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Monday, January 7th, 2013
9:31 pm
essay about the consumer experience of the pilot dollar cup program

This weekend, Starbucks Coffee Company, the world’s largest retailer of coffee worldwide, rolled out an eco-conscious program aimed at eliminating wasteful overconsumption of wasteful paper and plastic products, by their consumers, with the introduction of a banner program offering their regular customers with the opportunity to purchase a reusable plastic version of their regular grande sized disposable coffee cup for only a dollar.  (*note- “grande”-sized is the nomenclature that Starbucks Coffee Company uses to denote a beverage that consists of 16 fluid ounces).

Starbucks has always been a promoter (albeit, somewhat clandestinely, as of late) of reusable coffee mugs as opposed to utilizing the disposable paper cups that are generally seen in the hands of most of Starbucks’ customers.  Starbucks Coffee Company, unbeknownst to most of the coffee lovers that frequent their “third-place” cafés to willingly and lovingly fill the corporate coffers in exchange for delicious java juice, has always and forever, since the company’s inception, offered patrons the underutilized option to receive their beverages and pastries in a “for here” mug or on a “for here” plate as opposed to in a disposable cup, pastry bag or at worst, a plastic made clamshell.  However, for a few reasons, the idea has not, as of yet, caught on with the average coffee consumer.

Why Not?

GREAT QUESTION!

First of all, American consumers have the weird and odd and misplaced misconception that using the services of the “for here” dishes, mugs, glasses and silverware provided freely by most Starbucks cafés nationwide for the purpose of providing a proper sit down dining experience is an arduously labor intensive process that unfairly overworks and over taxes your average Starbucks barista to the point of being overburdened by their humble, yet critically awesome position as the final step in providing one with one’s own awesome latte, frappucino, sandwich and scone to augment your “third place” experience.

Now, I understand that perspective entirely.  On the surface level, it seems as though the consumer is doing your friendly AND handsome barista a great service.  By opting out of the “for here” program, many consumers might feel as though they’re saving the barista from the arduous task of having to wash the dishes the consumer will eventually leave behind when they’re finish slurping up the last remnants of their gnarr mocha and devouring that tasty black and white cookie.  Most customers probably hate washing dishes themselves, so they feel confident knowing that they’re doing their baristas a solid by not creating more work for them to do.

However, as a former barista, allow me to let you in on a secret.  Being a barista is a “cake” job with a relatively high reward rate.  The average Starbucks barista makes a far higher rate of pay than any other type of retail fast food position, receives a higher rated set of benefits than most at a similar level “in the industry”, has a higher threshold for intra-company-wide upward mobility and on top of this, receives (usually, there probably are baristas who do “do the right thing” and claim their tips for tax purposes) an untaxed bonus of about two dollars an hour in extra tips. 

Also, washing café dishes is NOT an arduous task.  Industrial washing machines are an insanely awesome addition to the café’s arsenal.  A barista can deftly wash two dozen cups simply and easily with the push of a single button.  It’s not a hard task, and they are compensated relatively well for performing that task.  Now, that doesn’t mean that baristas won’t jokingly and jovially “complain” about having to wash your dishes.  That’s somewhat an IMPLIED part of their job description as service industry workers.  However, as the consumer, part of your responsibility is to be vigilantly and consciously aware and cognizant of the ramifications and affects of your individual purchases.

Packaging waste in general and fast food industry waste in particular is a huge drag on OUR economy.  Paper cups require paper making trees to be farmed.  THIS takes up PRECIOUS land space that could be better utilized by other types of farms, or as simple woodland space or by the lumber industry to provide wood utilizable for the construction industry or for other trades.

On top of this “space waste” is the plastic lid that sits on top of your cup.  This plastic lid costs petroleum, energy and man hours to produce and distribute.  The amount of work and materials that is produces by an individual consumer not using a “for here” mug or bringing their own mug far outweighs the mere inconvenience and burden of a minimal amount of work that one might feel (somewhat mistakenly) as though they’re adding to the barista’s individual burden.  Not only this, but, using reusable mugs eliminates a major source of the production costs, which frees up Starbucks to keep coffee prices lower, and hire more baristas with more benefits which ends up helping everyone in this equation out.  Sure, it may be difficult to think about the long term benefits and risks of a seemingly trivial interaction such as the purchase of a simple cup of coffee and the packaging that holds that cup of coffee, however I feel as though if both the barista and the consumers were better educated and directed to encourage waste elimination we would be taking an important evolutionary step towards bringing our Global Economy to the eventual goal of perpetual self-sustainability.

To me, the mere fact that Starbucks, as a corporation, has felt it necessary to introduce this program in an effort to promote the necessity of responsibility inherent to consumer culture is mildly alarming and disconcerting.

I am no qualified economist.  I do not yet possess a college or University certificate proclaiming me to possess any type of official degree, however, I do know some simple mathematics, and I do think that I understand and I do know the simple idea behind Supply versus Demand economics.  As I view the World, I am thankful to have the opportunity to actively participate in.  I know that there are seven billion people in the world.  Ideally, it’s my desire for as many of these people as possible to fully realize their own awesome potentials and to get as much out of life as possible.

I feel as though this is a common desire for most of us in this Young American Century.  However, I’m unsure as to whether or not we have taken as active a role in creating this type of desirably sustainable culture as we possibly can.  I do know that my mom liked to tell me that “a stitch in time saved nine stitches later on in time”.  I wasn’t even interested in sewing or mending, however, I do know that she’s right.  If you fix and properly repair a problem before the problem itself reaches a crisis point, it is much of an easier repair job than if you ignore the problem and the underlying causes of the problem and allow the problem to become even larger because of neglect.  As the Tom Marshall penned lyrics in the song “Sand” made famous on the rock band Phish’s album “Farmhouse” so poignantly explain “If you can heal the symptoms but not affect the cause-It’s quite a bit like trying to heal a gunshot wound with gauze.”

Even fifteen years ago, when the Starbucks’ brand was not as pronounced and globally exploited as it is currently, the Starbucks Corporation itself loved to promote sustainable and responsible consumerism.  Starbucks was among the first promoters of the Fair Trade farming system, whereby local farmers in emerging economies are properly and fairly compensated for the products they grow and produce.  Additionally, Starbucks has always given a ten cent per cup discount for those that forgo the “traditional” disposable cup in favor of using their own reusable and better insulated travel mugs.

However, over time, Starbucks Coffee Company’s focus and intent has definitely mutated.  Traditionally, the company’s focus was on selling coffee beans and brewers to utilize at home.  The stores themselves existed to augment and accent the sales of the brewers and the beans.  Now, the reverse is true.  The stores themselves, because of applied pressure from other fast food stalwarts such as McDonald’s Hamburgers, Dunkin’ Donuts and Burger King has found itself necessitate a mutation from a coffee and brewer boutique that happened to also serve coffee into a fast food coffee hangout that also coincidentally sold beans and coffee accessories.

The mutation, while well intentioned has come at a perilous cost.  The cost has been the propagation of more consumers while neglecting to educate those consumers on how to properly navigate the consumer economy for the maximum benefit of all.

Kind of like a bartender continuously placing drinks on the bar to be consumed without providing a cost rundown for the patron until the end of the night, only to present said patron with an exhorbitant bill the patron, herself, did not realize she was ringing up.  This disposable consumer culture has repeatedly encouraged over-consumption of waste products without even hinting at what the real cost might be or even just letting us know what the cost will be.

Starbucks, the corporation, itself, is not fully to blame.  They merely caved to the inescapable pressures of the Consumer Market.  They, Starbucks Coffee Company, has ALWAYS encouraged proper consumer behavior, and they almost went bankrupt doing it.

However, from my perspective, here, on the consumer level, there is more that they can do to properly encourage proper behavior from the consumer.

Having been on both sides of the coffee counter, I do know that instruction, education and subtle suggestions coming from the baristas throughout the natural interactions that occur between the coffee mavens and the guests ready to drink that delicious coffee beverage are pivotal to subtly guiding consumer behavior. 

Currently, I’ve experienced Starbucks baristas doing literally NOTHING to promote the usage of reusable products in lieu of the disposable waste created by the gluttonous overuse of paper cups and plastic lids that most of Starbucks consumers so lovingly and willingly consume.

Something as simple as merely casually asking customers if THEY would PREFER to have their coffee for here, would go a far long ways towards relieving SOME of the intense unnecessary stress added to an already overworked and overstressed economy which is directly caused by OUR gluttonous waste. 

Presenting the option itself subtly encourages consumers to take the option that they might not have even conceived could have possibly existed, or perhaps forgot in the heat of the moment of muscle memory to ask.  I know that it may sound trivial to some, but the three seconds it takes for a barista to say “Would you like that latte in a for here mug?” can possibly serve to free up millions and even billions and trillions in economic capital when this vigilance and inspired intelligence is correctly applied.

