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The Remnants of Uncertainty...
14 Hours
03/25/09 at 12:30 AM by cassusriff
Same old story, but I'll put up a photo blog and vlog of the trip soon. I haven't fully recovered yet, drove 14 hours to get home as those of you who read my twitter know. Since then I've gone straight back to work and taken my midterms. Still have to finish my personal statement for the business school by next week. Also have to prepare for the move to the house. That will be in about a month. I'm really excited for it actually. This summer isn't going to be fun cause my girlfriend will be gone for most of it, but it will be much better when I'm living with my friends and hopefully working on the musical.

So I'm nearing the end of a really stressful month... ah hell no I'm not. There's always something. But I made a to-do list a few weeks ago and everything is just about done. I'll be pretty relieved with the applications are all done. Once the move is done I'll feel pretty good as well. Then after that the semester is going to end and I'll only have to worry about the college decisions and putting together the musical. The musical will be stressful too, but it should be a lot of fun if it goes right. Speaking of which, I have to put together that proposal in the next week. Guess my saturday is going to be pretty busy.

Anyway, saw the Twlight movie with my gf... it wasn't very good but it wasn't too terrible. I'd love to read the books because maybe I'd find out what the big deal is. I hope any Heroes fans watched the episode this week. Bryan Fuller returned as a writer and wrote the episode. It was the best episode I've seen since season 1, VERY happy this talented writer is being put to good use, even if it did mean I had to lose Pushing Daisies.

Till next time.
Tags: random, school, life, tv, heroes, twilight, musical
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Random Thoughts/Tidbits
03/18/09 at 06:11 PM by cassusriff
6351.

That's the amount of songs on in my music library. I have a stereo in my car that plays my ipod and recently I've just kinda let it shuffle on its own and avoided specific artists or playlists. I'd love to just keep it going like that, it's very interesting. You go from broadway tunes to Senses Fail to the Beatles to Norah Jones to one of my radio clips from ASU to Valencia to Dane Cook to Death Cab and... well you get it. It's fun!

***

How I Jumped the Shark.

How I Met Your Mother is my favorite show, hands down. This weeks episode was very disappointing for me for a few reasons. 1) Lily and Robin (Alyson and Cobie respectively) are both preggers and it's becoming very obvious on the show. Lily can barely move anymore, the last two episodes have had the characters sitting down almost the entire time, and the feable attempts to hide the pregnancies are awkward. 2) The morning show fiascos that Robin went through were too much. Live birth? Heart attack? Fire? I don't like that style of writing. Shows are allowed to venture into the surreal a bit sometimes, Barney has been established as an enigma, so his character can get away with weird stuff like that. Robin's morning show fiascos were just a sad attempt to get some laughs. This season needs to end on a high note and get back to more of the subtle, witty comedy and steer away from the outrageous slapstick stuff. We don't want a repeat of Scrubs Season 6 & 7 again do we?

***

Twitter is becoming kind of cool. I'll admit I like to follow celebrities, but only the ones who are funny and have cool stuff to say. I like hearing about Mark Hoppus's day, especially when it involves him rehearsing for the Blink tour. I like hearing about John Mayer's creative process. I like hearing Shaq's ridiculousness. It's funny how much news and entertainment have changed. You see newspapers going under every day and yet Facebook and Twitter just keep growing. A whole job market is starting to fade, which is bad right now, but good for the future. Reporters aren't the fountain of knowledge, they are mediums. Successful reporters have blogs and twitters and facebooks in addition to their articles. I know immediately when the niners are bringing in a free agent, I get minute-to-minute updates of the Apple iPhone 3.0 event, I can stream video, read blogs, read twitter updates, etc on anything I'm interested about. News oversaturation? Maybe. But it makes sense why day-old news isn't selling anymore and why waiting till 6pm or 11pm for a hokey, depressing newscast isn't the number one option anymore.

