Thursday, December 31, 2009


Things that make me glad that I experienced 2009:

1. Movies

Up - Old man and a young boy scout go on an adventure together in this computer animated comedy that is touching and fun for the whole family. Sounds like I should hate it but this was the

A Serious Man - One of the most well put together films the Coen brothers have ever made. It proves to be both a very personal story and deeply philosophical, fusing the biblical tale of Job with the paradoxical thought experiment of Schrödinger's cat.

Inglorious Basterds - A culmination of everything I like about Quentin Tarentino movies (even has a short narration by Samuel L. Jackson). Brad Pitt and Christolph Waltz take this film to a completely new level. Plus B.J. Novak guest stars.

Star Trek - Wish I had seen this in theaters. It proves to be more like the old Star Wars movies than the Star Wars prequels.

[500] Days of Summer - Great chick flick for guys. Fun and carries with it an interesting message concerning true love.

District 9 - Great visual for a $30 million dollar budget. Intriguing characters and a lovable baby alien (in case your girlfriend gets bored).

Honorable Mentions (films I didn't see but were probably great): Up In The Air, An Education, Fabulous Mr. Fox.

2. Merriweather Post Pavillion by Animal Collective
-One of my favorite albums of all time. Fantastically engineered with a full sound and amazing vocal melodies. Also dancable at times.

-This entertained me immensely while I was dealing with a random bout of insomnia. It is far more well crafted and entertaining than The Phantom Menace ever was. This is the kind of thing I always hope to stumble across on the internet but rarely ever do.

4. Television
LOST - Arguably better than its ever been. If you haven't started watching it yet. Now is a good time to catch up. Season 6 is airing next month, the final season that will hopefully answer all of the questions that have been piling up over the years.

Dexter - Dark and addicting. Great performance by John Lithgow this season.

Venture Brothers - By far the best writing and animating I've ever seen in a televised cartoon serial. Mostly for a younger male audience.

Flight of the Conchords - Just as funny and clever as their first season. Displays a different brand of comedy than most television programs on today.

Jersey Shore - Entertaining, shallow, and too funny.

Also...Breaking Bad, United States of Tara, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Mad Men.

5. Youtube
- Great way for the entire family to waste countless hours of time. Constantly growing and changing. Plus HD. :)

Things from 2009 that left me confused:
1. Twitter
2. Lil' Wayne
3. Jon and Kate
4. Twilight
5. Meghan Fox

Friday, December 25, 2009


I got a digital camera for Christmas so I'll be able to post more videos. Merry Christmas!

Speak easy,

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Here's a pic my friend Chris took when I was in Boston. It looks like Santa is patting me on the head. It's an illusion! I am actually several feet in front of him and protected by a layer of glass. I was never in any real harm.

Just ate a small pack of Mike and Ike's and now my gums are bleeding. There's something a little unsettling about that.

I should be studying for French but I ended up learning Lady Gaga's Bad Romance on guitar instead. The universe works in mysterious ways.

Earlier today I came across this clip from the new Alvin and The Chipmunks movie (which is actually called The Squekwel! I thought that was just a stupid advertisement ploy.)

This blunt sexualization of CGI chipmunks kind of weirds me out. I'm not going to lie.

One more week and then I'll have a month off. Looking forward to it!

Speak easy,

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Making Time


she has a koala spirit
blue, soft, and endless.
Her kindness doves and spills
Like lava, it pours under doors.
creeping closer to plastic urchins,
the shards silken.


We started reading "Tooth of Crime" in my Modern American Drama class the other day. It is an absolutely bizarre post-Apocalyptic play about an aging rocker. The play is written in a symbolic poetry style fashion. That is what I attempted to do with the poem above. Not sure if I really get the concept, but it's pretty interesting none the less. The picture is one I took of my cousin Carolan at Thanksgiving last week. Working on two papers due tomorrow and have another one to work on due next Wednesday. Sherman Alexie this afternoon! Probably don't have time to go but I will have to make time (might have to see Stephen Hawking about that).

Speak easy,

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Red heat

Here is an excert of something I was working on when I should have been writing my Shakespeare paper.


I breathed heavily on the negative strip and polished it slowly. Any dust or scratches that appeared on the negative would show up on the print. You could make as many prints as you wanted from that one negative but once the negative was permanently damaged, that was it. That image, that black and white memory would be ruined and any print you made with that marred negative would reflect that.

When I got into the darm-room I made very sure that the door was closed tight so no outside light could get in. All of the photo paper was kept in a metal tin that resembled a sliding bread box except inside it had shelves where we put the paper. The room was dark, but there was some light on so you could see your way around. The lights were dark red so that they wouldn’t affect the paper. Also, red has a lower frequency on the electromagnetic spectrum, which makes it easier for your eyes to adjust. As far as our brain is concerned, red is the closest color to black. If that wave had a significantly lower frequency, it would be a radio wave. If it developed a higher frequency, it might be an X ray or a gamma ray. Red is the drop of point of the visible spectrum. If red’s frequency lowered the slightest bit, it would be heat.

