Thursday, December 20, 2007

A Clip Show Trip

Hello folks! I’m back from the trip. Actually I’ve been back for a few days but the Christmas shopping has taken its toll on my blogging time. So, without further adieu, here is my trip in blog form (a very quick rundown):

Day 1: at the airport and Half Moon Bay, or A.K.A. celebrities and a lost boy

First off, I hate the security at the airport. If I had to take any thing else off I wanted tips. Any way, we were waiting for our plane and then the girls started to screetch and shout and in that painful noise were the words “Todd” and “Survivor”. So I guess Todd from Survivor walked by. That drug all the girls across the terminal for a while. Amongst all for that noise, there was the announcer voice saying: “we have a lost child, wearing…” and lucky us, he was sleeping under the chairs right by us, so we waived the police over and all was right with the world for the time being.

Half Moon Bay was amazing. The resort was spectacular and the view right out my window was the beach and cliffs. Very picturesque, so what did I do you might ask? Took pictures, and loved it. We went on the hotel tour and talked with every one and did all the work business, then it was time for dinner. The first thing that I will say about this is that I was very nervous about my manners and such. That was not a problem however. The food was spectacular. After dinner we went out to the patio area of the hotel and had a sort of informal meet and greet with some of the hotel staff. And that I had to be there for, so unfortunately I did not get to see my Aunt L. that evening, but it was still fun. Lots of crazy stories circulated about with every one, some about things that were over heard in the club lounge (including a former Adult Film Star having inappropriate conversations and a girl that was actually from my Optics class there screwing the boss at her work). So the next thing that we did was go to the Club Lounge to get in on some of the interesting happenings, but sadly they were done upon our arrival. So we hung out there until close and had some wine. Then it was to one of the rooms to watch a movie. That lasted approximately 10 minutes. Every one was so tired that the movie had just started and then the party died. I went across the hall to my room and went to bed.

Day 2: Half Moon over to Frisco

The next morning I woke up, went to the Club Lounge for a bite to eat then I went to the patio area to just watch the waves all morning. A very leisurely start to the hectic day. We departed Half Moon Bay and drove to the hotel in San Francisco. The ambiance there was much less laid back, and not as much fun at the property as the other. We had a few hours of free time, and the hotel being only a couple of blocks from China Town, that is where we went. Walking and laughing and buying useless and gross and fun souvenirs. I bought some good tea as well. Fantastic tea in China town. Then it was the usual business of meet and greet hotel staff and tours and the like. After that dinner. The food I was a little disappointed in. Not as good as Half Moon, but still an excellent steak. The free time that evening we went down to union Square and most every one was running and screwing off, spreading the Christmas cheer (or annoyance, either/or). The stores were closed, but the walk/adventure was compleate with pictures and pot smoking bums and a waterfall of piss left by an embarrassed fellow who didn’t know we were about to walk up those stairs.

Day 3: the tour and to home

When we awoke we all met in the club lounge for breakfast. Sometimes I think fancy can get ridiculous. I ate oatmeal out of a martini glass. ‘Nuff said. After breakfast we went on a bus tour of San Francisco. There is not much to say, because most every one reading this has been there done that. The walk on Fisherman’s Warf was fun, and also the home of the next celebrity sighting. The guy was apparently on some rap show on tv that I have never seen, so I will spare you those details as well (just the gardener from “Desperate Housewives”).

Then it was pretty much uneventful all the way home. Now I’m tired, so that’s it. I will fill in more details as they come, but that’s the trip in a nutshell. I will have pictures up soon, and this site looks like it may not provide what I want, so I may just have a link to another site with them.

Good night all.

T

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Dust Settles

Well every one, finals are over. The tests have been taken and the dust is yet to settle. By that I mean the grades have not been posted, so the results are still unknown. They should be good from how I felt about the tests, but I have been tricked before. The Optics test went well I think, and there was miraculously enough time to finish this round. I feel decent about that one. The Calculus test went fine as well, but there were a couple of solutions that popped into my head on my way to the car, but the professor is pretty liberal with partial credit.

I’m here at work till 1am today, then it’s off to San Francisco and Half Moon Bay tomorrow. This is going to be a welcome break. Though it is a work trip I actually have to take tours and learn things about the hotels, but there is free time. Those latter two words are rarely in my vocabulary, so I plan on using it to its full extent. I am going to bring my camera so there will be a new round of pictures to show every one on my return. At night I plan on reading, then some reading and after that more reading. I am currently working on Beowulf. I am a little ashamed to admit that it was the movie that made me want to read it. Now you are probably thinking the same thing. “What a poser” are probably your thoughts right now; but let me explain. I did enjoy the movie, although when I was watching it I was thinking “this is good, but if the poem has been around for hundreds of years, this can’t be all there is to it.” And I was right. The book is fantastic. Much better than the movie (of course). There is one thing that you will have to keep in mind though; it is very quick and not much detail (it is technically a “poem”).

And most of you (who care) are now also wondering “weren’t you just reading Don Delillo’s Falling Man?” The awnswer is yes, so let’s do a book review now shall we:

Falling Man by Don Dellilo. This book was great from cover to cover. As I have said before, Delillo’s books are not to be read for action or plot, because frankly both suck. The best thing is the way he writes. The term “wordsmith” is rarely used, but perfectly fitting here. The book is about the changes in peoples lives after 9/11 and that’s all. The book however discusses the concept of individuality and how we go from a collective group to the outside of that group, and the steps we take back and fourth. Also the routines and repetitions that we do on a daily basis, that bring us to a sense of normalcy, and the breaking or changing of those. The two concepts are most heavily contrasted by the character Keith, one of the survivors of the falling towers, and Hammond, a fictitious terrorist that hijacks one of the planes. In addressing the two issues he points out the loss and gain of the “self” or individual that we have when we are part of a mess of information and just manes and numbers, to being outside of that and what we find in ourselves there. Fantastic read if I don’t say so myself, and I do.

T

Monday, December 10, 2007

On The Eve Of Battle...

Good evening everyone. I have some slow time here at work, so I figure I will give everyone the usual check in. Yes, I do have a final tomorrow, but I have studied so much I think my brain is actually full. Grey Matter real-estate is at an all time high with premium mental interest rates. For those of you who I have not complained about this to yet, my study guide for Optics is 170 pages long. That is just the study guide. That is not a study guide; that is technically a novel if you as me. Or a text book in its own right.

Needless to say I have not been outside very much in the last few days. I have been walled up in my little study hole pretty much non-stop. I do feel ready for the test however, so “bring it on” I say, “I have studied for you, and you will know you were in a fight, that’s for sure”. The test is tomorrow, and then I have a day and a half to get ready for the next final on Wednesday. After that I am free. Free for a couple of weeks, then to do it all over again. Only a few more semesters to go then I am done. The light is at the end of the tunnel and approaching rapidly. The only thing after that is to decide what to do with the rest of my life, which is a good situation to be in. Or maybe not, considering the gravity of the choices at hand. I have never known exactly what I want to do with the rest of my life, so the choices are many. Maybe.

I am also on the recovering end of the sniffles. If that is not a typical pain in the ass of the season I do not know what is. It started in my sinuses, and went to my chest. Try not to be too envious, because I can get you one for Christmas if you want. In fact I think that is what Santa’s “lump of coal” is referring to. A metaphor of the cruelest kind. When you think about it, coal in winter is not a bad gift, because you can heat it to make you warm. So, I believe that this “lump of coal” is actually the Flu. That’s right- if you are a bad kid, Santa will come and empty his nose in your face while you are sleeping. Isn’t that worse? I thought so. And being that everyone gets sick around the holidays, does that mean that we were all bad at one point? Very likely I think.

I have had so many cough drops that my skin drips of Hall’s Vapor Action. I now move about in a fine mist of relief, save maybe the dogs to whom I am Tear-Gas in hair gel. The Flu and getting sick go hand in hand in with the word “winter” my head. That’s not the only thing mind you, I do find other thoughts associated with winter. So let’s try some free association shall we:

Winter- snow and snot rags.

Christmas- caroling, presents and snot rags. Oh, and family and pajamas.

New Years- snot rags and hang-overs (I mean, just he Flu Mom).

Skiing- frost on my skin. (No snot rags that time, but sure to follow).

Snow- irritation (shoveling, driving in and getting everything covered in). And snot rags.

Thanksgiving- turkey, gaudy sweaters, little children (just from the extended family, you know the screeching and diapers making life hell below the knees?), snot rags.

Christmas shopping- slippery parking lots at the mall and other people’s snot rags.

Snot rags- snot rags.

Notice a little pattern? Me too. I will be glad to see the spring rains. Now its off to home, to get sleep for the big day tomorrow, and study more the next. I shall let all of you know the outcome.

