Monday, May 31, 2004

The "I Hate the World" Blog

"And on the Thirty-First Day,
God said, 'Let's fuck with Ray.'"

The minute I woke up from a horrible dream of being chased down London by an entire grouping of slithering Black Mamba snakes (yeah, all fucking thanks to this news article about this dumb ass), I knew this wasn't going to be a good day. After undergoing that mental trauma of sprinting away from a cluster of hissing poisonous snakes that never seemed to get off my trail, I wake up and find that I'm being fucking choked by my iPod headphones. My nightly habit of listening to soft tunes to rock me to sleep caught up with me, and clearly, after all that tossing and turning I was doing while my creative little mind dreamt of my being chased by members of Jumanji, I was in a one-on-one with the Apple product. Once I realized I wasn't being assaulted by an animal that needs to keep its ass in Africa (no, not black people, you KKK card-members), it quickly became a one-sided battle, and I conquered that dastardly, villainous, iPod. "I'm going on Sa-FARI, mother fucker, Sa-FAR-I!!!!", I screamed, as I calmly placed the $300 device on my nightstand. (I might be crazy, but I sure as hell ain't stupid to be throwing that thing off me.)

(If you don't get the "Sa-FARI" reference, don't feel bad. Only "Death to Smoochy" fans and, to a much lesser extent, Mac users, get it. So stop pretending to laugh. And if you do get it, proudly stand up and scream, "What does it all mean?!!!!")

So, yeah, after I staked my victory over my iPod, I got up, and immediately started looking for Michelle. And then, I immediately fell down; I tripped on a hanging fold from my bed comforter. As the pain from the hard fall began to sweep through my body, the creeping feeling of stupidity entered my mind; Michelle was long gone to NBC London, doing her journalistic duty to see all the unedited raw footage from Iraq and then later, laugh about it with me. (Now THAT's reality TV!) So I was all in a rush to see someone who wasn't even there. And of course, I had just tripped on a fucking bed spread. How silly did I feel? I got up in personal shame, and, while looking down to make sure no other object would dare to knock me down, I walked to the bathroom to freshen up.

That was Sp-Ed moment #1. Not to be confused with the one and only, SpED.

After my stint in the bathroom, I began to rummage for food in the kitchen. Of course, what do I discover? We ain't got shit for food, that's what. The only thing in my fridge is half a pack of grated mozzarella, a package of sliced ham (a fucking tease considering I ain't have bread), and the fucking cure for AIDS. (Either Maria or Giselle left a cup with some unrecognizable substance in my fridge when they came to stay with us. Now, the shit turned all moldy before we realized it was there, and both Michelle and I are afraid to touch it out of fear that it'll speak and tell us to put it down. It might even eat us. We don't want to know. We'll just pay some immigrant 25 pence to deal with it before we leave. No one will miss 'em.)

I realized that I had some ice cream left in the freezer, so I break out the spoon and took a dig at it, only to have it drip on my pant leg. Great. Now, I fucking looked like I busted all over my black pants. A fucking dreamboat, I was. I grabbed some napkins to clean myself up, and when I went to throw the napkin away, I noticed my trash needed to be emptied. So, I walked outside our flat to see if the sanitation people picked up our other trash in our garbage shed, and to see if UPS came, when I heard the loud thump of retardedness jar my attention. The front door slammed behind me. I ran to the door and tried to push it open, but it was no use. I was officially locked out.

Sp-Ed Moment #2

So, I'm sitting here outside my flat, my hair suffering symptoms of bed head, and my pants looking like I received too much head. I was going to go and get my landlord to open the flat, but there was no way I was going to walk down the street looking the way I did. My cheeks grew hot in frustration and anger. Michelle, that hot-blooded bitch, always liked opening up the windows in the flat despite it being mega brick (brick = freezing, for ya'll not versed) outside. But, this time, she actually closed them. Wench. I fumbled in my pockets and discovered I had a nailclipper chilling in there. It was McGuyver time. I flipped out the nail file, and went about picking the lock. All that lock-picking practice in high school (remember the teacher's bathroom's, Technites?)paid off as I was able to jar the slam lock open just enough for me to push open the door. Problem resolved.

I was all proud of myself for a minute, when I realized that if I could get into my locked apartment so easily, then so could anyone else...but, that's what the deadbolt is for...No Ray-wannabes were going to pull off the same feat on me!

I took a quick shower, got dressed, and headed to the supermarket to get some stuff to eat for today. It's Bar-B-Que time in the States (AKA: Memorial Day), and I was going to hold true to tradition in London. So, here I go getting some meats n stuff on this lovely "Bank Holiday" (Ask a Brit what exactly is being celebrated on 'Bank Holiday' and they'll tell you, "It's just a bloody day off, chap. Some bloke decided to give us a long weekend to catch up on horse racing and Big Brother")when I run into those dreaded "people who can't make up their fucking minds about which direction they're going to walk." Each of us going back and forth, side to side, looking stupid in the process of trying to walk to Aisle 3. To the observer, it must look like some kind of ritual dance, ending in the simultaneous shrug of the shoulders by both parties, and both feeling completely stupid for not knowing how to engage in a simple activity like WALKING. Eventually, we move on, going about our business, but for the next five minutes, you can't help but wonder if there was anyone watching when that feat of stupidity took place.

Sp-Ed Moment #3

After about 10 mins, I was done shopping, so I headed to the check-out counter. So, whatever, I paid at the cashier, and I told this guy "thank you" on my way out with the groceries, when this Indian-looking dude, who overheard my accent, stops me and goes,

"Are you an American?"

"What's it to you?"

"What do you think of President Bush? Are you going to vote for him again?"

I couldn't believe it. This muthafucka was going to drag me into a political conversation on my way out of the supermarket with groceries in my hand. Like, you fucking dick, can't you see I am predisposed to something else at the moment? But, I had to be wary and "vigilant" (Bush's favourite word) in this situation. I had no idea what this dude was up to. I turned my back to him and said over my shoulder, "I didn't vote for him in the first place," (wasn't old enough to vote, yet, lol) and kept it moving, while the guy, apparently, stood there with his mouth all open in disbelief, as if he never thought there were Americans who didn't side with Bush. I assume he was looking for trouble by trying to get into an argument with me over why Bush was an asshole, but he wasn't going to find an opponent on that note. I kept it moving, leaving the dick behind me. Imagine if I said that I did want to vote for Dumb-ya? Would he have tried to beat me down or something? Like yeah, Bush is a dick, but there's no reason to start a fight with someone on the basis of their accent.

A block away from my flat, I saw this chick who, the other day, got mad at me for not hollering at her. She was checking me out that day, and I did the same in return, but then, when I got closer to her, I noticed that she looked a little too young for me, so I just looked away from her and kept walking. (God damn young British girls!) She got all mad n shit and screamed, "Gay-dar!" I ain't say anything back at the time, but I was thinking, "yo, this bitch called me gay because I didn't want to waste my time with jailbait." So, I saw this same girl on my way back home today, and she recognized me. "Can't find a decent looking man to look at?" I couldn't believe this bitch. I had to speak my mind.

"Nah, none at all. You wound up scaring them all away, beast."

Her face turned all red in anger. Joyously, I turned away, happy I just destroyed the self-confidence of a fickle pre-teen.

