Saturday, January 29, 2005

The Attack of the Deadly Icicle

I don't know how many times I can reiterate the fact that it has been EXTREMELY cold up here in CNY...with the thermometer hovering at sub-zero temperatures the entire week, anything about 20 degrees feels like summertime in comparison. It's that ridiculous. One of the many results of this bitter cold is that icicles seem to form from nowhere, and appear on the roofs over everyone's homes. And these things are menacing looking, too. They're so big, we can't even call them icicles anymore...we must call them "stalagmites." Every time we come home, Zu, Justine and I are always on the lookout for them, afraid that one of these sharp looking ice spears will come down on top of our heads.

While we have the benefit of actually being aware of these things, some creatures clearly aren't. The other day, I was walking to class, when I saw a squirrel get smashed by a falling icicle from the roof of a nearby home. That poor squirrel didn't even see that thing coming; it came down so fast. Thankfully, the squirrel survived, though. The icicle was soft enough that it didn't impale the poor thing.

But man...that thing could've hit anyone...we all need to be on the's the Attack of the Deadly Icicles!

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Reason #17 to Buy a Mac

Because it's fun sticking it to Microsoft. :-)

During the SU Career Fair, I made sure that the representatives at Microsoft would feel Apple's presence felt when I walked up to them and placed an Apple sticker right on their table, much to the chagrin of the various Microsoft groupies (which stereotypically are almost always people of South Asian descent). It got so bad, that, apparently, any potential candidate who even MENTIONED Apple was automatically blacklisted by the MS reps as being "unrecruitable."

So much for the "Spirit of Competition" eh? :-)

A Fugitive in the Closet

“What the hell is up with me and closets?”

As I sat down on the floor of a bedroom closet, hiding behind an assortment of hanging jackets, blouses, and pants, I couldn’t help but ask myself that question. In the drunken paranoia of “being discovered” in a fellow chick friend’s bedroom, her closet’s ample hiding space seemed to be the perfect location to hideaway until certain “undesirables” went away, or at the very least, fell asleep. While the question of why I was hiding in the first place will be a topic saved for another blog, nonetheless, I found myself thinking about some of the many desperate evasions I’ve had in the past few years that involved closets, especially during my tenure as a college student. That “trusty ‘ol closet” has been a wonderful ally during the course of my years, aiding in operations such as spying on sexual acquaintances, evading SU Public Safety during liquor raids, and even providing an alternative to a mattress bed. (Man, prop some shoes and some clothes just the right way, and you got yourself the ultimate bed) I’m sure everyone has a “closet story” to tell, and if you don’t, then well, you’re lying. We all learned at a very early age that when you’re playing “Hide and Seek,” the best place to hide in was the closet, so it’s only natural that when you grow older, the first thing that crosses in your mind if you’re ever caught in a bind was to run into the nearest one and stay as quiet as possible...

...Well, at least that’s the way I learned it...

While I was sitting on that closet floor that night, I thought of two specific closet “incidents” that happened during my college years. Even during my drunken state at the time, I laughed at the sheer lunacy and ridiculousness of each incident. I could only thank the stars that the two incidents in question both took place during my formulative freshman year...

The first one that popped up in my mind was this one time that I was forced to hide in a closet when, after running to Michelle’s dorm room to get away from a particular acquaintance who caught feelings for me, the girl in question actually cornered me by paying Michele a surprise visit. In utter desperation to not be discovered, Michelle and I came up with the bright idea of hiding in her roommate’s closet on the other side of the room and waiting until the girl left so I could make my escape. Instead, however, things turned bad when this girl came in and decided that she wanted to spill her guts out to Michelle about her feelings towards me. While the information was good to know, the journalist aspect of me knew that it was completely unethical for me to be listening to this girl spill her guts out about what she thought was in full confidence to Michelle. Yet, there was no way I was going to move at that point; I was stuck, hoping that Michelle would say just the right things to get this girl to go away. Through the door, I heard Michelle try, in vain, to get this girl to leave the room and to keep from revealing any more information to my ears. Minutes passed, and I began to grow weary of standing on one foot, trying to balance and keep from falling in her roommate’s shoebox-filled closet. At one point, after more than 20 minutes, I couldn’t hold on anymore and I fell on top of a stack of shoeboxes. There was no masking the noise. Immediately, the girl demanded to know what that sound was, and thankfully, Michelle said something to the effect of “oh, that was probably my neighbors.” With desperation setting in, Michelle was finally able to convince this girl to leave with her to go somewhere outside the room, allowing me to get out the packed closet and make my way home. I couldn’t get out of that closet fast enough; 30 minutes of standing on one foot will do that to you.