For those who say it's bad, I ask, why? Because of tradition? Tradition is sentimental, but it is not progessive. We have to keep moving with the times, with the new ways of getting things done. Tradition is good in many ways, I think it belongs in many facets of life, but we should always look at ways to renovate, recreate, make things better. But this is coming from me, someone who is really open and adaptive to change. I'm probably the only person who likes the new facebook layout. Did you know you could create a friend list and it will only feed you stories from those people in the list? I love that! I have a friends list and a family list and it weeds out all those people I'm friends with on Facebook just to bloat my numbers. If I wanna see their random updates, I can just go to the regular news feed. I love it.

***

Anyway, heading to Oregon and Seattle tomorrow to tour colleges. I'm looking at University of Oregon and University of Washington. I'm really stoked about it and I will definitely be going to one of these schools come fall. I'll have a video (maybe) and some thoughts on it when I get back.
Tags: thoughts, life, social networking, twitter, facebook, himym, music, itunes
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Razia's Shadow Performance Blog: Rounding Up The Actors
03/17/09 at 01:25 AM by cassusriff
Yes, I am still working to put this show on this summer. I'm serious about this. This isn't some cool idea that is going to fade away after the initial excitement wears off.

Unfortunately, the process is just that... a process. I've talked with the producer of the theatre company I want to work with and she likes the idea. I've sent her the script and music and she will check it out. What's even better is that I've pegged her daughter, someone I've acted with and known for years, to be Princess Anhura. She goes to school in Oklahoma but will be back this summer like many of the others I've pegged for certain parts. She is back this week for spring break and I met her at dinner last night. I played her "It's True Love" through my iPhone but felt like that wasn't good enough. So when she mentioned that she was going to see two of my other friends (One of which I would love to play O The Scientist and his girlfriend whom I'd love to have help with choreograph and be in the chours), I had to take the opportunity to drive her to the performance while playing her the album.

She was definitely taken with the story and started to see my vision a bit. She seems interested in playing Anhura. If I can get her, then I feel like this show can really start to take shape. I've directed her before and our show won best show, so that's a plus. In fact, in that show I directed, 3 of the 4 people are pegged to play the 3 biggest parts in Razia's Shadow. Kyle is set to play Pallis, Spencer as Ahrima/Adakias, and Lauryn as Anhura.

So the actors are coming together. I'm also lucky because I happen to be moving in to a house with the guy I'm hoping will be my tech director and another guy who has won awards for lighting. I have some good minds around me.

The next big step is getting the business proposal together to bring to the board. I'm going to wait until after this weekend because I'm going out of town to Seattle to finish up my college applications/visits and then finish my midterms by next tuesday. After that the main focus shifts back to that proposal.

I'll update you all once I finish that and bring it to the board.
Tags: razias shadow, forgive durden, performance, theatre
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I'll Admit It
03/14/09 at 01:30 AM by cassusriff
I like Kelly Clarkson.

There, I said it. I fully admit that while she may have some terrible lyrics and is super poppy, I enjoy her new album more than I would like. When I talk about guilty pleasures, she tops them all. At least Paramore is considered part of this scene, albeit the ugly stepchild that brings all the annoying friends to the shows who leave when Jimmy Eat World comes on. FOB doesn't compare, PATD doesn't compare. Kelly Clarkson? What can I say?

Her voice is incredible, no one can dispute that. She hits some high notes that seriously get me high. I am a music aficionado and I thoroughly enjoy some good instrumentals. The sounds of piano chords, violins, guitar solos, smooth bass lines, excellent beats all fill my ears with joy. But first and foremost, I am all about voice. I am extremely picky about what voices I like. I don't even like my own voice and instead find various moments of glory in it. It is rare that I really like everything a voice has to offer. I love Patrick Stump's voice, but I hate his diction. I love Dustin Kenrue's voice, but it can be a bit grating at times.

Even Kelly Clarkson's voice has a few flaws to me, but she's got this great mix of tone and roughness that I love. She can go in and out of her head voice beautifully and holds a note very well without wavering. I love how she almost screams her high notes but still manages to make them the most melodic thing ever. So yea, I honestly listen to her because I think her voice is that good.

