Sunday, July 31, 2005

I think I might be on the right track now, finally. There is a way to spin this speech into a well sung story and I have my brother to thank for his advice. Now, it's time to put all this talk into fruition and get it done.

If you wanna spin
Get yourself back in the game again
Throw down your money
Maybe you could win
But this world won't stop
So never stop, just spin

Yeah! I'm back in the game again, the money is on the table and I know I'll win.

So never stop, just spin.


I'm updating the blog a day early as I won't have much time to do so tomorrow. Granted, updating doesn't take too much time, but I'd rather not worry about doing it tomorrow when I already have a multitude of things to take care of.

Yeah, still busy!

I'll be back to discussions and ramblings soon enough!

Hope you like the new masthead and color scheme. The lines are lyrics from, you guessed it, Jack's Mannequin's song "I'm Ready." The JM album Everything in Transit is available for pre-order on both the JM store and on Amazon, or you can wait until August 23rd and buy it at a store near you. You can click the link on the lower right side of my blog to hear some of the tunes if you haven't heard JM before. (Yeah, I know, I'm just plugging away for JM!)

Anyway, enjoy and let me know what you think.

0 comments Wednesday, July 27, 2005

I've been working on the next design for the blog which will be posted on August 1st. Just the usual changes: the masthead, and the colors. Though, I have to admit, I borrowed my color ideas from megatokyo. I know you will all say it's not original to copy colors, but I didn't completely leech the color scheme on that site. Besides, the scheme looks damn good with the next masthead. You will see soon enough.

Other than that, not much else is going on. I think I'm going to take a break from the blog until August 1st, unless, of course, something important comes up between now and then. I need to turn off the internet (except for citing material), game systems, and television; so that I can focus on important items that need to be finished before I leave here.

E-mail is still ok though! I'll respond as soon as I can when I get them.

Monday, July 25, 2005

My ticket for flying back to Idaho should already have been purchased. I wonder when I'll be getting back now.

I know now.


I know it's going to sound incredibly lame and utterly childish, but during my mini-break from blogging and everything else I found Harvest Moon (HM) and started playing my life away. At least, for the last two days.

I don't even know how it happened to be honest. I was working on speeches, researching, typing up a few things, formulating, citing. The basic processes of writing: you name it, I was streaming right along. Grudgingly so, I might add. (Still, I was getting things done.)

Then it happened. I must have stumbled upon it by mistake, by chance? Dare I say fate? (Certainly not! Haha!) I took a break to look at Guild Wars as a potential buy for entertainment and stress relief at college (honestly!), when I ended up looking through various games and found an old favorite.

For those of you not familiar with this game, which I'll take will be almost all of you (out of no fault of your own because it's so nerdy!), it's a Farmer Life Simulation/Strategy game. Nerdy. The main character is a farmer who inherits a farm from his deceased grandfather. With the farm comes responsibilities should you choose to expand the farm and garner a profit. You can farm plants (tomatoes, watermelon, turnips, etc.), ranch animals (cows, chickens, sheep), and much more. It's even a dating simulator. And I'd like to point out right now that that is NOT why I enjoy it so much, contrary to what any of you might think. I'm not desperate for that kind of love! Anyway, back to dating. In all Harvest Moon games you have a slew of potential wives (or in the two female versions that have only been released in Japan, husbands). In the old one I played on the Nintendo 64 you had five to choose from. You have to woo them by giving them gifts and talking to them, so it's no easy ride. Eventually, after you get married, you can have a kid and continue the legacy.

Yeah, that's pretty much it. It's totally nerdcore, but I think that's why I like it. It's completely different from the collection of RPGs I have.

Regardless, I ended up reading about the new HM that is being released in the US tomorrow and found links off the page that led me to an older version of HM (HM:A Wonderful Life) for the Gamecube. And while I don't own a Gamecube, my sister does. So, after reading up on the game and completely dropping any speech work, I decided I'd buy the game as soon as I could. And I did.

That was Saturday afternoon. It's now Monday evening and, while I haven't been playing the game straight since then, I've played it for hours on end. Only now have I taken an extended break to check up on my e-mails and my blog. I have, of course, showered, eaten meals, and the usual in between that time even though some of you may doubt that!

All I can say is, the break from speeches has been good. I managed to create a farm, fund it, buy cows, bring in money, woo a girl, get married, start a family, and have a kid...all in roughly 8 hours time. Now, if only I could apply those mad skills to my speeches. Shit! I'd be set.

4 comments Thursday, July 21, 2005

When friends of our family left on emergency leave to visit their family in the states, they dropped off their dog for us to dog-sit. He's a peekapoo named Rez, and he's been good for the most part. Though, he often thinks he needs to go out on hourly intervals.


However, his presence in our house has caused our dogs to get in a bit of a ruckus with him. Lewis, who apparently thinks he's an alpha-male dog, now feels that he has to be the first to get everything. He also sometimes tries to eat from Rez's bowl. Brandi, our other dog, will bark at Rez every now and then when she sees him running around the house. Though, I think this is mainly because she's much older and prissy about other dogs. She was bitchy when we first got Lewis, but she eventually learned to deal with it.
Rez Sleeping

Although he's been shocked and a little hyperactive about the whole experience, I think the dogs are finally beginning to relax a little more around him. That is to say, he's still alive.

