School Debriefing

This term has worn me out quicker than the traditional high-school three-mile run. And it hasn’t even really started yet.

MATH 451: Numerical Linear Algebra: I actually took this class for a week last year, so starting this year off with it was an odd sort of deja vu. Friendly faces include Yayoi (from the glory days of Advanced Calculus, though I’m probably butchering the spelling of her name), Ryan (sports a ‘fro, and provided colorful commentary in Topology last year), and That Girl (“know her face, don’t know her name”). Before class, That Girl commented that Ryan was awesome; Ryan immediately responded with “I know.” There was a good three second pause, and then three of us (Ryan, Some Guy, and I) all instantaneously burst out laughing. Dr. Faridani sports a German accent, but seems to be genuinely nice and makes sense. Too bad I don’t remember any linear algebra, and I don’t know thing one about MATLAB. Part of this week’s task is to start becoming familiar with both.

MATH 463: Intro to Probability: I’m auditing this class, since I took it last year. (I hope to jump into 464 next term, but I realize that I remember nothing of the subject.) Dr. Thomann has a Spanish accent, and made much less sense than I would have hoped—I was able to follow along, but only because I recalled the material. I can’t imagine learning it the first time this way, which bodes poorly for next term. Hopefully this’ll improve with time. Both Ryan and That Girl made a repeat appearance.

Lunch: I had an hour off at noon, and so wandered over to the Commons to get a slice of pizza. As I walked over, at five-past, I noticed that there was a sizable group of people calmly walking around campus. I became afraid for my lunch at that point; my fears were confirmed when I walked into the Commons and saw lines extending halfway across the room. I never got lunch. Instead I wandered into the Bookstore and had a look at the computers again—where I noticed there was a G5 box on the floor. Curious, I looked at the specs: dual 2.0 GHz processors!

MATH 440: Computational Number Theory: Ryan and That Girl were in this class, as well. The professor, Dr. Schmidt, was quite engaging and looks to be a good professor. I’m guessing this will be my easiest course, as it seems like a decent chunk of the material was previously covered in MTH 399/355. (440 is also for CS majors and others, so not everyone will have had this other class…something I’m banking on, in my assessment.)

BA 352: Organizational Behavior: The course appears to be acronym bin-laden (as Lee would say); the professor refers to the subject as “O.B.”. Much of it seems pointless, and it definitely has a group-work flavor. I sat between Amy, an attractive girl who just couldn’t keep her foot still, and Yunho, a student from Korea who arrived in the U.S. two weeks ago. Yunho, as you might guess, hadn’t quite gotten used to English—but he did a pretty good job, regardless. He hasn’t quite figured out when to keep his mouth shut, though, as he would actually chortle (when I just mentally sighed) when something stupid was said by the professor or a student. The students are all basically younger than me, which somehow makes me care less about what they think, and thus makes it easier for me to speak up and say whatever I want.

Afternoon Exercise: The way I acquired my G4 computer, four years ago, was by walking into the Computer Base one day and noticing that the model I wanted was in a box lying on the ground. After a quick consultation with my dad, I went back and flashed my credit card. Monday I went through the same process, except this time I got a G5. (Yes, my wang just got three inches longer.) I’ll post a picture of my new baby, later.

Problem is, the G5 is one heavy mutha. I completely wore my arms out carrying it to the car, and then downstairs. On the plus side, I did wipe all the dust from the various cords resting behind my desk. On the minus side of that, I took three years off my life by doing so. [Incidentally, the reason I wasn’t really online last night—most notable in the lack of an entry to the blog—was because I didn’t have the computer set up at the time.]

BA 325: Intro to Tax: Taught by Michele, who taught my basic accounting class way back when I started in business. The class looks like it will require a lot of work, but was otherwise hilarious—Michele is quite entertaining. I sat in the wrong seat, and soon found myself charged with the task of bringing Michele a copy of the Barometer every class period. (If I fail, I’ll be sent to get one during the break.) Amy sat to my left, and seemed to be in better control of her foot today.

PAC 160: Ballroom III: This class is all good, save for the fact that I don’t remember anything about dance. That was kind of ugly, though I suspect that I wasn’t the only one who didn’t remember jack. A good third of the gals are ones I’ve had in previous dance classes (some from ages ago), which means I might actually be able to remember their names before the tenth week. Saw Naman on my way out, and chatted for a bit…another person I know! Of course, Naman’s now a grad student….

This evening I made time to go visit the UHC barbecue, where I saw a few (a real few, actually) friendly faces: most notably Kalan and Britt (who were cooking burgers), and Rachel and Caroline (who were eating burgers…I’m so clever). I also met Eric Hill, the new writing instructor for the UHC. Nice guy. Had fun working on various thought-puzzles he would provide me [three guys with three hats, either black or white. Asked to raise their hand if they can see a black hat; all three raise their hands. Asked if they know the color of their hat; one says yes, and then the others do. What were the hat colors?] Lots of fun, but it kinda put off some Organizational Behavior reading. I hate that stuff.

And, last but not least: is there anything that anime can’t make better?

Kidding! I’m kidding! Dang.

Stupid Hummah!

Last night Eric and I, after watching the Beavers kick ass, poked around some of the websites for the gubernatorial hopefuls of California. You know: Ahnold, McClintock, Huffington, Korevaar. We looked for Bustamente, superficially, but couldn’t find him.

Korevaar’s website sucks. In addition, he’s stolen a web domain that rightfully belongs to my friend Eric: As I pointed out to Eric (after furious calculations on the biography of Eric Korevaar, at the bottom of the page), we only had 18 more years before we could sell our company for cash prizes, and one more year beyond that before we could get married for the first time. Eric didn’t seem to find the idea that we might be like this Korevaar fellow to be very funny.

Both of us did find the two flash movies on Arianna Huffington’s site to be hilarious, though. Stupid Hummah!

