Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Gay Homecoming King?

Hey everyone, so today went by pretty smoothly; I retook my math test, finished my Physics lab and had a good day in journalism and the weather is pleasantly cool and autumn-like. Ordinary day then? well, not really. Let me provide a background info, last week, my school held nominations for this year's homecoming court, the top five guys and top five girls in the senior class vote-wise get inducted into the court and then "compete" for the title of homecoming king and queen. Now, my friends have had a little thing where we always nominate each other and think nothing of it really (there are over 600 seniors). Now, fast forward to today in journalism, my teacher has a habit of calling people over to tell them something with a very angry voice and face, making you think you've done something wrong. Well, today, he did just that but rather than yelling at me like I feared, he referred me to another school staff member to gave be a packet and simply told me "congratulations, you've been nominated into the homecoming court". Now, at this point I was in total shock and was speechless and simply stood there looking at the packet with a blank stare before awkwardly walking away and getting back to my computer. In the packet, it details how I have to attend essentially 5 meetings and take the famous walk down the football field with a date during the homecoming pep rally between now and mid-late October. On the drive home, I talked to my friend about all of this and whatnot and I think that this might just be a good time to possibly make a move. I've considered coming out to everyone in my school for quite some time and maybe this might just be the time. I honestly don't care if I win or not but what if I somehow do? How would a predominately liberal high school react to having a gay homecoming king? This isn't unheard of, last year, a school in Kansas elected a gay homecoming king to national media attention. The guy's name was Matthew Pope who attended Shawnee Mission East High School, you can read more about his story here . So yeah, this could turn out to be a pretty interesting year. Heck, I don't know if I'll go through with this, but the thought of this still intrigues me...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Busy Week

This week has turned out to be quite busy when it comes to school and everything in general so it seems that this will unfortunately be a slow week post wise. To give the gist of my week, today I had my first AP Gov test which was not fun (what test is?) and I got a massive graphite stain on my jacket sleeve because of writing two essays and dragging my hand along the paper (>.<). But anyways, tomorrow I have a Physics lab due and another French quiz, Thursday consists of an English test for 1984 (great book, go check it out if you haven't, it's by George Orwell) and Friday I have a Physics test and part 1 of a collab project for Gov with a school in Michigan due. So yeah, this is a really busy week, and tomorrow I get to retake a calculus test and then host a club meeting right after school. Whoever said senior year is fun is a giant liar, maybe once all my college apps are in things will cool down a little. Maybe?

There has been good news this week though, it turns out that I won the VP slot for my school's FBLA chapter, whoo! The president is a junior I met last year, he's kinda weird and has a false eye(!!!). Also, maybe the gods are working in my favour these past two weeks since I've had lunch with Matt alone at a table by ourselves every other day since last Wednesday. He also seems to be getting a bit friendlier around me as well, we've some of the most in depth and deep conversations I've ever had with anyone in high school this or any of the past three years so maybe that's a good sign...? *sigh* one can dream. I'm still distracted by his beautiful aqua blue eyes whenever I look at him....gah

Also, my friend has informed me that Britney Spears has a new single out so here it is fresh off Youtube. What do you think? I think it's catchy, but it isn't exactly my favorite song in the world

**So Sony Music has done some copyright claim jazz and they removed the video, so I guess search the magic land of the internet and find the song, it's worth it ;D**

Hopefully I'll make a more legit post post this weekend.

All the best,


Sunday, September 27, 2009


Hello everyone. First, let me address the semi new template Fer kindly commented on in the last post, it isn't a "new" template per say but just a revision of the existing one. I've been trying to install a new template from the Internet for the past few weeks, all of which Blogger seems to reject like the plague :/ So, as a result I decided to just fiddle with the colour setting so it's a simple classic black on white with a header picture of a lakefront at night, soothing, no? So yeah, this will likely be the look of this blog for the unforseen future. I think it reflects who I am, simple and clean yet classy, well, that's how I hope other people see me lol.

So this past weekend was pretty eventful compared to the norm. Friday I went to my friend's 17th birthday and a movie (We saw District 9, very cool movie) and it was great to spend time with them. As a gift, one of my friends got the birthday girl a Snuggie (if you don't know what that is, look it up) which in my circle of friends is the equivalent of getting someone a pound of gold, plenty of laughs were involved. But it was something that happened at the dinner that was not birthday related which really made that day stand out. In my school, there aren't many openly out gay guys (I only know two off the top of my head), so, my friend "M" is friends with one of them, let's call him "X", I'm also friends with X on a sorta acquaintance basis, but we never really see or talk much outside of get togethers with friends and because he's a junior and I'm a senior. Well, Friday morning, apparently X pulled M aside and told her "Phil's been looking pretty good lately" which is odd because he has never once spoken of me to M or any of his friends to my knowledge. Now, X did make M swear to not tell me this, but because I have known M longer than X has, she told me what he told her. My first reaction was sorta shock and surprise but it immediately turned into an "I'm flattered" moment which is exactly what I told M. I am flattered, but anything between him and me I feel would most likley not work out. X is not my type at all, I like taller, lean runner types that have a good sense of humour and are just a touch nerdy- because intelligence is hot ;). He's a really nice guy, likes theater and is quite sociable, but not someone I would got out with or anything of that nature. Another pressing issue is whether if, and more importantly how he knows if I'm gay or not since I haven't publicly come out to everyone in school yet. Now, I know some of my friends who've I've come out to are closer friends with X so I don't know if maybe he overheard from them...hmmm. So yeah, the reason I'm making such a big deal about this is because I've never actually known about another guy expressing an interest in me. I've had a few girls do that, (once last year a girl randomly blurted out "O my god, you're so cute" when I was taking a survey of students for a club) but never a guy. So yeah, this is a new bit of unexplored territory I'm wandering into without a map to find my way, o where is the tall, hot, muscular guide to lead the way? ;D

