Monthly Archives: March 2014

I AM the Crazy

Usually its me who does the driving people crazy. I have a very difficult time sitting down, so I tend to pace around a lot whenever that is an option. That bugs the shit out of some people and often they will demand that I sit down. Many people get nervous by my pacing, ironic since I get nervous because I don’t pace. Even when I sit down I tend to move my legs around, and if there is no table to conceal it people will often comment on it. If there is one thing people ask of me, it is why I pace so much. Usually I just say its because I get nervous if I don’t, but I’ve taken to copying Frank Sinatra and saying it’s “my way.” Which it is. Alas because I have Asperger’s Syndrome, there is very little I can do about it; despite the fact I can keep most of the conditions quirks under control. I hate saying that I have it, but I will never deny it if pressed. Some people have actually had the audacity to ask me if I have some sort of disorder, and if I say yes they will invariably want me to specify. My empathy and skill at reading people is highly limited, but I can totally read the unspoken message people are subconsciously asking me. “You act weird, so there must be something wrong for you.” Occasionally some people will ask me if I have it, but tell me that it’s okay if I don’t answer. I don’t want to answer, but I always say yes because no answer is always a “I don’t want to say ‘yes’ but I don’t want to lie.” To make the matter even more ironic, many of the things people admire about me are also symptoms; such as my high level of knowledge on certain things and my snarky say-what-I-think attitude. Most people get used to the pacing and come to accept it as part of who I am.

It took me 45 minutes to write this. 15 of which was spent pacing back and forth.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/03/31/prompt-drives-me-crazy/

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The Ear of the Heart

I don’t have a serious code, I simply try to obey the 10 Commandments and listen to my conscience. For my religious studies class we read the Rule of St. Benedict, highly necessary to understand our school as we are a Benedictine institution. While many chapters of the rule are dedicated to things like “proper footwear for the monks” and things like that, it does provide lots of practical guidelines on how to be a decent person and is very practical for everyday life. What I like is that it has a huge emphasis on following the conscience, which is describes as the ear of the heart. You can read the whole Rule here: http://www.ccel.org/ccel/benedict/rule2/files/rule2.html

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/03/30/prompt-walk-the-line/

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Back From Portland

Yesterday I went on an overnight school service trip to Portland Oregon with a couple friends. We stayed at a church that is heavily involved in serving the homeless. Last night and this morning we helped serve meals and interacted with some of the people who came. I have been on numerous weeklong trips in Seattle similar in nature, so it felt very good to be able to it again. It was especially satisfying to do this in a city with a different group of friends. Since all this is so familiar, I honestly learned nothing new about homelessness and poverty though I was reminded of the true nature of America’s shallow side. Once you are willing to converse with the homeless, you will find that many of them are some of the most interesting people around. One gentleman we met told us in great detail about his collection of 273 neckties. Another who we met shared many of my interests in history and folklore, and we had a conversation about the origins of Anansi the Spider, Polynesian migrations, Navajo burial practices, Pygmies, and Yupik hunters. There are always those who you want to know more about, but realize that you can only learn what they bring up. Our group also walked around Portland a lot, and it was really cool getting to do that. Of course we went to Voodoo Donuts, except it was the one they don’t show on TV. This one was next to an adult movie theater and had a fifteen minute line. Still it was well worth the wait. I really enjoyed the trip, though I do wish it would have been a full weekend. My weekends are extremely monotonous and predictable, I usually do the same shit every time. I hope I will be able to attend the school’s next Portland trip.

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Some Day the Sun Will Shine

I’ve been going through a lot this past week, here’s a song that really makes me feel better:

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/03/28/prompt-singing-the-blues/

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I Don’t Pretend to Pretend

I have a healthy level of confidence, kept in check by the right amount of doubt. I’d never heard of Imposter Syndrome, and it is certainly not something from which I suffer. Everything I’ve gotten I feel that I earned, or at least deserve. The 110 followers I have as of current? That many people follow me because I try to post as often as possible and get my name out, yet I am still concerned with quality and will not write when I am a loss for words. Having that few followers is because I do not write often enough because I procrastinate and always make excuses for myself on days that I don’t post anything. Same goes for most everything in my life. Overall, I feel that I get what I put in.

Update: Today is now my best day for new follows, I have gotten four beating my previous best of three.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/03/27/prompt-the-great-pretender/

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Un Poco (a little)

I believe we have limited control over our future but I wouldn’t call it “destiny”, as I don’t really believe in that sort of thing. Circumstance defines the way I see the world around me. My existence (as well as the existence of everyone and everything else) I attribute to many random factors coming together. When and where I was born, the way I look, my strengths and weaknesses, my beliefs and values, are all the results of circumstances which are beyond my control. Beyond anyone’s control in some cases. I do think that in America we are given control over the path we want to take in life. We can choose what path(s) to take, but what will happen down the road is beyond our control. How we handle what gets thrown at us is what should be emphasized, as we do have control of that. On the other hand, a lot of how we do what we do is influenced by our circumstances. Had I been born in a different area, with a different skin color, with parents of a different career, with two X chromosomes, or anything else I would be a different person entirely.

“Take but degree away, untune that string,/And, hark, what discord follows” – Troilus and Cressida

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/03/26/prompt-que-sera-sera/

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Classic Film Review: Z (spoiler warning)

I have recently viewed Z, directed by Costa Gavras. Z is a political thriller about the assassination of a Greek presidential hopeful named Grigoris Lambrakis who was running on an antinuclear and Nonaligned platform. Lambrakis was a real Greek politician though the story told in Z is highly fictionalized; interestingly it begins with a disclaimer saying that “any resemblance to real persons or events is intentional.”

