Paul's House Of Evil [entries|evil associates|calendar]

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 He growed up a bit.

Kind of.
1 rebel|stick it to the man

[07 25 06|05:53am]
[ mood | predatory ]

I had heard that Mischa Barton wasn't happy about being written out of the O.C., but man, I had no idea it would take such a toll on her. She looks terrible.

Talentless actresses and one-trick directors may be in a habit of crashing lately, though I cannot say I have been a victim to the trend. College has transitioned smoothly into summer. I no longer spend my days as a content though slightly disgruntled student, but instead live the life of a content though slightly disgruntled unpaid intern. Many have expressed concern that the Office of Governor would significantly expand its staff size through the unpaid labor of lowly and desperate undergraduates whose judgment in choosing such an uncompensated position is often clouded by sexual longings, hashish, and the first three seasons of the West Wing. But hey, if John Locke has taught us anything other than that "John Locke" would make a pretty fucking cool action movie hero name, it's that there is no good reason why having extravagent and high-minded concepts of liberty should keep anyone from justifying the slave trade.

At least I think that's what Locke said. For some reason he put an "f" where every single "s" should be, so it kept looking like he was talking about "flavery", which in turn made me think of hilarious rap icon Flava Flav, at which point any further study of political philosophy seemed unnecessary. Though I don't believe His Governatorship has ever made any official comment about the legitimacy or legality of unpaid internships, he makes a convincing point in that he keeps the massive sword from Conan the Barbarian in his Private Office.

Speaking of abject cowardice, in order that I do not weap repeatedly when soon readjusting to another year of overwrought reading assignments, I have been scared into an unknown world of so-called "pleasure reading". For many years I had always believed that reading was joke cast on humans to amuse the gods, but this was mainly due to The Scarlet Letter and a pro-reading poster I saw once featuring Shaquille O'Neil. It seemed to me Mr. O'Neil would have little time to read, as he seems to spend most of his time engaging the public in a Socratic fashion, such as when he provides sports reporters with meditative responses such as, "What does it mean, 'analyze'?" Indeed, it seems that the great understanding of a word's true meaning might be found in having absolutely no idea what the hell it means. Well played, Shaqrates. Well played.

Though so far I have enjoyed reading about exciting new things and not being seasonally retarded, some of things I've been told seem a little suspect. For one, Stefan Fatsis' book on competitive Scrabble, Word Freak, has tried to tell me that "kylix" is a word referring to a Greek cup. This assertion is contradicted by the part of my brain resisting the leech of knowledge, which tells me that Kylix is some kind of alien or foreigner who hates the American way of life, and that I should fight Kylix by buying DVDs and cargo pants and watching reruns of "Pimp My Ride" until called upon by our Nation's Spirit to slay the French and others of deviant religions and lifestyles.

Don't get me started on the Da Vinci Code. The entire premise is completely absurd and offensive. The idea that someone would use some pseudo-historic mumbo jumbo to eschew a basic and obvious truth chills me to the bone. The Louvre could not possibly be a source of legitimate interest. Any suggestions otherwise are just plain irresponsible. And sorry, Dan Brown, I didn't read all your other books, so I don't know the histories of your returning characters. I don't know who this "Jesus" guy you're making such a fuss about is and what the heck he did in Angels and Demons, but you're certainly not encouraging new readers to find out.

Clearly, the inherent duality of these magical word tomes deserves more examination, but it is late and I must awake again to continue the life of an intern. Tomorrow, I will go forth with the bold objective to make sure the People of California will not have the burden of having to cope with my decapitation under the Sword of Conan. Heathens and bookmakers would be quick to point out this might not be the loftiest of goals. I guess you get what you pay for.

2 rebels|stick it to the man

Cannonball into Abyss [12 09 04|12:28am]
[ mood | nervous ]

The specific details of my life this next year will be much more clear in a few days. Tomorrow at noon I'll find out whether I'm in at Dartmouth or not, and by Saturday I'll know if my life will be happily consumed by another Jesuit production for three months. I'm also not quite clear on what I'll choose to do this summer, but that seems to be the least of my worries at this point. I am both excited and terrified as I try to keep positive, but also not get any high hopes dashed against reality. I'd like to at least get my wish on either college or the production, but I think I'll survive either way. College is college. And no production would just mean preposterous amounts of free time, which I happily wasted away most of my first two years of high school anyway. And there will be plenty of uninvolved seniors happy to spend their weekday afternoons doing anything that isn't Calculus homework.

I'm aware I'm not offering much in the way of entertainment value. I mostly just want to have something concrete to look back on Saturday night so I can realize I hadn't originally planned to go on a massive killing spree when I didn't get admitted or cast. I guess I'll figure it was Colin going on and on about how the mall would be the best place to set up a 50-caliber machine gun and go on a rampage that put the idea in my head. Then I'll go back to eviscerating food court patrons.

Things in the present are currently pretty solid. Over a month ago I said I might actually keep everybody updated on my life and one particular storyline, and I think pretty much everybody knew that was bullshit. The day after I wrote that entry, the Saucy Peasant of the Princess Bride, Erika, asked me to St. Francis Homecoming. The play held our relationship status in limbo from there, but I definetly didn't mind being friends for good while first. Not that we were even out of the parking lot on the last day without some kind of official standing. Anyway, I've been having a great time, and whether or not we get the opportunity of 150 hours or so of rehearsal time to see each other, I'm entirely hopeful.

Anyway, things are unknown but good. I mostly just want to let you all in on the past month and remind myself too, just in case the next few days don't work out for me. I'm sure I'll be fine. But just to be safe, I'd say going to the mall on Saturday might be a bad idea.

The auditions forms for the production had some fill-in sentences to determine personality, attitude, degree of insanity, and so on. The last one seemed to be the most telling of each person:

____________ & ____________ are interesting opposites.

We heard that Jesus & Hitler, Britney Spears & Mother Theresa , and the less accurate Tomatoes & Ketchup were all submitted. I had the good priest, bad priest odd couple: Fr. McGarry & Fr. Bonfiglio.

What's your answer? Leave a comment and let us all peer deep into your soul.

19 rebels|stick it to the man

Ecstatic Story, Apocolyptic Footnote [11 06 04|03:08pm]
[ mood | fulfilled ]

I woke up from a dream today and looked up to see it was 10:30 in the morning. I tossed and turned and tried to pull myself back into my ritual Saturday morning coma, but nothing worked. My brain hazily traced back through my dream, back through flopping down on my bed at 2:30 last night, back through peacefully coasting home on empty roads, back through staring up at the stars in Andrew's backyard, heckling Kevin's ping pong playing, and sissying myself up to become Prince Humperdink. My stomach panged with unfamiliar neglect, forgotten last night among so many other things, and rumbled for Cheerios. Tinges of nervousness triggered in my gut as unspoken anxieties bumped against each other, trying to sort themselves out. I was not falling back asleep.

