Doing too much

I’ve been unusually busy the last couple days, as going to see Spiderman 2 in the theater spiraled out into watching Spiderman before seeing the sequel; from there we added a second movie (rent one get one free, you see) and then getting dinner beforehand. I’ve also been staying up far too late partially as a result of these activities (and partially because I keep tweaking my new blog), and thus not getting enough sleep. I think my parents are also getting tired of seeing my friends so often.

In short, everything’s just about ready to fall apart. If I have any luck, the collapse can be averted (or at least delayed past tomorrow evening)—if I can make it past Spiderman 2, I can take time off from doing things with friends.

That may sound like a strange idea to you all, but I (and my family) like my/our quiet time. And quiet time’s the one thing I (and, by extension of my actions within my family, we) haven’t had much of lately.

In other news, Kristina informed me at the end of work that there actually will be Tuesday night dances during the summer. I’m fired up for that; maybe I won’t lose all my dance moves after all.

Let’s see if, in the next week, I can actually get around to commenting on the second movie we watched this evening. That and some other long-overdue stories (such as Calliope’s hobby) should make for actual reading in the near future…

Ooooh! SNAP!

I love the early transfer of power in Iraq. Though I doubt it’ll really change any insurgent attempts to bring the new government down, it feels like we just gave the terrorists both birds and told ’em Hahaha! BURN!

[6/30/04 Update: Brian expressed confusion over what I meant by this post. Word on the street was that the Iraqi insurgents were planning an escalation of attacks leading up to the transfer of power; by executing the transfer early, we cut any such escalation off at the knees. (Of course, that doesn’t mean that the terrorists will just give up and go home.) Oh, and that last “burn” was as in “you got burned!,” not as in “die in flames.”]

Old man

I wasn’t anywhere near as sore as I thought I would be today—but that doesn’t really say all that much, since I thought I wouldn’t be able to move. I am happy to report that I can move, albeit with a moderate amount of pain.

As I was slowed by the stiffness in my joints, I spent the majority of the day staring into a computer screen. I made good progress on my new website in exchange for the geek’s tan I now have; my new blog is now at least as functional as the old one ever was (read: pairs of sidebar pictures and titles now rotate again), and I have a bunch of redirect pages ready for when the new site goes live. Minor tweaks and whatnot are all that remain now, though I’ll unroll a few extra features as I get around to them.

As I’m the sort who loves clean breaks, I’ve decided that July 1st sounds like a swell day to make the switchover. Mark your calendars—or don’t, and I’ll have those redirect pages set up where things are currently.

Given the quality of my redirect pages, though, you’ll probably want to change your bookmarks quickly when the time comes. As you all will soon (re)learn, I have a bad, bad sense of humor.

I also have no sense of time. Why is it 1:20 in the morning, and why am I still awake?

Exercised into the ground

Late Friday I was finally able to catch up on charge batches that needed scanning (at the expense of payment batches—my other scanning responsibility). This comes just in time—a new error-checking policy that requires that I keep charge batches up-to-date is to begin on Monday.

Friday evening was filled with an epic Soul Calibur II battle between Nate, Brian, and myself. Brian’s and my one hope—that Nate’s unfamiliarity with the GameCube controller would slow him down (he’s used to the PS2 version of the game)—was dashed in short order. Nate’s Nightmare is to be feared.

Today I played disc golf with Brian in the afternoon, and gave a pretty poor performance. I had tired out my arm from watering plants (!) in the morning, and so had less power than I normally do (and I don’t start out with much arm power, let me tell you)… and it showed. Ah well. We got caught behind these four guys who were carrying mysterious paper bags that they periodically sipped from. We were also ahead of a few other groups, and so experienced hurry-up-and-wait disc golf—where you sit around until you can finally play a hole, and then jog through the hole so that the next group can play it. Select parts of the course featured large numbers of flying insects, which were less than pleasant to play through; one extremely errant throw landed me near a pool of stagnant water featuring a discarded bleach bottle. That scene warmed my heart.

