Prelude to victory

I’m so close to the end of Final Fantasy X that I can taste it. I’m kindly waiting until my sister finishes her homework and leaves the basement before I watch the beginning of the end, though, so she isn’t spoiled about how it all goes down.

Hence this blog update.

This all, of course, assumes that I win whatever battles await me. Knowing me, there’s a good chance that won’t happen. (I do have to admit, though, my characters are pretty buff these days. That has something to do with getting confused, and thus being trapped, in an area full of powerful enemies.)

Saw a professor friend at Subway while buying lunch today, and had an enjoyable mini-conversation with him. (Seems his son has picked up an interest in programming, and now has a stint at HP because of it—not bad for a high-school kid.) Worked six nondescript hours. Visited the local Borders, and poked at books with sticks.

Jumped in fright when a Borders employee barked at me to stop that.

I’m thinking that a good beginning Flash book might really help me learn to use Flash. Here’s a small example of how different approaches yield different outcomes for me:

Scenario 1: Brent buys a book on HTML and CSS. He then successfully hand-crafts a resplendent blog.

Scenario 2: Brent installs XCode tools and tries to pick up AppleScript by halfheartedly reading various websites. He gains a broken shell of a program, and loses 900 MB of disk space.

As you can see, a good book makes all the difference.

Sin

This evening I leveled my Final Fantasy X characters up enough so that they stand a chance against the impressive monsters that exist within Sin. Auron now consistently does quad-nine damage (Wakka is close behind), and Lulu and Yuna are more evenly matched in their magical power. Yay me. I blew through Seymour’s final form like he was tissue paper, which was gratifying after the number he repeatedly did on my party at Mt. Gagazet.

Earlier in the evening I played tennis with Adam and Renee again, where I determined just how much I had lost of my previous skill: I have no aim, limited power control, and I’ve become extremely lazy about getting to the ball fast enough. Adam, in contrast, both gets to the ball almost every time, and can usually put it where he wants it—you can guess who was the dominant force on the courts. Still, it feels good to be swinging a tennis racquet again.

Even earlier in the day I made a distinct point of not stepping foot on campus, despite the seventy-degree temperatures that are guaranteed to make OSU a pleasant place to be. It felt exquisite. Honestly, I’m only now beginning to realize how much school had taken out of me, how exhausted I really am. (Of course, my late-night habits don’t really help me recover, either.) I thought I had a clue before, but I didn’t know the half of it.

Of course, I didn’t actually crack a math text today. I need to get studying, ’cause that actuarial exam is quite scary and will arrive before I blink twice.

Even earlier than today, I was idly surfing the internet and found a comic strip (the overall comic seemed rather meh) that was stupid and inappropriate to the point of hilarity: HBStories comic #2. My sense of humor can be quite weird at times, so YMMV.

So far the only kitty name suggested has been “Daisy” (clever Tiffany!), to continue with the Mario-game related names. I knew my parents were crazy when they named the dog Yoshi. I tried to tell them how everyone in the world except for them would think of a little green dinosaur, but I was too late.

Kitty

Today Eric and I joined Andy and Neil in helping Nate move into his new apartment. Nice place; virtually next door to Lee, actually. “Moving” consisted of a very small amount of lifting; we proved most useful in helping Nate’s folks get a big ol’ TV out of the car and into the apartment (it was pretty easy, since we had four people carrying the sucker). After that we hooked up the PS2 and played Virtua Fighter, before Nate’s dad offered to buy us all dinner. (!!!) It was hardly a fair trade.

In Final Fantasy X I foolishly used a special orb to let Yuna copy Lulu’s “doublecast” skill, figuring that being able to cast two cure spells on one round would be helpful in battle. I later realized that doublecast only lets you cast black magic spells—of which Yuna knew none. So I then had to waste more of my special spheres to teach Yuna some black magic, so that the doublecast wouldn’t go to waste. (My business classes had a term for this type of stupid decision, though it escapes me at the moment.)

After doing that, I discovered that Yuna is a more powerful black magician than Lulu is. That kinda hurt Lulu’s coolness factor, in my eyes.

As the title of this post indicates, I’ve been remiss in one major change in my life. About a week ago my sister picked up a cat from the humane society:

   

She doesn’t know her name—a good thing, since the pound was calling her Maggie May (ugh!)—so we are once again in search of a good name for a pet. We’re guessing she’s about a year old, as she still acts quite a bit like a kitten: she kneads everything, but has a really odd knead that doesn’t involve clawing things to death; she is darn curious about everything; she loves being around people, but is stupid and likes to run in front of you after about every three steps you take. She nearly tripped Dad this evening by doing that.

