Chris' Blurty
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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Chris' Blurty:

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    Wednesday, April 6th, 2005
    6:18 am
    Long time, no see
    It's been a while to say the least since I last updated. This is more of a retrospective post than anything. It's eerie to read through old posts from a short time ago and realize how much things have changed. A little over a year ago, I was worried about my interview to get accepted to the credit union - I've since been sucked in and now I'm a board member and VP. Still the same old graveyard computer lab shifts, but now I'm the longest "surviving" graveyard ITA, as Tosh (the only holdover) has since graduated. Now the self-proclaimed 5AM party crew has a cast of new members. I used to be content with five classes per semester and now I'm regretting adding that sixth - it's rewarding but in weeks like this one, I feel like I'm consistantly reading Econ/Finance/Accounting notes or studying Deutsch/Français/中文.

    College has for all intensive purposes lost the fun edge it used to have. Meeting up with old frosh year hallmates randomly for dinner last night made me feel a sense of nostalgia - it's weird to see somebody who entered Penn with you in J.S. graduating and randomly bumping into others after months of not seeing them. People tend to disappear after freshman year. Last year had its moments too, and it was nice to know another room of people on the hall. Now the housing situation is somewhat isolating, and it takes a lot more of an effort to keep up with others. Everybody around me seems so driven for the future (which is necessary to a point) but they often seem to be forgetting that they're college students. Some days, I wish I could once again be one of those care-free Quad residents.

    I'll be getting ready to graduate in just a year. Only two and a half years ago, I was just starting off as a naïve frosh in engineering. A year ago I was pumped up to be working for Chris (the Congressman) all summer. Now, after three seemingly hopeless months of recruiting, when I thought everything had gone to waste, I finally got an offer for this summer (a paid job for once). And just to think, in six months I could know where I'll be working the next few years.

    There are both good and bad things all around: daylight savings time (good - longer days, bad - I still want that hour of sleep back), death of the pope (not to mention Terry Schiavo - a new household name, Johnny "If the glove doesn't fit, you must acquit" Cochran, Yassar Arafat a while back, etc.), the start of the baseball season, Penn's half-assed effort in the NCAA tournament against BC (but at least they made it)... too lazy to go on.

    On that note, enough procrastinating - back to my French paper.

    Current Mood: tired
    Current Music: The hum of the heating system
    Saturday, January 1st, 2005
    1:00 am
    Happy New Year!!!
    Yes, this is the first time I've updated since the summer. I'll talk about the semester some other time. It's been a relatively peaceful and fun holiday so far, although it's kind of hard to enjoy it when people both close and far are suffering. One of our closest family friends, Mr. Fano died earlier this week and his funeral was on New Year's Eve. Definitely one of the nicest people you will ever meet - a brave police officer, a great family man, and a wonderful friend. Scary how cancer can take people so quickly, and ironic that Jerry Orbach from Law & Order died on the same day of it. Meanwhile in S. Asia the tsunami is just unreal - the 175 people who died in an Argentine nightclub didn't even make the news because of 1,000x as many died on the other side of the planet. Very hard to put things into perspective, and it will be very tough on the millions who did survive but lost so much. It reminds me of a story we read in German class this year Die Küchenuhr which was about a man who lost everything in World War II after a bomb raid except for a clock that had stopped.

    It will be good to make some New Year's Resolutions, but I'll decide on them over the course of January 1 (I'm a but late on everything, including my Christmas shopping which started today). Had a good semester at school, am successful in my activities outside of class, but there is always room to make your life better, and to make the lives of those around you better.

    So a toast to a Happy New Year and a wonderful 2005...

    Current Mood: jubilant
    Current Music: 'Auld Lang Syne'
    Tuesday, August 3rd, 2004
    11:50 pm
    A final farewell
    Bob Murphy, long-time baseball announcer - the man I grew up to listening to Mets broadcasts, and the one who got me hooked on baseball, passed away at 79. This Cooperstown legend will surely be missed by the baseball community.

