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PRINCE - Nokia Theatre 3/28/09

Mar. 29th, 2009 | 12:41 am

I want to preserve the memories while they are fresh. So I ventured to the Nokia Theatre marketplace (a large collection of sites including the Staples Center, the theatre itself and several other high-end places of business) to see one of my great heroes in concert. I wandered right in, found where I was supposed to be and waited right outside the door. To pass the time, I struck up a conversation with Shannon, a English composition teacher and a major fan. We spoke for quite a bit until Oliver (Hendrix fan, internet pro and also a major fan) joined the conversation. Periodically, the door would open and we would hear the man doing soundcheck. My heart felt like it was going to practically beat right out of my chest. When we were finally admitted at 6:45, I stamped my ass down into my seat within seconds.

I had a loge seat right next to the aisle. The people who ended up sharing my row were Martin and Terri (who had seen him on the Purple Rain tour). We ended up waiting for a fairly eventful 50 minutes. First there was a commotion when Magic Johnson was allegedly spotted in a so-so seat (the good seats were reserved for the people who signed up on lotusflow3r.com). Cuba Gooding Jr. and Ice Cube were also reported to be there. I also saw what seemed like an endless supply of smokin' lovely L.A. chicks. Every once in awhile a video image of Prince playing a stratocaster in a red suit would come on and people would go nuts. There was some tension that the sound was terrible and the man was upset, so that would explain some of the delay.

Our waiting play list included:

The Payback - James Brown
Get Down On It - Kool & The Gang
Ladies Night - Kool & The Gang
I Wanna Be Your Lover - Prince
The Glamorous Life - Sheila E.
Groove Me - King Floyd
Don't Stop Till You Get Enough - Michael Jackson
Flash Light - Parliament
Pfunk- Prince
Black Sweat - Prince
A Love Bizarre - Sheila E.

When the lights finally went down and the video for "Chocolate Box" came on, people went NUTS! And I've never heard such commotion when the first chords of "Purple Rain" turned into "Old Skool Company" and the curtain finally opened. There he stood...not to be sacriligous but he was almost messiah-like, dressed in a loose-fitting shirt, black slacks and white shoes. The sound being sub-par and overshadowed by the screaming thousands, I could barely make out what he was saying. I could only hear him saying "Hollywood!" and "What's my name!" which he shouted more than once and was met with a high level of enthusiasm each time. He made comments about the sound and did a mini-sound check in concert but vowed to carry on anyway.

I sat down and chilled out when he strummed the first few chords of "Crimson & Clover". I wasn't previously TOO fond of his cover beyond the sound of it but seeing him do those solos live was something else.

I hit another peak of excitement when he finally played a hit. As I heard the robotic intro to "1999", I jumped right out of my seat to get down. I guess you can't really tell on concert videos or live recordings, but people really do sing along to whole songs, not just the chorus. The beat slowed down and naturally, the banter of "Do U feel for me like I feel 4 U?!" turned into "I Feel For You". He modified the "mainly a physical thing" line to replace it with "spiritual". The beat got heavy again as he proclaimed "I've got to go back!", signifying "Controversy". Like the Coachella show, his breakdown of that song included asking different sections if they know about the quake.

We got another chance to sit down as a raucous guitar intro opened up the ballad "Shhh", which was the sexiest performance of the night. I don't know of any other 50 year old men who can drive girls crazy like he did as he got close to the front row. The sexiness continued with a relatively surprising "If I Was Your Girlfriend". I sang along to that song but didn't notice too many others doing so. The music stopped as he teasingly recited the "would you let me wash your hair?" line.

After the should have been a hit ended, he announced "There's too many hits! What do ya'll want to hear tonight? People on the balcony, ya'll want to hear 'Delirious'? 'Purple Rain'? 'It's Gonna Be a Beautiful Night'? Listen, I don't care what ya'll want to hear. This is my celebration!" and launched into "Kiss".

He then invited quite a few people up on stage to do "Play That Funky Music" with him including a skinny bald dude, a "sistah" to whom he paid extra attention and a hot blonde. I recognized the raggedy, funky riff immediately. "Do ya'll know this song?" - apparently everyone did because hearing a thousand people singing that chorus was pretty awesome. The audience participation portion peaked when he sang the chorus of "Hollywood Swinging" for what seemed like years. He then took the lucky stage dwellers backstage for a few minutes as the harmonica player belted out a lovely solo.

