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The Matt

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(no subject) [Jan. 1st, 2008|04:19 pm]
The Matt
Its been over a year since I've written anything and that will continue until my next great adventure.
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(no subject) [Nov. 23rd, 2006|12:51 am]
The Matt
Is anyone uncomfertable with the thought that Robbie Gould is considered a good NFL kicker? I am, because as any Penn State fan will tell you; he was a TERRIBLE college kicker.
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(no subject) [Nov. 18th, 2006|10:10 pm]
The Matt
Have you seen the line up for Langerado this March? Its probably the strongest festival line up I've ever seen period. Anybody want to go? I have a cousin in Ft. Lauderdale who could pick us up if we fly. Spring break is around then. I'd skip a day of two of class for that.
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(no subject) [Nov. 16th, 2006|03:03 pm]
The Matt
I feel obliged to mention what has gone on lately, but I'm not so into it and thus it will be brief.
I played paintball, of all things, last Friday with people from my building. It’s in Amsterdam, but on the outskirts of the city. Lots of fun and I kicked as. I actually hit something and was reminded how much fun it is.
My friend Jane and a friend of hers stayed with me that weekend from Perugia Italy. They really enjoyed the city and didn't make he take them to bars and everything. They just wanted to chill out, just my style.
We're having a bit of a problem with the Police, or had I guess I should say. He came up on us and started saying we were illegal and such. Pain in he ass. We are all kosher, but it’s still annoying and makes me paranoid.
I went to the symphony last night. It was excellent. Dvorak’s From the New World and Stravinsky's The Rite of spring. Excellent all around. I did miss the dinner though because I'm lame and didn't want to skip class. Indonesian too. I should have skipped.
Speaking of culture: if you ever see in the TV Guide that Simon Shuster's the Power of Art is coming on WATCH IT! It’s the best art documentary series I've ever seen. He uses great camera work, reenactments, and his own takes on each painting to tell the back-story on important artists. It’s absolutely spectacular. I first stumbled on in while in Ireland and we delaying drinking by nearly an hour because we couldn't pull ourselves away. It’s on for me tomorrow and I can't wait. Trailer Park Boys is on just before it too, I'm giddy with excitement.
I'm working on a paper about the Nation of Islam and found out that Penn State is recruiting Louis Farrakhan's grandson to play hoops for us. He is a 3 star player and I hope we get him. Maybe if Farrakhan approves of us maybe the Black Caucus will stop saying PSU is racist. If Farrakhan doesn't believe a white someone is racist, then they aren't racist, not a chance. PSU was one of the first colleges in the country to recruit black football players.
I have a tour in a little over an hour so I have to get a snack and get ready. I dislike afternoon tours because I waste the time between pick-ups and my tour doing nothing. Morning tours I'm home by three, work until 7-dinner break until 8:30 at the latest, back to work until I fall asleep. With afternoon tours I lose that pre-dinner session.
Allentown is getting a Triple-A ball club for the 2008 season. Sorry guys, my loyalty is with Pawtucket. It will be with the Phils. They broke with Scranton, which is now with the Yankees who changed their colors around. What happens to the Scranton fans whose entire game day wardrobe is red? Dam Yankees, always ruining something. First baseball in general, then the wallets of the minor league fan.
Palisades is into he playoffs and doing well. I hope they beat Pen Argyle on Saturday (?). I knew one of the offensive linemen; I was a senior when he was a freshman. I remember a big fat kid, but he could probably kill me now. I also wrestled another one years ago when I actually wrestled. I used to pin him and he'd cry. Turd Boy. Again, he could probably kill me now. I heard the first kid was getting recruited by the Ivies. He is bloody smart. Eventually one of our kids will get a D-IA offer.
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(no subject) [Nov. 10th, 2006|02:18 pm]
The Matt
Rutgers is 9-0 and may run the table and finish undefeated. Meanwhile JoePa is missing his first game in 29 years. I feel like I'm in some sort of Bizzaro football season. Is this all really happening?
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(no subject) [Nov. 7th, 2006|10:44 pm]
The Matt
[music |Keller and TLG]

I told you this would go to hell as soon as I settled in.