I can't remember this happening in years. Even when I try and wake myself up at eleven on a Saturday morning, I end up sleeping in an hour and a half later. Yet with only eight or so hours of sleep, I feel better than I do on most weekend mornings. Maybe it's the comfort from starting my day alone in a quiet house. I've been so contented and fulfilled since the play opened, yet until this morning it's only been enjoyed within the insanity of school days, late nights, and early mornings. Which isn't to say I haven't wholly loved spending every minute with the cast, but a few hours to myself felt great. It's not just been me on this cloud. I hear the same deep happiness in the voices and see it in the faces of everyone involved in the The Princess Bride. Well, except the freshman lead technician Stephen. I mostly just see fear in his face. I'm guessing the fact that Joey dances up against him at the beginning of each show when the video game music plays isn't helping that.

Allow I can't say for certain the audience has experienced such euphoria from just watching the play, I'm at least getting the impression they're having a good time. If you still want to see it, we've still got shows at 7:30 tonight, on Wednesday at 4, from Thursday to Saturday (the 11th to the 13th) and a Sunday matinee at 2 on the 14th. Tickets are $10 and available at the Jesuit switchboard or through me if you pull the right strings. Come see it.

Back to last Tuesday, all of us were busy at practice as the leader of the free world was decided. I entered the theater living in a greatly divided nation of uncertainty and exited living in a greatly divided nation of whining and gloating. I spent all this time watching polls, reading articles, having arguments, and voting that morning, and bam, it was over. The presidential election that was the beginning of the "Great Liberation" or the "Apocalypse" (depending on who writes history) will end up being a footnote in my own personal history of spending long days at play practice, neglecting school, and loitering in the parking lot. Bush and Kerry will be a sidebar to a page about me saucily serenading Hal and Kelley on the hood of Hal's Subaru to Nine Inch Nail's "Closer" as it circled around the back of Jesuit. And there's something greatly comforting about that. Or at least something consolatory.

What is written in the next chapters of my history still remains completely unclear. All I know is I want to feel like I do now and eventually go to college. The details are unimportant. There is one storyline I wouldn't mind adding depth to, and yet in some ways I'm glad I don't know its outcome. Life can always use a few surprises to spice things up. And maybe in a shocking twist I'll actually continue to keep you all updated.

6 rebels|stick it to the man

The Homecoming Show [10 24 04|03:29am]
[ mood | pleased ]

At times I felt very much the observer at homecoming tonight. I normally feel right in the middle of everything, but while I watched Erika's reaction to my diversely insane friends I began to sit back and see from her perspective, and everything become a compellingly demented variety show. The comedy of the night was on full display, and the drama thankfully only hinted to its presence in the background. I watched Joe tell everyone about him peeing at Willie's and accidently leaving the door to the large single bathroom unlocked, and having a freshman walk in on him giggling as he peed and simultaneously sprayed a can of Aerosol deodorant he found on the toilet. I saw everyone poking the usual fun at Ryan for living in Cameron Park and for going back to Chino with Theresa on the O.C., and laugh at Hal for looking stoned after his water polo tournament today gave him the token (ZING!) red eyes. Ted laughed at himself and helplessly spilled soda at Colin's. Twice. Alex Schlyakhov accidently hit Mackenzie in the eye while whipping his tie around, and Chris Fleming flew backward to the floor when Colin pulled his chair out from behind him. Jamie got his white boy groove on, Andrew Perez interpreted Michael Jackson as only he can, and Winston rocked out with spirit. None of this particulary surprised me, but tonight I stopped and realized how hilarious and interesting the people I know are and what an entertaining display they put on.

I did have a spectacular time, and can say without too much thought or reservation it's been the best homecoming ever. But then I guess you have to expect that from the series finale.

10 rebels|stick it to the man

Parking Lot Crossroads [10 23 04|02:07am]
[ mood | contemplative ]

Just a quick note to the cave dwellers: Cara and I broke up. I'm aware the particular phrasing of that last sentence implies some great cosmic force pushed us apart mutually. And while that may not be true, it does take all the responsibility off my shoulders. Plus it sounds nicer. I wouldn't have even thought to bring this up over a month after the fact, until I found out Winston Welch had no idea despite our sitting at the same lunch table every day for four weeks. So I'm sure among all the people who never want to hear another mention of this event for the rest of their lives, there's a few still completely clueless who might care. It happened. It was not fun for anyone. Things are now much brighter.

The morning after the breakup I woke up to Colin yelling on the phone that we were cast as the bad guys in Jesuit's adaptation of The Princess Bride. Life shifted focus overnight. Instantly I went from playing the part of the boyfriend to playing the part of a tactless egotistical jackass. It's a real acting stretch.

The cast is amazing. Everyone's said it about our group and I'm sure it gets said every year, but there's just something distinctly special here. For group focused on theatrics, we are fantastically and amazingly undramatic, laidback, and down-to-earth. And we're a shitload of fun, too. We get so much done and yet it just doesn't feel like work.

I can do a paper for English and feel good about the finished product, but the process is torture. Just about everybody I know in a sport hates practice, whether or not they think it's worth it. I've seen people spend years dreading every single hour they spend in whatever they're doing. Hell, I hate the goddamn newspaper right now. Sure, I've improved things from tragic to mediocre. I like the idea that if that happened every year someday it might be worthwhile enough for someone besides my parents to read. But it's just a hassle. Drama is a blast. It's causing my grades to slip, my college stuff to get pushed to the deadline, and my free time to disappear. But I couldn't imagine myself doing anything else. Most nights some of us don't even leave the parking lot until they drag us to our cars.

The play is one of the few certain things in life right now. I find myself standing at many different crossroads at the same time. The daunting task of narrowing down endless factors to choose a college combines with the crapshoot of colleges narrowing down endless factors to choose me (or not). Both tests rest on who I am and what I've done. I'm used to being fairly grounded in who I am, and while I'm sure some of that has to do with a healthy sense of identity, a lot of it is probably that my foundation is never really shaken and structure rarely questioned. I suppose looking across the country to see hundreds of different colleges, each with their own potential set of friends and experiences, looking across at hundreds of different lives and picking the best fit raises the stakes a bit.

Who I am and where I'm going mesh into one massive uncertainty. I don't know what friends I'll be ending up on Saturday nights when Hal and Colin are off with their girlfriends making out and out of the picture. I don't know what the hell I'll do with myself once the play is over or if I'll try my talentless ass out for the musical. I see a killjoy growing in my former guiltless slacking self saying, "Hey, this shit won't be tolerated forever," and I don't know if he'll be heard. In so many ways I am completely disoriented with no direction. And I kind of like it. Maybe that's because it's Friday night and I'm completely free of the rest of the world and can guiltlessly ignore its responsibilities, go to bed whenever I want to and stretch lazily in bed for a good hour after I wake up before facing reality tomorrow. But I guess reality is coming sooner or later.

