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Sunday, February 27, 2011

7 Things I Wish I Had More Of

I was looking at some of the blogs of people I knew, and I came across this concept in the blog of a lovely young lady who I think has one of the most amazing personalities I've ever seen. Every Sunday, she'd make a list of seven things to talk about, ranging from the hilariously trivial to the resoundingly deep. I decided that, since I'm shameless and want to make this blog something special, that I would adopt this idea. So I decided to start with some of the things that have been on my mind: things that I wish I had.

7. Patience. I try my hardest to be patient with people, and, for the most part, I think I succeed. However, there are times, truly crucial times, when my patients cracks from too much wear and I get horribly impatient and easily angered. It's times like these, when I break and do something irrational, that I often get judged for. Never for the quiet patience that I always have for people most of the time, but the few times when my temper reaches a boiling point. I wish these would never have to happen. It's never fun to be judged, especially unfairly, and I would rather not have people telling me they hate me anymore.

6. Sympathy. Now, this shouldn't be confused with wanting empathy. I understand people's feelings and emotions extraordinarily well, which is a good thing, I just can't identify with them a lot. I'm disconnected from really being able to feel their emotions and consider its effects. This, needless to say, is bad. It's probably what makes it so hard for me to make good connections with people.

5. Honesty. This one, I'm all over the place on. There are some people that I tell everything to, and there are some people that I wouldn't trust with my phone number. I have a lot of secrets, and it takes quite a toll to keep them all straight. I just wish I could be 100% honest all the time, even though this probably wouldn't make some people happy, as Liar Liar taught me. However, I would be able to rest a lot easier thanks to it.

4. Faith. With everything I've been going through in my life, I've been living in constant fear. Fear from uncertainty, loss, abuse, and I haven't taken enough time to really look at the big picture. I believe in God. And I realized that, in spite of what I believe, what I want may not be what's best for me in the long run. Only God knows, and, in the end, you can only do so much. The rest is out of your hands. The best you can do is try everything you can do things well, and have faith that it will all turn out alright in the end. I could have used this so much in my life.

3. Strength. I don't mean physical strength. I could get less about that crap. I mean personal strength. The kind that allows a person to stand up and be able to say, even if the rest of the world disagrees with them, exactly what they feel about something. I could only stand idly by, as much as I wish I could get break out and actually be able to stand, strong and tall, and not be afraid of being who I am. This is making me sound like an in-the-closet gay (which would probably be easier than having to deal with women), but that is something that I have been able to respect gay people for. Not the showy gay parade with leather and peacock feathers everywhere, but the kind that's able to say that they're gay, and be unafraid of what others might say.

2. Trust. I am so hesitant to trust people that I'm really not surprised people dislike me for being so reserved. I don't trust easily, and I keep things close to the vest. God knows what kind of world we'd live in if people actually trusted others. I know there would still be liars, but I think that people could live with themselves a lot easier if they could just show a little trust to somebody else. Even if it means trying to comfort someone you don't even know in public. A guy in my building that I'd never really talked to before saw me one night sitting on the stairs, and starting talking to me. He had no idea who I was, and he asked for a little trust, because he might be able to help. That's the kind of guy I wish I was.

1. Love. I think everyone could use more of this in their life. It doesn't matter if you are practically a saint, you can always use more love. Because showing others love is even better than receiving it yourself.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Picture Kinda Related


Dammit, friends are just plain awesome. I love my friends. They're always there for me, and I know that they're always looking out for my best interests.

Yep.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Egypt: "More Than Just Pyramids"

It starts in elementary school. You’re sitting in a small plastic chair, amongst 20 or so little kids. You start learning things about yourself you never knew. The teacher’s saying things like "We bombed Japan in WWII and killed hundreds of thousands of people," or "We enslaved African-Americans in the 1800s." I couldn't have been the only kid thinking, I didn't do any of that.

Yes, I’ll admit, what led me to this column is a rather trivial thing in the grand scheme of things; the commonly used “we” when referring to things the U.S. government has done in a classroom setting. But this annoyance made me think about bigger things: nationalism, foreign policy, the role of government.

