on autopilot before stopping myself. later, i went & got my covid booster shot. i filmed about forty minutes of myself talking as i walked there. at home, i turned around from my laptop & got a little spooked by seeing my shoes like this

today i didn't swear at all, until after eleven pm when i said "damn," messing up the streak for that day. i couldn't sleep on my left side because of the injection. that was my only side effect, though

we learned in my class that in all languages with only two basic color terms, they mean "light" & "dark." then, in ones with three terms, it is always red in addition to light & dark. then, from there on, there is a very consistent pattern of colors that become named with each additional term, up to eleven terms, creating an "implicational hierarchy" for the colors


february 10th. i said "bitch" at around two am. i followed this up with perhaps two to five swears in the following couple hours, since i already viewed the day as voided. but that is an unproductive way to view it, respective to the exercise

before i fell asleep the night prior, i purposefully hung this garment over my bed without thinking much of it. this morning, when my eyes briefly fluttered open, i was once again briefly spooked by the positioning of one of my own articles of clothing


february 11th. i got a candy bar from the vending machine & put it in the lion sculpture's mouth again... that girl with the outfits is gone this semester, or we never cross paths, at least. yesterday i noticed a picture of her had been on a board featuring members of student senate. but today... the picture was gone

i've been walking around in a haze every single day. it doesn't matter how much sleep i get. it happens over the course of each day's first class, a cloud of dissociation slowly falls over me. the person in the food court still waved to me, did not seem to hate me for giving them the paper

i had money to pick up my depo-estradiol prescription for the first time in months. i went out & did that. i got some sushi & mozzarella sticks. there was a young child at an adjacent table with a teddy bear that i earnestly liked. i finally got a pair of rubber boots. i intend to go walking down a creek, when the weather is tolerable & also when i can find the time

i received a valentine's day card in the mail from my pal. it had a pretty foil candy wrapper in it


february 12th. very intense & cathartic day. an ache seemed to fill my body all throughout this day & the day after. a tightly wound knot unfurled & fell limply to the floor at last. freeing honesty & love


february 13th. i finally took a full shower, having lacked the funds for shampoo & conditioner for a little while


february 14th. i recorded the spoken parts for the john maus episode of lamplight


february 15th. i walked to the bank & went through the drive-thru on foot again, strolling up & depositing nine hundred dollars threatening to be blown out of my hand at any moment by the incessant wind. the fourteenth lamplight aired


february 16th. i microwaved burgers while vaguely wanting to cry because i was thinking about piesek w kratke. i took two photos for my photo class. i got three hundred & sixty-one words down on an excerpt of a memoir by an anthropological field worker - a memoir that i don't actually have anything substantive to say about whatsoever, but i have to pretend i do for a grade


february 17th. i received a handwritten letter from my friend!!! this thrilled me. before i opened it, though, i felt compelled to note it here in this journal. i hadn't updated it since the third, though, so that additionally compelled me to do most of the work on getting it current up to this point. this month has the same fragmentary quality as january, i think. it won't get better unless i start being more proactive about taking notes on things as they actually happen

i finally opened the envelope. in addition to the letter, there was a plethora of smiley face stickers, two small card from the business he works at with friendly things written on them, a bookmark with a bible verse on it - James 4:8, & a second "letter" containing an "activities page," with jokes, math problems, connect-the-dots, a section to place stickers on, a silly "fitness section" with ten inane tasks to do ten times a day, & a "do-it-yourself" section that i am to place something in & then photograph


february 18th. i opened a door to a public restroom & there was a lady right behind. she startled me so much that i jumped backward about a whole foot. i watched the move un homme et une femme with my friend


february 20th. i wrote a one-thousand-word review of alice glass' debut record. it is more about her general artistic presence since leaving crystal castles than it is about the record itself, though


february 21st. during my break from class, i quickly wrote the whole outline for the They Might Be Giants episode & got it recorded. i finally got another shot, after a month or two of being too broke to afford a new vial of medication. i hoped that getting back on them would begin to improve the severely scattered attention span that i've had over the past month or two, even if that is a very tenuous hypothesis

the nurses acknowledged that they hadn't seen me in a while, that they had been a bit worried, had even considered calling to check up on me... when i told them why i hadn't been around, they said they had funding to help people cover their medications & that i should come to them if i end up in such a circumstance again

my shots are a sort of a recurring pavlovic experience, where i go through the minor discomfort of the shot & then, once it's over, i get the immediate relief of running out aimlessly into the downtown district to find something to do

i walked to the post office to try to mail my pal two books & a cd. he found the books during his visit over christmas. unfortunately, the post office was closed for Presidents' Day. i spent a while exploring some northern reaches of the city that i don't see very often, historic suburbs that i find very appealing if i can ignore that the whole area seems to be suppurating with poverty. i took three photos that i quite liked [1] [2] [3]

i finally got out to the coffee shop again. the barista i saw acknowledged that she hadn't seen me in a while. i got one of the february specials - the "love you a latte," with dark mocha & raspberry. at six pm, a poetry night began. i read two poems by me, no one speaks & washing machine. the latter could be considered a prose poem, i think, if not just a short story. i intended to also read mark strand's the story of our lives, & had signed myself up last, because that one is a bit long. they mentioned a five-minute limit, so i didn't go through with that one, although i probably could have


february 22nd. in the early morning, my friend & i watched felidae


february 25th. i received a surprise second letter from my friend!!! i didn't even open it, because it was thoughtfully sealed with buddy stickers, & it felt too tough to bisect them all, at least for the time being. i could smell the note through the envelope, though. he covered it with a perfume called "material woman," which i had been curious about

i went to the store, got thai chili pickle chips, hot peppers, sugar cookies, cheeses... i meant to get pickled eggs & pickled okra, but i couldn't find them. pickled okra is a bit nostalgic, while pickled eggs are something i've been curious about for quite a while. i also got three new flavors of tea: salted caramel, green with jasmine, & roasted dandelion root. i'm having to dig into the more obscure corners of the multinational department store chain tea section, as you can say

i went outside & purposefully hyperventilated sixteen degree air to try to shock myself out of thought patterns that i felt were going to destroy me. i returned to my room, stood in one spot, convulsed forcefully enough to wholly exhaust myself over the course of a few seconds, dispersed all of my energy primarily out of my forearms. it worked


february 28th. i wrote the outline for the ween episode & got it recorded. i walked home across an empty field screaming the chorus of don't get 2 close (2 my fantasy) into my phone


- Neocities seems to go back to normal -



March



march 1st. march kicked off with a day where the weather was perfect. just being outside when it's seventy degrees is cause for joy. initially,
i planned to go on an all-day nature trail walk, but i couldn't do that if i wanted to be home for the lamplight broadcast. so i contented myself
with finally trying out my new boots. i waded around in a creek & explored a few places i couldn't get to before. there was definitely
a feeling of childlike wonder, an "out of bounds" feeling, in seeing a certain patch of the creek from the other side. i got a close
look at some strange growths from a tree, which protrude out from the ground up to a significant distance away from it

when i woke up, sweet pea was "lying down" in the dumbest pose ever

the john maus episode didn't go out over the air for some reason, which was disappointing. this issue seems to target precisely the
episodes that i tend to feel more enthused about. but i listened along with the people who tuned in on youtube, & it was ok, i guess

after nightfall the temperature was still nice, so i went on a chilly night walk while on call with my friend. i paced around a desolate industrial
nothing
while he read me a short story by tao lin (suburban teenage wasteland blues). we listened to the fall by gorillaz. i walked to the nature
trail, approached the point at which the patches of orange streetlight drop off into pure darkness - saw how close i could approach before i got
too anxious & turned back. i had ambitious plans for this walk, but it got far chillier than i expected, so i went home. we watched spongebob

