0 comments Thursday, May 25, 2006

With a year left of my undergraduate, I've been evaluating numerous options post-graduation. I'm not entirely sure what I want to do. Of course, I want to go to grad school and eventually get my doctorates, but is there something I want to do before that?

A part of me thinks that I should continue right on to my graduate studies, neither taking a break nor stop for anything. Yet, the other part of me feels I should go and do something greater, something beyond myself. It is truly an aberration to me. I've been researching numerous outlets and I've been thumbing over potentially joining the peace corps or teaching English in a foreign country. I could, of course, work, but that doesn't seem as enlightening or fun. At least, not right out of college. I know that that's not me, not yet. Don't think I'm slacking, though. I just don't want to be confined to a 9 to 5 when I still have so much life to live. Besides, I know I'm a damn good worker, so I'm not worried about working wherever I end up at in the future.

The time between now and full time work, however, is time that I want to take hold of and do something amazing. Whether that's teaching in a foreign country and experiencing a new culture, new life experiences, and growing still ever more or helping people in a new locality and fostering lifelong connections and memories remains to be seen. Still, it is time that I have to use and play with as I see fit. There is nothing, except maybe some financial stipulations, holding me back from using that time to do that "something amazing."

In the meantime, I need to figure out what it is that I want to do and where I want to go. Perhaps Dr. Seuss summed it up best: "You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go." Indeed, "Oh, the Places You'll Go!"

0 comments Tuesday, May 23, 2006

I've noticed that my musical tastes have been rather eclectic lately. Unlike last summer and the summer before that (and probably the summer before that), I'm not just listening to emo rock. Indeed, the emo trend of music in my life has since abated. Although it resurfaces occasionally during those highly morose times of the year when such music seems to vindicate my feelings.

Regardless, I've found some great music worthy of checking out.

Custom - "Hey Mister" -- I haven't listened to anything else by Custom yet, but if the rest of his stuff is like this song it's probably not appropriate for the pious at heart. Lyrics such as: "It's not what you did / It's not what you didn't / God gave her a perfect body now I'm all up in it" basically sum up the overall message of the song. The song has a great rhythm and beat, though. It starts off subtle and soft and jumps into rock, then transitions back to soft subtly. Overall, the composition is rock'n and worth listening too if you don't mind that it's about sex. Personally, I think it's a great song regardless of what is being sung. The fact that it's raunchy, though, makes it that much better.

Say Anything - "Wow, I Can Be Sexual Too." -- (This song can be heard at their website on their music player at the top of their website.) Well, I think it's obvious what this song is about. This might not be for those who fear sexual innuendo in song. I still think you should at least listen to it though. The song is very melodic. It's got a bit of a "marching" feel to it due to the drumming and subtle electric guitar rifts and keyboard tones, but it flows nicely. Don't let the beginning throw you off, though; the ringing subsides and it gets much better. In some ways this song is "emo" (the reference to death, the narrators lack of female attention, etc.), but it feels more indie. It's totally got that vibe. I've been digging the following lines lately: "I called her on the phone and she touched herself; I laughed myself to sleep." I guess you just have to hear it.

I've also listened to Nelly Furtado's "Promiscuous" off of her upcoming album Loose. (Two words [Promiscuous, Loose] that probably shouldn't be used in the same sentence.) While I'm a big fan of Nelly Furtado, I'm not entirely sure how I feel about "Promiscuous." I think Timbaland and Nelly Furtado kind of mesh on the track, but it feels manufactured and artificial. Lines like: "You think I'm jus' gonna let you hit it, but will you respect me if you get it" seem like something out of a shoddy episode of the overly dramatic Sex and The City. I'm not saying that it's bad, but it's not original. It sounds like all the other cheap and mass produced songs by the Black Eyed Peas. What? You don't think so? Two words: MY. HUMPS. Need I say more? I honestly think that Nelly Furtado's explosion from her first album has burned her in some ways. It sounds like she wants to get back to that original style (especially since "Folklore," her journey into more eclectic and folksy music, didn't do as well as "Whoa Nelly!") from Whoa Nelly!, but she's trying too hard. I also heard Nelly Furtado's remake of "Maneater" and I'm displeased to say that I turned it off after 30 seconds. It's horrible. I've never done that with any of Nelly Furtado's other songs, but I honestly couldn't stand that song. While I was enthusiastic to buy her new album, based on what I've heard, I don't think I'm going to buy it. Plastic albums for the dance scene and rump shaking just aren't my thing.

