Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Mellow Content Feeling

11:24 PM Posted by Patrick 2 comments
Tonight is Halloween. Tonight is one of those nights that almost everyone has a blog post about, a little slice of what they did, are doing, or intend to do. Oddly enough, I intend to use my Halloween post to talk about last night.

It began very nicely, with sizable portions of good, rich, Italian food, closely accompanied by a couple glasses of something deep and smooth. Happy and stuffed, I sat down to a movie with the Old Flesh-and-Blood. I had no idea what I was in for.

The movie was piercingly sad, with ongoing themes of depression and hopelessness that continued on as it progressed toward an impending suicide. You learn from the beginning that the main character is going to kill himself, but you do not learn why until later. I honestly loved this movie. It hurt. But the love, the pain, and the sacrifice that were at the core of everything were poignant and powerful like I have never seen in a movie before. I honestly have not cried like that in months.

After that I needed a walk. I was received by steady rain and driving wind--my preferred conditions--but after that movie, seeing the driving rain denude the trees was a rather melancholy sight. But I enjoyed that walk more than any in quite some time.

Morose settings, but for some reason I was left with a mellow content feeling.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Drink A Little Champagne, Champagne...

12:09 AM Posted by Patrick , , , 2 comments
Tonight we attended a most excellent Daughtry concert. It began with a trip across town to grab Emma, from which point we proceeded to the Coliseum. Walking through the parking lot I caught an odd and unpleasant perfume, my untrained nostrils did not recognize it for the marijuana that it was. Thank goodness I had family there to clear up that mystery. Once we made it into the Coliseum proper I had some proper time to observe--mentally eviscerate--the patrons, who were in their most horrid garb. Lot's of tight clothing.

Nothing terribly amusing presented itself for my pleasure until the advent of a fat, incredibly genial, and somewhat inebriated man who was, at least for a moment, to be my neighbor to the left. He immediately introduced himself, his group, and launched into conversation. After some ten minutes of conversation, and upon finding out that my last concert had been a rush concert, he was decided that I was infinitely better for his daughter than her current boyfriend. Apparently the boyfriend was one of those football players who "you can't trust". He then launched into his experience in the military. Our final topic, before he his group went off in quest of better seats, gave me a strong idea of exactly how he intended to spend the rest of his evening. Most diverting.

And I haven't even got to the music yet.

The opening act was Cavo. Like both of the warm-up acts, Cavo is Alternative rock. The lead singer(Looked like Nicholas from Project Runway) was seriously emo and kept bending over like he had either been punched in the gut, or else heaving and vomiting. The guitarist was anemic and unimpressive; his play only deserved notice on one of the songs, barely. The drummer was halfway decent, nothing terribly complicated, but he had a lot of energy. But none of them came close to matching the bassist. The bassist was about a foot shorter than any of the other band members, but he was incredibly muscular and was all over the place. Watching that man without sound would have been interesting. Then you hear the complex sound he is churning out. The man had a base solo and several other places where he was the only thing in the band that could be described as excellent. I had to chuckle when the lead singer curled into the fetal position at the end of the last song. "Drink a Little Chapagne, Champagne. Do a Little Cocaine, Cocaine..." Priceless. ;-p

Next came Theory of a Deadman. I'll try to keep my commentary shorter this time. Better than Cavo musically, but with nothing like the same amount of energy. Their drummer is capable of quite a bit, and he only got to cut loose once during the whole act. On top of that, the lead singer did not sound his best. Decent overall, but it could have been a lot better.

And then we get to Daughtry. Primo. Daughtry has a powerful voice and, as the edgy warm-up acts might have indicated, had all of the songs pumped up to hard rock status. Between the guitar solos, points where there were as many as four guitarists, the intricate and throbbing bass-work, and the excellent lightshow and pyrotechnics, it made for a most excellent show. All of the old songs from his previous album had their music updated to match the skill of his new, and superior, band.

And I am too tired to write anymore...which was the whole point of my writing this blog post. I can now sleep.

I am well pleased with my use of this evening.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Office of The President

Rehashing American history (again) has proved an interesting exercise. I catch a lot of the evil, sneakiness, and treachery, that I missed in previous examinations. I make connections and see political deals and the sacrifice of principle for personal gain or power. So many people--our local afternoon talk-show host included-- live under the delusion that there was a time when politics and politicians were civilized. When there was a dignified exchange of idea, not the personal attacks and nastiness of today. Would Burr-Hamilton count as a civilized exchange? Perhaps the Alien and Sedition Act? It only jailed all the dissenting journalists and newspaper men, what's wrong with that? Even Abraham Lincoln jailed dissenting congressmen when they spoke against the war.