I carried the photo paper carefully from side of the room to the other, making sure it remained untouched by any light that would darken the final print. Once exposed by the negative’s light from the enlarger, I carried the print to the developer solution where the liquids mixed and married to reveal an image. It showed itself slowly, a picture of a dilapidated house shying towards the surface. It is quite a beautiful and intimate process actually.


There is a Sherman Alexie reading tomorrow on campus that I am going to try to go to. He was on The Colbert Report last night.

Speak easy,

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving

Sometimes life feels so difficult and your work load seems endless but then someone gives you a Korean monkey seaweed mango gelatin snack and everything becomes a little less stressful.

Speak easy,

Sunday, November 22, 2009

long exposure

Things I don't understand...
1) gambling
2) sports
3) betting on sporting events
4) the Saw movie franchise
5) kristen stewart's movie career
6) angler fish
7) antiperspirant
8) the science behind basically everything Thomas Edison ever invented
9) the crusades
10) women

Here are some pictures I took while we were waiting on the top of a mountain for a meteor shower. The mountain took about half an hour to climb and it was a cold and fairly miserable excursion. The sky was cloudy and we ended up being seven hours for the event anyway.

Lev wouldn't let me use my flash because he was doing long exposure photography so I had to get creative.

Speak easy,

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Mr. Shrike dictates...

"Art is a way out. Do not let life overwhelm you. When the old paths are choked with the debris of failure, look for never and fresher paths. Art is just such a path. Art is distilled from suffering. As Mr. Polnikoff exclaimed through his fine Russian beard, when, at the ago of eighty-six, he gave up his business to learn Chinese, 'We are, as yet, only at the beginning...'. Art is one of life's richest offerings."

Speak easy,

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Slight Rebellion off Madison

I saw this for the first time today. It is the only official illustration of Holden Caulfield, printed in Collier Magazine in the 1945 Christmas Issue. Apparently JD Salinger had started writing what would end up being The Catcher in the Rye some 10 years before the books official publication.

Shopping for sweaters and bellow-cameras on eBay.

Yesterday was my one year blog anniversary!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Boy Detectives

I was accepted into the study abroad program I applied for a few weeks ago. If I get all of my financial aid papers in on time I could be studying at the University of Nottingham as soon as January 25th 2010. Pretty exciting new. I am, however, hardwired in such a way that I am constantly anticipating for the other foot to drop. In short, I am almost always anxious that my plans will hit a bump. It is not a great way to live but it does force me to plan alternative routes.

Just finished The Curious Incident of the Dead Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon and just started The Boy Detective Fails by Joe Meno. The former was an interesting read but I don't think it had the deep insight I was anticipating. An easy read and provides an interesting look into the inner workings of the mind of a British teenager with autism. Both books deal with boy detectives, although the latter delves more into the fantastical mystique, veering closer to likes of The Hardy Boys and Johnny Quest. I'm enjoying it so far but it has not proven to be as personal as Hairstyles of the Damned, the only other Joe Meno book I've ever read.

This is a t-shirt design I am working on right now. Penny farthing gentleman hedgehog.

Speak easy,

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Quand j’étais une jeune fille...

I went to go see the movie A Serious Man last night all by myself. For the last few days I have been pretty sick (yep, sick again and it's not even really winter yet) and it was nice to just get out of the dorm. The movie was really funny and I think it helped that the old people sitting next to me and the old people sitting behind me kept laughing during basically every scene throughout the entire movie. Even though I live in a college town I swear that the age of the average movie-goer for that specific screening was at least 50. I learned that old people do not think it is at all funny when young teenage boys excessively swear. Here's the trailer for anyone that doesn't know what movie I'm talking about.

It takes place in the 60's too, which was nice for me because all I've been doing is watching Mad Men so I went in with a predisposed and fresh understanding of the time period. Mad Men is really good too, I would definitely recommend it for anyone that likes 1) good television, 2) sexual harassment and misogyny in the workplace, or 3) advertising.

I have about 40 pages of my novel thrown together at the moment and have a few titles floating through my head. Not sure when I'll be finished because most of it comes out while I am procrastinating so I can't really gauge how much time I will be spending on it per week. Some titles I have considered which are references to things in the text or have some sort of symbolic importance...

- The Leak
- Freeze Thy Young Blood*
- Hollow Bones of Angels
- Matroyshka**
- The Rusted Obelisk
- Water Wings

*Quote from Hamlet that I really like.
**Layered Russian doll

Let me know if any pop out as a specifically good title.

Back to my French paper. My assignment is to write a composition from the perspective of a little girl. It's more fun than I thought it would be.

Speak easy,

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

globe trotting

One of Lev's stole this snow globe from a hippy run Halloween party last weekend. It ended up in our room but we will try our darnedest to get it back to its rightful owner at some point. The inscription says: "Winter Solitude: In the world of one color, the sound of wind." Pretty deep stuff. They look really cool if you shake it up, put your eye up to the glass, and wave it in the direction of a light source (lamp, street light, computer screen).

