Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Sugar-Coated Spam and Words I'm Thinking

So I celebrated my Christmas morning with a hearty heap of sugar-coated spam on rice. What an excellent breakfast. I got up without a cloud of responsibility to hide my sunny skies. I craved, and I acted on it. Indulgences are an interesting creature. What does it say when the very essence of you desires something and yet you must scutinize it? Because of diet, or principal or money or some other thing that will inevitably get between you and your happiness. Funny. The very paradox of humanity.

I was thinking about these last couple of months today. Houston was quite the trip. A thousand gratitudes to B for that trip on many different levels; I couldn’t possibly begin express how surreal, entertaining, relaxing, and alleviating that trip was for me. Plus I got to spend it with one of my favorite people. Just an absoluietly great time. My final projects and the week before the end of the semester was interesting. One class had a two-part final project that I worked the hardest on. Another class had a project I used my graphic novel to finish the coursework for. The final project for yet another didn’t start until the night before it was due, I wrote three essays simultaneously to finish my independent study AND THEN started the final essay while I contemplated the final painting for my last class, which I didn’t finish until AFTER it was due…on Friday of finals week. I got A’s. And an A-. Game. Set. Match. I win. Despite the exhausting run for this semester and being at the helm for PSFA, I managed (I think) to come out on top, more or less. PSFA has been my saving grace. And that is all I need to say about that for now. In the midst of finals week, however, I had to begin considering saying goodbye to good friends Gerard, Ana and Jos (as well as Steve and Eljay) and as I said in my final speech for the former, it is never an easy thing to say goodbye, but the nature of college dictates that we get used to a turnover that forces some to leave and more to take their place. Its harsh and crazy. And that is that. The one thing that forces me to believe that something emotionally genuine takes place within these relationships that build and that keeps me from becoming jaded and unaffected each time we do this is the unyielding feeling of tears creeping into your words when you think or speak about these people. And the unsettling excitement of the premise of it being my turn…at last. Very soon.

This Christmas, as any of our recent ones, turned out to be pretty uneventful. We naturally have not participated in the traditional American Christmas what with the midnight mass, the candles, the typical yet beautiful notion of the large families getting on each other’s last nerves and enjoying every minute of it, due to our busy lives and the workaholics that are our parents [note: we did not have Christmas dinner at home, rather at the business]. And events like this seem to make me wonder what will bookend this chapter of my life before the next one begins. The allure and uncertainty of the future is a much stronger force than the convictions of my past and I don’t really want to fight it. Greener pastures are much more south and west of here, for me anyway. We’ve talked about it. They’ve questioned it. I’ve questioned it. I’ve cried about it. Mom probably has too. I’ve thought about what colors I want for my room, what I will have to eat every Wednesday, how my golf game will be better now that I’ll have time to swing the club (probably a set time at that). I’ve thought about the nights when home will feel worlds away and that the support I so desperately clung to for eighteen years here in State college will feel foreign and distant. I’ve considered impending Christmas’s without the herald of snow. And the quiet. And how faint the mountain breeze will seem. And then I thought…this is the world I will create. And it will be mine. The concept is so beautiful, so simple and so seductive. To leave this place and go into the breeze and make the work that I do count and make each moment of relaxation be a true release and retreat from each day that demands truth and conviction from what I do. I bring the bread to the table and I can be proud of something that matters. Nothing could be more divine than to feel a part of the world at last.

I watched seven movies so far in the past day. A good range of pathos and subject matter. All of the production design was great. A lot of the writing was not. I did this while I cleaned my room, and I mean REALLY cleaned my room. I tore open every container and folded all the clothes and put things in boxes and plastic bags to be sold or given away or put into the attic or thrown away. I’ve picked up a lot of things through the years. A packrat I am, I’m afraid. Of all of those things, many ended up in my pocket; and of those, many made it into my room and into piles and boxes to be considered important and priceless then, but now can only be reduced to a question mark in my mind: what made this little thing so important? How has my life changed because of it? And due to the lack of coffee all night long, a second thought was never given to each of these items, and so much of my past has been put away, thrown away. The junk and garbage came and went. I tried on my high school cap and gown. I found my old….old…OLD drawings. I looked through my sophomore yearbook. I read old postcards from all the ends of the earth from friends who have long forgotten me or unfortunately, the other way around. I found pictures of people who’s names I no longer knew and objects whose origins shrouded in mystery. So much in my life I considered so important. At one time. I guess you can call me as overly sentimental.

