Friday, January 31, 2014

Why is my toe blue?

Incredibly, my done with sharing post got the third-highest number of hits of my posts this month. That's interesting, as, appropriately, I did not share it to my various social streams. So that might mean that there are people following my posts independently. Hello. Glad you're reading. It'd be nice to meet you sometime.

Here's another author you should try. R. A. Lafferty is an absolutely delightful writer. He wrote some novels, but his main contribution to posterity and what you mainly want to pay attention to are his short stories. He wrote gnomic, puckish, playful, whimsical, mischievous, snarky, and sharp and clever stories, full of intelligence, myth and subtle, wry humor and philosophy. He's worth reading if you want to see the world through the eyes of a bizarrely skewed perspective. Recommended.

If you have any appreciation for art, check out Piranesi. Elegantly designed gothic structures, meticulously rendered. Ornate, architecturally precise constructs, labyrinthine dungeons, fantastic towers, magnificent in their splendor and ruin. Gorgeous, lush artwork. Evocative worlds of intrigue and mystery. Powerful, gorgeous, astounding work. Simply breathtaking. You can spend hours. Dive in.

Have you considered how much of history is lost? Most of our records are incomplete. The Library of Alexandria was burned, and was known to contain many histories and records. We have little indications of what the ancient Greeks read and studied, and their civilization went back further than we have records of. They had legends of civilizations going back thousands of years before them. Almost all lost. What we have is really just reconstruction and guesses. Amazing.

Want a cartoon? Sure you do!


Dave Roel.
When all your desires are distilled, You will cast just two votes: To love more. And be happy.
- Hafiz

Thursday, January 30, 2014

          ...Wow. What I thought would have been a light and easy semester turned into one of havoc and despair, especially towards finals week. Okay I might be exaggerating a little, it really wasn't THAT bad. Everything was just more hectic than I anticipated, especially since classes had never moved at such a fast pace when I was in high school.
          Needless to say, I'm so sorry I disappeared towards the end of the semester--all those nights I spent not studying finally caught up with me. 

          Looking back on my first semester as a college student, getting into the groove of college was a lot easier said than done. I felt like the first half of fall semester was so breezy, with professors being so much more easygoing than high school teachers that I didn't have to worry. I was wrong.
          First semester I wanted to take as many classes as I could but now thinking back on that maybe that was an overstep, I should have taken it easier. This semester I'm definitely trying to change things now that I'm more of a seasoned freshman. I know how to pace myself better, I know how to keep up with the curriculum (or try to anyways), and to set reminders for myself. I bought all my textbooks early and read the syllabi before classes even began so I wouldn't fall behind on my academic or personal schedule. As far as things go, so far so good. I'll definitely keep up with blogging and keep you guys posted on how things are going! Hope you guys enjoyed all your classes so far and didn't have as much trouble parking as I did...Half an hour just to PARK? Insane! But, I did imagine it would be that bad so I got to campus an hour earlier, hope you guys did the same! I'm praying for the beginning-of-semester rush to die down and parking to be less crazy. 


Tuesday, January 28, 2014


I don't know about the rest of you, but I've already got a lot to do and it's only the second day of the new semester.

Admittedly, it may be because I'm taking five classes this semester.

If you applied to UCs or CSUs, though, you probably are aware that the start of the new semester also signals that the deadlines for submitting the Transfer Academic Update (UCs) and the CSU Supplement (which possibly might only be for CSULB? I'm not actually sure) are approaching.

Parts of the forms can be a little bit confusing. Fortunately for me, my counselor is incredibly helpful and walked me through the parts I was having trouble with. Here are some of the issues I had filling out the TAU/supplement and how to deal with them-- I'm sure at least some of you are having the same problems:
  •          (TAU) If you're using AP credit from high school to fulfill any of the transfer requirements, the form probably won't let you enter it. What I did-- to fulfill an English composition requirement with my APEL score-- is mark that I hadn't taken a class to fulfill the requirement and wasn't planning to, and then specifically list that I was using my score of _ on the APEL test to fulfill one of the English composition requirements. It seems a little weird, but the FAQ on the side of the page essentially says to do... well, that.
  •         (CSULB supplement) If you've attended another college before or at the same time as FC, it can be confusing when the CSULB supplement asks for your total GPA from all transferrable college credits. From my understanding, this means you calculate the GPA based on every college course you've taken from every institution you've taken it from. For instance, I included all the courses I took at UCSD last year and FC this past semester. Then, you calculate your GPA:
    In my case, since UCSD is on the quarter system and CSULB and FC are both semester system universities, I had to take the additional step of converting my units at UCSD to semester units before adding it in with everything else.

