Stupid Halloween

I’m dead tired, and it’s now (technically) one of my least-favorite days of the year. Halloween will never beat what happened two years ago, so I’ll probably end up watching Halloween with the volume turned up loud enough so that I don’t have to listen to the incessant doorbell. But, yes, two years ago: I was over at Andy’s, and we had just finished watching The Nightmare Before Christmas. Andy was in the bathroom, and Nate was fiddling with the PS2, when the doorbell rang…so I answered it. I found a college gal wearing a sports bra, short shorts, and angel wings, on the other side of the door.

Best Halloween Ever.

Yeah. My single accomplishment of the evening was that I successfully wrote something down on paper to turn in as math homework tomorrow.

Today (i.e. Thursday) was actually a fairly social day for me. I was chided by Michele for arriving to class a few minutes late (“Nice of you to join us, Brent!”), which resulted in a little good-natured bickering back and forth. We got out of tax early today, and I ran into Jenny and Elizabeth (some of my O.B. group members, and also tax classmates) in the hallway afterwards. We spent a few minutes discussing the next tax letter we get to write (if you buy a Hummer that’ll be used 85% of the time as a business vehicle, what is its tax treatment?), which is surprisingly convoluted.

In dance class we spent the hour learning a fairly long rhumba combination, and I chatted with the follows much more than I usually do. Most notable was Becky: when I rotated to her, she asked me if I had the combination down. I told her (honestly) it was a bit iffy; she then told me that she believed I had it down. We ran through it, and managed to nail the combination’s general gist (i.e. it was far from perfect, though it was functional). Afterwards I paused, and then told Becky that she was right, that I did have it down. We both cracked up something fierce at that.

After dance I visited Yayoi to discuss the math homework I finished writing up tonight, and then visited the Commons—where I ran into Jenny and Elizabeth again, as well as Renee. I also met Renee’s fiancee, Adam.

I then came home and had fun draining water out of hoses and trying to insulate the outside faucets. Tonight and tomorrow are supposed to sport lows around 28 degrees Fahrenheit….getting pretty chilly.

Bashing Around

I’m tired and I should be sleeping, so I’ll link to some humor:

#164573: My ideal Halloween

#164094: Politically incorrect humor

#163333: Synchronized swimming

#165596: No comment necessary

Stupid Brazil

This marks the second night in a row where I’ve stayed up late trying to write a “country background” on doing business in Brazil. I’ve been a particularly ineffective writer as of late, and it’s getting to be quite frustrating.

This is supposed to be my light week, too. I don’t want to know how awful next week is going to be, if I can’t get this week done.

Good lord am I tired.

Thursday: “F _ _ k”

Thursday morning I warily made my way to school, as I knew I would find out how well(/poorly) I did on the brutal tax midterm I took Tuesday. The parking at OSU is bad enough that I don’t even bother trying to find a good parking spot these days (my classes all start at 10:00 am, which is the worst time to try and find parking), so I found at spot at Reser and made my way to the shuttle stop.

As I approached the stop, I noticed Lee approaching from the opposite direction. He was sporting sunglasses, which (oddly enough) have been more than appropriate as of late. We greeted each other and chatted on the way to campus. Lee talked about how busy he was going to be that day, and also noted that he walked off the street—figuratively; he didn’t have any of the prerequisites—into an International Finance class and was setting the curve so far. Ha.

In front of the business building a Spanish class was writing down characteristics of the ideal person in sidewalk chalk. I danced around their hunched forms and made my way to tax, where I asked Michele (the instructor) how the ideal person would respond to having flunked the midterm.

The results of the exam: high score: 83. Average: 57. (Yes, the average person flunked.) Low: 33. I, despite being a walking zombie the day of the exam, had the 83. Score! That fired me up through the majority of the rest of the day.

Faces turned ashen as the grade sheet made its way around the class. Michele, noting this (and in light of the actual results) decided we needed Happy Points—points for smiling and looking interested at certain parts of the lecture. The gal sitting directly behind me told Michele that she just couldn’t fake smiling; Michele responded that she (the gal) would never make it in business, then. After a short pow-wow with the friends sitting next to her, the gal announced that “OK, I’m ready. I have my game face on.”