T

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

End of the Semester and Other Stuff

Good afternoon/evening/morning every one. There is a lot to say and not a lot to say, depending on how bored you want to be. Tomorrow is my last day of actual classes, then the dreaded finals ensue. So lets go over the last of the school checklist for the next few weeks shall we:

Calculus III- this class is winding down, however there is only one actual day left, and he still has a bit to lecture on. Not only that, the professor also is planning a quiz on the last day. That’s right, you heard me, the last day. How bad is that? This course is getting poor reviews from me, rest assured. In fact, I think that all of my classes this semester will be getting bad reviews. This has been an unnecessarily bad semester, due to disorganized professors.

Modern Optics I & II- the final lecture was today, and tomorrow will be a quick review of what to expect on the final. This is probably the hardest course I have taken to date. This is good, but this professor also has a home work assignment due on the day of the final. Classes are over mind you, and we still have home work. B.S. I say! B.S.! but there is nothing to be done about that now. Just complain later. Other complaints fall on deaf ears.

Lab for PS & E II- done. That’s the last of it. Just a quiet exit.

Now for other things. The term “burned out” fails to describe my current state of being. I am in great need of a break. And thank you to From Russia with Love and my parents who in recent days have had to put up with my ornery attitude and lack of energy, and also show me never ending support no matter how grumpy and tired and brain fried I may be. After finals my attitude will improve (hopefully, unless it dwindles more under the thought of a new semester a couple of weeks over the horizon) and we can all enjoy the holidays. Right after finals I am going on a company trip to San Francisco where I will meet up with my Aunt L. and also get pampered Ritz-Carlton style (I say style, because those hotels are nothing but and this entire trip is comped!). From Russia with Love will not be able to join me unfortunately be cause it is technically a “work trip” and she is no longer employed there. I will have enough fun for the both of us Hon, I promise!

Movies:

I went to No Country for Old Men. This movie was fantastic to say the least. And for every one that is going to see this movie and has not yet, the following may contain spoilers. Fist off, one of the fundamental things about westerns is the lawlessness and the gun slinging “wild wild west” type of setting they are all in is an essential part of this movie. I need to state the obvious because of the creative genius that this movie takes with it. In western movies the hero, usually a sheriff or marshal or some sort of law man, is fighting the people who are the “lawless” and “wild” terrorizing the innocent, but at the same time when he brings order he is also bringing about the end of his “era” to say. Moreover he is creating his own obsolescence, driving this “era” into the modern and civilized where his type of justice is no longer needed, instead you have courts and trials and not shootouts for example. All of this is important in understanding Tommy Lee Jones’ character. The movie sort of starts of on that kind of a note with the narrator, a friendlier and better time having past. Tommy Lee Jones’ character is a sheriff in 1980 Texas on the trail of a man who stumbled across a large amount of money in the aftermath of a drug deal gone bad in the desert, and also the killer after him trying to reclaim the money, and all sorts of moral ambiguity follow. The flexibility of morals, or just the definition of what is right and wrong, are in stark contrast to Jones’ character. His past time of good and bad being in black and white are gone, and the man he is trying to protect (Moss) is motivated only by greed, or is it a finders keepers type of idea he has? Or is it wrong to steal from bad people? Either way, he is a sort of protagonist in the story that we are rooting for (sort of), even though having essentially stolen the money from dangerous people and therefore his morality is also blurred (or is it? when and from who, is stealing acceptable?) . The killer also inhabits his own morality and code of ethics, which makes sense only to him in his crazy mind, and you finally have a comparison between “crazy” and “normal” ethics, and the blurred lines in between. The sheriff (Jones) is the only one with a traditional sense of good and bad, and is merely an observer of the events that unfold, and how he finally realizes that he is now “obsolete”. There is also the power struggle of the “hunter” and the “hunted” that goes on interchangeably with all of the characters in the film, and you are wondering the whole time who will come out on top? And to me, the final realization is that you are now wondering (in Jones’ character’s shoes): with people being as bad as they are, does it matter?

That will do it for me tonight folks. I must now retreat to books and study for my quiz tomorrow. The last day of class. Ugh.

T

Saturday, December 1, 2007

The Friday Evening/Satudray Morning Post

Happy Friday folks. It’s the end of the week for me, and only three days left of classes. The finals are still on the horizon, however the “not having class” thing will give me enough time to prepare.

Work is a little heavier this week. The actual work is slow (hence my blogging) but there was a girl here who got demoted and we had to divvy up her shifts, and I got a couple of them. So needles to say, I’m here more than I planned on but I do have a bit of free time.

Time for the check list:

Modern Optics I & II- the make up alb was today. The one I chose to make up was a really easy one (not because I just wanted to. It was my lowest score. But I had done a less that wonderful job on the report) so it took me about 2 and a half hours instead of the normal four and a half or more. And the score should be excellent (I have learned a lot about lab reports since then).

Calculus III- blah. Nothing exciting or note worthy since my last post.

The “No RockStar” thing is spectacular. I have not had a drop since the original post. And honestly I feel much better. No crash from the energy drinks, and I am more alert and functional. I also sleep a bit better. That’s always a plus.

And back to the original subject of this post. The school to work and home to sleep then over again routine has got me very burned out. Speaking of burning out- I’m done for the night. More tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Bad Weather and Good Times

Well folks, its one of those days just after the snow storm when every thing out side is covered in slush (snow’s retarded cousin). The kind of slush that you look out the window at and just feel wet up to your knees and the overwhelming distaste for the outdoors sets in and walking from place to place seems the biggest chore. The only practical solution, sitting inside and reading with a warm cup of tea, is the only one that is not do-able.

There is a lot of material to cover so let’s get started shall we. I think school first:

Lab for PS & E II- the actual labs are finished up. There is a make up that I will be attending next week. Not because I have to mind you, just so I can replace a bad score that I got. Just a little bit to help my grade.

Calculus III- this class situation is interesting. The quiz scores that I have are pretty good, although we had one today that leaves a little to be desired but the rest are satisfactory. The mid-term grades are all fine and acceptable. The only thing that is left is the final, and that has me a little nervous. Every thing else here is just tedious typing that you may just glaze over.

Modern Optics I & II- this class has been whooping me from side to side and front to back. Fortunately I think that I have been doing a good job of whooping back. The test results still have yet to come back, but I feel fairly confident in them. The final grade should be good, final exam permitting. The labs for this course have finally ended. That puts me in an indescribable state of glee. The last one has been turned into a lecture/demo, so it will be an easy full credit. There is also a make up section for this one as well which I also plan on attending, just to boost my scores. This one will be nicer (having done the lab itself already) and significantly less painful.

Other things- they have been going well. From Russia with Love is doing fine, just working and off on her little adventures in between her two jobs and time with me (which she does not get much of, and when it’s there its mostly just eating and sleeping. This will be improving as well in the coming weeks sans-school).

Thanksgiving was fantastic. We went to my Aunt M’s place in Heber and relaxed and enjoyed the company of family and friends. It was good to see all of my cousins again, hear the crazy stories they have, of a life more exciting that mine. The up side to that is when I am done with school that will improve. Well, I can’t say more exciting because I like my shoes, and would not want to walk in theirs. I just find other peoples lives fascinating at times.

We also went to see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra last night. From Russia with Love and I got to the restaurant very early to hold a table for the rest of the party that was all arriving from work, and within about an hour the all finally trickled in. then after dinner we went to the show. The light show was spectacular. So many bright colors. The music was good as well. It brings to mind a question that I have pondered many times: what could make classical music better? The answer is a thundering base and flames. The stuff they had at first I was a little un-impressed with, but over all the show was good.

And now movies. I have been to a couple since I last updated, so here we go:

Beowulf: the movie was entertaining. The only complaint that I have is with the CGI. The entire movie was animated, but not in the usual way. What they did is put the actors in blue suits and had them act the movie, then they went through and filled in every thing with the computerized cartoons, or computertoons as a have come to call it (the actual process is called motion capture). The draw backs are that a lot of the acting they did through the facial expressions is a little lost, and the eyes seem to be staring off into no space like they are blind (a bit more distracting in 3D, because I wanted to peek over my shoulder a couple of times to see what they were looking at). That is a little detracting, but the 3D is cool, especially with the dragon at the end. That was awesome. Apperantly the story line was changed up a bit, but knowing the changes they made, it was for a better movie. To leave it unchanged and true to the book (as I understand the story to be, I have not read it yet) would drag the movie out for another hour or so, with more cast to deal with, and a lot more history of the current characters. If nothing else, it had Angelina Jolie’s ass in 3D. I smell an Oscar for that alone.

Hitman: the trend of making video games into movies is one that I am liking. The lack of originality in movies lately is staggering almost. With the video games there is an over-the-top weirdness that comes with them, specifically a more in depth (and tacky at times) storyline. This can make for a good movie. This one had lots of good action with a vary stylized type of film making that brought the video game feel to screen very nicely. Definitely not a thinker type of movie, but lots of shoot’em up spy caper fun.

That will do it for me this evening folks. Work is a harsh mistress, and now she beckons.