And that is why this is going to be hard. And bright, and cruel and harsh. And exciting, and breathtaking, and enlightening.

So much of what makes me sad about leaving is what this place, State College, has been for me and the friends and family it has given me. And how we all celebrate each other's victories…and share in painful demise...and despite the little experience I’ve had in this world of worlds, I’d lay down my life to wager you can't find this in many places...but you have to work to make for yourself…

...a home...

Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year

Earth-Shattering Revelation #20: “If you want it, go get it. Period.”

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Words & Pictures

The family sat in the store, empty as can be considering the advent of Thanksgiving break that has rid the town of Penn State’s students. The family, as small as can be was comprised of an enthusiastically interested father in the words of his boy who sat gleefully across from him at the small table. At his left was his daughter, coolly complacent in efforts to show that she didn’t “have to be here with her parents” and that she “chose to be.” His wife strolled in minutes later, smiling. As she sat down the immediately engaged in a seemingly riveting conversation about the young boys final days in school leading to the break. In huge epic gestures, his hands spoke words for him, detailing projects and inane goings-on common to a gradeschooler’s day. His father nodded along, I believe, almost completely engrossed in what he had to say. His mother struggled to stay with him, compromising her attention to a much rather demanding traditional four-page thanksgiving to-do list she undoubtedly wrote first thing this morning. Her sister, in her appropriate indifference then began showing signs of intrigue in the small monologue, which then quickly developed into full conversation. The smiles were common to all of their faces in no time. A joke was cracked, laughter ensued. There was congratulations, an acknowledgement, a point of fleeting disappointment, but then general merriment. They had each other this thanksgiving. For a string of beautiful moments, they can share in something special, something beyond all of them them but something solely about them at the same time. Worlds didn’t fall apart and the smiles didn’t fade. And the darkness did not consume them. And then they left.

I wish the color of the sky didn’t so resemble the color of my mood this break. Friends have left and I am working, ever so “diligently” [the sarcasm of my quotations should be thoroughly communicated and re-iterated] at the store, trying to hold back my facial manifestations of boredom and annoyance unintentionally directed towards the regulars who have come in and engage in the futile chit-chat they feel so necessary to have with me. Right after the useless weather or sports conversation, they do the following things just in this order, every time:

1) Order the form of tobacco or porn to fill their systems with. It’s the same every time, and they know I know what it is…but they always ask in the same way. And those who buy the porn never look me in the face…and never say a word, making the four minute discourse very awkward.

2) Forget, when making a purchase, that money is NECESSARY in order to complete said transaction. And OF COURSE, they have to pay with exact change. So they fumble through their pockets.

3) They forget they don’t have the change, so the last two minutes was actually spent deciding that they are going to use the credit card instead…which takes even longer.

4) They forget to say thank you. Sometimes, I feel like people should take classes on common courtesy. Despite the day someone is having, that “thank you” is a form of salvation from loss of sanity.


And with that comes the heart of the problem. It is a holiday. Again. And this is when it all falls apart. Why I love school so much: it is a worthy and welcome distraction from life. I can bury myself with deadlines and busywork. And things that force me to be happy. It’s getting colder outside, and it’s forcing me to walk less and it makes me angry. When I walk less, there is less time to be outside. I am forced into crowded buses, into buildings with mindless banter in surround sound, into hallways cramped with people drowning in thoughts and stories and worries and dreams. Instead of being outside, counting my steps to myself, approached only by the random curious squirrel or the passing wind, accompanied only by the silence of solace and the whisper of days gone by. So that I can think up the words that will force my darkest thoughts to turn into ideas, and so that I can fill the pages of this journal with such thoughts, and so that they will no longer have to live in my head or my heart.

No more drama. I need this to be fun again. I want all the darkness in my world to disappear. I want to start up school again. I want to publish my words. I want to build things. I want to name things. I want to see my best friend. I want it to be Monday. I want my friends and my family to all be happy.

I want…

…something to be thankful for.

Enjoy the break.