Another time, one day, I randomly woke up inside of my own closet. During finals time of my second semester of freshman year, I remember being burnt out from dealing with the utter blast of school work, so it was completely possible that I was going bonkers at that point. But to this day, I will never know just exactly what drove me bonkers enough for me to wake up, with pajamas on, no less, in my own closet, complete with my bed comforter and my pillow. After dealing with the initial shock of waking up in such a weird place, I asked around to find out what I had done the night before. I feared that I took one of those “date rape” drugs or something by accident, but all accounts pointed to the fact that I was home doing absolutely nothing but schoolwork. Three years later, I cannot tell you what happened that night. That is the only night in my life where I can’t remember exactly what I did the night before. I made it a personal joke that Chiyo, who I had just met only a few days prior to the incident, had drugged me and put me in the closet, but, there’s no truth to that joke. Then again, since I don’t remember, how would I ever know? “The Day that I Woke Up in My Closet” will forever remain one of my life’s mysteries for its sheer randomness as well as its obscurity. I mean, c’mon, who the hell wakes up in their own closet with their pajamas on, as well as a blanket and pillow?

...I glanced at my watch, taking note of how much time had passed since the “undesirables” had walked into my friend’s house. All I could do was simply shake my head at just how much time I spent during the course of my life within a literal closet. And just when I was getting ready to say to myself that these kinds of things only happen to me, my friend opened up the closet door and decided to keep me company during the time being. I couldn’t help but laugh and smile...

She was the one that tripped and fell on boxes this time around. :-)

Thursday, January 20, 2005

I Wasn't Winking At You!

I do not exaggerate when I say that the other day, it was so cold, that while I was walking to one of my classes on the SU Quad, I licked my lips, and the next thing I know, I had icicles hanging off of them.

The combination of heavy snowfall, blistering winds, unplowed concrete, and silly Long Island girls that can't walk straight in snow (despite the fact that they all think they're invincible with their Ugg boots), made my walk to classes just a tad strenuous. Normally short walks became challenges of Mt. Everest proportions. And God forbid you had to do something more than just go to class, like visit a professor or something. Aww man. Days like these, most people will be like, "man, fuck that shit, I'll just go talk to my professors or the Dean of my college next semester." (Unfortunately, for seniors like me, we don't have that option) Hell, we don't even have time to greet our friends during weather like this. We could be walking right next to one another, but we refuse to lift our chins off of the top of our chest more than 2 inches, lest we suffer the consequences of feeling the icy pain of our cheeks getting blasted to oblivion by the "Lake Effect" winds. We could be wearing two, three layers of clothing, and still, it doesn't matter. It's times like these in Syracuse that no matter what you're wearing, you WILL feel the wrath of Mother Nature.

There are always peanutheads during this time that simply refuse to go outside wearing appropriate clothing for the weather, but instead, wear low-top sneakers and thin jackets thinking that everything will be alright. It's too bad that the rest of us can't laugh at them when they slip and fall down the SU Hill when their sneakers lack the traction needed to walk around on campus; it's too cold for us to waste a precious few seconds laughing.

So, now that I've drilled in the fact that it's extremely cold right now in Syracuse, I want you to explain to me just what was going through this girl's mind when she asked me, after seeing me squinting, minding my own business coming out of a class, she screams in apparent terror, "Did you just wink at me?"


"Did YOU just wink at me?"

I had no friggin clue what she was saying at first; with the winds blowing as hard as they were, it sounded like she was saying something like, "Did you just pee on me?" After repeating the question for a third time, I answered with one of those, "Noooo..." replies. (You know, the kind of "No" where you draw out the "ooooo" in order to insinuate the fact that the person you're responding to is a tad bonkers.)