Unfortunately, I have not noticed baristas taking this initiative in YEARS.

Another thing baristas can do, is to subtly suggest that their longtime regular customers purchase their own reusable travel mugs.  It’s so easy to simply say to a customer “Jim (or whatever the customer’s real and actual name, is.)!  You’ve been coming in for as long as I’ve worked here, have you considered purchasing a stainless steel mug so your cappuccino doesn’t grow quickly cold?” 

Additionally, it’s pretty darn simple to use that ten cent reward as a bartering chip.  For example, baristas can totally be encouraged to say “you know if you bring in a mug from home, you’ll save ten whole cents off the cost of your cup.  That’s at least a free cup of coffee every month.  Usually, the incentive for the barista is that the ten cents itself might end up in the tip jar.  It’s little baby steps like these that begin the long arduous journey towards full on responsibility.

I’ve long noticed that both the consumers and producers alike have not been holding themselves accountable for their responsibilities.

Which is why this new one-dollar-plastic-cup program is so ultra encouraging from my individual consumerist perspective?  The program itself has given the baristas another chance (and in new employees a first chance) to hone and practice their service skills as they educate their consumers about the novel new product.  Also, customers enjoy novel new things.  These inexpensive plastic cups serve as a cute novelty that many might impulsively purchase simply because they are only a dollar, which is a super attractive price point.  Likewise, because of the new program, the baristas and coffee counter salesmen and women will get the bonus encouragement to remind their consumers about the reward inherent by using your own reusable mug.

Hopefully, the corporate structure will be as vigilantly encouraging of the proper behavior from within the company as they appear to be from outside.  Within the local corporate structure, regional managers, it is my hope will vigilantly encourage and offer incentives to store managers to encourage their shift supervisors to vigilantly stand guard and encourage the partners to actively get as many of their customers on board with responsibly reducing their consumption of waste as much as possible.

However, I have not seen this communication put into action.  This is highly frustrating from my own perspective.

I, personally, had to request the cup myself when I ordered my own cup of Joe last Saturday.  There was NO fan fare.  There was NO suggestive sale.  There was NO sly comment from the barista indicating that my choice was responsible and admirable.  NOTHING.  Sadly, it seems as though there has been a BREAKDOWN in intra-corporate communication.

I asked a friend about his coffee experience buying his own cup and he said he had to ask for it too.  Both of us were somewhat disappointed by that aspect of the experience.  Consumers like he and I purchasing the dollar cup is like preaching to the choir.  I do not feel as though the inexpensive reusable cups were designed to be marketed to people like me as much as they were designed to be marketed towards those consumers that don’t already use their own cup so that “the average consumer” would desire to consolidate and cut out some of their own unnecessary waste. 

In this way, customer education at the retail store level is totally lacking which tells me that education of the partners at the store level is lacking, which tells me that store education at the regional level is also lacking.

However, the cup itself is STELLAR and surprisingly SUPER well engineered.  I love, love, love the fact that the cup is virtually visually inseparable from the “normal cups” that actually made of paper.  I also love the fact that the cups themselves tactilely FEEL quite similar and are very much, to me, indistinguishable from their paper counterparts which also instills the sense that the “inexpensive” plastic cups are properly and carefully engineered, which adds to the trust factor inherently necessary when it comes to drinking a hot liquid out of a permanent plastic cup. 

So.  All and all, I love the program being tested out by Starbucks Coffee Corporation.  Ideally I would love to see this program properly promoted at the retail level, so that we can, together, start a system of proper responsible consuming when it comes to eliminating waste consumption.  I can imagine a world where consumers receive their inexpensive reusable inexpensive cups and train themselves to be able to hold onto their coffee cups, as time goes on, they can upgrade to something more “substantial” and permanent as they prove their own responsibility level.

Hopefully! *sigh*, the idea catches on.  Kudos-coffee producers and consumers.  Make it so!

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010
5:24 am
GOOD ECONOMIC SENSE

