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Thursday, December 29, 2005 by Jon

What I learned on the last day of class in Comm 264 - Media, Money, and Power

Government War on Freedom of the Press

Bush Administration record:
a) Payola pundits - Bush Administration paid at least 3 television pundits to support Bush policies.
b) Production of fake news stories - Abroad and here at home.
c) The CPB, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which is set up to protect politicians from affecting what is on PBS and NPR, was infiltrated by Bush party loyalists.
d) Freedom of Information Act has become a joke
e) Bogus press conferences - Bush, not the best at live press conferences, so they sent in a ringer journalist (Jeff Gannon) to ask EASY, and non-criticial, questions.
f) Limiting Iraq war coverage - the caskets, etc.


And to add, remember that quite popular footage of the Saddam Hussein being toppled down in Iraq? With all these cheering and celebrating Iraqis surrounding it? Well, the toppling of the statue was started by US Marines (here), and the "hundreds" of celebrating Iraqis were actually maybe...50 or so?

So yea. This "defining image" was actually...a staged photo opportunity.

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Tuesday, December 27, 2005 by Jon

I just read an interview with Jimmy Carter. I found it interesting since he was talking about his views on his Christian faith along with some science stuff. And then he started talking about UFO's and a psychic who helped the US govt find a small airplane in Central America during his Presidency. Now that was weird.

Anyways, I think I like Jimmy Carter. And:

"You can’t find an American, except for a half of 1 percent who are in Iraq or who have loved ones in Iraq, who’ve made any sacrifice in the last three or four years. You haven’t. I haven’t."

Good article.

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Sunday, December 25, 2005 by Jon

Merry Christmas y'all. I wish you all have a relaxing day inside warm houses with family.

And yea, my mom...she is so totally the epitome of a Mean Girl.

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Friday, December 23, 2005 by Jon

It's 730 am kiddies and I can't sleep. So I lay in bed, think about things, and now I arise from my non-slumber to blog. And I feel like talking about my trip to Europe last year.

The more I think about it, the more ridiculously improbable and impromptu the whole thing was. It all started with me not getting my plane tickets due to unavailability until less than a week before I actually left. Christine and I had originally planned this whole thing, and others joined, but it seemed as if i wasnt going to go, until of course the last minute. So I had gotten my tickets, and like 6 days later, I was flying off to France.

After arriving, I remember just sitting around in a cold train station for like...hours. Somehow my iPod battery lasted with me the whole time. And then Jenny came! And you know, Jenny and I didnt reaaaally know each other at that time. I mean, we knew each other from TAF and all that, but never had we hung out or spoken outside of a TAF setting. And there we were, sipping on leetle eety beety cups of French "cafe", small talking, waiting for the others to arrive. And after an hour or so, maybe more...they did.

And we all merrily went to Jenny's host's house...a gorgeous maison on the outskirts of Lyon that had plenty of space where we could make all this noise and they had a fireplace and blah blah was like the French Martha Stewart lived there. Except Philip and Helene are cooler and bought their stuff at IKEA. No really...IKEA. It makes sense, Lyon is closer to Sweden than Schaumburg after all.

And then after a jolly good white Christmas in France sitting around a fire and getting a pair of fuzzy slippers from Philip and Helene, which was something I actually wanted to get in the States, and I still wear them now, we Americans headed off to Barcelona.

Ah Barcelona, the city where I spotted an old couple scoping us out to most likely pickpocket us. No really, they followed us into three different banks as we tried to get better exchange rates, and only came in and looked at us, or talked to us, and then stood around and left. Then I stared the old man down. And he left. Como estas now OLD MAN?!?!?!

And not to forget the incident with the two singing men who tried to dance with me in the dark alley and whos hand went towards my behind and I felt him nip the top of my jean pocket with my wallet. Maybe he though I was rich. Or maybe he just thought I had a nice butt.

