June 30, 2008

Hooray for Awareness of One's Surroundings

I just realized tonight that the bridge in the foreground of the photos I've been posting is the Brooklyn Bridge. I'm not sure how that escaped me for so long.

They've done a pretty good job of repairing it in the 10 years since it was used to trap Godzilla.

More to come later, if I ever finish planning my itinerary for tomorrow.

Posted by CD at 11:00 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Morning in New York

Another picture for your enjoyment:


Fun fact: I went back to sleep for another five hours after I took that picture.

Another fun fact: I didn't have to get out of bed in order to take it. That's a really interesting view to wake up to when you have a paralyzing fear of heights.

Also, I'm pretty sure my new roommate thinks I'm the world's biggest douche for staying up so late last night while knowing that he had to get up at 6:15. On the other hand, he left the blinds open, which caused me to wake up multiple times, so maybe we're even.

Also, it's almost 2:00, and my other suitemates are either gone or still asleep, so maybe my schedule is the norm now. Or not.

Wasn't I supposed to be making progress or something? This is surreal.*

Yet another fun fact: All three of the people living with me have first names that begin with B. I almost feel like my being assigned here with an exotic first initial like "C" was some sort of affirmative action initiative.

Oh, well. Time to get back to emailing the production coordinator at my internship in an attempt to figure out how the hell I'm going to get there tomorrow morning. Apparently, most of them take the subway and then walk the rest of the way. It's a good thing I've been exercising.

*Warning: Authors in post may be more optimistic than they appear.

Posted by CD at 01:48 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

June 29, 2008

I *headdesk* NY

You know what's really confusing?

Bus schedules.


Posted by CD at 09:10 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Why Must Every Road of Life's Journey Begin With a Speed Bump?

So, I'm in New York now.


That's right, SIT is now coming to you from the 26th floor of a New York University dorm.

Here is my view of the East River:


And here is a view of the city, with the Empire State Building just visible in the center:


I had been here once before for a high school band trip, but I had since forgotten how fucking huge New York really is. I think Chinatown alone is the same size as the entire city of Pittsburgh. Ridiculous.

So anyway, as I was saying, I'm typing this from my room in an NYU dorm. It's really, really small, even by dorm standards, but it's also air-conditioned and is in a suite that includes a kitchen and two (filthy) bathrooms. Not bad.

As you may have guessed, I'm sharing the suite with three other people. I've met two of them, including my roommate for the next six weeks, and I have no complaints so far.

Of course, I am sitting at my computer alone right now, which was my perpetual state of existence back at SU, but unlike those days, I'm in this situation not because I retreated into my shell at the first sign of human interaction, but because the other people in the suite have been living here for about a month, while I've been living here for about five hours. They kind of have prior commitments and aren't 100% focused on making new friends at the moment.

At least that's the excuse I'm going with.

Anyway, to explain the title of the post, it seems like every new chapter of my life begins with a humbling experience. For example, in the time I've been here, I've gotten locked out of the suite twice, the second time happening even after I'd been shown how to open the door (you have to move the key a certain way and push rather than just unlocking it and turning the handle). Not the best of times.

Also, I made an ass of myself attempting to order dinner at Subway. Basically, I decided that the 6" cold cut combo wasn't big enough and changed my order to the 12" sandwich after the original had already been made. Also, I took way too long to choose the bread and cheese varieties because I didn't realize I had a choice. The guy behind the counter probably thought I was retarded or something.

Believe it or not, however, all this is actually a sign of progress. At least I realize what's awkward and attempt to change it as soon as possible. In the past, I would've just gotten pissed off because "everyone is too dumb to understand me" or some arrogant shit.

I seem to be rambling, so I'll leave it at that. Hopefully, I can do some socializing at some point, but like I said, it's a rather unique situation when you move in with three people who already have full schedules.

We'll see...

