Friday, October 27, 2006

Happy Birthday to Me

Okay, so yesterday was my b-day. I'm still waiting for all of the fabulous gifts I know everyone bought me to arrive but I'm sure they'll be here by the end of next week. And now for your thrity second update. Mid-terms were great two 89s and a 95. my other two classes don't have mids. My essay writing style has vastly improved and my creative writing (poetry) has improved in my head though I haven't actually gotten anything on paper. I'm considering joing the the Nano writers month idea in order to write a novel and be encouraged by a large group to do so in small bits every day. In any case that's your time limit on the update and I'm off to prepare for the most insane drunkfest of all time that is being covered as a halloween party and we're making the girls dress as skankily as possible and drink insane amounts to encourage less inhibition. As you all can notice I still have horrid spelling, not sure that will ever improve. Good night and good luck with your helloween partying. Pictures of tonights event will be posted unless very incriminating. Later and Night.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Happy Birthday Josh

Okay so today was my brother Joshua's birthday (10th) which means we're that much closer to my birthday (26th). I know that you are all planning on sending me some fantastic gifts so go ahead and drop them in the mail so they get here on time. So happy B-day to my bro, now moving on.

There is no real theme or central idea for this post I'm just bored and I finished most of Shakespeare exam so I figured I'd take a break and write a blog entry since I hadn't done that in a while. Speaking of which, the fact that I haven't been able to update as often as I like is now remedied. My parents decided that since my desktop was broken, and they were tired of me coming home all the time in order to use their computer for homework, they went and bought me a new laptop. Now I really can't express my gratitude so I'll just say that I'm really happy and I'm not expecting a birthday present from them, probably not even a Christmas present. So I'm slowly getting this bad boy set-up to my standards and expectations (you know removing IE and setting up firefox, installing OpenOffice, all the usual nerdy basics). Anyways, if anyone knows of any cool programs for customization or any nice desktop backgrounds feel free to drop me a line and let me know about it.

Well I'm really not sure what I was doing with this post because I got completely distracted in the middle of writing it so here's to moving on and just publishing. Hope it all goes well. Good night and be zen.

Think About It

Friday, October 06, 2006


“You can enjoy ”Battlestar” as one of the best, well-made, written and acted sci-fi series in the history of the medium. You can also see it as the single most devastating, incisive critique of the Iraq war ever promoted in pop culture.

Substitute New Caprica for Iraq, the humans for the Iraqis and the Cylons for Americans and you won’t sleep well at night.”

-By Mark A. Perigard at the Boston Herald

This simple parallel could of course be argued for, but why couldn't one simply reverse this as well? I mean the Cylons are the ones who launch a sneak attack that undermines the Caprican defenses, similar to the terrorist attack of 9/11. The Cylons are all reborn just as the suicide bombers believe they will be rewarded for sacrificing themselves for the cause of Allah. I think what the writers of "Battlestar" are really trying to accomplish is something much deeper, they don't want to draw current political parallels, they would much rather draw broader conclusions that can be applied more generally and have a more timeless appeal. The Cylon vs. Children of Kobal war could be drawn to illustrate nearly any war in human history, simply pick a side and begin to draw basic parallels to support your argument. The writers are attempting to show the pointlessness of war – especially, I believe, from an offensive side. When one side attacks another, even if there was little, to no, hostility towards the initial attackers, the side which is attacked must then make a choice. That choice is: fight for who we are and what we believe, or, surrender to the wishes of our oppressors and give up our way of life because the fight is too much. Starbuck says, “We fight until we can't fight anymore.” She doesn't say 'we fight until it is pointless.' The immortal words of Emiliano Zapata would be of great benefit to those of New Caprica sitting on the fence as to whether they should join the Resistance, “It is better to die on your feet than live on your knees.” I do have to agree that "Battlestar" is most definitely one of the best ever conceived and executed shows, past or present, on television; however, I worry that due to being a sci-fi show it is too quickly dismissed, or outright ignored, by larger audiences. The commentary that one is capable of through the combined medium of science fiction and television allows for mind-boggling ideas and concepts to abound, one can only hope that the sci-fi channel will continue to shelter such innovating shows.

