Friday, December 31, 2004

Happy New Year!

Well, I'm off to Houston...I wasn't able to update the blog as soon as I wanted, to, but that doesn't mean I can't leave without saying tata for now. Most likely, you'll see another post tomorrow or something. :-)

Happy New Year!!!

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

On behalf of Apple...

Let us all take a moment from our day to pray for the people affected by the tsunamis in South Asia.

Please visit for links to organizations helping the recovery efforts.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Santa Switches a Lump of Coal for eBay...

Now, this is freaking an AWESOME story...the father of these three boys decided to take his kids' Christmas gifts (3 Nintendo DS's) and put them for sale on eBay because they were acting like complete brats.

To make things even funnier, the same people who bought the grilled cheese sandwich that had the likeness of the Virgin Mary on it bought the three DS's.

Man, those kids must've done something REALLY bad to have their Christmas gifts sold on eBay...I can imagine just how the father tortured the kids while he was doing it...

"Oh will you look at that? There are 23 people who are bidding on your Nintendos! Oh, look, another bidder!"

Yes...21st Century Lumps of Coal...gotta love it. :-)

Here's the article...Brats Gifts on Ebay


It's been a rough few days. I had to spend Christmas and the days immediately surrounding it doing all kinds of work for both school and for Apple, so I haven't had the time to blog as much as I wanted to. Look for some good updates soon, though. In the meantime, I'll throw in a little entry here and there just to keep things interesting...

How was everyone's Christmas? Anyone have some interesting stories to tell?

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Merry Christmas!!!!!!!

Here's some Christmas wishes to everyone out there! And if you don't celebrate Christmas...well...have a nice day! :-)


-Ray, the Happy Latino

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Ways for Aggravated Americans to Protest the Bush Administration, # 27

Plant a tree, despite the fact that the Bush Administration says that America's forests are "overstocked."

Administration Overhauls Rules for US Forests

Because, when America no longer has any forests to call its own, at the very least you'll have on tree growing in your backyard in complete defiance of the people who wanted it turned into paper.

Oh Look, There's Me...and There's Me Again...

One of the biggest controversies of the past 10 years revolves around the prospect of cloning, or literally, copying something's genetic code and, in effect, making an identical copy of it. While this cloning stuff was all the rage in sci-fi stories for years, something happened when Dolly, the sheep, was first cloned in 1995...

People began to think in terms of the almighty Dollar...

Yes, cloning was fast becoming the new potential profit center of the future. Some envisioned stem-cell research. Others envisioned armies of clones (like Star Wars or something). And we cannot forget the controversy surrounding bringing old personalities back to life (like the Ted Williams controversy, where the dude's son had his head cryogenically frozen so that it could be used to clone another "Teddy Ballgame") Of course, religious groups came out in droves and denounced cloning (and all other scientific developments related to it) as the complete and utter damnation of the human race in the eyes of God. It seemed that no matter where you looked, someone had SOMETHING at stake in this whole cloning business.

Today, I couldn't help but scratch my head at the concept of cloning your cat . This woman spent $50,000 on cloning her beloved furball which had passed away after a long 17 years. Now, I personally don't have too much of an opinion on cloning, outside of the fact that I don't want another "me" running around trying to live my life, but quite frankly, the concept of spending all that money to clone a pet is complete crap. For $50,000, you could fucking buy a shitload of cats that right now, couldn't even DREAM of being in a home. There are so many strays running around, literally dying for a chance to live in warm and loving home, and this bitch (who probably wears Uggs) decides that she wants to spend all that money on a fucking clone of a cat that already had a long ass life to begin with. Bitch, get another cat. Get two, even.

And what's the stance of the company that did the cloning?

"Hey, the bitch paid us, so we did it. :-) "

And now we can hear the collective groaning of everyone at the ASPCA.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Confessions of a Guest Barista

Alright, so most of ya'll know that outside of my job with Apple, I'm also a Starbucks Barista. (You know, the people that make all the drinks at the 'Fucks and are highly trained in dealing with L.I.B's) Because I decided to head to NYC for the holidays, I was forced to find a replacement the hours I was losing by not working at the local Starbucks at SU. And so, I arrive in NYC, armed with the determination that I was going to find some 'Fucks to work at for the month I'm going to be in the city. I looked up a few locations online, guesstimated their labor needs, and decided to give them a ring or two. I knew that I didn't want to be TOO far away from home, and also, I knew that I didn't want to deal with the same kind of customers that I deal with at the SU Starbucks. (Read: L.I.B.s...) So, here were the locations that I called (or tried to call) during my first run.

1) 225th St. Bronx, NY (by the lovely new Target)

2) 181st. Manhattan, NY (Washington Heights: AKA: Little Dominican Republic)

3) 125th Manhattan, NY (The heart and soul of Harlem)

4) 30 "Roc-A-Fela" Center, Manhattan, NY (Not close to my home at all, but it's right by the NY X-mas tree and right by my momma's job)

Now, you know, most NYC Starbucks partners, when they look at the first three stores I selected, they grimace and say something to the effect of, "why would you want to work THERE?" And then, if you tell them that you happen to live closer to those locations than some of the others, they look at you as if they feel sorry for you or something, even though I could technically be living far better off than the vast majority of them. I've heard horror stories about some of these locations. But I decided to give them the benefit of the doubt anyways, and see what's up. Now, before I tell you what happened, I must say that I sincerely HOPED that these locations would surpass their neighborhood stereotypes...but alas...

1) 225th Bronx NY location:
RESULT: Couldn't get through to them because, SOMEONE STOLE THE STORE'S PHONE.

Ain't that some shit? Someone stole the store phone. In the Bronx. I'm telling you, I was HOPING stereotypes wouldn't come into play, man...

2) 181st. Washington Heights location:
RESULT: I couldn't understand a word the person said because they couldn't speak proper English (or Spanish for that matter).

