Monthly Archives: July 2008

Quotes & Questions

I am really enjoying going through this old coil notebook of my writings from the summer of 1995. It’s strange how this first version of Silent Cacophony is a lot like a blog. The titles of the posts this week are the actual titles above each entry I wrote in that coil notebook. Here is another entry from my book entitled “Quotes & Questions.”

“Leaves that have fallen from a tree do not attach themselves to a branch again.”
Devil’s Heart by Carmen Carter, pg 127

– How come there are forks in the road, but never spoons?
– How come you pitch a tent, but you don’t throw it to a back catcher?
– How high is up?
– How come you call a television a TV, but you don’t call a telephone a TP, TP that’s a tent. Speaking of tents, last night I dreamed I was a wigwam, then I dreamed I was a TP. I asked my doctor what this means. He said I was too tense (tents.)
– “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one. It is for that purpose that I give my skill to the world. A skill I am not yet fully aware of. But it is my belief that you can get everything you want out of life by giving others what they want. Good deeds are their own reward. Spoken from a true boy scout himself. I am he.
– The purpose of life is to be happy
to accomplish great things
to help other people at all times
to be wise in the use of your resources
and to always be kind and cheerful.

Possible Titles

This is the second excerpt from my recently discovered lost work. This is the second page of the coil notebook and it shows a brainstorming session as I try to come up with a title for it. Well, here it is in its entirety.

LITERATURE

I smell a rat. Literature. U ARE A LITE RAT. I don’t get it. Neither do I, or me, Hey wait I’m the only one with a pen. I am but one, alone in the car.

WASTED INK – possible, the cool title of a book.

Ya know when ya go to the drive-in theatre, and they start the picture too early and it’s too bright. Put on sunglasses. Problem solved.

MESSY SCRIBBLES – another possible title, Nah!

SILENT CACOPHONY

COOL TITLE! THAT MAY BE IT.

THAT IS IT, BY GEORGE. THIS ISN’T BY GEORGE. IT’S BY CHASE, the author of USELESS JUNK. Sometimes, it is the right time.

Turn off that light?

What is This?

It seems that he has lost what was left of his sanity. Saneness is in the mind of the beholder. Little voice in one’s head may be dismissed as Cacophony. Phooey-phooey, you may say. Or you did say if you are reading aloud. Sunglasses worn over top of your hat are cool. Life is … too long … too short … too simple … too complicated. I can’t fathom any meaning.

A green book in spiral formation is this thing. Things are everywhere. Everything is everywhere. Records noted. A thought unrecorded is often a thought lost. Messy scribbles recorded that can’t be read are a lost thought. DON’T LOSE ‘EM

Geez this is weird. I thought so myself. Once or twice. Sentence fragment. Uncomplete thought WHO CARES This is My Book.

Peanuts may be salted. They are also victims if they have been assaulted. Vacations are too infrequent. Leave your mind once in a while. Legally of course. No irony. Don’t read between the lines unless I write like this

There is more!

Well that was it, the first page of my attempt at writing a book to explain everything about the world. I was so sure I had it all figured out back then. I remember having such grand plans for Silent Cacophony.

The original book I am typing up and sharing this week resembles this blog in quite a few ways. First off, I write short entries in it. Secondly, I delve into a number of topics. And third, you can tell I was having fun with it. There’s humour in nearly every page. I will admit it is a bit weird. But next week I will be back to blogging as usual. Don’t worry. Just enjoy this bizarre ride.

Thanks.

The First Silent Cacophony

I was doing some major cleaning and decluttering on the weekend and I came across something that I thought was lost – the original Silent Cacophony book.

I couldn’t believe I actually found it. I screamed out loud and jumped around at the discovery of this small coil notebook. It meant a lot to me and I always remembered it even though it had somehow gotten lost in the move or two I did over the years.

But I found it, a green coil notebook that I wrote in, oh so many years ago.

I flipped it open in anticipation of what I might find there. I knew I started writing this book when I was a teenager and, back then, I thought I knew everything. So I knew this book would have some wisdom contained in it. Maybe something I have since forgotten.