Penn State lost on Saturday. JoePa broken is leg, but will be back in no time. I didn't listen to the game (I worked until after 6 and couldn't jinx them)but it sounds like something at always plagues young teams: Missed oppurtunities. The story of our season. Tipped ball that falls into the wrong hands, an errant pass that bounces out of the right ones. To be fair finishing 8-4 is respectable. We play Temple then MSU. MSU already lost their coach and Temple is Temple, both are at home. So we finish 8-4. Its a perfectly respectable season especially when you notice that all out losses came against teams in the Top 15 and 3 to teams that were in the Top 3 when we played them. With the exception of the Norte Dame game they were all close. I do think were underrated, Top 25, somewhere around 24 or 25 nationally. Our record desn't reflect that, but it is just my opinion. Next year though we will be great. Our offense will kick ass.
Try the Duvel Challenge. 3 Duvel beers in 45 minutes. It doesn't sound hard, but it is. Or...thats what I was told. I wasn't about to pull that, but it was fun to watch.
I now have my coat and am not freezing my butt off anymore. I'm really happy about that.
Time is going incredibly fast at the moment. Its not so long until I go home. I really am ready to leave. I'm not exactly homesick, just ready to spilt. Its no knock on the city mind you, but its just time for me to be moving on. Not so much longer and at the rate the days are going by (please disregard the fact I'm ignoring the principles of time)it will be here before I know it.
My friend Jane and a friend of hers are coming here from Rome this weekend. Should be a good time for all, but I should work really hard this week to make sure everything is done by the weekend so I'm mostly free.
I still can't beleive the Cards one the World Series.
What the hell is wrong with the Eagles? Maybe this by week will help.
Billy Nershi is leaving the String Cheese Incident after next summer with only a few shows until then, no big summer tour as a goodbye. That sucks. He is leaving to do other music. What, he is going full time with Honkytonk Homeslice? Screw that. Stay with Cheese and everyone start calling his wife Yoko. She plays wife him in that band (which, to be fair, I'd probably enjoy a lot) so the comparisons are there. I guess I'll focus all my summer tour energy on Panic. moe., Keller, and Tea Leaf Green are high on that bill too. Also, is there anyone whose age is more ambigous than Billy Nershi. He looks 70, but has to be 45 at most.
Dilemma: Do I go see Tea Leaf Green at the TLA on New Years or the Disco Biscuits at Tweeter in Camdem? You am I kidding, both will sold out by the time I can gather a crew for on of the either.
I am thinking of staging a coup against those in charge of Movin On when I get back to school. I don't know whats going on, but I'm sure I don't agree with it. They'll probably get someone who will only play a hour at most and the sound will be shitty again. I'd get Keller and a better sound set up. Southard Audio, the guys who do Gettysburg, probably. I'm pretty sure they use the Deaf Audio Technicions Assciation or something. They need some to cut down on the number of bands by at least half and let them all do a proper set. Also a festival should never be in the hands of hipsters. Ever. As an anti-hipster I'm the perfect canidate.
Speaking of canidates its electon day today. I actually voted a month ago (already? christ, time flies), but I hope every does. I know nobody actually will, but I hope they do. One of my neighbors is having a Election Coverage Party starting at 1am our time. I hate watching election coverage, but I'll go for an hour or two to hang out. I have to work tomorrow, but I'll be cool on 7, 6 1/2 hours of sleep. I go to bead to early anyway.
The Orioles won't do anything this off season. Nothing. Oh, they'll try, but fail every time. They could sign Greg Maddux, but he is 28-29 in the last two seasons with an ERA over 4 both times and thats in the National League. He may be good for our pithcers, bt not good for our team. He'll get shelled in the AL East.
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You-Tube and Football [Oct. 28th, 2006|07:34 pm]
The Matt
Penn State is near the end of the second quarter and we can't score. Hahn just made it to the Purdue 27 (ish) and we'll kick a field goal. We're driving up and down all over them, but we only (214 yards total) have 3 to show for it. Ok, Kelly hit on for 3. 6-0 at the half. Redicoulous. As is that spelling.
I was on Youtube, I don't remember why, and I found a video. Its Al Pacino's speech from the film "Any Given Sunday" with still photos of last seasons team over it. Its brillant. Watch it.
I also found a great moment from my childhood:
Thats right, the LaVar Leap. I remember it. I was sitting at home when that went down which is weird because I don't remember much from the '99 season. I must have blocked it out of my memory of it or something, but I did realize why we collapsed in the season. When we played Minnasota, the fateful Homecoming loss on a last second field goal that not only started our season slide, but a slide that would affect the next few years. I realized it is my Mother's fault. I was allowed to watch the game, I was forced outside and had to paint lattice while listening to the game on the radio. Had I been allowed to watch the game on TV we would have won the game, the national title, and would never had our slide like we did. You may all hoot at her now.
