.... The Messy Mind of J'rod: December 2008
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Monday, December 22, 2008

House of Leaves

I am reading “House of Leaves” right now, and I have to say that it seems to be eerily penetrating my life. It’s odd enough that the book is about a guy who discovers some documents produced by a man who seemingly was nuts, and these documents start to turn this other guy crazy as well. I’m not far into it, but I have noticed a few things that – I’m sure – are just coincidences that pertain to my life. To begin, I had a dream about a week ago that I was at a summer camp, and that camp eventually sent me to Massachusetts on a field trip. When I woke up I thought, “that’s odd. Why Massachusetts? When did that place ever come up in my recent past to end up in my dreams? Of all the places in the world, my brain decided to pick Massachusetts as a location-setting for my dream.” So I decided to forget about it, and then the next day something odd happened. I was reading House of Leaves, and the word Massachusetts came up in the novel. After distinctly recalling that I already had a dream about the place, I had to do a double-take at the words on the page. Yup. Massachusetts was right there on the page. But I didn’t remember reading about it before, so my dreams didn’t come from reading this book... did it? I recall seeing an index of words at the back of the novel. I recalled earlier that it was an index of seemingly useless words, and at the time I thought, “who would ever need to look up where words like ‘cave’ or ‘entire’ would come up?” But now it had a use. I looked up Massachusetts and lo and behold, it had come up before... on page 16, and I was already on page 32. So I scan the page for the word, several times, and I can’t find Massachusetts anywhere on it. I figured the index was just a dummy index, but then I decide to check one more time. Found it! Massachusetts comes up in a footnote at the very bottom of the page in small font. It’s hidden within some obscure reference block that I’m sure I didn’t bother scanning when I read the page the first time. So how did Massachusetts come up in my dream then? Did I see it in my peripheral vision, and somehow it got caught into my synapses? I dunno, but it’s weird enough to think that I had a pre-cognition about it. Of course it could just be coincidence.

So I let it go. I read on, and today another weird occurrence... occurred. To back up a little, this past semester I took an ‘Abnormal Psychology’ class, and in one lecture we learned about ‘neologisms’. A neologism is a made up word, which can often be seen as a symptom of people who suffer from schizophrenia. Take for example the word ‘orshoes’, which I just made up. It is a noun for shoes that are orange. As I was studying for my final with a friend of mine, we made quite the deal to try to remember what a neologism was. This was after all, the first time we had ever heard of the word before. Never in my 29 years of life had I come across the term, and I expected that outside of a psychology setting, never again would I hear about it. I was wrong. Today I read a bit more of House of Leaves, and at the end of chapter 5 on page 73, guess what word came up? So far, I don’t recall coming across any words I couldn’t understand in the book, and it was almost impeccable timing that I learned what a neologism was just before reading about it in the book. Of course, perhaps I have come across other words I couldn’t understand and just skipped over them and forgot about them. The point is, is that neologism is an obscure and rare word, and I find it quite the coincidence to find it now in this book. I am curious to see what else this book throws at me, but now that I am aware of its effect, it’ll have to try much harder to throw me off.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Welcome Harlow.

Hey... I need to go pee.  Are you listening?I would like to take the time to welcome Harlow to the NotImmortal fold. She has joined the other talking heads on the main page, and will hopefully have a lot to contribute to our discussions. If you want to see her running around like an ADHD kid after a Hershey Bar check out my video on Facebook (if you're added as a friend... if not, you'll have to use your ymagynacioun). Damn... too much Chaucer in the head.

On that note, it occurred to me that anyone using Mozilla Firefox can't read what the guys up top are saying. It seems that Explorer users can simply place their cursor over the head and read what's on their minds (a little easter egg I added about a year ago), but it won't work with the Firefox. What's up with that?

What's that you say? I should be studying for exams? Screw you, I studied all day and I wanna relax. I can't wait for Friday night when exams are finished.