Truthfully, I know not how best to begin to endeavor to relate to you, my gentle reader, the exact nature of the thoughts which presently echo throughout the inner chambers of my mind. I, being a rather inauspicious Citizen of our fair town of Charlotte, have not possessed in my lifetime, as an adult, the means nor the privilege of living above the legal nor even the interpretive definition of the level of wealth known as POVERTY. To me, the thought of me being middle class is as foreign and as abstract of a conception as is the thought of me being a Billionaire.
                        However, this is not because of a lack of ability nor is it because of a lack of willingness on my part to serve my fellow men and women. Personally, I feel as though through some neglect of my elders, my peers and to a large extent, myself, I have been left alone to my own devices, ignored and left to decay and disappear like the spirit of an evil ghost or apparition best left ignored, even though, very much so do I still live.
                        In the past three years, you may have even had the opportunity to witness me deep in slumber in some public place around our blessed city for I had a want and lack of a proper home and a proper bed in which to retire privately and rest my body, my soul and my mind. Much like a vagrant or a boundless vagabond, I was treated by the public at large simultaneously as if I were one whose Lord had designed that he should be fit to be pitied or molested by ridicule or warned against in hushed tones.
                        I had committed no crime against individuals within our Society or even Society-at-large and I truly bore no Ill will towards those whom I found alternately gave me unwarranted and undesired pity or had occasion to ridicule me. Surprisingly enough, I instead wished all of my neighbors, all of my fellow citizens the very best that fortune and nature had the possibility to provide. These well wishes pronounced themselves within the deepest depths of my heart and soul as I willingly displayed myself for the entire community to witness defenseless and pitifully arrayed for my neighbors, friends and strangers alike, in hopes that like a lifeguard might throw out a lifeline to a drowning man, someone would jump into the pool of my own poverty in order to Save Me.
                        It is true that I did not illuminate many clues as to why I should deserve such a poor set of circumstances to live in. On the contrary, I held my true intents and purposes cleverly hidden and cloaked as if I were a human SR-71 Blackbird involved with surveillance during the height of the "Cold War" between the United States of America and the Eastern Bloc of Europe-Hidden behind a thin veil of feigned contempt for my Brothers and Sisters both Great and Small, Rich and Poor, I acted as though I were loathe of Everything and Everyone whom our beloved Creator, that Great Architect, had given me the great fortune and privilege to have been placed among.
                        My real and true purpose was two-fold. First and foremost, my entire life, I have felt utterly and hopelessly separated from the Community by an isolating chasm that was not of my own design. Many people often repeat the phrase "No Man is and Island". If the phrase rings true, I've often thought that my secret and true name should be "No Man", because I have felt very much as though I were an island my entire life, separated by chance and not by choice from the mainland that is Society-at-large. Much like a ghost or a vaporous spirit, I have felt much of my life as though I have drifted amongst my fellows only to be ignored and neglected and discounted as opposed to supported, kindled and appreciated.
This feeling has fogged and surrounded the majority of my life's experience. Much like a marooned sailor clinging for survival inside of a dingy deposited into the midst of a vast and daunting sea, I could see the tall masts and smoke stacks of large and impressive ships drift by, yet, sadly enough, I remained much too tiny, silent and insignificant in appearance to take notice of.
                        The good and great redemptive aspects of our Great Society were readily apparent and distinctively evident. Perhaps you are acquainted with the Cooper's Gardens near the Mint Museum of Art or the genius that is inherent within the poetic verses formed by the mesmerizing Charlotte's web of a layout of our city's streets and roadways; where Providence forms the union between Kings and Queens. Or, perhaps you are familiar with the majesty that is a performance within the quaint and beatific confines of Spirit Square's McGlohon Theatre. Maybe, just maybe, you are familiar with the great care that many of our vigilant citizens take in instilling the virtues of prudence, utility and liberty in both Commerce and personal Politicking. A cautious but fruititious prudence, which is fostered within and throughout many in our City's silent and proud majority.
                         Conversely opposed to this long list of our own Community's greatest virtues and attributes is a dark and unfathomable underbelly of neglect and a total lack of compassion, care and responsibility that is at best shameful and at worst may serve to rot out our basic liberties, our Society and its great pronouncements of the majestically comic tragedy that is Humanity itself from within, much like an infestation of canker worms within the lush oak lined streets of Elizabeth, Dilworth and Myers Park.
                        Poverty, vanity, selfishness, greed, disinterest and lack of compassion walked hand and hand as trespasses against our communal spirit of Liberty and Justice that brought my own spirit boiling to an emotional explosion- combining the volatilities of fear, sadness, anger, empathy and solidified frustration into a bitter cocktail that tasted much more like paint thinner as opposed to the deliciously intoxicating cosmopolitans that I had grown accustomed to. I personally witnessed an overabundance of resources and simultaneously a lack of proper Commerce to distribute and allocate these resources. I was paralyzed with confusion and found it utterly maddening and unimaginable how others were not as outraged and saddened simultaneously as I had unfortunately become.
                        For, it was then and still is my belief that Our Great, Powerful and Wise Creator had endowed us all with such an overabundance of bountiful wealth and resources, both tangible and abstract, where previously there existed so few, in order that as many of our great City's residents could share and delight in the great bounty and prosperity afforded to us because of our collective business prudence and also the Gifts bestowed upon us by that same Creator.
                        However, what I personally witnessed, by and large, was the opposite of the intended effect. These Gifts bestowed upon us were mistakenly seen and displayed as "Granted" because of a Superiority inherent to those who received them not so that they might help others who did not possess such great Gifts- so that those less fortunate souls who received them might obtain and create similar treasures to share with still others, but so that their Great Wealth could be simultaneously hoarded and squandered in a vain attempt by some of our otherwise most prudent citizens to loom over their treasures with the same grace and panache as a Privateer or a Looter might hoard over his or her "booty" as opposed to the noble citizens that they had shamefully and vainly attempted to misrepresent.
                        These misfortunate souls wantonly and blatantly and defiantly displayed and display an utter lack of respect and responsibility for their fellow men whom they had incorrectly and mistakenly labeled as "inferior" and "undeserving" simply because these souls were in want of what they themselves saw others so freely possess. This intolerably moral less misinterpretation of the responsibilities inherent to the reception of and allocation of wealth has left our Citizens, our Neighbors, our Friends and our Families within the flux of a moral vacuum-a void which we have yet to escape or even recognize the danger of.
                        As was made famous once again through the utterances of a comic book hero on our beloved silver screen , "With great power comes great responsibility." Likewise, with great wealth comes great responsibility, for in our Society, wealth is a means to Power. Our habits, our choices and ultimately our purchases as consumers directly correlate to our moralistic practices as a Society. If we promote luxury as consumers at the expense of the happiness of those that provide us that luxury, we are ultimately doing Ourselves a major disservice. Our toleration of Poverty AND Unhappiness in those we are lackadaisical and steadfast in oppressing for reasons of fear of losing our own wealth and resources, ultimately causes us to fail and lose those same resources we were trying desperately in vain to protect. THIS IS THE CURSE OF CAPITALISM. The same desire for wealth that propels us to prosper also serves to strangle us. This Curse can only be nullified if We, as a People, as a Community, as a Society care for and support those whom we might otherwise deem to be "Undesirable" and "without anything to offer".
                        Anyone who has seen the musical "My Fair Lady" or its source play, "Pygmalion" knows from artistic example that the "undesirable" are so easily transformed into the "desirable" much like Eddie Murphy's character in the 1980 comic masterpiece "Trading Places". It is my feeling, thought and belief that many who are mistakenly viewed as "possessing nothing to offer", in actuality, are simply lacking in support and reinforcement. Our responsibilities as friends, neighbors, business leaders and consumers is to provide that support. Given a minimum value of support and encouragement, these former vagrants will magically and majestically transform themselves into some of the greatest and most desirably esteemed members of the Community-At-Large.
                        Just as I was viewed as undesirable as I was observed lying in rest on Park benches near city sidewalks, under bridges and in varied nooks and crannies throughout our Great Queen City, I am sure there are others out there whom we are ashamedly encouraging to waste their precious talents and abilities while their souls needlessly cry out to God and their fellow citizens desperately for help only to see those cries answered with neglect and pity. As I slumbered in public view within neighborhoods with the largest property values within our Great State, not once was I offered anything at all resembling support. I was treated simultaneously with mistrust, contempt and neglect. The police-force, likewise, offered very little in the way of, if not a negative amount of, support and did do much to hinder any upward progress and mobility that I happened to possess. These Great Citizens who have and did have so much to offer and so much to gain so freely could hardly offer me so much as a friendly "Hello" or a "Good Morning" and a glance of glorious recognition and understanding, much less active aid, compassion and help back up from the ground when so precariously I fell.
                        I witnessed those whom I had known for years treat me as though I were an unknown and unquantifiable stranger, lest they be publicly embarrassed by being seen acknowledging the presence of a "crazed vagrant" or lest some of my misfortune might happen to transfer to them as if my poverty were a communicable disease transmitted through compassion and recognition. Bitter strangers were all the more contemptuous of me and the appearance of my station. I would enthusiastically greet our neighbors with an encouraging "Hello! Good morning!" in hopes that I could be invigorated, enlightened and cheered up through the simple exchanges of social pleasantries. More often than not, what I received in return was confusion, repulsion, derision and worst of all, apathy.
                        I learned very quickly that, by and large, my neighbors were wholly uncharitable. They did not display to me an appreciation and willingness to share the bounty provided freely to them, but rather, they acted as elderly misers, separated from human contact with others and alienated by the very wealth that was intended to afford them freedom, happiness and most importantly, trust.
                        What these "virtuous" neighbors fostered within me when I desperately wanted and needed their attention and affection was a deep and bitter sadness. A sadness which I am afraid that none who read this short essay can scarcely imagine or pretend to understand completely. Day and night I prayed to my heavenly Creator. Completely, I felt at a total loss to envision a prudent and proper course of action in which to endeavor, for I knew that the causes of Human Charity were widely preached, falsely advertised and harped upon within the blessed sanctuaries of the Churches which many of our citizens attended, for I had witnessed their parishioners at both weekday and Sunday Services. I knew that these citizens who avoided recognizing or helping me in public view had been instructed by representatives of their God to treat me simultaneously with kindness and mercy as opposed to mistrust and yet still, they acted contrary to the better precepts of their religious doctrines.
                        Thus, my own Poverty reflected a vast and pervasive Societal malady characterized by a lack of Obedience to God and moral principles combined with a lack of Good Goodwill while that same Grand Creator had freely given us the Awesome Ability and Freedom of will, whereby "It" allowed us to disobey "Its" wishes if we so chose. In other words, I was sad not only because of the punishment I was receiving because of Societies inattention to my needs and my pain and my desire, but also, because I was simultaneously cautiously afraid of the Punishment our Society would receive because of our collective avarice. For although I felt so rejected by my community, whom I had respected and admired so greatly from a distance, I still cared for and loved my fellow man in such a way that I find even now to be hard to relate.
                        As I feared so much for your safety, for my own safety, and for the safety of our children, tear drops began to fill my eyes and great sobs streamed out from the depths of my soul. When one possesses no private den to retire to, one's emotions are on constant display for public consumption. I happened to be at a public event at Southpark mall featuring a performance by our fantastically funded and inspiringly precise Symphony when this unintended display took place. As the tears dropped down my face steadily leaving their salty residue stained upon my cheeks, ten tears each for every man, every woman, every child that I encountered, no one at all bothered to supply me with anything. Not even a tissue. These "strangers" had no idea that the tears seen souring my then still cherubic face were borne out of a concern for them, as much, if not more than they were borne out of a concern for myself. All I needed, all I desperately longed for, was a defender, an advocate, an honest hand. Instead, I received none.
