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thewanderingjew

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School, school, I like school! [Oct. 20th, 2005|01:05 am]
thewanderingjew
My professor drew this on the board today, asking if people would still think of up-down heirarchies in the same way if they looked like this...




Hooray for a $40,000 education! What the fuck?
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A Retrospective: May 7th, 2005 [Sep. 24th, 2005|04:46 am]
thewanderingjew
I rarely write poems. I wrote this one on May 7th, 2005. Why not share it with my cunningly sardonic friend Ryan? Surely he will revel in dissecting this literary abomination.

Warmth radiating between
Us—you and me—caught
In this infinite gaze.
Time collapses and suspends,
I Forget what I want
Cannot be.

Deep and dark your
Brown eyes let on a
Secret your heart wishes not
To divulge, but the bulge
Of affection you feel surely
Is betraying you one last time.

I’m crumbling again,
Fumbling for that hope
That ropes my now
Tired soul back into your
Open windows as they
Gaze upon me.

Pain, it creeps into
Stunned hearts defeated
By love not shared.
Wishing I’d never dared
Make the leap into
Oblivion for you.

Falling faster and faster now
Trying to pull
The cord—my lifeline.
Inevitable as gravity,
There’s no turning back
On this one-way avenue.

Descending now and
I didn’t even know
I was falling.
Reckless, not like me
To journey so freely
Yet freeing to journey so.

Fearful now of great heights,
Running from reality
Still never too clever
For fear’s firm grip.
It finds all with x-ray
Vision and stunning efficiency.

The sun’s coming up again,
Throwing tendrils of light
Into the darkness and
Telling me it's worth it.
Loving is living.
Gladly, I endure.
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An announcement: [Sep. 23rd, 2005|06:41 pm]
thewanderingjew
Fuck the pope.
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Ship has landed. Call for backup. [Aug. 30th, 2005|07:59 pm]
thewanderingjew
I am in NYC. For all of you out of the know, that is "New York City." It is a small island home to roughly 8 million dirty, disgusting, wasetful human beings. Plus--now with bigger rats!

Moving in was cute. I arrived from the Lincoln Tunnel and tried to "raw dog" the ride to campus. Then I got lost in random boroughs for about forty-five minutes and got angry at my younger brother and his phone calls to my father because they didn't make me un-lost. I even had to ask for directions in Spanish! Cultural diversity is great.

My apartment is appropriately spoiling for a school that costs about 40,000 dollars a year. Here's to having a kitchen! But, I'm getting ahead of myself.

View my pictures of my apartment here, here, and here and be appropriately pissed off and jealous. Roommate's name is AJ. Shhh! He might be listening. He's a good guy, and he didn't make fun of me for having a Barbie doll.

While waiting a lengthy time for my father to find my dorm (since I gave him shitty directions), I met a few transfer students from the building across the street. One of them asked me if my eyes were real. There are women everywhere here. Maybe I should see how long I can continue my dry spell, since now the odds are so stacked in my favor that I can't lose.

For night festivities, I met up with my cousin Robbie from the hood of Scotch Plains, NJ. We went to an open mic show at the Bower Poetry Club so that he could hit on a German chick he met there--with priceless consequences! I love knowing that other people are as dealthly afraid of rejection and talking to women as I am.

Today I shopped for household items and food. I kicked it off with $160 of groceries, then made some curry chicken and rice for myself.

That's enough voluntary disclosure of inconsequential nuances from my trivial existence. Stay tuned next week for more--you know you have nothing better to do because you probably don't live in New York City...

Oh, and, one more thing. I won't actually update next week because I'll be too busy having too much fun--more that the surgeon general recommends...plus some more for good luck. I swear I'm not all alone here. I swear.
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And so it goes... [May. 13th, 2005|12:54 pm]
thewanderingjew
[mood |_nostalgic_]
[music |My Morning Jacket - Mahgeeta]

Today is my last day as a student at RPI. As soon as all of my grades come in, I will be officially withdrawn.

I got high behind the library last night with some friends. It was a pretty clear night. Just one last adventure on this barren campus. Goodbye, wretched enemy and loving friend; goodbye, RPI.

This year passed by in a frenzy of quickness. I went through a lot of adjusting this year and came to terms with not wanting to be the technologist I always thought I did. It is crazy to think I will be in New York City next year. I am at a point again where I have no idea where I'm headed, and it is a great thing. That's what I told myself gazing out the window at my last day of work study on Thursday.

