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Subject:2009
Time:04:22 am
I woke up on the first day of 2009 in a hotel room in Chicago. I was hungover. I was in a room with Mike and Tyler and I yelled a lot and made lots of bold statements about 2009! being! the! year!

I spent the first three months trying to finish a project which will end up at least being the jumping off point for a SMALL part of what will be an eventually published history of the university of memphis. it was a lot of work, i enjoyed it, and it made me see what being a historian is... kinda... like.

I spent April with Abby. Saw her for a little while, She broke up with me. I've talked about that.

I spent the next three months alternatively angry and frantic. I didn't understand what had happened and I didn't see a light at the end. I won't be any more dramatic than I usually am (which is a lot, I guess) but those were not strong months.

I spent the next four months finishing grad school work and patching over the damage I did to myself. It didn't turn out to be anywhere near as bad as I thought. She was special to me, but not as central to my well-being as I'd made her out to be. I probably STILL don't have the perspective I need on that one.

December is finishing my last papers and taking my oral exams. I'm a little worried about them, but I expect everything will be okay in the end, and I should finish my masters this month unless something goes really wrong.

There were highs and lows like any year. I miss Peoria, I miss other times, other places, but who doesn't?

I mostly twitter everything now. I'll probably never stop checking LJ, but maybe I will.

My real retrospective will be posted in the next few weeks at the music blog I write with a few good friends. You should check it out, if you haven't. http://www.mixographic.com We put a lot of work in, over there, and it's really special to me. If you ever have the time, glance through it.

I'm doing okay. Hope you are, too.
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Subject:Movies, what.
Time:06:26 pm
Stuff I saw this summer for the first time:

Eulogy
Funny Ha Ha
The House of Yes
Wristcutters
The Corporation
Dirty Harry
Dog Day Afternoon
French Connection
Crash
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Lost in Translation
Casablanca
M*A*S*H*
The Hurt Locker
Bonnie and Clyde
Manhattan
Synecdoche, New York
Strange Brew
The Red Balloon
Mother Night
Catch-22

And in theaters:
Star Trek
Moon
Funny People
The Hangover
Inglourious Basterds

Unless I'm forgetting something, I enjoyed every single thing I saw. Except The Corporation, which was interesting but not really up my alley. And Strange Brew is out of place there. But every single other thing - see it, if you haven't.
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Subject:Hero deaths.
Time:03:58 pm
What do you do on the day that one of your personal heroes dies? John Darnielle's been talking about cancer a lot. Really weirds me out. Reminds me of the day I accidentally told Lynsey Major that Vonnegut died when I thought she knew. I smoked some Pall Malls and stood outside our apartment feeling sad for a few hours.

Everyone loses a hero. What did you do the last time it happened?


Oh, and I'm seeing someone. How weird is that? Facebook told me "you are now in a relationship" and it's a little spooky. Hurrah.
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Subject:fantasy football
Time:12:26 pm
This is my first year for fantasy football. Comment with your e-mail address (or mail me at arussell19@gmail.com) if you want in.

Also, my life has been pretty damn awesome lately. Hope yours has too.
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Subject:HA.
Time:10:35 pm
My 11 year old cousin was here this week. He likes House, apparently. His one comment about it was that in the episode "The Jerk" he said:

"I don't want to grow up and be like him!"
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Subject:Been almost three months....
Time:06:13 pm
It's been almost three months of The Single Life starring our hero. I used to post more than anyone I knew, now I try not to re-write the same post every few days.

I'm over it, in a grand sense. I can see her facebook status updates without freaking out. I almost commented on one the other day, but it doesn't serve any purpose.

As with everything else in my life, this makes me reflect. Maybe I was in love with love and not the girl. Maybe I was just clinging to old times. It doesn't really matter, but I'll turn it over in my head just for the sake of it.

This summer I've worked a bit, listened to podcasts, read a few books (not enough) seen a few movies (not enough) and got caught up on every TV show I like. It hasn't been the rebirth I'd hoped where I drop 40 pounds and re-read every book in my room, but I'm in a good place with everything in my life.

It's still weird to see her "tweets" on people's phones or to tell a story and realize that I'm just making myself sad on accident.

I went to Kansas. I like Lawrence, even if I hate KU. The drive was interesting. I finished some books on CD. I rediscovered my love of The Hold Steady. Rekindled some friendships with some old friends. Let some others drift away.

I haven't tried to watch High Fidelity recently, making this probably the longest stretch in years in which I have not seen it again, but I think it's a baby step towards being fully beyond it by not pouring salt in the wound. Not yet, at least.

A bunch of people are moving away this summer, some of which have been rock-solid members of my past and present (Steph and alexgood among them) and it sounds like everyone's feeling good about what they're doing.

My brother just ran with the bulls in Spain and drank 18 dollar beers with his girlfriend/lady-friend.

The message is that some people are busier than others, but everyone I know seems to be having a helluva time doing it. I definitely am, even if I have less to show for it these months than usual. I'm not a basketcase, and I was definitely worried about that contingency.

Now I'm gonna go watch a movie and play a game with some dudes. In a month, alexgood won't live here. You make the most of the time you have with the people you've got. I'm proud of the memories with Abby and I loved our time together. I've had this all wrong. John Darnielle would tell me "[you've] got the best of my love" but he'd also tell me that there's beauty in doing everything you can, burning the candle at every end, and just coming up short. I will live in the moment we stood in 919, the greatest place I've ever known, and shouted at Matt's giant TV playing a game called "Shout About Music."

