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Your Will Against...

It is in our general nature as creatures under one sun to be contentions. All animals, Homo sapiens and other, are inclined to conflict one another. For a numbers of years, this has regulated life on this planet. From class to class, race to race, battles (and even wars) have been fought for a number of different issues. The war between Human and insect has played out in many homes across the world. Alpha males have been victims of cannibalism, although primitive, but because of their status. These battles are often two sided, but what is for certain is there is always a test of will.

During the 20th century, the race for the tallest building in the world was resolved in 1974 with the completion of the Sears Tower. [The next building to take the crown (with a bit of controversy) was Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur in 1998; 2004 saw the rise of the current title holder Taipei 101 in Taiwan]. In its simplest form, this is a battle to see who can build the tallest mound. Better yet, who is willing to test their limits? In retrospect, this is merely a human scuffle. On the business side of Architecture, the architect continually battles the contractor in a more intimate engagement. Their difficulty with one another is over the needs and wants of the owner. Human skirmishes can be seen all over; candidates crawling for votes, women crossing blades over a single man, and children throwing hand grenades over religion. You’ve heard it said before, winning isn’t everything. Was that saying always taken (or denied) without thought, ever stop to think about what that meant?

As I said at the beginning of this post, it is in our nature to conflict with one another. The wins and losses can be measured by who or what had the more will. Maybe before we throw our first punch, we should put armour on. Maybe before we shield ourselves, we should open our minds.


Plans Change

There’s got to be a way to do this… a way where I’m not posting every 3 weeks, but never mind that. Let’s just get right to it.

I've never claimed to know everything; in fact, I believe this blog is a breathing example of me wanting to know more—about everything. Personally, I don’t believe one should ever settle. I don’t believe it’s ever possible to be completely content in all areas of life—from matters of the heart to aspects of an occupation. I mean really, how can someone be completely content with everything? [There may be a contradiction in the next few lines, and I’m warning you now.] Following the same train of thought, I believe never to close all doors. It is a good thing to strive for what you believe is best, there are also times where what you think is the best isn’t at all what it should be. Remember, you could be wrong.

I see myself being asked, “How can you put so much faith when you’re not entirely sure if you’re correct?” You know what, I think someone did ask me this… if my memory serves me well. I don’t remember what my exact response was, [something like “you have to believe in something” rings a bell] but it was along the lines of “… if there is no belief in any thing, then there is no reason to strive for anything.” I suppose that answer is probably a truism, and probably one of those things people never know how to respond to.

Either way, “keeping an open mind” is what I’m trying to say. It’s difficult to be completely set on a single idea and not hear other possibilities. The same as it is in Architecture, what we once believed is absolute may end up being the worst possibility. Put effort and time in the things that you believe, live in honesty, love fully and faithfully… and always keep an open mind. [Someone’s supposed to ask “how is it possible to love fully and faithfully when keeping an open mind to other options,” but trust me, there’s a way] The only thing that is set in stone is the past. Our individual histories make us who we are, if everyone believes that then we’d be better off. Some people never want to take responsibility for their lives, it’s always someone else’s fault… although that may be true, time and weathering has made you who you are.

Never settle, never shut all doors, because sometimes…


Do Good

It’s been a while since I've written and I apologize for that, I've been staying pretty busy. I put down couple of concepts for movies and kicked off a few things. The start of school is just around the corner and I see that train coming when I close my eyes, the only thing I can do is knuckle up and prepare. So, consider this the calm before the storm, a little ode to education.

I read a quote today… well I read quotes everyday, but I’d like to share this one. “The eyes of the future are looking back at us and they are praying for us to see beyond our own time.” [Terry Tempest Williams] Take a moment to digest that… I should repeat it for good measure, but that’s not necessary. I kinda handicapped myself, because the point of a quote is to state your claim in one shot and not have to say anything else. But I vow never to be speechless so…

In whatever you choose to do in life, think about the future of this world. I was having a discussion with one of my friends… about something materialistic, commenting of the value of a product and the company it represents—it was about clothing, anti-sweatshops and buying genuine. And my other friend, not the one I was directly speaking to, says “Carl, you complain too much.” I’m aware of this, I know… but it’s because I see so much room for improvement, so much potential never actualized. It’s really quite depressing when I think about it, so maybe my defense mechanism is to complain. I ended up responding with “The world isn’t perfect.” And he quickly said “exactly!” I looked at him and said “how can you expect to change anything when you don’t know what’s wrong?” My choice of words may have been a bit off, perhaps “wrong” was not the right word to use. But that’s what I said and there was no conversation after that. And I chose not to follow through.

That choice… well let’s just say it’s lost potential. I wanted to look at him, like I was burning a hole past the innocently guilty, and beg for him to believe he can change the world. I’d never ask anyone to be on a mission alone, and this “change the world” is no exception.

At the Chicago Architecture Foundation, my 9-to-5, we took the internship high school students to the Apple Computer store on Michigan Ave [they intern at Architecture Firms, some pretty big names too]. They gave us a great lecture of business and design, how to integrate both. It was good for the students, to finally realize when a client approaches them with a design problem and how they convert that into Architecture. The presenter left us with a commercial and I’d like to share it with all of you. [Thanks for the great network of for this one]

I’d like to highlight that last bit… “Because the people, who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” Many wishfully look to the heavens and say “Save Me” [to the tune of Cartel’s song of the same name], but instead of waiting to be saved why can’t you be a saviour to the future, and the rest of this world.



As you’ve (hopefully) already noticed… I have a tendency to quote often. I see no problems in this, no problems in restating words that have already been said by great individuals. It’s much easier to use the words that the author used when trying to convey the same idea. I’m not exactly one for taking the easier path, but when an individual doesn’t feel as though s/he is conveying her/his message, it helps the third party understand what the individual is trying to say with a quote.

It is imperative that the context is retained when quoting, a misused quote is damaging to the user’s argument as well as the overall understanding. Sometimes I quote too often and then the quotes become riddles, passages an audience has to figure out. But to me, the essence of the quote is the reason I use them. I love quotes, they capture in the simplest form, an idea without necessarily directly saying it. This takes craft; it’s not easy to provide a good quote, it takes time to find the proper wording. Yet, quotes can be found everywhere in civilization. Movies, Music, and Books/Comics/Graphic Novels are the shining beacons where quotes thrive for me. I extract most of my quotes from these because, to me, these forms of media are most predominant. I have the utmost respect for those individuals that provide quotable material.

In my last post, I spoke about great individuals… most (if not all) these individuals are quotable on some subject matter or another. If we figure out why people say the things they do, we’re gently nudging each other on the same page (and I think that’s where we need to be… you know the threat of an alien invasion is always possible and what are we do to if that happens and we’re still bickering with our fellow man?). When I’m graced with another form of media, I think about the quotes and things that are said/written/read. I wish to be quoted, saying something that no one could have said better until someone actually does. It’s only fitting that I end this post with quotes…

I never have found the perfect quote. At best I have been able to find a string of quotations which merely circle the ineffable idea I seek to express. – Caldwell O’Keefe

A witty saying proves nothing – Voltaire (1694 – 1778)

There is not less wit nor less invention in applying rightly a thought one finds in a book, than in being the first author of that thought – Pierre Bayle (1647 – 1706)

The wisdom of the wise, and the experience of ages, may be preserved by quotation. – Benjamin Disraeli (1804 – 1881)

I love quotations because it is a joy to find thoughts one might have, beautifully expressed with much authority by someone recognized wiser than oneself. – Marlene Dietrich (1901 – 1992)



As you probably [hopefully] already know, a great number of intelligent beings have graced the surface of this planet. [Galileo, Newton, and Einstein, just to name a few (not undermining Copernicus, Descartes, Freud, or anyone one else for that matter)] Each of these great individuals has left something behind. It is within human nature to record what we discover, cave paintings and this blog is pure example of this.

Some people have made the comment: there is nothing left to build because all the styles in architecture have already been processed. Furthermore, some people have said that there is nothing left to discover, because someone has already discovered it. This is when innovation is of the utmost importance. As an argument for the attainment of knowledge, by knowing what has already been done can we truly reach a higher tier. Often times, the student surpasses the teacher; after learning everything the teacher has to offer, isn’t it just obvious that one would reach beyond their scope? Socrates was a great teacher, but Plato was a great student. All great scholars left text, records and materials. Why do we have history courses? Why is it that in every course of study taken anywhere, on anything, we study the past? In physics, we study Newton’s three laws. In philosophy, we study Aristotle’s Ethics. Our nation (and all nations), poised in a position to grow, must learn the teachings of the past.

Why? Because we have this luxury; in America, and other first world countries, we are not concerned with our basic survival. Here, it’s almost taken for granted. The majority of us don’t need to worry about our next meal. America’s biggest question is… should I go to McDonald’s or Burger King. In hopes to help our fellow human race, we must understand the conclusions made in the past and move forward through innovation. I may have not figured out why we need to be together, but I believe to fully reach our potential as a human race we need to be on the same page. I believe there is one goal, and it requires one team... or else we’re just competing against ourselves.


