Nov. 21st, 2010 10:10 pm
mercat: (Default)
I'm actually liking this daily challenge thing. Some days I'm a little busy to catch it in time, but for the most part, I'm actually making daily posts. :D SUCCESSFUL POSTING IS SUCCESSFUL.

Today's! My favorite subject to study... Man, I don't know. I love learning. I don't always love lectures, or homework, but I love the sense of accomplishment from understanding something, and the perspective you gain from it. I love love love reading. In case you couldn't tell from the fact that I probably spend a minimum of $50 every time I hit the bookstore... which is like once a month. And the fact that I spend sooooo much time online reading blogs. I LOVE INFORMATION. I think it's all one of the reasons I chose engineering--not just so I could get paid more for doing technical stuff (which I'm actually starting to think I might hate, as a job)-- but so I could have that background and understanding. Math and engineering and physics can be challenging, but once you understand it it's kind of amazing, the way you can see patterns. However, I'm not good at learning from proofs or methodologies; I sort of work from multiple examples, working my way through them to understand the subtle differences. This poses a problem wherein most engineering professors don't like to do tons upon tons of examples, I don't have the time to be in their office hours all day long, and the textbooks aren't much better (they usually just have one or two examples).

I like history, but I've found that challenging, too. I was fascinated by ancient history when I was really young-- Native American, Egyptian, Greek, Hawaiian (I remember checking lots of books on those topics out in gradeschool)--but I found learning American history out of a textbook difficult because our textbooks were written really poorly. This continued into high school where I already didn't have a great sense of world history, but I gleaned a little bit here and there except European History with the best history teacher I've ever had. He told events like stories, and would sort of reenact them with the help of his "time machine" (his closet), which often contained props like Napoleon's really cheap bendy plastic sword. He would often stop his storytelling at the MOST EXCITING PARTS, glance at his watch and tell us, "oh, looks like we're out of time!" There was one day, I believe, he was "out of time" with 20 or 30 minutes left in class. SO RIDICULOUS. But to this day I still remember the whole crazy story of Rasputin's death and the Russian royal family's deaths. And why everyone thought Rasputin really was a holy man (from either heaven or hell) by withstanding poison and being shot only to drown. (I think. He might have also survived drowning and then died of hypothermia or something...? Okay, wikipedia tells me he did die from drowning, but what I was forgetting was that he was beaten and secured before being thrown in the river, but then broke free of these bonds to then drown.) ANYWAY.

College history is a lot better, because we had a "World-War-II-In-One-Lecture-Using-Only-Battlefront-Maps-of-Europe" day, which gives just the kind of summary on the war that our crappy textbooks lacked that is kind of like a five-sentence-outline version of the politics of the time and let me start placing events within that timeline. Honestly, whoever wrote the textbooks we used in gradeschool and highschool needs to reevaluate their methods. The problem is, they told history like a bunch of individual stories, which makes it very difficult for someone with no overarching view to tie them together. There were basically no ways for me to string everything together into one timeline, at least, not well. BUT. Strangely, I got another good "summary" of globalization through Hawaiian and Pacific history, strangely enough--because it's essentially watching undiscovered lands mature into modern countries in less than two centuries. A century and a half, even. Not to mention, the Pacific was a significant part of WWII, which is a good education on the Japanese side of things rather than the standard Nazi/European focus.

I also like art, because it gives more relationships for history, and understanding the context of famous art pieces makes them a lot more meaningful. Although I now find Warhol annoying. I understand his intent but him, personally... he seemed kind of pretentious in his videos when we studied him. Like the forefather of Hipsters. (For srs.) Also, art history also makes you more prone to getting into discussions about the meaning and value of art (see: trivia night two weeks ago, haha!).

(For the record the argument was whether or not modern art is worthless. My position is that modern art is much more meaningful than other art because it is completely expressive at it is freed from the necessitation of replicating life exactly--that is, the invention of the camera and video, etc. allows for much more "creation" in art. The opposition was saying that this is pointless because you aren't simply looking at something, the art is in the emotion or the context, which isn't the art itself. SO. LET IT NOT BE SAID MY ART HISTORY MINOR WAS EVER COMPLETELY WORTHLESS.)

So! What have I covered so far? Math, physics, engineering, history, art... Music? Music is my-life-outside-of-design. I could do it as a career if it were the right thing. I miss marching and I don't know what I'm going to do without anymore marching band... ever. Although I am taking tap next semester, so, currently, dance is my closest-approximation-replacement. And tap is percussive, so it's closer than, say, ballet, which I can't watch anymore BECAUSE THE DANCERS DON'T MOVE NECESSARILY WITH THE MUSIC /rant

Okay. Am I missing anything else? Oh! English (and languages). I love grammar, and spelling, although that is something my gradeschool also taught poorly that I picked up in high school better. One, because I was learning a new language as well, so there was a focus on grammar, and two, because we learned to diagram, which is also a focus on grammar, and it's basically all like one big puzzle. Now if only I could do better with strange verb conjugations! OH, SUBJUNCTIVE/PRETERITE/IMPERFECT/ETC TENSES. (I also miss learning languages.)