Michele tried to lecture for a few minutes, but realized that nobody was paying her any attention. So she whipped out a fresh overhead transparency, and wrote a big fat F on it. “We all know this is what you’re thinking about, so we might as well get it where you can see it,” she said. “What could this ‘F’ stand for?” She then started writing things next to the giant F:



F _ _ k


Future opportunities

You can guess which one resonated most with the class. During the midway break, another person from behind me described taking the exam as “like running backwards through a corn field with your pants down.” It was hilarious, because nobody had any idea where that analogy came from.

The topic of funny quotes reminds me of Linear Algebra earlier in the week: midway through a lecture, a classmate asked Dr. Faridani what he had just written on the board a moment ago. Dr. Faridani clarified the word, paused for a moment, and then said: “My handwriting deteriorates as my vigor rises, so please ask if anything I write isn’t clear.”

On the way back to my car, after dance, I ran into Dan Elefant (high school classmate) on his bike. He graduated last year, and said he had been bumming around since then; he thinks he has a job at some place that tries to make buildings out of garbage, and seems quite excited about it.

At work it sunk in that I hadn’t died (in a relative sense, at least) in tax. A huge weight, that was heavier than I thought it was, had been lifted from my shoulders, and I experienced the largest surge of energy that I’ve had in quite a while as a result. I actually had a spring in my step at work—basically unheard of, these days—but ran out of energy by the time I got to go home. I need more exercise.

Night/Day/Night of the Panther

So Friday night was the official release date of Mac OS X 10.3, code-named Panther. I spent all of Friday night backing up my machine (stupid backup takes forever), and then installed Panther earlier today. After great delays (mostly due to e-double-x-treme napping), I reinstalled all my applications…and I think I’m finally up to speed. That’s why my beloved blog has been neglected, recently—my files were all safely tucked away where I couldn’t get to them, until now.

The new OS seems pretty snazzy, actually. The new sidebar in Finder windows looks to be quite usable, and Exposé is surprisingly handy (“show all windows” is now mapped to my center mouse button, which is a button that I’ve previously ignored). I’ve already made use of Fast User Switching to continue setting up my machine while one account was locked up installing software. Neat stuff.

Still sleep-deprived right now, though, so I’ll have to drop a mega-update later…erm…today. I better have time to do that, or I’ll be irritated.

Stalling for Time

A decent number of entertaining events happened today, but right now I need to either get to bed, or study for my midterm tomorrow. Sooo…look forward to hearing about (at the very least) Lee, the ideal person, “F,” Dan, and my surprising burst of energy at work, in the near future. Until then, I hear this is funny. I wouldn’t know, since I haven’t had free time to do anything lately.

Looks as if Eileen didn’t join the professor-review group. Either she’s busy, or she’s avoiding me. Hmm.

Does It Ever End?

I’m still tired from my one-hour night earlier this week. Too bad all I’ll have to show for it is an extremely unsatisfying grade, to be determined tomorrow.

That, and the linear algebra homework that I can’t solve (outside the programming problem my exhausted brain hallucinated into existence), the tax research I can’t figure out, and the number theory midterm I get to flunk Friday.

How’s your week? I’m still trying to get the hang of this “thinking positive thing,” I guess. (^_^) In O.B. today we got into our groups and provided each other feedback via use of car metaphors. What make/model car is your group? Why? What part of the car is each member? Why? I might have been more useful if I knew anything about cars. It was surprisingly entertaining to complete—that’s one of the strengths of my group: they are fun to be around—and I was coming up with all kinds of hilariously awful, put-down analogies that one might use. “Our group is like that rusted-out piece-of-junk car you see abandoned on the side of the highway.” “You’re the ashtray: you collect garbage and generally get ignored.” “You’re the warning lights, because there’s always trouble when you go off.” “You’re the coin holder; nobody knows why you’re there.”

At work today I got an email from the consultant who has been hired to take the “dys” out of our standard office function. She has correctly categorized me into the clerical group—without so much as saying “hi” to me—but completely failed to note that my job is different from the standard clerical job. Gives me great hope, I tell ya. I suspect that means I get to tell this person what I do at some point in the near future.

