One of many

I’ll be meme-ish for once. Read in several places, but decided to do after smiling while reading Karsh’s implementation.

Top 5 things wrong in my field of vision right now:

  1. People who treat their friends like shit and act like complete drama queens when their friends attempt to get a love life. Sorry, biz-natch, y’all didn’t work out. Don’t be jealous because your friend is flat-out cooler than you are, and guy just got tired of your drama.
  2. Why the hell am I stuck on this one measly running workout and not progressing? My lungs just don’t want to stretch and let me go farther.
  3. Why the hell doesn’t the cafeteria package the bagels and English muffins so they don’t sweat? You pretty much have to toast the shit to dry it out. Ew. But I love my bageled egg and cheese in the morning, or my buttered toasted cinnamon raisin bagel.
  4. Loud television at late hours. If you have ten people in a 12 foot by 13 foot room watching Finding Nemo, why the fuck are you trying to blow out your television’s speakers by playing the shit so loud? If I wanted to watch the movie at 02:00 on a Monday night, I would fucking be there. Stop playing the shit so loud I can sing along with Chicago and feel like hunting for the remote to my television to turn it down just so I can go to sleep. That’s just rude.
  5. Loud Minnesotans that talk way too fucking loud at entirely too early in the morning. No one should have to wake up to, “Da-a-ann-a-a! Da-a-ann-a-a! When do you want to leave, Da-a-ann-a-a?” Bitch, you leave at the same damn time every fucking morning. Just wait for her!

Name four things you wished you had:

  • A great set of… lungs.
  • Proust’s Du Cote de Chez Swann in hardcopy. In French.
  • More will power.
  • A license, already. I don’t wanna take that damned test. I could fail.

Name four smells you love :

  • Plumeria.
  • Books, old and new.
  • Lever 2000.
  • Apples.

Name four things you are thinking about (oh, dear):

  • How many hours of sleep I want to get tonight.
  • Why the first thing Texas Daniel said to me tonight was, “You’re the whitest person I know. You’re wearing an A Perfect Circle shirt.” Couldn’t he have said howdy before slapping me with another reminder that I cannot easily immerse myself in any particular culture?
  • If my lingering headache is really caused by dehydration (it’s quite likely) and why, if so, I don’t feel thirsty enough to drink all the water I need to.
  • What it means to be a genius.

Name four things you did today:

  • Answered a question in my frustrating chemistry class. It’s an odd situation when you remember how to do stoichiometry and basic acid and base stuff from three years ago and wish the class would move just a bit faster, but am stuck having to (rightfully so) re-memorize the fucking polyatomic ions and the most common charges and states of various elements and ions. Le sigh.
  • Attended one of the new little recitation periods for my chemistry class. I had questions, Dr. M had answers.
  • Walked in on my roommate and her soon-to-be-significant other rapidly moving apart from each other. Guess I should knock next time, eh?
  • I didn’t work out. All things in moderation, yes?

Top 5 songs of the right now (fuck, yeah):

  1. Age of Loneliness – Enigma
  2. Push the Limits – Enigma
  3. Silence Must Be Heard – Enigma (seeing the trend?)
  4. I Love You… I’ll Kill You – Enigma
  5. Stranglehold – Ted Nugent

Last thing you:

  • Did : Attended a basketball game that disappointed me in its amateurishness. Lots of ball fumbling and rolling around and shit.
  • Read : Is that like, read and finished, or just the last thing I read a page of? I finished Dune most recently, read a little of Proust’s Du Cote de Chez Swann, Herbert’s Dune Messiah, and Crèvecoeur’s Letters from an American Farmer this afternoon.
  • Watched on TV : Um, wow. I watched about 3 minutes of the movie Stargate this past Saturday before falling asleep.

Who do you want to:

  • Kill : The fucker with the dog food name (Alpo, or Alto or something) that set off the fire alarm in my residence hall at 03:00 on Monday morning and caused me to stand outside in my jammies for about fifteen fucking minutes.
  • Hear from : Um… how about my old buddy M.K.? A hello-note wouldn’t kill him, I don’t think.
  • Look like : Again, “um…” Perhaps a more in-shape me?
  • Be like : my friend Mae; she’s a real genius (a post on genius(ness) is forthcoming, I think) and is really sweet and nice.

