June 29, 2008

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 on June 29, 2008 03:06 AM | TrackBack
Semi-Intelligent Comments

Dude! You're alive! Hooray!

Okay I was soooo gonna send you an email after the Wings won, but I figured, what kind of an ass sends an email after like two years just to talk smack about hockey? But hey, since you're back, and hey, since you brought it up- on behalf of all Wingnuts everywhere, allow me to say:


F'real though, if the Pens hold on to Malkin and Crosby, their offense is gonna be insane when those two get a little more experience. But in the meantime, woot woot and more woot.

Ugh. I had really planned on commenting on more than the Cup, but I got four kids distracting me. More later, I s'pose. Good luck in New York man.

Posted by: The Mulatto Maker at June 29, 2008 09:46 AM

We'll always have Sykora's called shot from Game 5. You lucky bastards can never take that away from us.

In any case, the outcome would've been totally different if Mike Richards hadn't destroyed Malkin in the first game of the Philly series. Believe me, I was at that game, and Geno was not "tired." He was injured. He doesn't want to admit it for some reason, but elite players don't go from "dominant" to "suck" that quickly just because they're exhausted.

And if you think the Pens have a great offense now, wait until they trade Ryan Whitney, Darryl Sydor, and Dany Sabourin to Tampa Bay in exchange for Steve Stamkos!

...Maybe if I stare at that sentence long enough, it will somehow become true.

***Opinions on hockey: I've got 'em.***

Anyway, glad to see you're still reading.

Posted by: CD at June 29, 2008 07:44 PM

We'll always have Sykora's called shot from Game 5. You lucky bastards can never take that away from us.

That was a gamewinner in technicality only. OT wouldn't have even been necessary if Kronwall hadn't scored on Osgood.


Well, then again, Fleury sorta pooped the puck into his own net in Game Six. That was the mostest awesomest thing I've ever seen.

Posted by: The Mulatto Maker at June 29, 2008 09:48 PM

Oh, and kudos on the weight loss, bro. Since getting out of the Army (and away from mandatory running at 6 AM) I've put on like 30 pounds in a year. Yeesh.

Posted by: The Mulatto Maker at June 29, 2008 10:00 PM
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