12/15/04 11:56pm A sense of an ending. My work is all out of the way, and I'm so bored, it's come to the following: first, I went next door and picked a fight with
(that is, I literally began to wrestle with) Bill Flannery. He was winning until my legs got free, then Byron stepped in and broke it up, and rightly so. I went back across the hall and started eating literally everything in sight. I've done my laundry, I've done the dishes. I updated my profile buffer. I went to Wegman's with Jenn for the sole purpose of picking up a thing of ice cream and some windshield washer fluid. It's to the point where I've begun contemplating starting into the work that I have lined up for winter break, but that's just plain crazy, so I think I'll end it at that. Suffice it to say that I'm through with this semester; I finished it off today, and it's only going to come back to bite me in the form of my Isaiah paper, which is now officially an extracurricular nightmare and nothing more.
Fall '04, for the record, has been completely insane. Things seemed all well and good from the outset, but I guess the important lesson from this semester is that things don't always go according to plan. Sometimes, you need to make adjustments. Other times, you need to make MAJOR adjustments. A good way to measure a person, I think, is by looking at how flexible they're willing to be, especially when it comes to coping with unforseen changes in course. For my part, all I can offer is that I did the best I could, and nothing more. Not much more than a week into the semester, I found myself thrust into the office of President of Little Theatre; they insisted that somehow I was the only one fit for the job. Producing two shows, make no mistake about it, was an absolute nightmare. I wouldn't have been able to survive without the incredible people that came to my aid and put up with all of my bullshit and random bouts of incompetence, and they've been explicitly thanked somewhere further down on this page.
I guess the issue with this semester, though, wasn't really in having to produce two shows... while all of this Little Theatre stuff was going down (on a daily basis, of course), I had to constantly remind myself that I was also a college student. I lost sight of this fact on more than one occasion, but it didn't do much to supress my academic or vocational ambitions; I still needed to apply to graduate schools, write my thesis, and put up with my coursework. I made it into DiGamma. I had classes to teach over in Black Rock. I played in the freshman chem lab every Tuesday afternoon. Ridiculously enough, the academic stuff was easily the most neglected layer of my life this semester... actually, even as I write that, I know that statement is not entirely accurate. The MOST neglected aspect of my three-block life between Delavan and Humboldt this semester was my "home" life. After about the beginning of October, I stopped hanging out with some of my closest friends at Canisius. I know how and why it
happened, but it still baffles and irritates me quite a bit. This was Jason's last semester, and I barely talked to him at all. He slept in the next room over from mine, EVERY NIGHT. I barely interacted with Byron, and I stopped going next door altogether.
No time. Couldn't handle it. Halo 2 came out on November 9th, and I still haven't made it next door to pick up a goddamn controller for a second. I really dropped the ball this semester as far as my ex-Spiremen are concerned... man. So, there was Little Theatre. Yeah, I had a thesis to write, jobs to do, and other random things to take care of. It's no excuse. Of course, even with all of the stresses, I found an awful lot of things to be happy about this semester, and most of my sources of frustration quite often doubled as sources of joy. Little Theatre, for example, as much as it drove me CRAZY, never ceased to put a smile on my face on a daily basis. We've got so many great new people in the club, and the opportunity to cooperate with everyone, to build
two really good shows together... it was something I'll never forget. As I like to tell Tony, with whom I am tight like a tiger, "Tony! We're in a show together! This is awesome!" and I always mean it. I love being on stage, I love putting in all of the work, I love giving people a shot at letting their talents and creativity shine out for anyone who cares enough to come and watch. It's something else. Working on the thesis and the rest of my coursework, moreover, reminded me of why I'm headed toward the vocation that I'm headed toward. I love learning about prophecy and social justice, I love discovering things about religion in general, and above all, I love sharing that stuff with other people. I had a blast teaching the New Testament over at Our Lady of Black Rock. Getting those kids interested in something as random as redaction criticism, fielding all sorts of honest questions about the Bible and religion in general... it was really just a great experience all around. This semester also
afforded me the opportunity to forge some new friendships and strengthen a lot of the ones I already had. Bill D'Alessandro came out of nowhere, our paths were bound to cross sooner or later, but we were united by double classes with Dr. Zeis as well as our common and hilarious "pasts" with Anne Cataldo. Ridiculous. On the same chord, the whole Philsophy Club experience was something that I really dug, and I'm looking forward to jumping back into it next semester. A significant number of freshmen this year completely rock my socks. A lot of them joined FUSION and Little Theatre, some were tucked away in the Honors House, and others were out in random locations waiting to be discovered otherwise. At the top of my list are the two Ryans, Kelly, Rachel, Liz Butler, Krysta and Zac, and I feel guilty about stopping the list there, but those are the people that jump out at me immediately as critically important to my semester. Lots of good connections... Tom Donovan jumped onto the scene, Andy and Joe
bolstered the LT "male factor" for Hot L, Dave Covert saved the day once or twice, Lindy Grugel an entire production, and Aleigha I think will turn out to be the sleeper hit that saves the next one. The Square was established on the 10th of October, 2004, and I've been happy ever since. Things may not always go according to plan, but sometimes I think it's better that they don't. I'm really glad that Jenn and I were at the same place at the same time, finally. Probably three people in Zeis' Modern I class will get this, but Jenn was like the unity of apperception, the a priori synthetic judgment that "bundled" (in your face, David Hume) an entire semester's worth of disparate impressions into one cohesive and meaningful whole. Eat your heart out, Immanuel. The bottom line is that this semester has been a hell of a lot of work, but I've given it my all, I've gone for broke, and I'm so immensely happy with the way my life is running right now that I know it's all been worthwhile. If I could go
back, I would scarcely change a thing. Please, though, don't make me go back and do all of that... ever again. Another hit like that just might kill me.
12/13/04 11:12pm Down to the wire, and there's not a whole lot left to worry about. Braved the tundra this evening with The Square for a trek to Pano's, thoroughly cold but thoroughly enjoyable. Split open a pomegranate this afternoon (the way to a man's heart, incidentally, is through a pomegranate). A lot of people have been bitching about the Midsummer cast list that was posted last night, and I'm kind of irritated about that. Some people have taken things graciously, as they should. That's good. What's not good is that other people have taken it upon themselves to grumble about their parts or about not getting cast, and really, it's doing nothing but poisoning the ground for the rest of the club, and it needs to stop. Anyway, that's my piece on that subject. Personally, I'm ambivalent toward my casting as Peter Quince, the nerdy "leader" of the Athenian mechanicals. I don't know what else in the show I was really suited for, though, and I have a feeling that if I commit myself to
the character, it'll come out pretty well. So that's that. I've been spending more time at home recently, watched some cartoons with Bill, cooked dinner with Byron and shared it with Bill, Jason, and Mike, camped out in the common room next door with a pomegranate overlooking a to-the-death Monopoly face-off between Byron and Pat, and I actually caught another glimpse of Halo 2 today. Good stuff. I kicked out an application to the University of Chicago Divinity School today, so the whole "getting into grad school" process has officially begun up in this piece. Boston College and Harvard Divinity School applications will probably go out next week, so that's all fine and dandy as well. It's gonna be alright... I'm sure of it.
