Friday, April 3, 2009

Why run for president?

Inspirational words from the President.

"There is nothing more noble than public service..."

Friday, March 27, 2009

Music Video from Today

In case you guys wanted to see the rest of that video...

Glenn Gould performing the end of Bach's Goldberg Variations

Ronnie's Blog

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Craig's Blog



the 2 picture posts was intended for Lisa's and mine Senioritis blog =[


heres our media project/blog:

Almost there!

Waiting anxiously for OUR day to come!! just 3 more months guys!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Dick Tracey Bankruptcy Court

Dick Tracey is being fought over in bankruptcy court. Mostly because Tribune Co. filed for Chapter 11 in December. In the coming months I wonder if we will hear about more cases that are similar

Thursday, March 19, 2009


It is something none of us ever truely want to think about, yet we know sometime in our lives we are going to have to face it. Whether its a family memeber, or your closest friend dealing with the death of one you know is never an easy task. Going to the funeral home and seeing the casket which lies the body of the deceased person is like a ten thousand pound boulder smashing into your stomach leaving tears streaming down your face. There is noo comparison to the overwelling emotion that takes place over the death of a loved one. That person will be the one you're going to think about, miss the most, and can't believe they're gone for the following days, weeks, months and years. You never understand why they had to leave, why were they the one whos life needed to end? Even with their physical body gone, their spirit and presence remains in your heart and mind forever. They will never be forgotten.

xo sam
P.S. At the cemetary today I noticed the last names on the headstones were written in Helvetica.

What is this???

I wish my eyes were a camera

I found myself saying this phrase throughout the entire trip to Columbia. Myself an avid people watcher, New York City is one of my favorite places in the world. Simply taking the subway everywhere was one of my absolute favorite things. If I had my way, I would ride up and down the lines for hours until I needed some fresh air.

Helvetica? I think so.

The main reason I wish my eyes were a camera, however, is Wednesday night.

After our first day of treking across Columbia University and dinner at Ollie's Noodle Shop, our group filed into the lobby of the Pennsylvanian Hotel, amongst many foreign tourists and the like. Since the elevator situation is basically first come first serve, Ari, Liz S., and myself pushed our way into a croweded car of drunk Scottish men. Before the doors even close, a pale skinny man starts stripping himself of his shirt! Maybe I need to repeat this for you slow readers or skimmers.


I am telling you, this man wasted absolutely no time. Since all of us were getting off at the third floor, in less than 30 seconds, he was wearing a birthday suit. He then started to push toward Ari, myself, and another young man behind Ari, who was just caught in this crazy elevator with these crazy people. When we finally got to the third floor, we all stumbled off, the former pantless man now wearing his jeans, laughing hysterically.

I guess you can never tell with some people. One moment you think they are cute foreign tourists, the next, they are stripping in your elevator.

P.S. We met Tim Gunn. Lyke zOMG.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Monday, March 16, 2009

think about the evolution of this post

As I begin to write this, it is 11:53. Joy. I should be writing up historical context on John Keats, but he was kind of lame. He produced a little bit of really mediocre poetry for about 3 years and then died of tuberculosis. He's overshadowed by Percy Shelley. What else is there to say? Learning about all these British poets is like learning about the impressionist painters other than Monet and Van Gogh. If they were important, we'd have heard of them already, or there would be a ton of readily accessible information about them. I'm basically transliterating the wikipedia article onto Microsoft word with a little bit of a biography from integrated in so that I don't feel quite so bad.
But I guess the meat of this post would have to be the idea that the internet is too expansive to imagine. Honestly, the human race is to the internet as god is to the cosmos. We control an ever expanding, unconquerable domain. And just think about the miniscule fraction of the internet that the average American (not the average human, considering the assumed fact that most humans will never have access to the internet) will explore. I spend my internet time on facebook, wikipedia, and a tiny bit of It's kind of interesting to categorize the different types of sites too. Galaxies would be divided into the social networking or the reference, the shopping or the professional. Planet facebook is a web of interconnected elements, each with the characteristics of the divine, yet just as inanimate as the wind or the waves. I guess the question (that only surfaced as this post developed) is the same one that religious fanatics and scientific researchers have debated for centuries: if that spark of life does come, will it be from us, the divinity, or will it spawn through events beyond our control and understanding?

That's some matrix shit right there.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


For the last couple of years relatives of mine have talked about how the internet will be the downfall of newspapers. Part of me has always ignored it because I honestly cannot imagine a world without newspapers. To me the most interesting part with receiving endowments is that I think it would be good that newspapers would not be allowed to endorse political candidates. Hopefully they will have less biased coverage of future elections and reinstall the integrity a lot of newspapers lost after this election.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


So today, like many other juniors in the United States, I took my SATs. Of course, I was busy focusing on the questions and trying not to get distracted. However, I could not help but notice the constant reference to the media. I can say that every English passage contained something about the media, whether it was direct or indirect. One passage had the primary focus on the media, talking about the children of our generation. Other passages mentioned communication to other countries and also the use of email. Now, I am sorry to be so broad on this, but I signed a contract saying how I would not provide any information about this test. I figured that general statements such as these are acceptable and appropriate.
To conclude, I think it's pretty interesting to have every passage contain information about the media. I guess Communications class affects me more than just period 2 from Monday- Friday.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