Yoshi’s actually been really good about the cat; I had my doubts, initially, as I’ve seen him choke himself on walks while trying to pursue wildlife. Turns out that he’s really just quite curious, himself; although he was at first extremely excited by any sign of the cat, he’s now gotten used to it and they coexist peacefully. I’m happy to say that Yoshi is actually a really nice dog…. He only growls at me sporadically, these days, and only halfheartedly when he does.

But, anyway, yes. Cat names, anyone? Marin is taking kitty to the vet on Tuesday, so—as they say in contract law—time is of the essence.

Oh Yeah

Remember when I noted that the new girl at work looked familiar? (That’s OK.) That’s because she was(/is?) a member of Cool Shoes, the OSU ballroom dance equivalent to the Green Berets. I’ve seen her at various OSU dances, if nowhere else.

That’s one less mystery plaguing me.

Code Red

Last night I foolishly installed XCode, Apple’s development software, to get access to AppleScript Studio. This was foolish because I have some desire to automate the production of my blog—and I have absolutely no frickin’ idea how to code in AppleScript.

I just spent several hours of my life getting my program to take the text out of a few fields and throw them into a blank text document. The sad thing is that this is actually further than I’ve ever gotten trying to program my own Mac application; I tried learning C way back in the day, and eventually got good enough to create a program (complete with window and menubar!) that acted like a good Macintosh application. That is to say that the window could be dragged around and closed, and the application would quit when either the quit menu item was selected or the user typed command-Q. So the fact that AppleScript Studio automatically took care of all basic window and menu junk—and even made some functional text fields (complete with automatic spell-check!) whose text I could extract—made this program light-years ahead of my last programming attempt.

I’ve never understood AppleScript, though. The way I imagine code in my head is wholly inconsistent with the way that AppleScript likes its code. This results in me frequently being stymied by my computer (for message-board junkies, imagine my computer repeatedly telling me no yuo!), which elicits an inordinate amount of cussing from me.

Work today was fun. Some coworkers decided to hold a pow-wow in my usual cubby, which resulted in about a half-hour of serious work and two and a half hours of chit-chat. I wish I got paid for that kind of performance.

Work was also interesting because I had far too much Mountain Dew for my own good. I have a bad, bad habit of drinking a Big Gulp of Mountain Dew while getting through my work day (boring, repetitive work implies the need for artificial stimulants, you see), and today was no exception to that pattern. What did differ was Marin’s choice of soft drink: she decided that she’d be the one to try out Code Red (“Mountain Dew with a rush of cherry flavor!!!!” or somesuch). She decided to try a Big Gulp of Code Red.

After one sip, she decided that she didn’t like it at all. And, presto, I had twice my normal Mountain Dew intake. I now have a remaining uptime that is best measured in days. (My apologies for furthering the annoying trend of adopting computer lingo into real life situations; I’m at a loss for a more apt way to describe how buzzed I am.)

What’s worse is that I didn’t even win one song from the iTunes Music Store today—despite the inordinate amount of Pepsi-product I consumed. How am I ever going to be able to get Sir Mix-A-Lot’s Baby Got Back?

Word on the street is that Nate (an old roommate of Andy, from BITD) is moving back down to Corvallis this weekend. This should provide Eric and me an excellent opportunity to practice our straw bossing skills.

Ahhhhh

This is the first night of my Eternal Spring Break that my sister and I actually sat down and watched some anime. Now it feels like a proper break. Seems I’ve made some weird association between the two.

The anime of the moment? None other than the show I’ve blindly bought as a gift and recommended a friend buy his girlfriend for Christmas: Fruits Basket! I’m happy to say that my gift and advice turned out to be just fine, in my opinion. Though it doesn’t have a huge overarching storyline like that of Rahxephon—heck, the two shows have darn little in common—Furuba provides the same this is quality sense that Rahxephon exudes.

In Real Life news, I ate lunch with Yunho today at Fung’s Chinese Garden. (Good food!) Yunho’s a student from South Korea who came to the States for graduate school; I met him in my organizational behavior class, which was a prerequisite he needed to fulfill. He’s a remarkably nice guy, and is quite cheerful for being so far away from his family and friends… He talked about his girlfriend—who he probably would never marry, as both parents are both against their relationship (keep in mind that Korea is quite collectivistic, socially, whereas the US is much more individualistic)—and worries about his country—both about its president, who had recently been impeached, as well as North Korea.

