Archive for December, 2005

Vacation Musings

December 28, 2005

While having a conversation about ways to get the Democrats united as a party, it occured to me that a party is nothing more than its people. The party is a reflection of the people in it. If the people are organized, if they have their shit together, then it will show in the party. There is no seperation.

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Thought Of The Day

December 26, 2005

Just finished reading Animal Farm by Orwell and a thought occured to me. Everyone has heard the phrase “Those that do not study history are destined to repeat it.” I think it is more true that “Those who do not study history are easily led.”

Anyhow, still on vacation, so I will be back in a week or so. In the mean time, take off all your clothes, put on your favorite music, stand in front of the mirror and dance!

One Perfect Day

December 12, 2005

Ok, let me see if I can get all of this straight. We woke up to a cold Texas morning. I felt like a kid on Christmas, staring at the tree, waiting impatiently to open his presents. My family showed up around 10:30 am, as did my friend Jean-Paul, and we all headed towards school.

In college I had been a student leader. One group I was active in, and eventually became president of, was the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Basically ASME is the group that in the professional world writes most of the standards for everything from boilers to cars. In the college environment, we worked to get young engineers active in school, get qualified individuals scholarships, and help with finding jobs after graduation.

Every graduation ASME throws a banquet for its members.

Cynthia, the new president who I sort of mentored, and the other officers surprised me with a graduation present and a citation. It really meant a lot to me. When I first started in engineering, ASME was basically a boys only drinking club. But I managed to change that, bringing in new people, running some others off. I dedicated countless hours to building up the group, and to be recognized for that made it all the more special.

The banquet was nice. It gave the students, faculty and families a chance to talk before graduation. And is was the first time my folks had been on campus. I showed them around the building I pretty much lived in for the past 4 years.

Onwards to the gathering of graduates.

All the graduates met in the main engineering building before the processional. The group photo is most of the mechanical grads. Everyone was grinning from ear to ear, acting goofy and trying not to burst from giddiness.

Now, what do all the cords and stoles mean? I will use this picture of me and my good friend Jonan to try to explain.

The long white stole is for Pi Tau Sigma, the national mechanical engineering honors society, of which I was also president. The smaller white stole around my neck is for Tau Beta Pi, the College of Engineering honors society. The green cord, which you can see better on Jonan, is for taking the fundamentals of engineering exam, which is an 8 hour exam we took this fall. (don’t know if I passed yet, it takes months to get the results) The blue and gold one is for the Golden Key international honors society. There is also a blue and green one for the Alpha Chi honors society, a gold cord for graduating the university with honors, and a blue, orange and white one for graduating engineering Magna Cum Laude.

So, yeah, I was kind of busy in college. But it was worth it. I had the most flair on and it felt great to walk by people and see them staring. One professor told me I put the PhD’s to shame. Heh.

The ceremony itself went pretty quickly. We marched in, sat down, heard a guest speaker, got up and graduated. We were all so excited, and hearing our family and friends scream when our names were called to walk the stage was amazing. Funny though, all I kept thinking was, “just don’t fall on your face!”

It didn’t really hit me until we were marching out of the building. I almost lost my shit. It was a proud moment. And the high lasted all day.

Outside everyone was hugging and laughing, getting pictures together and saying good-bye. Two of my dearest friends, Matt and Jean-Paul, were there. Matt was my mentor, he helped me with the transition from liberal arts to engineering. I made it a point to get pictures with everyone because I wanted to record that moment of joy.

My wife and parents were extremely proud. Anna took most of the pics, and my friends and family held all my stuff and let me run around saying hello and good-bye. Gradually everyone filtered away, some back to the engineering building for a reception, most off to who knows where.

At the graduation reception I received one of the greatest compliments ever. Dr. Peterson, associate chair of engineering, told me and anna that as she was driving in that day she was trying to think of one student who really stood out in her mind, someone who represented the kind of well rounded student they want to put out into the world. And she said that student was me. It choked me up to say the least. Dr. P knows everyone, and for her to say that is a big deal.

The rest of the day is a blur of drinking, seeing friends, and more drinking. I wore my cap all damn day until I crawled into bed and passed out. So many of my friends showed up throughout the day it would take forever to list them all. All I can say is that it means so much to me that they came out to celebrate. We bar and house hopped around for a good 10 hours before I was completely retarded and anna took me home.

Anyhow, the day was perfect. I could not have planned it better. Here is my favorite picture of the day:

I am a lucky monkey.

Finally

December 11, 2005

I will post tomorrow about graduation. I am still too hung over to really write now. But I will say that the entire day was perfect. Go check out the pics for now and stop by tomorrow for the whole adventure.

The end is nearer

December 9, 2005

Please excuse my little “me” post here, but I am giddy right now and am trying to get it out of my system. I couldn’t sleep last night because I was so happy. That’s never happened before.

For fuck-sake, this week will not end. But finals are over. I am done. No more college, at least not for a couple of years. I may return for grad-school, but for now I am free.

The ceremony is tomorrow at 12:30 pm. Not a minute too soon. I almost lost my mind this week. You may be aware that we had some freezing weather here in hell, I mean Texas, and some ice on the roads. Well, wouldn’t you know it, some finals were postponed until next week, including one of mine.

Well, never one to miss a chance to go off, I payed a visit to my prof. I informed him in a near hysterical voice that there was no way in hell I was coming back after graduation for a fucking test. I told him that half his class was graduating, and that I would take a zero on the final, as would several of them I had talked to.