Those were my main issues, but hopefully if you're filling out any supplements or updates, you've got more of a handle on it than I did!

Stay classy,


Monday, January 27, 2014

New semester

Today is the first day of classes for the new semester. This is always exciting and potentially nerve-wracking. Will the classes be difficult? Can the ratemyprofessor ratings be trusted? Will I make any friends? Will I have any kind of a social life? All these questions are swirling through our heads as we navigate the parking lots, push through the crowded campus grounds, try to find our classrooms, take a seat (not too far up, not too far back), and try to calculate how much time we'll have to study for this class's tests. A large amount of things to pay attention to for the first day.

But, somehow, we get through it. We always do. By the beginning of the second week, routine has settled in. Listen to the lecture, take notes, study the texts for the relevant bits that will be on the test. Keep it up for sixteen weeks. The time seems to trudge along slowly and yet those darn tests always seem to zoom up on us before we know it. How can time be so flexible?

Is it all worth it? Statistics show that college graduates earn more money over their lifetime than non-college graduates, and most jobs of any significance require a degree as a minimum requirement. Regardless of our concerns about the economic future of the country, we must press on, trusting that college is our investment in ourselves. We may belong to a generation that is inheriting an increasingly unstable world, but if we are to make any impact, education is our first step. Let this thought be our guiding principle through this semester.


Dave Roel.
All that matters is what we do for each other.
- Lewis Carroll

Friday, January 24, 2014


Everyone knows that the music business took a big hit with the advent of digital technology. So did newspapers, and, basically, most forms of print media, including novels. But the advent of digital technology delivers that kind of hit to every industry, really. Retail, manufacturing, travel, even education, all are confronted by new technological challenges. Banking, healthcare and the military and police are probably immune, but I wouldn’t bet money on that. The ongoing forward course of progress even disrupts itself. The new devices and apps of today become tomorrow's forgotten and discarded. Many articles are appearing discussing the imminent end of the desktop PC. That form of computing will probably not be around in ten years. This is what happens to every gaming console, every form of mobile device. It will happen to essentially every industry. And every art form. Poetry used to be a vibrant, critically important art form. It isn't any longer. But nobody misses it, really, any more than people miss novels. The caravan has moved on. Nobody pauses to look back at the cultural losses of the past. Why would you? The current zeitgeist is very different, and has different needs.

There's no reason to feel bad about this. All things pass, in time. We're only here for a short amount of time, in this particular configuration. You, me, every possession you've ever owned, every home you've ever lived in, everyone you've ever met — everything is a temporary configuration of energy and matter. Everything changes. How well do you dance?

Now a cartoon!

The Flight from Inbal Breda on Vimeo.


Dave Roel.
The only freedom which deserves the name is that of pursuing our own good in our own way.
- John Stuart Mill

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

It's been a while.

I can't believe break is almost over! As cliché as it is, the past month has gone by so quickly, and I have some mixed feelings about winter break ending, which is probably to be expected.

I actually didn't make much progress with the TV/movie list I'd outlined, but for a pretty good reason-- I ended up traveling a lot (and doing, well, other things I hadn't necessarily planned on). I'll go into greater detail in later posts because it's definitely worth sharing, but in summary: I went to the Dominican Republic over Christmas, got sick for a while (airplanes and the holiday season don't really mix well), accidentally played Tomb Raider 2013 for a frankly excessive amount of time in one sitting (although the game turned out to be an excellent reboot of the Tomb Raider franchise!), watched Her (which I loved), watched Blue is the Warmest Color (which I did not), saw Janelle Monae perform at the House of Blues in Anaheim (!! amazing), finished Twin Peaks, nearly finished a couple of books (a feat for me, with my diminished attention span), and spent most of this past week in Seattle. It's been a busy break!

As sad as I am to lose all the free time I've had, I'm actually a little excited? for school to start?

Weird, I know.

This semester, though, I'm predominantly taking classes for my major (anthropology), in addition to a couple of GEs that I'm actually interested in. The majority of my professors sound amazing (judging from, at least). And as part of my major, I'm taking a course in archaeology, which I have a greatly renewed interest in thanks to Lara Croft.

It'll be interesting to see how it all turns out after next week.

Stay classy,

Monday, January 20, 2014

Sources for motivation

In an earlier blog, I wrote that one’s self-love will provide the motivation one needs to see through the inevitable hardships that life throws at us. It is because you love yourself that you continue to pursue your goals, and put forward the energy and work needed to improve yourself.