Once again, I'm TRYING to avoid the stereotypes, but, of course, this Starbucks in Dominican-ville couldn't overcome the negative vibes of the surrounding community.

3) 125th Harlem location:
RESULT: "Yo, son, I don't trust nobody I ain't seen yet, man. So you gon' have to come on in for a meetin', aight?"

Ladies and gentlemen...THAT was the manager. Yes folks, this "Urban Discovery" Starbucks was being managed by a wanna-be member of Ruff Ryders. I couldn't believe it. Are we minorities seriously THIS bad?

4) Rockefeller Center location:
RESULT: "What's your last name? Torres? Oh, I'm sorry, we don't have hours available at this location..." last name was the sole determinant in whether or not I was going to get hours at THIS Starbucks located in downtown Manhattan. I tried giving them the benefit of the doubt, but seriously, that "last name" question does put a big question mark on the whole thing. I'm trying to get away from the whole, "All white people are racist" stereotype, but once again, this woman ain't helping.

After I placed these calls, I decided to take the job search on foot, and make some visits. I made some friends at a few locations in the 90's in Manhattan, which is great. I'm definitely getting hours. I also paid a visit to the Harlem Starbucks, where, after waiting for an hour and a half, I finally spoke to the manager, who wasn't so bad after all. Though his employees...I can't say the same thing about them. Before I identified myself as a Partner, I ordered a drink, and in the middle of my transaction, the Barista at the register decides to walk away and do whatever, leaving me hanging. I had whipped out my money and was ready to pay and everything, and the mofo walked away. After about three minutes, another employee slid in after realizing that I was just standing there waiting to be rung out. Their heads sank low when I identified myself as a Starbucks employee. That's definitely not the way to go, people.

After meeting me, the manager seemed eager to get me some kind of hours at his location. If there was anything he needed, he needed someone who had some good common sense and at least SOME kind of commitment to the work they do.

It's going to be interesting working at all these locations, trying to fill in and become the "guest Barista" of the moment at each store. Hopefully, I won't get any accusations that I'm trying to take over their store or something (like what happened in London), and I'll make the money I need to get on by. :-)

By the way...that Bronx location...they bought another phone, and someone stole that one, too...

Black Ice

I don’t think there are too many things worse than the hearing the sound of a perfectly good car CRUNCHING into something else. Especially if you hear that sound twice in the span of one month.

“Great. Number fucking two.”

About two hours into my trip back home to NYC, after fighting through intense patches of snow, ice, and swerving trucks, Zulay, myself and my sterling little rental PT Cruiser had finally met our match:

“Black Ice.” Or, extremely frozen pavement.

I had always heard stories about Black Ice, and how nasty it could be for any unsuspecting person who traveled over it. It’s one of those surfaces that kinda sneak up on you. You think the ground you’re about to walk on is pretty cool, and then, POW, next thing you know, you’re on your ass, hoping to God no one saw you fall.

In my case, I was traveling on Route 17E, about 100 miles north of NYC, when I encountered this incredibly horrible patch of highway that looked like it hadn’t been paved in over five hours. There was only one lane of traffic that was really “clean” of snow out of three, and it was in this lane that, after slowing down to 30 MPH, my tires lost their grip and I skidded down the highway in slow motion. I was trying to turn the steering wheel in whichever direction, hoping to regain control of the car as it had begun making headway for the wire highway divider on the far right of the road. After a good 15 seconds of fighting with the car, I had come to the inevitable conclusion that I was just about to get into my second accident in the span of one month.


I like having the feeling of being “experienced” in certain situations, because in your mind, you tell yourself, “I’ve been through this before, I know what to do.” But there’s something incredibly morbid about being experienced in car accidents. After the car had come to a complete stop, I calmly turned to Zulay and asked, “Are you alright?” And of course, being that she had also become a sudden guru in car accidents (which is scary…both times, she was the co-pilot…) , she replied with a semi-enthusiastic “Yup, I’m fine.” I flicked on my hazard lights in order to alert cars coming behind me that I had just come to a complete stop on the highway, and sure enough, there was already a car coming our way. In the corner of my rearview mirror, I saw him skid just exactly the same way we did in trying to avoid our car, but thankfully, he avoided us completely and actually pulled over to help out. He happened to be a security guard at a local hospital. After climbing over the passenger seat to get out the car (thanks to the fact that my door couldn’t open at all), I went outside and surveyed the damage. The entire front, left side of the car had been completely smashed. My windshield had cracked from the impact, and I had a flat, left front tire. I felt tiny bits of glass in my mouth, which I assume came from the cracked windshield. The guard offered us a ride into the nearest town, which we gladly accepted, and I made my way back into the car, fighting the horrendous gusts of wind and the horrible pavement which my feet couldn’t get any kind of traction on. I just pulled the car over a bit more to the side, turned it off, and kept the hazards on as our new guard friend took us into his car and took us to town. Apparently, we had crashed just outside of a little town called Liberty.

That kind guard dude gave us a ride to the nearest State Trooper dispatch post, where, upon our arrival, we were asked if we were coming from a PT Cruiser, which we confirmed. Apparently, the troopers had wasted no time in getting the wrecked car off the highway, and had it towed to a nearby repair shop. (Also, as we found out a few minutes later, one of the troopers inspecting the car actually busted his ass on the black ice, and had begun to slide all the way down the highway before he regained his grip).

Eventually, after meeting up with the car, and talking with the people who towed it, we were given no choice but to spend the night in Liberty. Thankfully, there was an Econo Lodge about a minute away from the tow yard, so ZuZu and I chilled there. We made a few phone calls here and there to let our parents know what was going on (though, it definitely sucked that my new phone suddenly decided to die on me just before the accident).

