Monthly Archives: January 2009

joys [archive]

you might think that list-making is a pointless exercise, but if you do, then you should also realize that everything else we do in this universe is a pointless exercise. but the reason we don’t just fall over and let ourselves die in three days is just because! well, just because, Meryl decided to make a list of her Top 25 songs (artificially only allowing one song per artist). how could i not follow suit?

  1. Bob Dylan – Blowin’ in the Wind
  2. Nine Inch Nails – Closer
  3. Pink Floyd – Echoes
  4. Tool – Third Eye
  5. Daft Punk – Human After All / Together / One More Time [Reprise] / Music Sounds Better With You
  6. The Doors – When the Music’s Over
  7. Panda Bear – Comfy in Nautica
  8. Aphex Twin – Mt. Saint Michel+St. Michaels Mount
  9. Led Zeppelin – The Ocean
  10. Michael Jackson – Billie Jean
  11. The Beatles – Here, There and Everywhere
  12. Radiohead – You and Whose Army?
  13. Devendra Banhart – Heard Somebody Say
  14. Kraftwerk – Computer Love
  15. The Flaming Lips – Do You Realize??
  16. New Order – Blue Monday
  17. Neutral Milk Hotel – In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
  18. Wilco – Forget the Flowers
  19. mum – weeping rock, rock
  20. Animal Collective – Banshee Beat
  21. Prince – The Beautiful Ones
  22. Belle & Sebastian – Get Me Away From Here, I’m Dying
  23. King Crimson – I Talk to the Wind
  24. The Knife – Heartbeats
  25. Dr. Dre – Xxplosive

let me know what you think and make your own! it’s impossible and fun!

the best part about last night was Maddy’s fried zucchini. i’ll say no more. Continue reading

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firsts [archive]

they finally posted the coachella lineup:

FRIDAY: i can’t stop loling it up. what a complete joke. paul mccartney? nobody cares about paul mccartney except paul mccartney. hey paul: Hey Jude sucked then and it sucks now. i wish they had gotten John Lennon instead. i hear Morrissey is cool, so i guess people could watch him instead of franz ferdinand. Meryl raved a bit about Leonard Cohen but i know nothing about him. Conor Oberst is a dick but i’m sure he’ll put on a cool show, along with Beirut, Black Keys, and Girl Talk. god i think the only act i would actually be crazy about seeing on friday is M. Ward. i’ve also heard a lot of good things about the Bug from people whose music taste i respect.
consider: Aphex Twin and mum alone destroy this entire lineup.

SATURDAY: the killers? the killers? people listen to the killers? i mean, the killers? the killers was the band that i kept comparing nin to the day The Hand That Feeds leaked. my head dropped in my hands and i almost cried because my favorite band in the whole universe was turning into the killers. now the band i used for such lofty comparisons is headlining coachella on saturday. awesome. amy winehouse? i don’t know. Thievery Corporation is cool and all, but it’s really just second-rate Portishead. everyone loves TV on the Radio and MSTRKRFT but i have yet to get into either. Fleet Foxes!! Mastodon! Henry Rollins?? Hercules and Love Affair? Dr. Dog? Calexico? alright these are pretty cool acts, but still nothing that really wows. i’m pretty sure this was the killer (ha) day for me at last coachella.
consider: Kraftwerk, Portishead, Animal Collective, and Prince vs. Thievery Corporation, Amy Winehouse, Fleet Foxes, and The Killers

SUNDAY: wow! a good headliner! i actually would love to see The Cure, but they’re not going to make me crazy about missing the festival. with My Bloody Valentine, we’re starting to talk. Public Enemy? apparently Sunday is the day to go. i guess Sebastien Tellier, Junior Boys, and Supermayer might be cool to see. but still…..
consider: Roger Waters performs the Dark Side of the Moon followed by Justice afterparty.

as much as i bitch about the lineup, it pleases me immensely to see how much it sucks….. because i can’t go anyway! moving on.