I don't care if people think I'm weird for it. I think anyone who truly appreciates voice would have to agree in some way with me. You have to admit that Chris from Saves the Day has a voice that you can only handle for limited listens. You have to admit that Will from Cartel tightens up too much on his high notes. You have to admit that Ace Enders puts a bit too much emphasis on his phrases sometimes.

But all of these vocalists are incredible in their own right. It's why I listen to their music. I just probably judge them a little harsher than most people.
Tags: vocals, music, kelly clarkson, critique
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Better Late Than Never
03/08/09 at 03:54 AM by cassusriff
So because I've been listening to Razia's Shadow so much lately, I have rediscovered the album that was already my favorite of last year.

In doing so, I listened to my favorite song, "Genesis" a ton and was awed at Casey Crescenzo's voice. So, I figured it was about time I got the following albums:

TREOS - Between the Heart and the Synapse


The Dear Hunter - Act I: The Lake South, The River North


The Dear Hunter - Act II: The Meaning Of, & All Things Regarding Ms. Leading


Yea, I know. I'm just now getting these albums. Oh well, something new to listen to while I wait for 2009 to start to kick into gear. This is going to be a big year for music, but most of the releases are coming in the following months. Not much has been released so far so what better time to rediscover some of the gems I've missed?
Tags: casey cresciendo, the dear hunter, treos, razias shadow, late to the party
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Razia's Shadow Performance: The Wheels Are Turning
03/06/09 at 10:46 AM by cassusriff
So the wheels are in motion. The Razia's Shadow performance is coming to fruition. A day after I decided to give it a shot, I have people extremely excited about doing it.

I have a cast that is starting to round out, with people tenatively set to perform certain roles. So far I have my Ahrima/Adakias, Pallis, Princess Anuhra, Nidria, Narrator (me), and I have people in mind for the Spider and the Oracle (Pardon the spelling, I'm on break at work and trying to get this out as quick as possible).

I have potential sponsers, people I know who could get us some attention and get some posters out. Maybe this won't be a one-time gig. Maybe I can squeeze a few more performances out of this.

This is the exciting portion of the process. The ideas are flowing. I'm listening to the album and envisioning what I want on stage. I have choreography in my head but I'm looking to my girlfriend and another friend to put that to actual dance steps.

Lucky for me, all the people I have cast in my head so far are excellent musicians who wouldn't need much training.

I have some tech experience and a few friends who know lighting and sound like the back of their hands.

The coming months will be interesting, I have to partner with the community theatre group here and try to get my old high school to let us use the stage. I'm going to have to work with some sponsers to see if we can get some funding. The only thing more exciting than directing this show for me is directing all the business aspects of it.

Either way, talks are beginning. Emails are being sent. Meetings are being planned.

As far as I'm concerned, this is happening.

I'll keep the updates coming.
Tags: razias shadow, performance, forgive durden, theatre
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Razia's Shadow
03/05/09 at 06:54 PM by cassusriff
I'm sure a lot of you remember the news post on AP.net a while ago that offered the Razia's Shadow script and instrumental tracks for those who applied and wanted to put on the show.

Well, I always had a vague interest in putting together the musical, so I applied. Turns out I was awarded the script and instrumental album.

I have a good deal of experience with theatre, I performed for years and I nominated for a couple of awards. My true strength seemed to be the more technical stuff and directing, which I discovered in the last few years.

There is a local theatre group that has the administrative ability to help me put this on. I have tons of contacts from my years of doing theatre that I have a good pool of performers to work with. My initial thoughts are that I would direct and play the narrator, I have someone in mind who could put together some choerography, I have plenty of friends who could direct the vocals, and costuming is something that I'm sure someone within that theatre group could hash out for me.

I'm thinking a performance to raise money for charity, not any kind of long-run or big-time production, just a decent, student-created performance for a good cause.

These thoughts are in very early stages. The whole thing would come together during the summer, when most of my acting and singing friends are home from college and right before I move away. I'll have the time at night after work to put this together, I have the connections, I have the talent.