    And now the torch has been passed on to Gary Cohen, the next great baseball announcer.
    Monday, August 2nd, 2004
    12:05 am
    Weekends get shorter and shorter
    It seemed like just a short time ago that I was finding my way through South Norwalk to UPS and then home after picking up a package. When you work real hours, you tend to not only feel like your weekends are shorter but you also value them a lot more. I was very productive: got some reading done, mowed three lawns (+$), babysat (+$), and then shopped today (-$). Well I probably only got stuff done because my parents decided to call me at ungodly hours from Denmark both mornings (good thing I still don't answer the home phone with "Good morning, Congressman Shays office, Chris speaking, how may I help you?").

    I've driven more in the past week than I could have ever imagined. Went to Oxford for a senior center lunch after meeting with an editorial board in Wilton (Oxford is like fourty minutes from anywhere else in the district). Met some people there in that pit stop with Eric from the campaign office and Chris. It's easy to relate to people that you've never met before, especially when you're the center of attention (Chris' face is obviously known, and Eric and I were the only two people under 50 there). The editorial board meeting was also interesting; very different and less glossy than the Fox News interview from the previous week. We also went to Captain's Cove in Bridgeport with the boss which was quite fun. Black Rock is really pretty, never knew there were parts of Bridgeport that were so nice. Heck, I think it beats out Riverside and Old Greenwich.

    Spent some time with both sets of grandparents after work adding to my mileage. We also got to go to a Bluefish game (only a few blocks from the office) with everybody. I'm kind of getting a hang of the job, and am really enjoying work with my colleagues. It can be stressful at times, but it's rewarding.

    Four weeks and I'll be back in my dorm at Penn. How quickly the summer's come and gone... and I really didn't get much done afterall. Six classes to wade through come September 7, but it's something to look forward to. It seems like there's finally another end goal in sight.

    Current Mood: enthralled
    Current Music: Ashley Simpson - Pieces of Me (it's actually a good song)
    Tuesday, July 20th, 2004
    6:37 pm
    More work...
    Just got back - twelve hours if you include my early wakeup. I don't know which is more annoying: impatient constituents or Metro North delays...

    Current Mood: thirsty
    Friday, July 16th, 2004
    10:12 pm
    It's tiring as anything, but after only one week it's been a tremendous experience. The other three interns - Paul, Christina, and Alex - are all great and the whole staff is fun to work with. I'm a little worried about Stamford when I finally get to meet the man himself - Chris - and help him out with his open office hours and help field questions from constituents. I never had any idea how much contact Congressmen have with the local community, how much they have to be involved in, and how far their offices are from just the glorified life of the Hill. Bridgeport is a ghetto, and we work to try to improve it. But no matter what, there are forces on all sides that make our work very difficult. Anxious constituents, government red tape, political opposition, legalities, etc. And everything in politics is about tradeoffs - you're going to piss some people off each time you do anything, even if that is intended to help out people.

    Two days off, and then back to work :)

    Current Mood: exhausted
    Sunday, July 11th, 2004
    12:23 pm
    Seven weeks
    Summer has really gone by quickly. Europe split it up a bit, but I've already been back for six and a half weeks. In that time, I've basically done nothing consequential. A random prom, violin shopping, sitting around watching TV and on the computer, playing frisbee/golf/tennis a few times, the weekly mowing of the lawn, a good amount of babysitting, my birthday, people's graduation, and not much else.

    Work starts tomorrow at 9am. It's exciting, as it's my first notable job working with "important" people. I'm getting disenchanted by politics lately, but maybe working for Chris (Shays) will restore my faith in government. He's what all politicians should be - affiliated with a party on the outside, but an independent on the inside. The attack campaign his desperate opponent is mounting is disheartening. He's trying to paint her as Bush's right hand man, which he most definitely isn't. Sure he voted for the war, but so did Kerry and Edwards. And he's made an effort to balance the good news coming from the coalition authority (Bremer) and the bad news presented non-stop by the slanderous media. The situation isn't as good as the government would like you to think, or as bad as the media depicts it. He's pro-gun control, an environmentalist and pro-choice (but anti-late term abortion which is a reprehensible and unneccessary practice), something Kerry can't exactly attest to. While Shays rides a bike to the Capitol in D.C., in the other end of the building sits a man who has five estates, owns a Hummer (he claims it's his wife's), and flies around the country in private jets. And for all the press the Republicans get about being the party of the rich, Kerry and Edwards are worth $1 billion and $70 million respectively - more than their G.O.P. opponents. I've never been a Cheney fan, but it's not worse to be associated with Haliburton than the group of trial lawyers to which Edwards belongs that drives up medical costs to line their pockets with outrageous settlements. I guess anybody can grow up to be president, if you have several million dollars. Politics is hypocracy.