In talking, I began to wonder if the entire world is actually becoming polarized. It’s easy enough to see in the US, for sure, though I don’t have anything to really prove my postulate. However, I still can’t shake the feeling that we’re heading towards a point where many things (Israel and Palestine, the Middle East in general, North Korea, etc.) are going to give—one way or another—in rather rapid succession…. Think of some bastardization of Gould’s idea of punctuated equilibrium, where we’re reaching a point of dramatic change.

I usually dislike change.

Gaa. I should make an effort to have something more notable than a random (half-) thought occur each day. I’ll try harder, tomorrow.

I have no life

After a grueling battle (grueling more in length than in difficulty, actually), I have finally defeated both of Sin’s arms, as well as his head. My party is now actually inside Sin, and soon (next time I play Final Fantasy X) we will set out to find my pop.

Me bleeds, me bleeds

My ears are bleeding, and my eyes are crying tears of blood. And the iTunes Music Store, in corroboration with this man:

is responsible. There can be no kind, merciful god in a world where I can find this on the front page of the iTunes Music Store:

Marin, cruel sister that she is, made me play all four of his abominations covers. As Pedro would say: Nooooooooooooooooooooo!

I must be getting soft

I’m now in Zanarkand, in Final Fantasy X. The message that Yuna intended to be played after she defeated Sin actually made me misty-eyed…. I also identified with the feeling behind Auron’s bitter words:

“I wanted to change the world. I changed nothing. That’s my story.”

What a depressing way to summarize one’s life.

Whew

After giving my cut ‘n’ paste fingers a workout, all entries in this blog (all the way back to the beginning—a whole ten months!) should have permanent links now. I doubt they’ll get that much use, but they’re there if you want ’em.

Today started out pleasantly enough: I poked around the iTunes Music Store, finished reading the first volume of A.I. Love You (Ken “Love Hina” Akamatsu’s first commercial work), and checked up on my grades. A.I. Love You is odd; it was originally created in 1994, before computers and the internet really hit it big, and so there’s quite a bit of explanatory jargon that needn’t be there in this day and age. The story also feels a good bit rougher than Love Hina’s: imagine protozoan Ah! My Goddess crossed with protozoan Love Hina, and you actually have a decent taste of the story.

My math grades were in, and so—unless my last business class stabs me in the back—The Streak will live eternal. I do not anticipate owing Thom a milkshake, and that’s a good thing. I am humbled, in that my probability grade was only as high as it was because my professor was kind enough to grant me an extension on that first assignment… (Actually, in all honesty, The Streak should have ended with my first term of physics my sophomore year.) But I’ll stop babbling on about that.

Aw, bump it. I can’t even find an interesting link to point y’all towards right now. Guess it’s time to turn off the computer for a while.

I’m crazy-stupid

Why in the world did I just spend a good number of hours on stupid tweaks to this blog layout that only I will notice? (Hint: the most notable change is at the bottom of the page.) And why the heck am I trying to add permanent links to my silly posts, especially since none of this blasted thing is automated? (You’ll note that the permanent links are rather clunky—they refer to this page’s ultimate resting file name “blog_03_2004.html”, while the page is currently “blog.html”.) I don’t think there’s any easy way around the fact that these links will require me to post the blog under both file names.

Otherwise it’s been a darn slow day. My family (plus Grandma) ate dinner at McGrath’s, but that was really the only other event of note. Oh, and I read the first volume of Sgt. Frog. I don’t know if I’ll continue with the series, but the first volume did have a decent number of rather inspired rip-offs of anime shows and video games.

ope this

Mine is a world of pain, mostly because I’m a total pansy. I celebrated finishing finals by going bowling with Eileen on Thursday evening, and the three games we bowled did a number to my right arm. Bowling did feature two moments of whimsy: the first was when the lights went out and the blacklights came on—we were no longer bowling, but playing an ’80s wireframe arcade game—and the second was when the ghost in our machine got tired of assigning us scores based on the number of pins we knocked down. Eileen had a couple of strikes after knocking down nine pins, and I had the most productive gutter ball ever.

Consequently, my arm was Not So Hot on Friday. After taking care of a few odds and ends (e.g. formally severing my ties with the University Honors College; a sad thing for me, as the UHC was the single most positive force in my time at OSU), and putting in a few hours at work, Renee called and asked if I wanted to play tennis with Adam (her fiancee) and her. I had earlier expressed interest in playing tennis, but had always been busy when opportunities had presented themselves… so, to show that I really did want to play, I dusted off my racquet and popped some ibuprofen.