On the bright side of things, tonight I discovered that I didn’t actually miss West Wing last week to do linear algebra homework. That was nice. I’ve also learned that my copy of Panther (Mac OS X 10.3, for those not familiar with referring to operating systems by their code-names) has shipped, and is scheduled to arrive before 4:30 pm on Friday. That’ll give me something (at this point I’ll take anything, no matter how small) to take my mind off of the pain that is this week.

Idiot Savant

I may not know tax, and I may not be able to do basic math (don’t ask), but at least I can write a kick-ass Matlab program (where “kick-ass” is defined as “fulfills the requirements of my homework”) in under half an hour. Yes, I now have a program that, with very few lines of code, will solve any linear system I throw at it (as well as the system can be solved, at least). Boo yah. That ka-chink you just heard was the sound of me securing thirty homework points.

Gah. I’m going to bed.

Unmitigated Disaster

I was misreading questions, and constantly had to refer to my notes for my tax midterm (praise be, that this was an open-note exam). Took the entire class, and I had no time to consider questions I hadn’t been able to answer the first pass through—so I guessed on ’em.

It’s not a definite bomb, but the potential of my doing Quite Bad is a hell of a lot higher than I’d like it to be. The headline is probably more appropriate for Thursday, when I discover how poorly I did…but it feels right, so I’ll run with it.

Not a Winning Combination

I wrote notes for my tax midterm for ten hours straight last night. I’ve had exactly one hour of sleep since then, which is slightly mitigated by the three-hour nap I took yesterday evening before I started.

My right hand is thoroughly trashed, which is about the same as my head.

It’s going to be an interesting midterm…

Stupid Decision

Yessir, that was a stupid decision. I had a good time with Eric, Andy, Nate, Neil, Kevin, and Jon…but I sure as hell didn’t get a lot of work done.

I get to pay for that, now. I’ll fill y’all in when I have a free moment, and if I’m not dead.

The first of my looming monsters: an information-intensive tax midterm on Tuesday, coupled with an annoying tax letter I have to write that will not die.


Friday I got my first linear algebra homework back; despite dropping a square root accidentally in the last step of one problem, I got 100%. I’m not complaining.

During my hour break I sat and chatted with Renee and her friend. I never really caught the guy’s name, though he too is a math major—it was something like Brian, or some other B-name. I’ll go with Brian, for now. [Update: It’s “Bryan.” I’ll fix the remaining instances, rahter than leave them incorrect….] [Yes, that would make three Brians in my current life: faithful reader Brian, afro-Brian [Update: erm… “Ryan”], and Renee’s-friend Bryan.]

I haven’t laughed that hard in ages. I learned about how Renee drinks a lot of coffee, and gets extremely jittery because of it—and how her boyfriend and Bryan would place bets about exactly when she would start shaking. I heard about how Renee’s brother picked her up and threw her down on her bed one day over the summer—she bounced up, hit the wall, and fell back down. She noticed that night that there was something wrong, namely, her feet were much lower than her head. The bed frame had collapsed from the abuse it took earlier. Renee and her roommate are also currently involved in a water fight, which makes Renee extremely wary whenever she’s coming out of the bathroom of her place…it’s easy to get ambushed there.

At some point, Renee really did get jittery from her coffee. Then Bryan said something that she didn’t appreciate, so she folded up her donut wrapper into a small football and flicked it at him. It went wide, and struck the guy eating behind Bryan…who gave Renee an extremely dark look in exchange.

It was hilarious. Quite a bit of fun to listen to them banter back and forth.

Later yesterday I met up with my O.B. group to get a whole lot of chatting done over a very small amount of work. We learned that there are multiple (what essentially boil down to) usability guidelines for designing layouts of houses—such as there must be enough space on both sides of the dishwasher for two people to unload dishes at the same time. Obvious stuff, mostly, but things that get annoying when they’re forgotten. Yunho and I were also treated to an extended discussion about boyfriends/husbands/fathers who are pack rats. One has a cotton candy machine that hasn’t been used in years; another found a use for a mowing machine part in some car. All agreed that it was terrible when their respective pack rats found a use for one of their saved items, as it just reinforced the habit and provided them an argument when others wanted to clean out the house.