I met some fantastic friends here at RPI. I'm very grateful for having them because this year would have been unbearable otherwise. If all goes as planned, I should have some fun visitors at NYU next year.

In perfect procrastinator style, I also managed to slip in kissing a woman at the last moment. However, if I endeavored to tell that whole tale then the LJ server would crash from data overflow (long story). She's a sweet girl.

Summer should be relaxing and satisfying. I am abandoning the pressures of serious work that I've brought upon myself by working at BAE Systems for the last 3 years. Instead, I shall work as a common man at Cycle Sports in Doylestown. Hooray for simplifying life. I also turned down molecular biology research at RPI. It is going to be nice to be home.

Next week, I am off to Outer Banks, North Carolina, with Brian and his family. Every time I come home, it is always such a reward to chill with Brian again. A week or so after NC is Bonnaroo in Tennessee for 3 exhilarating days. Other than that I will be working a lot and farting around Bucks Country. There is also a camping trip to Utah in the works, as well as a short excursion to Boston. Time passes so quickly.

One last thing... before I forget. I had the pleasure of being sued by the RIAA this year for using i2hub. They picked cool cats like me at random. It is like winning the lottery, really. The whole ordeal sets me back about four grand--just one more reminder of how great the legal system in the United States is. Surely, it is a just one and a free one devoid of coercive corporate lobbying.

I will see everyone soon. Nobody reads this besides Ryan. So, Ryan, I will see you soon, buddy.
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a tall glass of shut the fuck up... [Mar. 19th, 2005|02:37 pm]
thewanderingjew
[mood |_somber_]
[music |moe. - Y.O.Y.]

Despite my best efforts to ignore trivial and frustrating news stories, it seems the tale of a feeding tube in Florida is too important for America to avoid.

The problem here is that America is up to the same impassioned frenzy over bullshit agendas. We are talking about a tubular form of plastic that delivers medical slush to an invalid. This story conveniently draws the attention away from important matters such as the environment and America’s military machine.

But since we’re already talking about it…
A feeding tube is an intravenous line attached to a tube that is wrapped around an asymmetrical cog. At regular intervals, the cog turns and forces precious sustenance down the line and into the dying patient.

I like to take a pragmatic approach to these kinds of matters. Let’s look at the benefits of prolonging the magic of life via a feeding tube. I’d be hard-pressed to find one beyond fulfilling the interests of the family members to keep a loved one alive.

How about the negatives? Feeding tubes prolong an already difficult road to death. They enable a person, who is naturally dying, to continue to live. If every dying person were on a feeding tube, it would take a tremendous amount of energy to keep them alive and I sincerely doubt they would have much to gain from the endeavor.

It is no surprise that my position is to leave the family alone. Let them kill their wasted-away relative in peace, America. Don’t come around the hospice with “life” taped over your lips to torment an already grieving family. That is cruel and hateful and awfully familiar to me.

You see when my grandfather was dying of Alzheimer’s disease, he entered a care facility and had a feeding tube inserted. They tube was the only thing standing between his ultimate peaceful rest. Bed sores and complete incoherence filled his days. It was not really a situation worth living for. My grandmother wrestled with letting him go. It was an extremely difficult decision for her. She didn’t want to let the love of her life go. After much loving counsel from her four children, she finally agreed to have the tube pulled. It was a dignified act. It was right. In nature’s book, he was already gone.

At the funeral, all of the family turned out to honor Granddad. Clearly, Grandmom was suffering and needed a lot of support from her family. We all sat in the temple for a brief service followed by speeches to remember my grandfather. My mother spoke of his adoration for her. My father about the kind of character Granddad had. All of it was very appropriate. Then came Alan’s turn to speak.

Alan is an orthodox Jew. He joined one of those ultra conservative cult-like movements akin to the kind of religious fundamentalism that afflicts millions of Americans. The tragedy of this affliction is an inability to love those standing right before you when they need it most. Alan got up, cleared his throat, and proceeded to condemn the family for making a difficult decision. He said that the Torah commands that we preserve life at all costs. That is his interpretation. He said that we should be ashamed for disobeying this holy commandment.

I made the mistake of listening intently to his words. I care what people say, and when they take the time to speak to me, if I am not already engaged in something else, I listen. Nobody else listened to Alan. Well, except for my uncle who looked as if he wanted to strangle him. Uncle Gary booted Alan off the stage before Grandmom realized what was happening.

