Friday, November 22, 2002

Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Miss-the-point Comics.
Pauline Kael's final interviews.
Nothing like not going to a class for awhile, showing up, and finding yourself assigned to do a group presentation that day. Fortunately it was just on a short story (I hadn't read), so I was able to quickly read it and our presentation went well (turns out none of us had read it). It is ridiculous how much I've been skipping class this quarter. I'll be glad when this quarter is over and I can start with a clean slate. Though I must say my classes for next quarter do not thrill me.

Monday, November 18, 2002

Keith Olbermann's mea culpa to ESPN (I didn't know there was actually a sports show called "SportsNight" on ESPN 2).

Saturday, November 16, 2002

Some tasty-sounding polenta recipies, if I ever get around to cooking for myself again.
Articles from back issues of Parking Today. ("With a name like Meyers, you have to park cars!" I don't like the sound (or spelling) of that!)
Some example sentences from a sixth-grade grammer book.
What a gorgeous day. I just got back from lunch, the view was breathtaking. Low tides always seem to make the ocean more interesting, the cove is more reflective and you can see the tips of the kelp forest. And the sky reminds me of when I was a child and would look up and think I was under some Truman Show-esque dome in an alien zoo, a dome which today seemed to be creaking open along the horizon, where the smog line looks like the dark shadows of another world. Or Hawaii, I like to think I'm looking across the ocean. The sunset tonight should be a something, I think I'll walk up to the Scripps Ecological Preserve and watch it after work. Puts me in a good mood. I think I'll go kayaking tomorrow, if it stays nice.
Notable Walkers Veerabadran and Bourglay.

Friday, November 15, 2002

Pee-Wee's latest arrest is upsetting, but at least it is presumable that a man with an extensive collection of vintage erotica and kitch artwork might have one picture that would run afoul of our nation's puritanical laws that can't differentiate between art and exploitation. Jeffrey Jones' arrest, however, is more unsettling. Soliciting a 14-year-old to pose in pornographic pictures is a bit more clear-cut. And I rather like him, his performance in the oft-overlooked Ravenous would have to be his best work. Unfortunate news...and unfortunate that "all I did was take pictures" seems to be the gist of his defense.
Marxist's apartment a microcosm of why Marxism doesn't work.
Next quarter isn't looking to be a lot of fun...but I think, after much trying, I was able to come up with a schedule which works with my work schedule and will actually advance me closer to graduation. I work Tuesday and Thursday, but it seems most of the classes I could use were offered Tuesday and Thursday. Further, all these classes were boring, so the longer twice-a-week sessions would have made them even more unbearable (not that the Mon/Wed/Fri classes were much better; one was actually on the topic of dullness in 19th century literature). And Latin is only offered M/W/F, so I couldn't just swap work with school, because it looked like I'd have to take classes all five days. But I worked it out, I think; I'll take Latin and Geology (!) M/W/F, and Shakespeare Tu/Th mornings until 9:20, and just work it out with work that I'll come in an hour late. I don't anticipate it being a problem, but if for some reason my work won't go for that, I'll take a class on Medieval literature and the Crusades, which will be interesting but will not advance me any closer to graduation (it would help me very much if it was offered under the Literatures in English banner, but instead they call it European Literature which for some reason makes it totally unfit to meet my requirement for one more medieval literature class). I'm not entirely looking forward to next quarter; I'm doing poorly this quarter, with classes I for the most part enjoy and a nice M/W/F schedule. Oh, well.
While the FBI issues warnings regarding a catastrophic attack, the Army is busy firing Arabic translators for being gay. And we're going to go to war in December against a secular Islamic dictatorship, whose performance in the last war made them a punchline on par with the French, just in case Al Qaeda doesn't have enough recruitment material. It's going to be a rough two years, methinks. (Yahoo news seemed awfully depressing today, though at least the Total Information Awareness system is getting more scrutiny).

Thursday, November 14, 2002

William Safire on the latest attack on our civil liberties, coming from a blast from the past.

Tuesday, November 12, 2002

Nice to know war with Iraq is looming, with Bin Laden now believed alive, and Afghanistan being blessed with stability.

Sunday, November 10, 2002

Some fun Hey Arnold! cartoons (there's a marathon, with a new episode, on tomorrow). It's an old link (thanks to the third installment of Lemony Snicket, that its/it's differentiation will no longer haunt my dreams), but Sundays are my cartoon nights (Futurama/Simpsons/King of the Hill/Adult Swim), and it makes my thoughts turn to such matters.

