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,