September 28, 2006

Patterns (or, the "I'm Studying Naughty Words" Post)

I find it rather interesting that we're currently working through a section about obscenity/indecency in my communications law class (the last discussion involved reasons for censoring "shit" and "fuck" and debates over whether breasts can be exposed on cable), and I'm in the middle of an anthropology article about the origins of curse words (it purports to explain why "you son of a bitch" is a worse insult than "you son of a kangaroo," but I haven't gotten through it yet).

College. Fun stuff.

Excerpt from the aforementioned anthropology article:

Most of the monosyllables denoting familiar animals may be stretched to describe the qualities of human beings. Such usage is often abusive but not always so. Bitch, cat, pig, swine, ass, goat, cur (dog) are insults; but lamb, duck, and cock are friendly, even affectionate.

Uh...yeah...if someone calls you a cock, I don't think it's meant to be affectionate, but the author is British or something, so who knows?

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September 27, 2006

Visual Representations of the Current Semester




(Is it May 2007 yet?)

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September 26, 2006

Tuesday Haiku

NOTE: I found this elsewhere on the Internet. I won't bother saying where or providing context, because it's funny enough on its own. Anyway...


That is all.

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September 25, 2006

Random Thoughts: Emo Edition

I really, really, really, really, really, really, really need a girlfriend.


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September 23, 2006


guns dont kill people dads with pretty daughters kill people





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September 21, 2006

Grammatical Pet Peeve of the Day

This isn't addressed to anyone in particular, but...


An exchange such as the following:

"Hey, were did you go?"

"We where at the store."


Thank you.

Posted by CD at 11:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

College: Still Loving It

Remember the dude in my anthropology class who hates capitalism?

During today's discussion, he declared, in a matter-of-fact way that implied that everyone should agree with him, that the war in Iraq "is all about oil."

How the fuck do these idiots find their way out the door in the morning?

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Question of the Day

People who aren't in college: How often do you encounter Marxism and feminism in the real world?

For the amount of time I've spent studying them in my classes here, you'd think they were the only two social philosophies in the history of humanity.

...Or is that "huwomynity?"

Fucking pseudo-intellectual liberal arts bullshit...

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September 19, 2006

Hooray for Procrastination

You know how a semester can be going really well, and then all of a sudden, you find yourself sitting at the computer at 4 AM working on a half-finished political science essay that's due at 9:30 and having to blow off an anthropology reading that you're technically supposed to summarize in one page?

...Yeah. I think I have to make some changes after this.

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September 18, 2006

Minor Social Update

This is kind of random, but I thought I'd mention that I actually managed to...*gasp*...leave my dorm this weekend!

Yeah. The band picnic was on Sunday afternoon, so I spent a few hours hanging out by a polluted lake, playing volleyball, and laughing/throwing water balloons at freshmen while they performed skits. Good times.

I even have photographic proof that I was out in public for once:

Yeah...that's about it.

Listen to Lounge Pirate, dang it!

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September 16, 2006

Better Than Average Weekend Guitar Recording

I was going to post this last night, but conveniently enough, MuNu was down, so...yeah.

Anyway, I finally recorded another full-length original song, and I think it may be the best one I've written so far. I decided to call it "Lounge Pirate" (a reference to this post).

The song is a much more complete version of that "Untitled" thing I posted a few weeks ago. I jacked up the tempo, added real structure, and even wrote a guitar solo that's almost two minutes long. You have to hear this. Seriously.

In order to simplify things, I put this one directly on an upload site instead of just SoundClick. Go here and click on "Download," and you'll have the full-quality version. I suggest playing it in a program with an equalizer, because it's a bit on the quiet side.

Anyway, I highly encourage everyone to check this song out. Like I said, it may be the best thing I've written, and I'd like to hear your opinion.

The file, once again, is posted here.

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September 15, 2006

Know What Else I Love? Having ADD!

I recently realized that I've had Metallica's "Master of Puppets" stuck in a constant loop in my head for the past month.

That's not to say that it's not a kickass song, but still...a frickin' month of the same soundtrack can get a little tiring.

This isn't the first time this has happened, either...

In other news, I have absolutely nothing interesting to blog about. Isn't that great?

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September 12, 2006

Another "I Love College" Moment

Man, there are some real winners in my anthropology class. We were discussing imperialism today, and one girl saw fit to mention that when President Bush referred to the War on Terror as a "struggle for civilization" in his speech last night, it made her violently angry.

Does this make sense to anyone besides liberals? I don't get it.