On a completely different note, well kind of, check this out.

Thursday, October 05, 2006


Okay, so as a pioneer of change and adaptation/adoption, I have decided to convert over to Blogger Beta and try out some of their control features. They offer more flexibility but also have a higher learning curve. I'm going to have to take a weekend some time and really dig into what is going on with the HTML/Scripting within the page. Overall I think Blogger is moving in the right direction by trying to become more customizable for individual users. I'm looking forward to being a part of this beta and whenever I screw-up my page I hope you all don't laugh too much at what's going on with it. That's all for now, I have mid-terms that I must needs return to. Good night.

Sunday, September 24, 2006


Blah I was seriously bored after finishing some research for my Coffee Presentation due for Brit Lit tomorrow. I'll see if I can figure out a way to post a powerpoint slide show later. For now, enjoy this randomness.

Modern, Cool Nerd

82 % Nerd, 60% Geek, 26% Dork

For The Record:

A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia.

A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one.

A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions.

You scored better than half in Nerd and Geek, earning you the title of: Modern, Cool Nerd.

Nerds didn't use to be cool, but in the 90's that all changed. It used to be that, if you were a computer expert, you had to wear plaid or a pocket protector or suspenders or something that announced to the world that you couldn't quite fit in. Not anymore. Now, the intelligent and geeky have eked out for themselves a modicum of respect at the very least, and "geek is chic." The Modern, Cool Nerd is intelligent, knowledgable and always the person to call in a crisis (needing computer advice/an arcane bit of trivia knowledge). They are the one you want as your lifeline in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (or the one up there, winning the million bucks)!


Thanks Again! -- THE NERD? GEEK? OR DORK? TEST

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Everyone needs an Addiction....

Okay so, I have a presentation on Monday in my Brit. Lit. 1616-1780 class. This has to be on a historical thing somewhat related to our current readings. Since we just had to read some newspaper/periodical (personal) essays from the time period i noticed there was continuous reference to coffee houses. Being an addict of the bean I decided that perhaps this would be an appropriate topic. Any and all help on this would be appreciated, places for research and such (John I know you're an addict as well so if you know some sites that give a history of the bean in England I'd appreciate it. But not just the bean I mainly want to examine the phenom of the coffee house. They were used as gathering places for discussion and depending on the house different topics of discussion.

First, who decided what topic in what coffee house?
Second, why don't we do this anymore?
Third, why coffee houses and not somewhere else?
Fourth, how long did this phenom take to grip the public?

So with those questions in mind I am setting off on some research before my evening class. Any and all help that can be converted into powerpoint slides would be appreciated. thank you.


Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Where does all the time go?

So here I sit in the library out at USF waiting on my most interesting class, Comparative Translation in Lit. and Film, to begin. Now I've slowly come to the realization this semester that I am attempting to bite off quiet a bit more than any normal human could possibly chew. I have 15 hours AT school. I usually work about 30 or so hours at Macaroni Grill, I've started another part time job where I do about 8 hours a week, with a bit of driving time. So when we look at my total week hours I'm at 53 hours actually doing something and probably about 7 hours of driving time. So 60 hours are accounted for. Now I'd say I probably average about 7 hours of sleep per night so that's another 49 hours bringing us to 109 hours that are definetly being used. There are what, about 168? hours in a week? (confirmed with calc. 7 * 24) where are these 59 hours I'm supposed to have going? even if I averaged about 9 hours of sleep bringing me to account for 123 hours that's still 45 hours I can't find. I believe the evil viewing box in the downstairs living room to be the evil culprit, though perhaps it could be friends and alcohol. I try to read for homework as much as I can but it just seems there isn't any time. I'm going to have to study my habits closely this week in order to see where all this damn time is getting off to. I think football ate some of it this weekend but that was a decent investment as I won $90 off of a football pool at work. With Stites's help I picked 13 winning games out of the 16 played.

