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31 October 2008 @ 11:32 am

One day in junior highs chool the most popular girl in school told me I was conceited. 

It's now been 17 years and recently that moment has been popping up in my mind quite often. My gut reaction is still the same. I first get hit by the absurdity of it. There she stood, the pretty girl with countless friends, the object of lust of every boy in the class, swirling her head and rolling her eyes and calling out the homely-looking morbidly obese girl for being conceited. There I was completely puzzled, towering over/around her, looking around for someone to laugh.  Waiting. Someone had to laugh right?  Well, I did.  I laughed so hard at her.  Hmm...maybe that came off as conceited?

I think I knew then what is so obvious now.  She was frustrated at me.  She was angry that I did not follow her like everyone else.  She was angry at the smartest girl in school because that's the one thing she could not be. Perhaps she felt that by calling me names and calling attention to a supposed air of superiority, she would tear me down.  Well, just like back then, I know that's not fair.  It's not fair because I was doing everything right.  I did all of my homework, participated in class and outshone every other student. My schoolwork was used as an example for others to follow. Parents, teachers, administrators, clergy and even my fellow students praised me for that almost every day. But I also had friends. In fact I used to joke and talk to every person in the class and would give anyone a hand with schoolwork (including her). I had a self-deprecating sense of humor and never wanted to call attention to myself.  However, all of that history was turned on it's head that day and I learned something of great value.

I was not like her, which made me not like a lot of people and very 'different' in her eyes. And this difference--the most highly regarded position in our environment--was now being used against me.  It became obvious that by pushing myself to the upper limits I had gone too far.

Nothing much happened between us after that.  I laughed at her and she walked away.  She continued to be frustrated and popular and I continued being a smart and awkward.  But today she symbolizes to me every person who use the word elitist with a snarl and of course recently those are critics of Barack Obama.  (Okay, just a side note: I am NOT comparing myself to Barack Obama. I am using this moment between popular girl and smart girl to make a point.) 

Here's my summary of what's been swirling around lately: They say he thinks he's better than everyone else. They say that he talks like he knows everything, but it's all smoke and mirrors and he's playing a trick.  Being smart makes you sneaky and a trickster.  He spouts all of these grand ideas and visions and that makes him a megalomaniac. Ideas are extreme and over the top.  Ideas come from thinkers and thinkers are scary. 

Okay, now here's the thing: He's done everything right.  He worked his way up through the education system.  He went to Columbia, then Harvard Law, became a professor and during that time realized that there were things he wanted to help people with. A good education should make you something of an idealist and, yes, an elitist.  Education is how leaders are created and I hope that leaders know a thing or two more than the rest of us.  They should have a strong sense of self and a belief that they can figure some things out that we haven't been able to.  That's what makes our society move forward.  To call that wrong is to take a step backward (to junior high school) and go back on everything we supposedly want people to strive for.  This criticism is born out of insecurity.  He's accomplished so much and I'll applaud for that and hope he continues to soar to great heights. The great thing is that he's offering to take us with him.   I'm first in line!  Okay, maybe 100,000, 000th, but I'm going. I think he knows more than most of us do and that's so awesome!


Current Location: downtown
Current Mood: anxiousanxious
18 July 2008 @ 09:29 am

I'm alive!  Well, some of you know this because I have commented on your blogs.  If I haven't commented...It's not because I don't love you too!  I've just been distracted...

Specifically, as it pertains to lj, I have been twittering.  Yes, I'm one of THOSE.  It's just so easy and I think it's built for the modern (read: short) attention span.  It's so much easier to craft a 140 character tweet than to create a blog post.  It's not that blog posts don't have their place.  They DO.  It's just that I haven't had time to blog a lot of my (mis)adventures and in the interest of sanity, I find it easier to just blurt random things out on Twitter than to let them stew in my head until whenever I get around to blogging about that particular subject.  Also, Twitter has the allure of instant gratification.  Mmm....