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march 2nd. a fun day - unusually social, plus more walking & sun exposure than i've gotten over the past two months, i'd bet. i had to get the photos
that were due for my photography class the following day - three which capture different senses of motion: stop action, blur motion, & panning

as i walked toward the planned subject of my photos, i heard a mockingbird in a small tree. i stopped & stared,
trying to find it. a faculty member stopped, asked if i could see it, & said that it shows up on campus every year

at the location, i quickly realized that my phone's camera wasn't configurable enough for the task. i thought i was doomed. but i decided to go on a walk
to an electronics store, listening to spirit they're gone, spirit they've vanished. i saw lots of geese. when i got to the store, i quickly realized i wasn't
going to spend any less than three hundred dollars on a camera. so i set off back home to retrieve my camcorder & determine if it was up to the task

before i got home, i had the very fortunate idea to stop by the communications department, locate
the girl in charge of renting equipment, & find out if she had a dslr available. i was in luck!

i stood at a roadside, just photographing people in their cars as they drove by. the instructor said this was an okay
way to approach the assignment. i've always felt very odd about photographing or filming people, but i went through
with this regardless. two of the photos, on closer inspection, had a driver or passenger looking straight at me

i went to the gym & stood on a balcony, photographing three guys playing basketball, trying
to get a good still of one of them making a throw. i don't think they even noticed me

most of the photos came out pretty terribly. it was only over the course of the day that i really got a handle on
the camera's settings. the main thing ruining my life was that i didn't realize the shutter speed was controlled by
a physical dial rather than a software setting - &, from there, my total lack of consideration for aperture width

i went back to the roadside, got acceptable blur motion & panning photos, but i still wasn't satisfied about "stop
action." i went back to the gym, asked a girl if it'd be okay if i tried to shoot a good picture of her making a throw.
she agreed, & i took a lot of photos, but this proved to be a very difficult activity to capture in a satisfying way

i put out a call for help on facebook, & old C, the girl i'm somewhat acquainted with but who i haven't spent time with
since 2021, maybe 2020, answered. we met up, & i had her jump off of a bench about eleven times as i tried to get
a picture of her in mid-air. i got a pretty good one where she had her arms crossed with a stern expression. she
gave me a ride home, where i wrote this entry up to this point, then edited the pictures & turned them in

i called my friend. as we listened to a nitzer ebb song, i playfully punched at my webcam
but accidentally gouged my left fingernail into my right hand. it bled, & as late as
march thirty-first i could still see a darkened patch where the scab had been

i reattempted last night's walk & ended up walking a little over eight miles while on call with my friend. across town & back
in the dead of night! at one point a passed me on a motorbike, then a few minutes later drove back & pulled up next to me.
i instinctively hopped away over a ditch of water to maintain my distance. he just asked me if i was okay, so i nodded,
& he drove away. i continued on, physical anxiety filling my core, spreading to my fingertips, & draining out

i got too close to a car dealership & provoked the automated voice which says "YOU ARE TRESPASSING
ON PRIVATE PROPERTY! YOUR ACTIONS ARE BEING RECORDED!" over multiple loudspeakers

while i was all the way across town, a guy on a skateboard waved, said "hi, alex!" & asked if i was doing okay. i waved &
nodded. i couldn't quite recognize him, but i think he may have been the sound guy at the coffee shop's open mic nights

i got home, ate two macaroni & cheese tv dinners, & quickly fell asleep

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march 3rd. i found out that, when the maus episode didn't play, the instructor noticed & quickly pushed it back
to seven pm so that it'd still go out... i could have heard it still!!! but i missed it, because i didn't know. miffed

my photo teacher pulled up a photo of a cow on the projector & mooed. he's a cool guy. i thought i was going to return the camera & walk
out to the nature trail, but when i got home i became overwhelmed with exhaustion & lied in bed for a long time, eventually falling asleep

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march 4th. i woke up around four pm. i intended to try to walk out to the nature trail again, even though it was a bit late &
i wouldn't have a great wealth of time. i set out in my boots, hoping to find shallow parts of the creek to wade around in.
i made it to the main part of the trail right at sundown, so i had to turn back & walk home through some suburbs

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march 5th. i saw the first ant in my room of the season. the struggle begins. i witnessed the first thunderstorm too

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march 6th. i put together the ween episode

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march 7th. in the early morning i established a tenuous tendency of
eating very hot peppers as a means of cancelling out very bad thoughts

i returned the camera, then wrote & recorded the magnetic fields episode. i got a shot, while having been awake for
about twenty-three hours. i couldn't believe i was getting a shot while being as tired as i was. microsleeping in
the waiting room, wobbly & fighting down anxiety that possesses more sway when i'm in such a state

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march 8th. i asked my radio instructor if he could temporarily extend the show's slot by an hour,
so that the maus episode could be replayed today, then the tmbg episode could play. he agreed!

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march 9th. after class, i took the trolley downtown & finally mailed two books & a cd to my pal. i got a papercut on my right index finger from
a cardboard envelope! then i spent a while at the coffee shop. when i got home, the maus episode was airing again! then the tmbg one! i'm not really
sure why. maybe when the instructor was programming the alternate time slot he accidentally set it to apply every day, & also forgot to remove it.
well, it was nice to hear them again. i watched the movie killjoy with my friend. two itchy bumps appeared on my right hand for seemingly no reason

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march 11th. when my alarm went off, i got out of bed & lumbered out of my room in a completely miserable, braindead state, absent
mentally but having successfully relayed to my body all the morning actions that it was to do autonomously one after another.
my dad informed me that there had been a downpour of snow overnight & classes were cancelled. i went back to sleep

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march 13th. i went out & got a half hour of sun exposure. i opened my bedroom
window & heard birds & smelled fresh air in my home. i generally felt good all day

prior to opening the window, i have to take all of my tea boxes off the sill & haphazardly pile them on my bed. prior to doing
this, i wrote down the order of boxes so as to not disrupt the continuity of the autistic tea box random shuffling process

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march 14th. i put together the playlist for episode twenty. i'm excited about it. i spent a while agonizing over the
sequencing & the way the songs were grouped. it tormented me a bit, but that shows that i care about this one!

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march 16th. i checked out the dslr again & asked C if she'd like to help with another photo assignment. she joined me at dusk in a sunny field
so i could take some pictures that featured directional lighting. she showed up in a pepe the frog t-shirt, but i could tell that it at least wasn't
a weird 4chan-type pepe invocation as much as one by the sort of girl who plays a ukulele & makes jokes about pizza rolls. the session went
smoothly, except for when i kneeled to get the silhouette photo & had my knee land smack dab in goose waste. she gave me a ride home

that night, i bought two small gas station confections called "baby bundts." it was the worst packaged treat
i've ever had. i threw them both away after a single bite. they literally smelled bad! acrid, like vinegar,
a stench i viscerally could not even tolerate. i could hardly believe that i had found such a thing

i ordered an lp of the wirtschaftswunder self-titled

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march 17th. in the early morning, i watched donnie darko with my friend

today it was like heaven outside. after my photography midterm, i walked out to the campus nature trail with the dslr, listening to distortion by
the magnetic fields. i spent a while watching a groundhog dig a burrow just a few feet away from me. it didn't seem to care much about my presence.
i took many photos of it. i walked to a book store in search of a copy of vonnegut's mother night on my friend's emphatic recommendation. i cut
through the mall, photographed some child art that was on display. i reached the book store, found the book, read it as i walked back to the
college to refill my water bottle & type all of this. then i set off again for the nature trail - the main one, not the campus one

i had a very serene time at the nature trail, taking photos, mostly of the creek. there was something very satisfying about it. whenever i lowered
the camera after taking a picture, i felt a sense of connection to my surroundings that i typically lack. a kind of thing someone once suggested
i restore by taking mushrooms. i considered buying my own dslr. i stayed on the trail until it got dark & took some photos with flash

as i walked home through the usual suburb, i stopped by the same pear cactus that i mentioned in my entry for september 22nd, 2021. there,
i described getting my finger pricked a bit harshly by one of its spines. tonight this cactus would subject me to a new brand of violence

i kneeled by the cactus & pried off one of its spines, avoiding being pricked by any of them. i inspected the spine.
i noted that around the base, only visible once it had been extracted, was a tuft of what appeared in the dim light
to be seeds akin to those of a dandelion. i rolled this tuft in my fingers, sat the spine down, & continued on

