Emilio Sandoz
02 September 2007 @ 04:43 am
I am strapped to a lovetobaggon on an almost-too-fast slope I am making less than $7.50/hr at my dream job I am keeping gauze around the finger because in truth, I really like telling the story I am going to try to listen to people more when I'm with Timmy (sometimes I just get lost in crazy-marvelous thoughts) speaking of him, I am seeing him even less often now, the city is just too much ahhh FUKK the city, I have never heard the human chorus roar so loud.

I am on better terms with the mirror I am completely out of contact with way too many people I am trying to get some sort of telephone I am more than moved when I read about swirling dirt I am probably thinking about ms. darkforestkiss too much but really, can you blame me I am surrounded by women and men who give off a glow so strong I've been blinking almost every half-second I am going to get up tomorrow and buy an aquarium-ish cage for Pablo Escobar I am as exhausted as I have ever been I am hopped up on adrenaline and random kindness I am going to go to sleep some time soon hi, my name is Ryan DeFranco and I'm addicted to the human race.
Music : the national :: daughters of the soho riots
Emilio Sandoz
20 June 2007 @ 02:57 pm
If you reflect on the suffering you've seen and felt and heard about, it doesn't take long to realize that most of it stems from somebody else's selfishness. One person puts his or her interests ahead of someone else's and then that someone else ends up getting fucked. This is relationships this is car accidents this is politics this is war--crawl through your personal experience and historical knowledge and I think you'll see what I mean. It doesn't have to be deliberate (though it often is), all it takes is a lack of interest or a self-imposed ignorance for you to "accidentally" hurt someone else.

Selfishness promises us success. Our society begs us to be as self-centered as possible, we're supposed to want material goods and plenty of free time and really good sex. These things can create happiness but that happiness is usually pretty short-lived; we remember it and obsess over it and work to find it again but more often than not we're working and waiting for a future that's not even guaranteed. The big promotion, the first kiss, the Friday-night binge... everyone is hoping for something because their sense of self tells them they'll be sated if it comes.

This also accounts for the fucked up failures of best-laid-plans. No matter how pure our intentions might've been, the act still sprang out of a sense of order we thought we could impose on a chaotic universe. We are selfish without realizing it, we are allowing our individualistic tendencies to tether us to dreams and goals that are bound to create transient happiness and inescapable suffering.

Why are we all so trapped, why does it feel so natural and "normal?" Neurologists tell us that our sense of self is a construct, that our connection to the assemblage of atoms that is "us" is only a figment of the electrical storms that rage inside our skulls. Given that self-centered thinking seems to lead to so much suffering, this makes sense--if we are all operating on a paradigm that is fundamentally flawed, how the hell can we expect our happiness yield to be anything but insubstantial?

There is only one solution: abandon ship. Forsake the idea of you as "you," become as mindful as you can of the trillions of processes and connections and creations and deaths that are interconnected in ways we cannot see or understand (much less manipulate and control). Allow yourself to suddenly show compassion for individuals and circumstances you couldn't have given two shits about before. Try not to care how much of anything you have, try to keep the corporations from scripting your dreams, do a kind favor for the worn-out woman on the park bench start a conversation with any old anyone on the street. If you give of yourself to everyone and anyone, if you abandon the idea of your own "success," you will slake your thirst for selfish pleasure as you enter into communion with everything that is.

Joy will follow you like a shadow that never leaves."</lj-cut>
Music : digable planets :: le femme fetal
Emilio Sandoz
07 May 2007 @ 06:21 pm
Plenty of poets have praised the early-morning hard on
but then there's the early-morning piss:
an alarm clock blares, drunk shuffle to the door
lumber towards the loch where bright light and falling shorts herald
the coming of the Beast. Leary one eyed bastard spits at the sun
and unleashes uncoordinated genocide
on tile, carpet, and the bold look of kohler.

After a few seconds, you begin to breathe again
the ongoing catharsis starts sounding a bit like a aum
so you relax, breathing deeply, allowing last night's bloodstream
to waft up from the bowl:
citrus clove and chlorophyll
digested hops and remalted barley
waste oil and coffee
meanwhile memories clang about each smell
beating drums and chests and children as Paroheth rips and the piss roars on--
this is punctuated equilibrium, ugly and bright.

Lost in the middle of all this, you'll cough and scratch your thigh
maybe spell-check that fading dream
hit that handle, the contents flushed into darkness--
beside tampons condoms and storm drain styrofoam,
your liquid yesterday drained across concrete slick with pepsi and blood
crushed through screens and tanks and processing vats
then the anaerobic vultures, osmosis antennae
massive underground plants. Nothing endures, everything survives--
each speck and sin rent asunder!--
chemical divinity in hydrogen, oxygen,
and slow sand filtration. Eventually it all gets reassembled
packaged for the suburbs and taxed by the state
a dash of fluoride and dark matter and it's ready to stand still
waiting in listless silence while silicon levers prepare fiberglass gates
that will send water rushing through tunnels and tubes and taps...

