Tuesday, December 30, 2003

I Feel Like I Could Die

I’ve wanted to post for a while now, but a combination of me starting work and being sick as a dog has kept me from putting much up. I’m still uber-sick, but I wanted to let you all know that I’m still alive. For the past week I’ve had some type of mutating sickness. It started out with a scratchy throat, which soon became a full-fledged sore throat accompanied with swollen glands and an onset of coughing. From there the sore throat died away but the coughing only increased exponentially. Today there was a lull in the coughing but most of the afternoon (and currently) I’ve been nauseous and my head has been pounding with a killer headache. As I’m getting ready for bed my cough is picking up again to help ensure that I have yet another night of restlessness. I really hope that I get better soon.

Oddly enough I was thinking back to last year and at this time I was also extremely sick. I remember being in my apartment at school New Year’s Eve with Kristin. I was lying on the couch rotating between being icy cold and scorching warm while Kristin took care of me. I’m heading to St. Cloud or the Twin Cities (I’m not sure which yet) to spend New Year’s with Kristin again, and it appears that I may be in the same condition as last year.

Ok, I’m really done and ready for bed so I’m going to let this go and try to get some rest, assuming I can stop coughing long enough to fall asleep. I hope that all of you are having a better Christmas break than I am because if you’re not, I really feel sorry for you.

Thursday, December 25, 2003

Merry Christmas

Well, I’m back at home now. I’m finished with college. I don’t want to think about it yet and it hasn’t sunk in so I’m just going to ignore reality for a bit. Anyhow, sorry it took so long to get a new post up, but my computer had been in a disassembled state in my mom’s photo studio for the last week or so. My next few posts will probably be sparse as well since I have Christmas parties for both sides of the family coming up and Kristin is also coming down to visit.

Well, to start things off I wish you all a merry Christmas and I hope that you all were good kids and got what you wanted. Today we celebrated this wonderful holiday here at home. It was just me, my parents, and my brothers here today. We got up, decided to be lazy, or at least Randy and Ryan did. I had to get some work done for Kingland and I’m trying to squeeze some hours in while I have spare time over break. We then opened our presents before we had dinner. Now I’m betting you’re all wondering what my parents got for me. Don’t worry, I’ll get to it.

First I wanted to get to what I got for my family. Actually, for my family Kristin and I went in together on presents so the following are what “we” got for them. For Randy we picked up a sports car coffee table book and a Punisher action figure. For Ryan we got him Crazy Taxi 3 for Xbox and a Master Shake plush toy. For those of you who don’t know, Master Shake is a character on the tv show Aqua Teen Hunger Force (one of the funniest shows out there, in my opinion). For my parents we got them a Terry Redlin calendar and a framed art print for the new addition to the house.

From my parents and “santa” I got a bunch of cool stuff: an SJU t-shirt (again, reminding me I’m done, but I’m still refusing to acknowledge it!), a Marvel Universe comic print t-shirt (it’s way cool with the Hulk, Spider-Man, and Thor in the center of the scene), a Marvel Universe comic trivia game that came in a pretty tin, a Simpsons Uno deck, some beef jerky, and a box full of comics consisting of runs of some series that I’ve been trying to complete (Dr. Fate, Namor, Alpha Flight, X-Men, and Brigade to name a few).

The family, well mostly dad, also bought DDR for my mom, which I will tell you right now has not turned off all day. If Randy wasn’t on it either Ryan or I was. I think Randy and Ryan will have the pad worn out before mom gets a chance to practice. Now it won’t just be me and Ryan fighting for time on the Xbox, but mom will also be vying for time! To spice things up I think I’m going to set up my free subscription to Xbox live and see what all they hype is about (and play some DDR online).

Well, I’m going to wrap this up, but before I go I would like to wish you all a happy holidays once again! May there be plenty of joy for you and your families!

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

I'm Almost Done

Finals week is now into full swing with today being the first day of exams. Luckily for me I don’t have any, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t had things to do. I’ve had three final papers that needed to be finished and I’ve managed to polish off one completely, I’m close to finishing the other (just proof reading and revising left), and the third is next on my agenda. If all goes well, I should have my last paper done by tomorrow night so that I can use all day Thursday to pack up my stuff for Friday when my parents come up to help move me home.

This last week I’ve often found myself getting sentimental about almost everything I do. It’s so weird. “This is the last time I’ll play volleyball with my team.” “This is the last time I’ll be sitting in class.” “This is the last time I’ll ever have to take the bus.” “This is the last time I’ll ever get to eat at Sexton when they have curly fries while it’s snowing outside.” Well, maybe not sentimentality to the extreme of the last statement, but it’s strong nonetheless.

To help reinforce this feeling, the philosophy department had a Christmas get-together at one of the prof’s house in St. Joe on Sunday night. It turns out that it wasn’t just a Christmas gathering, but Steve (the prof whose house we were at) had gotten a cake for Lindsay (anther senior philosophy grad) and I congratulating us on our graduation. Not only that, but the department and other philosophy students gave us each a card and gift. Because of my interest (and degree) in computer science, they gave me a book on artificial intelligence, which looks to be quite interesting as it details the history of the field of AI while speculating on the future of what may or may not be able to be accomplished.

It was really nice to sit down, relax, and talk with my professors and fellow classmates for a few hours. It really made me notice the difference between the computer science faculty and the philosophy department. When I was going through the computer science program I never really felt a connection with any of my profs and I never had any desire to interact with them outside of class. On the other end of the spectrum, there hasn’t been a philosophy professor that I haven’t wanted to talk with outside of class. I also think that the faculty in the philosophy department has more of an investment in their students. Sure, whenever I had a question or problem in my comp sci classes my professors would be there to help, but I never felt like they really, truly cared about me as a person. In the philosophy department, I actually feel like I’m more than just a common student with questions that need to be answered.

Another thing that has become quite apparent over the last few years is the difference in the type of students in the two majors. I never really connected to many people in the comp sci program. It might be that none of them really had social lives outside of their computers, but even so it was hard to even strike up conversations with most people in my classes. In the philosophy program I have easily made numerous friends in the short time I’ve been in the program (only 2 years). I’ve also felt so much closer to the students in the program, and I know I will miss many of them.

Ok, enough sentimentality for now, especially since I’ve been feeling my fair share of it lately. Now back to talking about homework! Really, though, I am quite thankful for my laptop at the moment. In the past I’ve often had a hard time writing papers…well, not really a hard time, but I would often get easily distracted. There’s always so many cool things on my computer like games and the internet that I have a hard time focusing on my paper. Even when I can tune out the temptations of my computer, there’s the television or video games or comic books or something else always vying for my attention as well. With my laptop, I can disconnect it from the internet, leave my room and sit in the living room where Karl is watching Law & Order (which I am completely uninterested in) and focus on writing my paper. I’ve also even went to Barnes & Noble to completely get away from everything that might distract me (although I did spend some time perusing the books) so I could focus. Because of this focus, I’ve basically got two of my papers done when semesters past I probably wouldn’t have thought of even starting them until tomorrow.

Well, since I’m talking about my laptop, I think I’m going to get back to finishing my second paper so I can start my third when I get finished here at work. It’d be nice to have everything done before I go to see LOTR: The Return of the King tomorrow so I’m going to try to buckle down hardcore. Wish me luck!

Thursday, December 11, 2003

So Cold Your Snot Freezes

Mother Nature has finally decided to lay the smack down on us Minnesotans and remind us of where we are living. Yesterday and today the highs have been in the low teens, but when you factor in the wind it was hitting the negatives. I always hate these first real cold days because even though I know summer is over, I’ve gotten used to just the “right around freezing or slightly under” days that define the first month or two of winter. Once the first “it’s cold enough to freeze my 170 degree coffee on the walk to work” day has arrived, you know you’re in for the long, winter haul.

If it wasn’t for this horribly frigid weather (there’s no snow that came in with the temps, so that’s good) I was contemplating running a 5K this weekend over at CSB, but as it stands I’m pretty sure I’d freeze to death by the time I finished. Either that or I’d get myself sick which I really don’t want with Christmas right around the corner.

Speaking of Christmas, I finished the rest of my xmas shopping yesterday. I had to go in to St. Cloud to pick up a few odds and ends, so while I was there I just picked up the rest of my Christmas presents. It was kind of weird coming home with a bunch of empty Rubbermaid tubs to start packing my stuff up in. Usually I get a few things together to take home over break, but packing up everything seems weird to me. I’m also wondering how I’m going to get all the crap I’ve accumulated up here home, and once it’s there, what am I going to do with it? Lucky thing we have the new addition, although I’m pretty sure I won’t have much of the new space at my disposal (I’ll probably only have a corner that I can use to store my comic collection). It’ll be a little bit odd moving back into my old room, but I’m sure it’ll just feel like every summer for the last four years has.

Last night Kristin and I finally reached a new milestone—we beat Dynasty Warriors 3. The last mission of the game must have taken us three days of trying to beat. In that one mission alone, between our two characters, we totaled almost 600 kills. If there’s ever been a game that has more killing via swords and bow & arrow, I don’t know of it. I think by the end of the game my character alone totaled almost 2,500 kills. That’s just monstrous, but the odd thing is I don’t feel like this game was a gratuitously violent game. There was no blood, just lots of people getting mowed down by my sword and then fading into the ground. All in all it was a pretty fun game, but I had no clue whatsoever what the plot was. The cut scenes and mission briefings gave me absolutely no insight as to what was going on. Basically we were playing the missions just to beat them. Now I’ll just wait for Dynasty Warriors 4 to go on sale and I’ll start the whole cycle over again.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

I Wish This Were a Happier Time

I suppose you could say that two out of three ain’t bad, but I know that three out of three would have been better. We couldn’t quite pull off a win in our final volleyball championship game. In fact, we choked something fierce, and it wasn’t just a couple of us that did, but all of us collectively as a team had a really rough game. I don’t know if it was having to play four matches in the two days previous to last night’s game or that we all had a lack of motivation to win or what, but whatever it was, it sure disrupted our game. Not to downplay the other team at all because they’re a good team, but we had almost beaten them earlier in the season in three games. Last night wasn’t even close as they took us down in two short games. The second game we fought a little harder, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the hole we had dug ourselves into.