Uh... earth sciences? I guess that's what's left? Also fascinating. I love nature. I find psychology fascinating. Astronomy is SO COOL. It probably helps that my parents are doctors, so my sister and I got a lot of weird biology talk (and a lot of big words) and a pretty good grasp on some areas of science when we were young. BUT, my gradeschool had a completely awful science teacher for 6th/7th/8th grades (shared teacher), so that wasn't great either. Although our books were at least better, more diagrams, more straightforward, so I could at least self-educate to some degree. Now, another topic for another day, our lack of good science communication is evident in science fairs in gradeschool and highschool, because my version of "original experiments" were never quite on par with what they wanted. I still don't understand what they wanted. Because it wasn't a demonstration of a principle, but my ideas were more often too strange to be taken seriously, it seemed.

My science fair projects throughout the years: whether people could actually tell the difference between cola brands, whether kids carried too much in their backpacks, whether cat saliva prevented germ growth (e-coli or streptococcus? or both? can't remember], whether edible fauna (a.k.a. pansies) contains vitamin C, and whether fake or real wine corks do a better job of preventing germ spoiling of wine. I'm missing seventh grade's project... I don't recall at all, really. At any rate, these projects were all off the wall because everything else I had come up with would have "been done before" (meaning my teacher didn't really want me to do that specific project, although they never really gave much advice as to what exactly I could do to improve it) so my methods were always slightly bizarre, and my data was never quite clean enough, and other than the science geniuses who managed to do amazing things (these are the people who make it to international science fairs, I mean) A LOT OF PEOPLE BULLSHITTED THEIR DATA. And got better grades because of it, because their presentations were easier when they didn't have to answer difficult questions about their data's subtleties. So basically despite the fact that "the data you get doesn't have an effect on your final grade", meaning, let science do it's job and don't force a proof of your hypothesis, I generally got fucked over by being honest. Yes, I'm still bitter about this. WHY? Because ethics are important to me. Because human treachery starts early. Because I get punished for being honest. Because my generation clearly doesn't have a problem with cheating and lying to get themselves out of a challenge. FUCK IT ALL I'M SO GODDAMN BITTER ABOUT THIS SHIT.

Sorry to give this a turn for the sad for a moment, but I really don't tend to trust a lot of people my age, and this shit is why. (On the other side, I trust them more on the technical side than I trust myself because, unless I feel I can do something perfectly, I feel very unsure of myself and second-guess myself to no end.) Same kind of shit even happened on retreats! One of my many disillusionments with faith--all the people who act like their religiosity made them so much better than everyone else, when they couldn't even set aside their phones and cd players and everything else for our week of poverty. (To the point that there were prank calls and a string of tampons and pads let down from our room to the guys' quarters. Complete bullshit for a whole week.)

ANYWAY I LOVE LEARNING BUT DON'T TRUST PEOPLE MY AGE. They are not above buying their way out of things. =/

I kind of want to do an anonymous study of gradeschoolers and see how many bullshit their data now. Ugh.

(This is why I've started to think I don't really want kids--I look at adorable babies and toddlers and think, "some day you are going to be an asshole.")

I may or may not be a horrible person.


Oh, I guess, in terms of "favorite subject", specifically, I guess I could say marching. Because drum corps is my life, and I don't know what I'm going to do without being able to do it any more. (Teaching is definitely not the same and I don't necessarily have the desire to be a music teacher. Although I could do visual, but it's still not the same as competitive marching.)
mercat: (Default)
Attention to anyone who's choosing to read my blog and not tell me: at least have the decency to SIGN YOUR COMMENTS so I feel like I'm having an actual conversation.

And worthless threats are worthless. Truly. Have fun with your anonymous commenting I don't give a shit about! You hide behind that IP, go you. you're so awesome, you're my hero and I wanna be just like you when I grow up

Oh wait, I did. I truly enjoy the benefits of growing up out of stupid, shitty high school drama.


mercat: (Default)
So I totally forgot that today was Fat Tuesday and that tomorrow is Ash Wednesday. I think this will be the first Ash Wednesday I'm not going to church. I mean, I may have not gone last year but I don't remember.

