I'm Anything But Ordinary

I'm Anything But Ordinary

30 December 2008

Boredom... But I Can't Put Down my New Computer!

~~~~ Bored


Stayed single the whole year?
Pretty much

Kissed someone new?
Three someones

Done something you've regretted?

Lost someone?
metaphorically or physically?

Cut class?
More than I should have

Were involved in something you'll never forget?
hmmm.... oh probably... ask me in 50 years if I forget them.

Visited a different country?
Not this year :(

Cooked a gross meal?
all of my cooking is tasty!

Lost something important to you?

Got a gift you adore?
Barney... the pretty new macbook I'm playing with at the moment!

Tripped over a coffee table?
hahah. i'm sure i tripped over our coffee table at some point.

Dyed your hair?
yessum. Red and then back to brown.

Came close to losing your life?
Not to my knowledge but I'm sure.

Went to a party?

Read a great book?
more then one!

Saw one of your favorite bands/artists live?
No... :(

Did you meet any new friends this year?
oh yes yes.... the lovely Michele! and Sue :)

Did you dislike anyone?
I grew to dislike a few people...

Did you grow apart from anyone?
I'm beginning to think so.

Do you have any regrets when it comes to your friendships?
I don't think so.

2008: Your BIRTHDAY!

Did you have a cake?
A surprise coldstone cake :)

Did you have a party?
just a general celebration

Did you get any presents?
a couple

Name some and who'd you get them from?
handcuffs from Lindsay :)
gas card from aunt
and Barney for my birthday / christmas / graduation present from the parentals.

2008: All about YOU

Did you change at all this year?
I believe so

Did you change your style?
I got bangs? Does that count?

Were you in school?
the vast majority of 2008

Did you get good grades?
grades are relative anyways... but yeah. they weren't baaad.

Did you drive?
a lot

Did you own a car?

Did anyone close to you give birth?
ummm no?

Did you move at all?
moved from home to college to home. then to Cincinnati. then home. then back to college. then back home. phew!

Did you go on any vacations?

Would you change anything about yourself now?
there are certain goals i'm trying to set...

2008 WRAP UP:

Was 2008 a good year?
can't complain thaaat much.

Do you think 2009 will be better then 2008?
considering i have no idea what to expect from 2009 i haven't a clue.

I confess that in 2008 I...

() kissed in the snow
(x) celebrated Halloween
(x) had your heart broken
(x) went over the minutes on your cell phone
() someone questioned your sexual orientation
() came out of the closet
() gotten pregnant
() had an abortion
(x) done something you've regretted

(x) painted a picture
(x) wrote a poem
() ran a mile
() shopped at Hollister or Abercrombie and Fitch
() posted a blog on MySpace
() visited a foreign country
(x) cut in a line of waiting people
(x) told someone you were busy when you weren't
(x) partied to celebrate the new year
() cooked a disastrous meal
(x) lied about how old you were
(x) prank called someone

In 2008 I...
[x] broke a promise
[] fell out of love
[x] told a little white lie
[x] lied
[x] cried over a broken heart
[x] disappointed someone close
[x] hid a secret
[x] pretended to be happy
[] slept under the stars
[] kept your new years resolution
[] forgot your new years resolution
[x] met someone who changed your life
[] met one of your idols
[] changed your outlook on life
[x] sat home all day doing nothing
[x] pretended to be sick
[] left the country
[] almost died
[x] given up on something/someone important to you
[] lost something expensive
[x] learned something new about yourself
[x] tried something you normally wouldn't try and liked it
[x] made a change in your life
[x] found out who your true friends were
[x] met great people
[x] stayed up til sunrise
[x] cried over the silliest thing
[x] had friends who were drifting away from you
[x] had a high cell phone bill
[x] spent most of your money on food
[] had a fist fight
[] went to the beach with your best friend(s)
[x] gotten sick
[x] liked more than 5 people at the same time
[x] became closer with a lot of people

Currently Listening to: Homecoming / The Death of St. Jimmy / East 12th St. / Nobody Likes You / Rock and Roll Girlfriend / We're Coming Home Again - Green Day

I'm Developing a Quoting Problem

