Saw Craig again this evening. [Incidentally, note the open use of “crape” on Craig’s minimalist home page. I’m so proud!] He seems to be doing well, though was wondering what to get his female friend for Christmas. I love the way he (consistently over time) describes Harvard’s traditional Last Chance Dance as sketchy.

Hahaha. Sketchy. I need to use that term more. My realization comes from this Ars Technica thread. I suspect that “comedy gold” is already on its way into my personal lexicon, and “hilarity ensues” is already there, albeit a bit dusty.

After Craig left, I got sucked into MTV’s Room Raiders show. I feel like less of a person for watching the program, which takes one guy (gal), and allows him (her) to poke around three gals’ (guys’) rooms to decide with one of the three he (she) will have to take out on a date. I don’t generally watch TV, but…argh. To adopt imagery provided me by Miwa, I felt my brain turning to ashes.

Miwa also mentioned that she wasn’t going to do much for New Year’s—just think. She’s probably going to be the most productive person in the United States tomorrow evening. I sometimes feel that it’s been a long time since I’ve really thought, and that’s no good. My brain is functional, but in poor shape…these late nights probably don’t help things any, either. Hard to think well when you’re tired all the time.


The snow actually survived the day, which means that (courtesy of a starlit night) it’ll be ice tomorrow morning. Good thing I have no great motivation to go to work in the morning. Oh, I was stupid last night and tried taking pictures of the falling snow from my front porch. Without a coat or gloves or anything. Selecting random modes on my camera, since there wasn’t any obvious “snow falling in pitch black night” setting. With my (normally) shaky hands.

Actually, I suspect that the darkness really helped my photos out. Even though the shutter speed was quite slow, the only image that was captured was the brief instant illuminated by the flash; the rest of my hands’ tremor had no effect on the final picture. Sw33t. I’m really not a photographer, though, so don’t expect anything too nice. I really should practice, since digital photos are free; I’d hate to imagine how much money it would cost for me to become a decent photographer using traditional film.

Tonight my family watched Terminator 3. After we finished, Marin asked what the point of the movie was; all I could guess was “to make money.” The movie said very little, in the end; a bit about fate being unavoidable, a few well-timed bits of comedy, and one clever reason why we have another T-101 protecting John Connor. It wasn’t as disappointing as the Matrix sequels, but I suppose that’s only because I didn’t expect much from T3. Looks like the Terminator movies jumped the shark with T2.

Speaking of owning movies…I’m halfway tempted by the Blues Brothers/Animal House DVD bundle that’s been showing up lately. I’m not sure what those movies say, either, but…dammit, I can’t be critical all the time.

Rather than driving around town to get lunch, the few people who bothered to show up at my office today elected to have American Dream Pizza deliver. Yummy! Around eating pizza, I finished cleaning out my backlog of batches to double-check; from now on, the replacement scanner-person can be responsible for her work. That just leaves me with getting my remaining responsibility, payment batches, up-to-date. Marin wants me to get that done yesterday, to give her more time to catch up on her work; things don’t seem to be playing out that way, but I suppose I’ll have to see what I can do.

Went bowling with Tiffany, Tyler, Brian, and Miwa on Saturday. I performed to specification (“sucked”) in the first game, and found myself several standard deviations off in the second game—that’s right, I scored 110 in that game. Boo. Uh, I mean, Boo Yah. Afterwards we visited the Beanery, which was a much more useful venue back when Brian and I had friends who would visit the Beanery. We did see Rachel (yet another face from high school) there, who appeared well, albeit hyper… Brian and Rachel had an enjoyable exchange about who was losing more: Brian losing money for food, clothing, and shelter, or Rachel losing pride for living with her folks. Rachel eventually won the debate by flipping Brian off.

It was good to see some friendly faces again.


As I type this, the second snow to hit Corvallis this year—and the first that’s actually sticking—is falling. It found Eric and me at Brian’s house, where we had just finished up a not-terribly rousing (yet still fun) game of Shanghai. Shanghai is a sort of Rummy variant—though I confess that wouldn’t mean much to me, since I don’t know Rummy (aside from what little I can gather from the statement that “Rummy is a variant of Shanghai,” of course).

Gah. I’m tired, actually. (Maybe it’s from having the DDR mix of Captain Jack’s Dream a Dream stuck in my head all day, two days running.) I’ll try to write more tomorrow morning—though I make no promises—since I really have been more active than usual, lately. Of course, that doesn’t take too much, considering me.

