Movin On 2009 at Penn State

Long time no update, so here we go with a few pictures from Movin On, Penn State’s spring concert from earlier today. It was cold as balls so I didn’t stick around the whole 11 hours or so of the show but I did catch the earlier bands Acalasia and One Downtown Avenue, and the last band, the Spill Canvas, who headlined. They were really good live, despite the weather.

The Spill Canvas at Penn State

Night with the Bucks

I had a relatively crazy night last night, with a good friend of mine from high school and then college who was in town to see his little brother at a track and field thing. We started out at Zeno’s, met up with some folks at Allen Street Grill, then some other people at the Rathskeller. I tried shooting a bit of the band at the Skeller but I really need more experience if I’m going to find success shooting in those conditions. From there we headed to a commune near campus where the basement was packed to the brim, and a jam band was playing. Fun stuff. See more in the gallery.

I loveded you piggy. I loveded you.

My new camera is here and I’ve been poking through the manual for a while. But in reality I just need the weather to stop being so shitty so I can get out and use it. That’s the only way I’m really gonna figure out what all these features mean. Until then, I can just shoot dumb stuff like this:

Piggy by ~scotttopic on deviantART

I saw this band Acalasia play two shows yesterday.. one was an acoustic set they were doing in the Hot Topic at the mall, then later in town at the Brewery. They’re really good. Krystal, the singer, has a lot of energy and a great voice. So they actually have another show tomorrow.. depending on the weather I might check it out. And bring the camera! 😛

Self Imposed Exile

I’ve pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I am not going to be able to move next year. Well, “able” may not technically be the correct word.. surprisingly the appropriate term may be “willing”. For one thing I just can’t justify the costs of living in town compared to my current situation. It’s a dramatic difference. I crunched some numbers, and estimated I could make a round trip to Europe for the difference in rent. Every month. It seems just silly to blow that money on something other than amazing trips.

(Ok so I’m reading On the Road so I’m becoming inclined to think in these terms.)

I’m trying to make the most of it though. Last weekend I began a massive Monk style cleaning campaign in my place. I through out a closet’s worth of junk, with a lot more to come. (Speaking of which, I’ve got a weight bench I’m looking to get rid of. It’s in fine shape, and I like having it around, but it just takes up too much room in my little place. If you want it, let me know.) Then hopefully will come some redecorating. In the end, I’m just trying to make this current place less annoying to me.

Tonight, in yet another attempt to escape the black hole of Bellefonte, I’m heading out to Indigo with some work friends tonight. And meeting up with another friend for dinner before that at the Corner Room. Anything to get me out of my apartment.

Apology Accepted, Captain Needa

There are 3 kinds of people in the world. People who don’t apologize enough, people who apologize too much, and people who have found the right balance in between. I think I might be in the too much camp. Which must be better than the not enough camp. It must be a desire to avoid confrontations, or alleviate tensions, or maybe a guilty conscious, but I definitely can be quick to pour out apologies for things that sometimes I really had no control over. Is there really a problem with too many apologies?

Like anything, if you say it too much it loses meaning. And when you really do fuck things up, it’s good to know that the person receiving your apology will truly believe you, and not simply think you are just repeating the same old lines.

But you aren’t any better to hold back apologies. I think apologies show compassion for the other person. Refusing to apologize for something that offends is only fueling the fires.

So I guess the best thing to do is save your apologies for the times you need them, but always do it genuinely.

“Never apologize for showing feeling. When you do so you apologize for truth.” -Benjamin Disraeli

Super Bowl Sunday 2009

And I couldn’t care less! For those who don’t know me personally, I am a huge sports fan. I follow baseball and football relentlessly. And yet, this year, the Super Bowl has absolutely no appeal to me. The reason of course being that I’m an Eagles fan. And a Penn State Eagles fan at that.

Being right in the center of the state, Penn State Eagles fans have the unique position in Pennsylvania of being surrounded by about an equal number of Philly sports fans and Pittsburgh sports fans. Neither in Philadelphia nor in Pittsburgh is the rivalry between the two towns as apparent as it is right here in the middle of the state. And so, with the Steelers being in the Super Bowl, I find it difficult to root for them.

