Monday, April 25, 2005

Those Majuscule Characters...

You know, I finally realize the beauty of Majuscule characters.
For a while I was being all teenage-rebellious and such. For a while I was treating e. e. cummings as more than a man.

Did you know, by the way, that on his gravestone his name is capitalized and spelled out.

"Edward Estlin Cummings"

How's that for irony?

But now I understand. The gently slope of a J, The harsh, commanding presence of a capital W. It makes sense now. Somewhat. I guess I really have grown up...


Profile Picture, disregard. . .

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

And Now for Something Completely Different

So here we are again, talking about the ANWR
Erich wrote an opinion article about it in The Slate this week.

You know what, though?  It isn't so much that America has decided (by a very slim margin) to enter a nationally sanctioned wildlife refuge, it isn't even really the fact that so many people think that the limited amount of oil we can get there before moving on to another protected site will help us.

It's the fact that after over a century of learning and scientific progress and environmental concerns, we --- the United States of America --- are still simply looking for the easy way out.  Sure, drill in the ANWR.  Hey, there's oil right, we need oil, right?

Instead of looking for more oil around the world, and cutting all the locks our country has placed on what was deemed a refuge, we should be investigating alternative sources of fuel.

Any high school biology teacher can tell you "fuel" does not mean "gasoline."
Yes, there are hybrid cars available now.  But they still rely on gasoline half the time.

You would think that a nation which has learned to harness --- safely, I might add --- the power of atomic and sub-atomic energy, we would be able to devise a cleaner system to get our lazy selves across "this great land."

It won't be great for long if you people keep this up.

It is a matter of principle that the ANWR not be drilled in.  It's like telling your children they cannot have a cookie because it's almost dinnertime, and then turning around and eating a cookie.  What kind of example is that?

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

The Slate: Forty-eight years as Shippensburg University's student paper

So here's something fun.
Think of a sentence which includes any for of the verb "got" (e.g., gotten, get, got, getting).
Now write that sentence down.
Show it to me. I don't care how.
I will show you a version of the sentence without the word "got" in it.
It will be more intelligent, grammatically more correct, and all-in-all a better sentence.

I had examples, but I'm lazy.

I really can't stand "got." It's just lazy.

Like my mom told me once about profanity, choosing to not use profanity shows an elevated vocabulary, denoting intelligence.
I was twelve at the time, so she didn't put it precisely that way. But you get the point.
I didn't take much stock in it at the time, since I was at the age where rebellion is the "in" thing to do. But now I'm understanding what she meant.

The same thing goes for "got."

Anyway, it's just one of those things that irks me.

No offense to anyone from Kutztown University, but a week ago at The Slate office, we had a copy of it.
Fourteen pictures appeared within its pages. Seven were taken by KU photographers (forgive me, but the name of their paper escapes me). The other seven were stolen. Not bought from the AP (like The Slate does), but stolen.

Worse than that, they were even attributed retardedly. That's right. Retardedly. My blog, my imaginary suffixes.
Some were from yahoo.com, some from this Website, some from that one. But one caught my eye.
It was the one of Terry Schiavo. Or, as Mel Gibson prefers to call her, "Terry Shiavo."

The attribution was "http://www.google.com."

Now correct me if I'm wrong, but Google is a search engine, yes?
Google is a tool, used to compile images and Web sites. How in the world could something as abstract as a search engine, and as concrete as a corporate campus, take a photo of a brain-dead woman in Florida?

No, please, I really want to know.

It just really pisses me off that papers at schools like KU pay their editors for contributions which, quite frankly, I found severely lacking conviction. Here at good old SU, the best our Student Senate can do is whine and ineffectively defend itself via letters-to-the-editor (letters sans any apparent answer or reason), not taking seriously --- even for a moment --- any chance of compensating the editors of what many have called "a better paper than most in the area."

Don't get me wrong, as only a copy editor I fully expect nothing. But I realize the weight of a paper like this, and what it demands from its staff.

So screw you, SA. And pay them.

UPDATE
The text appearing in the following color:       has been added. The reason for this Geoarge-Lucas-esque correction is none other than Mr. Kevin McGuire. Mr. McGuire pointed out a grammar error in the post, causing me to actually read what I wrote. I apologize, I didn't know it was that grammatically incorrect.