I wasted today by making repeated trips in to work to try and finish off this DVD burning project that’s been preventing me from doing real work. The first DVD went fine, but the second one (despite having “30 MB free” in the main window) refused to burn due to “not enough space on disc.” Now I have to bumble my way around the scanning program to figure out how to put some files back where they originally were. It’s quite frustrating.

This evening I spent a good ten minutes collecting my school supplies (that’s the nice thing about college: you just need some notebooks and a pen), and am now dealing with my inability to deal with the fact that I’ll be expected to think tomorrow.

At least I’ll once again be surrounded by beautiful women. (^_^)V [That’s the one perk of still being in college—so I have to rub it in as much as possible, you see.]

I Know Pete Abrams?

I was browsing around my usual haunts, courtesy of the grace of Comcast, and happened across a public service announcement at the top of the Sluggy Freelance webcomic:

Brent! Call me! Callll Meeeeeee! I’ve left you two messages! It is important!

Now, I know my name isn’t the most uncommon one out there—but I’m still not used to seeing it used to refer to other people. I suppose you would get used to that, if your name were “Sarah” or “Tom.”

Me Sick

Got one step closer to being able to burn DVDs at work today. Took six hours to get that one step. Yay me. Probably going to have to visit work periodically throughout the weekend to actually get this thing finished, and then repeat the process every weekend until I get all of 2002 on DVD.

Why do I even try?

And I’m definitely, definitely sick. Just smelling food makes me queasy, and ingesting anything but the most plain of foods gets me to the edge of tossing cookies. I don’t think this last week of summer really went according to plan—can I hit reset and try again?

This evening I worked on my //anime page layouts much as a blacksmith would temper a sword, and I’m happy to say that they’re pretty much finished. Now I just need to write some actual content…though I suspect that school might try to get in my way. I celebrated my multiple victories against Windows Internet Explorer by trying to play some more Final Fantasy X. Not surprisingly (recall that pretty much anything makes me queasy right now), I started feeling nauseated.

And now my internet has gone completely out. The timestamp on this update is correct, but I guess I’ll have to post it next time Comcast deems me worthy of access to the outside world.

Robert Palmer Dead

As of earlier today. Heart attack in Paris. Age 54. Damn.

I’ll always associate him with Brian, since Palmer did sing Brian’s Theme Song (“I Didn’t Mean To Turn You On“). I enjoyed “Simply Irresistible” and “Addicted to Love,” myself, but could pretty much listen to his Best Of CD straight through.

In anime news, Pioneer Entertainment is rebranding itself as Geneon Entertainment, as I first learned on AOD. “Geneon” is supposed to be a combination of “generate” and “eon,” but ends up just being dumb.

Ooooooh. Am I witty today, or what?

Welcome To My Nightmare

So my scanning program at work broke yesterday, and daily backups are taking ten hours to complete. Our only guess, at this point, was that the sheer number of tiny files that the scanning program makes was screwing things up—so today I undertook a task I had been putting off for quite some time: burning data to DVD.

Except that I didn’t actually get anything burned today. There’s a fairly elaborate process you have to go through to nicely separate files from the database, and part of the process involves moving the files to a separate folder within Windows. As a DVD holds 4.3 GB of data (or so), and the files are all less than 5 Kb…that’s a lot of files for the OS to keep track of, and so this process takes a damn long time. I spent six hours working on the sucker today (trying to find work to do while you wait for a progress bar to move is annoying), and managed to get to the point where I’m ready to suck the data across the network to my machine, where I can then burn the DVD. I anticipate that both of those steps will take a significant amount of time, as well. I don’t know our network speed, but I’ll be surprised if it’s 100baseT.

Meanwhile, I’ve tied up my scanning machine with this progress bar, so I can’t scan new batches. As it’s the end of the month (and thus another bonus cutoff), everyone in the office is throwing batches at me as fast as they possibly can, and they’re building up mighty quick. Furthermore, Marin needs me to scan batches so she can do her work…so her stuff is piling up as well. But I can’t add anything until I get burn these DVDs and (hopefully) alleviate these issues we’re having with the server.

I’m also sick (again), and sleep deprived. And school starts on Monday—and at that point, neither Marin nor I will ever be able to catch up.

I really didn’t want to work that much this week. Really. Now I need to get to bed so I can get up hella early tomorrow and continue my nightmare.

A Sidenote: this evening I read about a magnitude 8.0 earthquake that hit Japan today (no deaths reported, luckily), with a similarly sized aftershock that hit an hour or so later. Six days ago Japan had a 5.5 magnitude quake. This would have been the second week of Andy’s and my exciting two-week trip to Japan that fell through. Maybe it’s a good thing we were lazy in planning our trip out, after all….

Van Damme

They made a computer game out of my life. It’s called Tenshi no Inai Jyuunigatsu. Read the Canned Dogs description of the game, to see what I mean. For starters, it’s not a romance game. (So true!)

For the sake of posterity, since I can’t figure out a good way to permanently link to the relevant text:

Going further into the game, the protagonist is a person who could probably be best described as somebody who has lost his direction in life. Troublesome is the word he uses to describe the act of living, and the reason for not committing suicide, as he contemplates, is because it too, is too troublesome. Yet, he is not the suicidal or despressed (sic) person, just somebody who has found himself caught up in the absurdity of modern life.

I have not finished the game, or even reached a far enough point to confidently speak about this, but the possible themes that I have noticed are the futility of living, the absurdity of life, the harshness of reality, and the wavering of the human soul.

Now, I couldn’t stare anybody in the eye and tell ’em that I’ve experienced a harsh reality…but the rest strikes home, sadly enough.

All Hell Breaks Loose

Got to work today, only to discover that LaserFiche (the document scanning program we use) had gone down. I, of course, could do nothing to help it, so I got to help Marin for a while. Marin, in turn (i.e. accidentally), slammed my iPod remote wire in a desk drawer, putting a permanent kink in the cord. Soon after, I developed a nasty sinus headache and went home to take a nap.