Even though we had a bad game, I couldn’t be happier on any other volleyball team. I’ve really enjoyed the last 3.5 years of playing with them (some for a shorter period of time, but it feels just as long) and it was a nice, crowning achievement to at least be champions in two leagues for our final season together. I’ll be graduating, Julie will be doing student teaching, Casey will be moving on to a different team, Jackie has been playing with another team, and with that the rest of our team will splinter. It’s a somewhat bittersweet ending as I know I will miss playing with our team every week. Volleyball had become a staple of my college experience. I’ve become better friends with the members of our team more than almost any other people that I’ve played sports with here at SJU. Maybe, if we’re lucky, we can put a team together over the summer or down the road because it would be nice to continue playing, but as it is I know I’ll have many happy memories of the hundreds of games that we’ve played together, and with our two championship wins, I’ll also have a couple of t-shirts to wear to remind me of our seasons.

It’s not just that volleyball is ending that is giving me this bittersweet feeling, but towards the end of every semester I usually fell a little more melancholy. Just know that I’ve reached another ending point is always hard. I don’t mind beginnings and I love middles, but endings in general bring me down. Be it the end of a movie, a sports season, a semester of school, or year of my life—endings don’t sit well with me. Most of them necessitate some type of change, which I really hate to do. I get too easily set in my ways, and once I do, I fear breaking out of that mold. Now with the end of this semester I not only have an ending there, but I have an ending to my undergraduate college career. I’ll now have to enter the working world and come to grips with how it functions. True, I will be given a new beginning, which I don’t mind, but along with it I’ll be reeling from the ending that I’ll be experiencing in the coming week and a half. It’s coming too soon, way too soon……

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Two Down, One More to Go

This is it, my last full week of classes. It’s scary that I’m now so close to the end. I’m sure that the time will go by quicker than I’d like it to as well since I’ll be busy finishing my three final papers and this week I give a presentation on Friday. Two of the three papers that I have due next week will probably be two of the most difficult I’ve written all semester. One focuses on the inherent difficulties of reconciling government and religion in our justice system while the other will focus on the concept of cause & effect as explained in the metaphysics of Locke, Hume, Berkeley, and Kant. My third paper, which is by far the easiest of the trio, is a case study in ethics as related to the Challenger space shuttle explosion (which is also what my presentation is on). In worrying about classes and getting ready to move home, I have managed to have a good time lately.

Saturday was Kristin’s and my one year anniversary so we took off the entire day from homework and everything else and spent it together. Some people may have thought that our special day wasn’t so special because we didn’t do anything grandiose, but I would have to completely disagree with them. I, personally, needed a day to just relax and get my stress level down before my last weeks of school and by spending the day together we easily achieved that and had a great time in the mix. In the morning we cooked breakfast, played a few video games (we’re addicted to Dynasty Warriors 3 when we have the time to play it), and watched X2: X-Men United. I still have a hard time getting over how great of a movie X2 is. Bryan Singer translates the X-Men so seamlessly from the comic book to the big screen, and I sincerely hope that the powers that be decide to continue rolling out new X-Men movies. It would be nice to see a franchise started much along the lines of the James Bond run.

Anyhow, I’m getting off topic. After the movie we both got dressed up and went to Timber Lodge Steakhouse. Kristin finally had a chance to wear one of the dresses my mom had picked up for her a little while back. It was not exactly the warmest night out for wearing a dress, so I have to give K a lot of credit for braving the cold and looking pretty all at the same time. We ended up splitting the walleye and steak combo, which was just perfect for both of us. We didn’t leave anything on our plates and we were stuffed full. Afterwards, we went back to my place and simply sat back and relaxed the rest of the night. It was a nice way to close off the night.

Oh, I almost forgot, for our anniversary Kristin got me a couple of little things. Since I didn’t have a big picture of K and I together, she went out, had one made, framed it, and gave it to me. It’s a great picture of us from our vacation in South Dakota this last summer. We’re standing together overlooking the Badlands. She also gave me a new watch. My old watch that I had worn for the last 3 years finally broke about a month ago so I’d been living without the ability to check the time religiously during my classes (which I often do since there are no clocks in two of the rooms I have class in). The watch is really pretty. The band and border of the face are silver (to match my rings) while the face is a really deep blue that fades into silver as you look towards the center. I like it a lot, and it feels so nice to have that comforting feeling of something on my right wrist again.

The rest of the weekend, and the beginning of this week has been great as well. Sunday night our volleyball team played through two games to get to the championship game, which we fought hard and won making us champions of one of our three leagues. Last night we played the championship game of our second league and again won. So now we’re #1 in two out of our three leagues. Tonight is the championship game in our third league and, you guessed it, we’re playing in this one too. Out of the three nights, though, tonight we’ll have our hardest game. We’re playing a team that consists of a couple of men’s club players and some female ex-volleyball players. We played them earlier in the year and lost in three games. I think if we play a little bit better than we have the last two nights, we can pull it off and sweep all of the volleyball leagues. Wish us luck!

Friday, December 05, 2003

Shifting Attitudes

The end of the semester is now rapidly approaching and I can feel everyone’s tenseness levels starting to rise. You can always see a slight change in people’s dispositions when finals time rolls around. Some people are more on edge, some try harder to get away from their studies, while other simply disappear to the depths of the libraries and computer labs. Over the years I’ve noticed that I seem to fall into each of these categories simply depending upon my mood for the day. I’m amazed at how inconsistent I feel about things during these last few weeks. One moment I can’t wait for Christmas break to be here, the next I dread the thought. One day I may ramp up my dedication to doing my homework while the next I will try to avoid class and homework as if their presence would somehow cause me physical pain.

Yesterday actually managed to be a day of both ends of the spectrum. While I was at work I did my readings and writing assignments for class and looked over some things for my later class. I paid attention and participated heavily in my first class, but then my attitude shifted. I went to lunch and napped and from that point on I was done. I made it to my afternoon class, but I felt disinclined to participate and all I could do was clock-watch. A class that was usually very interesting simply turned into a prison sentence of 70 minutes. At the beginning of the semester I would never have thought of my law class in this way, but the end of the semester brings about such odd feelings and notions.

After class my focus did nothing but wane. I got home and cleaned up my room a bit, threw in my laundry and went to a meeting for next week’s presentation in my business ethics class. We went over the case (the Challenger shuttle explosion) for a little while, but it soon became apparent that all three of us were in the mindset that homework couldn’t hold our attention. I figured that I wouldn’t be able to focus on my homework after the meeting so I went to run and lift, which I hoped would clear my mind. It didn’t. I got back, showered, and tried to do some work because I knew I needed to get it done. I managed to finish it, but not without a boatload of effort poured into it. Reading that I usually found engrossing was hard to focus on, and I sometimes needed to read things twice that I usually wouldn’t have.

I don’t know what it is, but these last days of the semester have some type of intoxicating effect upon students. Maybe it’s the thought of freedom from homework that comes with Christmas break. Maybe it’s the added pressure of finals that breaks our concentration. I don’t really know what it could be, but I do know that whatever it is it changes people, myself included.

Since I mentioned Christmas above and since I’ve talked about needs the last couple of posts, I’ve had the holidays on my mind. I love the season of Christmas, but there is definitely one thing that drives me crazy about this time of year—Christmas music. Many people love it, but I can’t stand it. As soon as I started to hear Christmas carols and pop renditions of Christmas songs coming over the radio, before thanksgiving was even here nonetheless, I started to cringe. Every pop star—good and bad—comes out of the woodwork to do some version of their favorite Christmas song. Considering I hate almost all pop music and I dislike most Christmas music, the combination of the two often drives me slightly homicidal.

Why can’t we all just agree to play Christmas music during the week of Christmas and not before. Usually by the time Christmas even gets here everyone is sick of the same bland Christmas tunes that they’ve been hearing for over a month. If we only played them during the week of the holidays, we wouldn’t be so sick of them (and I might actually be able to tolerate a Christmas song or two). As it stands now, however, every time I hear a Christmas song outside of a few days before the actual day of Christmas I just want to vomit.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Should I Need These Things?

So, where was I? Ah, yes, needs and things and money. As I’ve been thinking about the word need and what needs for people actually are, I can’t help but look subjectively at my life and what I think I need. I suppose I should admit up front that I am somewhat materialistic. I do like to have “things”, but I wish that I always didn’t want to have them. Often I can get along without things, but every once in a while there just happens to be something I need.

For the most part, I only get material things when I have the money to afford them and I feel that I am getting a fair deal for what I’m paying for it. Through this reasoning, I’ve never actually paid full price for anything, I don’t think. All the video games I buy I pick up used or on sale (I try to only buy them if they’re $15 or less). I used to get cd’s all the time when they were on sale, but for the last 6-8 months or so I’ve almost completely given up buying music (unless it’s from a band that I really like and the cd is sub-$10). I have also given up DVD buying for the most part as well. I don’t usually watch a movie more than once or twice anyways, so why buy a movie for $15 or so when you can rent it for $3 or $4.

Thinking back, I probably spent too much money on cd’s and dvd’s. I’m pretty sure that I never actually thought that I needed any of them while I was purchasing them (even if I might have said so), but I definitely wanted them. Maybe I just fluctuate from one material thing to the next in what I like to purchase because I went from toys to cd’s to dvd’s and now I’m back into comics again. Realizing once more that I don’t “need” comics, I’ve tried to reign in my comic buying to just my monthly subscription and a few assorted titles here and there to fill in my runs.

