Archive for Me

Waffles. Sweet, sweet waffles.

Posted in Literary Masterpieces, Loves, Rants with tags , , , , , on December 29, 2011 by ccartlidge

I should be a politician, because I am the master of the flip-flop. (I shouldn’t. I just said that for shits and giggles. I like to think I’m not that corrupt, ba-fucking-zing.) The diversity of moods I’ve had in the past two months is baffling. Never have I questioned my life with such amenability.

I’m dutiful: I went to college right on time, earned good grades at a decent university, worked a few jobs in a few offices, went back to school when the economy tanked and earned good grades there as well. I was supposed to have a reasonable amount of fun and relationships and I did. Everything in its right place! Ostensibly, I also questioned society and all the other things that a dutifully anti- girl is supposed to, I did my due diligence there as well. I even had the obligatory rebellious phase and on me, as it turns out, this involves quite a bit of pink, J. Crew clothing. I said a mouthful there.

The waver has been a constant in my life here in Portland. Perhaps I have the city itself to thank for this, and I do mean that without a hint of sarcasm. It’s true, I feel murky, but for the first time in my life it seems like I’m questioning all the right things. Metaphorically, I was the punk who regards himself so highly because he is aggressively questioning societal normalcy by sporting the same damn punk uniform, right down to the green mohawk and studded jacket with the Misfits patch on the back. This ironically fashionable kid questions nothing. (Also, did you notice I made myself male? I said a mouthful there, too.)

I used to think that people didn’t change, but that’s bullshit. Creative energy and the wish to be self-employed are my constants. Pursue these. Inconsistent extroversion and pursuing the path of least resistance are also my constants. Fuck those.

Luckily, I’ve managed to learn from my fucked up priorities. Luckily, I’m relatively intelligent and coherent (big-ups to my family for the good genes, healthy childhood, and seemingly unconditional love. I’m not sure I deserve all that, but now I’m determined to use them wisely. Subjectively wisely). Luckily, I’ve managed not to burn a crushing amount of bridges in my life and have a support system. Luckily, I have a certain amount of control. Luckily, I’ve been lucky. Next up: the evolution from amenable questioning to tenacious game. Hopefully. I mean definitely. I mean hopefully. Yup.

Note to Self

Posted in Aesthetic Day, Literary Masterpieces, Loves, Note to Self with tags , , on December 27, 2011 by ccartlidge

I gave the obligatory 30-day notice to my landlord today. I have no real relationship with her. All I know is that she seems like the best kind of landlord: an appropriately uninvolved one. She wrote the following reply, intended as simply polite, but which I took as spontaneously motivational: “sorry to see you go.  hopefully you are headed off to some new adventure.”

Visual manifestations of my mood:

[click on photo for links]

Which is to say “Curious, Motivated and Uncharacteristically Hopeful”

Note: do illogical things regularly and without irony.

The Art of Determining the Animal by the Smell of its Shit

Posted in Literary Masterpieces, Loves, Personal work, Rants with tags , , , , , , , , on December 16, 2011 by ccartlidge

As it turns out, “Life, Death, Neutrality, Dogs” was just part one of a series based on making fermented cider from rotten apples. This part is about decisive intent being ever so rare! Fun!

Decisions are easy to make, yes they are. (No, they’re not.) They are for a number of reasons. (No, they aren’t.)

These reasons explained over the years and have become ingrained in us as a result of exposure in our collective childhoods. We are implicitly taught that life is black and white, that decisions are easy to make because the best choice is always obvious and surrounded by a bright halo and, in fact, the best choice is obvious for no other reason than only two choices ever existed in the first place. The wrong choice smells like manure on the type of summer day that turns breathable air into stifling-hot magma-gas and that’s never the best option.

I’ll leave aside personal feelings about the disgustingly corporate nature of American meat production, the unsustainable nature of raising livestock, and the fact that cow-flesh in particular is too greasy to make up for the uninspiring flavor and therefore is an unacceptably expensive meat to dislike but tolerate anyway (Or I won’t). Regardless, where halos remind me of the clinical phenomenon of organized religion, the smell of cow shit makes me nostalgic. I smell this and I’m riding the bus to school, getting secretly drunk with high school friends in an open field and eating freshly picked peas in a tree with my sister. Shit is deep.