Last time:

  • Last song you heard : Age of Loneliness
  • Last movie you saw : Swordfish. (Ohmydamn, Hugh Jackman is a sexy beast.)
  • Last movie you saw on the big screen : Matrix Revolutions
  • Last thing you had to drink : Water at dinner
  • Last thing you ate : Mashed potatoes A Reese’s cup, which I just finished.
  • Last time you cried : When the guy in the mech-thing in Matrix Revolutions kicked the bucket, I got a bit teary.
  • Last time you smiled : When one of my sophomore advosors came to take my picture in a Santa hat. I may break my no-pictures rule and post that one, if it’s decent.
  • Last time you laughed : I would like to say it was when Dulin had me in stitches on AIM about the nasty smelly guy that made Dulin need to evacuate the gym rapidly, but, alas, Bridget killed me at the basketball game by trying to find guys I could hook up with and jokingly pointing to a guy on the opposing team that was about 7 feet tall and wore these wrap-around googles with thick black frames in place of glasses.
  • Last time you danced : Right now. Enigma fucking rocks my world.
  • Last person you hugged : Bridget, after I uwrapped my Christmas gift of… The Sexy Pirate Movie!!! And so began lots of squealing.
  • Last thing you said : “Okay, have a great time.” Bridget and her soon-to-be-guy just left for a stroll.
  • Last person you talked to online : The Other One. We are going to workout together tomorrow. We’ll see how that goes.
  • Last thing you smelled : A burning Orange Blossom candle.
  • Last car ride : With the Thorn’s own George Dawkins from Indy.
  • Last CD played : Physical CD? I dropped in Seal IV when I was in Charlotte. Otherwise it’s Enigma’s LSD: Love Sensuality, and Devotion.
  • Last item bought : A nastiness of a veggie sandwich at a restaurant at Chicago-Midway.

Albums playing on the regular right now:

  • Enigma’s LSD: Love Sensuality, and Devotion
  • Seal’s Seal IV
  • Enigma’s MCMXC A.D.
  • Alien Ant Farm’s ANThology
  • Remy Shand’s It’s the Way I Feel

Damn, dees sheet is long.

[Listening to “Silence Must Be Heard” [Enigma / LSD: Love, Sensuality and Devotion]]

A Weird Situation

I’m in one, and I don’t know quite how to gracefully get out of it. Some background information:

I hang out with two roommates that live down the hall. Hanging out generally occurs in small doses, because things can quickly become racially charged between us–that ol’ You Ain’t Black Enough bit that I get so tired of. But we can joke around lightheartedly for the most part, and we’ll often pitch in for dinner on a Saturday night or something. Now, these girls have a male friend that lives in a nearby dorm–we’re going to call him… Nikolai. Not a terribly interesting character, but important to the plot. (Major kudos to anyone who correctly guesses what that name is a reference to.) Now, Nikolai is a nice guy, fairly smart, he’s a Software Engineering major that’s studying Japanese and, is as kooky in his own way as such a major might suggest. But not necessarily in a good way. He’s taken lately to sleeping in the girls’ room down the hall–the RA has, obviously, not caught on to this yet, or he would probably be given the boot. So anyway, Nikolai has also taken an interest in me. He thinks I’m “sweet”. I don’t know who the hell he thinks he’s talking about, but apparently it ain’t me. In the interest of meeting new people and the like, I’m like, well, feel free to drop by my room and hang out if you’re ever on my end of the building, and we can talk shop or tell truncated, highly-edited, light-hearted life stories or whatever. I don’t care.

I didn’t expect him to stop by, cuz, well, no one really stops by to see me, with the exception of some of Bridgy’s friends. But one day, while I was researching my little link-blog on Chomsky, et. al, he comes in. And then he sits on my lap, hindering typing and mouse-using abilities by just fucking blocking access to the computer, and, while I can operate Mozilla with one hand using the keyboard only, it goes much slower. And then he starts in on my physique, telling me I shouldn’t lose any more weight, that I’m perfect the way I am, etc., etc. And then he starts trying to tickle me, at which point I’m like, “For rizzle, guy, stop.” Attempts on my part to turn the conversation to something other than me fail miserably, and I am left feeling ridiculously embarrassed and just wanting him to leave. (This accounts for any confusing incoherence that may have been in that post, by the way, as well as the general lack of personal commentary on the people.) Finally, I posted the entry, pleaded homework, and he got out. I felt like scrubbing down with a Brillo pad after he left. It’s not that he’s a smarmy guy or anything, it’s just he’s… I don’t know. Too physical. Some touchy-feeliness with friends I can handle–people sit in my lap, give me hugs, whatever, but…

