Well, I haven't been doing much lately. I should have done some homework today. Heck, I should have done some of it a week ago. I'm really not enjoying my schoolwork this semester, and it looks like that will be evident in my grades. Oh well, in two weeks, I will be able to spend time at work fixing real problems and putting together real solutions. I enjoy that so much better than running fifty tests to see which algorithm is better at finding the integral of a particular function..
I would like to have a less stressful school year next time around -- I want to actually get a life this fall. Who knows if that will happen. Still, it seems that college is a last best chance to get a girlfriend before I wander out into the real world. Speaking of which, my roommates, another friend, and I have all been getting to know this one girl lately. It's pretty weird for me, as we're all competing for her attention. My friend has been hanging around with her the most, though he's going to move into the apartment in the fall. Just a weird situation that I've never been in before -- I just hope it won't bring out the worst in us..
Well, everybody's moving out. At least it means that the traffic has died down around here. I have a friend who will be moving into my apartment with me and two others this fall. He dropped off some stuf that he doesn't need this summer (he'll be a climbing instructor at at a camp, I guess). I've tried to pile it into a small corner, but I had to be careful since that's where the air-return vent is..
He left last night with his parents, and his girlfriend left earlier in the afternoon to go to her hometown. She's going to be working at a paper company where she'll probably have a near-death experience or two. Shoving around rolls weighing hundreds/thousands of pounds is not my idea of fun.
I'll be going in to work tomorrow, and all week! Hopefully I won't bore myself to death. I'm also supposed to pick up a good system for running Windows (needed for testing client connectivity to the Unix systems). Perhaps a laptop, which might be fun. I've been surviving with a P166 running Linux (though it has 128 Megs in it). There are just a bunch of projects that require box capable of running Win2k.
Well, called my Mom, though I didn't say much. I'll have to find a present for her, for when I go home in a few weeks. I also have to get gifts for my brother and my Dad, since they both have birthdays this week.
Gah.. I really should find a good diary program for myself. No sense in filling up Advogato with much more of this mushy stuff.. Then again, reading other people's comments reminds me that we're all human.. Blah, blah, blah..
Got the important bit of my homework done last night. Thank goodness the assignment was pretty easy (and done in Perl). I don't know if I would have gotten anywhere, though, if Sarah hadn't shown up.
I actually talked with her a little bit, a pretty rare thing for me. Of course, the most interesting bit was when she was helping us clean up the apartment (okay, she was being nice and doing most of the work :-p ). A weird little subject popped up, and we were just ``on the same wavelength'' as one of my roommates mentioned a moment later. That was really cool.
The most interesting thing was my roommate's comment. I think he saw something between Sarah and me. He just looked at us and said, ``Wow, you guys,'' with a look on his face that told me he saw something he never expected. I think he was happy to see it.. I just hope that what he saw involves me and Sarah moving closer together.
Sarah is not my girlfriend -- she's involved with another roommate. I'd hate to have to hurt him, as he gets pretty well shit on in many cases. But I can't turn off my feelings. I really just need to see where it all will go.
Stupid window is leaking again. Thought they fixed that..
A lot of melting snow today..
Before I forget ('cuz I know I will), I have to put down some infatuation-related thoughts.
I wrote a note to one of my friends, mentioning that I really like Sarah. I was hoping he'd have some great words of wisdom, but it didn't really happen. At least he wasn't mean about it or anything. The thing that I wanted to remember was that right now, all she sees is Josh. I'm nowhere near smooth enough to know how to change that, so I don't think that would be a good thing to waste time on.
I figure all I can do is be myself. I should keep trying to figure out how to get to know girls, rather than just waiting for them to walk into my life. I want to ask my friend to try to help me out. If he hears of things looking up for me with Sarah, I hope he'll let me know. I just hope I can accept that it might never happen.
I hope I can start talking about computer stuff in this diary again.. Less stressful..
Reminded yet again that I have very different perception of events when they are happening versus before/after. When Sarah visits, I'm in a different state than when she's away, and I think of her differently.
Sorry for writing this here.. I really need to find a better place to write down this stuff.
I've been meaning to have a diary program of some sort on my computer for ages, but I never got around to writing one (back in my DOS days), and I'm sure that there are umpteen packages for Linux these days. Web interface would be easiest, I suppose. Probably wouldn't be too hard to make one, just have to do it.