Got my CIS study abroad application in. Now I just need to wait around to see if I got in.

Speak easy,

Sunday, November 1, 2009

There ain't no sky above

Here are two passages from James Baldwin's Go Tell It On The Mountain, a book I am reading for my English 300 class. It's getting really good but I can't finish it right now because I've got other work to do for other classes.


"Little-bit - d'you love me?"
And she wondered how he could doubt it. She thought how infirm she must be not to have been able to make him know; and she raised her eyes to his, and she said the only thing she could say:
"I wish to God I may die if I don't love you. There ain't no sky above us if I don't love you."

Babies, bawling, fatherless, for bread, and girls in the gutters, sick with sin, and young men bleeding in the frosty fields.

I think I know why USPS employees "go postal". For the past week I have been going to the post office a lot because I have been sending out all my study abroad stuff. There seems to usually only be one guy manning the front counter and he is almost always really irritable. I do not blame him though because he constantly faces long lines of clueless people who have no idea what they are doing. Not only that but have you ever looked behind the counter. It's just a huge chaotic mess of envelopes and boxes and post it notes. Seems like highly irritating work. They briefly covered this topic on Seinfeld.

Here's another picture from Halloween, taken by my floor mate Connie. Lev dressed up as Gunther, a Swedish model turned pop-sensation who is responsible for the horribly awkward song Ding Ding Dong (not for the easily offended).

Speak easy,

Post your favorite songs that remind you of the winter. I am gearing myself up for Christmas carols and repeated listening of Matt Pond PA's beautiful rendition of Holiday Road.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

My hands have smelled like lobster for the past three hours and the only person I can really blame, besides myself, is Bill Cosby. Every year for Halloween, Bill Cosby donates a bunch of money so every student at UMass Amherst can have a lobster dinner. There was this one guy that I was sitting next to who was asking everyone if they would give him their lobster voucher if they decided not to take advantage of the Bill Cosby Lobster Halloween extravaganza. He probably ended up eating seven and he didn't even use a lobster bib. This guy knew what he was doing. So, anyway, I realized that lobsters are pretty overrated. Pistachio nuts are worth the hassle, lobsters are not.

I dressed up as Jim from The Office. This is a picture of me in full attire, trying really hard to make the Jim Halpert face.

My friend Kluas' idea of being a classy gentleman is taping a monocle to his face. Halloween really brings out the creativity in people.

Speak easy,

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Sigma Kappa

Thought this was pretty interesting. It is the 'Big Sister Ten Commandments' for the Sigma Kappa sorority. Some girl from my floor downloaded onto my computer.


1. Thou shall be a good role model
(Thee girls look up to you, always keep that in mind)

2. Thou shall follow National Policy
(If you break it than why should they follow it?)

3. Thou shall be a GREAT listener
(Your little sister should be able to come to you and trust you)

4. Thou shall have time
(Make sure you can be around for them throughout the semester)

5. Thou hall not dwell on the past
(Look to the future! Remove “well before we…” from your vocabulary)

6. Thou shall be a responsible Sigma Kappa
(Be the kind of sister that you want our new members to become)

7. Thou shall be a resource but not give false information
(If you don’t know the answer send them to the VPNME)

8. Thou shall have a positive attitude
(If you’re negative you’re going to bring them down, love Sigma Kappa)

9. Thou shall understand the financial responsibility
(You must make a scrapbook to be given before the following initiation)

10. Thou shall work their hardest to make this a fantastic new member period
(Your role is crucial to their development as future sisters)

Currently recreating MC Escher drawings with hedgehogs thrown in. It's harder than one might think. Tomorrow I'll probably post what I have of that whale animation I have been talking about. No time right now to correct the problems I have with the movement of the tail but I think it'll do for now. Something I'm quite proud of.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Auburn and Emerald probably my favorite color combination. Second up would be blue and brown.

Just watched Cat On a Hot Tin Roof for Modern America Drama and really enjoyed it. Now it's time for Hamlet, French homework, and revising my paper on the dichotomous schism presented in the Asian American coming of age memoir Stealing Buddha's Dinner as it pertains to food and popular culture (all while listening to Charlie Brown Christmas...still not sick of it!!!).

Might end up staying in Amherst for Halloween because of ride complications. Life will be so much easier when I can afford a car and a house and my own Donkey Kong arcade machine.

Speak easy,

Saturday, October 24, 2009

successful guys don't hang out in laundromats

Last week was midterm week which meant papers and revisions and studying and essays. It feels really good to have some solid grades in for my courses this semester but I've still got so much study abroad paperwork to finish up in the next few days. I won't even know if I'll be able to go for another few weeks. This is the kind of anxiety that I could do without.

Reading through some more ridiculous relationship advise via Yahoo...

Where to meet single guys: sports bars, steak houses, driving ranges, movie theaters, class, sushi bars, supermarkets, industry events, cigar bars, and dog parks.

