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|Monday, January 26th, 2009|
|A new journal
I just started a new journal. I will no longer be using this one (not that I was anyways), but I intend to use the new one quite a bit. I'm hoping it will be a mix of real-life friends and online friends, but none of my real-life friends use LJ so I'm not sure how that's gonna work out.
Leave a comment if you want to be on the new journal's friends list.
|Wednesday, November 5th, 2008|
|Friday, October 17th, 2008|
|The Financial crisis
Just as a note real quick, my internet connection as Griffith is dreadful to the point where the comments sections for journal entries won't load, so if you haven't been hearing anything from me lately, I'm sorry!
Anyways, keeping up with the American financial crisis from afar has been pretty interesting. Right-Wingers and Left-Wingers seem to have their own interpretations of the meltdown. Left-Wingers point out that the United States has had famously lax financial regulation in the areas of banking, mortgages, and loans, and that there really has been no way to stop banks from loaning/mortgaging to people for the sake of short-term profits who will obviously foreclose. Fiscal Right-Wingers, however, appear to blame the crisis on what little regulation of the market there was, most of which pertained to anti-discrimination laws that are supposed to protect minorities and working-class clients in this industry!
Since I've put a lot of thought into this, I decided I'd write a response to the Right-Wing perspective, and go in depth into explaining why I disagree with the idea that anti-discrimination laws are to blame for a blatant market failure! Remember, this is directed towards those who espouse the Right-Wing position on this!( Here is my argument with the proper graphs, statistics, and quotations to back it up!!!Collapse )
|Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008|
|Wright was right
America and Japan
|Sunday, September 14th, 2008|
I just got done with nuking the majority of the journal, and, well, jesus
How the hell did you people put up with me? No more than a couple years ago I was an insufferable prick! To all those people that I picked useless arguments with over the years, sorry guys. =/
|Saturday, September 13th, 2008|
Just so ya'll know, for some reason my connection here freaks out whenever I click on the comments link, so I swear, I'm not ignoring you guys!
|Saturday, September 6th, 2008|
|Caramel colored rum
Today I bought a bottle of rum. I would not be able to do this in my country. That's not to say it is my first time buying alcohol here so far, I bought a six-pack of Victoria Bitter and a bottle of Absolut. However, I've finished those off over the past six weeks of pre-gaming for Saturday nights at Fortitude Valley, campus parties, and chilling with my newfound friends on my floor. I wanted to try something new, so I looked around a bottle-o at a mall in Brisbane.
Now, I could have gotten burbon, whiskey, beer, or prehaps even wine. However, I saw a bottle of Bundaberg Rum, and the color (excuse me, colour
) just fascinated me. I couldn't make up my mind as to whether it was the shade of caramel, tree sap, or maple syrup. I needed to look at it in a better light, so I got it.
When I got back to my room it was about two o'clock in the afternoon. I slid my window open with a bit of a struggle, because the notch that I had to pull back was stuck. Like a lot of stuff in my room, it has aged finely: The chair is covered in the patterned doddles of previous students trying to lighten up what would otherwise resemble a prison cell, the landline phone is covered in phone numbers and names (one of the names, Jackie, has little hearts around it), and I found an old shoe in the drawrs under my bed.
Outside my window, which is on the 2nd (3rd by American standards) is a view of the Johnson Path biketrail at the Nathan Campus of Griffith University, the part where the bush starts to segue into the campus itself, and the bush only really gives up once it hits the tunnel that goes underneath the highway. Bush Turkeys silently (I have never heard them make a sound) waddle around, crows crow, and kookaburras cackle. A black cat lives somewhere around here, but I have only seen it at night.
The past few days have been rainy, which is supposed to be a rare occurance for the Brisbane area. It never got that windy though, which seems strange because when I was walking to the tops of the hills by Nathan's stadium before it rained, the clouds were jagged, blackened, and moving in fast. What I feel to be a "strong wind" may be different from a Brisbaner's though. I'm used to wind pulling trees from the ground. Today though, it's bright and sunny, and the birds are back. Although there are hardly and clouds, there are still strong breezes, and earlier they were directed straight into my room. They ripped my James Lee Hooker poster off the, and knocked an empty Lift can onto my head while I was working on a paper that morning.
I placed the bottle of Rum on my windowsill. Not only could I tell it was caramel-colored, but I could see tiny bubble slowing drifting around at it's top. Behind it, the screen mesh looked like honeycombs and the trees looked like swirls in the liquid.