                        As I cried and wept and sobbed like a baby deprived of his pacifier, the skies darkened and a tremendous rainstorm pelted us. The event was cleared and cancelled. As my tears ceased with the onslaught of the tumultuous thunderstorm, I couldn't help but think that the ominous weather coincidentally mirrored my horrific mood.
                        I retired to the hotel adjacent to Symphony Park and with my last three dollars, I purchased a Samuel Adams. No one paid me a scant of attention as a member of the Belk Clan and his beautiful friends and family moved their entire picnic inside and joyously held their own celebratory congress while we all avoided the rain that seemed to me to reflect the tears which I had just uncontrollably wailed. Later that night, on the stage where the Symphony was to perform, amongst the audio equipment inside the amphitheatre pavilion, I slept soundly as the thunderstorm continued to rage around me. Before sleep, I prayed for forgiveness of us all, hoping that my tears would pay the burden of the Tax that I felt assured was going to be levied by Our Creator.
                        Those tears that were she were shed for us all, for I knew within my heart and soul the goodness and wealth of spirit that exists within each and every one of us. I was not blinded by vanity of jealousy by my ill set of circumstances while those around me delighted in the Gifts of our Great Economy which freely and justly ought to have been shared with me also, but rather, I was consumed with a deep conviction and sense of moral responsibility for those who had ignored my constant and consistent pleas for "HELP!". For, I knew within myself that if Our Society misjudged me, Our Creator would therefore misjudge our Society. The fact that a great economic crisis developed nine short months later was not surprising to me, nor did it give me much satisfaction.
                        I remember where I was when I saw the headlines proclaiming the fire sale liquidation of the once solid and noble investment firm, Bear Stearns. I was in Founders Hall in the ground level of the Bank of America headquarters in Uptown Charlotte. The news caused me to throw the paper out of a combination of fear and disgust. Coincidentally, the day before, on St. Patrick's Day, I had celebrated by spending a stack of "two dollar bills". Meanwhile, someone had taped a "two dollar bill" to the front door of the failed investment firm reflecting its final sale price. The coincidence was eerie and was not lost on me. Even without a proper home, I still cared deeply for the well being of even the very rich and affluent. At the time, I clung to the hope that the events that transpired in the wake of that "St. Patrick's Day Massacre" would serve us all as a proper wake up call alerting us to the responsibilities inherent to citizens, especially to citizens provided with the luxury of great wealth.
                        Sadly, it seems as though warnings great and small have not been heeded or even understood. Because of the finance crisis, we chose to blame the Bankers in mass. We did not take responsibilities for our own manipulations of markets wherein we attempted to create wealth without an actual product or service to support that wealth. Likewise, with the latest Environmental Crisis, we have blamed a corporation and have not publicly taken responsibility for our own abuse and misuse of the finite petroleum resources that exist underneath the surface of our precious planet.
You see. We are all Greedy. When faced with impending tragedy, we become resolutely blinded by our own avarice for we fear greatly and counter-intuitively that we will lose something we have as opposed to gaining something we lack. When it comes to Poverty and the impoverished, few are willing and enthusiastic to point out and highlight the benefits of having a strong and growing population base of wealth. Society is _always_ bettered when there is a strong and larger class of wealthy individuals as opposed to a larger class of the impoverished. Almost Counter-Intuitively, the growth of the wealthy class serves to expand the wealth of those already in this class, as opposed to diminishing the wealth of those who are already rich. Some people would like for us to live in the mistaken belief that in order for one person to possess something that this implies that another person must be deprived of that possession. This paranoid and mistaken notion is patently false. If I have an iPhone, and you want one too, you do not have to take mine away in order for you to possess your own! THE FACTORY WILL GLADLY MAKE YOU ANOTHER!
                        The resources of our Earth should be regarded as finitely infinite. Prudence should give us cause to respect the finite nature of wealth on a personal level, while our Faith in our Creator should cause us to expect the infinite possibilities of wealth for all of our Earth's citizens. We should want desperately and actively for all of our neighbor's to succeed, for in our neighbors' successes lies the supporting base for our own personal success. Just as in our neighbors' failures lies the cancer that undermines our own success and causes our own failures.
                        Business has had a bad habit of portraying its inner workings as uncivil and rather evil. This is not in any of our best interests. Perhaps we need a new system and promotional method for advancing a proper ethos for our fellows. Perhaps this needs to come at a more personal level, I don't know. I do know that we all need to work together to strengthen both our Economy and our Society for all of our benefit. Evolution is the means we possess in our artillery to combat revolution. When we start devolving societally, we walk a precarious tightrope of stability over the ever vast and ominous cavern of chaos.
I explained earlier that I do not possess the same luxuries that many of you freely enjoy. I know that I would love to. I also know that there have to be others out there who are very much like me, who possess a great intellect and a wealth of knowledge and the capacity to do much more but are hindered by a lack of resources and a lack of Faith and Support from their fellow Citizens. Instead of leaving us luckless souls distracted and dismayed as we have been from the unfortunate losses we have suffered as we have fallen from the precipices of our Society as we have attempted to summit Society's peaks, we should instead hope to have these unfortunate souls transform overnight in order to serve as positive examples of the Goodwill and virtue inherent to our Great Society so others might be illuminated to the reality that our Capitalist Economy is not heartless, but rather supportive of all Citizens. I think that sometimes within the competitive nature of our present system, our natural virtues are suppressed as opposed to cultivated, nurtured and fertilized in the noble hope that in the Springtime of our Society, they may blossom and enliven our Spirits.
                        Currently, our National mood is quite critical of large corporations and the way our system of commerce is being exploited by some who seek to make profits. Let us not be so hasty in our condemnation of an economic system that has been so effective in buoying our Society and has provided us all with a wealth of Freedoms, Luxuries and Experiences that many of our Grandparents would have thought to have been unimaginable in their youth. Our economy was purposely designed with the intent that the maximum amount of Luxury should be enjoyed by the maximum amount of our citizens given that we are exercising that economy to produce maximum results.
                        Banks were _NOT_ designed as an abstract ponzii scheme in order for their corporate officers to siphon off the cream from our freshly extracted milk, leaving us, the consumer with only watered down skim to drink. But rather, they were designed as a way of facilitating commerce so that we can share that cream with other citizens and therefore have those other citizens share their goods with us. This exchange, this trade, this sharing is THE FUNDAMENTAL PURPOSE of our Economic Free Market System, our banking system and to a degree, the Societal constructs of our Community, our Government and our Society. Our dollars themselves are but imaginary and representative values that quantify the values of the goods that we the Consumers have to bring to the market place. Our dollar's value is therefore not only based upon Faith, but also it is based upon the amount and quality of Food we produce, the shelter we provide, the furniture we design, the education we provide, the iPhones we manufacture, etc. etc. Simply put, without products and services to back and quantify our dollar's value, our Economy FAILS.
Those who use and abuse our Economic Markets as though they are sophisticated casinos- where our investors more so resemble craps players at a table in Vegas as opposed to investors and producers interested in the long term viability of the Market and Society do us ALL a major disservice. Lazily, these parasites behave virally, feeding off of and reproducing because of the lush fertility of the host organism, until that organism erupts, explodes and expires. Almost unwittingly, these vampires and vultures end up doing themselves as much harm as they do to our Economy, because as any good Virologist will tell you, without a host, a virus is sure to die.
                        A more prudent and worthy cause, as opposed to speculation, is true investment. True investment involves utilizing your fundage AND your abilities in order to produce quality goods and services that fill either a personal or apparent need within Society as a whole. On a fundamental level, this could be a hand tailored clothing company producing suits and dresses or it could also be a farm that produces high quality meats, cheeses and fruits. On another level, it could be a store that sells these items to consumers. Either way, this type of investment is the reason that our banks exist. When utilized perfectly, our Economy grows robustly producing even more cream than all of us collectively could possibly hope to consume.
This is exactly why I find our degradation of the poor and the elite within our society to be both counter productive as well as counterintuitive. I have often times heard the excuse that the impoverished deserve their poverty because they are either "lazy" and lack the motivation to become beneficial to society or because they inexplicably actually prefer poverty to financial security. I find this excuse itself to suffer from the delusions that its perpetrators claim that the impoverished and underprivileged possess. While there may be individual cases and examples of citizens who prefer poverty to wealth, you will find that the majority do not and that these examples are anomalies as opposed to being exemplary. There exists a large percentage of those who do not possess wealth who are willing and able to create that wealth who are not given the opportunity to do so by those who possess the wealth. It is in this way that those who accuse the impoverished of being too lazy to work are themselves guilty of being too lazy to create the work for the impoverished to do. In this situation of economic imbalance and instability, the wealthy and not the poor bear the burden of responsibility for the poverty of the "underprivileged" as opposed to the poor themselves, because the wealthy have the power that comes with resource and wealth while the poor have no such luxury or power. With the power of wealth not only comes luxury but also comes the responsibility of perpetuating that wealth. When the upper class fails to create work to facilitate the upward mobility of the lower classes, they fail in one of the fundamental responsibilities implied by the freedom of wealth.
The proper reaction for a wealthy man or woman to have when faced with someone who lives in poverty is not revulsion but rather compassion. Those who do not possess wealth, yet possess a true desire to obtain wealth deserve help and not derision. This is FUNDAMENTAL. Those with wealth bear a burden of responsibility to have a desire to aid the "underprivileged" soul in whatever morally uncorrupt way possible in order to help that soul obtain wealth.
                        This is NOT so much "charity” as it is a mode of paying for the debt we all owe to Our Creator and to EACH OTHER for the great bounty we do possess. If this means fostering and financing dreams so that they become realities that benefit us all, then so be it. Not only is this duty our responsibility, but should also be our privilege. What a noble endeavor wealth creation is indeed!
Our attitude towards those whom are impoverished is the first change that is VITAL for us to make. As opposed to viewing the unfortunate as "tainted" and "broken", we should view them as being UNDER UTILIZED. Perhaps you yourself can come up with clever businesses with clever ways to employ and ennoble those whom at first glance appear "unemployable". With the power of employment, you will find that you have a clever method of not only "keeping the vagrants busy" but also for molding these unfortunate souls into a more palatable version of themselves while at the same time learning that these unfortunate souls are just that, unfortunate, as opposed to UNDESIRABLE. As you grow to understand and love the person and people you help to nurture, you will surely find yourself simply amazed and energized by the results. As you foster and nurture their dreams in a similar way that yours were fostered, you will begin to discover new heights and dreams for yourself to conquer. This will _not only_ benefit your psyche and spirit because you have become ennobled, but it will also benefit YOUR economy AND YOUR profit margin by helping to expand our consumer base, our tax base and simultaneously our gross national product.
                        It is in this way that supporting strangers makes simple and sound GOOD ECONOMIC SENSE. As those who surround us are strengthened economically, so are we likewise fortified. What is beneficial to the least of us is beneficial to us all.
                        Please heed my advice. I beg of you for the collective good of the whole. I look forward to meeting you as we make our Great Society even Greater. Good luck and Godspeed.