Tennis was quite a bit of fun, actually. I had a few summers of tennis lessons back in middle school (about a decade ago, now), and so I was pleasantly surprised to learn that I hadn’t forgotten everything. I still had a forehand swing, and am now strong enough to do a one-handed backhand (though, as all my earlier practice was with a two-handed backhand, my one-handed attempts don’t compare favorably at the moment). I’ve lost my serve, though, and every time I tried to smash the ball my attempt met net. Still, I’m much more serviceable than I would have guessed.

Of course, tennis with an already gimpy arm made things all that much worse this morning. My poor body.

Moments after returning from tennis last night, I got a call from Eric: he was buying milkshakes, if I was game. (How could I say no?) This later lead to an extended install of the last educational software purchase I made—a remarkably cheap version of Apple’s Final Cut Pro—and some fiddling with video afterwards. We were able to successfully rotate the Safari Eric movie clip that Eric, Brian, and I had filmed a while back. (When your digital camera records video, it assumes you’re holding the camera normally. I, being especially gifted, decided to hold the camera vertically for this particular shoot.) We then added an animated title on top of the movie. The title was supposed to read “hope this works” (what can I say? I’m naturally creative), but various errors—some of which we figured out—resulted in a title that read “ope this.” It was a moment of movie magic.

So, yes, I’m set to become a creative master: I have a good computer, some good software, and a boatload of free time staring me in the face. I’ll either improve my skills, or else I’ll end up in jail.

Shoot

I just realized that I now, technically, am no longer eligible for student prices on movies.

Hmm… integrity, versus saving a buck on each movie I view…

It’s really too bad that my school ID photo-self looks like a baby compared to me now. I could really get some extra mileage out of that thing.

BRUTAL

My 434 final (I now know that the class is entitled “Intro to Differential Geometry”) was far more powerful than I had ever dreamed it would be; it seemingly razed my entire class. I managed to get answers down for a little over three of the five questions; Bryan broke three mechanical pencils during the test. It wasn’t fun, and can only be summarized by the favorite word of my now-retired high school health teacher.

I then stared at my last probability problem for multiple hours, while Renee halfheartedly studied for her last final. We ate lunch at Big Town Hero, which was quite tasty, and then continued studying and/or staring blankly at a problem while listening to the stream of ’80s music that was pumping through the stereo. Eating there was probably the best thing we did, as it let us recover from the shock of getting cleaned by that 434 final.

I eventually broke down and went to see the professor about my problem (it’s so nice to be able to ask questions!), where I learned that I had the answer staring me in the face for at least an hour. Seems I had the probability equivalent to this equation on my paper:

x – 5 = y – 5

And yet I still didn’t see that x = y. Go me. With that cleared up, I was able to turn in my final in short order and begin my life as an eddicated man. I began that life by putting away the entire contents of my schoolbag, and then throwing that bag into the darkest corner of my closet.

That’s right: I am now in the process of graduating, and should pass into the realm of the graduated once the paperwork gets sorted out. (!!!) It’s only been five and a half years… I’m an old man on campus, these days. And I ended my college career not with a bang, but with a whimper. A really stupid, why-didn’t-you-see-that-hours-ago, whimper.

In other news, I got a glance at the newest gal to join my office staff this afternoon. I don’t know how, but I swear I’ve seen her before, somewhere.

The penultimate day

Today I learned that, even though working on homework in a group is potentially advantageous, studying in a group is not. I sadly squandered four precious hours that way—though I did get to eat Cold Stone Creamery ice cream, had some fun, and saw an inordinate number of people I knew, because of it. And boy did I see an inordinate number of people: Emory (probably mangling the spelling of her name) from a past dance class in 7-Eleven, Sara Y. and Andrea in the Commons, Adelle and Kristi in the MU proper… and I’m sure I’m forgetting some others. It was quite the showing, compared to my normal day.

After talking to my probability professor, I now am confident about 5/6 of my probability exam and have a hint on the sixth. Unfortunately, the one thing I learned during my study session was that I needed to study… so I’m going to (quickly) write-up the probability problems I have solved, and then switch gears the rest of the evening and get up to speed for my exam tomorrow morning. Then, after that exam, I’ll knock heads with my last probability problem and see if I can get anywhere on it.

This plan sounds good, except for the fact that I’m already dog-tired today, and will probably be similarly worn out after my exam tomorrow. In the absence of any better plan, though, I guess I’ll just grit my teeth and run.

After all, it’s just one more day, now.

