Monday, February 27, 2006

Failure, Good Film, And Me

I failed a test. I have no one to blame except for myself. I must accept the consequences.

I saw a good film. It was about the one story we are meant to write. It was about getting what you want then realizing it came at a high cost. It was about getting what you want and having no energy to enjoy it.

I am learning how to deal with me. An alpha couple flustered me at the movie. So what? Its like Nic the Greek says, "there are no alphas." I am not in high school anymore. I will never be happy with myself until I am satisfied with myself.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Talking (Written In The Spring Of 2003)

They were walking in the park. They were holding hands. She was talking about something, some moment in her meaningless day that did not warrant conversation. He was faithfully acting like he cared while the Spring fragrances aroused him.

He thought about love. Was this love? Or was it the idea of being in love? Did it matter? A woman was holding his hand telling him forgettable details about her mundane life. She was not the woman of his dreams, but she was a woman who didn’t mind holding his hand on a beautifully scented night.

He decided one could never be sure about love. One could definitely not rely on word of mouth. He had spouted out ‘love you’ far too many times to believe in one’s voice. Actions were what mattered.

He took action. He grabbed his partner. He wrapped his arms around her. He passionately kissed her lips. He forced her against a nearby tree. His hand sneaked up her blouse. Her hands grasped his buttocks.

The embrace did not last, but it ended the talking.

"You Keep Carrying That Anger; It Will Eat You Up Inside"*

Marx was an a angry man. Anger drives some men. It gets them out bed in the morning. It feeds their ego. It feeds their soul.

U2 (a member of U2) said that you get to a point in life where you cannot be angry any more. You cannot live your whole life angry. It is no way to live.

Anger has driven me for twenty four years. One of my first memories is not getting a Fresh Prince CD I wanted while my sister got the Bon Jovi CD she wanted. I remember my grandfather yelling at an All-Star coach for not playing me. I remember another All-Star coach playing his son instead of me. I remember being 2nd Team All Jefferson District. I remember not winning Bridgewater's scholar athlete award. I remember the Neo-Marxist microeconomics professor. These things anger me.

The little ambition I have is driven by anger. It is a death trap. It is the road to an insignificant life. You cannot live life angry. It condemns you to a prison, where you are the warden, the guards, and the executioner.

What is the alternative?

I want to answer love. But I have no idea what love means. I have never gotten a satisfactory definition, maybe that is why I am angry.

My answer is satisfaction. It is looking in the mirror, admitting your flaws, accepting them, and moving forward with your life. It is a quiet confidence.

You cannot go through life angry. Marx died an impoverished man who was wrong. A man whose anger clouded his intellect and vision of the world.

*"The trust and self-assurance that lead to happiness
They're the very things - we kill I guess
Pride and competition
Cannot fill these empty arms"

from Don Henley's "Heart of the Matter"

Friday, February 24, 2006

She Did Not Wipe The Treadmill Down

I rode for 30 minutes. She finished. I waited thirty seconds. She went out the door without wiping the machine down. I waited another thirty minutes to see if she would come out of the lockeroom.

Maybe she thought I was stalking her. I do not care for anyone who thinks that someone is stalking them.

I am not much on people who did not wipe the machines down either. I think it is a useless procedure. But you are supposed to do it.

I do not know.

You cannot go through life angry.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

The Trains Ran On Time In NAZI Germany

(I wrote this post before the New Year. When I say "I do not want to feel bad," I am committing myself to determine why I feel bad. I am not saying that I never feel bad. It is obvious that I feel bad most of the time.)

This morning the bus left two minutes early, so I got in my car and drove. It would have sucked if I did not have a car.

I am trying to solve the contradiction between my appreciation of porn and my views on sex.

My goal in life is to purge emotions. I find no value in the primitive. There is no value in being cold from nakedness and lack of shelter. There is no value in hunger. There is no culture in poverty. I do not want to feel bad.

I appreciate beauty. Dave Brubeck's "Somewhere" makes me cry. Chekov and Hemingway's short stories excite me. Scoop Jackson's journalism elicits patriotic feelings. I do not want to be emotionless. I want to control my emotions. Being able to control emotions is humanity. It is God-like.

When I cry, I want to know why I am crying. When I am patriotic, I want to know why I am patriotic. When I love, I want to know why I am in love.

We have to get-off. We cannot bottle emotions and wait for ulcers.

