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(no subject) [May. 14th, 2006|02:12 am]
Comment, and . . .
-I’ll respond with something random I like about you.

-I’ll tell you what song/movie reminds me of you.

-I’ll name something we should do together.

-I’ll say something that only makes sense to you and me (or just me).

-I’ll tell you my first/clearest memory of you.

-I’ll leave you a quote that is somehow appropriate to you.

-I’ll ask you something that I’ve always wondered about you.

-If I do this for you, you must post this on your journal so you can do the same for other people

Ben Folds news [Apr. 26th, 2006|03:43 pm]
"Ben Folds will continue to demonstrate his musical progression, this summer he will once again join the West Australian Symphony Orchestra. As a testament to the loyalty for his fans he will layer in the complexity of orchestrated stings to his collection of live EPs (!!!), which will be released later this year along with a new studio album in 2007 (!!!). Ben Folds' contributions on the 'Over The Hedge' soundtrack and to the music community confirms he is one of the most prolific alternative artists of his time."

I need a cold shower.

Rockin' the Suburbs (and States) [Apr. 14th, 2006|10:37 am]
The past weekend provided a bit of a reprieve from the stresses here at school. Mid to late afternoon, Lyss, Drew, Jill, and I began our journey to Lewisburg, PA where we were to see a Ben Folds concert at Bucknell University! The ride was mostly uneventful. We met up with Ben and Anya at Dunkin’ Donuts just outside the university’s grounds. It was great to see those two again.

We then proceeded to Bucknell where we waited (in separate lines as Ben and Anya were in the seats and the rest of us on the floor) for about twenty minutes. It started to rain as we filed into the complex, but that couldn’t put a damper on the evening (*drum and cymbal crash*…*silence*…*crickets chirp*).

The opener was a guitarist by the name of Chris Mills. I think that the Powers that Be chose him so that his mediocrity might be juxtaposed against Folds’ greatness. Each song sounded like the next and none of them were particularly enjoyable. In fact, I heard more than just a few people tell him to get off the stage.

The thirty-minute wait between Mills and Folds seemed endless. Ben and I used hand signals, as he was up in the stands, to communicate how bad Mills was. When the lights did finally dim, there was an explosion of applause and cheers. The Folds has entered the building!

He began with “Give Judy My Notice” – a decidedly odd choice for an opener. Like Emeril, he soon kicked it up a notch (sorry, it must be bad pun day) with the theme from Dr. Pyser. This has an extraordinarily kick-ass piano solo, at which point Drew and I leapt to our tiptoes to see the Maestro’s hands at work (sounds kinky). “Jesusland” was somewhat less enjoyable as two obnoxiously drunk girls made a scene in front of us. He went solo for a few songs, including the incredibly moving “Brick” and the undeniably adorable “Gracie”. When his bassist and drummer returned, they played one of my personal favorites – “Army”. His rendition of “Rockin’ the Suburbs” was wholly freakin’ intense! I really enjoy the way he and his bandmates play off of each other, and I swear, they were trying to see just how loud they could play. In short, the concert was spectacular – Folds sounded great and the acoustics were superb. I do wish he had played “Philosophy”, but there’s always next time.

We drove back to Williamsport and got a minimum amount of sleep before we had to get up to go to the PA Odyssey of the Mind State Tournament. My mother drove as she was scheduled to judge, along with Alyssa and I. Lyss was the pre-staging judge for Tech Transfer, while my mother and I were style judges for Classics (Divisions I and III respectively).

My problem went off without a hitch. Not too long after we were through judging, it was time for the award ceremony. The ceremony was immensely enjoyable! My old stomping ground, Loyalsock, sent five teams to States, and three of those teams are going on to Worlds (including Ben’s and Amelia’s teams)! I’m really looking forward to seeing them in Iowa at the end of May.

So the lesson learned this weekend is as follows, the only thing that rocks harder than Ben Folds is Sock at States. Congrats, kids!

Withdrawal [Apr. 5th, 2006|10:31 am]
I'm a college student, and I just went 13 days without a computer.
*shivers and scratches arm*
Special thanks to Dr. Wyshak and Dr. Cicola for a successful harddrive transplant.