And yeah, still working on speeches. Woo!

4 comments Wednesday, July 20, 2005

I just deposited some of the extra funds I had in cheques and dollars. I also received some of the funds from selling stuff on half and ebay, even though I didn't get a lot of money from there. At least I can say that I have more than $22.43 in my acount now!

It's good to have money again only to watch it all slip away as you buy books for classes.

Of course, this lack in funds is why I'll need to find a job ASAP when I get back on campus. I could, of course, go on the all-ramen diet if else fails.

Yeah, let's hope that doesn't happen.

6 comments Monday, July 18, 2005

After taking a "short break" to finish Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince (Yes, finished in two days!), I've resumed my research and typing for my speeches this year.

Yes, Bree, I got your letter today! Thanks for helping me out with the speeches! This first one has been a hard as hell to get through. So much for getting it done by the weekend like I planned.

Anyway, I'm going to get back on them so that I can have most (or all) of them done long before the first tournament!

1 comments Saturday, July 16, 2005

Take the MIT Weblog Survey

3 comments Friday, July 15, 2005

While searching for some items to sell on and these last two nights I managed to come across a couple old boxes full of things that I had forgotten about since college started two years ago. I remember trying to sort through the contents long before I left for college, but as we moved to our new house I simply threw some of my stuff in random boxes and never really looked at it until I got to each box individually. Eventually summer passed and I had only managed to sort out the basic stuff for my room: my books, my desk, the things to throw away and things to give away. The things that had yet to be sorted, however, remained in their boxes as I returned to Idaho to start college. Yet, as I left, I remember wanting to sort the items out by the year's end when I returned to Germany for winter vacation. I never did though.

In fact, I had completely forgotten about them. And while part of me wants to believe that I didn't forget about them, because I usually remember so many things, I really did forget about these boxes. I'm sure a great deal of my forgetfulness about these boxes can be attributed to their new placement during the last couple of visits home, but I'm still surprised that I never realized they had been moved.

Regardless, I decided to finally go through the boxes to sort the contents and hopefully find some old books or video games to sell. What I found in these boxes, however, I didn't expect at all. Instead of finding books and games, I ended up rummaging through numerous pictures, clippings, letters, notes and other bits from my past. Items that I had treasured and held in high regard back in high school that, as they slipped through my hands, meant nothing to me anymore.

I picked up a pack of photos and flipped open the package only to find photos of people I haven't talked to in forever. People I don't even talk to anymore. People I haven't seen in two years. People I remember, and those I that don't want to remember. I scrambled for another pack of photos, but this time I was more reluctant to open it. What faces, places, and stories would these pictures tell? I hesitated. Maybe it was better not looking at the past? Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed high school and I had good friends and great times, but I also knew that so much had changed since then that it made looking back seem kind of awkward. Still, my curiosity got the better of me as I opened the next batch. More people. More stories. More memories of moments long since passed. My mind flooded with thoughts of "I wonder what happened to...", "Wow, I can't believe that this is the same person..." and much more.

It started thinking about how much things have changed--how drastically things can change in a single year. It's not that I hadn't realized things changed, but rather that I just thought I moved on without having to look back at these items again.

And yet, in many ways I'm glad I stumbled upon them. As I sifted through the rest of the box and organized the items, I started to realize that all of these things have helped shape who I am and what I know. Trivial things like trying to make sure a certain depressive friend was always happy or keeping tabs on activities in places I hadn't been in years (among many others) no longer held any bearing. Sure, they were pivotal back then. Yet, now, I realize that the 20 year-old me wouldn't even bother with these situations, activities, or people now. Things that caused so much stress back then aren't even worth my time now.

I guess that's been the biggest relief in sorting these items so far: realizing that things are only as difficult as I choose to make them. I could've severed some of these ties a long time ago and saved myself a lot of stress, but part of me felt and thought that so many aspects of the situations in my life were out of my hands. Or maybe I just didn't want to complicate things because I thought they were fine, or I just didn't want things to get worse. That's not the case anymore. I'm finally seeing that I wield a great amount of control over the things that happen in my life and how I deal with them, I just never knew how much until now.

As for the boxes and their contents, I haven't decided what to do with all of them yet. I do, however, know that where they finally end up (in another box for keepsakes or shreded and recycled/trashed) doesn't matter much anymore. I've gotten everything I needed from them.

Maybe the world will look like this forever.
You can breathe, you can breathe now.

7 comments Tuesday, July 12, 2005

I read your letter and I wish there was an answer I could give to you--a reason to the questions we continue to ask but never feel resolve for. There are no words that I can give you, nothing I can say to make things better for you in this time. I will be there for you, to help you, as I have always been. I may not be able to ease the tension and the uncertainty, but I will do my best to lift you up and remind you that there is still much to live for.

You have time to live each moment to the fullest, making sure not to let a second of it just go on by. You're strong and you've been strong through all of this, as you'll continue to be. You have your family, you friends, and all the people who care about you. No matter what happens, good or bad, thick or thin, we will be there for you.

