Thursday, March 31, 2005

bears and the air

i must say that spring keeps me really optimistic - there's a lot out there that makes me think things are good in the world - not the least of which is the beautiful blue sky that kept me company today - the scientific explanation of sunlight refraction in the atmosphere doesn't do the sky justice at all. it makes me think of a song that my mom and i would sing while she was pushing me on a swing when i was little (this is a memory from before i was four years old because it is from staples) - the most memorable line was: it's a beautiful day, and i thank god for the weather - it's a beautiful day, and things are gonna be swell. the song was one i sang in sunday school (or whatever the really little kids went to). and i still think about it on beautiful days (though songs by u2 and the eels are sometimes the ones closest to my mind because i have recordings of them).

when i was around that same age (3-4), i remember when they cut down the trees in our yard for dutch elm, and i was really upset - i didn't know why they would do that (and i'm sure my oldest brother fed me some story - can't remember what it was or whether it was a big lie or the truth). i didn't like that they were cutting down the trees i liked in our front yard, especially since they could be climbed (with some help from the stick ladders that someone had nailed into them) - i was too young to climb them, but i knew i would get to soon, and then the trees were gone. and then i remember there being stumps there, and then i remember them grinding up the stumps and my mom telling me not to go near the stump grinder. it wasn't quite the giving tree thing at all - we didn't get to sit on the stump when we were old and tired. i never got to grow up with those trees.

once we moved to brookings, we dug holes in our front yard and planted two silver maple trees - i remember digging holes there, watching them put the trees in. i remember how they were small and thin and not good for climbing, not even that great for shade even on a summer day - just something that i had to mow around. over the last twenty years, i've grown up with those trees - they're huge now - they make it so grass has a hard time growing underneath their canopy. the cat likes climbing them now, and i love their leaves from when they bloom to when they fall onto the ground. last fall one of the weekends i was home, i took a nap and rolled around in the leaves on the ground for a whole afternoon, and it was peaceful and comfortable. it was nice. i hope those trees don't get a disease any time soon - i hope they keep doing their thing - i hope my niece will get to climb in them - barefoot and happy like i am when i get to climb trees. i'll tell more stories about tree climbing sometime - i have more than enough of them - i have a number of important memories centered around that, especially at my grandparents' farm and saint olaf (where it was prohibited).

i won't say too much about this song - you'll get where i'm coming from - why it was in my head this morning when i woke up - why you'll probably wake up with it in your head sometime soon (i can only hope). after the instrumental buildup, the simple bass line with her vocals is a wonderful beginning. the high points of this song: (a) then we'll go to omaha to work and exploit the booming music scene; and (b) talking about executing important things (bears, air, mountains, rivers, streams, kids, neighbors, etc). no matter what song by rilo kiley i look at, there's at least one high point of the lyrics - her lyrics are generally quite good - they generally tell stories rather than focuing on describing a feeling like some lyrics focus on. i like that - i like narratives when they're good. this particular song is less of a narrative (except for the going to omaha part) - the most recent album is much more so.

i like how some lyricists (most notably from pacific bands) work environmental themes into their music without focusing purely on the environmental things. it's just one of the other normal things they care about and include in their songs - they care about the rivers, the trees, air, the animals - it's good.

the execution of all things by rilo kiley

Soldiers come quickly, I feel the earth beneath my feet.
I’m feeling badly, it’s not an attempt at decency.
And if you’re well off, well then I’m happy some for you.
But I’d rather not celebrate my defeat and humiliation here with you.

Someone come quickly, this place was built for moving out.
Leave behind buildings, the city planners got mapped out.
Bring with you history, and make your hard earned feast.
Then we’ll go to Omaha to work and exploit the booming music scene and humility.

And we’ve been talking all night….

Oh god come quickly, the execution of all things.
Let’s start with the bears and the air and mountains, rivers, and streams.
Then we’ll murder what matters to you and move on to your neighbors and kids.
Crush all hopes of happiness with disease ‘cause of what you did.

And lastly, you’re all alone with nothing left but sleep.
But sleep never comes to you, it’s just the guilt and forever wakefulness of the weak.
It’s just you and me….

The execution of all things.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

i could stay here


i sigh. i grin (foolishly i assume). i anticipate the next strike.


there's something to thunder, something so amazing about it when you're sitting at home, especially the first thunderstorm of spring, as it transitions from snowstorm potential to thunderstorm potential. there's something really awesome and powerful in that. put simply, i love thunderstorms - they are something that makes me love this part of the country - a reason i like it here in minnesota, south dakota, and this area.

i haven't written here for a number of reasons - being busy, having very little access to the internet for the last week or so - that sort of thing. but i haven't given this up by any means. in fact, i think i have much to talk about - and i don't have to worry about being overly talkative because i'm taking no one's time except my own - all the rest of you can choose whether or not to read this - i think that's nice - it makes me feel more flexible, like i can do what i want, even if it means taking a week break or writing long thoughts on stuff.

aside from graduate school decisions (which remain quite confusing - terribly so right now), i'm doing well - i've started exercising again, and i can ride my bike to work without freezing. one thing i did this evening was look back at a few of my old email messages from my senior year of high school - i still have my account and some of the messages from that part of my life. it was really powerful for me to read back over them now, six years later - there's a lot of my personality that's remained pretty constant over that time. i still care a lot about people and try to be really open about that sort of thing (i do this at least as much as i did then) - i still lack a lot of confidence and worry about the reception that my honest thoughts bring (probably less so than six years ago - i've gained some confidence). my worldview has changed some - by that i mean that i think i have seen more of the world and see a little more complexity than before, especially in the real life things that seem most important. i still value relationships a lot. i still have close relationships with close friends.

the other thing it has me thinking about and wanting to do is talk to those people who were so important to me in high school - some of which i've stayed in decent contact with, others much less so - i want to pick up where we left off (or drifted off, or whatever). i really like and appreciate my friends, the recent ones i've made - any in between - i generally feel like i meet and have good relationships with amazing people.

but i'm not exactly sure what to do - i don't know how to get a hold of those people from high school - i don't know how to talk to them. i don't know how to meet up with them. i don't know so much - some of them i've been in the same vicinity for quite a while, but don't do anything about it, even though i want to. i don't have enough time, but that's not a great excuse. i don't know how to get a hold of them, but i could figure that out without too much trouble i'm sure. i feel like it might be somewhat different from before - maybe we wouldn't be able to pick up right where we left off - maybe we've changed a ton and went different directions. each of those concerns plays some part in keeping me from contacting them. at any rate, i guess i just don't know what that all means. and i worry about what that means for some of the friends i'm close with right now. how will it be the same? how will it be different?