The common perception of American government is so varied. One side is full of gun-slingin', homily-spewin', cowboys, and the other includes a bunch of progressive, pot-smokin', twenty-somethings, plus everyone in the middle. By the way, I’m aware of the stereotyping there, but I made fun of both sides. Everyone’s got a different view, and some are more or less willing to share it with you or force it upon you. But simplistically, we've got people who love our government, people who hate our government and those who couldn’t give a rat’s caboose what our government does. Now, I wouldn’t say that "the man" has always made the best decisions, I'm well aware of that. But (and as a journalist, this is probably obvious) I think one thing most people can agree they got right was the first amendment. You don't have to be a nationalist to appreciate the rights citizens have. Sure, some of the things they do may not sit well with you, but at least you have a right to complain about it. There are a lot of things that suck about living here, but I believe it would be extremely difficult to find a better place. Also, it could be a lot worse.

Another unique thing about America is that it isn't restricted within its own borders. Like it or not, foreign involvement has always been prevalent: the World Wars, Vietnam, Iraq. Sometimes it seems as though we’re giving them too much money, or things are desolate enough in the U.S., and other times, most people feel it's "our duty as a country to help those in need." Until recently, I'd always possessed the opinion that worrying about citizens back home was more important than sticking our noses into other people’s business.

Then, I saw the turmoil in Egypt.

People, under a government supported by America, fighting for change due to a government fueled by hate and often oppression, with an almost non-existent economy, by a lead who has been in power for thirty years. Who knew? If you'd asked be a few months ago what I knew about Egypt, I'd have said "The Capital is Cairo, and they built some pyramids." I knew they weren't as affluent as most countries, but I certainly thought the apparent lack of news from the country meant things were at least okay.

It's inspiring, really, to see them out there, with their signs and their words of hope and change. People here voted for change in 2008. In Egypt, they're literally fighting for it. They deserve human rights, and if the U.S. has the ability to help that, it's what should be done. The progress they've already made is amazing, and it made me realize that unlike situations of the past, this is something happening now, something relevant to me, and it’s something I can care about. It'll be in the history books someday, and I'll talk about how we-oh... Wait.

I guess I'm a hypocrite.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes...

I... don't even know where to begin in my mind. You know that feeling you get when you're standing on the edge of some ridiculously huge precipice and you look down and you don't really get dizzy (so I don't know if it's the same as vertigo) but you get this awful twitch in the back of your mind that, for some reason or another, you're legs are going to jump your ass off the edge, even if your mind doesn't want to?

Well, that's how things are for me. Have been. For quite a while now.

Thankfully, it hasn't all been awful... Oh, wait, yes it has. HOWEVER, I've managed to not only:

A) actually grown in my faith, but I've also B) grow as a person more than I have ever thought possible, at the expense of my happiness and ability to function in normal society. Considering the way my parents raised me, anyone who knew my family would assume I was a good, upstanding person living a moral and positive life.

Not so. I'm not a model citizen, and I'm not the ideal standard of virtue for people. I'm pretty much the opposite of that. Normally, this is the point where I would deride myself, call myself awful things and hate myself with a burning intensity rivaling that of the sun. But I don't anymore. I accept what I am, and I've learned to deal with it in a constructive matter. So many things that I've done were completely terrible and I had absolutely no idea at the time of how destructive my behavior was, not only to myself but to others as well.

One of the biggest problems I've had was jealousy. I was insecure about myself, and found every other guy imaginable threatening. Looking back, it was the stupidest, saddest display of cowardice and insecurity that I've ever seen. As a result, it ended (with other complications) in the eventual undoing of my relationship. I accept all the blame, and I've been able to overcome it. Now I know how to feel, and how to act properly if I'm ever in another relationship (this is one of the biggest if's in the entire universe).

I don't regret being in that relationship. I feel bad for the pain I caused, both to her and girls in the past, and I can't say I enjoyed the way things had to end, but I've learned that to regret something or to wish something never was is like saying you wish you had never experienced something good. The good and the bad in life are inseparable. And the amount of good I received from those experiences is extraordinary. 

I wish nothing but the best for them, with no ill will and only the request for forgiveness for the way I've acted. If any of them read this, all I have to say is: thank you, for the beauty and joy you showed me in our time together. I will treasure the memories forever, and carry you in my heart.

