I love how, at Cal Poly, I can already have finished two finals, yet none of my classes are done. It’s spec-freakin-tacular.

But they’re lab finals. Go figure.

Now, to work on my three group projects that are due on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Miles to go before I sleep. Many miles.

Marginalia by Billy Collins

Sometimes the notes are ferocious,
skirmishes against the author
raging along the borders of every page
in tiny black script.
If I could just get my hands on you,
Kierkegaard, or Conor Cruise O’Brien,
they seem to say,
I would bolt the door and beat some logic into your head.

Other comments are more offhand, dismissive-
“Nonsense,” “Please!” “HA!!”-
that kind of thing.
I remember once looking up from my reading,
my thumb as a bookmark,
trying to imagine what the person must look like
who wrote “Don’t be a ninny”
alongside a paragraph in The Life of Emily Dickinson.

Students are more modest
needing to leave only their splayed footprints
along the shore of the page.
One scrawls “Metaphor” next to a stanza of Eliot’s.
Another notes the presence of “Irony”
fifty times outside the paragraphs of A Modest Proposal.

Or they are fans who cheer from the empty bleachers,
hands cupped around their mouths.
“Absolutely,” they shout
to Duns Scotus and James Baldwin.
“Yes.” “Bull’s-eye.” “My man!”
Check marks, asterisks, and exclamation points
rain down along the sidelines.

And if you have managed to graduate from college
without ever having written “Man vs. Nature”
in a margin, perhaps now
is the time to take one step forward.

We have all seized the white perimeter as our own
and reached for a pen if only to show
we did not just laze in an armchair turning pages;
we pressed a thought into the wayside,
planted an impression along the verge.

Even Irish monks in their cold scriptoria
jotted along the borders of the Gospels
brief asides about the pains of copying,
a bird singing near their window,
or the sunlight that illuminated their page-
anonymous men catching a ride into the future
on a vessel more lasting than themselves.

And you have not read Joshua Reynolds,
they say, until you have read him
enwreathed with Blake’s furious scribbling.

Yet the one I think of most often,
the one that dangles from me like a locket,
was written in the copy of Catcher in the Rye
I borrowed from the local library
one slow, hot summer.
I was just beginning high school then,
reading books on a davenport in my parents’ living room,
and I cannot tell you
how vastly my loneliness was deepened,
how poignant and amplified the world before me seemed,
when I found on one page

a few greasy looking smears
and next to them, written in soft pencil-
by a beautiful girl, I could tell,
whom I would never meet-
“Pardon the egg salad stains, but I’m in love.”

This weekend has been strange. My friend Andrea was in a pretty extreme car accident this last Friday. She’s okay, a little bruised and battered, but fine. You’re in my prayers, Andrea.

And it got me thinking about my accident almost two years ago. And it got me thinking that I shouldn’t think of it.

Saturday was crazy. Here’s my schedule for that day:

9 am – GrC 470 meeting at Linnaea’s
11 am – Work (HASLO)
2:30 pm – Art 133 meeting at Emily’s
5:30 pm – GrC Post-Golf Tournament Banquet
8:00 pm – Dance at the Newman Center (kindly arranged by Carolyn)

It was pretty hectic. Not very often that a Saturday is busier than the rest of the week.

Then, last night, I went with Matt to the concert Mat Pica Pi was putting on in Chumash, with Neon Joseph, Briertone and Sherwood. I guess I haven’t told any of you about this… but I came up with the name for it (“Three bands, one night… awesome”). They kinda ditched my favorite idea, though, which was “I am a rock show, I need love.”

Anyhow, the show rocked. Neon Joseph are currently my local rock gods. They’ll be playing at Briertone’s cd release party this Friday at the Oddfellow’s Hall, and I’ll be there if I don’t end up going to San Diego for the Mat Pica Pi end-of-the-year-trip… but I’m probably not going on it anyway, cause it’s 40 bucks, and I think I might have a bunch of homework this upcoming weekend.

Alas, that’s how it goes. I get too busy with everything that happens, that I have no time to blog about everything that’s happened. And now, with about a half an hour to spare before work, I finally can reappear.

I climbed to the top of Bishop’s Peak last week. Climbed and crawled over, under and through rocks and poison oak to get there. And there, standing on the edge of the world, with the sunset cooing sweet nothings into the seven sister’s ears, I admired.

And then I spit over the edge. It was a long way down.

I had the promise of having a third job for this summer. A simple matter of converting raster art into vectors for a t-shirt design company. $10 an hour, four hours a week. It would’ve been perfect. Somebody else got to it before I did, though. And so, I’ll have to only work two jobs this summer… poor me.