Well I leave you with this message from E. B. White found here
“I get up every morning determined to both change the world and to have one hell of a good time. Sometimes, this makes planning the day difficult.”

and from Aristotle found here at the bottom
“We live in deeds, not years; In thoughts not breaths; In feelings, not in figures on a dial. We should count time by heart throbs...”

Signing off for now,

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The New World Order

I really shouldn't title this post that, but I'm currently drawing a blank on what else I might call it. Anyways, let's see what else is going on. I actually went to my classes today (well not the 6pm one because that hasn't occured yet though I am rushing this post off in order to grab some Starbucks and still make class on time - or close to it), so that makes three successful days of classes, only about two dozen more to go. Anyways, the primary elections were yesterday and sadly Rhonda Storms (searched for a webpage but couldn't find one in time) won the Republican primary for State Senate so I'm looking closely into Stephan Gorham who is the Democratic candidate for the State Senate in my district. So when I have a bit more time I'll post more, for now I have to grab some Starbucks and run to "Comparitive Translations in Film and Literature" or something like that, we're watching Lost in Translation. Everyone else have a great night and we'll talk later. I may be able to provide a review of Beerfest later on.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

How terrorism is winning....

Okay so, here I am at school once again (the whole my comp doesn't work thing) and my first class of the day is canceled (after 15 mins and the teacher not showing up we made a roll and left). I head over here to the library to check a few things, one of them being Crystal's blog (I've been way out of the loop but I picked a great week to get back in). In her blog she talks about her friend Andy's blog which was discussing an article written by an Arab-American. Here is a quick little excerpt from that article but I'd recommend linking through the title of this post to the entire story:

He said "people are feeling offended because of your t-shirt". I looked at my t-shirt: I was wearing my shirt which states in both Arabic and English "we will not be silent".

I said "I am very sorry if I offended anyone, I didnt know that this t-shirt will be offensive". He asked me if I had any other T-shirts to put on, and I told him that I had checked in all of my bags and I asked him "why do you want me to take off my t-shirt? Isn't it my constitutional right to express myself in this way?" The second man in a greenish suit interfered and said "people here in the US don't understand these things about constitutional rights". So I answered him "I live in the US, and I understand it is my right to wear this t-shirt".

Okay so now you're getting interested and beginning to wonder why I titled my post this way. Well think about it folks what are the goals of terrorists? To corrupt and destroy the culture of the West (for us that's the American culture, life liberty pursuit of happiness and so forth). Who cares what the t-shirt says even? It is a person's constitutional right to express themself through free speech. I understand shouting "fire" in a crowded theatre is illegal. But standing on the street corner and decrying the state of our government is not. If a guy wants to wear a t-shirt that has arabic script on it, I'd still get on the plane and not give a rat's ass about it. If there were a plane half filled with people wearing t-shirts with arabic script I may be a little more hesitant but I'd probably try to start a conversation with one or two of them to figure out why so many folks on the plane were wearing an arabic t-shirt. In any case I've got to run off to class (if this one is canceled as well I may just call it a day).

The new challenges for me in life are to keep up with school, continue to make money for bills, and stay up to date on all the political and social retardation that is occuring within this once great nation I currently call home (I will be relying on some of you out there to keep me updated with stories like the one I stole from Crystal). In any case have a great day everyone and keep it real.

Monday, August 28, 2006

A bit of a revealing tease....

So I figured I would attempt to start this school year off properly and once again take up the torch of my long forgotten blog. Well first things first. I am currently single, so all you ladies feel free to drop me a line any time you happen to be in Florida or even if you're not in Florida as I enjoy conversing with the opposite sex on matters intellectual, social, and ridiculous. So now that the big good news is out of the way on to the more mundane.