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September 10, 2006


what is she mean i need-more-time relationship

Based on your search, I'm going to say that she means "I'm not interested in you, but you're so dumb that you probably wouldn't understand if I said that."

Just a guess.

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Very Short Guitar Recording of the Day

I've been messing around with another simple lead guitar pattern for a couple days, and at one point, I decided to try some dual lead crap with it. It's basically just the same pattern played simultaneously in two different ways, but it sounds kinda cool. I also added rhythm guitars. Check this out:

Dual Lead

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September 09, 2006

I Am An Idiot

Question: What's better than having to get up at 6:45 AM for marching band rehearsal?

Answer: Staying up until 3:00 that same morning!

Hooray for game day! Hooray!

Being naturally nocturnal really sucks sometimes...

UPDATE (9:15 AM)
Woohoo, I managed to sleep for a whole hour. It's always fun running through pregame and halftime after that.

Now I'm back in my room, killing time until I have to leave again around noon. Then it's time for about six hours of drumming. Have I mentioned how much I love marching band?

(Was that sarcasm? You decide.)


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September 07, 2006

Crap (Redux)

Remember how I said that the people on my floor are nowhere near as bad as The Chimps?

Yeah...they're sure making one hell of an effort to prove me wrong.

Posted by CD at 12:44 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 05, 2006

I Love College

Highlight of my Tuesday morning: Finding out that one of the people in my anthropology class visited Cuba a while ago and has since had a "hatred of capitalism."

I have no idea how logic and that situation go together, so I'm going to go ahead and assume that they don't.

Posted by CD at 12:47 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

September 03, 2006

Advice Reply

Thanks to the people who responded to this post. Since comments on posts more than 10 days old are closed to prevent spam, and the other reply is on a separate blog, I'll respond to both here. Continue to the extended entry if you care.

Tommy posted the following:

Wow, de ja vu, it's just like reading me.

In truth, i'm exactly the same way. What i recommend is watch other people, just observe. Like Jane Goodall with the gorillas, you know?

I find that to be somewhat effective, yes. There's the occasional incident where I try to copy acceptable social behavior and somehow manage to screw it up and weird people out, but it's better than just guessing. I've actually found that subtly incorporating aspects of the other person's personality into your own when interacting with them can help form a better connection as long as it's not overdone.

When you feel the urge to interract with your "objects under test" and find thoe awkward silences, mention the facts above. They will explain your behavior to others and warn them for the future. They might also pick up the ball and keep rolling wth it.

Just for clarification, which facts do you mean?

You ound like a classic introvert, like me.

Yeah, pretty much. There's a reason I write so many "I hate people" rants.

You know how the conversation is supposed to go, but the other bastard inconveniently refuses to say what you want them to.

I think that's a perfect way to describe how awkward silences happen. You try to steer the conversation in a certain direction, and then they blindside you with something you're not prepared for and your brain shuts down with confusion. Sucks.

The way that i've gotten around it (sort of) is make friends with a classic extrovert. I'm very very comfortble around her so i don't feel as awkward about opening up to others while she's around. Around her, i'm Casanunda (second greatest, you see) because i always have her to come up with a new topic to react to should th conversation with others begin to wan.

Well, the whole "make friends" thing is what I have trouble with, but I have also had success with this on some level in the past. I actually had a couple fairly extroverted people I talked with on a regular basis for a couple years, but then they graduated, and again, no connections...haven't heard from them in a while.

Also, if you are like me, and you do not have a predisposition to abuse or an addictive nature, i'd recommend alcohol. I have always described myself as about 2 shots low. Meaning that after about 2 drinks i'm as loose of yap as most people are stone sober. (C.f. now.)

I'm gonna have to say no here, however. I have an extremely addictive personality and am basically guaranteed to become an alcoholic if I start drinking. Trust me on this.

Mind you, it rarely helps because most of the people that i hang out with regularly are either a) engineers, and as introverted as i am, but we play off each other well, or b) so freaking over the top that you can't get a word in edgewise, thus making it difficult to start secondary conversations. That, then, is another facet, but probably one that you've run into already, so we'll give it a miss, yeah?

Mind you, i'm shite at dealing with people socially, but great at dealing with them professionally, so my advice is at best apocryphal, and at worst, wholly inaccurate.

We're not quite the same here, I guess. As opposed to being shy socially, I tend to just be a dick professionally. Not on purpose, of course, but it happens. I've been told by a bunch of professors that this isn't going to help a lot in the communications field, so...yeah. But that's another story.

