Tuesday, March 22, 2005


When I was in high school, leaving the grounds during our "free periods" wasn't allowed except in cases of permission acquired from the dean. This was usually facilitated by a note from the 'rents or a doctor's appointment, a special exemption from the dean, or being sent home by the school nurse. In no way, during our independent rebellions, were those the only viable reasons to leave grounds.

...we deemed [it] as a police state. Truancy and smoking were high crimes....

Smoking on school property was not allowed and if caught, meant that you were in detention or suspended from school. Leaving school grounds and getting caught also meant the same fate. And we weren't dealing with a bunch of idiots here. There were at least four deans cycling through school grounds, one head dean, and one retired police officer who drove around the parking lot in his car. I remember hearing a story about one particularly vigilant dean who actually surprised some student smokers by climbing down out of a tree to bust them.

In CT, the driving age at this point was 16, and living in a particularly affluent area allowed most students, if not all, to have either their own cars or their parents cars in the school parking lot. However, we were schooled in an environment that we deemed as a police state. Truancy and smoking were high crimes, and the only tactic we had to retaliate was to band together and develop our own little organized crime circuit.

The Talent

Having such an expansive population of resources (about 1,000 students in hour HS) meant that many fractured cells weren't pooling their resources properly. Like many organized crime rings, we had fractured, autonomous cells of people, disorganized and ineffectual in their methodology. Identifying these sources was the first thing that needed to be accomplished.

The Informants: They were easily found in the population, the ones who collected and delivered information about busts and locations/destinations of deans. These were invaluable, yet constantly morphing faces that were essential in the planning stage of any operation.

The Scouts: These were people much like the informants, but chosen to actually go out and report back information of the RC (retired cop) and the deans. Often, these people were particularly good at blending into the background.

The "Old Timers": Not that any of them were old, per say, but they had experience in escape times and methods. Most of them had little pertinent advice, but sometimes gold could be found in their stories.

The LaunderersThese were the people who used the system to beat the system. Generally, they were the people with notes or exceptions, who had skipped school that day, or who were particularly good at "signature imagery".

The Don

I don't know exactly when it started to happen, but I got to be the "Don" of these operations. Maybe it was because I was a huge rebel, or maybe some of my solo escapes gave me credibility, but I went from a "made" man to the Don in very little time. I think most of it came from I knew who to talk to, who to plan with, and when to pull it off. My cohorts were particularly talented, and people would often come to us to help them get off campus. I also had a pager and the public phones allowed for even more organization.

I remember many times, sitting down with at least three people and strategizing or escape strategy, waiting for reports and fielding ideas from my council. Sometimes it would be quick and easy, like pulling aside one of my favorite signature consultants and saying, "I need out at 11 am, can you get me a note in an hour?" Like clockwork, it would be done.

Perhaps what I really was known for was my creativity. Stories that got around that often got me pats on the back or even big laughs. I was a mini-celeb in high school, and it was all because I bucked the system any time I could.


Perhaps my greatest coup involved two of my good buddies. One was my best lookout (codename: Hawk, and one was my ballsiest henchman (codename: Phoenix). He, much like me, got a thrill out of sticking it to the man, but his sometimes ran on the criminal side in real life too. But I knew he could be counted on to pull off the brashest and most unreasonable of my requests, and I had a good plan. I pulled them aside, and pulled out a camera.

"Here's what we're gonna do guys. This takes guts, so I'm gonna need your abilities, Phoenix."

"Oh yeah? This oughta be good."

Hawk took the high road. I had parked my car up on the hill, and this was an important vantage point to see our caper pulled off, as well as checking for the all clear. Phoenix was in charge of the diversionary tactic, a clever and ultimately humiliating one as it were. I was running support for Phoenix in the tactic, as there was no way I wasn't going to be hands on for this one. I had a pad of paper, and Phoenix, the camera.

"RC, we're from the school paper. We were planning on writing an article about you, and were wondering if we could ask a few questions," Phoenix said.

"Sure, boys, it'd be my pleasure."

"How long have you worked here?" I asked, waiting with pen on pad.

