Monthly Archives: March 2009

Lord, I’m Discouraged.

Sometimes I think Cherita Chen from Donnie Darko had it right: wear earmuffs everywhere you go to muffle out the sounds of humanity’s stupidity and ruthlessness.

I keep praying for my heart to be eased, for guidance in so many areas, for a happy spirit. I smile because I’ve had people tell me I’m prettier when I smile, or they like me better when I smile. I smile because there are people who don’t want to listen to me when I have a burden on my heart, and have told me in the past that I need to calm down because it upsets them. It’s not just one person telling me this. If I’ve had a hard day, I need to vent without a judgmental face sitting across from me.

I feel like I need a change. I need to get away for a while. There must be someplace where I can go and no one will know who I am, and I can be alone to think about everything that is happening in my life. So much is happening very quickly. There are things going downhill and things going up, but nothing is happening the way I expect it to.

All I can do is pray, hope for change, and keep remembering that everything has significance.

Maybe I’m behind the times….

I’m just really starting to pay attention to this Joaquin Phoenix debacle, so I’m coming in with the perspective of not really following the saga from the beginning.

What I have gathered so far is that he’s decided to become a rapper. Got that. I heard about it on TMZ a while ago, before all of the recent hullabaloo. I thought it an odd choice at the time, but if that’s what makes him happy, then best of luck to him.

What I’m starting to think now is that he’s pulling a very Andy Kaufman-esque stunt. Kaufman, who appeared on several TV shows in the ’70s and ’80s,  was known for his antics, including a stint in professional wrestling and the abrasiveness of his somewhat alter ego, Tony Clifton. I’m seeing major parallels here. Especially since Casey Affleck has been following Phoenix around with a video camera recording all of his stunts.

From his awkward appearance on the Late Show to his most recent outing that included a brawl at his performance in Miami, Phoenix is building up amazing word of mouth. He is inciting conversation, and people are genuinely interested in what he’s doing. I think this is the best celebrity PR scheme since Kaufman entered the wrestling world.

Whether you are angry, enthralled or mystified, Phoenix is developing his name and his brand. People who never paid him any attention know who he is. After Phoenix’s erratic appearance on the Late Show, Ben Stiller graced the stage at the Academy Awards dressed as Phoenix, and did a hilarious impersonation that makes me laugh thinking about it now, wandering aimlessly around the stage and chewing gum loudly.

Phoenix is on the news, in the papers, all over the entertainment blogs; his popularity is growing and if he is doing this as an elaborate stunt, there is a very good chance that it is working in his favor.

Grass-mud what now?

There is a mythical, llama-like creature sweeping the internet in China. This creature, which is very brave and strong, is attempting to prevent the decimation of its fertile, grassy mounds from the dangerous river crab.

This creature is the grass-mud horse, which in Chinese apparently sounds like something you would hear a drunk man yell on an especially rowdy night at Hooter’s. (This video explains it pretty well.) “River crab,” when translated into Chinese, apparently sounds like “harmony,” a word utilized by Chinese internet users to mean “censorship.”

I first read about this last night right before going to bed. Distracted by a pretty messed up dream about the end of the world and an Israeli refugee camp based in a trailer park (“Peter, you are my tornado”), I forgot about it until this morning, when I checked Twitter as soon as my eyes were open. The New York Times had posted an article describing the phenomenon in detail.

The fad is not just some passing craze: it’s a statement against censorship, a stand for free speech. I think it’s wonderful and brilliant. The explaining video (see above link) is fantastically funny, if you don’t mind profanity. But hey, that’s the point right? According to the NY Times article, there are grass-mud horse toys for sale in Chinese shops, scholars are writing lengthy essays on the subject and liberal Chinese bloggers are rejoicing.

An article from China Digital Times reported in February on a corrupt government official who was accepting bribes. We hear this in America, so you’re probably thinking, “Oh, SSDD.” The real difference between this corrupt official and ours is:

a) we don’t have internet police and

b) if we did, we would hopefully keep a better eye on the head honcho.

Internet policing is a big-deal form of censorship in China, employing more than 30,000 officers for just this purpose as of 2006 according to an article in USA Today that I found in my research/meanderings. It’s difficult for me to think about the government overtly monitoring all of my actions when on the internet. I’m sure it’s pretty tough for the Chinese people to swallow as well, which is why they have begun a virtual war with this llamathing. It’s rough enough knowing that every time I take out a book at the library, it may come back to haunt me; luckily, I haven’t withdrawn a book since high school, when I took out The Age of Spiritual Machines by Ray Kurzweil. Before that it was just assorted ghost stories, Stephen King and R.L. Stine books, tales of alien abductions and the occasional educational fare.