Don't Complain

Upon completion of this introduction to fiction writing class, I have learned quite a bit. Of course I've learned about fiction writing, as was expected. What wasn’t expected was the actualization of a theory. We complain about what we see, or don’t see, in ourselves

Over the course of the last few months, I've kept an open ear to comments about my writing. This is what happens in a workshop class. Most of the students gave great critiques and they are much appreciated. Now looking back at the work that needs to be turned in for my portfolio, I find myself realizing the only comments I made to people were pertaining to something I usually do, or something that I wish I could do.

For example: to another student, I wrote they need to express more visual detail or else the reader isn’t allowed to image what is happening, it doesn’t play like a movie in the audience’s head. When it came time to write my own story, guess what was missing… the details. I wrote a story involving a masquerade ball [you’ll get details of this in due time] and yeah I described the mask but they didn’t jump off the page. When I read through the critiques of my story, people made genuine comments… and I noticed when they thought something didn’t quite work out right or wasn’t described in the best fashion, they wanted it to be described in the language they usually use or a language they wanted to use. Someone commented on my sentence structure and how I stuck to a particular style. Well, that person just happens to have the same style when they write. It appears I am not the only one that is hypocritical.

If you don’t believe me, think about when you complain about something. Is the complaint merely about yourself and you’re just projecting it onto something else? Someone was going on a tirade about how they hate people who can’t talk shit to another’s face [or have the balls to say something to a specific person, merely beating around the bush], and what do you know… that same someone just comments on their away message (for aim) [but then again, there’s always another side of the story…]. Hypocritical, I know, but I have yet to see someone who isn’t at one point or another… don’t think you’re not part of this too. Practice what you preach. Or… [see title]


A part of a whole [Part 2]

Throughout the course of this blog, there have been plenty of posts that transmit this overall idea of oneness. This consistent message that everything is better when we work as a whole and understanding that everyone is human has always been apparent in this blog. This “a part of a whole” series consists of rather long posts and I apologize for this, this topic tends to be a lengthy discussion.

Understanding everyone is human is a difficult task on its own, but further to understand that everyone is trying to do the same thing that you’re doing is something altogether completely different. Everyone is trying to live the life they want to live; bare bones, that’s what it is. I don’t believe any rational person wants to live the life that they hate, it’s just not… rational. Why is the CEO/Chairman an ass to the rest of the employees? Because s/he wants to be a leader to company that in all aspects is the best it can possibly be. Why is the neighbor so quick to object to “noise pollution?” Because s/he pictures her/his home/neighborhood in silence. Or maybe, the only type of music s/he wants to hear is the music that s/he enjoys. This is where the conflicts begin; we all don’t have the same ideal of life. My ideal life is probably different than yours. [And everyone needs to get on my page, just messin’] When everyone understands this, then this idea of oneness is much easier to comprehend.

I believe through and through that this is the answer to all of our difficulties and problems. Why do countries go to war? Because one country/leader wants something of its people and it conflicts with what another country/leader wants for theirs. Why do we have the highest car accident rate in the world? Because someone is trying to get somewhere to do something that will make their life closer to their ideal [going to work, going to the park, going to a girlfriend’s house, whatever] and someone else just happens to be doing the same thing and taking the same path. And here, we collide. Why is it so difficult to find a lasting relationship? Because for a [hopefully] long period of time, two ideal lives that two individuals want to live is one in the same or concurrent with each other. [When dating a girl… if you didn’t already know the right page is hers, and she’s already on it so you might as well just get there. Cuz she ain’t jumping onto yours or compromising… hehheh] But seriously, life would be much smoother if everyone took the time to understand the person next to them. Wanna know how to make a relationship work? Ask questions. Plain and simple, no magic tricks, acts of god or planets on silver platters. Two people just have to ask each other one thing, “What kind of life do you want to live?” If the lives sound the same, then together the two of you don’t have any problems [unless of course, the ideal of lives two people want to live are: to be alone and without attachment]. If they conflict you have two options… work it out or walk away. Simple.

[This post is about to get real sour, you have been warned]
It may seem like I think I have the answers to it all, but I’ve never claimed this. Oneness, it’s great and all, but what happens after all that? What’s the purpose of all human beings banding together? For what? If you don’t already know, I believe in purpose. I believe there is a purpose to my life, there’s a reason why I’m here. But is there, can there, be a purpose of all life? Is there a purpose to life as a whole, as a human race? Is it merely for evolution? Or is it a movie for stars? If you’ve got an answer to this, than you’re smarter than me because I’ve got nothing. [If you’ve got it, please comment… I’m begging now because this is something that needs to be answered] I know, as a human race, we are better together; I just don’t know why we need to be like this. What war are we preparing for? [And yes, this question haunts me at night.]


Why The World Needs Superman

I totally saw Superman Returns last night, at the IMAX… and it was GREAT!!! [I’m postponing this post so some people can see it, but I definitely saw it June 27, 2006 @ 10:00 PM in 3D] Now so much discussion has led me to post about superheroes and why we/I love them so. What is it about those colorful characters flying/running around in spandex? Any normal individual that does that would get… a peculiar glance, if not a few items thrown in their general direction. Maybe it’s the zero-to-hero or the outcasts that are so much cooler than the regulars. Maybe it’s the need to escape from reality into fantasy or the need to believe in something that is quite all together impossible. Maybe we just like the good vs. evil. Or, maybe, we just like the powers.
As you’ve probably already guessed, I have a particular reason why I love these superheroes so much. I’ve been running around dubbing it the Hero’s Complex, I’m not quite sure if that’s a proper term or not, but that’s what I’m referring to it as.
The Hero’s Complex is simply a connection with a greater good/cause.
  1. Save The World

  2. Battle Evil

  3. Leave Behind Personal Wants And Needs
Why do I love Wolverine? Because he knows he will always outlive any woman he comes across, so he cuts them off [literally and figuratively.] He also has a tendency to be the killer of his lover...
Why do I love Spider-Man? Because he puts his life on the line to save ordinary people, and because of this, has difficulty maintaining a “normal”/stable life. If Spider-Man unveils his true identity, they will kill Mary Jane Watson and any other lover for that matter.
Why do I love Batman? Because he works at night and no woman wants that. But more importantly, he does it because he can and not because he has to.
Why do I love Superman? Because he came to Earth alien, but is more human than anyone else. Putting on the human façade everyday, I mean physically putting it on, it’s something all together different than most other heroes. He’s here to show humans how to live. And like the fore mentioned superheroes, he’ll outlive all of the people he knows. This sets them behind a wall that only love can conquer. But they choose the other path; instead of giving into what they want, they do what is best for all. [And yes heroes do find love in other heroes, but many times it ends in tragedy.] And I can relate to that.


The Archer

Lately, I’ve been all into astrology… for a couple of reasons:
  1. It’s pretty damn interesting.

  2. It’s pretty damn intriguing.

  3. And I’m writing a short story that uses the astrological names as the characters names.
I must admit, that this is pretty difficult to do. The feeling I’m getting is that, for writers, its difficult to create a genuine character—a character that’s realistic and relatable. So, for my short story, I’m taking the traits of the astrological signs and making them into characters just to see what happens when 12 people that are similar but unique are in a room together and how that interaction plays out.
As I’m working on this, I’m finding out more and more about my astrological sign and thus more about myself. Some of this knowledge is made of only the stuff I think about when I lie awake, staring at the ceiling. With astrology, one’s future can be told simply by one’s birth date and location on the planet. This is because all the stars line in a particular pattern and format that can be read. Referring to my “Fate vs. Destiny” post, I’d like to believe that some of my future has not been set in stone. I just gotta have some control over some stuff. What I read, most of which, I liked; but astrology works best in generalities, and so, I disagreed with some of it. I’d like to think that I could make something, that’s against what the stars say, work. If it took defying gravity to achieve my goal, I’d do it [look at airplanes for an example]. I know the stars watch over us, but could I—if I wanted it bad enough—defy the stars?


