Me, at seventeen

I have to admit, I pulled a portion of this from a journal entry I wrote last year. Regardless, its been fun pointing a critical eye at my naive former self.

Sprawled out on the plush blue carpet of his bedroom floor is seventeen year old Kurt. He’s awash in the warm glow of Christmas lights that dangle from the loft above akin to some colorful cosmic galaxy. He breathes a frustrated puff of air and tosses the Latin text book on to the floor beside him. Dead languages are the absolute last thing on his mind right now. He looks to the ceiling and it isn't long before he's lost in his imagination. It’s late and he can’t help it.

While his mind is far away, we’ll get to know a little bit about him. The boy is wearing his trademark khaki pants and white dress shirt; he’s been on the move since 6:15am and hasn’t had time to change out of his catholic school uniform. His tie vanished with the ring of the final bell, revealing a silver cross around his neck; more a decoration than a symbol of faith. In fact his faith is waning in the advent of new thoughts and ideas, though he’s unsure if he’s ready to share this with the world. He’s afraid of what they may think.

Strength is something the boy has yet to find. Every so often he makes his way down into the bowels of the unfinished basement and pumps iron. His wiry frame is beginning to show some signs of growth, but chances are he’d probably get pummeled in a fight. Not that it matters, he’d be the last person to start anything anyway. He’s rather timid, a self-proclaimed lover not a fighter, though he still has much to learn about love.

He’s a total geek through and through. Every Tuesday he tunes in for the newest episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and he’s grown quite fond of multiplayer gaming with his best friend Anthony over their dial-up modem connections. The boy also has a running countdown for the new Star Wars movie; he’s positive it will be the greatest film ever. He’s social, but the party scene is decidedly unappealing. He’d rather watch a movie or concoct some hare-brained scheme with his closest friends than spend the night getting blasted with the people in his class.

In the past few years he’s picked up on a new hobby: writing. He’s created a character that symbolizes everything he could ever hope to be. The boy spends his study halls filling his notebooks with story ideas that could fill volumes. Despite his penchant for writing, he still can’t pull himself above a D in English. He’s not sure if there is a future in writing, or even if it’s any good, but for now he enjoys it and keeps it close to his heart.

The boy has a weak spot for blonds, one in particular. She’s sat behind him the last few years of high school. Despite years of infatuation, he’s far too timid to make a move. He spends his day trying his damnedest to make her smile. The boy wishes she could see him the way he sees her. Everything about the girl is perfect and it crushes him to be just good friends. She's the closest thing to a reason for getting out of bed in the morning.

Aside from her, the boy lives for summer; taking the boat out, swimming in the lake, spending night after night at the cottage. The warmer months just can’t come fast enough. When the snow falls a part of him shrivels up and dies. He'd do anything to be where it’s warm. He dreams of living in California someday; happy and rich, sunning and surfing.

His home life is sound and he has a great family. He’s avoided any major teen blowouts with his parents, but his sister is another story. She’s the epitome of annoying. The two of them are like dynamite and matches and can barely pass each other in the hall without a throw down. The final member of the family is a plump young golden retriever named Charlie. He enjoys chasing the Frisbee and going for rides in the boy’s 1983 Mercury Zephyr. The car is falling apart, but being his first vehicle the boy has grown fond of it and sees the car as a shinning bastion of freedom, despite its rust brown color. He happily quotes Han Solo in saying, “She may not look like much, but she’s got it where it counts.”

All in all, he lives a pretty good life and he’s excited about the possibilities the future holds. He’ll be starting college soon, majoring in archaeology. When he looks at himself in the mirror he can’t imagine himself getting old, but it will come in time. Just not tonight.

The boy is asleep now, snoring soundly on the floor. Latin homework will have to be hastily done in the morning before first period.

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A wise man once said…

“The world would be astonished if it knew how great a proportion of its brightest ornaments, of those most distinguished even in popular estimation for wisdom and virtue, are complete skeptics in religion.”
– John Stuart Mill

Read. Re-read.

In response to being asked "What book could I read over and over?"

"I worry that, especially as the Millennium edges near, pseudoscience and superstition will seem year by year more tempting, the siren song of unreason more sonorous and attractive. Where have we heard it before? Whenever our ethnic or national prejudices are aroused, in times of scarcity, during challenges to national self-esteem or nerve, when we agonize about our diminished cosmic place and purpose, or when fanaticism is bubbling up around us – then, habits of thought familiar from ages past reach for the controls. The candle flame gutters. Its little pool of light trembles. Darkness gathers. The demons begin to stir."

Carl Sagan – The Demon-Haunted World

Plinky asks: What is my dream vacation?

If I could some how fold the earth, placing the Maasai Mara alongside the Pacific Ocean, Bristol, England beside my hometown on the Black River, and shuffle the streets of London with the avenues of North Hollywood, the canals of Venice and the boulevards from some unexplored European destination you'd have just created my dream vacation.

25 Random Things About Me

1. The formula for my childhood would look something like this:

Indiana Jones + Star Wars (Winslow Street / Massey Street) x Ninja Turtles (Tree Houses – Wind storms / Sleepovers at Scordo’s) + Bike Riding² (Cousins + Grammie’s House) – Growing up = X

2. Some of my best memories are hanging out with the crew at The Inn.

3. French Toast in my ideal breakfast food.  If Tin Pan Galley is making it, there is no contest.

4. Hearing Matthew Good’s song ‘Near Fantastica’ live gives me goose bumps every time.

5. I have a habit of having dreams about zombie apocalypses.

6. I’m a skeptic, one who prefers beliefs and conclusions that are reliable and valid to ones that are comforting or convenient (Basically, I’m the Scully).

7. I despise Marmite with a fiery passion.

8. I think “You’ve Got the Love” is one of the most amazing songs.

9. I can quote The Empire Strikes Back beginning to end. With sound effects.

10. I’ll take the hottest day in Africa over a cold day in New York anytime.

11. The best Valentine’s Day present I ever received was tacos from Taco Bell and a Heineken.

12. I will never understand people who have amazing talents and don’t use them.

13. If I could have one superpower it would be telekinesis.

14. I’ve always wanted to be able to do a back flip.

15. The hardest physical activity I have ever done is the “Murph” CrossFit.  The formula is: Run 1 mile, 100 pullups, 200 pushups, 300 squats, run 1 mile.  For time.

16. I collect Hula girls.

17. My favorite alcoholic drink is a Russian Standard vodka and tonic.

18. I have a habit of saying “gnarly” thanks to Peter Purcell.

19. My ideal car is a Land Rover Defender.

20. U2’s album ‘POP’ is one of the greatest albums ever.

21. I think Seth Green’s performance in ‘Can’t Hardly Wait’ deserved an Oscar nomination.

22. I have a birthmark on the tip of my ring finger on my left hand.

23. I will never understand World of Warcraft.

24. My favorite author is Mark Twain.

25. If I didn’t enjoy writing and archaeology as much as I do, I think I would have liked to make a living as a surfing photographer.