Posted by CD at 08:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Future Is Now (Warning: Very long post)

So, about that extended hiatus thing...I think it may be about time for it to end. I tried to get Larry to fill in for me, but he's traveling around the country campaigning for Obama right now, so the blog is mine again.

I'm almost positive nobody is reading this by now, but I'm going to write it all anyway. Join me in the extended entry if you want to know where I've been and where I'm going...

In order to explain the lack of blogging and the possibility of some in the near future, I basically need to chronicle the last year of my life, starting around August or September of 2007. This may take a while, so...let's begin!

I was planning on possibly moving to New York City in the fall and looking for work when life started to get complicated. You may remember from last summer that my brother had a seizure and the doctors found an unidentified lesion on his brain. He was fine for a while, but around the time he went back to school, he began having seizures again.

Lots of them.

Eventually, it was discovered that what was thought to be a calcium deposit on his brain was, in fact, a low grade astrocytoma. And it was rapidly getting bigger.

Finding out that a family member has a potentially life threatening brain tumor is...well, the polar opposite of fun.

This kind of threw everything into disarray for a couple months, but thanks to numerous tests, a biopsy, and a resection surgery, as well as a couple months of radiation treatment and ongoing chemotherapy, everything is more or less in order now, and he's going to be fine. However, my plans were delayed a bit.

Another thing that happened last fall when all this shit was going down was that my family got season tickets for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

For those of you who don't follow hockey, the Pens made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Final this year before losing to Detroit in 6 games.

Anyway, I went to the home opener, and in the process remembered that I love hockey, so I spent a huge amount of time during the tumor treatment period watching and reading about the sport and the continuing season. I also went to ten regular season games and three playoff games.

To give you an idea of where that led, check out a couple shitty cell phone pictures of my bedroom walls:

Wall 1

Wall 2

The basic message here is that you can expect an occasional mention of the Pens or the NHL on SIT from now on. I can't believe I stopped following hockey for so long. What the hell was I thinking?

However, this isn't going to become a hockey blog or anything. It's basically reverting back to the old format of keeping track of my interesting thoughts and events that I think are worthy of being written about. If you want a hockey blog, go to The Pensblog. You don't have to be a Pens fan, or even a hockey fan, to enjoy some of what they offer.

As an added bonus, you may very rarely catch me hanging around in the comments under the name "Keep On Malkin in the Free World" (Google that name, and the second result is a comment I'm rather proud of). But I can't promise anything.

In any case, Jarkko Ruutu reads The Pensblog. Shouldn't you?

Moving on...

Another fun story: Around the same time the hockey season began and the tumor business was picking up, I started experiencing rather unpleasant stomach problems, the details of which I'm sure you're not interested in. After two doctors were unable to come up with a solid diagnosis, I decided to just adjust my diet (read: stop eating so fucking much) and see what happened .

Pretty soon, in addition to feeling a lot better, I started losing weight. A couple months later, I also began exercising. Long story short, in the past few months, I've lost almost 50 pounds. I eat as much food in an entire day as I was eating for every meal in college, and I'm currently walking two or three miles a night through hill-laden streets (although that will change soon, as I'll explain later).

Moral of this story: Proper diet + exercise = health. Infuckingcredible.

Moving on once again...

In the middle of winter, when it was clear that my brother wasn't going to die, I started looking for a job again, but I decided that it would be better to look for something in the Pittsburgh area, just to get started and make things easier on everyone. I did some Internet research, did a very limited amount of networking over the phone, and had a few leads, but something was missing. What could it have been?

Oh, right: I had no actual work experience. None.

This made it a bit tougher to find work, especially in an area that's not exactly known for its video/film production. Most of the relevant places around here either focus on corporate videos exclusively or do wedding videography. Not a lot of quality options, especially for someone with a very, very short resume.

This was about the time I tried to bring in Larry, incidentally, but after a single post, he decided that hitching a ride on The Hopechange Express was more important than blogging.

