Is a blog a place for thoughts and stories or is it a weapon, a double-edged sword?
I'm starting to think that being silent is better than saying anything at all.
Shouldn't be so complicated
Just hold me and then
Just hold me again
Can you help me I'm bent
I'm so scared that I'll never
Get put back together
--Bent :: Matchbox 20
Returning from Nationals and Spring Break (at least the little break that it was) has been interesting and more difficult than I thought it would be. After our success at Nationals, debate-related items have become the central focus of the week with rounds of catch-up homework and learning in second, and freaking the fuck out in third. Everything seems rushed and hurried. Fast-paced.
I'm just having a hard time reintegrating into the system after being away for nearly two weeks. It's never been this hard before, but the scenario was never quite the same as it is now either. On one side I'm glad that I'm busy and rushed because it keeps me going. On the other side, though, I'm upset that I can't be on my own to just relax and take a breather. It's getting to the point that I feel like I'm finishing one thing only to take on another, and another, and another...and it doesn't end.
I feel smothered. I feel broken.
I need a break from it all. I need time away from all of it. Time where I am just alone, away from everything except myself and my thoughts. Time to relax physically and mentally.
But with things going the way they are right now I don't think what I want is going to happen anytime soon. (And I don't think the "What the Fuck!" and "Holy Shit!" sessions are going to end until I get that time either.)
This is going to be very short because I have a flight to catch in roughly seven hours...
WE WON THE NATIONAL TOURNAMENT! :D WE TOOK 1ST OVERALL! 1ST in DEBATE SWEEPS (Thanks to Hillary and I, and, of course, Barton and Lacey)! 2nd in IE SWEEPS!
I'll be posting pictures when I'm back from spring break in South Dakota. Check you all later ;)
Watch The Sky
I'm lost at sea,
the radio is jamming, but they won't find me
I swear it's for the best,
and then your frequency is pulling me in closer 'til I'm home
And I've been up for days,
I finally lost my mind,
And then I lost my way,
I'm blistered but I'm better
And I'm home
I will crawl,
there's things that are worth giving up I know,
but I won't let this get me
I will fight,
you live the life you're given with the storms outside
Some days all I do is watch the sky
This room's too small, it's only getting smaller,
I'm against the wall, I'm slowly getting taller, here in wonderland,
this guilt feels so familiar
And I'm home
I will crawl, there's thing that are worth giving up I know, but I won't let this get me
I will fight, you live the life you're given with the storms outside
some days all I do is watch the sky
And I think I, I could use a little break
Today was a good day
And I think I, I could use a little break
But today was a good day
And it's a deep sea, in which I'm floated
And still I seem to think that I must crawl
There's things that are worth giving up I know,
when you can't bare to carry me I'll fight,
you live the life you're given with the storms outside
some days all I do is watch the sky
Today was a good day
Today was a good day
It's the other thing I needed to hear today. ;)
About a day after my birthday, which I know I have yet to post about, I came to the harsh realization that Nationals was only six days away. (Of course, now it is only four days away, and that doesn't make it better.) And with it came the gut-wrenching anxiety, the fear of failure, and the uncertainty of what I thought was near-certain.
Everything I done before this tournament has led to the point, all those hardships and losses, trophies and wins, but I'm starting to think that I'm just going to flop it. I feel like I'm going to hit the ground, and hit it really really hard. Everyone seems to be slightly stressed about it too, but I don't think it's the same as what I'm feeling. It's like just about everything has crashed down on me and I can't avoid it. Instead, I'm left picking up the pieces trying to put it all together before it's too late. Then I know in a few days I have to narrow myself to fit through the eye of scrutiny that will be ever-present while I'm in St. Louis...and even worse off if I don't carry my weight while I'm there.
To add to it, all these other things have suddenly coalesced in my mind to cloud the clarity I once had. I can't stay focused on much of anything for too long. I've been agitated. I've been angry. I've been upset. I've been sad.