Of course, your thoughts aren't quite so extended--the only critical thinking needed now
concerns the likelihood of vomiting and the temperature of the shower
which you stumble into, still squinting, half-blind enough to miss the inscription
on the drain--CINCINNATI WATER BUREAU--but aware enough to scrub your balls
and wash your hair. To you the droplets pelting your back are nothing like
piss or shit or industrial waste, they are warm flakes of amniotic fluid
cushioning your sore arms, embracing your wrinkled dick,
streaming across your pockmarked skin screaming
"alive, alive, wake up you sack of shit
you are alive!"

this took several hours to re-write. the original version was about half as long and to be honest I don't know if I ruined it by extending it so much.
any thoughts or critiques would be very much appreciated; if you're interested in the original, it was originally posted here.

thank you for reading my poem.
Music : viking moses :: dancing by the water
Emilio Sandoz
25 March 2007 @ 03:26 pm
I have been happier, but I have never been so indefinably stable.
Music : vetiver :: I know no pardon
Emilio Sandoz
12 March 2007 @ 08:34 pm
you thought you were so stable and sane you thought there was nothing worth the worry but out of the darkness in the hallways of your hair something fat and suggestive has crawled into your ear and against your better judgment you find yourself thinking about all the times you said "it's nothing" when it wasn't and all the times you knew three friends were looking down on you right or wrong they did and that's all that matters if you clench your fists and close your eyes it doesn't go away--the thoughts and colours rise and fall on the off-black lids you never thought to thank

memories and probabilities scrape the tender flesh on your knees and neck if you spin yourself around and pick a number at random you'll realize it's the days or hours until she calls and says "I'm sorry, I can't take your obsessive nonsense any more, get out." it's not that you think it will happen it's that you know it could you know that every disaster has a "might" clinging to one of its letters the car's treads or her patience either one of them could give out at any moment and when you start to think about it how much do you not think about, how much do you hide in the corners of your skull?

january 11--march11
Music : four tet :: my angel rocks back and forth
Emilio Sandoz
13 February 2007 @ 06:23 pm
The ice and the snow
and the scent of shampoo that lingered on my favourite long-sleeved shirt
hemmed the edges of vision until it became all too easy to imagine
that I was peering across the lake at a distant future, 40 years off
where the snow soaked house with its forested backyard and icy gables belonged
not to a regional sales manager at P&G
but to a retired filmmaker
sequestered somewhere in the Adirondacks
40 miles away from anywhere
or anyone, living alone
mornings of coffee and canvas and handmade paint,
afternoons spent on poetry without periods, evenings
with baked apples and cinnamon ice cream
a charcoal stove and a cracked oil lamp
doing god knows what with the rest of his time
perhaps enduring a private battle with lung cancer
perhaps outliving a wife with unmatched brilliance
but regardless rising every morning to stand on the old red porch
stretching his arms to the edge of the clouds and
kissing the sun with smoke.
Music : ratatat :: swisha
Emilio Sandoz
10 February 2007 @ 12:19 am
"I have no words for how I feel right now.

six men in pink polka dotted jumpsuits walked into my room a few hours ago. they didn't ask any questions, they didn't tell me who they were, they just picked up my shit and moved it around.

:: you remember the disgusting grey apathy that no one's been able to lift for months?
one of them opened the window, the other five picked it up and heaved it out into the snow.

:: what about the self-loathing that's been leaning against my bed since... oh, I don't know, november of '99?
two pulled out staple guns and tacked it up on the wall, then talked about it like it was conceptual art or something. one said 'I think it represents our unconscious need for passionate love' and the other 'bull shit, it portrays the decay of reason in adolescent youth.' after a few moments of quiet contemplation, they hacked it apart with box cutters.

I suppose the above examples are the more 'dramatic' ones, but really, I'd say everything was pretty fucking dramatic. somehow, the six of them managed to fix everything in my room in some small way--my furniture all works better somehow, my speakers have never sounded this good before, my carpet is spotless, etc etc. I still can't figure out how they did it. they were here for all of, what, two hours? an hour and a half?

when they left, I followed them down the steps, out the garage door, and to their tiny silver van. with kind smiles and comments about the weather, they got in and drove away, leaving me happier than I've been since sophomore year, 8th grade, the terrible threes, conception whatever, the comparison is absolutely worthless to me right now, I'm too happy to try to understand anything besides the words 'holy fuck what just happened and when is it happening again.'"

