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Money [16 Nov 2012|08:07pm]
My dad is divorcing his third wife. She wants a house out of the deal. My mom is selling a house, the proceeds from which will go to my sister and me. My share will go to pay of my student loans. My dad wants to convince my step mom to buy the house as part of the settlement. That way his divorce settlement would indirectly end up going to my sister and me. One reason he wants to do this is because he knows then I will be able to pay off my student loans and that he won't have to help me, which he offered to do several times in the past.

I am currently moonlighting for a charity he founded, rewriting the copy on its website. He is not paying me, although he did help me while I was unemployed after graduation. Luckily, I was recently promoted at my current organization, a non-profit. Sometimes I find it hard to fill my entire day with work, but I stay there because I was promised a certain number of hours and I'm going to get them. I ask for more work occasionally but not often enough to be annoying.

Recently it was discovered that two young men have been going around the neighborhood claiming to represent the organization and collecting donations. Also today I found out someone stole my credit card information and spent over $1,000 on things like Pizza Hut and Dallas Mavericks tickets. A couple weeks ago Barack Obama was reelected President, defeating a man whose estimated net worth is $250,000,000.
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The Future Is In All Of Us [04 Nov 2012|01:44am]
The Max Yellow line is a light rail that travels between North Portland and downtown. I ride it north to get home. Tonight I boarded in downtown and the first thing I hear is a loud, clownish voice say "You never heard of a band called Sweet?" I turned to see the man posing the question.

He appeared to be in his 60s and was wearing a black leather jacket above black sweat pants and black sneakers. His t-shirt had a picture of the back of a hand holding up two fingers surrounded by the words STIFF LITTLE FINGERS. The man was bald on top, but down past his shoulders fell curly and greying hair. "Can't believe nobody heard of a band called sweet. They rock!"

He was addressing another man, who oddly, was responding without any sarcasm. "No, no can't say I have. I'll look them up."

The man in the STIFF LITTLE FINGERS shirt mused out loud a few more times about how nobody on the train had heard of a band called Sweet, but then he started asking about other bands. "I bet you never heard of a band called Big Star... I bet you never heard of a band called Angry Samoans... I bet you never heard of a band called D.O.A."

"You heard of Megadeth though. You heard of Led Zeppelin. You heard of Maiden." The man he was addressing affirmed that he had indeed.

"I bet you never heard of a band called Loudness though. That's the kind of band I want to be in before it's all over yeah."

The man in the STIFF LITTLE FINGERS shirt became confused about what stop he needed, and the man he was addressing tried to help him. They figured out it was Rosa Parks Blvd. My stop.

When we got off the train I walked behind the man. He turned to the train as it departed. "I need to get a 6-string bass. Like this..." and he played air bass at the windows of the departing train, the passengers looking down at him without any idea who Sweet was.

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Walking in Portland [21 Dec 2010|04:33pm]
I saw a woman in her late 20s or early 30s walking, holding a baby. She seemed like a single mother, perhaps because of her tight black cotton clothing and vintage looking leather boots. She walked with an older man in his 60s. I thought they were father and daughter and grandchild.

There was something about how the man carried himself that made me think he believed he was a pillar in a less than desirable reality. I imagined he wished someone else were the strength that completed this little family. But if I were the old man, I would be happy to have my daughter and grandchild all to myself.
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Black Swan [18 Dec 2010|10:41pm]
I saw it. I liked it, even though I expected to mostly dislike it.

[SPOILERS]

I believe Aranofsky has been trying to realize something through film, but that he's failed repeatedly. He has been attempting to show consuming, romantic ecstasy achieved through obsession. His problem has been that his protagonists always have the opportunity to choose a decent alternative to this obsession. In Black Swan there is no Marisa Tomei, no putting down the needle, etc. We're left rooting for total immolation, which is maybe where Aranofsky wanted to take us all along.

It's a shame for those of us who've sat through his depressing movies that it took him this long to figure out how.

I also thought the movie was occasionally funny, for example when during the climactic performance of the ballet near the end, Nina walks by the dancer playing the sorcerer Von Rothbart (I think) backstage and he says something provincial like "what's up" or "hey". I laughed out loud.

