Friday, October 28, 2005

Your Louis Armstrong post for the day

So Julie and I were walking down Craig street, and there was this little yappy dog, like a Bichon Frise or something, in this big white car. He was jumping all over the place. Then all of a sudden, all the lights are flashing, the horn's honking, and the trunk pops open. And the little dog's still in there, yappin' away, completely oblivious to the fact that he just somehow set off the car alarm.

Then, a few minutes later, I'm walking down Fifth, and this guy rides by, in a grey pinstripe suit. He reminded me of the (former) minister at my old church back home. And he's riding this bike with wheels about eight inches tall. I think it was pink, too, or maybe that's just my imagination.

And I said to myself, "What a wonderful world."

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Prose and Khans

-This week is a little bit invigorating because everything's a little bit of a challenge- to stay above water in all my classes and still attend rehearsals, I really have to work on everything all the time. Like last night, I stayed up until 5, doing computational discrete maths homework (which I enjoy the most of any of my classes) and listening to jazz. Next week will be nice by contrast.

-This week is lame for the same reason. No time means no time for anything fun. Gerrit said a while ago "When you're in a play, you don't have time to spend with friends." I said "Unless your friends are in the play..." he said "Nope, not even then. How much time have we spent together since CoE?" Point, Gerrit. Even moreso in musicals- the cast is so big.

-Improv. Huh?!

Saturday, October 22, 2005


I went to the Suburbs (Cranberry and Seven Fields, to be specific) last night, with Connor, Joe, Ashley, and Joe's and Connor's parents. It was very nice- they're cool people, we had a good dinner and dessert. But going to the suburbs was a little weird. It's entirely different- and I should know this, considering I live in the suburbs and go back and forth here and there a few times each year.

First, the restaurant. It was big, it was called "Smokey Joe's," it was a chain, it served good (but not excellent) food in big portions for prices in the $10-17 range. I guess the size was the first thing I noticed- I mean, it was big. Restaurants in a city are not big (obviously, I guess). It was spacious. It had a large parking lot all around it. It had those little buzzers to call you while you're waiting for your table (I think). There were TVs all around, and even a switch at your table so you could listen to the sound on whichever TV you wanted. (the TVs bug me on a different level, although hey, maybe it's the same level, in that the suburbs are a little weird like this)

The McDermotts' house was very nice too, but it struck me as a marked contrast from Webster for a few reasons: (okay, besides the obvious, that it's a HOUSE and not an APARTMENT)
- very clean
- has some antique things
- has one of those giant flat screen TVs
- there's space (and no trees) around it
Ultimately, it's like the houses in my neighborhood at home (maybe even like mine; I can't objectively judge my own house very well). It's very nice- and hey, when I go home, I really like my house. Everything's nice. And relaxing, and rich.

One of my theology teachers in high school (probably my best theology teacher- and just a great guy overall) once told us this: "Don't be a nice person. Be a great person." ... which sounds like a stupid inspirational saying, but what he was saying is, there's a difference between nice and great, or even nice and good. Hell, Kenneth Lay or any of those dudes in the recent scandals were probably nice people, but they may not have been good people.

This is getting a little saccharine. Let me just throw this in too: everyone keeps moving further from the center of a city, using up the city until it gets all crime-laden, then moving to an inner-ring suburb; using up the inner ring until it gets all poor and moving to the outer ring, etc. This is not a good idea. It rots cities from the inside- what do you expect?

Oh shit, and the whole generational thing- the baby boomers grew up with a lot of luxury and not a lot of conflict. They didn't have WWII, they had Vietnam. This didn't make them band together and fight for what's right; this made them get all disillusioned, pissed off, and atheistic. Then their kids, the Generation X crowd, were the first generation raised in this atheistic world, and they responded by just going more nihilistic and crazy. Thus, the 90's, the suburbs, and surrounding oneself with niceness. And then there's us- and we can sit back and slide more into passive oblivion, or we can take up the charge of BELIEVING IN SOMETHING and turn all this shit around!

It should be noted that I mean atheism in the "not believing in anything" sense, not in the "not believing in God" sense.

So yeah, I could talk about this forever, but I'd just be restating myself. I could be really wrong, too, about the city stuff or the generational stuff, let me know.

And this will be perfectly ironic to finish off this post: should I buy an iPod (nano)?
Pros: it'd be sweet, I could keep up with music better, and it would help me memorize lines.
Cons: well... it'd go against everything I believe in. (and it's $200)

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Why only "most things"?

Well, my bike is missing. I think I left it outside Webster (locked to a telephone pole) Saturday... now it's gone.

This sucks- I mean, I can just throw money at the problem and make it go away (buy another bike) but that's irresponsible. That's the spoiled rich kid solution- I mean, I should have just kept it inside in the first place. And gotten one of those Kryptonite U-locks, because apparently a thick cable lock isn't good enough. And I should have registered it with Campus Police- I dunno if that'd help, but it's better than nothing. The worst part is, it was my dad's bike- I mean, he never used it, he won't miss it, but still. I mean, if it doesn't turn up, I'll get him a new one. Throw some more money at it, it'll go away.