T

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Quick and The Busy

Well I ended up with a few minutes to kill here at work, so I figured I would update this thing at least once more before Thanksgiving.

There is not a lot to say. From Russia with Love’s play King Lear closes tonight. That will make her happy. Don’t get me wrong, she loves acting, but this has been a little stressful for her. I took her flowers after the play last night. I always thought that was supposed to be a tradition for closing night. Boy oh boy how incorrect I was. Apparently it is kosher to bring them at any time you attend the play. So when I went and sat through the thing I showed with no sorts of greenery. How embarrassing. But at least I brought them at some point right? Sometimes it’s the thought that counts.

We are going to see Beowulf tomorrow night, and I am thoroughly excited about that. I will let you all know what I think (of course, isn’t that all I do here?).

And school is just dandy as hard candy. The test I had in calculus went “so-so”, or let’s just say that I am thankful for partial credit. Optics has a test on Wednesday that has got me stressed out of any sort of common sense. I can’t even think about it without messing my shorts.

That will just about do it for me folks. I hope I can write again before the holiday, but no promises.

T

Thursday, November 15, 2007

All Quiet on the Cold Front (sort of)...

I know I haven’t updated in a long while, but school has got me sooo busy in this last little while my head is spinning in 10 directions at once. That and it's been getting progressively colder, which just makes me want to do nothing at all but sit home with a hot cup of tea and read.

School is going well, Optics is almost done. I have an exam next Wednesday and a calculus exam this Friday, with all sorts of home work in between. The classes have been running behind, so all the professors are just trying to cram in as much as they can before the Thanksgiving Holiday, so they will be up to speed when we return for the last few weeks of class.

The Modern Optics labs that I love oh so much (if you’re sarcasm bells aren’t ringing off the hook right now, please have them inspected) are being cut short. That last part was not sarcasm, the professor is so far behind he dropped the last two labs that we have to do because there is no way he will be caught up with his lectures in time for us to do them. And now, I only have one left. This is the sigh of relief and joy that will be heard (and read) for miles around.

The other classes are just plain busy. Not behind mind you, just packed. Calculus III is getting me a little bogged down, and the lab for PS & E II is as usual, however they are getting into the optics portion of that lab, and already having a more advanced optics course, that is almost a cake walk now.

Other things are going well. There is not much to report on in my home life (it’s comatose for the time being). From Russia with Love and I watched Big Trouble in Little China. If you have not seen this movie and happen to be a fan of tacky badly acted poorly written giddy fun this is a must see. It is hilarious. And rather weird too, with all sorts of happenings going on without explanation, but loads of mind numbing fun. I used to think this movie was cool in my younger years, and now upon the revisitation, I am re affirmed in my liking, just for different reasons. Ahh, good times.

That will do it for me tonight folks. More later, but not much more until Thanksgiving. Hope this will be enough to tide you over until the Holiday.

T

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Reviews and Various Acedamia

To be frank there will not be much here. I have just studied my brains out my ears and am extremely tired and brain dead. School is going well if you all were wondering, and the other things are running and/or dragging in the same fashion.

I went to see From Russia with Love in King Lear. It was an excellent performance and a good time was had by all. The festivities of my Dad’s birthday were fun, and I hope he is planning on putting his new coffee grinder to good use. If not, then I will. From Russia with Love also got a mention in the news paper for her performance in King Lear. Very cool I know, because of all the supporting cast they could have brought up, it was her and the opinion was good (meaning I don’t have to egg anyone’s car).

I also went and saw American Gangster. It was a decent movie, worth watching once. Maybe again if the mood strikes me, but I am not going to run out and buy it. The movie is based on a true story of a heroin dealer in Harlem in the 1960’s and 70’s who imports the popular poppies in the caskets of dead soldiers. It was a ‘rags to riches’ American dream type story, or the darker side of, hence the title American Gangster. The cop shows the other darker side to the American dream by living a ‘life gone to pieces’ type scenario. This is not a new idea, or the best incarnation in my opinion. It followed the rise and fall of the drug lord very formulaically leading to the disappointing end. Ridley Scott is a hit and miss with me to begin with, so just consider my opinion bias in case you enjoyed the film. To its credit it did have a lot of good action and performances by other actors that stole some scenes. Other than that: blah.

Now for school updates:

Calculus III- there was a quiz on Wednesday, and I whooped its ass. That’s about all there is to tell there.

Modern Optics I & II- this course is getting more and more frustrating. The lectures are getting more convoluted and the labs more and more disorganized. In another point of fact, I am getting tired of complaining about it.

Lab for PS & E II- once again I was stuck with Pud John Paul Jackass this week. Luckily for me though, we had an optics session this time in this course and having the above class, I was able to do the ENTIRE lab sans help from him. That is a good thing because I know I did it right (it was much less advanced than the other course) and I knew the material well enough to put him in his place when he started his pissings.

That will do it for me today. And by the way, I have been typing this entry for about two days (I couldn’t get enough time to finish it earlier) so if there is a little discontinuity in the post that is why. Good night all.

T

Saturday, November 3, 2007

A Little Of Everything

Once again there is not much to go on today. I really should stop starting my blog out with that. Because I always wonder how I end up typing so much when I say that.

First off I would like to wish my Dad a happy birthday today. He is officially the world’s oldest living pre-historic mammal. Just kidding Dad, I love you and happy birthday. And thank you to Bubbles (she likes that nickname) for covering the last part of my shift today so I can partake in the birthday festivities this evening. We are going to have a family dinner and see From Russia with Love’s play. She is in Shakespeare’s “King Lear”. I will post my review of that later. That’s it on the family side, so let’s get started with school:

Calculus III- going well, I got the results of the quiz that I took on Wednesday and the results were better than expected. There is another one this Wednesday and a mid term on the rise, so I will keep everyone posted on those as well. The material has gone from vectors to integration. That’s all I am going to say about that now.

Modern Optics I & II- this is going ok for now. There are my usual grievances with the lab portion, but I think you are all tired of hearing about that (Mom). Just kidding. However, I do get tired of my own complaints about that.

Other stuff- that news story I told all of you about on Yahoo news? Remember the chupacabra? Remember how I said to take it with a grain of salt? I should have said a tablespoon or a bowl of salt. Apparently the Biologists at Texas State University have identified it as a regular old coyote. It was still a fun news story to follow though, as disappointing as the results may be.

There is a movie that came out recently that I have been wanting to see. It has Russell Crowe and Denzel Washington. I am not a big fan of either actor as talented as they may be, but this movie looks good in spite of their shortcomings. There have also been a few more postings of pictures from the next Batman movie. And I have to say I am really excited about it. Especially the Joker. One of the original creators of the carachter creators has been hired on as a consultant, and Heath Ledger said that he was not going to simply copy Jack Nicholson’s version, but take it in a different direction. (giggles of joy)

That will do it for me today folks. Stay tuned. Same Bat-time, same Bat-blog.

T

Thursday, November 1, 2007

All Hallow’s Eve

The day after Halloween, and as usual: not much sleep. And today seems much worse that normal, I just can’t get my brain to function correctly, my eyes to not want to close and the over-all sluggish feeling that I am dragging myself from location to location. However my fingers are doing well from key to key so I will do all the blogging that I can without moving from place to place.

Last night- From Russia with Love had to do her play for the better part of the evening. So trick-or-treating with her younger siblings was out (that was out anyway due to the Zealotous underhanded dealings of her eldest sister). So sans plans for the evening I contacted my buddy Dubs whom I haven’t seen in quite a while. We sat around his pad and caught up on old times, watched a cool movie and South Park. After we had hung out for a while From Russia with Love called me to let me know that her play was out and she would meet me at my house. I departed Dubs’ pad and went home to spend some time with her before the day was through.

Halloween is my favorite holiday, and I need to start planning the festivities a little farther in advance. This time though I did do at least one thing original. From Russia with Love and I went to eat at E Jo. It is a very cool restaurant, and much better than it looks from the exterior. The food was spectacular. We ordered a spicy plate of stir fried something or other (the menu didn’t even have an English translation that I could see) that had octopus. For those of you who have never eaten octopus, it is an interesting experience. The tentacles were about as big as my finger, with the suction cups and all. It has a very smooth and tough texture, but when you bite into it, then it has a very bland seafood type flavor and extremely chewy. They might have cooked rubber bands for all I know, but it was good.

The movie at Dubs’ house was Behind The Mask: The rise of Leslie Vernon. It was an absolutely hilarious mock-umentary type movie with an inter view with the “horror movie slasher” character, documenting his daily routine. The chuckles were frequent, and good. After the movie we watched some South Park. It was the "Imaginationland trilogy" episodes which were laugh out loud funny as well.

School is just school, and I am in no mood to talk about that today. The Optics class is moving along slowly but surely, and the dreaded lab is tomorrow. Calculus III leaves a little to be desired lately, but there is still room for improvement.

