Thursday, November 19, 2009

Tom and Huck

I read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer over my holiday and I found that it was quite quotable. Here are some of my favorite lines from the book! Some, I picked for the spirit that they carry, others for the beauty of the words. This book spoke to me, both in terms of Tom's curiosity and style and Huck's relentless grasp towards the simple life. They have a charm and power about them that I find inspirational and interesting; I envy it.

"He was boat, and captain, and engine-bells combined, so he had to imagine himself standing on his own hurrican-deck giving the orders and executing them"-pg 17

"His face lit up with the thought, and he said to himself that he wished he could be that child, if it was a tame lion."- pg 40

"Monday morning found Tom Sawyer miserable. Monday Morning always found him so because it began another week's slow suffering in school He generally began that day with wishing he had no intervening holiday, it made the going into captivity and fetters again so much more odious" pg 42

"Tom was suffering in reality now, so handsomely was his imagination working, and so his groans had gathered quite a genuine tone"- pg 44

"Huckleberry was cordially hated and dreaded by all the mothers of the town because he was idle and lawless and vulgar, and bad and because all of their children admired him so, and delighted in his forbidden society and wished they dared to be like him."-pg 46

"Tom's cheeks burned. He gathered himself up and sneaked off crushed and crestfallen." pg 88

"The climbing fire lit up their faces and threw its ruddy glare upon the pillared tree-trunks of their forest temple, and upon the varnished foliage and festooning vines. When the last crisp slice of bacon was gone, and the last allowance of corn pone devoured, the boys stretched themselves on the grass, filled with contentment. They could have found a cooler place, but they wouldnt not deny themselves such a romantic feature as the roasting campfire." pg93

"'You see a pirate dont have to do anything, Joe, when hes ashore, but a hermit he has o be praying considerable, and then he dont have any fun, anyway all by himself that way.'" pg 93

"'Id a good deal ruther be a pirate now that ive tried it.'" - pg 93

"It seemed to them in the end, that there was no getting around the stubborn fact that taking sweetmeats was only 'hooking' while taing bacon and ham and such valuables was plain, simple stealing- and there was a command against that in the Bible." -pg95

"They found plenty of things to be delighted with, but nothing to be astonished at." -pg 98

"Tom decided that he could be independent of Becky Thatcher now. Glory was sufficient He would live for glory." pg 124

"Tom took his whipping and went back to his seat not at all broken-hearted for he thought it was possible that he had unknowingly upset the ink on the spelling-book himself in some skylarking bout- he had denied it for form's sake and because it was custom, and he had stuck to the denial from principle." -pg133

"There is no school in all our land where the young ladies do not feel obliged to close their compositions with a sermon; and you will find that the sermon of the most frivolous and least religious girl in the school is always the longest and the most relentlessly pious." -pg 138

" Tom was a free boy again, however; there was something in that. He could drink and swear now, but found to his surprise that he did not want to. The simple fact that he could took the desir away and the charm of it." -pg142

"There comes a time in every rightly constructed boy's life when he has a raging desire to go somewhere and dig for hidden treasure." -pg 152

"Huck was willing. Huck was always willing to take a hand in any enterprise that offered entertainment and required no capital, for he had the troublesome superabundance of that sort of time which was not money." -pg 153

"'I don't know It if was mine I wouldnt hide it; id spend it and have a good time.'" -pg 153

"He had never seen as much as fifty dollars in one mass before and he was like all boys of his age and station in life in that he imagined that all references to 'hundreds' and 'thousands' were fanciful forms of speech, and that no such sums existed in the world." -pg168

"That drop was falling when the Pyramids were new; when Troy fell when the foundations of Rome were laid; when Christ was crucified; when the Conqueror created the British Empire; when Columbus sailed; when the massacre at Lexington was 'news'. It is falling now; it will still be falling when all things shall have sunk down the afternoon of history and the twilight of tradition, and have been swallowed up in the thick night of oblivion." -pg 204

"We've got it now, and we'll keep it quiet only we'll let Joe Harper and Ben Rogers in- because, of course theres got to be a gang, or else there wouldnt be any style about it. Tom Sawyer's Gang- it sounds splendid, dont it, Huck." -pg 207

"You take their watches and things but you always take your hat off and talk polite. They aint anybody as polite as robbers- you'll see that in any book." -pg 208

"Every 'haunted' house in St Petersburg and the neighbouring villages was dissected, plank by plank and its foundations dug up and ransacked for hidden treasures- and not by boys, but men- pretty grave, unromantic men, too, some of them." -pg 216

"The widder eats by a bell; she goes to bed by a bell; she gits up by a bell-everythings so awful reg'lar a body cant stand it' ' well, everybody does it that way, Huck.' 'Tom, it dont make no difference I aint everybody and I cant stand it. Its awful to be tied up so. And grub comes too easy- I dont take no interest in vittles that way." -pg 218

'Tom, being rich aint what its cracked up to be. Its just worry and worry and sweat and sweat and a wishing you was dead all the time. Now these clothes and suits me and this bar'l suits me, and I aint ever going to shake 'em anymore.'' -pg 219

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

VIDEO: WashU flashmob confronts Coal Executives

Something loud is afoot on our sleepy campus in St. Louis. Washington University students are beginning to re-discover what connects them. Students that have never successfully worked together have just executed the largest direct action on our campus. The target: big coal’s influence on our institution.