Well, I still haven't installed X 4.2.0 on my laptop. It's compiled, but I don't want to install it and toast my current packaging setup. I'd really like to see some .debs soon, but I don't know where to look for those..
Classes start tomorrow. I have to be somewhere at 8:15, and I need to look up where to go for some of the classes that I'm on waiting lists for.. It's going to be a looong day tomorrow..
Anyway, I've learned quite a lot in the last week about Sarah and me. I've written a bunch of stuff in a private diary about the junk going through my head. There's a lot of it that is just junk, but I hope it helped me figure things out.
I talked about stuff with my roommate and I hope I've found why I find her so interesting. I identify with her a lot -- we're both fairly similar emotionally, and I know what it's like for her when she just isn't feeling `worthy.' I don't know what needs to be done for either of us to get us out of those emotional holes sometimes, but I might be in a better position to help than the other people she knows.
We also have some strangely similar tastes in food and other things, but I suppose that might just be random.. We're also the only two people that hang around the apartment that like to say `pop' instead of `soda,' so it's kind of funny to have us stand against everyone else ;-)
At any rate, my roommate thinks that Sarah and I have an interesting ability to communicate. Well, she is someone who actually gets me to step away from the computer for a minute. I guess I'm not really sure what to think about that.
I actually mentioned some stuff to Sarah.. I told her that I wished I had a girlfriend like her. I'm not really sure what she thought of that -- of all things, I had to tell her over AIM.. Anyway, she told me that she was sure I'd find someone, someone smarter than her :-)
That was kind of funny, since that's the only real thing I don't like about her.. I was just surprised that she mentioned it..
Anyway, I slowly beginning to understand us, figuring out what I want, and what I can and can't have in the end.. We can be friends, and I'm sure we can get pretty close -- but there are things that just shouldn't happen between us. I just hope I haven't overstepped already, and that things will just get better as time goes by.
I hope I can remember this stuff, too, as I'm pretty sure it's about as close as I can come to finding the truth. It's going to take time to understand it fully, and I know I can be forgetful sometimes.
Katz is going off on some strange tirade about pre-/post-9/11 movies on Slashdot. It got me thinking (for no good reason--It's a pretty poor review), and I realized I haven't written down my experiences of that day..
I don't remember when I rolled out of bed, but it was later than I wanted. My roommate had woken up and had left the room, so I figured it was time. I climbed into the chair at my computer, powered up the monitors, and started my daily morning browsing. I think I hit Slashdot first, and the top story was the first article of the planes hitting the WTC towers. I tried getting to some news websites, but couldn't get anywhere.
I turned around and powered up the TV and turned it to CNN. With my groggy morning eyes, I saw a wide-angle shot of the towers. It looked entirely fake, but I figured if it was on CNN...
I came out of my room and went into the den. I turned off the music my roommate had started up, and turned on the TV out there. I still wasn't fully awake, and could barely manipulate the remote controls well enough to get it turned to CNN. I tried to tell my roommate what happened, but I didn't know anything. Some big planes had hit the World Trade Center.
Anyway, nobody knew anything, so I took a shower. I can't remember much else that happened. I know that the sky was very clear and blue. I came into the business school building where I work, and saw a huge crowd of students watching TV, but I felt like avoiding the coverage until people actually knew something. I went into my office area and sat down at the computer, trying to do some work, but I was thinking too much.
I was chatting with people on IRC, and was informed when the towers fell. I didn't have a TV at that point, so I didn't know they'd pancaked. I just couldn't imagine it.
Anyway, I sat around at the business school for a while, but I was going a bit stir-crazy. I walked to Taco Bell, about 15 minutes away on foot. On the way there, I saw a small United States flag protruding from a building. September 11th was a primary election day, and the flag was there informing people that they could go vote.
That was probably the last time a flag really made me feel good. It was a puny little thing, only a few inches in size, but it meant so much that morning. I smiled, and kept walking.
I got to Taco Bell. One employee was on the phone, looking out the window at downtown. She said, ``I know they're going to target downtown.'' It never actually happened, but people were worried. Anyway, I ate and tried to remain calm.