i bought my first pack of cigarettes yesterday. why? i am a big proponent of experimentation and indulgence. experimentation opens up the mind to the world and its many ways. i feel that the unexperimenters have destined themselves to the couch in front of their tv, watching reruns, fast forwarding through commercials, eating the food they know they love, happy, content, placid, bored. experimenting not only helps you understand the billions of people and animals and rocks and nothingness around you, but it also helps you understand yourself. indulgence is less defendable, in my opinion, but it just happens to reflect a big part of who i am. jumping into a pool is far more interesting than inching in. i like to spread out my arms and say Everything Everything Everything. i can’t just “like” bands, i have to obsess over them. i am going to enter the world of smoking while in Europe and then i’ll leave when i return to the US. i actually made a $20 bet with Xanthe last night that i will never buy a single damn cigarette in the US. as naive as it might sound, i am serious about this. why smoke tobacco when you can smoke marijuana?

yesterday was also the first time that i went to a lesbian bar. i’m friends with these girls that live together–Xanthe, Maddy, Caitlin–and the latter has been here since last semester. she wanted to take us and since they’re all really cool, i didn’t have any problem with it. the four of us, sam, and whitney went together and had a pretty sweet time. for not being a lesbian (besides being the kind stuck in a man’s body, ha ha), i actually really liked the place. it was chill.

today i woke up around 2 and got out of bed to get myself some lunch at cya. i ate alone, but since i’ve managed to get my iphone on the wireless network there, i made good use of the time to read a ton of nytimes. apparently a bunch of neo-forests are springing up where older rain forests had been slaughtered earlier, with such great intensity and speed that scientists around the world are going ? ? ? what’s going on ? ? ? are environmentalists crazy ? ? ? i wish i understood the world ? ? ? it’s funny watching people try to figure out what the hell is happening around them. it made me happy to see that millions have been protesting in the streets of France against sarkozy. no matter what the cause, i always support protest. it makes me happy to see people getting pissed off and yelling. they seem so alive!

i actually found myself surprised to read some nice articles about the US. apparently senators can still do things. i don’t know the details of the bill, but it seems good enough on the surface. unfortunately, “The bill would increase tobacco taxes to offset the increase in spending, estimated at more than $32 billion over four and a half years.” it sucks that smokers get punished for something they should be free to do without special taxes. raise taxes on broccoli and alcohol and roller coasters, too.

dude. look at our fucking president:

what. a fucking. baller. Obama makes signing a bill look like moonwalking. i’m down with girls getting paid the same as boys. then after calling out the bulls on parade, he tells people to just chill out a little bit. leaving lunch, i started a little wander through the streets of Athens. a few minutes after starting my walk, with all the nytimes running through my head, a smile just broke across my face. the sky was a pale blue with some scattered puffs of clouds and i actually felt good about things my President was saying and doing. i almost wanted to go up to some random person and say, “hey. do you know Barack Obama? he’s my president.” this is so unlike me and i’m still remembering that he’s plugged into one of the most corruptible systems in the world, but still. things are looking pretty alright so far. he seems to actually think, care, consider. he seems to hate bullshit and bullshitting around. he seems cool. THIS is the guy i would want to kick a few beers back with.

i have a map of Athens pinned on the wall behind my computer, so i’m always thinking with my eyes, i want to go.. there! the closest thing to me was what looked like a giant cemetery. so i started wandering there, mapless, and eventually found it. i don’t know how it compares to say, pere lachaise, in size, but it’s pretty massive. i just walked through it directionless, trying to get lost among death, and i eventually got deep enough in that the ambience of traffic was nearly muted. death obsesses me. i really have no idea if other people are down with exploring random cemeteries by themselves, but i think its pretty profound. i think a lot about how everyone thinks about death. we think about those who have gone before and we wonder when our own time will come. we wonder why so many people have such big markers, but then we consider those who were left to the dogs.

in classical Greece, being left for the dogs stood as one of the, if not the one, deepest disgraces one could suffer. personally, i wouldn’t mind being left for the dogs. they’re hungry dogs, and even if you hide under meters of marble, they’ll find you eventually. Continue reading

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Alive [archive]

i’m thinking and thinking and thinking but nothing notable of the day before comes to mind. maybe i’ll go off on another metaphysical rant.

