Friday, April 27, 2007

East of Eden

Banrock recommended Steinbeck's East of Eden and I absolutely loved it. The following are several passages I thorougly enjoyed:

"The American Standard translation orders men to triumph over sin, and you can call sin ignorance. The King James translation makes a promise in ‘Thou shalt,’ meaning that men will surely triumph over sin. But the Hebrew word, the word timshel—‘Thou mayest’— that gives a choice. It might be the most important word in the world. That says the way is open. That throws it right back on man." (pg. 629)

"And I feel that a man is a very important thing -- maybe more important than a star. This is not theology. I have no bent toward gods. But I have a new love for that glittering instrument, the human soul. It is a lovely and unique thing in the universe. It is always attacked and never destroyed -- because 'Thou mayest.'" (pg. 630)

American society?:

"Maybe everyone is too rich. I have noticed that there is no dissatisfaction like that of the rich. Feed a man, clothe him, put him in a good house, and he will die of despair." (pg. 635)

"'Thou mayest rule over sin,' Lee. That's it. I do not believe all men are destroyed. I can name you a dozen who were not, and they are the ones the world lives by. It is true of the spirit as it is ture of battles -- only the winners are remembered. Surely, most men are destroyed, but there are others who like pillars of fire guide frightened men through the darkness. 'Thou mayest, Thou mayest!'What glory! It is true that we are weak and sick and quarrelsome, but if that is all we ever were, we would, millenniums ago, have disappeared from the face of tthe earth. A few remnants of fossilized jawbone, some broken teeth in strata of limesone, would be the only mark man would have left of his existence in the world. But the choice, Lee, the choice of winning! I had never understood it or accepted it before. Do you see now why I told Adam tonight? I exercised the choice. Maybe I was wrong but by telling him I also forced him to live or get off the pot." (pg. 635-636)

Monday, April 23, 2007

Yesterday, the Prom I Never Had...

Remember how angry you were at Her. Too drunk to turnaround the evening, she only offers excuses now. "I was trying to relieve the tension. I was trying to make it easier." And you put up with this crap because you love her and you ask her if she does the same: "sometimes." Sometimes? Are you out of your fucking mind? Despite the mild hangover she's starting to play a little nicer in the morning. "I've always loved you. I just didn't know what I was saying." Then she wonders why I'm "difficult to talk to" over breakfast. I buy her breakfast after the night from hell, and I'm difficult to talk to? Wow-ee, imagine that. She woke me up at 5:40 AM to find her cell phone, and then at 6:30 she tells me I should go back to sleep after venting about frustrations from the night before. Surprisingly, I can't sleep. She was supposed to text her Mom when she got back to her apartment. Apparently, I'm not the only one she disappoints.

We lie in bed. She tells me: "You're suppressing you're feelings." How about this: you may have just disappointed me for the last time? How's that sound? For a few moments, I'm ready to break up. It's the warmest feeling I've had in the last 24 hours. She doesn't understand why I'm smiling. Honestly, is this child supposed to be my life partner? My friend? She fucked up big time.

Earlier that week, I planned a date in Hollywood. We have an amazing chocolate malt shake and peppermint sundae. We watch a movie I promised we would see together that was no longer playing pretty much everywhere else. I keep it a surprise until arrival and we both have a blast. To top it off, we both laugh like kids: It's a Disney flick in 3D!

Yesterday, everything had been planned by someone else: transportation, location, and food, yet she blows it, big time. Drunk before arrival, obnoxious after. She's falling asleep at the table. Her head keeps bobbing. Now she's nauseous. She goes to the bathroom three times in the first hour. She says she's feeling sick. Ten minutes later, no, I'm not feeling sick, I'm actually just really confused about our relationship.


Really? Wow, fantastic timing. Why don't we wait until Formal to discuss whatever has been worrying you? So there I am, dead sober, standing in the rain, she just canceled on a cab that arrived for her, we're having an issue about our relationship and then she tells me "you make everything an uphill battle." This was supposed to be the prom I never had. It meant a lot to both of us and she blew it.


The next morning, I drop her off, probably late to class. Originally, I couldn't pull out of her driveway because her roommate's friend's car is blocking mine. Luckily, she has a key. Wait a second, you guessed it, another fuck up. She can't start the car. "Do you mind waiting until I come back from class?..Why do you look angry? Why are you..."

I'm sore. She knows. Will I talk to her later, "possibly." Asking for an apology isn't going to do us any good. She's loose with apologies. This time, I don't ask for an apology. "Don't call me until you're ready to move forward with an upbeat view of our relationship. Or, if you want to end it."


Half hour later, I get a text message: Does texting count as calling?


Saturday, April 21, 2007


Maybe a bit extreme but Pascal once said:

"All man's miseries derive from not being able to sit quietly in a room alone."

I should read more instead of thinking about what I'm missing. Spending $25+ bar hopping seems a bit overrated in my book. Is that really a good way to meet people?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Einstein on Religion from Time Mag.

"Try and penetrate with our limited means the secrets of nature and you will find that, behind all the discernible laws and connections, there remains something subtle, intangible and inexplicable. Veneration for this force beyond anything that we can comprehend is my religion."

"The most beautiful emotion we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead, a snuffed-out candle. To sense that behind anything that can be experienced there is something that our minds cannot grasp, whose beauty and sublimity reaches us only indirectly: this is religiousness. In this sense, and in this sense only, I am a devoutly religious man."

Schopenhauer once said: "A man can do as he wills, but not will as he wills."

Seneca Quotes...

"A single example of extravagance or greed does a lot of harm -- an intimate who leads a pampered life gradually makes on soft and flabby; a wealthy neighbor provokes cravings in one; a companion with a malicious nature tends to rub off some of his rust even on someone of an innocent and open-hearted nature -- what then do you imagine the effect on a person's character is when the assault comes from the world at large? You must inevitably either hate or imitate the world. But the right thing is to shun both courses: you should neither become like the bad because they are many, nor be an enemy of the many because they are unlike you. Retire into yourself as much as you can. Associate with people whom are likely to improve you."

"Inwardly everything should be different but our outward face should conform with the crowd."

"A balanced combination of the two attitudes is what we want; the active man should be able to take things easily, while the man who is inclined towards repose should be capable of action."

Quoting Hecato:'If you wish to be loved, love.'

Solon's Warning...

"The observation of the numerous misfortunes that attend all conditions forbids us to grow insolent upon our present enjoyments, or to admire a man's happiness that may yet, in course of time, suffer change. For the uncertain future has yet to come, with all variety of future; and him only to whom the divinity has [guaranteed] continued happiness until the end we may call happy."