He had already given us two problems to work out ahead of time, and said we would have two more on test day. But after our “talk”, he said screw it, turn in what you have and that will be the final. =)

I didn’t mean to freak out on him. But the stress got to me. Thank the gods he was cool about it.

Anyhow, the end is near-er. One more day, one more event. And as much as I want out, I will miss college. I will miss my classmates, I will miss some of my profs, but most of all I will miss living in faded jeans and flip-flops.

In the end it was a hell of a ride. I am graduating with no debt. We have actually made a profit every semester, from the Army and scholarships. I restarted the University Dems at my school. I led protests, academic organizations, and mentored freshmen. And I managed to do it all and still graduate with honors.

For someone who was pretty much written off by the world in highschool, this means a great deal to me. My parents thought I would never graduate or go to college, and the fuckers in the administration even told my parents once that they thought I would kill myself. (I wore black clothes and eye-liner, goth-punk style, so of course I must have wanted to die. IDIOTS!)

I will never be able to thank my loving wife enough for believing in me. She is my rock. Even when I would come home so stressed I wanted the world to end just so I could miss an exam, she would shake her head and talk me down. I owe her more than she can ever know. And I did this as much for her as for me. Because in the end getting a good job is about taking care of her, about giving her the life she deserves.

And on that note I just want to say to everyone that you can be whoever you want to be, do whatever you want to do, and its never too late to start. If someone had told me at 18 that one day I would be a married, college educated, veteran home-owner, I would have told them that’s impossible, because I would be dead or in jail by 23.

I am glad I was wrong. And I am glad all those shitheads who worked hard to convince me I would fail in life were wrong. Its amazing to look back and see how quickly a kid with problems that stem from home can be labeled a lost cause. Actually, its pretty sad. Well, all I have to say to them is “Suck it bitches!”

That is all.

Its almost over

December 6, 2005

Well, the end is near. Two finals and I am free. Hooray!

Oh, and this is too cool. I am graduating Magna Cum Laude!

Anyhow, will be back in a few days.

Some Thoughts

December 3, 2005

Been seeing a rise in posts on aborton again. Seems the blogosphere goes through peaks and valleys on various subjects. So, because I can, I’m going to jump on the bandwagon.

Having already written my own meta-diary on the subject, I will keep this one short. I am trying to understand this from a more scientific view.

As animals, we feel the need to procreate. But as intellectual beings, we have changed this into sex for shear pleasure. However, we have not been able to completely overcome the nature of the act, which is to induce pregnancy.

Breeding is at the core of our being. It is the most basic of instincts. Our bodies are designed for survival so we can procreate. Its the nature of the beast. And sex is meant for one thing in this natural context, pregnancy. That is why most mammals have breeding periods at a certain time of year. A pregnancy is expected after sex, so the right time of year is important to the survival of the offspring.

And there is the selection of a mate. Nature is full of some amazing, and bizarre, mating rituals. Some even go so far as to endanger the animal, but the need to procreate out ways everything else.

Hell, some critters even mate regardless of the fact that this means their death for sure. Its all about continuing the species. It is about those two critters passing on their genes. The self is less important, the offsprings are everything. Nature has driven this deep into our bodies, ensuring life will continue.

The physical pleasure of sex is there so we will have sex. The connections we refer to as love are based upon this. Its the most important thing we do as animals. Look at how connected mothers are to their offsprings. A baby’s cry makes a mother lactate. And don’t ever try to come between a mother and her offspring. Males do vary much more on parental issues, from completely ignoring them to lifetime mating. Some males even care for the young after the mother leaves them. But a connection still exists to ensure the survival of the offspring.

Now, for us humans, we like like to think we are above all this. We are in control of our physical selves, and not driven by animal urges and needs. Bullshit.

We have this mix of primative and evolved. But even then, the act of sex has not really changed. There is the courting, just like every nature show I’ve seen. Oh, sure, we may make it more complicated, but its still just a mating dance.

We can enjoy it mentally all we want, but its the physical stimuli that gets us there. Even how we choose a partner is based on natural mating instincts, twisted they may sometimes be by our thinking selves.

But there is still that last part, pregnancy. Our bodies are designed to make it happen. And its so important to our animal self that it is not easy to prevent. We want to enjoy the physical sensations that evolved to get us to have sex in the first place. We just don’t want the normal end result. We are trying to overcome our animal selves.

And this leads me to abortion. As intellectual creatures, we have changed. We can mate whenever we want. We enjoy the pleasure for what it is beyond the natural need to procreate. In doing this, we have changed our nature. And it is from this change that the whole debate stems.

One side of the debate is having the real conversation. They are trying to understand and find balance with the natural order of things. Men enjoy sex without getting pregnant, why shouldn’t women? And since most men are having sex simply for the pleasure, again, why shouldn’t women? Its a changing of the natural order to fit our evolved intellectual sides. Sex no longer is just for mating, and as such, both sexes should be able to enjoy this new development.

But then there is the other side who are convinced we are not part of nature. That we are something different. And yet they believe sex is only for procreating. They are tied to their animal selves even as they sware they are not animals. There is a twisted logic here. They have tied procreation not to the nature of the beast, but to an outside entity, and even the act itself is distainful and a sin. Its almost a punishment that we have to endure this animal act because of Adam and Eve. But the end result is a blessing that must be no matter what. Then once born, the person is immediately a sinner for being born human. It seems that life is punishment, and only through death can one be rewarded for, well, existing.