i quickly noticed an intermittent pain in my fingertip when i touched my phone screen. i turned on my phone flashlight & looked. three
of my fingertips were in a sorry state. the tuft had not been a tuft of seeds but of tiny, sharp needles which had embedded in my skin

in addition to the plainly visible needles, i also saw benign specks of reflective nothing-in-particular & thought these were
also structures from the cactus, perhaps hundreds of microscopic needles riddling my fingertips like asbestos. this was
not the case, but i was understandably very worried. i was also not entirely confident that there was anything in
my finger at all, that i might just be making this up in my head. i wasn't inclined to test it, though

well, i set off for a gas station to see what could be done. as i walked, i did some research on my phone & discovered that the spines were real,
were called "glochids." i also read that you could dry glue on them & peel it off to efficiently extract them. i arrived at the gas station &
phoned my dad, asking if we had any glue at home. we didn't. he suggested phoning my brother & asking him to take me to the store

i stood outside using my tweezers to pluck out all the more obvious ones. they're truly awful things. they are barbed, & when extracting each
one you can feel it tugging on the skin. when all the obvious ones were gone, i went in & rinsed my hand under very hot water... this seemed to
completely remedy the issue, so i just proceeded home. it was a pretty night, sort of humid in a way that made all the streetlights seem to glow

-

march 18th. i woke up, thought about how i didn't know the time, decided to see how
long i could maintain that. it's a very fragile state when you engage with technology

my phone was a lost cause - you're not permitted to turn the screen on without paying the price of knowing the time. maybe if you closed your
eyes while unlocking it, then placed some kind of sheath over the top of the phone to obscure the clock. my laptop was workable because i sat
a little cat figurine on it, blocking the clock from my view. as i left my room, i had to avert my eyes from the stove clock in the kitchen

messaging any of my friends on discord was a no-go, because of the timestamp by each message. i think it could be done if i purposefully blurred
my vision when i look at the program, like i do when i'm looking at chapter demarcations & page numbers near the end of a book that i haven't
finished yet. i guess from here i could think about open-source operating systems & all that, but i won't for the time being. i quickly
spoiled the exercise for myself a bit by seeing that two queued songs had posted on my blog, establishing that it is after six pm

i think this type of exercise is just aimless pattering around within two insulating layers of privilege: living
with a parent who expects little of me, & being a student on spring break. if i were actually working to
pay rent for myself, my very survival would be contingent on my consistent observance of the time

later, i noticed something had changed with neocities. other people can immediately see the changes i make, but
it takes about twenty-five minutes for them to show up for me, regardless of what i do. this totally kneecapped
the "centered paragraphs" formatting i'd been doing for the past two years, & i decided to abandon it

;)

-

march 20th. i listened to the new album by bladee & ecco2k, was very thrilled by it

-

march 21st. my pal & i listened - for a second time - through the entire four hour album of jake
tobin & ben varian talking into a tape recorder about the food they're eating during a three week tour

-

march 22nd. i watched fear & loathing in las vegas with my friend. i became incapacitated with hysterical
laughter from playing the star wars episode one theme & spamming discord bot commands that rewind it two
seconds, & holding my mic by my dog slurping milk. the magnetic fields episode of lamplight didn't debut on air

-

march 24th. for the first time, an episode of my show wound up being about
a minute short of fifty-nine minutes, so i made an outro to fill the dead space

-

march 25th. i burned three candles. i accidentally went so long without
burning them that they took me back to when i was burning my candles

-

march 26th. i managed to get half an hour of sun again.
i timed the half hour by listening to crest a second time

-

march 27th. my bangs have been slowly receding up my forehead as the consequence of recurrent events where
i identify some new "issue" which i am convinced can be remedied by trimming a certain area. i end up creating
a discrepancy in length, & have to trim the rest to make it even again. the next day i identify some new "flaw"

this has gotten bad enough to give me a feeling of anxiety & dread this morning. i feel like i lack the self-control to let them grow back
to their normal length. i decided to cover the mirror in my bedroom with a towel so that i could stop being intermittently spurred to think
about it. i felt helpless. i eventually calmed down, & having the mirror covered began to make me sad, so i uncovered it. i was fine

i e-mailed my instructor, asking if we could do another week of doubled up lamplight episodes, this time with nineteen & twenty

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march 28th. during class, my instructor told me he'd held off on airing the next episode
because of spring break. so the following week would simply be episode nineteen in isolation

-

march 29th. i opened the front door of my own accord & found the mailman standing right outside with the wirtschaftswunder lp.
it was wrapped in a recent issue of a german newpaper. it came with a lyrics sheet. today the weather was beautiful. i took the
screen out of my window, to minimize the sense of disconnection from the outside. i walked around reading mother night a lot.
i accompanied my neighbors' tiny black dog on a walk which strayed a fair distance from home. they didn't know i was out there
with it. episode nineteen aired as my dad cooked mexican food. i transcribed all the wirtschaftswunder lyrics on genius

-

march 30th. another photography day. i had to take three pictures that each displayed a different one of six composition techniques.
i roamed the campus in aimless search of opportunities to employ them. it was sort of a bleak task. the nice person in the food,
court L, was excited by the camera & asked what model it was. they told me they had been a photography major in the past

eventually i met up with C again at the library. she was a big help as always, & we got all three photos done. i'm enjoying these meetings.
we spent a while looking at books about caves, mining, & printmaking. i found a book of works by Toulouse-Lautrec, which was great

she's obsessed with caves & minerals lately. this began when she found a huge chunk of calcite in a river. she had taken it to the
museum, hoping it was worth something, but they told her it was worthless. the rock was in the back seat of her car. we met
a classmate of hers, & he laughed a lot when she showed him a photo of the rock in the seat, with the seatbelt fastened

right before we left, we noticed a display which invited
students to make blackout poetry. i made one & she
made two. it was very fun. she drove me home

-

march 31st. i woke up with six long, stinging scratches down my calf... i had done this. i had woken up briefly during the night & taken my socks
off. then i scratched my calves, because that always feels very good after taking socks off. i guess my nails must be pretty sharp! i didn't even
notice as i left the scratches, for some reason, but for the rest of my sleep i'd occasionally wake up a bit & have a dim awareness of the pain

i received a third letter from my friend

i used ublock to strip down tumblr's functionality a bit more. now nothing comes up when i press
the z & c keys at the same time. hopefully this will extinguish my tendency of making text posts



April



april 1st. i didn't have that great of a day. there were food trucks on campus, & i ordered a pizza.
i had to stand by the truck waiting on that pizza for about half an hour, & over the course of it i
began to have a sort of breakdown for unrelated reasons. i began quietly crying at one point

after i finally got the pizza, i brought it to the student center & ate it. i used an absurd amount of napkins,
since the pizza was so greasy & i am, as often stated, unreasonably averse to getting oil on myself

i walked home. i was very sad. as i walked, a series of bittersweet & playful songs came into my head. i later
appropriated this as part of the playlist for the next lamplight episode, the rest being an extension of the same feeling

i got home, lied in bed for about half an hour, unable to relax. i could feel my pulse in my head & my stomach, i could think nothing but unbearably
bad thoughts. i tried to hide away in happy imaginary affection but simply wouldn't work. i imagined leaving the apartment, running to a nearby field,
& cathartically yelling & thrashing around. the fantasy involuntarily translated to about five violent thrashes in my bed before i knew what i was doing

i got up, left the apartment, went on a long walk that started with me openly & loudly crying behind some neighbor's
backyard but had me feeling a lot better by the end. i walked to the "little library" & took out the sole remaining
right-wing (or, to state the more particular offense, partisan) propaganda book, & cathartically tore it to shreds

i walked backwards along the driveway of a church, telling myself somewhat histrionically that once i turned the corner & went behind the
church, i would fade away & not have to worry anymore. this didn't happen. i banged my head lightly against the beige corrugated metal
exterior of the building. in the distance i saw a very tall pole that i had never noticed before, & walked about a mile towards it

when i got home the fourth episode of my show from last semester was on the radio for some reason