Saturday, November 09, 2002

I don't know why the times are off on my posts...I checked and it is set to Pacific time...if you wanted something as a reference, I am posting this 11/9 at 12:27 PM.
With the somewhat nasty weather last night, I consider myself blessed that I got to drive all over the damn place. I said I would drop Chad off at the airport at 7, so I did that. Then I drove out to James' to play ping-pong (yet another exciting Friday night). Apparently that is all James and Pat do now, is play ping-pong until the wee hours. Then I get a call from Chad, who had agreed to give up his seat on the flight for $260 in credit with Southwest that expires in a year. Doesn't sound like that good a deal considering his friend had driven out to Sacremento to pick him up, and his luggage was already en route. But that was the decision he made, and I agreed to come back and pick him up again. The airport wasn't bad picking him up, but dropping him off the first time was brutal. I wouldn't think Veteran's Day would be that crazy, as three-day weekends go, but it looked like everyone was trying to get away, and the people dropping people off all were absolute morons. It was the first time I really understood why people hate the airport.

Anyway, eventually I got Chad back, and then went and played a rousing game of Spades with James and two people whose names I could not bother to learn (I really need to work on that, for some reason when I hear someone introducing someone it just doesn't occur to me to listen to what they're saying). James and I lost, but only because the other team was able to "shoot the moon" (to borrow a term from Hearts, I don't know if that's what it is referred to in Spades). Spades is fun, I hadn't played it in some time. Playing a card game with teams raises interesting strategies I don't consider when playing poker. I must get a poker night going sometime (which of course here means, "get someone to start a poker night, since it wouldn't be much fun playing poker in my parent's kitchen"). Chad was supposedly going to have one, but seems to have forgotten about it, I'll have to remind him.

First to follow up on my last post, I studied for Latin and did okay on the miniquiz, I think, forgot some macrons, but he usually only takes off about a quarter-point for that sort of nonsense. I have a nice long, long weekend (except for work, of course) to prepare for the next major quiz, and if I get a good grade on that, I have enough of a cushion that, as long as I keep up on the subject reasonably, I will definately pass the course. Planning my next quarter at school depressed me. I planned to complete the Econ sequence and continue Latin, and by doing both it will be impossible to have an all M/W/F or all Tu/Th schedule. Putting off Econ, I eventually developed an all M/W/F schedule, which works the best with work and all, but after reviewing the Literature major requirements, realized that, except for Latin, I would not really advance any closer to a degree with that schedule. So I think I'll end up with one 10:00 class M/W/F, and Econ and Literary Theory on Tu/Th. I absolutely hate the idea of having two such boring classes twice a week, which means they meet for an hour and a half. But I don't know what I can do. Damn, labor me vocat. More later.

Friday, November 08, 2002

Love that rain...took me an hour to get to La Jolla today, ended up missing my first class (which is why I am in the computer lab writing this). Some jackass in a huge truck tried to cut in line on the 8 West getting on the 5 North, I was having none of it. He tried to intimidate me, with his fucking hydralics or something, but I held my ground. I hoped he'd hit me, so he'd have to get out of his truck and I could shove "The Club" up his ass. This is why I don't own a gun, I have rage issues. But no one will convince me that the world would not be better off if that man were dead. I hate driving. Actually, I like driving, I just hate the other cars. Of course, because of the traffic, I now have nothing to do until 3, and I can't hang out underneath my favorite trees because of the weather, so I am going to have to kill a little time in the computer lab, maybe have an early lunch, then try to find a dry yet secluded place to do my Latin homework and study for the mini-quiz we have today. I wished I'd just stayed home until Latin, would've made things easier. But I actually was looking forward to my Lit class today, we were discussing The Cheviot, The Stag, and the Black, Black Oil, which I rather enjoyed and will probably base my final paper for the course on. But no point showing up 20 minutes late, that's rather rude. So now I just have to fill time and hopefully not put off my Latin too long, my grade is really suffering in that class.

Thursday, November 07, 2002

Garrison Keillor on the Minnesota Senate race (subscription required).
So apparently my concerns regarding my first paper for Modern Scottish Literature were unfounded. I got an A/A-, the split grade being something the professor does, apparently, to give him the leeway to change our grade should he not like our future work. Which seems odd, but I won't complain. The professor described my writing style as "cautious but lively." He was also rather forgiving of some major typos I let slip by. So with this latest development, I am now quite hopeful for my grade in Scottish Literature, and plan to work very hard on the main paper for that course, am not too hopeful about Econ, though I got a B+ on the midterm, but I don't really care; as long as I pass, I'll be happy. Latin is the wildcard, but I think I'll swing a B- or so (maybe a B if I shape up, but that won't happen).

