Friday, December 18, 2009

In the blink of an eye . . .

Does anyone really believe that I wrote THIS two and a half years ago already?  


Me neither . . . 

Does anyone really believe that I did it?  

. . . I'm struggling with that one, too.  

Thursday, December 03, 2009

My Theme Song

Seems to sum me up quite well over the past several months . . . 

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Hot AND talented!

I have another new obsession, I think.  I only discovered him last night, but I can most certainly spot the early signs of an obsession.  

The obsession's name? David Garrett.  

David Garrett is a phenomenal violinist who can breathe amazing new life into both classical and pop pieces.  

Oh, and he's hot.  

I did mention that, right?  

Within minutes of discovering him on Youtube last night, I was on Amazon buying one of his CD's.  I cannot wait for it to arrive.  

Here are a few vids: 

On a television show in which he sets a new world record: 

Smooth Criminal: 

He's a Pirate: 

Monday, October 05, 2009


While looking for media for our Psychology club's info booth power point for Mental Illness Awareness Week, a friend found the following video . . . I love it. :) 

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Dark thoughts

It's been just over 9 months since Ana died, and yet, I still find myself on occasion gritting my teeth with anger over the unfair-ness of her death.  I still have moments where something reminds me of a pleasant memory of her, and while recalling the memory, I think of her face . . . her voice . . . her kindness . . . and a feeling of utter disbelief overtakes me.  No, she can't *really* be gone.  That kind of thing only happens to other people.  

She's still the first person I want to call when something really good happens in my life.  I wish that split second of joy that I feel before remembering she's gone would last a little longer.  During that split second, my mind is on how proud of me she is going to be after I tell her whatever good news I have to tell her.  And then I remember, and I feel my heart and my joy sink, causing me dull physical pain in my chest and upper abdomen.  

At the domestic violence shelter where Ana was employed for 20 years (and I, for 8) hangs a plaque.  It states that part of her wish for all who pass through the doors of the shelter is for them to be "warm and fuzzy."  

I always did feel warm and fuzzy there, too.  It was Ana that gave that gift to me and so many others.  

But right now . . . without her, I have a hard time even remembering what it feels like at all.  And when I do have those moments where I start to feel again, I have the urge to share my joy with none other than Ana.  And then the remembrance, the sinking, the anger, the sadness.  It's a cycle I can't seem to break. 

It's been 9 months, and I still don't know how I'm going to make it through the rest of my life without the person I've always looked up to more than anyone else.  Time heals all wounds they say . . . I'm not so sure about that.  

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Saturday, September 05, 2009

This is made of awesome

A working NES controller coffee table!!!  I WANT!!!!  

More here:

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The miracle song!

This song has been sung to the little ones in my family for YEARS.  I'm told my Gramma sung it to my mom, aunts, and uncles, and I learned it when my mom would sing it to my little brother . . . 

. . . and now I sing it to my very good friend Natalie's baby, too.  It's a miracle song . . . if he's fussing, he quiets, if he's being stubborn during a meal and won't open up and eat, he eats.  So far, it hasn't failed me once.  

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Mental Block?

I'm not sure what it is, but I've been having a really hard time getting back into this blog.  It's strange . . . I really WANT to write . . . and I have a lot going on in my life that can be written about . . . but I just can't seem to make myself write.  

I have to wonder if it has to do with the stress level being at such a monumentally high level that the little bit of stress I feel when writing about (and therefore thinking about) these things is just enough to push me over the edge.  

Even writing this post is like pulling teeth.  I hate it. I want to write.  I want to put my thoughts into words and work them out and understand them better like I usually do . . . 

. . . but it's just not happening.  

Sorry for being such a sucktacular blogger as of late, folks . . . I'm workin' on it.  

Saturday, July 25, 2009

August Hill

Today I'm going to August Hill Winery with one of my best friends, Natalie, for a wine tasting.  We've been looking forward to doing this for weeks now, but hadn't had the chance.  I can't wait!  

I won't have enough money on me to buy a bottle, but I hope to find one I like well enough that I can come back next week and get some!  

I've never been much of a wine person, but on my last trip to the east coast (which I have yet to blog about) I found two different wines that I actually enjoyed!  I'm looking forward to trying more and discovering what I like! 

Friday, June 26, 2009

Another from Amnesty International

Yes, I know I'm inundating you with Patrick Stewart, but I just found another from Amnesty International, and I think it's really well done.  

Think before you speak

It's about time we're seeing a bigger campaign against such offensive phrases.  

Last one, I swear!

B or not a B!

Ok, so I'm on a bit of a Patrick Stewart kick.  

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Patrick Stewart on Domestic Violence

I've always really liked Patrick Stewart, ever since I was obsessed with Star Trek: The Next Generation when I was a kid.  It's recently begun playing again on a station I get in, and like I do with anything I become obsessed with, I started reading about the show and the actors on blogs and forums, to find other nerds like me.

Tonight, I started coming across bits and pieces about Patrick Stewart participating in an Amnesty International campaign about domestic violence.  

As most people who know me are aware, domestic violence is an issue that is very close to my heart, as I grew up with it all around me.  I was thrilled to find that one of my favorite actors spoke out against domestic violence.  


Here he is speaking about how domestic violence has affected his life. He seems to get a little emotional here, and it really tugs at my heart strings.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


In about seven minutes, it will be my birthday.  

June 17th, 2009.  

In the last year, I've lost one of the most important people in my life to a car accident. . . but not before telling her that I've always wanted to be just like her as I stood before her and a small crowd of scholarship donors in a private room of a fancy restaurant as I read my thank you speech for the 21st Century Scholars Society scholarship.  

In the last year, I've developed a deep love for the German language, and a strong desire to continue learning it.

I've watched the ball drop in Time Square on New Year's Eve with two of the best friends I could ever ask for.  I'd do it again in a second, despite standing outside shoulder to shoulder with thousands of strangers, with frozen extremities due to the two degree weather.  

I've watched in awe as two more of my best friends brought the most perfect child into this world.  I've marveled as they instantly became the two most loving and nurturing parents I've ever known.  

In the past year, I've made the incredibly difficult decision to let go of someone I love, and let her make her own mistakes, instead of trying to take the responsibility of trying to shield her from everything.  

I've fallen head over heels in love with Chicago.  

I've suffered from moderately deep depression and insomnia.  

I've felt my heart ripped out of my chest at the news that my uncle was in a terrible motorcycle accident, and utter relief when he began to slowly progress and heal.  

I've learned that a real friend will always be  there when you need him with a shoulder for you to cry on, and just the right words to encourage you to keep moving on, no matter what.  

The past year has held tragedy and sorrow enough to blanket my world in shadow, and joy that can move the tallest mountains of the land. 

I've learned that all of these things are a part of life.  

My twenty-sixth year on earth was the hardest one I've endured so far, but as I enter my twenty-seventh, I'm a little stronger than I was before, and perhaps a little wiser, too.  I'm more self-aware, and I'm better equipped to handle the bumps and potholes that lie ahead.  

So, here's hoping that next year, I'm still holding my head high and learning from every high and every low that comes my way.  

Happy birthday to me.  


Monday, June 15, 2009

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Why We Fast

The following is a video from Richard Branson talking about why he and others fast for Darfur.  This is such an important issue, I hope others in the public eye follow suit.  

I could get the video to embed, so CLICK HERE. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Talented Kiddos

I've neglected my blog lately . . . it needs a post.  

I got distracted from my homework for a while . . . somehow the song "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" got stuck in my head, so I went searching for a good youtube video.  

There, I found a video of 6 year old Connie Talbot: (the audio isn't the best . . . get's slightly squeaky when she hits high notes)

That led me to the 4 year old, Kaitlyn Maher: 

And an 11 year old yodeler: 

"The Cheeky Monkeys" 8 and 9 year old dancing couple! 

10 year old comedian Jake Pratt! 

Dominic Smith sings "I'll Be There": 

And for now I'll end with the PHENOMENAL 4 year old gymnast, doing a Tina Turner dance! 

Edit: Ok, I lied.  Here's a few more! 

Brendan MacFarlane! HOLY CRAP! This child is spectacular! 

Ditto for this kid! Declan Galbraith! 

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Life is like a hurricane!

Cartoons rocked so much harder when I was a kid. :)

Monday, February 23, 2009

The obsession rages on . . .

If you ever see this man knocking at my door . . . 

. . . give it a few days before you try and contact me. :P

(What? So he's a little older than me, and the lead singer of a huge metal band in Germany . . . so what!? )

And as I said in my first post about them, something that probably comes as a bit of a surprise to most . . . the man in the above picture, Till Lindemann, the lead singer of Rammstein . . . growling, muscle-bound, leather-wearing, pyromaniac Till Lindemann . . . is also a poet.

I found his book, "Messer," on ebay for fairly cheap. :) I can't wait til it comes in.

I also mentioned in my last post that is was my friend Josh who loaned me "Reise, Reise," a week and a half ago and started this addiction. He's now essentially become my dealer, slowly introducing me to more and more, making sure I get my next fix. This week he loaned me the CD and DVD from thier Völkerball tour. Haven't had a chance to watch the DVD yet, but I'm looking forward to it!

Expect to hear more from me about Rammstein, Till Lindemann, and Messer in the future!

(I should also mention that I'm half tempted to edit that picture and put a lolcat-style caption on it that says "INVISIBLE BOOBIES!" :P )

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Cheesy, I know.

Q: How many psychologists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?  

A: Only one, but the lightbulb has to want to change! 

* * * 

Q: How many psychoanalysts does it take to change a light bulb?

A: How many do you think it takes?

* * *

When the new patient was settled comfortably on the couch, the psychologist began his therapy session, "I'm not aware of your problem," the doctor said. "So perhaps, you should start at the very beginning."
"Of course." replied the patient. "In the beginning, I created the Heavens and the Earth..."

* * *

"Doctor, I'd like you to evaluate my 13 year-old son."
"Ok, he's suffering from a transient psychosis with an intermittent rage disorder, punctuated by episodic radical mood swings, but his prognosis is good for full recovery."
"How can you say all that without even meeting him?"
"I thought you said he's 13?"

* * *

A psychologist's secretary walks into his office and says, "There's a gentleman in the waiting room asking to see you. Claims he's invisible."

The psychologist responds, "Tell him I can't see him."

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Rammstein is my new addiction.  

It's an unlikely attraction for me.  An often hyper-masculine industrial metal band who perform almost entirely in German.  Grit and grime and sex and violence are the primary themes of thier videos and songs.  

I like ponies and rainbows and fluffy kittens . . . so why am I so hopelessy addicted to this group?  Other than the fact that it's a way to get better at my German, of course :P 

Whatever the reason, I can't seem to get enough of them.  I've been familiar with thier song "Mutter" for several years now, but have never really thought I'd be able to get into thier other, heavier stuff.  Friday I asked my friend Josh, a long-time fan, if he could recommend some more songs from them that might be similar in style to "Mutter," figuring that listening to them might help me practice my German.  Instead, he just loaned me a CD and sent it home with me to listen to on my own.  Saturday afternoon, I put it in while cooking . . . and quickly found that I really liked several of the songs! After letting the CD go through twice, I had to hear more.  I plugged Rammstein into youtube, and came up with several long playlists.  I pressed play, and I was done for.  

The songs themselves were one thing, but the videos were completely captivating.  So dark and gritty and often gruesome . . . and always telling a story of some sort.  And it doesn't seem to matter how many times I've seen the video, there are several of them that I have to stop and watch when they come on.  It's decreasing my productivity exponentially.  

