Thursday, December 17, 2009

Freak out

Sometimes I just want to curl into a ball and scream. Nothing seems to be working for me lately. Boys suck, the CTA sucks, Chicago has sucked lately, the cold bites, my health ain't so great, friends aren't great, money is scarce, job is a killer, etc. etc. I thought the end of the semester was supposed to usher in happy times? That has not happened as of yet.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

December Member

Whoooooaaa that was a long break! An intentional one nonetheless. Quick recap of the past three months of my life?

-Crazy-hard classes
-Lots of working in Wrigleyville
-Volunteer programs

That pretty much sums it up. Now that my final undergraduate fall semester is over, I can confidently say that I accomplished more this semester than any other previous. If only I had started earlier!

Anyway, life in the city has become difficult. I love my roommates and we usually get along pretty well but lately I have been under such stress and external pressures that I can't relax with them anymore. It is also slightly annoying to have so many people personally involved in the day-to-day aspects of my life. I can't make a decision or do something without them knowing or trying to find out. The lack of privacy disturbs me. I need an extended period away from everyone. Luckily, the store will be close for about a week and I will spend most of that time in Batavia hanging out with people I don't get to see very often.

Recap on the boy situation - as usual I get myself into bad situations that I end up running away from. In a nutshell, a boy liked me, I liked him and we hit it off at first. But within a couple of days he became possessive and moved things far too fast for my comfort, talking about long term relationships, marriage and children. He also got mad if I didn't text him every day. It weirded me out and I got out of the situation as quickly as possible! I have also met another boy who I have slowly kicked things off with. Key word, slowly. I have a hard time reading him and he gives off mixed signals so I am very unsure of what we are. But no worries! With encouragement from Miles, I think I need to have a very frank conversation with him telling him that I would like to date him! I have no idea how this will turn out though.

So now I look forward to a relaxing winter break! I thought it was going to be fairly lazy, but to my surprise I have been finding a lot of things to do. Unfortunately I have to work on New Year's Eve, so no crazy parties for me. This will also be the first time in three years that I will not kiss a boy at midnight on the 1st! The times, they are a-changing.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Sometimes I feel like I have far too much estrogen following through my veins that is appropriate for a man, however gay he may be. For example, right now I want to just sit wrapped in at least two blankets, turn on some sappy romance movie, eat a tub of ice cream and cry. Seriously.

My body and mind are stretched too thin lately. My schedule is as follows: School, workout, study, school, work, study, workout, school and sleep when I have time. If I fall behind in any of my responsibilities I will get in trouble. I knew this was going to be a tough semester but I clearly underestimated the level of difficulty.

The lack of any serious romantic pursuits has really helped me time-wise, but I still long for a good boy to cuddle with. I have lost almost all interest in the dating scene. It usually is very awkward for me and I spend so much time introducing myself over and over again to new boys only to never see them again.

Right now, I need to sit and finish "Atlas Shrugged" before I have way to much reading to do for school. I have come this far on this stupid book. I will finish it god dammit! For Christmas break my next read will be "War and Peace." It is even longer than Rand's book. Whoopie.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Summer Lovin'

I think my readership has been steadily falling. Maybe it's my fault for not writing enough, or maybe no one really gives a damn about my craziness.

Anyway, something wonderfully horrible has happened! I am single! This is the time for champagne and mischievous celebratory dances!

No, in all honesty I don't like that my current relationship had to end, "had" being the key word. But, now I am single and for once I am beginning to feel like my old self again. I had a conversation with Isaac the other day (was it Isaac or Ian...?) about how having a significant other can really change you. (Actually it was Merika). There are positives and negatives, but one of the worst things it does is that it makes you increasingly cut off from everyone but your significant other. I become much more introverted when I know I don't need other friends, just him, whoever "him" may be. (Nope it was Gabby). You only want to hang out with them and don't really want to do anything else, work, school, friends, etc etc. It is a horrible trait of mine, but I tend to be a passionate person which leads me to lose myself in the other. But now I am out of a relationship and I can learn to tone it down a bit. More importantly, I am setting my sights on many things. I am currently applying for an internship with the Chicago Council of Global Affairs, a volunteer position with the UIC Service Corps, and the Peace Corps. All of this while working! It is going to be a busy and stressful semester and I am going to love every second of it!

After looking back, my summer was very successful. I have managed to have very unique experiences every summer of college thus far. And because this one was different, and much more relaxing than the others, I misjudged it as boring and uneventful. But it wasn't! I canoed down the Chicago river, had crazy adventures at Market Days, been engulfed in numerous books, worked a crazy job, gone to the beach, went on bike rides, saw many of my old high school friends, and had a house party. The list could go on, but I don't have the attention span for it! Basically my summer equals a "Great Success!"

I am currently engrossed in "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand. It spews the individualistic philosophy of Rand termed "objectivism." I absolutely love the premise and the way Rand writes, though she tends to be a bit exhausting at times. Her characters are the anti-heroes, they do what they do because they want to make money, not because they care about people or the world. The story is about a man (though we haven't met him yet) who stops the world because he could but mainly because the corrupt are those without a purpose. Those who have found purpose and who succeed in this world carry the rest on their backs, like Atlas. It is wonderful. Long, but wonderful and I recommend it to everyone!

On that note, I have noticed a bit of a contradiction within my political thought. I am an individualist, and believe that everyone must achieve their own goals in life with little or no influence from everyone else. I recognize society, but put little importance on it. That said, why do I advocate a strong government? I have noticed that my socialist tendencies have been fading. Why must someone pay taxes on money they earned themselves? I advocate universal health care, but I don't know why or if I even believe it myself. My conservative upbringing has not been fully washed away like the unclean dirt it is! I think I am beginning to slip towards a slight libertarian view, though I do believe in a strong government with some public institutions.