And maybe you shouldn't base a relationship on someone who will yell about music with you and laugh at people in public, but the sight of her uncontrollable leg shake as she gloated to me brings a smile to my face, even if I never see her again.

NEW GAME START
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Subject:Sooo...
Time:05:55 am
.... if you've never driven to a casino at one in the morning on a whim because you and corey buran ran into two guys you kinda know at a bar...


...you should. just saying.
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Subject:what is the lamest thing?
Time:03:53 am
i debated back and forth if i should have left my old post up. decided not to.

everyone knows how I feel, anyway.

i'm totally fine except for one thing.
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Subject:Right.
Time:06:02 pm
I was at work today all day and I composed this big thing about times in my life I've "redefined" myself internally. Times I decided to embrace things about myself I previously didn't like. The Alex Bad thing, a few times in high school. After freshman year of college when I decided to stop using the "depressed" tag.

And I still believe it, but I don't think it would be honest to post it now. Not as a big "this is it!"

I have a few things to tie up before school's over for the semester. I do plan to stick to the weight loss program that has so far been only marginally successful and it might not even be this summer. I don't know if I'll get to the novel. I can't focus.

I'm not unraveling like I thought I'd be. I can't believe she left and I can't believe the reasons even more than that. It seems wrong the way bad dreams do, where people can fly so you know that it isn't real. Someone can't wake up and take themselves out of your life. They can't, not without warning. But they can. She did.

There's never going to be a big hatred post. No one really dropped a "you can do better" or anything. I think everyone I talked to understood that this was something I'd finally bought in on and it was supposed to be a big step. To borrow a line, this was "the person you never run out of falling in love with."

I don't need to get married at 24. I don't need to move in with anyone. I won't have a lot of money (any money?) and I have less than a complete picture of the future. But she at least opened the door. She helped me see that I COULD do that SOMEDAY. She always told me the same thing, if more cautiously, until the day she didn't.

This doesn't cause me to cast down the whole "I'LL NEVER TRUST AGAIN!" but when you go this long and this hard believing you've really broken the ice on going to the next step of your life, having your partner in it leave with essentially no fanfare and absolutely no warning is even more terrifying than a flaming breakup.

It went from 100 to 0 in about twelve hours.

Imagine waking up tomorrow and every sure thing breaks away. I'm not going to do anything drastic.

I just can't believe it's real. I keep expecting her to call up and say this is just like Bradley where she spent a few days demanding she needed an extra semester. Or all the times she went through rough patches with family and friends, most of which she made good with again. Like me, she's a worrier and dramatic. She takes things to heart and she gets wounded pretty easily. I always loved that passion about her, and to see her end it in a twenty minute instant message with sincerity, but really in a subdued way.... it doesn't click.

I keep expecting her to be the girl I knew for two years instead of the one i've known for less than a week. The one I really don't know at all.


----

I know everyone is going through rough times of their own right now. I'm trying to listen and I hope those of you who are graduating make some lasting memories and enjoy your last few days at this level.

----

Since I'll say it eventually, I may as well say it now. We had our problems, but we worked. And that's not something I'm good at - but I tried to listen and improve. I loved her in a way I wasn't sure I could, because all the callous mistakes of my past seemed unthinkable with her.

I don't believe in soulmates. I think Abby and I were lucky to find each other on a quasi-double date outside a bar we hated. She was a very special person, and one of the few people I can say I ever truly loved.

I don't think there's anything else to say. Barring unexpected developments, the story of Abby and I is over like that. We had fights, arguments, petty pot-shots at each other and months and months of love and respect.

I'm really not holding anything back. I'm angry, but more angry at the situation. She made an honest case, and you can't fault someone for that. I never felt like I was re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic with her. Every step felt like a real step, not repressed problems that come out in a fight. I tried, especially in the last six months, to do everything I could to make it work. So did she, to the point of making concessions I didn't expect.

I'm not really miserable, because I'm not sure how to respond. It all seems so unreal, so unexpected that it's like it couldn't have happened. I can't blame her for doing what she wants to do. If being with me isn't making her happy, then why would I want that for her? I would want to work it out, if there were anything to work out. But if there's not, then it's just over.

There's going to be sad nights, especially since I just saw her and we were so happy. The summer will probably see some weak moments, but I've already trained myself to stop checking her AIM and I deleted our text history, because it made me sad. You can't purge someone from your memory and I wouldn't want to. It never went bad, so I can't even find blame. It's just a blank space.

And it ends with an apology, as it only could have.

I'm sorry I wasn't what she wanted, but apparently she believes I never will be. And maybe I can't be. If she thinks she's right, then that's the only vote that counts. And that's how it ends.
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Subject:the first dream.
Time:09:37 am
i wake up early for no reason and force myself to go back to sleep.

i sleep for twenty seven more minutes.

i dream we are in new york. austin duck, who i have not seen in a long time, is there.

she is there.

we get on a bus. she sits on my lap. i tell her, "i didn't expect to see you again."

she smiles.

i wake up.

i'm alone.
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[icon] ain't no gyroscope can spin forever, yeah.
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