"I could've swore you winked at me."

By this time, I was beginning to get upset that this chick stopped me in the middle of a freaking snowstorm to ask such a ridiculous question. And it wasn't like she was trying to get me to talk to her or something; I mean, the girl looked legitimately freaked out over the possibility of someone winking at her, because, y'know, God forbid someone winks at you.

"No, m'aam, I did not wink at you. I would never harbor the thought."

And just like that, I walked away. Chilly weather calls for chilly receptions. :-)

And by the way...I did "wink", but it was only to get a humongo snowflake off my eye. I guess that possibility never entered her mind.

It's a sad world, really, when people don't use their brains.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Ways for Aggravated Americans to Protest the Bush Administration, # 11

Participate in "Not a Single Dime" Thursday on January 20th. That's right. Don't spend ANY money on Thursday in order to protest the $40 million being spent on Bush's inauguration.

Some say it'll "cripple" the economy. I say it'll just give you more drinking money for Friday night. :-D

And to think...if it wasn't for other countries that cried foul when the US first proposed donating money for the Indian Ocean Tsunamis, the US would've spent more money on this god damn party than helping the lives of millions.

I'm Baacckkk...

Well, it was a long drive, but I made it back to the Cuse in one piece. Of course, with my luck, it just so happened that the day that I was driving was the coldest day yet of our relatively mild winter, so all this snow was coming down, causing accidents 'n' such. It also just so happened that the car that I was driving didn't have snow tires, so to keep from sliding my ass off a 200-ft. cliff, I had to take it real slow. Unfortunately, some of my fellow SU students didn't have good luck, and, well, at one point, we passed by a five-car accident, all five cars being driven by students. Zulay laughed as we passed by, recognizing one of the girls freezing her ass off in the cold, waiting for a tow truck to come and pick up her wreck of a car.

"I know that girl! I hate that bitch!!!"

Okay, so maybe some people got what they deserved. But still, you wouldn't want to wish that on anyone.

I'm glad that we made it alright. I mean, we got lost at one point (hey, that's what having Michelle at co-pilot can do for you), but for the most part, we got home alright and sane.

Now, it's time for school. And some good bloggin'. :-)

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Microsoft's Incompetence Stimulates the Economy

With all the success that the iPod has brought Apple, more and more members of the mainstream press are publishing their own "switcher" stories that detail their successful transition from the Windows world into the Mac world. Spurned on by the increased commercial presence of Apple, these columnists have decided to publish their findings on seeing "just how easy using a Mac really is." Now, most of them publish some kind of article talking about the various nuances of the OS and the beauty of the computers, but this article published in the Orlando Sentinalbrings up a rather tongue-in-cheek point that if everyone switched to a Mac, a large portion of the economy would crash based on the fact that so many people make their money fixing the problems that Microsoft has built into their products.


The short column can be found right here, "Geeks aside, Apple is Gospel of Simplicity."

So, if you guys ever had to deal with a rather cocky computer technician at your local CompUSA or wherever, make sure you do your part to get him fired by buying a Mac! :-)

Monday, January 17, 2005


Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, and alas, so does my stay in NYC. I am officially heading back up north, 300 miles, to Syracuse, NY, the snowiest city in North America. It's going to be an interesting semester up in Syracuse U., especially since it's going to be my last (officially, anyway). Hopefully, the cold won't make me any crazier than I already am...wish me luck everyone. :-)

By the way...Zulay is NOT sitting in the front seat this time around...we wouldn't want to mess with karma, right? :-) Nah, instead, Michelle shall be taking her place...whoooooo boy.....

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Dropping the "Gay" Bomb

Now, THIS is some funny stuff... according to an article in the BBC, the US Government experimented with developing a so-called "love bomb" which, upon impact, would incite homoerotic tension among enemy troops. This "distasteful, but non-lethal blow" (ha ha, they said, "blow") would be enough to cause enough of a distraction among the enemy for the US to gain a decisive advantage in a war campaign.