This is where porn fits into the discussion. Porn consists of two consenting individuals having sex for monetary gain. They openly admit there actions are for pecuniary purposes. There are no implied contracts. The risks have been accounted for and reconciled. Emotions are being controlled.

Emotions are not controlled in many sexual relations. There usually is an implicit contract not fully understood by one party. Risks are not accounted for and not reconciled. The two parties do not understand why they are engaging in sexual activity.

Porn helps me control my emotions.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Three Bills, A Wagon Wheel, And 14 X 225 And Texas Ruby Red Grapefruit

I benched 300 pounds (three bills), 315 pounds (a wagon wheel), and 225 pounds fourteen times. I can be happy about that for a few hours.

I ate a Texas Ruby Red Grapefruit. I have experienced few things better. It was like Bono biting the pear in the "Beautiful Day" video. Hope, relief, forgiveness, beauty, and life captured by a fructose rush.

I talked to a guy in the gym who was reading Krugman's newest book. I have written my thoughts on Krugman. I appreciate him, but I do not agree with him. The discussion made me want to publish a book. It reminded me why I chose to be an economist.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

The Holy Trinity And Finding Religion

I am reading Galbraith's Economics, Peace and Laughter, Rand's The Romantic Manifesto, and Bastiat's The Law. They are all good reads. They emphasize the importance of the individual. They all step beyond positivism and venture into what should be. All three make me think.

A professor sent David Brook's NY Times editorial this morning about the significance of culture and the insignificance of economics. He refuses to say what culture is right. Economics supports a classical liberal society. It is significant in teaching the advantages of that society. Of course, culture matters. Of course, changing people's culture is difficult. But for significant change to occur, we must admit that our culture is better. We must champion Bastiat's philosophical fundamentals "personality, liberty, property" or Jefferson's "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (property)." Bastiat also called them "existence, faculties, and assimilation." Those fundamentals must be our Holy Trinity.

I must regress into personal introspection. It is clear "I am looking for answers in a woman's eyes" (paraphrased from U2's "Slow Dancing".) I made it a priority to find a woman.

My college roommate found religion chasing after two beautiful women.

When this pursuit did not materialize, he fell in love with another woman. He did not sleep in the room often his senior year. He lost religion. He quit track. He barely graduated. He almost got in legal trouble. I almost had to beat his ass for involving me in his legal trouble.

But he was in love. It was a great experience for him.

I want feedback. I want a woman to talk to, a woman who pays attention to me. My roommate wanted similar things. But these are not needs. They have to be balanced with my other wants. They cannot supersede graduation, religion and friends.

I always thought that U2's "Love is...a dangerous idea that almost makes sense" was poignant. Love as an idea appeals to me. It is what makes me think I can go find a woman. It puts the game in my hands.

ML thought love could not be reduced to a sentence. She is right.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

"You're Dangerous; You Don't Know What You Want"*

How can I expect to be in a relationship when I cannot take care of myself?

I subscribed to the Mises Institute's daily article. Yesterday's article considered the legacy of Bastiat. The weekend edition consisted of a translation of Bastiat's "The Law". They are too long to read, but I am Wannabe Bastiat.

I argued with an American about Wal-Mart. He finally admitted he wanted to go back to the horse and buggy. He wanted to make everyone's decisions.

You cannot have microbreweries without Wal-Mart. You cannot have wealth without freedom.

Most people dislike people more successful than them. They cannot compete, so they bastardize the rules. Some sports writers are examples. They attack athletes not for journalistic reasons but jealousy of the athlete's superior skill.

*Before this line: "You're dangerous; 'cause you're honest" from U2's "Who Is Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses?" I used to turn off the lights in my room and listen to this song over and over again. Read the lyrics. The song is one of the reasons I am screwed up. The song is about loss. But, "don't turn around." You cannot worry about sunk costs.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Dealing With Me And Why That Hardly Matters

An inner conversation:
"They've killed my will to live."

"Who are they?"

"There is no they."

I am lazy. I have mental health issues. I cannot deny these facts.

I have not done anything for the past three days. The reasons behind this laziness is a blend of infatuation, self-pity, and depressing fear. I am scared to fail.

I am scared of assimilation. I see myself becoming what I hate. I have no passion for research. A guy suggested transferring to another program. I had to explain to him its not the program but the life in general. I do not want to get out of bed in the morning.