I haven't had the urge or a reason to drink it yet, but I can't stop staring.( See for yourselfCollapse )
|Saturday, August 9th, 2008|
|Australia so far
Well, I'm going into Week Three here at Griffith, and so far classes don't seem to be an issue. I like all the ones I'm taking, and there isn't really any more work than I get back at my college in the States. The only real difficulty is carefully explaining to each Australian who asks why I don't have a Program (major) even though I'm taking a bunch of classes.
As for fitting in around here, it hasn't been easy, but I also didn't expect it to be. However, everyone on my floor is incredibly friendly, the other international students are always up for doing something, and I've already gone to more parties in the past two weeks than in the entire rest of my life combined, not to mention that I've discovered that I have a pretty high tolerance!
So far though, I think I haven't been really fulfilling my promise to myself about refraining from drawing attention to where I'm from. It's a little difficult though, because everyone asks about it the second I open my mouth, and it's even worse if they're the curious sort. =P As long as I keep myself from becoming the token American among my new friends, I think I'll be just fine.
The sense of difference was expected, but I don't think I was fully prepared for the "language barrier," because sometimes I still have to ask people to repeat sentences, not to mention pick up the slang! Oh yah, and I also figured out that people will take the piss outta me if I'm drinking Victoria Bitter at a party. It's worth it though, because it's just that much better than that XXXX crap. Pre-mixed drinks kind of confuse me though, I mean, how big of a hurry can you be in that involves getting rum and coke? OH NO QUICK GET OVER TO THE BOTTLE-O FOR SOME BUNDERBURG AND POP BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE, NO TIME TO JUST BUY SOME COKE AND BUY SOME RUM AND THEN MIX THEM!!!!! I dun' get it.
Anyways, to sum up the trip so far:
Australians are incredibly outgoing and it's not hard to get to know them at all, and they love teasing people (which I'm cool with).p.s.- Their women are insane =) Current Mood: calm
|Sunday, July 13th, 2008|
I'm posting this from the International in Cairns. I only just arrived, so I can't really make a justified impression, but so far this city reminds me of Costa Rica A LOT. I had spent a few days in Sydney and loved it, especially the taronga (sp?) zoo and the botanical gardens, plus I got to see Don Giovanni at the Opera house. Sydneyans/Syndians/Whatever they're called seem to be a rude, pushy bunch, and they're not afraid of cursing in public- I love them!
Before that, I spent three days in Auckland. It's a nice city, and I'd say it relies more on charm rather than outright beauty like (the nice parts of) Sydney do. To sum it up crassly, it's like London and San Francisco's adorable love child. Good wine too, and if the bottle I got as a welcome gift is any indication, Australian is on par as well.
That's all for now, I'll write more once I'm in Brisbane.
Oh yah, and Australians seem unable to understand a fucking word of what I say, I don't blame them though.
|Sunday, July 6th, 2008|
|All packed n' ready to go
Welp, leaving tomorrow. I'm not exactly looking forwards to spending almost an entire day flying, but I'm definitely looking forwards to everything after that. I'll write a real entry once I can (which may be in about a week or so though).
|Saturday, June 28th, 2008|
|Thursday, June 26th, 2008|
|LJ Catchup Meme
I realize that I've had this journal for over five years, and most of that time I've been sporadically updating. So, it's probably best that I do one of these for youse.
1. First Name: Don, but you can call me Tony if you want, thats' my middle name. This screen name is the stupidest fucking thing ever and I invented it when I was an eighth grade moron so please call me Don or Tony not darknetghost that would be lame seriously don't do it don't call me darknetghost please don't
2. Age: 19, going on 20 in November.
3. Location: Glenview, Illinois, which is in the Northeast suburbs of Chicago (it's almost in the Northshore, but not quite. Culturally it almost totally is though). I go to school at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, which is right on the Mississippi.
4. Occupation: Student, with no particular direction so far. If I had it my way, I'd graduate Undeclared. II would, but ya know- Reality.
5. Partner?: =/
6. Kids: I have come to the conclusion after much deliberation that my genes would probably be worth passing on and I'd really like to sometime in the future when I've actually found some direction in life.
7. Brothers/Sisters: My sister Katie goes to Yale, and is currently employed in a paid internship at a Biomedical corporation for the summer. She's a lot smarter than I am. My brother Jimmy is also a lot smarter than I am, and is working at the University of Illinois tracking bird and bat migrations. He's going to be getting his PhD very soon.
8. Pets: My cat pepper, who is almost as old as I am (she's about 16 years old, was an adopted stray), my cat penny (she's only about a year old, was an adopted stray), my dog buster, a puppy-in-spirit English cocker spaniel who is 11 years old. All three of these animals are black, gray, and white by sheer coincidence.
