"If they give you ruled paper, write the other way." -Juan Ramon Jiminez

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Five Things I Learned at College

The Five Things I Learned at College (And Hope I Remember Moving Forward)

5. You Shape and are Shaped by those around you... by more than you think

My first days at college were spent as part of some now defunct leadership program. I'm of the strict philosophy that leadership can't be taught, that we're born with it or not, and can only enhance or detract from our natural ability to a small degree. I gave it a shot anyway, and I was very interested to see what happened with a bunch of so-called leaders with no established cliques were all mixed together with people only a few years older than them on average. The result? Friendships that formed in the first week of college virtually defined the destinies of the younger student: it was easy to tell the future frat boys, student government kids, and so on. And it was easy to watch the perceptions of the older students change as they became more confident of their status as a leader and changed their actions accordingly.

4. You Don't Need to Know What You Want to Be, but you can't sit around trying to figure it out

I dabbled in a lot of things at college. I got involved heavily in student activities, the college TV station, the film club, but that doesn't say anything about other things I nearly got involved in. While I'm still not exactly sure what I want to "be", I had a lot of fun meeting new people, learning new skills and learning about myself. I realized the best way to find out what I wanted to do was process of elimination - try it for a while and if you don't like it, move on. And so often I'd see people afraid to get involved and try something out (so often because they were shy) or wait for people to reach out for them. A little initiative goes a long way. I can only hope moving forward I continue this, and don't get too afraid to let go of what's comfortable when the time comes to try something new.

3. There's Always Time to Sleep... Later

Underfed, tired, overworked, and probably a little too stressed is how I spent my college (so-called) career. If I could do it again I would probably relax a little bit more, but I felt like I needed to make up time after high school and see what I really could achieve if I set excuses aside. And if you graduate when the economy is in the tank, you'll have plenty of time to relax looking for jobs when it's all over. Besides, if you're not exhausted when you get home, what's the point of vacation?

2. Enjoy the Unconventional

My favorite college memories are the very strange things I can allude to, whether it be the time I stumped Danny Glover in front of 1,500 people (at a student activities convention), got a long-winded voicemail from Dennis Haskns (Mr. Belding), wandered around an academic building without my shoes on only to see a few friends at 3 AM on a Saturday, or found ways on top of buildings with one of my best friends... enough said. The only way to make those memories are to take risks. Risks are awesome. Sometimes they even result in an upgrade to senior housing your second semester.

1. All Good Things Must Come to an End

As much as it pains me that September is rolling around and I'm not going back, I understand that like everything, college must end. I've long been of the belief that if you did everything right, you'd be ready to graduate at the end of four years, and while my heart may get a little heavy thinking about all the weekend TV shoots I'm missing and making 16mm films on weekend mornings in October, I believe that life can only be lived moving forward... so always be moving forward and carry the memories with you as you move onto your new adventures. After all, there's still life after college... right?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A Song

Here are the lyrics to a song I'm working on for my forthcoming EP, "Myles: A Man, A Monster, A Musician?" More to come.

"You're a Nerd"

You're a nerd, you like Star Wars stuff and girls will never like you.
You're a nerd, you'll never be friends with the baseball kids,
They're strong and athletic and you are small and scrawny.

Don't you know that you'll never be cool?
You study hard, you'll go to a good college someday.
But you're a nerd,
And you'll never be popular.

You're a nerd, you're not good at sports and your dad isn't proud of you.
You're a nerd, even your teachers think you're lame,
You answer too many questions and discourage your classmates.

Don't you know that you'll never be cool?
You study hard, you'll go to a good college someday.
But you're a nerd,
And you'll never be populaaar...

Remember that time you tried to talk to that attractive girl and she shot you down?
What'd she say?

That you're a nerd, you're not good looking or confident, and she'd never have sex with you.
You're a nerd, but someday when you're upper middle class from your great engineering job,
Maybe she'll have sex with you.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Suddenly, Now!

So, Myles (of "Myles", Inappropriate fame) shot me an IM awhile ago with the following:

lame myles: i updated:

I kind of just slowly frowned. I remember using this blog as an ultra-melodramatic outlet in '04 and '05, but didn't really think it still existed, kind of like all my old Angelfire pages (please don't try and find them).