~~~~ Anxious

"Never say goodbye. Because goodbye means going away, and going away means forgetting." - Peter Pan

"Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same." - The Fray

"I think I'm afraid to be happy because whenever I get too happy, something bad always happens." - Charlie Brown

Currently Listening to: All the Stars and Boulevards - Augustana

23 December 2008


~~~~ Discontent

"You ever think that the world is a giant game of musical chairs, and the music's stopped and we're the only ones who don't have a chair?"
- Xander. Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

"Imperfection is beauty; madness is genious; and it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring."
- Marilyn Monroe

PC Woes

~~~~ Bored

So as a little Merry Christmas to me I bought the Sims2 Double Deluxe edition. Hey it was $20 and I love the original Sims so I thought "what the heck." Well the first two seconds I got into the game were pretty fun... Then I kept getting a blue screen of death with an ati2davg infinite loop problem. I went ahead and googled it and I think I got a fix... a lot of pages told me to update my drives... or something. I dunno, there were step by step directions and I followed the steps. Now I should be good to go but needless to say I'm nervous to start over so I'm taking a little break. If worst comes to worst I'll just sell the game on ebay! It's not like I was planning to play it for very long either... if my parentals agree to fork over half the cost like they said they would for my birthday / christmas / graduation present, I should be getting a pretty new macbook this break. There's a part of me that's actually kinda nervous... I've never owned a mac before and what if something goes wrong? But pretty much I'm just looking forward to owning a computer with minimum problems. And since my computer knowledge starts with iTunes and ends with an extrememly limited knowledge of html, I have a feeling that the fool-proofness of a mac is just what I need. The problems I've been experienced with my beloved IBM over the past year have made choose to go over to the dark-side of the PC world. So good-bye Sims (if I can get it to work on good-ol Clark hopefully I'll be spending my break playing however) and hello Barney (because the MacBook's so pretty it's suited up... How I Met Your Mother, anyone?).

17 December 2008

Love at First Bite?

~~~~ Relieved
While I will be the first to admit I hold special place in my heart for the Twilight series, there are certain aspects of the saga that disturb me to my core. This article by a student at Bryn Mawr University highlights some of the finer points. While it neglects to mention the clear anti-feminist tones in the book, it certainly points out the extrememly unhealthy relationship the main characters have. Don't get me wrong, I love me some Jasper, Alice, Emmet, and Jacob, but I'm old enough to realize the stories Stephanie Meyer produce are just that, stories. The age genre that Twilight is written for, is not. So here you go, all the things that disturb me most about Twilight:

Love at First Bite?
Posted December 15th, 2008 by alexandra.stratyner
By Hannah Slavitt

I recently read the Twilight series because I wanted to see what all
the buzz was about. Many of my friends had read it, and my younger sister
couldn’t put it down.
Stephanie Meyer has done an admirable job riding the wave of success that the Harry Potter books have enjoyed. She followed the trend of midnight book release parties and big-budget blockbuster movies featuring dreamy British lead actors. She stands to make a fortune. And, despite the fact the she is a bad writer with stunted style who is in desperate need of a thesaurus, the plot is somewhat engaging and it doesn’t take huge commitment or any brain power to breeze through the books.
Many have said that Stephanie Meyer’s series advocates, at times subtly and others explicitly, abstinence. While this may be true, the series still manages to present the most over-sexualized, unhealthy teenage relationship imaginable. The central
relationship between Bella, a mere mortal, and Edward, a vampire, is presented
as a tragic romance akin to that of Romeo and Juliet. Their relationship, however, is no model for a healthy high school courtship

— and neither is Romeo and Juliet’s, for that matter.

Before Bella and Edward even start a relationship, Edward uses his vampire super powers to sneak into Bella’s room and watch her sleep. That is creepy stalker behavior, more sinister than romantic. When they do start a relationship, it displays classic signs of an abusive relationship. Edward is controlling, needing to know where Bella is at every moment. Bella has no normal friends or social life for most of the series, and spends all of her time with Edward. When Bella makes one friend outside of her relationship, Edward doesn’t approve; he forcefully demands she end that
friendship, once again using his vampire powers to thwart any attempt she might dare make to see her friend. Any sensible person would be alarmed of this sort of behavior took place outside of the pages of a fictional book. Another disturbing element of their relationship is the constant undercurrent of references to suicide. Bella and Edward both declare in every book that they refuse to live without the other. Is it really healthy to present some twisted, overwrought suicide pact a la Romeo and Juliet as the romantic ideal? Finally, Bella and Edward act like that annoying high school couple who are convinced they are going to get married; but usually, in the real world at least, that couple breaks up and they date other people. And yes, I think dating more than one person is an important part of growing up and
getting to know yourself. But no, Bella gets married and pregnant–with a vampire
child, of course–at the ripe old age of eighteen.
I think that it is really problematic and irresponsible to present a relationship like Bella and Edward’s in an extremely romanticized way, especially considering the audience to which these books and movies are being marketed. It’s hard enough for young people to form healthy relationships, without them being presented with unrealistic, unhealthy models of love and sex.
If my little sister brought home Edward, there would be drama.

Slavitt, a sophomore English major, can be reached at hslavitt@brynmawr.edu.

14 December 2008