i've listened to this song many times in the last two weeks - it might sound melancholy i guess. except for a few moments these last two weeks, i've actually been feeling pretty good. so i think it must be the simple, powerful combination of sounds (piano/vocals) and lyrics (inspiring and unclear, though strangely clairvoyant). at any rate, i find the song relaxing and soothing, somehow descriptive of my current views of the world.

colors and the kids by cat power

It must be the colors
And the kids
That keep me alive
'Cause the music is boring me to death

It must just be the colors
And the kids that keep me alive
'Cause I'd wanna go right away
To a January night
I built a shack with an old friend
He was someone I could learn from
Someone I could become

Will you meet me down
On a sandy beach
We can roll up our jeans
So the tide won't get us below the knees

Yellow hair
You are a funny bear
Yellow hair
You are such a funny bear
Slender fingers
Would hold me slender limbs would hold me
And you could say my name
Like you knew my name

I could stay here
Become someone different
I could stay here
Become someone better

It's so hard to go in the city
'Cause you wanna say hello to everybody
It's so hard to go into the city
'Cause you wanna say hey I love you to everybody
When we were teenagers we wanted to be the sky
Now all we wanna do is go to red places
And try to stay outta hell

It must be the colors
And the kids
That keep me alive
'Cause the music is boring me to death

it must just be the colors
And it must just be the kids
That keep me alive on this January night.

Yellow hair
You are a funny bear
Yellow hair
You are such a funny bear

Friday, March 18, 2005

i guess it's real enough

my body and mind are full right now. some things seem pretty simple. some things are complicated, but i can help make them simple enough. hmm, that makes me realize that i think it's important to realize that life is complex - it's important to be able to explain how things are complex. but when it comes to living and making choices, acting, doing - it's best to be able to make things simple enough that one can do/act/live. and yes, i admit i'm much worse at simplifying things and deciding things - doing things in general - than i am at making things complex, exploring options. and even right now, i'm questioning whether that's true in my life - do i have a terribly off perspective of myself? chances are i do.

but i have the good fortune to know this, and i try to cover for it sometimes. so i cherish moments of clarity. i cherish moments of simplicity, when the tightness is gone, when life envelopes me fully and any little things are little. life can do this - conversations can do this - actions can do this - sensations can do this - reading can do this - watching can do this - listening can do this.

playing music does this for me - piano, guitar, singing, whatever. playing soccer does this for me - my mind is totally absent any troubles. taking a warm shower does this - my mind wanders and is at its most creative (waking) moment. i wish i could say that sleeping does this for me, but i'm not sure it's always true. i can think of a lot of ways for me to have good days, but some of the best i can imagine involve being around people, sometimes doing things, sometimes not - hopefully in a place i like, too.

amélie: it's better to help people than garden gnomes.

this movie can do this for me. it is such a beautiful of saying this, especially in the context of the movie (which you're just not getting - go watch it!). it makes life simple - it makes life good - it understands something really important. i'm not sure if philosophers will ever find the, or even a, meaning of life. i expect not. but i think in a pragmatic context (based on what we should do rather than on some other strange abstraction), i have a few pretty decent ideas. help people. have good and meaningful relationships (whatever that means to you). try to do the other things you think are good, but start there. and the nice thing is doing those two together is quite easy (much harder than trying to do one without the other).

so in other words, i agree with amelie as she realizes important parts of life. and it probably isn't too different from rilo kiley's lyrics (from a few posts ago):

and maybe ours is the cause of all mankind
give love to make more, try to stay alive

and put slightly differently - as a critical question - by amelie's guide, raymond dufayel: you mean she would rather imagine herself relating to an absent person than build relationships with those around her?

i think that amelie and andrew largeman all realized (much like hermann hesse and antoine de saint-exupery) that relationships are where meaning and value are derived, and this is not to undercut doing good, acting rightly, and the experiences that help us understand life more fully and powerfully. but i do think that most good is from relationships, and we understand that good from experiences we have. i hope that i'm not being terribly repetitive with this idea - i'd stop if i didn't think it was important. and if nothing else, we can understand the immense sadness amelie experiences when she realizes that she is nobody's little weasel. and i'm not sure how, but that brings me to. . . .




the news from saddle creek is that conor (bright eyes) will be going on another u.s. tour playing songs from digital ash, and the other members he's been playing with will open and play other music by themselves. that should be cool. more than cool - i can't wait.

this song is another that is almost beyond words. it already has meaning for me in a number of ways. i feel like making them explicit wouldn't be right in this context. maybe later. for now, it's best that everyone listens to this song and find your own meaning in it. read the words. listen to it. sing it. think of it when important things are happening in your life.

easy, lucky, free by bright eyes

did it all get real, i guess it's real enough
they got refrigerators full of blood
another century spent pointing guns
at anything that moves

sometimes i worry that i've lost the plot
my twitching muscles tease my flippant thoughts
i never really dreamed of heaven much
until we put him in the ground
but it's all i'm doing now
listening for patterns in the sound
of an endless static sea
but once the satellite's deceased
it blows like garbage through the streets
of the night sky to infinity

but don't you weep (don't you weep for them)
there is nothing as lucky
don't you weep
there is nothing as lucky, as easy, and free

don't be a criminal in this police state
you better shop and eat and procreate
you got vacation days then you might escape
to a condo on the coast

i set my watch to the atomic clock
i hear the crowd count down til the bomb gets dropped
i always figured that there'd be time enough
i never let it get me down
but i can't help it now
looking for faces in the clouds
i got some friends i barely see
but we're all planning to meet
we'll lay in bags as dead as leaves
all together for eternity

but don't you weep
there is no one as lucky
honey, don't you weep
there is nothing as lucky, as easy, or free

Thursday, March 17, 2005

personalities and life unarmed

as a quick note on my life, my break has continued to be very good - i'm quite happy with my life, i wish i were further along in thesis writing, but i'm happily liking what i am doing, even the frustration of getting a flat tire and getting that fixed. some days have little bumps, but it's been good.

as an update to the last post, the senate rejected an amendment (on a 51-49 vote) to get the alaska national wildlife refuge drilling out of the budget. so it's still there. now it's necessary to rely on republican bickering to keep the budget from passing and keep drilling out of anwr. this makes me mad. and it makes me sad.