Reminds me of that movie, "Thirteen" which I saw last night. If I had kids like that, I would fucking beat the shit out of them. Fuck domestic violence. That's just plain discipline. I'm a firm believer in the Law of the Belt, especially after dealing with little girls like that one. I think when I have kids, I'm going to look forward to inventing ingenious methods of torture for them when they turn bad. Like, paying bullies to beat them down when they come home late. Or setting them up on dates with ugly people. Or them having a taste of Michelle's "Budgens" Shrimp, Chicken Fettucini Alfredo. Oh yeah, baby. That's torture...:-D

Let me fucking stop ranting, before I start to sound like Andy. As a joke, I should've given that little girl a copy of the Manwhore Contract... That'll teach her.

Where the fuck is my Mac?!!!

Sunday, May 30, 2004

Wow, I Don't Remember High School This Way...

Today's New York Times Magazine has an interesting feature story on teen sex. While I was reading it (warning, it's a LLLOONNNGGG story...about 9 pages long), I couldn't help but wonder, "Damn, was high school for me so different, or was it because I played "the game" by my own rules? It also kinda makes me look at my god-brother's age group a little differently, almost as if they're from a different generation than from the rest of us who were born in at some point before 1990.

Did we miss something? Was it Sesame Street? Nick Jr.? What did we do that was so different?

Anyways, read the article, and let me know what you guys think.
The New York Times : Friends, Friends With Benefits, and the Local Mall

EDIT: This is officially my 100th post on the Daily Musings!! (For the other 82 posts, visit Daily Musings 1.0 )

It's the Things You Don't Say That Really Matter

I’ll be the first to admit. I’m an asshole. Beneath the infamous “puppy dog eyes,” lies a calculating, heartless dick who speaks his mind without anyone asking him to. A person who’s quick to insult and even quicker to judge. A prick that can call you stupid right in your face, and have everyone laugh at you, and you’ll never know you’re being made fun of. A person, who, just doesn’t “listen...”

I’m not particularly tactful when it comes to certain situations; I just speak whatever’s on my mind at the time, not fully taking the care to internally edit my words and make them seem a tad less “edgy.” Some would call it being “blunt,” others would call it being rude. I simply call it “giving out the hard medicine.” Whatever the case may be, there are clearly times when I could use a better choice of wording to express my thoughts to those who aren’t particularly hardened enough to deal with my brand of discourse. While some may not believe it, I do, in fact, try to soften my words, and there are clear times when I think I’m actually pretty successful in doing so, taking into consideration, of course, the dark thoughts that had originally filled my mind. The so-called verbal daggers that I launch at people could’ve actually been, figurative M-16 Assault, it could’ve been a whole lot worse...

So, let me get to the point. What follows is a celebration of, not the things that ARE said on a given day, but rather the things that AREN’T said; the thoughts that arise, but are never uttered. The following quotes are actual statements made by me throughout the day, and, in parenthesis, are my actual thoughts. The people these thoughts were directed at, are anonymous.

I’m sure many of you have had thoughts like these, as you will be able to see, I’m not so different from you after all... :-D

A Typical Day Work Day At the IQA...

(bus conductor) “Can I get by you please?”
(me) “Am I in your way? I’m sorry.”
(You fucking fat bitch, I wouldn’t be “in your way” if you had decided to stop the bullshit and drop that pack of Twinkies and the Quarter Pounder w/ Cheese. You ain’t a conductor, you just a straight up road block. I suggest you run your fast ass up them stairs to the second floor of this bus more often.)

(receptionist) “Good morning, Raymond. Your eyes are certainly bright today.”
(me) Good morning, to you, ma dear.
(Yeah, you better believe that my eyes are bright...particularly when it comes down to staring down your shirt...I like that color bra on matches your beautiful blue eyes )

(co-worker) “Would you like some tea?”
(me) “No, thank you.”
(I do want some tea, but I don’t think your ass is going to make it the right way. I can tell you what else you can do for me, though...)
(co-worker) “So, what are your plans for this weekend?”
(me) “Don’t really have anything in mind.”
(Even if I did have anything in mind, let’s be for know you don’t give a fuck over what I have planned, schmuck)

(me) “I think that was a great proposal.”
(Damn son, I have to do some laundry...I need to go grocery shopping...Man, that was an interesting article in the Independent...I really have no idea what you’ve been saying to me for the past five minutes, but just keep on talking so I can continue dazing off into the distance thinking about stuff I have to do)

(me) “Uh...Hello”
(I really hope you didn’t just see me adjust my crotch there.)

(co-worker) “What do you think of the IQA?”
(me) “I think it’s cool. I’m enjoying myself here and learning a lot.”
(It would be nice that I actually knew what the hell I was doing, three weeks into my internship. What I enjoy the most are the girls that are here, clearly. I’m certainly learning a lot through them.)

(me) “Does this thing belong to someone here?”
(Who the fuck put a fucking cactus on my fucking desk? Bitch, get this shit off my work area. You crazy?!)

After work...

(co-worker) “You want anything? A drink? A pint? Something?”
(me) “Nah, I’m cool, thank you.”
(co-worker) “You sure? I got you, no problem”
(me) “Yeah, aight, get me a pint”
(Fuck yeah I want a drink. I might as well play this little game with you so that way it looks like I’m all sincere and nice for not wanting to take advantage of your money, but in reality, shit man, I’m all about free shit...I’m a poor ass student, meng. You better understand you ain’t getting a drink from me in return, though)

(co-worker chick) “So, what are girls like in the States for you?”
(me) “Girls in the States? They aight. But, I’m not in the States right now, so let’s talk about you.”
(I’m about freaking 1000 miles away from the States...I don’t even want to think about them girls now...let’s talk about you, and answer the question of how you maintain that beautiful ass of yours)

(co-worker) “Another drink?”
(me) “Yeah, sure, thank you.”
(Hell yeah, my meng! Keep them drinks coming!)

(attractive co-worker) “How old do you think I am?”
(me) 23? 24?
(attractive co-worker) I’m 17.
(me) “Are you serious?! You’re not shitting me?”
(attractive co-worker) “No, I’m not “shitting you” Your accent is so cute.”
(17?! Am I fucking cursed? Does every attractive girl in London have to be younger than 18? That’s it. I’m not going to resist it anymore. Thou hast tempted me...wait, I don’t have an accent!? You’ve got an accent! I’m the normal sounding one here. Whatever, I’m sure I can think of other things to do with my tongue besides talk...)

(co-worker) “Another drink, mate?”
(me) “You know it.”
(You know it)

(attractive co-worker) “Are you actually listening to a word I say?”
(me) “To be honest with you, not really. I’m just getting lost in your beautiful eyes.”
(Wow, I’m saying that? Oh shitted, I’m regaining my touch, meng...I just hope that this liquor doesn’t make me pull a “SpED” and have me profess undying love to this chick)

(attractive co-worker) “What are your plans for tonight?”
(me) “Don’t really have any at the moment, but I certainly wouldn’t mind spending a couple more minutes shooting the breeze with you”
(attractive co-worker) “You want to come over to my place?”
(me) “Now you’re talking my language. I thought you’d never ask.”
(Signed, Sealed, and’s a wrap. It’s about time we cut to the chase. )


(attractive co-worker) “Who’s that calling you?”
(me) “Don’t worry about it, it’s just my roommate”
(Great, Michelle. Perfect timing. I’ll call your ass later and be like, “TIIMMMMBBERRRR!!” But I ain’t got no minutes)

(attractive co-worker) “Why don’t you pick it up? She your girlfriend or something?”
(me) “Nah, calm that down. She’s one of my best friends from college.”
(Bitch, I know you ain’t trying to start some shit over Michelle. Girl, whether or not I had a girlfriend doesn’t really matter now, does it? If I did, I already done fucked up, so we might as well finish the job, anyway. Please, don’t become a possessive jealous wench on me. I should make you sign my Contract...)