So, because I was embarrassed, I went and deleted every post that had any real emotion or was oversaturated with cheap/cliche/lame/high-school literary technique. Sorry. I left a few, simple blogs that chronicled what my activities were like during those times, and though they too weren't the greatest of times, I can remember being fairly happy at the times of writing, so rereading them doesn't really get me down. (and they don't seem like insignificant cries for help)

I know, I've overthought this. Maybe I should have left the old diary entries; maybe that would put this post in a fuller context...However, some of the topics were very personal - I wrote about my mother, my few romantic exploits (one of which still stands!), and so it's really not just for my own sake. That, and a big chunk of it was in a style that was just way too embarassing...I've managed to shed a lot of concerns for how other people think, but again, this blog has been for a tighter network of people.

Also, I used to hate rereading anything I wrote, even if it was only the day after, but five years? That's insane. I don't consider myself a writer (in fact this is the most writing I've done in a very long time), but that has to be some kind of torture for anybody remotely artistic. "Here, look at this bullshit you did before you really figured yourself out! Does that sting or what?" Maybe this paragraph is a big "fuck you" to Myles.

So anyway, on with the NOW! stuff. To try and avoid my tangential thought process, I will do this in a list:

What's Changed?
  • My hair is a lot longer now. Some time in maybe, '06, I decided to let my hair grow out. I didn't feel like short hair really suited me any more. For 13 months, I didn't have any of it cut; there were then several trims done. I still wasn't really happy with its condition, but it gave off a more persona-accurate look: weird, chaotic, unkempt, etc. With my daily method of brushing back away from the hairline, then letting it dry naturally, my thick near-ultra Jewish locks ran near straight down my face, then curled heavily from my chin to near my shoulders. It was a triangle. Much more recently, I went to a new salon, gave a better description of what I wanted, and now I'm no longer so geometrically simple.
  • Another hobby of mine that blossomed was that of video gaming. I won't write much about this (Jesus, I already wrote enough about my damn hair), but I know more history, collect more, play more types, and even practice certain games. Sad, I know...but such a wonderful escape. (More on "escape" later.) I'm very interested in how gaming's legitimacy and legacy are turning it into what the general public might one day view as a serious art form.
  • I went to a University - Temple, indeed. I won't bore you with those details, because they're probably not a whole lot different from other rocky experiences. Let's see - 4 years (dropped out for a semester, and took almost every summer session) and still no degree. (And no personal reel). I do think learning has transpired - the academic/film kind, because I mean I would hope that I learn something with every new experience. There are new friends, new ridiculous stories.
  • I'm now looking for a full-time job to accrue some money and personal structure in order to finish school. I'm determined to finish where I started, and so it fits that I've been in Philadelphia this whole time.
  • Not much else. The personality...I don't think I can really communicate that through a blog; this is why I like the movies, or better yet - in-person conversation.
What Hasn't Changed
  • I'm still with Jackie. We're on, what, four and a half years? I guess we do some things right.
  • My mom is still bananas. We're on good terms...this week.
  • I'm still crippled by responsibility and the fear of failure, which has finally been pinned down as Panic Disorder with Agoraphobia - to break it down simply, fear of fear itself, and the subsequent avoidance/escape of any situation related. Now, I've always been trying to "finally figure it all out," but while knowing the problem is the first step, I feel as though step two is much, much harder...and still forthcoming.
  • I don't drink or do drugs, or at least, not the kind that aren't discussed, researched, prescribed, and properly taken by myself.
  • My green Dodge Caravan is still tickin', and I like weird music. (Expanded, more tolerant etc, but this is the wrong half for that.)
Anyway, I'm going to cut this off here because, well, I don't have a damned conclusion and I gotta help a friend move his stuff.

Enjoy, those who will read.


Let's let's let's start this shit again. It's almost exactly four years to the day since we've written in this thing, during which time we uh... went to college.


Honestly, I came across this site again by googling my name, which I do A LOT. Trust me, for a professional journalist (which I am now, if you haven't been following my life for the past four years and have been expectantly waiting for this blog to update) this is completely normal. TRUST ME.

Reading over our old posts, I get the impression that high school was a tremendously boring time for me. I hope my life is not as boring now, but I think it is! I think it is!