~~~~ Groggy

I'm tired of being what you want me to be
Feeling so faithless lost under the surface
Don't know what you're expecting of me
Put under the pressure of walking in your shoes
(Caught in the undertow just caught in the undertow)
Every step that I take is another mistake to you
(Caught in the undertow just caught in the undertow)

I've become so numb I can't feel you there
Become so tired so much more aware
I'm becoming this all I want to do
Is be more like me and be less like you

Can't you see that you're smothering me
Holding too tightly afraid to lose control
Cause everything that you thought I would be
Has fallen apart right in front of you
(Caught in the undertow just caught in the undertow)
Every step that I take is another mistake to you
(Caught in the undertow just caught in the undertow)
And every second I waste is more than I can take

I've become so numb I can't feel you there
Become so tired so much more aware
I'm becoming this all I want to do
Is be more like me and be less like you

And I know
I may end up failing too
But I know
You were just like me with someone disappointed in you

I've become so numb I can't feel you there
Become so tired so much more aware
I'm becoming this all I want to do
Is be more like me and be less like you

I've become so numb I can't feel you there
I'm tired of being what you want me to be
I've become so numb I can't feel you there
I'm tired of being what you want me to be

09 December 2008

It's True

~~~~ Happy

I have the craziest roommates ever...

I wouldn't change them for the world.

Currently Listening To: Bleeding Love - Leona Lewis

07 December 2008


~~~~ Sick

I tried so hard to keep from getting sick. Okay, maybe not as hard as I originally intended but I seriously didn't want to get sick this year. Major suck.

There are potentially four reasons that I got sick. #1. Friday night for my birthday we went out to Balcony for the drag show. During the night I used the restroom. #2. That same night we went to Alexander House for dinner and Laura came with. Laura was sick. #3 Last night Austin and I went out to play in the snow. #4 I spent the night with someone who was sick. Combination of the four? All-in-all poor life decisions? You be the judge. And yes. I would define most of the choices as poor life decisions.

On the bright side being sick means sitting around all day watching movies with Austin. Did you know? Obama will be a good president because he won't go after the mutants? Yeah... we're watching X-Men 3. Despite my throat hurting it's days like this that I truly enjoy.

