August 17, 2007

Sabra Won!

Sabra, a dancer, an inspiration, won today, the title of America's favorite dancer in the hit show, "So You Think You Can Dance."

She beat over 20,000 hopefuls who auditioned way back in May. The great thing about Sabra is that she dances with her heart first before technique; this is not to say that she doesn't haven't technique... she has potential and she's proven that, also beautiful lines and extensions... she has musicality, flexibility, personality, passion/fire and a cool afro! And she's only been dancing for FOUR years-unbelievable.

All the hard work paid off, and all the times that she fell or dropped by Dominique, she got up and continued dancing. I'm glad she won!

Other news, today is my last day here at Philly, and guess how I spent it? Packing of course- way to wait until the last minute... I have three luggages (one will be mom's pretend one)-- I packed clothes (summer/winter), shoes, work clothes, some stationary set, books, a lamp, extension cords, etc.... I also ran/toned...

my bro and his girlfriend took me out to dinner, we ate at TGIF- I ordered fried green beans with wasabi dip, island grilled mahi-mahi, water and vanilla milkshake- we shared a cinnamon doughnut with cream cheese dip-- got home, finalized packing, and watched "So You Think You Can Dance." Sabra won!

I know next week will be an academic boot camp... and as soon as I get to Logan, UT the first thing I'm going to do is to go to registrar's office and fix my tuition payment plan and then go dorm shopping... it'll be plain crazy...

I'll do my summer recap once I'm settled in Logan... my flight this morning is at 7 am... it's almost 1 am, I'll take a power nap and wake up around 2:30 am to get ready...

to the West...

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

August 11, 2007

Being a Philly Tour Guide

Today, I resumed my faux summer job of being a tour guide. Karissa and Mike drove from Harrisburg and visited Philly for a day; I was their tour guide. Not only did we walk around, see the sights, ride/chase the "Sphlash" bus, we caught up and chit-chat about the latest news (face to face, personal conversations are ten times better than email because the possibilities of the topics of conversation can trail off in any direction- the different connections/associations between shared stories are dynamic and exciting).

Originally, our itinerary was divided into three sections: Historic Philly, Urban Philly/Shopping, and Artsy Philly. In summary, we covered the historic part pretty well, and we ran out of time exploring the artsy part (we're recent graduates with lots of loans so we didn't do much shopping nonetheless, we saw a lot of free outdoor art).

Mike and Karissa arrived at my house (the one with lots of flowers in the front yard) at 9:30 in the morning. After a bit of rest and cantaloupe, we began our adventure. We took the bus that went through the nice "ghetto" filled with mural art.

Even though we had a plan, we didn't strictly follow it- the plan would just "guide" us (I remember when I was in Europe, our tour guide rushed us and kept our schedule- sure we saw lots of things, but I don't know if I created fond memories with all the things I saw. So learning from this tour guide, I wanted the tour to be somewhat comprehensive and memorable).

The first thing we saw was the Quaker's Meeting House, it was a good simple first stop, a good set-up to contrast later with the flamboyant Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul. We passed Betsy Ross's house (SHU will be proud of her entrepreneurial skills), and walked through Elfreth's alley to get to Christ Church, where Betsy, Washington, Forbes, and the rest of the colonial gang practiced their freedom of worship/religion.

On the way to the National Constitution Center (NCC), we passed by Benjamin "Benjie" Franklin's grave (there's a story about the pennies on top of his grave, but I forgot it). Walking wasn't that bad, the weather was excellent- not humid, a bit breezy, and when one was under the shade, it felt like a spring morning.

NCC was fun. We watched "Freedom Rising" on this high tech theater that integrated live narration with sound effects, lights, and video clips. The technical problem episode was hilarious- we were asked to exit the theater to come back 10 minutes later. And people started protesting, wanting to stay... nobody moved so we didn't move either. The show was inspiring and very patriotic. The exhibit on the constitution was saturated with media and interactivity (a good place to bring people/students who are learning about the constitution). The architects had fun designing this museum (cool sculptures, cartoons, and lots of curves and circles).

We were famished after this so we went to the Reading Terminal Market (RTM) for lunch (via the Phlash bus and an all day pass). There was a smorgasbo(a)rd of food to choose from like the classic hamburger to middle eastern dishes. I learned something new today- I always regarded the RTM as a place for lunch and heavy food, I didn't think about it as a place to get desserts. They had a lot of desserts to choose from: Amish dutch apple turnovers, flying monkey pastries, bakclava. We ate hoagies from Famous Carmen (either we ate a late lunch or the hoagies we got were so darn fulfilling because come dinner time (6ish) we didn't feel hungry but we still got authentic philly cheesesteak to go). We witnessed a tourist losing her temper and asking for her money back. Mike and Karissa ordered sharp cheese with their hoagies, I wasn't sure what cheese to get, so I stayed neutral and got the Swiss. For dessert, Mike got coffee, Karissa and I waited for the gelati at Chestnut street (italian for icecream, but low in fat, very flavorful, more delicious than regular ice cream). I tried a Zambione (Marsala wine, coffee, eggnog- flavored gelati), and Karissa also got Zambione with a scoop of Raspberry (cream-based mixed with the water-based, with enough punch and twang).

We sauntered through Chinatown (3rd largest in the nation), took a picture of the friendship gate, and went straight to Independence Hall, then crossed the 2nd Bank of America (we couldn't find the first one), saw the portrait exhibits of American patriots and finally saw the most popular and photographed "crack" in the east coast, the Liberty Bell, and its gap a.k.a "irreparably cracked."

By the time we finished the historical part, the artsy museums were already closed (5 pm). We went inside the Basilica, where we saw people coming out from a wedding... glanced at the first free library, and saw King Tut, well a picture of him anyway. We said hello to Rodin's "the Thinker," and peeked the "Gates of Hell"... we saw Rocky's statue, walked up and down the Rocky steps, and gazed at the Philly skyline.

We chased the phlash bus, and the sadist driver, instead of picking us up on the the spot, told us that she liked to see us run up the hill for the bus... we entertained the other tourists, we saw smiles on their faces when we got on board.

Before taking the bus home, we stopped by JFK plaza/Love park and city hall and the plaza with lots of gigantic sculptures of game pieces (fun, quirky photo shoot). We met other tourists, asked them if they could take a picture of us and vice versa (three of them were going to move to Philly to be part of Teach America). While at the bus stop and in the bus, we talked about grad schools, SHU memories, pets, jobs, future, etc.- it took a while for the right bus to arrive (plans changed)... we finally got back to my house around 8:30-9:00ish at night (passed intended departure time- Mike and Karissa still had at least 1 hour and 45 minutes of driving back to Harrisburg).

"In conclusion" it was a fun day.

P.s. I hope it happens again and all are welcome, just contact me to make sure that I'm free...

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 11:17 PM | Comments (5)

August 10, 2007

finding motivation

now that I'm getting ready to go to UT, I'm finding it difficult to finish last minute things before heading off... lately I've made shuttle and hotel reservations... I'm making a list and checking it twice of what I need to get when I'm there... I'm trying to fix/straighten my financial situation... I still have 4 and 1/2 chapters in Spanish review...I'm trying to hang with friends and family... I started packing... I need to do last minute shopping... I've invested some of my savings in a cd (can't touch the money for 6 months but the interest is higher than the usual annual rate, according to the guy, there wasn't any risk, it was just like a savings account, the difference is that you get penalized for taking out money during the 6 month period), I'm reading humorous essays by Jessica Zafra, and a short story by Henry James, finished reading Thoreau's "Walking" and articles in National Geography about Parks in general... saw the movie "The Ten" at the Ritz Bourse (scandalous and comical)...I've updated my mp3 player, created a professional email address and this weekend, I'll be a tour guide yay! :)

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 8:18 PM | Comments (4)

August 4, 2007

financial matters: college loans

On Friday, I talked to the telephone operators at American Education Services (AES) for an hour... I found out that I had an extra $10,000+ loan... I totally forgot about this one... before leaving SHU, the statement I received only mentioned the Federal loans I borrowed but neglected to mention the private one I have...

I'm in the process of consolidating the federal loans... the private loan can't be consolidated in the same sense as the federal loans... it has to be a variable (changing- depends on the market)...even though I'm going back to school, I'm going to start any way paying little by little...

there's no such thing as joint consolidation for federal and private loans... but I can have a joint bill, handled by AES...

the operator said that they can't send me a bill during the grace period. Nonetheless I can still make payments now via internet and print out a receipt. In the long run, it's cheaper to pay "principle" and "interests" at the same time instead of "targeting" the interests first (Do you agree with this, reader?)... I'll get the first bill in November... Most of the money I received for graduation will go for the first couple of installments...

Tengo suerte porque mis padres van a ayudarme until I'm fully employed.

In other matters, I'm thinking of building up my checking account and maybe putting some of my savings in a CD...

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 3:14 PM | Comments (2)

July 31, 2007

updates

I resumed running... I wonder, is it better to run on pavement or hilly lopsided earthy terrain?

I watched a Japanses film called "The Bird People of China"... I want to find works by the author who wrote the book that inspired the movie...his name is Makoto Shiina, according to the director, he wrote a lot a imaginary travel novels...

I have 5 1/2 more chapters left before I finish my spanish review (I can't believe I'm reviewing 3 years of high school spanish in 10 weeks-- it's very basic, I reviewed lots of vocabulary, and conversational phrases, I learned a bit about the culture, and basic grammar (3 tenses, subjects, direct object etc.), retraining my ear to hear the rhythm of the speech, and vocalizing the words...tomorrow is my last day...

I finished Harry Potter, it was satisfying for me as a fan... it felt weird... it seemed like I grew up with Harry (he's like a real person I knew)... it's a bit sad because it's the last book, but I'm also understanding of its end... Book 7 is like a waving good bye to a friend moving to another country... sure you can keep in touch via email but his/her presence will not be convenient, they're not hanging around... more effort to keep in touch, not close in proximity (not necessarily bad, but still not near them)...

I am not going to finish my two boxes of summer reading...at this moment, I'll be putting aside some books... I have less than three weeks to read the books I'm going to use for teaching...

It's difficult not eating desserts so carefree/freely... I know not to deprive myself but I have to watch it...

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 6:50 PM | Comments (3)

July 29, 2007

dangers of too much vacation

there's a saying: all work and no play makes a person dull... the reverse is also true: all play and no work makes a person dull...

vacations are especially dangerous if the people one is spending time with are not on vacation.. why?
because one puts one's self at risk of being a spectator of someone else's life/drama...

in vacations it's important that all/both parties (the vacationeer, the visited, etc.) are in mutual understanding of the purpose of the vacation- which is to catch up, make fond memories, relax and have fun together... when the following criteria are not met, then disasters befall especially the vacationeer... as the case study proved, below is an excerpt:

a girl was visiting her sister in a neighboring county... her sister was the busy type, no time for play all work... of course she welcomed her youngest sibling but deep inside she was resentful... because she didn't have the same freedom and luxury as her....the young girl on the other hand was reserved, in the past she had an inkling of her sister's resentment, but she was trying to be as diplomatic and positive as possible... in the end of their time together, little was done, no fond new memories were formed, just reminders of the sad past surfaced... the young spent her time watching the drama/life of her sister, and she spent her time always adjusting to her whims... she was lucky to be fitted into her regular schedule... the girl's vacation became a time to catch up on her studies instead bonding...

the conclusion the data came to indicates that mutuality of understanding of the purpose of leisure should be important for all parties et. al. (vacationeer, the visited, etc.).

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 12:13 PM | Comments (0)

July 25, 2007

Greenwich CT. (Part 4)

the surface

during my sojourn to Greenwich CT, I learned several things about people in general and myself (not giving in, the limits of compromise, the care of languages, discretion of speaking, the unexplainable attachments of people whether to their older sibling or former lovers, frustrated/supressed anger). I saw economic imbalances (big houses on big lands and small lands, the color of houses changing from divine white to grafitti-washed smog/red bricks, immigrant workers), I experienced New York (Manhattan streets, the traffic, the bustle of people, the tongues of foreign speech, microcosm of the known civilization, I saw people from different walks of life- teenager, mother, disenfranchised young man of late 20s, students, gays, senior citizens, bratz, and many more).

I'll remember... sleeping on top of the bunk bed, falling asleep watching the green stars fade, improvising stories always trying to get the last word, waking up in the morning, eating croissant with jelly for breakfast, drinking milk, accompanying my cousin and uncle (to one of the big mansions they work at, doing thier morning duty of fixing the cushions at the pool for twenty dollars just in case the rich owners decided to chill there and take a swim that day)... playing basketball, training, learning moves (dribbling with eyes close/looking at the opponent, running with the ball, guarding with bent knees, making plays, lay-up, cradles, ball bouncing on the board, Horse, 21)... watching TV (Charm school), White Chicks the movie-never gets old... the breeze, the coolness after the rain... Shelly Jade Porkchop, laughing and talking at 1 in the morning as if in a slumber party (getting yelled at to go to sleep)... doing Spanish homework...American Folk Art Museum, walking in New York with aching feet? Starbucks at NY -rude worker and good revealing conversations, unsuccessfully eavesdropping on Spanish conversations, winning at Yu-gi-oh even if only one out of five...

I'll remember going home, passing through Chinatown N.Y. for "pasalubong" of 'schopaw'... getting stuck in traffic due to closed roads because of cyclers... dead end, passing through Central Park...

I finished Brave New World and The Mother Tongue:English and how it got that way (which was apt to my Spanish/language study)...

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 3:50 PM | Comments (0)

July 21, 2007

NY: American Folk ARt Museum

-left greenwich CT, walked to the train station in port chester NY to catch ride to Grand Central Station NY for a trip to the American Folk Art Museum
(AFAM)

-got out of grand central... passed by the constellations, out the door started walking... forgot the map (the visual cue)... wanted to start on the right foot so before going farther and lost, asked a passerby which way to 53rd street, later asked another one which way to 5th avenue

-found AFAM, write next to MoMA- $7 entrance fee for students (a lie since the internet said admission was free)... five floors, narrow, start from the top and go down, each floor an exhibit itself... crafty and contemporary (in our 21st century sense)...the folk art revealed exhibition (part of the permanent collection) was really enlightning about the folk art genre and its uses: individuality (stability/assertion identity sometimes defying conventions), community (not just a place), symbolism (associations/subtle/secrets), and utility (practicality/functionality).

-walking towards 33rd street, going to shops on the way, Disney (photo shoot with Goofy and Liberty Minnie), Gap, souvenir shops, more window browsing, 42nd street, passed an Asian (Korean) Avenue...

-Starbucks- Greentea Frap and sausage and egg sandwich, mean worker, who speaks another language beside English - talking, catching up, little confessions, laughs, utilizing the ability to speak another language

-underground and boom above ground, clouds... nice day, breezy, stark... mansions of Greenwich/Stamford CT versus brick apartments of New Jersey... Filipino restaurant...being reminded of the Philippines, not the same, pansit and taho...'emo'-tional, snacks

-didn't bring a camera, be more than just a tourist... walking, chill in front of NY Public Library in fifth Avenue (the one with lions, and was featured in a movie "the Day after tomorrow") sat on the steps, ate snacks, watched people pass by... taxis racing

-st patrick's cathedral, a little prayer, bags check... gothic stye, flying buttreses (roman cathedral in Philly is still better, more grand)...

-walking to 42nd street...caught the train...eavesdropping on people speaking Spanish for educational purposes... home by 10

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 10:35 AM | Comments (0)

July 17, 2007

Greenwhich (part 3)

more basketball training... more playing... while jogging- walking, grand jete-"ing" and cartwheeling... attempting to walk on hands.... laughing camel jokes/lewd jokes

idea...

he is 'whipped' ...he doesn't understand her... he succumbs to her whims, he treats her as if they're equal, he's older and she's younger, he rationalizes with her even though she is not in the same emotional and intellectual level... he watches her maltreated by her eldest sister, who blackmails her and makes her feel stupid, yet in spite of his effort, she get easily frustrated with him and forgets the flowers and times joyfully spent with him... she gets angry with him... he tries to avoid war and tries to maintain peace, he avoids sitting under her favorite tree so not to upset her

nothing changes, two years ago she was like this and she still is
whipped- he keeps her secret, makes time for her to play games, avoids making her look bad, gives her filial tips,

he's greatful for all her help... she makes things more difficult than it truly is

he understands the strong bond between her and her eldest sister... but what he can't understand why his efforts are forgotten because of a little argument...maybe it's her immaturity, her age, her incompatible intellectual and emotional i.q.... maybe he needs t remember his place/ and pull the "i'm-older-and-more-experience" card, in order to get "respect" the same way as the cruel eldest sister....

he just can't understand why he even bothers... her eldest sister doesn't even give squat (in a sense that, she'll put effort whenever she can). On the other hand, he bend backwards just to make sure that she's not neglected... he's just a pushover. he doesn't want to be the "excuse", the decoy, a distraction/plaything How can he stop being pushover?

Audience, what should he do? below are some suggestions, please feel free to add...

he shouldn't treat her like a baby
he should hold her responsible for her actions
he should be firm but not like a jerk
he should stick to his words/goals and not change around to pacify her illogical temper/fancy/whims

Reality....

okay back to reality away from imaginings.... okay I finished "Brave New World" the ending was okay... I was hoping that John, the savage would be stronger in the end... today I watched a spanish version of "access hollywood"...I"m catching on the phrasing and rhythm of the language... but I'm still slow in translating... I'd catch a word or two and get the gist of the sentence and sometimes I'd completely hear the whole sentence. I would be translating word for word and doing so I'd missed the next sentence being said...I'm continuing my spanish review... I just don't want to start with spanish 101. I have enough to pass that level... I want to get to the speaking part (in order for me to do this, I need to have good vocabulary and confidence)...Im pushing myself to finish my spanish textbook, which took me 3 highschool years and now I'm trying to finish 7 more chapters in less than 6 weeks...

Shellie Jade Porkchop is still alive!

song of the day "i'll never get over you getting over me"

the weather is bearable... in the 80s, not as humid, mostly staying indoors, there's a bit of a breeze... cool mornings...

planning to go to the American Folk Art Museum in New York this Friday

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 11:23 PM | Comments (0)

July 16, 2007

greenwich (part 2)

greenwich or stamford... big houses, lots of migrant workers, laborers, housemaid... rich caucasian people livng in mansions... at first doesn't seem "diverse"... then once in a market... the diversity is seen (even if for the most part the immigrants are laborers working for higher minimum wage)... in the market, there's an isl e where south american food, mexican, Indian and other food are located... Spanish, portuguese.... $20 for fluffing cushions for the pool... put it in the morning and take it out for the evening

basketball training- dribbling, horse, tricks, push-up, running jogging, waking up in the morning, stretching...

visaya-ville... college talk like high school or maybe missed it because focusing on too much academics... guys with weak morals...secrets reveals of times first...

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 1:25 PM | Comments (0)

July 15, 2007

Chinatown NY

Ordering 'schopa' (soft bun with pork stuffing), waited for an hour, but it's okay, worth it... so while waiting, walked around...

got the $2.00 pudding tea special... walking ... Chinese tongue... baubbles... tiny turtles, an inch and a half long, from Pasay river... Chinese lady knows how to sell... got a mini turtle, plastic case, and at least three months worth of food all for $10... the turtle's name is Shellie Jade Porkchop...nicknamed Tinky-Winky...

Grass art ranging from $3 maybe up to $20... got a $3 grass art of a blue dragonfly...

getting kick out for having a drink... tourist trinkets... land so foreign yet a couple of blocks from it, it's little Italy...

driving... honk... leading a car full of latinos toward route 95... beep, Gracias!

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 5:47 PM | Comments (0)

card games

pokemon, yu-gi-oh, magic- are card games... not just the regular "go fish" type of game, much more complicated- makes you think, forces you to strategize in order to survive...

my first exposure to this type of card games was pokemon, rule destroy all the monster of the opponent... you have a monster or several, face down until you get energy cards to the monster, one energy down the playing field per turn, can attack using specified moves (as long as energy is there), cards like potion to substract from the damage, effects like poison, paralyzed, etc.

yu-gi-oh- level four monsters are easy to summon, anything higher would require a sacrifice of monsters... it works with a point system like say each player have 8000 points (which is nothing because the damage can be around the thousands)- of course no matter whether monster is in a defensive or offensive... unless stated, there's the trample, after the difference is subtracted... there are trap cards and magic/spell cards... in order to for the trap to work one has to put it in the playing field... the danger in this is it can be destroyed, but keeping it in one's hand can also be dangerous (there's a magic card that can destory cards in the hands), but sometimes one is forced to put cards in the playing field because one is only allowed to have six cards at a time, in each turn, you draw a card...

the magic is the most complicated... the drawing on the cards are not so cartoony, it has good quotes (reminds me of lord of the rings verbage)... it's complicated because there the turning of the cards... effects.... monster card, land cards to summon, magic cards to equip, trample... this is like the yu-gi-oh, but more intricate and complicated...

it's not enough to know the rules, after the basics, then strategizing is next, overall the card games are fun to play

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 12:51 PM | Comments (0)

July 13, 2007

Greenwich (part 1)

-left Philly's summer wave, took train ride- (going a different direction not the usual one that goes to Greensburg...bridge over 'schukyle' river ), waiting - phone call... waiting using the computer... listening to conversation, "real world" job, talking about blonde moments, mental exhaustion, harbour, sea/ocean/ breeze... more trees... rain...

-picking up babysitter, driving by big houses some land smaller than the house, make it look crowded so near the road... sometimes big house on bigger land... interesting houses, Victorian, turrets, castle, box, German cottage-mansion...

-doors left open, breeze passing from the open kitchen door all the way to the living room door... attic room, hot, air conditioner cools it unbelievably so... playing board games, working on strategy, card skills... sleeping, waking, gazing at artificial green stars on top of bunk beds, waking, an apparition drinks water... longing/nostalgic of 'cameraderie'/brotherhood... waking

-woke up, it's time to play sport, like a spring morning, cool, soft light... running, warming up, walking, cool, chocolate dog and master... catch football, horse, basketall, sprinting... bunny... cottontail rabbit... bottles, recycle... walking, catching a ride on a yellow, towards Donuts, nearby, not so "far"... annoying shoulder... chicken... dancing in the tele...

-Spanish homework, reading, sleeping cold, waking up... dropping in Riverdale... Hudson, trees, mansion, tiles, cold people? plastic, smiles, Sisters of Charity, lovers reunited? silence avoids or faces the question, questions question, drifting... reminds... catch, football teach how to throw, copy tricks, drifting... open cards, going to movies... clothes next time tomorrow... secrets... perfect crime elementary level (hoping).... amusing for now... wondering how far the games will go... washing dishes, reading

-laughing, joking on the edge... fruits-blackberry, grapes... milk, vitamins... games, gaudy versus confident, games...night showers... working... cell phones... charm school... cursing...making a deck... playing catch... football- lost in the bush,... driving, talk of uncle (bored, ignorant of priveleges or maybe longing for what's gone) not calling- card tournaments...

--- dying- cancer- swimming, talking, chatting, dog running back and forth, dust, can't pass the gate... comics to politics... dogs, cats, magic, sexuality...pregnancy

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 7:50 PM | Comments (0)

July 9, 2007

scuba-diving in a pool and kids

yesterday (sunday July 8) was a great day to go swimming, it was around 93 degrees... a friend of the family decided to have a little get together in her place... bar-b-que chicken, spaghetti, and scuba diving in a 7 feet pool...

her place was awesome... trees were tall enough to provide substantial shade while letting in enough sunlight... the water was just the right temperature, not freezing cold but alluringly just right...

another friend of the family came also, he brought his scuba gear, wife and three children... he was very enthusiastic to share his scuba gear with those interested. At first I was iffy, then my dad tried it so I decided to try it also- well at least I took the first step in trying anyway.

my instructor doesn't believe in "steps" it's all or nothing... however for me, I fear things I don't understand so of course I asked a lot of questions... the instructor sort of got annoyed because I asked too much questions...

I put on the water boots followed by the flippers, then I slipped on the vest with the oxygen tank and wrapped the belt with weights around my waist... he showed me the buttons that'll automatically bring me down and bring me up... I put on the mask and praticed breathing... I was doing okay, but my instructor wanted to rush everything which is a bad thing for me because I'm slow... I have to understand and be at least comfortable before going to the next step...

the breathing part with the mask wasn't that bad... the physical was okay, it was the mental that made me panic... my mind is trying to adjust and maybe overthink things... at times wearing the mask made me feel claustrophobic... of course I'm wearing those googles and I can see pretty clearly... seeing the bubbles come out from the mouth piece... seeing it so close to your eyes, then I get reminded of the fact that I'm underwater and yet I'm breathing as if I don't have a mask... just a natural thing I normally do above water... it seems illogical/magical/mind boggling... then I felt as if my mouthpiece would slip out of my mouth... so it's like a puzzle... to add to the challenge, the oxygen tank have a tendency to float up and make me horizontal and while I'm trying to keep upright (because I'm just practicing), the flippers are trying to flip me out of my standing position... all of these things are happening while my mind decides to make up a scary story of a heavy oxygen tank dragging me to the bottom of the pool...

the oxygen or maybe lack of oxygen started making me laugh at the absurdities of the things happening so I surfaced ... my instructor losing his patience told me to put the mask (I did) and then he started pulling me towards the deeper end of the pool (he doesn't believe in steps- it's all or nothing), I couldn't control my mind, i didn't breath in a normal pace... I started inhaling and exhaling in a shorter period so I surfaced again...

another person wanted to try it so i was more than willing to hand over the equipment... to my instructor my attempt was fruitless BUT I disagree... I learned a little bit about the equipments and their functions, I got exposed to breathing using the mask and oxygen tank, maybe next time I'll practice using the flippers and someday I'll put it all together...

the instructor's kids were adorable... one was only around 9 months, the other 21 months and the eldest one may be 2 to 3 years old... the eldests were just doing their thing... with parents watching over them, they'd sit next to the pool, wet their feet, splashing and kicking water everywhere... sometimes grown ups are sadists, they'd scare the little kids by picking them up and half dunking them on the water (up to their waist)... the little kids would cry and once they're safely on ground again, they return to their happy selves, act as if nothing happened, sometimes they would leave the crime scene of traumatic experience and wander somewhere else.... good qualities of kids... sometimes they're not so self-conscious, instead of self-editing themselves, they go ahead and express themselves the best way they can (even if sometimes they seem babbling or incoherent to adults)... they are not super conscious, but they know what happen and they're expressing the moment... it's amusing to watch children while they're playing pretend or using their imagination...it makes one wonder about the ongoings of their minds: what's going on inside their heads? how are they seeing/perceiving this world?...

amazing! :)

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 9:16 PM | Comments (0)

June 8, 2007

starbucks update/shopping/running

I tried the iced caramel machiatto and drank it around 6:45 pm, and I didn't fall asleep until 3 a.m.- talk about caffeine power... found a great bargain at Burlington Coat Factory, five dress pants (black, charcoal, bisque, dark walnut, and navy) for only $105 and they're good quality too... I also ran/jogged on the famous Kelly Drive in Fairmount Park (9x bigger than NY's Central Park)... it's been a while too since I ran, (I can tell because by the end , my lower back was a bit in pain, and my ribs were a bit sensitive/burning)...

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 12:17 PM | Comments (0)

June 4, 2007

Starbucks update and highway driving

I tried the orange white mocha latte, it's white mocha latte with a shot of orange syrup that tastes like marmalade (an inversion of the orange mocha I drank last time--> it's really good, it's the sweet version) while the orange mocha is pungent, this one is really sweet sometimes dangerously so-- the right one will be hanging in the balance, one more ounce will tip the balance...

I drove on the highway today... I didn't do that bad; I'm still alive to type this blog... I have to learn to find the balance of trusting my side and rear mirrors... I was driving fast (at least past 60) but according to some, it wasn't fast enough. My dad told me that the guy behind me kept flashing his blinkers; I didn't even notice because I was focusing on the vehicles in front of me and making sure that I didn't miss my exit...

once I got to the city, the pace was different...narrow streets and parked cars, lots of pedestrian and cyclists...

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 8:49 PM | Comments (0)

June 1, 2007

Preview: self-designed summer curriculum of FUN

to start my summer curriculum of FUN today, I watched this awesome French movie with my friend at the Ritz- a film made up of shorts from various directors, it's called Paris, Je t'aime (I'll talk more about this later...). so far this summer, i noticed the influx of French and Paris-inspired movies at the Ritz...

