May 28, 2004

A good mix

Today was just a good day all around because I got a good mix of things done. Last night I finished unpacking the books that were downstairs and kind of reorganized the shelves in my room (I now have a section specifically for plays and drama books...I know: I'm a nerd.) I went for a run just after I got up, which got me awake and ready for some other stuff. Finished off another round of thank you notes to those people whose cards and gifts came this past week. I got my transcript request set for Villanova, and finally did the rebate for the cell phone. Tonight I went for a drive with my father, got Rita's Water Ice, and talked for a bit.

Now, this probably sounds like 5 minutes of work to most, but with what my work ethic has become in the last few weeks of summer, this was a major day of accomplishment. Aside from the running, which I've been doing pretty regularly, I've been a lazy boor these last couple of weeks. With no job, and nothing really to accomplish, my days have passed with friends, hanging out, "Law and Order" reruns, writing some stuff, "West Wing" reruns, jogging, biking, and hanging out with the parents. It's been pretty boring. Excruciatingly boring.

Still, it beats summer school, writing papers, or a job, I guess. Except for the influx of money, of course...I've decided to move into the place in Philly (confirmed, as of a few days ago) in mid-June, which should be at the point where I'll be at my most bored and ready to do the most drastic thing possible to affect the monotony, which is the move itself.

One thing I still need to do before I leave is plan and execute a graduation party here. I want it to be a pretty big event, and want to get as many people as I can down from the greater La Salle area. I'm looking at some weekend in June at this point - any suggestions?

I'm taking the train up to Philly tomorrow for the evening, for a Phillies game with James, my friend and former MATLC supervisor. The train gets into the city around 4pm, and I'll wander for a couple of hours. After the game, I'll crash at La Salle in the townhouses for a night, and head back on Saturday. And I'll be back home just in time for the monotony to hit all over again...

It'll get better, I keep promising myself.

2 links to enjoy: and have to have your speakers on to get the full effect.

[Listening to: "Alice", by Tom Waits from the album "Alice"]

Posted by Matthew at 01:13 AM | Comments (0)

May 25, 2004

Crazy party weekend

Dave, Graham, Jezebel and Chris at Ali's this past weekend...(click for full-size)

Saturday was spent in Gaithersburg and (I think?) Silver Spring for Ali's graduation cookout - she herself seems to want to call it that rather than a party, per se. It was a fantastic time...took the usual crap from people about being one who lives in Baltimore but who doesn't eat crabs (never acquired the taste, remember, I'm a transplant) and played a couple of mean games of badmitton.

The party moved to Ali's houses in G'burg, with Scott, Graham, Dave, Jess, Kristen, Dave, Crit and Ali. I got lost and wound up in Northern Virginia for about 20 minutes when I-495 decided to split from 270... found her house eventually, and went inside. Watched "Gremlins" which was as fun as I seem to remember it from way back. The night cumulated in a rousing 2am game of "Never Have I Ever," that was just a lot of fun to play with the gang there.

Woke up late on Sunday, and drove back to Baltimore. Again, I got lost and wound up taking I-270 to Route 70 to I-695 rather than the much easier 495 to 95 to 695, but the drive showed me some pretty country as I made it through like 6 Maryland counties on the way home. Went over to Brendan's apartment for a while and hung out with a couple of old friends, and some new ones. We watched "Love Actually" which despite my initial reservations (predicting that it would be overly sappy) proved to be quite charming. I think the charm came from the overacheiving premise - trying to do so much actually made it a better film.

I finally crashed at around 4am Sunday morning. Came home after going to lunch with Derek and Brendan. Showered, and just kind of hung out for the rest of today. Tonight was spent trying to download "Where the Streets Have No Name" to my cell phone for a ringtone...

I think my goal tomorrow is to finish as much unpacking as is humanly possible. My room from La Salle is still boxed up in the living room downstairs. Most of it can stay boxed until the move, but a lot of it can be filed and packed away.

Oh yeah, if you have yet to see this, please do: Jon Stewart's Commencement Address to the College of William and Mary. Incredibly funny (and kind of touching) remarks.

[Listening to: "Wandering", by Ben Folds]
Posted by Matthew at 01:45 AM | Comments (0)

May 20, 2004

Keeping busy

I've been kind of busy these last couple of days, finding things to get done and keep busy with. Had my car's oil changed today. Saw "28 Days Later" with Brendan last week (fantastic film. Good times with an old friend) Went to Kinko's to get my friend Tom's stories copied (they're really, really good...he's Writer's Workshop at U of Iowa bound...) Went running every day this week. Went to Best Buy yesterday and picked up the second season of the West Wing on DVD (fantastic..."2 Cathedrals" is probably my favorite episode) Saw "The Godfather: Part 2" last week (wow...all I can say is wow to the depth of the story that Coppola and Puzo create...)Thoroughly cleaned my keyboard today (yeah, I know, I'm a nerd...) I also got a haircut today, so I can finally see out of my eyes without the long straight hairs in the front obscuring things.