Earth-Shattering Revelation #19: When cities crumble, and darkness becomes the heart of man, and confusion becomes the only moral compass the little bit of sanity within you seeks... only then do you find out who you truly are and only then can you weep and let it consume you. Otherwise suck it up. Don't do the drama thing. Eat ice cream, be happy.


Monday, October 16, 2006

Gold & Crimson

I don’t take my camera out much anymore. I’ve noticed that when I have needed it most to capture beautiful moments, it’s never really on me. Don’t know why. My renewed inspiration to do so however stems from having seen the trees form gold and red arches over quiet suburb streets near my neighborhood again this fall. The gentle October breeze sets the leaves into a rhythmic sway, carefully plucking the deadest, ripest ones to go sending them into a scatter on freshly cut lawns prepared for the cool autumn days that inevitably lay ahead. Despite the normalcy of the weather and the earlier golden sunsets that make dinnertimes much more beautiful, the air of strange perspectives and emotional confusion seems prevalent all over again this year. The stability provided by the daily pressure of academics, work and the frequent extracurricular activities seems to have been broken by the unusual emotional chaos that seems to govern the fall season. I look around and tell stories about the people that pass me by, hundreds of thoughts racing through their heads, hiding, deceiving, convincing themselves that this is the way everything’s supposed to be and that the pain just reminds us all that we truly are alive. And I am in no way an exception to it all.

The source of this new darkness seems to be something resurfaced. Haven’t actually felt this way since sophomore year, but lately, I have been feeling rather…alone. Reluctantly, my feelings have consumed me lately, fostering fears and worries and concerns and sentiments of emptiness that all seem to have come in a giant wave I was not prepared for. The thing is, I find myself missing many things about “the relationship.” I see it everywhere. I miss being able to call someone or be called, to have the question what are you doing tonight come up and really really mean it. I miss not being able to pick out a movie this time because its just not my turn and not even caring because I can spend the hour and a half just having my arms around them. I miss holding their hand and having conversations about nothing for hours and feeling the sense of being alone with them even in the most crowded of places. I miss being the first to wake up. Or being woken up. I long for someone to see at the end of the day who I can go up to and without me even asking throw their arms around me, and without even having me tell them what awful haunting things happened to me that day…just know that’s all I needed. And that they’re all I needed. And that they don’t just listen to it all, they share in it.

I would love to walk through those quiet empty streets with the gentle crunch of golden and crimson leaves from under our shoes resonate through the quiet and take pictures of us, of the trees, of the paths, of the leaves, of the shadows cast by the early evening sun and have that be all that mattered for just a few long moments.

I guess I just miss too many people, and haven't felt this fragmented in the longest time. I miss not having to wake up from the dream.

I’m starting to sound whiny. And selfish, actually. Really, I’m just writing it all here so it no longer has to live in my head. And so I can go on and not have to think about it. Or maybe this is me and my desperate cry to the powers that be to bring me someone. Or at least give me permission to stop trying and looking and longing. So that they can just come along, totally floor me. And then, maybe I can finally feel something again.

I miss Venice. I miss St. Peters at night. And I miss you.

Goodnight.

Monday, August 14, 2006

To Buy a Bed

I want to buy a bed.

Three days ago, I zealously sought out the wheels to a bed Bridger purchased [that never arrived with the order in Houston] at the Mattress Warehouse at his reluctant request. I was happy to do it. Whilst waiting for the wheels that were never prepared that the manager of the store so quietly disappeared into the backroom to retrieve, I idly strolled through the aisles of the store, touching and feeling each of the mattresses, depressing their surfaces to gauge their sufficiency. They were so pristine. And soft. And new. And even and springy. The more I touched and felt and sat on, the more I felt the undeniable desire to purchase one. To spend obnoxious amounts of money on. To sit on and read books I’ve never read. To sit back on a mountain of pillows and sip wine and look through old pictures of friends I may never see again. To lazily watch television programs that used to sit comfortably in the background of the bustle of life. To put into an apartment I pick out and furnish in which I live with my own problems and my own accomplishments and my own colors, and shield myself from the rest of the world both foreign and familiar outside the walls that were my own only. I want a bed on which I can idly lay, just as idly as choosing one out when I knew I had no money, and to stare up into a pale red ceiling imagining a world where one can feel what they feel and know what they know about themselves and their problems without having to think about how the world feels about it. How would it feel to be angry, to be sad or jealous or endure heartache or be enamored or even in love? Or not feeling the necessity of obligation. Or to keep a secret you never want them to know. Or to long without being longed for. Or to find solace in being surrounded and overwhelmed. And not needing the world to make such things epic. And all the while not letting them consume you.