Black Swan is not perfect, but after so many years of essentially making the same movie, Aranofsky has earned the right to be be judged according to his own context.
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Continuing With a Theme [20 Jun 2010|06:02pm]
Earlier this year, women became the majority of the workforce for the first time in U.S. history. Most managers are now women too. And for every two men who get a college degree this year, three women will do the same. For years, women’s progress has been cast as a struggle for equality. But what if equality isn’t the end point? What if modern, postindustrial society is simply better suited to women?




http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/07/the-end-of-men/8135/
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Studies [30 May 2010|01:30pm]
One thing I have come to believe is that heterosexual women prefer mates with slightly lower IQs than their own, although it doesn't seem there are many studies out there to support this. I think that this lack of information is caused by the questions researches aren't asking. They ask questions about the patterns and preferences of men, or they look at the quantifiable civil progress of women.

Hetero women face far more risk in their relationships (pregnancy, STIs, physical abuse) than hetero men. We can conclude this even as lay folk. Therefore it makes sense than a heterosexual woman would prefer a mate whose intelligence is manageable, so that she would know when he was telling the truth and be able to discern patterns in his behavior, allowing her to predict and interpret his actions.

I would predict that a young woman seeking cultural capital and connectedness probably has more under the hood than an older, more knowledgeable partner. The man might display more of his intelligence, and she may play dumb to appease his ego or conform to societal norms, but who is expending more resources to maintain the affection of the other? Who is profiting more quickly?

It is also seldom mentioned that women have a physiology conducive to multiple partners just like men. Whereas a man is physically capable of impregnating multiple women a day were he so charming or forceful, a woman's body will naturally tune itself to multiple partners, increasing the likelihood of conception with a more daring, attractive man while leaving the more gentle, nurturing mate to raise the rambler's children believing them to be his own.

It is also my contention that this sort of deviousness on the part of a woman requires much more planning and information control than is required from a cheating man, who has far less biological interest in maintaining the devotion of dedicated partner, and who must only carry enough intelligence to place himself in the sights of a slightly sharper woman.
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[30 May 2010|12:29am]
Advertising is where white people are fighting the race war.
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A Man [03 May 2010|12:27am]
I don't like asking for directions or for where something might be in a store. It has nothing to do with pride or shyness. It's that when I am lost I am free. Even though I am struggling to get back on track, to get to some destination or product which is the next step, for that moment I am decidedly off-course, and only instincts and luck will save me.
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Yard Work [17 Apr 2010|08:28pm]
A few days ago a young man knocked on my door asking if we'd like to have our lawn mowed for $20. Maybe it was $25. I can't remember but I need to figure that out soon because I'll have to run to the ATM if it's $25. He's here now getting a late start on his end of the bargain.

Every 20 seconds or so his lawn mower shuts off and he has to restart it. After it shut off a bit ago I heard what I thought was sobbing. I thought the young man was crying because his lawn mower wouldn't keep running. He started the mower again and when it shut off I heard the sobbing a second time.

When I looked out my window I saw a large man and a young woman standing on the sidewalk in front of my house. The large man, perhaps in his early 20s, was pointing into the yard and laughing the laugh of someone who was undeniably mentally disabled. It was his laugh which I had mistaken for sobbing. The young woman was smiling up at him.

***

I paid the young man his $25, three of it in quarters. We made no mention of the laughing man nor who I assumed was his sister.
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Facebook [04 Apr 2010|11:47pm]
I undeleted my Facebook account. ("Undeleted" is a word, you archaic spellchecker. Oh what, "spellchecker" is a word but "undeleted" isn't? Fuck you.) There were a few people I only kept in touch with on the site. I pared my feed down to only those I care about or who greatly interest me. It's a good thing.

But today I saw my Step Mom posting some stuff about farmers and farming. She's a small town gal, and probably has plenty of friends and family who actually are farmers, so I assumed she was writing something to them. When I read her update closer I saw she was actually communicating to other people on her friends list who played one of those games on Facebook, the farming game. I think she must have also befriended people through the game.

It was like seeing an animal attached inextricably to a piece of plastic.
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Public Radio [08 Mar 2010|12:14am]
Tonight on a drive home from Manzanita, OR I listened to a conversation about conversation. The guest said that sometimes it's okay to be mischievous in a conversation in order to provoke a deeper connection. "You're giving permission," suggested the host. "Yes," said the guest.



I will remember to give more permission.
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In this way I am like a cat. [06 Mar 2010|11:33pm]
So I eat a ton of the following thing:

Soy yogurt, sun butter, bananas, and berries in a bowl. I often eat two bowls of this shit a day and have been doing so for several months. It's really good, but how weird is it that this concoction makes up 50% of my caloric intake.
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Grunge [05 Mar 2010|10:42pm]
I went to the grocery store wearing sweat pants tonight, like some sort of obese couchwhale making the trek to pick up an oven-bake pizza and a 2-liter of Coca-Cola. I didn't care who saw me because it was store time, and if I had gone home to change then I would have missed store time ended up eating some unholy casserole of whatever the hell was in the fridge and pantry.