A light at the end of the tunnel... [Apr. 2nd, 2006|05:24 pm]
Generally speaking, the second semester has been god-awful. Filled with miscommunication and misunderstanding, failures to act and failures to listen on all sides. Wholly depressing. Lyss and I have been dealing with some very troubling personal issues involving a close friend, and so we haven't had much time for each other (especially in the last few weeks). As a result, we have grown very bitter and cold. We always seemed to disagree and argue over the most minute and insignificant things. It felt as though we were treading water as our three-plus year relationship was ever-so-slowly dying.

Last night, a bunch of us went to see "Inside Man". It was a very entertaining film, but I had a hard time enjoying it. Lyss and I planned to spend the night together, but during the film, I became utterly convinced that we would get back to campus, fight and break-up. I was so convinced that I nearly cried. I just did not see where our relationship was going. It has been a long time since I felt that empty, and I told myself that I would go to the college's counseling center if I continued to feel that way in a few days.

We got back to campus and Lyss and I went up to her room. I cannot even tell you, it was the most wonderful night. We talked and fooled around. We watched a bit of "Walk the Line" and played Scrabble. There was just a complete and utter sense of contentment. Lyss and I are going to be fine.

'Piano Man' nothin'...Piano GOD [Mar. 26th, 2006|03:47 am]
Saturday, March 25, 2006

Billy Joel concert at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, New York.

The festivities began with Mark, Alex, and I driving to Syracuse, which is only about an hour away. We listened to an early Joel album - "The Stranger". Upon arriving in Syracuse, we met up with two of Alex's friends from back home. One, also named Alex, attends the University there. We went to a Spanish restaurant on a strip full of restaurants (reminiscent of Collegetown for my fellow Ithacans). The street was pulsing with the beat of Billy Joel since many restaurants were playing his songs. I enjoyed a delicious nacho dish, as we chatted for a while. Then, we made our way to the famous Carrier Dome.

The Carrier Dome is an immense, gladiator-like structure. Syracuse Alex informed me that it seats nearly 39,000 (well over the population of my hometown). Tickets were so in demand that we were unable to get seats near each other. As we went our separate ways, Alex and I stopped off at gift stand; I picked up a teddy bear for Lyss and a bitchen shirt for myself. We then made our way to our respective seats. Lemme just say, it's a good thing I'm not afraid of heights.

The concert started a bit late, but no worries - it's Billy-freakin'-Joel! Here is the loverly set-list...

-Angry Young Man - There were two jumbo screens on either side of the stage. The opening image was of Joel's hands dancing across the piano keys. Nice!
-My Life
-Everybody Loves You Now
-Ballad of Billy the Kid
-New York State of Mind - Talk about the right audience.
-Summer and Fall
-The Entertainer
-Goodnight Saigon - Really moving, followed by Joel flashing a peace sign. Nice x2!
-Allentown - Pennsylvania represent!
-Miami 2017
-Movin' Out
-Always a Woman
-Go to Extremes (?) - He played several butt chords. I saw Billy Joel's ass projected on two screens, each nearly the size of my house! Nice x3!
-Captain Jack - Moving.
-Keepin the Faith
-River of Dreams
-Matter of Trust
-We Didn't Start the Fire
-guest: Highway to Hell
-Big Shot
-It's Still Rock'n'Roll to Me

-Only the Good Die Young - Had to call Lyss for this one; it's her favorite.
-Scenes from an Italian Restaurant - Haha. He milked this one. Walking toward the exit, only to turn toward the piano, and then walk to exit, and then the piano to both the audience's revulsion and elation.
-Piano Man - Again, he milked this one. Looking to his watch and shrugging as if to say that it was too late. Then he sat at his piano and pulled a harmonica from his pocket. Simply put, 'Piano Man' is the-best-song-ever. I almost wept. 39,000 people were singing along with Joel. During the last verse, he stopped playing and singing altogether and let us serenade him. Nice x1000!

Oh and MVP's of the night (other than Joel, of course) were his guitarist and saxist.

It took us forever to get out of the Carrier Dome and then out of Syracuse. The ride back was nice and cozy; the car was warm despite the wintery mix blowing to and fro outside.

Simply transcendent! [Mar. 22nd, 2006|03:27 pm]
I had the most wonderful experience early this morning. Sometime between 1:00 and 2:00, I was on one of my almost-daily walks across the dark and barren Ithaca College Campus. Snow was falling lightly as I began my journey back to my dorm building. As I mounted the staircase which led to the Textor ball, I was listening to Johnny Cash’s rendition of “Bridge Over Troubled Water” on my iPod. When I reached the top of the stairs, my breath caught in my throat. Before me, there was a glorious, swirling starfield of snow. The snow, drifting across the night sky, was illuminated by a light mounted atop the staircase. The darkness glistened with a thousand beacons of white hope. I continued to listen to the song, the town of Ithaca spread out before me in the distance. It was especially meaningful as this has not been the most pleasant week.