we apologize if the above statement seems based around a poorly designed conceit; the author was attempting to blend elements of a Murakami short story and a Dr. Seuss children's book with a momentous occasion in his own life and well the sad truth here is that he's just not very good at metaphors. we've tried talking to him about this, but it didn't do a goddamn thing, he swears they all make sense.
Music : stars :: better be heaven
Emilio Sandoz
16 January 2007 @ 04:26 pm
Music : joni mitchell :: the priest
Emilio Sandoz
28 December 2006 @ 01:16 am
on a warm night in march on a dark disco floor I danced up a storm like I'd never before
every step in the book and then some that weren't listed for a song or two I felt nothing else existed

now if a dream curled at your feet you'd take it home and name it I'm struggling now to find something to blame it on
strobing effects or perhaps it was that dress but my eye was captured by a beautiful actress

now the minutiae is still in my memory writ large she danced nearer me with her coy entourage
she tugged at the scarf round her neck it hung loose she flung it and hung it from the disc jockey’s booth

but before I continue one moment’s reprieve I grant you dear audience a chance to leave
for my tale never ends in that it never started when the house lights came on I’d already departed

no not one word was spoken nor a glance exchanged when the sun rose next morning the world hadn’t changed
see we only touched elbows was the plain naked truth and I can’t even backup my story with proof

we only touched elbows, felt our bones clank together then the moment was over in a falling feather
an accident sure, but it happened I’ll wrangle our elbows did touch our arms at right angles

now there’s naught the nosey observer could’ve guessed but the rock and roll drummer inside of my chest
everyone’s seen her films and I whisper her name that we only touched elbows is not such a shame

for the world’s getting crowded and I can’t see a lapse it’s not about leaving spaces but filling the gaps
we’re all bumbling and knocking strangers all the time sometimes we don’t notice, mostly we don’t mind

a foot brushes your ankle on a peak hour bus someone’s hand on the small of your back as they pass
a shopkeepers fingers while handing your change can lightly brush yours without feeling too strange

but why I felt so alive I can’t quite determine there could be a world to explain it in German
some take others home, waking up to regret it we only touched elbows and I’ll never forget it
Music : darren hanlon
Emilio Sandoz
5 minutes and 15 seconds of this:

about six or seven minutes (extra) of this:

and 1 hour, 33 minutes, 42 seconds of this:

pretty much saved my sanity.

(a million thanks to each.)
Emilio Sandoz
20 December 2006 @ 12:00 am
How I Failed as an Independent Filmmaker

(or, "The essay that got me into film school at NYU")

::: :: : Everything below is taken directly from my application. : :: :::

A Brief Note:
"My producer" refers to Patrick Wilson, my best friend.

     My producer and I leaned on the metal bars that separated us from the Los Angeles skyline. The city was a giant smear of golden light- its downtown heart ablaze in neon, its arteries pulsing with a crimson brake light tide. For a few seconds, we stood in silence, both of us paralyzed by the city’s awful brilliance. The moment lasted until my producer lit a cigarette. Then, observing my continued silence, he nudged me in the gut and wagged the pack of Camels in my face. “Ehh, mah boy? Nice pack o’ smokes ta’ get ridd’ada pain?” His cheeky smile and exaggerated wink made his facetiousness painfully obvious (the accent was ridiculous, and he knew I had sworn off smoking). It got a laugh out of me though, and that was all it was meant to do.
       “Now would be one hell of a time to start,” I said, turning my back to the city. “Stress plus emotional loss plus cigarette equals nicotine addiction.”
     “Equals Wong Kar-wai filmmaking,” he added, grinning again and exhaling a massive cloud in the direction of the Hollywood sign. “Listen, think of it this way- now you’ve got a story for the grandkids.”
       I smiled back. “What a damn good one this will be: How I Failed in the Making of My First Independent Film.”
Continued beneath the cutCollapse )
Music : franco battiato : ruby tuesday
Emilio Sandoz
An old friend of mine (brokendiamond) just posted a fucking amazing entry about relationships, "nice guys," feminine passion and the suspension of love.

I can't think of anyone on my friends page who shouldn't read this, but I can think of plenty of people who definitely should: the grace, sinzi, lana, ellen, patrick types will read and think "fuck yeah, that's true" because they know it already; everyone else will read it and think "well shit" and hopefully also realize how goddamn right she is.