(attractive co-worker) “Your phone is ringing again. Why don’t you pick it up?”
(me) “Eh, don’t worry about it. Right now, all I’m concerned with is this moment I’m sharing with you.”
(attractive co-worker) “You’re so sweet”
(Good lord, woman. I’m glad you fell for the bait. Sheesh, you’re beginning to make me feel that I’m doing something wrong or something.)

(me) “That was fun”
(In the famous words from Paris, ‘I saw, I conquered, and I came”)

(attractive co-worker) “Are you going to tell your friends all about me when you go back home?”
(me) “Why wouldn’t I?”
(attractive co-worker) “And you’re going to tell them that you came to London and got yourself an English chick?”
(me) “I’ll just tell them, quite simply, one thing. ‘I Love London,’ and that’s all there is to it.
( ‘I Love London.’ A little tiny phrase that means so much.)

Friday, May 28, 2004

The Onion is on the money this week, LMAO

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Just Wanted to Share This With You...

Everyday, we're getting inundated with all these reports about Bush's War in the Middle East, and how all these people are getting killed, tortured, beheaded, and the whole bit. It's come to the point, really, where every single event is turning into one big blur. So, I wouldn't put it past the majority of people to miss a little tidbit that came up last week when it became apparent that the US Military carried out a mission on a wedding party in an isolated part of Iraq. Rumsfeld says it was an excercise using the best "intelligence" they had over suspected terrorists that were operating in the area. US forces bombed, then stormed a wedding reception, killing over 40 people (24 of those women and children) in an attempt to quash "terrorist activity." They didn't know, of course, that it was a wedding, until after they had fired rounds of ammunition and dropped deadly payload onto the area. When approached by journalists over the question that the target was, in fact, a wedding reception, this is what Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt, the US military spokesperson, replied.

"Bad people have parties too."

And there you have it, folks. The reason why Americans are so damn hated around the world...

...I thank Michelle for showing me the following little tidbit. Head to this website to see the trailer for this hilarious movie, "A Day Without A Mexican"

"Where have all the Mexicans gone!?"

...And I'm out...

The Rio Fucking Grande!

As I sip on my daily spot of tea, I can't help but laugh sometimes at the apparent streak of bad luck that comes my way every once in a while. From my adventures on the various trips I've taken, to issues with my laptop, I just have a way of providing entertainment for all those people watching from above. Throughout my issues in Italy, (Part II will be published the minute I get my Mac back!) I just felt like heading into the Colosseum and screaming, "Are you not entertained!?" (Watch "Gladiator" if you don't know what I'm talking about) It's all comical upon reflection, but it certainly wasn't comical at the time.

Another one of those issues came up the other morning, when, after I took a shower, I get out to discover that I was surrounded by the fucking Rio Grande. The drainage pipe underneath my tub broke, and all this water was cascading onto the surface of my bathroom floor. Fucking spiders decided to enjoy the event by swimming laps in their newly created lake. I couldn't believe the shit. I splashed out the bathroom and immediately went to rile Michelle out of bed with the news; I wasn't going to deal with the shit alone.

Now, I remembered Michelle told me something about how "I needed to make sure to run the water" for whatever reason, which I actually did. But, she never told me WHY I had to do it, or what would the consequences be. And if she did, she surely didn't tell me in ways I could understand. Like, "Hey Ray, we will have a mini waterfall in the bathroom, and the River Thames will appear out of nowhere." Up until that moment, the biggest problem I thought we had with the tub was that the water wasn't going down as fast as we would like it to be. See, the day before, Michelle had got the impulse to be Ms. Fix-It, and try to completely unblock the tub. I have no idea what she did, but, a couple of hours later, when I looked at the tub, I couldn't help but laugh. The filter grill that sits at the top of the drainage hole was all crooked and bent. She also lost an all important screw and dropped it down the drain. Of course, she ain't tell me anything when all this was happening. I was busy typing up an assignment while she was engaging in her own personal episode of "This Old House." The only sign I got that things were going wrong was when she asked me, "Ray, you know what time the hardware store closes?" She wanted to go and get a replacement screw for the one she lost down the drain. After all her toil, the final result was a crooked drainage grill...

...And the fucking Rio Grande.

Michelle went about cleaning up some of the water from the bathroom while I was calling my internship to tell them I was going to be late. I also called my landlord, where he promised he would be there in ten minutes. He got there, ripped out the paneling underneath the tub, ripped out a pipe, and then was like, "I'll come back soon."

He ain't appear again that day. It was 10 o'clock in the morning when we first called him. Bastard.

The dude came back a day later, fixed the piping, and then left us with a tub without the paneling underneath. He promises to come back "within the week."

Bastard. I guess he got tired of saying "first thing in the morning."

Monday, May 24, 2004

Google hi-jinks...

This is just a quickie...

Type in "miserable failure" on, and see what's the first search result you get...

I love digital politics. :-)

Thursday, May 20, 2004

My Two Pence

Imagine someone throwing a condom filled with purple powder at Bush. Well, that's exactly what happened yesterday, except to Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair. The hilarious incident took place in the middle of a verbal insult match between the Prime Minister and his main political opponent, Conservative leader Michael Howard at the House of Commons. The two guys were going at it, insulting each other in what is a daily event in Parliament, when two men threw three powder-filled condoms at Blair. As one of them hit the back of his jacket, and the two men shouted, "Fathers 4 Justice." Check out the BBC Report on the event here, and click on the video link to see it in action:

The whole thing was hilarious, and when I first watched it in its entirety, I laughed myself to tears. Blair's reaction immediately afterward was priceless; he looked amused and confused at the same time, especially when he realized he'd just been hit with a condom. The timing of the whole thing was just plain wrong, making it that much funnier. Blair and Howard were going at it over Iraq and Britain's EU Membership, when these guys made their move over a political issue that has nothing to do with either topic. People's reactions in the chamber were like, "What the fuck does that have to do with the issue?"

However, the fact that the two men were able to launch a projectile at the UK's leader and the second most hated man by Al Qaeda after George W. was no laughing matter. So, now, the Parliamentary Security Force is stepping up and calling for all these new security features to be implemented. It's pretty serious. But, Blair isn't making that much of a deal about it. He's just like, "whatever, let me get back to work."