Now, I had absolutely no retorts to his compliments about my physique, so I just sort of pretended I hadn’t heard what he said and tried to move the conversation forward, which I know is rude and unlike my usual blunt self, but what’s a girl to do? So I later asked Bridgy how she responds to those types of comments. She said she plays up the fact that she’s blonde. Her reply was a hilarious, “I just sort of go, ‘Huh? [Twirls hair in very blond-esque manner] I don’t understand. But don’t say that again, okay?'” that left me in stitches (she’s starting to learn what can make me laugh, and can now keep me laughing for hours on end). Obviously, this isn’t something I would be terribly successful at implementing, lacking the blonde hair, and the acting skills to pull of a ditzy manner when I damn well heard what someone said. But I doubt Nikolai actually got the idea of me avoiding the issue, and yet, he didn’t make a definite, point-blank overture of anything (I rack all the above up to a sort of touchy-feely friendliness–this is me after all; the problem is not so much his actions [or even his purposes behind them] as my weirded out response to them) so there’s nothing to really say no to, other than the tickling. And that was just weird. Tickling threats are currently reserved for Thorn staff, sorry guy. There’s no chance of it being sexual with them, you know? Safety, safety.

The whole situation left me feeling weird and classifying the situation as weird and just wanting to crawl out of my skin. I don’t even want to stop at the girls’ room down the hall, because he’s always there, and he’s always making seemingly innocuous comments that weird me out. I can’t even talk to the girls about it, because they love him to death, although they wish he would sleep in his own room every once in a while. He’s just a really clingy person. So I guess I don’t really need to get out of a funky situation so much as change my response to weird events. I don’t even know where to start.

[Listening to “Push the Limits” [Enigma / LSD: Love, Sensuality and Devotion]]

Learning to Live

Today, I was struck by how much my priorities in life have changed. It’s 16:30 on a Sunday afternoon and I have done not a single stitch of homework due tomorrow. I have, however, accomplished my weekend goals for my website, found several new and interesting sites to syndicate and potentially add to my links, started reading Dune Messiah and Life of Pi, gotten in one good workout that whooped my ass (despite my general fatigue this weekend), spent some time talking seriously with Bridget (not about anything bad, just friendly talking, but not so light-hearted as I would with a mere acquaintance), visited some friends down the hall, made one of my more private activities a little more public and social, and listened to some new music.

I haven’t even tallied up all the things I haven’t done yet. Nor will I. I’m not stressed about homework, I’m not stressed about tests. This is such a new feeling for me I want to cry with relief. I’ll pick a subject and just start working until I finish, then I’ll start another subject. And when I’m done, I’ll go straight to bed, because homework doesn’t worry me anymore, doesn’t keep me up at night like it did when I was in high school. I haven’t had one of my headaches since I’ve been in college; none of that icky tension building in that one tender spot on your neck that tells you what you know is coming and adds pressure because of a strong fear of the pain that will lay you low for days and make you cry helplessly as you try to complete your homework and try to remember to eat or to stop eating and try to forget the chores you won’t do and the anger of your parents as a result and try not to look at the bed too often, despite the fact that it’s right fucking behind you and it’s 02:00.

During my senior year, what is known as “senioritis” hit me rather hard. This is more generally called apathy. I just didn’t give a fuck. I worked on finding the absolute minimum amount of work to get the A’s-with-one-B I wanted on the report card and transcript. Likewise, I stopped crying over B’s. I didn’t study for my AP or IB exams, except for, for most of them, a brief skimming of notes (literally, maybe three hours worth) either the night before or the day of. I shit you not. I still can’t believe I blew off the monumental exams I had worked so hard to train for for four fucking years. But I just couldn’t care. Not a fucking fig. IB diploma or not, 28 credit hours or 10, I didn’t give a damn. I seriously considered dropping my acceptance to Rose-Hulman and going to the in-state school I had been accepted to so I could skim by with easy classes and slide through getting a Computer Science diploma. (Not to dog on N.C. State or anything, of course, but that was my perception at the time.)

