Stupid Supreme Court

Homeowners now own nothing. (First seen on What Do I Know‘s sidebar.)

Sorry, Andy.


(Today’s title dedicated to Zach.)

Life’s been busy lately. Not necessarily “interesting,” but “busy.” I’ve been doing my best to catch up scanning at work, which pretty much fills up my weekdays; my weekends are consumed attempting to make progress on my database project.

In the evening Marin and I occasionally watch anime (we’re past the half-way mark in Last Exile!), and lately I’ve been fighting with my Windows box over some bad RAM. Yay. Fiddling with cords in the back of your machine gets hot and sweaty quickly—but it gets even worse when it’s already warm outside.

Now that I have a nifty $10 printer (after rebate) that came with some $20 of ink (the oddly-named Canon PIXMA iP3000), I feel inclined to print out random pictures and tack them up at work. (The only artwork adorning my cubicle walls right now is a picture of Shinji, Asuka, and Rei, which represents my long-standing silent opinion of the state of the office.) The trick, as I understand it, is to find things that won’t create a threatening environment. In short: no Mahoro [dis?]robing for me.

Marin’s tempted to try out NetFlix over the summer; she figures its her best chance to catch up on all the movies she’s missed over the years. I’ve missed most of ’em, too: you know you’re in a sad state when your folks have easily seen more movies (and more-recent movies, not just older films) than you have. I’ll probably end up splitting the price with her, if she decides to go for it.

The theoretical Japan trip that has long been a thought-exercise for Brian, Andy, and myself, appears to be solidifying into something terrifyingly real. Like, mid-September real. Dang.

Lately I’ve noticed that Brian ends his email with a simple “B“, while I prefer to use “-B“. I’ve idly speculated that we’re really inverses of each other, and this email thing is that fact quietly expressing itself.

Status: marginal

My disorientation continues—and, even worse, I seem to have been knocked out of my old blogging habit. (In true Brent spirit, I’ll try pushing ahead anyway.) Work remains backlogged to all heck; I’m putting in good hours, but things just don’t seem to be catching up anywhere near fast enough. I’m not dancing (OSU practices resume for the summer next week), I’m not watching anime (though that’s been the case for a while now), I’m not single-tapping people in the head with my tranquilizer gun.

Which leaves me with a question: what the devil have I been doing?

A highlight of the past weekend was watching the MST3K classic, Riding With Death, with Eric, Brian, and Albert. Riding With Death is a traditional (cough) movie in two parts: two completely different stories, held together by common characters and two lines of dialogue. That’s right: two lines. “I’m gonna be a race car driver!” and (my personal favorite) “You’re as elusive as Robert Denby!” Sooooo bad. Yet MST3K reverses the awfulness of the movie into something awesome.

The other weekend highlight was getting a phone call from Andy, telling me to bring my copy of Capcom vs. SNK 2 over to Nate’s—and, oh, that Brian could come too, if he wanted. They needed the game to replay the only match that Nate and Andy ever bothered saving to their memory card. That match consisted of a character interaction that they never knew existed, followed by an all-out brawl of light punches and light kicks. No combinations, no fancier moves. They (as the rest of us did) found humor in the sheer inaneness of it all.

I got Marin to buy the latest Shakira album earlier last week, though I haven’t been too impressed with it so far. New music takes time to grow on me, though, so I can’t really pan the CD yet.

And now, some links:

Steve Jobs’ Stanford commencement address: well worth the read, I say.

U.S. PSPs hacked: Yay! SNES emulation!

Lazy summer days

I’ve been back over a week, and I’m still disoriented and unsettled. My home life is now in some semblance of order, but getting work back on track continues to be an uphill battle. I should theoretically be back to working on my various database projects, but I’ve managed to work on anything but those; instead, I’ve regressed to my old habit of pissing my evenings away on the internet.

It’s almost as if I’m making up for being halfway productive in May.

Interrogative: whiskey tango foxtrot

Apple’s moving the Mac over to Intel processors. My G5 tower is now officially worth shit.

As Brian said, when I mentioned the rumors to him: down is up, and black is white. This next year and a half is going to be a crazy one.


Have you ever stepped away from your life for a month, and then come back to have absolutely everything staring you in the face?

While I didn’t actually go anywhere for a whole month, I did become somewhat of a recluse while I slowly grew more and more panicked about my impending actuarial exam. Pretty much all of my life that remained untouched consisted of the various dance practices, and Thursday-night visits to the Beanery with Brian. (You can tell where my priorities lie, eh?)