I did some window-shopping-- looking for 'teaching' clothes- having some sort of uniform will tremendously help me psychologically when I student-teach...

then I went to Dave and Busters- ate dinner there and got the power-card combo cheese steak and $10 worth of game points for the arcade, I played the trivia game, the air hockey, the skeeball, basketball, the classic arcade games such as pac-man, 'galaxy,' won an Eagle's bear at the machine, and got a shot glass for my friend...

then i went to Philly's First Friday celebration (held every first-Friday), held around Olde City and its many small independent art galleries...it wasn't as posh as I thought it was going to be, but it was still a great experience, they had alcohol (my friend drank a cup) but they didn't have wine and or cheese. It was an art festival of some sort. I got to see the many galleries I never knew existed which were cool. Percussions, fire-breathing display, hula demonstrations, guitar music, anti-political bumper stickers, t-shirts, kisch art, you name it, they have it.

The trends I noticed at the streets are graffiti art and irregular geometric/weird-shaped anime-esque cartoons and in the galleries- exploration of space and location (setting as character)- I saw this in the pottery and the oil paintings...

this event inspired me to make art for the sake of selling them ( I know this sounds so capitalistic but I feel like I don't have enough room in my house, I'd like to share my art to others, at least those who will be willing to pay for it, will give my art a home, sometimes I like to make art to give to people and right now there's no occasion, if i start making art now, maybe by the time the second first Friday of the summer hits I'll have several to sell (I already have ideas on how to save money for getting materials)...

the great thing about being an artist, if I like an idea and I know I can do a satifying version of that idea then I don't have to buy it and I can make it for myself (of course I'm not going to claim it and sell it as if it's my original vision but I'll keep it for inspiration)... the only time that I'd buy art is if I liked the artist's vision (me copying it will lose the original artist's interpretation- why I Iiked it in the first place) with this said, I'm thinking of buying the most expensive hat I would ever purchase to date- the modifications I'd suggest are the color scheme, less psychedelic and more cool monochromatic colors and maybe add moon and eye icons- very trivial and if it's not possible it's not the end of the world...

day one of my summer curriculum of FUN is successful and motivating...

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 11:23 PM | Comments (1)

classroom mentality

it's sort of weird finishing my undergraduate studies already...I'm glad I'm going to grad school because atleast I have a plan...the dreaded six months after graduation is not so dreadful for me, I have something to look forward to...

of course i still have the classroom mentality so I'm going to modify it and use it to my advantage (hopefully), the world will be my classroom, the people of the world will be my new classmates, breaking into the publishing world and making the most out of my life will be my new homework and research project, I'll always strive for that metaphoric "A", do extra credits, do it genuinely no 'bs'

never fret, I'm not that naive, I know there'll be bullies and people who'll think your stuff is crap, who'll be nit-picky, who'll make your life a living hell, BUT with the bad, there are also the good people, who'll tutor you, have (office) hours for consultation or talking, who'll work with you (team work)...

the possibilities are endless, they are not far-fetched, they're attainable (just keep working, work hard)...

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 10:24 PM | Comments (0)

March 2, 2007

walking from 30th street to 8th and Walnut: three dramas and some minors

this time it wasn't that bad walking twenty-two blocks, I only had two small backpacks- one on my back full of assignments and one in the front full of snack et al. I didn't mind the walk, after 7 hours of sitting, I needed to stretch my legs and exercise.

it's always very cinematic, I rose from the tunnel using the escalator, I 'd be looking up to high ceilings of 30th station, very warm feeling- sandy stone, lights, gilded gold trimmings- people lining up, announcements over the 'pa.' I passed the bronze statue of "the angel lifting up a man," I happen to pick the doors that automatically opened.

Outside, the pillars framed the way for me, taxis lined up. There's a paradox in the way I moved. My steps were confident, I knew where I was going. My head was tilting in every direction: watching a crane lift metal, the dormant skeletal frames of a skyscraper that is supposed to be the highest one here in Philly history. the 'schukly' river is churning below, which looked like melted bronze with flecks of gold. Wind blowing combing my hair and massaging my head; it was just a nice feeling. for the most part, the pace of my amble was in sync with the downtown's stop lights- I rarely stopped and waited for the light to turn green (it was pass go).

I passed Love park, city hall, walked in the middle island of the Avenue of the Arts, and made a left on Chestnut street...

first drama- there was a crowd, people's head were directed to the opposite street. I hear people whispering "what's happening?", I too wondered. As I got closer to the scene, I see two black guys hand cuffed and sitting on the ledges in front of a store. Two white cops were standing to their left, and three bicycle cops were on their right. One of the arrested males was arguing with someone. I heard the word "deal," phrases "I wouldn't do that" "it's my grandchild's birthday" etc. I kept walking, I did turn around once but still kept walking (an aspect of Philly).

my eyes caught the display of macy, the fashion statement this season was "naturals"- earthy pastel colors- lots of tans, browns, green, pale yellow, khaki, etc. There was something military-esque and uniform about it. there's precision in the cuts, folds, and collars...

I reached my destination: Starbucks (what a surprise), I called my friend to start my spring break but she was busy. It was an awesome march day- a little windy and crispy air- towards evening the wind started picking up- I didn't want to leave the city so early. Black trash bags were bobbing up and down like jelly fish trapped in metal barrels... it was 4 pm so I ate an early dinner (sandwich and drank white raspberry mocha).

second drama- sitting to my left, there's an interracial couple, I didn't eavesdrop, the tone of their voice revealed it all. The woman's voice would rise and fall, and the man's voice was very calm, and steady. The woman looked like she's ready to go, while the man leaned forward, his hands appearing clasped together. When whatever they were discussing was over, the girl walked out but in peaceful/resolved terms.

straight ahead of my view in Jeweler's row, a pug just finished doing his business. he was brushing his hind paws onto the concrete as if he's revving up for a race...

third drama- a white couple was sitting behind me, when they first arrived they were in good terms and when they left they weren't. I heard the phrases "coping differently" then "taking the train" "driving in this traffic." The lady was saying that she'll take public transportation, the guy was trying to persuade her with traffic. The guy got up, put on his trench coat, his messenger bag slung to one side, the lady followed. they weren't holding hands, the lady got ahead of the guy, walking really fast with arms crossed, "smoke in my eyes" was sang by ella in the background.

after a couple more songs, I left and caught the 38 septa bus. The bus was rolling through Logan square (even though it's a circle) and stopped in between the Franklin institute and swann fountain park, by chance I saw the moon, which was pretty amazing. It wasn't even dark yet, the outline of the moon was perfectly visible in the blue sky of a setting sun. the moon was like white tissue paper pasted to the sky. the bus turned left to Benjamin Franklin parkway passing the philadelphia public library.

In front of the Rodin museum, an old man with a green bowler's hat was studying the "Thinker" from different view points. Joggers/rollerbladers. The bus went behind the philadelphia art museum, more murals on the bridge's wall.

Near Mantua, trash popped out on grasses and pavements. Neglected homes (boarded up), people chilling on porches, worker boarding doors- renovating houses...

I glanced upon the moon for the second time- it was brighter and shinier like a new dime fresh from the mint- polished silver platter superimposed on muted dusky blue.

homecoming...

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

perks of business class

today for the first time, I reserved business class instead coach for amtrak, I figure I might as well treat myself, and for an extra $20 I upgraded from coach to business...

was the $20 worth it? sort of,

the perks:
definitely spacier
free drinks
and nicer customer service

in general, the amtrak experience is pretty spacey (not like greyhound) but in the business class, it's super spacey. I'm fortunate, usually the station that I depart from (greensburg/philadelphia) is always the stop that is near the beginning of the journey (which means that the train is not crowded yet- I don't have to rush to get a seat)-- less people make it appear extra, extra spacey. the chair is not worn-out fabric- smoother leather-esque

of course, the free drinks are awesome (non-alcoholic of course)- some of these drinks and coffee begin as low as $2 a pop so if you're a drinker, this works well for you, more drink also mean going to the bathroom a lot. I didn't get as much drinks because I was so consumer/environmentally-conscious, I was thinking about all the plastics: cups, bottles, plastic bag used to package the blanket (amtrak if you ever read this, I hope you recycle, someday I'll research more about your company's recycling plan if you have one or not), the little thing that I did was refuse the plastic cups given to me everytime I asked for a bottle of water. I just drank straight from the bottle, I took the two small bottles with me because I know my family recycles...

i usually take the coach instead of business, and the first thing I noticed is that the conductors are more accomodating in business class (I'm not saying that they're rude when handling coach passengers- it just seem that they're just putting time/obligation. in business class, they tend to put extra effort in socializing and being jolly). They ask if you want drinks, they joke with you, they chit chat as if it's a Gala. it has a curtain to close off the cafe part, it's like a whole new world, you take a special exit reserved for you- escorted out, you get a complimentary newspaper- and the temperature seems to be always right

convenience- near the cafe and near two bathrooms and near the exit- everything seems to be brighter,- this is the incentive

being nice and jolly is not difficult to do, everybody in this trip has a common goal- travelling to their destination to go home, do their job etc. (working together to get home and make a living- to live). why does it have to take an extra $20 to be more welcoming to certain passengers? people in general are more receptive and open to other nice people...

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 8:45 PM | Comments (0)

March 1, 2007

6/15 (midterm)

crazy week- so back to rigid form

saturday and sunday- spent it making study guides, started studying, practiced dance for jazz two hours of choreographing

monday- continued studying- couldn't focus so spent almost half the day in the art studio, watercoloring- things are going along- I definitely feel more confident in watercolors I went to the extreme, my first rendition was light and serene, the second time, the picture was definitely darker but it was too busy. My prof suggested a balance between the two and to use shapes more instead of lines. I also need to not use too much water, and be more bold in my colors (instead of 30% diluted) at night I continued studying, and watch "Heroes" in this episode, it was more dramatic, the action was subdued, a different pacing slower one but still an awesome episode...

the ball started rolling on Tuesday- workstudy,one of the prof in grad school was impressed with my file, classes, canceled class meeting, met an old friend who's student teaching this semester, first time I saw her this semester, talked and chit chat before Networking dinner, she said that she feels unprepared, she's worried about finding work (traveling where the job is), SITA movie night "A Scanner Darkly" cool effects but distracting, slow pace, great for hallucination scene, studied a bit

wednesday- work, took pictures of jail/bail, class (prof on the the verge of quiting), work(chocolate), unproductivity, reading to death, verging on the nicotine patch (quit smoking), Setonian production, talked about class gift (plaque- people complain, it's easy to complain but organizing and fundraising take a lot of work), picked up snacks finalized studying for midterm test one (Lit. for YA)--> I was prepared for it, reminded me of Art History test, Eye Contact judging was a success most of the people I invited came, and there were a couple of surprse appearances by unexpected people (the more the merrier), 10 to 11:30 finalized choreography, 1130 to 1230 worked on poster...

thursday-- woke up, breakfast, took pictures for OPI Panels of soliders/navy etc. pretty interesting, I probably would have stayed but I needed to resume studying, poster presentation on batteries, (Senior sem class is enlightening but depressing, talking about serious issues and global complexity etc. etc. comforting thought individual action may appear small but it'll inspire others to change because forcing people to change will only continue the viscious cycle...) jazz midterm and dance- learn body coordination, then Media aesthetic midterm-- okay but I didn't finish the second half of the essay, facebook thanks, Setonian production- cropped speak out photos, changed contrast not too dark but not blindingly white, dinner,blogging, got kicked out of computer by rude girl who left her station without indicating that she'll come back, returned fifteen minutes later, kicked me out instead of using the other three computer stations that were open (at the time, I wasn't thinking of retorting and mentioning the other stations which were open, I was thinking of not being rude to this very rude girl who just checked something really quick and left 2 minutes later after I logged out--> I don't get why people can be rude like that, she saw that the other computers were open, she's so possessive she acts as if it's her territory, when it's public virtual comp. lounge, if I weren't so mentally drained maybe I could have suggested the other computers-- c'est la vie), packing, light reading, return books, visit friends wish them an awesome break..

friday, train leaves for Philly 8:01 am

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 5:49 PM | Comments (0)

February 28, 2007

Hello EVERYBODY!

I have a question and everybody please answer it or give me feedback! Thanks, gracias, merci, etc.

Do you think it's okay to quit?
Posted by Michael Diezmos at 2:11 PM | Comments (3)

February 23, 2007

5/15 (preparing for mid-term)

so Monday was a bit frustrating with watercolors, I got to the point where enough is enough, no more reading about watercolor, just do it, and I got feed back from my prof, some stuff that I'll be working on this weekend

finished phonathon!- on tuesday I change the tone of my voice, and I received a better more receptive audience/listener
wednesday- write aid-- it wasn't as jam pack as last semester
just getting ready for mid term week, lots of study guides to do and studying to do
thursday ER was a bit slow (according to my friend, ER being juxtaposed with Grey's Anatomy is not a good combination, ER is being overshadowed--- walking outside, wind blowing, snow being blwn across white surface, like fog crawling in

today friday- went to Greensburg Room to sell chances, I got a better response, they say at 12 is the busy hours, so later I'll go to "Everyman" watch the show and sell,

tomorrow watercolor and dance.... and study guides and studying!!! :)

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 2:53 PM | Comments (0)

February 22, 2007

Dispensability of Seniors

"Nobody needs seniors anymore because they're graduating in May so why even bother training them or dealing with them, their time is over..."

~Anonymous

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 4:29 PM | Comments (0)

February 18, 2007

4/15 (days off)

this week was somewhat exciting

on monday, meeting,

on tuesday class got cancelled at noon,

and wednesday no classes all day and no work,-- it was nice to have a day off, at first I didn't know what to do, my regular schedule had been wiped out by the snow, I didn't want to not do something- so I read ahead...

thursday the newspaper came out (after all the travails), photo-shoot of everyman, i did phonathon (new thing I learned is the challenge proposed by the mellon foundation, then there's multi-year pledge,

friday went to voice and dance-, spent 10 dollars in book sale hosted by education club, deadline of eye contact

saturady - no casino royale movie,

this sunday i finally finish my first water color sketch for my project- it's not the bestest, but it's done, after I get the critique, I'll most likely redo it like seven more times, it's just nice, it's like having your first draft done-- it was a funny process, there were times when I made the wrong shape, rather than starting all over again I just pushed through, when I got frustrated I'll draw a zigzag here and a dash there and somehow, these expressive marks fix the error somehow (or maybe I'm trying to convince myself too much)--- i'll be adding details with my pen later...

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 6:12 PM | Comments (0)

February 13, 2007

3/15 (Watercolor)

I was going to do something different this week, but I just ran out of time.

The daily to daily account was somewhat rigid, and last week I was going to try just blogging daily instead of waiting until the end of the week. This didn't happen because when I had free time, I wanted to go to my room (no internet) and just chill.

Lots of things happened last week (can't remember them). The thing I remember is liking watercoloring a lot. It's frustrating but it's an awesome medium.

You have to do things really quickly before the water evaporates. At the same time, you have to be precise because you can easily make mistakes, which are sometimes beautiful (planned accidents/ serendipity) or mucky.

The advises I got were- save the whites for your highlights, loosen up your brush work (don't get too heavy).

The color follows the path of water your brush made, it swirls, and spread (capilary action), it settles on the edge of the invisible brush marks, or sinks to the paper (gets absorbed). When you try to mix colors together, they meet each other, sometimes mixing or just exchanging and invading each other's space, when you drop a color on a freshly glazed paper, it explodes like fireworks, it blooms like flowers...it's really pretty-- sometimes it shows if your at peace or not (patient or disturbed)... the color on the paper reveals it like a crystal ball, like a litmus test...

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 4:16 PM | Comments (0)

February 4, 2007

2/15

This is the first full week of school (even though it's the second week). I considered it full because this week, I began my work study hours. Everyday this week felt like the "next day." (to clarify, when it was Tuesday, I thought it was Wednesday. Whenver I did this, I'd had a little panic thinking that I missed a class and fearing not remembering what I did). On Thursday I thought it was Friday, and I saw Karissa carrying her art portfolio and I asked her if Phil had studio class on Friday, she said no, then I realized that it was Thursday...

Sunday- Made posters and hung one in Maura Solarium, did interviews while watching "You're the One that I Want"

Monday- First day of Eye Contact basket, and Watercolor class. The basket is slowly getting attention. In Watercolor, I like the effects and results, but being consistent is difficult. Water is wild...

Tuesday- went to st Mary's and worked in OPI, 9 to 10:30 (sorting clips), finished Inconvenient Truth in Senior Seminar, more moves in Jazz, comics in Media Aesthetics, then work at Writing Center 3:30 to 4:30 (5) found out that my hours have been reduced by an hour, read more Little Women, Women's basketball game cancelled...went with Jay to Tennis Practice to take pics of Men's tennis (2 hours)...

Wednesday- Went to work, started editing potential Forward, wrote response to Little Women, attended Honors (became official time keeper), met with SHU president along with class officers of 2007, found out that our commencement speaker will be Rick Sebak, went to work from 2 to 4, Literature for YA (finished all of Little Women instead of half- different book version)...SITA movie night about war and music, interviewed Laura...

Thursday- Woke up wrote response to Media and Global Warming, went to classes, more dancing, attended Student Interest Committee dinner (talked about my college career), did cartoon project, watched ER with friends (a little late because of Hockey)

Friday- Basket in Lowe, Maura solarium, broke even, profits rising a bit, got filmed...took photos of men's and women's track and field...

Saturday- finished graphic novel textbook, read "Storm," tried basket for ADP students, took pictures of Baseball camp, did watercolor exercises, missed dinner (thank goodness for left-overs), transcribed from digital recorder, watched Little Miss Sunshine (cute and funny), finished Setonian article at 2

Sunday- Brunch, finished last "academic objectives" (for now anyway), emailed photos and article, really cold outside, just made it to dinner with friends....(Punctuality is the key)

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 6:08 PM | Comments (0)

January 26, 2007

1/15 Last Semester Reflection

I got to SHU on Sunday night, my room was spotless. Edel and Weiss, the bamboo plants, were still alive (only a quarter of the jar was filled with water). I took down my 2006 calendar. I unpacked and got ready for Monday. I made a list. I watched "You're the One that I Want" on NBC and "The Apprentice LA"...

1/21/07 to 1/28/07

Monday- I bought my books, cashed a check, mailed letters, went to financial aid, added an Independent study, did laundry, cleared my shelf, arranged new books, fixed subject-binder, chit-chatted at lunch and dinner (tried to catch up), attended opening reception of Student Exhibit in Harlan Gallery (juried show- all my works from graphic design I class got accepted [surprised]- Abstract: Wave Over Pier, Seaweed Latte, Gone with the Wind, Legend of Maria Makiling), and watched "Heroes" at 9pm...

Tuesday- first class Senior Sem (discussed portfolio, future, happiness- have classes with people I haven't had classes with [different majors], and long-time-no-see-since-freshman friends), Jazz (defined terms, lots of people), Media Aesthetics (Comic history), went to library; took out biographies...

Wednesday- brunch with shadow #1 (for Eye Contact), Independent Study Meeting (Watercolors- no show), Senior Honors Presentation (time keeper, public speaking), Setonian Meeting 3-5pm (article- study abroad, photo assignments), dinner, Lit. for YA (fairytales- Cinderella from Around the World), finished reading first half of Understanding Comics...

Thursday- Missed 'brunch' had english muffin and cream cheese, cereal (Lucky Charms) with milk, and packed bagel with jelly, Senior Sem (talked a bit about issues- poverty, politics, environment, war and more, watched video "Inconvenient Truth"), finished typing, late for Jazz (legs and shoulders sore), waterless for Media Aesthetic, 3:30 meeting for Student Interest Committee (once per semester only), Writing Center meeting (4-5) [financial issues,hours, Write Aid, and more], DINNER finally, started Little Women, ER-less night but still watched tv with friends...

Friday- Voice at 10 am (Bare Necessities), lunch with Shadow #2 (collecting patron exercise), art supply shopping (got all on the list, donation for basket, UFO, bottles, light bulbs, comics, DV8- [Amoretto and Apple Crumbs and Caramel]) light flurries first then stopped, got a ride back up the hill, finalized basket, dinner with friends, blizzard bucks game show (didn't win)...

Tentative Weekend
Saturday- Reading, catching up with homework, on-line application, Saw III
Sunday- Poster-making day and brainstorming with shadows and helper, interviews...

Biggest Challenge: Catching up with friends and family, everybody have different schedules. Nonetheless, scheduled noon lunch time, 5 pm dinner time, and t.v. Thursdays, also seeing friends in workplace, same clubs/activities, hallways, random places helps. This semester I will do my bestest balancing the academics with the social. I need help; I need everyone's patience.

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 9:53 PM | Comments (0)

September 1, 2006

Bi-cultural Identity

the bad side about being bi-cultural is like a child with divorced parents. It's not easy to pick one side. Are you loyal to your nurturing mother or to your providing father?

There's this lingering suspicion from both side. They ask why you haven't chosen a side.

The advantage is adaptability and insights to both culture.

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 4:05 PM | Comments (0)

Difficulty of sharing experiences

sharing expereinces is hard to do:

a.) there's the notion of bragging

b.) there's the so-what factor

c.) there's a sense of change but that only happens to the one who has the experience

d.) things are still the same to those unaffected by the experience

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 4:01 PM | Comments (0)

August 31, 2006

Why do people use age as a benchmark for what you (can or) can't do?

Why do people use age as a benchmark for what you can't do?

In asking this question I considered that yes when you're older, physically your bones don't regenerate as fast as a kid ( so I can see why adults shouldn't be careless with activities such as sky diving (as an extreme example).

I also get that maturity plays a role too. When it comes to picking up hobbies, most would insist that you should have started at an earlier age (the rational is that as a kid you'd absorb more info, you're still a clean slate ready to be programmed).

Didn't people or society ever factor in the element of the "human will"? You know, the saying "if there's a will there's a way."

My friend who's trying to catch up with the what ifs of her life is finding out how true the adage mentioned above. She always wanted to learn how to play the piano but her parents said she was old already (she asked when she was 11 years old--- according to her parents she should have started at the age of 5). In high school when she was 17 years old and about to graduate she signed up for free piano lessons, in less than three months, she was able to read the notes and play the piano with both her hands.

In college, she decided to take Ballet lessons because she loved to dance. Although she wasn't as flexible as the others, her feet 'turnout" and her balance were pretty good. She also did ice skating lessons. In three days she was able to pass the pre-alpha level 1 (learning how to do swiggles, gliding, and backward skating). Her coach noted that her courage and enthusiasm to learn helped her to achieve her goals.

She is realistic, she's not just going to drop everything to be the next Mozart or the next Michelle Kwan. Her wonderings and musings of the what ifs have been assauged. Now she's just figuring out what she wants to dedicate her time and energy in because if she has the will she can do almost anything.

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 5:57 PM | Comments (0)

May 16, 2006

I feel like a rock star...

I feel like a rock star or some sort of celebrity. Today my last day in Philadelphia before the trip, my schedule was booked. I had places to go and people to meet.

I had my retainers check at my orthodontis (making sure the 'smile' is gleaming). I had brunch in Starbucks, got this chicken salad sandwich (tres good) and blueberry Green Tea Frapcucino. My friend gave me tons of great literature to read. Her mom gave an extra $100 spending cash. After this, I met up with my grade school friend, talked about MP3 players and a quick review of summer movies and show. My bro got home from work and he took me to best buy, originally I was going to buy an "ipod shuffle", but I got the "iriver" (for only $100 including 2 year warranty). Then I met up with my Fil-friends, they gave me a list of things to get (they gave me money to pay for it of course).

I'm just receiving gifts left and right (I'm not complaining either- way too giddyingly happy). I got $300 spending cash from friends and family. I've got gadgets "donated" to me compliments of my bro and Canon Digital Camera and Camcorder and Optimus Digital voice recorder.

Relatives from California are calling. People are excited (which makes me excited). They wish me a happy trip and I'm grateful! :)

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 1:30 AM | Comments (1)

May 15, 2006

it's finally here: pre thoughts about the Phil. Trip

I've been planning this Phil. trip at least two years but I haven't been thinking about it because

a). I would be very very very very very very verrrrrrrry distracted
b). I wouldn't be able to concentrate because I'm distracted
c). I wouldn't function because I couldn't concentrate due to the distraction
d). All of the above

This morning I was in Greensburg and all throughout this week, I've been packing. I got home I helped my parents unload the car. I brought all my stuff in my room and organized so when I get back I would know where to find things. And just as I'm unpacking some of my school clothes, I'm packing things to bring to the Phil. islands.

I have lots of technology to bring. Last week I talked to SHU professors and staff about digital cameras and camcorders. I sought their advice. My bro got all these last week (this was his Christmas, and birthday gift for five years, and also my early graduation gift). The digital camera is strictly mine but the camcorder is for the whole family. I also took the advice of Prof. Jerz and got a digital voice recorder. With all these techs, I'm tempted to buy some type of MP3 player for music (my money- the one I've been saving up).

I'm a bit intimidated by these high tech gadgets. They feel so James Bondish/Alias. I feel like I'm going to break them. The camcorder is the size of my palm and the digital cam. is just a tad bit smaller than the camcorder. The digital voice recorder has 33 hours, it's smaller than the digital camera, and it has a clip-- like a pen-- so I can put it in my shirt pocket. All of them (excluding the battery and tape accesories for the camcorder) can fit in this little hand bag that is smaller than my old and heavy camcorder.

I'm happy with all of them. The digital camera has so much option, I hope I don't miss kodak moments because I couldn't decide the mode.

Because I've numbed myself for years (not to feel excited about this trip), I'm experiencing the backlash. I'm realizing that things are happening really quickly. Today, Monday- I'm shopping for some essentials and then I'm taking out some cash from my savings account. I have to finish packing, make sure I don't forget anything. I have an orthodontis appointment to adjust my retainers (will only last for 15 minutes). I'm meeting my HS friend in ardmore, then after this I'm going to try to meet my gradeschool friend, and then go to Best Buy with my bro and buy a cheap version of ipod. Get home, download the music and finalize packing.

tentative Schedule
May 16- Leave Phila.
May 17- Arrive in the Phil. Manila Shopping
May 20- Lola During's b-day, Taal Lake excursion
May 22- Manila: Intramuros Mindanoa Arts Festival, National Library, Manila Bay Sunset, Phil Cultural Center, 'Nayong Pilipino'
May 28- Blessing of school, A Hundred Island excursion (Tito Ray's family)
June 6- one week stay at cousin's university in Los Banos
June 14ish- 'Banauie' Rice Terrece excursion and Baguio City (buy hat)
Junish- Boracay Island
July 9- Cousin's Debut
July 14ish- Stay at kindergarden try to do mural
July-ish- Hiking at Mt. Pico de Loro
Rest of July until departure in mid-August- organize, get head straight, assimilate, document, spend hard earn money, spend more time with family, go food shopping, buy 'americana and barong'

But for now, I have to sleep, long day today!

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 2:04 AM | Comments (0)

May 13, 2006

Catcalls at Commencement

Today at Commencement, mention the current taboo "war," and you get people on all side hollering their protest or support for the war. U.S. Rep John P. Murtha brought up the current issue during his commencement speech.

One angry parent called out saying that this was graduation. He felt that Murtha was bringing up his "agenda." Supporter of the war and the soldiers fighting for freedom, responded that what Murtha was saying was the "truth."

The rest of the audience, family and friends of the graduates understood that Murtha was biased, but they focused instead on honoring the graduating seniors. They applauded to quiet the warmongers.

Murtha redeemed himself by generalizing that patriotism didn't necessarily mean supporting the war. It could be sublte acts and sharing reverence for freedom and democracy.

The banners of the past hanged around the parameters of the Sylvatti gym. Doctoral Honoree Mary Lou McLaughlin advised the graduates and the crowd. She said, "Passion compensates for lack of expertise."

Sure a fiery few showed their political views, however the passion of the graduates who strived to follow their dreams and vocation were not overlooked. 2006 Class President Justin Norris challenged his class to be examples, to experiment and to cherish life.

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 1:45 PM | Comments (6)

some ponderings about Grad School

So this semester is over, today at 11 a.m. I'm going to see some of my senior friends graduate and move on with their lives. Some are going to Grad school, others straight to the work force (or don't know)- either way they have some sort of plan...

I'll be a fourth year student, the thought of Grad school is around the corner, right now, it's not early at all for me to think about Grad school ( along time ago [two years ago]), I didn't want to think about the possibility of going back to school for another two years, but I'm reading about the subjects and classes offered in Graduate programs, and I find them exciting-- more in tune with my interest

ideally I would like to get some experience in the working field but if nobody would hire because of lack of "specification" I'm hoping that a MA in folklore would provide me with some experience and specialization...