A couple of good examples (these are also examples of thier lighter stuff) are: 


Ohne Dich

Another thing that strikes me about them, is how much thier look changes from video to video, especially that of the lead singer, Till Lindemann.  From a shaved head, to slicked back hair, to a mohawk.  From interesting leather get-ups, to business suits, to birthday suits, to flaming trench coats.  I can't imagine thier shows being anything less than amazing.  

And after listening to thier music and becoming completely enraptured by them over the last week, it came as a surprise to me last night as I was reading through Till Lindemann's Wiki, and I discovered that, aside from being the frontman for an industrial metal band, he is also a published poet.  His book, Messer, sells new on for $70!  

I want it.  

All said, I'm not really sure I mind this addiction.  I'm glad I finally made the leap and explored more of thier music.  I'm looking forward to eventually reading Till Lindemann's poems, as well, becuase I will get that book! :P 

Oh, and one final note . . . if you decide you'd like to watch some videos, too (other than those posted above), be sure to do it when no kids are around.  Much of thier stuff is not kid safe! 

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


It's maddening.  

Each night, as the seconds tick away, and you're still not sleeping, as the exhaustion creeps in, the frustration builds as you realize what your day is going to be like tomorrow.  You realize how hard it's going to be to get up in two hours in order to make it to your first class.  You realize you probably won't make it to your first class.  You think about how hard it's going to be to pay attention through your second class.  You worry about whether or not your boss will notice your decreased productivity.  You wonder what problems or arguments your increased emotional sensitivity will get you into.  You try to see the bright side -- at least you'll be tired enough the next night, that you'll sleep well.  Won't you?  

No.  The next night, you'll watch as the clock hits 3am . . . 4am . . .

Or maybe that's just my experience.  

Either way, it's maddening.  

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Why so angry!?

So, on occasion when I'm supremely bored or trying to avoid life, I like to find a mindless flash game of some sort to waste my time away.  Years ago I found Fetchfido, a great website with hundreds of games to play, sorted by flash and shockwave.  

This website has obliterated hours upon hours of what could have been time spent doing productive things.  Some of the games are 'meh,' but there are so many that are simple yet highly addictive.  

But there's one thing I've learned while searching through these games . . . there are some ANGRY video game developers out there!  Games like Ant City, where you're holding a giant magnifying glass over a city, and you focus it on the people and cars below to destroy them as they are going about thier business.  (Make sure you see what happens when you get the helicopter) 


Or how about Nuclear Eagle, the game where you're a giant eagle, plucking the frightened townspeople up from the ground and tossing them up into your nest to feed your hungry babies? (Needy little freaks, they are.)


 I mean, seriously, who comes up with this stuff?  

Oh, and I want to set something straight, here and now: Midgets are people, too!  Who is the sick bastard that thought it would be fun to create a Midget Tossing game?  And to accompany it with a song that says "Short people have no reason to live?" You're mommy didn't give you much love as a child, did she?  (Contrary to popular belief, midgets fly through the air quite nicely, btw.) 


Occasionally I cheat on Fetchfido with other sites . . . that's how I found Twisted Nipples.  Yes, you read that correctly.  TWISTED NIPPLES!  The goal is to twist the nipples of the fat man's man-boobs as violently as possible before he breaks away.  I'd really like to know what happened to the creator to inspire such a sick and twisted (heh, get it . . . twisted . . . ) game.  Or, maybe I don't.  


My latest discovery?  Chain of Fire.  In this game, you get points for setting a person on fire, setting off a chain reaction for each person he bumps into and gets engulfed in flames.  You have to get a certain amount of points before advancing to the next level.  This game is particularly heinous, considering there are SEVENTY LEVELS!  Seventy levels of burning people alive.  It sort of starts to make you think not only about the angry, pathetic lives led by the people who creat such games, but also about the people who would lower themselves to actually PLAY them.  (Level 31 is particularly difficult.)  


My message to those of you who commit such atrocities . . . seek help.  Now.  

Now if you'll excuse me, I have another 15 levels to complete.  .   

Saturday, February 07, 2009

The Internet -- A new fad!