After i read the article, I began thinking about everything going on around me. I haven't been following the economic issues maybe because im not really effected by it. My dad owns his own business and builds buildings for companies and homes for the ever-regular Joe, and right now has about 6 jobs going on. My mom is a psychiatrist, and like she always says, "everyone out there needs help". So as I was reading this article, I began to worry. Since I was little I had always used writing as my escape from my parents nasty divorce. I always told myself that the people i saw on the train reading newspapers, will someday be in love with my articles. It's funny because a few weeks ago Hartford Magazine called me and talked to me about the way I wrote and were interested in me writing a few articles for them. Than after he finished (the editor) he said, "I wouldn't get into journalism if I were you, it's all down hill from here." I was semi perplexed and glad that someone was being honest. But perplexed because it was coming from the editor-in-chief???? But anyways, luckily I have other interests like film and photography, so I think i'll be ok (crossing fingers), but as much as people always claim that newspapers might disappear, I dont think it will really happen, everyone likes simple reading on there way to work or school (especially the older simplistic generation).

Ashley G.!!

Uh-Oh Influence

After reading this article, I immediately tried to pick up on one side of the argument... I sort of had a quick mental struggle and bounced back and forth between a few pros and cons. At first an alarm went off when I thought about donations from special interest groups, which would undoubtedly lead to some bias. My little liberal mind fast-tracked to a vision of a New York Times run on big oil money. That doesn't seem like the source of income I'd be in favor of, but I can't imagine any sort of fair regulation.

But then I realized that the influence such potential endowment-givers wouldn't be that much greater than your average scheming advertising agency, would it? What do I know about spheres of influence in the land of cash-money, I'm only making assumptions here.

Also, I read a couple responses below, and I got a completely different vibe from the article than some people. I'm not thinking about endowments as comparable to recent bailouts in the slightest. Newspapers aren't asking the government to erase their debts, they're asking for private groups to help fund their publications. Right? Isn't there a difference? Am I totally wrong? The media seems to me to be at the wrong end of the stick, which companies relying on bailouts seem to be closer to the cause of.

Blah blah blah, who knows the answer to this big moral questions, blah blah blah, not me.

Never Imaginable

The world without the newspaper, is something i clearly never imagined. How could the newspaper simply stop, and not be produced anymore. The newspaper to me is one of the most versatile media coverage ever. Including everything from the weather to the latest fashion styles, it's information that we want to know. As a teen i must admit that i don't generally read the newspaper every day. I'm more of the internet surfer, yet this is not the case with everyone. Newspapers are read world wide, from adults to kids. I understand our economy is in a severe economic crisis, yet i am informed by this through the newspaper. What will we read on every morning to inform us with what occuring in the world today? We need to solve this issue and come the conclusion that the newspaper is here to stay, and will never leave. 

Reaction to Homework Article

In all honestly, and this may be the blonde coming out in me, but I'm really kind of confused. From what I'm gettng, newspapers are experiencing economic hardship, similar to, gee, I don't know...every other business out there? Anyways, so I get that they need money, but I'm confused - do they want the government to bail them out or not? It sounds like they do, but they also wanna be "non-profit," but do they mean that in a government sense, or in someone, like a business man, owning the newspaper and therefore affecting the bias of what it prints? I'm not even going to go near the finance stuff, because, after all, I am a blonde, not to mention a girl, and me and money don't exactly tend to mix, especially where banks or analysts or any other type of expert-institution thingy is concerned. So, I guess as far as my basic, initial reaction is concerned, besides "what?" would have to

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


In response to this article I'd have to say I too am conflicted. When I am a signed an project needing research the first thing I do is jump on the computer. Or if I need to check the weather I hop on the good old internet. But the thought of losing the newspaper is scary. Its scary for the simple fact this can be the domino that could possible wipe out all print. This means no one will be able to imagine and create their own worlds while reading a book. Or be informed by the newspapers or read peoples opinions on topics they are interested in. When I read I get to picture and create my own vivid image for any story i want, with movies its created for you and sometimes it's nothing compared to what you could have thought up. And with the television being taken over by reality T.v creativity is slowly disappearing.

A world without newspapers or even books would be the end of a major part of education and progression. If newspapers, magazines and books are gone society is going to lose a vital and necessary part of life the chances to form their own opinions and think for themselves.


Almost every time I read a newspaper, a magazine, watch the news, listen to the radio, basically anything where I can hear news, I hear the word "bailout." The auto industry, banks, you name it, need bailouts from the government in order to stay afloat (some need more than others, ahem, AIG). But as I keep hearing about how these industries and companies are failing, I can't help but wonder if they deserve to fail. Why is it that these companies are getting what seems to be free money from the government?

So now newspapers need to be saved. I'm not all that surprised that they are asking for a (do I have to say it again?) bailout. Granted, this b****** is for only $5 billion, it pales in comparison to many of the other b******s (let's go with a different one this time...Bank of America). But this bailout (I'm too lazy to use those asterisks over and over again) would render the newspapers as NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS. So the newspapers would be funded solely through outside sources who don't expect anything in return. No "good" press for themselves, these contributors just want newspapers to survive. For the sake of argument, there could be some who are like that. What I think, and I know I'm just a caucasian, Jewish man, with a high school education and no "real world" experience, is that there are few people left who are truly that virtuous. Not like there isn't some bias in certain newspapers already, but I think it would be much more prevalent when given these "endowments."