I've been reading on some of bios of students in the folklore field,--they're very interesting and they matched my general interest in art, literature and culture-- most of them even incorporate gender, identity studies, news media. I really like the individual aspect (almost like a self-design MA program)-- I've said it a thousand times that I wanted to do something in art and children's literature and storytelling incorporate identity, perception, understanding, interpretation of the world around them grasping role (transition)---focusing on island life/culture relationship with land and nature (its effects on superstition) this is a vague thing I want to explore (I think I like the identity formation and imitation stage of life, metamorphosis, change).

my vague idea in some sense differs from most of the bios I read (this can be a good thing or a bad thing-- good because it's unique, bad because the higher ups might not think it's strong or relevant)

As of right now, --my number 1 choice --UPenn's Folklore and Folklife program is currently suspended indefinitely. I emailed the guy in the website and surprisingly he emailed me back. He was sorry that he didn't know much about the current status, he gave me some names who most definitely would know about the status of the program.

My second choice looks promising (it's in University of Oregon). I looked at the faculty and some of them attended UPenn, so if I couldn't go to UPenn, in some way I would still get some influence because of the faculty's background.

My third choice UC Berkeley is more competitive (they focus on Oral literature)-- they only accept four students in the program every year. My fourth choice is Ohio State (I din't get a chance to read their info as much)...

Finding information on these universtiies and the program and learning about the application process (GRE's and all that jazz) prove the mantra true-- applying to a grad school is the hardest part-- the application process tends to be longer and complicated...

for example for the University of Oregon

I have to
-complete a Graduate Admission Application ( I have to request this from the folklore department - each department is different)
-mail my SHU transcript to the right department
-get three letters of recommendation
-write a statement of academic objectives not to exceed five double-spaced printed pages
-fill application checklist form indicating three areas of study and names and departments of chair and committee members
-write a tentative program of study (52 credits in all)
-write a current resume

this will all help me focus and really reflect on what I hope to accomplish. I'm not as worried I just have to begin, schedule my GRE test, study for it, find professors for the recommendation, think about the objectives,design what i'm going to study (my favorite part), find the right department and mentors. This is sort of like writing an essay or research paper, just start writing and brainstorming and doing the necessary research...

If all else fails there's a possibility of trying to get a summer internship at Scholastic Inc.!

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 1:05 AM | Comments (0)

April 29, 2006

Karel Appel General or Specific?

Karel Appel was asked "How do your ideas come to you? How do you find them?

He said, "Do I really "find" them? What I try to do is just remain open so as to register the perpetual meamorphosis of the world. The eye remains on the alert, like a radar."

"It's difficult for us to get off the rails of routine. We stop seeing the world. Our gaze becomes fixed, the world grinds to a halt. It's death closing in."

"In every artist there's an eternal nomad. By that I mean he can't settle dowm, make himself a niche in things as they are, what's established in any society..."

"Matter was not to be possesed , but to be transformed."

"Van Gogh made me see that will power is maybe more important and fertile than talent."

"The obstinate ursuit of rational investigation means the end of a contemplative approach to the world. A preconceived rationality often means nothing more than cultural superstition."

"It was in Peru that I came to udnerstand better the meaning of my own "kinetic" experience, as I watched the people living."

"There's no single 'key' to explain things."

"I refuse viscerally any conception of society that tends to turn us into prisoners. Prisoners of othe rpoeple or of ourselves!"

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 11:53 AM | Comments (0)

April 17, 2006

meeting with friends and family

meeting up with friends and family is inspiring
from thursday to sunday- family time
thursday afternoon, met up with high school friend, recalled the unbelievability of time passing
friday evening, met with family friend, celebrated an early birthday
saturday afternoon, met up with college friend, walked in Philadelphia downtown looking at free public art around city hall, market street, JKF Park, Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Moore College, Calder's collection, Rodin's Musem, the Rocky steps of the Art Museum, the skyline
saturday evening, met with grade school friend, talked about various things from the most politically incorrect subjects (mestizo, identity, citizenship etc.) to anime with eastern philosophy of yin and yang (balance, dark side and light), suffering characters
sunday morning- parents brought me to train station, parents revealed their pragmaticism to the point of irrationality (but completely understandable). According to them no convertibles for me because somebody will throw a bomb at the car while i'm driving, my rationalization, if whoever is going to throw a bomb, it doesn't matter what I drive (a car is a car and no matter what the car's going to get damaged)... moved the conversation to a more pleasant topic of Grad School...
sunday afternoon- train ride to SHU, digging and loving Melissa Ethridge's new cd "Lucky," did some work...

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 12:03 AM | Comments (0)

April 13, 2006

getting home

so what an adventure, the train actually arrived on time, and it was just a beautiful day, leaving Greensburg 8:01 am, the atmosphere reminded me of Frederick's painting (this German Romantic artist), especially since there were some fog, the light was diffused, soft lilac in the sky, it literally looked like egg yolks breaking (the yellow part),

I got to do some work although didn't finish them, I got to Philly and I rushed to get home so I could catch my 4:20 pm ortho. app., drove my emerald toyota through montgomary ave., oh how I missed driving, I drove fast but carefully and I made it on time, spent $250 for new retainers,

then met my friend, there were many confusions which ended up in not getting a dessert on the one hand, caramel frap was good, ranted about being rejected by Grad school,

At 9 pm,I finally met my mom and dad and bro (everything's swell with them), surprisingly my room was clean, and Sammy the flowering plant had bloomed one flower for me (a welcome home blossom)

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 10:39 PM | Comments (0)

April 3, 2006

Losing voice

Losing your voice sucks. I'm not talking about freedom of speech (that would suck too), I'm talking about pre-laryngitis literally.

It all began when I spent two days Friday and Saturday, when I pushed myself to exhaustion trying to finish two short-story manuscripts...

Friday night, what was I doing while people are dancing and having their 'fun,' I was down in the 24-hour lounge, finishing my short story "Abduction" for Writing of Fiction minimum 2000 words. The following day Saturday, I finished my first draft for Publication Workshop entitled "A Wake" (minimum six pages, but I actually surpassed it and went to eight pages 2080 words).

I did this 'writing festival' back to back during the weekend with the crazy weather- you know, the type that was nice and warm on Friday, then temperature would drop the next day, the sun would shine, the sky was clear, then it would flurry, then not, then more flurry like a snow globe shaken by the weather god, then Sunday pretty stable like nothing happened.

Of course the pollen took advantage of this and attacked as soon as possible (allergy attack), mucus building up, blowing noses, coughing, now mixed that with verbosity and exhaustion, systems down, larnyx made vulnerable, constant chatting, what do you get? very croaky, hoarse person pushing the limit- the following Friday, I lost my voice, even whispering was detrimental.

Every once in a while your body will tell you "hey buddy, pay attention, I'm not working well...fine don't listen to me I quit," and they will quit on you. Harmony has to be established between you and your body or else. You can't be a dictator to your own body because they won't listen, and they'll just stop functioning.

I should know this by now, I remember during the winter break, I was exhausted that I fainted (I could have slammed my head somewhere sharp). Then one time long before college began, my contact lenses dried in my eyes. Most recently I was so close to getting laryngitis, the nurse said that it took four days to officialize if indeed I had laryngitis. I never had laryngitis before so it was pretty nerve-racking.

I didn't know that whispering was straining my voice. I'd whisper and people thought I was weird. People didn't communicate to me the same way. Some of my friends went on "mother" mode, very caring. Some thought that I was completely handicapped, they limited their output. They forgot that I could still hear and I can still respond by writing.

For the most part, I carried a paper, in it written was "I lost my voice, I can mime or whisper" then later this changed to "I lost my voice, I can whisper" then "I lost my voice, whispering is detrimental." People who didn't know continued to talk to me, I'd point to my throat, some at first thought I was playing charade, some just think I'm odd as usual. Sometimes I forced myself to explain, but it was hopeless.

I took out a sign language book, maybe I can learn signing. I learned how to say "I can't speak" and I reviewed the sign language alphabet. As I was perusing through the book, I learned a bit about grammar in sign language, and learning about how some signs were being formed. I had a little understanding of how it might work.

What was most torturous was thinking about the last thing I did before losing voice. I was singing a lot. Sure I don't have the tantalizing honey-voiced of a tenor or the boyish baritone, sure once in a while I can pull off the vibrato of Snow-White or psuedo soprano also known as a falsetto. I can hit the note, all I have to do is hear it and replicate...

One thing though, this experience helped me to listen, not only to my body but people. I'd communicate with them either by miming or just writing it on a piece of paper (while doing this, I practiced my short-hand, because I want to get my message across as fast as possible)...

As of right now, I don't have laryngitis, but I still feel some of its pre-effects. My throat is still sometimes scratchy, my voice is audible (not in whisper mode), but not yet to the level of singing/belting out chipmunk style. I am grateful for the chances...

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 7:12 PM | Comments (2)

April 2, 2006

Gone Totally Touristic: a Weekend in NY

I went to the nurse on Thursday, her diagnosis was not grim but vague. She said that it would take four days to figure out if I had Laryngitis. By Friday morning, I had completely lost my voice. I was heading to New York, the city that never slept except on Sunday mornings, the city blaring with music from Broadway to local and international acts, a very active city...

I'd whisper, and my friend told me that I was straining my voice more, they said that I should use my natural voice even if it was croaky, on the way to NY I'd forget and I 'd whisper, eventually I'd use my 'natural' voice, most of the times I sounded like an out-of-tune flute...

Highlights...

Friday, March 31

stayed in the Pennsylvania Hotel, it was an okay hotel, it wasn't as posh, but the location was terrific, really close to a lot of things (across from Madison Garden, a couple of blocks from the Empire)- lows: fridge that 's not cold, air conditioner that keeps the room warm rather than cold...

starbucks, one in every corner, got a caramel frap under the pseudonym Mark, got a cinnamon dolce lattel under the pseudoym Matea- both extremely delicious

stopped by St. Patrick Cathedral, Rockefeller skating rink, Librarie De France (failed to convince going to MoMA), Went to the NBC store, bought ER pens which looked like needles

super expensive TGIF- compared to Greensburg price, the NY price doubled, we didn't get free refills on our strawberry lemonade slushies, and we couldn't substitue rice for mash potatoe

finding the Ambassador theater, walking around Times Square, stopping by at every souvenir shop trying to find the best deal, crossing streets with tons of people, some carrying a box of grass, some wearinng white chalky lace dress with matching white powdered faces...later finding out that she's a street mime, she did ballet poses (she wasn't like the European type mime that could stay still for a very long time), saw the famous Winter Garden theater (right now playing Mamma Mia)

Watched the musical "Chicago" with theguy from dancing with the stars, one of the cosby girls (rubens), a woman -Lilian/Lillias (who appeared in Sesame street, worked with Oprah, was one of the muse in Disney's Hercules), it was great, our seats weren't that far, the dancing was spectacular (now I understood more about Bob Fosse's style)

Saturday, April 1

Throughout this day, I found it diffifuclt to stay quiet, I was coughing, blowing my nose, drinking water to keep my throat moist, eating halls, took tynenol, dayquil, allegra d, ate fruits..

we woke up early so we could take the subway to south ferry to get to Battery park, we found out that the suoth ferry route was close, we had to take another one that dropped us off Chamber Street, from there, we transfered to a shuttle bus, it was loaded with british kids and parents "little kids, used the word "ancient", we were in-line to go to Liberty Island, on the way we met another mime dressed as Lady Liberty, they were loud ones, they'd call with their megaphone, enticing you to take their pictures, black men with african accents walked around lugging boxes and briefcase yelling "purse, watches, sunglasses".. the wait on the line was like a musical bazaar, first an old spanish dude sang ballad, then a guy with a giant fro covered by green knitted hand played a percussion bowl that sounded like a xylophone/'calypso', a British a-cappela group, who were tourists themselves serenaded the crowd, little Williiam chasing pigeons away...boat ride was okay, wind rearranged people's hairstyle, imapasto/ thick waves stirred, rising and falling green atlantic hazy sky, Lady Liberty fresh mint green brighter than before, segulls floated like kites...Italian couple asking me to take their pictures because "I looked like a photographer"

Ellis Island, they tried to find their ancestors that migrated here on the US a while ago, I just got here in the U.S., so I new there was no way that my name will be on the wall, the closest spelling to my name was 'Diezel.' They traced their roots literally, they had paper and pencil and shaded in relatives that shared their name, ti started to rain. there was an abrupt stopwhen we were in the boat,..back to Battery Park, the shuttle bus took forever so we walked

we saw the sides of many court houses, we saw a house that maybe dedicated to Elizabeth Ann Seton, we might have seen City Hall, we saw the Bronze bull, an african statue of a gian black marbel antelope headdress.. we walked towards Ground Zero, walking through, I heard stories of what others' were doing when it happened,

walked to Chinatown, explored the stores, went through seafood market place, ginger roots laide in basket like barnicles, roasted ducks rotating next to gut, some fish flapped hopelessly, tanks of lobster, people yelling "purses, only 20 dollars"

Had lunch/dinner in Little Italy, lots of outdoor cafes, tomato sauce lingered, 'baisley' baked oven pizza with rosae grande pepperoni, vanilla gelati, manager of restaurant in Italian style with point white shoes and swhite striped blue suit

Subway to 110 street North Central Park, saw Duke Ellington Memorial statue, already night time, didn't ambled to far in the dark park...

then went to the observatory deck in Rockefeller plaza, "top of the rock", not as high as Empire but beautiful, without the obstrusive barsilver bars, instead, large glass, a smiling crescent in the sky, clouds popped out from the dark starless sky, lights dots inverse of the sky

Went to Grand Central Station (constellation on the dome), took pictures, more "times square shopping", hard rock cafe store...walking

Sunday, April 2 (Last Day)

At 8am, went to the Empire State Building, wait not that long, up there, it was a great day look, forecast was clear, see the lands , trees , Staten Island clearly, windy, white water, pigeon bird food, french, Chinese tour groups (influx)

$8.13 Strawberry cheesecake- melts in your mouth, McDonald's, Burger King, Starbucks

Departure between 12 and 1 pm

Minimum spending of cash and credit card total: $200
Memory priceless....

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 11:12 PM | Comments (0)

February 24, 2006

Anti-bourgeoisie

Being in the middle class, I don't like the notion of anti-bourgeosie.

I understand why some are "haters" to a class driven by "money" and materialism or conformity, but not all bourgeoisie are like this.

I think it's more than money but power. The Upper class (high society) fear them because they might be replaced by them. The Lower class hates them because they're richer than them. Even the people who belong in the Bourgeoisie hate their class because they either want to be a part of the upper class or they think the Bourgeoisie class is too materialistic.

It seems like everyone is just hating on the bourgeoisie.

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 6:42 PM | Comments (0)

February 11, 2006

Winter Olympics: Figure Skating Preview

Yesterday I watched the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics. It was great and it was reminiscent of those medieval stories where kingdoms compete with each other and have elaborate ceremonies to welcome the participants and to show off the host's kingdom.

It was nice to see people from different countries walk in and mingle peacefully with each other. The commentators were great. They gave cultural background about Italy and mini-blurbs about some events happening with different countries.

Snow boarding, skiing and other winter sports are awesome. However the main thing I'm 'rooting' for (excited about) is figure skating- especially women's figure skating.

Commentators have been talking about that this will most likely be Michelle Kwan's last olympic. At the age of 25), she is considered a veteran already. In spite of this I don't sense regret in her. This is going to be her third olympic and her last chance perhaps to capture the gold. She has a silver and a bronze (which are achievements too).

This is one of the most competitive season for women's figure skating because there's so many great women figure skaters. Russia's Irina Slutskaya is a tough competitor and she continues the legacy of Russian Champions. For a very long time Russia have been dominating these sport in all its aspect: men's and women's singles, pairs, ice dance, etc. Technically she's consistent. She can do triples and double with her eyes close. She's also great at combinations, spins, and foot work. She knows how the new scoring system works, and she can easily adapt to situations/problems that may occur in her program. She knows how to get extra bonus points by upgrading her skill level after the halfway point of her program. She has great stamina.

In the artistic side, she's not bad but not great. She's somewhere between good and great. She's in this range because her lines or extensions are not as straight or graceful as Sasha Cohen or Michelle Kwan. But what adds to her artistry is the joy she emits when she's skating. Her posture is good and she has her nerves under control. When the audience see the confidence shining through the skater, an emotional connection of some sort is felt which makes the program more entertaining.

The Japanese and American women figure skaters are waiting to dethrone Russia's traditions of ice queens. Shizuka Arakawa, Miki Ando, and Fumie Suguri are up and coming. They have the technical skills and they've greatly improved on their artistry. The one that comes to mind who can be considered their leader (the well rounded skater) is 2004 World Champion Shizuka Arakawa. She definitely have the artistry and 'soft' knees which make her landings look natural, smooth, and effortless. However she's not as consistent as Slutskaya. If she's not "on," she let her nerves get the best of her. She starts popping jumps, and downgrading her level by turning triple jumps to doubles. She ends up not "selling" her program. As Dick Button would say the illusion (facade) of the performance is destroyed.

The American women are making a name for themselves. If Sasha Cohen can master consistency then she'll be the power house. She has the technical skills of Slutskaya and more (because she's more flexible), and an artistry that can equal Kwan if she were to skate with her heart instead of anxiety. All's left for her to master is her ownself- her nerves. Young skaters, Kimmmie Meissner and Emily Hughes are learning from Kwan and Cohen and continuing to build American women's reputation.

Lastly but not least (save the best for last), there's Michelle Kwan. In this Olympic, she's considered the underdog. She's coming off from a recent injury. In fact she didn't have a chance to defend her U.S. title last year because she suffered from a groin injury. Nonetheless the officials gave her a spot in the U.S. olympic team. Also she's not as familiar with the new scoring system as Slutskaya (this new scoring is in her advantage because there's a chance to earn bonus points which in effect will give her a chance to right the mistakes she made early in the program). She should take into perspective that this might be her last olympic. With that said, she should lighten up (not let her nerves get to her), trust her skills (her experience: 3rd olympic, 9 or 10 U.S. titles, World Champions), review her program and see how it figures in the new judging system, and enjoy skating (allow her heart to win the gold).

I'm rooting for all of them for different reasons. If Slutskaya wins, she'll get money to help pay for her mother's medicine bill. Also this season, she has been the one who's consistent (it will be an awesome prize for season of hard work). If Akawara wins, she will inspire more women of non-western background to try and reach for their own dreams. If Cohen wins, it will be a great victory in defeating her own self (you know what they say "you're your own worst enemy). If Kwan wins, it will be about time, third's a charm, she's been beaten twice by two teenagers Lipinski and Hughes (who are both retired now from the competitive world of figure skating). There's a possibility that this can happen a third time with Kimmie Meissner. There's many more figure skaters but these are the ones in the current spotlight.

Journey to gold will be difficult for Kwan for various reasons:

1. New Scoring system (she hasn't been competing a lot in the Grand Prix season so she hasn't time to get use to it)

2. Post-injury (she's not as fit as Slutskaya)

3. Tons of Competitive skaters (Slutskaya, Cohen, Arakawa, Meissner and more)

4. Self-doubt (speculation- this is my third time "I'm too old")

This will be an exciting winter olympic, let the games begin (schedule)!

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 12:31 PM | Comments (1)

January 25, 2006

reminiscing about the winter break

it was a fun and enlightening break
I had time to do mini-independent projects like read tons of poetry books, tons of writing samples from the greatest Jorge Luis Borges and watched old and new movies (these are just some of the few)
I went to a job fair, which was very business like and cold
I sat around in starbucks, splurged on expensive coffees for two hours minimum, and just sat there
I met up with friends and chilled with them
I hanged out with my family
of course "life" continued to cruise down- death, disappointments, hope, birth...

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 9:22 PM | Comments (1)

deluge of writing: prediction of this semester

After being deprived of not having writing classes specifically for writing creatively (fiction etc. not essay or literary criticism [not that these are bad]), this semester I have two classes which are focused on creative writing (mostly on the artistic and applicable side). I'm taking Publication Workshop and Writing for Fiction. I was looking at the 'sylabii,' and I have tons of creative writing, exercises, critiquing, and journal entries to do.

I see them working together (hand in hand), but it would have been nice to have them spread out. Last semester I did a lot of reading in my four literature-heavy English classes. These semester I'm going to do a lot of writing and different types for different subjects.

In my 20th Century Art History class, our exams will be in essay format, and we have a research paper and presentation to do. In my History of Jazz class, we are required to write a Jazz performance review, and a research paper on a Jazz figure. In my Musical Dance class we have to analyze the structure of a musical of our choice and do a mini dance presentation on it incorporating the dance style of the musical.

I don't know what's in store for me for tomorrow night's American Literature class, but I know that there will be a research paper.

This semester will be the most challenging ever. In a twist perverted way I sort of like the higher classes because the people who are there, want to be there. I guess this is how I've always envisioned college life and academia- a balance between overt application and book knowledge.

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 8:57 PM | Comments (2)

January 8, 2006

Fun in New York for under $100

Preface
Everytime I go to New York (NY), I feel like I've travelled around the world without leaving the country.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Gateway to the World
On Friday January 6, I went to NY for my first self-planned and self-financed trip. I did the planning, the research, and I didn't rely on my parents or older relatives for transportation (to get around Manhattan). I was pretty much on my own (of course I was accompanied by my cousin/friend because I'm not that insane to go by myself).

Part I: Getting to NY (I want to be a part of it, New York, New York...)
Ch 1: Planning and the Budget
Ch 2: Putting together the Itinerary
Ch 3: Guidebook and Mastering the MTA New York City Subway
Ch 4: Asking Around/Talking to Friendly Strangers

Part 2: the NY Adventure (it's not possible to see everything ... in one trip)
Ch 5: Chinatown
Ch 6: The Empire State Building
Ch 7: The Metropolitan Art Museum
Ch 8: Lounging in Times Square and Pictures

Conclusion: Microcosm of the World

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 8:22 PM | Comments (1)

Chapter 1: Planning and the Budget

I've been to New York before, and if you were to go without a plan you'd be overwhelmed when you see the enormity of the city. They (the so-called experts) said that part of the experience and "fun" was getting lost: you're really having fun when you get lost in Manhattan. This is true to an extent. Sure the chance encounters in NY would be memories all to itself, but you'll get more out of your experience if you were to accomplish something. The serendipitous moments would be extra treats/bonus instead.

***My goal was to see the Empire State building and to see the Asian Art collection in the Metropolitan Art Museum.

I had to limit myself to these two so I had a focus. This was my third attempt to go to the Empire. In the past I was daunted and hindered by its block-long line. This was my third trip to the Met also. The Met is huge. The first time I went there, I arrived 30 minutes before they closed. I had only time to glanced through the two-story gift shop in the main lobby and passed by the Egyptian exhibit while trying to look for the rest room. The second time I went, I had an hour and a half. I focused in on the Greek and Roman antiquities and a bit on the Egyptian. While looking for the cafe with my friends we passed by really quickly some European paintings.

To help me with the schedules of bus ride and museum/site hours, map and getting around NY, I borrowed a book in the library called The Rough Guide to New York City. I found this really helpful and informative. It also gave me confidence to go out there.

Budget

I had $100 to spend. This was possible for a day trip (not staying over night of course). This even included a round trip bus fare to NY from Philadelphia. In this budget, I didn't include super expensive unnecessary souvenirs. Pictures and memory of the trip would suffice as souvenirs.

Transportation:
Chinatown Bus- $20.00 roundtrip (my photography teacher told me about this)
Unlimited Ride MetroCard (1 Day Fun Pass) $7.00
Sites:
Empire State Building (86th floor observatory and skyride) $34.00
The Metropolitan Art Museum (The Asian Art Section) $7.00
Miscellaneous:
Food $12.00
Souvenirs $20.00

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 8:20 PM | Comments (1)

Chapter 2: Putting together the Itinerary

At first I found this difficult because I wanted to do so much (but I knew I couldn't do everything in one day). I had to be selective (but I took comfort in the fact that I could come back).

The first thing I wanted to do was reserve tickets for a broadway musical. Unfortunately I wasn't able to do this because the showtimes I was hoping to get weren't available. I was trying to find 2 p.m. shows (this time slot was only available on Wednesday and Sunday afternoon, some Saturdays). Janice and I went on Friday impulsively. We planned our trip to coincide with a fair weather (it indicated to us when to go). I settled for the Empire and more time at the Met (It turned out to be a good decision).

In planning the itinerary, I sequestered enough time for each site and traveling and wait time in between. The bus trip from Philly to NY and back was four hours total (2 hours each way). I even considered the wait time for the Empire State Building. We woke up early to catch the 7 a.m. bus to NY.

Itinerary
6:00 a.m.- Leave Home, catch Septa Bus 38 to go to city
6:35 a.m.- Meet at Chinatown Bus station 11th and Filbert St.
7:00 a.m.- Bus departs from Phila.
9:00 a.m.- Bus arrives in NY Chinatown
10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.- Empire State Building
5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.- The Met
7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.- Dinner at Chinatown
8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.- Shopping at Chinatown
10:00 p.m.- Bus departs from NY Chinatown
12:00 a.m.- Bus arrives in Phila
12:30 a.m.- Home sleeping

The only thing that changed was the second half of the plan. We didn't wait as long as expected at the Empire State Building. We decided to eat in Time Square instead for conveniency and to socialize. I also arrived in Phila. an hour earlier than expected.

***Flexibility is important
"The good thing about plans is that you can change them and adapt them to the situation."

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 8:18 PM | Comments (0)

Chapter 3: Guidebook and Mastering the MTA New York City Subway

I know it's so "touristic" to read a guidebook, but you know what YOU ARE A TOURIST, I AM a TOURIST! I'm not ashamed of it and you shouldn't be either (no one should). What you do with your time is your business.

What I liked about the Rough Guide to New York City was that it was informative and easy to use. Initially all I wanted from this book was a map of the NY Subway system, the map of Manhattan Island (based on past experience I found it helpful to have a visual so I could pinpoint myself and a map to locate the Metro stations. The tall buildings in NY -kingdom of skyscrapers- could make you feel claustraphobic.

The bonus thing in this book was the summary of New York history and its sites (The Empire, Met, Chinatown etc.). I learned a little something about the historical context of New York's formation and Modern Art in America.

Beside traveling on your feet, the next best transportation to get around NY City is the subway system. It's quite reliable and consistent (rare traffic, in the summer pretty cool and in the winter pretty warm). Aside from seeing the sights, one of the things I wanted to accomplish in this trip was proficiency in using the subway system.

We bought a fun day pass and we wanted to use the most of it. Originally we bought one and we were going to share it. I'll go through it and then hand it over to Janice and she'll go through it (I did this because in the pass, my friend showed me that this was possible). However the NY subway authorities changed the policy. They reprogramed the machine to accept only one swipe from the unlimited day pass every 18 minutes.

Before we found this out, Janice was aimlessly swiping the card for minutes. This New Yorker then informed us the new policy (In my mind I was thinking 18 minutes wasn't bad, I could read a book while I waited for Janice- but I could also see how this 18 minutes wait could be inconvenient for travellers who were pressed for time [like we were]).

I'm just proud of myself for finally comprehending the subway system (I've graduated and got my certification in Subway Map reading/application). This was my sixth trip to Manhattan Island (NY). The first time I didn't use it. The second time my uncle dropped us. The third time I used it as a passive follower- my friend's mom led us. The fourth time we followed directions given to us. The fifth time we walked instead to take advantage of the weather. Finally on the sixth trip I did it!

What made it confusing was that when you first look at it, you'd see squiggly lines in rainbow colors. Then you see the letters and numbers, then you see black and white circles connected to each other and then you see that the destination you're trying to reach has two kinds:uptown and downtown. All of these made it look complicated. After using it for a while, it all made sense.

What helped in my situation was asking people and knowing where I wanted to go. This is when I understood the concept of Uptown and Downtown (North and South). Chinatown was considered downtown and Central Park was uptown. I looked in the map and the Empire was near Central Park so I took an Uptown train. Chinatown and Central Park were the two standing points I used to evaluate where I was (Seeing this in the map made it so much easier).

By the end of the day, the subway system was no longer a labyrinth. Rather it was an open choose-your-own adventure book- with many possibilities.

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 8:16 PM | Comments (0)

Chapter 4: Asking Around/Talking to Friendly Strangers

The world is full of good and bad people. But in general people are good. You'll be surprised how many people will actually help you out if you were to ask. Just always be cautious, careful and selective.