A bed in an apartment far far away from here. In a place where starting over is easy and cutting out the painful and unbearable parts of life comes with the carpeting and walls and the light fixtures and internet. A place where I can look out the window and know I’ll be somewhere I’ve never been before today. Someplace where I can sit and close my eyes and without sleeping, feel that I’m not wasting my time doing so, not plagued by the thousands of things I can or should be doing at that moment instead of this. A place where I can be with that someone who matters and no one else does, and they are honest to me and I them. A place with a view out the window of other places that other people live in, worlds curled up in the pale glow of the evening news or intertwined in the sweet aroma of family dinners or the sounds of children's laughter. A place with a bed and a bedpost on which I can lazily hang a shirt, and a papazan chair that I can curl up in and enjoy the quiet darkness that the harsh bright world so easily forgets and so readily takes for granted.

A safe place, where I feel what I feel. A bed on which I can close my eyes and slip into an unconscious subconsciousness that recognizes my deepest desires and greatest fears and my hopes and my dreams that the reality of being awake can never achieve with as much ease. A bed that is in all ways…comfortable.

He came out with the wheels, and I was happy that Bridger now had them for his new bed. That must be nice. And I walked out of the store, not needing to look back at the beds, understanding that out there may be the one I’ve been looking for, the one that will make things better and more comfortable.

I will buy that bed someday. And no one will care but me. Because I won’t need them to.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Can you just hang around...just for a little while more?

These past few weeks have seen the culmination of numerous paths of life; from graduations to consequent parties to a reconnection with Canadian family up north, including the meeting of some very young and very cute cousins who were born and have grown quite considerably in the last 4 or 5 years. Friends who remain in State College have been infinite comfort and a release from the excruciatingly difficult goodbyes that have transpired as of late as well as the host of amazing news I've heard from different people in my life. Kate and Brendan have moved to Colorado and Phoenix was born to Ben & Audra, beginning to settle in the life of parenthood. I just learned that my grandmother is in the final stages of kidney disease, not knowing when or how these last years for her are going to transpire. Rob & Kristen are engaged to be married and have asked me to be a groomsman. Joe has graduated from the Academy and is now a working officer in Altoona. And I’m still in town trying to reclaim some social and academic consciousness and focus on my final year of school that, on top of karate and PSFA this fall, will keep me busy enough to finish feeling accomplished, hopefully enabling me to graze past these sad events so that I can just move on, as I have so desperately tried to do already.

I’ve spent my summer sitting out at 210 or Sports CafĂ© people-watching with Justin and other people playing the game where you create stories about people who sit nearby or walk past just based on how they interract with their friends or how they sip their coffee. I have had the time of my life working at Ben&Jerry’s with Drigue and the others and learning how to decorate ice cream cakes, cleaning my room to the point that it’s messier than when I started cleaning it, teaching kids karate and the adult class, staying up late and having impromptu parties watching Buffy and Angel with Bridger, eating Ramen and playing Cranium with Bern, Green, Jnette, Vivy, Miyori, Hazel and Pat [Hostel was BAD btw], and singing Kelly Clarkson at the top of our lungs after playing the most intense game of Kings I have EVER played until 7:30 in the morning. So far, so good. Oh yeah, and the 40's were a big theme too.

I am behind in many of the projects that I had hoped to have finished by now though. It is already mid-June and I am plagued by a late car payment and several important trips to come that will inevitably eat away at my time. Obligations keep piling up and I am losing track of which I see as priorities. I hate being a Yes-Man. As I type this, I am watching the trees sway in the gentle breeze beyond the glass. The red maples begin to falter in this extremely dry season, but then I wonder if the same trees exist in Rome, where I remember not having to deal with some of these dreadful thoughts. It’s become my escape, my mental sanctuary, Rome, where I can close my eyes and activate memories to take me there for even mere minutes; its gotten to the point where I don’t even need the pictures anymore. The places have just conglomerated into an image or sentiment or nostalgia that provides for me a sense of deep longing but calming bliss all at once. And then I come back and face it all again.