That will just about do it for me today folks. From Russia with Love is going to spend the morning sky diving. I will let every one in on her sky adventures later. Also, I have not been keeping track of the days that it's been since I have had a RockStar, but the resolution is going well. I have not had any and feeling great, with the exception of this morning.

T

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Filler Material

To be honest there hasn’t been much to update thus far. Over the weekend I worked, Monday I went to school, got a hair cut and did homework, and today is work and school. I work until 9pm, and then I am planning on staying here to study, because it’s one of those less distracting environments than home. So who knows how long I will actually be here. I’m thinking around 11pm, or later. After that I am going to be taking From Russia with Love some food, because she will be at her rehearsal till midnight or later.

Well, since there is not much to update in the personal life area, we will fill in on the scholastic portion.

Calculus III- quiz tomorrow. That’s one of the things that I am going to be burning the late evening oil to get ready for. The rest of the lectures are getting into the double and triple integral stuff. Exciting I know.

Modern Optics I & II- the test results came back today. Recall that the test was 27days ago. Not very timely feedback if you ask me. The results were less that expected, however he is going to let us take it home (or in my case work tonight) to correct what we did wrong for partial credit. That should raise the bar a bit. That is fair as well in my opinion, being that no one finished the test in the allotted time.

Lab for Scientists and Engineers II- the lab was quick and painless today. The good lab partner was there today, and the lab was simple as well, so we actually finished in about a third of the time. The subject was lame, just induced electric currents. If you really want to know what that is; they are big words for boring.

Other Things- the RockStar Prohibition is in full swing and going well (not a single drop). I will admit that I have been drinking more coffee and soda; however the combined two only have about a fourth or so of the caffeine of a 24oz RockStar, and none of the other crap that pollutes the energy drinks. The most important aspect of this is: how am I feeling, and am I feeling better? Well, yes. I have not felt physically bogged down at all, and I still have a desire for a nap every now and then, but who doesn’t? The rest is significantly shorter too, so yes, I am feeling better. Still no exercise though, but that routine will come soon enough. One change at a time.

T

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Time For A Change

I was in the mall earlier today getting some new sunglasses, and a salesman from a cell phone kiosk approached me. I was walking by, and he stepped up to me and said: “excuse me sir, can I ask you a question?” to which I replied: “no”. But don’t you think it is odd that he already asked me a question to begin with? I certainly do, it’s just a little redundant.

I know what I am about to say will come as a surprise to a lot of you. So prepare yourselves, the following announcement is so shocking it is not for the elderly or those with heart conditions: I have decided to give up RockStars. I know what you are thinking, “did some one hack into his blog and decide to pull a prank on us?” No, I just want to pursue a healthier lifestyle. I want to be more active and in better shape, and hopefully that will give me more energy for my long days. I am sick of being tired all the time and merely functioning in the fog of a self induced insomnia. All of the stimulants in the RockStars do help for a short while, but then I am ready for a nap that I cannot take (because of the caffeine I just can’t sleep). Hopefully getting rid of that and more exercise will increase the longevity of my mental and physical stamina. However here is my disclaimer: I love coffee and tea. Those I will not give up. Just consume them in smaller amounts. It’s not just the caffeine in the RockStars that do this to me; there are many other stimulants in there such as Taurine, Ginseng, and biblical proportions of B-vitamins and such. That is what I need to be away from. I will let all of you know how this goes, especially after a long day, short night and long day again when the can tempts me, that 24oz cylinder of delicious liquid, composed of chemicals nearly a narcotic in strength. That brings me to another problem: my tolerance. I have a caffeine tolerance so high that I have to consume 24oz of RockStar, a cup or two of coffee and a few Coke-a-Colas just to meet my physical quota. All of this is on a daily basis. Shocking I know, that much in a single day could kill an ox or anything smaller in size. I figure it’s best to quit while I’m ahead, instead of going through a multiple organ failure. That does have me concerned slightly now as well, you realize, just because I have been living like this for so long. This is not a rock bottom, a sobbing confession or a requirement for a weekly meeting. I just want to try something different. And I will miss my high tolerance; it is actually something that I am proud of. I am about to join the ranks of the wussies. Moreover demote myself to the likes of those I used to laugh at, the ones who look spun on Meth after a can of Pepsi. Ugh, the humanity. That’s all for today folks. I just can’t muster any more (stupid RockStars).

T

Friday, October 26, 2007

Mayhem: From Labs To The Big Screen

To be honest with all of you, I'm not in much of a mood to be blogging this evening. I just thought it would be a nice break from doing whatever it was that I was doing a moment ago- which was nothing. Yes in deedy this evening is another break for me. I do have things that need to be done this weekend, but I have two days to do them. Only one could possibly be done at this time of night and that is home work. To be honest my brain is way too tired to be toiling with the likes of that weight at this hour. So I shall fill every one in on my day, and as usual, our opening act is school:

Calculus III- doing the Max and Min of functions with two or more variables, and frankly it’s messy. Lots of side calculations and time consuming, ink wasting, mind numbing good times. Yes, that’s right you read me (if I said you heard me and you thought you did you should see a doctor) correctly, I do actually enjoy this from time to time. I am a nerd. It is a badge that I display proudly whenever and wherever I get the chance to let some one know I am smarter that they are (it does happen frequently and everywhere). I just get worn down by daily grinds and good time being shoved down my throat. More-over: cake is not as good if you are choking on it. “Let them eat cake” is an under statement, it should actually be: “when his mouth is full, bend him over”. That ladies and gentlemen is how the institutes of higher learning treat you. And when you are out, you hope it is worth it. I certainly do (actually it damn well better be, or there will be truoble).

Modern Optics I & II- as promised last time, here is the whining complaining and oh- so aggravating details of my lab this week: I let my laser warm up so there wasn’t any confusion there, and the first section went surprisingly well. The latter part was another story. What we had to do was observe some polarized light in a couple of different syrups. And by syrups, they were glass cylinders filled with a sugar solution. Keep that in mind. The light was linearly polarized, passed through this stuff, and polarized again, with a blotch on a viewing screen (the ‘blotch’ was actually the incandescent lamp bulb filament focused through all of that with a lens of about 48mm). them when you rotate the second polarizer the colors change. And it really works, you rotate and there is a different color of the rainbow with every turn, it’s pretty cool. However, the problem comes when they asked me (and the rest of the class) to explain why. The answer is that the sugar molecule has a helical structure and as the laser light hits the molecule, the electrons oscillate in the helical pattern and radiate the light out in different directions. Do you think they bothered to mention a damn thing about the structure of the sugar molecule in the lab manual? No. and was Shanghi- Sue the TA any help? No. all the sudden I had to learn chemistry, with no hint from anyone, except listening to other student’s spill the beans under the TA’s hushes. Now, enough of that.

Time for my movie review: 30 Days of Night. I finally went to see it after a few other attempts failed by unforeseen circumstances. The movie started out well, with the character introductions and ‘histories of left for later in the movie’, and foreshadowing galore. It follows a small town sheriff and quirky and weird and the on edge survivors of the town over run by vampires for a month. Good golly did it have gluttonous amounts of gore. The acting and writing left a lot to be desired, even for a horror movie. In fact, the female lead only seemed to have one tacky line in the film: “I’m going with you”. Which was promptly followed by another voice: “No, it’s too dangerous, you stay here.” Painful isn’t it? The movie was peppered with a lot of that crap. The action and suspense was good, and so were the special effects (the gore, THE GORE! Hehehe). There was also the Renfield character, the guy betraying his own kind to save his neck, and gets a sort of Stockholm syndrome from them, but ends up morally conflicted and sad, and doesn’t see the end of the film. And don’t try and give me that ‘you just ruined it for me’ crap, because if you couldn’t see that coming I’m surprised you haven’t been hit by a bus or two. Back to the movie: now the vampires. Why is it that every time there is a vampire on the screen they have to be hissing or screeching or snarling or any combination of those? Yes they have fangs, but not Down-syndrome; they can close their mouth from time to time. Please. I get tired of just the teeth. C’mon people please get a little more creative. There really is a little more to work with I promise, and it’s not scary- it’s dumb and tacky. The best part of the movie was the ending, and I do not mean that in a negative way. That was clever and an interesting way to end a vampire flick. I really was surprised with that. Not the best however, just different. All in all this was a so-so. Not terrible, but wait for the dollar theatre.

Now I am going to go up and read for the remainder of the evening. I’m still working on Don DeLillo’s Falling Man. It’s pretty good so far, and I enjoy reading him so much I am going to take as long as I can to get through this book. I even read the same paragraph two or three times just for kicks. Its that good. And tomarrow I will be a little busier. Until then folks I leave you with these inspirational words:

“Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday” – Anonymous (probably, or maybe I just forgot)

T

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A Mental Re-Bound

What can I say? Work and school have had me in knots and 3 places at once, all requiring 4 hands and 2 brains. So It is going to be a little short today.