So 12 has always been my lucky number and on June (06, half of 12 months) 12, 2006, I went to see an early screening of The Lake House. After the screening, I believe it to be a beautiful movie… no initial complaints (maybe a bit of understanding difficulty due to the general nature of the film… you know that whole two years apart thing but that is the case with most time travel movies). This may be because I chose to watch/enjoy this movie and not be too critical. Or maybe it was the fact that it showed/taught what I’ve been trying to teach. In fact, the whole experience showed me (and hopefully, the rest of my party) an example of something I’ve been trying to actualize. Walk with me…

*Disclaimer* None of this details are fiction, they are not exaggerated in any way *Disclaimer*

I had acquired tickets to see The Lake House from the Chicago Architecture Foundation; I was given one ticket capable of admitting two individuals. As soon as I read that I could invite someone, I thought of who would want to go and—obviously—who I wanted to go with. Many names, but no decisions were made. I spoke to my co-worker about acquiring more tickets so that I could bring all those that would want to go. I then received another ticket, now able to admit four individuals, and thirsted for more. The next time I asked I requested 10 tickets, it was taken as sarcasm… but the screening was going to be overbooked anyway and it was then “first come, first seated,” so handing out extra tickets would simply be meaningless. Nevertheless, my request was granted but I waited until 6/09/2006 before I received them (simply out of courtesy). I then asked individuals to attend this movie with me and the overall census was “we don’t want to see another speed.” (This may also be due to the fact that the gentlemen I asked live in the suburbs… ladies, I don’t know if you know this but I don’t think guys want to drive for 40-60 minutes to see a chick flick, especially with other guys) I’m thinking, this is gonna be a bust, but I would be satisfied if one individual attended with me. I don’t have a problem flying solo, but I mean, who wants to go to a premier by themselves. Anyways, one person was on board, and I was content, I stopped asking. When I received the tickets on 06/09/2006, I opened my envelope to find 6 tickets. Wow… I was given 16 seats to fill (8 tickets), excited, I again posed this question to the individuals I had asked before… and a snagged a few more on board, but not enough to fill the rest of the seats. I, left an away message on my aim, but received no responses. I decided it was okay, and left it alone, 5 seats would be left unfulfilled. During the chaos of this day, I acquired another 3 movie goers… I would be filling 14 seats (1 extra ticket). Steadily approaching the movie time, a part of my party had not arrived; out of fear of missing the movie completely, I sent part of my party in to save 14 seats and fill 5 (they took 3 tickets, now I’m down to 5 tickets/10 seats). I ended up using all (5) tickets left with me, 8 people arrived (4 tickets) and I entered the theatre (1 ticket). Isn’t it interesting that I would be given 8 tickets, when I only requested 5 (7 including the two I already owned) and then to use all the tickets to get the entire party in? Watching this movie play in my head, and the relationship to the audience is unbelievable. How is it possible for a director, who I believe doesn’t know me or any of my closest companions, to film something so close to my life (even in the details) and for us to see it all together? [There are details in the movie (and also broad ideas) that directly affect/relate to my party and me.] Breathing the same air, in the same proximity, only difference being… we are all seeing the movie, but only from different views. [I do apologize for speaking in riddles, I can’t help it. And to speak plainly would be… unjust.]

Some of you may be thinking I’m making something out of nothing or over-analyzing a daily occurrence. But haven’t you ever stepped into a room and have your favorite song (at the moment) play? Or while you’re driving in the car and thinking to yourself “I want to hear this song,” and have the radio DJ put it on after the current one finishes? How about when you’re explaining a problem to a friend and you overhear someone, you have no relation to, say something as if it was a solution to your problem, but that someone just keeps walking like it wasn’t intended for you? Or have somebody give you something that you have no idea what to do with it, then it becomes the only thing that will solve an issue further down the line? Or someone you never talk to, sitting there (almost waiting for you), when you need to vent and they have already experienced what you’re going through? I mean I could simply explain it with frequency, but it happens much too often to be that. I could call it ironic, but it happens so many times it’s not comedic.

Is it possible for the world to subtly prepare for future events? I wanna know if it’s possible for the world to prepare me to cater/relate/adjust to someone or something. Someone tell me, how the world knows what difficulties I will run into and gives me the keys to the solution.

Some people like to open a blind eye and a deaf ear and call it coincidence, but I know better.


We the People

Wow… it's been a while since I posted… about 3 weeks, did ya miss me? There's been plenty of stuff that's been keepin' me busy, and I must apologize for that. One of those thangs that happened while I was away from the keyboard, was I witnessed the march against House Resolution 4437.

400,000 immigrants walking down the Jackson Boulevard, in Chicago. Now, this bill does a number of things like requiring a “700 mile fence along the US-Mexican border” and “requiring the federal government to take custody of illegal aliens.” Other such things as “making employers to verify workers' legal status” and “housing of illegals will be considered a felony and subject to no less than 3 years in prison”… those kinda things. Then there's these small details like requiring “all United States Border Patrol uniforms to be made in the U.S. to avoid forgeries”… sometimes I wonder. [Honestly, think about how much time is spent on the little details, what my name should be on—I don't know how many times I've gone through this. It's not like I don't get it, I understand the significance… but c'mon man… decide on something a little bit more important… please. I'm beggin' here.] Anyways, for a list of details… click here.

Now, my major issue with this bill is—what happened to being American? I would argue that many people (possibly the majority) are not Americans—as defined by our important documents. For the definition of American, cannot help—instead look to the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and the Bill of Rights to define what being American is all about. Now, I'm not going to make you read these documents (but American is defined in the ideas it holds). I talked to a few individuals, asked what it means to be an American, as this debated heated. And I went through these documents, because to the rest of the world, this is what the United States of America is defined by.

The Declaration of Independence states "we hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness." I take this as "all Men" (apparently women, you are not included… hehheh)—regardless if you are American or not—are endowed with the right to "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness." Is it then, against American policy to ban an individual who is willing to accept a job below the conditions of another man? Lemme ask you this, why do people come to America? What's the number one reason, why people come/came to America? This country was once described as the land of opportunity. I would argue that it still is. With enough work, anyone can make it. [Where else can you have a guy saying "Who is Mike Jones?" and put his own cell phone number on a CD and have people buy his music and get probably the most ignorant following on Earth. I apologize if someone is offended, but seriously… he really does half the work and then repeats what he just said. There are places for that kind of music; intellectual stimulation is not one of them. I got nothing against Mike Jones; his lyrics just don't do it for me.] What I'm trying to say is, our Declaration of Independence says "hey! All men have the right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness." To deny an individual work in America, to feed her/his family is against the Declaration of Independence—especially hypocritical when it's all about family, in America.

And as always there’s another perspective to this view; if individuals deny themselves the right to “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness,” they are then not American. If I were to deny my own self the right to pursue my happiness, I am then being un-American. Saying things like "oh, it much too difficult of me to prosper in this society due to the situation I was born with," is un-American. And this is simply because “all [individuals] are created equal and endowed by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights.” If you believe yourself to be under another individual, that is un-American. And the fact is some individuals are born with more resources [money, talent, connections], it just means another individual has to work a little harder; even still, anyone can make it.

In a response to this bill, “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union” [Preamble to the United States Constitution] must reconsider our citizenship. Am I American? Are you American? “America isn’t easy. America is advanced citizenship. You’ve got to want it bad, because it’s gonna put up a fight.” [The American President]


If you didn't get it the first time

It’s a double edged-sword trait with expectations… sometimes we intend to do something or have something go a certain way, and it does… but something else overshadows it. This weekend was the last of my circle of friend’s birthdays. We’re all finally 21, congrats to everyone…we made it this far. But, it was marred by a tragedy. [If you want to know what happened, just ask… but I must warn you, the Devil is in the details.] In the end… we celebrated life, as best we could.

There’s something about “should’ve, could’ve, and would’ve,” this loss opportunity, it always seems to bring a dark shade. The prospect of achieving something great is a wonderful feeling; when it’s not fulfilled, its poison. And yes, there can be this mentality of “oh, I’ll do it better next time”—to that I say—what if there isn’t a next time? What then? Many times opportunities are only here for an instant, and often they are only one chance [first impressions are an example of this]. There’s no cure for this poison after it has already spread through the veins; it’s a possibility that over time the poison is lessened, but it will never entirely leave. What “should’ve, could’ve, and would’ve” been, will never be—nothing can change the past, it is already written. The future is a tale yet to be told. This opportunity is something that we should never let go. How many times must we be told something before we finally listen?

I’m learning… I’m trying to teach what is being taught to me [and what I've already learned]. And although I don’t know it all, I know it is being taught because it is a valuable lesson and learned some way or another. I won’t force these ideas; I say that in life, I choose to listen…and then teach what I've learned.

Snatch every opportunity, live life to fullest [not stupid, remember it makes no sense to live fast, just to die slow.] Chess moves, not checkers.

To the two sons that won’t be coming home to their mothers: peace.
To the family that sits by the hospital bedside: family is what it is all about.
To the rest of us that remain: learn something from these individuals, never let an opportunity slip away.

Guarantees... Mortal::Death


Get on board

So it finally appears that everyone got on that Fort Minor track “Where’d You Go?”, you know the one I was talking about back in November [, that’s the proof (November 23rd)]. It appears that everyone is finally realizing the totality of having soldiers leave to another country… I guess it takes that many people to leave for it to really start to hit home. Yeah, the video helps, I know. Don’t get it twisted; I’m not upset that many people just didn’t turn their heads to the guy standing in the middle of a city screaming at the top of his lungs. I guess I’m just speaking a world language and all everyone understands is American, sounds like a sad story… yeah I know. And I was thinking about that post, it’s got some serious meaning to me (the track that is) and like Linkin Park’s track “In the End,” its popularity doesn’t overshadow it’s meaning to me. [You know that song already, I’m going to say that I liked the song before it was popular… but I got no proof. That’s what makes this “Where’d You Go” more of a triumph.] The current frequent circulation of “Where’d You Go” will never take away from its meaning to me.