Anyway, I'm in a terribly mood to deal with people and that will basically be a big sign tomorrow "HELLO I'M NOT A CATHOLIC" and I just don't want to deal with any of that right now... Bleh. I've been like that all day. Not in a people mood. I know exactly why, too, it's just that I happened to read several things that made me in a don't-want-to-argue-with-people mood. First of all, a random article that had caused a Twilight discussion (yeeeeah, I'm a comment reader). I don't want to dislike it just to be a literature snob, but it worries the feminist side of me that so many young girls think it's so good. I mean, for people who know it's not written that well (I did find it so boring I never made it to the point where the plot showed up) and enjoy it as fluff, cool beans, that's fine. But when I'm in a mood like this I also want to encourage people to read good stuff... like Shakespeare, haha... But yeah, sometimes I find it hard to balance encouraging people to learn with shoving it down their throats a little just for sake of argumentative convenience. I'm not the type of person who likes to argue, I just don't like being put at odds with friends. So that's where that comes from. Secondly, an article about the whole atheists-in-america and militant-christians thing, which just always gets me a little riled and anxious. Bleh. And then we went to our Girl Scout meeting where there were nine roughly third-to-fifth grade girls and THEY'VE NEVER HEARD OF THE BEATLES and lately I've been frustrated that kids think High School Musical and Miley Cyrus and that shit is the Best Thing Ever and I just hate pop music so much for so many reasons and I really didn't want to deal with a bunch of annoying girls who've never heard of the Beatles. I now know why I hung out with boys in gradeschool rather than girls, and why I grew into being able to hang out with girls again. It's a maturity or intelligence (or FORETHOUGHT) issue and it explains so much. I just don't like that age group of girls, apparently.

BAH. So, yes, not in a people mood.

Oh my god there is this girl (who is sitting in the other room and it's driving me crazy) and she starts EVERY sentence with "it's one where". Regardless of actual context. If she's explaning something, it's "it's one where". FUCKING LISTEN TO YOURSELF, IT DOESN'T EVEN MAKE ANY SENSE FOR FUCK'S SAKE.

That's another thing, I've been wanting to jump on people all day for grammar and usage stuff. Not in a people mood.

OH. Oh. Oh my god. So we were hanging out after Girl Scouts waiting for the last mom to come, and two of the girls in Phi Rho were talking about this guy at work who is kind of awkward and apparently only undeleted his facebook to say he was in a relationship with his new girlfriend but OH MY GOD IT WAS BEN CHRISTOFF THEY WERE TALKING ABOUT. I love Ben :C He was such a goofball in high school, and I mean I haven't really talked to him lately but I see him going to and from class and it's not like he grew a stalker beard and shuffles around or something. So I dunno. That just breaks my heart really, because he was a really awesome friend in high school. Lol I remember him playing guitar and harmonica with Mr. Bosticco. Oh lordy. Good times. I miss high school =)
mercat: (Default)
Back from Carroll's band camp! It was AMAZING. Funny how my drum corps brain kicked in so quickly, by the second day I was remembering musical things to point out that I don't think I would have come up with normally. So yay! But now I really really miss corps, or hell even marching something that's not UD's stuff. I mean, UD has tons of great people in band and it's a lot of fun. But the marching itself is really crappy and I swear everything we play slows down to 100 bpm because the drum majors can't keep a consistent tempo. ARRRGH.

Dammit I miss marching =(

In other news, not entirely surprisingly, talk of Indiana Jones V. I'm not surprised because people think that they were going to go for two trilogies sort of, or pass it off onto Mutt. I'm not so sure that's going to happen if LaBeouf keeps having substance issues, but, that's not really anything I have a say in. I'm just going to point out two things: 1) George Lucas actually did pick a better script than the one everyone thought he originally sinned by turning down, and 2) like I said when I came home from the movie... at least he can't use that storyline again.

Plus isn't five usually considered a reboot somewhat? Not that you can really reboot this series. But maybe that means a more quality storyline.

I'm just rambling... I feel like I'm half asleep, but I think it's just my brain trying to process about a billion things. *sigh* Oh, drum corps...

Also, I had a really awesome dream last night. I need to write it down asap.


Feb. 25th, 2008 04:17 pm
mercat: (Default)
I a not brain functioning today. I slept like absolute shit last night. I don't believe I have posted my rant-on-my-roommate yet, but DEAR GODS SHE NEEDS TO NOT LISTEN TO MUSIC AT NIGHT. She is one of those people who has pretty much nothing to do, ever, so she listens to music and naps all the time. So, sleeping badly is not a problem for her as she can sleep in and/or take a nap. This is not an option for me, I don't funciton like that. So first (I didn't write that Pouliuli paper, btw) I went to sleep late because my roomies started Pearl Harbor at ten til midnight. I think we gave up around 1 AM but it was just getting good, you know? Anyhow, so then I changed and cleared all the crap off my bed and brushed my teeth and laid down and tried to ignore the music. And tried to ignore the music. Because it was stuff I didnt' know, right? Hawaiian or Samoan or something and pretty calm. And then Thriller. And then Whip It. And then fucking rap shit so by then I was frustrated enough to be crying, and I took my stuff out into the living room and tried to sleep on the couch. But then I was already frustrated and crying so I cried for a while and I kept being frustrated because I was super duper awake. I dont' know when I finally got to bed but it wasn't early enough. So... yeah. I am mucho tired-o, which is why this post is probably so off-the-wall.

