Monday, August 16, 2010

Status update

It’s been a long time since I’ve written a blog, so I may be a little rusty, but I shall forge on. Anyway, this is exactly what it is titled, a status update, nothing more, and nothing less. To actually find out about the goings on of my life you may want to go to Part 1, those of you who like my ramblings; read on. I think I’ll skip the next few sentences because they would only repeat what’s already been said, let’s move on. So I’ve finally decided to write a blog (mainly to make myself feel better about other blogs I’m putting off, such as my end of trip finance report, which I really need to work on). The following blog will contain such exiting content as; poetry, current events, and reflection.

Part 1 – Joshua Grossman on Current (and previous) Events (A.K.A. stuff that happened and will happen in Josh’s life)
Life is pretty exciting right now, I will be starting 7th grade soon, and we will also be moving into a new house. 35 days ago my brother, mother and I set out on a journey toward North Carolina to drop me off at camp. 30 days ago it was my first day of camp Eagles Nest. 29-11 days ago I was in camp, wishing for chocolate. 10 days ago, I had the biggest ice cream sundae of my life. 9 days ago we picked up my brother from camp, and went to Vermont. 8-2 days ago my family and I were in Vermont. As of yesterday we arrived back in Brookline. Today I have done nothing except for watching How I Met Your Mother episodes, and watching Despicable Me in 3D. I figured that I had to do something at least kind of intellectual, thus I am writing this blog. Now that you’re caught up on stuff that happened in my life, I might as well tell you about the stuff that will be happening in my life. First of all we should be moving into our new house in about two weeks, which is really exciting. Secondly, in three weeks I will be starting 7th grade, at the Pierce School (not as exciting).

Part 2 – Joshua Grossman on Poetry (A.K.A. Poetry that I wrote)
On my way to camp (somewhere between 35, and 30 days ago for those who didn’t read Part 1) we visited the National Zoo in D.C. While I was there (secretly anticipating another blog), I wrote some more two-line poems:

Cheetah, cheetah lying down,
Boredom makes his poet frown.

Panda (version 2)
Pandas are inside today,
Just as lame as when they play.

Red Panda
This cool panda sits atop a tree,
Staring at the world quite smugly.

The only cool panda at this zoo,
He does more than eat and poo.

Elephant, elephant, wrinkled and gray,
Eating, eating, all the day.

This snake of green lies in wait,
For something to be put upon it’s plate.
Green snake waiting in the water,
This stealthy serpent is no otter!

Unintentionally he wanders around,
While making a little yip-yip sound.

I hope that you liked my poems (they didn’t actually have an official Chipmunk exhibit; I just saw one by the food court and decided to write about him). This concludes Part 2 of my blog, if you aren’t scratching your eyes out; I recommend that you read Part 3.

Part 3 – Joshua Grossman on Reflection (A.K.A. Me, myself, and I, all talking about our relationship)
So if you thought that you’d read this for an emotionally deep ending, then I ask you to get a grip, I’m 13, not 31. This is a conclusion, granted, but not an ending. If you’re looking for a happily ever after, watch pretty much any Disney movie. In my opinion, this is a kind of new beginning; the day we ended our trip, and arrived in Brookline was March the 4th. Almost at the same moment a light bulb went off in the head of my family members and myself, today we March Forth into a new horizon. Oh darn it, looks like I did give it a meaningful ending. Oh well, you can’t win them all, but at least I did win this battle in the constant turmoil of my life.

Part 4 – Joshua Grossman on Pretty-much Nothing at All (A.K.A. a small ending).
So this concludes my blog, don’t worry (or maybe you should) I shall write again (probably just other various ramblings on, yet writing all the same).

Until then, enjoy Life in general – Josh.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Poems Inspired By The Zoo

Yesterday I went to the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., when I was there I wrote a series of short 2-3 line poems about different animals, here they are:

A panda is a boring creature
Its cute face is
Its only notable feature.

Watching quizzically from their burrows,
And when they see you,
Their little brow furrows.

Hiding in his shell all day
Rarely coming out
To eat, sleep, or play.

Clinging to the tank wall
They use their suction cups,
So they won’t fall.

I hope you liked my shorter poems please leave comments on my blog about what you thought of them.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Ocean Poetry

I am writing this blog from the Island of Hawaii, in the little house that we are renting for the three days we will spend on this island, until we fly to the island of Maui. Here in Hawaii I have been inspired to write poetry about various sea creatures and in this blog I will share those poems with you.

The first poem is the revised edition of my poem “The Kraken” originally written for my writing course with the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth, but it now has a life of its’ own. Also, I have been working on some poetry about the ocean, inspired by my travels in the Hawaiian Islands. The second poem is about life from the point of a crab and how it wonders about a world bigger than its own tide-pool. The third (and final) poem I call “Musings of the Grandfather”, it is about a turtle and how it looks down on the ocean and thinks about how short life is, and why can’t everyone (every-fish) live as long as his kind does.

The Kraken

From the depths,
Of time,
And of the ocean itself,
There comes a call,
The once-great power
Over man
And his creation.
There comes a call,
From the spirit of the ocean,
From the murky depths
Known only to
And the squid,
And what other creatures
dwell on the bottom of the ocean
In between
The rocks,
And various sea plants,
All a fluorescent green.
The call is heard,
But not answered.
No one mourns,
The kraken.
The water is polluted
With hatred,
And loathing
The oceans boil with evil
The sea
Roars with rage
Waves crash on distant shores,
A storm is brewing
A storm of all storms
A tribute to the kraken
A last gift from the sea.
No man mourns the kraken,
Because it was kraken,
That stopped man from
Spreading his evil,
Kraken that stopped
The world of humans,
From entering the sea,
Now the kraken has gone,
And with it,
The sea’s dignity.
The oceans were sacred
A long time ago,
Because of the kraken,
The holy monster,
Kraken – the necessary evil.
But sadly,
Nothing but the seaweed
Swaying in the calm current,
Davy Jones himself
Mourns the loss
of the Kraken,
And with it
The loss of
The world’s greatest treasure:
The birth place of everything,
Where amazement flows eternally,
We know it as the sea,
The ocean
The lake of all lakes.
But it is so much more than that
It is Eternity,
It is Wonder
It is Life.