When Prince came back out, he took off his oversized shirt and gave us a funny speech:

"You know, I was having a conversation with a friend the other day. He said music is something you do. I said 'I don't think so. I AM music.' (thunderous applause) But that don't make me better than anyone else, cause we all music. We're all made the same. God made us to love one another. I'm gonna play a song that I love which communicated the feeling of tonight" (paraphrased) and launched into a heavy beat that became "Come Together". My voice was ragged at that point so I could only squeak along to my favorite line "one thing I can tell you is you've got to be free". The performance was complete with the "Come together - yeah" audience response.

He then played a Hendrix-like Bb and though I doubted it for a few seconds, he began "Purple Rain". As he did, Martin and Terri hi-fived me. After the second verse, he started to play a clean jazz-like solo and I feared that he would do what he did at his performance with Miles Davis. My fears were dispeled when he asked "Can I turn it up?!" and played it dirty while we sang the "hooo-hoooo-hooooo" section as promised. However, he didn't start singing it himself until he broke it down with the "2-1-2-3!"  countdown. After a short break, he came back and proclaimed that although he had two other shows that night, he wanted to stay right here! and started the intro to "Let's Go Crazy" and by the time he played his two equally raunchy solos, I had gone insane. He then said if he saw us all dancing, he would stay.

The night wasn't over. He began a funky anthematic beat and Martin and I wondered for a second if it was going to be "Baby I'm a Star". I finally recognized the synth line to "The Bird" and by the the he got to the "Hallelujah!" chorus, we were all doing crappy imitations of Morris Day's signature dance. I didn't think he would do it, but he segued into "Jungle Love", another great singalong chorus. Again he surprised us all when Sheila E. came from behind him to do "The Glamorous Life". Even though I was drained by that point, that might have been my favorite moment of the evening. She looked lovely and the audience loved the hell out of the song.

As I left, I promised Martin and Terri that they would see me again in two years and asked them to remember that they spent this formative night with me.









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A dream of Joni Mitchell

Jan. 20th, 2009 | 03:20 am
mood: busybusy
music: Court & Spark - Joni Mitchell

I have pretty abstract dreams and so none of them are really worth recording. However, I had an interesting one a few nights ago.

It took place in what I just felt was Canada. I've been to Vancouver years ago but this was different. I was in the countryside, shaded in yellow ochre and spots of clay on the ground. It felt like a festival or a migration of some sort, because hundreds of people were camped out or walking along. I was walking next to Joni Mitchell, one of my biggest influences as a musician and a vessel of expression. She had her arm around my shoulder and we sang "A Case of You" together, complete with my slightly-off harmony vocals. Apparently we had a destination. We reached what felt like a train station or a small plaza. We parted ways and I seem to recall her asking if I was going to be all right or reassuring me that everything was going to be all right. I had just arrived in a new land and though I was a bit uncertain and scared, I also felt like I was in rebirth. Joni Mitchell left me and there I stood like a newly arrived Martian.

A dream is a dream but I thought this one was particularly strange, oddly optimistic and hopefully prophetic. I think it might be a reflection of the great uncertainty in my life as of now. Most of my friends are getting their lives together; finding jobs, finishing school, etc. I've spent the past few years of my life enjoying myself and now's the point where the pressure begins to rear its head into my life.

The most frustrating thing is, I am not lazy nor am I squandering any time away now. I guess I've just been fortunate enough to have believed the "do what your heart tells you" ideology we're told as kids for so long. At this point, the only way to truly make it in this world is to make money. The only way to make good money is to get a degree and the only way to get a degree is to finish school, in all its misappropriation of what real education is. In short, the only way for me to fit in is to conform and do what everybody else is doing. I guess that makes perfect sense.

This year though, I've decided that it's time to get up and prove to everyone who has doubted music what music really can do for a person. Ten years ago, people thought it was cute that I found a nice little hobby to keep myself occupied. Five years ago, people admired that I had a passion but started to stress the importance of REAL responsibilities like work and school. Last year, a friend of the family inquired in front of myself and my parents when I was going to get serious and graduate. What these people fail to grasp is that music isn't a passion of mine. It's a calling. Ever since I saw the Beatles as a five year old, I decided that's what I wanted to do.

So I'll probably be spending money and not earning it by making music but this year, I'm going to prove to all of those people and my parents that I am worth investing in. I am going to make and record something excellent and it will be mine.