I got back to my desk and tried to work again. There were still way too many things racing through my head, plus I got a little worried by the fact that the business school is a very shiny corporate-looking building. I decided to head home.
I got home and spent some time watching coverage, browsing the web and chatting on IRC. That day, classes were supposed to start late for me, around 12:30. I was hearing that they may have canceled classes. Before long, I found they had..
I walked to class, finding a notice on the door saying that classes after noon were canceled. I started heading back to the apartment, but decided to see if my brother was at his dorm room. We got some lunch and hung out for the afternoon, though definitely it wasn't the most entertaining time we'd spent together. I spent most of my time watching TV, while he played Civilization on my computer.
In a lot of ways, it was a very dull day. It was very strange to feel so affected by something that happened half a continent away.
Strangely, the events since then have made me less interested in the news. I'm sure there's a lot of stuff going on that I'd like to hear about, but it gets drowned out by `The War on Terror'. Hell, I just wish the cable news channels would get rid of all of that extra crap on the screen so I wouldn't have to get reminded of it as I flip through the channels..
Hmm. There are some other things floating around in my head, but a bunch of it has already been posted, so I don't want to re-write it..
I'm halfway considering that it would be nice to sue our old landlord for some sort of emotinal damages. I knew when we were forced out of the old place that I was only beginning to get over some things that had been holding me back for a while, and I needed to be living in a place with friends. Moving out exacerbated some problems, but it separated me from some other troubles, so I don't know if I'm better off or not.
Of course, it's nice that I have my own fridge now, so I can buy stuff without considering whether it'll fit into the freezer or not. I can have juice and my 2% milk in the carton. My bathroom is surprisingly clean, though I can only blame myself when I forget to flush (my toilet does seem to have some backwash problem, unfortunately). The trash doesn't fill up every day, and I actually have enough space to spread out my stuff.
But, I have about the thinnest social network I've ever seen in anyone. Well, whatever its' state, I've got to start actually using it.
I sent off a note to Erik, seeing what he's up to these days. I suppose he doesn't get much of a chance to check his e-mail now, though.. I'm going to be heading home tomorrow after I pick up a birthday gift for my dad, so maybe I'll give Erik a call when I get back. I also sent a note to a friend of mine back home, but I don't know if she'll be around or not. She was thinking of moving to St. Louis, if I remember right, so it's hard to say if I'll be hanging out with anyone in the next few days..
Well, Erik's going to China today or tomorrow (got a post-midnight message saying “tomorrow”, so who knows). Hopefully he'll have fun.
Went to Cafe Latté with Dan, Kari, Spike, Sarah, and Josh. The last time Sarah had tried to bring us (well, the last time I'd been invited along, at least), we sort of got snowed out. The place ended up being closed that time, so we went to Ciatti's next door instead.
Anyway, finally got to eat at the intended target this time. I don't think any of us really knew how the system worked there, so we probably ended up buying more food than what we needed. I got a large salad, a sandwich, and a drink, which all added up to around $13—a bit much. I think the next time I go, I'll just get a small salad along with a drink (or water), and spend money on some of the nice desserts they have there.
We had some pretty good conversation, too. Somehow, Spike and Kari seem to induce topics related to Asian culture, which is cool but odd at the same time. As far as I understand, neither of them grew up learning much about Chinese and Korean culture, respectively. The American education system didn't help out much in this regard, since it's generally so Europe-centric.
Still, I made mention of the fact that Erik's now in China, so we have a guinea pig of sorts to test out our cultural theories ;-) I gave Sarah his e-mail address since she apparently didn't know it..
This might not have come up if it weren't for the fact that Sarah and I sat across the table from each other for once. I don't think that's happened for years.. She usually ends up in the corner or something because Josh's left-handedness causes conflicts.. I was again surprised at how easily we talk, given the chance. Usually, I worry that she doesn't like to talk to me, but times like that remind me that we're still friends.
Anyway, good friends, good food, and good entertainment afterwards when we all watched The Big Lebowski at JED's place. What more could you ask for on a holiday (well, other than a non-sick Erin—get better! ;-)
Urgh.. I finally got some hard drive mounting brackets today (I said I was going to do it yesterday, but the computer stores that have them cheap are closed on Sundays), along with a fan and some Molex Y-adapters so I could actually power all of the drives (stupid enclosure only came with two power connectors. WTF?)
