Lyrics in video description

Je Suis CharlieCard!
Just like the grannies who recall the price of bread and oil, I was told that the MBTA fare used to be $0.75, showing a rise faster than inflation that at least isn't as bad as college tuition. Nonetheless, Democratic or Republican, White or Black, male or female, there is a common rallying cause that everyone of all stripes loves to complain about: public transportation! This is especially since public transportation is so heavily ingrained in metro Boston that it is not only the needy without cars who take it, but virtually everyone across all layers of society who needs to get somewhere convenient like work, school, or the city where there is little parking.

There are so many ominous articles about everything wrong with the T that I don't even need to cite them. For a city that is so well-educated and scientifically and commercially advanced and sophisticated, it is a totally elusive mystery as to why 1970s "antiques" are still running on tracks except with extreme problems and inefficiency of the government, which already devotes 20% of the sales tax for the MBTA's pleasure.

Not Enough Tough Love
Anyone who has visited a place with modern infrastructure like China, which admittedly had the benefit of modernizing later and cheaper labor, would cry in frustration at getting the short end of the stick. Speedy, new, and brightly-lit trains with stations covered by automatic glass walls that prevent people from falling in and mostly mechanized, programmed behavior that doesn't need as many employees grace China's rapid transit. In contrast, even the two-trained Green Line has two people sitting to make sure that a fare is collected.

The MBTA Mafia's Payroll

With a Google search, there are so many people making over or around $80,000 and even $100,000+ for a government public service job that makes one wonder if this is actually the payroll for a law firm, and I don't even want to think about the lavish benefits, "sick" days, and pensions without enraging the unions. Yes, the T workers play an important service, but, because of this, if they really loved serving commuters, the greedy unions wouldn't cry heck over virtually nonexistent pay cuts.

In fact, even I want to work for the MBTA as a sound financial decision if I win the literal lottery that exists for distributing jobs. My accounting and finance degrees will just be in the back burner of the dilapidated Orange Line engines.

The Boston T Party
No, I did not become a rapper, but in the spirit of Boston revolutionary and political protest like the Tea Party and original rappers who wrote as protest against political oppression, I wrote a rap about the joys and pains of the T while sitting, where else, on the Orange Line.  This is coming from somebody who rode it as a babe and will soon need to ride it almost everyday when living off-campus. I will not go into detail about my opinions since they will likely be discounted or offensive to some, but I already spilled most of it above. I highly doubt that the T will improve significantly in the near future, but I hope with fairy dust that the monstrous behemoth will one day be modernized and efficient.

My Experience with Tarot Cards

I can imagine a psychic tarot shoppe here

Due to my fascination with mortality and the humanistic stages of life (it's certainly more interesting than school-college-career-retirement to write about), I splurged on a seemingly pointless purchase of Rider-Waite tarot cards.

While I did not become a cross-dressing gypsy (yet... just kidding) or lose all my marbles (I lost my Christmas yarn bag of green glass marbles a long time ago), I wanted to embrace more of the mystical, humanistic traditions like the Kabbalah, which even Madonna was influenced by, and religion without actually having to go through all the effort and conversion. Who has time for spiritual texts and interpretation when there are textbooks to be read?

This is one of the bamboo offshoots of my quarter-life crisis that I experienced, in which admittedly and embarrassingly a professional services firm rejecting me played a large part, but I will not express more opinions for fear of my public blog opinions coming back to haunt me. Anyways, a quarter-life crisis is not necessarily a bad or depressing thing, but merely a time of reflection and contemplation, and, like with Apple apps, there's even a tarot card for that: the 4 of Swords! It is also a period of urgency with the feeling that certain periods like college will graduate in the near future and what one really wants to do will be siphoned off, and also a period of consideration of one's place in the world, which can be satisfactory or unsatisfactory, with the underlying motivations. Check out this spread:

According to the video below, the 4 of Swords can be seen as a knight resting and contemplating in a coffin built for him in the case that he doesn't return alive from a crusade.

Clearly, I am educated enough to know that the future cannot be divined by plastic cards biased by the reader's touchy-feeliness, which in psychology is the confirmation bias. Misinterpreting symbols and superstitions can be self-imagined constructs, but this doesn't destroy the main reason I bought the tarot cards: not to predict the future, but to see perspectives on life. 

While life in the Middle Ages depicted in the cards seems irrelevant to today, life is surprisingly still relevant with many emotions little changed through time, such as in a quote that I read somewhere that poignantly mentions that we all lived and died under the same sun.

A note must be made for the artist, Pamela Colman Smith, who died in obscurity and before recognition like Van Gogh, which is what the majority of the world will admittedly, including myself since there are too many people. People have the gift and curse of rationalizing death, but I must point out a funny card that I think is in error: How can the contemplative guy in the 2 of Wands see the world as a globe when the Middle Age people didn't know that the Earth was round?

Hmm... Reminds me of the faultiness like with Chinese knockoff Chrisdien Deny of which I actually saw a store of in China

In this individualistic society, it is sometimes hard to think about other people and their concerns. The tarot cards are supposed to tell the story of life and beyond. This is why I keep all the business cards I get; they represent a large culmination of a single person's activities, and we know that the most important person in America and the world is him/herself. This recalls a premise from How to Win Friends and Influence People; what are another person's concerns worth when one is personally struggling with bills, balding, etc.? It is a little myopic but unfortunate and inescapable.

I admittedly wanted the fast path to simple understanding and interpretation of the cards being swamped with schoolwork at the time, so I found this video extremely helpful in illuminating the intricate stories, pronouncements, realities, and symbolism in the cards, which includes things like the sun, moon, death, and even society.

