Random

Back to the Blog!

It’s been quite a while since my last post, but for good reason. After my excruciating 14 hour car ride back down to Washington, D.C. on Sunday, my computer quit on me. I tried time and time again to reboot, only to be confronted by a haunting blue screen. Pretty crummy timing for a computer to bust on the heels of final exam week. On Wednesday I woke up early to trek to the nearest Apple store at Pentagon City and decided to give the power button one last try. Sure enough, my Mac decided to come back to life that morning after three comatose days. Phew.

In other news... classes officially ended on Thursday for me, so crunch time is upon us. We had our Christmas Party at the Holiday Inn last night for the Credit Union, which was a lot of fun as always. My exams start Friday the 12th and run until Wednesday the 15th- not bad this year. I’m expecting a less painful car ride home on the 15th or 16th than Thanksgiving, but then again, that doesn’t say very much.

And in real news...we are starting to get a look at what the Obama administration will look like beginning next year, as a number of key positions have been filled over the past few weeks. I found
this article the other day on Politico and tend to agree with its analysis. Republicans don’t have much to complain about regarding his national security and economic picks. No one can find much fault with Defense Secretary Robert Gates and National Security Adviser Jim Jones, who are widely respected by Democrats and Republicans alike. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton isn’t all that bad either.

Interestingly enough, it seems that peace activists who had high hopes (disillusional ones, in my opinion) for a pacificst Obama are most disappointed. They obviously aren’t happy with Gates, who currently plays a large role in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan under President Bush, and Jim Jones, a decorated U.S. Marine. And they’re still bitter that Hillary won’t apologize for her vote authorizing the invasion of Iraq- a position that I give her a lot of credit for, as mentioned in a previous post a few months ago.

Economically, incoming Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Director of the National Economic Council Larry Summers have extensive and respected economic backgrounds. The market showed its strong approval of Timothy Geithner with an impressive rally the day of his announcement a few weeks ago. Hopefully Geithner can clean up much of the mess created by current Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson in what my Principles of Investments professor calls the “Paulson Panic of 2008”.

That’s all for now. I’ll be back soon with a few pictures of my Christmas decorations...

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Pandora

So I realize that I haven’t blogged in a while given the crazy week for the markets... but hopefully I’ll get around to that some time soon.

In the mean time I have a quick post in the form of a recommendation. I’ve recently discovered a website called Pandora. It’s similar to the sites of regular FM radio stations that allow to you “listen live” to their broadcast via the Internet. Pandora, though, allows you to type in a song or artist and then uses a formula to “create” a radio station for you that plays songs by that artist and similar types of artists and songs, thus creating your own personal radio station. Once it plays you can give certain songs “thumbs up” or “thumbs down”, which all plays into the equation of predicting music you’ll like. It’s great if you’re at a computer without an iPod handy. And it’s all for free.

Check it out.
Pandora Radio.
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Voyage

So it has been confirmed that I have inherited my mom’s aggressive driving habits and my dad’s lack of direction. Mom and I had the ride of a lifetime down to DC this Thursday.

A taste of the drive:

All was well heading into the state of New York. We took the Tappanzee Bridge to avoid the infamous George Washington Bridge, which always takes at least an hour to traverse. So, after driving a bit out of the ways on the Tappanzee we were about to hop back on I-95 S. Well, I accidentially jumped on I-95 NORTH, which instantaneously threw us back to the beginning of the George Washington Bridge heading
north. Yes, the bridge that we had just gone all that way to avoid. And of course it was jam-packed. So we sat in traffic for about a half hour, maybe forty five minutes until we reached our first opportunity to get off the damned thing. Turns out that exit dropped us off right in Harlem. Excellent. So, after nerviously driving around for a while with no luck finding 95 S we stopped in front of Harlem City Hospital, where mom hopped out of the car to ask an ambulance driver directions. He gave us directions, and then kindly informed us that we “aren’t safe here” and should follow him back to the highways. Gladly. At this point I was sure that if a stray bullet didn’t kill me, mom surely would.