I’m now looking forward to putting off my homework (stupidest decision I’ll make all week—I can tell you that now) to go eat food at the UHC tailgater and later to watch football and play Smash Bros. with Andy & the gang. Meanwhile, you all should check out the latest Something Awful Photoshop Phriday—it’s pretty good.

Episode XVI: A New Hope

[This Episode now posted, since Comcast has deemed me worthy of an internet connection again.]

The rain broke, the temperature was surprisingly moderate, and tax class was cancelled. It was a perfect day.

I even did well in dance class. Ballroom dance has many lessons for me in life, and I’m slowly picking up on them… One example: “You’re in a ballroom dance class to learn how to dance, not dance perfectly the first time. There’s no need to apologize for every mistake you make.” Constant apologizing really doesn’t give others a good impression of you, and it took me forever to figure that out…and though I still judge myself too harshly (sometimes—at other times I’m a complete slacker), I’m slowly warming to the idea that I can screw up occasionally without having to beat myself over the head about it.

The challenge of this ballroom class is that there are several follows who have shared dance classes with me in the past, and so know my old ways—the most notable one of them being a gal named Becky. At first it was obvious that she held her earlier, low, opinion of me (some people are easy to read)…but that opinion now seems to be improving. Today she was laughing at her goofs, which is a world apart from our past interactions. It’s nice to know I’ve changed, in that regard.

Of course, it also helps that I can actually dance decently, now. I’m still awful when trying to (re)learn a move, but I seem to nail them quicker than before, and am just more confident of myself in general. It’s also fun seeing friendly faces, such as Kristi (yes, Eric, there are two math majors in ballroom III) and Mandy.

I’ve been disenchanted with myself for a good period of time—easily since before I started this blog—which has been one of the larger reasons I’ve not tried calling Eileen, despite the bluster I’ve made about it. It’s hard to think that someone might like you when you don’t like yourself. (‘Course, after how long I’ve made her wait…) Today’s realization that I’ve changed gives me new hope; I’ve found an aspect of me that I do like. I’ve been bitter and cynical for too long, and it’s refreshing to be optimistic about something.

Oh yes. Perhaps another factor that improved today was my reading the first Azumanga Daioh manga last night. I laughed so hard I cried at some of the jokes. Hilarious stuff.

This weekend Andy, Nate, Neil, Kevin, and Jon (Andy’s Washingtonian friend) are all coming down for some football, poker, and Smash Bros. It’s going to be one heck of a time; I never thought I’d see that many of those faces together, ever again.

Early-Onset Arthritis

After reading too much last night, and getting up early to summarize those chapters on two sheets of paper in lots of tiny scribbles, I went to school. There I experienced a “buckle your seat belts” linear algebra lecture (i.e. more frantic scribbling), and then the organizational behavior midterm, involving a good three pages of fairly small writing.

My hand is bloody killing me.

My index finger even aches, which has severely cramped my web surfing. Typing this hurts me, physically. I surprised even myself (in terms of the depths of my stupidity) by going back to school this evening to hack out a Matlab file for my linear algebra homework due Friday.

Anyway, more when I can type without pain. I’ll even tell you about the actual dream I had the other night. (If you didn’t know: I almost never dream, so having a dream I remember is a noteworthy event for me.)


My first midterm of the year is tomorrow, in organizational behavior. As a third-year senior, my initial inclination is to write off this junior-level course as fluff and read through the first manga of Azumanga Daioh instead.

That would be folly. It would also be fun, but I won’t think about that now.

So I’ve currently re-read four of the six organizational behavior chapters I’ll be tested on, and will create a fun cheat-sheet after I’ve completed my re-reading. Unfortunately, my consciousness is fading quickly—so I’ll refrain from updating my blog more than this.

Well, OK, one more thing: I actually did linear algebra last night! I calculated eigenvectors and eigenvalues and inverses of matrices and all kinds of stuff. It’s reassuring to find that I can still actually do some of those things I wasn’t sure about.