And yet, on the other hand, the Cardinals are the team who knocked out my beloved Eagles. So I’m not sure how I could root for them either.

So I’ll watch the Super Bowl tonight on principal. But I won’t like it.

What a Day

I woke up last night in throbbing pain from one of my teeth. Dang did it hurt. I called up the dentist and they squeezed me in, and they gave me some Novocain till I could see a specialist in the afternoon for a root canal. Annoying as hell, and way expensive even with insurance, but at least I’ll hopefully be fixed. And this was supposed to be a day off…

So now I’m chilling at home and watching some really bad movies. Not going out tonight.. maybe tomorrow.

In other news, I got a new phone on eBay. Unsurprisingly, when it arrived it had neither a battery or a functional keyboard, even though the listing was that it was in Mint condition. The guy seems to be handling this decently though, he should be sending me a replacement phone shortly. My current phone still works fine, but I’m just looking to upgrade to something with a bit more in the way of internet capabilities.

To Veg or Not to Veg

I was a vegetarian for a couple years, a couple years ago. It started when I was doing some grad work at Penn State in Elementary Education (which didn’t quite pan out for me). I was doing a hundred book reports on all sorts of children’s books when I stumbled across a book that changed my life, oddly enough. (I’ll have to poke around the Paterno Library and figure out what this book was called some day.)brocolli

It was a book targeted at teens or even younger, who wanted to educate themselves about being a vegetarian in order to allay any fears their parents might have about it. It offered solutions to counter pretty much any objection a parent might have, from how you would be able to co-exist with non vegetarians in your house, to health concerns.

I read this book just sort of randomly (we had to do SO many reports for Children’s Lit that I wasn’t took picky about what books I’d grab) but it really opened my eyes about vegetarianism. It seemed really healthy, and it seemed doable. So I gave it a shot.

When I lived in Ireland I had a roommate who was a vegetarian and it always amazed me how he was able to cook these really creative foods without having to use meat. But I really didn’t think it was for me. But I was doing it. I started out slowly, easing out of certain foods. Eventually I was full blown vegetarian. No red meat, no chicken, no fish. And I felt great.

That lasted for a while. Why did it end?

I began dating Kyli who was not vegetarian. And once you’re in a relationship and going out to eat a lot more than you might do if you’re single, you find that eating out sucks balls when you’re limited to perhaps one or two items on an entire menu (if that). We once went to a really fancy dinner put on the the campus Hotel and Restaurant Management department, where the groups had to plan out every course. I swear, everything from the salad to the dessert seemed to have bacon in it. I ate around it, but I was really beginning to get frustrated. Not long after that I was in Baltimore visiting my sister and we went out to Joe’s Crab Shack and I made the decision that I was going to just accept fish as part of my diet.

Kylene assured me this was just the first step into becoming a full-out meat eater and I guess she was right (although I never did end up eating babies like she said I’d eventually be doing). I slowly descended to the point where I am now, where stopping at McDonald’s on the way home from work doesn’t even make me flinch. I don’t think that’s exactly a good thing.

I don’t feel bad or anything. I didn’t gain like a billion pounds. I pretty much stayed a consistent weight. I think I felt healthier as a vegetarian, but that might have been in my head. You just cannot feel healthy after consuming anything from a fast food place. But have anything made with tofu or soy and you’ll feel like you just ran 10 miles.

I might do it though. I might try to start cutting back towards vegetarianism again. I dunno if I can go full out or not. But even just having a few vegetarian meals a week, or packing your lunch that way can be a good start. If only mainstream restaurants were more accommodating, it would make things so much easier.

Major Design Change

Well this blog is only a few days old but I’ve done a big redesign with a new theme. Why? Well it’s kinda funny. I helped a friend get his new blog up and rolling with WordPress. And wouldn’t ya know, out of the millions of themes out there, he settled on the same one I was using. 😛 Matt you’re a punk.

But instead of really drastically altering that theme, I just decided to choose another one and start poking around the code. I’m not a pro at CSS, which makes editing WordPress themes quite a challenge for me. But I hacked together some code from several different themes, plus some guess-and-check coding, and got a few things working that weren’t in the original theme. (Getting the comments code working so it didn’t look like crap was a nightmare.) I’ve still got a few bugs to work out, but if you notice anything broken let me know!