My grandfather had survived the Great Depression and won WWII by the time he was my age. My father had lost his mother, watched his brother go to Vietnam, and had driven trucks to Carolina on two hours sleep. I am not saying their experiences were better than mine. But, I realize my current pursuits might not be utility maximizing.

With all this being said, I have to make one final push to see what happens. I have to get that "lethal ape" mentality not the "hungover fuck-you" attitude I have now. I have to find out once and for all.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Vulnerability Versus Fear

Victims are vulnerable.

I am not vulnerable. I am afraid. Any intelligent person deals with fear. Decisions require choosing between outcomes. These outcomes are not certain. Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose. Sometimes you do not try. Fear is a consequence of rationality. Its a consequence of caring about the future. There is nothing wrong with fear. Humanity necessitates fear.

An inner city child with a crack addict mother is vulnerable. An infatuated graduate student who cannot talk to a girl in the gym is afraid.

The economic way of thinking requires me to be skeptical. It requires me to make inferences from observations. It also requires me to be non-judgmental.

"Nice flowers, Erica"
"Thank You"
--an overheard conversation between statistics graduate students

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Smiley Faces, Exclamation Points And Why Life Is So Funny

I pray this post does not offend any of my readers.

I have never understood exclamation points, so I certainly do not understand smiley faces.

Smiling is a personal emotional response. Does a smiley face mean you want me to smile? Does it mean you smiled while you were writing? If that is true, aren't you like the comic who laughs at his own jokes? I just do not get it. Let your writing elicit emotions. Do not tell me how I feel.

Smiley faces confuses communication. What purpose do they serve? If someone could explain smiley faces and exclamation points to me I would greatly appreciate it.

With that rant out of the way, life is hilarious.

I am infatuated with a girl I know nothing about except that she comes to the gym. Her gym schedule has changed, slowly (but surely) decreasing my infatuation. "Out of sight, out of mind."

Basically, I think my life is boring. I am looking for something to excite me, something to happen.

But then I read ML's sister's comment on ML's blog and see how funny life is.

Not knowing what is going to happen next is enough excitement for me.

Monday, February 13, 2006

U2's Achtung Baby

I forgot how good Achtung Baby was. From "Zoo Station" to "Love Is Blindness", the album energizes me. It was the first U2 album I ever listened to. The wall had come down and hope was abound.

"I am ready
Ready to say I'm glad to be alive" from "Zoo Station."

The reason I am impressed by intensity is that I do not have any right now.

For example,I forgot my homework in the office. I came back to work on it. Instead of working, I have screwed around on the internet. Sometimes I think its boredom. But it is laziness.

"Sunrise like a nose bleed
Your head hurts and you can't breath
You've been trying to throw your arms around the world"
from "Tryin' To Your Arms Around The World"

Great album.

Sunday, February 12, 2006


Yesterday I had a discussion with a superior Indian colleague. We discussed the futility of economics. We discussed how people matter. We discussed making the world better.

Today I had a discussion with a superior American colleague. We argued. He was a Christian who put his faith in faith. He blamed the world's problems on selfishness. He said the Bible showed people the ideal utility function based on selflessness. He talked about solving small problems. He had faith that small answers would solve big problems. He had faith in a collective good. He told me I had no clear vision.

I agree.

I see the ideal as individuals pursuing their personal interests. I see limited government. I see a society valuing productivity. I see individuals reaching their potential. I see a society which recognizes there are "no conflicts of interests among men."

Friday, February 10, 2006

Another Stupid Thing I Have Done

I have been observing this woman in the weightroom for four months. She is a hard worker. She has a rare intensity.

Today she is wearing shorts from a small college I know. This is the perfect conversation starter.

I tried to outride her on the bike. The only reason I was riding was to talk to her when she got done.

Of course, I could not wait. She had slowed down to a cool down pace for at least five minutes. (I told you she is intense.) So, I get off the bike. I wipe it down. I walk to her. I sit the bottle and towel down. Out of the blue, "Did you go to Mary Washington?" She takes her headphones off reluctantly and answered, "yes." "I went to Bridgewater." She gives me the 'who cares, I am doing something here' look. I do not know when to stop, "did you play sports?" She answers that she played softball. I mumble something about DIII and run to the showers knowing that I have lost.

She is intense. I should have sucked it up and rode the bike until she was done.