I was elected one of the two screen printing officers for Mat Pica Pi for next year. Basically, I’ll be screen printing shirts for different clients to raise money for the club. Last night was my first training session, printing out the Cal Poly Film Club’s shirts. It was pretty bad-ass.

My poetry lately has been quite bitter. From discussing getting mugged on El Cajon Blvd in Junior High, to watching a bullet cut a swath through reality, it’s getting a bit dark. I like it that way. Here’s another one:

San Diego, I have no more love for you.
Your lies,
your skyscrapers scratching through the blue,
your endless consumption,

your very heart.

You watched me hurt, my hometown.
You saw me cry, bleed and crawl
through your sunny depths.

And, being your torn lover, I left.
I spent a burning 60 dollars, sat on a Greyhound,
and watched a rainy day turn to night.

And that’s when I found
I hate L.A. more.

Dire News

Lee sent this to me today. I’m a bit startled about it, especially given my history with the armed forces.

And so, I’m just letting as many people know about this as I can.


There is pending legislation in the House and Senate (twin bills: S 89 and HR 163) which will time the program’s initiation so the draft can begin at early as Spring 2005 — just after the 2004 presidential election. The administration is quietly trying to get these bills passed now, while the public’s attention is on the elections, so our action on this is needed immediately. Details and links follow.

Even those voters who currently support us. Actions abroad may still object to this move, knowing their own children or grandchildren will not have a say about whether to fight. Not that it should make a difference, but this plan, among other things, eliminates higher education as a shelter and includes women in the draft — Also, crossing into Canada has already been made very difficult.

Actions, actions, actions:
Please send this on to all the parents and teachers you know, and all the aunts and uncles, grandparents, godparents…. And let your children know — it’s their future, and they can be a powerful voice for change!

Please also contact your representatives to ask them why they aren’t telling their constituents about these bills — and contact newspapers and other media outlets to ask them why they’re not covering this important story.

The draft

$28 million has been added to the 2004 selective service system (sss) budget to prepare for a military draft that could start as early as June 15, 2005. Selective Service must report to Bush on March 31, 2005 that the system, which has lain dormant for decades, is ready for activation.

Please see website: www.sss.gov/perfplan_fy2004.html to view the sss annual performance plan – fiscal year 2004. The pentagon has quietly begun a public campaign to fill all
10,350 draft board positions and 11,070 appeals board slots nationwide.. Though this is an unpopular election year topic, military experts and influential members of congress are suggesting that if Rumsfeld’s prediction of a “long, hard slog” in Iraq and Afghanistan [and a permanent state of war on “terrorism”] proves accurate, the U.S. may have no choice but to draft.


Congress brought twin bills, S. 89 and HR 163 forward this year, www.hslda.org/legislation/na…s89/default.asp entitled the Universal National Service Act of 2003, “to provide for the common defense by requiring that all young persons [age 18–26] in the United States, including women, perform a period of military service or a period of civilian service in furtherance of the national defense and homeland security, and for other purposes.” These active bills currently sit in the committee on armed services.

Dodging the draft will be more difficult than those from the Vietnam era. College and Canada will not be options. In December 2001, Canada and the U.S. signed a “smart border declaration,” which could be used to keep would-be draft dodgers in. Signed by Canada’s minister of foreign affairs, John Manley, and U.S. Homeland Security director, Tom Ridge, the declaration involves a 30-point plan which implements, among other things, a “pre-clearance agreement” of people entering and departing each country. Reforms aimed at making the draft more equitable along gender and class lines also eliminates higher education as a shelter. Underclassmen would only be able to postpone service until the end of their current semester. Seniors would have until the end of the academic year.


– Tell all your friends

– Call the Mercury News (Newsdesk) 408-920-5000

– E-mail the SF Chronicle at: Tbyrne@sfchronicle.com

– Contact your Senators and tell them to oppose these bills.
Barbara Boxer: 415-403-0100
Diane Feinstein: 415/393-0707
Anna Eshoo: 202/225-8104
Nancy Pelosi: sf.nancy@mail.house.gov

For the full list of representatives (53) and websites, go to:


We just can’t sit and pretend that by ignoring it, it will go away. We must voice our concerns and create the world we want to live in for our children and their children’s children.

Sophie Lapaire

I feel I must have woken up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. I just didn’t want to go to my 8 a.m. class. And it’s been happening more and more lately… Perhaps it’s because summer is in the air (along with a whole bunch of nasty allergens… I HATE YOU ALLERGENS!!!!), or perhaps because I just realized I’ve spent the last seven quarters in school. It’s really not that much, I suppose, compared to others. But it’s impressive to say.