Renee called in the evening, and so I wound up going out to play an hour and a half of tennis. We play a modified game, which has three major differences from actual tennis:

1) No need to serve

2) No need to hit the ball before the second bounce

3) No need to keep score. The only points that matter are “losing points,” and you only earn one of those by knocking the ball over the fence that encloses the court.

Adam was the first to earn a point, and Renee was happy to make fun of him for it. Renee was the second to fall, and Adam enjoyed making fun of her in turn.

At the end of the evening, I was the only one who wasn’t losing. On the last round of the evening (Renee later admitted she was about to call it quits), I managed to somehow catch the ball with the side of my racquet—and knocked it over the fence.

I was so close to winning!

Between hurry-up-and-wait disc golf, and modified tennis, I’m more beat than a wayward child. I can already tell that I’m going to be pretty darn stiff tomorrow.

When did this happen?

Despite my unwillingness to use my right hand for the mouse today, I made significant headway against the piles of paper that dare to oppose me. My left hand isn’t absolutely awful at using the mouse (that surprised me, actually), but a good deal of my productivity came from the fact that you can do a heck of a lot in Windows by only using the keyboard. I learned all sorts of keyboard combinations I could use instead of reaching for the mouse, and thereby minimized the harm I caused to myself.

Nearly-full-keyboard access is nice, when you need it. I think OS X has something similar, now, but I’ve never bothered to see how complete it really was. Despite the keyboard being faster than mousing with my left hand, I think mousing with my right hand could still edge it out—many years of Macintosh use has made me a darn good mouser.

I was shocked to pick up the front page of the Gazette Times and learn that a new twelve-screen theater (with stadium seating, even) had been built in town—without my knowledge. Rumors about such a mega-complex have been flying for ages (since sometime in my high school days, to give a rough estimate), but things never panned out. That is, things never panned out—until now. The Carmike theater complex opens this Friday (technically “today,” as I write this), and gets its first major movie—Spiderman 2—next Wednesday.

Nate had hinted at wanting to go see Spiderman on opening night (“I’d like to go see Spiderman 2 when it opens, hint hint“); I guess we now have an even better reason to head out. Historically we’ve been stuck with Regal Cinemas, which occasionally viewed stereo sound as a perk… competition might be good.

It hurts to click

I’ve actually worn out the index finger on my right hand from clicking a mouse too much. That’s never, ever happened to me before—and I hope it’s something that never happens to me again. It’s no good to feel pain while using your computer. [Consequently, the launch of my new (remarkably similar to the old) site has been delayed a couple days.]

The actual reason for my pain is the suck-tastic mouse I use at work (it seems to have a stiff click that’s only half as deep as the mouse I use at home, so I end up pressing down harder—and then stopping sooner—than I’m used to), in combination with the recent push to scan everything in sight for eight hours straight each day.

Yesterday’s meeting was three and a half hours long (thankfully I got to skip out of the majority of it, which was a review of how to do things in our billing system); the main point seemed to be the very real possibility of getting new business in the near future.

More important than the meeting, though, was what I learned at the end of the day. Courtesy of loud griping, I learned that the calm that had recently typified my office experience wasn’t actually the result of the office situation improving, but rather the result of people’s spirits being crushed. I guess my iPod works a bit too well at keeping me out of the loop, since that’s something I probably should have seen earlier.

During lunch today, Marin made reference to some horror anime (I know nothing about it) entitled Requiem of Darkness. She failed to properly enunciate “requiem,” however, and wound up calling the show Rec Room of Darkness.

That just sounded bad.

Brian and I managed to finish all eighteen holes at Willamette Park’s disc golf course this evening, and then made further progress in Soul Calibur II’s “weapons mode.” It was quite the evening, let me tell you.

Oh, and I made Brian listen to one of Something Awful’s better Comedy Goldmines in quite a while: Fun with LucasArts Game Audio. While I’m not familiar with Grim Fandango, I think everybody can relate to the Indiana Jones audio.

Words don’t appear to fail me

Good God have I written a lot for this blog. I’ve finished ironing out all the quirks I’ve found in the new blog layout, and have begun transferring all my old posts to the new system.

It’s going to take me for-bloody-ever.