Well, we eventually made it back to 95 S. I managed to delay us a good hour and a half or two with that English-genetic driving move.

After that an 18-wheeler flipped in Maryland, which lead them to shut the entire highway down and divert us down I 895 towards Annapolis without directions. This all would have been nice, as Annapolis is beautiful and I could have visited a friend there (shout out Mike Mearn), but I had a rapidly approaching meeting at school and couldn’t take the car-ride much longer.

Finally, around 5:30 we made it to Georgetown where I’m now settling in for the semester. Total drive time: 11 hours. Record time (last may): 7.5 hours.

Next up: Joe Biden
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The Spit

The Spit and Mary’s Boat Livery (where I work) got some recognition from the Patriot Ledger today! Check it out.
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That time of year...

It's that time of year again at households and campuses across the country, and perhaps the world. It's that time when no matter where you seem to go, you're followed by the incessant drizzly, congested sound of inhalation. It's sniffle season.

With the opening of the cherry blossoms down in DC comes the invasion of everyone's favorite allergies (not from the cherry blossoms alone) and the sudden realization that you're running on an average of five hours of sleep a night, vulnerable to every little germ. First comes the runny nose, then the congestion, then the reactive sniffle. Again. And again. And again. Sitting here in the library is like sitting through an orchestra of snifflers. An orchestra horribly out of tune.

Sniffling is one of the things (next to eating with ones mouth open and other bad manners) that drives me absolutely crazy. I don't understand what's pleasant about sniffling. Never have, never will (maybe I should try it sometime). I also don't understand why these people will continue to sniffle again and again without getting a stinkin' Kleenex. Instead, they'd rather go on and on disrupting the silence of a library, class room, or dorm room. You'll never catch me without some sort of napkin (usually the Dunkin Donuts or Subway variety) within arms reach to combat that evil little runny nose. For mine and everyone else's sake, let's hope the practice catches on.
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St. Pat

Happy St. Patrick's Day weekend!
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Chipotle

According to the Globe, Chipotle doesn't size up to Anna's Taqueria in Boston. I haven't had Anna's in a long time, but I must say that Chipotle is one of the few places where I go and never, ever leave dissatisfied. If you haven't been to a Chipotle, go! There's a new on in the Dedham Mall.

Dan's favorite: Chicken burrito, black beans, rice, tomatoes, cheese, lettuce, and sour cream.

Globe Burrito Article
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On a Second Note...

January 21, 2008 Read More: Miscellany
Catholic schools to be honored. This reporter is not happy

Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-Ill.) has offered a resolution that will be taken up the by the House this week (H.Res. 916) honoring Catholic schools.
The resolution, which is co-sponsored by 43 other lawmakers, congratulates America's Catholic schools for producing "students strongly dedicated to their faith, values, families, and communities by providing an intellectually stimulating environment rich in spiritual, character, and moral development."
But for many survivors of a Catholic-school upbringing, the memories are not so great. Sure, we can read, write and do 'rthmetic (Note: I did 11 years in Catholic schools), but we also suffered under power-mad nuns hellbent on beating an education into us.
Sister Marion of Resurrection Grammar School in Rye, N.Y., was once such unindicted criminal, as was Sister Theodosia (who smelled really bad) and Sister Luke (btw, does anyone else but mean know why nuns change their names once in the convent? They needed aliases, that's why!). These were horrible, horrible women who should have never been let anywhere near young, impressionable innocents. One nun told me that as soon as you thought of a sin, it was as bad as if you had committed it. I still think that I murdered a lot of people, which never happened. Or at least you can't prove it.
High school wasn't much better. I had Irish Christian Brothers as teachers. I saw one brother literally pick a kid up by his nose once. That had to hurt.
But worst of all were the lay teachers at Catholic schools. They had a license to whup ass (I think they got a special dispensation from the pope or something), and they used it. Mrs. Fitzpatrick, you are lucky the statute of limitations has expired or you would be in the Big House.
So I think the House should reject this resolution and launch an immediate probe into Catholic schools nationwide. I will volunteer my testimony as a starting place.
Of course, I was a terrible little s*** as a child, so the nuns probably kept me out of prison. And now I am journalist, doing all sorts of crimes against the truth, country and those nice elected officials, as some of my readers claim.
One quick anecdote - I ran into Sister Marion years later. Upon saying hello to my former principal, all she had to say was this: "Your poor mother, God bless her." And that perfectly sums up my memory of Catholic school as a child.
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The South