I really should do some work as I listen to the game. I really don't want to work until bed time like this entire week.
Well, if you excuse be then.
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Stoudt, Rain, Chips, and Stoudt- Adventures in Ireland [Oct. 22nd, 2006|10:55 pm]
The Matt
I got back from my weekend in Ireland a few hours ago and I have to say I really like Ireland.
I got early Thursday morning and made me way out towards Schipol airport. The train ride was fine, but check was confusing. I'm used to each airline having its own spot, but here KLM handles all the check-ins for their partners. I walk in and only see KLM, asked, and figured it out. I wish someone posted a sign or something. The Dutch can be so unhelpful at times.
They stamped my passport leaving the country. Why?
The way security is done here is rather smart. There is no check going into the departure area, rather at the gate itself. The gate is a room and entrance to that room requires the traditional security check. It’s ultimately more expensive to operate, because the move machines and personal required, but it cuts down on the stress and aggravation of the whole. I think it is a better system, but I could be wrong.
The flight itself was uneventful except for me finding myself in the second row and thinking, "Now if the plane crashes, is it the people in the back or front more likely to die?" And then thinking, "Did I just jinx myself?"
Cork airport is one of those airports that don’t really need to exist, but you're grateful for its existence when you realize you can fly there, like Lehigh Valley. The place is very small, but very nicely designed including the traditional Irish paneling everywhere. I got to passport control and stood at the non-EU desk alone until someone came out from the office, sandwich in hand. They give you two stamps coming into Ireland, although I can't figure out why. Sort of like the customs guy at Schipol stamping the fourth page of my passport instead of the first, its probably to piss me off.
I caught a bus into town, marveling all the way that everything was in Gaelic as well as English. Kyle, one of the fellows from Prague who I stayed with, met me at the bus terminal. I wasn't sure if it was him at first. So I leaned against a pole and waited until to look and surprised the hell out of him. I love doing that.
Kyle and I walked around the city for a while, made our way up to the apartment to drop my bag, and immediately went out for a pint. We found the Gateway Bar and their 3euro pints. It was a small place with few people (it was noon or so) and I had a Guinness. It is better in Ireland. Everyone says it and he or she do because it’s true. To quote Patton Oswald, "it’s like drinking a hand job and cup cake smoothie." It is. The problem was there are two beers brewed right in Cork, Murphy's and Beamish. As a proponent of always drinking the local brew I was faced with a tough decision. Drink Guinness or follow my own advice and drink the local. I came up with a positive solution- The Cycle. Drink all three, but in a cycle. Guinness, Beamish, Murphy's, repeat. It served me well.
Kyle had to go to class so I stayed, had another pint and hung out in the pub. I talked with the bar man and the old guy with an accent so think I had trouble understanding. We watched Home and Away (a crummy Aussie soap the makes The OC look like The Wire) and I read the paper, just reveling the fact I was in a pub in Ireland.
I walked around a bit and went back to the apartment where I met back up with Kyle, Brian, and their roommate Monty. It was decided a pub-crawl was in order for that evening.
Cork is a student town. Pubs and clubs line the streets along the river; even more densely packed than the rest of the city (there were plenty on our street alone). The guys were resolved to go to new places that night so we started off at Nancy Spain's where we were joined by Monty and an Irish guy who Monty met at school (in America) for around 20 minutes and ran into on the street. Alan, the Irishman, was good company. We moved on to a pub across the street from the Beamish brewery. That was a real chilled out place. Quiet, warm, guy with a flute and another with a guitar (Irish music in a Cork pub, I was happy). We were joined by a friend of Alan's who was rude, crude, and incredibly funny. He let us in on the text war he was having with his girl friend (?). I can't repeat much of it ear, but she fought back as hard as he and we laughing like a bunch of retards. He also told us the story of him sleeping in the Prague train station and getting up the next morning and walking the 4 meters back to his hostel.
The best part was Monty hated this guy, hated him. Monty was loaded and it became downright comical.
We hit a few more bars and I met an American girl the guys knew who kept rubbing the Penn State logo on my chest. It was weird. We hit up the gravy fries at Hillbillies Fried Chicken and called it a night.
