AOL CDs

CDs to install an awful internet service

I know that these are already irrelevant and that a younger person probably has no idea what I’m talking about. Basically, these CDs are what AOL and other companies would send you to try to get you to try “the internet” with. Amazingly, I even remember getting these offers on floppies, which are an ancient technology used by mythological humans in the 1990s. I know the concept of getting a CD just to start the internet seems strange, considering that these days if you start a computer it’s probably online. And if not, your phone is. But, back in the day, these CDs were everywhere. You’d get them in the mail and see them at every cash register. They’d be all over the place. So, as a kid, I couldn’t help but just grabbing everything that said free.

If you can imagine anything more awesome to a kid than this, your parents must have given you LSD.

Of course, I experimented with the usual ways to abuse these things — as frisbees or as microwavable mayhem. But, the point of this story is not about those obvious (though interesting) ways to break the free AOL CDs.

One of my best friends in elementary/middle school was Pierce. He and I would always hang out, and always ended up going to the movies with his mom. (I remember at least 10 cases of her bringing a soft drink smuggled in her purse and it somehow exploding in the movie theater all in her purse…) One day while at the theater we discovered what was essentially the Holy Grail of free crap — and entire box of AOL CDs. Obviously, we grabbed as many as we could carry — fat stacks of these things. I don’t know why we didn’t get a bag, but instead we just stuffed them in our clothes and tried to remain innocuous.

Secretly, this was our goal. Why didn't we use nails? Stupid kids!

When we got to Pierce’s house, we instantly decided what we had to do: destroy every last CD. After about 20 or so CD frisbees, I think we finally figured out the best way (worst way?) to possibly do it. We went outside and stuck them in the cracks in the road in front of his house and lined them up until there were probably 30 or 40 CDs. Then, we set up a laser pointer that would go from his second story window onto a stop sign right in front of the CDs. The genius result was that people would drive, get flashed in the eyes by the laser pointer, and then bust a ton of CDs with the most loud crack imaginable and then get puzzled, stop, and see what the hell had just happened.

Somehow we were never caught. I don’t get how because we did this literally right in front of his house and we would just hide in the bushes. But I’m glad we didn’t because this makes for one of my favorite childhood memories.

5 May 2006

Nice hair, self from the past

One thing that I will miss deeply about Midland is the Great Wall, the best Chinese place ever. For under five dollars, I can get lo mein and soup. I mean, c’mon, what a deal. I really really like that place. Although, I wouldn’t mind a sushi place.

Today we have off. Cinco de Mayo (or a snow day, you pick). I filled out a ton of graduation annoucements; they take some time. I also deposited a check. And that’s everything of note.

Currently, I’m pretty happy. If it’s the Chinese food or the day in general, I’m not sure. Maybe it was the ten hours of sleep. I haven’t had that pleasure in a long time. I feel incredibly tired lately. I think my life is busy, although I assume that it’s not really all that action-packed. Rather, I just look at people who have more hectic lives than I do with a sort of mixed confusion as how they are still standing.

I can’t wait to graduate. That was the point of this post. I want to be done — so badly. Almost there. Just a little longer. My grades are falling, but I’ll manage. Or I don’t actually care. We’ll see.

I just want out.

21 February 2006

Today was the English Language Arts TAKS test, the pointless and trivial test designed to see if we, the students, have a pulse and can use a pencil. Most important about this day is that I didn’t have to go. We were, however, supposed to come back at 1:50 after the juniors and sophomores finished, but I decided not to.

I have a six page research paper due tommorrow. I practically started the paper at 2 PM and then went to work for a few hours, leaving me at about page three. I don’t know if I really want to finish it, so I may decide to not do anything.

I also bought a new graphics card. It’s a eVGA GeForce 7800 GS CO Superclock. Nerdy, I know. Basically, it means I won’t have to shell out the cash for a PS3 or an XBOX360 because this thing is a lot more powerful.

I’m at the point where I’m coasting through school; my grade shows this. Although, I know it doesn’t matter anymore.

28 November 2005

Who would have thought that MySpace, of all the places in the world, would allow me to get into contact with people I haven’t seen in ages? All of those people from junior high and elementary are back at my fingers. Just talking to Pierce has given me this weird feeling: we’re all grown up now. How odd, if anything. All of the memories that have since left me returned in full force; I must have nearly forgotten all of my childhood. Now I can get some of it back. It feels really great. I never realized how much I missed every one of the people I used to know.

