July 29, 2003

Called out sick

Called out sick today. Somehow, a cold germ found me yesterday, and pretty much incapacitated me into today. My head feels like its been inflated to 50psi, my nose won't stop running; the inside of my throat feels like sandpaper, and I ache all over.

Perhaps its payment for such a great weekend? It was fantastic...John's party went really well, and lasted well into Saturday morning. Saturday afternoon, a couple of us went up to New Hope, PA, for an evening of dinner and shopping. Lots of stories from both...easier to tell in person, or in here when I'm well. Lots of pictures too...

The makers of DayQuil should be cannonized. They really should...

Countdown until moveout is now 3 days. Friday should be relatively free of stress - its only moving one house down. I really can't wait until I get home Friday night...especially if I'm still sick.

So this has been really rambling and random, and I need a nap.

Later.

[Listening to: Jungleland - by Bruce Springsteen - Born To Run (09:33)]
Posted by Matthew at 07:08 PM | Comments (0)

July 25, 2003

Finally, a weekend!

Quck entry before I go...

AP teachers left today. Tear... they were definitely the group that I got most attached to. Even when they were drunk after their final dinner... it was defintely the "happiest place on earth" for a couple of hours here last night. They were our last major group, which really drills into me that summer is pretty much over.

This is also the first weekend in a month that we don't have a check in or an event on Sunday afternoon. To celebrate, I'll be at John Ogden's having an awesome time - finally an Ogden party thats off campus.

I'll be back on Saturday at some point...probably will write up some reflections for this summer.

What a long strange trip its been...and its all gone too quickly.


[Listening to: When I Grow Up - by Garbage - Version 2.0 (03:24)]

Posted by Matthew at 07:44 PM | Comments (1)

July 20, 2003

Not much new...

Theres not much going on here.

I refuse to acknowledge that summer is ending. I really can't conceive that theres only like 2 more weeks of living here left before training starts. This summer has just gone incredibly too quickly...it really seems just like yesterday that we all moved in, got settled, started enjoying this...sigh.

I've been reading a lot lately. I started working on The Stories of John Cheever and am about a quarter of the way through. I definitely got it because it was one of the ones Cronin kept reccomending in class, and kept photocopying from. A lot of other short story authors seem to know the book and acknowledge it as a favorite. Cheever is interesting; his stories paint these individual worlds that are great because they're difficult to break out of: each sentence feels lovingly crafted to build some to some larger whole. Its a good read too, because I tend to lose interest in books quickly, and since they're short stories, I can put it down and pick it up later on and not have missed anything.

That of course happened because of a review I read in the New York Times while at work this past week, a review for Absolutely American : Four Years at West Point. This one is incredible: Lipsky spends 4 years at West Point and follows the lives of individual cadets - an almost Military 'Real World'. This book illustrates a collegiate experience I have absolutely no connection to, but for some reason I found fascinating. Lipsky writes of a place where individual freedoms are restricted, something that would otherwise create strife and pain, but instead seem to create a stronger and more cohesive group of outstanding young men and women.

The West Point mystique piqued my curiosity, and I started
The Long Gray Line
, which is the story of the West Point class of 1966, before and during their entrance into the Vietnam conflict. Again, fascinating stuff, but not finished yet...

So yeah, been spending a lot of time reading. I'm behind my record number of books from last summer, but I'm still doing pretty well...

Thats pretty much it. Gotta work check-in tomorrow and cook for a potluck dinner tomorrow night.

[Listening to: Frank Sinatra - Cake - (03:58)]
Posted by Matthew at 12:40 AM | Comments (1)

July 13, 2003

Sunburned

My shoulders and upper back are the color of pale tomatos, the result of six hours in a pool without sunscreen. I'm freaking out a little because I read somewhere today, while looking for sunburn cures, that a bad sunburn doubles your chances for skin cancer. This helpful site also helpfully listed in a helpful manner that the best cure for sunburn is prevention.

Duh.

Other than that, I'm tired after a long weekend - Saturday in Cape May, and today with checkin for the Lasallian Leadership Institute. There was no SDR coverage for Miguel, so I wound up in the booth for 6 hours.

My bitterness at La Salle, I think, has faded for the moment. I need to have a couple of chats with some people before the summer is out, in a last stab at trying to make it better. I'm just unmotivated...I've been taught to confront the stuff in life that isn't the way I think it should be, but so much of this stuff seems insiginfigant. Oh well...summer is almost over anyhow.

Its back to work tomorrow. Same old same old.

