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Thursday, February 23, 2012

#2 For Family Fun!

Before writing today's, I would like to warn anyone who was a former employee of the late "Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom" that there is a chance you might get offended, but at the same time please understand that unless I use a specific name my argument is not directed at any one individual but at the entire system overall.

It has officially been announced that Bluegrass Boardwalk, formerly called Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom, will open under the management of the Koch Family in May of 2013.

You remember the Koch family right? The family that started an entertainment park out of nothing over sixty years ago and now owns and operates one of the most successful venues for family entertainment which is located in the small town of Santa Clause, Indiana and goes by the name Holiday World. It is a small park, with only three major roller coasters - yet somehow manages to bring in a million visitors a year. These were numbers once seen by Kentucky Kingdom before it was purchased by Six Flags. Since then, those numbers had declined and Holiday World's had increased. Notable trend?

What the Koch family is planning on doing with Bluegrass Boardwalk is great for the state, and a better than the alternative of allowing Kentucky Kingdom to rot over the years. But there seems to be a bit of irony in all of the excitement about the Koch family purchasing this park. I do recall a time when my friends and I, and many other employees from the park would travel to Holiday World and spend the majority of the time comparing and criticizing the methods used by Holiday World. In fact, HW became somewhat of a mortal enemy for us Kingdom dwellers. Even our management would use the comparison for training techniques. Did you see what I just said?

"Management used the comparison for training techniques." Ahhh so now what we have is the understanding that we were once in fact brain-washed to hate the Koch family and hate that place. So perhaps it is actually good to see the former employees celebrating the Hoosier Family Fun expansion (That sounds like a Sims game) as it is an emergence from the shadows of being drones for the Six Flags Family. And yes.....we were Six Flags employees, not Kentucky Kingdom employees. I can count on my fingers the number of people I know that were actually Kentucky Kingdom employees.

So while I never intend to work at another amusement park as long as I live, my opinion stands firm that this is without a doubt a great thing for the state of Kentucky. Soon, this park is likely to make a higher financial gain than any other Six Flags park - and probably the Noah's Ark park in northern Kentucky that likely won't make it past its first year.

What I really want to know is what the hell happened to this guy??

My sources say that either the city of Louisville, or the Kentucky State government (or both) stuck the capital knife into any possibility he had of taking control of the park. So from my understanding is that the Koch family has purchased this park out of their own funds and is working with the Ky State Fairgrounds to get a park open that will be a positive tourist attraction and financial generator for the state (or city) that refused to help get the park open. But instead, they want to legalize gambling and build casinos that will target a certain type of person (oh, and age group since you have to be 21). Great job, Kentucky...way to think outside the box on that one!

Oh, and how about we mention the funding that is going into a Bible-Themed amusement park in northern Kentucky that is only going to attract people closely confident in their faith. Do you really think that people who believe but have their questions are going to want to be bombarded by bible versus and declarations of grace while they are just trying to enjoy a nice day in a park. Noble idea, but a kick in the face to people who have been dying to see Kentucky Kingdom restored. And trust me, I'm relatively confident in my faith as well....but it seems like we could have spent our money better.

Realistically, I think the Koch family is trying to do what Disney did and had great success in. Minimizing their expansion, and branding their parks with the word 'family'. Mark Shapiro tried to do this with Six Flags, but perhaps the company was too far gone for this to even continue as an idea. The main difference between Disney and Six Flags is that Disney actually gives what it offers.

Here's an Example.

Disney: Disney Cast Members are taught to close their conversations with guests with the phrase "Have a Magical Day". Perhaps its not witchcraft or sorcery, but from what I hear when you are there you feel as though you are in a different world, where nothing can go wrong. That's the kind of magic they are talking about.

Six Flags: In 2008 Six Flags came up with the slogan 'More Flags, More Fun' This occurred at a time where Six Flags was furiously selling and closing locations, as well as canceling the operation of signature rides and posting up signs for two or three years claiming that new attractions were coming. Great job there, guys. Nice to know you all are firm believers in 'IRONY'.

Even though their current establishment is small, and Bluegrass Boardwalk is not much larger - Holiday World's ideas of targeting families is somewhat in alignment with Disney. Disney succeeded in theming their parks, and this is a direction the Koch family will surely go with their new family member. So here's to Bluegrass Boardwalk, the restored Kentucky Kingdom opening in May 2013!

Maybe they can make their slogan "There's more than bourbon, horses, and fried chicken in Kentucky!"

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Healing Process

When I worked at a retail store around four years ago, I was bitten by the worker's compensation bug (not sure if I'd call the compensation a 'bite' on my part) after falling off of a ladder and breaking my left wrist. As part of their procedure, the company placed me on light duty. Being the driven hard-working individual I was, I refused to accept being temporarily disabled and continued to do my work as normal. The result of this behavior was not so kind to me, and underwent a prolonged recovery which eventually resulted in me needing surgery.

In retrospect of the current events that have unfolded in my sporadic life, I was reminded of this story by a colleague today. There appears to be a life lesson in this analogy, as it suggests that through whatever trials we face in life if we do not allow ourselves the time to heal from our wounds, we may never recover from them. The truth is, I've never been able to allow myself to heal from my most devastating experiences and they just disappeared over time - but sometimes only temporarily.

I paid a pretty hefty price this week when I took the mentality that I'm just going to continue as normal as if nothing had happened. In return, I saw many of my grades slip after suffering through a mean streak of five exams, none of which I aced. In fact, the grade that matters the most suffered a 72%. In all fairness, I had to take the exams - however, I did some analysis today and found that perhaps there were things I could have done for myself that would have made my exams easier on me.

