December 23, 2005

reality check (grossness)

My allergies really pick a bad time to act up. I left my allergy medicine at SHU. I figured that the cold weather would eliminate the pollen or grass in the air. I'm guessing that I have some indoor allergy as well. Everytime I would sneeze or blow my nose, it sounded like Godzilla squeeling like a dying pig. My throat is like a chimney full of coal, I need to clean out the "mucus." The scraped skin on my right eye is healing, I can feel it tightening. The bump on my right head is feeling tender. My lips are going down and with it the numbness that came with the swell is abating. Thus I'm feeling some sort of pain. It's all good though because pain means healing/coping (I sort of see what the psychologists/therapists try to do with their patients).

Because of this I've become listless and antsy so I started thinking again about Grad School. I told my dad about my plans to go to UPenn, UoO, and UoCA:B. He said it would be expensive and I needed to find a job. I told him that I would even if I had to find a part-time job at retail or something. Then he reminded that once I finished college, I would no longer be a dependent. He reminded me of the reality of insurance (that's why it was important for me to find a full time job that would have such benefits).

Since I was in the artsy field, my brother joked that I would never make money until I'm dead. I begged the differ because I've seen many "artists" out there making a living with their craft (they were determined, knew their market/audience, and they persevered).

My dad and I started brainstorming about future jobs. I could work for the tv station (Channel 6 ABC) down the street from my house, maybe I could teach. I told him that I'll apply to the publishing companies here at Philly, the Philadelphia Inquirer. I could work in the university that I would attend. My bro suggested that I could work in a radio station or write for this scientific journal/magazine. There were endless possibilities. Actually talking about this helped assauged my dad's anxiety and mine. I "reassured" him that I will finish at SHU first and in my last semester I would post my resume everywhere.

another reality check on my writing. Jorge Luis Borges greatly captured my style of writing (it's encouraging to know):

In these (The Book of Sands Anthology) blind man's exercises, I have tried to be faithful to the example of H.G. Wells in combining a plain and at times almost colloquial style with a fantastic plot ... I write for myself and for my friends, and I write to ease the passing of time.
Posted by Michael Diezmos at 8:27 AM | Comments (5)

thoughts on receiving presents

no matter what you get you should always be grateful for what you receive.

Between "gift-cards" and actual shapely gifts, the latter is better. Why?

1. Instant-gratification
Sure, you get the freedom of choice with gift-cards; But on Christmas morning, while everyone is trying on their new sweater or toe socks or playing their new x-box, you're holding unto a rectangular card and placing it in your wallet. The card is not even soft enough to fold for fun origami or paper airplanes, you can't even use it temporarily to make a list. All it can do is take up that 1/100th of an inch of space in your wallet where valuable cash needed to go.

2. Thoughtful
It's nice to think that the gift is meaningful. I'm not saying that there's no thought involved in buying gift-cards after all you have to be mindful of what kind of gift-card the receiver would use. Gift-cards should only be last-resort. If you have tried really hard and you've squeezed out all your brain juice, then buy gift-cards (I too am guilty of resorting to this).

3. Time-consuming
Lastly it's nice to think that the giver actually put in time for you. Some people could buy meaningful gifts in a second and some take all the time in the world. Sure they're fast but it doesn't mean that they didn't put in the time. Subconsciously they started making a list in their head, everytime they would hear anything you wanted "in the future", they took the hint and left a mental note in their head. When the right time came, they sprinted to the store, confident that they'll be done in an hour buying yours and everyone's gifts.

Nonetheless whether gift-cards or shapely gifts of the "material world," the best gift you can ever receive is thoughtfulness.

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 7:42 AM | Comments (2)

December 22, 2005

informal resume

hopefully by the end of my college career here at SHU I would have accomplished the following...

Name: Michael Diezmos

GPA: Somewhere in the upper 3.0s

Institution: Seton Hill University [SHU] (Liberal Arts)

Double Majors: Creative Writing and Literature

Three Minors: Journalism, Fine Arts, and Art History

Interesting Electives:
Psychology, Education, Dance

Honors Program: Capstone Project-Philippines (13 credits on honors courses)

Activities:
Student Government- Vice President for the Class of 2007
Griffin Mascot (Fall 2005)
International Student Organization (ISO)
Campus Ministry (Fall 2003- Fall 2005)
Alpha Lamba Delta (Honor Society)
Chemistry Club
Various service projects

Expereinces:

Eye Contact (Literary Magazine)
- Art Editor (Fall/Spring 2003-2004)
- Business Manager (Fall 2004- present)

Setonian (SHU Newspaper) (Fall 2003- present)
- Reporter
- Copy-editor
- Photographer
- Staff Writer

Communicator (SHU PR Newsletter)
- Hopefully I get the internship for Fall 2006

Work Study
- Reeves' Library Aide (Fall 2003-present)
- Harlan Gallery Aide (Fall 2004-present)

Independent Projects:
Art Gallery and Poetry Corner in Reeves' Library

Awards/Honors:
-Various in Eye Contact and Setonian
*"I Dare You," "A Man in the Crowd," "Revealation," "Contemplation," "Bottled Up," and "Screendoor"
Best Catch Phrase Award, Omniscient Writer Award, Staff of the Year Award for EC, Feature Photography Award (Jollof Rice), etc.
-Dean's List
-Art (Everything's not lost: Yellow) accepted in in Student show SP05
-Alpha Lamba Delta (Honor Society)

Future ?
University of Penn
University of Oregon
University of CA: Berkeley

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 2:06 PM | Comments (2)

December 21, 2005

Recuperation part 1

After my "fall" I'm slowly gaining my senses and strength, and feeling the effects. I have developed a "bukol" or lump/bump/hump on my right head. I found out that my lower lip had swollen up, it now looked like I had lip injection to imitate the luscious lips of Angelina Jolie except mines were very "chapped" (I don't know why, maybe trying to get blood but no matter how much chapstick I put on- it still doesn't work!). Everytime I would sneeze, it would hurt to squint and close my eyes. It sort felt weird chewing, and I think three years of braces had gone to the toilet (my fall had exponentially shifted my teeth- maybe I'm still dizzy...?)...I'm feeling pain, I guess that's a good thing (which probably means that my nervous system is functioning right). My nose is running (don't worry I caught it), and my allergies decided to take advantage of my situation and started to act up

On the good news, I finally finished my shopping. I didn't succumb to gift cards as much (in fact only 2 out of 15 of the presents I bought were gift cards). Actually thinking about what someone might need or want is fun and an important part of shopping. This element added to the funness of shopping. It made the whole shopping experience for me "active" rather than "passive." Just think about literature, one would get a lot more if one were to actively read (asking questions, taking notes, analyzing characters etc.). This had a similar concept. I also took the time to wrap the presents. These were all great exercises because they reminded me of one of the many reasons why I celebrate this holiday- loving/caring relationships with family/friends.

Around 2 p.m. I met up with my old friend. We recapped our semesters, talked about the present and gave a full-detailed account about our Grad-school plans. She might go just around the corner (definitely not in Villanova- because she's already getting her B.A. there), and she might study either English or French (but not both).

I plan to go to UPenn to study Folklore/Folklife (I'll be focusing on Literature of Indigenous People and Oral traditions etc.). This program is one of those program that relies on enrollment- like the indigenous people of the world, it can vanish in an instant. I'm hoping that this would help me understand my field more (Creative Writing- Children's literature and pictures), also help me get a job (be more qualified), and to do something more specific (to learn more)- to go in-depth. Since Grad school is expensive, I hope to work either as a teacher assistant or research assistant or work in PR with the background I have, or somewhere in the English Department or Journalism department or even in the Art department or Humanities Department (in order to help pay for my studies).

Plan B and C- just in case the first one doesn't work, a school somewhere in California or Hawaii or Oregon studying Folklore/Fairytales or Oral traditions and Storytelling (more details will follow soon...).

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 11:29 PM | Comments (2)

December 20, 2005

"partying" could be dangerous and BLOOD!

I need to slow down

Caveat for those who easily gets 'queasy': This blog entry mentions BLOOD!

this is the mantra that I need to follow... Yesterday I watched Brokeback Mountain and Rent- two totally different movies, the latter was livelier, it was based on a Musical by Jonathan Larson.

towards evening time, I felt my head throbbing... it's been a while since I head a headache, so I didn't know how to react. I thought I was hungry so I ate some food (but headache was still there). Then I thought that I was thirsty, but it didn't work. So I tried something sweet, maybe (I rationalized) that my blood sugar was low, it wasn't that either... the reason- I was tired, and I needed rest.

As soon as I got home around 9 p.m., I went straight to bed. I slept for 11 hours. I had this strange dream- humans were tied to strings (sort of like cats' cradle) and we were all connected to each other somehow, no matter how many times one tried to untie the knots, somehow we're still connected...