Life in the battleground

I love being in a battleground state. That means, whenever I walk by a TV that is turned on, I hear one of three ads:

“I Rock. My name is George W. Bush, and I endorsed this message.”

“No, I Rock. My name is John Kerry, and I endorsed this message.”

“We’re not going to say ‘vote for X’ or ‘don’t vote for Y,’ but we thought you should know that George W. Bush sucks a big fat one.”

In other news, I was on hand for the start of the six o’clock news this evening. The anchor opened with “Move over, Multnomah County…”

At which point I said oh no. The anchor then continued, elaborating on how my beloved Benton County will begin offering same-sex marriage licenses beginning next Wednesday.

Actually, my only serious beef with this is that it’s going to make driving around town—during spring break, a usually quiet time—a living hell.

If you want my opinion, though, I think I’d let gay marriages lie low for a while—now that the issue has been brought to attention—and see what shakes out in the courts. Seems to me that, the more aggressively these marriages spread, the more likely a constitutional amendment (however stupid an idea that is) is to pass the test of the states. Better to lie low, see how the various courts react, let the amendment movement die out, and then progress again. But, then again, what do I know?

One potential answer to that question is: probability. (I am, dare I say, a master of the transition.) After many a painful hour chained to my desk, I have three solid answers, two far-too-easy-to-be-true answers, and one problem that continues to shoot me in the back. I plan to try and pry more information out of my professor tomorrow morning, after spending the rest of this evening making repeated attempts on this last problem’s life.

Why won’t you die?!

Here’s something fun to think about: Brent:Probability Final as Freddy:Jason in the movie Freddy vs. Jason.

In other words, after some macabre humor and many incidental deaths, I wind up repeatedly beating on the probability final—delivering multiple lethal blows—only to have the damn thing keep rising up and attacking me again. (In frustration, I exclaim the title of this post.) In the end, the probability final decapitates me, but I too somehow live.

My head frickin’ hurts. I have solved exactly 1 and 2/3 of five problems (or six problems, if you count the extra credit problem). While that may sound paltry, do note that both the first two problems consist of three parts each… so, while I still suck, I did do some damage.

While I suspect it won’t do me any good, it’s time for me to go back for another round. Getting this thing done by Thursday (while taking another exam on Thursday morning) is starting to look like an… interesting… proposition.

Par-tay

Had fun at my “graduation” party. Saw Andy (doi), Kevin, Myles, Betsy, Matt, Nate, Neil, Nick, and Lindsey all in one day—not a bad showing at all. Big news of the day was that Nick and Lindsey are now engaged (their status apparently changed on Friday), which I think everybody has been waiting a long time for*. I drank a good deal of Shasta Vanilla Cola, which I would rank above Vanilla Pepsi but below Vanilla Coke. Aqua Teen Hunger Force provided a surprising amount of entertainment; it’s probably one of my most successful birthday presents (I gave Andy a copy for—you guessed it—his birthday), ever.

[*Word has it that Nick had the biggest, silliest grin on his face immediately prior to asking Lindsey to marry him. If/when I marry, I’m going to be the same way… I mean, I’d never want to get married if I couldn’t grin about it.]

In the evening Eric and I watched Matt climb some random tree while Andy returned to his apartment to pick up his cell phone, and then we all headed to Bullwinkle’s for some hot mini-golf action. Only Neil swore in front of the kiddies.

Andy and I then injured ourselves trying out the local DDR machine, where the arrows were indented about a quarter-inch (meaning when you missed the arrow, you rotated your ankle). We were also declared “homo-gay” by Nate, behind our backs. We capped the evening off by roaming around Fry’s late at night. Andy was tempted by the siren song of DDR for his PS2, but the absence of cheap dance mats ultimately drove him off.

On our way home today, Eric and I stopped by Best Buy and observed the faithful waiting for their place of worship to open. We then explored the Lancaster Mall, which was only impressive in how devoid of people it was. (None of the stores opened until 11:00 am, either, which also confused us.) We capped off our odd visit with lunch at Baja Fresh, which was much less of a deal (though it was still tasty) than we had remembered it to be—we’re now both disillusioned with the place, and much less excited that one is coming to Corvallis.

I was mildly productive when I got home. I managed to get to campus, run into and say ‘hi’ to my friend Elizabeth, and email off my business final, before collapsing in a heap for a few hours. I’m just now starting to think about maybe looking at my probability final.

Success?

Barring any sudden desire to spend more of my life on my business final (i.e. barring insanity), I think I have one final finished. Now alls I gots to do is open my files in Windows Word to verify that I haven’t exceeded page length requirements on Windows, and then email them to my professor. Things sometimes wrap a little different across platforms—I don’t know why.

