Derek Follett

my digital home


Baby Buggy Blogger Bumpers.

baby-shoes1Big news. We’re pregnant!
Due Date: August 24
Predicted Sex: Female (just a hunch)
Codename: Katie Jr.


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Bathroom tiles and time travel.

tilesFrom the Xanga Archives (April 5, 2006)

While sitting on the toilet in a public stall at Cal Poly I found myself looking at the bathroom tiles and comparing them to the tiles in my dorm room bathroom some 500ft away. The tiles here were in a “random specklement of greys” sort of pattern while the tiles in the dorm bathroom were in a more aligned and ordered system of stripes. Here I pondered in an alternate wacky universe, “if I could just mentally rearrange these tiles to look like my dorm room bathroom floor, then I will be instantly transported back to the dorm room.” You see by tricking the mind I some how trick time and space as extensions only of my mind in this imagined world.

This thought stays with me and I find myself in the bathroom of some strange high school in a strange place I could have never conceived myself living, working. The “random specklement” this time rainbow colored is changed to grey than, once again, filed into neat rows of dark, middle, and light. Then I step out. Back into the dorms. Back across the berber torn carpet. Back into my little huddled corner of bed and desk.

But this time I know the ending and some of the painful moments have a tinge of humor.

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Several Groups Attempt to Stop Ohio Voter

1. My alarm clock which failed to ring when it should so that I could go to the polls before work. Instead, it rang at the time I set it for.

2. My work which detained me for up to eight hours today claiming that I was “full time.”

3. 100s of people using their cars to create traffic on the highway, a political strategy as obsurd as the filabuster.

4. The train which created a tempory two-minute barricade preventing me from entering my home city.

5. My dog who refused to understand that, “no, you cannot go on a walk with me, I’m walking to the polls and dogs can’t vote.”

6. Libertarians. The Bob Barr sign right before the polling place which had me questioning all my political views

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Since leaving college I’ve noticed a new trend with myself. I tend to establish a daily routine for myself then subsequently get bored with it. I’m not talking about at work where the school bell pretty much dictates how I spend my time, I’m talking about after work where my time is pretty much free.

Year 1 Routine Year 2 Routine Year 2.5 Routine Current
Leave work ASAP

Stop at Speedway and get CokeCome home, drink coke

Watch “Gilmore Girls” while planning for work

Make dinner/do housework

Eat dinner/watch TV

Stay at work until finished planning

Come homeGo to Gym

Return from Gym

Make Dinner

Eat Dinner/ watch TV

Leave work ASAP

Go to “Caribou Coffee” to finish planing for work

Come home

Go to Gym

Return from Gym

Make Dinner

Eat dinner/ watch TV

Stay at work until finished planning

Come home, let dog out

Take dog on Walk

Snack/watch TV

Go to gym

Get dinner

Watch more TV/surf internet

I’m starting to get bored with my current routine. Yesterday, I drove 5 miles to a new taco shop rather than my usual weekly dose of Taco Bell. Today, I took the dog on a different route on busier streets which ofcourse caused him to freak out. After the walk I didn’t turn on the tv, and I plan to keep it off. I’ll still go to the gym, but maybe I’ll use a different machine other than the eliptical this time.

It seems as if two opposing forces within me cause this process of routine setting and changing. One force is the desire to have order and rules (the mathematical side) while the other force is the desire for adventure (the poetic side). Does this happen to everyone? Could I live life with no routine?

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The Swing Set.

The swing set was one of the most popular apparati on the Lemon Avenue lower playground. Since it was in high demand those supervising us decided that if you wanted to use the swingset and it was fully occupied you must stand in front of your desired swing and count to 100. After reaching one-hundred the person swinging was expected to get off the swings and leave, or count to 100 in front of someone else.

This system was unfair for two reasons. The “counter” could stand in front of anybody he or she chooses. So, if you just got on and Susie has been swinging for five minutes you have to get off because the “counter” arbitrarily (or on purpose) chose you. Secondly, the adults felt sorry for those that hadn’t learned to count to 100 and rather than seizing the moment for an educational opportunity told them that they could count to ten 10 times. Even as an elementary schooler I was constructing a logical argument for why these actions where unequivalent because of the number of syllables but the adults would not hear it.

However, the true fun came when the adults were not watching. It started by jumping off the swings rather than slowing to a stop. Then wewere trying to jump higher and further. We started twisting, and standing on the swing, then standing and turning around to sit backwards. Then there was Ryan Dahl. First, he figured out he could hang upside down on the swing gripping the chains with his legs. Then he did something really shocking he combined this action of swinging upside down with a jump and did a sort of half-flip realese. The boy was a swing set acrobatic genious.

He inspired us all. We swung, and twisted, and flipped, and jumped, and dreamed… Dreamed of one day going all the way over the bar.



From the Xanga archives (July 13, 2007):

Katie and I just got a dog, a puppy, Artie. One thing I admire about Artie is his love for grass. I take him outside and he rolls and stretches out in the grass biting at the weeds and pawing the dirt. I want to lay on the grass and enjoy it too. I remember people in college were always on the grass, and I envied those people with their backpacks as pillows napping during the midday. I tried it once but I feared I wouldn’t wake in time for class then I swear I could hear the bugs in the grass and imagined them crawling over my sleeping body and face, a statistic “the average person swallows eight spiders a year” comes to mind. Artie would eat the bugs, and his only class is my fetch lesson preceding his nap. He flips over on to his back and stretches to his full puppy length and I remember marching band. Bob the marching instructor exercising his complete authority over us to tell us to lay down on the grass and become “one with the field.” I lay there looking up at the sky and up becomes down and all that prevents me from falling into outerspace is my oneness with the earth, and I don’t fear, my faith in the band and the earth sustains me. Then I remember the next marching instructor Marco telling us to pull out a piece of grass from the competition field as Artie begins to bite the grass as he rolls around. “This is my grass, this is my field, I own this field,” we were instructed to say. I remember Aaron the clarinet saving grass from each field with excitement that causes him to curse. Now I really do own my own grass that I mow and try to keep green with my limited experience and knowledge of irrigation and Agriculture. I think, “a person with a degree in Agricultural Engineering ought to be able to keep a greener lawn.” But then Artie enjoys it just the same and my worries vanish as he and I become one with the earth once again.

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Another one of my favorite movie trilogies is “Back to the Future.” My 5th grade friends and I were convinced that hoverboards existed but their sale was being blocked by parent groups who were concerned about their safety. Stupid parent groups…

Anyhow, whenever I realize something isn’t working because it isn’t plugged in (the living room fan, the overhead projector, the toaster) I always find myself saying “McFly! Hoverboards don’t work on water, unless they’ve got POWER!”

Then I plug it in.


The Matrix

The Matrix is one of my favorite movies.

When I take my dog outside I like to pretend I’m plugging him into “the matrix.” Afterall, the leash does plug into a port on the back of his neck. Then when we’re outside I can pretend we’re actually in a computer generated fantasy world.