Upon meeting my new cousin, Giovanni, I was immediately told that he is the spitting image of my younger self. I congratulate my aunt on her first son, and upon remarking on his awesome Italian name, I take a second glance and begin to see why others felt he looked like me. The same inquisitive eyes i recognize from my pictures at that age, same mischevious smirk, same longing for independence from authority unable to firmly hold on. Plus, he liked my laptop. As he scrolled through the internet (which he was surprisingly adept at) I leaned in as if to whisper in his ear. And I thought to myself, hey kid, if you want, I can tell you everything you would ever need to know about life. About the people you will meet, about the people you will love, about the people who will care nothing about you. I can tell you about the people who will leave you. I will explain to you the intracacies of the first crush. I can expound on looking past the surface of the water to see the shiny rocks below. I can tell you of the limitless color the world takes on before AND after the storm. I can divulge to you about the unfairness that will disgust you and tear you down... and the disappointments you will experience when your heart is least prepared for them.

And then I looked at Giovanni again, and I thought to myself: I could never rob you of that. The divine happiness you get from life, the reason life is worth living is because you couldn't feel MORE alive when these things happen to you. When you learn about them all on your own. That's when you find out who you really are. And then i sat there, and I watched him draw on Adobe Illustrator.

I have to go find a REALLY good present for a really good friend.

Earth-Shattering Revelation #18: The comfort of life can be drawn from reassuring yourself that where ever we all will be, despite how far between our conversations are and the miles that stretch between all of us…wherever we happen to end up and whenever we will see each other again…

…we’re going to be ok.

Current Tune: Matchbox 20, Hang

Friday, May 12, 2006

Streaks of Light

I cannot comprehend nor can i explain to you the reasons behind my compulsion to write when it rains. Maybe it is symbolic of a blank slate...

There are times when sitting around inevitably leads to immense nostalgia, invoked by insiginificant stimuli like the drop of rain on the exposed windowsill or the sun’s rays sifting through the blinds.

I stood on the pathway that led to a small gym at the Pointe and gazed at the sidewalk bathed in streaks of shadow cast by the iron gates that enclosed the pool. The shadows did not move, but danced. In my mind. A familiar dance, I gather, of a time before the bell’s of Old Main meant anything to me, before a single drop of alcohol meant the beginning of an interesting night, before the foreboding implications of true responsibility. It spoke of a time when waiting in line meant a painful eternity for a single ride on the carousel. A time when the blinking lights and the gaudy color schemes and fast-moving objects and laughing children was all that occupied my mind.

We played dodgeball today. That was quite a trip. It just made me so happy to see friends strip away everything that meant anything in their lives and reduce their worries to the act of dodging a harmless playground ball. A series of blissful, exciting moments governed by liberation from worry. Some of these people are the same ones I have to learn to deal with saying goodbye to within the following weeks, and I don’t know how to do that. I guess in the meantime, I will have to suffice with understanding the importance of the present. Because if I lose that, I’ve got nothing, and our time together will have been spent in vain. And so as quickly as these moments become those same memories I look back to even to this day, I need to reach a peace with their departure and know that graduation still means something good.

And now begins the end.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Personality


An essay regarding the nature of my personality (INFP):

Introverted iNtuitive Feeling Perceiving

by Joe Butt


"I remember the first albatross I ever saw. ... At intervals, it arched forth its vast archangel wings, as if to embrace some holy ark. Wondrous flutterings and throbbings shook it. Though bodily unharmed, it uttered cries, as some king's ghost in super natural distress. Through its inexpressible, strange eyes, methought I peeped to secrets not below the heavens. As Abraham before the angels, I bowed myself..." --(Herman Melville, Moby Dick)

INFPs never seem to lose their sense of wonder. One might say they see life through rose-colored glasses. It's as though they live at the edge of a looking-glass world where mundane objects come to life, where flora and fauna take on near-human qualities.

INFP children often exhibit this in a 'Calvin and Hobbes' fashion, switching from reality to fantasy and back again. With few exceptions, it is the NF child who readily develops imaginary playmates (as with Anne of Green Gables's "bookcase girlfriend"--her own reflection) and whose stuffed animals come to life like the Velveteen Rabbit and the Skin Horse:

"...Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand..." (the Skin Horse)

INFPs have the ability to see good in almost anyone or anything. Even for the most unlovable the INFP is wont to have pity.