04 December 2008


~~~~ Pessimistic

أنا كاملة معتوه

03 December 2008


~~~~ Confused

Currently Listening To: Dark Blue - Jack's Mannequin

22 November 2008

Egyptian Boys Held for Flirting

~~~~ Sleepy

I know the headline of this article makes it sound really mundane. But trust me, the alleged "flirting" is more like sexual harassment. Once I was followed three blocks by a guy who kept trying to put his arm around me and muttering sexual innuendos. The article says almost 83% of native Egyptian and 98% of foriegn women have experienced sexual harassment in Egypt. It's about time someone has done something about it. For once I applaud the Mubarak administration.

Egyptian Boys Held for Flirting

Cairo - Egyptian police rounded up hundreds of teenage boys in Cairo in a day-long crackdown on sexual harassment, a police official said on Thursday.

"We have arrested a large number of boys who were flirting with girls," Cairo's police director Faruq Lashin said.

About 400 teenagers, aged between 15 and 17, were arrested on Wednesday and will be brought before a judge, he said.

Police targeted teenagers in front of schools, universities and along the Nile's banks, he said.

The teenagers are expected to get off with fines, a police official said.

Women's rights groups in Egypt have long campaigned against sexual harassment and assault in Cairo, accusing police of ignoring the phenomenon.

On Monday, a Cairo court sentenced a teenager to one year in jail for sexually assaulting two women. Another teenager, a 17-year-old, is facing trial on the same charge.

At least 34 men were arrested after they allegedly assaulted women in an affluent Cairo neighbourhood during a Muslim holiday in January.

Such convictions were relatively rare in Egypt, which does not have a law defining sexual harassment, but a court in October sentenced a man to three years in jail for groping a woman.

Women's rights activists welcomed that ruling and said it was unprecedented in Egypt.

The Egyptian Centre for Women's Rights (ECWR) issued a survey this summer saying 83% of Egyptian women and 98% of foreign women in Egypt had experienced sexual harassment.

The study said only 12% of the 2 500 women who reported cases of sexual harassment to ECWR went to the police with their complaint.


Currently Listening To: Noots - Sum 41

21 November 2008

I Knew It

~~~~ Rejected

Please don't do this to me...
I think I quit. It just isn't worth getting my hopes all up for disappointment... again.

19 November 2008

I Don't Know

~~~~ Blank

I haven't felt this way in a while. The last time I put my heart out I got it stomped on. Is trying even worth it? Am I getting ahead of myself?

Probably the latter...

Currently Watching: Smallville

17 November 2008

i'm trying so hard not to break down right now. please just let me get through this class...

16 November 2008

I Miss You

~~~~ Sad

(I miss you, I miss you)
Hello there, the angel from my nightmare
The shadow in the background of the morgue
The unsuspecting victim of darkness in the valley
We can live like Jack and Sally if we want
Where you can always find me
We'll have Halloween on Christmas
And in the night we'll wish this never ends
We'll wish this never ends

(I miss you, I miss you)
(I miss you, I miss you)

Where are you and I'm so sorry
I cannot sleep I cannot dream tonight
I need somebody and always
This sick strange darkness
Comes creeping on so haunting every time
And as I stared I counted
Webs from all the spiders
Catching things and eating their insides
Like indecision to call you
and hear your voice of treason
Will you come home and stop this pain tonight
Stop this pain tonight

Don't waste your time on me you're already
The voice inside my head (I miss you, I miss you)
Don't waste your time on me you're already
The voice inside my head (I miss you, I miss you)

I miss you, I miss you...

10 years and it hasn't gotten easier. I miss you Brandon.
09/27/86 - 11/17/98

05 November 2008

Obama 08

~~~~ Pleased

I officially have hope for this country.

Here's hoping he doesn't let us down... and no one shoots him.

Was McCain Doomed to Lose?

02 November 2008


~~~~ Okay

I just placed a order on amazon.com and after I finished my transaction I got a recommendation page. On it, amazon suggested I would like Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Green Day's American Idiot, and The Cambridge Companion to Archaic Greece.

Wow, amazon knows me strangely well.

Currently Listening To: I Want it All - HSM3

27 October 2008

A Walk in the Woods

~~~~ Hyper

Bill Bryson is a genious. Go read his books, do it!

In America, alas, beauty has become something you drive to, and nature an either / or proposition - either you ruthlessly subjugate it, as at Tocks Dam and a million other places, or you defy it, treat it as something holy and remote, a thing apart, as along the Appalachian Trail. Seldom would it occur to anyone on eithe rside that people and nature could coexist to their mutual benefit - that, says, a more graceful bridge across the Delaware River might actually set off the grandeur around it, or that the AT might be more interesting and rewarding if it wasn't all wilderness, if from time to time it pruposely took you past grazing cows and tilled fields.
Currently Listening to: Whatever Happened to the Heroes - Joss Stone

22 October 2008

Thank God for their Piggy Banks

~~~~ Stressed

Overheard in New York has to be my most favorite website ever. It gets me through the workdays...