Anyway, the summer is almost over and school is about to begin! Oddly enough, I am so excited! I bought a new back pack yesterday! School shopping is the BEST! My last year is about to begin!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Bucket List

I was out with my friend the other day when he made a very interesting comment. "You have done a lot of things!" This took me by surprise because I am always feel like I haven't done enough.

He could be right. I have gone to many places, work many jobs, met lots of people and had experiences that are incredibly unique. This caused me to go back and examine my life to see if I have made the most of my 21 years. 1/4 of my life is potentially over, and that is a scary thought.

So, has my life been worth it? The obvious answer is yes. But I want to do more! I will not be entirely satisfied until I fully enjoy what the world has to offer me. Granted, I will most likely never be able to experience everything, but I will try goddamn it! I guess sitting here in my apartment every day doesn't help...

Things I want to do before I die a.k.a. Bucket List (in no particular order)

-See all the wonders of the world (ancient and modern)
-Travel to every continent
-Have a child
-Go skydiving
-Live in the Middle East
-Drive a Hummer (they destroy the environment, but just once I would like to have that much power under my tush!)

Wow, I really cannot think of anything. I definitely need more time to rue this over. Any suggestions?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

R.I.P. Graeme

So, Graeme was put down yesterday. I really hoped that I could have been there to hold him as he died, but unfortunately everything happened way too fast and I had no time to get home from Chicago. I had my goodbye though. I was home early last week to see the Harry Potter 6 premier with my friends. When I got home, he was lying in the kitchen, unable to get up the stairs. To see my dog so fragile was incredibly hard. I curled up next to him for a half hour and cuddled like I used to do.

I had this unofficial, totally unimportant routine with Graeme. I would sit at the top of the stairs and he would push himself under my arm. The last night I saw him, I sat at the top of the stairs as usual. He was unable to see me however since his sight was suddenly lost and he instead collapses where he was. It was a torturing sight to see. He was stupid, dumb, smelled bad, and was afraid of most things but he was still loved.

Do dogs have souls? Do they have an afterlife? Maybe he will be reincarnated into something else? Well, at least I have Maggie and Oliver. Oh wait, I don't have Oliver. :'(

Monday, July 06, 2009

Back It Up, Turn Around!

Lets take a look at my last post. Oh, you don't do anything Michael? Big shocker there! Wait, now your life has taken a few interesting turns? Yeah, suck it bad luck.

I like lists, so I am going to make another one. This time with numbers instead of letters because I am BA like that. (Side-note: BA = Bad Ass)

1. I just applied for many different volunteer positions at the Field Museum. I know it doesn't pay and isn't as prestigious as an internship (if that even is the way to describe it), but I am really excited and hopeful that I will get one. At least I will be doing something related to my future undecided career. Plus it is a great resume booster!

2. I just made a wonderful and awesome new friend! We hung out the other day and just talked for a long time. With the understanding that I am not on the boy market now, there was no pressure whatsoever to impress, flirt, etc. etc. and it was really nice and relaxing. Now we are going to the Oriental Institute at the U of C Sunday where we will look at Indonesian pottery or Persian artifacts! Added bonus - 1950's film "The Land of the Pharaohs," all for free!

3. I'm working out again. Not anything super rigorous, but 15 minutes here, 20 minutes there. Makes me feel better about myself and my abs are starting to get some definition!

4. I am very close to making a major decision in my current love life. Basically, I am not happy the way things are. You can deduce what may happen.

5. I feel very close with my roommates. Yes, we may fight or bicker sometimes, and I am not at all pleased with the messiness of some of them, *cough*ianklein*cough*. But still, my friendships with them have started to go to new levels and I have three very important people in my life that I get to see a lot. I couldn't be more pleased!

And I think that is about it. I feel like dancing now.

Photo by Jim McGill

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Summer of Laziness

So this summer has been slightly disappointing thus far.

1 - I have been sleeping way too much. I don't like sleeping in till the afternoon, but somehow my body is controlling everything and I am awake about 10 hours and sleep the rest. Perhaps the mono has finally caught up to me.

2 - My job has not been giving me enough hours to work, and when I do work, it is overnight. I hardly get normal hours.

3 - My Arabic plans have (more or less) fallen through. Who knew that stealing things doesn't always work?

4 - All my roommates have very busy schedules. This means I am home alone a lot.

I struggle to find things to do and I usually end up in the apartment, lounging, cleaning or working out. Some days I go on adventures with Isaac or Merika (never Ian it seems) but those aren't enough. I want a fun summer full of adventures and friends, BBQ's , swimming, water fights, etc. Someone help please! I need more friends!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Golf Bros and Tennis Bitches

Hm, what was this again? A blvog? Oh yes, yes, I forgot about this. As usual.

So, getting over my last super depressed post, things are going fairly well. Living with Merika, Ian and Isaac requires some...patience sometimes, but that's all part of learning to be around each other all the time. So far, so good.

So now you are wondering, "why the strange title?" Well, being that I work in frat-center a.k.a. Wrigleyville, I deal with young, white yuppies on a constant basis. It annoys me. A lot.

"Dude." "Bro." "Man." These are some of their most used phrase as well as their most annoying. This is the first tell of a "bro," the annoying frat boy who dresses in polos and khakis and tries to act way cooler than they really are. For references on bros watch these links!

To all the bros out there - I am not your bro and never will be so take your frayed hats, shove it up your asses and get your drunk whore out of my face!

The other day a guy, who was rather drunk, asked me, "Dude (I cringed), where's the nearest strip club?"

I stood for a second, seriously considering if I knew where a strip club was. Just because I am gay doesn't mean I don't know where these things exist, right? Actually, I would like to go to one just for fun. I responded with a "No."

"Of course you wouldn't," he said. What? What did you just say? Excuse me mother fucker? Do you want your pizza or maybe I can take it in the back and give it some lovin'. Anyway, he turned to my very straight (but nice) co-worker and said," Come on bro! You know where I can see some titties!"