Politics have never been civilized, they will never be civilized. The floor of the senate is the natural habitat of the power hungry and the corrupt, liars, thieves, cheats, gamblers, and feckless beggars in fine clothing. It is the realm of great men, certainly. But since when does a great man necessarily mean a good man? The power of great men that renders their good deeds so much more effective must also elevate their evils to the same proportion. I would argue that the majority of men whom history has named great are evil.

Therefore, why are any of us surprised at the singling out of private figures by the President of The United States? Is it not the same disgusting spectacle that humanity has always lived with?

We are surprised because it is incredibly rare for the President to lower the office to the point of making personal attacks on private citizens. In the past there were mass jailing and the jailing of political officers. But I do not think there has ever been a time when the President of these United States engaged in such petty work. To watch the President try to use his Office as a flyswatter against a single personality is a humiliating spectacle. The continual diatribe against Rush Limbaugh is sickening. The President needs to stop concentrating on defeating opposition, he already sits in the White House. He needs to stop acting like a candidate and start acting with the dignity the Office deserves. The Office of the President is above petty name calling, and our sitting President needs to realize that.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Die Wochenende

9:13 PM Posted by Patrick No comments
Presentation is now past, and it was definitely the best shown during that class and the only one that ran on time. In fact, ours was the only presentation that did not run twice as long as it should, and that was with our presentation covering more and having twice as many slides as the next. Also--yes I'm a braggart--those were some excellent slides in our presentation. We were the only duo who operated without a script and we were good.

I got to stay home this morning and early afternoon. I had to miss the first part of our movie in German two days ago and I didn't see the point of watching the second half of the movie, and since English will not meet for at least two weeks, I had the liberty of staying home until History at four-thirty. This is the first time in...well over a week that I got a morning at home, let alone a morning and an early afternoon both. That hasn't happened in a while. A very relaxing day.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Do You Really Want To Know What I Think...

9:11 AM Posted by Patrick 2 comments
When working on joint project, it is wise to check email more than once every three days, lest your partner beat you and leave you in the downstairs janitorial closet of the Classroom Medical Building. - Ancient Proverb

I do not like joint projects.

I also had all my hopes for an interesting content for the duration of my comp class shattered, annihilated. My poor hopes, already pitted and scored from agonizing boredom in a class where I was learning little, have been murdered by the mocking notice on which my choices for research topic were penned. More navel gazing and evaluation of my education experience at IPFW...I AM NOT AT COLLEGE TO TELL THEM HOW THEY ARE DOING.

*Harrumph-ahem*

You can imagine my distress when I received this directive. The High Command must be crazy. I stare out at the vast intellectual wasteland of self-obsession and gratification, and I can only shake my head. I was excited to get the topic choices for this paper, we would finally--I thought-- be getting into something serious. Maybe political philosophy. Perhaps a current events topic? Even historical events in Belarus. Anything. Anything but more of this.

On a happy note. German is, like, totally, like, awesome. That is the class I most look forward to.

Have to meet with my AWOL partner before class today, run through our presentation with him. I'll post later on how that goes.

Now I'm getting back to work.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Next

4:21 PM Posted by Patrick No comments
I just finished over half of my remaining German homework in about two hours.

There is little else that I can effectively do right now.

And my limit on foreign language facts that I can cram into my head with one sitting is not far removed from the eight workbook pages I just finished.

I am taking a break. The Sims will help me.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Amused

10:09 PM Posted by Patrick 3 comments
My mother's highschool classmates made for excellent people watching. In fact, they were almost as good for dissection as the two, pasty, mustachioed, pre-neolithic, and almost certainly un-bathed, baristas who ruined my espresso this morning. The little dears were walking around with their mouths hanging open and shoulders slouched terribly. I could only conclude that they never had mothers.

My mother's highscool comrades were of a more pleasant caste than the above mentioned paragons of the human race. But some of them clearly needed to quit bleaching their hair. The company was decent. The food was tasty. There was a dilapidated little playground and skate park in a grove of trees near the building where the rendezvous was held. And as I walked--you know that I was choreographing an emo music video--I was struck, figuratively (almost literally), by the slow rain of walnuts onto the black tire rubber that served as the ground beneath the dilapidated playground. Needless to say, It was a very short span of time before I was slinging walnut husks all over the place, practicing my very rusty baseball throw. There is something about the brooding solitude of manmade surroundings, long since fallen into decay, that gives rise to the child in me. Oh, the railraod tracks back behind everything definitely were a big part of the atmosphere too.

Then I came home and worked like a maniac. My profs gave me a lot of busywork this weekend.

Now I take time for pleasure.

Dancing

10:33 AM Posted by Patrick No comments
Yesterday was a very short day for me. I will let my clever readers guess why.