At any rate, if you see a silver Raleigh bike, pretty big, mountain-bike style (thick wheels, thick frame), men's bike (the middle bar is high, not low), let me know. Thanks.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Hooray most things!

Things are pretty good. Today was just a pretty great day. Easy class (although Mr. Datta is a bit grating sometimes), radio show in which three separate people complimented my music choices (I didn't even think they were that great...) I did play the title track from "We have the facts and we're voting yes" by Death Cab for Cutie and "Across the Sea" by Weezer, which are pleasures I try to avoid indulging in, because they're so great when I do.

Good weightlifting, a tasty salad, and a bit of a relax brought me to PG rehearsal, which is, as ever, a lot of fun. We did some monologues, which I tend to like a lot, although they're no good for shows. Something about monologues- if you have an idea, you can put it out there! You can control the scene entirely, which allows for a lot of creativity, I think.

An audition for Little Footsteps, that I think went really well... a spontaneous, speedy, and splendid trip to Giant Eagle with Julie; some chinese food with Rob; office hours that affirmed that I'm actually ready for this exam tomorrow.

Sorry to recap a day, why do you guys care? It's like viewing vacation photos: why do the viewers care? They weren't there. They can't relive the experiences. So it's mainly a selfish exercise by the shower/teller. Ehh, that's not entirely true. But a lot of it is. Whatever! I'll do what I want!

Here's to everything!

Saturday, October 15, 2005


It is so beautiful outside, I have a blast of energy, and I have to sit inside and code to finish this assignment by tonight! Kick me in the face! Gift me a new Toyota Prius, then firebomb it! Bulldoze both Pittsburgh and Cleveland and all surrounding suburban areas!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Post Raisin Bran is a healthy way to start your day

Did I use that title before? ... whatever. Right now I've been feeling really tired. It doesn't make sense, my last few days of sleep have been somethin like 9, 7, 11 (and tonight will be another 7)... so I should be all right. I don't know, I'm just kind of feeling uninspired. Class is boring. Rehearsal is, well, rehearsal. I feel like I'm spending all of my time in one or the other. That's no good.

In other news, DC was sweet. Not much to tell, other than I saw 3 of my friends again, which was cool, and DC is a pretty neat place. They have a subway-
Can I gush for a minute about how cool subways are, see you pay your money and go friggin underground, we're talkin escalators like 4 stories tall, and then pretty soon you're inside although you never went through a door, the train arrives, it hits you with a blast of air in the face, just an overwhelming wallop of air and MODERNNESS, and then you travel to your destination on this bus (it's huge! there must be room for ten thousand people in one subway train!) this bus that goes exactly there, nowhere else, only stops a few times on the way and you're there in another subway station that looks just like the last one except for the sign on the wall, you go up another 4-story escalator and youre back outside, again, no doors. the smells are nothing to write home about and in fact it's all a little dark and dismal but hell, it's clean, it's efficient, it goes all around the city COMPLETELY DISREGARDING TRAFFIC and spits you out wherever you are- no cars. should i mention the map? the multicolored map that translates navigating into a series of no more than a dozen lines that will take you everywhere you need to go, that distills navigating into memorizing, say, 50 stations? the perfect example of graph theory?

American U. is very much not like here.

Oh, I read this book about an MIT blackjack team. Can I just say, that's really cool? Bring it up sometime when we're talking, we'll discuss it, because I think their whole idea is absolutely beautiful, and I know some of you might disagree. (well, maybe not absolutely beautiful, but like 95% beautiful.) Or bring it up and we'll both be like "yeah. that's pretty sweet."

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Whoop, cancel that last post

Because I threw the burrito party again, and EVERYONE came! Wheee! It was a lot of fun, and still very tasty, if I do say so myself. Of the SIX PLANS... one down.

I, uh, got an adrenaline rush from coding. I'm a gigantic dork. To be fair, it was an "I have 1 hour to finish this program in" and I did it, so that's why it was so exciting. To be fair, again, though, I'm still a gigantic dork. Yeah, shoot me in the face with a bazooka.

I'm going to DC in an hour or so. Hooray! It'll be cool to see Erik, Dan, and Brad again. And I should quit typing here and get ready.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The latest bits

So I threw a burrito party, and nobody came. That's not true. Mike Yin came, and Tim and Matt and Phil came from upstairs. Gerrit came later (but alas, did not eat a burrito)


I guess I should have reminded people? asked for rsvp? not planned it on a wednesday at 7? I don't know, I figured the CoE cast would be more than willing to come over for food and fun.