-

april 3rd. i went to an event at a local park. food trucks & an inane cover band trapped in the nineties, playing a setlist that felt very goofy
or very bleak, depending on my mood from minute to minute. spice girls, third eye blind, & so on. i brought the camera & took lots of
photos. many of them were of sidewalk chalk art by children. there were mayflies everywhere, everywhere, just everywhere.
if i stopped walking for a second they'd start to fly up & brush against my legs. it drove me a bit crazy a few times

after the event i simply wandered away, to the far edge of the park, through some suburbs, to downtown, taking more photos along the
way. my night ended at the same old bar, where i ordered a blt - or rather, the bar's idea of a blt. bacon bits between two pieces of
bread, a plate of lettuce & tomatoes to add at my discretion, & a small cup of mayonnaise. i simply ate this like a perverse salad

a man said, loudly, about the programming that was being played: "yer playin'
women's basketball?! hauhauhauhau!!!"
& i acutely felt my condition of
being alive on a planet extensively populated by cartoon characters

i went home & put together much of episode twenty-one. i listened to two
albums with my friend - r. stevie moore's glad music & xiu xiu's forget

-

april 4th. the browser history on the computer in the recording room looked like this. if i knew who this was i'd reach out to them, just have them send
me their weekly playlists & send batches of mp3s back... i e-mailed the instructor saying maybe he should advise against getting them that way, at
least while using that pc. at home i hypnotically drew a picture while listening to current 93's in a foreign town, in a foreign land through earbuds

-

april 5th. i went to the nature trail. it was hot out. i brought the camera & took a bunch of photos. i found my first
painted rock in years. i felt persistently detached from my surroundings, unfortunately. i got very hungry & thirsty &
hot, & had to flee to a gas station & ask my brother for a ride home. i made it home in time to catch episode twenty

during the broadcast, i noticed that my succulent, which i had stupidly left sitting out on a table on the back porch, wasn't there. i rushed
outside, filled with earnest concern. it had been very windy, & its little pot had been blown off the table. it was still rooted in its mass
of dirt, but it was lying sideways outside the pot. i put it back in the pot & brought it inside. one side of it was a bit discolored in places,
& there were some brown, scabbed patches on some of the leaves. my theory is that the force of its impact with the ground may have
messed up its vascular system on one side of the central stem - or maybe it was a condition it acquired lying sideways in the
sun like that. i felt a tiny bit heartbroken by this. its condition seemed to only worsen over the coming weeks

as i type this on the twenty-second, it seems like it very well may be recovering. a few days ago, one of its leaves was totally brown, dead,
& deflated, but now i don't... see that one? so maybe they can fully heal from that state, or... well, i don't know, that's my only guess!

some parts of the plant are still discolored, but... well, as i said, i thought its stem had been sort
of broken & that it was just gonna slowly die, but it looks better than i thought it would by now

-

april 7th. my photography teacher didn't show up to class. he didn't feel well & only sent us the e-mail once we were
already there. someone put a scarf on the lion statue whose mouth i always put candy bars in. i put a candy bar in its mouth

-

april 8th. the candy bar was still in the lion's mouth after my morning class but not when i returned to that building in the
afternoon. i ordered three samples of perfume & spent about two hours making the corresponding changes to the spreadsheet

-

april 9th. somewhere around this time i started slowly eating the six candy canes that had been hanging from my shelf since around christmas

-

april 10th. i dozed off next to all my tea boxes on my bed without rolling over & disturbing them. yippee yahoo

-

april 11th. odd day. a former army guy in my class casually recounted a story of being savagely dehumanized with an air of "heheh, yeah,
that's just how they do it in the ol' boot camp!" while everyone stared with blank acceptance the way people do in a college classroom. i
spent about four hours in the recording room agonizing over pronunciation & mouth clicks & perfection. when it was finally done i walked
home in an odd mental state, mumbling to myself about things i yearned for, et cetera. got home, lied in bed under a blanket for a while
with thoughts swarming my head, fueling a brimming need to write. finally i got drunk for the sole purpose of eliciting a capacity
to write without any filter & wound up with about three thousand two hundred words to show for it

-

april 12th. i received a letter & a bookmark in the mail from my pal

-

april 14th. shortly after i woke, i had a really good opportunity for a photo, a dove outside my window perched on the satellite dish framed by white
flowers, but i wasn't quick enough. that sort of thing is really bad on my brain, i can't deal with even mundane permanent losses of anything that
could be beautiful, it makes me want to cry. i have to force myself not to think about what i could have photographed, it's the same feeling
as if i took a plate i've had in my kitchen since i was young & just threw it into a wall. i would've photographed it if i just hadn't
had to waste time making the aperture wider. this also happened recently with a cat sleeping on roxy's grave

i went to the library & checked out the catcher in the rye & sherwood anderson's winesburg, ohio. i met up with C again to take photos. she had
an ear infection. this time we needed three photos incorporating flash in various ways - direct flash, fill flash, & ghosting. the first was easy,
taken in a darkened classroom while she stood at the podium. there was a large curtain at the back of the classroom. we moved it & found
a whiteboard. she drew something inane that involved devil horns & i drew the apple i always draw. we moved the curtain back

the fill flash & ghosting proved more difficult. we drove to the duck pond & i took a lackluster fill flash shot, then we drove to
a nearby park where she could swing on a swing set, perhaps providing the sufficient motion needed for a photo with ghosting

there were three kids there with a bubble machine that they had purchased for three dollars. bubbles blew to & fro.
they were thrilled. C conversed with them a bit, & one of them said that her current "obsession" is "clowncore"

she drove me home. during the drive she mentioned an open mic night at a local bar in a few hours. before i got out of
her car there was a very good song playing on the radio. i committed several lyrics to memory so that i could search
them, but wound up forgetting them, or even quite what the song sounded like. everything but how good it was

only the direct flash turned out to be usable, so i got my dad to pose for a fill flash & used my ceiling fan for the ghosting

i poured some of a perfume sample onto my wrists - the one that is labeled #2 in the "bon bon trio." i asked my brother
for a ride to the open mic. the open mic is a bit absent from my memory. it was sort of a non-event. i certainly
recall rapping, guitars, & singing, but i can't recall when it all ended, just that it did at some point

i ordered a small pizza, ate it as i read to about halfway through the
penultimate chapter of mother night. i asked my brother for a ride home

before i got in my brother's car, i wanted to go over to a guy & ask him what he was writing & drawing on his piece of paper. i would have felt
intrusive, though. i was thinking about times when i've randomly felt a desperate inclination to talk to a random stranger in a bar or somewhere,
& not gone through with it. this wasn't a desperate inclination, though. just mild curiosity. but i was imagining if he felt that desperate
inclination to talk to me. i wasn't really assuming or hoping for this, just thinking about how other people might experience the inexplicable
desperation & so any person i randomly talk to has a chance of being a realization of wanting to talk to me so much

on the drive home we passed an abandoned building that trucks used to stop at, a place meant primarily for trucks to back up to & have
stuff loaded or unloaded. so it's elevated as a whole to the height of a semi trailer. all the garage doors are missing, so you can see
right through, & there are support columns that are kind of entrancing, & i watched the parallax of those columns as the car passed

i thought about how i didn't have to automatically regard the building as a symbol for abandonment, or defunctness, or listless
bureaucratic management of interchangeable truck-loading facilities, that i could take it purely visually, as something like
an odd nocturnal stage someone could dance on. i think that represents all the granular ways a person can let their
perspective become corrupted. the processing of a truck building or a million other sights