Saturday was less eventful, it rained pretty much all day which some people hate, but I enjoy because the sound of rain relaxes me. I got up earlier than normal and I spent all morning surfing the web and being unproductive (my favorite activity) pretty much until the evening. My family is hosting/helping out a girl from China who has come here to attend dance school in Washington DC, she arrived a few weeks ago and my cousins and I decided to take her out for dinner and window shopping at a local mall. She doesn't speak much English apart from greetings and some very basic conversational phrases so I got an entire evening of speaking in my horrid preschool level Chinese, I can only imagine what kind of impression I made haha. I ended up buying a review book for the AP Calculus test which I will be taking in May and we settled at an Italian restaurant for dinner. I got Chicken Limone which is pretty much chicken piccata which was really good (lemon, white wine and capers, mmmmm) and we sat and talked as we ate. After dinner we went on home but not before having the GPS get us lost (wtf?) which did not make any sense. My cousin recently bought a BMW 3 series coupe and the GPS in the car got us lost on the way to the mall and again on the way back! If you work at BMW and are reading this, talk to whoever is in charge and get this sort of things sorted out, we ended up getting home because me and one of my other cousins knew how to get to the mall and back by memory. So yeah, that was a nice surprise ending to the evening.

This is becoming a very long post so i think I'll cut it off here. Today has been pretty uneventful, homework and studying for the most part, how riveting!

I hope y'all will have a nice week.

btw, this is Aaron Loftin, seriously, I could look at him all day.

All the best,


Friday, September 25, 2009

Game On!

So Fer has tagged me in a game started by Tyler and I guess I'm it! Here we go!

The rules: Answer a series of questions and find a picture to represent each question, then create a photo mosaic here. Make the mosaic 4 columns by 3 rows. The questions are:

1. Where are you from? (You can choose to answer with your country, state/province, or city.)
2. What's your favorite food?
3. What's your favorite drink?
4. What's your ideal/favorite (future) job/career?
5. What's your favorite thing about yourself?
6. What's the place you most want to visit?
7. What's your favorite body feature on someone else?
8. What's your favorite movie?
9. What's your favorite TV show?
10. Choose one word that best describes you.
11. What time period would you most like to have lived in (in the past)?
12. What's the next thing you're (probably . . .) going to purchase?

1. Well, I was born in Washington D.C. and lived there for the first four years of my life. I have since moved into the suburbs outside of the city but still live in the area.
2. Properly made Pad Thai is simply one of the best things I have ever eaten. Tender chicken, beat sprouts, and a tangy sauce, mmmmm. I just had lunch and I'm getting hungry again!
3. Hot tea pure and simple. Nothing is better than a piping hot cup on a snowy winter afternoon sitting fireside with a nice warm to join me?
4. I would love to become the owner of my own small business but becoming a manager or entrepreneur are also high on my list.
5. I personally love two main things about myself and that would be my eyes and my lips. My eyes are very soft and warm and I like my lips because I think they are well proportioned and very soft. Weird answer, I know.
6. I would love to go visit Sweden one day, maybe after I graduate from university I will go and spend a few weeks there and learn about Swedish culture. The first place I would like to visit would be Stockholm and then go to smaller cities. The cities are beautiful as is the landscape and the climate is wonderful in the autumn.
7. A good smile would be my favorite feature on another person, and the more one smiles, the better.
8. My favorite movie for the longest time was Titanic, but ever since I saw Pan's Labyrinth, I decided I had a new favorite film. This dark and deeply riveting story is completely in Spanish which I believe adds to the depth and emotion of the film. O Spanish, what a beautiful language.
9. Top Gear all the way. Required viewing for anyone who has even a modicum of interest in cars. Actually, even someone who does not like cars will enjoy the show, it's that good.
10. Caring. I really am truly concerned about the well being of others and will often put my friends before myself. If someone I know is not happy, I won't be comfortable until I know I have done all I can to help them out.
11. Hmmm, this is a hard one but ultimately it would be the 1920s, prior to the stock market crash. Great music, dancing and a free and lively atmosphere, what's not to love?
12. Well, I'm leaving in an hour or two for a birthday party so I need to buy a gift for my friend so that will likely be my next purchase.

Voila, my answers. This was actually really fun and I guess it's time to pass this along to the next round of competitors. Hmmmmm, I guess then I shall pass this on to...

Pierre from A Not-So-High-Profile Life
Jonathan from Finding Myself In All the Odd Places

Have fun guys and have a great weekend!

All the best,


Thursday, September 24, 2009

District 9? MLIA

Friday can't come soon enough! This was a semi rough week, getting on average 5 hours of sleep, quizzes upon quizzes and assignments so vague and confusing a graduate school student would have trouble understanding it is no fun by any standard. Hopefully tomorrow and the weekend will remedy the situation. tomorrow my friend is having a birthday party at a really nice restaurant and then we're off to go see District 9 (anyone seen this movie? any thoughts/reviews/critiques?). This weekend seems like it will be busy, I need to work on college applications, write a new essay, attend another crew car wash for service hours and possibly then go around with "S" and personally visit local businesses and try and get them to advertise with us for Newspaper. All of this on top of having the first major test in AP Government the following Tuesday (totally not ready at all). So I'm starting to love/hate senior year all at once, o well.