Brief Holiday Debriefing

Christmas was a nice, quiet affair at my house. Had Eric and my grandma over, ate lots of food, and then tried to stay awake while digesting everything.

I actually spent my first six hours of Christmas cleaning out my basement, which really needed the work. Manalive—some of the dust that had gathered took a few more years off of my life. At the rate the dust in my house is going, I’ll be lucky to make it to age 40. I’m just waiting for my G5 to suck in enough dust that the processors can set off a nice little fire.

After dinner, Brian and Miwa came over, suffered through a once-over by my family and Eric (as Eric noted, “we had been looking at each other all evening”), and then we made our way downstairs. There we introduced Miwa to the non-drinker’s evening in Corvallis: a heaping dose of very little going on, made slightly easier through internet stupidity (e.g. celebrity prank calls—most notably Schwarzenegger call #8) and occasional (very occasional) witticisms tossed out by someone.

Friday…I don’t remember much of what I did throughout the day. Actually, I probably didn’t do much—I’m still on a godawful 4:00am to 11:00 am sleep cycle, which kills a good portion of my day. I tried playing the Japanese dating simulation game Brian got me for Christmas, Sentimental Graffiti 2, but I found my lack of knowledge of the Japanese language to be a huge barrier to my successful completion (or even basic comprehension) of the game. From what I was able to gather online, I start out with twelve girls in love with me; my task is to somehow not piss all of them off.

In other words, it’d be easy for me if I could just speak the language. (^_^)

Mom went to visit her brothers on Friday, and we had sent home enough Christmas dinner with others so that there wasn’t enough leftovers to feed all of us (not a big deal). So my dad, sister, and I ate A&W for dinner, where Dad reminisced about summers playing tennis at OSU, followed by walking over to a nearby A&W restaurant to get quarts of root beer. I always enjoy hearing my parents talk about their youth…and, when I think about it, I fear that I won’t have too many stories about my childhood to tell my kids. Video games don’t make for interesting tales.

Last night Marin and I watched I Want to Return to That Day, the first Kimagure Orange Road movie. It felt rather unbalanced; Kyosuke caused a great deal of pain, and the movie did little to show that there was a reason for what he did. I could somehow sympathize with the characters, though; Marin wound up disliking them even more than she did during the TV show. Consequently, I watched the second KOR movie by myself, afterwards (this was also consistent with my screwed-up sleep cycle, as the movie ran quite late); it left a better taste than the first movie did, but the actual plot itself seemed rather goofy. At the end of the day, I suspect, KOR is best when it embraces its “endless summer” feel.

Now that Miwa has her gift, I can reveal my brilliance (or “sickness,” as Brian’s dad called it) to the world: my wondrous find was the autobiography of Bigfoot, In Me Own Words. You owe it to yourself to check that sucker out.

I’m going to go do something (I’m not sure what, yet); in the meantime, you can while away your days playing Avalanche.

Merry Christmas!

Twas the night before Christmas…and I was cleaning my basement. Go me. And I’m too tired to come up with a creative title for this post, and I actually wrote over my previous post the first time I tried to update this thing. Reader beware.

Marin and I braved the last-minute shopping rush at Fred Meyer, where the only thing worse than waiting in line was trying to find a parking spot. Fortunately, my years at OSU have taught me a thing or two about how to successfully fight for parking—those other drivers never saw what hit ’em. Followed that up with a visit to the friendly OSU bookstore, which was delightfully quiet. I managed to find an absolutely hilarious, low-to-no-taste gift for Miwa; it’ll be a test of her sense of humor, if nothing else. Now I need to do some last-minute wrapping, and I’ll be good.

Well, as good as I can be for not having gifts for a few people, thanks to an online retailer who didn’t quite hook me up in time. Ah well; my poor, abused sister will understand. My poor, abused friend, on the other hand, will just have to suck it.

Ooooh yeah. I got this Christmas spirit thing down cold.

In other news, FedEx failed me. The card that was supposed to be delivered by 10:30 am the 24th turned out to be in Tennessee at that time. Doh. Guess Mom’s gift is shot, too.