All evening my only thought was “I want to be done with this final!” That probably means that my case analysis isn’t as good as it might have otherwise been, had I been thinking of (hmm) the case.

Tomorrow Eric and I head north to hang out with friends, and then Sunday I face my probability final. Fun weekend, no?

Hey, it’ll be more fun than most of my weekends. Stop laughing!

Dreams

It seems that staying up late writing junk for a business final is good for my REM sleep, since I had the first dreams that I can remember in quite a while last night. The first one featured me wandering around campus with a sword; though the sword didn’t deal any damage to normal people, it took out vampires like nobody’s business.

There were a decent number of vampires on campus, too.

In my second dream I realized that, over the course of time, humanity had “lost” mathematics nine times. Each time math was lost to people, they eventually redeveloped it—and eventually attained a point where they had knowledge that was too dangerous for them to have, and so suffered the fate of being stripped of all mathematical knowledge again.

My dreams aren’t usually like that second one. The idea seemed rather poetic, and sad, to my dream-self.

In other news, I’ve attended my last class at OSU. All that remains between me and eternal spring break are my three finals… Now I’ll astound the world by continuing to work on my business final—during the daytime.

Oooooooooh.

War!

Whereas I had a few skirmishes with my strategic management final over the last 24 hours, I have now engaged my enemy in full. I have taken down a little under 4/5 of the non-case-study portion of the exam, and have read the case study. It, as I figured, has been annoying and time-consuming, but not terribly difficult. Still, I have quite a ways to go before I can declare the darn thing dead.

Had my last Latin I dance class today, which started with Robin asking me to dance (there’s usually a song playing as class starts, and we’re supposed to—who would have thought?—get up and dance). Had she not asked me, I would have asked her; I’d been meaning to do so for a good chunk of the term. I actually was well on my way to doing so on Tuesday, but was intercepted by another follow en route.

Thanks to my dance instructor, I will always remember rhumba as the dance of love and flirtation. We were only told that about a thousand times over the last two days; funny stuff. I’m going to miss this class.

Indeed, they do… but—???

What the heck? Marin just opened her copy of Internet Explorer and found the text “. . . things . change . little . by . little.” in the address bar. I think there’s a ghost in her machine.

Fscked!

After the final buyout decision had been made by the board of RJR Nabisco—per the movie Barbarians at the Gate—one of members of the bidding team that lost just let loose with periodic, vehement F-bombs throughout one extended scene, with no regard to what everybody else around him was saying. It was hilarious.

My strategic management professor elected to start our last day of class by wearing a Halloween mask of some funky almost-pirate thing, complete with Big Hair, Big Mustache, and Fake Sneer revealing Crooked Teeth. After about five minutes, he got tired of having to repeat himself because the mask muffled everything he said, and just left the room.

A minute later he returned, mask in hand and one hell of a grin on his face. That was also entertaining.

Sadly, though, I am now in possession of two take-home exams, one due Monday at high noon, and the other due Thursday at 5:00 pm. I also continue to be excessively tired, so I think I’ll try the radical idea of going to bed early. Hopefully this will be the first step in my plot to dominate my exams, one last time. Specifically, my plan for success is:

1. Go to bed early.

2. …

3. Profit! Drop the bomb on exams.

I think it’s workable.

Party invitation

I just found the following in my inbox:

Allegedly [Brent] is graduating in about a week. He will be in Portland on Saturday to attend the party that you are now getting the invitation to. Show up at 1 PM at my place. Eat, drink, berate [Brent]. Remind him of the time you did that cool thing and he just watched. Call me if you have any questions. Forward this to other relevant people.

[A.] “I will use my degree to construct a way to make fun of Brent so help
me God” [D.]

It’s good to have friends.

Shari’s, redefined

Ate dinner with Lee and John at Ruby Tuesday. Word on the street (erm… from what Lee says, and what I can see) is that Ruby Tuesday is to present-day Corvallis what Shari’s was to the Corvallis of my high school days. I made the mistake of ordering a chicken sandwich slathered in barbecue sauce, and wound up looking as if I had just killed something with my bare hands. (John: “if?”) Talk included numerous references to dead hookers, so you know the meal was entertaining for all involved.

Mitch (Lee): I’ve never seen so many dead hookers in my life!

Bystander (John): Lord knows I have.