Pierce reminded me of all the absolutely insane things we used to do. I remember that we set up a high-powered laser pointer device used in laser light shows and pointed it from his window to the stop sign. It hit everybody at their eyes. People stopped, people swerved. It was great.

Though, I do know if I still lived there that I would be somebody different. I can’t say what I’d be, I just know it wouldn’t be me. In that respect, I don’t think that leaving my childhood behind was a terrible thing — I’m me because of it all. I suppose I would rather be me than anyone else. If I had a chance to redo everything, I’d keep it the way it is. Plus, I always thought that backtracking was a huge hassle.

25 April 2004

My throat hurts. I was at Ry’s party. Screaming over 50 people and the huge amounts of speakers, I’d say I’ll be sorry tommorrow. Afterwards, I just sat around with the guys and played guitar with them. Best acoustic I’ve ever played. That’s not really to say I’ve played all that many.

Oh, and I’ve got a cell phone. It’s a nice little flip phone. I don’t have very many minutes though, not that I’d really need many. I swear they are made for teen girls, default of a pink backlight, a teddy bear background, and a girly ringtone. I fixed all that I could and wasted away some free sign-up credits on the best ring tone ever devised by man. Speaking of phones, I was up all night talking with Nick Oswald yesterday. That guy is great. He’s just like me in almost every way. Excellent bass player as well. We have conversations where we think the exact same thing and say it at the same time. Not many people do that with me. I laughed harder than I’ve laughed in months.

Tommorrow will be a lonely Sunday, but now, now time for guitar and mood lights. All that’s missing is the girl.

30 March 2004

It’s really not that I like POD, I just like this song. Not the lyrics really, the damned guitar. Nice song, really.

Today is a great day to be alive… well, for me. Dunno about you, faithful reader. The only bad thing that happened, and you’ll kill me for this, I know — bombed a history test today. It was all going good until the essay. Why? Because the essay was… A CHART! Yes, *gasp* a chart. Three blank boxes that needed to sum up WWI. I mentioned all the treaties in the right order, praying that I was doing it right. She took my paper, flipped it over, and put a big HUGE red X over the whole thing and then a -15. And that was BEFORE the other part of the test. So, if I come up with an 89, I’ll give you permission to punch me.

Anyway, back to the great day stuff. I’m not sure why really, it’s just like “wow, everything is all mmk!” and I have no reason for it. Grr, I hate it when I’m happy like this.

Yea, I know you’re probably thinking “Hrm, Clay sure has updated his journal. A lot.” I sure have. I’m going through Logen withdrawls. I sit down and think “… yep… uh…” and that goes on for a few hours. Fix your computer because your blog isn’t enough supplementary material to hold me over. I could have built you six or seven new computers in this amount of time.

Plus, all this down time, I have an ordered list of questions to ask you and twenty “night, love”s to tell you. Well, ok, it’s not that urgent, but you get the idea. I miss your smile.. smiling emoticon. Ah, pathetic. If only rebelchic, mike fisk, or somebody else I cared about would get online, I’d have a chat with them. But, that just does not happen. (Check your devious notes, I found something by accident when talking to Weke).

Man, I haven’t even talked to Nick Oswald in a while. He’s a cool guy. The last time I talked to Austin, Trip, and the others they all agreed that it was over and behind them and that it “never happened” … which effectively severed my ties.

The Wave. Remember the book, or the short movie that it all started with? You probably haven’t ever seen it. My 6th grade History teacher showed the class it. I loved that movie. It spurred the whole “Communism Rules!” campaign that Matt, Scott, Nick, Bao, Sarah, the other Nick, and I started. Another long story. Anyway, a webboard started, number 3004, called the Wave. It was my home to piracy. The big guys sat around there and laughed. Ah, it’s been so long. I was banned for using too large of fonts while cursing out an admin. It’s still rather funny. I’m back in now… time to say hi to Mig, Rimmer66, KTA, and all my other buddies.

Sorry for writing a novel, but great days or extremely blah days need proper explanation. (Yes, even though I explained basically nothing.)

Have a nice day, will ya?

23 January 2004

I was determined to read a friend’s fight log and not get caught. Solution: my old, old laptop that barely runs Windows 95. I got on it and started reading when I noticed the start menu was full of all the things I used to have on there. I didn’t remember half of the stuff until I actually looked. I found this old log that I thought I had deleted. It was in a temporary folder and technically should have been deleted, but wasn’t somehow. Spelling errors and grammatical errors have been fixed, for the most part. There weren’t any dates, I left them out to begin with and kept the same format. Here are the most interesting entries.