12/10/04 6:07pm Finally, a minute to breathe. A minute to open the mail, a minute to look around my room, a minute to crack open a pomegranate. My work isn't going to stop with the end of the semester this time around. The hits are gonna keep on coming. It's alright, though, because I am so absolutely happy with where I am right now, they can keep bringing new tasks right to my doorstep, I'm not going to take exception to them. "Things are okay with me these days..."
12/9/04 8:51pm Sitting in the library lab, taking a quick break from explaining why mishpat doesn't link up with tsedeqah as much as it should in Isaiah 60-62 to make a note to myself: I am beginning to genuinely fear the company behind Red Bull. No, I do not want to try Red Bull. Please stop pushing that infernal drink on me and everyone else I know. You're freaking me out.
12/6/04 9:47pm When life gives you lemons, don't just smile and make lemonade. Invent a completely new lemon dessert or something, then share it with everybody. Honestly people, when life gives you lemons, go for broke and don't look back.
12/5/04 1:43pm This is the part where I count my blessings. Escaped from Western New York with Brendan Cataldo, poured my heart out on the open road, found myself in my native valley, the regular crowd shuffled in. Frisbee in the pouring rain, twenty guys tearing up St. Catherine's field, stuck with it for an hour and a half, threw some scoring receptions, but mostly felt like an out-of-shape old man. Somewhere in the mix I had extremely expensive ice cream, pangs of capitalist guilt, several good meals, Jenny O'Connell calls us during dinner and the city rushes in a few hours later, Kennedy brings an empty mayonnaise jar and a packet of magic rocks, Bear brings a buddy from school, Anne brings an awkward social situation, Mark brings a notebook and his thoughts trickle into it at random intervals. Thanksgiving, tag-out and tag-back to Utica, the aunts grill me about Jenn, I break out the semi-formal pictures, I eat way too much pie, I fall asleep watching football, I pirate some good music
with Paulie. Sam's house, biggest game of celebrity ever, all of the younger Albany faces fill out the experience of seeing more or less everyone I know who lives outside of Buffalo within three days' time. Tag-out and tag-back to Syracuse, dinner at the turkey farm, I eat way too much pie, I fall asleep with Kaj jumping on my back and stealing my blankets, I get my grandmother set up on AIM as she expresses her amusement in the fact that her Protestant grandson is teaching the Hebrew scriptures to a group of Catholic kids. I hold onto the thought that religious lines are blurring all over the place in our secular urban-blue world. I watch The Princess Bride with Sarah Dunn, history is made, I catch some popcorn in a bowl in the Dunn kitchen, smiling pretty widely. Aunt Mari, Kyrie, and Kaj crash the family spaghetti dinner with Grace, hilarity ensues, the boys bust over and Kaj invents an elaborate ritual involving a small plush soccer ball and three pennies, we talk about going to Providence for
New Year's, we catch a Spectrum movie, we wrap it up at Gateway, all too early the next morning I'm fighting my way through the pouring rain all the way across the state, I set foot on campus and the week commences as one long blur of rehearsals and lighting and sound and scraping it together and rallying the troops, I steal a second here and there for Jenn and to remind my roommates that I still exist. They remain skeptical even now. In the theatre, I'm explaining the up-down trend. I'm spending my hours as a sunrise techie. I'm steadily gaining faith in everyone around me. I'm experiencing cooperation and a collective drive for success like nothing I've ever seen before, I'm witnessing the will of a group of people who will not settle for mediocrity, a cast and crew who want their talents to show through and for people to take notice. The show goes up, and it happens. Lord, does it happen.
This is the part where I name names. Seriously, I don't even know where to begin, but these people need to
be recognized for their absolutely fantastic contributions to our great project. My sunrise techies, Mr. Hall and The Blur, transcend what it means to give up your time for a common goal. Ryan Hall bounced back from a glaring misstep on my part, going the extra mile and jumping headlong into the lighting director role, in addition to his other duties as co-director, actor, and bass player. The Blur is fantastically dedicated to what he does, he does it well, and there's no one I'd rather have supporting an entire tech session... he's going to make a fine tech director some day soon. As long as I'm up in the booth, I should mention how Krystal kicked it up a notch and flexed her ability to make things happen in an orderly and proper fashion (thoroughly looking forward to her producing Midsummer with Lyndsy), and Monique is already well on her way to becoming a pillar of that booth herself. Mike Suffoletto, God bless him, picked up the light board two days before the show and immediately commenced
saving the day when Ryan Hall was too busy with other issues. Mike is also an evil, sneaky little bastard and I love him for it. Still on the production end of things, Lindy Grugel came out of nowhere and suddenly vaulted her way into notoriety as Ryan Hall's "second favorite female on the planet." That girl does everything, she does it cheerfully, she filled four production staff positions simultaneously, running last-minute errands and holding us all up with the well-timed question, "WHO NEEDS CAFFIENE?"; she was definitely an eleventh-hour staple. Krysta Cadoret wandered into the theatre and suddenly became the goddess of stage-left, running the ropes and acting as the critical medium between tech and actors, not to mention providing the artistic hand behind all of the Diegesis posters that went up EVERYWHERE. Mike Neary held it together in the house, Hasheen was an absolute light-hanging machine at strike, Joe Spencer charged in to the theatre in a tuxedo at just the right moment and carried on
the shop-clearing dumpster run tradition that he started after Baltimore. Donaldson arrived as another over-dressed techie, Mr. McKernan, in addition to furnishing the theatre with two authentic bales of hay, went the extra mile and became a superstar usher for all three nights, definitely psyched to have him in the club.