Now if I can only kick the crap out of a junior-level course’s midterm…


I had a massive headache throughout today, which severely limited my abilities to do anything. Blinking and breathing were difficult; thinking was impossible. Made me completely useless, especially when confusion over one of the assigned problems in probability completely halted the class for 30 minutes. Seriously—the professor stared at the board and pondered, while the students tried to reason out amongst themselves how to crack the problem. Nobody figured it out, either. I should have been able to kick the crap out of it, too, considering how early in the term it is. Damn.

My numerical analysis class got gently chided by the professor for simply ripping off the formula for pentagonal numbers from the previous exercise in the book, without bothering to prove it was correct. Minor details! [This does cause me some concern over our next homework set, though; we were told to “do” a problem out of the book, followed with further instructions to write the algorithm of the problem out in Maple. If we were to really do the problem, we would have to prove something…I, like many others, just wrote out the Maple code. We’ll probably catch flak for that next week.]

In organizational behavior we got our group work-plan back: 19.5/20. w00t! Judging by that score and the quality of that paper, and assuming I can actually write (as opposed to simply staring at a blank page), the other papers for that class should be cake.

And that, after a brief stint at work, takes us to the present time. I have linear algebra homework due Friday, but it involves the singular value decomposition of matrices—and that have something to do with eigenvalues and eigenvectors, neither of which I remember anything about beyond that I knew what they were, once.

So, anyone interested in some linear algebra homework? <BenStein>Anybody? Anybody?</BenStein>

Air Conditioning?!

I actually bothered to read my organizational behavior book late last night, and part of my tax book this morning. I’ve found that I’m most likely to read them when I should otherwise be sleeping, for whatever reason.

I then slowly made my way to campus, where I slowly figured out the location of a computer that had Maple installed on it. Seems many computers got stripped over the summer. I wound up at the MLC computer lab, where I then spent another eternity fighting Adobe’s crappy Windows in-browser implementation of PDF files—the damn thing kept almost-but-not-quite crashing my computer, and ate a good hour of my time.

Meanwhile, the air conditioning that they have perpetually enabled in the room was slowly sapping the warmth from my fingertips. By the time I actually finished writing my code, my hands were pretty much frozen solid. Every time I tried to type a key, I’d get something like “sdaf” courtesy of my other icy digits.

And now my brain is completely wasted. I’m not going to be any use to myself or anyone else until tomorrow. At least. That didn’t stop me from writing my response to the email asking me to serve on the promotion committee, though. I’m pretty dumb that way.

If I can pass my glazed eyes over the rest of my tax book tonight, then that means I’ll only have a short paper, a midterm, and a math homework assignment due this coming week. Yes—finally!—a light week.

I rue the day I first considered that workload “light.”

Many Stories Ended Here Today

Today I caught up on all the sleep I lost over the last week. Boring day, no?

I tried calling Eileen this evening, but no one was home. I’ll have to keep at it, this time. So, rather than doing something interesting tonight that I could write about in this entry, I played a good deal of Final Fantasy X. It’s a decent break from my school week routine, so I can’t complain too loudly. It’s nice to be able to turn your brain off for a while, outside of sleeping.

I quit playing soon after Sin annihilated a good deal of people, and one of my characters noted that “many stories ended here today.” Kind of a sad way to think about death…not that death is a happy thing to think about, to begin with.

And, on an arguably lighter note, a guy who draws comics the way I would draw comics. (That refers to my magnificent artistic abilities, mind you. Though perhaps I’d come up with some of the same content, too.) I’d give you a name, but it’s a bit too long for me to bother typing.

Fire Man

I should be asleep right now, but instead I find myself playing the flash game Fireman – Incoming Storm. Curse you, Insert Credit, for linking me to that infernal game!

I’m good at Mega Man games, but I suck at this one. The first boss keeps blowing me away—and I’m being punny here.

Call to Serve

Today was a pretty quiet day, but most of that was because I was barely conscious throughout the majority of it. I traded my not-so-hot homework write up for more problems in linear algebra, and made my audit status official for probability.