Anyway, I seem to have wired it properly on the first try. However, only two of the drives worked, which was really disappointing. I tried replacing one, but that just seemed to make things worse. Unfortunately, during the assembly phase, one drive accidentally slid out of the enclosure and hit the (carpeted) floor—it might be toast.
I decided to stop fiddling for now, as I don't feel like getting stressed out about it. The array can wait for tomorrow, or until I have working drives, if need be..
Erik has a LiveJournal account now.. It kind of sounded like the Great Firewall of China was blocking my website for him, though I don't know why that would be—I'd figure LiveJournal would get blocked much earlier than www.tc.umn.edu. Whatever.
I sent Sarah a note about his journal, since she's been wanting to get included in the group of people he's been e-mailing from China..
I have returned from my extra-short Christmas excursion. I did some preparation on the 22nd, and then moved my car over to Dan and Erin's on the 23rd and finished up packing in time for my family to pick me up. We had White Castle for lunch, since my Dad has fond memories of it from Louisville, and then headed out. About 100 miles from Fargo, I took over driving, which was your average boredom until about 10 minutes in when we drove into a fogbank.
It was very strange—we could see weird clouds up ahead, and then we were in it after going over a few hills. We all expected the fog to disappear pretty quickly, but the rest of our journey was embedded in a haze. It was nearly sunset when we hit the fog, which may have explained the variations in color I saw. Off in the distance, the fog would cycle through faint red, orange, and blue.
I was anticipating that the fog would suddenly coalesce into something heavier where I wouldn't be able to see anything, but it never happened. I could see far enough almost all of the time, so I didn't need to slow from the speed limit of 70. We ended up making good time and arriving a little early.
Christmas Eve wasn't too busy. We visited my step-grandfather in the nursing home before going to church. I wouldn't have minded the service, except for the fact that PowerPoint has invaded Pontoppidan Lutheran Church in Fargo. The sermon was accompanied by fill-in-the-blank comments projected onto a screen down in front. Whenever the pastor got to the right moment, the appropriate words would fly across the screen and land in the blank spaces.
Weird. Just weird.
We had our traditional baked ham, baked potato, mashed rutabaga, corn, and “green stuff.” Green stuff is a concoction of green Jell-O, cottage cheese, and a white whipped substance of some kind (either whipped cream or whipped egg whites). It's a tradition that my Mom and her siblings enjoy, but I guess I've never really tried it…
Finally, we ended up at the time to unwrap presents. I got A Man, A Can, A Plan, a spatula (not to be confused with a turner), socks, a dress shirt, an air filter, Sliverado (VHS), a ZipZap racer, a Far Side calendar, a recipe box with some family recipes in it, the Indiana Jones collection with a bonus bonus DVD (I have since given the giver my previously-bought copy of the collection), and a one million candlepower spotlight.
The rest of our stay was mostly spent avoiding boredom. We had set up an RF modulator for a DVD player that my grandmother won from a magazine. We were amazed that the magazine jumped for a Sony rather than a random Wal-Mart brand. We watched one of my Indy movies, a few of the live-action episodes of The Tick (which my brother got—amazingly, it's widescreen), and some of Rocky and Bullwinkle which I got for my dad.
Before we left today, we got a few DVDs for my grandmother to try out. Hopefully the DVD player won't be too complicated for her. At least she doesn't have a hi-fi receiver and the whole shebang to worry about…
Yesterday evening, I talked to Erik on the phone. He said he was returning today, so we didn't get together to do anything. Turns out, he moved in with some of his old roommates and kept his phone number. He also apparently lost his little black book of contact info for other people, which explains why he's been so quiet (sort of). Anyway, I invited him to the big New Year's shindig, and I plan to communicate with him again in the coming days, but I guess he'll be busy during the University's experimental J-term.
7 AM to 7 PM. Blech.
Anyway, I'm back now. My car survived, and all of the stuff that's supposed to be in my apartment is here. Except, perhaps, for my cable bill…
So, I went to a great New Year's party—and I didn't even have to go through metal detectors or pass armed guards. Yes, indeed, my New Year's Eve was Dick Clark-free. In fact, having the only appropriate synchronized timekeeping device in the house, I had the duty of marking the countdown (it was cheap—you should get one).