5th grade.
“I wanted to start this log as a journal for me. I don’t know if it will be interesting or any good at all. I started this so I can look back on stuff when I’m older. I know that looking back things are a lot different and that sometimes making logs helps people to remember what got fuzzy along the way. I don’t have anything to start out with except that I was inspired to do this because in a way this is more private than a diary because I’m the only person reading.”

“Karen’s mom called me because of my web site. I make HTML pages. My recent page <a copy of it here> was really cool. I learned how to make frames and use tables. Except, one page that I made and already took down said ‘Karen sucks at HTML compared to me, the amazing lemontea.’ Her parent called me for being vulgar and offensive when I was just really joking. And just to note, Karen does suck at HTML because she uses homemaker to make her site when I coded all of mine myself. What gives?!”

“Today we had to pose for pictures for some teachers meeting book or something. I’m not quite sure, they never did explain. It was about technology in students so I popped my web site up and got some air time. But the teacher taking the photo refused to believe that I made the web site. I learned a programming language and had lots of fun! I didn’t know that it was all that hard. After all I did it, didn’t I?”

“Hilary Smith’s older sister who is in eighth grade came to my class today. I wonder what it’s like being in eighth grade and having all the work and pop quizes. It really sounds bad. So this girl came to my class and gave us a lecture on Indian life in the 1700s and I kept thinking, “wow, I really know all of this already.” She talked about how the Indians put boards on kid’s head because that was their culture and we should respect it. I don’t really care about Indians, but I read something about them before on the internet and I already know more. I feel more intelligent than other kids. Is something wrong? I was talking to an older guy that I met called Mike Fisk who told me to read some books and then move on to philosophy and greek things. I think that I will do that.”

“Fifth grade is about to end and we had awards day. We all got some sort of award not to feel left out. My dad says that it’s something about how nobody can win anything any more and they are sheltering us. I think he’s right.”

Welcome to 6th grade, and bowl cuts.

6th grade.
“Today was the fourth day of sixth grade and lots of kids I’ve never seen were there. They filtered through from the other elementary schools. I still feel lost having to bump around the halls with the eight graders. I admire them for being so smooth and knowing so much… but, I know just about as much as they do. I re-read a philosophy book and it makes a lot more sense now when I took the time to look up the words. Did you know that you can see by a person’s eyes if they are lying. I can’t wait to try it out some more but I’m not very good at it.”

“Me, Matt, and Scott are all in a Science class together. We love messing with the teacher because she’s such an idiot. For example it’s only been about one fourth through school now and we’ve stolen a calculator each and every day. She never notices us and buys more constantly. We are all saving them back so that we can burn them at the end of the year in a pile. Matt took four science books and we plan on burning it all. She gives us little experiments to do that you have to make one test and then test more. All the other students are testing away and we just do one test to get a number and subtract a few and add a few back to get the rest of the numbers. We just sit there and make jokes and try to be as funny as possible. I love that class.”

“Jake and I are going to light a bunch of stuff on fire under the bridge by the elementary school. I’ll tell you how that goes. Be back soon!”

“We managed to catch the bridge on fire because we didn’t use the gasoline well. I think we could have killed ourselves but seeing water on fire was the best thing ever. Still Jake got mad at me for something stupid and now he’s not talking to me. Whatever.”

“Another girl called heidi asked me out. I said yes. Shes totally hot but sorta insane. She wears a black straight jacket to school sometimes and drinks pen ink. But she’s funny and really nice too so I hope it’s for the best.”

“It wasn’t for the best. I don’t want to talk about it. I hate girls already and I’m hardly into 6th grade.”

“I really liked this year. Looking back, it was a lot of fun with hardly any bad times. I would like to thank the “experimental” English project group who drafted me and 99 other students into the GT English course. It’s the eqivalent of 8th grade English they say. Two teachers per twenty students and they both care about you. I didn’t really like literary type things until this year. I liked to read, but not to write. Now, I can write poems. Lots of them. Sonnets, freeform, whatever. I’ve wrote about one hundred and got 6 published so far. There’s even cash back benifet. I remember ‘crazy hat’ day too. That rocked. Bao and I strapped random items on our head in hopes of winning the contest. The 8th graders just wore normal hats and didn’t care. I don’t know why though, it was honestly fun. I used a stuffed teddy bear that would have been Erikas, had she not have got caught kissing another guy before I could give it to her. I took it home and burned it later. Bahaha… I’m messed up.”

