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How to Build an Evil Empire in 12 Easy Steps; Or, A Suburbanite's Great Escape

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What I Believe...
American Civil Liberties Union
Planned Parenthood
United Nations
Americans United for the Separation of Church and State

January 29th, 2006

05:15 am
There's something very strange about the state of mind that I'm in right now. I'm wired...every physical impulse I have is telling me that I should be going to bed...it's 5:15 in the morning. I have to start classes in a week. I have quite a bit to do. But I'm still here. I'm still awake. My mind won't slow down...it won't stop racing.

The night is beautiful. Even though it's no more than 40 degrees outside...it's raining...it's windy...it's still so beautiful. There's absolutely no point in slowing down and shuffling off to bed.

I've just been tired this week...I've felt physically exhausted. I've lost maybe 10 pounds over the course of the month from a combination of a lot of things...mainly stemming from an abnormal diet and less than regular eating and sleeping schedules. I'm sitting here eating cold, left-over pasta that I think I made yesterday afternoon, but I'm not sure. Everything is starting to blend together, and I can't quite tell the difference between Monday night and Thursday night, or any night for that matter.

I never realized how fake so many things were. Maybe this is too profound, but so much in life is so pathetically insignificant. My thoughts, feelings, and life have been plagued by this image that I've been battling against for so long. I don't deny that I am the way I am because of where I grew up and lived for so long...I made some great friends that I never want to lose touch with...but that world...that stupid suburban wasteland is so insignificant. It's so worthless. I can't apply myself to it, and I never want to go home.

As I type this I feel better. Lately I've been wondering whether this depressed feeling has just been from an over abundance of time to think, or a lack of really close friends...but now I feel like I truely understand all of this. I've been down on myself because of the image that I've been trying to break away from. That immaculate suburban world is no place to live...it's no place to feel like you're taking your own steps with your own thoughts and using your own creativity.

I can't decide whether this is a high point in my life because I've discovered this...or if it's a low point because so much of my life was wasted with silly little games. I love my friends, and they know who they are...when I think back to my life in Illinois, they are the ones I think about, even if I've lost touch with them. I've said it so many times before, but I find salvation in connecting with people...in being around people that make me feel alive.

It's so easy to dismiss my lifestyle as out of control or meaningless...no, I don't believe in God. No, I don't live a substance-free existance. No, I don't identify with growing up, getting a job, marrying someone, having children, and "settling down." There's joy in that, I know...so many people can find joy in it...but it doesn't make it right. Nothing is right...everything is your own...your own experience, your own intuition, your own perception.

I felt like I opened up my eyes this summer. I felt like I truly got to know who was there for me and who I can identify with, even if they don't follow the same sort of life as I do. Finding happiness and satisfaction from friendships doesn't necessarily always have to involve comman traits. Nobody should close their minds...it's when people shut ideas out that I stop identifying with them. Life is worthless in homogenity. Experience things. Love things. Don't hide in the same mundane existance...don't shut out ideas because they're not your opinion or your religion or your "beliefs". Why live unless you want to experience?...otherwise, you're just trodding through a routine.

When I went back to Batavia the last two times, I lost touch with a lot of things I used to love. It might have been the worst experience of my life. I'm not going to lie...living in Oberlin for the first couple months was a lot of trouble, a lot of thoughts I didn't want to think...but it's because so many people here HAD opened their eyes, and I shut them out at first because i was scared. I had that stupid mentality that if people had told us it was wrong eariler in life that is WAS wrong. I've found that there's nothing that absolute...at least, the only two things that I know are absolute are life and death...

People can live however they want to live...but I wonder how many people have been dilluted into thinking that life means something if they don't do anything. Not every person should change the world...but everyone should change their own world.

I want to go back to so many times in my life and tell people that THEY were wrong...I hate using that word, but I at least want to tell them that there's more...more to live for, more to see, more to life than just what an out-of-date book tells you, what your dogma outlines...or, if they do adhere to that, that they can exerience so much more fully.