Let's talk about real shit. I have a job as a journalist in Mercer County, which is a strange, strange part of New Jersey. But it's a great job. Today I spent the morning chasing butterflies on a nature preserve in Hopewell. You sat in a fucking office. JOURNALISM

It's weird how people, and by people, I mean me, and... well, other people manage to find their passion in college. In just four years, you can find out what you would love to do for life. Or not. OR YEAH


Anyway,,, I'm going to go to a bar because I drink alcohol! I didn't do that in high school. I didn't do a lot of shit in high school! (snorts cocaine off the keyboard (just kidding keyboards are dirty (just kidding I don't snort cocaine)))

Hopefully I've gotten better at this since high school. All you other fuckers write a post. Don't think I don't want to know, because I want to know. TELL ME

If you guys write, I promise to make my next post less fucked.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

On Montreal

Munich* is better than Montreal in every way that matters, except food. I have never eaten more in my life. Picture New York but smaller covered in grafiti and with a more visible homeless population. Now take that image, make it slightly less harsh, and fill it with about half French-speaking caucasians and half French-speaking asians. They also have electronic parking meters. Preeetty nifty.

*I use Munich as a basis for comparison because it's among the finest cities I have had the pleasure of being in.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


So I'm not dead. But it is the summer and theoretically, I have much more free time on my hands to read, write, make web pages, frolic in the sun, etc. However, job demands and other things in life (such as the proper maintenence of a girlfriend [don't be mad please I mean that in a joking way {wow this is a lot of nesting}]) means a reduction in the actual amount of free time for pursuing such wonderful things. But I still feel like I'm wasting my time.


Sunday, June 26, 2005

My Sweet Lord

Today it is 90 degrees out. HOT damn. It's Sunday, so I have church to go to. Due to the heat, my father, in a demonstration of the gargantuan amounts of wisdom one acquires after fifty years, opted to park in the shade. Every decision has its advantages and disadvantages, and the one obvious advantage to my father's decision to park in the shade was that the car would remain cool during the one hour we would be away from it, preventing us, the passengers, from burning alive within it upon returning. However, there was one disadvantage, and it stemmed from the location of the parking spot chosen. The spot is a relatively large distance from the church, and it increased the amount of time spent walking out in the sun a proportionate amount. Fortunately, our church is quite well air conditioned, and as I walked in, I said, perhaps a little too loudly to my brother, that air conditioning is god's greatest gift. My screen name should be hilarious myles.

Anyway, as we left the church about an hour later, we were offered paper bags with different items written on the front. The items were for homeless shelters, which, as was told to the congregation by Father Mike, suffer the most in the summer, since there are no charity-inspiring holidays like Thanksgiving or Christmas or Easter to boost their supplies. Of course I did not take one, since I am lazy and apathetic. But I needed a better reason for myself. So, on the ride home, I came up with this: the church tells me that there are poverty-stricken people out there who need my help. However, they also tell me that there is an invisible being responsible for my existence who will send me to hell for my sins, but that he also loves me. It is this second story that I, along with what is I am sure many others, have varying degrees of difficulty believing. Which brings me to the difficult question. How am I to believe one thing the church tells me and not the other? Wouldn't that be hypocritical on my part? So my options are either to believe everything the church tells me, which I don't, or to believe nothing.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005


In less than two hours, Star Wars comes out. I would be lying if I said I wasn't really excited about this; I kinda grew up on the films and the feeling of coolness never quite wore off. The special edition came out sometime during those years in middle school when I started to like some of the stuff I do now. I think the stuff that lasted from middle school is arguably the best, since it survived me growing up and changing however a kid is supposed to change, to still be cool enough for me to drool over four or five years later. I don't own one of those plastic toy lightsabers and swing it around in my house, but sometimes I imagine I do and swing whatever similarly shaped object on hand around while imitating the hum only a lightsaber makes. Hopefully this will stop after I see the movie. But wait, I have a real sword in my house not 10 feet to my left, aptly placed on top of my TV. I have a deadly weapon; what makes me any less cool then the Jedi? Well that's just what I like about Star Wars: the Jedi are not simply an army of lightsaber-totoing robe-wearing mystical force-using warriors. There is a whole code and mythology to what they do, a little like the samurai, but with more X-Wing-lifting than was even imagined possible in feudal Japan.

But now I have a question for those of you who are more Star Wars saavy than I am:
The Jedi are the good guys, and they act based on the light side of the Force, with reason. The Sith are the bad guys, and they act based on the light side of the Force, with passion. Is George Lucas arguing against George Orwell and whoever wrote Equilibrium? Is emotion bad in Star Wars? It would explain the bad acting (Zing!, Badump tss etc.). Maybe I haven't been watching carefully enough.

In any case, in response what I know all of you must be thinking, yes, it is cool to wear a hood in school and pretend you're a Jedi.

Not that I do that.


so yeah it was pretty awesome