Work is going well, they doubled our work load on one of our duties. That is going to make it a little harder to do homework and blog here. Just when I get some free time. I may have to start blogging somewhere else. That’s all there is to tell about work today, so lets get started on school:

Calculus III- the test went fairly well. The only thing I can gripe about on that is the study guide. The professor gave us a sheet to go over, and the biggest portions on that paper were the smallest on the test, and the smaller “blurbs” were half of the exam. Needless to say, there were area’s that I under studied for. I’m just thankful for partial credit. Also on that subject, I think he did that because most of the material is not that difficult and you can’t have 40 A’s on a curve. It just doesn’t work that way. Still a little under-handed in my opinion.

Lab for PS & E II- the competent lab partner has returned. He didn’t withdraw as I had previously thought- just slept through the alarm clock a few too many times. So the lab went well. This time it was calculating the electron charge to mass ratio by accelerating them through a helium filled glass bubble. It was pretty cool looking, not very unlike the picture here on my blog. It was nice to have some one who knows what they are doing, and not dragging dead weight around (this means you Pud John Paul Jackass!).

Modern Optics I & II- the labs are grueling and this new section we are getting into has got my head spinning. The home work that I did Monday and Tuesday took me ‘I don’t know how many hours’ instead of the usual 2. And the lab is coming up Friday, so I will un-doubted-ly be able to fill much of this page with all sorts of drawn out pissings and moanings.

Other stuff- last night my goal was to do a grand lot of nothing and give my brain a rest. Mission accomplished. Tonight I am going to try again to go see 30 Days of Night. For those of you who are not familiar with what that is (I’m guessing most of you- except From Russia with Love- who I have a feeling is dreading to see it- I love you honey, hehehe) is a new movie about vampires that word of mouth speaks well of in high volumes. I will let all of you know what I thought, moreover give you an e-Piece-of-my-mind here on my e-soapbox.

T

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Scholastic Problems of All Sorts.

Today is work all day, so like the last blog entry I will just fill you all in on Friday. The day started out well and ended well, but everything in between was less than fantastic. It was mostly school. And that was the irritating portion. Allow me to elaborate:

Calculus III- The quiz results came back and they were acceptable. What is unacceptable is the test I have next week. Only a couple of weeks after the last one we have another, and all on material that is relatively new, so one can not merely ‘brush-up’ on it, I have to sit and study. The sitting and studying I do not mind so much, it’s just the horrendous hours that this bit is going to take. The entire time I will be cursing the professor’s name because of the lack of notice.

Modern Optics I & II- this course is going relatively ok. The ‘relatively’ in that last sentence, and the doubt in the truthfulness it brings, stems from the lab section. The lectures are good, even fun sometimes. The lab is an entirely different story. Be prepared everyone, this is going to be a venting of an other-worldly scale: I hate the lab, and I know hate is a strong word, but it is a little to watered down for the detest I have for the doddering old skeleton with skin and his half-assed written lab manual. This is more that a ‘hate’ ladies and gentlemen. This is 101 proof aggravation from a frustration beyond any other that I have known in years. I challenge the history books to find a better example, save a world war or something of the like. ‘Why would you dislike that so much?’ you might ask of me. Well, the lab manual as mentioned above is terribly written. The description of the experiments is so bad that after you read it, you have no idea what you are supposed to do. No idea how to set up the equipment, no idea how to use some of the equipment (there are portions that say: see page “blank” for instructions, then I turn to said page only to find something completely different. I ask the TA where to find the information and it’s some where else entirely), and when the whole class has the same problem with the equipment, they just say “start over”. Which means that you have just wasted about a third of your time.

Now I’m tired of complaining, so how about we take a look at the news to see the reason why we’re all going to Hell in a Hand-basket this time. Here are two stories I found interesting:

Sex-Ed and then some- The AP press did a story on how our public schools are plagued with sexual predators. The problem is that the instances are rarely reported, and the teachers that are committing these crimes are only dismissed from their positions- and take up teaching jobs elsewhere only to propagate the problem. The entire report was lengthy, and rather boring. However it does not surprise me, because there were stories of such events even when I was a wee lad and in the high school. You can check out the story here: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071020/ap_on_re_us/teacher_sex_abuse;_ylt=ApttwlZNl3NS9Kk3N8pLfp6s0NUE

Dumbledore is a wizard and a fairy? J.K. Rowling pushed the wizard teacher out of the closet during a Q&A session with some of her fans. Apparently she was asked “Will Dumbledore ever find true love?” and the author replied: “Dumbledore is gay.” That is an odd response I think. Does she mean that gay people never find true love? Or was she waiting for some one to ask the question regarding the old fart’s orientation, didn’t get the desired inquiry, and was trying to throw the ‘queer’ bit of information out there by any means? And she later said that he had apparently killed him earlier or something to that effect. I honestly could never get into the books or movies. "Out-us Closet-us!"-haha (c'mon you knew that was coming). You can check out the story here: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071020/ap_on_en_ot/books_harry_potter;_ylt=AocxX3VGzLPYK6p0oDpHvy2s0NUE

On another note: isn’t it odd that these two stories came out at the same time? Is it a coincidence? Or is Dumbledore a ‘fan’ of Harry Potter as well? Makes you think a bit doesn’t it (Is a wizard considered clergy? Because that would just make things worse). Or maybe you know that I juxtaposed the both of them for a laughable bit of reading.

Happy weekend everyone.

T

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Busy Days and Bad Television.

Honestly I really can’t think of any thing to blog about today. It’s mostly been work. In fact today I will be here for a total of about 12 and a half hours. And I’m pretty sure you all don’t want to hear about that. In fact I find it rather boring myself.

Let’s talk about yesterday then. All that studying paid off in the quiz that I took in calculus. Then in optics it was more of the same, energy amplitudes and polarization of light waves. After that I went to the doctor’s office for a quick check up, then home for a nap. When I woke up, had some food, started my laundry and quickly zipped over to Graywhale CD Excange because they had an album on hold for me and if I had waited any longer it would have been put out on the shelf to disappear quickly. From Russia with Love came by after her rehearsal and we spent the evening exercising and watching T.V.

The program that I had taped for her was really disappointing. We watched Bionic Woman, the re-do of the old series with all new special effects and higher tech buzz words. The acting was terrible, plot predictable, dialogue laughable, inaccuracy’s abundant and special effects mediocre at best. Yeah, there was lots of cool CGI stuff going on, but the ‘blur’ to let us all know she is running fast? C’mon, that’s just tacky and lazy folks. Mostly I felt sorry for From Russia with Love, because she had been looking forward to that show for a while and seemed to be more disappointed and irritated by the poor filmmaking than myself. To me there is only one Bionic Anyone, and that is Inspector Gadget. He could whoop her butt any day of the week. Here are my reasons why he is better that Bionic Woman:



V.S.
V.S.

Bionic Woman: ‘shady government agency’ team-mates.
Inspector Gadget: smart kid and cool dog side-kicks.

Bionic Woman: digital scanner eye thing.
Inspector Gadget: Swiss-army knife and then some, all in one finger.

Bionic Woman: can run really fast.
Inspector Gadget: helicopter in his hat.

Bionic Woman: regular transportation.
Inspector Gadget: his own ‘mobile’.

Bionic Woman: nemesis- various social mis-doers.
Inspector Gadget: nemesis- Dr. Claw, head of the MAD organization.

Bionic Woman: absent ‘talented’ (shameful).
Inspector Gadget: absent minded (hilarious).

Bionic Woman: boring (shameful).
Inspector Gadget: bumbling (hilarious).

Bionic Woman: catch phrase-“Whaaah, whaaah, I’m confused (morally and intellectually), and I’m not the 7 million dollar woman, I’m 50 million dollars!”
Inspector Gadget: catch phrase- “Go-go-gadget (whatever you want- he’s got it)”

Bionic Woman: dramatic and serious (done badly).
Inspector Gadget: funny and silly (done well).

In conclusion, animation takes dominance on live action in this case. The bumbling cartoon detective is pretty much better than her in every way. So every one, let’s hear it: “Go-go-gadget good T.V. show!”

That’s all I can muster tonight folks. Go-go-gadget get work done!

T

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Homework has Come-eth, with a Vengance

Today is busy. School went from 10:30 to 3:00, then work from 4:30 to 1:00. Last week being fall break I did not have any classes, and the classes seemed slower than usual right before. And now I know why. The professors (in all of my classes) did not want to start the new (and harder) material and then have all of us go away for a week. Now that classes are back in, they (the professors) are a week behind from where they wanted to be. Needless to say, when it rains it pours. Last week I got so bored I almost couldn’t see straight, and now I’m into homework up to my eyeballs. Either way my sight is compromised, so please pardon my white academic cane. And last night when I had copious amounts of time to do most of this homework, the professor didn’t post the stuff online like he said he would, so now I have to do most of it while I am here at work till 1am. It’s irritating, and believe you me I will leave a very poor review of the course when the time for feedback comes. Other than that all I can do is 'just do it'. Here is the lowdown on school the last couple of days:

Modern Optics I & II- a hard shift of gears, we are moving from Geometrical Optics to Physical Optics. The major difference between the two is how you treat light. In Geometrical Optics it is treated simply as a ray, which makes optical systems much easier to deal with, especially when you only have to deal with a few lines on the optical path length. Physical Optics is the study of the wave-like nature of light, and the different applications of. When you have harmonic waves with the electrical and magnetic fields coming out in different ways (all orthogonal to each other and the optical path length) it allows you to study effects like polarization in great detail. However, if you had this treatment of light in Geometrical Optics, you would easily have a seizure.