Read it here: http://brokendiamond.livejournal.com/116900.html
Music : andrew bird : nervous tick motion of the head
Emilio Sandoz
17 November 2006 @ 10:53 pm
okay waiting four and a half hours for that cab was definitely worth it.

my driver quickly woke me up with a spirited attack on the "dumbass dispatch bitch" who gave him the wrong address

as we make our way to the highway, he let loose on the organizational methods of the taxicab industry in cincinnati- explaining exactly how the system had fucked both of us over that day. this was followed by riveting commentary on the piece of shit grand vic he has to drive, and the assholes he works with

by the time we got to kentucky, I had laughed my ass off a solid six or seven times. I asked him to pull into the liquor store, so I could get a wick for my vietnam zippo

(he needed smokes, so he was all too happy to oblige.)

outside the store, he surprised me with a "lil present" (one of those drink-sized bottles of carolans), for his "favorite white boy." delighted, I thanked him, saying "not to be a racist prick, but you can always trust a brother to help you buy shit"

"naw man, not racist at all, it's like keeping a white boy in the car for when you get pulled over."

we headed back to the cab, where we engaged in a passionate discussion of American racism, touching on the black power movement of the 1960s, the protesters downtown and each other's personal experiences

we got to my house around 9:30. as I gave him all the money I had, amaretta tore out her doggy door and proceeded to flip a shit

"FUCK MAN, close the door! she smells nigger!"

we were both laughing so hard it took me another ten seconds just to get out of the car. before I left, I asked his name-

Music : azure ray : no signs of pain
Emilio Sandoz
15 November 2006 @ 12:03 am
You took me to a restaurant I couldn't afford and paid my bill. You talked about Otto von Bismark, your first marriage, Ken Kesey, the devastation of Tibet and The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. You said "I've met with presidents and plumbers, executives and mechanics, the incredibly rich and the incredibly poor and I've realized all that doesn't make a goddamn difference, people are people, it doesn't matter what they have." You listened to my ramblings about Metta Bhavana and the future of independent film and sipped your lime cocktail and smiled- it wasn't the "aww look, the kid cares about shit" smile I'm used to, but an appreciative, open-minded, genuinely-interested-in-what-I-was-saying smile that made me think holy fucking shit what I would give for you to be my father. You said something about that, something about adopting me, and I looked down and made a little joke that disguised the sincere longing I hope to God I managed to keep out of my voice. We talked about my parents' divorce, your divorce, your daughter, and how much we adored her. You said that out of all your children she was without a doubt the one you believed in most, the one who you felt was special in a way the others couldn't come close to, and at that moment I saw a familiar light in your eye that I know all too goddamn well. We toasted her happiness, you signed the check, and we left to go see a movie.

Thank you.
Music : pet shop boys : rent
Emilio Sandoz
08 November 2006 @ 11:05 pm
I want to scream so loud I explode into ten thousand fucking million pieces
let my bones evaporate in a cloud of cricket wings and macinac fog
no bloody mess, no godawful preservatives, no reconstructive surgery on the wrists
(they pumped my uncle full of chemicals to make him look inhuman
his cassock and long white alb were like some sick costume
shut the casket you fuckers, he's gone)
everything broken down into little specks of gold
dust motes, almost impossible to see.
let me sink into the space between the feathers of a cardinal,
into the popping holes in the tide-struck brown beach sand
into the cracks in the curve of your trembling teenage lips.
I want no part in suicide, I desire a clean and effortless absorbtion
into the thundering pulse of Earth's
invisible blood.

yesterday I saw an owl consume a small bird
I think I must have been dreaming, because the two were suspended mid-flight:
I watched the owl swoop down and almost grab the sparrow in its claws
and at the instant it should have happened
the normal, every-night dream kicked in again.
there isn't a day I don't spend living in that second
that moment right before, when the silent puff of air hitting the curve of my speckled brown neck lets me know
I am about to die

the car accident was a more tangible example
1/1000 chance of surviving, even with the seatbelt, so says the cop
and of course there'll be a poem about that at some time
but now all I can think about is the overwhelming sense of what-the-fuck
is this really my life
and why won't someone tell me why I can't have the only thing that takes the owl away?

ps: grace please let's do this again... the feeling I got as I drove away from your house is something I need so badly right now
Music : sufjan stevens : you are the rake
Emilio Sandoz
03 November 2006 @ 01:13 am
I want to ravage someone.
I want to make someone feel so goddamn good she can't even speak.
I'd like to take a bottle of southern comfort and empty it on the contents of my little Japanese box
seppuku for the master, self-immolation for a stimulating change of pace.
The next three days should be spent picking clovers and breaking old records
I'll settle for a carpet bomb campaign on Jerusalem's temple mount. Goodbye, holy of holies, hello, Amelia Earhart.
About that ravaging-
I don't want soft linen
or any fucking candles
I want a barn, a hay loft and a hole in the roof so she can stare at whatever stars light pollution hasn't sodomized yet.
When was the last time you threw yourself into a ball pit?
You must've been seven, maybe eight
do you rememer how that felt, the soft caress of mottled plastic and communicable disease?
I bit a kid once
for months afterward, I was convinced the devil had whispered in my ear.

