Monday, January 28, 2008

Stimulating Conversations

I've decided that what I need more of is stimulating conversations. I'm talking one on one (or small group) face to face conversations about important shit. Nobody likes to talk about things, nobody wants to share more than they have to, but I think I need more of it and I'm asking for your help.

I don't think I mentioned it last night, but I saw Bucketlist with Justin and while it wasn't the laugh out loud flick I was hoping for it was a really good movie. It reminded me a lot of Big Fish in the sense that it had some really great lessons to it. It made me think about a lot of things in my life. Which continued today in one of my classes.

Jim Anderson is probably one of the greatest professors I've ever met. I go to his class because he has something to say and I learn something. It's more than just Music Industry (which looking back should have been my major all along) it's about life. I was taking notes today. I don't take notes in classes ever. The notes were so that as soon as I got out of class I could come and write this down. It's good shit and I think you all should see it in one spot. Here's a little ditty about it.

Lesson #1 The World Doesn't Owe You Shit
I've had this conversation with Steve recently about how some of us have been working our asses off to get where we are or to get what we have (as little or as much as it is), while other people have been spoon fed and handed everything that they've ever owned. They have everything they could imagine having and if they don't they want it now, and probably get it. But wake up. The world doesn't owe you a god damn thing. That's the problem with our generation. The internet and everything else has given everyone this need for instant gratification. The expectation that EVERYTHING is available at the click of a button. It's not. So realize that quick or you're going to spend the rest of your life a spoiled little brat and nobody will like you.

Lesson #2 You Are Talented, Surround Yourself With Other Talented People
The best way to get ahead in this world is to realize that you are talented. The best way to challenge yourself is to surround yourself with other talented people and use each others strengths to improve each other's weaknesses. Reason number 1 why I joined Kappa Sigma. Whether that has been the case or if others feel the same way is yet to be determined.

Lesson #3 The Whole Is Greater Than The Sum of The Parts
I know you've heard this one before, but it's so true that as a collective body, you are so much more effective than as individuals working alongside each other. You really have to work TOGETHER and Everyone will Acheive More (Look at that TEAM. Straight off the walls of St. James' gym). I guess it's okay to realize when you aren't the best at something and let someone else fit that role. Something I struggle with greatly is delegation. I don't really like to give any of my 'power' away. For me it's always been if you want something done right, do it yourself. Too often I think that it has to be done by me to be done right, when there are a whole lot of capable people in this world that can do things as good or better than I can.

Lesson #4 I'm Bringing Humble Back (As inspired by LaToya)
I guess in a world of self promotion and pride (which are both important in moderation), it's too easy to become self absorbed. It's important to keep yourself humble. To realize that you aren't alone in this world and that there are very few things that you can do alone happily. Sure you can do things by yourself, but after a while you go crazy. It's important to be proud of who you are and what you stand for, but as Ben Folds puts it best "There's Always Someone Cooler Than You". Your shit doesn't smell like roses. It smells like shit.

Lesson #5 Persevere
Hang in there until you succeed. Just because I may not have a job lined up four months before I graduate, doesn't mean that I'm never going to have a job. Just because one person doesn't like my attitude or my outlook, or my blogs, doesn't mean that there isn't someone out there you does. One man's trash is another man's treasure. If Spice Girls can sell out the Garden 10 years after they were any where near significant, I can do anything. If at first you don't succeed, try again. Which leads to...

Lesson #6 What Doesn't Kill Us, Makes Us Stronger
Contrary to popular belief Kanye West did not come up with this idea. It's been around for ages, and I have to believe it because everyday I feel a little stronger. I've had some bad experience that left me with a bad taste or a hurt soul, but I'm still alive to blog about it and somehow I know that those experiences have made me a better person, if only for the fact that I know what it's like to be there and won't ever intentionally do that to someone. That I will be able to be a friend to someone who goes through it because I can genuinely say I've been there before and bounced back from it. Kind of like a recovering addict helping another addict, in a weird way.(Maybe only I make that connection)

Lesson #7 Stay Informed. The More You Know.
This is one that I really struggle with. Instead of going out and learning the facts, I rely on them being brought to me. This is a problem with a lot of people I feel. The internet is such a wonderful thing (for the most part) with millions of sites out there. You can literaly learn about anything you can imagine, but most people spend time playing games and on facebook and myspace and blogspot(which is okay as long as it's my blogspot) than actually going out and learning something. This year is a major year for our country because the position of President of the United States is up for grabs, and I have to be honest I know nothing about the candidates. I'm not informed. The scary part is that I know I'm not alone. An abundance of knowledge is unlike anything else. An abundance of knowledge cannot be a bad thing. Everyday we should strive to learn something new and retain it. I learned a lot today.