"10 years."

"Do you enjoy your job?" I asked as I pretended to write down his answers. I was completely winging my questions at this point.

"Absolutely. It's good to keep the peace on school grounds."

"Have you ever taken a sick day?" I asked, recognizing that I was not doing well on my feet and needed help very soon.

"Just a few. I tend to stay pretty healthy. I exercise a lot." Weird. The dude was completely out of shape. I panicked, and looked at Phoenix for help, but he was missing the cue. I checked my watch in a last ditch effort.

"Phoenix, we have to get back to class soon. Can you finish up?" I asked.

"Sure," he said. "RC, could you pose for a few photos for the school paper?"

"I'd be happy to," RC said.

Phoenix then proceeded to take a few snaps, and even got RC to do a really pathetic looking pose on the hood of his car. RC was all smiles and pride as we said or thanks and waited for him to leave. He got in his car and slowly began to drive away. I signaled to Hawk and he pulled the car down the hill and jumped into the passenger seat. He also opened the back door.

I was ahead of Phoenix, as he was holding his cool and taking snaps of RC leaving. I started to laugh my ass off and decided to run. I was behind the wheel, and we were yelling at Phoenix.

"DUDE, it's TIME TO GO!"

He made a mad dash across the lot and jumped head first in the back. We didn't even close the door, but the momentum of the car taking off did that job for us. With glee, we were off campus, and on our way down the road. I looked in the mirror and saw a man proud of his cunning and the effectiveness of the plan.

"Phoenix," I said, "is there film in the camera?"

"No, but man, that would have been some funny shit to have those later."

"Phoenix, that only happens once in a lifetime man," I said.

"I know, but he was posing on the hood of his car!"

"Chalk it up to learning, man. Who says we don't get an education at school."

Thursday, March 17, 2005


...[I] am a huge fan of being a swanky simpleton in whatever way I can.

Well, as you can see, I've made a number of changes in design and some in delivery. Part of this is an attempt at reforming my blog-o-sphere personality. I feel as if somehow, I'm struggling for an audience.

Part of it, however, is that the old template always seemed to load slow. In my testing of Firefox and IE6, this seems substantially faster and it's definitely a whole world prettier.

Please let me know if any of you have weird browser issues, as I can't test a few of the browser types. Shoot me an email or just leave yourself a comment. Don't be shy. I pick on everyone.

If you're interested in getting a similar template, let me know. I have the rough draft of this one and can send you a template if you like. I'll be making buttons so that I can be one of those cool people that have "Designed by" buttons to hash out on the world. I, as I'm sure you all know, am I huge fan of being a swanky simpleton in whatever way I can. I hate having a unique sense of identity. And I refuse to be witty. How's that sarcasm taste?

But hey, I'm not exactly hating the idea of more traffic and more comments either.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Whose Line Is It?

This is a direct rip from Celti's linkage. Richard Simmons on Whose Line Is It Anyway?. I watched it twice, and now my eyes are well hydrated and sinuses all clear from nearly laughing my face completely off of my head.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Tests Based On Tech

I find it funny that people take online tests.

Don’t get me wrong, I take them all the time myself. But it’s interesting that we grow up abhorring and fearing tests, and as adults, we find comfort and solace in them. I often wonder, somewhere in the back of my mind, and secretly hope, I think, that the result will allow me some sort of epiphany about… myself.

We all seek answers to some of the most fundamental questions. In that process, self pity is nearly impossible to extract. But what if we were to answer some of those questions without the influence of pity or emotion? It’s an interesting experiment. How honest and objective can you really be, when the topic on hand is… you?

Tests don’t prove or do anything. They’re just a way of pattern matching against statistical variables without being able to isolate conditions. eHarmony is a perfect example of using a basic statistics to equate two individuals and the plausibility of a positive interaction over a huge set of individuals. If I kept statistics of all my friends, found the ones that deem marriage and relationship building as a high priority, and matched them based on dimensions that showed commonality, I’d probably get results about 25% of the time. Hell, a few might even get married, and then I could really brag.