as soon as someone refills my coffee I'm going to take a long sip so that whatever pissant civilization has sprung up on my tongue will be consumed in fire
I don't like their culture, their foreign policy disgusts me,
it's time someone razed their pathetic little longhouse to the ground.
I will fill an ark with horseflies and sugar in the raw and then sink it with a cruise missile.
(if only noah had posessed the nuclear submarine.)
I think I'm about done with church bells and circumnavigation
goodbye Amerigo
goodbye, Ferdinand
the Northwest Passage is a dream we need to lose
I'm so sorry
I would've joined you, John, the scurvy wasn't so bad
but this lead poisoning is fucking killing me.
Emilio Sandoz
18 October 2006 @ 11:17 pm
Medication, OhioCollapse )
Music : Damien Jurado
Emilio Sandoz
I walked out of The Esquire, still shocked from the experience of Jesus Camp and in a pretty good mood to appreciate a few hours in Sitwell's. Seeing a scarred, bearded man in a rippling black overcoat warmed my heart, because his fingers were painting a trembling solo on his acoustic guitar. Cold be damned, this was worth staying outside. I sat down beside him and ran lines in my head for a while, while a few feet away the song poured from his strings. Eventually, the music faded away, and the guitar slipped back into its bag.

I looked up from my script and thanked him for playing. "Oh," he said, and smiled.

A few seconds later he turned to me and asked, "Are you going to be here a while?"

"Yeah, sure, I'll watch your guitar."

"Ah, thanks." He smiled again and wandered in for a drink.

(sajfsjfs;lfjweiwk;klasdv;q9f;kl fuck I love clifton)
Current Location: Sitwell's Coffeehouse
Emilio Sandoz
27 September 2006 @ 11:13 pm
two stories above the rain-drenched streets where children sell papers and handjobs for sixpence each where the quiet monks pour lighter fluid on their arms and legs but leave their faces dry where watermellon rinds and pineapple cores crawl on the backs of devoted wall street ants where storm drain lids shake from the breath of twelve thousand running men, them panting for release as they rush down covered tunnels towards a far-off seashore brimming with the salty foam of sexual loss where twenty-dollar bills float in rivulets through alleyways past dumpsters full of abandoned infants where the colorless smoke of wormwood and datura beat ancient chants into a young boy's quivering skull where the homeless open their arms at nine am for sobbing orphan girls who desperately need these men who smell like lice and sweat and their father's best cologne there is an oval chapel window made of tin solder and beer bottle glass with just enough translucence to allow some stained sunlight in that barely illumes the many plants and flickering candles scattered around broken pews and ruined canvases that lean against four crumbling walls covered in polaroids, paintings and poems connected through synapses of speaker wire and prayer flags suspended above a green and black cherokee blanket under which I would give the entire aforementioned world to hold you for half an hour of whispered secrets and sufi poetry until the candles flicker out one by one and we fall asleep in darkness, us breathing in concert with the passing storm outside
Emilio Sandoz

four days ago, I drove cross country in a blue convertible.
my best friend fell asleep in the passenger's seat
so I put on the album leaf and stared at the sky.
trees surrounded us
while rain pounded our thin canvas roof
'till I couldn't see the front of the car.
as we passed through rockford, I nodded off at the wheel
then had a dream about you and I.
You took me snowshoesing in the rockies
I took you to sliding rock and the cape lookout coast.
we ran into the waves at venice beach
wound up in a smoke-filled monastery near oro shima
and fell asleep on the frozen channel water.
we awoke under seven feet of snow
buried close, thanking our gods and our bodies
for the air pocket they'd made.

I woke up in Indianapolis
passed by lighted parks, noisy coffeshops,
concrete buildings, and seven homeless men.
I saw your face in the high windows
so I tried to show Patrick
but he wouldn't move an inch.
eventually, I found I-94, took it East towards Cincinnati
and fell asleep in oconee,
Music : The Mountain Goats : Get Lonely
Emilio Sandoz
i seriously contemplate taking the $2500 saved up from bonefish grill and using part of it to buy a one-way ticket to someplace where they don't speak english then using the rest to secure myself as a gardener or stable boy or somethingelseoutdoorsey on a wealthy family's estate. i've also considered running away to the woods and spending the money on supplies for a small cabin and a vegetable garden, but recently i've decided to put off the subsistence farming years of my life until i'm at least twenty-six or twenty-seven. it's something that really should be done after your first marriage has failed and at least two of your life dreams have shattered to pieces right before your eyes (and no one of them cannot be the marriage.)
Emilio Sandoz
I was late to advisement (so was Christian). Grace gave me a wedgie. Mr. Stayton told me off. Ms. Rosero tried to avoid me. Sean called me a "complete fag, a total homo." I made someone a mixtape. And Christian, Patrick and I went to Ault Park after school.

