Thursday, April 30, 2009

et La Fille Adorable

This is a French project I am working on right now. It is fun to work on.

Why is it that 90% of the guys that I saw today in public restrooms completely neglected to wash their hands after relieving themselves? People should not be this careless, especially when there is the swine flu looming over us like an Avian Bird Flu or SARS pandemic. I just overhead someone say that "you're supposed to call it the Mexican Flu, because I guess calling it the Swine Flu isn't kosher." The pun didn't seem intentional but I laughed anyway.

Lots of work and some mild sinus troubles. I can not wait to get everything squared away. There is nothing more cathartic than handing in the final paper/test of the semester.

Speak easy,

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Dear, Brandon

Too much homework. Is it really fair to assign 50 pages of reading and a four page response to complete within 48 hours? Sufficient amount of sleep is for the lucky. Worst case scenerio is I take a nap tomorrow. Which is great because I love naps. :)

This is a letter I found walking to the center of Amherst a few months ago.

Anagrams are fun. You should try them out.

Speak easy,

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Next Logical Step

There should be more headlines like this. How can we ever move forward if we don't start inventing or genetically engineering ridiculous things? We need more robotic walking eyes, tentacled bunny rabbits, and parascopic miner's helmets. It's just the next logical step.

Only two more weeks of classes, one French final, and about 24 pages worth of reports, and I am done. At the moment it is very late. Lev is sleeping and I am waiting for my clothes to finish the rinse cycle so that I can hang them up to dry. Last night I went to the library at 2 am to print out my presentation and abstract (36 copies at 5 cents each) for my American Literature class. Since I don't take that many late night strolls, I wasn't sure exactly what kind of characters would be out so late. The residual heat from the surprisingly warm day was nearly gone, yet it was still just barely warm enough for shorts and a t-shirt. There were couples talking and holding each other and saying goodnight to each other. That was all I saw. Couples. I was in one of those moods were it really filled me up to see people being so happy in front of the moon. It reminded me of all of those stupid late summer nights spent with a loved one or a good friend or group of friends for that matter. Summer at night feels different. It almost feels stationary, but in a good way. In a great way that I can't describe too well. But it is relaxing and cool, like the shade of a comfortable tree is following you everywhere you go.

I cut off the blisters on my feet with an old pair of sewing scissors I inherited from my grandmother after she died. The pieces of skin that I removed were the consistency of a band-aid. My grandmother spent her whole life stitching quilts together, and here I am, with her tools no less, cutting pieces of myself and throwing them in the trash. The blisters still hurt but I'm sure they'll be fine come a fortnight.

Here is a list of movies that I really wanted to like, but didn't. I was rooting for them, hoping that by the end of the film my perseverance would result in some sort of cinematic vindication. The problem with 1, 2, and 5 is 'style over substance', a term I heard of when I was describing to somewhat exactly what I didn't like about Running With Scissors.

1. The Chumbscrubber
2. Running With Scissors
3. Pecker
4. The Crow
5. Idiocracy

My laundry is most definitely done by now.

Speak easy,

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Dripping, Dissolving Water Wings

Lev's friend Matt let Lev borrow the keys to his car in order to safely get home from a house party that we attended on Friday night. This piece of paper was above the passenger seat. I'm not sure what to make of it.

Today I felt compelled to unloft my bed. Lev wasn't in the room at the time, but for some reason that didn't stop me from being stupid and spontaneous. I succeeded by the skin of my teeth and luckily didn't break anything in the process. Sometimes when people who aren't stupid do stupid things, they are capable enough to get themselves out of a bad situation. I feel like playing countless hours of Tetris, Myst, and The Legend of Zelda thought my brain how to solve technically difficult puzzles such as the one that I got myself into this afternoon. The bed is now a very inviting place to do reading and mandolin.

Read outside if you can find the time. It is pretty great.

Speak easy,

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Fly Trapped In An Octopus Web

Last week I was cleaning the dust out from under my bed and found this dust bunny that looked remarkably similar to an actual bunny. Are they called "dust bunnies" because of the way that they seem to multiply if you leave them alone?

