If You Build It, They Will Come.

Wednesday, May 30, 2001

I am so tired. I've gotten a full nights sleep over three days. Why aren't I sleeping? Well, the sun is still out, and I never want to be that guy who goes to bed when the sun is still out. Except I do have to get up at 5am. There's something inherently wrong with seeing the sun when you're falling asleep and not seeing it when you wake up. It goes against nature. Or at least the instincts of a college student who hasn't been to bed before 2am in forever, and who hasn't seen a sunrise in even longer.

So anyway, what can I talk about today. Ya know, my heart's not in it right now. I think I'm gonna go lie down. I'll write something profound later. Or something cool. Well, it will be something anyway.

Monday, May 28, 2001

I'm supposed to do this again. Here goes.

Saturday, May 26, 2001

I have nothing to say right now.

Friday, May 25, 2001

The following is an old story I wrote in April of 1999 for a webpage my friend and I were making. I might copy a few of these over to this page, because I liked them so much. I kept most of them I think. I'll have to go back and look. Anyway here you go.

The Story of Lambert

When I was a kid, I had this stuffed animal. It was a
lamb I saw at an arts and crafts store that I just HAD
to have. My parents bought it for me for my birthday.
I was SO happy. I named him Lambert. It was made
out of what looked like old fabric scraps from shirts
and stuff that were left over. His inner "skeletal"
system was composed of hard wood. It was the ugliest
stuffed animal I think I've ever seen, but for some
reason it was all that I wanted. It baffled my
parents, and it baffled me for quite some time. But
now I've figured it out.

Lambert was evil.

The first time I walked into the arts and crafts store
I got this chill. Like something was askew or out of
place. Then I looked up and I saw on this shelf way
above my little head this lamb that stared right back
at me as I stared at it. It scared me but I was
somehow drawn to it. And for some reason I couldn't
live without it. No doubt this was Lambert sending me
telekinetic messages, telling me to cry if I couldn't
bring him home. I remember getting home, thinking
that I was glad my parents didn't get Lambert. I
remember wondering why I wanted that piece of junk so
badly. I was horrified by it, and for the next week I
had trouble sleeping because of it. I kept seeing
Lambert in my dreams, telling me to come back to the
store, to break in if I had to, and retrieve him. Of
course this woke me up screaming, to which my parents
would yell from their bedroom upstairs "SHUT UP!" So
I would. And as time went by the dreams grew weaker
and weaker until they were gone.

Then my birthday came. And there was a lamb shaped

I opened this one last. (I had a few He-Man guys to
get through first, all of which I opened slowly to
further postpone the unveiling of the last gift.)
Finally I got to the lamb shaped gift. My parents
pushed me "Aren't you going to open this one too?" I
don't know what I feared more. The fact that I was
about to open a gift containing the evil Lambert, or
the notion that Lambert had gotten to my mom and dad
too, forcing them to buy him. I stalled, asking if I
could eat my cake or go and play with my new He-Man
guys, but they insisted I open the last gift. So,
almost in tears, I tore away the paper over his face.
There were those eyes. They looked right into my eyes
and suddenly I wasn't afraid. I was excited. I tore
away the rest of the paper with this small voice in
the back of my head screaming to me to be careful.
The voice was getting more and more distant...

The next few days I was having fun with Lambert. We'd
play outside, and I'd put him on the back of my power
wheel and drove around the cul-de-sac. But I noticed
some changes in me. I think I was becoming evil. My
parents noticed I was developing an english accent,
and one day I woke up with a goatee. I was beating my
friends up and taking their allowance money. My
grades were dropping, my parents grounded me over and
over, I broke my power wheel on purpose. And suddenly
it hit me when I pulled the arm off of my Battle
Damage He-Man action figure with sword swinging

Lambert must be stopped.

I remember that night. I remember sneaking into my
room. I remember how afraid I was. How I felt sick
to my stomach with the idea of what I was about to do.
Because even though I understood that Lambert was
behind all of this, and though I hated him so, I still
couldn't bring myself to kill him. It wasn't until I
saw him again, with those black lamb eyes staring at
my little brother that I knew Lambert must be
destroyed. My reaction was almost instant. I dove on
top of the unsuspecting Lambert. I heard a quick
snap, and as his wooden leg collapsed beneath him, I
felt that the curse was over. All of my goatee fell
off, and my accent was gone.