Returned to work just as Bill (computer-maintenance guy) was finishing up; seems that the SQL server we’re running was refusing to start itself, even after a complete reboot—but it would load just fine, if done manually. Since the system turns itself off every night, we’ll probably have the same problem tomorrow. Dunno what’s going on there, but tomorrow I get to dive into the wonderful world of burning DVDs of data (something I’ve been meaning to do, anyway) to try and reduce the number of files held in the server proper. (Backups are also taking far too long right now, and burning stuff to DVD might assist there, too.) All in all, fun times to be had. I need to get into work early tomorrow, so I have no idea why I’m up so damn late right now.

I did manage to figure out a work-around for my //anime page layouts in Windows IE, though, so the evening was marginally productive. A few more kinks to work out, and that section will be functional—save the lack of reviews I’ve written. One piece at a time, I guess.

Also watched the West Wing tonight. It was OK, but it looks like next week is when the real fun begins.

Cats Dream

My evening plans seem to have derailed something fierce; first, John came online and started chatting (we had a pretty good conversation, actually…I don’t always keep up with John, but I held my own tonight), and second I started kicking around some CSS again. While in the throes of tweaking my CSS for Windows IE, I noticed that Maxi was pseudo-running in her sleep. Cricket used to do something similar, occasionally, and would also occasionally make these bubbling noises that I suspect were dream-barks. That’s enough evidence to prove to me that animals dream…but, then again, I’m one of those radicals who think that animals feel pain, too. Grr.

Oh yes—another tidbit from the day, since I remember it. After Paula left, Laura came over and said that she had met a gal named Sarah at her church. When Sarah found out that Laura works in The Office, she asked if Laura knew me. At this point my mind only had one thought: Security Breach! My personal life and work life are pretty much separate from each other (not for any real reason, actually), so this was an unusual crossover. After further probing, I concluded that the Sarah in question was actually my childhood friend Sarah. Good thing, too, because other Sarahs might have more incriminating dirt on me. (^_^)


It was Sam’s birthday at work today, so we had strawberry cake. This cake was made by baking a cake, punching many holes into it, and pouring strawberry jell-o into it—a weird cake judging by its description alone, by my standards. I was feeling a bit nauseated to begin with, but that sucker was so sickeningly sweet, in the “oh gawd I’m gonna BLEAH” sense of “sickening,” that I’m just thankful I didn’t actually have to run out of the room. It pretty much killed any chance I had of both eating and holding down lunch.

While scanning one of the myriad batches I had lying around me, I heard someone say my name from behind me. [I’ve learned to concentrate so hard on watching the scanner that I’ve suppressed my instinct to turn around when I sense motion behind me—in the office only, for you predators out there—and I had my iPod on, so I had no idea who it was.] I turned around to find Paula standing in the entrance to my cubicle! Paula’s one of my homies from my early years at the office, and one of the first to flee when times got ugly. We used to chat (as much as I’d chat with anyone, which is both “not much” and “when I’m not clocked in”) about life in general, though any female interaction I had in my life frequently became chat fodder.

Anyway, Paula said hi, and then asked me when the wedding would be. I managed to not fall completely off the ball (only wobbled severely), and muttered something about next week. She then asked me if I’d be heading down to Reno to get married…and to pick up the girl, too.


As I had no immediate comeback to that, Paula took off. (It was the end of her lunch break, too, so it wasn’t purely a mock-and-run event.) Despite the hard knock I took, it was quite enjoyable. Also because of it, I’m going to call Eileen…completely reversing my M.O. from the last year…and uh….nevermind. I really should do something, but the apathy in me remains strong. Well, there’s a bit more to it than that; I need to get my head on straight before I start pursuing females. Maybe I’ve listened to that Evangelion VOX album one too many times.

In other news, I’ve happened upon another interesting site: This Is Broken. And, for those of you who drink: Skittlebrau.

Once I finish chatting with Eric and Brian, methinks a light session of Final Fantasy X, followed by a long sleep session, is in order. Ah, the waning days of my summer.

Blitzball ROCKS!

I’m a blitzball master! I rock! I rule! HA HA HA SUCK IT GOERS!

Now that I’ve won in the game, we’ll see if I can win in real life tomorrow. I have more work to do than is really fair for the last week of summer vacation…. If I put in a full day tomorrow, though, I might be able to slack a bit towards the end of the week.

Blitzball Sucks

Sure, it may be the only form of entertainment that the Sin-ravaged people have…but I’m no good at it. I have no idea how Tidus (my main character in FFX) can be a big blitzball hero back in his own time, yet suck so bad when he’s under my control.

No, it’s not just me. Others have said it’s a difficult match, too.

Marin and I watched the first disc of Hana Yori Dango (er…Boys Over Flowers) last night. It definitely looked old, and many of the backgrounds were actually watercolor—unusual to find that in anime—but the story seemed quite interesting. I’d take this type of show (characters, plot) over King of Bandit Jing (nice animation) any day of the week.

Earlier yesterday I discovered that I had been blocked from my computer by both Mom and Marin, so I sat down and played some two hours of Final Fantasy X. My character met Yuna and got hit on by her. It was hot. Marin tells me that Yuna gets sexed-up in X-2. That’s also hot. But you don’t have to trust me about matters of hotness—just read the title of this article. Hahahahaha. Hot. [Note: the site worked for me, for the first couple links, and then started asking for registration info. It started asking Brian for info right from the start. Anyway, the point of the link was the title of the article: News: Final Fantasy X-2 screens, blurb, Yuna looking hot.]

The game once again affected me (no, the “hot” thing above was entirely my own whimsy), but didn’t make me nauseated—it felt as though my cognitive faculties had been distanced from the rest of my head; as if there was a fog keeping me from being as sharp (or not-sharp, depending on the day) as I would otherwise be. Weird, and it always clears up after I sleep.