Now to tackle the problem, there is a simple solution (not mine, I heard it on The Daily Show a few weeks ago), start charging money to read the day's news online. Just like people can buy a paper at a newsstand for maybe $1 a day, the people can pay $1.25 a day to read their news on the internet. This price (hypothetical) would provide the physical newspapers with an edge in price and would drive people away from their internet news. And I know that my plan is not perfect. I obviously haven't tested the theory or have any real expertise on the matter, but nowadays it seems like everyone is looking for their bailout...

Sample Dialogue (fake)
Boss-"Our company is failing, we need to file for bankruptcy. What should we do?"
Employee-"Oh I KNOW! I KNOW! Let's find new and better ways to make money!"
Boss-"Shhh, we don't care about all that fancy new things to do. We need an easy way out."
Different employee who, after his suggestion will receive a promotion-"Let's ask for a bailout from the government!"
Boss-"Great idea! It's easy, and why should we take responsibility for our failure? You get a promotion, no pay raise though."

So as it seems as if every company and every industry asks for more and more bailout money from the government, can newspapers please ask themselves if they can find some other way of making money?

Going With the Flow: Adapting to Change

This past summer, I was spoken to by Michael Weisskopf, a very well-known journalist. A senior correspondent for TIME magazine, Weisskoph was sent to Iraq on an assignment. He was riding in a tank with three other soldiers when a grenade was thrown into the vehicle. Before it could explode, he picked it up and attempted to throw it out of the tank. In doing so, he had his right hand blown up and now uses a prosthetic hand in place. He has worked for TIME for many years and loves the job of reporting and investigative journalism.
During his speech, however, he too mentioned the issue that this article brings to mind. When an audience member asked him about if he thought there was a decreasing amount of newspapers and an increasing amount of people using the internet as their main source of news, he responded with "absolutely."
At the time, this statment blew my mind. How could a man of such prestige that feels so much passion towards the magazine, a printed form of media, he works at admit defeat? How could he back down, only to let newspapers and magazines alike go completly extinct without attempting any sort of prevention or fight?
However, as he proceeded with his point, it started to make sense. He nor anyone else was "admitting defeat." They were simply adapting. Whether we like it or not, the internet is here to stay. Nothing will get worse about the internet, only better. It is highly unlikly, both in the near future and the long term, that we will revert back to the time when you got your news strictly from newspapers and other forms of printed media. Now that the internet's potential has been realized, it will not be limited.
What we need to do is find a way to make newspapers and magazines unique in a way that is not applicable to the ways of the internet. Though it will be hard to find such a way, it is possible and I believe this will someday be acheived.

Mahlon New Blog


After reading the article, I am a bit conflicted. Do not get me wrong, I am an avid Internet user. Research for a paper? Google. Article for my AP Psych Class? Internet. I hardly ever venture to a library anymore. Sad, but true. However, I am a fan of newspapers. Nothing quite gets me like the sound of the papers rustling, and all the fresh, local news that my eyes are about to set on. So, I really would like to do whatever possible to keep newspapers alive. I love reading printed materials. Whether it is newspapers, magazines, or even books, sometimes the internet cannot even compare. Let's be honest, who wants to sit at a computer all day, reading pages and pages of news? I know that I would rather have something printed, that I can hold in my hands.

That being said, I am not in total agreement with the endowments the article talks about. If a newspaper is not allowed to print information about upcoming elections and politics, what is the point? If a newspaper cannot voice their opinion, then is it defeating the purpose of the paper?

As you can see, there is no solution to this problem. The only conclusion I have come to is that in the end, not everyone will be happy.

As Video Killed the Radio Star

In life there will always been phases and trends. As video killed the radio star, it is easy to see that the Internet is killing print media. With society in need of speed and instant feedback, it is difficult to even expect a daily newspaper is going to compete with not only the Internet but a blog, or a podcast.
The percentage of people that appreciate print media is shriveling. Personally, I love having a tangible newspaper, and trust it so much more than anything I read on the Internet. There is something virtuous about a newspaper, that in my eyes at least, the Internet will never have.
But I do believe that society needs to adjust to the times. It would be unrealistic for me to believe that with all the debt, that the newspaper will survive. In these economic times, everyone needs to cut luxuries and the newspaper is becoming one of them. With the number of newspapers that have filed for bankruptcy, most economic solutions are unlikely. Couple that with the environmental issue and you have good reasons not to invest in print media.
So for now, until we reach a point where America is economically stable enough to bring back print media, newspapers companies should embrace the Internet. Without any print media to support, a strictly online newspaper will have a better chance at surviving. I am no economic expert but I feel that the 2008 research report from Sanford C. Bernstein & Company stating that ads to support and online newspaper are "is idiotic on its face" is a little extreme. There are plenty of websites that are self-sufficient and a newspaper can be one of them.
Maybe these websites need to provide something more than text content. I do not know what that would exactly be but things need to be changed. Pouring money from one place to another will not give you any solution. Some evolution needs to take place and I think the decline of print media is just the start of a new era.
This just ties in well with the start of article :)


A couple of years ago my dad expressed to me that he believed in twenty years from now written works would be a thing of the past, a keepsake whose purpose was only for nostalgia. Instead, he predicted that we'd all be carrying around tablets that contained every published work in a microchip; something that would allow us access to every book, newsource, and other publication in the country. Now, two years later, as a society that can carry around classic literature on our iPhone and will turn to Google news briefs before the newspaper, we are fast approaching my dad's premonition. The article from the New York Times was one that reinforced my dad's idea. As devastating as it is to admit, the newspaper is no longer the glory it once was, and now as publication after publication run out of money, the American public is forced to question the purpose of the paper. As an active member of my school newspaper, The Westword, I have come to understand the importance of the written word and its role in our society. Therefore, the extreme methods the article mention to preserve the newspaper, although drastic, seem to be a foolproof plan to preserve the newspaper in our history. Otherwise, the newspaper is destined only to be the next hot application in the iTunes store.