so on a slightly different note, two memories from my early life have been on my mind recently. one is getting done with swim team at the high school pool, having it be cold outside, my parents picking me up, and wearing my red stocking hat except for the days when i wanted my hair to freeze. i really liked swim team - i would always do the swimming activity that i was told to, and i would get done early and look up at the coach in askance, waiting patiently for new instructions on what to do next. i swam on swim team for a bunch of years and never wore goggles - my eyes usually were red and irritated from the chlorine, but i loved it - i loved and still do love being in the water - i'm nowhere close to being in as good of shape as i was then, but i still have really great memories of swim team.

the other memory from around that same time is going to morning piano lessons before school on fridays. my piano teacher lived half a mile or so from my elementary school, but it seemed like a long distance. at any rate, except for a few times when i walked, i usually waited for my mom to pick me up and take me to school after my lesson. i remember the strong feelings of insecurity every day after those piano lessons when my mom would be a little bit later than i wanted her to be, and i would think that something bad happened to her. i wouldn't want to walk to school because then i wouldn't know she was all right. so i just stood outside and waited for her to pick me up, breathing a sigh of relief when that happened.

one thing that both of those memories have in common is that i really didn't like being late to things when i was little (i was quite a type a personality when i was little - actually for most of my life until most of the way through senior year of high school). whether it was church and sunday school, swimming practice or basketball, or anything else, i really hated being late for things - i always wanted to early and waiting when doors opened. i've kind of gotten over that, but i still don't like to be late for things - i'd rather be early than right on time or fashionably late.

this quote is from The Princess Bride, my top movie (and a great book) I know of right now, along with Amelie and Garden State:

Westley: Death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it a while.

this quote is great - sometimes i struggle trying to decide whether to think of love in this perfect/true/romaticized way or some other way. i grew up liking happy fairy tales, and i transitioned into long fantasy novels that told similar stories - they didn't need to be realistic because as long as they have characters with personalities, they interact, and i could learn a lot about people and real life from reading fantasy - that's the thing that a lot of people miss when they think about fantasy - i never really cared whether there was magic/dragons/swords/etc; instead, i liked getting to know about life situations, and the authors were never constrained by making something seem realistic - they didn't worry about whether they had places down and historical accuracy - they just made up those parts (though settings usually resembled western europe), and they focused on the story and the characters and the interactions - that's why i liked fantasy books.

my favorites were always david eddings, robert jordan, and george rr martin (recent one), along with tolkien, rosenberg, feist, and a few others - i never read very many that weren't that great - i just found out which were the good ones from my older brother and read them a bunch of times. i now really like harry potter - i think jk rowling is a great writer and doing fantastic things to introduce people to a really accessible fantasy series - the books started simple and have grown in complexity (and length) immensely - she started out write 200 page books, and the most recent ones are closer to 800+ - now her books are in the length realm of jordan/martin, each of which are writing many thousand page series.

i really like stories - i have to temper that sometimes. my favorite story for the democratic presidential nominees was without a doubt edwards - and i think that is really important when running for president, especially since no one will have experience doing what they are trying to do. but john edwards' story was great - much better than kerry's (though he won the nomination on his military story, which got discredited - makes me wonder how edwards' story would have gotten discredited). some people are really into the looks of a candidate; others are into how well (or commonly) the candidate speaks; others think policy decisions and voting records are most important. i'm not entirely sure how i reconcile those aspects when deciding - as with most of my decisions, i use the veto first where big problems in any of those areas eliminates the candidate.

this is a multiple digression model of writing (statistics people might catch that clever phrase - i hope so - i thought it fitting). maybe i can get some advice on how i'm supposed to understand westley's quote with a few little blips from astrology personality trait lists and celtic birthday trees. my birthday is may 24 - here are the traits listed on astrology websites:

Adaptable and versatile
Communicative and witty
Intellectual and eloquent
Youthful and lively
Nervous and tense
Superficial and inconsistent
Cunning and inquisitive

does that sound like me? i'm adaptable/versatile - i like to communicate - i try to be witty, but i can't compete with some people on that. i try not to be intellectual, and i'm not so sure i'm eloquent. i'm youthful (though i was too mature early in my life). i can be nervous/anxious. hmm - superficial/inconsistent - granted those are negatives so i might not want to admit them - i try not to be, and i think i could uncover more relevant criticisms of my personality. cunning/inquisitive - yeah, probably (and i mistyped cunning as conning while writing it - not sure that's a good slip to make). and here's what celtic birthday trees say about me:

Chestnut Tree
Honesty - Of unusual beauty, does not want to impress, well-developed sense of justice, vivacious, interested, a born diplomat, but irritable and sensitive in company, often due to a lack of self-confidence, acts sometimes superior, feels not understood, loves only once, has difficulties in finding a partner.

hmm, honesty is good (i learned early on in life that i could lie pretty well when i wanted to so then i worked hard not to - i still do - i try to be honest - lately i've been trying to find the right medium/tempering of honesty so i can feel fine not saying everything). unusual beauty? you'll have to decide. does not want to impress? again, i don't know what that would entail. i like justice, liveliness; i'm interested in things - i can be a diplomat when i want to be. sensitive/irritable - hmm, possibly - i do sometimes lack self-confidence. i may act superior, even though i try not to - that's definitely a personality problem. feeling understood - certainly don't understand myself. loves only once and has difficulties finding a partner - whoa - what does that mean - it doesn't sound good, does it - especially since. . . . .

so do i agree with westley? probably. nothing can stop true love, just delay it a while. i find the astrology personality stuff not that helpful because they allow for dualisms - people either have one or the other - they either represent the trait or they don't - well, that's not very helpful (however real/true it is). combine this with my capacity to be patient when something i want asks it of me, and you get the point.

a quick memory from my college times: i took a liking to math, especially the professors in college and the opportunities they created for me. i majored in math, my advisor was a math professor (and one of the most amazing ladies i've yet met), i took more courses than i was able to get credit for (15 when 14 is the maximum in one major someone can get credit for, so i removed computer science from my list of math courses, and it worked out).

i did two independent studies (one in 'pure' math - abstract algebra and brauer fixed point sets; the other in 'applied' math - population modeling of black-footed ferret and prairie dog population dynamics based on predator-prey models). i did two january abroads (one in pure math in budapest, hungary; the other in applied math at the biosphere2 center near tucson, arizona). i took the insanely difficult putnam test a few times, competed in math competitions among schools, and wrote book reviews for the weekly math departmental newsletter. and i was a leader in the student chapter of the maa for saint olaf (assistant treasurer as a sophomore, president as a junior, and past-president as a senior). we planned events, ranging from pi day activities (watching the movie pi or donald duck in mathemagic land) to making math t-shirts. it was probably the club/organization i was most involved in, except for maybe soccer or environmental coalition/greens sophomore year when i was fighting against a road through our campuses natural lands.