Now the greatest issues to me are as follows:

3) Lack of organisation in songwriting. I can come up with great feels, phrases, melodies and lyrics but I can't tie them all together to make an awesome song.

2) My bandmates. I love them to death as friends and I'm glad they are jamming with me every week but their various problems are keeping me from growing as I should be.

1) Time and pressure. Time only moves forward and it destroys all things. It's destroying all of us physically and it's making us more frantic.

It's not on the level of those problems but it's also a drag to be the lonely outsider I've become. I'll have to dedicate an entire entry on how I've become disillusioned with love.

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"CELEBRATE GOOD TIMES C'MON! "

Nov. 8th, 2008 | 04:16 am
mood: hopefulhopeful
music: Celebration - Kool & The Gang

Kool & The Gang's monster hit has been everpresent to the point where most people now think of it not as a song but as background noise that doesn't register the kind of attention we usually pay to music. However, at the moment I am spiritually aligned so that this song is my anthem and my call to rejoice.

This is a very important time and an especially exciting time to be young and energetic. I'm almost wearing out its initial luster, but this past Tuesday was a monumental moment in American history and I am glad to have taken my miniscule part in it. The election of Barack Obama registers to some as fairly important but nothing that calls for all night partying. Many (particularly African Americans) have treated it like the coming of a messiah. Though I am not black and do not have the shared history of oppression which has seemingly taken its first major stumble since the civil rights act, I recognize the importance of this event. For quite awhile now, the spiritual energy of society has been immersed in a dark recession marked by cynicism and apathy. Since the fall of optimism in the late '60s, young people seem to have lost the righteous energy that guided them to do irrational if not romantic things to define themselves. Their dreams were shattered when the police started breaking out the riot gear and breaking heads. Since then, that idealism has been tainted as merely wishful thinking with no real bearing on reality.

There is an element of truth to that. You can only have so much fun burning your draft card before some guardsman who doesn't care about your "statement" shoots you for no good reason other than it's his job. However, abandoning positivity entirely is like walking away from a thousand dollars just because you were expecting ten thousand. You only make things worse for yourself and eventually that sort of negativity spreads like wildfire. This fire burnt all the life out of young people and eventually anger and depression became chic as bell bottoms in the '70s. This was especially big in the '90s when grunge hit its stride and it became a ridiculous but sad parody in the past decade or so when society's crumble seemed to grow louder than ever. People like to talk about "the good old days" when they see young girls embracing fashion trends stemming from the trashy culture we've created. The internet boom has created a whole new way for people to become assholes.

I'm not going to say that Obama's election triggered a change in attitude and a change in times. I think that change was already bound to come. His election was a symbol and a manifestation of that. Nothing lasts and the darkness that has plagued us for long was bound to fade. People are tired of destroying themselves and the world around them. One man didn't change anything but he served as a catalyst and the first tangible sign that a new generation is about to step into the spotlight, one with a truly charismatic and compassionate leader at the helm. While Obama and I are more than twenty years apart, his grasp on modern issues and manipulation of modern tools places us in the same boat. The way he's connected to young people throughout his campaign speaks for itself. We're living in a progressive age that is moving a mile a minute and we need to keep up to speed if we're to survive. That's why his opponent was defeated. The kind of people that went to McCain/Palin rallies are people I've known for awhile. They mean well and they may be unaware that they are afraid of progress. They might not be outright bigots, but choosing someone as radical as Obama might be unorthodox for them so they'd rather stick with a "safe" choice that they can trust. It's all an issue of sticking to the past. That's great and all, but when time moves you gotta move with it!

I can feel this new attitude when I walk across campus and see student protestors. I can see it in the interracial couple I saw in the quad embracing to James Brown's "Try Me". I can feel it when random people suddenly start smiling at me and friendliness seems to have permeated the air again. I can still see reluctance and people struggling to free the shackles of the Cobain generation, but I do think we're heading in a good direction spiritually. We just have to sustain this positive energy and apply ourselves however we can. Obama is a politician. Some people are journalists. Others are nurses working hard at a hospital. I play guitar.