Among other kinds of bombs under consideration was flatulence bomb, a device that would cause widespread flatulence among enemy troops, a "sting-me" weapon which would prompt insects and rodents to bite enemy soldiers, and a "bad-breath" bomb. What's even more shocking was that a lot of this stuff was under development not even 9 years ago.

You can find the article here on the BBC: "US Military Pondered Love Not War"

The US: "Bending over backwards" to defeat the enemy. :-D

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Prince Peanuthead

Such a dork
Originally uploaded by djkibblesnbits.
I remember laughing incessantly during my stay in London everytime I read something about Prince Harry publicly reminding the world that out of all the British Royals, he's the one with the one fry short of a Happy Meal. I mean, if you know you're being followed around all the time by members of the press, just why are you going to go to a club, and very visibly stick your fingers into some random tart? Or pass out in the middle of the street? Or any other ridiculous thing he's done over the years?

This time, Prince Harry is getting a shitload of heat for showing up to a costume party wearing the desert uniform of a Nazi soldier. When I saw this story, I was like, "Are you fucking stupid?!" I was thinking to myself, "Man, if Prince Harry showed up in Syracuse wearing that to a costume party, he would get his ass kicked faster than you can say, "Blackface!" (For those of ya'll outside the SU loop, every single year, you can count on some insensitive prick donning a Sambo motif for a random costume party.)

Here's an article from BBC News covering the story. "Harry the Nazi"

Some people might say, "Oh, leave him alone, he's only 20." Fuck that shit. It wasn't that long ago that I was 20, too, and people didn't see me doing that kind of stuff. Why? Because I have COMMON SENSE.

Hey, at least there's practically no shot in hell that he won't become King of England, lol.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

The London One Year Anniversary!

It's been one complete year since Michelle and I embarked on our life-changing trip to London, where we spent six months that we'll remember for the rest of our lives. To commemorate the occasion, the Daily Musings will undergo a few changes within the next few days to consolidate all the blog entries that were written during my stay in the UK, as well as other areas across Europe. "Tuck and Roll," "Tottenham Court Rd." and "Lance Armstrong did NOT land on the moon" will be quotes that will gain new meaning after the update. Stay tuned! :-)

If I See Another Tortilla Chip...

Somehow, “I’m gonna fucking stab someone if I see another fucking Mexican dish within a month,” still doesn’t convey the kind of strong feelings I have against eating Mexican food after eating it nonstop for over a week during my stay in Houston. Outside of participating in a food-scoffing contest, I never imagined anyone could eat as many fajitas, burritos, and tortilla chips as I have during the course of a week. Instead of “Super Size Me,” I should go make a movie called, “Give Me More, Ese,” where I document what happens to me physically after eating nonstop Mexican food for a month. I’m sure I won’t be suffering the same kinds of health problems the dude from “Super Size Me” did, but at the same time, you can bet on the fact that I will be laying the ill atomic bombs in the bathroom before long…

Don’t get me wrong; I love Mexican food, especially when members of my family down in Texas do their thing in the kitchen, but c’mon, to have that stuff everyday? I mean, I didn’t even SEE a pasta dish or a hamburger anywhere. It was all about the tortillas and the fajitas. Not even salad, unless it happened to be avocados handily sliced to place on a fajita. Even when we went out to eat, we went to a Mexican restaurant. I don’t know about you, but if I’m cooking my people’s cuisine every night, I’m not going to go out to a restaurant to order the same exact thing I could’ve cooked myself under normal circumstances. Then again, the dining situation in Houston is so horrible; those “Houstonians” don’t know what good food is if it slapped them in the face. In comparison to everything else, Mexican food seems like Heaven when compared to the musty selections people from that city are used to. So I guess in Houston, you really have no choice BUT to eat Mexican. And by the end of my trip, I felt so bloated and sick from the monotony of eating the same food, that the first thing I did was head to White Castle to rid my system of all that “chicano-ness.” It felt like the best fucking meal of my life; my brain was screaming, “Finally, something different!!!”