but memories, quotes, personalities, and math lead me (quite naturally, wouldn't you say) to a song.

this song was introduced to me a few nights ago, and i think it's really good - it doesn't directly translate into my life in a literal sense i guess, but one thing it does highlight is the different ways people react to each other - how people can choose 'different strategies' (pardon this way of framing) in dealing with differences. i wonder if someone could figure out when ani difranco's parents were born based on their astrological personalities (or we could identify their myers-briggs - i'm an idealist recently - i was intp my first year of college, but i don't think that was me as much as someone who was annoyed by a roommate and reacting because of that - at that point in my life, i was as extreme of an introvert as possible - strange because i'm the least introverted person in my family - in actuality, i think i'm probably pretty even between extraverted and introverted - i can and do either rather well when i feel like it).

angry anymore by ani difranco

growing up it was just me and my mom
against the world
and all my sympathies were with her
when i was a little girl
but now i've seen both my parents
play out the hands they were dealt
and as each year goes by
i know more about how my father must have felt

i just want you to understand
that i know what all the fighting was for
and i just want you to understand
that i'm not angry anymore
i'm not angry anymore

she taught me how to wage a cold war
with quiet charm
but i just want to walk
through my life unarmed
to accept and just get by
like my father learned to do
but without all the acceptance and getting by
that got my father through

night falls like people into love
we generate our own light
to compensate
for the lack of light from above
every time we fight
a cold wind blows our way

but we learn like the trees
how to bend
how to sway and say

i, i think i understand
what all this fighting is for
and baby, i just want you to understand
that i'm not angry anymore
no, i'm not angry anymore

Monday, March 14, 2005

fossil fuels

yesterday i paid $30 for gas for the first time in my car's history (it has a 15.5 gallon tank). i've been saying that an interesting thought experiment is to try to think about whether and how your life would change if gas prices were above $5/gallon when you woke up tomorrow (with no likelihood of it decreasing soon). i've received a few interesting insights from friends in conversation - my younger brother said that our current president might get impeached (or at least that this would be the only scenario under which impeachment is possible); others think nothing would change except that people would complain more about gas prices, especially relative to recent prices - people would keep driving just as much and with just as poor of efficiency.

this is most likely because for many in the united states (who consume 15-20 times the resources of people in india/china), somehow the debate has been framed as a dilemma between safety (big, heavy, tough vehicles) and efficiency (little hybrids that will crush like tin cans if touched by large trucks). this is a false dilemma, and i am prepared to defend that view at anyone's request. put simply, small cars can be safe, larger vehicles can be more efficient, and the proliferation of larger vehicles just to protect oneself from larger vehicles - the logic of that makes sense, but it escapes me on the level that matters.

so why exactly do i think people should try to be much more environmentally friendly (and this is a strong much) when it comes to fossil fuel use (gas/oil/energy)? i think there are many reasons for better environmentally sound behavior that deals with global climate change (that doesn't necessarily mean it's going to be warmer in minnesota and south dakota or wherever your favorite uncomfortably cold place is - and it certainly doesn't mean that it will be uniform on any time/space distribution - it might be seasonal, night-time, or have different climate extremes). some of these values might be self interested - life might get to be more difficult in the life times of someone my age, certainly anyone younger and probably most people who don't feel the end of their lives is fast approaching.

just as importantly though, i think that the baseline argument that should be getting much more attention from those who think technology is good and stuff. the point here should be just this: we are burning (for energy) the main substance that can be used to make plastics, something that we should care about (and by the way, we should also be more discriminating when it comes to choosing what to use plastics for - we waste a lot of potential plastics that could be used for future medical or other important uses rather than tons of coca-cola drinkers.

one book i read in children's literature a couple years ago was especially powerful on this point: the book is set in the future in africa, and there is a group of people there who are plastic miners - they collect plastic to reuse/recycle it - so they mine through mounds of old garbage (from our time). fortunately, once we use up a lot of the fossil fuels (by burning or turning them into plastic and then throwing them away), we can still mine the waste plastic. unfortunately, we can't do that with the co2 we've burned. and unfortunately the worse off of the world will end up doing the dirty work, as this always seems to happen. i do highly recommend reading this book - it's a quick and easy read - called the ear, the eye, and the arm by nancy farmer.

here are some quotes from the best scene in i heart huckabees (very funny movie, especially this part) - they definitely relate to fossil fuels and one way of convincing people to change their way of life.

Tommy: I'm no hero. We'd all be heroes if we stopped using petroleum!
. . . then a little while later:
Girl: Jesus is never mad at us if we live with Him in our hearts!
Tommy: I hate to break it to you, but He is - He most definitely is.

i really like this song's analysis of technology - it captures many concerns that people like eric katz have explored in the field of environmental ethics. the video for this song is also available to watch for free over itunes - if you go to the store and search for jack johnson, you can watch the video - i think it's really well done - quite simple, but good. it reminds me of the kind of sequences shown in koyaanaqatsi or baraka, but with very different music, and i think it fits. so at this point in the post, i've recommended a book, a song/music video, a movie, and a way of life change - not doing too bad, am i? sorry if i'm overbearing.

the horizon has been defeated by jack johnson

the horizon has been defeated
by the pirates of the new age
alien casinos
well maybe it's just time to say
things can go bad
and make you want to run away
but as we grow older
the troubles just seems to stay

future complications
in the strings between the cans
but no prints can come from fingers
if machines become our hands
and then our feet become the wheels
and then the wheels become the cars
and then the rigs begin to drill
until the drilling goes too far

things can go bad
and make you want to run away
but as we grow older
the horizon begins to fade away

thingamajigsaw puzzled
anger don't you step too close
because people are lonely and only
animals with fancy shoes
hallelujah zig zag nothing
misery it's on the loose
because people are lonely and only
animals with too many tools
that can build all the junk that we sell
sometimes it makes you want to yell

things can go bad
and make you want to run away
but as we grow older
the horizon begins to fade away
fade away, fade fade fade fade fade fade

