Remembering Elroy

I remember us as dumb kids, and how that was the best.
If I'm completely, painfully, regretfully, and brutally honest, the first thing I remember upon hearing that you're dead is when you vaguely told me about the "thoughts" you had about yourself about two years ago. I told you you seemed like you were doing ok from the times I've talked to you. How you appreciated hearing me say that, but it also sounded like you hoped I'd follow with something more. I want to say that was almost two years ago, and one of the last times I saw or heard from you. Most likely, the last time I saw you was July 4, 2015. Thanks for always showing up to my gatherings, and now I regret more than ever skipping this year.
When I think endearingly, I remember grade school and the many times we spent the night at each others' houses. I remember when Ryan and I were there in a weird pillow fight and you stood up with your blanket draped over you. Sarcastically, you said "Ugg want friend" and looked the part perfectly, and it basically INVITED us to hit you MORE with our pillows. But, of course, in your small home, we were annoying as hell to your parents who had to yell at us constantly to knock it off and go to sleep. Patience of saints, they had.
We were dumb kids. Dumb nerdy kids. You showed me the layers of star wars no reasonable person ever needed to know, and all these years later I'm grateful for it. Maybe you wouldn't have remembered, but it really started when you let me borrow your old VHS tapes of the original trilogy. Wannabe-sheisty bastard you were, you tried to act like you clumsily placed the tapes in my bag and scuttled off like I didn't notice you only placed the empty boxes. Then you pointed the finger at Raymond for the idea! DIRTY! But you failed. I got the movies and watched them. I knew I loved them, but I didn't LOVE them like you did. And man oh man... did that kick open some doors. From there you showed me the Essential Guide to Characters, which led to my parents getting me the Essential Guide to Vehicles and Vessels. This was one expansive fucking universe! And they just had me at light sabers! I learned what true passion and enthusiasm for something looked like, but more importantly it was the stuff that formed an incredibly valuable friendship to me during Junior High. I can't thank you enough for that.
I remember the times we went to watch the special editions during their theatrical runs. We were dumb kids that'd love it no matter what. Han shot first and "Oh that's a change!" Any change was cool to me at that point. It took a long time to realize I kind of respected that to a degree (but I've come around on that particular one. It fundamentally changes the character in a rather needless and weak way). Jabba scene was dumb... I guess that was the worst of it. Whatever. I loved those outings. I'll still never forget how hard you and I laughed at Ryan holding a plastic grocery bag out of the car on the way home with one lone popcorn flailing inside of it. We were dumb kids. It was the best.
I remember spending other nights at your place and talking about the girls we had crushes on. Girls who would never give us the time of day. I'd lay there talking up the Stacy, hearing about the Laura, and all sorts of names I'm protecting from embarrassment, and all while staring at your bedroom ceiling, which had a bunch of model airplanes dangling from it. I wish I could name a single one of those planes, and I know that, despite the person you became, you could still probably name each one of them and maybe even the year they were issued.
I remember your black belt in Taekwondo, and how surprised I was by that, given your thin, lanky physique. You also had that poster in your room of all the pressure points at which to hit someone, and what part of the body was best used to hit said pressure point. It was the most informative and dangerous poster I ever saw on a pre-teen's bedroom wall. I can only draw the conclusion that your dad was a lot more awesome than I gave him credit for at the time.
Then I remember us growing up. Maybe up isn't the right word. Maybe, at least from my perspective, you grew away. We had a last hurrah when we went to see The Phantom Menace together, and you talked about all the action figures you planned on buying as we walked back to the car from the rolling credits, but you never did get them.
I remember us going to different high schools, and hearing your stories about your cool new friends and how they'd curse out loud in class, set their shoes on fire, or who knows what. It was entertaining, but it didn't sound like us. You got into the modern pop punk scene of the time, and all of a sudden I was hearing about the porn actor on the cover of a Blink 182 album instead of the name of some random droid that never needed to be named. The enthusiasm was similar but... different. It started to feel like you tried to distance yourself from the things our friendship was based on. I remember seeing an imaginary line drawn between you and me when we wound up at a house party where you held a beer and I didn't. Where I wanted us to just go home and play Mario Kart again and again and again.
I remember my high school story not sounding as successful. Cool kids talked to me in eighth grade, for whatever reason. But then they stopped cold turkey come day one of 9th grade. It was a hard pill to swallow, but I was lucky to have real friends who I could still meet up for those rounds of Goldeneye. But all of a sudden... it felt like you weren't one of them anymore.
I remember thinking maybe I drew first blood, trying to look cool to the cool kids, and realizing none of it panned out come high school. Maybe you were just following my model by that point when I thought I could count on you. Maybe it was my fault. Maybe that's too selfish to say or even consider. How could I matter that much to a person?
I don't remember when the last time we watched Star Wars was, because I didn't think it was the last time. Sometimes I wonder if you still watched them from time to time.
I remember feeling hurt and upset at first, but after a while got over it. You'd still be a good old friend to me. Maybe we weren't as close. Maybe we weren't the dumb nerds together, but it was too valuable to throw away. Of all the friends that drifted from me, I think I managed to hold onto a friendship with you better than most.
I remember you, me, and Chad at George's funeral during our college years. How we were the only old classmates there in a sea of people. I always wondered how many of them there knew him like we did. How many were high school classmates? College? Did he even go to college?
I remember your wild success from business school at Berkeley, which eventually led to a version of you even farther removed from our Star Wars days, but then slammed with responsibility and anxiety I could only imagine. Maybe I could've worried more. I remember eventually only seeing you once a year, and it seemed like you just... weren't happy. Conversations inevitably steered toward remembering days gone by. In fact... I remember not wanting to hang out sometimes because that seemed to be all you wanted to do.
Of course I remembered those times, Eric. I remember them all, and they were great and I do miss them. But here we are, and there is long in the distance. We had nothing to be nostalgic about then and it was all just here and now and enjoying it how we wanted to.
Maybe I should've thought about that a little more. Maybe I should've asked asked about that a little more. Maybe I should've tried to start a new here and now for us. Maybe a piece of me still felt a little hurt and bitter that you drifted away. Maybe I was afraid you'd say how dumb and petty those dumb nerd things are, and I'd feel bad all over again. We just had different interests, and that was ok with me, and it seemed like it was ok with you, but not everything was ok, was it?
I'm sorry if I let you down.
I remember that you were a friend to me. A great one. A really important one. A lot of who I am today is shaped by those years that we were good friends. I wish I could say thanks for that.

