Monthly Archives: October 2005

Thrice = Love: The Rush

I want to take the bul­let,
The one aimed straight for your heart.
I want to meet the wolves halfway
And let them tear me apart,
But that’s not the way they do it here.

I want to lay on the tracks,
Feel hot steel scream­ing at me.
Expose the bones on my back,
Let me show you what I mean.

Yeah, it’s a dif­fer­ent kind of love.
I want to climb barbed wire fences
And warm our hands in blood.

And this is my gift
Asking you to fix my ruined hands.
And it’s a gift that keeps on giv­ing,
And right now it’s all I have to give.

I want to write the per­fect song,
And play it just for you,
While you are tan­gled up in sleep.
I need you more than I’ll ever know.
Until I stop breath­ing,
My lungs will take you for grant­ed.

—Thrice, In Years To Come

I remem­ber a time in my life when I was scared about love. A set of rather ado­les­cent expe­ri­ences in high school, of which I only now find myself com­fort­able speak­ing frankly, had caused me to cling to an unat­tain­able ide­al. In Lolita, Humbert Humbert well describes such a hap­pen­stance that sim­i­lar­ly “made of it a per­ma­nent obsta­cle to any fur­ther romance through­out the cold years of my youth. The spir­i­tu­al and the phys­i­cal had been blend­ed in us with a per­fec­tion that must remain incom­pre­hen­si­ble to the mat­ter-of-fact, crude, stan­dard-brained young­sters of today”.

Eventually, I had giv­en up my ide­al, but still felt for­ev­er taint­ed, regret­ful­ly break­ing more than enough hearts in the process.

It only took an ardent, extreme­ly brief sum­mer romance to free me, and a jour­ney of 12500 kilo­me­tres to real­ize it.

And as fleet­ing as the entire expe­ri­ence was, it still enough to gal­va­nize, to make me want to take that bul­let, or let the wolves tear me apart. Being tan­gled up in that mad love, the love that goes against rea­son or bet­ter judge­ment, soft­ened the stone in my chest, and it felt like I was final­ly alive.

Gimmie a girl who can make me feel this way.

The Thrice = Love Series

  1. Introduction
  2. The Journey
  3. As The Crucible
  4. Rock It
  5. The Rush
  6. Far From The End

Thrice = Love: Rock It

Entertain the hope that some­how you’ll escape me
Weld the bolts and close the iron gate
Drink deeply the illu­sion of your safe­ty
My how wish­ful thoughts ine­bri­ate
Masquerade and rev­el in your opu­lence
Writhe unfet­tered by your stabs at igno­rance
Swim through hues and whis­pered tones of heresy
A dozen strokes to run your blood cold enough to believe
Remember me
You look so sur­prised to see me here
Hells black wings did I over perch these walls
For stony lim­its can­not hold me out
And now you all die

—Thrice, The Red Death

And now again the music swells, and the dreams live, and writhe to and fro more mer­ri­ly than ever

—Edgar Allen Poe, The Masque Of The Red Death

It’s sim­ple.

Gimmie a girl who isn’t afraid to ROCK THE FUCK OUT to this song.

The Thrice = Love Series

  1. Introduction
  2. The Journey
  3. As The Crucible
  4. Rock It
  5. The Rush
  6. Far From The End

Thrice = Love: The Journey

I see the parts but not the whole
I study saints and schol­ars both
No per­fect plan unfurls
Do I trust my heart or just my mind
Why is truth so hard to find in this world
Yeah in this world

Cause I am due for a mir­a­cle
I’m wait­ing for a sign
I’ll stare straight into the sun
And I won’t close my eyes
Till I under­stand or go blind

—Thrice, Stare At The Sun

Even at my age, whether oth­ers may con­sid­er it young or old, I haven’t decid­ed on a spe­cif­ic set of beliefs, whether they be reli­gious, philo­soph­i­cal, or psy­cho­log­i­cal.