Everything is back to normal again.
Current Location: work
Music : Stars ~ On Peak Hill
Emilio Sandoz
A girlfriend, a cinematography class, a few bottles of whiskey, complete independence from adult supervision, a beautiful view of Los Angeles, pleasant reconnection with grace, a wine cellar of exquisite herbal blends, an upcoming film starring two incredible French film actors, a three dollar bus pass to venice beach, a 5 million dollar restaurant as a location, a pretty funny roommate.

these were inconceivable things, a few months ago

and now I don't appreciate them nearly enough.

I sit here and eat my Terriyaki-Lychee noodles

and stare at the letters "CA CASH REFUND" on the bottle in front of me.
Music : BrownieChill 4.3
Emilio Sandoz

         "I felt like it was about beauty."

                           "I could be way off, but it seemed like it was about Catholicism."

                    "It seemed like she was someone from the past, someone you really cared about who's gone."

                            "Who was your actress? She was so beautiful."

              "She seemed very... flirtatious. I don't know if that was your intention or her nervousness about acting, but more than once I felt like she was flirting with us, the audience...

                      ... maybe that was just directed towards the cameraman, I don't know, but it came across that way in the film."

              (er, not quite, pablo)
Music : Explosions in the Sky ~ Remember Me as a Time of Day
Emilio Sandoz

: : : the applause dies down. : : :

       "okay so, someone asked us to play this song."

                 "they were supposed to remind me, and even though no one did, I still remembered..."

                                    "well, this is going to make one kid really happy."

"this is a song."

: : : The opening riff of "New Hampshire" begins. : : :

Music : god, matt pond pa
Emilio Sandoz
27 May 2006 @ 11:50 pm

                                                        Phone in one hand
                                                          thin plastic cup in the other
                                                            she sat down

                                                 and hit on me.

                                                                   I guess this is what they call "coming full circle."Collapse )

Current Location: Barstow
Music : Matt Pond PA ~ Measure 3
Emilio Sandoz
From Thomas Hobbe's "Of the Natural Condition of Mankind:"

    From this equality of ability arises equality of hope in the attaining of our ends. And therefore if any two men desire the same thing, which nevertheless they cannot both enjoy, they become enemies; and in the way to their end (which is principally their own conservation, and sometimes their delectation only), endeavor to destroy or subdue one another. And from hence it comes to pass that where an invader has no more fear than another man's single power, if one plant, sow, build, or possess a convenient seat, others may probably be expected to come prepared with forces united to dispossess and deprive him, not only of the fruit of his labor, but also of his life, or liberty. And the invader again is in like danger of another.

From Maria Doria Russell's The Sparrow:

    Before, he was aware of the clarity, the singleness of purpose, the concentration of energy, the gifts bestowed by the discipline. Now, he was aware in some much deeper way, not of sexual famine, which was familiar, but of the loss of human intimacy, the sacrifice of human closeness. He felt with an almost physical pain what it would mean to renounce his last opportunity to love Sofia...
    So here it was. A time to ratify or to repudiate a vow made in youth and ignorance, to be lived out in maturity and in full understanding. A time to weigh the extraordinary and spiritual and fathomless beauty that God had shown him against the ordinary and worldly and incalculable sweetness of human love and family. A moment to consider if he would trade everything he had hoped for and had been given as a priest for everything he yearned for and desired as a man.
Music : Bruce Springsteen ~ Brilliant Disguise
Emilio Sandoz
Lent is a prime example of Christianity's nonstop desire to give it's followers instructions for things they should be doing all by themselves. Between Confession, Lent, and the Nicean Mass, the old Holy See can get pretty damn demanding. But you may as well use it as an excuse for something: losing weight, for instance, or cutting back on a completely unneccesary pastime that consumes hours and hours of time better spent making up for an abysmal first semester.


The rules are simple. I can respond to anything in this entry, my last entry, or anyone's comments to me up until tommorrow. It's pathetic that I have to wean myself off it, but really, my addiction is full-blown. We'll see how this goes.

f/8.0, 1/1000
Music : Red House Painters ~ Have You Forgotten
Emilio Sandoz
"After graduating from Harvard he went to work as a coal miner, urging his working-class brothers to organize, in order to get better pay and safer working conditions... there had been some sort of dust-up on a picket line, and he had just testified about it in court. The judge interrupted the proceedings to ask Powers Hapgood why, with all his social and economic and educational advantages, he had chosen to lead such a life. And Powers Hapgood replied, 'Why, because of the Sermon on the Mount, sir.'"</center></small>
       I love that quote. It's just as good as the poster in Maisel's room: "Preach the Gospel to all the world- and if neccessary, use words." (St. Francis of Assisi) Religion classroom posters are usually coated with more filth than anyone without mysophilia wants to see, but that one shatters the mold.