When we finally arrive in NY Chinatown, the first thing I did was ask the bus driver where the meeting place would be to get back to Philadelphia (common sense- it was the same place where we were dropped except opposite side [I had to make sure]). I also took notes on what streets it was on (Division and Eldridge) and a main store (Ming's hair salon) that would help me identify it, also a landmark (across from a bridge with trains and cars). This was especially beneficial later on when it was nice and dark.

After asking the driver, the next thing I needed to do was look for a bathroom (2 hour bus drive while drinking plenty of fluids). I read in the guide that Canal street was one of Chinatown's busiest section. I deduced from this that it'll have plenty of cafes/restaurants or establishments with bathrooms (was I wrong). I went inside this store and asked. They pointed me east, but they sounded unsure so I decided to continue west. I went inside a laundromat. She said to go north.

We found ourselves in a Buddhist temple and the workers there were kind enough to let me use their restroom. We continued northward and we encountered NY cops handling traffic.

The first cop we saw I asked him to point me to the direction of Conficious Plaza. He wasn't sure, he asked me if I had a map so he could see and I showed him. He told me to keep going North. We saw another cop (a female one). I asked her and she straighforwardly told me that she didn't know, she wasn't familiar with this area because she usually worked in Brooklyn. The third cop I asked didn't know either but before he could reply I saw the statue of Confucious.

The cop and I had a little chat. He asked me where I came from originally and I asked him why there were Brooklyn cops in Chinatown. I wanted to know if something was happening with the bridge that they were monitoring. He explained to me that it was part of an exercise the cops were doing to counter terrorism. When I told him about Confucious Plaza, he told me that he didn't know anything about it and that he learned something about Chinatown (he assumed that the typical tourist spots were in uptown Manhattan). He learned from an outsider- I think this is one of the good things about tourists, they're not only good for the economy, in some ways they bring awareness to the locals (consciousness about the land and its resources).

While looking for the Metro subway station, I asked several Chinese residents and they pointed to a direction. Of course I needed to be reassured so every street we passed I continued to ask. I ended up asking this brownish-red headed woman for the nearest Metro. I think I startled her when I chased after her asking her in my "outdoor voice": excuse me! I told her that I was going towards Central Park. She told me that two trains were going 'uptown' the 'N' and the 'F' train. At first I got confused (in my mind, I asked why do you need two trains that would go in the same direction), and then I slowly got it, they were going the same way just different paths (this almost sounds like philosophy doesn't it?).

She told me that the N train was a fifteen minute walk to my left. To simplify things I asked her which was the nearest train to where we were at that moment. She said it was the 'F' train. I rationalized that since they were both going uptown we were going to be at least near our destination.

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 8:14 PM | Comments (0)

Chapter 5: Chinatown

Originally we were going to eat dinner and shop here for inexpensive souvenirs. Plans changed however (more explanation in Chapter 8- Lounging in Times Square...).

Earlier I mentioned we accidentally found a Buddhist Temple in search for a bathroom. After the bathroom, we entered the temple. It was a red and gold room. At the entrance, you can receive your fortune for a dollar donation and you are greeted by a gigantic gold-plated Buddha towering above atleast 12 feet high.

There was a long vertical rectangular table with chairs at the center and on the sides, chairs and kneeling cushions were interspersed. On the side walls were the illustrated story of Buddha. Oriental flutes was played in the background, and a faint smell of incense continued to drift- reminiscent of an ancient ceremony. It was a peaceful sanctuary that kept the city noise out.

Before leaving I asked the temple worker if we were allowed to take pictures (I didn't want to be disrespectful). He said it was fine. We exited the temple. In the hallway across from the exit to the streets while I put on my coat, scarf, hat and gloves, this old Chinese woman bowed with folded hands to the entrance of the building and resumed her walking. We continued our search for the metro.

In our amble, we found the bronze statue of Confucious with an inscription of his teaching about harmony and responsibilty. We passed by a park where some Chinese were doing meditation or some type of t'ai chi. Of course we saw plenty of Chinese signs but what stood out in our minds the most was the Chinese McDonald's we saw- what orientalized it was its facade, which was similar to a Chinese Friendship gate (except its color scheme was the garish colors of plastic classic McDonald's).

I read in the guidebook that in this Chinatown, there was a store which would be the closest thing to attending a Shanghai Bazaar without going to China. The book also said that they had tons of trinkets for tourists near Bloody Angle (an alley aptly named for it history; this was where dead bodies were dumped in the olden days). Unfortunately, we didn't get to experience this side of Chinatown. But it was okay because there was next time.

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 8:11 PM | Comments (0)

Chapter 6: The Empire State Building

Third time's a charm. When we reached 33rd street and 5th Avenue, I was excited to see and go in the Empire. I was a little bit anxious to see how long the line would be, but I was prepared for it (I had planned to wait at least four hours, and I brought books to read and my journal to work on a short story).

I was surprised to see that the line didn't extend outside. I thought that maybe the Empire was close because of the cloudy weather (it was open so yay!). The ushers pointed me to the second floor ticket booth. I went inside and I thought wow this isn't too long if I were to wait in the long line that extended outside (gee was I wrong again). It looked short but as I walked through it I followed a smushed serpentine path like intestines.

Luckily for us, there was no line. We made our way easily to the booth, and went through security/metal detectors. Next thing we were entering the elevators to go up. The workers had remote controls (they pushed a button that would send us to the 80th floor).

The elevator was fast. We started in the 2nd floor and in less than a second we were already in the 10th floor. It exponentially rose (10, 30, 50 etc.). My ears actually popped. When we got off 80th floor, the workers herded us as if we're sheeps. Exiting you felt the air coming from the elevator shaft urging you on. From 80th we went to 86th. We were going to go to its zenith the 102nd floor but it cost an extra $14. The guidebook said that the space was smallish and the extra 16 stories "didn't really add much to the view" (the Empire experience).

It was breathtaking to see the city from this point. To the north I saw the Hudson River and the canopy of Central Park. To the east, the East River winds down while the Chrysler building acknowledges the victor of the skyscaper race to the heavens. To the south, Lady Liberty ushers in the waves of the Atlantic ocean which brought in the immigrants of the past.

It was breezy and the sky was in layers of gray. In the horizon, the sun tried to reassert its presence- illuminating it with a peach orange glow. I asked this fidgety photographer who knew how to use a manual camera to take my picture (he didn't know about the etiquette of counting down to three before taking the picture- I just hope that it turned out alright).

I walked around the observatory deck and watched the contrast between a congested city below and the open sky above lands beyond. A black pigeon was at the edge nested/rested for a bit- curious. I watched it catch the wind and drift upward momentarily before gliding to the urban abyss. Smoke from cigarettes, smoke from factory pipes and steam from pyramidal building roofs all seemed to vanished before one's eyes. Camera flashes and clicks filled the atmosphere. People, 'perpetual tourists' intently looked beyond. What are they looking at or what are they looking out for?

After this we went down and rode the virtual skyride around NY. It was pretty cool. It was like riding a helicopter minus the cost and perhaps the danger (and who would want to miss Footloose's Kevin Bacon's commentary about NY). This ride was also a good and entertaining introduction to NY. It gave you some highlights- the top ten things to do. The following is a summary of this, not necessarily in the same order of importance.

10.See the Blue Man group
9. Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island
8. Helicopter Ride (NY by air)
7. Cruisin at Sea/river (NY by water)
6. Watch a Broadway Show/Musical
5. Central Park
4. NY Double-decker Bus
3. Chinatown and Little Italy (Shopping)
2. The Museums (the Met, MoMa, etc.)
1. The Empire State Building

With a couple of substitutions, I could claim that 9 out of the top ten things to do in NY, I had accomplished. I combined the Blue Man Group with Broadway Musicals (both very histrionic in appeareance). The virtual skyride took the place of the actual helicopter ride. The boat ride around Manhattan was replaced by the ferry that took me to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. The next thing I needed to do in order to complete this list is to ride the double-decker bus.

For lunch we ate inside the Empire at Rosa's Pizza and Pasta. I ordered this Sausage specialty roll for $4.50 (like a strombolli but smaller). I only finished half of it. Rather than throwing it away (and wasting food) I wrapped it up and hoped that I would encounter a homeless person who would accept it. I didn't see any homeless in the streets or subway, but I was still glad that I didn't throw it away because later on in the night, I ended up eating it for dinner.

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 8:09 PM | Comments (0)

Chapter 7: The Metropolitan Art Museum

Our next stop was the Met. Our focus was the Asian Art collection and for a bonus we also saw the Modern Art section.

They had a lot of artifacts and I hoped greatly that they had texts that would accompany it- providing background and explanation. However the texts were mostly limited to name and date with a few exceptions.

We started our vicarious trip to Southwestern Asia in India and its influence. Janice noted how there were variations of Buddha as we travelled throughout Asia (Cambodia, Thailand, China, Japan, Korea etc.). Buddha and his teachings were very influential.

The section of Asian Art that interested me the most was the artist literati. Based on the examples I saw, I inferred that this distinction could be paralleled to today's dynamic authollustrator- a hybrid of an author and an illustrator.

I liked the line drawings (with its variations of density, expressiveness, functionality, simplicity [yet complex/intricate- the ying and yang] texture, and 3-dimentionality etc.). I liked how both writing and image complimented each other.

In the Chinese example I saw I liked the poems. I also found amusing the 'colophon' of the artists. In the colophon, they either explained their work, bragged about their greatness etc. In some of them it was like a poem or a philosophical pondering.

In spite of this duality, the artist literati in Chinese society was looked down upon. They were considered below professional artists and scholars. Artists needed to focus on their art (the more art one saw helped one to develop the 'eye'). Scholars who didn't have a secure job/place in society had to lower their standards and accept this job working for the merchant class who had the money to support them.

We also visited a Chinese garden and an interior of a typical Chinese house of the 14th century. The garden with its oddly shaped rocks, pond, goldfish, and trees clarified to me the concept of Ying and Yang (light/dark, empty/full, fluid/solid etc.). The geometrical shapes helped to create illusions of space/layers- inspire the eye/mind to wander/explore.

When we were in Japan, the ukiyo-e woodblock prints (pictures of the floating world- of the burgoisie class) captivated me. I learned something new about them. Some of them were used as calendars. The length of the kimonos would subtly indicate the phases of the moon or the days of the month.

The arts of Southeastern Asia (Philippines etc.) were still being discovered and studied today (that's why the Met didn't have a lot of them).

After this we saw the Modern Art exhibit- totally different from the Asian collection. There were still some that I didn't grasp- like Pollock and Kelly. Gardner explained it- the 'Modern' artists were exploring the process-making of art, and the actual paint/color. These artists weren't as concern with renaissance perspective or the effects of light.

I did enjoy the classic modern art masters- Picasso, Dali, Matisse etc. I found another artist to add to my favorite list- Paul Klee. I saw many of his landscape and abstract expressionistic paintings. His use of color is magical- a weird juxtaposition of pastels and greys. His geometrical scenery is perfect for his stringy creatures.

Before leaving the Met, I stopped by the gift shop. I was going to buy another magnet but I decided "to save money" instead. As I was heading toward the exit I stumbled into the Japanese Books section. This is where I ended up going $20 over my $100 budget. I only had $20 sequestered for souvenirs. I saw these two books that I don't normally see in Borders or the library: Fishing for the Moon and other Zen stories Pop-up book (illustrated and translated by Lulu Hansen), and The Thirty-six Immortal Women Poets: a poetry album with illustrations by Chobunsai Eishi.

I splurged and used my credit card to buy these two books for $51. I felt guilty because in two weeks I'll be using this credit card again to buy books for school. But they were really cool and inspiring books. And it's an extension of my learning (it's for the glory of academics).

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 8:06 PM | Comments (0)

Chapter 8: Lounging in Times Square and Pictures

This is where the plans changed. After the Metropolitan we met up with Dan and Diana, Janice's friends (recently became mine [networking]) in Times Square. They were in a Pizzaria chilling.

After they finished their late lunch we invited them to chill with us in Starbucks in 51th and Broadway Ave (This was the sixth starbucks we saw in a fifteen minute walk). We recounted our day and got to know each other a bit. I bumped into this rude girl who was busy talking on the phone and not watching where she was going.

We found out that they had checked in a posh hotel (for the low price of $200 a night) near the Chrsyler building. Since our plans changed, I wanted to see what this prestigious hotel was like in the inside. I asked them if we could see, and they said yes.

On our way to their hotel we walk through Times Square and Broadway. We took fun pictures. The half moon was grinning wide with its white teeth. We saw our 3 o'clock shadows. At one point while waiting to cross the street our whole face glowed the red light of the gigantic tv billboard screen. Left over new-year's-eve confetti fluttered down to the glitering silver sidewalks. Some honking of the horns were heard, and it was 30 degrees cold (it wasn't as cold as it could have been according to its average temperature).

We went inside Grand Central Station and took more pictures. Diana had a digital camera. It was nice because I actually ended up being in most of the pictures because I wasn't the one taking the picture. I used up all my pictures (manual camera) at the Empire State building.

They were staying at 'W' the Court hotel and their single room was pretty spacy. The view behind their room was the Empire State Building (and bricks)- its top was lighted with the colors of Christmas/holiday.

Their room had a king size bed with a soft headboard big enough to be a large twin bed. I jumped on it for a while and I tested the pillows, which were really impressionable- it followed the contours of your head. The bathroom was huge, and it had this green soap- redolent of a lemon square cake (you can almost eat it but don't try it, it's still soap).

Plans continued to change. Dan and Diana invited us to stay and crashed in their hotel. I was so tempted to do it. I didn't have to catch the night bus home. My time in NY could be extended and perhaps I could catch a Broadway show. I could also experience staying overnight at the heart of the city, and wake up in the city that never sleeps.

BUt no, I didn't stay. Moderation was the key, plus there was next time. If I were to try to do everything in NY all at once then it would all become a blur. This day wouldn't be as memorable.

However Janice decided to stay. I couldn't stop her. I was also excited (ready to take the challenge) to venture on my own to Chinatown and go home (to apply my subway skills I've recently learned outside the comfort zone of having a friend to help me).

I was nervous of course. They did walk me to Grand Central Station. I said goodbye to them all. I took the Times Square Shuttle Express to 5th avenue where I transferred to take the 'F' train downtown to East Broadway.

I didn't think I was conspicuous (an obvious outsider/tourist). At one moment I sat at the edge of the seat looking around. I squinted to read the stops. Every five seconds I furtively took out my guidebook to study the streets of Chinatown to prepare myself.

I got off, retraced my steps from Essex Street to Canal Street. From here I went straight until I found Division and Eldridge streets. To my relief I saw the Chinatown bus waiting across the street from Ming's Hair Salon (to make sure I asked if this bus was going to Philadelphia, the Chinese lady said yes).

I hopped on-board and called Janice and the others to tell them that I made it. I wished them good night and a fun evening. I finished reading the rest of the historical context in Rough's Guide to New York City during my ride home. It was informative/helpful and a great supplement for my NY adventure. I had fun, and I learned something. It was an unforgettable day.

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 8:03 PM | Comments (0)

Conclusion: Microcosm of the World

New York is an international city- it's possible to travel around the world in 24 hours in NY (at least glance at the multi-cultural makeup of the world).

I asked a Chinese man for directions. I visited a Buddhist temple where two blocks from it I saw a French Arc of Triumph as a gate to a bridge. I talked to three American Brooklyn cops (no I wasn't being arrested). I learned to ride the subway station.

I was ushered in to the Empire State building by a Latina. I ate Italian food prepared by Mexicans. An Indian lady told me where the nearest Starbucks was and the nearest Metro station.

I saw the Asian Art collection and the Temple of Dendur at the Met. In 5th avenue and 77th street, I passed by a French man conversing with his comrade.

I encountered throngs of people from different walks of life while passing by Times Square. This all happened in one day.

With the exception of my minor splurge, I was still able to stay with the $100 budget (just went $20 overboard). It is possible to have a fun day in NY for only $100.

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 8:01 PM | Comments (0)

January 7, 2006

getting excited

my mom reminded me to continue saving up for my Philippine trip. She said that my cousin found another professor that could possible help me with my project. She also said that there was a possibility for me and my cousin to go to Disneyland Hong Kong if I were to save enough money. I know Disneyland around the world is pretty standardized BUT there is always something that separates it and makes it "Hong-Kongish." I'm extra motivated now! :)

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 9:22 AM | Comments (0)

January 5, 2006

Experienced Four States in One Day: CT, NY, NJ, and PA

My experiences and adventures in four states were culminated (came to a conclusion) on the first day of the new year 2006. This is a story of awe in the vastness and multi-cultural identity of America.

On the eve of December 26, I left Philadelphia and went with my cousins in Greenwich CT. On the way, I fell asleep and when I awoke, the van was making a right turn at High Street, then at View Street. I stepped out of the van, and surprisingly, it wasn't as cold. There was something different in the air (maybe it's cleaner because it's away from the city or maybe it's the thrill of a new year approaching).

In my cousins house, all I did was totally "lounged"- I slept, woke up, watched tv. ate/ ate out/went to the movies/ played videogames/ took showers/ brushed teeth/ slept- then repeated cycle the next day with few variations like an excursion to NY. Could you believe that I sort of got sick and tired playing videogames (moderation is always the key, too much of something is bad). I did these activities during my stay at Greenwich.

On the 27th of Dec., my cousin and I woke up early and caught the 10 a.m. train to Grand Central Station N.Y. The ride was only an hour away. We rode the subway. It was an exhilirating ride to be cruising in the darkness of the subway and then to suddenly burst out, susnshine filtering its rays as the train temporarily wave goodbye to the Manhattan skyline.

It was crazy for my cousin and I to go to NY before the New Year's Eve celebration. By this time, NY was only beginning to gather its many party-goers/participants. Walking through the sidewalks, we inched our way like ancient Japanese women wearing wooden thonged-slippers. The usual tourist spots were packed. A lady fainted on the sidewalk, I heard the male accompanying her call for the paramedic. According to him, she was having a cardiac arrest. This was along the N.Y. Public Library (the one in the movie the day after tomorrow). We saw Times Square 4, where the famous glittering ball would drop on New Year's Eve.

We were going to go up the Empire State building but the line was almost a block long. We decided to see the giant christmas tree in Rockefeller instead. It was packed there as well. NBC was there and they hosted a no-obligation photo-shoot- free to the public willing ot wait in line. We passed the Gothic St. Patrick's Cathedral, and we went in this Romanesque church (I think it was called St. Thomas).

We continued our way up 5th Avenue towards the Metropolitan Art Museum. On the way we were distracted by the stores. We went inside Gap, the World of Disney store, there was even a line to go in FAO Schwartz. I decided to walke by the side and looked through the windows instead. We found an opening through the diner.

When we reached the Crown Plaza hotel and Central Park, my cousin pointed out that the Met was close. I didn't want to leave NY without experiencing a new New York- thing-to do so we rode the super expensive short horse and carriage ride around Central Park (not through its entirity instead less than a quarter of its perimeter). The ride was $40, and my cousins and I splitted the cost. It would have been nice but the driver was rushing. He would cut in front of other horses. He wanted it to be over in order to swindle the next "tourists." I'm hoping that the $40 would also the benefit the horse.

On our way back to the subway in 33th street near th Empire, we saw a gigantic snowflake suspended in the middle of the street. We saw snowflake light show blinking in-sync to a trans-siberian-esque christmas tune on the side of a building. We passed by a bazaar with an ice-rink set up behind the NY library.

For dinner, we ate at Maui Tacos. It was exactly like taco bell but it had a hawaiian twist to set it apart. They served some hawaiian tea and alcholic drinks. My cousins and I just ordered the $4.99 deal (two soft tacos with a small drink and a side tortilla chips and salsa).

We bought our tickets for the 9:15 p.m. train to Greenwich and before leaving NY, we saw another light show on the dome ceiling of Grand Central Station (GTS). With laser lights, the constellations on GTS came alive. They became dancing green, blue and aqua snowflakes. Rudolph also made an appearance.

I was hoping to go up the Empire and see the Asian Art collection at the Met, instead the NY experience I encountered was the expensive horse ride and the free light show. I'm a New York visitor and I know the things I do are only superficial/surface of the New York experience, but that's what a visitor does.

On January 1st, my cousin's family met up with my family in Atlantic City N.J. We ate at a buffet for a post new year's eve celebration and for my mom's b-day.

The "adults" gambled, and my cousins and I went to Ripley's Believe It or Not museum at the Boardwalk. The museum was interesting. We saw miniatures, learned fun facts and riddles, got tricked by mirrors, illusions and technology. The museum was a walk-in culturally mystifying labyrinth of magic. We had a picture galore. We took pictures of Dracula's victim, awesome models, gypsy manequin, old people manequin who were also taking pictures.

Before meeting up with my parents, titos and titas, my other cousin (who is also 21) and I decided to try our luck in the slot machines, while my younger cousins sat at the designated corner in Sands Casino. My cousin and I each exchanged a $10 bill into quarters. Putting coins in those machines and winning was total luck/chance. It didn't matter if you had some kind of ritual or lucky charms, it was all random. Out of the ten dollars I played I won four dollars back and lost it again. For our gambling souviner, I took a picture of my cousin side by side with a slot machine. Before my cousin could take my picture, a security person came up and told us that there were no picture taking allowed inside the casino.

My cousins tried to convince me to stay two more weeks at their house. But I couldn't do it because I had to do some things in Philadelphia before school begins again.

As I said in the beginning I experienced four states in one day, not just technically/physically passing by it. How was this possible? On January 1st, I woke up in my aunt's house in Greenwich CT. I ate brunch and attended mass at St Mary's (Greenwich Ave/Stamford). I saw the sun set behind the Manhattan skyline NY highlighting the ripples of the river with an orange/magenta tint on the way to Atlantic City NJ. I went home with my parents to PA, slept in my room, said goodnight to the waxing crescent moon, and woke up to the sunshining rays of Philadephia.

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 7:44 PM | Comments (0)

January 3, 2006

update on recovery, starbucks and ice skating

spending a week in Greenwich, CT helped me to rest... my allergies are under control...my lips are not swollen anymore and they're not chapped too... the bump on my right head receded and the scraped/wound had closed. The thing that's a bit annoying is taking things slow. I just want to do things and get it over (because my actions are already slow to begin with), BUT I have to be mindful not to exhaust myself and repeat my little "incident."

to celebrate I went to starbucks in ardmore for my annual "reflection" seminar. It took me awhile getting there because I have to be "careful." This year rather writing a summary of reflection (based on my past entries), I decided to write a SHORt fictional story incorporating real events instead. It will be fun and a challenge. While at Starbucks I tried this new latte called Cinnamon Dolce. It wasn't bad, it was tres delicioso. It was a hot beverage and it was an apt choice. I drank it slowly while writing.

I got home around 5:45 p.m. and I watched 5 and 1/2 hours of figure skating: Cups of China and Russia in ESPN. It's really entertaining and awe-inspiring to watch ice skating. I used to root only for certain skaters such as Michelle Kwan or Sasha Cohen, But now I just watch and appreciate all skaters (this doesn't mean that I don't have favorites- it just means that I don't hate a particular skater because he/she is someone's so-and-so's rival).

Figure skating is an international sport. It's interesting how issues such as citizenship come up. One of the ice dancers is trying to quicken her citizenship process so she could make it to the 2006 winter olympics (in order to represent the United States). Congress is supposed to have made the decision by January 10 (just waiting for Bush to sign this new law in Congress).

One of the things the commentator said reminded me of a lesson I learned in World Literature about cultural relevency. The announcer commented about this Japanese skater's new dance program filled with nuances and subtleties- "avant-garde" program. Later on he said that the artistry was great, then he asked: "Does it build?" He expected the performance to be like a linear Western book with it's climax, conclusion,'denoument,' etc.

He reminded me that no matter how global the sport may be, it's still a western sport and the west sets the standard. Nonetheless I still enjoy it. It's interesting how each country approaches the sport: the way they trained, their musical selection, their costumes etc.

One of my classmates commented that Figure Skating is not a sport because the skater has to rely on the judges to be evaluated. He implied (like a Shakespeare tragedy) that skaters are fated to win or lose and that they have no control whatsoever. The way I see it, the judges are like referees who makes the call if violations occurred. Just like any other sports (basketball/football etc.) it has rules that governed it- typical of sports, it's a game where people compete and get points.

Figure skating is just a bit more theatrical (artsy). I think this is why some refute the fact that figure skating is a sport. Some people just don't see this amalgamation between sports and art as a possibility. Because it has always been assumed that one is a nemesis to the latter.

Skaters don't wear shoulder pads- they wear fancy clothes with beads or sequence sometimes (nonetheless it has to be aerodynamic so they can attain/maintain speed). They don't throw footballs or kick soccer balls, they throw themselves in the air everytime they attempt a triple flip or a double lutz. They don't run from one end of the field goal, they skate/glide across the ice backward, forward, sideways and in figure eights.

Figure skating has dance elements. It's physical in this sense-it's a sport. Every sport has it's individual dance/body movement. Figure skating is just obvious and blatant.

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 11:12 AM | Comments (0)

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)

November 28, 2005

a trip to Philly and back to Greensburg

on Wednesday Nov. 23, I left with Samay and Sister Min ha (I'm not sure if this is the right spelling) to Maryland (where I would be dropped off). The journey didn't have a good start in a sense that we didn't leave on the right time, but nonetheless, we arrived at our first destination one hour early. On the way we passed by an accident (earlier we didn't it was an accident and we started getting worried to be stuck during "rush hour" and we only had a hour and a half to reach New Carrollton).

I boarded the train and my sense of direction have been jumbled up. The train went on a different direction that I thought it would go. It turned out that it did, rather than coming from the west through Lancaster, it went north-eastern through Delaware. All I remember is when the conductor announced that we'll be in Philly in 15 minutes, I had my hat on and scarf around my neck, my gloves also and I looked outside, hoping to catch a glimpse of the Philly Skyline, (I asked where is Liberty One and Liberty two?). This was the longest 15 minutes ever! It was just awesome to walk out 30th Station and catch a Septa Bus to my house (before doing this, I walked towards City Hall and and behind the Convention Center just to see). I took bus 38, which took the route that passed the Philly Library, and Art Musuem. It was just awesome to see these familiar sites.

My holiday break was tres cool!

On Sunday, Nov. 27, I headed back to Greensburg. I caught the 11:45 train, it was super late. The train was delayed until 1;15 p.m. The sad thing is I stood there not doing anything (finally at 1 I started reading a book). In spite of this delay, Amtrak employee were very apologetic for this uncharacteristic behavior. When I got on the train I found a sit and settled down with my headphones. Over the PA system, they made numerous apologies. They explained the reason of their delay (needed to remove a dysfunctional train car) and they were very upbeat.

I arrived in Greensburg at 8 p.m. and the campus police drove me and six other students back to our dorms.

It wasn't a bad trip.

the previous dilema...

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 1:36 PM | Comments (0)

talking helps

Sometimes the best way to solve problems is to TALK.

Last week this has proven to be really beneficial. My conundrum involved finding a ride. I didn't want to feel helpless so the one thing I knew to do was talk.

First I asked people, who lived in Philly, how they were going to get home. I asked Ashley, Gina, and then Athena. Ashley and Gina were staying in the Pittsburgh area and Athena's car was already full.

During lunch time I just started talking with Justin about my proposed plan of going to Maryland. Then he suggested that I should take the train in New Carrollton (from his experience, he knew that this train went to Philly). I'm glad he suggested this because when I looked at the train schedules that left Union Station D.C., they were booked and really expensive.

I asked my friend Samay if she could drop me in New Carrollton station since it was on the way to her house, and she agreed (I was relieved). Later on she told me that I could also take the airplane (I didn't consider this at all and I don't know why, I already set my mind on this plan and I didn't want to start all over again. I just wanted to get home).

The point, what may first appear to be "whining" is really talking and talking starts conversation, which leads to solving problems.

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 12:44 PM | Comments (0)

November 19, 2005

Calling the SHU community

Hello everybody, I have questions, and I hope you all answer them. What do you do when you have this feeling that people you know are ignoring you? How would you handle it? How would you approach them and ask them about it without sounding crazy or paranoid?

I'm probably crazy but I'm noticing this in some of my friends, and I don't know if I did anything. The signs I've noticed were: averted gaze, abrupt answers, secrective talking, silence, lack of conversation, skeptical looks, solemn voice intonation and no 'how-are-you's'.

