Friday, May 24, 2013

And Open Up Your Eyes

I spent the weekend at my grandparents' house in beautiful Petrolia, Pa to attend my cousin's wedding  And here's the terrifying part - I drove a little over 15 miles on windy and twisty road to get there...

So I'm driving along this road, and this is the same road that I've rode on as a kid for years (usually listening to a Jimmy Buffet Casette), so I know it pretty well. There is a hill before you get to Chicora that at the crest of it has a huge sweeping turn overlooking a farm with a pond and cows and general lovely.

So I crest this hill overlooking the general lovely and stop dead in my tracks..... granted, I think I swore a bit when I realized what actually happened. Because before me were three random goats standing in the middle of my lane.

Well, we don't have a car, but whatever....
DRAMATIZATION (Click for Larger)
About half way through stopping, my mother said "GOATS" but at that point I had already hit the brake hard enough to not, well, attack the goats.

So what do these goats do? They just stand there and look at me. So I slowly try to move around them, and I guess in their goat minds it went like this:
GOAT: WOAH, Big scary green thing coming after us. DIVE DIVE DIVE!
And by dive I mean that the three goats literally dove under the guard rail and into the general lovely.

I had never seen goats in that field, and I probably wont again, but I did that day. And whether they realized it or not, the fact that I was only going like 40 miles an hour and was scared of the road saved them.

I should get a medal or something for that...

The wedding itself was quite lovely, albeit I don't understand the hoopla for getting married - I guess I don't particularly understand why such planning is needed, but then again I don't understand much... or plan much.

Finals are coming up soon here and then summer comes... and then hopefully I'll be able to post better content....

Friday, May 17, 2013

And I Swear: We Are Infinite.

These lines end the movie that I recently watched, The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Granted, watching it before reading it goes against my whole mantra here, but I made an exception, and I'm glad I did. But I'll get back to that.

This line is actually a part of a larger quote, and when put in context, at least to me, it should read "We Feel Infinite." But it doesn't. It reads "We Are Infinite" because it is talking about a point in time where there is no sense of time; all that matters is what you are doing in that moment, and how you respond to that.

I hate the common thought by adults that "teenagers feel they are invincible". In some ways this is true, (I have a lovely story for another time about some idiots taking a test) but for the most part that is wrong. What I think is true is that teenagers feel that they are infinite, that where they are at that one point in time is all that matters, and all that will.

I'm not saying that teenagers are all self-centered people, but rather that since we have little time to base off of, each day is a large fraction of our life. Let me rephrase that. Take, for example, that I'm 16. I only remember about 10 or so years of that, so in memory and in things I can base off of, I am 10. Someone that is, say, 40 has about 34 years to base experience and that sort of thing off of. We are rookies here.

However, I'd like to challenge anyone reading this that for one day, just one day, live in the present. I know I'm preaching here and not practicing it as much as I want, but at the same time I am setting this for myself too.  Live infinitely in the world that you're in, and gain some interesting perspective on things.

I've been feeling sort of lost lately; and I don't mean this in some sort of "waah I have no friends" or some whiny way but rather in some deep way, which I cannot exactly describe to someone outside. I want to fast forward to the part where I am where I want to be, surrounded by those people whom I want to be around, but society prohibits that. So I guess for now, I have to live as if I am infinite, until I become finite.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Wasted on Fixing all the Problems that you Made in Your Own Head

So yeah. This week. Oy. So much to say, but I don't think that it would do me or anyone else good to talk about it. Though I will say this much: Friday's post was written in a study hall prior to the beginning of a very bizarre, yet very satisfying day.

I think one of the things about people today is that they believe creativity doesn't exist in our generation (or, rather, mine. I don't know how old you personally are or whatever...). To those people, I respectfully say: SHUT UP!

Saturday May 4th was the second annual Re(imagiNATION) event.

The Re(imagine) Media Crew
Photo: Me
This year we added art to the music festival, making this (unofficially) Pittsburgh's premier music and arts festival, and it was a blast.

Four bands performed, and 12 or so artists displayed everything from pencil sketches to panoramas to paintings along a stretch of sidewalk in Schenley Plaza.