Today I played even more FFX, including that damned blitzball match…but didn’t suffer that “fog” that I experienced yesterday. Weird; perhaps my brain is adjusting somehow—or else it’s just been permanently damaged.

I can’t believe that I have exactly one week until school starts. In many ways, it will be nice to see faces my age again…though I suspect the double-whammy of increased traffic and homework are too expensive a price to pay for that perk.

In other news, my parents got an email from a cousin of mine who is thinking of applying for a position in the finance department of OSU’s college of business. I’m not getting out of there soon enough if that actually happens… That cousin still owes me for my Rubik’s Rings puzzle he broke. He’s also the one who started shuffling the Clue “who did what where” solution cards around when he lost early in the game, many many moons ago; one of my prouder moments in life was actually winning the game anyway. I probably used up all my luck in life in that one guess.

I Love continues to rock. Some of the better ones I just found:

#144140: <Killrbyte> God dammit…Jesus saves…why the fuck didn’t I?

#142934: [long distance internet charges]

#78874: [Usual Suspects spoiler]

OK, OK, I’ll stop my indiscriminate linking. For now.

Eric + Multiplayer Diablo II…

…equals a level 1 paladin telling a level 79 barbarian come to the bridge and fight me.

Since versus combat is only enabled when both characters are at least level 9 (a requirement, as I pointed out to Eric, designed to discourage people like him), we don’t know if the other guy tried and failed, or just ignored Eric. I bet ignored.

Work was unusually pleasant today—probably because people are more willing to chill and chat (ugh) on Fridays.

It’s well past time to go to bed, though, so I’ll link and run. Smell the rip-off in the air. I mean, I’d at least be honest enough to just copy and paste things like that.

Stupid Windows IE

Today I once again participated in the time-honored tradition of exchanging far too much money for far too few textbooks. This term was an especially bad one in the books:money conversion factor.

I then went to work, where one coworker was remarkably irritating (Bend the rules for me because I’m stupid!) and others chatted for an hour about boyfriend troubles. I’ve determined that I’m happiest at my office when I have absolutely no interaction with anyone else—in other words, my iPod has become instrumental to happiness at work.

After work consisted of taking care of various odds and ends, and a later-evening venture into Diablo II to demonstrate my lack of proficiency at the assassin. Andy has taken to calling my character Miko Miko Nurse, which is probably the most entertaining tidbit I could share about the game. (As I informed Andy, I Miko-Miko-Massacred Andariel. Andy’s reply? “I hate you.”) After my index finger became sore from clicking on too many things, I switched gears and managed to get another //anime page working in all browsers except Windows IE. I hate Windows IE.

And so here we are. It’s late, so I’ll be going to bed now. You, gentle reader, may continue on to view an entertaining animation I rediscovered this morning: Icon’s Story.


I ditched work to go wander around OSU—specifically, to see if I could figure out how auditing a class works. I’m still confused; people don’t seem to know much beyond what the Academic Regulation says, and the AR doesn’t say much.

I also wandered into the bookstore to check out the G5. It’s a very, very nice-looking machine…and also fricking huge. Ah well. More important than the G5, though, was that I ran into John in the bookstore. He was looking for a flashlight to gut and use as the basis for his own four-LED designs. We chatted quite a bit while wandering the computing aisles; he seems to be doing well. I miss my old friends.

While visiting the rather unhelpful Registrar’s desk, I ran into Carol, the Apparel, Interiors, Housing, and Merchandising professor who planned the European trip I took with far too many females, far too long ago. She was surprised that I hadn’t graduated yet, and mentioned that academia needs more good people—that I should think about teaching. I probably will, if this actuary thing falls through…I think I’d enjoy it quite a bit. Probably high school, though, as I don’t like research at all.

I then visited the UHC office, where it was repeatedly mentioned that the office staff had seen Eric (a rare-enough occurrence as to signify the passage of quite a bit of time) since I had been in last. Tammy (the old UHC office manager) is filling in for Jane (the UHC head advisor) for a while, so I got to see UHC staff past and present. In contrast to Carol, the office staff was surprised that I was going to be graduating “so soon.” (???) Rebekah now knows that there’s potential for me to not graduate Honors, but didn’t seem to mind. I’m glad to have friends here.

This evening Marin discovered that Anime Jungle (great place to get used Japanese anime CDs) actually had an unclaimed copy of KareKano’s highly-sought-after first CD, “Act 1.0.” [Actually, it’s more complicated than that: Act 1.0 came in a few days ago, but was originally listed as reserved for someone. That person apparently decided not to purchase it, so the CD was updated as available—in the “new” CD listing from two days ago. Furthermore, as the site is not updated on Wednesdays, nobody bothered to check for changes today…so by the confluence of these multiple events, we got hella lucky.] At 8:45 pm I received a phone call from Andy, who informed me that I had until 9:15 pm to get to Fred Meyers, buy a copy of the Lord of Destruction expansion for Diablo II, and get onto He billed it as a heart-warming way to spend cold winter nights strengthening friendships across large distances; I figured what the hell. So, at 9:25 pm (installation took a bit longer than I had hoped, and every frickin’ name in the world has already been claimed on, I joined the fight against evil once again. This time with multiple companions—Nate and Kevin were also in on this—and assuming the guise of an assassin. (My previous time at Diablo II I controlled a sorceress.) I probably should have stuck with the sorceress, that I might actually be useful to someone at some time.

Then, after all my setup time/cost, Comcast decided that I needed more internet connectivity problems. Aaaaaaaarrrrgh.


I stayed up far too late last night, and got up far too early this morning. The only things that kept me going were a Big Gulp of Mountain Dew (which I could really feel rotting my innards away, today) and the pulse-pounding beats of the soundtrack to Beverly Hills Ninja.

…Everybody was kung-fu fighting…

But that’s not important now. It is time for me to go.