All I can say is, no one edits my copy. Apologies, and thank you, Kevin.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Summer

Vanessa informs me that we are the only two of our circle of friends to return to Lake Wallenpaupack for the summer.
Well, screw you all.
I'm sorry, I didn't mean that.
What I meant was, I'm nervous, scared, insecure, and jealous that you have found jobs/internships/better places to be.
I'm afraid I will never find that.

I will probably tell you many times that I plan on taking road trips this summer.

Don't let me fool you, it's all talk.
I will say I want to drive out to Washington, to Seattle, to B.C., to Vancouver.
I will sit at home, work too much, and bitch about my life.
I will say I want to go camping in Canada.
See Montreal
and Quebec City.
I will probably do that, though, because Caitlin will make me.

I have no aspiration to get an internship.
Apparently, you're supposed to have one, especially as a print media-concentrated Communication/Journalism major.
I'm so scared that all my whining in the past is coming true, that I truly will never find a job.

How the holy freaking heck am I supposed to see the world? I'm Brendan.
I'm no one special. I'm not a writer, though I aspire to be.
I'm not a journalist, though I'm slightly better than the piss you'll find on most C/J majors' papers.
I'm not in anyway unique to a world of six billion people.

I should have majored in Geography. Or at least minored.

This is the last summer I will be a student.
Yes, I plan on getting my Master's someday. But until then what the heck am I supposed to do?

I will probably make more demands about my life this summer.
I will probably not get the job at the Army Depot.
Hey, it's a desk job, and it pays >USD10.00/hr on a 40 hour work week.
How can I go wrong?
Well, we'll see just how I can go wrong.

Summer always seems to take forever until it's suddenly 12 August and you realise you have to pack for Band Camp.

I hate that feeling.
I love the feeling of summer.

Last summer, I told myself I'd bike the towpath every weekend.
That lasted two weekends.
This summer I'm going to keep my promises.
I hope.

It wasn't too long ago that I was wearing my teal blue windbreaker, riding around Simon's Point on a blue bike with white tires, a white seat that would always rock back if you hit a bump, with a walkie-talkie, seeing how far away walkie-talkies from Kmart would reach.
It wasn't too long ago that all I worried about was where all my matchbox cars were, and why it was that the Lego piece you needed always ended up being on the bottom of the pile.

Only a child can understand that Legos are just easier to look for when poured directly onto the floor. There's something that carpeting gives to them. It's the same thing sheets and blankets take away.

I've realised so much of my life has become "should haves" and "could haves."
It isn't really the best feeling in the world.

I'm going to New York City again this summer.
And it looks like I'm doing it with Vanessa.
I didn't know there was a The North Face store in Manhatten.
Here I come.

We're going to see a lot of what we didn't see last time.
Believe you me.

I'm going to go camping in Canada.
I wanted to road trip with Dave, but OCS gave him a second chance.
Screw you all.
All I need is my gear, a camera, and a moleskine.

Some day I'll get up the courage to do something by myself.

But not any day soon...

I don't know why, but the Micro-Computer Lab in MCTB is the perfect place for angst-y blog entries, whining for a home in someone's irises. Irii?
I don't know.

You know, I'd really like to be a gear reviewer. Like for Moosejaw or MountainGear or The North Face.
You give me the latest gear for free.
I'll go use it for a weekend, camping or biking or something.
And then I'll write a review about it.
And you'll pay me.
I get free stuff, and paid to write about it.

It will NEVER happen.
Things like that just don't happen to me. :'(

Oh god, I'm using emotion-icons. Time to stop writing now.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Hollywood

Just returned from Los Angeles, California from the SUCB concert tour.

Saw George Hamilton in The North Face in Beverly Hills.
Stood in the Pacific Ocean in Santa Monica at sunset.
Saw Mel Blanc's headstone.
Took 500 pictures of the HOLLYWOOD sign.

Visited Grauman's. Visited the Kodak. Had my picture taken with a
Stormtrooper.
Was on The Price Is Right. Tune in to CBS on 29 April to see me in
the audience.

Went to the Beverly Center and felt entirely too poor to be walking
past a Louis Vitton store.

Adjusted --- finally --- to Pacific Time, just in time to return to EDT.
Watched Fox News every morning at 7:30 during breakfast.
Drank outside with a brown paper bag over the bottle.
Bought new shoes.

Saw more Porsche Carrera's than I thought was possible. It is
definitely not the Porsche to buy. Go with the 911 with retracting
whale-tail.

Went to Six Flags Magic Mountain and rode two rollercoasters. Woo.