I want to share some of this with you. This week, and part way into next, all of my posts will be excerpts from this book. Keep in mind that I wrote it in the summer of 1995. I had a mantra at the time to keep it “unedited and raw.”

It starts off a little weird but my teenage voice definitely comes through. I hope that you enjoy this look back in time as much as I do.

Tomorrow, comes the actual intro to Silent Cacophony.

Stay tuned.

A Teacher in the Summer

What does a teacher do in the summer? It’s a good question and one that I’ve actually been asked to address on this blog. So here goes,

Teachers don’t make a lot of money when they first start out. In fact, I still have a hard time making ends meet. But since I have been in this career for five years now, I decided that it was time to actually have a summer vacation. As such, this is my first summer off since I started this career.

What did I do all the other summers? you ask. Well, I got another job. I worked in a variety of under-appreciated and under-paid positions. In that aspect, it reminded me of my real job anyway.

So what have I done so far on this my first summer off? Not much it seems.

I think it took me a month just to wind down and make the transition from working to not working. I actually haven’t had a real vacation in too many years. So I just enjoyed the time off.

I’ve done a lot of reading. I’ve been going for runs almost every day. I’ve spent time with my family. And I’ve been researching the publishing business. It has been my goal since I started this blog to be published in five years. So far, I’ve only concentrated on writing. It’s time for the next step.

I have also begun thinking about the new school year. I’ve been given a split class next year and I’ll be at a new school. It’s going to be a challenge, as I have never taught a split grade before. Plus there is a huge adjustment having to move schools.

So it seems that I am always a teacher. I’m already thinking about the new school year. I’ve started collecting resources and thinking about how I will launch the new year. I am even going to visit the school next week.

I think teaching is like writing, whenever you aren’t physically doing it you are still thinking about it. I am always cooking story ideas in my head even when I’m not writing. And it seems like I do the same things with lesson plans, strategies, and everything else that goes into a classroom. It’s a big job. It’s no wonder that I am never truly far from it.

How Many Elements?

How many elements are there in this world?

Modern scientists would probably argue that there are hundreds. They would be able to prove and show how each of the elements differ and how they all deserve to have their own classification.

I often think that science looks at too many things. I think that scientists have fragmented the study of reality and have gotten no closer to discovering the truth about it.

Studying the world around us is all well and good. I have no problem with that. I have a problem with what we get out of it. We don’t seem to have any more answers today than we did hundreds of years ago.

We used to believe that there were only four elements and that everything was comprised of either; earth, air, water, or fire. With our modern thinking and technology we now know that this is not the case. It almost seems laughable when we look back at this theory. We know that it is not true.

So now we have hundreds of elements but we don’t really know where they came from or why they are here. Does this help us in anyway understand the nature of reality?

I don’t think it does. We are constantly striving to put all of our known scientific knowledge together. Einstein tried it to no avail, and since we all have been on the search for a unifying theory.

One theory that could explain everything known about the universe and explain it all.

So what if there is only one element?

What if everything on this world was Story? That’s my unifying theory.

And what is a theory but a story to explain something that we don’t understand? We have used Story like this since the beginning of time. It’s time we started to look more carefully at this thing we call Story for the answers to which we seek. The answer is there. I’m sure of it.

One element – Story.

Love At First Sight

Lady in Red
I believe in love at first sight. It’s happened to me before.

Unfortunately when it did happen, I didn’t act on it and I have never seen her again. It was about ten years ago but her image remains burned in my brain. One of my biggest regrets in life is that I never ran after her. I should have.

I know what you are thinking; this was not love at first sight. But you’d be wrong. I know that it was.

It may be a little one-sided and it is very hard to explain, but I am sure that I loved her the first time I saw her. I am sure that I still do.

Maybe I am just a hopeless romantic. But with all my girlfriends, I never really felt that initial spark of love at first sight. I don’t know, maybe that feeling is uncommon. Maybe it only happens in the movies. Maybe it’s not for me.

