Friday, October 31, 2008
This is the story of the weirdest night of my life. Well that may be an exaggeration because i have had some strange experiences in my life but this one was definitely in the top few of my list.
Friday, October 31, 2008 at approximately 1:30 AM upon leaving my dormitory and meeting my roommate outside who was returning from a bar in an ultimate fighter costume, and not in a good mood because it was about 40 degrees outside, and when he arrived at the bar he realized that costumes where optional, so in other words he was in shorts and boxing gloves and there where normal people dressed in normal clothes there... As i walk out the doors and greet him and also laugh at his chicken legs, i see out of the corner of my eye three shadows coming around the corner and immediately disregard them merely as other people coming back from similar events. I take out a cigarette and give it to my roommate and then take one out for my self and spark this heavenly invention that is nothing but liberating after a taxing night of drinking, and so we begin to smoke and and converse about the night as it had played out for the both of us who decided to go our separate ways in terms of partying that night since he had been invited by someone i didnt know and i was invited by someone he didnt know to our respective partying locals.
As we talk amongst ourselves, he hears a noise as do i, but keep in mind we can both drink and both have drank on this night, so our minds may or my not be playing with us, but the chances that we both hear the same sound that doesnt exist at the same time is just rather unlikely so we, being ambitious and explorative, decide to face this possible predator. As quickly as we made that decision, we where surrounded. Not by beast or machine (keep in mind we are in Boston and wildlife is sparse at best and robots dont exist yet...) We where surrounded by women, three of them. Not your average women or average human being for that matter.
These where mimes. Although the date say October 31, i am talking about Thursday night before Halloween so although still acceptable, costumes where, in my mind a little bit much for this night, which would explain why i was not in costume where as my roommate was. Now that i have u thinking about berets and face paint and striped shirts, im going to confuse you a bit. These women, or silly little girls, as i would like to describe due to their lack of sensibility, where simply dressed in all black, with hoodies and sunglasses on in the middle of the freezing night. These girls surrounded me and my roommate whilst performing acrobatic maneuvers of course without saying a word. As you can imagine, in our inebriated states, we where slightly confused, but more shocked then anything.
After we sort of surrendered to them and asked of their motive, they simply would not respond and where in fact somewhat well trained in the art of miming. One in particular did nothing but stand idly with her arms crossed and lips sealed. While the other two allowed us to interrogate them with very little in the way of answers. At this point you may be thinking to your self, why dont you just walk away? they most likely aren't going to assault you and if you just go into your building, that will be the end of that. My answer to that is you had to be there, because if you where, you would be as puzzled and intrigued by such mannerisms as i was, and would therefore be committed to solving this mystery, that is why do this?, and why us?, and why tonight? After about a half an hour we had made some headway, in that we got them to nod in agreement and disagreement but often answers would conflict with previous answers so we basically go nowhere.
It is now 2:00 AM and my roommate in shorts, is developing hypothermia and wants to be done with this. I am persistent though and need answers. So i vow to stay outside until one of them speak. So i grab one of them and sit them down, of course with out the use of force but sort of a friendly come with me gesture. I sit at a table and she sits in the chair next to me and i begin to ask her simple questions like who are you? and why are you doing this to us? and to no avail i get frustrated and stand up at which point she stands up and graps my chest and unzips my jacket and just wags her finger no. I look her up and down, and she happens to have a very attractive figure so i sit. She then proceeds to put her nose on my face and slowly inhale and blow air in my face. As confused as i was by this, it did give me an answer which was that at least she had not been drinking because as we all know when you drink your breathe stinks of booze. So sober as a bird, she is blowing air in my face and i am just wondering how i got in that position.
After about an hour of this nonsense, i start to notice a system of hierarchy among them. The one who was blowing air in my face was clearly the Alpha of the group. I knew this because the communicated by head gestures and the other two would always look at her for their next move. The one who stood completely still was the guard. She made sure we didnt try to run and showed no emotion. Lastly the third member of this trio was the class clown. She was constantly moving and doing cartwheels and laying in odd positions on the ground, so she was there simply for entertainment. After dealing with the Alpha, i started to look very closely at her face among other parts of her body, so that in the event that i get out of this predicament alive, i will be able to somewhat recognize her, and possibly confront her in the normal dimension that we live our daily lives in.
