This has been a long fucking year. I can’t say I’m sad to see it end, mostly because I can’t wait to see what 2009 will bring!
20. Getting accepted for two terribly exciting internships in NYC.
19. Working at 225 in BR (where I still work, w00t!) due to lack of funds to live in NYC and work at exciting internships.
18. Being a Big Sis in SAI to my dear Meredith.
17. Finding my badass one-person apt within walking distance of campus.
16. Turning 21!
15. Getting closer to vegetarianism (shellfish only).
14. My first crawfish boil!
13. Learning I am not ready to have a credit card.
12. LSU going to the National Championship and winning! in January.
11. Being cast in “For Hearts” includes bonuses of working with the Cranes, meeting my love Courtney and making lovely new friends.
10. “Sex and the City: the Movie”
09. SATC week with Katrina, Allison and Katie and wine.
08. Getting to meet and write about interesting BR locals for my internship.
07. Meeting Brady McNitt.
06. Meeting Brady’s lovely family.
05. Having dear friends hundreds of miles away who I get to miss.
04. Being with Brady for almost 6 months now, and looking forward to more months to come.
02. Further understanding how relationships of all kinds work.
There’s very little action in life. Sure, we’re in constant motion–physically and mentally–but there’s very little action that actually takes place. However, I had a little bit over the last few days. In this case, “action” is a very literal term. Working for and alongside my favorite non-profit organization, I participated in an event protesting the continually unacceptable business practices of a major American company. Pretty vague, huh? They don’t even train me in this shit. I just point the camera. And that’s exactly what I did.
While three brave activists chained themselves to the main gates of one of the company’s manufacturing facilities, I wielded two cameras, live and still, to immortalize and publicize the event. All said and done, it was a tremendous, exhausting, sweaty, and incarcerating experience. (The latter doesn’t directly relate to me, but yes, people ended up in the pokey.) Aside from that, though, I’d like to return to my original thesis. Involving myself in such a proactive environment really made me take a hard look at the rest of my life. For the most part, I don’t accomplish much. I work a little, I write, I spend time with my girlfriend (which is pretty active, if you know what I mean! High five, anyone. . . anyone?) The point being, I wish my everyday life were more action-centered. If I could maintain a perpetual state of motivated engagements, I think I’d sleep more soundly.
I’ve been thinking about the last lines of David O. Russell’s I Heart Huckabees. Essentially, it goes something like this: Jason Schwartzman and Mark Walberg sit on a lone rock, having just established their existential path (something else I’m working on). Schwartzman, an environmental activist in the film, is asked by Walberg, a part-time fireman, “What are you doing tomorrow?”, to which he replies, “I was thinking about chaining myself to a bulldozer. Wanna come?”
“About four o’clock.”
Then Walberg hits Schwartzman in the face with a large, rubber exercise ball.
That moment, that conversation, is one that I’d love to have on a regular basis. When asked what I’m doing tomorrow, my answer is generally somewhere between the fabulously interesting ends of I don’t know and Not much. I don’t mean to say I think it’s entirely necessary to steer my life towards hardcore activism, but still, it would be incredibly fulfilling to have something that reflects that quality. Be it community outreach, social activism, or masked crime-fighting, it’s becoming increasingly important to me to find that motivator, whatever it may be. Fortunately, I should have plenty of time to think about it tomorrow. What am I doing? Not much.
Last week, I posted a thread titled “Prizes! Giveaways! An Interesting Offer!” in which I asked our readers to help me hypothesize what my Friday night mystery date might entail. Big thanks to everyone who commented, e-mailed, and text messaged me with their theories. All of them had value, but only one has received the congratulatory “thank you” from Rory Cleveland. Before I reveal the winner, allow me to briefly describe the date we were all so eager to see come to fruition.
On Friday, April 25, 2008, I flew. That’s not a metaphor for my emotional state to the likeness of saying my head was swimming. I did not swim. I literally fucking flew. My girlfriend Alexis took me to the Universal City Walk, where we engaged in a daring feat of simulated skydiving. By means of a forty-foot wind tunnel, we were suspended in air by a 120 mph vertical current, hopelessly bouncing off the walls like fireflies in a mason jar. To say the least, it was awesome. If you ever have the means to do so, I would strongly urge you to partake. To give you a better idea of what the experience entails, check out their site: iFly.