After lying in bed for 11 hours I made a mistake of rushing to get up. I went to the bathroom to brush my teeth and I fainted. It was weird because my vision was hazy and reddish and I was surprised to find myself on the floor of my bathroom. I rushed to go to my room and fell asleep.

I woke up a couple of minutes later and wondered if it was all a dream. I felt that my chin was a little sore. Then I saw bloodstains on the sleeves of the sweater I borrowed from my brother (which was "dry-clean" only). I felt the sides of my head near my eyes and upon looking at my fingertips I saw more blood. I went to the bathroom to look in the mirror and saw a gash underneath my lip above my chin, and pieces of skin scraped from my left cheek and in my right eye (I think near the temple). Under close scrutiny I saw that the wound was atleast a centimeter deep and fortunately for me it didn't hit my eye. The wound was only one or two centimeters from my eye.

The first thing I did was call out to my mom. She was downstairs in the kitchen. I told her that I fell and I had some bruises. I recapped to her what happened, and she kept changing the story (she didn't think it was possible for anything in the bathroom to hurt me). She reasoned that my bedroom was more hazardous.

I was surprised too. I wondered how I scraped skin on my left facial cheek, above my chin, and on my right eye near my temple. I was planning to go to the mall again to finish my shopping, but I thought it was wise for me to cancel my plans today.

My mom bought neosporin for my wounds and a starbucks' Caramel Frappucino as a get-well treat for me. I needed to slow down, and to control the "party animal" in me. I looked like I've been involved in a gang fight with a band aid on my left cheek and a two-inch gauze pad on my right temple! ;)

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 10:31 AM | Comments (3)

Shopping and Money

On Sunday I went shopping for gifts in King of Prussia Mall (or atleast tried to go shopping)... it's been a while since I went to the mall, so I was sort of pop-culturally shocked... surprisingly I didn't feel claustraphobic with all the people shopping as well...

my brother and I and couple of friends were in the mall by 1 p.m., we didn't leave until 8 p.m. Although I was in the mall for 7 hours, I still didn't finish my shopping. I spent 5 and 1/2 hours looking around getting ideas, finally the last hour and a half, I finally found my 'inspiration.' I bought 10 gifts out of 15 that I needed to buy on my list.

People were quite civil. With less than one week until Christmas, I didn't see anybody panic (except probably me). Some of the workers were looking tired. Some arose to the occassion. One such instance happened at Starbucks. The line for Starbucks reached to its front entrance. One employer started taking orders using the coffee jacket. She wrote down what we wanted on it and all we had to do was give the jacket to the cashier. They worked like a factory line. One person was charge of the hot beverages and the other one was working the frapuccinos. Different sizes of cups lined up, you could hear the nozzle-like sound as steamed creme emptied to the cup, and the grinding of the blender, also the slurping of whip creme on top of frapuccinos. Within a couple of minutes after I paid, I was able to enjoy my Peppermint Mocha Frap.

Later that night, I wrapped the presents I bought

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 9:18 AM | Comments (0)

December 18, 2005

Not a virgin- daiqiuri- anymore: 2nd day

during the day, yesterday, I went to the Bala Cynwyd library (BCL)... I was hoping to borrow The Tales of a Genjii (in which the style of it I was exposed to in World Literature), but they didn't have. I borrowed instead this poem anthology with 100 Japanese poems. The other books that I wanted to borrow were there, books by Jorge Luis Borges. I took three of his compilations out and I'm hoping to get those started today... it was fun to be in the library and not worrying about finding books and other resources to use for essays or research papers.

I browsed the DVD section and I was taken aback with the expansion of their selection. Over the summer BCL only had a rotating four column bin of DVDs. Now they had 3 bookshelves of DVDs. I took out Lion King 1/2, The Little Prince, this Broadway history/documentary, and these interactive fitness and yoga dvds.

Later that night, I spontaneously decided to go with my brother to dinner and movies to celebrate our friend's birthday. Originally I wasn't going because I saw Memoirs of a Geisha the night before, and they were watching it for the first time, BUT I was reminded of free food and desserts. My mind was made up.

We went to Ponzio's Diner in New Jersey near Cherry Hill. We ended up crossing the Tacony Bridge over the Delaware River (I think). I saw the Philadelphia skyline to my right (I was sitting behind the driver's seat). The moon wasn't full but askew (a sliver of it was in shadows), and it had a tint of yellow. Once we were in Jersey, atomospheric vapors glazed over the moon making it blur- painting a picture of a washy and teary-eyed moon.