The next day, I played “the phone game”, calling up rental companies and parents to figure out how the hell we were going to get away from this cornbread-ass town. (Zulay and I made up 100% of the town’s minority population). After my original rental company pretty much told me to fuck off (citing the fact that the weather conditions were too bad to rush out another car to me), I was forced to rent another car from another company. After about two or so hours, we finally got a car, and made it to NYC in one piece. By the time we got back on the road again, the sun had come out, and the roads were completely clear. The new car, a Toyota Corolla, definitely was an adequate replacement for the PT Cruiser. As a matter of fact, I was complaining before we took the trip that the Cruiser, “didn’t feel right…it felt too lumbersome,” despite the fact it had a small ass engine. So, the Corolla, which took me a minute or two to get used to (“it was too loose” I said, which, after about the second or third time of me saying it, made Zulay wonder whether or not I was still talking about the car, or about something else…), drove like a champ. The next day, I didn’t want to take the car back. It was an awesome ride.

So, finally, I made it back to NYC, and thankfully, everyone is okay. Still, I can’t help but shake my head: two accidents, one month, neither one of them my fault. When this year finally ends, I think the one quote that will sum up my experience for the year comes from my international guest partner in crime, Giselle (appears in France and Italy blog entries in late April, early May):

”What ELSE can happen?”

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Among the 'Stupidest Trends' Ever...

Uggs...these fucking things are beginning to appear everywhere, and quite frankly, I can't stand them. They look sooo stupid, especially when people try to tuck their pants into the top of the boot. Bitch, you ain't skiing!

These things need to stay in Australia. Not on the feet of people who have absolutely no idea how to even spell 'Australia.'

I feel like walking up to one of these peanuthead girls wearing them and screaming, "I'm going on Safari, muthafucka! Sa-FA-RI!!!!!"

The Art of the Zu-Ray Conversation

It's no secret that when both my roommate, Zulay and I get together, all kinds of crazy antics ensue. Nonstop laughing, ridiculously random statements, and the occasional political observation are usually the signs of the patented "Zu-Ray" convo. Check out a perfect example of our unique dialogue.

Me: "Did you hear about that white woman who was killed and had her baby cut out of her womb?"
Zulay: "Nah"
Me: "Yeah, the baby survived"
Zu: "Of course"
Me: "And the woman died"
Zu: "Of course....Where did it happen?"
Me: "I'm not that sure. I only read the headline. You know it didn't happen in the city, though."
Zu: "Of course"
Me: "That's some fucked up shit, yo.....But, son, only white people can pull that kind of shit. Fucking tearing the kid out the womb...what kinda shit is that? Yo, when black and latino people kill people, they'll use guns, push you off a cliff, fucking push you into the tracks, and even hit you with a brick. But white people, they'll fucking kill you with a spoon. They'll stab you 15 times, and then tear out your stomach. What kinda shit is that?"
Zu: (laughs, nods)

(a minute passes)

Zu: "...Yo, what did you think of that Barbie doll?"
Me: "The one that was pregnant and had the stomach?"
Zu: "Yeah, yo."
Me: "I always thought that shit was hot. But I wondered how you took the baby out?"
Zu: (motions with hands) "Well, you popped off the stomach, of course."
Me: "Man, that's wack. What kinda message was that sending to kids? Fucking pop off the stomach, and POOF, you have a baby. It would've been cool if that shit came out like a real baby, and out the cooch."
Zu: (nods) "Yeah, yo."
Me: "But then Barbie would have a big ass cooch hole. Fucking Ken would have to stick his head in there to please her."
Zu: "Or use his feet." (motions with her leg)
Me: "They took that shit off the market, yo."
Zu: "Yeah, of course. We couldn't have that around."

(I walk away...30 seconds later)

Me: "You know, have you ever wondered who was the one that got Barbie pregnant? You know it wasn't Ken's gay ass. Barbie got around yo."
Zu: (laughs) "That ho"
Me: "You know she got with someone when Ken was away."
Zu: "Like who?"
Me: "G.I. Joe, yo."
Zu: (laughs) "But he's like three inches high, yo. He'd have to stick his entire body in there."
Me: "Nah, nah, I ain't talking about those little action figures. I'm talking about the original G.I. Joe. He came home from war and broke that bitch, while Ken was taking it up the ass from one of his "friends."
Zu: (laughs)
Me: "And you know he got to all of her people. You know he broke Barbie's little sister, too, Stacey."
Zu: (laughs) "And all of her other friends too... fucking Teresa ... Cindy ... and shit..."
Me: "Shiiitt...and he was pimpin' her car. He was like, 'Shit, this car might be pink, but fuck that, it's a Corvette.'"
Zu: (shakes her head)
Me: "And you know it didn't stop there. That bitch Barbie was a ho. You know she hooked up with someone else. Guess who?"
Zu: (laughs) "Who?"
Me: "The Ninja Turtles!"

(both of us laugh hysterically)

Me: "Shiiitt...them Ninja Turtles were from New York, son. What New Yorker says "Cowabunga?" It was from smashing Barbie's California ass!"

(falling off the sofa laughing hysterically)

Zu: "You know who I thought of when you said that?"
Me: "Nah, who?"
Zu: "You know...take a wild guess..."
Me: "Nah, who?"
Zu: "I ain't telling you, then."
Me: "C'mon, stop being a peanuthead and tell me."
Zu: "Exactly, you just said it."
Me: (puzzled look)
Zu: "Peanuthead...Omar?"
Me: "Ah....HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. He DOES look like a Ninja Turtle!"

(Both of us laugh for two minutes)

Zu: "Who was in the Ninja Turtles?" Leonardo, Michaelangelo, Donatello, and who else?"
Me: "And Omar."

(Another laugh session)

We went from a horrible murder, to Omar joining the Ninja Turtles in a span of three gotta love the randomness of the Zu-Ray Convo. :-)

Omar = Ninja Turtle
Originally uploaded by djkibblesnbits.