2 rebels|stick it to the man

Worshipping the Porcelain God [09 07 04|03:03am]
[ mood | grateful ]

I think I had planned originally planned to go to bed at eleven. Eight hours. Really solid coupled with the ludicrous amounts of sleep I've gotten this weekend. I actually didn't get up to my room until just after midnight. That still makes seven hours, which is about the standard for any weeknight and good for a Sunday. Alright, so accounting for token insomnia and a hacking cough, I'll live with six. But then of course comes my completely infrequent yet unavoidable compulsion to make an update to kick me while I'm down.

But I'm grateful with five hours, because no matter how run-over I feel tomorrow morning it'll be a world of pleasure compared to waking up to the sudden realization that I was about to throw up. Now a lot of you probably have the luxury of a bathroom with a door actually leading from the room, or say, just out in the hallway. Well you sissies who had their houses built with plans that "made sense" and don't live in rooms originally designed for "developing film" have obviously never had the joy of running a barf circuit down a half-flight of stairs out your room, cutting through the family room between the couch and the TV, making a final turn down the second, slightly larger half-flight of stairs down to the bathroom door and then fighting a hungover, ill-tempered leprechaun for the privilege to vomit in his "pot o' gold".

This is almost as much as an exhilarating challenge as when, in a brave move in the pursuit of complete and utter retardation, I absent-mindedly lit the corner of a Kleenex on fire. Remember all those movies where a medieval village gets pillaged and burned, and fire just blows right through the thatched roofs? Well, yeah, I forgot. But where my judgment erred was not the first thing in my mind while I was dashing towards the sink downstairs juggling a freakish fireball of my own creation. I burnt a scar of humility into the tip of my finger, but on the upside I didn't have to explain to my family why we no longer had a house. So, yes, I've faced far greater dilemmas than whether or not I'd be able to avoid throwing up the couch. It's pleather anyway. I think it'd wipe right off. And, yes, I'm going to let everyone assume this happened when I was like, ten, and not "three months ago".

My point, though, is that, sure, the flu may have completely derailed my Labor Day weekend, leaving me mostly alone and feeling like shit. But it's been forever since I've so appreciated seeing a few friends, driving with the windows all the way down and music all the way up, and just good health in general. So be grateful for what you take for granted before a sudden sprint to the bathroom forces you to.

Oh yeah, and never light a Kleenex on fire.

7 rebels|stick it to the man

Sending Off Summer Without Ecstasy [08 30 04|02:16am]
[ mood | peaceful ]

The first real week of senior year is just an unsatisfying five hours of sleep away and I'm dealing with it. My likely least favorite teacher this year is just going to run the kind of strict and monotonous math class I've lived through before, while my best is telling anyone who wants to work to switch to the other teacher and admitted he probably won’t assign the six page paper he put in the syllabus because he doesn’t want to read papers during Christmas break, but he put it there anyway so if the school asks him why he doesn’t assign papers, he can point to the syllabus and say he just ended up running behind. Pure glory. I doubt ever before have five AP classes have had this low a likely workload, with AP Art History happily pulling down the average.

I remember last year I went to bed on the night before the first day of school during a violent storm which raged long into the night that's the least likely one of the year for me to fall asleep when I need to even when everything is calm. I was dreading junior year enough already, and I didn't need the sledgehammer symbolism to bash that point in. Last Thursday night there wasn't a lot of sleep, but there wasn't any mental storms going on either. We are now the kings who stand atop our school, and from up here I see reaping joy in pestering Mr. McGuire, being principal for a day, and later on, not caring harder than I've ever not cared before and stretching the bounds of apathy. We're seniors and there's no turning back, so we might as well stop fighting the tide.

Mr. Trafton gave us the weekend assignment of writing one page, double-spaced about our summer without using the letter "e". Considering what I just wrote above had 146 e's in it, you can imagine this was just wheelbarrows of fun to do. Here's my summer eulogy.

Launching a tumultuous but amusing vacation, a tour into origins of customs and tradition throughout our old world took us to Italy, Austria, and so forth. In a land of Alps our party stood at a summit, that of Mount Pilatus, and naturally, as any kids should, flung coins and trash. Our ally Grant would habitually wind up in a condition of rational loss, finding simply walking back to our inn a tricky trial. Including card playing, savoring conos cioccolato and amorous girl-watching, our trip with Karl, captain of bus transportation (and possibly a spy), was singularly striking.

Following a long, slow-going hiatus with my pals and stunning Cara which would consist of fun through valuing insomnia, waking up at noon, and making plans post-dining, I am off to journalism camp at Stanford. Paid in full by our probably too giving school, my gratis trip would consist of mostly unruly conduct not involving instruction, including an illicit outing to find our holy grail of In ‘n Out, of which a cohort from our country’s Atlantic had not had an opportunity to try. Though our goal was unavoidably without triumph, our group found victory in an amusing mission and consolation at a gas station snack stand. Gil, our monotonic camp administrator who would transport around campus in a golf cart, would grow into both an idol and a rival.

A trip to Tijuana was also a significant part of my holiday, but sadly only so many accounts from May to August may fit in this manuscript. Also, my synonym glossary must only contain so many practical and valid words fitting our strict constraints. So, it is with much mourning that I must proclaim a conclusion to a warm lull amid what is a torpor in living by any comparison.
2 rebels|stick it to the man

Pro Procrastion [08 09 04|03:02am]
My four page reflection paper is due tomorrow for the Tijuana trip, which I got back from about two weeks ago. As a diligent and hardworking student, I took a few days off, started some brainstorming that first week, did a little research inbetween going to Tahoe and my birthday, outlined a few things and got my quotes early last week and did the essay last Friday night, you know, just in case.

As the student I actually am, I'm getting started in, oh, maybe twenty minutes. I gave the assignment a good looking over for the first time a little before eleven, so it's not like I'm doing this all the day that it's due. Then I went over to Colin's and played Halo with the guys for an hour. I'm either pretty damn pathetic or pretty damn accomplished, depending on how you look at it.

The worst thing work in high school has taught me is procrastination usually works. When all that unpleasant work is spread out over time, a little tinge of that irritation poisons everything else. Now, some people who "aren't total masochists" will argue that knowing something has to be done in the future is just as bad or even worse than working on a bit in the present. Well the key is to treat your future self as a completely different person. See, if a few days ago I remembered that I'd be stuck with all this work to do, I might have been worried. But what I remembered is that asshole Future Paul was going to be stuck with an entire essay to write, and I could simply chuckle at that poor fucker's luck and comfortably go back to watching Donnie Wahlberg in Boomtown play the part of a detective trying to make the world forget he was in New Kids on the Block.