You know, despite all my early griping about O.B., the class itself hasn’t been bad. The book has improved some from its horrid start (though it’s still far from good), and there don’t seem to be any homicidal tendencies in my group yet. My other professors have all been interesting as well; this really isn’t a bad academic term. I still have a mess of homework from it, though.

The event of the day that put a giant exclamation point over my head (“!”) was an email I received from a math professor. Apparently there’s a committee being formed to review a couple professors, and they want some undergrads and graduate students to serve on the committee. I, as you might guess, am one of the undergrads they asked. The noteworthy item of this email, though, was the other undergraduate who was asked to serve: Eileen. [We must be well-respected in the department, since the two of us were also offered grading positions earlier last year…that, or as Eric humorously hypothesized, the math department thinks we would be cute together…] I think I’ll accept, as it (assuming Eileen does likewise) would be a way to box myself into doing something—even doing nothing would be something, in this new scenario. Though calling her beforehand would still be best, IMO.

And it would also be a good idea for me to get to bed now. It really has been a long week for me, despite the fact that it feels like the first two weeks have flown by.

The Death Drop

Today in tax class I discovered that I’m a bookie and Cody is a drug runner. There were also hints of a prostitution ring, but nothing ever really came of that. Yes, indeed, we were discussing what income must be included in your taxes. The general rule is that any income must be reported, unless some part of the Internal Revenue Code says otherwise—but the IRC still spells out a few types of income that must be reported. Humorously, to me, is the fact that “income from illegal activities” is one of the items on that list.

No wonder they got so many people on tax evasion.

I successfully completed the Death Drop multiple times in ballroom dance today, which is a new high point in my spotty dance career. The move earns its name from how it looks, not how hard it is (nor from the number of people who have died while attempting it, sadly). Anyway, the lead is supposed to stand and look stoic, while helping support the follow as she gets as close to lying on the ground as you can get without lying on the ground. It actually looks pretty neat, and—until today—completely eluded me. I don’t know if I just had better balance today than I’ve had in the past, or if my wax-on wax-off adventures over the weekend gave me just enough arm strength to pull it off.

Work was wonderfully quiet today, since everybody took off to some off-site location to complain openly to each other (or, at least, I assume that’s what they did). I listened to a good portion of The Phantom of the Opera, and got to sing along whenever I felt like it…and, when I got tired of listening to music, I was able to enjoy sweet sweet silence. I am such the introvert.

O.B. tells us that introverts aren’t necessarily quiet and shy, FYI. Introverts just “draw their energy” from quiet time alone, whereas extroverts draw energy from groups of people. I suppose that makes vampires extroverts.

This evening I wrote up the worst math homework I’ve done in quite a while. Most of the stuff you could see as true without my having to do anything—and, oddly enough, it’s damn hard to write down something when it’s that easy to see.

Linear Algebra

Last night I tried reading my linear algebra book, and it went completely over my head. That panicked me a bit, since I have linear algebra homework due Friday morning.

Today in class, Renee told me the homework was easy. This sufficiently shamed me into taking care of three of the four problems assigned this evening. I even took my first foray into programming with Matlab this evening. It feels a bit more ghetto than Maple, but I’ve only used two or three commands in it so far.

Incidentally: if I need to “delete” the first column of a 4×4 matrix in a way that reduces the column dimension by one, would I want to convert the matrix into a 4×3 matrix, or just zero out the first column? I still don’t remember my linear algebra from before.

Tried to get my $20 “free” upgrade to Panther today. Too bad that Apple decided not to upload the list of already-purchased G5 serial numbers into their online system, so I’m reduced to printing out and mailing my order, like people had to do in the early ninties. With only fifteen days until Panther ships, will my check make it in time?!??? Let me tell you: I’m holding my breath.

Whoa. A familiar face just caught my eye on OSU’s main page. Weird. It’s a shame they didn’t give any actual quotes that I could use to mercilessly taunt her with, though.


I have at least three distinct, interesting things to comment on today. Don’t get used to it.

First: CNN predicts that Californians gave Gray Davis the boot and put the Governator in his place! Because I don’t live in California, I can be dispassionately interested in what will follow—I’m really quite curious.