there’s this constant nagging feeling within me that the more i think i understand the Universe as a whole, the stupider i become. the more i seem to see the grand picture of society and its cellular wheels in motion, the more awkward in society i act. the more i know about everything, the less i know about anything.

it’s like when i listen to the song Alive by Daft Punk. i feel the rising tension, the breaks, the pounding bass, i see it all before me rising like a mansion of earthly delights. yet i cannot explain its architecture. i don’t know what key it’s in, i have no idea what equipment they’re using, i can’t imagine how long it could make something like that. but i walk through its rooms daily, lie on its furniture, lick its freshly painted walls. i’m done with this metaphor.

the point is that i often find myself sitting in class, head lowered, eyes bright, thinking, not thinking, conceiving, trying to capture everything, envisioning a man rowing down a river, his arm pushing against the current, his family in the winter, pushing against the current, the accumulation of wealth and knowledge in complex societies leading to wars between civilizations, pushing against the current, copper, iron, lead, tin, glass, volcano, ocean, alloyed against the current, interdependence between peoples, interdependence between cultures, interdependence between creatures, interdependence between their cells, interdependence between chemicals, interdependence between atoms, interdependence between worlds, centers, i am the center, god is the center, gold is the center, wisdom is the center, i am pushing against the current, god is pushing against the current, gold is pushing against the current, gold is pushing against the current, wisdom is—“ronny, what do you think?” “uh…i’m not really sure what you’re looking for.”

if that paragraph looks like one picture to you, i am astonished.

if i were a genius, i would have written a book already and i’d be giving lectures and i’d have my own wiki and an army of critics would sharply disagree with me and the pope would condemn my teachings and teenagers would masturbate on the phone with their girlfriends after bragging about how they read my work and loved it but didn’t understand it and a rapper would rhyme my name with “spur” or “stir” and then the paperback would come out and then i’d die truthless and unhappy.

but i’m not a genius.

if you say something enough, does it become true or do you start to believe it? everyday i tell myself that Athena is with me, and now i’m actually starting to say it to other people. it obviously starts as a big joke but i bet any day now i’ll be seeing her next to me everywhere i go. or maybe i’ll be following her like Telemachus or something. i think it would be awesome if people started calling me an Athena freak, in contrast to the same old boring Jesus freaks. i think i could take them all, with Athena on my side. have you seen her helmet? it is badass. i wonder how president obama would respond to my saying, “i only remain faithful to the one true god, Bright Eyes Athena.” he’d probably give that sweet little chuckle that won him the election. i’d grill him and say, you made sure to mention your precious muslims and “nonbelievers” in your inauguration speech, but i think leaving out the Athenians will very well prove to be your most heinous mistake. prepare for blood to run through the streets paved on your precious soil.

in case you didn’t know, i’m obsessed:

Bangalter / de Homem-Christo
Bangalter / de Homem-Christo
Bangalter / de Homem-Christo
Bangalter / de Homem-Christo
Bangalter / de Homem-Christo
Bangalter / de Homem-Christo
Bangalter / de Homem-Christo
Bangalter / de Homem-Christo
Bangalter / de Homem-Christo
Bangalter / de Homem-Christo
Bangalter / de Homem-Christo
Bangalter / de Homem-Christo
Bangalter / de Homem-Christo
Bangalter / de Homem-Christo
Bangalter / de Homem-Christo
Bangalter / de Homem-Christo Continue reading

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Immolate Yourself [archive]

charlie cooper died yesterday.

charlie is 1/2 of Telefon Tel Aviv, a very cool ambient techno duo who lay down their heavy beats one upon the other with such sexy precision that you’ll get chills when that shy little snare starts showing its pretty face. i literally just got into these guys about a couple weeks ago, after at least a couple of years of Chris’ obsession being definitely apparent to me. he would always rave about Map of What is Effortless (2004), but his raving sharply increased when Immolate Yourself neared its 2009 release date, simply because it’s new music from a favorite group. i naturally sympathized with the obsession and downloaded it.