Life Beyond the Shell

The sea crashes
All around me.
I scuttle across the mountain
That is a rock.
I look out
Through the eyes
Of a crab
And wonder
How big is the world,
Beyond my shell?

Musings of the Grandfather

I see some fish
They are swimming
Under water.
They are all colors
Moving quickly
Through the water.
They lead short lives
Of little meaning,
But they are content,
And so am I.
I am the father of
The fish,
I am Turtle.

I really liked these poems, and I hope that you do too, please leave comments on what you thought of them.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Budget Reports for December and November

Below are the budget reports for December and November. Sorry for the delay in posting November’s report, but I thought it would be important to include with the December one.

- Joshua

December Monthly Budget Report

December was an interesting month for many reasons, but mainly because we spent 23.4% on meals out (much higher than any other month on the trip). I think this was because we didn’t spend many nights in the RV and we have a tendency to eat out more whenever we’re in a hotel or staying with friends and family.

Gas came in second with 22.8% which was pretty unsurprising, because we didn’t travel as much during the month of December as we had in previous months.

In 3rd place came transportation with 13.7% of our monthly budget. This was mainly because of a rental car in Hood River, OR. But also includes a few taxis, a rental car in San Francisco and the ferry from Seattle onto the Olympic Peninsula..

Currently, for the entire trip, we are over budget by 1.7%, to get back on budget we will have to decrease our daily spending by 7.7% for the month of January, which I think is achievable.

Below are the graphs showing spending by category for the trip-to-date and month of December, followed by the November report.

Monthly Budget Report for November

November, the month of Thanksgiving, Eating, sitting around and getting fat. And boy, do our numbers reflect that.

For example, Gas. In October we spent 34.6% of our budget on fuel for the big pig, In November that went down to 11.7% this is because.
A) We weren’t driving as much.
B) We were in Canada for October, and their gas prices were really expensive.

Lodging, the main reasons why lodging fell from 13.2% in October to 8.8% in November are because:
A) We stayed in a lot of friend’s houses.
B) In October we stayed at a few hotels.
C) We got a great deal on a Hood River Vacation rental from please rent from them if you’re ever in the ‘hood.

Also Groceries more than doubled from a small 9.6% all the way to 20.2% in November. I think this was because:
A) We ate more.
B) We had a real kitchen in all of the houses.

Restaurant Meals increased too, by 3.6 percentage points. My ideas as to why this happened:
A) We actually spent more money on restaurant meals in the month of October, but since we spent much more overall in October, meals out was a smaller percentage.

Below is a graph showing spending by category for November

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Introducing My New Religion: Humorism

A few days ago, I created my own religion known as humorism. Humorism is all about seeing the funny side of life, and being able to laugh at almost anything. I have also created a blog about humorism, known as "The Humorist Society" here is a link to it . I would like you all to know that the reason I have not posted here in the last two weeks is because I have been diverting all of my attention to my new blog about humorism, so if you would like to read my blogs, then I suggest you check out or possibly follow my humorist blog. Hope hear your comments on "The Humorist Society"-Josh

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Monthly Budget Report #3 - October 2009

October was an expensive month. As expected, traveling 2000 miles to Churchill, Manitoba was not exactly budget friendly. Gas was a higher percentage than usual (3 more percentage points) because not only did we drive many miles this month, but gas was much more expensive in Canada ($4 per gallon, versus $2.50 in the U.S.). As of October 31st we are over budget by 5.9% (for the whole trip), but the previous two months we were under budget. My plan to keep my family on track is to cut our daily budget by 15% during the month of November. If my plan is successful we will be back on budget by November 30th. This plan is possible because we will be doing less driving, and staying at more houses of friends in November.

The top four categories for October were gas at 34.6%, lodging at 13.2%, restaurant meals at 10%, and groceries at 9.6%. Compared to September, lodging increased by 3 percentage points, thanks to our stay at the Polar Inn in Churchill, and staying in a few hotels in Montana due to snowstorms. Restaurant meals grew by 2 percentage points because it was hard to cook our own meals while staying at hotels. Household expenses fell by 11 percentage points because in September we were spending money on staples and other items we will not need to buy again. Because of our eating out so much, groceries fell by 6 percentage points.

The following graphs show the relative amount of our spending, by category, during the month of October and for the trip to date.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Eternal Plain

I was inspired to write this blog form the flat plains of South Dakota; it is not about an actual plain, but more of state of a state of consciousness. If you really go into the very core of this poem, you will find that it is all about nothing, and how it coincides with all that actually, or simply is.

The Eternal Plain
Here I lie, amidst all of nothing.
My body is still,
Alas, nothing.
Barren landscape,
Stretching out in mindless enormity before my very eyes.
I see a plain
Covered in grass
And it simply is,
Not was, or will be,
It simply is.
It exists in the same way nothing exists
It simply is.
There are no boundaries for this plain
It goes on
It goes on for eternity.
It simply is.
I am now approaching a town
But the plain does not end where the town starts,
Oh no, the plain goes on…
To eternity...
To forever...
It simply does.