This probably didn't help one tittle or jot, but just know that you are not the only one who went through their entire collegiate life (so far, in your case) not enjoying it to the fullest.

It helped somewhat, if only in letting me know that some of this stuff can work if used correctly. I've heard a lot of it before, so maybe I just need to make more of an effort.

Oh, and just go to a freaking party or three with kegs and the associated paraphrenalia. It might help. Again, stated without prior knowledge.

Without repeating what I said about alcohol, one final question: How do you find out about and get to said parties if you don't talk to a lot of people? Is it usually necessary to make friends first, or can you just go around to various people and shoot off a quick "anything going on this weekend?" Again, this may sound really stupid, but I'm totally clueless as to how it works.

Incidentally, I was invited to a party last week, but a few minutes after I talked to the guy who invited me, I realized that I didn't know where it was or what time it started. Oops.

In any case, thanks for the tips, and I'm glad to hear that you're doing better on the whole social thing.

Crispy posted this:'ve asked some good questions. In my experiences, I've noticed that with certain people conversations flow while with others, it is like running into a brick wall after you get their name.

This is true even for me. I just happen to have a lot more of the second kind. As mentioned in the original post, I think I'm so used to conversations going badly that when one goes well, I get paranoid and back off or something.

I honestly don't know what makes some conversations work and others fall to pieces. The other night we had a movie on the drill field. Since I generally have a high level of situational awareness and I was fairly bored with the movie (imagine that), I started to people watch. Well, someone caught my eye. My buddy kept badgering me to go talk to her so I finally gave in. I grabbed two sodas and headed down by her. I squatted down next to her blanket, and as I held out the drink, basically said, "Would you like a soda? I'm Crispy, how are you?" The conversation took off from there and we were talking until the end of the movie.

This the f-...what? Holy crap!

Sorry about that, but I honestly did a quick mental double take when I read that. This is exactly the kind of thing I see other people doing that I've never been able to do. Ever. I can't recall a single instance of a connection forming that fast. It always takes weeks or months to be that comfortable with someone.

Not to pry too much, but what exactly did you talk about? I really feel like I have enough social/life experience that if I could just keep a conversation going, it could be enough to overcome my natural awkwardness. This is especially intriguing given the experience I posted the other day about how I had a decent conversation with someone I was forced to interview for information. Maybe I should just start looking at more interactions that way.

Still, the whole "approaching someone you've never met and introducing yourself to them" thing...*shudder* The thought terrifies me. Especially when it comes to the opposite sex. I always think I'm going to come off as a creepy stalker and end up with mace in my eyes.

You know, the more I write, the more I think that a lot of my problems are just in my mind...

As for your first question: What can you talk about with someone you've never met? The shortest answer: ANYTHING! The technique that I use is to attempt to find out as much about the other person as possible.

Maybe I am on the right track with the "interview" approach.

Some call it charisma. Let's face it, most people enjoy talking about themselves. Asking questions about the other person also indicates your own interest in them. Dan Reiland, the VP of Leadership Development at INJOY says this, "How can you have charisma? Be more concerned about making others feel good about themselves than you are making them feel good about you." In short, be a good listener.

Dale Carnegie says essentially the same thing. This really must be a big part of it. One of the aforementioned extroverted friends was an expert at getting people talking (on the way to the UConn game last year, he spent about an hour listening to the SU band director discuss his teaching philosophy), and my own mother has, on many occasions, made friends with complete strangers in crowds and remembered a bunch of random crap about them for long periods of time afterwards.

This may be yet another area where my insecurity screws things up more than my execution, since I sometimes feel like I'm interrogating someone and pissing them off when I go for the question approach. Again, it's good to hear from someone more successful that this stuff from the books I've read does work in practice, even though I've seen it myself.

Bits of information that I like to try to find out include where people have traveled, where they would like to travel to, what their parents do, where they have lived in the past, where they want to move to once they get out of college and what they want to do, how many brothers and sisters and their ages, pets, what hall the person lives in and who their RA is, and anything else that comes up.

Whoa. That is a lot. I assume that remembering all this later can also make them feel important, right?

Your next question was: What's a good way to break an awkward silence? Ask a question. Talk about how much the food at the dining facility sucks and make fun of it.

The question thing is good. As for making fun of stuff, I think I usually come off as about 75% more negative than I mean to be, so people take me way too seriously and that approach tends to backfire on me (I could bring up specific examples for this one). Is it a matter of wording or just voice tone? I used to know a guy who made disparaging, sarcastic comments about everything and everyone, but people still loved him because they knew he wasn't serious. I would prefer to be like that, rather than being "Mr. Nice Guy." Thoughts?