At this point it is coming up on 3:00 AM and my roommate now has some frostbite and gangrene on his legs. He is fed up and decides it is time to go inside because he doesnt care enough about who they are. So no i am left alone with this three girls and not only am i out numbered but i am scared because now that he has gone, the hone in on me and begin rubbing my arms and all but the guard blow air in my face. I stand up and say stop! who are you?!?! At that moment, they look at the Alpha and she nods and they all run in different directions away from me and regroup at the bottom of the steps and run around the corner on to their residence obviously other then mine.
After all that freezing, i have had enough as well and let them go. As angry and confused as i was i had formed a mental picture of the Alpha and am now ready to approach her when i see here. I dont know if she will play dumb and make me sound crazy, or if she will actually talk to me and explain her and her friend's actions. I wont show any aggression but rather congratulate her on a good show unless of course she was bitter that i called her out on it.
This evening, November 3, 2008, i was outside smoking again, and i looked up at a girl who was walking at me and sort of squinted at her in disbelief because she was walking into my building. I was the Alpha. Upon looking up at me from her downward stare while she was on the phone, we made eye contact and she can just tell that i know. She cracks the tiniest of smiles and shifts her eyes back to the ground with again the tiniest of winks, and keeps on her B-line to the door, in hopes i assume, that i dont follow her in. As i take a drag and stand there in disbelief, i now know a little bit more about my attackers, and i will approach her the next time i see her and at least try to get a name... maybe a number too...
That is the story of one of the weirdest nights of my life, i hope you enjoyed and if u have any similar or different experiences, post a comment or just tell me what you thought of the story.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
As you may or may not know this weekend is the last race weekend of the 2008 Formula 1 racing season in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and as the World Series and the Super Bowl are the biggest events in sports to most Americans, this race is the last chance for my favorite driver, Lewis Hamilton, to clinch the Formula 1 World Championship Title, which is without dispute bigger then any professional sports title in the world.
For those of you who don't even know what Formula 1 is, it is a motor sport and it is not those sad excuses of drivers who make 500 mile long ovals in NASCAR. Formula is the New York Yankees of the racing world, the most prestigious and highest grossing sport world wide with hundreds of thousands of spectators at each race in 15 different countries around the world. Formula 1 is run by the governing body known as the F.I.A. (Federation Internacional de Automobile) and has ten teams this season all with two drivers and cars, for example McLaren Mercedes, Ferrari, BMW Sauber, and Red Bull Racing.
Lewis Hamilton, McLaren's number 1 and his teammate Heiki Kovalainen have had an outstanding season with 145 Constructors Championship points good enough for second so far but still attainable with a 1,2 finish in Brazil. And as for Lewis, he has 5 first place finishes this season and he is leading the Drivers Championship with 94 points which puts him just 7 points ahead of Brazilian National Felipe Massa who will try to close that gap on his home track in front of his home crowd. Lewis doesn't need to win the final race although it would be nice, he just needs to make sure he finishes ahead of Massa.
Right now you may be asking yourself how i could say that it is the most prestigious championship in the world ahead of the Super Bowl and the World Series, so i will tell you why. Believe it or not, Formula 1 drivers are the most conditioned athletes in the world simply because if they aren't, they would die. Drivers experience up to 5 G's constantly for about two hours that the races normally take. As you can imagine, this puts an enormous stress on the body of the driver and if he is not at peak condition he would not last the race. Each team has a team doctor that monitors the driver as they drive and their progress throughout the weeks leading up to the race to make sure they are absolutely in perfect condition.