I was surprised to see four DJs, as I had been told there would be only two or three. Then again, perhaps the miscalculation is due to considering Simmons a “friend” rather than a “DJ.” Anyway, they all did good work. Of course, it was also good to see Thosquanta in action, finally. I think most of the songs in the set last night could be apprecated by a not insignificant portion of the general public. So, I knew them before they were stars, sorta.
There was some food there (wouldn't have been a party without it). Some of your average snackages like cheese, crackers, and mixed nuts, but there was other stuff like Dan's peanut brittle and (Ooh! Ahh!) Ultimate brittle. Which nobody ate, of course. I would be remiss if I didn't mention Beth's artichoke dip, which was…artichokey.
I was trying to be at least moderately sociable, but it didn't quite happen. I especially thought it would be good to chat with Beth a bit, since I only run into her once every few months. Unfortunately, our attempts at conversation went downhill quickly. It has seemed in the past like we've got some weird yin-yang thing going on, but it's more likely that we don't have anything in common whatsoever ;-)
It felt in some ways like I was Mr. Faux Pas for the evening, saying and occasionally doing the wrong things. I accidentally sipped my champagne before midnight—I suppose that means a year of bad luck or something. Oh well, I balanced it all out by enjoying the music and dancing about as much as I could.
Unfortunately, my overactive sweat glands required me to cool off outside a few times. It was really disturbing to see steam rising from my shirt. That shouldn't happen! I'm not a cup of coffee!
Anyway, I guess I was surprised that we never really got many people dancing at once until the end of the evening. I thought that if I did it, more people would get going. Accounting for the fact that I wasn't drinking, I thought a bit about Cuervo Man, though lacking an imposing presence or voice myself, I have to leave the more boisterous activity to the professionals.
The drive home wasn't too bad, as I only had to dodge two police cars who had pulled people over. I dropped off one passenger, though I realize I accidentally didn't see “no turn on red” signs at least twice. I hate those things, though they do seem prudent every once in a while.
Waking up was a very elongated process today, and I did have a slight headache due to lack of sleep and blood vessels that were still constricted by caffiene. The sound of the hard drive on one of my computers clicking for several hours didn't help matters either.
Okay, that sounded a bit down, but I really did have a good time. Now I have to figure out something to do with Erik today or tomorrow before he has work and classes start up again.
Well, shortly after I made yesterday's post, I got a call from my mom telling me that my step-grandfather in Fargo had died. My grandmother had married him about a dozen years ago. She had originally been widowed when my grandfather died about two years before I was born. She was alone in her house for a few years after my youngest uncle left. I knew this day was coming, since my step-grandfather had been sick from prostate cancer and treatments for it. The thing I feel worst about is the fact that my grandmother is alone again, though I suppose the shock has been somewhat lessened for her since he had been in a nursing home for a couple of years.
Anyway, funeral arrangements had not yet been made, but were potentially scheduled for Saturday, meaning that I would have been headed up to Fargo today to spend the night. Since Erik was only free on Thursday and Friday this week, I was encouraged to see if he was available. I went over to his place to hang out, but also intending to have us join up with Dan at some point.
I got there as Erik and his roommate were about a third of the way through The Adventures of Baron von Munchausen. A pretty wacky movie, but what do you expect from Terry Gilliam? Oh, and a young Uma Thurman. Mmm.
When that ended, we selected Finding Nemo for the second flick of the evening. That was a good pick, since Dan hadn't seen it yet. Of course, getting Dan over to Erik's place was a small task, since the address Erik lives at in St. Paul can also be found in Minneapolis. At any rate, he brought along Laura (who Erik hadn't met) and Russell (who Erik knew from Tai Chi).
We chatted a bit, and I learned of things like Sarah's string of Ford Foci. Also, I found out that we have to wait yet another month to get a court date, but that's okay since I will now be attending a funeral on the 7th.
After that, we headed over to Annie's Parlour to meet up with Sarah and Josh. The mystery staircase was discovered hiding in plain sight due to our placement in the “smoking” section. We also had to listen to the disgusting KFC urban legend moments before Sarah and I were served our chicken sandwiches. Other than that, we had a pretty good time. Dan even had a fit of spontanaeity by putting on Laura's coat and scarf. I figured he ended up looking like a very distinguished gay bohemian, but I didn't really vocalize on that.
