31 December, 2007

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes!

“Wait a minute, Eric!” you (dear reader) blurt out before I can even begin my last post for the year, “is this going to be some cheesy retrospective on the year and all of the changes you went through during its course?”

Well, dear reader, to tell you the truth it was going to be about David Bowie, but I am nothing if not democratic… the people have spoken! Here is 2007 in review:

January was complicated,
As my sister married the boy she dated.

February events are hard to tell,
As life in SLO went to hell.

March started a new life with resolution,
For I finished Cal Poly and Intro to Air Pollution.

April changes take place every year
Because I always grow a year older.

May was my last month on the Central Coast
So we danced for all those birth could boast.

June’s graduation made me thank my maker,
But still I shook my fist at Warren Baker.

In July I saw my first Echo campers,
When I think of them my heart leaps and scampers.

August stole my dear, sweet Paul,
For whom I wrote a poem to share with you all.

September called me back to Mount Hermon,
Where I have a roommate who likes to speak German.

In October I started to explore a denomination,
That practically celebrates Christ’s Incarnation.

November meant a Thanksgiving far from McCollum -
Fortunately our potluck was not solemn.

December did not change a whole ton,
Even so, I ask: God bless us, everyone!

There you go, weaselnuts – I hope you gleaned a thing or two from all of the changes I went through this year. This last year was quite tumultuous at times – I most certainly did not handle post-college life as well as some, but probably better than others too. So I toast to 2007: You were a fine year with much heartbreak and tears, but you also brought me great love and joy. Raise you glasses high my friends, for in a few brief hours we'll be through with this gloridiculous year forever!

Or as DB put it, “Time may change me, but I can’t trace time.” Whatever that means…


Watch out 2008 - I'm coming for you

23 December, 2007

He Sees You When You’re Sleeping?


We can probably all think of a couple deadly sins that Santa is guilty of (greed, gluttony), but would any of us call him slothful? Oh, if you were thinking that was a rhetorical question, you’re wrong; I would.

For years now we’ve labored under the delusion that Santa is an industrious old elf, but I want to assure you that this is simply no longer true. Perhaps back in the day before the Internet and jet planes we were all impressed by Santa’s efforts to zip around the world, but even back then this was not nearly as impressive as we were deluded to believe.

“Wait a minute, Eric,” you scowl, “you really blew it this time. You’re a real blockhead. Santa Claus goes around the entire world in a single night and single-handedly delivers presents for every man, woman, and child on earth! What isn’t spectacular about that?”

Well my dear reader, I will grant you that this would be an amazing feat, but I assure you that this is a lie. Santa does not visit every man, woman, and child. Santa does not go all around the world on one night. Santa does not work alone! Santa simply has great PR here in America.

Allow for me to explain myself. Firstly, Santa does not need to visit every man woman and child on earth, simply those who celebrate Christmas – more specifically those who celebrate Santa’s role in Christmas. Santa is not only excluded by religious fanatics, but also non-Western Christians, those opposed to breaking and entering, and anyone who fears allowing an old white man control one more industry. Santa barely has to visit Asia, which contains more than a third of the world’s population. Really Santa does not need to visit that many people.

Santa also does not operate solely on the night of December the 24th, no he also makes sure to deliver some gifts on the day St. Nicholas of Myra is venerated, December 6. Many Europeans do not receive gifts on actual Christmas day, but rather venerate the birth of Christ on the day and then practice gift giving on the day of one of the most recognizable saints, Saint Nicholas-Sinterklaas-Santa Claus. Also in many Eastern Rite countries, gifts are given on Epiphany (or the day of the Magi or the Twelfth Day of Christmas) to represent the gifts brought to the toddler Jesus by some of the most famous, unnamed Eastern Astrologers in history. And I don’t know about you, but when I was growing up I sometimes saw packages from Santa under the tree before Christmas morning, so he must have pre-shipped some items to parents who understood his busy schedule. Lame.

Lastly, Santa obviously does not run a solo operation. Aside from his seemingly limitless labor source in the elves (I’ll get back to them later), Santa is known to have demon slaves (most notably Black Peter) carry his gifts for him! In some countries he even sends his little minions into the houses for him! Santa becomes little more than a glorified slave master! Bah humbug!