The thing that has been different with some comic purchases than with cd’s, dvd’s, and other things I’ve bought is that occasionally I have caught myself actually feeling a need for some issues, but it doesn’t happen too often. Usually the only time it happens is if I somehow manage to put together an almost complete run, but I’m missing a few issues. If I have #1-13 and #15-15 of a 20 issue series, I then feel the “need” to get #14. Every other issue seems useless and incomplete without that one issue. I’m sure that there are many other great story arcs in that series outside of that issue, but I somehow feel like I’m being cheated if I read it through without having that issue to read. It would almost be like reading a novel and just skipping an entire chapter in the middle of the book.

In cases such as these I see the one place that things that are unneeded for survival and sustenance could be seen as a need. When I get something that is not a need, but I require something to augment it, complete it, or protect it—those items of augmentation, completion, or protection then become needs in my mind. An example of this that doesn’t involve comic books might be my laptop that I just got. Since I now have a nice laptop that I spent a good chunk of change on, I need some way of protecting it and transporting it. I “needed” a carrying bag. This need ended up costing me $40 that I don’t really have at the moment. Sure, I could get by without it, but I don’t want to take that chance of breaking it or not being able to take it somewhere. Heck, I didn’t even need to get the laptop, so I shouldn’t really need the case either.

This problem right here is, in my opinion, my biggest downfall when it comes to viewing things as needs. I will not view things as needs, and I will only get them when I can afford them and I think I could get good use out of them. After I get those items, the auxiliary items that are associated with it then become needs for me. This association of tacked on items never really figures into my view of the original item. Maybe if they did I would reconsider buying many things.

I really don’t think I’ve answered the question of how things can be needs very well, but in thinking about it I’ve come to realize how I operate when it comes time to purchase something. I suppose I could go out on a limb here and say that I’ve found the topic for my New Year’s Resolution already—be more intelligent in examining all the aspects of a purchase: it’s actual cost, what other items I will associate with it as needs, what the ramifications of those needs will be, and if it will be possible for me to circumvent these feelings of necessity.

I want to follow through on this resolution doubly well because I will now have loans to be paying off that I’ve accrued from attending SJU, and also my employment situation does not seem to be as secure as I would have hoped. I’m still trying to pin down a job at Kingland in Rochester, but the position is not a guarantee. Even if I do get the job, I have no clue what the salary may be (assuming that it would be a salaried position). I guess this isn’t exactly how I saw the beginning of my “real world” experience starting. I came in with high hopes of coming out of here with a degree and a secure job that would pay me well enough to get my loans taken care of and also allow me to put together a nice, little savings fund. Now, as it stands, I’m on shaky ground because if my job at Kingland falls through, I’m pretty much screwed because I haven’t looked anywhere else. I’ve liked Kingland’s environment and simply wanted to continue working for them. Let’s hope it works out that way. It is definitely going to be an interesting December, but I am still unsure as to what type of interesting it may be—drama or pleasant surprises. Either way, it’s all going to be unfolding within the next 30 days. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

Monday, December 01, 2003

What Do You Need?

Oddly enough, my thanksgiving break wasn’t nearly as lazy as I would have liked it to have been. Sure, it was relaxing and all, but I didn’t get nearly as much sleep as I would have liked and I didn’t get to sit around and simply read & watch tv for hours on end. What’s even more odd is that I really didn’t mind that much. It was simply enjoyable being home with the family.

For thanksgiving our family just stayed home by ourselves, which I enjoy much more than trying to have a bunch of people over or trying to make it to other people’s dinners. I’d rather just stay home, not have to worry about driving, not have to worry about trying to be sociable, and not worry about other people’s cooking. Instead, my dad and I (with a little help from Ryan and mom) cooked dinner, which consisted of turkey, stuffing, potatoes, gravy, crescent rolls, and macaroni & cheese. It was very scrumptious and my tummy was quite pleased, if not a little overstuffed! After that much food, there was no other option for afternoon activities besides sitting down to watch football. The rest of the evening was spent cleaning the basement and getting to bed semi-early in preparation for Black Friday.

Yes, for about the fifth year in a row, I was outside Best Buy’s doors at a little before 5 am. What makes this feat so crazy every year is that we live 45 minutes outside of town, so in order to get there that early Ryan and I had to get up before 4 am. Most people would call us crazy, but I think of us more as ├╝ber-crazy. Every year there has been some reason that we’ve “needed” to be there, and this year was no different. In years past we’ve managed to get most of our house’s electronic goods on this most holy of shopping days. Last year it was a monitor for mom’s computer and some other computer parts. Two years ago it was a new television and some computer parts. Three years ago it was mostly just computer parts. This year it was a lot of things.

The “thing” that was foremost on my mind was a nice, shiny, new laptop computer. Ever since high school I have drooled over the portability of a laptop. Oh, how I’ve always wanted a computer that I could take with me anywhere. As of Friday, that dream became a $500 reality. For that price I could not pass up a loaded laptop—2.4 Ghz processor, 256 Mb DDR ram, 30 Gb hard drive, DVD/CD-RW drive, and a 15” screen. With this purchase, I was also able to fulfill one of my brother’s “needs”, that being a portable dvd player (he bought my 7” portable off of me since I now have a 15” portable!).

We also managed to haul in a few other neato things for the family (and for me, but they were put away for xmas, so I’ll refrain from mentioning them until after xmas). Our family camcorder broke a few months ago so we picked up a new one. In comparison to our old one, this new one is SO COOL! I don’t know how we ever survived without an LCD for recording (and replaying). The picture is also so much clearer on this cam than on our older one. The size difference was also quite noticeable (the new one being small and light and the old being heavy and somewhat bulky).

Now you may have noticed that in the above paragraphs I have put the word “need” in quotes whenever I’ve used it. I did this because of a conversation I recently had with Kristin over break when we talked about what people really need. What do people really need? We use the word so liberally in our speech and conversations, you’d think that everything that could possibly be in a person’s price range must be a need. I have also often wondered exactly what a person’s needs may be, but usually I do not think I have a proper answer.

In the strictest sense, for human survival all we really, truly need is basic sustenance in the form of food and water, enough clothes to keep us warm, and shelter from the elements. Beyond that, we don’t really “need” anything. I, however, find this troubling. What about companionship or love? What about purpose? What about material “things”? I honestly think that they all hold a place in someone’s canon of needs as well.

Without other human contact and a purpose, what would life ever offer over death besides persistence in this world? Nothing, really. Any “normal” human being I think also craves, and “needs”, other things beyond sustenance, the biggest of those things being human interaction. I don’t even think it has to be meaningful interaction—any will do. Just knowing that you are not alone and that you have someone experiencing the same world that you are is essential for persisting in this world.

Beyond just simple human interaction and sustenance, humans must also have a purpose. I don’t mean that everyone must have some grandiose plan, but we are a goal oriented species and without something to strive for we lose any meaning that the world might offer to us. Imagine your life without goals—all goals—and tell me what it is like. I simply cannot imagine that type of life.

Even if we have purpose, human contact, and sustenance, do we really need all of the “things” we say we do? Do I need a new laptop? Does your child really need that $80 pair of jeans? Does Michael Jackson really need more plastic surgery? I know the answer to the last question is obviously yes (please fix your face, Michael, because I’m starting to have nightmares any time I see you on the news), but what about the first two and related questions? I think that it is very possible that they could be needs, but the criteria for the need must be known and expressed. When I say I “need” a laptop, I don’t mean, “I cannot survive without a laptop,” but instead I mean, “For me to be able to do computing from places other than my room, I must have a portable computer, but I will not buy one unless the price is justifiable.” The same could be said for the jeans. You could need them because your old pants ripped out and you have the necessary amount of funds to buy this new, comfortable pair of jeans.

The problem that I think comes into play when people criticize other people about their “needs” is when they don’t understand the criteria that a person is using to come to the conclusion that they have a need. Someone may think that by me saying, “I need a laptop” that I am being absurd because I don’t need it to survive. To be a more productive worker and to make my work available on the go, I must have something besides my desktop, namely a laptop, and by that I “need a laptop”.

Need is also very often associated with money, but that is a topic for another day as I now have to leave for my morning class. I “need” to attend so I cannot finish this at the moment, but there will definitely be more to come tomorrow or the next day!

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Gosh I Feel Lazy

It’s still freezing out and I’m already ready for it to be done. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t so darn winding and dreary looking out. If the sun peaked through just a little, it would probably make me feel not quite as rundown as I am now. Maybe that has something to do with my final in Business Ethics in three and a half hours.

I’m still unsure what to expect from this final. The class hasn’t exactly been tailored to people possessing intellects, yet the final study guide was quite comprehensive and it seems like our prof is looking for in-depth answers. Even though this class was listed as a 300-level philosophy class, there are only two philosophy majors in the class out of the 25 students. The rest are mostly management and business majors, both groups being notorious for their lack of brainpower, which has been shown over and over again throughout the semester in discussion in class. If the test is really as difficult as I think it may be, I have a real hard time believing that many of the people in our class will be able to do well. I am also a little bit worried because our prof seems to eschew independent thinking in favor of concept regurgitation, which doesn’t sit well with me. I have always liked being able to articulate answers in my own way, yet still covering the bases, but here it may not suit my best interests.

In another class, Philosophy of Law, I should be getting my latest essay back today. I’m curious as to how I did on this on since I ramped up my amount of effort on it almost two fold from the first essay. Getting a “B” on the first one was not acceptable to me and getting another was not in my game plan. Now to see if I did manage to pull off the ever elusive “A” I’ll have to wait until 3:00 pm.