After that, time was spent at Dan's place, mostly watching TV (Family Guy was a really good episode last night, then we saw Jack Black and Cristopher Walken on a repeat of Conan). We also watched the video of some freaky Japanese guy beating Super Mario Bros. 3 in less than 11 minutes. I can barely pass the first level in that game ;-)
Anyway, it turns out that Erik does some of his teaching at the school right across the street from my building, so we might start seeing him more often.
Blech, I'm sleepy. My sleep schedule is somewhat off since I ended up sleeping more with no Internet and restricted TV. Now I'm tired since I was in the next timezone, I guess. Oh well, I'll be back to what passes for normal in no time.
I think that at about 9:00 PM on the Friday before I left, I realized that I should probably try to call Erik and hang out with him more often. In theory, he's helping with teaching at the school right next to my apartment, so it wouldn't be hard to visit with him if he has an open schedule afterward… I suppose my desire to get to know some girls may have led me to distance myself from my male friends. I needed time to recover from being around guys all of the time in my CSci classes, I guess. Still, I'd want to spend time with some girls if the opportunity arose, but that's not going to happen if I never hang out with anybody…
I was guilted into going to church this morning in Rochester. It would have been nice to lounge around after driving all day yesterday, but no… I was worried that one of the pastors would mention Mel Gibson's movie, and one of them did. I was seconds away from getting up from my pew and leaving the sanctuary, but he managed to stop talking about it before that happened. It would have turned into a mess if I had left—my parents were on my left, and my brother and one of the church's pastors was on the right. Neither direction was a good option. Oh well, the guy didn't outright say, “you should go see this movie,” he just said something like “it sounds like this is an accurate portrayal of what [is believed to have] happened.” Still, I wish he'd actually see the movie before promoting it in any way.
But, I'm in Minneapolis now. Brought my brother up with me, since he'd visited home over the weekend. There was a little tension since we might have had to deal with bad weather, but things cleared up by the time we left (still wet on the road in some places, but not too bad).
Now I see that The Daily Show was all repeats this last week, so I didn't miss anything there. I'll have to go through the other shows my computer recorded and see if anything interesting showed up over the week (there appears to be a good Frontline episode).
Oh yeah—I'm glad Ralph Nader decided to run again. I wasn't sure if I wanted him there or not, but the Democratic nomination race is kicking out the candidates I like (er, the main candidate I liked, at least). By the way, the “Nader is a spoiler” argument doesn't carry any weight with me. In Florida in 2000, Gore and Bush were separated by 537 votes. The 10th-place finisher, James Harris of the Socialist Workers Party, had 558 votes, so that theoretically makes about eight people possibly responsible if you want to play the candidate blame game. In truth, the voting in Florida was just fubar in general (with tens of thousands of ballots considered “spoiled”), so you can't blame any of them.
Not a whole lot has been happening, mostly just watching TV and movies, and applying for jobs. Today I had to go pick up Erik at the airport, after he came back from an interview in Washington state. Sarah IMed me around 10:30 or 11:00, but the only info she had was the time he expected to be ready to be picked up (she couldn't do it because she was doing CPR training). He didn't respond to any phone calls, so he must have been in the air already by that time.
Well, I got down there alright, but it turned out that I was at the wrong terminal. He must have flown Sun Country or something, since he had to be picked up at the Humphrey Terminal rather than the Lindbergh Terminal. Oops. So, I swung through Lindbergh one more time, since I wasn't sure if there was a quick exit from there down to Humphrey (there may have been, but I don't know where it would have been). So, I got back on the highway and got off at the right exit, but I've never driven to Humphrey before, and I've only ever been there about three times in my whole life—sometimes late at night, so I had few spatial references. Anyway, I ended up messing up my maneuvers a few times just because I was anticipating having to do things before I really had to. Then, I accidentally took a turn toward Lindbergh again. No! I hate it when I'm forced to drive like I don't know where I'm going.