GOOD MORNING, America; the pathetic stuff we call bread is, essentially, some sort of weaksauce doughy crap. I WANT MY EFFING EUROPEAN BREAD, DAMMIT. The "crust" you complain about is fuck nothing so getthehelloverit.

omgyeah, I'm tired, can you tell?

Because I'm not putting much effort into this post; here are the webcomics I read:
Questionable Content (nerdy, music/indie-based)
Xkcd (for all-around nerds, generally science and philosophy)
For the Wicked (a really good fairytale re-write)
Girl Genius (what they call "gaslamp fantasy", it's sort of steampunk, but as a general fantasy comic it's good, too)
Qwantz (aka Dinosaur Comics, a really cleverly done comic with the same panels everday and different random shenanigans; also the reason I use the conjunctive adverb [that's not the right term for it] "also" way too much)
Bunny (a comic about random bunnies; much more clever than it sounds)
Dr. McNinja (it's kind of exactly what it sounds like, except more awesome, and biased toward ninjas)
Terror Island (completely off-the-wall and yet still very clever)
Cyanide and Happiness (kind of like Mel Brooks; they'll insult everybody. really crude, but pretty funny, if you're in the mood for crude humor. every so often something really clever and almost not crude at all)
Order of the Stick (Dungeons and Dragons/roleplaying-based humor, with a lot of other references thrown in; sorry about the link for this one, there really is no good direct link to the comics)
Dresden Codak (super-science and philosophy. and awesomeness.)
Starslip Crisis" (this is what would happen if Star Wars and Hitchhiker's Guide ran into eachother in an art museum)
Indexed (life, in graph form. I think she might be from Ohio, because she sure knows how to mock it.)
Gone with the Blastwave (postapocalyptic art comic, kind of reminds me of Halo)
Scared of Bees (I think it was an art comic. I'm not sure what it is anymore. It's creepy, that's for sure.)
Shortpacked! (the exploits of a Transformer fan and his coworkers in the toy store)
Kawaii Not (cute hilarity)
Purple Pussy (a feminist comic I never got all the way through; but it's the comic that Todd Goldman [the guy who does the "boys are stupid, throw rocks at them"] ripped off)
Hockey Zombie (the title pretty much says it all)
Two Lumps (general cat hilarity)
Lackadaisy (gangster bootlegging cats [litterally--DOUBLE PUN INTENDED MUAHHAHAHA] of the 20's. hardcore art comic)
Irregular Webcomic (Cthulu, space RPGs, Indiana Jones, Steve Irwin, and much more, all done with legos)
Marry Me (I have no idea how I found this, but it's decent; altruistic superstar snaps in midlife crisis and marries a guy from the audience)
iharthdarth (the cute little Vader that started it all)
LilHouse (House a la iharthdarth)
icherisherik (Phantom of the Opera a la iharthdarth)
beatonna (an LJ-er from Canadia who makes history comics. HILARIOUS)
Abe & Kroenen (multifandom comic made with action figures; Hellboy/Hitchhiker's Guide/Pirates/LotR/others)
Digger (by Ursula Vernon; you have to pay to read regularly but every once in a while the archives open up and you can catch up)
[iharthdarth no longer updates; scared of bees, icherisherik, and lilhouse update rarely; lackadaisy and gone with the blastwave are also more rare because they're art comics]

Not technically "webcomics":
Homestar Runner (the best thing on the planet; watch a few of the first Strong Bad Emails to understand it)
Red vs. Blue (Halo machinima; pretty hilarious, and I have minimal experience in Halo. However, you kind of have to start from the beginning and watch them all for it to be funny--does anyone have a better link to get to all the videos?)
We Are Robots (why "YOU'RE FIRED" was funny before Donald Trump came around; you have to watch them in roughly the order they came out, though: Angrybot [the best], Sad Robot, Tendertron, Keg-O-Matic, BizBot, Robokopf, Geekbot, Gothbot, Angrybot: Recess)

Okay, yeah. =D Recommend anything on here you don't see that you think I'd like. More postation lataz.

I think I'm going to start working on that webcomic again. I just need to find a good place to host it.

Also, the wikipedia page for Carroll High School is hilarious; Media4Carroll is a joke. Maybe it used to be big, and yeah they have lots of equipment, but they really don't do anything but fuck around.

Also, this, in athletics: "Carroll has recently attempted to make it to the State Swimming meet in Canton, Ohio, but sadly did not. Don't worry though, they will continue to think they're amazing and make shirts about it, but in the end... they are not going to the state meet, and if my sources are correct, Archbishop Alter High School is a school for future pediphiles."