Calculus III- Linear differential approximations, tangent planes to surfaces with gradients and higher order Taylor polynomial approximations in multi-variables. (I know, that’s what I thought too, we’ll skip this for now and save it for another day)

Lab for Physics for Scientists and Engineers II- well, I think my competent lab partner has departed the course (withdrew), so for the time being I am stuck with the same jackass as before (remember the one that argued with the TA over a simple calculation error for TWO hours?). His name is John Paul Something-or-other. Sounds like a Pope right? So I have dubbed him Pud John Paul Jackass. Fitting I think. He wasn’t as bad today, but I was able to do almost the entire second section of the lab by myself, in the time it took him to do one simple equation. I also encouraged him to ask people around us if he had a question rather that engage the TA in another pissing match. He would ask me a question, I would answer, and of course my answer had to be wrong (it was not) and we would ask around, get the same answer, then finally bitch at the TA because ‘it didn’t seem right to him’. Beating my head against a wall would be a more productive few hours, or in a way that’s kind-of what the class has become with him around.

Music of the day- more like the last couple of days, the song “Brick Windows” by Ministry (honestly it’s been that song pretty much over and over), mixed with some KMFDM. It’s kinda hit my mood just in that perfect way. Nothing more than aimless acoustic aggression, or an industrial, politically motivated sexually charged booty shakin’ head bangin’ good time. Aah, toe-tappin’ violence is usually the best way to work your way through a bad mood in my opinion. You might have other ways I’m sure, so to each his/her own.

I would love to vent and/or write more- but I really have to get to work and study. Good night and a pleasant tomorrow every one.

T

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Tales From The Lagoon

Today wasn’t much fun. Just worked. So let’s fill in everyone on yesterday. From Russia with Love and I went to Lagoon. It was packed solid, nothing but wall to wall people. We didn’t think that it would be that crowded, especially on a cloudy and cold October afternoon. We got in a total of 6 rides in 6 and a half hours. The lines for even the stupidest rides were snaked across the park. The new ride ‘Wicked’ was fun at least. Well, sort of fun. The ride has a fun point (the first point) where you go straight up, curve around, then go straight down. That was cool, but that was all it really had to offer. The rest was just a regular (and very short, the ride was supposed to be 2 minutes, but it was a grand total of ‘over before it started’) roller-coaster that the park has too many of already, and all of them very much the same. They would be better off spending the money on fixing the crap they already have. We also went through the haunted house, which has very fun. I love haunted houses.

Even though we paid about $25 to stand around for 6 hours, it was nice spending all that time together, which we don’t get to do much of these days. The people watching was excellent- it was like a cast party for the freaks of The Hills Have Eyes. My favorite was a toothless mullett bleached platinum blonde in a bandana and crappy leather jacket. Classic.

And I also got to make a guy so mad I thought he was simply going to pop. We decided to get some ice cream, so we went to the concession stand (which was void of people behind us at first) and ordered a twist on a waffle cone. Neither one of us had any cash, but they do take cards. Here comes the hilarious part- the girl didn’t know how to work the card-swiper machine. The line behind us began to grow as the look on her face became more and more befuddled. At first she thought that it was my card so she gave it back to me and that’s when the doofus behind me let out one of those irritated ‘grunts followed by a sigh’ that I hate so much, and obviously loud enough intended for me to hear. So what did I do? Made the process take as long as possible, and loud enough intended for him to hear. And I made my enjoyment obvious enough, also intended for him to notice. As his face grew redder and redder, veins bulging from everywhere that they could and then some, I thought “screw rides, I could do this to him for a few hours and walk from the gates of the park in a euphoric trance”. Ahh, good times.

We went back to my house, then to Village Inn for some food and called it a night.

Tomorrow school starts up again, so I will keep you all posted on how that goes.

T

Friday, October 12, 2007

Out and About, Optimism and a Failure.

Good news everyone! It wasn’t the flu! I was just getting caught up on some badly needed rest I suppose. I feel right as rain today. And speaking of today, let’s get started shall we:

My Dad woke me up at about 10am this morning to inform me that he was taking my car to be inspected. Having no plans, I thought it would be a good idea to spend some time with my father. We went to the bank, gas station, post office, Mom’s work and to the emissions inspection place. I know that sounded like a narrative from a third grade book report, but a good time was had. There’s really not much else to say. Except about the emissions place. Buddy failed! They even had to bother to put in big red official and humiliating letters at the top ‘REJECTED’, which makes you feel like being tarred and feathered would be a less embarrassing fate. Apparently it just needs a tune-up though. That surprised me at first, and I wanted to explain to the mechanic that we had brought in a car and not a piano (bud-ump-tish). After that I went to Beans & Brews to review and brush up on some school work. That served no other purpose than to remind me how glad I am to be that I’m on break and what little time I have left for doing all that nothing that I wanted to do. I left Beans & Brews heavily caffeinated and went to have lunch with From Russia with Love, then home to take a nap before work. And now here I sit at work until 1am. I don’t mind though, it’s slow and I get to blog.

That’s the show folks. I will be off to Lagoon tomorrow and will let all of you know how that goes.

T

Amusment park, Work and Mental Outings

What to chat about tonight? Well, today was nice, even though I slept most of the day. I woke up at the crack of 11am and had something to eat, then From Russia with Love came over for a while. After she had some lunch as well, we went to the IKEA store to pick up a goat skin thingy for her youngest sister’s Halloween costume, and of course to meander around a little bit because we really hadn’t been through the entire store. I have to say I was a little disappointed. Most of the stuff seemed tacky and poorly put together, but there were a few good things. Just nothing I couldn’t live without.

Yesterday we had a work outing. “Just to enjoy everyone’s company outside of work” as the boss lady put it. And we did, a good time was had by all. We went bowling of all things, so I got a chance to show off my excellent bowling skills. The second game I scored a 73, a personal best (start laughing…..NOW!). Yeah, I suck at bowling but it was still fun to be with friends. I also feel a little blessed that I get along with my co-workers as well as I do. It really makes a place fun to work at, no matter how bad the job sucks.

It would also seem that I have been working on this post for two days, so please enjoy. Just kidding all, the clock just turned past midnight mid-paragraph above. So technically I was correct. It’s not in what you say; it’s how you say it.

I also traded some shifts around so I could go take From Russia with Love to Lagoon because she has been nagging me to do so for a while (just kidding honey, you weren’t nagging- I love you). We also will have some company there as well. I was having some coffee with my buddy Steve-O, and he mentioned that he has season passes, so we invited him along with us. And while I was in the midst of trading hours off at work, my buddy there (Dr.MookieLove) informed me that he also had plans to go on that day as well. So Saturday is shaping up to be better and better. Assuming that I feel well of course (I was unusually tired and a little achy today, I hope it was from the bowling and lack of sleep- not the flu- that everyone around me at work and home seems to be getting. Including From Russia with Love, whom is on the recovering end of the sniffles).

Tomorrow is probably going to be a little uneventful. I plan on taking a check to the bank, paying my tuition and doing some studying (not because I need to, just so I’m not rusty when school starts again next week). And I’m probably going to commence work on the dark room which is for the time being just a lot of heavy lifting and shifting of boxes and miscellaneous crap. “Sounds like a good time to me” he said with a sarcastic smirk. At least it will take my mind off of the cabin fever I’ve had the past few days, and hopefully not on a real fever.

T

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

On Break, and Putting Back Together.

Today was indeed rather interesting. I woke up and had lunch with From Russia with Love and her grandmother. We ate at her grandmother’s apartment, and she had made the best apple pie (there’s probably some in the fridge if ya’ll want some), it was more like a cake than a pie, and it had a gooey center like cheesecake. Oh, it was good. After lunch we looked at some old family pictures, which was actually kind of interesting (It was a little wierd the whole time, because I don't speak Russian and her grandmother doesn't speak english, but I had a great time I really did). Now I’m at work, and blogging of course.

And it’s official, fall break is in full swing. I have nothing to do finally (except work, which is tolerable). However I do think I have a mild case of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I firmly believe that you can get that from school. I spent most of the day yesterday shuffling around in a bit of a daze, not knowing what to do with myself. All I could think of is “what do I have to do?” and “there must be something?” and to my irritated realization, there is not. No homework. The plans that I had made for the week, especially those of my darkroom, have all encountered a problem or two of sorts. So needless to say, they are becoming bigger and bigger issues instead of activities. The reading I planned to do is going well, but one can only read for so long.