Visiting Fred Meyer gave me the chance to do something that I haven’t been able to do in several years, thanks to my habit of just buying stuff online: put some cash in a Salvation Army bucket. It’s odd, but that small action seems the most Christmas-like thing I’ve done or seen this year. Well, that, and the great Christmas Eve tradition at my office of having absolutely everybody leave as early as humanly possible.

And I must wholeheartedly concur with Mr. Lawson. I’ll be…mildly irritated…if something happens to ruin my break.

A short Christmas tale for you all: many years ago, a family with a young daughter moved in down the street from my house. In December, she worried that Santa might not know where to find her; to ease the gal’s mind, my neighbors decided to create a “runway” for Santa on Christmas Eve, using paper bags and small candles lined along my street (a good stretch of hill). It really looked nice, and everybody enjoyed it; so my neighborhood did it again the following year. [I remember enjoying the chance to play with that much fire, back in the day.] This soon became a tradition and spread to larger and larger portions of my neighborhood. The effect was especially pleasing on foggy nights, as I recall.

This year it rained fairly heavily, so none of the flames stayed lit for too long. Communication apparently also broke down, as the lanterns only extended about 2/3 of the way up the street. In short: Christmas is officially broken in my neighborhood.

What? You wanted something cheerful and uplifting?

Anyhoo, don’t mind me. Merry Christmas/Happy Hannukah/Kickass Kwanzaa/yatta yatta to you all!

Christmas Eve Eve

Time is running out for the acquisition of gifts, and I’ve begun to start sweating a bit. Looks like I’m gunning for a morning foray into the wilderness that is Christmas Eve Shopping. Of course, that assumes I get to bed at a reasonable hour (“an hour and a half ago”), and I haven’t even DDRed yet.

Plus, since Brian and Miwa are almost destined to visit my basement in the coming week, I need to get on the stick with my dust rag and vacuum. It’s been a long time since people (other than Eric, that is) have been downstairs. Not surprisingly, it has also been a long time since the basement was thoroughly cleaned—it’s never overly dirty or messy (I do have my standards), but it could definitely be better.

Work has been pretty quiet, on the whole. I go in each day and scan paper for six (or so) hours straight. I’m now caught up through the fourth of December…meaning I’m in the final stretch, since we only generate batches on weekdays.

But, yeah, dull. Brian and Miwa visiting should kick up the excitement a few notches, and then seeing Tiffany and Tyler on Saturday should add additional fuel to the fire.

For now, though, I’ll keep playing the Uchu no Stellvia opening (you might want to check out Ambient Irony, either as a blog or—temporarily—a source of a few openings, including the Stellvia one) while I debate picking up angela’s first CD. I’ve enjoyed what I’ve heard of their work.


I was halfway nauseated today, so I did my best to minimize my food intake. That worked until about 4:00 pm, when my body made an ultimatum: I had to give it something to run on, or it was going to quit on me. Fortunately for me, one of the doctors had been kind enough to buy us lunch today, and there were plenty of leftovers—so I had a Roly Poly sandwich and a mini-cheesecake.

And then my nausea went full-blown. Ugh.

Yesterday I checked my email, and found a custom-crafted insult (in the form of the cheesy dialogue that pops up after a match, a la Street Fighter) sent to me by Andy. So, if you too feel the need to have Mai taunt me as having lost a match because I was distracted by Dan’s pink gi, feel free to help yourself.

And if you want to be even more creative, have a look at this Historic Tale Construction Kit. Reminds me of a Something Awful Comedy Goldmine from not too long ago.

And, lastly: heh.

OK. I’ve given you the tools. Now y’all just need to shake your head and have a mental accident, as one of my favorite professors likes to say. That’s creativity.

Slow, Slow, Slow

Chatted with my dad this afternoon; chatted with my grandma this evening. A very slow, very peaceful day.

I did get my hair cut, and threw away my old smelly sneakers, so I guess I’ve cleaned up decently over the weekend. I shouldn’t embarrass Brian too much in front of Miwa, which I suppose is good.

The one thing I haven’t been able to do this break is kick my extreme-late-night habit. I’ve also become accustomed to doing some DDR late at night, just before bed. Odd.


I go to sleep one lousy night, and the next morning I discover that robots can now dance better than I can.

When the devil did this happen?

Update: These are apparently Sony “Dream Robots,” a.k.a. QRIO.