Reasons why I like the South:

-There's good country music playing at every restaurant.
-Unabashed faith and values.
-Funky accents.
-I saw a guy with a mullet tonight.

thats all for now...
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The end

It's finals week...so I'm too busy to write much. But, good luck to everyone with final classes and exams. Home in four days!
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Boston

Haha this is a great article. It reminds me of how much I miss driving! And even more- Boston driving!

Boston Globe Driving Article
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(Exhale)

I'm free! For the past two weeks my life has been dominated by three subjects:

1) The negative effect of commodification, introduced during the East Asian Miracle, on the Korean family with regards to divorce, fertility, and family traditions.

2) The failed Bruce Invasion of Ireland, when the King of Scotland, Robert Bruce, invaded Ireland in 1327 AD and failed to capture the island due to he and his military general brother's shortsightedness in foreign and military policy.

3) The controversy surrounding Florida's decision to move its primary, against the rules of the RNC and DNC, up to January 29th from its former March position, leading to the loss of important delegates. Florida now holds virtually no power in determining the party nominees for the 2008 election, unless the chosen candidates bail out the state at the national conventions later in 2008.

So, there you have it. I have been owned and deprived of sleep by these three different subjects for the past few weeks. Make my time worth it and ask me a question about them!

12 days 'til home!
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Hilarity

So after a hectic day of traveling, I'm finally back at Georgetown in my second (or third?) home- a.k.a. Lauinger 2nd Floor. And my computer is finally working again, so I can get some work done. Just like last year, my room is Christmas-ville. Even when the room lights are off you need sunglasses because of all the lights. Now I'm just counting down the days til Christmas....

Anyways... if anyone has a few free minutes, they should really check out the link below. I swear it is one of, if not the, funniest pieces of writing/blogs I have read in a very, very long time. I'm sure each one of us can relate to this person or can put someone that we know as the characters in the story. I couldn't help laughing out loud during the whole thing. Enjoy.

Hilarious article

p.s. this lady's blog in general is pretty funny and worth checking out. I found this post to be the funniest, though.
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Weather

So here's something I've been asking myself all week while I've been home...Why does 28 degrees in Boston feel a heck of a lot warmer than 28 degrees in Washington, DC? It was floating around 28 all day yesterday and today and I had no problem walking outside to get the mail, walk down the street, etc. with only a liner or no coat at all. But, at school, anything below 40 feels bone-chillingly cold. Walking between classes, even with a full jacket, feels like walking through Antarctica. Who knows. Maybe its the crazy wind that's always in DC. Maybe I'm crazy.
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Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Things I'm thankful for:

Life
Family
Friends
B.C. High
Georgetown
Being home
etc. etc.

Hope you all have a good day
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Jetties

Alright, so I've got something a little different for everyone today: a recommendation. For all of you who are sick of eating Wisey's or Subway every day, try Jetties. It's over on Foxhall road, which is sort of a hike, but totally worth it. Just go left on Reservoir Rd. until you hit a set of lights, and take a left onto Foxhall. Its probably a 15-20 minute walk from campus, but again, totally worth it for a change of scenery and menu.
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Experiences

Well, this week has been absolute hell, which explains the lack of posting over the last few days. I was in the library until 4:15 am last night.

