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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Patrick Hogan's LiveJournal:

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Saturday, October 16th, 2010
9:57 am
Get to Know Your Hogan: October 16

Originally published at Highly Advanced Cheese. You can comment here or there.

On this day in 2000, I attend Game 5 of the NLCS at Shea Stadium where the Mets win the National League pennant. And that was the last time anything sports-related has excited me. Also, backup catcher Todd Pratt sprays me with champagne causing me to lose my Babylon 5 baseball hat.

Monday, October 11th, 2010
9:56 am
Get to Know Your Hogan: October 11

Originally published at Highly Advanced Cheese. You can comment here or there.

On this day in 2009, a squirrel throwing acorns at my window forces my cat to put the apartment on Defcon 3.

Sunday, October 10th, 2010
11:30 am
Get to Know Your Hogan – October 10th

Originally published at Highly Advanced Cheese. You can comment here or there.

On this day in 1992, my mother gives my father a dirty look as he plays the Nina Simone song “Mississippi Goddamn” while cooking pancakes before Church.

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010
11:30 am
Get to Know Your Hogan – October 5

Originally published at Highly Advanced Cheese. You can comment here or there.

On this day, in 2006, I wake up, go to the office, immediately leave the office, go home and decide having Tuesday and Wednesday as my weekend is no longer fun.

Monday, October 4th, 2010
11:30 am
Get to Know Your Hogan – October 4

Originally published at Highly Advanced Cheese. You can comment here or there.

On this day in 2008, my cat, Mackenzie, decides that using a litter box is optional.

Sunday, October 3rd, 2010
11:30 am
Get to Know Your Hogan – October 3rd

Originally published at Highly Advanced Cheese. You can comment here or there.

On this day in 1989, my mother gives a dirty look to my father as he sings the chorus to the Jonathan Edwards song “Gonna Lay Around the Shanty Mama (And Put a Good Buzz On)” while cooking pancakes before Church.

Saturday, October 2nd, 2010
11:30 am
Get to Know Your Hogan – October 2

Originally published at Highly Advanced Cheese. You can comment here or there.

On this day in 1997, I receive a concussion while playing on the Massapequa Soccer Club team “The Jokers” after colliding with a high school student who had no business playing with junior high kids. At least that’s what they tell me. My memory of that year is a bit foggy from this point on.

Friday, October 1st, 2010
11:30 am
Get to Know Your Hogan – October 1

Originally published at Highly Advanced Cheese. You can comment here or there.

On this day in 2006, I casually ask co-worker, fellow copy-editor and friend Karen I. whether the date is September 30 or 31 so I can put it on the front page. The look she gives me is a mix of confusion, loathing and pity.

Thursday, September 30th, 2010
11:35 am
Get to Know Your Hogan – September 30

Originally published at Highly Advanced Cheese. You can comment here or there.

On this day in 1993, my 3rd grade German class learns a song called “Hausaufgaben Machen.” I don’t remember what that means, but according to Google, it translates as “Homework.” Whenever you need five extra syllables, the German language is there.

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010
11:33 am
Get to Know Your Hogan – September 29

Originally published at Highly Advanced Cheese. You can comment here or there.

On this day in 1997, I am surrounded in total darkness at the Liberty Science Center as part of the New York State science curriculum — it’s the only way to properly dissect a vampire.

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010
4:15 pm
Get to Know Your Hogan – September 28

Originally published at Highly Advanced Cheese. You can comment here or there.

On this day in 2004, Andrea McMunn plays Nickelback for me for the first time at the WEXP studios at La Salle University. “They will amount to nothing,” I tell her. “Who ever heard of a long-haired Canadian rockstar?”

Monday, August 16th, 2010
3:38 am
It’s gonna be the future soon

Originally published at Highly Advanced Cheese. You can comment here or there.

If you happened to look over at my desk in Miss Tuminello’s 4th grade social studies class, you might be a little confused by what you saw. I would be sitting there tapping the pages with my forefinger as I read along with the teacher. I would slide my finger along the edge of the book, and then would tap twice in the bottom right hand corner when it came time to turn the page. When the class was over, I would do a little circle motion on the page before closing it up and sticking it in my desk.

If you were really close, you may have heard the sound effects I was making under my breath.