Benton County voters came out nearly 2-1 against the stupid Kids! measure (a county income tax of 1.25% to raise funding for local schools). Though I don’t mind funding schools, I do mind poorly written measures that create a seven-year “temporary” cash flow with no specific, clearly-stated purpose. Controlled by the whim of two county commissioners, who could legally increase the tax or funnel the funds elsewhere. Given to a school district that creates a yearly budget that’s so incomprehensible it can only be interpreted by the people who make it. The year after we gave the district some 80 million dollars for building renovations.

I thought for sure that thing was going to pass, after seeing Kids! posters growing in damn near every lawn in town.


No new monitors, no official shipping date for OS X 10.3. New powerbooks, though. Woo.

I probably jinxed myself.


While slaving away at a menial project for my office manager this afternoon, my head cleared and my energy level rose above zero for the first time in three days. [Since I didn’t mention it before: I never take a nap that lasts longer than two hours. Saturday and Sunday saw me taking three- and four-hour naps, respectively.] I almost accidentally felt euphoric from the dramatic improvement in my health. (^_^) I say that because, according to my IPIP-NEO re-analysis (I tried to recreate my accidentally-erased first result this evening) I should be curled up in the fetal position, rocking and hitting my head against a wall from my high (“average”) neuroticism. I think finishing Betterman last night has something to do with my higher-than-it-should-be depression score.

I’ll have to take that damn thing a third time, when I’m not recovering from illness and a depressing anime show at the same time.

Right Stuf dropped another Manga Bomb on me today, so I now own the complete English version of Love Hina. A better guilty pleasure I’ll never know.

Hey! Whaddayaknow? The guy writing Enlightenment With A Vengeance actually spent some time in good-ol’ C-town. Heck, he stopped here twice, though the lead-in to the second visit was somewhat off-putting.

I’ll now end this entry, and wait with bated breath. In an hour and ten minutes Steve Jobs will be giving a presentation at Apple Expo Paris. Will Mac OS X 10.3 be announced? Will updated monitors be available?? Can I preorder my G5 tomorrow???

Good Damn

Watched the end of Betterman. It’s the most Evangelion not-Evangelion show I’ve seen. I think I’m depressed now, on top of being confused and having a headache. I’m glad I haven’t opened up my anime review site yet, because I have absolutely no clue what grade I would give this show.

And now my internet is on the blink again. I think I’m supposed to give up for the night, now.

*blink* *blink*

I took a four-hour nap this afternoon—and that’s after I got a sound nine hours of sleep last night. Guess I haven’t kicked this bug yet.

Maybe the pocky was soporific? Nah.

I’ve found that Badgers are rather annoying, but for some reason I don’t turn them off.

A Fistful of Pocky

This morning I had a dream that I was trying to make a trip somewhere, but had to wait for someone to call be back with some details. Then the real-world phone rang, and I woke up twice as disoriented as I usually do.

I’m sick again, so I haven’t been doing too much today. I spent the morning and early afternoon cleaning the rest of my room…my one find was an unopened box of Glico’s finest: pocky! I think I got that pocky two years ago. Did random junk throughout the afternoon, and took a nap in the early evening.

Watched the second-to-last disc of Betterman while munching on that two-year-old Pocky (the foil wrapper they use is pretty darn good, as the pocky was only maybe a touch stale). Betterman has proven to be a remarkably thought-out show, despite having the appearance of just being a huge mishmash of ideas at the beginning: odd nuances of an episode will be explained by discoveries made five episodes later, and multiple references are made to mythology (Icarus, Hercules, etc.) and science (telomeres determining the number of times a cell can replicate, chirality of molecules, etc.). Despite this, the show requires a huge suspension of disbelief, and doesn’t give you enough information to figure things out beforehand…it’s like a roller coaster that you ride facing backwards: you only know where you’re heading after you’ve been there. I also suspect that there’s a large amount of symbolism present that I’m just catching glimpses of here and there.

I apologize if that previous paragraph makes little sense; I’m beginning to space out here. Guess I still need more sleep. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be more with-it.

Oh, and Eric—you can thank me any time. =D

Not Dead Yet

I’m not healthy, but I’m not any more sick than I was yesterday. I declare that two-year-old pocky to be good!


That’s the sound of me hitting my head against the wall in frustration. See, I am actually trying to get the final Lost Link connected to something substantive—but my darn CSS just isn’t cooperating.

Otherwise, today has been pretty darn quiet. If you’re as bored as I would be if I didn’t have my CSS to kick me around, you might try taking the International Personality Item Pool Something-Or-Other test. It’s supposed to be even more accurate than the old Meyers-Briggs test (I’ve always been categorized an ISTJ in that system, for what that’s worth). I’d post my results of this other program, but I seem to have lost them. I probably tossed it accidentally in my latest hard-drive cleaning fit.


A coworker today tried to pin the blame for missing pages in a scanned document on me. I found them in a different batch, printed them out, and headed over to let her know that they were in the system. She was in with my office manager, waving around the piece of mail that started the search for the pages in the first place—ostensibly complaining about how the scanning had failed this time. [Complaining is the official pastime of my office, it seems.] I handed her the pages while she was still in the manager’s office, and informed her that the people dealing with the papers before me had misfiled them.

It felt damn good to eviscerate that complaint against me. I probably shouldn’t derive as much enjoyment as I have from the incident, but…oh well. Hah!

Also today, I received my copy-protected test CD from Japan: Mikuni Shimokawa’s 392. Thanks to all for the overwhelming paucity of advice given regarding my moral dilemma of whether or not to purchase this CD—without your guiding light, I was left to drift in a vast expanse of gray. Anyhoo, I threw that sucker into my Mac and ripped it without any issues whatsoever. I’ll take it to work on my iPod tomorrow. Take that, copy protection! Hah Hah!

And now Insert Credit reports that Sammy is not only creating a 4-player version of Guilty Gear (imagine the chaos!), but collaborating with Capcom for a crossover fighting game. Sounds interesting, to say the least.

So, I guess this September 11th was better than the previous two. I still don’t like the day, though.

I Hate This Day

I still get chills when I’m reminded of what happened two years ago today. I don’t think those chills are ever going to go away, either.


I delayed my arrival at work to watch the copy of Chicago we had rented and needed to return by midnight tonight. Fun movie, and one my parents even enjoyed. The real story is actually quite simple (gal kills guy, spends time in jail and then goes to court), but is made interesting by song and dance numbers.

I’m darn lucky I delayed going to work because I developed a monster sinus-related headache, drippy nose, and sore throat. I was miserable enough for the time I still spent at work—going even longer would have been Not Fun. One of my pregnant coworkers delivered this morning, and there were digital pictures of the parents and baby—fun stuff. My coworker looks really happy.

Betterman’s five-thousand plot threads seem to have been reasonably well woven together, but another thousand threads were also unleashed in the process. Hmm.

What the?

Now, I don’t normally visit this site, but what in the world happened to IGN?

Ah well. Guess I’ll go back to my happy place, which currently has Kurz chanting “Tessa’s in love!” repeatedly, and then following that up with “Let’s have a party!”

A Brief Entry (?!)

I love Full Metal Panic. I’ve probably already said it twice before (coinciding with the nights I watched discs one and two), but it’s worth repeating.

No meeting today, so the only thing getting up early was worth was extra hours on the timeclock. And extra years off my life (…no sleep…). The monthly birthday luncheon was today, so I got a free heaping plate of rice and shoyou chicken from Local Boyz—easily the highlight of my pre-FMP day. Yum.

You Know…

You could have so much fun if you wanted to be an evil anime company, Marin and I have discovered. The previews on Betterman #2 (what we were reduced to watching, since FMP was too long and Marin’s headache would reduce her enjoyment of FMP too much—she doesn’t care for Betterman enough to mind enjoying it less, I guess) included Saber Marionette J to X, but the title was written Saber J to X. I guessed that most anime fans were confused by “that M-word,” so Marin decided the new title should be Saber Doll J to X. We proceeded on a downward spiral: Sword Doll J to X, Sword Doll J. Tox.

Also, Haibane Renmei has no official English translation (it’s sold here as “Haibane Renmei”), but we figured they have halos, so they must be angels. In the show the Haibane (ones with halos and wings) are segregated from the humans into one town (of sorts)—a sanctuary, if you will. So the show’s title should be Angel Sanctuary. But there’s already an anime with that title, so we’ll call it Angel Sanctuary 2.

Boy, could we piss off some otaku.

Tonight’s Betterman also featured the best comedy of the show so far. Man-eating worms were attacking Our Heroes, who fortuitously discovered a certain scent that repelled the worms. The trouble arose in creating enough of the scent to take care of a large room: they (again, fortuitously) had a machine that would replicate smells, but—as the worms closed in—the machine first required 500 yen (“If 500 yen is what it takes to be a hero, that’s a price I’m willing to pay!”), and then it took three minutes to replicate. Their facial expressions as these two revelations were made, one after another, were priceless.


Work today was meh. I expect it’ll be meh all week, with the possible exception of a possible meeting (this is doubly tentative, you see) tomorrow morning. This evening Dad and I put together an ultra-cheap media cabinet for Marin to house her CDs in. The thing features minimal fit and zero finish, so we added two extra nail holes through the cardboard backing for good measure.

And though I put quite a few tacks in the back of the thing (to hold the cardboard backing on), I only hammered my thumb twice. Lightly, praise be.

Marin still hasn’t quite figured out the way the world works, I’m sad to report. She has a headache this evening, even though she’s not allowed to have one. You see, I got Full Metal Panic mission (volume) 3 in the mail today—and when I get a disc of FMP in the mail, it goes in the DVD player that evening. It doesn’t look like that’s going to happen tonight, thanks to this illegal headache maneuver.

The disc even features Tessa on the cover!

And right now I’m trying to finish off this entry while Marin makes various noises of protestation over the previous paragraphs I’ve written. That, or she’s just masticating dangerously cheesy Cheetos.

News Flash!

This just in! Solid Snake is actually Kyle Reese from the first Terminator movie! Have a look at the evidence, and then decide for yourself.

And on the B-side of the news: Betterman continues to be vaguely creepy and chock-full of dumb humor. Tonight was the crazy-hospital episode, aka Halloween II-lite. (If you were unaware, Halloween II was a direct continuation of Halloween; as the protagonist, Laurie Strode, had been injured in the first, she heads to a hospital where her evening proceeds to get worse.)

I’ve also become privy to a (not really) scandalous relationship that I should have been aware of much sooner than what I was. I’ve never been a master of nuance, or of picking up on nuance, and this just confirms that I’m still lacking. Oh well; it don’t affect me none.

Oh yes, and I actually did archive files to CD earlier this evening. My productivity for the day is unparalleled. Much like my desire to play this game. I mean, dude (be sure to click on the little pictures to get bigger pictures). Curse you, Insert Credit, for showing me a game I’ll never be able to play!


Once a year I embark on an epic quest to determine the fate of the world. That’s me when I pick up a Final Fantasy game. (Well, last year was Chrono Cross, but that’s not important right now.) Also once a year, I clean my room.

This year I shook the pillars of heaven by doing both. On the same day.

It’s amazing how much dust accumulates in my room. I’m actually not finished cleaning, yet (still have a bookcase and my desk to do), but I did pull some decent rearranging magic and managed to pack my stuff into less space. I also picked up Final Fantasy X today, but it (weirdly) still made me a bit nauseated—perhaps I’m more susceptible to nausea on some days, as the game didn’t affect me before….so I guess my real epic quest for the year will have to be Final Fantasy VIII, which I started playing quite some time ago. Ah well.