This all is making me feel a bit stupid. I like to consider myself pretty well-read on current events, wanting to be in journalism and all. The fact that I knew so little about China’s censorship policies worries me … so now I’m off to surf for more tidbits I never knew, and probably don’t really need to know.

Too funny.

I’m a big fan of LOLcats/dogs. I’m also a big fan of Oregon Trail.

That is why this is so perfect.

God bless the fine humans at The work they do is truly valuable to the stability of our society.

Thinking about money.

Friday, I found out that my dad was laid off from work almost a month ago. I’ve been wondering why he’s been so neurotic about spending, and now it’s all coming together. When he worked for Frank (the person who laid him off), we weren’t exactly rolling in it, but we didn’t have to worry. Now his only income will be his construction company, which hasn’t been getting enough work lately due to the economy.

It’s hard to find someone to blame for this situation. In these circumstances, there really isn’t anyone to point the finger at and to serve as scapegoat. My father can’t be blamed, because he is the hardest-working person that I’ve ever known. Frank can hardly be blamed, for he can’t help the effect that the wilting economy is having on real estate and, as a result, on his building projects. It’s too easy to blame the economy at a time like this. The proper thing to do would be to point the finger at whatever catalyst caused the American economy to dwindle the way that it has.

But what would that even be? Sub-prime mortgage loans? Fiscal irresponsibility? Poor financial policy? I believe that it is a combination of all  three. Honestly, economics was never my thing. The only reason that I received an A in that class in high school was because I studied harder for that than anything else I took that semester.

My dilemma now is this: I am going to have to take out a student loan to finance the rest of my education. When I was originally considering transferring to a public university, it was due to several factors, including money. Certain things have happened to make me want to stay at Palm Beach Atlantic, including my participation with the Beacon and several signs that I have received from God. I know that if it is God’s true intention for me to attend PBA, then He will provide for me accordingly. It’s just so hard to trust in a time like this.

I am especially nervous about this summer. I had planned on using the time for an internship, whether paid or unpaid. Now it seems that I will have to work a full-time job to save up money for the coming school year. I also had planned on spending a semester in Washington, D.C., for a program through school, but I don’t think I will be able to do that now.

This is something that has been weighing heavily on my heart for the past two days, and it really didn’t start to sink in until this afternoon when I was sitting with Peter and his mother on their patio. Somehow it came up in conversation, and I quickly felt the lump in my throat and detoured the topic down another avenue.

I am praying that this becomes easier to talk about, and I am praying that I will be able to find the financial means to come back to PBA next semester.

Chillin’ wit muh homies.

I hung out with Kelly and Evelyn today! We had a great time. When I first got there, Kelly showed me all of the cool wedding stuff that she has. Then we went to a Peruvian restaurant, Rocoto’s. Evelyn was super excited, and the food was delicious.

We tried to go to Bocio Bocio Bridal over in the Kobosko’s plaza, but it didn’t work. They were closed. However, there was a pretty sweet car show. I had my camera and would have gone over to take pictures, but there was a guy with a megaphone saying weird things and I was kind of freaked out.

Kelly made chicken with a coffee/black pepper rub for dinner, and it was delicious. The flavor exploded in my mouth. We also watched Nick and Nora, which I’m not too crazy about. It has its funny moments, but overall I was disappointed. I think this comes from my high expectations of Michael Cera. After Arrested Development and Clark and Michael, I can’t help it; I’ve seen him be very funny, and I can’t handle moderately funny from him. His dead pan is just too good for romcom.

On another note, I Love You, Man looks hilarious. I have become such a Paul Rudd fan since I saw The Ten. He’s kind of blown up the last couple of years. Not really as much as Robert Downey, Jr., but that’s a different kind of “blown up.” Downey’s comeback is more of a redemption story; Rudd’s is more, I think, people finally realizing his potential to be a leading comedic actor. And I could be wrong. Maybe it’s just that I haven’t really noticed what Rudd has been up to since Clueless.

Can anyone tell me what’s going on with American Idol?