Best I can do now is this...
I'll always remember, how you did, the time we went to see the Joel Schumacher Batman and Robin. Specifically, that the shabby trucker looking dude next to you sipped out of your soda cup by accident, effectively making it his. I'll remember that you remembered those moments. The little ones that literally never stopped making you laugh.
I'll remember you as the friend who talked up the past with more enthusiasm than most I knew, even if it did seem like a little much.
I know I'll always remember you. You were the best, and I'll miss you.

Hey

I haven't posted to this thing in a while. Now it's a quiet corner I carved out ages ago and no one reads it. Maybe someone will some day, and that's cool.

Anyway, it's almost been exactly three years since I last posted to this thing. That's fucking bananas.

ANYWAY, I was just listening to "Levon" by Elton John. It's good. It comes immediately after "Tiny Dancer" on Madman Across the Water so as you can imagine is a bit heavily overlooked. John's generally one of those "known for his hits" types, and I can't really say that's not without merit. While "Levon" is an excellent bombastic bleating of heartfelt piano balladry, it's still pretty damn simple to MANY of his other tracks and ESPECIALLY his hits. Not to devalue what I just heard, though. It's certainly worth a listen regardless. The fact is John and Taupin were really fucking good at this type of song. The sincerity's lost on most performers of this stuff, but it's definitely there in their work. And if they weren't sincere, well the musicianship lies to me really well and I'm completely cool with that.
http://grooveshark.com/s/Levon/2veQ7k?src=5

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The Main Point


I figure it's appropriate given what a night this has been.