I hope I'm just crazy than actually offending some people.

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 6:24 PM | Comments (2)

November 14, 2005

Amtrak again and the holidays

I can't believe I'm in the tyranny of Amtrak's monopolization of time. I tried reserving my ticket for next week's Thanksgiving break and it's already sold out (both Wednesday and Tuesday are sold out). Only one train passes through Greensburg, and the reason why that's so is because Greensburg is a small town, and usually here, the busines is slowing down especially for the train business (holidays are exceptions).

There's a slim chance that one of those who reserved might drop their reservation...nonetheless I still have options:

1. Find someone who'll drive to Philly or to that area. I'll give them $30 for their gas.

2. Find somebody who's going to Maryland (I'll also give them $30 for gas) near the D.C. area and catch a train to Philly. My rational is that because D.C. is a busy city, there's bound to be many train trips between D.C. and Philly/N.Y. area.

3. If things worsen, I'd have to take the Greyhound bus (if it's not already sold out as well).

4. See if Amtrak is available on Thanksgiving day

5. The worst- go home on Friday after Thanksgiving.

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 12:29 PM | Comments (2)

October 26, 2005

Excited and daunted about life and the Honors Capstone Program

"sometimes I think my weakness is my passion..." ~anonymous

I was in Harlan Gallery and I heard somes actors for kindertranport learning European accents- I can't wait to see this play...

Below is my proposal for my honors capstone...it's been a while since I saw this and looking at it now, I feel daunted by it, rest assure I'm still doing it...

Outline of Proposal

Michael Diezmos, a Seton Hill University (SHU) student in the Honors Program, double majoring in Creative Writing and Literature,

a. Proposal: petitions to have a Project capstone that addresses cultural education of Filipinos and non-Filipinos by interpreting a local popular folk tale in a format of picture book, which would help preserve the heritage of the Philippines and her people.

b. Social Relevance: This project addresses the importance of literacy in today’s world and will hopefully inspire others to read and to take care of their environment.

c. Personal Challenge: It requires that Michael would have to step out of his westernized environment to interact with non-westernized natives of Northern Luzon (instead of the urban Manila).

d. Two Disciplines: It also requires Michael to apply research on location and creativity and marketing which are essential in the Publishing World (Creative Writing Core).

e. Field Work: His fieldwork will be a stay in the Philippines for 2 to 3 months. For the first 2 to 3 weeks, he will research in local libraries in the Philippines such as the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) Library and Archives. He will try to interview professors in the University of Philippines Los Banos (UPLB) campus. These activities will prepare Michael to research on location. He will travel to the rural northern Luzon in designated locals for at least 4 weeks: Hundred Islands in Pangasinan, Baguio City and the Banaue Rice Terrace. The last weeks will be dedicated to post-consultations with Philippine contacts: professors of UPLB, CCP and Tourist Information Center. The rest of the stay will be dedicated to organizing collected data.

f. Presentation: At the Honors Banquet Michael will present final product of a picture book. He will talk about oral traditions, the process of his research and have a reading of it (also have a reading with the Child Development Center (CDC) kids in March before they graduate). My presentation will be like a cultural day event in which I will invite SHU International Student Organization (ISO) to read with me some stories from their countries. If possible, they will be able to wear national costumes and have treats from their homeland. Adults and children are all welcome and invited to participate.

Details of Proposal

1. Challenges Student Abilities

a. Information Gathering: Interview natives/professors/village historians/story keepers by using photography, video and audio recording. Unobtrusive observation by being in the actual location.
b. Document Production: Thesis: Trying to accurately record oral tradition/history using text and images in the specific fields of folk tales/myths (origins)
c. Information Presentation: Finish product – a ‘chap’ book of a folk story translated/reinterpreted and illustrated by Michael Diezmos.

2. Addresses a Social Relevant Issue
a. Inspire kids to read (literacy issue)
b. Cultural education – people being aware of Philippine culture
c. Preserve Philippine heritage

3. Two Disciplines in Major and Liberal Core
I. Creative Writing Core
a. Blend of creativity and marketing
b. Research experience/field study on location
c. Publishing
II. Liberal Core: Skills for Historical and Global Awareness
a. Historical Perspective: Appreciating the human quest for meaning through history
b. Global Context: Understanding the impact of geography in culture.

4. Incorporate a Fieldwork Component
a. Community location: Northern Luzon- Hundred Islands, Baguio City, Banue Rice Terrace.

5. Costs
a. $800 plane tickets roundtrip
b. $500 traveling on land, food, lodging etc.

6. Transportation
a. Airplane ride- 23 hours from U.S to the Philippine Islands
b. Land transportation- jeep, car, walking etc.

7. Time
a. 2 to 3 months in the Philippines

Tentative Calendar (Four parts)
Part 1: Preparation
Fall 2005
September to December
a. Shadow Mike Rubino as he design layout for SHU’s literary Magazine Eye Contact (in order to learn design concept in a computer – useful for final product)
b. Take World Literature with Professor Wendland (to get basic themes and styles of non-western literature)
c. Take Painting with Professor Brode (to learn painting and illustration techniques)

Spring 2006
January to May
a. Take Writing of Fiction: to practice writing (helpful for final product)
b. Take Publication Workshop with Dr. Arnzen (beneficial to experience)

Part 2: Going to the Philippines (Mid-May to Mid-August)
Summer 2006
Late May to Mid June
a. Go to Phil. Libraries
b. Consult with Filipino professors who specialize in Filipino literature
Mid June to Mid July
a. Travel on location
b. Interview natives

Mid July to early August
a. Post consultation with Professors
b. Final gathering of info on location

Part 3: Putting it all together
Fall 2006
September to December
a. 1st draft of interpretation done
b. Finished illustrations for it
c. Have a “mock copy” finished for review by Adviser
d. Find a printer that print it (something inexpensive)
e. Final draft will be sent to printer either at the end of Fall 2006 semester or beginning of Spring 2007 semester.

Part 4: Presentation
a. After receiving “bound” copy of finish product, I will invite the CDC kids in Reeve’s Library and have a reading.
b. I will present what I did to the honors banquet.
c. I will send a manuscript version of the final product to:

Children’s Book Press (who publishes multicultural literature for children featuring traditional and contemporary stories from minority and new immigrant cultures in America today)

Address:
Children’s Book Press,
6400 Hollis, Suite#4
Emeryville, CA 94608

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 12:44 PM | Comments (3)

October 17, 2005

Americana Sketch iii: Conservatory of Cosmetology

they sent a condolence card one month after he died...I'm still pissed off from that...for us, in order for us to go to school, we had to work...life sucks, life is hard...good thing you're in school you'll find jobs easier... I have two jobs...I work from 9 am to 6pm and then I work from 9pm to whenever...I'm in debt right now...on my day off, I sleep...I wake up and work...sometimes i have time to watch tv...when I'm settled I'll go back to school...school...

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 12:24 AM | Comments (2)

October 16, 2005

Americana Sketch II

my uncle and i were waiting for a guy in a motorcycle to finish putting air in his tires...out of the blue, this black and dusty pick-up truck cut in front of us and blocked the motorcycle...

the guy in the motorcycle had to back-up sides ways in order to get out...my uncle decided to inform the rude guy that we were waiting next...

to my relief, the guy didn't make a fuss... he got out of his truck with its rear window framed by dull "duck-tape"...his flabby biceps showcased his faded tattoos and he walked straight to the dumpster behind the gas station, his daughter followed him.

He searched through the dumpster and he picked up some flat cardboard boxes...my uncle finished putting air in his tire and we left...

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 12:16 AM | Comments (0)

October 15, 2005

out of the hill

today is my first day of fall break...

it's nice to get out of the hill once in while. To my surprise, Greyhound didn't suck this time as much as last last time.

Recap
I was a bit nervous. on Wednesday afternoon, I went to the Westmoreland transit area in front of 'Otterbein' church to purchase a greyhound (g) ticket. The lady in the ticket booth said that they don't sell g ticket, I had to go to Tommy's bookshelf (good thing I knew where it was or else ("doom" for me)).

I found out from the owner of Tommy's bookshelf about how he became an agent for the greyhound. He told me how the county of westmoreland was losing revenue for having to maintain a full time staff. The owner then became the agent and complained to me how he's spending more money paying for "rent" space rather than earning profit.

He stressed to me to arrive at the bus stop 1 hour early and to stand directly in front of the greyhound bus sign. According to him, if the bus driver was a jerk and he didn't see anybody, he wouldn't bother to stop (and i would have to miss my bus). To my 'naivite' I actually believed him.

The day
I arrive half an hour early on Friday. The bus was half an hour late. Under normal circumstances this would have been fine, BUT, i didn't eat my dinner. I was paranoid that the owner of Tommy's bookshelf was right. To my relief the bus did arrive.

MEANtime: Sketch of Americana
i entered and placed my black bag on the floor. This old caucasian man started talking to a teenage boy across from him. I thought it was odd at first. Then I realized that the bus they might be riding was local and they were familiar with each other.

The teenage boy started conversing with the guy and asked from across the room:
"Did you watch wrestling?...you missed it, Undertaker was defeated, his casket was burned to the ground...oh he's pissed... you should have seen it George!"

the guy replied: "My name is not George, it's Eugene...remember i changed my name...thanks for telling me...i can't wait to watch it tonight..."

"It's so cool George- I mean Eugene." The boy walked away and met up with his friend outside.

Eugene started talking to the guy across from him. The guy soon left, and Eugene continued to mumble:

"America is a great country...football...when I was born if I only knew, I would have turned around and get back inside...I wish I wasn't born...nobody likes me...we're running out of trees...it's becoming overpopulated...Alaska has trees...the victims of the Katrina..."

I looked outside and the local buses finally left and greyhound still hadn't arrived. I went to the ticket window. The ignorant ticket seller assumed that I missed the bus.

"It must have left already," she said.

I refuted, "The bus is supposed to be here at 4:30 and I've been here since 3:45."

"Oh, well... here's there number, you can call their toll free number, there's a payphone near the bathroom."

I walked away and started dialing my cellphone. The greyhound finally arrived. End of Sketch

the Bus ride
back to my voice (not the sketch voice)...the ghetto thing that happened in the bus going to Pittsburgh was lack of seat. The bus driver had to ask somebody to volunteer to stand up until Monroeville so that one of the newcomers could sit down.

I fell asleep and when I woke up, we were in Monroeville mall. The sky was beautiful. The gray clouds acted as barrier in between the orange light of the setting sun and cold blue october sky. I fell asleep again and woke up in Pittsburg. The sun was hiding behind the mountain. The sight was sort of startling. Either I was in a high elevated place or the sun was really low.

Another bus incident...when i was in the bus going to Columbus, a man was annoying the bus driver to make a stop at Cambridge, OH. At first he said no because Cambridge wasn't part of a stop (although it was on the way) but eventually he succumbed. Our bus driver to Cambridge was Fischer (I forgot his first name). He was comedic and it appeared to me that his bus was his stage for his bawdy jokes about bus policy(phone policy, neighbor consideration, temperature etc.) and his ex-wife. This was totally something different from other bus rides I've taken...

Columbus
I arrived finally, the ride was definitely better (probably because it's not a holiday). My uncle picked me up...my godchild was quiet for the first ten minutes and then he started talking. In spite of Morgan Spurlock's warning, I still tried White Castle's burger...it tasted like any burger, I admit the beef patty looked weird...but hey I was "starving"...

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 12:58 AM | Comments (0)

August 28, 2005

a missed oppurtunity

who could blame the callowness of freshies? Of course the freshies themselves........

Yesterday, Saturday, August 27, there was a Variety Show in Cecillian Hall made for the freshies...of course only a handful of freshies were actually there nonetheless there was a good crowd that consisted of wise upperclass students and faculty and staff members.

The RA skits were hilarious and some of Seton Hill University's (SHU) talents in music (Piano playing by Justin, Carmen, singing from John, Latoya, Jamie and the awesome tap-dancing by yours truly Moi and many more) were showcased. The fabulous and outrageous Cellar Dwellars also performed.

What I liked about this Variety Show was that it encompassed SHU in a Nutshell. The skits parodied life on the hill (the faculty, Residence Life, RAs, Nurse (tampon, tynenol etc) the Popos, issues such as co-habitation, the stereotypes, the popularity of football, the inadequency of the system etc. etc.).

The Variety Show showed that there were more to SHU than the recently popular program of football or other recently added sports. Don't get me wrong, I like sports but a balance should be maintained. Although this and other sports program are overshadowing the other programs here at SHU, I believe that SHU is harboring some of the futures shining gemstones/treasure filled with artistry and talent in all aspects of the Arts and Science.

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 12:06 PM | Comments (2)

August 23, 2005

blue collar job

so today I got a taste of a more realistic blue-collar job...the mascots and the cheerleaders went to IdleWild and worked as volunteers to fundraise...

Ideally I would have like to worked in merchandising like the gift shop...but I ended up in the food section...

my first job was cleaning the tables...it was pretty easy...all i did was to squirt some cleaning agent mixed with water on top of table surfaces and wiped the dirt away...at first i thought i was going to go crazy...in my mind I thought how can i possibly do this for four hours?...

i became somewhat obsessed...i should have been promoted employee of the day...i became adamant at cleaning the tables...as soon as the "guests" left their table...their disposed trash and crumbs were at my mercy and believe me I didn't show any mercy to those scumbags...my trigger fingers were quicker than the germs...they didn't even had the time to bother the guests.

Time did fly by...one of the benefits with cleaning the tables was being mobile. I wasn't stuck in a games booth or a souvenir shop. As soon as my job was done, I was free to roam around...I didn't get that far but I was still free.

luckily I didn't encounter any rude guests...one possible demeaning comment I received was from a lady who saw me wiping ketchup from the condiments area where she said to me: "You must be used to this."

i didn't mind doing this kind of job for two days to raise money but I couldn't imagine myself doing this type of work for the rest of my life... I decided to cheer up and tried to turn my work into some kind of meditation...sort of like the kid in "karate kid" wax on wax off...same principal wipe on wipe off...

i think my assistant manager thought that I was having way too much fun cleaning the tables so she pulled me in and told me that the kitchen needed a runner*. A runner, I could do that, as a matter of fact I did cross country in high school (j/K). With so limited space in the kitchen, one can't possible go in circles for 3.1 miles but I did get a chance to utilize my legs and arms getting the fries and the extra cheese...

I left at 4, four hours earlier than the rest of the squad because I had an OA meeting to attend. it was an okay experience, very interesting...

*someone who puts the orders together (organizes it for example getting the drinks fries etc, not necessarily making the order)

Day 2

the second day wasn't that bad...although in the middle of the day, time slowed down for me...the people I worked with were friendly. They all thought I was 16 or 17 and was still in highschool. They were surprised to find out that I was 21...at the end of the day, I got a free corn-dog, idlewild hats and name-tag, and a baby kermit for a dollar (with help from a persuasive team member)....the weird part was we were all able to work together as if I knew them (even though 99% of the people I worked with already knew each other and worked before together)...

out of the hours I've worked in the sandwich factory...only two customers complained and started to make a scene...the first was a mother who was just tired and had a pretty long day... she was very stressed and when my co-workers got the order wrong she started b*tch!ng like everything in her life was just messed up (just because my co-worker had put cheese in her sandwich-- she didn't need to freak like that)

the other incident was with guy who freaked out because he couldn't find napkins...we told him that they were on the side of the building and he couldn't find them so he returned complaining how he spent 40 minutes in line (not really, more like 15 minutes) and he couldn't even get napkins...my co-worker pointed out that there were napkins he just didn't see them ...boy, was he salty!

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 9:34 PM | Comments (3)

August 15, 2005

Life: Summer ending...

Well I'm blogging...that could either mean that I'm at a library during the "sweltering" last weeks of August or I'm back in my dorm in Canevin located at SHU, Greensburg, PA, suffice it to say, the latter is more true than the first...this summer was different in a way that it was weird and good...

my summer kicked off with summer classes at CCP with Basic Photo 101 and Drawing II. In both classes the people (students and teachers) were interesting and fun to be with. In Photo 101, I learned many photo techniques and basic black and white photo facts. Jon Spielberg, my teacher, was funny. In Drawing II, the main thing I learned were about proportions and perspective. Towards the end of the semester, my class started focusing more on concepts/ideas with technique.

Intermittent with theses classes, I went swimming, and my family had a barbeque. I went around the city a lot to take pictures for my photography class.

by the end of summer classes, I officially became a citizen of the United States of America. Of course I didn't feel any different ( I must have been "assimilated"...I guessed)

after 7 weeks of academics, i visited my cousins in Greenwich, CT. In there, I played videogames 24/7. I ate ice-cream (plenty of 'haagen daaz'-- think caramel dazzler, tira mi su, caramel cone!). I learned the basics of basketball. I read a ton of asian folktales and some eccentric highschool literature for example, Hesse's Siddartha, Albert Camus' The stranger and Jules Verne's Paris in the Twentieth century. my enthusiasm for dance music and dance have been revived with hits like Missy Eliot's Lose Control, Black-eyed peas Don't phunk with my heart and others and with tv shows such as Dancing with the Stars and American Idol-esque's So you think you can dance. We watched plenty of movies...White Chicks by the "Wayan" brothers was hilarious and a top hit with us..."a thousand miles...you just said the N-word, so nobody's around" :) [laughs].

my cousins and I also visited New York's Museum of Modern Art. We went on Friday, so we were able to go for free. The highlight of that trip was seeing Van Gogh's Starry starry night. Everything else were extra treats and bonus such as Picasso's Les mademoisalles d'Avignon, Brancusi's sculpture Bird in Flight and many more. My cousin made a crack about the really modern art for example Kelly's Red, green and blue, oil on canvas. Her antics were amusing.

My relatives dropped me off to Phila and this was the beginning for the end of summer...this summer, i wasn't accustomed to a "routine" routine per say. I met up with old friends and some new ones. Life went on, a friend of the family's mother died, new relatives were introduced, stories of giving birth told by mothers to first time pregnant mother-to-be gave detailed (too much) hilarity of pain, and some mocking-truth reality. All of these were my summer memory of 2005.

I'm excited about school because I will be occupied with something that would deal with my "dreams." I'm sure I wouldn't be thrilled with the research papers. I can't wait to see my favorite SHU friends, faculty and staff.

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 1:14 AM | Comments (0)

July 4, 2005

America: Happy 4th of July!

What a better way to celebrate Independence Day this 4th of July weekend than becoming an American citizen. On Friday, July 1, 2005, in the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia (between 11th and 12th in Market Street), I took the oath of allegiance. I am officially a citizen of the United States of America.

The ceremony was short. It took half an hour to "seat" the applicants and their guests, and it took another half hour for the actual ceremony, which included the presentation of the colors by the Sons of the American Revolution in their colonial costumes, the National Anthem sung by Officer Cassandra Rodriguez, the Oath of Allegiance by District Director of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, Donald J. Monica, guest speaker, Larry Kane (television journalist/author who traveled with the rock group the Beatles) and many more.

Soon-to-be Americans started lining up in front of the 2nd level Grand Hall entryway in the PA Convention Center at 1 p.m.. The actual "processing" began at 1:30 p.m. Each applicant had various colored paper (the colors sequestered corresponded to letters of the alphabet). My paper was blue and I had to line up in section 'E.'

1,250 applicants were present, and 108 countries were represented (Philippines for me). The induction ceremony I attended was the second one that happened this day. I received a "goody-bag" from the President of the United States (Bush) in an envelope that stated "A message from the President of the United States of America." In this envelope, I received a mini flag, a pamphlet which contained the constitution, the declaration of Independence and other important documents.

They showed us a video message from Bush, and a 'tribute to citizens of America.' All in all, the ceremony ended on an optimistic and patriotic note. Kane emphasizing the responsibility that was concomittant with freedom and liberty said, "Politics is everything you stand for...[and in this] political system [of the United States] you have the ultimate power to vote...so continue your sense of responsibility and don't forget about the people around you."

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 6:20 PM | Comments (4)

July 2, 2005

The suckiness of Art after 5pm at the Philadelphia Art Museum

Philadelphia Art Museum (PAM)has this programs to attract art lovers who are night owls so my friends and I checked it out.

Every Friday, the PAM would have a theme in music and food. Yesterday, it was Celtic night so they had performers playing contemporary and classic celtic music.

However the food that was served to us (over priced too) didn't seem so celtic. The orange cheese cake was the saving grace for this lamentable night.

The host who showed us to our table wasn't so host-like, and he was very uninformative. Our waitress was rude and snotty (we tipped her just a dollar and a penny).

basically they acted all "high-faulitin" and supercillious, but their services weren't so high-class (they lived up to the stereotype of art for the elite only ( i also think that since my friends and I were younger, they made assumptions about our pecuniary status).

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 12:03 PM | Comments (0)

April 23, 2005

H2O Kills! Irony, dum,dum, dum...

It was a Saturday morning, and I'm working in the library, and I came upon an article about water...it stated that a "28 years old woman collapsed and died [because of]too much water..."

"Isn't it ironic, don't you think?" (Alanis Morissette) that water, which is so essential to life, can also take away life...

I was reading the April 25, 2005 issue of the Times with a picture of Ann Coulter in the front cover. I was perusing the magazine when I came upon the headline "Too Much H2O", all the while, I'm sipping some water in my personal water bottle. Michael D. Lemonick wrote that drinking water was bad for athletes and runners because "too much water dilutes the blood's normal salt content, producing a condition known as hyponatremia."

What happens in hyponatremia is that a build up of fluids occur in the bloodstream. This build up is sucked/taken in by cells, including brain cells, which swells up and causes pressure to grow inside the skull, thus leading to permanent damage or death.

No caffeine for me. I remember drinking five quantities of 592mL of water in high school one night while I tried to write a government essay. I think I saw it in the Simpsons that Bart tried this to stay awake. I don't remember finishing my paper but I didn't feel energetic at all. Maybe it was the lack of salt in my body. This was high school, and now in college, I recently resume the habit of drinking water, moderately of course!

Caveat to all water drinkers and lovers: "Too much H2O can kill you!"
For more tips read the article in Time magazine.

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 9:48 AM | Comments (0)

April 15, 2005

leadership workshop

we are all part of a salad...

the good thing about diversity is that each one of us beautifully "blossoms" before each other's eyes, if we are all the same, it'll be like talking to ourselves, it'll be like looking the same and not really recognizing and appreciating each other's "uniqueness."

so everyday I'm going to wake up every morning looking forward to being "uncomfortable" and awkward...maybe I'll be a tomato tomorrow or string beans on Sunday...

to add to my uncomfortableness, I'm not going to expect Quirks to email/contact me any time soon (they said they were going to call in April, it's almost in the middle of the month, I'm going to call them in the last week of April so that way I didn't act too hastily).

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 11:16 PM | Comments (0)

April 10, 2005

There's no clear path...

Everybody, go and see Nora Thompson's art show in Harlan Gallery, I think it's only in the gallery for a couple of days until it's over (April 14 or April 16)....

this blog is not an art review of Nora Thompson's show, but it's related to Art...

...in the art job career fair I went to last Wednesday, April 6, i learned that if one wanted to get involved/worked in the creative "fields", one did not have a clear, worked-out, straight path to follow like doctors or teachers...

right away in my mind, Disney's Pocohantas sings "What's around the riverbend...to be safe we lose our chance of ever knowing..."

of course, the same things I've heard and read about since sophomore year in high school were reitirated by the speakers: "Perseverance, luck, preparation, patience...and work, work, work....learning to love what you do...etc., etc., etc., look out for oppurtunities (which may come from unexpected connections), networking, the positive attitude , education doesn't stop once you get your diploma, you're always learning, don't be afraid to teach yourself new things, ask questions..."

I've been doing all of these advices and more, so Luck if you're listening and wanting to take a chance on me, pray that I get hired...so if any publishers, Disney film company, cool creative companies out there who are looking for a reliable, humorous, proficient and creative intern or prospective employee, I'm the one you've been searching for all along...

...did I say I humorous, not really, but funny, yeah!

Xie xie ni, thank you, have a nice day!

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 3:12 PM | Comments (2)

April 3, 2005

This is the song...

This is the song the doesn't end
yes it goes on and on my friend
some people started singing it not knowing what it was
and they continue singing it forever just because

This is the song...(repeat infinitely)
~Anonymous

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 5:58 PM | Comments (5)

April 2, 2005

hibernation

There was a bear...

during the ripe summer season, the bear woke up every morning and greeted the sun with a grizzly smile. He was so devouted that the sun warmed him up and inspired him to go. The bear went out in the world and confidently collected luscious berries. After this the bear would cool himself near the gushing stream-like river. If he were lucky he would catch pretty pink salmons leaping upstream.

Winter came, everything just disappeared. Intermittent showers that cooled the baked ground were gone. Southern breezes that carried lavendar scent, which colored the atmosphere, had stopped. Golden California seemed "farther" away than usual. Ashes from the hearth remained beneath burning logs.

Was it the sun that retreated farther up the galaxy or the earth that had spun off to another galaxy? It seemed as if the sun never shone at all. Thus, the bear hibernated. He retreated to his dark cave and slept...

Bonnie Raitt - Will the Sun Ever Shine Again Music by Alan Menken Lyrics by Glenn Slater

Rain is pourin' down like the
heavens are hurtin'.
Seems like it's been dark since
the devil knows when.
How do you go on, never knowin'
for certain,
Will the sun ever shine again?

Fells like it's been years since
it started to thunder.
Clouds are campin' out in the valley
and glen.
How do you go on, when you can't help
but wonder.
Will the sun ever shine again?

What if the rain keeps fallin'?
What if the sky stays gray?
What if the wind keeps squallin',
And never go away?

Maybe the soon the storm will be
tired of blowin'.
Maybe soon it all will be over, amen.
How do you go on, if there's no way
of knowin'?
Will the sun ever shine?
Wish I could say.
Send me a sign-
One little ray.
Lord, if you're list'nin', how long
until then?
Will the sun ever shine again?

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 6:36 PM | Comments (0)

March 30, 2005

1/2 a day in New York

1/2 a day in New York, I figured out that New York is like Philadelphia but more (except Philly is cleaner and not as crowded). I'm a bit more comfortable now using the subway and walking in New York and finding my way.

the day started with using a train and a subway...I didn't exactly looked at the subway map to figure it out, I just asked people...of course I didn't just go up to a stranger, I was selective (I had to make sure the stranger is not totally a stranger-- you know the strange kind of stranger). One time I asked a person who wasn't from New York, she was from another country...I finally asked subway employers: a police man and a ticket salesperson...the Grand Central Terminal was huge and pretty...I only glimpse its interior because my cousins and I were in a bit of a frazzle, we were trying to get to the Empire State Building...the ticket lady told us to take the 6th and to stop at 33rd Street...

Our "handy dandy map" was very useful, we used it to locate our first destination:the Empire State Building (in the past I've always mistaken the Chrysler Building for the Empire). Originally I wanted to go up the Empire but the long line outside of it dissuaded me from going.

We ate lunch and walked to Rockefeller Center around 48-50th street. On the way, we stopped by the New York Public Library ( the famous one, where the day after tomorrow was shot, also spiderman, also Thirteen Going on 30)...the inside was so cool...all the way to the third floor, there was this great ceiling painting (de sotto en su style) and tall mural paintings in the Rotunda...it was so beautiful.

We were going to ice skate in Rockefeller but it was too much and crowded. But on the way to the rink, there was this cute expensive french store that sold french "paraphenilia"...it was called "Librarie de France."

Right across this place was the awe-inspiring gothic St. Patrick's cathedral. The skeletal frames reminded me of "Chartres". I went inside, and the ribbon-like and spidery rib vaults that ran parallel to the nave were simply exquisite. I was literally transported away from America to Europe.

After this, rather than using our all-day subway pass, we took advantage of the fair weather and walked to Central Park. On our way there we saw performers dancing. We were greeted by the smell of horse manures and the sight of art works on sidewalks as we approach central park.

We went ice skating in Wollman Trump Skating Rink, it was beautiful, not as crowded, large and inexpensive. The view--wow---the manhattan skyline with the famous "Plaza" towering over vein-like trees like fingers groping for the soaring sky-rocket scrapers...with pavement of scattered diamonds...

We had dinner at TGIF Fridays' in Times Square, and what would a day in New York be like without watching a Broadway--an off-broadway musical in Dodgers Stage/ Stage 5, 303 50th West between 8th and 9th Avenue. My cousin and I watched:

The Musical of Musicals: the Musical
This was a hilarious show. This musical parodied great musicals of the past by the masters: Rodgers and Hammerstein, Stephen Sodheim, Jerry Herman, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Kander and Ebb. It had one plot, told in my different musical styles: the universal plot of "trying to pay rent and living."