0 comments Sunday, May 21, 2006

Nancy and I compared answers on our first GRE practice test today, finding it more difficult in certain sections than we originally thought. Naturally I figured Nancy would do better in the Verbal section than myself. This assumption largely held true. After going through the 72 questions, Nancy had a very small percentage wrong. I, however, had a little less than half wrong. If this were the actual GRE I would've bombed the verbal section, there's no doubting that! Thankfully, as Nancy reminded me, it's only the first of many practice exams we will be taking together. In other words, it's ok that I'm not talented enough to take the GRE right now. I better be by August or September though!

Conversely, the math section played to my forte. When going though the problems I found that I was able to do them fairly well, stretching back to previous math classes to complete the problems. However, I spent way too much time on most of the problems. Nancy did well in this section too, as to be expected! She either had the right answer or she was usually just a step away from the right answer.

Regardless, where I severely lack Nancy is strong, and vice versa to some degree. (Though, I think Nancy probably has the GRE down much better than I do!) Knowing that now is abundantly helpful, though, especially as we delve further into the lines and pages of our GRE books and practice tests. I can almost assume that if there is something that I don't know, Nancy will know it. And, hopefully, if there is something Nancy doesn't know, I'll know it and be able to help her. Together we'll take this test down, one problem at a time.

As for doing better in the verbal section, well, I assume it will come to fruition in due time. I have the rest of the summer to study and I'm confident that all I can do is improve.


This has been such a fun weekend. Usually my weekends and days in Germany are spent with my family as almost all of my high school friends have left the area. This weekend, however, was a blast. On Friday I hung out with Nancy, Glenn, Miles, and Chloe. We had a great amount of fun. I've played pool before, but I actually learned how to play it better that night. After a few games I finally scored the winning shot by placing the eight ball in the right corner pocket! Haha! Yeah, go me.

Tonight was fun. My friend Courtney called up and invited me to hang out for a backyard BBQ. We played a bunch of games and talked an awful lot. I originally thought that I was garrulous, but I think Courtney takes the title on that one. From the moment I arrived at her house until the moment I left, her yapper' was blabbing non-stop. It was good though. We all had a lot of fun and we planned out some fun activities for the summer that I'm totally looking forward to! We plan to camp, float the local river, have another BBQ, etc. Things that I wish I could've done in Germany with my old friends from HS that had long since departed.

Part of me thinks that I should've been studying the GRE more this weekend, but I figured it was ok to slack off just a little. One weekend isn't going to hurt when I've studied since the beginning of April. Right?

Anyway, I need to get some sleep and get ready for my GRE meeting with Nancy tomorrow. She's probably ahead of me now. At least I had some crazy good fun with great friends! (I'm totally in their debt too.)

0 comments Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Scorching 90+ degrees, the aberrant arid atmosphere has deviated from the rain-drenched days just weeks ago. Temperatures like this are beyond what I'm used to, especially since I'm usually in Germany from this point on until August. Honestly, I can't complain. It's hellaciously hot, but it's nice. The sky is clear or semi-cloudy and it feels good to be outside as long as you are not out for too long. If I were in Germany this summer I don't think that there would be a week equal to this! On the contrary, I'd expect rain. It's also the reason I only have one pair of shorts. In Germany shorts aren't a dire necessity. In fact, most Germans rarely wear them. So if and when you wear them over there, the Germans instantly know you're American. That is, of course, if your big SUV or van hasn't already given you away.

Perhaps I would be agitated by the weather if I wasn't in my cool office most of the day. Ah, the joy of air conditioning! As you may or may not know, most German houses (most European houses, actually) don't have air conditioning. So, I'm not missing that too much. I am, however, missing my family. It is kind of strange to not go back to Germany this summer, especially when it's become so routine for me. I always look forward to flying back, to seeing my family, our crazy dog, and enjoying Germany. This summer is as different though. Not only has the weather been an aberration, but so have many other things:

I have two jobs this summer. Last summer I didn't have one. Of course, I joked with my parents that it was my way of making up for the one job I didn't have when I was back there last year. I think it's better this way, though. Not only do I have two great jobs; I have excellent employers which will foster tremendously fecund work experience that will help me in the future.

I'm studying for the GRE. I've already talked about this too much, but I'd like to point it out here only because I think it shows that I've dedicated myself to going beyond the standard this summer.