This could be in my future

This could be in my future

I’ve been trying to make sense of why it’s such a big deal that they kept 13 finalists instead of 12. Forgive me for sounding like the old man who sits in a rocking chair holding a shotgun on his front porch, but I remember back when there were only 10 finalists. In the first season, they did this really cool bit where they gave the Final 10 $1,000 and a makeover. They could spend the money on whatever they wanted, and the makeover was such a dramatic transformation. Now, they expect everyone to show up with a full wardrobe? I think the competition has become more of a dog and pony show. It’s hard to follow along with. Whenever I tune in, there’s someone whining about something that they don’t think is fair, or disrespecting Simon Cowell. Honestly, if you disrespect him, you’re just hammering nails in your coffin.

And what was the deal with that Sanjaya dude? Actually … when was that? Two seasons ago? Because that’s the last time I gave a crap about that show. He had moxie.


It would seem that I have been caught in a funk.

Aside from that, I believe I did well on my midterms, and my news lens is amazing.

I wrote a great article today for PBA Local on students stealing from the caf. Read it, comment on it, make me feel important. I worked pretty hard on it; I must have talked to 10 people. (That’s actually a new record.) Any administrator that I met that might have something to say on the subject, I interviewed.

I don’t know why I continue to write this when no one reads it. I suppose it’s more for me than for anyone else. I have had a few hits; two just yesterday! But in the long run, two is better than none.

So hey, to those two people, thanks for looking! Hopefully you’ll keep coming back for more of my nonsense.

Today, in a nutshell.

I wrote a 1400+ word blog entry, which was erased when I went to publish it.

I received my new zoom lens in the mail. I named it Tyrone. It zooms from 75-300mm. There was usage earlier in the back yard, and I’m bringing it to school with me tomorrow to fill the void between classes that is formed by the lack of Beacon meeting.

I overbooked Monday. I have to have cousin time with Mia, but I think that will include taking Evelyn to the airport. (Sorry Mia!)

I arranged off-campus housing, of sorts, for Evelyn.

I talked to Kelly! I missed the Kelly in my life. As a result, Saturday is Kelly Day. Also, if you know of a good photographer who is relatively inexpensive but very talented and can work on Halloween this year, let me know; Kelly needs someone to shoot her wedding.

I took an exam I wasn’t fully prepared for, but I think I did very well on it.

I ate a bagel with butter instead of cream cheese for the first time in years.

I listened to Best of Bowie on the way to and from school.

I almost sideswiped a car in the Dixie Parking Garage.

I used my laptop, even though the hard drive is corrupt.

And I capped off this wonderful day with an even more wonderful Peter sighting as he sipped tea and I sipped water and we watched the season finale of Burn Notice together. Oh yeah, and when I got to his house, his 35-pound Border Collie mix jumped in my lap, pinned me down by putting her front paws on my shoulders, and kissed me until I couldn’t breathe.

Ex #1: Justin.

I promised Evelyn that I would do this for her: chronicle the truly messed up relationships that I’ve had in the past. It actually works out better, so that in the future when people ask me to explain my past boyfriends and they get confused when I try to just tell them about the first, I can refer them to this blog.

I dated Justin when I was 16. He was my first boyfriend. We met in class, and started talking on the phone every night. It started out pretty typical: we would flirt, we exchanged pictures of each other, we were constantly on the phone.

We dated for about three weeks when I first got an inkling that he was crazy. He called me one day and began to explain that he was taking a girl to an abandoned barn, and they were going to “fool around.” I was confused at first, and asked him to clarify. When he did, I was shocked; I hadn’t even kissed him yet. (In fact, the circumstances eventually dictated that I never kiss him at all.)

I told him that I didn’t want to talk to him anymore, and broke up with him. A bit later, his mother called me. She was absolutely furious, and started asking me questions about what had happened, saying that after getting off the phone with me, Justin had punched a hole in his wall. When I explained it to her, she insisted that there was nothing to Justin’s claims of another girl.

I believe the exact words she used were, “He’s a diagnosed compulsive liar.”

You’re beginning to see the name of the game now. I was puzzled, confused … confuzzled. Foolishly, I took him back, even after his mother confessed this to me, and after hearing that he was prone to violence when upset. We played the break-up game another two times, with me breaking up with him and then the inevitable call that I would receive from him, begging me to take him back.

It got to the point where I was just so tired off it that the last time we broke up, it was for good. That actually worked out to my advantage because I found out later that he had been cheating on me, so his disease was not completely to blame.

Well, that’s the first. The next is a bit too overwhelming for me to write along with this one, so stay tuned tomorrow.

Good golly.

I’ve had 16 visitors since starting my blog. That’s more than I ever had on the Blogger … blog. (Sorry for redundancy.)

Thanks for reading! It means a lot to know that the vapid, frequently useless, sometimes funny things that I say have value to someone out there.