Monday, September 30, 2002

Disc Tourney

Sorry that I haven’t posted in a bit, but this weekend I was at home and in Northfield for an ultimate tournament. The tourney went quite well. There were 16 teams there and we were ranked 13th coming into the tournament. We managed to shock a few teams and we finished 6th overall. We had a very good two days of tournament beating Notre Dame, University of Kansas, and some Ohio team. We lost to St. Olaf (but should have won, if only they didn’t have about five 10 foot tall behemoths on their team), St. Cloud State, and Iowa State. Our team looked quite impressive when we had the right line combinations on the field. We have a couple of guys who are very big defensive liabilities and when they end up on the field during a defensive point, we’re usually screwed because they become horribly out of position or get burned deep to the end zone for scores. Our team, as a whole, also has a hard time keeping a force on as we allowed a lot of breaks during the games (a break is where someone throws to the opposite side of the field than the one you are trying to defend). Besides those two things, our team did quite well.

I am a tad bit sore from the whole weekend, since my feet aren’t used to cleats yet. My calves are also pretty tight from all of the running that we did this weekend. I think if I take a couple of days off, though, I should be back to normal. Hopefully I should have some pictures up from this tournament in a few days.

Friday night, before the tourney, I went with Anne to her old high school’s homecoming game. It was pretty fun, actually, as a lot of people remembered me from doing Strike Team Improv this summer. I must have had five or six different people come up to me and ask how I was doing and I had no clue who they were until they told me that they remembered me from STI. I also got to see a lot of people from Rochester that I hadn’t seen since summer. Unfortunately, Lourdes lost their homecoming game in overtime so it was a little disappointing for all the Lourdes kids there.

Well, I’m a little tired so I’m going to have to leave this short. More to come later.

Friday, September 27, 2002

Leadership Woes

Well, I hate to say it but this is going to be a complaining session. Sorry, I just have to get it out of my system every now and again. So here goes, I’ll dive right in. Lately it was brought up to the veterans of the frisbee team that some of the nubes have not liked certain members’ attitudes on the field and their lackluster attendance to practice. It was later brought to my attention from our pseudo-captain that I was supposedly the one to set off one of the nubes. Let me set everything up for you first.

This year we’ve had a bunch of new guys come out. Our “captain” has seemed to think it a good idea to cater most of our practices to their level and just kind of string the veterans along thinking we won’t give a crap if we don’t get competitive for a while. For this reason, since most of our practices weren’t real serious for me, I would go, throw around, practice for a while, and then leave to lift or run, since I believe that being in shape is a very necessary factor to our team being successful. Apparently, many other veterans felt the same way that I did, but they just dealt with it.

One day, I asked Flynn if we were doing anything pertinent at practice, since there were only like 10 guys there, or if it would be more beneficial if I go run some miles. I guess some nube thought that that question meant that I was showing my lack of dedication to the team and my dislove for the sport. Well, he couldn’t be any more wrong. What he could call it would be my disdain for the way practices are running and for the attitude of many of the nubes that we should cater to them.
So how many athletic teams have you been on that have catered to the least talented of the players? Probably none, and if you were on one, I’m betting they sucked. Why? Because playing at the level of your lowest players inadvertently brings you down as well. When I started disc, I was thrown into the fire, so to speak. I didn’t get any special treatment and I was forced to learn to compete and if I didn’t learn and improve, I didn’t play—just like any other sport. For my entire first year of playing I wasn’t invited to play in a single tourney, yet this year our first tourney was for the nubes to get the ropes of tourney play. WTF?

To further illustrate my point, we have a tournament this weekend in Northfield, and our team that we are taking is our competitive team, but because of the way we’ve been practicing, we don’t really have any chemistry or cohesiveness. Since we’ve been playing down at the level of the nubes, we’re a little rusty and rough around the edges. I don’t know how we expect to win games without being well meshed. I’m just hoping that some of our pure athleticism can make up for our rustiness. Also, in preparation for our tournament, we had a scrimmage against SCSU yesterday to help get us in the tournament mood by playing a tough team and rival. I thought we would be playing our competitive team together against them to work on our chemistry, but instead it turned into a let everyone play and let them play whatever position or line they wanted. Needless to say, I left a little early since they were ripping us apart because we didn’t have a solid team in most of the time.

What I’m trying to illustrate here is that our team needs some solid leadership by someone or some people that aren’t afraid to make some decisions and to escalate our team to the next level. I’m sick of it being half-assed all the time. There, I’m done. On to the tournament in Northfield.

Tuesday, September 24, 2002

The Advent of Fall

I woke up this morning at 6:45 am, like I usually do, except when I left for work something was different—there was frost on the ground. I checked when I got to work and sure enough it said that it was only 30 degrees out. Our first night of the year at below freezing temperature—this can only mean the long, slow road to a Minnesota winter has begun. Before we will know it, we will be entrenched in mounds and mounds of white, powdery snow. The thought is sad and anticipatory at the same time. I, for one, like the coolness of fall much more than the frozen wasteland temperatures we experience during our winter season here. If the weather could stay at 70 degrees and slightly cloudy perpetually anywhere in the world, I would live there.