At this point I was utterly disgusted with him and was seriously considering spraying some bleach in his eyes so he could never gaze upon titties again. However, I would like to avoid jail as long as possible and decided against it.

Frat girls (those girls who hang around with frat boys) are worse than their male counterparts. Too many whores come stumbling into my work and utter thing that are impossible to understand. They also expect tons of free things, like the world should stop because they happen to look hot only because they put pounds of make-up on. Sorry ladies, your "beauty" (if that's even the right word to use for them) will not work on me. You make me gay.

Moral of the blog - I hate 9 out of the 10 people who come to my work.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Back to Chicago!

What a strange and stressful month May has been. I am glad it is over and I hope June will be much better.

My apartment is great! Ian, Merika and I have moved in and we have had a lot of fun thus far. Merika and I even read a part of "New Moon" together!

My friend that I made in Greece came the other day on her road trip. I showed her and her friends many different part of Chicago, but I only had one day so it was very shortened. We went to places in Wicker Park, the Lincoln Park Zoo, Museum of Contemporary Art, Second City, the Magnificent Mile, State Street, Water Tower, Millennium Park, Grant Park, and the Buckingham Palace. It was a long and tiresome day, but I enjoyed being a bit of a tourist again. It only reminds me how much more of the city I have yet to see.

I know I haven't posted in awhile and this is hardly sufficient as a review, but like I said, it was a difficult month. I don't really wish to delve into the troubles I have been through. I'd rather let it go and look forward to summer!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The Swine Flue

"You didn't take the hype too seriously. You didn't even rush out and buy a mask... But when push came to shove and it became real, when people far too sick to survive were using up all your medicine you did ANYTHING to survive - including setting the infected on fire while you raided a derelict hospital and survive you did..."

Oh thank God! I was worried there for a moment that I would turn into a crazed zombie with a thirst for brains. Facebook, what do you not know? Thank you!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Sports vs Michael

Inspired by the list of "55 more things I hope you blog about," found by Kayla, I have decided to blog about other things than my life.

47. Why I Hate Sports

As I looked down the list, this one made me laugh, which means to me that it must be blog worthy.

Honestly, I do not hate sports. I hate playing sports. Watching certain sports can be fun. I went to every single football game and many basketball games in high school, mainly because as a geek I was required to for marching and pep band. I enjoyed myself though and learned a lot about the games. However, I would find myself staring at #29's butt or wondering why football players could be so hot. But that's getting off topic.

My main queef with sports is my inability to play them. I suck at any sport known to man. Period. With little to no coordination in my 6'4" (maybe 6'3") body, I find myself overly embarrassed anytime I step up to bat, or attempt to kick a soccer ball as hard as I can leading to a disastrous fall backward. Once in high school gym while I was waiting in line to bat, I found myself nervously scratching parts of my fingers so much that it bled. How could high school gym or sports make me so anxious?

Perhaps it was because I was usually younger than those around me. Maybe I had a crush on a certain guy in the outfield. Actually during my junior year of high school, I had a huge crush on this guy in my class which made me even more nervous whenever I was playing something with him. But other than that, I really think it was because I didn't want to look like a fool around other people. My self esteem back then rested upon how others viewed me, and not being able to play sports could ruin that, or so I thought. I know better now, sometimes. My roommate kept trying to get me to play volleyball with him and his friends, and I would always refuse. I guess I really have to trust that people are not going to make fun of me when I completely fail at sports.

Damn all you soccer balls, footballs, baseballs, volleyballs, basketballs, golf balls, eclipse balls (only found in Batavia High School), racquet balls, tennis balls, bowling balls (it's a sport!), and other various balls! You make things so hard for me!

Immature side note: There are a lot of balls in sports. It is strange that I should fail at something so gay sounding.

I am sure if I practiced at a sport, I could get a lot better, but that's assuming I have the time or motivation. I have neither. And when I did, I just didn't care.

Friday, May 01, 2009


Joe Biden, the Vice President of the United States of America, was in the same building that I live in giving a speech while I was in my room completely oblivious.


Thursday, April 30, 2009

Disaster Averted!

The apartment search almost blew up in everyone's faces. Here is what happened.

We found this wonderful apartment in Logan's Square that was incredibly cheap but nice! We all agreed that Logan's Square was not a great area to live in, but for that price we couldn't say no. However, Merika's dad had a huge issue with it, and due to his bickering with Merika, it delayed the process and we had to let the apartment go. Ian told me after that he thought Merika was unsure about getting an apartment anymore and I said that if she was unsure we should continue looking for other apartments in case she does drop out. That simple sentence got "rumor-weeded" (when a small rumor gets blown out of proportion) and somehow it came into our minds that Merika was out altogether. But Merika was unaware that she had been unofficially kicked-out. When I talked to her to confirm that she was out, she was surprised and angry. I had to coax Ian to let her back in, which he did (grudgingly). Isaac was just confused but had no issues with letting Merika back in, so long as her parents don't force us to lose another apartment.

Saturday we have an appointment with the apartment people. Hopefully it works out. I have been telling Ian to make an appointment for weeks but he never did. So I had to do it myself. I have been intentionally out of the decision making process up to this point because I didn't care, but now that things almost fell apart I feel like I need to take a more active role otherwise I may be homeless!

Wise Insight?

In my attempt to find some answers, I turn to the source of all that is wisdom -! Here is the results on whether or not my relationship will last. Kind of depressing.

Your Relationship Will Last For A While!

This may be hard for you to swallow, but you and your guy might not last

At least not forever. He's somewhere between Mr. Right... and Mr. Right Now

No doubt your guy is a great catch - and generally good to you

The odds are, however, that someone better is out there!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

From Mono to May

I realize that it has been a long time since I have posted any sort of update into my life. I had a sudden burst of surprising motivation to study, work, and still be social. Now, as the semester ends and my obligations to school begin to wane, I find myself bored and beginning to become unmotivated again, though I have nothing to do anyway.

