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epicurean philosophy

Last year, a culinary philosophical question was posed at work:

Considering food that is actually prepared (unlike cereals and what not), name a food that wouldn’t go with one of these pillars of epicurean wonder:

  • Cheese
  • Bacon
  • Ranch
  • Chocolate

I’m not sure anyone has come up with a viable answer as of yet.  Remember, when considering such things that you have to forgo your own culinary hang-ups.  For example, I’m not a big fan of Ranch, yet I have the understanding that it would be suitable to get your Ranch on with a burger.


If I’m well you can tell she’s been with me now

Excluding German 201, things are going good, well, relatively. I have now come to the conclusion (in my waning months of my senior year) that I have chosen the wrong major for myself, this isn’t to say that Philosophy isn’t super-fantastic, because it is, but it is not as super-fantastic Education or Special Education. Ironically, in the remaining three terms I have left at the University of Oregon I think i have found my calling, I’ve always been a late bloomer, so why does this surprise me? So as you may have guessed I am taking a Special Education (SPED) and an Education (ED) class and I and I feel as though I am extremely successful at them. I may be getting my second and third ‘A’s of my college career (also ironic, my first ‘A’ was achieved in the first term of my Freshman year.) I can easily understand the material, the reading is engaging (oh, and 14th century Jewish philosophy isn’t fun reading?) so I think i might have made a small mistake being a Philosophy major, I should have gone with my life long gut feeling of education. Any road….
So I’ve hurt myself again, while playing racquetball I went flying backwards into a wall, making for a spectacular pup on my back. To make a long and quite unspectacular story short, the doctors aren’t sure yet what I did to my ribs except that they hurt and that I needed strong pain killers. On the subject of pain killers, may i just say that as a person who doesn’t sleep well, these are a small little angles with Vicodin stamped on them. So needless to say the last couple of days I’ve been very well rested.
I’ve come to the conclusion that i enjoy living by myself, lets just put it this way: I can be the master of my own domain. My messes are my own and therefore i’m not as disgusted cleaning them up. I don’t think I was meant to live with people who I’m not particularly close to… There is just something wrong about cutting a tube of sausage and then leaving both the wrapper and the knife out on the counter all day, needless to say, it wasn’t my sausage. ick. If I try the path of good naturedness and understanding means I’m a good person right? Or a Schmuck?
Finally, its really nice to see two parts of your life fit together so well. I really enjoy seeing Jessica hanging around with my family. First, it was my sister came and stayed with me for a couple of days, we played mini golf, played video games (which i kicked her butt at Dance Dance Revolution), and had a somewhat impromptu parade. Jessica and Meagan seem to really enjoy each other’s company, especially when it comes to making fun of me, which is fine by me because it is a sign of respect or at least admiration… or so I’m told. And then when Jessica and I spent the day with my mom, it just feels like one big family… i wish my family liked me as much as they liked Jessica, but you’ve got to take what you can get. I don’t think i realized how important my family’s feelings about my girlfriend were until (I finally got a girlfriend) saw Jessica with everyone of my family members and how much they liked and adored her. Best chance I ever took.

all right, Vicodin is kicking in, time for bed.

What does that mean that I remind you of money?

I’m putting off a paper right now, so indulge in my procrastination… I am the procrastination king! Let it be known. I am very good or as the Germans would say in German “sehr gut!” Classes are good, well, maybe except for Ancient Philosophy; amazingly dry lectures followed by paper assignments that are as broad as the lectures are dry. I am kicking some major butt in German; I just got back my big test and scored an “A-“. I don’t know which dark and scary recess of my brain this comes from but I hope it doesn’t run out… it is nice being slightly successful in school. Being an RA is good, I got to go on a hike last weekend and I get to go on another hike this weekend at Kentucky Falls. Don’t ask me where it is, ’cause I don’t know. Residents are good, except for two very small, very insignificant problems, this is a cake walk… especially if I keep on beating my residents at Hockey on the Play station 2. Don’t worry I didn’t buy one, they own it. Being me is good. I know I don’t say that often enough, but right now it is actually pretty cool to walk around as myself. I realize that I get down on myself sometimes but I see that more as a time for introspection and examination. Eh. I intentionally left out a name out of my last update… it just didn’t seem like I should be broadcasting such things at that time. And again I will leave out her name to make any of you people who are actually interested in what’s going on with me, have to call me. Bwahaha. I like being dastardly.Ps- I get to meet her parents this weekend… eep. That’s a good eep, mind you.