    I'll probably piss a lot of you off, but while voting for Kerry may be the in-thing to do right now, it's just plain stupid to do so. Raising taxes to increase government revenue is not the smart course of action to take. The government is inefficient at spending money (if it were a company it would long be out of business) and should not try to interfere in sectors that already run efficiently (the U.S. has the best quality of health care in the world; nationalizing it will drive doctors out of the profession which it already is). Tax cuts for the rich are not evil. Sure Kerry, Edwards, Bush, and Cheney may be able to afford a tax increase without disruption from their daily lives, but Americans doing well for themselves at $200k per year will lose $10k a year under Kerry. That same money does not go to waste; instead it is used to consume goods and services, as well as to invest in the future. Meanwhile, the government would spend that same money on pork-spending projects.

    It is not Bush's fault that the CIA gave faulty intelligence. Even Bill Clinton admitted that Iraq probably had WMD's. Russian President Putin warned the U.S. that Hussein was planning an attack on the U.S. Intelligence is not perfect, but it's the best thing we have going for us. What we now have to do is build up the ground intelligence that was compromised during the Carter and Reagan years instead of blaming current officials. Hindsight is 20-20. Bush 41 should have taken out Hussein which he was within a few days of doing in 1991 (Ralph Nader) and should have worked with the fallen Soviet states at destroying their nuclear arsenals which are now leaking out to terrorist groups. The first Bush's whishy-washy approach does not work when dealing with enemies, and nor will Kerry's. Being at the whim of the corrupt United Nations where third world dictators have as much say as great democracies is not in our national interest. The only power exhorted by the U.N. is putting a damper on U.S. power (which I admit is not always a bad thing). But an organization with Syria on the Security Council and genocide-marred Sudan on the Human Rights Council is not a legitimate one. I don't remember any normal American citizen casting a vote for Kofi Annan. The U.N. oil-for-food scandal which Shays is working on exposing will further tarnish the organization. We don't need the U.N. for humanitarian aid either. The European Union already does a better job at this than the U.N.

    This quickly turned from a bored-summer post to a political rant. And that's plenty for now. Next time, the economy...
    Monday, June 28th, 2004
    10:52 am
    While summer has just arrived for some of you, mine's already half over - and there are only two more weeks until I actually have to start working. So it's basically the last two weeks before I retire where I'll be worry-free and all. Our big ugly tree in the back died (finally) so we planted a pretty pear tree this morning - maybe this one will make pretty fruits instead of the huge apple tree that coats our lawn with half-ripe crab apples that are promptly devoured by the squirrels.

    For some reason I get tired all day long until about... 10pm, then I'm wide awake until 2 or 3. That can't be good for my sleep patterns. Or maybe it's just telling me that I should schedule my classes for school at ... say midnight or so.

    Subway series: Mets 1, Yankees 2 - with three left to play at Shea next weekend. Anybody have tickets for me? :)

    Current Mood: chipper
    Current Music: Mylène Farmer - C'est une belle journée
    Thursday, June 24th, 2004
    11:09 am
    To copy Helen...

    Name / Username:

    Name Acronym Generator

    I would have tried Christopher, but it was long and contradictary.
    10:30 am

    Current Mood: happy
    Tuesday, June 22nd, 2004
    10:43 pm
    I had a wonderful birthday breakfast this morning, even though Brian is a dumbass...maybe it's because I spent the morning with the two most fabulous (I guess Brian counts for half so really 2.5) people in the ENTIRE WORLD!!!

    I don't really know how the rest of my day went because you know, I have amnesia and a really horrible case of it as well. I'll have to look into getting psychological therapy sometime soon :o)

    So anyway I am really grateful to have such incredible friends...HELEN IS GOD!!!