While my tummy said otherwise, overall, I had a wonderful trip out to Houston. I got to see the fam and catch-up with them and all their drama. A few fights here and a divorce there didn’t stop me from having a decent time. I got to see my Abuelo, and chilled with my cousin Raul during his 24th Birthday. I had some fun beating the crap out of my little cousins, and I even got to witness some Jerry Springer-like stuff when I saw my uncle’s wife try to get with his twin brother in FRONT of the twin brother’s wife. (Confused? So am I.)

For the first time, I was able to celebrate Three Kings Day with my uncle and his Mexican in-laws. Basically, the way they celebrate it, as according to Mexican custom, so I’m told, is to prepare a feast, invite everyone over, do a bit of praying on the Rosary, and then whip out this huge piece of circular bread called, “Roca de Reyes” (King’s Bread) that’s lined with all kinds of sweet stuff on top and is stuffed with a couple of plastic mini-baby figurines. So, my uncle Angel and his wife invited over members of his wife’s fam, and got to cooking up a nice little feast. (guess what kind of food) While some of the meat was on the grill cooking, Angel’s wife led the prayer session, which my side of the family respectfully declined to participate in. (I find it funny that the people who were raised in Catholic school are the ones that turn out to be the non-religious. I guess we all saw first-hand the kind of brain-washing religion can do to people.) Instead, my uncle and I kinda sat around talking about female issue and sipping on ice-cold beers, definitely not praying material, while my momma spent some time with my grandfather, who wasn’t in the physical condition to participate in the festivities. When it was all said and done, we ate, chatted a little, and then got to the highlight of the night, dicing up pieces of the Roca. We all took turns slicing a piece of the bread, and whoever sliced a piece that contained the little plastic baby was obligated to throw the so-called “last party before Lent” Of course, who else got the baby but me. I was like, “well, the only party I’m going to throw is by throwin on some music, handing out some drinks, and calling it a day.” Now of course, I’m not going to throw a party for them all the way from Syracuse, but I will do something rather interesting…I just have to figure it out.

I couldn’t leave Houston without the annual ritual of being asked to move to Houston permanently from the rest of the family. And once again, as per ritual, despite the fact that I know deep down that I would be unhappy in Bush Country, I somehow escape the place thinking that I can make it all work somehow. I guess the Texas heat creates some kind of “reality distortion field” but, in either case, I get to thinking, “what would life be like if I were over there with my family?” In my mind, I have some pipe dream of all of us living amongst one another in somewhat of a harmony, but I know deep down inside, it wouldn’t last for long. We have too many issues for that to happen. I have confidence that, as the future patriarch of the family someday, I will be able to get past all the drama and bring some sense to all of our infighting, but, right now, I want to live my life, gain some experience on the outside, and then possibly come back to the family, wiser, more well-rounded, and certainly better positioned to lead. (And I’m talking 25-30 years from now, lol)

However, we’ll see what opportunites spring up during the course of my life. Who knows? Maybe I’ll move to Houston someday, and get used to eating Mexican food.

But if you show me another tortilla chip right now, put up your dukes. ☺

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

No More Excuses...Buy a Mac and an iPod!

The new Mac mini
Originally uploaded by djkibblesnbits.
I've been rather busy lately conjuring up ways to spread the Mac gospel at SU, but now, my job has just gotten a whole lot easier. Apple has just introduced two new pieces of hardware that are sure to set the computing world on fire. First, introducing the new Mac mini At 6 ounces, this little baby is smaller in height than the credit card sized iPod mini. And it packs quite a lot of computer in a small package...and guess how much it costs? Starting at $499, this Mac is the most affordable computer out right now. This is definitely the "Dell killa," knocking the pants off of that other said company's inferior products.

And if that doesn't faze ya...introducing the new iPod Shuffle. At .7 ounces, this little baby is about the size of a stick of gum (and oh, so much more fun.) And guess how much? $99. So if you've always wanted an iPod, but couldn't afford it, well, now here's about the closest you can get to "dirt-cheap" when it comes to awesome technology.

The new iPod shuffle
Originally uploaded by djkibblesnbits.

Alright, now I'll stop with the marketing stuff...seriously, these new products, especially the Mac mini, are simply awesome in their utility and their overall value. If I were in the market for a low-cost computing solution, the Mac mini would be my bet.