The next time I see her, I am going to tell the truth. "I have wanted to talk to you for months, but I am too scared to have anything to say. I also think you are on the outer limits of my league, so why don't we give it a try?" Or, I could say "baby, I could walk you all the way home."

I really want to know why she works so hard.

I am reading John Kenneth Galbraith's Economics Peace and Laughter. I despise Galbraith. But like with his forefathers Marx and Veblen a good economist must read him. He is the foundation for many economists' philosophies.

I am an uninteresting guy, very uninteresting.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

I Do Not Know

ML pointed out the incoherence and contradictions in my last post. Everyone has different values; so what? The post had no normative purpose. It was like saying the sky is blue.

This post is no better.

We all have to make decisions. These decisions are based on our value system.

Many people refuse to reflect on their value system. This refusal bothers me. I know very few people (including myself) who could explain or justify their value system. We refuse to self-inspect (self-reflect) and ask why. We are not honest with ourselves. Therefore we cannot be honest with anyone else. We ignore value systems altogether. It is much easier that way.

Ask a Republican how they can support the death penalty and oppose abortion. Ask Democrats how they can support free speech but oppose reduced taxes. What value system supports these contradictions? How can we expect to feed the poor while we support small American farmers?

Living requires solving problems. Productivity is solving (non-trivial) problems, not solving them halfway but digging deep and finding answers. Until one delves into his value system he cannot successfully solve problems. His answers have no foundations.

My poorly argued point is that values matter. They should not be ignored. They should be challenged. They should be continuously questioned.

This post is going nowhere. "You have to stand for something or you will fall for anything." You have to be able to say "I am right." There can be no subjectivity in one's values.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

285 X 2 X 3 X 2

I have three things hanging up in my apartment. In my living room, there is a map of the Philippines and a commemorative painting of the Bridgewater's 2001 Stagg Bowl team. My mother bought and hung these. I broke my leg in 2001, so I watched the 2001 Stagg Bowl from the stands. My leg still hurts on cold days. The Philippines map is just something on the wall.

My Bridgewater diploma hangs in my bedroom. I guess I am proud of it, but I know its just a piece of paper.

I have another picture that is not hung. (My mother forgot about it before she left.) It is a newspaper picture of Crozet Pizza. On the left of Crozet Pizza is Maupins' Music and Video. I could look at that picture all day. The little video store was the foundation for the diploma, the Philippines, and the Stagg Bowl. It is where I learned about life. It was where I learned the importance of productivity and value added. It was where I learned to take chances. It was where I learned that failure was sunk. I am lumping the video store with Crozet (my house and the grocery store and the schools), but my values came from the video store.

The other pictures are incompatible with my video store values.

I love football. But it is a game played by boys searching for their childhood (especially at the DIII level.) I will not say it is destructive, but it is certainly not productive. My leg, shoulder, and elbow hurts tonight.

Education can be useful. But what matters is what you do with your education. I am doing nothing with it.

The last statement leads us right into the Philippines. The Philippines is full of potential, but I did not help it reach its potential. I probably hurt it.

Some of my colleagues have different values than I do. Their video store was academia. It was the classroom. They have an easier time accepting diplomas and expense paid trips to developing countries.

Other colleagues have similar values to me. Instead of video stores, they might have farms. Some like myself get caught up in envy of the others and compromise everything we know is true. Others make courageous decisions and continue to strive for the ideal. They refuse to sell their values for lies.

My life is about me. I do not know what will happen tomorrow, but I cannot wait to find out.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

I Keep Coming Back

You cannot fake life. You cannot change the past. "There is no conflict of interests among men."

When I was in the sixth grade, I came to the conclusion that everything was everyone's fault. If I was a great scientist I could have predicted the tsunami. If I was a great preacher there would be peace in the Middle East.

It was simple logic (from a simple boy), but it has some Truth in it. I see people hurting one another. I see people who enjoy others' misfortune. I see walking contradictions. I see people whose have no answers for their actions. I see people who do not care about answers. And worse, I see people who know answers but refuse to live them. People who know a better way but will not pursue it. We must be responsible for ourselves. We must fix the problem then the blame; we all deserve some blame when the problem is not fixed.