The positive about the coming of winter, is the waning fall season. The leaves will start to turn colors and I will be immersed in nature’s beauty here at SJU. No doubt there will be many days in the coming month or so where I will completely blow off any work I have to go gallivant off into the woods for a nice peaceful reverie or for getting some great nature photos. Hopefully, I’ll have some company with me on some of the walks I plan on taking. Nature is just so beautiful during the fall season that I can’t imagine why people wouldn’t want to be outside and surrounded by it, especially when you’re blessed with a campus such as ours that has thousands of acres of woods and five lakes. I couldn’t imagine living in a city where the only spot of nature you have is the local park or your front lawn. It just seems like that would be so depressing.

On another note, the inner turmoil of the frisbee team has started once again. I thought that senior year might be a little different as I thought some of the problem players left, but we seem to be back at where we get every time tournaments creep up—bickering and bitching and overanalyzing. Supposedly one small comment I made about my going for a run might be more productive than having a goof-around practice set some nube freshman off and he proceeded to bitch to the captain about it. This is a club sport here, not ladies aide, so come to play and leave the talking for later. This little bit of complaining from a nube set up a huge email flame war over the state of our team. It’s stupid stuff like this that makes me realize over and over that a club team can’t operate without a forceful, strong captain, or a coach. You can’t be everyone’s friend and please everyone all of the time. Sometimes people have to get stepped on for the good of the team. Sure, they might be miffed, but the team will be better for it. When I started I wasn’t given any special treatment—I was thrown into the mix with the experienced players and I had to learn to play with them. Why should we give the nubes this year so much special treatment? I don’t get it, but I guess it doesn’t matter what I think because everyone else who thinks they should and could run the team try to without looking at what the team needs or who should lead the team. I guess I’m just going to step back again and go out to play. Let’s just hope I don’t get screwed again this year.

Sunday, September 22, 2002


The weekend is now over and its time to start on homework, but before I undertake my Kripke and Plato readings, I thought I let everyone know how the weekend went. I came to some conclusions about drunk people and immaturity after hosting two parties this weekend.

First, Friday night I had a party here at my place for a friend of mine, Megan. It was a spectacular time and we had people come in and out most of the night. The main attraction seemed to be our dance dance revolution pads and loud, thumping bass pumping out of the stereo. I think close to everyone that came had their turn at the DDR pads. It’s so much fun to just watch all of the people who have never done it before. No one is really used to doing all of these complicated steps with their feet in time to the music. Usually, here on campus, when people dance at the pub or parties it mainly consists of no foot movement and a lot of hip gyration between two people. Not really my thing, but it might be fun every now and again. Karl and myself both prefer the footwork of DDR to the faux dancing at the pub.

Anyhow, I’m getting off track. Our party was going well and there was little drinking. Megan, of course had to as it was her birthday. Since she was a member of the frisbee team, it’s traditional that she drink a frisbee filled with beer. You may think that a frisbee can’t hold much liquid, but then you’d be wrong. A single disc can hold almost a liter and a half of liquid (or about 4 beers). Megan didn’t quite pull off a full disc as she had had plenty of other birthday “gifts” to drink already. Jeff, on the other hand, took down an entire disc as he was dared to, and a guy just can’t pass up a dare.

There were only 3 people drinking at our place and that was cool. They didn’t get stupid, they weren’t obnoxious, they just simply were having fun talking and playing DDR. It didn’t bother me at all (until later when some random drunk people showed up, but we solved that quite quickly by pulling the plug on the DDR pads until they left). I have to say that our party Friday night was a complete success and a lot of fun for everyone that came. Hopefully we’ll be throwing a few more in the future—everyone wants to get in on some of the DDR action!

Saturday, the Johnnies had a home game so Anne, Leslie, her sister Mel, Grew, and I all went to the game. It was kind of a cool day out and we all were wearing sweatshirts (the girls were wearing brand new ones that they had just bought that morning). The Johnnies won by a score of 48-10 or so.

While we were watching the game a bunch of people randomly stopped by to talk to me and many who were at my place the night before wanted to come over again and another bunch of people who hadn’t been over last night wanted to come because they missed out so I just decided we might as well have another party—so we did. A big portion of the crowd from the night before showed up first and we broke out the DDR and ordered some Gary’s pizza (best pizza ever!). People came in and out again this night, except there was no drinking last night. There was no need to and I didn’t want drunk people around. So we were all having a great time, but while Jeff and I were outside having some wonderful guy talk (and cooling off from the massive amounts of dancing we’ve been doing), two wonderfully drunk people showed up. They weren’t random people, we knew them, so we weren’t just going to kick them out. They came in, were acting obnoxious, were acting stupid, and were getting on everyone’s nerves. They were the opposite of the drunk people we had over the night before. It just goes to show how alcohol can have completely different effects based upon the person and the situation.