Bob Poltis and Ted Anger also dropped by for strike and helped slay the beast wood pile in the shop. Dan Sensinger and Laura Mullen were in the right place at the right time for events, Jeau had her usual stellar performance in the box office. Back on the build, Kelly Menzel put in the hours and lassoed the moon for us, George Bailey style, and she remains at the very top of my list of favorite new tech people. Zac helped bring the strip lights back up to where they belonged but contributed most notably in his organization of Strike Scatergories; a good time was had by all. David Covert saved Christmas, came up with chords for Somewhere Over The Rainbow the night before the show, and gave us the musical element that we needed so badly. Kristen Wodarczak, a great young person, was
drafted into the mix to accompany her brother and ended up doing quite a bit more than she bargained for, excellent work there. Christina Serio kept it real in the green room again, providing a much-needed voice of authority in the last days of production and keeping everything in line that needed to be kept in line. Adam, in addition to being a triple threat, was the greatest costume DESIGNER that I've ever worked with, and pulled it all together using barely any money out of his budget. Another cast member with a major production staff role was Liz Butler, our heinously dedicated properties mistress who might just be too good to have working with us, tackled prop land like nobody's business at strike along with the Gulch. Speaking of Gulch, what a phenomenal new performer in our group, definitely looking forward to working with her again in the future. Brittany Farrugia came charging into this production out of her lacrosse season, and never ceased to amaze me with her patience and her high level
of general collectedness throughout the production. Another patient one was Jenine, who sang wonderfully and never had a bad thing to say about anybody, truly helping to keep the entire production very positive. Lisa Cavaretta, victim of a typo in the cast e-mail list, joined us a little bit late but caught herself up very quickly, contributing significantly to the "show stoppa" that was El Tango De Roxanne. I am personally glad that Kelly Ring chose to make her first appearance on any stage anywhere with us, because she brought another unconditionally friendly face to the cast, also filling the ever-important role of keeping Dan O Dan in line. Dan himself fought through the ten plagues to keep it together on stage this weekend, refrained from getting his hair cut, and played keeper of the keys in my absence over Thanksgiving, in addition to his usual role as a staple performer in the club. Speaking of staples, the Chris Szefler Clone Army was both indispensable and unstoppable during this production,
taking up the slack with musical direction, keeping all of the singers in line and on pitch, and nailing all of his own appearances in the show. The kid is absolutely top-notch. Graham never ceases to amaze me with his numerous eccentricities, and stepped up his acting for Professor Marvel, his bubble-blowing for the Caterpillar, and signed on as our percussionist, once again in the eleventh hour, to save the day. His girlfriend, KT, showed up for strike, the flattering salute was all I needed to know that we had another excellent person in our corner. Jill always seemed to be right behind me in representing the ALB, and I was happy that I got a chance to connect with her a little bit more on the issue during the show. Sarah Beth set down a perfectly haunting waltz to open the second act and has been steadily bringing new and productive people into the club, so she gets major props for both of those points. Liz Gruber helped us out by going back to her old high school speech roots and putting her
best foot forward to keep vocal rehearsals positive and productive. Moreover, I have a feeling that the whole Dressing Room Club thing was her idea. Christina Kennedy had Alice written all over her from the get-go, donated carpet cleaner to save us from The Man, and made for a mighty fine waltzing partner. Kristin Gelia held herself with absolutely remarkable composure even with the death of her dance instructor so close to opening... I know that I would personally have a pretty impossible time doing a monologue about death in that kind of situation, but Kristin buckled down and reminded us all that the show must go on. Andy Cipolla, I gotta say, didn't audition, got grandfathered in illegitimately, but did the Captain Killion thing a lot better than I would have. He's also instrumental in kicking up morale right before the curtain, and is a major presence during warm-ups and in the green room.
B-Waff stepped in where she needed to and kept vocal rehearsals on task, providing an additional voice in decision making where it was needed. Rose is probably the most dedicated, responsible, and level-headed individual on the executive board this
year, and it comes through in everything she does. She's absolutely invaluable.
Lori Shepherd stepped up to the plate as choreographer in expert fashion, dumbed it all down for the rhythmless masses of LT, and was always there with a hug when I needed one. She was a keystone, through and through.
Johnny. That's all I've got to say. The opportunity to watch Johnny come into his own as a performer was one of the greatest gifts that I was given during this show, and it was a wonderful feeling to see him up there plowing through a full-blown monologue. Johnny also kept it real in the clubroom, utilizing the flying fish on the whiteboard as a daily barometer of my worst fear of the moment. Tony Tyrpak is the man with whom I am indeed tight like a tiger. Not only is Tony another male LT triple threat, not only does he have an unwavering spirit and will to keep things moving in a hilarious fashion, but Tony dove straight into the chaos of the shop during strike and emerged completely victorious, huge props for sorting through the plywood abyss that had been sitting there and growing since my freshman year. To top it off, there's Dan Lance Dan, a man who I've had the fortune of watching grow not only as a responsible and dedicated member of the club, but also as a good friend, throughout his tenure
at Canisius. Dan was right there throughout the production, putting in the extra hours, midnight teching it up, and putting the fire in us all when it mattered most. I wouldn't have even known where to begin with this show without him.
Props also to the CCTV people (Nick and Kirsten) and Becca and Bill, the bastions of the booth, for their consulting expertise. So, there it is. I've counted my blessings in only one sector of my life. I needed a miracle to pull this show together, and I was sent, straight up, about forty guardian angels. Absolutely incredible and, admittedly, not really deserved. But I digress.
With all of these people in place, we succeeded. The show went up, we took Pano's by storm, there was a scheme afoot, I ended up with a waitress' hand on my shoulder and a piece of pie in front of me, an ovation from my peers, Jenn was sitting in front of me with a thoroughly amused look on her face, I must have turned about eight different shades of red. Slammed the economics test on Friday, finally got to spend some actual time with Jenn, my parents came up yesterday, got to show them the fruits of our labor, Jon Bard painted the stage at strike until four in the morning. This fantastic whirlwind has left me here, reflecting on this whole thing (I've been writing this now for three hours, in between laundry shifts), finally able to relax for a minute or two. Thanks, everyone. We built this thing together, and the chance to cooperate with each and every one of you at different points over so many weeks was a gift, plain and simple. Thank you.
11/22/04 12:54am The Blur, Krysta Cadoret, and Dan Wodarczak rock my ever-loving world.