I'm not making any claims to achieving some kind of saintly status or anything. I'm still a pretty shitty person, and I have a long way to go before I'll ever call myself "good." But sometimes, you have to look at the distance traveled, rather than your current place in life.

Everyone's Free To Wear Sunscreen

DISCUSS


I'll just leave this here.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Difficult Lesson That I'm Learning Too Late


It'll be difficult to do, and it may hurt you, but at least you'll know that you were true to yourself and didn't compromise what you believed. I'm learning this at a hard personal cost.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Growing Up.

Milk.

So it's a really nice day today, and after having some spectacular dreams I'm in a kind of strange mood. You know, the one where you don't want to do anything and because you're not in school you don't have to? Yeah, hell yeah.

It's now 2:00 in the afternoon. Time for some breakfast.

Unfortunately today I find that I am out of milk, and not only is milk probably the most important thing in my fridge aside of the whiskey. Which unfortunately, I can't eat a bowl of cereal with whiskey. Well... actually I probably could but afterwards I would then be very drunk and my cereal would not have been fulfilling (because whiskey flavored cereal doesn't sound so good to me). Anyway so it's a beautiful day and I'm just pumped as hell to walk to the gas station to get my damn milk. So I get strapped up and start walking.

(Now it's important to remember that there is a point to all this.)

What I did not realize about this beautiful day is that is was in fact:

WINDY

AS

A

MOTHERFUCKER.

It was when I was walking to the gas station that I decided to hum a Lightspeed song in my head, until I started thinking about this commercial about some credit card or something. Either way it was interesting because this woman talking about some sort of future credit card apocalypse was a stunt man. Or stunt "woman" I should say. To this, I realized, Damn. This chick has got to have big hairy balls. Kind of depressing, this thought. Because now I don't feel like so much of a man myself because this girl is running around on fire! (Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit.)

So now I'm at the gas station and I got the milk. I only have 4 dollars. This milk is $3.48. Now, I haven't been an adult that long, so even though I've known how to do the dishes, vacuum, and the laundry, I still forget how to do things like math, bank stuff, basically just math, and that food doesn't get taxed. Like milk. So even though the whole time I was thinking it's okay because tax is 7 cents a dollar and so I would be fine, but still freaking out, it turned out I had to pay $3.48. That's 52 cents in my pocket. (Also just a side note: they have this new thing at gas stations (apart from televisions at the pump) that essentially is a small bowl that all of your change rolls out into for you to grab. So people now don't have to hand you change back. America just got lazier.)

Okay I think that whole change thing was the point but one more thing I need to mention. As I was walking home with my gallon of milk and I saw a couple walking towards me from Quizno's Sub, and I raised my hand for a wave, and said, "Good aft- mor-" As I stopped trying to think of which one I should say, I realized...

What time was it???

So remember kids, you can pay for milk in exact change and check the time twice when you get up. Then check the time again.

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Much-Needed Rant

I'm probably not going to feel this way when I wake up tomorrow, but there's too much going on inside to everything simmer until morning. I'm not usually like this, and the fact that it's coinciding with Valentine's Day is just a coincidence... I think.

Humans are awful, miserable creatures. Not merely content with the difficulties of life and the problems we face from simply trying to survive, we have to create even more problems for ourselves. Human interaction brings nothing but pain and hardship, even the most successful ones. The sad thing is that our minds filter the experience, leaving only the pleasant ones and shutting out the painful ones. Rose-colored lenses that fuck us up and make things seem better than they really are. Why do we do this?

Love.

Not real love, of course. The notion of love. The idea. The impossibility of being able to describe love leads to false notions of what love could be. Those who haven't felt love mistake some other kind of emotion for love, and end up clinging to it for dear life. In spite of all the signs, all the warnings and signposts that signal an unhealthy relationship, they tell themselves that this really is love, and force themselves to believe in something that's not really there. A cynical view, I suppose, but one that I think everyone can either relate to personally, or recognize as happening to someone else. Of course, if it is happening to you, you won't know it. You'll still be in ignorant blissful misery.

Am I talking about this out of personal experience? I couldn't say. It's impossible for someone to view themselves dispassionately when they're in the midst of the situation. Emotions cloud judgments, anger creates problems that stay in spite of the emotion's fleeting nature. Fuck, I'm starting to sound like a Stoic. Stupid philosophy class, making me draw connections to my life.