Imagine if it was Bush that got hit...he'd prolly have those people arrested and have them tortured, "Iraqi-style" (low blow)

Speaking of those Iraqi tortures, ain't that shit serious? The thing that kills me is that the vast majority of American media outlets are treating this shit like it's a brand new revelation. The fact of the matter is that reports of prisoner abuse by American troops have been issued since all the way back in 2001, when the US was arresting all those members of the Taliban, no questions asked, and shipping their asses to Guantanamo Bay. The Red Cross was all over that shit then, and no one bothered to put pressure on the government...that is, until news organizations had photographs to prove that the abuse was going on, 2 years later, in Iraq. The whole shit is crazy, but you can't say that it's particularly shocking. C'mon, with the kind of recklessness towards innocent bystanders soldiers have had while they were out there in Iraq, can you actually tell me that you believe that they treated their prisoners any better? Fuck that whole, "it was a few bad apples" argument; it was a cultural implication by the entire US military that pretty much made it clear that suspected terrorists were the scum of the earth, and they should be treated as such. Add that idea to the one that promotes the whole, "Muslims are evil" mentality, and you got yourself a serious fucking situation where the very people that are supposed to be all about "freedom and democracy" are bringing nothing more than oppression and authoritarianism.

Also, while I hear everyone talking about the pictures, I don't hear anyone asking what I would think is the obvious question; why the hell would anyone take these pictures? To me, those pictures aren't too much different from the kinds of pictures I have all over my website... tourist pictures...So, in the same vein that I would be standing in front of the Colosseum or the Eiffel Tower, these people were posing in front of these detainees, thumbs up, smiles, and the occasional pointing. It was almost as if they were saying, "Look ma, I gots me a sand nigger!" It seemed like the person snapping the pictures was making a scrapbook of the things they did while in Iraq. I don't know how they could take pics of smiling soldiers standing over dead Iraqis without thinking in their minds that what they were doing was taking part in a serious violation of human rights.

All in all, I hope that all those who are responsible for this shit get their just desserts...

...So, I hear New York is a finalist to get the Olympics in 2012. I think that's a great development, and should New York win, it is sure to revitalize the city in so many ways. London is a finalist, as well, along with Paris, Moscow, and Madrid. Londoners aren't so keen on having the Olympics in their city, many citing complaints that the city should spend its money elsewhere. Like I heard a couple of Brits say yesterday at a pub:

"Have they gone blinkin' mad? We need these Olympics like a fat bloke needs a sack of chips. 3 billion quid for this thing is bloody bonkers."

"While your out searching for 3 billion pound, give me two so I can wash my throat, eh?"

Gotta love Brits. :-) You should hear what a local newspaper had to say about the Pros and Cons of New York hosting the Games.

"Pros: Ah, the Big Apple - cheap transport, multi-cultural cuisine, police on every corner, litter-free streets, a huge variety of affordable shops, world-famous tourist attractions, and scorching hot summers - just perfect for lazing in Central Park if the Games get to be too much."

"Cons: They're paranoid about foreigners, there's no smoking in any public building so the streets are littered with cigarette butts and a beer costs the earth - as does a meal. New Yorkers are loud and brash and you may miss events because you are stuck in traffic."

Now, as for London...

"Pros: We are biased but there are beautiful and well-kept parks, all cultures welcome (just check out Croydon), pub happy hours - drinking beer is mandatory - multi-cultural cuisine, world-famous tourist attractions for those bored with the Games, and a huge variety of shops."

"Cons: Londoners hate tourists and it will probabaly rain throughout the competition. The city is renown for its unpalatable cuisine such as jellied eels. Lager louts spill on to the streets when pubs close. There is pidgeon poo everywhere and everything costs a fortune."

I love how they think a meal costs the earth in New York...shit, the prices in London are twice as much in dollars! LOL

I hope New York wins the bid, but if not, then I guess I'll see you in Paris (the current front-runner for the Olympics).

...For those of you who were wondering, the old version of the Daily Musings is still up on the internet, and as a matter of fact, it's being updated at the same time as this version. The only thing is that because I don't have my Mac at the moment, I can't publish the changes. Eventually, if I get enough of a response from people to stick to this version of the Musings, I will move over all my older entries into this version, for all to see and make references to.

I think that's it for my two pence. :-)

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Another Friggin Repair

This morning, I had to wave goodbye to my beloved iBook.

Apple had to take the confounded thing away because the Irish repair center that "fixed" my iBook the first time did a horrible job. My iBook was beginning to fall apart, and I lost hours upon hours of productivity trying to get the sonovabitch to work. Hopefully, it will come back as good as when I first bought the machine. If not, I got a confirmation from an Apple rep that I will get another machine to replace it. I think that's pretty cool. I mean, there shouldn't have been a problem in the first place, but hell, a brand new machine is a great way to rectify the situationm, especially if it sports a processor that's twice as powerful as the one inside my iBook now. :-)

The good news about this whole iBook situation is that thanks to the fact that I changed my blog format, I can now post entries from any computer connected to the internet. So, none of this shit where you guys aren't going to hear from me for like weeks. I had to wait for my iBook to do updates, but not any more.

So yeah...that was just a quick update...gotta get back to work now...

Monday, May 17, 2004

The Budgens Cookbook of Success and Youngins

I was watching an episode of the "Newlyweds" show on the BBC with Michelle, (yes, we get Jessica Simpson's antics in Britain, much to the delight of Brits across the Isle), when my dear roommate got an inspiration after watching Jessica try to cook for her dear husband.

"Let's cook a new meal tonight!"

The look on my face couldn't have been more cynical. But, nonetheless, she had a point. We're broke as all hell, and we need to save money big time. Why not cook a meal that could last us for days? So, before I could even have my say, Michelle ran off to try and steal just enough internet access to rip a recipe for chicken and shrimp fettucini alfredo off the net. And that became our goal for the day. Michelle was determined to see to it that we tried to cook a different meal, and she definitely didn't want to go the way of Jessica Simpson. Of course, there wasn't too much hope for us to begin with. The last time we tried something new, it was a horrible disaster. I tried making Penne Pasta, and it came out horribly because I didn't have the kind of baking bowl needed to make the dish come out a success. We didn't even think of experimenting again until two months later, when Michelle had suddenly wanted to become Emeril fucking Lagasse. It was worth a shot, though. If it didn't come out good, though, we were sure to have TV dinners waiting on standby faster than you can say "BAM!"

So, first thing was first. We needed to go grocery shopping. Thing was...we forgot about just how hard it is to get certain ingredients in Britain, in the same exact sized portions. The recipe Michelle ripped was an American recipe, with American measurements and ingredients easily found in American supermarkets. So, here we were, heading to the local Budgens (the "Associated" of supermarket chains in London), trying to find ingredients like Sweet Butter (I was like, "what the fuck is Cornish Creamy Butter?"), a pint of half and half cream for the alfredo sauce (we picked up "568 mL of Single Cream." They had Double Cream, and Whipping Cream, so the Single sounded alright), and fresh shrimp (there was nothing fresh about the "prawns" we picked up.) We spent about an hour in the supermarket deciding on whether or not the ingredients needed were actually the ones sitting in our shopping baskets. Eventually, the store began to close around us at 6, so we were forced to make moves and get the stuff we had.

Back home, we started on our little misadventure in the kitchen. I put on a food-related playlist in iTunes, while Michelle got started with the food. Eventually, we had to use our brains for the dish. "How many mL is in a pint?" Out came the calculator. I gave up when my math skills sucked big time, and I just took out my 4 pint jug of milk to make an eyeball estimate. Things were going well, however, but then, Michelle made a slight faux pas. The recipe called for a "stick of butter to be melted," and while we had a stick, British sticks our like 2 or 3 of ours. So, Michelle opens up the pack and throws it in the pan, and I, like a dick, start melting the shit, when I realize the fatal error. By the time the meal was done, we were swimming in butter. I swear I don't want to see butter for another week. I thought I was going to die of a heart attack. Alas, however, the meal was decent. We couldn't even attempt to empty the pot of food, though; we got full immediately thanks to the sheer butter content.