-

april 15th. in the early morning, i finished mother night

i printed a paper that said "I taped this paper to this wall. -The Person Who Taped This Paper To This Wall" & taped it to a small,
obscure wall in the library. i thought it was playful but sort of corny. i went through with it regardless though. i also printed out
the first three chapters of the society of the spectacle as separate sheafs of stapled paper simply because the exercise interested me

on my way home i passed two young children standing outside the business & computer science building. they
had a baby bunny, & they let me pet it. when i got home, the perfume samples had arrived. i smelled them

i wasn't crazy about villa nellcote. i expected it to be a particularly good one, i think because i expected it to smell particularly like
vanilla, for no better reason than the unconscious comparison of the word "villa" to "vanilla." i think i additionally misremembered
it as having vanilla when, looking again, it has none. regardless of all that: it's like... a person who's just gotten out of the
shower. it feels adjacent to the scent of some masculine-marketed body wash. nothing surprising about it

the first sample i ordered was la stanza delle bambole, chosen pretty much at random, & i think it was a very fortuitous choice, probably
an enduring favorite, anything i might order would be measured against the magic of that one. in fact the standard set by that one is
why it's a bit disappointing to blindly order some other samples & find myself reminded of body wash, or fruity pebbles

-

april 16th. there happened to be boxes of cereal in the apartment, as opposed to bags. seeing them really
caught me off guard & hit me in a very nostalgic way... you could say i was "reminded of fruity pebbles"

i went to an event consisting of short talks given by various people in the community who were either: involved in local humanitarian efforts
(many of them had participated in the emergency cold weather shelter that my dad was involved with), or homeless themselves. these
talks were interspersed with live music. there was also pottery sold on a pay-what-you-want basis, & a silent auction was held for
a painting. before i left, i poured live in colours on my wrists. it had a much softer feeling when it was actually on my skin

i was there to help with recording the whole thing, & i was assisted by none other than my sister J, who i have only met
& briefly introduced myself to once in my life. i can't say we talked all that much, & most of our talk was about the
task at hand, which was ultimately a very simple one. but it was interesting to interact with her, i suppose

i overheard a lady at a table saying "there was blood all over the fuckin... speculum." i absent-mindedly sipped my coffee while
it was still hot & burned a whole side of my tongue. i spilled a bunch of coins out of my wallet & a guy picked them all up for me

we heard from D, President of the redacted geographic location Socialist Rifle Association. he talked about all the ways in which he was
transformed by reading anarchist theory & by becoming involved in mutual aid. he talked about "solidarity over charity" & what this really
meant beyond its potential reduction to a quip. he talked about ineffectiveness of charities, describing even the most well-intended ones
as mere band-aids. he talked about the unacceptability of hierarchies & stressed that everything should be horizontal. i thought that
last point was sort of ironic since he was the President of anything, but it was a nice speech nonetheless. maybe he thinks
hierarchies with respect to mutual aid are worse than hierarchies in the socialist rifle association

my dad was going to do a magic trick at some point, but he claimed to have suddenly gotten very sick with some kind
of stomach bug, & he took off early. based on the way he was acting, though, i personally suspect that this was
a lie to cover him inexplicably having gotten wasted. before he left, he & J & i took a group photo

we heard from a guy named L who had become homeless when his parents kicked him out of his house by threatening
him with a twelve gauge shotgun when he was fourteen, solely because he was diagnosed with autism. he dresses like
a 1950s greaser, & he acknowledged this & explained why. it was related to his grandfather who had been murdered

J, a guy who had been involved at the shelter, saw me pacing & said hi to me, asked how i was doing.
as part of the "security" team, J had consistently worn a dinosaur onesie because the absurdity
of it had a tendency to dissipate tensions between people who were fixing to get in a fight

i told J that i i kind of wanted to try going up & talking, but i figured i wouldn't have
enough time. he said i could just say whatever i had to say to him & his friend M. so i did

the sentiments i had in mind were not new but i just wanted to try to voice & reinforce this perspective of how in our acclimation to living in urban &
suburban environments we risk becoming numb to how unforgivably inhumane it is that the surface of the planet is meant to be habitable, but, as privately
owned land expands & endlessly produces structures which could potentially function as basic shelter, how when you look around all you can even see
is shelter, all this proliferation is is a propagation of security cameras, alarm systems, inhospitability & abject desolation continuously staking claim
to more & more of the surface of the earth. how suburban development is the optimistic proliferation of “homes” on its face but really just
the laying down of more concrete that no one can sleep on, how a world is only blanketed with homes if people's doors are open, or else those
homes are prisons which all life is compactly locked into, leaving only a wasteland of dead streets on the outside. how no particular
homeowner or business owner seems to wholly deserve culpability since the system realistically incentivizes everyone to manage
their properties this way, but in aggregate the effect is deeply, deeply, abjectly, indescribably unforgivable

then he asked about my radio show, so i talked about that some. i tried to name some artists i'd played, & my head went totally blank.
i managed to say... animal collective, sun kil moon, ariel pink, john maus, & yellow magic orchestra, i believe. he knew animal collective

i had to gather my dad's things from up by the stage, but i had to spend a while
waiting for the current stretch of music to end because it was unbearably loud

during my ride home i watched the abandoned truck depot again, how the support columns danced with their parallax. i liked how the
3d space reduced to a very specific horizontal movement of vertical lines, thought about how one would go about reproducing it

to me, the two approaches of hand animation vs. designing a three-d rendering system represented a spectrum between the acts
of hewing out one's vision versus hewing out a system from which one's vision can emerge... the drawing instrument & the
sheets of paper are still a system, but the three-d render "feels" more like a system because it feels more abstract

& i saw something shared between this spectrum & the quality of honesty about one's true desires & how to attain them. honesty about
what systems one actually needs to engage with to consider a given pursuit accomplished. honesty about when any mediation is called for

-

april 19th. i cracked myself up by making cat noises, it's funny to me how disturbingly easy it is to
sound exactly like one. when lamplight aired i accidentally publicized my surname & university over
youtube purely because i had dragged the wrong mp3 into windows movie maker the night prior

-

april 21st. i went & saw inland empire at the local theater. it was my first time seeing it. the scene with all the dancers made me laugh because
people vanishing into thin air with no audio or visual effects to accompany it pretty much always makes me laugh. after i got home, i lied on the
floor under a blanket, letting sweet pea bite at me. she got very excited, so i opened the door & she ran laps. no people & no music & only the
simplicity of the interaction. it's like if you're in a room & all you can do is watch the dvd logo bounce, more wholesome though

i felt good that night, obscure & at peace, thoughts calm. blessed as always with the soft dim tan light from
the lamp in my room, which didn't have to be in the apartment... i don't even remember where it came from

-

april 22nd. i was really happy towards the start of the day. everything felt like a dream. i don't intend for the
past tense to imply any drastic fall in mood - maybe i didn't sustain the blissful feelings of early on, but it
was only a degree of exhaustion that set in over the course of the day, not any particular sadness

i took the trolley downtown, got a shot. on my way to the coffee shop i stopped & picked up six fallen magnolia petals,
carried them the rest of the way. i spent a little while at the coffee shop, which i haven't been to very often lately

i got stuck in the bar for a while, & spent that duration trying to draw it. i didn't think to
photograph this view for comparison while i was there. i'll try to remember to do that next time

my brother drove me to the pharmacy. i picked up a refill of medication. i put the magnolia petals in the paper bag that it came in.
i walked a couple miles home with a case of sparkling water in my backpack. when i got home i collapsed on the futon in the living
room with my eyes closed & let the latter twenty minutes of autechre's elyc6 0nset scrub my brain clean like steel wool

-

april 25th. as i walked home from the store i saw that a person's front yard was full of dandelions. i love
the crazy amounts of dandelions i've been seeing here & there. three times i picked a dandelion & walked
around a field swinging them around to disperse the seeds. i want there to be more of them

-

april 26th. the band Freshly Wrapped Candies finally responded to the e-mail i sent them five months
ago. they offered to mail me a dark side of the white christmas thriller lp as thanks for transcribing
their albums on genius, & provided a bunch of transcriptions for the parts i couldn't make out