I lacked a truly religious experience until last Saturday, but it wasn't a religious experience in any normal sense of the word. I guess it was more spiritual, but that still doesn't seem to do it justice...I guess what happened last Saturday is that I finally opened up completely and saw things in a different light...I saw the world...I understood so many things.

I feel like so many people want to live long lives, but, by doing so, so much of it is made pointless. It's made pointless by fights, by scuffles, by routines, by regiments, by pride, by a sense of all-being.

I'm only one person...I'm not everybody. I'm identifying with who I am. I'm living life quickly...but there's always time to slow down. There's always time to do anything...it's just your own thoughts that keep you from doing any of them.

Maybe sometime I'll return to this journal, but I don't want to right now. These are my thoughts...these are the things that define me and define my life. If people don't agree with them, that's fine...nobody has to agree with everything...

...but nobody has the right to tell me I'm wrong.

Nobody has the right to lecture me and tell me what I should be thankful for...I have a mind for a reason.

It was time to open up my eyes...to get rid of everything that was troubling me that stemmed from so much pain, suffocation, and a all-too-often bland existance. I'm thankful every day for the friends that I have, the people I have around me, and the people that are far away but still feel like our friendship is important enough to carry on.

Everybody can play their own little games and be who they want to be...I can't deny them of that. Good for them, and I'm happy they can find joy in whatever they believe.

This journal made me feel a lot better so many times during so much of the depression and emptiness I felt for so long...I think that's what was its purpose...but, not to sound pretentious, I think I've moved beyond that now.

Goodbye for now.

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January 24th, 2006

07:15 pm - All around the world...you've gotta spread the word.
I had this strange lapse into and out of reality when I woke up today. I started to feel as though I wasn't actually awake, and, if I was, I was living in a completely different perception of the world around me. It took me about 5 minutes to snap out of it and understand what was going on and why I had an extra blanket in my room...crazy.

I'm starting to get a little cabin-fever-ish here in my dorm...the weather's not actually nice enough to go outside and just sit around, and, even though all of my friends live relatively close to me, it's exceedingly hard to find them. Everybody's off trying to catch up on stuff that they should have been doing all month...it's making me start to wonder why I didn't procrastinate as much as they did.

Every time I eat now I get this dizzy feeling...I'm trying to figure out why. It doesn't really make any sense.

I'm starting to realize that there are a few certain people in the world and my life that make me want to be more grounded and more accepting than they are.

There are so many dead ends in life, and I don't know why people follow them so readily.

It's sleeting outside.

...something's not right about that.

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January 22nd, 2006

02:23 am - Ballet lane.
Today was one of those days that seemed as if you were walking through a painting. The colors were so vivid...the sky was so lucid...everything was beautiful. A couple friends and I took a walk through the arboretum, which was probably the best idea that anybody could have possibly come up with. The arb was a completely different world...it worked on a completely different level. There's something very unusual about seeing such vididness in the middle of January. It seemed as though nature was confused and the grass started to grow too early, and the world was far too green for the season. It was surreal.

I found myself wondering why people play such stupid, silly games with eachother. Why do it? Why bring yourself down with so many conflicts that can so easily be resolved? Sarcasm, anger, hatred...they're all in our heads. We can always be so condescending, so cutting, so bitter, so dismissal just because of simple, meaningless differences...but it's not worth it. We only have so much time ...why waste it playing games with eachother? Why waste it stuck in the same place? Why waste it thinking you have some absolute perspective on the world? The world is huge, the world is larger than anybody can ever imagine. All people need to just get out of their closed-in worlds and stop thinking they have the answers to all of life...they don't. I know I could never have any worldview because I'm a privelaged suburbanite who is just now stepping out and seeing the world and experiencing new things. The answers don't rest in the hands of any God...why would they? There is no God...it's just us. We create our own fate; we dictate who we are as human beings; we decide how and why people act the way they do.