[EDIT] The only edit I'm tempted to make is to change the spelling of "pediphiles" [sic] so that Carroll doesn't look so bad. It used to say "Alter [will win]", so... yeah.


[EDIT2] LOL, someone on my IP (they're all Chaminade) is vandalizing "Jewish history" and "Jackson Pollock". wut
mercat: (Default)
So today is Ash Wednesday, beginning of Lent. A time you're supposed to change and everything, right? I think I've been changing a lot in the past year or two, for good or for bad. And I think that while I spent a lot of time looking for what I am, I lost who I am. And over the past week I've somehow found it again. I can't really explain it, precisely, but I feel like my old self, just smarter. By old self I mean the person I was in high school (fuck, even late gradeschool), except, like I said, with added intelligence and experience as college brings.

So, honestly, with Lent you're supposed to give something up or try to better yourself in honor of God. And in light of this being Lent, and me not ever making my New Year's Resolutions post, and what I've relearned or reexperienced or remembered (tangent: can you just "member"?) in the past week, I think it's time to set some stuff down in stone (as it were). It feels dishonest to try to figure things out when what I'm figuring out clearly isn't what I used to think and to still define myself by what I was before.

Somehow in the past two years I got wrapped up in trying to find what I lost, that feeling of excitement of discovery and adventure (I suppose), and in the meantime I managed to let it slip through my fingers completely. I can't remember if I've mentioned it before, but I've felt it a hundred times; since I got back this summer (which was an amazing experience), I've felt not myself. Utterly moreso than was "normal". I'm still not sure exactly what happened, but I do think I need to step up and redefine things.

Roughly Junior and Senior year of high school I figured out that I really, honestly, don't have a problem believing in God. For a while, thinking about "what is Heaven" really got to me and I was afraid I was losing my religion. I am still comfortable with there being a God, it's just a little more complicated. However, that comes later in the story. I'm not really sure how the change happened. Was it watching Pirates for the first time that about the same time Pastafarianism came around, and Pat and I thoroughly enjoyed pirate-ing it up and poking fun at things? I don't know. I really don't; I'm not a Pastafarian and although I can't take the creation story literally, I don't completely disrespect people's faith. I guess it's all a bit difficult to explain, so bear with me. I promise I'll get all the points down before I hit "post." ;)

I don't believe things literally that aren't founded and backed and everything, but I'm not saying they're not true. There just isn't any proof (enough for me) that one religion is exclusively 100% true while the others are "pagan" and 100% false. (I don't even think that's the right way to think about it, but I think most people are raised to because they take religion at face value and don't look at any deeper aspects.) However, I have a deep respect for the good they may do (this interestingly can be demonstrated in relation to Christianity and the "monkeysphere" idea which I find fascinating) and the truths they do hold. I guess it's more of a philosophical outlook but I am a logical being (meaning it's not how I've chosen to be, but what I am and have been), so there's nothing I can do about that.

I remember realizing a long time ago that, no matter what you believe, you're going to have to take something on faith. If you're religious then maybe it's that God created the world, if you're scientific maybe it's that the Big Bang happened and there's been enough chaos/random occurrences (as my stats professor says, most anything has a chance of happening at least once) to end up with that we have today. But through Catholicism I've learned that neither has to be mutually exclusive, which I suppose got me thinking; couldn't many religions be not mutually exclusive if we could look for their truths and not the "unimportant" (so to speak) details? I think that sort of thought came from my dad and from learning about Pope John Paul II. (Upon research, it's more the Second Vatican Council the statement came from, but JP2 definitely worked for peace and religioius understanding which is why I associate it with him.) Basically, the Vatican II statement was made that the final goal of all people is to return to God so religions that share that goal are respected in the eyes of the Catholic Church. The official statement (according to the great source, wikipedia) is, "the Catholic Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in these religions. She regards with sincere reverence those ways of conduct and of life, those precepts and teachings which, though differing in many aspects from the ones she holds and sets forth, nonetheless often reflect a ray of that Truth which enlightens all men." Basically the church said, yeah, we don't agree with you on the details but you have some truths. Which I guess struck me really strongly and I agreed with, until I realized that there were some details of the Catholic Church I didn't agree with, either. I think things like birth control are topics that a lot of Catholics may not agree with the church on, but they just sort of ignore it blaming it on the church's old-fashioned-ness and hierarchical nature, or they ignore it because they don't really care. (I know too many people who are just going through the motions.) Actually it kind of scared me when I was younger; would standing up and disagreeing saying, "no, I definitely don't agree with you on that" get me kicked out of the Church? (Not the church, but the Church.) Just because I was applying my beliefs to my actions, would I be punished, while people who agreed with me and chose to go through the motions be perfectly okay? I never really got an answer on that but I'm under the understanding that it takes a whole heckuva lot to get yourself kicked out of the Catholic Church. What they say is that as long as you hold the same beliefs, you are a Catholic, for ever and ever and ever, even if you stop going to church. In the sense that, should you stop going to mass and die and get to Heaven and God says, "why did you stop going to Church? It's important for these reasons" and you udnerstand him, you can be sorry for what you did and be forgiven and you not going to mass doesn't mean you're now non-Catholic pagan who's going straight to hell. (This is getting really complicated. But honestly, the Catholic Church is really complicated and I'm only providing a detailed explanation because what you say makes more sense if you can back it up.) ANYHOW. I don't know if I became famous (I'm reminded of the John Kerry incident here) if I would have to keep my mouth shut or what in order to still remain "Catholic," but until they actually kick me out of the Church (which I don't think they ended up doing to Kerry) I'll keep saying I'm Catholic because that's what they educated me with.

