Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Now in Haikus

Hello everyone.

In an effort to thank you for your time and attention I believe it is necessary to reward the reader (that's you). Sometimes rewards come in the form of large, fat cash payouts sometimes in the size of $20million (US). Sometimes the rewards can be less extravagant. I've decided to stop writing your checks for $20 (US) and am instead changing the format of today's moving / grad school journal. I am writing today's journal in haiku form. I think you'll find that these autobiographical haikus are worth more than your checks for $2 (US). I think it best to keep in the tradition of the haiku format specifically as they relate to philosophical musings about nature and hardships. The haiku format gives a spiritual compass for the intended subjects by painting words with a broad brush providing you with the opportunity to ponder the minutiae minutae minuatia mininininin of the moment.

I journal maker
The writing esta bueno
Welcome to hiakus

Dodge Jeep strong like bull
Transmission of demon spawn
Vroom-vroom crash, tear drop

Chicago road trips
Windy skies and snowy fields
Enjoy this haiku

Teach computer class
Grades like ice flower in sky
Why students exist?

Apartment so cold
Why landlord no fix heater?
Tiny spring flower

I watch Olberman
Heat bill three hundred dollars
Tiny flower wilts

Landlord is missing
I see though he did one thing
Weather stripped screen door

I write graphics code
Artist is now code monkey
Hoar frost grows in ears

It’s now 2 a.m.
Code shimmers, waves like mirage
Damn the blue screen death

Hello Lafayette
Why hast thou forsaken me?
Die pretty flower

Spring Break with Girlfriend
School Conference with Free Travel

Stands tall with presence
Kendo practice good for soul
Students now half off

Drip drop ceiling wet
Landlord make roofing repair
Fix ceiling later

Ceiling now have holes
Frozen air pours from baseboards
Where is sealing foam?

Must make finance books
Desperate blackness eats soul
Small flower is broke

“Zak and Dakota”
Bring old project into school
Can I have money?

Crazy professor
“That’s hard like hell!” says teacher
Rose blossom on leaf

Homework due Friday
Dear God, will it ever end?
Needs more horsepower

Mutter’s Apple Pie
Her Gramma bakes a fine treat
Word to yer Mutter

Thank You,
Andrew Britton

Friday, February 20, 2009

2008: A Year in Review

It's often best to get right to the point, to get right to the heart of the matter. Today's journal will get right to the heart of the matter through clear obfuscation. In short: I am a Japanese Power Ranger.
The holidays, the previous summer, and the semester's end have brought many confusions: learning statistics (wait till I tell you my final grade... hello nervous anticipation), navigating safe passage through Love, a first semester at University, moving to the Midwest, living again in the Midwest, The impermanent and vaguely unattainable Hope of Straight A's, two dead cats, one irritating police officer, random rudeness and the mistaken identity as a vagrant, an ill-professor and his extra workload, travel, grading, test-writing, students who beg, ailing automobiles, ill-timed NSF deadlines, money, self-identity inquiries and I-65.

It is over. The semester hath ended. With an extreme fury - like that of Zeus fathering a child who turned out to be the illegitimate lustful offspring between Cronos, Boetis (a famed she-goat known for her in-depth knowledge of manual transmissions and all things relating to horse-power) and Elmus (a lesser Muppoid of the house Sesamete) - the semester wrought great havoc upon my Life. Last semester Severely harshed my mellow man. Through the thick and thin of it all I managed a feat previously unattainable by my mortal hands... for the first time ever, dating as far back 42 bce, I earned the famed, the coveted, the oft-sought and rarely discovered, the pinnacle for the house of reformed slackerdom, the non-trivial proof that maturity has finally latched its spindly tentacles into my cerebrainium... Yes... I say clearly to all who read this (thanks mom), I have, on record, as documented by the school of Purdue University, through no coercion or subterfuge of my own, and achieved, while maintaining academic integrity, a 4.0 for the semester.
Thank You.

Two Dead Cats...
Lafayette will always be a bizarre place for me. I feel very much as an alien in visit. I observe, make judgements and generally avoid too much interaction. It's not as if I'm anti-social. No one around here would claim that of me. It's more that I hope to make this visit impermanent. Y'know, so it won't be permanent. Last semester greeted me with a plethora of surprises, some of those surprises were even welcome. Of the set of welcome surprises, the two dead cats are not included. The first little kitty I found in the dumpster behind my apartment. It lay motionless inside a plastic grocery bag. Angry and very upset, I called non-emergency police. I wanted to know about the legality of leaving a cat in a bag in a dumpster. This seemed illegal. After inquiring with the police operator I was informed that if the cat has passed then "What else is someone supposed to do with it?" To be fair, she did inquire with others to ascertain the legality of this practice. She also informed me that this is one way people get rid of their dead cats. It's very sad to think this is what's become of a cat. I was hoping that maybe the cat would be buried or taken to the vet.
A few months later, I found another cat. This one lay in the street. I pulled it out of the street and onto the curb to keep it from getting run over.

Money? Ha! I'm a grad student now...
Status report... The car: The transmission dies slowly. By the end of last semester it began slipping gears and starting in 2nd. $2200 to rebuild. Monthly electricity costs: November electric bill - $270, December electric bill - $370. The transmission rebuild is being stalled until such time as I can find $2200, not on credit. However, the power bills did have to be paid. What was the landlord's reaction to the electric bills? "That sucks man. I know how it feels. I have $400 in power bills at my house." Maybe, dear landlord, you'd like to look around and see what could be done? "Well, I really don't know what we can do. I guess we can put a piece of insulation that covers your side door." That will be better than nothing. At this time the doors are so poorly spaced from their frames that cold air pours into the apartment. In the beginning of February I'll investigate why my feet are cold when I'm in the office. I will also be amazed, in February, when my power bill for January will $330 while running 3 of 5 of the apartment's baseboard heaters. The bathroom and bedroom heaters will be turned off. By this time in December though, I am sleeping on the floor of my living room because the bedroom is too cold, even with the heater turned on.

Back to the Present Past of December 2008...
Christmas vacation ended. Mom was decorating the house with maroon swatches of fake flowers. In the final moments of said decoration, I jumped at the middle son's obligation to ally a 5 year old's obnoxious sense of humor with a mother's words misconstrued. She, telling the room that had her father fought for the Japanese during WWII (and not the Americans) AND had she been trained in flower arranging then she might have been a Japanese flower arranger. And Me, acting 26 years beneath my physical age and perhaps 2 less then my mental age, asking if my mom was a Japanese Power Ranger.

I got a 4.0 GPA last semester. That was awesome. And, to be clear... My mom would make an excellent Red Power Ranger. Her martial arts knowledge merging with her legal acumen would thereby produce her own style: Kung Sue.