And now I'm pulling an all nighter to finish all the work I told
myself I'd do over the break.

American West airlines at LAX has to have THE most ridiculous bag
check I've ever crossed. This was amplified by not only our large
group of people checking bags at once, but also the general
incompetence of the airline's staff.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

They'll Name a City After Us

I'm walking down the street, and I can smell the laquer on the telephone poles.
It reminds me of Providence, New Jersey and my Grandfather's yard.
You can smell everything in your past.

The fresh cut grass, my Uncle's house outside of Hartford.
The pressure-treated wooden fencing, work with my Dad.

There are soda-can-tabs pressed into the pavement
---like constellations---
by so much pollution, and so much death.

Caitlin doesn't think that "list" and "listen" share a similarity or two in their etymologies.

It's really amazing what a couple of days of warm weather and a few hundred buckets of rain can do to grass.
Campus used to be brown-green-dead, but now its green-green-green.
I never really realized how much I missed it, usually there's the bright-white snow to take my mind off of the lack of green.
But not this year.
A whole winter, and not one day of cancelled classes. We had one delay. And one evening/night classes cancelled.

And neither time was there enough snow to even imagine a snowman.

I wonder if they'll lose my luggage on the aeroplane.
I wonder if my stuff will be too heavy.
Since the Bari Sax is the only instrument Fam couldn't get the school to let us use, I have to take mine with me. It weighs thirty pounds. The maximum weight for checked luggage per passenger is fifty pounds. I have a twenty pound window, if i go over it, cha-ching: eighty dollar fine.

I wonder if I'll get bodysearched.

I cleaned my room today.
I lied.
I fixed my bed, which was falling off of the little metal rails that are naïvely referred to as "the frame."
And I arranged things. No cleaning was involved.

I wonder how the ROTC kids keep from fainting walking across campus dressed in full fatigues...

This girl's cellphone keeps going off down the row from me.
Everytime it does, I don't know why, but I think it's the fire alarm, and jump to get my stuff.

I suppose I will eventually have to get a cellular telephone. But not right yet.
It would be nice to give people a telephone number i might actually answer
but I'm still weary about tying myself down with monthly bills.
There it goes again. This is the third time in as many minutes.

Cellphones should not be sold with a speaker on them. They've really crossed the line by making them polyphonic and loud and whatnot. Really, if you can't feel your cellphone vibrating, you don't need to take the call. Therefore, no one around you should be subjected to your annoying ringtone. Ever.

Don't even get me started on Nextel. And now Verizon merged with them, or something. Because now with verizon phones you too can "DEDEDE" your friends, causing someone to seize in contempt at your "walkie-talkie" feature.

Have you ever really just realized that you've matured? That there will be no more childish laughter at stupid cartoons, you start doing things with an adult mindset?

Oh, by the way, check out Regina Spektor, more specifically, click on "video" and listen to "us."

Thank you

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Everything Looks Perfect...

Tonight reminds me of such great heights.
It's warm, you can't (really) smeel the cow poo. It's spring.

It reminds me of band camp, of summer, of buying clothing. Of Ehrhardt's, of all my friends there. It reminds me why I love this season so much. It's warm, green is a color again, I'm actually happy although work freaking sucked.

Tonight reminds me why i have shorts and Birkenstocks.

The quizz I have in Spanish tomorrow is far away, so is the exam. in Bio, and the paper in I.L.S. (both due Thursday).
Right now, though, all that matters is that i can walk around outside, when its dark, in shorts and sandals. Although I won't, because most of my shorts are packed for California already.

My washing machine broke. With my clothing still in it. It mostly washed it, I mean the only thing it wouldn't do was "spin," so I had to truck dripping (literally DRIPPING) clothing to the laundromat on Washington Street. Screw you, washing machine.

Like i said, work sucked.

I'll be the fire-escape that's
bolted to the ancient brick
where you will sit
and contemplate your day.

That's summer.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Mi Scuzi!

So here's the plan, Caitlin and I will spend Spring Break 2006 in Europe. Going from country to country by rail.

What better way can you think of to spend your last spring break than traversing Europe on a train? We can hit a maximum of five countries. This will take careful planning. We plan on going to France, Italy, Austria, BeNeLux (eurail.com counts Belgium, The Netherlands, and Luxembourg as one country), and Ireland. We don't know about Austria though, it might be too much. I know I've wanted to see Vienna for a long time, but I kind of want to stay in Vienna longer than a day, so it's all good.