Before they go back to finishing up their summer reading, those same hardworking jerks from before will probably point out that Future Me is going to be pretty pissed that Past Me screwed me over. Sure, that's true, but I'll have the magic tool of memory-erasing sleep deprivation. So, sure, while I might work through a night of soul-crushing agony, later on I'll remember sitting down, screwing around for an hour or two, things getting hazy, and me waking up the next morning with a finished paper.

So yeah, I was just saying "Hi" before I close down my journal client so I wouldn't catch myself updating in a few hours with something like "OH GOD PLEASE NEVER LET ME DO ANYTHING LIKE THIS AGAIN". That would kind of get in the way of the whole repression thing. Well, anyway, now that I'm warming up for an essay, I might as well work on using a quote to go out with some flair.

"Procrastination is the thief of time." -Edward Young Okay, forget that jerk.

"Procrastination is like masturbation. It feels good now, but in the end you're just fucking yourself." -God

There we go.
4 rebels|stick it to the man

Kevin Shelly is a Pussy [07 29 04|02:26am]
[ mood | amused ]

Ahh, hot showers, a bed, non-Mexican music. Just a few things I've been appreciating since getting back from Tijuana on Sunday, though I'm quickly becoming reaccustomed to everything I have here. I'm considering this week my detox and relaxation time, but after that I'm going to write in detail about the trip. And that's something each and every one of you should kick my ass about if start putting it off, because everyone should go down there themselves, but that's not going to happen. So I guess a glimpse of a glimpse of the situation is the best most can do. I've only had a chance to tell a handful of people any real details about my time there, and I doubt most would be prepared for much more than an answer of a few words when they ask me how my trip was. Good. Interesting. Eye-opening. Not quite covering it.

Tomorrow I leave for Tahoe to finally catch up with Cara after two weeks, and I'll be tubing, paintballing, and making up for lost time until Sunday. Aside from the traditional Santa Cruz trip with Ted, Colin, and Variable Man*, that's the last place I'm going this summer. Then it's just the last weeks of enjoyment in the face of summer reading. I'd be pretty scared about the fact that senior year begins less than a month if I wasn't so creeped out about the fact that I turn eighteen next Tuesday. Eight-freakin'-teen. It's ridiculous. I can have a big lotto playing, cigar smoking, voting birthday bash at a strip club, except I'll be absolutely only one of my friends in attendance. I could just run by a liquor store and go around taunting everyone by throwing packs of cigarettes, Playboys and scratchers at them, but they'd probably just file false statuatory rape charges against me for revenge. I don't know. Seventeen was just such a nice age to tell people. It was just old enough to feel old enough to have all the fun I wanted, but young enough to take absolutely no responsibility for the consequences. This is definitely going to be an adjustment.

Speaking of getting to vote, I got my registration form in the mail from Secretary of State Kevin Shelley, who obviously fufills his political duties inbetween producing rap hits and kickin' with his fresh homies, seeing as the "Rock the Vote" logo is printed right under his name. Plus on the back there's a totally hip art piece with lettering than could have only been created by someone who is down with what kids are down which includes the text: "You don't care much you earn at your job...whether or not you have air 2 breathe...being allowed to be who you want 2 be." Because every cool kid on the block puts the number "2" in place of "to" and is politically motivated by the fear of running out of oxygen. But Kevin Shelly is way behind on the times. "Rock the Vote" and "Choose or Lose" are so yesterday. The MTV audience is too busy either worshipping whiny, skinny punk rock boy bands or trying to dress and act like a certified, card-carrying G-Unit members in the pursuit of champage hot tub parties to be swayed by tepid catchlines. See, if I'd gotten a letter from P. Piddy, Secretary of Fuckin' Up Yo Business, with his new slogan "Vote or Die"** and a drawing of a chalk outline on the back, I might have already got to filling that out.

So, with genuine social accountability looming and Crips n' Bloods for Democracy*** on my tail, it's probably a good time to get away for the weekend.

*The rotating spot once reserved for Hal Jakle before we realized he was a jerk who could never make it after the first time. Previously filled by Matt and Jamie.
**I am not making this up.
***Motto: Puttin' the Red and Blue in the Flag and Takin' the White Out.

4 rebels|stick it to the man

Pit Stop Thought [07 17 04|04:47am]
[ mood | tired ]

Too many new places. New people. New experiences. New perspectives.

I guess if I had to complain about this summer I'd be whining about how all the amazing opportunities I've taken advantage of have left a dent in the endless span of lethargic afternoons and recurring evenings that I've polished into an art form through so many leisurely months of near nothingness over the years. The fact that I would never trade standing atop Mount Pilatus or soaring across Lake Tahoe for an afternoon sitting around the house doesn't make it any easier to leave behind the beautiful void of the same old things and the same old friends for bigger and better things.

I suppose that as I reach the final moments of a 38-hour pit stop between a journalism camp at the stunning Stanford campus and a service trip in the tangled mess of Tijuana, I just wish I had another day here at home to enjoy with Cara, Hal, Colin and everyone else out of the context of me leaving tomorrow morning. Maybe I'd take some time to enjoy materialism and privilege before it's ruined for me by an inescapable vision of poverty. Or cars before they're ruined by Asher's inevitable ten-hour vehicular commentary on I-5.

With all this talk about yesterday and tomorrow, I haven't even taken the time to so much as write about the fact that I got back from Europe over a month ago. Now that I've got my pictures back, I guess I'm out of excuses except for the fact that I leave for another country in three and a half hours. But I'll cover all that when I return. Should I kill any classmates while I'm gone and stay in the country to avoid prosecution, you might be excepting more delay.

Rolling back to last Sunday, I honestly had absolutely no expections of journalism camp except a bunch of nerds and my not taking it especially seriously. But instead of the socially retarded, awkard, achievement obsessed melvins I was expecting, I ended up spending my days with kids who were genuinely interesting and just generally fun to be around. These people who never even had ice to break in the first place; whom with I became closer to in four days than I've been with those I worked in drama with for months or hung out with for a summer. Now I'm just left with memories of Nick and Andy informing girls of their Cosmo-provided G-spot expertise, Josiah basically personally taking twenty bucks of an advisor's money at poker, and Caroline swooning over the Governator when we caught him leaving a Stanford event for his motorcade. I can't expect anyone here to care about the people I met and the stories only funny to myself, but I suppose that goes for everyone who returns from wherever they've been to this summer. During school we mainly hold the same experiences, but in summmer we make the sacrifice of comfortable lazy days with our familiar friends and seek out something new. And since we break off and wander away from our circle, most of our journeys, except for the most interesting anecdotes, will remain solely with us. But hell, if I was going to live through every trip one of my friends took this summer, I'd have absolutely none of those wonderful lazy summer days to throw away.