Then after my three classes for the day are over, I can actually relax for a nice, long, five day thanksgiving break. It’ll feel so nice knowing that I don’t have a paper or test urgently pressing. It’ll be nice to sit down and not wrack my brain trying to figure out what work I have left to do for my classes. It’ll be so nice to just completely veg out! Sitting down, watching some tv, playing a few video games with Ryan, and reading some comics are the only activities on my agenda for at least two days of this vacation. I’ll need this break because after it’s over, it really is crunch time back here at school. Two weeks of class and finals week is all we’ll have left. In that time I’ll have one final half hour presentation to prepare, one final test/essay, and two final papers. Yes, crunch time it truly will be.

Monday, November 24, 2003

Those Poor Exchange Students from Trinidad

It looks like winter has finally taken an icy grip over St. Cloud. As I came to work this morning, hoping ever so much that school would be 2 hours late or cancelled, I trudged through snow mound upon snow mound. We probably have about a foot of snow on the ground. I’m not going to lie, it’s very pretty, but I really don’t enjoy the subzero temperatures that usually, and this morning did, accompany the snow. I checked the temperature when I logged on this morning and it was a whopping 8 degrees out, but once you factor in the blistering wind, it was in the double digits—below zero.

I don’t know if I’m really ready for everything that winter entails just yet. I was having fun only wearing a fall coat and not having to worry about slippery roads. Friday night was the first night since last winter that I had to worry about slick roads, and slick they were. Kristin, Megan, Rebecca, and I took Molly out for her birthday.

We went to see Pirates of the Caribbean at the dollar theater and then hit up Chipotle for supper. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it before but Chipotle is the best pseudo-fast food, pseudo-mexican, pseudo-restaurant that I know. They have absolutely gigantic burritos and chips. Yep, that’s all they serve, but holy crap are they good! Imagine a burrito that the God of Thunder, Zeus, would order when he’s really hungry after a long day of smiting us mere humans. I really don’t know what I will do in Rochester without one.

What’s so odd is that three of my favorite places to go here in St. Cloud have no counterparts in Rochester. Cold Stone Ice Cream, Krispy Kreme Donuts, and Chipotle are all food chains that have proliferated here in St. Cloud. Now Rochester is a bigger city, yet we have none of these chains present. Why? I simply don’t understand why someone doesn’t open at least one of these chains in Rochester because I know it would take off like crazy.

The other thing that is completely crazy is the weather here. I’m definitely not ready for winter. Oh, wait a minute, I already said that, didn’t I? I guess I’m still hung up about how winter significantly limits the options of what you can do to pass the time. Take this weekend for example. Yesterday I didn’t even leave my apartment except once to go move my car out of employee parking. I was getting a touch of cabin fever after only a weekend of winter. There’s only so much I could do in my apartment and Kristin & I tried to make the most of it, but the reality is that within our apartment there are about six things to do for entertainment. 1. Watch TV. 2. Watch a movie. 3. Play video games. 4. Read a book. 5. Play a card game. 6. Cook food. You could probably throw homework in there as something to do as well, but it’s definitely not entertainment.

With the passing of fall, so many options for things to do are gone, or at least don’t seem as fun anymore. No more taking off for a run or going on a leisurely walk. No more outdoor sports. No more hanging out outdoors doing homework and reading which often helped because I wasn’t tempted to get off track by the television or my computer. Heading into town isn’t as fun of a prospect because you have to brave the cold and snow to get to your car and then you freeze most of the way into town. Winter just simply limits your options, and that is pretty much my biggest complaint about the season.

Friday, November 21, 2003

Students Can Piss Off

Finally, after a solid year and a half of my pushing for a change in the setup of the computer lab, it is finally going to happen—just as I am almost done working here. Isn’t it absolutely wonderful how logical decisions and changes take ages to progress through approval channels? It’s amazing how here in college they try to instill a solid idea of punctuality, yet once you see things operating in the real world you realize it’s all for naught.

Every class that I have taken, papers have a concrete due date (unless circumstances change where more time is obviously needed), tests are given on a certain day, presentations must be done when they are scheduled, and assignments are to be handed in on time. All of these have their reasons for exceptions or being changed, but that does not happen often. I know that when something is due, it damn well better be handed in at that time. It’s been ingrained into my system that I must obey schedules and I should get things accomplished in a timely manner—that’s just what you do.

Every day I come to work in the computer lab. Every day the computers still face away from me. I’ve asked over and over since the beginning of last year when they relocated my desk to change things so that they accommodated the lab worker. They always thought it was a good idea, but every day I showed up, nothing had changed. This year they started criticizing me for not being able to do my job correctly. In response, I then reiterated what I had for the last year, albeit a little firmer, to justify my position and finally something is being done. November 26th the computer lab will be restructured so that the computer screens actually face my desk so I can actually do my job. Amazingly enough, I will then be gone three weeks later. Thank you St. John’s Prep for your timely response to my request!

If I were to do my homework in the fashion that the prep school made changes to the computer lab, I’d still be working on my first paper from one of my classes that I took last year. I guess it just boggles my mind that it would take so long for something so small to be done.

I also have another wonderful tale about how much SJU cares for its students. Yesterday I wanted to get a check made out for something I ordered online. I went to student accounts, deposited some money and then asked if I could have a check made out.

“No, I can’t do that.”

“Why? Are you not able to print checks in the afternoon?” It was about 2:00 pm and I usually go there in the mornings, so I thought maybe they shut down the check printer in the afternoon. That would be a logical assumption since they couldn’t make me a check.

“No, it’s just really finicky and it might break if I try to print a check.”

“Well, can’t you just print my check and if it breaks then call to get it fixed? If it’s going to break, it’ll break eventually and you’ll have to get it fixed then anyhow.”

“No, Bonnie [the other student accounts worker] knows how to work it and she’s leaving now so I don’t want to risk breaking it and not having her here to fix it”

“She’s still here, though, so can’t you just try it and if it doesn’t work she can look at it quick before she goes?”

“No, she’s pretty busy. Come back tomorrow if you need a check.”

“Fine, thanks for your wonderful help. I really appreciate it.” It should be noted that this statement was fed through my sarcasm filter at 100%, so imagine me saying it in my most snide voice.

This isn’t the end of the story, however. I had to go to the business center to talk about some loan information and while I was there I asked if there was anywhere else I could get a check printed besides student accounts since they said the check printer was broken. Knowing that student accounts was still open, she called down there asking if she could get a check made out. Sure enough, they asked her how much and to whom.

“No, I didn’t need a check made out. I have a student here who needs one made………oh, really…..uh huh……ok, well I suppose I can do that. Richard, Don said that he didn’t want to make out a check so what you should do is go withdraw some cash and go have a money order made over at the post office.”

“Why? He said he’d make a check for you.”

“Yes, but he’s afraid it might break on him.”

“But that doesn’t change the fact he would print a check for you and not for me. Why should it make a difference who’s getting the check printed. Either it can be or it can’t be.”

“I’m sorry, maybe you can stop back down there and talk it over.”

“No thanks, I already tried to deal with them.”

Oh my goodness. They don’t give a flying fuck about students but as soon as someone who works there wants the same thing done they jump on it. I hate how the administration works here. I truly cannot stand it and I will definitely not miss trying to walk through the rivers of crap they make you wade through just to get the simplest things accomplished. I know that I’m going to enjoy giving a nice big one-fingered salute to every last administration worker here when I finally leave.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

All Good Things...

I think it is finally starting to dawn on me that there isn’t much time left for me here at SJU. Next week is thanksgiving break already. After that we only have about three weeks of school—two weeks of class and one week of finals. Since thanksgiving is late this year, it’s going to be even harder coming back from break knowing that there is so much less time to spend on campus and with everyone here.

It might seem like I’m being a little overdramatic, but in reality how often am I going to be able to see the people on campus, participate in activities, and simply just be on campus? At most I can come up on the weekends. Sure, I can visit people then, but I’ll definitely miss not having everyone simply a phone-call or short walk away.

Missing out on all of the activities is what will probably be the hardest to take over the long run. I’m so used to playing volleyball three nights a week, having frisbee all the time, going to different philosophy presentations, and being in reading groups. None of this will be available to me anymore from home in Waltham. It’ll all be a solid two and a half hours away.

Back to the topic of friends and peers, at home I really don’t have anyone to hang out with outside of my family. Everyone I know is either still in St. Cloud, the Twin Cities, or else they’re somewhere even farther away. No one I know, besides myself, had made the decision to work or be in the Rochester area. Sure, I’ll love being able to actually hang out and be with my family all the time, but as much as I love them all, I know I’ll want contact with people my age group.

It’s definitely going to be a change, especially going from the college atmosphere to the “real world”. Friday of next week I’m going in to Kingland to discuss possible future employment. I’m hoping for a permanent position that pays well enough so that I can get my plethora of college bills taken care of. It would be wonderful to get my loans paid off as fast as I possibly can. It’ll also be hard to make the change from doing work on my own schedule, like I do here at college with my homework, to being on a regulated schedule. I did it for the last two summers, but that was only for three months at a time. The permanence of this type of lifestyle I don’t think fits very well with my personality, but do I really have a choice but that of conformity?

I keep thinking about the changes that I’ll have to make, but this time I can’t help but worry about them more because instead of knowing I only have to do it for a summer, I have to do it indefinitely. The end of an era approaches and I can easily tell you that I am not ready. In the last two years or so, I finally was able to fully embrace the college atmosphere and lifestyle. I wholeheartedly embraced it so much that I now do not want to move on. Transitioning has never been easy for me, and I am sure that this will be no exception.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

You've Got to Have Heart

I don’t think I’ve mentioned it yet, but our indoor intramural frisbee season has started. Our team this year is a conglomeration of two teams from last year—our Rogue Squad, and a friend’s team, Dump with a Smile. Fittingly enough, we named our team the Dump Squad. It was too bad that the Rogue Squad didn’t want to get back together, but when I tried to round everyone up for the team I found out that most of our team had divvied up onto other teams and that most of our team formed up with Dump. I actually am enjoying this season so far and I like our players this year.