But since there’s this window of opportunity, I’m going to take this opportunity to give another prop to another Fort Minor track [that I can only hope will get radio play]—it’s “Right Now.” [, (November 22nd)] And this blog post is in that direction…

Sometime last year, I told someone I look at music and movies because what’s popular reflects on the society that we live in. The music that we listen to… it sets a general state of mind of/for everyone. For example, what I just said “it takes that many people to leave this country to fight a war many of us don’t believe in.” In the video for “Where’d You Go,” it portrays a family that was left behind; in the song, it’s about what’s happens to a family when someone’s gone away for a long time. See the parallel? It saddens me to see that it took this long… I’m satisfied that most of us got there, but sometimes—the luxury of time won’t be there.

Now you look at this past Oscars… some people say fuck the Oscars, but hold up a second. The five nominations are as follows… Brokeback Mountain, Capote, Crash, Good Night and Good Luck, and Munich. All five of these movies are highly regarded, many will tell you that they’re all a must see. So, how do we pick a winner? [I gotta do this at least once, get on this board and discuss the best movie… but anyways] Many were running around and saying Brokeback Mountain was going to win. I’m not going to say which one I chose, because at the time I did not see all five movies. [I think they’re all great films, by the way.] Now, I had a general understanding of what all the movies were about. From the way it looks, the academy people always pick the one that’s most pertaining to the rest of the audience. They voted for what is most relevant to the rest of the country, and what has more impact. Let’s put it this way, they were okay will the gay issue. Cuz I mean, I’m okay with gay people… it really doesn’t dwell on my mind, but I can’t stand when people are racist. And the academy seems to agree… if it didn’t already figure it out Crash won. And there’s another reason why I liked Crash so much, it was at the beginning. “It's the sense of touch. In any real city, you walk, you know? You brush past people, people bump into you. In L.A., nobody touches you. We're always behind this metal and glass. I think we miss that touch so much, that we crash into each other, just so we can feel something.” That put into words what I've been thinking and saying for the longest time.

I mean, I spent most of my time in the suburbs. Now I’m in the city, and I have this contact with so many people at one time. I witnessed the White Sox drive up my block after they won the World Series. I witnessed the 10,000 immigrants march outside my apartment to argue against a bill that would affect them. I don’t claim to meet someone new everyday, but when I meet someone… its never idle conversation. I detest idle conversation. When a conversation between two people happens, there’s got to be something there. If it’s about something that happened yesterday, please let there be something that was learned. If it’s something about what is going to happen tonight, please let it be about something more. Basically, let the question is asked… is this conversation going to matter tomorrow? Conversation is great, I love it. Talking to someone, getting their feelings about something, getting a different view… I could go on and on about it. But please… I’m begging you, let there be some substance—something deeper.

Now, here is where its gonna get cloudy, difficult… Idle conversation has benefits to it. [As everyone says, “What the fuck man.”] “General conversation” does a couple of things… it initiates conversation; conversation, often begins, with “hey, what’s up? What are you doing?” And even though its not gonna matter what I’m doing at 12:15 in the afternoon tomorrow, I still answer the question. As long as that’s not all the conversation is about, I’m cool with it. I’m just begging for something after that. Sometimes, idle conversation will tell you what a person is about. When I’m asked “hey, what are you up to?” I’ll answer with what I’m really doing. And that little bit of honestly, usually says something. “Chillin’, listenin’ to music,” (a frequent response of mine) that right there… that’s says a whole lot about me. And everyone’s got a story to tell.

Alright, now that you’ve finally “acquired” Fort Minor, Black Thought, Styles of Beyond – Right Now, allow me to speak on it.

Please… be aware of the encounters you have every day. Everyone lives in a world of their own design. Yet, we’re all together on this planet. This conflict with other nations, with other ethnicities, with other people/human beings… it brings a tear to my eyes. And it’s not about sadness, its anger. It makes me upset enough to say, we don’t deserve world peace. We deserve what we get—until we are really take a look at the world as one whole place. One planet. [This is going to come up again, it belongs in that series A part of a whole]
All of us, we’re going through something… we’re all experiencing something… take a moment and listen to what someone has to say. [Nelly – N Dey Say, lemme plug that one too] Stop this mentality of “it’s all about me and my struggle with life because what I’m going through is harder than what you’re going through.” With that way of thinking, you’re only bringing on your own ignorance. And…

Ignorance is not bliss.


The Rain

Evening. I meant to post on this topic last night, on the anniversary of… oops… almost let that one slip. No names, I almost forgot my own rules. Anyways… where was I? Ah yes, it is April. And the first fall of the heavy rain, is/was tonight. The rain… it has brought me a couple of stormy days/nights but I still look to the rain to replenish everything on Earth. Tonight’s topic is kind of a two-part integrated comment/advice blog, so prepare for it to be quite vague… but you’ll catch my drift (if the flood doesn’t drown it out).

I’ve had a couple of rough days in the rain; the rain hasn’t always been so nice to me. In another century, I've had a number of days that the rain couldn’t fall any harder. It made me follow a different path and travel down the strange road. In the rain, I lost my way many times down the same path. I've done unaccountable amounts of stupidity in the rain. Time and time again, the rain has burdened me… its heavy weight crushing me with each droplet of acid, burning to leave scars. Nevertheless, I am still here. And from this, what have I learned? The rain will do funny things to you, but beyond its dreary façade… what you truly know is underneath it all.

I've lost my way quite a few times, and I've continued to push in the wrong direction… knowing that it would only lead to me having to back-track. I’m here to bless you with my experience, maybe you have something to gain from what I've done—in the rain.

Something was said to me many years ago in the rain, and well, it led me to believe that something was meant to change on that day. As it rained, the words that were exchanged filled my heart with happiness, ignoring the facts of the calendar. This ignorance left a wound that now has been healed, but leaves a scar—the same as all wounds that are cut deep enough.

A few years ago, I made a decision to do something—blinded by the rain. On the anniversary of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, I put love against nature. I wouldn’t recommend it; it was not a pretty sight and caused quite a few more repercussions than I was prepared for. But alas, I’m still here… so it couldn’t be as bad as the Massacre. Just chalk up another scar.

Recently, this… story continued with another day of rain. As the rain fell, I didn’t know it was happening. Blinded, I continued to walk down this, now familiar path. Book II (or III?), I believe/hope, has now ended. This is a bit sparse in detail, let’s just say…:

We all do these things... we make these elaborate stories in our mind, a view of the situation that we can only see / take a look at what’s really there... what has been really said / as true intentions will reveal themselves

That was taken from a conversation I had. I hope just that little excerpt will help convey what I’m trying to say. This conversation was far deeper than I intended it to be. I believe it may have helped me more than whom it was intended for, and as always… there’s a twist, but this one… will not be revealed when the rain stops.

My apologizes… for being so vague, when it comes to these matters… they must be. In closing, don’t follow down a path of your own created images. Your mind has the power to destroy you, without ever inflicting any physical wounds. Remember that after the rain, there’s a rainbow… sometimes its just too dark to see, but its there. I’ve obviously had more rainy day experience then I would like to relive and with all that, you’d think that I’d hate the rain—but I don’t. I always remember the rain washes away all that doesn’t stain too deeply. It’s just necessary—for all of Earth’s inhabitants to grow.



I don’t know what it is with Music; songs, beats, lyrics… from classical to hip-hop to rock to techno & dance; all of it. The more I hear it, the more I beg for it. When I hear music, it flows through me… in its entirety. Sometimes (just sometimes), I think musicians are the only individuals that can reach me. The only people that can talk to me and have me understand everything so clearly. [And I know this isn’t true, I understand the people around me. As you already read, I believe I’m a pretty understanding.] There’s this presence with music, whatever needs to be said is captured in this 3-5 min spam of time full of energy, rhythm and emotion. I know not everyone feels like this, or embraces it quite like I do; and maybe this is just a pitch to open some minds and see something in a new light, but wow… I. Love. Music.

If you think about it… there’s just about a song to fit every mood and moment. There’s not a time where there isn’t music playing in my room. I just gotta have it on. It’s my alarm clock in the morning [from my computer, not my radio]. It helps me work on my projects, and it helps me not to destroy my own mind. Just to know that some one else has been there before, it’s more productive than thinking I’m the only one that feels this emotion. As you can probably tell, music has saved me on more than one occasion. The great thing about music, is it affects almost everyone in a different manner. Some with have the same feeling toward it… but never is it exactly the same.

Let’s say for example… there’s this guy and he hears Track 13 on a CD, and he thinks of a girl. And for him… it plays and plays, even when the music isn’t on. And all the time, he’s wishing the lyrics are talking about him or referencing him in some way or another. But on the other end of the world, the girl is hearing the song and thinking about someone else. She’s dying to say the words to her secret. Her and the guy that wants her, they’re at about the same passion level, but they’re miles away from each other. Same song, same feelings, different effects. At the same instance, Track 10 on the same CD is bringing two people together.