So, the largest event in my life this past month has been getting a job. I work (I don't want to say the name because my boss has a Google alert for whenever anyone mentions the name and that would lead them right to this website) at a pizza joint up in Wrigleyville. It is far away, but the environment in fun and I love the people I work with. Dealing with drunk Cubs fans is more appealing than it may seem at first. We usually just make fun of them behind their backs. Or to their faces. They really can't tell. Then after a late night (sometimes 4 or 5am) we all sit back and drink a couple of beers as we reminisce about the night. And I get paid! Not a bad deal if you ask me.

The apartment search has had mixed results. Currently, I am trying to find a place with Isaac, Ian and Merika. We have found a few places we like, but lost them. However, it has solidified Isaac as a roommate and we are all fairly confident in our ability to coexist. I expect living with these fools will create a great deal of adventures. I can't wait! However, I don't have any money. I am working now, so I am saving what I can but after Greece and Johnny, I have $0. I need some time to work and not pay rent so I can save, but this leaves a gap from May 9th (when I have to move out of the dorms) to June 1st where I have nowhere to live. I could go home, but I have a job in Chicago that sometimes I cannot commute back from. I am hoping a miracle will happen in the next week and a half.

My relationship has also gotten better, in some ways. I have stopped putting pressures on it and let things happen naturally, and it is good. I like being with him a lot. This creates another problem though. I fear getting to close to him since he is graduating in less than a month and is unsure about the direction of his life. Also, I am fairly certain that I am going to try my luck at getting into the Peace Corps which, if accepted, would take me away for at least two years. And yet I want to be close with someone. With him. It is all very confusing and hard to deal with. I try as hard as possible to keep myself at a distance, but I find that harder to do as time goes on. I only hope I make the right decision when the time comes.

I think I am destined to never settle down in any one place for an extended period. With my goals of the Peace Corps, then maybe graduate school followed hopefully by the State Department (which would ship me around constantly on tours of 2 to 4 years, much like the Peace Corps) I am going to be a drifter. And I like it! Chicago is beginning to wear on me. I am excited to graduate and leave for somewhere else! The plan is hopefully Jordan. I start Arabic 101 next fall!

Photo by Arian Behzadi... I think

Sunday, April 12, 2009

What my feet say about me?

I liked this one.

Your Feet Say You're Flexible

You are pretty average in your expressiveness. You can express yourself well, but you don't always want to.

You are a very passionate person. You are highly charged and easily inspired.

You are an assertive person at times. You'll pull out all the stops to get what you want, if it's worth it.

You take a while to fall in love, but once you do, you stay pretty attached to your partner.

You are not afraid of anything. You are brave and courageous, even when most people would be terrified.

You are intellectual and philosophical. You are more concerned with thoughts than action.

You are very spoiled. You don't work unless you have to, and you love to be waited on.

You are easily influenced by other people. You're quite impressionable, so you should only be around people who are a good influence.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Really? Snow? Again?

Seriously, where the fuck is Spring? I am tired of being cold. It makes me miserable and therefore pissy and grumpy, perhaps a bit frumpy. If I see snow again, I will scream. Loudly. And probably cry a little bit.

Sunday, April 05, 2009


I think too much. I create problems where there are none, or I take a small incident, roll it around my head over and over again until it has become blown out of proportion. Or perhaps I am right to question people, to doubt and protect myself. I am not sure.

There has always been a level of trust within me for everyone. My life is (more or less) and open book for those who care. I don't keep many secrets. But that trust goes only so deep. To earn access to my deeper feelings and emotions now requires such a trust that I no longer give out freely. After my particularity scaring relationship with Johnny, I have been left with a mistrust for those who seek out my presence. And now I find myself stuck at that same crossroads; do I give out my trust to one who has done nothing wrong that I am currently aware of, or (as you may have presumed from the tone of the sentence) do I guard my heart? I am suspicious. Is it right to be?

This is creating anxiety within me. At a time where I feel like I am finally getting my life on track, do I take a chance and possibly set myself further back? Or would it be beneficial for me? I guess time will tell. I lack wisdom in regards to decisions about my future. I react emotionally rather than practically, a trait which has got me stuck in numerous bad decisions.

I was having a wonderful weekend too! I have never studied so much before in my life! I am super motivated and concentrated to do my work, that is until I was faced with this. Sorry Ronald Regan, Voltaire, capitalism, neolithic societies and geology, right now I am busy. My mind is filled with much less important things.

Tea makes me jittery. Just saying...

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

The Kissing Disease

Sorry about the lack of posting lately, but I just got over the worst spring break in my life, and its up there on the list as one of the worst weeks of my life to date.

Monday seemed bright and cheery, until I had my foot surgery for the plantar's wart that has been stuck in my foot for years. I can still remember Kristi Carlson trying to dig it out of my foot. I let it go for so long and it grew to become a monster. Surgery was the only practical solution. The rest of Monday and Tuesday was spent with me laying down, watching TV.

Tuesday night I began to feel strange. Wednesday morning I had a full blown fever, one that would not go away until Sunday night. I have never been so unproductive in my life or watched so much "Everybody Loves Raymond." I hate that show. I hated it before I was sick. At one point, my fever reached to 104 and I couldn't stop dry heaving. My mother took me to the hospital in the wee hours of Thursday morning, where I spent a good three or four hours. The diagnosis: infectious mononucleosis, a.k.a. mono. Great!

I can't stop sleeping now. My throat doesn't really hurt that much anymore, but the exhaustion is getting to me. I am also thrilled to hobble around campus in my stylish boot.

Despite these major set backs, I feel motivated and happy. It is getting warmer out, the semester is close to being done with, and I am ready to get my life going! This semester has sucked thus far. It began with major depression from reverse culture shock and moving back into the dorms, continued to suck with my sickness, but is finally (I hope) turning around. I just hope I can get a good job so I can live here over the summer!