DIGITAL LOVE

I especially felt that universally positive energy becoming a personal thing this past Friday when I decided to hang out with my bandmates Anthony "Tonez" Trinh and Mike "Waldo" Willis. We started out very shakily. Waldo has a tendency to jerk us around and he did until we finally hooked up shortly before 8:00 PM, an hour before the Santa Anita Mall closes. The Mall has become a place for us to hang out around the weekends and Tonez and I have joked that eventually if we hung out there long enough, we'd start making connections. Apparently we have. Several months ago, we passed some unnamed lingerie store where I saw a sexy stylish chick dancing to Stevie Wonder's "If You Really Love Me". Today, we decided to walk into that store for the first time for the hell of it and we saw her working there again. We struck up a little convo and made a deal that the band could hang out in the store without actually buying anything. The guys marveled at how attractive she was but I know from past experience that building hype kills whatever might grow so I tried to downplay the experience (ironic since I am blogging about it now).

Then we thought we'd end the night by grabbing some to-go at Johnny Rockets (Waldo's choice). What we did not expect was "Staying Alive" to be playing. I started dancing shamelessly and one of the waiters started to bust a move with me. Then a few minutes later someone played that song on the jukebox again (I suspect they did it to get us dancing again) and suddenly a line of waiters and waitresses come out to start dancing. They even manipulated the restaurant lights so that they imitated a disco. Suddenly there we are, three crazy bandmates and a bunch of waiters turning a hokey family restaurant into an innocent Studio 54. Before we left, a woman who had been sitting there watching us smiled at me approvingly and I felt like we'd lit a spark under what I hope to be a bonfire of good times.

This ain't over yet. Christmas season is coming up and positivity is on its way. Jasper L. Yangchareon's going to make sure of that with a little help from his friends. Just pray for us and wish us the best. You're going to get it back in return, I promise you.

<3, Jasper

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Synchronicity

Oct. 20th, 2008 | 09:13 pm

Maybe it's just that I have taken better notice of them as I've grown older, but it's amazing how many coincidences have been happening these days. I don't keep a log or anything but two of them involve sitcoms.

A few days ago I was watching Seinfeld. There's an old family friend who is incredibly similar to Jerry in his appearance (and demeanor). As I watched the episode, I thought "Gee, we haven't seen him in a long, long time. Hope he's doing okay." My mom then knocks on my door and announces "XOXO is here, come out and say hello!" 

The other one involves the song "Push It" by Salt N Pepa. I don't know why, but it has always reminded me of the show Two and a Half Men. I've had this association for several months now. Every time I hear the song, I think of the show. It has never been played on the show. I was listening to it all day and thinking "Gee, this should have been Kandi's theme." Just as I took my headphones off to start watching the show, the song appeared on the show for the first time! 

Crazy.

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Joint blogs...

Aug. 29th, 2008 | 04:50 am
mood: awakeawake

Picture this:

It's almost midnight at the Santa Anita Mall, a huge shopping center in on the outskirts of the San Gabriel Valley, right next to the infamous race track and Los Angeles Arboretum. It's way past closing time and only a few cars remain in the parking lot because the Borders inside the mall is hosting a big party for the release of a new Stephanie Meyer book. There are virtually no people in the parking lot except for four kids stationed outside of a green Prius.

We decided to play with a hacky sack we'd just purchased from the Sport Chalet inside the mall. We kicked it around outside of the car for a few minutes until someone suggested we play some music. So I turned up the Home Alone soundtrack. After a few minutes of laughing like stoners at how comical it was for four kids to play hacky sack in parking lot listening to a children's choir turned up to 10, we turned up Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing". We decided to stay until we got a hack.Eventually a security guard of sorts came up to us on a bike and told us to scram.

Seems like a dorky, unexciting story to but to me it's the quintessential summer moment.

In other news, yesterday was the first time I jammed with Anthony and James in many, many months. And now we've got a new addition; multi instrumentalist and home recording wizard Michael Willis. We're still a fifth-rate garage cover band out of practice but I have every confidence that with a lot of luck and a lot of practice, we'll be able to record at least one piece of enjoyable music in the near future. I'm just waiting on a miracle.

My life has definitely changed its color this year, as it does every year. It's not necessarily a bad thing. It's just that I might have to accept the fact that I'll no longer be able to live in my little Dazed & Confused-like dreamworld. No more hanging out in South Pasadena burger stands listening to The Beach Boys and Led Zeppelin. No more naively sharing stories about high school girls (I was in high school at the time, don't misread that). Now my life has gone digital, in a way. The drive on Colorado Avenue through homey but posh and lively streets has been replaced by Saturday nights at the almost overwhelmingly large and futuristic Westfield Shopping Center in Santa Anita. The Beach Boys and Big Star have been replaced by New Order, '70s era David Bowie, Daft Punk and Prince. Funnily enough, the high school girl thing has remained but instead of an innocent expression of adolescence, it now symbolizes a last desperate grasp on our fading youth.