Lambert was dead.

In the days that followed my grades returned to
normal, I apologized to all the kids and paid them
back their allowances. I duct taped my power wheel
back together, and eventually, we got rid of Lambert.
All was normal again. But I never went back to that
arts and crafts store again.


Monday, May 21, 2001

This entry is not written by me, however it's an observation made by my good pal Laura Barb. I received it in eMail form and I felt it needed to be shared with the world.

Joseph...I've got something to say. Cheese and
crackers do not taste different whether you eat them
right side up or up side down. They do, however, feel
different 'cause one way you have the dry, pasty
cracker on your tongue the other way you have the
smooth, cool cheese on your tongue...but the taste is
all the same. That is all.

Goodbye Alex. You will be missed. They called you names, but I always liked you. I always stood up for you. And then stupid Walter had to shoot you in the head.

R.I.P. Alex Krychek (1994-2001)

Sunday, May 13, 2001

Is this thing working?

I have a friend who is getting married. She's also graduating in the next few days. While that may be scary for her, I think it's gotta be at least a little comforting. I wish I had a start on my life. It would be nice. But I guess at the same time, things are pretty simple now. And when I do get to that point where school is over and I am getting my "real" life, I'll probably wish I was back in this crummy apartment staring out my window at a beautiful May sunset, cranking up my MP3 player and upsetting all my neighbors.

I think I'm in too much of a hurry to grow up. I mean if your whole life you're looking forward to tomorrow, it makes it hard to enjoy today. All I'm really looking forward to right now is being 21. I'm a college kid, and all my friends are older than me. They're all 21 and can go to bars and clubs and stuff. I always have to stay home on friday and saturday nights playing Nintendo because I'm too young to do anything really fun. It's always been like that. I've always been the youngest. (Well, Lesley is now. So we're both too little.) I've never dated anyone younger than me. In fact the youngest (relatively) I've ever dated was about 8 months older than me.

This whole project is called "Joe's Diary of Love (or lack thereof)" for a reason. I'm single right now. Have been for about a year and a quarter. And right now I think I'm okay with it. It's weird, because I've really never felt "okay" with being single. I mean ever since 7th grade I've been crazy about somebody. Now I'm not. I think it's because ever since 7th grade I've had my heart broken left and right, and I guess I'm just not in a huge rush to do it again. But hey, that's life. I used to think it only happened to me. But I've dished it out and I've recieved it. It happens to everyone. It's never fair. Sometimes people marry their first love, sometimes people die alone, and most of us end up somewhere in between.

They say it is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all. I doubt it. I can tell you that I've never experienced a better feeling than love. Nor have I experienced a worse feeling. Love is heroin for poets. When you're on it, you feel the best you've ever felt. Everything is beautiful. You see other people in love and it just makes you happier. But then it's gone. And you're coming down. The buzz is dying quickly. And you realize that this thing you never had before, you now cannot live without. You're addicted. You see other people in love and you want to run over and strangle them. You lose the will to leave the house, to even get out of bed. It's all you can think of, is getting this love (heroin) back. You beg, you degrade yourself, just for a shot. You kid yourself into thinking that she still wants you. You lie to yourself when she smiles at you, telling yourself she still loves you, just so you feel balanced again. It makes you do things you never thought yourself capable of, just to get it back. Funny that the word "rebound" is associated with both love and drug addiction, and in both cases mean just about the same thing. You don't care where she came from, as long as she makes you feel loved. And one of two things happen. 1.) The craving drives you to suicide 2.) You beat it and move on. That third thing that you just thought could also happen, never does. She never takes you back. Not after you're this far gone. Not after you've begged and pleaded, because then it's awkward. I can't say I blame her. Not now anyway.

Thats the only real difference. Heroin will always take you back. Until of course it kills you.

Me, I'm clean. Out of re-hab, and living a good life again. It was rough going for a while, but it always is. I've been alright for quite some time now, about five months. I'm just not looking to let myself fall off the wagon anytime soon. So I'm playing it safe, concentrating on work right now. The friends I have, stuff like that.

Plus I'm at Western Michigan University in May, and all the girls have gone home.