One could interpret this theme of paying rent several ways. Singer-song writer Dido wrote "if life was for rent and [one] did not learn how to buy [then one] deserved nothing more than [one would] get, cos nothing [one had] was truly one's own." Dido demonstrated the importance of making choices and the consequences that would follow. Or one could just simply enjoy a study of different musical styles and theater. It' was a bit tongue-in cheek, but still hilarious.

The stage was small, similar to Reeves Theater, and there were only 4 members in the cast, and voices (dufferent accents) and an upright piano. The costumes were plain and modern not "so over the top." The sceneries was depicted with background lighting and voice-over narration.

It was at its funniest when I understood the puns and allusions, but even those who weren't aware of the different musical plots would still have a laugh because of its random order and juxtapositon. 4.5 out of the five musical styles, I was able to catch the allusions of; it was great! They said that imitation was the greatest sign of flattery. The Musical of Musicals: the Musical "ripped" off from the great musicals of the past in an innovative way. The whole show was more of a celebration of Musicals rather than a mockery of theater. The Musical of Musicals: the Musicals was awesome! Go WATCH IT!


--------------------------------------------------------------------------

What would a day or even a night in New York without coffee--Starbucks Coffee.

My cousin asked "Aren't they close already?"

"Of course not, this is the city that doesn't sleep, I answered, there's a starbucks at least at the end of every block..."

The air chilled, temperatures dropping in the 30s, White Chocolate Mocha warming up my hands and my taste buds; I walked through Times Square, capital of insomaniac city. People bustling to and fro, garish lights and billboard spectacles, the aroma of pizza and chinese food fused together in the air, princess walking around getting photographed in her cinderalla blue ball gown, stretch limos gliding through, I was ready to sleep.

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 1:33 PM | Comments (0)

March 29, 2005

5 hours stuck in traffic

in the middle of the night, while snow builds up in slushies, gas trickles to the point of nothingness, patience running empty, truck lights glaring with a threat to run over you inside your car...what do you do?

PRAY

during these five hours I had time to reflect, i guess the "past" caught up with me...all throughout lent, I hadn't actually gave time for reflection...so I reflected who Jesus was, my relationship with him and God...

My faith(meaning)/religious philosophy, et cetera et cetera, et cetera was defined:

"At one-ment" rather than "atonement"(Jesus accomplished our salvation as result there's a choice between heaven, hell or purgatory
At one-ment, I understood this as God having foreknowledge not predestined, God is loving, he just wants to be reunited with his creation..."so one way or another he's going to get ya!" In my theology class, my classmate argued the paradox found in this---concerning freewill--- having choices...if God knows, does that mean we don't have choices, how can we have choices if no matter what we do, we'll end up with God (what if we don't want to?), my fellow traveller argued that freewill was man's own construction so it was not God's...so whether freewill's artificial or not it's in man to know without being bounded...

A bit of Boethius
here's an analogy that helped me to understand:
God is an Artist, an artist plans to paint, first he picks a subject, plans its composition, chooses color schemes, etc., draws a sketchy "impression", then paints it, along the ways he mixes the colors on the canvas rather than applying a pre-made paint, the way he mixes the colors may differ each time whether he added too much tint or tone or totally in balance....maybe later, he decided to change medium...basically the subject was chosen but the end product differed depending on circumstances and choices made along the way--->this showed foreknowledge and at the same time "choices"...
the other part is "man seeks good, happiness is good, God is good, therefore as man seeks good, he finds happiness in God...

the big bang theory as explained to me by Mr. Black
in God's constant quest to know everything (because being omniscient is God's nature), he exploded and became universe and everything in it--->this is why it is justifiable to say that God is in Nature and in all of us...in being with us, he get's a chance to see what life is like being a SHU student who is either a she or a he,, he knows what's it like to be a tree striked by lightning or the lightning striking a tree, he knows what it's like to be born, to die, to be murder, to sing, to dance, to sleep, to dream, to be happy, to be sad, to be depressed, to commit suicide, to be the revolving planet, the moon, the sun center of universe etc. etc.
Since God chose somehow "scattered himself" in the end, he would want to be united with himself sort of like to gather himself and collect the data sort of like a satellite that circles a planet for several years and returns back to earth so the humans could see the "picture"

Nature (Nothing is accident ---> too detailed and specific to be happenstance)
i don't think human existance is meaningless, i don't think it's an accident either, if one were to look at nature (the balance) the intricacy of plant life and ecosystems, the human body with everything playing a part etc. etc. etc., it's just way too much to be a "splatter"...chose to find meaning...

Man's nature to create (part of design)
From the above, it is evident that man is made in the image of God, it is in our nature to reflect our creator...we achieve this by choosing to create/procreate and to want to know...

Life's a mystery...maybe this is our human side and purpose to try to know (because it's in our divine nature like God trying to figure it out), i'll try to figure out myself, my dreams my faith my meaning, my family and friends (relationships/connections), my purpose before I try to figure out life beyond or maybe just to think is life beyond this world...

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 2:23 PM | Comments (0)

March 24, 2005

A "Dante-esque" Road trip

We left SHU at 1 p.m. in the afternoon, the biggest problem we thought we were going to have was finding a place to meet my uncle. BOY WERE WE WRONG!

It was a very cloudy day. I thought it was just one of those March days ushering early April showers. The pitter-pattering of rain gathered into puddles, and in spite of gloom trickling slowly into a storm, the thought of "singin in the rain" was tip-toe tapping in my head.

We were passing through rolling brown meadows, where remnants of snow dotted the fields like pepper on mash potatoes. We imagined the light green buds, which would soon burgeon, draped the skeletal reddish-brown trees in sprightly spring suits. The wind shield wipers swayed staccato-style as water swirled off to the side painting a Van Gaugh landscape.

Everything was fine, and then I saw inky black clouds looming over the mountains. Rain turned into ice, then ice to snow, then snow to really big blossoming snowflakes of bitter blue Winter. He blew his last breathe (hopefullY), exhaling enmities for hours.

Our oxen-metallic chariot rammed through his slippery stooges and biting bootlickers. He was expiring slowly. He became desperate. With his last breathe, his stooges successfully "jack-knifed" a doubled-length dragon: the dragon that accompanied him to Hades.

The river flow had stopped to mourn the loss of such a magnificent creature. For five centuries, we trudged, inch by inch trying to escape the misery. I prayed and sang to the beat of my head banging against the cushioned head rest. We finally got through and saw the onslaught of odious Old Man Winter.

Crucified rusty horses stood like lawn ornaments. Dead donkey carts were flipped over by the way side. Shrines of snowmen were erected throughout, reminding us of his cruelty.

One hour had passed the new day at Midnight of the sixth century. We found solace in God. Ensconsed in his eternal care, we rested on the seventh day.

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 11:32 AM | Comments (2)

February 20, 2005

sun

out of the glass window i stare,
a curtain of gray clouds veil the spectacle of the sun

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 4:57 PM | Comments (3)

February 18, 2005

p.c complaint

yeah I finally got my internet working, and it only took a spyware remover-picker-upper from a friend to do, my qualm: how come the IT department wasn't able to do this?

Initially I called them for help, (the first time I asked them for help, they were very helpful, and they actually solved my problem, that's why I came to them the second time because I trusted them). They told me that I had to go to the helpdesk website to file a complaint. I told them that my internet wasn't working so I asked if they could file it for me since I was in their office anyway and their computer was working. They said that I should borrow a neighbor's p.c or go to a comp. lab. instead. At that point I started to be doubtful. I am one of those people, who needed visuals to communicate the problem so for me to try to articulate my p.c. problem was difficult.

I went to the lab and filed a complaint. I was skeptical. I thought I would hear from them in April, to my surprise, a guy working for the IT called the next day, and he gave me instructions to try to fix my problem. I went to the Library to borrow a cd rom program called Residence Hall utilities (or something in this title). My computer wasn't reading it. I thought that maybe whatever virus or problem my computer have somehow malfunctioned my cd-rom drive, and in my thoughts "maybe I deleted my cd-rom drive accidentally." My friends reassured me that I didn't delete an internal device and that only programs and such were deletable.

I went to the library and picked up another cd, just in case the cd wasn't working right. The other cd was just as useless. There wasn't anything wrong with my cdrom drive because I was able to play dvds and other cds in it. I called the guy again. I asked if I could get his extension and where his office was on Campus because I wanted for him to actually see my p.c and "diagnose" it, he said he couldn't because he was in PITTSBURGH! He asked me if my pc have warranty because they might have to replace something in it.

Finally one of the IT representatives came to my room to check out my p.c. problem (***Note: Personal interaction is crucial in business). After fifteen minutes, my computer was diagnosed with a "crashing browser" that's why I couldn't open an internet window. I was connected to the network, the problem was that I couldn't open an internet browser. I asked if the virus or whatever could have done this to my computer, he said there was a possibility. He recommended sending my computer to get it fix. Resigned, I unplugged my internet connection.

I wasn't going to send my computer right away because I was going to use the other programs in it (Word, dvd player, music burner, etc). Then just yesterday, my friends who were also having problems with their computer were chatting about their computers finally being fixed. My curiosity was "tickled" about this miraculous p.c. elixer. I borrowed the program, intalled it last night, and got connected to the Internet this early morning.

I'm hypothesizing, maybe the other cd's didn't work earlier because I was still plugged to the internet. If this were the case, why didn't the people who specialized in this field failed to consider this option?

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 1:11 PM | Comments (0)

February 8, 2005

Life recharger

from an experiment conducted recently, test results show that sunshine, blue sky and a hero medal can recharge a downtrodden soul and revive the spirit.

"It takes little time to entertain a hope and an insight which becomes the light of our light... "-

(Experience, Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 11:01 PM | Comments (3)

January 30, 2005

1st week of Spring Semester

All my classes are awesome, tres cool, tres!

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 3:03 PM | Comments (1)

January 8, 2005

Weird dream 8

jumping frog rescued
balance beam, paint and plank
climbing through windows up through roof in attics ladders trying to get to the tallest buildng to jump for the thrill (not suicidal)
creative wrting

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 10:47 AM | Comments (0)

January 5, 2005

note V

Paraphrase of Boethius' Philosophy concerning freewill vs. predestination/God's omniscience

2 points
1. "capacity of knower to know" ( we as humans are active, we do things, we have "moral responsibility)
2. "God's capacity to know with man's" ...

***propaedeutic
gnomic

Providence- "the simple unchanging plan in the mind of God
+Fate- the ever changing distribution in and through time of all the events God has planned in his simplicity
=mutable fate that governs and revolves all things and God as the center and still point of the turning world"

I don't Get evil? Boethius naive?

I started reading Boethius' Consolation of Philosophy

here's a summary so far

Boethius is immured. He is visited by his female muse "Philosophy". She tells him to be strong and that in order for him to get better is to tell her what happened. He recaps how he was imprisoned...As he recaps, he remembers the his true nature: he is a rational and mortal man. Thus the world's governed by divine reason not by haphazard chance (Fortune does not favor the brave. She favors no one).

Fortune is incosistent. She's the goddess of randomnisity. "Her very mutability gives one a chance to hope for better (or to despair)."

According to Philosophy, Boethius is lamenting the shadows of happiness not because of losing Real happiness. Happiness is the one goal men aspire to reach (this may be traveled to through different paths). "Happiness is a state made perfect by the precense of everything that is good. Through riches, position, estates glory and pleasures, men will reach self-sufficiency respect, power celebrity and happiness." Happiness is not any of these individually but they are all the same just synonyms for Happiness. They are all united, since God is happiness, in God there's unity and this unity is divine, which makes man divine when he's happily united with God. God is the ultimate good, and man in his nature seeks the good, therefore he seeks God. God is the one that unites everything (making the incongruous coalesced). Unity is good.

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 9:04 AM | Comments (0)

December 30, 2004

What does it mean?

for the past two days, I've dreamt about birds, what could it mean?....
the first night I dreamt about a black pelican attacking me, and in the second night I dreamt that my old pet bird "angel", who was a pied cockatiel. In my dream, she was mostly yellow with tints of white. She was nestled on top of my head, and her claws were gripping my skull. What does it all mean? So I started a mini research, and I found some interesting stuff.


In alchemy, birds are essential. Dictionary.com defines alchemy:

n.
A medieval chemical philosophy having as its asserted aims the transmutation of base metals into gold, the discovery of the panacea, and the preparation of the elixir of longevity.
A seemingly magical power or process of transmuting: “He wondered by what alchemy it was changed, so that what sickened him one hour, maddened him with hunger the next” (Marjorie K. Rawlings).

According to Crytallinks.com birds are representative of spiritual development since "the soul, aspir[es] upwards, fl[ies] free of the restraints of the earth bound body seeking the heavenly light, only to have to return to the earthly consciousness again after the meditation."

But what is odd or maybe ironic is that the birds in my dream are hybrids of these symbols (they too undergo the alchemic process). Let us look at the symbols and consider the meanings of color and the type of birds. The pelican is black and the cockatiel is mostly yellow with hints of white. In the internet article of "The Birds in Alchemy," the soul undergoes through five stages to inner enlightenment. The five stages are:
1. Black Crow -withdrawal - freeing of the from depend ence on the Physical senses
2. White Swan -experience of the etheric body
3. Peacock-astral body consciousness - inward immersion - point of transformation - outward expression integration - purification - transmutation
4. Pelican - using consciously the forces of the etheric body
5. Phoenix- freeing of the spirit from the bounds of the physical

In my dream the first image is a black pelican. This of course is a blend of the first and fourth stage. Black is commonly known to represent death. Crystallinks.com suggests that black symbolizes the initial step toward the darkness of the inner world of the soul. In this case, a death of consciousness needs to occur to begin the "spiritual" process (emphasis mine).

The pelican, according to CatholicHerald.com is a symbol of sacrificial act. Crystallinks.com marks this suffering act as significant in "self" transformation. However usually this archetypal image of the pelican is shown stabbing its breast with its beak and nourishing its young with its own blood. In my dream it was stabbing me not itself (unless of course I was "the pelican" looking from the outside).

If you were to look at a cockatiel and a phoenix, you would see some similarities in their warm fiery hue and in their blazing crest. Crystallinks.com states that the Phoenix completes the process of the soul's development. "The Phoenix bird builds its nest which at the same time is its funeral pyre, and then setting it alight cremates itself. But it arises anew from the ashes transformed... [the phoenix] has integrated his being so much, that he is no longer dependent upon his physical body as a foundation for his being. ("Dropped quote")." In spite of this argument, I disagree that consummation has occurred.

The color of this phoenix-like bird cockatiel in my dream is not completely yellow; it has tints of white. In the alchemic process, the white swan (i know this is not a cockatiel, however it's an archetype)represents the beginning of the whole inner world. However "the initial inner brightness...is often erroneously mistaken for true illumination [thus] this experience is merely a first conscious encounter with the etheric world."

In conclusion , in the past two nights I do not think I went through an initiation and a completion of a spiritual sort (or did I?). The symbols seem to cancel each other out. The color black is death of consciouness hence life of the subconscious begins. The Pelican stabs itself to feed its young so they can live off its blood. In the process, the pelican dies. The phoenix is a chimerical bird; on the contrary a cockatiel is a real bird. Since supposedly, a bird's "domain" is in the element of air which is between heaven and earth (symbolic of spiritual journey between heaven and earth), the birds in my dream never take flight. The black pelican is on the ground pecking me and the yellow-whitish cockatiel is firmly ensconced on the top of my head. The cockatiel is not as wild as the black pelican. The cockatiel is my former pet named Angel, and everytime she tries to fly she ends up landing on my head. Also in my dream, I am placing Angel( a heavenly creature nominally) in a cage (symbolic of limitation and fettered enlightenment). So what? So what do they mean? Who knows? DO YOU?

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 9:37 AM | Comments (11)

December 25, 2004

Christmas

E=MC^2

We must be very suspicious of the deceptions of the element of time. It takes a good deal of time to eat or to sleep (1/3 of our lifetime), or to earn a hundred dollars, and a very little time to entertain a hope and an insight which becomes the light of our light... -

(Experience, Ralph Waldo Emerson) [emphasis mine]

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 1:19 PM | Comments (0)

December 22, 2004

home

I left Greensburg on Friday, Dec. 17, at 10:41 am and after 5 days I'm finally home, today Wed. Dec 22.

Not really, just joshing, I've been home for quite some time now, but lately I've been running around like a headless chicken doing "holiday" stuff. I hadn't the time to just sit and awake from the shock of having LEISURE time.

My trip was fine. AMTRAK rules (way better than greyhound)! However for my traveling companion Sammie, it was a very tres traumatic experience.

The whole story began 20 minutes after 10 in the morning. Neha picked us up from under the Canevin tunnel. I had about four layers of clothing while Sammie had a barky brown overall with feathery greenish yellow long sleeves top that flutter in the cold breeze. Her feet, wrapped in dirt black stockings, were firmly planted in murky green plastic-pot-like boots. We were running a little late because I was triple checking to make sure that I didn't forget anything. As soon as I stepped outside, my glasses fogged a little, oh but poor Sammie was shocked beyond belief. The cold reality of the outside world was incomparable to the tropical environment of her humble abode.

I lugged my less than a hundred pound luggage in the back of Neha's steely gray station wagon as blue as the faded hazy summer sky. Sammie and I sat in the front. I took my time making sure that Sammie was properly seated and that I had the seatbelt on. In spite of these meticulous preparations I forgot about the automaticity of the sliding seatbelt. It would have strangled and choked Sammie if I didn't safeguard Sammie's neck. The seatbelt caught her sleeves instead and ripped a bit of it off.

We finally made it to the train station, 10 minutes before departure time. We got on the train. Amtrak rules but there was this really rude train conductor who told me that Sammie and I couldn't sit together because it would be "awkward" for everybody. I didn't want to protest because I didn't know what else this train conductor could do, who knew maybe he would kicked us out of the train and never get home. So Sammie had to sit in the back, she was shoved and stuffed in the dark corner all by herself.

We reached Philadephia earlier than the expected time. The city lights were on and light traffic was in progress. Sammie was glad to be out in the open air, so was I. We took the SEPTA bus 44.

After realizing the disillusionment of cold reality, almost being strangled and choked by a plastic-woven thread-like culprit and being immured in a hopeless dungeon, Sammie was just glad to sit by the window next to her sisters Saraha and the twins Edel and Weiss, and watches the sun sets and rises above mountains of steel and glass, in Philadelphia.

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 11:42 AM | Comments (1)

December 16, 2004

Reason

The reason why I've been asking about the whole Arab-Israelis conflict is because I was learning about it in my Faith, Religion and Society class about it, the facs I've learned surprised me. I wonder if it would surprise you too, please read and comment, add any information missing or correct incorrect facts, thanks!

Dignity
In this Religion in Society paper, I will briefly recount Great Britain’s involvement that led to the present Arab-Israelis conflict. I will summarize the claims for Palestine, made by the Israelis and the Arabs at the Paris Peace Conference. The decisions made in this conference created a feud between the Arabs and the Israelis that affected the world community today. In 1922, the League of Nation ignored the King-Crane report that stated the unfairness of the Zionists’ proposals to the Arab majority. Recently the UN General Assembly adopted six resolutions acknowledging the rights and valid claims of Arabs in Palestine. The death of Arafat on November 11, 2004 shows hope for a better and more peaceful relation between Israel and Palestine. With the application of the Catholic Social Teaching concerning the Dignity of Every Person and Human Rights, I will further analyze the Arab-Israelis conflict.

Great Britain used both the Zionist Jews and the Arabs as pawns to ensure victory in World War I. The Zionist Jews of Eastern Europe feared the rise of anti-Semitism in Russia in the 1880s. They thought that the only solution in improving their inferior status and in assuring their rights and dignity was to attain “their own national home in which they would administer their own affairs and determine their own destiny” (Khouri 3). In 1917, the Kerensky government appointed several Jews in prominent offices and positions in the new Russian duma. The British had hoped that these appointments would empower the Jews, in which the advocates of Zionism would be appeased; thus encouraged the Zionist Jews of Russia to ally with Great Britain. The Zionist then convinced the British to support their cause. They convinced Great Britain that “a Jewish-dominated Palestine would strengthen Britain’s strategic position in the Middle East” (Khouri 5). By November 2, 1917, British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour declared the necessity of “the establishment in Palestine of a National Home for the Jewish people” (Khouri 6).

Meanwhile, the Ottoman Empire allied themselves with the Central Powers. This was an advantage to Britain. The British had calculated the possibility of an Arab revolt. This revolt would have weakened Turkey. The Arab Nationalist decided to “support the allies in the hope of acquiring complete independence” from their oppressors, the Turks (Khouri 6). The Arabs and the British negotiated. Britain agreed to grant the Arabs their independence and other demands. Although both parties were in agreement, the Arabs were not aware of Britain’s concord with the Zionist Jews.

The Arabs were also unaware of the Sykes-Picot agreement between Britain and France. This agreement divided “the Arab inhabited territories into French- and British-administered areas” (Khouri 8). When the Arabs found out about these deceptions, the British distorted the facts to assured them of fulfilling their promises. The Arabs continued to trust Great Britain with caution and fought for their country’s liberation (Khouri 9).

After World War I, the dispute over Palestine began. In the 1919 Paris Peace Conference, the Zionist delegation asked for five things. The wanted to:
(1) Include the Balfour declaration in the peace treaty; (2) disregard…the principle of the right of self-determination, at least until the Jews became a majority there; (3) oppose making Palestine into either an Arab state or an internationalized one, but to set it up as a British Mandate; (4) provide for unlimited Jewish immigration into Palestine and “close settlement” by Jews on the land there; and (5) provide for the establishment of a Jewish Council for Palestine, representing the Jews in Palestine and elsewhere, with legal status and considerable powers. (Khouri 10)
The Arabs wanted their independence. Khouri summarized the Arab claims to Palestine:
The Arabs [had] continuous occupation of Palestine from the 7th to the 20th century…The world would be thrown into chaos, legally and politically, if every group were permitted to lay claim to an area that its ancestors had possessed at one time in history…Furthermore, one group could not be legally or morally bound by the religious beliefs of or by the promises made to another group. (11)
Although the Arabs had a more valid claim to Palestine, the League of Nation decided in favor of the Zionist cause.

The results of the Paris Peace Conference have repercussions that affected the world today. The Arab and Israelis have been in war since1948. According to Pittsburg Tribune-Review reporter Robert Zelnick, Yasser Arafat’s leadership in the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), had been ruled in terrorism. The Israelis fought back to defend their territory, and all throughout the 70s and 80s, the Israelis “refused to deal with the PLO until [Arafat] publicly renounced terrorism.” Arafat refused to cooperate. Both the Palestinians and the Israelis refused to compromise, and each of them held onto their ideologies.

With the recent death of Arafat on November 11, 2004, the Post-Gazette website states that there is hope of a possible peace settlement between the Arabs and the Israelis. Mahmoud Abbas, the leading candidate for Palestinian Authority Presidency, would like to begin negotiations and reach an accord with Israel by the end of 2005. President Bush plans to make Palestine a state in the next four years. Bush also wants to work to deepen the U.S.’s trans-Atlantic ties with the nations of Europe.
The UN General Assembly recently adopted six resolutions in the hopes of achieving a final and peaceful settlement to resolve the Arab-Israelis conflict. The Assembly:
Stressed the need for Israel’s withdrawal from the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967…the Assembly adopted an orally corrected text that reaffirmed the international community’s interest in protecting the city’s unique spiritual, religious and cultural character…the world body reiterated that any actions taken by Israel to impose its laws…remained illegal, and deplored the transfer of diplomatic mission to Jerusalem, in violation of relevant Security Council resolutions…talks with Syria and Lebanon [resumed]…the world body also called on Israel to rescind its 14 December 1981 decision to impose laws on the occupied Syrian Golan, and , once more, demanded a complete withdrawal to the 4 June 1967 line…The Assembly adopted 3 texts concerning the work of the commitment on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, the Division fro the Palestinian Rights and the Department of Public Information. (UN Press Release GA/10308)
The World community finally acknowledges the dignity and rights of the Arabs and the Israelis. They realize the need for action to resolve the Arab-Israelis conflict in order to make the world a more peaceful and humane place to live in.

These UN resolutions compliment the Catholic Social Teaching that deals with the theme of the Dignity of Every Person and Human Rights, which states people’s worth and dignity. The Book of Genesis from the Bible states that “All humans are made in the image and likeness of God.” According to Pope John XXIII, human rights are “universal, inviolable and inalienable” (Schultheis 27). Vatican II affirms the infallibility of this statement “God is the ultimate source of our rights not secular doctrines…this is grounded in the reverence for the sanctity of creation and its Creator” (Schultheis 28).

With this brief summary of the Catholic Social Teaching: Theme 1: the Dignity of Every Person and Human Rights, I will now apply the encyclicals, Pacem in Terris and Gaudium et Spes to analyze the Arab-Israelis conflict.

Part 1 of Pacem in Terris encyclical deals specifically with the rights of human. Under “Rights” section 2, it states that everyone has a right of Cultural and Moral Values. This includes the freedom of option (to search for and express opinions). Both the Arabs and the Israelis have rights to a land. The Arabs felt oppressed by the Turks. The Zionist Jews felt that having a “state” would allow them to determine their own destiny. With these rights, humans also have duties. In “Duties,” section 1 states the duties of humans to “acknowledge and respect the rights of others”, and section 2 calls for “mutual collaboration” (Schultheis 28). The Zionist Jews was so desperate to have a land that they neglected the Arabs’ rightful claim to Palestine. The Arabs were actually willing to co-exist with the Jews, as long as the Jews were under Arab laws. Pacem in Terris advocates active solidarity. According to this encyclical “peace consists in Mutual trust” (Schultheis 29). The Arabs trusted and cooperated with the British to ensure their independence peacefully, but the British’s and the Zionists’ deceit complicated the matters and caused distrust and strife that precipitated into the present conflict.

Gaudium et Spes, also known as the Pastoral Constitution of the Church in the Modern World, expresses the duty of God’s people to “scrutinize the signs of the times in the light of the Gospel” (Schultheis 31). This encyclical recognizes human dignity and the good and bad effect of change that characterizes the world. Gaudium et Spes stresses the development of Culture. In Part 2, sections A and B outline the necessity of freedom of Culture “to foster the development of the whole person” (Schultheis 33). Anti-Semitism undermined the Jewish achievements. The Zionist Jews believed that having an official state would give them the power to determine their own destiny. They finally achieved this goal, and the Jewish status was acknowledged. They were no longer a people without a land at the expense of the Arabs in Palestine. The Arabs, who were oppressed by the Turks, realized that they have the right to cultivate their culture. They took pride in their heritage, and the only way for them to achieve this reality was by having their own state.

In Pacem in Terris, Pope John XXIII declares that “Peace will be but an empty sounding word unless it is founded on…truth, built according to justice, vivified and integrated by charity, and put into practice in freedom” (Schulteis 29). The British’s hollow promises made the Arabs distrustful of the Western Culture. The Zionist Jews’ impatience and disregard for Arabs’ rights hindered the relations between the Arabs and the Israelis. This impediment caused the Arabs to doubt the sincerity of Israelis’ friendship. This insincerity blinded both the Arabs and the Israelis from seeing the dignity and worth of each other. They failed to recognize each other’s human rights. With the recent adoption of UN resolutions and U.S. involvement in facilitating the peace process, there is hope that the dignity and rights of every Arabs and Israelis will finally be recognized.

Works Cited
Khouri, Fred J. The Arab-Israelis Dilemma. 3rd Ed. New York: Syracuse University Press,
1985.
King, Laura.“Abbas Eyes Peace Plan.” Post-Gazette 5 Dec. 2004.
http://www.post-gazette.com.
Lavie, Mark.“Israel OKs Monitors for Palestinians Vote in January.” Post-Gazette 5 Dec.
2004 http://www.post-gazette.com.
Massaro, Thomas S.J. Living Justice: Catholic Social Teaching in Action. Maryland:
Sheed & Ward, 2000.
McFeatters, Ann. “Bush Wants Palestinian State within 4 Years.” Post-Gazette 5 Dec.
2004 http://www.post-gazette.com.
Schultheis, Michael J., Ed P. DeBerri and Peter Heriot. Our Best Kept Secret: The Rich
Heritage of Catholic Social Teaching. Washington D.C.: Copyright Pending
Center of Concern.
UN Press Release GA/10308. “General Assembly Concludes Debate on Palestine,
Middle East with Adoption of Six Resolutions.” 5 Dec. 2004
http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2004/ga10308.doc.htm.
Zelnick, Robert. “Arafat and Israeli Counterterrorism” Pittsburg Tribune-Review 5 Dec.
2004 http://www.pittsburglive.com/x/search/print_276522.html.