I really want to be done with this change, though, so I’m going to try and power through. The major opposing force to this course of action is my body, already weakened by too many late nights and early mornings. Sleep sounds really good to me right now, actually.

Blog construction update

Slow progress on the new blog. I’ve got the main page, the individual post page, and the monthly page layouts finished—leaving the archive page for me to tackle, and then a fun manual-import of all my old posts. I have an ambitious (for me) dream of what my new archive page should look like, but I suspect I’ll have to settle—for now—on something a bit more pedestrian.

Incidentally: don’t get your hopes up for a redesign associated with this move. I’ve been having enough fun getting Movable Type to conform to the current layout that I don’t feel the need to have the additional fun of tinkering with HTML and CSS again.

Another aside: it looks like I will lose a bit of functionality, for the time being. I’ve elected to drop the clunky JavaScript code that litters my (old) blog pages, but haven’t figured out enough server-side stuff to get my page titles to rotate along with the sidebar picture. Once I do figure that out, the rotating title will return.

Today was pretty much a non-event. Tomorrow morning is scheduled to feature a mandatory and important meeting, which might prove for some entertainment. (I’m not getting my hopes up, though, as the last meeting was incredibly dull and pointless despite being “mandatory.”)

Today’s experiment… failed

I’m beginning to sound like a giant, broken record here. Still tired, still not ready to deploy the new web site, so on and so forth.

After significant wavering, I’ve elected to use Movable Type to power my next-generation blog (the other system I was seriously considering? Blosxom—which is far more simple). My greatest fear about Movable Type comes from entrusting my posts to a MySQL database; how do I get them back out if I decide that a “real” web site isn’t worth the cost?

After more thought, though, I realized that I could just save the HTML output by the system; aside from being less nicely formatted, it’s quite similar to what I already have for my past blogs. Now that I’ve actually got Movable Type installed (though not entirely customized), I’m seeing firsthand how slick its interface really is—I can see why many people use it.

Project Shinji-Dogg was pretty much a dismal failure. Brian and I had earlier discussed the mismatch between the message of Evangelion (individuals unable to really connect with each other) and the medium we were imposing on it (watching it in a large group of people); that mismatch turned out to be fatal.

Out of the decent number of people who showed up (I’m too tired to try and piece it out right now, but it was more than you could count on one hand), only three actually watched all of Eva through: Kevin (who was also making a massive origami ball), Joel, and myself. The others bailed at various times to go shopping or play cards. The early episodes featured a good amount of witty banter from the crowd, as we had all seen Eva before, but the wit died down as the hours passed and people’s attentions turned elsewhere.

[6/22 Update: Brian feels it worth mentioning that most of the crew did regroup for the End of Evangelion. I’m not so sure that it is. (Brent mutters something about fair-weather something-or-others.)]

The trip itself wasn’t a complete waste: I, at least, had fun seeing people, and John M.C.ed with his iPod on the way up and back. Yes—last night was the first time in ages that I heard Black Sabbath’s Iron Man. It had been far too long.

Impending Project Shinji-Dogg

My new domain will have to wait until the long-rumored Project Shinji-Dogg goes down in Portland tomorrow. It’s going to be grueling, and will be made even moreso by the fact that I’m running around all crazy-like when I should really be trying to sleep.

Perhaps trying to play disc golf this evening wasn’t the brightest idea I had.

Anyway, more when I return. If I return.

I mean, we are talking Project Shinji-Dogg here. I wouldn’t be surprised if we had a few deaths from something so daring and experimental.

Change is a-brewing

The traditional location of this blog is not long for this world. I just spring for a domain name and some cheap hosting, and will soon move up into the realm of websites proper. (So much for my permalinks being permanent, eh? I doubt anyone used them, so I don’t feel bad.)

We’ll see if I can get things set up tomorrow evening. Should be an adventure, right? And once I get things over there, I can work on porting brent//BLOG to some more automated system that should (at least) allow for comments.


Nobody knows where the fun will stop.

