Home Sweet Home

August 28, 2006

As always, I felt kinda dodgy when I was waiting for the bus. Despite being cool to my elders and acting like I couldn’t care less because I’m going, a stupid sensation filled inside my lungs. It dawned on me then that one is never able to overcome that particular feeling. I’ve been visiting the seaside where my aunts live for over 10 years now, but each time I have to go, they shed some tears, I don’t make a fuss about it, and I go. But everytime that particular feeling comes and confuses me. “What if?”s fill in the blanks in your mind, making matters even worse.

So I get on the bus and, nothing to do, I try to sleep. As if I had never intentionally woke late so I can sleep in the damned bus, I discover that I am unable to sleep, no matter how tired I am. My tounge is busy playing with the stupid piece of meat coming out inside my cheeck. It is like the ultimate boredom I can ever feel. My dead brain is trying to think something but is too lazy even to choose something to think about, and I soon discover I’ve been looking outside to the road for several hours.

After about 10 hours of travel, I find myself waiting for a taxi to take me home. I feel good at being home, since well basically everything I would need is here. My super-fast computer, books and all the other stuff. But theres resentment in me about this arrival. I miss the seaside. Despite my rants about the seaside itself in the last post, I like being there. Free of any particular responsibility.

I know I’ve promised you – my dear, dear readers – not to write about what I did, I’m writing these so I can understand it myself. So it is a totally selfish effort. It may seem cruel and boring to you that I’m not an entertainer like some other “commercial” bloggers, but, what the heck, this is my blog and I can probably shit on it if I really wanted to.

I can’t find anything else to write, maybe I’ll post other stuff sometime later.

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Jam Tomorrow

August 19, 2006

It has been a while since my last post, but then, that is what makes my wonderful blog so very much appealing, doesn’t it?

One would wonder why I am now sitting where I am, attempting at writing sentences which I know I won’t like, rather than going to the sea that is just about 20 meters away from my house. Well, I do not know the answer myself..

I actually ommitted a lot of paragraphs before this one because I thought that anybody reading this would at least want to get something from what I write, so I won’t say “I did this and that” from now on.

It won’t be false to say that I, too -like many other people-, have self esteem issues. Funnily enough, this isn’t because I feel incompetent or anything near people. Its not about feeling anyway. I tend to think of myself as a tad more intelligent than other people and solid against attacks that come from -so called- friends that are aimed to make you feel stupid around other people. The problem is fatness. I don’t think such a word exists, but that probably should give you enough idea.

Fatness is bad. I’m not saying this because it increases diabetes, risk of heart attacks or I even remotely care about healthy living. It is bad because people do not like proximity with you. Touching you becomes an issue, and not just your tummy or anything, it seems that people perceive you as a disgusting ooze-emitting creature. As if they probe the skin a little, all that fat is going to explode down your side and cover them up.

And sometimes they experiment with you. “Wohoo! I hit you from your belly and the wave travels all over your stomach and up to your boobs -yes, you have boobs!!”

And all you can do is to do nothing and maybe smile indifferently, acknowledging that your friend (!) just proved he is better than you. You know you cannot blame anyone else for your fatness, and so you just let those kinds of things slip by. Otherwise you are a cry-baby who makes every little action an issue.

Ironically enough, I am now with some relatives that turn to issue into a relation-basing thing. Probably that sentence is far frombeinggramatically correct, but I’ll try to explain. While on the seaside sitting with them, they judge every person that passes by, by their looks. “Oh my god just look at how fat that guy is!”, “Wow she’s really beautiful and slim!”, “ZOMG He’s very handsome!” Just because that certain “he” has a literally flat body. They’d rather die than be fat.

After all this, you would think I’m over 300kg or something right? Nay. I’m not gargantuan as you would expect. I’m moderately over my normal (about 20 pounds) weight.

So how is this all related to what I have said at the beginning of this blog post. Well, because of all of these reasons, I am not a very popular person. I base my relations upon win-win situations. I don’t pretend like I’m having fun only to go to somewhere cool with someone cool, nor do I like to bore people with my own shit just so I can have some fun myself (thepoorblog.. 😦 )

Since the seaside experience would normally be a social one, and I get bored pretty easily when there is nothing to do but stare at flat guys try to get flat girls’ attention, I do not visit there very often, and would not die if there were no seas around.

But when I come to think about it, I guess it would be fun if I had a slimmer body. Who knows? (Hopefully I will, I even run for about 2km in the mornings.)

Yes, I know, pathetic.