I finished The Body Artist by Don Delillo, and in short (no pun intended, the book is only about a hundred pages or so) it was fantastic. It’s about a woman whose husband kills himself, and she is all alone in this house she rents, and she encounters this guy who has apparently been living there the whole time. Or has he? It’s a book that ends with you thinking “was she crazy or not?” and not to mention the ‘transcending place and time’ metaphysical thing the guy had going, which also leads to the previous ending question “Is this something amazing she is encountering, or is she nuttier than a squirrel turd?”. An awesome read, with of course DeLillo’s fantastic writing.

And movies I guess- I watched the ending of Elvira and the Haunted Hills. And now I want to see the rest. The movie was a little geared toward kids, but really funny none the less. Especially her heartthrob, a ‘bad romance novel cover type’, who was complete with a poorly done voice over and all. Hilarious I think. Or maybe it was the cure for the bad mood I was in that night and not really that funny at all (“is he crazy or not?”), either way I enjoyed myself with some ‘no-IQ-required’ humor. Elvira herself was actually quite chipper considering that she is older than the haunted house in the movie (about 150 or so). I suppose you could consider Elvira living (or not?) proof that you will get older, but you don’t have to grow old.

T

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Fall Break Beginerate! (or a book rant)

Finally it’s fall break. I can get caught up on some of my classes, clean my train wreck of a room, finish setting up my darkroom and do some reading. Yesterday I paid a visit to the BN (Barnes and Noble bookstore) and got myself a few books. Three books actually. Two by Don DeLillo, and one by Jack Kerouac.

The Don DeLillo books- first off, he is one of my favorite authors. The book White Noise I recommend to every one that I can. However, if you are looking for crazy plot twists and action and suspense, he is not for you. Frankly the plots in most of his books are pretty lame. If you are looking for a little more between the lines, he is a must read.
The things that make him flat spectacular are his ability to put words into images, and development of the characters. In White Noise he used a disaster to separate the characters from their normal environment, a bit of a tool to put them in a position to confront their mortality and inner/outer demons. Excellent book. And the new one I bought called Falling Man is promising to be almost the same, except instead of a natural disaster it’s in the aftermath of 9/11, and addressing different issues as well. I also bought a short “novella” he wrote called The Body Artist, which is shaping up to be a promising one as well.

The Jack Kerouac book- I also procured On The Road. It is a road trip novel I have been curious about for a while, just never got around to reading it. The book mostly sparked my interest because a lot of famous musicians and contemporary authors cite it as an inspiration. So I guess I am looking to see where it all came from.

That’s about enough for a book rant today, and now back to work. I’ll keep every one posted on my fun-doings this week.

T

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

FYI and R&R

Well folks, I’m back. I know I haven’t blogged in a long time, but I had the choice of keeping my nose in a book or in front of a computer, and the scholastic circumstances forced the former. And now for the results of the studying:

Calculus III- the quiz went well, again I don’t think 100%, but a satisfactory grade is expected.

Modern Optics I & II- the mid term was today, and it was a monster. Actually, that is an understatement. It was an abomination to all that is just and holy. I spent 4 days studying and reviewing till my eyes deflated and my brain was fried night after grueling night. You think it would pay off? Yes, but not in the way you would assume. We (the class) had 50 minutes to take the test. There were 7 questions. Not ONE person finished the entire exam. The professor had to call tome ant tell everyone to put down their stuff. Seems ridiculous right? That’s what I thought too. But the upside is that what I was able to do I know I did right, and after talking with other students after class I think I did better that most every one (there was one question in particular, worth a lot of points, that every one complained about and I got right. I know I did). And since there won’t be any perfect scores, that means the curve will be lower. Hello good grade! (Most likely any way, I will keep all of you posted on the results as well).

Other things of note- going well I suppose. I have not been able to do much outside school due to the above mentioned situations. My buddy Steve-O is going to be putting a dark room in his basement, and he has requested my expertise in the doings-so. Aside from just being a good friend and helping with the construction, he said that he would let me use his facilities. Why would this interest me, since I already have my own dark room? Simple: better equipment. He inherited (from the former tenant in his duplex, who couldn’t take it with him) a very nice color filtered enlarger with a custom mounting system, several nice enlarging lenses (my Nikon 50mm is still nicer however) and medium format negative holders. I might have lost most every one there, but that’s just me geeking out. Mostly I am excited to see what we can do with this enlarger, and I might be able to construct something similar out of mine (the advantage to this enlarger is that it can print up to 16x20 and larger). He also mentioned that he might be selling some of it to buy a digital (I don’t blame him, those are getting pretty good) and if he does I might put down a bid or two on some of it.

From Russia with Love is well, working hard and hardly working like the rest of us.

And for the rest of the night: work. But at least I don’t have to study my brains out my ears. I brought my Walt Whitman book, and plan on enjoying some damn good poetry in the wee hours of the morning when my shift ends.

And on another note, I think I will share some of it (so you will know why I like it soooo much):

"Now I pierce the darkness, new beings appear,
The earth recedes from me into the night,
I saw that it was beautiful, and I see what is not the earth is beautiful.

I go from bedside to bedside, I sleep close with the other sleepers each in turn,
I dream in my dream all the dreams of the other dreamers,
And I become the other dreamers.

I am a dance-play up there! The fit is whirling me fast!

I am the ever-laughing… it is new moon and twilight,
I see the hiding of douceurs, I see nimble ghosts whichever way I look,
Cache and cache again deep in the ground and sea,
And where it is neither ground nor sea."


- from The Sleepers, W.W.

Good night all.

T

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Rain fueled drivel

What is it about rainy days that always make you tired and lethargic? Is it the dim light, cold air or the constant pattering of water on surfaces above you head?

Water and meditation are forever linked” – From Moby Dick (I think)

School update: Calculus III is back to where it should be, slow and surprisingly easy. Optics is starting to kick my ass, especially the lab. The lab always has to be dark because you need to be able to focus rather dim light through some lenses. The focusing on the tiny objects and the write-ups that take forever and a day and the overall ambiance of the place always makes me leave with a headache. Excedrin should be dispersed like M&M’s there.

Aside from the lab the class itself seems to be going ok. There is a mid-term next Wednesday that will let us know for sure how well I am doing. I’ll keep all of you posted.

In other living areas of my un- feng-shui and erratic lifestyle, things are going well I suppose. It would appear however that I have failed to convince my buddy Dr. MookieLove that Jane Austen’s Mafia is a funny movie. So I guess that I will be giggling by myself for the time being on that one (I don’t think From Russia with Love liked it either).

There is not much else to report on folks, just another day and another dollar (spent and earned). I do think that tonight I am going to try and get some more long sleeve shirts. The weather today has made me more aware of the cold winter months to come. That and I need some more dress clothes as well. I can’t keep borrowing that stuff from my brother (he’s bound to get irritated at some point). And shoes, both my boots and sneakers have holes in the bottom. That’s ok for hot dry summer days, but nothing makes cold weather worse than freezing soggy socks, a sort of "Foot Sweat Slurpee" oozing from the laces.

T

Thursday, September 27, 2007

More or less of the same

There’s lots to think about here at work when it’s late and slower that cold tar. Mostly I should be thinking about homework, which I do indeed have a bit to do in case you are wondering (Mom). That will come later however.

Today and yesterday: Yesterday was mostly good. Went to Calculus III, where we are studying 3D graphs of stuff that looks like mountain ranges. I found it rater interesting and not too hard actually.

Modern Optics I & II is moving smoothly for now, just waiting for the storm. Right now the calm is starting to drive me crazy, anticipating all the “hard” that I have heard about. What is really bothering me is that it could already be here and is gliding by under my radar, only to drop the “F” bomb in my lap because there was just something that I was missing and didn’t understand as well as I had previously thought. That has happened in the past, and the lesson learned from history here is to study and study hard. I am doing that by the way (Mom I know that’s your first thought again) and that is why my blog isn’t updated as often as it used to be.

Last night was good, for the most part. I came home from work with a headache that didn’t really ever go away (I still had a bit of it this morning) and From Russia with Love came over. She wasn’t feeling well either, and we both just sat and felt bad with each other. That’s when you know you’ve got a good companion (I love you honey!).

In other news, Drawn Together season 2 is absolutely hilarious. And that’s all I have going in my life other than school and work. How bad is that? Behold the life of a college student. Not quite as glamorous as National Lampoons led me to believe, so if I end up with nothing after I may have a class action lawsuit against them to supplement fast food income.

That is something that troubles me from time to time. My little “what will become of me” elegy. There is a lot I can do, and a lot I can try to do, that is for sure. The doubt lies in the success of these ventures, not in their potential. Time will tell I guess, and it certainly has a lot of secrets and it’s good about not giving at least a hint.

