May 20, 2003

Graduate

So … now that I’m a college graduate, it’s time for me to do college graduate-type things like lay around the apartment, doodle with the world wide web, go for morning jogs while pushing myself to the brink of exhaustion, reading for pleasure, etc. You see, I’m that kind of college graduate that decides he hasn’t had enough of school and goes back for more – at least a masters degree, possibly a ph.d, but only so everyone will have to call me doctor.

Anyway, I’m not completely lazy. Now that I’m a graduate student I have research to finish, papers to write hopefully for publishing and preliminary doctorate exams to prepare for. So that’s what I’ll be up to this summer. Well, that and my usual mix of music, movies, tv and webpage fun. What are you up to this summer?

May 18, 2003

Said

I didn’t think I would have to write my own graduation speech until my ears witnessed the misplaced thoughts of Mr. Donahue yesterday. I have, though, spent a lot of time trying to consider what I would write about graduating. I think the most difficult thing for me is that I’ll still be around, I’ll still be going to classes, I’ll still be living in the same apartment, albeit in a different room with different roommates. A lot of things are changing, but a lot of things will stay the same.

There are certain inevitabilities in life that none of us can escape or control. What we can control is how we stand in the face of those moments that are completely out of our grasp. Goodbyes are always like this, so difficult to go through, so absolutely inevitable. But as a friend of mine likes to say, “it’s not goodbye it’s a see you later”.

As I look back on my college experience, I wonder what advice I’d offer to someone just beginning theirs. I think it would be this: Get what you want out of college. If you want to be valedictorian, president of the honor society, and Leader of the Pack, go for it. If you want to stay out and party all night, do enough to just get by in class, and make lasting friendships, do that. Do any combination of those things that makes you happy and have no regrets. Everyone’s college experience is different. As a friend of mine likes to say, “Going to class and doing work is the No. 2 reason to go to college. The social experience is the No. 1 reason.”

People are so hard to figure out and the ironic thing is that the closer you are to someone, the harder it is to figure them out. You know so much about them that, when you discover something new about them, it changes everything. I like discovering new things about people and college offers a great opportunity to witness what people are really like. What they were like in high school behind the facade they put up to get them through their “awkward high school years”, as a friend of mine likes to say.

I’ve been hurt by people, I’ve been inspired, excited, disappointed, reached levels of happiness I never thought possible. There are not enough words to describe the influence that so many people have had in my life. The best way I see fit to describe what I feel are in the words of a very close friend of mine, “sall good”.

College (of the undergraduate variety) was a wonderful time in my life. One, certainly, that I will always remember. There’s nothing quite like living on a golf course. There’s nothing quite like living with two losers, one English, the other borderline idiotic. There’s nothing quite like sharing my life with a woman who understands me or tries her best to when she doesn’t. There’s nothing like knowing that I can always go home and that my mother will do everything she can to make my life better. God has truly blessed me, and as a friend of mine likes to say “muchos kudos” to Him for putting me here and surrounding me with these incredible people. I can’t wait to see what He has in store for me.

May 16, 2003

Tasted

Ok, so Sprite Remix definitely isn’t as good as LiveWire – though it’s hard to directly compare the two because they’re completely different flavors – but in terms of how much I like the taste, I would choose a LiveWire over a Sprite Remix. That’s the end of my taste test, congratulations to all 2003 Graduates!

LiveWire

I just completed leg 1 of the “New Soda Tryout”. I tried Mountain Dew’s foray into orange soda, LiveWire. Being an avid consumer of Coke products I’ll have to be daring and cross the line here to say that LiveWire is pretty good. A nice alternative to Sunkist, it’s not as “heavy” and goes down easy. I like CodeRed too, so Mountain Dew has done a good job with experimenting with new flavors. Perhaps Pepsi needs to borrow some of MD’s soda pop scientists for a while to tell them what’s wrong with PepsiBlue.

Leg 2 will be a taste test of Sprite Remix, so stay tuned.

May 15, 2003

Reload

I won’t ruin the movie for you, but I will say if you’re trying to decide whether or not to see The Matrix: Reloaded this weekend, do see it. It’s awesome!