Anyway, I finally made it there, and it probably would have been a lot easier if I just hadn't tried so hard to be ready for the unexpected. Then, there was the escapade of getting back to Erik's place. Well, Sarah called asking for an update just a few minutes after we left the airport, and then I missed the turn I wanted to take just as I picked up the call (See!? Driving and cell phones don't mix—except when you're trying to get pic up someone who is at the wrong terminal ;-)
Well, I'm not even sure if you can get from northbound I-35E to westbound I-94 anyway. We ended up taking U.S. 52, since I know that road, but we had to wait as traffic was backed up at the point where that road essentially ends to become surface streets. Things went okay on 94, but I got off on 280 and then improperly took the Energy Park Drive exit. D'oh. So, back to Minneapolis and up to Como (which we wouldn't have had to do, if the traffic hadn't been so heavy on that road too). Oh well, I guess I gave Erik the grand tour, which will be good for posterity, just in case he gets that job in Washington.
I went out for an evening walk today around the St. Anthony Falls trail loop and Nicollet Island. It was really nice until the mosquitos started biting a bit, but they didn't show up much until I was about ready to be done anyway.
The walk was made a lot more enjoyable by the fact that I've indulged in watching some DVDs starring my favorite female celebrity. I've written before about how just seeing or hearing someone I find attractive can really calm me down and make me happier. I think I really needed that, at least now that I think about how low I was feeling last weekend. Still, it is and will remain as one of those intangible things, since this is a person I'll never meet.
She was in the war movie We Were Soldiers a little bit. Probably not enough time to justify if it was a crappy movie, but I thought it was good, even though there was no single concise message it tried to portray. It's mostly just a movie about a battle plus a little bit about the families the soldiers left behind. It's a good movie if you just want to see how things happened, but not so good if you want a movie that answers the “why”s of war.
Today, Netflix delivered the first disc of the TV show my favorite celebrity was on. I'd actually added this to my queue and pushed it near the top of the list over the weekend when I was feeling down, since I knew it would help in a weird way. It's emotionally wrenching and draining sometimes, but it's also good since it shows that at least someone else in TV land understands that good, honest, yet quiet people like myself actually exist. Well, not that I'd ever be picked out of a lineup for my good looks or anything…
Unfortunately, there are some semi-technical issues with the DVDs, so I guess I'm glad I didn't follow the impulse I had over the weekend to just go out and buy the first season or two. Some of the music was changed (though I might not notice—it may have been changed already in reruns, which is where I first watched the show) and the video was not telecined properly for DVD distribution to make most video frame progressive-scan. That's kind of dumb, since a telecined TV show can take up significantly less space on the disc, either allowing a higher per-frame bitrate, or more video on each disc. Oh well, fortunately my DVD playing software has a video filter that will clean it up for me and give me nice non-interlaced output.
Hmm. I guess I may as well mention that, while I was walking around this evening, the voice of Ira Glass of This American Life popped into my head. A second later I thought, “You know, I bet my favorite celebrity would like that radio show.” So, I got home and was randomly reading articles about said person, and found out that she indeed listens to the show. I've decided that I won't make anything of it other than say, “Heh. That's funny,” since, well, millions of people like that show.
Oh, also, my brother is living in a place owned by someone Erik knows (and I suspect that other people I know may also know her). On our screwed up drive around town, I pointed out the road my brother lives on, and Erik said that his friend Vanessa owned a place there. I think I may have met her way in the past too, but I can't really remember. She seemed familiar when we met.
Yeah, it's five years later. Our country could be in such a different place right now, but we are where we are. Well, I could go on a diatribe, but today is actually a good one.
I heard from Erik last night for the first time in a while. We'd met up in Fargo over Christmas since he was visiting his parents, but then his old e-mail address went the way of the dodo and I hadn't heard from him for a while. Anyway, now the ol' address book is getting updated.
Speaking of which, I heard from Dave for the first time in ages a few days ago. I sent him a note saying something like "Glad to see your mortal coil is still bouncing." Heh, I crack myself up. (Nah, it's not that funny—but a tad punny..)
So, today was Missy's birthday, and I sent her a quick message. Turns out she's engaged now (for a week), which is good to hear, and she got her ring today. Her new fiancÚ is actually an old beau—they both had previous marriages fall apart at the same time, and ended up getting back together. Well, considering how rotten her first husband turned out to be, I doubly hope that things will work out this time around.