Rest you, my enemy,
Slain without fault,
Life smacks but tastelessly
Lacking your salt!
Stuck in a bog whence naught
May catapult me,
Come from the grave, long-sought,
Come and insult me!
--(Steven Vincent Benet, Elegy for an Enemy)

Their extreme depth of feeling is often hidden, even from themselves, until circumstances evoke an impassioned response:

"I say, Queequeg! Why don't you speak? It's I--Ishmael." But all remained still as before. ... Something must have happened. Apoplexy!
... And running up after me, she caught me as I was again trying to force open the door. ... "Have to burst it open," said I, and was running down the entry a little, for a good start, when the landlady caught me, again vowing I should not break down her premises; but I tore from her, and with a sudden bodily rush dashed myself full against the mark.--(Melville, Moby Dick)

Of course, not all of life is rosy, and INFPs are not exempt from the same disappointments and frustrations common to humanity. As INTPs tend to have a sense of failed competence, INFPs struggle with the issue of their own ethical perfection, e.g., perfo rmance of duty for the greater cause. An INFP friend describes the inner conflict as not good versus bad, but on a grand scale, Good vs. Evil. Luke Skywalker in Star Wars depicts this conflict in his struggle between the two sides of "The Force." Although the dark side must be reckoned with, the INFP believes that good ultimately triumphs.

Some INFPs have a gift for taking technical information and putting it into layman's terms. Brendan Kehoe's Zen and the Art of the Internet is one example of this "de-jargoning" talent in action.

Functional Analysis:

Introverted Feeling

INFPs live primarily in a rich inner world of introverted Feeling. Being inward-turning, the natural attraction is away from world and toward essence and ideal. This introversion of dominant Feeling, receiving its data from extraverted intuition, must be the source of the quixotic nature of these usually gentle beings. Feeling is caught in the approach- avoidance bind between concern both for people and for All Creatures Great and Small, and a psycho-magnetic repulsion from the same. The "object," be it homo sapiens or a mere representation of an organism, is valued only to the degree that the object contains some measure of the inner Essence or greater Good. Doing a good deed, for example, may provide intrinsic satisfaction which is only secondary to the greater good of striking a blow against Man's Inhumanity to Mankind.

Extraverted iNtuition

Extraverted intuition faces outward, greeting the world on behalf of Feeling. What the observer usually sees is creativity with implied good will. Intuition spawns this type's philosophical bent and strengthens pattern perception. It combines as auxiliary with introverted Feeling and gives rise to unusual skill in both character development and fluency with language--a sound basis for the development of literary facility. If INTPs aspire to word mechanics, INFPs would be verbal artists.

Introverted Sensing

Sensing is introverted and often invisible. This stealth function in the third position gives INFPs a natural inclination toward absent- mindedness and other-worldliness, however, Feeling's strong people awareness provides a balancing, mitigating effect. This introverted Sensing is somewhat categorical, a subdued version of SJ sensing. In the third position, however, it is easily overridden by the stronger functions.

Extraverted Thinking

The INFP may turn to inferior extraverted Thinking for help in focusing on externals and for closure. INFPs can even masquerade in their ESTJ business suit, but not without expending considerable energy. The inferior, problematic nature of Extraverted Thinking is its lack of context and proportion. Single impersonal facts may loom large or attain higher priority than more salient principles which are all but overlooked.

Famous INFPs:

Homer
Virgil
Mary, mother of Jesus
St. John, the beloved disciple
St. Luke; physician, disciple, author
William Shakespeare, bard of Avon
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (Evangeline)
A. A. Milne (Winnie the Pooh)
Laura Ingalls Wilder (Little House on the Prairie)
Helen Keller, deaf and blind author
Carl Rogers, reflective psychologist, counselor
Fred Rogers (Mister Rogers' Neighborhood)
Dick Clark (American Bandstand)
Donna Reed, actor (It's a Wonderful Life)
Jacqueline Kennedy Onasis
Neil Diamond, vocalist
Tom Brokaw, news anchor
James Herriot (All Creatures Great and Small)
Annie Dillard (Pilgrim at Tinker Creek)
James Taylor, vocalist
Julia Roberts, actor (Conspiracy Theory, Pretty Woman)
Scott Bakula (Quantum Leap)
Terri Gross (PBS's "Fresh Air")
Amy Tan (author of The Joy-Luck Club, The Kitchen God's Wife)
John F. Kennedy, Jr.
Lisa Kudrow ("Phoebe" of Friends)
Fred Savage ("The Wonder Years")