In try­ing times I find myself wish­ing that I had some­thing, some form of struc­ture that would make sense of the things that hap­pen. The most serene peo­ple I know are also the most pious, as they seem to have an answer for the seem­ing­ly unex­plained or unde­served. I’ve often asked the­ists, the ones whose intel­li­gence I respect, what has made them believe in one or sev­er­al gods. Most com­mon­ly the answer is that they have enough evi­dence for such an exis­tence. Even though I’ve had a few serendip­i­tous expe­ri­ences myself, things which I can’t explain by chance alone, it has­n’t been enough to give me a defin­i­tive answer.

Sometimes it feels like I’m wait­ing for a mir­a­cle to give me an answer or show me a path.

I used to be an athe­ist, then an agnos­tic, until I became com­plete­ly unde­cid­ed. It’s rare to find oth­er peo­ple who are open-mind­ed enough to admit that they are still learn­ing, or have yet to dis­cov­er what so many oth­er peo­ple already have. What I know for sure is that I still have the rest of my life to find out, to walk that path and make that jour­ney.

Gimmie a girl who isn’t afraid to stare at the sun with me.

The Thrice = Love Series

  1. Introduction
  2. The Journey
  3. As The Crucible
  4. Rock It
  5. The Rush
  6. Far From The End

Thrice = Love: Introduction

Thumbnail: Thrice ticket

It’s been more than two years since Thrice has released a new album, until Vheissu, just five days ago. I’m still explor­ing the tracks, approach­ing each song with an open mind, but nev­er dis­sect­ing too much through analy­sis. Due to the uncer­tain­tiy of what to expect, lis­ten­ing to some­thing for the first time is always a lit­tle dif­fer­ent.

It can be eas­i­ly observed that they’ve grown through all of their full-length albums. It’s dif­fi­cult to lis­ten to Identity Crisis (2000), because of how rough and unde­vel­oped it is. The Illusion of Safety (2002) was much improved, intro­duc­ing a unique, exper­i­men­tal style, though heav­i­ly influ­enced by punk and met­al­core. The Artist In The Ambulance (2003) took things a step fur­ther, achiev­ing tracks that were both esthet­ic and intel­li­gent.

Ever since I stopped smok­ing weed on a dai­ly basis, of which a great deal of time was spent lis­ten­ing to music, I’ve been ener­vat­ed by the fact that songs would nev­er sound as good, until this album.

Vheissu has renewed my hope. Saved my life.

It goes beyond every­thing else to a com­plete­ly spir­i­tu­al expe­ri­ence, from the album art­work to the chords and the key sig­na­tures. Thrice has reached out with music that is haunt­ing, mov­ing, emo­tion­al, try­ing things that they’ve nev­er tried before. Dustin Kensrue sings more than he screams, even goes falset­to(!), only occas­sion­al­ly call­ing on his hard­core roots. Electronic sounds, piano, acoustic gui­tar have been worked into the tracks them­selves, instead of being rel­e­gat­ed to the intro­duc­tions. The mixed meters are less obtru­sive, but still inter­est­ing enough for prog-rock fans. Even with all of this, they con­tin­ue to defy gen­res, as they’ve done in their pre­vi­ous albums. It all works.

Thrice is com­ing to town, and the con­cert is just six days away.

I was only intro­duced to Thrice in the last two years, but I’ve been through a lot with them. Different apart­ments, room­mates, girl­friends, breakups. Even the lyrics speak to me, lift­ing, mov­ing, nev­er crash­ing. I only ask one thing.

Gimme a girl who loves Thrice.

The Thrice = Love Series

  1. Introduction
  2. The Journey
  3. As The Crucible
  4. Rock It
  5. The Rush
  6. Far From The End

Today, Finally

It’s dif­fi­cult to sleep with so much on the mind, and even more dif­fi­cult when you’re filled with anger about not being able to fall sleep. With my duvet wrapped around me last night, I turned my alarm off com­plete­ly, decid­ing to get into work when­ev­er I woke up, know­ing that I’d need the rest to focus on a per­sis­tent net­work issue. After try­ing to fall asleep for an hour with­out suc­cess, and feel­ing like I’d waste the rest of the morn­ing, I got up very frus­trat­ed. Those who know me, know that five hours is con­sid­ered calami­tous. I cooked a heavy break­fast of bacon, eggs and toast, know­ing that I’d still have time to get to work ear­ly, a bit of sus­te­nance to get me through the rest of the day.