Here's a special gem:

Slacker on a smoke break: Yeah, McCain said he is going to suspend his campaign so that he can work on the economy. I mean, really. It would be like me saying I'm suspending my pot distribution so that I can work on quantum physics.

--Forest Ave., Staten Island

Overheard by: political listener

Currently Listening to: The Silence of Work

20 October 2008


~~~~ Exhausted

I don't even care that I'm almost 22, about to be applying for grad school and the real world, and the most stressed out / exhausted I've ever been, this website makes me happy and the books are the coolest thing ever!

17 October 2008

Dark Blue

~~~~ Mellow

14 October 2008

~~~~ Gloomy

And I was doing so well too...

11 October 2008

Maybe There's Hope...

~~~~ Happy

Gay Marriage is Ruled Legal in Connecticut

My favorite part? When Garret and John said they can't wait to register at Home Depot! I don't know why, but that personal little note in the article really lets you know that this is really happening.

My little splurge for the week was buying myself the Nightmare Revisited Soundtrack. While some of the songs are absolutley spectacular, like Korn's Kidnap the Sandy Claws, The All-American Reject's Jack's Lament, and Amy Lee's Sally's Song (really? Are you that surprised I like a song done by the lead singer of Evanescence?). Some of the songs are just plain weird. All the instrumental songs are also included so such bands as DeVotchKa, Amiina, and Vitamin String Quartet are also included. And while Amiina's Doctor Finkelstein / In the Forest is pretty inventive and enjoyable. Vitamin String Quartet's Jack and Sally Montage is pretty stereotypical and DeVotchKa's Overture is alittle melodically uncomfortable. The Polymorphic Spree's Town Meeting Song just plain sucks and Flyleaf's What's This? Is not as good as Fall Out Boy's version. Overall if you had to pick between the original soundtrack and this new one, go with the original. Better yet, go with the Special Edition Soundtrack so you can get the songs by Fall Out Boy, Panic! At the Disco, and Fiona Apple. But at least buy the Amy Lee single off the revisited soundtrack. Because, you know, she's the best!

Currently Listening To: Jack's Obsession - Sparklehouse

Everytime I See This I Die A Little More Inside...

~~~~ Sleepy

Let's hear it for the land of the free and the home of the brave.

My favorite part? "You know you spelled Muslim wrong, right?" "Oh? Well how do you spell it?"

The way it's suppose to be spelled... jackass.

Currently Listening To: Sally's Song - Amy Lee

03 October 2008


~~~~ Restless

Sometimes I just wish someone would touch me.

Currently Listening To: the silence of 1 am.

22 September 2008

Very Funny!

~~~~ Blank

In a sad, but true sort of way...

20 September 2008

What About Now

~~~~ Content

While I do not consider myself a Daughtry fan, catching this video on VH1 makes me want to give up my selfish desire to go to grad school and make Teach For America my number one choice of post-college options. Maybe I'll check out other AmeriCorp programs...

On a less humanitarian note, I bought Brisingr today. Don't ask why. Mr. Paolini has disappointed so far with his mutant Lord of the Rings / Star Wars / Dragonriders of Pern series but I still have to know how it ends. Damn.

Currently Listening to: But It's Better If You Do - Panic! At the Disco

17 September 2008

Sometimes It Just Doesn't Matter

~~~~ Sleepy

It's amazing when however hard you try your best is never enough. You can't mess up ever. Mistakes can never be made. And no matter how much effort is put in it will never do. Apologies are words, actions, and expressions, but they're never reciprocated. Never. I can try and try and try and it's never appropriate. Maybe I'm just not a people person... good thing I work the job that I do and such.

This has been a crazy week. First there are huricane force winds on Sunday. Then these winds knock out power in most of Ohio. Then the power stays off down here for so long that classes are canceled for Monday. Then the university is running on generators but most of the town is still power-less. Then they decide to open the university for classes on Tuesday. Then 4,000 people gather outside of the president's house to protest the opening of the university... that we pay a lot of money to go to... whatever. Then my computer starts freaking out and showing a blue screen of death. Then the cute IT guy who may or may not be named Jenny cannot fix it but I think I've found a way around the problem... I got rid of the lame-ass virus protection the university makes you get and downloaded my own. Now there's work. Yeah, work.

Currently Listening to: Absolutley Nothing. It is work afterall...

12 September 2008

I Almost Wish I Hadn't Found This Blog...