Otherwise, I continue to be impressed with the fact that the follows in my dance class actually seem to like dancing with me. It’s quite the novel feeling. I also spent an hour chatting in the UHC office, after dance class. It’s odd for me to think about, but the vantage of the visitor chair immediately outside of the UHC advisor’s office is probably my most-easily remembered view of OSU; I’ve almost certainly spent more time in that spot than in any other spot on campus.

The benefits of college

I’m happy to report that, after a long winter, the hotties have emerged from their hottie-holes. The whole concept of hottie-holes was introduced to me last spring by Neil; they are the places that the hotties go when the temperature drops too low.

I walked into probability today to see a score on the chalkboard:

E.T. (my professor’s initials): 0

Technology: 5

It seems that, in the vagaries of command-line FTPing, my professor overwrote the final version of our final with an earlier version of the exam. I found the score amusing, if nothing else; my professor swears he’ll even things up by Wednesday. He also informed us that this was a soccer score, so technology had a significant lead.

This evening I called Lee and John (finally!), and then fabricated my strategic management journal (my last college homework assignment evar!). Thrilling stuff, let me tell you. But, rather than go on, I’ll let you all be mesmerized by my new sidebar pictures and head off to bed.

Incidentally: coming up with titles for these things is hard! Brian helped me this time—I owe him one for that—but, even then, it took ages.

…and now Brian has just pointed out the moral equivalent to my blog: check it out. sigh. I’m so depressed.

Ii tenki desu

Today was the best day ever. Sunny and 65 degrees Fahrenheit. I got to break out my shorts and drive with my windows down—it was awesome. Better yet, we’re supposed to have this nice weather all week long.

Guess what week this week is? That’s right: it’s dead week! This weather trend never fails. As Marin said, this is “God’s way of punishing the bad kids.”

Of course, I’m still sleeping far too much, and today was no exception. (That, in fact, is a good part of why my blog has been somewhat sparse as of late—when you sleep a whole lot, that doesn’t leave a whole lot of time for other adventures. Not that I have real adventures.) Suzanne’s email announcing the change in her marital status really threw me for a loop; that night I had a bizarre dream that incorporated quite a few gals I’ve known over the years.

The other thing that has thrown me for a loop was finishing Rahxephon last night. I haven’t been able to get the show completely out of my head ever since… it’s haunting, in a not-spooky sense. The show makes no attempt to hit you over the head with the details of the story, but leaves you enough to piece almost everything together. The music also surprised me in the end; though most of it was too discordant for my tastes, the dramatic pieces in the last episodes really inspired quite a bit of emotion. Upon rewatching the last episode, I actually came damn close to crying; fortunately for my standing as a male, the phone rang at that moment and distracted me. Good stuff.

My only triumph of the weekend was in solving, with the assistance of Renee and Bryan, my math homework during my break on Friday. That allowed me to sleep all weekend, and finish my homework in about forty-five minutes this evening. Provided I didn’t screw something up, that will be a personal-best in time spent on math homework.

Now, the only homework assignment standing between me and finals is a minimum four-page (double-spaced and typed) “journal” of thoughts about my strategic management course. As I can sneeze and type a double-spaced page of text, and this requires no research beyond figuring out what we did each day (thank goodness I took a few notes), I don’t think it’ll be all that big of a task.

Of course, every time I say that I get bitten. Hmm.

Untimely ending?

It has come to my attention that the Mayan calendar ends in December of 2012. This is of great concern to be, as that is long before I am scheduled to die.

While you chew on that, I’ll also pass on a quirky love story. It has music, so be warned.

I will do this using CAPITALISM

That’s an awesome title for a silly post. Of course, since it’s awesome, it’s obvious that I didn’t come up with it.

Let’s see. In the absence of real news—the only notable thing about today was how the dance instructor kept stealing my partners away to demonstrate moves, implying that I didn’t need as much practice as others (or, alternatively, that I needed to watch carefully to get half a clue about what I was supposed to do)—I’ll link to a couple flash games that I’ve been playing lately:

Warthog Launch: kill purple things by propelling a car into the air with grenades. Easier to play than it is to describe.

Grow: Brian just wants everybody to know that he beat this one.

Puyo Puyo Fever – Slots: oddly addictive slots/Dr. Mario variant.

Hey, sweet. Remake of Dawn of the Dead coming to theaters later this month. Trailer actually plays well, too. Now all I have to do is watch the original sometime.

Can I buy ME a couple drinks?

You know, if I swore to protect someone, thinking it the one thing I could actually do, and then managed to kill that person in my attempt to protect… I think that’d mess me up pretty good. Just saying.