Ahhh yes...I love working for Apple. :-)

Thursday, January 06, 2005

The Choke

There are very few times that anyone will ever catch me saying this about myself. But, in this case, I have completely earned it.

I choked

Yes, people. ME. I choked. I had the perfect opportunity to finally tell someone how I felt about them, and I blew it.

Imagine spending YEARS pining over someone, constantly thinking of them, waiting for the time you can finally see them again, and when you do, what happens? YOU DON'T SAY SHIT. Perhaps the fantasy I had constructed in my mind had become so powerful and farfetched, that I KNEW nothing I did was ever going to come close to the kind of image I had created. I had always seen myself pulling her aside, making her laugh a little, looking into her eyes, gently touching the tips of her fingers as I inch closer to her lips to plant a soft, lingering kiss that would make the hairs on the back of her neck stand up. Instead, I just sat there and looked down at the floor, hoping for a moment that would never come. I looked to her, longingly, almost as if I expected her to make it easier on me and come over to me to make my fantasy a reality. Instead, I just sat as an outsider, her mingling among her family, while I sat there toying with a yo-yo. What made me so, "shy", as someone else put it? Perhaps it was the fact that I knew nothing could work over long distances, or maybe I was afraid of her family being there. Was I afraid of other people looking at me? Or was I afraid of her reaction?

Perhaps, it WAS the latter. Some might say that the worst that can happen is that she can say "no," but I know better.

At least if I don't ask, I'll still keep the fantasy. And right now, with the way things are going, that little slice of Heaven is the closest thing I have right now to Perfection.

Somehow, that kiss goodbye on the cheek didn't quite cut it.

So back to New York I go. Another opportunity squandered. Another kiss unfulfilled.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Crush of the Month (January)

Aishwarya Rai
Originally uploaded by djkibblesnbits.
After having two straight months of crushes that were more or less "un-crushable" (with Facebook and the iMac G5, I don't think there's a relationship budding in the horizon), it was time that my heart skipped a beat to an actual person. And this month, the crush is none other than Bollywood Megastar, Aishwarya Rai, the former Miss World and quite possibly, "the most beautiful woman in the world" according to Julia Roberts. At 30 years old, this woman is clearly on top of her world, commanding all kinds of respect and awe from among her peers in Bollywood. (And it does help that she has those wonderful green eyes.) Now, she's making moves into Hollywood, and making an effort to take her fame and success across the ocean into this part of the world. Will it work? I don't know, but, hey, she won ME, and that's all that matters to me at the moment. Congratulations on winning the coveted Crush of the Month title!

Originally uploaded by djkibblesnbits.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Holiday Catch-up...

Aight, so I haven't posted in a little while, so I'm going to do a quick synopsis of the holidays. I hope everyone else's was cool n all. I'm sure that everyone has their own little stories to tell.

As for me, Christmas was almost uneventful. I made a few calls. Watched a few Christmas movies. Played a few songs. But overall, it just didn't FEEL like Christmas. For one, my mother and I never bothered to decorate the apartment for Christmas. For the first time ever, our house went bare. The Christmas bug just never really hit us. Hell, even present exchange didn't go as it would traditionally. I gave my mom an iPod Mini (y'know, despite the fact I was dissing the unit when it first came out last year, I caved in and bought her one because of its usefulness in such a small case) and one of those "Scene It" DVD games. And, I didn't get anything back in return. I was like, "What!? No gifts!!?" My mother said that my Christmas gift was going to be the business suit she was planning to buy me for my eventual job interviews when I start applying for jobs when I graduate from college. But, that gift was nowhere to be found. That was a purchase that was going to be made "sometime in the future." So for the first time ever, I had nothing to open on Christmas morning. It was so weird. I mean, I wasn't complaining, but at the same time, it was a feeling that I wasn't used to before. My momma, though, being the darling she was, felt bad for me, so a few days later, she bought me an X-Box. So I guess I just had Christmas a little late this year. :-)