Well, here are two experiences I've had over the past few days. Take them for what they're worth.

1) After handing a quarter sheet to a lady during the diaper drive on Sunday, she demanded to know whether the Northwest Center was a Catholic institution. When she learned that it wasn't, she proceeded to ramble and rant that "Good, I don't support anything Catholic. I don't support the Catholic Church....I'm very anti-Catholic". Well, needless to say, I guess I shouldn't have been surprised when someone like this didn't donate to us. This was the first time I've ever seen such blatant anti-Catholicism. I was curious to know what her problem was with Catholics (including myself and the two other Georgetown kids there), but didn't want to ask and risk an argument that would get us kicked out of the store. Must be tough living with a hatred of 1/4th of the country.

2) Last night in the library, at about 2 AM, there was a group of kids sitting in the chairs in the quiet section, obnoxiously talking loudly and joking around. Myself and the friend behind me, as well as everyone else in the library I'm sure, was actually trying to get work done and make it home for the night. But nope, not these kids. Apparently the library is the cool place to simply hang out and disrupt other people. So, like I would do to anyone in this situation, I stuck my head out of my cube and quickly gave a Dan English-intimidating stare down (a.k.a not that intimidating). Well, one of the kids told the other three to hush, and then loudly exclaimed that "a stupid white boy stuck his head out of the cube" and "doesn't he know that this is the (insert attitude) second floor of the library where you can talk?". Well. You got me there. Except for the nearby sign that says "This is a quiet study area. No talking." Can you imagine what would have happened if I had audibly said "I wish those stupid black kids would stop being obnoxious in the library"? But its fine that I'm just a stupid white boy.

I ended up leaving the area because I really did have a ton of work to do, but I was angry at myself later for not sticking up for myself there and exposing that horrible double standard that exists today. Instead, I just let it continue. But, work was more important that night.
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Only in America

After our monthly diaper drive today I was reflecting on how great of a country the U.S.A. is. I know- patriotism, blah blah blah, but i'm serious. American people are what make America great.

Once a month GURTL goes to a bunch of local Safeway supermarkets to collect diapers and other baby supplies for the Northwest Pregnancy Center, which is a great center for needy pregnant moms in DC. Today, there were nine of us, so three people went to three different Safeways. Guess how many diapers and other supplies shoppers donated in three short hours?

Almost 8,000 diapers, hundreds of wipes, and some bottles of formula.

This stuff isn't cheap. Every single month I'm amazed at the kindness and generosity we see from these people. It certainly makes me think twice every time I walk by someone handing out fliers asking for donations. These people and their generous hearts make America great and keep it running strong. Let's hope it stays that way.
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Movie Suggestion

So last night I watched American History X for the first time and would highly recommend it to anyone who hasn't seen it. It's a movie about the struggle of an ex-Nazi to save his younger brother from following the same disastrous path. It's full of intense scenes and moments and makes a powerful point. Rent it this weekend if you have time.

IMDB
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Go Navy! Beat Army!

So it was good to see Navy beat ND today down in Annapolis. Here's the shout out you were looking for Mearn.

Navy beats Irish for first time in 44 years.
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Intrade

So in Business-Government Relations class today my professor showed us a pretty neat website. Check out Intrade. It's like the futures market or a gambling site, whichever you prefer. The site allows people to bet on the outcomes of events such as elections, trials, etc. Perhaps the most fascinating is the 2008 Presidential election. Things aren't looking so good for the Republicans, at least according to people's bets. The site acts as a gauge for people's anticipatory feelings and guesses. On the subject of the 2008 election, those betting could certainly be Republican voters, but feel that the Democrats will win in '08. So, it's not forecasting the actual better's preferences, but their moods and beliefs. Interesting.
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Finally updated!

After many years of rest, DanEnglish.com has reappeared! I'm going to try to start blogging on news, politics, etc. for now on, so here goes.
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