Love of self is not the only thing that will work to provide motivation to continue. That you love anything at all will work equally as well. Just loving something.

You can fill in that blank with anything that suits you. Yes, some people choose themselves. Self-love does work. Some people choose a religious, theological focus to their love. That works, as well. Some choose to put their love toward some collective group, as family, or country, or even all humanity, or the planet, etc. It could even be as small a group as the romantic relationship we have in our life. A love for those will work as well for providing motivation.

If you love something, you will work towards improving yourself, for the sake of that thing. Self, a higher power, country, family, humanity, a partner… Love will supply you with an inexhaustible amount of motivation to continue to work, to get out of bed each morning and make each day better. When you truly, deeply love something, it won’t be any problem to find the motivation; it will spring from your being, effortlessly.

And if you don’t love anything — then, yeah, you’ll need to look at that. Deeply.


Dave Roel.
We are here to add what we can to life, not to get what we can get from life.
- William Osler

Friday, January 17, 2014

Done with sharing

I think I'm done with sharing. Sharing seems dead. I want everything pouring into one stream, preferably an RSS stream. Everything worked fine for awhile, around 2008-2011. I had my RSS shares from Google Reader, my Twitter and blogs and podcasts and mailing lists and YouTube uploads, etc., pouring into my Friendfeed stream, and from there, I could direct that stream wherever I wanted. Then Google Reader died, and there is no web-based RSS reader that provides a one-click-to-RSS-feed ability. Every RSS reader I know of allows you to share to individual platforms, but not to a single RSS stream. I would have to share to, say, a Blogger blog, and use the RSS stream from that. More clicks than I want, and the results are pretty poor — no picture, just the headline, etc. Friendfeed died, will no longer update any feeds. I use RSS Graffiti to import each feed one by one into Facebook, but now that's breaking down, no longer updating some feeds. I can always configure something, but it's clear that it's going to become an endless, continual job, patching and updating, because services constantly die. I can get everything where I like it, and then it's gone bad six months later, and I'll have to patch it up a different way. I don't feel like doing that. So I think I'm done with sharing. There's no way to do it anymore. The only things I really post anymore are my Twitter quotes, Steve Barnes and Kenneth Smith, none of which anybody cares about or is paying attention to, anyway.

Here’s a cartoon.

"The Ancestor" by Darlingside – Official Music Video from Crazy Lake Pictures on Vimeo.


Dave Roel.
There is no greater burden than a lot of potential hanging around your neck.
- Charles Schulz

Monday, January 13, 2014

Imagine the end point

I imagine where I want to be in five years, in ten years, in twenty. I imagine the body I want to have. I imagine how it moves. I imagine how it feels. I imagine what it can do. I imagine it doing those things. I imagine the amount of money I want to make each year. Each month. Each day. I imagine the family I want to have. I imagine the friends I want to have. I imagine sitting with each of them, one by one. This is a powerful motivating exercise.

I determine where I am presently on the road toward that vision. How much further do I have to travel to get there? Do I have the specific steps I need to take to get there? What would I need to do to get closer? What can I do today to help me move forward? What is distracting me from the path? This is a good way to clarify how to allocate my time, and what to put my energy into.

Does my imagined vision of my future life match my goals, beliefs, values and emotions? Are my actions congruent with those values? Are my actions conducive to my achieving this vision? Are there any areas I can improve?

If I take the time each day to go over this program, it will motivate and clarify my actions, and align me to my desired path. Like a plane homing in on a guiding beacon, I can correct my course.


Dave Roel.
The other side of every fear is a freedom.
- Marilyn Ferguson

Friday, January 10, 2014

Living in midair

Can you live for free? Can you just use things like airbnb, couchsurfing, zipcar, etc., and not have a permanent home or possessions? Can you live a shareable economy lifestyle, a smart city resident, bartering food for Bitcoins? It would dramatically lower your personal carbon footprint, and free you from the shackles of materialism. It would be a very romantic life, moving from place to place, never settling down, meeting new friends, having new experiences. It could be a rich, full life. I don’t know if anybody has ever tried. I know I couldn’t. I don’t have the right personality or temperament for it. It would be a talent as much as anything, and would require a fair amount of development in several areas — interpersonal skills, creativity, resilience, flexibility, etc. You would probably get better at it as you went along. It’s probably something that is much more appealing when you’re young. Godspeed to anyone who wants to try this. But I anticipate this becoming a larger and larger social trend in the coming years. What will that do to law, to governance, to the economy? Someone should think about this.