Yes, I am still in school. Unlike John though I am not pursuing a Master's degree I am still attempting to find that damnable Bachelor's one first; they have it hidden rather well down here at the University of South Florida, I think they like the AKA of U Stay Forever. To be a bit more precise within this news I am currently enrolled in four classes: a writing class, American Lit 1912-1945 (the teacher being Stone from my Con(temporary) Lit. class the previous Spring), Early Shakespeare (we're doing Romeo and Juliet, The Merchant of Venice, As You Like It, Henry IV - Part I, and Hamlet, and Brit(ish) Lit. 1616 - 1780 (one that has been a plague before); I am also attempting to get enrolled into another Selected American Authors class (depending on the authors), as well as a Form and Technique of Poetry (this one just requires a form to be filled out plenty of slots). So feel free to bug the crap out of me regarding how any of these classes are going or if you are really insane and wish to have any discussions on any particular topics that touch upon these classes let me know because I may be insane enough to engage in such conversation - perhaps from the mingling of our two insane conversations a genuinely brilliant thought may form.

Next up on the list is the discussion of work. God how it is horrid. I watched Office Space the last night and I realized that this is most definitely how I feel about being a server/bartender at Macaroni Grill (or most likely any restaraunt if I were to try somewhere else). I have begun looking/training in another part-time job (yes I'm a busy busy little bee or whatever). The new job basically involves doing financial services for families. It's a company called Primerica, a subsidiary of CitiGroup (red umbrella). What I do is both recruit new associates/agents and I do complimentary financial needs analysee (is that the proper form of analysis?). We then help the family/individual get on track for becoming debt free and prepared for retirement as soon as possible, so we sell Life Insurance, Mortgages/Loans, and we do Securities Investments. Don't ask me how the pay is I don't really know yet but I know that the person in charge of the office I work out of has only been with the company about two years and already makes over 200k per year (not such a bad chunk of change). If anything it should prove to be a rewarding and lucrative part-time job.

So for this evening what is planned you ask? First, I need to finish this up. Next, I'm rereading an article "Can Poetry Matter?" by Dana Gioia (first published in The Atlantic Monthly, May 1991 (we're discussing this in poetry on Wed.). Then I'm heading out to some bar with Katie to have a few drinks and then chill out at my house. Ah, yes something I forget completely about because I haven't realized how long it has been since I updated this. I no longer live at home. I moved into a house with that girl from the last post, Gibson (we went out but that is no longer occurring and I have to say I'm really glad about this because I realized how completely different we were), there are also three other guys living the house, it's pretty damned big so it's not a huge deal to have five people living in one place; in fact I barely ever see my housemates except the two I work with and I really only see them at work (my god what a horrid run-on but I like it). Needless to say with five folks living in a house rent is cheap but utilities are high, I seem to have reallocated all my going out to dinner/drinking money towards bills instead so this necessitated a change in lifestyle to being a bit more of a homebody so books and movie recommendations are always appreciated, intellectual fare preferred for during the course of the semester, though weekends may be great for vegging.

Last bit of news. I don't really have a computer right now (no idea what's wrong with the current just crapped out), however I will attempt to post an entry as often as I can by stealing time on the 'rents' comp as well as the roomies' comps. If you are feeling particularly generous drop me a line on how to send donations we here at the Matthew Robinson Needs Money Foundation are willing to accept cash or check and make sure that 100% of the donated money goes towards our cause with no administrative fees what-so-ever. (I'd be willing to wager you'll not find another charity with that kind of usage rate (double meaning on the word usage). )

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

MacDaddy Cool

John, we all know I am MacDaddy cool. It's just how it is. As for where is MacShack, it is how I and several other employees refer to Macaroni Grill, the place I've worked the last two years now. Wow....I had totally forgotten that I was writting this and all of a sudden I found the tab open so now I'm back. In any case. School is going well. I've got an A and a B on my philosphy papers, the mid-term for that is tomorrow I should be fine. I've got an A in my Contemporary Lit. class. I've gotten mostly A's on things for my Narration and Description class and I should get the mid-term back tomorrow for that (I feel good), my Selected American Authors class though has me worried, I get that mid-term back tomorrow as well but we only have three grades in that class, mid-term, final and journal. Hopefully I did well. Anyways, not much else going on in life. Work, School and a bit of a social life. I've met a really great girl, her name is Gibson and I work with her. I've actually been hanging out with her pretty much since the Superbowl. She's a lot of fun but our philosophical views are a bit antagonistic to one another, for example she doesn't really believe in the human soul. o well, in any case she's cool and whenever any of you stop into town you should at least meet her because she's fun to talk and drink with. Well I'm off to go watch Capote I'll update you all again in a bit.