However, short does not mean bad. I worked on German, read my excruciatingly dull history and Comp text books, and got some laundry done.

The fun, most satisfying, part of yesterday came later. At approximately 6:20 we set off in quest of food, and then, of dance. We somehow managed to find both. I relearned some of the steps I had forgotten, finally had the music and step click for the East Coast Swing, learned some new moves for the foxtrot, and did not step on my partners foot Once. Imagine that I took my lessons four years ago when I was fifteen. Boy+fifteen+awkward= partner's poor red foot.

And today it is sunny!!! Bright and crisp, the sun warms the skin faster than the breeze can cool it, the wind invigorates, the coffee tastes better than ever, and everything smells so good!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Because I Was Wishing The Day Was Longer.

7:00 PM Posted by Patrick No comments
All week I've been wishing there were more hours in the day. Today, the steel gray clouds, le blegh headache, and chilly wind that carrys little flecks of icy sky spittle, all served as a neat little call to repentence. Why are days so long?

Oh yeah, I decided that I really hate Alexander Hamilton. I think he never met his full potential, thank God, as the petty dictator he might have been. Washinton is lauded-rightly so-for immediately shooting down any thought that he would be king. I think Hamilton would have taken it. Brilliant, great, effective, but those qualities are no guarantee of goodness.

Also. Between my tiring of the negative cash flow and the sudden total ebb in difficulty of class, perhaps total adjustment(?), employment is once again desirable.

And I am so, so, so tired of my comp classmates. However, I am warming toward my history classmates. This phenomenon might be effected by the surprising depth of the Histy tribe-depth found only on closer acquaintance- and the shallow nature of the Compy tribe, which I really might have guessed at earlier. Sehr Interessant.

I'm toast.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Begin and End

6:24 PM Posted by Patrick 2 comments
Ok.

I just finished dressing my soccer metaphor in such a way that it might be easily metabolized by a younger audience, and I am not allowed to prepare it for the young people I know. I need to aim at the average. It's like trying to hunt an animal I have never seen before. I do not know what it looks like, but I am supposed to shoot one. The result is me stumbling around in an intellectual forest, firing at random into the foliage. Eventually I managed to hit something. I like it less than the work I captured alive, but it should be age appropriate. We can't have the children handling anything with life left in it.

Thankfully, this should be the last piece on which I am required to rein in my vocabulary and sentence structure. After I hand this paper in, I am going to have to get medieval to make up for lost complexity.

Tomorrow I meet with my partner to begin work on my ROTC presentation. We have to put together a short report on Fort Leavenworth. Our presentation needs to have a handout and powerpoint presentation to go with it. The grade will be totally arbitrary, based entirely on Sgt. Seitz preference. This should be fun. At least we have an interesting topic to work with.

It really is a pity that fall break must end tomorrow.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Chess

6:29 PM Posted by Patrick 4 comments
I'm writing my short story from the point of view of the Black King that sits in the gigantic chess piece cabinet on the IPFW campus. The issue with my topic is the amount of work it takes to write such a piece. I can't just sit down and write this one. I need to sit, write, play some chess, get back to writing, and repeat. Laying out the conflict and devising a personality for a chess piece is harder than I thought it would be.

Don't get me wrong, fun, but harder than schoolwork.

Dinner beckons. A summons I dare not refuse.

Eleven and One Half

11:13 AM Posted by Patrick 3 comments
Yesterday was spent in the company of family at Mounds State Park. Aside from the obligatory trip to the emergency room, all went very nicely. Cooking over an open fire, slowly assuming the same aroma as said fire, and hiking in the woods definitely all count as good fun.

Today, however, I am back to drudgery. It's almost all writing that I have and the greatest task is not actually from one of my college professors. My short story requires something that I really need work on, Dialog.

Also, I am concerned about the format of book discussion. This concern came about as I was doing my English midterm. Part of the midterm was an essay form self examination and an examination of the way the class is going in general. In comparing large and small group discussion, it hit me that all insightful/useful commentary that I hear is from the small discussion. People are much more likely to venture a criticism or strong opinion when in a smaller group. Book discussion has ballooned and lost a bit of its edge. I'm going to have to see if I can find a way to counteract this.

And now I need to revise my Metaphor paper. The issue is that I am supposed to make my revisions based on the comments of my peers. My peers, while giving me two thumbs up across the board, were also totally contradictory of each other in the parts that were their favourites/least favourites. All I need to do -according to my peers- is simplify my vocabulary, but make sure it doesn't impair my descriptions, and make it shorter overall, but add more info about several aspects. I think I'll stick to using my prof's suggestions when revising.

At least I'm working on Eleven and One Half Hours Sleep.