    Current Mood: dorky
    Sunday, June 6th, 2004
    2:23 am
    Obligatory survey thing
    Here goes nothing...

    Who are your best friends?: Spruce 4th floor people, Harrison 2nd floor people, Leo, Ayesha, Mary, Helen, Shion, Liz, Brian (okay that's too many)
    Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend?: Uh yeah right

    fashion stuff
    Where is your favorite place to shop: Heathrow Airport was a nice place to kill time; outlets are always interesting; I'm partial to King of Prussia Mall (biggest on the East Coast)
    Any tattoos or piercing: Ugh no

    Do you do drugs?: I'm addicted to painkillers
    What kind of shampoo do you use?: It's green but I have no clue what it is
    What are you most scared of?: Falling in love
    Who is the last person that called you?: Kshitij
    Where do you want to get married?: Paris
    What would you change about yourself?: I'd put on about 10 pounds of muscle ...a little too specific sorry

    Color: Red & Blue like every good Penn student
    Food: Cheesesteaks @ Geno's, crêpes with nutella, and besides that anything with chicken breast and barbeque or honey mustard
    Boys names:
    Girls names:
    Subjects in school: History, economics (but not econometrics)
    Animals: Monkeys, cats
    Sports: Track/running/whatever you call it, and of all the sports I follow baseball is tops

    have you ever
    Given anyone a bath?: Eh no
    Smoked?: Yeah... heh :-[
    Bungee jumped?: Wish I could say yes
    Made yourself throw up?: Hey it was better in my toilet than in class
    Drank?: I don't even think that needs answering
    Ever been in love?: I'm scared of it ... no
    Made yourself cry to get out of trouble?: I'm a guy ... it doesn't work
    Pictured your crush naked?: Disturbing
    Actually seen your crush naked?: No
    Cried when someone died?: It's hard not to... I did today for Reagan
    Lied: I'd be lying if I said no
    Fallen for your best friend?: Become best friends with somebody I fell for
    Been rejected?: By four schools and two girls... oh yeah
    Rejected someone?: Yep
    Used someone?: Nobody can say no to these questions
    Done something you regret?: Stupid question again

    clothes: Puck Frinceton shirt with blue pajama pants
    music: Reagan's speech in front of the Berlin Wall
    make-up: This was made for girls and drag queens
    annoyance: People that make excessive noise when sitting in tests/class
    smell: I smell lemonade
    desktop picture: Leeds Castle
    book you're reading: Moneyball by Michael Lewis
    in CD player: Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons
    in DVD player: The Shawshank Redemption
    color of your toe nail: The color it normally is?

    last person
    you touched: Morgan and Jeff ... seperating them from going at each other's throats when I was babysitting
    hugged: My grandmother
    you imed: Dan
    you yelled at: My mom for yelling at me
    you kissed: Robin ... I think ... something neither of us want to remember

    are you
    understanding: When I'm not thinking of something else
    open-minded: Depends on the topic
    arrogant: In general no, but I can appear to be
    insecure: Aren't we all?
    interesting: I like to think so
    random: Oh so random
    hungry: Munching on Nilla Wafers right now
    smart: I guess so
    moody: I hold it in, but yeah
    shy: I can have conversations with most people, but when I feel below somebody I'm shy
    difficult: Huh?
    attractive: To psychopaths yeah
    messy: My room's messy at the moment but it's being reorganized ... I do hate messes
    obsessed: That sounds sketchy

    in the morning i: Turn over in bed and sleep in til noon
    love is: Bullshit
    i dream about: What I'll be doing the next day

    opposite sex
    what do you notice first: Eyes/smile
    last person you slow danced with: Helen @ prom
    worst question to ask: "Do you wanna go shag right now?"
    who makes you laugh the most?: Your face ... jk jk ... Pat Martin & Leo
    who makes you smile?: Your mom after last night ... oh wow that was poor ... I dunno
    who do you have a crush on: La de da de da
    who has a crush on you: Nobody anymore thank god

    do you ever
    sit on the internet all night waiting for that someone special to im
    you?: Everybody does
    wish you were a member of the opposite sex?: I wish I were more of a guy
    wish you were younger: Eh I'm good

