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2012 in Review 12/31/2012

Posted by Matt in Other.
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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 5,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 8 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.


Wonder Who You Are 05/25/2012

Posted by Matt in Other, Sexuality.
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It’s been awhile since I really posted about anything having to my sexuality, so I think now would be a good time to do so.

One of the most irritating things about people’s views on homosexuality is how they constantly stereotype LGBT people. (Now this is true of really any race/ethnicity/religion/etc., but LGBT people seem to face this more than anyone else). It’s one of those things that really gets under my skin, even though I know I do the same thing to other people. I’m trying my best to stop assuming things about people just based on appearances, but it seems like nobody I know wants to do the same. I constantly hear my friends making gay jokes, not maliciously I believe, but more out of the fact that they don’t seem to understand that there are gay guys out there who don’t fit into every stereotype they know of. And sometimes it gets me thinking, “well I don’t really fit into many or any of the stereotypes a gay man seems to be defined by… do they ever suspect that I’m actually gay?” I frequently find myself considering what stereotypes I do/do not fit into, and thought it might interesting to share some of my “findings” with all of you.

  • For example: I consistently hear people claiming that “oh, gay guys only listen to electronic/dance/pop music,” or anything along those lines. Me? I listen to all different genres of music. Yeah, I listen to electronic/dance/pop music, but I also listen to rap, hip-hop, classic rock, rock, alternative, indie…. basically anything that isn’t country. So do I fit into this stereotype? Partly.
  • Another one I’m sick of hearing is the whole “gay guys aren’t into sports” thing. This one is obviously not true for all gay men, yet it’s probably the most common stereotype I hear around. Now I may not be the biggest sports fan in the world, but I certainly do love playing sports and watching them too, especially football. I definitely defy this stigma then.
  • A third stereotype I always hear being thrown around is that “all gay guys are into fashion and are addicted to looking faaaaaaabulous.” All I can say to this one is…. well I wouldn’t say anything, I would just laugh at this suggestion. I don’t know shit about fashion. My knowledge is limited to t-shirts, hoodies, jeans, cargo shorts/athletic shorts, and sneakers. And I’m certainly NOT one of those people who tries to make themselves look perfect. Honestly I think my straight friends care more about their appearance than I about mine. Moving on….
  • The last one I’m going to address is the idea that “all gay men talk with a lisp, have limp wrists, and are just all around flamboyant.” I’m not going to even dignify that one, I’ll just let Bender here explain my opinion on that one.

So, in conclusion, stereotypes suck. People need to realize that not every individual in a specific group is going to be exactly the same. I had hoped that  by 2012, stereotypes about anybody would start to disappear, but it just can’t happen overnight. We all need to work on  not judging people just based on their background/ethnicity/religion/gender/sexual orientation/etc., myself included. Like with my friends, I hope that by going away to college and being exposed to all different kinds of people, they can learn to let go of their personal biases and stereotypes of others. And in turn, when I finally come out to everyone, that they won’t be so shocked that their friend Matt, who doesn’t seem like a “typical gay,” is in fact himself gay.

Tonight’s song is by an artist I know nothing about, and in a genre that I also know nothing about. Yeah…I heard it on Degrassi…. shut up, it’s a good source of obscure Canadian music! Anyway, here’s David Francey with his (relatively unknown) song “Wonder.”

Fly With the Stars 05/24/2012

Posted by Matt in Life, Music, Other, School.
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See? It’s a good thing I’m done promising when a new post will be up, as it’s already been more than a month since my last one! Pure laziness… is what defines me, lol. But with the end of high school drawing ever nearer (only 12 or 13 school days left at this point), I can’t really focus on anything. At all. “So what’s been going on in your life in the past month Matt?” I hear you ask. Well a lot actually. Let’s start with the negative, and work up to the positives.

Well over the last two weeks, I was taking AP exams. Three of them: Calculus AB, English Literature & Comp, and Physics B. I was pretty confident about Calc and Physics, but not about English. First up was Calc. It was… okay. Pretty hard, but not too bad. I think I may have gotten a 3 on it. Next up was English, and in a hilariously ironic twist of events, I might have actually done the best on that test. Funny when considering that English is my most despised subject, and I was 99% positive I was going to bomb it. Last up was Physics. And holy shit, the hardest was saved for last. To call the test as a whole a trainwreck is an understatement in my mind. The best way to describe how I did on it is not to say I bombed it, but rather I went full-on nuclear. After the test ended, many questions ran through my mind. “Why was more than half the Part 1 based on electrostatics/magnetism?” “Why were half the Part 2’s based on thermal and fluid dynamics?” “Why couldn’t I remember any of the formulas?” “When is Lupe Fiasco’s next album coming out?” Anyway, let’s move on to something to more positive. I’m done venting.

Now that AP’s are over, I don’t have to go to those classes anymore, which also signals the start of Senior Exploration. It’s a program where AP students can pick a project to do, really anything they can think of, and work on it for the last month of school. My project is learning to play the piano, something I’ve wanted to do for awhile. It’s been a week since it’s started, and I think it’s going really well. I’ll (hopefully) keep you all updated on how that’s going.

On an even more positive note,the end of my high school career approaching also means that our senior prom is right around the corner! Like I said last time, I won’t be taking a male date unfortunately, but I am going with my friend Katie. As excited as I am for the prom itself, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t even more excited for the post-prom party! We are going to a house in the Hamptons for the night afterwards, but we have to be at our high school at noon the next day for graduation rehearsal (forcing us to attend it with a hangover is a sick, sick joke on the school’s part). Our graduation is on a Saturday, and the following week we are also renting a house for about 5 or 6 days, which is also in the Hamptons. In addition to all that, grad parties will be going on for those few weeks afterwards, my own party included. Needless to say, June is gonna be one hell of a month.

Today’s first song is by an artist that I do like, but has gone down a bit in my book since she has moved away from her rap roots to a more sugary-pop style. Luckily this one is one of my favorites, and she goes hard on the track. I’m talking about Nicki Minaj, with her hit song “Moment 4 Life” featuring Drake.

Here in My Mold 04/15/2012

Posted by Matt in Other.
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About Jeremy – PLEASE READ

3 entries in one day? Don’t worry, this one will be even shorter than my last post. All readers, please follow the above link to my friend Sam’s (of SamIAm) latest post. It concerns one of our fellow gay teen bloggers, and a friend of mine, Jeremy of StandingUpSpeakingNow. He has recently face some difficulties in his life concerning his sexuality, and has locked down his blog for the time being. Please, leave comments showing your support for Jeremy. As strong as he is, seeing words of encouragement would be a positive thing for him to see right now. So please follow the link at the top of this post, and Stand Up and Speak Now on Jeremy’s behalf, showing that you are there for him. (All credit for the post goes to Sam of SamIAm)

This post’s highlighted song is one about being yourself, no matter what society or the rest of the world may think. I give you The Verve with “Bittersweet Symphony.”

Life Couldn’t Get Better 04/15/2012

Posted by Matt in Life, Other.
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As promised, this is my second post of the day, although this one will be considerably shorter than the other one (like a paragraph or two long). As I said, this has been a huge weekend for me. Not only have I decided on the college that I’ll be attending this fall, it’s also my birthday today, April 15th. Today, I am 18 years old.

It’s actually difficult for me to fathom that – I’ve been alive for 18 years now. Where has all the time gone? Looking back on all that I’ve done in my life, I’d say that I’ve turned out as an all-around great guy (hoping that doesn’t sound conceited in any way). Now, I’m looking towards to the future, and the things I will be doing soon. Graduating from high school. Attending college at UMass Amherst (see previous post). Living independently. Getting a job. Coming out as gay to family and friends. Finding love. Getting married. Raising a family…. But for now, let’s just take it all one step at a time.

The second song for tonight is by an up-and-coming rapper out of Pittsburgh that I enjoy listening to, mostly for his laidback style and flow. Up next is Mac Miller with the titular song from his mixtape “Best Day Ever.”

We Dream So Long 04/15/2012

Posted by Matt in School.
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Wow. A whole month since my last post…. sometimes I forget I even have a blog. I have two posts lined up for today though, so I guess that might make up for my long absence. Right? Well, this was a big weekend for me, which is great considering my spring break this week was pretty “meh.” (Unfortunately it didn’t involve me coming out to anyone. Sorry if you were expecting that.)

In my last post, I mentioned that I was still waiting to hear the decisions from 3 colleges – Manhattan College, U of Maryland, and Binghamton U. Over the past month, I did hear back from all of them. I got accepted to Manhattan College, while Maryland accepted me for the Spring 2013 semester.  Binghamton put me on the wait-list though. Oh well, I was 10 for 11 for the schools I applied to. I can definitely live with a 91% success rate.

Yesterday, I went to revisit UMass Amherst for the College of Engineering Open House, which was basically an accepted students day strictly for future engineering students like myself.  UMass has been my top choice since I visited last August, and has held that spot ever since.  From the first time I went there, I could really see myself as a student on campus there better than any other college I had visited before or after.  And after re-touring the campus and learning more about the engineering program there, I made my final decision – I will be attending UMass Amherst this fall, majoring in civil engineering as a member of the Class of 2016.  Now you may be wondering what factors I considered in this decision. Well lucky for you, that’s the main point of my post. Since I seem to have an affinity for making lists on this blog, another one couldn’t hurt.

  • Location/Size/Campus – The university is quite large, but not as big as Maryland or Penn State. The campus itself is large, but the buildings are close enough together to make the actual size deceiving.  In terms of the number of students, there are approximately 28,000 students (both undergraduate and graduate).  I have no issue with that number, even if it’s quite high.  The campus looks great, with a more modern setup and the buildings arranged in “rings” of sorts. The town of Amherst is consistently named one of the best college towns in North America, and I have to say it certainly seems like it has earned that title. It’s a beautiful town, with tons of shops and restaurants. Since UMass is part of the Five Colleges consortium, you can also take classes at any of the 4 nearby colleges (Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith Colleges).
  • Engineering Program – The open house yesterday was extremely informative about how the engineering program works at the college. I’ll spare you all the boring details about it, but I have to say that I really like the path they set up for engineering students. Basically you start in general education/engineering classes, and each year you move into classes more specific to your own major. Not only that, the engineering department has its own dedicated career center, with its own career fairs twice a year. This sounds like it will make finding a job that much easier when I graduate. I could also spend another year or so there and get my master’s degree, as opposed to just a bachelor’s degree. We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.
  • Room/Board – On the campus tour, I got a chance to both see the dorm rooms for freshmen and sample some of the food at the dining hall. The dorm room I saw was just a model room. Pretty small, but the tour guide (claimed) that the actual doubles are twice the size of the model. They come with the usual bed, desk and chair, bookcase, and closet. Nothing special, but they seemed above average. The food in the dining hall was great, I tried a little of everything and most of it was delicious – way better than I was expecting.
  • Clubs/Organizations/Sports – UMass has a large selection of clubs and student organizations to choose from.  I’m not gonna bother going through them, as I fail to see the point. On the athletic side of things, the school colors are maroon and white, and the mascot is the Minutemen/Minutewomen. They offer 21 varsity sports and 12 club sports, so I can watch the varsity football, hockey, and baseball games, while I find a club sport team to join.

Today’s song is one of my top 5 favorite songs from last year, one from an artist that I truly love listening to (it also gets points for sampling an awesome song from a completely different artist I like). Take it away Lupe, with “The Show Goes On.”

You Can Go Your Own Way 03/15/2012

Posted by Matt in Life, Other, School.
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New Rule (for myself): No more giving time frames for new/upcoming posts, since I never follow them anyway. Now that that’s out of the way…

Part 2 of my post about football, and how I believe my sexuality would/wouldn’t have impacted my team, will come within the next few days. I want that particular entry to be insightful and well-written, so I’m gonna take some extra time on it. In the meantime, I think a quick update on my life will be a good placeholder.

Let’s see now…

  • Well today I got my acceptance letter from the University of Delaware! That just leaves me waiting on the decisions from Binghamton University, Manhattan College, and University of Maryland. UMass Amherst is still my first choice school.

  • Senioritis has REALLY started to take its toll on my schoolwork (the beautiful weather lately has only worsened my condition). Like last week, when I had to make up 10 homeworks for my economics class, in order to keep myself from failing for the 3rd quarter. #senior12prblms (the new favorite Twitter hashtag of every senior I know, including myself).
  • Plans for our senior prom are coming together, and I personally cannot wait for it – the talk of our prom house and the event itself are so exciting! Unfortunately, I won’t be taking a guy to the event (as of right now, but who knows what can happen in 3 months?), but I won’t let that get me down. Someone remind me to ask my friend Jenna to it in the next few weeks…
  • I’m working on building myself a new workout routine – one that I can stick to, and not abandon after just a few weeks.  I’ll start off getting back into shape with mostly cardio for about a week or two, and then I’ll begin lifting weights again. Time to break out the protein shakes and the workout playlist.
And  now, faithful readers, you are all caught up with my life. Oh wait, I started watching a series called White Collar on USA. I watched the first 2 seasons in less than a week on Netflix… interesting, I know. NOW you are all up-to-date. Congratulations.

Tonight’s song is a classic rock song! FINALLY! Almost every single song I’ve used so far (except for “Call Me”) has been from the 2000’s and onward, and I’ve been neglecting the classics like the Beatles (expect them in the near future) and AC/DC. Here’s Fleetwood Mac with their famous hit, “Go Your Own Way.”

All the Memories (Pt. 1) 03/04/2012

Posted by Matt in Interests, School, Sports.
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I apologize for the long gap between this and my last post. A combination of writer’s block and a ton of schoolwork kept me from posting new entries on here. But I’m back now, and I’ll be returning to my schedule of posting  something every 2-3 days. Before I start, I’d like to give a shout out to Andrew of “The Transpiration of Andrew” for posting about my blog! Just like when Sam did a few weeks back, the number of views spiked (hopefully I can bring the number of views per hour back up to what it was before).

Tonight’s post is one I’ve been meaning to write since my first entry on this blog. It’s centered on what I consider the greatest times in my life; our high school football team. I’ve been on our school’s football team since middle school, and I’ve played every single year since then. I love the sport and everything about it: watching it, following it, playing it, discussing it. So of course I signed up the very first day I could in middle school, along with all of my friends. Once the season began, I was given the positions that I would be playing throughout my entire football career, Wide Receiver and Defensive Back. Now I should mention that I was definitely never the star player on the team, I was always second-string. But I never let that get to me, and I still gave my all in practices and games. Even when it got to the point of feeling like I would collapse from exhaustion, I tried my best to keep going; the pain I felt afterwards was always a good one, since I knew it was a result of hard work and perseverance. And if there’s one thing that being on the team (or two really) that being a part of the team instilled in me, it was perseverance and resilience. Our final record was 4-4. A decent record I’d say, even though we just barely missed making the playoffs.

What was even more important to me than the sport itself, though, was my team. I will always look back on the time we spent together as my best memories from high school. Everyone was cool with each other, teasing each other when someone messed up, and giving them props when they did something great. From our trips to Chili’s the night before each game, to the parties we’d go to after the game whether we won or lost… from driving in each other’s cars to games, to blasting music in the locker room as we mentally prepared suited up… from the pregame stretches and warm-ups, to the coaches’ speeches and team breakdowns at the end… from watching the film of the previous game, to correcting the mistakes we made in practice… we were teammates through and through. Being on the team only strengthened all of our friendships, and I’ll never forget any of them.

My next post will be Part 2. I will be discussing how I believe an openly gay player would have been treated on our team, so keep an eye out for that faithful readers!

The featured song of this post is by a band I’ve neglected lately, but started listening to them again in the past week or so. It’s a song about wanting to return to the best times of your life, and I thought it fit perfectly with my entry about the time I spent on my high school football team… and how I’d give anything for one more season with them. Here’s Weezer with their song, “Memories.”

(Btw, check the About Me page for a picture of myself I’ve posted!)

The Fire Alights 02/21/2012

Posted by Matt in Other, Sexuality.
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(Quick entry alert) One of my good friends Jeremy (the one who helped me start up my own blog), of “StandingUpSpeakingNow,” posted something incredible tonight; an emotionally charged letter to his parents concerning their relationship and his sexuality. Normally, I don’t advertise for others blogs beyond a casual reference or the Blogroll on the side of mine… but this one is too beautiful and heartfelt to ignore. Seriously, go read it (I actually teared up a bit reading it, no joke)….  Dear Mom and Dad

This entry’s featured song is from a Canadian band… that I’ve never heard of, and I’m sure you haven’t either. But anyway, I give you Sandweaver with “Mending.” (I wouldn’t recommend reading Jeremy’s letter while listening to the song, unless you REALLY want to learn the meaning of “tearjerker”).

Sometimes, I Get a Good Feeling 02/20/2012

Posted by Matt in Interests, Other.
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Sorry for the lack of posts the past few days. All weekend long I kept trying to write new entries, but writer’s block kept popping up and I couldn’t finish what I started. Then yesterday I went snowboarding with my dad and cousin, and thought I might as well talk about one of my favorite hobbies. I’ve been skiing/boarding for most of my life, and began when I was 7 years old. I started out on skis, and picked it up pretty quickly. After about 6 years of being on skis, I decided I wanted to try snowboarding (as a lifelong skier, my dad was a bit disappointed lol).

On my first day on a board, I took a private lesson in the beginner’s area. I fell… a lot. But I kept getting up and trying again, and eventually I learned all the basics, like toe and heel turns, stopping, and keeping balance.  My instructor was pretty impressed, and we took the chairlift up to the larger beginner’s hill, which he claimed was pretty rare for someone’s first day. I was linking turns and avoiding hitting others. A good first day, I believe. On my next few outings, my uncle (who is on the ski patrol at Mountain Creek) had his boarder friend on the patrol give me pointers and help me improve my technique. According to him, I had picked snowboarding up faster than anyone he had ever seen (hope I don’t sound too overconfident). Every time I hit the slopes, I feel myself improving, even if it’s just a tiny bit.

When I’m out on the mountain, I feel like I can do anything. Gearing up, I’m preparing for an exciting day. Taking the chairlift up, I’m creating new challenges for myself. Carving through the powder, I’m blazing new trails. Getting air after going off a jump, I’m reaching new heights. Rolling over and getting up after falling, I’m demonstrating resilience. But most importantly, when I strap up and I’m looking downhill, I immediately gain something I usually lack, or just don’t show: self-confidence. If there was one area where I could really show somebody what I’m made of, snowboarding would be it. I become a whole new person the minute I set foot on the snow, as a result of my passion for the sport. I love the adrenaline rush I get from going top speed down a black diamond trail, from getting massive air and landing a jump, or from grinding a rail and ollie-ing off the end. Well I hope you liked getting to know me a bit better, and trust me, the posts will become more regular from here on out. Now to attend to the many comments I haven’t responded to yet…

Tonight’s song is one I only discovered a few weeks ago, and only because I found that it was the basis of Flo Rida’s song “Good Feeling”… not to mention that it’s from a genre that I’m a bit of a foreigner to. Enjoy Avicii’s worldwide hit, “Levels.”

(Oh, and Degrassi: New Beginnings premieres tonight! I’ve been watching the Now or Never marathon all day in anticipation. It’s a been a looooooong 5 months since Now or Never’s end, and I can’t wait for the new round of episodes!)