There’s no one arguing that I wasn’t a strange child. I did a lot of things my parents and teachers didn’t understand (most of the time, I was in the dark as well), but in this instance, there was a method to my madness. You see, for the last year or so I had been finding excuses to be home on Saturdays at 5:00 p.m. so I could catch the syndicated reruns of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

This child appears to be insane, Captain.

The computers on that show weren’t like my dad’s NEC laptop that he had just upgraded to Windows 95. You didn’t use a mouse to push a cursor around, or type on a keyboard. For the most part, you just said aloud what you wanted the computer to do and they did it for the most part, but when a character did need to use a tactile interface, they put their hand down on a black panel, and that panel turned into the interface. There wasn’t a big red button that you pressed to fire the torpedos. Instead, there was a tab labeled “tactical” that when you put your finger against it, opened up a new interface with all the different options.

Longtime Trekkies already know what I’m talking about, but for those of you still in the dark, I’m talking about LCARS: Library Computer Access/Retrieval System. It was the computer the writers of Star Trek designed for The Next Generation crew to look sleek and sophisticated and what people would be using when the 24th century came around. They were, of course, 100 years off. Dynamic tactile interfaces are all the rage these days, first starting with the iPhone a few years back.

The LCARS interface. Later on they would wrap it in cheap plastic and stick a picture of a piece of fruit on it.

A common complaint you hear from life-long science-fiction fans as they get older is “Where’s my jetpack?” Younger fans of the genre tend to take what they’re reading as accurate prognostications of forthcoming technological developments … well I know I did at least. In many areas they’re dissappointed, but as I was reading an ebook on my phone today, I took a moment to recall that I was pretending my textbooks were touchscreens years before Steve Jobs went on stage and unveiled the iPad.

Now all they need is the holodeck, and I’ll have no complaints.

Sunday, August 15th, 2010
4:44 pm
Sorry for not blah blah blah

Originally published at Highly Advanced Cheese. You can comment here or there.

At this point, I think we all know I suck at blogging. I actually have a semi-valid excuse this time. I’ve been stuck without internet for the last month or so since I moved to Iowa. Fortunately, there’s an end in sight. This Thursday, Qwest is schedule to hook up the Internet at my new apartment, so we’ll just have to wait and see.

I’m think of a format change. Something to encourage me to update and write more often. I like what I see with Tumblr. To be honest, as much as I like it, WordPress may be more power than I need for the occasional updates I make. I’m also paying way too much for web hosting, all things considered.

We’ll wait and see on that. Expect to hear more once I get internet back.

Friday, July 16th, 2010
1:54 pm

Originally published at Highly Advanced Cheese. You can comment here or there.

I have arrived in Cedar Rapids. Currently living out of a hotel room going through the hotel hunt. I’m a little nervous I won’t be able to find a place before I need to start work. Oh well, blogging won’t make it better. Gotta get out there and start looking.

Thursday, July 8th, 2010
4:48 am

Originally published at Highly Advanced Cheese. You can comment here or there.

I forget how old I was when I got my first comic book. I can pinpoint it as being sometime between 3rd and 5th grade, because that was the time period when the kids at St. Rose of Lima were trading Marvel superhero trading cards and the X-Men animated series was on Fox. This was my main source of knowledge on the Marvel world: the X-Men were the good guys, Magneto was the bad guy, plain and simple.

Around this time, my family was thinking of possibly moving to Connecticut, and was driving around a bunch of towns in that state looking for nice places to live. We stopped at a convenience store for gas and I noticed there was a comic book rack there. I bugged my parents until they let me buy a comic for the ride home, along with a roll of bubble tape. Of course, I grabbed an issue of X-Men.

Hoo boy, was I confused.

Colossus and someone named “Shadowcat” were protecting Arcade along with robots made to look like the X-Men when they “were still alive.” Also, Storm was bald in a field with a knife and a black guy at a diner turned into a purple thing named Nimrod and disintegrated some people trying to rob the diner.


I never really gave mainstream comic book covers a try until a few years later when I was watching the Spiderman cartoon on Fox, I decided to give Spiderman a try. I managed to pick up an issue during the Clone Saga where Peter Parker comes home to find Peter Parker arguing with the Scarlet Spider(a clone of Peter Parker), while Mary Jane is held hostage by Kane(Peter Parker).