-

april 27th. in the early morning, i finished the last of the candy canes

the door to the room where i record my shows was locked. while i was searching for anyone who could unlock it, i got sidetracked
ambling around in an auditorium & there i discovered four small spaces that might have been among the most obscure on campus.
it felt special to find them, intimate even. there are big curtains along the backs & sides of the room, & hidden at one edge
of each of these curtains are small crevices that one can slip into to manipulate the cords which move them

i found things in two of these crevices. the first had little tags from clothing littered everywhere, possibly from underwear.
there was also a small object that made me feel as if God wanted me to find it there. in the second crevice i found a printed
schedule for a local baseball season, & i infer from it being dated 2006 that in braving these depths i found an
honest-to-God mundane artifact that had been sitting in that spot for about sixteen years. & into my purse it went

i found a lady who unlocked the room, & i recorded my show. i went home. i got a ride to the coffee shop.
for my photo class, i needed three pictures by the end of the day - a "feature" (slice-of-life) photo,
a night photo, & a "personality portrait" (portrait displaying a person's hobbies & character)

i asked the employees at the coffee shop if they'd be comfortable with me trying to get a candid picture of
someone working the espresso machine. they said it was ok. a girl named L volunteered to brew a coffee
specifically for the photo. they invited me to step behind the counter so that i could frame it better

i had never been behind the counter before, so it was a bit of a strange experience. then, as i was framing the photo,
adjusting the shutter speed, waiting for the right moment, john maus' just wait til next year started playing on the
intercom. i thought this was unusual, & the confluence of the song with being behind the counter created a very odd
moment that stuck in my memory. J was there, & i said to her, "what the." & then i said, "i love this song."

previously i have referred to a certain girl as J, & i have referred to her girlfriend J, who works at the coffee shop, as
"J's friend," & then "J's girlfriend," to distinguish the two. from here on, though, i will just say "J" for both of them

also present at the coffee shop was C, a guy who is also in the photography class - who also had a radio show last semester,
& once played john maus & ariel pink's chart beep. i had never seen him there before. before he left, he came over & asked
me if i was there for the assignment. i said yes, & that i planned to wander main street in search of a night photo opportunity,
once the sun had fully set. he said he had the same idea. that C happened to be present for that odd confluence behind the
counter, & that he was downtown for the same reason as me, this all was titillating to my pattern recognition

i stayed in the coffee shop until about twenty minutes after close, reading stanislaw lem's highcastle.
then i went to the bar. the sun was almost down. in the bar, i encountered my photography teacher, &
we talked briefly. here i think the day irrevocably became an "odd day," if it hadn't been one before

i found a quarter & played a single round of skee ball. i scored one hundred & ninety points. i think i was cheated out of some points,
because the machine is buggy. about fifteen minutes later, i set off into the dark, just about fully expecting to encounter C out there
& perhaps collaborate with him on our photos in some way, what with my pattern recognition being titillated. this did not happen

the westminster quarters echoed from a church in the distance as i crossed the street to the parking ramp that i hoped my friend would chase me
around approximately forty-nine days hence. i went to the top & got two good photos, one being the one i ended up turning in. when i went back to
the first floor, a guy appeared & startled me so much that i hopped in the air. he apologized for ruining my shot, although i hadn't been taking a picture

i walked around for a while, taking some more photos, particularly of a large apartment building. i went to the bar. i ordered
an alcoholic drink. the bartender said she actually wasn't sure if she'd served me alcohol before, & asked to see my card.
i showed it to her. once i had the drink, i wondered if she saw any significance in my having crossed from being a
person who had never ordered alcohol from her to one who had, & the idea caused me a minor degree of worry

a drunk guy, Z if i remember correctly, said as he walked outside: "hey, i know you! ...i'm pretty sure i know you!
maybe not." when he came back inside, he asked if i had often sat in the back with my laptop. i nodded. he did
know me. later he came back & talked to me a bit about his imminent graduation from the college i attend

i asked my dad if he would like to help with the personality portrait when i got home. he agreed, & set up some stuff
to pose in front of. i drank the drink as i read some more of highcastle, then i went home. i took the photo of him

-

april 28th. during my walk home i stopped & spent a long time watching a group of six to eight groundhogs that lived under a shed near a radio
tower. when there had been no disturbances for a while, the adults would appear to stay behind the shed & keep watch while the babies dispersed from
the front & went exploring in the grass. when something spooked them, they would all dash back to safety. a robin flew by at knee height & startled me

i approached another groundhog huddled against the exterior of the alumni center, wondering where it would go
once i got close enough. it surprised me by vanishing straight down into the ground. it had been sitting on
top of a pipe that went straight down, & i guess it lived in there, or at least recognized it as shelter

i went into the university relations & marketing building for the first time, looked around. there was a bucket with chocolate coins in it,
& i ate one. there was a fair amount of interesting things in there, particularly this delight in the office of the community historian

i am in an "attention extensively consumed by identifying & acquiring albums that no one has uploaded to youtube yet" phase

-

april 29th. flying bugs that got in my room the night prior died on my windowsill & were taken apart by ants. i froze my laptop
for like twenty minutes trying to use a program to batch download all one thousand plus singles from tonetta's bandcamp

-

april 30th. i went to the nature trail. it was around a seven-hour outing. on my way there i spoke a bunch of thoughts into my phone's
sound recorder app, but in the end i am not sure if i want to post them. i smelled a lilac bush that i thought i had missed my chance to
smell, because a few weeks prior i had mistaken the flowers' appearance prior to blooming for that of already having bloomed & wilted

i got to the nature trail. i walked around an unpaved footpath meowing, just practicing realistic meows. i went from
meowing to throat singing. i photographed silkworms. i saw a wild turkey. i went back to the convenience store & got
two energy bars & a drink. i had to ask the cashier to open the bottle for me. i saw a large egg on the edge of a cliff

shortly after i got to the main part of the trail, a moment came which marked a fundamental turn in the day.
i realized that my sunglasses were missing. i had stupidly hung them from an exterior part of my purse. they
were a gift, & had sentimental value. my tranquility evaporated. i became very quietly upset & anxious

i turned back & began combing the whole trail - this meant both a majority of the paved portion as well as two separate unpaved branches.
i ended up combing the whole area twice. i was filled with an unshakable, single-minded need to reclaim them. i felt helpless. i am not
good with having to abruptly part with a sentimental belonging. i began to continuously mutter to myself quietly about my need to find
them, making pleas which eventually became words repeated over & over in a sort of trance. all i wanted was for the next moment
to be the one when my gaze landed on them. i picked two small flowers & placed them in my purse so that they stuck out

i considered that i could order a replica of them, & although this elicited uncertain feelings about leaning on the mass
production of an object to replace the sentimentality of the one that had actually been there for so long, i hoped that it
might ease the feeling like replacing the egg of a captive pigeon with a wooden fake so that it doesn't become depressed

eventually i found myself receding into comforting fantasies of physical affection, muttering the comforting statements of the
person i envisioned while scanning my eyes back & forth across the leaves almost blindly for a long time, & then it got dark
& i held both of my phones together with their flashlights on, eventually making it back to the paved path & walking along
holding the two phones to my nose, muttering loving things & hypnotically watching the grass at the edge of the
path endlessly scroll past my vision. my receded muttering persisted for the whole chilly walk home

i heard animals calling back & forth to each other pretty close by. they were odd calls, not quite like anything i'd heard before.
initially i thought they were owls, but then i felt like i would have believed if someone told me they were birds, ungulates, or
canids. it had a consistent rhythm - three to four escalating hoots that ended at an oo-ooo. a nasal, higher-pitched one joined
in also. i had a close encounter with a possum. i saw another, smaller egg in some grass. one of the little flowers in
my purse had disappeared, the other was mashed down among a round brush & other objects. i got home



May



may 1st. i teared up at a stuffed animal restoration video. i finished downloading one thousand two hundred singles from tonetta's bandcamp
page & put them on mega. i began drinking coffee every night & obsessively (yet slowly) reading a pair of essays that i had to read & have
essays written about by may sixth. for each twenty percent that i read of both essays i rewarded myself by uploading an album to youtube

i walked to the store for snacks & when i got home i got incredibly hot & lightheaded from low blood
sugar, far worse than i've ever had it. i scarfed down a lot of the sugary snacks i'd just picked up