DISCLAIMER: This is in no way, shape, or form, an insult to Omar or any of his Ninja Turtle brothers...:-D After all, he bagged Barbie! :-)

Heading On Home...

...I'm leaving for NYC this Sunday, so I can get to chill with peeps n whatnot...get me out of the frozen tundra known as Syracuse, please! I'm renting another car to get me down there. We'll see if another person is going to hit me and tell me to "Pay now!"

...In a surprise development, I'm heading to Houston for New Years. I get to see the fam again and chill with the Chicano part of it. I also get to see Abuelo again, hopefully. It should be cool. This will be my first time in Houston during New Years. Normally, people try to go to NYC for New Years, not GET AWAY from it, but who said I was following everyone else?

Speaking of traveling... tickets to London are ridiculously low from NYC...shiiittt...take me out there!!! (I have no idea how I can survive out there now that the dollar is even weaker than it was then I was there...I guess I'd have to have a repeat of the A Poetic Appeal for Money blog.)

I finally saw that movie, "A Day Without a Mexican." It was aight. It was a satire that certainly wore out its message after the first 30 minutes. Nonetheless, it was a decent movie. Nothing worthy of buying outright, but nonetheless, decent.

And I'm out on this short entry. I can't wait to be done with school work so I can finally do what I've been wanting to do to the Musings for a long time...UPDATE it! :-)

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Lincoln Was Splitting More Than Just Logs...

Wow, I simply couldn't resist shaking my head when I saw this article creep up on the New York Times :

Abraham Lincoln Was Gay

The very symbol of the Republican Party is now having his sexuality questioned. I find that little tidbit too precious!

I'm sure this information will be discredited and swept under a rug by some Conservative commentators. But just think, all those people that voted for the "party that stands for values" and felt that upholding "the sanctity of marriage" was paramount, voted for a party that has a gay man as their symbol...

I'm sure some of them, if they can even read, will feel mighty CRUNCHY...if they don't do everything they can to look the other way...

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

I'll Give You an Apple for a Peach...

Apple Computer has decided to go forward with a promotion where for every California peach you buy, you get a free iTunes download.

"Purchasing Tree Fruit Will Mean Music to Ears"

I think this is awesome. Instead of making the kiddies want to go and buy nothing but soda and candy to cash in on some free songs, we make them actually want to eat a fruit. :-) Way to go, Apple, I love it!

I've officially reached my 100th post on Blogger! That's now over 200 hundred entries overall since the Daily Musings first began in August of 2003. Man...that's a lot of writing....

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Stuyvesant HS: "High" on Itself

As an alum of Brooklyn Technical HS in NYC (one of the top high schools in the city, as well as the country), it's really a no-brainer to say that my hatred for everything Stuyvesant HS-related (another top high school in the city as well as the country) runs DEEP. I mean like, "Say you graduated from Stuy and I lose complete respect for you," deep. For those of ya'll who really don't know what the hell I'm talking about, basically, back when I was in high school, there were three big public schools that everyone wanted to get into because of their reputation: Brooklyn Tech, Bronx Science, and Stuyvesant. Every single year, 50,000 city students took an aptitude test to get into these schools, which, between the three of them, only had enough space for 3,000. Stuyvesant was the school that almost every student aimed for: it had been recently renovated at the time, and freaking had an escalator inside of it, which, apparently, drove everyone into a frenzy to want to get into it. (Because, you know, escalators are soooo cool [note the sarcasm]) So, because everyone wanted to get into Stuy, you had to score really high to get into it. Then a little lower on the scale was Bronx Science, which came in with a good reputation, so people put it second. Finally, Tech was third. For so many people, you went to Tech only because you were a Stuy or Bronx Science reject. (The exception came if you lived in either Brooklyn or Queens, where there were actually people who selected the school based on proximity) I mean, there was really nothing wrong with Tech, but when you have a choice between three schools, and one of them has an escalator and completely modern technology (by 1997 standards), which one are you going to pick? There was also the whole "Brooklyn" factor, as in, "yeah, it's in Brooklyn, so it's wack," feeling that many of us living in Manhattan and the Bronx had.

So, I was a Stuy reject (or so I thought, until I found out I got into the school, only to have it rebuffed because I made an error on which school I was going to choose first...if you got accepted into any school you chose as number 1, you are automatically enrolled with no further input from you...I never told my mom that...ahh, the things that come out at a later age, eh?). But, I really didn't care. I wasn't really too gung-ho about Stuy, anyways. My heart had already been set on Regis High School, this elite Jesuit institution that beat the pants off any school in the Northeast, hands down. But, I had bombed on their admissions test, so, I was heartbroken when I got rejected by them. So, I was indifferent, really. It really didn't matter that I was going to Tech, especially since a bunch of my family members had attended the school.

Now, when I first started attending, I really didn't have any kind of hatred for Stuy. I mean, whatever, they were just another school (with a really nice escalator). See, most freshman at Tech suffer from the "I hate everything because I couldn't get into anything else but Tech," syndrome, and although so many people around me were going through that stage, I was chillin. For them, jealousy for kids who went to Stuy came naturally. I really didn't understand what the big deal was. At least, when I WASN'T climbing up 10 flights of stairs to get to class. (Fuck, no escalator).

And then I began to get into clubs at Tech. I joined the fencing team, where I encountered seniors who would DIE before they would be seen with a student from Stuy. When asked, "what's the big deal," I remember Keith Smart, the then-captain of the fencing team and recent US Olympian, foamed at the mouth at the mere mention of the school. When he calmed down, he finally whispered, "Just wait till we have a match."

The match came. And from then on, I hated Stuyvesant forever.