Welcome to 7th grade, and spiked hair

7th grade (houston)
“Seventh grade may be a bit dim for me. My parents came to me and sat me down on my bed today and said, “We’re running out of money in Kingwood. It’s just too expensive. I think we need to move soon.” So it dawned on me. We aren’t rich and everything I held as normal I took for granted. My parents want to move into the country and I suppose that may be a good change. No word on when yet.”

“The corner is so awesome. “The Corner.” It’s a small corner inside the front door of Creekwood Middle School. Me, Ronny, Nick, Scott, and Matt sit there and just “chill” until the bell rings in the morning. In fact, it’s becoming so awesome that other people know what I am talking about when I say “today in the corner.” I just figured it out. I’m like some sort of a propaganda minister. I can control people by saying different things and looking at them differently. It’s a matter of accident and natural talent. Pretty so far this was an accident. It’s really cool to think that I can do that to people sometimes. I control a whole group of kids who laugh at almost everything I say and think that I’m just the greatest thing. Nick noticed this too. He’s a really smart guy and probably the only guy who understood it when I tried to explain. Very cool guy and we compete making web sites now. I met him through Jake once and we just hit it of as good friends. This is the type of guy that I’ll be talking to 10 years down the line.”

“My website, <a copy of it here> has become something of the talk of the school. I post lots of funny rants and images and people can’t get enough. Except my worthless hack of an English teacher Mrs. Nelson. Who the hell decided that if my web site has funny stuff that they better report it as ‘vulgarity’ and ‘pornographic material’? Porn? There’s a serious WTF factor going on here. I was forced to take it down and never to wear my shirts I was making to school again. Some people suck. Mrs. Nelson is one of them. Nick thought it was absolutely hilarious and laughed the entire time. I wish he would have made the site and not me so I could have just laughed at him instead. My English teacher sucks so hard. I’ve learned nothing but why this school system sucks. They merged history and English into two periods in the same room with one teacher for English and one for History. WTF? Which crackhead thought of that bright idea?”

“I saw the two towers burning. Live. Crashing down. Today was September 11. We have cable TV’s in all of our classes for some school news program, but my science teacher routed to wires to ABC and other cable channels. We were watching it live as reports came in. The whole day was a mess, kids being taken out of school and teachers crying. I remember watching the building fall live and seeing everybody running. I wonder how many people died today that I got to see in live colour TV?”

“I’m moving on October 22. It doesn’t even feel natural. Now since I’m really going to move to some farming town called ‘Magnolia’, I can take the time to see how many friends I’ve had and how amazingly popular I was with my funny comments, web sites, and long list of yellow paper teacher writeups. It’s sad. We’re packing later today. I’ll get the internet as soon as possible and update this when I can.”

7th grade (magnolia)
“Today was my first day of school and I’m so glad to have the internet to stop me from crying any more than I already have. This place is so messed up. First period was Computer Literacy. I walked in and was given a seat next to some pretty girls and I thought that it might look up. Until some kids on the other side of me got up and screamed “Heil Hitler!” while another kid carved a swatstika on the wall with a knife. I was dead scared and asked the girl next to me why the teacher just idely looked past them into space and they said “Nobody cares. Learn to ignore them or join them.” The rest of the day was just as bad. Where in the world have I landed up?

“Today was pretty good. Me and Evan hung out and made fun of all the Nazis, hicks, druggies, and otherwise odd people. This guy is just like me. He came from a rich kid city to out here. I think we have the only two houses in the town. That’s a 1:550 ratio here! I’m getting used to everything now and stuff is going alright. Evan is really cool in my eyes, although we are both alone and tired of this place. He was already somewhat used to it by the time 7th grade started. I wasn’t. Oh well. Lately though, he’s trying to emulate the way I dress and the music I like. Lonely? Probably so… I hope I’m not influencing the guy too much because I’m his only friend.”

“Evan moved today. That’s cool though. He says he will keep in touch. He was starting to get kinda “weird stalker” on me and it was probably for the best. I did meet Austin in my English class. This guy is a total genius. He can make people cry in just a few minutes. I’m learning from him because it’s hilarious. He couldn’t break me and I couldn’t break me and we just have a good time making fun of people. Example, my English teacher used to be a cop. She’s really nice too. No telling what she’s had to deal with out here. As an English teacher, Austin and I broke her today. She was trying to read some story she was writing about a traveling gypsie kid and his encounter with a normal suburban child. We ripped everything apart about it pointing out each and every flaw. Then, when she tried to explain, we just ignored her and laughed. She ended up crying on the podium. It was so mean… but the funniest thing I’ve ever done. I’ll have to pay for this later in life, rest assured!”