Time to transcend the BS, my friends…

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This is more of a rant than an update… sorry to disappoint… I want start this off by saying how sick my generation makes me at times… it astounds me how many problems and flaws that my peers have, and even brought upon themselves. It is absolutely disgusting how much my generation is centered upon themselves, there seems to exist a great void of love and caring for others; maybe this is a teenager stage, by it is absolutely appalling. I always believe that college is a time of promoting humanity and its boundless achievements… instead I am confronted with people who are here to get drunk all the time and see how many times they can have sex with as many people as they can, and its disgusting. My peers have seemed to replace their conscience with alcohol and drugs, no self respect lies within, just abounding self loathing, and its extremely sad… I see so many people that have a spirit and vigor to them that would make them great artist, doctors, people, anything, but they exchanged all of that for the brief pleasure that comes from a bottle, pipe, or a brief encounter with that nameless person. This reminds me of a story from a book I just finished from The Art of Happiness:

“Heather was a young single professional working as a counselor in the Phoenix area. Although she enjoyed her job working with troubled youth, for some time she had become increasingly dissatisfied with living in the area. She often complained about the growing population, the traffic, and the oppressive heat in the summer. She had been offered a job in a beautiful small town in the mountains. In fact, she had visited that town many times and had always dreamed of moving there. It was perfect. The only problem was the fact that the job she was offered involved an adult clientele. For weeks, she had been struggling with the decision whether to accept the new job. She just couldn’t make up her mind. She tried making a list of pros and cons, but the list was annoyingly even. She explained “I know I wouldn’t enjoy the work as much as my job here, but that would be more than compensated for by the pure pleasure of living in that town. I really love it there. Just being there makes me feel good. And I’m so sick of the heat here. I just don’t know what to do.” Her mention of the term pleasure reminded me of the Dalai Lama’s words, and probing a bit, I asked, “Do you think that moving there would bring you greater happiness or greater pleasure?” She paused for a moment, uncertain what to make of the question. Finally she answered, “I don’t know…You know, think it would bring me more pleasure than happiness…Ultimately, I don’t think that I’d really be happy working with that clientele. I really do get a lot of satisfaction working with the kids at my job…” Simply reframing her dilemma in terms of “Will it bring me happiness?” seemed to provide a certain clarity. Suddenly it became much easier to make her decision. She decided to remain in Phoenix. Of course, she still complained about the summer heat. But, having made the conscious decision to remain there on the basis of what she felt would ultimately make her happier, somehow made the heat more bearable.”

My generation seems to strive for the brief fleeting pleasure… this same pleasure, in no way betters their lives, improves their prospects and actually, in some cases, removes some prospects. I am overwhelmed with the pleasure-induced drooling that my peers possess… they will do anything for that millisecond of brief unsatisfying pleasure. This is not to say that pleasure is all around bad, because it isn’t, but I do not think that it comes anywhere near becoming a necessity. I believe that that constant pursuit of pleasure by people leads to a denial of altruism… everyone seems to now be too concerned with their own personal suffering, to realize that everyone… EVERYONE suffers… we all live, and with that comes suffering… be it a debilitating disease, that search for that special person, loneliness, not knowing what you believe, or just the fact that you exist… suffering is unknown to no one. The holiest of people to the atheists and faithless know this suffering, it is not unique to a race, sex, economical class, orientation of any kind, religion, or personality type, everyone feels their own brand of personal suffering… does this mean we deal with it solely by ourselves? No. Take upon others suffering and maybe it will help alleviate your own, or at least make you feel better as a person. What harm does it do to help others with their suffering? Your suffering will still be there, if you confront it or not, but reach out to others, show that bond that is human kind, show compassion… stray from the all-too-worn path of causing other people suffering… how does inducing more suffering upon others make someone suffer less? It doesn’t. You might think this is a simple enough theory, but really it is so incredibly foreign. You may look at someone and say “what do I have in common with this person, they are truly my opposite, I can find no shared aspects.” That being so, you can still help improve their life… I do not mean by money or donations, I mean by discovering that bond of we both exist, we both suffer, we should help each other out, because it can do nothing but improve our existence. People are too wrapped up in the petty insignificant difference between them and whom ever stands next to them, they forget that there are really no differences that can account for why we treat each other like we do… What reason do I have to hurt another person? Because they have a different god, a different skin color, they find a different kind of person attractive… WHAT DOES THAT MATTER TO ME? WHY DOES THAT MAKE ME HATE AND HURT THEM?