This does NOT mean that eHarmony is a farce. In fact, it’s probably one of the more scientific ways to introduce and develop relationships in a very technological and emotionless kind of way. It’s kind of like a “weeder” for the dating pool. Get rid of ones that you most likely won’t match with while retaining a subset that has a higher likelihood of success.

Math is a beautiful, elegant language that many cultures nearly worshipped for its aesthetics. It can verify, justify, pinpoint, estimate, and logic its way through almost any topic. However, don’t be misled into thinking that emotion and love can be generated and answered by logic. Framed, perhaps, but not answered.

What eHarmony and other such dating sites truly do is help. They don’t solve, they don’t deliver; they just help. They’re like that good friend who introduces you to all the people you find attractive, strikes up a lively conversation between you, and sets off to find you another. They’re technological pimps for the socially challenged or tired.

It’s funny (not like ha ha funny, but like a conundrum funny) that we’re using technology to meet people that could potentially just be sitting next to us at work. We are gradually immersing ourselves into anti-social behavior, and using the medium that creates this behavior… to be social.

And that, kids, is irony at its finest.

Reeling back in from my tangential discourse, let me proffer you a tidbit of advice: seeking answers from a math set will more than likely leave you with more questions than answers. A true sense of yourself can be found if you just look at you, answer as honestly as you can any questions you have, and be satisfied that answers will come.

And they generally come at the time when you really need it.

Most people spend so much of their time looking at the whole that they miss the little cues and clues that life drops at their feet. Some of the most amazing moments in my life came from noticing something that seemed trivial to everyone else. It just comes down to opening your eyes, talking to people to learn about them, learning about yourself, and the pursuit of knowledge throughout the process.

Oh, and pull your eyes away from that monitor once in awhile.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005


Party People

I want to thank Kat, Zelda, Jethro, Catt, Laura, and Celti for being such faithful readers and commenters. I really appreciate having you all around. You've kept me around in blogland.


Has anyone actually ever used the trackback part of Haloscan? I've used it all of three times, I believe, but it's funny that no one often has the urge to implement that little tool.

Calling All Commenters

Is there anything that you would like to hear about? Sometimes I get stuck for ideas, so I'm opening the door for suggestions. I may not take them, but you sure as hell can try.

Maybe it will lead to a great idea. Maybe I'll just laugh at you.


It's been snowing a lot in Connecticut. I think that people forget a lot that it's important to remember you childhood exuberance for snow coming down. It makes the task of trying to get through it all an adventure instead of a hassle.

I'm also of the opinion that the seasons are shifting. I don't remember it snowing on my birthday (April), but in recent years, it has happened. This hasn't been an easy winter, it just hasn't really come into full swing yet.

Hollywood Dudes

I happen to think that Vince Vaughn, Jack Nicholson, and John Travolta are some of the coolest, most laid back dudes in Hollywood. If you put them in the worst movie, I'd probably still be inclined to go see it.

I don't know why I shared this. I guess I have a wee bit of leftover Oscar fever.

Web Design

A friend of mine, a musician, is in talks with Nickelodeon and MTV. He asked me to design his website which I will soon be doing. I may ask some of you for some helpful opinions/browser testing. It should be interesting to see if I can make a little bit of a living off of this kind of work.

Town Tragedy

I don't know if some of you heard about this in the news, but there was a big arrest made of a guy who had allegedy commited numerous robbery/murders at jewelery stores. One of them happened to be right down the road from my house. I live in a very suburban, relatively crime free area, and it was a shock to everyone. Christopher DiMeo, 23, is a suspect in the murder of the store's two owners, husband and wife. His accomplice? DiMeo's mother, who cased the joints and drop the getaway car.

I've heard rumors in town that the husband was shot first, and a storeowner next door heard the wife begging for her life before more gunshots errupted.

DiMeo is apparently known to be a heroin user.

I drive by the store all of the time. The windows are covered in brown paper, and the place looks desolate. The store owners were well liked in the community, and were apparently quite nice people. I drive by there all of the time.

There are probably about a hundred bouqettes of flowers outside of the store.

For all bad, good somehow arises through the darkness.