That’s the power of a CD… and that’s the power of a song. That’s the power of Music.



What is it about dreams that keep us lying in bed just a little longer. We all know once we open our eyes, the dreams never return. Maybe it’s the hope of returning to a place where everything seems like it should be… maybe it’s just an escape for our reality. These coded messages that occur when my eyes shut… there’s something about them…

When I was younger, I’d dream… they were about places afar, girls, and gifts. The images would be compiled mixes of things I've already seen and augmented in whatever way seemed fit for my mind. I used to dream of places where things weren’t “normal” or what I was used to. Places where skies weren’t blue and grass wasn’t green. And those dreams still come, but I never try to remember them. I used to dream of gifts, things given to me that would, as a child, make my life better. Maybe a telescope or a new computer… those dreams I just keep stored until I have the bank account to support them. Since I’m so into comics naturally, I’d have gifts there weren’t human… and I've since realized they were merely because of the images I've seen and that I am human… flawed in every way that makes me, me. And yes, dreams of girls… being in a relationship, trips to various places around the world, and of course nocturnal happenings. Although they were never nightmares, they still haunted me then.

Then there was a time where I couldn’t remember a dream at all. Maybe about a year went by where I couldn’t remember a dream once I woke up, I couldn’t even remember having one. At the time, I didn’t think too much of it. It was simply something that didn’t happen. I felt I was content with my life and I never needed to escape it. I lived by the quote “I don’t sleep to dream, I sleep to build stamina,” [Mike Shinoda on a DJ Vice Freestyle]. I don’t remember the day, but my dreams have returned. And it has lead to the question of “Why do we dream?”

As always, I won’t say any names but you can probably tell by my recent posts… and again I’m left with the request that these dreams leave me or that I find something about them… another reason for there presence. And this might be a singular thing that only pertains to me… but dreams have always had something to be read in them. For me, they have to take place somewhere. Most of the time, it’s in a building structure of some kind. Because of this, I have accepted the function of dreaming. And from that, let me make use of them… free and unrestricted imagination. Let me take these dreams and install them into reality. Now that I think about the quote… if I longer can be imaginative while I’m awake, then I will dream/sleep. Come to think of it, I love that quote.

Love Is...

Welcome… everyone. I’ll be honest; I’m out here second guessing myself again. Thought I had it all sorted out? The problem lies in the doors I left open. I was told once that I fear falling in love. I’d say I’d welcome it, but I’ll do nothing about it. So really what’s the point then? I've thought about love on many occasions. I don’t claim to have all the answers, but I think I got some important information to consider. So here it is, my love definition.

So it’s quite clear that everyone is looking for love… well it seems that way. But honestly, what are we looking for? How do we define love? [Take note… we] If you didn’t notice, there are different degrees for love. Is there something like true love? How is that different than real love? Are they the same thing? If they were… why do we define them differently? All the answers will come in good time. As always, we’ll start with

love P Pronunciation Key (l(image placeholder)v)n.

  • A deep, tender, ineffable feeling of affection and solicitude toward a person, such as that arising from kinship, recognition of attractive qualities, or a sense of underlying oneness. [Sense of Underlying Oneness… nicely put.]

  • A feeling of intense desire and attraction toward a person with whom one is disposed to make a pair; the emotion of sex and romance.

  • Sexual passion.

  • Sexual intercourse.

  • A love affair.

  • An intense emotional attachment, as for a pet or treasured object.

  • A person who is the object of deep or intense affection or attraction; beloved. Often used as a term of endearment.

  • An expression of one's affection: Send him my love.

  • A strong predilection or enthusiasm: a love of language.

  • The object of such an enthusiasm: The outdoors is her greatest love.

  • Love Mythology. Eros or Cupid.

  • often Love Christianity. Charity.

  • Sports. A zero score in tennis.
All strong definitions, I suppose… but how do we differentiate? Is it left to the individual? I think that’s really what it is. I can give you general thoughts about love but it really comes down to a person to decide the difference. That’s what I suppose is most difficult (I’ll explain later). But hey listen… before my definition of love was “Like a chamber of the heart, one cannot live without (insert name).” This included family, friends, and significant others. I've since adjusted this in my mind; I still believe it’s true; I need something that defines what we live with and what love really is. And as I was rolling this around in my mind, I wanted to include this idea of “love at first sight.” [Yeah, I’m still a dreamer so I gotta include this.] I think my first definition is good, but it takes times to consider something a chamber of the heart. So, I said “alright, what adjustment can I make that will include the occurrence of love at first sight?” Then it hit me, when I think of something like a painting or architecture or a poem… there’s an instant where it just fills you up with joy; and when you learn more about it… the more you like it. And if you learn something about it and it turns you off… you no longer like it. So what I’m trying to say is… emotion can happen at an instance; there’s this feeling that overtakes an individual. And its love when the more you learn about it, the more you like/appreciate/love it. Agreed? Because seriously, the more you learn about something if you learn something you don’t like, there’s no happy emotion about it. There’s no respect, no love, no like, no crush, nothing. When ya learn something you like about it, the love only grows. I think this would account for “love at first sight.” And yes, it takes time to realize this still, but it allows for it to happen in an instance. Someone can fall in love at an instance and not even realize it, until they start learning more about it. When they realize they like it more and more, then it is or was always love.

The reason why this is so important to me is because I overuse the word. I love this (I hate this) or I love that (I hate that)… I gotta define it. I have to find a definition. And really, it’s up to me to decide the difference between paternal love and kinship love and significant other love. I think the hardest to differentiate is friendship love with the opposite [or your sexual interest… for you political correct peoples] sex and significant other love. Does it simply come down to sexual attraction to make the difference? If you look back at the definition, there are two blunt occurrences of sex (2 & 3). And maybe that’s it… I don’t know. What’s not mentioned is the growth of sexual attraction. Just one day ya wake up from some dream state that you don’t want to leave and realize that you’re sexually attracted to your friend. Don’t believe it, never happened; maybe you just don’t have sexy friends. Hehheh… I’m just kidding; but it does happen. Need an example? “Lovers And Friends” Usher, Lil Jon, Ludacris. What was that? You need another one… alright… “My Love Don’t Stop” Craig David. There, [both involve sex by the way] enough said.

And yes, it doesn’t always happen on its own. It seems to always take a blunt/clever/daring (whatever you wanna call ‘em) friend to point out one’s obsession with the friend of the same sexual interest. It doesn’t always happen this way, but many times it has/will… someone says something and you start looking at the person (in question) in a different light.

The difference between Love, Lust, Infatuation, and Obsession… well that’s another time.


Marital Status: Retired - Perfect

Hey! Don’t think I forgot about you; get your ass back here. I told you I’d be back. Like I said, Saturday Night / Sunday Morning I was in some kinda funk. I’m not gonna repost what I said cuz it’s not really what was in my head, but there’s some highlights and basic ideas that’ll show up in this one. Like I said before, it was about my retirement… and like tonight’s return to being human… I’m going back with a different view on thangs. Yes, I’m still retired (and that’s brought on by a lot of stuff) but… I really don’t know how to word it… window of opportunity? I dunno… lemme just lay this down and see where it goes.

I started off by saying that I’m looking for a perfect individual, my companion and counterpart. Obviously, the first objection is going to be “there is real perfect human being.” Now… I love to play with words (if you didn’t get that), so perfect:

per·fect P Pronunciation Key (pûr(image placeholder)f(image placeholder)kt)adj.

  • Lacking nothing essential to the whole; complete of its nature or kind.

  • Being without defect or blemish: a perfect specimen.

  • Thoroughly skilled or talented in a certain field or area; proficient.

  • Completely suited for a particular purpose or situation: She was the perfect actress for the part.

  • Completely corresponding to a description, standard, or type: a perfect circle; a perfect gentleman.

  • Accurately reproducing an original: a perfect copy of the painting.

  • Complete; thorough; utter: a perfect fool.

  • Pure; undiluted; unmixed: perfect red.

  • Excellent and delightful in all respects: a perfect day.

  • Botany. Having both stamens and pistils in the same flower; monoclinous.

  • Grammar. Of, relating to, or constituting a verb form expressing action completed prior to a fixed point of reference in time.

  • Music. Designating the three basic intervals of the octave, fourth, and fifth., always come through in the clutch. First definition: complete of its nature or kind. So for a life partner, she’s got to be complete… a complete partner. Every thing I lack, she must have an essence in or of. As a counterpart, that means every thing I succeed in then must only be a glimmer in her. Hmmm… I’m not sure if I’m okay with that. Now, if she must have everything I lack, and have much of the same knowledge that I have. By sheer amount of knowledge, she would then be better than me and no longer my counterpart. Should I negate her based on that fact? Let’s move on. This is one of those things that begin as an idea, but when it comes to actuality it never appears.

