Sunday, November 15, 2009

Where Have I Been?!

This blog has been collecting dust for months, and today I find myself filled with a sudden urge to update it. There is much to relate, so much so in fact that I will have to do so without my usual literary flair.

Here, in the midst of this fall semester of my junior year, I am happier than I have ever been. Some of that is due to the fact that I finally ditched computer science as I should have done so long ago. I am enjoying my classes and am doing great. I am also living in an apartment with three good friends, and it's a blast. But the true reason for my happiness is that I have the coolest girlfriend ever. Lena has brought out all the best things about me, and I love her for that. I could get all sappy and romantic here, if you want. We both joke around when we're together that if other people could hear us talking they'd throw up from how cute it is. She's brought out a side of me I didn't know existed.

So I'm still not entirely sure what I actually want to do with a Media and Communication Studies/American Studies degree, but I do know that this was the right choice for me. Basically, all I have to do this semester is write papers, and I have yet to get a grade lower than A on any assignment. This is what I am cut out for. Dr. Bhalla, my American Studies professor for Multicultural America, recommended that I look into doing the Honors Seminar in American Studies next year. If I it means getting to work with her, I will definitely put some consideration towards that.

So in terms of exploring creative outlets, I am branching out quite a bit. As far as writing goes, I have discovered that I have a knack for creative nonfiction; I am taking a class this semester called Creative Essays, and it has helped me restore a bit of confidence in my writing. You see, my biggest insecurity about my writing has been the fact I seem to have run out of inspiration to write fiction, but I'm starting to think now that maybe fiction writing isn't my avenue. It is still an area I would like to improve, because I still think that while my writing style is very strong, my ability to actually come up with ideas is somewhat less so.

I'm thinking that being a comedy writer might be something I can strive to achieve. I think I might enjoy being a television writer a lot, because it would give me the chance to do what I love: sit around with a bunch of other funny people and just come up with ideas. I'm just not sure how to go about breaking into this business.

The big thing I've been doing this semester is Very Thin Ice, a two-hour comedy radio show/podcast that I do with my friend and fraternity brother, Evan. The show has strained my relationship with Evan a bit, mainly due to creative differences and the fact that ultimately it is really his project more than mine, but overall it has been an excellent experience for me. We've had a lot of fun doing it, and I wish Evan the best of luck in continuing the show with a new host (or whatever project he happens to do in its stead).

As for me, I really am hooked on the whole podcast thing, and I've started listening to a number of podcasts suggested to me by Evan (SModcast, You Look Nice Today, The Sound of Young America, and Jordan, Jesse, Go!). I will be starting my own podcast (though I probably won't be doing it in affiliation with WMBC Radio like Very Thin Ice since I prefer the ease and comfort of recording the show in private on my own computer) with Colin. The two names I'm considering for the podcast are "Constant Distractions" or, more likely, "Boldly Going Nowhere," which is also the name of Colin's new webcomic. In fact, by going with the latter, we can use the webcomic as fuel for the podcast and vice versa.

My other goal for the short term is to try and get another band going. Stephen and the Hawkings didn't really work out due to the conflicts inherent in trying to work with the schedules of people who go to three different schools (and another who works like 40-60 hours a week). But my guitar playing continues to improve, and at this point, the only way I can really get better is by playing with other people. I am also seeking an opportunity to develop my fledgling songwriting abilities. The biggest obstacle is obviously finding musicians, particularly a drummer, as the odds of finding someone with a drumset on a college campus are basically zero. Also, speaking of guitar playing, I finally got around to purchasing an acoustic guitar. It's a Martin DX1 which I got for $560 (about $200 more than my electric guitar). It's got a solid top and a deep, rich sound which I really love. The striations on the underside of the fretboard are gorgeous. I'm very happy with it. My next purchase down the road will probably be some sort of effects pedal setup for my electric guitar.

There's probably a lot more I could say, like the fact that I am now working 16 hours a week at two jobs, or all the goings-on with fraternity, but I'm tired of writing for now. This was me checking in, letting you know that all is well. Once the semester is over, I'll go ahead and finish dusting the cobwebs off.