if you don’t listen to this album on headphones, you’re probably missing everything. i had been listening to the first track on my computer’s speakers, which are generally acceptable, but i couldn’t take it anymore so i just threw headphones on. it’s like moving from a puddle to the bottom of the ocean, with porpoises and bubbles swirling around your head. my favorite songs on the album so far are “The Birds,” “Helen of Troy,” “Mostly Translucent,” and “Stay Away From Being Maybe.” the first is a highly successful opening track for the album, easing you from the shore across a few smaller waves and finally into a sublime tidal wave of sound. “Helen of Troy” has this super 80s workout feel going, with a pulsating synth in the foreground and sweeping lazy synths in the background. here i think (like i do on much of the album) that the percussion is placed and planned perfectly. immediately following “Helen,” “Mostly Translucent” is this really sensual, dark piece. listening to incredibly soft beats vibrating over an even more soft voice, you’ll start to feel yourself floating. the mechanic percussion that comes in around 1:30 only enhance the feeling. immediately following the sensuality of that track, “Stay Away From Being Maybe” drops this fucking irresistible sequence. the vocals don’t even try to dominate, either stretched out and unintelligible or whispered underneath the wrath of the bass, snare, hi-hat, and shaker. this is intelligent dance music.

besides obsessing over great music, i haven’t been up to much besides eating, going to class, and hanging out with friends. i guess two instances from yesterday are worth mentioning. 1: three girls in my Art/Archaeology class didn’t know how to define “affluence.” 2: in Greek, our teacher pointed at herself and said (in Greek), “my name is?” and she kept doing it i think because she thought we didn’t understand what she was saying. eventually it dawned on her and the rest of the class that no one actually knew her name. everyone felt pretty bad. 3: in Attic Tragedy, supposedly to demonstrate things about the Chorus, the whole class was pretty much spent playing camp games. things along the lines of the ‘human knot’ game. that was the first of like 15 we did. pretty stupid. i guess i learned that i suck at following people, because everybody made fun of me for not being able to follow the group in the ‘flock of birds’ exercise. i’m actually kind of proud of that.

last night Elaina and i sat on my apartment balcony in the middle of a little thunderstorm. drinking smoking thunder lightning. California should have some serious thunderstorms every once in awhile. Continue reading

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om shanti shanti [archive]

yesterday i didn’t do very much besides have class. they all seem to be starting with a sputter, except for the one where we analyzed Cavafy. he seems like my kind of poet. i only wish i could read his poetry in its original form. last night i did some “serious” grocery shopping and cooking, making a delicious pasta for myself. in light of nothing interesting to talk about concerning my life, i’ll talk about things i’ve been thinking about.

in my Mythology class, we talked briefly about the use of swastikas on ancient Greek pottery and even more briefly about its horrible contemporary associations with hitler’s third reich. our teacher kind of said it may be time to “get over it” and people clearly took it wrongly, i think really misjudging her. certainly we should never get over hitler’s evils, but i absolutely agree that we should get over the fact that the symbol they used was the swastika. i refuse to let him have control over what is one of the most awesome symbols ever conceived. if we let evil men take every symbol of theirs to the grave, we wouldn’t be left with anything.

in general, i’m strongly opposed to certain groups hogging certain symbols, whether they’re doing it themselves or whether its other groups projecting it on to them. it seems every time a rainbow is discussed, my mom has to make a reference to the gay flag. it is the goddamn visible spectrum of light! i just don’t want people thinking i’m a gay nazi based on the symbols i like.