Anyways, I'm really surprised we didnt get robbed in Barcelona, because it seems like we probably could have. And to add to the sheer perfectness of this trip, our Barcelona bungalow was so cool. And chorizo! Oh how I loved my newly discovered chorizo. It's like that chinese sausage, only spicy. And probably worse for you. Mmm...

As everyone else left us in Barcelona, it was once again, just Ms. Jennifer and I. Now we were closer friends! Oh and not to forget, that whilst in Barcelona, her and I pretended to be "together". Emphasis on the word "pretended" kids. I think we wanted to see if we could mess with anyone (ie: Christine) or see how/if it would have a bad effect on the group dynamics (ie: Wil). Some people picked up on it and thought we were idiots (ie: Kathy), and some people didn't notice (ie: Patty). Christine claims to have known all along, but it was still fun sort of tricking her. And Wil...well this one moment on the last night at dinner where you just stared at me for oh, 5 minute straight. Not from across the room, but from right across the dinner table. It was scary. Everyone else was scared too. I thought you were going to...kill me.

ANYWAYS as I was saying, Jenny and I went back to Lyon to spend New Years Eve because we were tired of Barcelona and as said, we now had this cozy French maison to go back to. We traveled all day and all night and got back to St. Genis les Ollieres before midnight. We showered and grudgingly waiting till midnight so we wouldnt be total tired losers on New Years Eve. And then...Jenny and I got into a fight.

So, you know on New Years Eve, its pretty customary for people to kiss. Nothing real, not even a real kiss, just a little peck on the lips. So midnight rolls around, and I think I say, or maybe jokingly demand her, to kiss me. And...she runs away! Screaming! WHAT?!?!?! And I recall thinking, "Holy sh*t what is wrong with this girl". And So I start freaking out because I think shes freaking out that I wanted to really kiss her and shes already freaking about because of God knows what, and then we yell at each other and she says "FINE!" and we do the little New Years close-lipped kiss on the lips and settle down. And then we both say ok I'm going to bed goodnight. But before we get back to our room we both wonder...what the hell just happened? Somehow we realized it was somehow a misunderstanding and it is both normal within our circle of friends to kiss each other like that, like grown adults.

So...that was over. Weirdo. So we hung out for a day or two and I got to see Lyon. And me like Lyon! It's a nice place, did you know it is the second largest city in France? Today while I was walking into Circuit City I turned to say something to Brian, and I looked past him and saw the vastness of chainstores and chain restaurants with their big brandname signs that surrounded us as we walked into another chainstore with its big brandname sign-turned-maroon doorway, and I wondered what it was like for Europeans to come to the US and see how our shopping works, with big parking lots and big big stores spread out over lots of acres, and traffic going by on three lane roads in every direction. Because you know, I just like how the roll in Lyon better. Nice cobblestone walkways, autotraffic kept away for the most part, 4 story buildings with the looks of character and classiness, its nice I tell you.

And then I went to teach English to French kids...again, random and improbable, even if it was Jenny's purpose in Lyon and France. But anways, THEY LOVED ME! It was fun, a good time, and maybe I'll do it for a whole year (though the window is closing and looking less and less likely for those of you keeping score at home). For the advanced and older students, we had them run Davef-style debate sprints. Har har. One student kept saying, to fight for her argument, not about the activity, "thees ees bullsheet! bullsheet!". That was funny.

Oh, and of course, every class I helped teach asked me if I was Jenny's boyfriend. Non, c'est tres desolee, je ne suis pas ton petit ami.

And this is getting long. So next, we went to Frankfurt where:
1) We met up with Margaret and Alex, as they were on the continent too, we had to meet up.
2) We stayed at a Buddhist Temple, which is again, something completly random and cool and unique.
3) We went to a German-Asian (say it out loud, it sounds funny) club party where,
4) A guy stole my camera but,
5) We found him, got it back, and got him arrested, and then took pictures of him with my newly recovered camera while he was in custody.