-

may 2nd. i'm going to be honest with everyone, a crane fly bumped into my head & then careened right into my cup of coffee & i picked it out &
continued drinking it like nothing happened. i felt so angry with God for pulling that one on me that i wasn't going to let It have the satisfaction

the replacement sunglasses arrived but they have a noticeably more vibrant design which lets more light through the frames. this would be ok
if i hadn't been counting on them to be identical to the sentimental pair that i lost, so that i could look at them & receive an irrational sort
of comfort where i could suggest to myself that i hadn't lost them. the design will serve to remind me of losing them. it hurts a bit
because i thought i at least had an irrational sort of emotional fallback. i think i need to just do my best to not think about it

-

may 3rd. the last lamplight for the semester debuted. i thought i was going to produce fourteen episodes, but i wound up not having enough time.
i would have liked to have concluded the semester more ceremoniously, but, oh well... later i figured out how to make shepard tones in audacity

-

may 4th. i pictured a cartoon in my head as i listened to an album for the first time in a long time. g.a.w.'s g.a.w. spielt klassik gitarre

-

may 5th. i took my photography final. it was an unorthodox one. we met at the classroom, then the instructor said "go" & we had two hours to venture
out & find a feature photo. i immediately walked to the classroom next door & found my old "Interpersonal Communications" teacher & her class
celebrating the end of the semester with games & tacos. i took a picture of them & considered immediately walking back & turning this
in. i feel this would have been beautiful, if i could have been sure it'd have been a passing photo, but i didn't go through with it

i got a ride downtown & trekked around on foot, searching desperately through every shopfront for something worth photographing. turns out
not much happens in a place covered in stores, i guess. what happens is that people stand at cash registers waiting for people to buy things.
shortly before the deadline, i got desperate & simply hurried to the bar & got a photo of the bartender working the cash register

on the drive back to campus, we passed two people on a street corner with a bicycle & a cardboard sign asking for financial
help. i tried to get a photo of them, as an alternative for my submission. one of them noticed me & flipped me off, & the
photo is of them flipping me off. i really don't like that i did this, & it's not something that i would try to do again

i arrived back at the room late & found it empty, so i just went home, figuring that i failed but that it wouldn't ruin my
overall grade. i was permitted to turn it in two days late, though, so i guess the "two hours" deal was more of a formality

-

may 6th. i returned the dslr

-

may 8th. ants have been obsessed with the dresser that i keep my laptop on, & it's been making me cuckoo nutter balls cause i have no idea what they
would've found. well, i finally watched them very carefully walking down to the third drawer & into it. they were going down through all the clothes,
to the bottom, to the freaking bag of wrappers of strawberry candies i ate long ago. i put each wrapper back in the bag, then stuffed the bag in
the drawer cause i'm not good about throwing away mementos. they found their way into that lousy drawer, under all the clothes, just
for the atoms of sugar remaining on all the wrappers! i did some swabbing with vinegar to remove the scent trail

-

may 10th. in the early morning, i woke up with precordial catch & it took forever to go away. i had to spend a
while stuck in bed, breathing shallowly, hardly able to move... it never did go away, at least, not for the whole
time that i was awake, because i managed to painlessly roll onto my left side after a while & fall back asleep

-

may 11th. in the early morning, i called my friend & went on a walk around my neighborhood
that lasted several hours. i don't go on enough walks around my neighborhood anymore

after i slept, i took my final final. all we did was watch smoke signals with
drinks & snacks then write a short pass/fail response. i liked it. hello summer

i made a new friend - A. he lives in France. our interactions
sort of tapered off by around the end of the month, though

-

may 12th. around dusk, i walked to the library to return the two books i checked out. i forgot to read either of them
at all, unfortunately. from the upper floors of the library, across a dark unlit expanse, i could see the distant lights
of a ferris wheel
. there was a little fair in the parking lot of the mall. after i left the library, a guy i had
seen there followed me about halfway across campus just to ask if i was ok. i'm not sure why

i impulsively extended my walk, a truly heavenly thing i am now free to do since it's summer & i'm not worried about
deadlines & free time. i walked down to the duck pond & along the dark nature trail. i wandered to the movie theater
parking lot where a dog ran at me, which made me yelp & raise my purse, ready to swing it around if need be

i meandered my way over to the little fair. i got a cherry funnel cake. i've never seen flavored variants of funnel
cakes before. they're just topped with that sort of standard issue pie filling. it made my mouth sting a bit, due
to a mild allergy. i passed a small cage full of hermit crabs in decorated shells, held as prizes for tossing
a ball into a bowl of water. i crouched by it & watched them crawl around. i felt melancholic [1] [2] [3]

i crossed the street directly into the dark graveyard & wandered around there a bit. i meandered over to the train tracks, at the far end of
which i saw, reflecting around a bend, the lights of a train that was parked out of sight. this was eerie to stand there & see. i went to
the park but left when i saw two people under the pavilion who i suspected may have been the people i tried to photograph on the fifth

i started walking home. the fair was closed now. as i passed the mall, i looked at the college's flagpole in
the distance & imagined a percussive "ping" sound growing quieter as it quickly darted to the flagpole

on the desolate paved path which approaches the college, i went through an endless mass grave of earthworms
who had become stranded on that path. so many dead, so many writhing helplessly. i did see one large one
escaping back into the grass, though. i think i also saw one of those burning lanterns crossing the sky

the song softly & tenderly (as it appears on daniel johnston's 1990) got stuck in my head when i passed a field that i had slowly walked into
in a trance while listening to that song, years ago. as i walked, i intermittently sang it to myself quietly, hardly noticing myself doing it

i reached the campus proper. as i passed the flagpole, i looked in the direction of the mall, faintly visible
across that dark unlit expanse, & imagined the pinging sound rapidly approaching & striking me in the head

i stopped by the gas station & bought a diet soda. as i walked back home through my neighborhood, a nearby car's alarm went off once
so loudly & shrilly that i shrieked & tensed up. my heart got fast. bristly anxiety drained through my limbs & out of my fingertips

-

may 15th. i asked my brother for a ride to the store to pick up a medication refill. when we got there, it turned out that i had called the wrong
clinic a day or two prior, so we had to drive all the way across town to that one. this wound up serendipitously putting me in the brief company
of a delightful woman named L, one of the pharmacists there. in her "hello" & "goodbye" she called me "honey" & "sweet pea," respectively

when she pulled up the information on her computer, she whispered quietly to herself, "why the fuck is it so expensive?" it was indeed
a hundred & twenty dollars & tends to run around that amount. she was vocally incensed about it for the rest of the transaction,
asking me if it always costed that much, telling me my insurance provider only paid forty dollars, muttering "ridiculous"

she asked me, "do you need any," & communicated "syringes" with an aggressive psycho-type
stabbing motion. i shook my head & exhaled forcefully, & she said, "do you like my... animation?"