And though I understand, I still wish there was something more that I could do. Yet here I am, a shoulder, an ear, a friend for you.

My prayers to your father, you and your family.

4 comments Sunday, July 10, 2005

I think I'm going to take the advice from MH to heart for now and see where it gets me. Yeah, almost all of these anyway. Especially number 15.

At least, for now.


Thister says:
I want this latte to last all night long! Ooooooooh! My latte is like WOHA! My chai is like woha! And you're drink'n it, so what you think of it? My tea is like Woha! My coffe's like woha! Ohhh! No decaf is like woha!
Thister says:
Thister says:
I'm cracking myself up
Blue says:
Blue says:
you're not on crack, are you?
Thister says:
Blue says:
Blue says:
Thister says:
Blue says:
Blue says:
no you're not
Thister says:
Blue says:
and that proves it
Thister says:
You make it sound like it's a bad thing, really.
Blue says:
i never said it was bad
Thister says:
A latte can be like WHOA!
Blue says:
you can do what you want
Blue says:
yes it can
Thister says:
Chai, to some, can be like WHOA!
Blue says:
i'm so glad you get off on lattes lol
Thister says:
Thister says:
I should've been expecting that one!
Blue says:
i'm bad
Thister says:
Hahah! Touche!


1 comments Friday, July 08, 2005

This is how you know the media are having a frenzy:

The Supreme Court pulsed with retirement speculation Friday, with rumors focusing first on the ailing chief justice, then the oldest member, and even the tiniest justice.

Does it ever end?


This Is Ann
Every day, except weekends (well, actually, some weekends she goes in to do the work that others do not), Ann goes to work for 8 LONG BORING HOURS with an upaid thirty-minute lunch break.
Ann Works.
Ann also works with assholes who, because they have a degree, get paid more but do much less.
..and works.
Ann wants to quit and work on other pursuits, but alas, she cannot. This job, as crappy as it is, pays the bills and helps support her shopping sprees as a means of escapism from work.
One day, Ann plans to quit to fulfill those other pursuits. For now, though, she's stuck dealing with people she can't stand and work she hates.
Poor Ann!

7 comments Thursday, July 07, 2005

Recently I've been placing orders on to save some time and money on ordering books for the next semester, but it has turned out to be more hectic than I originally planned. Usually I order the books I want after reviewing the seller's feedback profile and the rest is good to go from there. This time, however, some of the orders I've placed have been cancelled because the seller has forgotten that the item was still listed and they already sold it, they don't have access to the book anymore, or they're lazy.

I hate to say it, but maybe shopping at the bookstore might be a bit more of a convenience than I originally thought.


For those of you that were concerned, the archives that had been broken since I moved to are now working again. Feel free to check them out as needed. ;)

6 comments Tuesday, July 05, 2005

I Will Fight

This is run independent of Jack's Mannequin through, but the money is still going to Andrew's chosen charity.

The "flip-flop" foundation will be up and running soon.

5 comments Sunday, July 03, 2005

I just found one of the most interesting blogs ever...


With the Plame story beginning to break open as Time hands over Matthew Cooper's e-mails and computer notes over the leak of the name of a CIA Agent, rumor has it that Karl Rove was the source.

Numerous blogs have been discussing this since the initial break (from The Huffington Post).

I agree with Blurbomat on this: It is indeed scary to think of what may come of this.

Special thanks to Blurbomat for bringing this story to my attention.

1 comments Friday, July 01, 2005

Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor has announced her retirement, leaving the Bush Administration with a chance to place a new Justice in her place that could change the course of American politics forever.

More on Sandra Day O'Connor.


For all the hooplah that's spread across the news faster than herpes about Tom Cruise amidst the release of War of The Worlds, I have to say that it didn't stop me from going to see it.

Speilberg's War of The Worlds is beautifully executed and hauntingly believable. The usage of sound is particularly amazing throughout the whole movie as it builds tension and breaks the peace randomly. From the subtly soft sounds of lullabies to the electro-synthesized crushing, zaps, and zings, the movies pulls you in. Dakota Fanning's stellar acting is engaging. Her talents pull you in so that you fully empathize with her and the situation around her. Cruise also does an amazing job playing a dead-beat Dad who, in the wake of the catastrophic events, manages to remain strong for his family.

The special effects were glitzy, but not over the top. Thanks to the usage of different scenes and shading and lighting, the effects come off realistic enough to make the movie even more believable. The story/plot of the movie is just as interesting, but I don't want to spoil it for you. Let's just say that Speilberg was innovative and creative with how the aliens plotted our demise. ;)


Lately, thanks to flickr, I've been learning some really cool photoediting effects.
Check them out:
St. Louis Arch - Lomo Effect
Enhanced using the "Fake Lomo Effect" and some sweet noise correction.
St. Louis Arch
This is the original.

Violet - The
Enhanced using "The Dooce Effect" and changing the curves and brightness.
This is the original. There isn't a big difference except that the colors in the enhanced one are deeper and have a bit more of a "glow" to them.

What do you think?