The opening dialogue discusses methods used to prevent mildew in French vineyards, and it is revealed to be a lecture given by a general to several other uniformed officers; the general goes on to explicitly link this with preventing the spread of Communism in Greece. I knew what he was getting at from the first mention of mildew. This sets the stage for the rest of the film. Before Lambrakis even appears, several of his campaigners are shown preparing for a rally and are inform that someone is out for him.

Much of the suspense of the film is whether he will be killed, and when he is killed then the focus on just who was responsible. Was it the Communists? Nationalists? Army? Police? Random act of mob violence? Unfortunately even before seeing the film I knew that it was the military responsible. A group of street thugs are followed and shown instigating riots, and it is later revealed that they were planted by the military, which reminded me of all the other examples of astroturfed resistance against democratic leaders like Arbenz and Mossadegh. Interestingly absent from Z is the USA and USSR. Both are mentioned on numerous occasions and Lambrakis made it clear he opposed either side having the bomb and that he would make Greece neutral, but no Americans or Soviets are anywhere to be seen. I really liked this because it helped to focus in on Greece, which is portrayed as being heavily partisan.

Not only does this movie give an excellent look at pre junta Greece, it is also an excellent film on an artistic level. The cinematography is naturalistic, not obviously staged like most Hollywood films. Because it depicts contemporary events, the clothes seen are totally authentic and not costumes. One thing that interested me is that many of Lambrakis’ young supporters are shown wearing clothes very similar to those worn by the mods, teddy boys, and beats of Britain. Filming was done in Algeria, though I couldn’t tell it wasn’t Greece. One thing that annoyed me was that all of the dialogue is in French and not Greek, and signs and documents shown are written in French and English. Not using Greek really distracted me from the fact it was supposed to be Greece and somewhat took away from the realism. Other than that the film is excellent storytelling.

The impression I got from Z was a cynical portrait of Greece as a heavily troubled place where people got killed for not being extreme enough. The sympathy of the film is definitely given to the Left, but it hardly glamorized them. Admittedly I know little about Greece during this period, but I feel that after seeing Z I understand the situation much better. All of the significant factions that vied for power are present, and their interactions are entertainingly shown. Overall I would say that Z is an excellent work that succeeds on all counts.

Zed

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Take My Hand…..

We’re off to Never Never Land!

My sleep pattern is erratic, sometimes I fall straight asleep while other times it can take me hours. During spring break I until almost eleven, and most of that was solid sleep. I always have to have a mocha on school mornings; I considered giving that up caffeine for Lent, but I realized that would effectively be more like giving up staying awake during class for Lent. Friday night was a difficult night for me, but last night I slept just fine.

While we’re on the subject of sleep, here is one of the most hilariously genre defying covers of a classic song about sleep. Enjoy:

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/03/23/daily-prompt-mr-sandman/

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Castles Made of Sand

Yesterday was St. Benedict’s Day and being one of our Patron Saint’s there wasn’t any school. Around eleven I walked around off campus to buy a new tie for the formal dinner that was later that night as well as some new socks. I managed to find a very snazzy tie that really complemented my blazer and suit shirt, so I headed back to campus. I casually checked my phone and received a text from my mom that read “Give me a call when your done with your classes 2day,” and for some reason I had a gut feeling that something was wrong.

So I called her and she informed me that my best friend from junior high died in his sleep on Monday; she refrained from telling until yesterday because she wasn’t sure how I would take it and was I afraid I would function right in class. I hadn’t seen my friend in maybe eight or nine years and he was completely out of my life, I honestly didn’t think I would ever see him again. I am very sad about his departure, but I am not devastated by it. Last year he had honorably discharged from the Marine Corps, after serving in Afghanistan. Initially I had assumed he was killed there, not taking into account the war is almost entirely over know. No he completed his service, got out, and a few months later went to sleep in his own bedroom and never woke up.

For a perhaps a few years we were inseparable. We had conversations about whatever crossed our minds, nothing was beyond discussion. One of our favorite things to do was to have improvised live action roleplaying games outside, for a few hours at a time we would become wizards, elves, dwarves, and so on fight hordes of invisible goblins, trolls, and dragons. One thing he always talked about was how much he wanted to be a Marine, so when I heard he enlisted I was very happy that he lived out his dream though nervous about what might happen in Afghanistan.

There is never a good reason to die before thirty, but death in sleep is probably the best way to die. Had he been killed in Afghanistan at least their would have been closure and meaning, its difficult when there’s no clue about what caused it. I am more sad for his family than anything else. Bafflingly, he had just gotten an acceptance letter to my school and was going to start in the Fall. He was going to major in history, just like me. I honestly never thought I would see him again, so I was shocking to find out that I would have. We don’t know how much time we are given, but that can be easy to forget and sometimes we get a rude reminder. When you say goodbye to someone, you never know when it will be the last. Now I am more grateful than ever for the friends I still have.

A little Indian brave who before he was ten,
Played war-games in the woods with his Indian friends
And he built up a dream that when he grew up
He would be a fearless warrior Indian chief
Many moons past and more the dream grew strong until
Tomorrow he would sing his first war song and fight his first battle
But something went wrong, surprise attack killed him in his sleep that night

And so castles made of sand melts into the sea, eventually

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When You Wish Upon a Coin

I don’t believe in wish granting. No matter how hard you wish for something it may or may not be made a reality, and if it is than that is just a coincidence that you formally wished for it via coin in well, wishbone, star, et cetera. When it isn’t, then well it just isn’t. I toss coins into wells on occasion, but it is a rare tone because most don’t allow it.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/03/21/daily-prompt-coins/

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