I also had a better reason for not caring. That's because my sweat pants were noble; they were yoga sweat pants. Not those yoga-specific pants that women with pony tails wear, but sweat pants worn to do yoga. I had just come from yoga because I started doing yoga. Tonight was my third class, and I love it.

I started because my shoulder hurts from too much guitar. A doctor, a massage therapist, and friends who practice yoga have insisted it's the best way to relieve such pain. Or swimming they say, but yoga seemed more interesting and less chlorinated.

When I'm around new group of people I can't help but imagine the worst possible psychological landscape, for example: that all the women in the class think I am there to pick up on them. Or even worse, that I am there to leer at them. So I just keep my head down and ignore everyone but the instructor.

But the instructor tonight was attractive. She reminded me of a friend who I love dearly, in fact. I felt as if she might find me interesting, but that could have just been her open chakras or whathaveyous.

Like many such enlightened women, this yoga instructor doesn't shave her armpits. I find that somewhat unattractive, although not a deal breaker for me anymore after living in Portland for nearly three years (this May). More than any sort of repulsion, I anticipate the eventual conversation in which I would have to admit that I would prefer her armpits shaved. It's not like I would push the issue, but these earthly things have ways of becoming levers in more spiritual matters, and I am sometimes guilty of being honest about the wrong things.
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Twitter [05 Mar 2010|03:00pm]
I have to be honest that I miss Facebook. I know what I really miss is what I hoped my live feed would be and not what it actually was, which was a bunch of updates about meals and minor annoyances.

I talked to a friend today who I haven't talked to in a few weeks. It was so fun to hear from her. Had I been reading her Facebook updates (she updates a lot) I would have missed her significantly less.

I have been enjoying my Twitter account, but it's a bit sparse, and so I'm turning to you, my LiveJournal friends, to recommend exciting people to follow.
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Sheet. [28 Feb 2010|07:47pm]
I have a lot of homework to do. One of the ways I am choosing to procrastinate is by sharing a new song with you.

Greenladies - Anyways by greenladies

I will try and get my studying done early enough to watch some more streaming Netflix tonight. That sounds like an expletive. It's pretty great though. So far I've watched Wall-E, The Usual Suspects, and the first 30 minutes of a documentary called Fast, Cheap & Out of Control. They all hovered at or slightly below expectations.
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Facebook [24 Feb 2010|01:07am]
Facebook is neither face nor book, but it stands in for both.

Deleting my personal Facebook account has been one of the best things I've done in some time. It was making me start to hate the Internet, and it was wasting too much of my time. I don't mind spending hours online if I'm learning or creating something, but the other night I caught myself wandering around on Facebook for hours doing neither of those things. The day after I told Facebook to delete my account (the actual deletion takes 14 days), I woke up and logged into Facebook first thing in the morning, accidentally reactivating my account.

I have a dummy account I use to administer the Facebook page for my music, but that account has no friends and so it takes me about 5 minutes to log on and do what I need to do. There is no barrage of status updates to suck me into to a world of adorable baby photos, adorable ex-girlfriends, and adorable bite-sized conversations.

I've taken my need to share sound bytes to Twitter, which for me is more about giving than receiving.
I still spend almost as much time online, it's just that now I'm back to updating my own blog, reading blogs I like, and now here I am updating this journal.

I don't feel alarmist or reactionary to call Facebook dangerous because the company is so ambitious. When a company seems as if it is trying to be the Internet itself, that is frightening. Facebook homogenizes users' experiences, and content creators who rely to heavily on it allow their work to be homogenized. And so on.

Long story short, I now have much more time to stir up shit.
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What's your sign? [15 Feb 2010|12:32am]
A lot of people in Portland, Oregon believe in astrology. I don't have numbers, but my guess is that astrology is taken seriously by a number approaching if not exceeding 50% of the population.

If you were in a social setting and someone started proselytizing at you about Christianity or Scientology, you would probably find at least a few people who would take your side. Or not so much take your side as understand if you were a little defensive or cold in your rejection of the ideas being pushed at you. But if you don't play along with the questions and accompanying interpretations about your sign, you might as well be asking to be ostracized.

Because I don't fear fundamentalist astrology like I might fear a fundamentalist monotheistic religion, I usually try to play dumb, hoping the astrologist will just get bored of me. I don't have latent anger against hardcore astrologists like I do against self-righteous Christians. But it does bother me when I hear people say things indicating they have based a decision about another person on astrology, e.g.: "I could never work with her. She's a Taurus." or "Oh your brother is a Capricorn? I have to meet him!"