When I first started typing I didn’t know how this post would turn out, and probably had a super great idea when I entered “Jam Tomorrow” into that Title box. But I forgot it now.

iYork

August 2, 2006

I totally HATE electronics vendors. I despise them, especially in New York. I was fortunate enough, in my life, to visit New York in the past days. To tell the truth, its not that fascinating. Yeah well, maybe even Yahoo! has its own LCD screen stuck to a wall of a building, but overall (to the extent of my visitation) the city is dirty. I’m not an obsessive person who would die rather than be dirty, but even using my hands to swipe away the sweat has become a doubtful action for me. I got the habit of always wondering “Have I touched anything hideous since the last time I washed my hands?” before getting my hands near my face. It was very hot, too.

Again, I very successfully managed to create a paragraph that is quite inconsistent with what the first sentence has to say about the paragraph itself. The reason I hate these people are derived from a quite simple action mechanism. The problem is, I don’t even get why they do that.

We were strolling along the 5Th avenue and I was cautiously looking for any electronics shop to ask about digital cameras and iPods. Not that I was going to buy one from a mischievous vendor, but just to see the prices. I happened to pass by one particular shop “Video Camera City” and went in. The guy at the counter was very interested and helped me in every step, explaining me everything about the product I was looking at and even made very appropriate jokes at times. I said that I would not be buying any merchandise today, since I newly arrived, but that didn’t seem to bother him. He said that I should come back tomorrow when there are discounts.

So I did. I went to that same shop one day later. The guy looked exactly the same, but that was the only similarity between the person I spoke to the day before. He welcomed me like a pig and didn’t seem all that interested about me being there. I’m not annoyed very easily, so I let that slip by. Then, he says that all the merchandise that I said I would buy has been sold out. “Yep” I think “He’s lying, but that’s not unusual.” So I say well then show me something better this time. Despite the fact that the camera he showed me was 7MP the day before, he got out a shitty brand camera that was 6MP. I cleared my throat and politely noted to him that I wanted a “better” camera. He insisted that the one he had shown me was 5MP.

“Doh!”

But that was not the end. I said I didn’t want any digital cameras and said that I wanted to buy that 30G iPod that he said he would sell for $160. Guessing that he would try to pull the same shit again, I said it in a rather mocking way, and the response I got was not much of a different tone. I put up my serious look and told him to cut the crap or I’ll leave. He just told me to go away.

So this really messes up my mind. Either, the guy didn’t really want to sell anything to me or had a personal thing with me, which I was unable to identify, or the store is so popular that I’m an expendable customer, and he just didn’t feel like doing that particular discount he would do.

I, very luckily, experienced three more occurrences of similar behavior and ended up concluding that they didn’t want the customer to compare any prices. You get it at that time or you get nothing.

A business tactic I do not understand, but undoubtedly works, otherwise they would not be doing it.

So I returned to the place I called “home”, Maryland and bought and iPod to myself from the Apple store, keeping my worries clear.

I love the thing. The sound quality is great and, with the help of the fast internet connected to my apartment, I downloaded about 2 gigabytes of songs, and still counting.

I admit! I’m a criminal! I’m stealing songs from limewire even as I write. And that feels SO good.

I just came back from my trip to Niagara Falls. I’m quite tired but I feel that if I don’t reflect on what I have experienced, I can forget them later on. No, I don’t have the alzheimer’s disease or something but I tend to forget details [they say it is a sign of genius mind but I’m nowhere near being a genius (I would be probably working on something else at the moment. Or at least I would be also caring, aside from knowing, the fact that I will probably mess up my biological clock again.).]

It was an 8-hour ride from where I currently reside to Niagara Falls, NY. If it wasn’t for the Hindu guy at the rental station that quite willingly gave us a free upgrade (because we’re in no way related, but foreign in the US nonetheless?) to a full-size car from a sub-compact, it would be a painful 8-hour ride. Past Buffalo, we arrived at Niagara to find “Welcome” Centers all over the place. A logical person would figure that me and my family have a slightly tight budget, so we’re always inclined to go for the cheapest one. Well, I enter this Welcome Center and the guy tells me he would do the tour for $80 per person. Like a lizard (or a frog, rather) sensing the danger, I was petrified for some time and don’t quite remember how I got out from there.

Roaming around the city, I quickly realised that something was missing at the streets. People. There weren’t any people around, nor were there any cars. The houses had wooden planks nailed on their windows and for a moment I thought there was a civil war going on. I observed that skin color discrimination was rather apparent at the city, and it wasn’t a hard thing, even for me. From the few houses that had American flags drawn at their doors, none of them were populated by any black people (is that word rude? We don’t have many different races from where I come from).