So far we’re three games into the season and we’re 1-2. The upside to having a losing record is that we’ve still won more games than we did last season! Last night’s game we lost 11-9 to probably the best team in the league. In my mind, we could have won the game, but one person on our team got burnt for about 5 of the other team’s points. It seemed like he just constantly gave up on defense and didn’t care. Often he’d just stop running if it looked like his guy was going to get the disc and he didn’t think he could get to it.

This lack of heart and effort has always been the one and only thing that I hate about playing sports with people. I always want to win as well, of course, but even if a team I play on loses, as long as everyone has given it their best effort I’ll be happy. When someone just doesn’t care, is lazy, or doesn’t have their heart in the game, I become very disappointed. Such was the case last night. If you’re not going to try you shouldn’t be out there playing, yet he continued to stay out there, trying to play defense extremely half-assed. I try not to blame things specifically on people, but last night is the exception and I know we would have won if he would have tried. Ok, I’m done.

Work here at the prep school has become even more retarded as of late. I’ve been told that I need to crack down more on the students who are playing games while I’m at work. I would have no trouble doing that, except I can’t. My desk is at the front of the room facing towards the backsides of all of the monitors so it is impossible for me to see what they are doing from where I sit. The library, and whoever is in there, has the view of the monitor screens. Often the study hall teacher in the library will come in and tell certain kids to stop playing games. I’ve been told that it is my fault that they’re getting away with playing games. I wholeheartedly disagree and I told them why I thought so.

When I’m at my desk, I can’t see their monitors. When I get up to walk around the room, they see me get up and simply minimize the games until I sit back down. They then resume their game playing. The only way they are caught is when someone glances through the library window and comes in to get them. I can’t really do anything the way that the room is set up. I have also expressed that and they didn’t really care. Right now it’s to the point where I really don’t care anymore since I’m only here for another month and then they’ll have no one in here in the morning. They’ve had the job posted as open for the last month or so and no one wants it because of the hours. I can’t really blame them all since I hate getting up early every morning. This job is definitely something I will not miss about college when I finally leave at the end of December.

Speaking of December, I’ve managed to finish a good portion of my Christmas shopping already. I always try to get almost all of my shopping done before thanksgiving because after that holiday, every store is packed all of the time increasing in people density exponentially as the 25th of December approaches. In doing my Christmas shopping I managed to find a couple of bargain gems for myself.

Our local Media Play, who usually has every CD, DVD, and video game overpriced by an average of $5-$10, had a clearance sale on some of their Xbox and Playstation 2 games. I thought it would mostly be crap that they were getting rid of, but I did find a could of good games—Panzer Dragoon Orta and Dynasty Warriors 3. I’ve been playing Orta the last few days and I am amazed at how beautiful it is. The cut scenes are as good as many Final Fantasy cut scenes and the story, although a little abstruse, is interesting. The gameplay is pretty much an advanced rail shooter, but even though it is pretty simple, it is so much fun. It really reminds me of some of the games I played when I was younger back on Super Nintendo and Sega Saturn except with unbelievable graphics.

They have a few other good games that I think I’m going to go back for today on my trip into St. Cloud to get the new extended version of The Two Towers that comes out today. The couple of other games will make nice Christmas presents. You can’t really complain about getting good, new Xbox games for only $10 each. Who knows, maybe they went into their stock room and found some more games they needed to clear out. Wouldn’t that be cool?

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Drinking Blood

For everyone that has been waiting for my Halloween pictures to be put up, they can now be found right here. I’m hoping to get a few others from a friend as well since I didn’t have that many. It’s hard to imagine that Halloween was almost two weeks ago already. The last 13 days have seemingly flown by faster than most, which is odd because I’ve definitely had much more to do lately than earlier this semester.

Yesterday was finally a chance for me to get everything squared away with my classes. I took about an hour in the morning and between four and five hours in the afternoon to read all of the assignments that had been given to me for today. I had a reading in Hume on his conception of ideas, impressions, and the nature of cause and effect which turned out to be somewhat interesting. That was the short reading. For the longer, more time consuming reading, I had a gigantic collection of articles to read on the interaction of religion and law. I find the topic extremely interesting, but I’m a little overloaded with it since we’ve had six decently sized articles to read in the last few days (about 100+ pages of pretty dense reading). Along with doing that reading, I’ve been working on a three-part essay for my law class on criminal law.

In the middle of all of that work, I’ve still managed to take a little time to enjoy myself. I’ve still been playing Mace Griffin for Xbox, which I have no trouble saying is one of the most frustrating first-person shooters I’ve ever played. There are a few reasons that I’m constantly ready to burn it in effigy to the video game gods, but the main reason is the AI. Enemies know right where I am, and have impeccable aim, as soon as I even partially enter a room. An enemy could be a virtual mile away and as I creep out of a ventilation shaft they’re already popping of rockets at me. There is also an abundance of enemy snipers that are always picking at me as well, but it is hard to tell where the shots are coming from. To make matters worse, there are also more than a few jumping puzzles, which don’t really make sense for a first-person shooter. The final issue that irks me is the extreme distance between checkpoints. If you happen to die (which does happen often), you have to start from the beginning of your last checkpoint, which you probably hit 15 minutes ago. I hate replaying levels over and over again simply because you can’t save it in the middle of a mission.

Even after being so frustrated so many times, I still keep playing it and I don’t know why. Maybe I just really want to beat it and overcome my frustrations. Maybe I’m just stupid. I don’t really know.

Yesterday I also sat down to watch Interview with a Vampire with Kristin. We had both been wanting to see this for a while so we finally decided to watch it. After seeing it, I am once again intrigued by the vampire mythos. You never age, never get sick, heal extremely fast, and are much stronger than an average person. The only downfall is that you must have blood to survive and can only come out during the night. I’ve always thought that I wouldn’t mind being a vampire, but it is a hard decision weighing the pros and cons of the vampire life.

Would I be willing to forego seeing the sun ever again except in movies and pictures? I think I could probably do without that. Would I mind drinking blood? This would be a little harder to do, but I think I could bring myself to do it. Supposedly, depending upon which vampire legend you subscribe to, animal blood can be used as a substitute. Would I ever kill? This I don’t think I’d be able to bring myself to do. I could never imagine ending someone’s life since my own is so precious to me. I would never wish for my life to be taken from me so I would feel completely hypocritical doing it to someone else, even if I felt they were a detriment to society.

The biggest drawback, especially in my mind, is not having to kill or drink blood or never see the sun again, but it is immortality—seemingly the main reason most people want to be a vampire. It would be nice never to have to experience the cold, icy grip of death’s hand, but that would not stop those around you from dying as you continued to live. I could not imagine having everyone that I have come to know and love eventually pass away while I never grew one day older. The constant changing of groups of friends and the longing for past friends and family might be too much to handle. As horrific as death seems, it is almost more dreadful to imagine a life where those around you can never truly stay with you. A vampire may be immortal, but within that immortality comes the price of isolation.

I can’t really say why this was really on my mind, but it was, and now that I’ve gotten it out, I can go back to writing my homework on Hume. Anyways, never become a vampire until you think about it. It’s like having a pet—are you sure you’re ready for it? Except pets don’t drink blood and kill people. Maybe people should just get pets instead of being vampires…yeah, that would probably take care of it. So next time you see someone on the street, make sure to convince them that it is better to have a pet than be a vampire.

Drinking Blood

For everyone that has been waiting for my Halloween pictures to be put up, they can now be found right here. I’m hoping to get a few others from a friend as well since I didn’t have that many. It’s hard to imagine that Halloween was almost two weeks ago already. The last 13 days have seemingly flown by faster than most, which is odd because I’ve definitely had much more to do lately than earlier this semester.

Yesterday was finally a chance for me to get everything squared away with my classes. I took about an hour in the morning and between four and five hours in the afternoon to read all of the assignments that had been given to me for today. I had a reading in Hume on his conception of ideas, impressions, and the nature of cause and effect which turned out to be somewhat interesting. That was the short reading. For the longer, more time consuming reading, I had a gigantic collection of articles to read on the interaction of religion and law. I find the topic extremely interesting, but I’m a little overloaded with it since we’ve had six decently sized articles to read in the last few days (about 100+ pages of pretty dense reading). Along with doing that reading, I’ve been working on a three-part essay for my law class on criminal law.

In the middle of all of that work, I’ve still managed to take a little time to enjoy myself. I’ve still been playing Mace Griffin for Xbox, which I have no trouble saying is one of the most frustrating first-person shooters I’ve ever played. There are a few reasons that I’m constantly ready to burn it in effigy to the video game gods, but the main reason is the AI. Enemies know right where I am, and have impeccable aim, as soon as I even partially enter a room. An enemy could be a virtual mile away and as I creep out of a ventilation shaft they’re already popping of rockets at me. There is also an abundance of enemy snipers that are always picking at me as well, but it is hard to tell where the shots are coming from. To make matters worse, there are also more than a few jumping puzzles, which don’t really make sense for a first-person shooter. The final issue that irks me is the extreme distance between checkpoints. If you happen to die (which does happen often), you have to start from the beginning of your last checkpoint, which you probably hit 15 minutes ago. I hate replaying levels over and over again simply because you can’t save it in the middle of a mission.

Even after being so frustrated so many times, I still keep playing it and I don’t know why. Maybe I just really want to beat it and overcome my frustrations. Maybe I’m just stupid. I don’t really know.

Yesterday I also sat down to watch Interview with a Vampire with Kristin. We had both been wanting to see this for a while so we finally decided to watch it. After seeing it, I am once again intrigued by the vampire mythos. You never age, never get sick, heal extremely fast, and are much stronger than an average person. The only downfall is that you must have blood to survive and can only come out during the night. I’ve always thought that I wouldn’t mind being a vampire, but it is a hard decision weighing the pros and cons of the vampire life.