The main prob­lem I’ve been fac­ing for the last week has been the set­up of a VPN for a new out-of-office sales rep we recent­ly hired. It was the per­fect morn­ing to get to work ear­ly, because I could work on the serv­er for about an hour with­out hav­ing to wor­ry about affect­ing any client com­put­ers. I traced the prob­lem to an out­dat­ed ver­sion of the firmware, and crossed my fin­gers (after my last flash­ing dis­as­ter) as I burned the lat­est ver­sion. This was at 7:00 in the morn­ing. I spent the next 13 hours try­ing to fig­ure out why inter­net access stopped work­ing with­in the range of inter­nal IP address­es .1 to .36 (which makes absolute­ly no sense with­out being a pow­er of two, and espe­cial­ly odd when we had no DHCP ranges set).

This meant care­ful­ly learn­ing the exist­ing struc­ture of a net­work I did­n’t set up and fig­ur­ing out the Windows inter­net pro­to­col. I’ve had no for­mal train­ing in being an MCSE, so a lot of the day was spent read­ing through white papers and tech­ni­cal notes for a pos­si­ble DNS/DHCP/IIS/firewall/RRA set­ting I may have looked over. Network ser­vice slow­ly degrad­ed through­out the day as I began trou­bleshoot­ing, includ­ing a simul­ta­ne­ous crash of the main cus­tom soft­ware on every sys­tem, a loss of dynam­ic dns address­ing (which brought our new online ser­vice down), until I could­n’t even find the net­work address of the router.

When you’re filled with angry per­se­ver­ance, you get a lot done. If only oth­er peo­ple could under­stand that. Wearing a face of deter­mi­na­tion means I don’t have time to be pleas­ant, or have a lunch, or lis­ten to innane sto­ries of your grand­chil­dren.

On the walk to work, I had already decid­ed that as soon as I got off, I was going to play some table ten­nis at one of the bi-week­ly ses­sions, vision blurred, eyes dry­ing, as tired as I was, and pass­ing out after din­ner. This obvi­ous­ly did­n’t hap­pen. I’d been seri­ous­ly plan­ning on going since last week, but things just kept get­ting in the way.

Until the last 15 min­utes, the only thing I could think about was whether I’d have to pull an all-nighter, and whether or not I’d even be able to solve things if I did. That’s the risk of tech sup­port; the solu­tion can be as sim­ple as it is elu­sive, and there can be no progress until the very last tweak. Halfway through the day, I already decid­ed that I’d call an exter­nal net­work spe­cial­ist to help if I did­n’t get any­where by tomor­row after­noon. I was too tired to wor­ry about not get­ting the net­work up before the next busi­ness day, which would basi­cal­ly bring the com­pa­ny to a stand­still, and too tired to be angry at every­thing that was going on. After fig­ur­ing out our net­work struc­ture, three calls to tech sup­port, and learn­ing inter­net pro­to­col the­o­ry from the ground up, I final­ly fig­ured out that all I need­ed to do was do a hard reset of the router, and con­fig­ure every­thing from scratch.

It was prob­a­bly the most dif­fi­cult day I’ve had since I start­ed the job, but I knew that if I could get through it and fix the prob­lem, I’d be able to get through any­thing that could be thrown at me. Not only did I get the web con­nec­tion work­ing through the entire sub­net, I also got the sales reps lap­top to con­nect to the VPN through dial-up. Yesterday was a late night, get­ting a web­site done for a client friend. Tomorrow’s anoth­er 14 hour day, and even though I’ve known about it for a month, I don’t think it’ll make it any eas­i­er.

I real­ized that I only real­ly feel lone­ly on days like these, when my body aches, my mind los­es focus, and all I want to do is have some­one else take care of me. To have some­one else decide what to do, because I’m too tired to decide for myself.

Stepping out­side, hun­gry and exhaust­ed, I put on a win­tery playlist for the walk home, since it was two hours past sun­set and the fall nights are get­ting frigid. The first song that came on was Explode by the Cardigans. I’d been sav­ing this song for months now, skip­ping it every time it came on so I would­n’t get tired of it.

Today I final­ly deserved it.