Fictional INFPs:

Anne (Anne of Green Gables)
Calvin (Calvin and Hobbes)
Deanna Troi (Star Trek - The Next Generation)
Wesley Crusher (Star Trek - The Next Generation)
Doctor Julian Bashir (Star Trek: Deep Space 9)
Bastian (The Neverending Story)
E.T.: the ExtraTerrestrial
Doug Funny, Doug cartoons
Tommy, Rug Rats cartoons
Rocko, Rocko's Modern Life cartoons

Monday, April 10, 2006

Trifles

I had a dream and in it a woman sat across from me on a dark hickory table. Questions beyond answering glistened in her eyes. She laid cards across the table, never stealing her gaze away from me to eye their content. Instead, I surrender to curiosity and look upon them, completely enamored by the images that flashed before me.

The milestones.

Everything that ever happened to me that ever meant anything to me. I saw it all and felt the shock of 22 years of experience. The middle card sat yet unturned. The crimson art nouveau, I think it was crimson, scribble on the backface of it moved in sinuous turns and twists, and it began to glow. This card was important. As I lurched towards it, the woman grabbed my hand and in neither approval nor reproach, glared intensely into me, through me, and in her intensity she held me in rapture, barely able to contain the anticipation that coursed through my fingers to turn that card. And I did.

All I remember was black. And red and white. And it moved and it was scary. Was it the future? I don’t know. The woman disappeared and I couldn’t ask.

Ray Bradbury’s Martian Chronicles has quickly become one of my favorite books. From it, I draw this passage (I felt it relevant somehow, someway):

“If art was no more than a frustrated outflinging of desire, if religion was no more than self-delusion, what good was life?......... We were and still are a lost people…..At base, science is no more than an investigation of a miracle we can never explain, and art is an interpretation of that miracle.”

Peace and Love to all as I dig myself a deeper hole. This semester has been quite the mindfuck.

P.S. Here's a preview of an old comic revamped... hope to work on it this summer.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Twenty-Two




My birthday marked the beginning of the end for my life here at Penn State. It was a pretty uneventful one, full of worry for the events of Barrio Fiesta that following weekend, full of stress from the schoolwork I’ve missed out on preparing for the event, and full of confusion about family problems I don’t have enough space to write about. But I turned 22. And it feels the same, only I think I feel just a bit calmer about everything now, having taken a personal oath to not allow things to make me upset. It’s unhealthy.

Barrio Fiesta was simply amazing. Despite the negative connotations of the Collegian article’s expose on the show, the dinner went extremely well, the show was the most enjoyable time I’ve had in a long time, and the after party was awesome. Our efforts put together were not in vain; we had a great time (partly due to the shots of Captain Morgan’s Mango Rum we had at Alumni Hall before the show), the dances were right on, the vocal performance was the biggest high I’ve ever experienced, and it was a great culmination of events for our group, as is true every year. I love my friends for coming to it again, knowing full well just how bad a friend I’ve been these past couple months since I’ve been back.

Spring break in Philly, New Brunswick and New York City was just unbelievable. Though I knew I had a full week of work when I got back for the rest of break, that first weekend was just unforgettable. I stayed over at Selena and Craig’s in Philly while we visited Tyler and Temple campuses, went to Hibachi with Cat and Helen, and even saw Danny, before I drove over to Prospect Park to see Mario. Words couldn’t express my happiness in seeing these people. It makes Rome not so much of a dream anymore. New York City with the crew after Rutgers New Brunswick was awesome. Now I can say I went drinking in the city. Quite an experience.

Random things: I sold my first painting, I am beginning to work with video editing with a new hard drive and the adobe software suite, Bob Yarber said he was disappointed in my body of work this semester so far and that I “let rome get to my head,” Eljay and I are in the biggest fight of our lives and I don’t intend on ever going back to some kind of peace with him, my parents’ business is doing extremely well and things are great between them and me, I am testing for my 2nd degree blackbelt, and I am scared, apprehensive and excited all at the same time, and this new underground culture and murder “spree” in State College is freaking me out.