    of times i have had my heart broken: My heart is invinsible
    of hearts i have broken: None I hope
    of guys i've kissed: None
    of girls ive kissed: 3
    of continents i have lived in: 1
    of tight friends: According to Facebook, I have 140 friends which pales in comparison to sorostitutes ... close friends I'd say 25 or so
    of cds i own: 80ish
    of scars on my body: three or so ... plus bruises that won't go away

    random questions
    do you like fillings these out?: Eh it's okay
    gold or silver: I've only had gold once, and it's oh so sweet (yay 4x800!)
    what was the last film you saw at the movies?: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
    favorite cartoon/anime?: The Simpsons and South Park
    what did you have for breakfast this morning?: A roll with butter
    who would you love being locked in a room with?: Elsa Benitez
    could you live without your computer?: Nope
    would you color your hair?: I'm good as is
    could you ever get off the computer?: I'm addicted ... I need a PC patch
    habla espanol?: yo no hable espanol
    how many people are on your buddy list?: 195 + 190 but there is some overlap and I don't talk to lots of them - gosh I'm a loser
    Monday, May 31st, 2004
    1:14 pm
    Pictures from Germany
    I uploaded these to Imagestation too, and they can be found here: IM me for the username and password.

    One month of vacation down the tubes...

    Current Mood: ill
    Sunday, May 30th, 2004
    10:17 pm
    Never did get around to updating after getting back from Germany; I'll write about it in here someday and backdate it.

    Anyway, time for some prom pictures from last night and then I'll write something when I feel like that. Kind of funny, but after the semester's over I've lost my desire to type anything coherent...

    You can find more at but you have to log-on (accounts are free and all) or you can just harrass me for them.

    Cats are begging for food, so time to go :)

    Current Mood: cheerful
    Current Music: Usher - Yeah (the background is stuck in head unfortunately)
    Thursday, May 20th, 2004
    12:49 am
    Wyk auf Föhr
    No time for a long entry because I´ve gotta go upstairs without making too much noise. Having a great time here in Europe, and will be home in a week and a few hours when the time change is taken into account. In a week I´ll be over Canada somewhere. But for now, I´ve gotta enjoy ´holiday´while I have it.

    Gah I can´t stand this foreign keyboard thing Ö(

    If I tried to tzpe normallz, it would come out like ÄthisÄ. Zeah, reallz annozing. Do zou like yebras_
    Wednesday, May 12th, 2004
    12:05 am
    I'm off on "holiday" today, and back on the 26th. Talk to all two of you who actually read this then :)

    Current Mood: excited
    Current Music: The Clash - London Calling (why not)
    Wednesday, May 5th, 2004
    7:05 pm
    Home for the summer ... e-mailed in my last essay last night. Just have to clean my room and reorganize my closet. I can't believe how much crap I've accumulated over my lifetime...

    Leaving for Europe in five days; will be on Föhr in six (for some reason I'm flying into Esbjerg, Denmark - it's closere than Hamburg) and then leaving Germany for London in about two weeks. Maybe I'll squeeze Kopenhagen in somehow.

    In other news, the first day of class next year is in four months and four days.

    Current Mood: jubilant
    Current Music: Queen - Another One Bites the Dust
    Friday, April 23rd, 2004
    3:11 pm
    Fling's over... Penn Relays are more than half over... and most importantly classes are over!!!

    A little bit too much excitement on my part, as I have two essays and two exams to go. Sure it's not that bad compared to some others who have like six things due plus five exams. But I reserve the right to bitch and moan about what I've got left this year. Oh and with that comes packing up everything in my room (I still have an Advent Calendar that I never got around to eating with 24 little pieces of chocolate inside). Suit needs to get tailored still.

    We finally have our last orchestra concert tonight - only now do I realize how boring and repetitive Schubert is and how weird Duruflé sounds. Afterwards is the SFCU Semiformal that I'll end up showing up to with Leo in a tux ... screw going back to the room and changing. It's weird how everything is finally coming to a close. Wednesday will be my last day teaching at Penn Alexander this year. If anything I hope I taught the kids the value of practicing well, and not just practicing for the sake of practicing. Now only if I followed my own advice on that...