Saturday, March 12, 2005


in the last twenty four hours or so, i reread a book by anna quindlen titled one true thing - the book is somewhat similar to tuesdays with morrie, only it's more personal - both are well written, and tuesdays with morrie was very well written, but one true thing touched me more (maybe because it was the second time through - i don't know). suffice it to say, reading the book was emotionally draining (and yes, i'm a fragile young boy recently) - no, that doesn't suffice. in fact, the book is amazing. it is real, it is difficult, it is beautiful, it is painful, it helps me understand my life and my relationships with others, it makes me wonder about what i'll do in the future. it makes me think a lot about my grandfather who died of cancer when i was younger (whom i've mentioned before on this site). it makes me tense up, remember that i need to breathe (thanks tnh and skc), and then marvel at how books and movies can be amazing experiences. and they can be important experiences because they help me experience things before i have to experience them in real life. in some cases, i never do have the experiences, but sometimes i do, and it helps. and if i don't, i have them in my head.

i have them in my dreams at night and during the day. and for some reason, i don't think that tv shows have ever done that for me; video games have never done that for me. movies and books have - real experiences have. music videos have. tv shows have a different purpose, much more like an addictive experience. i'll admit i'm addicted to having cool experiences reading books and watching movies (in some cases, watching the same movie over and over). but i'm not addicted on a daily basis or even a weekly basis to watching some tv show that doesn't help me with anything, except perhaps to unwind. and i guess maybe it would be better if i had an addiction that helped me relax or turn my brain off for a little bit - that seems to be a normal use for tv/cigarettes/alcohol/etc. and it's not obvious that's bad. i don't like what tobacco/alcohol do to one's body - i have a hard time with things like cancer, and it seems clear that some addictions cause cancer, which means the addiction stops being an individual freedom of choice thing.

at any rate, i love the book, and i think that i can identify something that has been getting distilled in my recent experiences of reading, watching, and talking to people: listening. whether it is marveling at how awesome the main character in one true thing (ellen) is when she becomes a psychiatrist/doctor through sharing experience with her mother, whether it's siddhartha realizing that learning to listen to the river is one of the most important things to work at, whether it's watching the lead singer for brule listen to people talking to him and telling him stories after he played music at last summer's arts festival, whether it's realizing that there is nothing i would rather be doing with my time right now than listening to a friend tell her stories of her daily life and of her past - all of these things make me know that what i want to get better at, what i want to practice, what i want to do is listen to others, and as you might surmise, not just other people. i know that my listening will start with my closest friends and family, but it won't stop there.

i've been studying rhetoric for the last two years, and i've learned a lot about communicating, but i think the main thing i've become more attentive to is how important some other areas are - areas based more on reception than on construction of arguments/stories: listening and being an audience and opening up to change one's self/opinions. i think that without that condition (having a somewhat receptive audience), the rest of rhetoric degenerates too much - becomes too much like deception or advertising/marketing rather than the more general formulation of arguments/stories constructed in relation to an audience (where the audience fills in the holes with shared assumptions or alternately where the audience co-constructs the arguments/stories with the speaker/writer). that first way of describing rhetoric (deception/marketing) is hurtful not only to the discipline but to communication in general. on the other hand, thinking only about one's self may be just as problematic.

and this also brings up that in most cases, i don't think that listening is just a one way affair, any more than communicating should be. rhetoric is less dialogic than it should be, mostly because of its historical tradition. and though some aspects of the traditional/conventional model of rhetoric are challenged by any number of scholars, many fewer seem attracted to making rhetoric dialogic - it makes it harder to distinguish who the rhetor (speaker/writer) is and who the audience is - and since that's the main thing that rhetoric feels like it offers as a perspective, that could potentially devalue rhetoric. in my view, it just makes necessary a more complex understanding of the rhetorical communication process. and that can be done.

so listening. what to do with it now. i'm not exactly sure. i'd really like to take a year and spend it listening to people, collecting stories and thoughts. i don't know how i'd compile them - in song or on video or in writing or in telling. probably more likely, i'd love to just work on collecting my own stories. i have a bunch of them - i just need to figure out what to do with them. alternately, i could go academic with this stuff - look into theories of listening and audience-based stuff - in philosophy, in rhetoric, in politics, in environmental studies. there is a lot of potential there. who knows. we'll see.

at this point, it seems unlikely that i will be getting my phd in philosophy - not having an undergraduate degree (or very much coursework) is a powerful worry for programs, and i don't think i'll make it. rhetoric (and english even more so) is problematic because there are few liberal arts schools that have rhetoric so i would probably be forced into an english program (which is fine, except the job potential there is problematic, and i'm going to be much less qualified to teach a variety of english courses relative to someone with an english phd). so i don't know where i'm at right now. possibly still environmental studies. possibly ecology - i know that the area of study i'd be pursuing there is really important right now - and it's very pragmatic, and i have experience in the humanities that can inform my approach to the sciences. i have no idea. but i always appreciate thoughts on this topic if you want to send me your insight.

i thought the following song was relevant to the idea of relationships and anna quindlen's book (though it's two minutes long and not 400 pages so it can only capture one or two small aspects of the book). if nothing else, the song is beautiful and graceful and has one of the simplest but well done videos i know of.

naked as we came by iron and wine

she says, "wake up, it's no use pretending"
I'll keep stealing, breathing her
birds are leaving over autumn's ending
one of us will die inside these arms
eyes wide open, naked as we came
one will spread our ashes around the yard

she says, "if i leave before you, darling
don't you waste me in the ground"
I lay smiling like our sleeping children
one of us will die inside these arms
eyes wide open, naked as we came
one will spread our ashes around the yard

Friday, March 11, 2005

i'd sacrifice

i am on spring break. and i have an ipod. how could things be any better? i can think of two ways: (a) my spring break was much longer, letting me spend time doing more things i want to do, around people i want to be around; (b) i were already done writing my thesis rather than having to get a lot of work on it this break.

and things just keep adding up - i wanted a stress free, distraction free break, but my older brother came home (unexpected - good, but unexpected), and my parents decided that i should take a trip out to western south dakota for the next two days (unexpected - good, but unexpected) - it's almost too hard for me to process this decision right now - that's terrible, but true - i really want to see them, but i really don't want to make this trip - i just know it will wear me out, and i won't get to hang out with people with an overlapping weekend of spring break - i admit that i'm being somewhat cryptic/misleading - i won't get to hang out with one person in particular i want to spend time around. i don't get to see my neice/brother too often, but i've been anxiously waiting for two months to spend time in brookings.