Would I be willing to forego seeing the sun ever again except in movies and pictures? I think I could probably do without that. Would I mind drinking blood? This would be a little harder to do, but I think I could bring myself to do it. Supposedly, depending upon which vampire legend you subscribe to, animal blood can be used as a substitute. Would I ever kill? This I don’t think I’d be able to bring myself to do. I could never imagine ending someone’s life since my own is so precious to me. I would never wish for my life to be taken from me so I would feel completely hypocritical doing it to someone else, even if I felt they were a detriment to society.

The biggest drawback, especially in my mind, is not having to kill or drink blood or never see the sun again, but it is immortality—seemingly the main reason most people want to be a vampire. It would be nice never to have to experience the cold, icy grip of death’s hand, but that would not stop those around you from dying as you continued to live. I could not imagine having everyone that I have come to know and love eventually pass away while I never grew one day older. The constant changing of groups of friends and the longing for past friends and family might be too much to handle. As horrific as death seems, it is almost more dreadful to imagine a life where those around you can never truly stay with you. A vampire may be immortal, but within that immortality comes the price of isolation.

I can’t really say why this was really on my mind, but it was, and now that I’ve gotten it out, I can go back to writing my homework on Hume. Anyways, never become a vampire until you think about it. It’s like having a pet—are you sure you’re ready for it? Except pets don’t drink blood and kill people. Maybe people should just get pets instead of being vampires…yeah, that would probably take care of it. So next time you see someone on the street, make sure to convince them that it is better to have a pet than be a vampire.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

409 Wins

Another wonderfully busy weekend has come and gone. With this one, many things happened which necessitated that some of my homework get pushed back, which then in turn meant I had a bunch to do yesterday morning which meant that there was no time to add to the journal. Now that that has passed, here’s a new entry.

Thursday night I went to the cities to meet my parents and pick up Ryan for the weekend. This was probably the last weekend he’d get to stay with me before I’m finally done for good here at SJU. It was a good weekend for him to come up because he managed to witness history in the making. John Gagliardi, the coach of the SJU football team for 55 years, won his 409th game to become the only college football coach of any division with that many wins. It seems amazing that our very own SJU coach holds the record for most wins now.

In going along with him breaking the record, there was a record-breaking amount of people and media on campus on Saturday. We usually get around 2 or 3 thousand people per game, and if it’s homecoming or the Johnnie/Tommie game we might get 5-7 thousand max, but with the hype machine churning for the last year or so, we had well over 13,000 people in attendance for Saturday’s game. That’s about twice as many people as we have for our most prolific game every season, and those games feel packed.

Ryan and I were going to go to the game on Saturday, but about three hours before the start of the game, I talked to someone who was over at the stadium and they told me it was completely packed and crazy already. Since Ryan and I don’t like crowds, we stayed in our apartment and listened to it on the radio while we played cards. It was an extremely close game and there were many times that it seemed like we wouldn’t be able to pull it out. We were playing an undefeated Bethel team, but we came out on top 29-26 for a stunning win. Sports Illustrated put up a nice article here. Along with SI, there was media from almost every other outlet there as well—every local radio, tv, and print news provider, ESPN, and a bunch of other sporting publications.

We experienced the overwhelming crowd just a little ourselves when we tried to leave for St. Cloud about an hour after the game was over. Just getting out of campus was a chore and it took us about 15 minutes just to get out of our parking lot. We took a back way into town as the main road was one solid line of metal and rubber. People who were taking the bus between campuses Saturday were treated to, on average, one hour bus rides instead of the 10 minutes it usually takes to get between campuses. It was simply incomprehensible how many people were packed onto our little campus on Saturday. Considering the entire SJU student body is under 2,000 students having more than six times that many people around was really amazing.

Besides the football game, Ryan and I had a lot of fun doing other things as well, mostly video games and movies. We went to see The Matrix Revolutions on Thursday night. There was a group of about 10 of us that went and most of us enjoyed it. Besides the ungodly amount of special effects in the movie, the other thing I really enjoyed was the score. I enjoyed it so much so that I ended up getting it. As opposed to the soundtracks for the last two matrix movies, this one was made up of classical and a little opera instead of retread nu-metal and techno.

On the ride back to my place Ryan picked up State of Emergency for the Xbox to play. It seems like every time he comes up he gets a new game, but that’s fine by me because they end up staying at my place anyhow. It’s a pretty cool game and a lot of fun to play multiplayer. The other thing I like about this game is it allows you to use the songs that have been ripped onto the Xbox hard drive as the soundtrack to the game. It’s the only game that allows me to do this. What I don’t understand is why that isn’t a common feature for all games. I can’t imagine it is that hard to implement. I often get sick of the stock music with most games and simply turn it off after a while. Instead of having silence for the music track, it would be great to listen to the 150+ songs that I have on my hard drive, so if any Xbox game developers are out there, make sure that you can use custom soundtracks for every game you develop!

Thursday, November 06, 2003

The Post Office is Run by Idiots

It turns out that the people who work at the student post office here on campus are getting dumber and dumber daily. Two more wonderful incidents have made me come to this conclusion. The first incident is a simple one, but one that has happened before: I had another package that came with delivery confirmation and they didn’t give me a notice again. They simply ignored it once again, and I only knew I had a package since I went over to the actual post office to mail some packages. Honestly, how hard is it to put a notice in someone’s box? It only takes like 30 seconds max to fill out the card and maybe a minute to walk over to my box and put it in there.

The other incident was more comical than anything else. I was in a hurry about a week ago and didn’t want to walk my packages all the way over to the real post office to mail so I just stopped by the student ran one since it was on my way to class. I usually avoid mailing things through the student one because they have a bad habit of not charging the right price for postage—they seem to overcharge. Anyhow, I had three packages to mail and the total came up to $3.64. I handed the kid working a $10 bill. From here comic hilarity ensued.

He looked at the bill, put it in his drawer and then stared at the drawer for about 30 seconds. Did this kid suddenly go into a meditative state? What the crap was going on? Thankfully, he came out of this state and started grabbing some change, but as he was grabbing some, he’d put some back and grab a different combination, then put some back, then grabbed another combination, then asked me how much the charge was again. It was $3.64. He then pulled out a five dollar bill, a quarter, two dimes and three pennies. Hmmmm…$3.64 plus $5.48 doesn’t exactly equal $10 in the math I was taught back in first grade. Maybe this guy was using some advanced form of highly derivated calculus, but I’m pretty sure he was shorting me money. Not wanting to cause this poor soul any more confusion or make him have to think so hard his head might explode, I told him that I needed another dollar and that he should take back a dime and two pennies. As soon as I said that, he looked up to me like I was Jesus. He was so lost in this process of making change that he needed someone to guide him and I was the light unto his path. It really makes you wonder how some of the people here get into college at all, let alone a private school because, man, this guy was dumb!

Well, now that was definitely a relief to let that out of my system. It would also be a relief if we suddenly had the 80 degree weather that we had about 2 weeks ago again. As I walked to work this morning it was a whopping 10 degrees outside. I’m not ready for this frigid weather yet. It’s also such a weird feeling as I walk from my apartment and then reach the computer lab because there is such a difference in temperature.

My apartment, now that the air system in our room works, is at a nice 73 degrees. Comfortable. The walk to work is unbearable—10 degrees and windy. The halls of the prep school are nice, though, when I get there at a nice 70-72 degrees, but when I get the computer lab it is like walking into one of the smaller pits in the depths of hell. Since the room is all locked up overnight and the computers are constantly running, it is easily over 80 degrees in the room when I get there every morning. I’ve made a habit of opening the window as soon as I get there. Add to the sweltering heat of the computer lab my imbibing of coffee, I sometimes wonder if my body will spontaneously combust from all the heat coursing through my body. Thankfully it hasn’t happened yet, but I’m still very suspicious.

Well, I should be wrapping this up about now. I have to jet off to my sociobiology class where we’re studying Habermas. He’s a prominent modern philosopher and we’re reading his language philosophy at the moment. I’ll say that from my initial reading of his work that on my confusion scale he’s getting close to reaching the Levinas and Heidegger level of head scratching. I think I’m getting it, but from the way he writes I’m just not sure. After class I’m off to Burnsville to meet my parents and pick up Ryan. He’s coming up again for a weekend to visit. It should be a great time. We’re going to see Matrix Revolutions tonight (which I’m expecting to be horrible). Let’s hope that my car works good for the trip down.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Lady Frost has Arrived.

Halloween has come and gone another year. With its passing this fall, winter has taken an icy, cold grip on us. It is apparent now that fall is over for us here in Minnesota. The temperatures have dropped to around freezing and we now have a few inches of snow on the ground. It’s all very pretty right now, but as nice as it is, as soon as the first snow comes, you know it can only get worse over the next few months. Before we start worrying about MN’s artic climate, let’s remember Halloween.

I had a fun time on Friday, mostly anticipating getting dressed up. This year instead of dressing up like a woman I decided to go as the Crow. As much fun as it was being a chick, I wanted to be something a little darker this year. Staying with the theme of “darker”, Kristin went as a dead, goth chick. I think we might have been the most dead and dreary couple out on Halloween (at least to the places we went to).

We visited two parties, one an 80’s themed party, and the other simply a big drunken mess. The latter we did not stay at long. We were there pretty much to make an appearance, say some hellos, and then head back to the first party we were at, the 80’s party, where we stood out from the pack. Most of the people there were in 80’s attire. Three of the people there were, cleverly, the Ghostbusters. I’ll try to have the Halloween pictures up sometime this week so you can see some of the costumes and the jackolantern we carved up.