The black-and-white posterization of life is a sometimes useful tool as art and analysis, but even then is inherently false. Cow shit smells like gray to me, even though it may just smell like shit to someone else. Most things do, although gray is sometimes green, chartreuse and bright blood-red.

That any decision at all has been easy for me to make is almost mind-boggling given the devastating amount of options to choose from, and scary too as this indicates a lack of analysis on my part. Were decisions easy because the choice was clear? Or were they easy because I wasn’t paying attention?

I wasn’t paying attention. Neither were you. The intellectual gravity of gray (and green and chartreuse and bright blood-red) is a force of nature: awesomely dark and wretchedly bright. The gray makes life worth living. Gray is the wrong choice, the best choice, and no choice at all. That shit is deep. And confusing.

Life, Death, Neutrality, Dogs.

Posted in Literary Masterpieces, Loves, Personal work, Rants with tags , , , , , , , on December 14, 2011 by ccartlidge

I’m not a writer. I just needed an activity I could take part in alone and drunk in a dark room. All people have their weaknesses, the comforting thoughts and actions that for better or worse become a temporal part of their analytical grieving process. As an attempt at growth, I’ve chosen to temporarily eschew my more instinctual, corporeal processes in favor of something more academic. So I write today.

Human life may simply be periods of grief and guilt and occasionally happiness with neutrality shoved between, like an overstuffed bookshelf. Some books are cover-less from years of reuse, others are textbooks covered in dust (because hardly anyone reads textbooks after class is over), others are gifts and still others are social buys which are only present as an homage to vanity and the wish to look a certain way to certain people. It’s unfair that dogma and social constructs fill in the neutrality with unrealistic expectation. This is a bit like proclaiming Catch-22 a classic after not being able to get all the way through and never intending to finish. All relationships with humans or dogs or inanimate objects end until one doesn’t. Even that ends in loss, however, so really all relationships end.

Death defines life and, despite best efforts, everyone dies. My parents will die. I love them. I LIKE them. Lots of people don’t have family they love and genuinely enjoy being around. I’m lucky this way (and I’m still an asshole). They’ve taught me or otherwise provided me the opportunity to learn every piece of information I know, and they are going to die one day. My only sister, one of the few people who at least pretends to understand who and why I am even if she doesn’t agree, might be continually disappointed by her students and children and get cancer and if she’s lucky will die before she gets too old to enjoy the rest of her life. And fuck my life. I’ll complain about terrible tsunamis and clear blue skies but perhaps never find another tornado equally matched. Even worse, I may not be a tornado at all but a sad, sad mist. I never want kids (because how could they turn out okay being raised in a culturally barren future-world by an angry, confused, feminist, anxious-as-fuck atheist?). I may never be calm or ridiculously talented or even be lucky enough to have a fleeting genius and I’m going to have to live with that. And then I’ll die.

All that might be true. The fact remains, however, that without horrifying inevitability, fleeting joy wouldn’t exist. Life would truly be neutral, and that would be the real tragedy.

I might get a dog. (I’ll call him Tom Selleck or Mustard Gas Dog. I like to think dog people are well-adjusted because for a few short years they have a companion who doesn’t judge and likes to cuddle.) I’ll deal with being the bad guy and learn from my mistakes. I’ll embrace the fact that I’m not nearly as charming or interesting as I’d like and stop dealing with my problems by finding other people with problems. I’ll make concessions to move on to something new.

I want to be a well-adjusted tornado so badly, but for now I’ll just deal and appreciate the truth that life averages out to neutral. Perhaps some unrealistic expectations exist simply as a reminder that lightness is an integral part of darkness.

Did I mention I’m not a fucking writer? Fuck.

i love portland summers and blowing stuff up in front of my new house.

Posted in Personal work, Photos with tags , , , , on July 8, 2010 by ccartlidge

I assume this is Nick’s sexxxxy pose.

Fifth of July

Fireworks carnage on Yamhill

Mustaches for everybody

Posted in Personal work, Photos with tags , , , , , , on June 16, 2010 by ccartlidge

Doing my best Uncle Ray impression (via Tom)

Finger ‘stache.

Dave looks creepy with a mustache and Max’s glasses

Tim’s mustache (via Tom)

Best unusually large, silver ‘stache ever.

I work with my hands. Really! Kindof!

Posted in Personal work, Photos with tags , , , on June 8, 2010 by ccartlidge

An old model

An old map