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 5:18 PM | Comments (1)

December 6, 2004

wondering

do you know why the Arabs and the Israelis are in war?

I was just wondering...

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 8:29 PM | Comments (1)

November 2, 2004

sea

green grass rippling across the hill
brown leave rolling up to me

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 1:26 AM | Comments (0)

October 30, 2004

Lunar Eclipse

the shadows fell on her porcelein face
Cloaking the brightness of her grace
Veiled in tinted red, mourning her lost sight
Darkness slowly unmasking her Beauty
A halo of light orange, angel feathers from behind
Ready to take flight
Away from FULLNESS to something new

marbles, a little chilly, gloves etc. yellow, silver, reddish stars, eyes, w, pentagon, tri,

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 12:33 AM | Comments (0)

October 23, 2004

Break

From October 15th to October 21st, Emdee was on fall break.

Here's a detailed account of his adventure:

Fri. Oct 15-
Left Emerald City @ 10:43am
Arrived at Temple of Adel Phi @ 6pm
Watched Aladdin @ 9pm

Sat. Oct 16-
Went food shopping (fruits and snacks) @ 11am
Went to get hair cut @ 12pm
Chilled in "Starbucko" from 1pm to 5pm
Drank a tall Caramel 'Machiatto' latte
(Read some Art History)
Watched "A Cinderella Story" @ 10pm

Sun. Oct 17-
Went to Church with Phoenix @ 10:30am
Got dropped in Starbucko (Fr. 12pm to 6pm)
Drank a tall White Chocolate Mocha latte
Read most of American Literature readings
Met with friends @ 5ish
Ate dinner at Ruby's Dinner @ 6:45
Ordered one Aloha Burger (Yum!)
Got picked up by 8:30
Went next door @ 9:30
Watched Degrassi and Nip/Tuck @ 10pm

Mon. Oct 18-
Went to Borders Books and Music @ 10am
Bought a cd "Manhattan Transfer's Greatest Hits" ($10)
Went to 'Orthodontist' @ 11am
Met with a friend @ 1ish
Ate late lunch in Primavera Restaurant
(Awesome pizza)
Chilled in Starbucko until 5pm
Tried the new Pumpkin Spice 'Frappaccinno'
Went to Chile's for dinner w/ family @ 8:15pm
Ordered Baby Back Ribs and Dreamy Creamy Orange drink

Tue. Oct 19-
Stayed home until 2pm
Read more Art History
Went to Starbucko and read Amer. Lit
Chilled in Starbucko until 7pm with
a tall White Chocolate Mocha latte
Watched Gilmore Girls @ 8pm
Watched RealWorld @ 10pm

Wed. Oct 20-

Went to downtown @ 1pm
Bought a ticket back to the "Isle"
Walked to the Art Museum from the train station
Took a Splash Bus to the Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul
Walked to three different Starbucko in search of Nora Jones
Walked to Borders Books and Music in Broad Street
Bought Norah Jones' new cd
Sat by the window
Listened to new music
Watched life passed by while sipping a tall Caramel Machiatto latte
Met with friends @ 7ish
Walked to '11th and Walnut street'
Ate @ a Posh French cafe
Ordered a "soupe a'lignon" et "frislee salad"
Devoured sumptuous sweets (Chocolate mousse,
Caramel ice-cream puff, and 'Creme Brulee')
Got home @ 10:30ish
Packed suitcase

Thurs. Oct 21-
Woke up @ 8am
Went to INS office @ 10am
(Fingerprinting process)
Got back home @ 12pm
Dropped @ the station @ 1pm
Departed fro Adel Phi @ 2:25pm
Arrived @ the Emerald City @ 9:30pm

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 1:21 AM | Comments (0)

September 18, 2004

Worlds Apart

Today was labor of love in Seton Hill. This year, I decided to volunteer at Caritas Christi (Caa-ree-taass Kris tea). I did not get a chance to make arts and crafts with the sisters, but I met some of them; they were friendly. I finally found out where their headquarters were located. The big imposing building behind Farrell Hall was Caritas Christi. I think I will be visiting them often.

Besides the hospitality of the Sisters and the staffs, I found their chapel, very inspirational. On three sides, the glass walls framed nature in a picturesque way. Its blue stained-glasses intermittenly placed captured the ever reaching rays of the shining sun. The background in general was nature. It was so uplifting, to sit in a quiet, and undisturbed place (free of the elements of the earth), at the same time, one could not but help noticed the power and grandeur of the sailing masts of clouds, the verdant hills and the bending trees in the foreground. It was so beautiful, and to think this chapel was only a few minutes away from the Hill, it seemed like it was a world apart.

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 9:42 PM | Comments (3)

August 23, 2004

Things to do List

8.Art gallery
11.Start Floppy Story
15.Start Setonian Archive
17.Buy Stickers (mirror)
22.Research honors trip
23.Europe
26.Get Transcript from CCP
27.Remember R's words
31.Get situated
33.Buy Pink

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 8:31 PM | Comments (6)

July 26, 2004

Cabaret Act III

In Act II, our heroine found out that China wasn't the place for her...

By happenstance, our protagonist landed in Norman's coast. However its stoney sands weren't as rough as the d-day battle, but rather it was smooth. Nonetheless it made an imprint on her foot. She walked off the beach and she reached the entrance to Charlemagne's Forest. Something's weird about this forest,, she sensed, it's as if it's alive, the trees, the flowers, the hills:

"The Hills are alive
With the sound of Music
With songs they have sang
For a Thousand years
The hills fill my heart
With the sound of Music
My heart wants to sing
Every song it hears..."

What the protagonist doesn't know is that this forest is haunted: this is where poison apples grow, where Beauty sleeps and the gentle snow, fairest of them all, casts a spell, a spell of eternal reverie: a place of nowhere, a place where one dreams and only dreams of what may...

Our protagonist went straight ahead into the woods. She wasn't sure if this was the right path, after all, she found out that China wasn't the place for her, where was her place? When she was in the forest, something changed in her. Somehow, she wasn't laden with worries. She felt light, almost ethereal. She was in a 'natural' high. The Forrest Nymphs beckoned her:

"[Your] heart wants to beat like the wings of the birds
that rise from the lake to the trees
[Your] heart wants to sigh like a chime that flies
from a church on a breeze..."

She heard the laughing of the brook as it tripped and fell over
stones on its way...

"[You want to] sing through the night like a lark who is learning to pray
[You'll] go to the hills because your] heart is lonely
[You know because you've] heard [it] before
[Your] heart will be blessed with the sound of music
And [you'll] sing once more..."

The mellifluous sound soothed her, and she followed it unquestioningly. It was so easy. It's as if she lost her mind, she's just floating on air following the path blindly. She would have gone to the hill of "Almost There but No Cigar" but a sprightly and brave creature jumped on her and startled her: breaking her reverie. The impact of the creature was like a pinch in the arm and a slap in the face combined. She fell midair and landed in the pillowy bush near a pond. She opened her eyes, a bit confused: where am I? what am I doing?

"When I was young
I never needed anyone
Learning was just for fun
Those days are gone...
All by myself, don't want to be
All by myself..."

Then she heard a squeaky lionatic voice: "Mais, tu n'es pas alone!"
It was weird, she heard it, but it was some sort of broken franglaise with a Brooklynite accent. "Remember moi, I hope tu me n'oublies pas!
"What?" she 'questioned', and she looked around, she didn't see anything. Then a squirrel hopped in front of her: her bushy tail followed. She was astounded, as she gazed at the rodentlike creature in front of her, in the rodent's eyes reflected hope that were once as big as the sky, but now, only a shawdowy glimpse.

"Je te presente: Moi!" "Je suis Fifi, dans un reality, I'm the coolest cat, one has ever seen, mais je, stuck dans ce body de, comment dit-on...ahh rodent?

She answered: "You mean a squirrel?"

Fifi: "Oui, C'est ca!

"This is insane!

Fifi: "Que? what's so "insane" about this seetuahhccionn!? Insane comes from de latin : insanus, prefix 'in' means 'non' et sanus comes de word 'sanus' quelle means health...hmmn, ah bon? Je regarde que you mean. You're right, c'est vrai, c'est sympa! Cette situation est 'insane', you're insane!

She: "I'm insane, you're a talking squirrel who thinks you're a cat, oh wait, I am insane, I'm talking to a talking squirrel who thinks it's a cat, oh wait, if I'm insane, then I wouldn't admit that I'm insane.

Fifi: "Oui et non, you're insane,c'est vrai mais, you're not insane because you're talking to a talking squirrel. You're not healthy!

She: "Well excuse me, I'm not the one with an identity crisis, I know who I am!

Fifi: Ah bon? Ecoute, I may look like a 'squirrel' on the outside mais, je sais qui suis un chat.

Then out of the blue, the Forrest Nymphs started to lull our protagonist with a spell:

"Conversation? Wit? [You have many doubts]
Manners? Charm?
They're no way to impress
So forget the inner [you] , observe the outer
[You are] what [you] wear and how [you] dress...
Such a crime
And the few who are invited Oooh overwear
To [our] wardrobe are delighted Oooh underwear
As they wander through [our] things Oooh anytime
To find en route [you'll always be] wandering through...
Dress has always been
Your strongest suit..."

Fifi: N'ecoute pas, stop! Arret! "Remember who you are! Don't you know, search within ton le couer: your heart's memory! Remember?!

"Memory, turn your face to the moonlight
Let your memory lead you
Open up, enter in
If you find there the meaning of what happiness is
Then a new life will begin

Memory, all alone in the moonlight
You can smile at the old days
[Your still] beautiful now
[You'll] remember the time [you] knew what happiness was
Let the memory live again

Burnt out ends of smokey days
The stale cold smell of morning
The streetlamp dies, another night is over
Another day is dawning

Daylight, [you] must wait for the sunrise
[You] must think of a new life..."

Our heroine, caught a glimpse of her self in the pond:

" There's a girl in the mirror
I wonder who she is
Sometimes I think I know her
Sometimes I really wish I did
There's a story in her eyes
Lullabies and goodbyes
When she's looking back at me
I can tell her [dream] was broken easily

'Cause the girl in my mirror
Is crying out tonight
And there's nothing I can tell her
To make her feel alright
Oh the girl in my mirror
Is crying 'cause of [doubt]
And I wish there was something
Something I could do

If I could
I would tell her
Not to be afraid
The pain that she's feeling
The sense of [hopelessness] will fade
So dry your tears and rest assured
[Your dream] will find you like before
When she's looking back at me
I know nothing really works that easily

'Cause the girl in my mirror
Is crying out tonight
And there's nothing I can tell her
Oh the girl in my mirror
Is crying 'cause of [doubt]
And I wish there was something
I wish there was something
Oh I wish there was something
I could do..."

She sobbed, a tear fell in the pond causing a wave of ringlets to bloom, like a flower of hope.

"I can't believe it's what I see
That the girl in the mirror
The girl in the mirror...
................................Is me!"

I can't believe what I see (no....)
(The girl in my mirror)
The girl in my mirror is me
Ohh...is me!

She shouted with glee: "It's me, it's me! How do you know so much about me?"

Fifi: "I am who am, not really, Je suis you, I mean, I knows what's it's like to be you, I am your aspirations, your hopes, I am your dreams, je ne sais pas if you get mon meaning..."

She: "If you're me, then why am I squirrel... I mean a cat?"

Fifi: C'est complicated, it's not that simple, you find meaning in your life and in whatever you dream of...par exemple, I once dreamt of playing as Gabrielle in Andrew Llyod Weber's Broadway's "Cats"...

She: "What happened?"

Fifi: "I just dreamed, I never really did anytheeng besides, dreaming, don't get me wrong, dreameeng est bonne pour le start, mais you have to go beyond that... "to infinity and beyond!", You have to believe!"

"If you believe
Within your heart
You'll know that no one can change
The path that you must go
Believe what you feel
And know you're right because
The time will come around
When you'll say it's yours

Believe that you can [achieve your dream]
Believe you can float on air
Then c[believe it] three times
If you believe
Then you'll be there
That's why I want you to
Believe in yourself
Right from the start
Believe in the magic
Right there in your heart
Go ahead believe all these things
Not because I told you to
But believe in yourself
If you believe in yourself
Just believe in yourself
As I believe in you..."

She: "Will you go with me?"

Fifi: "I'm always there..."


Posted by Michael Diezmos at 10:56 AM | Comments (2)

July 19, 2004

Why Mondays?!

What's up with Mondays?
Why do most popular songs decry Rainy Days and Mondays when water(rain) is revered as essential to life? Water and its tides, which are affected by the moon, often symbolizes life and growth. What's with the pessimistic attitude with life or something like it: beginning anew and changing.

Personally, I tried to change my own outlook of Mondays, but somehow I still feel apprehensive. I would do basically the same thing on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, but it would not feel so "dreadful." Why is that? Is it because of popular culture and its pervasive influence on the media: popular music perhaps.

I do not know when it all began, but the earliest reference I know of the murky Monday myth was in Jerome Kern's hit ballad "Can't help lovin dat man of mine" from the musical motion picture"Showboat" (1951). Lead soprano/actress, Julie LaVerne sang: "When he goes away, dats a rainy day, and when he comes back dat day is fine, de sun will shine!" In the 60s, the Mamas and The Papas piped out "Can't trust that day Monday...A-you can find me crying all of the time Monday" in their song Monday, Monday. During the Disco era of the 70s, Karen Carpenter crooned us with Rainy Days and Mondays: "Talkin' to myself and feelin' old...Rainy days and mondays always get me down." This is all so sad and depressing and all three of these were about love: coincidence...I think not!

Love...Ahhh love (Cute as a kewpie doll's buttoned-nose)! They say that "love lifts [one] up where [one] belongs...where eagles fly on a mountain high" yet "love makes [one] act like [one's a] fool." Perhaps a loony fool...by chance circumstance, Monday derives its origin from Latin 'dies lunae', in which it literally translates into 'Moon's day'. Isn't it another happenstance that the moon is connected with the Roman goddess Diana (Aka Artemis, greek goddess). Diana, Artemis, Selena and her other counterparts were all affiliated in conjugal acts of love:legitimate or not. A brief recap: Diana is the goddess of fertility, Artemis was a product of a love affair between Zues and Leto, and Selena is famous for 'getting jiggy' with Endymion, the stunning shepard. These are just minute samples from a gamut of 'craziness' of what people would do for love.

On a more scientific and rational tone, the gravitational pull of the moon affects the tides and plant growth. The rising and falling of tides affect the way animals obtain food, especially birds in the coastline, and it also affects how humans catch fish and how they travel from one body of water to another. I forgot where I read about the effects of the moon on plant growth, but I'm guessing that it has something to do with the plant's intake of H2O. It probably affects the weather too (thats why Indians perform rain-dances and Bantu-speaking people of Africa have rituals for rainmaking dah!).

The effects of the moon is so prevailing it's no wonder why our culture 'moons over' songs about Rainy Days and Mondays : "The sacredness of the moon has been connected with the basic rhythms of life...govern[ing] all vital change[s]." Maybe serenading Cynthia, is a way for mankind to wane the apprehensions of the unknown and to deal with the changes in life. Maybe. I guess "it's just another manic Monday, [don't you just] "wish it was Sunday(The Bangles)?"

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 8:38 AM | Comments (0)

July 14, 2004

Philosophical Mood

It was night time, and I was saying my prayers; and I started to think about life or something like it...

I was just wondering the ultimate human question: Why we are on earth, what's the point of life?

In ancient times, the Greeks observed nature to find out truths about their own humanity and hoped that in doing so, they would somehow unlocked the secret to some universal truth.

So I started thinking about the observable lives of animals since 'apes' are almost 98% (I think) similar to humans. I started thinking about a simplier version of an animal...the lion popped in my head...why did I think of a lion when I haven't seen one in the wild, I thought to myself; so I changed the image to squirrels since I see them around my neighborhood.

I thought about the squirrels. I see them gathering around food, running around, climbing trees, 'tip-toeing' on telephone cable lines, crossing the streets, lying dead on the street: roadkill, sniffing for food on the grass. They lived unquestioningly, and they go about their business. Neighborhood squirrels are so accustomed to humans that they know when to run away. They don't start quarrels with humans, and they just live.

It's a stretch but I'm trying to apply this to the lives of human, somehow (To my life anyway). I get up in the morning, brush my teeth, take a shower, get dress, eat, go to school, learn, study, do my homework, check emails, blog, walk to the bus stopped, sit on the bus, come home, eat, listen to music, sing, watch tv, talk to friends, hang with parents, talk to and about family, and if I'm lucky I get a moment to just think about the past, the present and the future, then I ask why?

Sounds pretty boring huh? but then again I wouldn't want to live in constant fear, or live an "adventurous life" where I'm thrown off a cliff so I can paraglide away from danger (You know the typical James Bond stuff). Yet the coinage "Life Happens" often tantamounts to life's that's deadly, miserable and painful. Why is this considered 'exciting?' Why can't we just plainly live, peacefully too? My head started to hurt, and my eye lids sank steadily like a sack of gold thrown in the river, finally I fell asleep.

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 11:26 AM | Comments (2)

July 13, 2004

Cabaret

New York

Vesta heralding
The rising crystal towers
As "sky meets the sea..."

East, west, labyrinthe
Of vanishing points, at last,
Urb's oasis...sigh!

There was this girl who was bored:

"I come home in the morning light
my mother says when you gonna live your life right
oh mother dear we're not the fortunate ones..."

Her mother said:

"Fortune favors the brave...
The more we find, the more we see,
The more we come to learn
The more that we explore,
The more we shall return...
We seize the day
We turned the tide
We touched the stars
We mocked the grave
We moved into uncharted lands...
Nothing is an accident
We are free to have it all
We are what we want to be
It's in ourselves to rise or fall..."

The girl replied: "But mother, what am I supposed to do?"

"Oh girls just want to have fun..."

[Suddenly] the phone 'rang' in the middle of the night and [her] father yelled :

"What you gonna do with your life?!"

She said :

"Oh daddy dear you know you're still number one
but girls they want to have fun
Oh girls just want to have fun
that's all they really want
some fun
when the working day is done
girls- they want to have fun
oh girls just want to have fun"

Her parents were tired so they went to sleep. The girl went to her room. She was sad, she just found out two weeks and a day ago that her boyfriend was having an affair with someone else. She contemplated:

"Some boys take a beautiful girl
and hide her away from the rest of the world (sobbed)"

She went to the corner and started crying:

"It's been seven hours and fifteen days
Since u took your love away
I go out every night and sleep all day
Since u took your love away
Since u been gone I can do whatever I want
I can see whomever I choose
I can eat my dinner in a fancy restaurant
But nothing
I said nothing can take away these blues...
Nothing compares
nothing compares 2 U..."

Then she realized that she could fly away and leave all this to yesterday because she has confidence:

"I have confidence in sunshine,
I have confidence in rain,
I have confidence that spring will come again
Besides what you see I have confidence in meeeeee......."

She smiled : "You're right nothing compares 2 U EXCEPT maybe my dreams..."
She dreamt of voyaging in the South Seas and visiting Bora-Bora to study Tahitian music, dance and story-telling under the tutelage of the great Falsetto or maybe becoming an au pair in Paris helping little rich french kids read and learn basic English grammar. She got up from her bed, did a back flip and a high kick:

"Oh girls just want to have fun...
I want to be the one to walk in the sun
Oh girls they want to have fun
Oh girls just want to have
that's all they really want
Some fun
when the working day is done
girls-they want to have fun
oh girls just want to have fun
they want to have fun
I want to have fun"

She got up and left: "I'll seek my fortune in China!".

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 2:27 PM | Comments (5)

June 18, 2004

Guess Who?

Which Musical are these lyrcs from?
Who sang it?

When I think of home,
I think of a place, where there's love overflowing
I wish I was home,
I wish I was back there, with the things I've been knowing

Wind that makes the tall trees bend into leaning
Suddenly the snowflakes that fall have a meaning
Sprinkling the scene, makes it all clean

Maybe there's a chance for me to go back there
Now that I, have some direction
It would sure be nice to be back home
Where there's love and affection...

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 12:53 PM | Comments (7)

May 25, 2004

"Edelveiss"

"Isn't this the best part of [waking] up, finding someone else...who wants to be with you." ~Liz Phair

She is down to earth. People are green of envy over her not so callow but burgeoning demeanour. Her youthful heart dances tenderly like her swaying arms. You might be wondering who this is...well she is no other than Edele WVeiss, a close friend of mine.

Edele WVeiss coincidentally shares a name with the song "Edelweiss". It is as if the song was written especially for her, almost like her own biography.

In the song "every morning [Edelweiss] greet[s] me." She is very staunched at this almost like a stalker (but not really). As soon as I opened my eyes, there she was, in the corner of my room, behind an orange parasol.

She stood there, with her "small" stature, ashen "white" (from lack of sunlight I guess) but "clean and bright". Her love glowed with warmth. She "looked happy to meet me."

I feel very lucky. Like a pin "lost among snow", I feel small like dust in this huge world. Yet I "bloom and grow" with her 'eternal' blessing. A patriotic love and allegiance that will last "forever".

Edele WVeiss, Edelweiss, Edel'v'eiss, my dear, my verdant bamboo plants.

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 4:48 PM | Comments (2)

May 20, 2004

First week in "CCP"

Today is my last day...

Last day of the week, and I survived. This week was the first week of Summer Session I in the Community College of Philadelphia. I'm taking French I, it's comme ci comme ca, I'm definitely learning but I don't know if it's enough for Intro to French II (Not intermediate French II). C'est La vie, A tout a lhuere, oh well. I think it's possible to learn four high school years of French in a semester but I would have to multiple my effort by 100 times. Which I don't feel like doing maybe by 25 times. Maybe.
In my Drawing I, I drew lines. Tons of lines for atleast an hour. I'm learning new things about perspectives and measurements (Wow four years of High school Math does pay off); Standing for atleast two hours "ain't" so bad either. Taking this studio class is making me "think": "Do I want to spend a whole "normal" semester for a twice a week, three hour class or 7 weeks for four times a week three hour classes during the summer."
Whehf!

This is me practicing my French Letter "E" or "U", I'm confused, well here it goes...

:^
eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee:0

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 5:12 PM | Comments (3)

May 15, 2004

Seeking

"What would this day be like...I wonder...what will my future be...I wonder..."

"It could all be so exciting to be out in the world to be free...I've always longed for adventure...To do the things I've never dared, and here I'm facing adventure, then why am I so scared...I must dream of the things I am seeking...I am seeking the courage I lack..."
This summer, I'm going to think really hard whether to pursue Education. I'm reallly grateful for all the advices I received and I'll take them to heart.
To start off my journey of "discovery" I borrowed 7 children's book just to see what they were like (not like I haven't been exposed to them), and I'm going to continue reading them. This summer might be a record for me, this summer might be the year I've read the most books I have ever read.

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 4:01 PM | Comments (5)

May 13, 2004

Carroll Chorus Line

A friend of mine suggested that I should do a review on the Chorus concert we attended in our old high school, so here it goes.
It was definitely not up to par with the "Westmoreland's Night of the Stars"...

BUT it was so nostalgic listening to "Blue Moon". Their rendition of the WestSide Story Medley was awesome, and "Smile" was cool "you'll get by!" The "Jerome Kern" medley was so poignant that "smoke gets in your eyes." It was nice for a high school performance.
In conclusion College is better than high school, BUT the awesome thing that made high school awesome is the awesome friends that made high school worthwhile and awesome!

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 3:47 PM | Comments (1)

May 12, 2004

Getting "Older"

Yesterday I took a diffrent route and almost got lost (Great thing I had plenty of fuel for the Green Corolla), but I finally made it to the movie theater. I watched Jennifer's Garner's awesome movie 13 Going On 30.

The plot was simple, and critics paralled it to Tom Hank's movie Big. It was still an enoyable movie. Now the critics are hailing Jennifer Garner as the next Julia Roberts. I think that's horrible not that I have something against Julia Roberts, it's just that I think Jennifer Garner has something unique that separates her from "Julia Roberts". Jennifer Garner doesn't need that label, she could stand on her own. Anyway let me tell you why I liked and disliked the ending. (Warning: For those who have not seen the movie yet, do not read the following, unless at your own risk!) I will start with why I disliked the ending:

I think it could have been more original. Instead of actually going back "in time" being a thirteen years old and "rewriting" history, Jenna (Jennifer Garner's character) could have learned a lesson as a thirty years old and lived with the decisions she made in life. The movie could still have an optimistic ending and her character could have evolved as a stronger person. In the movie when Jenna was 30, she could not remember 18 years of her life. She only discovered the person she became through her interaction with other people. It was noticable how she became a bio*ch. She did not keep in touch with her parents, she was sleeping around with a married man while dating a New York Rangers hockey player, she ditched her one true friend, she befriend the girl who made fun of her, and she sabotaged the company she worked for. Rather than being thirteen again, it would be better if she was facing some sort of mid-life crisis where she's examining her own life. All through the movie, her "ex-bestfriend" emphasized how they went on separate roads, they took different paths and her mother even said that she wouldn't change anything in time or go back if she had a chance. Her mother said that if she didn't make the mistakes she did, she wouldn't be the person she was now. The mistakes her mother made enabled her to "set things rights" and still live happily ever after. The movie would be more profound if the theme centered around living in the present, facing the mistake with fortitude and courage and living with grace and hope that "the sun will come out tomorrow." It's like a Turkish proverb, I've read: (Paraphrase) No matter how far along in the "wrong" road one has travelled, it's never too late to turn around and begin a journey in the "right" road (Of course not in the sense of going back in time).

On a brighter note (Blue birds singing): I did enjoy the happily ever after ending with Jenna marrying Matty, eating their favorite candies and moving in their 'pink' house. When the movie reverted back to Jenna's 13th birthday party where she was in the closet, the whole thing (Her life as a 30 years old) could have been a dream or a vision or an epiphany of what life would be like if she treated her friend Matty the way the "mean girls" treated him. The whole movie could have been an allegory which showcased the wisdom "garnered" through age. Sometimes young people could be very precocious. In the closet, Jenna realized that being popular did not live up to all the hype (For example: the Prom King she dated turned out to be a cab driver). It is possible that at the age of thirteen, Jenna realized the more important things in life: her family, her friends, and the "christianly" principles she lives up to.

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 1:49 PM | Comments (4)

May 10, 2004

Mother's Day Adventure

After a gruesome couple of hours waiting, my parents finally arrived at the Hill...

It was quite an adventure for my parents trying to pick me up. Around two in the afternoon, my cellphone rang, "ring, ring" and I picked it up: "Hello!" It was the voice of my mother, I was relieved to hear from them because they said they were going to call around noon. "We're going to be late, we got lost." "Where are you?" I asked. "We're heading toward Pittsburg, we missed the exit." I told them to hurry up and "just turn around and go on Route 30." After an hour had passed by, they called me: "We're in Route 30 now." I told them that they should be in the Hill within fifteen minutes, if they weren't they should go to the nearest gas station and just ask. Half an hour later they were still not in the hill so I called them. My father was bit irritated, they said they were in McDonalds near Walmart. I told them that they were only fifteen minutes away and they were really close. I waited patiently. I looked around my room. The bed sheets were stripped away, and the floor was cluttered with luggages and plastic bags full of books and other accoutrements. The cd player was humming the sound of "music" which reminded me great memories that happened this year. I heard a knock: "Knock, knock!" I opened it, and I was greeted by the smile of my father and mother. They were here finally. "Happy Mother's Day!" I told my mom.
Miraculously all my stuff fitted in the car, definitely next time I wasn't going to bring that much stuff. The highlight of my mother's day adventure was when my father lost track of the speed of the corolla and exceeded the highway limit and got pulled over by the state trooper. If anybody have ever seen the movie/ parody of State Troopers, maybe you'll understand my point. When the state trooper came by, that movie was in my mind. The State trooper blazoned his name and asked for my dad's license and car identification. He had to yell over the traffic gushing in like a loud waterfalling like Niagara falls. It took a while before the State Trooper finally returned with my dad's stuff, he had to wait for his buddy, it must be part of protocol. Finally after we left, I looked at the sideview mirror and saw the state trooper just chilling there talking amongst each other, waiting for the next car to speed passed them.