Tuesday, November 05, 2002

Quite an election, clearly shows the bankruptcy of the Democratic party. Hopefully this will envigorate the Democratic party, put them back on track as an opposition party. Of course, I don't know if its a good reflection on the voters that Democrats win in New Jersey, despite their blatant cheating, and Gray Davis wins (maybe we'll get some impeachment fun in the next year or two, though not likely with the Democrats controlling the State Assembly and Senate by such wide margins). I voted for Davis, but it really is sickening. Maybe this will shake up the Republicans, too, let them know that if they weren't being led by the nose by the fringe right, they would have won this election handily. I can assure you Riordan would have won (between him and Davis, I'd have voted for him in a heartbeat). But I image its too happy a day for the Republicans to reflect on such matters. Democrats didn't seem to learn from the Newt Gingrich "revolution," lets see if they learn this time. It's not over yet, lets hope Mondale eeks out a victory. Max Cleland lost, that's disgusting. My father asked me whose side I was on this election. The only guy I could come up with was dead. Oh, well. Maybe someone will come out of the woodwork by 2004. Bradley's about the only Democrat presidential possiblity I could see supporting; pretty sad if that's the best they got. But no point worrying about that now.
I have a rich and varied fantasy life. One common daydream involves me being a fairly high-up government official in some alternate universe, who eventually is jailed in a Watergate-esque conspiracy (I would be the John Dean of the story, except I'd serve a year in a medium-security prison). Fortunately, its an alternate universe, so there was no Watergate, so no smartass reporter can dub it Intern-gate or Improper-Tax-Filing-gate, or what have you. This all is probably a sign that there are little red pills nice men in white coats should be administering me, but it does give me something to pass the time. Oh, I also think about that episode of Law & Order where the son frames the father for arson and murder and then the father figures it out and turns on the son. That's gripping drama there. "I remember what it felt like when I realized my father was a sonofabitch," McCoy observes. "I can't imagine realizing I raised one." That's must-see-TV for ya.
I got a C (dangerously close to C-) on my Latin midterm. I didn't think I did too good, but was actually surprised, I totally tanked on the adjective agreement section, which I hoped would boost my grade a bit. I would have done okay, except I forgot the word "deus" is irregular in the plural ablative, and so when I saw "dis," I had no idea what they were talking about, and actually thought, "to the Gods," which would have made sense, but managed to take about 30 minutes on that one question and work it around my brain until it made no sense at all. Time would've been better spent reviewing the rest of the exam and finding other more obvious errors I made. C'est la vie. I'm still in a fairly good position in the class, as long as I do okay on the remaining quizzes, my grade will basically be decided by the final exam. A solid B should be had without too much difficulty. Allowing me to focus my attention on Scottish Literature. I'll get my first paper back tomorrow; I wasn't happy with it, but it was not a paper demanding deep analysis, more a check of basic comprehension of some of the basic concepts of the first novels we read. I'm hoping for a B, I don't deserve better. This paper is only 25% of our grade, the main paper is 50%, and will require a lot more outside research and analysis. So I'm just hoping everything else will come together well enough this quarter that I can devote most of my energy (what little there is) towards that paper. But I think that's enough school talk, my apologies for wasting your time, dear reader.

Monday, November 04, 2002

I'm beginning to feel like the pied there's a mouse running around my parent's house. My dad saw it first, described it as being huge, covered in fur, practically a rat. I just saw it a few seconds ago, its a baby, cute little guy, and he was hopping in a weird way, like he might be sick or poisoned, in which case I don't want Tanner to get a hold of him and get sick himself. So I chased the mouse out of the house, but he was still wandering around outside the door, so I have a feeling he'll make his way back in. Poor guy. Too bad their poop can cause brain damage or something (which I was thinking about as I moved my stuff in storage amongst droppings).
Wilfred Owen was killed by German macine-gun fire on this date in 1918, one week before the Armistice (his mother received the telegram as the bells were ringing). I thought I would post a poem or two in commemoration. Dulce Et Decorum Est Bent double, like old beggars under sacks, Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge, Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs And towards our distant rest began to trudge. Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind; Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots Of disappointed shells that dropped behind. GAS! Gas! Quick, boys!-- An ecstasy of fumbling, Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time; But someone still was yelling out and stumbling And floundering like a man in fire or lime.-- Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light As under a green sea, I saw him drowning. In all my dreams, before my helpless sight, He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning. If in some smothering dreams you too could pace Behind the wagon that we flung him in, And watch the white eyes writhing in his face, His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin; If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs, Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,-- My friend, you would not tell with such high zest To children ardent for some desperate glory, The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori. * * * The Parable of the Old Man and the Young So Abram rose, and clave the wood, and went, And took the fire with him, and a knife. And as they sojourned both of them together, Isaac the first-born spake and said, My Father, Behold the preparations, fire and iron, But where the lamb for this burnt-offering? Then Abram bound the youth with belts and strops, And builded parapets and trenches there, And stretched forth the knife to slay his son. When lo! an angel called him out of heaven, Saying, Lay not thy hand upon the lad, Neither do anything to him. Behold, A ram, caught in a thicket by its horns; Offer the Ram of Pride instead of him. But the old man would not so, but slew his son, And half the seed of Europe, one by one.
I tried to buy some Peanuttles out of a vending machine today, but apparently the machine decided I would rather have Red Vines. I think the machine may have been right.