These were obviously terrible first impression, and it was silly for me to expect a medium that depends upon sequential progressing story lines from month-to-month to cater to a new reader. Still, these bad experiences really kept me from being submerged into the superhero genre beyond what was available to people who watched Saturday morning cartoons.

Beyond the fact that I had no idea what was going on and nothing made sense, I hated how these things looked, from art to writing. The art was always these heavily shaded drawings that moved dangerously close to uncanny valley territory depending on how expressive they tried to be (see fig 1). The text would have random lines and phrases bolded, and I could never understand why. There was so little text in there to begin with, it wasn’t like I might miss something without the emphasis.

I’m not sure what my problem was, but I never got into comics as a result. It’s definitely not the medium. I follow about 30 webcomics on my RSS feeds. Maybe it was just the way D.C. and Marvel did things during my formative years. Although I haven’t picked up many other comic books recently …

Sunday, July 4th, 2010
5:56 pm
You are a huge nerd

Originally published at Highly Advanced Cheese. You can comment here or there.

It’s mainly Charles’s fault.

He was a huge fan of Triumph: The Insult Comic Doc. When we would be cruising around Garden City after getting out of Chaminade High School, he would say in his best Zeckendorfian accent, “You are a huge nerd!”

I had been called a nerd many times before. In grade school, when people saw me playing Magic: The Gathering during recess. In London, when I spent free time in computer lab building my custom campaign for Freespace. In high school when Charles, myself and the other ETV nerds would spend hours after school playing with a Video Toaster.

But this was the first time I associated the term with something positive. It wasn’t a bad thing to be a nerd, in fact it was a desirable trait.

My nerd pride still was developing. College helped a lot. The entire jocks-on-top, nerds-on-bottom structure of high school evaporated. Nerds like me became just another component of the egalitarian social structure on campus, while the people who enjoyed that kind of abusive high school power structure exiled themselves to fraternities. I wouldn’t describe myself as a Pokemon fan, but I feel this comic sums up the experience pretty well.

Moving to New Mexico was a bit of a set back to my pursuit of all things nerdy. I lost all of my existing social structure, except for that which I could continue to pursue online. As a result, that part of my interest became internalized a lot. I had no one to talk about the launch of D&D 4E with, so I just didn’t. I tried to show Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog to my friends, they didn’t get it. I gave Nintendo DS’s to friends for their birthdays, but they never played Mario Kart with me.

PAX was a major turning point. Seeing thousands upon thousands of nerds coming together and just being themselves with no trepidation was a very liberating experience. It still took until the second PAX for it to fully sink in that this didn’t have to be a twice-a-year occasion for me, that I could immerse myself in nerd culture, un-afraid, the entire year ’round. This was my mission as I came back.

Thank God for Fortress of Holding. That place has been such a huge part of my life the last few months. Zach and Laura have set up a haven in the desert for the nerd to be his or herself. It’s definitely one of the parts of Farmington I’m going to miss the most.

So looking ahead to Cedar Rapids, I am determined not to make the same mistakes I had in the past. I’ve done some research and found some promising signs that Eastern Iowa is a much more welcoming place for my kind.

Here’s hoping I get a good initiative roll.

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010
6:17 am
Cold as a falling thermometer in December?

Originally published at Highly Advanced Cheese. You can comment here or there.

I don’t know much about Iowa. This could be a fatal flaw, as I’m moving there in less than three weeks.

Since I first learned about my move, all I seem to be able to wrestle up out of my memory is the song “Iowa Stubborn” from Meredith Wilson’s classic musical “The Music Man.” So what does that tell me? People from Iowa are stubborn and have a propensity to randomly break out into song.

Sounds like my kind of place, actually.

In all seriousness, from what I’ve seen so far, there’s a lot to like about Iowa — specifically the part of Iowa I’m moving to. It’s the kind of environment I’ve always envisioned myself living in. Urban, but not in decay. Small, but not minuscule. Remote, but not isolated. The downtown area where my office is going to be is a particularly neat-looking area, although it appears to not have completely recovered from the flood just yet.

