Tuesday, January 30, 2007


So, classes started about two weeks ago. And today marks a rather nice change in my life.

Today, I submitted my application for a B.S. in Biology. That means that I'm pretty sure that I've completed most of the classes needed for my major and I'm currently enrolled in the remainder of the classes I need to meet those requirements.

Today is (was?) a beautiful day. After having to fight tooth and nail for every class I'm currently enrolled in and getting the academic equivalent to 5 or 6 professors kicking me in junk, I finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Folks, what I'm trying to say is that I might (barring many unforeseen and undesirable circumstances) graduate in May.

And that brings me to the title of this post. I have a confession to make.

Daily Ditty:

Ian Beert - What Spins Us Around

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Oh yes. Oooh, yes.

I couldn't be happier. Luke just helped me hang up my new 60-pound canvas heavy bag. You know, for boxing.

Now it's time for me to get some sleep. And when I wake, I'm going to beat the crap out of that sucker.

Happy freaking New Year...

Daily Ditty:
Bob Schneider - Get Up On It

(What? Where you expecting "Eye of the Tiger?")

Friday, January 05, 2007

A Not-So-Triumphant Return

Well, for better or worse, I'm back. And I mean that in two different ways. One, I just got back home a few hours ago from a trip to Germany. Two, I hope to resume blogging. We'll see how that one goes.

I figured that I would start it off this way...

Thoughts while in Germany
-- Good Lordy, I knew I should have studied harder for my German tests.

-- After being yelled at by an airport security official in Frankfurt for (of all things) having too much toothpaste: Seriously, what the hell am I going to do with an extra ounce of toothpaste, force you to brush your teeth while I hijack the plane?

-- After boarding a shuttle that would take us to our plane sitting in the middle of the airfield, a woman asked me, "Where is this shuttle taking us?" DO NOT say the words "gas" or "chamber."*

-- I can't remember that last time I slept. Or the last time I ate a hamburger. I should do something about both of those...


-- Oh hey! I have friends in Germany! That's right, I came to visit.

-- Hm, these Germans like their alcohol... No, No. I couldn't possibly have another sip of Cognac. Dani, quit pouring, I know you understand English. NEIN! NEIN!!!!

-- At about 12:01 AM, January 1st: Whoa, now I understand why they don't let us light fireworks inside city limits. But... it's so beautiful.

-- WHAT? Cuban cigars?

-- Seriously, enough with the alcohol...

-- Yay! Planes!

-- About 5 minutes after take-off: Oh right... we DON'T like planes...

(And that's about all I can handle for now.)


* Yes, I know I'm a horrible person. But I'm trying to be honest, for whatever that's worth...

UPDATE Luke said that it sounded like I didn't have a good time in Germany. I would like to clarify that. I actually had an amazing time. In fact, it was pretty difficult to leave...

Daily Ditty:
Angels & Airwaves - Valkyrie Missle

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


It is with great sorrow and regreat that I state what I wish I could ignore.

This blog is dead and/or dying. The fact of the matter is that I work 30 hours a week. And I'm in class 28 hours a week.

I just don't have the time or energy to do this right now.

I'm not sure that I'm going to end it entirely. But I know that I can't commit to posting anything this semester.

I apologies (even though I know that not one person has visited this blog in a very long time).

It was fun while it lasted.... I think.

Daily Ditty:
Snow Patrol - You Could Be Happy

Monday, September 11, 2006

5 years

Where was I five years ago?

Well, I heard the news just after walking the dog. That was weird in and of itself because Jimmy normally walked the dog. Still, when I walked back into my parents' house, I remember as Jimmy practically yelled the news at me.

"Joe, someone's crashed a plane into the twin towers in New York."

As a junior in high school, it just seemed surreal. How? Why? Do I know anyone who worked in those buildings?

I remember watching the TV in my parents' room and watching as the broadcast shifted to the pentagon crash. We just stood there, barely breathing. We watched with our eyes wide open, staring in disbelief.