The only snag right now is the flight. When i looked on cheaptickets, priceline, and travelocity, any ticket from any U.S.A. eastern-seaboard airport to Paris is a thousand USD per ticket. That is outrageous, and i demand to know why.

The plan is to start in Paris, rail to Italy, see Rome and Pompeii (which, apparently, may require a stop in Naples. According to most guidebooks, Naples is not the place you want to spend the night in. It compares to Newark and Compton. woo.), then to BeNeLux, where i want to go take a stupid-tourist-picture of the hotel De Roode Leeuw. I would suggest staying there, but the rooms are "soundproofed." Another word for "out of your price range you stupid white fool." So perhaps Rotterdam, which is where R.J.J. deRoode emigrated from. Of course Ghent, in Belgium. Of course I'll be an ass and order waffles while in Belgium. I don't really know what's in Luxembourg, but oh well. Then from BeNeLux to Ireland, via ferry. This is all relatively cheap, through this program we (Caitlin) found, it gives you ten travelling days to see three - five countries.

The U.K. does not count, though, as the site warns. Probably because the rest of the E.U. hates G.B., since they're all snooty and whatnot. If that's not enough acronyms to make your head spin, you should have read my Slate article on SCUPA.

So I'm getting a gear list together, and probably making most of my purchases this summer. I've decided (unilaterally, of course) that the easiest and best way to haul our gear from city to city, country to country, is with backpacks. No, not your L. L. Bean bookbag. Backpacks. Backpacking backpacks. Caitlin agrees, yet she is timid about the possibility of carrying a backpack through cities such as Rome and Paris, and feels that it would make her more tourist-y. I think it would make us look not tourist-y, but "I'm in college in the states and i'm backpacking through Europe because i'm a bohemian at heart"-y.

We both agree that no matter how good a hostel's reviews are, we would be skeptical about leaving all of our belongings in some stranger's house while we perouse the city.

So the search for lower airfare begins. As does the search for train times, and h/mo(s)tels. haHA, look at that motherfucker, i made three words into one.

We could always do what they did in EuroTrip and become air couriers. But what if the courier couldn't get us a flight to Paris from wherever on that day, and then we'd have to check extra baggage, and blah blah blah.

I'll probably be talking to Jeff and asking him to ask his Grandmother about the airfares when the year progresses a bit more. Hey, she was Erin and my's travel agent for the Prague trip, and that worked out fine.

Time to work. work work work. I can't think of work, all I can think of is being on an aeroplane flying over the continental USA for five days in Los Angeles.

Bob Barker, you're MINE.

Sit Inter Astrum

so I'm on the John Kerry electronic mailing list, yes?

I get an e-mail today (this is the same list that warned be a day before the ANWR shit blew up in everyone's face) about how the republican majority leader (Senator Frist, I believe) has a plan to make any judicial nominations made by President Bush immune to a Senate filibuster.

Id est, "If he can convince enough Republican Senators to go along, the nomination and confirmation of judges will become a tightly-controlled, one-party affair."

Id est, the Supreme Court of the United States of America will become, until more justices die, an arm of the conservative America.

"Why would you want to move to Canada Brendan?" asks my dad.

=

post script: in pace requiescat John Paul II. You were not my Pope, but you were a good Pope. You will be missed, and I truly believe those Italian people on the news were right: you were a saint among men.

caelestis

post post script: gmail storage limit: 2.054Gb and counting.

Friday, April 01, 2005

"I've lived too long with pain. I won't know who I am without it."

-orson scott card, Ender's Game

they're making an ender's game movie????
holy paperback novels batman!

wolfgang peterson is directing it?
i don't know.... he made the perfect storm... it might suck...

but holy cannoli anyway!

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0400403/

A Renewed Faith in Corporations

the people at google are my heroes. they should be your heroes too.
gmail used to be a free electronic mail service, with a wicked cool take on "filing," revolutionary low-profile non-annoying ads (and trust me, i don't even know they're there), and a thousand megabytes of storage
for those of you who can count, that's a gigabyte of storage. FOR FREE
but that isn't gmail anymore. when i checked my mail today, i discovered it was gmail's one year birthday. and to celebrate, google has given all of its gmail members much more than one gigabyte
if you visit gmail you will see numbers increasing rapidly. last time i checked, i was at 1.6Gb.
and they're still rising

google, you are my hero.

want a gmail account? i have fifty invites. sheeshes, someone ask me for one already