Sometimes I like to watch people use astrology as a social lubricant, coming up with all sorts of ideas about each other and their mutual friends just moments after meeting. It's sort of like sports for hyper-masculine men, providing that neutral or even faux-hostile common ground. There is a certain amount of irony and tongue-in-cheekness about both sports and astrology too, and it's always hard to tell exactly how serious someone is taking it. But with sports and astrology, the music stops whenever the questions come my way.

When I was younger I would lie about my sign and watch the questioner explain why the false sign made so much sense for me. If I was bothered enough I would then tell them my real sign. If I was really bothered I would lie a second time and watch them say "Ohhh! Aha now I see..." and so on.

Now I usually just say my real sign, which is Gemini. That's fortunate because no matter what a multifaceted Gemini does, it will make sense to someone who believes in astrology.
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Avatar [13 Feb 2010|03:27am]
Just watched Avatar in a theater in a huge mall in Calackamas, OR just outside of Portland. The mall is called Calackamas Town Center, and for as far as I could tell it was the center of the town, although that may have just been because I don't know Calackamas very well. In Fresno, CA, where I spent most of my time growing up, there are malls which might appear like town centers but exist on the outskirts of the city, pulling people away from the geographic and historical center. The malls in Fresno also have Claim Jumpers, Barnes and Nobles, and Chipotles.

Not trying to moan about something we all know and understand by now -- that these behemoth malls create sprawl and homogenize the American landscape. It's just that this gets me to what I think is an interesting point which is that without asking anyone, without checking the paper or my phone, and without ever having been to that mall before, I walked in assuming I could find a theater and watch Avatar. I walked in just before 8pm, found the theater next to the food court just as expected, and was watching the trailers before Avatar at 8:05pm.

[SPOILER ALERT]

I liked the movie more than I expected to...

Read more...Collapse )
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Easier [07 Feb 2010|10:34pm]
Now that I'm planning on buying a car (an old Corvair van to be specific), it strikes me as a little absurd that I've existed for 3 years riding my bike around this town and living without a car. Biking to school and work in the rain. Biking home drunk from bars at 3 in the morning. Buying a new bike when my bike is stolen. Getting tune ups on my bike.

I still plan to ride often, but I'm looking forward to the greater freedom allowed by a car. That means getting up to visit friends in Seattle and to the Oregon Coast where I sometimes dream about settling down. Being able to load groceries into a car will be nice too, and being able to drive to Trader Joe's intead of having to take the Max to one of the stores on the Yellow Line.

Another thing I want to make easier on myself is my diet. After testing positive for wheat allergy and later taking a food intolerance test, my dietary restrictions are daunting. Not to mention that nightshades, which I discovered on my own were causing me problems, came back as suggested eating on the Alcat results. If I were to follow all the restrictions that have been set down by medical testing and leave out nightshades I wouldn't be able to eat wheat, rice, or potatoes. That is hard. It's not impossible once you've been working on eliminating foods for long enough, but it is hard.

I have learned, however, that overeating is the biggest culprit, no matter the food. Now that I've accepted this, and now that I have stopped drinking and smoking, I am hoping I can slowly begin to bring everything back into my diet again.

According to the Alcat test, I am severely intolerant of rice along with several other foods. I will probably try to wait out the suggested 6 month period, and then at that point I will start eating rice again. I have already started eating nightshades again. I'll probably try to keep dairy out too because it's bad for singing I've found. If eating smaller portions and less often continues to make me feel better despite eating a wider range of foods, I will slowly reincorporate wheat, oats, and barley into my diet again maybe toward the end of this year.

Not drinking has been fine. It's only been 2 weeks, but that's probably the longest I've gone in years. I was always afraid that not drinking and smoking would make me less inspired or feel like less of an artist. In some ways that is true, but the removal of pacifiers has been more of a boon than a deterrent to creativity. Plus I feel I have a financial and temporal advantage.
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A Game [01 Feb 2010|11:25pm]
It sucks when your idea for the Great American Novel would inevitably be compared to Harry Potter. Of course, that's all I can say about that so let's move on to something else.

Check out this pretty fun game I invented. Maybe it could be called God Bombing.

Someone offers you something "bad" like drugs, sex, or booze and you curtly say "No thank you." When they ask you why you say (with a glazed, satisfied look on your face) something like this:

"I'm floating on a new cloud these days man." or

"I've got something way more powerful running through my veins now." or

"I'm all about the good news now my friend."

You may see the demon that is possessing them show its real face.
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