4 comments Sunday, January 29, 2006

The horizon of my life has become dim and grey with no end in sight. A storm has wreaked havoc on my shore and I am caught in its wake. Its whirlwind remains spinning page after page in my direction, and I cannot escape by taking flight. With downpours of ebony ink and subtle highlighted rays in yellows, oranges, and blues; it has outlined that path I must choose. I move from one line to another, from one page to the other. Still, the tasks are stacked, and I am flooded. In this sea of paper slowly rising over me, I swim between the spaces and gaps. Soon I am floating, my hands and arms tired of turning as the waves continue churning. And I'm searching for a buoy or liferaft, something to rescue or, at least, sustain me. However, I can see clearly that there are no bookmarks or notes in sight. No outstretched hands atop a hardcover searching for another. I am lost at sea. I am on the verge of sinking and all I am thinking is that my conclusion is at the end of a sentence: a period, a closing, an end.

2 comments Monday, January 23, 2006

This has got to be one of the most hilarious videos I've ever seen! Interpretation of a song into a video story. Check it out. The introduction and conclusion will make you laugh. At least, they made me laugh!

1 comments Thursday, January 19, 2006

I've found a new heaven on earth. A heaven that exists in downtown Portland amidst a metropolitan backdrop surround by busy streets and hordes of people.

Powell's Books.

Perhaps you've heard of it. Perhaps not. It is, after all, one of many bookstores in Oregon. Yet, it is the only bookstore I know of that has such a vast collection of new and used books that it is, in essence, a city of books. Instead of aisles of books organized on shelves that you traditionally find at the corporate bookstores, Powell's is organized by rooms that contain books by topic and interest. Both new and used books stand together so you can compare them and decide which is better suited for your interest. Additionally, Powell's has some other key features that make it a real gem of downtown Portland. For one, it has a rare book room full of authentic books that are either signed, first editions, or simply rarities as they are. What makes them more amazing besides their amazing collection and the ability compare books by usage and price is their staff. I had ordered a book from them for one of my classes that was suddenly backordered. Instead of telling me that the book would be in late and to wait or that I couldn't cancel, the service representative informed me what had gone wrong with the order and allowed me to cancel it. She even gave me a recommendation as to where to find the book since they didn't have it.

That, my friends, is service at its finest. Service that you will have a hard time finding at other places online or even in person.

Thank you, Powell's! You're the rock'n rad bookstore I adore!

0 comments Tuesday, January 17, 2006

After bouncing from place to place over the last few days I can finally say that everything has since calmed down and situated. The tournament in Oregon went well, but, at the same time, managed to leave me with broken and mixed feelings towards debate. I love debate and speech, but I'm beginning to think that I'm either getting burned out or disenchanted with the event as a whole. Originally I thought it was just the mighty speech goddess, Speechalia', reigning destruction upon me (through not being able to pick up new events, losing my excellent debate partner, etc.); but, instead, it's so much more than that. When I got the ballots back at the end of the tournament I was initially shocked by some of the comments on some of them. I wasn't really taking them personally, but since this wasn't the first time I had seen some of these comments that seem more adverse than constructive, I began to wonder if I should continue after this year. I realize there is no way to escape from adverse comments ever in life, but there is a way to escape from egotistical power-tripping former debater I'll-take-my-anger-out-on-you-because-I-miss-being-able-to-rip-cases-apart judges. That way: to quit. I've been mulling it over in my mind since the end of the tournament and I've come to the conclusion that I'll probably switch to IPDA, one-on-one debate, by the end of this year. Next year, perhaps, I will pick up Parli again in renascent action, but I doubt it. In addition to crappy judges, I've also had problems with speech and debate lately because I haven't been able to find new topics for speech events. Which, of course, will lead me to incur the wrath of my debate coach in the near future regardless of any truthful explanations into my irksome search for topics.

Debate aside. The second half of my junior year has started in full swing. So far I think I'm going to enjoy my classes, but again, it's going to be a semester full of reading and writing. I already have three chapters to read and it's only day one. It's going to be fun though. I can't wait to see how this semester unravels, in terms of classes anyway. Anything else, well, come what may. I'm in motion for whatever this ocean of commotion brings my way. After all, what's one more semester when I have roughly three (including this one) or four more to go?

1 comments Friday, January 13, 2006

I've been meaning to post something since my return, but I just haven't gotten around to it. Perhaps this is due to the fact that, while I got back on Tuesday night, I'm flying out again later today to go to a debate tournament. As you can imagine, I've been busy with all kinds of things, but it has been good. No stress and no freaking out.

Of course, that may be subject to change as the tournament enters full swing in the next few hours. Though, I have to admit, I'm not worried either way. The fact that school isn't in session right now probably has helped keep me mellow. Now, all I have to do is "bounce" on this flight in a few hours and kick some ass at the tournament.

I'll check back with the blogosphere when I return, again. Heh!

7 comments Friday, January 06, 2006

Being an avid blogger and supporter of those who deserve recognition for their writing and talents with blogs, I thought it important to remind you that the sixth annual weblog awards (2006 bloggies) are accepting nominations for the best blogs in various categories. If you've seen some great blogs that you believe are worthy of the nomination, nominate them. You only have until January 10th to get the nominations in.