Next time, we're going to Marks and Spencer (the Food Emporium of London).

And less butter, too.

...So I was chillin at the mall, doing my thing, and this chick walks up to me and starts talkin'. I'm like, "Hey, easy for me." The girl looked good, and I was like, "hey, things are beginning to look up." So, we're chatting n whatnot, and I get her digits. However, I wanted to be sure of something before anything started. I had a funny suspicion, and I don't trust girls in London...

"How old are you?"


And defeated, I walked away. Never mind she's old enough to smoke in the UK. To think...I'm gonna be a senior in college while she's a sophomore in high school...yikes...

I need to card every chick round these parts. :-(

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Internship, Chiyo Issues, and Troy

I've spent one week in my internship here in London, and you know
something? I STILL don't know what the hell the organization is about.
See, this place is called the "Institute of Quality Assurance," and,
after a week of running around, establishing an events calendar,
working on flyers, and all kinds of marketing-type stuff, quite
frankly, I don't know what it is that we do. From what I can gather,
we're this organization that acts as a middleman for the British
Government and British Businesses; we take the standards imposed by the
government on industries, and we then make it easier for industries to
understand and provide guidance on how to implement those standards. We
encourage individuals as well as organizations to become members of our
organization, and now, we even offer training courses for individuals
who would like to be even more knowledgeable about Quality issues,
when, upon completion of this training, they get a title to place next
to their name. Confused, yet? Well, if not, remember, this is only the
beginning. If you are, then, you have less hope than I do.

I think I'll understand exactly what IQA is about by the time the
internship is over. :-)

During my little downtime away from the blog, I was having a couple of
issues with the ex. Basically, we were discussing our living
arrangements for next year (remember, we're signed on to live in the
same house), and she was letting me know about how she lost her
roommate for next year, and now is forced to find someone else to
replace that person. Whatever, I thought our discussions were civil, n
whatnot. We talked about my Jeep, and she was suggesting to sell it to
forgive this debt I have with her, which I don't want to do, and
really, even if I wanted to, I can't do anything about it from London.
Our discussions, like I said, were of a good tone, and I was offering
her a chance to work something out with me this summer so we could
resolve all of our issues and go our separate ways in a clean manner.
Instead, however, she sent me an e-mail threatening me with some
bullshit like lawyers, and getting her current boyfriend to fight me. I
fucking flipped. I have no idea how this shit is going to get resolved,
but with this last message, she definitely changed the tone of our
discussions. I remember people were telling me a couple of months ago
to just step away from the situation and move on without getting
entangled in problems, but apparently, this chick wants to bring me
right into them. Knowing me, I'm certain of one thing; if she goes
forward with any of her threats, I will make sure to retaliate, and if
that happens, there will be no mercy. I hope it doesn't have to come to
that, though, but if it does, then I will do what I must.

I saw "Troy" was a decent movie. Great way to suck up
some free time (three freaking hours!). Brad Pitt did his thing. Eric
Bana did his thing, too. I think Helen should've been someone who was
prettier, though. I mean, the actress who plays her, while she is
good-looking, is hard to think of as the "face that launched a thousand
ships." Helen was supposed to be the most beautiful woman in the
classical Greek world, and I thought one of the ho's that was running
around in the movie was prettier than her. Aww, well. Still, check it
out just to say that you've seen it. Achilles did some gangsta shit,
son... especially when he killed his main enemy...I was like damn, son,
that shit is deep. Watch it to see what I mean.

Saturday, May 15, 2004

Experimenting with a new blog look

I was messing around with the Musings the other day, and I figured since I've been having so many problems publishing my entries lately, I decided it was about time that I do some research and I use a different system and see how it works. So, what you will find here is an experiment for the next two weeks to determine if this is in fact the set-up to utilize. So, hit me up with your comments and let me know if this is the way to go.

Some Rough and Interesting Times in Italy (Part 1)

"Yo, they're boarding! Run!"

Welcome to the RyanAir School of Hard Knocks:

Lesson 1: Run, don't walk

Lesson 2: Throw them 'bows (small children, too...those little bastards)

Lesson 3: Under any circumstances, do not look anywhere else other than in front of you when boarding.

Lesson 4: Prepare to spend an entire flight marveling at how well-postured you are in your non-reclining chairs.

Lesson 5: Marvel at how your knees are touching your chin in those aforementioned chairs.

Lesson 6: Carry some food with you, and prepare to be sold all kinds of products on your flight

Lesson 7: Make sure you actually pay attention to the safety information flight attendants give might need it...

Lesson 8: And finally, congratulations are in order if your flight actually makes it to the gate (and "15 minutes early").

You gotta love RyanAir. :-) It's become something of a joke among Europeans. Tell them you've flown in somewhere with RyanAir, and they just start laughing. This sure ain't JetBlue.

And so, it was through RyanAir that we began our trip to Italy. Once again, Michelle, Giselle, and myself embarked on another adventure through a European city. Gis had read all about Michelle and I's previous adventures, and simply couldn't believe the kind of things that would happen to us along the way. What she didn't realize was that Italy would have in store for her, as well as for the rest of us, an experience and adventure that would far surpass anything else we had gone through before.

For this trip, we had to leave through Stansed Airport instead of Heathrow; which for my New York people and for my Houston people, is about the equivalent of NYC's LaGuardia and Houston's Hobby Airport. (More like Hobby than LaGuardia). Because we decided to leave on the official last day of classes, and Michelle actually had a class to go to, Giselle and I stayed behind in the flat while Michelle ran to class. The two of us did what we had to do to finish packing and get ourselves situated for the trip. I was busy trying to finish some projects that I was working on for my classes, so I was already stressed out from the sheer amount of work I had to do. (In hindsight, I simply should not have gone to Italy at that time...I needed that week to finish off my work once and for all, but because we had booked the trip earlier, I hadn't anticipated my work becoming a factor during the trip at the time of booking. Yet, of course, there was no way I was going to simply "not go" after I had booked all that stuff...fuck losing that money!) Along with packing, I had to take some books back to the University of London that I was using for a project (never mind that I had never gotten around to using those books because at the time, I had never gotten around to starting the project). The books were due on that particular day, and so it was imperative that I get it back in UCL's hands. Michelle left some of her books behind with me as well so I could take them all at once. So, Giselle and I, with about 40 pounds worth of books, left our flat and headed over to UCL, which is about 10 minutes away on the Tube from us. Now, the thing was that we were both on a strict timetable. It was imperative that we reach Liverpool Station, home of the Stansed Express train that would take us to the airport, by 12:40 PM, so we could buy our train tickets and board the 1:00 train. If we didn't get on that train, then we were going to have another Amsterdam on our hands, or possibly, another Dublin. So, now that we're on this strict timetable, what happens? DELAYS ON THE BLOODY TUBE. We boarded the Tube from our station at about 12:05 PM. We got off at our stop for UCL at 12:25 PM. And we still hadn't even dropped off the books, or started our journey towards Liverpool Station, which was farther, still. Rain had started pouring on us as we ran with huge, heavy ass bags across Russell Sq. in London, an area that is constantly filled with those stupid ass tourists who have nothing better to do than to stand in the middle of the pavement and stare up at the sky, gawking at the faux-Victorian "architecture" that was made in 1970 as opposed to 1870, all while they snap off pictures to show Mum at home, wherever the bloody hell home is for them. (I've been in London so long, I'm a native now. :-) ) Gis and I freaking hustled, and we finally made it to UCL's Library (an institution that puts Bird Library in Syracuse to shame in terms of sheer information, but not in organization). I dropped off about 3 stone worth of books (In UK, 1 stone equivalent to 15 pounds. So, I would weigh 10 stone), and got a move on (keeping some books, however, in the hope that I would get around to using them while in Italy). Because we were running out of time, Gis and I took a cab to get to Liverpool, where Michelle was supposed to meet us from SU. Gis got all happy we were in a London taxi, saying, "I wanted to get in one of these before I left." She was blinkin' jubilant to be in the cab. (I gotta admit, they are cool; we should have them in NYC) Our man, the taxi driver, got us to our destination in good time, and with determination, we bounced out the cab, and delved into Liverpool Station.