so hopefully this break will be good, fun, relaxing, and productive. i personally think that's perhaps too much to ask of a week long break. little decisions like this are so hard for me, choosing between good things that are mutually exclusive. so wish for miracles for me. and listen to rilo kiley - they're awesome.

more adventurous by rilo kiley

and it's only doubts that we're counting
on fingers broken long ago
i read with every broken heart
we should become more adventurous

and if you banish me from your profits
and if i get banished from the kingdom up above
i'd sacrifice money and heaven all for love
let me be loved
let me be loved

and if my brain quits
well i guess then that's just it
and if my hands stop workin'
you can call me lazy
and if i get pregnant
i guess i'll just have the baby
let it be loved
let me be loved

i've been tryin' to nod my head
but it's like i've got a broken neck
i wanna say i will
as my last testament
for me to be saved and you to be brave
we don't have to walk down that aisle
because if marriage ain't enough well
at least we'll be loved

i felt the wind on my cheek
comin' down from the east
and thought about how we are all
as numerous as leaves on trees
and maybe ours is the cause of all
mankind getting love make more
try to stay alive

i've been tryin' to nod my head
but it's like i've got a broken neck
i wanna say i will
as my last testament
for me to be saved and you to be brave
we don't have to walk down that aisle
because if marriage ain't enough well
at least we'll be loved

Wednesday, March 09, 2005


i'm basically done with half of this semester, bringing me two months away from finishing my master's degree. and if it matters, i still don't have some particular idea of what to do with my life - i don't have a life plan that i just have to follow. i have an upcoming week full of writing my thesis - this will be the most focused writing experience i will have tried. i hope that it works out well - i must admit i'll be doing a number of other things while home (trying to relax, hanging out with a few people, grading 40-50 essay tests, etc). but one thing i won't be doing is going to class or doing stuff for class - that should allow me to focus on writing something i've now spent many months thinking about. and i probably won't be able to make any life decisions while away because i still haven't heard from most of the places i applied to.

i was in a band for most of my young life: from seventh grade until after senior year with two of the same guys, one of which i kept playing music with until done with college, along with another guy who hooked up with us sophomore year of high school. at any rate, i played bass guitar and keyboards (sometimes both in the same song and a few times, both at the same time). i've recorded three cds with these guys, and i've had some of my best memories playing music and hanging out with them. to put it simply, they have made my life fun and exciting. i haven't been playing music with them for the last two years, and i often miss it a lot.

the summer after my senior year of high school, my band took five days or so and went up to the singer's house near aberdeen, south dakota - on a lake there. we basically tried to live like rock stars who didn't have to care about anything except hanging out and trying to record an album. and it worked. we recorded (track on track) nine songs in the last two days after writing them (half from start to finish, the others mostly) in the first few days. on top of that, we produced fifty copies (mastered and burned them ourselves) and the artwork the last night. and did i mention we played a concert the final night, which meant we had to prepare the songs to play them live and set up a sound system in an out of commission former bar. we had a few disagreements and internal conflicts (mostly regarding the guitarist drinking a bunch of alcohol while we were trying to be productive. and we had our share of totally hilarious and fun times also - we went out on the lake at night and watched shooting stars - throughout those days, the guitarist also had a game going to try to make us look at him while he was mooning us (i made it quite a while, but in the end he won out).

two very memorable experiences revolved around the boat (same one we used to watch shooting stars). and both involved the singer and i operating it (and it wasn't ours) when it decided to quit. the first time was one morning when we didn't feel like showering and instead like jumping into the lake, but since it was green (sd lakes have algae problems in the summer), we took the boat to the other side of the lake. and after we'd jumped in and got back on ready to go back, the boat's engine wouldn't start. we kept trying, but the waves were pushing us into shore (not a bad thing considering the circumstances). once we made it into shore (and still couldn't get the boat started), we decided i would run back to the house (probably 2-3 miles barefoot) while the singer stuck with the boat. i had run maybe one hundred yards when he yelled to me that he had started the boat so i came running back. and we drove back, and i avoided a potentially unpleasant barefoot run through a mosquito infested forest.

the second time the motor decided to quit the two of us were ferrying people and equipment from the house to the former bar where we were playing that evening. the nice thing is that these were all friends of us, good enough friends to drive up from brookings to aberdeen to hear us play (and have a party afterwards, which was probably a good part of it). so the boat quit, and one of the passengers and i (both of us were lifeguards) decided to jump in the water and swim the boat to shore - we were much slower than the motor would have been, but it was actually pretty fun.

and speaking of the party we had, the trip out to the rural farm house we were hanging out at had an interesting experience. everyone was going to follow the singer and guitarist out to the place while the drummer and i returned to the house to make sure some of our equipment was safe, and as we were turning the opposite direction, we saw a police car turning, and it was headed right for the string of fifty or so cars that were caravaning out to a party (and yes, many of these people were underage). so we quick called the singer to make sure he knew, and he led the cars on a false path, then pulled over (so everyone else would pull over) and drove the opposite direction to see if he could see a cop - and strangely enough he couldn't. so then we went on out to the party, and it was fun and everything. i left after a few hours (because i wasn't getting much satisfaction from hanging around with drunk friends when i wasn't drinking), and i drove back to the summit exit and slept a little while in my car, then drove the rest of the way home the next morning.

sometimes remembering things like this trip make me wish for more such experiences - it was terribly fun and really satisfying in a number of ways, hanging out, writing and playing and recording music, messing around, feeling like i was on a real break from things, like i was making a big deal out of something (our last performance as a band) and that it was working. sometimes memories are really good.

quick editorial note: this post has so far been quite positive and fun - it takes a terrible (but real) turn for the worse here - fair warning that you might not want to read this next section.

and sometimes memories are troubling. i just had a conversation tonight that brought again to the front of my mind many of the worst feelings i've experienced in my life - the feeling that i'm not where i should be, the feeling of helplessness that derives from distance. it hurts more than anything i can describe. having someone that you care for deeply who is far away is really difficult for me. telephone conversations aren't great ways to interact with someone, though they are certainly better than nothing - i've learned that relationships with people i care about very much, when based on phone calls are exponentially better than nothing - incredibly so. but at certain times like this one, i hurt a lot. i need to be able to be there - i want so badly to help, or at least to share the experience. and this isn't limited to the difficult times - i feel the desire just as strongly much more often. but it gets really tough here and now. last summer, it was so powerful that i got confused and didn't know what to do so tried to tough it out. then i tried to tell myself that we would be better off if we learned to deal with it on our own since we couldn't deal with it together. i was wrong - i was stupid. i rarely wish myself back (live with regrets), but i do with that. but that doesn't help me now - it doesn't help me know what to do now except keep myself closer to those that are important. does that make sense? how can i collect those that i care so much for? can i keep my world smaller? this is so difficult for me to make sense of it.