I’m finding that learning to live while studying, however, make things easier. My priorities are not impressing my teachers with my superior wit, besting my classmates, becoming a world-class marathon runner, or even getting my degree. My goals are to learn, to get healthy in the fullest sense, and to learn to enjoy myself in whatever I’m doing. I don’t want to be one of those that complains about whatever job I have, or whatever classes I signed up for, or whatever I’m doing. I’m fucking doing it, so I should enjoy something about it. Not that everything will always be pleasant and happy-go-lucky (and not that I’m never going to complain about anything), of course. I will choose to do things I would rather not be doing. I may end up in a shitty job, as the lesser of several evils, one including being on welfare or starving. But I don’t want to let that get me down; I want to be stronger than that.

[Listening to “No Life” [Slipknot / Slipknot]]

Journalism, Christmas, and My Obsession

Yesterday morning, I got up before the ass-crack of dawn to go with the Rose Thorn staff to Indy for the Hoosier State Press Association (HSPA) Foundation 2003 Newsroom Seminar. We ate doughnuts in the Thorn office and departed around 06:45. I decided to ride with the Thorn’s own George Dawkins, as he was stopping at McDonald’s (yuck, I know), and two doughnuts do not count as a decent breakfast. Not that grease wrapped in paper and served with orange juice is any better, of course, but my options were limited.

On that note, I have to officially revise my opinion on the Thorn’s own George Dawkins. Along the way, we chatted about books, classes, professors, etc., and got along quite well. He’s a moderately safe driver (even if he never uses his turn signal and drives a bit fast–see, my standards are lowering), funny (he had me giggling at McDonald’s, and it’s hard to be funny at 07:00, trust me), and smart (not that I ever doubted that, really). As long as he doesn’t open his mouth about the paper, on which topic he immediately becomes an annoying ass to be taken out and shot, we get along swimmingly. Honestly. We were in a seminar titled “Advanced Course on Theme and Progression”, and a topic for discussion was the “Back-into-corner question”, that stuff reporters are known for asking, yes? Well, the Thorn’s own George Dawkins had had some trouble in that when he wrote an article that included the (unpleasant) responses to hard-hitting questions, he got some flak from his sources. This wouldn’t be such a problem, except that, at Rose, we have a very limited number of sources (namely, the administration), and if you piss ’em off too much, they just won’t talk to you. Then we’re stuck writing articles about the wonders of co-op’ing. At any rate, the seminar speaker had criticized an article for not including such hard-hitting questions, and just covering surface facts, and the Thorn’s own George Dawkins asked what the speaker would do if he was in a situation like ours. As soon as he asked his question, he again seemed like the uptight, annoying prick that barked and bit our editors into a corner over this issue when the article was being edited (and other issues with another article). I’m all for defending the integrity of your writing. Most definitely. It’s his writing, he’s a good writer, and he deserves respect for both of those. However, in writing for submission to a newspaper, it’s understood that the editors are there to find [what they perceive to be] the flaws in the article and take into account the potential feedback from the article. It’s the same reason we edit articles that have bad structure or use the word fuck. When a news piece has an editorial slant, we try to fix it, usually with feedback from the writer. But respect the fact that the editors know what they’re doing (as much as our “journalists” do, anyway), and that we will have the last word. Don’t be a prick and pull that, “Well, then you can’t print my quote in that article, so now that article is worthless for printing” or bitch about how much your punch is being pulled in an article that was still slanted when we printed it for weeks after. It’s done. Write a letter to the editors complaining about it, and we’ll print that, too. All the editors and the writers took their medicine on that last one, so get over it. He hasn’t written a news article since, I don’t think, which is not a bad thing, as my mini-boss would probably leave any arguing up to me, Luke, and Bob, that just couldn’t go well. He is a good writer, though.

But we can chat about anything else other than the paper, and that’s a good revelation, right?