~~~~ Restless

It Makes Me Want a Tattoo!

Plus I'm getting dangerous ideas. Here are some of my favorites:

Currently Listening: Hate Me - Blue October

09 September 2008


~~~~ Lazy

September 27 - October 4 is banned books week. I think everyone should pick up a banned book that week to appreciate what could happen if we allowe censorship to run our lives.
Here's a list of 25 Banned Books That You Should Read... Personally I have a long way to go.

Currently Watching: Drake and Josh ;)

07 September 2008

September is the Season for TV Shows!

~~~~ Nervous

P.S. I'm taking the GRE tomorrow. SOMEDAY SAAAAAVE ME!

Currently Listening To: Consolation Prizes - Phoenix

02 September 2008

Hanging Out Down the Street

~~~~ Content

I feel like I'm sitting in the calm before the storm. I'm all moved in to my fabulous apartment and the first week of classes have come and gone. I've done the most class swapping I've ever done this semester. I lost Peoples and Cultures of the Middle East so I signed up for the History of Africa (I know, the history of an entire continent in one semester? But anyways...) only to findout that it required NINE textbooks. I can't afford nine textbooks so I dropped the class and looked at Ancient Jewish History but it had six textbooks so, guess what? I dropped it and signed up for the history of Italy from Machiavelli to Mussolini. Three textbooks. Muuuch better. Plus I really do like that class now. Yaaay! Then I was in Caribbean Archaeology but I ended up not liking the prof that much and I am determined not to have another semester where I hate the professor so I dropped it and signed up Evidence of Human Fossil Evolution. Yaaay two classes with Dr. Marchant! I love that woman! So classes are finally good. I'm signed up to take the GRE for the first time next week but thankfully I found a grad program that doesn't require the GRE so there's hope for me yet! I can't believe I'm almost all grown up and stuff. Work has the potential of being stressful but I'm just there for ten hours out of the week so it could be worse.

But on the bright side this is year that will mean the world. Savoring every moment and enjoying it while it lasts. First step? Running through the fountain behind Shriver. I'm hoping for awesome moments like that up until we graduate which will culminate in dancing on the seal.

Just make it last...

Currently Watching: That 70s' Show

23 August 2008

Free Ayman Nour

~~~~ Exhausted

Ayman Nour to Obama

Former Ghad Party President Dr. Ayman Nour sent a message to Barack Obama, the democratic nominee to the American presidential elections.

Nour started his message by introducing himself from the oldest prison in Egypt and the Middle East. He was sentenced to five years in prison for forging powers of attorney required to establish Al-Ghad Party; a charge that he described as 'naïve'.

He said that the real charge is that he was a competitor to President Mubarak in last year's presidential elections. He threatened his dream to bequeath the presidential post to his son.

Nour indicated that a number of US officials have pressurized the Egyptian regime to release him yet to no avail. He stressed that the regime in Egypt is accustomed to such moral pressures and proved its ability to swap them with the regional interests, utilizing the seasonal nature of such pressures.

Nour expressed his support to Obama's stance as regards the situation in Iraq and the necessity to withdraw the American forces from there.

He added that Obama's references during his election tours about the risks of depending on dictator regimes do not correspond with the aspirations of Arab liberals.