Someone posted this on one of the forums I frequent! 

Friday, February 06, 2009

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

It could happen to you . . .

I have never properly introduced you guys to my baby.  My pride and joy.  The apple of my eye.  I read her bedtime stories and give her a kiss goodnight every night.  I love her.  

She is my iPhone.  This was her just 2 days ago.

I take wonderful care of her. I keep her safe and clean, and make sure she gets a good night's charge every night. She almost never leaves my side.

But as I tragically found out today, accidents can happen even under the most watchful eye.

Be careful, everyone. Cherish every moment you have with your beloved gadget, because it could happen to you, too.

(and uh . . . I don't really read it bedtime stories and kiss it goodnight. I'm not *that* weird!)

Monday, February 02, 2009

Celebrity Obsession

I'm not one to have celebrity obsessions,  (Ok, maybe I had a lot of them in high school, but not these days!) but I think I have one now.  

After re-watching the Lord of the Rings series, I was quickly reminded of how much I lust after Viggo Mortenson . . . but this time, the actor who plays Faramir, David Wenham, caught my eye, too, so I looked him up . . . 

. . . totally drool worthy! 

I'm doing it again . . .

I'm needlessly depriving myself of sleep.  Often on weekdays I lose out on sleep for the reasons that are fully expected of a college student: homework up the wazoo! 

On weekends, I catch up on sleep usually, but do it in a manner that messes up my sleep patterns for the rest of the week, regardless of the homework situation.  I'm a night person.  Always have been.  So the weekend comes, and I stay up late.  It doesn't matter how tired I am, I almost never go to bed at a decent hour.  The last few weekends I've ended up staying awake until nearly dawn.  Why?  I have no idea.  It just happens.  

Sunday night rolls around, and I should be getting to bed at a decent hour so I can get up early on Monday . . . but since I stayed up until 4:30am the night before and slept until noon or later, I CAN'T SLEEP!  

So I drag myself into school on 2 or 3 hours of sleep, feel horrible all day, and go home to a mountain of homework . . . that keeps me up until who knows when.  I usually (not always) get more than 2 hours of sleep unless I'm working on a term paper or some other big project, but because I didn't get to catch up after getting so little sleep the night before . . . I walk into school even more of a zombie on Tuesday.  

Often by the end of the week, I'm starting to get a little more evened out.  Then Friday comes around . . . and I stay up far too late . . . and sleep in far too late . . . and the process starts all over again.  

Going to bed at a decent hour should be simple, right?  For me, it's not, and I don't know why.  


Tomorrow's gonna suck.  *yawn*

Sunday, February 01, 2009


Well, I've not really posted on my blog much in almost two months, for a variety of reasons.  The first reason was an incident that happened that made me feel like my blog wasn't much of a safe haven anymore.  I know that everything I write here is public, and I write with that knowledge in mind.  However, there are one or two whom I thought would never find my blog, who did.  

I've found it very hard to open up to certain people, so I've found it very difficult to post here.  

The other reason I've not been around much is due to the emotional roller coaster I've endured since losing Ana.  When I write, often I am pouring out my emotions, whether they be happy, sad, or confuddled.  Putting my emotions into words has always been a good way for me to sort out and better understand what I'm going through.  

However, doing so forces me to face whatever emotions are trying to come out.  The emotions that I have been wrestling with since Ana's death are dark and cold and unlike anything I've ever dealt with.  I've spent most of my time trying to find ways to avoid confronting them.  Therefore, writing has been out of the question.  

But I can only avoid them for so long before it becomes unhealthy.  At some point I have to face what it going on, despite the agonizing emotional pain that comes with it.  

Besides that . . . I've missed my blog.  

So, I'm going to try and post more.  About school.  About my friends.  About politics.  About my hopes and dreams.  And about Ana.  

Monday, January 19, 2009

Open Letter to Old Man Winter

Dear Old Man Winter, 

I've had enough of you.  Go away.  


Freezing in Illinois