I felt pretty much the same way I did during last year's, yet I was a tad more distant in choosing the individual bands/artists due to, well, musical eating my life. Yet I like what I wrote then:
The only way we were able to do this was through the generosity of WYEP, its listeners, and the amazing staff we have worked with since October-ish. I can't wait to see what's next from this group of people.
The Options
There's a side story that hasn't been told about this competition. Before we held the event last year, we asked for submissions, and we got submissions from two bands: The Actions and the Options.

Honestly, their submissions weren't that great, and neither one made it to the top 5 last year. We sent them notes saying how we thought it was awesome and all, and try again next year.

They did.

The Actions and The Options re-submitted after a bunch of separate gigs and both bands completely re-worked their sound and everything. It was quite impressive, and as a result, they were chosen to compete this year.

The Actions
The Options, as I said, completely reinvented themselves, and won the second Re(imagiNATION). This is an awesome side story that is what Re(imagiNATION) and Re(imagine) are about: creativity, and finding a passion. We give them a stage, having a passion for sharing stories and creating things, and they bring their passion of music, and the artists their own works. It's an amazing thing to see side by side, and it was all created by high school students.

So next week, I am taking my third and final Keystone Exam. The Keystones are Pennsylvania's NEW answer to the No Child Left Behind requirement for standardized testing.

I say new because originally we had these magic PSSA (Pennsylvania System of School Assessments) tests, which apparently were rendered obsolete so the criteria we were once held responsible for knowing is apparently irrelevant. I've ranted before about standardized testing, but my point is this: tests do NOT define how good education is. What should define how good an education from a school should be a measure of how much that school exposes you to the outside world.

What I propose (because I'm a crazy guy at the end of sophomore year) is a system where high schoolers are required to do an internship in at least two different fields of available interest, then present something about it: an essay, presentation, whatever. This would open the door to *gasp* relevance, as well as exposing the students to the world they'll be plunged into after school.

And maybe, just maybe, we can find more awesome artists, musicians, and Re(imagine)rs if they can find themselves. Just a thought.

If you want to see more pictures from the event, click here:
For the event page (until it gets deleted):

Friday, May 3, 2013

We have Rolled into Another Dream

The title is part of the quote of the day on

So this week is Holy Week for us eastern-rite Orthodox. This also means that the past six or so weeks have been “Lent”. No, I’m not going to go and spread religion across the masses or whatever, I’d much rather talk about looking back and forward.

It’s really hard to acknowledge the present, and appreciate it because it simply is. It’s a state of being that is constant, yet fleeting at the same time. Hindsight is 20/20 and the future is what you make it but it’s looking at the now that is pretty near impossible.

It’s easy to look back and say, “The musical was awesome last year” or forward and say, “this summer is going to be great” but what do we say about ‘now’? I guess one of the things that I’ve been having trouble with lately is ‘living in the moment’. In the process of looking forward to the end of the school year, or the musical, or whatever trivial thing it is, I forget about the state of being that is now.

Let me say this much though… it’s not a bad thing to not live in the moment, it just is a thing that is. Tomorrow is the second annual Re(imagiNATION) competition in Schenley Plaza. I’m planning to show up and just live through it. Enjoy meeting artists and bands and WYEP people… but instead of take pictures and video of it for the future… I want to remember it as I saw it.

I’ve had this theory since I was little that I’d get to see more if I lived and looked at life like a photographer. It’s still a theory but I’ve found it to be true. Take for example, that I try to take a walk through the neighborhood every day for like 20 minutes or whatever. Same route, for I am a creature of habit, but each time I try to notice something new. And over the past year or so I have. And it got me thinking… if I notice something new each time I walk the same streets, imagine what is possible in all of the new streets I haven’t traveled… So I guess I want to have perspective on the future and past by living through the moment. Hopefully it can all coexist.

The title is part of a quote... and the only reason I chose it is that it involved rolling and dreams... for if we live life from the comfort of only a dream... can we ever wake up to reality? Keep the dreams, but wake up from time to time. I'll shut up now.