[Listening to: Get Over It - OK Go - (03:16)]
Posted by Matthew at 11:34 PM | Comments (0)

July 10, 2003

La Salle

Update...
We were allowed to play past 10:00PM tonight - until 11:30 in fact. This is without the intervention of the administration that we worked on during the day today. It was incredible - finally another chance to get better, and I really was feeling it tonight.

Updates to follow, however, most of the bitterness is gone. However, this was all written prior to the games, so I'm finishing it and posting it anyhow. I'm feeling a lot better: hitting that ball around really does relieve stress and bitterness.

To expand on my last post...

I really love La Salle. Theres a sense of community here that I don't feel anywhere else. That community is self-imposed, but not by any entity, or any group, organization, clique, subset or club: its inherent, I believe in the traditions and heritage of the school. There are some things that always and forever be, no matter how much any entity may work against them. La Salle has an attitude: take this and live with it, or leave it. Only through taking it can you change it.

That being said, I have problems with a lot of administrative details about the school...


  • I don't understand why the good people are persecuted for the good that they do for the school. This takes the form of us being shoo'ed from the tennis courts, or from good people/groups who lose their jobs/status/power/responsibilty because their methods are uncouth. Don't ask me for specific examples: but if you've taken La Salle for what it is, you can think of an example. Or Two. Or Three.

  • I don't understand why I feel so powerless as an undergraduate student when I should feel I have the highest amount of potential to change the university. I don't want to change the mission or the faculty or fire anyone; I just want to be able to feel valued and respected and not just as another hassle to an administrator sitting at a computer.

  • I don't understand why admissions won't stop admitting students even though we're straining at capacity (I know, this is a cheap shot...) I also don't understand why we can't get accurate counts until Opening Weekend.

  • I don't understand why good people decide to uphold bad policies. I firmly believe that the people in power here feel some of what I believe in about this school, and are honestly and with their heart trying to make it a better place. But somewhere along the line communication gets bungled.

  • I don't understand why the administration feels the need to lie to students. Or, not exactly lying, but not giving sufficient reasons for decisions made. You know what? If you don't have a reason for me, take some time and invent one. Something plausible, perhaps, or not - give me a good fantasy. I can't move into my townhouse when I want to because theres an orgy going on and they don't want to clean up afterwards. I see. I can't rent out the Hayman Center because the cryogenic facility used to store Walt Disney is underneath center court? I understand. The Masque can't do "Burn This" because the Provost's first cousin is a pyrophobiac (fears fire)? Thats a damn good reason.
  • and finally...

  • I don't understand why good students don't try and make this place better in place of their complaining. Put your actions where your mouth is and help out.
    Please know that none of these things are directly influenced by anything specific to my life right now, they're merely broad generalizations about what I've seen and felt over the last four years.

    [Listening to: New York City Serenade - Bruce Springsteen - The Wild, The Innocent & The E Steet Shuffle (09:55)]
    This post brought to you by the First Amendment. Use it while its still the law of the land.
    Posted by Matthew at 12:35 AM | Comments (3)

July 08, 2003

Civil Disobdience

"I heartily accept the motto,—"That government is best which governs least"; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe—"That government is best which governs not at all"; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which the will have"
"Must the citizen ever for a moment, or in the least degree, resign his conscience to the legislator?"
"Unjust laws exist: shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once?"
"As for adopting the ways of the State has provided for remedying the evil, I know not of such ways. They take too much time, and a man's life will be gone. I have other affairs to attend to. I came into this world, not chiefly to make this a good place to live in, but to live in it, be it good or bad. A man has not everything to do, but something; and because he cannot do everything, it is not necessary that he should be petitioning the Governor or the Legislature any more than it is theirs to petition me; and if they should not hear my petition, what should I do then? "
-- Henry David Thoreau, "Civil Disobedience" link: http://www.vcu.edu/engweb/transcendentalism/authors/thoreau/civil/

So...

Despite the fact that we've been playing tennis at night (10pm-12am usually) for the past THREE WEEKS

Despite the fact that we've had "Adult" supervision (RD's) for some of these games

Despite the fact that the tennis courts are lit past 10pm (one's lights shut off at 11pm, the others' lights don't shut off at all)

DESPITE THE FACT THAT "SECURITY" HAS TAKEN NO NOTICE OF US UNTIL TONIGHT... In that its not like they would actually have someone ACTIVELY WATCHING THE DAMN COURTS

La Salle "Security" threw us off the courts tonight when we went down to play at 10pm.