So, heck, I came about 500 miles so I’m gonna sleep well and go to a decent tour tomorrow. We quickly found the right place to stay. The room was smelling of mould but that was the kind of quality you got from a cheap inn. At that time, and to my astonishment, I realised that the guy at the counter too, was Indian. Assuming that all Indians are going to treat me nice, I went on about asking the guy for any other (cheaper) tour. Guess what? The official state park actually sold passes for $25. So much for those Welcome Centers. I would never pay anyone $60 to tell me about a place I already can read about from the place itself.

He also told me about how the government is buying all the houses so they can build a tourist attraction. A proper one!

It was a wonderful experience. I got to all the attractions and never regretted one of them. I read its history too (surprise surprise!) and visited the aquarium. Sadly enough, the animals over at the aquarium looked miserable and tired of living, unlike those at the Baltimore Aquarium.

Looking at the Canadian side (and unable to go there) I remarked that Canada did a much better job at building a touristic city (the abundant number of luxury hotels including two Sheratons helped). The proportions of those who are passing over to Canada was also much greater than those who came to the US.

So here is a poem I can relate to right at this moment. (sudden change of topic but I’m going to sleep at the top of the laptop otherwise)

Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening
Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it’s queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there’s some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

And I realise that I have quite a bit of miles to go, like the person in the poem.

Hope you like the poem.

2500 miles later

July 21, 2006

Ok, I admit, I’ve been neglecting my newly founded blog for some time now. Not that people are concerned or something, but just as a side note. The reason behind this is, well, my trips to certain places in America. Coming from a country I thought very big, I’ve seen that an 18 hour car trip with 6 people with you is not something I will look forward to doing anytime soon. This was a trip to Orlando FL from Rockville MD. I’ve visited a Disney World park and the Universal Studios thing for some thrills and I got much more than I signed up for.

The first day we were stumbling over maps and directions to find out way out of Washington I-95 (god, Americans have different ways of indicating roads). Frustration and anger pondered in our lovely family van that vacated 7 people in total. We had to stop in a motel to sleep for some 5 hours and went back to driving.

We arrived at Disney World and I knew, because of the limited time allocated for such entertainment, I had to choose only one park. The lucky park to host me was the MGM Studios. I liked the Twilight Zone tower of terror. To clear things off, I’m a very coward person and even looking at the darn thing gave me goosebumps all over. Being in the thing was a very different experience. It was spectacular, and sadly, the only thing I would call thrilling. But then, hey, I was in Disney World, where Mickey Mouse roamed the streets, so it surely was the wrong place to be in if one is looking to scare oneself.

The most notable thing in the Disney World MGM Studios was the last show in the park. Totally amazing! Although, I saw some brainwash going on, which didn’t surprise me at all..

The second day was a carefully planned coincidence. It was my birthday. We got our one-day-two-park passes from the Universal Studios, with the addition of Meal Deal which lets you eat stuff the whole day long. Aside from the food, the park was fantastic. The first stop Twister was entertaining, but that wasn’t enough for me, not in my birthday. I wanted to be afraid so much that I would shit my pants. So I proceeded through the line of The Mummy’s Revenge. A high-speed roller coaster which also featured backward movement. Even the wording of that thrilled me. The ride was good, but not great. So no pictures bought at the exit. The thrills started coming in the second park. I got on the “Hulk Coaster”. Watching the people from the outside may make you go “wow” but I was petrified the whole ride. It was awesome and I would advise everyone to go on and ride that roller coaster. It is so much fun. I was agonizing at the waiting line and trying to convince myself to be less scared, but the ride was so totally great that I didn’t even have time to be scared.

The other goodness was the Doctor Doom’s Tower or whatever the name was. I first freaked out and got on it later that day when it was dark. I was even lucky enough to be in the third seating row, so I got to see all the lights of the park and that too was fantastic.

I probably missed so many things but I’m too tired even now.

I don’t know the concept of “expensive” in America but dining for $60 in a steak house was a very great burden for my family, so we ended up dining in McDonald’s for a change. Maybe we’ll reconsider later but now I gotta sleep.

I’ll keep you posted.

DNA over the internet

July 13, 2006

Today it rained. The rain was so smooth and tender it really was awesome. It wasn’t like the sky was bitching on about something, but rather, silently crying almost as if its trying to hide it, but the tears are just too much so they flowed. It was one of those cleansing rains that makes you feel good about yourself. Despite the rain, the weather kept its warmness and the only effect of the crying sky was to raise the humidity level, so I ended up sweating more than I would have. In an attempt to cool my body, I discovered that the Giant supermarket near our apartment had the required equipment. From the time I entered the market, my body temperature started falling and it stabilized. I would have happily resided there till the end of my days, but sadly, I needed to go out, and that was when I got hit by a terrific force, warm air. I’ve never felt air so strong.