It's not 100% Catholicism anymore, though, but I couldn't say what it is. I believe that abortions are bad and cruel and inhumane, but I also believe that I have no right to choose what someone else does with their body. I trust in science but I don't not believe in God, in fact I still pray (though not much in the traditional sense, I suppose, more of an open thought-dialogue), and I don't believe that whatever God there may be is necessarily the Christian one. I suppose it's some sort of agnosticism, but I don't like applying that term because people assume the meaning of atheist and it's difficult to get a dialogue going. (Perhaps it seems conniving or political to continue to call myself Catholic rather than agnostic? Perhaps, but I maintain that it's the truth, and the need for clarification and honesty is what's prompting me to explain all this. I'm not trying to hide anything.) The only big thing I can think of at the moment that I have a problem with is going to mass. It does nothing for me except take an hour out of my day and give me time to enjoy some singing. I try time and time again to get something out of it, but really it's not worth anything to me. What I've learned from the Bible I've learned in school, and I learned it a lot better.

Haha, shit, I never got to the part about my dad. My dad goes to mass regularly, but the most I've heard him say about his beliefs in relation to creating and living in a good, peaceful world is that Jesus came and said, you know, the little details don't really matter as much as you think they do (like the pork rules or what constituted activity on the day of rest, which sociologically were good rules but got taken to religious extremes because they were put under the umbrella of religion but OMG now we're getting into the complicated matters of history and anthropology), can't we all just be nice to eachother? And I honestly think people worry too much about the details (which I suppose is ironic coming from the mouth of someone who plans and worries over the details of everything else) and forget to try to be nice to eachother.

Anthropologically our brains use labels so we can learn, so everything isn't new. For example if you stick your hand in the fire you learn it's hot, and our brains work to assume that all fire is hot. However this works against us, sometimes, such as stereotype profiling. A stereotype may be perfectly correct but it does not mean that it's right nor that the person you're applying it to is definitively within that stereotype.

Ohmygod this is going to be the longest post ever.

I suppose it all seems to be a rather bold statement when it's all condensed like this, but this is about eight years of education and philosophy and learning-about-religions-and-their-beliefs that has got me here. A lot of faith and a lot of science, as well. I don't know, is this starting to make logical sense to you guys? Have I skipped some crucial piece along the way? Hm. Anyhow, that's what I believe, in a nutshell of sorts. There's a lot more to it that relates to the sort of person I am, which is where I'm going with this out of the need to know who I am. Er, perhaps define rather than "know." I know who I am, you just go through life trying to define it so others can understand it.

I don't believe in hypocrisy. I believe in looking at who you are and what you are to find the truth, and where there is hypocrisy there isn't truth. However I believe you are prefectly justified in changing your mind because you learned something. At the same time that I don't believe in hypocrisy, I believe that you can have different attitudes with different people as long as they don't contradict. For example; I can be rowdy with my friends and curse up a storm because curse words mean nothing to me, they don't hurt me in any way. But I can turn around and not curse in front of my family, because I know that they would find it offensive and I respect their views on that, so I don't curse around them. Is that hypocritical? I don't think so. It's different, but different doesn't necessarily mean it has to disagree.

I think that's a big problem in today's world is that people automatically assume that different is wrong, and I've spent my whole life (seriously, I had some interesting experiences in gradeschool) trying to show other people that that's wrong.

WHICH brings me back to whatever my Lenten promise is going to be. Yes, I suppose it's a bit "going through the motions" but I'm doing it consciously (I'm not trying to fake that I'm a 100% Catholic) and I'm not really doing it for the sake of being Lent so much as finally inspired for this year.

My it is, is to be true to who I am. I've felt so lost and so mellow for so long that I can't stand it anymore. Yeah, maybe I'm wrong about what I believe, but I can't sit back anymore and say, well, maybe I'm this. I have to take a stand, and if I need to learn that I was wrong I am more than willing to say it. I need to be free from being afraid. This year, I decided, is going to be about changing what I need to change to be myself. It's one reason I'm in Hawaii; to get away from what was stifling me, namely trying to be the person everyone knew I was and engineering.