I was planning on reading for the better part of today, but instead Lev and I ended up playing a lengthy game of ultimate frisbee. For anyone that hasn't played it before, it is kind of like soccer but you use a frisbee. For the better part of the game I ran around barefoot. This probably wasn't the best idea because now I have three blisters on my feet. Two on the right foot and one smaller one on my left foot. I guess that being the dominant foot can have its drawbacks. It was a really nice day out (Lev said the high for today was 91 degrees).

"What do you think about this?...what if instead of Jesus being crucified, he was water boarded?"
- Some weird guy walking his bike away from a bar in Amherst Center at 10 pm on a Saturday night.

Speak easy,

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Subconsciously Self Conscience

The school closed all of the dining commons because of some big culinary event, "Taste of UMass", at the Mullins Center. By the time I got there I was really hungry and fairly aggravated that I couldn't just get a simple meal in a dining common adjacent to my down just like I would any other evening. Basically what they did was fill the biggest sports arena on campus with free food kiosks. I ended up getting a subpar piece of pizza, a coke, and a large delicious pita pocket. A hot dog eating contest ran on the side stage. They didn't announce the winner of the eating contest by the time I finished eating. I stood around for a few minutes and then realized that I didn't care, so I left. Sometimes I forgot that there are some things in life that don't matter at all (specifically the results of eating contests).

Pepsi released this advertisement in a magazine in Germany a while back. The caption reads: "One very very lonely calorie." It looks like the beaver is assisting in at least one of the several suicide attempts. The smile on his face makes me wonder if he wasn't the one to talk the calorie into suicide in the first place. The raped landscape reminds me of The Lorax.

My class is cancelled tomorrow so my weekend started this afternoon. This just opens my schedule up to all kinds of procrastination.

Top Five Favorite Means of Procrastination:
1. Cup of coffee.
2. Just one more game of tetris.
3. Impulsive bathroom breaks/showering
4. Oh yeah...I forgot to watch this weeks episode of Breaking Bad/Gossip Girl/etc.
5. I have no cash. I should walk to CVS and get a Kit Kat bar and then get $10 cash back. Maybe I should take the long way so I don't have to walk by the homeless guy that is always asking me for money...

Speak easy,

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

i am so proud of you

I'm in the middle of the book The Swallows of Kabul (reading for one of my upper level comparative literature courses) and nothing has happened yet, there are no interesting characters, and it doesn't seem to have any real plot at all. The book just consists of a few guys sitting around complaining about the Taliban and how crappy it is to live in Kabul.

After taking a few years of college courses, I have noticed that there are two types of classes. Those that are seemingly easy and those that are seemingly difficult. In the former you will always have some guy sitting next to you with a backwards hat and bad facial hair falling asleep in the middle of the class or whispering to you something like "This class is a f***ing joke. No one pays attention to the lectures and no one does the reading."

The other type of class, the difficult ones, often consist of a lot of reading and a teacher that takes him/herself very seriously. Either way I end up with a similar grade. If the class seems to be easy, I won't try as hard. The harder classes, the ones with the self important professors, are the ones I pool most of my effort into. They grade harder though so I end up with a slightly lower grade than I anticipate. Cats have it so easy.

Speak easy,

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

No News Is Good News

I was searching for the news report that aired last night on ABC and came across this headline. A lot of these news syndicates seem to put the most popular news in the forefront of their website. News websites are nothing like daily newspapers (although I've noticed that USA Today comes fairly close). Bizarre news stories and bullshit celebrity scandals what people want to read about. News is changing.

There is another story, which I am sure many people are aware of, about an 11 year-old who committed suicide due to constant bullying. When I was 11 I was far too busy playing video games to even consider committing suicide. When you are that young there is so much focus on the future. Death is understood, to some extent, but does not mean much. I did not even think about death, in a realistic way, until I was in Junior High School. Bully sucks. Kids need to stop bothering each other and should start focusing their energy on more pressing issues at hand (like pursuing girls or watching South Park).