Getting all that sorted out kinda ate away at my evening, though, so I don’t really have time to update everybody on the brick-a-brack of my daily life. You’ll just have to look forward to my tale of a Beanery visit with John, and a secondhand tale of how weird my cat is—though I doubt anybody ever really needs further reason to look forward to a Friday.

A post in two acts

You know, I have all these grand ideas* floating around in my head—I just don’t have the time** to put them into action.

[*Two junky schemes and half a thought]

[**time-management skills]

Seriously, though; after something approaching a full day of work, I don’t have a whole lot of energy to dedicate towards personal endeavors. I’m looking at cheap web hosting that would let me poke around with PHP and CGI without a huge investment, but I can’t figure out a suitable domain name to save my life. (I’m not all that creative to begin with, and I’m even less so when I’m tired. Or, rather, I’m not less creative—but the quality of my creativity drops with a fierce quickness.)

I’d like to learn how to edit video (even if I cut my teeth on boring video; as Brian mentioned, nothing could really top Safari Eric), but digital video cameras are expensive and—in the current market—demand that trade-offs be made. Nothing takes decent video in both good and dim light, has a microphone in port, has decent image stabilization, and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Respectable battery life and a good LCD display would be icing.

Even forgetting my interests: just balancing work, dog-walking (I’m supposed to walk Yoshi in the evenings), personal time, and attempts at being social is more than I seem to be able to handle. (And that even ignores any other responsibilities I have towards my family.) This lack of balance spirals on downward: I really must call John and Lee; I rarely talk to Nate, despite the fact that he’s actually in town; so on.

This begs the question: how in the world did I ever get school to fit in my life?

(“…” is the ultimate transition.)

In an interesting new twist on the idea of consumer-level Network Attached Storage, Linksys has recently released its Network Storage Link. I’ve long had a dream of having a hard drive (without the rest of the computer) attached to my network. The idea would be to have the convenience of having my files easily accessible from anywhere, without all the overhead (and especially the electricity drain) of running a server constantly. This Linksys device is basically a mini-server that takes any USB hard drive and makes it available on a network—as close to my ideal as is currently possible. (Of course, it’s Windows-only.)

I wonder how companies like Microsoft and Apple are going to tackle the issue of having your data at your fingertips, regardless of what computer you’re sitting at. (Have you ever been at school, and wanted an email that was on your home machine?) It’s an interesting, relevant problem—at least, to me—and one that seems to have no good solution, yet. Flash drives are handy and physically small, but they have relatively little storage capacity, tend to be slow, and are too easily lost. Some people store their files on their iPod; I’d imagine that the annoyance of repeatedly needing to plug in an iPod would get old, fast—and iPods can be stolen. Online email solutions—especially in light of Gmail—can make your email accessible from any machine connected to the internet, with a corresponding loss of privacy and dependence on machines that other people manage. NAS solutions are limited by the bandwidth of your network (something which can be quite serious, as anyone who has had to wait for Windows to load their network-stored profile can attest to), and—as with Linksys’ product—tend to use stripped-down unix variants to cut costs. The use of a different OS and file system makes one wonder about file recovery for when something does go wrong.


Don’t eat a late lunch on Sunday, feel full and so skip dinner, eat a granola bar for breakfast on Monday, and expect to function. I was suffering at work something fierce until I ate lunch today, at which time I picked up dramatically.

Another lesson: don’t stay up until 12:30 am playing Soul Calibur II and the Kingdom of Loathing and expect to get up for work tomorrow. I can already tell that I’m going to be hurting.

Desperately seeking sleep

I’ve been struggling with updating the last couple days, mostly because my usual habit of updating late in the evening has been colliding with a new reality where I need to start waking up earlier in the morning. I’m not taking the change well, and (so far) have ended up short sleep, overall… which makes it even more difficult to write at the end of the day. A post of any significant length actually does take a good amount of time to write (sad as that may seem, from what results), and then when I take even longer to write something because I’m tired, that makes my night even later. Which gives me even less sleep before I wake up, which means I drag even more the next night…. Sometimes it’s just easier to drop the ball. If it happens again, you now know why.