Poison Oak by Bright Eyes

Poison oak some boyhood bravery
When a telephone was a tin can on a string
And I fell asleep with you still talking to me
You said you were afraid to die

In Polaroids you were dressed in women's clothes
Were you made ashamed, why did you lock them in a drawer
I don't think that I ever loved you more

Then when you turned away
When you slammed the door
When you stole the car
And drove towards Mexico
And you wrote bad checks
Just to fill your arm
I was young enough, I still believed in war

Let the poets cry themselves to sleep
And all their tearful words will turn back into steam

But me I'm a single cell
On a serpents tongue
There's a muddy field where a garden was
And I'm glad you got away
But I'm still stuck out here
My clothes are soaking wet
From your brother's tears

And I never thought this life was possible
You're the yellow bird that I've been waiting for

The end of paralysis
I was a statuette
Now I'm drunk as hell on a piano bench
And when I press the keys
It all gets reversed
The sound of loneliness makes me happier

Monday, March 07, 2005

words and friends

note: after writing this post, i realized this is the height of my rambling-ness - i am going on without purpose here. so perhaps take that into account before spending time reading this.

some days i don't know what i have. i get frustrated by distance and the size of my world. i get frustrated by busy-ness and the obligations to work. i get frustrated by my shortcomings and lack of insight into what matters. other days i feel better about things; i feel confident and content. i don't stop smiling, and those who are around me can't believe my sinister wit (and by sinister i don't mean mean). some days i am frustrated by the multitude of things that i have to be doing, by the constraints that force me to be spread too thin. and on other days i laugh at myself for being like that because the main thing i've tried to do and to be involves a broad scope of interests and desires. i have a problem limiting myself, and i'm glad for that.

this is not to say i wouldn't be happier today if i could focus and finish my philosophy take home test rather than prolonging it. i know i could just write the test if i just focused. but maybe that's not my style and i shouldn't worry about it. that's always the problem with life: given some case, does someone choose to accept or change that case. when i coach soccer, should i be more concerned with developing further what skills that certain players already have or working on the skills they don't have, trying to change them or accept them. the useful prayer/wish below is one my mom always tried to get me to understand, and she's probably right.

Serenity Prayer (attributed to a very intelligent theologian, Reinhold Niebuhr, whose work on anxiety, finitude, and self-transcendence remains ingrained in me almost as much as the work of hermann hesse in siddhartha)

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.

one little problem is this prayer/wish is based on ability (can) rather than on judgment (should), although the wisdom would hopefully imply some understanding of should. but let's assume early on that i feel that i can do a lot of things, especially in terms of changing my own life. taken too far (let's say i assume that little old me can't do a whole bunch of things), that's kind of self-defeating, and it doesn't really help the word at all. on the other hand, if i try to do everything because of my courage/confidence, that might be problematic. so i guess the wisdom comes in figuring out what i should and shouldn't do.

in my rhetorical criticism class, we gain a lot of interesting insights about how to understand how people are communicating their ideas, and in this weeks work on narrative construction, we learned of a choice between dispositional (character-centered) and situational (context-centered) explanation of events. this would likely explain the nature/nurture distinction among many others, which i have of course come to terms with by saying that nature (or genetics or situations) constrains someone's choices, but the person still has very wide range of choices in actuality, particularly when it comes to attitude. and in this case, i guess the situation is that i'm busy and have lots to do. the disposition is that i'll make do with what i'm given and try to do as much good as possible in the world.

i feel like i'm writing about myself in a strange way right now. and i guess maybe this shouldn't be a problem, but sometimes it feels like it is. one memory i have right now is of being chased down by my oldest brother - he would get mad at me for something - i actually can't really remember exactly what i did or he did that would start things going, but there were a number of times when he would chase me down - sometimes inside, but often outside. and i was fast and quick and could get away from him for a while, but i didn't have enough stamina to keep it up. he'd always catch up with me, and i would usually lay on my back, and if he tried to get me, i would kick him (kind of like a jackrabbit or cat). and it would make him worried enough that he would sometimes leave me alone, but he often tried to figure out some way to get me. and i usually just stuck with the same old thing, laying on my back and kicking. when you're a little kid without much arm strength, especially compared to a brother six years my senior, that just seemed to always work out.

some songs communicate a specific thought or feeling really well. some tell a life story in the most concise manner. this song does all that, but it does so much more. probably the best way to describe this song is richness. this song is amazingly rich in terms of what it can evoke and describe - it goes far beyond what most songs do for me - it doesn't have meaning; it's full of meaning, full of insight. it isn't alone in its ability to do tons for me. but it's a good piece of what i sometimes want to feel, how i want to be free of strings, even while i love the strings most in my life. i love the connections, especially the strong ones that keep me going through the days and through the evenings.

so i guess the aspect of this song that is most special for me is the over-ridden desire to be a drifter. i'm not a drifter, and it's one of those things that i'm not even sure i would be one for a short while, for one part of my life, even though there are a lot of things that i could handle being for parts of my life. i just don't think i'm ever going to be a drifter. except maybe i am already - i'm not a drifter in the geographic sense, but am i one in the relational way? i hope not - i don't want to be. but sometimes i do feel like i'm caught in an undertow, that i'm caught up in something that is keeping me from doing what i want to do, that is making me do some things. i don't live in a perfect world, and i guess it all makes sense.

World at Large by Modest Mouse

Ice-age heat wave, can't complain.
If the world's at large, why should I remain?
Walked away to another plan.
Gonna find another place, maybe one I can stand.
I move on to another day,
to a whole new town with a whole new way.
Went to the porch to have a thought.
Got to the door and again, I couldn't stop.
You don't know where and you don't know when.
But you still got your words and you got your friends.
Walk along to another day.
Work a little harder, work another way.

Well uh-uh baby I ain't got no plan.
We'll float on maybe would you understand?
Gonna float on maybe would you understand?
Well float on maybe would you understand?

The days get shorter and the nights get cold.
I like the autumn but this place is getting old.
I pack up my belongings and I head for the coast.
It might not be a lot but I feel like I'm making the most.
The days get longer and the nights smell green.
I guess it's not surprising but it's spring and I should leave.