Speak easy,

Monday, April 20, 2009

"Abraham! Lay down the knife."

Today is April 20th and the 10th anniversary of Columbine. It is really a shame that the city's name is synonymous with death and violence, but I guess that's just the way it is. This evening, while exiting the Berkshire Dining Commons in south west, Lev, Mikhael (Lev's friend), and I were approached by ABC news to answer some questions pertaining to gun safety. Mikhael went first and seemed to know what he was talking about. If any of us make it on the program I will post it on the blog (assuming that ABC has all of its news stories online). The guy doing the interview and the camera man were both very polite and personable. Now that I think about it, I'm not sure if I said anything that I actually meant. The way I see it is if someone clips a microphone to your shirt and puts a camera in your face and starts asking questions, you better say something that sounds important or else you are wasting everyone's time. Also I kept looking up and to the left, which either means I was nervous and thinking or nervous and lying.

There were a lot of people smoking pot on campus too. Orchard Hill was riddled with people celebrating 4/20 (which is like St. Patricks day except instead of drinking all day and wearing green, people wear tie dye and smoke a lot of pot).

The creator of Arrested Development just came out with a new show on Fox this week called Sit Down, Shut Up (a cartoon based on an Australian sitcom of the same name). I was fairly disappointed but will probably give the show one more chance before I completely make up my mind about it. The show Summer Heights High, an Australian show also loosely based on the sitcom Sit Down, Shut Up, aired in America last year on the HBO network. It is far superior and definitely worth checking out.

Speak easy,

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Today, on my way back from the library, a duck almost flew into my face. It was flying right toward me and then, at the last moment, turned skyward and missed my head by about 2 feet. For some reason I wasn't scared of being hit, although, now that I think about it, I probably should have been.

This evening I helped one of my friends film a short film for one of her classes. We shot on this hill overlooking campus, which was an absolutely amazing view. The guy that owned the property came out and told us that we were trespassing, but said we could still film in his yard. If I were living next to a college campus I would probably put up chicken wire. The process of film making made me really excited about buying a video camera. When I get my tax money back from the government (assuming that my brother did my taxes) I plan on getting a halfway decent video camera.

Fun Fact: Approximately one quarter of the United States’ homeless population are war veterans.

Speak easy,

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Never Ending Math Equation

I locked myself out of my office today while doing my mail sorting work. It took me about 15 minutes to find someone to open it for me. He didn't even check my credentials. I could have been anyone.

Coffee + Sound Editing + Mail Sorting + Empty Stomach = Nausea. Don't mix them if you can help it.

The headphone input to my iPod broke. I'm thinking about getting a 32 gigabyte iPod touch to replace it. If anyone knows a good place to repair iPods, or if you are interested in buying a slightly damaged iPod off of me, let me know.

Speak easy,

Friday, April 17, 2009

Regarder, Rêver.

It was Friday and payday, which are fairly valid reasons to go see a movie. I went to Adventureland (although I was also thinking about Sunshine Cleaners). The film was alright, although I don't think I enjoyed it quite as much as I thought I would. There were some people sitting behind me talking fairly loud towards the beginning, and towards the end of the film I noticed a man to my right who may or may not have been pleasuring himself under a long coat.

Never eat mustard packets in public. No one will take you seriously.

Someone told me that the restaurant Hooters is a more seedy environment than a strip club. It has something to do with how much a man has to spend (which happens to be a lot) in order for a strip club waitress (or stripper, I guess I could call them strippers) to pay any sort of attention to him. I have never been to either, although if I had to choose I would probably go to Hooters (I've been told they have great chicken).

I was going to hand in an application to attend a class at Amherst college (the more prestigious Amherst college), but when I went to the office to hand in the paperwork, I found that it wasn't open. There just wasn't anyone there. The deadline has passed so I guess I won't be able to take Medieval Poetry. Oh well.

The weather has been great. That is one nice thing I would like to point out.