       It doesn't matter if you're Christian. It doesn't matter what you think's going to happen when you die. I don't care, and if I live to ninety, I won't care then either. Live your life by being as good as you possibly can to every other human around you. Give your bitter enemy a kind nod of respect, give an old friend a surprise christmas present, give a stranger a conversation in the hall. I cannot describe how happy these things make me, nor how unhappy I am when I forget to follow them. Religion works for me because I like it, because it makes it easier. It gives me a rough scaffold that stands strong when an unexplainable blast of human cruelty hits me square in the face. When someone says they don't like "my god," I typically react the same way I would if they'd told me they didn't appreciate a novel or film I'd recommended them. I don't know what works for you, but damn I'd love to hear about it.

       Me, I just have this crazy idea that war is ridiculous, friends are better than sex and if everyone would shut up and listen to ourselves a little more often, we'd all live with so much less stupid angst.

f/2.8, 1/30
Music : All My Loving (Piano tribute to McCartney/Lennon)
Emilio Sandoz
Today, I learned that of all the applicants to the USC School of Film Production, only 2% are accepted. Today, I think I saw someone learn my secret. Today, someone stole my breath away.

The euro test, the shattered glance, the drosophilia- these all take second place. What matters most is what you take for yourself as the moments that make you dream, that give you something you've never had before, that make you fall in love. That's all we are, that's all you need.

What did you do today?

(The title is Vonnegut)
Music : Kronos Quartet ~ Maraire: Kutambarara ("Spreading")
Emilio Sandoz
22 February 2006 @ 10:08 pm
       I decided yesterday that I love it when women pick up their phones with a soft, affectionate tone of voice. I never fail to be surprised. First it's ringing, then it's ringing again, then I'm planning what I'll say in my message if she doesn't pick up then I'm trying to remember whether or not she has one of those answering machines that lets me hit "1" and re-record it until I'm satisified she'll enjoy what I've left her then all of a sudden whoa it's her, it's her with that warm and welcoming voice that's as surprisingly comforting as a blanket fresh from the dryer. "Heyyy ryann," she says, and I smile. If this is followed up with a "ohh I was thinking of you today because..." or a "oh! I just finished reading this book and...", that just makes it better. Oh, and in re-reading this first paragraph, I've noticed how conspicious all the shes and hers are. If it sounded like I was talking about someone specific, I wasn't. (promise promise.)

       If you go to Mr. Kelly and ask him about your essay, he'll probably help you with an idea. If you're holding a book he's read and enjoyed, he'll dictate an outline for you. It works like magic. Don't be too obvious about it; tuck the miracle worker under your arm or behind a TI-83 or something and see if he makes a passing comment. If he does, you're golden. I suspect it also helps if the book was recently released, and picking something translated probably scores you extra points too.

       A cop drove past me yesterday. I was outside reading Sedaris while I waited for a UPS truck. My body tensed when I first looked up and saw the cruiser; I was secretly terrified when he slowed down right in front of my house. There is a slight hill there, enough to make a careful police officer slow his vehicle, but I wasn't thinking of that at the time.
Music : Matt Pond PA ~ New Hampshire
Emilio Sandoz


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Music : The Weakerthans ~ Psalm for the Elks Lodge Last Call
Emilio Sandoz
I don't know what this is. It's this... this good feeling, this hidden-in-the-background, all around improvement that's making everything so gentle-smile a-okay. I love it. Is this what everybody feels like normally? Am I just shifting up from mediocre? Befriending Grace again isn't off to some incredible start; my parents are still who they are; I have not fallen in love. I really cannot figure out what it is. I didn't do anything, I didn't make any drastic decision to start behaving/feeling a certain way but it's there, barely noticeable totally obvious absolutely amazing. Actually no, "absolutely amazing" is not it at all. That's completely off. Hold on, let me think of some way to put it.

It's like if, every morning on the way to work, you walk past a mural that for whatever reason you just cannot bring yourself to like. Some pisspoor color management, a bad sense of proportion, something off about it that just ruins the art for you. Then one morning you walk past the mural, headphones on scarf-round-your-neck a "Morning Becomes Eclectic" broadcast playing in your ear everything good but then you stop, tilt your head, and see something totally different. Someone, maybe the artist maybe god-knows-who came along and subtly edited the painting. Blended a few colors here, defined a shape a little more there, did something that makes you stop and strafe and squint your eyes and realize that you really, really like what you're seeing. Just a, "mm, that's... really good" feeling. Stop moving, stand hands-in-pockets still then smile and turn the volume up more than just a little bit. Turn, walk away, then think about it at 2:26 am when you're drifting off to sleep.