Holy smokes! They can pick themselves up if they fall. And walk their Aibo! It’s a good thing these things are miniature, ’cause they’d probably be a lot more reliable than most people. Though their small size definitely adds to their cuteness-quotient, which is no good.

Media Disinterest

So I finally figured out why my wireless router wasn’t responding to anything—I told it not to respond to anything. And it actually accepted that. Stupid router.

Last night my family watched Finding Nemo, which was good fun. Today I started thinking about it, and realized that my parents have seen more “current” movies than I have—they are, in reality, more with-it than I am. That’s never happened before; historically I’d be the one watching a different movie every weekend, and my parents would watch a movie only if they ran across one on TV. And now that I watch very little TV, and listen to my CDs or iPod rather than the radio…I’ve become increasingly detached from the few common experiences I used to share with others. Makes making small talk more difficult; not too many people could relate if I walked up to them and started talking Azumanga Daioh. On the other hand, I never really had that much interest in the small talk I could make; perhaps that’s a good deal of the reason I’ve always had difficulty talking to strangers. At least I still skim over newspapers (or the CNN web site) and read through US News & World Report, so I still know about major current events.

I guess I’m just not all that interested in movies, these days. I am interested in seeing The Last Samurai, though, as well as Return of the King. Beyond that…meh. Radio music these days is Clear Channel music, and is no good. And TV is…TV. News channels tell you, and then tell you, and then tell you the same damn thing over and over until you turn them off, and a good deal of TV programs are just dumb. There are good shows that I’ll stop and watch (West Wing, 24, Law & Order, CSI) if I run across them, but no shows that I’ll actively search out.

Whining about music reminds me: when in the world is Apple going to put Black Sabbath’s Iron Man up on the iTunes Music Store? Lee and John’s influence on my musical tastes—however limited—live with me to this day.

I wasted today away pretty good, actually. Got very little done, but also didn’t really relax like I wanted to, either. That’s the sign of quality. Humorously, now that I have some time to do what I want to do, wasting time by playing Final Fantasy X has become much less appealing.

I did watch two more Kimagure Orange Road OVA episodes this evening. They were much better written than “White Lovers,” though, and so provide no real humor that I can share.

Destroyer of Objects

It seems I break everything I touch. This morning my wireless router went belly-up. No matter what I tried, I couldn’t get the damn thing to respond to my computer; once I finish writing this, I’ll do some more battle with it. How annoying.

A good part of the rationale behind mucking with the wireless router was because my family will soon get to add an iMac to our wireless network. We got an Airport card today, and this evening attempted to install it; too bad for us that the iMac needs a special Airport card adaptor that must be purchased separately from the main Airport card. Aargh! Even more frustrating is that I have a clear memory that I used to have such an adaptor, but (apparently) threw it away quite some time ago.

Back then, I must have figured that it’d be a cold day in Hell before I would have any reason to stick an Airport card in the iMac. Judging by the fact that I now have a reason to stick an Airport card in the iMac, as well as the fact that iTunes is now available on Windows (you may recall Apple’s short-lived ad campaign announcing the application: “Hell Froze Over”), it’s obvious that we exist in the one of a multitude of parallel universes where incredibly improbable events occur. Remember Sliders?

If that’s the case, then maybe I should start asking more girls out.

Anyhoo, after discovering that I wasn’t going to be installing an Airport card in the iMac tonight, I tried to put the iMac’s built-in Airport antenna cord back into the case—and bent it unnaturally. Hopefully I didn’t break the sucker. I then dropped the Airport card itself.

It’s been an absolutely lovely day. I can’t wait for tomorrow to arrive.

Not Much To Say

Went to work today. Boss didn’t listen to his employees, again. Yay. Eric came over after work and we had some fun chatting.

Basically, not much to write home about. I have a new Super Mario Bros. 3 desktop picture (wallpaper, whatever), courtesy of desktopgaming. Clever stuff, if you appreciate (mostly old school) video games.

One of my less-followed interests is design—both in terms of layout (of pages or, more recently, web pages) and interface (real-world objects, and computer GUI). I stayed up too late last night reading some articles on GUI design, which reminded me of my interest in the area. On the off chance that others might find them interesting reads as well, here they are: design, and craftsmanship.

That rigmarole about my life getting more interesting once school ended? Lies. Life is, however, much less stressful these days—at least in the evenings. Work tends to be rather frustrating while the sun shines.