I've also spent some time fixing up my father's mountain bike up the last few days, as my bike was destroyed when I learned the hard way that I couldn't pull that far into the garage. It's my hope to get it in a decent condition to take it back on the North Central Railroad trail, and perhaps go a little further than I've been before along it's path. The trail runs right alongside the neighborhood that I live in. My sister and I made it to Monkton one summer, a distance of like 8 miles from our house. It goes into York, PA, and the entire length runs about 40 miles. I love biking the trail - the catch is realizing that the farther one makes it up the trail, the farther one has to travel to return. I would have probably been on the trail tonight, had the rain not hit.

The only thing I've had a problem with fixing on the bike are the brakes. Both are a little loose: the rear one offers no resistance at all, while the front will stop the bike eventually. The trail itself isn't too hilly, however, I would still like to be able to stop at some point.

The other really good return that I've had this week was a return to writing. I finally took some time over the last two days to sit and get some stuff out. I usually complain that I never have the time to write, or that my schedule never permits it, but that's usually not the case. I hadn't been feeling anything recently that I've absolutely had to get out onto paper. The last couple of days have been a return to making myself put something down. What I've written isn't much; it's fleshing out a story that's been in the back of my mind since January tentatively titled, "Yellow Roses." I kind of see being somewhere in the middle of a first draft. I tend to handwrite my first drafts on legal pads and then work through another draft getting it into the computer. The good part is that this one has its opening and conclusion, and what I feel is left fits squarely in the middle all over the place.

Other than that, things have been kind of boring the past couple of days. I'm trying to keep busy because it minimizes thoughts of La Salle, and my friends that are up in Philadelphia. I've been kind of lonely since getting home. It's been tough going from Senior Week - a week of constant interactions with friends - to these last couple of weeks - where my interaction has been mainly with my parents, sister, and her dog. I wish I were working right now just to be making some money, although I'm loving the time off and know that no one here would hire me back for the incredibly short time I'm going to be here (my best estimates put me back in Philadelphia in Mid-June) This weekend should be fun - Ali is having her grad party on Saturday, and Brendan is having his on Sunday.

If the thunderstorms hold off tomorrow, I'll probably hit the trail with the bike. If not, more errands will be made up and run. And yes, more pages will be written.

[Listening to: "Dreaming of You", by The Coral from the album "The Coral"]
Posted by Matthew at 12:49 AM | Comments (0)

May 18, 2004

Lyrics day

Twentysomething by Jamie Cullum

After years of expensive education
A car full of books and anticipation
I'm an expert on Shakespeare and that's a hell of a lot
But the world don't need scholars as much as I thought
Maybe I'll go travelling for a year
Finding myself, or start a career
Could work the poor, though I'm hungry for fame
We all seem so different but we're just the same
Maybe I'll go to the gym, so I don't get fat
Aren't things more easy, with a tight six pack
Who knows the answers, who do you trust
I can't even seperate love from lust
Maybe I'll move back home and pay off my loans
Working nine to five, answering phones
But don't make me live for Friday nights
Drinking eight pints and getting in fights
Maybe I'll just fall in love
That could solve it all
Philosophers say that that's enough
There surely must be more
Love ain't the answer, nor is work
The truth elludes me so much it hurts
But I'm still having fun and I guess that's the key
I'm a twentysomething and I'll keep being me.

It was on the Conan O'Brien show the other night, and I caught it on a rerun on Comedy Central. Fantastic performance, a really interetsing song. I bought the album today - different, but very decent.

Things are well. Update tonight, possibly. Probably going biking right about now... cheers.

Posted by Matthew at 05:15 PM | Comments (0)

May 14, 2004

3 Things (or: To strive, to seek, to find...)

MT, me, Steve, and Kevin after Commencement (click for full size)

That image is the first one. I personally feel that it's the best one to come out of the pics that my parents took at graduation so far. Maybe it's the quality...more likely the composition of the four of us, friends since freshman year.

Secondly: I think I've found a place to live. After the trip up yesterday, the place in Manayunk looks really good. I need to call and finalize things tomorrow, but I think it can and will work out. The date still feels up in the air although I think I'm shooting for mid-June now - just enough time to get things settled here, and catch up with people before going to find fame and fortune (well, mainly fortune through the form of some sort of employment) in the Philadelphia area.

Finally, a was on the last episode of Frasier tonight, but it feels relevant now to some of the choices I've made recently.