"Well if I had one wish in this god forsaken world, kids
It'd be that your mistakes would be your own
Yea your sins would be your own" from Bruce Springseen's "Long Time Comin'
(Thanks ML)

I fit into the category that refuses to live the answers I have found. It is a sad place to be.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

R.E.M's "Waking Up In Reno"

Bruce Springsteen's "Reno"

She took off her stockings, I held them to my face.
She had your ankles, I felt filled with grace.
"Two hundred dollars straight in,
Two-fifty up the ass," she smiled and said.
She unbuckled my belt, pulled back her hair,
And sat in front of me on the bed.
She said, "Honey how's that feel, do you want me to go slow?"
My eyes drifted out the window, down to the road below.

I felt my stomach tighten. The sun bloodied the sky
And sliced through the hotel blinds. I closed my eyes.
Sunlight on the Amatitlan, sunlight streaming thru your hair.
In the Valle de dos Rios, smell of mock orange filled the air.
We rode with the vaqueros, down into cool rivers of green.
I was sure the work and that smile coming out 'neath your hat
Was all I'd ever need.
Somehow all you ever need's, never really quite enough you know.
You and I, Maria, we learned it's so.

She slipped me out of her mouth, "You're ready," she said.
She took off her bra and panties, wet her finger, slipped it inside her,
And crawled over me on the bed.
She poured me another whisky,
Said, "Here's to the best you ever had."
We laughed and made a toast.
It wasn't the best I ever had,
Not even close.

ML and I discussed the meaning of this song yesterday.

ML says that it is about losing "the best I ever had." It is about the past. ML is right.

I said it is about disappointment. It is about going to Reno hoping that it held answers then realizing it did not. It is the crack addict who spends his life searching for that first hit. It is the businessman who works seventy hours a week looking at what he has sacrificed. It is about searching for answers but realizing "it wasn't the best I ever had." It is about the present.

I ignored the second stanza and the last sentence being in the past tense. Springsteen's intentions are similar to ML's interpretation.

But my interpretation represents my philosophical foundations. Maria is a sunk cost. She is gone. Your memories hurt, but memories are a curable disease. Reno and a $200 hooker was not the answer, but the search continues. Maria is not the source of discontent. The discontent comes from knowing that the best is out there. You know it is out there because you have had better and even that was not the best.

The other interpretation sees men as hopeless. The pain of lost love lasts forever. Hookers cannot cure it. Nothing can cure it. Saddam Hussein was horrible, but Iraq will always be horrible. The US should not have invaded Iraq; we are wrong for still being there. Mankind is hopeless.

If that is Springsteen's intention, he is wrong. I wish he could have seen the passion and hope in Filipino farmers' eyes. I wish he could see the best thing he could do for people would be to get out of their way.

Sidenote: Iran's nuclear weapons do not scare me. Their philosophical foundations (as does Springsteen and Bono's) threatens the world. Until the Western world is willing to address these foundations there is no use interfering with Iran.

Yesterday Does Not Matter; Today Is The Only Day I Can Act

"...In some cases, a man's sense of life is better (closer to the truth) than the kind of ideas he accepts. In other cases, his sense of life is much worse than the ideas he professes to accept but is unable to fully practice. Ironically enough, it is man's emotions, in such cases, that act as avengers of his neglected or betrayed intellect.

In order to live, men must act; in order to act, he must make choices; in order to make choices, he must define a code of values; in order to define a code of values, he must know what he is and where he is--ie he must know his own nature (including his means of knowledge) and the nature of the universe in which he acts..."~Ayn Rand The Romantic Manifesto pg. 30

I see what I want to see. People see what they want to see. People rarely read or think; they see or hear a line and go from there. This practice is apparent in Email exchanges. It is apparent in this blog.

All week I have thought about the Animal House quote, "Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life." Some people go through life "fat, drunk and stupid." They never think about what life really means. They never make a conscience decision to do what is right. They do not care about right and wrong. They do not care about morals or ideals. They are pragmatic realists.

I downloaded Jackson Browne's Greatest Hits mainly for "The Pretender": "I am going to be a happy idiot and struggle for the legal tender."

Maybe pretending is all we can do.

Friday, February 03, 2006

I Am A Pious Bastard

It is true. I do the right thing (most of the time). I will tell people that I am right (most of the time).

This does not mean that I expect people to change their behavior to match mine. I will not coerce them to be like me. People should be able to do what they want. I should never use coercion (government) to interfere with other people who are not interfering with me.

I can still voice the view that I am right. I can also listen to others. I do not know what is best for someone else. I only know what is best for me.

The problem with most politicians (both Democrat and Republican) is they will not tell us that they are God and can make better decisions for us than we can.