Anyway, I just wanted to take the time I wasn't going to use sleeping to check in with everyone and say goodbye to those I didn't get a chance to see while stopping by and the three others I didn't see nearly enough of. The constant coming and going Cara and I have been dealing with has been getting especially tough on both of us, so while Asher and Stephen Grider are showing me the time of my life south of the border, I'm sure she'd appreciate some company. I'm off to go on some life-changing trip nobody is really going to care about when I get back.

Except maybe the homicide part.

4 rebels|stick it to the man

Eurotrip II: Trip Harder [05 31 04|03:07am]
[ mood | excited ]

It's hard to put a picture in my head of what Europe will be like. Unknown places, people, and experiences await me in the next two weeks, and I suppose all I can do is grab on and have a blast. I find I'm so excited, I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it the excitement only a free man can feel, a free man at the start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain. I hope I can make it across the border. I hope to see my friend, and shake his hand. I hope the Pacifi- wait, what the hell?

Despite the fact that Colin is the only person who just caught that Shawshank reference, I continue.

I think I'm going to miss this little one horse town much more than I ever thought I might. It's strange to imagine two weeks without Eastern Avenue, without the girls we met in 6th grade and turned out to still be our favorites, without the same old guys, or the one-and-only Cara. Two weeks out of this three-foot square box of space I've spent about a fifth of my life for the past six years. Life out of Sacramento used to seem so appealing, and suddenly its pretty depressing. But of course I can always get lost in the sauce* if I get homesick.

*As far the Jesuit administration is concerned, "lost in the sauce" means praying. And not getting drunk. I swear.

Long goodbyes aside, I'll be back before most people notice or particulary care, but just in case anyone feels like dropping a message where I'll be able to pick it up:

Call 1-800-706-1333
Press star (*) then two (2, you dumb fuck).
Enter my account number (206 835 0364)
And leave a message at the pooter.

7 rebels|stick it to the man

I Read You To Read Me [05 15 04|02:47pm]
[ mood | satisfied ]

I'd usually start out one of these "long time no see" entries with some apology or excuse for being away for so long, but considering my excuse is "I'm a lazy bastard," and my apology goes something like "Get lives, fuckers," we can probably just get started right now.

So on Thursday afternoon I was sitting on the north side of the Marconi and Eastern intersection with the car opened up listening to the Pixies, who I appreciate more but don't find any less creepy since their concert a few weeks ago, when I started to hear a song from another car that sounded familiar but I couldn't make out with my music playing too. So I turn off my stereo and it's that cover of "I Want You To Want Me" coming from some guy's Jeep up a little further in the right lane. Probably noticing that the other music he heard has been suddenly turned off, I see the guy turn a little and see me looking over, and just like that he changes the station and acts like nothing happened. So, dude, if you happen to find this journal, probably while searching for the lyrics to your favorite song so you can sing it loudly in your room and then act like you weren't doing anything when your cat walks in (And trust me, even he won't be fooled), let me convince you that liking songs eleven year old girls probably do karaoke to at their sleepovers doesn't necessarily make you a sissy. But if you're going to listen to power pop covers when you're driving, you either have to be proud of it or get a car that isn't open on three sides.

Well, anyway, the light turned green, and while Jeep guy drove off somewhere else in shame, I headed over to Jesuit to get everything sorted out for the Europe trip in a meeting in which the kids actually going on the trip have no purpose being at except to dick around and make fun of people's parents. At one point Brian's mom said she wasn't sure her credit union would allow Brian to make withdrawals anywhere in Europe, at which point Grant Goodkind's classy dad asserted in the most ridicilous and out-of-place straight, direct and partly assholish tone, "A credit union is not a bank. It's not a bank." All of us were dying of muffled laughter and Brian's mom handled it well, and since the man who gives me a distinct impression of what Tyler Bazlen will be like when he's fifty didn't try to give advice for thirty minutes like last time, the meeting went pretty quickly. It turns out Paris "Shrek" Paraskevas, who was undoubtably a rhino in a past life and is everybody's second favorite killjoy (Father Palafox has all but retired and Wituki still takes the cake), will be coming along on the trip. I've heard that Mrs. Pozsar and Mrs. Creel are amazingly chilled out once they cross the Atlantic, and if Paraskevas doesn't play ball and tries to give us some JUG internacionale, we're going to choke him with a baguette and run him over with a gondola, which I believe is the most brutal form of assassination offered in France.

Also, with the exception of our group of four and the Gamaches, the Europe group closely resembles a robotics teams. Nerds ahoy. With any luck, though, we'll cause plenty of mayhem and break most of the rules without James Wiggington telling on anyone. You see, James recently complained about his post-AP test Physics class watching Family Guy episodes because they offended his Mormon values and therefore derailed that gravy train. I only have two requirements of any religious person, and that is that they don't impose on anyone else and aren't total pansies. James is 0 for 2 so far. Chris O'Connell, Brother O'Connell and Mother O'Connell are also coming, and though we've become comfortable with the nerd power of one O'Connell, the power of three may be overwhelming. It'll be an interesting trip for sure.

And it's only two weeks from Monday. Which means that we have one week left of school and then finals. Summer, just like everyone's second-favorite OC girl of the same name, has been teasing relentlessly since around January, with little peeks here and there and more and occasional implicit toplessness as we've been getting closer to May. School ends a week from Thursday. Summer will be completely bared with nothing to hide from us. I think I speak for every guy in the room when I say I'm hoping Rachel Bilson follows suit.

12 rebels|stick it to the man

C: The Light [02 21 04|01:41am]
[ mood | euphoric ]

I promised myself I'd go to bed by 1, but then I've also promised myself and all of you I'd update and gone back on it oh-so-many times, so I guess for the moment I can fudge on sleep. Or sleep can fudge itself.

I've been thinking of what the non-dorkish equivalent of what happened to my computer three days would be, and the best I have is a little controlled, possessed fire ripping through my room and vaporizing all the papers I've had for the past few years, a few unfinished journal writings, a photo album or two, some unsorted CD singles, my phone, work supplies, and copious amount of naughty media I may or may not have had under my bed. Thankfully, my record collection was in the closet and all my important writings in storage. I can't really imagine what corresponds to me losing all my save games, other than a way more annoying version of losing all my bookmarks. And besides, I did already lose all my bookmarks. I actually type in the Hotmail address now. It's brutal suddenly having your hard drive erased.

I'm still not exactly sure how or why it happened. I'm clear on the part where my dad sits down to update my virus protection, but I get shaky between then and the part where Windows is being reinstalled and I lose everything. I have no idea how he's still a curse to computers when he works with them all day, but I guess I can't really blame him. I'm not really the type to dwell or brood on things I can't change, but I was definetly beyond pissed for a good hour or two on Tuesday, including as when my mom, fiercely optimistic, mentioned that on the bright side, now I at least had virus protection.