Ornament Exchange Day

The funny thing about working all day is that you’re tired at the end of the day. I’m having some difficulty focusing my eyes right now, and it’s only 11:30. Sad.

Today was the ornament exchange at work. Carl got a Tazmanian Devil with (as I put it) awesome Nutcracker action. I got the most technological ornament, which gave you a place to put a picture and record a message for all time. Others suggested I have my girlfriend record something for me, which I responded to as Squall (in FF8) would (i.e. “…”). Despite the fact that Marin and I wrapped our ornaments in the same paper, and the fact that Laura noted out loud “hmm…there are two gifts here wrapped with the same paper…,” it took Ramona a few minutes to figure out that her gift was from me.

My coworkers are quite an entertaining bunch, when they aren’t all grousing.

Otherwise at work I dedicated myself to scanning payment batches. For my day’s effort I finished scanning a full (business) week of payments; this also provided me with a sore butt. This is impressive only because I am quite good at sitting—it takes something extraordinary for me to get tired of sitting. In fact, at the end I was pretty much going crazy; lucky for me, everybody else ditched early.

Final grades came out today: The Streak continues unabated.

This evening Marin and I watched the first four Kimagure Orange Road OVAs. One of them (“White Lovers,” for those of you keeping track) was especially egregious, and played out exactly like the lecture model everybody learned in school: tell ’em what you’re going to tell ’em, tell ’em, then tell ’em what you told ’em. In this episode, there’s a legend that if two people who are in love with each other ski down this particular mountain, they’ll suffer some calamity and eventually be found frozen, naked, later. [Yes, in many ways, the KOR OVAs are simply episodes of KOR that were too hot for TV.] Of course, Kyosuke and Madoka end up skiing together, and get trapped in a cave by an avalanche. We then learn how there is a story about these two lovers who got trapped in a cave, wandered around, and then fell down a pit (with molten lava at the bottom, as I predicted moments before Kyosuke used the exact same words); the guy managed to grab hold of something with one hand, and a hand of the gal with his other hand. After a while, though, his hand cramped and the gal fell to her doom. Ever since then, the gal haunts the mountain and causes trouble for other lovers.

Then a pack of zombies (curiously enough, though their flesh was generally worse-for-wear, their eyes were intact) appear out of nowhere and cause Kyosuke and Madoka to go running around their cave; they then fall down a pit (with molten lava at the bottom), and Kyosuke finds himself in the same position as the guy from the story. The bitter ghost then appears, and encourages Kyosuke to drop Madoka to save himself; Kyosuke elects, however, to fall to his doom with Madoka. (Curiously, again, he falls just a bit faster than Madoka—gravity must act more powerfully on him—so they can interact a bit during the descent.) The ghost is so moved by this display of chivalry that she dissolves the illusion that Kyosuke and Madoka are trapped in.

The two then wake up in the snow, holding hands. The clouds part, and we see the no-longer-bitter gal and guy from the story reunited as they ascend into the clouds.

Needless to say, the episode was Comedy Gold.


After rewatching FLCL with the director’s commentary (which helped in two ways: rewatching FLCL, and the commentary the director provided), I’ve decided that I really like FLCL. There is some structure behind the craziness, which makes it all the more satisfying.

The director brought up some interesting ideas, too. Such as the division of humanity into two groups: those who would “swing their bat,” and those who would not. I am a member of the latter group, I’m afraid; I would rather strike out not having tested myself—and thus hold out hope that I could hit a home run, if I just applied myself—than swing and risk falling short. I wonder, sometimes, if that’s one of the reasons I wound up at OSU. This aspect of my personality, when combined with my lack of “big dreams” (as my O.B. teammate, Yunho, suggested I should have), are the two most damning reasons why I will never change the world.

Another idea the director noted in his commentary was the idea that “kids who act like kids, and don’t pretend to be adults, are actually more adult.” I measure up better here, I think; I have few pretensions about who I really am. I’m greatly humored that, recently, almost everybody at work has approached Marin and asked her (never me) which of us is the older sibling. I guess I don’t act my age.

Which is ironic, because—in some ways—I could successfully argue that I’m more responsible (and therefore “mature”) than some of my elders in the office.

We picked up a Christmas tree today. I think this is the first time we’ve really done that since Grandpa died (and we consequently got rid of his truck)…it was a much calmer affair this year than it has historically been; we’re all much more mellow about what we really want out of the tree. I suspect that sometimes it’s going through the motions that makes it feel like the holidays.