Monday, June 23rd, 2008
11:23 am
Kristen Modaferri. Missing since June 23rd, 1997
It's weird. Losing a friend. Not like losing a friend as in you know that they are dead and in the ground and you can go and visit their grave and think about them as ghosts hanging around for you to talk to their spirits and leave them flowers and remember their good times and think of them as valiant because they are dead and gone and you miss them. Like literally losing them. As in you don't know where they are any longer. It was Eleven years ago today that my friend Kristen disappeared. It was eleven years ago tommorrow that I was told by our friend Danny Wise that Kristen disappeared.

At first I didn't want to believe it. I rejected the notion. Eleven years later, she still has not come home.

Kristen is gone. And it sucks.

I met Kristen in 1994. I was a rising Junior in highschool, fifteen years old and full of life, promise and high aspirations. I had been accepted into a summer program at Western Carolina University called "Summer Ventures". I had also been accepted into the North Carolina School of Science and Math, a boarding school run by the University of North Carolina university system for students who excelled in Science and Mathematics.

I was eager about both of these endevours, because my life up until this point had been extremely dissapointed. I had a hard time adjusting to life in North Carolina, because most of the children here were very much unlike me. Where I was focused, most of the others my age seemed rather flippant. Where I was driven to learn more about the world around me, others seemed to relish in their lack of knowledge and their lack to need knowledge. At the same time, I did not have the same social connections, the same fiscal backing and the same resources that most of my peers did. There were many times in my life growing up when I could cound on one hand the number of pairs of pants that I possessed. When it came time for me to eat a snack, I had to portion my snacks out carefully, otherwise I would run out of food by the end of the week. Usually, this did not go so well, and I would run out by around Tuesday. Whereas my friends parents were on P.T.A. boards, my parents couldn't afford the time, money or the energy to expend on joining those boards. "extra anything" was a luxury that I never learned to possess.

I was excited, because these public programs could afford me a chance to better my life and immerse myself in an environment where I would most definitely be surrounded by people who were exactly like myself.

Free spirited, intelligent with a desire for something more.

I was socially awkward, and understandably so. I was fifteen and I was used to being surrounded by people who didn't care about the same things that I cared about. I felt awkward, and because I felt awkwardly, other people treated me awkwardly.

I knew inside that I had a deep love for people and for life, and it was with this knowledge, that I excitedly left Charlotte for the mountains of N.C. and Culowhee, where the summer camp was being held.

My father and I ate at a Pizza Hut, and he left, and I felt awkward for about a day and a half. The place was weird. The kids were weird. I was shy.

I think I didn't talk to anyone except for my roomate and my hallmates for a day and a half.

It was on this second day, that I met Kristen.

The camp had rented out one of those human gyro-scopes. The kind that you sit down in and it slowly rotates you around simultaneously on three multiple axes simulating the G force that bodies feel as they hurl through space.

I think that I might have noticed Kristen before this, I'm not really sure. I remember she was wearing her weird bikini top and her jean cut off shorts. She had an affinity for those cut off jean shorts that summer, and almost every picture I have of her she is wearing them. She usually liked to wear the same bottoms over and over again until she wore them out. It wasn't because she only had one set. Her family was/is pretty well off and her other sisters were a lot more "normal" than she was. I think she just kind of had an attitude that when she found something she liked to wear, she wore it over and over again. It was how she was. She had a similar affinity for going around with no shoes on. It was just how she was. Free.

Anyways, Kristen was outside Leatherwood hall, the sun was shining, and she was plugging in her jukebox... opening up an opportunity for me to approach her. I asked her what she was listening to, and she replied "the cure!". She really loved the cure. I had never really taken a chance to listen to them. She played some songs, and we talked about silly stuff. I took her picture and she took mine (we both had cameras), and we just generally hung out. I had been growing my hair out at this time, and later on in the afternoon, while we were sitting outside, she braided my hair for me. The braids were thick, awkward and silly, but it was a chance for us to bond. I think the first time, she put them into 8-10 braids. They were thick to the touch kind of like rope, and we had a great time just talking about random stuff.

I was a little silly back then (just like I am now) and I think that we just joked about silly and gross stuff. I think I teased her for being a lesbian (she definitely wasn't), and she teased me for being a "gay-wad" (I'm definitely not).

As the summer grew on, we became closer and closer.

We ended up doing all of the same outdoors activities. When we went camping on the tuckaseegee river, we arranged it so that we were in the same tent. We didn't really have a sexual sexual relationship, I thought she was a cool girl and she thought I was a cool guy. We didn't believe in playing the sex game. We spent most of the night annoying our camp guide by talking and laughing loudly. That's how we spent most of our time. Talking and laughing.

When we went caving in Tennessee, she was next to me the entire time, on the way back from caving, we fought because I made fun of her because I was jealous at the attention she was paying someone else.

She told me that I had a lot of growing up to do.

She was the first woman who ever told me that.

We were 15.

We both had a lot of growing up to do.

On the fourth of July, she was there by my side as we played with sparklers in downtown Culowhee.

I'd be lying if I didn't say that I wasn't developing a crush at this point.

All good things come to an end, they say, and our camp was quickly entering the point where it was time to say goodbye.

We all packed our things, grabbed our awards and certificates, and started off for home.

I figured that would be the last I saw of Kristen.

Luckily, I was wrong. Me and another friend, Cary, went to Lollapalooza that summer...and wandering around the outer reaches of Blockbuster Pavilion I happened to bump into Kristen and her best friend at the time Liz Dean. We were at a stand that sold hats and dresses. Kristen and Liz were trying on dresses. It was kind of weird but cool bumping into her like that. We "caught up" on old times, she introduced me to Liz, I introduced her to Cary and we went our seperate ways.

I went off to Science and Math, and kind of forgot about her.

It wasn't until me and Danny Wise went to see Tori Amos in concert in Raleigh that we bumped into Kristen again.

There was a "Rock the Vote" booth at the Concert. Danny was going to NC State for his Parks Scholarship orientation. I was going to see Tori Amos live. Little did we know that Kristen was going to both. She looked as gorgeous as I remembered her, even more-so. She was taller. Her cheeks were still chubby like a chipmunks, she still looked more Italian than Italy itself. Her dimples were still evident in her smile. Her laugh was still manly and hearty.

I had scored us front row tickets. Me and Danny asked Kristen to join us.

It was a beautiful show.

Tori played "Lovesong" by the Cure. That's still the highlight of the show for me.

It turned out that Kristen and Danny would be seeing a lot of each other...because they were both in the same scholarship program and lived in the same dorm.

I was going to be at UNC Chapel-Hill.

I was going to be seeing a lot of both Kristen and Danny.

It seemed awesome.

Lots of adventures followed in the next year. Kristen borrowed a pair of my corduroys that fall, and didn't return them until she had warn them out and I begged to have them back the next spring. We saw Guster open up for Jump Little Children and when I jokingly begged the band to play "Counting Blue Cars", they obliged. We all went to see "Phish" in Charlotte together, and Kristen showed us all the Knife and Fork (for the first time)... we stayed in the basement of her house that night/morning. And all I remember of her parents is that they weren't overly weird towards us and they made sure we all were fed.

I threw a temper tantrum on the way from Charlotte to the Triangle, and Kristen was the one that made sure that everyone left me alone as she tried to talk to me and find out what was wrong.

I don't even remember what was wrong.


That's what I remember most about her. She was giving. She cared. She was unique.

I miss her a lot.

In a world full to the brim now of people who are pseudo-hipsters not really caring about anyone but themselves...I long for the days of Kristen...she cared about everyone but herself...it seemed...most of the time.

And that's how she'll always be remembered to me.

It's really sickening and frustrating to me that we don't know where she is. It's really sickening and frustrating to me that someone felt the need to steal her away from us. The world is worse off for not having her around to celebrate in and with it.

I miss you Kristen.
Sunday, October 24th, 2004
3:29 pm
god damn its hard to update.
fuck.

perfect entry.

just got aten by the internet.

fuck you internet whores!

i know it's sunday...but lemme describe my feelings about her in such a way
playing pattycake pattycake pattycake bakers men
when i met you i tried to tell you...at your panties i didn't spy
you were decked out in that hot old dress girl
what'd you expect me to do?

I know you've seen the things I do...You found your own writing on my wall...You told me not to look inside your diamond shaped heart...you thought it'd freeze me down....you didn't know i just imagined i was a beam of light shining down from below....inside your television set the mice do play and there are a lot of other fancy things to do once you've found...nobody knows....something was said...what it was....nobody knows....you have his face in your eye...everybody came on you to spy...those strange concurrent edge wrinkle shapes that fly outside of your coach...eating stale pizza and cartoons on tv....you always had the sweetest angel baby face anyways...a cold eyed queen in the mind of a boy...thanks for keeping my seat warm babe...i had to leave for a few....