This week though did have some bright spots. things between me and Matt seem to be getting better, things were never bad but we never were the closest of friends. So this week we ended up spending lunch with each other pretty much every day which is odd considering he ditched his traditional group to sit at my table today. He's also become a lot more talkative in general. Also, I learned today that his apparent top choice for colleges is Georgetown University where he's applying early action (meaning it's binding if he gets in). he's also applying to UVA, William and Mary, Duke, and American U. On the subject of Georgetown, apparently it has a 6.2% LGBTQ population based on a student survey, interesting statistic in my opinion. So anyways, I'm enjoying this more social and friendly Matt, I hope this continues to develop so we can become better friends.

So I better get back to work, but I felt like I should share a little bit of fun before I go back to reading. If you haven't heard of the website, you really should go check it out.; it's the funnier, more feel-good cousin to and has provided me with plenty of good laughs.

"Today, I had a chemistry test I didn't study for, so I stayed home from school. When the school called to ask why I wasn't at school, I panicked and told them I was having menstrual cramps. They accepted my story without question. I'm a guy. MLIA."

Hope that made you chuckle

All the best,


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Technologically Inept

Well, hello there!

So I've been trying to find a new template for my blog for about a week now but I just can't seem to find a good one. All the ones I find are all either too bright and loud or really sterile and too plain for my tastes so I'm thoroughly stuck. The current template I'm using is really boring right now and I want to jazz it up a bit so I was wondering if anyone knows of any good placed to find decent templates? Also, I tried the whole zip file template stuff and that just doesn't seem to work for me because I suck with technology for the most part, but also maybe because I just can't figure out how to get those to work properly. So yeah, I'm stuck and would really appreciate some advice/help. Anyways, I'm off to study some more for a French quiz tomorrow and then I'm off to bed, sleep, unfortunately, comes rare nowadays.

All the best,


Monday, September 21, 2009

Update and a Trailer

For consistency's sake, I decided to post a quick update as to what's been going on in my life as of late. This past weekend was relatively uneventful, I did get some autumn clothes shopping done and got two light jackets to keep myself warm at least until December, and I got a good chunk of homework finished which hopefully will pay dividends this week. So far, this weeks seems relatively quiet, the only assessment as of now that I know of is a French quiz about le passé composé et imparfait (past tense and imperfect past tense respectively) on Wednesday which sounds simple enough but is confusing nonetheless. Annoying things is, even after learning it for the last 3 years, I manage to still forget it and have to relearn everything all over again, sigh. Tomorrow I have Physics again which is currently driving me insane because my teacher is semi-insane, knowledgeable, but insane and the other students are so lacking in basic scientific knowledge it makes my head hurt. Super Seminar is beginning to get more work heavy, I have a good amount of stuff I need to get done this week including some readings one of which is The Lottery by Shirley Jackson. Tomorrow is also the day I get the results of my first Calc test which I'm kinda worried about, but the main highlight for tomorrow will be the distribution of the first issue of the newsmagazine for this year! From what I was able to see it should be fantastic and hopefully we will do even better this year in competitions. Finally, I decided to run for VP of my school's FBLA chapter (Future Business Leaders of America) this year so hopefully I'll get the spot, it's a teacher panel decision this year rather than student vote so hopefully my application essay was good enough. Wish me luck :)

Lastly, I watched a really good movie this weekend called Were the World Mine, I really suggest see it if you have the time, it's about an hour and a half and you can find it free on the LOGO website (just google it). It's a sorta movie-musical type thing and it has a really sweet storyline, good acting and great music, and all on a comparatively tiny budget which makes the movie even more amazing.

Have a pleasant week :)

All the best,


Sunday, September 20, 2009

The College Post

I've procrastinated this post for far too long and finally I'm ready to discuss the next four years of my life - college. I've visited eight schools in total and there are in total seven schools I'm pretty sure I'm applying to, all of them on the East Coast of the US. What I'm going to do is put all the schools I'm applying to and all eight I've visited with a brief description and my personal opinion of each based on the visits and info sessions I attended. I'm personally interested in Business but there is no concrete major I have chosen as of now. If you have any knowledge about these schools and have any information or opinion you would like to share, please do, I could use as much help as possible before the application deadline of January 1st. no particular order....

1. Georgetown University (Washington DC)
By far and away the nicest school aesthetically and also the most I feel at home at when I visited, Georgetown is one of my top 3 choices. It takes only about 30 or so minutes from where I currently live which means it is really close to home. It's located in Washington DC and despite being in an urban location, the campus feels small and intimate. The people were really nice, especially our guide who was a recent graduate. The school is a Jesuit University which means it has connections with the Catholic Church but while on campus, it did not feel so bent over on religion which is good considering my entire family isn't religious, our tour guide was actually agnostic too and she said she felt right at home, I will be required to take a religions course though. Georgetown does have a good business school, comforting atmosphere and was also the only school which outright mentioned during the info session to have a Gay-Straight alliance and gay student organizations which pleasantly surprised me. This is also my second choice in a tie with UVA.