So perhaps you can tell I'm light years away from where I was yesterday. Sometimes I wonder if I'm bipolar, but that's a whole nother story. For now I'm just looking forward to some tough conversations the next couple days. If I call you and haven't in a while, don't be suprised. I'm not going to dive into politics immediately, I just want to catch up and try and be a better friend. Then you can buy me dinner and we can talk to each other. (and not someone else while on the phone for 45 minutes while I twiddle my thumbs and watch the Celtics at the bar...)


Ben Folds -
Like you've got nothing to prove
No matter what you might do
There's always someone out there cooler than you

I know that's hard to believe
But there are people you meet
They're into something that is too big to be
Through their clothes
And they'll put up with all the poses you throw
And you won't
Even know

That they're not sizing you up
They know your mom fucked you up
Or maybe let you watch too much TV

But they'll still look in your eyes
To find the human inside
You know there's always something in there to see

The veneer
Not everybody made the list this year
Have a beer

Make me feel tiny if it makes you feel tall
But there's always someone cooler than you
Yeah, you're the shit
But you won't be it for long
Oh, there's always someone cooler than you
Yeah, there's always someone cooler than you

Now that I've got the disease
In a way I'm relieved
Cause' I don't have to stress about it like you do
I might just get up and dance
Or buy some acid washed pants
If you don't care
Then you got nothing to lose

And I won't
Cause every moment life is slipping away
It's ok

Make me feel tiny if it makes you feel tall
But there's always someone cooler than you
Yeah, you're the shit
But you won't be it for long
Oh, there's always someone cooler than you
Yeah, there's always someone cooler than you
Oh, there's always someone cooler than

Life is wonderful
Life is beautiful
We're all children of
One big universe
So you don't have to be
A chump

And you know
(You know)
That I won't
(I won't)
Cause every moment life is slipping away
It's ok
(It's ok)

Make me feel tiny if it makes you feel tall
'Cause there's always someone cooler than you
Yeah, you're the shit
But you won't be it for long
But there's always someone cooler than you
Oh yeah, there's always someone cooler than you
Because there's always someone cooler than you

Cooler than you
Cooler than you
Cooler than you
Cooler than you
My Lady

Nerds gone wild
Yeah yea

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Been a long week, going to be a long post.

So I had some time last weekend in Vermont to start thinking, which is never good, for my die-hard readers especially. Anyone who has been reading for a decent amount of time knows that when I think I tend to write for days if not longer on the blog about things and tend to over analyze and dissect everything that has happened and what it could possibly mean. Some of you become very concerned for my well being and others of you will skip over this one all together because you don't have the time to read it. Both of which are understandable. I will probably not go back myself and read this once it's posted (unless Steve points out grammatical errors that I'll feel obliged to fix.)

Okay so let's get into it. I'm in this limbo state right now. Not really in the real world, not really a student. Yes I'm technically in classes and technically a senior, but if I posted my syllabi for my classes you would laugh and think that I might as well be paying $16,000 to fingerpaint. (That isn't to say that I'm not learning anything, don't worry Mom it's totally worth it) It's weird not knowing where I'm going to be in a couple months. To not know where I'm going to be living or working. Earlier this year, I was nicknamed the Gypsy and understandably so. For the past year or so I hadn't really lived in one spot or held one job (which sucks now that I have to file a tax return in like 4 states and 3 countries). I also have never had a problem sleeping on a couch or floor or eating peanut butter and banana sandwiches for weeks at a time. I guess I go with the flow and make the best of what's around. I enjoy the fact that I don't know where I'm going or doing at any given moment, because it keeps life exciting. Or at least it has kept life exciting, now it seems like a frightening prospect.