And I'm doubting myself.
I'm doubting my abilities that have, to some degree, been proven worthy. I'm doubting the work and effort I've put into everything I've done. I'm doubting that anything I can do this time will be of value.
And I want it to go away, but it won't. I've tried reading, listening to music, telling myself that it will be ok, knowing that I've done well. Yet, none of it has changed the way I feel. I can't get past the fact that I might fail, that I may not be worthy.
Then I hear you reminding me to believe in myself. Your words echo in my mind so clear, evident of things I've overlooked. Illuminated. You tell me that I should think about myself and what I can and will do for myself. It is just that--to do better than what I have done before for myself, then the others.
I'll carry these words, thoughts, and your faith in me with me as I go down that road. You are right in what you say, and I know now where to place my faith and confidence. Thank you.
Thanks Carrie! :) You have no idea how much that means to me right now.
If it wasn't official before, it most certainly is now. My Japanese/Japan Culture teacher is El Douchetto.
El(La) Douchetto(a) A confusing and complicated person with scattered ideas that make you think they are worse than a "douche bag"
Today we had an exam which usually consists of 20-35 multiple choice questions in regards to various topics we discussed earlier in the month. This time these question were focused around the various holidays that Japan has, including dates, meanings, and objects used during said holidays.
We also usually have short essay questions that focus on topics that are expandable enough to write 3-9 sentences on. Last time they focused on cultural ideas and norms, like miai marriage and renai marriage, among others.
This time, however, it was much different. El douchetto decided it'd be more interesting to put only one lengthy and totally what-the-fuck-out-of-the-blue essay question on there:
"Give five proposals that you could implement to improve U.S. and Japanese relations, both culturally and educationally. Be sure to note what each proposal is and how you actually implement it to achieve the goal each proposal seeks to obtain."
Motherfuck! Say what?!?
Yeah, so the whole class breezes through the multiple choice questions and gets to the essay and thinks exactly what I just said. Having no clue as to where this essay question came from, I decided to implore my mad speech/debate skills (a.k.a. knowledge-base and bullshit-base of ideas) to help me make the essay seem much better than it would have been. Needless to say, I proposed one practical idea (embracing each culture through the sight of co-dependency), three educational examples (more stringent language-based programs throughout elementary, middle, and high school; more historic education with backing in Cultural Anthropology to assure proper understanding of all cultures and not just a focus on European cultures; and more exchange based programs where educators from both countries experience each others culture first-hand), and one economic example (where the U.S. and Japan have more fluid economic relations between business to lessen complications and increase profit-motive [Yeah, I said that.]).
I don't know how the rest of the class did or how I did. I do, however, know that my professor is officially El Douchetto. It wasn't official before, but it most certainly is now. No professor I know has ever done something that retarded on an exam before, not even my professor for Energy for Society. I'm less frustrated with it than I was before, but it doesn't detract from the fact that our modern language department in the Japanese area needs a lot of work.
I've been meaning to post about my birthday and all the happenings here, but I've been busy or sleep deprived (and that's a long story) or both.
So, I'm just letting you all know that I'll be giving you the 411 on all the fun soon ;)
The smelly trash wafting its malicious odor around the apartment; the dishes not being put away (I put them away last time, and Lacey put them away the two times before that); the dirty pans that are usually dirtied and not cleaned until re-used by the same people who dirtied them; the greasy oily smell that seems to have inhabited the area by the frige and stove; the dirty kitchen floor that only gets cleaned by Lacey and me; the unorganized shelves in the refrigerator and having to fight for space just to put milk in it; the empty boxes of noodles or plastic wrappings of ramen and soba on the counter by the stove.
These are things that I could take care of, but since I didn't do them (except for contributing to the trash) or have done them in the past (clean the counters, do the dishes, sweep, vacuum, mop, etc.), I won't do them until the "looters" of this apartment do their equal share of the work. Else if, they will most certainly find themselves cleaning the apartment common areas by themselves when it comes time to move out. I'm not joking.