We can sit and let our lives slip away, or we can accomplish things, see things, and feel things on completely different levels.

Why try and think everything was handed to us? There's nothing in that.

We created our world and our perceptions of it.

Step outside, for once, and see them.

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January 21st, 2006

11:49 am - ...time never lasts.
So I hung out with a bunch of hippies last night...it was interesting. I was talking to one for maybe 40 minutes about his paranoia that McDonald's has a satellite in space that mathematically figures out the most profitable places to put restaurants...which, regardless of whether or not it's true (he was a convincing speaker), is pretty hillarious. And then we (they) had a group discussion on the social implications of preservatives in food, and the pros and cons of both "natural flavors" and "artificial flavors"...I think they might have been hungry. I don't know. I feel like I shouldn't be thinking any of that was unusual...

I'm up earlier than usual. It's weird having so many hours of daylight...I feel like the world is a lot brighter than I imagined it before my string of nocturnal days...

...which is nice.

...I could just use some sunglasses.

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January 17th, 2006

04:53 pm - ...what your soul sings.
Today was the first day since I've gotten to Oberlin that I actually woke up at a normal hour...which isn't great, because that means I'll have to stay up a really long time to get through my early morning shift at work...I mean, sure, I could go to bed, but where's the joy in that?

I had an inkling to do something new today, so I decided to cook. I made tofu and pasta, and I'm very very proud of it. Besides the pancakes that I made on Sunday morning, it's the first thing I've ever actually cooked in my life. Plus, for once, I'll be eating something for dinner that's not Easy Mac, ramen, soup, or oatmeal...not that I have any real aversion to any of those...it's just nice to do something new.

I should really get back to the gym. I've been balancing all of the depression, boredom, sleep, and general solitude with frequent and long trips to the gym. I like to think that it keeps me sane, but, unfortunately, that's probably a long shot. This rotating sleep schedule has made me completely spiteful towards sunlight, and, it seems, whenever I'm up during the day, I get very little accomplished, at least it seems that way. Of course, all I really need to do in the next couple of weeks is keep writing music and find my way to the post-office to mail a few things.

There's the possibility that I'll be going back to Batavia tomorrow for a few days for reasons that I both resent and regret. I was thinking I'd not have to see Batavia again until this summer, but, it seems with some random string of terrible events that led to very bad consequences, I might find myself back in that town only two weeks after I left it. Although I know I should go (it's really too serious to miss), I don't think I'm going to. I'd much rather live here, disconnected from all of that. I feel like I'd be walking into a firestorm anyway.

It's nice here. I like being here and living and composing and doing things I normally wouldn't otherwise do. I feel free...I feel that, for once, I can actually live on my own terms. No schedules, no urgency...just time to enjoy.

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January 12th, 2006

03:13 am - ...at least you know you were taken by a pro.
Talk about your strange weeks...

I don't know whether it's the lack of protein, the lack of typical January-like weather, or the lack of sobriety in nearly everyone around me...but with the amount that has happened since I came back to Oberlin, it just doesn't feel like a mere 7 or 8 days. It feels like a month. 10 days of Winter Break felt like 2 months...time, I guess, has just decided to slow down.

Good for time...it was moving too quickly anyway.

What's the rush?

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January 9th, 2006

09:20 am - Brush the Cobwebs from the Sky...
I've tried to write something three times today. Once at 4:30 in the morning. Once at 5:30 in the morning. And once now. In other words, Kurt's nocturnal, and he keeps forgetting what he wants to talk about...

...sounds about right.

Around 6am I was antsy and hopped up on caffeine, so I decided to go work out at the gym. Some three and a half hours later, I'm showered, fitter, and drinking tea...trying to accomplish something that I've been meaning to do for a while: a worthwhile self-examination of my life.

It's funny being in Oberin over Winter Term...only about a quarter of the student body is on campus, and my best friends are all in far off places doing more interesting things than changing their sleep habits...which leaves a long string of people I should have talked to more that have all banded together to survive the month of January.