I'm near two libraries that actually have material that will help me write my speeches well for debate. Interestingly, I'm not doing debate in the fall, but I am doing speech. Now my spare time is split between the GRE and speeches.

I'm exercising more. Not only have I been doing morning and evening Yoga (which will expand upon receiving Yoga Shakti and Mark Blanchard's Progressive Power Yoga), I'm running and trying to build some abdominal muscles. Personally I have to add that yoga has been brilliantly refreshing. The morning yoga wakes up my body and my mind in preparation for whatever the day throws my way; the evening yoga allows me to sleep better and relax more. Of course, I've become a little more flexible, but not much. After all, it's only been a week!

While the differences aren't startling, they're a change from the standard summer schedule. I'm busy for sure, but I'm enjoying it so far. As long as I continue to balance everything out things should continue to go well. If not, well, maybe a sunburn is what I need?

2 comments Sunday, May 14, 2006

X Men 3: The Last Stand comes out in about two weeks and I'm super hyped. I think the constantly replayed trailers are making me want to see it even more, but I'm not sure. I see the trailers at least 5 times a day on the television, which begs the question: Are they hyping up this movie or not?

I certainly hope it's worth it. I'm sure it will be with such a talented cast, but rumors of Halle Berry's complaints for a bigger part in the movie might have ruined it. I certainly hope not. I'll have to ignore the fact that Storm and Wolverine were never romantically linked, contrary to whatever this movie might show. Personally, I think it's lame that they would do that, but whatever. I'm more excited to see the X Men on film since I read the comics and watch the show as a child.

Famke Jenssen, HOT!As and added note, I think Famke Jenssen is one of the ten female celebrities I want to have sex with over the summer. Now, I know what you're thinking, She is totally out of your league. In fact, she's a few planets away from you. And indeed, you are very correct in your assumption. But I can dream, damnit! That's right, you can dream about the celebrities you want to bang, and I'll dream about the celebrities I want to bang. No problems. Moreover, in honor of it finally being the summer, after noticing [Adult Swim]'s "Top Ten List", and me being me (a horny male), I've decided to start a list of my own. Besides, I don't agree with [Adult Swim]'s list entirely. So, without further adieu, I present:

The Top Ten Female Celebrities I Want To Have Sex With This Summer
(In No Particular Order!)

  1. Famke Jenssen. I'd like to make some Famke with her!
  2. Lisa Loeb. She's got that hot nerdy chick look. Nerd porn?
  3. Eva Longoria. Who doesn't want to do her?
  4. Mya. I bet her love is like Whoa!
  5. Rachel McAdams. If only I could crash her wedding.
  6. Shakira. Her hips don't lie and she can shake it!!
  7. Kirsten Dunst. She could be my Mary Jane anytime!
  8. Jewel. My intuition says it would work again and again. (Is it me or is she just 10 times hotter than before.)
  9. Julia Stiles. I've liked her since forever ago. So hot!
  10. Jewel Staite. She could bring me to Serenity! (You know, she's the hot mechanic in Serenity.)

That's one hella hot list of women. If only it were possible. I can continue to dream, though! Mmm, Famke! I can't wait to see you this summer as the Phoenix. You totally light my fire!

4 comments Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Yes, you read that correctly. Yoga. But why are you doing Yoga, you ask? Well, why not? Seriously.

I received my Yoga DVD (A.M. and P.M. Yoga for Beginners) in the mail today and I'm very anxious to start the program. In fact, I plan on starting it tonight an hour before bed to get into the swing of things. I'm ready to learn how to center myself and how to relieve stress. I know my body could use the rejuvenation and the relaxation, especially since it's been through enough stress this year.

I'm very excited to start this off because this is just the beginning. I know it's crazy, but I'm going to make Yoga a part of my everyday life. I'm going to become devoted to Yoga for all its worth to my mind, body, and overall health. As soon as I get into the swing of this DVD, probably about two weeks tops, I'll move on to the next two sets of DVDs I've purchased that will arrive soon (Yoga Shakti with Shiva Rea and Mark Blanchard's Progressive Power Yoga Trilogy). And maybe, just maybe, I'll finally be a bit more relaxed, healthy, and toned.


Check out today's Married to the Sea picture. It's hilarious!