I still need a concentration of studies for history and I am still unsure of what to do. Any ideas?

Photo by Elliot Erwitt

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Moments from my European trip

Originally, I came up with about 30-40 great moments I had in Greece, Rome (plus the Milan airport) and Barcelona. I was in an incredibly nostalgic mood and was evaluating my trip. However, in an attempt to keep with traditional "best of" lists, I have trimmed it down to ten. I submit them for your pleasure. They are in no particular order.

1. My adventure to Pompeii was an epic one. But before I got there, I had to take a train from Rome to Naples. I left Rome around 5 AM, by myself and a little worried. Once I got onto a train, I slept for perhaps and hour and woke up to the rolling countryside of Italy. It was a beautiful site, one that filled me with extreme happiness and joy that I was actually in Italy, one of my life long dreams.

2. After the train ride, the rest of the journey to Pompeii was not great. But, since this is a "happy" list, I wont go into that. Rather, once I arrived in Pompeii, I was in heaven. I had my audio guide, my map and my historical perspective. I was set! I proceeded to walk along the fully intact roads, enter homes, baths, stadiums, temples, etc. I saw everything I could in four hours. And since I was alone, I proceeded to let my imagination take me and pretend that I was a citizen in this ghost town. It may be weird, but I enjoyed myself! And I talked to myself.

3. Keeping with the Italian theme, my entire trip to Rome was wonderful. However, there was a specific moment when I was walking along the Via Appia that I suddenly became incredibly happy. As with my train ride to Naples, I was surrounded by absolute beauty and was walking on an ancient road which I had known about from numerous sources. My destination was the catacombs, but I took the road slowly, taking in the wonderful sights, smells and feel of Italy. It was wonderful!

4. Greece, as many of you know, erupted into violence and riots my last few weeks there over the death of a teenage boy at the hands of a corrupt and incompetent police officer. I could go on about the implications, the history of civil violence in Greece, and the other motives about these riots in great detail, but thats not the point. Since I am an overly curious person, I wanted to see these riots first hand rather than hear "booms" or yelling at a distance. I went with Ryan downtown to a scheduled demonstration, ignoring the warnings of my teachers. At first it was peaceful, but violence soon erupted and a fight between students and riot police broke out. At first it was safely in front of me at a distance. But before long it was all around me. I saw kids throw stones at police, people break down a stage set for a Christmas celebration for more ammunition, tear gas, smoke bombs, and everywhere angry people. I saw what I wanted, but got tear gassed myself before I could get out. Ryan got it worse than me, but a small amount is more than enough. Most people would think this a bad memory, but not me!

5. In Athens, Psyiri is a wonderful neighborhood full of hipster bars and clubs. At first glance it is dirty and probably looks unsafe with the huge graffiti and seemingly broken down buildings. But thats just the scene they like. One night, after having too much to drink and successfully hopped at least 10 bars, Allison and I ran into a friend of ours from the American embassy. He was our age, drunk and with a girl from the other American school in Athens. Allison and I (mainly Allison) proceeded to be large cock blocks the entire night as we stuck with them wherever they went and even got a cab back with them. The greatest moment, (Allison)"Hey, do you guys want to go get some hookah?" The reply was a simultaneous "Yeah!" from the guy and a "No," from the girl. Our work there was done.

6. As our departure back to the States was getting closer, Allison and I wanted to have one last trip up to the Acropolis for sentimental reasons and I had never actually taken any pictures! As we left, we were slightly getting on each others nerves, but once we got to the top we had a blast. Since the riots were still going on, hardly any tourists were there. We snapped some pictures of the buildings but then turned to have a photo shoot of ourselves on the Acropolis. We even found a stray cat who I kept trying to put up on the wall so I could take a picture of it, but it got scared once it saw the steep fall and kept trying to get away from me. Our laughter could be heard all over the Acropolis.

7. The breast cancer event will live in infamy. A few of us had volunteered for the event at the request of our teacher. It began with a lot of talking, which we understood nothing since it was all in Greek. After that, a short theatrical piece was put on with some singing. Again, we had no comprehension of what was going though I thought it was corny and weird to include it at a breast cancer event. However, I noticed a guy in the group who was noticeably cute and gay for that matter. But I forgot it as our duty came up. We were instructed to carry appetizers for the recession like servants. It was crazy. Greeks love their food and the moment they saw us carry it, and they knew it was free, people were swarming us. We tried our best to distribute the food as evenly as possible, but it was hard when four elderly ladies hoarded all the food in a corner and yelled at you if you didn't bring them more. Once the clamor died down a bit, we sat back and rested. We noticed that guy from the stage before sitting with his friends. All of my friends urged me to go talk to him, so I concocted a way to. I kept bringing him food to which he claimed I was trying to make him fat. Later, as I was standing alone with some food and all my friends watching, he came up to me and asked me out on a date, to which I happily said yes. We drank all the rest of the wine that night and went back home. Oh what a night!

8. Perhaps I should have put these in chronological order... Anyway, on our first weekend in Greece, our school brought us to an island called Kea. It was remote and barren, but we were determined to have fun. The first night, there was an arranged beach party. The night consisted of many different antics, dancing, and school sponsored drinking. The night for me was spent with Allison and Rachel, who I had not known for long. The three of us got along very well that night and had a wonderful time. We ended up sleeping together in the same bed, though the girls said I was horrible since I talked and stole all the blankets. It is funny, but by the end of the semester, it ended up being just Allison and I, since Rachel slowly got on our nerves after awhile. I feel bad for kind of ditching her, but we will always have that night.