Here’s a theory of mine. When drinking, I think you tend to conform to the people you are around. When we had people drinking at our place Friday night, they were around many of us sober people and so they didn’t act silly drunk, they were themselves. Saturday night, the two drunk people had probably came from a party or somewhere else where there was obviously a group of drunk people and everyone was acting stupid (like big groups of drunk people tend to) so they continued to be stupid when they got here. It became quite annoying to the people there, and me most of all. After about 15 minutes, Anne, Mike, and I left. As we were walking back to Mike’s we were confronted by drunk people all over in the dorms. I can only imagine how much alcohol is consumed on an average weekend here. After we wished Mike a good night, Anne and I went down to the lake, because there I thought it would be nice and peaceful—and it was, for about 20 minutes and then drunk people showed up there. I found it quite comical, as a couple of them came up and started talking to us, and them being as drunk as they were, I had a little bit of fun with them.

Anyhow, I guess this weekend proved to me that I can only take so much of having drunk people around. I’ll just make due, and I’m glad I have many good friends who don’t see the need to be stupid drunk all of the time to have fun. You guys rock!

Thursday, September 19, 2002

Early Morning

I really shouldn’t be taking the time to write this at the moment as I have an astronomy test in an hour and I have a gigantic algorithms project due later today that I’m not done with, but I am in desperate need of a break. You see, I was working on this stupid project last night until about 11:15 pm and then I went to bed, but since I wasn’t done I got up at 5:30 this am to continue work on it and study. It’s 8:30 am now, so I figured I was due a break. I really didn’t know what to study for my astronomy test, so I’ve just been looking over different random things to see what I know and what I don’t. I think I’ll do fine, and I realized that I can take this class pass/fail if I like so that way I won’t have to study quite so hard in this class. I’d simply have to get a C then to pass the class, but then again it would be nice to just get an easy A in this class to pad the GPA a little. We’ll see what I’ll do after we get this first test back.

This project, on the other hand, is going to lead me down the path of mass murder, property destruction, larceny, theft, and eventually suicide because I FRICKIN’ HATE ALGORITHMS. I don’t know if I can reiterate that last point enough. You’re going to be hearing about this a lot the rest of this semester. I think we’ll get our first quiz back in that class today. Should be interesting to see how well I actually did. I felt unfamiliarly confident when I took the quiz, even though I just basically spot-learned the information on the spot. I’m also curious as to how many people actually have this project completely done. My guess is a lot of people are just going to hand it in half-assed. I plan on handing it in a day or two late as I’ve had some horrible, horrible problems trying to compile and run my project, along with trying to use the python scripts our professor wrote for us. I supposedly had (and still have) some weird shell problem that I have no clue how to fix because I rarely use the Unix machines. Oh well, I’ll live somehow.

Now on a completely different note, I think that our apartment might have some slight curse on it. For some reason lately, everyone that is there seems to have the need to take a nap while they are there in the afternoon. Take yesterday for example. I came back from class to find Karl napping in our room, and he never naps so that was a shock. Later, Andy’s girlfriend Amanda stopped over……to nap. So she went into Andy’s room for some quick shut-eye. Anne also came over for a visit after her classes and no sooner than 15 minutes after her arriving we were both asleep on the couch for a nice hour long nap. My guess is we have a small carbon monoxide leak somewhere in our room, but it’s small enough that it just makes us sleepy and doesn’t kill us. So as of now, we have a haunted apartment with a small carbon monoxide leak and a shower with an identity crisis. I wonder what other weird things we’ll find out about our place over the course of this year. Anyways, I’ve burnt a good 10 minutes for a break so I should get back to work.

Wednesday, September 18, 2002

Bugs Make Me Crazy

Ahh, how stupid little gnats and mosquitoes can ruin a completely good walk. Shouldn’t all the bugs that are around be dying off or migrating south for the winter or something? It seems like every day I come home with more bug bites and insect guts on me than the day before. I’ll often come in from a run through the woods at SJU and when I go to take a shower I notice how many gnats have amassed on my clothes, caught there in the massive pools of sweat.

Another case of bugs being a nuisance came yesterday. Anne and I were out for a walk in the woods at CSB seeing where one of the trails went (I’ve never went more than 100 feet on any of the trails at CSB). We came to a point where there was a nice bench out in the middle of no where, so we decided to sit down for a moment. No sooner than right after we stopped walking, the bugs swarmed us. As we sat down on the bench, the entire 8th platoon of the Left Wing Mosquito Navy decided they’d all strike at any exposed skin and even take a few shots right through our clothes. Well, they quickly won the battle, and we started our walk back. They may have won the battle, but when winter gets here I’ll be watching as they all disappear (but I’ll also be paying the price by not being able to wear shorts anymore—guess you can’t have everything).

Yesterday was also new release day for cds and dvd’s so of course I picked up a few of both. I grabbed the new cds by Theory of a Deadman (who are pretty much a complete clone of Nickelback) and Lifehouse. I also grabbed the dvds Panic Room, High Fidelity, and Grosse Point Blank. I’d seen High Fidelity before and loved it, so that’s why I picked that one up (and it was packaged with Grosse Point Blank, another movie I’ve been wanting to see, for $15). I’ve been interested to see Panic Room as it is David Fincher’s (Seven, The Game, Fight Club) latest movie. I haven’t been disappointed by any of his films yet, so I took the chance and I’m guessing this one will be good as well. I’ll let you all know once I actually find time to watch it. School has kind of been keeping me away from watching the movies I’ve wanted to as of late.