I like songs about drifters - books about the same.
They both seem to make me feel a little less insane.
Walked on off to another spot.
I still haven't gotten anywhere that I want.
Did I want love? Did I need to know?
Why does it always feel like I'm caught in an undertow?

The moths beat themselves to death against the lights.
Adding their breeze to the summer nights.
Outside, water like air was great.
I didn't know what I had that day.
Walk a little farther to another plan.
You said that you did, but you didn't understand.

I know that starting over is not what life's about.
But my thoughts were so loud I couldn't hear my mouth.
My thoughts were so loud I couldn't hear my mouth.
My thoughts were so loud.

Sunday, March 06, 2005



that's what i'm thinking about right now. very little else. i haven't enough of a vacation in a very long time. this probably sounds like a terrible claim to make, considering that i had a month break in between fall and spring semesters, one week of which i spent in london. and on that level, i grant any arguments and recognize up front that i am a greedy/selfish person when it comes to breaks. but i did spend a large part of my winter break grading papers, writing papers, filling out applications, and other tasks of that kind. so i didn't get much time to rest or do other things that i would like to do. and i don't foresee much chance of that sort of time in the near future. i have spring break coming up, and i'm quite excited for that, but i'm going to be writing my thesis (hopefully two chapters, but at least one). then i have the rest of the semester, and then i have summer. if i get the grant that i'm hoping for, i'll be doing summer research on a topic that i'm really excited about. if not, i'll be doing ecological research, and that's a good thing, but there's no chance that it can be as flexible as my work would be with the grant (in terms of working from anywhere, whenever i choose). but things will be good. i can be excited about either option. the third option is coaching soccer.

as a quick update on my phd program search, the rhetoric department had its prospective student day yesterday. there were some cool people that came in, and one in particular seems to be worrying about things much the same way as i am. so it was good to talk to her about graduate study and stuff. put simply, i learned this weekend that i would be happy getting my phd in the program i'm currently in. and i would be happy if she were to pursue graduate study here also. we'll see if either happens.

more than anything, i currently feel like i can handle most everything and feel mentally healthy (at least if things continue how they are right now). having someone in my life that i can talk to and share experiences with - that is giving me most everything that i need/want right now. i owe many people in my life a lot of credit/thanks, and i wish i could make them realize what they're meaning to me. i can't say much more than that right now, but if you think you're someone that has made an influence on my life, pause for a second and try think what that influence might be - maybe think of some particular memory that you share with me - then realize how much i appreciate our relationship - how sharing makes our lives better. i'm not going to write about any particular memory tonight because i'm going to trust you to think of one.

this is certainly one of those songs that i don't need to know what they're saying in order to like it (much like sigur ros). i do like that they are saying something, but i heard this song for the first time many months ago, and i could never remember it or even look it up because i couldn't remember the words or any other way to figure out what the song is. but i have liked it for quite a while.

anthems for a seventeen year old girl by broken social scene

used to be one of
the rotten ones
and i liked you for that
now you're all gone
got your makeup on
and you're not coming back

bleeching your teeth
smiling flash
talking trash under your breath
talking trash under my window

park that car
drop that phone
sleep on the floor
dream about me

Saturday, March 05, 2005

songs and girls

I've made it through another week, and I have to make it through one more to get to spring break. I think this is quite possible. It will be a lot of work, but that's fine. I need to write a take-home test, I need to make plans for next weekend, and I need to start working on my thesis - no small feats. But I'll make it I know.

Today was the recruiting day for the program I'm currently pursuing my MA in - they are trying to get me to take the PhD here, and there was a good deal of persuading going on I guess, but of the honest variety. Since I was doing the persuading some of the time, it was kind of an interesting situation going on. But there are definitely a few cool people looking at the program, and I appreciated meeting them whatever the case and situation.

I remember two years ago at this thing, being recruited the first time. It was the first time I've experienced something like that - quite an interesting experience - going some place, meeting lots of people telling you about things, getting free food and alcohol and stuff, trying to sort things out afterwards. I was nervous - I didn't know how to act or relate to people - I didn't know what was actually going on. Having gone through it once, I feel pretty confident in this sort of situation, on whatever side I'm on (in today's case, both) - I don't know what it will take to get me back out of a confidence bubble. I feel like I'm getting confident in a large variety and number of situations. I'm not sure exactly whether I'm going to be able to handle that - whether I'm going to want to keep pushing myself into crazy situations that I don't understand. It seems like that's what I continue to do in my life. But the good thing is, I'm pretty sure that I'll never run out of things that are strange and different, and I don't just mean adventure activities like skydiving - I mean regular and wonderful things like relationships with people and the first day of teaching class - I'm pretty sure I'll always have times of missing confidence, and I think I want that.

I've had a few conversations with friends at different points, and in this case more often with girls than with guys (though that could be a function of who I talk about with certain topics). At any rate, a few of my best girl friends have said at different points how they would like a song to have their name in it (especially the title), perhaps even be about them, but mostly just have some cool song with their name in it. Me being the amazing poet, I always offer to help.

Seriously though, what I should do is spend as much time as I can writing unique, interesting, and beautiful songs to match the girls I know. But I haven't yet. I haven't quite figured out how I can write a song about someone with their name in it. I have written songs that were inspired by people, but songs with someone's name/character is captured. That's difficult. This is not to say I'm not going to try. I am. And I know who I want to write about. And that's a good first step. But somehow or other, Ben Folds is damn good at this type of thing - not just about girls who are cool, but about people. He's really good at people songs, songs that reach out to me even when I feel like they are only slightly applicable to people I know - I can always imagine the person that he is describing, and that's special.

Kate by Ben Folds

She plays wipeout on the drums
the squirrels and the birds come
Gather around to sing the guitar
Oh I...have you got nothing to say

When all words fail she speaks
Her mix tape's a masterpiece
Walks through the garden
so the roses can see
Oh I...have you got nothing to say
And you can see the daisies
in her footsteps
Dandelions, butterflies
I wanna be Kate

Everyday she wars the same thing
I think she smokes pot
She's everything I want, She's everything I'm not
Oh. I...
Have you got nothing to say

She never gets wet
She smiles and it's a rainbow
And she speaks and she breathes
I wanna be Kate

Down by the Rosemary and Cameron
She hands out the Bhagaved Gita
I see her around every couple days
I wanna see her so that
I can say...hey Kate

She never gets wet
She smiles and it's a rainbow
Oh oh...You can see
I wanna wanna wanna wanna be
Kate, Kate, Kate, Kate, Kate, Kate
No, no, no, no, no