The Stuyvesant fencing team came into our school for a "friendly" match against us, and from the get-go, they were shitting on our school. "Why is there no escalator?" and then the response, "Because they're too stupid to build one!" (Never mind that their recently renovated school was designed by, guess who, a Tech alum...fucking traitor) I mean, every chance they got, they were slamming us. When the match began, a lot of us got extremely angry and lost our cool, so we lost out on easy points. Eventually, Stuy beat us in own home, and made sure that we would never forget it by constantly trash-talking. I mean, it wasn't so much the fact they trash-talked, but instead, it was the WAY they did it. The entire time, all their talking centered on our actual school, not the team they were facing. And a lot of their talk was almost class-ist, as in, "you are beneath us to play at the local country club" type talk. And, face it. When you have a racially mixed team going up against an all-white class-ist team in a sport like fencing, you tend to take things a bit more personally. (FYI: Tech breakdown- 33% Asian, 33% Black, 20% White, 10% Latino, vs. Stuy - 40% Asian, 42% White, 10% Black, 5% Latino)

And I've never liked elitist wanna-bes.

(Before I go on, our team went into their school and beat the living daylights out of them in an official match the next week. )

The same kind of rivalry existed in other sports between our schools, which were only 1 mile apart from one another. (Except for football, because we rarely matched up with them) It was usually their elitist bastards against our people. Our rivalry was pretty even, too. And it didn't just stop in sports. Science competitions always came down to a choice between a project between Stuy and B-Tech. Chess championships. Regents test scores. Hell, even in city student leadership organizations like ASPIRA, it would always be down to a match-up between Stuy and Tech kids. And even though Tech made a lot of headway against Stuy during my time there (when we were actually academically ranked #1 in the city), we felt bitter because we weren't respected. Stuy always got all the attention and all the money from the city, all because of that fucking escalator.

Bronx Science, in comparison, wasn't even a blip on the radar as far as a rivalry was concerned. We really didn't care about Science. Tech students, from my experience, actually got along really well with Science students. I mean, we'd have our little nudging from time to time, but for the most part we weren't in each other's way. Hell, Science didn't even have sports teams, so it was rare for us to be involved in any kind of direct competition.

But Stuy was our rival. We were so close to one another, too. To hear a Stuy student talk about it, you would think that there was no rivalry. But when you have everything and an escalator to boot, you tend to think that way. But, deep down inside, they KNOW they would be upset to find out that they just lost out on yet another competition to Tech. (Like how they get upset when we cite that we have 9 Nobel Prize winners compared to their 4, or something like that) It's kinda like the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry, where Stuy was the Yankees, and Tech was the Red-Sox, in terms of funding and respect. And they knew it. No matter what we pulled off, they knew that at the end of the day, we were still a school with less funding and no escalator. (I keep repeating the escalator thing because, honestly, that's what much of their assumed air of greatness focused in on. That, and central air conditioning) I always viewed it as a battle between the upper and lower class. Now, to be fair, not all Stuy kids are snobby, but still, the vast majority are, unfortunately. After 9/11, a new chapter was written in the history of our rivalry when Stuy kids were forced to attend school at Brooklyn Tech while their building was being repaired in the aftermath of the WTC collapse. The Board of Education knew all too well about our rivalry and made sure that there was NO chance that Brooklyn Tech students and Stuy students would ever go to school together at the same time. Man, I would've given anything to be back in Tech at that time, but I had graduated the year before, so I was in Syracuse hearing about it. And, BOY, did I hear about it, especially after Stuy students had begun to straight up diss our school. Among the complaints:

"It's too ghetto." (code word for 'too many minorities')

"Class arrangements don't make sense" (It's arranged North, South, East, and West, you fucking twits.)

"There are hardly any computers" (Yeah, because you fucking took all the funding for them)

"There's no escalator" (Work out, you fucking lazy bitches)

and finally

"Tech students are mean."

Now that last one...let me elaborate. I'll be the first one to say that Tech is not perfect, by any means. I certainly had a love-hate relationship with that school, as most students did. But, when another school comes in and uses your facilities, while shitting all up on it, you got another thing coming. A lot of the stuff that we had wasn't easy to come by, and for this fucking spoilt student-body to come on in and mess up our shit, oh, hell no...

So Stuy kids were getting the shit kicked out of them every day. And their students complained so much about the "horrible conditions" that the city rushed them back into their school, post-haste, without fully removing the debris from their school. To add insult to injury, all kinds of national news articles were written about their plight. "Oh, poor Stuyvesant, they were at the epicenter of 9/11, and were forced to move. Boo hoo hoo. They couldn't use their escalator for a week. Boo hoo."

So yeah...I HATE Stuy.

And this article, published in the New York Post is a nice little blow against them, heh heh heh...:-)

Stuy gets "High"

At least our dealers are smart enough to not get caught... :-)

Video Games Are Good for the Fight Against Crime

This is an interesting, and hilarious little story provided by it out:

'Grand Theft Auto': Keeping America Safe

And SOME people thought it was just "mindless violence destroying the very fabric of America."


Okay guys, seriously...

I can't wait to start blogging for REAL again...I'm tired of this college work crap. I swear, like I always say, "School gets in the way of your education."

A few more days of this, and then I am FREEEEEEEE!!!

...Okay, and for those guys waiting for me back in NYC, let me say this one time, and one time only...

