November 30, 2004

Please take these words and do with them what you would like

I returned to school Sunday evening to find the house freezing and my fish dead at the bottom of his tank. Apparently when we leave the house for long periods of time, they turn the heat down to 50. I wish someone would have informed me of that because I would have bought a heater for the tank. Oh well, I guess he was going to die eventually, but it just kinda sucked to come back from break and find him dead. I had to scoop him out with a plastic bag and flush him down the toilet. People seemed to think this was an improper burial, but I think fish should be buried at sea. And by at sea I mean in the sewage system. That's what you do with a dead fish. You flush it. I mean, it's not like we have a yard to bury it in. So I think after Christmas break I'm going to get some new fish.
The next two weeks are going to be incredibly hectic. Not only do I have a ton of writing to do for various classes, but there's a ton of Sinfonia stuff going on too. Not to mention awesome basketball games, like the one against Wake Forest tomorrow night! I can't wait! I also can't wait for this semester to be over. This has been by far my poorest semester academically since I got to college. Next semester I'm going to have to learn to balance my school work with my social life a lot better. Anyway, I should probably get going to class pretty soon.

SONG OF THE MOMENT: (in honor of my dear, departed fish)

Who Wrote Holden Caulfield? - Green Day (from Kerplunk)

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November 26, 2004

I get the only news I need from the weather report

I know this entry is a day late, but I'm going to go ahead with it anyway.

Things I'm thankful for this year:

My family, despite all their problems and eccentricities, they are a constant source of love and support.
My friends, no matter how much shit we give each other sometimes I don't know how I would make it through my life every day without them.
Music, my constant companion that makes even life's most difficult moments bearable. I don't know of many feelings greater than listening to a great song.
Good teachers, who have taught me about a million things about writing and about life.
All the literature and poetry that is being created every day.
Great movies, especially Garden State this year.
The chance to get a college education at the University of Illinois.
Living in a country that can maintain peace and order despite political disputes.
The fact that the worst health problem I've ever had is appendicitis.
Living in the Midwest, where I get to experience all the seasons.
Getting to go to England this past summer.
Baseball.
Illini Basketball.
The BFH
Portillo's
Simon's
Niro's Gyros
Bobo China
Guiness
Jameson
Reruns of good TV shows.
Scrubs
...and Kordik, for providing me with this blog space. Peace.

SONG OF THE MOMENT:

Get 'Em High - Kanye West feat. Talib Kweli

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November 23, 2004

It's a cold and it's a broken hallelujah

I'm typing this message from at home in the greater Lombard/Villa Park/Elmhurst area. This is only the second time all semester that I've been home. It amazes me how little things change around here. The occasional store front gets renovated or some old business goes under or a new one gets started, but other than that things seem pretty static. Everything here goes about its daily routine without concern for whether or not I'm around. I went back to Willowbrook for the first time since my freshmen year of college. I went to see a play called Dancing at Lughnasa. I'd heard mixed reviews from people who still have family connections there, but I really enjoyed the play. It was weird to see the theatre still going without me. I wondered how many of the people who were involved in this production even knew my name. My brothers and I were there for 30 productions. I saw Siciliani (who has taken her husband's name now) and Dale and Epple. We had brief conversation but there really wasn't too much to say. Later that night I went to Phi Mu Alpha initiation at Elmhurst College and found out a few people I went to high school with are in my fraternity. It was bizarre. It was also weird to be sitting at Kopper Kitchen till 7 a.m. with people from U of I. I have to go get my mom from work right now...so more later I guess.