That is not to say it was a culinary failure. I marinated 2 kinds of chicken- one in chipotle salsa, one in a kind of marinade... it was good chicken too, fresh from Wholey's. Mmmmm. Also we had guacamole, peppers (3 colors!) and onions, corn and black beans, white or whole wheat tortillas, 3 kinds of salsa (chipotle, arbol chile, and mild) plus some hot sauce, romaine lettuce, cheese, sour cream... man, it was delicious.

The INTERNET is here, it's pretty sweet.

Oh, also... I finished reading Harry Potter 6, and I watched Romeo and Juliet (and am about halfway through reading it). Both affected me more than they should have. Well, I guess that's not fair to say about R&J, it being one of the greatest tragedies of all time... but yeah, I'm all emotional (moody? ehh sort of) right now. Well hey, that's a plus anyway- shows I still have a soul. You haven't gotten me yet, computer science major!

Sunday, October 02, 2005

On glasses

I wore my glasses a little bit this weekend. I actually got a couple of comments- people thought I looked more stately, more ... I even got the description "more regal." First of all, thank you... second of all, however, I think I'll continue not to wear my glasses much.

Well, they're too much trouble. But more importantly, I'm already too distant from other people- I don't want to add another layer. If I'm a CEO giving a presentation, trying to convey an image of authority, I'll wear glasses... but since I'm not, I want to be as non-distant as possible.

There it is, status again. Glasses raise your status? But do they? I always feel geekier wearing them, and therefore lower status. At any rate, I don't want to be any lower, or risk slipping into like self-degradation... but if I were any higher status, like I said, I think I might alienate people. You can be friends with people higher or lower status than you... but you can only be great friends with people who are about the same as you, I think. So glasses, ehh.

A little bit of cranberry juice

So here I am at the co-op, going to a party. I don't even like parties. That's not true, I love parties; I don't particularly like going to a party at some random place hosted by someone or some people I don't know. But whatever, I'd heard of the co-op, it sounded like a cool place, I wanted to know what's it's deal.

We went downstairs and there was a DJ playing loud music. It was mostly the sort of hackneyed hip-hop that nobody ever actually likes but is always played- I can usually milk a couple minutes of talking out of complaining about the music. It's a couple fewer minutes that I'm just standing around.

I could mock the SNL skit, which is mocking bad standup comedians, who themselves are mocking things, by saying "What's the deal with rap?!" Such a discussion would prove fruitless- I'm preaching to the choir, the monks, and in some cases, the missionaries and priests. We upper-middle class white kids, we pretentious indie fucks, who see it as our mission (stated or unstated, conscious or unconscious) to convert the rest of the world to listen to our "good" music, despite the fact that it's all the sort of pop-culture tripe that will be ferociously disregarded within our lifetimes.

At any rate, rap music doesn't inspire me, and dancing around with a bunch of dudes doesn't particularly inspire me. Wait, there it is again, unconscious homophobia- or the entirely irrational idea that someone will see a group of guys dancing (or a group of disproportionally many guys) and assume that they're all gay. Sorry!

So, in an attempt to destroy a couple more minutes, I went to get something to drink. I didn't want an alcoholic drink, though, I really could have gone with a glass of water. I didn't see a good source of water, and I saw orange juice, and I thought, hey, orange juice, that's healthy, I'll drink that. But then I was pouring just orange juice, on a table full of alcohol, and I thought, well I can't just do that. Here is the entirely irrational idea that someone will see me pouring an orange juice and assume that I'm a teetotaler or a wimp. So I poured in a little vodka. Hey, vodka and orange juice, that's a drink, right? Is that a screwdriver or something? Yeah, it's something, it's respectable. First, though, I put a couple bucks in the donation jar. Poured a little vodka- a half shot's worth maybe? Then I was going to go drink my orange juice quietly to appear busy. But a guy remarked, "Hey, you should put some cranberry juice in there, it'll taste a lot better."

In his mind, I am a freshman. This is maybe my second party, and coincidentally, maybe the third time I've ever drank. I need some drink recipes, and he is a seasoned veteran of the strategy of booze. He offered me fatherly advice, the kind of advice that immediately puts him on a plane four whole levels above mine. How did he over-understand my lack of confidence in this situation? Did my hand shake when I poured? Was my head pointed down a couple degrees too low as I walked in the room? What gave it away that I somehow didn't know what I was doing, and yet, gave it away entirely too much- what is it that said not "I am just getting a drink, don't worry about me," but rather "I just want to VANISH into the background"?

To be fair, the rest of the party was a lot of fun.

And on a side note, I have not had 6 hours of sleep any night since I think Tuesday. I apologize to everyone who's had to spend time with me during the week (the weekend was cool... I was tired but I was having too much fun to be tired). Hopefully the next will be better. If I'm being cranky, slap me around a little bit- I have no right to be cranky.

And hey, I'm going to DC next weekend- I'll miss you all at the zoo and etc, but still, how exciting!