Speak easy,

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tomorrow Dominos Another Day

I ate jello cubes with chopsticks at dinner tonight. It was very zen. My hand cramped up a little.

While attempting to sort out some bureaucratic nonsense this afternoon, I had a short meeting with a well dressed, gray haired gentlemen. His office had a whole bunch of keepsakes and photographs from Middle Eastern countries. Once he checked the computer to see what my situation was, he said "I'm not going to bust your balls over $400" and promptly took the hold off of my bursar's account. On my out I shook his hand but he kept his eyes on his computer screen. Those hand shakes are always a little uncomfortable. Overall I would call the meeting a success.

This video is a little unsettling. I think it's kind of terrible that some people, even at such a young age, can be ashamed of who they are.

Speak easy,

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Waldo Pond

Today in the dining common I overheard some kid talking about putting on a Where's Waldo? party. You get a bunch of people together, get a few Where's Waldo? books out of the library, and have some good old fashioned fun. He also said that you drink Cosmopolitans and White Russians.

Speak easy,


Sunday, April 12, 2009

Curdle and Slinky Down

Watching a film on a long car ride is not a wise decision (even if it means that you can save time and skip Monday's film class in order to work on a Fredrick Douglas essay). It feels better when I press the base of my palms into my eye sockets while slowly pushing down on my cheekbones.

I glanced at a few of my older posts (specifically yesterday's dimensional one) and started thinking about ideas versus execution. That is not to say that I am unhappy with it. I actually haven't gone back to read many of my posts. It almost seems like what you have in your head is so perfect and so real that any physical form it takes is just some sort of disappointing, pale shadow. The best way to avoid this is to write or draw all of your ideas as they come to you. Let your mind leak out. Don't let them curdle and slinky down your staircase of expectations. It's just a matter of cutting out the middle man, which I suppose in this case would be your memory.

Sometimes I wish the Ed Sullivan show was still the only way I could be introduced to new artists or that telephones stayed in one place or that there wasn't so much everything being circulated everywhere all at once.

Speak easy,

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Life in the Fifth Dimension

Today I was watching a video on the computer and, in my mind, started mapping it out dimensionally. Both real life and these videos encompass four of the five commonly known dimensions. As far as I know, the universal dimensions are set up as follows (I think)…

First Dimension – A single point on a spectrum.

Second Dimension – Length x Width

Third Dimension – Length x width x depth

Fourth Dimension – Time as we perceive it.

Fifth Dimension – Freedom of movement through time.

Your human experience and perception contains the first four dimensions. DVDs or any other kind of video format that you have personal control over is a little different. They have all but the third dimension. This third dimension (depth) seems to be present, but that is just an illusion. You can’t reach into the screen but you can move your position on the timeline. Talking about dimensions and black holes and any other hypothetical aspect of the universe is interesting to an extent, but sometimes I just think about how pointless it is. It may be important to some people but it’s not really applicable to life. Life in the fifth dimension would probably get boring after a few hours anyway.

I went to a blues session (it’s like regular music but more walking bass lines and harmonicas) today with Jim and my dad. The entire time I was reading Fredrick Douglas’ slave narrative. At one point some guy asked me if there were any banjos in the book. I smiled. “Nope, no banjos. Just slaves. A lot of slaves.”

Speak easy,

Friday, April 10, 2009


This afternoon I was walking across campus and noticed that there was a direct correlation between the pace of my walk and the beat of the song I was listening to. I find that this happens a lot, almost every time I am listening to music when I am meandering about.

To walk or stroll in the same uniformed pattern as the surrounding music. This action often occurs without the realization of the individual.

Origin: Derived from the French word Promener [to walk] and the Latin word Rythmus [beat/rhythm].

Here's a picture that I took a few years ago. There are a lot of layers to it and it came out more interesting than I thought it would when I took it. I do, however, look kind of fake cool lame in it.

I spent four hours (some of which was in traffic) traveling to the Cape today and am considerably exhausted. Puff is still here and I still haven't warmed up to her.