Maxi now occasionally walks normally, but stiffly. Once she gets tired, she’ll revert to walking sideways. She tried to jump down from my chair this afternoon and did a complete sideflop—probably the least graceful thing I’ve seen her do. She didn’t seem too happy about it, either.

Maybe I’ll push the boundaries of space and time even further, and attempt to do my once-a-year archival of files to CD right now. It doesn’t get more exciting than this!


If’n I didn’t make it clear enough, the gal sticking the bagel down her shirt was doing so to stuff her bra. One bagel. Hence the heightened embarrassment when someone walked by her.

Also, we tried the New! Improved! KFC Popcorn Chicken last night. It was surprisingly good—not too greasy (well, for KFC) and not too crunchy. By far the best deal on it is their “large [lunch] combo,” which includes some french fries and a drink; the “party size” or whatever is much less of a deal.

That reminds me: while we were waiting in KFC’s glacial drive-through line (have I mentioned that I’m extremely surprised that KFC has a drive-through?), Marin mentioned that apparently, in Japan, the big thing to do on Christmas is eat KFC. They actually have to place their orders in advance, if they want any.

Add in the fact that Christmas is a romantic holiday in Japan, and you have you and your significant other eating KFC for Christmas dinner. In some ways, the Japanese twist on Christmas sounds like a lot of fun—especially if it’d snow as well.

You Have Control!

[psst! Now you say “I have control!” in your best Engrish, to gain control of the giant robot we’re piloting.]

Yeah. Today Marin and I got called into work as cheap manual labor to clean out the back room in preparation for some remodeling on Monday. We didn’t mind, though, because we got doughnuts afterwards…we’re easy to please, in that way. I wasted the afternoon away by checking out the AOD forums and setting up Eudora (now at version 6) to start checking my OSU mail account again. (I switched OSU email to Apple’s Mail program when OSU switched to IMAP, and Eudora’s IMAP support was somewhat spotty. Though I really doubt anyone cares.)

I’m thinking of picking up a copy of Joseph Campbell’s Hero of a Thousand Faces, as it seems like it might be an interesting read—and might be a fun framework to help build my own crazy tales. I’m not quite sure why I think I can write crazy tales, but it should be fun to try. At least my writing would be more-or-less technically correct, even if it wasn’t interesting—which couldn’t really be said of most other creative endeavours I might undertake.

In some ways, this is probably just another thing I’m using to try and put distance between me and that linear algebra book I really need to start reviewing. In other pre-academic news, I just looked at my fall-term schedule and so now know what my other math class is: computational number theory. I’ll let y’all know what it’s about once I know what it’s about. Which should be sometime late September.

Oh yes! One aspect of Strawberry Eggs that I forgot to comment on last night was the relatively large number of extras that were included on the discs—most notably unscripted audio recordings of the cast goofing off as the characters of the show. Another extra, and the reason I mention this at all, was a compilation of the various commercials used to promote the show. The first couple featured a boy handing a girl a note (ostensibly a love letter) and walking off, followed by a close up of the girl biting the paper. (???) Another one featured the gal sitting alone with her lunch on a hillside. She looks down her shirt, and then pulls a bagel out of her lunchbag and stuffs it down her shirt. Then someone walks by, she freezes, and the commercial cuts to some text of when the next show will be aired. (?!?!)

Those crazy Japanese.

The new show of the evening was Betterman, a show that features an odd mix of comedy and horror. [As a result of finding that link I’ve also learned that BetterMAN is “a tested, all-natural Chinese herbal supplement formulated specifically for American man,” and BetterMan is a “male improvement community.” Stupid internet.] Horror is a genre not usually explored in anime, and as I have a perverse affection for horror movies (and an incredibly stupid sense of humor), the show plays to my weaknesses. It’s interesting to watch typical horror-movie conventions—close-ups that don’t give you a sense of what is occurring around the character, unsettling camera angles, unexpected noises—adapted/adopted in an anime. The “you have control!”/”I have control!” bit at the start of this entry was, of course, ripped straight from Betterman. The show, you pervy scum! (“Pervy scum” comes to you courtesy of the Love Hina manga, FYI.) Get your mind out of the gutter.

A Welcome Day

After the drama of late, today was a much-needed break. The sun was shining and my cat now walks, so I can’t complain. (Well, Maxi now walks sideways—I guess when you tend to fall towards your right side it’s easier to stay upright by walking towards your right—but she purrs and doesn’t seem to be in any pain, so it’s close enough for us.)

Lunch today was going to be A&W, but my new favorite burger joint has suddenly vanished without a trace. The Chevron on 9th Street is now simply a Chevron again. Since we didn’t have much money for lunch (A&W was one of the cheaper places to get food), we had to fall back to cheeseburgers from Burger King. Not bad, but not terribly good, either. At work I’ve been able to keep my scanning fairly current, but that’s the only area that looks good. Every time I think we’ve bottomed out in how dysfunctional we can be, we dive even further. People seem to have given up on maintaining any pretense at all of being caught up, or even capable of getting caught up. Perhaps Marin and I should use our l33t business skillz and try to figure out a better workflow for the office…or else we could be lazy and watch some more anime.

Speaking of which, we finished off Strawberry Eggs over the last two nights. The subtitle track for the show actually includes honorifics (“Hibiki-chan,” “Amawa-sensei,” etc.)—something which is almost never done. I mean, if you’ve seen it, imagine seeing “Shinji-kun” and “Fuyutsuki-sensei” in Evangelion’s subtitles…it would just be weird. Or, maybe not—I didn’t notice the honorifics at all. I could try to pass that off as proof of my increasing Japanese l33tness (I vaguely recall it being a real issue with others Back In The Day), but I suspect most would believe it attests more to a lack of attention to detail on my part. The show was average, in the large-grouping sense of first-class/average/garbage, but for an average show was better than average. It really squandered the excellent opportunity it had to comment on gender roles, though, which was disappointing for me. (This, despite the fact that I didn’t really expect it to deliver in that regard.) The ending—as typical—featured peoples’ opinions changing in the extreme in a short period of time for dramatic effect. Though it’s overused as a storytelling device, I don’t know that rapid changes in opinion are necessarily inaccurate, at least in the context of Strawberry Eggs…if you aren’t really sure what you think, I could understand how you might be easily swayed from one extreme to another in a short period of time.