It wasn't because I loved you. It wasn't because I was hurt. When they stole the ankh from my sisters house, I felt bitter cold, like you burnt my tshirt. The same thing happened to me long ago and her sage add vice she did share. I locked away my own heart babe I don't play no double dare.

She wanted to be normal, I demanded you let her free. She was always so much older and wiser and knew who she was to be.

I don't want to be your father....I won't be a peach...I just want some of your sweet fire babe...to help extend our reach...it's been a long time since i've been this way...ever since i lost my home...to vagrants in the dark...looking for the remnants of rome....I love you so much my sweet Lil' Lou. Find me if you want to...I have nothing to do. I still always dance in your shoes. Find me if you want...I always said I pittied the fool...find me if you want to...you are a poor boy too:)

Current Mood: would it even MATTer.
2:52 pm
tell me off like a bee sting.
fuck.

perfect entry.

just got aten by the internet.

fuck you internet whores!

i know it's sunday...but lemme describe my feelings about her in such a way
playing pattycake pattycake pattycake bakers men
when i met you i tried to tell you...at your panties i didn't spy
you were decked out in that hot old dress girl
what'd you expect me to do?

I know you've seen the things I do...You found your own writing on my wall...You told me not to look inside your diamond shaped heart...you thought it'd freeze me down....you didn't know i just imagined i was a beam of light shining down from below....inside your television set the mice do play and there are a lot of other fancy things to do once you've found...nobody knows....something was said...what it was....nobody knows....you have his face in your eye...everybody came on you to spy...those strange concurrent edge wrinkle shapes that fly outside of your coach...eating stale pizza and cartoons on tv....you always had the sweetest angel baby face anyways...a cold eyed queen in the mind of a boy...thanks for keeping my seat warm babe...i had to leave for a few....

It wasn't because I loved you. It wasn't because I was hurt. When they stole the ankh from my sisters house, I felt bitter cold, like you burnt my tshirt. The same thing happened to me long ago and her sage add vice she did share. I locked away my own heart babe I don't play no double dare.

She wanted to be normal, I demanded you let her free. She was always so much older and wiser and knew who she was to be.

I don't want to be your father....I won't be a peach...I just want some of your sweet fire babe...to help extend our reach...it's been a long time since i've been this way...ever since i lost my home...to vagrants in the dark...looking for the remnants of rome....I love you so much my sweet Lil' Lou. Find me if you want to...I have nothing to do. I still always dance in your shoes. Find me if you want...I always said I pittied the fool...find me if you want to...you are a poor boy too:)
2:08 pm
fuck.

perfect entry.

just got aten by the internet.

fuck you internet whores!

i know it's sunday...but lemme describe my feelings about her in such a way
playing pattycake pattycake pattycake bakers men
when i met you i tried to tell you...at your panties i didn't spy
you were decked out in that hot old dress girl
what'd you expect me to do?

I know you've seen the things I do...You found your own writing on my wall...You told me not to look inside your diamond shaped heart...you thought it'd freeze me down....you didn't know i just imagined i was a beam of light shining down from below....inside your television set the mice do play and there are a lot of other fancy things to do once you've found...nobody knows....something was said...what it was....nobody knows....you have his face in your eye...everybody came on you to spy...those strange concurrent edge wrinkle shapes that fly outside of your coach...eating stale pizza and cartoons on tv....you always had the sweetest angel baby face anyways...a cold eyed queen in the mind of a boy...thanks for keeping my seat warm babe...i had to leave for a few....

It wasn't because I loved you. It wasn't because I was hurt. When they stole the ankh from my sisters house, I felt bitter cold, like you burnt my tshirt. The same thing happened to me long ago and her sage add vice she did share. I locked away my own heart babe I don't play no double dare.

She wanted to be normal, I demanded you let her free. She was always so much older and wiser and knew who she was to be.

I don't want to be your father....I won't be a peach...I just want some of your sweet fire babe...to help extend our reach...it's been a long time since i've been this way...ever since i lost my home...to vagrants in the dark...looking for the remnants of rome....I love you so much my sweet Lil' Lou. Find me if you want to...I have nothing to do. I still always dance in your shoes. Find me if you want...I always said I pittied the fool...find me if you want to...you are a poor boy too:)

Current Mood: die patsy cline!
2:08 pm
fuck.

perfect entry.

just got aten by the internet.

fuck you internet whores!

i know it's sunday...but lemme describe my feelings about her in such a way
playing pattycake pattycake pattycake bakers men
when i met you i tried to tell you...at your panties i didn't spy
you were decked out in that hot old dress girl
what'd you expect me to do?

I know you've seen the things I do...You found your own writing on my wall...You told me not to look inside your diamond shaped heart...you thought it'd freeze me down....you didn't know i just imagined i was a beam of light shining down from below....inside your television set the mice do play and there are a lot of other fancy things to do once you've found...nobody knows....something was said...what it was....nobody knows....you have his face in your eye...everybody came on you to spy...those strange concurrent edge wrinkle shapes that fly outside of your coach...eating stale pizza and cartoons on tv....you always had the sweetest angel baby face anyways...a cold eyed queen in the mind of a boy...thanks for keeping my seat warm babe...i had to leave for a few....

It wasn't because I loved you. It wasn't because I was hurt. When they stole the ankh from my sisters house, I felt bitter cold, like you burnt my tshirt. The same thing happened to me long ago and her sage add vice she did share. I locked away my own heart babe I don't play no double dare.

She wanted to be normal, I demanded you let her free. She was always so much older and wiser and knew who she was to be.

I don't want to be your father....I won't be a peach...I just want some of your sweet fire babe...to help extend our reach...it's been a long time since i've been this way...ever since i lost my home...to vagrants in the dark...looking for the remnants of rome....I love you so much my sweet Lil' Lou. Find me if you want to...I have nothing to do. I still always dance in your shoes. Find me if you want...I always said I pittied the fool...find me if you want to...you are a poor boy too:)

Current Mood: die patsy cline!
1:53 pm
fuck.

perfect entry.

just got aten by the internet.

fuck you internet whores!

i know it's sunday...but lemme describe my feelings about her in such a way
playing pattycake pattycake pattycake bakers men
when i met you i tried to tell you...at your panties i didn't spy
you were decked out in that hot old dress girl
what'd you expect me to do?

I know you've seen the things I do...You found your own writing on my wall...You told me not to look inside your diamond shaped heart...you thought it'd freeze me down....you didn't know i just imagined i was a beam of light shining down from below....inside your television set the mice do play and there are a lot of other fancy things to do once you've found...nobody knows....something was said...what it was....nobody knows....you have his face in your eye...everybody came on you to spy...those strange concurrent edge wrinkle shapes that fly outside of your coach...eating stale pizza and cartoons on tv....you always had the sweetest angel baby face anyways...a cold eyed queen in the mind of a boy...thanks for keeping my seat warm babe...i had to leave for a few....

It wasn't because I loved you. It wasn't because I was hurt. When they stole the ankh from my sisters house, I felt bitter cold, like you burnt my tshirt. The same thing happened to me long ago and her sage add vice she did share. I locked away my own heart babe I don't play no double dare.

She wanted to be normal, I demanded you let her free. She was always so much older and wiser and knew who she was to be.

I don't want to be your father....I won't be a peach...I just want some of your sweet fire babe...to help extend our reach...it's been a long time since i've been this way...ever since i lost my home...to vagrants in the dark...looking for the remnants of rome....I love you so much my sweet Lil' Lou. Find me if you want to...I have nothing to do. I still always dance in your shoes. Find me if you want...I always said I pittied the fool...find me if you want to...you are a poor boy too:)

Current Mood: die patsy cline!
1:37 pm
Don't see him when he's working...Don't show him to your friends....don't ask him not to work....
Don't you ever mistreat him....

IF HE ACTS LIKE A JERKKKKK!!!!!

Pathetique Lies! Pathetique Lies! Patsy Cline!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I <3 Jenny Toomey

Oh sweet Jenny Toomey....serenading me....from the 1920's...till i'm pop lockin my bye knees.

Last night was a beautiful rendition.

Dance was not the seven veils. The dance was the dance of the 14 concentric layers. Bellglide was awesome....Slappy looks so strong nowadays...my favorite part of the show was the opener....I GUESS. Shalini was so rockinly unexpectedly unabashadly chicago. Brought a huge fucking ROCK US smile to my poor mans face.

9-11 Boston Wins!!! Fucking killer game. So pumped. Omg. Can't even record it accurately. There's too much to see! Wow. So many forced errors. And yet, it was the fairest of fights. I can't wait to see the rest of this glorious world series. Last year, I was excited when the Cubs almost clawed their way to the pennant...but now, I totally think that Boston sweeping the series would be an awesome fucking Birthday present for Boston. Bostonians are pretty decent...and MASS. is all right by me (Mass=Massachusettes.)