9. List the 3-5 biggest things going on in your life: Well, I'm going to be living in Australia from July through November for study at Griffith University in Brisbane. I'm looking forwards to it a lot, and although it's a little early in my college career to be studying abroad, I think I'm ready for it and hey why the fuck not. I've been practicing not being loud, not wearing cowboy hats, not wearing sweaters with the American flag stitched on the front, not collecting Dale Earnhart memorabilia, not despising cultures different from my own, not listening to Toby Keith, not weighing 300 pounds, not invading countries full of brown people, and not-not hating Jeff Foxworthy.
In all seriousness I've decided I'm not even gonna "seek out" sights n' such while I'm in Australia rather I'm going to focus on integrating myself as best I can while living there and really understanding what it's like to live somewhere that's very different from where I live.
Recently I've started realizing how different I am from my siblings, particularly in my interest in politics and art. I've even considered calling myself a Socialist, not so much because I literally am one (I'm really a social democrat if you want to be accurate), but to challenge the absurd notions in American politics that Socialism is an invalid ideology and that anything resembling a socialist policy needs to be burned to the ground. Also in infuriates me that there isn't a real Left or even Center-Left party in America, just a Center-Right and a Right one.
I've been considering ramping up the amount of time I practice my art skills, especially since I've been in love with charcoal for years now, but have always been telling myself that I'm too busy to practice (I'm totally not lol)
10. Parents: My Mom is an Italian/Sicilian American from the Southwest Side of Chicago and grew up in the neighborhood of Clearing. My Dad's a Lithuanian-American from a farm just outside of Waukegan, which my Uncle still lives next to and is now a goat farm. They have both been involved in Real Estate for decades, the most interesting chapter being when they were landlords in Chicago's Wicker Park back when it used to be populated by poor Puerto Ricans, Mexicans, African-Americans, Art school kids, weirdos, and most notably, the Latin Kings. Some good stories there. Oh, and they, my siblings, and myself, are all a bunch of godless Humanistic heathens.
11. Who are some of your closest friends?
I have made tons of friends at Augustana, and although I swore that I never would, I joined a Fraternity (they're a music fraternity don't worry they're cool really they are!).
I'll always come back to hang with my friends Gene and Spencer when I'm in town though. Current Mood: artistic
|Tuesday, June 24th, 2008|
I'm finally enrolled in four classes! Acting, Australian history and literature, News & Politics, and Political Science, all at the Nathan Campus at Griffith University. I can stop fretting, at least for a couple weeks now. =P
|Saturday, June 14th, 2008|
|Saturday, June 7th, 2008|
Getting all the paperwork done for Australia's been a bitch. To blow off steam I've been watching Chaser's War On Everything as part of my "consume media from the location you're about to visit" tradition. That's pretty much why I haven't been updating much recently, even though I told myself to write more.
|Saturday, May 31st, 2008|
|What are innurnet for?
Just got done with some gardening, which I've been putting off far too long, seeing as I've been wondering why people don't grow their own food a lot lately. A bit hypocritical of me, no? I'm trying to grow squash and carrots in my backyard, and even though I'll be in Australia when they finally are edible, I just wanted to get a start this year. Hopefully, I'll be growing more stuff in years to come when I'll have more time, particularly zucchinis. Over the year, they've become my favorite vegetable, especially whens steamed to the point of a gelatinous consistency. Current Mood: cranky
Anyways, if you're wondering about that stupid title, I wrote it because I've been thinking about Wendell Berry's "What Are People For?" a lot recently. The book's basically about, well, what people are for! It's a collection of essays, with "What Are People For?" just one of several, but it raises a pretty interesting question- we know what birds, roses, deer, whales, tuna and every other organic lifeform is "meant" to do on earth, but it's as if human beings have forgotten what themselves are supposed to be, at least the majority of modern human beings who have been segregated from nature by economics. Not long ago in human history, this wasn't nearly as true as it is today, because Modernism, at least in my country, has convinced most people that they are no longer part of Earth's larger ecosystem thanks to technology (a total illusion of course, but a powerful and comforting one that people will go as far as denying global warming to protect).
So, I've been thinking about all of the technologies that are truly excessive in my life. I'm not luddite, but it's most certainly true that there are a lot of appliances and gadgets which actually do little for the human being, but are considered progress for some reason. For example, I would call pasteurization true progress, the typewriter, or the polio vaccine. But Windows Vista (or really, any computer invented since the Power Mac days)? Cell phones? Better bombs? Can you really call those things true progress? What concerned me most was the internet, because it's such a highly touted technology, and no doubt in some ways it does help some people, but I'm kind of skeptical as to how much it helps most people.