It’s not unlike the dilemma artists have had — how do you maintain fealty to your art and make a living. There’s never been a guarantee that art can provide a living. Most artists don’t. And then the artist needs to get a day job to support their themselves. Sometimes that means the art gets abandoned. It’s a tough choice.

Look! A cartoon!


Dave Roel.
One wonders why Americans think that culture should make money.
- Bruce Sterling

Monday, January 6, 2014

A morality post

This was re-posted:
“A long while ago I was on facebook saying something about missing my father after he died. Someone came on the thread and said that there is really no such thing as death, it just appears to be so, and that I shouldn't be sad about my father's absence since he wasn't truly absent. After a wee tit for tat on this, in order to make a point, I deleted one of her messages in which she 'proved' that there was no such thing as death. She got extremely upset that I deleted her message but I explained to her that her message was not truly deleted, it just appeared to be so. She continued being upset and defriended me at which point I suggested that she might want to look at why she is so upset with the death of her facebook comment while saying that I had no reason to be upset about the death of my father.”
The poster who re-posted it commented, “A brilliant example of how to deal with a person stricken with the being an ------ syndrome brought on by spiritual bypassing.”

While it is clever, what happened here is gravely problematic, and should not be held up as an example of how to correctly go through the world.

It’s clear that the commenter was behaving inappropriately. Yes, she was being a jerk. Yes, she was violating this guy’s boundaries, being inconsiderate, rude, terribly offensive and insensitive. But this guy’s response was also these things equally, to her. That’s not right. Both actions are wrong.

We cannot live in a morality of eye for an eye, fighting fire with fire, you hurt me so I get to hurt you. That is no way to build a society, and no way to live an ethical life. Injuring one who has injured you is not justice, it’s revenge. It’s an impulse that comes from a low version of ourselves, not the highest we are capable of. We have to be better than that.

What’s the point of fighting the injustice, if, in doing so, you commit the same? If the hero of the movie behaves as bad as the villain, then what’s the difference? Who cares who wins? Whoever wins, it comes to the same thing. Morality only means something if one way is better than the other. This was an example of two wrongs. Neither was more morally correct. They both deserve to be seen as inappropriate actions.


Dave Roel.
When your fear touches someone's pain it becomes pity; when your love touches someone's pain, it becomes compassion.
- Stephen Levine

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Santa Barbara

I just got back from vacation in Santa Barbara. I went down there to see an old friend and just visit the city itself because I had never been. I had a wonderful time. Santa Barbara is a super chill place with nice people and a beautiful landscape. 

The community college is overlooking the shore. The campus has wide open spaces, grass fields and fountains everywhere. There is cliffs overlooking the shore where it seems that people have placed chairs and different furniture so you can sit and watch the waves go by all day.

One thing I did find interesting is that there seems to be a fascination with getting rid of furniture. Anywhere you walk in the neighborhood where we were you could find couches, chairs, televisions, and tables of all different varieties. You could furnish a house with all the things you find.

The apartments we were staying at were gorgeous. There was flowers, fresh fruit growing on the trees, and beautiful plants all around the complex. The only downside was that it was sort of a walk to the beach or to get groceries and anything else you might need. Overall Santa Barbara is a beautiful city and it was a great time.

Keep it chill

Friday, January 3, 2014

Focus on the actuality

My boyfriend and I have always talked about using relationship as a path for growth and development. But he doesn't seem interested in actively doing much to grow and develop. He seems to think growth and development just happens, without any effort. I want more affection and connection from him. I've asked him for more, and he says he will improve, but it never seems to get any better. If he's so interested in growth and development, then why doesn't he put any effort into it? It's very confusing.

You're focusing on the potentiality — the idea that this guy could potentially, some day in the future, give you what you want. That's a classic mistake that people make in relationships. Don't focus on the potentiality. Focus on the actuality — what you are actually getting right now. What you are actually getting right now needs to be enough. If it's not, then you'll need to make a decision about this relationship.

Growth and development doesn't necessarily happen in a way you will like, appreciate, find sufficient, or expect or even want or take satisfaction from. Growth and development often happens below the surface, unseen and unnoticed, and it's often a process that happens unconsciously, without directed effort. Trust in the process. Have faith that growth and development is happening. Don't be so anxious that you pull up the plants every day to check to be sure that they're growing. You do that, and the plants are probably not going to do very well. Plant the seeds, and just allow the process to take place.


Reaping for Dummies from Reaping for Dummies on Vimeo.


Dave Roel.
One person caring about another represents life’s greatest value.
- Jim Rohn