Not that it feels like Christmas is nine days away. It really doesn’t. And I’ve fallen short on sleep again, so I’ve somewhat (not completely) returned to my more morose, introspective self…not quite a holiday spirit. Hell, I don’t think I’ve really felt that “Christmas spirit” since my freshman year of college. That’s five years, now.

Not coincidentally, that was the last year that we celebrated Christmas the way we always did when I was growing up; Grandpa died (the night before a chemistry midterm) the following February. Cricket, my family’s dog, later passed away….I can’t fully shake the feeling that I’m losing my anchors to the world, nor can I ignore the fear that I won’t be able to make it on my own without those anchors.

Wasn’t I supposed to be feeling invincible about this time in my life?

It doesn’t help the Christmas spirit, either, that the damn media doesn’t know when to quit. I was happy to learn that Saddam had been captured, but I didn’t care for the 48 hours of rehashed news that followed the initial announcement. I like Christmas music as much as the next person, but I don’t need 24 hours of it for the entire month of December, as one local radio station has decided I need. There isn’t that much good Christmas music, so the station had the choice of replaying a few songs a hell of a lot, or playing a lot of crappy songs—and they chose the latter. Ugh.

OK. Enough. I should get some sleep, so that I stop my sullen postings.

Still Sleeping

I’m still catching up on sleep, and I’m still on a screwed-up sleep cycle. I continue to not feel like writing a whole lot, either. Thus my poor blog continues to suffer.

Played some Soul Calibur II on the PS2 when I visited Andy this weekend. It pretty much sucked: the graphics were inferior to SC on the Dreamcast, and the improvements were either questionable (did the gals really need enhanced jiggle algorithms?) or added little value over the original concept (ooh! Different weapon stats!). The matches were also over damn fast; it’s been a while since I played Soul Calibur—and I know those rounds were quick—but these new rounds feel even shorter. I’m certainly not going to plunk any of my money down on the game.

Guilty Gear XX, though…continues to be great fun. Andy has his PS2 hooked up to an HDTV, which was the first time I ever saw Guilty Gear look pixelated (it really was designed for the lower-resolution “standard” TVs)…but it was still smooth as all heck. And I could still play it well, despite having laid my controller down (with respect to that game) before school started.

And, on a sidenote, go to and check out the definition of the word “pixilated.” I didn’t know that.

Yesterday evening Marin and I watched FLCL in its entirety (six episodes, so we weren’t that bad). It is another anime that leaves me completely bewildered as to how I could review such a beast. I’m going to have to watch it through again to see if I can make heads or tails of the story; you get a sense that there’s a deeper meaning to it all, but you get no sense as to what that deeper meaning is. I suppose that, in many ways, is enough—the show was entertaining, and it’ll most definitely be entertaining on a second pass.

Today I pretty much wasted. Go me.


Made my day to hit CNN and find this story posted. Boo yah!


Made it to Andy’s and back in one piece, which was good. Even had heavy rain the entire length of the interstate on the way back, which added an extra challenge to the trip—no troubles, though. Jury is out on whether or not I’ll get a blister on my thumb*—that’s what happens when I have to throw down despite little practice with Guilty Gear XX and Soul Calibur 2—but the jury has unanimously convicted me of being unfit to write coherent sentences.

[*Yes, Eric, your assumptions were correct. Andy welcomed our visit Christmas Eve, though, should we need to head north. Bonus fact: Nick arrives back the 20th, so this trip could be chock full of fun times. Now we just need Brian (ahem) to give us the word.]

Okay…the nice officer is telling me I need to put the keyboard down now.


Just checked my grades, and I have an A from Computational Number Theory! Guess my paper didn’t suck too badly.

Closing Battles

Today was a day of study for my linear algebra final, after a second night of catching up on sleep. (Eleven hours from Tuesday to Wednesday, and ten hours from Wednesday to Thursday—good times!) After the exam—where Dr. Faridani was once again kind to us—I went down to the Slug where I found Britt. Had an enjoyable extended conversation with him, which will probably be the last time I see him (for a good while, at the very least); he’s graduating and heading off to Africa (!) for a year. OSU’s going to be that much less friendly next term, I’m afraid.