11/21/04 4:24am A particularly great weekend thus far, owing primarily to some fantastic people, a solid itinerary, and the draft of my Isaiah paper out of my hands for the time being. I flew high through Friday, actually made it to Economics, a solo mission to the UPS Depot to pick up a script for Little Theatre, the extremely satisfying realization in Zeis' class that I already had everything I need to know about Hume set up in a different part of my notebook. Gave a paper on Philosophy and the Dewey Decimal System, exposed the menace behind the machine and had a great time doing it. It seemed pretty well received, all of the Philosophy nerds were digging it, and a good time was had by all. Flash forward to a curious episode with Bill D'Alessandro in a flower shop, conversations with strangers, a heinously giddy feeling walking down Ferry on the way back to the car, found myself heading over not too much later
to the Honors House in the old three piece, stood like a nervous highschooler at the foot of the stairs; she
descended pretty phenomenally. Rode in a limousine, reflected vaguely on the randomness of being born into privilege, watched as Buffalo drifted by in a slightly less melancholy but altogether more ironic way than usual. The Connecticut Street Armory is an absolutely fantastic venue, and it made me genuinely jealous to recall the state of Albany's own armories, especially the tragedy that sits on the corner of Washington and Lark. Then there was the Semi-Formal, my first and last at Canisius. It seemed like everyone who was anyone was there, most of them positively glowing. Tried desperately to "assemble a crew," but the natural progression of things really did work everything out for the best. It wasn't Albany High, I was sorely missing the antics of the hometown crew, Anne was there to remind me and to share an Albany-inspired moment, but I knew that it was going to be something all its own, something different, something
new. Basically all of the things that went wrong with my high school dance experiences went perfectly well on Friday night, and it was particularly satisfying in that respect.
Finally found Derek and Kelly, basically as they were heading out the door. Took lots of pictures. Jenn was
completely fabulous. I honestly loved every minute of it, and was pleasantly surprised that it exceeded all of my expectations. Slept wonderfully that night. Logged nine hours in the theatre today, running on a Clif Bar and not much else, dinner at Pano's with some of the finer elements in the cast, Dan Lance Dan was at odds with the waitress. Gyro dinner, red smashed. Tech call, broke a window, got some things done, nerded it up afterwards, broke Big Pat, headed off with ten excellent individuals for twenty frames at Voelker's. Bowled the best game of my life (152), thoroughly enjoyed the company of everyone there, got to slide around in my bowling shoes. I guess the bottom line is that the stresses of my work and everything else have subsided just enough for me to legitimately enjoy myself this weekend, and that my generally good feeling about life has been compounded by the opportunity to share in the good times with so many great
people. I still can't wait to hit the road on Tuesday, but it looks like I might not be stumbling back into the House of Bard as haggardly as I originally thought. Rock on.
11/18/04 4:14am Pano's with Big Pat the morning before the project draft is due? Fulfilling, much needed, and yes indeed, priceless. Enjoy it while it lasts, boys, because the future is going to be beating down your front door in a matter of seconds. Oh wait, it's here.
11/16/04 4:20pm Delirious. Thoroughly exhausted. Miles to go before I sleep. I could explain a good number of things here, I could explain how this god-awful paper is due in 48 hours and I'm nowhere near where I need to be with it. I could explain why I'm exhausted today, got very little sleep last night, but barely made any headway with the paper itself. I could explain how happy I am to have certain people in my life. I could explain how I absolutely cannot wait to hit the road in a week, to leave all of this insanity behind for a few days. I can't wait. I honestly can't wait. I miss my people so much.
11/8/04 2:17pm Completely failed to get a haircut today. Heading out into Buffalo during the first snow squall of the season, the first stop was the barber shop of an old man named Chick. I arrived on the scene, but instead of finding the barber shop, I found a pile of charred rubble behind a fence. It hit me just then that the old man's place was situated under the coffee shop that burned down a few weeks ago. I almost cried. The snow picked up, I trudged back to the 3-1 and booked it to North Buffalo, home of Charley the Barber. Charley tends to sleep a lot I think,
and his place was closed. Thoroughly irritated, I decided to settle for Jim Lang's place at Main and Delevan. Closed on Mondays. God doesn't want me to get a haircut today, apparently.
11/6/04 8:58pm I'm seriously beginning to think that this project is doomed to failure. I just went over to the library to get more material on Isaiah of Jersualem, forgetting, of course, that it's a Saturday night. I went up to the building and tried the doors. Locked. I turned to leave, and straightaway a cat with jet-black fur darted out from around a pillar and across the way in front of me. It felt like my heart had just been plunged into a basin full of icewater. This is definitely not good for business.
11/4/04 9:34pm Maybe the best and worst day of this semester. A cold rain dominated the mood for most of the day, which began in earnest with my head hitting the pillow for a ten minute nap which spun itself into two hours. My morning commitments lying in shards and tatters on the ground, I picked myself up to start over again. Hit the underground strip to find out that I was the best competitor to NOT make the Canisius College Bowl team... I came in sixth individually, and they're taking the top five. Ryan Hall stumbled in to hand back the theatre keys, it was a melancholy afternoon in the clubroom, I stepped out to take care of some things for my Isaiah project. Showed up to an afternoon meeting with Dr. Kim, learned that the results of my word study were inconclusive, thus invalidating the core of my paper, which is now due in less than two weeks. To top it off, I completely neglected to memorize about a billion Hebrew pronouns, so I was summarily pwn3d at that meeting, left the tower
feeling thoroughly dejected. Got dressed up, went for dinner with the Jesuits, pretty decent lasagna, very good conversations with Fr. Haus and Fr. Lynch. Felt awkward all dressed up for the concert, but that's kind of the way it was all day... out of place, but still in my element. Still hurting from getting trashed in Hebrew, I stepped out into a howling windstorm in the quad and booked it over to Montante. Helped get things set up for the Alpha Sigma Nu concert, Dr. Duling arrived to play piano, I made a passing comment about our impromptu duet back in April and before I knew it I was on stage doing it again in front of assorted friends and vaguely important college types alike. The rest of the concert was good, Fine Arts did a solid job with the classical stuff as usual, good jazz and improv in the second set. The duet left me feeling, again, seriously out of place but still really good about myself, shook a whole lot of hands, ate a cookie or three, a good time was had by all. I'm back in
the apartments now, basically nowhere to turn with this paper, behind with most of my work, on shaky ground in the theatre zone, but seriously, I have so much to be thankful for at this point, I'm really not worried about what the next couple of weeks are going to bring. I came here to get some things done, and I'm going to get them done.
11/2/04 6:12pm Today is Election Day. I just got back from the dining hall, and everyone was talking. I could hear bits and pieces of "international policy..." and "Kerry's problem is..." and "if Bush wins Ohio..." and "how many electoral votes does..." swarming around me like so many foreign sounds, a thick cloud of red and blue locusts in the baked potato line. Everyone has been showing their stripes today. Johnny, usually pretty reserved (and by reserved, I mean positively mute), exclaimed his disgust in the clubroom, showing me a map of a congressional district that curves around the toughest parts of Buffalo like a sinister bureaucratic boomerang. The Blur gave his piece on why it's nice not to live in a swing state. A freshman member of our Bible Study group smiled widely as we stepped out into the rain, declaring simply, "I'm a Bush man." Surveying the list of AIM profiles, I've gotten everything from "Save the environment -- plant a Bush back in Texas" to "Vote Al Sharpton -- It's your
vote to throw away. Why not throw it away in style?" to "I give up. Nader '04. The end." I haven't even ventured to turn on the television yet, but I've been hearing random and depressing snippets all day, just walking by a set or coming by someone with a radio on... it's madness. It's really pretty preposterous to consider the amount that the airwaves and the collective consciousness of America has been saturated with all of this nonsense masquerading as legitimate political inquiry, honestly, since January. We've been hit with it since the Democratic primaries, and while this bland-as-all-hell, special-interest schmuck politician from Massachusetts won the battle, the war hadn't even begun yet. The primaries boiled things down, once again, to two virtually identical "choices."
