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.

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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..).

Real WTF Happening

July 10, 2006

To be honest, I’m a loyal “reader” of Digg, but unlike the rest, I do not submit interesting articles or spam so my site gets promoted (yes, surprisingly, I do have a site and I’m quite embarrased about it..) but rather, I just follow the links at the front page and the “Upcoming” section. The reason I always check the Upcoming Stories section is that the sites sometimes crash because of the immense traffic coming from Digg. Those of you who are reading this probably knows what Digg is, but if not, and you like to surf the internet for tech stuff, visit Digg.com.

The reason I have spent time writing the above section is because there are two very interesting sites that have caught my attention. The first is actually the content that is contained within the site, rather than the site itself. It’s a news report about some 20 students trying to cheat in the university entrance exam. Until this point, this looks like the usual cheating plot often done by daring highschool students, but this is where the story at hand differs from the stereotypical one. These students used wigs to conceal wireless mobile phones and earphones to communicate and ask about questions, in addition to t-shirts to hide other gadget.

I think its pretty amazing, considering the amount of money spent of the whole of gadgets and the method in which they tried to pull it off. Make no mistake, I’m not a personal fan of these people and think they would’ve only polluted the university itself and got undeserved reputation, if they actually managed to make it through the university. But then, nearly every successful and known person got undeserved something before they came about. That’s just life..

The link to the entire story is http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory?id=2173774

Another vastly amusing site I’ve stumbles across is www.dailywtf.com. Especially http://thedailywtf.com/forums/thread/80731.aspx. This site would be attractive to those who like to program or do programming as their job. Its quite a nice site and you can’t help but say “Wtf?” to some of those stories.

Thats all folks! yep..

Hats off for Italy

July 9, 2006

I don’t know if any of you have noticed, but Italy won the world cup today. It was a really good match and both teams (both being Italy itself and France) played real well. I would say Italy didn’t deserve the cup, because they didn’t play real good, but I’m not going to. Italy was, in my humble opinion, way too aggressive at the beginning of the match. I’m surprised that there were only 1 red card in the whole game, but there were a LOT of fouls for France. This only resulted in a fair decided penalty and Zidane scored a real tactical but risky goal. Unlike I would’ve felt in the same situation, Italy got on its feet pretty quickly and WHAM a super goal came from them (don’t actually remember the guys name). Then the game got mild. No goals until the extensions, in which people got real heated up and aggressive. Zidane got a well-deserved red card because he couldn’t keep his head where it normally belongs. It was obvious the guy was preparing his bare head for such an occasion.

The penalties were quite expected, since France lost Henry and Zidane, so one unlucky guy missed a penalty and Italy missed none, and they won 5-3 in the penalties.

I actually wanted Italy to win because, well, French are so…never mind, but I was quite contented with the outcome of the match.

Well, that was the highes point of my day today. Quite hot here in Maryland, although no sun. I would ask “How was your day?” but then, there are many people who read this are there?[…there….there…there…th.. (echo effect :))]

Although I wouldn’t want to say goodbye to the face of the earth, I certainly hate Hello World posts. But on another level, how should your first post on a blog be? Should I delve straight into the mess that’s in my head without any explanations or should I create a detailed step-by-step plan so the blog will be almost like a hard-worked popular novel? After thinking very hard until my brain hurt, I’ve decided:

Hello World.

Phew! That was easy.. The funny part is, I would’ve never started this blog if it weren’t for the excess time I had in my hand. My visit to America proved to be “different” than my expectations. I currently reside in a part of Maryland and sadly, my apartment is mostly populated by the elderly and disabled, which in turn, disables me of any action that I normally would’ve do in “normal” circumstances. Please excuse me; I have nothing against the elderly or the disabled, which actually are much sympathetic than the average American I’ve observed, but it also has its drawbacks.

But

the point of this blog is exclusively not my visit to America or the compilations of my observations of Americans. I’m tempted to criticize everything and everybody I see without thinking about what situations they might be in, which kinda makes me a big whiner.

The name of the blog “Exitus”, as some of you may know already..or not, means Death, or the passing away of somebody. I, sadly, consider myself dead. Not because I’m the typical “emo” or anything. I don’t think my life sucks or I don’t hate my parents and don’t want to kill myself. Sometimes you come across people and have great time, but never remember them again. I’m that kind of person. I meet with someone and have great time, but then that person does not remember me, like I have never been there. I’ve always actually been “there” and can recall and observe things that most people cannot, but, like the things I have observed that is not quite visible to others, I myself is invisible too.

As you can see, I’m not a good writer.. Maybe a good thinker, but what good is thinking when you cannot properly get your point across? You can be real happy and satisfy your own ego but then what? Nobody knows whats that you’re thinking and it seems nobody cares. Doesn’t that make me

Dead?

Maybe biologically living, but what about the mental life. I sometimes feel that I’m afraid to think something. I often need to pause to do subtractions like 13 from 52 because it fatigues me. Not that my mathematical abilities are lacking or something. I am fully capable of doing complex stuff, but I feel that I need to put an extra effort to do all these things.

So I’m going to use this as a mental stimulator for myself. Those of you who are taking their time to read what I write (none, at this moment) can sometimes find stupid posts I write just because I’m bored.

I don’t know how one finishes off their hello world post. But yeah.. umm.. see you later..

PS- Did you know that the spellchecker highlights the word “blog” as wrong? Stupid..