So, I have this problem right now. I've been telling all of these "secret jokes" that are only jokes to me because I'm an A-Hole like that. I've also been belly dancing on street corners for spare change. Spare change makes my world goooo roound. I don't think people know how to take me seriously. La tea fuckin' da;)

R.I.P. KRISTen Modaferri. I hope alls oh kay. (1997).(TM).

Boston Red Sox fans have the best signs. That's why I want them to win. Also because they've been bound with an UNBREAKABLE curse...kinda like they're the poltergeist movie or something. I <3 Impossible Possibilities.

I met Anna and this girl named England and this dude named Will. I've met a lot of Wills lately. There's only one Will I know that I know that he earned his name.

Capt.Obvious.

The Dojo is reinstated. All new applicants will have to wire me by phone mail. I am no longer scheduled to teach class...but I will be availible for advising sessions if needed.

Yesterday at work, I was a wreck. Messing up orders...forgetting things...but I stayed Polite and Curteous (not Curt)(never Curt) (always Curteous) (never Curt)

Nobodys back home baby...keep my light awake for me. Thanks. I love you, as well!

Current Mood: I think I just fixed her lung!
Friday, October 15th, 2004
9:43 am
all i wanna dooooOOOOoOOOOOOoo....is baby be friends with you.
I got a new car:)

It's a lot of fun to drive!

I suck at bowling...karaoke kings reign supreme...

Last night, my crush broke my poor tender little heart. Oh well. I was pretty sad about it on the way home. Listening to the tin jazz trumpets on my radio dial. Counting the misty teardrops as they ricocheted off the windscreen. Feeling like poor Joel on the way home from Barnes and Noble when Clementine didn't even recognize him. Not allowing myself to give her the satisfaction of my tears, because she didn't deserve them. Sad symphonies playing out in my head too teary to stay straight.

She was really mean to me. And that made me remember my behavior countless times in the past, and that made me super fucking sad/mad at myself. Which, I guess is healthy. I'm a selfish-egotistical bastard most of the time... and I guess I don't really know how people perceive my body language sometimes. All I'm trying to say, is that I guess if I can help it, I don't want to make someone I like feel the way I felt last night.

I don't know. The crowd I hang out with right now is alright. They're pretty superficial, yet witty. Most of us work service industry jobs. I can't believe I'm in the service industry, I bet jesus thinks that's hilarious. The conversations I get into tend to be fake, surface tension breakers. Most of my friends care, but few would I trust to take a bullet for me. Chris seems to be in the same boat... last night I saw him and he was super sad looking...I've never seen him like that. I didn't really know how to comfort him, but he seemed amused at my blatant attempts to be "a good guy". He kept talking about how he felt like we were in California, and my reply was "I know, sometimes you gotta find a way to roll against the flow, while looking like you're rolling with it." That felt like such an assholy thing to say. It kinda does sound like surfing. Chris might not take a bullet for me, but I'd take a bullet for him. He's mad chill. Same thing with Brad, except Brad is hilarious and also not to be trusted. And Patrick, too. I don't think I'd ever think that I would appreciate Patrick as much as I do... Weird.

Well, I guess it turns out the girl crush is superficial too. That's alright, but, there's only so much one can take. I'm so glad I found out so soon. She's a cool chick, and I might want to get to know her later...but definittttely UN=DATE=A=BLE.

I got written up at work yesterday for leaving the oven on all night. The new guy (mike) bitches about every little thing "I don't do", and so the managers think I'm being a super huge douche right now. Well hopefully the huge pussy called border's that i'm working in will be a little bit cleaner after I douche that bitch out:P Seriously tho, I kinda laughed at the write up, and went back to work...it doesn't really matter anyways.

At karaoke last night, I sang, "Somebody to shove", "wonderwall" and "man on the moon"... They were all D-U-D-S.

The highlights though, were, all these crazy scenester kids singing bohemian rhapsody....so energetic and enthused. This chick in that same group singing "Criminal" by Fiona Apple. This dorky kid Dustin singing "pepper"...and George and Natalie doin a KICK ASS job on "Free Fallin'".

Well, it feels like i'm just typing right now. I miss my mommy... I should call her this weekend. I need to wash my new car, mow the lawn, do laundry work tonight and tommorrow... I can't wait to be out of the post crush hangover. I feel like such a douche right now. Thanks, guys. Oh, I have to make sure I have off for XMAS in chicago (YAY!) and to get my check and pay off some debt.

I'm still incesantly listening to liz phairs first album. Jesus Christ does her voice sound husky and hot. "6'1"" might be my favorite song ever right now.

Ugh. This sucks.

I hate sleeping around. I can't do it. Wow. Hmmm. This is so stupid, since I want a girlfriend now, I won't be able to find one. At least I got a new car. At least a lot of people told me how much they like having me around last night...

Oh, and everyone at the bucket shop thinks I'm all political...hahaha. It's funny, because the night of the first debate, I kept dedicating all my songs to George Bush, the savior of america...and I guess people thought I was serious...so now they're all like "are you gonna get political tonight?" Hahaha like i'm some political asshole.

But anyways, yeah, like on a few seperate occasions, people came up to me last night and told me how much fun I am to have around which is really nice and if these dudes did it because they could see how heartbroken my eyes looked, well then, well then...that's NICE.

I want to go out on a date some time to the Copa Grill on wilkinson blvd. It's my dream date.

Oh, and I think my colons empty right now?

Current Mood: NEW CAR/broken heart
Tuesday, October 21st, 2003
12:24 pm
the messages blink coded inscriptions here
you put yr life on the line
and now we can't even enjoy our smear

seven. seven. seven.

all seven deadlies broke.

8 measure octaves wrote
perfect fifths
encoded rhythms
trolley cars
summers haze
stalker glance she's on my ass she's on my ass
laughing. laughing... laughing.
nurses fighting me all time playing me.
confusing the messages in turn speak ream drink.
steal my soul
plane crash
crow crow crow
paul is dead paul is dead paul is dead
----and i feel like paul
never massaged up like saul
and now i'm a monkey boy too----
blue blue blue
heat light heat light heat light
cleanse me tonight
drink me tonight
complement me out right
reinvent me tonight
take me to the store
cleaved out i bore
they excorcised me as a demon
always funkin my season
without any reason

and now i'm back again.
jumping through time in the past again.
how can so many people all be the same...
tigers drawn out by my name
and the rain.
the rain.
the rain.
knees hurting. rich boy flirting. girlies skirting.
and i'm poor.
on the floor.
please open my door.
i'm poor.
floored.
sore.
kicked and tumbled.
more more more.
we joy in the noize.
rastamen blink-brotherman think
racial lines drawn, erased, errors, synchron tron pawn
usa today
russkie yezik
plessy furgoson
trash compactors
school bus
oh my how they rush
shill
swill
will
dill
bitter pill
bitter pill bitter pill

and now yr eyes they light
laughter glowing outside tonights the night
only confusion grows
my laughter always shows
an outsider deemed on me
please allow me to read
johnny planted the seed
11:15 am
je n'ai jamais rien.
je n'ai jamais rien.

nip. tuck. suck. buck.

je n'ai jamais rien.

le pont. le pont. the point?!?

non.

je n'ai jamais rien.

leaves. escargot. tightened rope.

je n'ai jamais rien.

patiserrie. dry cleaning. box cutter boys.

je n'ai jamais rien.

look outside. kids playing---hide.

je n'ai jamais rien.

don't be afraid.
i won't kill you my dear.
don't look at my face.
it won't hurt us here.

je n'ai jamais rien.

coughing up blood.
the mucus it runs.
look outside my house.
yr quite as a mouse.

je n'ai jamais rien.

are you quite the fool?
talking about things you do.
showing off yr silly books.
keeping everything took.

tu n'as pas rien.
tu n'as pas rien.

salt. sodium. bicarbonates.
deconstruct the bait.
flying to the sky.
everyones dazed
headaches razed
our hearts to the sky
try try try
it's ok inside
a box for you, yr friends, yr eyes.
everyones here
nothing to fear
sit up straight like a steer
drink down bitter beer
help me my smoke
bloody like joke

nous n'avons jamais riens.
nous n'avons jamais riens.
nous n'avons jamais riens.