The next day Kyle and I went to Blarney Castle. We took a bus and it wasn't crowded at all. The area is beautiful (looks like Tinicum) and the castle is neat in its self. I did also kiss the stone. I don't know if locals pee on it, but it would be difficult to hit and there isn't anything in Blarney to begin with. I do know that the tradition was some sort of medieval joke that spun out of control. One guy looked at the other and said, "Ya know what would be funny, Seamus? If we told people that rock up top by the poorly built wall was special and it was good luck to kiss. They'll have to lie on their backs and look lie idiots. Oh it will be grand."
After the castle I immediately jumped a bus to Midleton to see the Olde Midleton Distillery. All the Irish whisky (with the exception of Bushmills) is produced in Midleton now and the old distillery is a museum. It was a small group that included an old guy who was real nice, but probably retarded. Or something. The man didn't understand anything the guide was saying. Not troubles with the accent, mind you, just the concepts. I ended up being the guide's helper and got to do the guided tasting at the end. I also gave the correct answer on what was my favorite and got a certificate saying I am now an official Irish whisky taster. The test was 5 whiskeys, 3 Irish (Jamie, Paddy, and Powers), Red Label, and JD. It wasn't hard to answer correctly saying I'd drink the Irish over the Scotch or JD. I don't like Red Label or JD. The certificate is cool. I think I'll put it on my resume.
Saturday I went to Dublin. Yes, I took a 3 1/2 hour train ride to Dublin for the day. Hey, I had to see the Guinness brewery. The problem was I didn't know where the hell I was when I got in. So hopped a bus going into the center and realized only after I bought my ticket and the bus was moving that the Guinness brewery is pretty much next door to the train station. I hiked back; it wasn't far, and waited in line to get inside. The line was long, but I had a book (Eagle scout after all). The museum is very cool all around. It’s very big and has the whole history laid out from the beer to the cooperage and transport to the advertising. The crown jewel though is the Gravity Bar. Its on top of the whole thing and is one of the highest points in Dublin. You can see the whole city up there and the Guinness is the best in the world at that bar. Really spectacular.
I left the brewery and walked around. I saw the old Jameson Distillery (didn't take the tour though, its probably identical to the Midleton one), the post office, Trinity College, St. Steven's Green (closed though), Grafton Street, St. Patrick’s, and back to the station. It was a nice long walk around the city center, but I was early at the station by around an hour and 15 minutes. Not enough time to go anywhere cool, long enough to feel weird. I got dinner at an Irish fast burger joint in the station because it was advertised at 3.50. It was good and filling and got on the train. Then I got kicked off the train because it wasn't ready. Well nobody told me. When the train did leave I slept a bit and got back to Cork at about 11:45.
One my way back to the apartment I was stopped by two girls who wanted to complement my knit hat. When they found out I was an American they got really excited and asked all sorts of question. They had a few in them by then I'm sure, but they were fun. They kept apologizing for scaring me and bothering me, but I was enjoying myself.
"Oh, you just look so cute with your hat and your bag and headphones and your hood up."
Me-"Thank you."
"Can we try on the hat?"
"Oh, your hair is so short!"
"If you were a Cork boy you'd be worried about two random people coming up to you. American's are so friendly."
And on and on it went. They were allot of fun. They even invited me to come along with them, claiming people just buy you drinks. I had to point out that it doesn't work the same way for guys, but they were persistent. Unfortunately I had resolved to not spend anymore and I had people waiting for me so we said our goodbyes and headed off. I wonder if they remember the incident.
We hung out when I got back and stayed up until 4 watching the tail end of the Bodyguard and then watched the Banger Sisters in its entirety. I'm not sure why, but it was one of those night where you keep saying, "Why is this on?" but never turn it off. The Banger Sisters, is awful, but the scenes with Geoffrey Rush and very funny. His character is very neurotic and crazy. He makes the movie tolerable.
I left today on an, again, uneventful flight. The taxi back at Schipol was the longest ever though. It felt like we could have gone all the way to Centraal Station.
The food store closed before I could get there so I have no breakfast stuff around. Damm.
My weekend in Ireland was great. I loved the beer and most, but who wouldn't and when will I ever hit for the cycle in anything but beer?
I love and miss you all,
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The Tigers, Penn State, and Ajax [Oct. 15th, 2006|03:09 pm]
The Matt
The Tigers won the pennent on a two out, bottom 9, 3 run home run. Is there any more perfect, childhood fantasy? When you pay baseball in the backyard as a kid, thats the senerio you play out. Ok, it may be bases loaded, down buy 3 in game 7 of the World Series, but still. Its perfect. Go Tigers.