You see, there was one problem... where the hell was Michelle? After all that hustling, Michelle was nowhere in sight, and it was now 12:45 PM. We went to the ticket agent and bought tickets for the train for all three of us, and at the same time, I was blowing up Michelle's phone demanding a progress report. Voicemail was all I got. Bloody hell, I grunted, suppressing the creeping inner feeling that we were going to miss our designated check-in time and get screwed over on our flight. I looked at the clock. 12:55 PM. Still no sign of Michelle. It was time that we accept reality, I told myself, and ask when the next train to Stansed was going to be. If the train was leaving at 1:40, we were fucked. Our flight left at 3:00, and check-in was closed at 2:20 PM. It takes about 45 minutes to get from Liverpool station to Stansed. So, I prayed that the next train was before then, and I got my wish when the answer was 1:15 PM. That gave us just enough breathing room to check in on time, and prepare ourselves for the war we needed to entail to grab our seats. I kept blowing up Michelle's phone, getting nothing but the increasingly annoying digital recording of Michelle's voice telling me to fuck off and leave a message. Finally, at 12:57, Michelle calls me back.

"I'm stuck on the Tube. I'm three stops away."

It then became clear to me the situation. Michelle was stuck on the same exact line that delayed our trip to the library. We told Michelle we would wait and updated her on the time of the next train. Finally, after a few agonizing minutes of cursing Michelle's name under our breath (it really wasn't her fault, but, she just was a good scapegoat for us to use at the time), she made her grand arrival; her tummy growled its greetings, and ours responded in kind. We all needed food. But, off we ran, past the turnstiles to make our train. The train arrived a short while later, and we all just collapsed onto our seats, resting up for the ensuing war we were about to embark on at the airport.

... Now, about that war... As I explained earlier, RyanAir is no joke. Your seats are not pre-assigned, and there is the very real chance of RyanAir actually overbooking your, in other words, your ticket don't mean shit until you're actually secure in your seat, flipping through the second-hand Air Magazine and reading the safety instructions that are unceremoniously plastered across the backside of the headrest of the seat in front of you. (Saves money on paper). RyanAir gives you a number when you check-in to alleviate some of this conflict. The higher the number, the more fucked you are in terms of getting a seat. Ryan-Air officials call the lower numbers first to board the plane, and the numbers are assigned on a first-come, first serve basis. So, RyanAir rewards the people who check-in early with low numbers, and dicks like us with the high numbers. We were given numbers in the 160s. We were fucked. It was time for war.

Now, RyanAir did something beautiful on this called for a free-for-all... you basically get a seat if you can make it to the plane first; fucking all three of us were ready to battle. We ran to our gate and grilled everyone along the way. We even almost ran over a couple of little kids. ("Those little bastards shouldn't be in the way!") Needless to say, we got onto the plane (we had to board from the tarmac) and found some seats. I fucking felt like I won the marathon. I tried to joyously plop on my seat, but the shit was so hard, I felt my back crack into proper posture as I dropped in. The RyanAir crew, a couple of minutes later, unceremoniously announced we were "actually taking-off," and just like that, the pilot kicked on the engines, and we were off.

Our first destination in Italy was Rome. Before, I always thought of Rome as a clean, well-kept city that was one big monument to the Roman Empire. I thought that since, after all. this was the largest city in Italy, Rome would be a sterling capital. As our plane flew over the majestic French Alps enroute to Italy, this image sat in my mind.

And then I got off the plane.

We landed at Rome's Ciampino airport, an airport that matched the kind of "quality" that we have come to expect from RyanAir. In other words, to quote Michelle, this place was straight "Caca." It was just a dark area; I thought we had flown into a closet as opposed to an airport. We grabbed our bags, and headed out to the street, searching for the bus that would take us to the Roman transportation hub; Termini Station. After some initial confusion, we made it to Termini, where we begin another adventure; finding our hostel.

Now, before we left, I was responsible for booking the hostel in Rome. Because of a fault in the website I was dealing with, I never got a complete confirmation from the website; instead, I got a cryptic e-mail from the hostel itself, saying that everything was confirmed. However, I didn't read the e-mail clearly enough; there was no address printed on the confirmation e-mail. So, when Michelle printed out the e-mail earlier in the day, she discovered that there was no address printed. So, we were going to have to find the hostel once we arrived in Rome.

I figured once in Termini station, we could find a little tourist kiosk with people who could tell us where the hostel was. Well after walking up and down the station with these big ass bags, we finally found something like a tourist kiosk, but unfortunately, we encountered this crabby ass lady who told us to go find an internet cafe to find the place, despite the fact she had the internet right in front of her. So, off we went, map in hand, to find an internet cafe, where we eventually were able to log into the ghetto website and get the address of the hostel. The place wasn't too far from Termini, so we hoofed it. Unfortunately, because of the collective weight of our bags, this walk proved to be more trouble for us than we imagined. It didn't help that the closer we got to our destination, the seedier our surroundings became. It became more like something out of "Down These Mean Streets" rather than "Gladiator" or something. Graffiti was everywhere; political posters littered the streets and the billboards, providing more of a canvas for any politically-inclined teen with a can of spray paint to make their feelings known. There were plenty of "Bush = Devil" slogans sprayed across the walls of buildings. Trash was everywhere, and many of the streets looked like they haven't been properly maintained in years. It was almost as if the area was falling apart. To be fair, it wasn't like the area itself inspired one to fear for their lives. There weren't shady people standing on street corners or crack heads walking around asking anyone for some cash (no, it's not like Syracuse). It was just that the area was neglected, and it clearly showed. As we later discovered, this more or less was a trait of the entire city itself, not just our area.