Brian, his mom, and I headed up to Portland on Saturday. Brian’s mom had a dance competition she wanted to watch, and Brian had a mission to pick up green tea from the Portland Classical Chinese Garden. I was just along for the ride. (Of course, that ride had to be an interesting one: some sort of parade had closed down several roads—and a key bridge—that would have been nice to use. I later learned that the accursed event was the Grand Floral Parade, part of Portland’s annual Rose Festival.)

We poked around Powell’s Bookstore, and then ate lunch at a new Thai restaurant downtown—good food!—before making our way to the Chinese Garden. The place takes an entire city block, and does a hell of a job of isolating you from the surrounding noise. There is a certain tranquility in the place—the culmination of a great deal of thought in the use and arrangement of the vegetation, water, and structures—that seems relatively lost to us “modern” folk.

I’m not so foolish as to wish that I had such a garden myself, though. The maintenance of that thing must be a bear! (I am foolish enough to wish that I had enough money to both have a garden and pay for its upkeep.)

That evening I was joined by Nate and Eric for the fourth meeting of Movie Nite. The entertainment of the evening was Bubba Ho-Tep, a B-grade comedy/(pseudo-)horror flick. (If you haven’t heard of it, think “elderly Elvis and black JFK team up to fight a mummy.”) I didn’t find myself laughing as much as I thought I would during the movie, but had a hell of a time tossing quotes around afterwards.

I think I slept some, today. Otherwise, I accomplished absolutely nothing until the evening—when Marin and I finished off the end of Fruits Basket and the rest of the first disc of Galaxy Angel. Right now, though, I feel as if sleeping some more would be a good idea.

Soooo slow

Today seemed to absolutely, positively drag on for an eternity. I didn’t feel like working at all today, either—of course.

I’m so glad to be going to bed right now.

Someone set us up the bomb

Another day, another crushingly urgent stop-everything project dropped in my lap. Yay. I now have enough paper in my cubicle to create an impenetrable fortress; now I just need to figure out what I’d actually do with an impenetrable fortress. The only other event of note that distinguishes this day from any other is that I purchased a memory card for the GameCube, so I can now start unlocking things in Soul Calibur II. Go me.

In the absence of exciting activity, I shall once again divert your attention to something humorous: Rumsfeld Fighting Technique (link, as usual, ripped from

Donald Rumsfeld is the bomb.

Office conversation

[from the other side of the office] THUMP

Duane: is everybody still alive over there?

Brent: I’d expect to hear more screaming, if someone died.

Duane: But what if they died instantaneously?

Brent: I’d still expect the others, who find the body, to scream.

Brent: …unless, of course, it was premeditated.

Pat: Then we’d hear laughter.

[from the other side of the office] <laughter>

Pat: See?

Brent: I guess we better watch our backs.

Technical difficulties

Getting images of my old yearbook layouts is going to take a little longer than I had imagined. (I’m sure you’re all crushed by this development.) You see, in the years between my senior year of high school and now, Adobe has moved from PageMaker to InDesign. And, while InDesign 2.0 can open old PageMaker files, InDesign 3.0 cannot. I’m going to work around this, somehow.

In news related only by the annoyance of technical issues, I finally got a functional copy of HyperCard that I can use to examine my ancient Battle Scene code. (Yes—I was creative as a child, too. The program was, in its heyday, a functional—if somewhat ghetto—recreation of the Final Fantasy II battle engine.) Though I have disk images of the HyperCard installer disks (I had enough foresight to burn disk images to CD when Apple started dropping the floppy disk drive from its computers), the installer crashes in OS X’s classic mode. And since the G5 cannot start up in OS 9 proper, I had to install OS 9 on a machine that could boot it (an easy task, fortunately, due to another image I had), install HyperCard on that machine, and then copy it back to the G5.

Now all that’s standing between me and a less-ghetto recreation of the FFII battle engine is some knowledge of how to program in Flash. That, you might recall, is one of my goals for this break.

Otherwise, it was another rather bland day. At work I got sidetracked on a task that was seething with vendetta (not my own, so I’ll leave it at that), and the piles of paper in my cubicle loom even higher.

Word from Brian is that he should be back in town by the end of this week; I’m currently predicting a Thursday arrival.