In the meantime, my mother LOVED the iPod Mini. I mean, the first day she got it, she slept with it. She was lying in bed with it like, "My Precious...." With her dancing around the house with her headphones on, to God know what music she was listening to, she was a living, breathing, iPod commercial. And with my living room colors, oh yeah, it definitely WAS an iPod commercial. I've never seen her so happy with a gift before. And if it makes her happy, then it makes me happy. :-)

On the 31st, my mother and I took a flight to Houston, TX, where we visited the rest of the wacky members of my family. It's kinda hard living practically alone in NY while the rest of the fam is in Houston. I mean, we have some isolated pockets of family in NYC, but the core group is all in Texas. So, being with them again has been refreshing, as it usually is. I got to celebrate New Year's for the first time outside of NY. It was...different. I was staying with my Uncle Angel and the rest of his Mexican in-laws, along with other family members and their Mexican in-laws. And needless to say, with a whole bunch of Chicanos in the house, things are done differently than what we're (a Cuban, Puerto Rican family) used to. For one, no one bothered to turn on the NYC broadcast of the ball dropping. Instead, the television was turned on to the local Mexican edition of Univision, where some local Tex-Mex band was singing their hearts out about some chick who left them with only a can of dog food to eat. And then, when it came time to do the actual count down, we saw people getting suitcases ready by the time the clock struck midnight so they can run around with them. As my aunt later explained, there's a Mexican superstition about how people need to carry suitcases when the clock strikes 12 in order to have good enough luck to travel a lot during the year. All I could say was, "Okaaayy...." as I took another swig off of a Corona. Still, it was fun. The rest of the night was spent watching my cousin Raul trying to shark money off of the rest of my fam in poker. I was just waiting for someone to do something completely stupid in drunken splendor, but alas, nothing of the sort happened.

Since my grandfather is staying with my uncle Angel, and I've been staying with him, I've been able to see Abuelo everyday. Health-wise, he's no better than he was when I first saw him over the summer in the hospital, the last time I went to Houston. It's still hard for me to communicate with him, and he really doesn't have control of his muscles. He's bed-ridden, completely. Regardless, I've been trying to make the most of it, just chillin with him, and just getting him to laugh (though I think it's more for me than it is for him). None of us think he's going to last for too much longer. It's only a matter of time.

My little cousins can be so cute, but they can also be such little terrors. I don't know who it was, but one of them scratched the shit out of my Nintendo DS, so now I have to send the thing to Nintendo to get it repaired. I'm not sure if the thing will be covered under the warranty, but I can only hope so. It wouldn't be cool to be running around with a scratched up DS that's only two months old. I made sure to promptly beat the living crap out of all of them. Some of them might be innocent, but hell, at least I know I got the right one. :-) "Cousin Ray plays rough." Damn skippy, biatches.

One of the cool things we did was that we played a round of lazer tag against another family, 8 on 8. Man, we completely annihilated that other family. A few of us didn't know the difference between shooting them and shooting us, but, regardless, we still scored something like 98,000 to 32,000. We DESTROYED them. I guess that just shows you how rough and violent we are compared to other families. :-)

Tomorrow, I'll get to celebrate my cousin Raul's birthday. It should be fun. I'm sure I'll have pics to post afterward.

Top 10 Most-Played Songs of December 2004 (and more)

December marks the end of the wonderful year that was 2004. In the year that saw so much change for me personally, beginning with my life-changing trip to London and my break-up with Chiyo, to starting my last year of college and turning 21, December is a fitting end to the "Year of Change" as I have come to know it. This month was ALL about finals, with two little holidays thrown in for good measure. Check out the top songs that made me want to hit the replay button again and again.