Now, I know I'm writing this on the internet right now, and you're reading this on the internet right now, and you probably just used the internet to whack off to some crazy fucking bizarre porn that I don't want to know what the fuck it is just a second ago, but let me clarify that I don't place too much importance on the internet. If this livejournal were to be wiped off the face of the earth tomorrow, I wouldn't be able to write on it, but at the same time I wouldn't have exactly suffered through a gulag either. After all, those of you who really do want to read the crap I write could just exchange letters after an internet apocalypse!
I guess what I'm trying to say is, that the internet, at least the way that the majority of people use the internet, is hardly what you could call progress, and that it is even over-used. One example of how the internet it falsely given credit for "progress" is facebook. Whenever I hear someone justifying facebook addiction, I almost always hear something along the lines of "It lets you keep in touch with people that you haven't seen in a long time." Yes, but so does a heart felt phonecall or letter, and let's admit something, you don't give a shit about 95% of those shmucks from highschool who you still have on your friend's list! This and many other examples of internet communication are just lazier versions of things that have already existed. In the end, all other forms to communication, almost all of which involve your body in one way or another (voice, eye contact, handwriting, physical presence, etc.) are more powerful and more meaningful.
So, next time you're about to do something on the internet, ask yourself, can I do this some other way? I've been asking myself this question a lot lately, and whenever there's an alternative, it is almost always more enjoyable and fulfilling.
|Friday, May 9th, 2008|
|I COMMAND YOU TO DO THE FOLLOWING
You simply leave a comment, I'M the guy who answers the questions, not the other way around. Sorry Sparty!
a) tell you why I friended you,
b) associate you with something - fandom, a song, a colour, a photo, etc.,
c) tell you something I like about you,
d) tell you a memory I have of you,
e) ask something I've always wanted to know about you,
f) tell you my favorite user pic of yours,
g) in return, you must post this in your LJ.
|Friday, April 11th, 2008|
So like all you people who I haven't talked to in a while,
I still write, at least that hasn't changed. Tell me whatcha think!
Yah, I know, I'm a lil' horn toad.
Also, I've read four Elie Wiesel books in a row over the past two weeks for class and am slated to read another by next week. This guy is a fucking amazing writer and I have no idea why his books aren't considered more important than the Republic, the Bible, and the Analects combined. The guy dances gracefully with so many mysteries of the human condition, it just blows my mind.
No, seriously, read Night. It is one of the most IMPORTANT books written in human history.
It really is.
It's not very long, and the language is "simple," but that shouldn't be an incentive to read it. The incentive is that it's a memoir unlike any other, and will change the way you think of both human nature and the Holocaust. After that, read Dawn and The Town Beyond the Wall, which are all novels that try to tackle the existential questions that Night raises. I don't think that I've ever read or seen a more convincing condemnation of humanity's flaws and praise of humanity's strengths. Current Mood: creative
|Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008|
|I just got back from Facebook and boy are my arms tired!
GUESS WHAT BITCHEZ? Life's been great for me this year! I'm smarter, more confident, ***<3_XXXstudlierXXX<3**** (as if THAT was ever a problem for me BABY), and just plain happier than I have been in awhile, and that's significant seeing as I've been saying that "I'm happier than I've been in awhile" for awhile now!
So, how's youse? I hope life it good for ya, my chilluns.
Oh yah, and I may be living in Australia for the second half of this year! Current Mood: accomplished
|Thursday, September 27th, 2007|
|The Moviegoer by Walker Percy
"Today is my thirtieth birthday and I sit on the ocean wave in the schoolyard and wait for Kate and think of nothing. Now in the thirty-first year of my dark pilgrimage on this earth and knowing less than I ever knew before, having learned only to recognize merde when I see it, having inherited no more from my father than a good nose for merde, for every species of shit that flies- my only talent- smelling merde from every quarter, living in fact in the very century of merde, the great shithouse of scientific humanism where needs are satisfied, everyone becomes and anyone, a warm and creative person, and prospers like a dung beetle, and one hundred percent of people are humanists and ninety-eight percent believe in God, and men are dead, dead, dead; and the malaise has settled like a fall-out and what people really fear is not that the bomb will fall but that the bomb will not fall- on this my thirtieth birthday, I know nothing and there is nothing to do but fall prey to desire"
- Walker Percy
*PS- Zack, you should read this book, it's a great depiction of 60s NOLA.