It's funny. All the projections and polls showed Obama in a marked lead and the winner of the "most likely to be our next president award," and this had me torn. On one hand, I did not want to underestimate the power of the red states. The image of that electoral map from four years ago was one of the most frustratingly lop-sided things I have ever seen, and totally earned us names like Jesusland or whatever. On the other hand, that overwhelming majority was, time has proven in my eyes, in the wrong. All my years I've come to be very critical of the majority, and this is no exception.

This is apparently not a fair conclusion to make, because if you look at strictly popular vote, Obama didn't teabag McCain quite the way he did with the electoral college. Still... it was my frame of mind all the same.

Anyway, there was also a strong desire to look at the criticisms against Obama. Some sound valid, and some are downright stupid. I won't get into them because I'm sure you've heard/read about them aplenty. Conversely, I'm sure the same is true from the Obama camp. However, it didn't seem to be a campaign of ill-will, but of a fast holding to his platitudes for change. They were just commercials, but that the emphasis was on the man and not the failures of the opponent seemed commendable in my eyes. Too, that he carried himself in commendable ways and did all that good speaking that everyone praises. I gotta admit... it worked on me. It didn't sound like the normal presidential candidate. He may yet still be that regular presidential candidate with a pantload of charisma. But at the same time... maybe it's not? The way he's conducted himself, the plans he's laid out, equally effective and flawed as they may be, and that bigass smile all seem to come together to remind me how great it is to be an American. It could be bullshit, but I'm willing to gamble on it. The campaign trail is all marketing, and he's sold me big time. I have faith that I've invested in something that will pay off, and that tonight will be just the historic start to something truly amazing.

In a way, I liken it to Winona Ryder's dilemma in Reality Bites. Michael Grates (Ben Stiller) was like the John McCain while Troy Dyer (Ethan Hawke) the Obama. Sure, Grates was good to her, treated her well (this may actually break the analogy now that I write it, but bear with me ok? It's 12:30am (I realize this isn't late for a lot of you, and I am one of you, but I need this excuse).), and overall would not have been a bad choice. And admit it, of all the primary choices for the Republican party, McCain wasn't a bad choice. It's too bad he kind of ran against himself in a few ways, but I digress. Dyer was still a guy, but a bit volatile. He had that artist hipster image on him that was infinitely more intriguing, and any peer my age who has any social smarts knows that hipsters can be complete assholes who spout of a lot of nice sounding platitudes but do nothing. The potential, though, for that transcendent state is just so freakin' enticing!

I feel I have to say it again, this analogy is kind of shitty. I don't think Obama is as volatile or inconsistent as Dyer would be, and truthfully I could imagine even Grates voting blue. I think the point is conveyed, though. There's track record enough to prove that both men are competent, and while I wouldn't dread a McCain presidency, I wouldn't be thrilled about it either. It really does sound a lot like what's there now, but with the ability to speak and show intellect. He talked change after a while too, but the numbers didn't seem to suggest it. Honeyed words of change and well-being seemed to have more vitality in the Obama camp as well.

Why am I even writing this? What do I know about these things? Nothing. If you're looking for insight, you lose. Numbers? Did I really say that? Cocks Almighty.

I'll get to the point. I was wanting to get to the fact that Obama won tonight, and watching on msnbc as they cut to scenes of massive cheering crowds across the nation (and even in Kenya) really moved me. I'm truly and sincerely thrilled to see where this goes, and what they've shown us thus far has made it seem like they really are on to something. Hell, he got America to look really fucking good to me tonight. Christ... this guy really may be able to pull it off, and really may be able to rally everyone in to help. Yeah... maybe we really fucking can "Yes we can" this. It makes me smile to think so, and I hope it is so someday. Some new day.

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(no subject)

Been a while, I know.