Tuesday, September 17, 2002

An Identity Crisis

Well, I’ve been trying to study for my algorithms quiz for the last hour and I think I know just about as much as I did when I started. I am honestly baffled to no end by this info. I tried going over my notes…didn’t make any sense. I tried going over the professor’s notes…didn’t make any sense (mainly because anything he writes makes close to no sense). I then moved onto our huge 1200 page text book to see if it explained it any better. It does, but in terms that I don’t understand and it manages to go on and explain the information I need for about 50 pages—all in notation I have had little to no exposure to. I have already come to terms with the fact that this class will be the worst grade I will ever get in my college career. I have decided that a “C” in this class will be acceptable to me, mainly because of a combination of me not knowing whether some summation is monotonomically increasing or not, what the recurrence relation of T(n) for a given recursive function is, what an asymptotic bound between g(n) and f(n) is, and honestly not giving a care in the world to trying to decipher what’s going on in this class. It’s classes such as this one that make me realize how much I really don’t want to be in computer science for the rest of my lifetime. I want to work with people, I want to think about the ethics of our society, I want to figure out why we do what we do, and I want to not see another logarithm or summation for the rest of my life. For this reason, I keep praying that I will be able to have enough money to stay here at SJU for an extra year to complete my philosophy major to complement the computer science BA I’ll have after this year. If you want, feel free to mail me money to help finance my dreams, and stave off my nightmares.

Now, on a lighter note, let’s talk about the shower in my apartment. This is the first shower I have ever had that has an identity crisis. Let me explain. As you probably guessed, I take showers on a daily basis. For the most part, our shower works like any other shower—the water shoots out at you as you get clean and then it runs off of you and down the drain. Simple enough. For some reason, though, every now and again, our shower will forget that it is a shower and instead try to be a bath tub. The water still shoots out at you and you still get clean, but as the water runs down to the drain, the shower drain decided it should just let it all build up and not go down the drain. That would be cute, wouldn’t it? I thought for a while that we might just have a clogged drain, but that obviously isn’t it because sometimes it clogs and becomes a pond, while other times the water goes down fast as ever. I chalk it up to previous abuse by a previous tenant of our apartment. This abuse to the poor shower caused it to have some type of trauma where it no longer knows who it is. I am currently contacting numerous shower psychologists to help with this problem. Don’t worry, shower, we’ll make it through this……

Sunday, September 15, 2002

Busy Time

Oh my, I shouldn’t be taking the time to write this out right now as I’ve had such a busy last few days, but I thought it was time for an update, and I don’t feel like doing any java programming just yet. So you might be wondering why I’ve taken so long to update. Well, it’s been because I’ve been quite busy. We’ll start with Friday.

Friday, I woke up and went to work, skipped astronomy, went for a run, went to algorithms, and then headed over to Anne’s to help her pack for her horse show this weekend. I was taking her down to the cities for it and I thought I’d help pack. I really didn’t do so much packing as I did watch her put every last thing she owned in her room into duffel bags to take along. From the looks of it, I thought she was moving out, but according to her, she was just being prepared. I thought it was cute. After we got her all packed up we headed down to the cities and as we entered Minneapolis, Anne called home to see if the horse was on her way yet. Well, the horse decided it didn’t want to come so it wasn’t even loaded yet. Knowing this, we had plenty of time to burn so we headed down to the Mall of America. We looked around at some of the stores like the Gap, Victoria’s Secret, and all those other clothes stores. Anne, then wondering where I shopped, was taken down to Hot Topic. I think she was quite scared while we were in there. Needless to say, we weren’t in there for more than five minutes before she’d seen and heard enough. I can’t blame her really, because the one at the Mall of America is extra creepy compared to the ones in Roch and St. Cloud. Since neither of us really had any need to buy anything and we were hungry we went and sat down to eat at the Alamo Grill. I like the place, and I think Anne did too, but our waiter was a little sketchy.

After we’d eaten we checked on the horse again—still not loaded. Well, we decided to head to the fair grounds anyways and just see what was going on. We goofed around there until 9:30 when the horse finally got there. I stayed to watch Anne ride for a little bit and then I helped put the horse in for the night before I finally left. I wish I could have stayed to watch her the next couple of days, but I thought I’d better head back.

When I got back to my apartment at 1:30 I went to bed on the couch in the living room because people were staying in my room. I was woke up at about 3:00 am, however, by a snoring, unfamiliar dude on our other couch. Since he was so loud I grabbed my pillow and blanket and went to sleep down in the basement lounge of our building. It turns out that he was a friend of Chen’s who stayed over. I was thoroughly confused until Chen informed of this.