He expressed his wish, being one of the generation of Obama, that January 20, 2009 be the date that the new American President will assume his post and that it would be a celebration for freedom and democracy in the whole world, repairing what was spoiled by supporting despotic rulers under the claim of preserving interests

12 August 2008

I Thought This Day Would Never Come.

~~~~ Accomplised

Going to the pyramids in Giza was always a challenge. Now that Zahi has taken this step I wonder how it will impact the area. Especially for tourists who don't come in on the massive tour buses. You might get hounded like it's no ones business before and after you get onto the plateau. This could get interesting.

Egypt pyramids to lose the peddlers, get fenced in.

CAIRO, Egypt - Tourists have long been awed by Egypt's famed Giza Pyramids and irritated by having to fend off peddlers relentlessly offering camel rides and trinkets.

But the hustlers were gone Monday as Egypt started an elaborate project to modernize the area and make it friendlier to tourists. Security is also improving, with a 12-mile chain-link fence featuring cameras, alarms and motion detectors.

"It was a zoo," said Zahi Hawass, Egypt's chief archaeologist, recalling the past free-for-all. "Now we are protecting both the tourists and the ancient monuments."

The three Giza Pyramids have been unusually open for a 5,000-year-old Wonder of the World.

The desert plateau on which they stand was once isolated. But as the capital has expanded, slums have been built right to the edge of the site, separated in places by only a low stone wall. The rest of the area has been wide open to the desert.

Tourists undergo a constant barrage from peddlers selling souvenir statues, T-shirts and other trinkets. Visitors are sometimes followed by men on camels selling rides or photos — and rarely taking no for an answer.

Young men even try to force their way into taxi cabs carrying foreigners toward the pyramids, looking to steer them to nearby horse stables for a ride around the site.

But tourists have taken their own liberties. Climbing the Pyramid of Khufu, the biggest of the three monuments, was a favorite challenge for visitors beginning in the 19th century and continuing into the 1970s, despite the occasional fatal fall of an inebriated tourist.

Since then, authorities have cracked down on climbing the giant 2.5-ton blocks, though visitors can still ramble freely around the pyramid grounds, where many tombs and other archaeological sites remain only partially excavated and vulnerable to damage.

Security concerns were highlighted in 1997, when Islamic militant gunmen attacked tourists at a desert temple in the southern city of Luxor, killing more than 60. Most attacks ended in the late 1990s, but bombings in Sinai beach resorts in the past four years have kept officials wary.

The new technology aims to curb shenanigans by both tourists and peddlers.

The long chain-link fence around the plateau reaches a height of 13 feet at some points, and it is dotted with infrared sensors and motion detectors that set off alarms at a control room on the plateau.

"Intruders can't jump over this," said Kamal Wahid, the site's general director.

Tourists enter through a new brick entrance building, with half a dozen gates equipped with metal detectors and X-ray machines. Once inside, their every step is closely watched by 199 closed-circuit cameras covering every corner of the sprawling plateau. The footage goes back to the control room, where guards monitor a bank of 24 screens around the clock.

"It looks clean and beautiful," said Michael Schmidt, 43, a real estate agent from New York City, as he visited the site Monday. "They did a good job."

As Hawass and antiquity authorities showed off the changes Monday, trinket sellers were nowhere to be seen, apparently ordered off the plateau. Three lone camel riders in male Arab headscarf and the traditional galabeyah robes were standing at the edge of the plateau. Instead of chasing customers, they waited for the tourists to come to them for a photo opportunity.

As a reporter walked up, one of them said: "Go away, the police told us not to talk to you."

"I've been working here for 25 years," said a second one who would not give his name for fear he could lose his permit. "Now I don't know if I will be here tomorrow. I have five children, a wife. What will happen to us?"

It was not clear whether the trinket dealers were pushed out just for the day or whether they would return in a more controlled fashion. Wahid said phasing out the hawkers will not be sudden or "unkind."

"Two years from now, you won't see them inside the site," he said, adding that an area nearby will be designated for horse and camel rides — with the pyramids serving as a dramatic backdrop for photos.

The changes are part of a $26 million improvement project that began seven years ago, Hawass said. Still to come are a new lighting system, a cafeteria, and a visitors center and book shop that will give better information on the pyramids, where tourist guidance is sparse.

Once the project is complete, golf carts will drive tourists around the site, similar to systems in Luxor and other ancient sites in Egypt.

Exactly how much a future visitor will be able to roam around freely is unclear, but on Monday, Ramish Bissoon, a 59-year-old teacher from Trinidad, felt unrestricted as he explored the plateau with his wife, Molly.

"I don't know what it was like before, but I feel very comfortable and secure," he said. "There are a lot of policemen around."

Hawass insisted none of the innovations will diminish the experience of the visit.

"We are giving back the magic of the pyramids," Hawass said.

04 August 2008

My Review: Breaking Dawn