    Today's Hey Dey for the Juniors (their last day of class before becoming seniors). It's so weird that in only a year I'll find myself in that position. It feels like just yesterday that we came off of I-76 and drove under the railroad bridge, past Franklin Field, the hospital, Irvine, College Hall, and then got to the Quad on my first day last (school) year. And in about two years, I'll have to actually go into the real world: more bills to pay, more things to worry about, if I oversleep by a few minutes I'll be fired from my job, etc. I just have to enjoy the next two years while I can. Too many people treat college as work, and miss out on the fun - at the same time some don't do any work and screw themselves over. The balance is just so hard to find, especially at a place like this where you have work up the wazoo and on top of that more things to do than a prostitute (very poor attempt at humor).

    On a happier note, I saw my 2004 Marlins beat (as usual) the Phillies at Citizens' Bank Park last Tuesday. All I can say about the ballpark is "wow." What an absolutely amazing ballpark, a place that actually feels like a baseball stadium. Such an improvement over the Vet. Unfortunately, with the new construction come high ticket prices. But it's definitely worth the extra cash you have to fork over. Spending $25 on good seats isn't at all a waste of money.

    Time to go buy food for the concert reception and maybe hit up the dining hall. Only five meals left on the year thankfully.

    Current Mood: chipper
    Current Music: The All-American Rejects - Swing, swing, swing
    Friday, April 16th, 2004
    4:51 pm
    Start two before D
    So about eight minutes into Gil Shaham's performance of Brahms, he comes down hard on one of his entrances and his strings (and bridge?) fly into the second row. Then he and the conductor both started cracking up laughing in embarassment. Ten minutes later, he comes out with a fixed violin and tells the audience he's starting "two before D." And then the next thirty-five minutes of the piece went flawlessly. All I can say about the cadenzas is wow - unlike anything I've ever heard before, and this year I've heard some pretty darn good violinists. Amazing. Maybe someday I'll get to that point. But for now, I've got bigger things on my plate, namely Fling, three essays, and a room that needs cleaning.

    Got an internship with Chris Shays at his Bridgeport Congressional Office. But since it runs the second half of the summer, I can't go on vacation with my family. But instead, my dad is letting me go basically right when I get out of school. Something to look forward to :)

    Oh and the Marlins are unbelievable. How long can this shutout streak last?

    Current Mood: refreshed
    Current Music: Brahms - Violin Concerto in D
    Wednesday, April 7th, 2004
    4:39 pm
    Long time, no entry
    First things first - we'll miss you Prof. von Vorys, and it was an honor to have you for the better part of the semester. I really can't say enough about you - teaching through pain and sickness because you wanted to instill what you knew in us, and all of this on top of all of the experiences you've had and the people you've met. Grew up in WWII Germany, became an American citizen and got your PhD, then became a major foreign policy advisor in Malaysia and Pakistan, and then so many contacts within Washington. The world needs more teachers like you.

    I won't bitch and moan about the bad turn that the class has taken since the new instructor took over; that's for another day.

    When I first saw William Hung on American Idol, it was laughable. But with his album that came out and is currently #3 on Amazon, I've gained more respect for him than I could have ever thought. First he had the balls to even go in front of three judges and make an ass out of himself. Sure it may have been on a dare, but I would never go in front of three judges for a nationwide talent search. Not for singing. Not even for violin (as Leo said, they'd call my debut CD "Wilkinson botches the Romantic Masters"). Then he saw a market for his (lack of) talent and capitalized on it. And he'll probably make more money off record sales than he will in his first ten years as an electrical engineer. It's the American dream epitomized. And to all of you who make fun of his music, I beg to ask what you like listening to. At least he doesn't need to morph his voice to sell records. And now I'm supporting him by downloading his music off of Kazaa. COME AND GET ME RIAA!!!

    Arthur Miller (Death of a Salesman, The Crucible) is speaking tonight at Annenberg. I'm going to see him - strange that I thought he was dead. Lots of reading to do, so off to do that.

    Current Music: William Hung - She Bangs
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