Sunday, November 03, 2002

I just saw a commercial advising me that if I used Clorox bleach, my child can play with her toys in the toilet. I think that's right up there with the "verbs: It's what you do" commericals (reaching young people with grammer...perhaps it can expand into the war on drugs...instead of "Just say no," its now "Adverbs: they're what you say.") Though I suppose sitting through such inanities is a small price to pay for countless hours of top-notch entertainment.
I ran in the Race for the Cure this morning. 28:42. Granted I didn't get a good start due to the crowd, but still, this course was flatter than the Chanceller's Challenge, and my time has slipped by three minutes. I haven't been feeling good this week, though, and I've been a bit lethargic. Still, I was disappointed with my time, though I actually showed better stamina than the previous run. Perhaps I'll run some of the upcoming runs I got brochures for, like a Thanksgiving 5K for the food bank, a Christmas run for the food bank/toys for tots, and some Embarcadero run apparently raising money for balloon animals (I believe I may pass on that one).

Following the run (and a brief perusal of the booths...100% pure promegranate juice, not a good idea, apparently made for people who think cranberry juice is too indulgent), I proceded to A-1 Self-Storage. Today was the day I had to move upstairs. Fun times. Actually wasn't too bad at all. I managed to do almost all of it myself, in about an hour and a half. A brief interruption while I had to go find a dustpan, after finding a dead mouse (with a copious amount of his "business") which had obviously been there a LONG time. But with that unpleasantness behind me, I got the rest of my stuff upstairs, expect for a heavy endtable, a biggish-screen TV, and a couch. Then Cecily helped me get two of the three upstairs, and then we moved the couch to her house. It was actually a good thing, in a way. I save a month's rent, for one. And it gave me a chance to rearrange everything extensively. I had moved stuff around within my existing space, but by moving to a new unit, I was able to make much better use of my space. Even considering the missing couch, I was able to store the same amount of stuff in about half the space, with the things I am most likely to need readily available. Perhaps I'll move into a smaller unit, but I think the savings would have to be substantial before I'd do that again. So I ran, I moved, and I took a nice bath. And now I'm winding down for a nice Sunday evening of television (Futurama, Simpsons, Adult Swim).

Saturday, November 02, 2002

I've been getting headaches lately, not bad ones, but I never used to get them at all, so it is rather annoying. Probably worrying about my car and school and stuff, I imagine. I saw a shadow puppet show about ants yesterday, that made me happy. Michael Proft is one of a kind. The show wasn't exactly fluid, and it didn't help when they lost a puppet and later set fire to the script, but that all added to the charm. Michael Proft rapping was a sound to behear.

Craig's back from lunch, time to relinquish the computer and go back to The Reptile Room.

Friday, November 01, 2002

The storage facility where much of my belongings currently reside called me the other day. I was sure they were calling to report a burglary, so I was rather relieved when they told me I had to move to another unit due to construction. They would either pay someone to move me, or I could move myself and get a free month's rent. I elected to move myself, more because I didn't want strangers touching my stuff than any economic incentive (though free rent is nice, too). I asked Cecily to help me move stuff (figure it'd be easist to guilt her into it), and ended up giving her my couch. I would've been reluctant before, but now with the car situation and all its obvious I'm not leaving my parents' house for a long time. Going back to school just looks more and more like the most brilliantly bad idea I've had in some time. But that's okay. School itself is okay, if I could just get my act together a bit. And as I've learned in my economics class, the opportunity cost of something is the next best alternative foregone. So I suppose I've foregone my own home and financial sufficency, but really, what was my next best alternative? Staying at a job that was grating on me at an establishment that is now soon to close? I really don't know what other jobs there are that interest me and I am qualified for that would put me in a better financial position than I am now. So basically, I might have been able to choose a path that would let me live apart from my parents, with enough money to meet my needs and stay out of debt, but my life would still suck, so I'll stop my whining.
I read the first book in the Series of Unfortunate Events novels, rather enjoyed it. I had vaguely heard of them before, but I think I just figured they were on the same level as Harry Potter and never bothered to consider them. But the first one, at least, was really quite good. Reminded me of Edward Gorey in spirit. I rather enjoyed the asides to the reader offering practical definitions of certain words (like a post-modern Encyclopedia Brown), and the mysterious author's repeated admonitions to the reader to put away the novel. Nice to see that there's a good popular series of children's books on the market today. Looking forward to reading the next one (though of course I'm still three books behind in my Scottish Lit class and all...but today I'm better off worrying about my Latin exam, Lit can wait for Sunday).