5 comments Thursday, January 05, 2006

Recently I bought and watched Serenity and Wedding Crashers, both of which I never caught while in theater, but wish I did. Well, actually, buying them now was technically cheaper in the long run, so I guess it worked out in the end. Hahah! Screw you corporate America!!! Wait, wait! Damn, you still got my monies!

SerenitySerenity is an engaging sci-fi flick with slight mystery undertones and high action overtones. Written and directed by Joss Whedon, who also wrote Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel (both of which are shows I rarely ever watched), it stars a cast of no big name stars in an intricate story of Earth's future. In fact, the most noticeable stars in the movie were Wash (Alan Tudyk, who was also in A Knight's Tale) and Mr. Universe (David Krumholtz, who is in the TV show Numb3rs and the movie 10 Things I Hate About You). Still, the movie manages to catch your attention and pull you in to a story about a mystic young girl with a cryptic secret about the universe. Between a robbery and a few battles with the Reavers, clues of the mysterious young girl's past emerge as her memories begin to unravel at a pivotal moment. What she knows may be the key to figuring out why the universe as they know it is the way it is. This movie is a great buy or rent if you're into the sci-fi stuff or just want something action packed to watch on a Friday night. I highly recommend it! And hey, Joss Whedon or any of his crazy cool "browncoats" and fans (if any ever read this), I'm all for a sequel. Count me in for promotional efforts!!

Wedding CrashersGet ready to laugh your ass off! Wedding Crashers is a hilarious comedy about two mediators who are co-workers in work and crime. Their crime: crashing weddings and having a blast partying and getting some tail. All is well in the crashers' worlds until John Beckwith (Owen Wilson) falls for Claire Cleary (the deliciously hot, Rachel McAdams) after crashing the biggest wedding of their crashing career. In order to get to her, though, John must get closer to her as she already has a boyfriend. Bringing his bud and co-worker, Jeremy Grey (Vince Vaughn), along, John aims to please Clarie while playing it cool around her family. But not everyone is cool with their background or presence at the estate. The jokes will keep you rolling and the story will keep you going. I highly recommend it as a movie to watch in the company of friends any day of the week. And if your drinking, I recommend drinking every time they mention the words "marriage," "sex," or "rule(s)."

As for what I've been up to lately, I can sum it up in one word: speeches. I doubt you want to hear more. Let's just say I'll be ready for the next tournament with everything I am entered in. Debate, that's another story. No worries: though I see things come'n undone, I know most definitely they always work out the way they are meant to be.

4 comments Sunday, January 01, 2006

New Year's started off with a bang, literally, this year. Of course, when in Germany it always starts of with a bang and, perhaps, running away from crazy fireworks flying full speed at your head (damn those whistle-runner fireworks!). At midnight this year we welcomed the new year with fireworks under a hazy and soon-to-be smoke filled sky as the rest of the neighborhood joined in. The whole night was hella fun with some rounds of agave tequila a few games of Guesstures and Cranium Turbo (which I still say the game cheated because it gave my team the red "factoid" questions almost every single frickin' time!). Which, as I recall, was the starting point to one of my new nicknames that I'm publishing to you all now so you can most assuredly torment me with it later. That and it's kind of funny anyway!

During our game of Cranium Turbo, I was being a big stickler about following the rules because I know how my mom and her good friend, Barb, like to cheat. Even so, though, I figured that my team would still win because half of my mom's team had tossed back a few too many beers. Boy was I ever wrong! After losing to my mother and her team of women (the drinking Amazonians, really), my mom was all up in my face about the big win. She started wailing and cajoling like a owl on crack. In truth she was happy to win because I almost always beat her at every game we play and it pisses her off when I beat her. Talk about competitive nature. In losing, my mom went on in detail to her friends about how I always win and how I'm such a perfectionist and stickler for the rules of the game and how I can't stand to lose, et cetera. Which led to the following dialogue:

My sister: "Wayne is just like Monica. Jeez!"
Mom: "Yeah he is. He's like the male version of Monica, if that's even possible."
Me: "What?! Are you kidding me?"
Mom: "Well, it's kind of true. I mean, you are a bit of a neat freak and you're crazy about things being a certain way"
Me: "Maybe I have OCPD? Did you ever think about that?"
Mom: "Hmm. No because you're already mental. Seriously, though, you're like a male Monica. What's a name for that?"
Barb: "Monica? Hmm."
Me: "Oh jeez! Just what I need from the woman (Barb) who couldn't read any of the cards during the game because the letters were 'too fuzzy'!"
Barb: "You shut your mouth, MAN-ica!"
(Everyone laughs)
Mom: (laughing) "Yeah! Manica! That's hilarious!"
Me: "Great! Real original too. I just love it."

Needless to say I've been called Manica ever since and I'm sure I won't be able to get them to stop until well after I leave. Or maybe not ever. Thanks a lot Barb!

Happy New Year Everyone!