Crazy. And then I got owned by Thao, our German friend who had a background in masseuse-ology, and made me cry in the middle of a Starbucks. yes, Starbacks, everywhere in Germany. Only rivaled by...H&M?!?

And then we left, Jenny and I trained it back to Lyon, where I slept and left in the morning...for London. London? I was supposed to leave a week earlier from Lyon! But then I begged United to let me stay longer! Which only adds to the hectic crazyness of the trip.

So London. Made my way to Margaret Yoo's flat without getting lost (lucky). Experiences the London rain (a good song by The Profits as well as the weather that day), and found out Tiffany Sun was in London via Julie Weng, and then ventured out into the London evening by myself to go meet up with Tiffany for an hour or two. whaaaat?! Random TAF meeting in London? Yea, we're that cool arent we?

Its 830 now. Ive been typing for an hour. Nothing else happened. I left. It was good. A year later, I aint going anywhere. I'm still broke from traveling to four countries in two weeks and eating lots of bread and cheese and wienerschnitzels and moule frites (OHMOULEFRITES!). Hah. But it was worth it. And how incredibly amazing it was all considering how it might not have been so many times.

In Lyon, where they call me Jönizzlé

In Barcelona, where they call me Juanizzlo

In Frankfurt, where they call me Joni?lestein

In Margarets flat.

In Tiff's dorm room.


PS: Jenny might post a comment denying her antics in the infamous "New Years Eve Incident". But she be a crazy womyn.

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Thursday, December 22, 2005 by Jon

When I get lots and lots of money, what is one of the first things I'm going to buy?

Le this:

Seven showerheads!

Maybe thats what Monica was talking about on Friends:

"Okay, you could, uh, start with a little one; a two; a one, two, three; a three; a five; a four, a three-two; a two, a two-four-six; two-four-six; four a two; two; four-seven; five-seven; six-seven; seven, seven, SEVEN, SEVEN, SEVEN-SEVEN-SEVEN-SEVEN-SEVEN-SEVEN!"

Now to get me $4,000.

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Tuesday, December 20, 2005 by Jon

- Funnyness via Davef.
- And I don't remember if I posted this link before, but its always fun to watch too.

Winter vacation with no school can be summed up partly by this:

lylspiceychick: yup
lylspiceychick: anyways i just wanted to say hi
lylspiceychick: i gotta go to school
lylspiceychick signed off at 5:59:42 AM.

you left before I got to say...

thendxcrd: youve got school?!?!?
thendxcrd: I havent even gone to bed yet...

Anyways, the goal is self-improvement.

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Sunday, December 18, 2005 by Jon

Semester over. One more to go and then I am a college graduate. It is a unique feeling to say the least.

I'll be staying here in Champaign for most of break, as "home" isnt exactly 1320 Woodsfarm Lane in Springfield, IL. But it's all good, really. I am looking forward to doing a lot this break in personal areas. I've made checklists of things to do each day and things to do over the course of the entire break. I am excited to see how much I can accomplish in a month. When committed, I hope I do well.

But I might go to Springfield on Christmas to see my sister Cheryl (yes, I have a sister). Maybe I will stay at the house. And then up to Chicago most likely afterwards sometime for a few days. Most likely.

No major traveling anywhere in a long time. I spent all last year going away to places, the East Coast, Europe, San Fran, etc. This winter break, I'd like to instead stay inside, and come into my mind and explore what I can do (not all serious though, its' more like, how well can I cook this, or learn how to stretch more). Sounds like it could be a very worthwhile journey, or at least we shall pray for that. Hopefully this wont be like Heart of Darkness.

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Friday, December 16, 2005 by Jon

"The more you know, the more you know you don't know."

Word ma boy Aristotle, word.

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Monday, December 12, 2005 by Jon

What is the difference between smart//intelligent//booksmart//streetsmart etc?