My heart speaks much louder than my brain. More importantly, it has a clear-cut idea of what it wants while my brain is still trying to process an array of ides that keep pouring in. What this does is causes my emotions that are driven by my heart to take control of my cognitive abilities and remove the abilities to make rational and logical decisions. Because of this, I tend to make shoddy decisions when I have every reason in the world to go in the other direction. So any cognitive processing that I might have been able to use on these exams was disrupted by the clouds of emotions streaming through my brain, which is a pretty logical explanation for my test scores that in no way reflected the actual knowledge I have gained in the courses.

By this hypothesis, there really isn't a whole lot of room for a learning opportunity other than taking the necessary precautions in the future to allow myself adequate time to heal. But if my emotions are really overwhelming my brain preventing it from being able to structure a series of well organized-thoughts, perhaps there really is little that I can do about that. Or it could be that I need to consider removing myself from certain situations that might be stimulating these responses. The question then remains, what is currently going on in my life that is causing this?

Whatever it is, I'm sure in time I will figure it out. I know many people are wondering why I can't just 'let go' of things - but clearly those people have never taken a psychology course before.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Addicted to Coffee

I think I have a coffee addiction. Here I am - on a Monday night at 6 PM - and I just started a new pot. This aligns perfectly with the strange times of day that I've usually started a pot. Not just in the morning, but at 4:30....and now 6? And sometimes, I'll even make two pots in one day. I've done an online search for the signs you are addicted to coffee, because we all know the internet is the best source for factual information.

Here is what I could find....
(By the way, the copy and paste function for blogger isn't working right, so if you can't read what it says below just highlight with your mouse :) )

1. You tell your friends what a great night’s sleep you had…while you’re in line to get a grande coffee from Starbucks.

2. After a day without coffee you’re bombarded with headaches or worse, migraines.

3. You praise the coffee’s power to keep your bowel movements on a precise schedule.

4. You say things like, “you don’t want to talk to me until I’ve had my morning coffee.”

5. You’ve become friends with the cashier at your favorite coffee place.

6. When you say you need a coffee, you say it like it’s a matter of life or death.

7. Even after 8-10 hours of sleep, you can’t drag yourself out of bed in the morning.

8. You consider a large (or venti) coffee to be the equivalent of one cup of coffee. News flash, it’s 2.5 cups.

9. You hate camping because it’s too difficult to get a decent cup of joe in the morning.

10. You’re dating the barista just to get free espressos.

11. You arrive at parties with a six pack in one hand, and a cup of coffee in the other.

12. You’ve considered buying or already own a t-shirt with some cheesy saying on it, like “my blood type is coffee.”

13. You constantly engage in lengthy debates about which coffee place has the “best” coffee.

14. You have coffee breath all the time.

15. You married the barista so you could get great coffee at home.

16. You have a preference for which country your beans come from.

17. You’re drinking a coffee right now.

18. You work at a coffee house just for the free coffee.

19. You always carry a coffee thermos or travel mug with you.

20. You know the difference between a caffè macchiato and a latte macchiato

21. You named your pet or child Java.

Ok, so none of those apply to me (except #17). In fact, those people are just SICK. I guess I'm ok.

But seriously, until I bought a functioning coffee pot that cost more than $10 I had probably spent way too much money at the school's coffee shop. And I always get the same thing, a Large Carmel Latte. One of the cashiers, Jessica, knew it as my usual. But for some reason, none of the other girls that work there never remembered despite how much I was in there...getting the same damn thing.

It's not the first time I've had a usual. In fact, I've always been a person who hates when I have to make decisions. I have several usuals at many different places because I don't like making decisions. The Superbird at Denny's, 12 hot BBQ wings and an order of pepper jack cheese wedges at BW3's, a BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger at Beef O'Brady's. Just to name a few. I can't help but wonder if my indecisiveness has something to do with my impatient nature and impulsive tendencies?

Okkkkkkkk so I got a little off topic. But I guess the point is I wonder what kind of negative effect this coffee addiction I seem to have is having on my physical body - if any at all? I guess there are much worse things I could be addicted for. But I certainly feel that my ability to function is much better after I've had my morning coffee. Gee...that sounds like my mother.

Speaking of my mother, I'm sure she would love this cartoon....

My mom, the Grammar Queen.

I never really understand why people get so undone by grammatical errors posted on facebook. It's a public social network. Who the hell cares if you use the wrong form of 'your'?? Personally, I just think its a pathetic way for an ignorant fool to try and make people think he knows what the hell he's talking about. Which is kind of interesting, because when someone jumps up with the 'oh oh he used their when he should have used there!' argument during a discussion, the last thing I think is "WOW!!! THAT GUY MUST BE A GENIUS". Instead I think.....

....what a total douche.

I mean, really. Who does that? If someone is having a discussion....CONTRIBUTE TO THE DISCUSSION. Don't try and make people think you are smarter by whippin out your Grammar Police Badge. That's just dumb.

Now, here's an example of when a grammatical error should matter. My brother received this in his e-mail.

In that situation, the validity of the e-mail is in question. So then, you aren't a total douchebag if you comment on the grammatical errors in that invite.

Grammar is important to learn for the sake of writing up important documents and e-mails, but Facebook should be an ESCAPE from that crap. At least....that's how I sees it.

dog fail

We've all been there before.....