Yes, I'm still dragging the past behind me. I know it doesn't seem like a smart thing to do. But I have a reason to feel this way. I feel like my teenage years were a bit of a letdown and by that I mean it was more promising than anything. I couldn't relate to you how much time I spent just waiting for life to happen. My high school band never got much further than making second alternates at the battle of the bands. I got my driver's license long after high school. I didn't get piss-drunk by the lake and bumblingly admit my love to Samantha Peterson on Grad Night (Disneyland was fun though). Hell, I didn't even have a Samantha Peterson in my high school life. I spent most of my high school years just waiting for these things to happen. I was still optimistic when it ended, thinking to myself "Well...life ain't over yet."

Even in the first three years of college, I was hanging on to those high expectations. I was pretty sure that I was going to meet that special girl, get my driver's license and live the Classic Rock teenager lifestyle.

Well I got my license but things still didn't quite deliver. My expectations fluctuated for the past three years. At some points, I felt the way I do now and at others I was gleefully optimistic that I still had a chance. It's gone back and forth between those two extremes so many times and I still haven't been able to enjoy and savor what little I dreamed for.

I'm the kind of person who can be fooled no more than three times. I'm an idiot and I tend to repeat my mistakes, but not forever. I think I have to try and train myself to let go.

A couple of summer tunes:

"Digital Love" - Daft Punk
"The Perfect Kiss" - New Order
"Money Don't Matter 2 Nite" - Prince
"Elephant Stone" - The Stone Roses

*Friday, August 29:

It's ironic that I chose this night to update my blog because I'm in a very similar mood as my last entry.

Tonight began in a similar fashion to that night. Anthony and I drove down to the Santa Anita to sort of say goodbye to summer. We bidded farewell to the parking lot where we played hacky sack, the ambience of a sweeping Westfield mall, In 'N Out Burgers and all the girls that inspired us to keep playing guitar. After we finished dinner at 1:00 AM, James said he had something he wanted to share with us. He drove us up Mt. Washington to a spot called "Flathead", a popular spot for teenagers to tailgate, ponder life way above the Los Angeles scenery below or...fuck. It was about 2:00 AM and there we sat on top of a mountain just staring at the lights below and the stars above. After I finished pissing off the side, we sort of capped off our summer with fond memories and James' affair with girls from his church. We discussed philosophy, the emptiness of promiscuous love and shared memories of people we'd known. The only thing missing was "More Than a Feeling".

I won't lie. My summer was a dark one. I got a bad prophecy early on that it would be rough but lord knows I've tried to climb the waterfall with perseverance. I've had many moments of self-stimulated optimism and hope but I have been facing many odds, the worst being the fact that I am growing up. My body and mind are outgrowing my spirit and my experience. It only gets worse when so many people are in bad moods and prone to nagging about my future.

But goddamn it, all I want to do is enjoy my childhood. Everyone older than me has been telling me to just enjoy being young while I can and I want to take advantage of that advice.

No matter how I feel now, I know that these dark times will not last. I am very optimistic in the fact that nothing lasts, bad or good. Maybe it'll take a year, two years, hell maybe nine but this shadow overcast will fade. I have faith. I'm just a little sad that I have definitely changed. I can still go to South Pasadena, grab a Hi-Life burger and make a crank call to Samantha Peterson while listening to Big Star but I can't change the way I feel inside. I am still Jasper, but now I think it's clear that I am Jasper Mark II. My palette has been expanded and I have seen too many new things to relive the past forever.

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Scenes From 2008

May. 27th, 2008 | 10:40 pm
mood: calmcalm
music: The Four Seasons

It was almost June. News sources and the public that sucked from their teet were starting to accept Barack Obama as the certain Democratic nominee in the presidential election. Hillary Clinton fumed and proudly declared that the fight wasn't over. Gas prices were seemingly rising by the minute. Some publications were gleefully delivering the bad news that the U.S. may be heading into economic remission. The people of China were still recovering from one of the country's fiercest earthquakes. A small spiritual rebellion was blooming in reaction to the ever-booming overcast of advancing technology and the downsides that came with it. Standards in Hollywood decreased as the scandals rose.  Cynical American teenagers were starting to question why their elders were pressuring them into going to school to study a field they didn't even care for. Mainstream music was transforming into a smorgasboard of indistinguishable corporate junk tailor made for the masses. Gang violence in Los Angeles was only increasing as the police struggled their focus away to the safety of handing out speeding tickets.