~~~~ Groggy

So I have officially finished Breaking Dawn and here's what I think. Like Twilight? Read New Moon. Like New Moon? Read Eclipse. Like Eclipse? Stop right there and pretend they lived happily ever after. Breaking Dawn was a pretty substantial disappointment. The book is divided into three separate sections and the first and second books broke my heart. I was confused, frustrated, and so irate the entire time I could barely read. Ever fifteen minutes or so I had to set the book down and walk away. It just hurt so much. The third section was harking back to the original Twilight and I was pleasantly surprised compared to the other two but the foul taste of the rest of the book still lingered. I won't give away any spoilers just in case but I have to say, I'm gonna be pretending the "saga" is a trilogy from now on. Some of my friends are contemplating returning the book in protest and while I can't say I'm willing to go that far, I'm tempted to pretend those 756 pages didn't exist.
? Not so much...

Currently Listening: The Last Song I'm Wasting on You - Evanescence

31 July 2008

Time to get excited!

~~~~ Hungry

P.S. The Birth of Venus? Excellent book. Little bit of romance, little bit of history, little bit of mystery, all rolled up in one excellent package. The ending could break your heart but I looked at it from a hopeful perspective. Highly recommended.

Currently Listening: Mad World - Gary Jules

30 July 2008

Older Song New Fan

~~~~ Hopeful

I thought Linkin Park was getting old and I lost interest after their first album. But I recently acquired the Transformers soundtrack and am pleasantly surprised by this song:

Enjoy and such.

Currently Listening: What I've Done - Linkin Park

25 July 2008

That's So Retrograde

~~~~ Okay

I can't believe there's only 31 days left until my senior year classes begin. I also can't believe that I'm counting down the seconds until I'm back.

This summer had so much promise. A great internship. An opportunity to make some cash. Even the chance to participate in a dig and work on all those archaeological skills I've been learning about in the classroom.

Instead it turned into one big disappointment after another. The internship blew. My boss was the most awkward man in the world with no idea how to handle an intern. He neglected to teach me anything and instead just set me about mindless tasks in his lab. Sure I got exposure to artifacts and a museum's cataloging system but I felt like there was something lacking in the experience. Then if I thought the museum was bad we moved out into the field. Basically Bob did all the work and me and a couple other volunteers were given the glorious task of screening dirt. I know it's an important part of digging but it sure would have been nice if I could have gotten to ANYTHING else in addition to screening. He let me dig one feature once but I told him several times that I had never been on a site before and have no idea what I'm doing. That being said, he just handed me a trough and didn't understand when I didn't know exactly what I was doing. I'm a student, instruct me! So with two weeks left before I go back home I think I'm officially done with Bob and the museum center. I told him I'm not coming back. The idea of going back to that field with its artifacts and the potential to learn so much without actually learning it makes me want to cry. On top of all this the internship doesn't pay so I was hoping to make a little extra cash this summer working as a child care provider with Sue's agency. Now I don't get me wrong, I did manage about $700 in two weekends but I haven't been contacted since and I was hoping to make a little more. This whole summer has just been filled with disappointments. I do like living with Laura and Sue though. They're both really nice and funny and Sue has some great pets. I adore her cat Ruby and her dog Ramsay is quite a sweetie too. The only good thing about this summer was the fact that I didn't have to spend it at home with the parentals. In two weeks I'll be home for two weeks and then it's back to Miami.

I can't wait.

Currently Listening: Bang the Doldrums - Fall Out Boy

17 July 2008

I Forgot How Much I Love This Song

~~~~ Accomplished

13 July 2008


~~~~ Bored

It might be vulgar but oh god is it funny!