At least we can rest assured that elves are no longer low-cost, North Pole labor. When was the last time any of us received something from Santa that was even remotely homemade? Like everyone else, Santa is now outsourcing from other countries (it’s either that or he’s infringing on more copyright laws than even he has the financial resources to fight in court) and is buying corporate made gifts. If Santa is still employing his elves, I imagine they are now shrewd investors accruing Santa capital rather than factory laborers. I think the next step in the dialectic of history is a socialist elf rebellion… but I digress – as always.

So, this year while you’re sipping your hard nog, don’t get overly sentimental about Santa and his difficult task. Instead we should head the advice of Mr. Stevens and boldly proclaim: “Get behind me, Santa!”

21 December, 2007

A Global Warning

After Al Gore invented Global Warming back in 2006 we have all had to take it in the cahonies to go green or go home. It’s really not all that bad of a thing living a sustainable lifestyle; I pioneered the trend years before Gore started changing the global climate. So here are some suggestions for you chowder heads about saving our planet.


Al Gore Spreading Global Warming


Firstly, animals are smelly. Did you know that a single cow produces more natural pollution in a day than England during the entire Industrial Revolution? That’s not even to mention how all the CO2 they’re pumping into the air by just breathing.

“Eric,” you are more than likely to interject, “are you recommending the wholesale slaughter of the bovine race?”

Fear not dear reader, I do not come to bury cows but to praise them. However, I plan on making those deadbeat cows start carrying their own weight (with the price of ground beef around $2.00/lb. is quite a bit of weight) and do something for the environment. Perhaps, dear reader, you remember a little fad out of the 1980s – the Chia Pet. I propose that we begin growing Carbon Dioxide fighting plants on all of our oxygen consuming friends. Whoever thought that owning a pet could be a staple of going green?

Secondly, if you really want to help save the world, you’ll be sure to drink lots of wine. Now, I am not encouraging wantonness, but there are some distinct advantages to drinking wine. If we all could commit ourselves to drinking more wine, there would be more standing vineyards which have vines year-round selflessly converting dangerous climate changing chemicals into safe air and delicious ambrosia.

Wine also is full of healthy anti-oxidants that will prolong our lives. If we live longer, we’ll want to preserve our planet – as we don’t seem to care about leaving it to our children in a crappy condition, but we do want it to be nice while we’re here. We are intimately wedded to the planet, and if it dies so do we. What a downer.


A toast to love, music, wine, and revolution


Lastly, let’s not be pretentious…

“I don’t believe the words coming out of your finger tips!”

Dear reader, please! It is not a requirement that I always carry my nose slightly tilted up into the air. Anyways, I do not think that we need to hold to using cork to stop wine bottles. Must we continue to fell the mighty cork tree to make us better dancers? No! Plus I’ve had one too many bottles of wine corked by nefarious bacteria. Can’t we agree to twist the tops off of our wine? Perhaps we could even drink a glass or two from a box every now and then… but I won’t push revolution too heavily.

So dear reader, now that I’ve shown you two simple ways to fight global warming, we can uninvent Al Gore’s most recent contribution to the world.

“Thanks Eric, now I know.”

And knowing is half the battle.

19 December, 2007

An Emo Day

Today, dear reader, I provide you with a short eulogy for several trees that were felled at Redwood this morning.

I am most impressed by these behemoths, the redwoods. They are the basis for an entire ecosystem, and like so many relationships, symbiosis with the other flora and fauna keep these trees alive. However, more importantly still, they seem to have a sublime importance about them that silences my internal monologue.

I guess you could say I’m starting to envy the trees.

13 December, 2007

I’ve Just Read a Face I Can’t Forget

I’m not going to lie to you dear reader: I love women. However, I have run into a bit of a problem, I have no chance with the women I am completely infatuated with. I’m not talking about movie stars (I have no idea what film Scarlet Jo Hansen was in last) and I’m not talking about rock stars (I learned my lesson after Sherri Dupree married the guy from New Found Glory). My hopes with these women are even less.

Perhaps some of you have had the pleasure of following the adventures of my landlocked Paul, and have read about his recent bouts of good fortune. Paul is now an acquaintance and student of perhaps one of our greatest living literary minds, Marilynne Robinson – I am more than a tad jealous of him. If you’ve still got your finger up your nose and are stuck on Eggers or Sedaris, perhaps Ms. Robinson isn’t for you, but she is absolutely wonderful!

“Wait wait!” you will no doubt interject, “Eric, are you trying to say that you are in love with the author, Marilynne Robinson?”

Well dear reader, in a sense I am. She intelligent, clever, incredibly talented, and most importantly, her soul is attuned to the beauty and majesty of Christ. She is everything that a woman should be… Her books make me want to be a better human being.