This really irritates me, as I was just getting back into this tennis thing, and was starting to get good. The days have been too hot to play (as there are no trees providing much needed shade in 90+ degree weather) and there has been no time (working 9-5 takes a toll on ya)

So, yeah, if this doesn't get resolved tomorrow favorably (i.e. that we are able to play again at night) then I may engage in some civil disobedience and play against the will of the University. The next journal entry may be from a holding cell at the Philadelphia Police Department. As Thoreau wrote...

"Under a government which imprisons unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison."

Sigh...I'm angry, but moreso bored now without the tennis.

La Salle Security - go bother somebody else, or do your damn job. Is someone in the booth in the Hayman parking lot? I think not. Get off our backs, we're not the bad guys.

Posted by Matthew at 11:10 PM | Comments (1)

July 05, 2003

Some random thoughts...

There was a very strange blackout early this morning from 5:30-7:30AM. All of the power to St. Miguel was out. I was awake for some reason, still not sure why, and watched my computer try and come back on at 5:35, and 5:45, but apparently the power just kept blanking out then. Really strange, but moreso because I was awake. I wound up wandering out to the SDR to see if the power was out there (it was) but the power to the lights at the tennis courts was still on. For some reason, I sat outside my house waiting for the power to come on. It felt surreal: I could hear only the early morning birds chirping (obviously about getting the worm) and the wind blowing through the trees. There were no air conditioners, or people, or anything... I sat outside for what must have been an hour, just listening to it all. My mind would not fathom the idea of sleeping through the blackout. Finally, I did go back inside and fell asleep, and the power came on around 7:30 again. I slept until about noon.

We did a barbecue today, for the Fourth, as is mandated in the Constitution. Burgers, hot dogs, chicken...It went really well. It was amazingly hot by the grill - it was already probably between 80 and 90 and in direct sunlight in addition to the hot charcoal - and I felt like the grill was sucking the life out of me. I think I was just really dehydrated, but even after water and air conditioning, the day still felt really weird. The day got better, but I never got my energy back. I spent the evening cleaning house - mopping floors, cleaning room and bathroom, etc.. - and then Vetiz, Lauren, Baker, Fala, and Lindsay and I watched the fireworks and stuff on TV. An all right night...close to great, but not there exactly.

Speaking of, the Philadelphia fireworks from the art museum looked cool, but sounded horrible...the soundtrack was incredibly random and just bad. I don't know how to describe it - the pieces didn't transition into each other with any skill. It felt like there was a DJ somewhere who just played random songs that almost sounded good to the fireworks. How bad was it? The entire event ended in the Star Spangled Banner, however, the Godawful version they used was with Cher singing. Cher. For Christ sakes...

Dave and Busters is fantastic... Dave and I went last night for a couple of hours...well, we were actually forced to go. Its an amazing place - I need to go back soon, but when I have money. The place is just a black hole for money. Well, money and time. I'm also disappointed that you have to be 25 to bring in people underage, because it would have been nice to go with other people who are currently underage - I felt kinda guilty for going and having such a good time when others couldn't get in. Still a fantastic place though. Definitely want to go back this year as people turn 21.

So that's it...random moments from the weekend so far. Tomorrow, I'm off to Jersey with my father to visit my grandmother. I'm looking forward to it - haven't seen my father in a while, and my grandmother in even longer. I wish I could afford to go to Six Flags with the Masque tomorrow, but the money is pretty far gone right now...Anyhow, the park will be mobbed and insane anyway.

Weekends are so cool.

Posted by Matthew at 12:26 AM | Comments (1)

July 02, 2003

Hairspray, Phillies, Weekend, Etc.

Saturday -
Hairspray was fantastic in NYC. Harvey Fierstein was fantastic - funny, and really brought life to the character. The production itself was incredible. I had visions going in that it was going to be cheesy and annoying. The choreography was polished, the set design was well done, and the lighting was right in line with the gist of the rest of the production. I'm still trying to figure out how they did this one effect with the background: it was like a giant, LED sign, only huge - dots of light that seemed to be able to change color at will and form designs on itself.

The trip itself went well - Angie and I made it there just in time to get in as the doors opened...she enjoyed it all too - more than was expected on her part too. We grabbed dinner in the city a few blocks from the theater and made it back to Philly by 10pm.

Monday -
Got a call from Veitz about going to see the Phillies play. Went with him, Fala, Lauren's brother... It was the first game in a long time that I've been to that the home team won. Some pictures from the game are here - http://www.demizio.com/images/phillies63003/

Had a fantastic time...I need to make it back to the Vet this season :)

I'm tired. Just gotta get through tomorrow, and the weekend should rock.

Posted by Matthew at 11:04 PM | Comments (1)