"A virus? Shit! One of those could have deleted my hard drive!"

But I'm not here to bitch about having to rebuild my computer and glean sympathy. Well, not completely, at least. The important thing is it really doesn't matter much to me. In fact, it probably matters less than it should. Things have been amazing lately and I'm not about to let sleep deprivation, failied math quizzes or my computer get me down. I had another no frills night with Cara, and I'd have trouble asking for much more. Cultured theater (pronounced "THee-EIGHT-er"), Monster; exotic cuisine, Blimpie; and a relaxing aquatic voyage; hot tub. Euphoria. I also should note that blasting Stairway to Heaven with all the windows down after midnight on the way home is a religious experience, although probably more for me and less for anyone living on Silver Creek Way.

In other news, the You Got Served phenomenom continued all week, with many challenges of straight street, no rules, crew versus crew dance battle action like we do on the street. I yelled at Mr. Shakely and challenged him to a battle, but he just got up in my face and avoided the sacred challenge. I'm guessing he's still working on getting his crew together. Also, Eric Fry wins the week for praying for Luke and Marissa's mom during intentions in Chemistry on Thursday. Oh, and the Pixies are getting back together and coming to town on April 29th. All of you who are for sure getting dragged along, don't bother resisting.


18 rebels|stick it to the man

Chicago-Style Deep Dish Fun [01 24 04|02:37pm]
Howdy my little Cub Scouts, and greetings from the currently less-than-scenic Northwestern campus. Maybe it's all sunshine, lollipops and rainbows in the spring, but right now it's 21 degrees outside and its supposed to feel like ten. Holy shit. I say this because my temperature reaction works something like this.

>90 "I wish it would get colder..."
70-90 "Sweet."
60-70 "Refreshing."
50-60 "Why the fuck did I ever wish it would get colder?"
40-50 "Blah..blah..blah.. back when I lived in Orange County..." ("SHUT UP PAUL!")
30-40 "God damnit!"

Yes, at temperatures below 20 degrees but above the level where I kill myself, new cuss words are spontaneously invented. I'll have to start writing some of those down.

Anyway, aside from the cold, the trip has been awesome. The plane ride seemed like it was only about half ofull, so Kendra and I enjoyed the fact that we were the only ones in our row and didn't have to share it with someone else, which probably would have been uncomfortable, given that we were catching up on all the unsavory things we and all the people we know have done since the relatively innocent days of middle school. Of course, I can imagine an even more uncomfortable situation.

Thank god she wasn't flying from Sacramento to Chicago on Thursday.

Staying at Blake's frat has been awesome. There's a dining room in the basement with a nacho cheese machine and an unlimited supply of fun-size Oreo packs, a massive TV in the living room with a Tivo, and abolutely no alcohol. None at all. Totally dry.

But if an employee of the Evanston Best Western asks, I was 21 last night. And as far as anyone who was the party last night knows, I'm a freshman who's at CAS, studying Communications and living in the Allison dorm. I was lucky enough to come on Gone Greek Night weekend, with the second biggest party night of the year. Now, if you're like Scott, you're probably saying there's no way I could pass as a college freshman. Well shut your mouth, babyface, things are different here in the Midwest. Hardly any of these girls look older than me, and plenty of them look like high school freshman. It's ridicilous. I wonder what the hell they're feeding us California kids. Anyway, despite Cara's suspicions, I was a saint last night.

And if I'm a saint, Kendra must be the Virgin Mary. I don't even think she's had anything to drink at all while she's been here. She went to the movies with her brother last night and as Along Came Polly, so I guess the only thing Matt has to worry about is she might like Ben Stiller a little too much.

I found it hilarious that the magazine selection in the second floor bathroom here is Maxim, FHM, Rolling Stone, Stuff, and the New Yorker. Didn't take me too long to figure out that last one is my brother's subscription. The bathroom is actually surprisingly clean, and it has a urinal. Good enough for me.

Okay, well, now that I have some kill time I better get going on some of this homework I need catch up on. But before I go...

Q: How many girls coordinating date dance plans does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: Eight. Two to spend five hours talking about how they want to change the bulb, one to get bitchy about the fact that they don't know where they're going to put the old lightbulb, one to screw in the lightbulb, one to take out the lightbulb because she doesn't like it, two more to talk shit about the girl who took the lightbulb out again, and one to finally lose it, go on a shooting rampage and kill everyone.

Be back Sunday!
10 rebels|stick it to the man

Backpack Retrack [01 12 04|10:02pm]
[ mood | energetic ]

Between my eye infection (Contacts + nap + plane = WHOOPS!) and a preposterous lack of motivation, I haven't really been applying myself at school for the last week. Before I actually felt like I was making a conscious decision not to pay attention in class, but now it's pretty much involuntary. Home isn't much better, either. I've never been able to focus in the afternoon, and now with my eyes bugging me at night there's no real good time. But today I finally got sick of working on late outlines, backdating math homework, and bullshitting my chemistry notebook to a hilarious degree.

I mean, what the hell do I end up with if I don't succeed where I know I can? The thought that I didn't even have the willpower to succeed in a class taught by an cratchety, borderline alcoholic or one that's not even totally calculus? Maybe if I was growing up ten, twenty years ago I'd have the opportunity to never study, never do homework, honestly not give a shit about school, and end up fine. I hear those stories all the time. But that ain't the truth today. Today everyone has to feel like they're not pulling their weight, and just about everyone who seems like they truly don't give a fuck is faking. I know I could never truly let go of my expectations of myself. But I could never let go of what I want to do now either, and just give up my life for a year or two for a better future. I usually just teeter in balance, but I've been feeling myself slipping. And a life seriously slacking off is a fun life, but a life out of balance all the same.

Realizing all of this, I took a nap, jumped in the shower, and emerged ready to cowboy the fuck up and get some work done, only to find my parents had taken my car and my backpack along with it.

So I guess the revolution starts tomorrow.

14 rebels|stick it to the man

[12 31 03|07:01am]
There's a few things I forgot to mention in my phone post, lots of other stuff going on, and loads of time before the plane pulls in, so here goes.

New York was definetly exciting, but I'm more than ready to go home and no longer make all my phone calls from inside the hotel stairwell. I've been taking advantage of my Dad's unlimited long distance plan to keep in touch with Cara as much as possible and check in with a few other friends who are also great but I don't regularly make out with. My cell phone has free nights and weekends, but of course none of that really comes in to play when it doesn't get reception anywhere that matters. I remember once getting full service inside a Denny's, but those dreamlike times have long passed. I wish I could go back to either of my old, shitty Nokia phones. Color and voice calling don't mean too much when, to the other person, most of my calls sound like, "He---an you hear m----one is a total piece of sh----OTHER FU---".