Once I got home I assembled my things for tomorrow’s road trip to see Andy’s new apartment. Yes, I am once again leaving my house for over 24 hours. Gasp! Should be an adventure, since I’ll be driving around places I’ve never been. I’m thinking I’ll take off early enough to avoid Friday rush-hour traffic.

Alas, I have a bit more tax to study before I crash and burn tonight…so I won’t be getting another 8+ hours of sleep tonight. Tax class, unlike numerical linear algebra, won’t be pulling any punches tomorrow.

Anyhoo, enjoy the start of the weekend! I’ll probably be back Saturday afternoon sometime, unless Andy’s Saturday poker crew includes the likes of Nick and other friendly faces.

Back in Action

Though my right hand currently hurts from taking tax notes, it’s getting late, and I have a final tomorrow evening I haven’t begun studying for, I’m happy right now. This is the second day in a row where I’ve had a gleam in my eye and a spring in my step.

And, no—I did not ask my doctor about Viagra.

I think I might actually be out of the extended slump I’ve found myself in (knock on wood). I once again believe I can make a positive difference in my life:

I can make work better, rather than just let it drag me down. It is worth making work better, for the people involved. If stepping out costs me my job, that’s OK.

I will call Lee and John, and see if they’re willing to take some steps towards actually being friends again. When I saw John at the end of summer, he mentioned that it would be nice to do something together again; it is now time to make that happen.

I will call Eileen, as I can now believe that I have some personal value—or, at the very least, that I won’t just be a constant drag on her (should she care to interact with me, that is).

It’s the difference between being active and passive, between having hope and…er…not.

Eeeeh. Life should beat some common sense into me again, sometime soon. Until then, though—cheers!

Three down

To specifically list those down: MTH 440, BA 352, and me. I got a total of three hours of sleep after doing my damndest not to just give up on the 440 paper. I then got up and took my final for Organizational Behavior, where I pulled some crazy talk out of an alternative-dimension brain and tried to incorporate personal “honor” (a better word, I now realize, might have been integrity) into my own homespun theory of leadership.

Whether or not my professor will think I was smoking something when I wrote that is irrelevant, though, because (as it turns out, now that I know the rest of my grade in the class) I really only need something around a 40% on this test.

Now if I could just say that about my non-math math paper. I’m going to have to adopt a wait-and-see attitude with that one.

After the exam I had a surprising amount of energy for having had so little sleep, so I wandered in to work and scanned like a mofo.

Two more finals to go. Two more. Dammit.


If there’s one lesson that’s been beaten into me repeatedly this term, it’s been that I would do well to not put off my damn papers. Have I learned that lesson?

Hell no!

I just spent the last five hours in the Milne computer lab writing one (1) program for the code section of my hashing function paper. (The paper, as it stands right now, is one one-and-a-half page piece of introductory prose.) My program doesn’t even do anything all that spiffy, when I look back at it.

The paper is due by noon on Tuesday. I also have my O.B. final at 7:30 AM on Tuesday. At this rate, I’ll only have half a paper, and I won’t have gotten any sleep before my test. That’s even skipping studying for the test.

I’ve also determined that hashing functions, though they are usually based off of modular arithmetic, have very little actual math behind them. That’s a shame, since I’m writing this paper for a math class.

I’m so toast.


Dad got a cheap PC today (2.0 GHz Athalon, blah blah), for some investing doohickeys that won’t run on a Macintosh. Soon I’ll be able to compare and contrast Mac OS X with Windows XP based entirely on first-hand experience, which’ll be interesting. For the out-of-box experience, the Mac wins hands down…at the very least, the Mac included a DVD that allowed you to reinstall the OS and assorted applications should the computer head south. (If we had a CD burner, we could have burned similar restore discs for the PC—but we went for cheap, so we have no burner…we eventually ended up calling customer support, who hooked us up.)

On the bright side, though, the PC will let me play doujinshi games, such as Chiyoruga (Azumanga Daioh crossed with Ikaruga). I’m looking forward to that, actually. Next up: Azu Race Daioh!

Now, for your periodic dose of humor, two enjoyable ones: manga and Snake.

I swear that my life will get more interesting once finals are done. Really!