Where not to meet single guys: salons (too gay), clubs (no relationship potential), frozen yogurt shops (no single guys), cruise ships (they will probably have wife/girlfriend), laundromats (successful guys don't hang out in laundromats).

People will meet each other. I think that telling women to make a conscious effort to go to steak houses to meet guys will just end with a bunch of disappointed thirty something women. Stuff happens, it's not really up to us what it is or how it happens. It's just chance.

"Miracles. Events with astronomical odds of occurring, like oxygen turning into gold. I've longed to witness such an event, and yet I neglect that in human coupling. Millions upon millions of cells compete to create life, for generation after generation until, finally, your mother loves a man. Edward Blake, the Comedian, a man she has every reason to hate, and out of that contradiction, against unfathomable odds, it's you - only you - that emerged, to
distill so specific a form from all that chaos. It's like turning air into gold. A miracle. "

-Dr. Manhattan (Watchmen)

After the whole Balloon Boy thing I realized that I get 100% of my news through the internet.

Speak easy,

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Parfois elle vaut la peine, parfois elle n'est pas.

Hating writing about Shakespeare right now. Henry IV Part I. A Midsummer Night's Dream. It's all blending into a big mess of perchance, anon, thou wilt, zounds, doth proclaimed. A Lot of these close readings I've been doing feel like I'm digging and digging though the material and, despite hitting bedrock, I keep digging and digging for content.

Thou sayest well, and it holds well too, for the
Fortune of us that are the moon’s men doth ebb and
flow like the sea, being governed, as the sea is, by
the moon.

Andrew's probably coming to Amherst this weekend which should be fun and then I might be headed to the Cape next weekend depending on whether Jim has room for me. So many papers and tests in the next week though. Power through it trooper.

Speak easy,

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Sleep Cycle

Read this interview with filmmaker Don Hertzfeldt today and really liked this segment where he talked about the way he perceives the director/audience dichotomy...

it's sort of like giving somebody a nice gift.... you sew them a nice coat and you enjoy watching them opening it and making them happy. but then you need to get the fuck out of there. it's theirs now, let them try it on and walk around and live in it. don't keep coming over and saying "how's it fit? did you notice i put pockets on the inside? those stitches were imported..."

Lev says that I sleep too much so I have started keeping track of every nap.

Sometimes I pick a specific album to listen to in order to set the mood while I am reading a book. For example, when I read Dracula I listened to nothing but the Donnie Darko soundtrack and most times I am reading the Catcher In the Rye I listen to the Charlie Brown Christmas album. Some other good albums to listen to when reading...

- All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone by Explosions In The Sky
- Coraline Soundtrack
- String Quartet Tribute to Arcade Fire
- Our Endless Numbered Days by Iron & Wine

Speak easy,

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


I just realized this evening that I have a sideburn on one side of my face and not the other. How did this happen?

Monday, October 12, 2009

slaughter house

This weekend I've done some homework and done some extra curricular writing. The application date for study abroad (or at least where I want to go) is approaching very quickly.

The following is an excerpt from a chapter I am working on. The narrator here is around 10 years old.

"After lunch we had art class with Mrs. Arnold. She was a Native American and wore Native American jewelry and had a big cow skull on the classroom wall. She said she got it in Arizona and that some people would charge $200 for the skulls and some people would charge $100 for the skulls, but she only paid $25 because they were just left over from the nearby slaughter house and no one had any good use for them after they took all the meat from the cows. If you charge a lot of money for something or make something really hard to get, people will think it’s more special than it really is. Mrs. Arnold liked being called Native American and hated being called Indian. My parents and the other teachers used the word Indian though, so I didn’t see what the problem was. “I’m not from Indian, and my ancestors weren’t from India. I am Native America.” She would say.
One time me and a bunch of my friends went to Plymouth Plantation and saw Mrs. Arnold there. Plymouth Plantation is a tourist destination where people dress up like pilgrims and pretend it is the 1700's. Most of it was filled with European settlers in wooden houses and buckled hats but there was a small corner dedicated to the Indians. When our group came by, Mrs. Arnold pretended not to recognize us and just gave a short presentation on how to make beaded blankets. Unlike all of the white people there, who spoke very old fashioned all the time, the Indians just talked regular English and even wore t-shirts. This one guy was playing the role of William Brewster who was one of the most important people on the Mayflower. My dad said he was my ninth great grandfather so when I met him it was like meeting a celebrity. It was a little disappointing to meet him though because when we talked to him he didn’t say anything impressive about being a leader or living through the long voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. Instead he told us something boring about how they didn’t have any plumbing in the settlement and had to use outhouses. He even used the word shit, which was really surprising for me. The only time an adult had ever said swears was when they thought I wasn’t listening or when they forgot I was around.
In art class all we did was play with clay. I would build a little guy out of clay and make him talk and walk around the table. There were these dull knifes and cheese cutter wires and little scalpels that we were supposed to use to craft something intricate to take home and show our parents how artistic we were, but my friends and I usually just used the tools to dismember the little characters we made. Every day we did it I thought we might get yelled at but Mrs. Arnold never came by to check on what we were doing, especially on the days we played with clay. The animal I sculpted the most often was a rabbit. After I’d cut its tail off with the scalpel and saw its ears off and slice its torso down the middle, I’d pretend that he was sent to the hospital where I’d have to put him back together and fix him."