After getting up I went with Karl and Jeff to a barbecue at Staffa’s apartment. It was kind of low-key and calm so we ate and left for the game. We got to the football game and took our places in the end zone with the rest of the hard-core Johnnie fans. We ended up winning the game something like 42-0. It was also a lot of fun because Karl, Jeff, Megan, Erica, some random dude, and myself were in the halftime show doing cart races on the track. I unfortunately lost because I was pushing Karl, whereas Jeff and the other dude were pushing light girls in their carts. Oh well.

After the game, we had a Dance Dance Revolution party at our apartment. We had a bunch of people come over and dance it up the rest of the afternoon. It was a lot of fun, and it was also cool that me and Karl could step up anytime, pop on a hard song, and just amaze everyone there. After everyone left, some friends of Karl’s from high school dropped in so we went and hung out with them for a while. After they left for a late supper, I figured I’d better get some homework done. That didn’t happen so much as I laid down on our couch and fell asleep……at about 9:30 on a Saturday night. I was later woken up, however, by Monica, Claire, and Charnelle stopping by. They just came by to say hi, and I think they felt a little bad that they might have woke me up, but I hope it doesn’t sway them from stopping over anymore.

Today I woke up early for disc practice. A bunch of the people on our team who said they would be there weren’t so it was kind of a ho-hum practice. We were supposed to scrimmage SCSU as well at 11:30, but they didn’t show up until after 1:00 pm when we had all already gone home. That’s the state team for you. Now I plan on going to watch the Vikings game, then head to volleyball (it’s our season opener) and then getting some quality shut-eye again tonight. I’ve been feeling a little extra tired yesterday and today so I’m hoping to avoid getting sick like a lot of people around I know are. Anyhow, I’m off to hit the couch and watch some football while doing my computation theory homework.

Wednesday, September 11, 2002

Burned In

Today is September 11th. It’s not a holiday, it’s not anyone’s birthday that I know—it should be a normal day. This would have been true if not for what happened one year ago today. That day is still quite clear in my mind, and today feels almost the same as that day. I sit at the same desk behind the same computer at the same school as the day it happened. For all I know, Arlene could come in wondering why CNN and all the news sites are down and then telling me to head up to the teacher’s lounge. Having been there only once before I didn’t know why I should be going up there. I’d know, however, when I’d see most of the faculty that wasn’t teaching class (and even a few who were supposed to be) hovering around a television in the corner of the room. On that screen was an unforgettable image—one of the two trade towers was smoldering and the headlines flashed that a plane had crashed into the side of the building.

I was intrigued. It was a tragedy, of course, and for some inexplicable reason humans are always drawn to destruction. I sat, I watched, and my fear of planes was heavily reinforced. I watched as they found replays of the plane crashing into the side of the tower. I was dumbfounded by it still. As they were showing a live view on the outside of the building and rotating around, all the viewers saw another little something off the side of the screen. The other tower was slightly visible on-camera and you could see as flames came out the side of that building. “Oh my God, another plane has struck the other tower. I repeat, another plane has struck the other tower.” I couldn’t believe my ears as I heard that and saw the images that accompanied it. After a few minutes they found footage of the other plane hitting the second tower. Another tragedy in it’s own right, but combined with the other plane crash it was obvious that something wasn’t right. These weren’t two accidents.

I finally realized that I was still transfixed upon the tv and took note of all the reactions around me and came out of my shocked stupor. The grimaces and looks of wonder on everyone’s faces told the feelings of the entire nation. We were all thinking to ourselves a collective, “What the hell is going on?”

I returned to watching the television, not worrying about going back down and working or getting my homework done. Thoughts kept running through my head, wondering who and why and for what reason and how soon it would be until our nation did something stupid in retaliation, and if they would even retaliate against the right people. What had we done lately to deserve this? Which country did we piss off and how did we do it? I wanted to know what led up to this so I could have some type of justification for the remorse and hate that I felt. The longer I watched, the more blinded by unfounded rage I became. I personally wanted to go and strangle something, kick something, just beat the living shit out of anything. I wanted it to be the people who rammed those planes down our nation’s throats, but they’d already been consumed in their own constructed inferno.

Later, as I sat in front of that television, another plane hit the Pentagon and another crashed off in the woods. Four planes, inordinate amounts of destruction, and we didn’t know as a nation what to do yet or what to think. I, for one, didn’t move from in front of that television until well into the afternoon. I never went to my classes, I didn’t go back to my room, I instead stayed mesmerized in front of that 19” screen.

Who’s to say all of this can’t happen again, on a morning such as today? Or tomorrow? Or next year? These questions will always be in the backs of our minds, thanks to the events of one year ago today. The people who slammed those planes into our twin towers achieved what they wanted—they instilled a small amount of fear in an entire nation. Never before have a few nameless, dead faces made such an impact upon a nation.

I could continue to go on, but I know everyone is probably feeling most of the same emotions as me today anyhow. These attacks did make us a nation again, a unified nation. That the attackers didn’t foresee. I pray that God would watch over and comfort us all—a scarred and healing nation.

Monday, September 09, 2002

Slugging It Out

For this daily thought I really wanted to delve into something heavy and philosophical, but I have been so distracted lately that I can’t think of anything. I guess it’ll just be the usual, and maybe something will come to me.