I'm heading back to NYC this for what day, now I'm not so sure...(I have to find someone to cover a last minute shift at the 'Fucks; they scheduled me for Sunday)

Hopefully, that should alleviate SOME of the phone calls I be getting in the middle of class...:-/

...I had another kickass presentation yesterday (The Audio blog entry from a few days ago mentioned the first presentation). This time, it was a 50-minute group presentation. Man, I'm telling you...I HATE Powerpoint. Seriously. I told my group members to send me all their slides for the presentation so I can put it together and make it all nice and modern-looking with Apple's Keynote presentation software. However, when I got those slides, oh my God, they were so horrible looking. They weren't even worthy of my 12-inch laptop screen. I was in a group with a bunch of 40-55 year olds (with the exception of another girl who was 23). who really didn't have a sense of modern presentation style. So, they gave me slides with that horrible looking "Mountain" background from Powerpoint, and riddled with spelling errors. Yesterday, instead of spending time at the library doing work for my other classes, I was forced to sit down on my computer all day and clean up my group's nasty presentation slides and make them more presentable in Keynote. It took me so long to perfect, that I came in an hour late to class. Now, most of the time, people in my major who work with me know to always count on me running late when it comes to presentations, and usually, they always forgive me because after three and a half years of being at this school, I've developed a reputation for being an excellent presentational speaker. But these group members had never worked with me before, so they were shitting bullets, praying to God that I would make it. When I finally got there, a few members were visibly upset; personally I could've given two shits because I had just spent the entire day fixing up their slides. So, whatever, I walk in right when it was our turn to speak, and I immediately set-up the presentation. I gave my group members hand-outs of the presentation so that way, they knew what was coming up as they were presenting. However, they really didn't take advantage of the hand-outs and the guides I had given them during their turns, so as a result, they wound up getting distracted by the Keynote transitions, and really didn't deliver as well as they thought they should. So, they got mad at me.

"It was too technical," they said.

Except for the 23-year old who absolutely loved it. "It was flat-out the best slide-show I've seen."

When I presented my part of the project, I was forced to play anchor and take that baby home for the group. After having five so-so presenters go up and talk about boring topics while distracted by their own slide show, it was due time for someone to come up and speak with confidence and engage with the audience, which is pretty much what I did.

And it worked.

Professor says: "The group gets an A. And Ray, I loved that slide-show. Don't worry what your group members said."

Because at the end of the day, only the professor's word counts.

...In a similar vein, I was just asked by one of my professors in my major to compete in a Public Speaking contest for 5,000 bucks...I just have to have a topic by this Friday...there's one catch...I have to finish MY work first!!!

Reason #145 to Buy a Mac

Because this guy said so. Buffalo News - "Choosing a Mac Computer for the Holidays"

Macs: They look damn good under the Christmas tree

Monday, December 13, 2004

Addendum to Christmas Wish List...

Cult of Mac book
Originally uploaded by djkibblesnbits.
I've got another addition to the wish list...

12. Cult of Mac book by Leander Kahney.

This is one of those awesome "coffee table" books that covers the evolution of the Mac from a computing solution into a cult lifestyle. Kahney is a respected writer from "Wired" magazine that specializes on the development of the Mac community, and more importantly, he writes about it in a style that is easy to read, hilarious, and downright interesting. Even if it isn't for me, you should pick it up yourself if you are anywhere near close to being a fan of the Macintosh. :-)

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Ways for Aggravated Americans to Protest the Bush Administration, # 27

Buy a Mac. :-)

The Official Christmas Wish List of 2004

In response to the day I learned my lesson when it came to telling people what I want for special occasions when asked, I have decided to publish my Christmas Wish List for this year so that way there's no confusion for anyone deciding to be nice enough to get me a gift. Now of course, I don't actually EXPECT gifts from people, but I do understand that, well, people do these kinds of things, and so, I feel like, "hey, I might as well get something I like," right? After all, there aren't too many things that are worse than giving someone a gift, only to have that person not like it because it doesn't suit them. As a gift-giver, you want to feel complete and feel as if you actually made a difference in that person's life. So, here's my way of helping you people out by publishing my own Wish List! That way, you feel really good knowing that you got something that I wanted! :-)

NOTE: These gifts haven't been published in any kind of order. I pretty much just listed them as I went along.

1. iTunes Gift Certificates : Nothing like giving the gift of LEGAL downloaded music. You can buy a digital gift certificate on the iTunes Music Store, or an actual physical certificate from your nearby Apple Store. :-)

iTunes Gift Certificate
Originally uploaded by djkibblesnbits.

And just in e-mail address is

2. iPod Socks : I've been going bananas over these fruity looking "socks" for my iPod since CEO Steve Jobs announced them a couple of months ago.

iPod Socks!
Originally uploaded by djkibblesnbits.

These things serve as cases for the iPod, and keep them warm during the rough times...(like winter in Syracuse) I'll prolly only use like one or two of the colors, but still, they're pretty cool, and a great stocking stuffer!

3. The iMac G5 (20-inch, 1 GB RAM, 120 GB HD, Superdrive, Bluetooth option, Airport Extreme Card) : Yes, you all know my Crush of the Month for December HAD to make it here. :-)

4. DVD's up the wazoo: As some of ya'll may know, I'm an avid collector of DVD's, but recently, I really haven't dedicated as much time as normal to this "collecting" thing, so on my wish list for DVD's include The Indiana Jones Trilogy, Lord of the Rings Extented Edition DVD Trilogy (the one w/ 12-discs), Spider-Man 2, Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle (the unrated version...), and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

5. Playstation 2: Yes, I'm one of those few people who DOESN'T own the PS2. And with good reason. However, I love playing my Final Fantasy games, and unfortunately, Final Fantasy is only available on the Sony system. (Bonus goes to anyone who gets Final Fantasy X...)

6 X-Box: Gasp! Can it be?! The Apple guy has a MICROSOFT product on his wish list? I can't front on this gaming box anymore. It's the shit. The graphics are tight, a lot of the games are awesome, and that online gaming aspect is killa. What won me over to the X-Box was Ninja Gaiden...aww man, that game is fucking awesome! (Michelle had to stand around in a Blockbuster in London while I actively climed walls and sliced people down with blades n shit) And I haven't even mentioned Halo 2...

Ninja Gaiden screenshot
Originally uploaded by djkibblesnbits.

7. Even more games... (I'm sitting here WISHING for this shit when I don't even have TIME to game...aww well...) Donkey Konga, Metroid: Echoes , and Paper Mario 2.