So she’s got this abundant amount of knowledge then she’s got all these other qualities; like a hunger for knowledge. I mean she’s got to have that, if it’s so vivid in me. I’ll never name all the qualities that I need in a person to be considered (we’ll get into this later), but there’s some particular traits that I need. These traits are a part of me and therefore I deem them important. Now, I’m really creating this goddess almost. But I’m realistic and expecting a saint is just outta control (but it would be nice). After a while and after all these quality traits added, at what point do I expect too much? Am I allowed to want something that I've not even a glimmer close to? Basically, I look like I want something that is so much better than me that I don’t deserve it. And it is what it is, now if I think I can ever be satisfied with what I know then maybe I’ll be able to be with someone else. Those of you that know me, or hey if you read the last post… I don’t think I can be ever satisfied with what I know, there won’t be a day where I’m like “you know what; I don’t want to learn anymore.” So now what do I do? I keep designing a person that’s better than me, and that I don’t deserve. It becomes a vicious cycle; I’ll always think I’m not good enough to have such a great thing. Now I could be greedy and spoil myself a little, but I wouldn’t—it’s not my general nature. So I’m stuck… what to do? Find someone who thinks they’re just as lucky to have me and I think I am to have them? Sounds nice… but I’ll never really know if they think they’ve been so blessed. As you can see… it’s a sticky situation.

Basically, when it comes to a relationship I believe in a fair exchange. I wouldn’t want her to appreciate me more than I appreciate her, and vice versa. A fair exchange is hard to come by, not many find it… and when I do find a fair exchange, how can it be a fair exchange if what I've designed has been given to me and I’m nothing of what she has designed? Then what? Finding the one that I’ve designed is difficult, even more difficult is finding the one that I’ve designed and I (and my many flaws) an actual image of her design. Then there are all these things that I must be able to do, things like taking her typical day and making it extraordinary by doing virtually nothing (maybe something so insignificant I don’t even notice I’m doing it, but it was right at the moment she needed it.) It’s complicated, that’s what my relationship status is.

Back to why I am not going to entail all that I’ve designed. I believe in knowing what one is looking for, how are you suppose to find something you have no idea what it looks like? How do you find a needle in a hay stack, if you have no idea what a needle looks like? How do you recognize something you’ve never seen, either mentally or physically? So yes, I’ve picked the traits an individual must have for me to be with them. And I would never say them openly, why? Because I don’t want anyone to be swayed in any direction, I want people to be who they really are. Say for example, a person wants to be with me… and tries to be what I’ve designed [how did I get to be so lucky?] Naturally, she’d want to be what my ideal would be like, and then she is no longer true to herself. And well, by definition, she’s then not my ideal. Basically, I don’t want to sway anyone in any particular direction, all due credit to those that can figure out what I truly want and then tries to be what I truly want, she deserves a chance… but that’s not how I would want it. By putting out the things that you like and those that you’re not attracted to… I believe it gently (if nothing more) sways how a person is around you; and I don’t want that.

Sounds like a sad story, huh? Call it a hero complex, everyone else does. Last time I ended with “In closing, how can I love something that I don’t understand or know? I’m done with tragic endings…” It doesn’t quite fit here but you get a tone of what was said when I wasn’t myself.


Still [Only] Human

Hey all, how’s everyone doing? Man… I don’t know if y’all saw that a few days ago, but I posted when I was intoxicated. You know there’s that little warning, do not operate heavy machinery while under the influence of alcohol or any other drug… yeah… my blog should be in included. After much deliberation, sober, I chose to take it down. Don’t worry; it’s not a post that is completely lost. I will be discussing it later tonight. It was about my retirement and I preferred it be presented in a more honorable manner, such a delicate situation deserves that.

Today, including tonight is all about being human. Someone once said to me... “Carl, are you sure you’re still human?” And I kinda laughed it off… but underneath it all it was like I was becoming a machine; like I was losing my humanity. I cannot be detached from a race that I’m trying to protect and better. I can’t lose being human. Clearly, I’m not divine so I need to prove that I’m not a machine. So here comes the question, can I change myself? Can I better myself? Even of the most advanced machines today cannot notice their own flaws and improve themselves. And that there is key, noticing one’s own flaws. How can you better yourself if you don’t know what you lack? Furthermore, how can I preach something that I don’t even do myself? And yes, there have been times where I was a particular way and I changed it. And along with many great human things, no one was available to witness it in its entirety. So, how do I lead by example when there is no example?

I, of course, already know the answer [or else I wouldn’t be here talking about it]. I feel as though I lack in the reading department. I don’t believe I’ve read enough; yes, I read books from class, but books from class don’t nearly cover as much as I should have read. And yeah, I read stuff about philosophy and about architecture, and I’m in tune with poetry and various amounts of literature. But I’m still lacking in the reading department. I don’t read enough, period; there’s no doubt about it. So to be more well-read, I am taking it upon myself to read more. It’s far easier to change oneself, than to change another. So instead of waiting for someone to make me read [like all those that have tried before], I am going to pick a book up on my own and lead by example. As this blog is a promise to me, and I don’t know how y’all can check on me, but I hope that you will begin to notice the change… hopefully references to novels and plays as well as music and movies will begin to appear. But wait, there’s more. It appears there’s an obligation from the audience.

Simply, I ask for material. How can I be well rounded without hearing from various sources? I have spoken to my closest avid readers and requested a comprehensive list, I hope this list varies as much as the character of these individuals I have asked. Even with this, it is not going to be enough. If you have a suggestion, please never hesitate to present it here. I wait with a willing mind and open hands.


The Comeback

What’s up? How’s every one doing? How’s everyone doing? Yeah, that’s deliberately two separate questions. [How is every (single) one (person) doing and how is everyone (collectively) doing.] All is well, I hope. I’m kinda in some other element today. Not in my usual self, but it’s all gravy. I planned for a free write last night. Seriously, it was suppose to be a meditation and just to see what came up… what was on the mind. Because of some particular factors, that wasn’t possible. Funny thing is, amidst of that events I found a topic. As usual it’s pretty broad and general, but as always, I hope that it will apply to you in some way or another. As always, my mind is racing… but the mind is supposed to move faster than anything physical [the mind isn’t bound by anything physical].

I touched on that whole, “how I know I’m right” stuff before and I wanted to bring it up again. Right and wrong… it’s something that really cannot be decided upon (ever). What seems to be right may be held wrong in another context or culture. The easiest example of this is any political debate. Pick any political issue, the reason it’s an issue is some feel its right and some believe it’s wrong. I try my best to not live in absolutes; it’s a bad thing to do. There’s always a grey area, the “right” answer is never crystal clear. Anyways, I’m sidetracking here but… back to the subject.

How do I know I’m right? Hmmm… I’ll be honest and say I’m not. I always allow for another person to give me another opinion. I practically beg you to comment here, [that hardly gets answered, but that’s okay]. I’m always begging for a fault in my thinking. So that my thinking and be restructured and hopefully for the better. Some may argue how it is possible that I believe in my decisions or choices so faithfully. I’d answer with “because we have to believe in something.” Many people think I’m being arrogant, when really I’m just confident in what I’m doing. If they would simply just pay a little more attention and give the amount I give in return, then we’d be pretty clear on things. The people that are pretty close to me (and even ask for my advice), I pretty sure they believe me to be a pretty understanding kinda guy… I see a situation in its entirety, not much escapes me. It all gets factored in, when I respond to people. I respect people for what they are; I stay away from generalizations and give humans human qualities. Like the ability to change, adjust, be understanding, and be intelligent, just to name a few. Yeah, that was a tangent but anyways…

Now this all came up when was in a pretty odd situation. You ever notice how those that retire can never really leave? Like Jordan, he came back so many different times. Jay-Z, he retires… but only from making complete CDs. He just gets on the tracks with other people. DMX [one of my favorites] claimed his 2003 CD was his last, yeah there’s another expected by the end of the summer. Smashing Pumpkins reuniting? And what’s this I hear about Guns N’ Roses? Why is it so difficult to walk away from something we love? I claimed my retirement from a few things, and I started to second guess them all. The difficulty is I reasoned them all out. I know why I retired from them. And they’re still clear as day, the decision that is. When I think about it, I still follow the same path to the same decision. Now this may be attributed to the fact that no one has been able to successfully refute my retirement.

So as I’ve been rolling this around in my head; but I wasn’t thinking about it when I was doing Architecture stuff last night. And there was this whole big thing about me having to watch “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days,” [long story short: there was a whole bunch of cosmological messages hinting to this movie, over the last few weeks. It was mentioned something like 4-6 times in 2-3 weeks.] And so I watched it while I was working on some Architecture stuff. At the end of the movie, I sat there and was like “what is there for me to learn, what message am I suppose to get.” And what was in my mind while I was watching it was: Things never always work out as it was planned. [There’s an issue with wording, but whatever] [Removing as many names and details as possible] it came up to “Am I supposed to reconsider my retirement, because ‘things never always work out the way it was planned.’” And I rolled that around in my mind, and then I remember a conversation that I had earlier in the night that appears to be pretty significant. I’m quoting myself here but I said “sometimes as humans we must be content with the fact that sometimes the solution isn't available and the one we chose just has to be satisfactory.” And the context of the conversation that this quote comes from really has nothing to do with my retirement; it was with/about someone else. The application to this situation is apparent. I guess I just gotta stick with my decision, until some thing pulls me toward another direction. Any thoughts?