Today I got up for work, got there, and did a bunch of my homework. It was a fun time. I then moved along to astronomy, which seemed boring as ever. This class is filled with seniors looking for an easy cake class to pad their credits and GPA because they finally realize that the last three years of partying doesn’t exactly make you an honor student. Almost everyone in that class must be management or communications majors because they all seem way to stupid to do anything else. Sometimes I wonder how half of the people who go here actually manage to get accepted. I guess if you’re willing to throw money at the administration they’re not going to keep you away.

After astronomy I went to my algorithms class. Now here is a class where I have no frickin’ clue as to what is ever happening. This is not because the material is so overwhelmingly hard. No, that’s not it at all. It’s because our instructor can’t communicate. Everything we go over is just a blur. Half of the time he doesn’t quite know what he is saying and you can easily tell by all the mistakes he makes in his notes and when he is working on the chalk board. He is constantly erasing and rewriting what he writes, then he’ll look puzzled, glance at the ceiling for a bit, erase something else and write something new. It also doesn’t help that what he writes is completely unintelligible. If you could videotape me during class, all you would ever see is me looking dumbfounded and constantly mumbling, “what the hell is going on here,” as I scratch my head. If this keeps up, I’m afraid I’ll just reach the point where I’ll give up completely and not care because it’s not worth my effort to try and teach this course to myself (from the 1000 page, 83 lb. book that describes what we are going over). I honestly don’t think I’ve had a worse class in the last three years that I’ve been here.

After my classes I was supposed to have a meeting with the head of the honors department here at CSB/SJU to discuss my standing in the honors program and what I have to finish to graduate with honors. My appointment with him was at 1:00 pm and I waited outside of his office until 1:30, but he never showed. I left a message on his door and told him that I was disappointed that we didn’t get together. He emailed later and apologized because he forgot to put our meeting in his planner. I’m starting to think that this school would work real well if there just weren’t any students here. Then the administration wouldn’t have to worry about such complicated things, such as WRITING SOMETHING DOWN IN A PLANNER.

Well, I’m done. I really can’t think of anything else to put up today. Let’s hope I get a spark soon that will light my writing fire again. I used to be able to crank out pages in minutes and now I’m struggling to come up with relevant things to write. Well, I’ll just keep plugging away and hopefully you’ll all still keep reading.

Sunday, September 08, 2002


So yesterday night and Friday night I tried out for Attention Starved Children (ASC), the improv group here at SJU. From what I saw, in my opinion, I thought that I would be a good candidate to be in this group. Friday night I thought I did quite well, I was on with most of the games, and my chemistry with some of the other people trying out seemed to be good. Last night I had some off moments, and it wasn’t one of my better performances, but I still think that I did good enough to warrant being one of the people to come back to call-backs today. ASC seemed to have different plans.

After they made their decision on who came back, I talked to Karl about it because he is already in the group. He told me I didn’t make it back, and at first I thought he was kidding because we always kid around about stuff like that. After a few seconds it dawned on me that he wasn’t and I was dumbfounded. Was I not funny enough? Did my experience with Strike Team Improv this summer do nothing for me? Am I just really bad on stage? I didn’t understand. He told me that he was the only one in the group who pushed for me to make it back to call-backs. The thing that really hurt about this is that I had another good friend from our ultimate frisbee team (I guess not as good of one as I thought) in the group who said he didn’t want me in it. That hurts to know a friend wouldn’t want you to be in it, and that he would choose someone who obviously doesn’t know the rules of improv or have any experience over me. To top it off, and to give a real pointed edge to how I feel is a situation that came up last year.

This same person who didn’t want me in improv was in charge of interviews for the Health Initiative group on campus here last year. This is a group of people who try to make the campus aware that there are alternatives to drinking and partying all the time and they try to help everyone lead a healthy life while they are here at SJU. There was one slot open with the group and there were two people vying for this opening—me and another kid he didn’t know. I thought for sure I’d get in because I had never been a person to drink or party while I’d been here and I am a huge stickler for leading a healthy lifestyle. I should have been a shoe-in. Instead he chose the other kid. I was really hurt and asked him why he wouldn’t choose me. He never answered me, instead he would dodge the question however he could. I lost some respect for him there but I got over it. I now see that even though I’ve thought he’s been a good friend, he obviously isn’t.

Now, back to present time. The leader of ASC, when coming to my name, said he basically just didn’t like me and that’s why I shouldn’t be back. Wow, that’s a great reason not to bring someone back. That’s like telling a star basketball prospect they’re cut because he isn’t friendly enough to the captain. Ludicrous.

Well, I don’t know what else to say except good luck to Karl and Pat, two actual friends who made it into the group. I hope you guys can make it a better group then the bunch of assholes it is now. I don’t plan on being nicey nice to anyone in that group anymore (except Karl and Pat, of course) as they obviously don’t give a shit about me as a person. Sometimes you have to learn the hard way who is really a friend, and who is just acting like one.

