02/27/02 I think I'm figuring out why I don't have as good work habits as most of my peers. My body doesn't like caffiene. I suppose it could be coincidence, that every time I have the stuff I also have a lot of stress. But I still get a headache or upset stomach every time I have too many Cokes or Penguin mints.
So how to get the work done? Well, I've always thought I'm a morning person, and I know the minimum amount of sleep I need to function. So I've been going to sleep earlier and earlier the past few days, and waking up earlier and earlier, in hopes of getting lots of work done in the mornings. So now I'm waking up earlier than everyone at my school who's not in ROTC. And am I getting more work done? Well, um, the thought's there, and it's the thought that counts.
02/24/02 I'm really not much of a poetry person at all. But I want to share with you what might be the six most important lines I've ever read. For me and a certain group of friends, this represents a bond that ties us together, a life philosophy, and really, hope for the world. (How I remember it, how we all remember it, may not be 100% accurate.)
I am an individual, completely unique
A composite of everything and everyone
That ever touched my life
And though I will not change for you
I cannot be with you
Without being changed by you
In slightly less weighty news, I had a very fun weekend. Billy Joel plays an awesome concert, and Elton certainly only makes it better. And visiting some of the Mules I know was fun as well. Though I was introduced to so many people in my 12 hours there. I must've shaken about 25 hands. I hope there's nothing I can catch from that...
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My moods seem to go with the days of the week. Here's my prediction: This week I'll be in a great mood tomorrow, especially tomorrow night, with it being the start of Purim and all. Tuesday will be pretty good. Wednesday will be alright until about 9pm, and then a bad mood will set in. It'll peak at around 3am Thursday night, and I'll be pissed until Friday afternoon. Let's see what happens. Here's hoping I'm wrong.
"Well there's a place I remember,
And I've been back several times,
Guess I was looking for something,
I don't know what I expected to find...
They're playing oldies on the radio,
Kick the clutch and shift the gears;
You can drive all night long,
But you can't get there from here." ~TFIA
I don't know why I have such a need for stability in my life. It's probably something I'll work out with a therapist one day. In any case, it's there, and it's a problem.
For a solid 5 years, my mom and I lived in our house in Gulph Mills, my dad lived in his house in Blue Bell, and except for a small time, I went to the same school. I was generally a happy person. Toward the end of those 5 years, I got my first car. (Thanks, Grandpop.) One day, my mom told me that we needed to rent a room in the house. My room. I was to move into the basement. I was really upset for awhile. It had taken me years to get used to this house and my new room, after 13 years of being in the old one. Finally, I accepted it and moved into the basement.
Since then I've gone to two new schools, college. My dad has moved four times. My mom has moved once, and we're just weeks away from the second time. I've moved over a dozen times, if you count going to college and back. And it's more than that. I don't talk to one of my best friends anymore. The other several, they're too busy to talk to me as much as they used to. That's understandable; they're in college, and so am I; I'm a lot busier too.
I find myself looking for a place, or even a person or thing, that I can call home. (Yes, I may be taking my parents for granted. I know that. But I feel like I need more.) I've been looking for anything that can work, even somewhat, even temporary. That's why I stayed in Philly for college, though really the city isn't doing it for me. It's too big, and I'm really a suburban boy anyway. I visit my old high school a lot; it was my home away from home for years, and it makes me feel better every time I even drive by. There's a few friends' houses just a couple blocks from school. They are homes away from homes of a sort, also. But I was never there more than once a week or so. Now I'm never there more than once every month or two, when my friends are home from college or I find myself in the area. And besides, it's just not HOME for me.
And then there's my car. An aging, off-black 1992 Civic. A large white scrape on the right side of the rear bumper, and the left side of the bumper is falling off a bit. There's a small picture of a butterfly in the rear windshield. The right rear door sticks a bit when you try to open it in the winter. And every bit of it is mine. It's the same as it was when I was in high school, or at least any changes there are, we went through them together. It is more mine than anything on Earth. People tell me that I live in the city now, go to college in the city, so I don't need a car anymore. They don't know how wrong they are.
My mom is moving this May, roughly the same time I move home from school. I drove by the new house tonight for the first time. It's in a small alley in a part of Philly I've never been before; a rather isolated area. And my street is barely wide enough to drive down.
I drove around the area a bit. There's nowhere to park.
02/19/02 Even though I'm quite the sports fan, I really haven't been following the Olympics too much. And of the two, the Winter games are my favorite. I guess I just don't care so much this year. I have been following two sports, however. And both have a very important day tomorrow.
Curling rocks!!! For those of you that don't know, Curling is basically a combination of Bowling, Shuffleboard, and housecleaning, on ice. I'm not really sure why I like it. It's less repetitive than watching people skate around in circles or ski the exact same path, and it's not subjectively scored like that Figure Skating thing. It's more strategy than physical skill. So I'd lump it in the same category as Baseball, my favorite sport, though Curling is definitely much easier of the two. In any case, the US women made it to the semifinals, which are tomorrow. Unfortunately, I don't think they're televised. I'm really disappointed about that. 20 more ends until gold, ladies! You can do it! There's someone watching out there, I promise!
And then there's Skeleton. I don't really know anything about Skeleton, though I hear it's basically face-first luge. This is its first year in the Games, and tomorrow is the only day of competition. I can't wait to see this. I bet the impending doom of watching someone fly face-first at close to a hundred miles per hour (guessing here) makes for great entertainment.