2. University of Virginia (Charlottesville, VA)
UVA was also a really nice school, unlike Georgetown, the campus felt a lot more open and big, I actually got lost initially trying to find the admission office. The school was established by Thomas Jefferson and is located in a much more rural area than most of the other schools. It had a nice campus, though not as nice as G-Town but the people seemed equally friendly. UVA has the best undergrad business school according to Businessweek magazine and on top of that, the school is comparatively very cheap admissions wise because I'm an in-state resident. Also, there are apparently many secret organizations and fun traditions at the school.this is probably my second choice in a tie with Georgetown.

3. Columbia University (New York)
Thoroughly grand and thoroughly New York, Columbia ranks up there in terms of campus beauty and overall prestige. I visited Columbia during a four day whirlwind college visit extravaganza over the summer and of the schools I visited, this one was the most memorable. The campus was beautiful in a thoroughly urban way, a lot less trees and greenery but elegant and classy. The people were really nice but everything seemed a lot more fast paced than the other schools. The info session was good, though not the best I've been to. Also, while being a very prestigious school in a very liberal, gay friendly city, it was also very pricey.

4. Harvard University (Boston)
Harvard was an interesting school to visit. Few colleges in the world are as well known and prestigious as Harvard University. When I visited, I missed the information session because of issues finding parking but I did catch the tour. To be honest, while the school was nice, the campus wasn't nearly as inviting or distinguished as I expected. Also, the people there seemed to be rather stuck up compared to other schools. Maybe I just went at the wrong time of year but still, I was slightly disappointed with what was supposed to be the premier school for higher education in the United States. Expensive too.

5. The College of William and Mary (Williamsburg, Virginia)
W&M is a beautiful school rich with history and charm. I went with my friend Maria over the summer so it was nice and quiet. It's a good school and has some very nice people, the tour guide was especially amicable and they provided us with free bottles of water :D. Anyways, the school is located in a rural-ish location, Williamsburg is a very historical small city and when I say small, i mean it. It's a very quaint and comfy feel walking through campus and the town while being only 4 hours away from home. Williamsburg is also home to Busch Gardens Europe which is personally one of my favorite amusement parks. Another bonus - in state tuition is reasonable.

6. University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia)
The latest school I visited, UPenn was also a very nice school. It's only 2.5 hours form home and is located in a another nice, historical city. UPenn also has what is considered the best business school in the US. The campus, like Georgetown, feels like a small town within the hustle and bustle of a big city. Yes, it will be very difficult to get in but the prestige and education that comes attached with it is well worth it. The people I met, including a few students, were all very friendly and came from a very broad background from across the US and internationally. Another observation, when I went there, I don't know how many jaw droppingly hot guys I saw going on tours with me. Maybe I just caught it on a good day, but even if half of the guys were that good looking, maybe that alone would be worth it to get in. How much? It's pricey, but they do give out plenty of financial aid. This is probably my first choice school.

7. George Mason University (Fairfax, Virginia)
Safety school. Let's leave it at that.

So those are the seven schools I'm considering. If you have any ideas or input on any of the school please make your ideas and voice heard. I would love to get as much thoughts and info about every one of these schools as possible.

Also, I mentioned I visited eight schools but only applying to seven, that other school would be Boston College. Like Georgetown it's a Jesuit school, but religion was emphasized way, way more, uncomfortably so for a non religious person like me. I don't think I want two statues of Saint Peter and John watching my every move when taking a test and the Virgin Mary watching my every move in my dorm room. >.<

All the best,


Friday, September 18, 2009

John Barrowman - The Making of Me

John Barrowman, British-American actor, singer, musical performer, star of Torchwood and Doctor Who and fellow gay man goes on a journey across the globe in search of an explaination as to what made him gay. Whether it turns out to be genetics, nurture or something completely unexpected, John is willing to go to any length to help him make better sense of this life long question.

I found this video back in the Winter of 2008 and I found it very interesting and at times highly amusing to watch. In the end, I believe it helped me understand myself better and gave some interesting facts and details for me to ponder over which I continue to do to this very day. It is a bit long (so perfect then for a weekend post) at 6 parts, and about a hour or so in length, but I hope you will take the time to watch the video in its entirety and find it as interesting as I did.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!

All the best,


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Not Feeling So Hot

Today wasn't the best day to say the least, it started out well, but now I feel like crap. My first few classes went well, we pretty much had giant discussions all through Government and English, Finance was pretty much a giant waste of time (seriously, we haven't learned ANYTHING about how to manage money), and French was pretty much spent shivering. I should probably mention that despite the fact I attend school in one of the most affluent school districts in the country, apparently 30 year old air conditioners and leaky pipes continue to be the norm. Today was rainy and pretty cool, yet, because we haven't reached "heating season" the school cannot turn on the heaters, so despite having a high of about 65, the AC ran full blast cooling the room to pretty much 45, not fun. Yet despite this ordinary, draining day, what I got to do after school turned an average day into a truly unpleasant one.

Though I haven't mentioned it for a while, I'm one of the Ad and business managers at my school's newsmagazine an done of our jobs is to try and get local businesses to place ads in our paper. This year, we had a quota of about $2,000 per issue which in any year apart from 2008 to the present would be easy peasy, but because the world is in a giant economic meltdown this is no longer the case. Tomorrow is deadline day, meaning, we have to finalize everything for the first issue, and the grand total for the hours spent over summer break, after school and in class making over 600 phone calls, mailing out over 450 letters, sending out over 600 emails and designing multiple custom ads free of charge resulted in a grand total of $889.75 for this first issue. This time last year, the paper was making about double this which gives you an idea of just how hard the economy is sucking right now. What's even worse is that me and my partner's grade depends largely on how much money we raise which means we are not in great shape, our only hope now is that sending out another batch of about 150 letters will reel in some more money into our dwindling reserves.