Honestly, I love designing, but that much engineering is crushing my soul.

So, in the past week, I decided. I'm going to speak up for what I am now, because I know. For the past few years I've been nervous when I'm alone, not because I hate being alone (quite the opposite really, there's some good gradeschool stories for that, too), but what I realized the other day is because I can't stand people judging me. When you're alone people assume you're a loser or a loner and that's not the case, but somehow the fact that realizing outright why sitting alone in a crowded lunch room was uncomfortable has given me some sort of freedom to see how ignorant other people can be and to not give a flying fuck. It's a slow battle to be won, but I'm sure I'll slowly be getting better at it. It's the sort of New Years Resolutions things I have to do; I have to break out of my comfort zone and stop being afraid. I'm not even exactly sure what I'm afraid of, but I've always tried to slip by unnoticed so I wouldn't be judged. I think this stems from the fact that I've been subject to so much judgement-with-disrespect (see: teasing) about certain things that I've done whatever I can to avoid it. But this sort of awakening I think has shown me that it really is much more localized than I thought and that I need to be me more than I have been.

However, this brings up a lot of issues about egotism. Apparently (as I learned today in ceramics during our Marianist culture lecture), one of the worst sins in the Catholic Church is to hold yourself above someone else. Which I agree with, yet at the same time I don't. Have you ever read The Fountainhead? That's where this question first started bothering me. Yes, you shouldn't hold yourself above someone else for the sake of bringing them down. But if you don't have teachers who admit they are better than their students, how will the students ever learn? Along the lines of Socratic knowledge, you have to have an ego enough to know who you are. Maybe some people don't have to know who they are, exactly, they're content with being a product of marketing and blasé design. But I know that I have to know who I am, and I firmly believe the world would be a much better place if people started thinking for themselves, really studying their actions and thoughts. I wonder if it's like the difference between introverts and extroverts; I am so introverted that I cannot possibly understand how extroverts get by without so many worries; it frustrates me that I can't comprehend it. Is it the same that there are people with no need to define themselves? I don't think so, but it would be interesting (though probably upsetting) to be proven wrong.

Which all leads to my new resolve. Upon rediscovering, recovering, whatevering what I need to be to live, really live, I have to bend to my ego more. Which is a very precarious situation. It seems as though if I want to be me, I have be an asshole. Self-centered survival of the fittest and all that jazz. So the question is, do I be an asshole, or is there really any benefit I'm getting out of being mellow to everyone? I don't think there is, anymore. I just think I need to be more open with people and be willing to explain the way I define things socially. Yeah, it's difficult to change the way people think and interact but I think if I'm going to survive it's going to have to be done. I have always, ALWAYS been able to respect and care for people while at the same time being annoyed by them or disliking so many of their actions. I don't know why I've been that way, I just know that I have. And because of that, I feel bad talking about someone behind their back when I need to vent. That and a sense of honesty (and hate for hypocrisy) have led me to this social design; people need to start respecting eachother, even when they're angry. We need to be able to tell someone what they've been doing is wrong or annoying and not have people get angry, but rather accept that they COULD be wrong and look into it. If it really is such a big deal, then people can stop hanging out but it doesn't involve all this pointless and idiotic drama that happens in today's world.

Uh, from now on this means I'm going to cally you on being an idiot. ;P But understand I don't mean it on a name-calling level, but on a "here's a weak spot" way to better yourself. And I mean, feel free to call me on those, too. I'll generally go about it in the same (if a bit more confident) polite manner, I'm not out to make enemies or anything.

SO! With all this self discovery, what about New Year's Resolutions and Lent observation? I'm going to exercise more, to stay healthy. I'm going to try to break out of my scared-barrier, and do things I would normally being uncomfortable with. (I got up and went to the Surf Club meeting today, and I want to learn to skateboard this summer. I want to give blood finally, too. I haven't decided if going with my roommies to a club is something I'm afraid of, or if it's just something that's really not me. The latter seems more likely, as I don't dance in the conventional sense [and by that I mean grind] and don't drink. So it's doubtful unless it's a club where people are not only prone to dancing but having intelligent discussions as well.)

AND! I'm going to begin the LJ Audit 2008. =D I will inaugurate it with a new icon, if I can find someone to make it (feel free to make suggestions). As a part of that I will go through and comment on or edit where necessary all my older posts. I will organize my tags and my userinfo as well. Speaking of, feel free to suggest the longest meme-quizzes you know! I'd like to make a "Who am I?" sort of post I can link to for my userinfo, so the more questions there are, the better.

