Monday, March 31, 2008

Welcome to the New South, Part 6

Opening Day. One of the greatest days of the year. The Mets open this season against the Marlins and I am hopeful that this season will be better than last season. So far, it seems that they're off to a good start.

I just wish I could watch the games.

I'll settle for the radio.

Welcome to the New South, Part 5

I wish they had stairs in this hotel. I feel like a jerk taking the elevator to the second floor.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Welcome to the New South, Part 4

The interviews today went extremely well. I'm very excited about the prospect of pursuing both positions (and the one I interviewed for yesterday). It is very reassuring to know that there are other people in this world who care about Student Affairs as much as, if not more, those I've already come into contact with. With each passing minute my career choice seems better and better.
I've also went to the gym the past two days, helping me to get back on that horse. After a week of being tired/sick/stressed, getting into a weight room felt good.
There was a marathon this morning-it made me think of Mom.

Welcome to the New South, Part 3

Yesterday was fun. Dinner at the Hard Rock took forever (an hour wait?!?!) but it was a nice experience. I ordered the Brisket sandwich, and just ate the brisket. It was fatty and tough, and no flavor. Nothing like Mom used to make.
I slept like a rock and just got back from the gym (and was briefly locked out of my room). But everything is everything, and I'm ready to hit up at least two more interviews today.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Welcome to the New South, Part 2

Well, I'm feeling better. Good thing. I was on time for my interview. Good thing. The suit looked good and I was ready to go. All good things.
Except a miscommunication meant that I missed my interview. Bad thing. It is rescheduled for tomorrow morning. Good thing.
After the interesting goings on of this morning, I went tourist with Heather. We walked around downtown Atlanta and hit up the Coke factory. It was pretty cool, and everyone has to try Beverly soda if they get a chance. I have to say that playing tourist was a nice change of pace. Side note: the pastrami on rye I had was great; very peppery. They only had yellow mustard though- big time party foul.
So here I am attempting to relax before my next interview (which is in just under two hours). And then maybe the gym...who knows.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Welcome to the New South, Part 1

Well, I'm here in Atlanta. It's beautiful- I was able to walk around without a sweatshirt. True gloriousness.
The flight down was uneventful. I started (and have since finished) a pretty sweet book by Charlie Hudson about a zombie hunting vampire. Total nerdom wrapped into one tight crime novel package. I love it.
I am fighting a cold, but tons of sleep is helping to remedy that. My suits managed to arrive without any serious wrinkles. Right now it's really hurry up and wait, and fight the headaches.
This is proving to be a nice experience- I already have run into another Bearcat.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Cause my friends are f**in' awesome...

Here's a secret about nerds:
Get two of us together, and we will have the best conversations ever. Alone, nerds just are mildly awkward fountains of useless information and Star Wars trivia. In groups of two or more, however, is where the nerd really shines. Here, profound literary references go hand in hand with citing the Legend of Zelda. Big words fly out of mouths following rediculous statements aboutt he sexual prowess of Optimus Prime. It is all at once eloquent and disturbing, like a swan crashing into a speeding truck. I urge those of you who have yet to witness such a conversation to find two nerds and have them talk, you will be pleasantly surprised (and possibly mortified).

Bonus Section: Sample conversation starters
Who would win in a fight: The Trix Rabbit or Lion-O from the Thundercats?
Admiral Ackbar: greatest sea creature of all time?
Web comics- that's all you have to say.
Zombies vs. Ninjas vs. Pirates: Who wins this battle royale?
Jason Statham: Is he awesome or what?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Welcome to the New South; Prologue

I head to the ACPA conference on Friday down in Atlanta. It will be my first time in Atlanta and my second conference in three weeks. I am tired, excited, exhausted, elated, and all sorts of other things. I am looking forward to getting into some warmer weather for a few days and am very hopeful about creating prospects for my ever present job search. Speaking of which, I'll be kicking it into high gear again once I get back from Atlanta.

And there will be another mix tape coming up in the future.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Saturday, March 22, 2008

We live in life in our own way...

I bought my first CDs in over a year today. When I moved to Buffalo, I shipped my Magic cards and my CDs in a package together. UPS lost that package. Since that time I've just acquired music digitally, but I have to say it feels very good to own physical music again.
Two live albums: Good Riddance and Bouncing Souls. Life is good.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Hear what I'm sayin'...

Something awesome happened today, and it involved the Yankees (and not my beloved Mets).
The Yankees played an exhibition game at Virginia Tech against their college baseball team after attending a memorial ceremony for those who were lost in the tragedy last year.

There are so many things right with this act that I cannot begin to describe them all.