The Sherman Minton bridge opened after being closed several months because of a crack that was discovered last year. This came several weeks prior to the anticipated opening date, but perhaps all the bridge construction officials were sick of hearing about Whitney Houston and wanted to give all the Louisville people on facebook something ELSE to ramble on about.

I'm glad it re-opened though. I used to take that bridge all the time when going home, or to work at the Yum Center....which I haven't been to in nearly a year. I wonder if I'm still on the payroll there.

Alright, well that's it for today. Short blog, but hopefully a humorous one that I put almost zero thought into while writing. Those are always the best. :)

Peace, Love, and a Bottle of Rum,


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Bipolar, the Fantasticks, France and The Louisville Orchestra

In order to help a friend, I was reviewing the symptoms of bipolar disorder with a friend yesterday. As I was reading through the list extracted from the Diagnostics and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, it became amazing to me how many of these symptoms I showed myself. I had always been told that the symptoms of Attention Deficit - Hyperactivity Disorder can overlap with those of Bipolar disorder, but took the diagnosis I was giving in 2002 to heart. However, it is also not the first time the notion has been made that I could in fact be manic-depressive. It would definitely fit the ridiculous shifts in mood I've had for years. I am currently undergoing psychological tests with the University Counseling center, so I guess I may know for sure when I get those results back.

I went to see the IU Southeast Theater Department's production of Tom Jones' 'The Fantasticks' last night. Overall, it was an entertaining music will a cute plot having. Despite some obvious weaknesses in the musical abilities of some of the performers, I thoroughly enjoyed the musical. On those weaknesses, one thing is for certain - there's no way I could do what they do, so I shall keep my criticism to a minimum.

One thing that seeing the Fantasticks did was it pulled at my curiosity for musical theater. As much as I love musicals, one may wonder if I should consider pursuing this direction of music genres following my graduation with IU Southeast. I gave a presentation on neo-classicism in my Fourth Level Music Theory class on Thursday, and freely admitted to the students and Professor Miller that I am a tonal person, and often times I am annoyed by some of the atonal stuff I hear. Have you ever heard a broadway musical without any sense of tonality? This is all speculation at this point, but perhaps it is something I should consider.

A friend of mine wants me to go with her and her friends to France. The entire trip would cost around $2500, and the plane ticket alone is nearly $1400 and would have to be purchased fairly soon. I really want to go on this trip, but I'm not even sure where to begin to try to accumulate those kinds of funds. Aside from the load of financial obligations I already have, my car is on the fritz and needs some serious attention. A trip to Paris would be JUST what I need though. An escape from this hellhole known as Kentuckiana is just what the doctor ordered. I love my friends and family, but my patience for this place is wearing thin. I've had people tell me I wouldn't be able to handle the face-paced living that you find in big cities like Chicago and New York, or high populated states like California. I disagree. I'm a face paced person, and this place is boring me. I would probably handle it very well.

I've also learned that I shouldn't listen to the presumptions people make about me. I had one person who was once very close to me tell me I'd make a terrible server, but then my Manager at applebee's in Nicholasville told me I picked up serving faster than any server he's ever had. The good thing about that was that I was in training for Manager, so I also didn't have to serve much anyway. And that's just ONE example of when someone has been wrong about me. But that's also one thing I will never understand about humanity. Why on earth someone would ever judge someone they don't even know is beyond me - but we ALL do it.

EPIC TROLL,This Guy puts his number on Facebook asking people to call as he's bored, result... Now Humour

I have to say, that is one clever way to piss someone off.

The Louisville Cardinals had quite the scare yesterday when they found themselves behind 17 to one of the worst teams in the Big East, DePaul. But sure enough, they stormed back and ended up winning by eight in Overtime. Overtime with DePaul. I never thought I'd see that.

Atrocities are still hitting the professional music industry in Louisville as it appears the Kentucky Opera plans to continue a performance with 'replacement musicians' that include children. Yay, I'm so happy that this professional organization is willing to give amateur musicians who spend their times filing papers or answering phone calls at some BS corporate job and play a few notes on an instrument they probably learned in a couple of years an opportunity like this! (Puke) Seriously, though.....this is unbelievably unacceptable, and if I didn't have my own agenda I have to follow I would be in downtown Louisville in a few hours protesting the performance. The musicians at the Louisville Orchestra worked their entire lives to get where they are, only to have it stripped from them. That's just sick.

Oh is what the professor of horn at the University of Louisville had to say. He's a lot nicer about it than I am.

"Hi, Friends,

This note is posted as a colleague who cares about the future in Louisville of the profession we love.

I know that many of you must share my concern about what condition the music business might be in, once our students are ready to graduate and begin their careers. How many full-time jobs in music performance will there be a few years from now? Recently, there were 71 more than there are at the moment.

I believe this is worth fighting for, and has a DIRECT effect on the future of the University of Louisville School of Music, particularly our recruitment of performance majors.

On Friday, night, the Kentucky Opera performance was picketed, and a large number of Louisville Orchestra musicians and sympathetic souls distributed leaflets to those who would take them. You are invited to help with this effort. It would mean a lot to the LO members to see that sympathetic people supported them during their lowest point.

The demonstrators were augmented by former LO Music Director, Uri Segal. Some ticket holders who changed their mind about attending also demonstrated with us. That lifted the spirits of everybody involved. The action was described by neutral commentators as respectful, despite the fact that certain attendees spewed epithets, vulgarities and accusations of "communist" and "socialist" at the demonstrators. The word "scab" was not employed by the remarkably disciplined demonstrators, which included volunteers from numerous unions throughout Kentucky. Instead, they followed a strategy of using a reasoned approach without harsh language. Most of the signs made fun of the KO's decision to lower their artistic standards.