Additionally, I am on FriendFeed and find it soooo awesome!  I see it as an on-demand social network aggregate.  By connecting with friends who usually send me links throughout the day, I can bypass the e-mails and IMs and just see what they're bookmarking/digging/blogging/twittering/flickring, etc., all at once.  I can click on whatever looks interesting or ignore whatever is not, bypassing having to say anything in IM or e-mail.  If something is really cool, I'll mention it the next time I talk to them, "Hey, that was a great post you wrote."  If not, I say nothing.  Another cool thing is finding out that you share an interest that you've never discussed before. "I saw you bookmarked that article on bi-racial dwarf couples...I loved it too!"  And so on.  But you don't HAVE to share all of your networks.  It's a pick and choose thing. You share whatever you want when you're ready.

So that's where I've been.  There are a few things I want to post here in the next few weeks.  I'll do that.  Also, I have my photography blog to update.  So much to do!  And that's good :)  Doing stuff makes me happy.

Follow me on Twitter here! http://twitter.com/hulz
Be my shadow on FriendFeed! http://friendfeed.com/hoolz

Current Location: downtown
Current Mood: crazycrazy
Current Music: NPR
20 May 2008 @ 02:18 pm
Six degrees of Angelina Jolie! Okay, so I'm not linked to her, but her most recent movie brings her almost to my doorstep. I just read the buzz on The Changeling, Clint Eastwood's most recent project staring Angelina Jolie. Usually, something like this I would only superficially take note of for future movie watching, but a quick look into the info reveals that it's a drama centered around a child killer in the late 1920's living in Riverside, California. Wait..what?! That's where I am! Specifically, it's set in Wineville, CA which is now Mira Loma. Yup, you have to hold on there again. That's right near me!

Briefly, the story is centered around a mother and her young boy who disappears and evenutally is connected to Gordon Stewart Northcott, a man responsible for a series of kidnappings, tortures and the murders of several young boys in the area. I'd never heard this story until today and I have to admit that being in the area where it occured makes is strangely compelling. You can read all about it here. Also, I must add that the mention of an unidentified mexican boy from El Monte (where I grew up) amplifies my fascination.

Just so that you don't have to look it up, this is where Wineville Road is off of Etiwanda Avenue.

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Current Location: downtown
Current Mood: surprisedsurprised
Current Music: Nine Inch Nails
09 May 2008 @ 09:47 am
And you thought those guys were being paranoid. I think deep down we all knew they were gonna be right eventually. 

This from Wired
Army Yanks 'Voice-To-Skull Devices' Site. Yes, it's what you think. Mind Control!!  There was also an image provided of "...one person's self-styled depiction of how a "voice-to-skull" weapon might work." 

Refer to the Wired article for more fun/scary links! Then read
this page to learn all about why you need and should make a "stylish and comfortable" Aluminum Foil Deflector Beanie (AFDB)!
Current Location: downtown
Current Mood: weirdweird
Current Music: The Dead Kennedys - "Take this job and"
17 April 2008 @ 11:17 am

Crazy day! Dangerous day! Was on time this morning, but the trains were not running on Riverside line. Here's what Metrolink had to say:

Metrolink would like to extend our apologies to our Riverside Line passengers for the service delays this morning and last night. This morning, Riverside Line train 401 derailed due to an improperly lined switch at the Riverside-Downtown Station. The train had just completed loading passengers and had not cleared the platform when the derailment occurred. Passengers were transferred to train 403, the next scheduled departure from Riverside. The derailed train also prevented the departure of trains 405 and 407 which were also both canceled. Passengers were informed of the cancelations and directed to the 91 Line or to the San Bernardino Line as options. Passengers up the line were also informed of the cancelations. Train 409, the final morning departure on the Riverside Line was also delayed approximately one hour.

So I went over to Rancho, but on my way there, I was about 30 seconds behind a 4 car crash across all lanes of the 60. Everyone slammed on their brakes and we inched by. You could tell the cars had bounced off of each other before hitting the divider. Oy! I wanted to go hide under my blanket, but I made it to the station okay. The Riverside line was completely screwed so all the people went up to the other line and the train was beyond packed by the time we got past Covina!

Also, going to that hoop class last night with jennifatt saved me from other train problems!

Last night (Wednesday April 16) three Riverside Line trains were delayed by a malfunctioning switch on the Union Pacific Railroad just east of Industry station. The crew of train 406 (the 4:55 pm departure from Los Angeles) was instructed by the Union Pacific dispatcher to align the switch by hand but when the crew member observed the switch, he informed the dispatcher that he was unfamiliar with that type of switch and did not want to attempt to align it and possibly cause a greater delay. The dispatcher informed him that signal maintainance staff was on the way and would align the switch. Train 406 was delayed 67 minutes. Train 408 was delayed 50 minutes and train 410 was delayed 20 minutes due to waiting behind train 406.

This location was where a Union Pacific train derailed last week and had 33 cars leave the rails. The switch involved in that incident was replaced with a different type of switch of an unfamiliar type. Operations management concurs with train 406’s crew member prudent decision to wait for a signal maintainer rather than risk improperly aligning the switch and potentially causing further delay.

I feel so lucky to have made it in today at all!

Current Location: downtown
Current Mood: anxiousanxious
Current Music: Animal Collective
22 February 2008 @ 11:58 am
 I've now realized what...or better said, whom is behind my iPod problems.  It's all jennifatt's fault.  She is determined to get me to rollerdisco!  Let me 'splain...

For the past month or so, my iPod has been jumping to the rollerdisco playlist whenever I pause my iPod for too long.  The playlist in question was, of course, given to me by jennifatt.  Is that playlist at the top of my lists?  No.  Have any other playlists does this?  No.  Even worse, this past week it started jumping to the rollerdisco playlist even when I'm right in the middle of listening to a song.  Does this mean, that jennifatt's need for me to rollerdisco has grown even more urgent?!  I can't imagine!  

What I really want to say is, if you really want me to rollerdisco, you just have to ask, jennifatt.  Seriously, I would go if you just asked!  However, if you arranged this just so that I would truly have an excuse/reason to upgrade my iPod.  I say, Thank you! You really are a great friend!

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Current Location: downtown
Current Mood: amusedamused
Current Music: The Comas - "Tonight on the WB"
08 January 2008 @ 12:51 am
I am reading The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz for my bookclub this month. It's an interesting book--part nerdboy epic, part sex/third world epic and part Dominican Republic history. I really am enjoying the touches of DR history because admittedly, I knew absolutely nothing about DR before I started reading. Now I think I may seek out some more information for myself. It's an okay read, but I think it's hard for non Spanish speakers. There are a lot of Spanish words included and not italicized. Dunno how people will react to that. I'll have to poll the bookclub :)

There's a passage in the book that grabbed hold of me when I read it. Given recent events in my personal life and my nonstop self-evaluation, I think you can see why.
...the sort of easygoing woman a brother can relax around, but there was something slightly detached about her too; as though...she were some marooned alien princess who existed partially in another dimension; the sort of woman who, cool as she was, slips out of your head a little too quickly.... She didn't seem to mind being the girl you called every couple of months at eleven at night, just to see what she was "up to."

Except, you know...I do mind.
Current Location: home
Current Mood: busybusy
Current Music: Stars - "Today will be better I swear"
07 January 2008 @ 09:24 am
The year has been pretty good. As sad as my usual self wants to be, I can't really complain a whole lot. Sure I was broken hearted the last couple of weeks of December, but I resolved to put it behind me. Like I said to a few people, "At least no one said the L word."

At the stroke of midnight on New Year's Day, I snapped a photo. I hope that's a good omen. I snapped it for good luck and I snapped it to get the right shot of Tom and Ashley. They were the couple/friends who hired me to shoot photos at their wedding. It was both a me and them moment, which is the way I prefer things. Selfishness is ugly because we all have so much of it. The wedding photos are good. I can't say great because I haven't gone through them all. I'm still getting some in the mail from my helpers and the 1200+ photos will be scaled down to the absolute best 150 or so. That's what I promised. I might give them more if it's too painful to edit, but we'll see. I'll write more about it when I get through more. My final summary of the event will be posted on www.juliawrites.com where I'm keeping a photoblog. I'll let you know when.

