Monday, September 17, 2012

Untitled Poem

This is a VERY short poem I wrote a longlonglonglonglonglong time ago.  Just as an example for the comments I made in the last entry:

They say absence makes the heart grow fonder.

But what of this distance way past yonder.

At night, alone, I sit and ponder.

Is your love real?
Are your words real?
Is it all in slander?

Sunday, September 16, 2012


This entry is in response to the two articles listed in the title.  I actually enjoyed reading both very much and felt I could relate to them.  They where very interesting and relevant to my writing (or lack thereof).  Here are three quotes I want to reflect on.

“I became a writer to deal with the complexities of my life.  If I’d had the emotional and mental sophistication to deal with it from the beginning, I wouldn’t have needed to become a writer.”

While I don’t agree with the extent that the writer goes to (to me, it seems that unless there are some undisclosed issues, and she had to deal with a lot more than the average person; she was being very theatrical and dramatic), I do believe writing helps.  Spilling your thoughts and feelings on paper (or in our generation – on Microsoft word) can be a great emotional outlet.  Especially for someone like myself that isn’t very emotionally open; writing can be a way to let some feelings out without actually talking to someone.  I’ve written some (in my opinion) pretty good poems, short stories, and a few other things when I’ve been down and didn’t want to share my feelings with anyone.  Come to think of it, I’ve done some VERY (again, in my opinion) good writing when I needed an outlet, when I needed a way to “deal with the complexities of my life.”  Obviously when someone pours his or her heart into something the outcome is genuine and usually good.  I may even post a thing or two on this blog.  MAYBE.  I probably won’t, which leads me into the next quote.

“To write about one’s own life and the lives of family and friends is to accept that exploitation of self and others.  To write about yourself and the people in your life is to accept that, in part, you are a bastard.  You must face and come to understand your own demons.”

WOW.  This quote resonates with me.  For the past few years I’ve been contemplating starting a blog.  It’s a subject that comes up with my friends every now and then.  One of my best friends (Oscar) has a blog where he chronicles our wild nights and adventures.  He sometimes pushes me to start my own blog but I haven’t been able to do it.  You see, like the writer says, to write about yourself is to accept self-exploitation and come face to face with your own demons.  Which is something that I’m in no hurry to do.  My life is….. strange to say the least.  Unique.  There’s a lot of stuff going on in my life that would make a good read to say the least.  Most of it would be based around my inability to share feelings and things of that matter and my exploits with women that ALWAYS end up bad for this very reason, and how I deal with it all.  That along with transitioning into civilian life again (not easy), the ridiculous things I do and situations I get myself into would be what I would write about.  (But mostly my exploits and issues with women, how I deal with them, and trying to uncover exactly why I am this way.)  But sadly it hasn’t happened.  And as much as I’d like it to, I’m not sure if it will.  Without getting into much detail (I would rather cut myself then openly tell you about my feelings – not you personally Mrs. Alvarez, anyone in general), my last “serious,” girlfriend leaving me when I was in Afghanistan, my father raising me to his (typical hard Mexican father) standard of what a man is, (sharing feelings equates to weakness and men aren’t supposed to be weak), and a few other things have led me to have some very interesting nights, fights, “relationships,” hookups, friendships, etc.  But I could never openly share that with the world.  I don’t even want to take the risk of starting an anonymous blog in fear that someone will find out it’s me.  That and the fact that I don’t exactly want to face my demons, rather deal with them have prevented me from actually starting this blog.  Oh well…. maybe someday.

“I write because I want my readers to take action.  My ability to write these books-in fact, my very survival-is thanks to people who took action against the war in Southeast Asia.  Journalists wrote about the refugee camps and inspired people in the United States to sponsor war orphans like me.”

There’s a very famous quote that goes: “The pen is mightier than the sword.”  And this is a prime example.  The author HERSELF was able to come to America and live life as she knows it because of people taking matters into their own hands and using their pens to move people.  A more recent example would be the whole Kony 2012 movement.  The movie was filmed in a journalistic type of way and caused a whole movement in support of these enslaved child soldiers.  A much older, extreme example could be the Federalists Papers or other works that called for change.  From a person point of view I can think of hundreds of websites and Facebook pages that promote action against injustices towards Veterans.  Any time the Westboro Baptist church plans to picket a military funeral or a veteran is mistreated you will find dozens if not hundreds of articles calling for boycotts or other actions.  The pen is a very mighty tool in moving people.

For example, I literally stumbled across this right now, as I procrastinated on this homework.  And this is just the beginning, this will get blown up in the Veteran community and hopefully get national attention:

Thursday, September 13, 2012


This entry is in reply to "I'm So Totally, Digitally Close To You," on how digital, social media is changing the way we interact with each other.  Here are two quotes that I though where especially true.  

But they also discovered that the little Ping-Ponging messages felt even more intimate than a phone call.

I like this quote because I find it to be very true.  Being on the phone with someone is different than texting someone through out the day.  When you’re on the phone for say an hour or however long your on the phone (I’ve had 4, 5, and even 6 hour phone conversations), you talk about things that have happened and are maybe going to happen.  Sure you mention what’s going on at the present moment, but its not the whole basis of the conversation.  When your texting someone throughout the day, you usually let each other know what your doing and it really is intimate.  Your not broadcasting it to the world like on Facebook or Twitter, your sending it specifically to one person to let he or she specifically know.  So to receive a text saying something like “hey, just got to school,” is something special and lets you know that person is thinking about you and wanted to let you, just you; know what they where up to.