speaking of rainbows, i found myself once again discussing GOD with Meryl, one of many goddesses i actually believe in. it started with me mentioning something incredibly mundane that i realized about the words “Zeus” and “Yahweh”: both start and end with the same sound, allowing one to repeat them as if speaking in a circle.
zzzzzzzzzzoooooooooooooossssssssszzzzzzzzzzzooooooooosssssszzzzz….
eeeyyyyyyyyyaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwweeeeeeeeeeeeehhhheeeeeeee…..
do you hear it? maybe i’m crazy, but i find that really interesting. anyone who knows me knows that my hate for religion is matched only by my love for thinking about religion. this kind of thing makes me think of repetitive chanting, as in the ramayana monkey chant shown in ron fricke’s baraka, or of repetitive prayer, as in the Jesus prayer that franny obsesses over in j.d. salinger’s “franny and zooey.” even Nirvana sang “all in all is all we are” in all apologies.
CAK CAK CAK CAK CAK CAK CAK CAK CAK CAK CAK CAK CAK CAK
ZEUS ZEUS ZEUS ZEUS ZEUS ZEUS ZEUS ZEUS ZEUS ZEUS ZEUS
LORD JESUS CHRIST SON OF GOD HAVE MERCY ON ME A SINNER LORD JESUS CHRIST HAVE MERCY ON ME A SINNER LORD JESUS CHRIST SON OF GOD HAVE MERCY ON ME A SINNER
YAHWEH YAHWEH YAHWEH YAH WEH YAH WEH YAHW EH YAHWE HY AH WEHY AHWEH
ALL IN ALL IS ALL WE ARE ALL IN ALL IS ALL WE ARE
what is the effect of this? why has this been done? why am i even thinking about it?

it’s like meditation, i think. maybe there’s nothing supernatural about it. maybe it’s the most intense interaction one can have with Time. instead of perceiving Time as segmented events and points in a long line, it becomes fluid, dense, perhaps unchanging. maybe you start tripping out, imagining that this here now is the whole universe, beginning, breathing in, ending, breathing out, every single CAK little ZEUS minute LORD moment YAHWEH.

maybe i say all this as a militant pantheist. pantheism (pan=All, theos=God) literally means that God is Everything is All is Universe is Nature is Universe is All is Everything is God. Meryl strongly opposed the use of the word “God” because she thought it pointless, ineffective, useless. i don’t really care. it’s a word some people identify with, i guess, but i don’t prefer it. it seems to rigid. GOD. KOT. the g and d act like fences, boundaries that remind me of the binary world of christianity. i prefer words like eeeevvvvvvvvrrrrrryyyythiiinnggggggg, but even that one’s a little stilted. i like alllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll, which can go forever and Universe is a good one if i’m talking to a strict naturalist. maybe that’s what it is. if i’m talking to an abrahamic believer, it’s God. if i’m talking to someone on a mushroom trip, it’s Everything. if i’m talking to an Eastern religion believer, it’s All. if i’m talking to a scientist, it’s the Universe. i don’t even know what most people think of pantheism though. to me, it’s one of the most profound conceptions of our world.

i keep getting worried that this post is so long, but then i remember that this is my mental masturbation made public, so i don’t really care. here’s a less mind warping topic than the Universe: i love being a guy. i’m sure some girls do this too, but if i’m ever annoyed with one of my guy friends, i can just scream FUCK YOU at his face and then laugh, making it seem like i’m joking. the laughing is easy to do, because i just said fuck you to someone that i think deserved it, which is pleasing. it seems like when a girl is annoyed at one of her girl friends, she has to be nice to her face and bitch behind her back (i know i’m generalizing). now everyone’s going to be worried when they think i’m just joking with them. relax, i love you All.

the last thing i want to talk about is genetic manipulation. in my Art/Archaeology class today, we talked about the Universe and Earth and Life and hunter/gatherers and migration and agriculture and domestication. selective breeding has been the main strategy of human societies for the last 12,000 years. in the last century, however, genetic manipulation began its first development. our professor argued that nobody has begun to fully realize the potential of this. i doubt this. personally, i can’t wait for chicken trees. at first, you don’t realize it’s chicken, because it’s small and round, like an orange. you pick it, and it immediately warms, as if taken out of an oven about 20 minutes ago. you take a bite and it looks and tastes like chicken breast grandma used to have to choke a bird for. you keep munching and realize that the whole thing is chicken. not even a pit. fucking chicken trees. Continue reading

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Zorba [archive]

i’m back to normal. i sleep late, i wake late. when i awoke yesterday around noon, i could hear it raining outside. thinking it pointless to get out of bed, i slept for another hour. even when i woke up then, when the raining had stopped, i really saw no reason to get out of bed. i reached under my bed for Aeschylus and read “Seven Against Thebes.” quite tragic and strangely symmetrical, the drama swirls in towards the main event of the Oedipus’ cursed sons killing each other in bloody war. here is alfred church’s rendition of the procession for the two, with their anguished sisters in tow:

i got some more reading done for other classes before making my sad journey to cya for internet. turns out Meryl had sent me a stumble with some possible fixes for my airport problem, and one worked! i am now happily typing this post from the comfort of my bedroom and will be uploading it from the comfort of my bedroom too. i love that girl.

after killing just a few more hours, i went to a screening of “Zorba the Greek” for my Modern Greek Literature course. besides its sad and horrible portrayal of women, the film had its interesting moments. for me it was Zorba’s brief buddhist perspectives of life and the world. the only really good thing this movie said was, dance and nothing else matters.