Once we entered Ponzio's, the first thing that greeted my eyes was the bakery display with all its 'confectionaries' (oh-my-gosh [insert helium-high chipmunk giggles] - not really but you get my drift). Since I already ate dinner, I focused on desserts and appetizers. Somebody ordered Calamara (fried squids) with cocktail sauce, I was game. I got soup again (Pasta Fagioli)...

and when it was time for drinks I had a bit of a predicament. I only had one choice and I didn't know whether to pick a Vanilla Milkshake or Pina Colada (with rum, creme of Coconut, Pineappple juice and icecream). The first thing I thought was I didn't want to get drunk, then I remembered from Fundamentals of Criminalistics that an average 175 lb man digested .025 ounce of alchohol per hour (legal limit is .08). My friend rationalized that: I'm not driving, I already have food in my stomach plus there were a lot of delicious appetizers to balance things out, and it wasn't 100% alchohol- it was diluted with icecream and pineapple juice. So I went for it- it was really good. I tried to detect the liquer but I couldn't distinguish it- to evaluate I compared it to my friend's corona (which wasn't as bad a 'smirnof'- she claimed that the lime makes the "wonderful" taste of corona) and my brother's frozen drink which tasted like chocolate and banana milkshake. Then my brother commented that in Pina Colada, they usually add "malibou" which tasted a lot like coconut (that figures!).

I didn't get drunk or throw up (so yay), and I enjoyed a second viewing of Memoirs of a Geisha. The second time around, I felt that this movie's plot seemed to advance faster. I noticed more the subtleties in the relationships, also the the innuedos (very culturally relative to the Japanese culture), and the historical period of it (through radio announcements, technology of airplanes, and hair-do's). It was an awesome night, and I didn't get a hang-over the next day!

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 8:24 AM | Comments (0)

December 17, 2005

First day of freedom: Starbucks and movie

Leaving Greensburg on Friday morning, my train was 1 and 1/2 hours late, but it was cool, the weather was great!

During the train ride, I fell asleep a lot...one instance my head was leaning against the window and everytime it would slide down I'd wake up (if I were in the thinking mode I should have made some sort of pillow to stabilize my head- but no, I was stubborn, I rationalized that it would disturb my sleepy mode (al contrario)...

I had a chance to completely read this fall's issue of Eye Contact in its entirety...it was great (I had a chance to read tid-bits of it during proof reading session but it wasn't the same, reading it in a linear fashion)... after finishing John's short story, I found myself looking for more, it seemed that this issue was short or maybe I enjoyed all of the art and literature in it that I wanted more (who knows!?). Congrats to all who participated in it!

It must have been weird for the Philadelphians to see me come out of 30th Station carrying in my left hand a hideous maroon suitcase with a gigantic label of my name and my home address (dated two years ago) and my bamboo plant in a ceramic parasol girl contraption in my right hand. Please also take into consideration a huge black hump of a turtle shell book bag on my back. Also keep in mind, I wore this sky blue knitted winter hat and a crimson and gold Harry-Potter-esque scarf wrapped around my neck... what a sight!

the first thing I did was call my friend/cousin and see if she wanted to watch a movie. We ended up watching Memoirs of a Geisha down at the Ritz in Center City (Downtown Philadelphia)...it was a wonderful night... it wasn't too cold, the moon was out, I don't know if it was full or almost full or passed full but the moon was bright, white and very round...christmas lights decked the lamp post by the road... and you should see City Hall (the marble elephant), it's all extravagant and funky... the city officials did this lighting effects making parts of city hall appear colorful with green, pink, and blue lights... the Rittenhouse Square Park was also decorated with lights, there was a christmas tree in the center of it and rainbow orbs were hung on bare branches of trees.