At the end of this summer, Washington University appointed two new members to its board of trustees, Gregory Boyce, CEO of Peabody Energy, and Steven F. Leer, CEO of Arch Coal. As you most likely know, they are the one-two of coal mining who together preside over 13 billion tons of proven coal reserves. They are both deeply involved in mountaintop coal mining, destroying communities and ecosystems across Appalachia. For years they have lobbied against positive protective legislation, including the Clean Air and Clean Water acts. Now, they check our chancellor’s every action and shape the future of our institution. This comes in the wake of the formation of the Consortium for Clean Coal Utilization (CCCU) last December. This research group, funded by (guess) Peabody, Arch Coal, and the local utility Ameren, plans to build a 1 megawatt demonstration carbon capture & sequestration plant on our campus. To read more about the truth, see here.

And this last Monday, our administration organized “America’s Energy Future,” a symposium to which Steven F. Leer of Arch Coal and Fred Palmer of Peabody Energy, among others, were invited to discuss our energy “future.” It was a five-hour-long symposium culminating in a reception in the new student center (to see a program description, see here). We saw presentations on “Green Coal” where earth movers the size of houses were depicted moseying through fields. There were a couple champions of reality, but the overarching theme was deceit. There was nearly zero representation from renewable energy companies. What is the “future” according to our administration? Well, it looks a lot like our present: coal, oil, and nuclear. This is not OUR Energy Future.

To coincide with the conference, we held a rally, a press conference, an alternate symposium titled “OUR Energy Future,” and executed a silent flash mob and banner-drop to challenge Big Coal on campus!

We had unsuccessfully lobbied to change the name of the Consortium for Clean Coal Utilization and remained silent since the appointing of the trustees. We really couldn’t take it anymore. We saw an opportunity- and they just made it so easy.

A coalition of student groups, including the student-run farm The Burning Kumquat, Students for Endowment Transparency, and Green Action planned a direct action to challenge our university’s failure to recognize the legitimacy of renewable energy. During their plush reception in our student center, over 100 students entered the building and dispersed themselves among the assembled crowd. Along the balconies lining the reception were five two-person banner drop teams. On a signal, four teams dropped their banners over the balcony, baring messages including “Coal Is Never Clean” and “Our Energy Future.” At the same time, the 100 assembled students raised their fists to display yellow wristbands made of global warming crime scene tape and held up yellow signs with the “Beyond Coal” logo. The final banner was dropped over the main staircase bearing the words “Power Beyond Coal” painted among students’ signatures. A student addressed the silent crowd with a megaphone, “We present to you a banner bearing our signatures as a petition on behalf of this and future generations. We will not stand aside while executives from Arch Coal and Peabody paint a dirty energy future for our school and our nation. We believe that America's real energy future uses renewable, socially responsible energy sources," and invited them to our alternate symposium. It was fantastic- ethereal- and it’s all on tape.

Where do we go now? Our Student Union Senate plans to pass a resolution denouncing Washington University’s use of the “clean coal” marketing slogan, supporting Monday’s direct action, and demanding the university change the name of the Consortium for Clean Coal Utilization. We will maintain the alliances we have developed and work on involving more students to feed off of the energy we have created. We will push forward, gaining momentum in our rally against the unjust actions and policies of our administration. This is the beginning- AND WE WILL CONTINUE TO KICK ASH!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Bourdain Ordained

Some of you may or may not know that Anthony Bourdain is absolutely one of my heroes for his brazen lust for life, foul mouth, and traveling culinary adventures. Recently, I got a chance to read his book Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly. I found his titillating expose of his experiences working in various kitchens across New York City to be absolutely enthralling both for his debauched lifestyle at the time and his compellingly pure view of food. For Bourdain, food is all about pleasure, the physical sensation and satisfaction that comes from eating a simple and carefully crafted meal. He doesnt care about fancy pretensions, expensive ingredients, or elaborate, adjective-laden menu items. Food is purely and simply for oral enjoyment and satisfaction. And that's mostly how I feel.

I'm pretty into food and definitely pretty into cooking, so coming across a chef who shares some of my sentiments regarding these things was both enlightening and exciting. For me, food is part of a great, life-long soul-searching endeavor; it is part of my everyday life. Well, that isnt entirely true. My time in Europe has been jam packed with incredible culinary experiences, but these experiences have not been everyday. Instead, my bouts with excellent and enlightening food have been embedded within a larger matrix of missed meals and empty stomachs. But in the end, these circumstances have helped to shape a new outlook on food for me, one where i go into eating with full knowledge of the hunger I have experienced in the past and a desire to dive head first into whatever new culinary adventure happens to come my way.