I'm also looking forward to driving again. I don't share my car with thirty other people (usually) and no one ever walks through and gives a speech asking for money. A tip to any homeless New Yorkers who stole someones laptop: Public speaking does not pay the bills. There are plenty of local music students who will play on an acoustic guitar while providing their own harmonica backup, and that's a tough act to follow for anyone, much less a guy who's going to talk at an uncomfortable volume about his desperate situation. There was actually a guy who looked homeless who stated singing operatically (don't ask me how I know that's a word) who I did give money to, although it was a choice between a quarter and a five and he was a little sharp. I'm a fairly generous subway rider, but you gotta draw the line somewhere.

Whatever gets going for New Years should be good times tonight. Planes here. Gonna add more later.
9 rebels|stick it to the man

Phone Post [12 30 03|11:57pm]
925K 4:30
(no transcription available)
5 rebels|stick it to the man

Super, Thanks for Asking [12 26 03|03:14am]
[ mood | happy ]

Take any given week in the last few months, and two o'clock in the morning on a Thursday night would mean I was up late finishing homework and liberally fucked as far as sleeping went. Not tonight. Well, my sleeping is still fucked, but that's only because I have to get up at 8:15 to catch a flight out to New York. But homework is only still part of my working vocabulary because I can't get over how good it is not to be dealing with it. No essay prompts are sitting here waiting to be done when I come home in the afternoon, no week late history outlines are sitting half done in my room, and nothing hangs over my head on Saturday night. And it's better than I imagined it'd be.

I hate to be heading down this path of happy-go-luckiness, because the only people who are going to relate are already probably feeling good themselves, and I'm probably only inspiring you darker breeds out there to go sharpen your angst sticks. Oh well, I can't resist. Vacation: great. Friends: super. Girlfriend: awesome. Everything rocks, and I don't mean to gloat or be redundant, but I need to get that out. I could go into it even more, but I think this picture suffices.

Sunshine, lollipops, and motherfucking rainbows. You bet.

Those of you who do not reside in the general path of "the loop" might be a little surprised about the whole girlfriend thing. Honestly, I am too. I've been sort of out of the dating scene ever since it really started and I just sat back and made fun of all the couples that started to appear. This continued with stuff like the classic betting pools last year, and that was all fun and hilarious, but single life was starting to wear on Lefty and me. So it's been a nice change of pace to suddenly find a girl I like and throw myself into the whole thing successfully. It's something completely new to me, and yet the transition has been completely comfortable. Cheers to Cara for making it all possible.

Just a heads up: Friends Christmas, held on Christmas Eve Eve, is now officially going to be a tradition. Exchanging presents, enjoying December bikini time, and taking excessive amounts of time to turn down the hot tub with Cara definetly helped me get through tonight's family gathering and the last night's mass, which can credit itself for having the worst homily of all time. Now, I've probably been to this church fifteen to twenty times, but I usually sit in the usher's bench at the bag and never, ever listen to a word the priest says. Apparently this was an excellent decision. I didn't get everything our heavily-accented Father Jose said, but what I do know is that "Jesus passed by", and apparently that was an important enough event for the statement to be repeated over ten times. Christmas is the church's biggest advertising period, and they manage to make the people who only come in now and Easter feel good for doing it. It's a good time to be agnostic.

I might get a detailed Christmas wrapdown (HO HO HO) segment together sometime later, but for now I'd just like to give a special tribute to the picture frame Cara gave me and the weapons-grade video card from my parents that takes up so much of my computer's power I had to unplug my music drive until I get a new part.

Cara and I have a lot of things in common, but arts and crafts skill isn't one of them. I can't even color in the lines.

Anyway, I should get a nap in before I leave. Just to let you know, one of my little pay-journal perks is there's a number with the New York City area code from which I'm going to leave a little audio entry. It's a little consolation prize for those of you I'm not buying crappy New York shirts and snow globes for. Speaking of future updates, my webcam is all full of pretty pretty pictures, so look out for a photobooth entry.

Leaving on a jet plane. Back next Wednesday. Get some New Years plans together, kids.

12 rebels|stick it to the man

0 to 74 in a Blink, Heartbeat and Picture Flash [12 14 03|03:46am]
[ mood | hopeful ]

Seventy-six days in the first semester, and three days of finals.
Start your engine.

0 - Summer ends tonight, although it isn't such a sudden transition seeing what a pain in the ass summer reading has been lately. The worst storm I can remember being in thunders outside, pulling the limbs and slapping the leaves of the trees and, like my assbackward summer living schedule, isn't doing much to help me fall asleep. I could be optimistic and be happy that I'll catch up with all the season's disappearing acts and like things at first, but this is like enjoying the car ride to a proctology exam: It might be nice, but it's pointless to try and ignore where everything is really going.

1 - Nothing starts out a school year quite like being called to the Dean's Office while halfway to the sophomore-junior quad and entering to find that Chris O'Connell, who you explained to plainly and clearly that you would taking his top locker, which resides above yours, while giving him plenty of opportunities to keep it, had asked for a new combination and given your name to the principal. The degree to which that kid owes me became quite clear as I tossed out coffee filters and filled the dishwasher while listening to small talk in the teacher's lounge. Not that my twenty minutes of punishment in there didn't teach important lessons about cleaning and the fact that, yes, there are teachers who manage to be just as boring outside of class, but it's the principle that's got me pissed. Write after me: I will not sell out my classmates. Not even for a Choco Taco.

16 - I think there was a break somewhere in between all that cramming for summer reading and now, where the year is starting to get moving. I've started counting down the days of school left to see how much we've gotten done. It's a depressingly tiny little percentage, but then again I feel like I've hardly done anything but I've gotten somewhere. Hopefully this keeps up for awhile, because this little honeymoon period will be what gets me through the semester.

23 - I can't complain too much about a school that despite countless instances of dislocated shoulders and chest stigmata still continues its twisted little tradition of the Spirit Week Belly Flop Contest. Jamie redefined how the world thinks about both belly flopping and the coordination of white people with his now patented Gainer Flop that won the junior class the competition. The whole week of strange events that entertain and demonstrate that seniors are the best no matter what led up to the Holy Bowl, which fun if a little bland. The same could be sad about the night afterwards, which really wasn't a big deal despite holding many expectations. Then again, a fun, eventful night that falls just below high expectations is better than most Saturday nights I know.

28- Meeting new people ain't too bad, especially when in a moment of desperation they invite you to their homecoming. Rio's dance was gone in a blink, heartbeat and picture flash, but I definitely had a good time. Anna Marie, and most of these other new Rio girls I've met, are interesting and relaxed; a nice change of pace from what's been the standard attraction in the past. School seems to have started wearing on me, but I've been prepared for this. This isn't a sudden burnout, but rather the feeling I can't last like this forever. Not unscathed.