There's no meal plan.
There's no RA's.
And there's certainly no sense of urgency.

Basicaly this equates to me and my friends leading the perfect examples of the lives of "starving artists"...though we prefer the term "Bohemian." It's classier, and it takes our mind off of that "art" which we should be creating so that we can, instead, drink tea, stay up all night, and write our thoughts down along the way.

This is the first time I've seen the sun in nearly a week, now. There's something about the nighttime that is so much more soothing than the daytime could ever be...there's nothing harsh or absolute about the night. The world is quiet, dark, icy, and perfect. Nothing is there to bother you...nobody is awake...it gives one ample time to think, reflect, and gain some small form of absolution from the previous week, semester, year, or what-have-you.

Of course, I think this no-sunlight thing has started taking a toll on various parts of my life. I'm probably not getting as much Vitamin D in my system as usual...though I couldn't really tell you what Vitamin D does...if it does anything at all. I haven't shaven in over a week...and I don't know why not. It's either out of sheer curiosity, pure laziness, or complete lack of realization...and I'm pushing for the latter. Either way, before anybody of importance sees me again, the razor and shaving cream will both come out. Also, it's been nice to adopt my semi-faux-vegan lifestyle again...I didn't even know there was such thing as roasted sea salt...now I do.

There are still some things in life that I'm very unsure of, naturally. What Sharon and I exactly are...why I still haven't hiked on over to Barrows to see some people...that whole Lindsay situation...I'm glad of one thing, though. I spent my last night in Batavia with a perfect mix of nostalgia, hillarity, and commonality.

That's all that matters.

Everything else is just time spent.

...and this coming month?

A true break from everything.

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January 2nd, 2006

05:58 pm - ...going home? ...or leaving home? I'm confused.
Tomorrow I'm gone.

Tonight? I don't know.

...see you in July?


P.S. - This is me.

P.P.S. - This is me being sick of this town.

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December 31st, 2005

02:55 am
...not to be nostalgic or anything, but to be nostalgic for a second:

I don't really know what to think of this year. There were so many firsts, and so many lasts over the course of 2005, and I'm glad they all happened. I'm left here, sitting on my bed at 2am (though my computer says 3am...eastern time...woo!) recollecting on everything. I can't help but feel that I finally got away from all of this only to be dragged back to this place that I don't want to be...except little things have changed...

I don't have a car anymore. My hair is shaggier. When I turn my head really fast I get a splitting headache that lasts for about 20 seconds. I feel like I know more about the world, but I feel like I neglected so many things to learn. I'm stronger than I've ever been in my beliefs, and I feel like i have a firm grasp on the things that make me happy, sad, angry, anything. I feel like I finally got away from this life and I had to learn how to live like a Batavian for the last week, but, because of it, I know which of my friends truely mean something to me...and that was certainly worth the sometimes-annoying trip back to town.

I guess the only thing there is to do is look forward...to look at the future and try to understand what I'll become 3 days, 3 months, or 3 years from now.

I visited my old piano teacher today. It was a worthwhile experience, and it made me understand how far I've come in the last 2 years. I never dreamed of being a musician until I was a junior in high school...music was only a hobby for me. Now, it's my life. In two years, because of some fluke of breaking my finger, music has become my language. I worked myself to incredible lengths of anger and humiliation to get to where I am, and visiting Carol today made me realize this. I don't care if it sounds arrogant, it's true...it's not because of Carol (as she said), it's not because of any "God"...it's because of that work and that frustration that I know my limits, and I know just how much can happen in 2 short years.

Now, I kind of feel like I'm in "pause" until my real life starts playing again.

...might as well have some fun.

...and maybe have a decent New Years for once.

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December 29th, 2005

07:24 pm - ...Coffee. I need coffee.
I need to get out of here before this town kills me.

...which sounds kind of inconceivable.

...but it's not.

There are so many things that seem so ridiculous, and I can't figure out why.

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