It's possible. I'm thinking I'll pursue it, get into some talks with people. And of course, I'll update you all with the progress as I move along in the process.
Tags: razia's shadow, performance, forgive durden, theatre
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Closure
03/04/09 at 02:33 AM by cassusriff
Checking in on my proclaimed "Year of Dividends"

-I have reconnected with my half-brother and half-sister who live in New Jersey. We don't talk much, but at least they exist in my life again.

-I am making progress in my career, albeit in a lateral way. But I am interviewing for higher positions and getting raises. What bad economy?

-Have a plan that I am executing on track. The college applications are in, the visit is planned, the steps barring the acceptance are in place. It is all about waiting now.

-The weekend trip to LA solidified a select group of people as the most important people of my life. I have the people closest to me in Paris, LA, and soon to be SF. By the end of this year we will all live hundreds of miles from each other, and yet we all could never be closer.

-My healthy relationship reaches new heights every day.

-My financial situation is secure and improving every day.

-I am happier, more comfortable with myself.

-And tonight, after over a year of killing myself over a past relationship that ended because of a mistake I made, I finally got closure.

You see, there wasn't a good ending to my longest relationship to date. 3 years and it was over in an instant. We stopped talking. It took me a long time to get over her, but I eventually found the girl I am with now and discovered a happiness I never thought possible. Though I no longer missed or yearned for the past relationship, I felt an unbearable amount of guilt. I like to be good with people I care about. Even if those people aren't part of my life anymore and things ended badly, I still like to see them doing well. I don't need to have ill-will toward anyone. I also never really forgave myself for what I did even though I have taken every step to be a new and better person which has obviously brought me the great life I currently have.

But randomly, after stumbling upon my "Grudges" blog, she emails me. She almost coldly suggests that closure was had for her and attempted to provide me with mine finally. The emails went back and forth a bit and we finally chatted online. The ensuing conversation was eye-opening, honest, and mature. We discussed where things went wrong, how we were never right for each other, and how we should've done things differently.

And she told me that I shouldn't feel guilty anymore. The past is the past. What I did is irrelevant now, especially because we are both better for it now.

I couldn't have expected that right after we broke up. The break up was messy and there was no way we could've been that mature after such a nasty split. But after a few months I attempted the amicable discussion that we finally had tonight. Honestly, this is all I ever wanted. She is in school, happy and hearty, having fun. I am in school, pursuing the things I love, in a beautiful relationship that was built on a solid foundation of all the things I've learned.

No, me and my ex are not friends now. I suppose we will talk occasionally and catch up, though it is not likely and definitely won't be often.

But what I did get was some closure, finally. I know now that we both are better for it, that there is no lingering hate, there is nothing to beat myself up about anymore. We have our lives and we will move on, the past is finally past.

I feel a weight off my shoulders.

Year of Dividends?

Absolutely.
Tags: life, closure, year of dividends
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Sustainability
03/01/09 at 09:43 PM by cassusriff
When something is sustaining, it doesn't mean it is consistent.

I think that when we seek happiness, we unfairly assume it will be consistent. A sustaining happiness is what I seek. I understand that days aren't always perfect. I understand that relationships hit snags. I understand that doubt seeps in. But at the end of these bad days, these snags, these doubts are meaningless. The happiness, the dedication, and the knowledge of what is real rise above. That is a sustaining happiness. I think we all truly seek that, because consistency is impossible in any aspect of life. We can follow routine, plan for every variable and hope for the best, but we can not control the simplest aspects of life. We can't control emotions or the sequence of events. Sometimes, we lose our jobs or get in fights or have unexplainable unhappiness. These times test us and make it seem like consistency or sustainability are impossible to achieve.

Half of that is probably true. Sustainability is up to each individual. You can stay happy overall if you want to. You don't have to fall into a life you don't want. You may not be able to have a perfect job or perfect relationship or perfect life, but you will be happy with what you do.