In Response...

The little boy depicted more than just a youngster carrying around a newspaper. To me, an even bigger theme was attached to this cartoon. The big hand holding him represents our society today, full of comotion and variety. He is trying to show to us that the media is needed in our hectic lifestyles today. The reason i keep emphasizing words that mean "busy" is because that is one of the vibes I recieved from this cartoon. The boy appearrs as if he is trying very hard to sell the paper and I immediatly thought of some big city behind him. This is also in relation to our society today where people are going crazy trying to find jobs in this tough economy. It was also yesterday where I realized how personal this cartoon can actually be. This upcoming summer, I have decided that I want to get a job but don't know exactly where. Currently, I want a high paying, laid back, and simple job. In addition to these wants, I have not started looking for anything as I don't want to work anyway until school ends....but I realized I should look at the situation more realistically, especially when my mom slapped me an article from the Greenwich Times. Thank you dearly, George W. Bush, for putting me into a situation where I may not be able to find a job. Thank you dearly.

I'm Skeptical....

I understand that the United States is currently experiencing an economic crisis, I understand that newspapers and other elements of print journalism are taking a big hit right now, but I do not understand why this means that we should turn newspapers into nonprofit, endowed institutions..
Although the New York Times Op-Ed piece made some very compelling arguments, the idea of newspapers relying on endowments just seems unnatural to me. Call me cynical, but the thought of wealthy individuals donating money to newspapers with no strings attached seems far too good to be true (especially considering the current economic state). The role of the newspaper has always been to objectively inform the American public about matters of pressing concern, and I just don't think it's possible for papers to continue to play this role when their bank accounts are controlled by private individuals with their own agendas.
I feel like the NYT Op-Ed piece's assertion that a newspaper could remain autonomous despite the fact that it is funded through endowments is untrue. Sadly, in this day and age, the freedom to print the stories of your choice with the angles of your choice hinges partially on your fiscal autonomy.
I understand that it would be naive and just flat out wrong for me to assert that newspapers have a chance of survival if they continue to run the way they currently do. As the NYT Op-Ed piece pointed out, newspapers which are run like businesses will only continue to fail during these economic times. However I think that, despite their seemingly dismal future, newspapers have been given a great opportunity to prove themselves and cement their role in society.
Now is not the time for newspapers to throw in the towel and give up their precious autonomy; now is the time for newspapers to reinvent themselves, alter their business approaches, and do whatever it takes to continue to survive and serve the American people. I believe that if newspapers are able to do this they will be more widely respected once this economic crisis is over.
$400 billion. That is a big number. Sadly, this is the amount of debt that important papers such as the times are facing. How did we get here? I know that the economy is in the crapper, and someone, somewhere made a mistake, and their address ended in "United States of America."
As a student who wants to pursue a career in journalism and who will definitely have to make a living off her writing, I am dismayed by the impending death of print journalism. I dont want to try to break into an industry that is crumbling at its foundation. Even as a simple fan of magazines, the affect of the economy and technological progression on print media concerns me. I love being able to physically pick up a copy of my favorite magazine, or peruse an article at length during breakfast. I do not rely on the internet for news, I simply don’t have time to spend searching for news on the computer. This might make me lazy, or ignorant, but I like reading PAPER, not PIXELS.

In addition to my personal reaction,I believe that a society's public forum is an important reflection of its' ideals, attitudes, and growth. Up until the past 10 or so years, newspapers have provided this necessary space for discussion. Although the internet has become an important component of public discussion, keeping the value in print journalism alive is necessary since the newspaper format has more authority than bloggers or internet gossip.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Homework: Must Read

This is an article about the press, the economy and the government. Everyone should read it and comment in one way, shape or format. You will be graded on the quality of your response.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Friday, March 6, 2009


Today I took my camera outside to capture the sunset against the sillouhettes of the treetops. I must have been there for about 7 minutes when I finally noticed that there was a birds nest staring me right in the face. As a kid i remember finding these on the lawn sporadically, and I would get so excited because I thought I could return them to the birds. They fascinated me until I learned that birds would never take back the nests that were touched by people. It shocked me that something so delicate and awesome was staring me in the face and I didn't even notice it. I was too occupied with my camera and the fading sun to appreciate the simplicity of nature.


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I think this guy is awesome for what he does. This one of the most interesting forms of graffit I have ever seen.


"I had watched the news and seen and heard the destruction of the 9th ward. But it’s not until you see it with your own eyes that it really sinks in and hits home. I've always believed that the spirit of skateboarding is making something out of nothing, and I have applied this mentality all over the world in any and every environment, but try as i might I could not imagine riding my skate board through the 9th ward. I did not feel it appropriate. And really, as I drove through the tattered streets, skate boarding was the farthest thing from my mind."