Besides hanging out on Halloween, it was a pretty lazy weekend for me. I watched football on Sunday and spent my Saturday evening playing video games and watching tv, along with some occasional homework doing. I managed to beat Halo and now I’ve started playing Mace Griffin: Bounty Hunter. I like it so far, although it seems to be nothing more than a standard first person shooter. It’s unique draw, however, is that you get to fly spaceships too. It’s fun flying them, but it’s nothing too special. I’m interested enough in it to keep playing, though, so it succeeds in keeping my interest. Kristin recently started playing Blood Omen 2, which looks to be a lot of fun, and she finds interesting as well.

I recently finished writing a paper on evolutionary ethics, so that is why I hadn’t put a lot of time into updating my thoughts. Usually whenever a paper is due it takes precedence over all my other writing simply because I too easily get burnt out on typing. I can usually only type for about a half an hour at a time before my hands just want to give up. I can usually tell that I’ve been at the keyboard for a while when I start having to use the backspace key more than any other one.

Well, that’s about it for today. I’ve just been pretty boring as of late, but this weekend I should have some good writing material as the SJU football coach could possibly become the all time leader for wins at 409. My little brother, Ryan, will also be coming up to stay on Thursday since he has school off. I’m looking forward to it, but I should probably hone my Mortal Kombat skills before he gets here so that I don’t get my butt completely kicked once he gets up here……oh, who am I kidding, there’s no way anyone can beat that kid at MK.

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Jackolanterns

Halloween—what could we possibly associate with this holiday other than costumes and candy? Jackolanterns, of course! Kristin and I had picked up a pumpkin a while ago hoping to carve it, but we’ve both been so busy the last week or so that we’ve never had the time to do it. Yesterday we finally managed to set aside some time to slice and dice our little orange friend.

I know that you have no idea what our final jackolantern carving looks like, but I plan to fix that in the next couple of days when I upload some pictures of it. The best way to describe it would be to take Spider-Man’s eyes, add a skeleton’s nose, and finish it off with a Cheshire Cat grin and superimpose it on a pumpkin. I wish we could have gotten a little more detailed with our pumpkin, but all the knives we had were a little too big to do smaller cutting work. Of course the fun part wasn’t the carving, though, but it was the scooping out of the pumpkin’s brains.

I remember when I was little I always hated that part because it was all goopy and slimy and icky and I just wanted to cut the pumpkin up, not get all gunky. Now that I’m older and wiser, I love getting all goopy and icky. In the removal of the brain’s we separated out the seeds for cooking. Cooked pumpkins seeds are always so yummy. We need to make a trip into town today, however, before we can cook them since we don’t have any olive oil to cook them in.

Ok, I don’t know if I’ve already posted this or not, but even if I did, you’re going to get it again. I love the game Halo. I also love comedy. When you combine those two things, you get Red vs. Blue. I’ve been watching the episodes that they have made over the last week or two and I can’t make it through a single one without laughing out loud at least once. What makes it even better is this is just a couple of guys sitting around talking into headsets while they act out the scenes in Halo. Any gamer owes it to themselves to check this out just to hear their take on capture the flag.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

More RIAA Lunacy

I am consistently appalled at the actions of the RIAA. I recently ran across this article on CNN in which the sued a 12 year old girl for having downloaded songs on her computer. This is a 12 year old girl!!! She had to settle for $2,000, but the RIAA states that they could have sued for up to $250,000 and 3 years in prison. Now how many 12 year olds have $2,000 to pay for something like this? Also, wouldn’t it have been more responsible to sue the parents since they allowed it? Well, nevermind, they did already do that, along with grandparents as well. Now, I’m not saying they should be suing anybody, but a 12 year old girl isn’t an obvious target.

They so often wonder why cd sales are declining. This, of course, is an ongoing argument everywhere at the moment, and even I have touched upon it before, but the lengths that they are going to seem to press the boundaries of good taste. They also show a disordering of priorities. Why should they be so worried about a little girl with a bunch of songs on her computer when there are illegal cd duplicating rings operating all over the world and in the US? Hit the big pirates and see if that helps out your sales. If it does not, then maybe focus on the smaller fish in the sea.

The only reason that they appear to do this is intimidation. They want everyone to be scared. They want to equate the words download and mp3 with criminal and illegal. To complicate matters, most people don’t know what is fair use and what isn’t. Can I rip a cd to my harddrive and then put it on my ipod? Can I have the mp3’s I ripped on my ipod and on my laptop at work? Can my friends listen to my mp3’s if I’m not using them (like lending a book to a friend)? I often wonder what is legal myself because the RIAA never seems to make it clear what you can and can’t do. Am I acting criminally if I am sharing my mp3’s online if I own the mp3’s on my harddrive? What if I’m downloading mp3’s of the cds I already own? No one seems to have a clear answer to these questions. Depending on who you ask, you’ll get different answers.

When I reflect upon the actions of the RIAA, I often wonder what it would be like if other bodies tried to solve their problems the RIAA way—through intimidation. Look at college plagiarism. It happens, there’s no doubt about that, much like piracy is a guarantee. Instead of punishing and hunting down people who plagiarized an entire paper, the administrator’s enforced strict penalties on those individual’s who may have copied a paragraph or small section of their paper, maybe not even knowing that they were doing something wrong (they forgot to cite the passage or some other small mistake). I would be afraid to ever quote another work or present summaries of other ideas.

That may not be the best example in the world to use for a comparison, but I often think of what would happen if we tried to punish the small offenders over the larger offenders for intimidation’s sake. Sure, there would probably be less of that crime, but people would also be much more afraid to do things in general, especially those things that might potentially be viewed as illegal, but are completely legit. Copyright law has become so convoluted and messy that I simply can’t tell what’s right and what’s wrong. I can disassemble my toaster to do make a hand warmer, but if I take apart my xbox to do something besides play games, I’m breaking the law. Why is there this distinction? Where is the line drawn? What are some simple answers for everyday people, so that they can know what they are doing is wrong or right?

Whew, I’m sorry, but just reading that article set my ranting off. Some things, when you see them, you just know don’t seem right, and this was one of them. On a completely different note, we had our first snow yesterday. Of course none of it is left on the ground, but it still snowed all day yesterday. Well, it snowed for a while and then rained and then snowed and then rained and then……well, you get the picture. I love snow, but I’m still not ready for winter to take its cold, icy grip over Minnesota yet. I’d much like to enjoy at least another few weeks of 40 and 50 degree weather, but we may not be that lucky.

Monday, October 27, 2003

Worst Tournament Ever

I can easily say, without a doubt in my mind, that I have now had the worst tournament experience in any sport in my life this last weekend. I’ve had basketball tourneys in the past that I’ve not had fun at. I’ve not enjoyed disc tournaments in the past before, but never, ever have I hated a tournament as much as I hated Hallowinona this year.

Hallowinona is an annual frisbee tournament in Winona. Every year it’s been a lot of fun and our team has had a great time. We usually take a couple of teams from SJU and CSB every year because almost all of our club players go. This year was no different; we had 2 men’s teams and 1 women’s team. I was asked to play on the non-competitive team this year by our team captain. I really didn’t want to since it was going to be my last SJU tourney and I wanted to play hard in my last games here, but I guess our captain thought it better if he kept me off of the main team since I wouldn’t be here next semester. That topic is a beef to discuss another time, however.

I played B team with a bunch of SJU freshmen and some SJU alums (it was good to see those guys again). Our pool of teams, through wonderful scheduling, didn’t have any official fields to play on. To rectify our not having fields, they sent us down to a baseball field where we set up a playing field in the outfield (wow, the word field sure did come up a lot in that sentence). Anyhow, we waited for the teams we were supposed to play to show up. No one did. It turns out that the University of Minnesota’s opponents didn’t show up either, so we decided we’d play a game.

It was a great game that we came out winning 15-14. I had a great time, although the playing field was pretty crappy. There had recently been a lot of work done on the outfield so there was sections that were soft and others hard so it was a rough one on the ankles. After that we thought our opponents, or any other team in our pool for that matter, would show up. No one did. A couple of our guys went to the main tent to find out what was going on. When they got back, they gave us the great news—the other teams decided to tap a keg at 10 am and were now all really drunk and stoned. We weren’t going to have any more games.

This left us all in a very bad mood. We didn’t really know what to do since we were supposed to play four games that day and we had only managed to get one in…against a team not even in our pool. As we were waiting one of our opponents did show up…with jugs of beer and reeking of marijuana. They wanted to play and we were supposed to play them so we did and beat them 8-1 in about 20 minutes. They pretty much gave up and left to go get more beer.

By this time it was already later afternoon (3-ish, I’m guessing) and we were all pretty fed up with the tourney. Our team decided to go join up with another team and see if they couldn’t get a few more games in with them. I didn’t go with because they had plenty of people to play (our team plus the guys on the team they were joining up with), but instead went to watch Kristin and the girls’ team. They don’t ever really have many fans watching them so I wanted to support them. I actually enjoyed watching them play, but it only made me more frustrated at how badly this tournament was run.

Sunday we were also “supposed” to have games, but they simply didn’t schedule any for our B team. Because of that, most of our B guys, including myself, went home Saturday night. It was a long, dreary, 3.5 hour long drive home to SJU from Winona. To make it worse, it rained most of the way from Winona to the cities and then it switched to light snow the rest of the way home. I went to bed very frustrated and very disappointed, mostly because this was my last SJU tournament and everything seemed to conspire against me. I really wish I would have been playing A team, which would have made for a great weekend, but it didn’t work out that way.

Before the tournament, everything was going great for the weekend too. I had stopped by at home Friday and spent the day with my family. I got to play with Karma, our dog, and wrestle the crap out of Ryan. I brought back Krispy Kreme and we just had a nice, relaxing evening. Why did everything have to get so screwed up with the tourney? I don’t know, I guess it just wasn’t meant to be. I know that’s just a cop out, but it helps me to feel a little less frustrated with how things went.