It shouldn’t.

I’m no Paul Simon, but my Garfunkel is pretty good.

Its been a while since I’ve updated… oh well, I guess I was too busy living… or playing video games, one or the other. No, but seriously folks, things are pretty good. I have been having fun, been spending a lot of time out of my 11′ x 15′ enclosure. I think that’s more in part to my friends… I had a really nice time by one of the fountains with Lauren, just sipping coffee and talking about what evercame to mind… my true vision of my college years. Speaking od the true vision of my college years, Lauren, Brian, and I ventured to Saturday Market, I think I am going to try and make it there more often. I really feel comfortable there, good food, good people, good vibes… it really assures me that I am in the right city. Last week Shelby and I went out to the Glennwood restaurant, and may I just note how good ‘off-campus’ food is… its… its… so not campus food, and for that it deserves my praises. Oh yeah, the company was great too; I really appreciate a great conversation (that never touches on the topic of school or work) accompanies by a warm meal, my personal state of tranquility.
About 8 days ago, I saw Woody Harrelson speak in the EMU amphitheater, first off, I agree with a lot of his stances on the environment, but I wasn’t there to support the marijuana position (not that I have a problem with marijuana, I don’t, I just believe there are more important issues to take on, now back to the update) that he has been known to take. I was prepared to leave if it was going to be one big parade of da’ ganja… but actually, he barely touched on it, so I stayed. What was really interesting is that he had a huge bus that was ran totally by solar power and hemp oil… kind of smart if you ask me.
School is good, at times I feel my Philosophy 421 class is a bit over my head, but when I get the grades back on my papers, they make me feel a little bit better about my comprehension. Oh yeah, I am now parading my B+ in Astronomy, for a semi-boring class the time I spend awake in it seems to be paying off. Maybe I should try staying awake more often… or, actually, I may have found the right mixture of consciencesness and unconsciousness.
I went with Lauren to look at a house she wanted for next year, and I realized how much I actually want a house. I need a decent sized house with a nice big kitchen so I can get a big ‘ol puppy and he can sleep in there during the day, and in my room at night. It would also be a treat to know what’s going into my food… but nay, at least one more year in the dorms (or if you want to be official: “Residence Hall”… there’s the last shred of my RA training.) I think it would be nice to live away from campus, I did it for a summer and I liked it, if I was to do it again, though, I would find some cleaner roommates. And the final bonus of living off campus: to be at home without fire alarms, having to write people up, or tell them to be quiet.`
Speaking of telling people to be quiet, I find out next week what complex I will be working in for next year (bean bean bean bean bean, please), I am hoping for Bean complex again, I like the rounds, the big staff, and sometimes the residents. Also next week, we get to give some input on the newbies, or new hires as their called… I like that I get to help choose my staff for next year, should be fun.
And finally tonight, I would like to converse on the prospect of this summer. I’m still looking forward to it (they haven’t beaten it out of me… yet) like I’ve said in previous updates, I really like a lot of the people I’ll be working with, an plus it will be nice to just work, and not be taking classes, a change in pace, none-the-less. Eric Clapton is coming to Portland on my birthday, and Lauren, Chris, and I, have been talking about going, I think that would be fun. The other musical event that is coming soon is Counting Crows… that really sounds like fun. Last I heard, at least Lauren and myself have decided (well, its not really a decision, its more like a given) to go. Another aspect to make this summer, at least, fun. We’ll see. Until then…   