One thing that I think I've lost in the shuffle and the Gypsy lifestyle is some good friends. Sometimes I feel like I go through 'best friends' like Boscoe goes through raw hide bones. I'm not the greatest at keeping in touch with people (no where near as bad as my cousin Caitlin. CALL ME ALREADY). I expect people to make the effort and keep in touch with me I guess. So instead of putting in the effort to pick up the phone, I pass the buck on them and have a somewhat cocky, 'their loss' attitude. In hindsight, it's my loss. I also tend to push people away if I think they are getting too close. I trust people alot. Probably more than I should. I guess I assume everyone is awesome. So I go out and put everything on the table, I go out of my way and stick my neck out to stick up for people and then sometimes I get burned. You get burned too many times and you stop putting your hand out. I get burned, I lose faith in people for a short bit, and I usually end up going the complete opposite of my usual self. I begin to believe that all people suck. Instead of people having to go out of the way to disappoint, you really have to go out of your way to prove to me that your are awesome and worth me putting myself out there. It's become all or nothing. You either get 100% of me or you get nothing. It's a take it or leave it kind of deal.

It's nice to find people who share that. Who will give you 100% in return. It's rare and I can probably count those friends on one hand (even if I haven't kept in great contact with some of them, damn I really need to work on that). I had a conversation earlier today about how disappointed I was and how I was frustrated with a lot of things that were going on, and it was put in to perspective for me. "It's more important to have one great friend than a handful of mediocre ones." It's so true. That's not to say that mediocre or even good friends are disposable or unimportant, it's just that I need to learn that those friends come and go, and that's okay.

I've also come to realize that it's easier to avoid talking and getting to know someone in group settings. Tonight Justin and I talked about signs that we are old, specifically how we are outgrowing large group activities. Personally, I'd much rather have a small gathering of friends or a one on one, than a huge party. With big parties you are trying to split your time between everyone that is there or you're isolating yourself from the group by not trying to split your time. It's fake and a front and you are trying to please everyone. Whereas if you are one on one or just a few people you can actually dedicate your time and effort to the conversation, somewhat stress free. Sometimes it's nice to get lost in the crowd of a big party, but other times all you want is some stimulating conversation. I think our generation has lost that. Even with my best friend, I have more intimate conversations online than ever in person. I guess I'm guilty as well. I never talk about this shit, it's just easier to put it all down on paper (at least that's what we used to do before this blog thing was created). Some of the best conversations I've ever have been one on one in the car driving. That's why sometimes I really miss my car.

Okay that's it for now, there is alot of other things floating around in this head of mine, but I can only decompress so much at one time. So don't worry. I'm okay, I promise, just needed to get some stuff of my chest. Looking forward to the next couple weeks as I begin to organize and plan, even though it scares me. It's a little bit of a reassurance when strangers after about an hour of service at CPK tell me that I have a bright future. (Some older gentleman at lunch today asked me my life story and then said well whatever you do, I'm sure you will be successful, he also asked me to try and explain myspace and facebook, luckily I had another table to greet.)

Much love.

"When I find myself fading, I close my eyes and realize my friends are my energy."

Thursday, January 24, 2008

BJ Novak was awesome

BJ was awesome. I'm off to work but I'll write more later, BUT here I am on Oh and did I mention I was out til 1:30am drinking with BJ that's right. Good day yesterday.

Full details later.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Great Weekend

Overall had a great weekend with some great friends. Don't really want to go back to reality tomorrow, but at least I have BJ Novak to look forward to on Wednesday night. Giants kicked some Green Bay ass. Let's hope the momentum makes the game on Feb 3rd interesting at least.

Til tomorrow

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Happy Birthday Hansen!

So it's our third day here and I have to say I'm really enjoying myself. Who knew there would be so much to do even when not skiing. Basically I lounged around and watched some TV and then met up with everyone around 3 for lunch and happy hour and then we hung out and had dinner and some more drinks. We ended up back at the condo at like midnight and just hung out and built a fire. Today is Justin's birthday and Timmy went home because he has to work in the morning, Steve is somewhere complaining how sore he is from yesterday and everyone is getting another day of skiing in. Going to grab some breakfast shortly around the corner and then going to go watch the Pats play at 3 and hopefully watch the Giants at 6:30 (I think Steve and I are the only ones who care to watch it). The birthday boy is king for the day so we'll do what he wants. Then tonight we are going to a hibachi restaurant for dinner. Still 24 hours left and I'm not ready to go back to Boston. It's nice getting away every once and a while.