When I woke up yesterday morning, the feeling that can really only be described as "snow day mania" grabbed hold of me with full force. I rolled out of bed and downstairs to start a long day of lounging. I was not surprised to find the TV in my living room on, thanks to my brother who has yet to learn to shut it off when he leaves the room. What startled me was what was playing in his absence; it was a show called Drive-The South: Part 1. It quickly became background noise until I heard the quote posted above. The show was an episode in a mini series which features a skateboarder, Mike Vallely, who drives around the world exploring people, places, and issues that affect skateboarding and other aspects of youth culture.

In this episode, Vallely was driving down the devastated region of the 9th ward in New Orleans. The damage and destruction was something I was too familiar with. Having directly seen and felt the pain of those in New Orleans, this show brought a different perspective to my experience. You can never estimate how far damage and destruction will influence and affect life as we know it. I never considered that the skateboarding culture of New Orleans was affected by the hurricane. All the media mainly focused on following the storm was damage damage damage and rescue rescue rescue. Once the immediacy of the problem faded from the media's focus, New Orleans' recovery has all but faded from view. The city which was once the cause of inspiration for thousands was washed away in the months following the storm. Musicians, football players, teachers, swimmers, soccer players, students, party animals; all the facets of the city's culture has to be pieced back together, one by one, until the mosaic of life, love, and laughter which embodies New Orleans can once again be seen by all.

This was an interesting juxtaposition for me; the direct experience along with a national media perspective. Which one do you think prevails in our daily lives?

Monday, March 2, 2009

so many people dont know this but i am an anime fan.....0_o what i KNOW!!

So i watched alot of it during our wonderful break, but my favs got to be Bleach.
i would describe it but theres alot so here a pic...


Well over a break many teenagers realize just how bored you can get. Well i surely did when i and my brother played tag in a dark house and used cameras to tag the other person out.
(this was def. ROCK BOTTOM)

JERRY! JERRY! JERRY! ....and Maury Povich too

Brace yourselves Stamfordites(?), the biggest thing to come to Stamford since (your choice) Boyz II Men or Hootie and the Blowfish is coming!  That's right, Jerry Springer AND Maury Povich are moving their shows to be filmed in none other than our town, Stamford, Connecticut.

I am relatively certain that every single person in our class knows who Jerry Springer and/or Maury Povich is.  We have all undoubtedly watched a show or two of theirs on a sick day when absolutely nothing else was on TV (Or it could just be a guilty pleasure show for you, to each his own.)  So lets all pause to revel in the greatness that is the two legendary talk show hosts...
All done? 
Ok.  I for one am extremely excited for these two shows to be filmed in Stamford, and even MORE excited at the possibility of actually ATTENDING one of these shows.  I don't think anyone can disagree with that.

Lola in the Snow

woof woof

Saturday, February 28, 2009
I couldn't get my computer to actually post the video... Sorry about that.

So this video seems extremly irrelevant and "dumb" but I would like to describe the significance. Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen were probably my childhood role models when I was a developing young child. I loved their personalities, their roles in movies, fashion styles, and everything about them. But a couple years ago, Mary Kate was said to be annorexic. Me, a developing teenager automatically looked at this with pure disgust. How could some one I adored have this disease that defined pure weakness and inability to deal with challenges? And the media sure didn't change my view about her. Instead, it reinforced my idea and just made me completely lose interest in the Olsen twins. So here's a question I would like to put out there. Does the media really positively effect us? Does it really show us the truth in what various celebrities have to face? Why was it that I never seemed to hear something from Mary Kate's side of the story? For once it would be nice to hear her views.


I stumbled upon (literally) a blog today discussing the ways to go about traveling for free. After perusing the list of relatively practical approaches, I read a follow up article defending some of the claims the author made in the first one. (Corresponding websites are linked.)

The combination of these two pieces really put me in a go-do-something mood. I want to be a vagabond! I want to ditch this commercial lifestyle and the "achieve-success-for-future-success's sake" mindset that I've been born into. I want to traverse the outbacks and forests and sands and mountains. I want to revert to the barter system: I want to help people and have them help me. I want to meet new people and return to the world my parents grew up in, where we aren't constantly afraid of trusting strangers. I want to travel with these strangers, eat with strangers, sleep on strangers' couches, and build up contacts from all parts of the globe, covering all social classes and ethnicities. And I want to stay in touch with them. I want to be able to call them up when I get off a train in a random city and have a place to sleep.

I want to have an amazing crowd at my funeral.

Don't call me an idealist until you've read those two articles... and don't call me an idealist after that either. I'll disagree with you, because I want to think it's all possible.

On second thought, I've done it before. The absolute uncontested highlight of my life thus far was my trip to Europe over the summer of 2007. I went with complete strangers and they all turned into great friends. I still keep in touch with a ton of them who live across the country, even my 3 counselors (I just wish I met more Europeans...) I was free that summer. It was a month long but I had such a great time. We slept on the ground and ate only what we could make for 17 people out of a pot, pan and 2 petroleon stoves. It wasn't a comfortable trip, but I can't even describe in words how amazing it was. I guess that is evidence backing the main idea of that second article... I didnt need my "American life" there. All I needed was my nalgene, a few euro coins, and a ride.

Here are a few photos that really ebody this spirit I want to regain.

I'm going to the Netherlands with my sister this summer and I'm going to get the chance to envelope myself in this lifestyle for a little bit (two weeks.) I'm super excited now. But what about after that? I'm going to college, and when I get out of college I'll get a job (doing god knows what...) But what if I'd rather take a break after college? Maybe I should have done it before college... I guess I'll have to wait now. We've all got time.