I still think of that first case of love at first sight and the girl in the red jacket. I often think that she will walk back into my life one day and I know if she ever does, I won’t let her slip away so easily.

Maybe that girl and I will never cross paths again. Maybe I was completely wrong about the whole thing but it doesn’t feel wrong. The feeling has stayed with me all this time. It has to be real.

Who knows what the future holds? Maybe I will have this feeling again. And if I do, maybe she will be “the one.” Call me a hopeless romantic if you will but I believe in love at first sight.

The Easiest and Hardest Word to Say

“No”

Isn’t it?

It’s easy to say no to certain people in certain situations.

It’s hard to say no to some people no matter what the situation.

It’s easy to say no to things that you think people expect you to say no to.

It’s hard to say no to things that people seem to universally agree with.

Going against the grain is tough. Going with it is easy. Sometimes both ways can be declared with a simple, “No.”

So, one word, a simple two-letter word, a word that we have probably used a few times already today, is the easiest and hardest word to say. That word is no.

“The easiest and hardest word to say is no.
Only got two letters, only takes a second to say it.”
– Lyrics from Chuck D’s song “No” off the album “The Autobiography of Mista Chuck.”

How true!

Can Guys and Girls be Friends?

This is an age-old debate that spans all the way back to 1989. At least that’s when I first heard of it. It was the theme of one of the greatest movies of all time, When Harry Met Sally.

Harry felt that guys and girls couldn’t be friends. He thought that sex would always be in the way of a true friendship. Sally didn’t believe this to be the case. They weren’t the only characters that debated this topic in the movie. But by the end of the movie, and nearly twenty years later, we still don’t seem to have a definitive answer.

Everyone has acquaintances of the opposite sex that we probably don’t think about having sex with. Our friends of the same gender share a common interest with us. Some share a personal history with us that we will always treasure. And with these relationships there is never the possibility of sex getting in the way.

However, when a guy and a girl become good friends, and I mean more than just simple acquaintances, the possibility of sex is something that is always there in between the two friends. Some people may be able to ignore it but it is always there. That’s why I think this debate has yet to be closed.

There have been a few times in my life where I have developed a great friendship with a member of the opposite sex. I enjoyed all of these friendships and tried my best to protect them and keep them in tact. But the problem with that was that at some point in those friendships I often thought of taking the relationship to the next level, as it were. There were a few times where that actually happened. So, that being the case, were we ever really friends?

It’s a good debate. I’d like to think that friendship can exist between the sexes. A lot of my acquaintances are women and I don’t degrade them by thinking in terms of sex. At least I try not to, but I am a guy after all. Sorry ladies. Maybe it’s true, maybe guys and girls can’t be friends. What do you think?

Something Had To Go

I have to tighten up my belt. Trim my spending. Pinch my pennies. I’m sure you know what that’s like.

I looked at a few things in my life and really thought about all the spending that I do. I needed to cut back on it. I’ve never been one to budget. I’m not the best with my money but it tends to stretch as far as I need it.

The problem is that things just cost so much these days. I can’t afford them all. I wish I could but I can’t. So something had to go. And that’s why I am living this summer without a television.

It’s surprisingly easy to live without cable TV. I have some TV shows on DVD that I bought because I love them so much. But with cable TV, I never really watched them. So now I have a chance to.

I also have been going to the library every day so I can continue to maintain this blog. The public library is great. They even have DVDs. So far this week I have borrowed I am Legend, Beowulf, Cloverfield, and The Bourne Ultimatum. Not bad for free, eh?

So I am surviving without cable TV and I am still getting to watch lots of great shows and movies. I know that I am going to want to have cable in the fall to catch all the new shows but so far I’m not really missing it.

I’m glad I don’t go to the movies very often because it’s so much better to see them for free. And the library has got such a great selection now. It used to be that you could only get movies that were based on books or were G-rated. I’m glad that has changed.

Libraries are more progressive than you may think. If you haven’t been to your local branch in years, go check it out. You might be pleasantly surprised. And you can stop spending money on movie rentals. What’s not to love?