’round midnight, Elaina and i went on a little city wander. cleared my head nicely. we randomly ran into Caitlin and zach, who had just gone to see Milk at some nearby theater. apparently the theaters here have intermissions for smoke breaks, which i think is hilarious and great. after we all talked a bit, we all walked home. before going back to my apartment, i told Caitlin i wanted to get my ouzo i left at her place. after getting upstairs, we decided to have a couple drinks and a smoke. it was cool, we just chilled for an hour or so, and i went back home nicely buzzed with a half bottle in my hand. fucking drunk american. Continue reading

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rosebud [archive]

i’m in love.

am i in love with a city?
am i in love with a girl?
am i in love with a drug?
am i in love with nothingness?
am i in love with a language?
am i in love with food?
am i in love with art?
am i in love with transportation?
am i in love with a way?
am i in love with a girl?
am i in love with a god?

yesterday i slept in incredibly late, wrote a blog entry that i couldn’t post, cried over the internet, ate delicious food, met up with wonderful people, drank a whiskey at a bar, came home, and slept.

i wonder how many other people in this city believe in Athena?

edit: i got 99 problems, but the net ain’t one (anymore). Continue reading

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mee-ziq [archive]

wow. apparently this is the latest blog entry i’ve ever done. if you’re reading it, then i had to walk to the academic center, jack an ethernet cable, and then upload it.

you see, yesterday i tried to steal the same old internet that i and my flatmates have been stealing for the past week or so, but it wasn’t working for me or for my roommate, so we decided to walk to the academic center to use their wifi. once there, i whipped out my computer, connected to the school wireless network, and tried to load Google. it hadn’t worked before and it didn’t start working now. so i tried fucking with some very minor settings on my computer, try to see what the hell was up. well guess what. now my airport card doesn’t turn on. it’s like my computer doesn’t even recognize that i have one. every time i press Turn AirPort On, nothing happens. the first time it happened i was like, fuck. the next fifty times it happened, i felt like crying. there’s literally no rational explanation for it and i am super fucking pissed off. at this point i’m over it, because there’s not too much i can do about it, but it’s still a highly annoying inconvenience.

i went to two new classes yesterday. the first, Mythology, seems like it’ll be pretty great. i’ve wanted to study this stuff for i don’t know how long and sometimes i feel like an idiot for not knowing basic classic stories. the other class seems like standard English course fare, a class on modern Greek literature. we’re going to be reading Cavafy, Freud, Kazantzakis, Nietzsche, and much much more, connecting the west with the east, and trying to find out where Greece is. apparently that’s a large point that a few of the staff here have made. Greece doesn’t know if it’s east or west. it’s interesting.

after getting some pasta last night with Sam and Rob, i met up with Elaina and her roommate, got some ouzo, and went to hang out with a bunch of cya kids. after leaving their place, the three of us walked up to the metro station, met a bunch of other really cool cya people (who i think i’m hanging out with tonight), and took the four stop trip to the opposite side of the acropolis. we walked for ten minutes in the pouring rain until we found BIOS, where mi-ziq was playing (i found out yesterday that the Greek letter M, most often pronounced in the US as “mew,” is actually pronounced “mee.” so though mike paradinas’ alias sounds like “music” in the states, over here you would pronounce it as “mee-ziq.”