Most of you already know, I’m a design student… trying to design everything I suppose. And it appears I designed my own future… and yet no one has anything to say about it. I don’t give a damn how good a designer is; they will always have those individuals that argue against it. And this is because design isn’t universally agreeable. It’s too general, and too broad. So if the objection is out there, then there must be someone to bring it.


Hello Friend

Wow… it’s been a while, it’s like every time I get to do this is few and far in between. It’s like trying to meet with an old friend; plans don’t always fit right and all that stuff. But don’t forget, I love doing this. So hello old friend, how is everything? As always, I hope all is well and if not it will be. Man… a lot has happened since I was last on here, let’s see… hmmm… lots of work (but you already knew that, because if there wasn’t I’d be on here), you probably don’t care too much for it [if it was architecture, I’d be all about it; but its like trivial stuff, not even school work.] So what’s happened? Just life, I suppose. I got married.

Ha! Yeah right, but it’s a nice transition into tonight’s topic. You know that “How to” page on Google’s homepage is really good. It comments on many different topics that are pretty epic., that’s a good page if you haven’t read it, it was posted a few days ago. I think your parents, ya gotta be on good terms or else it’s hard to do something you believe in… it’s hard to go through a struggle without any support. Anyways, that’s a topic for next time. Even still tonight’s [was pre-thought before this showed up, nevertheless its nice information to read afterwards… it’s a different view (kinda)] topic is on relationships with people (other than your parents). I spend all this time praising and now my argument differs from it. Here’s an original idea: read both and decide on something for yourself. I’m merely presenting my view of things.

Friends… quite possibly the only thing that is so common but not a whole lot of individuals know how to do it correctly. That’s kinda a negative view; I know there are many individuals that have no one else to depend on. It’s that what a friend is some one to depend on? It’s not all they are, but it’s a pretty important trait. When it comes to friends, it’s difficult to find the one that is genuine. I think I’ve been blessed with quite a few individuals I can truly depend on. The criteria for a good friend are pretty extensive, and I know I won’t hit on all the traits… but hopefully I’ll get the heavy hitters.

friend P Pronunciation Key (fr(image placeholder)nd)n.
  1. A person whom one knows, likes, and trusts.

  2. A person whom one knows; an acquaintance.

  3. A person with whom one is allied in a struggle or cause; a comrade.

  4. One who supports, sympathizes with, or patronizes a group, cause, or movement: friends of the clean air movement.

  5. Friend A member of the Society of Friends; a Quaker.
(I love, knowledge is power) always provides a pretty good basis; I always take it with a grain of salt. I’d argue with 2 and you’ll see why in a little bit. I want to highlight 3 though; I think that’s pretty important.

The people I call friends has quite a few individuals in it, truly individuals, people are very different from each other. And I love it, it’s not just those individuals that I grew up with, so we’re not bound by the simple fact of time. I have newer friends and I have elementary school friends, and they all follow under my criteria for friend. In our current era, (and I’m not helping this either by joining, I’ll argue for this later) the term friend has been abused and mistreated. [I see as a way to keep in touch with individuals that have flown away, it’s nice to check up on people… see how the trials of life have developed whomever, and it’s not to the extent that it is like a stalker (i.e. or whatever it is)]

Lemme get on point, I wanna take that definition I highlighted and start there. In the struggle that we call life, we’ll find individuals fighting for the same thing that we’re fighting for. Whether it’s a real problem we’re trying to solve or just trying to have that time where we can take it easy, we’ll have people trying to achieve the same thing. When I think of the people I call friends, I could (and have) told them by dreams and my plans for life. There’s no feeling of their reaction as negative. When you tell someone your dream (not the one some of you have a night), there are a few things that could happen (I’m highlighting two): they could laugh at you or they could accept you (maybe even try to help you get there). When I’ve discussed what I wanted to do in life, (and maybe this is by general nature) but there’s never a fear of being laughed at; further more, I haven’t been laughed at—why tell someone something you truly believe in, if you think you’re going to be laughed at. There are all these intangibles when it comes to friends, it’s never anything material. With this comfort zone of being able to tell someone your deepest thoughts, there comes qualities of the relationship—trust, I think, is the biggest. I trust they won’t laugh, I trust they will accept it, and I trust them with that information. Anyone that’s two-face is not a friend, and everyone knows this but no one really believes it. People can tell when someone isn’t being genuine; you can hear it in their voice or tell by their body language. And I know it’s the tip of the iceberg, but I lost my train of thought [the next section is nagging me to get to it]

So, how to be a good friend… well be genuine. That ehowto I gave earlier, I would argue that’s what makes a good friend relationship. The “how to” takes about a relationship in terms of significant other. I argue all those qualities should be present with your friends. The first section, that’s the best statement of telling the truth to people. Another quality a good friend should have is a good listener. Listen. I’m not talking about just hearing them out, letting them vent. They could vent to a teddy bear or bottle if they wanted to, when someone says something to you—listen to it, and think about it (it’s not hard…). How can you give feedback if you’re not listening? Again, tip of the iceberg, but the next section is naggin’ me [man, I type pretty quickly, there’s got to be a way where I can just think and it types it all out].

Now I argue the “how to” shows how to be a good friend (and it was intended to show how to have a healthy relationship), so the question comes up how do we pick a significant other? Because obviously those qualities have to be present when picking a significant other, what separates a friend from a significant other? Now I haven’t completely mapped this out, but there are a few things that would separate a friend from a significant other. I think being attracted to, is something small but a part of it. More importantly is someone you want to procreate with. Someone you want to create life with, that’s not exactly something that’s done between friends. I know I’m a reflection of (both) my parents, I can see traits and qualities of both. Think about this when picking a significant other. Basically, what would you like your kids to be like? This will probably lead to some argument for dating, something along the lines of seeing how they react to particular situations and finding their true nature (we’ll talk about this later). But back on point, significant other, the person you marry is and should be someone you’d like to see copies of—someone to procreate with. Here’s something to think about: How can you choose who to be with, if you’re not comfortable with yourself?

And as always, these are my opinions; they have been developed as a result of my experiences and thoughts. With that, I always welcome yours because they are derived from your experiences and your thoughts.


Current Era

Hey everyone… how’s everyone doing tonight? I hope all is well with you and yours. There’s been something that I’ve been thinking about lately… it’s the simple question of progress. Are we making any? This question has a pretty broad scope so, I’m going to narrow it down for everyone. Hopefully, make it simpler. Most of the nation enjoyed the Super Bowl today, [Congratulations to the Pittsburgh Steelers]. During the course of the game, there were a few records that were broken. In this small scope, progress is can be easily seen. When records are broken, its clear there has been some advances in a particular field. With the (generally) always entertaining commercials, we can see advances in technology among other things. Here, progress is evident. In other particular fields of interest, progress isn’t so clear….

For my focus tonight, I’m specifically talking about Architecture. Has architecture made progress? When we study architecture it’s about epic works of art and major forward movement. We hear stories of Louis Sullivan, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Frank Lloyd Wright, among others [merely selected for their popularity]. Was their fame and greatness given to them during their life time or after their passing? Was Le Corbusier helmed as one of the best architects to ever live or did he get that after he passed away? Who can say who is going to be truly great? Who is the next big name in architecture? Who is the next “Sullivan,” “Wright,” or “Mies?” Is it Rem Koolhaas? Is it Adrian Smith? Is it Frank O. Gehry? Or is it someone who isn’t vastly known right now, only honored among architects like Douglas Garofalo. Furthermore, who determines who is truly great and who is just a member of the rest of the crowd? The problem with these questions, I believe, is there is no way to answer them. How do we define greatness? Are we only remembered when we are dead or gone? I would love to be admitted as a truly great architect, but it’s not my top priority. My top priority is to be heard. I would prefer that my messages through my architecture echo louder than those that I place here on this blog, but those are all in the details. [Although, I would also love if my blog receive recognition… but like I said, it’s not necessary.]

Wow… I’ve kinda diverged from the actual question of progress. Have we made progress in architecture? In technology… yes, what about design? Does it merely change with the times? In architecture, we can look back and say “hey, that’s classical” or “that’s gothic.” How do we determine what is modern? How does something like post-modern exist? And if the term modern applies to a certain time period (from this year to that year), what do we call our type of work now? What is our style in this time period, what will we be called when it’s looked back on? I suppose this post isn’t so much about progress, maybe it’s just a question of what type of era we are in. Funny question about time… how do we define it? Maybe it’s only useful as a 4th dimension of labeling things.