Word from Andy is that the long-rumored Project Shinji-Dogg will actually take place a week from this Saturday. That’s right: as many people as we can persuade will gather, drink (well… all but me), and watch the entirety of Evangelion in one late-night sitting. I, in a masochistic way, am looking forward to it; I wonder how drunk people will take the later episodes of the show.


Manalive. I suspect that, had I not gone dancing on Friday evening, I would have gone straight to bed. The last few days of the week I had been propping myself up with Mountain Dew—and then dancing completely trashed me. I did next to nothing on Saturday, and my great accomplishment on Sunday was getting the garbage and recycling out.

Well, OK. I also started playing Final Fantasy X-2 on Sunday. I find the battle system much more confusing than that of FFX—it’s hard to tell what I’m doing to which enemy. It seems like the type of game that would appeal to Brian, but doesn’t appeal to me—that is, it’s a game where you explore and poke around and discover things, rather than a game with a huge over arching plot. I don’t play games for hours of levelling up, tweaking, or discovering every last secret; I like to take out the main story, and then move on with my life. And, while FFX-2 has a story that I can take out, it doesn’t feel (so far) like it’s even half of the game.

The dance itself was quite fun, albeit sparsely populated (seemingly due to the Battle of the Bands taking place concurrently in the quad). Saw Connor (who I haven’t seen in ages), met his girlfriend Heidi (name somewhat tentatively recalled), and said ‘hi’ to Kristina. I also met Mike and Kevin, two friends from a ballroom II class who I ran into frequently on the sideline. (In addition to being lightly attended, the crowd featured more males than females; this, on top of a limited knowledge of the various dances, meant even more time spent not-dancing than usual.) Eric even stopped by for a little while—he was there primarily for the Battle—and now says that he has verified that I can bust a move.

Luckily for my standing in Eric’s eyes, Becky asked me to salsa soon after he arrived. (I don’t really get asked to dance too often.) Also in my favor was that I was confident with some salsa moves, and that Becky was a very good follow.

The idea that this could well be my last ballroom dance—and, even if not my last dance, most likely was the last time I’d dance with a decent number of people I knew—wasn’t lost on me. As I tend to do when periods in my life draw to a close, I also distanced myself from the crowd (even more than I usually do) and took them in as a whole. I similarly distanced myself and observed my colleagues at the ends of middle school and high school. (I didn’t do that for college, as a whole, since I was pretty much the last one out.) I suppose it’s my way of trying to take a mental snapshot of the group, that I can better remember them in the future.

After the dance I pulled out and poked through my high school yearbooks. Time has finally distanced me enough from the stress of working on those things that, late Friday night, I was able to look at them dispassionately for the first time. (Three of my four yearbooks had my hands in their creation; the fourth—my freshman book—will forever be remembered as the Triangle Book.) I’m still quite proud of the layouts we designed for my senior book, on the whole; several (the academic, sports, musical, and prom spreads) strike me as quite polished, and I would guess (forgive me my pride) could compete quite favorably against other high school yearbooks. On the other hand, I wish I had put more effort into the activities and Spring Fever spreads—they appear quite lackluster, especially in comparison to the rest of the book.

Of course, there are always things that the yearbook printing company screwed up. For my senior book, the color section was completely screwed up; titles that should have been color-keyed to photos were not, and the print quality of the senior pictures was quite questionable. Some of the black and white pages were also printed with absolute black printed as dark gray, which was also kind of weird.

Aw, heck. For all the babbling I’ve done about this yearbook, I might as well get some pictures up to show y’all what I’m talking about. It’s a little late tonight, but I’ll see what I can do tomorrow.


Too tired to write coherently. Will write about the latest ballroom dance, once I recover from it.

I guess I danced more than I normally do, because I’m really feeling it today. It still wasn’t all that much, in an absolute sense.

Another passing

There was once a time when my life was idyllic. The world was full of caring people, I enjoyed going to school every day, and I had done nothing that could haunt me in the future.

That time, of course, was my childhood.

The President of the United States, in my childhood, was Ronald Reagan. He was the face of the government, to my younger self, and seemed to me an exceptionally kind person.