My dad was the only one that thought of his sons going to school that day. To be sure, it was the last thing on my mind (not that that was any different from any other morning, but let's not argue over technicalities.)

My high school was silent. With approximately 500 males roving the halls of a school contained in half a city block, you didn't hear a word. And those tardy bells seemed deafening.

In nearly every class that day, we just sat and stared at the television. The only exceptions were pre-calculus and biology.

My pre-cal teacher, crazy nun that she is, made a claim so audacious that I don't know if I'll ever be able to forget it.

"We won't be watching the news. We're going to keep going with our lessons. That's the way THEY would want it."
What the HELL? How on earth do you know what the victims of this devastating attack would want for your pre-cal class to do? You know, if you want to continue, just say it. But don't go making assumptions about the opinions of the recently departed.

In biology, my teacher forced us to watch a movie. She said we had to get our minds off what was going on. I didn't really agree with her, but I think he heart was in the right place. And I can't remember for the life of me what movie we actually watched...

Yeah, I remember that day. And I won't be forgetting any time soon.

Daily Ditty:
OK Go - Let It Rain

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Musings while at a local coffee shop:

Scribbled in my notebook:

It is nearly impossible for me to think. I'm eavesdropping while I maintain this veneer of a quasi-studious male. The trio across from me is talking about fleeing and seeking refuge elsewhere, although I don't quite understand which country that had picked for their asylum. They're reasons are clearly more opinionated rather than substantive problems. No matter, this idle talk is nothing worth my concern.

The two blokes behind me are obviously trying to start the semester off right. Something about setting goals and working hard. I say "trying" because they quickly shift the conversation to cars, rims, and girls. Once again, nothing really worth listening to.

Still, here I sit. With my empty glass, I quietly ponder whether, from a sound design perspective, these conversations are walla or room tone*. Anywhere else, and especially in class, I'd consider it walla. But here, at this coffee house, it's just part of the norm.

And here I sit, alone, though not lonesome, in all this din.

*Room tone - the ambient sound present in a room when nothing else is going on (i.e. - the combined sound of your computer fans and the air conditioner in your room)

That's right, folks. Classes have started again. This time, I'm taking a couple that I actually want to take!

Daily Ditty:
Keane - Nothing in My Way

Thursday, August 17, 2006

5 reasons my brothers are awesome.


1. This guy is tall. I know that I’ve mentioned it before, but seriously, he’s friggin’ huge.
2. James just doesn’t give in to peer-pressure. I know that seems hard to believe. But he’s just solid and steadfast. He’s a better man than I, to be sure.
3. Last night I sliced the tip of my thumb open. It was quality. There was blood and lots of it. Jimmy, however, was the only person to see it without freaking out. He was the only one that wasn’t trying to tell me what to do (as if I, a Fuel, have never sliced my finger open before). Instead, Jimmy listened to me as I told him where he could find tape and gauze. And then, he was the only one who was levelheaded enough to help me wrap it. Thanks, pal.
4. Jimmy’s sense of humor is unique. It really is unfortunate that he goes to college hours away because Jimmy just makes me laugh. And I like laughing…
5. He’s my brother, which means he’s there to keep my ego deflated, encourage me, and tell me lies about how good I look.


1. He’s an awesome photographer. Seriously, if you guys haven’t taken a look at his work, you’re missing out. I know this might sound biased because I’m related to the guy, but I think he’s one of the best photographers out there.
2. Robert’s freaking huge. He’s been working out since high school, and it definitely shows. The other day, he made a little boy wet just by flexing. It was weird.
3. I know this might sound like a rehash of #1, but I think it belongs to in a separate point and it’s my blog so you can’t do a think about it. Tough. Anyway, Robert is a creative genius. Humor, copywriting, photography, art. He’s wicked awesome at all of them.
4. He’s a dad. Not only that, but he’s a good one. Plus, his baby is good-looking and smart. ‘Nuff said.
5. Once again, he’s my brother. He worries about me, encourages me, let’s me know when I’m full of crap, and doesn’t let me half-ass anything.