I guess I'm going to need to start saving for airfare... the rest I want to leave to manipulate on my own when necessary... a few years from now.

Friday, February 27, 2009


check this out:

A Life in Music

Everyone has a calling. That one passion that defines who they are. That one obsession that gives them joy and helps them to comprehend their lives and their universe. Not everyone finds it right away, but when they do, they hold on to it forever. For me, that obsession is music.
Music has been a part of my life since before I can remember. My mother is greatly responsible for my musical gifts, and my father isn't far behind. My mother is a classically trained violinist, who studied at Juilliard. My father can't say that he went to Juilliard, but his father and two uncles played first three horns with the NBC symphony under Toscanini. I likely heard the reverberations of Mozart and Beethoven while in my mother's womb. She was auditioning for different orchestras at the time, while pregnant with me, and I wouldn’t be surprised if her violin practicing did more than annoy the neighbors.
Although I began piano lessons when I was 7, it wasn't until I was fourteen that I suddenly felt an urge to write music. One day, seemingly spontaneously, I just could not stop hearing music in my head. This was before I knew how to notate music, and so in my desperation to save these ideas that seemed fleeting, I sang them into a recorder. Once I developed the skills to actually write this music down in notes, I signed up with a composition teacher and have been composing ever since.

Newport, R.I.

take me back to my summers in Newport . . .

I stumbled upon this ad while doing research today. I think the design and message are really simple yet powerful, and I thought some of you (Mr. V-Dubbs) might appreciate it.
I know I'm overdue for a schpeel(sp?) about my trip to New Orleans, so I might as well begin it now.To begin, it was extraordinary, incredible, and amazing.
To be more specific, I had the best time getting close with old friends and meeting new people, as well as experiencing the magic of a truly inspiring U.S. city. There were about 20 people in our group, several of them from Westhill ( Me, Cody, Dan Gomez, Rachel Naumann, Will Hart, James Forde, Alex Sotasonti, and Ryan... I don't remember his last name). We flew in on the Monday of vacation and worked from 7 in the morning to about 4 on Tuesday-Friday, then came home on Sunday. We were able to get an extensive tour of the city, shop the French Market, get coffee and benignets at Cafe Du Monde, attend a Mardi Gras parade, and see an Imax movie about the devasation of Katrina and the destruction of New Orlean's marsh lands.
My favorite part was definately the parade. Everyone was swimming in beads, myself included, and we were really able to understand the vitality and energy that is New Orleans.
The city is still in disrepair in certain areas. There is still work to be done. And I am enthralled to say that I was one of many who went down to rebuild hope and restore New Orleans.

If you would like to see and read more about the trip, you can check out the blog that was created throughout the trip:

Cody Hart – Always making friends. Sometimes.

The plane ride consisted of jokes, uno, trying to get my Zune to work, and the movie game. Will Hart (relation? Possibly.) and I played the movie game on the bus on our way to the terminal and it carried on all the way to the plane. A man in the back row over heard us (we sat in the 3rd to last row) and he wanted in. He knew his stuff. He was naming movies from the 80’s and from that point on it was a battle. I got him with Scattman Cruthers – Shining with Nicholson. Credit that one to Joe Cordaro. He proceeded to tell me he was a director for film. Immediately, I thought, “damn! No head shot!” However, he later confessed that he was a producer. I thought, “Damn! No head shot!” He then confessed that he was a construction worker! How could he do that to me?! Our chance for friendship died there.
We arrived, yadda, yadda, yadda, and then we woke up the next day at 6:30! That is the earliest I’ve ever woken up at a hotel. All was not lost though since I get to really test out MA BOOTS! They lasted through the day; what a day! Work, work, work, and more work was in store for us. Also, Canadians. Man, all I thought about was showing up those Canadians and believe me we did. Ok, this is how it went down… We got there at 8:00 am and started working. We had 19 people, and at 10 o’clock 30-40 Canadians showed up with matching purple t-shirts and smiles on their faces. Basically they pounded one side of a house with their hammers for 6 hours, while we dug, raked, lifted, hauled, moved, dumped, carried, picked up, built, shoveled, hammered, hauled, shaped, placed, bled, cut, snuffed, rubbed, scrubbed, and worked on all kinds of stuff. With a couple of a couple hour breaks.

A Photo from NO HFH

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Liberal Bias?

"Visuals are underappreciated in news coverage," Bucy added. "You can have a negative report. You can have the journalist being opinionated against the candidate. But if you're showing favorable visuals, that out-weighs the net effect on the viewer almost every single time."

Interesting findings on Election Media Coverage, what do you guys think?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Goodbye Winter

Unlike many of my classmates and friends, I did not travel anywhere over this vacation. I stayed in Stamford the WHOLE time, which, trusts me, really is as boring as it sounds. Although this was a productive and very relaxing week for me, it was very uneventful. Nothing special happened, and nothing out of the ordinary personally happend to me. The one positive thing I did happen to notice while in Stamford was that winter was slowly but surely leaving us until next year. The snow was melty at a steady pace and the weather was almost warm, but definetley not as cold as before. When I noticed these things for the first time, I was overjoyed and appreciated every patch of green (or semi-green) patch of grass I could find. When one day I looked out into my yard and found that instead of search for the green patch, I was actually looking for a pile of snow or ice, I was thrilled and full of hope. I felt the need to note this with the picture attatched to this entry, which shows a good portion of my front yard, all but one small patch showing green grass and the hope for spring. =)


This is my old yo-yo I found while rummaging through my closet.  I realized that I have still yet to master the "walk the doggie" trick.....