SONG OF THE MOMENT:

So What - Miles Davis (From Kind of Blue)

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November 18, 2004

And Never Getting Help Doesn't Make You Brave

For some reason I decided this week would be a good time to commit academic suicide. I have honestly done NOTHING all week. For yet another week I completely ditch my Poli Sci class. I was supposed to turn in a story for Rhet last Tuesday and I didn't turn it in till today. I ditched band and English yesterday. I ditched Rhet and my journalism lab today. Ditching J lab was probably a really bad idea. I hope the prof didn't give any writing assignments. Oh well. He assigned a 6-8 page news feature on Tuesday that's due the second to last class. I have no idea what I'm going to write about. I went to work yesterday and I'm going today. So I guess the point is, if the university wants me to go to class, they should pay me. Tomorrow is a totally free day. Both my classes were cancelled and I took off work. I plan on drinking heavily tonight and not doing shit tomorrow till it's time to drink more and then go to the basketball game. Then it's time for the long drive home. That should be fun times. It's the same crew that road up with mike when we went to Northwestern.

I'm looking forward to the week at home. I've kinda been in a bad mood lately and I don't really know why. I'm hoping a hiatus from school and work and stress will solve that. There won't even be much holiday stress this year because we're going to Aunt Nancy and Uncle Bill's for Thanksgiving. mmmm Thanksgiving. I can't wait to eat myself to death. I also can't wait to get the Seinfeld DVDs and the new U2 album on Tuesday. Camping out at Rachel's farm that night is going to be SWEET! I haven't camped in forever. I'm also contemplating going back to Willowbrook to see the play. I haven't done that in FOREVER. It'll be interesting to see how things are going there now.

Anyway, I have to run to the LAS office in Lincoln Hall now to fill out some paper work so I can do this whole dual degree thing. Fun times. Later.

SONG OF THE MOMENT:

Just What I Needed - The Cars

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November 13, 2004

She drank all of the whiskey but she left me the rum and tonight I'll take what I can get

Last night was a return to good ol' fashion BFH craziness. A little wine and cheese shindig with special guest Dan Kordik and Friends. Good times. I got here a little late because I had some Phi Mu Alpha stuff to do but I still managed to have quite a good time. Later in the night, after Mike got naked - AGAIN - he and I went to TEPs with Rachel, Jodi, and Carrie. It was kinda fun although I felt bad the whole time that others got left behind.

I hate it when I feel like people's attitudes toward me change and I can't figure out anything that I could have done to cause it. I don't like it when I feel like people are upset with me or are dissapointed with me or something. It would really help if people could just be more open with each other about their problems. I can't think of anything I've done wrong, but if someone perceives something that I have done as a slight toward them or something, I really wish they would say something to me about it so we could talk about it. I don't like it when I don't know why people are treating me differently than they normally do. Communication, people, communication.

SONG OF THE MOMENT:

Say It Ain't So - The Jeff Lash Trio (covering Weezer)

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November 9, 2004

Down with the moral majority?

The referendum on the presidency of George W. Bush has passed. Not only did the incumbent president defeat Sen. John Kerry but the Republican Party gained the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives and widened their majority in the U.S. Senate. It was such a bad night for Democrats that they even saw their Senate Minority Leader, Tom Daschle, unseated in a race in South Dakota.
Despite the fact that exit polling and high levels of voter turn out indicated early that Kerry might have the advantage, Bush received 51 percent of the popular vote. That is a larger percentage than anyone has received since his father, George H.W. Bush, was elected in 1988.
Conventional logic says that high voter turn usually works to the benefit of Democratic candidates, so the results of this election were somewhat puzzling to many political analysts.
In this election, however, Democrats and Republicans alike poured vast amounts of time and money into getting people out to the polling places on Election Day. Bush campaign advisor Karl Rove said that there were 4 million evangelical Christians who did not vote in 2000 and it was his hope to get them to the polls this November. It appears that he did.
The GOP views their resounding victory in this election as a mandate from the people on a number of issues ranging from so-called “moral issues” (such as gay marriage and abortion) to security and defense.
The Democratic Party should take this election as a sign as well. They have some serious thinking to do that they should have been doing since the GOP gained power in Congress after the 2002 election.
Bush’s victory in both the popular vote and the electoral vote removes any questions about the legitimacy of his presidency. Hopefully this fact will help Democrats stop dwelling on what went wrong in 2000 and move their focus to what they are going to do in 2006 and more importantly in 2008.
They need to find the clarity of message that seemed to work so well for the GOP in this election. Voters knew that when they voted for Bush, they were voting for conservative fiscal policy, conservative social values, and aggressive foreign policy. They may not have agreed with the president on all of these categories but some combination was enough to win their vote. At times it seemed that the only thing voters could be sure that a vote for Kerry stood for was a vote against Bush.
During CNN’s coverage of the election, Larry King mentioned that if there was anything the Democrats could be happy about on Tuesday night, it was the victory of Barack Obama in the Senate race in Illinois. This seems to hold rather true, and perhaps the party can take a cue from its young star.
Obama’s victory by a margin of over 40 percent shows that there are people within the Democratic Party that can have that kind of broad appeal, winning the vote even in GOP strongholds like DuPage County.
This is not suggesting that the young senator-elect should lead the party’s national ticket in 2008. He is already trying his hardest to squelch those rumors.
It is Obama’s style and political attitude that his party could stand to learn something from. In a time when many conservative Americans view Democrats as liberal elitists, Obama managed to gain overwhelming support by simply talking to voters. He assured people that he had their best interests in mind and that he is willing to compromise to do what is best for the American people. After his election he said his plan was to go around and talk with voters again, particularly those who voted against him.
The Democratic Party clearly has some regrouping to do after Tuesday’s defeat. When they sit down to plan for the years to come, it might not be a bad idea to invite Obama to the table.