Another Not-Snappy Blog Entry

Last night I read Great Teacher Onizuka manga #13, which had been on eternal backorder. I haven’t laughed that hard in a long, long time…of course, I was reading it late at night, so I had to do my best to keep my laughter from waking everybody else up. One of the highlights was the “human torch” Kunio armed with a large number of lit sparklers evenly divided between his hands and his mouth. Underneath the picture there was a note: “Warning: Kunio is a professional. Do not try this at home” It’s so incredibly stupid that it ended up being hilarious. Especially late at night.

Today was the last day of classes for this term. Yay! I found myself counting my classes (“two down, one to go”), which were all pretty quiet. Got lunch at the Pita Pit with Renee and Bryan, which was a tasty change of pace.

This evening I took advantage of my no-energy mood by finishing the setup of the G4 for Marin, and watching an episode of (Ground Defense Force) Mao-Chan. Ugh…the first episode of that show is as sickeningly sweet as the first episode of Sugar (the anime show, not the carbohydrate), and I just wasn’t in a sickeningly-sweet mood.

In other news, the weather has been especially inclement this evening. I mistook thunder for someone dropping something upstairs, which tells you how out of it I am.

In Recovery

I’m now recovering, yet again, from another period of far too little sleep. Got 10 hours last night, which means I’m only down four over the last two nights. I had lunch with (UHC) Tammy today, and found myself in a Good Mood (I used to have Good Moods much more frequently, a few years ago) this afternoon…but otherwise the day was pretty unremarkable. My last dance class was today; I’ll miss that during winter break, but that’s about all I’ll miss.

Here’s a convenient checklist of the perils that await me in the next week:

[  ] BA 352: O.B. Final, 7:30 AM Tuesday

[  ] MTH 440: Hashing Paper, noon Tuesday

[  ] MTH 451: Linear Algebra Final, 6:00 PM Thursday

[  ] BA 325: Tax Final, 9:30 AM Friday

Yes, I have one of the crappiest finals schedules you could ask for. A week from tomorrow, though, I’ll be free! Free as a bird! Free to call Eric and see if he’s still alive! Free to visit Andy in his new (currently internet-free) apartment! Free to (maybe) pick up Brian and Miwa from the airport! Free to watch anime, sleep in, and laze about!

It’s just getting to the end of next week that I don’t look forward to.

I’ll now join the ranks of the zombie bloggers, temporarily, to see if I can. (No, these won’t be a common feature of my blog.) Aside from my curiosity, I also found the description entertaining.


Your integrity and sense of morals are as strong as a steel wall. Your honesty and pride give you honour, and your haste to defend the honour of good people make you worthy of being called a friend. But you harbour deep feelings of unworthiness, and hide them beneath layers of outward strength and discipline. Because of this, you have a hard time allowing others to call you a friend, and find much of your discontentment turn into frustration. Try to understand that by letting others in, you eliminate much of your frustration and improve your true self-image. Which Love Hina Girl Are You?

Wow. Hacking that code to look decent here was annoying.


After writing my OB paper (which apparently was coherent, if nothing else) and trying to come up with written peer evaluations for my OB group members, I got a big fat two hours of sleep last night.


Making It

In an effort to further delay the tax homework I’ve successfully delayed all weekend, I checked out my blog’s Google status (the proper search phrase? “brent blog”). Tonight, for the first time ever, I found myself at the top of that list. I was even more delighted to find that the sites related to my site are actually related, and not just Other Generic Comcast Junk.

Emboldened, I tried to see if Google had found anyone who actually linked to me. There I learned that Jeff Lawson’s splendid nowhere – anime blog (a site I check regularly) actually has me as a link on the sidebar. Sweet! My blog is slowly making its way into the world.

Okay, that’s out of my system. Please forgive me my moment of internet-related glee.

Now I feel like I should actually mention anime every once in a while on my blog…and maybe finish my //anime page, and update my //links page (Jeff’s official blog, nowhere, was already slated to be added)… All will happen, once I finish this school term. Stupid school.

In actual me-related news, I’ve spent today halfheartedly working on the various tax assignments I have due this coming week. Right now I’m officially working on a recreation of Schedule A (Itemized Deductions) in Excel. If I ever finish that (ha), I can move on to writing a withering commentary about why my job sucks, using organizational behavior terms.

On a work-related note, a random quote (found in an Ars Technica thread posting by RhoSinePhi) in closing:

When I was little, I wanted to grow up to be a Jet Fighter Pilot. Now I just hope everyday that my coworkers don’t talk to me.

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