9. Again, the first week of being in Athens my apartment and the other apartment in our building with students from our school had dinner every night and ended with some wine on the roof as we watched the stars, the Acropolis and got to know each other. That first week was so wonderful since it was drama free, and we all loved each other. As you can tell by the past tense, it didn't stay that way for long, but thats another story. One night in particular, I had finally told them I was gay. We were discussing relevant topics, and I had had too much wine for my own good. When describing my distaste for vaginas, I mentioned that they reminded me of sarlacc pits. Everyone was confused since no one knew what those were. I explained that they were the huge pits in Star Wars in the desert that eat people up, especially in the scene when Jaba the Hutt tries to kill Luke Skywalker by throwing him in one. They have horned looking teeth and are vicious looking. Everyone bursted into laughter and sarlacc became an instant inside joke and was frequently invoked.

10. As I looked down the Corinthian Canal, which happens to be 206 feet deep, I wondered why I was here. I remembered that I had almost missed this opportunity by being too exhausted from my partying the night before, but thinking that I may never have the chance again I decided to tough it up. Everyone began to countdown and I knew I had no other choice. I could feel my heart beating in my chest and I contemplated crying, but decided against that too. The bungee was weighing down on my feet, almost dragging me before I chose to jump. When it came to zero, I leapt as far out as I could and instantly thought, "What the fuck did I just do?" Everything else was a blur.

Photo by Michael Wood! The entrance of the catacombs from the Via Appia

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Oh, Illinoise!

Being that I cannot study for history anymore, I thought I would instead update my blog about the happenings of my life and the random thoughts going on in my head these days. By the way, has anyone noticed that this semester is going horribly fast? The closer I get to graduation and the "real world," the faster things go. I am a bit worried about leaving school and being crushed with debt and a horrible job market. Egh.

Anyway, life is good otherwise. I would never have believed it, but I have defined pectorals, biceps, triceps, various leg muscles, and a wonderful gluteus maximus. Working out consistently has been one of the best life decisions I have made in awhile. It makes me feel better, forces me to prioritize my life, improves my heath and my image! If I may be so cocky, "Good job Michael!"

Last weekend was an adventure, one that I needed. Isaac and I went down to the U of I for Unofficial St. Patrick's Day with his friend Chris Johns, who incidentally got ahold of my UIC name and password last year and proceeded to get me banned from the internet for a week due to massive downloading, but I forgave him. Anyway, the trip was fun and incredibly decadent. Champaign was filled with thousands of drunk college kids roaming around, looking for a cool party or food. Needless to say, Chipotle was packed the entire weekend. Gabby's party was fun, and a bit interesting with the two exs being so close together for the first time in awhile. They behaved, but hardly. I had to put my iron foot down a few times. After excessive amounts of drinking, the three of us (minus Chris Johns who went to his friends) passed out in Gabby's bed. When I say passed out I really mean continually fought for a good position and blanket coverage the entire night only to get neither and wake up unrested and aching.

The next morning/day was spent with Isaac and I roaming around, doing odd things here and there. We managed to get a bit of studying done as well to make up for the guilty feeling of procrastination. I feel like Isaac and I are getting much closer as friends, something that I like a lot. We hang out a lot, eat together, work out together and I like it. We joke that we are considered a gay couple on campus, and doubtless some people think it.

Anyway, after Gabby got off of work at Jamba Juice, we hung out for awhile, but informed her that we would be leaving. Gabby was noticeably upset, and I knew why and though I warned her, I still sympathized. I understand how she feels, to be next to the one she loves and not being able to have him. But, we said our goodbyes and went on a random adventure to Eastern Illinois University where they were having their unoffical that night. We met up with their friend Elliot who happens to be gay, but the most confusing gay person ever. I met him the night before at U of I where I studied him closely. I just could not make sense of him, and I think he may have avoided me at some level. I can't be sure, but I wonder just how comfortable he is with his sexuality. Anyway, the four of us got to a party and were a bit shocked. At least Isaac and I were. He turned to me and said, "We aren't in Chicago anymore." The party was full of hicks. Some dirty, some whores, some inbred. Granted, we made the best of it and had a really fun time for awhile. I told myself that tonight was a night where I kept my inhibitions and didn't act flaming, for lack of a better word. I ended up dancing for a total of two minutes, but that was enough. Two brothers went to Isaac and began flipping out that there was a gay man at the party. "We don't do that here," were the exact words spoken. Isaac told me, and I was bothered, but not overly so. But then, Isaac continued to socialize with the ones who didn't like me, and Elliot and Chris both disappeared due to girl drama. So I left and wandered around campus for awhile. Honestly, I don't remember any of it, just that I did. I came back to find Elliot very distressed where he proceeded to tell me his boy problems. The one time we had a conversation and he mentioned men. I was more in awe than actually contributing to the conversation. Eventually we all fell asleep with no more mishaps the rest of the night. We awoke at 7AM to screeching sounds of unknown animals. Once we realized where we were, we got up and out. Instantly. Our drive home consisted of Isaac's broken windshield wipers and rain. I will let you conjecture to what happened.

There was a moment going down to EIU when we stopped at a gas station. It was the only thing for miles, and you could only see small dots that were the houses in the far distance. Other than that, there was a black wall of nothingness. It was quiet, and nothing moved other than us. I looked around and realized that I was back home. Strange to think about so late, but I had oddly missed my Illinois., the flat fields of corn and soybeans, the odd assortment of people ranging from Chicago to Decatur and everything in between, and not to mention the horribly paved roads! As I returned to the car, I turned to Isaac and said, "We are in the middle of fucking nowhere!"

I also would like to get to know Elliot more. He is a really funny guy, and his sexuality greatly interests me. Yes, he is gay. I understand that. But it is something different to him than to me, something that I have never actually ever seen before. Don't get me wrong, I am not at all condemning him. Everyone acts differently, and though stereotypes are true sometimes, they don't hold up uniformly, especially with gay men! I have seen so many dirty, unkempt gay men in this world to prove it to me. I myself am hardly organized or clean. But I love to study people, watch their habits, listen to them and understand their point-of-view in this life. Elliot has proved to stump me, something that only entices me more! It sounds like I am treating him as my experiment, and maybe at some level I am?

That was my strange, wonderful weekend. If you made it this far, Kudos to you my friend.