Since Bush and his cronies and FOX News and the religious right have blasted most of the "issues" so far to the right, Kerry and his pathetically inept clan of panderers have had to settle for a horribly ill-defined locus of political and social
"positions" that are intolerably moderate. Where is the cry for fiscal responsibility and small government that I could respect in the Republican party as it ought to be? Where is the passion for social justice and a firm and rational hand guiding American business that the Democrats could use to get an edge? All gone. The gay marriage issue haphazardly became a topic of discussion for a little while, but was it pitched correctly by left-wing strategists as a serious matter of state's rights? No, that voice was silenced pretty quickly. Besides, the conflict between state rights and the powers of the federal government is a little too complicated for the American voter to even partially grasp. I never once heard Kerry say something to the tune of "they just shat on the Constitution and we shouldn't stand here and let them do that." No, not once. It's all watered down, it's flash-in-the-pan buzz words, "flip-flop," "global test," "Al Qaeda," and you're either with us or you're against us. That's where
those right-wing swindlers, that's where they've got it down. They've succeeded in defining the terms of discussion, they've been ruthless, but above all, they have been able to succeed by causing divisions: divisions between us and them, divisions between the Coalition of the Willing (featuring our close buddy Poland) and the Axis of Evil, divisions between born-again NASCAR dads and those baby-killing Yankee secularists, divisions between us and our most valuable allies in (the increasingly irrelevant) NATO, divisions between Red and Blue, even though Blue might as well be Purple now because they've managed, again, to drag the discussion so far into the center of the spectrum that there's no point in discussion anymore. Meanwhile, everyone's distracted and irritated by Ralph Nader, this spoiler idealist, a genuine champion of the American citizen and the man gets no respect. I had the absentee ballot in my hand, I felt good, I felt like I had something, and I just couldn't bring myself to vote for
Kerry, not in good conscience. Kerry's people missed the Swift boat, they dropped the ball, plain and simple. Michael Moore had a shot at saving us, but no, he went overboard, he sold out, he twisted his facts, and that's the end of the line for him. Meanwhile, out in the boondocks and in the sterile, heartless burbs and in vast expanses of the Land of Cotton, they're singing the praises of a mediocre man who stole an election and went to war to make his good old boys even richer. I hope that sinister bastard, that new Red Menace, I hope he takes New York State. I hope he takes California. I hope he wins this election fair and square so he can drive the country into the ground. If that's the wake-up call that Ameria needs, if that's what it's going to take for the ivory tower invalids on the left who know the truth but don't
do anything about it to mobilize themselves, if we have to march straight through Hell to finally make things better in this country, you know what, so be it. Maybe that's why I voted for Nader. I'm sick of
the pathetic stagnancy in American "politics," I'm tired of being force-fed proxy "issues" that hide what the real problems are, and I'm thoroughly enraged with this electoral college, too close to call, time to let nine conservative old crooks decide the fate of the free world AGAIN bullshit. Do yourself a favor and vote. It's your civic duty, you owe it to yourself and your country. Vote for the best person for the job, whoever you think that might be. Be rational and just in your everyday life, be slow to anger, make yourself an instrument of peace and civic responsibility. It's gotta start with you, because it sure as hell isn't going to start with them. They don't want your opinion to cut in on their hijacking of "democracy." Uncle Sam wants you, pal. Heed the call.
10/31/04 4:48pm Charging across the parking lot, half a dozen others around me yelling and running alongside, a crisp autumn wind at our backs, our fists went in the air, we hoisted bins of building refuse into the dumpster, reveled in all that we had accomplished, and turned back for home. That was my favorite part... it's always my favorite part when we commit to doing something and then get it done, together. Struck down the set until 5:30 in the morning last night, rounded out sixteen solid hours in the theatre, and now the only reminder of the show is a thin layer of silver on the floor of my shower, reflecting memories more effectively than light. This isn't really a time to sit around, though, because we just hit the crunchy part of the semester in a bad way. The first draft of my thesis will be done in two weeks' time... mark my words.
10/28/04 5:34pm Strange and wonderful things are happening, and I will admit outright that I attribute most of it to last night's lunar eclipse. Got a paper back from Dr. Zeis with a comment to the tune of "this time I chose to ignore the problem that has been plaguing all of your papers in this course to date. You get an A. Fix it for next week or else." This wasn't the start of my outrageous fortune this week, but I think it's a good place to start. Went to Joan's political poetry reading session, heard a lot of pretty striking stuff, shook a lot of hands, talked to Fr. Bucki about Third Isaiah, had a really good time overall. Clad in Under Armour, I dragged a sleeping bag and blanket to the quad for the annual sleep-out for the homeless, found myself standing amidst a ridiculous cardboard metropolis, a lot of good people there, barely a wink of sleep. Our cardboard box had pretty much fallen apart by three in the morning, suffice it to say that I'd rather not be homeless, ever. Lunar eclipse. Red Sox broke The Curse, and I don't think I'm a Sox fan any more. Woke up in the quad, threw some collapsed cardboard onto a truck, quested with Derek in a classic comedy of errors that involved me standing out on a street corner, frantically looking for him and his car. Twice. Dropped the 3-1 off to a mechanic named Kieffer in Tonawanda, very Shenmue-esque. Did some Greek, sun was shining, Kieffer calls back, the car is fixed already, a good Samaritan drives me back to Tonawanda forthwith, the 3-1 and I erupt out into a gorgeous fall afternoon, the Niagara River was positively sparkling
in the sunlight, and for a queer and vaguely capitalistic moment I felt whole again. Seriously, having that car up and running at long last just freed my soul a little bit... I'm no longer literally stuck here. Collapsed on my bed, some time later I found myself dashing to the library, doing some 'splaining to Dr. Kim about my project, he responds by whacking me upside the head (actually, that it Dr. Lee in his motorcycle getup, and it was an elbow drop) and basically yelling, "It's the lexicon, stupid!" So here I am, I think I had sushi for the first time ever this evening, no raw fish was involved (thankfully), and now I have to roll my exhausted but genuinely happy self over towards the theatre to do another show. The show must go on, after all... so I send a shout out to my good Samaritan, to the Grubers for hooking me up with a good mechanic, to Derek for the quest, to Liz for the sushi, to Sensinger for the cardboard palace, and to Jenn. That's about it.