The seminars were good, all around. I attended one on page design (which is what I’m starting to love) that was quite helpful on giving ideas on ways to do things. The second one I attended (it was a double-session seminar) was the “Advanced Course on Theme and Progression”, which (thank goodness) most of the writers that were with us attended, as there were some very good stylistic tips there. Now I better know what to look for in an article, and maybe I can swing my mini-boss my way in more of the arguments we have over some of the stories we have submitted to us that read like high school informative essays. It’s a notable lack of theme (or conflict) and progression.

And with no appropriate transition at all:

Reading Karsh’s piece on Christmas (click the link and go read–it’s good) brought back the reality of my Christmas this year. I have two birthdays to handle this Christmas season (one was yesterday, the other is my mother’s on the 21st), then Christmas for family, college friends, and Charlotte friends. I also have to fund my trip back to Terre Haute, which means, at the very least, gasoline for Johnny (my car) and food and lodging for the Old Man and company–I can do that fun eat-before-you-leave-then-eat-again-13-hours-upon-arrival thing. I also have an insurance bill to pay for January. If I take care of my bill (you know you’re young when you don’t even have bills) and the trip, I’ll be the only one not slinging the gifts at Christmas or birthdays. I’m already feeling that bum-guilt of getting but not giving. There are, of course, alternatives to giving gifts that require money, which is something I like to do every once in a while, just because, if you do it right it has more emotional meaning, but to do that for everyone screams that I’m broke, and that’s not incentive for feeling that Christmas-y feeling. So I’ll back up Karsh’s “Bah. Humbug.” with a “Bah-fucking-humbug. And don’t even talk about Christmas, or I’ll rip off (or out, depending on gender) your gonads and feed ’em to my little sister.”

Again, with no transition:

I spent Friday afternoon, evening, and night working on My Obsession–namely this site. I forsook (hey, it was in the dictionary) my homework, my dinner, my workout, and got dees irrsinn dot net sheet back in order. My search engine is fixed and working, I added a little “Contact Page”, and I went in and put in accessibility features that were lacking previously (just in case any text-only browsers swing by, or blind readers). (On a sidenote, Access Keys [now implemented] are ridiculously cool. If you’re in Windows, anywhere on my site, press Alt+4 [not F4], and focus will jump to the search box on the right. Alt+1 will take you the front page of the site, etc. The full listing is on the accessibility statement). I also (re)validated old archives, which required some tweaking of BlogWorks XML to get rid of its annoying tendency to stick paragraph tags of the class “post” around my entries, thus breaking the XHTML since I put paragraph tags around each paragraph. I also, in the interest of having everything be searchable, republished the essays as XHTML documents as well as PDFs. I would like to officially give a “Fuck you” to Microsoft for putting those damn curly quotes in documents as default. I’ve changed the settings to not do that anymore, of course, but I still had to fight with the change of double dashes to… I think they’re called “em’s” or something, but it wasn’t in my dictionary, and ellipses to that squished up one-character ellipses. The problem was that I couldn’t just search and replace for the odd characters in HTML-Kit, as it would only find the odd character once, not the 10 times they were hidden throughout the essay. Le sigh. Oh, and I finally edited and posted the Galatea 2.2 essay. Minus a three-hour break to try to teach The Other One some XHMTL and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) (god, that woman is annoying and ungrateful when I’m already tired as hell and trying to teach her something), I worked until about 01:00 Saturday morning. Saturday’s bedtime was definitely around 21:00, particularly after the way my workout left me strangely stiff and achy. I did finish Dune before hitting the hay, however. Yay!

[Listening to “The Second One” [Remy Shand / The Way I Feel]]

Snow!

We have our first snow here in Terre Haute, Indiana. Fucking-A. And it’s been snowing all morning. This is why I need a cam’ra (anyone else stuck in a loop of quoting Scary Movie due to its extremely detrimental effect on their lives? No? Okay, then…). I could be posting pictures and stuff. I don’t know what the “stuff” part of that would be, but I would definitely be chewing up some Rose-Hulman bandwidth with pictures.

Oh, and ahem. I can’t even form a strong opinion about the book other than a bland “how interesting”. Now I get to start Letters from an American Farmer by Crèvecoeur, finish Dune, and start Life of Pi by Yann Martel for the book club.

And it’s snowing!

[Listening to “The Way I Feel” [Remy Shand / The Way I Feel]]