There's more but I'm still working on it. At the moment I have about 30 pages, most of which is random thoughts and ideas that will be integrated into an overall story. I don't know exactly where I am going to start the narrative but I have a really good ending that I'm looking forward to writing (I've heard that the ending is the hardest thing to come up with).

Speak easy,

Edit: This week in movies.
(1) Watched Away We Go and was sorely disappointed.
(2) New trailer for Toy Story 3!
(3) This decades Blair Witch type movie Paranormal Activity makes $7 mil on 160 screens. Which is hugely record breaking.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


I feel 95% than I did last week and 20° Celsius no longer feels like 20° Fahrenheit (I was at one point sleeping with 2 thick sweaters on). Luckily I did not have to go to health services. Last week I got a letter in the mail stating that I was denied Mass Health because I didn't send them some sort of Job Update Form.

Right now I am just about done scouring my old blog entries to see if there is any content that I would like to keep for novels or short stories. I'm keeping about 5% of all blog content. There are so many projects that I want to work on but it's hard to focus on just one to work on in any given afternoon because I feel like neglecting another. Someone told me Da Vinci only finished around 3% of the projects he started.

Speak easy,

Sunday, October 4, 2009


Last night I heard a rattling coming from the heater underneath my window. The electric heat is officially up and running in my building which is bad news for me because the dry air really irritates my nose. Between the heat and my constant need to blow my nose (I think I'm almost over my sickness) I have been getting nose bleeds fairly consistently over the past 24 hours. While I was working on my homework this evening I noticed a very strange streak of blood that had formed on my napkin which looked like it spelled out the word "LIVE". Somehow I take this as my body trying to send me some sort of message. Here is the napkin in question.

I don't know if this is more or less strange than the time I found a dust bunny that was shaped just like a real bunny (see April, 25 2009 blog entitled Fly Trapped In An Octopus Web).

Speak easy,

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Tasting Roads

When I'm at school I judge how much time I have in the semester not by days, but by how many meals I have left on my meal plan. For instance, at the moment I have 150 meals left. I started the semester with 200. This means I am approximately 25% into the semester. Also, I would like to add that I do use almost exactly 200 meals throughout the semester (take or leave a few). When I was staying in Moldova I estimated how many times I would have to bathe, and used that as a measurement for how much time I had left.

Some of my favorite quotes (as of recent)...

"I to the world am like a drop of water
That in the ocean seeks another drop,
Who, falling there to find his fellow forth,
(Unseen, inquisitive) confounds himself."
{Act, 1, scene 2, lines 35-38, The Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare}

"An honest man is always a child."

"What a beautiful face
I have found in this place
That is circling all round the sun.
And when we meet on a cloud,
I'll be laughing out loud.
I'll be laughing with everyone I see.
Can't believe how strange it is to be anything at all."
{In The Aeroplane Over The Sea by Neutral Milk Hotel}

"I got two hands on the sunshine
I got one foot in the grave
I got 25¢ in my wallet
And I'm feeling mighty lucky today.

My bones are made out of ivory
And my blood is made out of ocean waves
And someone stole my wallet
But I'm feeling mighty lucky today."
{Lucky Today by Cloud Cult}

"Mandolins are tuned G D A E. The physical world has a tropism for disorder, entropy. Man against Nature...the battle of the centuries. Keys yearn to mix with change. Mandolins strive to get out of tune. Every order has within it the germ of destruction. All order is doomed, yet the battle is worth the while. "
{Miss Lonelyhearts by Nathaniel West}

"I'm a connoisseur of roads. I've been tasting roads my whole life. This road will never end. It probably goes all around the world."
{From the film My Own Private Idaho}

Special thanks to Katie for letting me borrow her copy of Miss Lonelyhearts. I let Brad borrow my copy but he hasn't returned it yet. Last time I asked him about it he said that he tried to read it but it made him so depressed that he had to stop reading. I'm sure he'll get to it eventually.

This is a quick sketch of a possible duck animation I am going to tackle once this whale is all finished. The next part of the whale I need to work on is to perfect the movement of the tail (which will be incredibly difficult). Otherwise it is almost done.

Can't stop watching this commercial...

Speak easy,

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Coming To Town

Photo of sick me trying to get some rest. In the song Santa Clause Is Coming To Town, the line "so be good for goodness sake" is one that I find particularly strange. It is presented as some sort of conclusion to an argument that doesn't actually exist within the song. If there is a present argument within the text, the conclusion would be something closer to "so be good for someone is always watching everything you do". I do like the "goodness sakes" line though so I suppose one would have to fine tune the rest of the song so that it worked from a logistical standpoint.

Today is my 201st blog post! Forgot to mention 200 yesterday.

Speak easy,

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Il y a becaucoup je voudrais savoir.