Sorry if I sound rather angry/cranky/emotional right now, the last four hours of staying after school pretty much drained any remaining energy I had and has left me with a massive headache. As for the cherry on top to finish off the day, tonight I have to take two quizzes online, read a chapter in my Physics textbook, finish Calculus homework and study for a test I have tomorrow. Now please excuse me so I can drown my frustration and sorrow in a giant mug of hot chocolate, that makes everything better.

Question of the day-

What's your beverage of choice?
It can be anything - hot, cold, carbonated, exotic etc.

All the best,


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Maybe There Is Hope

So things between me and Matt have gotten better since the school year started. We have 5 classes together this year and it seems that we are getting closer than we did last year which is great for too many reasons. We gotten to talking a lot more, though we aren't still the best of buddies but progress is progress nevertheless. Last class in journalism we ended up spending about 20 minutes stuffing envelopes to send out to advertisers which turned out to be fun psuedo bonding experience, and even after I finished, he asked if we could keep working on it together which surprised me since he was more excited about it than I was. Maybe I'm just a hopeless romantic and I'm just trying to convince myself of something I know will never work out in the end, but I can't help but feel somewhat hopeful and believe that maybe, just maybe things could work out with time.

Also, recently, I did some math to see approximately how many potential gay senior guys there are at my school, and here' the break down-

Total students = aprx 2,600
% gay/lesbian/bisexual = aprx 2.5-3% based on the research I have done
Total gay students = 65(2.5%) or 78(3%) in all grades
Total number of seniors = about 650
Total number of gay seniors = 16-19
Total number of gay or bi guys = 8-9

I currently know of only one out gay senior guy at my school which means there is statistically 6 or 7 other gay guys out there excluding me. There is likely another one or two out male seniors at my school I just don't know of or have just slipped my memory but I found this quite interesting. It just goes to show then that based on what I know, only about 12% of all the gay guys in my class have come out, now, hopefully I can change that number soon enough but nevertheless I found this to be quite a productive and thought provoking bit of math.

I've also thought I should share another blog I found a little while ago. It's written by a really nice guy named Jonathan who has recently been going through a rough patch in his life and could really use some friendly support, so go pay him a visit if you can.

All the best,


I just realized Autumn is just about to or has already started so Happy Autumn!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Blast You Significant Figures!

So you know when school's in full swing when you and your friends are already starting to stress out about tests, projects, homework, labs and where to meet up in the cafeteria; double that knowing feeling when you are already starting to experience the symptoms of the dreaded disease Senioritis, a disease where scientists have yet to find a cure which does not cause acute loss of hearing or an unhealthy and dangerous addiction to coffee. As of today, I have already a lab and an exam due in Physics next class, a French vocab quiz on Wednesday, two quizzes, two novel maps, and a online blog assignment in "Super Seminar", which is essentially AP Gov, AP Comparative Gov and AP English Literature all rolled into a lovely 3 hours of terror every even day, and a Calculus test Friday...what joy. Also, being one of the only seniors in my physics class, everyone always ends up asking me how to do things and it's rather annoying considering most questions are about converting meters to kilometers and the most basic things like that(it's the metric system guys, just move the decimal point! >.<). But one thing I plan to do this year differently is try and be more organized and get stuff done at a reasonable time and not at 2 AM like last year so I'm trying to get work done at a steady rate this year, at least until crew winter conditioning and on the water practice begins in November.

Anyways, this past weekend I went to visit UPenn which is the final school I'll be visiting which effectively finishes my college visit rounds (thank god) for my student career. It was really nice and I suspect it would have been even better if it wasn't so cloudy and drizzly the night before. Also, I don't know if it was because of the day or just the people who apply there but some of the guys I saw going on a tour as well that day were GORGEOUS and I mean jaw dropping which I did a few times; maybe this is one more incentive for me to work extra hard these last few months before applications have to be mailed out ;D. But yeah, the visit turned out well and me and my parents went to have lunch afterwards so we did a comparison between Pat's King of Steaks and Geno's Steaks in South Philly, the infamous rivalry between those two places in the battle for cheesesteak supremacy is well documented in the food lovers journal. But the winner for me at least was obvious- Pat's beat Geno's hands down, more flavourful sandwich and 4x better fries, maybe Geno's shouldn't invest so much in flashy neon signs and instead focus more on the product. I'll probably make a college exclusive post in the near future to get people's input and opinions.

In the mean time, enjoy my most recent stuck-in-my-head song, Does It Offend You, Yeah? - Epic Last Song

All the Best,


Friday, September 11, 2009

Don't Look Down on Us

So today my friends took me out for dinner this evening as a birthday gift and it was excellent, well, mostly. So the food was amazing, we ended up not going to the Brazilian Barbecue place but instead a Middle Eastern Restaurant called Lebanese Taverna. It's a really nicely decorated place, like Ancient Arabia meets New York sheik and since we reserved a table we got to sit down right away.