May 13, 2003

New & Old

It wasn’t my intention to have the new album in my possession before I finished the countdown, but things don’t always go as planned. The new album is awesome!. This countdown might look a little different the next time around…

Here’s No. 1 …

Third Eye Blind: Best Songs Countdown
1. Motorcycle Drive By from Third Eye Blind (Self-titled): For a while this song was just a song I heard if I let the album play all the way through. Then one day I really listened to it and I think that’s when I realized how much I liked Jenkins’ writing. That’s when I realized I considered him a genius. I could give you the breakdown and word by word analysis, but that’s not what it’s about. This song gives me still gives me goosebumps when I listen to it. That’s what the countdown is about. That’s what music is about. Songs that just hit you and become a part of you.

Thanks for following the countdown. Let me also add that the new album has made me excited about music again. I haven’t been this excited over a new album coming out since MJJ’s last album. I can honestly say that listening to this album has really made me appreciate music more. Maybe some of you laugh at how much importance I place on music, but when you can pop a cd into the cd player and not think about anything else and just be happy, that’s awesome. If you ever liked a 3EB song, go out and buy this album.

Done.

There I was, walking down that familiar red brick sidewalk, on my way to take the last final of my undergraduate career. It was all I could do to keep myself from fantasizing of walking in the room and hearing the professor say “Final is optional, keep the grade you have if you want”. Oh how anticlimactic it would be, but oh how I would I love it.

Instead of my wild fantasies I walked into a room of drab faces and mournful thoughts – mournful of days gone by when exams were merely for “evaluation” rather than for determining your place in the world. I placed my things by the desk I frequented not-so-numerous times, and walked out into the hallway.

Then, on my way to the bathroom where I would relieve the pressure of baked beans and weiners, I saw it. A red bird flying around the corridor of Thompkins Hall. That’s when I knew everything would be ok. That’s when I realized that it didn’t matter if I knew why Emerson wrote Nature or what role women played in Uncle Tom’s Cabin. I wasn’t nearly as lost as this little red bird, not nearly as trapped. Today would not decide the rest of my life, and the smile that bird put on my face made those last twenty questions of my undergraduate career the easiest questions I’ve ever answered in my life.

I’m done.

May 12, 2003

Fake A Smile

When did we start relying on small, badly drawn smiley faces to express emotion instead of trying to find a way to communicate how we feel in words? I’d confine this generalization to Americans, but I think it’s pretty safe to say that any industrialized nation with Internet enabled citizens suffers from this dilemma. Does anyone else notice this?

I Want You

First Jeff, now BJ, next Dan. Oh times, they are a changin’.

Now back to the countdown …

Third Eye Blind: Best Songs Countdown
2. I Want You from Third Eye Blind (Self-titled): “And I can’t get enough … ” I don’t know if it seems like I’m writing the same thing for the top 5 or so songs but if it does it’s basically because these songs could really appear in any order. I love them all for different and similar reasons. In addition to wordplay, the flow of Jenkins’ words in this song is incredible. I love the pace changes and the plethora of images. Look at me, talking about this stuff like it’s early american literature … which reminds me, I have an exam to study for.

May 11, 2003

Wine and Anything

Well we’re startin to get down to the nitty gritty with this countdown. Following Dan’s 5 & 6, here’s my 3 & 4, but not in that order …

Third Eye Blind: Best Songs Countdown
4. Anything from Blue: The fact that this song ends at just under 2 minutes always bothered me because for a while it was the only song I really liked on Blue. As the rest of the album grew on me, I think I actually started to appreciate this song more. Mostly because usually the first song I like on an album falls out of favor with me once I start liking the rest of the album. This song didn’t, possibly because it was never a radio hit. It’s also one of the few songs that I can listen to 3 or 4 times in a row.

… Excuse me while I go get my 3EB songs out of my car …

… ok, I’m back …

3. God of Wine from Third Eye Blind (Self-titled): Dan makes a great point about the continuity in Jenkins’ writing and the fact that Jenkins is able to write so much about relationships and still make it interesting is so amazing to me. I love this song mostly for Jenkins’ playfulness with words, but also because I’m a sucker for rockers that play quiet too. I can make this point about any of the Top 5, maybe even Top 10, but I’ll reiterate that this is another song I could probably listen to 3 or 4 times in a row. There’s just something about the wordplay and the sonic subtlety of each of these songs that I can’t get enough of. Man I’m excited about Tuesday.