This whole time, the entire process didn't feel quite right, and I found myself looking back on college and kicking my own ass because of all the opportunities I wasted to socialize, network, and gain experience. I was conducting the most unenthusiastic job search of all time, and it was getting me nowhere.

That's when things got really interesting.

Last summer, I had become aware through a family connection of a program at New York University that lets students visit the city and work at a media internship for six weeks for credit. I didn't think much of it at the time, mainly because I was tired of any type of school and wanted to just go ahead and get a real job, and also because I had a bit of an entitlement complex that allowed me to convince myself that anything other than a paying job was below my level.

As you've probably guessed by now, I've become a bit more humble in the months since then.

Around the end of April/beginning of May, I decided that this program might be just the thing to help bridge the gap between Syracuse and the real world. It's college without being school, it's work without being a career, and it's in Manhattan, but you can live in campus housing for the duration of the program. I waited a couple days to see if it would start to seem like a stupid idea, but it only sounded better every time I thought about it. I checked with the school to be sure that someone with a degree can still participate in the program, and they confirmed that I could.

So, this was it. I finally knew what I wanted to do, and it only took me a fucking year.

Anyway, I've spent the last month going through the application process, and this week, everything was finalized...except the internship itself.

You see, there are three things to apply for where this program is concerned. You have to enroll in the Media Internship course, apply for housing, and apply for an internship through a database that's available after your application is processed. It's 100% the responsibility of the student to actually find a place to work. NYU just supervises and guides the process to some extent.

To give you an idea of my stress level this past week, the program starts on Monday, and as of Thursday, I had barely even gotten any responses to the seven applications I sent out.

Luckily, persistence eventually paid off, and on Friday afternoon, a film production company I had applied to called and basically asked me when I could start. I told them Tuesday would work.

Just to make things clear: I won't be revealing the name of the company I'm interning for, because people who blog about their workplace without allowing said workplace a bit of anonymity tend to get disciplined and/or fired if they say the wrong thing. I'm not that stupid.

So, here we are. I'm leaving for New York in a few hours, and on Tuesday morning, if everything goes according to plan, I'll be starting the first actual production job I've ever had. I won't be getting paid, of course, but the experience will hopefully make up for that.

What this means for the blog is that I have something to write about again. I'll be honest: The main reason I haven't written much in the past year is that there hasn't been anything interesting to write about. That should change very, very soon.

However, I'd also like to try and actually have a life if I'm going to be living in basically the most exciting city on the planet, so don't expect a whole lot. I don't know how long I'll stick with this, either, but sometimes I feel like writing, and at least I'll have a reason to do so.

I should probably clear up a couple important matters that may affect this blog and its style.

First of all, I feel I should apologize for being somewhat deceptive for a long time. Older readers (seriously, why am I acting like there are any of you left?) may recall that around mid-2005, there was a distinct shift in my blogging style. I stopped censoring myself, and my writing gradually shifted away from politics, etc. to more personal matters.

This wasn't just a random happening. I went through something of a transition during that time, and I went back and examined a few of my beliefs to see what I actually supported and what I was just regurgitating.

I guess I should come right out and say it: I have considered myself agnostic for the past three years. Not atheist. Agnostic. It means that neither side of the religion argument fully convinces me anymore, and frankly, I think everyone is more wrong than right.


Also, and only partially as a result of this, I've altered my political identity slightly. I'm not necessarily "conservative," but I'm sure as fuck not "liberal" either, and I'm not quite trustworthy enough of the human race to be a Libertarian. For lack of a better word, I now refer to myself as "Republitarian." I know it's been used by others and may have other meanings to certain people, but in my mind, it's the best way to describe my belief system.

Incidentally, I'm planning to cast a write-in vote for Inanimate Carbon Rod this November. Choosing between McCain and Obama is like choosing between being stabbed in the eye or shot in the face. Either way, you're fucked.

I think that covers everything. Time to let this sit unread for weeks.


Posted by CD at 03:06 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack