blog.asurroca.com my personal blog

May 25, 2008

Old Words About A Sunday Morning

Filed under: personal,thoughts,writing — Tags: , , — Alfonso Surroca @ 10:48 am

One day, years ago, I wrote the following, stream-of-consciousness style, immediately upon waking. Something about crapping out a sort of story out of my subconscious while still in a half-asleep daze makes me smile. Here it is:

She wore a robe of burgundy and gold. Her home was made of felt and porcelain, satin and ceramic. It was too small, as if caving in on itself, and stuffy, though not suffocating. I felt as if I weren’t there.

“The doddering old fool”, I heard from my left. Out of a cupboard-like cubbyhole of a room came a slinking, slimy hag. Pot calling the kettle black, indeed.

“She’s dropped her wishes,” the old lady continued, as if I knew her, what she spoke of, and that it was somehow of great importance. “Go on!” she continued, with more urgency, “pick it up, before she realizes she’s lost it. You don’t expect to get to market empty-handed?”

I was in a dreamlike state, but even from a logical perspective, her words were confounding. Speaking of wishes as a tangible, singular object? Going to market? None of this made sense to me, and this house was beginning to feel like an attic in a dollhouse.

I glanced down the hall and saw a small staff made of white ceramic, delicately painted with complex scribbles of gold paint, and with a bright pale blue robin’s egg—or what outwardly seemed like one. No, a stone with an egg-like appearance. As the cupboard-dwelling hag vanished into the ether and her babbling ceased, the hall became bright, and a draft of a spring morning wafted in.

It was sunny, and glowing; it was Sunday morning.

I picked up the object which purportedly held the wishes of the lady of the house.

She wore burgundy and gold, and held a gold and blue and white staff of wishes, and now she was gone.

“Sunday morning tea and cake, everything methodically laid out.” As I ambled downstairs, that’s what I thought. Rattan chairs with pillows, tea cups of the most ornate sort, delicately prepared pastries, laid out on golden tray, and a view of a wood outside. Everything was methodically prepared.

I sat down, and I ate the pastries, and I drank the tea—both cups—and made my way outside.

April 14, 2008

Remembering the D.C. Starbucks Murders

Filed under: personal,thoughts,work — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Alfonso Surroca @ 10:34 am

With so much tragedy in the world, it’s easy to become jaded, and unless you can identify with a particular story, these tragedies are easy to ignore. The only news story that’s ever haunted me was the triple-murder at a Starbucks in D.C. that happened during the summer of 1997.

The other day, I saw an episode of Murder by the Book on Tru TV about the Georgetown murders, and it gave me chills. I’ve seen so many crime dramas, and watched so many documentaries on crimes on Discovery Channel, TLC, etc. that I never even associate with the victims—I associate with the cops and forensic investigators every time. What makes this case so different? Starbucks.

(more…)

October 26, 2005

200 Years Ago…

Filed under: news,personal — Alfonso Surroca @ 3:07 am

Right now, I'm leeching an unsecured Wi-Fi conneciton up in one of the very few areas that has already gotten power back up, so I'll make this post quick.

Hurricane Wilma hit South Florida as a major hurricane (Category 3), but nothing even remotely close to the level with which Hurricane Andrew hit us. Despite this, Wilma dealt a crushing blow to South Florida's entire infrastructure, especially power (and subsequently communications). Many of Florida Power and Light's power substations were severely damaged by debris, and as such FPL is restoring power at a painstakingly slow rate. (more…)

August 26, 2005

Thirteen Years Later…

Filed under: personal — Alfonso Surroca @ 10:53 am

Almost exactly thirteen years ago, I found myself barricaded in my home behind pounds of exceptionally strong aluminum, family members rushing about keeping themselves occupied, the weather radio blasting its garbled play-by-play. Behind the galvanized aluminum fortress and above the chatter in the house, you could still hear the rain and the wind pounding on the house. At the outset of the heavy winds, the power went out, with the timing of a suspense film, because as we all know, the suspense in every sound you hear increases tenfold when you can't see the source of the sounds you're hearing. And thus, for all the brutal force Hurricane Andrew had, I could see none of it. (more…)

April 8, 2005

INTJ

Filed under: personal,thoughts — Tags: , , , , — Alfonso Surroca @ 6:46 pm

At a friend’s request, I took a personality type test this afternoon in unison with that said friend. It turned out to be one of the Myers-Briggs-esque tests based on the Carl Jung personality type model. This was familiar because I had taken one of these tests as an assignment for an business class a few semesters back. In a nutshell, here’s what these tests are all about:

Psychiatrist Carl Jung created a model wherein one could categorize personality types by three criteria: extrovert-introvert, sensing-intuition, and thinking-feeling. Later in the 20th century, Isabel Briggs-Myers refined the model with a fourth criterion, judging-perceiving, and throughout the century, various personality tests have evolved from this Jung model. They’re typically found in career centers at school, or in some relation to the workplace or job placement.

The first criterion generally describes where a person’s method of expression lies, externally, or internally. The second defines the way in which a person perceives information. A sensing person relies mainly on information gathered from the external world via the senses, and an intuitive person relies on information gathered internally. The third criterion defines how a person processes this information. A thinking person uses logic to make a decision, and a feeling person uses emotion. And the fourth criterion defines how a person uses the information he has processed. A judging person organizes this information into plans and acts according to those plans, and a perceiving person instead tends to improvise.

There are a possible sixteen combinations of these four criteria, each of which determines a specific type. Various types of tests based on the Jung model are floating around, and like the usual psychiatrist-written inventory, it consists of several questions about how you work in certain situations, your habits, and the like. Ahh, those predictable psychiatrists—if you’re quick, you can almost figure out what result you’re going to get by the time you’ve read the questions.

I got INTJ, or the mastermind

This means Introvert iNtuitive Thinking Judging, or in a nutshell, that I have the unusual capability of doing everything from creating a theory to actually implementing it in the real world. This is one of the more rare personality types (it describes less than one percent of the population), and seems filled with contradictions. This is because we INTJ/mastermind personalities tend to have a manner of thinking and point of view that is different from everyone else’s.

According to one analysis I read on this personality type, my mind is constantly crawling the external world, combing for information, and associating and ranking bits and sources of information, not unlike Google. As such, I’ve got a hard-wired knack for understanding concepts. Furthermore, I can compile this information into a plan of attack such that my ideas may lead to actual results instead of wishy-washy theories. Because of this ability to form internal vagaries into external orders, and keen ability to strategize and see the big picture, I’m a natural leader. In spite of that, since I prefer the internal world, I remain in the background unless I absolutely must take over command.

On the downside, if you must call it a downside, masterminds, so focused on their own internal world that all those social mores like falling in love tend to be forgotten. This page explains that for us masterminds, “love means including someone in their vision of the world.” That’s a pretty tough criterion! Obviously, as has been my experience, masterminds aren’t prolific lovers. Masterminds also tend to have a romantic archetype of a relationship in their mind, and “withhold their deep feelings and affections from the public and sometimes even from the object of their affections.” And when scorned, we tend to retreat back to our own world, and “lash out with criticisms of their former loved ones.” That cycle from falling for someone to hating them is probably descriptive of every girl I’ve met since middle school.

Now, about that friend I mentioned at the outset. I’ve taken this test before, but she’s the one who had me thinking about this whole Jungian model. She took the test, posted the results on her blog, and to my surprise, she also fell into the mastermind category. Now, if the lot of us add up to somewhere below one percent of the population, then the odds against us both being INTJ personalities are pretty numerous. All the articles I read about this personality type said nothing of what happens when two INTJs put their heads together. Look out!

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