There is an additional Kentucky Opera performance using the orchestra of Replacement Workers tomorrow (Sunday at 2) and it will also be leafleted, from 12:45 until the scheduled 2:00 curtain. It might snow.

The "Replacement Workers" were not named in the program, but they included: Jackie Rosky, David Bybee, percussionist Jim Baker, principal cellist Travis Carlisle, concertmaster Anna Marie Dolan Blanton, SOME - not all - members of the now-defunct Seminary Orchestra, and various children.

Conductor Joseph Mechavich has resigned from the KO and will not be conducting. Instead Jason Raff, of the Kentucky Ballet staff, is scheduled to conduct.

A seminary faculty member with whom I've corresponded is concerned and saddened that the actions of a few could have negative effects on many. She and I agree that it's a sad, sad, mess. Since the opera followed through with their decision to perform with amateurs, the situation has descended to a new low point.

The pathetic truth: the out-of-work LO musicians could undoubtedly have sight read The Merry Widow better than the amateurs performed it (according to the reports of trained musicians) even with all of their rehearsals. From the instrumental point of view, the Lehar is just about the easiest operetta in the repertoire, which was either a stroke of good luck or clever strategic planning by the KO.

Thanks, if you've managed to read this far. :-) I thought some of my friends might want a "status report."


Well said, Mr. Heim. I really hope this message gets out to a lot of people, because this whole thing is just sickening.


Watch out for "BATBEAR". That's funny on soooo many levels.

Well, that wraps it up for today. Thanks for reading, and until next time.

Au revoir!


Friday, February 17, 2012

Simpsons, Record-Breaking Attendance, and a Multi-Cultural Mario

Thank Goodness Its Friday. Speaking of, does anyone remember that TV line-up? It was one of the greatest things ever. Every Friday night, when I had the WHOLE W
EEKEND to do my homework my siblings and I would watch a hilarious arrangement of television shows that included a variety of shows (which changed every year) such as Full House, Family Matters, Step by Step, Boy Meets World, and Dinosaurs.

Not too many people remember Dinosaurs. I don't think its even aired on TV anymore. And probably the reason why people don't remember it is because it went 'extinct' after just three seasons. Did ya...did ya see what I did there? Did ya?

I loved the show, though. However, I've loved Dinosaurs since I knew what they were. I got '8-year old boy' excited when I found out that they taught a class just on Dinosaurs here at IUS. This has to be one of the greatest ideas for a class EVER. I'm definitely going to try and sign up for it, but I've heard its a tough class to get into.

Yes, the Simpsons will be airing their famed 500th episode on Sunday night. That is BEYOND ridiculous. I had just gotten off of training wheels when the Simpsons were first introduced to the world.

My brother, Paul, had this to say.....

You know, he's probably right about Mario. That's the scary thing. But let's put a little perspective on this. Technically, the Simpsons have been in existence since April 19, 1987. So what was going on in the world in 1987?

1. Ronald Reagan was president.
2. Michael Jackson was black.
3. If you left your house, no one had any way to get a hold of you.
4. The Soviet Union still existed
5. Eddie Sutton was UK's basketball coach
6. Mike Krzyzewski was Duke's basketball coach.....oh....wait
7. Drew Barrymore was still in her adolescence.
8. Madonna was popular.
9. People knew who Paul McCartney is.
10. People didn't know who Justin Bieber would be

Ok....I got a little carried away there. But yeah...1987...that was a long time ago. 500 episodes? Seems like a lot.....but sesame street has 4,300. I'm not sure Matt Groening will be able to live long enough to see the Simpsons get that many. Plus, while the characters don't have to die - the voice actors do. And in a world where people prize a girl that sleeps on a dog bed because she's too drunk to make it to her actual bed, I'm not sure I'd want to see the Simpsons recast. Would you be ok with Justin Timberlake as the voice of 'Bart Simpson'?

Nope....Nancy is still the best.

So the attendance numbers to the world premiere of 'Fantasy on an American Folk Hymn' have been released. Aside from the fact they broke a record for IU Southeast Concert Band fall attendance, it turns out there were over 300 people in attendance to see the premiere! That, of course, is exciting news to hear if you are a composer trying to get his foot in the door. Although, I feel it appropriate at this time to send a message to all of my friends, family, and supporters regarding this achievement. So, from the bottom of my heart......

Did you miss the performance? Well, that's ok.....because I threw together a video with the performance by the Concert Band playing the composition. The video its self is pretty unorganized with random pictures, so you can just ignore that and listen to the music.

My grades took a slight dive this past week, but due to the circumstances that unfolded previously I am not all that upset. It was actually just a few tests that I managed to score in the 70% area, in which I'm use to receiving B's or above. I did, however, get a 100% on my ear training test. I may suck at Geography and French, but at least I have good ears!

Don’t Be A Racist!

OK, this made me laugh - but particularly because of a discussion I had with someone earlier. I apologize if anyone gets offended by it.