Jimmy head back to school on Saturday. Robert’s helping James get down there. My weekend is going to be lonely…

I love you guys.

Daily Ditty:
Snow Patrol – Hands Open

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

As the door creaks open...

Hey friends! I'm back. I'm alive. I'm even working again. Yeesh.

The truth is that I arrived back home about 9:45 am one week ago. I know what you're thinking, "What gives? Why would he not post immediately?"

I won't give excuses. I will, however, apologize.

In any case, I have arrived back home from a five week trip to both Hong Kong and Beijing. Let me tell you, I don't want to see white rice again in my life. And, if I may be frank, I could go the rest of my life without ever seeing another "squaty potty" and not feel any regret at all.

Well, I'm tired and I'm still trying to unpack my stuff into my new room at the house my roommates and I have moved to.

So, I will leave you with a picture and a ditty. Enjoy...

Daily Ditty:
Shooter Jennings - Little White Lines

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Please, I don't speak Chinese...

Well, I'm here in Hong Kong. My team and I have been here for 3 days and I type this in between the halves of the World Cup Finale.

So, without any further delay...

Things I love about Hong Kong

1. Immigration. I was expecting to have some lengthy talk about crap like vaccinations and places that I'll be traveling. I was wrong. I never said a word to the guy. It was dope.

2. Customs. They break it down like this... The red line is for people who have items to declare. The green line is for people with nothing to declare. The green line is more of a wide aisle. You walk down the aisle, maybe nod at the nice customs official, but that's certainly not manditory.

3. The MTR. This is Hong Kong's subway system. It probably deserves a post of its own, but that's not something that I can live up to. So, I'm going to keep this short and sweet. It's super easy to figure out where you're going and how to get there. And it's super clean. I mean clean, like the FDA would probably let me cook and serve a meal right next to the escalator. That's friggin' clean.

4. The "Octopus Pass." This is a pre-paid, rechargable card that works with nearly every form of public transportation in Hong Kong. AND you can recharge it at any 7/11 convenience store (which also happens to be the most convenient thing I've ever seen in a 7/11). AND it's a magnetic card, so you don't have to swipe it. If you're really good at it, you don't even have to take the thing out of your pocket. I'll let you know when I've reached that level of public-transportation-awesomeness.

5. The "Escalator Safety Officers" in the MTR stations. These mid-pubescent man-children stand on either end of the escalator wearing a yellow shirt and cap and wielding nothing less than a giant yellow megaphone. I've never actually seen them use the megaphone. Come to think of it, I haven't ever seen them but stand there. Still, these guys are paid to reach new levels of dorkiness that I've never comprehended before. They make me feel wonderful about myself. And safe. They make me feel safe... maybe.

OK, OK. The ESO's don't do a d**n thing but help my fragile ego. But that's cool, for me at least.

Well, that's all I've got for now. The second half has started and people are screaming around me.

Daily Ditty:
KT Tunstall - Suddenly I See

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

one, eight-hundred...

I had to call an insurance company today...

Good morning, this is Jack. How can I help you today?
Well, Jack. My name is Joe Fuel. And I'm leading a group of four people to Hong Kong and China for four and a half weeks. One of the girls on my team needs short-term health insurance coverage during the trip.
Great. Have you checked out our "DayTripper" insurance plans?
I have. But it says on your website that the DayTripper insurance is only available to groups of five or more. I only need insurance for one person...
Hmmm. I see. Well, have you ever purchased DayTripper insurance from us before?
No. Sorry.
Oh. If you had, we might be able to cut you a break and sell you insurance for one person.

Suddenly, I have an idea.

Well, Jack. I'm leading this group as a part of RBYMG (Really Big Youth Missions Group), does that help?
Oh yeah! Why didn't you say so? We work with RBYMG all the time. We do a lot of policies for you guys and we really like doing business for you.

Jack suddenly realizes that he has inadvertantly said that he enjoys taking money from people who are normally pretty poor.

But more than the business, this is about your guys' safety.....

Daily Ditty:
Lostprophets - Rooftops