I'm going to focus on one: the power of sport. I love baseball, and I think it is a language that much of America speaks in one way or another. The Yankees scream America in a certain way (look at their logo and their name for cryin' out loud). This game today was a healing process for the Hokies and for America, I feel. America, in two icons, reached out and offered support.
The Yankee players said the right things and acted the right way, trying to bring some amount of relief to what is no doubt still a trying and emotional environment.
For one of the few times in my life, I'm going to say this (but don't you dare hold it against me Mr. Met): Go Yankees.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

It's not what you say or do...

Today was a good day. After not really wanting to play, I changed my mind, logged into MTGO, and won the first Classic PDC event of the season. Playing is fun, winning is better (what...I like to win).

I was also listening to Rehasher today-Roger from LTJ's other band. It just reminded me of the first time I hear pop-punk with Dougherty, and how awesome that made me feel.

I miss my bro.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

God Loves a Liar

I know I said I wanted to keep up the exercise, and I do. But this week has kicked my ass, so I slept in.
Sometimes, biology wins over desire.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Goodbye to Boston, part 8 and wrap up

I'm back in Buffalo. The trip is over and was largely a success. I saw the person who interviewed me for the school in Colorado this morning, who told me that I should be hearing from someone in their office soon. Good sign.
Conferences are both validating and motivating. I know I picked the proper line of work and that makes me feel good. But then I see the physiques on some people, and I get extremely motivated to continue working out. Validating and motivating; good things.
So now it's time for my ultimate Boston road trip play list. These are the songs that I feel really captured the feel of my trip in sum. These are songs I like, and therefore, do not apply to you.

Dropkick Murphy's: "I'm Shipping up to Boston", "Skinhead on the MBTA", "Boys on the Docks"
Three great songs that describe the trip to the city, getting around town, and the view of the Bay I had from the conference center. These songs represent some of the best aspects of the Murph's: aggressive rhythms and vocals, sing-along anthems, and catchy folk based tunes.

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones: "A Jackknife to a Swan", "They Came to Boston"
What can I say about the Bosstones except that they totally kick ass. "Jackknife" is a great song about the working class of Boston and the lives the people live. Just a great heartfelt tribute song. "They Came" really describes how I felt as a tourist. Yeah, I belong in a city, but is Boston really a place for me? Great mellow beat that leads into an aggressive and subtle outro.

Big D and the Kids Table: "LAX", "I'm Yours Boston"
LAX goes without question. If you need to know why this is on the play list, you are reading the wrong blog.
"I'm Yours" is a whiny melodic tribute. This could have easily been the cover of "New England," but I felt that this song captures the feel of the city and the conference much better. Also, better driving song- this is a road trip after all.

The Flatliners: "This Respirator"
Just a flat out awesome song about life on the road. Short and punchy with a great hook and kick-ass lyrics, this song fits well on nearly every road trip.

The Fad: "Bright Lights"
A typical tour song, but with such emotion that I had to include it here. Hardcore punk mixed with tight ska jams and punchy vocals makes for an excellent anthem for the road.

The Gaslight Anthem: "Drive"
We all know I love this band, but seriously, this song is awesome. Another East Coast anthem about life on the road. Another must for any good road trip.

The Bouncing Souls: "East Coast, Fuck You"
It mentions Boston by name. It's by the Souls. It gets the check.

Smoke or Fire: "Goodbye to Boston"
Good enough to be the title for this opus of posts, there is something about this song that makes you want to sing it from the top of your lungs. I can think of no better song to be playing as I drive out of the city. I had to settle for playing it on my iPod. Good enough.

Goodbye to Boston, part 7

I'm sitting in the hotel lobby, all checked out (or so I think). This trip has been awesome and great fun (but now I'm ready to sleep for days). A couple of thoughts before I go, even though I'll probably summarize everything this evening.
Last night I decided to walk the streets looking for a place to eat. I decided on a Pizzeria Uno. The food was great, but I witnessed a group of youth pull the old "dine & dash." Seriously though, the way this place was set up (narrow walkways instead of the larger dining areas I was used to in such restaurants), it is no surprise that some people would try and pull that off.
It is really scary to think that in under two months, I will be starting all over, probably in a new state far away from everything I've become familiar with. I was talking with Trish about this last night; it's nice to know I'm not the only nervous one.
It's also weird, I keep telling people I want to be near an urban environment. Few people have figured out that this is code for "I want to be by Jews." Granted, I tend to be private in that sort of thing. But even so, use your head peoples.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Goodbye to Boston, part 6

This experience is turning out to be a fun one. I love Boston, I love the conference, I love the people in my profession. It is nice to know that down the line I will be happy with the career path I have chosen.
Everyone from UB has been incredibly supportive of my interview process (still on going). I is great to have people who I rarely have an opportunity to speak with ask me about my process. Again, I love this profession.
Side note from a city boy: the T runs under the convention center and growing up in NYC I'm used to the noises that vibrations that are associated with a subway traveling beneath my feet. Some of my colleagues, not so much. Makes for some interesting conversation.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Goodbye to Boston, part 5

I just went to a session on blogging and Facebooking as tools for developing student communities. About thirty minutes in, I realized that I was just wasting space because I had been to a similar session last year, and left.