But something deep inside me ached when he spoke. It had nothing to do with religion. It was the penetrating sorrow of hate. I could feel the hate in this person too wrapped up in a ritual to love those bleeding at his feet. And, in Alan’s damning speech, I heard the voice of terrorists and murderers. I felt the sorrow rush back—the same sorrow I felt when I visited New York two months after the attack. His was an act of the fanatic. It was irrational. Who could sin so much to abandon the broken soul of an old lady who just let her life companion go? Is that not a greater evil than pulling some trivial man-made contraption from an already dead man?

Sitting there in the temple, I began to sob uncontrollably. It was subtle at first, but then built to an overwhelming intensity. It was the overwhelming defeat of looking hate directly in the face. As my family watched me walk out with the procession, they assumed I was crying for Granddad. Given my distant relationship with him, it probably seemed disproportionate yet touching. It took a full forty-five minutes to compose myself, but I’ve never forgotten the feeling.

So I really wish that people would just let these Floridians be. I haven’t taken the time to learn the victim’s name because I don’t think it is America’s business. America needs a reality check. Let the goddamn woman die. She’s already past due. Leave her family alone. And please, for the love of God, turn your attention to some more pressing matters for a change and open up a little.

Hate.Consumes.Absolutely.

The News Story…
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Dupiosity [Mar. 12th, 2005|11:36 pm]
thewanderingjew
[mood |_dumpar_]
[music |Silence]

Who would have thought you needed a “passport” to ride a "bus" into "Canada"? Who the fuck wants to harm Canada anyway? I hear they empty all incoming buses and do a full-cavity search on all women over 65 just to be thorough. Somehow I missed the “proper identification when traveling to a foreign land” memo. My erroneous ways reamed my plans to have an exciting beginning to spring break. The pieces of my broken dreams are now scattered about the dejected avenues of Albany and Troy, as I had the somber pleasure of riding a CDTA bus back to RPI from the Greyhound station.

I was going to write some kind of commentary about the nature of food waste, but I couldn’t seem to come up with anything remotely compelling. If you need proof of the complete absence of any writing ability that I may or may not have previously had, refer to anything in this entry.

For anyone who is curious: I will receive decisions from NYU and Columbia by the end of April.

Happy Father’s Day to all the big poppas!

One last thing… Recently, it occurred to me that all adults at RPI have no conception of modern slang. My biology instructor could not comprehend what “the ladies” were when I drew out the “a” sound. Similarly, he completely blanked out when I addressed him as “baby.” In another course, I responded to a professor’s question by saying “word,” but gave up after he ask me to repeat myself multiple times. I got a similar response from my work study professor when I told her that the RFLP gel I poured “was going to be sweet.” Now I just take pleasure in confusing my respectable academic instructors with these dubious artifacts of modern culture. At least it is entertaining.

That’s all for today, folks. Now I must retreat back into solitude for another two months.
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Yatta! [Dec. 30th, 2004|10:56 am]
thewanderingjew
[mood |_mellow_]
[music |R.E.M. - Feeling Gravity's Pull]

There is no line between need and want. Such a line may or may not have ever existed. Supposedly, “need” means only those things that fulfill our requirements to physical functioning. I, for one, do not live based on need. My needs have been unquestioningly fulfilled since I had an extravagantly warm blanket wrapped around me following my exit from the womb. Today, there are a host of enticing temptations to continue the leap beyond the line of need. We all just accept that we sit above that line by default. Yet there are many mechanisms in place to assure that Americans collectively surpass the lines of necessity to a continually unprecedented degree.

Take the entire retail market as an example of a facade made to serve the purpose of superfluous consumption of material goods. Somehow, it took me eighteen years to realize that the entire concept of “retail” and “discount” is a brilliant fabrication by America’s most keen entrepreneurs. Retail price is an incentive. We are so easily tricked by the lure of large, flashy decimal numbers that the deliberate reduction of these numbers to satisfy our self-indoctrinated shopper savvy is an apt justification to buy unneeded items. Consumerism in America is a drama acted out on the fine stages of store floors across the nation. Profit margin and intense cost management studies indicate to companies how to set the ridiculous retail prices so we can get a “deal” and feel okay raping the earth and wasting what we have. It is all such an insipid game of desire and guilt, justification and greed.

Despite the continued diminished state of natural environments, the ever menacing advance of pollution, and the continued alienation of people unable to participate in excessive consumer spending, we condone and embrace our consumer ideologies with zeal and dedication. How many times have we justified a purchase “just too good to pass up” for an item that was totally unnecessary? The idea is ludicrous. Every irrational purchase we make is another step to our demise as a global community. Our astounding rate of consumption is simply not maintainable, and we pay dearly for it.