Somewhere in the midst of this horrible portrait, a painting class was taking place. There I was outside of the classroom with Matt McGinnis and Ryan Magno. We were devising a plan for me to ask out a girl in our class. I was desperately struggling to produce some good work for my approaching final critique. I was still recovering from a deep slump I had fallen into earlier that year. Sarah Patterson was absent from class that day so I was able to focus on my work and not be distracted. After finishing a thought on what he planned to do that summer, Matt walked over and turned on the radio to the Oldies Station. On came a song. For a moment there everyone stopped doing their work to groove along to it. Matt, Ryan and I danced our way into the classroom (really) to ask our teacher Portia Hein who did that song. She suggested Steve Miller. Matt suggested Rush. I suggested REO Speedwagon. We didn't have a clue who did it but Ryan commented "I'm totally putting that up on my MySpace." We walked outside to literally the most beautiful day of the year. The almost clear blue skies were highlighted with just a few white clouds and it was unusually bright because the weekend was stormy and bleak. It wasn't too hot either, many of us kept our jackets on. The song ended a few seconds after we let the day settle in.


Chinese Astrology predicts that this year will be a trying one and many of us are afraid to admit it. I could be facing some of the most dire
 moments in my life in the coming months. But for one brief moment there, everything was all right. Karma allowed all of us to enjoy life without any strings attached. It's a good memory and it's now been sealed forever in a song. No one can take it away from me. It'll be there in my safe deposit box full of them and I will think of them when things get rough.

The song was "December 1963 (Oh What a Night)" by The Four Seasons. Someday when I'm old and tattered working at a Jiffy Lube to support a woman I simultaneously pity and despise, I will call up Ryan to ask him if he remembers the day we all got down to that song in Portia's class.

 

 


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Just like life...

Jan. 10th, 2008 | 12:07 am
mood: cheerfulcheerful
music: Santana

Almost everything I described in my last post has been remedied. I was allowed to keep my room when my aunt saw that I was sick as a dog and insisted I keep it. I got just enough rest thanks to Chipotle burritos (which always put me to sleep) and now I'm back on track..somewhat.

The only upside on that post has now become my only downside. I'm going to have to finish up my research paper before 12:00 AM Friday Morning.

See you when I'm done! Thanks for tuning in to EdgeOfYourSeatRadio.

All the best,
Jasper

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Dear old LiveJournal, to thee I bitch.

Jan. 8th, 2008 | 11:36 am
mood: groggygroggy

I'm on a new "try not to complain" kick but the past few days have really been a non-stop nightmare. At first, I thought the rainstorm would be fun. Instead it's locked me up indoors. So I tried to contact an old friend of mine and was flat out ignored. I was definitely discouraged but I still haven't given up on making peace and tying up loose ends. That was just the beginning. My sleep schedule's also well-fucked. About a week ago I pulled an all-nighter, got to bed around lunchtime and woke up at three in the afternoon. I thought I could reverse it by the time I started school but I failed miserably and now I don't even have a sleep schedule.

I ended up staying up all night before the first day of school simply because my body wasn't used to sleeping. I thought "Oh well, I can make up for it and go to bed whenever I want". I figured I could stick it out and get to sleep around 10:00 PM and get a good night's sleep. Instead I passed out at around 5:00 and woke up four hours later. Then I stayed up until 3:00 AM when I got about an hour and a half's worth of sleep. I had a truly horrible nightmare and didn't want to go back to sleep.

So essentially over the past two days I've gotten about six hours of sleep. That's very, very bad and expectedly I'm now sick as a dog. If it couldn't get any worse, I'm also supposed to give up my room to a relative tonight. So I'll be forced to pull another all-nighter here at the computer since we're out of beds. Now I couldn't get any sleep if I wanted to.

Add to all of this the fact that my sociology class is very demanding. I can't miss a day because it'll bring my grade down and I'll miss important information (I've taken this instructor before). I contemplated dropping the class because of my illness. I feel like a deteriorating zombie who's being forced to march without rest. I really do. I'm not depressed in a "sympathy-seeking" way, I just feel that my entry into the Winter semester has been anything but smooth and I wish I could demand a few more days of vacation.