02/17/02 I live in a high rise. My dorm is 25 stories tall. On the top of the building, there are about 8 large floodlights to provide light to the area below. There are two other identical high rises right nearby, and they form a triangle commonly known as Superblock. The combination of these three large buildings somehow creates a virtual wind tunnel. It's bad enough that on otherwise windy days, people will often go a longer route in order to avoid cutting through Superblock.
Sometimes when it's really windy at night, I can hear the wind in my window. I look outside, and the wind is causing some of the floodlights to move, which in turn causes the pools of light in the pavement below to vibrate. As the wind whistles louder, I start to wonder why the aliens have chosen to land here...
02/14/02 I just came back from my Advanced Calculus 2 group therapy session, recently renamed from "Advanced Calculus 2 recitation".
It's generally as fun as a two-hour evening math class can be. The graduate student TA is reasonably friendly, and the class fluctuates between 3 and 7 people. (The rest of the 25 or so people from the lecture go to the Tuesday evening recitation. For some reason, people don't want to be in class on Thursday evenings.) So today we started things off with a 25 minute explanation, because I didn't quite understand a certain notation which has been in every equation in this class for roughly the past 5 lectures. And as usually happens in this class, when one person asks a question, everyone else is relieved; they had the same question too. The TA graciously took as much time as we all needed to understand it.
We then moved on to a 45-minute discussion of the hard problem from the homework this week. This discussion gradually evolved into us complaining that the homework was about material we hadn't learned yet. The TA agreed and promised to discuss the problem with the professor. Then we started talking about how this was a lot harder than Advanced Calculus 1, and the TA sympathized, apparently our problems were too easy last semester. It's not just that we had the department's best teacher last semester, though we did. He reassured us that everyone in the class was having the same problem, it wasn't just the four of us. Things won't get any easier, but now that he and the professor know where we're coming from, at least we're all on the same page. And oh yeah, the average for the class will still probably end up being a "B", regardless of the fact that the homework average is hovering around 60% these days. We all left the class at 8:10, about 20 minutes early, with an eerily calm feeling. Like we've accepted our fate, and it really isn't so bad. The stress is just background noise, at least until next week's homework.
It's a pain in the ass sometimes, but it really does keep my brain going.
02/13/02 Reading for pleasure is such a lost art among so many people in school, I think. Reading for literary analysis so often saps one's desire to read for fun. And all the rest of the homework kind of eats into one's free time. And in what free time is left, it's so much more fun to play video games or fire up Instant Messanger.
I'm certainly guilty of all of those. And I know I don't have time to start a new book, and immerse myself in that. I have a new copy of Cryptonomicon sitting on my bed now, apparently waiting until Spring Break. But I'm happy to reread books. I reread often; I don't retain much from my first reading, and I like most books more the second time anyway.
So I am happily over 100 pages into my rereading of Snow Crash, another Stephenson book, which started today. I should have been studying for my Latin test, but I did alright on the test, and this book is a lot more fun anyway. I really do miss reading...
02/11/02 PHP is installed! Therefore, lots of updates! A couple of rolls of pictures are online, with more to come. The thanks page is updated, because it's only fair. A couple of new links from yesterday. A few miscellaneous updates throughout the site. And one cool new feature.
02/10/02 Must-read of the week: The Axis Of Just As Evil.
Updates: Picture page should be up in a couple of days. Just waiting for PHP to be installed, other than that it's ready to go. There are a few new links on the links page. Everyone really should read the stuff in the "should read once" section...it's all great stuff.
02/07/02 Remember that scene from The Matrix? The one when they go to see The Oracle. She was baking cookies. And she told Neo that he wasn't The One, and some other bad news besides. He was very upset about it, and he knew that Morpheus would be too. But she just gave him a cookie, and told him that as soon as he leaves, he'll feel right as rain.
That's kind of how I feel now, except not quite right as rain. I just dropped one of the math classes I need for my major. I just didn't understand the class, and didn't have enough time to put into it. I had a sick feeling in my stomach as I was dropping the class. But as soon as I stepped out that door, I started feeling better. I'm in control of my own life. Remember?
02/05/02 I have the best friends. I really do. Don't know what I'd do without them.
Site updates coming...the archives are a bit quicker to load now...
02/02/02 I really love my job.
A couple months after my freshman year started, so a bit over two years ago, I joined a group at Drexel called DUST. We set up and run sound equipment for concerts, boring board meetings, and everything in between. You can think of it as glorified A/V guys, but it's a lot more than that. It's a student group, 'cause we hang out and stuff, and it's a job, 'cause we get paid for time worked.
When I switched to Penn, DUST was the thing I missed most about Drexel. I finally found a similar group at Penn. It's not the same at all; it's smaller and less social, among other things. But I worked my first big event for them last night, and it's still just as fun.
To put in an 8-hour workday after I'm done all my classes for the day. To actually have to think on the job: "What to do if we don't have enough patch cables, and the band wants to sound check in 15 minutes? What's the best way to set up 7 speakers with 4 amps?" (People usually put "high-pressure environment" next to this job on their resumes.) To walk past people on the street at 1:00am, knowing that they're drunk and not doing anything productive (not that there's anything wrong with that), and you're pushing a cart with two speakers on it uphill to make the last of your $80 on the day.
This is the type of job I'd love to have after I graduate. You might be sore when you're done for the day. You have weird hours. You don't make that much (at least I don't; I don't know how much people who do this for real make). But you'll never, ever feel like you're stuck in a rut.
© 2001-2004 Josh Rosenberg. Copying generally permitted with permission, but never without.
Page last modified 2006/10/04