Showing posts from 2008

Holiday wrap-up, plus some looking ahead

Wow, that was a great trip to Florida.  We took tons of pictures, shot some video, collected sea shells, walked along the beach, swam, went down near-vertical slides, and overall had a great time.  The hotel was very nice, and even though the Internet wasn’t great, I still managed to do all the usual things.  We bought a little more in terms of groceries than we needed to, but we do that every time we have a kitchen on vacation.  It was great to relax after a long first half of the school year, and to forget about most of my responsibilities from back home.As last Monday was the first night of Hanukkah, it was then that the gifting began.  I received my most-wanted gift this holiday season: Canon’s SD790IS 10-megapixel digital camera.  I even got a 4GB SD card to go with it.  Needless to say, I broke it out immediately and began snapping shots.  After we returned home, we continued the gift-giving and receiving.  I also received a check from my grandmother, a Borders gift card from my…

Flight Attendants, Please Prepare for a Blog Post

It seems that drafting blog entries from thousands of feet above the ground is becoming a habit for me.  As I write this, I’m on a plane to Fort Myers, Florida, on the first part of a vacation to Captiva Island.  I would, under normal circumstances, have been able to publish this post immediately – I started writing at about 5:10 PM – instead of drafting it on a plane and saving it for later.  But unfortunately, our flight was delayed several (four) hours because of icy conditions in the plane’s originating city of New York.  Instead of a 11:15 AM takeoff and a 2:00 PM landing, it was a 3:30 PM takeoff and a landing time that, as of press time, is not yet known.  But we’re looking at about 5:40 PM.Florida doesn’t mean relatives or a particularly exhilarating excursion for me.  It means relaxation and a well-deserved break from classes.  We finally have an Airport Express for a travel router, which means getting online in the hotel room is going to be a whole lot easier.  And going to …

Yes We Did!

Mission accomplished.  And we mean it this time.  On November 4, we elected Barack Obama to be the next President of the United States.  I am disappointed, however, that Inaugural tickets seem to be gone already.  Although really, what did I expect?  This is an historic election, and attendees of the January Inaugural will be able to tell their grandchildren years from now that they witnessed history.  Segueing to our Election Night party for a moment, I can safely say that it was the best (and really, the only) Election Night party I can remember.  We had a great turnout of guests, good food (though towards the end of the party, nothing was eaten due to a hyper-tense excitement in the air), and about ten TVs all going at once.  CNN’s hologram technology was great, too, even if people downplayed its significance and value.  But most of all, I’ll always remember where I was at 11:00PM on November 4, 2008.  Where was I?  Taking the above picture, of course.The weekend after the election…

Which is scarier, Halloween or Election Night?

This past month has been a whirlwind of events.  A lot has happened, and now I’ll try to catch you all up on what’s been going down.In early October, I drove with my family to New York City, to attend a 100th birthday for my paternal aunt’s mother.  She’s the first person I know to hit the triple digits.  I ended up sitting at the “kids” table with my sister and seven other people (all older teenagers or college students).  It was not the social highlight of the evening.  But I was asked beforehand to be the official photographer and videographer for the birthday party, so I arrived with camera and camcorder in hand.  The most interesting part of the event was hearing the birthday girl give her speech.  “It’s always great to hear the eulogies about you with your eyes open,” she remarked.In mid-October, on a Saturday morning, I had to wake up at the usual “get ready for school” hour.  Because in a sense, I was doing exactly that.  On that day, I took the PSATs.  I think I did very well…

School, New York, and The Force – Oh My!

It’s been a while, and for that, I’m sorry.  I’ve been busy with several activities and events and I kept putting off a blog post.My last post on here was from the airplane on the way to Hawaii.  That was a great trip.  We stayed at a large hotel with a series of five or six pools connected by water slides.  We went to the pool and the nearby beach every day, eating lunch at the poolside bar with food delivered to our pool chairs by some of the nicest waiters I’ve met.  For dinner, we drove to various restaurants around the towns of Wailea and Kahului.  One night we ate at a pizza restaurant where there were barely any other customers.  Because of – or perhaps, despite – this, our waitress was always coming over to our table, telling stories and cracking jokes.  It made the night uniquely interesting and enjoyable, and it gave us the feeling that we were really in Hawaii.On September 3, I started my junior year in high school.  I’m taking, among other classes, Calculus and Physics.  I…

Playing Catch-up

Fun fact: as I write this, I'm thousands of feet above the ground in a 777 headed towards Hawaii.Since I wrote that blog post begging you to vote for The Force-Cast's Atom video, a lot has happened.  For one thing, that same video won two trophies at the 2008 awards ceremony: Best Animation and Audience Choice.  Though the ceremony occurred a few weeks back, Jason and Pete (hosts of The Force-Cast) are still talking about it.  And as they mentioned on last Friday's show, their trophies will arrive soon; that means more self-administered back-patting.  But as a big fan of the show, I agree that they deserve every last back-pat.  They worked hard on the video, and it shows.I finished my job at my school last Friday.  I mostly worked five-hour days, although I did pull a few longer shifts (mostly due to transportation issues).  I plan on putting most of the money into my bank account.This past Saturday, I saw the new Star Wars film, The Clone Wars.  While most of the reviews …

Support the Force-Cast!

My favorite podcast, The Weekly Force-Cast, has entered a video into the 2008 Atom Films Star Wars Fan Film Challenge.  We're trying to get the Fan Choice Award, but I can't do it alone (though believe me, I've been trying).  So click on the banner above (or just click here) and scroll down to the George Lucas Hip Hop Awards video.  Click on the "vote" button under the image of Rapper George Lucas, and you're set!  You will need to have an Atom Films account, but creating one is quick, easy, and free.  And after you've voted, you can view lots of other great videos on the Atom Films site.  Thanks for your help!