Too much of life, can be a bad thing…

Dateline, February 15th, 2001… Three midterms are finished… Final grade on 1 out of the 3: B. Status of Chris, ecstatic. Life seemed to slam me from every which direction at the same time, mass amounts of everything was too much; midterms, the job, the kids, the wife, classes, and general ick that life can be at one point or another; but it has turned for a better, like I promised. Like I said, I received a ‘B’ on my Enviromental Philosophy midterms, for a 300 level class I’m happy, right now my Philosophy Dept. GPA sits right at 3.5, which means a Philosophy degree with Honors… whoo hoo. The other midterms, well, we will see how they come out, but I am not fretting over them. I am still amazed about my Environment Philosophy course, not the midterm, but the actual course… I am never bored in this class, and I swear, I have to have a dictionary to attend this class, Professor Lysker uses words I have never heard uttered by another human being (I think he makes them up, I mean come on: nexus… is that really a word? Nexus Nex”us, n. [L.] Connection; tie. Man is doubtless one by some subtle nexus . . . extending from the new-born infant to the superannuated dotard. –De Quincey.) Another thing that has me astounded is that amount of notes I take in that class, usually 10 – 12 full pages every day I have that class… totally unlike me.
Another stress factor that is now over is my applying for a summer job, I went through, did all the essays and today I went and had my interviews, which I think (or at least hope) went well. Hopefully by the end of next week I will be a summer RA, or a Conference Assistant. Well, more updates to come…

Happy “Oh Crap, Too Much To Do” Day.

I just noticed that I said nothing at all about racquetball in my last entry… well, your loss… no, but seriously folks… I’ve been playing racquetball like a mad-racquetball-playing-man… My right biceps is getting a lot stronger, where as my left biceps is still the flabby disgrace it has always been. Stupid muscle. I am really enjoying this game (except for the losing to Gabe), I play it every other day for about 2 hours. I get so wrapped up in the game I don’t realize that I’m actually exercising… What is this salty secretion? Sweat you say? If I keep up with this game, maybe I’ll become ‘in-shape’ or good at it… I’m hoping more for the second choice.
Today has one of the most hectic days ever… I went to my one class (Oh, yeah, that one class must eat away at my time), and than had to get a cake for Mary-Jo, Make signs for the hall dinner, throw the hall dinner, make a creative display that people could write on for Mary-Jo’s birthday, and finally throw a party for Mary-Jo… First off I shall pontificate (see, college is good for something) on the hall dinner: This dinner was the biggest catered dinner (we have the catering company on campus make us a mean) I have ever seen, we had 50 people sign up, and more than 50 come to the actual dinner. I did feel bad, thought, because there was not enough food for everyone… I think catering gypped us… they are always trying to pull one over with the housing staff… I’ll show them, some day. That aside, it was nice to have most of the hall eating together and hanging out…
Subject change: Mary-Jo’s Birthday. I actually had a lot of fun setting up this birthday gala… even though it was rushed and I find most things like this insipid. But I had to put that extra special “Chris charm” into the event. First off I got her a really nice cake, this was verified by my staff, as it was inhaled with in minutes of the cover being taken off. That was good and all, but it is not the best part, while I was hanging around the Area Desk in the Hamilton complex, I came up with the idea of making a lot of little papers with the phrase “Happy Birthday Mary-Jo!!!” on it… so I made about 150+ of those papers, varying in size and font… then with a handful of glow-in-the-dark ants I filled her mailbox with the combination…. she said she “loved it” and that they spilled all out, “Happy birthday’s…” and glowing ants all over the floor. I feel a certain amount of pride in that. With the help of Elizabeth, I made a giant MJ (about 6 feet by 3.5 feet) with the ‘M’ sitting atop the ‘J’… and “Happy Birthday” was written on one of the sides of the ‘M’… Then the staff signed it… it was very nicely done (a little self-kissing-up never hurts). The party went off without a hitch, we surprised her with her cake and giant initials…. I got a big hug and a “You did a great job” from Mary-Jo… I just kind of sat there grinning like a kid in a candy store, but I assure you, dear reader, that a great sense of accomplishment was besieging my small human brain. Well, I must adjourn to study, I have a midterm next week for Environment Philosophy… let us part with the one word that will be sole occupant of my mind “Phenomenology*.”*

Phenomenology, 20th-century philosophical movement dedicated to describing the structures of experience as they present themselves to consciousness.