naming bullshit aside, the show was fucking awesome. we got there about an hour before he went on, but the opening dj was tight too. the ten of us or so just lounged and kicked back a few drinks. this place is great. the first thing i noticed was their purplish/green ambience. creepy. second thing i noticed: Kraftwerk’s “Trans-Europa Express,” vinyl, proudly on display, alongside a bunch of other great vinyl, including Kraftwerk’s debut. besides the vinyl decorations, retro robots, atari game boxes, speak ‘n’ spells, computer typewriters, and all the like strewed the walls, completely surrounding the wall of liquor. so excellent. i felt at home and i know i’ll be going back.

once mike started djing, my ears wouldn’t stop thanking me for the rest of the night. he didn’t really play a lot of fast intense drill ‘n’ bass like i was expecting, but i was not disappointed by his chill set. decadent beats, sweeping synths, walls of aural hell sound, never ever disappoint me. he played for at least an hour, probably more (i think) and ended around 2:30am. Elaina and i left the place completely trashed and decided it would be awesome to try to walk back home. amazingly, we did it (the rain had stopped earlier), and actually managed to find our way back. i love adventures, especially in unknown cities. Continue reading

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fra peh ee oh ou [archive]

why do i keep getting up so early? i don’t even have class for another six hours. normally i won’t be having class on friday, but they’re making us go to our MW today, just to get in the swing of things. that means today i have Mythology, Greek (again), and Modern Greek Lit.

i say “again” because i had my first language class yesterday. by first impressions, my teacher seems good. she goes slow but she’s pretty much been speaking Greek in class as much as humanly possible. for my own sake, here are some common Greek words:
Ohi = no
ne = yes
enDAKsi = okay
efharisTO = thank you
kaliMERa = good morning
kaliSPERa = good evening
kalinIHta = good night
i know i actually messed up a few words there slightly because i couldn’t put the exact right letter, but i’m sure you won’t notice. also, Greek words always have to have stress marks or else you wouldn’t know how to pronounce the word. i didn’t know how to put those either. isn’t it crazy looking? i really love it. edit: i’m an html idiot and i don’t know how to make Greek letters work, so i only put transliterations :(

a little bit later, after that class, i went to Attic Tragedy. turns out we’re going to be reading nine plays by Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides (three each) for the first half of the semester. here is the reading list, if you’re interested:

AESCHYLUS
Agamemnon
Seven Against Thebes
The Suppliants

SOPHOCLES
Ajax
Electra
Philoctetes

EURIPIDES
Bacchae
Hippolytus
Iphigenia in Aulis

the second half of the semester our class will be in charge of organizing a workshop (read: barely passable) production of select scenes from the play of our choosing. at the end of the semester, in CYA tradition, we will present our production to the rest of the 150+ student body. hooray! should be a matrifatriphilocidal semester.

i’ve been making big plans with a bunch of people to go see this dj, mu- ziq, perform at some crazy avant-garde experimental art fuck kids venue, BIOS, in a part of Athens that’s further than i’ve been since i drove in in a taxi from the airport. his name is Mike Paradinas and has collaborated before with Aphex Twin on a pretty cool techno album called Expert Knob Twiddlers. look at this fucking album cover:

he’s also done a couple mum remixes. i’ve expanded my knowledge of his music by actually downloading a couple of his albums, which i’m listening to now. it’s good stuff.

the party supposedly coming with me: Xanthe is the first person here i’ve met who loves Tool and she was also the first person i talked to in person that was actually interested. Caitlin was actually the very first person i spoke to from CYA (outside of Pomona) when i met her at JFK. Elaina is a really cool girl i met yesterday (and then i found out she’s in my Attic Tragedy class). how do i know she’s really cool? she likes Aphex Twin. end of story. for better or worse, i feel like the easiest way for someone to become my friend is by saying that they listen to Aphex Twin. Daft Punk doesn’t work because everyone likes them. Kraftwerk kind of works, but AFX is a more sure fire, for some reason. i’m ridiculous. don’t judge a person by their album cover.

yesterday evening, Sam (one of my flatmates), Elaina, and I wandered through the streets looking for food or drink or something. we ended up at a cafe where Elaina and i got ourselves Frappe, pronounced frahPAY. apparently it’s really big here because everyone likes sitting in cafes with bearable, loopy electro house sipping on ice cold sugar milk nescafe mixes for three hours. so we tried it out and it was pretty cool, actually. discussed music, drugs, etc, my favorite topics.