This afternoon I had an appointment with the UK study abroad adviser. It looks like, currently, my options are Nottingham (maybe 100 miles North of London), Lancaster (North Western England), and Swansea (North Eastern Whales). My decision lies solely on the modules (or courses) that each Uni has offered for next semester. The money I currently have in the bank will most likely go to air fare over to the UK. All the preliminary fees can be tagged onto my bursars bill although it looks like I'll probably have to take out something like $15,000 in loans for the excursion (but that is not factoring in an financial aid). If you are still reading this and are still thoroughly means you are probably my mom.

I'm sick and behind on my French homework but still found the time to spend an hour at Starbucks (tried the new VIA that they have been advertising the hell out of. It wasn't bad.) this afternoon mapping out the novel (working title: Water Wings) I am working on and also the vulgar british sitcom about a group of independent wrestlers (think Entourage meets The Office [UK]) which is maybe half way finished.

If any of my projects have any chance of reaching completion, I decided that I should probably work on each one for at least half an hour every day.

Speak easy,

Monday, September 28, 2009

Comedy of Errors

If you are going to try to take over the world, never start with Europe. Start with Australia and then take over Asia. Once you those and your borders heavily defended, you should do fine. I've been playing a lot of Risk.

I heard an interview today with a guy that interviewed over 40 comedians. Apparently the majority of comedy writers suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder and most, if not all, suffer from some sort of depression (on a fairly regular basis). This leads me to think that comedy is an inherent quality that is ingrained within oneself, like a mild personality disorder or something like that. It could also be biological, for instance some disorders are onset by enlarged glands.

Just finished Sherman Alexie's novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. It was an easy read and one of the more solid novels that I've read in a while.

Speak easy,

Sunday, September 27, 2009


My whale animation is going slowly because (1) it's incredibly time consuming to figure out how to animate with such complex movement and (2) because when I do get into the mood to focus on something, it usually means I have to focus on my homework. I do, however, have a conception to extend my aquatic themed animation project. The two main characters include a duck and an otter. Yesterday I went through about 6 or 7 different models before I decided on this little guy.

The otter is going to be a little bit more difficult to figure out but I feel like I'm getting pretty close with the one on this page.

Lev says my camera has an incredibly slow ISO. I think, in low light, the low shutter speed can look kind of cool.

Trying to get an on campus job. Apparently the study abroad program is fairly expensive ($150 application fee, $600 deposit, and an estimated $800 in transportation alone). There is also the spending money I will need for an entire semester and books that I'll need to buy when I get there. Worst case scenario I can take out a personal loan or borrow.

Speak easy,

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

egg cart

Just witnessed two idiots drive a egg shaped golf cart into a guard rail and run off. One of them bashed their head on the windshield. I guess there are some things that people find amusing that I will never grasp. Lev may have been the only one to alert the authorities.

All of my financial aid stuff is squared away at the moment and now I just have to wait for the sluggish blind octopus that is bureaucracy to set in motion before I can reclaim my post at the cluster office. Need to save and make money for studying abroad.

Finished my bracelet. It's not perfect but it is the largest friendship bracelet I have made to date (15 strings).

Lev's side of the room. He proudly hangs the Russian and Israeli flag, while I have the British and Moldovan flag. You might also notice that he has an affinity for cars. That's kind of his thing.

Someone showed me this website today, which has a bunch of quiz/games. I tried to guess all 151 Pokemon in less than ten minutes but failed. Maybe when I have a clearer head. Also, I have been completely engrossed in the UK teen-drama Skins. Totally fantastic.

Speak easy,

Monday, September 21, 2009

43 weeks

Today in my English Drama class I learned the difference between a tragic character and a pathetic character. A tragic character, if I can remember correctly, is a character that makes decisions that he probably shouldn't have made that lead to his downfall. A pathetic character is one who has bad times befallen on him that are not a direct consequence of his own actions. The only main difference is that one may still have their dignity by the time the curtain closes.

I went by the study abroad fair and will be looking through the pamphlets this week to choose a school. Instead of picking one nearby my friends who live in Southern England, I have decided to pick the school that I think I will get the most out of. That is to say, I am looking to go into this experience (if everything works out the way I hope it will) to try and make it on my own and see if I can sustain myself (and by that I mean make friends that aren't friends of friends and not get into a really introverted and antisocial state of being) somewhere where I don't know anyone. Ticket prices from London to Romania aren't too unreasonable either. There is a chance that I might try to make my way back to Moldova for a week or so if I have the time and money.

43 weeks of classes left of college.

Speak easy,

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Drinking Tea Makes Everything Better

Ducks are hanging out at the pond again. It seems like ages since I've seen a duck but I'm sure there were a few hanging around the camp. Lately I've been feeling slightly under the weather (I spent almost all day in bed yesterday), but it's mostly just drowsiness. Tomorrow is the last day to pick up or drop out of classes so I will probably looking for an on campus job within the next few days (now that my schedule is not subject to any change). It would be nice to have some more stuff to fill up my schedule because, like I've stated before, the more free time I have, the more free time I waste.