As for my passion for the sport, i always had an interest in it because i like cars, and i like going fast and these just happen to be the fastest cars... But it really all began last summer when i had the opportunity to go to Canada for the Gran Prix du Canada at the Circuit Gilles Villenueve track and got to experience the raw power of these finely tuned machines. Just the roar that they made as the flew by at speeds approaching 200 mph or around 321 kph was enough for me i was like a kid loosing his virginity it was just baffling, almost scary and on the first past i was taken a back. You can just imagine, as they downshift 6 gears to hit a corner at 45 mph from 200 feeling almost 5 G's it is just insane. This race was also special to me because it was Lewis Hamilton's first career win in his rookie season which is quite a feet because there have been drivers who go their entire career without winning a single race. It is in fact history which i was a part of especially since this may be the year that he wins the title in just his second season.
That is F1 racing for me, i love it and always will unless something drastically stupid is done by the F.I.A. in which i will try my best to still watch it and enjoy it. I hope after whoever is reading this does so, they watch a race or at least become somewhat interested in what is in my opinion the greatest sport on earth.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Chuck Palahniuk, one of todays contemporary American writers, known for his book Fight Club which was subsequently made into a movie starring Brad Pitt and Edward Norton.
I just finished reading one of his novels called Choke. Now if you have never read a Palahniuk book, and you would like to, i must inform you that they are certainly not G rated. They are in fact quite graphic and sometimes contain a lot of violence and sexual activity. I am personally a huge fan of his work so it doesn't bother me, plus i am in a pre-dental program at college so im am not afraid to get my "hands dirty" so to speak. Choke is not his best work, but enjoyable none the less, and it is also short and sweet at just 293 pages.
The book is basically about a sex addict named Victor Mancini who is going through somewhat of a crisis. He has dropped out of medical school and is now working at a colonial re-enactment town named Colonial Dunsboro where everyone who works there is basically a degenerate failure at life just like him, and one of those degenerates is his best friend Denny who spends most of his time in the stocks which if you may or may not not is the equivalent to a colonial holding cell except it is in the town square, it is mad of wood and you put your head and arms into holes and it locks you into place bent over for everyone to point, laugh, and harass you. Denny spends most of his time there because the idea of the town is to be as authentic as possible so everytime he hums a song that is on the radio or says dude or smokes weed or has a modern t-shirt on under his colonial dress, he get put in the stocks.
Anyway back to Victor, he is going through somewhat of a crisis because his mom is in a nursing home and he can't afford to keep her alive with his shit job, so he decides to go to fancy restaurants and pretends to choke on his food until someone saves him. The idea behind this is that people thrive on being someone's hero and they will never forget the person they saved. Basically it completes the persons life and they feel whole, like they actually have a purpose in life, which somehow after he is "rescued" Victor delivers a sob story that make the person feel like they have to do everything in their power to make his life better, which leeds to them sending him whatever money they can spare. Now after doing this at every restaurant in his area, you can imagine that the money is flowing in. But this is where i sort of lost some interest in the book because it was sort of far fetched, in other words i don't think that would work in real life but i guess that is why this is considered a fictional novel.
Sex addicts are pretty funny people if you where to look at them through a two-way mirror, which is why i think Palahniuk chose to write the book about one. Victor the sex addict has a sex scene in just about every other chapter of the book which adds to the hilarity of the book because sex addict don't have just plain sex, they do it in crazy ways, for example one of Victors many partners has a fantasy of being raped but not really raped so she asks him to climb through her window with a ski mask and a knife and rape her but not really rape her. Just make it seem as if he is aggressive and has absolute power over her but it ends up that Victor does it all wrong and fucks everything up so she gets pissed off and makes him beat off while she plays with herself so as you can imagine, Victor does not like this and he ends up spooging all over her favorite bed covers. I thought this was hilarious because sex addicts just can't have normal sex, but don't get me wrong it is a serious problem that many people suffer from and if you have this problem you should seek help.