-

may 16th. my friend sent me a leak of the new ariel pink album & i was briefly one of five people with access to it. i found out that the
reason there has been such a persistent presence of ants in my room is that they were able to break into my cute bag full of strawberry
candies & from there break into their wrappers :( they had been smuggling away atoms of these candies for weeks. i put the bag
in the freezer for a while to kill them all. then i transferred the candies into a bowl, shook all the dead ants out of
the bag, & put the candies back in. i'm still willing to eat them. it's not like they'll taste like ant

-

may 17th. the field is getting overgrown enough that i can't see the distant lights anymore. just mostly
darkness outside the sliding door. i recently rewatched an old video where it happened to be simply
knee-high tall grass, & that was very pretty. it's very pretty now, though, too. now, though, too

-

may 18th. i slept for twelve hours, by my teas. i was woken up at one point by an airplane. at one point
i think i came the closest i've ever been to full-on sleep paralysis, but i managed to tear myself out of it

it's not clear to me whether i am yanking myself out of imminent sleep paralysis or merely a particularly
"meta" sort of nightmare. it's like the story of my dream will shift to being in my room experiencing
sleep paralysis, & this makes it essentially a nightmare, but obviously not actual sleep paralysis

however, the dream also has me fighting desperately to move, & it "tells" me that if i can't force myself to move then i'll wake up with actual
sleep paralysis. the dream seems to have waking stakes. so i fight it desperately, & the successful act of moving is equal to waking with a yelp

-

may 19th. i went & saw everything everywhere all at once.
it was... nice. i'm conflicted on it, too much of the humor
felt like something you'd hear in a commercial

it had a very grand message about... taking a sense of angst about the infinite potential paths in life, & inverting it into a
sense that, because nothing in life "matters," one can use that lack of real gravity as a lease to act freely & without trepidation

after i left the theater, i walked towards downtown, just for somewhere to walk to. the sidewalk led along the side of a big bridge. i stopped in
the middle of this bridge & closed my eyes. i used my fingers like an abacus, counting to ten by tapping the fingers of my left hand on my
leg from thumb to pinkie, then pinkie to thumb, & then i would extend one finger of my right hand. i hoped to count to one hundred in this
way. i was trying to reestablish a sense of connection to my surroundings. i would periodically open my eyes & look around to
make sure no one was approaching. i made it to about sixty before a guy walked onto the bridge, so i carried on

-

may 21st. i made a spreadsheet to tally what percentage of earth's total land area presently falls under the u.s. bureau
of consular affairs' level four "do not travel" advisories. it was 20.6%, with Russia taking up 55.7% of that percentage

around this time, i sacrificed a whole packet of blueberry tea bags & a whole packet of black cherry to make a big pitcher of that
very good mix. it turned out too diluted, though. then my brother took the initiative to pour a sickening amount of sugar into it.
drinking a cup of it made me feel really odd about adding sugar to either of those flavors, so i don't plan to drink any more

blueberry tea for me feels like something pure of malign forces in the world that would selfishly cram everything full of
so much sugar that it just sickens you, just to try to maximize your odds of purchasing it. forces that want to spoil you
until life is so cozy as to be meaningless. ideally i would have gone without ever having tasted that tea with sugar added

-

may 22nd. i sent the musician Tommy Mandel an e-mail saying he should put his discography on bandcamp. he wrote back with some
questions about the platform. he seemed to think i was an official representative of the site & he had a very unfamiliar conception of
it, asking me if he'd need to mass produce cds or usb flash drives. i sent an e-mail back. he hasn't replied as of the twenty-eighth

i moved the chair that my lamp is on to the northwest corner of my room, to make the
room feel different. it was a relieving change. it is easy to forget to do things like that

-

may 25th. in one week, my friend will arrive by plane & we will spend the month of June together. i hit my breast on a door
frame & it made me fall to my knees. i cried out severely enough for my dad to come check on me, & i just said "i'm fine"

-

may 26th. i finally succeeded in staying up late enough to make my sleep cycle diurnal again. a guy came
& did something to our plumbing which produced a constant sort of ripping sound under the floor that was
heavenly to me in the same way as my upstairs neighbors vacuuming. i lied on the floor to be close to it

i've listened to one hundred & twenty-five lucy songs in the past week. they all make me want to gesture around
with my hands the way he does in his music videos, & now i want to do it when i listen to other musicians

-

may 27th. the sky was clear. i got a lot of sunlight. i got a close glimpse of a fox hopping across the field. i got a shot. i had to bring a new vial of
medication. in the waiting room, i sat with it tucked in the pit of my leg so that it would be maximally warm & un-viscuous when the time came.
i walked around the exterior of the retirement home in the sun, reading cosmicomics, & i felt happy. i said aloud various things around me that
i thought were happy, saying "x is happy." a squirrel, some doves on a roof under the sun, a grove of trees, & pine needles were some things
that were happy. my dad made both spaghetti & the discovery that sweet pea loves bell peppers & that they're very good for her

i stared at the possibly permanent calloused patches of my sedum adolphi & asserted to myself that they are part of its
normal functioning & do not impart anything positive or negative about it even if they are a product of my agency

-

may 28th. i got a lot of sunlight. it was beautiful outside. i walked around naming as many objects around me as i could. it was an
odd day, a threatening sense of emptiness hanging over me, a talking-aloud-to-myself about mundane things but there's a kind of
inarticulable desperation in the act itself, with a woozy low-blood-sugar walk to the store & back for snacks. i saw a deer right
outside my house, out in the field, tranquilly roaming around eating on plants. i almost dozed off in the living room to
classical music on the radio. i got woken up & went to my room to sleep. i cried a little shortly after settling into bed

-

may 29th. my sedum adolphi fell a third time. it was sitting perfectly stable on my windowsill but the wind
crashed in & blew it off. i put its pot in a cup so that it would be heavier. then i picked off one of its leaves
absent mindedly, without fully intending to. i felt like a section inside of me was dying in realtime

-

may 30th. i'll reiterate: the field by my house is becoming so overgrown that i can't see the distant buildings & groves of trees that have
been such familiar landmarks for over a decade. at night there is not a landscape dotted with lights anymore. my backyard is becoming
a small place instead of a vista. it feels like a fundamental shift in my surroundings & a kind of... narrowing of my psychic life

it was very very nice & windy out. i walked to the campus book store for a notebook. i planned for this to be a dedicated
notebook for writing notes & reminders about the happenings during my friend's stay over June. i'm not sure if there
will even be a June journal, because i think we are both in alignment with the idea of just living & not stressing about
recording everything & putting it out publicly & cursing it to find some of its value there... maybe June will be secret

the student center was unlocked, but dark & empty, filled with the pointless whine of a security system announcing some trivial
internal state that no one had any reason to come & diagnose. i hadn't realized that this was the span of summer where the
building would be entirely unstaffed. so i left on a longer walk to a department store. i read cosmicomics as i walked

as i walked along the little nature trail, i spoke aloud to myself about my desire to be alone in nature again, my acclimation to it. i
expressed how when my friend arrived we might be compelled to talk about "cultural objects," & i said how grimy they can make
me feel. there were some other things too, like how it feels like i can't acclimate myself to human-scale life because i mentally
push wide-scale realities like formation of the sun & the development of life into so many moments, underlying them

i noticed a girl standing at a pool of water, poking at little fish with a stick. i walked up behind her to get a
closer look at what she was doing. it didn't register to me that i was basically "sneaking up" on her. when she
turned, i accidentally startled her! i smiled, walked away, said "sorry!" ...i saw a raccoon cross the paved path

as i passed a big parking lot i stared up at the cloudy sky mouthing the word
"happy" over & over. or maybe i was actually saying it, i can't remember

i arrived at the store, bought a notebook, more hair ties, & wax cheeses. i ate a lot of the wax cheeses as i
walked home. it was happy. i passed a truck with a rubber ducky on its antenna. after i got home, i wrote
"Alex & J notebook" on the cover in sharpie. then i finished putting my april journal onto neocities

my closet rod fell down. this stressed me out. one of the rings that holds it at each side had apparently been slooowly deforming
from the weight & finally gave out. i took this as a sign to be grateful for having a lot of decorative cloths. i will try to find
other places for some of the sentimental clothes i never wear, & soon we will ask the landlord for a replacement ring

-

may 31st. i had a dream where i was getting more & more frustrated by an endless stream of inescapable nu metal & trying
to hit my head on my closet door in frustration, but the dream wouldn't let me. the feeling got so intense that i woke up in
an act of semi-consciously hitting my head into my pillow, growling in anger. i didn't like the way that that made me feel

i was awash with anxiety all day, filled with a terrible tension, terrible violent scenes flashing anxiously in my head
constantly. i think i underestimated the capacity of my paranoia. i just have to trust that everything will be ok. even
when the paranoia would subside, everything just felt odd & severe in some indescribable way. hot & severe & blank

i walked to the store for burritos. i had an umbrella. during my walk home i said "i don't need looove" in a sing-songy
rhythm over & over like a mantra. there was a kind of momentum to the repetition that i didn't want to break