I'm not the only one: Things I Hate About My Flatmate
Ever since I played The Sims 2 and found out that they were working on an expansion pack that introduced the "young adult" stage in life where sims can now go to college, I've wanted said expansion pack.
And it's been out for 5 days now!
But, I've refrained. I've had the money and the time to get it, but I know I don't really have the time to play it. I could make time, but that could be dangerous. I might not get things done. AT. ALL. My grades would drop and then I'd be just like Peter, my douche bag roommate from last year who nearly failed two of his classes because all he did was play computer games.
Besides, that's not me. I don't play computer games that much. I've been really focused on my studies as of late, and I've been doing amazingly well this semester. That's not to say that the temptation isn't there though. I've wanted to play, I just haven't.
But, if I get it for my birthday...Well, I think I'll just gaze at the box and the pictures and pretend that I'm playing it mentally. That should be ok, right?
That is, of course, if I can refrain from installing it to look at it. Then clicking on the new features just to see how they work, seeing the new objects, jobs, and then playing it.
Clearly it's not a good idea to obtain the expansion pack right now. I know I could control myself, but I don't know for how long. I think once my mind realized my hands were holding on to the box, things might change.
And right now, and until after Nationals and Spring Break, I can't afford to have things (i.e. grades, speech performances, reading and comprehension of material) change--unless it's for the better. The expansion pack, I fear, would do just the opposite.
The fact that the post office doesn't leave the customs forms out by the "form island" so I can fill it out before I get to the counter.
Waste of 3 mintues in my life.
"Being at college, you know, with somewhat intelligent people, I have such hope in humanity only to find that it always disappoints me." - Kayle in my Japanese Culture class.
Indeed Kayle, indeed. I wish the demented majority in our culture class was not there either. Of course, that includes the professor--so, I guess we wouldn't have class then.
I always find it weird that I can finish my tests in Calculus in roughly 20 minutes. Shouldn't they take longer?
High of 66 degrees. Ah, yes! I love this weather.
Is is strange that I see parallels between Kill Bill and my debate team?
Going down to Texas was by far one of the most interesting experiences of my life. I was shocked at how nice everyone was, with the exception of a minor few. Everything was great, except for Krista, but that's nothing new.
We debated the following resolutions:
This House Believe that Dean is a step in the right direction for the Democrats
The U.S. should take steps to prevent a Syrian/Iranian alliance
This House Believes it's time to embrace the horror
This House Believes that athletes should be held accountable for their actions
This House Believes that a National Identification Card system would aid in the fight on terror
Needless-to-say, they were interesting. Hillary and I tried our best, but we didn't break to finals. That's ok though, it was intended to be a learning experience.
We also had some interesting quotes on this trip:
Rob: "I wonder what the 'd' in 'Zone d' Erotica' stands for? Quite the prominent location, too!"
Marty: "Yes indeed! Looks like it used to be a waffle house!"
Marty: "Thanks Jared!"
Krista: "Slim shorts that say: 'T. E. X. A. S.' 'X marks the spot'" *As she points to her ass.* (Apparently Annah isn't the only one for anal!)
Erin: "Everything is not bigger in Texas!"
Palm Pilot Guidance System: "Off course, recalculating."
Marty: "Don't sass me! I sass you!" (Talking to the Palm Pilot Guidance System)
Hillary: "Flying down the interstate..." (continuing to sing country songs that mention Texas)
Me: "Holy Shit! I need a cigarette NOW!"
Hillary: "You don't smoke. Besides, the round wasn't that bad."
Me: *fake twitching* "Need. Cigarette. Now!"
Hillary: "Oh jeez!"
Erin: "Why is he twitching?"
Hillary: "He thinks he needs a cigarette..."
Erin: "Right. Well, I'm not going to contribute to the formation of an addiction for someone else."