I'm sure most of you out there that frequent my blog or know me in person can attest to the fact that I'm a person juxtaposed between an uptight persona and a relaxed persona. Type A to Type B. (Does that make me a Type C?) On one hand I'm easy going, gregarious, yet collected. On the other hand, I'm serious, shrewd, and methodical. I think most people are an amalgamation of elements similar in gradation. Indeed, everyone has their own quirks. One of my quirks this year, as many of you have probably noticed and as I noted back in January of last year, was that I tend to take things (debate, etc.) too seriously.

Well, I can finally say that I am aberrant to my preconceived, dare I say, natural disposition. At least for today.

Today (Monday) was the beginning of finals on campus and the day my best friend departed to Europe. I didn't have a single final today, but I did have to work. Originally I thought this wouldn't be a big deal. After all, last semester I worked during finals week and I pulled through perfectly fine. This semester has been different though. In addition to having abnormal pains throughout my body (mostly in my intestine, sides, and, as of late, my lungs [I don't smoke!]), I have had so many other issues to deal with. Growing pains, perhaps?

Regardless, today deviated from the normal. I went to work only to find that the power went out in our building which meant that I couldn't perform my job. Instead of freaking out and cracking under the pressure of dealing with upset students, I just laughed (probably much to the chagrin of the people waiting around to take their tests). How ironic is it that on the first day of finals numerous buildings across campus were down, though? I don't know, but I do know that I handled myself well. While people were freaking out all around me, I just sat in my chair telling them to stay calm, to relax and laugh about it.

And it occurred to me then, though I've known it all along, that life is about learning to laugh at the things that seem to go wrong, fall apart, and fail around you at any given time. Everything isn't meant to work perfectly. Especially not technology! And, hey, it's alright to shed a tear or two every now and then if you need to. There is, however, no use in worrying your life away over things so small that they will fade in time or won't matter in the long run. There is no reason to beat yourself into the ground over things that you cannot control. And there certainly is no loss in failure, especially when there is time for "a hundred visions and revisions before the taking of a toast and tea...for decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse." (T.S. Eliot's The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. Probably my favorite poem of all time.)

After all, that's life.

3 comments Sunday, May 07, 2006

Ok, so I don't have many adventures to document in my life right now, especially since my life revolves around school, work, debate/speech, and, most recently, the GRE. Still, it's better than nothing. At least I think so.

How to Use A MouseNancy and I met today to discuss our study plan for taking the GRE. After discussing the pros and cons of our different books we figured out a schedule. As far as I can tell, we'll be thoroughly prepared for taking the GRE in August. We have six model tests between the two us, so I think we'll be fine. Can you tell that I'm anxious?

While flipping through my book today and talking with Nancy, we noticed that my book starts with the basics. And when I say "the basics," I mean it. Just 13 pages into the book and it tells you how to use a mouse with a similar diagram to the left. Here are the instructions:

As you probably know, a mouse is a small electronic device that enables you to send signals to your PC. It sits on a mouse pad, it's tail (the electric cord that links it to your PC) pointed away from you. As you move the mouse back and forth along the surface of the mouse pad, you see a pointer or arrow moving on the computer screen. There's a "button" on the rear surface of the mouse. Click that button to tell the computer to so something.

Well, at least I'll be adequately prepared to take the GRE and have proficient skills in using a mouse now!


From the "J" section of my GRE vocabulary book: Jingoism and Jocular.

Jingoism (noun) - belligerent support of ones country

The professor's jingoism often interfered with his lectures on current politics.

Jocular (adj.) - humorous, playful

Steph's jocular nature made it easy for people to be her friend.

From the "K" section of my GRE vocabulary book: Kindle.

Kindle (verb) - to set fire to or ignite; excite or inspire

Trent's recitation of poetry kindled a sense of passion in Rebecca.

0 comments Friday, May 05, 2006

How lame is my life when I'm staying home tonight to finish revising a paper on Cinco de Mayo? Kind of lame.

At least today was the last day of classes for the semester. Now all I have to worry about is getting this paper revised and doing my finals. That's easier said than done, but I'm not worried. I also had a job interview for another job on campus. It was probably one of the best interviews I have ever had for a job. I wasn't nervous at all and I know I answered the questions well. If I get it, that'd be great. If not, well, that's ok too because I'm going to be busy this summer.