I remember a time when Tupac Shakur was alive, when Notorious B.I.G. was leading the east coast rap. Did I take them for granted when they were alive? Are they great now because they were taken away? Why is it so difficult to cherish something that we have, when we have it? Maybe if that doesn’t relate to you, how about Troy Aikman… inducted into the Hall of Fame on Saturday. Hmmm… that’s a pretty good example; after he retires he gets inducted into the Hall of Fame. Or Jerome Bettis, who announces his retirement at the Super Bowl… here’s a better example, Hines Ward, the MVP of tonight’s game. He’s never the guy to show-off, he just does he job. He did his job in this Super Bowl and was recognized as the MVP of the game. Will he be inducted into the Hall of Fame? Seems like it’s up to a committee to decide on that question. These little defining moments that separate what is truly great from those that are members of the crowd are slim and slight. Fame is a difficult honor to chase. I think the right way is to go after something you truly believe in, and not to chase fame. If there’s a message you want to give the rest of the world, give it. If there’s something you’re begging to scream at the top of your lungs, scream it. I’ve noticed, among other things, that when something in kept inside a person it only leaves to destruction of that person. As a human being, I’ve been given so many different opportunities to express myself… I plan to use them all.

How do I know I’m right? I think we’ll save that for another time.


A part of a whole [Part 1]

Wow… I find myself apologizing every time I come online to post on my blog. It’s like I’m not fulfilling my part of the deal, my honor to have a blog and a microphone to speak from. I can only apologize, it’s not like I’m not thinking… it’s just…. Never mind, there are no excuses.

The topic for today is an issue that’s been swirling around in my head (this is only the tip of the iceberg; there will be more on this as it develops). Many of the stuff I’m integrated in have brought this to my attention. During a discussion in one of my classes, I was getting the tone that most everyone was rather afraid of being a part of a whole. The question was posed “are we losing our sense of region?” Basically, are we losing the sense of a Chicagoan or New Yorker? Rem Koolhaas [OMA Architect] has stated that we are losing the sense of Urbanism. The skyscraper is making all the cities look the same and there’s nothing unique from city to city. I would ask, what’s wrong with being a globe and not just cities. What would happen if there were cities that ran the world as a cohesive unit, together? What’s wrong with the idea of “World City,” coming full circle? Imagine if there were a number of cities that literally ran the world, kinda like offices in a worldwide corporation. What would we be divided by then? Beliefs… if we are going to have a division, I say have the division on trivial beliefs. Something as small as, I am a White Sox fan vs. I am a Cubs fan. These are beliefs we cannot go to war over. [Possibly, a small step toward World Peace?] The only problem with having to come to an agreement on big issues is always a problem. Recently, the question of abortion was voted on again: Pro-Choice vs. Pro-Life. Whether you want to believe it or not, there are advantages to both sides. I always find the answer is always somewhere in the middle. [We’ll talk about abortion some other time, gotta refocus.]

I’m a Buddhist, and for the next part of this blog, I feel I need to provide a little background information. Over time, there have been two separate ideas for Buddhism. The general goal is enlightenment; this is where the division comes. Some people in enlightenment for the individual, others believe in enlightenment for all. I am a believer in enlightenment for all. As I understand it, if we [as humans] are all trying to get to one place (whatever you wanna call the place, enlightenment or heaven) why can’t we get there, together; that’s my justification. Furthermore, whatever I do in life let it be for the good of all. Here’s how it fits into my argument for globalization.

If the cities/countries that have power, and make the selfless act of helping another city/country then we’ll all get to where we are trying to get to [enlightenment or heaven, there’s more… I know]. Things like AIDS awareness, are steps in the right direction… making things a world problem, world issue. Banning together to achieve a goal, “Together we stand, divided we fall.” Remember, we’re all on this planet… all part of a whole. I have no problem with lending a helping hand. Others will argue, we have our own problems to deal with; this is true, we do have problems, but with this design wouldn’t we be able to help each other? Some countries are hungry; some countries have an abundance of food. Keep your eyes on the goal. Then some would argue “that’s their problem, we shouldn’t make it ours.” Can you hear how selfish that is? Here we are with the tools we have to save another, yet we don’t act. Makes us look like a real hero, Superman should be jealous. Yeah, Superman… [In the comic world] an individual that saves the planet that he’s not from, a planet that would exile him if the majority knew he didn’t belong. He completes a selfless act every time the planet is in need.

Now, people would question, “what about the guy you wanted to remove from architecture school.” Furthermore, “if you have the have the tools to help someone, why don’t you?” There are some that don’t want to grasp the picture that I’m painting. Those individuals I cannot help. There are those that are trying to grasp that same image, I question if they’ll get the image before it’s too late or grasp the image in its entirety. I believe in the human being, the ability to change is phenomenal. I partner those that are willing to achieve the same goal that I am trying to achieve; I would hope that we are on the same page. How do I know my goal is right? Is my goal noble enough? Is helping somewhere else when I am most fortunate, is that noble enough? Then people always ask, why aren’t you helping now… why are you spending your money to go to school and all this other jazzy stuff. As long as it is providing me with more tools to achieve my goal, then I must give my time for it. A samurai doesn’t run into battle with just a sword and expect to win. To answer the first question I would respond, if the individual is inadequate then their help would only hurt; we would take steps backward, because the job of an architect is very powerful—thus, it has many of responsibilities. [Things like protecting people from the weather while they try to achieve their goal, and assisting people to their job, those are just a small taste.]

Others would then question, what about losing culture? What about Globalization washing the sense of region? Here’s where the job of the architect is most evident. When an architect designs, the architect would need to worry about where the architect is… pay tribute to the location… if the architect is in Paris, the design would reflect the culture. If the architect is in Tokyo, there should be evidence of that in the design. Don’t just pop-up cookie cutter buildings that have no references. If a building were to be relocated, then the building needs to feel out of place. How you express this as an architect that is your style.

Now you always have those individuals that say “Hey, if you’ve got this great idea… then how do we get there?” I answer with a simple quote: “Be the change, you want to see in the world” [Gandhi]. I believe it… and honestly, how hard is that?


Hungry For More

Guess who’s back, and in full effect? Yeah, that’s right. And honestly, it’s good to be back. Many people were asking how the break was and this and dat, and I must say, the break was kinda long. That’s probably due to the fact that I did next to nothing during the break, yeah… me, do nothing… yeah it was kinda rough. But I’m here now, and that’s all that matters. [I’ll fill ya in on the details of the break later… maybe… if it’s relevant]

I had two classes today; my philosophy class was the later one. The first day of this class was rather simple, mostly stuff like: this is the syllabus, this is what we want to achieve in the course. It’s more of a writer’s course, course level 400 something. No actual discussion today, so I won’t bore you with that… moving onto the earlier part of the day. Oh Yeah!

Architecture started at 10:00 this morning, and it was AWESOME! Jumped right in saddle, the professor provided an excellent introduction to the course and its material. He hit a lot of key points that I was rolling over last semester… some of the stuff I've already talked about. Things like what we do as a profession of Architecture, [moving forward while looking back], Time [its importance] and more… can’t think of it right now… wanna move on. [He seems to like dissecting words and wordplay… sounds like anyone you know?] He brought one particular thing that I didn’t think so much about. [That’s the key to get on my good side. Showing me something I didn’t think of. Think that’s kinda hard?] Anyways, there was a blurb about the maintenance crew and starting anew. The link was pretty detailed and I’m not in the current state of mind to reiterate it, but I don’t know about you… but the first thing I did of the New Year was clean up. Cleaned up at home, cleaned up at the apartment, cleaned the computer, Cleaned. He made the point that there must be a clean surface before you can begin anything. And I rolled this over in my head; I've always cleaned, subconsciously, probably because my father always asked that I cleaned. Almost planting the seed that I clean to begin anew, New Year, New Project, New Semester, lots of new things going on. He also brought up Janus, the Roman God of gates, doorways and thus beginnings and ends. [Very important to Architecture] January comes from the name Janus, ending the year and beginning a new year in January, also the idea of preserving the year. Lots of ideas, I’ll probably discuss through this month. He also brought up… damn… lost transmission… brought up… hmmm… oh yeah! Friedrich Nietzsche, the “first modern” philosopher, a philosopher that blazes his own trail. [There’s another thing to get on my good side.] Now, I've read Nietzsche material before and I’m familiar with it… I just didn’t think it would be brought up. There is no belief in coincidences here. I wouldn’t doubt that some of the Nietzsche material has made me what I am today… things like not being able to make a decision without reason and blazing my own trail and thinking… making my own decision… listening to the context of a quote before judging the quote… all those things… many other things… too much to explain. An explosion on the first day… and I welcome it. Now, I talk about weedy out the crap, and only wanting the crème of the crop… this professor will remove some students… I will attempt to match this, moreover when he is absent, things like discussion and studio. For the rest of the students in my classes “what does not destroy [you/me], will make [you/me] stronger.” [If you didn’t get it, that’s a quote/idea by Nietzsche]