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 2:27 PM | Comments (3)

May 8, 2004

Graduation

The "Show" must go on...

Today, my friend graduated. As I sat there listening to Stan Sheetz and all the other speakers I started thinking about my graduation. I am actually in no rush to graduate. I definitely want to learn as much as I can in my fours years here at SHU.
What I got from Stan's commencement speech was the importance of pursuing one's passion. I was excited. What is this word "passion"? To reitierate the link provided, Passion is from "[Middle English, from Old French, from Medieval Latin passi, passin-, sufferings of Jesus or a martyr, from Late Latin, physical suffering, martyrdom, sinful desire, from Latin, an undergoing, from passus, past participle of pat, to suffer. See p(i)- in Indo-European Roots.]" Passion is:Physical suffering, desire, an undergoing.
Physical suffering, I'm guessing that this type of suffering is not only limited to the corporeality of human nature. What about migraines and headaches? One suffers when one thinks and worries too much. Or sleep depravity, staying up late until 6 in the morning doing research paper (adding finishing touches). Right now the only physical thing I could think of is "starving" because one could not find a job.
Desire is "a wish your heart makes." Whether it is a desire to plan your life for the next four years or to finish a term paper and start a new one. A desire to go on and pursue your dream.
An undergoing. Here's the cliches "Life is a journey." "Life is an adventure." "It is the journey not the destination..." Nonetheless it is the progress one undergoes whether physical, emotional, mental or spiritual or all the others changes.
So, passion is a journey of struggles to fulfill one's desire. I asked myself: "What is my passion?" "Am I ready for this journey?

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 3:11 PM | Comments (6)

May 6, 2004

and then there was one...

Today, we had to clear the residence hall by 10 pm, not me, I'm staying until Sunday.

So today, I guess it's the last day for everyone. It started in the afternoon, then as the hours dwindle down to evening my friends were all pack and they went home one by one. I said good bye to almost everyone I saw and wished them a very awesome summer and until next time! Overall it was a good first year...:)

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 11:43 PM | Comments (4)

Night of the Stars!

Westmoreland and all that jazz! Woow! :)

Today (May 5)I went to the Palace with my friend to watch the eigth annual Westmoreland "Night of the Stars". It was spectacular. The sad thing was that it wasn't advertise alot on our campus. Ironically Seton Hill University is a sponsor, and that's what I didn't understand. If we were sponsor why did it not get advertise here a lot?
I went in the Palace not really expecting anything. The performers were only high school students. Boy was I stunned. The first act consisted songs and dance scenes from the Music Man,, The King and I and Joseph just to name a few. Overall it was a great experience, because it exposed me to several musicals I've only heard of by name such Barnum, Kiss me Kate and Carnival. The Music Man and Kiss Me Kate had a great overall show with costumes, songs, voices and dance routines. But my favorite was the Greensburg Central CAtholic High School's perofrmance of Children of Eden. I liked it the most because it was more contemporary and it sounded different from the other musicals presented tonight. It also explored more genres of music like gospel , pop, etc.
The night ended with a song from Les Miserable s by the whole cast and a recording of Seasons of Love. It was awesome, I'm definitely going next year, and I hope more SHU students would attend, they are missing out!

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 12:29 AM | Comments (0)

May 4, 2004

Applesauce!

I was at the Grotto, hidden behind nature's veil of foilage, contemplating, thinking, and eating an apple...

Then this lady in pink, a silver-haired sage, wearing a pastel pistachio tennis visor and sunglasses, came up to me.
Lady:(gritting her teeth)
"Why are you eating an apple? Don't you know this is a shrine?"
Lady: (rambling) "There's this guy who was smoking here while talking to a girl ...in the grotto...he was a freshman."
Lady:"They should revere and respect the Holy Mother!"
I told her that I wasn't disrespecting the shrine, I was just contemplating and eating an apple facilitated this profound'cognitive process' I was undertaking.
Lady: "I'm sorry, I didn't know if you know about the Mother...are you a Christian?"
I:"Yes, I'm Catholic!"
Lady: "Where you from?"
I:"I'm from the Philippines."
Lady: "Ohh, we've had missionaries there...I'm a Sister, I did try to volunteer to go to Korea...but I guess I'm too old.
Lady: "So what are you studying?"
I: "Creative writing"
LadyOh, creative writing, I thought English Composition in high school and college...I published a novel."
I"Is it in the library, what is about?"
Lady"Oh... life, I'm a missionary, it's a novel, a small one...what classes have you taken?"
I"I haven't taken much, I'm also in the Education program."
Lady"I wrote a novel and my life changed after that, my pathe went a different way...everybody's trying to get to this field, it's hard."
I"I'm interested in Children's literature, for the littlest kid."
Lady"Oh, that's great, just stick with your writing."
Lady:"Do you know those words: Revere and Respect? I know them because I'm a teacher."
I: (a bit appalled) "Yes I know those words, I've attended a Catholic institution since third grade and am currently attending a Catholic University."
Lady"I'm not trying to accuse you, I know it sounds as if I'm scolding you, but they, (the kids) grew up with parents who reveres and respect the shrine, they should pick it up.
I: (answering) "There's a BIG If there!"
I: "What if they didn't grow up with such parents?"
Lady: (rising voice) "There's no if, it's either or, it's up to them to have sense! They are either trained or not!
I: "Well, I don't know, I can't read their minds, I don't know their motives."
Lady"APPLESAUCE! See that's the problem with AMERICA, they're always trying to make excuses, this little girl is tearing up the living room...it's okay she's just a child...ohhh isn't that cute (sarcastically said), one has to be a WOMAN (Pause) of Principle.
I: (stunned) "Well, I'm just going to throw this apple, I'm done."
Lady: "I hope I haven't frightened you."
Lady:"America thinks it's better and smarter than everybody else, they have power and the money...they are making enemies."
I: (Evading) "If I see anybody smoking here, I'll tell them not to."
Lady:"Don't let America..."
I: (nodding and understanding) "Thanks!"
Lady: "Hold on to your principles!"
I walked away and climbed the concrete steps up...


Please comment on my attempt to write a play in dialogues.

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 11:51 AM | Comments (16)

May 3, 2004

Pikachu!

So yesterday I was going about my 'hum-drum' life, trying to finish another research paper, but this one was actually fun, it involved watching a movie, the Matrix, then next thing I know, it was time for Alias...

Ah Alias, what a "bomb-diggity" show. When my friends and I actually got to brownlee, I had to stop to another friend of mine's room to borrow her notes but she wasn't there. So we went to their room, and electric currents, what a shock!
Molded wax on palatable pastry with tears of joy flickering and dancing,
Muted trumpets in squeaky voices sang a paean in thy honor
Memories of sweetened honey, chiseled in thee heart: a remembrance...

Pikachoooooo, Pika! :) (V~)

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 2:02 PM | Comments (0)

May 1, 2004

A day...

Yesterday was the Battle of the Buildings, sadly I did not partake on this eventful activity. However I did spend some time in the oxygen bar (fruitless) and inhaled its "fruity" scent, which reminded me a lot of a car freshener. My friends and I were going to participate in the laser tag, but unfortunately it started drizzling, and it was cancelled. In spite of these setbacks it was a day...

It was a day full of the Arts. We watched and listened to SHU Soundoff winner Ashley M. sing her song, the Bodyguard song, At last, and Amazing Grace. Her voice was smooth and strong. She didn't even need accompaniments. AWESOME! After this, we went to Reeves and watched Theater Department Variety show, once again AWESOME! 'Sarah Canter' sang Aida's "I Know the Truth", Erin sang Bette Midler's "The Rose". There were more talents, but these were my personal favorites. During the intermission, we went to Sullivan and listened to a live band called "Two Tall Guy" (I think that's their name). One of my fears about live band is that they're just going to be loud and no substance at all, but this one, even though they were loud (because of the speakers), they performed a great rendition of the Queens and some of their originals had great potential. The Night of the Arts ended with the Wild Video Dance.
So what?! Well not a lot of people showed up, and from the looks of it, it seemed that the Activities Department spend mucho dineros/ bucks for all of these. But for who? Im very grateful for all these don't get me wrong. And I'm sure the people who participated were also thankful. What's irksome is that SHU students complain that there's nothing to do. There's many things to do, it's just that SHU students do not want to do them. My friend and I were talking about inviting the Clarks to Seton Hill again. From what I've heard there was a great turnout. Our proposal is: Instead of spending all that money (for laser tags, Wild video dance, oxygen bar, and a live band that we don't know (although they were very goodd)) why not invite the Clarks. We were also thinking why the the Campus Activities Board did not work with the Theater Department, they could have easily put the live band with the Variety Show, and the turnout would have been great! Just a suggestion or two.

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 10:37 AM | Comments (7)

April 29, 2004

Why

I'm just sad that all I hear about is sports. There's nothing wrong with participating in sports, BUT when it becomes a WAY of living or its own philsophy then it becomes rigid, narrow-minded, insular and pointless: If everything is sports then sports is nothing.

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 2:42 AM | Comments (6)

April 22, 2004

Blue sky shining at me, nothing...

Should I go on with my education...

I'm not really sure if the education program is for me or not. My pro and con arguments follow:

Pro- Education
*Exposure to other theories/subject tantamounting to being "well-rounded" (Educational perspective mostly)
*Good background for Children's Literature
*JOb opportunities (always looking for qualified teachers)

COn- Education
*"Tediousness" in lesson plans
*Restriction of other interesting courses to take
*Swamped and tight schedule for the next four years (Intimidation)
*Uncertainty of future career

I've talked with several people (teachers, advisors, friends, career counselor, parents). Most said, I should think about it over time, some hoped that education would work for me (because they see that I could be a good teacher), the career counselor brought up the point of 'interest'. I need more inputs. What do you think? Please share your own experiences and wisdom (Teachers, students in and or was in the education program, all who experience a dichotomy of interest in future careers are especially encouraged to share their views) Thanks!

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 4:54 PM | Comments (18)

April 18, 2004

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

What a Show!Pelvic Thrust!

Today I saw the classic midnight showing of The rocky horror picture show. It was 'extra' hilarious because of the live cast. Wow all I could say, they definitely have guts. On the superficial side, one may watch this musical with question marks, what in the beep are they doing or what's the point? Oh there's a point all right, you'll see it at the end. On the broader and profound side the musical showcased the "alienation" of those who do not fit the 'social mores' of a 'patriarchal society". Well that's just a thought or two...oh ooo...brain...stop...thinikingiy...

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 2:09 AM | Comments (2)

April 17, 2004

Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead

Two weeks ago I started reading The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand, it was recommended by a friend. He said that it had...

He said that it had a lot of philosophical stuff in it so I started reading it. I'm only in Chapter 7 right now, I'm a slow reader, and so far I've noticed two opposing ideas in the story:the practical versus the 'ideal'/business versus Art. I find it interesting to read about the characters engendering these 'values'. Well I'm going to continue reading this and I'll comment some more about my progress and the development of the characters. Share some comments if you have some thanks!

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 4:32 PM | Comments (0)

April 5, 2004

Color

Is the continuation of Racism due to white people trying to suppress blacks and minorities or is it due to blacks and minorities' usage of color as an excuse for all the things gone wrong in their life or both? If not, what?

What do you think?

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 12:50 AM | Comments (2)

March 16, 2004

What is Art?

"If Art is everything then Art is nothing..."

From the perspective of Arthur Danto:

Longinus, how could you say that a box, such as the one I told you about could not be considered an artwork in the first place? I did not expect you of all people, the forefather of “Sublimity” to be so narrow-minded?
Whatever happened to going beyond the ‘boundary of the corporeality’? In order for one ‘to see something as art, one requires something the eyes cannot scrutinize’. What if there was a world specifically for Art: an Artworld? This world is not as far away as one might think. Rather, this world is in the same planet and universe as ours. One could say that this world is almost a subset of one’s world, but it exists solely on its own with its set of standards. It is possible after all; you personally witnessed me materialized in thin air right before your own eyes.
You must be careful not to mistaken the “daily world” per se from the Artworld. One most likely will mistaken the daily world for the Artworld, thus one renders each inseparable from the other. As a result, one assumes that everything in the daily world is also in the Artworld. This clearly contradicts the whole point of the Artworld. A fellow contemporary of mine, Mr. Monroe Beardsley, has debated the quagmire we are in. He often emphasized that if Art meant everything then it was nothing. Thus the Artworld is different from the daily world.
The Artworld has an individualistic sense of artistry in theory, identity and history. Two of the main theories that are important to consider in the Artworld’s individualistic sense are the Imitation Theory and the Reality Theory. If one were to say that Art is nothing but a mirror image of nature, then one would deprive Art of its very existence. Therefore, one would be asserting that Art is incapable of standing on its own; it is thus cheapened into an empty illusion. If this were so, would you consider a reflection of an image from a mirror, Art? First of all, a new entity is not created, and secondly, this reflection deceives us. It would not uplift us into the Sublime.
These answers from the previous inquiry lead me to the second theory, the Reality Theory. According to this theory, Art is not supposed to deceive people; it is not an imitation. It may have similarities to the object of its origin/inspiration, but it is still not an illusion. It may not be a real copy; nonetheless it is still a new entity in itself.
I remember you once wrote that Art was often reduced into technicalities of the “Rules”. I know that you are also a strong proponent of ‘unrestricted Art’ in a sense that you believe that Art has no limitation. However, rules are necessary, not to inhibit Art in any way, but rather to distinguish an Artwork from an object of the daily world. One can achieve this goal by discovering the intentions of the person who created the object: his or her motive (Why or Why not?). Usually, the creator intends to do/create something per se to fulfill a certain criteria (only serving that which the creator is trying to achieve). You may ask: “Would anything be considered Art, if the creator intended for it to be so?” Of course, through the revelation of the intended actions of the creator, the Artwork becomes real in the realm of the Artworld. In doing so, one creates the Artworld in which the Artwork is not just identified to specific parts, but also identified as a whole (having the ability to stand on its own). Who ever said that Art should be limited to the rules of the daily world? Art should have to follow its own rules: its standards.
A sage once said to me that practice makes perfect. Your own theory correlates to this, you have reasoned that one’s innate inclinations were not enough to achieve the sublime; that time and time again one needs to practice the skills one acquired to go beyond: into the Sublime. In honing these skill one must be able to ‘open one’s eyes’ to different theories of Art. By doing so, one enriches oneself with new theories not seen before, enabling one to see the Artworld: its theories, identity and history.

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 1:23 PM | Comments (2)

March 10, 2004

Christ's Passion for Us

I saw the movie The Passion...wow...what do you think of the ending?

The Bible Study today, went to see the movie passion (everybody was invited it was not just the Bible Study club). I heard so much about this movie and its concommitant controversies. Naturally I would react in two possible ways: I would get excited and hyped that I would be jumping for joy to watch this or I would totally do the opposite, go against the popular tide, miss the band wagon and watch it on my own and not talk about it.
Well I watched it and it was great. It was not totally anti-semitic (like what the media said). The movie showed that there were some people in the higher echelon of 'high priesthood' that were against 'Caiphus' (not sure of name but supposedly the leader of the high priest), and they were thrown out of the 'deciding circle'. It was not only the Jews who were beating Christ, the Roman soldiers also took part in it. The movie also showed other Jews helping Christ, for example: the women (I don't know if Joseph of 'Aramethia' would be consider, but nonetheless he helped) Sometimes people forget that the historical context of Jesus life took place in the vicinity of the middle east where it was fraught with people of Jewish descent.
I like how the movie portrayed the humanity of Jesus through the use of retrospect and flashback emphasizing the very human nature of thinking, looking back and reflecting on one's own past. It just showed how Jesus comprehended who he was/is/will be and what he was/is/will be doing for us: loving us.
"What do you think about the end-ing?"

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 11:23 PM | Comments (3)

February 29, 2004

More Haiku

Great friends are haikus
Few in number, profound, brief,
Lasting, Vice-versa...

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 11:06 PM | Comments (7)

February 10, 2004

Conversation with Plato

So one night I got bored and I called Plato. We kind of talked and chilled for a while in starbucks drinking our caramel frapaccinoes (but he insisted on coconut tai creme frapaccino with a shot of mint), here's what he told me...

Ladies and gentlemen, first of all I am not against attending plays, musicals and dances. However the type of plays, musicals and dances that I would like to watch are the ones that are useful to us, including the State and all of mankind. Art should inspire us to play our roles in society, so these should be as close to reality as possible. If the Arts were to not serve us, or to have any purpose at all, then there is no point; what a waste of life!
I will tell you this, impractical Art does one thing indeed, it corrupts us all. What do I mean by this? Firstly, Art distracts one from his or her job. We all know our place in society. For example, the baker cooks, the soldier protects the State, and the king rules. We have a system of balance that enables us to function as a strong society/State. What if the king started cooking, and the baker started protecting, and the soldier started ruling? It would take a while before the king figures out which utensils are which. Would the baker defend our State with a fork and a spatula? How would a soldier manage a peaceful State, if he were conditioned to think of war?
Secondly, the Arts appeal to our irrationality. We may have different places and roles in society, but we share a commonality of being rational human beings. The Arts affect our emotions in two ways to make us irrational. Firstly, we can become excessively passionate. We become irrational that our emotions take control of us. How could a baker start cooking, if he were too busy crying or too frustrated that he ends up throwing his cooking utensils all over the kitchen? Secondly, we could have a defect in our emotions and could become cold and depressed. We no longer act like human beings, but instead, we are like lifeless metal boxes: prostrate and inanimate. If I were a depressed soldier, would I enthusiastically defend our State? Most likely not, this is similar to what a sage once said to me: “Emotions are not bad per se, but when it controls a person [then it becomes problematic].” The Arts sweeps us up off our feet and drags us away from reality towards fantasyland, where we lose ourselves.
Not only does Art move us to either end of irrationality, but also we influence others with our irrationality. Under any circumstances, a person functions the way he or she would normally function, but his or her emotions, whether sorrow or joy, when reenacted in public, evoke pity or happiness from others. If a person were to release these emotions in order to have equanimity with his or her mind, body and soul, but he or she should do it in his or her private time.
Aristophanes, I am glad that you lift people’s spirits with humor. But why lift people’s spirits with deceptions and false hope? Yes, I said deceptions. A person may ask how. The artists merely imitate. They do not know the true existence of that which they create. They rely on the appearance of objects because they cannot fully comprehend its true form. The artists are twice removed from the truth because in reality there are three ways of perceiving the truth. The first and true way of understanding the truth is by being able to comprehend its ideal form/idea. We are able to understand this because it is part of our human nature. Secondly, while we are able to understand this form, we are not able to reproduce it in its totality. It is once removed from the truth and it can never be the form. Thirdly, if we were to imitate like artists, we would only understand a copy of the form, which is twice removed from the truth. For example: a carpenter knows a bed from a chair because of the form/idea of “bedness”. When he makes the bed, he expresses this form in a tangible manner. The artist on the other hand, if he were to express this form, he does so with illusions. Aristophanes and other artists (whether poets, playwrights or sculptors), who appeal to our emotions rather than the truth of our existence, deceive us. Would we not feel better if we were closer to the Truth of living a moral life, which, in return, can lead us to a happy life?

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 3:09 AM | Comments (1)

January 31, 2004

She knows the truth and it mocks her

"the unexamined life is not worth living" (socrates).
"concept of seeming versus being is portrayed
sometimes the most perplexing things in life turn out to be the most obvious since that's what people tend to take for granted. people don't always expect the expected, either. ironic"

Amneris, daughter of the Egyptian Pharaoh in Disney's broadway production of Tim Rice and Elton John's rock-opera Aida, realized the Truth as it brazenly mocked her. Upon realization of this Truth, Amneris dramatically changed from a 'shallow' superficial "brat" to a profound, humble young woman.

In the beginning of the story, Amneris described herself: "I am what I wear, and how I dress." She specifically

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 8:02 PM | Comments (6)

January 27, 2004

Haiku Lover

There's more to Haiku than three lines that follow the rhythmic pattern of "5,7,5".

From a little bit of extended reading I did, I found out that Haiku (I don't completely agree with all of the facts in this website yet) was originally an introductory verse to another type of poetry; I think it's called "Renga". I'm guessing that Haiku sets the mood for "Renga". This would make sense when a reader considers all the elements in Haiku. One might argue: "It's only three lines, how many elements could there possibly be?" From one of the books I've read (I forgot the title but it's about Haiku). The book stated that in a Haiku, there's a setting, an aspect of time, a provoking and inspiring idea and a mood and tone (There are more but these are all I remember). It's supposed to capture a moment and beauty in its 'simplest' form. It's like a sublime moment; "it's strong, lasting and uplifting" (Philosophy of Art)".

This is just a little Trivia on the history of Haiku. One thing I've learned in Philosophy of Art is that Art is not static, it evolves. My version of Haiku is a conglomeration of styles drawn from tradition and "modern interpretation." Feel free to post your own haiku in here!

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 1:40 PM | Comments (10)

January 24, 2004

Generalization

I realized that I had this 'disillusionment' that people who are considered artistic, intelligent, cultured, rebellious, different, etc etc, would be able to sympathize and empathize with those who are also considered "artistic, intelligent..." "Wow I was so "way" "super-dead wrong", the "stupidity"" of it just smack me right in the face.

My wise friend told me that an intelligent and artistic person is no different than a dumb and vulgar jock, of course I'm speaking in a hackneyed and stereotypical-pro forma way. They are the same in the "aspects" of their extreme views: one is just too "philosophical" and the other too "bestial and cannabalistic". This is so banal that it traces its origins back to Plato all the way to Nietzsche and continuing it to now, the present (this of course is from the triviality and the mini-teeny-weeny minuscule understanding of the author: I=Mike Diezmos). It's all about the Herd-mentality.

Did you ever notice flocks of birds flying together or schools of "fishes" swimming together? Naturally 'fishes" have this horizontal receptor parallel to their horizontal body; if the leader fish moves left or right, the sudden change in the water current would be sensed by the other 'fishes's receptors thus enabling them to "stay in their school" (Please excuse this trite and truncated explanation, the important thing is the idea/Form of this microcosm). Scientists concluded that this animalistic tactic is supposed to intimidate larger predators. This perfectly illustrates Plato's idea of Truth. In a "Layman's" terms aka Joe Six Pack terms there are three versions of viewing the Truth, the supposedly perfect and closest to Reality is called the Form or the Idea, the second one is an approximation of the Form (it could be a physical reproduction of something or etc.) the third one which is twice removed from the truth is an image/imitation of the second one, which is an approximation of the Truth (for example a picture of something). Well anyway to correlate this to the story about the 'fishes', the Idea that "the bigger the group is, the stronger it is" is inborn and innate in the nature of "fish-mentally". The fishes take this Idea "instinctively" and they form in groups called "a school". They follow this type of framework and group together. By doing this they are imitating the Idea (Bigger is stronger). The predator sees this image and imitation of a big fish and thinks "This fish is just as big as me, why should I mess with it?". Thus the predator is deceived by this image; the predator does not know the Truth.

What was the point of that 'narrative' you may ask? In general people liked to be in a group to feel secure and protected against harm whether it may be physical, emotional, etc. etc. So the "Artsy" type of people have a penchant to flock with other "Artsy" people and "jocks" have a predilection to huddle with other "jocks". It goes back to Plato's "State-mentality" which is further supported and seen in Socrates' argument and trial. In the times of Plato and probably earlier, the world was very barbaric, somehow, we humans have evolved pass that and now, we are not "as barbaric" as our ancestors. People in ancient Greek lived in cities entirely surrounded with walls. There was a hierarchy of people, it's almost similar to the "Great Chain of Being" (that's a whole new story) anyway, there was an order almost similar to a Caste System: the philosophers are the queens and kings and they served as the Head (who thinks for the people), the second set are the warriors and the fighters, they served as the Arms (who defends the people) and the third set are the artisans, craftsman and workers, they served as the Stomach and Feet (who are the people who sustains the community and keeps it moving) Each person has its place in society and once in a while a person from the "lower level" might move up to a higher ranking but that's a rare phenomenon back then. For the sake of simplicity, warriors shouldn't think, philosopher should just "measure the clouds" and common artisans should continue to act like a consuming sheep (Baa). Basically digressing from one's level is considered "taboo" and it places the "State" in danger. In the times of Plato, to think whether 'to fight or not' was not engendered in the mores of fighters. If they were to have thinking fighters, those fighters would die trying to negotiate a peace treaty. This should suffice the frivolous and rinky-dink philosophy of the "jock-mentality". Where does the "Artsy" people fit in? Well, they are the "Social" outcast/rejects/rebels, they think out of the box, they help us view things differently, they show us new "perspectives". In the context of Plato's time, this was revolutionary. For this reason Plato denounced all "Artsy" people except those who promote the "State". The reason why, is because it weakens the military; and if the State has a weak military reputation then other barbarians would try to conquer and oppress this State city. They left the "thinking" and the managing of people for the Philosophers. It seems like this battle between the "brains" and the "brawns" has been with us ever since "whenever, whatever".

Where am I getting at?Each group, class, herd, clique whether "Artsy" or "jock" most of the times lives "in a system (Watch The Movie the Matrix) where it has its own set of standards to live by. "This Ideology demands conformity, uniformity and discipline" (From a wise friend's report)." If that specific group is to conform properly to the given standards of their Matrix, then they earn the right to be identified with that group (Artsy or jock). There is a universal and objective Truth and there is the truth that is subjective. The standards and truths of each group is subjective to its own identity therefore any truths outside this matrix is considered false. It maybe specifically true for one group but false for another. The people in each group may be living lies but it's okay, they are safe inside their own "magic circle". So it is only natural to protect this "identity" (Herd-mentality) and if something threatens this; it is only perfunctory to destroy whatever is harming it. In the Artsy world if something is not artistic enough per se then it's not novel and daring therefore it sucks. In the 'jock' world if one could not throw a ball or run fast or do a front-lay-out flip-then-a-half-twist-semi-tummy-tuck-superman-death-drop-backflip-followed by three consecutive somersault landing in a split then what's the point of doing a sport, one might as well do golf. Since the standards are not met, these two worlds automatically go on "defense mode" and shun the individual for his or her effort in understanding the universal Truth and in uncovering Reality. The "Artsy" and the "jocks" perceived their system/matrix/environment as the only reality and "anything outside of this system becomes false" (wise friend). Hence both Artsy and jocks are blinded with their own arrogance and limited perspective of the 'real' Reality, because they are so immured in the the 'confines' of their Art or Sport.

Fortunately and serendipitously, there are people who are in the middle of the emotional spectrum, who are in the middle of both extreme views, who are hybrids and amalgams called Artsy-jocks, who are not disillusioned, who can distinguish between the concepts of" seeming versus being" and those Human beings who are not easily manipulated into "the herd-mentality(following others)" of living either in the Arts or jock world. These people do not live"within the context of a lie for the sake of security"(being in a group), but instead, they lived in the Reality of Truth: in the land of Forms/Idea/Abstract , free from the corporeal restraints and superficial deceptions of appearances (from wise friend report and from my own understanding of what I'm learning in class).

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 2:06 PM | Comments (3)

January 23, 2004

Village Idiot

The village idiot went into a bar. "While Mona Lisas and mad hatters, sons of bankers, sons of lawyers, turn around and say good morning to the night. For unless they see the sky, but they can't and that is why, they know not if it's dark outside or light." said the Village Idiot who's the most irritating and conspicuous invisible person. "What?" he heard somebody asked him. He looked but the anonymous someone just stared at him without blinking. Should he be bothered by this or should he just sit in his proverbial corner and 'vegetate'?

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 10:41 AM | Comments (3)

January 21, 2004

Other "fishes" in the ocean

"In death, Life does not end but merely changes/transforms..."

I recently finished reading Daniel Wallace's novel Big Fish. What got me interested in this book was the commercial for the movie and that my friend already had the book. I think in the commercial I saw popcorns suspended in the air and mermaids swimming. The book is really short too. I could have finished it within a day but I had to do other things. It's one of those books you could read several times and still enjoy it and find something new everytime you read.
It's written like a fairytale/Homeric epic, and it's like one metaphor after another. What would great literature be without "Perspective"? Reading this story and understanding it is a matter of perspective. I can't emphasis enough the omnipresence of "perspective"in this book. It's really great. One of the things I like about the story 'Big Fish' is that it reinforces what my teacher said:"In death, Life does not end but merely changes/transforms..."
If anyone read Big Fish by Daniel Wallace before, tell me what you got out of it, and for those who have not read this story, I recommend it for everyone to read, thanks!

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 9:17 AM | Comments (5)