Simply orgasmic weekend [Mar. 21st, 2006|03:57 am]
This past weekend a portion of my Odyssey of the Mind team (Lyss, Drew, Jill, Angela, and myself) attended New York’s State Competition in Binghamton. We offered to volunteer at the tournament, and Odyssey was nice enough to purchase a hotel suite for us at the Holiday Inn. We were invited to an officials meeting on Friday night. The speaker, New York’s judges coordinator, graciously thanked us for volunteering our time, and we received a hearty applause. Nice. I met the OM founder’s son. Doubly nice.

We had to get up early on Saturday to get over to the competition site (Binghamton University). Jill and Alyssa were portraying Odyssey of the Mind mascots, OMer and SNYPS. There was a bit of suspense when we discovered that OMer’s box would not fit in my car. Fortunately, we ran into Blaine, an uber-cool and quirky seventh grade social studies teacher volunteering at the competition. Blaine was able to get the box in his car, and we followed him to competition.

Twas a blustery New York winter day (not that I expected anything else). Luckily, OMer and SNYPS were confined to the indoors. I must say, seeing the younger competitors flock to OMer for a picture or a hug was very moving. And they were so well behaved. OMer’s robust body guards (Drew and myself) did not have to step in once. Kudos, by the way, to Jill and Lyss for dexterously wielding pens with those cumbersome digits; I can’t tell you how many autographs those girls had to sign.

Prior to the award ceremony, we hung out with Blaine in something of press room. It was a great time, and he is one of those wonderful adults that does not talk down to students but is able to relate to them.

The award ceremony was not unlike pulling secret service duty. Especially when Mark called me saying, “There is a bomb…on the raccoon. You have 15 minutes. Find it!” Ha! Crazy mofo. The gymnasium was packed. It made PA’s state competition look like a trickle. Jill and Alyssa…I mean SNYPS and OMer…were asked to be present during the actual handing out of awards. I was especially touched by a Division I team that won a Ranatra Fusca (which never happens). The young kids were so excited; Alyssa said that she was almost brought to tears, standing before them in the costume.

We didn’t get on the road till much later, because we had to stay late for a meeting concerning Worlds. We stopped at Applebee’s for a very enjoyable dinner. The drive back to Ithaca was a bit precarious as we got lost leaving Binghamton, and it started to snow heavily as we neared campus.

Most importantly, the weekend was just an incredible bonding experience for the team. We came to know each other so quickly, from Jill’s forwardness to Angela’s enthusiasm. I feel so fortunate, having met these guys and gals and having the opportunity to be on an OM team with them. The weekend was the sort of experience you want to capture in a bottle and keep on the shelf and just take a hit from it when you’re feeling blue. Thanks so much guys, I love you.

Regionals... [Mar. 4th, 2006|11:44 pm]
Today marked my 11th trip to Berwick Area School District for the North-Central PA Odyssey of the Mind Regional Tournament. I was a style judge, representing the Loyalsock Division I Classics team. Brooke, my Mom, and I drove down and met Lyss and her Mom for breakfast just outside of Berwick. Upon reaching Berwick, I ambled around the school complex until my judging assignment. I then judged ten teams in the middle school band room (props to the OMers for competing in that pathetic excuse for a performance space). By the time judging was over, it was time for the Awards Ceremony. The wait was rather torturous, not unlike gurgling thumb tacks with scalding hot water. Loyalsock arrived with fifteen teams and will be sending five to states. Much love to all my OMers (screw that OotM shit). Whenever I'm not competing, these competitions are very moving. I'm exhilarated for the teams participating, but I also miss that rush with competing. Thankfully, my team at Ithaca is moving along nicely.

Just a little diddy... [Mar. 1st, 2006|03:18 pm]
If you read this, if your eyes are passing over this right now, (even if we don't speak often) please post a comment with a COMPLETELY MADE UP AND FICTIONAL memory of you and me.

It can be anything you want - good or bad - BUT IT HAS TO BE FAKE.

When you're finished, post this little paragraph on your blog and be surprised (or mortified) about what people DON'T ACTUALLY remember about you.

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