Announcer: "Rob. Rob Parchuko!"
Rob: "Paruka, here!"
Marty: "You know, Rob, when I send e-mails to you my spell checker says you last name is 'Parakeet'."
Miles: "How about I just call you 'Reshav'?"
Hillary and Me: "The word of the weekend is most certainly 'DOUCHE BAG!'"
Announcer: "Have you hit Grace?"
Charley, her opponent: "Huh?!" (looks dazed)
Announcer: "No, not physically!"
Me: "Ok, so I've decided NOT to take up smoking. There have been some redeeming features to this tournament, I think."
Erin: "Good. You had me worried."
Marty: "I had lunch with Batman"
Miles: "Look, Helipad landing and spotlights! Marty, we could see Batman too!"
Me: "Fuck!!! ERIN! I want a cigarette, NOW! Give me a cigarette now!! I need one! Holy shit! If I have to deal with that bitch again..."
Erin: *hugs me* "It's ok, I know. She gets like that and she's made this tournament not as fun. However, it's not a reason to take up smoking. It's not healthy."
Me: "I don't care! I want a cigarette! Now!
Me: *big sigh* "Fine." (long pause) "I'll just buy them when we stop off at the gas station."
Erin: *laughs* "Right."
Yeah, it was good fun! XD I can't believe Nationals' is only 10 days away! Craziness.
So, I stopped cleaning until they do it.
or until it drives you up the wall?
Just as Francisco D'Aconia left his job, giving it to the looters to do with as they wanted
Yes, yes it does.
did NOT see that coming
It makes me an objectivist
I haven't talked to my coach yet, but I'm coming to the conclusion that I'm just not going to pick up another event. Personally, I don't think I can pump one out fast enough that would be Nationals competition worthy in less than 12 days.
In many ways, I blame myself for not finding another scripted event to pick up before all of this. If I had, I would've simply just added something like Impromptu for this tournament. However, that's not the case. I chose to do Impromptu months back as an extra event. Now that I have experience in it and know that I can do well in it, I know that I'll be better in the four events I'm taking with me versus the five I would've brought that wouldn't be as polished.
All is resolved, I hope.
I got your letter today
the words inscribed
talked of how much you loved
and cared for
how you missed
that you'd soon see
And all I can say is:
I'm on my way
I've missed and waited for,
and wanted to
Please, wait for me.
I'll be there soon
I love you, Grandma :D
It's nice to know that I'm only entered in four individual events for Nationals instead of five like I was planning on doing.
Hopefully I can pull something together by this weekend or it's a no go, and I'll only go with four--and that sucks!
Yes, I'm going to post the Houston Tournament News when I have time. I'm suddenly busier than I originally was before. Joy.
This weblog was founded a year ago after I felt the need to delete my old blog that had been up and running for a year and a half.
Created on November 2nd 2002, my old blog, Twisted Clarity (TC), was a high dive into the world of blogging. I was introduced to blogging by my great friend, Veneliza, who had created her own blog for herself and her friends to keep in contact. Thinking it was interesting and cool, I started my own blog, made it public, and wrote about whatever I felt. This included various topics related to school, most of which, during my Senior year of high school, centered around yearbook and all the stress and woe that seemed to follow it. I also detailed the beginning of the loss of friendship between my then good friend, Adriana. Also, in a rage of emotions and anger, I aired two revealing conversations I had with my ex-girlfriend, Ana.
And I posted and said a lot of things on my blog that I probably shouldn't have back then. Words of disgust, pain, uncertainty, doubt, and hatred. I watched my words become a contentious point of poison between friends and realized the dangers of having a blog. But I also realized the good and joys of having a blog: the feeling of some sort of community, the ability to vent, discuss, browse the web of written emotions and thoughts.
I continued TC halfway into my Freshmen year of college before I decided to delete it and start a new one.