We finally found our hostel, and once we got settled in, all three of us started to have second thoughts about staying there. We were expecting a hostel along the lines of the one we found in Amsterdam, which was a pretty nice place to be in. The key word was "private" in that place. We didn't have to mingle too much with the rest of the people who stayed there; our bathroom was in our own room, and with the multi-floored, multi-room set up of the building, it allowed people to pretty much live in their own little bubble while they were there. Instead, in Rome, we got a one floored place that we shared with 20 other people (6 or 5 people to a room). There were four bathrooms, but because of the set up of the hostel, we were practically forced to mingle with people we necessarily didn't want to be seen with. Our hostess at the hostel was this chick, who, for whatever reason, didn't believe in wearing a belt. Before I even knew her name, I already knew what her ass looked like. And she really liked to wear this lavender thong she had on; she didn't change it for two days. Ewwww, indeed. For the rest of our stay, we called her "Baja Panty," and not because I wanted to, but rather because of the relative ease her pants fell off; it was only natural to think her thong would fall off just as quickly. Baja Panty didn't believe in having change, either, which I really didn't understand. How do you expect people to pay you for a place to stay, and you don't have change to give them? She only had 7 Euros of change. That's it. The entire fucking time we were there. Giselle wanted to smack that bitch by the end of our stay.

There were these Canadian guys that were staying in our room on the first night. Man, one of them was particularly annoying. Mad loud, obnoxious, and downright corny. He tried to pull an ASPIRA-style "icebreaker." I'm like, yo, son, what are we, in fucking kindergarden? I started to get at him hard, using the lessons I learned about Canadians from "South Park." "What's going on, eh?" "What are you talking aboot?" The other Canadian guy even thought he was annoying, asking himself how he managed to get on without beating him down. During our first encounter with the Canadians, Michelle and Giselle were looking at each other like they both wanted to cry; they looked like they had just gotten themselves into hell or something. As we spent more time in the hostel, though, eventually, it grew on us, and we didn't mind it anymore. I couldn't get used to my RyanAir-style bed, though. That shit was so god damn hard. I wound up switching it with another bed and taking a softer one by the second night. Soon, all was good.

Our first full day in Rome started off kind of late, but we made the most of it. We first headed over to the Colosseum (which wasn't far from the hostel), where, by chance, we encountered a tour group that was going around talking about the various aspects of the building itself. This 30-something year old Italian guy named Roberto was leading our group, telling us in his thick Italian accent about the various aspects of the Colosseum. He was hilarious and informative at the same time, telling us things like how the top level of the Colosseum was where all the "cucchi-gucci" took place. (It was called the "fornicarium..." you figure it out). I thought the Colosseum was pretty cool, though, at first, the walk leading up to it was almost surreal. The building didn't look real at all when contrasted with the modern day setting that surrounds it. It looked like someone had Photoshopped it in or something. While I understand the importance of preserving old works, I kinda wondered why no one had decided to rebuild the Colosseum to its former grandeur. Each passing day is just another day the whole place spends rotting. But, I sympathize with the need to maintain history...

...That is, until, you see the rest of ancient Rome. After the Colosseum, we followed our tour group through the nearby Via Imperiali, a boulevard filled with the ruins of Roman temples, buildings, and monuments. It saddened me to see just how many buildings were destroyed over the course of time, and angered me that much of the destruction was done by the Vatican's pillaging. They took statue after statue, and tore down temples and grand architecture in the name of God. As a matter of fact, the only reason why certain structures remain is because they were turned into Churches at one point in their history. What angered me even more was that all these ruins were just lying around this huge field, and no one had even bothered to do anything with them. Instead, the City decided to place spotlights at the feet of all these ruins, some of them just a single column of a once huge structure, and highlight them for all the world to see. Now, while I think it's great to celebrate your past, it almost seemed as if Rome couldn't get over its once-storied history; as if it never recovered from the fall of the Roman Empire. The city spent all of its energy to highlight these ruins, but couldn't spend money fixing the modern-day infrastructure of the city. Rome could be a great city again, but, because they would rather spend their time living in the past, modern-day Rome looks decrepit, and is falling apart in the same way that the ancient ruins are. We saw the Circus Maximus, which was supposed to be the largest stadium ever built by man, and when we get there, all we see is this park, with the ancient racetrack preserved, somewhat. The only sign one has that this was an ancient Roman structure are three columns and the remains of a grandstand. What the fuck? The area is so wide and large, that Rome could turn the Circus Maximus into a modern-day sports facility surpassing its origins. They could incorporate those remains into the new structure. Instead, however, the place looks like an overgrown park sitting in the middle of a rotting city. I thought the goal for civilization was to surpass one's ancestors, not to constantly live in the shadow of them. It's saddening, really. I think Rome should completely reinvent itself for modern times, while preserving the ruins at the same time, and in some cases, even rebuilding them, and incorporating the old with the new. With the way it is now, it seems as if architects never bothered caring about their modern structures and spent most of their energies figuring out ways of keeping them away from the ancient ruins.

As we were told, only 20 percent of ancient Rome is uncovered. The rest of it lies beneath the surface of the modern day streets, under thousands of years of sediments from the flooding of the TIber River.

Later on that first full day, the three of us decided to take another tour through a different part of Rome. We were told that the tour was going to be conducted by some Scottish guy who was real big on gladiator duels, or something of that nature. So, we were like, hey, let's check that out. Little did we know that when we arrived at the meeting place, the two girls would turn into complete babbling idiots; this tour guide tickled their fancy to say the least. His name was Alex, and to the girls, he was their God. It was almost as if they were both back in high school, and for the entire tour, they might as well have been. Of course, what is a little game of attraction without some competition thrown in. And so, arrive these two Canadian girls, who, once they saw Alex, they did a double take as well. It was clear that they were going to throw the coochi at him, and they pretty much did from the outset. Mish and Gis tried to play along, but they didn't want to sink to the Canadians' level. So, they tried to set me off on the girls, you know, to "take one for the team." And really, one of the girls was really attractive, but it was perfectly clear that she was solely concentrating on Alex and no one else. So, defeated, I stood to the side, and in the name of fair competition, let the four girls fight for him equally.

Since I really didn't care much for Alex in that way, I just simply decided to enjoy the tour for what it was worth, which actually, was pretty good. This dude knew his shit. To be precise, he wasn't completely Scottish; he was half Roman, half Scottish. Mish and Gis didn't care. Like I said, the two of them formed a new religion around Alex. The other girls did those OBVIOUS things, like trying to get him to notice their cleavage, or dropping things on the ground, or pretending to be hurt. Shit like that. I think Alex knew what was going on, but he just let them do their thing. Deep down, I think he was just getting a kick out of the whole thing.

Eventually, the tour ended, and the four girls ran up to him to duke it out over who he was going to spend his night with. He told them that he had to work at some bar called "Magnolia" and gave them the place's address. He even walked us over to it. The girls became Tour Guide groupies. It was sad. Mish and Gis were all about seeing him later on that night, and I was dragged along for the ride. We headed back to the hostel, changed, got all posh, and then walked back out to do some damage. My plan was to simply woo one of the girls away from Alex so Gis and Mish could spend some more time with him. If it all worked out, hey, we could all have our fun for the night.