Speak easy,

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Roosevelt Room

It is 10:30 pm and I am typing in the Calipari room, a small study hall tucked in the corner of the basement of the library. On the walk over here I noticed that some of the ducks were playing in the pond, while others were curled up on the grass. It's still kind of cold outside (borderline jacket weather) but I am optimistic that it will be warm very soon (which I think is actually less optimism and more based in meteorology and common sense). The night life is something that I usually forget about because Lev and I fall asleep fairly earlier. There are people killing themselves studying or killing their livers every evening until the break of dawn. That reminds me of dreams and how your mind never really stops working just because the lights go out.

Moldova made the news today. Revolts and riots due to a potentially tampered election. I'm not sure why America complains so much about the economy and the politicians. It really could be worse. A lot worse.

I actually did walk by the government building they stormed. When I saw it, I told Mariana, the girl I was with, that it looked like a casino. She laughed and translated what I said to her friend Sasha (a name short for the male 'Alex'). He laughed too.

To lighten the mood of this entry I am going to make another list of things that I think I think I know.

- Natural male enhancement methods do not work (ever).
- Kayne West modestly refers to himself as 'the voice of a generation'.
- Charlie Chapman was kicked out of the United States after portraying Adolf Hitler in a comedy film.
- Theodore Roosevelt survived a bullet to the stomach and gave a speech before going to the hospital.
- JD Salinger and Kurt Vonnegut were stationed in the vicinity of each other during D-Day in June of 1944.
- Nintendo was a playing card company before it began developing video games.
- The mind has not been physically located by scientists.

Speak easy,

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

More Dinosaurs

For anyone that is just a little bit curious, the film Fast and Furious (the one that came out in theaters last week) is not a remake of the film The Fast and The Furious, but a sequel. When they start messing with movie titles, there arises a slew of chronological confusion. Lev saw this movie recently and said that it takes place after 2 Fast 2 Furious, but before The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift. He also stated that these films have ruined underground racing the same way that Tony Hawk has ruined skateboarding.

Quick Qomments:

- Great job for when I get out of college: International Courier.
- Amazing warm beverage: Hot chocolate with whip cream and a shot of espresso.
- Neil Young and Charles Manson were good friends.
- There should be more dinosaurs.

Speak easy,

Monday, April 6, 2009


I did it. After 21 years I have finally done it. I am completely comfortable using public restrooms.

That is all.

Speak easy,

Sunday, April 5, 2009

An Evening With David Sedaris

This evening I went to see David Sedaris speak at the Fine Arts Center. Most of the people that showed up were middle aged people, the kind who own much more technologically advanced cell phones than I do. For anyone who is unfamiliar with David Sedaris, in short he is a gay guy who writes short non-fiction stories about his life and his family. He is fairly popular, lives in Europe right now, and sounds like a grandma (or Truman Capote).

Some noteworthy things I got out of the performance...

- The Italians have a word meaning "sex one has in a car". The Germans have a word meaning "Appears tall when sitting down and short when standing up". There is also a word they use which means "this is the person I am with today, as the person I am now".

- He stated that voting on a gay marriage bill is comparable to voting on whether or not Mexicans should have the right to celebrate Christmas.

- France thought that America was too racist to elect a black president. Sedaris said that this may be true, but that doesn't mean that half of America won't elect a half black president.

Before Sedaris went on, I heard the man behind me talking about using steroids to treat illnesses. He said that when one is on steroids, they don't experience pain, but the pain is there. But is pain still there if you don't feel it. If a tree falls in the forest and that tree falls on a man's leg and that man takes medicinal steroids in order to curb the pain and then he no longer feels pain and someone tells him that "pain is an experience and if one does not experience that pain then it does not exist, therefore there is no pain", would the argument he makes be sound? Not sure if that last sentence worked/made sense but I am coffeed and have too much work to do to check if my thoughts/writing prove to be coherent.