10/27/04 12:46am Tonight I achieved the Platonic form of Goodness, in the instance of an entire pomegranate's worth of pomegranate arils mixed with one cup of organic plain yogurt. It took roughly half an hour to make, but honestly, it was worth every second. Also: talked to Bill Busacker, my favorite resident of Newton, Massachusetts. Also: Feeling good about life right now. Family came up this past weekend, lots of good catching up and good eating. Jenn Huer kept me up all night, thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. Did the dishes tonight, Byron thought I was crazy. Wrapped up the New Testament course at Our Lady of Black Rock, felt good about giving some neighborhood kids a grasp on redaction criticism. Surprise party for Tony thrown in the LT clubroom, spent twenty minutes sitting in the dark with at least that many people. It was hot in there. Got two care packages from Utica today, absolutely thrilled. I miss everyone at home. Gotta keep going.
10/22/04 4:57pm When a show finally goes up, and you step out there into the lights and the heat and you're standing on something that you built with your own hands (both literally and figuratively), you realize that all of the stress and tension and work was worth it after all. Another Little Theatre show opened last night, and sitting in the greenroom there with that fantastic cast all around me, kneeling in the hallway as Jane sprayed my hair fifty years into the future, screaming and clapping like a maniac after the Blur got the squeeze back from the circle, fastening purple and red reception flowers onto my vest after the curtain fell, coming into Pano's to a ridiculous ovation after all was said and done, I knew then, I knew that we had made it through it all, through losing our president and compromising theatre time and getting our budget slashed and having a cast member quit and our lead's foot getting crushed a week before the show and a ridiculously sparse rehearsal schedule, we still came through. We did it. Seriously... we did it. I can't even express how immensely proud I am of everyone who has helped to make our first show of the year a success. I think I can finally relax now...
10/21/04 3:07am The set is finished, the Red Sox won the penant, there's a Pano's chocolate shake at the bottom of my stomach, and the show is going to go up tomorrow evening. It's a precarious victory, but it's a victory nonetheless. At this point I'll take every little victory I can get.
10/19/04 4:44pm About once every four years, somebody tells me that I sound like Nicholas Cage, and for whatever reason, it makes my day.
10/18/04 1:05am I've seen fire and I've seen rain. It hailed yesterday like three times. I spent roughly twenty-seven-and-a-half hours in the theatre this weekend, and zero hours doing homework. The lion's share of the remainder of my time went to sleep, five minutes went to seeing my roommates, and a healthy portion went straight to George Martin Hall (I've seen sunny days that I thought would never end). Everything hurts all over. I need a minute-by-minute game plan for tomorrow or I'm never going to make it. I gotta stay strong. I gotta stay in this. It was a sad day when we all sat around a table and decided to count on me.
10/11/04 6:33pm Flying high towards the end of this long weekend, and it's been exactly what the doctor ordered. On Saturday I spent eleven hours in the theatre, Mike Bard came through on his way to Fredonia, I took him to lunch at Pano's and he helped build the set during the afternoon. I crafted two perfect trapezoidal stage extensions, figured out how to use the miter saw to cut angles, got more than enough dust on my jeans, there were lots of great people teching, and a good time was had by all. Yesterday I was planning on devoting to an adventure, a full day away from school and all of the things that I concern myself with here. While the adventure didn't go as planned, it turned out to be much greater... first, a mission involving capitalism, camaraderie, and the Canisius connection brought me through the afternoon. I decided to bend to the will of the wind and tag along with Tom Donovan and company to the Galleria, where Canisius people were out in full force. In addition to myself, Tom, his cousin and his cousin's girlfriend, we also met (with varying degrees of intentionality) Chris and Aleigha, Terry, Phil, B-Waff and Chuck, Mike Suffoletto, Carlos and the Romulan, and finally the Clohessy brothers. It was certifiably crazy-go-nuts. For my consumer's contribution, I bought a twist cone at the Dairy Queen stand for something a bit less than three dollars. Back at home, Big Pat made a quality meal for our mutual enjoyment. The sun was setting on Western New York as a new adventure dawned; I hit the road with Jenn, Kelly, and Rachel for some
bucolic tourist trap in Niagara County, snagging a small Frosty on the way. The stars were out, and I spent quite a long time looking up at them, reflecting on all sorts of experiences and autumn starfields in the past. I glared back at Cassiopeia. Between the jaunt to Becker Farms and the subsequent trip to Kelly's house out in the middle of nowhere for hot chocolate, I actually saw something like ten separate species of animal: goats, horses, a rabbit, and a parrot at Becker farms, an opossum on the way to Kelly's, and a very large dog, several cats, a hefty tortoise, three turtles, and a rat in the Menzel household. It was a freaking midnight menagerie, a frigid and crisp October night, we navigated back to Buffalo singing along with Phil Collins' soundtrack to Tarzan. The only logical next step was ten frames at Voelker's followed by a Pano's run, it was good and late when we got back to school, and the adventure still hasn't ceased, right up to this minute. Four hours so far today on my thesis, contemplating writing out mishpat and tsedaqah on my bowling shoes, free pizza from Anne Cataldo, a missed phone call from Chicago, a mostly-eaten Jewish apple cake from home, and quite a bit on my mind. This is, seriously, just the adventure I've always wanted.
10/8/04 5:59pm Pulled an absentee ballot out of my mailbox on the way back from Philosophy Club today. I actually have this like... giddy feeling as a result. Seriously, democracy is in my hands. This is awesome.
10/7/04 11:10pm I'm feeling pretty good about things right now. Despite all of the stresses and jobs and things that need to get done, I am genuinely enjoying this semester quite a bit. First of all, this year's group of newcomers is amazingly solid. Everyone is eager to participate, learn, help out, and just generally have a good time. It's really phenomenal, and I definitely have the feeling that I'll be leaving this place in good hands when it comes time for me to go. My classes have been going well enough, that is, the one's I've actually been going to. Nothing too crazy there. Thursday is, by far, the most rewarding day of my week because I have private lessons in both Greek and Hebrew, and in between, plenty of time to chill in the clubroom or take a nap or run around and get things done. The thesis is going well, and I finally have some background and authorship theories and things for so-called Trito-Isaiah. I guess the actual work starts now. Meanwhile, I can't stop thinking about the future, about applying to schools, about graduating and moving and taking my show on the road again. I had a very encouraging discussion with the admissions guy at Weston Jesuit School of Theology yesterday, so I've been riding pretty happily on that for a bit. I've talked to a bunch of people from home recently... my brothers and sister, Mark, Schuman, and some others. Yeah. It's all coming together, it's all swirling around me, it's all hitting me at once, and it feels great. This is why I came here.