Zen-ness :-) Will be coming to you at a later time due to internet difficulties.

"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty." -Thomas Jefferson

Monday, February 20, 2006

Are you happy now?

School takes up a lot of time. Life is good. I'm now also a bartender at MacShack. Hope all is well with everyone. I have a philosophy paper due in about 4 hours, I haven't started yet. I have a mid-term tonight that I have to finish preparing for. Hope you folks are better at not procrastinating than I am. Your Zen courtesy of Matt Stites, who is actually getting a real job soon. More on that later.

As seen on

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Lost in posting

I wrote a post but firefox crashed in another tab I had open causing all of the work to be lost. Leaves something to be said for those crappy seperate windows that IE uses currently. Ah well such is life. Everything is going well and I've got homework. I'm not going to rewrite a post. Later all.

Follow the link for your moment of zen since Blogger won't let us view video through them.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

School Daze

Okay. So I'm sure you're all overly anticipatory about my first day back in college. Let me tell you now it was a big relief. We'll begin at the beginning and end at the end – I hear this is usually a good way to go about doing a narrative.

First off I woke up at about 6:30 am....holy crap. I usually only see this time of day as I'm getting home or beginning to think about bed; I had to go to bed at like 11pm on Sunday night. Morning routine...yadda yadda. I get out of the house just after 7am – how do all these people do this? Morning drive seems a lot longer than it ever has before, must try a different route to school on the 23rd.

So my first class of the day is Science, Technology, Society Interaction. I'm going to admit that I'm a little worried about the class. However, it seems as though we are going to be able to take the course in nearly any direction that we as a student/participant wish to take it. So rather than dropping and getting a refund – although I technically haven't paid yet so I would get a refund just a reduced price – I've decided to go ahead and stick with it and get my exit requirements finished as well as practically develop an STS course for myself. If I really have as much leeway as I'm imagining then I'll really enjoy the course. Second thing about it, self-grading. Sometimes bad, often good; I'm looking forward to this part. There is going to be a bit of outside work required, projects (what class doesn't have them?), site visits (should be interesting), media watch (I'm not really sure on exactly what this is yet), journals (all classes apparently love these now), and video reviews (should be some good videos at least). Overall, should be a good course, the only worry is that since only four people are in the class there is the possibility it will be canceled and all my thought on the subject is moot.

Second class is Selected American Authors. I had no idea who the “selected authors” were – turns out we're going with Melville and a smidgen of Hawthorne – but I was a little worried about the course and had a few back-ups in mind. In any case, the teacher turned out to be rather funny, though she does have a habit of clearing her throat every few sentences (something I'm sure I'll eventually tune out). Some of the other students seem pretty intelligent, funny, and most importantly there are some cute looking girls in the class. The teacher said the class is going to start slow in order to make sure we don't get too far ahead, in case students join the class at the end of the week and then we don't have class on Monday because of MLK day, so we won't really get started until Wednesday of next week I guess. Overall, this class seems as though it should be a lot of fun and I'll learn a thing or two about Melville and Hawthorne.

Third class was my Narration and Description class, a requirement for my Creative Writing major (it's also a prereq for several other writing courses). Well the class was interesting, we're going to start off writing poetry (not sure about this), move into short short fiction (maybe some long stuff as well), and then creative nonfiction (looking forward to this the most). Hilariously, a young lady from my American Authors class was also in this class, and having already met and talked with her some we were in a group together for the discussion of a quick writing we did in class. The fast assignment was to write an apology letter to God from the perspective of either Adam or Eve. Just something short a paragraph or so. Here is what I came up with on the spur-of-the-moment.