So, in other good news I am happy to say that my application to the Pinnacle Honor Society was accepted. I'm not entirely sure what that means, but its a good indication that I've come a LOOOONG way from being a grade "C" teenager with little control of my life, and virtually no idea which direction I was headed. I may get bitter, sarcastic, and voice opinions that piss people off - but I guess the point of all this is that I am trying my hardest to be more concerned with whats best for myself, and not let people walk over me like they have once before. I am comfortable enough to say that I am in the right place.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Snowpocolypse Has Cometh

Well, it's 630 AM on a Tuesday morning and I'm already awake. As it turns out, I have a Geography Lab exam today at 9:30 - but I woke up and there appears to be snow on the ground. One can only hope they cancel classes, but it is highly unlikely because the temperatures have risen slightly and it is not currently snowing. So instead, I will have to continue to study for this silly Exam that probably won't really test my knowledge retention in this course. I may just have to give up on the potential 4.0 I was hoping to achieve this semester, because due to the past couple of weeks of hell - it seems highly improbable that I would achieve such a feat.

Speaking of is how last semester turned out for me.

Three semesters in and I'm ok with a 3.6 cumulative. This is certainly better than the 2.3 I left Louisville with. But I think its important to understand that the reason I have been striving for the highest levels of academic success is not only for self-gratification, but also because I am desiring to continue my high education into graduate school - and I refuse to settle for mediocrity in that sense. I've been looking at different schools in North Carolina, Michigan, and Texas - anything to get me the hell away from the Midwest. Don't get me wrong - I love all of my family and friends, but I've lived here most of my life and the opportunities in what I want to do are slim to none. I believe I have the talent and the drive to become a very successful composer, but in order to do so I need to think about my future demographically.

That's pretty accurate.

Speaking of Betty White, the 90 year old actress (and former Golden Girl) received a Grammy the other day for 'Best Spoken Word Album'. This award was received for 'If You Ask Me'. I didn't know such a thing existed, but given that Betty White is one of the funniest actresses to ever walk this earth I may have to give it a listen to.

This was actually the first year I had ever watched the Grammy's and I have to say I was not disappointed. I felt like they did a pretty good job mixing it up with some folks for the older generations and the newer popular artists. I felt like it was an appropriate way to also pay tribute to Whitney Houston. Oh...and Jennifer Hudson - WOW. What an amazing singer, her tribute to Houston was GOLDEN. It was better than seeing Adele in the corner with the broomstick (This could mean one of two things - either its a comment on her nearly sweeping the Grammy's, or that I believe she practices witchcraft. You decide).

But unfortunately, what really took away from such a powerful night was the realization that half of the world's youth did not know who THIS guy is.

To them, he was just some old guy playing the piano and singing. I wonder how many of them would realize who he is if they were to see THIS picture.

Anyway, if you are curious to see to what exactly I am referring to, by all means. Check out the article. But be forewarned - it is likely to be one of the more depressing things you've ever read. (Story)

I wonder how many people knew who Bruce Springsteen is.

So apparently a man got his data services slowed because he happened to be in the top 5% of data users on the AT & T UNLIMITED data plan. read that right. I even bolded it for you. Ladies and Gentlemen, we have the first Unlimited Data Plan, newly developed with Limits! (Story).

If we were to apply this same philosophy to society in general, what it says to me is work as hard as you can, but don't end up in the top 5% because we'll be sure to limit your efforts. One of my friends was offended because I related this idea to Obama's original 'spread the wealth' campaign. Let me be clear - I'm not saying this has anything to do with it, but I made it somewhat of an analogical idea to support that claim.

The Flat Tax, which Obama opposes, is probably the fairest way to handle taxes. But unfortunately, because we have greedy little pricks in ALL classes (not just the rich) this idea is opposed. The rich class believes they should continue to get more breaks because of how 'hard it is to run their business', while the lower classes think they should actually be taxed MORE. Has anyone ever heard of the term 'happy medium'? I can't say I'm totally opposed to the idea of limiting the tax breaks, but I worry about what that would do to an economy that is founded on capitalism.

Does anyone know what one of the first thing businesses usually cut when they need to save money, or compensate for financial losses? They usually cut jobs. I know - I've seen it happen at three different businesses I've worked for. So, because these people make a lot more than everyone else they should be taxed a much higher percentage? No - I will never agree to that. That would be crippling to our economy. If you want to get mad at someone, get mad at the ones who are trying to find the loopholes in our system for higher financial gains. Those are the ones we should be targeting. Not people that started from the bottom up and worked their asses off to gain that kind of success, only to have jealous idiots bitch and moan because they don't make that much. A lot of Rich people put a lot of money into charities and organizations to help our society grow. But we want to tax them extra just because of how many zero's they have at the end of their annual salary? That's just sick.

People complained about this stuff during the great depression, when Herbert Hoover was in office. And FDR came into the picture and threw dollars around like it was monopoly money, organizing a massive amount of social programs (I initially typed social problems - freudian slip?). And now people are complaining again, and Obama appears to be doing the same thing. Are we going to have another World War, because that's really what pulled us out of the depression. And honestly, I'm not sure it would have the same effect in this day and age considering many countries don't really need the US for weapons technology any more.

Anyway, that's my little political rant for the day. But if you like funny depictions of our Commander-In-Chief.....

I thought it was pretty clever.

The Louisville Cardinals lost their first game in after six wins last night. The good news is that the loss came to the #2 ranked team in the nation, Syracuse. What was a little astonishing was the number of people that had such negative things to say about the team following the loss. I know I've had my share of disappointed retorts following losses, but did people forget how good of a team Syracuse is? Perhaps it has something to do with our past success with the team, but they are still #2 in the nation. Our team is growing, and people should be proud of where we are at.