Second: today was the most exciting day in dance class, ever! And I missed the main excitement. (Typical.)

After arriving and putting on my dance shoes, I exited quickly to visit the bathroom. Upon my return, everybody—who had been either chatting or dancing when I left—was frozen and staring at the ceiling. Jimmy informed me that two or three tiles had fallen (and this is a two-story room, so there’s an extra dose of kinetic energy to convert into Pure Destructive Power). Upon closer inspection (the first time I ever really paused to examine the room) I noticed quite a bit of water damage and some other tiles that seemed ready to take a plunge.

So, to avoid casualties, we moved next door to the gym. It was like a high school dance all over again—basketball court lined floor, crappy stereo system—except populated with people who can do more than rock around in a little circle while gazing into each others’ hormonally-charged eyes. Dance continues to be one of my more interesting courses—and not just because of the hormones.

Hah. Me stupid.

Finally: I’ve never felt envious of another man’s powerbook, until now. This poster on Ars Technica’s forums, kefkafloyd, had one of the most interesting ideas I’ve seen in a while about collecting autographs. I want.

Special bonus paragraph: my O.B. group seems pretty nifty. We spent two hours working on an “official work plan,” and actually had a good ratio of productive time to fun time. If we don’t kill each other by the time we have to create real papers, we might actually have a decent time of it.

Hatin’ on the Homework

I just finished a one-page fictitious letter from an accountant to a client about the effects of the Job and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003. Though figuring out what the act did and actually writing the letter took the most time, the most difficult part of the endeavour was forging the accountant’s signature. I’m no good at that kind of thing.

I really should write a dumb work plan for my Organizational Behavior group to look over tomorrow evening, thus saving us all lots of suffering around a cramped computer screen, but I just don’t feel like it right now. Instead, I think I’ll read a chapter and a half of tax, a chapter of O.B., and hit the hay.

I really just want to hit the hay right now, though. In addition, I’m so backlogged at work that it’d be hard to cut out early tomorrow to try and make progress on that O.B. paper…stupid (“school comes first!”), but somewhat true.

Stupid responsibilities. Looks like this will be another term of trying to get everything done, and as a result not doing any of it well.

In other news, today we had to do mini-presentations about ourselves within our O.B. groups, and critique each other constructively. One of my teammates described me as “happy,” which struck me. I don’t think anyone’s described me as “happy” for quite some time, now.

Wax On

Details I failed to include in the last update: after we finished applying the resin glaze to the cars, we were supposed to keep them dry for two or three hours. That’s when it started drizzling on us. As a result, we re-protected the cars again this morning, and I got a second day of wax-on wax-off technique under my belt. My right elbow hurts a bit from it.

Also, that Teen Titans show is so anime-inspired that they hired some Japanese band to sing the end theme in Engrish. The central prom event in Drive Me Crazy was at some psycho-large ultra-posh location, which probably would cost as much to use as 509J has to run the schools for a year. Crazy.

Organizational Behavior allows us two ways to influence our group members to pull their own weight: control over 5% of their grade, and the ability to make them feel welcome (or not) in the group. This seems to typify the general logical powers of the O.B. crowd (can you tell I’m not impressed at all with the class?)…what happens if somebody doesn’t care about 5% of the grade? Although I agree that feeling accepted is important to people, what if they have some non-O.B.-related group of people who include them—does a person need to feel accepted by every group of which they are a part?


The helpful handout we were given detailing our awesome powers only talked about “positive” things we could do to get our team to work. I want an awesome negative power: the ability to, with the agreement of every other member of the team, kick someone out. I’m sure that believing that this might motivate people makes me a negative and bad person, though.

We also performed regular car maintenance today: oil, air pressure, updating OSU tags, etc. I also got my hair cut, and took a nap.

I spent this evening working on my math homework. Thankfully it was easy stuff (though I did drop some negatives and forget to square some denominators at first…sigh…), or else I might have been screwed. I’m still in the nebulous zone between safety and shaft, though—I haven’t done any other homework, yet. It’s gettin late, and I have miles to go.