Other than that I've been trying to figure out why my computer randomly crashes on me when I've visiting graphic intensive websites, playing flash clips, running virus scan, and editing photos. I've tried to fix some things on my computer, but it still hasn't done much. I've even e-mailed the "Digital Goddess" Kim Komando, but I don't know if that will help. Hopefully whatever it is can be fixed before my computer fully crashes and I lose everything. It certainly wouldn't be the first time.

2 comments Thursday, May 04, 2006

From the "I" section of my GRE vocabulary book: Impasse, Impetuous, Impugn, Inimical, Intransigent, and Itinerant.

I didn't realize that there were so many great words that started with "I." These are just some of my favorites from review.

Impasse (noun) - blocked pathway; a dilemma with no solution.

He realized that his research paper had become a bit of an impasse given the elevated expectations. At least, it certainly seemed that way.

Impetuous (adj.) - quick to act without thinking

In an impetuous fashion Jaime shouted imprecations at the driver that cut her off in traffic.

Impugn (verb) - the call into question; to attack verbally

When Ben didn't make it home on time his mother impugned his whereabouts and his actions.

Inimical (adj.) - hostile, unfriendly.

Ever since Anne and Matt's argument they have been on inimical terms.

Intransigent (adj.) - unforgiving, refusing to be reconciled.

The professor maintained an instransigent schedule that engendered great stress in the students as they tried to finish their assignments on time.

Itinerant (adj.) - wandering from place to place, unsettled.

As a child of a military service member he was used to an itinerant lifestyle having moved from country to country.

0 comments Wednesday, May 03, 2006

From the "H" section of my GRE vocabulary book: Hegemony.

Hegemony (noun) - the domination of one state or group over its allies; the predominant influence, as of a state, region, or group, over another or others.

According to Feminist Criticism, the minimization and marginalization of women's roles (as well as the roles of various groups) in society is largely seen as a result of the heterosexual white male hegemony.

Interestingly, hegemony is one of the most misused words in debate, especially in high school.


I've been planning out things to cook for the happenings next week. I have a backyard banquet coming up for debate and some graduation parties to attend. For the banquet I was planning on making a forra salad with tomato and herbs and a delicious panna cotta for dessert. Yeah, I'm trying to impress the debate team. I know you're probably thinking, Jeez! You've got to be the lamest person I know! Seriously though, don't those dishes sound good?

For my friend's graduation party we're supposed to bring some food dish as well. The basics will be supplied, so I thought I'd make my famous buffalo chicken pizza. Yum.

So tell me something. Ladies, does a man that can cook impress you?

Maybe this is a question best suited for justcurio.us.


I thought this was too hilarious to not post!

0 comments Tuesday, May 02, 2006

From the "G" section of my GRE Vocabulary Book: Garrulous and Gregarious.

Garrulous (adj.) - tending to talk a lot

People often describe him as erudite and garrulous history professor, dedicated to speaking about his research.

Gregarious (adj.) - sociable, outgoing

Although Celia was usually gregarious, she found herself feeling somewhat lonesome at the party.

Funny how I picked words that have to do with talking and communication. Haha!

3 comments Monday, May 01, 2006

Congratulations on your job, Nancy! You deserve it and it's about time too, huh?!

Now you'll have money so you can afford more expensive drinks at Starbucks like a Tall 2% Toffee Nut Latte? Haha! Maybe that's just me?

Speaking of which, we should have coffee some time. I have my interview on Friday, maybe we could hang out afterwards if you're game?


From the "E" section of my GRE Vocabulary Book: Ersatz.

Ersatz - adj. - fake, artificial (of inferior quality)

After rebooting his friends computer Jacob realized that his friend owned an ersatz version of Windows XP.

I found ersatz interesting because it is derived from the German word ersetzen (replacement). Germanic language structures and Germanic words in ENGLISH!?!

From the "F" section of my GRE Vocabulary Book: Foment.

Foment - verb - to incite, to provoke

The demagogue, General Suharto, fomented fervor in his people by asking them to help him reestablish the country by ousting President Sukarno.


I'm not graduating for another 376 days, but, oddly enough, I already have my honor cords and stole from an organization. I got them because our organization is probably going to go under next year and, quite frankly, we (the officers) deserve them for all the work we've done. The cords and stole hang next to my computer on a pin used to hold up the illustrious poster of Uma Thurman from Kill Bill (my favorite movie of all time). Interestingly, since I've gotten them I've found myself staring at them from time to time, thinking only a year. Only a year.

The countdown is about to begin.