And I think in my case, the heroin reference was a bit overdramatic. I never really had a problem.

Stage one: Denial.

We are doomed.

As a species, I feel the human race is destined to extinction. It's just a matter of what we take down with us.

We are the only species on the planet that defies nature. We are the ones who go against the natural grain and choose to do things our way. Now I'm not talking about the environment. I'm not talking about endangered species, or nuclear power. I'm talking about complete and utter stupidity.

We as a species are going against evolution. We are protecting the stupid and therefore, clogging the gene pool and destroying the order of "survival of the fittest." And these stupid people are breeding.

We have a massive fight against the tobacco industry. "TheTruth" (www.thetruth.com) are throwing bodybags down in Washington and forcing the idea that smoking is a terrible thing on young kids. Now I don't think smoking is cool, but isn't forcing ideas on impressionable kids what they are fighting against in the first place? Anyway, we've got people suing "Big Tobacco" and getting lots of money because cigarettes are harmful. We've got this industry so restricted that it can't advertise on TV, on bilboards or on the radio. There are Surgeon General warnings all over these products, and you can't legally buy them until you are 18.

The point is this. Smoking is unhealthy. It can give you cancer. It's not a good thing to do. You would have to be some kind of complete moron not to know that inhaling smoke directly into your lungs is bad for you. And yet we go WAY out of our way to help these people sue the Tobacco Industry. Why? They didn't know any better? I don't mean to sound cold hearted, but these guys who sued, their death could only serve evolution.

No one forced you to smoke. No one held a gun to your head and said "Get addicted to nicotine!" Which is bogus anyway, because chemically and biologically your addiction to nicotine lasts for only three days. It was your choice, you should live, or die, with it.

Apart from that, we've got warnings on everything. "Warning: Coffee is Extremely Hot." You'd think people would know that right? Nope, its a lawsuit. Look, I'm sorry she got burned. It sucks. But it isn't McDonalds fault for making coffee hot. So deal with it, no one owes you money for being a moron.

And I guess that's all I'm really trying to say. The idiots in the USA get pampered, because they don't know how to wipe their own ass. And we quietly take them by the hand and walk them through life. Look, if you are an idiot, I got no real problem with you. Lots of my friends are idiots. (heh heh). You and I start having problems when you want to be rewarded for being stupid. No. It doesn't work that way. The quicker you get that through your thick skull, the quicker the human race can evolve.

Sunday, May 06, 2001

Just a question.... Isn't it always baseball season?

Why do they call it baseball SEASON? I mean you have spring training, then the regular season, followed by the series, and like a week after the world champion is decided, its time for spring training again. Perhaps the season reflects the actual game. Neverending.

In my opinion, baseball is not a "sport." It may have been at one time, but that time is long gone. If you can play a double-header, two games back to back, it isn't a hard game. I mean as an outfielder, what do you do. Stand there. If a ball happens to come out your way, you run to catch it and throw it back to the infield. And then you stand there more. Stand there while the pitcher holds the ball, looks around for a bit, loks around for a bit longer. Looks at the catcher, shakes his head, looks around more. Shakes his head yes and then he throws tha ball. The umpire says "Ball 1" and we start the process all over again. Then as the outfielder you come in to the dugout and sit on a bench waiting perhaps for about an hour, for your turn to bat. You take a few swings, maybe get on base, maybe strike out and go sit back on the bench again.

Chess is more exciting.