i still have so much goddamn time until class, so i think i’m going to go wander in the direction of the metro station, to see how far and long i have to walk tonight. i’ll let you know how the show goes. Continue reading

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Aegean [archive]

last night CYA brought in the second in command at the US embassy of Greece, deputy chief of mission deborah mccarthy to (supposedly) talk to us about Greek-US relations. as i expected, the talk proved stilted and only slightly educational. my favorite part and probably the most representative moment of the q/a was when somebody asked about Greece’s views of the Palestine-Israeli conflict. mccarthy’s response reached no deeper than, “they are complicated.” the bullshit stacks so high.

later that night CYA organized a small dinner for students interested in being brought out to eat some authentic Greek food with CYA professors, grouping us together alphabetically so as to meet some new people. we walked about 5 minutes to a local “taverna” (that’s Latin, not Greek, what the hell) where they played Jack Johnson and Bob Marley the whole evening. regardless of the tired music choices, the food and drink were outstanding. bread. eggplant salad. two different delicious tomato salads arrayed with olives, feta cheese, capers, and an amazing mystery dressing. two mystery white dishes, one which was cheesy, one was creamy, but wonderful to the tongue. french fries (?). pork and chicken. chardonnay and water. apple, cinnamon, and honey dessert. my taste buds were pleasantly pleased by the end.

besides the food, i had pretty good conversations with the girls around me. it’s kind of interesting and new to get used to, but the ratio of girls to guys in my program is 3:1. apparently girls are way more adventurous than guys. i talked the most with this girl, Olivia, about drugs and relationships. it was interesting and the chardonnay may have made me a little more verbose than usual, but it was fine, i think.

because i took a couple-hour nap yesterday evening, i had a bit of restless sleep last night, which is the perfect recipe for an Aegean amount of island dreams. i only remember two distinctly. the first i tried very hard to wake up to write down, but i just couldn’t. what i do remember is that it involved very intense car races, something straight out of Need for Speed. i think we had to spill acid on our name tags or something, and i did this a couple times. the third or so time i did it, i spilled a bunch and (reminiscent of Alien) it got everywhere, burning everything. some spilled on my shirt and i tried to quickly wash it off, but my skin was pretty ripped and bleeding anyway. it was horribly painful at first, but i remembered accepting that it was tolerable, in the end. i was just glad i sort of stopped it.

my second dream i actually took some notes on, because i had to get to class. i flew into claremont and met up with Rick Blackwood, his girlfriend, and Meryl on the sidewalk near Arrow Highway. we walked around for a bit while i explained some crazy cosmic ideas of mine, but they weren’t really getting across very well. Rick paid me some cash and hailed a cab. the three of them got in, with Meryl in the middle, and when i didn’t go with them, i could see Meryl getting really upset as they drove away. i felt bad. i walked to my car sorting the cash in my wallet by value. when i got to my car, i noticed that a European license plate was screwed in over my California plate. i’m now back at home, bitching at my mom for bringing me back home, because i suddenly realize that my study abroad program isn’t over. she counter-bitches, telling me i’ll be back in Athens soon enough. Kaiser barks a bunch, really loudly, and subtitles appear. there were tons of subtitles every time he barked, but i asked in particular how they knew that one bark translated as “Italian.” then i awoke.

i’ve just returned from my very first class, Aegean Art & Archaeology. it’s the first main requirement from Pomona and i don’t mind it in the least. half of the classes won’t even be in the classroom, but will instead be at various sites in and around Athens. the world is our classroom, literally. we spent half the class talking about how the West is based on these little isles, with a couple essentials originating in Athens itself: rational thought, democracy (Athens), math, theater (Athens), architecture, medicine, etc. we also identified every region in the Aegean and went over the climate (perfect for olives and grapes, not much else) and natural resources (none). according to our professor, the coastline in just the Aegean comes out to 17,000 km, or 1/3 of the coastline of the entire Mediterranean. i find it pretty hard to believe, but if it’s true, wow.

i just posted a bunch of just decent pictures on facebook, if you want to pry into my january, so far.

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