If nothing else, it’s a part of the country I have never visited before, and it should be a neat adventure getting to know it better.

So I’m gonna give Iowa a try.

Sunday, June 27th, 2010
6:09 pm
The year of eating dangerously

Originally published at Highly Advanced Cheese. You can comment here or there.

The warning signs came in the summer of 2006. My mom was helping me move to New Mexico, and along the 3-day drive from New York, we stopped at a Cracker Barrel in Amarillo, Texas. It was early in the day andbreakfast-time. I don’t know if it was the strange shell-shock state of mind that comes with moving, but for some reason I ordered scrambled eggs despite being pretty sure I didn’t like eggs.

Turns out, I love ‘em.

I credit this incident with really opening my eyes to the idea that I couldn’t trust my memory with regards to what food I liked and disliked. They were memories formed by perceptions I had at very young ages that really couldn’t be trusted by my adult mind. I may have thought eggs were gross as a five-year old, and translated that thought into a memory-warning not to eat them. What relevance did this really have to the 22-year-old me?

But it still would be three years until I delivered on that realization. Starting sometime last spring, I began to deliberately seek out the foods that I had labeled in my mind as disliking. The results were staggering. My palette expanded a thousand-fold and my options opened up to an incredible new range of food. At the same time, a lot of the unhealthy mainstays in my diet began to drop out as I found I had so many other choices.

Here is a list of foods that I’ve changed from dis-like to like in the last year:
Grapefruit and grapefruit juice
Bell peppers and chilis
All seafood (I used to always say I “didn’t like fish.” Turns out I do, as well as crab, shrimp and other shellfish)
Steak sauce
Goat cheese
Hot sauces (sriracha and tabasco primarily)
BBQ sauce
And Many More

5:43 pm
Climbing the wall

Originally published at Highly Advanced Cheese. You can comment here or there.

It’s been a while, but I have big news. The other day I gave my two-week notice at The Daily Times just shy of my four-year anniversary.

Animas and Berg Park Riverwalk during Riverfest.

I’ve now lived in New Mexico for the same amount of time I was in college in Philadelphia, for a year longer than I attended Chaminade High School, and four times as long as I lived in London or Switzerland. The word “impact” doesn’t begin to describe how living here has affected my life.  It was a while ago that I stopped describing myself as a New Yorker and started describing myself as a New Mexican. It just felt like the honest thing to do.

There have been things about New Mexico I loved. The scenery. The art. The food…oh man, the food! There have been things I disliked about New Mexico. The isolation. The politics. The fact that it takes hours of driving through the middle of nowhere to get anywhere. Overall, I think it’s been a good experience that has made me a better, well-rounded person.

It’s kind of odd, this change is coming during one of the best years ever. I made a commitment early on to get out more and meet more people that started with the Farmington Young Professionals and ended with me hanging out almost every weekend at the Fortress of Holding. This was sort of kicked-off by the fact that so many of my friends at the newspaper — Jeff Golden, Lindsay Pierce, Lucas Coshenet, Cory Frolik to name a few — were leaving. I still had friends at the paper, but our interests diverged a lot, so I saw them less and less on the weekend and needed to come up with different ways of staying busy.

At the same time, I took the initiative to make a big professional change to move away from copy-editing once and for all and start writing full-time. It was a terrifying decision to make, but one that I do not regret the least as I look back, as it’s opened so many new opportunities for me.

I’ve been sort of rambling because I’m still a bit far away from the day I’ll be leaving and I don’t think it’s sunk in properly yet. In two weeks, most of the familiar things in my life will be gone. How could anyone possibly process that fact all at once. But let there be no doubt, this is what I want. Farmington and The Daily Times have been good to me, but my new job is a great chance to live in an awesome city and do great journalism.

It’s part of why I re-launched the blog from scratch. A new start and all that. Hopefully I’ll be able to keep the posting going this time. No promises.

So, long story short, two weeks left in Farmington. Suffice it to say, I’m going to be eating Mexican food like CRAZY from here on.

Thursday, July 30th, 2009
1:56 pm
Apparently I accidentally deleted a bunch of posts from Livejournal that I didn't mean to. Sorry if you liked them. If it's any consolation, I still have them in my wordpress backup.

Love, Pat
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