BUT there is an upside. If I'm forced to stay here at the computer all night long, I will be able to finish my five-page paper early. It'll probably take me a bit longer since I'm running through tissue boxes and drying my eyes every second but I won't be cramming on Wednesday night.
If I could have just one miniscule wish to remedy my current situation, I'd ask for either a) class to be canceled for a day or two or b)  Karma to take away my obvious signs of illness for class. I just want to get through class without sneezing and sniffing all over the place.

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(no subject)

Dec. 21st, 2007 | 03:09 pm
mood: amusedamused
music: Days - - Television

Back in High School there was a biology teacher who had all of his students find and frame (whatever the official term is for killing and framing them under glass) a thousand insects for their final project. I never had his class but he was regularly referred to by his students as "The Hitler of Insects". LOL. 

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(no subject)

Dec. 3rd, 2007 | 11:34 pm
mood: productiveproductive
music: The Waiting - - Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers

I did something I don't think I've done on my own will in years (possibly ever). I apologized to my Dad unconditionally without a "catch" or a twist. Earlier we had a fight because he was mocking me (in a friendly father way) and I gave him attitude. I got NO sleep last night and was working hard all day so I was very irritable. The usual routine in that situation is for him to ignore me for a day until we both cool off and when he's usually in the mood to talk again, I'd give him more attitude (like most dads he's not the most reasonable man and doesn't like to admit it when he's wrong - I'm a chip off the old block) and we'd end up calling armistice even when no progress was made.

So today I went back to my room and thought about it. He didn't really do anything wrong and that kind of attitude would warrant an apology and I thought maybe I could be the first punk teenager to apologize by actually uttering the words "I'm sorry, Dad" and actually meaning what I say. I did jokingly add a smug "I thought it'd make me the better man" but he understood I was only kidding.

I hope this will be the first step in my journey of moral reevaluation. Opening the living room door to face the music was truly one of the most fierce challenges of my life. It was just like in the movies; I paused, took another step, paused, gripped the doorknob tightly, let go, gripped it again, let go and decided to give up just as I reached out and violently pulled the door open.

Facing your fears isn't a fun task but I figure I should start now. Sometimes you just have to take control of your life. On Sunday I decided for once I was not going to loaf around all day wasting time on the internet until the last minute when I'd cram in three weeks worth of work. I refrained from most of my addictive internet activities (sans MySpace since it's my source of HW news) and did my goddamn speech outline. When I wasn't doing that I was playing guitar or kicking a hacky sack around outside (to stay in motion).

On a similarly positive note, I am VERY happy that I finally learned the lead guitar parts to "The Waiting". And I'm finally going to reply to Regina's month-old message and invite her to jam with us. This year we're planning to pick out a Christmas tree together and string it up at James' place. Then we're going to decorate it and watch It's a Wonderful Life as a band. Well that's how I'd like it to go. What's probably going to happen is that Regina's going to cancel (which is too bad because I love hanging out with her!), we'll decorate the tree and I'll probably have to turn the movie off halfway cause it's such a slow movie and not exactly their cup of tea.

But that's okay! If The Simpsons and just being alive has taught me anything, it's that life will never turn out the way you plan and will often try very hard to make you feel as if you've been screwed over but it's only your perspective that's making your life seem unappealing. If you look at it from just the right point of view you just might be happy with what you've got.

Finally, I would like to post a disclaimer:

Some of these journal entries are very personal and at times can seem like they've been written by a very deranged or nerdy individual  but I can assure you that's not true (although I am a bit of a nerd, evident in my posts). You're just glancing at the blog of a young man who's learning how to build and harbor strength in times of doubt on a moral voyage. You're witnessing my unfiltered emotional ventilations (back in high school when we were all connected on LJ I would've "edited" myself) and I usually feel the need to vent when I'm feeling very down or very confident. These entries are very free form and sometimes difficult to read but if you do somehow happen to be a reader, I very much appreciate it.

Best wishes and <3,
Jasper

PS: I still have not found a way to face one of my biggest fears and that's to confront the two ex-best friends I may have previously mentioned. I will do it though. Sometimes you gotta shake these chains inside loose and use 'em to strangle your captor until he turns purple.

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