"What can government do for your industry?"
"Leave us alone." paraphrased from Bastiat

"Never underestimate the power of local knowledge." Des Hautea (One of the directors of the project that pays me)

"Wrap her up in a package of lies. Send her off to a coconut isle" Adam Duritz (Counting Crows)

R.E.M's "Hope"

You want to go out Friday
And you want to go forever.
You know that it sounds childish
That you've dreamt of alligators.
You hope that we are with you
And you hope you're recognized
You want to go forever
You see it in my eyes.
I'm lost in the confusion
And it doesn't seem to matter
You really can't believe it
And you hope it's getting better.

You want to trust the doctors
Their procedure is the best
But the last try was a failure
And the intern was a mess.
And they did the same to Matthew
And he bled 'til Sunday night
They're "saying don't be frightened",
But you're weakened by the sight of it
You lock into a pattern
And you know that it's the last ditch
You're trying to see through it
And it doesn't make sense
But they're saying don't be frightened
And they're killing alligators
And they're hog-tied and accepting of the struggle

You want to trust religion
And you know it's allegory
But the people who are followers
Have written their own story
So you look up to the heavens
And you hope that it's a spaceship
And it's something from your childhood
You're thinking don't be frightened

You want to climb the ladder
You want to see forever
You want to go out Friday
And you want to go forever.
And you want to cross your DNA
To cross your DNA with something reptile.
And you're questioning the sciences
And questioning religion
You're looking like an idiot
And you no longer care.
And you want to bridge the schism,
A built-in mechanism to protect you.
And you're looking for salvation
And you're looking for deliverance
You're looking like an idiot
And you no longer care.
You want to climb the ladder
You want to see forever
You want to go out Friday
You want to go forever.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Why I Lift? And Concerning The Ideal Woman

ML asked if I was a pretty boy. If I am a pretty boy then I am a hapless failure.

Everyone has to get close to God (Truth). Truth and I meet in the weight room. When I am lifting weights, He cleanses my soul. He allows me to get glimpses of the Ideal Life and Ideal Man. He protects me from injury and strikes me with soreness to remind me of Him. The weight room is where I pray. It is where I try to mold myself into His image.

I am not saying there is no social aspect to it. But I used to lift at Bridgewater at 6:00AM. Sometimes I was by myself or with 65 year old Coach Spencer. When Coach Spencer was there, I knew Truth was with me.

Concerning the ideal woman:

I am scared of rejection. This fear is normal. It is the fear of not controlling your own destiny.

Mostly, I am scared of myself:

I am scared of love. I am scared of being whipped. I am scared of being duped. I am scared of unconditionally caring. I am scared of heartbreak.

I am scared that someone will love me without me loving them. This fear is more intense than being whipped. I cannot stand hurting someone else. Its like killing someone while driving. Destroying your own life is more tolerable than destroying someone else's.

I am scared I have no ideals.

I am scared I will talk myself out of my ideals and lose the woman of my dreams.

I am scared I reject women, because I want their mind. I want them to challenge me in impossible ways. I am scared that I ask too much.

I am scared I will be dishonest. I can lie. I think too much to not know some lies.

Again, I am scared of myself.

Of course, most of these fears are vain dribble, but it takes vanity to get over the fear of rejection.

My mother is a wonderful person. All she does is love. She is not dumb but she contributed very little to my intellect. Her unconditional love has helped me grow in numerous ways, but our philosophical foundations differ.

Her relationship with my father (who I relate to better) is fine, but I want something different. I want to have deep conversations. I want someone to challenge me intellectually. I want someone who enjoys Miles. I want someone to tell me what Natalie Merchant means in "Stockton Gala Days". I want to talk to someone about Ibsen's and Chekhov's plays. I want a woman who appreciates selling. I want feedback.

These wants scare me. Are they too much? Are they too little? Should I just want love? Is love I all I can get?

I do not like setting goals, but here is one: I am going to find a date for the Chick Corea concert in either Charlottesville or Roanoke.

Goal setting is stupid.

A Lonely Normativist Rationalizing His Existence

I was never lonely
Until I the wind made my bones ache

I was never happy
Until I understood what I was seeing in a woman's smile

I have been told
The world is all we have
I believe it is true

I went searching for something different
All I found was the same

I will not live with shame;

While you distress
I will be true

While you lie
I will be acquitted due to your guilt