Okay now on to some other stuff...

Suzanne Pleshette has died of pulmonary failure at the age of 70. You may remember her from Newhart.

The Grammy's may not go on as planned as a lot of other things, because of the writers strike.

I missed the game, but Maryland upset North Carolina yesterday.

That's all thats fit to find.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Ski Trip

Good Morning All,

Heading out in a few hours to go on a ski/snowboard trip to Killington, VT. Unfortunately for me I neither ski nor snowboard so for me it's just a trip. A chance to get away from the bright lights for a while and hopefully relax, although with the crew thats going I doubt relaxed is going to describe anything this weekend.

Before I go though, I just wanted to say that I saw Cloverfield last night and while everyone else I was with loved it, I was not really all that impressed. I won't ruin it for anyone who is planning on seeing it, but I just felt like some of it was just way too far fetched at some points. Cinematography and the style was cool (be careful if you have a weak stomach, lots of Blair Witch-esque hand held shots). I'd give it 3/5 stars.

Other stuff going on...

With the all the happy baby news lately it's sad to hear that Lily Allen has miscarried.

Coach Coughlin was quoted in a press conference on how they were preparing for the weather for this Sunday's game: "I don't think we are going to have the balls in the freezer." I'm going to go out on a limb right now and say that I'm calling for a Giants/Pats Super Bowl in Arizona. Sorry Brett. LET'S GO GIANTS!!

"Paging Dr. Lohan" As part of her punishment for drunk driving Lindsay Lohan will be spending some time in the morgue

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers may be playing the Super Bowl halftime show, but the Counting Crows are playing the Super Bowl Eve party. Crows also have two new songs up on their website from their upcoming album Saturday Nights and Sunday Mornings.

That's all for now. One class then off to the mountains. Have A Great Weekend.

"Johnny whispered good night, it's all tight Jane. I'll meet you tomorrow night on Lover's Lane. We may find it out on the streets tonight, Jane. Or we may walk until the daylight maybe."

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Gavin...too little too late buddy

Now don't get me wrong I was a huge fan of the first Gavin DeGraw album. I had the opportunity to work with him here at Northeastern right after he "blew up" and had the hit single and the soundtrack on One Tree Hill, and he was a cool down to earth guy with some great tracks. Then he disappeared. He did the touring thing non-stop and people kept saying where's the follow up album? What are you doing? Now nearly five years later he is ready to release the next album. In an interview with Billboard he says the album is moving in a much more 'rock direction'. He also mentions how he spends a ridiculous amount of time writing lyrics...but some of the lyrics on the new album include "I'm a cop/stop, put up your hands and surrender to me." If you spend more than 10 minutes writing that, this album is going tank. Good luck Gavin.

The Office's BJ Novak, Brotherhood, and some other stuff

I have had the great pleasure of planning an event for my fraternity and next Wednesday BJ Novak better known as Ryan on The Office will be joining us at Northeastern for a night of comedy. Tickets went on sale today and I'm sure they are going to sell out in the next day or two which is awesome.

In other news, I skipped my first class of the semester and gave myself a 5 day weekend. It's fine it's only Rock Music. I know about 1000 people in the class and I'll get the notes tomorrow in class. I have to work tonight at 5 and I want to get some other stuff done before then so hopefully I'll be productive between now and then.

When I joined the fraternity I joined above all else because of the brotherhood. In high school whether it was sports or forensics there was always this bond with the guys that even when I was feeling like I didn't fit in or that I didn't know what I wanted, they were always above all else there for me. I wanted that to continue and it was tough being far at different schools from everyone else, so a fraternity seemed like a smart choice. When I joined 4 years ago, those brotherhood bonds were there. Then some things happened and some of my closest bonds were broken. Bonds that you thought based on our ideals and principals were untouchable. Some of them remained, but I used New York and Australia as an escape from all the BS and let myself fall of the face of the earth for a while. I wish somehow I could get everyone in the chapter to understand that the bonds are what set us apart from any other student organization and any other group of friends. The secrets and the rituals are what makes this more than a drinking club. I have just over 100 days as an undergraduate to start that thought process again.