And there I go, talking as if the people reading this have seen the show. Bah.

I’m still surprisingly tired, despite getting a good deal of sleep last night, so I’ll call it quits for now. I haven’t forgotten that I still owe y’all a tale of my Seattle Trip at some point, but for now you’ll have to make do with photographic evidence. Yes, I’m in these pictures. Despite what commentary the PA guys give, y’all would best be advised to remember that I don’t belong to Seattle’s dork population—though I will admit to being saddened that the photographer failed to capture on film Andy flashing his right hand rule. I’m sure Andy is disappointed as well.

Not Dead Yet

Maxi has escaped death, at least for today. After an awful night (imagine a cat who can’t sit/stand/walk/etc. trying to use the litter box), we scheduled an appointment with the vet for 5:15 pm. Maxi slept the entire day (why she couldn’t just sleep at night escapes me), pretty much in the same position she had been in since yesterday. At 4 pm we gave her a final test, with kitty treats—and she ran over to claim her reward with much more balance than she had been exhibiting in the previous twenty four hours. So we’ve put off the vet, and will see how she does tomorrow.

Of course, when Cricket (my dog) died last summer, she improved for a few days before she ultimately got worse. Time will tell if the same happens with Maxi.

For now, though, I’m just glad we got today.


Barring miracles, we’ll be putting Maxi to sleep tomorrow morning. Her left hind leg no longer works, and she now rotates her head as if to look at her tail (when lying down, which is most of the time) and freezes it in that position for prolonged periods of time. Our best guess (which is worth nothing) is that she’s had a stroke.

The last time she purred was right after she collapsed while hopping to my room, right after I got home from work at 6:00 pm.


It’s Getting Hot Again

Yesterday was forgettable, since I’ve already forgotten about it. Well, Marin and I did watch Strawberry Eggs DVD 2; it continued the trend of being lighthearted while still possessing some odd undertones. I also recall crashing on the couch and working on the //anime review page layout (!).

Today I dragged myself out of bed at 8:00 am (I won’t complain bitterly, because I know others would beat me for it) in an attempt to try and start straightening out my delayed sleep patterns. I arrived at work in a good mood (it’s been a while…), only to learn that my boss’s mother had passed away earlier today. There’s nothing like hearing of a death to sour one’s mood.

My early start allowed me to catch up on my work, again. It’s a good thing, too, because I had begun feeling a bit queasy in the early afternoon, and was able to go home early and take things easy. Blah blah caught up on internet news yatta yatta worked more on the //anime layout etc. etc.

Tonight we cooked steak (a belated Labor Day meal), and I took a piece up to Eric, where we had a good, solid (as Bush would say) conversation. I also experienced first-hand the joys of the now-$5 game entitled “Machines,” and was introduced to initial plans for the Willamette Consortium—or, as I like to abbreviate it, the W.C. The W.C. is a secret organization of high-power individuals (or companies, we haven’t really decided) with yet-to-be-determined goals, that has a hidden entrance somewhere in Timberhill that will lead to a secret bunker deep within the depths of the hill. [Eric might not like me mentioning the possible existence of the W.C., but I say that a good high-power secret organization needs to be known to exist before it can control any sizeable chunk of the population’s mindshare, and thus be high-power.]

And because this update lacks wang and/or grammar, a link to entertain you to no end: Furious George and the Cross-Country Crime Spree. My first atrocity: the monkey replaces a number of educational children’s videos with hard-core pornography at a local video store in Macon, Georgia.

Now I just sit back and wait for Tyler to post this link to BuzzJive. (^_^) I can also wait for the flurry of hits I earn just for mentioning the words “hard-core pornography.” I suspect the hyphen might throw most of ’em, though, as it is a somewhat advanced aspect of the language.

Yet Another Lazy Day

Somehow today’s day of nothing was nowhere near as satisfying as yesterday’s day of nothing was. Perhaps it’s because I took the trash out today.

Well…honestly, it’s probably more because the marginal return on each successive day of nothing keeps getting smaller. That, and I’m getting a frequent vibe that I need to start moving again soon, that I need to end this weird stasis my life has attained and start moving with the flow of time again…. That’s right, I’m a man out of time. And that’s enough crazy-talk for one entry.

I’ve got a few new layout ideas in my head for the //anime page, so we’ll have to see if I can take those anywhere. Marin and I finished watching Niea_7, which was a quiet slice-of-life show to the very end. People who like shows with definitive endings wouldn’t like Niea, but it suited me just fine. Though my situation is quite a bit different (no alien bumming around my place, no struggling to be able to attend school), the overall feel of the show was similar to what a show about my life might be like—somewhat dull, somewhat entertaining, and full of lame humor. Heh. We also started watching I! My! Me! Strawberry Eggs, about a male gym teacher who has to dress up as a female to get a job at the nearby school. [The (female) principal believes that males are worthless savages, so the main character decides to teach her a lesson.] It’s a quirky premise with weird undertones (grown men who peep at junior high kids? developing teacher-student crush?) and some potential for commentary on gender roles…plus, Marin can’t figure out where it’s going at all. You never know where you’ll end up when even Marin can’t make heads or tails of the show’s direction. Hell, the people making the show probably didn’t know where there were taking it if Marin can’t figure it out. Ah well—we’ll soon find out.

Is it really September already? It doesn’t feel like it’s been a month since I last had to rotate the blog. In some ways I really do believe that life is the process of accelerating towards your death: these days I blink and twenty minutes are gone, whereas I’d have to take a nap or something for twenty minutes to pass as a child. No wonder I got so much more done back then.

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