Only if you want to. Because you can leave whatever bad situation you want if you work hard enough. It takes patience, time and effort, but you can still do it.
Tags: thoughts, life
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Grudges
02/25/09 at 12:53 AM by cassusriff
I'm sick of grudges.

I've lived a good life I think. I've made mistakes, but I'll be the first to admit them. I forgive people for what they've done to me. I don't hold grudges. I always think about the reasoning behind things, I think about what I did to perpetuate the behavior of others. I think in any situation that there is a link to all the parties involved. Rarely is someone just mean for no reason. And even if it is the stupidest reason, it can explain it somewhat.

I say this because I seem to have a lot of people who hate me. I mean, there is nothing I can do about it and that sucks, but I just don't understand the stubbornness. I was at ASU 3 years ago. 3 years ago. I knew probably 100 or more people there and I'm friends with like 10 of them still on facebook.

1 of them still talks to me. She was my best friend there. My roommate ignores me. My suitemates ignore me. All the people I worked with at the radio station. I know it was just one year. I know that a lot of shit went down there. But I don't understand why it is impossible to even be civil. Why can't those people be those friends you talk to once a year and catch up with and then go on with your lives? I like having friends like that, I have a general interest in the well-being of people I've come across.

And then ex-girlfriends. I dont know, it seems like everyone can be friends with their exes (even my current girlfriend). I understand that my relationships have always ended very badly, because that's the nature of my relationships. My relationships are highly emotional and intense. But I don't know. Three years and all I got was a phone call for closure? That's just unfair. I know that it was what I did that technically ended it, but that will always bug me in some way. I'm over her. I'm over that relationship. I have a new girlfriend and I couldn't be happier.

I just don't think that it's right to walk away from something that serious and long without so much as looking back. Everyone wants closure in a situation like that, everyone but her it seems. I talk to her mom, she talks to my friends, I talk to her friends. Why can't we have a simple conversation that says things ended up for the better for both of us? I've reached out. I don't need to be your friend. I definitely don't need to get back with you. I just want to know that we've moved on and we are happy. I know I have. I guess you haven't.

I feel like I am pretty entitled to hold a few grudges. I have a dad who can't ever keep his promises and has yanked me around emotionally my whole life. I have a mom who takes out her anger with my brother on me. I have friends who have crossed me time and again. Girls who have used me to get to one of my friends, only to break his heart and come to me for support. But I don't push these people away. I embrace and I try to help. Yea, I get pissed sometimes. Yea I need some time to cool off when I'm pissed. But in the end I am going to be there for you. I am going to try to get over the past and move forward. I think life is too short for grudges. Too short to be mad over petty and even big things.

I want to be the bigger man when it comes to things like that. I know I'm nowhere near perfect. I wish people would stop expecting me to be. I deserve second chances too, if only to be shown the respect of acknowledgment.

But I live this way because I don't like to carry around a heavy heart. What others do, I cannot control. I only know my own heart.
Tags: grudges, people
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Irony
02/21/09 at 04:17 PM by cassusriff
Friday night: Dump your therapist, saying that are happier and more content than ever.

Saturday morning: Find yourself a whole new set of issues. Realize that your stress will never end. Freak out about all the little things again. Doubt every decision you've made to this point. Feel regrets and loneliness and failure spread through your entire body.

Saturday night: Try to get over it.

That's me in a nutshell.
Tags: personal, annoying
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Happiness
02/19/09 at 03:11 AM by cassusriff
I know it isn't interesting to most people, but I am happy. I had a great weekend in LA with all my favorite people in the world, I am done with my college applications (for now), work is going well, school is going well, my home life is great (gotta love home-made dinners and watching your favorite TV shows with your girlfriend), and I feel good about things on the horizon.

Add to that, 2009 is looking to be a great music year. Blink, Green Day, NFG with new albums coming and the new Morissey and Thursday albums kick ass. I'm still spinning The Fray and P.O.S.

Also my tax return comes tomorrow and that's going to solve some financial issues.

Anyway, I know that my blogs are scarce and boring now because I'm so happy. I'll try to find some misery to write about soon. It's bad enough I am up so late writing this right now, but I have no time during the rest of the week.