And this desire for new and exciting thing is what has typified my time in Europe; I have thrown caution and inhibition to the wind. My life- seemingly more debauched and nearly reckless than ever- is marked by a thirst and lust for new, enriching and even, mind-altering experiences. I see my time here as absolutely vital to my self cultivation, to my passing from the naive and misguided days of everything prior and into something more nuanced and informed. I am learning to live life as intentionally as possible in a very haphazard way. Now, that may sounds like a contradiction- and maybe it is- but I believe that it is better to live haphazardly on purpose than it is to float around and hope for the best. I am tired of floating. Even though it got me to a lot of places, I feel like I wasted a lot of time.

So thats why, maybe following in Bourdains footsteps, I think that it is absolutely okay for me to live a debauched lifestyle for the moment. Whether or not this new mindset of intentional haphazardness has any real longevity is yet you be seen. But, for the time being, I am fully aware that my time in Europe is nothing by temporary and in being aware of such, I am perfectly okay with living in a decadent haze. And that is owed precisely to the temporal nature of this lifestyle. It will no doubt change when I return to America, it has to, but that doesnt mean that I shouldnt suck the marrow out of this continent to the fullest extent possible.

And I plan on doing just that.


Monday, September 14, 2009

Hello, Again.

i am so introspective right now.

So, I guess I haven't written on here in a long, long while. I am not sorry, because the break was much deserved, for both you and me, alike. But I am settled now; stable and connected to the world, so maybe it's time that I begin to share my thoughts again.

I am not sure who reads this, I never have been. Whether its all friends or friends and random people, or if really, im the only one, so its been hard for me to talk about myself and what ive been up to. Thats mostly due to the fact that i dont know how interested anyone really is, but then again, here you are...

So, now that I have you, i guess I should talk about my european adventure a bit, even though its still not over and not enough time has gone by for me to be ready to really talk about any of it. It's safe to say, though, that I have been having a good time. Right now, I am in Denmark and will be here officially, more or less, until towards the end of december. Before I came here, I was in a few other places, namely- and in reverse order- germany, czech republic, germany, holland, france, spain, and portugal. I've been all over, I suppose, to almost too many places in too short of a time. I spent a lot of time wandering around cities, awfully tired, terribly hungry, totally enamored and wholly enthralled. I wrote friends a lot of letters, but didnt send many of them. I also drew a lot of buildings and scribbles, many of which wont ever see the light of day, either. Ive also been writing a lot, but strangely, to myself. And maybe that's what ill focus on for this post.

I have always written for other people, either in school or letters, emails, blog posts, whatever. The process of writing is cathartic for me, but the content and scope of writing has always been written for the eyes and minds of others. And that's always been my favorite kind of writing, the kind that other people can look at, peer into, analyze; read. But lately, I've been writing for my own eyes only, keeping a diary of sorts. Mind you, this isnt a diary that is kept under lock and key, under my bed, and hidden from the world. I keep it in a tote bag and carry it around everywhere. It's not secret or hidden or really, private. I've just been writing... well, for myself and to myself. Sometimes, im not sure if i do the journal justice- it's quite beautifully bound and was given to me by someone special- but i try to cram a lot onto every page so that maybe, somewhere deep in that jumble of jagged lines that is my handwriting, ill begin to uncover something interesting about myself and what i think of the world. But not having a real audience is hard. Whether or not i care about what any other audience wants to hear, at least i sort of know more or less what they'd like to hear. This usually involves filtering my own ideas, choosing the right words, being subtle, etc. The problem is that I dont know what I want to hear. With myself, I dont have to filter at all. When I write to myself, everything I write is something my audience already knows, so holding back or filtering is entirely useless and even, limiting. Finally, I can say exactly what I think and feel. This is both wonderful and incredibly frightening.

Ive always been incredibly comfortable with my ideas as seen through the lens of what other people will think about them. But I am almost absolutely terrified of my ideas as seen through my own eyes. Writing for others entails a sort of unswerving belief in yourself that has no use when youre looking to write for yourself. And maybe this is helpful. I know it is. But that doesnt mean its easy or even, comfortable. So mostly, Ive been writing about the flaws i see in my own logic and lifestyle. I write a lot about how to make myself a better person, like a self help book written with the harsh, critical tone of a mexican mother. It's been helpful, but I am not sure if ive actually learned that much from myself yet. I also write a lot about food and the cute girls I meet. And buildings, sometimes, but all of my really righteous stuff, I save for you, whoever you are.


Friday, May 22, 2009


lolololololol. ill post something real in a day or two.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


lol @ my bed.
Upcycle, please
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