Zapping the channels at 9p.m. in utter disbelief and thinking that American TV had nothing to offer me, I came across the “Nightmares & Dreamscapes” series in TNT. I wasn’t a dedicated fan of Stephen King and honestly, read only those books there were most famous. But even I, possessed the common knowledge that anything Stephen King would write should be scary, so I went straight ahead and opened the volume up. The first chapter was absolutely amazing and, being involved with toys myself, even now, could feel the hatred of those toy soldiers. “Cool, I should never miss this” I said to myself and guess what, another chapter started. Featuring the most beautiful, Claire Forlani, I was in total awe. I’m no critique, but I thought the camera was used in a cool fashion that conveyed that sense of adrenalin at every creepy scene. The scenario of that second chapter was, in my opinion, was not well founded, but it was interesting and kept me watching and wondering until the end.

Bored of my personal blabber yet? Good.

I was awakened by that dreadful tone of fire alarm this morning, at about 6 o’clock. I prayed god (do I even believe in one?) for it to be some kind of hallucination, but it was not. The fucking thing went on for FIFTEEN FUCKING MINUTES. I am trying to force myself into believing that my neighbors are nice people, but occurrences like this just turn the right switch in my mind and I instantly start hating them. Morons.. That is the third fucking alarm in the past two days. At first, it was amusing, but it lost its effect after I learned that I had to go up 14 stories by foot, because maintenance of the elevator was impossible. Bah!

Also, while reading some other blog which I don’t even remember, I followed a link to a site titled, PersonalDNA and took the test. I thought, hell what is it good for, but it proved to be quite accurate. For all those who want to know what I am, I’m a CONCERNED BUILDER. wtf? Well, go in the site and take the test, or if you are that exited about it, here is the link for my personal profile. Well the site? Here.

Here is my profile. Cool ain’t it?

PersonalDNA Profile Result

I’m sorry this had to be so small and in a very lossy Jpeg format, but the laptop I have stationed myself (and the only one I can at the moment) is not a real god of all laptops, so hey, if you don’t like it, tough.

Yet another day filled with action, treachery and lust..or not. My efforts into shifting my sleeping time gave birth to a whole new problem. I can sleep late and wake later than normal, but then, I miss the most important meal of the day, the breakfast, and lose my desire to break fast after I’ve woken up. So what? Well, I do not consider myself to be a skinny person, on the contrary, I’m quite large (although the Big&Tall section is still quite Big for me). As usual, surfing on the web, apathying (?) upon my existence, in Wired and Digg (at the same time, thanks to Firefox), I StumbledUpon a site that really “caught” me.

Being an enthusiastic guitar player [and not having my guitar with me as an outcome of my trip to America, therefore missing my guitar(s) so much] this site has really affected me. Although the topic Philosophy was by no means in my checked list in StumbleUpon, the toolbar lead me through the main menu of the GuitarPrinciples‘ philosophy section. I first thought it was a compilation of emotional essays and articles about the Lord Almighty and whatnot. Then I started reading one of them and ended up reading the whole site! It was WONDERFUL (yep, I don’t like caps too, but that word had to get some attention, even beyond italics). I recommend every open minded guitar player or enthusiast to read these essays, and to buy his book entitled: “The Deeper I Go the Deeper It Gets: Meditation of Life and Guitar”. Quite a long name but explains whats inside the book very well. I may even buy the original copy of the book, since I highly value what the writer (Jamie Andreas) had to say, and I loved his approach.

Before I forget, here is the link to the philosophy section.

Another inspiration I’ve discovered for myself today is the artist Mark Jenkins [funnily, reminds me of the famous video of Leroy Jenkins (hello WoW players!)] The videos and pictures in his site were fabulous. He makes people from tape (yep the sticky one) and places them in street corners or other places where they would catch people’s attention. Anybody read this far down, here is your treat, go and take a look at the pictures in this site. As a side note, I have absolutely no idea why the guy has x’s at the front and end of his name for his site (maybe someone else got it?), but it’s cool anyway.

All this thinking and meditation lead me to take action and I placed ads on my stupid site. I’m actually embarrassed about it because I guess everyone that achieved a certain level of PHP attempted this, but I was young and tender, and wanted that taste of Google AdSense money. Well, my attempts ended up banning my father from AdSense (not that he cared, but..). From that moment on, I’ve lamented at that $36 my site made in its first two weeks and never tried another advertising system. I signed up to Clicksor ad program and placed those ads where Google’s used to be. For the moment I’m not expecting much, and the site is going to close since I won’t update the hosting plan, but, well, money gained is money gained.

P.S. OK I confess, it is an image hosting site. I used to think it has a great layout and good code, but its full of bugs, which I’m not enthusiastic about fixing. Though, I won’t give the address (not that you cared..).