Photo by Frank Hebicht

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Valentine's Day Massacre

Oh wait, it isn't Valentine's Day anymore.

This is the part I hate. I have so much to say, and yet I cannot because I am unsure of who does and doesn't follow my blog. And since I do not know Greek well enough to describe my situation, I will say nothing instead. Sorry.

Classes are getting better. It sucks, but I have buckled down and got work done. I have managed to go to most classes voluntarily and done my work like a good little boy. I am slowly being able to hone my attention span since now only my TV and Mac distract me. My Xbox 360 is once again not working. Piece of shit Microsoft!

My visits to the gym have had their ups and downs. I am starting to see slight results in my upper body and leg muscles due to my lifting regiment. I have developed shin-splints though since I run/walk weird. Ramon noticed that I roll when I walk messing up how my muscles work. The reason? Years of band camp. I was always taught to use the "roll-step" while marching, which has led to this wonderful condition. It also causes me to walk to the beat of my iPod, but that is irrelevant. I can't even walk for an extended period of time anymore without feeling pain. I really hope I didn't screw my legs up. My height is all I have!

I now practically live at Ray and Tammy's apartment, watching "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" with Kevin and Tammy or "To Wong Foo," with Ray and other random adventures. maybe I have been there too much lately, but I enjoy their friendship and I love getting out of my dorm. I feel secure now that I have a solid group of friends in the city. Maybe not the best, but hopefully that will develop over time.

Yeah, so that is about it, minus the obvious HUGE things going on in my life. I read this and think, "Wow, who cares about this stupid, random shit?" My blog isn't good unless I have something to bitch about. I enjoy complaining and fighting, in case you haven't noticed. Don't get me wrong, I have been enjoying my life lately. I just don't have a lot to talk about.

I want it to be warm. Then I will be even happier!

Photo by Pierre-Louis Pierson

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Myspace Blog?!

So I was fishing around in my old Myspace Blog and found a few interesting posts that I thought I would repost for fun and to show how I have changed over the years!

Friday, February 10, 2006
what is going on?
Current mood: depressed

what am i supposed to write anymore?? cause if i start talking about something that has been going on, word will get around and i will get more of a shit load than i already have. why why must there always be drama? never in my life has something so hurtful been said to me like what they said. and yes let it be known that i cried. ok. so what. i didnt bawl. i used every muscle in me to restrain any outward appearance but when im told that i am a piece of shit who lies and cheats and backstabs and that i am worthless from someone who was held close to my heart, then there was only so much i could do. i loved them more than anything in this world as i do my close friends and they broke me down. i was tempted to get up and leave. leave all of this shit behind. but i didnt. and yet at the same time, im done. im just done. i tried to salvage it and it seems to me that it is out of my control. as mr mascari said, highschool sucks. who would ever want to come back and repeat this? what the hell am i supposed to think anymore? ~mike ps-if u have no idea what the hell im talking about then u must be sheltered. pps- ive said this to a few ppl, but if everyone else in this world hates me, i can at least take comfort in the fact that my grandma thinks im cool!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006
My epiphanies!
Current mood: contemplative

Yes i have had many of the course of this year and i share them with you now!!! be prepared to be rocked beyond your wildest dreams!

Mrs. Hiland was unfortunately born without a personality. this leads to boring classes, failed attempts at jokes, and a very unpleasant first block.
Our student teacher for band...i forgot her name. well anyway i have a theory about her. she was and is a complete band nerd. not like me or the BNU, but rather the horrible kind! the really hyper nerdy ones. well she has since grown up and matured (somewhat). but as she stands in front of our band she is nervous, but why? i believe it is because she looks at all the beautiful band people and it wasnt like her time. we arent nerds. therefore she is threatened and reacts by being mean.
My life lacks any direction whatsoever!
Relationships are overrated. (sory Stina & Tim, Kayla & Ian, Alex & Cory, anyone else that im forgetting) they are overrated for me at least. im all about the flirting and...well....*cough* we will leave that one alone for now!
Did i mention my life lacked a direction?? WHAT AM I GOING TO DO FOR A LIVING?? why must we make this decision now?

Monday, November 14, 2005
I have a booboo!
Current mood: hungry

well, during gym class, mandele made us run over and over cause of his pissy mood! when i got a break, i collapased against the wall, only to find that something had cut me, and really deep to. so i rushed to the nurse, and went to the emergency room for 4 stiches. lol, and it's my middle finger, so now i flip off everyone!! it's really hard to type this... YAY i got to leave school and i so milked it! but i do have to work...meh! i'll just be really slow

Saturday, September 24, 2005
horrible day!
Current mood: drained

i had to work a whole 8 and 1/2 hr day. that just ruined my day from the beginning. but during work, i got ssome chemicals that we use to clean the floor in my eye. i was forced to put a bottle on my eye full of saline crap and wash it out. i hate touching my eye! after that, my BAD headache came back and i felt like my head was bursting like a pimple on a teenagers head (nice) and it got so freakin busy! ugh, i want to just flippin leave this place. maybe i'll go to europe...

Tuesday, September 13, 2005
Current mood: depressed

i hate being a teenager. emotional rollercoaster. one moment im fine, and now im just deppressed to the max.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005
HOW'S THIS FOR BITTER?!!?!??!@?.$?!@.$ Q@$%.V
Current mood: crushed

So a few of you who have been reading my blog claim that i am a bitter, whiny nerd. Well, if you think that then you can kiss my wihte ass! No really, i dont want you to do that, kristi already did. i'm not bitter, am i? i was just having a bad day...I CUT U!

Wait, have things really changed that much, or am I still almost the exact same person. My blog STILL is bitter and whiney and yes, I am still a nerd. Shit...