I’ve been out of it all day today. When trying to get out of Bachellor after probability class today, I totally missed the door’s pushbar and ran into the door proper. Soon after, I decided I needed some form of caffeine to keep me going, so I went to buy a Vanilla Coke from the Bexell vending machine. I bought a Diet Coke.

While it still had caffeine (thank goodness), it was completely unfulfilling.

The only good things about my school day were the conversations I had with my friends: first Renee, talking about making someone cry—”not the tears of joy, but the tears of pain”—and then Scott and others in business, pondering whether or not most guys—nay, everyone (Mandy played along, to heightened comic effect)—qualified as lesbians.

I didn’t even bother showing up at work in the afternoon, and instead slept.

And then, this evening, I received an email: Suzanne is married. The news half-stunned me, probably because the rest of today has already been pretty darn surreal.

Can I buy you a couple drinks?

That is, hands down, the best line you could possibly have when a female friend, who unwittingly arranged to meet you in a strip club, arrives and realizes her mistake.

Yes, I finally watched Lost in Translation this evening. I’m happy to say that it’s the best movie I’ve seen in a hell of a long time. Happy, because I was beginning to doubt that I’d see another good “new” movie before I got old. (Things sort of fell apart for me when I got to the point where I didn’t like seeing people get shot—that singlehandedly destroyed my enjoyment of most action movies.) It’s nice that these slower-paced, thoughtful films still get made. It’s the first movie I’ve actually felt like buying in many, many years, even though it’s not one I’ll watch all that often. Heck, I think the last Real Movie my family bought was Back to the Future. That says something.

I’ll try to wax (more) eloquent about the movie later, if I can. See, I made the mistake of watching the behind-the-scenes video extra after watching the movie, and the hand-held camera shots (harkening back to my Blair Witch Project experience) made me extremely nauseated. Extremely nauseated. And, when I get this nauseated, the only thing that sets me straight is sleep. I’m not sure how it works, but that’s the way I am.

Outside of Lost in Translation, the highlight of my day was listening to a woman’s bitter impression of the two college gals who maintained an insipid conversation during my hour wait at Les Schwab (taking off my snow tires, you see). An hour is quite a while to listen to insipid conversation, let me tell you—so I’m glad I was there for the payoff.

HAHA! Eat THAT, Seymour!

Having successfully done “good enough” on my homework for the day, I elected to do absolutely nothing this evening. So I backed up computers (?) and settled in for some good old-fashioned Final Fantasy X.

I made sure everybody had their Overdrive option available, and then I faced down Seymour on top of Mt. Gagazet. (You may recall that the last time I played—sometime fall term—Seymour handily defeated me, multiple times, on top of Mt. Gagazet.) This time, I kicked his pansy ass. Hah!

Actually, truth be told, when I first started playing again I wondered what the hell I had been doing before: why didn’t Yuna have curaga already? Why was Tidus without hastega? I concluded I must have been crazy-stupid before… but, of course, it’s now far too much work to start over and try to do things right. So I just continue to make progress towards finishing FFX with my unnecessarily-flawed characters… and so also make progress towards experiencing the culture-shock that is Final Fantasy X-2. Life is grand.

Word on the street at work is that there’s a new scanner-boy in town. I reckon I’ll have to show him the ropes tomorrow. Though perhaps I shouldn’t call him scanner-boy to his face. Actually, for all my grousing about the transfer of scanning duties, it’s probably best for me—now there’s no way work can distract me from my Real Ultimate Goal: the actuarial exams! (!!!!111oneoneone)

Yeah, so my brain is totally friend after the one-two punch of doing work over the weekend followed by multiple hours of mind-numbing video games. Bet you didn’t notice, right? You all are such nice readers.

And, if you care, an interesting take on the G5 and Microsoft’s decision to base the XBox 2 off of a PowerPC processor, and the effect of this on Apple’s future. Should be interesting times, if that proves true.

¡Uf!

One weekend later, and I have done the following:

Defined my 434 homework to be done. Two of the three problems are solid, but the third one is rather tenuous at best.

Written up a crappy case study on Adrenaline Air Sports. According to my calculations, it shouldn’t even be around today.

Single-handedly created the most condensed explanation of the recent mutual fund scandal known to humanity. Tomorrow we discover if even the condensed explanation can fit into a twelve-minute window.

Defeated four probability problems with aplomb. Was defeated by the fifth.

Needless to say, I just popped some NyQuil. [Note to Kids: I really only take NyQuil when illness warrants it, despite my claims about taking NyQuil to help me solve math problems. The two events just seem to frequently coincide.]

I can make it, if I can just survive tomorrow…

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