Today I mourn the loss of that man.

Powerfully random thoughts

Marin’s prodding about professors I had for communication classes in college (yes, I took two comm classes when only one was required; don’t ask) reminded me of Dr. Bill. He was my professor for “argument and critical discourse,” way back in my freshman year, who allegedly never responded when people used his last name—”Dr. Bill” was an appropriate balance of respect and practicality. I remember that he noted that I would restrain myself from using hand gestures as I talked, and encouraged me to use that to my benefit rather than cut it off.

(Incidentally, it’s weird what—ostensibly genetically-influenced—things you pick up from your parents. My dad and I possess almost-remarkably similar thought processes and temperaments, but my tendency to wave my hands around in the air comes from my mom. Mom and I also tend to hum when we’re happy.)

Fast-forwarding several years (probably around my first senior year), I made an appearance at the annual UHC beginning-of-the-year barbecue. A man I didn’t recognize eventually made his way up to me—Dr. Bill had shaved off his moustache—and said that he didn’t remember my name or face, but recognized my body language when I spoke to others. (!) Weird, but cool, but weird. I never realized that the way I presented myself when talking to others was unique.

I’ve been reading various manga in the evenings, before bed. I’m now current on Kare Kano, which has apparently affected my dreams: the night I read volume 9, I had a dream about walking around with a gal, holding hands. The sheer beauty and simplicity of that act struck my dream-self. (Yes, there’s a touch of simpleton-romantic in me. Somewhere.)

Unfortunately, I didn’t have a dream derived from the Kindaichi Case File where the killer was inspired by Jason (that’s right—of Friday the 13th). I’d qualify as a virtuous person, for the purpose of horror movie archetypes… though the (virtuous) lone survivor of horror movies is almost always female. Damn and blast.

I did pick up a copy of Soul Calibur II for the GameCube, and was delighted to find that Nintendo’s odd controller works just fine with the game. It also doesn’t appear to suffer from the lag (!) I’ve seen in the PS2 port. It’s a good, fun game. It’ll be even more good and more fun when I convince Marin to buy a memory card, so I can save my progress in unlocking all its secrets.

Watched the first two episodes of Kaze no Yojimbo, and two more episodes of Galaxy Angel, this evening. Kaze no Yojimbo (which is apparently based off of a Kurosawa film, Yojimbo) had a slow, deliberate pace—perfectly suited to its setting of a small town with secrets—that piqued my curiosity something fierce. Galaxy Angel is almost the antithesis of Yojimbo; tonight’s episodes included a sentient missile that struggled against its purpose in life. As required for the genre, it soon became the cute animal mascot of the show.

Cyclic introversion?

I went to the ballroom dance practice this evening, where I didn’t actually dance. I spent the time observing others dancing, in an attempt to refresh my memory of all the moves I’ve lost over the years; while not unreasonable (in my opinion, at least), it did make me the weird guy who just watches people dance. (Of course, it didn’t help that the people I normally dance with were absent today.) This evening, potentially, was the last Wednesday night practice that I’ll ever attend; I also made an attempt (though I know it’ll be a failed one, in the end) to make a mental picture of all the people I know, at these practices. I’ve had some good times there.

At work, earlier, I started scanning payment batches—and I began to fully fathom the amount of unscanned paper waiting for me. I have my work cut out for me, for a long time to come. Thanks to being a full-fledged scanner boy, though, I didn’t really talk to anyone else the entire day. When I did talk, my voice was squeaky because it hadn’t been used in hours. (You know how your voice might take a second to settle in, if you haven’t used it in a while? Clearing your throat seems to help you recover, too.)

And, basically, I just felt like being totally introverted today. Which reminded me of when I started this blog—I was in the depths of an introversion binge then, too. (Hence the title of this entry: is my introversion on something approaching an annual cycle?)

And that reminded me that I forgot about the one-year anniversary of this endeavour. Yes, brent//BLOG stumbled into life sometime in late May—and has been going surprisingly strong since then. Not bad for my first attempt at HTML styled via CSS.