Americans suffer by sacrificing national integrity to maintain an insatiable habit of acquisition of goods. While others starve and suffer abroad, sometimes laboring intensely to produce our futile exploits, we continue to ignore their plight. We are not a compassionate nation. Instead, we behave with belligerence and an air of entitled right to determine the course of history for the world. Other voices are not respected and heard and people are frustrated. Internally, we live in a judgmental community that pressures people into irrational spending in order to fit into ever changing trends. Each year, companies rigorously revise style while leaving function untouched. In order to keep with this calculated redefinition of the acceptable good, we waste items whose value often exceeds the annual income of a great deal of the world’s inhabitants.

A nation titled as a global leader ought to lead with compassion and responsibility. In the end, the remedy to our outrageous consumption lies with the individual, as does the remedy to every social ill. People need to think about the consequences of completely unjustified consumption of energy, resources, and life of those who labor to make our lives possible. America is fixated on money. Everything is too easily justified by saving money. People in other nations suffer while we throw billions of dollars into a fifth pair of sneakers or into weapons to destroy others. We drown out other views and tell the world we do not need their support to act militarily and lay destruction on regions of Earth. This issue is escalating, as evidence by the now front-and-center acts of terrorism against us. In an age where the effects of our actions stretch thousands of miles beyond our borders, we need to be able to involve those affected by such actions in our decision-making process. We need to be responsible and compassionate. The time to reevaluate our national behavior in an effort to create a healthy global community of participation and cooperation is now.
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On this day in history... [Dec. 6th, 2004|05:50 am]
thewanderingjew
[mood |_friggin_tired_]
[music |Various They Might Be Giants]

Whee!

Today marks a first in exciting expliots of powerful stimulant substances (calm down. I'm a nerd and consider coffee and tea powerful) applied to achieving the archtypal all-nighter so characteristic of procractination. I think I accomplicashed some good work. And I also managed to write an assload of sentences that were lacking in either subject or verb. It was quite a night. And day... since I was working on my final paper from 2:00pm yesterday to 5:30am this morning.

College. Fascinating.
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The Demon in the Freezer... [Dec. 3rd, 2004|06:57 pm]
thewanderingjew
[mood |_sigh_]
[music |Green Day - Platypus (I Hate You)]

FYI:
Troy - The city where RPI is. Troy is cold like a freezer.
RPI - Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute... a college (don't try to pronounce it)

In response to the following quote in RPI's school newspaper:
(this is a story about an armed robbery at a local pizza shop)
The student did not get a clear view of the
suspect as his back was facing the robber when
he entered and the robber was wearing a ski-
mask. However, he described the robber as a
black male that who is tall and skinny. Ac-
cording to a crime alert released by RPI Public
Safety, the suspect was described as being ap-
proximately six feet tall.


It is now officially safe to say that author Richard Preston missed the mark when he called level four biological agents “demons in the freezer.” Thanks to the Polytechnic, it is apparent that a “black male [sic] who is tall and skinny” and happens to be wearing a ski mask is the more appropriately titled demon in the freezer of Troy. It is safe to assume that there will be demons of this type abound in the cold winter months ahead, ensuring that we, as a student body, are given a healthy dose of anxiety looking out for them. I hope nobody told the true “robber” responsible for the recent armed robbery at Pizza Bella that it would be a good time to take his mask off. After all, without the mask and the characteristic black skin and slender build, how are we to identify him?

It isn’t just the newspaper at this fine institution that is responsible for perpetuating the damaging racial stereotypes we all hold so dear. These misguided creeds of warning proliferate throughout our extensive and often omnipotent mass media voices. They serve to perpetuate what has been called the “black pathology biz” that is exemplified in sensational television shows such as “Cops” on Fox. Perhaps it is in the public’s best interests to omit such an apparent lack of details surrounding a story rather than indulge our largely racist assumptions about the typical perpetrator of devious acts. If the goal is to remind students to be careful then there are far healthier means to this end that do not involve the continuation of harmful anxieties and a general distrust of black people. For many privileged, white, middle-class students like me, Troy is the first example of diverse culture experienced to date. Messages like these that instill anxiety only serve to create a population of students scurrying about campus in fear of crime. Perhaps it is time to practice a more socially responsible form of journalism that informs the student body without manipulating behavior through fear.
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