This bird let me get up real close to take a picture of it. I don't know if you can zoom into this pic very much, but it has incredibly pretty eyes.

Lev and I hung the British flag outside our window today and I'm sure it is looking great (although I haven't left the building since I put it up so I haven't actually seen what it looks like yet). Speaking of Britain, the study abroad meeting is tomorrow afternoon so I'm sure I will have an update on my European studies status by tomorrow evening.

Animating the whale has got me thinking about possibly trying to do some sort of aquatic themed short film (the one I have involves a duck and an otter). The way I see it is if I enter an animated film into an independent short film festival, I will get a lot more attention for my work because it is animated. Also I have been tooling around with the idea of writing a horror movie script loosely based on The Creature From The Black Lagoon, although I haven't actually seen The Creature From The Black Lagoon, so I suppose it is safe to say that it is just about a lagoon/lake and a lagoon/lake monster. My only real experience in watching horror movies is Funny Games (which invokes more sadness and pity than fear), Låt den rätte komma in/Let The Right One In, and Shaun of the Dead. I suppose I could try it as a graphic novel, which is a medium that I've always wanted to try but never really had any ideas that would fit.

I was thinking that the song After Hours by Velvet Underground would be an amazing song for a horror movie trailer. Let me know what you think.

Speak easy,

Thursday, September 17, 2009


If all twitter users were forced to write in haiku, I would probably be more interested in twitter.

Speak easy,

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Most Lamentable American Tragedy of Neil Everett

Right now I am working on a terrifically difficult friendship bracelet for a dear friend of mine. It is composed of fifteen strings and is taking quite a bit of time to construct. Just figuring out how to keep the strings separate and organized was a herculean text in and of itself. Hopefully it will be completed within the next few weeks.

The whale animation is going pretty well. All in all I predict it will be about 3-5 seconds in length but I'm sure I will tie the animation itself into a larger project at some point in the future. I am saving the progress of the animation itself every so often so that I can post it up here and show you the process.

It would have really helped if I knew going into the project (1) how a whale is supposed to look, and (2) how a whale is supposed to move. It has been a logistic nightmare as far as redrawing and retroactively altering the look and movement of the creature (but you will see that in time). Drawing some sort of character design sheet would have helped. Overall, I think the whale is a lot cuter than I had originally intended, which I suppose is a good thing.

To Whom It May Concern (or my favorite songs at the moment)

1. The Books feat. Jose Gonzalez - Cello Song (Dark Was The Night Compilation)
(Nick Drake Cover)
2. Grizzly Bear vs. The Knife - Heartbeats/Knife Remix

3. Anathollo - The River ([Engine] Glow)
4. Joanna Newsom - Peach, Plum, Pear (The Milk-Eyed Mender)
5. Carla Bruni - Quequ'un M'a Dit (Quequ'un M'a Dit)
6. Velvet Underground - After Hours (Velvet Underground)
7. Cloud Cult - Lucky Today (Advice from the Happy Hippopotamus)
8. The Streets - Heaven For The Weather (Everything Is Borrowed)
9. Dan Deacon - Pink Batman (The Spiderman of the Rings)
10. Joanna Newsom - The Book of Right-On (Walnut Whales)

Embedded youtube links for your navigation convenience.

Speak easy,

P.S - The title is a reworking of the complete and original title of the Shakespearean play Titus Andronichus, for anyone that would be curious.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


I've spent more time animating whales this semester than I have doing my homework, although I'm sure this statistic will change over the next week. Earlier today I bought a round trip bus ticket to Boston, where I will be spending my weekend.

These two images were born from me playing around on Adobe Photoshop CS3.

Speak easy,

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

La Fabuleux Destin

There was a huge poster sale going on today in the Cape Cod Lounge here on campus. I stopped by on the way to my English 300 class. Within thirty seconds I found this Japanese movie poster for the French film La Fabuleux Destin D'Amélie Poulain (or Amélie) which I immediately fell in love with (a phenomenon described by the French as "coup de foudre").

After moving out of the camp this summer I decided to take as little to college as I could get away with. In turn, I neglected to bring any posters from home (sans two small movie posters and a British Flag). I bought this Flight of the Conchords poster the other day to fill some of the empty space on my side of the room.

Here is a picture of my side of the room (just about finished settling in).

In other news, I bought this glass and this tea pot at a yard sale the other day. Definately worth the combined $2.50 that I payed for them. I also found a copy of Salinger's Franny and Zooey for 25 cents.

Finally, I am toying around with the idea of doing a whale themed animation project (now that I have a sufficient Wacom tablet). Here is the first sketch of what should prove to be a very long and labor intensive project.

Speak easy,

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Mount Bosavi

Sobering news from the other side of the world! An area in Papua New Geunia, previously undiscovered by the western world, has revealed to us at least 40 new (new to us anyway) species.