I go in to observe a high school class in action today. Jesus... I'm really training to become a teacher. Part of me is excited, part of me is nervous, and part of me does NOT want ANY career quite yet!

(no subject)

I had a weird dream today.

So the alien race was on its way to annihilating the human race. All our military efforts worldwide were in vain when squared with their vastly superior technology. For some reason, I was in New York while this all was going on. Somehow, I got the crazy idea to make a speech to as many people as possible saying that we should do our best and change while we can. You know, cultivate our land again, show some love and all that. Or we can continue down this path and inevitably be destroyed. At the very least, do something that will make us all feel good. Maybe we had this coming. This was somehow made possible by the musicians I was just playing with yesterday.

The speech did nothing. I never actually saw the aliens myself but I saw smoke, and heaps of it. And there were loud noises, crowds of frantic people, and my apartment building(?) completely inaccessible. I came across my family and many friends, and the noises grew louder, and the smoke rose higher. I ran back to my apartment (Why?) and as I ran, a large boom could be seen in the distance. The smoke became a wall and it rushed toward us black and unstoppable. I hunched back and looked away and started to scream hoping it would be a completely painless death. All signs pointed to yes but you never really know with aliens. The smoke rushed by, completely blinded everyone and I could feel that despite my closed eyes. The thing is, it passed over us and we were blinded by pure white. Several seconds subsided and things were calm. They had left.

I guess they watched what humanity was doing in its final moments and decided to give us a second chance. Started showing on their advanced screens images of the planet and people like me speaking all that stuff we said. Beyond someone mentioning to me that I was on there, I felt good and moved on. No ceremonies and stuff.

There WAS a dilapidated hotel where Norm and his friends got a room and decided to smoke a lot of pot. Among these gentlemen was my DAD who had a shitload of weed to himself. I almost had a hit myself given that we had come mere inches from complete annihilation, so I wasn't about to get all condemning on the man and probably wouldn't anyway. I left their room, went somewhere else outside... don't remember where, and right about then I moved on to some other dream that I don't remember as well. Then I woke up.

(no subject)

So what the fuck is up?

I'm not sure who reads these anymore. You can find most my crap on my space blog, or random movie/media shit at http://paperotter.blogspot.com.

Anyway, how are y'all who do not read this? I think Gabi and Sandy are the only friends who update their lj's, and gabi's is hardly ever writing anymore. Whether this is good or bad is debatable (tease). Sandy, keep posting neat reads. I don't read them all, but when I do read them they're enjoyable. =\

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Ok, this one is fucking longer than a porn star's dick. I apologize, but you don't have to read it, so I also don't apologize.

Oh yeah, go watch/listen to Flight of the Conchords if you haven't already.

Toodles.

(no subject)

Divorce Court today. Don't really want to face my mom, but I know I'll have to. Don't know how to react given her want of a lot of the little money he has. I can't suss it out how it could make sense to her. I see that dad was a cheapass. I see that he was a slouch about family gatherings and going out in general. I don't see that he was a prick to her. I don't see that he didn't financially support her, making it ironic that she seeks monetary restitution. I don't see this making any sense at all. I imagine making sense of it is fruitless, and it's some "unable to understand the heart" shit. That's all fine, if she drifted away what can you do. It sucks balls , you're taking a lot for granted, you're hurting a lot of people, but ok. Asking for money? I have a hard time calling that a mystery of the heart.

Am not looking forward to this. I ate an imitation Pop Tart from Trader Joe's just now. It's better than real Pop Tarts.

(no subject)

What sucks: Seeing the papers served to your dad by the lawyer representing your mom, the contents of which contain erroneous statements like her being forced out of the house or demand that your dad pay for her lawyer when she initiated this whole divorce thing.

I currently drink a glass of the Green Machine flavor of naked juice. Preceding this was a glass of merlot wine and then a cigarette. For some this is a normal thing. For me this is misery. I also reacquainted myself with the spiders in our backyard. There are many.