The deletion of TC was, in many ways, liberating and practical. After my winter break back in Germany, I realized that I was no longer attached to the world of the past that was high school and all the sophomoric behavior that came along with it. I also didn't want to be associated with the rush of teen blogs that seem to have flooded the blogosphere. But most importantly, I didn't want to keep ties with a lot of the negativity and emptiness that high school held for me. I also didn't enjoy the fact that various people around my dorm read my blog last year and used the information within it as some sort of conversational advantage. (I also wanted to get rid of some stalkers that recently appeared on my blog.)
Initially, deleting TC was hard. I remember my hesitation to press "the button," but I did it. I saved all the old posts and layouts from that chapter in my life, but honestly, I haven't looked back on it. Sure, I've reflected on my past, but I haven't gone back to try and relive it. I haven't touched the "Old Blog" folder since it was created.
I moved on.
Two months after the deletion of TC, I created this blog, Pardoned Combustication (PC), on March 1st 2004 as a rebirth of expression. Initially it started off as a poetry/prose only blog, but eventually became a blog of stories, thoughts, critiques, conversations, and, most recently, photos.
But it's been so much more than that. It's become a testament of the change that I've experienced and shared. A reflection of growth and learning. An expansion from the world I used to surround myself with to a world of limitless thoughts undefined and unconfined by the past.
So here's to change, experience, growth, learning, and expansion. A year of stories, thoughts, critiques, conversations, and photos. It's been a lesson in learning, and a journey wrapped in growth, all of it shared with those who've read my blog and those who will.
Happy 1st Anniversary, Pardoned Combustication!
As you've probably already noticed, I've now made the "Photo of the Day" display three pictures instead of one. I've redone it this way to show off more pictures at one time, but it does not necessarily mean that I will update with three new pictures every day.
The current pictures on the photo of the day are from my recent tournament in Texas.
P.S. Tournament Quotes and Notes coming up within the next few posts, I promise. ;)
There's something to be said about the genuine goodness of certain individuals. Their unyielding generosity and depth of caring. Ok, so it was just a free haircut from Kari, but at the same time it was something more.
There has been a lot going on lately between figuring out next year, roommates during this year (even currently), classes, and, of course, debate. It's all been getting me down, and when it starts to look up it's only another hill climb away to the next issue. If it's not one thing, it's another. Needless to say, it's left me in a bit of a rough disposition. I haven't felt really good about much of anything lately. I go to classes and I'm upset or agitated; I go to tournaments and I'm stressed or burnt out or some mixture of emotions; I return to the apartment after a day of classes and I'm angry and ready to leave. And I know why all of it's getting me down, but I feel like there's nothing I can do about it. Moreover, even if there is a shred of something that I can do, I feel like it won't change anything to the ultimate end that I want.
And so, tonight, while I was in this mix of feelings with a hint of "I just don't care anymore", I went to get my hair cut by Kari. She's the same person who's cut my hair for the last two years and she's got to be the kewlest, craziest, rock'n woman I know. She's so radical and different and down to earth. Well, I'm not sure if she knew I was upset or not, but she cheered me up. First, she said she'd let me have a free haircut, which I initially refused but later accepted. Then she told me some of the funniest stories I've heard in a long time. Who knew there were idiots out there that actually thought broccoli and corn were the United States' most scarce resource? I didn't think there was such an individual out there, but Kari let me know that some dumb barfly at a local bar thought just that. She also told me about her crazy Grandpa who she's always fighting with to correct him and all the fun stories that seem to accompany him.
It was hilarious. It was relieving. It was just what I needed. I felt relaxed and cheered up almost instantly, and I didn't have anything else on my mind.
Surely enough, I had to return to the apartment and the issues and emotions that seem to accompany it, but it wasn't as bad. At least, during this time, it wasn't.
Thanks Kari, for the simple act of generosity and cheering me up. You may never know how much it means to me right now, but I'm thankful. ;)