What do you think? Is this blog a useful student affairs tool?

Goodbye to Boston, part 4

So you can tell I'm obsessed with a place when I start looking on Hillel for how many Jews there are in a given area.
And now I anxiously await a few e-mails and phone calls from some professionals in the Rocky Mountain State.
It'd be interesting to move into a different time zone, that's for sure.
But this is all jumping the gun a bit. I know everything will work out and when I find mt fit, I will find my fit.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Goodbye to Boston, part 3

The interviews are over, and I am relieved. They were fun, informative, and basically what I expected. One went well, one did not.
The one that did not go well didn't go poorly. Rather, it was just a bad fit. It was a nice interview, but the philosophy of the institution and my own did not meet. I hope this school finds a candidate that will work in their motif, and wish them nothing but the best.
The other interview went very well. Not in the actual Placement location, I was able to relax. The woman interviewing me was kind and we seemed to really hit it off. We are currently trying to set up a secondary interview with her school's director of student life. So to me, that is a very very good thing.

PS, I'm still tired, even though I have a ton of sugar and caffeine coursing through my system.

Goodbye to Boston, part 2

So I'm sitting here in the candidate room, waiting patiently for ten AM to arrive. I really just hope my interviewer remembered to set his clock forward, or else I am going to be quite late.
I managed to get quite a bit of sleep last night, although I have no idea of the exact amount. I think I got into bed before ten, and woke up right before seven. Throw in the clock shift, and I think I got approximately 17 hours of sleep.

And then I cut myself shaving this morning.

I just had the realization that we ate at a tourist trap last night. I hate tourist traps (even if this one was a good one).

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Goodbye to Boston, part 1

After sleeping one hour (from 3 to 4 am Saturday), it was time to get ready to sit in a van for seven hours on the way to Boston. Thankfully, the drive was relatively smooth and we were a step ahead of the worst weather. We made it to Trish's home for a wonderful "farm" breakfast that was more than I usually eat in a day. It was awesome.
I managed to sleep a few extra hours the van, but even as I type this, I'm pretty darn tuckered out.
Make it to the conference after getting lost on the streets of Boston for a little bit. Get my name badge but wasn't able to get my materials for Placement.
I head out with the First Year Cohort to this restaurant called Dick's Last Resort where the service is awesome, in that they insult you to your face all the time. It's a nice change of pace and makes for some very entertaining dinner time conversation. I want to write more, but I'm totally knackered. And on top of that, I just walked in the rain for far too long.

Friday, March 7, 2008

New Day

I leave for NASPA tomorrow. I have two interviews and a long van ride with friends. Should be fun. I'll let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Use your nose

So today a woman walks into my office, and she smelled like Jess. I don't mean to sound creepy, but it was the same shampoo or perfume or something. It wasn't a bad smell, but, I mean, the scent just brought back memories I keep trying to separate myself from. My sense memory with scent is very strong, so one whiff can bring back a whole mess of thoughts.
What happened today was especially disconcerting. One second I'm fine and doing work, and the next moment I'm holding back some tears just because the floodgates opened.
I know I'm going to have to get used to these things, but, dammit, I wish they wouldn't.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Kids of the Blackhole

This week has been long, but not in a bad way. We interviewed candidates for next year's program and they were all wonderful. I do no envy those who have to make the decisions about who gets in.
I've also come into possession of two Copyrights album (including Learn the Hard Way) bringing my count to all four of their albums. It boggles my mind how a band can put out four stellar albums in five years and yet some bands never put out one album that is as strong as any one of the Copyrights' offerings.
Again, this is what music should be: fun and real. These are songs that could easily have happened to me or people I know. These are emotions I experience on a daily basis set to a beat that makes me forget all the bad stuff.
Anyway, I guess a mini-review of Learn the Hard Way is in order.
This album is amazing- under 30 minutes but you'd never guess, because if you're like me you're playing it two times at least, on loop.
The first track, "Second Hearse, Same as the First" is everything pop-punk should be: catchy melodies, driving beat, and great lyrics that you can scream at the top of you lungs. Hell, every song on this album fits that description, but they do not get repetitive or tiresome. Instead, every song has its own personality and face while still being eminently catchy and smile inducing.
My favorite track off of the album right now is "Out of Ideas," a veritable ode to the unmotivated. On days like today, it is the anthem you need to know that sometimes it's okay to do nothing and just "roll with the punch drunk love song."