10. "Mmmnnn" by GrandadBob, off the "Waltzes for Weirdos" album. (last month, #2)

9. "Grazed Knees" by Snow Patrol, off the "Final Straw" album. (NEW)

8. "I Do" by Jude, off the "No One is Really Beautiful" album (NEW)

7. "Don't Panic" by Coldplay, off of the "Parachutes" album (last month, #8)

6. "One Flight Down" by Norah Jones, off of the "Come Away With Me" album (NEW)

5. "Shoot the Moon" by Norah Jones, off of the "Come Away With Me" album (NEW)

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

3. "Somersault" (The Dangermouse Remix) by Zero 7 feat. Doom, off of the "Somersault" single (NEW)

2. "Confianzas" by Gotan Project, off of the "Inspiracion" album (NEW)

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

For the first time since I've been doing my "Top-10," the #1 song remains unchanged. Norah Jones' "Seven Years", as well as the rest of her first album, keeps me coming back for more as I search for some kind of connection to life when it was less complicated and more "black and white." I mean, doesn't everybody wish that life was easier when you have a crapload of work to do and not enough time to do it? :-)

As for the rest of the songs on the top-10, we had a few strays from last month that I can't seem to get out of my head. Of course, we got some new ones. Probably one of the more infectious ones comes from the Gotan Project...then again, almost everything they do is infectious. They've got such a unique sound that takes some South American Latino elements, blends it with a four-beat, and throws in a pinch of Marxist ideology, and BAM, you've got Gotan Project. Check 'em out, if you haven't already. The Danger Mouse remix of Zero 7's "Somersault" is another awesome track. You might just find yourself bumping this when you just want to chill and listen to a hot beat.

So that's all for December...but wait, there's more!

Since it's the end of the year, I figured it would be cool to announce the first annual Daily Musings' "Most Played Artist of the Year" and the "Most Played Song of the Year."

Most-Played Artist of the Year: John Mayer

There was never a doubt as to who dominated my playlists during 2004, particularly during the first half of the year. While garnering some kind of spot on my Top-10 during 6 out of 12 months, Mayer's tracks scored #1 twice this year ("Neon" and "My Stupid Mouth"). Plus, 10 completely different songs, spanning three albums, scored a Top-10 spot during those 6 months. John was the dude I turned to whenever I needed to sit back and hear someone else pour their heart out about some bitch girl who wronged them (or vice versa). So, hands down, John Mayer wins the first "Most Played Artist of the Year Award." If I see him around the way, I'll make sure to give him a handshake and tell him thanks for the tunes (what you expect? An actual award? Fuck that shit.)

Most-Played Song of the Year: "Burn" by Usher, off of the "Confessions" album.

Let me tell you how many times this song was played...when Michelle and I first heard this song in London, we put this damn thing on repeat so many times, that to this day, months later, even after not playing it ever again, no other song even comes close to touching this one in sheer playcount. We got sick of this song before it even became a single on the radio. For whatever reason, we were just enamored it. It became the theme song during our trip to Tenerife, and for awhile, became our anthem in London. "Let it Burn, bitch!!!" Will I play it again? Probably not for awhile. But regardless, this song wins the "Most Played Song of the Year" title. Congratulations.

Click on the following links to check out each month's top-10.

January 2004
Febuary 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004

"Please Don't Teach Me Because I'm Conservative!"

According to an article published by CNN, various student campus groups in certain universities in the US are up in arms over what they deem as "liberal" teaching that violates their "freedom." They argue that their professors are forcing a "liberal doctrine" on them by making them read certain "anti-American" books or by learning about other religions. They further argue that teachers are "blackballing" them because they do not adhere to their specific beliefs.

Instead, what they propose is that teachers only stick with subject matter that their students say is OK.

What fucking hogwash. You go to University to learn about things that fall outside of your range of thinking, not to learn the same things that you could've learned within the comfort of your own home. If a professor DOESN'T challenge you, they aren't doing their job.

Of course, if a teacher is bringing in conversation about "Why Che Guevara was a good man?" in a Calculus class, then we have a different story...stick to the topic, peanuthead.

As far as the blackballing is concerned, in my own personal experience, usually, if you disagree with the teacher, no matter what side of the political fence they happen to lean on, it's usually an uphill battle to prove them wrong. But, if you can make a good argument for your point, professors usually give you the props you deserve and take your argument into consideration. After all, that's exactly what professors WANT you to do...they want you to take their subject matter, learn it, understand it, and then come up with your own conclusions. It's part of the learning process.

Here's the article if you want to see it for yourself. Feel free to leave comments. I'm sure there are some who disagree with my rather lightly-developed argument...there will be more to follow, provided someone counters with an alternate view.

CNN Article
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