Friday, October 24, 2003

Costumed Frisbee

Well, today I head home for a quick visit with the family before speeding off to Winona tomorrow morning for frisbee. I think my ankle will be fine for playing on. It’s not really swollen at all and it’s working fine with just a little minor soreness.

For our tournament, which is cleverly named “Hallowinona”, the teams are supposed to dress up in Halloween costumes. The girls’ team is going as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles while the men’s team are going as their favorite superheroes. The guys’ team has a nice assortment of superheroes, but we seem to have a lot of Supermen and Batmen. I was thinking of being Batman, but on hearing that there already was a bunch, I’ve decided to go as the Crow. I have a bunch of black and white face paint from last year’s Rogue Squad game that I figured I could use. If it doesn’t work out for being the Crow, Kristin has some green foundation for her turtle costume that I could use to be the Hulk. All I’d have to do is cover myself in green and rip up some jeans.

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Twisting My Ankle Again

Sometimes, my timing for things is simply impeccable. This weekend SJU has a disc tournament in Winona. I’ll be heading up the “B” team. I would have liked to have played on the competitive team, but I guess they’d rather have the old guy on the “B” team since he won’t be here come spring time like the rest of the competitive squad. It should be fun, however, simply because there will be a few alums playing with us.

Anyhow, back to my timing. Since we have this tourney this coming weekend, I’ve been trying to put in some miles running this week to make sure I can hold up to a weekend of playing. Yesterday, since it was pretty nice outside, I decided it would be a great idea to run around the lake out to the chapel and back. What I didn’t take into account was that all of the leaves have fallen off most of the trees in the woods. Since all the leaves were down, the path, which contained many big rocks and roots, was obscured. On my way out towards the chapel—twist!—I manage to step on a rock wrong and roll my ankle over.

I’ve always had a lot of trouble with my ankle and rolling it. It usually happens just when I don’t want it to either. It’s happened right before I got to college when I could have done cross country. I managed to roll it during our alumni basketball tourney 2 years ago. I’ve mildly injured it at other points of my life when I needed my mobility, and now I’ve lightly sprained it again. Lady luck likes to keep me down, doesn’t she?

I think it should be pretty good by Saturday, though. This morning it was alright. Mostly just turning motions cause any pain. I’m fine walking, but I’m not going to try and running until Saturday morning. Let’s hope all goes well so that you don’t have to hear me complaining again come Monday.

Now, on the bright side of things, I got back my ImClone case study paper for my Business Ethics class. I pulled off an “A”, thank goodness. So far, this is my strongest class, but I think the reason for that is it is also my easiest class. Most days I can’t stand going to it because it’s full of idiots that actually think they know things. Yesterday, one person in class decided that one of the past tense conjugations of the verb “take” was “tooken”. Honestly, tooken?? Didn’t anyone ever teach him the words taken or took? Maybe he was just expressing his ungodly intelligence and created a new word……or maybe he’s just an idiot.

This is the same class where the concept of probability and statistics had to be explained to a student because he didn’t get what they were. The kicker is that after it was explained to him, he still couldn’t understand the concept. If I hadn’t gone into this class expecting to learn something, I’d love this class simply because of how comical half of the crap that people say is. Thank goodness I won’t be at this class on Friday. I’ll be heading home on my way to Winona. Yay!

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Seriously Terrible...

Why, oh why, do student workers always have to be so utterly incompetent that you wonder how they got into college in the first place? I thought that all the idiot students were supposed to be working in the food services jobs on campus. Instead, though, SJU managed to put a good majority of their dim-witted student workers into the post office on campus.

SJU has an odd setup for how mail is handled. We have an actual post office run by competent postal employees. This is where we go to mail packages and buy postage and all that good stuff. We also have our boxes where we get our mail and a little mini-office for picking up our packages. This section of the mail service on campus, however, is ran by student workers—not by the post office employees. The post office workers send all of the students’ mail over to the student run post office for them to take care of. The only time we’d have to go to the actual post office to get something is if we needed to sign for it or if there was delivery confirmation.

Here’s some of my problems with the campus run service. First, they’re not open on Saturdays, so as opposed to every other post office in the frickin’ United States, we don’t get mail on Saturdays. There have been many times I’ve had a package come in on Saturday, but I’ve been forced to wait until Monday to get it. I guess administration just figures students don’t pick up mail on Saturdays or something.

The second problem I have with the student run post office is that we are constantly getting advertisements and solicitations from campus groups. This would be fine—if they were addressed to us. They never are. There’s never any address on them. It’s illegal for postal workers to put mail into a person’s box unless it is addressed to them. Our campus just glosses over that little fact, but I suppose they justify what they’re doing by saying the student run post office isn’t actually a USPS sanctioned post office. It’s bothered me a little less over time, however, since I decided my sophomore year to just throw everything not addressed to me back through the slot. They can pick it up later.

My next problem with the mail service is they don’t properly take care of your packages. When you get a package that won’t fit in your little box, they put a card with a number on it in your box. You go to the window and they give you your package that matches that number. A little while back, when they were making the cards for the morning, they accidentally made two for the same number. My package and another kid’s package both had the same number. When the other kid went up to get his package, the student worker noticed that there were two packages with that number. Instead of simply comparing the student’s name with name on the package, he opened both of the packages and asked what it was the student was expecting. The next day I came to get my package and it was opened up. I asked why and they explained this to me. What the hell?!?! Since when did they have a right to open my mail? Isn’t that illegal in some way? I’m sure it is.

Now, for my last problem. I recently had a package come in with delivery confirmation. When that happens, the student workers are supposed to give you a card telling you to go to the main post office to pick it up. My package came in on the 16th. I was stopping by the real post office to mail a package yesterday, the 21st, when the employee there asked if I had brought my card. I wondered what he was talking about and he brought up a package for me. I never got a card in my student box. It turns out they simply “forgot” to put my card in my box. It had just been sitting on their counter, not put in my box. Honestly, can you get any more incompetent?

I’ve eventually waiting for the day that I order something and it just never shows up in my box. They’ll probably guess there’s something cool inside the box, open it, and then forget to give me my package card. God, I hate the student workers in the post office. I hate ‘em, I hate ‘em, I hate ‘em!!!

Sunday, October 19, 2003

Turbo Weiner

My updates are becoming more and more sporadic, aren’t they? I wonder what excuse I can churn out this time to justify it? Umm, let’s see—our campus was taken over by intelligent, oversized tomato people who commandeered all computing devices on campus in order that we didn’t use the internet to find out their secrets? No, didn’t work for you? How about this: A secret government agency has recruited me to assassinate martians that are inhabiting the wood of St. John’s? Ok, so you’re not going to buy any of them. I’ll be honest, I’ve just simply been really busy and my website sometimes gets forgotten, but I really wish I didn’t forget about it so much because I really enjoy writing.

This week has managed to be busy with Ryan coming up to visit for MEA break. Kristin went and met my mom, grandma, and Ryan in Burnsville on Thursday to bring him back since I had classes until 5:30 pm. I’ve had a great time with him up here and kind of wish that he was another roommate. Thursday we simply hung out at my apartment for the night and got right down to business by ordering Gary’s pizza for Ryan. He loves it almost as much as I do and I finally had an excuse to blatantly ignore my push for healthy eating and splurge on some greasy pizza. So the night was spent eating pizza, playing Mortal Kombat (which Ryan is unbeatable at), and just chilling out.

Friday, I didn’t have work or class. MEA weekend for the prep school and my prof had to take care of his kid because his wife had to go somewhere. I don’t remember the details—all I needed to know was that I didn’t have class or work and that made me happy! Ry and I were initially going to go into St. Cloud, but instead we stayed on campus, got his hair cut, watched Matrix: Reloaded (since he’d never seen it), played some more video games, went to play frisbee on the football field, and then proceeded to eat as much free Gary’s pizza as we could. The frisbee club sponsored a night of frisbee and pizza for the campus on the football field at 10 pm. Since the field isn’t lighted very well, they had light-up frisbees to use. We didn’t play in the actual games because there were so many drunk people just goofing around, but instead we threw around ourselves while taking breaks watching the drunk people and getting a good laugh.

A quick note on Matrix: Reloaded. I know I’ve already seen it and reviewed it on the reviews page when it came out, but I must note that I found it even more pointless the second time I watched it. Tthe acting was even worse the second time around as well. I found myself making way too many MST3K comments throughout, which is never a good sign for a movie. The action was still decent, but I noticed many little things this time that annoyed me, mostly the “smooth” Agent Smiths and Neo in the multi-smith fight and the obvious blue-screen work on the highway scene. I really am going to keep my hopes low for the last Matrix movie, but I’m also secretly hoping it ties together all the crap that was expounded in Reloaded.

Yesterday Ryan, Kristin, and I did make a trip into town. We stopped by the comic shop since the latest issue of Kristin’s series, Exiles, came out. We then stopped at her place so Ryan could say hi to Fozzy again (their big, brown Labradoodle) and Kristin could talk with her parents about doing dinner today. We then made our obligatory lap around the mall where Ryan picked up ATV Quad Power Racing 2 for the Xbox. He had been wanting to pick it up for a long time since he loves 4-wheelers, but it hadn’t dropped into the under $20 price range yet. I think it goes without saying that he spent a good portion of the night playing Xbox (along with eating Gary’s for the third straight night—that has to be some kind of record).

Now it’s Sunday morning and after the Vikings beat up Denver I have to take Ry back to Burnsville to meet mom so he can go home. I’m not really looking forward to the drive, since I hate to drive, but I suppose it’s better than driving him all the way back to Hayfield and then coming back. It was a great weekend having him up and I do hope that he manages to come up and visit quick again sometime before this semester is over since I’ll be all done with college come December. AHHHH, it’ll be here too soon! I’ve really got to dedicate more time to getting my time machine to work……