I went to Austria a couple of years ago for the Salzburg Music Festival. The Music festival is one of the most famous in the world, and it was an incredible experience. I met dozens of fascinating and incredibly talented musicians, composers and proffessors, and it was a truly humbling experience.
You don't go to Europe every day though, so as amazing as the festival was, I didn't want to miss out on the action. The photos above are of our tour guide fom the Ice Caves in Salzburg,
Amsterdam Canals, At the Ice Caves in Salzburg, Austria in 2005, Mozart's House
While in Austria we also traveled to Amsterdam for 3 days which was pretty crazy. We went to the Van Gogh and Rijks museums' which were awesome, and marvelled at the beauty of the canals and the area. There were lot's and lot's of "coffee" shops as well...... it is Amsterdam!

Mahlon piano

Monday, February 23, 2009

this a plaque i found in the middle of my street =)

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txt me l8r! =]

Where to start??
well, my valentines day wasnt as exciting as bet most of your's were because I was in bed extremely sick! yes, not fun at all. Unfortuantly for me I was not able to got to Florida like Sam did or to Mexico like Shivali. I was laying in bed since friday afternoon.. Sleeping. How ever as many people have already metioned, the media never ceases to entertain us with its bizzare stories. Or shall I say, Stamford? Crazy chimps on a lose, another bank robbery, and NCC students now getting text messages getting sent to their cell phones when ever an emergancy occurs. When I finally felt a little better, I went up to Fordham to visit a couple of friends in college. And in a conversation about school (High school vs. College) my college friends told me that they too get text messages when ever an emergancy occurs. Although it is not from their teachers, they all send it to each other. I shared with them how we all get calls home when there is going to be a snow day, or of course when we don't show up to class. But we all agreed that maybe it would be a better idea if the board of ed. would just send us text messages. It's easier and I believe alot faster. Most people live in text messages and a great majority have unlimited. And the board of ed. wouldn't neccesarly have to send them just to us students, our parents of course would be invloved in this long list. It would also make it easier for those parents who get home late from work or get up right before the sun to go to work.. One thing is deffinitly certain, techonolgy is really advancing BIG TIME!

Sunday, February 22, 2009


I didn't do much over the vacation. The highlight of it, however, was seeing Ne-yo perform at Radio City Music Hall. This event occurred on Sunday, February 22, 2009 (as you can see), hence the reason why I'm making all three of my posts at the very last minute.

Ne-yo, along with Jazmine Sullivan and Musiq Soulchild, completely took over the stage, creating a very powerful performance. As I watched them perform, it made me wonder if I could do what they were doing. I'm not talking about their talent for singing or having an infinite amount of energy. I'm talking about their ability to get in front of a large crowd of people and speak as if stage fright has completely passed them by. Even though it probably has (and probably has always been that way), I still can't help but wonder if I can do the same. Well, all shy people probably wonder if they can do the same.

The concert has also made me wonder if I could be where they're standing. It seems like a faraway dream; like a star in the sky I can't reach. I guess I'll just have to reach out as far as I can and push as many people as possible out of my way. That seems like a good metaphor for achieving my dreams. I honestly do think that I have the potential, though. Like Walt Disney said, "If you can dream it, you can do it." It sounds cliche, but I have reason to believe that it's pretty much true. Anyone has the potential to become anything they want to be if they put their mind to it. So, I don't necessarily always look at faraway dreams as faraway dreams. Sometimes I think of them as career paths that I can either follow or not follow.

If you're destined to become something, then it's never too late to pursue it (unless you're forty or something). With that said, I think I may truly give the musical career path a chance.

Radio City Music Hall...

Radio City Music Hall

Grand Central Station...

Grand Central Station

Third blog post

This is my third blog post.




Ragin' with the Cajuns pic.

This is me at Sonic.
aka funitorium.

Ragin' with the Cajuns

This February break I went on a trip to New Orleans. I ate food, built houses, saw stuff, and ate some more food.

Ask Stacey about it, she went too.

where i've been

as i reflect here on the eve of back-to-school, i thought i'd also share a quick picture from my fun vacation!

the journey and the jetlag....

Right now, my body is certain that it is 1:40 in the morning, although my clock insists that it's only, in fact, 6:42 p.m. however, i refuse to believe that it is that far away from a normal bed time. i am an unfortunate sufferer of the infamous jetlag, and as i sit here in smelly sweats and contemplate what to write, any clever phrases or funny stories i have are being swallowed up by my useless brain that is functioning on roughly eight hours of coach-section plane sleep, the worst kind of sleep there is.

at 1 a.m. yesterday, i left jerusalem, israel for a non-stop 12 hours flight to jfk, a torturous ordeal that was compensated by the experience i'd had the 10 days before. during my february break, i spent an amazing week and a half revisiting israel after my month-long tour this summer, reexperiencing old sights and taking in the new. my tour began in tel aviv, where i stayed in a beach side hotel with my family, and the 7 other families and couples from stamford on my tour. the view from my hotel looked like this:

after tel aviv, we traveled to the golan heights in the north of israel, where we spent two days living on a kibbutz and touring the hilly area. the trip ended with five days in jerusalem, where we visited the classics (the western wall, the dead sea, etc) along with the bustling muslim and christian quarters in the old city, the ruins of the city of david, and massada, which required a grueling yet worthwhile hike to reach the top. (the picture shows part of the snake trail we had to hike)
in the end though, the headaches and weariness i'm feeling right now are completely worth it. being in israel is an experience i believe everyone needs to have, jewish or not. and in the end, the jetlag is worth the journey.