Anyway, we may not be winning any championships this year - but I'm proud of where the team is heading.

That's it for today. Have a great day, and enjoy playing in the snow. :)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Pyschology, Facebook Fails, and Whitney Houston (RIP)

Funny Soup Sign

Sounds delicious.

I am happy to say that I have begun another psychological assessment. Does that sound like I'm trying to find out if I'm crazy? No. I know I'm not crazy. I'm just doing it to get a re diagnosis on my ADHD. Or to find out how much has changed since the last time I had one at UofL in 2003. As it turns out, they destroyed any records from that assessment. That was nice of them. So instead, I now need to go through the pain and agony of a million brain tests and stacks of annoying paperwork once again. Oh well....if its anything like the last time I had this test, it will be worth it.

So in case you live under a rock, a video went viral a couple of days ago of a man, named Tommy Jordan, publicly embarrassed his daughter just before shooting her laptop with his 45. These actions were a backlash to her ungrateful post on facebook to all her friends about how her parents were bad parents. Before I discuss this, please take a look at the video if you haven't already.

I thought this video was pretty funny. But what's amazing to me is the amount of response that has come out of this video. There is still a lot of question on the legitimacy of the video, but even if it isn't real the idea is brilliant. Unfortunately, we live in a sensitive bleeding-heart world - which the lack of human decency THRIVES on. When I was a child, we sometimes did typical bad things that kids do and my mother refused to tolerate it. She would hit us on the butts with a ping pong paddle, which stung like hell. But today, not that you'd ever be interested in seeing my ass - I can assure you there was no permanent damage done from that. But in Indiana, they actually have a law against spanking children. Really?

The fact of the matter is that rebellion against authority is WINNING and its because we are too afraid of what people will think of the way we raise our children. Seriously? They are YOUR FUCKING KIDS (I apologize for the vulgarity). The only thing you should be concerned about in regards to making sure people aren't judging you is to make sure they get an education, have food, have a roof over their head, and are taught the law of the land. The rest - how you discipline them - is up to you. But my recommendation is a good firm discipline.

Check out Mr. Jordan's facebook here.

Now here's the thing about this. At first, his statement about the media leaving him alone I thought was pretty noble. And it sent a message that he never intended to gain from this experience, but was trying to teach his daughter a valuable lesson about appreciation for what she has. However, Mr. Jordan is continuing to publicize himself on his facebook page - which has raised a lot of question on his true integrity of the situation. I would hate to be in the spotlight over something so controversial, and would probably put myself into hiding if this ever happened to me.

But it could be that his family isn't use to the attention, and he's kind of enjoying it. I just really hope that he did manage to work things out with his daughter, like he has claimed on facebook. Regardless, I still find the video very funny.

And now for a few facebook FAILS.

I'm not sure weather to laugh or cry at that. But interestingly enough, in my college Geography Class there was quite a bit of frantic pencil scribbling when our professor reminded everyone that there are 360 degrees in a circle.

I'm not sure he'd be able to get accepted into Northern Kentucky University, but he's applying to Princeton?

The salads can be as deadly as the ancient roman tyrants.


But now for some sad news. Whitney Houston, famed pop sensation, passed away yesterday at age 48. I've always loved Whitney - she had a tremendous voice. Unfortunately, even after checking into rehab for a third time, the addiction won. But her problems with drugs do not take away from the fact that she was an amazing singer, and I still believe her performance of the national anthem is the best I've ever heard.

WOW. I get chills every time she sings it. Whitney will be missed.

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Ugly Side of Life

Note: I posted this blog a little over a week ago but was asked to take it down by someone for personal reasons. Respectfully, I have made some edits and wanted to ensure that everyone understands this blog is specifically talking about me. But I was too proud of some of what I've written in here to let it die.

Post Traumatic Stress is not as much a disorder as it is an emotional state somewhere between sadness and fear. There is a great misconception that you have to go through something society considers to be an extreme event to get it. This would include things like witnessing a death, war, being abused as a child, etc. But sometimes, it can take the actions of other people you are extremely close to to cause it. And as much as I sometimes like to admit that I'm impenetrable against things that can cause permanent damage in my mental frame, I learned this week that I am not. Even something that happened several years ago can cause me to react on impulse towards familiar trends today that aren't even on the same level.

The most important thing that I learned is that anxiety never fully goes away. It just gets locked in until something, or someone finds a way to create a crack. And sometimes, all of that repressed build up can cause an explosion making things much worse. Mixed in with my own insecurities, I was unfortunate enough to experience that and it resulted in a lot of time with my bed and two complete days of missed classes. When I NEVER miss class. Did I deserve this? Its possible. I've done some pretty shameful things in my life. But who's to say I was doing them out of malice? There's a reason I have a lot of friends, and its because most of my friends have not cracked my anxiety barrier and as a result, I am able to show my true self - which is a nice guy who people like being around. Or, it could be that THAT is actually the fake version of me and the real Peter Felice is a cold heartless asshole. But how does one really know, especially after the barricades of my inner self have been torn down.

And because I can't see this supposed post-traumatic stress, I can't in good conscious consider anything more than a theory. This of course means I am not free from the blame of my actions. I've spent many years harping about how we are all responsible for our actions and have to live with our consequences. I never thought I would be living that philosophy so deeply, but there is a lot of truth to that. It's the reason I am pro-life. I'm not a fan of people that create drama, and stir trouble and then blame everyone else around them for what has happened so I try my hardest not to be that person, even when others try and divide the blame for me.