I think it's good to see I'm on the right track for getting away from what I was. Just coming to Hawaii I'd already changed my userinfo and journal subheading. And also trying to write more this year, I think this is a good starting point, seeing as I have a WHOLE ASSLOAD of more everyday stuff that's been piling up that I need to write about. I think my writing is more philosophical than creative--stories just don't come to me so much as objects do. I am a spatial thinker, I think that's part of it. So if anyone has lots of plot bunnies and is not a good putting-them-together person? I'm your man. =D

I think there's something to be said for the Aloha spirit. As my ceramics prof was talking about today, people here (both Chaminade and Hawaii) look at diversity as a good thing, a learning opportunity and a chance to broaden your opinions. People in Dayton (just UD, I don't know) are very nice, I mean there is a strong sense of community. But there is something different here--to me it is most definitely the Aloha spirit--that you can't understand unless you've been here. And I think the world would benefit to learn from it; it's sort of how I've lived my life already (what with the respecting everyone and whatnot).

Yeah, things get complicated and there are a million more details I could write to fill in the cracks. But I think I've done a good enough job for now so feel free to leave me meme-quizzes and icon-maker suggestions if you have any. =^n.n^=

Thoughts and questions and comments are always accepted as well, of course.

OH! Also in honor of all the resurgence of good feelings and whatever, this might as well be my anthem (I felt good listening to it again):

Ironically enough I think they may be a Christian rock band

[EDIT] Here's the lyrics if you're curious )
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Well, the crazy hyper caffiene party did not work out for this weekend. I just... really need to be alert... with all the projects I have going on... and I don't really have the time to not sleep and get sick and lose those hours of actual work.

So. Rather I redrew my Southwind ambigram (posted on facebook), posted my Southwind photos on facebook, read some of a book that is very well written but not really to my interest, and watched 101 Dalmations, Richie Rich, and The Prestige. You can tell I was feeling distant and rather emotionless today, because, honestly. Richie Rich? Um... no.

Hm. So it's very nice to be sitting here at night (5:00 am, woo!) when no one else is about. There is just the moon and the stars, at least tonight. One thing I hate about living in the city... how often you can't see the stars.

Some other tidbits from my weekend I was keeping tabs on:

"You know, it's harder to miss high school now that fewer of my friends are there, but there is one thing about high school you can't have in college, exactly: that uncontrolled community involving everyone. What I mean is, when it snows, and you're walking to class, and the senior guys are all going crazy shouting "SNOW DAY WE'RE GETTING OUT EARLY!" or a snowball fight breaks out in the bandroom before practice. You just don't get quite the same thing in college. Sure, there might be some of that, but it doesn't involve everyone having a good time. I dunno, I guess it's sort of hard to explain.

Also, I had to laugh last night playing Guitar Hero when one of the loading screen quotes is "A band is the dysfunctional family you choose." Nothing could be more true. And I am lucky to have several of them... =)

Hm, I was thinking about blogs, too. I wonder if people prefer creating drama because it is easier to think about, to sort out, rather than real life, difficult questions. It is easier to think in anger or confusion about people than to express your confusion of the answer of a question you don't even understand. Does that make sense?

"Fools aren't born, Pongo, pretty girls make them in their spare time." --101 Dalmations (live action)

Oh my god. I really should stay off the IMDb boards. It's like... blargh... the sewers of Mos Eisley. I mean, they had some interesting theories on The Prestige, but there were also so many fucking morons who just didn't get it, even though the writers TOLD everyone what it was supposed to be when there was confusion. And now, guess what I just found? THERE ARE PEOPLE... WHO WRITE FANFICTION... ON THE IMDb BOARDS... ABOUT REAL PEOPLE. I can only presume it is the gathering place of Mary Sues and Gary Stus, but at any rate it makes me want to FUCKING SLIT MY OWN THROAT TO ESCAPE HUMANITY.

Please, god, please... let them get Darwin awards.

Um... on another topic... HUGH LAURIE was in 101 Dalmations! And the guy who played Arthur Weasly, too. Funnily enough they're the bad guys. And the best part is it that it makes me like the bad guys rather than the good guys because I can't stand the guy that plays Roger. I think he's in Ghostbusters, or something, too... some movie like that."

So, yes, all that is from earlier today. I just thought the 101 Dalmations quote was hilarious, because, seriously, there is so much drama and mindgames and there you go that's part of it and both "sides" know it. Stupid.

I definitely have more to talk about, but as I have said, today I feel very blah, and I just don't want to write about it right now, even though I feel as though it would be both interesting and fun.

...Heh, does that even make sense? Whatever.

Oh, so, holy crap, we went to see Hairspray in Springfield the other night. It was fantastic, much more humorous than the film, though the film has a better storyline. Can I just say one thing, though? Did you have to make Link's song a mockery of Elvis? Honestly? Did you not think I've had enough Elvis in my life? Gah. I AM SICK OF ELVIS... if he EVEN shows up in Indy IV (which I kind of think he might... sort of like Hitler in the third one), I think I'm going to want to kill myself. ;P


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