I just got home from a wonderful trip building a house in New Orleans. Although I did not take as many pictures as I wanted too because we were mainly working all day, there were some interesing shots I was able to capture which I would like to share with you all.

1) The first picture is the Natschez(sp?) which gives steamboat tours of the Mississippi River daily. The river is incredibly massive and muddy.
2) The second one is a shot of a Sonic....which we never see up north. I had no idea how they worked. You order from your car, or the table. You don't even go into the restaurant. crazy.

A Youtube Video That's Actually Funny.


The Stimulus Monkey

So, I'm going to apologize in advance for yet another post in reference to the chimpanzee incident. However, I feel the need to respond to all the controversy surrounding the comic that The New York Post printed, The Stimulus Monkey. I first heard about it while I was in Storrs, visiting my sister at University of Connecticut. There was an article about the comic, and a poll conducted on whether the student body thought that the comic was an insult to President Obama.

Personally, after first seeing the comic, I was shocked. I immediately thought back to when calling an African- American a monkey was a racial slur. While I sincerely hope that The New York Post would not ever try to print a comic intended to be insulting to our own president, I am not sure if they are completely without fault. Why bring up the stimulus bill then? Is it just a coincidence that President Obama recently signed that bill?

Furthermore, I am a bit appalled at the fact that some people feel comfortable with the comic. I was under the impression that we have moved dramatically past the differences between skin colors. Maybe I was wrong.

Lisa k. - south street in philadelphia

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Wires cutting through the Green Mountains of central Vermont

For as long as I can remember, I've noticed these wires. We'd be crossing some secluded area in northern New York State or rural Virginia, and from the back seat of the car I'd look out at the wires cutting across the landscape. It was always the same; they'd be marked by a vast, unnatural opening of trees and awkwardly large structures to maintain the line. The Earth was reshaped to make room for these giant conductors that stretched long past the horizon.

You just never think about these things when you're sitting at home by a computer. You turn a light on and it goes on. You pick up the phone and hear a dial tone. If your internet goes out and you curse at your crappy connection. You don't think about the thousands of miles of wire that lay beneath the ocean or cross the skies, you don't think about the electric plant that supplies you with the energy you need to survive. It's so bright in the skies these days that you can't even look up to see the satellites that have replaced the stars.

It took six tries to lay the first transatlantic telegraph wire. For nine years, the US and Great Britain invested millions of (19th century, remember inflation) dollars in an attempt to connect the Western world. And the day that it happened, people throughout the civilized world danced in the streets.

It's natural to become complacent about these things, but it just makes you wonder, how far will we go, and at what cost?

From the exact same small town in Mexico...

Shivali was not the only one to spend time in Mexico this vacation... This picture was taken from the back of a moving van as I travelled into the Mayan jungle to go canoeing, repelling, zip lining, hiking, etc. I travelled with the Oakes family (yay Alli Oakes!), and a guide took us to a VERY secluded town which could only be accessed by a very long, straight road (hence the image above).

Once we got into the little villiage compound it became clear that the locals had a very different standard of living than I am used to. Houses had no running water and were made out of wood or concrete, with the bare dirt serving as a floor. Stray dogs and children just sort of wandered all around. Outside of one house there was even a monkey chained on a leash (I found this especially ironic because once we passed the house with the pet monkey we all commented on how uncivilized/unsanitary it must be, and then returned to the hotel where the NATIONAL news informed us about the crazy chimp in STAMFORD, CT - guess were not as much better off as we thought...). Anyway, the picture above is of the local playground. I thought the rusty "bump ahead" sign in the foreground looked pretty cool in comparison to the dilapidated playground in the background.

Anyone who has ever been to the Lagurdia airport knows that it takes sooooo long to get your checked baggage once you get off the airplane. Alli Oakes and I sat for a very long time waiting for our bags to come, so I decided to document her poor choice of footwear (we went from 78 degrees to 28 degrees) as we sat in the New York airport.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

From a small town in Mexico...

On our way to Chichen Itza, my family and I stopped in a small town off the highway to get some food. We finished all the junk food we hoarded from the hotel and were in dire need of some more food to make the long drive with completely foreign music more tolerable.

What was supposed to be just a food stop became something so much more special. We walked into a small alley and found a beautiful market. Most of the stall owners were old and all were descendents of the Mayans. The sold everything from desserts and fresh fruits to clothes and toys. It was easy to see that this area was a major part of the community. There was an undeniable look of sadness on the workers’ faces. Nevertheless, it was refreshing to see local life in a non-commercial area of Mexico.

When we reached Chichen Itza, we came across a structure with 1,000 pillars. This to the right was what used to be the Mayan marketplace. It is interesting to compare the two and just imagine how life has changed for a civilization of people over the last 2,000 years. I noticed that there was actually very little change to the lifestyle here as opposed to the American lifestyle which has become so much more decadent.

I just thought this was cute.