So thats just a quick update. I'll try to learn how to write something that's interesting again soon.
Tags: update, life, happy
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A Shot to...
02/12/09 at 04:26 PM by cassusriff
A shot to friendship.
A shot to love.
A shot to forgetting ex-girlfriends and loving our new ones.
A shot to the tripod.
A shot to advancing careers.
A shot to a good year.
A shot for the hell of it.
A shot for picking up right where we left off.
A shot to happiness.
A shot to being here with the people we love most.

We might get pretty drunk, but this will be one of those weekends for the memories. Me, my best friends and our girls. Eric's going away party (He's heading to France for the year to star in a Disneyland Paris production of HSM as Troy), Disneyland with the girls on Valentine's Day, seeing old friends, having good times, sleeping on the floor and the couch.

I can't wait.
Tags: party, friends, good times
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Epilogue
02/10/09 at 01:31 PM by cassusriff
The hours are fast but they drag on. I find solace in the idea of coming home to her. The weeks are sprinkled with an argument here or there, sometimes explosive, but they are smothered with blissful times.

We make dinner together, well... she makes dinner and I stand around awkwardly seeking a way to help. I do my part sometimes by picking up some fast food a few times a week, but nothing like she does.

This is something different. Suddenly I have a semi-live-in girlfriend. I gave her a key almost a month ago and though we've hit a few snags, the transition has been mostly seamless. I've never felt more comfortable with anyone. I'm on the edge of 21. The last three years are a blur of growing up and all that clichť pop-punk stuff. Somewhere lost along those three years is my youth, my idea of innocence. Whatever I was trying to hold onto from that point in my life is either long gone or needs to be. The memories will stay, but the pain is unnecessary. I need to let go. And Iím starting here.

ďYouíre a good kid, and I can call you kid because Iím much older even though you are very obviously an adult. You donít need meds. I think you are just someone with a lot on his mind.Ē

She couldnít have put it better. I had been waiting to hear that for over a year. Now that I had found happiness, the challenge was to keep it.

ďI guess Iím most scared of failing again. I have these goals Iíve set and Iíve always been able to pick myself up after a failureÖ but I donít know if I can handle it this time. I feel like Iíve put all my eggs in this basket.Ē

ďWhatís wrong with that? Why shouldnít you? Why not believe you can do it?Ē

ďI can believe all I want, but if it doesnít happen, I donít know how Iíll deal with it.Ē

ďWell timeís up, I guess Iíll see you in 2 weeks.Ē

Iím in love.

Iím working on me. Iím trying to push out the doubt and the fear. I want to be 18 again. Not actually, but I want that bravado again. I want to feel indestructible again. I donít think Iíll ever be that way again completely, but I can recover some of it.

Sheís not going to leave me. Iím going to get into college. Iím going to get that scholarship. This is the year.

This has to be.
Tags: life, love, story, epilogue
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Wait a Second... (Updated)
02/06/09 at 01:25 PM by cassusriff
So you're telling me that we might have a year where the following artists release albums:

Blink-182
Green Day
Paramore
My Chemical Romance
The Used
Brand New
New Found Glory
Thrice
Say Anything
Taking Back Sunday
Circa Survive
Manchester Orchestra
Sum 41
Jimmy Eat World
Saosin
Mewithoutyou
All Time Low
Saves the Day
The Dear Hunter
Coheed and Cambria
Four Year Strong
Chiodos
Panic at the Disco
AFI
The Ataris


Um... what? Is the world ending? Seriously... is it? If these bands all release albums the mainstream is really going to have their focus on this genre. Hopefully that results in some other bands getting the recognition they deserve.

But I swear if we get more Metro Station clones because of this, I'm going to kill someone.

But the big staple releases coming out this year are insane! And here I thought 2008 couldn't be topped.

Now I know that probably half of these bands are going to put out disappointing albums, but the mere fact that so many big albums are coming out is truly exciting.
Tags: music, wtf, blink?, WTF!, crazy year of music
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