This year I've resolved to see my friends more and worry a bit less about dating and such. Shouldn't be difficult. Maybe it'll happen 'just like that' which is what everyone keeps telling me. I've seen most of my closest friends in the last few weeks. I hung out with Jose down in San Diego around mid-December at the housewarming/xmas party he and his boyfriend threw. I saw jennifatt and mattiferat Tom and Ashley's wedding on New Year-s Eve. (Yay!) I've even been to the movies with Alicia, Agatha, Rocio and Gladys twice in the last two weeks. (That never happens!) Also, my friend Mike and I have hung out two weekends in a row because he let me borrow his camera (to be my spare at the wedding) and because he's just cool and calm to hang with. We went on a driveabout on Saturday, chatted and looked around Pasadena and the surrounding areas. I think it was Highway 2 that we followed almost halfway into the Angeles National Forest before having to drive back for lack of gas. I'd never been up that way and it was beautiful. I guess that's true of most locals isn't it? We don't explore our own towns as much as we do the towns we travel to. We went up and down Figueroa, then up into the hills in the South Pasadena area where I remember dropping jennifatt off once or twice many moons ago :) 

I see Rob and Julie often (at this point I can't imagine never having met them) and this next weekend I hope to see G.J. and perhaps choncho + wife at GJ's movie screening.  If you're in the area, you should reserve some spaces and join us! I already told G.J. I would be going and I also told him I picked up the latest installment of the book Mortified: Love is a Battlefield which features some of his very own teenage journal entries.  I missed his live performance of it (on my mom's birthday), so I made sure to order this when I saw it.  Most of it wasn't surprising to me, but you wanna know the best part?  He used old photos of himself as a geek (the G.J. forever recorded in my mind) and the modeling shots that I took of him when I took my first B&W photo classes.  I was so excited to see them in a book and it really made up for the horrifying things that he said about sex, love and female genitalia to my then 15 year old self!

As the year moves forward some nights are still sad and I'm trying to figure life out as usual. However, I do try to remember something that Kathy Bates said in the chickflick I saw with friends this past weekend. She said that we're all alone and that's something we all share. But I guess I don't need to point that out to my hermit friends/family who read this ;)
Current Location: downtown
Current Mood: hothot
Current Music: Radiohead - In Rainbows
30 November 2007 @ 10:41 am

I'm such a hopeless evil person. Oh, woe is me!

The nazi speaks.

You all know how I feel think about this.

"The Pope seemed to be addressing the fresh interest in atheism in the developed world with phrases such as: 'Let us put it very simply: man needs God, otherwise he remains without hope.'"
I have hope.  Wait...let me check...yeah, it's there.  Sure enough,  I have hopes and dreams and positive thoughts.

" We have all witnessed the way in which progress, in the wrong hands, can become and has indeed become a terrifying progress in evil. If technical progress is not matched by corresponding progress in man's ethical formation, in man's inner growth, then it is not progress at all, but a threat for man and for the world."
Atheism = capitalism? When did that happen? I didn't get that memo! And he says this at Christmas time?!  That is so overflowing with irony, it's beyond absurd. However, I do agree that we have to experiment an inner growth to match our technical progress...so get to it! Free yourself from religion and come into reality!

Thanks for the insults, popie. 
Current Location: downtown
Current Mood: determineddetermined
29 November 2007 @ 02:06 pm

how can someone be so into you one day
and then not the next?
why would someone try so very hard to get you
and then not know if he wants to keep you?

why even get your hopes up?

it's always something that's wrong with him
because he says you're everything he should want.

it's never you.

Current Location: downtown
Current Mood: frustratedfrustrated