So Long, Rehoboth!

Today we head home after almost a week in Rehoboth.  We saw some really great houses and some not-so-great houses.  There was one house that we didn't get to see, but from the Internet it looked pretty good.  And it didn't hurt that Tony Kornheiser, a famous sportswriter, lived on the same street.My sister and I are really set on one particular house (pictured above), but my parents find it too modern, too expensive, and full of too many staircases.  They're worried about our dog and how she'll navigate the house.  I'm not worried; Maddie's a smart and resourceful dog.  The house is sold furnished, and that was part of what sealed the deal for me.  The furnishings include an HDTV in nearly every bedroom (of which there are six!); a Blu-Ray player hooked up to a ridiculously large home theater system; a wall panel in almost every room with controls for iPod and radio playback; a gigantic shower with an outside entrance; and a heated pool with miniature fountains…

Next Stop: Rehoboth

I'm pretty sure that volunteer work with OCP was my first real job.  And what a job it was.  I met some really nice people; helped fix errors, streamline documents, and generate new content; and learned valuable workplace skills.  Now that I've had a semi-cube-farm-esque job, I'll be ready to take on another one when the time comes.  I also got enough community service hours to satisfy my recently-concluded school year, as well as next year.  Considering how hard it was to find a good community service job this year, I consider that payment enough.Happy Father's Day to all fathers, by the way.  This morning I tried to get our dog to wear a messenger bag stuffed with newspapers as we brought my dad breakfast in bed.  Not only was it too big for Maddie, but it also scared her half to death.  After several failed attempts to get her to bring my dad her own card, we gave up.  I don't mean to harp on Maddie, it's just ... oh, for god's sake, she can't even r…

Oh, Hello Again!

Wow, I completely forgot about this blog. I've been busy recently and I haven't had much time to write a lengthy post. Here's what I've done in the past few months:Finished school and taken two exams, one in math and one in science. Fully revamped my homepage, Purchased and organized lots of equipment for my video studio. Turned 17. Not a very busy life, I know. But it's the little things that kept me from blogging.Anyway, I have a jam-packed summer ahead of me. This morning I started my community service job at my county's Office of Consumer Protection. I worked from 10 AM to 3 PM. I'm doing that for the rest of the week. This Thursday, I have my first in-car driving lesson. From June 19th through June 24th, my family and I will be in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. We're looking to buy a beach house there. On June 27th I have my next in-car driving lesson.During the week of June 30th, I'll be doing tech work at my school from 10 AM to 3…

Learner's Permit Acquisition: Finally!

Yesterday my mom took me to the DMV to get my learner's permit.  We waited for almost two hours before it was our turn.  And that was just for the vision test and personal info verification!  Luckily, there was no line to take the knowledge test, so I went right in.  The employee who "verified" my name, address, etc. accidentally wrote my dad's name instead of mine on my testing sheet.  So I had to go back to her and ask her to fix it.  After resolving that, I started the computer-based knowledge test.  Twenty nerve-wracking questions later, I had a passing grade.  I was allowed two wrong answers (a third would automatically fail me), and I did end up getting two wrong.  But I still passed, and that's the important part.  I got a plastic card very similar to a full driver's license, except oriented vertically instead of horizontally.  I decided to become an organ donor, too.

Spring Break Preview

We're taking a Caribbean cruise over Spring Break!  On Saturday, we're flying to Fort Lauderdale, where we'll stay at a local hotel overnight.  The cruise starts at 5:00 PM on Sunday.  I was surprised to hear that the boat actually has Wi-Fi service onboard.  $80 for six days isn't cheap, but it's not bad either.I promised myself that I'd take lots of pictures on this trip, enough for relatives to live the experience vicariously through us.  At least I can take comfort in knowing that, if I don't take enough, my mother and sister will make up for it.I know I won't run out of stuff to do.  The boat features a slew of activities for just about everyone--rock climbing, arcade games, gambling, etc.--and the onshore excursions look like fun as well.  One that I know I won't be doing is the snorkeling trip.  I tried that once and didn't really enjoy it.  Maybe it was the fact that you have to consciously remember to breath.The only thing we can't …

Of Learner's Permits and Days Off

Wow, it's been a while since I posted to this blog.  Don't worry, I haven't forgotten about it.  It's just that there hasn't been anything eventful to discuss here.  So here's my stab at another life update.As you all know, I've been having problems acquiring a learner's permit.  I just haven't had the time to either study for the test or go out to take it.  But now I am ready.  My dad is taking me to the DMV tomorrow so I can take the test.  After that, we wait for who knows how long until they mail us the certificate.  Then I have to complete sixty hours of in-car practice with my parents, including ten nighttime hours, before I can even take the provisional license test.  After that, it's smooth sailing until I'm 17 and 9 months; at that point, I can apply for my full, unrestricted license.In other news, I have a four-day weekend starting today.  My school principal is basically the coolest educational administrator I've ever met.  So…

Happy New Year!

Another year bites the dust.  I would say this year had its ups and its downs, but mostly its ups.  In 2008, I see bright promise for America and the world.  George Bush's successor will be determined, Canada will get the iPhone, and Bill Gates will step down from daily work over at Microsoft.  Wow.  That's a lot of ground covered.  My hope is that our world continues to progress, innovate, and design, but that we never lose sight of who we are in the galaxy: a tiny spec of green and blue.  Maybe we'll discover alien life in 2008.  Maybe the hovercar will be patented.  Or maybe it'll be just another typical year.  Honestly, I hope we don't just destroy ourselves and our planet in 2008.  And there's no greater wish than that, right?Happy New Year everyone!