SONG OF THE MOMENT:

Shirts and Gloves - Dashboard Confessional

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November 7, 2004

There are things that drift away like our endless, numbered days

I can't help but feeling like I'm at a point in my life where something needs to happen or something needs to change. There come these times every so often in my life that I feel like things are beginning to stagnate and if I don't do something about it I'm going to be stuck where I am forever. Usually I have no idea what it is that I want to happen or what it is that I think needs to change. A lot of time I get the feeling that all of this stems from the fact that I just have a hard time being content with the state of my life. I always feel like there is something more that I could be doing or more out there that I could be experiencing. This is a good way to ward off complacency, I suppose, but it also makes it hard to be happy with my life as it is. I know I have a lot to be happy about. I have a good family and a lot of friends that I really enjoy being with. There is just someting that's missing from my life though. I was thinking about this the other day and I realized that what I really want is someone who will care about me as much as I care about them. Not that I don't have friends and family that do care about me, but I'm talking about something different. I want to know that I have a purpose to my life other than myself. When I was thinking about this before I realized that some of this anxiety my find its root in my troubled, if not atrophied relationship with God. I don't want to get all religious here so I'll just leave that point at that. I guess I'd just like to be able to count on the fact that someone is thinking about me. Maybe that's self-centered. I don't know.

SONG OF THE MOMENT:

Straylight Run - Existentialism on Prom Night

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November 2, 2004

When fire and the ocean floor collide

Halloween kicked ass. Hands down. I didn't put tons of effort into my costume but the fact that Rach and Carrie were mobsters too made it awesome. We were ready to take out anyone we needed to. I was probably the least drunk out of everyone both nights this weekend which was interesting and fun for me. It was hilarious to see Brend so drunk he started talking like Mitch Hedburg and ending every sentence with "haha!" Jared was hitting on girls like crazy but not just for himself, for everyone else at the party too. Even people we didn't know. It was awesome. Saturday was another crazy closed party at Triangle. Good times. I thought some shit was going to go down but everything turned out to be ok. The night ended with Mike streaking home from the Republican building. Hands down one of the funniest things I have ever witnessed in my life. It was also hilarious Sunday morning at about 10 when Holler came strolling into the living room even though no one that was in there even knew he came back to the BFH that night. Sunday was a relaxing day of chinese food and Ghostbusters. Mike and I went over to Swanky Bubbles at night and ate pizza and watched some horror flicks. Good times. Let me just say, tickle wars are dangerous.

I got this fortune on Sunday and I liked it. I hope it's true.

"Good things are being said about you" ...in bed! (just kidding)

SONG OF THE MOMENT:

Paris - Backdrop (yeah, I'm goin old school on that one)

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