blog.asurroca.com my personal blog

August 20, 2013

Someone Else’s Speech for Graduates

Filed under: humor,living,thoughts,writing — Alfonso Surroca @ 9:34 pm

One time (right now) I read this article about some guy giving a college graduation speech. It’s this speech. And then I rewrote it as my own speech, which I prefer better, because I’m young and selfish, just like the guy giving the original speech expects me to be.

What are old people good for, besides ridicule? Tales of regret.

Once, I was poor, and it was awful; once, I worked at a slaughterhouse, and it wasn’t. I’ve imbibed poop-water in a distant land, and shot a hockey puck at a girl I fancied. Once, a mousey nervous-hair-chewing new girl came to town, and moved away, and I was kind of kind to her when she was around, though mostly she wasn’t; that’s because I was selfish. Everyone thinks they’re the invincible lead in their own story within a greater world; it’s not that we don’t care, we just can’t see outside our stories.

It makes being kind tough, but as we get older, our reflexes dull and we can’t play FPS games anymore, so instead we play casual Facebook games, and we learn to slow down, and be less selfish, and give our money to Gameloft, and Zynga, and others. We realize through endless microtransactions that we’re more of a minor cog in the machine than the lead of the story.

And like that, life grinds you down into dust, but it’s like fairy dust. And if you have kids, you sprinkle them with it. Many of you have decades of the stuff on you, and inside you; you’re breathing it in right now, your parents’ lives.

I’d say “don’t be a dick”, but some Trekkie already made that speech, so I’ll just say this: In 80 years or so, I’ll be 134 with robot legs and laser eyes and a lot of cats, and hopefully some of you will have come to the same realizations I have and become kind, and when you are as kind as the Element of Kindness, and we’re all living in space, drop me a line, and I’ll say “I told you so”, and we can arm-wrestle with our cybernetic future arms and toss back a space brew or seven. Cheers.

September 7, 2008

Home Project: Painting the Master Bedroom

Filed under: living — Tags: , , — Alfonso Surroca @ 11:28 pm

Another weekend, another small improvement project. This time I decided my master bedroom’s boring beige wasn’t befitting of the colorful artwork I’ve got hanging up there. Here’s what it looked like before:

Before Painting

I painted one wall a charcoal gray color and the rest of them a normal shade of gray. That little contrast helps keep things from getting boring. Painting a room the same color? Lame.

Charcoal Gray

And here it is finished. With a few details like some IKEA and Target crap like candles and shelving. For more, check my flickr photostream

Finished!
Finishing Touches

September 1, 2008

Home Project: Shelf as Workstation

Filed under: living — Tags: , , , , , — Alfonso Surroca @ 4:29 pm

It’s Labor Day weekend, and that means it’s time for some house work. This weekend, I focused on my quasi home office room. I got wood flooring and paint, which I’ll use later. For today, I upgraded my workspace.

Here’s what it looked like before

I got this desk probably a decade ago and used it for writing/drawing in addition to computer work. Now that I’ve got my own home and considerably more desk space elsewhere, I don’t need all this desk real estate anymore. So, I set out to build a shelf after seeing such a set-up on Apartment Therapy.

Naturally, I set out for IKEA when I decided to build a desk/shelf hybrid. And naturally, it didn’t cost me much. I got the shelf, brackets, slide-out keyboard tray, and a cable organizer, and got to work.

Some drums helped hold it up while I installed it in the wall. Very helpful drums, they are! The coolest part of this shelf stems from a problem I had: I didn’t realize until after I’d purchased all the materials and unpacked them that the slide-out keyboard tray was much too deep for the shelf.

I fixed that problem like so: I drilled holes into the wall so that the slide-out keyboard tray slides into the wall.

What it looks like now….

I haven’t hooked up the computer and routed everything neatly through the cable organizer just yet, but it’s looking good already. The massively increased space from using this little shelf as a workstation allows me to pull my keyboard in closer, and much more room for my drums, making it this much easier to turn my workstation into a quasi recording studio.

More photos to come on my flickr photostream.

June 15, 2008

Bamboo, is it Green?

Filed under: business,design,environment,living — Tags: , , — Alfonso Surroca @ 2:31 pm

image of bamboo flooringWhile I’m satisfied with the cheap wood laminate flooring that I inherited when I bought my home, I’ve been waiting for the time when I’ve got the extra change needed to get some real hardwood floors installed. And being, a tree-hugging liberal, the first thing that came to mind was, of course, bamboo.

Sure, bamboo, unlike trees, can be harvested like any other crop, and grows back remarkably fast, but how “green” is it, really? Fortunately, I wasn’t the only one thinking about this. In short, since bamboo is a renewable resource, it’s definitely better than your average hardwood flooring… but the industry behind it isn’t. Apparently, bamboo is so hot right now that forests are being razed to make room for more bamboo crops.

Much of it comes from China, which kind of sours the deal for Fair Trade fans and folks into locally sourced materials. Oh, and those chemicals used in other materials? They’re used with bamboo as well. Fortunately, as with any product, there are good and bad companies out there. Apparently, Teragen is one of the good companies. And there are no less than thirteen dealers in my area, so I’ll have to get a quote.

June 14, 2008

Apparently, I’m Good At Interior Design

Filed under: design,living — Tags: , , , , — Alfonso Surroca @ 12:37 pm

Either that, or I’m just on to something here. A year and a half ago, I decided to paint my living room green—not just any green, mind you, but a green color-matched to the green used in all Xbox branding, packaging, logos, etc. Let’s call it Xbox Green.

Living Room

Then, a few months back, I came across this photo tour of a west coast couple’s home, headlined by the following photograph:

From Apartment Therapy

It’s a lot more finished, and a lot more classy, but it’s definitely familiar. Note that the green is very similar because when under similar lighting as in the second photo, my living room’s shade of green looks exactly the same as in the second photo. I’m also sure that the other place has got real wood flooring, where I’ve got cheap laminate.

Suddenly, I’ve got the desire to paint the right side cream and install a mirror above it.

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