I keep limitations on people I talk to about my problems. It has nothing to do with trust, rather it is because I can't handle idiotic cliché comments such as 'it'll be ok' or 'everything will work out!' I know why people say it. They don't say it because they honestly believe it...they say it because its an anti-awkwardness filler. I know, because I've used those phrases for that exact purpose before. They aren't helpful. Neither is someone telling you what you should and should not do. One reason I'm so turned off my therapists....many of them are arrogant, point the finger, and act like they know everything because its in some stupid book they read. I don't need someone telling me what I 'should' or 'need' to do unless its telling me that I 'should' or 'need' to do what is the best thing for me. That was the best advice I got from a friend yesterday through all of this mess. I realized that a situation was making me really stressed, sick, anxious....all things that can lead to death, and I was not going to allow myself to go through that. That doesn't mean I'm blaming someone else for the way I am.....I just recognized it as a problem, and for once decided to take care of myself. Does that make me selfish?

I have also questioned my faith because of all of this. The thing a lot of people don't know, though some people claim to have it and understand, is that anxiety is not just uncomfortable. It's PAINFUL. And having an attack shows similar symptoms to a heart attack, which can be very scary. I am reminded of 'Bruce Almighty' when Jim Carey says 'God is a mean kid sitting on an anthill with a magnifying glass. He could fix my problems in five minutes, but instead he'd rather burn of my feelers and watch me squirm'. There's some truthful feelings to that, as I want nothing more than this pain to go away. And I pray to God constantly, but I feel like he put some great things in my life only to put something else that has become such a hindrance and kept me from doing what I need to do: my anxiety. My mother suggested catching up on my Bible. Stop asking other people for answers about God, and try asking him. Sounds like good advice to me, but for all intents and purposes I am upset with Him.

The biggest problem, for me, is that I insisted on getting help from others. The reason this is a problem is because every one you ask for help thinks they know everything, and if you ask enough people you'll get way too many options making it difficult for you to choose the right one. The second we start living our lives based on what others tell us to do, that is when we lose control of our lives. And I've found that I've made more right decisions when they came from me, then I have when someone else told me to do them. And I don't think many decisions I’ve made were bad decisions, because a lot of good did come from them. It's just unfortunate that sometimes they come with train wrecks (anxiety attacks and nervous breakdowns) I never saw coming.

One thing I keep trying to tell myself is this is not my fault. Anxiety is something we can't control, and something I found out runs deep in my family. It's a powerful curse that can cause some really heavy damage sometimes. My goal is to not allow it to take control of my life, and move on. I am excited that in a little over a year, I will be graduating and my life will be as complete as it can be for that time. It will have come with some hefty sacrifice I've made, but once I get that degree I feel I will finally be able to put the past behind me.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Three M's: Manning, Memphis, Mayans

Manning Fever has officially swept the nation. In case you live under a rock (or just don't watch the NFL) it seems that Peyton Manning's days with the Colts are numbered. Just to keep you up to speed, after an unfortunate neck surgery that put Manning's career on hiatus, and left the 4-time MVP and 2007 Superbowl Champion Quarterback with a questionable future, it seems that Colts owner Jim Irsay has been more concerned with picking up Andrew Luck, the top college QB, then he has been ensuring Manning's comfortable return to the Colts offense. I'm no financial genius, and had I ever taken an accounting class I'm sure I would fail - but I can't seem to figure how the Colts would be able to afford a contract with both the No. 1 draft pick and Peyton Manning. I'm sorry Colts fans, but if you really think it was ever Irsay's plan to have Luck act as Manning's 'apprentice' for a few years obviously you do not know Andrew Luck very well.

If you are the kind of person that believes historical statistics have a lot of value on current events, then you may be happy to know that the last time the Colts nabbed the Number 1 draft pick it was none other than - Peyton Manning. So perhaps drafting Luck is a good thing, especially with former Football Coaches and now Analysts such as Mike Ditka claiming that Luck is on the same level that Manning was in 1997.

The question that remains, how good would Luck be with a team that went 2-14 without their starting Quarterback? One thing that has made Peyton so great is that the team plays much different when he is on the field. He works very hard both offensively, but also defensively. I have not seeing Stanford play at all last season, so I'm not sure it would be appropriate for me to try and analyze how well Luck would play.

My guess, as much as I hate to admit it, is that Manning will not be a Colt next season. So the question remains...where will he go?

In other sporting news, it seems that Memphis is joining the Big East. Three words comes to mind regarding this transition: It's About Time. I wonder if Rick Pitino is throwing a party that the Big East actually took a suggestion he made years ago seriously. Just keep him away from Restaurants and everything should be fine....

But seriously, someone made the comment about how Memphis' move made them want Louisville to join the Big 12 even more? Why? Memphis is a good sports program, and Louisville once had a really good rivalry with them. I'm very happy that this rivalry is going to be restored, and I think Memphis is a great fit for the Big East. The Big East is also adding Boise State, Navy, San Diego State, Houston, SMU and Central Florida in coming years. This means by 2015 the Big East will be 12 schools, and the dreams of having a conference championship will come true. Unless some other jackass AD decides to escape, or the Mayans were right.

Speaking of the Mayans, where will you be when their long count calendar ends on the 21st of December? Or is the the 23rd? Either way, I will probably spend most of that week cowering under my bed with a baseball bat. I'm not afraid that the world is going to end, because realistically if it is, is there anything I can do about it? I'm more terrified about how humanity typically reacts to these sorts of things. We saw the uproar there was over Y2K, I can only imagine this being worse.