10/3/04 10:59pm A downpour and a cold snap, October arrives crisply and modestly on the doorstep. I don't feel all that great, but I guess that's an expected side effect of all of this. We started building in the theatre this evening. It felt good, even though I was exhausted. We stormed Palisano last night with a whole bunch of games, Tetris on the big screen. People seemed to be having a good time, everybody pulled together and it came out as well as we all hoped it would. This interlibrary loan book has to go back tomorrow, and I really need more time with it, but it costs like fifty bucks... fifty bucks that I definitely don't have. Hopefully Vassar won't mind me boomeranging it back to Buffalo. Wow. I really, really need a break. The four day weekend can't get here soon enough.
9/28/04 12:04am On religion and spirituality. I started going to church this semester, mostly for two reasons. The first reason is that, as anyone will tell you, I'm a big fan of God. I might have a different (or possibly just unsatisfying) concept of what God is, but even so, God and I seem to get along just fine. The second reason, basically, is that I'm really keen on the whole community aspect of church at Canisius. There are a lot of particularly great people who attend mass on Sunday nights. They tend to smile a lot, and greet me by name, and I get to shake their hands, and despite my thorough lack of Catholicness (and, really, my lack of general Christian-ness for that matter), I feel both very welcome and very at home in that building. A week ago, I was commissioned as a lector, and this past Sunday I had my first opportunity to read from Amos in front of a whole bunch of people who didn't seem to object to one oddball quasi-Protestant's recitation of the Word of the Lord. I was fantastically nervous, but the only negative manifestation of my anxiety was the loud wooden glonk that resonated painfully throughout the sanctuary when I tried to plant the cross in its stand after processing in. The actual reading, at least what I can remember of it, went pretty well. Thanks be to God.
Coincidentally layered over my experiences as a fledgling lector and bizarrely included non-Catholic at the Canisius masses is my work over at Our Lady of Black Rock School, where I am, once again, teaching a course on scripture to a clutch of Catholic highschoolers to help them fill their confirmation requirements. This time around, it's the New Testament, so I get to serve up source theories and alternative gospels and other Duling-inspired bits of wisdom along with the usual stuff. The students are a little more attentive, and, as a result, that much more vicious (there are more girls in the class this time, I think). In the very first class, my personal religious beliefs were called into question, and by the second, the inquiry had developed into the full-blown zinger, "You're not Catholic, are you?" So my secret, which I had (apparently) effectively concealed throughout the entire Hebrew scripture course last semester, was officially out, and we took a break from the etymology of the term "Christ" to spin a dialogue on the sacraments, differing views on biblical inspiration, and some of the other cracks in my story. I opted out of trying to justify or even explain pantheism, figuring that a Catholic religious ed class was neither the time nor the place. I feel a lot better knowing that they have me figured out, though, first because I don't have to be as careful with my words, and second because I am now open to the opportunity of learning that much more from them.
The question of religion and spirituality, and especially the apparent differences between the two, has also been coming up quite a bit in the Little Theatre clubroom, which sees a pretty decent mix of beliefs, or at least as much of a mix as Canisius can offer (suffice it to say that I really miss the genuine religious diversity of my friends in high school). The general consensus, which I presume to be more or less the norm for the average twentysomething living in an urban area in a blue state, is that it is more respectable for a person to be "spiritual" than "religious." There seems to be a negative reaction against "organized religion," whatever that might be, in favor instead of "questioning one's faith" and coming up with a stronger, more personalized "spirituality." I guess that my only response to all of that is that, as much as I have my own sort of concepts and answers about God and morality and the usual assortment of Life's Big Questions, I can see a definite value in organized religion, especially where the vitality of the community is concerned. I'm going to keep on going to church, as crazy as it might sound. I don't know how or why this semester seems to be shaping up to be a time of personal religious growth for me, but I guess there's no point in avoiding it when the time seems right. To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.
9/18/04 5:46pm Stepped outside after rehearsal into the most amazingly crisp and clear day today, the kind of day that gives the unmistakable impression that fall is just around the corner. It's about time. Deciding to take advantage of the weather and the good times, Dan Lance Dan and I set off on a three hour trek across Delaware Park, over to Elmwood, and back through Forest Lawn. Walking past baseball diamonds, all kinds of beautiful houses, some not-so-beautiful houses, and finally an assortment of mausoleums, Dan and I lamented the lack of all things pastoral and authentic in our lives while enjoying the fresh air and the generally happy Buffalonians who were also out and about on such a fine day. On our way around the lake in Delaware Park, we intentionally brushed through a thicket in order to pick up some burrs on our pants and socks. I guess I never really realized how much I miss coming home covered in dirt and burrs from various expeditions in and around the ravine behind Crescent Drive and all other orders of wooded areas back home... it's really too bad that I spend so much time working and playing indoors. It's also kind of hilarious that I've been living for three years in Buffalo within easy walking distance of a gigantic green area, and so far I've only managed to make it over there once or twice a semester. This needs to change, and probably immediately. On a more different personal level, things have been going pretty well for me recently. I've encountered a few really interesting new characters this semester, and they've already begun to impact me in their own subtle (but probably ultimately fantastic) ways. Academically, though, this semester is starting to betray its more or less useless character, which is distressing. All three of my classes on Monday left me craving nothing more than a legitimate challenge, and I was actually irritated to the point where I made the comment that I'm basically wasting my parents' money on three under-leveled courses. I guess the only proper thing to do is to embrace the genuine academic challenges that this semester is throwing my way, namely writing the thesis and taking the time to properly learn Hebrew. I also talked to Prof. Banchich about meeting separately for some extra Greek work, because sitting in on this year's Intermediate class just isn't cutting it for me thus far. I guess I should be careful about what I wish for, though.
9/12/04 1:47am Amazing day. Wide awake and kicking at 7:11am. The sun was shining. Drove my rapidly deteriorating car to the leadership training thing on Lake Ontario, which was, as always, pretty fun. Cut out early and threw on some khakis, drove west right along the lake, basically the entire width of Niagara County. Stopped at the Lakeside IGA in Wilson, NY. Decked out in sunglasses and an otherwise distinctive city-slicker attitude, I asked the girl at the register a question along the lines of, "So, is there a bakery in this town?" The answer was no. I picked up two fresh loaves of Italian bread, $1.09 apiece, and continued along the lake to Youngstown. There was a good breeze coming across the river from Canada, I shook some hands and climbed into a yacht. I was instantly reminded of how much I love being out on the water... honestly. The sail was up, my eyes were out on the horizon... dude! I found out that in Hebrew, the word for heaven and the word for water have the same root, and they take the dual form. Seriously! The word for heaven literally means "two heavens" and the word for water means "two waters." I'm pretty sure this is true, anyway, that's what I kind of gleaned from Seow's grammar before bed last night. Anyway, after a trip up the Niagara River, the Religious Studies people all met up at Dr. Duling's for another awesome potluck dinner, at which I presented my Italian bread, imported (by me) from the IGA in Wilson. A good time was had by all. Drove home and completed the Niagara County triangle, car still in very rough shape. Got home, nobody was around, elected to go see that Chinese movie, "Hero," by myself. Best decision I've made all week. Got home, topped it off with some plain yogurt. Midnight struck, wished Bill a happy birthday, wished Regina a safe trip home. Some days, things just work out.
9/11/04 12:03am Taking a second, I guess, to reflect on things over a cup of plain, plain yogurt. If this week that's quickly slipping through my fingers has been any indication of the way things are going to go this semester, it's going to be one hell of a wild ride. Somewhere around Tuesday or Wednesday, the sky opened up and Derek's little desktop "weather cicada" or whatever newfangled devilry he has there kind of chirped to inform us that the persistent flood warning for Erie County had been upgraded to a "flood statement," whatever that might be. Hilariously enough, it poured most heavily on Wednesday night, coincidentally the same night that water service was cut off for pretty much the entirety of Canisius College. After mumbling something about not being able to brush my teeth in the proper fashion, I decided to punt and just go to sleep. Thursday, by some cruel twist of Fate, was even worse. Again, things took a turn for the utterly hilarious when I received word that a package for me had arrived in the mailroom; I tore open the box to find my rain jacket, a day late. Studio X on Thursday evening was something like a quadruple disaster, and I'm not even going to go into it. I responded by drowning my sorrows in a chocolate milkshake from Pano's, and finally learned exactly what it is that Bill and Liz talk about on their little date things that they may or may not go on. Curious? They talk about biochemistry the whole time. I'm dead serious. Alternating my tired gaze between the milkshake and front of me and Elmwood Avenue through the window at my side, I suffered through functional groups and multiple choice questions and amino acids and God-knows-what-else and by the time I got home, I pretty much wanted nothing more than to collapse and rant deliriously to my roommates. And I did. The wretched cascade of events that was Thursday had exactly two (2) happy points: flexing my right-to-left-reading-muscle in Hebrew with Dr. Kim, and the two strips of bacon that Big Pat cooked up for me after my post-Pano's collapse. Wow. Today, thankfully, was much sunnier on all counts. Lunch and clubroom action were particularly good, the King Kamehameha mask made its triumphant return, my first meeting as a member of Philosophy Club was strange and new and wonderful, I had some quality time to myself to just listen to music, and to top it all off, I just finished watching Gary Sinise portray Harry S. Truman in what can only be described as a... uhm... delightful romp through the mid-20th century in the classic motion-picture biography style. The story of President Truman, which I assumed would be kind of random and lackluster, actually had a lot of eerie points of connection with my own situation in Little Theatre. So basically, this is what has been going on: a whole lot of rain and stress, some curious bright spots, and eerie points of connection with the tale of our nation's 33rd president. Cheers.
9/6/04 9:17pm I cleared the spider webs out from outside my bedroom window tonight, so now I can open it wide and let the air in from the outside without much more than a passing fear of an arachnid ambush. There's a good, strong, cool breeze blowing through the trees tonight, so I took the opportunity to sit out on the picnic table on the backyard and sort of collect myself. We finished up another Final Fantasy 7 race here today, and this year's in particular was even more physically and mentally draining than usual. It's actually kind of staggering to consider the opportunity cost alone that I incurred through my participation in the race (I could have gotten a hell of a lot accomplished this weekend), but I guess it's kind of pointless to worry about that now... it's over and done. The first week of classes this semester went pretty peacefully, and I'm definitely happy to be back here for one last run through the crazy undergrad grind. The first words I heard in a lecture this semester, at 9:30 on Monday morning, came through loud and clear: "This shit be Economics 101 -- Principles of Macroeconomics." The professor, for my peers who may or may not already be intrigued enough to register for his course, is Craig Rogers, and I'm not even going to try to come to any kind of judgment about the whole issue yet, be it moral, semantic, or otherwise. The double shot of Professor Zeis, who I have not previously studied under -- Modern Philosophy I and Theories of Knowledge -- is already proving to be a pretty supremely fantastic intellectual diversion, and taking the courses in tandem is probably only going to add to the experience. I realized the near-profane glory that I was in for in Zeis' second Modern Phi class, when he declared that Newton's Principia Mathematica was "the Battle of Yorktown of the Scientific Revolution." Wow. Just wow. On the other side of the coin, the first meetings for Little Theatre and FUSION went very well, and it looks like we've got a pretty decent group of freshmen coming in this year. To compound my impending Student Activities-related heart attack, it pretty much looks like I'm going to be taking up quite a bit more responsibility for Little Theatre this year than I initially hoped. Hopefully, I will be able to buckle down and get everything I need to accomplish out of the way this semester, but it's going to take a little bit more than hope alone. I'm confident, though. There's a good wind blowing in through this spider-free window here tonight, and I actually feel, for the first time in a little bit too long, that I can draw on a lot more than my superficial snideness to support me this semester. God willing, I am going to (honorably) slice through this semester like a hot knife through butter. Here it comes.
8/28/04 9:09pm I've opened up shop for my last year in Buffalo, and things are looking pretty good for now. I need to spend some time pulling together a bibliography for my thesis, but most of my academic concerns have taken a back seat (as usual) to the ridiculous demands that I put on myself in the realm of Student Activities, or, as it is now called, "Campus Programming and Leadership Development." Running around trying to get things squared away for the Student Activities Fair this evening provided a timely reminder that I basically need to calm the hell down and trust my friends, who are more than willing and able to help me out with basically everything I need to do. The Fair went really well, and for all of the completely needless stressing over it that I randomly put myself through, it was really a big fat non-issue. Hopefully with classes starting up and everything I will be able to calm down, jump in the groove, and do what I need to do. It's been pretty much nothing but fun so far, the new double apartment is kicking, and I've got organic cereal and yogurt to spare. I think I just need to wake up and realize that this year really can't do anything other than be its own amazing and rocking self. This looks like a job for Darkwing Duck.