Bottom line, world hasn’t ended yet, and things are good right now. But I feel like I’m missing out on a lot of things this world has yet to offer.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Torn

So I've been labeled "the most irresponsible person" ever by none but my very own mother. Can I feel any worse? Seeing as how teaching martial arts twice a week, having PSFA meetings during the week and Barrio Fiesta practices on top of that every weekend from early in the morning through the day, using up time after classes to work on schoolwork and extra things just to try and catch up, not to mention a host of other obligations take up time, I can feel nothing else but responsibility right now. In fact, I'm overwhelmed. I've neglected things like friends and I feel like I've missed tons of things I've been invited to already, and then I lay low and keep to myself in the studio and then go home MAYBE at 2 am every night. I haven't seen manyone really, and I miss people, and then I look like the selfish, inconsiderate son because I can't make the time to be in Tyrone because I've got all of these things going on...

I can't take it. Too much pressure. And then that DAMN label. Irresponsible. It's times like this I feel like I should have claimed independence SO long ago and gone away and not have gone to college and feel responsibility only to myself and seen what would have happened.

I don't even have any fucking time to find me someone for Valentine's Day this year. I am sleep deprived, and I feel this pressure ALL the time to get somewhere and be somewhere and then move on to the next thing.

And then I happen to eavesdrop on conversations on the street about some girl's having gotten drunk and hearing about her boyfriend cheating on her when he was drunk and the weekend was terrible because some bitch danced with her boyfriend and then something about not being able to go home and how her parents wouldn't pay for her clothes anymore. What the fuck. Go buy yourself some REAL PROBLEMS princess. And stop getting drunk so much. Bitch.

Good points:
-Paultober was awesome.
-Barrio is coming up. [those of you whose events I've neglected to go to, if it means ANYTHING to you, please come to barrio]
-My birthday is coming up.
-I get to watch my annual alone "Valentine's Day" chick flick this year...any suggestions?

My boba says, enjoy your life. Easier said. I tried to trivialize my problems today as I always do, but this time I just couldn't do it. It's consuming me. I don't really know how to deal with that. Writing helped. Just a little bit.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

HAPPY

So, here's my car.


It is wonderful and beautiful and runs smoothly and makes me happy and independent and feel a lot more grown up (now that $500.00 will be taken from my bank account monthly) but I could not be happier about it. It is just like in the picture, titanium grey and has cup holders and everything. FUN!

Next in current business, "Filipina Mei Melancon has joined the cast of the comic book-inspired sequel "X-Men 3" as the evil mutant assassin Psylocke. Melancon, who appeared in Brett Ratner's "Rush Hour 2," is reteaming with the helmer for the third installment of the superhero franchise from 20th Century Fox and Marvel Entertainment says The Hollywood Reporter. Word began leaking last week from the Vancouver set that the latest "X-Men" installment would introduce the character Psylocke, who has had several incarnations in the Marvel comicbook series and is best known for her fighting and telepathic skills as well as an ability to transport herself and others through shadows. In the film, she will fight against the X-Men as a member of Magneto's (Ian McKellen) Brotherhood of Mutants."

YAY! A filipina will represent one of the coolest ninjas in Marvel history, in the most anticipated summer blockbuster! SO HAPPY.

Oh, and classes are great too. And so are you guys.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Old Paths


In an attempt to go ‘zoom-zoom’ in my new Mazda3 to break it in, I decided to follow my four school bus routes (that’s right the big ol yellow ones) around town and see if I could still remember them. I did. That was fun. And it was sad. And it was confusing to see how things have stayed so much the same, and yet became very foreign and unrecognizable all at the same time. It was nice.

My classes are wonderful. My car is amazing and makes me feel grownup (as do the monthly payments). I love my room at home. I love having a kitchen to make my lunches in. I love the independence of going anywhere I am needed or where I need to be. I love my new studio. I love the energy I feel about this semester’s work and classes. I love that I will be testing for my second degree black belt soon. I love the Filipino Association’s preparation for Barrio Fiesta this year. I love country roads. I enjoyed having Catherine come up to visit us this weekend. I love still feeling all of the frustration and confusion of growing while knowing it will be okay.

This is going to be one of the most amazing semesters of all. But I want to graduate.

Happy New Year and good luck to you all.