35 - The mysterious cancer that ate away at Scott's free time and made him nonexistent outside of school hours appears to have been Hillary. I suspect this because Scott has suddenly appeared on the weekends just after Hillary was recently removed in a painful surgery (Despite becoming malignant, she did not spread to the lymph nodes). With him, Scott has brought his friends Nina and Kim, who, despite Winston's wishes, will probably be making many appearances in the future. Tonight I pulled in the garage at 11:59, the last possible on-time minute, with Colin as my witness. Fun stuff.

45 - Two descriptions seem to sum up Halloween pretty well: "fun" and "motherfucking cold". Between In 'n' Out, Scott's house, the "post office" and the fact that you can now find nearly a bag's worth of fun-sized Twix bars in my car, I can't say it was a bad year. Definitely better than last October, when I was pissed I had to do an Other Places show but no one ended up getting anything together anyway. Not sure how I'd compare it against freshman year cross dressing with the Rio girls, or the great night during 8th grade before everything with everyone slightly went to shit, but it definitely continues the Halloween tradition of mixing things up. I stayed at Scott's, and as the sun was about to hit the horizon I realized that I want change in my life, but I can't force it. I came close to trying to, and I'm glad I didn't.

50 - Reconstructing the night of Nina's birthday party took me some time. The night and morning can pretty much be divided up into dinner-eating, omelet-making, camping out, Walgreen-running, and Denny's. Basically, it was completely nuts and I loved it. I also got a chance to hang out with Cara, who's real good friends with Nina and Kim but hasn't been able to make the time commitment to drive around aimlessly with all of us every weekend. I started talking to her online sometime after I met her at Phil's birthday party (but was too busy mooching snacks and hitting on Alexis to really get acquainted).

56 - The old millennium countdown clock I've retooled to tell me the number of days until school gets out is saying there are two hours until I can put another day under my belt, but I'm pretty sure finals aren't ending at five in the morning. I do have just over 181 days to sort that one out, though. 181 days that will make up the rest of the toughest year I'm going to go through for awhile, in and out of school. Once it's over, I'll have two summers and senior year to rest up and have a great time before I go to college and have more fun. At some point I get my life on track, but that's pretty far down the line. The fact I have to show up for 167 days a year is no longer the mostly challenging part of school. I'm not cruising through each year anymore, but I am kind of skating through life. For the most part, everything's been great, but a good rut is still a rut. I feel like maybe I need to stop going through the motions and take some risks, even if I come up empty. Maybe I've just been ignoring all kinds of different opportunities I've had. Maybe I'm talking out of my ass.

I think the reason I hardly ever update anymore is I've gotten out of the habit of schizophrenic, unfocused entries. I mean, I wouldn't need to jump from subject to subject if I had important things going on in my life right now, but I don't. Right now it's all about getting by and having fun. Maybe I need something more than that, but aside from knowing I don't have it, I'm not clear on what that thing is. Of course, if I knew what that was and had it, that might take the fun out of everything. Well, actually, probably not. I could go with immediately ending up somewhere nice and comfortable, but then I wouldn't know how I got there. It's not like I can really make up experience.

I actually do feel like I'm headed somewhere though. Not directly, no. I'll twist and ramble and get off track, but that's kind of the point. I can't expect myself to get perfectly situated and get it down the first try. That's as good as impossible, and maybe my problem has been failing to accept that.

59 - When I don't get to bed until 3, calling the state I operate in during the morning "consciousness" would be a serious exaggeration. So when came in to do my French presentation after staying up that late working on it. I was in a bit of a haze. I also wasn't quite together when Father John "Hitler" McGarry called me into his office to tell me he found my article Fun With School Policy hurtful and offensive. I was a little too dazed to tell him that the fact that the school newspaper is currently effectively a parent newsletter and publicity tool is hurtful and offensive to me. Not that the degree of bitterness I express my opinions in could possibly break the cycle in this man's life that is obviously causing him to age at twice the rate of your average Joe.

64 - The whole Plank thing has become somewhat of an inside joke at school. Lots of faculty, especially Mr. Carrigan (who read it to both his regular English classes), the Roses, and the Phongster himself openly support me. The part I love most is the rift opened that shows the deep, two-sided divide through the entire staff. I'm happy to have gotten an article out there that was read and given feedback, and even happier to see I've stirred some shit up. You were right, McGarry, it is good to get involved.

68 - Thanksgiving vacation has come and gone, and not without a few big changes. This week has been a little insane and drawn out. I'm now realizing taking chances also means making mistakes and dealing with consequences, but that's a sacrifice I'm willing to make. Maybe it's not worth it to the people those mistakes could affect, but hey, too bad. I'm sick of living a life in stasis, no matter how good or comfortable it is. That said, I'd definitely be happy if things calmed down just a little. I feel there's hardly anyone I can talk to about everything that happened, but I seem to be sorting the whole thing out alright by myself. Hoping for some kind of conclusion as well as the fact I won't have to be so goddamn vague about the entire thing in the future.

71 - After two fun dates last weekend and a King's game tonight, Cara and I are now officially "going out". There is apparently no smooth transition from dating to dating, so I purposely made the transition as unsmoothly as possible. With cotton candy I didn't even pay for. And I don't regret that. Sort of represents the fun loving and easygoing but still meaningful relationship I'm going for.

73 - School has been wearing me down to the bone the last month. I didn't make callbacks for the musical today. I spent an hour working on my history outline next to the door at Bella Bru and consequently froze my ass off every seconds on the minute when someone entered, and then two hours forced to do two hours of math at tutoring. And as I walked out of the dark, dinghy apartment complex my tutor manages to keep an amazingly tasteful place in, knowing I still had about an hour of work left to do, and you know how I felt? As good as I have in weeks, and I have no idea why. I guess it's just a shift in perspective. I guess I just have a hard, cynical shell and a chewy, candy, optimist center. School just can't get me to me anymore, just because finals are going to kick my ass in less than a week doesn't change that life is good. With all this work and late nights and administrative bullshit, I should be broken by now. But I'm not. Maybe I've finally got some hope. Maybe, again, I'm just talking about of my ass.

74 - I had a great night at the Rio dance, which without Cara and the whole group would have been the worst I've ever been to. But it's easily in my Top 5. And I think that says a lot about where things are going. Because I'd be content just with the fact that things are going somewhere, so the fact that they're going there well is great news. I just have finals to get through and a few things that need to be worked out and then we can all be skipping down the yellow-brick road with sunshine, lollipops, and motherfucking rainbows. And I can't imagine asking for much more at this point. Bring it on, finals. Here's to the future.

There, now you can all retroactively stop bitching at me for not updating for the last four months.

6 rebels|stick it to the man

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