Dear God,
It was all Eve's fault. She's such a beauty, and you made her so well I couldn't resist such a small request. To bite an apple. How simple a thing. Yes, yes. I know it was the one request you had of us. Eve had already given in to the vile serpent and I saw no harm come to her. I thought perhaps it was a different fruit, from another tree. I was tricked by her and so I'm sure you understand that all the blame lies with her.
Most Regretfully,

The writing was received rather well and taken for the humorous writing that it was. Blah blah class occurs. The teacher learned that WTF stands for “what the fuck” and had no problem saying it aloud as she was amused by the whole idea; always a relief to learn that a writing teacher understands that words are simply words and has no bias against certain ones. She then tells us she wants us to rewrite our letter into a poem with no rhymes that is about 12-14 lines. This is crappy.

Anyways, jokingly I said to the young lady who was in my previous class (we'll call her “Alice” – not the real name – for easier reference), “So are you going to fall me all over campus?”
“Alice” says, “Well what do you have next?”
“I've got Philosophy of Mind. You?”
With a copy of her schedule in hand she begins laughing and shows me we're heading in the same direction yet again.

By weird coincidence I share three classes with an intelligent, cute young lady I've never met before. Well we're off to Philosophy class and while I'm somewhat interested in the subject reading philosophical writings is a difficult and time consuming matter. However, I'm a fan of the idea that one day machines will think and eventually there will be a convergence as Kurzweil calls it. So “Alice” and I walk into this class and there is this guy who is apparently HARD CORE about philosophy. Well we sat about in the middle of the room and we noticed that there was a huge diversity within the class. The front section was made up of those who are serious nerds (well not all of them), and the back was comprised of those who you don't expect to see at the end of the semester (probably not all of them). Anyways, the class is going to be difficult however it should be rather enlightening and help me refine my current theories.

So at this point I head on over to my brother Josh's house in order to have dinner with him, Susan (his wife), and Evan (their 10 mo. old son). So having got some spaghetti, meat sauce, and toast into my system I head back over to school for my last class of the day Contemporary Literature. Now my understanding of contemporary literature was that it was books after 1945 leaning more towards the current time period. I now believe this to be incorrect. I won't go into my current thoughts on this as I haven't finished formulating them yet. The teacher is intelligent, witty, and passionate about the subject so the class should be a good time. We're starting with a novel called Wieland written by Charles Brockden Brown, the first American writer as the novel was published in 1798. We're reading this in order to get a better understanding of what it is for a novel to be American. After that we're reading The Great Gatsby, a novel in which a woman achieves the American dream and man doesn't get the girl because it is one of those depressing Modern novels written by a hard drinker. Finally we're reading In Cold Blood by Capote in order to decide whether it is a Post-Modern work or a Contemporary work. After those three we're checking out M. Butterfly and possibly Brokeback Mountain. Should be a rather illuminating course with a great teacher.

So I had been at school for about twelve hours. A long, long, long day. I went on home and finally sacked out as a reward for making it all the way through the day.

Today, Tuesday, I worked this morning then came home and worked on this blog and a few other things. Watched Jeopardy, Gilmore Girls (yes that's right), then Shade came on (great movie about cards), then The Whole Nine Yards (who can resist a movie about a hitman?). A great two days and now I need to convert that apology letter by Adam into a poem of some type. Wake up early so I can get to school, buy a book, and read my Descartes for Philosophy, go to classes, return the book, go to dinner with family out at MacShack (family in from out of town so Grandpa is taking everyone out). Again another eventful day that I'm sure I'll write about in order to bore all of you avid readers.

Until I post again, don't bother me I'm being overwhelmed with reading and writing, enjoy. Now your future Zen.

"I have never let my schooling interfere with my education." ~Mark Twain

Image from here.