I really feel bad for baseball announcers. They have to just sit there and find things to talk about while absolutely NOTHING is happening. "So Bob, I took my wife out the other day to one of these fine stores here in Cleveland." "Oh yeah Bill, where at? Down at the Flats?" "No we went there later, it was this quaint little shop over on 9th. Just a little place, looked like it was family owned." "Ya know, Bob, you just don't see that too much anymore. Strike one. Nowadays everything is corporate owned and everything, its really nice to get a piece of what america is all about." "Yeah, so anyway then we went down to Hooters in the Flats for lunch. It was kind of sunny and we ate out on the deck, and its right on the river. There were people going by on jetskis, and these ducks were just sitting in the water, not afraid at all of them." "Wow. They probably see that a lot Bill. Amazing how nature adapts to cities and big populations. This ones up and its foul ball, strike two." "Yeah, speaking of nature, do you ever see that Steve Irwin guy on Aminal Planet?" "Animal Planet? What's that?" "Oh its this cable channel that deals with animals. Ball one." "They have an animal channel?! What'll they come up with next?" "It's really interesting. Anyway they call this guy the Crocodile Hunter." "Oh yeah! I have seen that guy. He's they guy on the Subaru commercials right?" "No, thats Crocodile Dundee." "Oh." "Yeah so hes this guy from Austrailia..." "No that's the guy in the Subaru commercials." "No Bill. That's Paul Hogan, its a different guy." "Are you sure? Ball two." "Yeah, Paul Hogan is Crocodile Dundee, he was in three movies. Steve Irwin is this OTHER guy who like goes after crocodiles and poisonous snakes out in the wild and shows them to his wife and kid who he takes along." "That sounds pretty dangerous." "Well yeah, this guy does all this dangerous stuff, and... ya know, just watching him, its a wonder he's not dead." "Wow, I'd watch it, but I don't get cable." "You don't get cable? Wow." "Yeah. I guess thats why I never heard of Aminal Planet. Full count." "Hmm... they got all kinds of cool channels now. There's the food network, and the...." "The food network? What do they talk about food for 24 hours a day?" "Sure do Bill." "Wow, its amazing how people can just talk for hours and hours about nothing. Kinda makes you glad we cover the great american pasttime, eh Bob?" "Sure does Bill. Ball four, and Sosa is on base...."

Okay, now I know my example was really long, but I just wanted you to get a feel of how EXCRUCIATING the game is to watch. You know what they should really do? Cover baseball the same way they cover golf. Watching the PGA, you don't follow Tiger Woods the whole time, why should you only watch ONE baseball game? Show 'em all! "Okay we're here in Cleveland where Williams just hit a two run double, scoring Henderson and Ramerez. Now lets go out to Texas where the Tigers just struck out the Rangers.... " "Yeah it was a low breaking ball inside and just swept past the batter, and now Detroit is up... Lets go to John out in Pittsburgh." "Sammy the Pirates just won the game in extra innings with a bang. A Grand Slam homerun..."

How much better would that be?

I can't stand the baseball fans who come up to me and say they can't stand hockey because its so boring. Uh....WHAT?!? "All they do is skate around." Yeah, well at least they're frickin' MOVING!

I think that the NFL has taken over the great american pasttime spot. And thank goodness. I'd lose my mind if I had to sit through a baseball game everynight. Last time I went to a game was at old Tiger Stadium. Tigers were playing the Blue Jays I think. I was getting itchy and so were all my friends. We were getting restless. We weren't really paying too close attention to the game, because we hadn't seen eachother in a while. So the game went on and we talked. I was introduced to new people. We talked about school, about summer, about whatever we were doing over the summer, working, taking classes whatever. We talked for a really long time. Then one of us mentioned we should be watching the game, because we paid for the tickets, to which we laughed. (For those of you who don't know, before the Tigers moved to Comerica Park, you could get a seat, a hot dog, a coke, and a newspaper at Tiger Stadium for $8.) But we turned to the game thinking we had missed most of it already. Not kidding, y'all. It was the bottom of the 2nd. We were all shocked.

So speed up! Hurry. They ought to put a clock on the game. Like chess. You're up and your clock is going. Once you're batting, your clock stops. If your clock runs out, you lose, or the other team is awarded a run or something! Christ, I don't have the kind of time it takes to commit to watching a baseball game. This is America, 2001. We're always on the move, we're always busy. We've got cellphones, pagers, fast food, dietary supplements, motorcycles that can go from 0-100mph in six and a half seconds. Baseball needs to catch up, or drop off.

And don't even get me started on how much these bastards get paid. A quarter of a billion dollars over ten years, for baseball? I could see for like curing AIDS or ending apartheid. For colonizing the moon, or saving the whales. Jesus, for making cigarettes non-addictive, but not for playing frickin' BASEBALL! You hit an object with a big stick and then run really fast for at most 360 feet. Cavemen could accomplish this. Is being paid $250,000,000.00 a bit unnecessary?

"But thats just my opinion, I could be wrong." --Dennis Miller

"The one constant throughout all the years has been baseball." --James Earl Jones; "Field of Dreams"