Who do you know that is smart? Who is intelligent? Is there a difference? Or as I might like to think, who is just less stupid than others? As human beings, are we all relatively stupid. We don't always know how to fix things, what to say in situations, what the answer is, etc. And there is so much that we don't know.

Also, take me as an example of this next point. I, and others I've spoken with, believe I am a relatively smart person. College student, good GPA, funny and witty, etc. But do I and others like myself, who dont exactly study much or try so hard in school, and in turn do not capitalize fully on our potential, does that make us stupid?

And on the flip side, are people who work so hard and so intently, and succeed, but lose social skills, are they...stupid?

Of course it all depends, on your perspectives, goals, etc. But there has to be one finite way to define "smart" and "intelligent" right? Maybe "being smart" is defined as capitalizing on fulfilling your life's purposes, or maybe just one purpose. But what does that mean? Do we as a human race need to understand what the "meaning of life" is in order to understand our purposes?

BUT what is the meaning of life? Christians would say to glorify God (which would definitly mean I'm stupid so far). Others might say making relationships with people. Others might say providing for your family and loved ones. Others might say power in the form of wealth or control.

But...those are all maybe's, one again proving that...we...don't...know.

So...people arent smart or intelligent. Don't sugarcoat it. Some people are just less stupid than others. That's probably the better way to say it.

...does this sound "wise"?

...or am I just a rambling peon.


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Sunday, December 11, 2005 by Jon

i got a page done out of twenty for my paper in like ten minutes, so I'm ahead of schedule and decided to look at...quotes from Mighty Ducks II!

Some favorites:

Coach Bombay: I thought Iceland was covered with ice.
María: No, it's very green!
Coach Bombay: I thought GREENLAND was green!
María: Greenland is covered with ice, and Iceland is very nice!

Dwayne: Where I come from we treat ladies with respect!
Connie: Thank you, Dwayne, but I'm no lady. I'M A DUCK!

[on the Iceland players]
Lester Averman: They're bigger! They're stronger! They're faster! They've got more facial hair!


too bad they didn't list the "two minutes for...roping?!?!" line :(

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Friday, December 09, 2005 by Jon

tee hee hee

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Thursday, December 08, 2005 by Jon

Good question via steve-o.

"If the world were to come to an end in seven days, would you go crazy and do whatever the hell you wanted to do for seven days straight without regard for anything, including yourself or would you spend those seven days earnestly searching your soul?"

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Tuesday, December 06, 2005 by Jon

I just finished a 2,000 word paper. And then Friday, I have another 10 page paper due. And then on Monday, I have a 20...yes, 20, page paper due. And it's on South Asians in the media. Hah. That's going to so unbelievably suck.

I really like the little tafCrush Winter logo we have at the bottom of the picture. I feel cool.

But yea, Ajit, I might call you this weekend for help on the paper. And yes, it is because you are Indian.

oh yea, I'm in a real song drought. I haven't gotten any new music in quite some time. Have I tapped everything out already? Likely not. So tell me kind sirs and ladies, what do you recommend me to listen to?

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Sunday, December 04, 2005 by Jon


Seasons Greetings from tafCrush and friends!


Contacts: Grand Mandarin 630-357-0888 | Grant 847-710-1688
Place: Grand Mandarin. Grand Mandarin Restaurant
3099 Ogden Ave., Lisle, IL
Date: Sunday, January 1st 2006
Time: 5:00PM Socializing. 6:00 Dinner. 8:00 for people missing Dinner.
Price: $25/person for Dinner. $10 w/o dinner.

NEW TAF DATE: TAF 2006 will take place at Manchester College from August 6-13th.

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Thursday, December 01, 2005 by Jon

I'm really sad right now. Michelle Ng called me this afternoon during my nap, and in my disoriented state, I turned down the chance to get tickets to the Dave concert tonight. WHY WHY WHY?!?!?!

I'm so sad :(

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