If you watch the training video, you’ll notice a seven year old girl effortlessly floating in mid-air as if a feather caught in the wind. Fuck that girl. I would liken my grace in simulated skydiving to that of a cat in a swimming pool. My own snot ejected from my nose and into my eyes at Nascar speed, I spun in circles like a tangled toy paratrooper, and just when I started to get the hang of it, I unexpectedly flipped upside down and ate shit on the glass paneling. At this point my instructor grabbed hold of my Speed Racer-esque uniform, cradled me like an infant, and guided my wind-tattered body to the exit door. Now, logic would tell you that facing forwards would be the appropriate way to make a secure reentry into the world of static air, but this was apparently unclear to my instructor. (I think his name was Chip, or Scoop, or some other slick tag that was rejected by the writers of Top Gun.) Stallion instead opted to guide me out ass first, so that when my body broke free of the wind’s force I fell on my back like a victim of a choke slam. Physically, I was fine. Emotionally, though, I was. . . also fine. I flew! It was fucking awesome! Thanks, Instructor Nuke, for all your help.
So now, on to the reward. Of all the responses that were collected, the most accurate came from Anita, a reader who hails from Dayton, Ohio. In an e-mail to me she astutely predicted, “shes gonna blow you”. Though I believe it was meant in a different context, Anita’s wording is vaguely accurate enough to deem her the winner. I did get blown. I got blown and I flew to new heights.
Anita, here is your personal thank you from Rory Cleveland:
As long as people continue to believe Nostradamus has predicted the future, I will believe you. You’re much younger than he, which speaks volumes to one’s sanity. Thank you for your contributions (present and future) to everyone who wants to know something that hasn’t happened yet.
I, t.j. peters, new contributor to obviate media, have a special proposition to all those investigative minds out there.
Scheduled for this Friday, my girlfriend Alexis has arranged a special date for her and I, bearing an undisclosed location and activity. Determined to solve the puzzle prior to the date, I’m asking for your help. Any ideas, suggestions, or possible premonitions that come to you would be greatly appreciated. Simple post a comment to this entry or e-mail me at tpetersCCC@gmail.com. As a reward, my friend and obviate contributor Rory Cleveland has offered to write you a personal thank you letter, which will be displayed on obviate for all to see. (obviate Staff: you are not excluded from this competition.)
To get you started, here’s all the information I know, plus some insight into myself that could serve useful in your hypotheses:
–The event will take place in the area near Burbank, CA, approximately fifteen miles from my apartment
–Alexis originally hails from Plano, Texas, which now claims Lance Armstrong as a resident
–Friday, April 25th is Al Pacino’s birthday
–I’ve never been in a hot air balloon (If you’re reading this, take a hint, Alexis)
–Some of my personal interests: 90s television, the Chicago Bulls, time travel, miniatures, cleanliness, Motown
Best of luck, my hired sleuths. I expect great work from you all, as incentives are moderate and the task at hand is challenging/near impossible. Thank you in advance.
We here at obviate met Fred Carlos by chance at last year’s Lollapalooza during Ted Leo’s set. He traveled from Hawaii to the festival. Yeah. Real far. Since then, he’s become a good friend to us as well as a fierce critic of just about everything imaginable.
Naturally, we offered him a chance to spew his wrath on the unsuspecting public with a column he titled ‘Obviate 808: Outpost State’.
Really, he just wanted us to write this so we could include that he’s an ‘affirmative action hire for obviate to fill up the non hispanic/black/asian minority’.
He said that. Not us.
Without further adieu, ladies and gentlemen…Fred Carlos.
Obviate 808: Outpost State by Fred Carlos
“I’m going to say some basketball player or some football player is my role model? That’s an insult to my mother, who scrubbed floors. That’s an insult to my father, who picked up junk in the alleys and preached on Sundays!â€
-Mr. T (A.V. Club interview 1993)
So yeah, fuck baseball. There I said it. Fuck baseball. This the last season I try to understand what the fuck is so exciting about American cricket. No longer will I nervously fidget as I sit around with my white mainland expatriate friends, wondering if I should say something like â€œGetting Johann was HUGEâ€, without actually knowing what the fuck that meant, and wondering if I know another Hispanic named Johann. On the other hand I could see myself spending the rest of my life arguing, analyzing, and perpetuating this last vestige of colonial rule with friends and family:
I’m sure your natural reaction will be one of the following extremes:
â€œWhat an UNAMERICAN thing to say Fred! We should send your immigrant ass to an undisclosed location, hold you indefinitely without a warrant, and tie you down to a board and pour water down your throat until you reveal everyone else holding these terrorist thoughts.â€
â€œYou just don’t understand Fred. There’s a history, a science to this game, that might take a lifetime to understand. A family can support the same team generation after generation regardless of record. A team becomes ingrained with the cultural identity of a city, members of it’s roster becoming modern day heroes, for bringing pride in their performance as consummate professionals, at well as displaying class and an indefatigable drive to compete and succeed through hard word and determination. Baseball’s history and it’s players encapsulate all of the ideals that brought social equity and economic success in the United States.â€
I say fuck all of that. If there are four generations of fans waiting for a World Series, then you have four generations worth of chumps.