So the good part - the food was amazing, I ordered something called Ouzi which apart from being very fun to say was a delight for my taste buds. It's a lamb and rice dish with plenty of spices, almonds and a tangy yogurt sauce. The appetizers we ordered were also good and we might have found a new most addicting food in the form of their fresh made flat bread which was crispy on the outside and hot and steamy on the inside. Dessert finally also was a good and because we went for my birthday, instead of getting cake, we got birthday baklava and honey ice cream, yay! haha. So the food part of the dinner was great, flavourful, fresh and refreshingly unique and innovative.

Now the bad part - If you go to any restaurant you expect to be treated well- courteously and with respect- this is no problem if you are an adult but if you're a group of teenagers, not so much. I'll be blunt, our waiter was rude, inattentive and looked down on us the whole time he waited on us. The first thing we asked for, separate checks, he flatly said no to saying instead "No, I'm going to bring one check and you guys just pay each of your own parts" giving us a disapproving look after. So then came time to order, by now he was getting impatient with us because we had originally sent him back twice because we needed more time so things didn't get better. When my friend ordered a lamb kebab dish, he asked how she wanted it done, he said "medium", my friend does not really like her red meat red so she said medium well which he promptly responded with a shocked/disapproving look, making a face as he wrote it down. Now, while we ate our appetizers we quickly finished our addicting bread and three of us ran through our glasses of water, he never once checked in on us while the table he waited one table over was checked on literally ever 3 minutes. By the end of the meal we paid for dinner, Maria paid for my portion as a gift while the others paid on their own, two with cards and one with cash. Now on the check, there was a section labeled "suggested tip" which was about $20 or so dollars which the waiter had circled, (wtf?) So I guess you can expect that afterwards when we got the receipt sans the change for my friend who paid in cash she was supposed to receive, we had all reached the last straw. We ended up filling out the comment card in the bill and gave it to the maitre d' at the front detailing our experience and we didn't provide any additional tip apart from the money he failed to return to us.

Some of us felt somewhat guilty afterwards but we all agreed that the way we were treated was completely unacceptable. We felt belittled, looked down upon, and discriminated against just because we were a group of teenagers rather than adults. Sure the food was excellent, but any dining experience consists of two parts, the food and the experience, yes, the food was fantastic, but the experience left much to be desired.

Anyone else had a similar experience at a restaurant or any store in general?

Remembering Those Lost

Today marks the 8th anniversary of a very dark day in American history. Today back in 2001, over 2,900 people died in what was the most deadly terrorist attack ever to occur on American soil. On that day, four planes were hijacked by religious extremist terrorists and became weapons to take the lives of innocent civilians. Two planes crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City, one plane crashed into the Pentagon near here in Alexandria, Virginia, and one plane was taken down and crashed into a field in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. The plane which had crashed in the field is know known to have been deliberately crashed due to the heroic efforts of those aboard. United Flight 93 had 44 passengers and crew on board when the plane was hijacked, like the other three flights, it was expected that it too would have been crashed into a building leading to even more casualties. But we now know that the reason the plane crashed in the field was due to the heroic efforts of the passengers on board who fought back against the terrorists and crashed the plane before it could ever be used to kill more people. These heroes sacrificed their lives in order to save the lives of others and should be remembered and honoured for all they did.
It is important to remember all those lost on that day and also important to remember and thank all the rescue workers who valiantly faced danger to save the lives of many individuals who survived through this terrible event. If it were not for the heroic deeds of all the firefighters and rescue workers, many more might not have made it out alive.

Back in 2001, I was in 4th grade in elementary school when this happened. I remember exactly where I was, what I was doing and how I was informed as to what happened. I was in a trailer classroom for a GT program when the first planes crashed into the twin towers. Up until then, it was an ordinary class, we were doing logic puzzles as we normally did when the class met once a week until our teacher came back into the room after being called out. Now, most teachers would not want to bother little children with news such as what happened but I remember her clearly explaining to us that even though we were young, this was something we would remember forever and we deserved to know. She explained what was happening at the time, by this moment, planes had struck both towers but they had not collapsed. She explained that people had taken over two planes and had flown them into the Twin Towers in NYC and that it was likely that many people had died as a result. Now, at that time, I was only 9 years old, I did not fully understand quite what was going on, I sorta knew what the Twin Towers were but the concept of terrorism was not something I, or any little child knew much, if anything about. By now, televisions were tuned to news reports about what was going on and terrified parents were now arriving in droves at the school to pick up their children, most of whom still did not fully understand what was going on. My mom's office in Maryland was shut down early due to the attacks and she ended up picking me up form school not too long a while after I learned about what I was going on. Back at home I would see later on the video of the two towers on fire, the panic on the streets of people fleeing from danger away from the smoking buildings and eventually the collapse. I also learned that closer to home, there had been another attack on the Pentagon, the headquarters for the US military in Alexandria which is not very far from where I live. While back then I might not have understood the true scale of what was going on, today I do.
The attacks on September 11th marked the beginning of a turning point in the world. Gone were the days of general people, the fragile bubble of security everyone lived in was shattered, opening the US and the world to a age of fear and anxiety. But in spite of all of this, 9/11 should not be remembered as a day that marked an time of fear, but rather a day of remembrance for all the lives lost and all the families impacted by this terrible event. In spite of all this, 9/11 did have one positive outcome, the attacks reunited the American people into one again, we became again one nation strong and free, a collective of voices and people who all shared the same cry that attacks on our land were not to be tolerated, because if you mess with one of us, you mess with everyone. America needed an event like this to make us remember that the world isn't an ideal place, but one principle will always stand true no matter what happens, We are the United States of America, the land of the free and the home of the brave, and even in the face adversity, we will always stand united and strong.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Thanks Everyone

Thanks everyone for all the birthday greetings and wishes and Thank You, Ethan, for the pics, I really appreciate them!