As to voice inflections and expressions, I can't possible type a reasonable answer for you. My best advice is to become a people watcher and train your eye to pick up on the slightest facial expression changes. A general rule of thumb, and seemingly obvious answer is that when a question is asked (to include, "Ya know?"), they want an answer.

I could probably solve this one by not looking down so much. As for the question thing, does that include "what's up?" Because I basically use/interpret that as a synonym for "hello" at this point.

Regarding reciprocating questions, I always turn questions back to the other person after I've responded to their inquiry. As you develop your social skills, you will get to the point where you can manage to avoid their question but find out how their classes are going, if you don't want to answer them for some reason, but we'll address that at a future date.

All right, this is an area where I could really use help from someone who knows what they're doing (which you appear to). On one hand, you're supposed to ask a lot of questions and get people talking about themselves, but on the other hand, reciprocation is considered a good thing. This means that, in addition to the possibility of talking about yourself too much, you may actually be annoying the other person if you don't talk about yourself enough, since they're also trying to get to know you. Is this just a matter of interpreting which way the conversation is going, or is there really a way to achieve a good balance here? Again, I'm ridiculously confused about how to handle this one.

If I may be so bold as to recommend one more book for you to read: "The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader" by John C. Maxwell. Of all the leadership-based books that I've read, this is one of the best and one that I continue to relate to.

I may check that out.

As for remembering people's names, try to find something that it rhymes with or take note of a unique feature about the person. If you find a better method, let me know!

I hope at least some of this will be helpful. If you have any questions, feel free to send them my way.

Good advice. If I can ask one more question:

When you go through the random introduction routine like you described early in your post, how important is body language, voice tone, etc. in your experience? I think that one of my main problems is that I don't pay attention to what I'm doing and my lack of confidence/awareness freaks people out. There are some things I'm never going to have full control over (for example, the ADD-induced rapid-fire blinking I tend to do in social situations is almost totally involuntary), but I'd like to know how much of a difference this kind of thing can make from someone who is more situationally aware than me.

Again, thanks to both of you for responding. I've read books, been to counseling, etc., so it seems like I shouldn't have to request help from blog readers, but...socialization is very, very confusing.

Posted by CD at 11:52 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Open Letter to the Idiot In My Dorm Who Apparently Thinks That Repeatedly Throwing a Ball Against the Wall Doesn't Make Any Noise

Dear retard,

Die in a fire.

That is all.

- CD

Posted by CD at 07:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Weekend Guitar Recordings

Posted some new originals on SoundClick if you're interested.

"Fender Grunge" is a series of stuff I came up with a couple days ago. It sounds a lot like something from Nirvana's In Utero album. Both the clean and distorted guitars were done with a PODxt tone I made using a model of the Fender Twin (the amp Kurt Cobain used on the aforementioned album). The track also includes bass, which was done by artificially tuning the guitar down an octave with the "Bender" effect on the POD. Fun stuff.

"Choice 2" is a sample of the guitar version of my old anti-abortion song "Choice." You may remember it. I finally started writing real guitar riffs, and it sounds pretty sweet so far. Lots of alternate picking and such.

"Blister" is a sample of another thrash song that I started writing a few months ago. It's one of my most difficult songs to play (my hand started cramping up halfway through the recording process), but it sounds really, really good. Also, unlike most stuff I write, this one is in standard tuning.

The guitars in the last two songs were done with the "Angel P-ball" amp model from the PODxt. It's from the Metal Shop model pack and is based on the ENGL Powerball amp. It's tweaked to the point of being really, really tight and distorted, and I think it thrashes better than the Spinal Puppet model.

Anyway, check those out. Feedback is always good.

Posted by CD at 02:05 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 01, 2006


After a few days of observation, I've come to the conclusion that a large number of people living on my floor this year are stupid and annoying. They're nowhere near as bad as The Chimps, but still...dang it.

Fortunately, unlike that year, the walls/door of my room are thick enough to block out a lot of noise, and the two fans I have running almost 24/7 eliminate the rest. Also, unlike last year, the person in the room next to me has barely made a sound. All in all, I think I'll survive.

I guess I shouldn't be in such a crappy mood right now, considering the fact that I have no obligations of any kind until the New York State Fair parade on Monday night. Have I mentioned how much my schedule rocks? Four days of sleeping in. Four.

That is all.

Posted by CD at 01:22 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack