Sunday, September 30 
Today was movie day. The weather outside was shitty the whole time and so we just sat around and watched movies. First, we watched "Immortal Beloved" which was about Beethoven. I've never seen it and missed the first part but Leslie filled me in pretty good. It's quite a touching movie and Gary Oldman is fantastic as Beethoven. It sparks an interest in his music and in his life.

After that we watched Natalie Portman in "Where the Heart Is." (This was all on HBO) Natalie Portman is beautiful but the movie is pretty damn bad. It had some funny "what the hell is going on" type of laughs but overall the plot twists were ridiculous. But hey, Natalie looked good so it wasn't totally wasted. Amit and Kevin came over to Avalon and we played some Dance Dance Revolution for a bit before we watched the back half of Jerry Maguire.

Oh, but movie day wasn't over. Just finished watching "The Wizard of Oz" on DVD. Everyone needs to watch this movie with me so i can fill them in on all the random details so they can fully appreciate the genius of the story and the movie...right Karina?

Um..also watched this And1 Mix Tape 4 that Leslie had. It's basically highlights of the And1 Tour featuring the best and flashiest street ballers. Obviously the video was dope as hell and there was this one guy who dribbled and then dived through the defender's legs to get the ball. Hotness.

[ 9:55 PM ]
I think the key to enjoying life is sometimes to lower your expectations to the point where just about anything will make you happy. It's like going in to watch a bad movie like Tomb Raider or The Musketeer. When you expect little you usually get something good in return. So as i previously stated, i wasn't overly excited to go out tonite but it turned out to be a pretty fun night. B+...that's what me and Karina decided. We went out to Metronome and they played some good music (in between some wack music) and the crowd was a good size and there were places to sit so it was chill. It was nice to see Gerard, Randall, Mandisa and Anne...haven't been out with them in a long time. Randomly saw this dude Eric who plays ball with me at Avalon there too, which was pretty dope. Me and Mandisa requested some Pharcyde but the DJ didn't have any so we settled for Tupac instead. Of course he never played it so we left without any West Coast music at all. When the DJ says he's going to play something he should play it sometime in the next hour. But like i said, it was still a pretty good night.

Oh, this guy Jason who went with us bought a bottle of Moet (for i think $300) so i got my first taste of real champagne. It was decent but i don't think anything should be that expensive. Still, if Biggie raps about it, it must be worth trying. Moving up in life non?

[ 12:10 AM ]
Saturday, September 29 was presents day. Got this dope Karim Rashid Chess Set from Angie. It looks like it'll be difficult to play on but the pieces look so cool it doesn't even matter. James and Victor also sent me a Photoshop book and an Atlanta Falcons calender. I've done nothing to deserve any of these items but hey, i'll take'em. About to go out tonite to Metronome. I'm not really excited at all to be going out into the city but i haven't seen Gerard, Randall, Mandisa and Co in awhile so i'm gonna brave the subways and go. Wish me luck.

[ 5:14 PM ]
Friday, September 28 
Sam Sneed has left the building. He's off to Atlanta for the weekend and then to Miami and then to France for awhile. After that he'll most likely remain in Miami but there's a chance that he'll come back to New York. It's been pretty interesting traveling back and forth with Sam the past few weeks. I don't know if anyone has read "On The Road" by Jack Kerouac but i feel like Sam is Dean Moriarty and i'm the little sidekick tagging along for the ride.

I ventured out tonite into the city for the first time and after like two hours i was just drained. Met up with Greg, Karina and Leslie to eat at this Thai place and afterwards we just trudged home...exhausted. I'm not sure if going into the city is more of a physical or mental drain. I need to build up some more stamina or something.

[ 10:08 PM ]
Thursday, September 27 
Here's what i miss about California. Driving. I talked to my parents and my aunt today about my plans for the future and i was trying to explain to them why New York no longer holds anything for me. I think i've suddenly lost my tolerance for rumbling around the city in little underground trains. I miss driving with the windows down and loud music blasting. I can't exactly determine when i want to return to California but i want it to be soon...latest possibly January?

Anyhow, today was a pretty decently exciting day. First off, Amit got a job yesterday with the law firm he wanted (the one that Amy works for). Karina today got a phone call from this big architecture company and was offered a job too so life is on the upswing for both of them. They will soon be productive members of society, making bank and living the American Dream in New York. Additionally, we woke up this morning and saw Brian on All My Children. He was just an extra but he was all over the place...everytime he walked by we would be like "Oh! there he is! there he is!" Pretty exciting stuff. He'll be on tomorrow too and i think for some other episodes. It's pretty amazing to think that Brian has a toehold in the entertainment industry after him talking about it all through college. I guess today was just a positive reinforcement day for those who have graduated and moved on from Michigan.

[ 6:49 PM ]
Wednesday, September 26 
I am a cleaning machine. My bathroom was filthy so with the aid of my trusty sidekick, Kouk, i cleaned the bathroom. Now it is gleaming and entirely sanitary. I replaced my shower curtain, scrubbed the toilet (inside and out), Comet-ed my tub till no tomorrow, used toothbrushes in the crevices and then ended by Wet Swifting the entire thing. It's beautiful. Top that off with a cigarette on the balcony and i feel like i finally did something with my life. It's a small step, cleaning my bathroom, but great things have been accomplished in sanitary bathrooms.

[ 6:43 PM ]
Michael is back. I know he sort of dragged it out but it's phenomenal to me just to be given a chance to watch him play again. Sure he'll be in a Wizard uniform and he'll be 38 but he's still Michael. I can't say he'll be the best player in the NBA but i don't think he would be coming back except to establish himself as a top ten player.

On another wholly unrelated note, Sam saw this slightly amusing but very tacky t-shirt at the Union: "Usama Yo Mama."

[ 10:36 AM ]
Tuesday, September 25 
The Daewoo made it. I am home again. We planned to leave around noon but me and Sam didn't get up till two so we really ended up leaving closer to four. Then we went to get a last taste of Ann Arbor at Zingerman's so we didn't really get on the road until five. Even with pouring rains the whole way through, we made it back to New York in a little under ten hours. Had some pretty good conversation on the car this time, much to Amit's pleasure i'm sure as we didn't have to pound hip hop the whole way out. I'm missing my Lauryn Hill CD so if anyone finds it, please tell me...thanx.

It's amazingly cold in Michigan right now but it's much much nicer here. Driving Amit home, i realized that it's the first time i've been in the city since the Eleventh and while it's not so different, there are American flags everywhere. I'm so glad i made the trip to Michigan, for various reasons of course, and driving back and reminiscing i realized that leaving was definitely the right thing to do, however innane and irresponsible it was.

[ 2:03 AM ]
Sunday, September 23 
Ok...the party at Helen and Julia's was kinda weird and quiet for awhile but then for an intense half an hour it was the greatest party i've been to in awhile. Right when "One Minute Man" came on everyone went nuts and UIUC happened to come in so people were gyrating all over the place. What was once a roomy living room with lots of dancing space suddenly evaporated into bodies rubbing into bodies. It got incredibly hot and people had to go outside to sit in the hall. Naked neighbors tried to barge in but luckily Jon G stopped them. Helen and Julia provided lots of alchohol so lots of people had fun that night. The party did clear out decently fast when some people decided to go to a block party but for a good hour or so it was quite excellent as apartment parties go.

Invariably, we moved to Palak and Jill's to play Mafia. I must say, we are the Mafia kings. It was fun to play with UIUC but some of them were straight up horrible. They were very fun though (this one dude Pernell was trying to convince everyone that he wasn't Mafia while he was holding his Ace card for all the world to see). I still stick with the idea that Mafia is the greatest ice-breaker ever. I mean, we hung out with UIUC all day long but it wasn't until we started yelling at each other and fearing for our Mafia lives did we even start to get to know them a little. We played all night until the early morn when they decided to drive back to Chicago at six in the morning.

After they, Babbs, Sam, PZ, Jason Story and Palak went to Angelo's. Great idea PZ. I miss the early mornings at Angelo's waiting for the food to come while fighting off the yawns and sleepy eyes.

[ 12:37 PM ]
Saturday, September 22 
Rarely are days as packed as this. And it's only a touch over midnight. Dance 2XS from UIUC came down today with like fourteen of their people for Dance 2XS tryouts. I met some of them at Pizza House with Babbs and then walked them over to the League for auditions. Auditions were pretty fun, got to learn Helen and Amy's stuff and watched UIUC perform. They are mad tight and they put so much energy into all their moves, very impressive.

funKtion left auditions early and went bowling for a bit with most of the UIUC people. We ended up competing against them but it wasn't even a challenge because everyone on our side was bowling out of their mind. Steve for one started off with five straight strikes so that pretty much told the story from our end. It was a fun time though, everyone was having a lot of fun being silly and cheering and stuff. I suck at bowling. Horribly. George is a better bowler than i am...but still, it's a fun time.

After bowling we went to go watch Babbs perform at Espresso Royale. He was doing a set with his friends Joe Reilly and Will. Joe plays the guitar and sings while Babbs and Will "rap" and do verses over his stuff. Babbs and Will also stick in various poetry and spoken word in between the songs. All in all, their show is pretty amazing. I was very impressed by Babbs as usual and very impressed by Will (who performs a lot like Saul Williams). I know they'll be doing more gigs so continued luck to them in the future. As i said, it's been a long day and i'm still in the prep phase for a night of partying at Helen and Julia's.

[ 9:31 PM ]
Stumbling in from falling asleep halfway through "The Rock" at Sujeet's. Had an exciting afternoon reading magazines at Lisa and Sher Wing's while Kyle waited to get his hair dyed. He had to streak it twice but in the end it's only barely lighter. After that, we went to Starbucks for a second and read for a little bit. I had the worst slice of pizza ever before going to Starbucks. I remember Backroom giving out these great big delicious slices of pizza for $1 but i went and got this glorified chunk of cardboard from the re-heat tray. Scrumptuous.

Because of the lack of anything to do, we went to some girls' party next to Bagel Factory. It was an inferno in there and incredibly crowded and as usual, i'm too old for this but it was slightly better than some of the other night's out. Jon G finally made it out for once in his life and i suppose that added a little pizzaz to the night. Oh, i have to add that Sher Wing and Julia were models in shoots for the hippest Asian magazine on campus (Shei) so look for them in the latest issue.

The whole deal with campus parties is gathering up everyone after the party is over (or the cops have come), making sure everyone is okay and then heading off to eat at Pizza House. Any deviance from this time tested battle plan usually results in an unsatisfactory night. Luckily, we never deviate from this plan so every night is satisfactory. To top it off and bring the night to a close, me and Kyle went over to Suj's to watch the movie and i promptly fell asleep right before all the good parts.

[ 4:23 AM ]
Friday, September 21 
Ok, we never got into Necto's. The line was down the street and around the corner. For those of you who know, the line stretched all the way to Scorekeepers which is pretty insane considering that this is Nectos. There is never a line at Nectos...never. I'm not sure if it was because of the NYC relief fund thing or maybe because it's under new ownership or that Kevin Saunderson, "The Master of Detroit Techno" was gonna be there but it was packed. We stood in line for maybe half an hour before we decided that it wasn't worth it and headed back to Palak's to drink and chill. We ordered some food and chatted and stuff and then eventually watched some old dance videos from GenAPA 1999 and Encompass 2000. It's astounding how much better dancing has gotten in the past year...even though the old dances were incredibly fun. Palak and Jill in hooch it.

[ 1:25 AM ]
Thursday, September 20 
I'm sitting here waiting to go to Nectos in a bit. Nectarines has apparently come under new ownership and is now the "Necto Lounge." Tonight's proceeds are supposed to go to help New York so i guess we can feel okay about paying $8 for an Ann Arbor party. I hope it's nicer in there than it was before. Watched "O" earlier, which was decent but not as great as i wanted it to be. Mekhi Phifer, Julia Stiles and Josh Hartnett were really good but the movie itself was a little slow and the movie wasn't really that much like Othello. Also watched "The Musketeer" a couple of days ago. Don't go watch it. It sucked. Horrible horrible. Only a very few of the fights were even that good and the plot is just inane and horrendous. Where are all the good movies these days? Used to be that there was at least one good movie on at a time, now it's a struggle just to find a halfway decent movie you feel okay paying $6 for.

[ 4:12 PM ]
I think the plan right now is to go on Sunday. Amit got five interviews in one day, two for this Friday, another two for Monday and then yet another next week. I think he's rescheduled the Friday ones so the plan is to leave Sunday. Another factor in extending our trip is that the Daewoo is down. Yes, the trustworthy Daewoo with the CD player....stalls. Sam says that he'll just be driving around and the car will stall. He was on Hill Street the other day and the car just straight up died on him. All that enthusiasm about Daewoo this and Daewoo that has been replaced by, "let's get another car!" The engine light is on and i have no idea what could be wrong with the car. Regardless, they are towing it away and checking it out and giving us some free days so whenever that gets fixed, we can be on our way back to the land of paranoia, the great, the shattered...NYC.

Oh, on another note, it looks like Karina and Leslie found a place in the city so they will be leaving the comforts of Jersey City for a studio on 34th and 9th. I'm kind of sad to hear that they're leaving but i guess you have to do what you have to do. Our little apartment will now officially be just me and Lynn. And Maow.

[ 12:23 PM ]
Today was quite a day. First off, i couldn't sleep last night so i was up until about six in the morning doing nothing. At around ten, Helen calls me up to tell me that Michelle needs to go see a doctor for her back. Her back had been giving her fits since last night and she couldn't move or anything without pain and apparently sleep did nothing for her. So i stumbled up before noon (for the first time in two weeks) and went over there. Sadly, she couldn't get an appointment until seven tonite so i was left to play the role of nurse. Imagine the fun. "Jon i need a pen! Get me some water! Hand me that paper! Ow Ow Ow!!!" Luckily Julia was there the whole time so i kicked it with her. Needless to say, i didn't get any sleep until way later. I am not a morning person, for sure.

At around midnight, funKtion congregated to induct the new members into the world of late night practices and academic disarray. The plan was to get some girls to go with us so they could help us pull some pranks on the new guys. First off, we went to Cal and Davon's place. Both of them were in but we were only going to tell Cal that he got in and then come back way later to tell Davon. Cruel of course but necessary. Anyhow, we sent in Palak, Jill, Vidya and Sharon to knock on their door and ask Cal to come and hang out with them. This kid was doing physics homework but he quickly ditched that idea and pulled on his pants to go party right before we bum rushed him. Poor Davon was in the back and nobody said anything to him and we just congratulated Cal and left. Next up, we went to West Quad and did the same thing for Scott. He was all ready to bounce with the girls too before we rushed him. By this time, we were feeling a little bad for leaving Davon out of the loop but we only had one more stop to make for Anthony. Since Scott and Anthony knew each other, we sent Scott in with the news that they didn't make it while we hid in the hallway and listened to Anthony bitch about us. Then, the girls knocked on the door and Jill asked Scott for a condom. He was like, "for what?!?" right about the moment we crashed into his apartment. The lead guys took out this tray of dishes and utensils and stuff but nobody was hurt and nothing was broken so that was okay. Finally, to finish the night, Scott and Anthony went to Cal's apartment to congratulate Cal and make Davon feel a little bit worse before we finally ran in and congratulated Davon. The funniest bit was that Cal had told him that we would be back but then said that he was just joking. Davon was definitley left hanging but in the end the four new guys were hype as hell to be in.

All in all, the funKtion induction was cool and incredibly fun. It was like we were on a secret mission wandering the streets and whispering in hallways. Good stuff. Everyone's really happy with the new guys and they'll bring great energy to the group. I'm very glad that i got to be part of the whole process of bringing in a new class of guys.

[ 12:09 AM ]
Wednesday, September 19 
Tonight was funKtion callbacks so most of my night was taken over by that. We took back twelve guys so it was a pretty good group to work with. Steve taught his "Pop" routine which is insanely fast but also incredibly fun. The guys were really feeling it and after the first time they did it with the music, people were clapping and cheering and stuff. The audition part was slightly different this time around and everyone got to watch the different groups go up to do the routine. This pretty much gave it a performance atmosphere and all the guys started yelling and cheering and screaming so loud that at times the auditioners couldn't hear the music. The energy in the room was amazing though. After each group went up, everyone gave them hugs and high fives and congratulated them. At the very end, when we were taking comments, people said that they felt the love in the room and that this was the funnest audition and they didn't feel any negative competition from the other people. All in all, the audition was a textbook example of how funKtion would like every audition to go.

We went through deliberations at Staples Center but after a few hours, we couldn't fully decide who to take so we decided to call it a night and decide tomorrow. I went to chill a little bit at Helen and Julia's and watched Sharon fall asleep every five minutes trying to study.

[ 12:41 AM ]
Tuesday, September 18 
Had lunch with Babbs at U-Cafe this afternoon and after being joined by Sharon, Jill, Kyle and Amit, we started playing FMK outside on the benches. For starters, the game goes like this. The FMK stands for "Fuck, Marry, Kill." Sounds intriguing already eh? Basically, you give a person three people of the opposite sex and they have to say which one they would Marry, which one they would Kill, etc. Anyways, we ended up playing for an hour or two. I've never indulged in FMK before so it was a pretty funny and interesting experience. It's a cruel game in a way but it's hilarious at the same time.

Last night at Jill and Palak's, we were talking about the Middle East and which countries were likely to take sides in a war. Their roommate, Aneeshi (?) said that Pakistan would allow the US to use their land for military operations if the US helped Pakistan take control of Kashmir (which is a beautiful, predominantly Muslim part of India). The US has traditionally backed India but Pakistan could be needed for the US to launch a ground attack on Afghanistan. Pakistan also apparently might hold sway with China so the US might need Pakistan. Afghanistan and Pakistan are allies but i guess Pakistan is leveraging their power right now to get what they want. Regardless of how things turn out, it's so confusing to figure out who is with who that a world war seems inevitable. Bush has already said that American lives will be lost and that he will use all possible force. Analysts say that Afghanistan has one of the most difficult terrains on which to fight a war. The terrorists held a conference and declared a jihad on Israel and the United States so that in itself is scary. The more i learn about the situation, the more i fear a total collapse of peace and civility, especially in the Middle East. Obviously the crazy part is that this war will result in terrorist attacks on our own home turf.

[ 3:22 PM ]
Monday, September 17 
My days here start with dinner and end at obscene hours of the night. I can't even say that i meet up with people for lunch because i haven't really had lunch in a long time. I wonder if my body is naturally like this or if my biological clock has just been trained to live these weird hours. After getting up and running some errands with Kyle, i had dinner with Andri at U-Cafe. Anna and Alvin were coming into town too so right after that, i went across the street to Pizza House to meet up with everybody. PZ does this crazy funny imitation of one of our auditioners and he did it during dinner, much to the joy of our table.

Afterwards, we decided to drop in and support Dance 2XS at practice. We got to the CCRB early so we played some ball. The plan was originally to just shoot around but given a whole hour, we had to start playing a game. I was wearing a long sleeved shirt and UFOs and i didn't move very much but i still got disgustingly sweaty. There is no worse feeling than being trapped in a body suit when trying to do sports. Disgusting. Watched Dance 2XS practice...their audition routine is pretty hot. Amy's stuff is crazy complex and i feel bad for any guys who will attempt it. I think we scared Dance 2XS a little bit though (at least some of the new people) because we forgot to tell them we were just there to watch and support. They thought we had practice so having like eight of us back there was a little weird for them. Whoops. Sorry.

Anyhow, played a little bit of Mafia at South Quad before going back to Palak's and crashing.

[ 8:28 PM ]
Sunday, September 16 
Today was funKtion auditions. I wanted to go because i haven't danced in forever and i was intrigued by a funKtion audition (of which i've never been a part of). First off, there was a really good showing. Packed into the Wolverine Room was maybe 20-30 people. The great thing was that there was a lot of diversity in the room which is good because that means word of funKtion is getting around to some other communities. There were a lot of freshmen too which was also quite excellent.

PZ taught his Usher part from Festifall, which was about ten eight counts. Sadly, my memory doesn't work so well so for me to remember everything shall i say it...challenging? Either way, learning the stuff was really fun and it was cool to see so many guys in a room dancing and trying out. Amit started things off with the funniest warm up ever, all rotations and hip gyrations. I was surprised at the ability of most of the guys to get the moves. Not to say that everyone was good but back in the day, most of the guys couldn't remember more than three eight counts.

In the end, out of twenty five guys, they took eleven for call-backs. Those are on Tuesday and i'm gonna go to have some more dumb fun. I have to say, i don't think i can hang with the new and improved funKtion, the rate at which they learn stuff is too damn fast...i need some private's all good though, dancing is fun and i've missed messing up every three counts.

[ 6:34 PM ]
Saturday, September 15 
I'm feeling very out of it. You know sometimes you just don't really feel like doing anything except just sitting around? Not necessarily being alone but just sitting around, doing nothing. No conversation, no fun, no games...just sitting. The event of the day was Sher Wing/Lisa/Julia's pre-party bash at their apartment so i went with them to Meijer's to grab some alchohol. Sher Wing and Julia wanted to invite the kiddies (younger people) and show them a good time and liquor them up before we went to the Lambda party. I think everyone older now finds it slightly sickening that the young people are doing everything and all the old people have disappeared. Back in the day, it was all the old people throwing parties and stuff but now the old people are hermits.

So anyhow, the pre-party was good (they even cut some lemons and put sugar on them, very high class) and the Lambda party was wack and the after-party at Irwin's was kind of okay. This college partying stuff definitely holds no charm for me and knowing nobody and not really wanting to meet anyone doesn't exactly equal a great party. The Lambda party was too crowded and then the cops came and people started leaving so all told, we were there for maybe thirty minutes. I think my definition of an "enjoyable" night partying has narrowed to music, dancing and having a majority of my friends around. Luckily the night was redeemed by Pizza House and a late night showing of Goa Ho Tsa (a Hong Kong triad movie) at Kyle's.

[ 1:38 AM ]
Friday, September 14 
I'm here. We got in last night around midnight. Michigan is freezing right now. I don't know why but the weather is ridiculous. As Sam calls it, it's "Brick City" out here. Had a talk yesterday at Palak's yesterday about what the US should do and basically heard about some of the stuff going on out here. People are getting spit on, beat up, threatened, the whole works. It's saddening yet totally expected to realize that a place of "higher education" is still full of bigots and idiots.

I'm quite happy i'm here actually...some friends in the city are leaving because it's getting a little more crazy in the city. A place next to Mandisa's work had to be evacuated because of a bomb threat (yes, how original) so she had enough and she's out. Anne, Amy and Vivian are out. Speaking yesterday to people, it was interesting to hear what they thought about Bush's statements and the US's threats and "seek and destroy" mentality. Alrite, i gotta go shower. Later.

[ 1:07 PM ]
Thursday, September 13 
Ok. I'm back. In Jersey City. We haven't left yet. We almost left at noon but then we stopped for a slice of pizza. And then Amit's friend Mikki called and we decided to wait for her so she could come to Ann Arbor. Apparently she quit her job yesterday and her mom was supposed to come get her from Michigan but since we're going, it works out she can go with us. So anyhow, we went to Johnny Rockets real quick and now Mikki is here and we....are ready to go. Going....i hope.

[ 10:50 AM ]
We just got our Daewoo Nubira and we're packing up and moving out. Turns out Amit is gonna come with us so that's great. Sam is cracking me first he was upset because we were taking a Daewoo but now that we have it and it's nice, he's loving it. We switched from the white one to the blue one because he wasn't gonna drive no white car.

I have a slightly weird feeling leaving here but i just don't wanna be here at the moment. Anyhow...Ann Arbor, we coming back...

[ 7:42 AM ]
Wednesday, September 12 
The smoke is blowing the opposite direction from last night and apparently, it's a tad hazardous to be outside right now. Luckily i've done nothing except veg in front of the TV so i have no idea what it's like outside. In our little bomb shelter of an apartment, we just eat and sleep and leave the shades down. I'm getting sick of watching all this news but we can't seem to tear ourselves away to do anything else. Nothing bad seems to be happening which is a good thing. We can't get out of here today because my credit card is maxed out so Sam is gonna have to go into the city to get his. Given any luck, tomorrow we can head out. Today is so weird because all these catastrophic events happened yesterday and people are wondering if they should go to work. Karina is diehard, she should get "employee of the year" because she was about to go to work in the city this morning. Craziness.

[ 2:12 PM ]
Just read this off a blog i read once in awhile. Craziness...what does it mean?

"In the City of God there will be a great thunder, Two brothers torn apart by Chaos, while the fortress endures, the great leader will succumb", "The third big war will begin when the big city is burning"
-Nostradamus 1654-

"Earth-shaking fire from the center of the earth. Will cause the towers around the New City to shake, Two great rocks for a long time will make war, And then Arethusa will color a new river red."

[ 12:55 AM ]
Tuesday, September 11 
I can see stars. In New York. Over Manhattan. Just went out to get some footage of the smoke and the city and Lynn noticed that we could see stars. That does NOT happen here. Lower Manhattan has no lights on. We can see Orion and The Big Dipper. How weird is that? Stars over New York.

[ 11:47 PM ]
We're tripalicious right now. Heard that the flight numbers correspond to Sept 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th (add the flight numbers up)...and that scary coincidence is....scary. Sam is working the phones, he wants to leave ASAP. Told Victor to get the hell out of LA and go shack up with James in Irvine. My cigarette sabatical may have to wait because in times of need, nicotine is the answer. I was in line earlier and it was like twenty deep of people trying to get cigarettes.

Something about the night time just makes everything worse.

[ 10:40 PM ]
"Who is Jon Galt?" Who can stop the motor of America? That's the question asked by Ayn Rand in Atlas Shrugged and scarily enough, we have an answer. Whoever did this has totally stopped America. One out of every two firemen is probably dead (that's 200 out of 400), policemen are missing, there are no more lights in the lower half of Manhattan. There is no World Trade Center.

My gut feel is that we have to retaliate with extreme force but i really can't envy the government and George Bush's decision. Who do they retaliate against? The latest theories blame Osama bin Laden but who really knows? The precision and skill with which this was carried out is what really scares me. To get everything all at once and to hi-jack four (or more) planes at once...that is stunning. We can't even really blame the government because who can stop suicidal kamikazes?

Some people have pointed out that we need to curb our immediate reaction of "kill, kill, kill" and i understand that but at the same time i highly agree that the US can't just stand and not take violent action. I heard that Palestinians were celebrating and dancing....what is that? I worry about the backlash that Middle Eastern people will face in the coming weeks (and maybe longer) and i hope that cooler heads prevail at home.

[ 8:11 PM ]
Nine o'clock this morning....what the fuck. The whole world is going crazy. I didn't get up until after the second plane hit and thankfully Angie and Leslie were home and i shortly found out that Sam and Lynn were home. Karina was gone but we thought she would be ok because the timing worked out that she should either be in the subway or already at work. We were watching the news when the first building crumbled and we ran out to watch from our beautiful boardwalk. In minutes, we watched the second one collapse, right when i was thinking of getting my camcorder (even though it seemed a little macabre).

I have never ever seen crazy shit like that and it was astounding to watch it just collapse. It was a weird feeling to realize that this huge momentous thing was happening across the water but we were okay. I mean, we got hungry and went to go eat but everything was closed. We were talking and speculating and joking at times even those all these people were dying a mere mile away. Surreal. We were amazingly close to the whole thing yet so far removed that it still seemed like something out of a movie. Everyone we know is accounted for now so that's good. Karina got to work before it happened and she's going to Amit's later. Mandisa was supposed to come back from Ann Arbor this morning but her plane went back to Cleveland. People keep on saying "thank god" and even though i'm by no means religious, that's the only thing that can be said each and every time i find out someone is ok.

Alot of people called but our phones were down and it was only through email and AIM that we got some word out. Thank you to everyone that called and contacted us. I wasn't that shocked at first but with each successive revelation and news story, i get more and more shivers. Me and Sam and whoever else are seriously thinking of getting the heck out of here and heading back to the cozy confines of Ann Arbor. No way i'm flying for awhile and no way am i going into the city for awhile. This is insane, gonna go watch some more TV....

[ 1:29 PM ]
Monday, September 10's so quiet. I can't stand it being here right now. I'm getting really antsy and i don't want to do anything. I don't know what i feel like but i know i don't want to be here, in my room, in front of my computer. I feel like a smoker who is going cold turkey and suffering from withdrawal. Coincidentally, i'm starting my no smoking and no drinking month now...September 10th. I'm gonna go try to unpack.

[ 2:23 PM ]
I was sleeping the whole way on the plane...which wasn't actually that long since i had two one hour flights broken up by a pit stop in Pittsburgh. I almost fell asleep at the terminal in Pittsburgh and some lady was kind enough to wake me up. I hate not having a car. Now when people visit they have to take a cab. My cab back home was $30. Ka-ching. That's how much having Hong's car saved us each time we went to the airport. That's okay i guess, the rush of visitors is over for the forseeable future. Amit and Louis were over when i got home though so that was nice.

I need to go into school tomorrow and buy books and to clarify my schedule and stuff like that. I think i'm gonna try to be a hermit for a month, it'll be like doing a new extreme sport....."Xtreme Boredom!!!"...just to see what i'll be like after that.

Overall, the trip to Michigan was really good. Each time back, i've been more and more comfortable and this time i just felt like i was going to school there. Got to hang out alot with people i've never really had a chance to kick it with before. I ate alot which was good. There was a lot of Mafia going on but that was okay too because it's the greatest game in the world. The week was definitely a good capper for me to Michigan life. Whether i visit again or not i think i'll be finally happy away from it. But the problem now is that i have this itch to just run back to the West Coast. I'm done with New York. I haven't really had time to sit down and collect my thoughts from the past week but i'm hoping to do that. All in all, the past three weeks have been a non-stop rush of people and events. Time to cool down i suppose.

[ 11:20 AM ]
Sunday, September 9 
The rest of my last day in Michigan was really good. After "A Taste of Culture", went to Rendezvous with Kyle, PZ, Connie and Chrissy. I was supposed to meet Katy there but she didn't show up until half an hour later. Talked to Katy for a bit and had some coffee before leaving to see PZ and Jon G's place. At that point, it was maybe ten o'clock and we had no plans. Stopped by Helen and Julia's, whereupon i got some more birthday cake (which was excellent) and we sat around watching the VMAs until we finally decided to go karaoke.

The place we've been going to for karaoke for years finally got some new songs so we had a really good time. There was some Mya, some Jay-Z, some Dream and all sorts of new music. Everyone was into it and singing along. We got a little small room even though there were like fifteen of us but it was ok, the more intimate the merrier. I swear Julia has the cutest singing voice ever...One of the highlights of the singing was definitely Kyle and Steve's rendition of "Under the Sea." Oh, and PZ and his incredible screaming was hilarious. I'm sorry Caroline but i think PZ takes the crown for best screamer on "Living on a Prayer."

After karaoke, we all converged on the Diag and sat around for a long time, waiting for Mafia to happen. It was a nice night and we bummed for a long time before anything actually happened. Fianlly of course, we sat down and played some Mafia. It seemed like Sam and Eddie were Mafia every single time and we ended when PZ once again claimed his "Crappiest Outdoor Player Ever" crown by giving Mafia the game at the end. Sam also ruthlessly killed Palak's sixteen year old sister first that last game. I can safely say this is probably the last game of Mafia i'll play in awhile, which is a good and bad thing i guess.

To end the night, cruised over to Jill and Palak's to say goodbye and stuck around until everyone passed out. Walked back to South Quad with Babbs and now here i am, trying to pack and wake up Kyle (who is seriously passed out) to take me to the airport. Hopefully all goes well and i'll be home quickly and safely. I am tired.......

[ 4:52 AM ]
Saturday, September 8 
It rained today. Not nice little quaint droplets of refreshing rain but rather the thick and vicious stuff. I wasn't even outside that much but when me and Kyle drove over to Trotter House for "A Taste of Culture," we got drenched. He locked the doors, i ran to the trunk to get his umbrella and by the time that was done, we were both wet as hell. Taste of Culture had to be moved inside too so Trotter was really crowded. The performances were pretty cool. Darryl, of Mafia fame, played some jazz on his saxophone and Babbs did a few of his pieces. funKtion performed and completely ripped it up. In such a little venue, the facial expressions were key and PZ was going crazy. The crowd was loving it and girls mobbed the front and got "fliers" right after the performance. Pretty hot.

There was a raffle for stuff and Palak took like five tickets but we all tried to call her out on it. She ended up only getting a t-shirt but nothing else...ha. After like an hour of waiting, after half the people had left, they finally raffled off the DVD player and guess who won it?......PZ. Today was definitely PZ day. He won even though his TV is so old he can't even use the DVD player. Once again, God has a sense of humor.

[ 1:30 PM ]
Yesterday was a long day. Babbs pointed out that it seems like i've been here for like two months and i totally feel that way. This week hasn't been super eventful but it has seemed like a very long time. I'm grateful for that however, because i didn't want the time here to just speed by. If anything, the opposite has been true, i've been able to just leisurely enjoy Michigan. It was damn hot yesterday though but luckily i wasn't fully clean and awake till about five o'clock so the weather was okay by the time i was fully mobile.

Maristella took me out to dinner at Palio's which was really nice. I think i've been there before but i'm not really sure. I think it was for Kevin Oh's birthday freshman year but i can't even remember. I look down Main Street and i realize i've never been to any of the restaurants really. One nice thing about Ann Arbor i guess is the diversity of the food and the quality of it. I haven't personally experienced a lot of it but it's cool that Ann Arbor is like a compacted little city. Then again, because it's compacted, there's only about one of everything, except for coffee shops and record stores.

Watched SlamNATION at Jill and Palak's after dinner and we sat outside on their balcony and had a session (as Babbs would put it) of hookah. Rollen really enjoyed it i think and i'm guessing him and Babbs will be having a few more sessions. After all that, it was still only barely midnight and everyone was getting antsy so we ran off to some house party on Geddes to see assorted people. The place was jam packed with young miscreants. I recognized maybe one person (Pam who i met recently) and everyone else was a mystery. After saying several quick "hello's" i was ready to go. One thing i don't miss about college is the party hopping. While parties are fun, standing around after five minutes at a party and then agreeing that it's wack and "let's go do something" isn't that appealing. I miss the Wilmot parties.

We hung out at Peter/Howie/Erik's house (across the street from Geddes) for awhile after that and in our extreme and utter boredom, we started playing....Mafia. All these people invaded their house and Peter asked me how to gently but forcefully kick them out and i basically said, tell them your roommates are going to bed. We exited shortly after to be polite but as far as i know, they stayed in Peter's room forever and he didn't kick them out. It's a delicate situation when a dozen strangers show up and you don't want to be a total ass and boot them but you don't want them there either. Their house has a nice (albeit scary) rooftop on which i chilled for a second with some people. That was probably the highlight of the night actually, the short rooftop experience. Very relaxing.

This post is getting pretty long. To sum things up, we all went to the Diag, relaxed on the grass until we gathered enough social refugees to begin a game of...Mafia. When the sprinklers started going on, we moved to steps of the Grad and played...Mafia. Finally, to end the night, we went to watch Memento (which Sharon got me for my birthday, thanks Mom!) and everyone eventually assed out before the movie was done.

Thanks to everyone who wished me a happy birthday (except for George who didn't even think of it until she was drunk and it was past midnite here). Thanks to Rollen for the dope one-armed Shao Ding Dong ballon guy...thanks to Sharon for Memento...thanks to Kyle and Co for the hideously ugly and colorful, yet excellent, cake. Thanks to Maristella for dinner...thanks to Martin for the energy boosting contents in the brown bag...thanks to everybody and anybody who cared. Thanks are free...have one. I'm twenty three...oldness.......

[ 11:56 AM ]
Friday, September 7 
Last night, we went out to the Blind Pig, for a party that Komposit was throwing. We wanted to get there really early to avoid any lines so the plan was to leave around ten thirty. Surprisingly, the plan pretty much worked out and we left close to eleven and got into the club with no hassles. I have to say that i wish New York clubs could just be like tonight's experience. Five dollars cover, good music and people dancing everywhere. Right after we got in, the line got really long and they stopped letting people in (which sucked because some of our friends didn't get through) but besides that the whole night was pretty good. It was crazy crazy hot inside though. Everybody was glittering from the sweat and after a few hours, i just couldn't stand it inside anymore so i had to make periodic trips outside to chill out.

After Blind Pig, a ton of us went to Pizza House and sat at this huge long table for twenty. All the girls on the right, all the guys on the left. Don't know how that worked out but it was amusing. Met these two kids, Dan and John, who transferred in this year from New York and they came to eat with us so that was cool. Suj's roommate, Chad, was also out with us the whole night and he was really cool. He had a very long and princely name but i forgot what it was...something like "Christopher Thomas Andrew Edwardian" or something like that. Everybody wished me happy birthday and even sang real quick when i exited the bathroom so thanks to all those people. Birthdays come and go and really, i wish they could just shoot by...i don't really like it being "my birthday." But it's nice all the same.

After a few games of Mafia at Jill and Palak's, we all crashed and went to bed. Oh, we also played two rounds of Taboo. I was horrible for some strange reason and kept on saying all the taboo words. Normally i'm really good, i swear. Suj is the man though. He makes the weirdest out-of-left field guesses and gets them right. From now on it's Sujeet "Croquet" Rao.

[ 2:03 PM ]
Thursday, September 6 
funKtion performed today on the Diag at Festifall. They got a lot of love and i was impressed with the way they pulled together a routine so quickly (they did it in about a week). Dancing has gone to another level here...the other day for the Filipino basketball tournament, Anna said they performed after only four practices and funKtion pretty much put on a performance with the same amount of practice. Personally, while it's good to have fresh and new stuff all the time, i felt like they weren't as clean as they should of been. They were hilarious though, PZ was ripping it and everyone was having fun. With the whole dancing thing, i always felt like pieces shouldn't be done unless they were as tight as they possibly could be...but then again, i always messed up anyhow so who am i to speak. Either way, dancing is getting a lot of love on campus so that is cool.

Spent most of the afternoon at Festifall, hanging out at the funKtion and Dance 2XS tables. Dance 2XS had like nine pages of sign ups and people were waiting around the booth to sign up so that was pretty hot. funKtion got it's fair share of people too and a lot of them stopped to check out the pictures and to ask questions and stuff. Stopped by the Huaren table too to meet some of the new Core but i didn't really get a feel for what's going on there. I hear they might be not doing the fashion show which is a tad disappointing to me but hey, life goes on. I used to hate doing stuff like Festifall and talking to random people but i've pretty much learned to just care less and have fun with it and i actually find it fun to just spew out random pointless drivel to the people walking by. I've got this "turn on, turn off" outgoing stuff down i think.

[ 5:42 PM ]
Wednesday, September 5 
Today was Godaiko day. Every Wednesday is two for one on spider rolls (soft shelled crab) and me and Hong used to go all the time and load up. You can't take any of the food out so you have to be careful and not over order because then you'll be wasting money. I think i've had some of my most enjoyable (yet repulsively full) eating experiences at Godaiko's. Me, Hong and Louis went once on spicy tuna night and ordered up some insane amount of those and ate until we just couldn't stuff any more down our throats.

Anyhow, we went with a lot of people (Greg, Caroline, Kyle, Rollen, Julia, Sher Wing, Lisa, Andri) and got a good smattering of spider rolls. Julia didn't quite finish hers but everyone else cleaned their plates. They jacked up the prices of the spider rolls though so now they're almost nine dollars. Me, Rollen and Kyle split four orders (doubled so that means 40 pieces) so now you can use that as a barometer of how much you want to order next Wednesday.

Other than food, today was pretty uneventful...a quick spin with the football at the Diag, a little bit of ice cream at Stucci's, helped Julia with her boxes, a quick game of Mafia. Um, i forgot one thing. Somehow, Babbs managed to borrow a hookah and so i went down to South Quad to get in on some. Hookah is basically a bong that you smoke flavored tobacco out of (he had some grape stuff). It's an amazingly relaxing and chilling experience. I love just sitting there and smoking it because it smells so damn good and it puts you in a good mood and it induces conversation.

Read these two papers by this kid Chris who is friends with Babbs. This kid is a sophmore and runs track here at U of M. He is half Filipino and half Chinese i think. Anyhow, his writing is astounding. His ideas and his delivery and the way he structures his sentences are amazing. If i could write like that, i would go immediately into writing as a profession. He strings out his messages with a story that just grabs you. His command of the English language is stunning. It's sick. His pieces basically had to do with race and finding his identity but he brought those ideas into essays about movies and his mom making food. Great stuff.

[ 11:25 PM ]
Today i woke up and ran off immediately to ball with Jae. So basically, i balled at five o'clock. I woke up at Palak's and Jill's all confused because with their shades drawn i couldn't tell what time it was and their other roommate and a friend were at the table so i was just like, "whoa, what's going on here." Luckily i re-orientated myself and said my "thank you's" and "good-bye's" and left. I was supposed to get Crunchers or Colliders or something like that (whatever it was it was supposed to be like a Flurry) with Maristella and Kyle but the line was too long so we just went to go sit on top of Rendezvous. I think that's one of my favorite places to be actually, sitting on top of Rendezvous with a few people, cigarettes and coffee in hand. I forgot what we talked about but it had something to do with Senior Ditch Day and high school pranks or something.

Sher Wing and Lisa came back late last night so we bounced over there to check out their place and talked for awhile. Jason Chan ended up being there and that was cool even though it was totally unexpected. I was like, "What the heck are YOU doing here?!?" And he was like, "What are YOU doing here?" Ah, the black hole that is Ann Arbor. Oh, Sher Wing said that Brian was trying out for some part in a movie and that he was gonna be a seat-filler for the VMAs on Thursday. I'm not sure where he's getting these gigs but he's blowing up and hopefully something big will happen for him.

I finally had my first visit to Pizza House since i've been back. I went with Michelle and we sat in the new outdoor veranda or whatever. It's nice because the windows are open and you can smoke in there. Pizza House has gone from this little shitty hole in the wall my freshman year to the premier spot to eat on campus. Fries dipped in barbeque and ranch (in that specific order) and chicken tenders in honey mustard are heavenly.

[ 2:04 PM ]
I need to stop and mention the highlight of my Mafia career which occured last night after visiting Gus's place. We had been trying to put together a Mafia game forever and it finally happened at South Quad. There was a huge number of people there, consisting mostly of dance people and old and new Resident Advisors. We didn't really know too many of the RAs but we had heard that they played a lot of Mafia. Overall the night was incredibly fun because i hadn't played Mafia with so many new people in a long time. A lot of them were hilarious and loud and watching Sam do his stuff was funny as hell.

The best though was the second to last game. From the get-go, Sam and Babbs were at each other's throats and people were yelling and screaming and nothing made any sense at all. Near the end, we Mafia were sitting pretty and i was sure we were going to win the game. We were playing with four Mafia and one Kaiser Soze (like a Psycho Killer who can't be detected by cops) for the twenty of us. During the second to last kill round, PZ was killed and i thought that me and Darryl were the only Mafia left. As it turned out, Palak was Kaiser and she had killed PZ too so i was thrown off into thinking that Kaiser was dead. Anyway, the point is that at the end it was just me and Palak left and we both won, even though she was Kaiser and i was just a regular old Mafioso. The great thing was that we didn't even really know we were both evil until the end and that we were both using each other. Yes, it's just a game but Mafia is the greatest entertainment in the world and the best way to see the sunrise on a consistent basis.

[ 12:02 PM ]
The last few days here have been a swirl of wandering around and doing nothing. The campus is pretty dead and quiet because classes haven't really started. Everyone is in the process of moving in and cleaning up so i've been to Meijer's a couple of times and sat around as people cleaned and complained. People are not happy school is starting. I think everyone is happy that people are back but nobody is excited about the coming year, due to academic and social anxieties. It's been a little weird here without the Wilmot Girls because i'm so used to just cruising over to their place to hang out when i have nothing to do. But at the same time it's cool because i get to hang out with alot of people i haven't ever hung out with.

On Sunday we went to this Filipino basketball tournament to watch Anna, Gus, Steve and some other people dance at halftime. We were there for a long time watching a few of the games (which were sort of exciting but at the same time not really) before they actually went on. They were well received but right afterwards some idiot ran out and mocked the entertainment by doing one armed pushups and basically being a complete idiot (i use idiot twice because that's how strongly i feel about his idiot-ness). The worst is that the crowd loved it. Personally, i thought it was....yes.....idiotic. After the tournament, most of the funKtion guys went to TGIF for dinner and then we proceeded to sit around at Staples Center with Rollen until we ended the night with Pizza House whereupon we talked about the role of a significant other...which basically broke down to that people only want a boyfriend/girlfriend so that they will always have a warm body to do something with in times of boredom.

I woke up Monday at four o'clock and then panicked because my phone ran out of batteries and i had left my bag in Anna's car. I had to go on the hunt for a Nokia charger and finally found one at Helen's. As my lifeline was charging, i went with her and Michelle to Best Buy to buy some Dreamcast games for Helen. Girls who play video games....big plus. It was Greg and Caroline's two year anniversary on that day (the 2nd) so congrats to them. After that, me and Babbs drove out to Gus's house to check out his home made studio. It took awhile to get there but once there, we were stunned with his place. Gus has built an amazing "bomb shelter" in his basement. He has a mini dance floor (compete with mirrors) in the middle of his room, bookended by a studio on one side and a bed on the other. Basically, he showed us how some of the equipment worked and then Babbs went into the sound booth to track down some of his poetry. We were only there for maybe two hours but it was cool to watch Gus and Babbs working and creating something. We left with a three track CD of some of Babbs stuff. I am continually astounded by the amount of information Gus knows about everything. It's sick.

[ 12:02 AM ]
Saturday, September 1 
I'm back at Michigan...after a grueling twelve hour drive through the rain. Actually, i can't lie and say that it was grueling. I didn't even drive because i can't drive stick and neither could Sam so basically Kyle had to drive the whole way. He was dead tired much of the way and between that and the rain, we stopped alot. Lynn attempted to take over for Kyle but after one block the engine went wacko and we had to pull over so that Kyle could reclaim the reins to his baby. I fell asleep at one point and woke up to the sounds of thundering rain pouring down and watched Kyle as he navigated with about two feet of vision in from of him. The point is, i got here.

Last night i basically just ran around seeing some people on campus, checking out their places and watching them unpack (or pretend to unpack). Michelle got me this silly (but orange) hat from Taiwan that is basically a brimless baseball hat. Needless to say, i can't really wear it because i look incredibly stupid in it. Kyle looks pretty good in it though, with his bangs hanging out, so maybe he'll wear it. Kyle's place is a dump. The bathroom is scary, the place is dirty and his subletter's didn't exactly do a good job with the maintenance and upkeep. He's pretty upset about it and i think he's gonna kill somebody but we'll see what happens. Because his apartment has no human amenities (although it seems like the bugs like it alot), we had to look for alternative housing. I ended up spending the night at Palak and Jill's place (on Packard and State) which is really nice and roomy. We didnt' actually sleep much because i ended up talking all night with them about all sorts of random things. Interesting to say the least but fun as hell.

I woke up this morning after about two hours of sleep and went to play basketball. Hong had to be initiated into the world of full court basketball but after one game, i was dying. Actually, after two trips up and down the court i was dying. Between the lack of sleep and my lack of exercise and my abundance of cigarettes, i was wheezing and on the verge of collapse. Needless to say, i played like crap and we left after one game. I suppose i'll have to build on that over the next week. I was desperately seeking shelter right after basketball so i could shower and nap but everyone was gone and going back to Kyle's place wouldn't work because he had no shower curtain. To put a capper on it, i'm clean now and about to hunt down someplace nice and clean smelling to nap.

Oh, i don't want to forget that we visited Alvin's condo on Friday night. A few months ago, he purchased a condo in Ann Arbor and it's an amazing place and congratulations to Alvin.

[ 11:33 AM ]