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Friday, April 30, 2004

G… A historical sketch of ten years before my birth. As I was born in 1984, we are talking about 1974. As I was extremely demoralized by being turned down at three bars last night, I am forced to recall that 1974 was the good old days. It was a time when there was the 18 year old drinking age. Cornell students of all years could walk down College Ave. with the knowledge they would be admitted to Rulloff’s, Johnny O’s, and Dino’s. The Palms was more than just a senior bar. I am forced to wonder, what are the consequences of the age 21 drinking age? I personally think the Cornell marriage rate is going down. Back in the day, students of all years could fraternize. Basically now, freshman, sophomores, and in some cases juniors are prevented from interacting with seniors, grad students, and anyone with a good id. And even people that meet and hit it off, really have no opportunity to hang out if one can gain admittance to the bars and another cannot. My mother always says when she was a teenager, pretty girls were never made to show any sort of id or pay a cover charge. Oh… the illustrious days of special treatment and an uninterrupted social life. What has happened to the fabric of our society?

Sunday, April 18, 2004

History of Home

I don’t as much come from a region as I come from a suburb. Is a suburb in Northern California really all that different from one in Bucks county Pennsylvania? Mine so happens to be in upstate New York, a suburb of Albany. We flourish in our Volvos and lock our doors when we drive through Arbor Hill enroute to the Pepsi Arena.
Every fourth grader learns that the Dutch settled Fort Orange, as Albany was called back in the day. Now the Fort Orange Club is the name of the snooty all men club my father belongs to. You have to be 35 to be a junior member, but the rice pudding and squash courts are amazing. The Dutch heritage is a hindrance that makes archeologists peruse the construction site of my father’s company’s new office building, delaying the groundbreaking.
The Dutch government sent able men known as buccaneers to settle the land and rule little populations. They were given large estates and land rights. While they always had a home right in Fort Orange, they often kept a country estate. Latham was once the country, and the Pruyn House was the country home of a buccaneer by the name of yes, Pruyn. The large white and green mansion with acres of land, two gardens, more outbuilding than I can count stands across the street from the entrance of my development. I always used to imagine the Pruyn House was exactly what Julia Roberts’s house looked like.
The house is in gorgeous pristine shape as a result of the Friends of Pruyn Society’s diligence. Each room is decorated with as much authenticity as could be possible achieved. The Fort Orange Garden Club maintains the gardens and often has flower shows and other fund raisers. Events take place biweekly for various charities and community enjoyment. There are civil war reenactments. Candy Kitchen. Wednesday Concert nights in the barn. German night.
Riding my bike the 1 minute and 12 seconds that it took to get to the top of the street and cross the road was my safari. Laura and I would each get three dollars from our parents. Oxen ride, apple cider donuts, and cotton candy to our hearts’ content. Packing a picnic lunch of sharp cheddar cheese sandwiches and Quaker chewy granola bars to eat in the garden.

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Unlike a few of my lovely classmates I am new to the arena of blog stalking. My forte in online stalking usually conists of running google searches on every guy I meet. I guess I never realized anyone actually read what I wrote. I assumed it was a semi-private journal that I was required to publicize for class. This context lead me to open up and write personal things. Therefore, I think people in the class know a great deal that I haven't told some of the people closest to me. Or maybe that was my I wrote it. Someone could understand without ramifications on my life.
When first sketching through the blogs, I wished one had just been assigned to me. I have an incredibly difficult time making up my mind when there are a lot of options. Especially when the options all seem good. The red snapper or the duck. Chocolate ganache or chocolate flourless cake. Incredibly difficult. So I eventually settled on Irena's major response.
It intrigued me as she wrote about the exact same struggle I wrote of, in an entirely different style. She literally made her internal conflict into a battle between two rival forces. The format was sort of that of a play. Beginning with the descriptions of the characters: the heart and the business orientated self I could immediately commiserate. The immediacy of having to choose a major in a month was an emotion that was conveyed greatly. It really showed that time is passing so incredibly quickly and yet there is so much pressure to figure everything out. The indecision and the path the heart take are just a necessary and amazing path of the journal. The struggle is alive. Thoughts this way and that. Fears of "practical" concerns keep jumping in despite efforts to brush them off. The businessman brain could be even more than concerns her mind conjures. It could also be the voices of people influential in her life. At the end the struggle isn't resolved, rather it is resolved that the struggle is part of a path.

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Goya's Scenes


Art is more than the appearance of paint on a canvas. Art is the experience between the viewer and creation. Ferlinghetti looks at the scenes of Goya as they are. However the sensory impulses that his eyes take fuse with the thoughts on his mind and his evaluation of the world around him. He sees the current world equally horrific as the one Goya painted. However, the current horrors take an altogether different form, as he puts it "the landscapes have changed." Ferlinghetti paints his own landscape with words. He takes the same human element that Goya used and puts them in a scene he thinks similar to the corpses of Goya. He uses the freeways and painted cars to illustrate the meaninglessness.
He believes he has sort of an enlightened view and takes a condescending tone. When he describes billboards illustrating “imbecile illusions of happiness” he is insulting the population for buying into these illusions and actually believing they are content on this “concrete continent.” The actual travesty is not a battle and blood spew but people ignorant enough to believe that this world is meaningful. Ferlinghetti makes it seem as though the people wander in their meaningless lives and that is the “suffering humanity.”

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