This is a picture that one of my friends posted of me recently on Facebook. It is from my senior year of high school. I think this might be the only picture I've seen of me with this specific haircut (or lack thereof) that I like.

Speak easy,

Saturday, April 4, 2009

"You cut me off mid-funk!"

Tonight was the second night of the university's annual Comedy Jam. It was about four hours long and consisted of improvisation, sketches, and musical acts (of the rap variety). Some of the acts were noteworthy, while others seemed to creep by. It was free so there's not much to complain about. The video below is from one of my favorite acts of the evening, Team Submarine.

We sat in the front row, which was close enough to see some of the performers shaking. There was also a very vocal audience member sitting next to me. He was weird and smelled really bad to boot.

Speaking of comedy, today I started writing sketches. My plan is to try and write them on a fairly consistent basis. It is attempt to force myself to flex my comedy muscle as often as possible. I've heard that comedy is the hardest thing to write (compared to drama, action, reality). There will be some time in my schedule to record some videos between when I am finished with this semester and when I begin my work at the summer camp. For some reason I keep think that making a cup of coffee at midnight is somehow a good idea.

I am watching an episode of The Venture Bros right now that references bigfoot's cameo on the Bionic Man television program. They don't make 'em like they used to.

Speak easy,

Friday, April 3, 2009

Movie Review: I Love You, Man

I watched this film on the Internet this evening. The version I saw was filmed with a camcorder and subsequently uploaded onto a website for everyone to enjoy. This film, like many films, does necessarily call f0r a cinematic viewing. The theater, in my opinion, is often something reserved for action, suspense and big budget spectaculars*. With that being said, I don't think I lost anything with my blurry, slightly out of frame experience.

The film has its moments. Most of them involve Jason Seigel (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Freaks and Geeks), playing an energetic, wise, and colorful character who forms a friendship with an awkward real estate agent, played by Paul Rudd (Knocked Up, Role Models).

Rashida Jones (most known for her portrayal as Jim's interim girlfriend Karen on The Office) and Paul Rudd don't make for a very endearing set of main characters, although I do really like both of them when they appear in supporting roles. The first fifteen minutes of the film, before Seigel's character is introduced, proves to be formulaic and a consciously crude effort to get the ball rolling. Conflict arises throughout the film in a fairly contrived fashion, but without conflict this movie would just be two guys eating fish tacos and listening to Rush (which actually doesn't sound too bad).

If you think you might want to see it, I would recommend waiting for Netflix or the Red Box to carry it in a few months. It tells a pretty decent love story/friendship but just doesn't seem worth the effort to see it in the theater. This is the first film that I know of that is being advertised as a "bromance" (or emotionally driven straight male friendship).

*i.e. Slumdog Millionaire was one to see in theaters, while The Wrestler was one that didn't need to be larger than life in order for the audience to achieve the maximum effect. Both are four star films.

This is a trailer for Bruno, the new film created by and starring Sasha Baron Cohen (Borat). Most of the people in the film don't know that the main character is an actor, which is also how Borat was produced.

Speak easy,

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Yesterday's Future, Today (Please)

There is a really nice green house within walking distance of my dorm room. Lev and I went there the other day to take pictures. The building is incredibly peaceful. Everywhere you go, within the "jungle room" anyway, there is the sound of running water and slow and soft Japanese violin music, constructing an inescapable audible mist. It's almost like trenching through a small slice of Johnny Quest; without the malaria and spear wielding frog men of course.

This plant, the exotic Euphorbia Obesa (more commonly known as the basketball cactus), struck me as something that could be easily translated into an interesting piece of architecture. For the last few days I have been researching the structures built for the pie eyed, retro future extravaganza that was the 1964 Worlds Fair. A part of me wishes that I grew up during the space age optimism of the post WWII era. It seems to me that today's America is focused more on the little advancements and the big picture. To hell with iPhones and blue tooth. Damn it, I want to ride a monorail through a futuristic underwater bubble neighborhood. We should totally have lunar rovers harvesting hot dog plants on the moon by now.

Speak easy,