The Nitty-Gritty

Hmm… I think I’ve actually used that title before… Oh, well, who said my “everyday thoughts” had to be original? Of course, they aren’t very everyday, now, are they? And I have no excuse. Not that I would make one anyway.

I will give reasons, however, although I won’t go into the deep, mysterious differences between reasons and excuses. First and foremost, I’m hankering to redesign this site. I love changing the design again and again and having fun with CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) layouts, but I’m having a little trouble with this one in my head. I’m not an artistic or creative person, by any means, and there are two things I want: a more efficient/navigable design and a friggin’ picture (I think everyone should take a look up at that pseudo-spiral thingy and realize just how much it sucks). I’m not so worried about the layout, I just have to cough it up from the back of my mind. But the picture. Grr. I can’t draw for shit, and Photoshop, quite simply, kicks my ass. And I have no idea what I want, really, even if I could make it. A design? It would have to be very über-cool, and something original and descriptive would be nice. And yes, über is a part of my everyday speech. If I went for something like a cartoonish pic of me (a couple of my buddies have suggested a South Park-style construction paper-looking version of me, due to my low humor), I would have to either attempt to draw it on paper myself, pay someone else to do it, or have a go at it in Paint (or Gimp). The major art achievement of my life was this comic strip I made (maybe back in 10th grade) that was a series of pictures of stick figures. I can do a mean stick figure, with clothes, expressions, and everything. Kinda like those Screen Bean characters from Microsoft Word. Except with clothes, ‘cuz I’m modest like that. But when I start fiending for a redesign, I become slightly less interested in updating that all-important content of the site. Bad, I know. But that’s reason one.

Two: I’ve got three weeks of exams coming up. If I live, I’ll be back to say “salut” (although I need to get started on the “hola” too) much more often, methinks. But I’ve got about… 11 exams, 5 of which span two days each, all of which run from about an hour and a half to three hours. With no potty breaks during the actual exam. So I’ve been studying.

I’ve also been reading. I splurged this past weekend and bought War of Honor by David Weber and March to the Stars by Weber and John Ringo, both of which are still in hardback format. Damn good books, though, and I don’t mind supporting cool writers. I have a stack of about 13-15 books to add reviews of. Grr.

I’ve also been living a little. This past Thursday, I spent about four hours at The Evening Muse, listening to the open-mic session, then settling down with Chris English, Lauren Echo, and, of course, Taylor Roberts’ Music. English played a song, then Echo, then TR, and then back to English for a total of six songs each. Unfortunately, when English played, you really did “settle down”, and wish you could be just about anywhere else. By the fourth time around, mother-deary and I were quite grinding our teeth at the end of TR’s song. But Lauren Echo and Taylor Robers’ Music kicked ass. Lauren Echo has got a great voice and, in my unexpert opinion, was good on the geetar. Taylor Roberts is very much in danger of becoming repetitious with the drum beats, but they maintained their charisma and coolness throughout the show. I also… (fanfare, please) got signed CDs by both Echo and TR! My mother practically stalked the guys to get it, but she got it nonetheless. Not that anyone could blame her for stalking them. It was a good night, as I got to talk to Nathan‘s mother, as well as see Nathan himself dance once or twice. Woo-hoo!

Saturday was Prom Day. Except, of course, that I didn’t go to prom. I did something much better than playing dress-up to spend an evening playing wallflower in a hot, musky room with the entire junior and senior class “booty-dancing” lasciviously and idiotically to a string of purely rap songs about bitches and hos as the male population tried to ensure that prom night was going to be their lucky night. Oh, yeah. I got together with my buddy Dulin around 7:30-ish and we hit Concord Mills, one of those big-ass malls with absolutely nothing of interest in it except a Macado’s, a large bookstore, and a large theater with the latest movies. First thing to do: see Identity. Loved the twists, thought something about the directing was a little off. But I do know that Dulin jumped during the first shocker (I hate telling the plots of movies, so I won’t), although he tried to laugh it off. With over an hour to kill before our next movie, we took a “leisurely” walk around the mall, meaning that if I hadn’t stopped in the bookstore, we would have been back to the theater in about 10 minutes, max (the mall is in an ellipse shape, for those unfamiliar with the Mills malls). In the bookstore, I blew 50 bucks I didn’t have on those books I mentioned before, then Dulin and I just sat and talked for the next… 45 minutes or so. Highly enlightening conversation; I think I laughed from both humor and shock for about 44 minutes of the discussion. Then we saw the real purpose of my trek to the theater: Phone Booth. I’m going to be brief with this and just say that watching Colin Ferrell on screen for over an hour was a damned good way to spend my evening. The movie was good, too, although Dulin, as a semi-spoda-be-military and gun affectionado, had some beef with a couple of details. But they weren’t significant. Not at all.

We then drove all around Jack’s barn to get to Michael‘s house for his after-prom party. We hit every major highway in Charlotte, when there was a much shorter way we could have taken, thanks to Dulin’s desire to adhere strictly to the directions given on the paper. But we did get through most of Tool’s Undertow CD. After a few roadway scares (when the ramp sign says to go 35 mph, I personally think you should go, at most, about 40. Not 70), we arrived and settled in. Actually, we played wallflowers there for a while, too, although there were only about 10 people there. Michael and I decided to go ahead and finish the corruption of Mia before we graduate, so we threw in American Pie. When I asked Mia later if she liked it, she said, very quietly, “No.” “Why not?” (I’m already laughing at this point) Again quietly: “It was… gross.” I didn’t stick around to watch it, as I’d just sat through two movies (and if not for the coolness of seeing Cusack back on the big screen, I would have been hard-pressed to sit through the first one–I just don’t like sitting through movies that much); instead, I played cheesy N64 games with Michael and Cameron (both of whom whooped my tail) and chatted about movies with Eric, a friend of Michael’s. After their movie ended, I spent an indefinite amount of time asphyxiating from laughter as Chris (not Dulin, whose name is also Chris) hit a manic mood and regaled us all with stories of the sleep-deprived loonies at this college program he attended over the summer. When Chris laughs, I laugh, for no other reason than the fact that I know he can’t get control of himself and will continue laughing as I laugh, which leads me to laugh more. He guffaws, I giggle. It didn’t help that Chris was being randomly tickled as we both calmed down, starting the cycle all over again. He’s got a ridiculous laugh; everyone else seemed to just sit there and stare at us as Chris hacked and laughed all over the table of food and I curled into a ball on the floor. I declare him officially banned from story-telling at parties, especially given the “mixed company” usually there. We had a couple of girls that just sort of said “eww” at his punch-lines and ruined the mood, then there were those of us that quite literally laid out on the floor gasping for air. Of course, such a loud and jolly guy sounded like a freight train going through the house when he finally went to sleep. The next morning, Dulin and I packed up and left while folks started drinking sodas and eating junk again. Yuck-o. No shit like that until after the second meal of the day, please.

Then I went home and read my books and studied for my exams. And now I’m off to read more of the latest Weber tomb (about 850 pages) and think about studying for my exams.

Oh, yeah: boo on McGinley for style in Identity; I much prefer the exaggerated facial-expressions and style of the folks on Scrubs. He was too much of a non-entity in the movie.