“Eric,” I can hear your stomach turn, “don’t you think it’s a little unusual (aka ‘creepy’) for a post-pubescent-man-child of your age to be in love with a sixty-year-old woman?”

I anticipated your concern dear reader, and I’m afraid matters just get worse. You see, I am in love with more than one woman, and what’s more, I have even less of a chance with the other women I’m in love with.

“Pray tell just how many women you claim to be ‘in love with?’”

Well, for the sake of not giving you quite so big of a shock, I will only mention the ones I have particularly loved this year…

“How many?”

Six.

“Six women! My word! Couldn’t you just stick to one per season?”

I’m sorry dear reader, but I must ask that you stop your interruptions if you would like for this post to go anywhere. Over this past year there have been six women whose writings have been of utmost importance to me. Six women who have seen me as something than the little mooncalf I am and have lifted me up with aerial spirits.

I will not give book recommendations for these women because I think too highly of them, and I do not want to give you en masse a voyeuristic view of our relationships, and so I will simply give you their photographs and names in order that we met this year. I have known some of them longer than this year, but 2007 was certainly the year of women writers.


Iris Murdoch



Willa Cather



Flannery O’Connor



Marilynne Robinson



Lauren Winner



Anne Morrow Lindbergh



It is true that most of these women are dead, some married, and all out of my reach, but whoever claimed love to be rational?

If I were ever to meet one of these women, I’m not certain how I would strike up conversation with them… I’m certain anything I could say would just sound stupid. So, I guess I would hope to meet them in a bar so I could at least use a pick up line: “Hey Willa, if you were in that book you wrote, you’d be fine print.”

07 December, 2007

iEric

Dear readers, it has come to my attention that I am not very cool. This is frustrating to me because I used to be something of a hipster, but now I can’t seem to tell the difference between something Indie and something lobotomite would spur.


Eric as a Hipster King


I’ve been attempting to figure out where it is that I went wrong. When was it that I went from a dynamo to a dinosaur? Am I simply old? No, I’m in the height of my youth! Then what could it be that reduced me to obscurity?

Perhaps it all started when my beloved friend and roommate Jordan moved out. He was a hip individual, and I certainly did inherit a bit from him (dancing, pants). However, I don’t think I can pin all of my problems on his leaving San Luis Obispo, and besides, I was handed his kingdom when he left town, and I enjoyed a fruitful reign as San Luis entered its golden age.


Jordan Jolliff as a Spider


Perhaps I’ll never truly figure out what it is that took the brightest star of the heavens and thrust it down into the green muck of obscurity, but I do need to figure out how to bring myself back from it – figure out how to make myself shine once again.


I don’t need any more bad publicity, but this kind of thing happens all the time


What I need is a makeover. I need to find something that will cause the youth of America to look at me and say, “he’s in.” No, something that will make them say, “he’s ahead of the game.” Or they could say that in whatever hip lingoslang they’re using these days, but of that I can tell you nothing.

“Okay Eric, you’re not cool – we all know that,” you may less than fairly admit, “but what hope do you have of turning yourself around?”

Well my dear, albeit unkind, reader, I have taken my cue from Apple and have decided to place a big old ‘i’ in front of my name. Do you remember when computers began to be super boring and then Apple said, “Let’s put that there ‘i’ in front of ‘Mac’ and then we’ll see some happy customers!” Oh-oh, or do you remember people thought that only peas went in pods, but Apple told us that ‘i’ could go in a pod too? That one really seems to be working out for them. Most recently they’ve taken the dying fad of cell phones and breathed new life into it by inserting that beloved ‘i.’

Why is it that we are willing to pay more money for anything if there is an ‘i’ in front of it? Well, quite simply ‘i’ stands for ‘image.’ When you buy any Apple product you are buying a lifestyle (*cough* iLife *cough*), and you are letting the world know that you’re not afraid to stand up in its face and say that you don’t need to follow the trends any more… no, you’re willing to think different.

So, what would [image]Eric be like? Well, he’d be surprisingly like normal Eric, but people would know that if you hung out with him you were hip. People would get whiplash as they turned about in the streets to see you casually laughing with your friend, iEric. iEric will be completely compatible with your fast-paced lifestyle, and he’d always be good for a silhouetted dance number.

So, don’t be lame, be friends with iEric today. You’d better just hope that you don’t sign up right before a new generation comes out because then you’d be hella lame. And take it from me, iEric, lame is not the new cool.