Anyways, I need to get to bed, and tomorrow is Friday, September 11th.

Bless all the families who were impacted by such a terrible event, and may everyone take a minute out of their day and pay their respects to all those innocent people who were killed, and pray for all the families who lost a dear loved one that day 8 years ago.

Wishing you all the very the best,

-Birthday Boy

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Joyeux Anniversaire

I'm finally 17!! Well, actually in more like 20 minutes or so but you get the idea. Unfortunately, today will be spent working on an essay and other assignments for my AP Government class but oh well, c'est la vie.
Another Year Older, Only So Much Wiser...

If you would like to send a birthday gift, a hot guy is always appreciated ;D

All the Best,

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Hello, Little Freshmen

So today was the last first day of school and thankfully, it was pleasantly surprising. I ended up with many teachers that I've had in the past, like my 9th grade English Teacher who is now teaching AP English Lit, and my French teacher who I've had now for the fourth year in a row. Actually, most people in my French class have had our French teacher all four years as well, she knows us all very well and is fully aware of each of our own little quirks and habits, so hopefully this will be a good year. Of course, there is the mandatory strange/awkward/moody teacher and this year it's my Physics teacher who seemed rather out of it first thing this morning. In a side note: I swear I'm like only one of four seniors who is taking Physics this year, I just need one more Science credit so I ended up in a first period physics class with almost all juniors, none of whom I know. Fortunately though, I did get lucky with many of my classes peer wise. I have friends that I've known for at least a year in the majority of my classes and this year I somehow got 5 classes with Matt (clouds part, cue angel chorus), I hope I won't be too distracted during all the lessons lol. Anyways, all my other teachers seem really nice, I didn't really get much in terms of homework quite yet, mostly a lot of forms I need to get signed which I'll probably get done tonight.

Now being at the top of the dangerous and trap ridden high school food chain, it's fun to see the little freshmen and think that that was me only a few years ago. Time really does go by so fast but in these few years there are a few bits of wisdom I'd like to pass along to the underclassmen.

Freshmen - I know you're probably terrified, heck, this is probably the biggest congregation of teenagers you've ever seen, but there's no need to worry. If you need help, whether it be finding a class or how to do well in a class or an assignment, just ask us, the junior or senior class. I know we look imposing but most of us are friendly and will gladly help you out, we've had to go through everything you're going through and you can learn from our mistakes.

Sophomores - So you've survived freshman year and have moved up one step on the high school food chain, good for you. This is the year to start getting more involved in the school, join some clubs, find a sport to do if you haven't yet or start building up your resume by getting a part time job. Just be sure you don't lose sight of your assignments.

Juniors - Work hard this year, and I really mean it. Junior year will probably be the year where you either break it or make in in high school. You should be taking some AP or IB courses this year in order to challenge yourself, sure it might be a lot of work, but it's probably be the best year to prepare yourself for the real world before the dreaded disease known as Senioritis sets in as laziness and sloth seep into your brain. Get looking at colleges too, soon you'll be working on college applications and before you know it you'll be packing your bags and setting off for your dorm! Keep it up this year, and you'll be greatly rewarded for all your effort in the near future.
In other news, my friend Maria decided that she would take me out to dinner on Friday for my 17th birthday which is actually on Thursday. I think the place is a Brazilian Barbecue restaurant in the area which should be fun and different, I haven't had that in quite some time. The original plan was supposed to be Saturday but I'm going to UPenn for a college visit that day so it wouldn't have worked out, oh well.

So overall today went well, got some nice teachers, met up with many old friends, and I got a lot of classes with someone I truly care about. Hopefully this will be a good year.

Oh, finally, Question of the day-
If you could re-do or change one thing during your high school years, what would it be?

If you'd like, you can explain why. I love hearing other people's stories and experiences.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Work Printed, Bag Packed and Ready to Go

It seems like only yesterday that summer started, the saying of good-byes to the seniors, emptying out my locker, finding out my final marks for each class, yet this in reality was about two months ago, ouch. But yeah, one day left until senior year which is exciting and rather daunting at the same time, but hopefully seeing people I haven't talked to since June will cheer me up. Today was pretty boring, pretty much putting the final touches on my AP summer work, printing it all out and digging out my binders from last year, dumping out the 20 lbs. of paper that have accumulated over time, and getting all my new supplies organized and ready to go, exciting, I know.

So how would I rank this summer to other years? Well, pretty high actually, apart from the occasional drama (creepy guy asking me for money in Vegas and not being able to actually say goodbye to Ben), I had plenty of fun. I found plenty to do in Vegas from shopping and exploring the various attractions in Vegas and I got to meet some very nice people on the cruise and I even got to bond a little with my cousin who I never actually see more than twice a year. So, buying stuff I don't actually need and making new friends, sounds like a plenty productive summer for me. But probably the most memorable aspect of this summer would be how much this blog has grown - from my first subscriber Fer way back when to the current 11 (do my eyes deceive me!? Love Y'all), I really believe I have found a permanent outlet for myself to express my true personality and self which I would otherwise have to keep bottled up from 98% of people. So I guess the main thing I can say is a giant "Thank You" to everyone for making my summer truly the most memorable I've had.