T

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Laugh and Learn

Well, honestly I’ve been a little too busy to blog in recent days. The only things that I really have going on is school and work. There is the occasional night out with From Russia with Love (there will be more and more often Hon, I promise), but other than that there is really not much else to say as far as “adventures” go. So, even though it might be a little boring- let’s get started shall we!

First off is school:

Lab P.S. & E. II- today it was playing with digital and analogue circuits. Mostly hooking up Resistors and wires and amplifiers and OR gates and AND gates and NAND gates and NOR gates and blah, blah, blah. All of it is to produce the desired bianary out put at the end. They are all hooked up to a “Bread board" (pictured left) which is basically a giant power supply with hookups and switches and lights and blah, blah, blah again. We also had to use Logic equations for the digital (which are very irritating) after converting it from analogue to get the desired schematic for the circuit we needed, then we had to build it! It was 3 hours of seemingly endless frustration (I did not get zapped if that’s what you were wondering).

Calculus III- the midterm on Friday went pretty well, not an A but I’m in the upper half of the class which is good I suppose. Not where I wanted to be, but satisfactory.

Optics I & II- the class is going well it think (we’ll know for sure after my first test next week). Lots of lenses and telescopes and microscopes and all about how they work. The only thing I can think of to complain about is the lab for that class. The lab is a little slow and the TA is quite useless, and the other guy that's usually there (a doddering old fart with glasses so thick I wondered if I could just use those as a microscope) is mostly unhelpful as well. It’s not that it’s hard or un-interesting, I just might as well be on my own most of the time (which is bad because I’m supposed to be learning, not just screwing things up and hoping it all goes well across the grader’s desk).

The only other things new are cartoons and movies (a little salvation from work and school where reality can be bent to the weird and hilarious, if only for a short time).

First billed: Cartoons!

My brother bought volume 5 of Family Guy, and he ever so kindly let’s me watch the episodes hours on end. Thanks bro!

Today I also purchased Drawn Together Season 2. Haven’t watched it yet, but it never fails to disappoint.

From Russia with Love and I also went and saw Resident Evil 3. It was pretty good. What you would expect from a video game movie, and not to mention excellent action- but a little confusing if you haven’t played the video game, you still get the jist of it (also a little uninteresting and odd if you are not into the game).

From burning bread to shaking booty- On a completely different note I would like to bring up a little oddity that I have noticed. From walking around, listening to radio ads etc, I have noticed that almost every one has an ad or a contest for a free iPod. This leads me to believe that the iPod is the new toaster. Forget appliances as a bonus, it’s now a good time. Society may descend by leaps and bounds toward the gutter, but this new trend is a step up in my opinion. In this “hustle and bustle” and “rat race” world we need to take extra steps to enjoy ourselves. Unless you really really like dry bread.

That’s the show folks, I’ll try and catch up with you all tomorrow, or the next day if I get too busy. I really want to keep this updated as much as possible. Love ya’ll!

T

Friday, September 21, 2007

Movies, School and the learnings of the Insomniac

Where to begin today? Let’s start with yesterday.

Mostly nothing to report, other that school and a movie.

I spent some time studying for my midterm, I made my way over to Hollywood Video. They have a deal going where you can buy 2 movies and get 2 free. Naturally I felt like a kid in a candy store, until I had trouble finding 4 movies there that I wanted. I ended up with Casino Royale, V for Vendetta, Clerks II and Idiocracy. The latter two I had not seen before, but word of mouth was good enough to justify free, and V for Vendetta was for From Russia with Love.

After her rehearsal, From Russia with Love came by and we watched Idiocracy. It was hilarious. It comes with a two thumbs up from me. Yes, it had fart jokes and the like but still loaded with the wit and wisdom of Mike Judge. The movie is about an average Joe frozen to be re-awakened 500 years in the future when the average IQ of society is that of trailer trash with down-syndrome. He becomes the smartest man alive by default and hilarity ensues.

After From Russia with Love left for the evening, I tried unsuccessfully to go to sleep. So what do you do when insomnia sets in at the wee hours of the morning? Channel surf! I landed on an excellent program on the Discovery Channel about the tunnels under Paris. It was fascinating (at 2 and change in the morning).

The geology of Paris is unique. There is a layer of dirt and under that a massive block of limestone. The limestone became the most common building material for the early city. The limestone was mined out in tunnels and the city built on top (they dug about 85 miles of directionless spider webbing creepyness!). The tunnels where mostly forgotten about for several hundred years until there was a massive cholera outbreak. The dead where piled up near the cemeteries about 10+ feet high until someone had a bright idea to stuff them under the city. They made designs with the bones and several memorials and shrines. The government will usually not let any one down there for safety reasons, so it is not a major tourist attraction, but made for a very interesting half hour of television.

Today was the boring work. I used some vacation time at the end of my shift to study for the midterm tomorrow. Now that I am done with that excruciating task, I blog- so I can let all of you know about all of my (un)adventures.

Hope I kept you interested at least somewhat.

T

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

B-day and Beyond

Well, well, well. Where to start? School first.

Lab for P.S. & E. II- today we measured the Ohm’s of some resistors with equipment that resembles an old set from Star Trek. It was lots of wires and knobs and clips and oscilloscopes and such. The Ohm’s were on the resistors, and the assignment was to see if that was correct within experimental error. And of course, it was. Sorry if that was boring, but it was a tedious lab.

Modern Optics I & II- lenses. Combinations of lenses. Combinations of lenses with apertures. Me geeking out all over the place. Pretty cool.

Calculus III- still just vectors. I have a midterm on Friday. That will require some preparation, other that that there is nothing new to report here either.

And myself for the last couple of days? Fantastic for the most part. I was in a bit of a pissy mood around my birthday, mostly because I ended up with about 6 and a half hours of homework due the next day. I tried to get it done beforehand, but circumstances were not permitting (that’s an under statement- it was ACCESS DENIED across the board). All of that aside, I did have a fantastic time over all. Thank you to Mom and Dad for putting together a fantastic morning in spite of conflicting schedules and a moody kid, all with nothing but my best interests in mind.

My brother got me a San Diego palm that I have named Ferdinand. A plant is an interesting gift. Sometimes when you give people something they don’t want they will lie and say that they do like it, and that it was a lovely gift, only to put it on the shelf- never to be touched again. the plant however is different in the fact that you have to keep it alive. One is forced to live the lie of “I love it, um.. Thank you!”and as soon as the thing is dead, you are busted-the bluff has been called. Just kidding of course bro- I do like it. My room could use a little more green, and any a times I have contemplated buying a plant on my own.

After the fantastic morning with the family (which I guess I am feeling guilty about because I came off as a bit ungrateful I suppose, but it was the school and work! I promise!) and the homework, From Russia with Love took me too see Superbad. The movie had it’s chuckles, but only worth seeing once. After the novelty of the jokes and characters wore off, it was really a shallow movie (not as bad as Employee of the month, but still shallow).


As far as the 'resolutions' thing is going, I would say well.

"Every day is a gift, even if it's just a pair of socks." - Tony Soprano.

That’s pretty much it for me today, and I hope that it makes up for the lack of updates over the weekend (I was a busy boy).

Love you all!

T

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Ramblings and Bithday Resolutions

So I spent the better part of the morning reading about my buddy Dr. MookieLove’s trip to New Orleans (pronounced: now-lynn-zz). Sounds very interesting, I think I would like to see it some day. He was awesome enough to bring me back a very cool Voodoo doll. For prosperity and success I think (I don’t have the little tag in front of me). He said that he didn’t know if it was genuine, but he said the lady he bought it from was genuine creepy. It’s very cool. All you could hope for in a Voodoo doll.

And I watched Employee Of The Month last night with From Russia with Love. Very formulaic and Jessica Simpson is a horrible actress, but it did have some funny parts which made it worth at least watching once.





So as soon as I finish this entry, I am going to get started on some homework. I know I say that a lot in here, but it really is all that I’m doing. I promise. There is NOTHING new and exciting to write about. Just work, school, homework, a little time with From Russia with Love and then all over again (wash, rinse and repeat).

Last but not least: this is my final blog entry at the age of 24. Too soon I will be getting yet another year older and another day patiently waiting for the rest of my life to get here. That’s just the thing: all I seem to be doing is working for the soon, and not enjoying the now. Maybe I should start a new tradition. It will be along the lines of a New Year’s Resolution, but a Birthday Resolution. The main difference will be that you are supposed to take this one seriously. It will be easier than a New Years because it is the day when you realize how old you are and what you have (not) accomplished through out your life, not just the last year. Mine this year will be a “stop and smell the roses” type of thing. There is a significant amount in my life that I think could also be bettered by a “glass is half full” out look. I do try on that, really I do. However upon viewing the metaphoric beverage in question, my default response is usually one of the following:

1. Not only is the glass half empty, but the water is dirty.

2. I ordered coffee.

So take my suggestion to heart and try it out (I know I will. I need a change, and I’m sure you might as well). And if you forget about this idea, don’t worry: you will be reminded constantly when my birthday is a national holiday.

T