Along with all of his problems between work and his mother and his sex life, he meets the doctor who was assigned to care for his mother named Doctor Paige Marshall. The problem with Doctor Marshall is that she is almost too good to be true, and Victor doesn't see her as an object like he does every other girls he sleeps with, he actually feels a connection and love for her. This becomes more prevalent of an issue when she presents him with a dilemma, that is, his mother will die if he does not get her a feeding tube because the Alzheimer's disease has made her basically forget how to eat, and seeing as how he can barely afford to keep her there to begin with, this feeding tube is way out of the budget, so she comes up with another solution which is to sleep with her for procreation purposes only in order to use stem cells to regenerate her brain cells from the unborn fetus. But now that Victor has this love interest in her, he for some reason can't not perform when it comes to sleeping with her.
One thing i really liked about this book was the way Palahniuk wrote about a child who was, one can assume, Victor and how the child's mother like Victor was a degenerate who spent her life in and out of prison for various crimes, and every time she got out, she would kidnap the child back from whatever foster home or adoptive family he was with, and of course the child would think nothing of it because as Palahniuk put it, he was a "stupid little boy" and so it went. The boy basically learned all of these life lessons from his mother who of course was making everything up as they ran from all of the authorities who where after them. Although i like the way it was written i again get this feeling of how utterly impossible these situations where. The mother would get out of prison and some how find out exactly where in the country her kid was and then kidnap him by a secret message that the kid would use as a cue, for example a fire alarm being pulled or a certain name being read over the PA system of whatever building they where in. but again it is a fiction novel so i guess anything is possible.
Victor's friend Denny is as screwed up as Victor only his problem is alcoholism so he begins to collect rocks for everyday that he is sober and now that he was kicked out of his house, he moves in with Victor and fills up his house with rock to the point that there are rocks in the tub and freezer and everywhere. So one day while digging for rocks Denny tells Victor that he has a piece of land left to him from his dead relative so they begin to put the rocks there and Denny begins building something. No one knows what it is but i guess this is therapeutic for Denny.
To add to Victor's long list of problems, his mother's diary contains all of his life secrets including who he really is but it is in Italian so he obviously cant read it but Dr. Marshall is apparently fluent in Italian so she reads it for him and convinces him that he is the son of Christ so this leads him to form some sort of a God complex and leads him to think he can perform miracles and heal people.
After all of this, Victor kills his mother because she loses the motor skills that give her the ability to chew and swallow so she chokes on chocolate pudding and dies. Dr. Marshall comes in and reveals a secret to Victor which i will not reveal because i will leave it up to you read it for your self. So in the end Victor leaves us with, "We can spend our lives letting the world tell u who we are. Sane or insane, Saint or sex addicts. Heroes or victims. Letting history tell us how good or bad we are. Let our past decide our future. Or we can decide for ourselves, And maybe it's our job to invent something better."
I would personally give this book a 7 out of 10 and although i really enjoyed the read, i felt that some of the concepts where a little farfetched but well written and very funny, and i would agree that Palahniuk is very comparable with author Kurt Vonnegut in that he picks these thin ice topics and makes them funny yet serious at the same time.
thanks for reading.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Ok so my name is Jon and i am currently a junior at Northeastern University in Boston, MA. i am studying Biology with hopes of becoming a dentist.
Now i understand that college is supposed to be hard and you as an individual are supposed to start leaving your childhood behind to start some sort of a makeshift career. And i don't know about the rest of the world, but for the past 20 years i have been in my childhood and teenage years, and i found that it was in a very comfortable little niche. I have almost no regrets about my childhood, i am proud and appreciative of the way my parents raised me, even though it was sometimes frustrating for example, things like having a curfew and not always being able to be out with my friends didn't always satisfy my social needs, but in the end i believe i am a better person from it and i do plan on someday raising my own kids in a similar fashion to my own upbringing.
Anyways, don't get me wrong, i love college, i love being in Boston, i've made some great and some not so great friends and people that i'm sure i'll be in contact with throughout the rest of my life. Partying is not necessarily my forte but i do get out and go to parties and meet different people and obviously drink heavily. The thing i enjoy most about Boston is the fact that although miniscule compared to New York, it is still bigger then the relatively flat Yorktown Heights, and by flat i mean boring and nothing to do but loiter at the shitty mall or go to a movie at the insanely over priced movie theater. So just the fact that i don't have to drive to go anywhere because there is civilization outside my doorstep, and i can walk around and see the sights really helped me make my decision to come here for school.