Still Not Dead

Wow. This first week wasn’t the worst week in my life, but it was not a good start to school.

Catch-up: Thursday featured my first (and far from last, dammit) group meeting of the academic year. [Group meeting in the first week ==> Bad News] I met with most of my O.B. team (with so many people, I doubt that we’ll ever all be able to meet at the same time), who impressed me more than I thought they would. I guess that’s good. We still spent two and a half hours pounding on a “work plan” to help organize ourselves against the tasks we’ll face this term. It’s still not done, of course. I planned on working on the write up for that some this weekend, but haven’t gotten around to it yet.

Ah yes, the weekend. Friday was a “meh” day made better by the absence of Organizational Behavior. At work I’m drowning in paper I have no time to scan, and trying to get files copied to DVD that require ages to process (and tie up my scanning computer, to boot). Later in the evening I learned that my scanning job is getting passed off to a coworker who only wanted the job for the money. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it is really the only reason she’s taking the job—she has no interest in the work itself whatsoever. Also Friday, I discovered that this coworker had fucked up some checks I was dealing with. I wouldn’t care about all this, but I have to try to work with the stuff she’ll be scanning shortly.

I bet I can drop my annoying DVD backup project on her, too. She’ll hate me, because it pretty much all needs to be done over weekends, but she deserves it. Of course, that means that we’ll be losing a chunk of our archives from early 2002 shortly. Ah well.

Um…yeah. Today I helped wash and wax my car, only to discover how truly weak I am. I need to do that a few days in a row to strengthen my upper body—and then I’ll be ready to get all wax-on wax-off on people’s asses. Like my coworker.

Tonight Mom and Dad watched The Two Towers, while Marin and I halfhearted watched the second half of Drive Me Crazy on TV. [During commercials we’d watch Teen Titans, the most anime-influenced American cartoon I’ve ever seen. Sweat drops, breath mushrooms, you name it. Looking back, we probably should have given more screen time to the cartoon.] We had to rinse our brains out afterwards by taking in two episodes of Super GALS!, which was much more intelligent than Drive Me Crazy, despite being animated.

Lost in Translation is now playing in Corvallis, and I want to go see it sometime. Unfortunately, I haven’t poked my homework at all since Thursday evening’s meeting…which now puts me in my traditional spot of doing math homework on Sunday that’s due Monday. The new twist is that I also have a whole bunch of other junk that I need to do. Doesn’t look good for me.

I’m Not Dead

But I am taking a break. I’ll update more in-depth tomorrow (er…later today), I promise.

Losing Steam

I continue to be worn out, and school is actually starting to move along now. Not good. Mondays and Wednesdays are loooooong days, I’m afraid.

I actually was able to get lunch today, which was nice. That was made possible because of the Free E. Coli (free hamburgers) being dished out in the quad; lines for Woodstock’s were tolerable without the couple-hundred people who were busy eating cow. I even got a Vanilla Coke—I’ve had to make do without ever since 7-Eleven removed it from their taps. (I’m too lazy to pick a bottle up at WinCo, I guess.) It was a definite tasty treat in an otherwise grueling day.

So I don’t know if I won or shot myself in the foot in O.B. (acronyms! argh!) today. My group consists of an older gal who has a three-year-old kid (she seems responsible, at least), that Korean guy I met on the first day, a chemical engineer (?!), and two others that I have no intelligence on yet. With six people in the group, it’s unlikely that we’ll ever be able to all meet at the same time… Anyway, the reason I’m wondering if what I’ve done is good or bad is because, I hypothesize, a group that half cares might not let me railroad my agenda (namely, passably-well-written papers) through the entire course.

Oh yes: That Girl now has a name: Renee. She and Bryan and I will have to assume some triangular battle strategy to effortlessly destroy the three math classes we share.

…and I think I’ll call it quits for now. My eyes have stopped trying to focus, and I still have chapter one of my Intro to Tax book to read. At least I got my blog rotated for the new month, right? If you’re extremely bored, you can have a gander at the photo I took of my G5 in the tiny, tiny space I managed to make for it at the side of my desk. It’s really not a good photo.

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