Okay enough about me (honestly there is never enough about me but...):

Apple announced that they will offer Movie rentals through the iTunes store and an awesome new macbook

Christina Aguilera had a baby boy. Unfortunately it wasn't mine.

OJ Simpson was in court once again this morning. The judged called him "arrogant, ignorant, or both".

Maybe the writers strike isn't so bad.

And in concert news Matchbox Twenty and Linkin Park talk about their upcoming tours and recent albums.

John Mayer covers Justin Timberlake and it's awesome. And then he goes and defends Jessica Simpson. Classy move John, but on a rock star scale 0.

Okay look for more daily updates about life outside of mine and we'll see if I can't get famous and find me a job or something. Maybe I'll even start podcasting if I can buy me some equipment. Did someone say radio show?


Monday, January 14, 2008

Snow Day? In College? That's Right!

So today I had a snow day, which is good because I have three classes on Monday. Instead, I had nothing. I spent the day reassembling my life. This included cleaning my room, doing about a dozen loads of laundry, reorganizing my papers (or starting to) and some Guitar Hero, which I beat on Medium today. It was a good day.

Since I got back from Christmas I have felt like I was living someone else's life. Like there were times when I didn't remember doing something 5 minutes after I did it. Sometimes, it felt like I was watching myself from the outside. It was weird and I couldn't explain it, but now I'm okay. I guess it's true what they say about your room resembling your life, I organized a little and it seems my life has kind of fallen back into place, although I only have 108 days to figure out what's next in my life. No pressure right.

That's all for now, I have to get to bed, but I have a feeling there is going to be a lot more this week.


"And sometimes you close your eyes and see the place where you used to live, when you were young" - The Killers

Thursday, January 3, 2008

2007 a reflection and why 2008 scares the shit out of me.

So looking back on 2007 was pretty awesome. Living for a semester in Australia which you can read about in detail from those months to working for the New York Giants summer camp this summer (and the Albany County Clerks office as well) to a great semester back in Boston and some great reconnections with some old friends. I'm loving serving tables at CPK and getting my feet back under me in a lot of ways.

The grass is always greener.

When I got back to Boston and was pumped and excited because after a year away I was ready to be back here with everybody. Even Australia had lost some of its shine and I was ready to come back here. Then after a few weeks in Boston I had the itch to move, I was struggling to reconnect with people. I realized the world didn't stop when I left and things were different, and in some cases real different. Then I got over it, got back in to a routine met some new people, hung out with some of the people from Australia and really began to settle down again. Even to the point that I can see myself sticking around for a little while now.

And that's what scares the shit out of me. This year is going to be a year of more changes than I've had to deal with since senior year of high school when I had to decide where to go to school. Now I have to decide what the next step in my life is going to be. No pressure, it's fine.

Last night I was hanging with a bunch of the CPK girls and they are all senior ASL interpreting majors (American Sign Language). I was like well at least you guys have a specific direction to go in. Communications is kind of really broad and I can do anything, or nothing. They were like well we can do interpreting or nothing. I guess it's all the same in terms of what decisions you have to make.

The semester should be pretty easy and I'm going to be working a lot. Hopefully for senior year I'll be able to afford to go on a Spring Break (not that Australia wasn't a semesters worth of Spring Breaks). I would love to take things one day at a time, but I know that Spring semester flies by as it is and I think if I blink it will be gone. Less than five months from today is graduation. And then the rest of my life...

I'm scared to think about it too much. I got some new music for Christmas. The OneRepublic album is killing it on my iPod right now, just can't turn it off. You may know it from the Timbaland remix of Apology, but the other tracks on the album are really cool too. It's got a different feel too it that is kind of Linkin Park rap/rock (the entire album was produced by Timbaland) and a little Blue October (Hate Me) feel, but not as whiney and poppy. Overall I'm enjoying it and it's definitely worth a listen.