I didn't start writing this with an end in mind, only to get my thoughts down in writing. I don't have an answer to this problem, and there's no way to fix past mistakes. This is a problem that people are going to be having for as long as that elusive idea of love continues to seduce people with it's allure.

Friday, February 11, 2011

"Poison & Wine"


Quickly growing addicted to this song. If you haven't listened to it already, go check out their album "Barton Hallow." Amazing stuff. I gotta say, though, the guy looks exactly like what would occur if Jack White and Johnny Depp had a baby.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Lazy=Love

Writing for this blog was never my idea, and yet here we are. While Ranier may say otherwise, it wasn’t entirely his charm and good looks that convinced me to write for one of the greatest embodiments of hipster culture. The only thing that really inspired me to write was the thought that I may need something to do with my free time, pure and simple. It’s almost comical that I gave up my aversion to the evils of blogs because I felt like I needed to fill my schedule with something productive (I use that term very liberally here). And yet it was this realization of exactly why I chose to write that made me think about just how jammed pack our worlds are with copious amounts of stuff.

Our lives are so full of things these days. School, sports, work, family, friends, the list goes on and on. The world constantly pulls at us from so many directions with all sorts of activities and people that scream for our time and attention. It’s no wonder that the default state of our lives is stress. The funny thing is that we do it to ourselves, gladly signing our time away. There are so many times when I catch myself wishing for something to do when my hands are idle. And it’s not just me. So many of the people I know have this same mentality, feeling like they’ve done something wrong when they’ve got nothing to do.

This is tragic. People should not feel like they have to fill every moment of everyday with some useful activity or feel guilty about indulging their lazy side. Often times it is the moments like an idle Monday afternoon that are the important ones in our lives. I realized this as I stared out the window of my dorm, a moment that would definitely be counted as time ill-spent under the standards of working society.

Be grateful for the times when you have nothing to do, when your hands are still. Please don’t feel guilty when you’re sitting on your ass without an industrious thing to do the whole day. It moments like these that are the best in life. Chances are you’ll fill them up with memories of friends or instances of quiet, thoughtful introspection, and you’ll be thankful for them. Time spent on you and only you is never time poorly spent.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Movie Review: "Dogtooth"


Sometimes, I wonder why I do this to myself. Like my initial viewing of Lars Von Trier's film Antichrist, I'm left in the wake of this movie not sure if I'm more intrigued, amazed, or disturbed by the events that have just passed before my eyes. However, there's no doubt that this is a film that I'm going to remember for a long time to come.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me start you off with a small sense of what's going on before we enter into solid "What is going on?" territory. The story revolves around a small family (whose names are never stated) living in a compound where their children are essentially isolated from the rest of the world. They never venture outside the grounds, and a high fence prevents them from seeing anything beyond the borders of their home. The children (who aren't exactly children, as they look like they're in they're twenties) are taught things like the "sea" being a type of armchair and that a "zombie" is a kind of flower.

Strange, yes, but stay with me here. As a young man, the eldest son has certain... needs... that need to be sated. This brings us to our only named character, Christine. A co-worker at the factory where the father works, she is brought in from time to time to please the son. Sexually. Not wanting to go further into the story, I'll leave it at that, but simply add that sexual exploration and a lot of depravity are introduced into the story because of her.

The film, in terms of cinematography is beautifully shot. Each scene seems so realistic but, at the same time, retains an air of surreality, keeping the viewer off-kilter and ever-so unnerved about what might happen in the story. The compositions of shots are often strange, but makes the images and the movie all the more compelling.

Dogtooth is a film that raises far more questions than it has answers. For some this will be a massive point of frustration, leaving you bewildered and slightly pissed-off. But if you come in with the right frame of mind, I think you'll find a truly bizarre work of art that is thought-provoking... as well as balls-to-the-wall crazy.

I give this film an 8 out of 10. But a 10 out of 10 on the "WTF?!" scale.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Dear America.

Alright, so what has become of... life as we know it. Things these days are in total chaos and no one really seems to realize what the hell is going on anyway.