8. A cool Air Hockey table: So I can whup Michelle's ass EVERYDAY! :-) (Though not the kiddie size ones...I mean the REAL thing...)

9. An electric guitar: So I can finally record my musical compositions on my Mac. :-) (Gotta love Garageband)

10. My infamous North Face Booty Pack : I miss that thing so much...fucking people in London...

And finally...

11. A Simple Phone Call/E-mail/Card: Because at the end of the day, it truly is the "thought that counts." :-)

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Audio Post: Presentations and Voice-Dialing...

this is an audio post - click to play

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Almost a Year Since...

I saw snow on the finally happened two days ago, and stayed there till yesterday...

"Welcome back to Syracuse," Cold Man Winter said to me.

"You had it easy when you were in London..."

Reason #91 to Buy a Mac

"I was chillin' in Panasci Lounge with my Powerbook when this girl walked up to me and asked, 'Hey, is that a Mac? It looks pretty sexy.' I said, 'Thanks,' and then I actually had the nerve to say, 'but you know, I'd rather talk to you any day.' She actually sat down next to me and gave me her number!"

-kid named Adam, long-time Mac-user from SU

Macs: Great ways of bagging dates.

Reason #123 to Buy a Mac

"Yo, I think I'm gonna buy a Mac, son. I liked how smooth that shit was when I saw my (frat) brother playing porn movies on it."

- Morgan, letting me know I have another potential customer.

Macs: Good for porn.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Cuba: Spreading the Revolution to Medicine

Rarely is there an acknowledgement in American media over the kinds of positive global impacts that Cuba is having on the world. This article from Wired Magazine briefly details the rise of Cuban bio-technology, despite the American embargo.

(About Cuba's medical professionals) "They just don't get capitalism...they don't get it, and they don't want to get it. They still think there's something immoral about profit."

Which is the problem...these big pharmaceutical companies are so worried about the bottom line, that they forget why they exist in the first place: to cure people. Cuba, the country that supposedly has all these human right violations, is doing more to advance the health of their fellow man than the US Government has shown in recent years. It's sad, really.

You can check out the article here

Sunday, December 05, 2004

The French Fed Up With the DaVinci Code

I saw this article on BBC News, and just started laughing.

French Tired of DaVinci Code

Yes, people...there's a reason why the DaVinci Code is in the "Fiction" section, as opposed to the "Non-Fiction..."

I loved the book, but I also understood that there were aspects of the story that spun actual fact with ficticious inference. Some people, just do not...

I think it's funny that the writer of the article insinuates that only Americans enjoy this book...which, if the British author had even dared to look around all over Britain, she would see that the British are just as enamored with the book as we I guess the British are "seeking a spiritual side to life, especially those who do not have much historical knowledge or culture on which to base their beliefs."

Yes, we Americans are silly...but don't think your people are flawless either, mate. :-p

Crush of the Month (December)

The Front of the iMac G5
Originally uploaded by djkibblesnbits.
It may not be able to talk back to me (yet), and I can't take it out on dates, but for this month, I have a crush on the brand-new iMac G5. That's right, this Apple dude has flipped his lid... I have a crush on a computer...

Seriously, this bad boy is fucking awesome. It purrs sophistication and simplicity. You see that picture? THAT's the computer. Nothing more. Just a flat screen. Apple squeezed all the computer's components within the monitor itself to come up with a beautiful computer with a side-slot loading DVD drive (or a DVD burner, if you choose to upgrade) Unlike other computer makers attempts (ahem, Dell, ahem), this computer doesn't have a Quasimoto look to it. (This is the one time I actually appreciate a "flat-ass")

And how much does it cost? It's just as affordable (even cheaper) than a PC computer of similar stats. Check it out at Or stop by your local Apple Store or CompUSA to see this bad boy in action. And if you don't believe me, check out all the wonderful reviews this computer has received in newspapers and publications like the New York Times , the Wall Street Journal and even PC Magazine . Read some of them, and you'll see that I'm not the only one with the crush..

So, congratulations, iMac're the official "Crush of the Month", just in time for Christmas.

Top 10 Most-Played Songs of November 2004

It's that time of the month again...November was one of those, "damn, what the fuck ELSE can happen" months. First, we had the re-election (or first election, depending on your view) of a peanuthead for a President, my 21st birthday, my first car accident that wasn't even my fault, Turkey Day, and a shitload of work thrown upon me by my teachers. I'm sure there are other things that I'm forgetting...this sure seemed like a long month, even though it passed by so quickly. Anyways, without further ado, here are my top-10 Most-Played Songs of the Month:

10. In the Waiting Line, performed by Zero 7, off of the "Simple Things" album. (last month, #9)

9. Letter Read, by Rachel Yamagata, off of the "Happenstance" album. (NEW)

8. Don't Panic by Coldplay, off of the "Parachutes" album (NEW)

7. Lost Cause by Beck, off of the "Sea Change" album (last month, #10)

6. Melina played by El Gordito, off of the "Melina" album (NEW)

5. Suenos by Juanes, off of the "Mi Sangre" album (last month, #2)

4. We Gon' Make It by Jadakiss, off of the "Kiss the Game" album. (unchanged)

3. Bounce It Right There by Sean Paul, off of the "Blackout Riddim Mixxtape." (NEW)

2. Mmmnnnn by GrandandBob, off of the "Waltzes for Weirdos" album (last month, #1)

1. Seven Years by Norah Jones, off of the "Come Away With Me" album. (NEW)

This month, I found myself popping in a lot of slower music, overall, just to kinda get myself in the "I have to do school work" mode, and one of those sterling albums I found myself turning back to over and over again was Norah Jones' sterling debut album from a few years ago, "Come Away With Me." The track, "Seven Years" just has this whole nostalgic mood setting tone that I found myself utilizing to remain focused on my work. It's a short track (only about 2 minutes long), but was nonetheless the gem that I used to initiate my "Okay, I MUST do work" sessions.