My true thoughts on the 2012 prophecy? I'd rather believe its not going to happen and be wrong, then to believe it IS going to happen and be wrong. If I'm wrong about it actually happening, then I have to live with the thought that I freaked out about nothing.

But maybe just in case, I'll hire John Cusack as a limo driver.

If you like new music, and are interested in hearing some wonderful never before performed compositions then put the date April 16, 2012 at 8 PM on your calendar. That is the date of the first ever IU Southeast Student Composers Concert. It should be a really good show, so try and make it out!

That's all for today. As always, thanks for reading!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I Can Count to Potato

For this morning - er - tonight's blog, I would like to first let my readers know that there are certain events in my personal life that I will not directly refer to in this blog. This is to protect the reputations of certain people who are involved in my life. So if I make an indirect reference, please do not ask who I am talking about because I indirectly referred to the situation for a reason. :)

While there are so many things to say about that photo, I think the given caption says enough.

Every so often in a man's life, he needs to take a few steps back and re-evaluate his friendships. He must ask himself what it really means to be a friend, and if the people who claim to be his friend aren't just doing that for some sort of extra security cushion in their life. The way you find out who your real friends are is to experience a crisis, lose someone close to you, etc. Then see who notices a change in you and is more interested in finding out why you've changed then they are being pissed off because you HAVE changed. I've recently lost someone very close because of a decision I made and I have no clue if I'll ever talk to this person again. I realized who my real friends were - the ones who noticed that I was in pain, and helped talk me through it. The ones that were more concerned with how I was feeling then they were of what was causing me to feel this way.

When you make a decision, even if friends don't like it they should support you and talk you through it. Not judge the situation based on the past and throw out smart-ass quips to try and make themselves feel better. I had people who I thought were my friends do that over the past few months, one of which didn't talk to me in two years - but felt he/she had a say in my life. Needless to say, I dropped them outta my life like a bad habit. That's the person I have become, and the reason that despite the 936 people who can view my facebook page - there are very few people I would honestly call friends.

The most interesting thing about that is that these same people are likely making assumptions that I am not in control of my life. Funny that they probably have no clue how the situation has changed, but yet I don't intend on allowing them back in my life.

Brilliant. And I've always thought about that myself.

So is anyone else concerned with what is going on with Iran? I was having a discussion with a buddy of mine the other day, and perhaps I don't know enough about the situation but it seems like we, the US, are in a pretty sticky situation. We are enemies with Iran, as is Israel. Israel is a powerful Allie for us that we do not want to lose. However, if we get involved with Iran we risk them using their nuclear weapons program on us. But maybe Obama thinks a few US city's downsized to rubble is worth the risk to fight terrorists?

There are other countries with nuclear programs, but I guess because we don't consider communism an immediate threat we are ok with letting North Korea have their program. And we are a way we'd use our nukes against innocent people (cough cough hiroshema cough cough). Don't get me wrong......that was more the fault of the Japanese Government for being so stubborn. We know this.

The whole thing just terrifies me. Realistically, the only solution I can think of that would probably ensure our safety is if we destroyed Iran's program ourselves - but that's very unlikely. And down the road they'd probably retaliate with bigger and stronger weapons so I can't see how that'd be a good idea.

Not an auto-correct but OUCH. This is why you should never lie.....

text fail

The Louisville Cardinals are on a five game winning streak. They haven't really beaten anyone impressive, however downing the Uconn huskies by 21 points was still an impressive win. And keep in mind, the huskies are the defending national champions and have lost only a couple of players. When you beat a team with that much talent by that much, you are going to turn some heads.

Never really thought of it that way....

Anyway, that's it for today. Hope everyone has a great day today. :)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Beautiful Thing

Alright, so my Facebook is still deactivated forcing me to actually study for my psychology and French tests. I consider this a good thing, because lord knows I need to get good grades on both of these tests! I'm currently in Lexington right now, for my brother's Superbowl party. Still feeling pretty emotional about the past week, but I'm sure I'll get through it.

For now, I wanted to post these lyrics my younger brother Mario wrote for a song. He sang this for his girlfriends family, my dad and me and a lot of the words spoke to me. The kid can write...that's for sure. I wish I had his talent for writing lyrics! Anyway, here they are.

Beautiful Thing
by Mario Felice

What has the world come to?
Everybody wants one thing, even you.
Trapped in a maze that has no end
confused on which way to go, and which rules to bend.
Vulnerability finds you and takes control
Your insecurity makes you turn into a fool.
And I've seen it happen too many times.
I need to get this word out before this hurt multiplies.

This beautiful thing / You give away
Never thinking twice about it / You'll never be the same
To feel accepted / is what you did it for.
But if your heart is smart about it / it could mean so much more.

I believe God doesn't make mistakes
I don't think he's ever the one to blame
You decide to be in the circumstance
You decide when your life will change
There is a reason you're alive
No need to ever question why
They said that you were a mistake.
That simple golden Lie

This beautiful thing / You give away
Never thinking twice about it / You'll never be the same
To feel accepted / is what you did it for.
But if your heart is smart about it / it could mean so much more.

You think that everythings in your control
You don't think there's anything that you don't know.
But with a mind just like that
Evil will never let go.
A seductive voice will call your name
Convincing you its the only way
To express the love you think you feel
To express the love that soon will fade.

The last stanza is a little depressing, and I don't necessarily agree...but hey. The kid did a nice job with this one!