Back to the initial goal of this opinion. COLLEGE. Such a bitter sweet almost fantasy. You are on your own, away from the family for most of us the first time. Exploring your sexuality and new found ability to drink massive amounts of alcohol. Experimenting with drugs, not my thing, but we all do it to see what all the fuss is about. My younger brother described my freshmen dorm as a hotel room with no furniture, and i agreed it was like staying at a hotel. A strange new place with a stranger in it (your room mate(s)). This new found freedom lasts anywhere from 3-5 days that the school gives you to settle in, and then classes start. Now for some people classes are their thing, they where straight A students in high school and thoroughly enjoy learning, and for others going to college is more of a social acceptance experience, meaning that they go because thats what everyone does, even if they are not learning what they wanted to learn about or if they would rather be contributing the cesspit that is our economy by working, or maybe they want to join the military? who knows, but if i where to describe myself, i'd say i was in the middle somewhere which leads me to my point.
If you put a lot into something, you would not be happy if on the way out you got very little in return. What i mean is the tuition at Northeastern is currently between $45-$47 thousand dollars and on the rise. So in theory, you would expect all aspects of this fine institution to be insanely catering to my every need and want. But here it is quite the contrary. Back to what i said before, i completely understand that i am now becoming an adult and i need to sort of fend for my self more then i am used to, but with out all the drama and blood i feel like a baby tossed into a pit of alligators.
In my experience, i go to class of course and find the 4 out of my 6 professors do not practice english as their primary language, which i guess i can deal with but after all we are in America where we speak English. Now in these classes i also find that there is a general knowledge expected of everyone which not everyone will have depending on their educational background. For example, the shit hole of a high school that is Yorktown High School did not prepare me in the least for what was to come. Therefore on day one i am behind, which means i already need help getting this general knowledge, which means tutors, and i will say that that is one thing Northeastern has a good amount of. I am now behind and having trouble understanding what the teachers are saying and i find myself thinking... is this really worth 45k??, am i getting what i paid for?
Now don't get me wrong in terms of facilities, amenities, and things to do on campus NU is no doubt in the top percent of functioning modern campuses. The gym is amazing, the cafeteria is not half bad, and the student center is just a melting pot of everything and anyone here. But i must say the Academic and Advisory Staff is severely lacking.
For example just before this semester, i was not registered for an elective class which i needed in order to have a full schedule with enough credits to be considered a full time student. It was getting pretty close to the start of the semester and i'll admit it was my fault for not having registered, but at the time that i was registering for all of my other classes i just could not decide which elective i wanted to take so i said eh i'll think about it over the summer... well summer came and went and i didnt yet have an elective. So when i went online to register i noticed that all the electives i would even consider taking where full. Logically i emailed my academic advisor, whom i now despise for his incompetence and inability to ADVISE anyone, and i told him about my dilemma, which i knew he could fix with a few mouse clicks, and he proceeded to email me back saying he couldn't help me and that he wasn't sure how to do what i asked of him because it crossed department lines or some bullshit like that. As you can imagine i because extremely frustrated and had to take matters into my own hands. And although i missed two classes i eventually got into my elective by getting a add slip and getting it signed by like four different people and then finally i was registered in the class. At this moment almost as if it was day one all over again i found myself thinking... is this really worth 45k??, am i getting what i paid for?
Maybe it's just me and its just NU but i sometimes feel like i'm climbing Mt. Everest without a Sherpa, and i'm slowly but surely running out of oxygen. But if it isn't just me and it is like this at other schools for whoever may or may not read this just know that next time you are in class and you feel like you are struggling with the material or are having a hard time understanding what is going on and why no one is available to help you, you aren't alone, and you just need to do whatever you can and scrounge what ever help you can get to get by and make something of yourself.
By: Jonathan C.