We got to Magnolia, and sure enough, Alex was there doing his thing. While Mish and Gis gawked at him, I was looking around for the Canadian girls. I really wanted to try to woo one of them away. After awhile, they were nowhere to be found. Alex walked up to us and was like, "I guess those other girls couldn't make it. I didn't give them much of a chance to find their way back here, anyway. They didn't seem too good with directions." I was kind of down after that, I really wanted to see the girls to give it a go. Then, out of nowhere, the Canadian chicks appeared. And soon, it became clear to me; they weren't playing around. They had one thing in mind; bag the shit out of Alex or else. Upon seeing the girls, Mish and Gis began to lose hope. I was like, "c'mon, girls, don't give up. It's too obvious to Alex that these girls are too loose." Almost to confirm what I was saying, the Canadian chicks threw themselves onto him (never mind he was working). Mish and Gis couldn't take the sight, and so we walked out to find a cheap bar to get fucked up. We found some place that was doing cocktails for 2 Euros, and so these chicks got some drinks, and before you knew it, they were nice. We reunited ourselves with Alex at this other bar he told us he was going to after work. The Canadian chicks were also there, as well. I was introduced to Alex's cousin, Ian, who was another tour guide in Rome, but he was straight from Scotland. Mad cool people, indeed. We chilled until the place closed down at four in the morning, and then we all left together to roam the streets of Rome. Three guys and four girls. Jes chillin.

After awhile, Alex, Ian, and I bonded. At one point, Alex asked for advice on what he should do with those Canadian chicks, who at this point, were both just teasing the shit out of him. He kept on saying, "Ray, you gotta help me." I was like, "Man, those two girls are just out to get you, and no one else." You could tell that although he was playing it smooth in their faces, on the inside, he kinda wished he didn't have this situation following him around. Ian was clearly annoyed with the girls, and was just about ready to tell them to fuck off, but, he played nice, and smiled in their faces while they practically screamed at the top of their lungs for so-called "casual" conversation. If any of us had a choice, there was clearly one of two girls we would've gotten with, but, because of the fact that BOTH the girls were on him, we all knew that if he chose one, the other would be hurt, and in the end, there would be nothing but conflict. And if there's conflict between girls, that means there's no buns for you, my man. So, by the time we parted ways, I was under the impression that he was going to go home without the chicks, but it was clear that the chicks were determined to go home with him. I don't know what came of the whole thing. We were supposed to reunite at some point, but we never saw him again after that night. Mish and Gis bonded with Alex and Ian, as well, so it was a shame that we left Rome without seeing them again. I seriously thought that Alex and Ian could've been just "one of the guys" and we could've chilled and bagged bitches n shit, but alas, it just didn't work out that way. For the rest of the trip, Mish and Gis just kept the fantasy alive by dreaming of their favorite tour guide every chance they got.

As for the girls, well, we got their e-mail addresses...I plan on e-mailing one of them soon. Hey, she offered a place to stay should we ever take a trip to Canada. Who am I to turn down an offer? :-) Imagine, me, Morgan, Pedro, and Edwin show up at this bitch's doorstep like, "Hi!" Doesn't sound like a bad idea now that I think about it...

We wound up seeing the girls again two days later, but Mish and Gis clearly didn't want to see them, so they turned the other way as they walked right past them. I was like, "damn, son" It was like that. I guess all is fair in love and war. :-)

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

A Second Year That Never Came

And here we have the shortest entry to date for something that could've meant so much...

I still remember...

-May 5th, 2004

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Ungrateful (a little poem)

Grasping for air,
searching for hope,
you sought guidance,
for pain you could not cope.

Answers were given,
a shoulder laid bare,
a heart wide open,
For I, was there.

Held you in my arms
Your tears I did wipe,
I made space on my bed
In case you felt alone at night

Your pain was mine to bear
your struggle made me lose sleep
Like a rock wedged between the tides,
I held my breath and dug beneath

It was a momentary sneeze,
a piece of tissue served its purpose
You through me away
Wet with snot, while you rose to the surface

You write the memories of your mind
on paper with no lines, and a pen with no ink
It wasn't all that bad, was it?
Or so, you start to think.

You tell me its your life
filled with decisions you have to make
The saddest part of all
You forgot the role I had to take

In the trash can I sit
Once a great option when times were tough,
My words were too truthful,
And my shoulder not comforting enough

I hear the whispers,
And I see the sneaky asides
All you're beginning to tell me
Is that I have no role in your life.

"Replaced" is too strong of a word
You would think that I held sway in your mind
I realize now that I taken for granted,
The word "ungrateful" is, in a way, a word that's too kind.

Saturday, May 01, 2004

The Top 10 Most Played Songs of April 2004

Academically, this was one of the most difficult months I've had in a long time, replete with tons of assignments, exams, special classes, and the occasional hardass professors. I also got visits from friends across the Atlantic and across the English Channel, got into some girl trouble that I didn't know I had (unexplained story), ended school at Cuse for the year, headed to Paris, and even began my trip through Italy! What a month! Check out this month's soundtrack!

Body: 10) "God Put a Smile Upon Your Face" performed by Coldplay, off the "A Rush of Blood to the Head" album. (new)

9) "Yeah" performed by Usher, off the "Confessions" album. (last month, unrated)

8) "Caught Up" performed by Usher, off the "Confessions" album. (new)

7) "Make You My Baby" performed by R. Kelly, off the "Loveland" album (new)

6) "Move Your Body" performed by Nina Sky, off the "Move Your Body" album (new)

5) "Pussy Pop" performed by Mystikal, off an upcoming, unreleased album (new)

4) "Bad Girl" performed by Usher, off the "Confessions" album (new)

3) "Tipsy" performed by J-Kwon, off his "Hood Hop" album (new)

2) "Destiny" performed by Zero 7, off their album, "Simple Things" (new)

1) "Everytime" performed by Britney Spears, off the album, "Into the Zone" (new)

Wow. What a coup. For the first time since the countdown began in December, John Mayer has been knocked completely out of the top 10. What is even more shocking is that Ms. Spears is actually holding down the #1 spot on one of my lists! I didn't think I would see this one coming. Alas however, the track, "Everytime" is a ballad that's easy on the ears, and good enough to launch one into a fit of daydreaming about the past, an escape that was very much needed during these times of distress, particularly later on in the month. Holding down the #2 is Zero 7's jam, "Destiny," a song that is probably, in the span of three years, the most played song of my entire music collection. It's one of those jams that you can listen to and zone off into another world, grabbing all kinds of inspiration throughout the crevices of your mind. It's awesome, and definitely a song that I needed to turn to this month.

Of course, we get to my man, J-Kwon's "Tipsy." That's what I needed to be this month. Usher was represented on the playlist real hard, grabbing 3 slots with songs off the Confessions album. And R. Kelly grabbed his usual spot for the month on this playlist. All in all, what a month.

Apple will be happy to hear that two out of these top-10 songs were purchased on the iTMS download service. See, I did my part to support artists. :-) Speaking of iTunes, Apple has just released a new version of the software. If you haven't downloaded it yet, check it out at . Take care all, and remember...

Don't Steal Music. :-)

Thought I Was Leaving, Didn't You?

Finally, after weeks of speculation and intrigue, I finally have an answer to the question everyone has been asking me for the past month

"When Are You Leaving London?"

The Answer: Not in May

I received great news while I was in Rome! Before I left for London, I had was approved to start an internship with this organization called the Institute of Quality Assurance, within their marketing department. However, I sat on the ropes because I didn't have any way of securing funding for more time at my flat. However, thanks to my grandfather, who apparently heard my problems from my mother, I got a much needed financial shot in the arm to give me just enough wiggle room to get a job here in London and keep my flat for another month. So, I'm staying in London till June!!! Now, there's one more month of antics to follow here on the Musings. I hope you enjoy it as much as I will. Maybe I'll finally mingle with the natives..:-)
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