It little profits that an idle king,
By this still hearth, among these barren crags,
Match'd with an aged wife, I mete and dole
Unequal laws unto a savage race,
That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me.
I cannot rest from travel: I will drink
Life to the lees: All times I have enjoy'd
Greatly, have suffer'd greatly, both with those
That loved me, and alone, on shore, and when
Thro' scudding drifts the rainy Hyades
Vext the dim sea: I am become a name;
For always roaming with a hungry heart
Much have I seen and known; cities of men
And manners, climates, councils, governments,
Myself not least, but honour'd of them all;
And drunk delight of battle with my peers,
Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy.
I am a part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethro'
Gleams that untravell'd world whose margin fades
For ever and forever when I move.
How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnish'd, not to shine in use!
As tho' to breathe were life! Life piled on life
Were all too little, and of one to me
Little remains: but every hour is saved
From that eternal silence, something more,
A bringer of new things; and vile it were
For some three suns to store and hoard myself,
And this gray spirit yearning in desire
To follow knowledge like a sinking star,
Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.
This is my son, mine own Telemachus,
To whom I leave the sceptre and the isle,---
Well-loved of me, discerning to fulfil
This labour, by slow prudence to make mild
A rugged people, and thro' soft degrees
Subdue them to the useful and the good.
Most blameless is he, centred in the sphere
Of common duties, decent not to fail
In offices of tenderness, and pay
Meet adoration to my household gods,
When I am gone. He works his work, I mine.
There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail:
There gloom the dark, broad seas. My mariners,
Souls that have toil'd, and wrought, and thought with me ---
That ever with a frolic welcome took
The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed
Free hearts, free foreheads --- you and I are old;
Old age hath yet his honour and his toil;
Death closes all: but something ere the end,
Some work of noble note, may yet be done,
Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.
The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks:
The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep
Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends,
'Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Tho' much is taken, much abides; and tho'
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
-- Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Cheers to all.

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

May 11, 2004

Now what...?

Freshman year came and went.

Sophomore year and Junior year, in a blur, came and went.

Senior year went.

Senior Week came and went...

Commencement came and went.

The question that I've been asking the most in the past couple of days is "Now what?" The diploma, spelled and annotated correctly, is sitting on the dining room table downstairs, waiting to be framed. I'm almost unpacked - although that probably won't be complete for a while.

My answers have pretty much been along the lines of "Get a job," (surprisingly not just from parents but from friends as well) and "Find a place to live." It's strange though, but until late August, I have nothing to do, nowhere to be. Just as I was getting used to the daily life at La Salle (ha!) I had to go and graduate.

Senior week was interesting at first, and then became more fun as the week progressed. I lost $20 in Atlantic City ($10 of my own, $10 of what we were given) on Monday, but had a great time with the people there. Tuesday was the cruise on the Spirit of Philadelphia. Fantastic time - great food, good friends, and some dancing. Day Done on Wednesday was all right - a good idea, but underattended and more sessions would have been nice. Thursday I got really sunburned at the Phillies Game, but had an awesome time anyway. Friday night was spent in Old City and Finnigan's Wake with my class (and the RD's Kristal, James, and Mike Imperato.)

I'll always remember the week for the random memories - Uno as a drinking game, Club Lounge, shots with James at Finnegan's, beer pong in the lounge (?!?!?!? ), talking with people on the Neumann was a really, really fun week.

Saturday's Baccalaureate Mass was another good time. Brother Gerry had written in an email earlier on that we'd probably get more out of the mass than the commencement ceremony itself, and that proved to be right, I think. I was really happy to be at one last mass with Fr. Bebe, who has been a friend for the past four years. I had never been at the Cathedral Basilica before, besides a quick visit on Good Friday. Beautiful church, and the Mass was very well done too.

The actual commencement ceremony was also very well done. It was a fitting conclusion to everything that my class accomplished over the past four years. I wound up sitting in the front row of the far left section of everyone on the field, with Steve Martin to my right, and Tom McAllister to my right, with Kevin and the other friends all around. We managed to keep things entertaining through the more boring parts of the ceremony. Pretty much the entire extended family was there, and we had a good time right after before everyone had to get going. Then my parents, sister and I went to dinner before venturing back to the hotel. I left town on Monday.

I'll post pictures up eventually. The film pictures came out better than my digital pics...and there are more of them.

I've been spending the past couple of days getting things in order. I got a cell phone yesterday, despite my earlier vows to never get one. Message me online or through email to get the number. is still getting back to normal, and I lost a couple of posts, but the wonkiness should finally be ironed out.

Tomorrow I think I'm driving up to Philadelphia again to take a look at the probable place to live. Besides that, I'll probably drop by La Salle, and not sure what else. It should be a good time though.

Nothing but time in the next two months - nothing but time.

(things could be a lot worse. )

[Listening to: "Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters", by Elton John]
Posted by Matthew at 10:40 PM | Comments (1)

May 10, 2004

I am home

Just a short note to say that I'm home in Hunt Valley now, and will be for a couple of weeks.

I finally got a cell phone as well. Email/IM me if you'd like the number.

Back to unpacking and reorganzing the room - much more tonight.

Posted by Matthew at 04:57 PM | Comments (0)