I'll probably end up spending my evening reading over my summer work one more time and make last minute corrections as my OCD self kicks in, but tomorrow I plan to spend Labour Day doing what I do best - relaxing and spending way too much time on the computer. oh the joys of technology.

In anticipation of the new school year, I'm bracing myself for some high school drama once schools gets going Tuesday, it's about as inevitable as the rising sun and taxes.

Also, my 17th birthday is in 4 days and I'm so excited!! :D

Friday, September 4, 2009

Insured! and Prop 1

Today I finally did something I've procrastinated for too long a time, me and my mom finally paid visit to our car insurance agent to get me added onto my parent's car insurance plan. We had planned to do this for about two months now but we always seemed to find some way to push it another two weeks until now- we finally got it done. Apart form all the techincal jazz, at the end of the day, it really means one thing - I will finally be allowed to drive by myself, so, if you live in the D.C. area, get off the roads or brush up on your emergency avoidance skills, haha. No worries though, I'm not a reckless driver by any means, i don't use my phone while driving and I can barely text properly even when I'm not distracted so I definitely won't be doing that either. Speeding shouldn't be a big issue either, traffic in the area, while not extreme, will naturally limit me to well below posted speed limits for the majority of the day and evening. I guess then if I do every want to let loose, I'll have to spend the $1,000 plane ticket, $1,500 hotel fee and $800 car rental to go to germany and experience it's Autobahn. (Effectively #6 on my to-do list for life according to what I wrote back in 8th grade for an English assignment)

Anyways, the meeting went all well and smooth in the end. The guy we worked with was funny and very likable and we worked out every possible discount we could, a good student discount and a some safe-driving booklet thing was was essentially like a homework book that I had to do- essentially, I had to fill out a book totalling an hour of work which eventually ends up as an $240 savings per year that I get in return, nice! Despite all of this though, I still effectively almost doubled my mom's yearly rates, one of the great bonuses associated with being a male, teenage driver.

Being Friday, it means there is now only three days until school officially starts up again for me. I finally got my schedule a few days ago and I got lucky this year and got some classes with friends I haven't had classes with since freshman year, I am also guaranteed at least 4 classes with Matt this year including journalism which I will thoroughly enjoy. I plan to enjoy this last weekend of summer with some quiet relaxation time before the inevitable bustle of Labour Day packing and getting everything ready for school. Anyways, I hope everyone who starts school this coming week a pleasant final weekend of summer, and for everyone who has already started school, I hope you had a pleasant return back to school and I wish you a successful year.

Also, for anyone who lives in the great state up north known as Maine, I implore you and anyone you know to please vote "no" on Proposition 1. Proposition 1 is much like the highly covered Prop 8 initiative in California which aimed to limit equality for gay couples. Even if you do not live in Maine, it is imperative that everyone try to contribute something to the effort to prevent Prop 1 from being passed in November.

More Info - Protect Maine Equality

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Senior Schedule and Ghetto Names

I finally got my senior schedule today! So, in no specific are my classes for those who care.

1. AP French
2. Journalism 2 (newspaper)
3. AP US and Comparative Government
4. AP English Literature
5. Finance
6. Physics
7. AP Calculus AB

There are a few issues with my schedule since my schools operates on block scheduling, on "A" days I have all regular classes and AP french and on "B" days I have all AP classes. Since I don't really want to die on "B" days, I'm trying to see if my counselor can change around my schedule so it can be a bit more balanced.

Receiving my schedule today for me is a little bittersweet, while this effectively means this is my last year or standard education, it also means this will also be the last year that i will probably see many of my friends. It's sad since I've known so many friends since middle school or even elementary school and I consider these people almost as family since we've known each other for so long. We know each other's quirks, odd habits, likes and dislikes as if we were siblings. I plan to cherish my senior year in high school and I plan to spend as much time with my friends until the very last minute when we will inevitably have to say goodbye as we go off and reach for our dreams. In the mean time, I'll continue working on college applications and essays, I'll probably make a college post in the near future.

In the mean time, I'm going to share a hilarious video one of my friends sent to me.

All made in good spirit, hope it made you laugh :)
(I don't know why it's cutting off, I suspect it's because embeded isn't in widescreen like the actual video.)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

It's a Mercedes E Class.....or not....

Cars have always been a big part of my life. I love their mechanical complexity, the connection of man and machine in a almost symphonic oneness when driving, and the sheer thrill of having an open road all to yourself, so you can see why I would be excited about the new 2010 Mercedes E-class sedan and coupe.

The E-class had always been the luxury marque to beat in the mid size segment of the market, BMW rules the sportier side while Lexus and Audi rule the technological field. For the 2010 model year, Mercedes will be killing off the CLK class and introducing the E-coupe as it's replacement, this sounds great but it's rather misleading which annoys me. The E-class coupe in reality shares more of it's important bits, namely the platform, with the C-class rather than the E-class. Maybe this is some clever marketing move, which, being interested in business, I applaud, but the car lover in me is really annoyed by this as I suspect many wealthy buyers will purchase an E-coupe thinking they are getting something they actually are not. Yes they share engines and according to MB 60% of the coupe's parts shares design with the E-sedan, but the important bit, and what plays a major role in determining how the car drives is the platform which it shares with its less expensive sibling. So maybe it's some clever marketing but the petrolhead in me does not approve.

The car.......commercial that is

In other news, I sneezed a record nine times in a row while randomly walking my dog, three passer-bys clapped when I finished. yay lol.

-Also, nice new layout, Fer, snazzy.