(My first attempts at HTML occurred sometime during high school, for two of the organizations formed by my friends: the FDI—Foundation Defense Industries— and the CIDA—Consul of International Defense Affairs, if I recall correctly. They were kind of fun to make, but fell flat immediately after launch. We did make some pretty nifty laminated ID cards, though.)

My introspective mood has reminded me of even more things that I’ve intended to do, but have let slide. I’m not sure how people accomplish everything they need to do in the day… I’ve heard that one of the things covered in school for the developmentally disabled are the so-called tasks of everyday living; if they’ve mastered those tasks, I think they’re one-up on me in getting through life.

False start

Today was one of those days where you intend to get a lot accomplished, but end up getting nothing done and feeling extremely tired. I actually managed to get out the door and to work, but shortly thereafter was called back home—and I never got back to the office. Ugh.

Not that I really mind not working (I really was out of it today), but I sure didn’t get a whole lot else done for my impromptu time off.


Had an enjoyable chat with Craig this afternoon. We eventually wound up visiting Ruby Tuesday’s, which—according to Lee—is the New Shari’s. The Shari’s for the aughts. The college variant of Shari’s. (Shari’s was an important part of high school life in Corvallis, you see, and so has left a lasting impression on my friends and me.) Anyway, at Ruby Tuesday’s we discovered that the standard dress for employees was a white work shirt and very tight jeans. Craig was going to comment on that, but then noticed that the males also appeared to be wearing very tight jeans—that, at least, it enforced equal opportunity tight jeans.

After my early dinner (which came far too soon after a late lunch—be warned that, though Ruby Tuesday’s may be the “new Shari’s,” it does not appear to sell milk shakes or small desserts that can be used as an excuse to sit and chat), we then visited our old high school. The snow storm earlier this year really did a number to the textured concrete surface on the front of the school—good portions of the concrete had fallen off—and now the school appears to be undergoing a complete remodelling. The front appears to be gaining a new arched entrance way, and the temp walls that defined the inside of the school appear to have been razed and replaced with real walls (or, alternatively, much nicer-looking temp walls). Individual desks have been removed in favor of small tables, each sporting two chairs; hallways are larger, and some classrooms have been combined to form larger classrooms that are unusably wide.

My beloved F building, where I spent many hours huddling over a computer screen working on yearbooks, has been completely redesigned on the inside: the photography area now includes a good chunk of the old Mac lab, and a PC lab has taken over the rest of the Mac lab space. The Mac lab now resides in the classrooms that used to be held by Mrs. Lavietes and Mr. Rasmussen, who used to teach Spanish. I didn’t at all recognize the hallway I saw through a still-familiar window.


The quad looks about the same as I remember it, though there are a few more permanent rails and a bit of fencing that wasn’t there in my heyday. My friends’ traditional lunch location—an “outdoor hallway” along one side of F building—remains unchanged (save for the addition of a small bit of graffiti, reading something to the effect of Bill + Ted = Poop Buddies). Our spring lunch spot—a nearby grassy hill in the quad—no longer has any view of the creek that runs through the quad, as its vegetation has grown quite thick, but otherwise also remains the same.

Many posters advertising the upcoming Yearbook Signing Party (now featuring free soda, apparently) were hanging around, too. Back in our day, all the Yearbook Signing Party needed was two or three big butcher-paper signs, and those were mostly so that kids knew what day to show up.

As we were leaving, a boy and his dad (!) were spray-painting The Rock. Yellow background, blue text: WR RULES. Out of curiosity, we asked them what that meant; apparently WR is the name of the son’s band. I commented to Craig, afterwards, that I thought that message would mean more if it were painted by a fan of the band. I mean, I don’t go around writing about how much Brent rocks—I leave that up to you. (You’ve been doing a pretty poor job of it, FYI. I know I’m no Donna’s VD and Unicrons page, but come on.)

In the evening I had a milkshake with Eric and Nate at—you guessed it—Shari’s, and then we got a short demonstration of La Pucelle Tactics. I learned the true reason that purification is La Pucelle’s middle name, and also was introduced to the creatures known as tiny bats.

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