Penn State lost 17-10 last night. I didn't listen to the game, but they say it came down to the very end. We may be 4-3, but we're an underrated team. All three losses were against teams in the Top 4 when we played them and with the exception of the Norte Dame game we played the teams very well. I think we can win out. We have games against Illinois and Temple. Iowa and Wisconcin could be trouble, but I think we can win. Michigan State is at home, so I'm confident of victory.
I did go to the Ajax game last night, my first one. Its wasn't Penn State at night, but it was the same day at night, so I'm trying. I got there late, somehow thinking the game started at 7:45 rather than the 7:30 stated on my ticket. I was very confused when I got there. "Why is the game in the 20th minute?" I also embarrassed myself going into the wrong row and having to ease my way back out. Ajax Arena isn't the best looking building, but the sightlines are amazing. I was 10 rows from the top and I could read the names on the jersey. Ajax won 3-2, with all 5 goals coming in the second half. Ajax scored first, then Groningen twice, then Ajax came from behind to win. The first 4 goals were junk goals. Rebound, PK, goalie error, and junk rebound, but the last one, the game winner, was an absolute screamer from the top of the box. Wonderful. I got some pictures too.
After the game i was going to go to a party, but decided against it. The subway portion was closed by the stadium for some reason so I had to wait for and hop a ride on the train to Centraal Station. The subway was still coming, but the escolaters were closed when I passed them. I suppose they opened them back up, but I did get to watch two morons cross the tracks to get to the other, subway, platform. The Subway was getting ready to go and honked at the second guy. We all laughed on the platform. Riding the train though was an exercise in paranioa, but I made it back without incident. By then it was 10:30 and since I had to do the morning tour this morning I chose just to go home.
Well thats bascially it. My job is going really well and I go to Ireland Thrusday morning.
Now if you'll excuse me, its my week to clean.
I love and miss you all,
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(no subject) [Oct. 11th, 2006|10:14 pm]
The Matt
I should do some work, but I'm just not feeling it now. After this is written, its time to start.
My friend Sean Collier was in town last weekend and we hung out on Saturday. I showed him a some friends around and just relaxed. It was nice to hang out, to bad I can't do it all that often lately.
I didn't go to the concert I wanted to see last night since it sold out. I never thought to make a special trip to get a ticket and since I'm never down near Liedesplien, it didn't happen.
The great Buck O'Niel died this week. When are they going to let him in the Hall. For christs sakes he was a great player and the best ambassdor for the game ever. He single handedly kept the memory of the Negro League alive for a long time.
Speaking of baseball, I'm glad the Yankee are out and I'm glad they kept Torre. How can you fire a man who has never missed the playoffs in 11 season. Making the playoffs in baseball is not like hockey/basketball, you actually have to be good to make the baseball playoffs.
I like the Tigers, but I wish they'd let Jim Leyland smoke in the dugout. I think it would bring an edge to the team.
My friends here are big Mets fans, but I've always had a soft spot for the Cardinals.
My ideal Series- Tigers over Cardinals in 6. I'm an AL guy, what can I say.
Maybe this offseason the O's will get some pitching. Who am I kidding, we'll suck next year too.
The Eagles have been looking sharp, but why can't we run once and awhile. I beleive in a balanced offense. If you do the same thing every play the defense gets wise on it. Seems like a basic concept, but nobody hired me to coach.
If we beat the Wolverines on Saturday I'll pee myself. Tim better have fun and he better see the NRT play too. And he better introduce himself to Maizie and he better behave himself around my friends.
Have I mentioned I miss Maiz? I've been quite lonely over the week or so. It must from all the alone work I've been doing. I thought study abroad was supposed to be easy, but I have a alot to do. Working doesn't help matters, but I do have cash. It's weird rooting for the value of the dollar to drop, but I get paid in euros or the lower it goes the more I get when I change it over.
Check out ESPN's profile on the Barrow High School Whalers of Barrow, Alaska. They started a football team in Barrow Alaska. The real frozen tundra. They play on a gravel pit for christ's sake. Crazy thing is, they won a game too.
Congrats on Palisades for making it three and three so far. Maybe they'll win out. One of these days they'll win the Colonial, but not this year.
I should work.
I love and miss you all,
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