“I have a rule,” she told me. “I either have to know who you are, or I have to know of you.” That means she monitors the lives of friends, family, anyone she works with, and she’ll also follow interesting people she discovers via her friends’ online lives. Like many people who live online, she has wound up following a few strangers — though after a few months they no longer feel like strangers, despite the fact that she has never physically met them.

This quote is very true, and to be honest, if I really think about it, it’s kind of unbelievable.  I can’t remember exactly how many people I’ve met online, but it’s been a bit.  Some were friends of my friends, others complete strangers.  I’ve met older people, younger people, both male and female.  I’ve became friends some of them, good friends with some of the guys, and have even had relations with some of the women.  Isn’t that insane?  To think that I have met complete random women online and have had relations with them is a very strange though to me.  But then again, its almost no different than meeting someone at a bar, club or anywhere else.  Really, to be honest; now a days, meeting someone on Facebook or twitter (or any of the many social media websites) might be a more intimate way of meeting someone than in person.  On someone’s online account I can learn more about a person in a few minutes of reading than I can learn in weeks of physical and verbal interaction.  But a person can also be deceiving online.  They can make themselves out to be someone their not, or exaggerate their accomplishments or activities.  Everyone does it.  So maybe meeting someone online isn’t like meeting someone in person, because you might not be meeting an honest portrayal of that person.  It’s a risk to say the least.  

But where their sociality had truly exploded was in their “weak ties” — loose acquaintances, people they knew less well. It might be someone they met at a conference, or someone from high school who recently “friended” them on Facebook, or somebody from last year’s holiday party. In their pre-Internet lives, these sorts of acquaintances would have quickly faded from their attention. But when one of these far-flung people suddenly posts a personal note to your feed, it is essentially a reminder that they exist. I have noticed this effect myself.

I actually love this quote.  Facebook is the perfect "social medium."  (I just made that up.)  But it's perfect!  It's not as intimate as asking someone for their number; it'ss a way of keeping in touch with someone without actually keeping in touch.  It's so much easier to ask someone for their Facebook rather than their number.  To ask someone for their number usually means their is a mutual interest to actively keep in touch, or at least a certain level of trust or that you and that person had reached a point in knowing each other where it was appropriate to exchange numbers.  But that doesn't happen all the time.  Sometimes you meet people.... and thats it, you just meet them.  You don't expect to really be friends or keep in touch.  Like the quote says "someone they met at a conference, or someone from high school, or somebody from last year's holiday party."  Before Facebook, if I had met someone whom I did not feel comfortable exchanging numbers with.... well that would have been it.  There was nothing else to do, no other way to keep in touch unless we saw each other again.  But now, Facebook provides a perfect medium between intimacy and no contact.  A lot of times it's the starting point to friendships.  It's the perfect way to keep in touch with these "weak ties," without really physically keeping touch.  

Wednesday, September 5, 2012



I just finished watching Seven Up, the first installment of a series of videos that follows a group of 14 very different children at seven-year intervals throughout their lives.  The premise of the series is that, at seven years old, ones character is pretty much completely defined and developed.  Little if anything will change about the child as he or she progresses through life.  The children where taken from different social and economic backgrounds and the show compares how each individual child’s upbringing affects them from such a young age and throughout their lives.
It’s a very interesting concept and I believe there is much truth to the theory being tried here.  I do agree that ones childhood can define them and their character.  Though I enjoyed the series very much, it’s hard to relate to any of the children being featured, since we where brought up very differently.  Besides growing up in a different time and place, I feel my social and economic background differs from all of theirs. 
So far my favorite two children are Tony and Simon.  I like Tony because he just seems like the boldest out of all the children.  He is not scared of fighting and generally seems tougher then the other kids.  He seems fearless.  He comes off as a natural born leader.  He is not timid or meek.  I feel the rest of the children would listen to him and follow him if they where put together. Simon on the other had is very different.  He’s timid and doesn’t like to fight.  He lives in an orphanage and is the only child of color.  I find myself empathetic towards him.
My first impression of this series is genuinely interested.  It’s amazing how these kids are so different and you can see it’s because of their background.  Their opinions on love, the opposite sex, their interests and ambitions in life are different all around.  The richer kids know what universities they want to go to while one of the poorer kids didn’t know what a university was and the ones that did had no intentions of going.  The richer children cared about finance and stocks and things of that matter that the poorer children had no interest in.  To me the most interesting difference (so far) is the expectations of these children.  The poorer children are expected to stop school at 15 years old and become workers where as the richer children are expected to become successful after a lot of education.  The lives of the richer kids seem promising and even predetermined while the futures of the poorer children seem uncertain and skeptical. 
Their opinions of each other were amusing as well.  Some of the richer kids came off as thinking they where better than the poor while others believed you had to help the poor or “they would die.”  The poor children believed the rich children could do whatever they want and seemed generally disliking of them.  I enjoyed this series and I am excited to see how these kids develop and to see them at 14 years old.