Thursday, September 05, 2002

One Wonky Dream

Last night I had the most convoluted, weird, and morbid dream imaginable—and it also is burned into my mind from the realness of it. I can’t really describe it in words, but I’m going to try, so here goes:

First, it starts off as kind of a fade-in into some tv show maybe. I’m coming home from work to my house and as I walk in I see Karl, just finishing up making supper. We sit down to eat and he tells me he has a plan that will make us millions of dollars. Intrigued we talk. He tells me he has done this before and there is no sweat to it. We’re going to get the money from the high school I work at. Since I already work there, I can get him a job there and we can work our magic and get the money.

Flash forward ahead probably a month. Karl and I are sitting in a classroom correcting papers as he tells me that he is about ready to take action to get the money (he never truly says how he’s going to do it, except that the money will come in our paychecks). First, he has to do some things, though, and he says this with an evil glow in his eyes. I feel fear, lots of it—tangible fear, but I don’t know of what.

Flash forward again and we are sitting back at our home. He tells me that I must “eliminate” someone that is going to be coming down the road. Oh, I forgot to tell you that we are living in a slightly pre-Civil War time period, and guns are very hard to come by. I would have to kill this person with my sword that he had given me, and it must be done in the shadows—not in the light. I felt the overwhelming fear again, but I knew that I must do it. I pick up the sword and notice I am covered in sweat. I’m nervous. The man comes down the road. I slowly follow him and notice he is wearing a large trench coat and a hat. Because of this I can’t even begin to tell who this person might be. He enters a shadow and I quickly move up behind him and slit his throat. I feel a combination of ecstasy and grief, with a pang of guilt. Knowing that I had done what I needed I went home. Karl said we would not be able to get the money for a few more days. I felt paranoia come over me. I had killed a man and we had to stay here.

Flash forward to the next night. I am walking home from the school late at night and I am being followed by a man that I can’t see but only hear. I’m scared as the man moves closer. I turn around to see who it is and at that moment, a man who looks somewhat like Anthony Hopkins, slits the throat of the man who was following me with a sword—exactly as I had done to the man the night before. He glares at me, smiles, chuckles to himself, and walks away. I run home and tell Karl this, but he tells me not to worry—everything is fine. He then proceeds to go outside and as he walks out the door I hear a gun shot and see Karl’s body crumple to the floor. Standing a little beyond him was the man again, grinning evilly. Again he walks away.

The next day, a bunch of my friends come to stay with me (all of them men) to help keep me company and protect me. In the middle of that afternoon, after we had set up some preliminary defenses, our house is surrounded by screaming people all in white robes and all waving their hands. They come up to the windows and shove their hands through the glass and wave their hands at us. All of the men that were staying with me run outside to fight them, but as they do they run into the killer. He has many of these robed people around him, and as I look closer I notice they are all women. The men surround the killer and his women (not all of the women are with him, though). They jump at the women and try to fight them, but they are instead put under some type of spell by the women and they start conversing with one another instead of fighting.

I have been watching all of this from inside my house. I walk into the kitchen and see one of the robed women sitting there. Two more come in and I notice I know all of them. They are close friends of mine (their faces have no correspondence to anyone I know, but I have that feeling of them being my friends). Seeing them I fall to my knees, grasp my necklace (that is a cross), and begin to weep. Not wanting to be in the company of the robed women, I run into the other room.

As I get into the other room (a living room, I think), one of the women had followed, but now as she came towards me, I notice that they aren’t just robed women, they are angelic. She sits down next to me and asks what is wrong. I tell her everything has gone wrong for me—everything I do seems to backfire. She is quite sympathetic to me and she wraps her arms around me in a loving hug. At this the rest of the angelic figures from the kitchen come in (there seem to be five women in total now). We all sit down on the floor and talk about things (I don’t know what we were talking about, but it was very funny to me). While we were talking, I glanced out one of the windows and saw all of my men conversing with the killer, laughing, and looking my way every now and then. I felt that tinge of fear once again, but as I looked to my side and saw who I was with, I again felt at peace. After a long while of talking, I laid my head to rest on the lap of the angelic woman next to me. I looked up at her, smiled, she smiled back, and then I closed my eyes.

Then I woke up. I usually have no recollection of dreams—ever. When I do, however, they are so vivid that they seem like real life and I can’t forget them. Last night was one of those dreams and it has been running through my head all morning. The images are so real that I keep wondering if I should be watching out for a killer, or searching out those angelic beauties. I love dreams. Sometimes I wish I could live in a dream because in dreams everything makes sense, no matter what.

Wednesday, September 04, 2002

Oh, How I Felt Alive

I can definitely tell now, after a week of being up here, that I’m back at SJU. The reason I know is not because of homework, my friends, or where I live—but feeling that I get being surrounded by the nature of this campus. In the past couple of days I have been just hit with some extremely passionate feelings about nature, beauty, and its small relationship to me.

The first big hit came a couple of days ago. I had just gotten finished with class for the day and I was walking back to my room to rest, relax, and play some UT if I had time. As I was making the turn towards the tundra, I was just assaulted by a spectacular image in my mind. Up above me in the sky was an overcast sky. The clouds were rolling and billowing across the tops of the trees and over my apartment building. The mindless shapes—spectacular. The clouds were the type that they weren’t quite storm clouds, but yet they were also not benign. As they fleeted across the sky, the wind came with them. Being accustomed to the warm heat of the last few days, the cool breeze, in combination with the slightly lower temperature, gave me a little chill—not a bad chill, just one of recognition. As I swayed with the breeze, so did the trees lining the sidewalk and in the forest. It is such a beautiful movement to watch as the trees sway forward with the wind and then bend back as the breeze subsides, only to pick back up again and rustle the leaves of the trees. Below the trees was so much green—new grass and undergrowth where last year, as I had left this campus, there wasn’t much there but mud. The picture could not be complete without the sounds associated with all of this. You cold hear the breeze, the moving of the leaves of the trees, and the creak of the branches. They combined into a minor symphony written by God’s hand. As soon as all of this hit me, a moment later the feeling was gone. All of the elements were still there, but the symphony had come to its close. That perfect combination of God’s creations made me, once again, realize how wonderful this life, and where we live it, really is.

The second time came as I was walking Theresa to the bus after she had come over to play some Dance Dance Revolution. The same feeling as described above just hit me hard as I was walking back to my apartment. It was short and fast, but had an impact nonetheless. I wish I could describe in better words what I mean, but that’s the problem with words—you usually can’t say what you really want to.

Tuesday, September 03, 2002

Low Key Fun

So my first weekend at college has come and gone already. How did this weekend flesh out? That is what you are here to find out, my friend, and I am about to tell you.

Friday night, after I read a good portion of “Laches” by Plato, I headed up to Jeff’s place (since he was on duty as a Residence Assistant in the freshman dorms) with Karl to catch a movie. We popped in Van Wilder and were quite entertained. I thought for sure that the movie would probably suck because the last couple of National Lampoon’s movies have been not so hot (Vegas Vacation anyone?). This movie wasn’t constantly laugh-out-loud funny, but it had some great moments (and Tara Reid is also gorgeous). That was basically Friday.

Saturday was a somewhat busy day. I got up and did some lifting right away to wake myself up. I also did some of my computational theory homework, and then ran into St. Cloud with Jeff. He needed his suit dry-cleaned and I needed to get some random odds and ends for our apartment—namely, a garbage can, a desk lamp, and extension cords. After finishing all this I returned to the apartment to find Karl just rolling out of bed. I can’t understand how people can sleep in so late, even if they are out very late the night before. I always feel like I’m just wasting the day away if I’m sleeping through it. However, I have always been a positive supporter of the nap movement, so I kind of contradict myself here, but anyways.

Saturday afternoon I was supposed to go to the soccer game as SJU but a better offer to play some sand volleyball was sent my way by J-Money. J, two other guys, and myself put in three games before we realized how much we couldn’t stand the bugs. My legs were covered in bloody patches because since I was covered in sand I couldn’t feel the bugs biting some of the time and they managed to suck their fair share of my red corpuscles, leaving a few on the skin of my legs. After taking a shower, I could see all of the lumps that formed on my legs. It looked as if I had some weird disease or a mutated case of the chicken pox. Oh, how I hate insects.

Later, as Karl returned from the soccer game (that I forgot to tell him that I wasn’t going to) we set up the Dance Dance Revolution pads. Oh, what a wonderful invention. We played for an hour, hour and a half easily. At different points of playing we had people randomly coming in to watch as they could hear the music outside since we had it cranked up and flowing through the surround sound. Andy said there were actually some people that came to the door asking if we were having a party. Sorry, just me and Karl dancing. Anyone who hasn’t tried this game definitely should.

The rest of the night was spent hanging out with friends and going on a chapel walk. My good friend Theresa is staying up this week before she goes for her study abroad so all of her close friends got together for a chapel walk. It was quite fun, even though we had to sludge through some treacherous terrain (namely, a 10 foot stretch of 6 inch deep water). I love just gazing up at the stars (which there weren’t any of Sat. night) and looking out over the lake back at campus and the woods. It’s always so peaceful and beautiful. We sat out there for a while, amazed at the beauty and reminiscing about the cartoons we watched as children.

Well, Sunday wasn’t quite as eventful. I got up, ran, ate lunch, and tried to do some disc golf in the afternoon in St. Cloud, but we were cut short after five holes by a pack of killer, disease-infested, rabid mosquitoes. Again, I was thoroughly covered in lumps. By now I probably have five different strains of the West Nile virus in me, so if you don’t see any new entries in the daily thought in the near future, I’m probably either comatose or dead. No worries.

The rest of the night consisted of finishing computational theory homework and watching Proof of Life with Burns and Karl. It was an ok movie, but it wasn’t anything special. Russel Crowe put on a pretty good performance, as well as Meg Ryan, but the movie’s plot was a little weak and had a few holes that could have used some patching. Anyhow, that was the finish of my first weekend back at college. Exciting? Boring? Action-packed? You be the judge.