As for the other songs on the top-10, surprisingly, 5 songs remained from last month's top-10. Either I REALLY liked those songs, or October and November kinda blended into one huge super-month (which is kinda how it felt, in retrospect). Three of last month's top 5 present this time around. "Bounce It Right There," an underground song from Sean Paul, was a cool track I would turn to whenever I felt the need to stroll around in my PJ's as I got ready to head to class. "Melina" is this bachata track I've had for a long time that finally made its way into the's one of those, "I wanna kill myself because she doesn't love me!" bachatas. (And for those of ya'll that DON'T know what a bachata is...think of it as Dominican R&B music, with guitar and a guira (AKA: the cheesegrater instrument). I don't really know why I played that song this month... (I blame it on iTunes)

Three of this month's top-10 came from the iTunes Music Store (now available across the E.U. and Canada.) I'm happy now that Apple decided to beef up their Latino music section on the American iTMS store after repeated pressure. There are still a lot of gems missing, and many times, it seems as if the only Latino people Apple seems to recognize are Mexican, but, for the most part, they are trying. They actually got more salsa artists on there OUTSIDE of Marc Anthony.

And that's a rap for this happy listening, and always remember...

"DON'T STEAL MUSIC." :-) ("borrow it", instead.)

Friday, December 03, 2004

Juiced Up

Something told me to watch Sportscenter on ESPN on Wednesday night/Thursday morning after I got home from working at the 'Fucks.

Here I was, expecting to watch some top-10 highlights while eating a nice late-night "sammitch", when right on my TV screen, ESPN reporters were revealing breaking news that my favorite baseball player, Jason Giambi, admitted to using steroids in the BALCO investigation.

My jaw completely dropped. I was floored. I guess for some people, his admission didn't come as a surprise, but for me, I had given Giambi the benefit of the doubt when he had repeatedly denied using steroids and actively spoke out against their use.

Ever since he was with Oakland, developing his game with Mark McGwire, I held an affinity for Giambi. He just came off as this larger than life kinda guy on the baseball field who, at the end of the game, wouldn't mind just chillin and throwing back a few beers. He has this oh-so smooth and compact swing, and was just a clutch performer when it counted (barring last season's injury-laden overall performance from him). When he came to the Yankees in 2001, I was about as happy as can be. I remember a lot of my friends who were Yankee fans were waiting to reserve judgement on him, but I had wholeheartedly threw my support behind him. And when he did bad, I supported him, and when he did awesome, I gloated. I mean, of course I loved my other Yankee people, but Giambi represented something else...he was just, THE MAN.

So with this admission, under oath, in front of a grand jury, that he injected human growth hormone and took these two substances nicknamed, "the clear and the cream," Giambi has just lost so much of his credibility and that invincibility that his persona once had. Now you got sports analysts saying that you can't count his stats in recent years and that you can expect more of last season's stats now that he isn't using steroids anymore.

However, despite the tide coming down on him, I still stand by Giambi. And this is why:

Steroids, sure, might help you sustain muscle growth, and keep you strong, but when it comes to baseball, let's face it, steroids aren't going to help you improve your swing, have clutch hits, and bat for average, all of which Giambi did. Now what about the home runs? Sure, Giambi was a home run hitting machine, but let's also be for real here, too: He was a home-run hitting powerhouse BEFORE the time period in which he admitted taking steroids.

In other words: Giambi had and still has TALENT. And you can't inject that kind of stuff into your stomach. I mean, come on, look at Jason's brother, Jeremy, who also injected that stuff. You don't see him running around with MVP stats alI of a sudden, that benchwarmer. :-) I argue that steroids don't affect the game of baseball as much as they would in track and field, or football, where muscle strength and stamina is paramount to success. Because at the end of the day, in baseball, milliseconds and being able to push just five more pounds of weight don't mean the difference between a win or a loss in the same way that it would in either of those other sports. You gotta KNOW how to hit the ball first before you can pound it out the fucking stadium.

Not that I'm condoning Giambi's actions, though. Yes, his admission is downright deplorable. Have I lost respect for him? Maybe. But, at the end of the day, I fear more for how other people are taking this and will react to his presence on the field. I guess you can say that despite this admission, I'm still waiting for Giambi to give me a reason to believe in him again. And I can only hope that the Yankees won't trade him and give him the chance to prove that to all of us; that he can still be the superstar that he was before.

After all, if the Yankees can forgive a drug addict, surely they can forgive someone who was just looking for the slight edge to improve the team...(even if they were steroids, though you must remember that they were not banned in baseball before...)...

Barry Bonds' admission, though, to using steroids? Fuck that bullshit that "he didn't know what he was taking." For that bullshit alone, I DON'T support him at all. At least Giambi was a fucking man and came out...

EDIT: Please keep in mind that Giambi's testimony was not supposed to be made public, meaning that he made his statements with a legitimate desire to help out the steroids investigation of BALCO. He didn't have a clue that the news of his testimony would come out so fast...

As for the mean to tell me that you all think that they didn't KNOW? Of course they did! They just didn't want to admit it. Now, they are forced to play a very public game of, "shit, now what?"

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

I'm drowning! Blurp, Blurp!'s that time of the year again...when all my papers are due, I have presentations up the wazoo, and the Christmas break never seemed so far away, despite the fact it's roaring in at the fucking speed of light. College students know what I couldn't wait for the semester to be over, but all of a sudden, now that it's about to, you realize that you have shitload of work to do before you leave, and now you wish you had more time to do the work. That's basically where I'm at right now. I can't even THINK about Christmas. Fuck the X-mas music at Starbucks. Bah humbug! I don't give a flying fuck about getting gifts for other people when I still have work to do that was assigned before Thanksgiving...

Like Zulay said...we're all trying to do a semester's worth of work in a span of a week and a half....

Wish me luck. :-/
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