Memoirs of a Geisha was 95% like the book, they did some editing so that the movie wouldn't be too long, but the essence of the book was still there... the edited part was implied and people who had read the book would get this "hint" get the implication... originally I heard rumors that the movie downplayed the vivid colors and imagery that the book offered. The rumors were false, there were enough images to retain the poetic language and all the symbolic stuff... Memoirs of a Geisha was poetry in motion. I enjoyed watching it... at first I was distracted because I kept wandering when Zhang Ziyi (vice versa) would appear, don't get me wrong the young girl who played Zhang Ziyi's character when she was a child, was a great actress, but Ziyi Zhang is my favorite. The young woman who played the main antagonist Hatsumomo was great. Her character was totally vilified but deep inside really complex.

on the way to the Ritz, we stopped by Starbucks at 8th and Walnut... it was freezing cold outside and I still got a Caramel Frappucino... the vendor thought I was nuts... (in my mind- I was thinking that it's been a while so I don't really care) It was really good and delicious... after the movie, we went to Cosi, I ordered a chicken noodle soup (it was a bit salty) and my friend got this white pizza (really savory- the garlic taste will warm you up)... it was an awesome night...

there was this sense of liberation or maybe celebration in being able to walk late at night in a big city where you see people socializing and you hear traffic, and you see lights, christmas lights, and you feel the chill and see your breathe ascending, flying to the moon...

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 12:15 PM | Comments (0)

December 12, 2005

semester In Review

Blog 1
Blog 2
Blog 3
Blog 4

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 7:35 AM | Comments (0)

December 1, 2005

Blogging Portfolio #4: The Final One

Like what Katie Aikins said, this blogging portfolio was smaller in comparison to the others because the class instruction time focused on discussion and the book We the Media by Dan Gillmor. In the beginning of the semester there were plenty to comment about or blog about because we had multitudes of materials to read such as Elements of Journalism, AP Guide to News Writing, and various extra internet readings. To balance this paucity, I have many wildcard blog posts that aroused discussion, were in depth and had timely coverage. Overall this structure was a great balance between coverage of materials and going beyond books and other print materials with discussions.

In class we had presentations and discussions about We the Media (Chapters Intro-2, 3-5, 6-Epilogue [coverage]). They were all very interesting and refreshing. The presentations were also a great way for everyone to practice speaking publicly. Its' informal atmosphere took away pressure from students and it allowed them to be creative. We argued about the rise of internet, its credibility and most importantly the role of everyday citizens who wrote and reported the news in their own special way (rise of grassroots journalism). Chapter 12 in AP Guide to News Writing was helpful for the Feature article we wrote (for me, they were good reminders/review)- timeliness.

One of the most memorable labs I've had was the Choose-your-own-adventure. It was nerve-wracking and fun. Discussions also extended outside of classroom, primarily in the blogs. Jenna posted a question in the admissions blog (since almost everyone who's anyone are having their own blogs to have easy access and to put a 'face' to a group/company). She responded to a question I posted (Xenoblogging).

It was only appropriate for a citizen journalist such as myself to blog about random things, and these were my wild card posts. Often times they appeared to be "rants" but in their subtle context, these were issues that were considered newsworthy. My blog about the CRAFT club delineated team work that should be imitated. My Amtrak post dealt with business, consumers and society. My Kindertransport Review (In Depth) was a good article for Arts/Entertainment and Culture.

Of course learning and classroom times would not be effective if they were not applicable. One of the main lessons that was reinforced in me was communication. This concept was summed up in Gillmor's book. He emphasized the role of blogs as the main medium for grassroots journalism, conversations were beginning and this start helped to solve problems.

Overall, this news writing class had been a great supplement to my experience as a Setonian writer. They go hand-in-hand. News writing is the theory, and the Setonian is the practice.

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 8:25 PM | Comments (0)

some ponderings...

today in Fundamentals of Criminalistic class, Jess, who was standing next ot the helium gas, said that when someone inhale helium, one's vocal chord shrinks (squeezes the air passage), that's why the voice projected sounds high and chipmunky...and in really extreme cases, if this someone were to keep shrinking and expanding one's vocal chords, it'll "explode."

I'm hypothesizing that this shrinking of vocal cords with helium has the same principals as those who sing in a range not normally theirs. Another friend, Stephanie, said a long time ago, that singing in a range not normally yours can damage your vocal chords...

the point is that maybe this two are related...

Another random musing, in class today, we also learned about grooves and lands of gun barrels...they form a spiral inside the cartridges that enable the flying bullet to have a spin. The spin helps it stay in "target."

Spiral, keeping it tight, spinning, and target just reminded me of pairs' figure skating, whenever the guy throws his female partner. The girl rotates in the air, and in order for her to execute her landing, she can't be leaning, she has to stay vertical while she goes through her rotation...this all has to happen really fast...

These are just some thoughts.

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 7:51 PM | Comments (0)