Let's go back to the old days... yesterday. I had no ideas such wrong-doings were even happening!!! I was just sitting in my chair, listening to music, eating pizza, and crying. I clearly had no idea what the meaning of life was, and today I still don't, but despite all the bullshit this world has to offer, I woke up today and hugged my girlfriend and her two-year-old son and I said:

"Becky..."

"Yes?"

"I love you, and today I realized actually how much."

"Patrick, what's going on."

"Becky..."

I paused for a while before I told her the frightening news that was haunting my mind since the moment I awoke; the thought that would change how I lived from that moment on.

"What if Sephiroth comes back?"

I can tell all of you pussies now that I'm a changed man. EVERY ONE OF YOU PUSSIES CAN JOIN CLOUD IN THE "SWELLED-UP PISSY PANTS VAGINA CLUB," BUT NOT I!!! I'm gonna stay and fight that fucker.

And I'll just say this. He's coming back for sure. It took hours to defeat him in Final Fantasy 7, and one pussy-ass LIMIT BREAK isn't enough to keep that fucker down. But nice try Cloud. You made Japanese vaginas all around the world wet for 5 minutes. 'Til your nigga ass got shot! That's why, when Sephiroth comes back, I'm gonna get my Glock, and put a bullet in that fucker's face before he hurts my family. And I WILL NOT rely on Reno and Rude to get a job done (there is no way they could have survived that bomb in Advent Children. I call BULLSHIT on that). Rude still is badass though.

Good luck out there. You better be packin' heat when that muther-fucker sets foot in America. YOU. DON'T. FUCK. WITH. AMERICA.

Sincerely,

Patrick.

"Game Boy" An Original Song

So, here's one of my original songs. It's kind of about a lot of things. Growing up, being a kid, nostalgia, a girl. Essentially, it's pretty reflective, a state that I'm in right now, so I hope at least part of it speaks to you.

Sage Advice


Amen.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

When You Fall in Love

   When you fall in love, does the world stop

If only for a minute, do you feel on top?

   Do the church bells toll for a wedding to come

Does your heart beat like a marching drum?

   When you fall in love, do you feel like a king

and you wanna run out and buy her a ring?

   Does every day feel like a brand new birth

Another chance to fall harder for her?

   When you fall in love, how do you feel inside

You smile when she laughs, and always hate good byes?

   Does your face lighten up at the sound of her voice

And do you wanna do everything that she enjoys?

   Because of that is love, then I have got it bad

It's all because of you, I wanna be your man.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Untitled.

I accidentally deleted everything I wrote. So now I'm just going to replace everything I wrote with a couple sentences and a video.

Women. Where the fuck did those things come from?

Let the Cold Winds Blow

It's snowing like crazy here in Kansas. But I'm pretty sure I could say that if I was in a lot of other places around the country. I go on Facebook, and I see about a dozen statuses about snow, particularly ones with end-of-the-world-related puns in them: "Snowpocalypse," "Snowmageddon," and my personal favorite, "Snownarok."

People really do love their hyperbole.

I hear it so much from everyone that people stop taking things seriously. "If I don't _______, I'm just gonna kill myself!" I hear something along those lines pretty much every week, especially here in college. The problem is, 99.9% of the time, it's absolutely meaningless. They're not going to do anything even remotely similar to killing themselves, unless overeating, living an unhealthy lifestyle and smoking over a long period of time begin to count as forms of extremely slow suicide.

Then I read something like this, and I have to wonder, did they ever say something like that? People throw around these words and ideas so commonly that they begin to lose their effect. But when it is real, will we know the difference? I'd like to tell myself that I would be able to, and that I would do everything in my power to help people like them if the situation arose before me. But, in all honesty, I can't be sure that I would. 

We've blinded ourselves to a lot of the forewarnings to suicide, made the concepts of death and dying commonplace in society. It's become ingrained in the public psyche, and so we numb ourselves to the pain all around us. I'm tired of doing that, and I want to be sure that I could be the type of person that would be able to help people like those boys, people who are truly in distress.

Not too bright of a topic for a first post, is it? Don't worry, I'm sure the other guys will be able to brighten up this place in the meanwhile. If you're reading this, thanks for listening to my inane rambling, and I hope you enjoy reading our posts in the future as we start to get things going!