Maybe it's just mono.
Music : Ben Lee ~ No Right Angles
Emilio Sandoz
18 January 2006 @ 05:08 pm
Influenza strikes with the most beautiful timing.

Emilio Sandoz
14 January 2006 @ 09:08 pm
I'd never grilled pork tenderloin before, so I was concentrating pretty hard on not fucking it up when I heard the scream. It was a little before 8:00, and halfway through January, 8:00 means you can't see too far in the night. I spun around, blinking off the heat, trying to listen above my dog's barking to figure out if what I'd heard was real. I wasn't sure if it was a freak burst of imagination or something real but either way it had sounded like the sudden shriek of a child in trouble. It had come so softly, so casually on the wind, that I was almost completely certain I hadn't heard it at all. I turned back to the grill and Civil Disobedience, and eventually, Amaretta laid down again too.

Seven minutes later, I froze. Another gust of wind had brought the words "someone... help me" to my right ear. My dog started barking again; this time, the one across the lake did too. I dropped the grilling fork and went to the gate, unlatched it, and ran down the steps. Amaretta followed me as far as her invisible fence would let her; she'd stopped barking but I couldn't see her face and she was perfectly still. A few more steps and I made it to the edge of the water, peering into the moon's reflection and checking beneath the reeds. Absolutely nothing. I walked along, past the edge of our property, starting to feel a little bit foolish as I called out things like "hello" and "where are you?". After a few more minutes, I walked away, shaking my head and trying to convince myself I was just being an idiot. When I came back, one side of the pork was overdone and the thermometer was quietly melting away.

I'll know tomorrow morning in the paper or I'll never know at all.

Click to enlarge

(Click to enlarge.)
Music : Jimi Hendrix ~ Castles Made of Sand
Emilio Sandoz

Here is a lesson in creative writing.

     First rule: Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermpahrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is is show you've been to college.
     And I realize some of you may be having trouble deciding whether I am kidding or not. So from now on I will tell you when I'm kidding.
     For instance, join the National Guard or the Marines and teach democracy. I'm kidding.
     We are about to be attacked by Al Qaeda. Wave flags if you have them. That always seems to scare them away. I'm kidding.
     If you want to really hurt your parents, and you don't have the nerve to be gay, the least you can do is go into the arts. I'm not kidding. The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.

        -Kurt Vonnegut,
         A Man without a Country
Music : the soft sound of a child's laughter.
Emilio Sandoz
26 December 2005 @ 11:19 pm

How come I've never seen you people before?

Because we are the people you do not see. We are the ones who drive your cars, clean your rooms, and suck your cocks.

- - - - -

       An illegal Nigerian immigrant becomes entangled in the black market trade of human organs. Sound gritty enough? Add in Audrey Tatou, a drunk Russian doorman, the guy who directed The Grifters and some beautiful photography and you've got one of my new favorite films. Please, go see it. Or better yet, sidle on down to Kentucky and we'll watch it together. It is so good.

- Dirty Pretty Things -

Emilio Sandoz
18 December 2005 @ 07:00 pm
My room looks like some kind of freakish cross between santa's workshop, the american eagle warehouse and a drug dealer's basement scrap heap.

christmas at last.
Music : TSO ~ A Mad Russian's Christmas
Emilio Sandoz
09 December 2005 @ 01:46 am
Let us pause for our own intentions.

like a sudden sharp inhale
silence rings throughout the church
stealing the breath, the attention
of every sunday apostle.
the agnostics and the faithful,
the sometimes-gos and the for-the-kids
stand silent in their pews
suddenly focused, suddenly religious
as their 'intentions' come to mind.
a daughter in uniform, a son who won't be home
in time this christmas eve. an aunt with cancer,
a sister in prison, a father
too drunk to show for mass.
everyone's got something, they say
and for a few seconds only
prayers rise like precious incense
from every mortal soul.
unbidden and unplanned, untainted and unstained
each pierces through the silence
then soars above the roof
to find its way to Heaven's gate
and kiss the ear of God.

Lord, hear our prayer.
Music : Gradual for the Feast of the Holy Confessor (Mode 2)
Emilio Sandoz
05 December 2005 @ 07:12 am
It's 7:12 AM, I haven't gone to bed yet, and the printer beside me is spooling off 9 pages of Kelly Essay. In this strange haze of exhaustion, a memory drifts through my mind. I haven't thought about it in ages. Who remembers?

"I sincerely apologize for using inappropriate language in my Class Board election speech. It was immature and wrong, and I deeply regret hurting anyone's feelings. Please forgive me. Thank you."
Weather : sucks.
Music : the mixtape I just made for Mr. Kelly