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Readjustment Blows

Well, one month down. And what a strange, difficult month this was. My life has become a roller-coaster of emotions and I really want it to stop. Partially I feel this is the effect of reverse-culture shock, and what I have deemed reverse-college shock. I like the dorms because they are in a great location, right next to school plus they feed me with semi-tasteful food, even if it never sits well in my stomach. My roommate is cool, other people in the dorm are alright though very unsanitary. But it has been hard to go out and meet people as well. I get too comfortable being alone. No that isn't true. Rather, I get too depressed and stay in, but then proceed to bitch about how I have no life. Maybe it's best that I don't have a social life since I have so much homework to do for class these days, and barely even get half of it done after spending hours a day reading. I hate this.

I also told myself I would not let boys rule my life, and yet, somehow once again they are beginning to. Why?! Maybe I will go straight and leave all these boys (who are trying to be men, but who are they fooling?) behind! One minute it's good, the next great, and the next it sucks. Apparently, the "Gay Gods," as Zachary says, have forsaken me.

Good things have happened though as well. My birthday, both the dinner and the party, were very successful! It was fun and enjoyable to hang out with old friends as well as meet some new ones! I am also getting better at this magical game called Beer Pong. I used to think I sucked at throwing things, but for some reason, I can do fairly decent at this. Haha! Anyway, it was fun, and I swore off drinking for two weeks. But of course that didn't happen because last night was Garmin's annual winter event. I went with Sophia and had a blast! I also won a Forerunner 405! It's a GPS running watch that costs $300!! I will never use it but I will sell it to the highest bidder!! After the games, the bosses took us over to TGI Fridays where they bought as a considerable amount of alcohol and food. It was a great night that ended in a horrible hangover!

School is getting difficult and frustrating. How can my professor honestly give me a full book to read in a week? They know I have other classes I have reading and assignments for! What makes it worse is that two of my professors give me a book to read each week. TWO?! And then my other three classes have considerable reading for them as well. I don't understand how they think that is fair.

I am proud of one thing. I have been working out so far with Isaac and Ian. They put me on a very tough regiment of lifting and running. I can feel those muscles that I have been dreaming for for so grow on me! One day, hopefully relatively soon, I will be sexy. Well, maybe not but I will be healthy. Though I do fear if I continue to eat as I do and not lift or exercise, my weight will increase. That thought alone is keeping me on the treadmills everyday.

Anyway, as the new month begins, I would like things to change. A lot. And I have to be the one to man-up and do it.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Thank You James Stuekel...

So, I moved back into the dorms. It's not so bad. I haven't met my roommates yet (all 7 of them!) and the dorm is nice and new. This will be a good way for me to meet more people at my school too. My room overlooks the Dan Ryan which is not exciting but I can also see the lake and the city. You win some, you lose some.

I had a strange moment as my dad and I were buying linens and other random things for my dorm room earlier at Target. I remember a little more than a year ago doing the same thing, but this time I was moving into my first apartment. I had such high hopes and dreams of living on my own. I really thought I had done it and was moving up in the world. My parents were also supporting me, much to my surprise because I was moving in with Johnny. They were there to help me and prepare me for life on my own. But somewhere along the line I screwed up. Perhaps it was moving in with my boyfriend of less than a year, or perhaps it was my less than perfect spending habits or my job choices. Anyway, I'm back at square one, which isn't a bad option. But this isn't where I thought I would be at this stage.

I always hate coming out to someone the first time. It's awkward because they feel like they can't ask me if I am gay, and I am not going to introduce myself as a homosexual either. Plus you don't know someone's feelings about it either, and if they aren't comfortable with it, then I'm not comfortable with them. I know these are stupid feelings because in all my life, I have met very few people who are so uncomfortable with me being gay that they can't be with me. It is just a feeling that will be with me for some time I think. I have only been out for two years now. So I hope these new roommates aren't bigots. Or bros. I don't like bros.

But, apart from my negative and pessimistic thoughts, I am so excited to be back in Chicago. Once I get my U-Pass, the town will be mine to explore! And I hope Garmin hires me again!! I need money, and quick!

Photo by John Cleary

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Ring In the New Year!

Χρονια Πολλα = Many Years = Happy New Year!

Another year is here. Where the hell did 2008 go? What the hell am I going to do with 2009? Why is it that the closer that I get to graduation the faster time goes? I don't want to graduate and enter the real world! I am perfectly happy with school right now and I have no plans for a career!! Freshman year was so much fun and so long! Sophomore year, my first year in an apartment, was a lot of fun as well, but more stressful with rent, utilities, etc. But it went quicker. And now, my Junior year is flying past me. My time abroad went so quickly that I wasn't able to appreciate and fully experience Greece. And now next semester is going to be very difficult for me. 17 credit hours with my first 400 level History class ever added to the fact that I am going to hopefully work at Garmin again. God help me.

I am sitting writing this still in my clothes from last night still with a hangover and old cologne still hanging on me. Kind of nasty perhaps but last night was the time of my life! Since I still have a hangover, I don't want to dissect the events of last night as of yet. Thats later. Plus, I am still a little confused. Weird things happened. Weird in a good way though. But spending New Year's in Chicago was amazing. I missed home a lot, and the city is so much fun and so beautiful. This is my home!

I hate New Year's resolutions. They set me up to fail. No, I am not going to diet and no, probably won't figure out my finances. Sure, these things would be great but, seriously? It's me we are talking about. I know what I want with my life though, and I will do what it takes to get there.

A) Need to start some sort of career path. Internship, contacts, anything. I need some sort of plan.
B) I will not be dependent on another person for happiness. This doesn't necessarily exclude relationships, but I'm young. I still have a lot to experience and do.
C) I need to work hard at what I do, meaning school, work, friendships, money, etc. I cannot afford to be lazy anymore.
D) I want to be healthy. No, I don't need to lose weight, but I need to watch what I eat, and continue working out more. Running is fun but it would be nice if I started weight training.

These aren't resolutions. This is just where I want to be by the end of next year, if anyone is interested, and if you have read this far I can only assume you are.