Going to San Francisco the day after my exam was both a blessing and a curse, it turns out. Curse in that I wasn’t quite physically ready for it; blessing in that I was able to enjoy myself without realizing all the crap I had put off around my house.

When I returned, I was physically exhausted—and all my delayed detritus stared me down. How do you get back into a normal groove after you’ve been in an abnormal one for so long?

My answer so far* appears to be a combination of sleeping a lot, and just gritting my teeth while plowing into things. After this weekend I’ve almost caught up on my housekeeping items; next I need to address the things I’ve delayed at my work.

[*I did try to play Metal Gear Solid 3 one evening, but that fell flat; something about being hunted in the jungle just didn’t click with the fact that I was freezing and pretty much ready to sleep.]

True to form, I did attend the final ballroom dance of the term yesterday evening. Against form, I arrived to the dance on time (I’m usually an hour or so late, just because I can’t manage my time)… which meant that I had an extra hour of dancing.

That was good, because I had fun dancing with Mandy—and she left early. That was bad, because I’m really not used to dancing that extra hour. (It’s always good in the end, though, because I do love dancing with people.) The dance was amazingly crowded, especially considering that the famed Battle of the Bands was being held concurrently in the quad; things were so bad that I frequently found myself stuck repeating a few basic moves simply because I didn’t have enough room for anything else. I discovered that Jenny knows how to follow my “West Coast 2” moves (an important revelation, because the leads for these later moves aren’t exactly intuitively obvious), that non-high-school Tiffany is done with her masters and will soon be heading to Portland, and that at least Jay and Connie will be around for summer’s Wednesday night practices.

Per new tradition, I joined Jay and others for a midnight Shari’s run following the dance. The run this time was characterized by a request for crayons and kid’s mats to draw on. (I abstained.) People entertained themselves by telling riddles; I only remembered Brian’s safe-sex riddle, and so kept quiet. (I now recall the lights/light-switch riddle, and have already kicked myself for forgetting it at a crucial time.)

Dance-related fun aside, however, I look forward to that day when I once again have my ducks in a row.

I live!

…but damn do I feel tired.

The Friday before this last week (er… the 20th) I took some time away from studying to attend the surprise graduation celebration of a dancer-acquaintance, Charles; ironically, the people organizing the event couldn’t find him. This led to numerous messages left on his answering machine, from “SURPRISE!,” right before we started eating without him, to Mike’s bitter message “I hope this means you don’t graduate!” It was a good time (we all learned that Jay really appreciates fine cookware), and afterwards a bunch of us retired to Jay’s apartment to watch a movie.

We eventually settled on Wasabi, a delightfully whimsical French action-comedy, and then engaged in general conversation as some form of Riverdance played in the background. (Remember: these are dancer-types.) At some point, one of the gals sighed over the lead dancer and wondered aloud where all the gorgeous guys were in their [the females’] lives. My retort: they’re at the same place all the beautiful women are in our [the males’] lives. After an extended oooooooh, the guys judged my retort as “harsh, but fair.”

My trip to take the second actuarial exam was rather uneventful. The night before the exam I took advantage of the hotel’s free Starz channel to watch Scary Movie 3, which mentally prepared me for the exam. Had Starz not been available, I could have made do by repeatedly bashing my head into a cement wall.

The revised actuarial exam was two hours and 25 questions. (You might remember that, earlier, I timed myself and found my rate to be about 20 questions in two hours—fortunately for me, I got faster.) I actually calculated solutions for 24 of the 25 questions, which means one of two things:

1) I kicked ass

2) I think I kicked ass

The truth will not be revealed until July 8, so now I kick back and wait. And (at least in theory) start studying for the third exam.

After the test I made my way to the Amtrak station, where I discovered my train would be four hours late. (By the time it finally came, the delay was closer to five and a half hours.) Sitting for an entire afternoon in a hot train station with no air circulation, while wearing pants, wasn’t terribly fun. I had brought my GBA and the latest Zelda game (The Minish Cap), but was quickly stymied there by a puzzle I couldn’t solve. At that point I alternated between reading a collection of short Stephen King stories and bombing every possible wall in Hyrule.

Brian’s and my trip to San Francisco rejuvenated my spirit, but left my body feeling the big pain. (I’ll have to hit the highlights later; I’m almost passed-out right now as it is.) Tonight I danced for the first time in two weeks, and enjoyed myself thoroughly; afterwards I began to fully comprehend how not-healed my body is after all the walking I did in San Francisco.

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