Maybe it’s because my state doesn’t have any NBA, NFL, NHL, or MLB teams that makes me feel uncomfortable with watching those sports. Maybe it’s because Judo was my preferred sport/hobby in high school. Maybe it’s all that hardcore I listened to at an impressionable age. Or maybe it was when my classmate Takashi, a Japanese expatriate/fellow nerd, who handed me my first Pride video in AP U.S. History. All I know is when I first saw Bob Sapp tap out to a man who weighed two hundred pounds less than him in front of a stadium, I knew I was hooked.
You know what else has a long storied history? One that knows no cultural, racial and social boundaries. You like science in your past time? You like tradition? Well let me show you the face of freedom.
UFC Lightweight Champ BJ Penn
BJ “The Prodigy” Penn Vs. Joe “Daddy” Stevenson
What do you see? I see a Hawaiian man promoting the Kau Inoa movement for Hawaiian recognition/sovereignty the best way he knows how, hurting white people until they get it. If you see a barbaric display of testosterone, then you drink tea with this man and his friends.
This man is a Member of Parliament representing Zagreb and a former member of Croatia’s counter-terrorist task force. You heard me right. Member of fucking Croatian Parliament and a cop. Hence the nick name CroCop.
This guy has a masters in mathematics and taught high school Algebra. (I’ve had a beer with a couple of Mr. Rich Franklin’s students and they claimed he was super laid back.)
Have a problem with your network? Ask these guys. The used to be IT directors. They are Joe Lauzon and Elvis Sinosic.
The summer sports doldrums will soon be here much to the dismay of my beer swillin’ brethren. The Olympics doesn’t have much to offer in terms of excitability to the point worth brawling here in U.S., but it does give me an opportunity to turn a few of your hipster heads to an alternative. Attention haircuts/hipster douchebags, if you feel the need to intellectualize/wax philosophic endlessly about a sport this summer without feeling emasculated then try MMA out. Do it quickly though since two of the major promotions netted network deals (Elite XC with CBS and StrikeForce with NBC) and we all know how you feel about things coming out of obscurity. If you feel better this guy loves it too:
My freshman year of university, my crazy, Californian roommate Katie told me that she is at LSU for her education and her education alone. As soon as she has degree-in-hand, sheâ€™s out of here.
Weâ€™re nearing the end of junior year. Katie keeps in terrific touch with her hometown friends and has managed to remain romantically unattached with co-eds.
I, on the other hand, am a dedicated sister of Sigma Alpha Iota, loaned my soul to the school paper for one-point-five semesters, jumped from LSU school to school and have had the damnedest time holding onto a solid group of friends.
I learned quickly who to keep in touch with from Chicagoland, and I appreciate every single one of them. We talk when we can but never stop caring. We spend breaks at home together and tell each other every detail of every facet of our lives.
I have had three LSU significant others and one summer romance.
Everything has been trying. And taxing. And tiresome.
With the boyfriends, that is.
A connection in which two people believe their lives are incomplete without each other has been my desire since Kindergarten â€“ at the latest. Iâ€™ve been properly seeking it since senior year of high school.
Or â€¦ attempting to properly seek it.
This one was supposed to be it. I felt something new; I could actually see myself with him, following our careers, supporting each otherâ€™s ventures, traveling, settling in a city, going out when our busy schedules allow. We made sense.
But now things donâ€™t.
Depression, stress, unemployment and boredom have changed the man I believed I could be with.
And I donâ€™t know if heâ€™ll come back.
I donâ€™t know if weâ€™ll come back.
This is why Katie sat college dating out. Work, class and extracurriculars matter right now. Weâ€™re here for a degree, possible opportunities.
I just prefer some opportunities to others.
This site has been a lot of things over time. A hub for my friends to write whatever they want, a web magazine, the home of The Eternal Mixtape Project, and for the better part of the last half-decade, a place for me to put whatever I’m thinking…occasionally.
It’s the longest-lasting creative endeavor I’ve ever had and I’m proud of the body of work that's here, both of my own and those who have contributed.