One Final and counting…

I thought I would take some of my very rare free time to update the webpage since I have gotten back the paintball pictures. The week of finals still continues, its not fun having to tell people to be quiet at 2 in the afternoon, because of 24 hour quiet hours… but I’ll manage. I have finished my Philosophy 170 final, as well as my paper for Philosophy 350, now only the dreaded English 394 final left… If there is going to be one class in my university career that I will remember that I really did not like, this would be the one… oh how I loath this class… all my other ones are really good… this one, to put it into simple language: blows. My ankle is doing better (sorry now pictures this time), it still hurts, and I’m still stuck in the ankle brace, which is not fun, but I imagine that I’ll be back to normal with in a couple of weeks.
On a better note; I have registered for classes for Winter term classes, I will be taking Environmental Philosophy, History of Modern Philosophy, Social Inequalities, and Astronomy (which I call Stars for jocks… its a pun off of Geology being called rocks for jocks, if you need it explained further, email me, and I’ll do so.) Hopefully this will be a successful term, I have a lot of friends in my classes, which will be nice for a change. My job has been intense lately, one conflict which really tested me and landed a guy some charges for harassment of a University official; and then the other night a girl sliced her finger almost to the bone, with a knife… interesting times to say the least.

The Glory that are Paintball Welts.

Its been a while since I have updates, I got swamped with everything at one time, RA stuff, school, and general teenager life. Last night I had such a great time with my residents (as well as the residents from Thorton), we all went to play paintball… I think this was a great activity that I had planned (insert more self congratulations here.) We had such a blast, it is amazing what joy a lot of pain, dirt, and paint can bring to a group of 43 people. I myself got 3 cool battle wounds… er… welts from paintballs, one on my arm, and two on my side; as well as a mouth full of paint when a paintball hit my face mask, did you know that the paint they use is corn starch based, its amazing what you can learn from a mouth full of paint. I’m really enjoying the constant battle stories that my residents are talking about… though, I suspect that 1/3 of them are fabrications, but I won’t burst their bubble. One of my guys (who was on my team) didn’t like the idea that I was shooting him because I couldn’t see anyone on the other team… he said something about making sure I lock my door at night, I didn’t really catch his meaning. I shall have pictures soon of the whole thing, welts and all.
Tonight was a good night, I read a little bit of T.S. Elliot (Then let us go, you and I where the evening spreads out against the sky…), then I ventured out about 10 for a walk about campus to try to see some of the meteors that are supposedly visible tonight (alas, I saw none). I came back, and stopped by Anna and Lindy’s room, and then asked them if they would like to go out for coffee; they said yes, so I treated them to coffee at the Buzz. The Buzz was a ‘happening’ place, they were having an open mic night… Sitting in a coffee house, listening to unknown musicians; this was the image I always possessed of college, it was total Bliss for me.
Tomorrow is the Civil War against Oregon State… I am hopeful we will win, though it really is not a big deal for me (either way I’ll be dealing with resident conduct, of course.) About six of my residents are jumping from a plane tomorrow… they asked me to go along, of course I said I shouldn’t due to lack of funding (and the fact that I don’t want to go out of this world leaving a ten foot crater in some corn field.) This weekend should be fun… or at least I hope it is, because finals are starting to rear their ugly head… as well as a HUGE Metaphysics paper on a topic of my choice, which happens to be why I think there is no “Mind/Body Problem” because the mind and body are one of the same… It should be fun.

Java vs. Browser, browser wins…

Well, I’ve gone and done it again, I have redone the page, once again… I received too many complaints of “oh woe is me, my little ol’ browser can’t handle your masterful programming of Java.” Well I have taken pity on the folks who are less java privileged than myself. If you notice, I have took a step back in technology, hence the frame to your left. If you have anymore problems with the web site, let me know. As far as today was concerned, I finished a Philosophy 170 (Love and sex) 3 – 5 mandated paper with a whopping 5 pages, that’s two pages of un-requested thoughts of mine, I pity the foo’ who gets to read my ramblings about “the sacredness of marriage”. Tomorrow has me excited though, I will be at a rally here on campus that Bill Bradley, Ron Wyden (One of our Senators), and Peter DeFazio (one of our Representatives in the house), will all be speaking at. It is billed as a “Get out the vote” rally, with Everclear playing. Hopefully I can get a hold of my friend Patrick’s Digital Camera so I can provide some pictures.