tout le monde sont bien quand nous n'avons jamais riens.
10:48 am
poem boy loked in win din sin.
thine eyes shine in bay street binds
muskrats lie and dinners die
thine eyes shine in milky water place
take a taste take a taste
light beams refracting off of the planes
tractors all focused off into space
protective net weighty it seems
taking away all of the dreams
in sorrow and sadness a day by the fone
toying tweaking the culture of such a chore

phase-dayz-clay

shame-blame-game

reply-deny-ono lie

cold-blank-stares
forks stuk inside pears
nobody really truly cares

smelly feet phosphate beep plutonium seep playground creep

help me i know-don't look at the whores-be nice to the help-share in my wealth-don't talk to those dudes-everyones nude-don't listen to dad-nobodies rad-yr sisters insane-yr really plain-don't make up them jokes-can't really be a bloke-yr dick it's been shot-yr minds gone to pot-yr dad doesn't care-everyone stares
stares
glares
dirty deeds and dares
hopes fall
dreams small
play dough call
t-shirts smell
laptops dell
apple computer please call.

small. small. small.

medium. med. grande.

cap. a. chin. oh.

broooo. broooh. broh.

sis. sis...zxe six

not u. the real one with real tooth.
not u. the real one w/ real toof.

nt u. th rl 1 w/ rl tf

nt u.

nt u.

gt th clu. spr slth.


bridge burnt down by feminine hands.
name calling to spite the dreams of the lambs.
have fun singing with the silver strands.
it's our own lives we hold in our hands.

mad love to the mad poets before and after.
howl-ginsburg
t.s. eliot-love song
a fly buzzed-dickinson
bell jar-plath
psychic hearts-thrstn
dylan-desolation row
mmm. mmm. good?
light bad.
hurts eyes. smakes mad.
vapor smoke.
kills lungs.
deadly toke.
water drink.
blink blink blink.
nink nink nink.
help out sink.
melt our rink.
smelt our mink.
keep our sink.
so we can
drink drink drink
blink blink blink.
nink nink nink.
10:35 am
lullabye (for jane)
bleep bleep bling bling ka-ching ka-ching ring ring bring bring

insectopods in my city
insectopods in my city

bleep bleep bling bling ka-ching ka-ching dreem dreem

casting off their slivered pity
insectopods in my city

bleep bleep bling bling zsazsing zsazsing

hyped hype trite mite
insectopods in my city

bleep bleep bling bling kling kling drink drink

help mate claim steak date rake scraped plate

bleep bleep bling bling sing sing

fone off-hooked. don't play swords. stolen chords.

clive clive dive dive jive jive

arrive arrive tithe tithe car ride sky

driving slow mo fo dough clothing ho stinking row drinking snow

2 ply 2 ply 2 ply 2 ply 2 ply 2 ply 2 ply

paper towels
insecto pods in my city
insectopods in my city

no more time for pity
insectopods in my city
Sunday, October 19th, 2003
12:01 pm
well. (p.s.-little trouble girl is my anthem)
it's sunday. a beautiful day. my sister completely ignored me today. my dad and my sister both went to church. i was never invited. it's not like i expected an invite... but sometimes the unexpected can work miracles.

i'm currently downloading "little trouble girl"

i need new music. please suggest something rad.

i walked around downtown last night, taking digital pictures of the city. i feel like my town is the new necropolis. nepolitos feels a million miles away.

i've been distributing the album of awesome.

i'm taking music theory. it's quite confusing.

i find it painfully hard to learn music theory at a popular coffee shop where everyone is blabb blabb blabbing away.

i miss the word bubblar. i miss australia even tho i've never been there.

i'm currently listening to a boston grateful dead show from the 70's. i love it to death.

i have fantasies where brooklyn new york kidnaps me and teaches me the secrets of life, love, music, art and happiness.

i <3 dan bernstein so hard right now.

i check www.un.org every day. so should you... or maybe not.

sunshine daydream just started up.

i love that part of sugar magnolia:)

i need a job. hopefully i'll get one this week.

i hung out with charlena on friday...that was fun. i like char a lot. she's got an interesting perspective on things. and she's not as lucidly figure out-a-ble as she might believe. hopefully we'll get her musically fit for awesome-omity.

i think that anonymity can be an excuse to lie.

i think that the internet is an excuse to remain anonymous.

therefore, i think that the internet can be an excuse to lie.

patrick has been so good to me lately it's rediculous. him and his family are fucking amazing. i love it that they call me a piece of shit.

patrick and i are getting together today to write some songs for the hootenanny tommorrow at the room.

tommorrow i have to get a public defender and get a job.

right now the law and money are worrying me hard.

i can't wait.

hmmm. well that's about all i have for right now.

i miss emily right now. i can understand why she doesn't want to be my friend. but, i still think she's being obstinate.

i miss alex a lot. alex always made a lot of sense to me. he's a great fucking human being. i'm so happy that cecilia is living with him it's rediculous. i'm sad that she's living so far away from her parents. i'm sure they miss her.

i wrote an article for the phish zine STTF. a lot of people detest and make fun of phish. i don't care. phish are fucking fun. i hope you like my article, i'll post it in a second.

well, i guess i wasn't finished.

i miss marren and her friends. i hope she doesn't think i'm a scum bag. she probably does, and is probably right to a certain extent.

blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.

i want to take art classes soon.

i wish i knew more about computers and html.

ugh i need so much help...and there's so little time.

i plugged in both analog alarm clocks today.

sleepfull in necropolis,
matt
Sunday, August 17th, 2003
3:53 pm
yessss!
<td bgcolor="#000000">Name:</td><td bgcolor="#DDDDAA"></td></tr><td bgcolor="#000000">Youre famous for:</td><td bgcolor="#DDDDAA">Hosting 28 MTV shows </td></tr><td bgcolor="#000000">You get famous:</td><td bgcolor="#DDDDAA">November 8, 2047</td></tr><td bgcolor="#000000">You make $$ per/year:</td><td bgcolor="#DDDDAA">$986,385,795,818,385</td></tr><td bgcolor="#000000">Do people like you?</td><td bgcolor="#DDDDAA">48901954 People think you rock. </td></tr><td bgcolor="#000000">Dead/Alive:</td><td bgcolor="#DDDDAA">Alive, but not for long</td></tr>
F A M E by spazyspag
Created with quill18</a>'s MemeGen!
3:50 pm
hahaha yoo yoo yoo
<td bgcolor="#000000">Name:</td><td bgcolor="#DDDDAA"></td></tr><td bgcolor="#000000">Youre famous for:</td><td bgcolor="#DDDDAA">Bringing the Spice Girls back together </td></tr><td bgcolor="#000000">You get famous:</td><td bgcolor="#DDDDAA">February 25, 2008</td></tr><td bgcolor="#000000">You make $$ per/year:</td><td bgcolor="#DDDDAA">$944,025,748,429,121</td></tr><td bgcolor="#000000">Do people like you?</td><td bgcolor="#DDDDAA">Everyone wants to bone you. </td></tr><td bgcolor="#000000">Dead/Alive:</td><td bgcolor="#DDDDAA">Living </td></tr>
F A M E by spazyspag
Created with quill18</a>'s MemeGen!
Friday, August 15th, 2003
7:52 am
fortune tellers blues.
fortune brought with him many things
kept inside wooden rucksacked bags
shoulder slung brightly
the first of these things were many apologies
excuse me, pardonez moi, I'm sorry.
thankfulness reflected within his disdain
blurred images focused on his mind
sometimes sorry and regret did nothing except complain
apologies bought, sold, traded...
umbrellas in the rain
finding his true self obscured by flames
still his bag of tricks held more images
most elegantly plain
mathematical isotopical solutions
most injurious to his brain
dreams of lollipop rollerskating
heaping spoonfulls of clamor and selfless masturbating
finding thrills in simple smiles widened eyes
always forgetting what he wanted to hide
images remembered
frozen lightscapes
blurred images
resonation
resonating what fell from sight
snowbeams-bluebells-near death toils
frozen smiles-thinner friends-hardened trials

they laughed so much to hurt within
thinking friendship was a sin
give and take the stock exchanged
inside both their chests it panged
lost within his doe eyed glance
neither thought they had a chance
inside his rucksack did he keep...
...his pocket book...
.................an empty sheath...................
7:23 am
poetry time!!!
hey guys. i'm at work. i'm bored. so i'm going to type out some poems for everyone to enjoy. these our mostly untitled...so the subjects will be nonsensical. hope everyone enjoys on this...the fifteenth of august.

oh yeah...i gave amy k. two records for her birthday...

i acted the fool again.

becuz of those biatches at tonic.

biatches at tonic. biatches...tonic biatches.

but oh yeah...amy k. got two choice scores...she got the tom jones w/ the cardigans 10 inch of "burning down the house"....and....AND.....AND....she got the SONIK YOUF/ERRASE ERRATA split 7" about mariah carey.

choice skores for amy on her most glorious b-day.

well cool guys.

i'm working..and listening to awesome cd's.

it's pretty kooool

geez-us
aut
matt:)
Tuesday, July 15th, 2003
1:52 am
livejournal is so ultimately gay and $toopi2
Happy Deathday!
Your name:avantgarde23
You will die on:Tuesday, August 27, 2030
You will die of:Drowned
Username:
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