So, I walked into the Avenue (an eatery on campus) and I purchase an apple. At the checkout stand, the guy, after he rings me up, says “Holy Jesus,” and looks at the price. I stare at the price as well, and I agree, “Holy Jesus.” Turns out that the CSU system likes to charge 75 cents an apple. If I had any strong moral foundation at 9 in the morning anymore, I probably would have left that apple right there on the counter. But I’m not quite ready for corporate guerrilla warfare. So I enjoyed my extremely overpriced apple. I enjoyed the heck out of it. Thoughts of perhaps setting it on President Baker’s head, and then working out my first attempt at archery on it ran through my addled mind… But no, again, I am not the soldier in the anti-overpriced-apple-army quite yet.

Just you wait, Baker. Just you wait.

Lee, my boss at the study abroad office, has a sign, typical of many businesses, that says “will return” with a clock face underneath. The minute hand is now broken, so in accordance with part of my job, I was charged with the task of ordering another from Office Depot online. Unfortunately, I ran into a little stumbling block…

Just what is the dang thing called? Do any of you know the name of one of those things? See, this is a problem when you’re searching for things on the Office Depot website. They didn’t have an entry for any kind of text we found on the sign, nor for just “door time sign”.

This made me start thinking: how many things do we run across in our day that we don’t have names for?

My head hurts.

Once by the Pacific
by Robert Lee Frost

The shattered water made a misty din.
Great waves looked over others coming in,
And thought of doing something to the shore
That water never did to land before.
The clouds were low and hairy in the skies,
Like locks blown forward in the gleam of eyes.
You could not tell, and yet it looked as if
The shore was lucky in being backed by cliff,
The cliff in being backed by continent;
It looked as if a night of dark intent
Was coming, and not only a night, an age.
Someone had better be prepared for rage.
There would be more than ocean-water broken
Before God’s last Put out the Light was spoken.

Thanks to the new blogger interface, I’ve been able to find a few posts that have been lost to time. Here’s the first of them, dating back from Dec 1, 2003. Luckily, it hasn’t happened to me in a long time.

Lately, I’ve been having a few recurring dreams:

1) I “wake up” in my dream to find that my room is strewn with humongous strands of cobwebs. I manage to clean all of them up and go to sleep and that’s when… I really wake up because my alarm goes off, leaving me with the feeling I got no rest at all.

2) I start off my dream doing something. It doesn’t really matter what because it changes every time I have this dream. Someone disapproves of what I do, and so my dream starts over, and I change what I’m doing to make the person happy. But this change upsets someone else… and it goes on and on, restarting my dream until I eventually do nothing.

So, Muse played in San Francisco yesterday, at the Popscene. I called the number for the Popscene a day beforehand to ask how early we should be to get in line. They said 7.

So, we drive by the front door of the place at 2:30 pm, and there’s already a 20-person line there. Good thing I never listen to people on the telephone. So, we wait.

The doors open at 10 pm, and after waiting 6 1/2 hours, we’re glad to get inside. Unfortunately, they don’t decide to let Muse start playing until 11:45, because they wanted to get as many people into the club as possible. For almost two hours, Dan, John and I watch closed-captioned “Better Off Dead” (with a very young John Cusack) and listen to gawdawful electronic disco music. The people pack in tighter, the air gets warmer and thinner, and I start feeling claustrophobic.

But finally, they come out. And they rock. There’s no better term for it; the venue might suck, but this is Muse, and they put on a show I would have paid much more than $10 to see (especially if it was in a better venue).

I was tremendously glad, because they didn’t just stick to their tracks off of Absolution; they played a great assortment of material from all three of their albums (though they did bum me out by not playing “Dead Star”, one of my favorites off of one of their EP’s).

They also weren’t on a platform, they were on the same level as the audience, which meant I wasn’t really able to see them all the time, except when Matt Bellamy or Dom would step up onto one of the speakers and start wailing. And there was a definite lack of a merch table. Plus, I’ve never been around so many disgustingly sweaty moshers.

But all in all, they played a fantastic set. And at the end of it all, they did what I can only describe as a kind of guitar-slinging improvisational heavy metal shootoff, in which Matt would start a riff with the band backing him up, and then Dom would match that on the bass.

Suffice it to say, I had a blast. Hanging out with Dan and John made the 9 1/4 hours we waited to see them more than easy to deal with.

If you get the chance, see Muse. I doubt you’ll regret it.