I think that it is great that we are still discovering new things that we didn't know about our planet. It makes me wonder what else there is to find on this, our blue planet. Sometimes it feels like I have discovered all of the music or films or books that I will ever enjoy and then one day I happen upon something truly outstanding that I never knew existed and get incredibly excited about the other potential gold mines there are just waiting to be plundered. Anyway, here are some pictures of my favorite animals nearby Mount Bosavi...

...In other news...$205 for a French text with a bundled work book? And softcover at that.

Speak easy,

Friday, September 4, 2009


I got lost on the way to Purgatory today. There is a national park area in Massachusetts named Purgatory (which might be because people died climbing up the cliffs). My cousin Brad, his friend Sequoya, and myself spent a good two hours climbing over rocks and crossing rivers.

If I believed in tattoos, these are the tattoos I would get...

1. The main character from The Missing Piece by Shel Silverstein.

2. Jiminy Cricket from Disney's Pinocchio.

3. The Lorax from The Lorax by Dr. Suess.

4. Linus Van Pelt from the Peanuts comic strip.

Each character means a great deal to me, all in their own district ways. Within their given works, they all represent different ideas or conventions that I keep very close to my heart. I suppose I've also had a lasting relationship with all of the characters, in some way shape or form, since I was very young.

Speak easy,

Thursday, September 3, 2009


Of all of the statues that I came across in Sarasota, I was most intrigued by this stone gentleman. I forgot to catch his name (or the name of the person he was based off of). The rest the shopping plaza in which Andrew, Dan, and I frequented was crowded with smooth, stone renditions of Roman gods (cupid and venus pictured below).

Although I am thoroughly enamored by all that the stone gentleman represents, at the end of the day I would much rather look at the female statues. They really do portray beauty in a very pure and classic manner.

I ran into this copper toned family when I was making my way from 2nd street to 11th street. Sarasota is very easy to make your way from one place to the next because it is all based on a simple grid system. Within the next 10 years I how to somehow because as comfortable and content as the bronze man appears to be.

Last night I arrived in Rhode Island, where I will be spending a few days until I have to move into my dorm room. This semester I am going to be rooming with Lev again (which is great because a good roommate is hard to come by).

Movies I've seen recently in theaters:

(500) Days of Summer
-Sweet movie. Saw it again this afternoon. Interesting cinematic elements as well as a new twist on the romantic comedy.

Inglourious Basterds
- Everything that I wanted Valkerie to be. Oscar worthy acting from Christoph Waltz (the antagonist). Compelling, smart, and - at times - thought provoking. A little quiter than the trailer would lead you to beleive, although there is still plenty of violence, detatched limbs, and dead nazis. Good movie to see in theaters.

District 9
- One of the most interesting science fiction fiction movies I have seen in a while. Cool and intriguing, with some social commentary thrown in the mix (although it doesn't get preachy like Happy Feet does). Not a film to pass up by any means.

- If you haven't seen this film already, go see it. It's not often that I cry during a film, especially during a childrens film (especially during the first 20 minutes of a film). Possibly my favorite Pixar film thus far.

Speak easy,

Monday, August 31, 2009

Ode To Bug

Over the summer I ran three or four poetry programs (two of which proved to be fairly successful). My friend Taylor asked me to write a poem for a bug that was crawling over my guitar case. The photo above is what I ended up with.

Speak easy,

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Hedgehogs on Clipboards

Every counselor at the summer camp I worked at is issued one clipboard (which holds all the important paper work and schedules, which one would be entirely helpless without). This summer I painted three clipboards - one for myself, and two for friends of mine. All of them included this little hedgehog character (spikes based on Sonic, head shape based on Crayon Shin-Chan, and body type generally based on the Kodama from the film Princess Mononoke).

The character is named Urchin (i.e. hedgehogs curled up into a ball look kind of like sea urchins). He is an excellent swimmer.

For my good friend Christopher Barry (his idea to write "Chris Barry Rocks" in honor of his website). It combines a few of my all time favorite things - hedgehogs, penny farthing bicycles, big hats, and 19th century gentleman outfits.

This one is based off of Tetris, one of my all time favorite puzzle games. The clipboard was painted for my friend Chris Burns, a counselor in training. I went into it wanting to do something fun, colorful, and cute. Every time I look at it I can't help but worry about how the one in the lower left is going to escape from the confines of his tetris pieces.

Speak easy,

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Execution of All Things

This summer has been pretty eventful but there is too much catching up to do in one blog post. Camp ended last week and between then and now I've been staying in Sarasota, Florida. My plane landed in Logan less than 24 hours ago and now I'm sorting through all of my stuff, getting ready to move back to college. A few weeks ago I applied to study abroad in England (Manchester, to be more specific) for Spring 2010.

My flight to Chicago was delayed for an hour or so. In that time I started reading the Great Gatsby and wrote this list of the best free stuff that I experienced in the last week.

Below is a picture I took while flying over Sarasota (if memory serves), awkwardly leaning over Andrew and Dan to capture some of the beautiful scenery (I had an aisle seat).

My plan is to start blogging on a daily basis like I did last school year. :)

Speak easy,

P.S - Puff died while I was at camp.