While I don't shuffle the deck to keep them in my order of 56 minor arcana and 22 major arcana, I keep the box on my desk as a warm reminder of the stages of life. Occasionally, I slide through the cards when I need perspective to recall many of the stories that shed light on our short lives.

Ultimately, this purchase was extremely worth it and is my cerebral but emotional type of endless toy, sort of like a Rubik's cube or kinetic sand. It is something worth revisiting to remind ourselves that what concerns us now also concerned our ancestors even if knowledge has accumulated significantly to allow things like the Internet and skyscrapers in the modern age.

Even if I am not an expert, I <3 my tarot cards! Fun trivia: the standard 52-card playing deck evolved from tarot cards.

My Very Significant Short Story

Hi everyone, this may come as a bit of a shock like that surprise BeyoncĂ© album, but I have been working on a short story in my semester sojourn. 

I have finished and published it since barriers of entry are so low that anyone can be a (self-)published author, and I have always wanted to commit time to write and publish something serious since I was a child. Eventually, I will be too busy working to have time to do something like this again. I want people to find their own meaning and be changed, hopefully for the better!

It is a postmodern satire called My Very Significant Short Story. A description can be found in the links.

Also, it's only $3! Check it out, take a chance, please spread the word especially if you enjoyed it, and *cough* buy a copy! It is available at all major eBook retailers.

Amazon (+audiobook available)
iBooks (+audiobook available)

Neon Tears

Now, an in the mood attempt at stream of consciousness creative writing...

Sometimes at night when I'm alone I cry neon tears, staring out the window of my dorm, seeing the pitiful faint red and green reflections of the traffic lights on glass as a poor substitute for a real, beautiful, glitzy city unlike the old and ugly concrete Boston (no offense - well, at least compared to some cities in other countries). I weep for the past, present, and future, for no reason other than the cathartic feeling, cherishing my limited time to be an artsy fart in the best ruminating and reflective periods of past midnight. Actually, I'm not even crying because my eyes are too dry.

I'm not even sad. I just like doing this, maybe because I'm out of place and am missing something that can't be returned. I'm happy, I rise, and I write cheesy song lyrics when I'm in the mood. I feel that humor, sensitivity, and creativity are lacking value and have no real place or need in certain spreadsheet functions, and their purported amazing usefulness is bullspit for most intents and purposes.

I don't want to sink into the singularity and solipsism of myself, but it's hard not to at night when I'm wrapped comfortably and warmly in a blanket to share numb appreciation of everything ordinary. At the same time, I must lash at the confines of the ordinary of which I am over-flowery-language educated since it has no use, probably since I'm not going to law school and read too much for nothing. I'm not optimistic that creative writing will ever find a use other than on my stinky blog in the corner of the Internet and universe where I express most of my decorous opinions.

I can't sleep yet, and I need a swig of famous Massachusetts tap water. Maybe I will try to doze off soon and forget everything I wrote, but the electrons in my brain are brewing a mild storm like the very light sprinkles today in the overcast skies. Oh atmosphere, you tease us but are absolutely nothing in the galaxy of which I am not even an ant. People think they are the most important animals. My, my, my...

Melodramatic Melancholic Melange

Meh... This semester is going downhill faster than RadioShack or Blockbuster stock. I wasted most of my time this semester on a currently fruitless co-op hunt, going to "networking" ""events"" (if providing pizza and a boring presentation can be called that) that attracted more accounting students than you can shake a spreadsheet at, sort of like a bear at a honey or salmon farm, in which the Big 4 acted like they were God's gift to the world. Of course, probably the best thing I got out of going to the majority of events for no reason was other than to open my eyes to how competitive and cutthroat the world is, where there are like 50 applications for some jobs. In addition, most of the presentations were about things like company benefits with them knowing very well that they were going to take only like 10% of the people there as interns.

To add to the generalized discontent and malaise, I got an 80 in a jazz (!) exam in which I didn't know that so many rote names flushed out of my head would be tested, which is even lower than the 82 on my intermediate accounting exam. My GPA is going to take a hit, and I don't need to be a financial analyst to predict that.

On top of group projects and continually confusing accounting homework that makes one want to rip hair out (which should carefully not be done because the accountants I've seen don't seem to age well), I am dissatisfied with the nothingness and vortex of this semester that makes me pray for an angel. That angel, of course, is the winter snow angel. Winter break!

I hold on to my accounting double major because I've gone too far in the woods, in which I only need 3 more classes, of which hopefully at least 2 are more understandable and relatable, and for the stable prospects and background it provides. Anyways, I jumped from the leaky ship and switched my co-op cycle to next semester. Whatever.

It takes a certain masochism to study accounting, knowing that studying the dark arts will be difficult and time consuming. Some say that college is supposed to be the best 4 (or 5 for NU) years in your life. I am in the camp that strongly, wholeheartedly disagrees. If the best years of your life ended when you were 22-23ish, then the rest of your life must suck. Also, you are probably majoring in a soft science that I would major in too (no subjects named to avoid accidentally offending anybody) if I were an independent trust fund baby.

This semester of challenges caused me to search for more perspective, meaning, and comfort that I will overcome to reach December 18th and start a new semester of classes and prospects. I am missing out heavily and strongly on what I want to do and who I want to become. Instead, I follow and blend in with the black suit herd stampede.

I have searched for meaning in ridiculous things which I will someday blog about. In my opinion, ranting is one of the top and most comforting uses of blogging as an art form (sarcasm). Considering that I rarely watch TV or play video games, I don't judge other people for their equally eccentric and pointless but personally interesting hobbies.

In the near future, I think I will get more of what I want in the direction of what I want through initiative, not through piled-on homework.