Hi, and welcome to my blog-turned-place where I post my writing. This is my outlet to put them up, which was radically different from the blog that this started out as. I hope you'll have a good time reading my blog/place where I post some poetry and some short stories. I try to cover a variety of topics in these works of mine, so I hope any readers will enjoy it. I'm not an English major by any stretch, but I enjoy writing. Critique would be nice for my writing, cause lord knows I could work on it. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

One of the funnier video game examples of insults


Some of the responses are gold (...Jerry. Gold!)!

Kids these days

So I'm on the UMW Class of 2015 Facebook group to help offer advice on the collegiate experience, when there's a post by this guy who said that he's never done laundry in his life and wants tips/help/help by others to do it for him. Really dude? You've never done laundry? I swear, what has this world come to? I mean, I can only speak for myself but I've been doing my laundry since 7th grade; why can't you do it? Maybe I should thank my parents for doing a pretty good job on getting ready/living on my own in college, but that's kinda sad, in my opinion. Maybe I'm biased, yes, but this guy doesn't exactly seem like he's adequately prepared to live on his own for the next four years. And his girlfriend also offered to do his laundry for him, which is nice and all, but dude, come on, you're going to need to learn how to do it eventually. And also, I don't know if they changed the washers and driers on campus, but it's so easy a caveman can do it (sorry Geico). Just put your clothes in, followed by the detergent and/or detergent sheet(s) in, and voila! your clothes are washed/dried.

Okay, rant over. But seriously, one would think that laundry is a basic part of life, and that it's a little bit shocking to think that one can be that pampered to not have to do it.

Music awesomeness

Been listening to some jazz today, aka Bob McChesney and his sweet, smoothy sound. The man's tone feels like you're in heaven, I swear! And you know what? I've played with him during our UMW Jazz Festival! But yeah, I highly recommend listening to some of his stuff-it really makes a lazy Sunday feel even more relaxing.

Also, another awesome song that I just discovered is the HBO series' adaption of the Song of Ice and Fire novels, the Game of Thrones's Main Title. As far as a main title goes, it is epic. Like, I'd listen to it just to get pumped up for sports, music, and life in general. Holy crap is it awesome! (Disclaimer: while I haven't seen the series yet, I've read the books up to the latest one. I will be checking out the show ASAP.) On that segue, I'll be sure to listen to more of the soundtrack, which is up on iTunes by the way.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Random Liechtenstein Post

Got linked to this by the Lonely Planet Twitter account, and this is a doozy. It really showed more to Liechtenstein than meets the eye.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Smeeth's Law of Tennis

This sudden thought just came to me, and thus, I coin Smeeth's Law of Tennis:
I play better when I haven't played in a while. As in, a couple months up to a year off of tennis always ends up with me playing better, or at least on par, with how I'd been playing when I was active and playing tennis. I think this is partially due to the fact that I forget about the bad parts of my service game.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

RIP Borders, I'll miss you/A rant against the closing against bookstores

I know that I'd heard this before but today there was an article confirming the now slowly-dying death that Borders is going through. Not only is this a bad time for books/bookstores/readers/me, but it also signifies the gradual decrease in our standards in the country. I mean, think about it. The fewer books we have to read, the less we're going to break away from tv, computers, and video games. I know this may seem somewhat harsh, and I apologize for it, but the way I've seen our society, we're not getting any smarter; without book stores, not many more people are going to be reading, and that's where society is going to take a hit. Example of this: there's somebody I know whom I'm not going to name, but she says she doesn't read. I feel this reflects on the current state of America as we're far more occupied with technology. When you bundle this with the fact that we've been known to collectively not fare well with essential knowledge (i.e. basic geography, American/world history, etc.) the important role of books helps out, but alas, the chance to get more enlightened is slowly ebbing away. It's great and all that we can get the books we want digitally, but it's not the same. If anything, it just adds on to our reliance to technology, which can turn out to be our downfall. What if, for some reason or another, that the technology went kaput? We'd be screwed. Another peeve of mine is that it's harder to carry the e-readers with you on trips, whereas books are simpler to carry. The maintenance of it also can be raised as a negative; you'd need to recharge/need batteries for the e-readers as opposed to good, old fashioned books being simple and unneedy. Okay so maybe I'm biased as I haven't used an e-reader or a Kindle, but you can see what I'm trying to say, I hope.

Moving away from the personal rant, I'm going to miss Borders a ton. I know that there's Barnes and Nobles to go to, and even the library, but to this blogger, Borders was like a large family. Whenever I went there, I knew that the environment of it would make for a spiritual trip there. The hours I spent in there were quiet and peaceful, and I don't think I'll really be able to get that experience very easily from now on. I know I shouldn't be complaining about having other options, but for some reason, Barnes and Nobles hasn't cut it for me. I guess it seems too quiet there for my liking, or maybe I'm just biased and like the Borders way of organizing the books. However, in the end, I'll have to make trips to B & N. Another thing I'm going to miss of Borders is their generous coupons. Really, you can't beat coupons that offer up to 40% off of their products. And their staff are warm and inviting, whereas the times I've been to B & N the staff haven't been as warm as I'd have preferred. Ah well, I guess I can go to the libraries instead of B & N and save money while patronizing them.

In the end, here are my reasons why I'm vehemently opposed to the closing of bookstores:
- Borders is/was an awesome place to go read and purchase books
- Technology has cut into the book buying business
- I feel that in my humble opinion, technology has barged in on to the sacred territory that books hold in my heart
- America really can't afford to read less books
- On that note, technology has spoiled Americans. It's okay to read books now and then-nobody thinks less of you for doing so, I promise.
- 10,700 jobs are going out the window thanks to Borders shutting down all of their stores; what happens if the other bookstores die down the road?
- Reading has always been a favorite pastime of mine. Please, for the next generations, let's keep that up.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Eurovision 2010 (and some of '11)

Thanks to the web comic site Scandinavia and the World, I somehow got linked to the Eurovision contest songs. For those of you not in the know, it's like a World Cup of European (and some European-minded non-European countries, like Azerbaijan and Israel, etc.) song-offs. Anyways, it's pretty competitive from what I can gather and it's fairly prestigious too. So yeah, I've been listening to some of the individuals/acts representing the countries and I've come away pretty darn impressed! This has also led to some semi-rash song purchases on iTunes, but anyways, the Eurovision contest(s) are something I'm definitely gonna be looking up next year. Also, said contest next year will be held in Azerbaijan because their representatives this year won it all; personally, I think it's cool that the winner gets to hold the successive one. My final parting thought on this is that man, for such a small population, Iceland has some great performers.

Eye infections suck

Words I didn't want to hear today: "Your eye only has healed 50%". I thought my eye had healed satisfactory enough for me to resume wearing my beloved contacts, but no, they haven't. Meaning, I'll be taking meds for it for another two weeks, let alone having to wear glasses for that long (nothing against glasses, but they hurt after a while). So, eye infections bleeping suck.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


For some reason, I really want to go back to Iceland, I dunno why. Maybe it's the flag hanging over my desk that's inspiring me to plan to go back (it's a sexy flag, for the record).

Writing thoughts

Well, I never thought writing would be so fun and allow me to be creative (he says, after saying this a few times before). But yeah, I've been writing for a bit today and it's been pretty fun, to say the least. I say this because I have grand visions ahead to put down on paper, people to create and to bring to life, names to make significant, places where grand events happen, and events that will become significant. It's fun knowing that all of this is in my hands; I can play God now, really, with what I want to do and what I want to make happen. It's challenging, but it's a challenge that I am willing to accept and conquer.

New favorite web comic

Somehow, I just found the site Scandinavia and the World. As the title implies, it focuses on Scandinavia (as well as other countries) and their issues, but in web comic form. Though they're unique and have different cultures from us, it's still pretty hilarious to go through the site and see the stuff this guy has up there. Definitely worth checking out!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Getting my inner author on

I know that you may/may not have seen my little fantasy story teaser thing from a post from yesterday, but I've been writing a bit in general. It may not be something serious (who knows what it may turn into, though) but it's just nice to get my creative juices flowing. I can attribute some of that to my longtime friend who actually has several books published already, but I think I've secretly longed to write stories. On that segue, I'm actually writing some of the next parts that follow yesterday's teaser story-stay tuned for it, I may put it up on here!

Caps' Prospect Camp Scrimmage/Equipment Sale thoughts

Today was the last day of the Washington Capitals' prospect camp, and what better way to end it than by having a scrimmage. It was pretty fun to watch and the teams looked sharp, though the red team had just a few more better players than the white team. On that note, the red team ended up winning by a final score of 5-2, but they outplayed the white team. There were three fights, but sadly I missed the third fight as I left with a couple of minutes to go just to beat the epic traffic. However, I did manage to take a video of the second fight, so that will be up soon. Speaking of traffic, the Kettler parking lot was PACKED; you had to go down a few levels just to find a space. And it goes without saying that the inside of Kettler was packed to capacity, if not over capacity. This was nice but it did have its downfalls, namely trying to get a seat, let alone a good one, hard, and the equipment sale line (more on that later). But hey, I actually got to unleash my rabid hockey knowledge with the knowledgeable and cool people around me. I felt vindicated about that, that's for sure. Okay so moving on to the equipment sale, aka the massive letdown. See, there were two equipment sales today, one at 8 for the season ticket holders and another at noon for the regular fans. However, when I got there (and 10 minutes early too), there literally wasn't any equipment left, only nameplates. Really, thanks a bunch for the dicks who took everything. And geez, I didn't realize 40 year old overweight people needed a bunch of sticks, especially when they clearly didn't play or would be playing at all; the guys who actually play the game would like to be able to play in this gear, unlike the people who buy it and a) let the gear collect dust in your closets and b) who probably sell the gear for way higher prices on Ebay. Okay, rant over, the sale was a letdown and some people there are assholes. But yeah, it was a decent way to get back in the swing of things after being at the beach for the last couple of days.

Happy Birthday Rachel!

Hope your sweet 16 has been a good one!

Update on the "Tonight" post

I didn't have any weird dreams last night, I'm proud to announce. Thus, I can conclude so far that the weird dreams were a byproduct of the antibiotics I was taking.

Friday, July 15, 2011


Alrighty folks, I'm testing something here. The last few nights have ended up with me having five completely bizarre dreams, so I'm going to see if tonight ends up producing one of them again. In case you want to hear how bizarre they are, don't worry, I'm going to be posting them very soon. In any rate, I'm going to see if painkillers and/or anti-biotics have helped induce these weird dreams.

Short Story Teaser Time

I won't lie, this post has been inspired by the book I'm currently reading, Saga of Icelanders (chronicling the stories of the early Vikings and Icelanders). If you also have/will read it, you'll see that I did end up taking a decent amount of the Icelandic literature and ended up using it myself. That inspiration was then turned into a little segment for what I hope might turn into something greater later on. Note that I wrote this at night, so it may not be completely perfect and I do realize it could use some work; be patient, cause this is just a preliminary teaser thing of sorts. But yeah, here this it is.

She stood alone, at the top of the hill, the wind blowing both her cloak and hair to the side. One could see her sheath hanging to the side of the wind. Looking down from the hill she was able to see the towns and villages scattered along the plains; some of them were bigger than others, though that might have been because of where she stood on the hill. It was serene, she had to admit, though her purpose for coming to the planes was less than peaceful. Though the calm offered here was a welcome relaxation from the task at hand; indeed, she was at peace up here.

"Johanna?" a voice called, almost out of nowhere, "It's time to head on over to town."

Curse that Alexei for suddenly ruining her moment of peace. Sighing, she walked down from the top of the hilltop down to the bottom of the hill, where her two companions were patiently waiting for her.

"Sorry to have disturbed you up there, but Jessica saw some men heading towards the village. I figured that after that, we need to get there as quickly as possible," said Alexei.
She was both troubled and pleased to hear this piece of news-it meant that there might be trouble lurking ahead, but at least there would be action awaiting the three of them.

"Yeah let's hurry up then!" she said. Turning to Jessica, she asked,"How many men did you see go by?"

"Maybe five or six of them. But they liked like they were in somewhat of a hurry to get to town," came the response. This spurred the trio to hurriedly mount their horses and to head towards the little town situated on the windswept plains.

  In the lead, Johanna's smooth black hair was flying all around. It would have been an understatement to have said that she was in a hurry to reach the small town ahead. Though they were all in a hurry, one could tell that she was a beautiful girl. May not exceptionally beautiful, but one would would describe her as being subtly beautiful-in her haste to reach her destination, her green eyes highlighted her silent determination to reach their intended target. On both of her sides rode her erstwhile companions Alexei and Jessica, who would have gone to hell and back for her; she also would have reciprocated the favor with both of them. After all, they had been traveling with her for a year's service, scouring the land to defeat the malicious forces plaguing the land. Today was one of those days where they were finally about to destroy a marauding group of bandits who had been harassing the Kranjic Plains-at last their last few days of tracking then down would finally produce results!

"Hey Johanna-where are these guys holed up again?" inquired Alexei
"My man told us that they should be based out of the inn. They should be there, but in case they're not there, we do a sweep and destroy mission in the town," she responded.

With that, the three companions set off to wipe out the bandit gang.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

New favorite poem/line

"Do not go gentle into that good night", by famous Welsh poem Dylan Thomas. Check it out, it's short yet riveting, in my humble opinion.

See you on Friday night/Saturday!

I'm going to Virginia Beach Wednesday morning through Friday! (Seems like it really hasn't been long since I got back from another trip, aka the Iceland one too)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Thor movie thoughts

Yes, I'm late to the party, thank you very much. Now that we've got that out of the way (University Mall's theater is really cheap, just FYI), I have to say that I liked the movie. The pacing of it was very satisfactory and it unfolded fairly unpredictable. The acting was very solid, though I felt like the plot might have jumped around a bit too much for any one person other than the main-main characters, in my humble opinion. Come to think of it, there really isn't much to say about the movie (in a good way, though), so in this case it's a good thing. I guess my only "complaint'', if you can even call it that, was that it felt like those two hours spent watching it were like an hour max; it's iffy to even call it a bad thing, but hey, to each their own.

Also, I was surprised to see that Kenneth Branagh was the director for it. It was surprising just given that he's really done Shakespearan adaptions from the stage to the big screen, hence my surprise. But yeah, that was my "being in Mr. McCabe's AP Lit class and watching Branagh's versions of Shakespeare paying off" moment, haha.

It also was interesting to watch, since while I was in Iceland, I got to see a brief overview of Norse mythology. Needless to say, it's fascinating, and even more fascinating watching some of it in the movie!

Another random thought: all the females in it were pretty darn good looking; just had to say it. And the actor playing Thor, whose name I'm too lazy to look up at the moment, was pretty ripped.

Overall, I give this movie a 4/5, just because you knew they left out a bit of plot for the blatantly obvious sequel that accordingly is coming out in 2013. Hey, whadda you know, that was my only downside to the movie-the pacing. But yeah, it's a 4/5 movie that I'd recommend seeing (again, University Mall theater in Fairfax is super cheap to see older movies, hint hint).

Monday, July 4, 2011

Icelandic trip awards

In the full disclosure for this post, I was on my bed in our room in the hostel we were staying at one night, updating my journal of the day's adventures, when I suddenly thought that hey, it would be cool to do an awards thing for the trip. This means that you get to see me attempt to do a humorous stab at awarding awards for things/events that happened on the trip. Enjoy!

-Best in Show: The Blue Lagoon. It's basically required for travelers in Iceland to stop by here; hey, it's only about half an hour away from the airport. Thus, there isn't any excuse for you not to go there. There water is amazing and it's super relaxing. Thus it gets the nod for best part of the trip, even if we stopped by about an hour after landing in Iceland.
- Worst Moment: Realizing how damn expensive it is there. Though really, they have to import food from Europe and elsewhere, so we can cut them some slack. Still though, our credit cards took a bit of a beating there.
- Oddest Moment: Realizing that the sun, well, we wouldn't see the sun go down. When we arrived back home yesterday night, it literally was the first time in a week that it wasn't sunny outside. I'm still actually getting used to seeing darkness, come to think of it.
-Most Patient Moment: goes to Iceland, as they've been settled for 1,081 years and yet they only became an independent country in 1944. That takes some patience.
- Food moment: Realizing how unique (and thus better) the food is over there. Seriously, the pizza and hot dogs there pwn ours here.
- Food moment number two: The Fanta. Also, the size and shape of the Fanta-holy cow.
- Food moment number three: Being able to drink the tap water since it's all natural, geothermal water
- Beauty Award: The amazing scenery
- Beauty Award runner up: Collectively, the girls there. They're very good looking.
- The "Japanese Tourist Award: goes to the Germans. We had 3/4 of our roommates in the hostel be Germans (and the occasional Swiss), not to mention it was like mini-Berlin around town, what with all of the German tourists
- The "glad we didn't prepare for them" Award: will be taken by Spain, as there really weren't any Spanish tourists there, as far as I noticed. Though strangely enough, there were the odd Portugese translations around.
- The Icelandic Staff in Hostels Award: Our hostel was, for the most part, staffed by foreign tourist majors. And I think they were mainly Dutch.
- The Vicious Cycle Award: goes to the Norweigans, and even the Danes, for having a fairly large contingent there in Iceland. It's funny and ironic since it was the Norweigans who first settled it and later controlled Iceland, so the cycle has come full circle.
- The "We didn't expect to run into you guys" Award: We ran into some Slovenians at our hostel. Totally didn't expect to run into them. Also, we didn't expect to run into as many Canadians as we did.
- Fashion Award: Icelandic girls, as what I've noticed, range from somewhat fashionable to pretty dang fashionable. And they can pull it off too.
- Fashion Award corollary: Icelandic guys who try to look really fashionable end up looking like tools (IMO)
- Fashion Statement Award: Apparently sandals with black socks is all the rage there for the workers
- Language Award: Iceland, for their fluent English-speaking population
- "COX has nothing on us" Award: Again, Iceland, for being super savvy with technology
- Law of Towns Award: You're guaranteed to find at least a couple of houses out in the middle of nowhere, where you have to think would be totally inhospitable. Yet inevitably there's a house or two there.
- Law of Museums/Wilderness Knowledge Award: You'll also find some museums in very random places, i.e. the middle of nowhere too
- Snacking Award: Expect to pay, at minimum, amusement park prices on the food, drinks, and snacks over there. See the earlier mentioned Worst Moment Award for further detail on this.
- Plastic Award: Expect your credit card to be used early and often; Icelanders use credit cards 95%, if not basically 100 percent of the time, rather than hard cash.
- Informality Award: Methinks the hard cash they print is just used as a) an formality to say we use hard cash and b) to use for the coins used in the snack machines

Icelandic trip summary

Well, I just got back from the land of fire and ice last night, and man what a trip it was. So because most of you guys don't have the time or money to go there, here's a summary of what I did. And on that note, if you are planning to go to there in the future, take me with you-I can help you guys.

Day One:
- Got off the flight, where we promptly went to go to the fabled Blue Lagoon. Trust me when I say it, a trip to Iceland is not complete without going there sometime. It's a geothermal spring, so the water is very warm there despite what the weather might be (don't worry, it was solidly in the 50's-60's there when I was there). You might have been told that it has healing capabilities-I can indeed confirm that I felt super relaxed and healed after visiting there.
- I had my first Icelandic hot dog, which basically kicks our hot dogs' asses. You can quote me on that.
- Went to the top of their fabled church, the Hallgrimskirkja, where I got a superb view of the city of there. The building also is spectacular, and it's of an unique design.

Day Two:
- Went on a tour of the Golden Circle, which took up most of the day, which was 300 km tour of southern Iceland. This tour included seeing the geysir as well as Thingvellir national park, which housed Althingi, the world's oldest parliament (est. 930).
  -The geysir was amazing, to put it bluntly. To see it go off was spectacular, and has reinforced why Iceland has to be the world's most beautiful country (he said as he's visited in summer).
  - Althingi was a piece of history that really is unrivaled. You can't hate on the world's oldest parliament, and you can't hate on the fact that it's played a prominent role in Iceland's longstanding history.

Day Three:
- Went whale/puffin watching, so that took about 2-3 hours
- Had some of their fabled hot dogs from their fabled hot dog stand from the nation known for being crazy about hot dogs. They're still better than our hot dogs, and the toppings they put on them are amazing.
- Saw two little documentaries about the 1973 and 2010 volcanoes, the first of which destroyed a settlement on the Westman Islands; being as resilient as they are, that community rebuilt it basically from scratch.
- Went to the National Museum of Iceland, which has to have been one of the most impressive museums I've ever been to. And to be fair, I think it gives the Smithsonian a run for its money, and it even beats it for how attention catching it is during the duration of your visit there.
- Learned how amazing and unique their food is there, even their pizza. Can't beat a pizza that has shrimp, chicken, and other various toppings on it. It made our pizza here look inadequate.

Day Four:
- I hiked a glacier. A freaking glacier. Be jealous.
- En route to the glacier, we stopped by to see a little plaque that commemorated the first stage of the epic volcano going off of last year. I got to feel the soot created by it too, so that was neat.
- Stopped by two beautiful waterfalls, and I even got to walk underneath them!

Day Five:
- Happy Canada day! (Eh?)
- On that note, apparently some Canadian girls had an epic fail with writing postcards
- I went horseback riding on the fabled Icelandic horse. It took a lot of energy, I'll tell you. But hey, it was worth it both for the experience and for the awesome scenery we saw during it!

Day 6:
- I had whale for lunch (seriously). And before you ask, it tasted like beef and steak.
- We hung out at the flea market for a bit, and it was pretty cool
- Who knew that some Icelanders really like the military, especially our military?
- Went to the Saga Museum
- On the way to dinner, we went by the house that Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan signed the treaty that ended the Cold War!
- Proving that they do food right, I had some amazing gourmet burgers. They, again, make our burgers look like crap. In case you want to check it out, the name of the place is Hamborgarafabrikken-it's totally worth stopping by!

Day Seven:
- Home sweet home!

Thoughts, observations, and random tidbits:
- Fun Fact time: Iceland has been settled for roughly 1,080 years. It's only been an independent country since 1944.
- Fun fact time #2: Reykjavik means "smokey bay" in Icelandic. Betcha you didn't know that.
- Fun fact time #3: In summer, you can expect to see sun for 22 hours of the day; the only times when you don't see the sun is when you're probably sleeping, so it doesn't matter. This is fun but it does make sleeping really hard at times.
- Fun fact time #4: Their water, due to it being geothermal, is so clean that you can drink tap water
- The girls there are very attractive
- Odds are you'll run into a redhead girl about every one in three or five girls you see. Though it seems like half of the female staff in the restaurants are a redhead. (And they have souls.)
- It's pretty expensive there as they have to import their food from elsewhere
- Iceland is the most beautiful country in the world. Again, you can quote me on this.
- Even though Reykjavik is the capital city, within 30-60 minutes drive, you can get to nature quite easily
- There are museums everywhere, even when you don't expect it. This can also extend to the countryside.
- On that segue, you can expect to find at least one or two houses that are completely in the middle of nowhere
- They speak English fluently, and I mean fluently. Which is good, because Icelandic has to be one of the toughest languages to learn.
- I've learned that from this trip, Germans travel a ton
- You meet some awesome people staying in hostels, not to mention that you save a ton of money
- The shower in our hostel was so relaxing that I thought I was getting a massage